Roy F. Fleming Diary & Transcription, 1891


Roy F. Fleming Diary & Transcription, 1891

Date Created

January 1, 1891

Is Part Of

Roy Fleming Diary Collection


Scanned Manuscript & Typed Transcription

Extracted Text

Diary 1891 – Roy F. Fleming
Transcription and notes by Ruth Fleming Larmour
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Diary of Roy F. Fleming 1891
By Ruth Hogarth Fleming Larmour, grand-daughter of Roy Franklin Fleming.
This is the diary of a twelve-year old boy growing up in rural Ontario in the 1890s. He was living on a
farm near the village of Kilsyth in Derby Township, Grey County with his father Charles Fleming, his
mother Lyda, his brothers Harvey (age 18), and Stuart (14), and sisters Ruth (9) and Annie (5). Most of
his father’s siblings and their families are on farms nearby.
When the diary begins on the 5th
January 1891 tragedy has struck the family. Their mother has taken ill
and has gone to the Kellogg Sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan for treatment. Battle Creek is about
530 km from Kilsyth. She is under the care of the famous Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, chief medical officer
of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, for mesenteric tuberculosis, a form of abdominal tuberculosis.
Treatment here was largely based of nutrition - a vegetarian diet , and physical exercise, administered
according to the principles of the Seventh-day-Adventist Church which owned and operated the
In their mother’s absence, the children’s maiden aunt Jennie, their father’s younger sister, has come to
look after them. Her name is Jean but she is known to all as Aunt Jennie.
The diary shows the network of support through family friends and neighbours that helped Charles and
children during this crisis. It also demonstrates how important religious life was for them and the
support the family received from their beliefs.
Roy’s father is a farmer but his land on the South Half of Lot 10 Concession 6 was rather poor and he
was not as good at farming as his brothers. He opened a general store in the village of Kilsyth and also
ran the post office, of which his father Alexander Fleming had been the first postmaster. Charles
continued to farm in a small way as we see through Roy’s entries about his chores - haying, bringing in
turnips and pease, and pulling potatoes. Roy also had a pet lamb.
Weather was all important. It makes a difference on whether they can go to school and what must be
done in the fields.
Roy’s penmanship, spelling and punctuation are very good. His hand writing was very well formed and
clear in the first half of the year, but became larger and more erratic later in the year after his mother
died and after he entered high school - it was likely affected by the emotional tumult in his life.
As can be gathered from reading the diary he was constantly writing letters and post cards and sending
requests or orders for one thing of another. He subscribed to Youth’s Companion, and kept a stamp
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Roy, who became a keen historian, wrote much more about his family in later years. One point he
always emphasized was the importance his parents placed on education. In spite of lack of money all
five children received an education at either college or university. Roy was one of the first to graduate as
a high school teacher from the Ontario College of Education in Toronto. He taught in many schools in
rural Ontario, including Derby Township, the Manitoulin Island, and Garden Island. Later Roy became
the art master at the Ottawa Normal school in 1907.
He was a talented artist, a prolific writer, and had many interests especially the Fleming family history
and shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. He was a member of the Great lakes Historical Society and
contributed many articles to its Journal, Inland Seas, and to many Canadian newspapers.
This transcription of his diary is dedicated to the memory of Lyda Warren Fleming, Roy’s mother and my
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Roy’s Diary
Office Diary and Petty Cash Book for the year 1891. Printed and published by The Northern
Business College Steam Printing Office. Scrope Street – Owen Sound Ont. C.A. Fleming, Roy’s
cousin, owned the printing company in Owen Sound and likely gave this office diary to Roy.
Notes in the comment column explain the names and places that Roy mentions.
Date Entry Comment
Monday 5 Ruth is out skating with Sarah Kinchen The Kinchens were neighbours who
lived on Concession 7.
Tuesday 6 Mrs. Kinchen and Percy come over for a visit and
they take Ruth back home again. Here Percy and I
have a game of table croquet.
Monday 12 I get a letter from Mamma to-day. I send a postal
card to Mrs. Ray. Out skating with Ruth. It is very
Roy’s mother Lyda is ill and has
gone to stay at the Kellogg
Sanatorium in Battle Creek,
Roy has been keeping Mrs. Ray, a
friend of Lyda’s , informed. Lyda
had known Mrs. Ray in Ohio as
Martha Pickett . Miss Pickett took
Lyda’s younger sister, Mary
Amanda “Minnie”, as a foster child
around 1860 to help Eliza Warren
while looking after her sick
husband. The Warrens remained
friends with Miss Pickett even after
Minnie rejoined her mother and
Tuesday 13 We send a letter to Mamma. Freezing. Harvey goes
up to Uncle John’s with a book keeping book of
Vickie’s. I go to store at night for first time after
Vicki is a first cousin, daughter of
Roy’s uncle John who lives on the
next farm, the North Half of Lot 10
Concession 6. Roy’s father, Charles,
and his Aunt Jennie run a general
store in Kilsyth where Roy
sometimes works.
Wednesday I start going to school this year for first time. The school is S.S. No 3 Derby Twp.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comment
14 Blowing last night terribly but calmed down this
morning slightly. Nearly frozen coming home from
morning mail saying she was some better. I hear
that John Black Jr is going to get married.
Roy might not have been at school
due to having measles.
John Black Sr. has the farm on Lot
10 Concession 7.
Thursday 15 I get a catalogue of guns etc in night mail from G.
Henry and Co. Chicago Ill. I go to school. Middling
stormy yet. We get a letter and a telegramme, the
letter saying Mamma was worse. The telegram was
“wait for letter, don’t bring trunk”.
G. Henry and Co. was a sporting
goods store in Chicago.1
Friday 16 I get a letter from Mrs. J.M. Ray in morning mail.
Only one half days school as the teacher had to
attend a Presbyterian Church meeting. Warm in
daytime but was very frosty in morning. I get
samples of cards from National Card Co. Scio.
National Card Co was in Scio, Ohio.
Saturday 17 It is frosty this morning. Stuart and Harvey go to
town for some things at the station. We get
telegram from Mamma saying: - Worse, want help,
come at once. Herb Agnew takes Aunt Jennie into
town and she starts for Battle Creek. We got a
letter in morning mail. I bake pies.
Owen Sound is approximately
three miles from Kilsyth. Stuart and
Harvey are probably picking up
goods in Owen Sound to be sold in
the store in Kilsyth. It sounds as if
Jennie was ready to depart for
Battle Creek at very short notice.
Herb Agnew is a first cousin, son of
Roy’s aunt Janet (Fleming) Agnew
(aka Jessie)
Sunday 18 I go to Sunday School as usual. No frost this
morning to speak of. Chris, Florence and Uncle
Donald Fleming come over for a while in the
Chris (Christine) and Florence are
daughters of Donald Fleming, and
first cousins to Roy. They live on
the south half of Lot 9 Concession
Monday 19 I go to school as usually. Harvey found a gold pen
in his trunk. Stuart shoots a squirrel to-night.
Middling mild to-day.
Tuesday 20 Pa gets a letter from mamma, written the same
day as the telegram. Pa also gets a post card from
Aunt Jennie saying she would get to Battle Creek
about 11 am Sunday (written in Toronto). Thawing
to-day. I answer a letter of Aunt Jennie’s to the
Globe Company. I write to Mrs Ray. Us boys make
Globe Company may have been
The Globe newspaper in Toronto,
or a company from which Jennie
and Charles ordered goods for the
Listed in the Lakeside Directory for 1892
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comment
I go to school as usual to-day. Very mild weather
lately. Aunt Jessie gets a letter from Aunt Jennie
saying that she did not expect mamma to come
home alive. I write to mamma. I write a post card
to Auntie Finch telling her how mamma is. Ruth
and Annie also write to mamma.
Jessie is Janet (Fleming) Agnew
who lives on Lot 8 Concession 6.
Auntie Finch is Isabella (Fleming)
Finch who lives in Cecebe Ontario –
in the Parry Sound region. Both are
sisters to Roy’s father Charles.
