Diary of Hiram A. Pratt, Waveland Barber
(Standard Diary #31) -- January 1884
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. 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
---- On cover page -- HA Pratt age 44 on April 20, 1884 - HAP is probably 20 years older in the above picture but it is the only one I'm aware of.
Tuesday Jan 1 -- $6.15 made.I sent to Eugene Berninghaus $19.25 for shop supplies. Cold. The indications are for snow. The new year sets in today. Its sorrow and joys are all hidden to us and I am glad that it is so. I am getting some better of my cold.
Wednesday Jan 2 -- $3.90 Cold & Cloudy. This diary I did not have at the beginning of this year and I will have to copy and write from memory up to the 7th. Paid 80 cts for 10# of fresh beef. The weather is turning colder. Sleighing was never better.
Thursday Jan 3 -- $2.55 -- Cold. Thermometer 26 degrees. The weather this morning was the coldest we have had for several years some localities the mercury went down as low as 30 degrees. Paid 20 cts for a paper of coffee. For cow feed and chicken feed $4.25
Friday Jan 4 -- $3.15 Sent Pecks Sun $1.34 The Blade Co 90 cts. The weather is turning cold fast. Bro. Conner and I have resigned our posts as class leaders. Our minister will appoint two others. Harry Kritz will be home next week.
Saturday Jan 5 -- $9.00 -- Thermometer 26. Cloudy weather. Paid 35 cts for a can of oysters We were done work by 9 1/2 o'clock. The weather is very cold. I am surprised that so many people came to town. Our pump has frozen up tight and may burst tonight.
Sunday Jan 6 -- Thermometer 27. Cloudy weather. The weather is most awful cold. 5 cts to SS. I attended class at 10 o'clock. The room was cold and cheerles, yet there was a goodly number out considering the weather. We had quite a big time today in getting our pump in order.
Monday Jan 7 -- $5.45. Therm 10 degree. Cloudy Cold. I paid 65 cts for the half soling of little Willies shoes. 30 cts for fresh beef. The weather is moderating a little and tonight a snow is falling. I have a bad cough, effects of a cold, my lungs are quite sore. (Note: Willie isn't so little anymore but as per below, Willie Hauger has come to work for HAP so since his name is Willie and he is several years older, their Willie has now become Little Willie and HAP refers to him as that long after Willie Hauger leaves and really up until Willie's death).
Tuesday Jan 8 -- $4.10. 2 degrees below at sun-up. Thawed. I sent John C. New & Son of Indianapolis $19.30 and to the Globe Democrat 1.80. Paid 1.50 for a bottle of medicine for my wife. Willie Hauger assisted my wife about the washing this forenoon. The snow melted a little on the houses.
Wednesday Jan 9 -- $4.55. 6 degrees. Clear & Cold. Paid rent for last month $2. One table cloth $1.35 one small sack of flour .80 Express .65 Postage stamps .50 Snowed a little last night. This week being the Knights of Pythias prayer, it is observed at the Presbyterian Church.
Thursday Jan 10 -- $5.45 Cloudy. Paid 65 cts express on a box of goods from Cincinnati. The snow melted considerable. Uncle Kish Evans and his son James were in the shop a few minutes this afternoon. It looks like the snow is going to leave now.
Friday Jan 11 -- $5.50. Cloudy. Paid 20 cents for 1 gal of coal oil and 20 cts for 7 pieces of pickled pigs feet. A gentleman from Crawfordsville gave a lecture in Milligan's hall on Border life during the Rebellion, was on eye witness to the battle of Antietam.
Saturday Jan 12 -- $11.85 Clear. Paid for fresh beef .55 We were done work at 10 1/2. Eliza called on Mrs. Hutton this afternoon.
Sunday Jan 13 -- Clear. We attended services in the Methodist house of worship this forenoon. Sammis the Presbyterian Minnister preached a good sermon. I put $1 in the basket and in the afternoon I gave 5 cts to the sunday school.
Monday Jan 14 -- $6.85 - Cloudy. The weather has moderated considerable. I paid 25 cts for 3 cakes of soap and 20 cts for a paper of coffee and 30 cts for a bushel of chicken feed. Aumion meeting is in progress at the Methodist and Pres. church's.
Tuesday Jan 15 -- $5.15 - Cloudy. Sent Pecks Sun 2.30. John C. New & Son 2.30 Snowed a very little today. Billy Hauger is at work at the Mill at $1 per day for 5 days in the week. Eliza done her ironing of wearing apparel.
