Dr. Victor Halbert Diary (1945 - 1946)

This transcript is taken from a handwritten diary of my grandfather,  Dr. Victor B. Halbert, a long time Sylvania, Ohio physician.  Dr. Halbert was born May 18, 1885 in New York State.  He and Maude Hutchinson was married in 1909, and had 2 sons, Robert and Frederick.  When the sons were 14 and 16 years old, Victor and Maude decided to adopt a baby girl, my mother.  Dr. Halbert knew a doctor in Pennsylvania who had a baby girl whose mother had died in childbirth in 1928.  Dr. Halbert went by horse and buggy and adopted the baby, and they named her Suzette.   

Dr. Halbert was originally from New York state.   After graduation from medical school, he and his family decided to move west and open a medical practice.  His initial plan was to move to California.  He ran out of money in Sylvania!  Luckily for Sylvania, he never left. 

The family members referenced in the diary are:

  • VBH - Victor Browne Halbert
  • Maude - Victor's wife
  • Robert - Victor & Maude's oldest son Robert
  • Mary Louise - Robert's wife
  • Victor & Kathleen - Robert and Mary Louise's children (Robt. also referred to as VLH)
  • Frederick - Victor and Maude's other son Frederick Halbert (also referred to as FWH)
  • Suzette - Victor's daughter Suzette
  • MacTavish - the family dog - a Scotty
  • Cleo - the housekeeper
  • The Carrolls - Chuck & Mary Carroll - Chuck owned Carroll Motor Sales which was located across from Sautter's Grocery where the Wingate now stands.
  • Colleen - Colleen Carroll, Chuck & Mary's daughter (later Colleen Fenstemacher)

Dr. Halbert's family lived at 6606 Erie St., at the corner of Main and Erie Streets.  This is the house that was destroyed in a fire just before Christmas, 2009.  Dr. Halbert ran his practice out of this home for many years before opening an office on Summit St., in the professional building.  He delivered thousands of babies and was a general practitioner, making house calls on horse and buggy and later automobile. In addition to the house at Main & Erie, the Halberts also owned a cottage at Devils Lake, Michigan. 

This diary was kept in 1945-1946.  Most of the entries were made by Dr. Halbert, and some by his wife, Maude.  During this time, son Robert, his wife and 2 young children lived in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Frederick was away in World War II as the war was coming to an end, Fred's wife Marjorie lived in Toledo, and Suzette was ending her junior year and going into her senior year at Burnham High School.  She graduated in 1946. 

The diary gives an insight into life in Sylvania in the 40's, comments on the ending of World War II, and is also interesting in that Dr. Halbert also mentions the names of several babies he delivered during that time! 

I hope you enjoy this trip back into the history of Sylvania... 

Victoria (Vicki) Smith Stebel
Granddaughter of Dr. Victor Halbert


Sunday, March 25, 1945:  (VBH)

Warm - sunshine.  At cottage with the Carroll's.  Suzette and Colleen went for short swim in Devil's Lake.

Thursday, April 12, 1945:  (VBH)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt died at Warm Springs, GA.

Sunday, April 15, 1945:  (VBH)

Put in furnace gas heater.

Wednesday, April 18, 1945:  (VBH)

Received air mail letter from Frederick at Payne Field, Egypt dated 4-8-45 (#1 letter after furlough in Palestine.)

Thursday, April 19, 1945:  (VBH)

Temp 30 F at 7 a.m. - clear cool all day.  Top coats in order.  Mother and dad wrote to F.W.H.  Suzette phoned to Adrian.  Maude phoned to Indianapolis.

Saturday, April 21, 1945:  (VBH)

Weather cold, cloudy, temp. 50 at noon.  Maude preparing to go to Indianapolis to see Robert., Mary Louise, Victor and Kathleen and Lulu Hxxxxx who is staying post-operatively with Esther Rxxx who was operated on at Methodist Hospital April 14.

Sunday, April 22, 1945:  (VBH)

10 a.m. sunshine, temp 40.

Maude left Union Station in Toledo on time 1:20 a.m.  Suzette and I returned home to bed about 2 a.m.  Morning papers show Russians have entered Berlin.  Rose too late for church.  Too cool to go to lake and work.  Suzette and other girls went for horseback ride at Secor Rd. Armory.  I went to hospital and for a walk along creek with Mac.  To dinner at the Chinese restaurant.  Sprayed lawn and Suzette and I saw The Seventh Cross at the Sylvan with Spencer Tracy.  Sun. eve.  Lunch - cinnamon toast and tea.

Tuesday, April 24, 1945:  (VBH)

Periodic drizzling rain and fog.  Card from Maude telling of safe arrival in Indianapolis Sunday morning.  Suzette prepared a good dinner.

Wednesday, April 25, 1945:  (VBH)

Wound up work and left for cottage at 2:10.  Cleaned up yard, set out phlox and two blue spruce removed from Sylvania lawn.  Left lake at 7 p.m. and listened en route to opening of peace conference in San Francisco.  Suzette and I were at dinner when Mr. and Mrs. Wood from Adrian called.  Wrote card to Maude and letter to Frederick.

Thursday, April 26, 1945:  (VBH)

This is D-Day; dismal, damp, dark, dank, desultory, depressing.  Wrote Bus. Harris.  Received letters from mother at Friendship and Maude at Indianapolis.  Finished office work at 11:30 p.m.  Temp 40.  Now wish I had not turned gas into furnace so early.

Friday, April 27, 1945:  (VBH)

Temp. about 40 all day.  Cloudy.  Left at 4:30 to meet Maude expected to arrive in Toledo in Big Home train 304 at 5:25 a.m.  Train was 30 min. late.  Breakfast at Hull Dobbs House 2107 Jefferson.  Slept from ten until noon.  Finished days work at 8 p.m.  To dinner with Carroll's.  Found one restaurant closed on account of no points left to buy meats.  Ate at Kin Hong Low's on Jefferson.  Retired at midnight.  Suzette, Colleen and crowd at Paramount to hear Tommy Tucker Band.  Suzette stayed with Colleen all night.

