Friday, November 16, 2007

Aline Stem’s “First Book of Essays”

Before Aline Stem graduated from Sandusky High School in 1862, she kept a notebook of essays, beginning September 14, 1859. Aline was the daughter of Jesse Stem, a Seneca County lawyer, and his wife Matilda Pittenger Stem. She was the niece of Anna Pittenger McMeens, wife of Dr. Robert R. McMeens. After Jesse Stem was tragically killed in Texas in 1854, Mrs. Stem and her four daughters moved in Sandusky.

Here is an essay written by Aline Stem on Nov. 9, 1859:


“The Woods”

How pleasant it is in the woods in summer, when every thing is bright and green around!

It is such a grand place for picnics, berrying parties, or any thing of that kind; and here we find thousands of beautifull [sic] flowers scattered all around us; daisies, butterups, violets, forgetmenots, spring-beauties, sweet Williams and many others.

And if we go out some bright morning in Autumn after a shower, we may find a basket of truffles, or mushrooms as some call them, which make a very nice dish for breakfast.

Sandusky City
Nov. 9th, 1859
Composition No. 5

Opposite Aline’s essay on “The Woods,” are two conundrums.

Why is Frank Parish like a learned man?
Ans. Because he knows (nose) so much.

Why is Dr. McMeens like a rich man?
Ans. Because he is a man of “Meens”

In 1881, Aline Stem was married to Christian Hornung, a math professor at Heidelberg College in Tiffin. After Professor Hornung died in 1918, Aline often spent time with her sister Sarah Stem in Sandusky. It is at her sister’s home where she passed away in 1934.
Mr. and Mrs. Hornung are buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Tiffin, Ohio.

No comments: