Nancy Brown’s 1897 Diary

  • 1897 DIARY OF NANCY BROWN

Nancy’s handwriting is extremely hard to read, especially names.

Feb 20 – Pedro party[1] here. Zella & Mr Deyo head pizes. Geo & Miss S_____ _____. Hannah[2] stayed with Mary Caywood all night.

Feb 21 – Ex President Harrison a girl baby.

Feb 22 – Hannah went to Jims[3] to day. Lela[4] went up to Pas.[5]

Feb 27 – This eve went to Mr Frenchs.

Mar 1 – Two weeks to day since we heard from Claude.[6] Never a week passed before without hearing from him.

Mar 4 – In Augeration day. Claude came home.

Mar 5 – I went to Pas.

Mar 6 – Pedro club at Mr Smiths.

Mar 8 – Came home from Pas.

Mar 9 – Hannah came here from Chicago.

Mar 10 – Hannah went to Lous.[7]

Mar 11 – Lela began going to Parsons Junior Colledge.

Mar 12 – Claude began working for C. Williams.

Mar 13 – Went to Mr Deyo to Pedro Club.

Mar 14 – Snowing & blowing.

Mar 15 – Cora & Winnifred[8] came this eving. Mrs Meredith[9] is sick.

Mar 16 – Cora went to Shelbyville[10] on 12-10 train. Mildred’s[11] birthday two years old.

Mar 17 – Hannah came from Shelbyville. We went to Faust saw Cora Cullen there.

Mar 18 – Hannah went to Union City.

Mar 19 – Clara & Georgia[12] came home from Covington. They went to George Milhams.[13] Lela went to Pas on 6-40 train.

Mar 20 – Jims house entered by burglers. Clara & Georgia came over to supper. We went to M Denyons to pedro club.

Mar 21 – H[14] & I went to church then to Mr Wynons. I went to Richland[?]

Mar 22 – 11 years to day Dexa & Jay[15] left the east for Shelbyville. To day she & the children leave G-[16] for California. Lela came from Pas. Hannah came from U–C–.[17] Fanny[18] very low. In left hand margin of the page was written in 211 E. Vine St 7 oclock morning. Don’t know what this was referring to.

Mar 23 – Girls went to Lilian Taylors to a party. Minnie Shaffer stayed here all night.

Mar 24 – Dexa & the children called this P.M. Hannah & I working on Lelas purple dress.

Mar 25 – Thursday. Got my black skirt & things for Lelas dress. Hannah went home on 6.40 train. H & I went to the Academy to see the Vitigraph.[19]

Mar 26 – Mrs Sawyer has a girl baby born this A.M. Mattie came up this p.m. John came & spent the evening. Rose stayed all night.

Mar 27 – Cora & Winifred went home. I went to the train to see them. Claude & Bessie[20] went to the Burg[21] to night. Claude got an offer from Teets of Chicago.

Mar 28 – A beautiful spring morning.

Mar 29 – Had a two weeks washing to day. Clara & Georgie came & stayed all night. ____ is feeling very bad. Claude came from Pas.

Mar 30 – Clara & George went away this p.m. Lela is home this week. Miss Parsons in Jackson.

Mar 31 – Made my white skirt. Windy but plesant. Hank got a new pair of shoes.

Apr 1 – Bessie came home from the Burg. Pedro party at Mr Fords. Loveland Orchestra there. We got home at 2 A.M.

Apr 2 – Mrs[22] Wagner here this p.m. He came to supper & stayed in the evening. Mrs Smith here in afternoon to have waist[23] fitted. Hannah came on 10 p.m. train.

Apr 3 – Hannah went to Union City this A.M. Mr Groves house burned to the ground. Bessie is sick. Dr came to see her. Mrs McKinney came with him brought sheet music.

Apr 4 – Began raining in the night – a nice steady warm rain.

Apr 5 – Yesterday we had a very hard hail storm & has rained all day to day. Sent pictures to Chicago.

Apr 6 – Mr Stearns elected mayor,[24] Mr Johnston supervisor, Mr Ford defeated.

Apr 7 – Claude called on Dr & Mrs Crane for the first time since they were married.

Apr 8 – Fannie came down here to lunch. Lela went home with her. Hard ___ail last night.

Apr 9 – Mrs Quail mother (Mrs Hall) died this morning. I went up to Pas to night.

Apr 10 – Mrs Halls funeral this morning. Fannie & Lela came. Fannie going to stay all the week.

Apr 11 – Plesant. Lela came home to day. Fannie came with her.

Apr 12 – I came home from Pas on 10-23 train. Cora began working for Hannah, the first since her mother died.

Apr 13 – I went to see Mrs McKinney to day. Hank & I were there to supper. We went to Unity Club in the evening.

Apr 14 – Fannie went down to Kate Imus this p.m. Hank & I went to the Easter supper at the church. He went to Masonic Banquet later. Mrs Kelly worked for us.

Apr 15 – Mrs Smith came over to have me trim her hat. Lela finished the sweet pea piece this evening.

Apr 16 – Good Friday. Holliday for H.A.[25] He has gone to Three Rivers this p.m. Claude & Lela spent the eve with Fannie & Nina Daken at Ninas house.

Apr 17 – Smiths, Fords & Denyons spent the evening here. Fannie Wilkins died yesterday about 4 p.m. Is to be buried Monday 3 p.m.

Apr 18 – Warm day very windy.

