Luke's 1871 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries of April 3 – May 11, 1871

Apr 3 – Rainy. Finished sowing clover seed this morning. Went to town meeting. Mr Stevenson Died this morning. Paid James Jackson one dollar of my money.

Apr 4 – Went to Kalamazoo. Went to Martin Turners.[45] Took Dinner. Went back to bush, gathered sap, boiled in sap. Mr Phelps[46] Died to day.

Apr 5 – Gathered buckets and made molasses. Mart went to Mr Kings Auction. Scalded out buckets. Had a shower in Evening. Old Mrs McLary[47] died to day.

Apr 6 – Came home. Mart came after Hannah. Brot home shugar. Warm day. Raked of garden. Made 550 lbs shugar.

Apr 7 – Warm morning. Worked round house and garden. Trimed some appletrees.

Apr 8 – Trimed some trees. Cows got on Allens wheat. Dry weather. Amos Rogers wife[48] died to night.

Apr 9 – Pleasant and dry. Went down to Catharines after sis.

Apr 10 – Rainy morning, cool, rained all day. No work. School commenced.

Apr 11 – Cold and windy. Put poke on fan. Snowed some, cold night.

Apr 12 – Pleasant morning. Snow ¼ inch. Trimed some trees. Eberly and Nellie left for Iowa.

Apr 13 – Cloudy and cool. Drawed brush out of orchard. Trimed currant bushes. Mrs A. Brown[49] here. Mart here to dinner and supper.

Apr 14 – Sick, not much done. Tool old wagon to pieces. Extracted tooth for Harvey. Sarah, Ethan and Nancy went over to Wisemans.[50] Stranger bot bushel corn of Will Plank.[51] Pleasant and cool. Drawed chip manure.

Apr 15 – Drawed chip manure. Ethan went to Kalamazoo. Carried Nancy and Ida up to Allens. Lois and Hannah came home. Young sleeper[?] called here to see Mr Plank.

Apr 16 – Turned out set mallets and balls for Ethan and Will Plank. At home all day. Wm and Alvin Lee[52] here.

Apr 17 – Turned Balls and mallets. Gerome Chadwick[53] Died in night.

Apr 18 – Chored round. Hat Taylor and Maud Adams here. Mart and Lucy called here.

Apr 19 – Went to Kalamazoo with Lois. She went to Ohio.[54] Had a heavy shower. Wind blowed John Mills Barn roof of. Mr Chadwick Buried to day.

Apr 20 – Not much work to day round home. Cows bothered some.

Apr 21 – Finished turning balls. The boys painted them. Rainy.

Apr 22 – Went over to burg after tacks and screws for shades. Put up 3 shades in schoolhouse. Cold wind. Sate Skinner stayed here all night. R. Blackburn packed up to day.

Apr 23 – Pleasant morning, some frost. Went down to Charles Lees[55] to pay Wm paid $31.84. Sate went home with us. Went to Jo Lees.

Apr 24 – Fine day. Sowed plaster on clover south and west of house. Drawed out some manure. Went over to Blackburns in Evening.

Apr 25 – Got out manure. Ethan drawed some wood and chips. Cloudy and warm. Heard the first Whipporwill this Evening.

Apr 26 – Cloudy morning, looks like rain. Gotout some manure.

Apr 27 – Rainy. Took manger and sleepers out of stable. Ethan painted Balls and Mallets.

Apr 28 – Ethan went over to mill. _____ called here. Mary Plank went down to Jo Lees to see Hannah.

Apr 29 – Worked in stable. Made manger for Bill. Ethan went to Kalamazoo. Hannah came home with him. Mary Plank came with them. Mrs Henry Clinton came home.

Apr 30 – Pleasant morning. Ethan went down to Charles Lees. R. Blackburn came over.

May 1 – Went up to Ed Corys and Mr Rights. Saw S Bristol. He paid 2.00. Went over to burg. Got shoes for Hannah. Went down to Jo Lees in Evening.

May 2 – Got out manure. Cory Allen[56] and Ida Barber[57] here. Perkins had a Horse stolen.

May 3 – Rainy day. Sick, no work. Traded cows with A. Brown.

May 4 – Some rain. Wm Plank plowed garden and commenced plowing corn ground. I got out some manure. Burnt brush in East lot and old Hubs. Stella Millham[58] here this week.

May 5 – Cloudy and some rain in morning. Not very well. Will Plank plowing.

May 6 – Not well, lame, cant work. Pleasant day. Mr Taylor planting his corner lot.

May 7 – Fine day. At home all day. Ethan, Nancy and Ida Barber went down to Jo Lees to see Hannah.

May 8 – Went over to Burg after Oil Hemlock for Hannah. Went to Doc Wightmans.[59] Got my Early potatoes. Pleasant day, cold East wind. Frost this morning.

May 9 – Cold East wind, some frost. Went down to Cataharines. Carried Bedstead and corn to Mart. Mart carried Bedstead down to Kalamazoo. Hard frost.

May 10 – Planted corn for Plank. Warm day. Jim droped for me. Tin pedler from Wakeshma called here Layton by name. Pedler from Leonidas[60] stayed all night.

May 11 – Planted corn for Plank. Warm day. Finished west lot. No frost.

——-

[45] His maternal first cousin

[46] Avery Martin Phelps, age 49, died in Charleston, Michigan, and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[47] A search of the Michigan Death Records at Ancestry.com shows that Gertrude McLary, age 82, died April 4, 1871 in Charleston, Michigan

[48] A search of FindAGrave.com shows that Julia Ann (McFarland) Rogers, age 27, died April 18, 1871 and is buried in the Galesburg City Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[49] Ambrose Brown’s wife, Matilda (Allen) Brown

[50] Neighbors, Joseph & Caroline (Williams) Wiseman

[51] Believe he is referring to William H. Plank, the son of his neighbors, William & Harriet (Groat) Plank

[52] His paternal first cousins, William and Alvan Lee, the sons of Charles Lee (see April 23rd entry)

[53] A search of FindAGrave.com shows that Jerome C. Chadwick died April 17, 1871 and is buried in Indian Fields Cemetery, Portage, Michigan

[54] Lois had lived in Spring Hill (now Tedrow), Ohio, with her first husband, Byron Clark; however, after he died, she returned to Michigan. Apparently her in-laws convinced her to leave her son Charley with them (see the May 13, 1866 letter), so she was probably going back to visit

[55] His paternal first cousin. Charles Lee (1797-1878) was the son of Charles & Rhoda (Keith) Lee, the brother of Joseph W. Lee and the father of Charles Jedediah Lee

[56] Daughter of John Allen and sister of Ida and Libby Allen (see January 21st entry)

[57] Neighbor, daughter of Richard & Mary (Knowles) Barber

[58] Daughter of James Milham, Martin Milham’s half brother

[59] George Ransom Wightman

[60] Leonidas, St. Joseph County, Michigan

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