Sunday, April 29, 1945:  (VBH)

Early light breakfast, early dinner with ham, now scarce, spring concert at Burnham.  Suzette played snare drum in band.  Obtained one plant ($2.00) of Daphne at Rasmussen's Nursery and set it out under west office window.

Monday, April 30, 1945:  (VBH)

A day of sunshine, shadows, and routine work, apparently concluded at 10 p.m. with a letter to T/Sgt. F.W. Halbert, 15125216,

Sch. Sg. 1204, A.A.F. Base

N.A.F.D. - A.T.C., A.P.A. 788

7 Postmaster, New York, NY

Tuesday, May 1, 1945:  (VBH)

Marjorie called in evening.  Mowed lawn.

Wednesday, May 2, 1945:  (VBH)

11 p.m. temp 45

Just returned from cottage - Maude and I Kem-Toned the front cottage bedroom (cream).  Heard radio news of Hitler's death, capture of Berlin by Russia, surrender of German troops in Italy to Allied troops.

Thursday, May 3, 1945:  (VBH)

Rained nearly all day - cleared off late afternoon.  V.B.H. had lumbago, stayed in bed until dinner - Spanish rice and asparagus at 29 cents per pound.  Saw fifteen patients in office between 7 and 11 p.m.

Friday, May 4, 1945:  (VBH)

10 p.m. temp 44

Intermittent rains all day.  Ate dinner at grill while Suzette picked up supper in the kitchen so as to remain at home to receive telephone call from Mr. David Wood in Adrian regarding tomorrow's Prom.

Saturday, May 5, 1945:  (Maude)

Rained all day.  This was a happy day for Suzette.  David Wood came on the 3:50 bus.  We had a good dinner.  David and Sue left at 7:40 for two cocktail parties, one at Sue Olander's, the other at Louann Dowling's, then to Prom at the Secor.  Vic has been busy all day and evening.

Sunday, May 6, 1945:  (VBH)

Sunday - sun shone all day.  Temperature at 10 p.m. was 55.

Heard Rev. Gans at Congregational church.  Mother stayed home because Suzette and David had gotten in at 3 a.m. from Junior Prom and required late breakfast.  Mother and I visited Marjorie in Toledo.  Wrote to Robert regarding means to improve his health and Victor's.

Monday, May 7, 1945:  (VBH)

Temp at 10 p.m. 55 - fair until this evening, heavy downpour of rain.  Maude did laundry work so Cleo can go ahead with house cleaning tomorrow.  Radio rumors of war's end in Europe persist all day but no such official news yet.

Tuesday, May 8, 1945:  (VBH)

Tuesday all day windy and cold enough for top-coat.

V-E Day or end of war in Europe.

Received letter from Robert saying he had passed army physical.

In Toledo - bought ticket to go Friday to Friendship, NY to spend Sun., May 13 Mother's Day with mother at Uncle Will Brown's.

Mother and Cleo cleaned basement.

Wednesday, May 9, 1945:  (VBH)

Temp 10 p.m. 44

Maude, Cleo and I were at cottage all day.  Worked inside, cleaned, painted back bedroom, chest of drawers, refrigerator, shelf over stove, laundry hamper and wardrobe and small chest of drawers.  Left home about 9:30 a.m. and arrived back home at 9:30 p.m.  Fire in cottage heater all day.  Enjoyed two good meals - somehow meals taste good at the lake when we are working.

Thursday, May 10, 1945:  (VBH)

10 a.m. temp 33, snow and rain.

Friday, May 11, 1945:  (Maude)

7 a.m. temp 34.

Vic left for Friendship, NY to spend Sunday with his mother.  I had my permanent.  Marjorie came out for supper.  Suzette went to Adrian with Jim and Colleen to the Sub Deb dance.  She wore her white formal and looked sweet.  She will stay until Saturday p.m. at David's home.  Marg and I went to Toledo and saw good picture.  Marjorie stayed all night with me.

Saturday, May 12, 1945:  (Maude)

Sat. temp at 7:30 a.m. 41.

Raining, dark, lonesome for Vic.

Marjorie left on the 7:30 bus.  The sun came out in the late afternoon.  Mary and Colleen drove me to Cook's to get the flowers for the church.  David drove Suzette home with David Colbath and a girlfriend.  Jim and Colleen came.  They all went to the frozen custard.  I went to Mary's for an hour.

Sunday, May 13, 1945 - Mothers Day:  (Maude)

Suzette and I went to church.  Mary Oechsler came to call.  Gave Mac a bath.  Suzy and I took flowers to Ethel LaDow, then had our dinner at the Douglas grill.  I phoned Bob & Mary.  Victor is better.  Sue and I went to bed at 10:30.

Monday, May 14, 1945:  (Maude)

Temp 46 - raining at 7:30 a.m.

Cleaned Vic's desk.

Helen Collins, Mart & Dorene Cotterman were here for supper.  Suzette went to show.

Tuesday, May 15, 1945:  (Maude)

Vic came home from Friendship, N.Y. at 1:45 a.m.

Cleo and I cleaned both offices and did the washing.

Suzette and I went to the Mother & Daughter dinner at the church.  Rained most of the day.

Wednesday, May 16, 1945:  (Maude)

Raining hard.  Suzette did not go to school.

Thursday, May 17, 1945:  (VBH)

11 p.m. temp 43

Has rained hard all day.  Creek is nearly up to bridge on Harroun Rd.  Office hours from 7 p.m. finished 11 p.m.  Saw twenty patients in that time (twice too many for their good and mine).

Friday, May 18, 1945:  (VBH)

All day - temp 50

V.B.H. is sixty years old today.

Rain of last month seems to have subsided.

Saturday, May 19, 1945:  (VBH)

10 p.m. temp 55

Clear and cool day.  Meat and poultry in market very scarce.  All food prices especially for vegetables high.  In dry goods stores, yard goods, practically unobtainable.

Sunday, May 20, 1945:  (VBH)

Pleasant - temp. about 60 midday.

Maude, Suzette and V.B.H. took sandwiches and did a number of odd, minor but essential tasks in the cottage.  Back home at 11 p.m. in bed, one-half hour and called to Richard Sxxxxxxxx #2 A.B.