Apr 19 – H.A. and I went to T.B.H. this eve had a good lecture. Froze very hard last night mercury dropped 40°.

Apr 20 – Went to Robert McKinneys this p.m. Their baby is sick. Spent the evening with Jennine. She told me the Dr decision. Got my hat.

Apr 21 – Jay & Cora drove dont to day. H.A., Bernie & I went to hear “Shore Ashes.” Claude went to dance.

Apr 22 – Warm. No fire only in the kitchen.

Apr 23 – Raining this morning. Sowed our sweet peas this a.m. Party at Mr Moses. We went. They have sold or traded for a farm.

Apr 24 – Walter Austin was buried to day at the Burg.[26] Cora Harris[27] went to the Burg to day. Eunice Wanelros died to day in San Frisco.

Apr 25 – We went to church _____. Raining this a.m. Plesant this p.m.

Apr 26 – Cold wind but plesant. We went to science class this evening.

Apr 27 – Bright & plesant but cold. Wrote to Lou & Jim. Unity club met with Dr & Mrs Crane. We spent a delightful evening.

Apr 28 – Ethan came down. I went down town for him. Clara & Georgie came & stayed all night.

Apr 29 – Clara & George went away this P.M. Floyds[28] birthday 11 yrs. old.

Apr 30 – I spent the day with Jennie & Mariah. Lela stayed home cleaned cupbords &c &c.[29] Rained all day. Clara & Georgie went to Covington.

May 1 – Papered the kitchen and dining room to day. Ethan[30] came on his way home from Decator. Met Mr Ritter there. Rained all day.

May 2 – Rained all day. Ethan is here. The colored baby[?] died to day.

May 3 – Still raining. Ethan went home on 7-20 train this A.M.

May 4 – Rained all night, plesant to day. Jays birthday 14 yrs. old.[31] Hank & I went to Mr Smiths this eve. Cora Allen left Kalamazoo for the east.

May 5 – Very plesant. I went to see Mrs McKinney in their block on East Main St. H and I went to Mrs Wagners to supper & spent the evening. D 38 yrs old.

May 7 – Cora Harris came from the Burg this A.M.

May 8 – Mrs McKinney & Dr[32] here to supper. Cora Harris went home to night. Got a letter from Helen Walker telling of Eunices death, died the 24th of April.

May 9 – Miss Murdock preached. Mrs Stone home from Washington.

May 10 – Mrs Bartlett Crane had a reception for Miss Murdock. We did not go. H A went to Augusta.

May 12 – I went to Womens Society. H A came to supper. Mrs Stone gave us a talk. Old Mrs Anton[?] died.

May 13 – I went to Matties[?] Mrs Rose Miller was there. I called on Mrs Michals[?] & daughter. Rained all the way home.

May 14 – Still raining. Lela stayed home. We cleaned the cellar.

May 15 – Cleaned Mothers[33] room to day. Thunder & hail storm this noon. Had a letter from Lou. Leone[34] is sick.

May 16 – I went to church then to Jennes she is failing. We went for a nice drive with Mr & Mrs Gilmer.

May 17 – Began cleaning Claude’s room. I went to Lous on 6-40 train. Leone sick.

May 18 – H.A. & Lela papered & settled Claudes room.

May 19 – Mama[35] came home to day, went to Galesburg. Inas baby born to day. I got there 7 P.M.

May 20 – Lela cleaned & papered their room to day. Ethan & Hannah came over to the play to night (at the Burg). They & Culls folks[36] run up to the ____ on ┼ way.

May 21 – H.A. closed his office yesterday. It was in last eve papers. Will Pendleton & Carrie Neu– married yesterday.[37]

May 22 – Lou baked & I sewed to day. Ethan came for me & I went over home & stayed all night. Ina & baby[38] doing nicely.

May 23 – At Pas to day. Dell[39] came for me this p.m.

May 24 – Lois[40] done a big washing. Ma spent the day at Loises. Maud Evens called there. I came home on 10 p.m. train.

May 25 – Mattie Hewitt came & spent the afternoon. John came in the evening. H.A. began canvassing for Claude yesterday.

May 26 – I cleaned my clothes ____ where ____. Lela & I went to Mrs Fords to see Zella.

May 27 – I went down town got ribbin & chiffon for Hannah, Lela a dress shirt. Bessie went to pic nic. Went thrugh paper mill. Claude to ____ ____ couple _____________________________.

May 28 – Planed our garden last night. Raining this a.m. planted corn & this morning. Got a letter from Hannah writing I should come & help with the sewing.

May 29 – Claude cleaned by bed room carpet. H.A. planted beans & radishes. I went to the Burg to help Hannah sew. Zella & Bennie went to Detroit last night.

May 30 – At Pas. Rained in the night. Windy to day.

May 31 – Claude came up here Saturday p.m. on wheel.[41] Went home to day. Harley Michals came last night stayed all night.

Jun 1 – Cora & Gertie went to Kala–[42] this p.m. ___ ___. Lela began in cooking school to day.

Jun 2 – Ethan brought me home. We got presents for Walter, Mable & Effie. Rained & Ethan stayed all night.

Jun 3 – H & I went to Mr Wagners to night. Saw a medium.[43] Fourteen there. Alex Radow Lulu married to night.[44] I put plants out to day.

Jun 4 – Plesant but cold. Mr & Mrs Denyons spent the evening here. She & I went over to Mr Howards to see bonfire.

Jun 6 – Raining. Claude went to Gull Lake on new path.

