Ethan's 1884 Diary

Ethan Keith’s diary entries for November 1884

Nov 1 – Worked at patterns. Pa went over and got Nan and the children this A.M. I took them down to Mrs Browns this P.M. Hank and I went to the Academy of Music** to see Silver King played this evening it was first rate. Will Clark and Hettie went to the play.

Nov 2 – Hannah and I went to Charleys this P.M. and made a short visit. Jim stayed at home last night has been to the Burg all day.

Nov 3 – Worked at patterns. Pa went up to Mr Flanders and got a load of apples this P.M. Will Clark went up to Shelbyville to day to clerk for S & H. Jim and Mary Milham went to Kal- this evening to an opening of a new skating rink. Grace Griffith began working for Nan to day.

Nov 4 – Election (Presidential)[154] I voted for the prohabition candidates, St. John of Kan – for president – voted the Green back ticket for State Legislature and County Officers. Worked at patterns and done some turning for Herb Earl this A.M. Took tea at Hanks. Visited Lois this evening. Rained all night. Sent a couple of Enterprises[155] to Hank telling about the Water Power Boom.

Nov 5 – Worked at patterns. Rained all the last fore noon. Mr Wm Hill died last night (Oat Hills father).[156] Hannah went up to Mrs Thompsons near Scotts to sew this A.M. so Pa and I are all alone. Charley Clark helped Pa get the apples out of the wagon down cellar this A.M. He had the wagon to draw his Mother a load of wood in the P.M. Pa got “Peter” in the pen this P.M.

X Nov 6 – Worked at patterns. Finished putting the flanges on the flange wheel that is on the knotter part. Pa went over to the Burg this P.M. Pa bought 8 bushels of potatoes of Nelson Nichols 30 cts pr bushel. Wrote to Henry L. Keith about the binder. Offered him half of it if he would be to the patent expense and also the expense of making a binder. Did not send the letter for I got one from R. E. Strait.

Nov 7 – Worked at patterns and house work. Charley Clark husked corn for us to day (finished).

X Nov 8 – Worked at patterns. Ma came from Lou’s to day. Lou sent me a can of Salmon. Received a letter from R. E. Strait. Pa went over to the Depot and got Ma’s trunk. Lois and Ina came home with him. Dell came here about 10 P.M.

Nov 9 – Very pleasant. Jim came down this A.M. Ed Streator of Cleveland Ohio[157] came with him. He brought his Bb cornet with him it cost $90. He is a good player. I carried Lois and Ina home this P.M. Dell went over to the Burg this A.M. Jim and Hannah went over to Hanks this evening. Jim took his new Vineyard skates back to exchange them.

X Nov 10 – Worked at patterns. Pa took Hannah to the Burg this A.M. Heard that Mrs Barber[158] was very sick came back and took Ma over there. She stayed until night. Rec’d letter from Rosa C. James.

X Nov 11 – Worked at patterns. Wrote to Henry. Went to the Burg this evening. Walked home with T. Earl. Hank, Nan and Hannah went to the skating rink.

Nov 12 – Worked at patterns. Ma has gone over to set up with Mrs Barber to night. Willis Brown and Lizzie Ogden were married this evening[159] at her home. No one there but the brothers and sisters.[160] Hank and Nancy and children went. Mrs Brown had a bad cold and could not go.

Nov 13 – Worked at patterns. Ma went down and visited Mrs Brown this P.M. She was there when Will and Lizzie came from Mr Ogdens.[161] Pa went over to the Burg and got Ma this A.M. She stayed at Hanks. Mrs Barber did not need any to set up with her. Jim and Mary have gone to the rink to night. We are having nice weather for this time of the year.

Nov 14 – Worked at patterns. Pa and Ma were married 35 years ago to day. Will Brown and wife called this evening to leave a couple of papers. He introduced me to his wife.

X Nov 15 – Worked at patterns. Went to the Burg this evening Hannah went with me. The Democrats are having a big time. They have just heard that Cleveland carried the state of N.Y. It is just splendid weather nowadays. Rec’d a letter from J. F. Tomlinson.

X Nov 16 – Pa and Ma went down to aunt Katies. Hannah and I went up to Charleys this P.M. Hanks folks were over. Six years ago to day Charley and Clara were married. Rained some just at night. Wrote to Miss H. M. Comfort.

X Nov 17 – Charley Clark, Lois, Nan, Ina and I went to Kal- to day. Lois went to do get her a carpet for her parlor and chairs and couch. Bill got scared at the cars at Comstock and liked to run off the bank the west of the bridge. Hannah sews for Mary Allerton[162] most of this week.

Nov 18 – Worked at patterns. It has been quite a cold day. Pa washed the windows in the shop. Will Brown finished husking corn to day. Charley Clark helped him.