Monday, May 21, 1945:  (VBH)

Monday - fair and warmer.  80 in shade this afternoon.

Maude and V.B.H. called on Dr. and Mrs. Teloh at Maumee this evening - they have a fine six-months old boy.

Tuesday, May 22, 1945:  (VBH)

Midnight temp 55.

Maude and V.B.H. wrote letter to Fredrick.  Maude at Flower club party - Oechsler's this eve.

Wednesday, May 23, 1945:  (VBH)

Weather fair - temp about 55 all day.  Letter to mother at Friendship, N.Y.

Thursday, May 24, 1945:  (VBH)

10 p.m. temp 55.

Weather fair.  Put upstairs storm sash in storage and installed pair of screens.  Maude and Cleo drove to lake to clean cottage.  Good letter from Robert - all well there.


Friday, May 25, 1945:  (VBH)

Light rain during night.  Partly cloudy with temp 60 to 70 during day.  Suzette with other Burnham High School juniors waited tables for Senior Banquet in evening.

Saturday, May 26, 1945:  (VBH)

Temperature in the seventies all day fair here.

Suzette and girlfriends shopping in Toledo.  About 5 p.m. Suzette and I drove to the cottage - took Donna Lou Kohler and joined Maude for dinner with Carroll's and Moscoe's at opening of yacht club.  Red sunset and light sprinkle of rain.

Sunday, May 27, 1945:  (VBH)

Sunday at the cottage.  Out of bed at 10 a.m.  Trimmed shrubbery and mowed lawn.  Marjorie Halbert and V. Eichstadt called.  Returned home at 7 p.m. so that Donna and Suzette could attend the Burnham High baccalaureate.  Temp at 10 p.m. exactly 70 - light sprinkle of rain.  Wrote to Frederick.

Monday, May 28, 1945:  (VBH)

Monday - fair - temp in seventies.  Maude and I attended Booster Club dinner at High School cafeteria and then to see Going My Way' for a second time.  Letter from Frederick dated May 18 - he is still stationed in Egypt.

Tuesday, May 29, 1945:  (VBH)

Tuesday - sunshine and shadow day - rain threatened.  Temp at 10 p.m. 56 - gas in furnace going.  Finished work of putting up screens - mowed lawn.  Maude and Suzette at Burnham Commencement this eve.

Wednesday, May 30, 1945;  (VBH)

Temp 8 a.m. 42 - 10 p.m. 50

Suzette took her part as a snare drummer with the High School band in the local Memorial Day parade.  Made two morning calls and worked rest of day at the desk.

Thursday, May 31, 1945:  (VBH)

Letter from F.W.H. written 5/24 in Egypt received today.

Last day of school for Suzette - Suzette went to Adrian High commencement.

Maude baked a huckleberry pie for dinner - something worth mentioning these war days.  With late cold spring and steadily declining food stocks, and war, I predict the world will not be well fed this coming winter.

Friday, June 1, 1945:  (VBH)

Suzette and girls took supplies to lake.  Maude wrote F.W.H.  Received package from him containing Masonic gavel, two Arab caps, two bottles perfume, 2 strings of beads, one belt.

Saturday, June 2, 1945:  (VBH)

Heavy downpour of rain with hail about 4 p.m.  Streets filled with water to curbs.  Suzette and her girl gang at the cottage on Devils Lake, Michigan for a week.

Sunday, June 3, 1945:  (VBH)

Cold, dark, rainy, dreary.  Childrens" Day' at the Congregational Church.  Maude and I stayed home and painted porch furniture in the basement.  Chuck and Mary at our house for kitchen supper.'  Day temperature beginning at 43, ended at 43.

Monday, June 4, 1945:  (VBH)

Letter from Frederick in Egypt dated May 29.  Wrote to him this evening.  Mother shopped in Toledo this afternoon - bought new living room curtains - Dotted Swiss' - now hard to find and high in price.  I met her at 7 p.m. for dinner at Zimmerman's.

Tuesday, June 5, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude went to Garden Club at Hazel Cosgrove's home.  Letter from Mary Louise - all okay there.

Wednesday, June 6, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude went with Carroll's to the lake and found Suzette and the girls having a grand time despite cold spring weather - then out for dinner at some tea house while I worked with the stork.  Lxxxx case, breech extraction, continuous caudal anesthesia at Toledo Hospital - girl - good condition and no complications.

Thursday, June 7, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude present for dessert bridge party given by Pilgrim Guild at residence of Helen Rothfuss.  Routine work for V.B.H.  Bought $25 bond for V.L.H.

Friday, June 8, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude wrote note to F.W.H. and enclosed Suzette's lake letter.  Steak for dinner - hurrah!  Then went scouting around for flowering plants.

Saturday, June 9, 1945:  (VBH)

Mostly cloudy all day.  Suzette returned with her house party from Devils Lake.  Chandler crew began work on eave-troughing - heavy rains, sudden onset of and long continued cold wave last winter split horizontal conductor pipe on east side of house wide open for at least three feet.

Sunday, June 10, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude and V.B.H. heard good sermon by Rev. Gans.  At 5 p.m. rode with Carroll's to the lake to take in sailboats, get pump going, clean out refrigerator, mow lawn.  Suzette to movie while we were at lake.

Monday, June 11, 1945:  (Maude)

Rained very hard in afternoon.  Joe Brennen and Sue went to see picture in Toledo.  Vic had O.B. case in Toledo Hospital home 7 a.m.

Tuesday, June 12, 1945:  (Maude)

Suzette & Cleo washed the clothes, dried nicely.  V.B. had O.B. case (Laura Hxxxxxxxx).

Wednesday, June 13, 1945:  (Maude)

Maude, Suzette, MacTavish (the Scottie) and V.B.H. drove to Devils Lake Michigan in late afternoon, had supper en route.  In living room and dining room drapes removed and dotted Swiss curtains put up.

Thursday, June 14, 1945:  (VBH)

V.B.H. returned for 7 to 10 p.m. evening office hours.

