Alexander Smalley finds love

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journal

In December 1869, Alexander Smalley wrote in his diary, “Ladies boarding house at Hayesville burned completely. A big loss! College building, my college, saved, thank the good Lord.”

Smalley was a 22-year-old bachelor and farmer, as he notes, closing out a successful year with a celebration at the Methodist Church. “Visited with Miss Jenny Goudy. Oh, my.”

On Jan. 7, 1870, “I attended society at Buchanan’s school house tonight. Performances were rather interesting. Discussion: which has been the most imposed upon: white man or Indian?”

After having visited again with Miss Jennie Goudy at a turkey roast on New Year’s Day, on Jan. 14 he writes, “Tonight I am with my friend Miss Jennie at her home. Have attained the height of my ambition.”

One week later he attended a singing at Mount Pascal with “Miss Jen.”

On Jan. 24, “Am at present seated by a comfortable stove in Vantilburg’s jewelry store. It is a splendid room and is well-filled. Incredible inventory, genteel and exquisite. Quarter past three and snowing finely. Lodged my horses at Miller’s stable and will take the cars for Polk. 5 p.m. finds me at Uncle Tom’s.”

His social life never lacking, a week later he writes, “The RR surveyors I presume will reach Ashland this evening. Tonight an entertainment was given at Eckley’s by Sheriff Porter and his brother Dave Rowe from Hayesville and a string band numbering six. The house was crowded to excess. The utmost good order was kept and the greatest enthusiasm manifested.”

Miss Jennie Goudy was his companion for the Excreteam public entertainment Feb. 1, 1870. “The hall was crowded much to excess, not even standing room sufficient for all.”

On Feb. 24, “Business in Ashland brisk today. Oats 42 cents, wheat $1, clover seed 75 cents, lard 15 cents, eggs 15 cents.”

An interesting entry on March 7 reads, “Was present at a big oyster supper at Jim McNaull’s tonight. Were nine or 10 couples there. Had lots of fun in the dark.”

On Easter Sunday, April 17, Alexander writes, “Three o’clock a.m., April 17, 1870. Will never be forgotten. A pledge and kiss as a token of expected bliss.”

A trip to Wooster with his father in the carriage on April 30 brings this entry, “Had an offer of $175 for Marg, but did not take it. Marg, I would insist, is worth much more and this offer was plum insulting. Tonight with my Jennie. Domestic Bliss.”

In mid-May, 1870, “Our excellent neighbor Wm Glenn favored me with the use of his impressive buggy for this evening. My partner was, of course, Miss Jennie G — we enjoyed a long ride and was splendid moonlight night for it. I feel as though I am the luckiest young man in the country.”

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.

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