DECEMBER (Plus extras) 1886 Hiram A. Pratt Diary
Waveland Barber 50+ Years, CW Soldier + More
Note: These diaries were in the Waveland Public Library for decades but were disposed of by a librarian several decades ago. Luckily, another librarian's daughter (thanks sooo much Pam, at the death of her mother, Virginia Banta Sharpe found them in some belongings and gave them back for proper housing. A complete circle; however, only 14 of the 50+ diaries were saved from the library's incinerator. I'm a librarian too and thought since they'd been lost to posterity for so many years that it would be a good thing to transcribe them and give them to the world. They are currently housed in proper temperature/storage at the Crawfordsville District Public Library - typed as they were written
Note 2 : Karen Bazzani Zach (transcriber) was raised in the big 'ol town (500 people) where HA Pratt lived 5 decades before I was born. I remember the building where his little shop was and wish it was still there. What an interesting little place. ALAS! Progress !
Note 3: Some information about Pratt -- he was born in Parke County, Indiana April 20, 1840 the oldest child of eight born to Erastus & Elizabeth Allen Pratt and died October 12, 1914 in his beloved Waveland, Indiana. He was twice married, first to the love of his life (he kept a life-sized poster of her in one of his cabinets at his barber shop, even long after his second marriage) Eliza Franklin Shaw (born Oct 23, 1841 died Oct 12, 1887), and #2 to his friend, Evaline "Eva" McMains. He was very active in the community where he and Eliza chose to live. He gave generously of his time and money to the Methodist Church in Waveland. For a few years, he served as Marshall of the town. Also, he worked diligently for his Odd Fellows, Rebekah & Knights of Phythias Lodges, was for a time on the town board, and read to those who could not read from the several newspapers he was agent for. Pratt volunteered and served for three years during the Civil War (Co. B, 36th Infantry), and spent time in the dreaded Andersonville prison. He and Eliza adopted a son, Willie Franklin Stump, age two (not sure ever officially or just had permission to take him from the Poor House in Crawfordsville) and he was an amazing young boy (high grades, worked in the church, quite musicially inclined, just an ideal child) until Eliza was taken to the hospital where she was operated on for six cervical tumors (one weighing six pounds) from which she died. Willie went wild after that and he and Hiram's second wife, Eva never got along. He ended-up in Reform School (for stealing a dollar twice from Eva among other small crimes), and later sent home to die due to consumption (what we know as tuberculosis) dying in Hiram's arms on April 12, in 1894. Hiram missed Willie and Eliza more than most I do believe as he wrote about them so often in these diaries. Just wish the rest of Pratt's diaries he wrote for over 50 years as a barber in Waveland still existed :( kbz
Wednesday Dec 1 - $1.00. AOUW Dues $2. 2 prs cotton colored hose for wife 25. Chicken fee 50. Cow feed 70 cts. Turned cold last night. Mercury will fall below zero before morning. Winter has set in dead earnest. Hope it will not let up before March. Shoes for Willie 2.50
Thursday Dec 2 -- $1.20. 1 gal coal oil 20 cts. I am not getting very much work now. Hope it will soon revive. Sent The Journal $12.67. postage stamps 10 cards 25. The weather continues cold. Mercury was 2 degrees below 0 at sun up this morning. Clear and calm tonight.
Friday Dec 3 -- $2.10. Thread 10 cts I attended Grand Army encampment tonight. Had 6 muster. There was 25 soldiers present. After the Post was dismissed 21 of the crowd took oysters at Alspaughs. 20 cts.
Saturday Dec 4 -- $8.80. Willie spent 20 cts for repairs on his skates. The weather has for the past few days been real cold. Tonight it is a little warmer. We were done work by 11 o'clock tonight. I am not very well.
Sunday Dec 5 - I was at the Methodist Church this morning and heard Zimri Marris of Rockville. Our pastor being engaged in a series of meetings at New Market. At noon Clara Talbut dined with us. Willie and I were at Sunday school. I remained for class meeting.
