Abby’s entries from July and August 1867 continue:
Tuesday July 30: Willie M. came up in the evening and we laughed so that I got tired. Sammie was full of fun.
Wednesday 31: EWD 19th birthday. My hair has commenced to fall out. I shan’t dare to comb it at all.
Thursday August 1: Mr. F. spent the evening with us. When he came Clara and I were singing as hard as we could upstairs. We thought it is not (?) and so sung harder. How we laughed afterwards.
(no entries Aug. 2 – 9)
Most of Abby’s friends (girls as well as boys) were members of Andover’s “mill” families – children and grandchildren of the town’s prosperous mill owners – and Elijah Winchester Donald was no exception. He was the son of William Donald, a Scottish immigrant who owned an ink factory in Andover’s Frye Village. And while most of Abby’s friends grew up to become (or in the girls’ cases to marry) industrialists themselves, Winchester Donald took a different path.
Born on July 31, 1848 (and named after Elijah Winchester, the rector of Andover’s Free Church of which his father had been one of the original members), E. Winchester Donald graduated from Punchard Free School in 1865. In the summer of 1867, he had just completed his sophomore year at Amherst College. The Andover Advertiser reported that he had won a prestigious speaking prize at the college. Around this time, he (like Abby and her sister Louise among other young people in Andover) developed an attraction to the Episcopal Church.
After his graduation from Amherst in 1869, he attended the Union Theological Seminary in New York City which had been founded by Presbyterians, but was even in the 19th century decidedly ecumenical. Donald couldn’t have chosen any place more ideologically different from Andover’s “Brimstone” Hill. He served (from 1882-1892) as the rector of New York City’s fashionable Church of the Ascension on Fifth Avenue in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, before accepting a call to Boston’s Trinity Church, where he was the successor of the famous (North Andover native) Phillips Brooks.
Abby was friendly with the Donalds well into adulthood, long after they had all married and had children. As a young mother, Abby lived next door to Mary Jane Donald (who had married John Wesley Churchill). Photos of E. Winchester Donald and his brother Willie (dating to the 1890s) are included in her family’s albums that are now in the Andover Historical Society’s collection.