Totty Roots

October 1876 Diary of Rhoda Spradling Totty
 transcribed by Birdie Totty McNutt

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The Diary(s) of Rhoda Spradling Totty is being provided here for those who are researching the TOTTY family and their friends, neighbors and families.
These are exact words as written by my great great grandmother in her own penmanship the only change(s) made are Capital or UPPER Case Letters on mentioned surnames or my comments in brackets [BTM].      The Diary(s) have been in private ownership by the TOTTY family all these years, and have never been published, or copied with the exception of excerpts printed in 1957 in the  "CENTENNIAL Forestburg, Texas a History of Forestburg Cattle and Watermelon Center" [Montague County] .
This is the FIRST time that the Diary(s) have ever been released with permission and "exclusive rights" in their entirety to anyone.    I am very honored to be the one given this priviledge.   I believe these diaries should be Shared by our families to help document and learn about our ancestory and how they lived and died in the 1800's.  I hope to do that by publishing the diaries.   They span 22 years of Rhoda SPRADLING TOTTY's life from May 9, 1876 to her death in April 1899.   Births, deaths, burials, marriages and the weather are documented throughout the books on many families and neighbors in Montague County, Texas.  Rhoda has a unique way of writing her thought's down for us to see what happened on a day to day basis.

NOTE: This copyright© data CAN NOT be reproduced in ANY format for profit or other presentation "without" the express written permission of the the owner and transcriber of these diaries.
Transcribed from Original Diary by Birdie (Totty) McNutt ©1999

NOTE:  also see copyright restrictions

(Digging for our Totty Roots and finding the leaves on our Totty genealogy tree)

October 1876 - Diary
of Rhoda Spradling Totty 



Oct the 1st   Dressed a little gran son feel  quite diferent (o:) Sid     now had a fever in the evening staid all night
[BTM]  This is Rhoda & Capt. TOTTY's grand son, she delivered him for Anna & John HARVILLE,  his name was Sidney Elijah HARVILLE, Rhoda drew his picture and put Sid.

2nd  come home this morning    John come with me to WIRTMANS     found Pea and Annie Sick       the old man come home from diging poor BROCKS grave          says Bens folks all sick      Jase and Bettie sick       I have fever  think there will be more grave to dig than BROCKs        I feel really distressed  not able to go to see none of them        will try to be patient
[BTM]  Previously I had thought she was talking about Robert BROCK, but now I have my doubts because Robert A. BROCK was still living in the 1880 Census of Montague County with his wife and two children.  This could likely have been a father, brother or other kin.    I do not find the WIRTMANS on the census, but they were neighbors or living in Montague Co. at this time.    Rhoda is getting a little depressed with all the sickness again in the family and settlement and being unable to go to their aid, due to her illness.   Who was Brock who died?

3rd    Still got fever       Frank and Annie with fever      Bens folks no better      old man and John been gone up there and to Jases all day      come home got supper     old man gone back to night       I fear  I am taking Typhoid..   the old baptist says the darkest hour is just before day  if so I think it is near at hand
[BTM]  Rhoda was often worried about getting sick or dying and not being able to help or be there for her family and neighbors.   I think likely, her worry was from be depressed due to all the illness around her.

4th    Frank very Sick      I rode up to Bens     found Louisa very Sick      come home had a chill      the old man sent for the Doctor for Frank  he come staid all night
5 Doctor went to Bens   Janes mouth very sore
6th   had a bad chill       begin to think  I would die think  I sweat a gallon
[BTM]  Rhoda must be on the mend fighting off that chill with her fever.

7th   feel very weak the old man      gone  to Forestburg
[BTM]  Capt. TOTTY always called the township of Forestburg, "the Burg".   Forestburg was one of the most populated townships in Montague County, Tx during this time.

8th Missed my Chill can just set up a little..       Bettie and Lillie had a Chill this morning very sick      Jane sick all haveing a bad time       wind from north rained to day        Mrs CROSS Mrs TIDAL and Salley come to see us this evening so glad to see them
[BTM]   Mrs CROSS and Mrs TIDAL were Rhoda's neighbors, Salley may likely be Salley BAIRD, Rhoda's sis-in-law and Capt. TOTTY's sister Sarah Sandal TOTTY BAIRD.  She was married to Samuel McClearen BAIRD.