Monday Dec 6 - $4.10. B&L 2.50. Sent the Sentinel $4.01. Th Enquirer 2.65. Commerical Gazette 2.75. The weather is turning warmer, It did not freeze water in the shop. I have had tolerable good run of work today.
Tuesday Dec 7 -- $2.10. One half bushel of apples 70. One sack of flour .55 Willie has spent 23 cts for repairs. Postage stamps .10 cts. Cap for Willie .25. Tacks 10 cts for yd of cotton goods. I am having one of my chairs upholstered.
Wednesday Dec 8 -- $2.80. Paid 50 cts for a roast of fresh beef. Helen McMullen, wifes sister will be to see us next Friday. I am going to the train for her and will bring her trunk up on the wheel barrow. Wife is using the summer kitchen, the weather has turned so warm.
Thursday Dec 9 -- $2.05. Paid 2.10 for the carpet used in the upholstering of my chiar. Paid dues in GAR 50 cts. Sent Thomas H. Martin of Chicago 4.82. Express 75 cts. I attended prayer meeting tonight. The weather is getting too warm to allow fire in the stove.
Friday Dec 10 -- $3.80. Paid Billy Stilwell $1.50 for the work he done on my chair. Coal oil 20 cts. Helen McMullen wife's sister and her little girl Jennie came in this evening. The weather continues warm. Snow or rain soon.
Saturday Dec 11 -- $5.80. Paid 25 cts for a couple beef steaks. We were done work by 10 ½. The weather has been so warm that a fire in the shop stove made the room uncomfortable. 19 persons were immerced (sic) in the Baptist Church at Browns Valley today.
Sunday Dec 12 - We lay abed this morning until tread day light. At 2 ½ Willie and I were at Sunday school. I remained for class after Sunday school we was over, the weather continued warm. The indications are for snow or rain.
Monday Dec 13 -- $4.60. B&L 2.50 Coffee $1. 2 yds cotton 15. Gave Willie .15 cts for a purse that is being made up buy the teacher a Christmas present. He always treats his pupils and they in turn feel like giving him something nice. We have had a wet day. Snow rain.
Tuesday Dec 14 -- $2.45. We have had a raw day, rain and snow. Wife presented her sister Helen with a nice calico dress cost $1.05. Sent the American News Co $2.50. Paid John Spruhan $10 for coal. I am going to get two more loads of black coal then I think will have enough for the winter.
Wednesday Dec 15 -- $5.30. Goods for a pair of pants for Willie $1.75, one lamp chimney .05. 4 bananas for Helen's baby. 10 cts. Coal oil 20 cts. The weather is not today cold but barely to the breezing point. The publishers of the Independent in town paper print 2000 copies.
Thursday Dec 16 -- $1.70. I attended our regular prayer meeting tonight. Helen McMullen will leave here tomorrow and on her way home will stop off at Terre Haute with her mother-in-law for one week. Bought a couple beef steaks for 20 cts. One gallon of coal oil 20 cts.
Friday Dec 17 -- $1. I took Helen's trunk to the depot at 9 ½ o'clock and at 11 o'clock she was aboard the train for Terre Haute. Wife accompanied her sister to the train. Yesterday and today we have had a change in the weather for the worse. I attended the GAR post meeting tonight.
Saturday Dec 18 -- $6.95. We were done work by 10 ½. The weather has been of many kinds snow rain and sunshine. I noticed more drunkenness in town tonight than for many years. Doolin the Marshall has resigned and Dave Moore appointed.
Sunday Dec 19 - Willie and I were at Sunday school at 2 ½. I remained for class. We had a good meeting. There was a goodly number remained but all did not take a part in the meeting. Eliza did not feel well enough to go out to church so we remained home.
Monday Dec 20 -- $3.80. Paid 25 cts for a sack of corn meal and 20 cts for 1 pound of Peppermint lozenges. Wife did not feel well enough o do her usual weeks work this morning so we had the washing done by Mrs. Mag Moore for 50 cts. Minnie Haley was to see my little woman today.