Thursday 22 I go to school. Douglass makes a great rough about
tieing Bob Dolphin’s School Bag and writing names
on the wall. Stuart and I get into some scrapes. Pa
gest a letter from Aunt Jennie. I address a hymn
book and some papers to Aunt Jennie. Ruth starts
going to school
Douglass is the school teacher.
Does Roy mean row when he
writes rough? Ruth is 8 years old.
This was probably her first day
back to school after an illness.
Friday 23 We do not get any word from Aunt Jennie. I go to a
concert tonight of the Literary Society. It is a pretty
good one. I have to white wash on the wall where I
was writing names but I do not get it to stick on
Saturday 24 We got a post card and a letter from Aunt Jennie. I
write to mamma. Aunt Jessie makes apple butter
for us. I bake pies in the afternoon. More snow this
Sunday 25 I go to Sunday School in morning. There is a
collection at Sunday School instead of a Mission
Band. I go to church at night. Mr. Lister speaks
about “The Church”. Stuart writes to cousin Jessie
The family attended the Church of
Christ’s Disciples in Kilsyth. Charles
J. Lister, a leading preacher, was
the minister for many years.
Cousin Jessie is probably Isabella
Finch’s daughter who married
James Hunter Trout and was living
in Wiarton in 1891. She was 40
years of age and might have been a
friend to Lyda.
Monday 26 I send a post card to Aunt Jennie in morning. Stuart
sends a letter to cousin Jessie telling her how
mamma was keeping. I have to white wash the wall
at school where I was writing names, for the
second time. Mrs. Robert Moore dies tonight at 6
o’clock pm.
Moores were neighbours at Lot 10
Concession 9.
Tuesday 27 I go to school. We have “break break break” as our
High School Lesson. Very mild. Harvey goes to
town. He starts at 10 am. Stuart and I have to do
night work as Harvey does not get home till kind of
“Break, break, break” is a poem by
Alfred Lord Tennyson and was in
the Ontario Readers, Third Book.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comment
late. Pa gets a letter and a post card from Aunt
Jennie at Battle Creek. Mrs. John Hay gave birth to
a daughter. Harvey hears it in town. I write a post
card to Aunt Jennie and a post card to “The Times”
office and couple of other letters to the “Mail” and
Can’t locate a Hay residing in
Derby in the census for 1891 .
The “Times” is the Owen Sound
Sun Times; the “Mail” is the
Toronto Mail; the Witness may
have been the Evangelical Witness
from London, Ont.
Mr. Douglass was giving Roy
occasional high school lessons to
prepare him for high school. At
that time it was necessary to pass
an examination set by the
Education Department of Ontario
to be accepted into high school.2
Aunt Jessie gets a post card from Aunt Jennie
saying that mamma passed a bad night and that
they had to mover her to a quieter part of the
building. I go to school. I address the Advertiser to
Aunt Jennie. The funeral of Mrs. Moore’s takes
place. Stuart sends for a book for making candies. I
send a postal to Mrs. Ray. We write to mamma.
Advertiser was an Owen Sound
Thursday 29 Stuart and I go to school. Johnny McDermid brings
a note to the teacher telling us boys were teasing
him. Aunt Jessie gets a letter from Aunt Jennie. I
get some papers from Mrs. Ray, Colville. I send a
subscription to the “News”.
Seems that Mrs. Ray lives in
Colville, Washington, USA. Colville
was a mining town just recently
emerged from being a frontier
town. It was 45 miles south of the
border between Washington State
and British Columbia. 3
Friday 30 Annie, Ruth and I get a letter from Aunt Jennie in
night mail. We have a little concert at school in the
afternoon. I go to store at night. The roads are all
ice. I write to Aunt Jennie. I send the “Advertiser”
and the “Evangelist” to Aunt Jennie.
Saturday 31 Harvey and I go to town. I stay in music store while
Harvey is doing all the business. Snowing to-day.
Stuart and I get a letter from Aunt Jennie. We are
out shooting. Stuart shoots two squirrels. I only
Roy’s uncle, James Fleming, owns a
music store in Owen Sound. James
lives across the road at Forest
Lawn Farm, North half of Lot 9,
There is a sample of the high school entrance exams he wrote in 1892 at the beginning of the diary.
Arksey, Laura. Colville – Thumbnail History, (2010)
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comment
shoot at marks. Concession 6. He also owns Lot 8
Concession 9.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comment
Sunday 1 I write a post card to Aunt Jennie. I go to Sunday
School. Ruth and Annie stay to a meeting and they
go over to Kinchen’s with Allan. Uncle John is our
S.S. teacher to-day.
Uncle John is Charles’ older
brother. He lives at Ivy Hill, North ½
Lot 10 Concession 6.
Monday 2 I go to school. I get a post card from Auntie Finch in
night mail. I write to Mamma. I write to Auntie
Finch but date it for tomorrow.
Tuesday 3 I get a letter from Aunt Jennie in morning mail.
Ruth doesn’t go to school but Stuart and I go.
Harvey goes up to Uncle John’s with a book of
Maggie Kinchen’s named “The King’s Daughter”.
“The King’s Daughter” was a story
for young people about the value
of temperance. Isabella Alden
wrote this in 1873 under the pen
name of Pansy. Her books were
enormously popular in the late
Wednesday 4 Very cold to-day. Ruth does not go to school. We
get a letter from Aunt Jennie telling us that
Mamma is not so well. I get a catalogue of magic
lanterns in night mail.
Thursday 5 We do not get any word from Aunt Jennie. Pretty
cold. Stormy in morning. No girls at school. I get a
catalogue of skates. Stuart and I make a set of
“authors”. Auntie Margaret’s sister died.
Auntie Margaret is Margaret
(Robertson) Fleming, John’s wife.
When the weather is very bad girls
stay at home and the boys go to
Friday 6 There is a ventriloquist up in the 9th
school but I
don’t go up there. I go to the Literary Society at
night. Get home at about 20 mins to ten o’clock.
Very mild in afternoon.
Saturday 7 Stuart and Harvey go to town. I make doughnuts in
the afternoon.
Sunday 8 I go to Sunday School. There is a collection at
Sunday School again. Snowing quite a bit.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Monday 9 I write to Mrs. J. M. Ray. I do not go to school till
intermission as I couldn’t find my cap. I write a card
to Bella Sinclair, Blenheim and send a sub to the
Globe. Jake Fleming starts going to school.
There was an Isabella (Bella)
Sinclair who lived with her parents
and siblings in Blenheim, Kent
County. At age 34 she was
considerably older than Roy.
Perhaps she was related to Alex
Sinclair, a classmate of Roy’s .
Jake Fleming – unable to identify
this Fleming.
Tuesday 10 I get another letter from Mrs. Ray. I go to school.
Very cold in morning. Stuart and I go to school.
Thursday 12 Middling warm to-day. I go to school. Ruth starts
Friday 13 There is a concert at school. Stuart read a piece
and several recitations are recited. We make spiles
at night.
Spiles –small wooden peg or spigot
for stopping a cask.
Saturday 14 Harvey and I go to Town. We get a barrel of coal
oil. Tom Moore rides out with us. There is two
registered letters come for Aunt Jennie. We get a
post card in the morning mail from Aunt Jennie.
Tom Moore – neighbour at Lot 10,
Concession 9
Sunday 15 I go to Sunday School. Percy Kinchen comes with
me from Sunday School and stays the afternoon.
Mr. Lister preaches on “Believing the Gospel”.
Thawing. Pretty near all the snow goes.
Monday 16 I go to school. I skate over to the store with Pa’s
supper. There is some drunk fellows at the hotel
and they pretty near run into a cutter.
Tuesday 17 Ruth does not go to school as it is rather stormy.
There is a Tory meeting in the town hall. Harvey
and Stuart and I go to it. Mr Masson was for Con.
and Mr. Cochrane for Reform side.
James Masson of Owen Sound was
elected the member of parliament
for North Grey in 1887 and
reelected in 1891.
