Basil Stanford McNeill's Daily Journal of 1920

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Transcribed by Leo Darmitz -


Beginning 1920

Continuation of the diary of Basil Stanford MacNeill - (1920)

Note -- All text was transcribed as accurately as the condition of the diary permitted. Spelling and grammar were not altered. Punctuation and capitalization were added where it was ovbious. The dates shown were as they appeared at the beginning of each entry, but were made bold for the benefit of referencing this text.

1920 Happy New Year

Thur. Jan.1, Weather stormy. Cut wood in woods. Mother is out to Sandies

Fri. Jan. 2, Weather fine. Went to Jim O’Briens in morning and C. Dunn’s with pig in afternoon.

Sat. Jan. 3, Weather very cold. Cut wood in woods all day.

Sun Jan. 4, Cold. Jen and girl was here. I walked to church in afternoon and went to Joseph Rix In evening.

Mon. Jan. 5, Cut wood in woods.

Tues. Jan. 6, Fine. Cut wood in woods.

Wed. Jan. 7, Dandy day. Cut wood. Herb Thompson got hurt in mill. Mrs. Jim Brennan was here.

Thurs. Jan. 8, Rainy. Went to Corner in morning got 2BBl flour. Mrs. Brennan and mother went to sewing at A.L. Rennie’s in afternoon. Mr. Turple was here.

Fri. Jan. 9, Fine. Hauled 2 loads wood.

Sat. Jan. 10, Fine. Hauled 2 loads wood. Herb Thompson died. Walked to corner in evening. Terrible murder in Northam a Mrs. Ellis.

Sun. Jan. 11, Snowing. Went to dock. Harry and Gertie was here to dinner.

Mon. Jan. 12, Dandy day. Hauled 2 loads of wood.

Tues. Jan. 13, Fine. Hauled 1 load of wood and went to Seymour Thompson funeral. Olive and teacher was here in evening.

Wed. Jan. 14, Fine. Hauled 2 loads of wood and went to Fred Hardy in evening.

Thu. Jan. 15, Snowing a little. Hauled 2 loads wood.

Fri. Jan 16, Pretty cold. Hauled 2 loads and went to the Institute in the evening.

Sat. Jan. 17, Hauled 1 load wood. Big storm in afternoon.

Sun Jan. 18, Clear and drifting.

Mon. Jan. 19, Cold and drifting.

Tues. Jan.20, Cold weather.

Wed. Jan. 21, Very frosty, some snow fell. Went to Elmsdale.

Thurs. Jan. 22, Fine and clear but frosty. Was down to Hy Williams in the morning, to Elmsdale in evening. Mrs. John Todd died this morning.

Fri. Jan. 23, Fine and milder. Drove mother up to Dunn’s. Gerty and Henry were here in evening.

Sat. Jan. 24, Very frosty. Was up to Dunns in evening & Mimie and I called to Anse’s on the way home.

Sun. Jan. 25, Still very cold. Temperature was 18 deg. below zero yesterday. I went to Mrs. Todd’s funeral with Mr. James O’Brien Henry.

Mon. Jan. 26, Clear and very frosty. Frank Yeo and I went up to Mrs. James Hardy’s.

Tues. Jan. 27, Snowing and turning fine and mild. We are having a series of lectures on farming and stock raising in our Institute beginning this evening. I went down with Anse. We had a very good evening indeed. Mr. Lea, Commissioner of Agriculture was our chief speaker this evening.

Wed. Jan. 28, Mrs. James Hardy, Frank Yeo and I went to Alberton in morning to fin up estate. Went to lecture in hall on way home.

Thurs. Jan. 29, Cold. Was up to Dunns. Called to Frank’s. Went to lecture hall in the evening. This is the last of the lectures which were very good indeed.

Friday Jan. 30, Very cold and drifting. Went to Elmsdale in evening.

Sat. Jan. 31, Very, very cold. Last night was the coldest we had for years. The mercury dropped to 28 deg. below zero with wind and drift. This has been the coldest winter we have had in my recollection.

(February 1920)

Sun. Feb. 1st. Milder but still frosty. Went to church in afternoon. Charly Forsyth and wife here in evening.

Mon. Feb. 2, Mild but snowing some all day. Dave Williams was here also Mrs. and Mr. Peter Gavin.

Tues. Feb. 3, Nice and mild. Went down to O’Leary on early train. Hasil Came up with me on freight train.

Wed. Feb. 4, Clear and pretty cold. Helped Anse to thresh in afternoon.

Thurs. Feb. 5, Nice and fine. Threshed at Jim O’Brien’s

Fri. Feb. 6, Storming in forenoon. Raining in afternoon. First rain we had this year. Wells are very low. Water has not been so scarce for many years.

Sat. Feb. 7, Storming heaviest sil??? thaw we had for years. Started to go to Lodge but stayed at Henry Williams.

Sun. Feb. 8, Fine. Was over to F. Yeo’s in forenoon. Alf O’brien, Joe Ellsworth, and Olive Brennan was here in evening. Mimie & Hasil went to church.

Mon. Feb. 9, Hasil and Ruth went to O’Leary on train. I threshed at Jim O’Brien’s. Mother came home today.

Tues. Feb. 10, Fine & mild. F.A. Matthews and Archie Clark were here today collecting for forward movement in the church. I went down to Hugh Williams and to Elmsdale in evening.

Wed. Feb. 11, Fine. Went to Elmsdale & Henry Williams, Anse O’Brien & I lifted our pump and put over in his well on Hy McNeill farm.

Thurs. Feb. 12, Fine. Went to Alberton. Drove mother to Henry Williams to sewing circle. Called to Allan Matthews Sandie is no better.

Fri. Feb. 13, Mild. Storming in evening. Went to institute.

Sat. Feb. 14, Mild again. Went to Alberton in afternoon. Mother came out to Allan’s and stayed. Went to lodge in evening Special meeting.

Sun. Feb. 15, Storming. Frank Yeo was here.

Mon. Feb. 16, Drifting. I was over to Frank’s.

Tues. Feb. 17, Colder. Went to Alberton. Archie went as far as Allan’s with me.

Wed. Feb. 18, Fine. Worked at pump.

Thurs. Feb. 19, Raining in morning and cleared up and started to blow the worst gale that ever was on P.E.I. Barns blown down chimneys and cattle and horses killed.

Fri. Feb.20, Clear and cold. Went to corner in morning. Worked at pump in afternoon.

Sat. Feb. 21, Cold. Went to Alberton and got a load of coal.

Sun. Feb. 22, Snowing. Levi came here. Mary and Holson Mother came home from (??-stroked out) Allans.

Mon. Feb. 23, Fine. Worked at Haw Johnston’s roof all day.

Tues. Feb. 24, Storming. Went to corner in morning. Getting ready to haul hay that I sold to M. McNeill.

Wed. Feb. 25, Warm. Hauled hay till noon then it rained. Archie Brennan is helping me . Wentworth took sick.

Thurs Feb. 26, Storming. Went as far as Had Platts colecting ministers money.

Fri. Feb. 27, Still storming. Finished colecting.

Sat. Feb. 28, Cold. Trains as stuck. No mail went to Alberton.

Sun. Feb. 29, Snowing. Another boy at Anses last night. Mother is there.

(March 1920)

Mon. Mar. 1, Mild. Will and I are hauling pressed hay.

Tues. Mar. 2, Fine but cold wind. Will Brennan and I hauled hay all day.

Wed. Mar. 3, Hauled hay in fornoon went to Alberton in afternoon. Called to Allans. Uncle Will is up came in with me to stay over night. Uncle Sandie is no better.

Thurs. Mar. 4, Cold wind. Helped Willie load a car of hay. Mrs. Willie and baby came down to stayed afternoon. Took Uncle Will out to Sandies this evening. Hay is $22. A tone.

Fri. Mar. 5, Thawing. Took Bob sleighs box down to Henry. Mother came home from Uncles.

