Luke's 1885 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries for January 1885

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

The entries from January 1 through January 18 were first written in the back of his 1884 diary and are basically identical to what he then wrote in his 1885 diary. Anything from 1884 that clarifies the 1885 entries is noted in brackets.

1885 DIARY OF CHARLES LUKE KEITH JR.[1]

Jan 1 – Mercury 2 Abz[2] Blustring. D & Lou [and children][3] came on noon train. Nancy [and children came over. Hank no come],[4] Will Brown and Lizzy,[5] Charley, Lois & Clara & Mrs Youngs,[6] Ella Allen.[7]

Jan 2 – 2 Abz. Went got Lous trunk. [Got Charleys pork barrel.] Ethan,[8] D., Hannah[9] & Jim[10] went down to Mrs Browns[11] in Evening.

Jan 3 – 12 Abz. D. & Lou here. Old Mrs Williams buried to day.[12] Dell[13] got ax in Evening. Em & Wm Ralph[14] here.

Jan 4 – Mercury 23 Abz. At home all day. [Mrs Youngs, Clara and Charley came down.] D. & Lou went up to Wm Ralphs. [Charley and Mrs Youngs went round the squair.]

Jan 5 – Mercury 34 Abz. Cut up Peter.[15] Went over to Burg got oil. [Lou and Jay and Vern.] D. went home. Dell paid for ax $1.00.

Jan 6 – Mercury 38 Abz. Took Hannah down to top of [Browns] Hill. Met Caywood he took her down to his House. Made two pulleys for Theodore.[16] [He sayed to supper. Theodore, Ethan and Jim went over to the Rink to see Burroughs, Austin, Wilson and Durkee skate.]

Jan 7 – Mercury 32 Abz. Sarah[17] and Lou went down to Mrs Browns. Got out stuf for Skinners Pie tongs.[18] [Made one. No storm some to day.]

Jan 8 – Mercury 34 Abz. Worked on tongs. Sarah and Lou went up to Claras. Lois came over after sausage cutter.

Jan 9 – Mercury 34 Abz. Worked on pie tongs. Cool wind no snow on ground.

Jan 10 – Mer 28 Abz. Went over to burg. Took Lou to Mr Ralphs. Got my glasses mended. Mr Randal paid 15¢.

Jan 11 – Mercury 37 Abz in mor. Took Hannah over to over to Lois in morning. Jim and Clark went down to Marts.[19] Rainy day.

Jan 12 – Mer 27 Abz [snows some. Mercury 40 in afternoon.] Went up to mill after oil [no got some]. Shelled some corn. Lou came home in Evening.

Jan 13 – Mercury 8 Abz. Snows some. Jim went up to Frank Bronsons after Hanks Horses. Cold day.

Jan 14 – Mercury 8 Abz. Jim went to Howlands mills. [No snow. Mrs Youngs, Clara, Lois and Charley here in afternoon.] Charley Town[20] drew some straw. Mrs Hitchcock Died [in night.][21]

Jan 15 – Mer 20 Abz. Snowed in night [snow about 4 inches. Went over to burg in morning to help Lou of.] Lou went Home. Hank went to Kalamazoo with her. [Got calendar. Ethan turned Herbs[22] Stand top.]

Jan 16 – Mercury 16 Abz. [Ethan went over to burg in morning to see about moulding his patterns.] Herb came down with his canvasing Book. Cold Blustring Eight inches snow.

Jan 17 – Mercury 10 Abz. Snows and blows snow about 12 inches on level. Cold rough day.

Jan 18 – Mercury 10 below zero. Very cold Blustring day. Mrs Hichcock Buried to day. [Bad day for man or beast to be out, say nodings aboud de vimmins.][23]

Jan 19 – Mercury 10 below zero. Took Hannah over to Lois in morning. Cold. Will Clark[24] called here at noon.

Jan 20 – Mercury 15 below zero. At home all day. Theodore and Ethan went to Burg in afternoon. Very cold day.

Jan 21 – Mercury 3 below. No clouds, pleasant, sun came out clear. Went over to Burg in afternoon. Cold and snows. Quite a blustring day.

Jan 22 – Mercury 10 below zero. Took up pork out of Barrel. Put some in crock. Made two Pie raisers. Very much winter.

Jan 23 – Mercury 8 Abz. At home most of the day. Went over to burg in afternoon. Uncle Pat Smith Died to night.[25]

Jan 24 – Mercury 26 Abz. Went over after Nancy in morning. C. I. Clark[26] went to Jackson.

Jan 25 – Mercury 16 Abz. Went down to Katharines.[27] Not very cold, good sleighing. Mrs Bee buried to day.

Jan 26 – Mercury 2 below. Very cold & blustring. Mr Wm Simonds buried to day.[28] Rough day to be out. No work to day a regular Perry[29] day.

Jan 27 – Mercury 3 below. Chored round some. Went over to burg.

Jan 28 – Mercury 11 below 7 P.M. Worked in shop on Herbs Book Box. Will Brown here making tent.

Jan 29 – Mercury 10 Abz in morning. Worked in shop some on Herbs Book box. Sarah went up to Jesse Earls.[30]

Jan 30 – Mercury 24 Abz. Worked on Box. Herb here. Cut out stuff for Box.

Jan 31 – Mercury 4 Abz. Turned pulley for Theodore. Worked on Box. Dick Lamkin came over got rags.

——-

[1] Known better, and referred to, as Luke

[2] Above zero

[3] His daughter’s family, Daniel D. & Louese (Keith) Harris and their children, Jay and LaVerne

[4] His daughter’s family, Henry & Nancy (Keith) Brown and their children, Claude, Lela and Bess

[5] Hank Brown’s brother and sister-in-law, Willis & Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown

[6] His grandson, Charles Clark; his daughter (and Charley’s mother), Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner; Charley’s wife, Clara (Youngs) Clark; and Clara’s mother, Rhoda (Wood) Youngs

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

[8] His son, Ethan Keith

[9] His daughter, Hannah Keith

[10] His son, James Clinton Keith

[11] Matilda (Allen) Brown; his neighbor and the mother of Hank and Will Brown

[12] FindAGrave.com shows that Louisa (Andrews) Williams died January 1, 1885 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[13] His son-in-law (Lois’ husband), Adelbert Skinner

[14] Neighbors, Emaline (Stone) & William Ralph

[15] His hog

[16] Neighbor and “shirttail relative”

[17] His wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[18] Apparatus for lifting hot pies out of the oven

[19] His late niece Lucy (Lee) Milham’s husband, Martin Milham. Lucy was the daughter of his sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[20] Neighbor, Charles Towne

[21] While the Michigan death records indicate that Sarah (Ridler) Hitchcock died in Pavilion, Michigan on January 23, 1885, FindAGrave.com shows her date of death as January 14, 1885, which agrees with Luke’s entry

[22] His neighbor and “shirttail relative,” Herbert Earl, who was the brother of Theodore Earl (see footnote to January 6th entry)

[23] To say nothing about the women

[24] His grandson, the son of his daughter Lois

[25] While no death record has been found, FindAGrave.com shows that Patrick Smith died January 24, 1885 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan. Luke often referred to the parents of a husband or wife of a family member, or the parent of a neighbor, as Aunt or Uncle

[26] Charles Ira Clark (see footnote to January 1st entry)

[27] His sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[28] No death record has been found, but FindAGrave.com shows that William Simonds died January 25, 1885 and is buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Comstock, Michigan

[29] Believe he is referring to Perry, New York, where his niece and her husband, Marion (Sprague) & George Tomlinson, lived

[30] Father of Theodore and Herb Earl (see footnotes to January 6th and 15th entries)

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