DECEMBER 1907 - HIRAM PRATT DIARY
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 ! Oh, and I've tried to type the diaries as is - mistakes & all
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 -- ENJOY
Sunday Dec 1 -- On the way home last night I met Will and Harry Kritz and asked about the fire. They were of the opinion it was set on fire. Two horse, 12 hogs, 18 ton of hay, 200 bales of oat straw, 400 bushel of corn 600 of oats. Scarcely anything was saved. $1800 Insurance. I visited Willie's grave before going in to church. Dave Russell and his sister Emma were at our house for dinner. Eva and I went to meeting tonight. Called at Bro. Wolfe's on the way.
Monday Dec 2 - Cloudy. 33. $6.20. Paid SW McCormick $2.80 for 200 pounds of bran for the cow. Eva sold butter, milk and buttermilk from our cow the last month to the amount of $10.05. Bought 2 bushel and 2 lbs of corn for $1.10. Have now paid $5 to Charley Patton for a barrel of apples engaged a few days ago. Paid 41 cts to Hanna Kritz to balance an account of $72.53. My account with them was 41 c less. One pound of candy 20 c.
Tuesday Dec 3 -- $9.20. Cloudy 25. In spots or places fair to the south a little thaw could be seen. Paid Mrs. Moore 40c for washing of our cost of cloths from last weeks wear. Express on laundry 70. Fresh pork 50. Sadies shoes repaired 50. Four and a half lbs of white soup beans 25. A large stick of candy for my Sadie 10c. Bro AW Smith commences a protracted meeting at New Market Today.
Wednesday Dec 4 -- $1.70. Cloudy 27. There was a wagon load of apples in town today selling at $1.25 per bushel. I bought 2 bu. Will Kelso and wife and Sadie spent the day at RL Rusks'. I went up there for my noon meal. There was a very light snow fall last night. The ground is bare in many places. The burned barn of last Saturday night will be rebuilt as soon as it can be done. Monday I paid Oliver McCall $1.12. paid 10 c for 3 apples to eat.
Thursday Dec 5 -- $2.25. Twenty gal coal oil $1.80 Mercury this a.m. at sun rise registered 16. TL Hanna will start in the morning for Redland California to be gone 3 mos. Eva spent the afternoon with Mrs. Charles Oglesy. The 26 of last month I returned by registered mail those fountain pens I got fro Caws Pen & Ink Co of NY. Have not yet heard from it.
Friday Dec 6 -- $2.45. Cloudy 44. The sun was not observed all of the day yet there was plenty of clouds. The new moon tonight was seen dimly through a thin cloud. Most of the farmers are through gathering their corn. C orn is not as good as it was thought it would be. The stalks remained green longer than usual, this prevented the ears to dry up so as to allow cribbing. Rev EE Moorman was here this week.
Saturday Dec 7 - Cloudy. 51. $8. Bought a dollar bottle of Abott Bros Rheumatic cure for Eva. I had no help today. Eat my supper without quitting my work. Eva made me 4 nice sandwiches which I feasted on after 9 o'clock tonight. Henry Moore, John Tague and I have our arrangements made to go to hear and see Sam Small at Crawfordsville tomorrow.
Sunday Dec 8 - The train came before I was ready so the next best thing to do was to put "Bob" to the buggy and light out for Crawfordsville. Eva concluded to go too. It was half past 11 when we got to the meeting. We took dinner at Anderson McMains. Andy and I went to hear Sam at 3 p.m. in Music Hall. He was ok. We stayed at Alfreys tonight. Rainy damp day.
Monday Dec 9 -- $2.30. Cloudy 52. Paid Oliver McCall $1.12 for the delivery of the papers. There has been a slow easy rain falling all day. We have a promise of colder weather for the morrow. Eva paid her sister Mary 50 c for a nice rooster of the Plymouth Rock stock. He is not very old and weighed 8 ½ pounds too. The Republican National convention will be held in Chicago.
Tuesday Dec 10 -- $8.05. Cloudy 30. Paid 15 c for money pouch. 100 pounds of sucerne or Diary feed. $1.50. 100 lbs of hominy harts $1.45. 1 gallon of sorghum molasses 2 quarts of cranberries 25. 2 bunion pads 5. The Fountain Pens refered to a few days ago have been rec'd. Store rooms are beginning to indicate the coming of the holidays. We are having a spell of colder weather now.