Friday, June 15, 1945:  (VBH)

Worthington Guild - a group of women from Sylvania Congregational Church spent the day at the cottage.  I reached the cottage after their departure.  This is Fred's and Marj's wedding anniversary - I think the fifth - Fred mailed paid money order for $5 from Cairo for which we ordered roses and forget-me-nots delivered to Marjorie with the card he sent.

Saturday, June 16, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude, Suzette, V.B.H. at the cottage.  David & Sue went to dance.

Sunday, June 17, 1945:  (VBH)

Sun - cold - rain.  11 p.m. temp in Sylvania 53.  Home from lake at 9 p.m.  Had wood fire all day.

Monday, June 18, 1945:  (VBH)

Pleasant, moonlit evening.  Lawns look good from so  much rain.

Tuesday, June 19, 1945:  (Maude)

Letter from Freddie.  Suzette & Cleo washed and put woolens away for summer and worked in the garden in the evening.

Wednesday, June 20, 1945:  (Maude)

Vic and I went to Toledo in a.m. had lunch at Commodore Perry.  Took Ruthie's wedding gift to her in the evening.

Thursday, June 21, 1945:  (Maude)

Wrote Freddie, had my hair washed.  Vic busy.

Friday, June 22, 1945:  (Maude)

Vic, Sue and I left for the cottage at six p.m., had dinner in Adrian.  Arrived at lake in time for Suzette to take a sail in her boat.

Saturday, June 23, 1945:  (Maude)

At the cottage weather warm and beautiful.

Vic and I went for a swim.  Sue and Dave went to the dance.

Sunday, June 24, 1945:  (Maude)

Hot.  Still at the cottage - beautiful day.

Monday, June 25, 1945:  (Maude)

Arrived home from lake at 9 a.m.

Tuesday, June 26, 1945:  (VBH)

Very beautiful day.  Marguerite Shively brought 12 qts. good quality late strawberries at $4.50 (37 ½ cents per qt.).  Early rains and hailstorms nearly wiped out first, early, local crop.

Wednesday, June 27, 1945:  (VBH)

Suzette and V.B.H. went to city in afternoon.  Left 18 pints strawberries in frozen food locker, bought Suzette one white dress and mother (Maude) a musical make-up box which was a belated Mother's Day gift.

Thursday, June 28, 1945:  (VBH)

Out of an old mirror crate, built sand-box for the grandchildren in basement this morning.  Expect to take it to the lake for them Sunday next.

Friday, June 29, 1945:  (VBH)

Frank Strohl funeral this afternoon.  Sent flowers, scalloped corn, coffee cake.  Maude assisted at Geo. Wilson home preparing lunch for Strohl family.  Suzette getting clothes ready for the lake season.  V.B.H. worked as usual.  Sprinkle of rain about 8 p.m. en route to Centennial Quarry to see Suzette swim.

Saturday, June 30, 1945:  (Maude)

Suzette drove me to the Colony to shop.  Found little food.

Sue went to dinner at Smith's & show with eight girls.

Sunday, July 1, 1945:  (Maude)

Vic, Sue, Maxine & I went to the lake at 9:30 a.m.  Bob & family at the cottage.  They arrived Saturday a.m. at 2.  We spent a happy day with them.  Victor & Kathleen are well & enjoying the lake.

Monday, July 2, 1945:  (Maude)

Vic very busy today.  I washed, made butter, worked in the yard.  We had pancakes and ham for supper.  Suzette will be at the cottage for two weeks.

Tuesday, July 3, 1945:  (VBH)

Marjorie came out for dinner and to stay all night.  Day fair and cool.

Wednesday, July 4, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude, Marjorie and V.B.H. at cottage from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.  Enjoyed celebrating Victor Leane Halbert's 4th birthday.  Mother prepared grand food.  All seemed to have a good time.

Thursday, July 5, 1945:  (VBH)

11 p.m. temp after light rain 65.  Warm during the day.  Coal bin richer by 4 tons and 80 lbs. of Pochohontas today.

Friday, July 6, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude shopped alone in Toledo.  Received letter from Frederick.

Saturday, July 7, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude created a cherry pie, a perfect pie; wartime shortage of sugar and pickers make this worth recording.  Maude wrote to Frederick.

Sunday, July 8, 1945:  (VBH)

Called at 4 a.m. to be ready for O.B. case (Mrs. Walter Hxxxxx) at Toledo Hospital.  Back home and breakfast with Maude about 9:30 a.m.  Red raspberries for breakfast (64 cents per qt.).  Maude and V.B.H. picked up B' Oechsler and her daughter Mary and went to Ottawa Park near Toledo Hospital for our Congregational Church outdoor service and picnic potluck dinner.  Rev. Herbert C. Gans - pastor.  Saw Helen Hxxxxxxx at Toledo Hospital.  Ralph Oechsler played golf.  Robert, Mary L. & Victor came in from Devils Lake at 7:30 p.m. - left at 11:30 p.m.

Monday, July 9, 1945:  (VBH)

Partial eclipse of sun here at 8 a.m.

Tuesday, July 10, 1945:  (VBH)

Bob and Suzette down from lake in time for breakfast of fruit juice, scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee.  Carl's second boy arrived 12:35 p.m.  Maude, Bob & V.B.H. in Toledo - bought Robert fifty dollar brown suit - had Bob's chest X-rayed at Dr. Goodrich's office - favorable report.  Carroll, Holliday, Beveridge, Moscoe and Lochbihler left for Manistonlin (sp?) Island, Canada this p.m.  Maude returned to cottage with Bob and Suzette.  I am here alone.

Wednesday, July 11, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude and V.B.H. just returned from cottage.  Mrs. Strohl rode back with us because it is too cold at the lake.  Suzette remained with Robert's folk at the cottage - took her bicycle when I went up this afternoon.

Friday, July 13, 1945:  (VBH)

Busy all day - no bad luck.

Saturday, July 14, 1945:  (VBH)

When Maude and V.B.H. arrived at the cottage about 5 p.m. found it had rained more at the lake.  Had dinner with Robert, Mary Louise, Suzette, Kathleen, Victor.  About 7:30 Robert's family left by Ford car for Indianapolis, completing two weeks at cottage.  Expected to go by Hudson and Bryan and arrive about 7 hours later.

