Martin Patrick Brennan of Standing Stone
Margaret & Martin Brennan
A Winter in Standing Stone Township
Personal Diary of Martin Patrick Brennan
The diary covers the period January 1, 1910 through April 16, 1910, the day that Martin P. Brennan began to take the Standing Stone Census for which he was the enumerator (E.D. #38). In the front of the diary the following is written:
Presented by Geo. H. Boyle of Towanda, PA
M. P. Brennan
The gift of the small notebook may have prompted Martin to begin his diary. What caused him to stop 3+ months later is unknown. There are other entries in the notebook through 1931 but they are infrequent and generally deal with monies spent/owed.
Martin and his wife, Margaret E. Grace, had 13 children between 1881 and 1905. At the time of this diary two daughters, Anna #1(1st Anna was born in 1885 & died in 1899; the 2nd Anna was born in 1899) and Francis, had died and 7 children were still residing at home. Martin and Margaret were farmers and their busy lives, as described in the diary, centered around their farm and its many demands, their extended family, their church and their neighbors.
Martin’s parents were Andrew Brennan and Catherine Lynch (2nd wife of Andrew). Andrew and his 1st wife, Mary Treacy had immigrated from County Tipperary in 1849 with their sons Patrick and James. Mary died shortly thereafter.
The following is excerpted from John Clancy’s genealogy data base:
The 1910 Standing Stone Township, Bradford, PA Census, for which Martin P. Brennan was the enumerator, finds 7 of the original 13 children still at home. Francis had died in 1906. Four of children were no longer living at home: Phillip; Mary Catherine; Martin and Margaret. Gertrude and Martin had been born. The property was a farm owned by Martin with a mortgage. William ("Will") Joseph, the son, age 20 at this time, would be killed in France during WW1 eight years later. The resident family consisted of:
Margaret E. (nee Grace), wife, age 51, born in PA, both parents born in Ireland
William J. son age 20
Andrew J. son age 16
Blanche E. dau age 13
Ambrose E. son age 12
Anna A. dau age 10
Gertrude G. dau age 7
Martin P. jr son age 5
Martin P. Brennan was associated with the Standing Stone Township Schools. Reference is made in his dairy to the following : Center, Grove, State Rd. and Fisher. It is assumed that these are names of the township schools.
Every attempt has been made to transcribe the diary exactly as it was written. A ? means unsure/unreadable; anything in (…) was added by the transcriber.
Jan 1 Sat.: Will went to Towanda and came back Sunday. Maggie came home from Ochs. And Harry came home from Sayre. Andrew met them at Rummerfield at 4. I went to the Grange . New Years was a fine day. Paid dues at Grange (.30), also for 5 gal oil (.70)
Sun, 2nd: Harry went back to Sayre. It was fine day.
Mon 3: Maggie went back to Och’s. Will took her to Rummerfield. Got letter from Katie at Brasher Falls, N.Y. Nice day ’til evening.
Tues.4: Very cold. Regular Bliz’d.
Wed 5: Rained and snowed all day
Thurs 6: Epiphany. Fine day.
Fri. 7: Went to Rummerfield & got 1280# coal and sch. desks. Mrs. Geo. A. Stephens was buried at Keene Summit. John Schoon’s horse died. 1280 coal @ 20c>2.56.
Sat. 8: Put 3 desks together in the forenoon and Andrew, Ambrose and Martin took them to the Center in the afternoon. John Daugherty took us in some milk. I fixed desks etc. at Grove. Alice Foley got order for $2.10.
Sun. 9: Andrew and Blanche went to Mass with Sandy and Cutler. Will came in from John Daugherty’s and brought in some milk and kraut. Ambrose went over to Uncle Bill’s . Splendid sleighing with only 1 in. of snow. David Ornery is getting better.
Mon. 10: Went to Center and put in new desks then went to Fisher school.
Tues 11: Butchered beef in forenoon. Went over to Uncle Bill’s in the afternoon myself and wife. I also went out to State Road School – gave J. F. Grace $2.60 fine.
Wed 12: I went to Towanda with B. Wheat and chop. Sold beef hide 42 lbs 3.99. Bought-
5 pr socks .75
2 side combs .10
Fasc. Shawl .50
4 yds. Toweling .48
2 pr girl’s rubbers 1.10
soda(7) cup(4) lan. globe(10) .21
at Och’s dinner & stab’g .25
For grinding chop .32
For 2 pr high arctics and
Thurs 13: Will went to Wysox and changed Andrew’s arctics. Will got strip of wood of Jim Foyle.
Fri. 14: Great snow storm took scholars to school and went after them. Mail carrier did not go.