Wednesday Dec 11 -- Cloudy. 26. $3.10. Sent The Star of Indianapolis 8.66 ex 8. The Chicago Record Herald 4.41. ex 5. There was a little shift of snow fall this morning, not enough to cover the ground when Wm. R. McClain, wife & daughter left for Pensacola Florida this afternoon on the 3.43 train. Billy McC is not in good health and hope the trip will do him good. 1 whisk broom 10 cents. (Note: William McClain died in Feb 1908)
Thursday Dec 12 -- $1.95. Paid $1.80 for 20 gallon of coal oil. I am writing with one of Caw's Fountain pens guaranteed not to drop ink at anytime (by the way it is VERY smudgy). I am yet asking for a pen with which I can write not this annoying one. We were at Brother AJ Wolfe's for dinner. Mrs. Eliza Jarvis and Eva were there all day.
Friday Dec 13 -- $5.20. Cloudy 32. Paid 50 c for a diary for next year one day to a page. Mrs. Mag Moore 40 for washing out cast of garments of last week. This has been a bad and disagreeable day. Rained, sleeted and snowed. Nelson Miles and John Alward's daughter were married yesterday in the capital of the county. Both are young and I hope will do well. Sam McMains is here on a visit. (This is Goldie Alward Miles - I remember her well as a child - I could tell lots of stories about her - KZ - they had 5 children and were married 43 years before Nelson died.)
Saturday Dec 14 - Cloudy. 35. $6.50. Sam and Eva attended the bazaar and fair given in Fisher's building by the women of the Methodist society. Eva made a purchase of some fresh meat at Grimes' of 55. I spent 35 at the ice cream department of the fair. My little woman was burried 20 years 1 mont yesterday and Willie 13 years and 8 months snow.
Sunday Dec 15 - Cloudy 33. I attended church today with my wife. They have a man on trial to take the place of EO Kelly whose time expires after two more Sundays. This man comes from Angora (sic - Aurora? Angola?) and has a family of 5 children. It is not yet sure that he will be hired. The streets and side walks are sloppy and make bad walking. Buddy Kelso is a great sufferer with a pain in his left cheek he is very lean in flesh.
Monday Dec 16 -- $2.20. Paid Oliver Badger 41.20. Last week I sent the laundry at Logansport $5 and paid 35c. express on laundry. Last Saturday night I gave Oliver Badger 25 c to get his supper at the church fair. The fair receipts were a little over $147. (yep that's what it says - he even has it rewritten in parenthesis - must have been impressive yield) Expenses are to be taken out to find the net receipts. Sam McMains is talking of returning home tomorrow it al depends on the state of the weather.
Tuesday Dec 17 - Cloudy. 34. $2.20. I have paid Henderson Oliver $9.10 for coal he delivered to me some time ago. I got 2 ton of him today. Have not paid for it yet but hope to do so soon. Last night when I went home there was scarcely a cloud to be seen. Sam McMains returned home this forenoon. There was a little snow seen falling today. Prospect is good for a change of some kind
Wednesday Dec 18 -- $2.50 Paid Margarette Moore 40 for doing our washing. Sent the News yesterday $14.10 expense 12. Sent the News today 78 for Salmon Clore he had the paper sent to his address at Jacksonville, Florida. He and his wife have gone there to spend the winter. Paid Holland 34 c for 2 lbs of Arbuckle Coffee. Miss Dollie Sutton has our horse and buggy this week to take her to school at 50 c a day.
Thursday Dec 19 - Cloudy. 26. $5.55. Paid Holland & Co $1.75 for a coal oil lamp for sale and manufactures by the Standard Oil Co. It give a fine light. Eva was up town today and laid in a supply of presents to give to little children on Christmas morning. Paid Will Glenn 75 c for a bushel of potatoes. Tonights News contains another coal mine explosion and 40 persons killed. This one in Pennsylvania.
Friday Dec 20 - Cloudy. 33. $6.40. Paid Henderson Oliver $3. 20 gal of oil $1.80 Candy, raisins, bananas, oranges, and a can of pine apple $1.25. I gave a couple of girls 25 c to aid in buying Christmas presents for little children. There are quite a number of such in town that would not in any other way get a present in memory of "Old Santa Claus." 35c is paid out every week for Express on the return of laundry.