Sunday, July 15, 1945:  (VBH)

V.B.H. just back from lake where it rained last night and all day until sundown.  Enjoyed good rest, relaxation and meals with Maude and Suzette.  Called on Ernie Philips late evening and drove home.  Left Maude and Suzette at cottage.  Required heat in cottage all day.

Monday, July 16, 1945:  (VBH)

Breakfast at home alone - two shredded wheat biscuits with milk and honey, one cup of coffee.  Have tried to practice medicine, get meals, wash dishes, et cetera.  No one here but V.B.H.  Wrote Frederick.

Tuesday, July 17, 1945:  (VBH)

Very busy especially evening office hours 7 to 11.  Met Dr. Whittaker (Frank); entered Fred Mxxxxx in Toledo Hospital room 778.

Wednesday, July 18, 1945:  (VBH)

Wound up quite a day and drove to lake in time for evening meal and good night's rest.  Saw very little of Suzette who as always is very busy having a good time - today horseback riding, bicycling to Addison, and dancing with David Wood.

Thursday, July 19, 1945:  (VBH)

Morning alarm at 6 o'clock - drove to Sylvania in 48 minutes - made coffee and fried a bit of ham.  Then to hospital in Toledo at 7:55 for Fred Mxxxxx surgery.  Received bread and butter' letter from Robert in Indianapolis.  Canada fishing gang arrived yesterday afternoon, reported cold rainy weather and poor fishing for larger varieties.

Friday, July 20, 1945:  (VBH)

Cleo put up 24 pints of sauce from harvest apples - a short bushel of defective ones - Bill Foist usually has good apples.  Hollyhocks grow high this season - and what also - corn poor - recall warm March weather and cold which followed.  6:30 p.m. - too pooped' out for dinner (Sally Howland invited) so, slept until after eight; then, prepared my own dinner.

Saturday, July 21, 1945:  (VBH)

Morning - mowed lawn.  Afternoon - delivered Mariam Wxxxxxxxx third baby - dinner at Marjorie's, evening drove to lake.

Sunday, July 22, 1945:  (VBH)

4:30 a.m. drove from lake to Toledo  Hospital for second Exxxxx baby case.  Returned to cottage for breakfast at 9 (after swim with Maude).  Another late afternoon swim - chicken dinner; rest, reading.  Saw little of Suzette - she is pleasure bent - hope she never gets pleasure broke'.  Weather same but warmer.  Cool, quiet nights at lake make for good sleeping.

Monday, July 23, 1945:  (VBH)

Home from lake at 10 a.m.  Received letter from F.W.H. dated 7/13/45.


Wednesday, July 25, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude came from Devils Lake to Sylvania with C.H. Carroll.  Did two TPA's.  Heard Dr. Frank Whittaker in evening at Toledo Hospital library speak on Uterine bleeding in early pregnancies.'  Drove back to lake with Maude in evening.

Thursday, July 26, 1945:  (VBH)

Dr. Whittaker and wife Lillian called at our cottage in afternoon.  After late dinner, drove home for evening hours 7 to 10:30 p.m.

Friday, July 27, 1945:  (VBH)

Put two dressed spring geese in frozen food locker.  Did two TPA's.  Lunched with Floyd Coultrap at Toledo Hospital - very busy all day.  Ended up at Fred Myers' home at 11 p.m. with one whiskey highball.

Saturday, July 28, 1945:  (VBH)

10 a.m. practice, light housework done - hope to accomplish much old desk work, which I dislike, and go to lake this eve.

Sunday, July 29, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude, Suzette, Marjorie trimmed up front near breakwater.  Fair & warm.

Monday, July 30, 1945:  (VBH)

Had breakfast at Smith's in Toledo with Marjorie and with Suzette.  Had swordfish at Dyer's in Toledo for dinner.

Tuesday, July 31, 1945:  (VBH)

Plenty of work - one baby - evening hours 7 to 11:30.  Had to turn patients away.  Letter from F.W.H. dated Cairo 7-19-45.

Wednesday, August 1, 1945:  (VBH)

Wound up work in Sylvania and arrived at cottage for six o'clock dinner.  Cool quiet nights, always at the cottage - wonderful for sleeping - especially after a dip in the lake.

Thursday, August 2, 1945:  (VBH)

Warm but not humid, not uncomfortable.  Suzette and David Wood, Patricia Palmer and David Colbath on furlough from navy training at Chicago went to dance at Manitou - Dean Hudson's twenty-piece band.  Dressed Mrs. Geo. Kxxxx's burned leg, gave Fred Exxxxxxxxx first tetanus tox and shot.  Maude and I attended buffet supper and auction at Rollin Grange in evening.

Friday, August 3, 1945:  (VBH)

Cool night - two blankets.  Patricia Palmer returned with Chuck Carroll to Sylvania.  In evening, closed up cottage and built fire in heating stove.

Saturday, August 4, 1945:  (VBH)

Perfect weather at lake.  Mowed lawn, repaired Suzette's bicycle, brought wood from Rollin for fire box, groceries from Manitou Beach.  Re-moored row boat, tinkered with out-board motor - it finally worked, replaced light-switch in cottage, went fishing in evening with Chuck Carroll and had midnight lunch at Carroll cottage.  Caught one fair-sized large-mouthed black bass.

Sunday, August 5, 1945:  (VBH)

Suzette and David placed in yacht race.  Oechsler family here for the day.  Rain late afternoon and evening.

Monday, August 6, 1945:  (VBH)

Warmer, strong west winds kept us cool - made interesting sailing.  Rigged up fishing gear.  Looked like good evening for fishing - caught 0.

Tuesday, August 7, 1945:  (Maude)

Vic went to Sylvania to work at the desk.  Mary, Colleen, Sue and I went to Adrian.

Wednesday, August 8, 1945:  (Maude)

Mary Carroll helped me clean and bake, etc. to make ready for the Howland's.  Howland's came in time for dinner.

Friday, August 10, 1945:  (Maude)

Word came of peace with Japan.

Howland's left at eight p.m.

Vic had to go home & Dr. Cosgrove was called away because of the death of Mrs. C.'s brother.