Sat. 15: Went to Grange. Andrew got Flora shod (.50) at Rumm’d . I rec’d blanks from Wilt. 5# sug (.30)-2 darn. needles (2)>.32. Fine but very cold. Got milk at J.E. Daugherty.
Sun. 16: All stayed at home. Fine but very cold.
Mon. 17: Will went to Towanda. Bought two files and 5 darn’g needles Splendid sleighing.
Tues 18: Rained and thawed. Will started at wood out to Whites.
Wed 19: Andrew and Will at wood. I hauled 2 loads wood home after noon. Fine & cold.
Thurs 20: Will and Andrew at wood. I hauled home 4 loads. Fine.
Fri 21: Andrew hauled/load wood. Rained very hard all day and blew terrible.
Sat 22: Caucus at the Center. I (M.P.B.) was nominated for school director, defeating Frank Clark. Sam Roof and John Roof were also nom’d for school directors. W.K. Stevens for Road Cour’r; T.S. Lundy for Tax collector; A.P. Schoonover assessor; Judge of Elections, Dent Roof; Inspector <blank> ; Town Clerk Wm. Vanness.
Sun 23: Terrible icy. ?did not go to Towanda.
Mon 24: I went to Rummerfield in forenoon and got Sandy shod. Afternoon hauled house 3 loads of wood. Will & Andrew worked at wood in woods.
Tues 25: I hauled home 4 loads. Will and Andrew worked at wood.
Wed 26: Hauled two loads wood in forenoon. Attended spelling contest afternoon at Center. Andrew hauled 2 loads wood afternoon. Will worked in woods.
Thurs 27: I hauled 4 loads of wood. Andrew & Ambrose worked in woods. Will went to John Crowley’s sale.
Fri 28: I hauled 4 loads wood. Will, Andrew and Ambrose worked in the woods. Began filling icehouse at Mercur .
Sat 29: Snowed hard all day. Regular blizzard. Andrew helped hrs at creamery icehouse.
Sun 30: None of us went to Mass.
Mon 31: Andrew helped all day filling creamery icehouse. I hauled 3 loads of wood. Will and Ambrose worked at wood in woods. Blanche & Agnes taken sick.
Tues 1: I hauled 3 loads of wood. Will and Andrew worked at wood in White’s woods. Blanche & Agnes very sick.
Wed 2: Woodchuck could see his shadow all day. Fine. I hauled 3 loads of wood. Will and Andrew in the woods. Bought of Mrs. Stephens 25 sug. (1.50), yeast foam (5) oil (13) – 1.68. Blanche and Agnes getting better.
Thurs 3: I was sick abed all day. Will hauled 1 load wood. Rained and snowed all day.
Fri 4: Hauled 1 load wood for Charley & 1 house. Andrew went to Rummerfield and got saw g?????ed (.75) , tea (40), soda (7) >1.22. Blanche went to Towanda and stayed ‘til Sun, car fare .20.
Sat 5: I went to Towanda to attend test for census enumerators. Stayed at Phil’s all night and went to communion. Hauled 3 loads of wood for Charley and 2 house. Car fare .20; Och .10; glasses 10.
Sun 6: Blanche and I came home. Was terrible cold. The Piolett Hotel at Wysox burned at 3 A.M.. Car fare .40.
Mon 7: Will hauled 1 load for Charley and 1 house.
Tues 8: I hauled 3 loads wood. Will & Andrew in woods. Will went to dance at Hurst. Fine day. First calf, little horn, black.
Wed 9: I hauled 3 loads wood. Will and Andrew in woods.
Thurs 10: I hauled 3 loads wood. Will and Andrew in woods.
Fri 11: Andrew hauled 3 loads for Charley and 2 house. Will went to Towanda & stayed ‘til Sunday.
Sat 12: Snowed all day.
Sun 13: All stayed at house. Sandy got lame. 2nd calf. light 3 yr old .
Mon 14: <no entry>
Tues 15: I went to election. The following officers were elected.
Judge: Denton Roof
Inspectors Harland & Reed
School Directors M.P. Brennan
Road Cou’r(?) F. C. Vanness
Assessor A.P. Schoonover
Treasurer Milton Vanness
Town Clerk Wm. Vanness
Auditor D. ? VanKuren
Thurs 17: Very stormy – snow
Fri 18: Spelling contest at Center put off ‘til Mon.
Sat 19: I went to the Grange.
Sun 20: None of us went to Mass. Andrew & Ambrose went over to Uncle Will’s. 3rd calf. Big horn black.