Jun 7 – Clara Clark[45] came on 10-52 train from the Burg. Came to the Burg Friday.

Jun 8 – Clara, Lela, Essie & I went to cooking school. Found it closed. Mrs Boyd was sent for on account of sickness.

Jun 9 – Clara went to Mrs Grays this p.m. Lela & I went over to Mrs McMahans. H.A. & Bess to merry go round. Lela got letter from Fannie.

Jun 10 – Clara went on 7-15 A.M. train to Burg. Goes home this p.m.

Jun 11 – Got a letter from Hannah wanting I should go & help her. Mrs Smith came home to night. Was sent for Bycicle parade this p.m.

Jun 12 – Lela & I went down town got me silk for a waist. I went to the Burg on 7-16 train p.m. Hank went up on his wheel.

Jun 13 – At Pas.

Jun 14 – Hank went home this A.M. left about four. Claude went to B.C.[46] yesterday on his wheel. Went back on 12-55 A.M. train.

Jun 15 – Hannah cut & fitted my waist. I came home on 10 p.m. train. Very hot yesterday & to day.

Jun 16 – Finished my waist. Will Holmes came home to day, the first he has seen his baby.[47]

Jun 17 – Hank & I went to G Rapids[48] left 8-30 got to Mrs Planks[49] 10-30 A.M.

Jun 18 – Took tea with Mary Plank Skeels.[50] Left for Lous about 7 p.m. Lous folks are in Jays house. Bessies school closes to day.

Jun 19 – D[51] went to Martin to ball game this p.m. H.A. helped Jay in the store. Floyd went fishing. We all spent the evening at Mr Merideths.[52]

Jun 20 – LaVerne, Leone[53] & I went over to the place.

Jun 21 – H.A. & I came home on 8-9 train this A.M. Mrs Boyd back again & Lela in cooking school.

Jun 22 – Dr Yonkerman[?] operated on Zama[54] this p.m.

Jun 24 – H.A. went to South Haven. Lois, Ina & baby here to day.

Jun 25 – H.A. & I went to a party at Tom Dispenetts to night. They have been married 7 years.[55] Fannie here to dinner & Supper.

Jun 27 – Lela & I went to church, last sermen before vacation.

Jun 28 – Sam Ketchum shot last night by his nephew at South Haven.[56]

Jun 29 – Lela & I went to cooking school. Mrs Boyd made salads & trifles. Bessie cut & made her red shirt waist.

Jun 30 – Sam Ketchums remains taken to Leonidas to day for burial. The Engraver from Chicago came yesterday.

Jul 1 – Hank is 47 to day. I went to Pas on 7-15 train p.m. Pa met me. Bess Mona went to cooking school.

Jul 2 – Ethan very bad with ivy poison. He, Hannah & Cora cleaned front part of house. Mona up here.

Jul 3 – Cora not here to day. We are cleaning. Very hot weather. Lou 38 yrs. old. Bess and Mona went to Lake View.

Jul 4 – Lois & Dell here a little while. Hank came on his wheel to ________.

Jul 5 – Hank went home this a.m. We cleaned & papered Mas room. Emma, Bess, Mine[?] went to Catholic Church Baptist Church.

Jul 6 – Ethan brought me home. Found Emma Harris here. Lela went back with him.

Jul 7 – Victor Gray kicked by a horse. Hank went to South Haven.

Jul 8 – Victor died this p.m.[57] Lela got left & stayed with Ina all night.

Jul 9 – I am 45 to day. Mrs Ford here this evening. Lela came this a.m.

Jul 10 – We done lots of sewing to day.

Jul 12 – Heavy rains east & up to the Burg. Rained some here. George Winans & Mrs Bentley married.

Jul 13 – Jay Wilson came over here. Harry Schroder & Alice Ives married.[58] I spent the day at Matties. Hank got a bushel cheries paid 150.

Jul 14 – Bess went to Jay Wilsons. We caned cheries. Ironed & worked hard all day. Mrs Caywood died this p.m.[59]

Jul 15 – Bess went to Jay Wilsons. Hank went to Holland. Claude got the girls a Croquet set to day.

Jul 16 – We have our first mess of string beans from our garden to day.

Jul 18 – H.A. & I went to Mr Wagners in the evening.

Jul 19 – I went on 11-55 A.M. train to Jackson. Hannah went with me from the Burg.

Jul 20 – Clara & I went down town got things for her dress & canvass for painting.

Jul 22 – Claude & Will Pendletons began camping at Long Lake.

Jul 23 – Hannah & I came home on 10-45 p.m. train. Ray & Perry[60] came to day.

Jul 24 – Mr Quail is clap boarding their house.

Jul 25 – Home all day. No one here.

Jul 26 – Bessie done the house work. Lela & I sewed all day made here a linen skirt &c. &c.

Jul 27 – Fannie here to dinner. Mrs Rogers called.

Jul 28 – Lela & Bessie went to Long Lake to stay a few days. Lou & all the children[61] came this p.m. Claude brought us some fish.

Jul 30 – Lela & Bessie came home from Lake to night.

Jul 31 – Ethan, Hannah, Hattie Tomlinson & children[62] here to dinner. Lou & children went home with Ethan & Hannah. Hattie & children went to Allegan.

Aug 2 – Monday morning. I went to Pas on 7-15 pm train. Ethan & Ina at the train

Aug 3 – Ethan took me to Loises is to help pack Inas goods. Hannah spent the day at Mrs Fords. I came home on 10 pm train.

