Schesser Family Papers
The Schesser family papers include a diary kept by patriarch Socrates Schesser in 1915 and an autograph book belonging to son Roy Schesser from 1907. The autograph book was made in Germany and features a child on the colorful front.
The following partial transcription of diary entries was provided by the seller:
In the front of the diary you'll find this written
"This book was bought of Mont Gomery Ward and Co. Kansas City. The record of each day's events heren are written every evening before retiring and are my best recollection of each day's business and all other happenings I think worth putting down."
And in the back you'll find this
"January 1st, 1915. We are living on the N. W. ¼ Sec. 25 Town, Three Range, 21 Norton Co. County. We have three horses; Branty, Daisy and Sampson. Six mules. Three cows and one calf, 16 hogs. Have out about 125 acres of wheat. I have just built and equipped a blacksmith shop. Frank Beacock, the lad who is teaching our school. is boarding here but is home at present on his vacation."
Socrates was faithful with his entries from January 1st to November 19th when they suddenly stop but that's only because it's become corn husking season and he's entirely too busy to write. There are also tons of names of the local folk written down and I've included a list of many of them at the end of this description. Following are a few example entries from Socrates diary….
"January 1st, We enter the New Year all well and all at home. Girtie and Pat are attending high school at Norton but are home on their holiday vacation. All the family but me are spending the evening at Louisa Schesser's. We have been putting up ice today. Put in three four horse loads, getting the ice in the day pasture one mile south of here."
"January 3rd, All at home until noon. Orland took Girtie and Pat to the train this P.M. at Prairie View. They are going back to school. Frank Peacock got back about 4:00 P.M. Gave Gertie and Pat $20.00 to pay expenses with."
"February 13th, I stayed all night at Perdies with Pat and Girtie at Norton. Went down to Scharf's and got the bed we had there for Pat while he boarded there and started home about 9:30 A.M. Sold a sack of onions we had in Scharf's barn to Arnold Schewey for 75 cents. Paid Scharf in full on the children's board and paid W. T. Hayes $25.00 on his fees in the cases he has been looking after for me. Has been snowing a little. All day snowed hard for a while this morning and has been quite cold. Frank Beacock paid me $12.00 on board."
"March 7th, We have been at home all day except wife went over to Lee's to wash their new baby. She went a horseback and Orland went along. They were gone about two hours. Got back about two P.M. We just done the chores and read all day. Has been cloudy and snowed a little. Not very cold."
"March 14th, Was quite cold last night and is quite warm today. Surely a lot of snow melted. We are all at home all day except Earl went to Cactus to church and he also went this eve. Orland is quite sick with the mumps. He is swelled pretty bad and is awful sick at his stomach but I guess he is alright. I stepped on a 20 P (penny) nail this morning while charing and it went nearly through my foot and it has been hurting like hell ever since. I can't walk on it at all."
"April 4th, Is warm and clear with a brisk S. W. wind. Earl and Orland went to Cactus to church. Dick Lee was here and got our spring wagon about 9:00 A.M. His mother died last night and he wanted the rig to haul the corpse to Long Island. Wife and I and Bessie were home all day. Nothing doing here all day."
"May 19th, Rained more or less all day. I worked in the shop all day. Pa, John Harper, had his spring wagon here and he and I worked at that about all day. Orland took Pat to Prairie View. He goes to Norton to the graduating exercise. Pat gets his diploma tonight as a graduate of Norton Co. High School and will have a second grade teacher's certificate at 16 years of age….."
"June 16th, The boys finished weed cutting in the old orchard and we put the weeders together and Orland run the double roe the balance of the day and Pat helped me in the shop this P.M. I worked in the shop about all day. Albert Schesser was here this A.M. and got their work. Wife went with Weigant's to the Logan Cemetery to look after her father and mother's graves. They got back about 3:00 P.M. I went over to Lee's and done some soldering on his radiators and he paid me 75 cents. Weigant's stopped a couple hours while they were here this P.M."
"July 30th, We got up late this morning. Had another nice shower of rain about 7:30. Will Reeser came up about 8:00 A.M. and got ice 35 cents. Early stopped in on his way to Cactus and Orland went with him. Orland brot Harry Sides and Dewey Caughlin home with him. Charles Graham brot his mower over this P.M. And Peacock drove in about 3:00. Orland and Frank Peacock went to Cactus. Girtie went to Co to Saint meeting with Joe Bard and the first time she ever left here with a fellow. Pat and wife and Bessie started for Birkeville but got drove back by the rain and we surely had some rain and wind."
"August 20th, I went to Almina on some business but didn't find anybody I wanted to see. Spent $8.50 for mower repairs, windmill repairs and incidentals. Orland and Pat helped Earl stack prairie hay. We had a surprise on Orland this evening. He is 19 years old. Tomorrow there was 54 people here, John Stewart's, all Harper's, Will Hobbs, Mulders, Lee Schesser's, Louisa Schesser and her family, Elva and Cleo Craven and Rasco Gunther and others. We made 6 ½ gallons of ice cream."
"September 13th, I got ready to go to Prairie View this morning but something kept me delayed until I decided not to go. Al Herper came and Floyd Hayes. Guy Hewet and Bert Erickson and John Barres and I had lots of business so I picked peaches, worked the road some with the spade, etc. The Standard Oil man was here at noon and left us 190 gallons of gasoline and 150 gallons of coal oil. Pat began teaching our school district 27. He is about 16 1/2 years old. He has about 21 pupils. Earl also started his school today. No. 61 in Phillips Co. known as Pleasant Ridge. Orland's school, No. 52 is known as the Hayes School and Pats as Timberlake."
"October 21st, Brother Lee and I started to Norton about 7:30 A.M. in Lee's car. We broke the car down at Calvert and had to be pulled in the rest of the way to Norton. I got a farm loan today of Montag of $4500.00 on the place here, 320 acres. Got the loan at 8% annual interest that is high interest but the best I could do. We couldn't get the car fixed and are staying in Norton tonight."
"November 5th, I drove to Almina this morning. Took Orland to school as I went. Stopped at John Roeder's and got Orland's school order. Went on to Norton on the B. & M. and came back to Almina on the Jersey. Done some trading and got home about sundown. I met a fellow on the train wanting work and I brot him along. His name is Ed Kemp or something like that."
His steady entries stop on November 19th and there are 6 entries after that. He explains why he stops writing…… "We have been husking corn every day and it has been the same old grind so I haven't been writing in this diary since we have been husking corn. There has not been any important happenings to speak of and I have been too tired to write. Have just neglected it."
Here are a few of the names I found between the pages….Lavergene, John and Elva Stewart, Frank Peacock, Clarence Aldrich, Eli Taylor, Elmer Runkle, Willie Boatman, George and Otis Hobbs, Tom and Floyd Hayes, Lee and Pete Weegant, Jerrie Hull, Dan Thomas, Chris Nelson, Dan Hart, Ira Mulder, Frank Roeder, Guy Hewett, Will Reeser, Art Kline, Fred Roeder, Ralph Mulder, Ben Hickman, Bertha and Wesley Craven, G. L. Barr, Forrest Gunther, Otha Davis, Wesley and Bertha Craven, Frank Roeder, Guy Hewett, Ed Burnheimer, Abb Altman, Grant Felt, and more.
- Schesser family (Creator, Family)
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- Schesser Family Papers
- Angela Kroeger; Amy Schindler
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Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository
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