Luke's 1861 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries from January 1 – March 24, 1861

1861 DIARY OF CHARLES LUKE KEITH JR.[1]

The entries from January 1 through January 13 were first written in the back of his 1860 diary and are basically identical to what he then wrote in his 1861 diary. Anything from 1860 that clarifies the 1861 entries is noted in brackets.

Jan 1 – Went down to Catharines[2].

Jan 2 – Went to the burg[3]. Bot ten lbs shugar 1.00.

Jan 3 – [Cloudy.] Worked in shop on [sleigh & bobs]. Cut out sleigh runners for C[harles] Richard[son].

Jan 4 – Snows. Worked on Wes[4] bob.

Jan 5 – Worked on R[ichardson]s sleigh. Wesly set shoes. Went to the Burg in evening. Bot starch 10¢ salratas[5] 10¢.

Jan 6 – [Went over to the burg.] Carried Sarah[6] to church.

Jan 7 – Went over to Burg. Bot salt & tallow 2.21¢. [Went up to Jesse Earls.] Fixed pully for Jesse. Richardson Brot ¾ wood. Mary Johnson came to Board.

Jan 8 – Worked in shop. Bot 4 lbs tallow of Wesly 50¢.

Jan 9 – Worked in shop. Jef [Jesse Chaffee] here. Harvey went home.

Jan 10 – [Pleasant.] Worked on [Richardsons] sleigh. [Got out runners.] Ground sausage meat in the evening.

Jan 11 – Snowey & cold. Worked on sleigh. [Charley & Azro called here.] Went to the burg evening got runners. Bot one lb Tea 62 this Book 25 wicking 6 licorice 1.

Jan 12 –Worked on sleigh. Richardson Brot load wood. Austins Boys over here. Lois[7] at home.

Jan 13 – [Pleasant.] At home all day. Sarah went to church.

Jan 14 – Worked on sleigh. Cut out slead runners in evening.

Jan 15 – Worked on sleigh got it ready to set shoes. Went over to the burg in evening. Rained like fun.

Jan 16 – Set shoes on sleigh commenced Box. Went over to the burg in evening. Got Ehens[8] Boots tapt 30¢ Bot iron & screws 29¢ Paper & thread 2¢ flour of Johnson 60 cts.

Jan 17 – Worked on sleigh box. Sarah & Patty[9] went down to Mr Clarks. S. Newman came over. Subscribed for Map of the united States price $.7.00.

Jan 18 – Worked in shop on sleigh box and on land slead. Catharine here. Mr Deyo[10] here in evening. Frank Whitcomb Died[11].

Jan 19 – Worked in shop some on box. Went over to the burg in evening. Got my boot mended.

Jan 20 – Pleasant. Sarah went to church.

Jan 21 – Went to Kalamazoo to court[12]. Bot Deyoes cow 10.00 Bot shoes 1.62 Bot Dolls 20. Frank Whitcomb Died.

Jan 22 – Pleasant 10 Abz[13]. Went to the Burg stayed all day to go to court. Bot beer 5¢ shoe strings 1¢.

Jan 23 – Pleasant morning 18 Abz. Went to Frank Whitcombs funeral. Martin Turner & wife[14] stayed here all night.

Jan 24 – Snows like fun. Martin went home. James L. Earl & wife[15] here. Carried Patty & Catharine up to Yorks[16].

Jan 25 – Cold 8 Abz. Worked in shop some. Finished my slead. Mary came back.

Jan 26 – Cold 8 Blz[17]. Worked in shop. Sarah went to church. Bot Dishes & window papers & cotton $.1.11¢.

Jan 27 – Cold 23 Abz. Sarah gone to church.

Jan 28 – Worked in shop some. Went over to the burg in evening. Bot yarn 50¢ Bot violin string 20¢.

Jan 29 – Cold & blustering. George and Marion[18] came went over to the burg. Bot yarn 31¢ Bot shugar 50¢. George left for Wisconsin.