Aug 4 – Lottie McMahan & Shirley Blaksley married to day in Chicago.

Aug 5 – Claude & Will “broke camp” to day. Came home.

Aug 6 – Claude came home sick. Had Dr two days. Cooking class served lunch at church to day. Hattie & children came from back from the north today.

Aug 7 – Claude in bed today. Hattie & children went to Bay City this pm. Mr & Mrs Dunbar to Detroit. Hannah came on 10 pm train.

Aug 8 – I dont feel very well. Hannah went home.

Aug 9 – Sick in bed. Had Dr said I had intermittan fever.

Aug 10 – Betty Wolf called this AM. Mrs Ford & Mr & Mrs Wagner this p.m.

Aug 12 – Bess and Mona went to the pioneer picnic to day at Long Lake. Ethan, Hannah & Laverne there. Cora Harris & Stella Bush[63] stayed here to night.

Aug 13 – Cora & Stella went home this noon. I have sit up some. Lela 19 years old to day. We gave her a Spatula.

Aug 14 – Am better. Mrs McKinney went to Grand Haven.

Aug 15 – Claude went to Richland.

Aug 16 – I sewed some to day. We made Lela’s pink apron.

Aug 17 – Laverne came home from Pas. Came up in a hack. Lila begun working for “Modes Casket Co this pm. Mrs Ford & Mrs Loveland here this eve.

Aug 18 – Pa, Ethan, Lois, Charley,[64] Edna[65] & Byron[66] here to dinner. Had picture taken of the 4 generations.

Four Generations

Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner, Charles Clark, Edna Clark, Charles Luke Keith Jr.

Aug 19 – Lizzie & Ruth[67] came to day. Frank Crossfield brought them.

Aug 20 – Barnum & Bailees circus in town. Lou, Leone & Mildred came from Pas on 10 am train Hank, Bessie, Leone & Laverne went to circus. Lou & children went home to night.

Aug 21 – Lizzie & Ruth went to Augusta to night on 7-16 pm train.

Aug 22 – Hank worked for Tilly[?] to day.

Aug 23 – Lizzie, Ray[68] & Ruth came this evening. Mr & Mrs Wagner spent the evening here.

Aug 24 – Lizzie & children went home by way of S– Haven. Our girls went to “Aunt Stellas” to a luncheon.

Aug 25 – Ina moved to Chicago. Lois went with her. Edna Clark came as far as here with them. Hank is sick.

Aug 26 – Party at Anna Karsteads. Our girls went. Lela wore her new buff divinity.

Aug 27 – The girls gone to a picnic at Lake View. Complimentary to Adda Hayward & Edna.

Aug 28 – Edna went home to day. Mrs Hopkins here to spend the day. Bessie, Lela, Mona & Ermare[?] Harris going to “Uncle Toms Cabin.”

Aug 29 – Bessie is sick in bed.

Aug 30 – Bessie no better. I repotted the plants. Hank went to work this a.m.

Aug 31 – Bessie a little better to day. Lela got her a black brilintine[69] & a sash curtain for their window. It is very dry.

Sep 1 – 11 a.m. Hard rain all this a.m. Bessie about the same. Mr McEntyres moved to day cor Michigan Ave & Academy St.

Sep 2 – Plesant. Bessie better. Ethan & Uncle Robert[70] came about 11 a.m. George & Bessie were here a little while. Ethan went home about 4 p.m.

Sep 3 – Ver plesent. Mattie & Rose here to day. John came up in the evening.

Sep 4 – Uncle Robert left for Chicago 8-30 a.m.

Sep 5 – H.A. & I spent the day at Mr Wagners.

Sep 6 – “Luton day” Fords, Smiths & Browns went to Lake View.

Sep 7 – Caned 1 bu tomattoes. Pd 50 cts. Hot & dry.

Sep 8 – The heat is terrible. Lois came home from Chicago to day. Mrs Gum came up on her wheel this evening. Womens Society started to day. Mattie Hewett[?] resigned being Secretary.

Sep 9 – Very very hot. Claude had tooth out to day. Bessie went to Lous on 6.40 p.m. train. I went up to see Mr & Mrs Wagner a little while.

Sep 10 – Mr & Mrs Wagner left this a.m. for a northern trip. I caned 1 bu tomattoes. Jenine Bennett has six puppies. Laverne is 13 years old to day.

Sep 11 – I went to Pas this evening did not expect me but Ethan was over. The first I have seen Lois since she came from C– after getting Ina settled.

Sep 12 – At Pas. Hot & dry.

Sep 13 – At Pas. Ethan & Hannah gone down to Aunt Katies.[71] Hank came up on wheel about 4 p.m. Claude went to see Mrs Crane to talk about driving lessons.

Sep 14 – Hank started for Dowagiac on his wheel. Lela did not work. Is not very well. School began yesterday. We are to go from here. Bessie not well enough.

Sep 15 – Awful fearful terribly[?] hot. Baked bread, pies, cakes & ironed some. Clara & George came to stay a few days. Hank came home to night on the cars.

Sep 16 – Clara & I finished the ironing. Rained very hard.

Sep 17 – Clara bought 1 bu peaches for her self paid 1.50. I helped her can them. Cooler to day. Claude went to Pas in his wheel this p.m.

Sep 18 – Clara & Georgie went a way this p.m. Is quite cold in the house. Claude came home this a.m. He took some patterns to Hannah.

Sep 19 – Service began at our church. Methodist minister spoke.