Wednesday jan 16 -- $4.05 - Cloudy. Paid 20 cts for a beef steak, 5 cts for hoar hound candy and 10 cts for cough medicine and 50 cts for medicine for my wife. I have a bad cough. My lungs are sore. The sun shone a little today.
Thursday, Jan 17 -- $2.15. Cloudy. Paid 25 cts for coal oil. I attended the union meeting at the Presbyterian Church at 2 1/2 this evening. There was not much interest taken by anyone except the two preachers Hollingsworth and Sammis.
Friday Jan 18 -- $5.30. Cloudy. Paid on fire insurance $10. Paid 10 cts for cough medicine and 15 cts for fresh beef. I have been too bussy to attend the meeting today. Tonight there is a snow storm going on but may not last long.
Saturday Jan 19 -- $12.25. Snow. Paid 50 cts for a bottle of cough medicine. My lungs are quite sore from the severe cold I have been laboring under for the past 2 weeks. The meeting continues with scarcely any enthusiasm. Pd McClain Thursday $5.
Sunday Jan 20 -- Cold. We all attended services this forenoon. Let's Celebrate. Hollingsworth preached a real good sermon at 2 1/2. I attended social meeting in the Presbyterian Church. The meeting was not very warm was at Sunday school and at night wife and I were at meeting.
Monday Jan 21 -- $5.55. 10 degrees. Cold. I sent 70 cts for subscribers to SH Moore NY .20 cts for coffee. I was at the social meeting this afternoon. The meeting seemst o me to be a failure, so far as a revival is concerned. The testimonies are mostly none at all.
Tuesday Jan 22 -- $4.95. Thaw. Paid Glover & Son 12.25 and paid $1 rent on store. Sent Esquire Co. 3.20. Paid $1 for cough medicine and $1 for 11# of sugar and .40 for beef. I attended meeting this afternoon and tonight. A good letter from Sister Eliza.
Wednesday Jan 23 -- $2.85. Clear Cold. Paid 20 cts for a gal of coal oil. Sent 2.75 to the NY Tribune. My wife and I were at the meeting this evening. I was detained at work in my shop and did not go out to meeting tonight.
Thursday Jan 24 -- $2.55 Cold Clear. Mrs. Sammis wife of the Presbyterian Minister came after my wife in a sleigh and took her to the afternoon meeting. Pd $1.35 for material for our little boy a pair of pants. 45 cts for beef.
Friday Jan 25 -- $3.25 Cloudy Cold. Paid 75 cts for lard Pd $5 on account of dentistry for wife and sent $5.45 to Chicago to pay on life insurance. Rev. TC Webster came in town last evening and stayed over night at our house. He was our pastor for three years. Alberta Hanna died at 9:45 a.m.
Saturday Jan 26 -- $18.20. Thaw. Willie Hauger went down home last Thursday before leaving he made arrangements with WA Watson to work with me in his stead. We were done work by 10:15. I never found time to eat any throughout the day.
Sunday Jan 27 -- Thaw. We attended the funeral services of Miss Alberta Hanna at 11 a.m. She was No. 7 burried in the new cemetery. Little Willie and I attended Sunday school and tonight, I attended church, near the close of the sermon I went to sleep, when I awoke the congregation were standing and singing.
Monday Jan 28 -- $4.85. Paid 25 cts for 3 doz cakes and $1.50 for a pair of shoes for our little boy. Old Aunt Nancy Lough died last night at 11.15. She was 88 years old. Lived next door to us on the east. My cough is much better. (Note: Nancy Jarvis Lough born on Christmas Day, 1795 and died Jan 27, this year - buried Maple Ridge Cemetery just outside of Waveland to the north)
Tuesday Jan 29 -- $3.60. Paid 60 cts for 2 bu of chicken feed 20 cts for 1 pound roasted coffee and 3 1/2 pounds of beed 35 cts. This weather is turning warmer and the snow is going off rapidly. The union meetings closed tonight.
Wednesday Jan 30 -- $6.45. Paid 50 cts for 6 cakes of soap 10 cts for 7 Ben Davis apples. Billy Hauger returned this evening. Eliza has her new teeth and is well pleased. Mrs. Vinson is quite poorly. She has consumption [tuberculosis].
Thursday Jan 31 -- $2.85. Paid $1 for dentistry had a tooth filled. Eliza was uptown yesterday and paid 30 cts for Germantown yarn. The old snow is all gone turned cold this evening and began snowing. Sent to McCam $5 Jan 17 & $5 more today.