Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thursday, January 31st, 1935

Grandma isn't very good

Mary isn't getting out much. Her toes hurt. But she reports on Sunday that Lloyd went over to see Grandma, and she isn't doing very good. Grandma is Mary's father's mother, Jennie.

She was born Jane Ann Steele, but now is known as Grandma Slane. She was previously married to John Hemminger who died in 1929. But now she is 73 years old and married to Frank P. Slane. The Slane home is at 421 Uncapher St., Marion.

Harold is mentioned here for the first time. He is Lloyd's 23-year old nephew, the only child of Albert Benson and Nellie Kelley. You may recall that Harold has the distinction of have grandmothers who are also sisters.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunday, January 27th, 1935

Folks are feeling better

Albert's name is mention for the first time in Mary's diary. Albert is yet another brother of Lloyd. Albert's wife Nellie is also mentioned.

Nellie also happens to be Lloyd's first cousin. That's right. Since Albert is Lloyd's brother, that means Albert married his first cousin. They had one son, Harold Eugene Benson (1911-1995).

Nellie's mother, Emma Belle Billett, and the Benson boy's mother, Leah Billett, were sisters, children of Michael and Susan (Moore) Billett.

But who is little Dickie? And who are agents?

Wednesday, January 23rd, 1935

"I wish I had a radio."

Imagine that. Wishing for a radio. I guess it beat looking at seed catalogs for entertainment.

Mother is sick, Paul is sick and Mrs. Radenbaugh had a bad fall. To top it all off, it's been cold and snowing.

"I wish I had a radio."

Saturday, January 19th, 1935

Harry B. got married

Harry B. is Lloyd's younger brother. Mary's note on January 19th looks like something that was squeezed in after her writings of this day, and probably was. Did they even know Harry was getting married this day?

This was Harry's second marriage. He was previously married to Cora Jessica Carnes, and between them they had one daughter, Katherine Leah. Leah was the name of Lloyd and Harry's mother. She would die a little more than a month after her namesake was born in 1910.

Leah Benson, along with her husband Clinton Burkley "Burt" Benson are buried in an unmarked grave in Cardington, Ohio. They are buried with Pearl Benson, Lloyd and Daisy's young son that died during the flu epidemic. If you find his tombstone, you will also find the burial site of Burt and Leah Benson.

But back to Harry's marriage... he married Richardine Helen Cryder, not quite 22 years of age. From this marriage would be born Violet (1938), Kenneth (1940) and Leonard (1945).

Friday, January 11th, 1935

Roosevelt's camp, chickenpox and wrestling

Mary notes that someone advises her to go to one of Roosevelt's Camps. She didn't do it.

Her seven year old son Paul, the second oldest child, comes down with the chickenpox. This is the opening of what is to be a very serious illness.

Her oldest son, 8-year old Leo Richard, is mentioned here for the first time and he goes off with is father and Uncle Roy to the wrestling matches.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday, January 7th, 1935

Marion Shovel

In 1935, Mary and Lloyd have two sons as well as D.J., their little girl. Mentioned for the first time in this diary is Paul Aden Benson, their 7 year-old. He was born August 3rd, 1927 in Galion, located in neighboring Crawford County.

Mary writes here on the 10th that Lloyd went to the Shovel. No doubt he was looking for work since he had been laid off just before Christmas. See for more information on "The Shovel."

Thursday, January 3rd, 1935

D.J. is Dorothy Jean, the only daughter born to Grandma. She is 4 and 1/2 years old at this time. She was born May 6th in Marion, Marion County, Ohio.

Will, Virgil and Roy are all son's of Lloyd from his first marriage to Daisy May Weaver back in 1900. Lloyd married Daisy five years before Mary would even be born. Daisy divorce him in 1922 in Huron County, Ohio, where she had gone to live. This divorce is case #11006 in the Court of Common Pleas, Norwalk, Huron County.

I once visited with my uncle Virgil, my father's half brother. He told me that he recalled as a youngster his dad coming home drunk one night. His mother, Daisy, was very angry with him, so much so that she grabbed ahold of him and banged his head several times against the leg of their pot bellied stove in their home in Cardington.

The divorce papers state he'd left her with nothing, taking all their furnishings and selling them for liquor. Guess she'd had enough.

Mattie is mentioned as visiting on the 6th. Mattie is Lloyd's sister-in-law from his first marriage. She is also his sister-in-law by virtue of the fact that his brother William (Will) is Mattie's spouse. Three Weavers married three Bensons. There's Will Benson and Mattie Weaver; Lloyd Benson and Daisy Weaver; Garnie Benson and Marion Weaver.

Tuesday, January 1, 1935

The diary begins

The notations in the opening cover of the diary are a record of payments made to Dr. Grover. He was a chiropractor, consider by some to be a "quack" doctor in those days.

Mary at this time is living in Marion, Ohio. It is 1935. Times are hard as it is the time of the Great Depression. Mary is at this time the mother of three young children. Lloyd Benson is her husband. This is Lloyd's second marriage, her first.

She was born Mary Evelina Hemminger on May 7th, 1905 in Porter Township, Delaware County, Ohio to Ovella "Wello" H. Hemminger and Lenora Francis Wright. She was an only child.

She mentions here that she had gotten a letter from her mother. Her mother lived in Delaware County.

Please contact me if you have pictures related to this family you would like to share.

Mary Hemminger Benson's Diary

Welcome to Mary Hemminger Benson's Diary.

Mary was my sweet grandmother. She had an infectious hearty laugh and loved life. She departed this life April 5th, 1994 a month short of her 89th birthday.

This blog will center on her diary which she kept for the better part of the year 1935. I will also include in this blog other items to provide background and color to her story. I hope you will enjoy Mary Hemminger Benson's Diary.

This page, recorded in the back portion of the diary, is Mary's brief account of Christmas, 1934. "A knock came upon the door," she writes at the bottom of the first page. But we will never know now who it was, lost now to time. It appears that a page is missing, as picking up on the next page is a totally different line of thought.

While this page may be lost, much is preserved her to obtain a sense of her being. We also read her that she received this diary as a gift from her husband, Lloyd Aden Benson.

She often used abbreviations for names. For instance, her husband Lloyd is often referred to simply as L. Mentioned on these two pages are a number of family members as well as friend.

Lloyd was previously married, and several of his adult children are named. There is son Roy and his wife Francis (F); sons Virgil and Willard; daughter Nellie; Mary's mother, Lenora (Wright)Hemminger; D.J., or Lloyd and Mary's only daughter, Dorothy Jean; friend Mrs. Chamber; Lloyd's sister Garnie and her husband Marion Weaver, who incidentally is the brother of Lloyd's first wife, Daisy Weaver, the mother of Roy, Virgil, Williard and Nellie. They were the parents of another child, Pearl Everett, born in 1912 and died in the great flu epidemic of 1918.

"Lloyd went to work and got laid off first thing," she writes as 1934 comes to a close. "That ends the old year right."

1935 lies between the great stock market crash of 1929 and the beginning of World War II in 1941. It is a difficult time for a 30-year old mother, who in this year will struggle with three young children and give birth to yet another one.

Please feel free to comment as you journey along with me, day by day, page by page, through Mary Hemminger Benson's Diary in the year of 1935.