Margrethe Teslie's Personal Diaries

Margrethe’s diaries are what were called “5 year diaries”. They were very small books that had 5 years on each page. This format left room for only a few sentences for each day as you can see below.

Margrethe’s Personal Diary 1932 - 1936

The first entry in her diaries was January 26, 1932. There are several paragraphs before that but they appear to me to have been written in a few weeks later as they speak of her husband Ethan in the past tense. He died February 15, 1932 just a few weeks after she started keeping a diary. In transcribing the diaries I have tried to keep the spelling and punctuation as Margrethe wrote it. I have also chosen to keep the days in the year in succession rather than 5 years per day as is formatted in the diaries.

A couple of notes:

  • Ethan and Margrethe are living at the farm in Wapello, ID at the start of the diaries. Margrethe lived there until the very end of her life when she was in a care facility in Lava Hot Springs, ID. Her son Erwin (my grandfather) ran the farm after the death of Ethan Allen and then moved to the farm.
  • Only 3 of their 7 children are alive in 1932 at the start of the diaries.
    • Erwin (Win) who was married to Isolene (1931)
    • Clyde who lived in Montana and was married to Madge (1928)
    • Donald (Donnie). I’m not sure where he was living.

Michael Baird


Paragraph written in prior to January 26, 1932 which is the date of the first entry:

why does anyone have to die when anyone need them so much as I did Ethan? Didn’t get this diary started on the first. beginningabout Ethan. he were not feeling very good all fall but both me and he to thought it were indigestion he has always been so well no one thought that anything like this could ever happen to him. allways kind and good to his family, how we will all miss him and me most.

January 26 – Ethan quite sick, taying?? every thing. Sent for Dr. Beck. Sead he had Ulcer of stomack. Win doing the chores.

January 27 – pa can’t rest in so much pain

January 28 – pa about the same awful bad

January 29 – Ethan awful restles cant sleep, very much pain

January 30 – pa is so very sick Dr Beck came up, we are snowbound have to go in sleigh

January 31 – pa is no better

February 1 – we are so bewilderd we don't know what to think

February 5 – took Ethan to Hospital, 3 exam. Dr Hamtan helping. They sead he had cancer of stomack. Oh its sure awful, he thinks he will be better

February 6 – brought pa home he could hardly make it. He said dont cry. Dr’s don't know everything

February 7 – pa rested quite well all night but he looks so bad. he dont deserve it.

February 8 – pa is sure bad. I dont know what to think a lot of callers. M Petersen G Jensen stayed all night

February 9 – he rested quite good last night, but awful sick today cant take any nourishment oh he suffers. Clark. P Moore here all night

February 10 – I have a bad headache. Ethan no better. have to take m tablets for pain, he said things are as they are cant be helped so I may as well sleep. P Williams G Malin here all night

February 11 – Bad blizzard. Ethan seams to sleap a lot Clyde came but pa coulnt talk much he sure want to. ah its awful bad spell at 10ck G Cobbley M Tucker here all night

February 12 – rested good in evening layed on stomack like he were well. Ethan awful resetless. sat up in bed he sead took my toung I’m doing every minutes. very week. we all feel so bad. cant do anything. Frank, Henry here all night

February 13 – bad weather, blowing, cold, pa were restles part of night seams not in so much pain, his toung is so hard, wish I could so something. Carsen, Whiting here all night

February 14 – nice out today. Ethan dont seam in so much pain he is quit altho he is wide awake, very thin cant talk, its awfull to se him lay there, can’t do anything Gene, Ormand here all night

February 15 – Ethan past away at 1215 this morning. oh it is awfull. he didn’t deserve it. I’ll miss him so. took him to town at noon. house so empty. how will I ever get on. Viola here all day

February 16 – how empty the house is. its cruel. he hadn’t out to left me. he didn’t want to go. he had so much faith. why din’t he get better. Rick took us to toun, home to an empty house

February 17 – nice day. boys making road so we can get out with car. went to town. Ethan dont look normal, he is so thin nothing left of him it seams. I cant stand it. Donnie came this morning

February 18 – up again to empty house. I miss him so. went to town. Ethan looks better today more natural

February 19 – funeral today very impressive. just wonderful speaking’s. Jensen, clark Cobble spoke. Flowers were beautifull. house full. left and got as far as Logan. Emma went with us.

