Luke Keith’s 1891 Diary

  • 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.

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.

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.

Mar 1 – Mercury 12 Blow zero. At home. Hannah and Nancy here. Lois and Ina[43] came over. Lizzie Brown came down in afternoon.

Mar 2 – Mercury 15 Ab zero. Went over and got Lois. She came over to help Hannah tye some comforters. Mr Randal moving to day. Not very cold some snow.

Mar 3 – Nancy went over to Lois at noon. She goes home on the Evening train. Snow all day. Mr Randal moving some more things to day.

Mar 4 – At work in shop. Some cold wind. Mr Randal left for his new home.

Mar 5 – Cold wind. Work around house and shop some. Logs and wood being hawled to the burg and mill.

Mar 6 – Very blustrous snowed and blowed all day. Went over to burg got the mail and steak beef.

Mar 7 – Went up to Herb Earls[44] got some turnips. Elva, Luella & her brother came down in Evening.

Mar 8 – Rain some this morning. No one here to day after Hannah. Cool wind.

Mar 9 – Worked in shop some. Snow most all gone some. Logs and wood going to the burg.

Mar 10 – Hannah went over to R. G. Smiths this morning to make a dress for Mrs Smith. Mercury up in the forties. Martin Milham[45] called in awhile about noon.

Mar 11 – Worked in shop cut out some ax helves. Charley Town got home to day from Canada and York state, Ohio and various other towns. Rained afternoon and Evening.

Mar 12 – Worked some in shop. Not very cold. George Milham[46] got his stone boat[47] plank.

Mar 13 – Worked in shop all day. Cold windy day. Hard going not much going on here.

Mar 14 – Cold blustring day snowed and blowed all day. Not do much but chores. Hannah working for Mrs Emily Commings. Some sleighing.

Mar 15 – At home. Cold wind some blustrous bad day for the Tristians to get to church.

Mar 16 – Some wind not very cold. Went over to burg in afternoon. Ina came home with me stayed all night. Ethan went to Kalamazoo on the 9.15 train Evening. Hannah went to Mrs McNaughtons this morning.

Mar 17 – Mercury 24 at six A.M. cold south west wind. Chored around worked in shop some. Went over to burg in Evening after Ethan he not come. Mercury 42 in Evening. Dr. Wm Sprague of Pavilion Wyoming Co. N.Y. buried to day.[48]

Mar 18 – Mercury 37 in morning. Washing day. Ethan came on noon train. Some wind no snow. Hannah sewing at the burg this week. Very much mud now days.

Mar 19 – Cold south west wind. Made helve for the splitting ax. Ethan went over to burg in Evening.

Mar 20 – At home choring around as usual. Not much work.

Mar 21 – Working around house and shop. Ethan not doing much in shop. Some muddy cold wind.

Mar 22 – Jesse Earl[49] came down awhile in afternoon. Frank Crossfield[50] and cousin came down in Evening. Mrs Wesley Merryman died this morning.[51]

Mar 23 – Went over to burg at noon got Lois satchel for Ethan. He is going to Kalamazoo to help Hanks folks[52] move.

Mar 24 – Took Hannah over to R. G. Smiths this morning. Took over seven doz eggs to Skinner[53] 15 cts pr doz. Got some hay of Charley Town. Ina came over stayed all night. Mr Stephen Comfort of Jamestown N.Y. died this morning Ae. 84 years.[54]

Mar 25 – Took corn and rye to mill. Ina came over stayed all night. Went down to Mr Simmons. Ed Harmon brot two cords wood.

Mar 26 – Washing in fore noon. Mary An Oscar[55] came this forenoon. I took her over to the 2 oclock train. Ethan came home on the six oclock train. I went over after Hannah. Ed Harmon brot two cords wood.

Mar 27 – All right. Choring around as usual. I went down to Mr Simmons to see about the dray.

Mar 28 – Not much work to day. Not verry well. Ethan making patterns.

Mar 29 – Ethan and Hannah went down to Marts. Nice day.

Mar 30 – Mr Simmons brot twenty five hundered and seventy bbls hay. Ed Harmon brot two cords wood. Rained hard.

Mar 31 – Some ledle rainy day. I went up to Schrams to see about getting some seed potatoes.

Apr 1 – Rainy day not do much to day. Worked in shop some. Ethan work on patterns. Hannah home sick not go up to Sates to work.

Apr 2 – Hannah up to Sates to day. Worked in shop some. I. D. L. Schram[56] here a while to day. Snowed some.

