Luke's 1860 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries from January 1 – February 27, 1860

1860 DIARY OF CHARLES LUKE KEITH JR.[1]

Jan 1 – Cold 11 Below zero. At home all day.

Jan 2 – Cold 7 Below zero. Bot this Book 62¢ Bot Soap 15¢. Put in Boulster for __. Kingsley.

Jan 3 – Pleasant 11 Abz. Bot iron for slead 61¢. Book came. Screws 20. Paid E. Beckwith 50.

Jan 4 – Cold 12 Abz. Express _____ 14¢. Went over to Fathers[2] Bot Beef 14 got tea Kettle repaired 15¢ Bot one lb candles 16¢. Deyoes[3] moved.

Jan 5 – Snows a little 13 Abz. Got my sled. Sarah[4] went to donation party. Bot ½ lb tea 31¢ one Dollar for work on sled.

Jan 6 – Cloudy 20 Abz. Worked in shop made axhelve for Byington. Rainy day.

Jan 7 – Cloudy 34 Abz. Henry[5] came home. Put the irons on my slead. Bot 3 lbs pork 22¢ Bot screws 7¢.

Jan 8 – Cloudy 36 Abz. At home all day. Henry & Lois[6] at home. Sleighing most gone.

Jan 9 – Cloudy 29 Abz. Killed my pig. Paid Earl 50¢. Bot 50 lbs Flour 11/-.[7]

Jan 10 – Cloudy 32 Abz. Went over to Fathers got pig. Hat Taylor stayed here all night. Bot one lb candles 1__. Snowed in the night.

Jan 11 – Snowey 16 Abz. Made axhelve for Eben Flanders. Bot one old Red Lead 11¢. Bot 15 lbs salt 20.

Jan 12 – Pleasant 7 Abz. Worked in shop some painted sled hued some spokes. Bot stuff for pain Killer 73.

Jan 13 – Pleasant 11 Abz. Worked in shop some. Wesley called here _____ drawed 3 cords wood.

Jan 14 – Cloudy 7 Abz. Worked in shop some Wesley[8] called here.

Jan 15 – Cloudy 30 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Ed York paid me two Dollars. Lois went home.

Jan 16 – Snows some 34 Abz. Sorted my corn. Miss Hoxie & Mrs Bevere here Mrs Earl & Mary Ett here.

Jan 17 – Snows some 23 Abz. Went up to Yorks. Mr & Mrs Carleton to Fathers. Bot five comb 10¢. J. Flanders here.

Jan 18 – Snows some 26 Abz. Hued spokes. Paid my tax 23.70¢. Flanders got his ax.

Jan 19 – Pleasant 20 Abz. Shelled corn. Race[9] broke away down at the old ashry.

Jan 20 – Pleasant 28 Abz. Father & mother[10] Catharine[11] & Mark[12] here. Denormandy[13] here opened Lois Breast.

Jan 21 – Pleasant 30 Abz. Hued spokes for Jesse Earls buggy. Isaac Smith paid 10¢. Bot Envelope to send to George Tomlinson[14].

Jan 22 – Pleasant 31 Abz. At home all day. Hat Taylor & Mary Childs here & S. Newman.

Jan 23 – Pleasant 24 Abz. Worked in shop. Sent G. T.[15] one hundred & 45 Dollars. Lois went home. Sent letter 3¢.

Jan 24 – Cloudy 48 Abz. Worked on Richardsons Wheels. Miles got my violin.

Jan 25 – Cold ground froze 30 Abz. Worked in shop sawed out felloes[16] for Charleys wheels. Lois came home. Flanders Brot load hay. Sent slead up to Henry.

Jan 26 – Cold 24 Abz snowey day. Worked in shop. Got meal from mill. Water over garden race over flows.

Jan 27 – Snows 19 Abz. Worked in shop got out spokes. Race over flowed my yard.

Jan 28 – Cloudy 30 Abz. Water all over my yard. Shaved spokes & put on sand board. Bot one lb candles 22¢.

Jan 29 – Pleasant 20 Abz. At home all day. Mrs Warner buried to day.

Jan 30 – Pleasant 22 Abz. Drove spokes in Charleys wheels.

Jan 31 – Snows 10 Abz. Finished Charleys wheels. Sarah went down to Mr Mansfields. Water higher than ever almost up to cellar window.

Feb 1 – Cold 2 Abz. Went over to Fathers & down to Clarks yard ful of ice good skating.

Feb 2 – Cold & pleasant 9 Abz. Worked in shop & cut some mittens. Wesley here.

Feb 3 – Snowes some 15 Abz. Worked in shop some. Sent letter to Mrs. Betts[17]. Wesley & J. C. Blake here.

Feb 4 – Cloudy 24 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Jo & Hellen[18] there. Came home with Father. Alvan[19] here. Worked in shop some. Bot shoes for hannah[20] 75¢. One pound saleratas 10¢.

Feb 5 – Snows some 30 Abz. At home all day. Sarah went to church.

Feb 6 – Cloudy 32 Abz. Lois came home. Bot 10 lbs shugar 1.00 one lb Tea __2¢ 2 lbs candles 42. Mark got his Buggy. Hannah went over to Fathers. Lois came home.

