New Year’s Day 1861
A happy day it seemed to all persons I saw. The sun shone out warm & bright o’er all the snow-covered landscapes. The snow melted a little. We got our broken sleighs repaired, stayed at home and passed the day off pleasantly. In the evening went to the new house of Mrs. James Holland to a big party that has been published for 2 or 3 days and the house was filled to overflowing. Couldn’t see nor hear anything for about three hours. The bride & groom made their appearance there — Miss Samantha Smith (bride), Mr. [Albert Fletcher] Hathaway (groom) married today. We had a good sleigh ride & that was about the amount.
Wednesday the 2nd
Weather clear & cold. I took Dick’s family home today & rode around some in sleigh. Took some folks that was here up to Dickey’s. Stayed at home tonight. The rest went to Bogus Corner to a debate.
Thursday the 3rd
Cloudy & cold. I cleaned up some wheat. Went to town to mill. It snowed some.
Friday the 4th
Clear & very cold. Hauled a few rails to make a cross fence through corn field. Some wood &c. Stayed at home every night.
Saturday the 5th
Weather clear and warm. Dan [McCue] & I went to town in the sleigh. Afternoon, John & girls went down to Saters’. A little cloudy tonight.
Sunday the 6th January 1861
Behold the fine snow is leaving. Some little rain fell last night & ’tis warm today and snow melting fast. Stayed at home all day & tinkered around. The folks all come home late in the evening.
Monday the 7th
Froze hard last night & is icy. I hauled rails &c. Done very little. We had a tolerable good Elocution School. Tuesday & Wednesday passed off quickly. We finished the cross fence, got cattle in pasture, hauled wood & fodder.
Thursday the 10th
Clear & very cold. I went to town & got the horses Jule & Henry she. Took the day. Friday and Saturday we hauled corn to Jim Spearman’s. Sold 250 bushels at 15 cts per bushel to Hope — a cattle feeder there. The weather pleasant. Thawed a little each day.
Sunday the 13th
Weather cloudy & rainy. I commenced learning a piece (Pleadings Extraordinary) & wrote a piece for the paper (Origin of the name Liberty School House). Went to singing at 3. John went to pint.
Cloudy & drizzly. We finished hauling corn. Had a small Elocution School tonight.
Tuesday the 15th
Weather cloudy & snowy. We drove 10 hogs to town. Sold to Martin $3.90 gross. Averaged 270 lbs. Wednesday stormy & cold. We stayed in house.
Thursday the 17th
We killed 4 hogs. I took 3 of them to town. Sold at 4.50.
Friday the 18th January 1861
Cold & stormy. I hauled some fodder in the forenoon. John took some corn down to the mill tonight. Being the appointed time for Exhibition at Edger’s School House, we accordingly put horses & mules to sleighs & was soon wending our way through the drifting snow rapidly. I drove the mules: John the horses. Took some girls & had a good time generally. The house was crowded to overflowing & exercises rather dull. I gave them extraordinary pleadings in its purity. John, Mag, Em, & Permelia spoke for them & Hannah failed on the Raven. We had a great time coming home through the snow.
Saturday the 19th
Clear & cold. John & I went to town in the sleigh. Stayed all day. Drew money for the corn, paid the taxes — 35 dollars — got a barrel of salt & many other small things. Got home late in the evening. Done the feedings, rigged the sleighs up again, & put off. Took a sleigh ride, then went to Horace Farr’s. Had a fine time. Then another big ride. Then got home about 12.
Sunday the 20th
Weather clear & cold. We didn’t hurry much this morn but got ready by 11 & went up to the school house. Dan went with me. We heard a practical common sense sermon by Mr. Musgrove that tickled Dan & I nearly to death. After meeting I went to Dickey’s & stayed till night. Then come home & stayed there.