Apr 3 – Took two bushels wheat to mill. Some snow to day cold wind. Made button hook for Bes. Turned one for Lelah.[57]

Apr 4 – Made handle to Hannahs button hook.

Apr 5 – Went up to Herbs in morning then went over to Bennet House[58] after Ed and Mage Allen. They came over and stayed all day. Edwin Flanders sick.

Apr 6 – Snow two inches deep this morning. Went over to town meeting in afternoon saw Robert Jickling and Walter Huntington.

Apr 7 – Ethan took Hanah over to Ripley Commings in morning she did not stay. Henry Crawford[59] came stayed all night. Nice day.

Apr 8 – Went over to burg in morning after Lois. Ed and Madge came over. Henry left for home[60] on the one twenty train. Ethan took Lois and Ed over in Evening. Very dark.

Apr 9 – Wating on the grip. Not do something.

Apr 10 – Tending to the grip. Quite damp. Rained some in the night.

Apr 11 – Looks stormy cool wind.

No entries from April 12 to 25 and then sporadically until September 14

Apr 26 – G. A. Lockhart Died this morning.[61] Edwin Flanders and wife[62] called here in afternoon. Elva and Lizzie, Will Owens and Cllara Milham.[63]

Apr 28 – Mr Lockhart buried to day.

May 12 – Paid Beckwith and Wells Bills.

May 16 – Will Brown took some wheat to mill. Verry dry.

May 18 – Big fire in Perry Wyoming County NY.

May 19 – Will Brown got out manure in forenoon.

May 20 – Will got out manure in afternoon. Mrs Geo Blake came over. Had a shower. Mr Earl and Mrs called to see Hannah. Rained in the night.

May 23 – Mrs Isaac Clark died to day.[64]

May 25 – Mrs Clark buried to day. Will Brown plowed the potatoe ground. Mrs A. B. Sumner Buried to day.[65]

May 26 – D came this Evening stayed all night.

May 27 – D went home on the one thirty five pm train. Got some potatoes of Schram $10. Paid Edwin Flanders ten Dollars.

Jun 3 – Lou went home on the one thirty five pm train. Paid Doc McBeth $2.00 two Dollars at the Depo at Galesburg.

Jun 4 – Received two barrels potatoes from Shelbyville. A cold day for June.

Jun 10 – Jim and Cory wer married to day.[66] Verry nice day. Dell, Lois, Ethan, Hannah and Charley, Nancy and the girls went to the wedding. Took some wheat to mill.

Jun 12 – Will Clark came over this afternoon. Pleasant day.

Jun 20 – Clara Clark[67] came to day.

Jun 21 – Sarah and I went down to Nancys.

Jun 22 – Jim and Cora started for Chicago. Came to Hanks. Took the 3 oclock train for South Haven. Mrs Kellog killd her self to night.[68]

Jun 23 – Ed Allen came to Hanks in fore noon. We started for home about one PM. Bot oil stove $1.80 one pr shoes $2.00 one pail .30.

Jun 24 – Lois came over stayed all day. Verry hot.

Jun 25 – Took Clara over to burg this morning. Clara and Lois went to Kalamazoo. Got my watch at Wilsons charges $1.00.

Jul 4 – Hannah went to Kalamazoo to day.

Jul 5 – Doctor Motram,[69] old Mrs Schroder[70] and Al Mot[71] wer all buried to day. Ethan went to Kalamazoo after Hannah.

Jul 6 – George Addams died to day.[72]

Jul 7 – The Binder went up to I. D. L. Schrams this afternoon.

Jul 11 – Bes went home to day. Ina came home. McCormic and his Experts from Chicago came to see the Binder work.

Jul 12 – Charley finished cutting Schrams wheat.

Jul 13 – Went to mill to day took wheat and corn and rye. Lost the umbrella. Got my small hand ax tempered. Had a big wind and rain storm.

Aug 7 – Took Bag wheat to mill one bushel corn.

Aug 8 – Went to mill took bag of wheat one bushel corn. Very hot and dry.

Aug 9 – Had a little rain just at night.

Aug 12 – Went to Kalamazoo with Nancy and Lela stayed all night.

Aug 13 – Came home. Lelah came back with me.

Aug 14 – Mr Sallmon from Ackron Ohio came here to see the Binder work. Was here to tea. Doctor Rogers of Scots came here he sayed to tea. Charley went up to Culls. Hannah went to Erastus Towns.[73] Had a thunder shower in afternoon.

