Ethan's 1884 Diary

Ethan Keith’s diary entries for June 1884

Jun 1 – Went down to Aunt Katies this P.M. with a letter for Aunt Patty. Lucy[84] brought her up to our house. Lee[85] rode up with me so that he could drive back for his mother. I went over to Hanks after I got home after Hannah.

Jun 2 – Pa and I went up to Geo Billingtons to look at a new kind of a fence this A.M. Called at Mrs Earls.[86] Herb let me have some cucumber and Musk Melen seed. Hannah went up to Mr Flanders to sew this ev’ing.

Jun 3 – Put up screens and built a frame over the east door for the woodbine[87] to run on. Rained quite hard this P.M. Our cow had a calf this morning. Will has gone down to Mr Franklins to work for them the rest of the week.

X Jun 4 – Wrote to Inum[?] & Co. Pa Carried Ma, Grandma and Aunt Patty over to Nancys this morning. Went after them this evening. Got home about ten oclock. Grandma was taken with one of her hard breathing spells and died at 11.15. I went over after Nancy and telegraphed to Uncle Hi. Got 105 cabbage and 19 Tomato plants and set them out. Lois came to Hanks this evening. This stamp was Grandma’s.[88]

Jun 5 – Wrote to Uncle Henry and Edna Allen[89] of Grandma’s death. Hannah and I went down to aunt Katies this P.M. Found Uncle Hi, Aunt Kate and Blanche here. Jim and I went over after the coffin this evening. Sent telegrams to Uncle Rob’t, Henry and David,[90] also Dee Harris. Lou and Dee came out this P.M. eving.

X Jun 6 – Grandma was buried this P.M. Had a prayer at the house and funeral at the Baptist church. The text was 49th Psalm 15th verse.[91] Uncle Pross came this morning or rather last evening to Hanks. Wrote to Frank for Aunt Patty.

Jun 7 – I carried Uncle Hi and Blanche to the Burg this morning came back and got aunt Kate. Uncle Henry came this morning. He and Uncle Pross walked over to the burying ground. They all went home on mail 11.15. Went to the Burg this evening saw Mr Barlow about some money. Lou and Jay came home with me.

Jun 8 – Quite warm. Jim and Will went to church this A.M. and evening. Mr & Mrs Streator[92] was down this P.M. Alvan Lee called a few minutes.

Jun 9 – Will and I drew the rails from the road fence east of the gate. Went up to Mr Flanders this evening after their post hole digger. Real cold this evening.

X Jun 10 – We set the posts for the fence from the garden to the corners. I took Hannah over to the Burg this P.M. We called at Mrs Barbers on our way home to see the twins. Received a letter from H. L. Keith. Wrote a postal to Nellie Gillett[93] for Aunt Patty.

Jun 11 – Jim came down this morning and plowed the sod up each side of the posts. Will shoveled up the sod. I burnt some brush. Lois, Nan and Lou visited at Mrs Browns. Hannah went down there to sew. Aunt Katie and Lucy came up and visited here this P.M. I went and got Lou. They commenced weaning Jay to day.

Jun 12 – Helped put on the lower wire to the fence this A.M. Cultivated the garden this P.M. Pa and Aunt Patty went to the Burg this evening.

Jun 13 – We put the wire on the fence to day now we have a four wire fence from the garden to the top of the hill around the road. Hannah came from Mrs Browns this morning Dell Skinner[94] brought her. She went up to Jim Milhams[95] this P.M. a visiting. I went after to night.

X Jun 14 – Wrote to E. L. Crawford.[96] Bought a garden cultivator of W. H. Knapp this A.M. Ma and Aunt Patty went to Nans a visiting. Will Clark went to Gull Lake to a picnic. Rec’d a letter from Uncle Hiram.

Jun 15 – Carried Aunt Patty down to Aunt Katies. It has been quite warm.

Jun 16 – Went to the Burg with Theodore Earl to see Mr Barlow about some money got $21.00 by making a ____ with Theodore.

Jun 17 – 93°. Worked at some window screen frames for the Taylor girls[97] part of the day. Very warm. Pa worked on the road.

X Jun 18 – Went to the Burg this A.M. and got Nan, Lois and the children. Rained quite hard this P.M. Charley Clark and Clara[98] came to day, have moved here, will live in Theodore Earls house. Pa worked on the road. Wrote to J.F.T.[99]

X Jun 19 – Went to Kal this A.M. after Jessie Crawford. She came on Express 1.45. We called on Edna Allen. I got dinner at Johnny Richmonds. Jim Crum rode to Kal with me. Bought a hat and a duster. Wrote a postal to Frank Tomlinson. Went to the Burg this evening. Took Clara over and brought Lou back.