Monday the 21st
Weather cold but pleasant. I put the mules to the sleigh & went to hunt Bebb’s to have them redeem Uncle Pat’s land that has been sold for taxes — a discovery I just made Saturday. I found them in the timber, then went to Dick’s, got the grist that John took down (corn), got home in the eve. Elocution good. The paper was read for the first to a large crowd (all comic nearly).
Tuesday the 22nd
We hauled 2 loads of wood from the creek. All went to the pint to singing, then from there to Jim Forbes’ & had a smashing time.
Wednesday the 23rd
Hauled 3 loads of wood this day & John cut 4 or 5. It clouded up & snowed some this eve. A Mr. McIntire stopped with us tonight. There was a crowd of visitors by John & I stepped off with the horses & big sleigh & drove in a southerly direction. Got some with us [and] went to our destined retreat where a large crowd was awaiting us & had an old time.
Thursday the 24th
Snowed some last night & is cold & stormy today. We done nothing but feed. John’s old man stayed with him.
Friday the 25th
Weather has moderated a little. John’s old man stayed & teased til we agreed to take a pump. We then went to work & put it in. Then he had to stall night again. We agreed to keep his colts.
Saturday the 26th
Clear & pleasant. John’s poor old fellow started early. I mended the sled that we broke that time John hauled some hay down for me &c. Dan & Dick are to home.
Sunday the 27th January 1861
Weather clear & cool. I tinkered around some, then got ready, took the horses & big sleigh & went to Dick’s & him & I went to old Mr. Jackman’s.
Monday the 28th
Partly cloudy & cold. We started out & went to Pilot Grove. I bought Belding’s Elocution. He got a hog & we come home. John was hauling wood. I hauled one load. Went to Elocution School tonight.
Tuesday the 29th
Clear & cold. We went to the timber, got on a big load of wood apiece & was coming down the long hill beyond the creek — John ahead — when his sled broke down. [The roller come out & away the mules went –Helter Skelter — down the long slope & around to cures stopped & was caught. John overtook them & started back. Got to the creek & they started, run away with him again. Run down into the sugar camp. Run into some trees & smashed. We gathered up the fragments [and] come on home. Then hauled another load. After dark, we put the mules to the sleigh, went south again & oh! Dan went too.
Wednesday the 30th
Clear & very cold.
Thursday the last of January 1861
Weather very cold. We done the feeding & then built a fire in the room & there we stayed all day & read. Studied elocution & I wrote some for the paper &c. &c. In the eve the boys went to Dick’s. I went as far as H. Farr’s & stayed there. He was fixing up the paper. We eat pop corn & drank cider &c. They come past for me.
Friday the 1st February 1861
Weather cloudy & snowy. Snowed some 4 inches, then quit. We went to timber & the 2nd big log broke a runner off the last sled. We put on a little wood & come home. I intended to go up to a Howe’s Exhibition but it commenced snowing & giving it up went to the school house. Elias W. Shortridge & Mr. Hull commenced a meeting. The house crowded.
Saturday the 2nd
Cold & cleared off this morn. I stayed in the house after feeding & wrote here & studied till about noon. After, John, Mag, & I went to town in the sleigh. They come back & I went down to the old Mill, stayed till night for the Exhibition. They played More Blunders than One & it was the most laughable thing I ever saw & a colored representation that was good. After Exhibition was over, I talked around awhile, then footed it home. Got in at one.
Sunday the 3d
Weather clear & cold. Went to meeting at 10½, then come home. Stayed by the fire till night. Went up to meeting but couldn’t get in & came back. Dan [McCue] is sick tonight. I was studying Over the Rapid Boy at Show & Lost Breeches. The following week passed rapidly away. The meeting continued at night at school house. In the daytime at Mr. Wurth’s. I got the sled mended up & we hauled some wood — a few logs — to the mill &c. Wednesday the snow melted fast & it sprinkled a little. I went to meeting that night.