Saturday Dec 21 - Cloudy. 39. $7.40. The snow melted considerable all day. I was through with my work by 10 o'clock but did not get home until nearly 11. Paid a dollar for a small bottle of Anti-Mole. It will remove moles and warts in from 5 to 10 days and leave no scar. I have not yet given it a trial. Have heard others say they knew it worked. Billy McClain is well pleased.
Sunday Dec 22 - Cloudy 32. I lost the run on the receipts of the day but I believe I am not very far from the mark. I attained divine worship at the Christian Church next Sunday will be Bro Kelly's last time here as pastor of the church. He has secured a bi-monthly at Veedersburg in Fountain Co Ind. He had his wife son and daughter with him. They were grown to mature age.
Monday Dec 23 -- $3.50. Cloudy 32. See remarks on yesterdays report. I did not visit Willie's grave yesterday. Rain fell nearly all day yesterday and has been chilly and damp. Saturday of last week was the shortest of the year. Some contend that it was yesterday and some the 20th. Have paid Henderson Oliver for 2 ton of coal at 2.60 per ton . Paid 25 for a beautiful little box and gave it to Ruby Heslar. (Note: she was born in July making her about 10 ½ years old so it wasn't a birthday present- maybe for Christmas?)
Tuesday Dec 24 - Cloudy. 32. $6.70. Paid Oliver McCall $1.20. yesterday I paid $1.40 Lodge dues in IOOF and $1.30 in the lodge of Knights of Pythias. I am now in good standing in both orders for 3 months to come. Mrs. Tom Wilson and daughter called to spend the evening with Eva. Will Kelso continues a great sufferer and is as I think very near the end of the race in the course of life. (Note: Will did not die until May of 1918 so Dr. Pratt (lol) wasn't too right on that prediction).
Wednesday Dec 25 - Cloudy. 36. $1.45. Paid 30 c for a small package of pork chops. We took our noon meal with John, Dave and Emma Russell. Emanuel Shoaf and wife were there also. Frank Clark had the use of our Bob to go out to George Graham's for dinner. CS Kritz and wife presented Eva with a beautiful foot stool. She got some presents from Jennie Hanna and of her sister Mary Alfrey.
Thursday Dec 26 -- $5.30. Cloudy 37. 5c for celery the News tonight has mercily ? at 12 o'clock. 37 degrees. At our house Mercury was 48. In my shop tonight it registered at one time 70. Stove got a little too warm. We got a souvenir post card from Miranda. She is at her sister Almira Petty's Mr. Grosso is at the Christian Church on trial. He is our guest until the morning.
Friday Dec 27 -- $1.20. Cloudy 59. Paid 70 c express on laundry work from Logansport. We eat our noon meal with The Bloomfield girls at 25 c each. The Farmers Institute is being held here today and to continue over tomorrow. The Waveland Poultry Association gave a fine exhibit in their time. I gave them a $ to help out on premium list. Eva is at the lecture or entertainment tonight.
Saturday Dec 28 - Cloudy 39. $7.35. 5 gal gas 65. Fresh pork 35. One ton of coal put in the bin at the house of Henderson Oliver $2.60. 100 lbs of sucrene $1.50 100 pounds of bran $1.40. Emma Russell recited a piece last night as a part of the program in the entertainment about a woman and a mouse that broke up the house in an uproar of laughter. Eva was there.
Sunday Dec 29 - Cloudy. I wanted to attend the dedication of the New Church house in Browns Valley today but owing to bad roads and threatening of more bad weather I persuaded myself to go with my lady to hear her pastor SO Kelly. Tonight I went to hear Brother Smith. The weather is turning a lot colder tonight. It has been raining most of the day.
Monday Dec 30 - Cloudy. 39. $2. Last Saturday I spent 70 for nuts and yesterday 30c for ice cream. Miss Emma Russell was with us for dinner yesterday and remained until this morning. There was a difficite (sic - deficit) of 15 hundred dollars to be made up for the new church house in Browns Valley yesterday. It was more that made up. Bro. Smith was there in the forenoon. Sermon by Hughes.
Tuesday Dec 31 -- $2.55. Cloudy 32. Paid Oliver McCall $1.25. Mag Moore 40. For one gallon of maple molasses a dollar. Twenty five pounds of granulated sugar $1.35. A pillow sham from Allene Fisher 25c. I am using a Fountain pen (big smudges) that is guaranteed not to drop ink when in use, a drop of ink has fallen and caused a blemish. Another blot Dec 29. Good by old year. I have enjoyed you much!