Luke's 1884 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries of March 7 – April 5, 1884

Mar 7 – 20 Abz in Evening. Not very well no work but chores. Went over to burg afternoon after Lelah. Bessie not very well.

Mar 8 – 16 Abz in morning hard cold some. Filed saw for Sam Barton old shitlick went over to burg afternoon. Carried draft Board over to the Strait windmill Co.

Mar 9 – 18 Abz. At home. Cold winter weather. Hank and Nancy came over and got Lelah. Very good sleighing.

Mar 10 – At home. No work but chores. Not very well, hard cold.

Mar 11 – 42 Abz. Choring round. Thawing snow went off very fast. Went over to burg at noon got Lelah and Bessey took them down to Mrs Browns. Road full of water. Rainy night high wind.

Mar 12 – 30 High wind cold. Mrs Betts had a bad spell this morning. Jim went over to burg got Bottle white Pine syrup for her. Libby Taylor came down. Dance to burg to night. Hank & Nancy gone to the Creek.

Mar 13 – 40. Went over to burg. Took Hannah over to Mr Ralphs & Blakes. Theodore came down and Repaired cistern pump. M. O. Streator and wife[56] here in afternoon.

Mar 14 – 27 Abz. Went up to pump shop. Took note up to Theodore. Cora Harris[57] came over to have dress fitted. Hank Brown went to Chicago on the night Express.

Mar 15 – Took Hannah over to Nancys. She took Ida Howes Boy with her. She will keep him while she stays there.

Mar 16 – At home all day. No one here. Not very cold no snow.

Mar 17 – 40 Abz. Took Mrs Betts over to burg in morning. Hannah came back with me. Sarah and I went up to Mr Flanders in afternoon. Hannah went to Mr Sumners in afternoon. Went over to burg after Mrs Betts.

Mar 18 – Chored round. Repaired manger. Turned one plunger for Theodore Earl.[58] Rainy day or afternoon rather.

Mar 19 – Rainy day. No work. Went over to Burg in afternoon got an order of Barlow on Theodore Earl for Eight Dollars. Presented the order got the cash on it $8.00. Dod Sumner brot Hannah home.

Mar 20 – Filed two saws for Dod Sumner. Went over to burg took Hannah over to burg. She went to Geo Blakes. Jim went to Comstock to mill. Sent corn by him.

Mar 21 – Pleasant day. Made lapboard for Nancy. Went over to burg at noon. Sent letter to Hiram. Mrs Betts had a bad time with her throat this morning. Hard work to breathe.

Mar 22 – Took down old fence west side of garden. Cut some wood and done the chores. Fine day.

Mar 23 – 55 Abz. Nice day looks very much like spring. Wheat looks green. River very high. Went over to Nancys after Hannah.

Mar 24 – Went up to Jesse Earls[59] to see Barbed wire fence. Went up to the Burying ground up by Staffords to see that wire. Went to see Mr Carrs fence. Mate Ford[60] and Tamer Addams[61] called here. Mr Joseph Flanders[62] and Aunt Hannah[63] called.

Mar 25 – 50 Abz rainy. Rainy day. No work but chores. Story Sleeper[64] set fire to a straw stack, crawled into it and burnt up with it. Rained all night. Nell Stanford[65] here in afternoon.

Mar 26 – 40 Abz Cloudy. Cloudy morning pleasant afternoon. Went up to Mr Flanders after post hole digger. Got Rooster Plymouth rock variety. Paid Will Clark $3.00.

Mar 27 – __8 Abz, still. Went over to burg in morning. Dug out posts west side of garden. Took down Hen yard. Drawed some stone. Mrs Brown and Bina Earl[66] here in afternoon. Very fine day. Story Sleeper Buried to day.

Mar 28 – Rainy forenoon cleared of. Drawed brush in afternoon on west line. Charley Town commenced plowing for Oats in west lot. Commenced raining just at night. Prince Leopold Died.[67]

Mar 29 – Windy. Went over to burg in morning after Nancy and children. Sarah & I went down to Marts. Jim and Hannah went over to burg in Evening to hear the McGibbiny family Discourse a few music. Mr John Flint Died to day.[68]

Mar 30 – 32 Abz pleasant. Nice day. At home all day. Jim and Libby Taylor went up to Frank Bronsons.

Mar 31 – Chored round. Not much work done.

Apr 1 – 45. Jim came down in morning helped me saw up cherry tree on west line. Charley plowing. Theodore shingling his shop on north End of mill. I went over to burg in afternoon. It rained some. Mr John Seeley Buried to day at Galesburg.

Apr 2 – 32 Abz. Snows and blows this morning. Kate Isherwood came down after Hannah. Jim pitching shit for Dea Randall. Mrs Ben Jacobs buried to day.[69]

Apr 3 – Took Hannah over to burg in morning. She went to Mrs Hannah Wilmarths. Nice day.

Apr 4 – Went over to burg in morning. Chored round some. Went over in Evening got wall paper.

Apr 5 – Went over to burg after Hannah. Put ___ps on wall they put paper part way around. Saw Riley Coe. Nell and Harry[70] here in Evening.

——-

[56] Neighbors, Marius O. & Laura Ann (Rawson) Streator

[57] Sister of Luke’s son-in-law, D.D. Harris

[58] Neighbor; Theodore was the brother of Herbert Earl (see footnote to January 2nd entry)

[59] Neighbor; Jesse Earl, who was the father of Herb and Theodore

[60] Neighbor, Mary Ann “Mate” (Thompson) Ford

[61] Neighbor, Mary “Tamer” (Ford) Adams

[62] Neighbor, Joseph Flanders. 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

[63] Joseph Flanders’ sister, Hannah (Flanders) Wilmarth. Luke often referred to older neighbors as Aunt or Uncle

[64] FindAGrave.com confirms the date of death and has a transcript of the newspaper account of his death. He is buried in Mountain Home Cemetery in Kalamazoo, Michigan

[65] Neighbor, Nellie (Underwood) Stanford; she was the niece of Marius O. & Laura (Rawson) Streator

[66] Neighbor Albina Earl, the daughter of Jesse Earl, and sister of Herb and Theodore

[67] From Wikipedia: Leopold George Duncan Albert (7 April 1853 – 28 March 1884) was the eighth child and youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Leopold was later created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence, and Baron Arklow. He had hemophilia, which led to his death at the age of 30

[68] Michigan death records confirm that John Flint died March 29, 1884 and FindAGrave.com shows he is buried in McDowell Cemetery, South Haven Highlands, Allegan County, Michigan

[69] Michigan death records show that Wealthy (Deney) Jacobs, died in Galesburg, Michigan on March 31, 1884 from consumption and FindAGrave.com shows she was the wife of Burban Jacobs and is buried in the Galesburg City Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[70] Neighbors, Nellie Stanford and her cousin, Harry Streator

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