Ethan's 1884 Diary

Ethan Keith’s diary entries of September 10-30, 1884

Sep 10 – 104º. Worked at patterns. Pa took Mar Ma over to Nancys this A.M. Hannah came from her visit at Perry to day. Wesley Keith came here to day came to Hanks last evening. It is ten years since he left.[132] Rained this evening quite hard.

Sep 11 – Worked at patterns some. Took Will Clark up to Sam Osbornes from there to Mr Streators. I took Nan and Hannah down to Mrs Browns. They went down to Aunt Katies. Wesley and I went down there this P.M. Cooler.

Sep 12 – Worked at patterns. Charley Clark cut corn for us to day. Clara was down this P.M. Wesley went up to Mr Nyes this P.M.

Sep 13 – Worked at patterns. Charley finished cutting our corn this A.M. Ma went over to the Burg with Pa this evening. Will Clark and Jim have gone up to Augusta to “Skate” this evening. Went over to the 9.15 P.M. train and met Rosa and Laura. They have been out to Hillsdale Co. visiting.

Sep 14 – At home all day. Pa and Ma went down to aunt Katies this P.M. found Lucy better. Charley and Clara came down this evening.

Sep 15 – Worked at patterns. Laura, Rosa and I went to the Burg this evening. We went by the way of the upper bridge. Quite warm.

Sep 16 – Dont feel very well have not done much of any thing. Went up to Claras and took postal to Ina. Rained last night has been cooler to day. Hannah is 29 years old to day.

Sep 17 – Laura and Rosa James, Nancy, Hannah, Jim, Claude and I went to the State Fair at Kal-. The James girls did not come back with us are going home from Kal-. We left them at Martin Turners.

Sep 18 – Will Clark and I went to the State Fair at Kal-. Saw Oscar Keith and Myrtie Chaffee and husband.[133] Came home on the cars.[134] We had a double header and 26 cars.

Sep 19 – Worked at patterns some. Mary Plank[135] and Lou Hall a friend of hers came here this evening. We went over to the Skating Rink this evening. Charley Ford[136] had his opining this evening. Wrote to Laura and Rosa James. Party at Russells to night. Will went Ollie Patterson took him. Bought ½ doz silver plated knives and forks this evening.)

Sep 20 – Worked at patterns part of the day. Mary Plank, Miss Hall and Hannah went over to call on Fannie Towne[137] this A.M. Hannah took them down to Mr Allertons this P.M. They are going home this evening. Will Clark and Hannah went over to the Rink to skate this P.M.

Sep 21 – Hannah, Jim, Will and I went up to Charleys to dinner. Hannah and Will went to church this A.M. Pa and Ma went down to Aunt Katies to day. They say that Lucy is better. Hanks folks are over to Mrs Browns to day.

Sep 22 – Worked at patterns. Will Clark began working for Mr Allerton this morning. Ida (Barber) Howe left Mr Howe to day.[138] He feels real bad about it. Lucy B. Lee Milham died this evening at 11.15 P.M.[139] Wesley Keith came after Ma this evening to go down to Aunt Katies.

X Sep 23 – Worked at patterns. Wesley Keith came up from Aunt Katies this morning after Hannah. Said Lucy was dead. Pa went down this P.M. and got Ina. I went up to Claras and told them of Lucy’s death. Rec’d a postal from the James girls.

Sep 24 – Went to Lucy’s funeral. Went to Mr Streators this A.M. with Harry and after dinner we went to the funeral. I rode home with Hanks folks. Rained real hard this A.M.

Sep 25 – Worked at patterns. Went to the Burg this evening. Charley Clark husked corn for Pa to day. Clara and Edna came down this P.M. stayed to tea.

Sep 26 – Worked at patterns. Charley husked a little while this A.M. He and Pa went over to the Station and got his wagon he has had shipped to him from Jasper. Delphia York[140] brought Wesley Keith up here this A.M. Nina came with them. She stayed until after dinner.

Sep 27 – Worked at patterns. Charley Clark husked some to day. I went to the Burg this evening. Mary Schroeder was at Hanks this evening. Hannah came home this evening from Nan’s with Mrs Randall.

Sep 28 – Jim, Charley and I went up to Theodores this A.M. to the “Rink.” Hannah and I went up to Charleys this P.M. but they were not at home. We saw Ida Bronson[141] at the Taylor girls. I carried Hannah over to Nan’s this evening. Carried Jim as far as Mrs Browns on his way to Streators.

Sep 29 – Worked at patterns. Charley Clark husked corn this A.M. Charley Towne finished husking here to day. There was a Co organized in the Burg to day to develop the water power from Gull Creek north of the Burg.[142] It was discovered by Geo Youmans.

X Sep 30 – Worked at patterns. Went to the Burg this evening after Hannah. She went to the “Rink” with Jim and Mary Schroder. She came home with Harry Streator. Wesley Keith came back from Scotts this P.M. went to the Burg with me. Will stay at Wm Blakes to night. Rec’d a letter from Laura James.


[132] John Wesley Keith. According to the Keith Family Bible, Wesley was the adopted brother of Ethan’s father, Charles Luke Keith Jr. A May 4th entry in Luke’s 1874 diary shows that “Wesley and family left for Kansas on the Eleven fifty Eight run”

[133] Mrytie LaVern Chaffee, the daughter of Ethan’s first cousin, Frances Catherine “Kate” Keith & Thomas Jefferson Chaffee Jr. Mrytie’s husband was Jesse Eugene Stevens

[134] The train

[135] The daughter of William & Harriet (Groat) Plank. The Planks had been the Keith family’s neighbors in Comstock until 1873 when they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan

[136] Neighbor, Charles Ford, husband of “Mate” Ford (see footnote to July 30th entry)

[137] Neighbor Frances Towne. She was the sister of Charles Towne (see footnote to May 5th entry)

[138] Ida Barber married C. Eugene Howe on February 15, 1882 and on February 18, 1884 had twins (see footnote to February 18th entry)

[139] This text had a border around it. While no death record has been found, shows she is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Comstock, Michigan. She left behind seven children, the oldest being 18 years old and the youngest 9 months old

[140] Ethan’s cousin, Marion Adelphia York, the granddaughter of Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee (see footnote to January 7th entry)

[141] Ida (Clark) Bronson was the niece of Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner’s first husband, Byron Clark

[142] Gull Creek is at the south end of Gull Lake. A control structure was built there in the mid-1800s to provide power for a grist mill and to control lake level

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s