Mon 21: Spelling contest at Center in the afternoon. Will went to work for J.E. Daugherty.
Tues 22: Wash. Birthday, no school. All stayed at house. Stormy.
Wed 23: Roads drifted badly. No mail. No school.
Thurs 24: I went to Towanda via Rummerfield to attend School Directors’ Association. Very cold. Stayed over night with Phil. Mrs. Jane Lynch buried in Towanda. John Hurley’s young one buried out here. 4th calf born. Lo?? home (horse?).Harry & Maggie were home.
Fri 25: Blanche attended the County spelling contest. I came home in the eve with Andrew. Lane near freezing. Very cold. I was sick while in Towanda. 5th calf born. Line back. (?)
Sat 26: I was sick all day. Will came home from J.E.D.’s. Began thawing.
Sun 27: Andrew & Ambrose went to Mass. Blanche came home with them. Thawed all day.
Mon 28: Still thawing. Creek’s rising.
Tues 1: Will helped Jake Ornery to move.
Wed 2: I visited State Road school. Will went to Towanda. Still thawing. Water very high at Wysox & Rummerfield.
Thurs 3: Will went to Rummerfield on Sandy. Water falling.
Sat 5: I went to the Grange
Sun 13: Mrs. Lynch taken sick.
Wed 16: Visited 5 schools.
Sat 19: I went to the Grange.
Sun 20: Harry and Maggie came home. We went to uncle Bill’s, Kennedy’s & To???y’s.
Mon 21: Mrs. Lynch died. Sold a calf to Murphy and Tyrrel for 8c per pd-11.80
Tues 22: Mike Lynch, Crowley and I dug her grave.
Wed 23: Go my appointment as Census enumerator from J. Andrew Wilt.
Thurs 24: Mrs. Mary Lynch buried in State Road Cemetery. Martin Lynch from Murray Sul. Co. Pa and John O’Herron Sr. were here. Mike Lynch, John Lynch, P.C. Lynch, Johnnie Lynch, Martin Lynch and I were Pall Bearers.
Fri 25: Sowed some grass seed.
Mon 28: I went to Asa S. Ennis to be sworn in as census enumerator. J.O. Daugherty began sawing our wood afternoon; finished Wed noon. 15 hr @ 65c; cost 9.75. Harry helped us.
Tues 29: Sawed wood all day.
Wed 30: Sawed wood ‘til noon. I sowed grass seed afternoon. Leaves coming on Lilac bush.
Thurs 31: Will and I went to Woodburns sale. Andrew plowed. I finished sowing grass seed.
Fri 1: Will drove Nell to Wysox. John O’Herron Jr. came here. Suit for Babe $3.00; 3 pr shoes 4.35; leather (.40)> 7.75
Mama taken sick.
Sat 2: Last day of school. Didn’t go to grange nor school. Last calf.
Sun 3: Andrew, Blanche and John O’Herron Jr. went to Mass.
Mon 4: Will took 2 veal calves to Wysox; 280 lb @ 8c +50> 22.90. Will helped J.E.D. cut wood in the afternoon. 6 bars soap .25, 2 washing ???, .10 > .35
Andrew and I hauled out manure afternoon. J.E.D. go his leg cut.
Tues 5: Andrew and I hauled out manure all day. Will helped J.E.D. cut wood.
Wed 6: Sowed first oats. Will helped J.E.D. at wood.
For grinding 12 bu.
Chop 700 lbs @ ?>.70
3 yds. Gingham, .24, molasses, .25 > .49
2 qt onions, .20, bbl salt 1.35> 1.55
Dish, .20, 1 yd lamp wick, 5 > .25
30 bu oats @ 65c, ch’d
Sold 8 ½ doz eggs @ .19 > 1.62
Will helped J.E.D. wood.
Fri 8: Andrew plowed ¾ day on J.B.s place.
I got Ness shod at Rum’d. Will helped J.E.D. wood. Martin went back to Towanda with Philip.
Tues 12: I went to Towanda for instructions from Wilt.
Bought garden seed .55
Soap, 5, 1 ½ tea .60 .65
My shoes, 2.00, shirt .5 2.50
Dinner & stabling .25
Nest eggs, .10, glasses, 10 .20
Ink,5, 2 snaps 10 .15
Wed 13: Butter color .25
Shoe B,10; shoe B 10 .20
Sold 7 ½ doz. eggs .2 1.50
Sowed Huff oats.
Thurs 14: Sowed grass seed on Huff oats.
Fri 15: I started taking the census in S. Stone. 3 boys worked at wood; out to White’s.
Will helped to burn White’s fallow.
<end of diary>
John A. Clancy