<-Cora Bellinger Kilts, widow of Willard kept the diaries and never remarried after Willard's death. She moved back with her parents and her brother and his family for several years. When her niece, my Grandmother, Leta Bellinger married William Ira Timmerman, Cora moved into Grandpa Timmerman's house, to Manheim Center Farm in 1911. She helped with the house work and caring for the children - Ira and my father, Harold. Cora was always ready to go to any relative to help with illness, childbirth, or house cleaning. Many relatives were helped by her and all through her lifetime with documentation of their ancestry. She and Grandma Leta Timmerman were DAR members.
As a child, I recognized Aunt Cora or "Tory" as we children called her, as an extension of our immediate family. I had my Mother & Father and sister and brother and Grandpa Timmerman (Will) and Tory. Mom took care of all of us in that 14 room house with 2 huge hallways, a huge attic with lots of interesting stored possessions, plus the full cellar - which was a great place to play on a cold winter's day. In summer, we had the attached shed with the car garage below for rainy days, and the whole farm to explore on sunny summer days.
I now wish that I had been older when Aunt Cora was living as I have so many questions that I wish I could ask her. She left us her husband's diaries and her own for a glimpse into her life. These diaries were kept by Aunt Cora and after her death had just been stored for many years. My sister, Sarah Israel and I decided to try to type them up. I was not working so had some time to work on them. They are hard to read due to age and poor ink quality. I have enjoyed working on them and typing them for all to enjoy. Willard was very meticulous with descriptions of his business dealings when he first took over the Kilts family business. There is a great deal of history on those pages!
Aunt Cora must have loved Willard very much. Even though I was a young child when she died, I remember her stories about life on the Kilts' farm. She remained close to the Kilts' extended family members throughout her life. The upkeep of the Kilts family plot in the Old Yellow Church Cemetery, was very important to her. I can remember going there in the springtime to work - or rather my father did the work while we children played. My mother took over the planting of the urn when Aunt Cora became too feeble to do that. I am now a trustee and secretary of the Old Yellow Church Cemetery Association. I feel that she would be pleased.
I'm sure that many of the older readers will recognize names, as well as businesses in the area - some only recently gone - and others, which made Little Falls the Cheese Market Center of the World. In the most part, the words were transcribed verbatem from the original writing of Willard. However I did add some words to make sentences for better continuity and ease in reading.
Return to the Opening Page of Willard Kilts' Diary
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