Nov 19 – Worked at patterns. Pa and Ma went down to Aunt Julia Lee’s visiting to day. It has been quite pleasant.

X Nov 20 – Finished the patterns for the knotter part of my binder. Went to the Burg this evening. The Democrats have had a “big” time in Kal- to day over the election. Rec’d a letter from H. M. Comfort.

Nov 21 – Worked at a bar for Charley Clarks bookcase and a box for Jim to carry his skates in. Went up to Charleys this P.M. and put the bar on the bookcase. Mrs Youngs[163] came there while I was there, the first time I ever met her. Charley Clark plastered some for us this P.M. in Grand ma’s room. Went to the Burg this evening.

Nov 22 – Charley plastered a little this A.M. His wifes cousin came down with him Mr Long (Oldacre). Helped Lois put down her new carpet this P.M. Took tea with her, the first meal I have taken with her in her new home. Mr Knapp came over to get some pattern work done this A.M. Miss Ella Allen came to Hanks to day. She is from Georgia.[164] I had an introduction.

Nov 23 – Hannah and I went down to Mrs Browns and spent the day. Nan and children were there. Jim is there doing chores. Will and Lizzie are out to Mr Perrys. Has been quite stormy rain and snow.

Nov 24 – Worked at a pattern of a gear wheel (3¼”) for Mr W. H. Knapp. Charley Clark was down to day had a tooth pulled.[165] Took dinner with us. This has been cold stormy day. Hannah went to Gus Gates this morning to sew.

Nov 25 – Worked at a box for Jim to keep his skates in to day. Mr Knapp came over and got his pattern this A.M. Jim called this evening for his skates. He and Miss Ella Allen and Will Brown and wife have gone to the rink to night. Sleighs have started for the first this winter to day.

Nov 26 – Finished Jims skate box and began one for Hannah this P.M. Charley Clark and Theodore Earl was down this A.M. Went to the Burg this evening. Charley Clark was over to his mothers and he came home with me. Sleighs are running to night.

Nov 27 – Worked at Hannahs skate box, and began the pattern for the needle to the binder. Thanksgiving. We had a strawberry shortcake for dinner. Jim went to Kal-. The Burg boys have been sliding down hill to day. Lois and Ina are over to Charleys to day to Thanksgiving.

Nov 28 – Worked at patterns. Charley Clark came after Ma this A.M. to go up there visiting. Lois and Ina came home with her to night. T. Earl, Nelson Nichols and Richard Barber were here to day. Two years ago tonigh. The thought does not bring pleasant memories. Quite the reverse.[166]

Nov 29 – Worked at patterns. Charley Clark came and got his Mother and Ina and carried them home this A.M. Ma went over to Mrs Ralphs visiting this P.M. I went after her this evening. Hannah came from Wm Ralphs this evening. Two years age to day “Nell” left for West Stockbridge, Mass. 12.53 P.M.[167]

Nov 30 – Pa and Ma went down to Aunt Katies. It has been a pleasant day. Charley Clark, Jim, Will Kaywood and sister,[168] Mrs Brown, Will Brown and wife and Ella Allen, Mrs Powers of Scotts and brother have all been in the yard to day. Harry Streator also. Ormsby Mitchell came after Hannah this evening to go there and sew this week.


[154] Grover Cleveland defeated James Blaine, becoming the 22nd president of the United States. He also was the 24th president, the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office (1885–1889 and 1893–1897)

[155] Kalamazoo County Enterprise newspaper

[156] Michigan death records reveal that Andrew (not William) Hill died November 4, 1884 in Comstock, Michigan. Andrew was the father of Otis Hill

[157] Edward Kent Streator, the son of Worthy & Sarah (Sterling) Streator. It is believed that Edward and Marius (see footnote to January 18th entry) were brothers; research continues

[158] Neighbor, Mary (Knowles) Barber

[159] Willis Allen Brown and Elizabeth Rebecca Ogden were married in Charleston, Michigan.

[160] Lizzie had five brothers, Stuart, Charles, George, Murray and Arthur, and four sisters, Mary, Fanny, Estella and Ida

[161] Henry Ogden

[162] Daughter of John Allerton (see footnote to August 13th entry)

[163] Charley Clark’s mother-in-law, Rhoda (Wood) Youngs

[164] Ella was Henry Brown’s maternal first cousin, the daughter of his Uncle Wilson Allen

[165] Among other thing, Ethan’s father, Charles Luke Keith Jr., pulled teeth for his neighbors

[166] See footnote to August 6th entry. Also, an entry from his November 27, 1899 diary indicates that: 17 years to night went to the Lights O Londen at Kal-.

[167] See footnote to August 6th entry

[168] Neighbors, William and Marena Caywood

** See for more info on the Academy of Music

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