Aug 15 – Clara Milham came up in forenoon stayed to dinner.

Aug 17 – Sarah and I went to Shelbyville to day. Found Lou some better.

Aug 31 – Cora came to Kalamazoo on the Chicago Express 7 PM.

Sep 1 – Left Shelby for Kalamazoo. Stayed to Nancys all night. Found Cora there. She went to Shelbyville on the 7 PM train.

Sep 2 – At Nancys all day. Warm day.

Sep 3 – Got home just at night.

Sep 14 – Went up to Scots to day after medicin for Hannah and myself. Lois went with me.

Sep 15 – Hannah went to Union Citty to day.

Sep 16 – The plums came to day from Perry[74] all right. Very warm mercury 92. Clearing out the upper part of the buggy house.

Sep 17 – Went over to burg in morning got shugar, tea and coffee. Clara Milham and Will Owens wer married this morning before breakfast.[75] Ethan cutting corn.

Sep 18 – Went over to George Blakes stayed all day. Very hot rained quite hard when we came home.

Sep 19 – Lois and I went to Kalamazoo went to Nancys saw Mrs Owens. Stayed all day.

Sep 20 – Very warm day. At home all day. No one here.

Sep 21 – Went over to the 1.30 PM train after Hannah.[76] She came from Union Citty. Very hot mercury up in the ninetys now days.

Sep 22 – Hannah went up to Flanders. E Hopkins brot the hubs and spokes for his wheel Barrow wheels. Ras and Tip[77] came down this Evening to see Hannah.

Sep 23 – Turned out Hubs for Hopkins wheels. Very hot is getting dry a gain a good shower would help wheat and grass cowcumbers and young pigs. R.G. called in a while. He had been up to Mr Halls to make his will. Mercury 93 in shade.

Sep 24 – Worked on Hopkins wheels. Put spokes into one hub.

Sep 25 – Morticed one hub got out some spokes. R.G. came over in Evening. Fullerton Chesebrow and Jo Neff working at the school house building, wood house and privy.

Sep 26 – Went over to burg got some mortor of Mr. D. Vose for Hannah. Ethan and Hannah worked over to the house all day. Very warm and dry.

Sep 27 – At home. Mercury 95 in shade at 2 PM. Mr Crosfield came down a while towards night.

Sep 28 – Finished Hopkins whees. Put spokes in one hub. Fullrton Chesebrow and Jo Neff worked for Hannah cut door way between setting and parlor.

Sep 29 – Went up to I.D.L. Schrams got some peaches. Schrams folks went up to Mr Swaddles to Mr Swaddles birth day party. He was 80 years old.[78]

Sep 30 – Some cooler. Lois here to day. She came over to help Hannah. I put the top on my violin to day put in a new bass bar and filled in the Belly in the center.

Oct 1 – Put the finger board on the old Fiddlein and strung it up. Ethan, Hannah and Lois working over to the Town House. Nice hot weather.

Oct 2 – Moved Hannahs things over to the Town House. Ras brung down three bags taturze. Ras, Cull and Charley Scott[79] cutting C. D. Towns corn.

Oct 3 – I dug some potatoes. Carried Hannahs sewing machine over to the Town House. Ras and Charley came down and cut and picked corn. Drew one load down. Ethan and Hannah went to Kalamazoo this afternoon noon. Very hot and dry. They stayed all night.

Oct 4 – At home. No one here. Nice warm day. Ethan and Hannah came home.

Oct 5 – Went up to Culs got straw to put in beds. Went over to burg after Lois. Went up to Jesse Earls got some tomatoes.

Oct 6 – Set some glass over to the Town House. Nice day mercury 44.

Oct 7 – Went over to burg in the morning got shugar, flour, salt, tea and coffee. Went to Kalamazoo took Nancy home. Stayed all night. Lizzie and children[80] wer there.

Oct 8 – At Nancys. Some frost. C. D. Towne came home. Spect they layed together all night mabby.

Oct 9 – Filed two saws for E. P. Flanders. Drew in the pumpkins. Ethan dug some potatoes. Ras and Charley Scott Town plowing for C. D. Towne.

Oct 10 – Lou and Cora came to day. Nice weather for this season of the year. Worked in shop some.

Oct 11 – All at home. Lois came over. Ras and Culs folks all down to Charleys. Jesse Earl called here a while.

