January 31st, 1954

Sun. A pretty day. (Marvin - Jean)(Uncle Verne)(Aunt Elsie) To Mothers. Jane & Tom visited with us. We took Tom home @ nite - Jane came back with us.

January 30th, 1954

Sat. Washed - a pretty day. Jean - M - TJ here a while in morning. Frank and us went to Colfax for supper (we came back to Walter Mc's @ nite).

January 29th, 1954

Fri. Worked. Earl & Opal here @ nite.

January 28th, 1954

Thur. Nice day - worked. Frank here.

January 27th, 1954

Wed. Cold, windy. Worked. House was cold when I came home.

January 26th, 1954

Tues. (Cloudy - rains). To thorntown for meat. Earls and Freds came @ nite. Thunder and lightning.

January 25th, 1954

Mon. Washed = cloudy and rainy. Honk called to Hazelrigg for 35 min @ nite.

January 24th, 1954

Sun. A cloudy day. 34°. Honk worked 8:30 to 5:30.

January 23rd, 1954

Sat. Pretty day. Phil here. Baked a pie, swissed a steak. Honkie & I here all day.

January 22nd, 1954

Fri. Cold. Worked. I have a cold.

January 21st, 1954

Thurs. Cold. Worked.

January 20th, 1954

Wed. Rained all day. Drove in hard rain to work.Cecil Bush & Utokia have a new baby boy. David Edward - 8 lbs., 12 oz. Honk has a drippy cold.

January 19th, 1954

Tues. Dark day - rained some. Cleaned wall paper (finished dining room and part of living room).

January 18th, 1954

Mon. Cold. 17° above zero. Beautiful day. Ironed, washed my hair - pin cur. Wash down bathroom, cleaned side walls in dining room. The children came @ nite.

January 17th, 1954

Sun. Cold, still day. 20°. To Earl Cauder's for dinner - Ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, baked beans, potato salad, peach butter - side dish of spiced grapes in mayonnaise - pumpkin pie - coffee.

January 16th, 1954

Sat. Cold. Washed. To Lebanon, got groceries for Aunt Elsie. She bought a new refrigerator. $509. To Walter Mc. @ nite.

January 15th, 1954

Fri. Warmer. Foggy, misty. Worked. Earl & Opal here @ nite.

January 14th, 1954

Thurs. Sleet. Slick. To work.

January 13th, 1954

Wed. Cold. I worked.

January 12th, 1954

Tues. Cold (Zero), wind blowing - hard to keep house warm.

January 11th, 1954

Mon. Ironed - cleaned ceiling in dining room. Jane came home with Honk. Aunt Elsie sold house in Indianapolis.

January 10th, 1954

Sun. To Sunday school and church - a meeting of the church board, a dinner in church basement. To Perle Pitman's for Helen Pitman and Mabel McDaniel [birthdays] (Helen 45, Mabel 71).

Jamuary 9th, 1954

Sat. I washed. We were both home. Went to Mother & Dad Collins.

January 8th, 1954

Fri. Worked. [went] to see Wayne Young.

January 7th, 1954

Snow on ground. Stopped to see Aunt Laura and Aunt Elsie.

January 6th, 1954

Wed. Snow. To work! Lucille Young came over this eve, Wayne [Young] sick. Mary Ann Grimes born today to Margret and Donald.

January 5th, 1954

Tues. Snow 3" deep. A Beautiful Morning. Ironed. Sent Mae Sharp and Bertha Isafelt Birthday cards.

Preserving Our History

I ran across this article yesterday in the Greencastle Banner-Graphic (a local paper) and am reproducing it below in it's entirety (sans photos) because way too much information is ephemeral, even (or especially) on the Internet. And this kind of tale is an important part of our shared history. Considering this blog, I can relate.

Clan treks to view family history

BARNARD -- On Dec. 29, 1923, Raymond L. Hopkins turned 21 years old.

Sometime between Christmas and his birthday that year, Raymond received a pocketknife as a gift. He took that knife into the woods on the farm where he lived with his parents, Ernest and Hattie, and his brothers and sisters, and carved his name and the date into a beech tree there.

On Friday, several members of Raymond's family trekked into those woods, located one mile south of Barnard, to look at the carving, which, 85 years later, is still clearly visible on the dusky white trunk of the tree.

Leading the march down a steep grade to the tree was Raymond's son Lloyd, 78, who now lives in Crawfordsville. Lloyd was accompanied by his wife Betty, daughters Pam Stevenson and Beth Jensen, son Kerry Hopkins and grandsons Skylar Stevenson and Seth Maxwell.

"This is all he talked about at Christmas," Skylar said.

Family lore has it that Raymond also carved a heart in the tree that bore his initials and those of the girl he would marry, Lottie Page. The heart has been weathered away, Lloyd said.

This past summer was the first time Lloyd had seen the carving. He was contacted by the people who now own the land, who said they had discovered it.

"We knew it was there, we just never had found it," Lloyd said. "We'd always heard the story."

Lloyd was thrilled to finally see the carving, as were his children and grandchildren.

"It really is something for it to still be here after all these years," Pam said.

In July, Lloyd and his brother Marion, who lives in Maine, went out to view their father's handiwork.

The Hopkins family moved to the Barnard property from Illinois when Raymond was a teenager.

Hattie Hopkins died on May 6, 1958, and Ernest died on June 11, 1961. The property, originally one 40-acre tract, has been subdivided and purchased by several different parties.

The land the carved tree is on is owned by an individual from Brownsburg.

"They said they're going to take some of the trees down," Betty said, looking around at the majestic forest. "Hopefully they'll leave this one."

In the last few years, Raymond has taken a great interest in his family history. He and a cousin discovered seven of their ancestors were buried in a small family plot, known as the Page Cemetery, in a wooded area just over the line into Hendricks County.

With the help of local cemetery restoration expert Jessica Felix, spruced up the area. A dedication ceremony for the tiny cemetery, where Raymond's great-great-great-grandfather was laid to rest, was held this past October.

"People talk about working the graveyard shift at night," Raymond said. "I worked the graveyard shift in the middle of the day."

By JAMIE BARRAND, Editor and JARED JERNAGAN, Assistant Editor


January 4th, 1954

Mon. Another beautiful day - 34°. Washed - cleaned up part of house. [wrote] a letter to my mother to thank her for [the] beef.

January 3rd, 1954

Sun. Beautiful weather. To Sunday School & church. Us - "Freds" - "Franks" to Walter Mc's @ nite.

January 2nd, 1954

Sat. To mothers - they gave us 3/4 beef - two front qtrs and 1 hind qtr. Jane came home with us.

January 1st, 1954

Fri - New Years Day. Jane was here, Jean came for her @ 9. I worked, Honk here. We went to "Freds" @ nite.