Book 06, Diary of J.P. D'Ooge from 1894 June to 1896 December


Book 06, Diary of J.P. D'Ooge from 1894 June to 1896 December
Electa Jane (Jennie) Pease D'Ooge
Jennie Pease D’Ooge’s sixth diary spans two and a half years, from June 1894 to December 1896. She, her husband, Benjamin L. D’Ooge, and their children, continue to reside at 423 Ballard Street in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and spend their summers up north in Charlevoix. Jennie’s father, Galusha Jackson Pease, dies on August 15, 1894. Her elder sister, Ida Pease, who had been his primary caregiver, takes the loss hard and plans to build a cottage in Charlevoix. While the D’Ooges are occupied with numerous domestic, social, church, and professional responsibilities, they occasionally break away for fun activities, like a “family nutting-party.”

The D’Ooges’ daughters, Ida and Helen, are growing more independent. Ida makes a solo overnight trip to her uncle Martin L. D’Ooge’s house in Ann Arbor, and Helen travels with her aunt Ida Pease by train to visit cousins Ed and Nan Codington in Bartow, Florida. Jennie and Ben’s son Leonard is described as “the best natured boy in the whole world,” although Jennie is frustrated that he continues to wet his pants. On March 26, 1895, the couple welcome their fourth child and second son, Benjamin Stanton D’Ooge, whom they call Stanton.

Around the same time as her own baby’s birth, Jennie records the deaths due to childbirth-related complications of two other women with connections to the Michigan State Normal School, Helen Stirling Bowen and Hattie Jenness Coe. While breastfeeding Stanton, Jennie develops cracked skin, followed by a painful abscess and “ague in the breast,” requiring weeks of medical treatment.

Jennie is busy with housework and childcare, aided at times by seamstress Mrs. Farnham, washerwoman Mary James, postpartum nurse Amy Jones, and others. Over the course of this volume, the D’Ooges employ several young women in succession as live-in domestic servants, including Mamie Dickerson, Addie Wheaton, Minnie Ellenbush, Minnie Krause, and Carrie Smith. Jennie struggles to balance household duties but is likewise frequently frustrated by the young women she employs, who often fail to meet her standards. After a year of difficulty managing the family’s finances on her allowance, she cedes control over the purse to her husband, “leaving a state of debt & disaster to be settled.” Later, she begins managing the household accounts again, allocated one hundred dollars a month for everything but Ben’s expenses.

Ben continues to teach Latin and Greek at the Michigan State Normal School, in spite of the “great rumpus” about Normal president Richard G. Boone’s administration. Some faculty members ask to resign, and Jennie hopes Dr. Boone will resign instead. She is distressed, among other things, by the poor manners and enormous appetites of Boone’s children. Outside of his regular teaching responsibilities, Ben spends much of 1895 completing his edition of Viri Romae, which is published by Guin & Co. in October and proves a success. The following summer he teaches classes and tutors Latin students in person and by correspondence. In addition to promoting his book, Ben is elected vice president of the Charlevoix Summer Home Association, as well as trustee and chorister at Ypsilanti’s First Congregational Church.

Jennie notes “great excitement over the N.Y. election,” when Republican Levi P. Morton defeated Tammany Democrat David Hill for the governorship in 1894, “and great victories for the Republicans all over.” She also discusses the “Great Freeze,” back-to-back cold snaps in the winter of 1894–1895, which devastated agriculture in the southern United States (directly impacting her cousin Ed Codington in Bartow, Florida) and disrupted transportation and supply routes nationwide.
Date Span
1894 June to 1896 December
Original Object Type
Bound journal.
Ann Arbor (Mich.); Books and reading; Charlevoix (Mich.); Child rearing; Childhood; Children; Church entertainments; Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.); Clothing and dress; College teachers; Community and college; Congregational churches; Cooking; Detroit (Mich.); Diaries; Dinners and dining; Discretionary income; Dutch Americans; Early childhood education; Etiquette; Extended families; Families; Family recreation; Fatherhood; Female friendship; First Congregational Church (Ypsilanti, Mich.); Food; Friendship; Gifts; Home economics; Homeopathy; House cleaning; Household employees; Labor (Obstetrics); Latin language; Latin philology; Laundry; Letters; Manners and customs; Marriage; Medicine; Michigan State Normal School; Michigan, Lake; Motherhood; Music; Musical recreation; Obstetrics; Outdoor recreation; Parenthood; Parenting; Parents; Play; Printed ephemera; Printed ephemera; Puerperium; Railroad travel; Recreation; Scholarly publishing; Sewing; Shopping; Social life and customs; Societies and clubs; Streetcar lines; Study and teaching; Textile fabrics; Universities and colleges -- Faculty; University towns; University women; Vacation homes; Young families; Ypsilanti (Mich.)
Collection Location
Book 6
Alexis Braun Marks, Katie Delahoyde, Luis Pena
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Item sets
D'Ooge Journals