Saturday, August 11, 1945: (Maude)

Marjorie stopped in for an hour.

Sunday, August 12, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude, Suzette, V.B.H. at cottage.  Pleasant day - all drove to Sylvania in evening.

Monday, August 13, 1945:  (VBH)

All busy in Sylvania.

Tuesday, August 14, 1945:  (VBH)

Peace with Japan - drove up to cottage 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 15, 1945:  (VBH)

Drove to Addison, stores closed.  Maude and V.B.H. fished in eve.  Two bass.

Thursday, August 16, 1945:  (VBH)

Fished in eve.  V.B.H. rows the boat.  Maude trawls with spinner - caught two rock bass.  Suzette and David washed and Simonized car, went to Sonny Dunham band dance at Manitou Beach.

Friday, August 17, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude, V.B.H., Mary, Suzette, David Wood shopped in Brooklyn, Michigan.

Saturday, August 18, 1945:  (VBH)

V.B.H. in Sylvania, back at cottage for dinner.  Letter from Frederick written Cairo Aug. 11 announced change of status pending.  Gas and speed restrictions off congested highways and increased traffic hazards.  Predict he may be home soon.

Sunday, August 19, 1945:  (VBH)

Duke Cotterman, Doreen Cotterman, Stan, Carol here for dinner and evening - very enjoyable day.

Monday, August 20, 1945:  (VBH)

Day of loafing and reading - tried various tea rooms by phone of dining reservations - all closed on wartime Monday.

Tuesday, August 21, 1945:  (VBH)

At cottage; finished book American Chronicle' by Ray Stomnard Baker - good.  Maude and I played bridge at Lowry cottage with Flo and Chas. Chermotz.

Wednesday, August 22, 1945:  (VBH)

Cool at noon in Sylvania.  Left Maude and Suzette at Cottage.

Thursday, August 23, 1945:  (VBH)

No change in temperature - sunny days - moonlit night - practice - plenty.

Friday, August 24, 1945:  (VBH)

Weather as before - practice light.  Maude phoned from cottage, she is sending up personal medical needs.  Eddie' Wilson stopped enroute Devils Lake.  After midnight now - desk work (I dislike it) since 10 p.m.

Saturday, August 25, 1945:  (VBH)

Ruth phoned from South Byron, NY.  Chuck Carroll's father died 8:10 p.m.  Maude and Suzette returned from lake.  Marjorie joined us for supper.

Sunday, August 26, 1945:  (VBH)

Lieutenant Michael Esquival back from German front, stayed with us 11 to 3.  Geo., Ruth, Joan and Halbert Heath by auto thru Canada arrived about 8 p.m.  Marjorie returned to Toledo on late bus.

Monday, August 27, 1945:  (VBH)

After full day of work for Maude and V.B.H., Geo, Ruth, Maude and V.B.H. in our car; Suzette and Joan in Geo's car drive to cottage.

Tuesday, August 28, 1945:  (VBH)

Stiff, cool, s.w. lake breeze, motored and sailed on lake, good brisk morning blast, grand 4 p.m. dinner after all except Ruth came in from swim.  V.B.H. to office by 6 p.m.  Heath family came in about 10 p.m.  Maude and Suzette and Mac stayed at cottage.  Warm in Sylvania - quite warm.

Wednesday, August 29, 1945:  (VBH)

Last night sultry warm and too noisy for good sleep - never like this at the lake.  Up at 7, breakfast at 8, Heath's left for South Byron, N.Y. at 9 a.m.

Thursday, August 30, 1945:  (VBH)

Hot - 90 on east porch at 4 p.m.  Neighbor Johnson reported 95.  No breeze - very dry.  Very busy all day - especially 6:30-10:30 p.m.  Letter to Ruth Heath.  Bought $50 war bond, expect to see it mature - may need it then.

Friday, August 31, 1945:  (VBH)

Late evening - off to cottage for Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, September 1, 1945:  (VBH)

At cottage - cool, clear.

Sunday, September 2, 1945:  VBH)

Sun. at cottage.  Chicken dinner at Fred Myers' cottage.  Cool, clear.

Monday, September 3, 1945:  (VBH)

Cool, clear - Labor Day at lake.

Tuesday, September 4, 1945:  (VBH)

Returned to Sylvania about 1 p.m. - warmer.

Wednesday, September 5, 1945:  (VBH)

Wrote letter to Frederick at Casablanca.  Maude and I saw Anchors Aweigh' at Loew Valentine theater in Toledo.  Suzette's first day as a senior in Burnham High School.

Friday, September 14, 1945:  (VBH)

Met Carroll Hxxxxxx 5:30 a.m. at Toledo Union Station - evidently came here to escape home and church life for the time being, reorient himself, and receive medical and surgical help for his leg.

Wednesday, September 19, 1945:  (VBH)

Carroll's right leg operated by Drs. McNamara & Hufford at St. Vincent's Hospital.

Saturday, September 22, 1945:  (VBH)

Carroll left for Rochester at 12:16 a.m.  Expected to arrive about 7:30.  About 2 p.m. Maude, Suzette and V.B.H. went to Adrian Fair, then on to cottage at Devils Lake.

Sunday, September 23, 1945:  (VBH)

Returned from cottage in rain but most of the day at the lake was pleasant.  Maude and I wrote to Frederick on a paper towel - no other paper at the cottage - except some in the bathroom and wood box.

Monday, September 24, 1945:  (VBH)

Received letter from F.W.H. written Casablanca September 17.


Wednesday, September 26, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude and V.B.H. attended Dear Ruth' - legitimate play at the new Town Hall theater in Toledo.

Friday, September 28, 1945:  (VBH)

Suzette drove with four girls in downpour of rain to Adrian - Sylvania football game at Adrian - score 14 to 0 - favor Adrian.

Saturday, September 29, 1945:  (VBH)

After warm week, temp at 9 p.m. 43.

Dr. & Mrs. Bates from Toledo Hospital stopped en route our cottage for weekend.  Received letter from Frederick at Casablanca dated September 24.