Thursday the 7th February 1860
Cleared off & froze hard last night & is windy & very cold. Went to Wurth’s in the sleigh to meeting. They are investigating the Sabbath question strong & have convinced quite a number that the 4th Commandment is binding now as much as ever & that Saturday is the Sabbath. We went to meeting at night.
Friday the 8th
Continued cold. No meeting today. John took some wheat to town & got it ground. I went to Forbes’ & stayed nearly all day. Went to meeting before dark. The house was crowded. Hull preached, then E. W. S. [Elias W. Shortridge] got up & they had a regular jangle. The M.E. &c. & Abby. It has moderated.
Thawed rapidly all day. We spent most of the day in idleness. Went to meeting before dark. The house was crowded. We heard the fox chase by Hull & all went off right.
Sunday the 10th
Raining — Raining. We had to stay in the house today. About 2 it ceased partially & I got on Henry, went to Cure’s Mill. The creek was empty yet but soon the flood came & in less than one hour the water & ___ was pouring over the dam rapidly all breaking up. I watched it till late, then come up & fed & it was late when I got in. the rest had gone to meeting to hear Elias W. [Shortridge]. Hull has left. I went to writing & filled up to hear & now my thoughts wander back one year from this time as I was sitting in the splendid Opera House at Cincinnati, Ohio. Oh what changes will come. Wrote to Bob tonight. Saw lightning in the south after dark.
Monday the 11th February 1861
Weather cloudy, windy, & cold. We all stayed close by the fire all day. It snowed some & got colder. Went to Elocution School. I recited Going Over the Falls. The week passed off & nothing done. It rained some & Friday a big snow fell.
Saturday the 16th
Weather moderate. We shelled a load of corn. John took it to mill. Dan went to town & got me two letters — Joe Fisher [see letter] & Joe Forbes. In the eve, we put the mules to the sleigh & Dan [McCue] & I went over to Noah’s & put up rack & Jim went to town & we had a pretty good time till he come.
Sunday the 17th
Clear & cold. We stayed pretty contented all day with our boots off & feet to the fire. I wrote some to cousin James Blacker. Went up to Tightbark at night to P. Meeting. It went very slow — only a few were there. We saw it through.
Monday the 18th
Cold yet. We stayed all day & in the evening thought we would come over & see the folks. We went to Elocution School. I had too much cold for to try anything tonight. John was to town today wit meat. Got 23 cts.
Tuesday the 19th
Clear & thawing. John went & took a load to town for Dick. I went down to Acres, bought a hog, then went to Cure’s a foot. Chopped awhile, then come home sick & went to bed. Suffered nearly all night.
Wednesday the 20th
I feel better this morn. ‘Tis warm & thawing. We husked a load of corn. I took it to town on a sled. Got 17 cts. Thursday took another load. It still is thawing fast & snow leaves.
Friday the 22nd
The boys had a load husked ready for me this morn & I went early. The snow left in a hurry. By the time I got to town, ’twas gone there. Was none to be found. Had to come home through the mud. [James Barney] Cure’s child was buried today. E. W. [Elias W. Shortridge] preached the funeral. I went to Acres this eve after my hog & bought another. We had to catch them with the dog & it was a job. ‘Twas 8 o’clock before we got back. Charley was with me — the pump man’s boy (McIntyre’s). He left him here last Sunday. ‘Tis very muddy & warm.
Saturday the 23rd
A sudden change last night. ‘Tis cold & freezing. We stayed by the fire till noon, then went to the other house, made a fire & shelled corn. I went & chopped poles awhile in the eve. Come up by Heaters’ to hear the news & heard that Ed Bebb was shot last night at Bogus Corner by Ewing Davenport. Ball entered right side. He is yet living. Davenport escaped by taking to his heels. Then I come home & read a novel — title Seth Jones — took till 10.
Sunday the 24th
Clear & cold. Tinkered around a little this morn. Then wrote here awhile. Went up to Singing at 3. Then home. John went to Bebb’s. He is not expected to live long.
