Luke's 1891 Diary

Luke Keith’s diary entries for February 1891

Feb 1 – At home [all day. No one here.] Fine weather [no snow]. Lots folks out to church. I expect they went that way I did not go to see where they went.

Feb 2 – Mended Hannahs rule [put zinc on the end]. Hannah at home all day.

Feb 3 – Doing chores as usual. Not very cold some blustrous about two inches snow.

Feb 4 – Pretty cold wind some snow very cold night.

Feb 5 – Mercury 34 in Evening. Worked in shop [some on ax helve]. Ethan finished the moddle. Charley took it up to Culls[27] in Evening.

Feb 6 – Fixed the pounder. Ed Harmon brot two cords wood. Paid him $16 sixteen Dollars.

Feb 7 – Worked in shop some. Fine day [no snow]. Went over and got Lois.

Feb 8 – At home. All right. No one came to day.

Feb 9 – Went over to burg got half bushel potatoes 50 cts. Have got the poor House into town in front of Grove St.

Feb 10 – Worked in shop some [on ax helves]. Nice day. Charley Town went to Battle Creek with the moddle.

Feb 11 – Hannah went to Shelbyville.[28] She sent her clock up by town [home].

Feb 12 – Fine day. Put a new valve in pump at the barn. Went up to the saw mill.

Feb 13 – Took the old saddle to peaces. They got the poor House [the Alphadelphia Mansion][29] a cross the Rail Road to day. Admiral Porter died to day.[30]

Feb 14 – Warm day. Cleaned out the shop. The Grand Trunk Rail Road was surveyed a cross my farm to day [from Battle Creek to Kalamazoo]. Steaks set for the line. General W. T. Sherman died to day.[31]

Feb 15 – Not very cold rather nice day. Hannah up to Lous.[32] Lou some better.

Feb 16 – Very foggy all day. Surveyors no work to day. Charley Town started this Evening for Toronto Canada.[33]

Feb 17 – Moved the turning lathe to day. Very rainy day quite foggy in afternoon.

Feb 18 – Mercury 19 Abz. Worked in cornhouse sorted my corn and moved things around generally. Mr Randals[34] auction to day. Cold north east wind. Schroder and Olin drawing lumber down to the stock farm the J. T. Allerton[35] farm the Miller farm now.

Feb 19 – Went over to burg in afternoon. The Railroad surveyors out to day. Mr Randal and his new wife[36] drove in to enquire something about the title to his farm he has sold out. Rained and snowed in night.

Feb 20 – Rainy morning very sloppy rained most of the day. Bad day to be out not much teaming. Schroders team drawing lumber for Mr Miller at the stock farm west of the Keith farm on the river road.

Feb 21 – Pleasant day quite cool wind. Went over to the burg in morning after Lois. I shelled some corn for to make the jonny cake[37] and de mush and milk.[38]

Feb 22 – Home to day not go to church. Hannah up to Shelbyville. Sick with the grip. Nice day.

Feb 23 – Went over to burg just at night. Got a letter from Nancy said she was some better. Mrs Thomas Durkees remains was brot to the burg to day for interment.[39] Also Wesley Strubles. Fine day Mercury 50 at 2 P.M. The new barn was raised this afternoon on the Allerton farm. Filed saw for Mr Randal. Mr Frank Austin died to day.[40]

Feb 24 – Mercury 57 Abz just at night. Shelled corn. Rainy day high wind very much like April weather. Ethan went over to the office no mail. No had the cutter out yet this winter.

Feb 25 – Took two bushels wheat to mill. Rather cold wind. Mr Dick Barber and Charley came over here. Mr Frank Austin was buried to day.

Feb 26 – Cold snowey day. D. Harris[41] here to dinner. Wm Ralph[42] called here to see Dee. I worked in shop some. Cul Town went to Allegan with load of goods for Mr Rodney Addams.

Feb 27 – Cold windy day. Took 5½ bushels corn and rye to mill. Hannah came home from Shelbyville. Nancy came home with her. Snowed in the night.

Feb 28 – About 5 inches snow this morning rather blustrous cold wind with sunshine. Not doing much to day.

——-

[27] Cullen Towne, Charley Towne’s brother

[28] Shelbyville, Michigan, where his daughter Lou and her family lived

[29] In 1948 the Alphadelphia Association sold its property to Kalamazoo County and the county used the mansion for its poor house. Now it was apparently going to be used as a foundry and machine shop (see January 23rd entry)

[30] From Wikipedia.com: David Dixon Porter (June 8, 1813 – February 13, 1891) was a United States Navy admiral and a member of one of the most distinguished families in the history of the U.S. Navy. Porter began naval service as a midshipman at the age of 10 years under his father, Commodore David Porter, on the frigate USS John Adams. Promoted as the second U.S. Navy officer ever to attain the rank of admiral, after his adoptive brother David G. Farragut, Porter helped improve the Navy as the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy after significant service in the American Civil War

[31] From Wikipedia.com: William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. He served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861–65), receiving recognition for his command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the scorched earth policies he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States

[32] His daughter, Louese (Keith) Harris

[33] Regarding Ethan’s grain carrier invention

[34] Neighbor, Nathan L. Randall

[35] Former neighbor, John T. Allerton

[36] Susan (Cross) Murcell. Nathan’s first wife, Jane, died September 16, 1890 and Nathan married Susan on December 24, 1890

[37] Johnnycake is like a pancake except it is made with cornmeal

[38] Luke quite often used silly language in his diaries

[39] FindAGrave.com shows that Polly (McAllister) Durkee died in Colon, St. Joseph County, Michigan on February 19, 1891 and she is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Galesburg, Michigan

[40] While the Michigan death record shows that he died February 3, 1891, FindAGrave.com and the Oak Grove Cemetery records confirm that he died February 23, 1891

[41] His daughter Louese’s husband, Daniel D. Harris, Jr., who went by the nicknames D. and D.D.

[42] Neighbor, and D. Harris’ uncle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s