Jun 20 – Have not done much to day. Has been quite hot. Pa helped Charley Towne put a window in their wing room. Jessie went to the Burg this A.M. I picked about 7 qts of strawberries.

Jun 21 – Took Lou to Kal to day. She left Kal at 1.52 P.M. for Shelbyville. I came home by the way of Comstock. Went down to Uncle Jess Turners.[100] Aunts Patty and Katie and Mrs Gofferey was there. Jessie went up to Jim Milhams this P.M. Went to the Burg with the girls in evening. Jim and Will stay here to night.

Jun 22 – 99°. Jim, Will and I went up to the sheep pen and went in swimming. Bina Earl[101] gave me a bouquet. Will has gone to Russells. Jim to church this evening. Mr Peter Carmer was buried to day at Otsego.[102]

Jun 23 – Charley Clark came over this A.M. Pa went up to Mr Streators and got a grist of wheat and took to mill. Jessie and Charlie rode over to the Burg with him. Jessie and Lela came over with Will Brown.

X Jun 24 – Carried Jessie and Lela down to Mrs Browns this A.M. Picked about 15 qts of strawberries. Clara, Geo and Aunt Patty came up this A.M. Charley Clarks goods came to day. Mr Brownell get them for him. Went to the Burg this evening. Got three pictures of this house that J. Conkey made. Wrote to Imus & Co. Rec’d a letter from J.F.T.

Jun 25 – Colder to day and rainy also. Charley Clark is getting settled to day. Jessie and I went up there this P.M. Blacked Stove and pipe in the front room.

Jun 26 – I took Hannah to Mr Streators this P.M. Went to the Burg this eving. Pa and Aunt Patty went out for a ride this P.M. called at Mr Flanders.

Jun 27 – Went up to Charleys this morning and invited Clara down this P.M. Cultivated the garden and hoed the potatoes. Lois, Nancy and the children was over to day.

Jun 28 – Put paris green[103] on the potatoes and cut weeds this A.M. Geo brought Aunt Katie up this A.M. Ma, Aunt Patty and Aunt Katie went over to the Cemetery and to Nancys this P.M. I went to the Burg this evening.

Jun 29 – Strait came over to day. He has let a Co. in Mishwauka Ind have his windmill to make on a royalty. Hannah, Jessie and I went over to Hanks this eving. Charley and Clara was down this P.M. Pa, Ma, and Aunt Patty went down to Mrs Browns this P.M. Geo and Clara came after Aunt Katie this P.M.

Jun 30 – Aunt Patty and Hannah started for Perry[104] on Express 1.45 P.M. I took them to Kal-. Called at Aunt Katies and got supper. Called on L. C. West.[105]


[84] Lucy (Lee) Milham, his cousin, the daughter of Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[85] Ansel Lee Milham, Lucy’s son

[86] Mary (Clapp) Earl, Herbert Earl’s mother

[87] A climbing plant with pleasant-smelling, yellow flowers such as Virginia creeper, or honeysuckle

[88] He had affixed a 2¢ postage stamp at the bottom of the page

[89] His maternal first cousin, Edna (Crawford) Allen

[90] His maternal uncles, Robert, Henry and David (D.C.) Crawford

[91] But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me

[92] Marius O. & Laura (Rawson) Streator

[93] Patty’s granddaughter, Nellie (Tomlinson) Gillett, the daughter of George & Marion (Sprague) Tomlinson

[94] His brother-in-law (Lois’ husband), Adelbert Skinner

[95] Neighbor, and half-brother of Martin Milham, who was the husband of Ethan’s cousin, Lucy (Lee) Milham

[96] His maternal first cousin, Eugene L. Crawford

[97] Sisters, Harriet and Flora Elizabeth “Libbie” Taylor. Libby had been married to Isaac Schram, however by 1880 they were divorced and Hattie and Libby were living together

[98] His nephew and his wife, Charles I. & Clara (Youngs) Clark

[99] His cousin, John Frank Tomlinson; also went by the name of Frank or J. Frank

[100] Jesse Turner was actually his first cousin once removed

[101] Albina Earl, the daughter of Jesse & Mary (Clapp) Earl

[102] confirms that Peter S. Carmer died in Otsego on June 19, 1884 and is buried in Mountain Home Cemetery in Otsego, Michigan. According to Luke Keith’s April 7th diary entry he had just moved to Otsego

[103] A poisonous emerald-green powder used as a pigment, insecticide and wood preservative

[104] Patty lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Marion (Sprague) & George Tomlinson, in Perry, New York. Hannah stayed in Perry until September 10th

[105] His patent attorney, Lucius C. West

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