Sunday, August 21, 2016

War Ends, Romances Blossom, Hearts Break – Autumn 1899

In Carrollton, Kentucky, at the close of the Spanish-American War, Sarah Eva Howe and her relatives and friends were busier than ever with school, work, and other elements of everyday life. Sarah's stories of 1899 start to include a new element: romance. Sarah was 16. No surprise, then, that she and her cousins and schoolmates were talking about the local boys.

Today's excerpts mention some of the budding and wished-for romances. Apparently, Sarah once had a crush on a young man named Will Rowland. Her friend and "shirttail cousin" Mildred Goslee also was smitten with Will. Both girls were disappointed when Will proposed to a young woman who lived "in the East."

Sarah points out that Will Salyers had "transferred his affections" from one girl in favor of dating others. Will, you may remember from earlier posts, would become Sarah's husband six years later.

I've added endnotes after the transcription to sort out some of the Howe relatives mentioned in Sarah's thoughts about life in 1899. Long passages full of names can be tedious to read, but I dare not leave anyone out. If I delete even one, I may be hiding "genealogy gold" from someone searching for that very name!
1899 found us, as a nation, over the Spanish War, but still fighting with Aguinaldo in the Philippines. It found Jenne[1] and myself trying to make up the time lost until some other school could be found for us[2] by reading all we could lay our hands on. John[3] was in this second year at Wesleyan[4], Lille[5] was still working as cashier at the store, and Beverly[6] started in as “apprentice boy” til he too could be put in school. There were rumors that the regular High School was to be started again in the fall, at Carrollton High School.

Grandma Cost[7] and her family were living in the big house on Ellison Ave. Mr. Salyers[8] had begun building a new house in a lot taken from the old one and was selling the other house to the Blackwell family (Mrs. B. was Edna Corbin). Will[9] had transferred his affections from Stella Stucey (tho they almost decided to marry at one time) to various pretty girls, none very serious, especially visitors, still made some trips to Madison again, and hired many “rigs” to take them riding from Grobmeyer Bros. Harry and Harold Grobmeyer had been sent to a Catholic seminary at Jasper, Indiana, where they later graduated. 

At the church Brother Rowland had been made our pastor, to our great satisfaction because we were so fond of the family, tho many of the members did not enjoy his preaching. He was a very quiet stern-appearing man, tho kind and fun-loving at home, and Mrs. Rowland was the loveliest person imaginable. They had a most wonderful home life, especially making a great deal of Christmas, with a “breakfast” at 9:30 that made the day the most memorable in the year, all the relatives and close friends were invited (in the family connection). In that day Mildred Goslee (after they came back to live in Carrollton when Dr. Goslee died, which was either in 1899 or 1900) was invited with Effie Browinski, whose mother was a sister of Mrs. Rowland; so she gradually became an extremely good friend of Will Rowland (and thus took what I never really had!).  I think she was very fond indeed of him – and he of her. ...  I remember being at a party with her the day his marriage was announced in the East and by her really forced gaiety, one could see she was thinking of their past association.

In the fall of ’99 the two Rowland boys went to Kentucky Wesleyan. (Luther went to Vanderbilt and played football there, but came home about that time; I don’t believe he graduated.) As for the Howe family, we had varied turns of fortune. George, Uncle Joe’s & Aunt Sallie’s[10] baby, was born in November – James[11] was six the same December, and Leonora[12] three, exactly between the boys. John[13] went on at Kentucky Wesleyan, with fine success,
Literary society meeting program at Kentucky Wesleyan

especially in oratory, English, and languages. At one time he boarded with the Batsons – I afterwards knew Mrs. Batson at Lexington) and I was endlessly diverted with the stories Jenne could relate to me of his college experiences, the songs he learned, the boys he met, his choice between the two rival literary societies (there were no fraternities there) finally becoming a “Philomathean” (the other was the Eucleian).

Lille was still at the store as “cashier,” Jenne & Beverly started back at CHS when the High School was re-opened in the fall of ’99, with Professor B.F. Gabby as principal. Jenne went into the Junior Class, Bev the Sophomore, and our friend from Sanders, Nina Deatherage, who boarded with her aunt Mrs. Bruce, was in the same class. I didn’t go back with them – sometimes I’ve been sorry that I didn’t. But one very potent factor was the deciding one in any case. In  the spring of ’99, Mama, who had during the year before grown so very plump, weighing 150 pounds at one time – began to suffer a terrible form of indigestion, and not only lost all that false weight but her normal weight as well, and indeed went to almost 100 pounds by summer. I remember she said she told Brother Rowland she had fallen off 40 or 50 pounds in 5 months, and he said “If I lost that much, I’d be no bigger than a cake of soap after a hard day’s washing!” (He was very tall and “spare.”) So by July Papa decided to take her to Battle Creek, Michigan, to the famed Kellogg Sanatorium. (Mrs. Henry Winslow had been there more than once for treatment and advised it for Mama.) I was to take care of Leonora at Grandma Costs’ home on Ellison Avenue, Price Hill. All went well for a few days, till Leonora became sick with “summer complaint” – either from the change of water, or milk or too much “grownup” food. (We ate well but simply at home.)
Sarah's mother's illness sounds both serious and mysterious! I have found nothing yet in the scrapbooks about a diagnosis or other details, but fear not. Sarah's mother Alice Ada Cost Howe lived for 30 years after this illness.

At the start of the final paragraph, Sarah says that she did not return to high school when (apparently) the private school closed and the high school grades were re-established at the Carrollton public school. I'll be scouring the scrapbooks to see if she ever finished high school, private or public. To me, the answer is irrelevant. Sarah, a life-long learner and voracious reader, was one of the most educated people around.

1. Jenne Howe, Sarah's first cousin; daughter of her father's brother William Ficklin Howe.
2. Apparently, the private academy had closed, leaving several families to find another school for their children. (See the "Schoolhouse Revolution" post.)
3. John J. Howe, Sarah's first cousin; brother to Jenne.
4. Lille M. Howe, Sarah's first cousin; sister to Jenne and John.
5. Kentucky Wesleyan College, a Methodist-supported institution that at that time was in Winchester, Kentucky.
6. Beverly Winslow Howe, Sarah's first cousin; brother to Jenne, John, and Lille. (Beverly was a popular name for males in the 1890s.)
7. Sarah Evaline Arnet Cost, Sarah's maternal grandmother; resident of Price Hill, a section of Cincinnati.
8. Charles D. Salyers, Sarah's future father-in-law.
9. William Levi Salyers, son of Charles D. Salyers; Sarah's future husband.
10. Joseph Brown Howe, his wife Sallie Goslee Howe, and son George Howe.
11. James Howe, son of James Brown Howe and Sallie Goslee Howe; brother of George Howe.
12. Leonora Alice Howe, Sarah's sister.
13. See Endnote #3.


ScotSue said...

Your choice of title was spot on and draws the reader into your post.

Frances Nelson Salyers said...

Titles can be the biggest challenge, I think. Thanks for appreciating this one, Sue.