Sat. Mar. 6, Raining. Rena McNeill and Lottie and baby was here went to Alberton. Frank came in and went to lodge with me.

Sunday. Mar. 7, A terible storm. Frank still here.

Mon. Mar. 8, Cold. Finished loading hay.

Tues. Mar. 9, Cold. Went out and pulled the digger out.

Wed. Mar. 10, Cold. Finished setting the digger and got one load mud.

Thurs. Mar. 11, Cold. Got 2 loads mud.

Fri. Mar. 12, Thawing. Got 2 loads mud.

Sat. Mar. 13, Raining. Frank Yeo and I went to Alberton got 2 loads of coal.

Sun. Mar. 14, Blowing a terrible gale. Mrs. And Mr. Williams came up in the evening.

Mon. Mar. 15, Cold. Hauled 2 loads of mud.

Tues. Mar. 16, Fine. Hauled 2 loads mud. Mr. Davie Williams died.

Wed. Mar. 17, Thaw. Went to Mr. William’s funeral. Took mother out to Sandies in evening.

Thurs. Mar. 18, Gale. Went out to digger got one load of mud today

Fri. Mar. 19, Cold. Got two loads mud. Mother came home. Susie and teacher was here tonight.

Sat. Mar. 20, Cold. Hauled 2 loads mud. Went to lodge in evening.

Sun. Mar. 21, Storming. Mimie, teacher and I went to church in eve. Bess has the strangles.

Mon. Mar. 22, Fine. Got Topsey shawed at Melvins. Went to Gerties.

Tues. Mar. 23, A dandy day. Got 2 loads mud.

Wed. Mar. 24, Hot. Got 1 load mud and last one for the season. Hauled manure in afternoon.

Thur. Mar. 25, Fine. Mimie and I went to Jim’s had a very nice time.

Fri. Mar. 26, Fine. Hauled manure all day.

Sat. Mar. 27, Rainy. Hauled manure all day.

Sun. Mar. 28, Dreary. Mother and I went to church and went out to Gerties.

Mon. Mar. 29, Cold. Hauled manure all day.

Tues. Mar. 30, Cold. Hauled maure and took mother up to John Henderson’s in eve.

Wed. Mar. 31, Fine. Hauled 2 load wood.

(April 1920)

Thur. Apr.1, Hauled 2 loads wood and Mimie and I went to Hugh Williams in Eve.

Fri. Apr. 2, Hauled 2 loads wood. Frank and I went to institute in evening.

Sat. Apr. 3, Nice. Hauled one load and killed pig in afternoon weighed 168 lbs. Frank and I went to lodge.

Sun. Apr. 4, Easter Sunday. Fine day. Allan and Maud was here also the teacher. Mrs. Tom Murray little son died.

Mon. Apr. 5, Fine. Basil went to O’Leary stayed over night at Levies.

Tues. Apr. 6, Pouring rain. Went to fathers got Ruth and came home.

Wed. Apr. 7, Fair. Went to Alberton and took mother to Sandies. Brought the dog and little pups in.

Thur. April 8, Fine. Moved pump home. F. Yeo and I.

Fri. Apr. 9, Fine Went to Timberlot yarded out sticks.

Sat. Apr. 10, Fine. Bert and I cut in woods all day. Mother came home from Allans. Moore came up in the night train.

Sun. Apr. 11, Dandy day. Mother, Ruth and I went to church. Elders were ordained. (Artie Matthews, Archie Clark, Fred Hardy, Mable McNeill came over in evening.

Mon. Apr. 12, Rainy. Moore and I went to Alberton. Moore went home. Took Mull cow down to Henry’s.

Tue. Apr. 13, Raining. Mimie and I went to Elmsdale. Picked over potatoes in afternoon.

Wed. Apr. 14, Raining. Picked up potatoes.

Thur. Apr. 15, Rainy. Went to Alberton in morning hauled load potatoes in eve.

Fri. Apr. 16, Raining. Hauled load potatoes in morning $2.26 per bus. Mimie and I went to Jim Brennan’s in eve.