9th poor little Lorada is dead..    Bettie  better..   sickness becoming alarming
[BTM]  I can not find a reference to the child "Loranda", does anybody know who she was or what family he belonged to? Could be some of the ROSS family that is buried in the Old Totty Bean Cemetery.      This is the first time Rhoda has said  "alarming", in regard to all the illness in the settlement, so everything must be getting pretty bad.

10th all hands busy with the Burials services         Bettie gone home had some fever         I am very anxious about her         Mrs CROSS and daughters Mona BEAN and Mrs BROTHERs give me a passing call        Tom LOVEALL put in an appearance this evening every body gone to the burial but me and Tennie       I am lonely
[BTM]  The CROSS, BEAN, BROTHER and LOVEALL families were all neighbors in the settlement, however I have not found out who Mona BEAN belongs to.

11th Been no chill here to day      Bart come to ask hands to a cotton picking at HARVILLES       old man got neuralgia         took laudnum  been in bed all day       Jase  Killed his hog to day
[BTM]  Jase is Jason TILLMAN, the HARVILLEs would most likely be at John and Anna HARVILLE farm.

12th John Frank and Lillie gone to the cotton picking        Mr GRIGS called         old man doubled the dose and sleeping all day again         Bart and Tilda come home with John
[BTM]  How dangerous it was back then to take medication and double it without knowing what it would do, but maybe again he did and just wanted to sleep the day away because of his pain.  Rhoda's children went to help out at the HARVILLEs picking cotton.    The families sure had to stick together and help each other out when the crops were ready, or the crops would ruin.  Mr. GRIGS was a neighbor.       Bart and Tilda TOTTY TRAYLER (sometimes spelled TRAYLOR) must have been helping out in the cotton fields also.

13th   Me and Tilda went to see Bettie BOURLAND and his man       done a big washing      Frank and Lillie had a chill   very warm  to night..      cotton falling out        corn  going to waste      nobody able to gather it
[BTM]  This late in the season without help, with the cotton and corn laying idle it must be an awfully  big loss to the families that can't gather it to sell or  put up for the animals or canning for later in the winter.  They depended on these crops for their lively hood for the coming year, Rhoda wrote Bettie BOURLAND and "his", I believe she must have ment "her" instead.

14th Bart and Tilda went home this morning       Frank Lillie and Annie       Willie and Tennie had chills..   me and John washed..     the old man had his tooth pulled       a  Northern blowing this evening    cold   looks like snow   hope the chills wont last always       now its geting cold..
[BTM]   I know Dr. FANNING was the local physician until 1873, but I am not sure who replaced him as the Physician in Montague County, TX.    Most offen the physician also was the Dentist taking care of his patients with who request Dental care.  They were not as fortunate as we, to have the equipment available to save teeth that is available to us today.

15th     quite cold    cotton pickers plenty     Jane GAGE spent the day
16th      got a letter from Lige yesterday     Annie  Willie and Tennie all had chills this morning  (considerably anoyed by an old hog)   Ben here to day said brother Scot preached  at the forestburg to night     would be glad to be there but must be content to stay with the children  got a confirmed spell of the blues
[BTM]  Lige was Elijah M. SPRADLING.    I wonder if hearing from her SPRADLING family on top of all the sickness helped make her feel down and depressed.       Likely, as much as she loved going to the "preaching", she was upset due to her committment to taking care of the children and thinking of her family far away.

17th     Blue no name for it this morning the storm thats been gathering for ten days blew on me with all its fury   I will try to weather the gale as uasol      very pretty day wind from south     rained last night
[BTM]  Rhoda seems to be dwelling on her problems and letting them add up until she has a full blown case of depression, but notice she tried to change subject and talk about the pretty day and making herself busy.

18th    got wheel and cards and been spining       Ben and Louisa was here this evening      Frank gone after his beef       no chills here to day        feel so thankful
[BTM]  I would love to be there like a little mouse and watch the process of her spinning while her mind works away, just to know what her fertile imagination is dreaming about would be an interesting thing to know. Could she be thinking about GOD, her family or friends, whatever it was she must be feeling better.

19th WIRTMAN come early to pick cotton   Harville come to get the waggons and Mules to haul cotton
[BTM]   Could this be the same family as WORTMAN found in Montague County in 1880?

20th of October   Brother PAIN come and traded for the mules  took them home went off riding leading  Kit and John 
[BTM]  Brother PAIN, may likely be the same as Thomas J. or Lee W. PAYNE, both born in Tennessee,  found in Montague County in 1880 Census as neighbors of the TOTTY families, could there be a connection to the PAYNE family from Tennessee that traveled to Texas in 1853? 

21th       rain this morning wind from north     all well  no chill in the last 3 days      John and Kit got back this morning...   quite cool this evening       Bart and Tilda drove up about dark      Willie C come in while we was seting the table for supper       told us about the death of Judge WEAVER  he droped dead on the streets of Gainesville the other day
[BTM] Who was this Judge WEAVER, a traveling Judge that came to Montague County, TX or a acquaintance of the TOTTY family when they lived in Cooke County, Texas?

22     Frank M and Lillie had chills this morning       Bart and Tilda went home this evening       Frank went with them to see if he could get well       Pea went to HARVILLEs to pick cotton and to go with him to Denison       Still cool    wind from north   I do hope we will quite the chills
23     Went to see Bettie found her with a chill very  sick     her and Willie both chilling      Louisa was there this evening said Ben had a chill       Mose had the Doctor last night..      Brother PAIN come after kit to day while I was gone
[BTM]  Brother PAIN\PAYNE is back after Kit, so maybe Kit is the mule he traded for and just wanted to come back to his home.

24       HARVILLE come to help gather corn  every boddy seems to be gathering corn       WITMANS lay out picking cotton      a beautiful day for gathering crops        the old man and John  quit gathering corn to kill a hog..   Lillie sick to day      Ben and family came down staid the night
[BTM]  A number of Rhoda & F.M.'s children are present,  Anna's husband John HARVILLE, John W.  widower of Matilda aka Martha Ann Walker TOTTY, Lillie still at home, and Ben & Sarah Lousie TOTTY GAGE all here visiting or working, now we see how effective it was to have a large family to help each other out with the farms chores.

25th     Ben and Louisa went to the store     Lillie chilling        the old man and John gathering corn      Jase says Betties very sick
[BTM]  Another spell of the sickness hitting Lillie and Bettie TOTTY TILLMAN, wife of Jase.  Work goes on for the men folks as usual.

26th     Bettie come down looks like death in the primer...       Brother GAGE got here this evening  very tired    walked from Decatur..   staid until after supper       John went with him to Bens         I recon there was joy at Bens
[BTM]   The only other GAGE I have found around that time frame in Montague County, TX was John William GAGE and his wife Rhoda BOYDSTON GAGE who had a daughter Pheobe Inez GAGE that married John DAVID COMBS, son of Jeremiah and Charity RHODES COMBS of Montague Co., have not found a connection to the Leven Green  COMBS/COOMBS family of Montague County.  But according to Rhoda TOTTY Ben's family would be very happy to see Brother GAGE.

27th      high wind from South     Seems that every body feels bad      Bart got fever     Tennie children   Willie had a chill this morning    old man and John gathering corn     got done gathering corn this evening
[BTM]  With all the sickness in the family, F.M. & John are most likely very glad to get this year's crop of corn gathered.

28th      Still high wind from South       very warm     all hands moved to day       John moved home     took his little children       Bart and Tilda went with him       Jane and Bettie  moved here       brother GAGE took dinner with us to day       See no children about looks like some bodys dead       Billy BAIRD come to see us to night     been no chill to day
[BTM]   Billy BAIRD is most likely the nephew of Rhoda and Capt TOTTY, and son of Sam & Sarah Sandal TOTTY BAIRD.  With the crops gathered, the family was able to go home, it must be hard on Great Grandpa John Whitfield Totty with the responsibility of  his young children Rhoda, May, William M. and Tennessee "Tennie" TOTTY all by himself  &  no wife to help with their care.   You know their Grandmother Rhoda will miss them around the house for a while. Does anyone know the identify of  the "Brother GAGE"?

29th        Billy BEAN called this morning    Still high wind warn enough for sumer time     Sue and Duck come down to see Lillie     John said Tennie missed her chill...    I went to see BALLY she had fever
[BTM]  Billy BEAN is most likely grandchild of Nancy A. TOTTY REEVES by their daughter Caroline REEVES BEAN, wife of William.    ggf John must be doing a good job taking care of  my great aunt Tennie, since she is a little better with no chill.   Bally could be Rhoda's neighbor and friend Isabella Hamilton WININGHAM., or most likely Ballie SPRINGER sister of Sue, Julia "Duck" and Mollie.

NOTE: This copyright© data CAN NOT be reproduced in ANY format for profit or other presentation "without" the express written permission of the the owner and transcriber of these diaries. 
Transcribed from Original Diary by Birdie (Totty) McNutt ©1999
Posted April 20, 1999

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