Monday the 25th
Froze pretty hard this morn. We pulled 4 loads of corn. Threw it in barn floor.
Tuesday the 26th
Pulled 4 more loads. It thawed clear out & is very muddy. They took E. Davinport yesterday at Burlington. Wednesday we husked corn in the barn, threw it in the crib. Dan went to town. Took Henry. Was offered $100 for him. Here is a favorite song.
Thursday the 28th & last of February 1861
Weather clear & warm with a south wind. We finished husking the corn in the barn, then got up the team, went round by the school house & come in the field on the north side & husked & hauled out 2 loads. Put it in the lower crib.
Friday First Day of March 1861
Weather warm. Looks like some rain. We husked & hauled 4 big loads of corn.
Saturday 2nd day
We made four loads by working late. It sprinkled some in the eve about 4. Then after night 8½ rained a little. We went up to school house. They had a library meeting. Elected new officers. Hartman librarian.
Sunday 3d day
Cleared off this morning & is cool. Stayed at home all day. Studied some. Noah, Sal, & Rach was here afternoon till night.
Monday the 4th
Abraham Lincoln’s [inauguration] day. We killed 3 hogs in the morning. It was cold. We husked after noon.
Tuesday the 5th
Cold & frosty. I salted the meat &c. till noon. Then we husked corn.
Wednesday the 6th
Clear & pleasant. We took the wagon & drove to the famous [Iowa Lunatic] Asylum where crowds of people were flocking. We entered & Oh! the magnificence & splendor of the building which has cost our noble little state so much. The day was spent in viewing &c. There was some speaking also & the edifice was dedicated & now the maniacs come. We got home in the evening late.
Thursday the 7th March 1861
Clear & pleasant. He husked corn all day.
Clear & warm. We sent & got Clouse & Al Forbes, got Hartman’s wagon, & went at it rapid. Pulled 3 loads. Then husked all day. We took the wagon after dark & went to Samuel Heater’s sugar camp. Got all the sweet we wanted. Had some fun & got home about 11. After my boots was off, the dogs got after a hog in the lot. I started for them in a hurry, got some clubs for the canine & took around the house in a hurry when my head & face come in contact with a scantling from smoke house to fence & I had to pick myself up & ’twas hard to come in with bloody face & headache. Dogs safe.
Cloudy, cold & snowy. We cleaned up some beans. Was talking of going to town but give it up & took 10 bushels corn. John, Al & I went to Beery’s Mill, to Dick’s, & to Beery’s. Come home by Andrews. Brought Jennie up & we practiced for Exhibition.
Sunday the 10th
Weather moderating. I stayed at home, read, studied &c. Wrote to Will Blacker & Joe Forbes’ went over to Forbes’ in the evening awhile to see Hiram. Jim Chandler was down tonight.
Monday the 11th
Got up with sore throat & headache. Loaded for town but had to go to bed. Lay suffering till about noon, then got up & went to town. Suffered all the time. Saw by preacher [that] Rachel Johnson & Albert Caris [were] married. Disposed of my load. Saw the doctor & got home after dark very sick.
Tuesday the 12th
Weather moderate. Boys gathering corn. Myself in the bed with typhoid fever taking medicine.
Wednesday the 13th
Sent up for the doctor today. He came about 2 o’clock. Talked a long time. The boys finished corn today. Weather pleasant & cold. the rest of the week passed slowly away. I didn’t improve much. Sent to town for medicine nearly every day.
Saturday the 16th
Weather cool & windy. I began to feel a little easier. Samuel & Mag Saters came up [from Pleasant Grove, Iowa] this evening. There was a crowd in every night.
Sunday the 17th
Weather clear & cool. Folks all went to meeting at the pint. A big one on hand there. A felt a little better. Sat up a few minutes. Begin to think the fever is broke. There was a crowd here after meeting — among them the bride & groom. Sallie has been with me 2 days. Went home this eve. Saters started home this eve. Dick came up awhile.