Mr. Cochrane may have been Jas.
Cochrane who owned the north
half of Lot 7 Concession 7 . James
Cochrane was on the County
Council representing Derby in 1891
and 1892. 4
Marsh, E.L. A History of the County of Grey (1931) pg 480
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Ruth, Annie and I get a letter from Aunt Jennie. I go
to school. Ruth does not go.
Thursday 19 A post card comes in the morning mail from Aunt
Jennie saying that Uncle Fred had to come to Battle
Creek. Stuart and I go to school. Ruth does not.
Stuart and I go down to skate but ice is no good.
Uncle Fred is Fred Read who was
married to Lyda’s sister Annie. It is
believed that he financed Lyda’s
medical care at Battle Creek. Annie
had died in 1885.
Friday 20 Raining to-day a little. We do not get any word
from Aunt Jennie. I write to Aunt Jennie.
Saturday 21 Stuart and Harvey go to town. We get two letters
from Aunt Jennie.
Sunday 22 I go to Sunday School. I do not go to Church at
night but Stuart does.
Monday 23 Stuart and I go to school. Skating at night.
Tuesday 24 I skate to school. Not very good skating at school.
Pa gets a letter from Aunt Jennie. Raining hard in
evening . Ruth goes to school.
Stuart and I go to school.
Thursday 26 Ruth does not go to school.
Friday 27 I get a post card from Mrs. J.M. Ray and a letter
from Aunt Jennie. I address “The Advertiser” to
Aunt Jennie. Ruth does not go to school.
Saturday 28 None of us go to town. Stuart bakes doughnuts. I
send away for sample of Colongue.
Date Entry Comments
Sunday 1 I go to Sunday School and meeting. I then go oer to
Monday 2 Stuart and I go to school. We do not get any word
from Aunt Jennie
Tuesday 3 Stuart and I go to school.
Harvey goes to town with some butter.
Thursday 5 Stuart and Pa get into a rough over a few frozen
turnips. Stuart does not go to school. Stuart and
There has been no word about
Lyda’s health or anything else from
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Harvey go to town. The elections are to-day for
Dominion House of Commons. Horsey has a majority
in Kilsyth of 15 and on 9th
14. I send a sub to the
Mail. No word from Battle Creek.
Aunt Jennie since 27th
of February.
Friday 6 We get a post card from Aunt Jennie in morning mail
and one in evening. I hear that Masson is in with 286
about, and Sir John A by 44 members.
General election was on March 5.
Mr James Masson, a liberal-
conservative was elected as
Member of Parliament with 2,511
votes as opposed to the Liberal
candidate, Dr. E. H. Horsey’s 2,274. 5
Short account of the election at
Saturday 7 Harvey and Stuart go to town and sell the butter and
eggs. Annie and I go with a’s dinner. Pa and I tap an
oil barrel.
Sunday 8 We go to Sunday School. Harvey and I go to Church
at night.
Monday 9 We get a post card from Aunt Jennie. I address a
paper to Aunt Jennie. I write to Auntie Finch.
Tuesday 10 Harvey and Annie go to town. Annie stays at
Spencers. They get their dinner there. Harvey brings
me a couple of shorthand books.
We go to school. The sap would run to-day but we
do not tap yet.
Stuart and I do not go to school. Harvey and Stuart
go to town and bring out milk cans for to hold the
sap. I get a letter from Mrs. Ray. We get a couple of
cards from Battle Creek. Uncle James comes out of
town with a telegram saying “Meet Mrs Fleming’s
remains at Tara at 11 PM tomorrow, Friday”.
Roy’s handwriting is different for
this entry – more like his adult hand.
He might have written it when he
was older.
The Canadian Parliamentary Companion for 1891 has the results.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Friday 13 Uncles James and I are in the store. Pa, Harvey,
Uncle Agnew and Jake Fleming go out to meet Aunt
Jennie. I write to Mrs. Ray.
Someone must look after the store
in spite of the tragedy. Uncle James
takes over, with Roy to help him.
Someone must be looking after
Ruth and Annie but Roy does not
tell us who. Uncle Agnew is James
Agnew, husband to Jessie. Jennie is
with the body of Lyda arriving by
train in Tara.
Uncle James and I are in the store another day. They
come home with Aunt Jennie and the remains of
dear Mamma. Terrible storms for last two days.
Sunday 15 Several call to see Mamma. None of us go to the
Church in the morning. Mr Lister and Cousin Christie
came but there is no meeting in the church. Still
Lyda’s body has probably been laid
out in the house. Cousin Christie
could be a relative of Lyda’s
mother’s second husband, John
Christie. Mr. Lister is the minister of
the Church of Christs Disciples in
Monday 16 The storm still continues. Cousin Allie comes. Pa and
Aunt Jessie goes to town. Uncle James and I are still
in the store.
Don’t know Cousin Allie.
Tuesday 17 Uncle James and I are in the store. Uncle James goes
into town tonight. Funeral to-day.
Pa and I are in the store.
Pa and I are in the store again. Stuart and Harvey go
to town. Sun is shining beautifully.
Friday 20 Pa and I are in the store in forenoon but Stuart and I
cut down a couple of trees in afternoon.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Harvey and I go to town with four baskets of butter
and some eggs. We had to bring back one of the
baskets of butter
These items are sold in Owen Sound
to buy groceries or else are traded
for whatever is needed.
Sunday 22 I go to Sunday School. Most of us go to Church at
Monday 23 I start going to school again. Stuart and Harvey saw
some trees in the bush.
Tuesday 24 I stay home from school to-day. We are down in the
bush boiling sap in a small kettle.
I do not go to school. The second class and third
class have their examinations to-day and yesterday.
Aunt Jennie and I go up to Waddell’s to see Mrs
Crawford. I go over to Uncle Donald’s with cutter to
take Cousin Allie over.
Waddells own Lots 9 in Concessions
9 and 10.
We are down in bush. Stuart and I build a wigwam to
stay in.
Friday 27 I go to a concert tonight held by the literary society.
We hear that Albert E.C. Fleming gets two of his
fingers taken off.
Albert Edwin Fleming is son of John
and Margaret Fleming. Often
referred to as A.E.
Harvey and I go to town with butter and eggs
Sunday 29 I go to Sunday School and evening meeting as usual.
This is Easter Sunday.
Monday 30 Mr Wyce comes with vinegar for store and I have to
go over with him to the store. We are down boiling
sap again in the bush. Easter Monday.
Tuesday 31 I get a very nice letter from Mrs. Ray asking me to
send notice of Mamma’s death to her sister Mrs.
Walter Woods, Hood River, Wasco Co. Oregon and
enclosed a dime. First day of teacher’s convention.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Wednesday 1 It rains to-day. We boil some of the sap. I write to
Mrs. Ray. I send a notice and a paper to Mrs. W.
Woods. Second day of teacher’s convention.
Thursday 2 I go to school to-day. Nothing particular at school. I
get some chess and authors from U.S. Card Co.
Friday 3 I do not go to school to-day. Aunt Jennie and I post
books. Snowing. Aunt Jennie gets a letter from
Aunt Belle.
Aunt Belle is Lyda’s sister, Belle
(Warren) Hammond.
Jennie and Roy are posting the
account books for the store.
Saturday 4 Pretty warm. Nothing in particular.
Sunday 5 I go to Sunday School. I do not go to night meeting.
Monday 6 I start school again. I hear that Mullan’s are going
away tomorrow. There address is 216 Seaton St
Toronto. I get this address from Jim Mullan.
Jim Mullan (or Mullen) was a
school mate of Roy’s. His parents
were Elias and Maria.
Tuesday 7 We play “Sheeps House” at School. “Isles of
Greece” is our lesson at school.
Sheeps house is probably a game.
Isles of Greece is a poem by Lord
Byron from the High School
Wednesday 8 I go to school.
Thursday 9 Jack Horning brings the football and we have a
game at school.
Jack was a school mate. Hornings
were a family of Mennonites living
in Derby.6
Friday 10 It rains a little to-day. We play football at last
intermission only.