Feb 7 – Storms some 24 Abz. Worked in shop some. Sarah went over to Fathers. Lois went home. Bronson & Streator here. Bot cloth for shirt 40¢.

Feb 8 – Pleasant 21 Abz. Tinkered round house carried corn to mill. Bot 50 lbs Flour 1.38¢ one apple 1¢. Bohaim Clark Buried to day.

Feb 9 – Cloudy 36 Abz. Charley Brot Load wood. Bot cloth for drawers 31¢ one violin string 25¢ pop corn 1¢.

Feb 10 – Pleasant 4 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Bot coat & Hat and ribbon & Broom 1502.

Feb 11 – Snowed some 19 Abz. No work in shop to day excep sawed of spokes. Bot Sarah shoes 1.13¢.

Feb 12 – Pleasant 17 Abz. Went up to Wesleys Yorks & Fathers.

Feb 13 – Pleasant 34 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Mark here. Bronson Brot 4__ wheat. Bot Boots 5 shoes 75.

Feb 14 – Pleasant. Bot one light glass 7¢. Left home 12 at noon got to Johns[21] 4 PM. Fair from G. to C.[22] 1.30.

Feb 15 – Cold & stormy. Went over to uncle Jasons[23] got there at one P.M. Found them well.

Feb 16 – Very cold. Some head ache. Went over to John Bissels saw Catharine[24].

Feb 17 – Cold. Went over to Lashers[25] from there to Mr Kirkwoods saw Irene[26]. Snowed all night.

Feb 18 – Cold snows. Stayed at Jasons all day. Went down to John Bissels in the Evening.

Feb 19 – Went and saw Lasher.

Feb 20 – Left uncle Jasons half past nine got to uncle Ozens[27] quater past three. Fare from Jonesville[?] to Hudson 65 cts.

Feb 21 – Left uncle Ozens 12. at noon. Got to Adrian[28] half past two. Found aunt Whitmore[29]. Saw Fred Partrige.

Feb 22 – Pleasant. Saw Emmet Crittenden. Bot gloves 25¢. Left Adrian half past 2. Fare from Adrian to Buffalo 9.00.

Feb 23 – Left Buffalo 6 AM arrived in Pavilion[30] quarter past one. Fare from B. to __. 1.00. Breakfast 25. Mending ring 10.

Feb 24 – Cold. Sent letter to Sarah 7¢. Saw uncle Noah[31] and many others donation at the tavern.

Feb 25 – Cold. At home[32] all day. George Sprague & wife[33] here. Saw Mr Gilmore.

Feb 26 – Cold & snows some. Mr Baly Preached. Sylvenas Young called on me.

Feb 27 – Cloudy. Went over the farm & up to the Burying ground[34].

——-

[1] Known better, and referred to, as Luke

[2] Charles Luke Keith Sr., who was also better known and referred to as Luke

[3] James & Paulina Deyoe

[4] His wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[5] His son by his first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith

[6] Lois (Keith) Clark, his daughter by his first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith

[7] /- is the symbol used for shilling. A shilling was a coin of Colonial America and varied between 12¢ and 16¢

[8] His brother, John Wesley Keith who, according to the family Bible, was adopted

[9] An artificial channel or bed of a stream leading water to or from a point where its energy is utilized, such as a mill or a mining claim

[10] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[11] His sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[12] “Mark” is referred to quite often in Luke’s diaries and it is believed that he is referring to his cousin, Marquis de Lafayette Lee, the oldest son of Dr. Ezekiel and Elizabeth (Strong) Lee. The Lees were Mormons and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, and eventually to the Salt Lake Valley in 1850. Mark stayed behind with the Keith family to run his father’s farm.

[13] Luke refers to a Dr. DeNormandy several times in his 1859 diary

[14] George Tomlinson, husband of Luke’s niece, Marion (Sprague) Tomlinson

[15] George Tomlinson

[16] A felloe, or felly, is the rim of a wheel supported by spokes

[17] His mother-in-law, Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[18] His niece and her husband, Helen (Bradley) and Joseph York

[19] His maternal first cousin, Alvin Turner

[20] His daughter

[21] Believe this to be John Crittenden, the brother of his second wife, Jerusha (Crittenden) Keith.

[22] Concord, Michigan, which is where John Crittenden lived

[23] Jason Wolcott

[24] The granddaughter of Luke’s Uncle Jason Wolcott; Catherine was the daughter of John and Waity Catherine (Wolcott) Bissell

[25] While “Lasher” is referenced repeatedly in Luke’s diaries and also in letters to Luke from Charles Cridland, the only evidence found regarding his first name, Joseph, was a receipt in the back of Luke’s 1858 diary dated December 6, 1858 for the payment of Comstock real estate taxes

[26] John and Irena (Wolcott) Kirkwood. Irena was Luke’s maternal first cousin

[27] Ozen Keith

[28] Adrian, Michigan

[29] Martha (Keith) Whitmore

[30] Pavilion, New York

[31] Noah Starr, the father-in-law of Luke’s brother, Harvey Keith

[32] From future entries it appears that he was staying with George Tomlinson

[33] George and Susan (Tomlinson) Sprague. George was the maternal first cousin of Luke’s second wife, Jerusha (Crittenden) Keith

[34] Most likely Pavilion Cemetery where several members of the Crittenden and Sprague families were buried

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