Sep 20 – Very cool. Lela stayed with Essie last night. I went to see Jenine. She had a bad hemmorage this a.m. is very low.

Sep 21 – Mr Winters telephoned for Lela to help them. She went this afternoon. I am going to sit up with Jenine to night.

Sep 22 – Came home of first cars this a.m. Jenine is a little stronger.

Sep 23 – Made 1 bu of tomattoes up in catsup. Made 3 gallons garden salad.

Sep 24 – Went to Jenins. Helped the Dr dress Jenins cancer. It is a terrible thing. H & I took supper with Mattie. We spent the eve there. John goes to Detroit Sunday.

Sep 25 – Cooked a boiled dinner for Jenine. Ethan & Hannah drove to Lois stoped here a little while. I went to Pas this p.m. rode over with Mr Little.

Sep 26 – At Pas to day. Lois & Dell drove over in their new buggy.

Sep 27 – Walked over to the Burg. Came home on 1-35 train. Mary Milham Brott has a boy baby born this p.m.[72]

Sep 28 – Made cucumber & green tomattoes pickles. Hannah & Ethan came from Lous. Went away about 8. Dr Mrs McKinney & H– rode here. Lela bought skirt form.

Sep 29 – Lela & I went to hear Mr Dr Green at the church. The cooking class served lunch. I stayed. Took some Ice Cream & cake to Jenine.

Sep 30 – Very hot & dusty. I got the plants in to day. Lela saw Mr Chaple. He praised her work. I had a talk with Claude in his room.

Oct 1 – Went down town. Got magazins for Hannah and 2 sheets for us paid 20 pr yd. Lela & Mona to Essies.

Oct 2 – Ethan & Ma came while we were eating dinner. Mrs Wagner was here a little while. Mrs McKinney spent the afternoon.

Oct 3 – Claude & I went to church.

Oct 4 – I went down town to get samples for Mrs McKinney. Louis Dickenson & wife called while I was gone.

Oct 5 – Aunt Lou, Mildred & Bess came home to day. It is our 25th wedding anniversary. Expected Pa but did not come.

Oct 6 – Lou & Mildred went home on 12-30 train. I have sick head ache. Rained some last night. Dr McCall married to Kate Henderson.[73]

Oct 7 – Pa came on 2-7 P.M. train. Bought five bushel potatoes paid .50 ___.

Oct 8 – Cool this a.m. I took Bessie to the Dr this p.m. Mrs McKinney & I drove[?] out to Mr Adams to hear from Miss Priest.

Oct 9 – Lela home to day. Finished her work at the Modes[?] yesterday. Got some new shades & sash curtains.

Oct 10 – Claude gone to church. He told me of his smash up.

Oct 11 – Began raining this fore noon. Rained hard all day.

Oct 12 – Street Fair opened 9 a.m. Very plesant. Pa, Bessie & Zama went up on the hill & saw the baloon assencion. Ma & I saw it from the house.

Oct 13 – Auntie[74] and Aunt Lotie[75] came to Street fair. Lois stayed here all night. Hannah with Mary Cousins. We all went to street fair. Big crowd in town. Floral parade beautiful.

Oct 14 – I went to the church & worked. Lela & Cora Harris came here to supper. Ethan came to the Fair to day. Fine weather all through the fair.

Oct 15 – Very warm. Fair closed this p.m. Has been a complete success with the exception of the disgraceful dance on east main.[76] Pa is 84 years old to day. He & Ma went to Lois.

Oct 16 – Cooler. Most tired to death. Clara & Georgia here this p.m. Will came to supper.

Oct 17 – Cora Harris went to the Peoples church.

Oct 18 – Bessie & Cora went to the Burg on 11-52 A.M. train. Warm & plesant. Jessie Crawford[77] is 25 to day.

Oct 19 – Hank & Claude took up carpet in girls room. I cleaned the room. Hank put carpet down this evening.

Oct 20 – Cleaned mothers room to day. Got a letter from Clara saying Will had stolen Georgia.

Oct 21 – Made our first pumpkin pies this fall.

Oct 22 – George Milham was here this A.M. I cleaned Claudes room. Am most tired to death. Claude had his mustash shaved off.

Oct 23 – Did not sleep much last night. Lela got mull curtains & brass rods for sitting room windows also dining room. Mr & Mrs Ford here this eve.

Oct 24 – Claude & Pendletons went nutting. I went riding with Mr & Mrs Ford.

Oct 25 – Very plesant. Ethan brought Bessie home. Got here to dinner. Ethan took the little Beach tree. I went home with him. Cora Harris here to night. Essie to tea.

Oct 26 – At Pas. Ethan set out the little tree this noon. Clara got Georgia last Saturday eve. He & Will were in Cincinnatti.

Oct 27 – Done some baking for Ethan & Hannah. Came home on 1-32 train. Bessie met me. We went to the Drs for her some medicine.

Oct 28 – I wrote to Ma this morning. She is at Lous. Bessie & Gertie Bennett gone nutting at Mountain Home this p.m. Bessie got nearly 1 bushel picken [pecan?] nuts.

Oct 29 – Claude came home about 2 A.M. sick in great distress. Had the Dr for him. Mrs (Bennett) Cole died yesterday.[78]

Oct 30 – Claude about the same. Bessie & some other girls worked & selebrated Hallowene. Has been a very plesant week. Lela got a raise of .50.

Oct 31 – Claude very bad last night. Had Dr 10 p.m.