Saturday 11 Harvey and I go to town. I take a small jar of syrup
to Mrs Spencer. We get soaking wet coming out
because it rains so hard.
Sunday 12 I do not go to Sunday School. I go to morning
meeting but not to night meeting.
Monday 13 Jack Horning forgets the football and 2 of the boys
go home to Corning’s (?) for it.
Tuesday 14 We have to say all of the “Isles of Greece” to-day.
Year: 1891; Census Place: Derby, Grey North, Ontario; Roll: T-6338; Family No: 26
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
I go to school.
Thursday 16 The boys and Pa take most of the potatoes out of
the pit.
Friday 17 I go to school. Nothing in particular.
Saturday 18 Pa and I go to town. Meg is hitched up first time
single and we take her.
Meg is the horse.
Sunday 19 I go to Sunday school and to night meeting. Mr.
Lister preaches on “time”.
Monday 20 Ruth and I go to school.
Tuesday 21 Ruth and I go to school. We have “Go where glory
takes thee” for our lesson at school.
Poem by Thomas Moore.
Our spring show is to-day. We get out of school at
3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Thursday 23 We go to school. I go to the store at night.
Friday 24 We go to school. Pa and I are in the store at night.
Saturday 25 Stuart and I plant our first onions out in front of
the house.
Sunday 26 I go to Sunday school
Monday 27 Ruth and I go to school.
Tuesday 28 I get a letter from Mrs J.M. Ray, Colville Wash. In it
she said that if Mrs Woods did not write me that it
was for the same reason as Mamma once wrote to
her “my cares are many and my body not strong”
We go to school as usual. No person has a ball at
school so we cannot play.
Thursday 30 Ruth and I go to school.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Friday 1 Today is arbor day at school. Ruth goes to school
but Stuart and I go fishing at Coulters. We catch
two trout when a man turns us off and said that
the streams were rented.
Arbor Day was first observed in
Nebraska in 1872. J Sterling
Morton proposed it as a day for
planting trees and recognizing the
importance of trees. The idea
spread through the States and was
adopted in US schools in 1882. 7
Shortly after, in 1885, Sir George
William Ross, Ontario’s minister of
education , introduced Arbor Day
to engage children in planting
Coulters farm lot 10 concession 4
Saturday 2 The new minister (Presbyterian) came to-day and
stays at Agnew. W.A. McLean.
Sunday 3 I go to Sunday School, morning meeting and night
meeting. Mr. Lister has a big white horse.
Monday 4 We got to school. Douglas gives me a great lecture
about staying home from school on arbor day.
Tuesday 5 Ruth and I go to school. It is rather cold weather
Wednesday 6 Ruth and I go to school as usual. I write to Mrs.
Thursday 7 I go to school. We have “My Kate” as our High
School reader lesson.
My Kate is a poem by Elizabeth
Barrett Browning.
Friday 8 Ruth does not go to school to-day. She is not very
well. Mr. Douglas sends for the football for us to
Berlin Ont.
Perhaps Mr Douglass feels sorry for
the students and buys them a
Berlin was renamed Kitchener in
Saturday 9 I have to scrub the floor to-day and Stuart borrows
part of the time and I for a while too. Everything
breaks on us pretty near.
The History of Arbor Day, n.d. Available from Arbor Day Foundation.
Burley, David G. Ross, Sir George William. Dictionary of Canadian Biography (n.d.),
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Sunday 10 I go to Sunday School as usual. Raining a little to-
day. We go to night meeting.
Monday 11 Our Sunday School annual meeting was held
tonight. Picnic to be on June 16 at Doyle’s Grove
etc. etc.
Tuesday 12 One of the gold fillings comes out of my tooth. We
go to school. I have had a bad cold lately. A very
nice day to-day.
The football comes tonight.
Thursday 14 I do not go to school because my cold is so bad. We
harrow and fix fences in fore noon.
To harrow is to drag an implement
with tines over plowed fields to
break up clumps. The metal frame
set is called a harrow.
Friday 15 I go to school as usual.
Saturday 16 Stuart and Harvey go to town. Jno A. Horning rides
out with them.
Jno is short for John (aka Jack).
Sunday 17 I go to Sunday School to-day. I do not go to night
meeting because I do not get work done in time.
Monday 18 We start going through geography again.
Tuesday 19 I do not know my verse (Horatius) very well. Horatius is a poem by Lord
Douglass told us to stay in recess for not know our
Temperence but we don’t stay in. The Youth’s
Companions came tonight. We sent away for them
a while ago.
Youth’s Companion – an illustrated
weekly newspaper from the US.
Thursday 21 We have Horatius again to-day. I know a little
better than on Tuesday (19th
). We commence
studying Botany to-day.
Friday 22 Ruth and I go to school. We get mad at Jack
Horning for not playing football fairly.
Saturday 23 Aunt Jennie and Harvey go to town. Stuart fixes the
wagon box. I am in the store most of the time.
Sunday 24 I go to Sunday School and night meeting as usual.
Harvey goes into town with Mr Lister. Queen is 72
years old.
Queen Victoria was born May 24,
1819. Information about her age
was written into the diary later.
Monday 25 Stuart and I go to town. We get a ride in with Uncle
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
James part of the way. It is the Queen’s birthday.
We have quite a time.
Tuesday 26 I do not know my verse again to-day.
I study my lesson tonight.
Thursday 28 I know my verse pretty well to-day.
Friday 29 We go to school. We play football.
Saturday 30 Stuart and I plough in the fore noon. Aunt Jennie
and Stuart have a sort of a rough. I have to scrub.
We plant onions
Sunday 31 I go to Sunday school. They make 2 classes of our
class. Christina is our teacher now. Peter Rodgers
died this morning at 6:55 am
Christina is daughter of Donald
Fleming – first cousin to Roy. Peter
Rodgers might be Peter Rogers
farmer and hotel keeper on lot 9
concession 7.
Date Entry Comments
Monday 1 Only one half days school to-day. Peter Rodgers’
funeral is in afternoon. Aunt Jennie and I are in the
store in afternoon.
Tuesday 2 Raining a little to-day. They are talking about going
to the June meeting.
Wednesday 3 Aunt Jennie and Stuart go to Rockford in the
morning to catch the 6 o’clock train. They are just
in time to be too late. They go on the afternoon
Rockford is a village about 3 miles
east of Kilsyth with a train station.
They were going to Toronto on the
Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway.
Thursday 4 I go to school. I know my poetry in a kind of a way.
I write to Auntie Finch. Annie starts going to
Friday 5 Annie goes to school to-day.
Saturday 6 Harvey and I go to town to-day. I got my picture
taken at Ingleharts. Sir Jno A. McDonald died
tonight at 10:15 pm.
Having photo cards was popular in
the day. Roy later sends the photo
to family and friends. (See entry for
29 June)
Sir John A McDonald had just been
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
reelected. His death was a terrible
shock to all.
Sunday 7 I go to Sunday school and meeting. Pa, the two
little girls and I go up to Uncle Alexander’s.
Two girls are Ruth and Annie.
Alexander, Charles’ brother, lives
at lot 6 East ½ Concession 9.
Monday 8 All three of us go to school to-day.
Tuesday 9 Jack Horning and I have to copy out some
questions and answers out of a paper Mr. Douglass
gave us.
Stuart comes home to-day from Toronto. I get a
letter from Mrs. Ray with some flower seeds to
plant on dear Mamma’s grave.
Thursday 11 Ruth and I go to school. I draw a map of
Washington tonight for Mrs. Ray. She asked me to
in her letter. Sir Jno A. McDonald was buried to-
Friday 12 We go to school to-day as usually. We play
football. Jack Horning, Jim Fenton, and I play the
rest. Stuart and Harvey go to town. I plant the
seeds in a bed and in a small pitcher (the ones that
Mrs. Ray sent me to plant on Mamma’s grave). I
intend to transplant them after they grow.
Saturday 13 I am in the store to-day pricing the new dry goods.