February 20 – Left for Hirum, met with Clyde, with pa, sure is awful to se him in front of us in a box. he never had a chance, sick children or wife. I feel like it out to been me. a number of friends met us. had dinner at franks. started for home got as far as blft (Blackfoot)

February 21 – Boys came after me, my this house is sure empty. it dont seam real, he ought to come in. It were so sudden. what will I do now

February 22 – Boys are all here. week today since pa left us, ho how still it is. beautiful day but cold

February 23 – getting breakfast seams like Ethan ought to come in. it isn’t fair, wonder if he is satisified. boys went to town se about exspensced

February 24 – Viola stayed all day, my hearing is so bad. I feel lik a nusins to myself and everyone else

February 25 – beautiful day. thaung some. tonight it seams I can’t do anything but cry. wish I’d go to bed a never wake up. mis him more in evening.

February 26 – didn’t sleap much last night. wish Ethan could let me know if he is satisfied. boys just wonderfulo to me. Jun and Belva come here tonight

February 27 – Boys cutting trees for wood. my hearing is so bad. can’t enjoy there convershasan. just sit and look dumb sure embaras

February 28 – Jun and Belva went home. its Sunday and I mis Ethan so. my hearing got bad. he were so considerate. talked loud so I could take part.

February 29 – a bad blizzard we are washing boys helping. if I could just se Ethan outside

March 1 – is snowing, Frank Christensen came with boys. run acras some of Ethan’s things. sure awful to think he will never be here

March 2 – woke up with bad headache awful still. wonder where Ethan are. bad blizzard

March 3 – nice afternoon. Cara came up. Clyde packing to go home. all talking and laughing. cant hear so just sit and feel bad

March 4 – went to toun, had horses pull car to highway. made arrangement with Rick, took Clyde to train. called on a coop meeting. bad blizzard

March 5 – miss Clyde this morning he were such a comfert were. were awake nearly all night with cramp in foot, how I mis pa

March 6 – 3 weeks since pa left us. if he could only come in this morning. to Violas for dinner nice kinda if Ethan could have been there.

March 7 – Boys went to river after wood. alone I do mis Ehtan if I could only talk to him, will he never be here?

March 8 – aful cold windy. 6 belo zero. feel bad blive I’ve got the flu. trying to work on my garden quilt.

March 9 – awake most of night bad head cold sinus trubble. awful sick tonight high fever

March 10 – awful sick allnight. there is no pa to take care of me now when I’m sick. Don very good to me. in bed all day

March 11 – awake most of night. cept thinking of pa. dont seam tru that he will never be here. cold 6 belo

March 12 – feel better this morning but all I can do is cry. Win talked to me. we have to do as neer as we can like pa would if he were here. cold 10 belo

March 13 – letter from Clyde. 45 belo zero up there on the 8th still have a cold took care of baby while Win and Isolene went to church.

March 14 – washed, not so cold, got the pictured some very good if Ethan could have been on some of them.

March 15 – one month since Ethan left us, oh how I wish he could come in, seams like a bad dream

March 16 – working a little on my garden quilt, but seams I can’t put my mind on anything. have to do something

March 17 – R. S. party. dint go I’d feel so bad never went anywhere without Ethan I’d maybe cry. they sent a tray lunch. nice

March 18 – cold and windy but snow melting. working on my quilt again

March 19 – bad headache all night and all day. raining and a real bad day

March 20 - Erwin and Isolen here for dinner. awful lonesom this evning wish Ethan could come in . Donnie playing phonagraph

March 21 - patching and doing up work. its so still here with pa

March 22 - still snowbound. boys making road. disagreable day

March 23 - windy raining bad day. not doing much to hearth broken

March 24 - working on my garden quilt

March 25 - alone about all day. Donnie went to Michael's. roa open. Viola and Orpha called

March 26 - disagreable cold wind went to toun first with car since xmas. There were no pa to say are you redy to go home. better. I miss him.

March 27 - Easter Sunday. windhy and cold. Donnie & I wnet to Erwins for dinner just think pa were here last Easter, and Win move to himself then.

March 28 - washed this morning, raining and a bad afternoon. Donnie is cranky to, sure long evening carbide, just oil lamp can't read

March 29 - Pa's birthday, who even thought he wouldn't be her last year. lonesome this evening. hail storm this afternoon

March 30 - Made some aprons havent been feeling well all day. quite sick tonight have the flu or somthing

March 31 - quite misarble all night bad headache this morning. went to toun. Win and Isolene are here. They seam to have a good time but cant hear sure a curse to be hard of hearing


Want to read more?

That is all I have transcribed. If you are interested in helping transcribe Margrethe's diaries please contact me. It is a fairly big project and I'm not sure when I will get to it.

Michael Baird