Sat. Apr. 17, Fine. Went to corners with Jim and Dug’s. F. Yeo and I went to lodge in eve.

Sun. Apr. 18, Rainy. Mimie went to F. Yeos in eve. Begin to snow.

Mon. Apr. 19, Fine. Allan came in for mother. I went to Alberton. Gertie and Henry came in the evening.

(Tues. Apr. 20, - no entry)

Wed. Apr. 21, Fine. Went to Mick O’Brien’s sale.

Thurs. Apr. 22, Fine. Went into Mick’s for bed. Mother came home.

Fri. Apr. 23, Fine. Hauled manure.

Sat. Apr. 24, Storming. Pressed hay at F. Yeos.

Sun. Apr. 25, Snow storm. Mrs. John Forsyth was burried.

Mon. Apr. 26, Shoveled the road in morning. Mother and I went to corner. Brundle cow had calf this morning.

Tues. Apr. 27, Fine. Worked around barn. Had 5 young pigs.

Wed. Apr. 28, Fine. Worked around home.

Thur. Apr. 29, Cloudy. Hauled saw gear and cut wood in afternoon. Mother went out to Allan’s.

Fri. Apr. 30, Fine. Cleaned seed. Dave and I


(May 1920)

Sat. May 1, Cloudy. Cleaned seed.

Sun. May 2, Stormy. Levi anf Dug was here. Mrs. Henderson died today.

Monday May 3, Fine Uncle Bill came in from Allan’s. Jim O’Brien was here pearling. Jim and Levi was here.

Tue May 4, Fine. Mrs. Henderson was burried. Levi was here. Jim and I went to funeral.

May 5, Cloudy. Split wood. Gert and Henry was in.

May 6, Fine. Finished pearling.

Fri. May 7, Fine. Split and hauled rock.

Sat. May 8, Fine. John Cameron was here cleaning seed. Got my seeder from Jim Tuplin.

Sun. May 9, Rainy all day. Don’t feel very well.

Mon. May 10.

(There were no further dated entries past this date. The following notes were added some time later by person(s) unknown)

All Very Good 32 years after this diary

Mr. & Mrs. Basil MacNeill

Name Age Year
Basil MacNeill 59 1947
Mimie MacNeill 54 1947
Ruth MacNeill 32 1947
Claud MacNeill 31 1947
Leigh MacNeill 29 1947
Hazel MacNeill 27 1947
Blanch MacNeill 24 1947
Olive MacNeill 19 1947 20 in Oct.
Betty MacNeill 17 1947
Thane MacNeill 15 1947 Yesterday
Pauline MacNeill 13 1947
Carol MacNeill 8 1947

10 and 1 dead (?????)

(Twelve pages further on are written the following)

Pauline & Arnold H.
Pauline & Arnold H.
Rul?? & Ken H.

(Last page of diary)

Grade 8
Pauline MacNeill
Arnold Hardy
May 23, 1947

Mr. & Mrs. MacGregor
rote this May 23, 1947
was home alone.
Mom was at the corner
Pop was unloading fertlizer
in Pieusvill
Thane planting
potatoes at Jim


Key dates in 1920

Tuesday Jan. 13, -- Seymour Thompson funeral.

Thursday Jan. 22, -- Mrs. John Todd died.

Saturday Feb. 28, -- A boy is born to Mrs. Anse O’Brien.

Tuesday Mar. 16, -- Mr. Davie Williams died.

Sunday Apr. 25, -- Mrs. John Forsyth was buried.

Sunday May 2, -- Mrs. Henderson died.


