The Diary of Lizzie Dopps
1925 I became a resident member of the Washington Veterans' Home.
I had become a member, but not a resident member, some years
before that, and came here for a sort of vacation a few weeks at a time.
had a friend, Mrs. Fassett--now gone to her heavenly home a
number of years ago. Her
husband and my dear Eli had been very close friends, comrades in the
G.A.R. Soon after Mr. Fassett passed away, Mrs. Fassett
became a resident member of the Home, and often extolled the pleasures
and conveniences of the place.
papa died and before I came to the Home to live, Jessie and I had
an apartment together. It
was nice being with my girl, but no place seemed like home with papa
gone. Soon after Eli's
death I was severely hurt. Jessie
and I were moving from one apartment to another and the drayman left the
phonograph out of the load. I
ran after him (the first time I ever ran after a man) stepped in a ditch
and fell (first time I was ever picked up out of the gutter too.)
rushed me to the hospital, and the doctor said I had dislocated my
shoulder, one of the worst dislocations he had ever seen.
suffered tortures for months, in fact it was years before it was fully
well, but I kept working with my shoulder after the soreness was gone
and I am glad to say very little stiffness was left.
my shoulder was better, I went back to Norton on a visit for a few
months. It was nice, people
were so good to me and glad to see me, and I enjoyed it, but I was
lonely, so many landmarks bringing back vivid memories of the life there
with my loved one. Ellen
was gone too. She passed
away in 1914.
my return to Tacoma Jessie and I again had an apartment together.
It was then that Mrs. Fassett urged me to become a
resident member of the Home. Why
not? I had always enjoyed
my short sojourns or vacations there.
I was entitled to this.
did not feel, and never have felt, that this was charity.
If one made a business contract to do some risky work for another
party, no one would think it strange for that one to accept a big price
for his risky work.
husband with others went out in his youth in the Civil War and risked
nearly his whole life that there might be peace, happiness and safety
for others. They didn't ask
any pay for this, but why shouldn't they receive some compensation?
now I feel that through his hardships in the army and the risk he was
willing to take, all this is now being paid for by the pension I receive
and this place in the Home he has provided for me.
girls at first objected to me making my home here, and wanted me to live
with them. Even now they
and my two dear sons-in-law would be glad to have me with them.
am often with them making them nice visits, but they have, their own
homes and own family life, and this little room I have in the Home, I
feel like papa has provided for me is my own little niche, my own
am so comfortable in it with my own little desk, floor lamp, radio and
all, although there are times when I am lonely.
Then I get out my old letters, cards and pictures and lose myself
in memories--a silent visit with those who have passed on as well as
those who remain here on this earth but cannot be with, and then my
have always my God with me, and He comforts me.
my life I have longed to bring comfort to those who need it, but in my
busy days I did not find the time to do all I wanted to do.
Here I have the time and my Lord has given me the strength to
bring comfort and happiness to many.
every day I did go to the hospital and read to the blind and sick or
hold some palsied hand or smooth some pain away, and oh, how I have
loved this work. I cannot
go as often as I did a few years ago, but I still visit the sick in the
life has been full both of gladness and sorrow, but it seems to me life
is like a flower that needs both sunshine and rain to bring out its
fragrance, so life needs the sunshine of happiness and a few showers of
the tears of sorrow to bring out its sweetness.
day as I was sewing carpet rags for a rug, my daughter Jessie was
to make, I felt very lonely and thought to myself, "Why am I left
on this earth any longer? My
life's work is done and I am so lonely without my beloved one."
Just then I picked up a bright red piece and thought it would
help brighten up the somber ones and I seemed to hear a voice as
distinctly as could be say, "That is why you are left here on
earth. Like this bright
piece of cloth, you can brighten up the somber lives of others by your
visits to the sick and needy."
It made me feel so much better to realize my God still has work
for me to do.
repeat these verses over to myself nearly every day.
mis-numbered in the original document, should actually be Chapter 18
|© 2006 Laurie Arnold. All material presented herein was transcribed or otherwise provided by Laurie Arnold from the unpublished text of the diary, family photos and personal genealogy. She and her family have graciously given permission for the diary to be posted to the Norton County Kansas GenWeb website, for the benefit of others who had pioneer families in Norton County, Kansas. This diary, photos and personal genealogy may not be reproduced, published or re-published for any reason, in any format, without prior written consent of the contributors or copyright holders. web design © 2006 Ardie Grimes|