Luke's 1891 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries for January 1891

1891 DIARY OF CHARLES LUKE KEITH JR.[1]

The entries from January 1 through February 14 were first written in the back of his 1890 diary and are basically identical to what he then wrote in his 1891 diary. Anything from 1890 that clarifies or adds to the 1891 entries is noted in brackets.

Jan 1 – Nancy and the girls[2] came. [Nancy brot painting. Rainy day.] Lois[3] and Ida Barber[4] came over. Will and Lizzie Brown[5] here. Verry wet day. Not much taring around.

Jan 2 – Hannah[6] went over to Wm Blakes. Nancy and girls went home on evening train.

Jan 3 – Went over to Burg[7] to mill took 4 bushels corn & rye for feed. Hannah went to Kalamazoo.

Jan 4 – Very fine day. No one here [but Sally,[8] myself and Ethan[9]]. Hannah down to Nancys.

Jan 5 – Took Hannah over to Ida Barbers. Gave Dick Lamkin my [ulster] overcoat. Not very cold snowed in afternoon. [Snows like fun[10] this Evening.] Ethan went over after Hannah in Evening.

Jan 6 – Hannah went to Mrs Howlets this morning. I worked in Barn and cornhouse and done the chores as usual.

Jan 7 – Mercury 3 Abz[11] fine day. Sarah[12] and I went down to Alvin Lees.[13] Mr Allerton[14] moving. He sold his farm to Mr Miller of Kalamazoo for a stock farm.

Jan 8 – 4 Abz nice day. Mr Allertons family left for their new home up north.

Jan 9 – Ethel Crosfield a visiting here this afternoon. Ed Harmon load wood [two cords] this afternoon.

Jan 10 – Home as usual all right. Nice warm day. Repaired wire fence.

Jan 11 – At home. No one here. No snow and first rate wheeling.

Jan 12 – 33 Abz. Washing. Some blustrous rather rough in Evening.

Jan 13 – Nice weather some cold north wind. Ed brot load wood [two cords]. Mrs R. G. Smith[15] came over.

Jan 14 – The two Hannahs went to Mr Mires this morning. I turned two knobs for Lois cupboard. Very fine day. All well. Hens making all the Eggs they can afford for 20 cts pr doz.

Jan 15 – Pleasant day. Woking on Lamkins wagon jack. Some wind. [Nice wheeling no snow.] Roads smooth as a floor.

Jan 16 – Pleasant. Worked on jack some. Ground [froze] hard as a rock rather hard on Horses they drive so like old split foot. [Rather hard on wheat.]

Jan 17 – Took Hannah over to Lois in the fore part of the day. Went over after her about 4 PM. Bot one Bushel potatoes paid one Dollar for them. [Will Clark[16] there.] Ethan took his mother[17] over to George Blakes in Evening. Mr Wood and wife there.

Jan 18 – At home all day. No one here. None of the Christians called to see if they could get Hannah to work for them two or three days in May or August.

Jan 19 – [Went to mill.] Jim[18] came home to day. I made a pounder. Will Clark came over stayed all night. Hannah went to John Blakes this morning.

Jan 20 – Mercury 30 Abz. Jim started for Chicago[19] on the 8.25 AM train.

Jan 21 – Will here. I went over to burg afternoon took over 8 doz Eggs 18 cts pr doz. Will went back home with me found Charley [Clark][20] there.

Jan 22 – Took Sarah over to Lois to quilting.

Jan 23 – Mended Dels[21] razor. Mr Woods folks called just at night. They went down to Mrs Streators[22] stayed all night. They are moving a part of the Alphadelphia Mansion[23] up to the burg for a foundry and machine shop. Fine weather.

Jan 24 – At work in shop some. Split some wood and various small jobs such as feed the hens and fetch in the Hogs and milk.

Jan 25 – Mr Woods folks came to day. [George] Blakes and [Harry] Wilsons folks came over in Evening also Ida Barber.

Jan 26 – Mr Woods folks here all had seance[24] in Evening. Charley Town[25] came over. Very nice pleasant weather.

Jan 27 – Very nice day. Mr Woods folks left for home. I took Hannah over to Ida Barbers in morning went and brot her home in Evening. She went up to Charley Ogdens this Evening.

Jan 28 – Mr Wilcox came and got Lamkins jack.

Jan 29 – Shelled corn for Bill and Fans[26] feed. Rainy day not very cold. Mrs Henry Clinton Buried to day.[27]

Jan 30 – Went to mill [took 4 bushels corn and rye]. Fine day. Got this Diary to day. Lois brot it up from Kalamazoo. Will Clark sent it.

Jan 31 – Took 4 Doz Eggs over to Lois 16 cts pr doz. Nice day for a winter day nicest kind of wheeling.

——-

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

[2] Daughter and granddaughters, Nancy, Lela and Bess Brown

[3] Daughter, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[4] Ida Barber married Eugene Howe in 1882, however, the 1900 census shows Ida as a widow and she and her children were listed as Barber (not Howe). Ethan Keith’s diary entry of September 22, 1884 shows: Ida (Barber) Howe left Mr Howe to day. He feels real bad about it

[5] Neighbors, Willis & Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown; Willis was Nancy’s brother-in-law

[6] Daughter, Hannah Keith

[7] Galesburg, Michigan

[8] Nickname for his wife

[9] His son, Ethan Keith

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

[11] Above zero

[12] Wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[13] Alvin Lee was the son of Luke’s first cousin, Charles Lee, & Juliana Davis

[14] Neighbor, John T. Allerton

[15] Neighbor, Hannah (Flint) Smith, the wife of Russel G. Smith

[16] His grandson, William Clark, who was the son of his daughter Lois

[17] Don’t know why he referred to his wife this way

[18] His son, James Clinton Keith

[19] Jim lived in Chicago

[20] His grandson, Charles Clark, who was the son of his daughter Lois

[21] His son-in-law, Adelbert Skinner, who was married to his daughter Lois

[22] Neighbor, Laura Ann (Rawson) Streator

[23] For more information, see https://oldfamilyletters.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/the-alphadelphia-association

[24] The Keith family, as well as several of their neighbors, were believers in Spiritualism and participated in seances

[25] Neighbor, Charles Towne

[26] His horse and cow

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