Jan 30 – Went up to Yorks in evening. Patty & Marion stayed all night.

Jan 31 – Cold morning 6 Abz. Worked in shop some. Went over to burg in evening. Bot coffee 20¢.

Feb 1 – Carring my slead up to Milfords. Went over & got my cow. Rained hard. Patty Marion & Lois here.

Feb 2 – Went over to the burg twice. Patty Catharine & Marion went to Battle Creek. Paid 15.75¢ to Kelly on _____ _____.

Feb 3 – Pleasant 7 Abz. At home. Sarah went to church. Jo & Lois Lee[19] here. B. Hartwell called here.

Feb 4 – Pleasant. York got two loads straw. Mr Marther & wife came down with P. C. & M.[20]

Feb 5 – Cloudy. Mr Marther went home. Patty & Marion went down to Catharines. I went to mill at Pavilion. Made the shoes for my slead up to Milfords[?] shop.

Feb 6 – Cloudy. Worked in shop some. Put shoes on slead. Lois at home. Babcock paid 82.44.

Feb 7 – Cold 4 Abz blustering. Work on gearing. 18 Below zero in evening.

Feb 8 – Cold 5 Blz. Patty & Marion came home. Bot tea 63¢ 5 lbs shugar 55¢.

Feb 9 – Cold Pleasant 10 Abz. Chored round house. Went over to Burg in evening. Bot thread 5¢ Bot candle sticks ___. Thawed fast.

Feb 10 – Warm 50 Abz. Carried Marion up to Mr Yorks. Sarah went to church. Snow went like fun rain in evening.

Feb 11 – Pleasant 55 Abz. Helped wash. Took my engine a part.

Feb 12 – Windy 29 Abz. Worked in shop some. Went over to the burg in evening. Bot Broom 25¢ Bot emery paper 8¢ Hive syrup 5.

Feb 13 – Cloudy snow all gone. Worked in shop. Oscar Mary an[21] & Mrs Baty[22] here.

Feb 14 – Windy morning rained & snowed. Went over to the burg. George came. S. Kingsley paid me 75¢.

Feb 15 – Snows like fun. Went up to Flanders. George went to Colon. Henry[23] carried them. Went up to Yorks after patty. Went to school meeting.

Feb 16 – Cold some snow. Catharine Mark[24] Lucy[25] & Harvey[26] came up.

Feb 17 – Cold snows some. At home. George & Marion came back from Colon.

Feb 18 – Pleasant. George & Marion Patty left for home. C. R. 7/8 wood. Paid George 254.00 16 cents back at this date. Mark & Harvey & Lucy here.

Feb 19 – Alfleda[27] & Catharine here. Went to mill up to Pavilion. Carried two bushels of wheat.

Feb 20 – Cloudy. Alfleda & Catharine here. Worked in shop. Catherine went down to Mr Clarks.

Feb 21 – Cold. Went down to Catharines. Got some hickory timber. Saw Browns calf.

Feb 22 – Storms some thunder. Split some wood. Worked in shop. Richardson Brot 7/8 wood.

Feb 23 – Rainy. Worked in shop. Made cradles for Hannah & Nancy[28]. Cold & windy night.

Feb 24 – Pleasant & cold. Sarah gone to church.

Feb 25 – Worked in shop. Went over to the burg in evening Bot salratas 10¢ Bot shugar 50¢ wick 4¢. Trimbeck Here.

Feb 26 – Worked in shop on gearing. Mr Snow stayed all night.

Feb 27 – Worked on wheel for Richardson 1.75.

Feb 28 – Cloudy. Put up leach & chored round House. Stilwell got his wheel 1.75.

Mar 1 – Cloudy & smoky. Made soap. Pleasant.

Mar 2 – Pleasant. Sarah went to the burg. Carried Deyo some potatoes. Paid Deyo 2 Dollars on cow. Bot one lb Tea 62¢.

Mar 3 – Cloudy. Sarah at home. I went up to Yorks. Took dinner. Went & found some timber.