Wednesday, October 3, 1945:  (VBH)

Slight frost last night (first this year here).  Suzette (out of senior classes), Maude and I (local stores close Wed. p.m.) shopped in Toledo exclusively for Suzette, then had dinner at Zimmerman's.  Maude, breaded veal - Suzette, roast beef - V.B.H., filet de sole.  Bought Suzette - Raincoat, white blouse, rose bumbry jacket, pleated grey skirt, grey checked dress, casual shoes, suede pumps.  Weather cool and comfortable.

Saturday, October 6, 1945:  (VBH)

Expressed wagon to Victor L.

Sunday, October 7, 1945:  (VBH)

Marjorie came out with a lady cousin to pick up blankets and sheets.  Cleo laundered for her.  Maude and I inspected safety box contents.

Monday, October 8, 1945:  (VBH)

Ethel La Dow died at 8:30 a.m.

Wednesday, October 10, 1945:  (Maude)

Ethel La Dow funeral at 2 p.m.  Helen Collins, Jo Bribb & I cooked the dinner for sixteen.

Saturday, October 13, 1945:  (VBH)

Packed box for Frederick - 1 lb. Panama (Gilbert) chocolates, six red Jonathan apples (scarce this year - $6 per bushel), gum, cigarettes, a little medicine and the Toledo Sunday Times.  Went to the devil' as Maude says - this day - started church - it was Communion and first day for new pastor - well, he was new 34 years ago - new to us now.  Rev. Louis Higgins.

Wednesday, October 17, 1945:  (VBH)

Chuck, Homer, Don Holliday and V.B.H. drove to lake about noon to put in sail boats for winter, fish, scout for pheasants (very scarce) and eat stag at Halbert cottage.

Friday, October 19, 1945:  (VBH)

Last week has been pleasant - Indian summer?

Suzette and bus load off to Port Clinton for football.  Fall flowers in our yard still look well.


Cleaned Suzette's room - washed curtains.

Sunday, October 21, 1945:  (Maude)

We all went to church.  Suzette sang in the choir.  Had dinner at Chinese restaurant. Went to picture show, in the evening Mary and Chuck came for chow mein.  B & Ralph came in later.

Monday, October 22, 1945:  (Maude)

Had a permanent.

Saturday, October 27, 1945:  (VBH)

Pleasant weather.  Suzette and Marjorie left about six in morning on N.Y.C. Pacemaker for Chicago and Northwestern University - guests at Freshman Dormitory of Patricia Herzberg.

Sunday, October 28, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude and I ate out, called on Carl Warren and Ray Bryant at Coultrap home.  Met Marjorie and Suzette at Union Station.  Attended reception for Rev. Louis Higgins at Tracy Cook home.

Monday, October 29, 1945:  (VBH)

Roy Hague and I started revising contents of safe deposit box.

Tuesday, October 30, 1945:  (VBH)

Bought Romance' pattern china and cleared out other patterns except for Royce' pattern.

Wednesday, October 31, 1945:  (VBH)

Removed gas burner and began use of coal in furnace - weather still pleasant, cool.  Harry Cooper and I went to cottage - brought back stoves and outboard motor in exchange for new items contemplated in spring.  Carroll and Beveridge auto party started for Southern Pines.'  N.Y.C. at Blissfield hit truck of German prisoners.

Thursday, November 1, 1945:  (VBH)

3 a.m. Vivian talked with Ernst Eichstaedt in San Francisco (just returned from S. Pacific).

Friday, November 2, 1945:  (VBH)

Robert drove in from Ft. Wayne, Indiana in time for dinner.  David Wood here also.  After dinner, Suzette and David went to Whitmer - Sylvania football game at Trilby - Suzette to take her part in the band.

Saturday, November 3, 1945:  (VBH)

Weather turning cool.  Until now has not been necessary to shut off outside water equipment.  Letter from F.W.H. written in Casablanca Oct. 28.

Sunday, November 4, 1945:  (VBH)

Fair and clear - temp at 7 a.m. 25

Maude and Bob left for Indianapolis at 11:30 a.m.

Suzette, Marjorie and I at Pantheon to see Spanish Man' from 7 to 10.

Tuesday, November 6, 1945:  (VBH)

This is our 36th wedding anniversary.  Bob will have to help mother celebrate this one because she is at his home in Indianapolis.  The afternoon was fair and warm so I replaced screens with storm sash - now the cottage and home seem to be in readiness for the winter season.

Wednesday, November 7, 1945:  (VBH)

Attended church cabinet meeting in evening.

Thursday, November 8, 1945:  (VBH)

Practice heavy - especially office in evening 6:30-11:00 p.m.

Outside temp in shade reached 70.  Now at 11 p.m. temp in house with no artificial heat since yesterday is 73 - outside 63.  Strong southerly winds.  Suzette went to band banquet and Sylvania Whitehouse football game.

Saturday, November 10, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude came in by plane from Indianapolis, supposed to leave there at 11:44 a.m. and arrive Toledo Municipal Airport at 2:28 p.m. but did not arrive until 4:50 p.m.  Suzette and I made the first schedule, then I took her home and returned for the actual time of arrival.  Took Maude's picture, we went to Charlie Marks for dinner, then watched the evening Armistice Day parade including Suzette in Burnham Band.  22 mi. to airport - 35 minutes drive - Route 120 across Cherry St. Bridge.

Sunday, November 11, 1945:  (VBH)

Marjorie, K. Browne, Mrs. McComb and children here in evening.

Saturday, November 17, 1945:  (VBH)

C.H. and Lula Harris drove in en route to Syracuse, Indiana to spend Thanksgiving with their daughter Esther.

Wednesday, November 21, 1945:  (VBH)

Marjorie out for six o'clock dinner.  Rain in evening, strong winds.

Thursday, November 22, 1945:  (VBH)

Thanksgiving Day

Temp at 7:33 a.m. 23.

Maude, Marjorie, Suzette, VBH. Left at 9:50 a.m.  Drove thru Samaria to route 24, near Detroit to route 25, then out Fort Jefferson, Fisher, Kercheval Sts. to 227

Lewiston in Grosse Pointe for dinner with Browne family, (74 miles door to door easy driving time 2 hours).  Back home about 11:30 p.m.  Very good trip.  F.W.H. may embark from Casablanca today.


