Wednesday, July 27, 2011

1890 Diary of Mary Isabell Pettit, Part 1

Mary Pettit and Henry Green

The typist of this document is not identified, so I do not know how it compares to the original diary. Once again I am not indicating each misspelling, but I am carefully editing it to be exactly as typed, except for my bracketed notes identifying people as possible. I do appreciate having this record of an eventful year in Mary Pettit Green's life!


Born 9 July 1866 — Died 1 April 1905

Mary Pettit was married to Henry Green 9 December 1891. She referred to him as Harry. The following was copied from a small red diary Mary kept in 1890. Mary was 24 when she wrote it; Harry was 23. She gave the diary to her daughter, Mary Leone Green Layton. It is now in the possession of Jean Layton Thornton. The spelling is just as Mary wrote it. She referred to Harry Green as “H.”


April 28 – Monday
Arose early went to the store as usual nothing eventful occured. H. walked home with me and presented me with this book.

May 1 – Thursday
May morning came in so bright and beautiful that it seemed all nature were smiling. The sun shone brightly, there was not a cloud to be seen. I arose quite early and went to work at the usual time. I found by that time I could hardly speak I was so hoarse. I stayed untill three oclock when I was forced to come home. Harry came down in the evening.

May 2 – Friday
I am very hoarse yet and obliged to remain at home very much against my will. Eddie [probably her brother Edwin Pettit Jr.] came home this afternoon feeling pleased to see us all and I think thoroughly satisfied with being away.

3 May – Saturday
I have been working in the house all day although I have not felt much like it. I coughed so much last night I didn’t get much rest consequently left me with a violent headache which lasted most all day. Harry has brought me some herbs which I steeped and drank and then went to bed about eleven oclock.

4 May – Sunday
This is a beautiful morning. I arose very early feeling it was a waste of time to lay in bed any longer. There has not been any school this morning. Harry and Eddie went to the hospital to visit a friend. They returned about five oclock. We then stayed home the remainder of the day.

5 May – Monday
This morning I felt so much better I went to the store but when I got there I could not talk had to come home again.

6 May – Tuesday
A busy day at home. I have been sewing all day and feel very tired. My cold is not any better. After supper I read for a short time then after having a thorough good sweat and dosing myself I retired about nine oclock.

7 May – Wednesday
This has been an unusualy busy day at home. I have been doing the house work while the others washed. I am still so hoarse I can not speak. Harry came down and was very much surprised and disappointed to see me no better. He left me at about 10:30. It has been raining.

8 May – Thursday
I arose about half past six and was much better after my rest. And very much encouraged. We had breakfast and I swept and dusted five rooms. And then finished the table scarf for Em. Harper and worked on other fancy work untill dinner. Spent the rest of the day in reading.

9 May – Friday
This was a beautiful May morning. I arose early and prepared breakfast. Pa went to the farm. Ma and myself quilted a quilt which took most of the day. Harry came over in the evening.

10 May – Saturday
I arose early this morning and have been working at home. Mr. and Mrs. Gurshbach came in and stayed untill quite late. My cold was so bad I could not talk so went to bed about nine oclock.

11 May – Sunday
This morning I am determined not to stay home any longer on account of being hoarse. After breakfast I prepared and went to Sunday School. Came home had dinner and Harry and I went to the Tabernacle and listened to Bro. John Morgan. Mrs. Green came home with us. We all went over there had supper and then went to meeting. Spent the remainder at home with H.

12 May – Monday
Today I am much better. I have been up town came home and quilted with Ma. Went down to Mrs. Gurshbacks met Mrs. Anderson there.

13 May – Tuesday
I have been recording the minutes of the Y.L.M.I.A. up to the present date. Have also written three letters. One to Alice [probably half-sister Alice Maria Pettit Mecham Walker] one to Alfred Pettit [probably uncle Alfred Pettit in Illinois] and one to Eddie Seeley [perhaps her cousin Walter Edwin Seeley in California, the son of her aunt Mary Pettit Seeley]. In the evening Harry came over.

14 May – Wednesday
Today has passed of slowly. Harry came down to see me tonight.

15 May – Thursday
Nothing of importance today.

To be continued...


  1. I continue to follow, enjoy, and learn from the histories you post on your blog, Amy.

    I couldn’t help but look up what our common ancestor, John Morgan, wrote of the day your gg grandmother heard him speak, and made note in her journal.

    May 11
    Arrived at home [from Manassa, Colorado] at 8:50 a.m. and found all well. At home during the morning. Attended the 2 p.m. meeting at the Tabernacle and spoke to the people. Attended ward meeting and heard Elders Paul and Brighton speak.

  2. Thanks for looking that up, Bessie!

    I do wish that Mary had written something more extensive about what he had to say! General impressions, even.

    I haven't been able to find any Utah newspapers online for this time period, with the exception of the Deseret Weekly, which is pretty useless for tracking the events that Mary mentions in her diary, including this address.

    Also, two weeks later, which will be included in tomorrow's installment of her diary, Mary mentions Elder J. Paul. He's undoubtedly the same missionary John Morgan mentioned on May 11.