JUNE 14, 1893 – My wife, children and I have returned from Chicago after a most memorable vacation which I am sure has left an unforgettable impression upon us all.
We made the trip to the great Illinois city on a most luxurious train of our Railroad, which is even equipped with electric lights, a source of constant amazement to the youngest of the three children.
This phase of the trip was most educational, of course, but for memories that linger, I am sure that both my oldest son and myself prefer another "exhibit" at the fair, a young dancer whose performances are the talk of Chicago. The young lady so lithe of limb and fair of face is called "Little Egypt."
Chicago itself is a bustling city with more than one million inhabitants. Electrically operated streetcars, installed there three years ago, have proved a boon to those sore of feet.
FEBRUARY 16, 1898 – The newspaper today is filled with accounts of an event which seems likely to plunge this country into war. The U. S. battleship Maine yesterday was blown up in the harbor at Havana, Cuba, by the Spaniards with an appalling loss of life.
JULY 6,1898 – There was good news for the family tonight! I had the pleasure of informing them that the master of the house no longer is an ordinary telegrapher. He has just been promoted to train dispatcher. We celebrated by attending the moving pictures operated by Mr. Hayes next to Sawyer's Saloon on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis. One of the pictures showed a train arriving at Calais from Paris, a most educational scene for all of us.
AUGUST 13, 1898 – The nation again is at peace, delegates of this country and Spain only yesterday having signed a protocol through which we gain possession of a great body of islands in the Pacific, the Philippines, reputedly rich in natural resources.
Now that the war is ended, I feel confident that our Railroad will again concentrate on western expansion. Who knows but what I may live to see the day when ours will be "a route to the sea."
NOVEMBER 5, 1899 – We are a quiet and subdued family tonight after saying goodbye to our eldest son. He has decided it is time that home ties be broken so that he can find his own niche in the world.
We accompanied him to the railroad station where he boarded a train for Aberdeen, South Dakota. He intends to go to work there for a merchant whom he met in Minneapolis.
His mother and I attempted to dissuade him in the hope he would remain at home another year or two but I had no answer when he smiled and reminded me that he now is the same age I was when I quit the farm at Milwaukee nearly a quarter of a century ago.