Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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.

1 comment:

  1. A very infectious laugh indeed...and I am one of the infected.