Oct 12 – All hands went over to Charleys to tea. I went over and got Lois. Turned rooling pin for Cora.

Oct 13 – Mercury 38 in morning. Put handle on Lous pairing knife. Made cloths stick for Cora. Lou and Cora went over to Lois in afternoon and stay the night. Charley shipped a lot of hogs to day.

Oct 14 – Took Sarah over to Lois. Went down to Mr Ralphs with Lou. Lou and Cora left for home on the one twenty seven P.M. train. Rained some in the afternoon. Hopkins got his wheels.

Oct 15 – Chored around the house and barn all day. Some nice day pleasant and cool. I am 78 years old to day. Had ten chickens born to day.

Oct 16 – Pulled the beans and fixed the coop for the hen and chickens. Very fine pleasant day. Ethan husked sweet corn and popcorn.

Oct 17 – Working round as usual. Cleaned out the buggy house overhead. Picked up some potatoes. Ethan finished diging and husked the sweet corn. Some letle rainy wet, &c.[81]

Oct 18 – Nice day. At home all day. Charley and Hannah came over just at night.

Oct 19 – Worked around the yard and garden. Put straw and weeds on the bean stack. Picked up all the old crocks and bottles around yard put them into the glory hole.[82] Charley thrashed his rye and oats to day.

Oct 20 – Worked around hous and garden. Will Johnson took his Engine and separator away to day. Hannah bot cow of Mr James Little to day paid thirty dollars.

Oct 21 – We drew in six loads corn and husked some. Very fine day. Mr Little moved to Galesburg to day.

Oct 22 – Repaired cornhouse in forenoon. Husked corn in afternoon. Hank came up on the six oclock train. Nice day pleasant and dry. Alvin Lee called in a few minutes at noon.

Oct 23 – Husked corn all day. Hank went home on the one oclock P.M train. Two strangers drove in at noon wanted to know if they could drive up threw my lot to the woods. They wanted to see if they see any rabbits. Fine weather for October.

Oct 24 – Husked corn in forenoon finished drawing in in afternoon. Clared the lot. Very fine day sprinkled some about one oclock P.M.

Oct 25 – At home. Put over in Charleys lot with his cow. They got into his cornfield. Was out all night. We not find them. Charley and Hannah went up to Tip Towns.

Oct 26 – Helped some about washing. Got some medicine of Dr C. H Walker of Kalamazoo. Ethan husked corn.

Oct 27 – Worked in shop on Will Caywoods squair. Very nice weather. Ethan husking.

Oct 28 – Worked on Caywoods square. Pleasant and dry. Wheat wants a little more rain looks very well considering the chance it has no frost yet to speak of.

Oct 29 – Finished Caywoods square. Finished husking. Went over to Hannahs to supper. Mrs John Powers and Mrs Dewey wer there to day. Very nice warm day mercury 42 in the morning.

Oct 30 – Thrashed and cleaned up the beans gathered the walnuts and dug out the corn stibble in the garden. Warm Indian summer weather mercury 53 in shade rained in the night.

Oct 31 – Mercury 59 at noon. Churned and done varias things. Nice weather rained in morning strong south west wind all day. Charley John horse sick in afternoon.

Nov 1 – At home all day. Pleasant some wind. Will Caywood got his squair in the Evening of the first day.

Nov 2 – Fixed the cellar windows. Shiny day. Put some shingles on the buggy house. Cull commenced drilling Charley rye. Mercury 22 in the morning. This is Fathers[83] 100 and 7th Birth day.

Nov 3 – Prepared feed to grind. Shelled corn and put up corn, oats and rye. There was a big fire in the burg in the night. Two drug stores burned Burdicks and Browns.

Nov 4 – Went to mill got corn, rye and oats ground for Bill and Fan. C. D. Towne went to Fiting[?] creek to day.

Nov 5 – Chored round house and barn. Got some walnuts. Ethan put the cabbage in cellar. Cool wind mercury 27 in morning.

Nov 6 – Mercury 27. Burned some brush and other rubbish on the hill. Eva Blake came over. Charley and Hannah went up to Rass.

Nov 7 – Went to Kalamazoo to Nancys. Fine day. Got there about dark stayed all night. Rained some in the night.

Nov 8 – At Hanks. Rained all day not go out much. Lost my whissle that Ancel Lee[84] gave me.

Nov 9 – At Hanks. No get out. Rained all day and all night.