Sunday 15 I go to Church in the morning and Sunday school
too. It has been very warm lately. Uncle Donald
said Mr. Lister had gone to the Island. I go down to
the other Church.
Other church is Presbyterian.
Monday 16 My photos come in to-night’s mail.
Tuesday 16 I mail a photo to Mrs. Ray this morning. Our picnic
is to-day. We have a fine time at Doyle’s Grove
Doyle’s Grove might have been in
Shallow Lake where Richard Judson
Doyle developed The Owen Sound
Portland Cement Company. As a
member of the Disciples of Christ
Church and a publically-minded
person he might have permitted
boating on the small lake on his
property .9
Doyle, Richard Judson. Grey County Luminaries, Grey Roots Museum.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
I find the first two ripe strawberries tonight. I mail
one of my photos. Hannah Linn died this morning
at 10 am. Raining a little to-day. I write Aunt Belle
and Uncle Harry. Send Uncle Harry my photo.
Hannah Linn, daughter of Robert
Linn and Margaret Agnew, died at
the young age of 26. They lived
across the road in Concession 5.
Aunt Belle is Belle Hammond,
Lyda’s sister. In 1880 she and her
husband Thomas were living in
Forsythe, Dakota according to the
US Census.
Harry Warren, a brother of Lyla,
lived with his wife Emma Shears
and family in Trenton, ON in 1891.
Thursday 18 I go to school. Mr. Douglass is pretty easy with me
now. Aunt Jessie went to town to see about a trunk
of hers that cousin Jennie Agnew sent her.
Cousin Jennie is daughter of Jessie
(Fleming) Agnew.
Friday 19 Hannah Linn’s funeral is to-day. We three boys go
to it but not to cemetery. It rains a little. The stage
driver brings Aunt Jessie’s trunk out. No school to-
There were daily stages from
Kilsyth to Tara and Owen Sound.
Saturday 20 I have to take the saw over to Alex Fleming Jr this
afternoon. I am in the store in the afternoon. Ruth
and Annie get a string of beads tonight.
Alex Fleming Jr (b. 1832) the son of
Alexander Fleming (b. 1858) who
farms Lot 6 East ½ Concession 9.
Alex Jr’s grandfather was
Alexander Fleming (b. 1799).
Sunday 21 I go to Sunday school and morning meeting. I find
out that Mr. Lister did not go to the Island. We go
to the Presbyterian Church tonight.
Likely the island Lister did not go to
was Manitoulin
Monday 22 I write to Mrs. Ray and I send her a map of
Washington that I drew.
Tuesday 23 I send for the answer to a square problem
advertised in the Globe. We have dictation tonight.
I go to school. Alex Sinclair and Jno Horning won’t
let me see the answer book that Alexander
brought to school. Statue Labour
Alex Sinclair was a friend who lived
South ½ Lot 8 Concession 7.
Probably was referring to Statute
Labor – residents were required to
contribute hours of labour to the
township for upkeep of the roads.
This was abolished in 1904.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Thursday 25 I go to school. Ask Mr. Douglass about a picnic and
he says he cannot go. Statue Labor is to-day again.
Prayer meeting at Kinchen’s. Stuart goes.
Friday 26 I receive a letter from cousin Maud in tonight’s
mail. No school from 2:30 pm ‘till Monday. Stuart
and Harvey to town to-day. Answer to the square
problem same tonight.
Maud Read, daughter of Annie
Warren Read, Lyda’s sister. Maud,
born in 1866, is 25 years old and
married to R.P. Bronson – they
might be living in Los Altos Ca. USA
Saturday 27 Pa and I are in the store. I send a letter to Aunt
Jennie to order some boots. I send $18.51 to
Brayley Sons and Co for medicine. We play football
Jennie must be away. Purchase of
medicine was probably stock for
the store. Otherwise would be vast
amount for private purchase.
Brayley, Sons & Co was a wholesale
drug company in Montreal. They
also produced a medical almanac.10
Sunday 28 Cousin Maud’s baby is 2 years old to-day. Mr.
Robertson preached in Disciples Church tonight.
Two children were Lida and Annie.
Monday 29 Receive a post card from Auntie Finch telling me
that she got my photo and thanking me for it. We
get a telegram to meet Aunt Jennie at Rockford.
Tuesday 30 This is the last day of school for a while. Aunt
Jennie comes home to-day. Aunt Jessie went to
meet her at the station.
Date Entry Comments
Wednesday 1 I am at home mostly to-day doing chores. We clean
out Aunt Jennie’s cellar.
Thursday 2 I get a letter from Uncle Harry telling me about his
garden and thanking me for sending him my photo.
Friday 3 Working in the store to-day helping Pa. I hear that
Florence Fleming has gone out of her mind. They
read it in the Times. Fixing stove pipes at Aunt
Jennie’s house.
Florence, daughter of Donald, was
admitted to the Asylum for the
Insane, Toronto –age 28 – in 1891,
following her mother Esther who
was admitted in 1879.
Advertisement for Brayley, Sons and Co is seen at, a
page of the website for Antique Quebec Medicine Bottles.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Jennie’s house was the original
family homestead (called
Springfield ) and was close to
Charles’ house. Jennie more or less
lived at Charles’s to help with
managing the home and children.
Saturday 4 Harvey and Pa go to town. Aunt Jennie and I are in
the store. Council meets to-day. Cold to-day.
Sunday 5 Mr. Lister preaches in Disciples Church tonight.
Kate Donald is our teacher in Sunday School. Pa
takes Mr. Lister in tonight because he walked out.
Kate Donald is a sister of Margaret
Ellen Donald who married
Christopher A. Fleming – another
cousin of Roy’s. The Donalds were
neighbours to the Flemings. Kate
married Archie “A E” Trout.
Likely Charles drove Lister back to
Owen Sound.
Monday 6 We are hauling rails and fixing the fences this
afternoon. Not very warm yet. Bills came out for a
concert for 7th
and 8th
tomorrow and the next
Tuesday 7 We send away three registered letters this
morning. No concert tonight. The fellows don’t
come at all to start it.
Wednesday 8 Stuart and I fix fences in the afternoon; also
hauling wood from flats.
Thursday 9 We are stuffing the potatoes in afternoon.
Friday 10 Working at turnips to-day. Pretty hot.
Saturday 11 Working at the turnips again. The horses get away
but we catch them in front of Burrs.
Sunday 12 Mr Kinchin is our teacher to-day at Sunday School.
Monday 13 Write to cousin Maud and Uncle Harry. Jno Black Jr
mows today.
Tuesday 14 Cecelia Brown (Melissa’s baby) died tonight at 8:30
Melissa, a first cousin, is daughter
to John Fleming – and married to
Samuel Horton Brown. Cecilia, the
baby born July 22, 1889 was not
quite two.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Raining to-day
Thursday 16 Funeral to-day of Cecelia Brown. They will not let
any of us go to it.
Friday 17 I go over to Jno Black Jr’s on Meg to see if he is
going to mow. Hauling in to-day. Jennie B Fleming
comes from Belleville.
Hauling the hay.
Jennie B. Fleming is the 23-year old
daughter of James Fleming in
Belleville and granddaughter of
John Fleming, Alexander Fleming’s
brother who settled in Hastings
Saturday 18 Working at the hay again to-day. Harvey goes to
Uncle John’s to see Miss Jennie B. Fleming.
Sunday 19 I go to all the meetings at our Church to-day.
Monday 20 Miss Jennie B. Fleming and Vicky came down to-
day. Melville MacIntyre came down to play with
me. Mrs. Grieve gave birth to twin babes.
Melville McIntyre was about 11,
son of Roy’s first cousin Mary Jane
Fleming (John’s daughter) who
married Archibald McIntyre. They
lived in Owen Sound.
Mrs Grieve –Frances Chisholm who
was married to James Simpson
Grieve gave birth to twins
Catherine Chisholm and Isabella
Somerville on July 20 [
– Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-
Tuesday 21 Stuart and I put Paris green on the potatoes. I got
a letter from Mrs. Ray, Colville, thanking me for the
photos etc.
