Luke's 1888 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries for January 1888

1888 DIARY OF CHARLES LUKE KEITH, JR.[1]

Jan 1 – Very Blustrous a regular Dacota Blizzard. H. A. Brown,[2] Ethan, Hannah,[3] Claud & Bess,[4] went up to Tip Towns.[5]

Jan 2 – Took Nancy[6] and girls down to Mrs Browns.[7] I went up to Mrs Fords got Mates[8] wrap.

Jan 3 – Went down to Mrs Browns after Nancy and girls took them over to Burg. They went home. Took the Hams down to Mrs Brown in afternoon.

Jan 4 – Took Hannah down to Mr Mitchels in afternoon. Jim[9] and Arthur Arms[10] cut and drawed wood.

Jan 5 – Took Ina home in morning. Worked on cross head in afternoon. Theodore[11] came down and Babited[12] one side. Fred Franklin got his axhelve.

Jan 6 – Worked in shop on cross head. Theodore and Ethan Babited the other side.

Jan 7 – Went down to Katharines[13] in morning. Ethan and Theodore finished the cross Head. Snowed like fun[14] when we came home.

Jan 8 – About one inch and half snow this morning. Sun came out bright in morning. Will Brown[15] hunting for Hog.

Jan 9 – Cold. Not much done. Drawed one load wood. Took some cobs down to Mrs Brown in morning.

Jan 10 – Very cold and blustrous. Nothing done but chores.

Jan 11 – Went over to burg in morning got calendar. Brot Mr Hawks Bass viol over for repairs. Took the Belly of in afternoon. George Blake and wife[16] called here.

Jan 12 – Cold blustrous day. Worked on bull fiddle. A. Armes called here for Jim. Rained in night.

Jan 13 – 5 abz[17] cold blustring day. Worked on Big fiddle. Young Ogden came after Hannah. Put top on Jims violin. Mr David Freer Died to day.[18]

Jan 14 – Worked on Big fiddle. Cold day. Went over to burg in afternoon got bag bran for cow 30¢. Snowed in night.

Jan 15 – At home all day. Mr Freer Buried to day. Dell, Lois and Ina[19] here in Evening.

Jan 16 – 9 Mercury 9 Below zero this morning. Judson Howlet came after Hannah. Worked on Double Bass viol.

Jan 17 – Worked in shop some on Big Fiddle. Cold day.

Jan 18 – Worked in shop some on Bass viol. Went over got clamps to put Bass viol to gether with.

Jan 19 – Good sleighing. Worked in shop on viol.

Jan 20 – Cold day. Went over took Mr Buralls clamps home. Glued upper End of top on Bass fiddle.

Jan 21 – Mercury 15 below zero this morning. Hannah and I went to Kalamazoo. Bot suit clothes $12.00. Very much cold day.

Jan 22 – At home. Clara and George[20] came up here. Very nice pleasant day.

Jan 23 – Worked in Kitchen took of plaster and lath leveled up the joists.

Jan 24 – Mercury 9 below. Put back the floor in Kitchen. Cold day. Jim went to Kalamazoo.

Jan 25 – Worked in shop some on Big fiddle. Put top on Bass Viol in part.

Jan 26 – Finished putting the top on Bass viol. Went over to Burg in afternoon. Sarah[21] went down to Mrs Browns. Old Mrs Russell Buried to day.[22]

Jan 27 – Mercury at zero. Worked on Bass Viol. Very nice day. First rate sleighing. Jim worked for Vansickler and Stilson.

Jan 28 – Went over to Burg Bot flooring and ceiling for Kitchen $5.00. Took Bass Viol over Mr Hawks paid $4.00. Ethan went to Kalamazoo. Nice day good sleighing. Charley Town[23] brot lumber over.

Jan 29 – Went over to George Blakes to a Spiritual meeting.[24] Had a good time.

Jan 30 – Mercury 28 Abz in morning. Ethan got home at noon. Commenced putting down floor.

Jan 31 – Laying floor in Kitchen put down about half. Fine winter weather first rate sleighing.

——-

[1] Charles Luke Keith Jr., known better, and referred to, as Luke

[2] His son-in-law, Henry “Hank” Brown

[3] His son and daughter, Ethan and Hannah Keith

[4] His grandchildren, Claude and Bess Brown

[5] Neighbor, Eunice (Wood) Towne

[6] His daughter, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[7] Matilda (Allen) Brown, his neighbor, and the mother of his son-in-law Henry Brown

[8] Believe he is referring to his neighbors, Adelia (Tompkins) Ford and her daughter-in-law, Mary Ann “Mate” (Thompson) Ford

[9] His son, James Clinton Keith

[10] Hank Brown’s paternal first cousin

[11] Theodore Earl, his neighbor and “shirttail relative”

[12] To add an alloy of tin with some copper and antimony (a brittle silvery-white metalloid) making a lining for bearings that reduces friction

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

[14] Luke uses this phrase quite often. The Oxford Dictionary gives its meaning as “vigorously or quickly”

[15] Hank Brown’s brother, Willis Brown

[16] Believe he is referring to his neighbors, George & Mary Evelyn “Eva” (Forbush) Blake

[17] Above zero

[18] Michigan death records show that David Freer, age 80, died at Pavilion, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, and FindAGrave.com shows he is buried in Cook Cemetery in Pavilion

[19] His son-in-law, daughter and granddaughter, Adelbert, Lois (Keith) Clark, and Ina Skinner

[20] Believe he is referring to Clara and George Milham, the two oldest children of his late niece, Lucy (Lee) & Martin Milham

[21] His wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[22] Michigan death records reveal that Lorenda (Vanguilder) Lewis Russell died in Comstock, Michigan on January 24, 1888; however, no burial information has been found at this time

[23] Neighbor, Charles Towne

[24] Both the Brown and Keith families, as well as several of their neighbors, were believers in Spiritualism and participated in seances

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