Nov 10 – At Hanks. Rained all day and all night. Went up town in the morning with Lelah and Bes to ge them some rubbers. Madge Allen came just dark to see if Nancy could down to Mr Shafers in the morning to see her mother who is sick.

Nov 11 – Left Hanks about nine oclock for home. Rained all the way home got some wet not much.

Nov 12 – No rain to day. Ed Harmon brot load wood. Went up in the woods. Found things all right.

Nov 13 – Went over to burg in morning bot some flour and soup bone. Ed Harmon bot load hard wood. I bot one sack graham flour one violin E string.

Nov 14 – Chored around house some. Went up to Culls got crosscut saw. We not any. Ethan making ironing board. Snowed some in Evening.

Nov 15 – At home all day. Rainy day. Jesse Earl came down just at night.

Nov 16 – Washed and chored around all day. Some stormy night. Ethan and I sawed up the tree into wood for to burn in de stove sah. Some snow in the night.

Nov 17 – Stormy day. Not very much work done here. Sawed out stuf fore streight Edge and yard stick.

Nov 18 – Fixed up chicken coop for the young chickens.

Nov 19 – Went down to Marts to mill got feed ground. Ed Harmon brot load wood just at night. Rained when he came. Shelled corn to take to mill. Cool and damp day.

Nov 20 – Went down to Marts to mill. Rather cold wind from the south west rained most of the night.

Nov 21 – Rainy morning mercury 52. Went over to the burg in morning after Lois. Banked up the well house and back stoop. Hannah and Charley came over in afternoon. Etta Ralph and Cory Harris[85] called here just at night.

Nov 22 – Mercury 52. At home all day. Rainy. I churned most of the day. Charles and Hanah went up to Culs.

Nov 23 – Done not much but chores. Some rainy day in afternoon. Ethan finished the ironing board and repaired Inas chair and helped Hannah wash.

Nov 24 – Mercury 29. Fixed up the well at the house and the one at the barn. Some cold day quite a strong wind.

Nov 25 – Mercury 29 in the morning snowed some in fore noon. Went over to burg at noon took dinner with Dell and Lois. Went after the mail just at night. Ed Harmon brot fifteen bushels wheat from E. P. Flanders.

Nov 26 – Lelah and Bess came came up to Thanksgiving. Nice day some stormy. Tin pedler came and bot old plow.

Nov 27 – Nancy came to day. Snowed and blowd. Took the folks over to Hannahs at noon on the sleigh. First sleigh ride of the seson. Snowed all day some not very hard as the saying is.

Nov 28 – Nancy and girls here all day. They went home on the Evening accomodation. Cold Evening. Ethan took Nancy over to the train. The girls went over with Charley.

Nov 29 – At home all day. Nice day. Some sleighs running. Charley and Hannah went down to Mr Peas at Comstock. Mercury 7 Above zero at 7.30 AM.

Nov 30 – At home working around doing chores. Went up in woods with sleigh. Drew down a short log.

Dec 1 – Worked in shop some and tinkered around. Went over and got Charleys ax and helve.

Dec 2 – Nice day. Hung ax for Charley. Went over to Hannahs churned a while. Ethan went to Kalamazoo on noon train. Mercury 44 in Evening.

Dec 3 – Mercury 46 in morning. Churned at home in the morning. Went over to Charleys in morning cleaned up some rye. Got ½ bushel to grind. Went over and churned for Hannah after dinner. Lois there to day sewing. Quite a strong south west wind all day and Evening.

Dec 4 – Cold south west wind. Pulled turnips and put them in the cellar.

Dec 5 – Not verry well. Not do much to day. Ethan splitting wood up in the woods. Some cold wind. Ed Harmon brot one load wood. Ethan broke two mawls.[86]

Dec 6 – Mercury 27 Abz. At home all day. Very snowey day snowed all day cold north East wind.

Dec 7 – Cold blutering day. Some sleighs running not very good sleighing. Made mawl for C. D. Town.

Dec 8 – Made me silf a mawl sor be gabers. Hannah got the red bed spread to put up between the setting room and parlor.

Dec 9 – Mercury 34 Abz nice pleasant day. Dressed out a streight edge and measureing rule six feet long. Cleaned out one eve trough done the chores and churned. Snow about gone. Mr David Vosburg died this morning Ae. 86 years.

Dec 10 – Mercury 34 in the morning. Worked in shop most of the day. Cora Harris called here a while in the afternoon. Nice pleasant day south west wind.

