Diary 1910

Gratia Fox Diary 1910

Gratia Amanda Housler Fox

While visiting family in Depauville, New York

Saturday, August 20th

Arrived at Depauville after 9 in the evening. Expecting us Friday afternoon. Big dinner ready.

Gratia, her husband Frederick Carver Fox and their children Edith and Bill traveled from their home in or near Rockvale, Colorado to visit Fred’s family in Depauville New York.Gratia and family took a train from Colorado to Chicago, Illinois and then a boat through Lake Michigan, Superior and Huron to New York.Depauville is a small village near Watertown, in Jefferson County, New York. Fred’s family were among the first settlers of the area.

Sun, August 21

A lovely day, took ride in Auto. Prescot Patch. Will Seiber of Adams and Amasy Dodge called to see Fred. Mrs. Sherm Holiday called in evening. Fred and children called to see relatives in village.

Fred has many siblings, aunts and uncles living in the area.Uncle Frank Fox [add foxfrank_bigger] Frank Fox, Fred’s brother. Caption: “Hart’s, over Post Office, Watertown”

Mon., August 22

Washed. Mrs. Holiday and Flossy called. James and Fred at Mrs. Byran Hart’s funeral.

Called at Mrs. Sternburg’s in evening. Trunk arrived while away.

The funeral is likely for a relation of the above photographer.

Tues. August 23

Ironed. Drove up to old home in afternoon. Measured big tree, over 16 feet. Fred wrote to Florence and got a letter from her.

Much of Gratia’s time is spent ironing. Using a stove-warmed iron in the late summer to iron a trunk’s worth of clothes must have been a bit miserable.

Wed. August 24

Ironed all forenoon. Mrs. Gould called. Mrs. Louis here in evening. Took walk under bluff. James and Sarah called on Mrs. Hatch who is very sick.


Thur., August 25 Father at Watertown. Mrs. Fred Haws and Mrs. Howard called in afternoon.


Fri., August 26 Nellie Schriver and Charles and Alan and Elsie Fox and Norine called in afternoon. Took tea with Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sternburg and family. Mrs. Sternburg was their phonograph, speaking and singing.


Sat., August 27 Lydia Fox, Nellie Lee and Josephine here to tea. Stayed all night. Uncle Byron went to Watertown for them.

Lydia eventually moved to Washington, D.C. and became D.C.’s  first public stenographer. She lived D.C., the Philippines, and traveled to China and Europe at the beginning of World War I. Lydia lived to a ripe age and wrote a book, Eighty Plus, [fix link] about her experiences on the ‘Hill’.

Lydia Mantle Fox, Fred’s oldest half sister

Sun., August 28 Very pleasant day. Fred and kids at Sunday School and at Church with Mother. Fred and kids, Josephine and I rowed up the creek in the afternoon. Got 4 water lilies. Went to Charles Fox’s and Dr. Dale’s in evening.  

Baptist Church in Depauville

Baptist Church Fred and Gratia attended that Sunday.

Mon., August 29 Washed in morning, took trip down river in launche [sic] in afternoon, 16 people went. Father and Mother, Charlie, Lydia, Pauline Fox, Nellie Schriver and Alan and Charlie P., Nellie and Josephine Lee of Syracuce [sic],  Mrs. and Dr. Dale, Fred, I and the kids. Mr. Easton run the launche. Took Lydia & Nellie & Josephine Lee and Charlie Fox to Chaumont to the train and back in evening.  
Tue., August 30 Father at Watertown. Fred at Jim’s. Ironed in forenoon, helped Mother wash in afternoon.
Fred and his older half-brother James.
Tuesday, September 13  
Got up quite late, had breakfast , washed dishes, sewed on Edith’s red dress. Fred put window in door in kitchen , got ready to go to party. Willie went to sleep, left him with Issranda Fox. Then Fred, Edith and I went to party.

Edith and Willie (William) circa 1905

I wanted to come home but didn’t. Had a pretty good time.   
Sent letter to Mother, postcard and teething ring to Florence. Got post card from Mother. Florence is one of Fred’s half-sisters.’Mother’ is Myra Blanche Bowerman Housler, who is back on the ‘ranch’ in Cement Colorado, where Gratia and Fred live.
Wednesday, September 14  
Got up late, had a poor breakfast. Washed dishes,  sewed on black skirt, had good dinner, pressed skirt. Went to Mrs. Fred Haws for dinner, Edith and Willie went with us. Got home early and read in evening. Lost one of my hairpins. Sent postcard to Florence. Edith and Willie got postcard from Vera. Vera is Gratia’s  younger sister.
Thursday, September 15  
Got up early, had poor breakfast, washed dishes, Fred went for walk. Read two stories in Youth’s Companion. Mrs. Walton’s, in afternoon at Ladies. Joined Ladies Aid Society Expeareance [sic], meeting next February, earn a $  Called on Mrs. Hatch and Mrs. Lewis in evening.  

Friday, September 16 Went to Mrs. Holliday’s for dinner and tea. Didn’t feel very well so didn’t attend mishionary [sic] meeting in afternoon.

Gratia was a very bright woman but had little chance for formal schooling. She loved to read, knew about classical music and wrote all of her life.

Sat., September 17 Washed 89 pieces. Grandma ironed enough clothes so we could go to Mrs. Sternburg’s to tea. Grandpa went to Watertown, brought Jim’s folks out to Mrs. Oti’s place. Gratia had to hand wash these  89 pieces of clothing, which probably was every garment her family owned!
Sun. September 18 Rainy morning. We couldn’t go out to St. Lawrence to see John Alden baptised. Jim and family here to dinner, kids with Grandpa and Grandma to Sunday school. Grandma to Church. Friends of Fred’s here in evening. Good dinner.


“Grandpa” and “Grandma” were Sarah Carver Fox, Fred’s mother.  and  James Harris Fox, Fred’s father.

Mon., September 19. Pleasant morning, got letter from Ma, kids got postcards.Ironed, went to bed with book in afternoon. Grandpa at Watertown. Pauline, Jim and Levi here in morning.  
Tue. September 20

Ironed. Levantia, Levi and Nellie here. Fixed Edith’s red dress and Willie’s red suit. Fred went to Florence’s this morning.

We called on Aunt Sarah this evening.

Levantia is one of Fred’s sisters. 

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