Nov 1 – Claude better. Cold north wind a little rain. Began fixing over Lelas Purple dress. Old Mr Strang is to be buried tomorow[?] p.m.

Nov 2 – Plesant but cold. Claude is dressed this morning. Have made 8 qts grape juice for Bessie. Mr Snyder came to day to help Claude in office.

Nov 3 – Claude gone to work.  Bessie to spend the day with “[79] [Bessie] Milham.[80] I am fixing Lelas purple dress triming with braid &c. Hank & Lela both came home with sick head aches.

Nov 4 – Worked hard all day on Lelas dress did not quite finish it. Bertha Hurlburt called a few minites on her way home. She was with her wheel.

Nov 5 – Rainy. Bessie & I ironed.

Nov 6 – Plesant. Bessie had teeth aches all night & all day. Fannie called on Lela at Mr Chappels office.

Nov 7 – Claude went to church. A W Gould[?] spoke.

Nov 8 – Rained nearly all day. I cleaned cellar[?] way & part of kitchen. Bessie sick all day.

Nov 9 – We got the range in & up this a.m. Bessie better. Bought 1 cord wood 1 load kindlings. Essie stayed here all night. We finished cleaning kitchen.

Nov 10 – Bessie & I done a big ironing. Cleaned my bed room. Bess worked the “drainwork scarfs” for the first time.

Nov 11 – Bessie went to the dentists this a.m. Rainy all day. Took down pictures, cleaned them & the furniture. Claudes drawing class at the church began this evening.

Nov 12 – Mrs Kelley helped clean parlor, sitting room & Dining room. Mr & Mrs Wagner, Nel[?] & Lara[?], H.A. & I went to Mr Evens this eve. Claude & Lela went to Mr Neumeiers.

Nov 13 – Put up stove in sitting & ____ up stairs. Lela got a new hat for 3.50, new jacket for 19 ____. She went to Plainwell to night.

Nov 14 – Dr & Mrs McKinney here to dinner. Claude in B. Creek.

Nov 15 – Lela came home from Plainwell last evening Claude from B.C. Rained all day to day quite a fog too.

Nov 16 – Bessie went to Dr Banisters he was ill. I went down town took Lelas hat & exchanged it. Went up to Mrs Wagners she was sick in bed. H.A. & I went to Fords.

Nov 17 – Baked cherrie pies. Spent the day with Mrs Wagner. I picked me out a hat at Masons. Cora Harris went home yesterday. D _____cutin.

Nov 18 – I called on Mrs Willson & Mrs Rogers. Fords & Smiths here this eve. Bessie gone with Claude to drawing school.

Nov 19 – Baked &c. I am going up home to night to help Hannah. Lela got my hat tonight. John Blake died this 2 a.m.[81]

Nov 20 – At Pas. We sewed all day. Ethan has teeth ache & Neuralgia. Been sick all the week.

Nov 21 – Plesant.

Nov 22 – Hannah went to Mr Blakes funeral yesterday. To day we have baked chicken for diner. Cora Riddler here all night. She & I sleep in next bed room.

Nov 23 – I came home this a.m. brought lots of butter. H.A. & I invited to Mr Smith for Thanksgiving not going.

Nov 24 – Wednesday Bessie & I worked all day baking &c &c. Leslie Vaughn & Birdie Shields married this eve.[82]

Nov 25 – Thanksgiving. Our family all here also Mr & Mrs Wagner. Rained all day.

Nov 26 – Still raining. Bessie & I transplanted the violets.

Nov 27 – I fixed by black dress put epulets lined with green on shoulders. Bessie went to see the glass blowers this eve. Drew a bucket she saw them make.

Nov 28 – Claude & I went to church. I went over to Jenins.

Nov 29 – I stayed to Jenins came home on first car. Jenine died ten minutes of nine last eve. She had a terrible restless suffering day. Snowing & blowing this a.m.

Nov 30 – Bessie went to Dr Banisters. I feel tired & lame all over. Think it is from standing over Jenine. Mr & Mrs Denyens here this evening.

Dec 1 – Plesant. Jenine buried from the house. Funeral 2 p.m. Rev Delemanter assisted by Rev McLaughlin officiated. Burial at B.G. We spent evening at Mr Wagners.

Dec 2 – I went down to Jenins this a.m. They are breaking up. Gave me the picture I painted for her & her work basket. Mrs Hewitt here this p.m. John to supper. Rose has chicken pox.

Dec 3 – Plesant. Had postal from Ma. They are going to stay to Lous till after Xmas. Recd a letter from Hannah wanting I should go up home tomorrow.

Dec 4 – I went to the Burg on noon train. Staid with Lois the evening. Ethan came for me.

Dec 5 – At Pas.

Dec 6 – Hannah & Cora Riddler went up to “Tips.”[83] Ethan & I alone. Cleaned Mas room. Killed chickens &c &c.

Dec 7 – H- and C- got home just ten (10) a.m. I came home on 2 p.m. train. Lois came to see the Dr. She was here to supper.

Dec 8 – Bessie went to Dr Banisters this p.m. I went over to Mrs Quales a little while.

Dec 9 – I went down town this noon with Lela. We took in the town. I saw Eunice & Ras.[84]

Dec 10 – Bessie & I finished sewing. I spent the afternoon with Mrs Ford at the office. Begining raining yesterday still at it. Essie & Mona here this eve.

Dec 11 – Bessie & I home all day. Mrs Quale & Mona here this p.m.