Saturday, November 24, 1945:  (VBH)

Pleasant, cold.

Maude saw Kay Frances at Town Hall Theatre in Windy Hill.'  Suzette at Ann Arbor - guest of Charlotte Wood at Martha Cook's dorm.  V.B.H. saw Michigan U. beat Ohio U. at Ann Arbor - guest of John & Sally Howland - rode up with Mr. and Mrs. Robt. Landers.

Saturday, December 1, 1945:  (VBH)

Frederick arrived at Newport News from Casablanca.

Thursday, December 6, 1945:  (VBH)

Frederick arrived in Toledo about 6 a.m. and with Marjorie came out about 3 p.m. and stayed for dinner.


We are so thankful our Frederick is home safe.

Friday, December 7, 1945:  (Maude)

Vic and I called on Freddie & Marjorie.  Mr. & Mrs. Herzberg & Ruthie were there.  Frederick looks so fine.

Saturday, December 8, 1945:  (Maude)

A beautiful day.  Vic very busy all day - 13 hrs. straight work.

Tuesday, December 18, 1945:  (VBH)

Frederick discharged from Air Transport Command - Patterson Field Discharge Center at 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 19, 1945:  (VBH)

Maude is 59 today.

Frederick phoned this morning to sing Happy Birthday' to his mother and announced he had discharged from Air Transport Command and arrived in Toledo this morning as a civilian.  Mary and Chas Carroll dropped in this evening for Tom and Jerry.

Monday, December 24, 1945:  (VBH)

Weather 20 above zero.  Light afternoon rain has coated the out of doors with ice.  Household consists of Maude, Marjorie, Suzette, Frederick and V.B.H.

Tuesday, December 25, 1945:  (Maude)

A wonderful Christmas for us to have our Frederick home from war.  We enjoyed a good dinner, phoned Robert, Oechsler's came in the evening.  Marjorie & Freddy stayed all night.

Sunday, January 6, 1946:  (VBH)

Received wire from Clayton that Uncle Will died, Jan. 4th at 10 p.m.

Friday, February 15, 1946:  (Maude)

Twenty girls all of her class for dinner (Suzette's birthday).  Sue received many lovely gifts from her friends and a pink formal and black dress from her dad.

Thursday, February 21, 1946:  (VBH)

7 a.m. temperature 4 above zero, barometer 29 7/10, clear, quiet, cold, frosty morning.

Friday, March 1, 1946:  (Maude)

Freddy flew to Indianapolis to visit Bob & family.  Bill Worth called.  Vic had dinner with Bill at the Commodore Perry.  Suzy went to BB game with Joe.  Mild weather.

Saturday, March 2, 1946:  (Maude)

Beautiful day.

Sunday, March 3, 1946:  (Maude)

Beautiful day.  Vic, Sue and I went to church.  In the afternoon we took the Carroll's for a drive then home for a steak dinner.  David came to see Suzy in the evening.

Monday, March 4, 1946:  (Maude)

Cleaned silver, washed windows.  Vic went to Fireman's dinner.  Dick and Joe took pictures of Sue in her bathing suit.

Tuesday, March 5, 1946:  (Maude)

Rained very hard in a.m.  Cleared in time for Garden Club Tea at Jo Cribbe's.  Tea very nice.  Doreen Cotterman, Mary Carroll & I assisted Jo.

Wednesday, March 6, 1946:  (Maude)

Temperature 69 degrees, highest temperature on March 6 to be recorded.  Vic and I had dinner at the grill then saw the picture, The Harvey Girls.'  Good.  Stopped in to see Marjorie.  Freddie expected to arrive at midnight from Streeter, Ill.  Rained very hard coming home.  Sue at basketball tournament at T.U. Field House.

Friday, March 15, 1946:  (Maude)

Bob, Mary L., Victor & Neenie arrived from Indianapolis at 2:30 p.m.  We had a fine visit.

Saturday, March 16, 1946:  (Maude)

Frederick & Marjorie came out for dinner and weekend.  It was wonderful to have all my children at home.

Sunday, March 17, 1946:  (Maude)

Bob & family left for home in the rain at 3 p.m.  We all enjoyed their visit.  The children were so dear and good.  Catherine & Bill Browne came at 4 p.m. with their children.  We had good visit and supper.  They left in rain at 9:30 p.m.  Vic and I took Fred & Marjorie home.

Easter Sunday, April 21, 1946:  (Maude)

Sue sang in choir at sunrise service at school.  I went with Mary Carroll.  Fred & Marj stayed all night.  We all went to 11 a.m. service.  Had dinner at Heilman's on way  to Grosse Pointe.  Spent delightful afternoon and evening with Browne's.  Home at midnight.

Saturday, April 28, 1946:  (Maude)

Fred, Vic and I left at 1:30 p.m. for Indianapolis to say goodbye to Bob and family.  Returned in pouring rain Sunday evening.  Home at 1 a.m.

Friday, May 3, 1946:  (Maude)

Sue went to Senior Prom with Joe Brennen.  Vic & I went too, with Mr. & Mrs. Cotterman.  Had a nice time.  Bob left for California this a.m.

Halbert Family Photos


Halberts Home on Erie and Main

 The Halbert's Sylvania home was located at the corner of Main and Erie.  Unfortunatlely, it was destroyed by fire in December 2009.

Halberts Family

The Halberts: Dr. Halbert, his wife Maude, and daughter Suzette.


A picture taken on the high school bridge of Suzette Halbert and Colleen Carroll with the
men they would marry -- Colleen with Gene Fenstemacher and Suzette with Gene Smith.
Dr. Halbert's son Frederick, in Egypt during WWII.
Suzette and her best friend Colleen Carroll (now Colleen
Fenstemacher, lives on Central Park Dr.), in the yard of
the house at Main & Erie.
Grandfather and granddaughter, Victor and Victoria.  (Suzette's daughter).
Victor and two of his granddaughters, Vicki Smith and Jennifer Smith (Suzette's daughters)
at the wedding of his grandson John Halbert in Denver, CO a few years before Victor died.
Dr. Halbert in his late 80's, receiving his 50-year Masonic ring and service award.