150 Years Ago Amanda Wilson Wrote — March 8 – 14, 1861

Posted on Monday, March 7th, 2011

Amanda Wilson had trouble keeping reliable maids.

150 Years Ago Amanda Wilson Wrote –

A selection of her journal entires written exactly 150 years ago.

March 8 (Fri.): A very dusty windy day. Lizzie [German maid] left me. Rode to Fulton and found another girl who came in the evening a little after 6 o’clock.[1] Much disappointment that Husband did not get home. What is life without him! Minnie called about 5 minutes. I went over to Sallie’s with my sewing. Little Fan came over and slept with me. But little sleep. Evening practiced music lesson.

March 10 (Sun.): A very cold morning. John Wilson called and spent the greater portion of the forenoon.[2] Obed walked with him to the boat. Spent the day at home happily with Husband, reading, talking, etc. Miss Harriet Bell, Caroline, and Fannie came over to tea and spent the evening. Retired early and slept well. How thankful for the blessings of life!

March 11 (Mon.): Awakened about 6, up and in the girl’s room and found her gone. Cooked breakfast and had it on the table by half past 7. Suppose ‘Biddie’ got homesick and felt ashamed to acknowledge it and stole off after tea without a word to anybody. What a class of hirelings of this City! Another girl today: [she] comes highly recommended.[3] I walked down in town and rode home.

March 13 (Wed.): Took music lesson. A pleasant day for March. Busy at home all forenoon. Afternoon, went out with Sallie and Fannie. Did a little shopping, and called at the store to see Obed.[4] A very pleasant walk. Mrs. Eustice called. Evening, Husband and I called upon Mr. and Mrs. Evans, and stopped at Sallie’s a few moments on our return.[5]


[1] Cincinnati Daily Commercial, 8 Mar 1861, p. 3. There was a continual demand for maids, as evidenced by a constant stream of ads. The following is an example: “WANTED – A GIRL – To cook, wash, iron, and do general house work. One who is willing to do her work well and can give good recommendations can get a good situation at 270 West 4th St.”

[2] John Wilson was a brother of Obed Wilson. He was born in 1834, lived in a boarding house in downtown Cincinnati, and worked as a machinist.

[3] Cincinnati Daily Commercial, 11 Mar 1861, p. 3. Another ad for a German maid; “WANTED – GIRL – A good German girl to do general housework in a small family. Apply at 131 Clinton St.”

[4] Ford, Henry, and Kate Ford. History of Cincinnati, Ohio, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches (Cincinnati: L.A. Williams and Co., 1881), p. 273. Obed Wilson’s business, which was called Sargent, Wilson, and Hinkle, in 1861 was located on Walnut and Baker Streets, below Third. This book store had originally been founded about 1830, by Winthrop B. Smith.

[5] Williams’ Cincinnati Directory: City Guide and Business Mirror for 1860 (Cincinnati: C.S. Williams, 1860) p. 137. Mrs. Evans was the wife of David Evans, who worked as an insurance agent for Ohio Life, located at 68 W 3rd St. The Evans family resided at 223 Richmond St.

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