Dec 12 – None of us went to church. Mr Chappell home from Washington.

Dec 13 – President McKinleys mother died yesterday morning. Bessie & I sewed all day.

Dec 14 – Rained all day.

Dec 15 – Very muddy. Fannie Chandler here to supper & spent the evening. She stayed with Nina D__ler to night. Jenine Bigelow stayed with Bessie all night

Dec 16 – Windy & cloudy. I telephoned to Lou yesterday for the first time. Fannie Chandler went to Chicago to enter the training school for nurses.

Dec 17 – Snowing. Lela & Bessie went to a party at Essie McEntyres. Claude to a dance at Armery[?].

Dec 18 – Still snowing I went down to Mrs McKinneys to see about a new cape for her. Mammie[?] wanted my help about it.

Dec 19 – 3rd ____ ____ Peoples Church.

Dec 20 – Bessie & I sewed all day. H A & I spent last evening with Mr & Mrs Wagner. Will Way___ was there.

Dec 21 – Bessie & I worked at Xmas presents all day.

Dec 22 – I made Bessies Dressing S__gue.

Dec 23 – Began Lelas dressing S___gue. Cut out mine this eve.

Dec 24 – Mrs Quale brought her plants here. She has gone to B Creek. H.A. & I are going to Lous to spend Xmas.

Dec 25 – Xmas day the day that LaVerne and I came (Marian).[85]

Dec 26 – Ma is 76 to day. Uncle Hi 60.[86]

Dec 27 – The day Bess made candy. Bess, La Verne and Marian went to see the Xmas tree at the mission.[87]

Dec 28 – Pa, Ma, H.A. & I left Lous on the 3-5 p.m. train. Claude took Marian to her Uncles to night. Pa & Ma have been to Lous since Oct 15th.

Dec 29 – Windy & thawing a little. Laverne here to have her teeth fixed.

Dec 30 – Pa & Laverne went home to day. Ethan met them at the train. Dr McKinney began treating Mas leg.

Dec 31 – Charles Meredith Keith born 5 p.m.[88] H.A. & I have New Years dinner at the American with Mr & Mrs Wagner, Evens &c T______. Claude at Doynes. The girls, Ma & Mother here at home. [On the reverse side she wrote: H.A. & Claude finished with Ihling ___ & Everhard. Friday 31st Claude goes to Chicago Sunday night on 2 A.M. train to work for Imperial engraving Co. cor Adams & Clark Sts.]

——-

[1] Pedreaux (pronounced “peedro”) is an American trick-taking card game of the All Fours family. Developed in Denver, Colorado, in the 1880s, it was soon regarded as the most important member of the All Fours family although it went out of fashion with the rise of Auction Bridge

[2] Her sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne

[3] Her brother, James Keith

[4] Her daughter, Lela Brown

[5] Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[6] Her son, Claude Brown

[7] Her sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[8] Her brother Jim Keith’s wife, Cora (Meredith) Keith, and daughter, Winnifred Keith

[9] Cora’s mother, Malvina (Johnson) Meredith

[10] Shelbyville, Michigan, where her sister Lou’s family lived

[11] Her sister Lou’s youngest daughter, Mildred Harris

[12] The entries for both the 19th and 20th appear to read “Clara and Georgia,” however the entries for the 29th and 30th state Clara and Georgie and Clara and George, respectively. Clara and George would refer to Clara (Milham) Owens and her son, George Owens, who were Nancy’s cousin and cousin’s son

[13] Most likely the brother of Clara (Milham) Owens

[14] Her husband, Henry “Hank” Brown

[15] Dexa (Strait) & Jay Harris. Jay was the brother of Daniel D. Harris, Jr., Louese (Keith) Harris’ husband

[16] Galesburg, Michigan

[17] Union City, Michigan

[18] Hannah’s sister-in-law, Frances Towne

[19] Vitagraph was the trade-name for a moving-picture machine and was the most successful US film company, having been established in 1896 in New York. Its stars included Rudolph Valentino and Norma Talmadge. Vitagraph moved to Hollywood in 1911 and was bought by Warner Brothers in 1925

[20] Her son and daughter

[21] Galesburg, Michigan

[22] Looked like “Mrs” but then the next sentence says “he”

[23] The bodice of a dress, or a blouse

[24] Allan M. Stearns was mayor of Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1897 & 1898

[25] Her husband Henry’s nickname

[26] FindAGrave.com shows that Walter Austin died April 21, 1897 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[27] The sister of Daniel Harris, who was married to Nancy’s sister, Louese

[28] Her nephew, Floyd Harris

[29] Etc.

[30] Her brother, Ethan Keith

[31] Her nephew, Jay Harris; he died February 12, 1887 just a few months shy of his fourth birthday

[32] Neighbors, Mary Elizabeth (Stephenson) & Dr. Martin VanBuren McKinney

[33] Her mother-in-law, Matilda (Allen) Brown

[34] Her niece, Leone Harris

[35] Her mother, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[36] Neighbors from Comstock, Michigan, Cullen & Sarah (Adams) Towne and children, Lena and Harold; Nancy’s sister Hannah was married to Cullen’s brother, Charles Towne

[37] Neighbors, William Pendleton & Carrie Neumaier. Carrie’s sister, Edith “Eda” Neumaier, was the future wife of Nancy’s son Claude

[38] Ina (Skinner) Holmes and her daughter Gertrude Holmes. Ina was the daughter of Nancy’s half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[39] Her half-sister Lois’ husband, Adelbert Skinner

