Who were the important people in Ella Sargent’s life?
We see some names repeated frequently in Ella’s diaries.
Who were they?
The diaries give us a good picture of Ella’s daily routine. In the 1870’s and 80s, Ella mentions her parents and her brother Bartlett frequently as seen in these excerpts:
Monday, June 8, 1874 [Ella was 19.]
Mother has washed
Father has been down to Johns to work to day
Bartlett and Mr Hancock mended fence this afternoon
Thurs. April 12, 1883
Mother has Ironed and fixed the dried Beef
Father has piled the Wood under the Shed
Bartlett has been away listing
Mon. June 2, 1884
Mother has washed
Father has planted some in the Gardens and Harrowed some.
I have done chores and sewed some
Bartlett has been down to West Fairlee
Ella lost her father, Daniel, in 1894 at age 89, and her mother, Lodisa, at age 90, in 1904. After her brother Bartlett died in 1906, she became increasingly close to his wife Dora and their children– Leland who died of cancer in 1916 at age 44, Susie, who died of TB at age 31 in 1910, Henrietta [1881-1970] and Myra [1886-1967].
Sun. Sept. 8, 1901
Bartlett carried Susie to Norwich
She will commence her School to morrow
Thursday, June 30, 1904
We have done the Work and took care of Mother and washed out a few things
Mother is failing
she does not seem to realize much
Friday, July 1, 1904
Mother continued to fail and passed away about 10 A.M.
she is through her suffering
Monday, January 11, 1909 [Ella was 54.]
Henrietta and Myra started for Hanover this morn
Myra came home and H stayed all night
Susie had her operation at 11 Oclock was under the influence of Ether for 3 hours
Dora has been down here all day
Friday, November 12, 1909
Mr Wood and I have been to Hanover
Susie sat up a half hour
Susie was a much-loved teacher in Norwich, and spent over a year in the hospital before she died in April, 1910. It is heartwarming to read about the caring between Ella and Bartlett’s family.
Henrietta went to nursing school and worked out of state for several years, but came back and became the Hanover High School nurse. Ella lived with Henrietta the last 13 years of her life. She was married to William Higginbotham.
Myra never left Norwich, and she and Ella were very close. She was married to Austin Huntley, who is frequently mentioned in the diaries. He was a great help to Ella. This photograph of Myra was taken in Newcomb’s Store which is the building on the corner of Beaver Meadow Road and Main Street, currently the location for Lightning Soccer. (courtesy, Dartmouth College Archives).
In her later diaries, Henrietta was out of state at school and working, and Ella visited with Myra frequently. In the 1922 diary, our last, Henrietta is back in the picture, with her new husband William.
Monday, July 29, 1918 [Ella is 63.]
went up to Myra’s a little while
I sent Henrietta a letter
Monday, Aug. 5, 1918 [This is a typical complete daily diary entry.]
A Thunder Shower early this Morn
Cloudy all the A.M. then the Sun came out Warmer
Mr Wood went back to Windsor this A.M.
I did not wash [laundry]
I cooked Pea’s for Breakfast
I Ironed starched clothes and baked a Pie
then this P.M. Myra and I went up in the Woods and got some Raspberries
Austin worked up to George’s this P.M. Ethan called in
I put up a Quart of Raspberries
I had a letter from Henrietta
Sunday, July 13, 1919
Henrietta came home this P.M.
She got some one to bring her from the Junction in an Auto
She came from Kentucky
Sun. Dec. 3, 1922
Wm and Henrietta have been up this eve
With the exception of her brother John, who is buried in Union Village, most of Ella’s relatives are buried in the New Boston Cemetery. It is a lovely place to explore, although many of the gravestones are challenging to read. Ella is buried in this corner section alongside family members.