Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Ideal Album - Forget Me Not

Now that I'm over the sciatica, I'm back to sorting through boxes and just as I predicted it does provide material for a blog. Pictured here are two autograph albums which belonged to one of my great-grandmothers, Katherine Mauderly (Ridnour). Eleven year old Kate, as she was known in later years, has signed her name in cursive Katie L. Mauderly. Great grandma was always referred to as Katherine but in one of the family bibles my Grandpa & Grandma Ridnour had, she was listed as Lydia Katherine Mauderly. So I don't know if her name was Lydia Katherine or Katherine Lydia.

The smaller book on the right is titled The Ideal Album. The first entry reads: "Miss Katie Moderly, (Underneath young Katie has written 'Miss Katie Mauderly' correcting the spelling of her name.) Please except (sic) this album as a reward for having the greatest number of head marks in spelling class.
I hope this may be an incentive to you, showing that those who are industrious and diligent will always receive their reward. Your Teacher, E. E. Coffin Oct. 27, 1883 Villisca, Iowa"

The album is divided with picture plates of the months. Above is April. Most of the entries are still very legible although a few have faded. They are mostly from classmates with the location of writing listed as 'Pleasant Hill', 'Pleasant Valley', and 'East Nodaway'. The Mauderly home was northeast of Nodaway about  three and a half miles. A few entries are labeled 'Brooks' which was about four and a half miles east of the Mauderly farm.
I've seen 'Pleasant Hill' as the heading for neighborhood news in the older issues of the Adams County Free Press and always wondered where it was located. Now I have an some idea - unless there was more than one 'Pleasant Hill'.

On the back of the April page is this inscription. I think it is written in German. The only words I can identify are Liebe (Love) and Freindschaft (Friendship) and the autographer, Arnold Wagner.

On the back of November is written: "I write not here for beauty, I write not here for fame. I write here to be remembered and Louisa is my name. Your sister, Louisa Mauderly"
Another of her sisters penned: "Remember well and bear in mind, a trusty friend is hard to find. And if you find one good and true, don't change the old one for the new." Also on the same page: "There is a little flower of sky blue tint and white that opens in the morning and goes to sleep at night. Would you know it if I told you 'tis a sweet Forget Me Not. Josephine Mauderly.

In the larger of the two albums is a longer version: "Dear Katie: There is a pretty little flower, of sky blue tint and white, that glitters in the sunshine and goes to sleep at night. Tis a token of remembrance and a pretty name it's got. Would you know it if I told you, Tis the sweet Forget Me Not. From your friend and schoolmate, Minnie Bowers. Remember me. At Home. Feb. 12, 1888 Pleasant Hill."
A Dr. Barkalow wrote in some lovely calligraphy from Pleasant Hill on 3-10/87: Katie, "May thy joys be as deep as the ocean. Thy sorrows as light as its foam." Yours Truly, D. G. Barkalow, M.D. East Nodaway, Iowa.
The first entry in this album dated March 9, 1888, Nodaway, Iowa, reads: "Sister Katie, Good girls love their brothers, but you so good have grown, that you love other girls' brothers as well as your own. (Rats for dinner.) Your Brother, Levi M."

We still had autograph albums when I was in school, though not as fancy as these two. It seemed like we tried to write things that were funny, like: "When you are old and cannot see; put on your glasses and think of me." And I know we were still writing Forget Me Not above our signatures.

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