Names found in 1920

  1. A.L. Rennie -- Jan. 8,
  2. Alf O’Brien -- Feb. 8,
  3. Allan Matthews -- Feb. 12,14,17,22, Mar. 3, Apr. 4,10,19, 29,
  4. Anse O’Brien -- Jan. 24,27, Feb. 4,11,29,
  5. Archie -- Feb. 17,
  6. Archie Brennan -- Feb. 25,
  7. Archie Clark -- Feb. 10,Apr. 11,
  8. Artie Matthews, -- Apr. 11,
  9. Basil -- Apr. 5,
  10. Bert -- Apr. 10,
  11. Bess -- Mar. 21,
  12. Bill (Uncle) -- May 3,
  13. Bob -- Mar. 5,
  14. Brundle -- Apr. 26,
  15. Charlie Dunn -- Jan. 2,
  16. Charly Forsyth -- Feb. 1,
  17. Dave -- Apr. 30,
  18. Davie Williams -- Mar. 16,17,
  19. Dug -- Apr. 17, May 2,
  20. Dunn -- Jan. 23,24,29,
  21. F.A. Matthews -- Feb. 10,
  22. Frank Yeo -- Jan. 26,28,29,Feb 8,15,Mar. 6,7,Apr. 2,3,8,17,18,24,
  23. Fred Hardy -- Jan. 14, Apr. 11,
  24. Gertie Matthews -- Jan. 11,23, Mar. 22,28,Apr. 19,May 5,
  25. Haw Johnston -- Feb. 23,
  26. Hasil -- Feb. 3,8,9,
  27. Henry -- Jan.25 ,Mar. 5,Apr. 12,
  28. Henry (Harry) Matthews -- Jan. 11,23, Apr. 19, May 5,
  29. Henry Williams -- Feb. 7,11,12,
  30. Herb Thompson -- Jan. 7,10,
  31. Holson Caughlan -- Feb. 22,
  32. Hugh Williams -- Feb. 10, Apr. 1,
  33. Hy McNeill -- Feb. 11,
  34. Hy Williams -- Jan. 22,
  35. Jim -- Mar. 25,May 3,5,
  36. Jim Brennan -- Apr. 16,
  37. Jim (James) O’Brien -- Jan. 2,25, Feb. 5,9,May 3,
  38. Jim Tuplin -- May 8,
  39. Joe Ellsworth -- Feb. 8,
  40. John Cameron -- May 8,
  41. John Henderson -- Mar. 30,
  42. Joseph Rix -- Jan. 4,
  43. Levi McNeill -- Feb. 22, Apr. 5, May 2,3,5,
  44. Lottie McNeill -- Mar. 6,
  45. M. McNiell -- Feb. 24,
  46. Mable McNeill -- Apr. 11,
  47. Mary Caughlan -- Feb. 22,
  48. Maud -- Apr. 4,
  49. Melvin -- Mar. 22,
  50. Mick -- Apr. 22,
  51. Mick O’Brien -- Apr.21,
  52. Mimie MacNeill -- Jan. 24, Feb. 8,Mar. 21,25,Apr. 1,13,16,18,
  53. Moore Gibbs -- Apr. 10,12,
  54. Mr. Turple -- Jan. 8,
  55. Mrs. Ellis -- Jan. 10,
  56. Mrs. Henderson -- May 2,5,
  57. Mrs. James Hardy -- Jan. 26,28,
  58. Mrs. Jim Brennan -- Jan.7,8,
  59. Mrs. John Forsyth -- Apr. 25,
  60. Mrs. John Todd -- Jan. 22,25,
  61. Mrs. and Mr. Williams -- Mar. 14,
  62. Mrs. Tom Murray -- Apr. 4,
  63. Mrs. Willie -- Mar. 4,
  64. Olive Brennan -- Jan.13,Feb. 8,
  65. Peter Gavin -- Feb. 2,
  66. Platts -- Feb. 26,
  67. Rena McNeill -- Mar. 6,
  68. Ruth MacNeill -- Apr.6,
  69. Sandies -- Jan.1,Feb. 12, Mar. 4,Mar. 17,Apr. 7,
  70. Note - In 1915 diary, there is reference to Saudies. This may be the same.
  71. Sandie (uncle) -- Mar.3,
  72. Seymour Thompson -- Jan. 13,
  73. Susie Yeo -- Mar. 19,
  74. Wentworth -- Feb. 25,
  75. Will. -- Mar.1,4,
  76. Will (uncle) -- Mar. 3,
  77. Will Brennan -- Mar. 2,
Years Available:

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