Dec 11 – Mercury 24 in morning nice pleasant day no wind. Went down to Marts got some 52 lbs rye ground. Mercury 29 in evening some wind at night when we came home. Mr Vosburg buried to day.

Dec 12 – Mercury 24 in morn. Finished my long rule and streight edge. Very nice day mercury 33 in Evening. Ethan over to the burg.

Dec 13 – At home. No one here. Fine day. Charley and Hannah here in the Evening. No snow.

Dec 14 – Mercury 4. Ethan went to Kalamazoo on the 8.20 train. Rained all day. Fan and Bill out in lot all day. They got wet but no hurt them. Mercury 44 in afternoon. Aunt Sally Turner died this morning 7 am.[87]

Dec 15 – Mercury 57 Abz in morn. Rained some. George Milham came up to let us know of Aunt Sallys death. Jesse Earl came in he was hunting up for Theodore some he had lent to some one in the neighborhood he did not find some here.

Dec 16 – Cold windy day. Ed Harmon brot load wood. Aunt Sally Turner buried to day. Old Mr Gates father of L.M. and G.M. Gates of Kalamazoo and Comstock Died to day in Rochester N.Y.[88]

Dec 17 – Mercury 21 in the morn cold wind all day not much cloudy. Not very well no work. Mrs Pease came up to Hannahs to have some work done. George and Eva over to Charleys in Evening. Ethan went over to the burg this Evening.

Dec 18 – Went over to the burg in forenoon got lamp chimneys, ginger, dried beef &c. Paid my tax $4.82. Left my watch with Wilson.

Dec 19 – Mercury pleasant sunshiny day. I drew 4 loads wood from the woods. Very good wheeling. Lots wood going to the burg.

Dec 20 – At home as usual. No one here. All well. Nice weather for winter no snow good wheling.

Dec 21 – Doing chores as always. Fine pleasant day. Lots wood going to town. Cattle getting part of their living out lots hay going to town.

Dec 22 – Mercury 52 cool south west wind. I pulled the last of the turnips. Lois came over to Hannahs. Mrs Pease went home. Cull drew load straw.

Dec 23 – Mercury 43 nice fall weather pleasat sun shown all day no frost in the ground. Edwin Flanders called here in Evening. I paid him $20 Dollars. Maggie Collins died this morning.[89] She was teaching in the high school in the burg.

Dec 24 – Mercury. Went over to the burg after oil and the mail. Maggie was taken to her home at Vicksburg to day. Went to Kalamazoo on the 8.20 train A.M.

Dec 25 – Mercury 43 in morning. Went over to Hannahs in the afternoon to oysters and chicken. Mercury 54 at one oclock P.M. Extra nice day.

Dec 26 – Mercury 20 Abz in morning cold north wind all day some snow in the are all day rough day to be out. Cull brot plank for the water tank.

Dec 27 – Mercury nice day. Will and Liz Brown called just at night. Charley and Hannah here in Evening.

Dec 28 – Cold south west wind all day. Cull brot rods and timber for tank. I split up one of the old stumps in the lane south of the barn.

Dec 29 – Went over to burg in forenoon got my watch. Fine weather good wheling.

Dec 30 – Went over to Lois in morning and post office. George Blake and wife came over stayed the Evening. Bot Diary 25 cts.

Dec 31 – Lelah, Bes and Laverne came up to day. Nice day rained some. Mr Kinney got the old Cherry Bedstead. Wil and Lizzie, Charley and Hannah came over to dinner.

——-

[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

[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

[43] His granddaughter, and Lois’ daughter, Ina Skinner

[44] Neighbor and “shirttail relative”

[45] The husband of Luke’s late niece, Lucy (Lee) Milham

[46] Martin Milham’s son

[47] A type of sled for moving heavy objects such as stones or hay bales

[48] A cousin of his second wife, Jerusha Crittenden. While FindAGrave.com shows he died March 10, 1891, North America, Family Histories at Ancestry.com gives a date of death of March 16, 1891, which is more in keeping with a burial date of March 17

[49] Neighbor and “shirttail relative”; the father of Herb Earl

[50] Jesse Earl’s son-in-law; he was married to Elva Earl

[51] Michigan death records reveal that Eleanor (Osborn) Merriman died in Charleston, Michigan on March 22, 1891 and FindAGrave.com shows she is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[52] His daughter Nancy and her husband, Henry Brown, and family

