Luke's 1875 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries of January 1 – February 11, 1875

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

1875 DIARY OF CHARLES LUKE KEITH JR.[1]

The entries from January 1 through June 28 were written in the back of his 1874 diary. There were no entries for June 29 until July 22 when he bought his 1875 diary.

Jan 1 – Jointed box boards. Ethan and Hannah[2] went down to Catharines.[3] Lois[4] came down in afternoon. Del[5] went to burg.[6]

Jan 2 – Worked in shop. Not very cold but blustrous.

Jan 3 – At home. Catharine and Jim Payne came up here.

Jan 4 – Cut some wood. Ethan drawed three loads. Cold, snowed some.

Jan 5 – Cold, mercury 7 below zero. Worked on box.

Jan 6 – Put cleets on box. Cold day.

Jan 7 – Cold. Not very well. Hard cold.

Jan 8 – Worked some in shop on chest.

Jan 9 – Worked on chest some. Mercury 10 Abz below in morning.

Jan 10 – Mercury 13 below zero, very cold. Found Jimme dead in the coop this morning. No sleighing, very little snow.

Jan 11 – Worked on chest. Very cold. Cut some wood.

Jan 12 – Worked in shop. Cut dovetails on chest. Cold day, snowed some. Went up to Flanders. Got plank of Streator,[7] one of Brown.[8]

Jan 13 – Snowy. Put chest together. Went over to burg in Evening, got oil 20¢

Jan 14 – Mercury at zero in morning. Worked on chest. Cold day.

Jan 15 – Made base and upper band for chest.

Jan 16 – Worked on chest some. Henry[9] came down. Filed saw. Went up in woods, sawed wood, drawed two loads.

Jan 17 – Mercury 13 Abz.[10] Very good sleighing.

Jan 18 – Worked in shop. Put base and band on chest. Henry and Ethan sawed wood. I drawed two loads.

Jan 19 – Worked in shop.

Jan 20 – Went over to burg. Got rabbit plane of Robinson. Made panels for chest lid. Staring paid 4 Dollars.

Jan 21 – Put lid together. Put Rave on bob for A. Caywood.

Jan 22 – Mercury 15 Abz. Went over to burg. Paid my Tax $12.46¢. Theodore Earl paid $5.00.

Jan 23 – Filed two Saws for A. Brown and finished his wringer. He paid me 12/-. Young Pomeroy Brown born this morning.[11] Sarah[12] went to Lawton[13] on night Express.

Jan 24 – Mercury 29 Abz. Snowing some in morning. Ethan and Louesa[14] went down to Catharines.

Jan 25 – Worked in shop some on chest. Ethan went to Lawton on Evening Express.

Jan 26 – Carried two bushels corn to mill. Hung chest lid on. Ida Lee[15] came up here. Louesa went driging[?] with her. Went down to Marts.[16] Alfleda[17] went down to A. Browns.

Jan 27 – Snows like fun.[18] Ethan came home in Evening.

Jan 28 – Snows this morning. Went down to A. Browns, carried hams down. Went over to burg, got meal. Went up to J. Flanders,[19] got 5 five bushels wheat. Good sleighing.

Jan 29 – Cold, 3 below zero. Went to Comstock to mill.

Jan 30 – Went over to burg. Got band bent for chest lid. Sarah came home from Lawton.

Jan 31 – Cold, 10 Abz.

Feb 1 – Finished Eds Chest.

Feb 2 – Went down to Katharines,[20] hung door. Rained when we came home.

Feb 3 – Not much done. Very windy day, very blustering night, snow blowed Everywhere.

Feb 4 – Cold, 10 below zero, very blustring. Mr. Seaman Bristol died to day in Marys Ville Kansas.[21]

Feb 5 – Took out butry and put up lathe. Traded my cutter to Henry for his watch and chair.

Feb 6 – Cleaned turning lathe, turned some.

Feb 7 – 13 below zero. At home. Sis[22] and Stella[23] went down to Katharines. Very still and cold. David Simonds Died.[24]

Feb 8 – Shoveled snow to get to woods. Spli____ sleigh neap to Flanders sleigh. Filed saw for Erve Hall.[25]

Feb 9 – 31 below zero in morning. Drawed some wood. Not very well. David Simonds buried to day.

Feb 10 – Henry brot seat down. Snows some, 2 below zero.

Feb 11 – Finished seat. Henry went over to burg with it. Ed got his chest. Very blustring. Mrs Ralph and Em[26] here.

——-

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

[2] His son, Ethan Keith, and daughter, Hannah Keith

[3] His sister, Catharine (Keith) Bradley Lee

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

[5] His son-in-law, Adelbert Skinner, who was married to his daughter Lois

[6] Galesburg, Michigan

[7] Neighbor, Marius O. Streator

[8] Ambrose Brown, his neighbor and father-in-law of his daughter Nancy

[9] Henry Keith, his son by his first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith

[10] Above zero

[11] His grandson, Claude Keith Brown, the son of Nancy & Hank Brown. There is a birth announcement for “Pomeroy” Brown, however, that is the only time the name of Pomeroy is used

[12] His wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[13] Lawton, Michigan, where Nancy & Henry Brown lived

[14] His youngest daughter, Louese Keith

[15] His cousin, Ida Mae Lee, the daughter of Joseph Warren Lee and Nancy E. Taylor

[16] Martin Milham, husband of Lucy (Lee) Milham. Lucy was the daughter of his sister Catharine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[17] Alfleda (Starr) Keith, the widow of his brother Harvey Keith

[18] Luke uses this phrase quite often. The Oxford Dictionary gives its meaning as “vigorously or quickly”

[19] Neighbor. After Luke’s first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith died, Joseph and Amanda (Hobbs) Flanders cared for his son, Henry, for a period of time. The Flanders raised Henry even after Luke married his third wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith. They wanted to adopt Henry but Luke said no; however, it looks like Henry lived with them throughout his youth. This seems to be corroborated by the 1860 census showing “Henry L Flanders,” age 16, (who it is actually believed to be Henry L. Keith), living with Joseph & Amanda

[20] In all his previous diaries, Luke has spelled his sister’s name as Catharine. It now appears that he is sometimes spelling it starting with a K, or it is possible he is referring to somebody else

[21] Seaman S. Bristol Sr. and his wife, Abigail “Nabby” Harris, were the uncle and aunt of Daniel D. Harris who would marry Luke’s daughter, Louese, in 1882

[22] Nickname for his daughter Louese

[23] Believe he is referring to neighbors, Stella Milham who was the daughter of James & Ellen (Adams) Milham

[24] Neighbor. A search at FindAGrave.com confirms that he died February 7, 1875 and is buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Comstock, Michigan

[25] His neighbor, Irwin Hall

[26] Presumably neighbors, Hetta (Burgess) Ralph and her daughter-in-law, Emeline (Stone) Ralph

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