Mar 4 – Pleasant & cool. Built smoke house. Put my hams to smoking.

Mar 5 – Snows like fun 2½ inches deep. Went over to the burg to election. Got my Key. Bot plank $2.10 Bot marches 5 letter 3.

Mar 6 – Pleasant. Went up to Yorks. Got out some stringers for the race[29] bridge.

Mar 7 – Pleasant. Worked in shop. Put violin together. Eugene there. Cow calved about 2 oclock P.M.

Mar 8 – Cloudy & rainy. Hewed spokes for Fathers[30] wagon. Wesley & D. Taylor here.

Mar 9 – Cloudy. Went up to Yorks. Got some S. elm bark for cow. Worked on spokes some.

Mar 10 – Cloudy. At home all day.

Mar 11 – Pleasant. Put in two boulsters for C. Richardson.

Mar 12 – Pleasant. Worked in shop on spokes. School closed.

Mar 13 – Cloudy rather cool. Ben Mose got Boulster. Sarah went up to Wesleys. Ben Jackson got into the river in Evening. Shaved spokes.

Mar 14 – Pleasant. Shaved spokes for Fathers wagon. Bot thread 10¢.

Mar 15 – Pleasant. Put rim on Fathers wheel. Filled 4 teeth for Lois.

Mar 16 – Cloudy. Worked in shop on gearing. Eugene Bronson brot his violin.

Mar 17 – Pleasant & cold. Put hair in violin bow for Eugene Bronson.

Mar 18 – Pleasant 4½ Abz cold. Went over to the burg. Bot cotton 13.

Mar 19 – Pleasant. Pedler here. Bot plaster & solution 1.25. Got out spokes for Jesse Earls wheel. Pleasant C. R. brot one cord wood. May April

Mar 20 – Snows in morning May. Rimmed Earls wheel. Cold snowey day.

Mar 21 – Pleasant morning June. Worked in shop drove spokes in Fathers wheel.

Mar 22 – Worked in shop rimmed Fathers wheels. Ethen got boot tapt 10.

Mar 23 – Cloudy morning. Painted wheels. Mother[31] went down to Catharines. Ethen went.

Mar 24 – At home all day. B. Clark[32] here after Golden Seal[33].

——-

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

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

[3] Galesburg, Michigan

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

[5] Saleratus; sodium or potassium bicarbonate used as a leavening agent; baking soda

[6] His wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

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

[8] His son, Ethan Keith

[9] His sister, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[10] James Deyoe

[11] This same entry is also shown on January 21. No information has been found to date regarding Frank Whitcomb, but it would appear that he was related to Clarissa (Whitcomb) Turner (see January 23 entry)

[12] Perhaps this is in regards to Mr. Deyoe being accused of burning the church (see June 21, 1860 and subsequent entries in Luke’s 1860 diary)

[13] Above zero

[14] Martin and Clarissa (Whitcomb) Turner; Martin and Luke were first cousins

[15] James and Caroline (Wolcott) Earl; Caroline and Luke were first cousins

[16] Joseph and Helen (Bradley) York; Helen was Luke’s niece

[17] Below zero

[18] George and Marion (Sprague) Tomlinson; Marion was Luke’s niece

[19] Joseph and Lois (French) Lee; Joseph and Luke were first cousins

[20] Patty, Catherine and Marion

[21] James “Oscar” and Mary Ann (Batey) Keith; Oscar was Luke’s nephew

[22] Mary Ann’s mother, Betsy (Olds) Batey

[23] His son, Henry Keith, by his first wife, Minerva Payson

[24] “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

[25] Catherine’s daughter, Lucy Irene Lee

[26] His brother, Harvey Keith

[27] Harvey’s wife, Alfleda (Starr) Keith

[28] His daughters

[29] 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

[30] Charles Luke Keith Sr., who was also referred to as Luke

[31] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[32] His son-in-law, Byron Clark

[33] Goldenseal, a wild harvested root in high demand in the 1860s used for coughs, digestive upset and pneumonia

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