Tuesday Dec 21 -- $2.05. Bought one broom for the dwelling 30 ts. Yesterday I paid into the B& L Association $2.50 Sent the Globe Democrat 85 cts. The ice in the creeks is breaking up it does seem like winter is over.
Wednesday Dec 22 -- $3.55. Paid Spruhan on coal bill $4. Last night Willie and I were at the lecture. Paid 50 cts. I was alone at the lecture tonight. Subject "Wise Fools" I was not entertained. Minnie Haley was to see wife today.
Thursday Dec 23 -- $3.30. We have had a rainy day. Cow and chicken feed 1.10. Chicken feed alone 50 cts. Paid $1 for candy. Knife for Willie .25 Also muffler 75 cts. Book 41. Sled 90 cts. Fire crackers 25 cts. Paid 25 cts for a qt of cranberries. At lecture tonight.
Friday Dec 24 -- $6.30. A pair of suspenders I bought for Willie yesterday cost 20 cts. Wife and Willie attended the Christmas doings at the Presbyterian church cost 25 cts. Willie is wonderfully pleased with the presents he received.
Saturday Dec 25 -- $7.25. One half bushel of Apples 75 cts. The sidewalks are covered with ice and the little boys are having a fine time with their sleds sliding on hill sides. Oysters last night 25 cts. Joe Chandler and Minnie Haley are to be at our house Wednesday.
Sunday Dec 26 - Willie and I attended our Sunday school at the usual hour this afternoon. I remained over for class meeting. CF Moore is our superintendent for the next year.
Monday Dec 27 - Paid in the B&L Association $2.50. Sent the Blade 1.85. National Tribe 2.75. Wife felt able to do her usual Monday's work. The weather is very pleasant for winter. Ground covered with snow.
Tuesday Dec 28 -- $2.25. Sent the Daily Journal $11.02. Paid 65 cts for beef. I attended the AOUW tonight and paid my assessments $2. We have paid on 27 deaths this year. The weather has turned considerable cold.
Wednesday Dec 29 -- $6.25 Gen John A. Logan State Senator from Ill died last Sunday at 3 p.m. Jo Chandler and Minnie Haley were at our house for supper tonight. Paid 35 cts for 3 plates for oyster dishes. The snow melted a very little today. Rent $2.
Thursday Dec 30 -- $6.05. Oysters and crackers on yesterday 45 ts. Can of baking powders 25 cts. Gen Logan's funeral will take place in the US Senate Chambers tomorrow. Sent the American News CO 6.80. Graphic Press .65. Moore of NY 2.35. Coal 5.
Friday Dec 31 -- $13.50. We had another snow to fall last night and most all day snow has been falling. Sleighing has never been better. I now come to the last day of the "old year." The Lord in his infinite loving kindness has remembered me with much mercy. Praise his name!
Month Received Paid
January 121.85 109.71
February 115.65 124.37
March 121.30 120.92
April 105.15 113.64
May 106.50 82.93
June 112.90 106.56
July 125.70 66.81
August 98.20 138.67
September 97.95 60.96
October 93.80 96.84
November 102.05 87.60
December 115.90 118.22
Year End 1316.95 1229.03
Subscription paper for the Cincinnati Gazette for the year 1870. HA Pratt Nov 27, 1869 Waveland, Indiana
Cincinnati Gazette Postage Paid for one year for $1.70 each.
Col. C. Budd
Wm. H. Peterman
Jos Milligan & Co
A Bowers 1.50 (postage not paid
H. Clore 1.50 (same)
John W. Milligan 1.50 (same)
Sam'l Moore (via James Sheleday postage not paid)
Capt A. Bilbo same
John McCalister same
A. Mitchell same
Wm. H. Fullenwider same
Mrs. Pheba Randolph
BG English (1.60 - no explanation as to diff)