Ethan's 1899 Diary

Ethan Keith’s diary entries for December 1899

Dec 1 – Worked at the barn (stable) door and put a few battens in the hen house. Went to the Burg drove across the Electric R.R. track on to Pearl St. the first time. Mabel Ralph sewed for Hannah to day as there was no school.

Dec 2 – Worked at a window frame for the hen house, got the glass puttied in and the window in the hen house. Hannah and I went to the Burg this evening.

Dec 3 – Mr Ralph brought us three fish this P.M. Harry Streator and Mother[112] called just before night. Harry shook hands with me he could not very well help doing it. M. F. Lee’s birthday. The electric road Co. sent a train loaded with tearails to the Burg on their track from Augusta brought them as far as the culvert east of town they cant cross the Pentral yet. That was the first train to the Burg.

Dec 4 – Went to the Burg. 27 years ago to night the wind blew 198 trees across the G.R.&G. track.

Dec 5 – 12°. Stormy snowed and blowed. Hannah and I went to the Burg this evening. Worked in the shop a little.

Dec 6 – Helped around the house most of the time to day.

Dec 7 – Worked at drafting a shoe for an ice-boat for Fred Franklin part of the day. Went to the Burg just before night.

Dec 8 – Worked at the ice boat shoe pattern to day. Hannah and I went to the Burg this evening. Pleasant. Electric road track is laid to John Schroders farm to night. Went up to Mr Schrams with his pipe tongs.

Dec 9 – Worked at ice-boat shoe pattern to day. Went to the Burg this evening. Took Hannah, Gertrude and Mabel. They went to a concert at M. E. Church (Colored troupe). Electric road is to the school house down to the center.

Dec 10 – Electric road is down to Gleasons to night. Mr and Mrs Galusha spent the evening here. Wrote to Jim.

Dec 11 – Finished writing to Jim this A.M. Went to the Burg this A.M. Rainy this evening.

Dec 12 – Hannah and I went to the Burg this evening. Shelled corn this P.M. Have four bushels shelled for a grist. Snowing.

Dec 13 – Quite a blustering day. Snowed some.

Dec 14 – Went to mill this A.M. Hannah and I went to the Masonic hall to a memorial meeting in Honor of the 100th Anniversary of the death of George Washington. George Washington died one hundred years age to day at 10.20.

Dec 15 – Took Hannah over to the Burg after dinner. Went after her at 9.30 P.M. She went to an entertainment at the Cong’l church.

Dec 16 – Went to the Burg this evening. Cleaned out the medicine cupboard and washed a lot of bottles. Gertrude did not sew to day. She and Ettie and Mabel went to Kal- to buy Christmas presents. Coldest day yet this winter.

Dec 17 – Warmer to day. No one here to day. Have been alone all day.

Dec 18 – Cleaned the kitchen stove pipe and stove also the front room stove pipe. Rainy. Made Mabel Ralph a coaster for the Christmas tree.

Dec 19 – Trimmed part of the apple tree top piled the brush and sawed the limbs into stove wood. Pleasant but cold. Hannah and I went to the Burg this evening. Mr & Mrs Powers was here this A.M.

Dec 20 – Cleaned shop and got ready to go to work at my engine patterns. Lois was over this P.M. Pleasant with cold wind.

Dec 21 – Worked at my engine patterns. Have made another beginning. Hope I can finish them this time. Got an idea for a can opener. Very pleasant. Walter Ralph[113] came home from Sioux City last night on a visit. Mr Lind Earl took dinner here to day.

Dec 22 – Worked at the patterns. Very pleasant. Mrs Struble was over this A.M.

Dec 23 – Have not felt very well to day. Had the worst spell about breathing I ever had. Came on before I was through eating. Took Hannah to the noon train she went to Kal-. Went after her this evening. Went and saw Mr Knapps new gasoline engine this P.M.

Dec 24 – Claude and Edie came up to day. They came to Kal- last night. They brought us some presents from Hanks folks. Each of us an orange package each of candy and dates and me a Diary and a shaving brush, also a limb of Chincapin bush with nuts on Dr Boyer brought from Virginia. Claude and Edie gave us their Photos in a frame with some of his drawing on the paper. They went back to Kal this P.M. Snowing and blowing.

Dec 25 – Christmas. Blustering about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Neighborhood all went to Mr Wm Ralphs to a Xmas tree this evening. I got a fancy tin horn nice shiner cuff box. Cold and blustering with snow.

Dec 26 – Ma’s 78th birthday. Cold and blustering. Worked at patterns part of the day. Lind Whitmore was here all day and until 9 P.M. Hannah is making her a dress.

Dec 27 – Floyd and Laverne came on noon train. I went and met them. They brought me a neck scarf with chest protector.

Dec 28 – Went to the Burg this A.M. Floyd started to go but we met Willis and Walter on the crossway and they wanted him to go hunting with them so he went.

Dec 29 – Floyd walked over to the Burg this A.M. Began a letter to Nancy this evening.

Dec 30 – 5 below. Went to the 6.17 P.M. train and met Lou and Mildred. Snowed quite hard this even’g. Colder.

Dec 31 – 1° above. Very cold and blustering. Geo Blake and wife was over this P.M. first time they have drove their black horse over here. This is the last day we can write 18 will be 1900 and something for one hundred years. It makes one think where they are. Another year gone and I am the same old penny. Wish I might be more prosperous.

Addresses:
H. L. Keith
870 Castro St.
Oakland, Cal.

Mary Skeels
68 Scribner St.
Grand Rapids

——-

[112] Laura (Rawson) Streator

[113] Son of William & Emeline (Stone) Ralph

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