[40] Her half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[41] Believe this refers to a bicycle

[42] Kalamazoo, Michigan

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

[44] Michigan marriage records show that Alex Rudow and Lulu Miller were married in Kalamazoo, Michigan on June 3, 1897. Divorce records show that Lulu filed for divorce due to non-support which was granted on January 21, 1899, and on October 1, 1899 Alex married Bessie Jarvis Bradley

[45] Clara (Youngs) Clark, the wife of Will Clark who was Nancy’s half-nephew

[46] Battle Creek, Michigan

[47] William Holmes was the husband of Ina Skinner, who was Nancy’s half-niece. Their baby, Gertrude Holmes, was born May 19, 1897

[48] Grand Rapids, Michigan

[49] Harriet (Groat) Plank. The Plank family had been neighbors of the Keith family in Comstock, Michigan, but had moved to Grand Rapids in 1873

[50] Harriet Plank’s daughter

[51] Her brother-in-law, Daniel D. Harris Jr.

[52] Walter “Burton” Meredith, the father-in-law of Nancy’s brother, Jim Keith

[53] Her nieces, LaVerne and Leone Harris

[54] Their dog

[55] Michigan marriage records show that Thomas Dispenette married Flora Milham on June 25, 1897 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Flora was the daughter of Richard Milham who was the half-brother of Martin Milham, who was married to Nancy’s late cousin, Lucy Lee

[56] From the Saline, Michigan Observer, Thursday, July 8, 1897: “Fatal Shooting Results From a Joke:

Samuel Ketchum of Kalamazoo was shot by his nephew, Bertie Haines at South Haven and died in five minutes. The men were staying in a cottage owned by T.E. Thompson and had been playing jokes on one another, and someone was throwing water into the house. Samuel Ketchum laughingly remarked, “I will put on an old coat and don’t care whether I get wet or not.” Just as he stepped outside the house, the shot was fired, striking him in the shoulder and cutting an artery. He bled to death before help could arrive. Bertie Haines said he thought Ketchum was a tramp when he fired. The coroner’s jury rendered a verdict of accidental and unintentional shooting.” FindAGrave.com reveals he died on June 27, 1897 in South Haven, Michigan and is buried in Leonidas Cemetery in Leonidas, Michigan

[57] Michigan death records confirm that Victor Gray, age 9, was kicked by a horse and died on July 8, 1897 in Charleston, Michigan and FindAGrave.com reveals he is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[58] Michigan marriage records confirm that Harry Schroder and Alice Ives were married on July 13, 1897 in Comstock, Michigan

[59] FindAGrave.com shows that Maria (Eggelston) Caywood died in 1897 and is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[60] Hank’s nephews, Ray and Perry Brown

[61] LaVerne, Floyd, Leone & Mildred Harris

[62] Harriet (Root) Tomlinson, and Irene and Agnes Tomlinson, the wife and children of Nancy’s cousin, John Frank Tomlinson

[63] Stella (Milham) Bush

[64] Lois’ son, Charles Clark

[65] Charles Clark’s daughter, Edna Clark

[66] Believe this is Lois’ son, and Charles’ brother, William Byron Clark

[67] Elizabeth (Ogden) and Ruth Brown, the wife and daughter of Nancy’s brother-in-law, Willis Brown

[68] Lizzie’s son, Ray Brown

[69] Brilliantine is a light lustrous fabric that is similar to alpaca and is woven usually with a cotton warp and mohair or worsted filling

[70] Robert Crawford, her mother’s brother

[71] Her father’s sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[72] Charles Brott. According to his death certificate, he was born with spina bifida and died November 5, 1897. Mary (Milham) Brott was Nancy’s cousin

[73] Michigan marriage records show that James McCall and Kate Henderson were married October 6, 1897 in Kalamazoo, Michigan

[74] Nickname for Hannah (Keith) Towne

[75] Nickname for Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[76] The following is a small clip from the 10-13-1897 edition of the Kalamazoo Telegraph: “But have you seen the houchee chuchee?” “No, where is it,” is the eager question, it may shock a good many people to learn that the real genuine article is in town. Such is the sad fact.A great many good people visited the place and saw three homely girls go through their dance with varying emotions. The hoochie coochie is a catch-all term to describe several sexually provocative belly dance-like dances from the mid-to late 1800s

[77] Her maternal first cousin

[78] Lovinia (Hanson) Bennett Cole. Michigan death records confirm that she died October 28, 1897 in Galesburg, Michigan and FindAGrave.com reveals she is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[79] The quotation mark was written on the line and space immediately below the word Bessie on the line directly above

[80] Bess (Nelson) Milham, the wife of George Milham (see footnote to March 19th entry)

[81] Michigan death records confirm that John Blake died November 19, 1897 and FindAGrave.com shows that he is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[82] Michigan marriage records show that Milton (Leslie) Vaughn and Frances Shields were married in Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 24, 1897

[83] Eunice (Wood) Towne. Eunice was Hank Brown’s cousin

[84] “Tip” & Erasmus Towne. Ras was the brother of Charles Towne, Hannah Keith’s future husband

[85] Written by Marian; however it is unknown who Marian is

[86] Nancy’s maternal uncle, Hiram Crawford Jr.

[87] Again written by Marian

[88] Her brother Jim’s son; however, all other records show his name to be Walter Charles Keith

Scan of 1897 Diary of Nancy Brown

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