Paris green (copper acetoarsenite)
was a combination of copper and
arsenic diluted with water to
control the potato beetle. This
early pesticide was adopted by
farmers in the 1860s.
I rake hay with Jess. Starts to rain to-day but only a
few drops
Jess – unknown
Thursday 23 Still at the hay. Nothing new.
Friday 24 We have finished our hay to-day – all except a little
to cut with the scythe.
Saturday 25 Stuart and I go picking berries for the first time this Likely raspberries – picked on
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
year at Agnew’s old place. James Agnew’s old farm, which
was on the west half of lots 7 and 8
Conc..6. James and Jesse Agnew
had moved into Kilsyth.
Sunday 26 Minnie Fleming is our teacher. We decide to start
Mission Band again.
Minnie is Minerva – 23-year-old
daughter of James.
Monday 27 We three boys go picking berries at Kinchens
Tuesday 28 Our mission band meets to-day at 3 pm. I am
elected as secretary.
Hoeing at the turnips to-day for a while.
Thursday 30 I wash a lot of handkerchiefs, collars etc to-day.
Friday 31 There is a frost in some places on the ground this
Date Entry Comments
Saturday 1 We are cutting and binding he wheat to-day. I am
in the store this afternoon. Council meets to-day.
Sunday 2 Aunt Jennie, Ruth, Annie and I go for a drive to
Inglis Falls
Inglis Falls is just 7 km from Kilsyth.
Sydenham river drops 18 metres
over the Niagara Escarpment.
Monday 3 We are cutting and binding the wheat yet in the
old orchard.
Tuesday 4 Stuart and I get a calve from Uncle Agnew’s .
Working at turnips.
Wednesday 5 I find out that my pet lamb “Towney” is going to
have small horns. Harvey goes over to Uncle James
to see Jennie B. Fleming. I write an essay on China
tonight, late.
Thursday 6 I write to Mrs. Ray to-day. I get some stamps from
J.D. Nichols Box 35, Berwick, N.S. Jennie B. Fleming
and Mary were over tonight.
Mary, a cousin, daughter of James
Fleming and Grace Robertson .
Friday 7 I write to Jim Mullan.
Saturday 8 Rains very heavily all to-day. Mr. Lediard comes out
to-day but scarcely any mission band. The Desboro
Mr. Lediard is Disciple’s Church
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
football team comes down to play Kilsyth but they
do not play as it is too wet. Get soaking wet coming
home in the buggy at night.
Desboro is near Chatsworth in Grey
Sunday 9 Raining so heavily that there is no Sunday school
nor morning meeting. Mr Lister for a wonder does
not come and as it rained in there heavier I
Monday 10 I get a letter from Jim Mullan tonight. Miss Jennie
B. Fleming and Harvey and some others were at
Agnews tonight. Aunt Jennie and I are in the store
Tuesday 11 Pa and I are in the store. Pa is forever complaining
at me.
In the store yet.
Thursday 13 Still monkeying around the store.
Friday 14 Mr Douglass, wife and children came home this
Saturday 15 Aggie Kennedy and Miss Dunn are at the store this
evening. Our mission band met to-day. I read an
essay on China. Football practice tonight.
Sunday 16 I go to Sunday school. I get a library book, “The
King’s Daughter”. Mr Brown came out with Mr.
Lister in the evening.
The King’s Daughter by Pansy –
published in Boston 1873. Young
person’s book. Mentioned on Feb 3
Monday 17 The first day of school is to-day. Alex Sinclair and I
are the only ones in the high school class. I write to
Jim Mullan.
Tuesday 18 Jacob Wice and Harvey Linn come over to the
school and Jacob and Sam White have a kind or a
Johnny Mundle and Letisha Fenton got married at
Chatsworth to-day.
Thursday 20 Stuart and I have to catch Duff after night. Duff – probably the other horse.
Friday 21 The Presbyterian church Sunday school have their
picnic in out bush. Uncle Agnew and I go to look for
his cow. School in fore noon only.
Saturday 22 I pull the first peas I ever pulled in my life. Pretty
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
busy in the evening in the store.
Sunday 23 Melville McIntyre was out at Uncle John’s to-day.
Was late for Sunday School. Mr. Lister brought a
watermelon for Aunt Jennie.
Monday 24 I find out that Jack Horning isn’t coming back to
Public School any more.
Tuesday 25 Alfred Reid and I go down to Hilt’s for the football.
We arrange sides and neither side wins a game at
noon. Our side gets one game at intermissions.
I come home this afternoon to help take in the
Thursday 27 I stay home all day to take in pease. Starts to rain
about noon. Ruth is 9 years old to-day.
Friday 28 I go to school to-day. Wet to-day but no rain. We
do not play football.
Saturday 29 Mission Band met to-day. Ruth recited a small
piece. Mrs Willie Wardell gave birth to a girl baby
at 12 o’clock to-day noon.
Mrs Willie Wardell - unknown
Sunday 30 Whyte Bro were singing in the other church to-day.
Small meeting at Disc Ch. Mr Lister’s daughter and
baby comes out but not meeting at night as it was
given out there would be none.
“Other” church is Presbyterian
Monday 31 Jennie Fleming was over tonight with some apples
for Aunt Jennie. I get some stamps from R.J.D.
Nichols, Berwick N.S. Box 35. High School opened
to-day. Jack Horning and Melville McIntyre start
High School is the Owen Sound
Collegiate Institute. Roy began
high school in 1892 and probably
boarded with a relative.
[Handwriting changes from the
small, clear, right-slanted script to
much larger script with mix of
vertical and right slant. Some of
this may have been added by Roy
in later years.]
Date Entry Comments
Tuesday 1 We have Abigail Beckett for our lesson to-day. I
come home this afternoon to help at pease. Whyte
Abigail Beckett - unknown
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Bro. sing at Presbyterian Church in the concert.
Annie is 6 years old to-day.
Wednesday 2 I stay at home again to-day to pull pease. Stuart
and I make a cake and eat it when Aunt Jennie and
Aunt Jessie were out for a drive. It rains in
Thursday 3 Aunt Jennie and Aunt Jessie were at town to-day. It
rains again. Home from school.
Friday 4 We are pulling pease with the horse rake again.
Saturday 5 We haul one load of pease in in the afternoon.
Rains in afternoon. Council meets. I am over at
store in afternoon.
Sunday 6 Collection in church for Home Missions to-day.
Percy Kinchen comes over from morning meeting
and stays the afternoon. We drive over to English
church near Dormie Sinclair’s school and then to
Inglis Falls.
English Church is on lot 7
concession 3.
Dormie Sinclair –might have been a
brother of Alex and Bella on the
South ½ of Lot 8 Concession 7.
Monday 7 Working to-day at pulling pease and turning them.
I am not going to school to-day.
Tuesday 8 Pa was pretty cross this morning. Very cold.
Wednesday 9 Hauling in pease to-day.
Thursday 10 Mr. Irwin came to-day and took away Towny and
our other lamb. Aunt Jennie and Mrs Herald went
to town to-day. Finished our harvest to-day. The
boys got stuck with the last load.
Either the lambs were sold to Mr.
Irwin, or he will butcher them for
the family.
Mrs Herald is Bella (Finch) Herald,
married to George Herald, and,
daughter of Isabella Fleming (ie
Auntie Finch) and Abraham Finch..
Friday 11 I go to school to-day for the first day this week.
A.Hendrick and J. Little from Trenton call here this
evening and Harvey and they go over to Uncle
Hendrick and Little – unknown.
Saturday 12 Our Mission Band met to-day. I get “10 novels
complete” in the store that Pa hid. Pa and Harvey
have kind of a racket to-night. Raining in afternoon.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Sunday 13 Pa tells Harvey that he is going to send him away
Monday morning. Stuart went over to Uncle John’s
to-day. I give Harvey a dollar.
Monday 14 I go to school. William Hilts started to school to-
day. Harvey went to Toronto.
Roy is probably referring to the 13
year old William, son of Henry and
Rebecca Hilts.
