Henry's 1873 Diary

Henry Brown’s diary entries for July 1873

Jul 1 – Hot sun, cool wind and showery. I have worked all day for Father. He went to mill over to Comstalk, took 4 bushels over for Pa. I wrote a letter to Dr Johnson for aunt Julia. Father went to the burg to night.

Jul 2 – Showery. I went down to the burg with my goods this forenoon. Arthur was to the burg and I came over with him. He staid to Fathers until five oclock. We ground the cradle and knives and killed a sheep.

Jul 3 – Showery. Ethan and me went to the burg and I shiped my goods to Lyons. Father comenced harvesting. I did not get to work until about eleven oclock, quit at half past three pm. I borrowed 500 of Osgood and went over to night and paid him, or I paid it to his clerk.

Jul 4 – Showery. I went up to Fathers this morning to harvest but we could not do anything for rain, so I staid at home until noon and then went down again. We came down and finished cutting this piece on the corner. Ma’s brother and wife[76] came this afternoon.

Jul 5 – Pleasant for the first time in a week. Worked for Father harvesting. Got about half of the piece at home done. Ma’s brother people went home to day. Allerton shut Fords cattle up at noon and went and notified him at sundown.

Jul 6 – Pleasant and cool. I set out some of Fathers wheat this morning and at night set it up again. Pa and ma went up to Aunt Katies. Father and Mother went up to Uncle Edds. Ethan went up to Skinners.

Jul 7 – Pleasant in the forenoon and until about six o’clock and then it comenced raining and rained until bed time. We drew four loads and one jag of wheat. Randall has most of his wheat cut and it lays on the ground in bunches.

Jul 8 – Pleasant and cool. We worked at harvesting. We had only Streator to help us. Ethan was sick to day so he had to lay off. Sate came down and staid all night. Aunt Julia got a letter from P. T. “Barnum” “Johnson” to day and he told what ails her.[77]

Jul 9 – Cool wind, some showery, but we drew wheat all day. Got all of our wheat that grew on our own land. Father went to the burg to night. I rode home and Nancy was ready to go to Fathers so when Dell came along we went to stay two or three days.

Jul 10 – Pleasant, some cloudy and cool. Harvested all day. Nancy has been picking berries. Will has been complaining some to day. I am some lame and I feel some as though I might have the ague.

Jul 11 – Very Pleasant. Harvested all day. Nancy picked cherries some to day. Streator, Father and John Culver went to the burg to night. Eberly drove on the machine all day. Nancy is feeling pretty bad to night.

Jul 12 – Warm, looks some like rain to night. Hank worked for Father. They finished cutting wheat this forenoon, drew in nine loads in Mr Streators barn and four in Fathers. Will raked the wheat stubble up to the other place and part of this down here. Arthur Arms[78] came down to night. He is going to stay all night. (I[79] wrote for Hank, he was tired).

Jul 13 – Pleasant but warm. We drew wheat all day. Father paid me twenty dollars to night. Finished harvesting to day. Our folks came and brought us home to night. Hannah went up to Aunt Katies to stay all sumer.

Jul 14 – Very warm. I comencdced packing my Chest this morning. Went over to the burg in the forenoon, rested some in the afternoon and Nancy and me went up to Fathers just night. Very warm to night.

Jul 15 – Very warm. I started for Muir 11.35 am, had to wait in Jackson almost three hours, arived at Muir about half past ten pm. I was very warm. The chest was some racked but not seriously. Stayed at the Olmstead house.

Jul 16 – Warm and showery. I commenced on packing my goods in Muir. I have woorked pretty hard to day and am pretty tired to night. My goods came from detroit to day and were all right. I am going to lodge myself to night.

Jul 17 – Warm and showery. I have worked all day streightning things around. Have not got quite done yet. Am pretty tired. Sent a letter to Nancy to day. Run in debt to day for some curtains.

Jul 18 – Pleasant and cool. I tried to take pictures to day for the first in Muir. Did not have very good success at first but did better. Took two for a little boy, very good ones. I have had the blues like thunder, and home-sick as a dog.

Jul 19 – Pleasant and cool. I took my first negative this morning in Muir. Chemicals dont work worth a snap yet. I was so home-sick to day that all I ate I had to crowd down with a fork. Pewamo Band up here to night to give a Concert for benefit of Muir Band.

Jul 20 – Pleasant and cool. I went to church this forenoon to the Presb church and after dinner which was at 2 pm I took a stroll over to Lyons to a lecture at the Presb church in the evening, sub Prear[?] Test.

Jul 21 – Pleasant and cool. I got up this morning and worked all day. Took two dollars worth of gems to day. Loafed around all the evening. Went up to see the editor of the Grand River Hereld about advertiseing for me.

Jul 22 – Pleasant and warm. I have had a pretty good day for business to day, took two negatives and a good many positives. Took in 3.90 and some more that I have not got yet. I expected a letter from Nancy to day.

Jul 23 – Warm but otherwise pleasant. I received a nice long letter from Nina[80] today and answered it. I have worked hard but have not accomplished much. Bought 13 yds cambric for curtains.

Jul 24 – Warm but Pleasant. Mary Holbrook was here. I went over and played with the Brass band a little while to night. I think I will write a letter to Ethan to night. I have taken pictures just a week and have taken in 13.90.

Jul 25 – Warm but pleasant, looks some like rain. I printed a little to day. I went to band meeting to night and played with the boys. Today has been the dullest day since I comenced business here. I put my name up to day on my sign.

Jul 26 – Warm but pleasant. I have not been very busy to day but still have had enough to do for cumfort. I went up north about 2 mi with the band to practice and we came back and played in town.

Jul 27 – Very warm. I have been very lonesome to day. Went to church to the Deciple to night. I wrote a letter to Nina and one to Geo. R. Angell ordering a back ground and some other fixings and chemicals. I have had the blues to day.

Jul 28 – Warm, had a very nice shower to day. I took two Lagruners[?] pictures with just their pants on. They were pretty drunk. I went over to Lyons and painted three places on the fence (Photos at Muir). Sent a letter and a paper and some Photos to Nina.

Jul 29 – Very Pleasant. I recived a letter from Nina to day. Was most tickeld to death to hear from her again. I took a picture to coppy to night and make a 4-4. Mr Abby is going to let me know in the morn about rent.

Jul 30 – Very warm. I have written some to Nina to day, shall send it tomorrow if nothing happens. I drank a glass of beer and smoked a cigar to day, told Nina all about it in my letter. Went out a looking a place to rent to night but did not rent.

Jul 31 – Rainey and cool toward night. I scrubed out this morning. Took 2 gems and one negative for Ed Von Aultne[?]. I went up to Ionia to day on mail 4.30 D & M, came back 6.30 D-L-M, so cost me in all 50 cts. I bought a Warbler to charm babys with, make any kind of I noise.

——-

[76] Henry and Virginia (Worley) Crawford. Henry was Sarah (Crawford) Keith’s brother. See Nancy Brown’s July 4, 1873 entry

[77] Julia had cancer in her later years and possibly this is some reference to it. A cradle was built for her as she found the rocking motion soothing. At times the pain would be so intense that she left fingernail marks in the cradle. The reference to “P. T. Barnum” Johnson seems to show Hank’s lack of confidence in the doctor

[78] Son of Cynthia E. (Brown) & William E. Arms. Cynthia was Ambrose Brown’s sister

[79] Nancy

[80] Years later, his daughters, Lela and Bess, were reading through his diaries and noticing the many references to Nina, they thought he was having an affair with another woman. Nancy noticed their hostility towards him and asked what was bothering them. When they told her their suspicions she explained that “Nina” was his pet name for her

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