Monday the 18th
Cold & cloudy. Think that I’m still mending. Dan & Dick went to town. Got me some medicine.
Tuesday the 19th
Cold, cloudy & feel some stronger. Sat up a little while & so on every day till Friday. The weather continued changeable. Sometimes cold & snowy, looked like rain at times, but soon would blow over. John tinkers around feeding &c. Fixes brush fence at spare times. Went to Dick’s Thursday with corn.
Friday 22nd March 1861
Weather cloudy, cool & windy. Wind changing. Dan got Forbes’ buggy & himself, mother & I went to Mr. Stansbury’s visiting. Took Aunt Bekka along. Stayed nearly all day. I felt tolerable lean to be so far from home. About 4 we went over to Mr. Miller’s, took supper, & visited there till after 8 P. M. Albert is preparing to leave. We bid them farewell & drove home & it commenced raining just as the vehicle halted in the lane. I hurried myself in & retired rather fatigued.
Saturday the 23rd
Cold, clear & windy. Changed in the night. I had a good night’s rest & feel on the mend this morn. Went out to look at the young stock but couldn’t stand the cold. Played with the little boys till about 11, then went up to the School House to the Sabbath Keeper’s Meeting. Couldn’t wait till it was through. Went over to Hartman’s & took dinner. After that, got some books from library & come home. The eldest child [Lunetta Spearman, (1857-1861)] of A. J. [Andrew Jackson] Spearman’s was buried this afternoon at chapel. I busied myself in reading the work of Lorenzo Dow — something I never got hold of before. It seems kinder silly &c. Dan went to the funeral. John went to Dick’s, took some corn. The wind blows hard. Hay stack [blew] over. The ground is already dry & the drouth increases. We have every prospect of drouth. I wrote all this in the eve & my hand is tired. I quit. Beck & company come up with John. Weather very cold.
Sunday the 24th March 1861
Cleared off this morn & is warmer. I stayed about the house all day & read most of the time. Rollins’ American History & Dow’s. Clouded up & blows from the south.
Monday the 25th
Warm. John & Dan went to plowing. I sowed 6 bushels of wheat today. Went to Heater’s. Rented him the 10 Acre field. It rained a little & hailed hard this eve.
Friday the 26th
Cloudy & sprinkles a little at times. I sowed 4 bushels more. Then I drew the water out of the well & after dinner, Dan went down, cleaned it out good. The boys had to come in out of the rain. It snowed hard awhile this eve & got colder. Henry Farr come this eve & talked us out of $5.75 for putting up a lightning conductor on our shanty.
Wednesday the 27th
Cold & frosty but clear. Ground froze. I took Beck & company over to Noah’s & left them there. Got home at noon & sowed 6 bushels. This afternoon, the boys plowed, harrowed &c. I got up my mules, took them down there, tied the bogeys in stable. I tend to feeding the pigs. Got a letter from Bob.
Thursday the 28th
Cloudy & warm. Sprinkled some & cleared off. The boys plowed &c. I sowed 2 bushels more — the last of ten acres — bearded wheat. Then opened the potatoes, found them nice. Fed pigs &c.
Friday the 29th
Found it raining hard this morn. I hurried out & covered the potatoes in the rain. Read & wrote to Angeline. Went to neighbor Wurth’s in the eve. Stayed till after dark.
Saturday the 30th March 1861
Weather clear & frosty this morning. John went to plowing about 9. I talked all forenoon with Miles Walters trying to trade mules for a big mare. Then I plowed all afternoon.
Easter Sunday, the last [of March 1861]
Cloudy & cool. Commenced raining about 10 or 11 & rained slowly all day. We stayed in the house all day. Dick was here. I read in Dow’s work. It rained hard in the eve. We devoured an uncommon mess of eggs.