[53] His son-in-law, Adelbert Skinner

[54] FindAGrave.com confirms that he died March 24, 1891 and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Jamestown, New York. Stephen Comfort was the uncle of Luke’s wife Sarah

[55] Believe he is referring to Mary Ann (Batey) Keith, the wife of his nephew, James “Oscar” Keith

[56] Neighbor, Isaac D. L. Schram

[57] Bess and Lela Brown, his granddaughters

[58] A hotel in Galesburg

[59] His wife Sarah’s brother

[60] South Bend, Indiana

[61] Michigan death records show that George Lockhart died on April 26, 1891 and state that he was living in the Comstock Poor House at the time of death. FindAGrave.com shows he is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[62] Neighbors, Edwin & Mary Ellen (Smith) Flanders

[63] Clara Milham was the daughter of Luke’s late niece, Lucy (Lee), & Martin Milham, and she would marry William Owens on September 17, 1891

[64] Michigan death records show that Jane (French) Clark died in Charleston, Kalamazoo County, Michigan on May 23, 1891

[65] FindAGrave.com shows that Harriet (Frazer) Sumner died May 22, 1891 and is buried in Shafter Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[66] His son, James, married Cora Meredith

[67] Clara (Youngs) Clark, the wife of his grandson, Charles Clark

[68] FindAGrave.com shows that Sarah (Brown) Kellogg was despondent and committed suicide by taking a mixture of morphine and nux vomica. She died June 22, 1891 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and is buried in Mountain Home Cemetery in Kalamazoo

[69] Michigan death records reveal that William Mattram died in Kalamazoo, Michigan on July 2, 1891 and FindAGrave.com shows he is buried in Mountain Home Cemetery, Kalamazoo, Michigan

[70] Michigan death records show that “Mary Schroeder” died in Comstock, Michigan on July 3, 1891. Oak Grove Cemetery records show that “Maria (Carp) Shroder” died July 3, 1891

[71] No records were found

[72] While the Michigan death record shows his date of death as July 8, the Oak Grove Cemetery records agree with Luke’s diary entry showing he died July 6, 1891

[73] Believe he is referring to Erasmus Towne, Charley Towne’s brother

[74] Perry, New York

[75] Michigan marriage records show that they were married in Kalamazoo on the 16th, although a newspaper clipping (source unknown) had the words Sept 17th 1891 handwritten in

[76] Since this is the date that Hannah married Charles Towne, it is curious that Luke didn’t mention the marriage in his diary. Also since he makes no mention of Charley, perhaps Charley was working at Union City and could not come home with her. Family story is that Charley had tuberculosis and his sister told Hannah that it would be better to marry him even though she would soon be a widow, than to remain an old maid. Most likely, because of this, it would seem that Luke was displeased with the marriage and this was his way of not acknowledging it

[77] Erasmus & Eunice (Wood) Towne

[78] Samuel Ward Swaddel

[79] The son of Eunice (Wood) Scott Towne. His biological father was Joseph Scott (he & Eunice were married in 1865). The 1870 census shows him and his mother, Eunice (with the last name of Scott), living with Eunice’s parents, Simeon & Reliance Wood. Whether Joseph Scott died or left the family is unknown. Eunice then married Erasmus Towne in 1871 when Charles was about two years old and he then went by the name of Charles Wood Scott Towne

[80] Ray and Perry Brown

[81] Etc.

[82] Down the outhouse pit

[83] Charles Luke Keith Sr., also known as Luke

[84] His paternal first cousin

[85] Believe this to be Hetta (Burgess) Ralph and her granddaughter, Cora Harris (D. Harris’ sister)

[86] A maul is a tool with a heavy head and a handle, used for tasks such as ramming, crushing, and driving wedges

[87] Sarah (Davis) Turner, who was the wife of Jesse Turner, Luke’s cousin. FindAGrave.com shows she is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Kalamazoo, Michigan

[88] New York death records show that Reynold Marvin Gates died in Mendon, Monroe County, New York on December 16, 1891 and FindAGrave.com shows he is buried in North Bloomfield Cemetery, Ontario County, New York. Reynold Gates was the father of Lyman M. Gates and Gustavus M. Gates

[89] Michigan death records show that Maggie Collins, age 27, died in Galesburg, Michigan of heart failure on December 23, 1891 and FindAGrave.com shows she is buried in Schoolcraft Township Cemetery, Vicksburg, Michigan

Luke Keith’s 1891 Diary

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