Luke's 1884 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries for May 1884

May 1 – Rainy morning. Went to Kalamazoo after Ethan. Rained all day. Mrs Davis Buried to day. Stephen Comfort[82] came to day.

May 2 – Worked on hill in afternoon cut one large tree. Fine day. Went over to burg in Evening.

May 3 – Pleasant morning. Worked on hill cut the big Grapevine tree an two others. Very fine day. Burnt brush. Mrs Malony Buried to day.[83]

May 4 – Rainy day not very cold. At home all day. Stephen here.

May 5 – Put cow out to pasture. Worked on hill most of the day cut some trees. Charley Town began plowing corn ground south of orchard.

May 6 – Went over to burg in morning ordered my wire for fence. Had a nice shower about Eleven oclock A.M.

May 7 – Painted my wheels over. Cut some brush on hill. Took Mr Stephen Comfort over to Nancys in Evening.

May 8 – Mr Comfort left on 7 AM run for Canada. I went down to M. O. Streators to get Jim to help Will Clark saw. Will sowed the clover seed.

May 9 – Painted wagon gearing blacked bands on wheels. Will cut brush and burnt some. I went over to Burg in Evening.

May 10 – Will split posts. I took Locust post up to corner. Cullen and Bert[84] planted the south lot to corn. I went up to Mr Flanders got poshole digger, some potatoes, Harness, one pig. Rained before I got home. Rainy night.

May 11 – At home all day. No one here.

May 12 – Will Clark planted corn for Ed Schram in forenoon, for Mr Streator in afternoon. I went over to burg in Evening to see if my wire had come. Rained in night.

May 13 – Jim and Will sawed wood and posts on hill some in forenoon and afternoon. Rained some. I set the corner post up at the corner towards Taylors.

May 14 – Drawed manure six loads. Will planting for Harry Streator. Mr McKay buried to day.[85]

May 15 – Sawed pickets for Hen park. Got out manure in afternoon. Went over to burg in Evening. Mr Conrad buried to day.[86] Will Clark planted for Mr Franklin.

May 16 – Pleasant morning. Got out manure put it on garden.

May 17 – Built Hen Park. Very fine day. Went over got my wire, 403 lbs, 5 lbs staples $24.48. Mrs. M. Sprague[87] came on noon train to Nancys. Came over here in Evening.

May 18 – Pleasant day. Ethan and Patty went down to Katharines.

May 19 – Not very well. Got out some manure on garden.

May 20 – Worked up on Hill some set some posts East side of wheat lot. Will Brown plowed garden.

May 21 – Went down to Will Browns got his Thomas[?] Harrow to drag garden. Will burning brush and distributing posts.

May 22 – Worked on hill set posts. Got Tom Brown[88] drawed some rails.

May 23 – Jim came down with team drawed rails and wood with both teams.

May 24 – Katharine and Geo Worked on fence some.

May 25 – Katharine and George came up here. Alvin and Julia[89] here. George Tomlinson,[90] Ogden Tomlinson, wife and daughter[91] came here.

May 26 – Rainy some. George Tomlinson went to Battle Creek came back went down to Katharines with Orrin Starr.[92] I took Patty down to Katharines. Rainy.

May 27 – Will working on hill throwing up rige on the line of the fence. I went down to M O Streators got some potatoes.

May 28 – Cold north wind no frost. Working on hill throwing up ridge.

May 29 – Worked on fence tightening posts. Will throwing up ridge.

May 30 – Put wire on fence, put up 60 rods, 4 wire fence.

May 31 – Cleaning up and grading.

——-

[82] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts’ brother

[83] FindAGrave.com shows that a Catherine Maloney, the wife of Michael Maloney, died in 1884 (no month or day listed) and is buried in the Riverside Catholic Cemetery in Kalamazoo. The 1880 census has a listing for Michael & Catherine Maloney living in Comstock, so it is assumed this is the Mrs. Maloney referred to

[84] Possibly Cullen Towne and his father Albert Towne. Luke’s son, Ethan, made the following entry in his diary for the same date: Charley Towne planted corn in our south lot to day. Charley was Cullen’s brother and Albert’s son

[85] FindAGrave.com shows that Thomas A. McKay was born in 1847, died in 1884 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan. While only the years of birth and death are given, the 1880 census also shows that he was born in 1847 and lived in Comstock not far from where Luke’s mother-in-law, Nancy Betts, was living

[86] Michigan death records show that Rev. Johannes Melchior Conrad died May 13, 1884 in Galesburg, Michigan and FindAGrave.com shows he is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Galesburg, Michigan

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

[88] Believe he is referring to the Brown family’s horse, Tom

[89] Alvin Lee and his mother, Juliana (Davis) Lee. Julia was the widow of Luke’s paternal first cousin, Charles Lee

[90] George Tomlinson’s wife, Marion (Sprague), was the daughter of Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague, Luke’s sister

[91] Ogden, Mary (Wareham) and Cleo Tomlinson. Ogden and George were brothers

[92] Alfleda Starr was married to Luke’s late brother, Harvey Keith, but any connection between Orrin and Alfleda is unknown at this time

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