Anna M. Fahnestock

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Biographical Information:

1863 Philadelphia City Directory: Anna Mary Fahnestock, gentlewoman, 1804 Arch St.

Diaries 1869-1871: Historical Society of Philadelphia Call Number: MS.Coll.1185

Mother of George W. Fahnestok of Philadelphia

Presented by Bernard Bunting Wolff

153 W. Highland Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Excerpts from the diaries are in green text.

Jan. 1, 1869: reader learns that her husband, son, and granddaughter have recently died.

Later learn that her son (George) and granddaughter (Grace) either burned or drowned on a boat accident on the Ohio River, Dec. 4, 1868

Steamboats Collide on Ohio River

Anna is religious, she talks about God in her diaries. She shares her thoughts on God, while the other women only mention going to Church every week.

Jan. 9, 1869: recording her accounts occasionally….here “signed check 30-5 $344.62”, shows how she is taking over finances after her husband and sons deaths. She is also very concerned about all of the bills constantly coming in.

April 1, 1869: one of the many days she is taking breakfast in bed. Often complains that she does not feel well, also appears to be very depressed/mourning her deceased relatives.

April 19, 1869: “I have so much on my mind that I cannot sleep.” Interesting that she states this…though she never indulges her readers with the details of what is bothering her. Interesting to compare to Wharton’s diaries, which are much more compelling to read and have less repetitive content.

Sun. April 25, 1869: often spends time reading in the library after church (can assume this is her own personal library?)

Fri. April 30, 1869: her birthday.,.”time is fleeting, eternity is near, another year to account for and one less to live and one nearer to my eternal home.”

May 5, 1869: Anniversary of daughter Mary’s death

Fri. May 7, 1869: a friend called to renew her subscription to the Bible Society…this probably means that Fahnestock is a member.

Fri. May 21: mentions Peter her gardener….apparently she has 3 total gardeners

Tues. May 31, 1869: mentions that she drove home from cemetery via School House Lane….often notes routes taken on her excursions.

June 4, 1869: distressed over 6 month anniversary of son and granddaughters death. Mentions that her granddaughter would have been 21, she was born June 4, 1848.

“Now they have all gone and I only am left to mourn their loss.”

June 5, 1869: complaining that all she does is “lay out money”

Mon. June 7, 1869: mentions that family mausoleum is at Laurel Hill cemetery…”tomb where my loved ones rest.”

June 25, 1869: had trunks taken to Vine Street wharf….trip anticipated? Also Edward went with her to Atlantic City (and a Miss. Stuart)…they stayed here for a while…..subsequent mentions of times at the “shore”

July 26, 1869: traveled to Mr. Henry Charra Cresson’s house in Allegheny Mts, Blair County, Pa….stayed here through August.

Sept. 29, 1869: arrived in Pittsburgh, PA

Oct. 29, 1869: Renewed insurance policy with help of Edward….she is always distressed when writing about these events and finances….shows her discomfort with dealing with these matters.

Nov.4, 1869: went to John Dick’s Nursery to buy plants

Nov. 16, 1969: went to Lancaster with Nephew…appears to be visiting her ill sister.

Dec. 20, 1869: went to Custom House with Edward and Brother B to sign her name to enable Edward to lift the interest in gold and sell it at J. Cook’s Co.

(Jan. 1 1870…left off with this entry…resume reading)