Tuesday 15 Play football at school to-day.
Stuart and I go to town in the wagon and Aunt
Jennie and Annie in the buggy. They do not get a
lunch for us in town and we break into the bread
and sugar.
Thursday 17 We go to school. Mr. Douglass tells us that he
might report our monthly examinations in the
paper. Aunt Jennie gets a letter from Harvey.
Friday 18 We have our examination on History to-day. Hyle
and Flora Beaton and I are the only ones there to
write as it was the last Friday. Albert Fleming gets
home from the Exhibition and brings a letter from
Harvey to Aunt Jennie saying that he got a situation
in a bookstore @ $2 a week. Board $3.
Hyle (or John R.H. Beaton) was 11
and his sister Flora 14. Their
parents were William and Janet
Albert Fleming is Albert Edwin
Charles "AE" son of Roy's uncle
John Fleming and his wife
Margaret Robertson.
Exhibition is the Canadian National
Exhibition in Toronto
Saturday 19 Pa gets a letter from Harvey. Alfred J. Reid came
down this afternoon to play with me. We get some
Alfred J. Reid - unknown
Sunday 20 Stuart and I got to the Presbyterian Church tonight.
Presbyterian church was in the village of Kilsyth, a
little further west of Disciples Church.
Now Kilsyth United Church
Monday 21 This week is count week in post office. I mail about
½ doz letters for cards etc. Emma Green started
going to school to-day.
Emma Green - unknown
Tuesday 22 We are fooling with Johnny Frankish to-day. Stuart
was in town to-day. Got a 1 cent scribbler for
Johnny Frankish - unknown
Wednesday Stuart making a scrap book for “Mission Box”
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
23 tonight. Got through our work very late.
Thursday 24 I take my stamp album to school to-day.
Friday 25 Examination on Grammar to-day.
Saturday 26 They are fixing the sidewalk to-day. Mission Band
met to-day. Minnie was not there but Mrs Herald
took the lead.
Sunday 27 Mr. W.A. McLean (Presbyterian Church) preaches
his farewell sermon. I go down to hear him.
Monday 28 A detective was at the store tonight and Saturday
Tuesday 29 I get a licken to-day for whispering in school.
I go to school. Nothing particular. I go to prayer
meeting tonight and Christian Endevour Society.
Mr. McLean was presented with a purse of about
Extreme change in handwriting.
Date Entry Comments
Thursday 1 I got two demerit marks at school to-day.
Friday 2 Alex Sinclair and I were caught eating an apple in
school. I get some stamps from J.D. Nichols in a
registered letter.
Saturday 3 Stuart and I were fixing the fence by the grove.
Sunday 4 Mr Lediard preached this afternoon at 3 o’clock.
Jennie Robinson was over at our place from Mrs.
Herald. Also P. Kinchen from this place.
Monday 5 Go to school usually.
Tuesday 6 I stay home this forenoon in the store with Aunt
Jennie. The fellows get some cards at school.
Wednesday 7 I go to school. Alex Sinclair is not there to-day.
Stuart and Pa went to town to-day.
Thursday 8 I finish drawing the map of Ontario this morning. I
do not go to school. This is the first day of the show
Show is probably the Kilsyth fall fair
organized by Derby Agricultural
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
and I show my map and take the first prize because
mine was the only one there. We also show some
apples. Stuart and I are training Met to-day to be
ready for tomorrow. Very few things at show.
Friday 9 Second day of show. I write in Town Hall. I only get
prize. Stuart shows Meg in Dan McCallum’s
buggy. I go to a concert tonight. Jno Ramsay leads
it (same man as last year). I saw the wax figure of
Birchall at show.
McCallums had the farm lot 4
concession 5.
Roy got 3rd
prize for penmanship.
Saturday 10 Stuart and Pa go to town and bring some butter
and eggs to Mr Matthews Steward CPR. Mission
Band today but I can’t go.
Sunday 11 Mr Lediard preaches as usual in the afternoon.
Alfred Reid and I pick beech nuts before church.
Out driving with Aunt Jennie. I write to Mrs. Ray.
Monday 12 Alex Sinclair and I are made to sit apart for me
throwing a piece of paper with Euclid on it to Alex
and he is copying it off when the master catches
Tuesday 13 Harvey came home from Toronto to-day. Jennie
Agnew is sick.
Picking beech nuts at noon. Raining in afternoon.
Thursday 15 First day of teacher’s convention in Owen Sound.
No school. Stay in the house in forenoon. Fixing
barn in afternoon.
Friday 16 Second day teacher’s convention. Working at
potatoes. 15 rows done.
Saturday 17 Working at potatoes. Did not get them done.
Warmer to-day than yesterday.
Sunday 18 Go to all the meetings to-day. Out for a drive with
Aunt Jennie.
Monday 19 Raining to-day.
Tuesday 20 I leave my books on a pile of posts this morning
and Douglass sends me for them at about 11 am.
Harvey went in to town to-day to go to College.
Harvey attended the Northern
Business College in Owen Sound
run by C.A. Fleming and may have
boarded with C.A. and his family.
Wednesday -
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Thursday 22 I don’t know my poetry “The Bard” at school. Mr
Lee (traveler) was at store to-day and told me he
would give me a $ if I would get him 5 or 6 lbs of
Friday 23 Threshing at our place in afternoon. I went over to
Sinclair’s on Meg to ask Angus. Stay home to-day. A
year ago to-day was the last day I ever saw
Mamma alive.
Angus was a brother of Alex’s.
On this date in 1890 Lyda went to
Marquette Mi. USA to see a
specialist. Her brother-in-law Fred
Read, husband of Lyda’s late sister,
Annie, lived in Marquette. Fred
paid for her medical care at Dr
Kellogg’s sanatorium at Battle
Saturday 24 We were threshing until about 10 am. Machine
then goes to Sinclairs. I am 13 years old to-day.
Smaller farms did not have their
own threshing machines. Travelling
threshers would go from farm to
farm with the equipment and
labourers to do the threshing for a
Sunday 25 Jim Fenton and I picked beech nuts before
afternoon meeting.
Monday 26 Aunt Jennie and Mr Herald went to town to-day. George Herald, married to Bella.
Tuesday 27 Very cold to-day. Alex Sinclair was not at school
yesterday nor to-day.
Thursday 29 Came home at recess to take up potatoes.
Friday 30 Pa, Stuart, and I went in to town tonight to hear
Crossley and Hunter in Presbyterian Church.
Monthly examination on grammar to-day.
Rev H T Crossley and the Rev John
E Hunter were evangelists from St
Thomas in Southern Ontario.
Saturday 31 Working at turnips in afternoon. I get a letter and a
pair of mitts from Mrs. Ray as a present for my
birthday. Her letter said that she and her husband
were travelling and now they were in San Diego.
Apparently the Rays travelled. Was
this his only present?
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Sunday 1 Mr Lediard preached this Sunday in church and
gave us an invitation. I put hymn books in seats in
church. We meet J. A. Horning walking to church.
Monday 2 Mrs Sinclair (mother of Alex, Arch, Ronald etc) died
tonight at 11pm. We start working stocks to-day in
This was Sarah Sinclair, 85, Alex’s
grandmother. She lived in Sullivan
Tuesday 3 Stuart and I sent five names tonight to the Youth’s
Companion to try to get subscribers and in return
they will send us a book.
Wednesday 4 I am home to-day from school. Stuart and I finish
topping turnips and we haul half of these in.
Thursday 5 That fellow at Redfern’s store “Fred” started off in
middle of last night with some things that he stole
out of Redfern’s store. Mr Redfern and Mr Reid
catch Fred up at Stoddards swamp. Mr Jamison
(Presbyterian Minister) was at school to-day and
gave us a kind of speech for about ½ hr.
Redfern’s store on Poulett St. in
Owen Sound sold meal, stoves, and
ships’ chandlery.
Ad in diary: Redfern & LePan are
direct importers of shelf and heavy
hardware, ship chandlery, stoves
etc etc. Steam, gas and hot water
fitters. Manufacturers of all kinds
of sheet metal ware.
Also a D.R. Redfern – dealer in
general groceries all kinds of fruit
in season. Also fancy goods etc etc.
Friday 6 Examination on arithmetic. I do the whole six
Saturday 7 Stuart and I cover the turnip pit.
Sunday 8 Percy Kinchen was over to-day. Also Maggie
Kinchen. Mr. Lediard gives an invitation and I came
The invitation is to be baptized. In
the Disciples church members are
baptized at confirmation. See entry
11 Nov.
Monday 9 Send a letter to Jim Wallace asking him to
subscribe to the Youth’s Companion. Also I send a
letter to W.E. Skinner, coin broker, Boston, asking
him whether he deals in English and Canadian
coins. Stuart and Pa went to Tara with a load of
Tuesday 10 We have notes on “The Bard” for our high school
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
reader lesson. Stuart went to Tara with another
load of pease. Raining to-day.
Pa, Stuart and I go to town to Disciple prayer
meeting. Mr Lediard’s son and I are baptized at the
church. Cousin Jennie Agnew started to Rochester
Baptism in Disciples Church is by
compete immersion.
Jean Alexandrina Agnew, aka
"Jennie", was almost 30 years old
and perhaps was going there to
work. She later lived in Buffalo.
Thursday 12 To-day is Thanksgiving. Stuart and Percy were out
shooting in Kinchen’s bush. Starts to snow to-day.
Canadian celebrated American
Thanksgiving in November. Date
was changed to October in 1957.
Friday 13 Stuart went to Tara this morning with pease. A lot
of snow this morning.
Saturday 14 Stuart and I went to Tara to-day with more pease.
Got back about dark.
Sunday 15 This is the last Sunday that Mr. Lediard will preach
Monday 16 When I got up this morning I see that the snow is
pretty deep.
Tuesday 17 Still snowing. I do not know my verses “To a
Highland Girl”
By Wm Wordsworth
Aunt Jennie drives us to school this morning in the
Thursday 19 Aunt Jennie drove us to school again. Do not know
my verses.
Friday 20 I send a letter to Mrs. Ray and one to auntie Finch.
Stuart and I got to the debate in town hall.
Resolved that Burns was greater a poet than Sir
Walter Scott. Negatives beat. Examination on
geography. He gives us our arithmetic. I get 100.
A.S. gets 84
A.S. is Alex Sinclair
Saturday 21 Mission Band met to-day at Uncle James’ house.
Raining and thawing.
Sunday 22 Still raining. Mr Lister preached for us this Sunday.
Monday 23 Norma and I have a scuffle in the mud.
Tuesday 24 Pa and I have to take the potatoes out of the water
in the cellar tonight.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Turns cold again.
Thursday 26 Thawing this afternoon.
Friday 27 Examination on grammar to-day. I think I di pretty
well at it. Mr Douglass gave us our history paper. I
get 68 and A.S. gets 86.
Saturday 28 Stuart and I haul out manure to cover the turnip pit
and the rhubarb and flowers.
Sunday 29 Mr. Lister preaches again to-day.
Monday 30 We are skating at school to-day. Pretty good ice.
Date Entry Comments
Tuesday 1 Skating again to-day. I know my poetry to-day. Six
pairs of skates there to-day.
Wednesday 2 Still skating at school.
Thursday 3 Thawing to-day. Ruth brings her skates to-day. Five
other pair.
Friday 4 Examination in stocks in arithmetic also two
examples in factoring in algebra.
Saturday 5 No mission band to-day because Minnie was not
Sunday 6 Our mission band met to-day. Fifteen there. Our
mission band will meet on Sunday after this.
Monday 7 Geography on South America to-day.
Tuesday 8 We have “the Raven” to-day as our lesson. By Edgar Allan Poe
Wednesday 9 We were snowballing at school. Walter Ferris got
his eye hurt at school with a snowball. Alex Sinclair
was not at school to-day.
Thursday 10
Friday 11 Examination on geography to-day. I think I did
pretty well. Missed one question entirely.
Saturday 12 Stuart and I are hauling out manure. Get four loads
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Sunday 13 I do not stay at morning meeting to-day.
Monday 14
Tuesday 15
There was to be practise at Heralds to-night only
one there. Sam and Norman.
Thursday 17
Friday 18 Examination on history to-day. (Geo III reign). Get
some stamps from J.S. Nichols, Berwick, N.S. Go to
the practice tonight at Mrs. Heralds. Sam, Norman
and I are going to sing “Old Mother Slipper
See lyrics and music.
Saturday 19 Stuart and I hauled wood to-day in forenoon and
we train the colt to-day, “Billy”.
Sunday 20 I go to Sunday school and church as usual. Miss
Mary Fulton came out with Mr. Lister. Mission
band met this afternoon.
Monday 21 A daughter of Mr Rodgers (aged 4 years) died early
this morning. Announced in school.
Tuesday 22 Funeral of girl above to-day at 1 pm
Thursday 24
Friday 25 The Scottish did not celebrate
Christmas in the 1800s
Saturday 26 Mrs. Lewis Graham gave birth to a daughter about
3 pm this afternoon.
Sunday 27 Went to church to-day as usual. Collection for
Women’s work in …. Write to Mrs Ray, San Diego,
704 Third St – Ca.
Monday 28 Nomination at Town Hall to-day.
For Reeve Jas Cochrane, R.A. Stark, Wm Breen.
For deputy reeve Alex Garvie, Harness.
For Councilllor Lauchlin Beaton, John Henry Moore,
Jno Robertson, R. Henderson, …, Saul Riely
Tuesday 29 Stuart and I haul to line fence.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Date Entry Comments
Thursday 31 Went to prayer meeting at Heralds tonight. Mrs.
Alex Finch came out with C.A. Fleming last tonight.
Harry and I wash some clothes this afternoon.
Mrs Alex Finch was Sophia Emily
De Le Ree who married Alexander
Heanage Finch. A.H. Finch was a
Disciples minister.
Diary of Roy F. Fleming – transcribed with notes
Fleming Family Tree
Isabella (Bell)
“Auntie Finch”
Janet (Jessie)
“Aunt Jessie”
James “Uncle
James” 1830-
John “Uncle
John” 1830-1909
Donald “Uncle
Donald” 1834-
William 1837-
Charles 1840-
m Abraham
m James Agnew
“Uncle Agnew”
m Grace
m Margaret
m Anne Garvie m Esther Flower m Elizabeth
Anne Williams
m Lyda Warren
- Isabella (Bella)
1849-? m George
“Mrs Herald”
- Jessie 1850-
1873 m James
Hunter Trout
- many more
- William
- Mary
- John
- George
- Jean (Jennie)
- Simon
- Herbert 1867-
- Milton
- others
- Alexander
- Jessie
- Jean Stewart
- Robert
- Clara Grace
- Margaret
Florence Alberta
- James Alfred
- Minerva
“Minnie” 1868-
- Martha Emma
- Mary Ella
- John William
- Ernest Stewart
- Christopher
Alexander (C.A.)
- Mary Jane
1852-1942 m
- Jessie Melissa
1852-1950 m
Samuel Brown
- Anna Isabella
- Victoria (Vickie)
- John William
- Albert Edwin
(AE) 1871-1956
- Thomas Alfred
Robertson (TA)
- William
- Alexander
- John
- Joseph
- Albert
- Jessie
- Margaret Jane
- David James
- Bertha
- Ernest
- Florence 1863-
- Sidney A. 1865-
- Christina A.
(Chris) 1867-
-many more
- 5 children - Harvey 1872-?
- Stuart 1877-
- Roy 1878-1958
- Ruth 1882-1971
- Annie – 1885-?
Corrections January 12, 2017

Transcription Progress



Roy Fleming Diary, 1891.pdf
Roy Fleming 1891 Diary Transcripts.pdf


“Roy F. Fleming Diary & Transcription, 1891,” Rural Diary Archive, accessed July 17, 2024,
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