Long after my Grandpa Scott died, my family discovered that his mother, Carrie Alice Williams (1883-1967) kept diaries. They had been left in the care of my Grand Uncle Leslie Scott (1913-2004), my grandpa’s fraternal twin. With rabid curiosity, my family looked through them. Most were quite dull in that they merely recounted her days’ activities. Some were hard to read in part due to spelling and her handwriting.
The earliest diary I have comes from 1921. It is quite small with only room for two entries per page. What makes reading it especially difficult is that my great-grandmother wrote every entry in pencil. Some of the writing has faded with time and some has been smudged. However, I hope to transcribe it the best I can.
As part of that effort, I am starting this series The Diaries of Carrie. I hope to publish at least two excerpts a week. I will include most entries, but not all. One thing I do plan to include is some historical context of that time and her location. I hope you enjoy the series as we explore the world of my great-grandmother.
The following entries start at the beginning of 1921. I believe my Great-Grandmother Carrie and her husband, my Great-Grandfather John William Scott (1881-1936; sometimes called either Bill or John in the diary) lived in Drumwright, Creek County., Oklahoma at the time, based on the 1920 census. My great-grandparents would have lived there because of the oil fields. Great-Grandpa Scott built oil field building structures and platforms by trade. Also, by 1921, my great-grandparents had 4 living children: twins Leslie & Wesley (my grandfather), Bonnie, and Ines.
(Please note that I have transcribed the text as my great-grandmother wrote, including spelling and grammatical errors. Notes about people and events mentioned will follow at the end of the transcript.)
The Diaries of Carrie
Sat. Jan 1, 1921
Played Piano. Cake & apple Pies, Mrs. Russel called, Mrs. Haindel called & said rent man came to rent the new house. He will mary he says. Bill came home from Bristo 6o’clock.
Sun. Jan 2, 1921
John rented the new house today to Mr. Burks. I went to Haindels, heard them play their phonograph late in the evening. I went to Russells and He played Banjo and we all sang. Had a splendid time.
Mon. Jan 3, 1921
Went to town, stayed till 3 o’clock. Looked for Burks, didn’t find him, he came late and payed rent. I bought Black Crepe Dress paid $16.00 for it. Left it at store, Mr. Burks didn’t take house. I gave money back.
Tues. Jan 4, 1921
Went to town. Was disappointed about the rent. Mr. Burks at bank, met Mrs Shay. She came to look at house. I said Bills gass $10.00, awful. I left dress at store. 10 musical, was no good. Sorry sorry.
Wed., Jan 5, 1921
Felt badly. Didn’t do anything much. Went to bed about 10, slept 2 or 3 hours, Just fooled round. Went to Mrs. Hursts in evening. Nothing doing worth mentioning.
Thurs., Jan 6, 1921
Done my weeks washing. Mopped dining room and kitchen. Intertained Mrs. Russel* in the afternoon. John rented the house to Mr. & Mrs. Surett .
Fri. Jan, 7, 1921
The Tidal man came. Wanted house. Too late. Should of come yesterday. Bill is out of work. No chance for any. Things look [bleak], went to Bashie** at 2. I stade till 4. Elis** came home with me. Mrs. Hurst & son came till bed time.
Sat., Jan 8, 1921
Fooled round all morn. Give children bath. Elis too, Less [my Grand Uncle Leslie] took him home. I made pies at one o’clock and cake, Mrs. Hurst & Mrs. Haindell called. Ed in evening stade about hour ½, I went to Haindels. John came at 9. We stayed till 11. Played phonograph. Had nice time.
Sun., Jan 9, 1921
Less & Wesley went to Bashies in morning. I boiled beans, called on Mrs. Hurst ½ hour, all eat luncheon. Bashie and Allen came spent afternoon. Mrs. Horn called. Mrs. Russel called. Later, Surett got his furniture in new house. Mrs. Rusell, I, and kids were at new house when it came.
Mon. Jan 10, 1921
Mrs. Hurst came and brought E(?) watter receipt from Frank Orsborn. John went to Bristo yesterday. Mrs. Hainden & Hurst called. Played piano. All went to her house later. Stayed till 10 o’clock. Danced. Had fine time.
*Mrs. Russel is likely their next door neighbor, Edna Russell and her husband was Kent, as listed in the 1920 Census.
**Bashie was Carrie’s younger sister, Bashie B. Williams NATIONS (18932-1959), married to Allen NATIONS (1893-1973). Ellis (1916-1948) was Bashie’s oldest child. I’m surprised to see her living in Oklahoma at this time. She and Carrie were originally from Missouri. In the 1920 Census, Bashie and her family still lived in Missouri. According to later censuses, her children born after 1920 were all born in Missouri as well. I guess this was a temporary move.