Luke's 1886 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries for January 1886

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

1886 DIARY OF CHARLES LUKE KEITH, JR.[1]

Luke wrote his entries for 1886 in three different diaries: it appears that he first wrote the January 1-30 entries in the back of his 1885 diary, then January 31 to March 31 in the back of his 1881 diary. On March 4th he bought an 1886 diary and started to copy all those entries, but only copied January 1-9, left the following pages blank and then started entering daily on April 1 through the end of the year. As the January 1-9 entries in his 1886 diary are shortened versions, I have used the 1885 version.

Jan 1 – Mercury 36. Very nice day no snow. Went over to Lois[2] to a New Years dinner me self and Sarah,[3] Hannah,[4] Lou,[5] Mrs Brown,[6] Jim,[7] Ethan,[8] Will Clark.[9]

Jan 2 – Mercury 41. Filed saw for Jim. Cut and drew two loads wood and one load corn. Rainy day.

Jan 3 – Mercury 43 no snow, rainy morning. At home all day.

Jan 4 – Mercury 38. No work but chores. Ethan went over to Foundry to work.

Jan 5 – Mercury 30 snowey. Ethan went to Kalamazoo. D.[10] came home with him.

Jan 6 – Mercury 11 Abz.[11] Lou and D. went home. Mr Lanfor Burdick Died Six Oclock this morning.[12] Went down to Mr Randals got Butter. Cold wind. Fanny Town[13] called in.

Jan 7 – Mercury __4. Took Hannah over to the burg[14] in morning. Choring around. Took saw up to Theodores[15] to be gumed[?]. Filed saw for Skinner[16] 25 cts.

Jan 8 – Mercury 16. Not much done. Very windy day. Mr Burdick buried to day.

Jan 9 – Mercury 18. Snowey and Blustring day. Drew two loads wood one corn. Theodore came down here.

Jan 10 – Mercury 14 in morning. At home. Cold snowey day about 4 inches snow. Husked some corn. Mercury 4 four below in Evening.

Jan 11 – Mercury 3 below in morning cold and blustring. Jim and Will Clark posting bills for H. A. Brown.[17]

Jan 12 – Mercury 6 Abz. At home doing chores.

Jan 13 – Choring, no work to amount to much. Cutting some wood. Went down to Randalls.

Jan 14 – Mercury 10 Abz. Cut and drawed three loads wood.

Jan 15 – Rainy. Drawed two loads corn.

Jan 16 – Mercury. Went over to burg in morning got glass for schoolhouse. Went and set them. 4 lights 40 cts. Got 3½ lbs Butter of Fanny Town.

Jan 17 – At home all day. No one here till just at night George and Evva Blake[18] called here.

Jan 18 – Mercury 32. Went up to mill. Ground my ax. Herb Earl and wife[19] stayed in their new House for the first time.

Jan 19 – Mercury 14 Abz. Husked some corn cut some wood. Went over to burg got some nails.

Jan 20 – 9 Abz. Went down to Katharines[20] and M. O. Streators.[21] Very stormy day snow all day.

Jan 21 – Made door to Egg cupboard.

Jan 22 – Mercury 1 below. Stormy. Painted cupboard.

Jan 23 – Mercury 15 below. Took Sarah down to Marts.[22] She went to Kalamazoo to see Ed Allen.[23] Very cold. Plenty snow but not very good sleighing.

Jan 24 – At home all day.

Jan 25 – Mercury 29. Went to Kalamazoo after Sarah. Stoped to Marts saw the mill run. Charley and Clara[24] stayed here.

Jan 26 – Mercury 26 Abz. Jim drawed 3 loads wood one corn. Hank, Lelah and Bes[25] came over they came to Lois.

Jan 27 – 30 Abz. Went over to burg. Took Clara up to Hats.[26] Charley went home. I shelled some corn. Filed saw for N L Randall.[27] Hank to work in galery at the Burg.

Jan 28 – Mercury 22 Abz. Went down to Marts to mill. Got six bushels corn and oats ground. Louese came home.

Jan 29 – Mercury 23 Abz. Took Lou over to burg to get pictures taken. Lou, Clara, Lelah and Bessey here stayed all night.

Jan 30 – At home all day. Lou here she went over and got negatives of the children. D came at night. Cold day.

Jan 31 – Lou went over to burg. Got pictures of the children. D came at night. Cold day.

——-

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

[2] His daughter, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[3] His wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[4] His daughter, Hannah Keith

[5] His daughter, Louese (Keith) Harris

[6] His son-in-law Hank Brown’s mother, Matilda (Allen) Brown, who was also Luke’s neighbor

[7] His son, James Clinton Keith

[8] His son, Ethan Keith

[9] His grandson, William Clark

[10] His son-in-law, Louese’s husband Daniel Harris, Jr.

[11] Above zero

[12] The Michigan death record lists his date of death as January 21 (although it’s possible that the 1 in 21 is actually a 4) and there is a notation “Names added to list by Henry Laffitt [Labbitt] Undertaker Galesburg Michigan.” FindAGrave.com agrees with Luke’s entry of death on January 6, 1886, and shows he is buried in Lawler Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan. The January 9, 1886 edition of the Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, p.3, noted: The funeral services of the late Langford [sic] Burdick of Galesburg were held in the Baptist church at that place yesterday, Rev. J. S. Boyden officiating, and were largely attended. The remains were interred in the cemetery in Charleston Township.

[13] His neighbor, Frances Towne

[14] Galesburg, Michigan

[15] Theodore Earl, neighbor and “shirttail relative”

[16] His son-in-law, Lois’ husband, Adelbert Skinner

[17] His son-in-law, Nancy’s husband, Henry Brown, who was a photographer. It appears Jim and Will were posting advertisements around town. The February 9, 1886 edition of the Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, on page 6, reported the following: Henry A. Brown, photographer, recently of Galesburg, Ill., who has been taking all the pretty prizes in town (if each is left to be sole judge) for the past two weeks, will locate in Kalamazoo in the bank building, on the northwest corner of Main and Burdick streets.

[18] George & Mary Evelyn “Eva” (Forbush) Blake lived in Charleston, Michigan, which is about five miles east of where Luke lived

[19] His neighbor and “shirttail relative,” Herbert Earl, and his wife, Luella (Farr) Earl. Herb and Theodore (see footnote to January 7th entry) were brothers

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

[21] Neighbor, Marius O. Streator

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

[23] His wife Sarah’s niece, Edna (Crawford) Allen. See also February 23rd entry

[24] His grandson, Charles Clark, and his wife, Clara (Youngs) Clark

[25] His son-in-law and his daughters, Lela and Bess Brown

[26] Neighbor, Harriet Taylor

[27] Neighbor, Nathan L. Randall

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