JANUARY 1895 - Hiram Pratt Diary
Special Note: In the front of this particular diary it says: "HA Pratt's book - bought from JW Robertson, Waveland, Indiana Jan 1, 1895 - price 57 cents
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
Tuesday Jan 1- 40 cts receipts. Cloudy. Eva and I were at Buddy Kelso's for dinner. I had to walk out. They sent in for her and Mary Ellen Alfrey a sister. I returned to my shop soon after dinner. Pd 15 cts for meal. 55 c on meat bill. 2 on shoes bought of Bert Kritz. 15 POB rent. Eva was at Mrs. Watson's this evening. She is going to have a cape made for her coat.
Wednesday Jan 2 - Snow. 45 cts are the receipts of the day. Rec'd word from Tavis & Brown that SA Swiggett of Helena, Montanna had made a good certificate for me in the prosecution of my claim for a pension. I am getting one of $8 per month under the law of June 30, 1890. I hope to get a better one under the old law. Mrs. Wilson will assist Eva in remodeling her plus coat tomorrow.
Thursday Jan 3 -- .85 paid for cow feed 50 cts. Ice is now about 6 " deep. Cloudy Snowed a little. JW Steele of Judson was married last Tuesday eve. He used to live here was an awful drunkard. He took the "Keeley" cure but fell from grace. He has taken it several times. For a few months has been sober. Miss Alexander was a brave woman to take such a hazardous risk. Mrs. Wilson was at our house today sewing for Eva.
Friday Jan 4 -- .85. Paid 35 cts for a peck of apples to eat. Cloudy rather cold -16 degrees. Eva's cape made out of her plush coat looks real well. It is more convenient for her. The coat was not large enough to admit of free use of the arms. WW Steele was not married but will be next Sunday. They had arrangements to be married in Terre Haute but at home now.
Saturday Jan 5-- $1.95. -6. Cloudy and rainy. My work is very light as compared to this time previous to my embarking in the grocery trade in 1889. There are two other shops in town and there is not much for me to do. This morning we had a light snow fall and tonight a rain is falling. James Alfred halled 2 load of coal for me today. It is now 11 o'clock. Ice will not be harvested.
Sunday Jan 6 - 40 - Cloudy & Rain. Eva and I attended services at the ME Church House. The speaker's name is Elliot and lives in Indianapolis and a member of the Presbyterian Church. He spoke in the interest of the Children aid society. He was a most wonderful interesting talker. This evening late I visited poor little Willie's grave. He lies burried (sic) in the ME Church cemetery. Died March 12, 1894 age 20 years 10 months 3 days.
Monday Jan 7 - 30 cts. Cloudy 31 degress. The butchers and others interested in ice for summer use were to have commenced to put up ice this a.m. The indications for a thaw out has broke into the arrangements. John Dietrich is remodeling his shop front for a butcher shop and doctors office. Eva done her usual weeks washing this forenoon. I sent Willies boots to John Petty in Arkansas he is a brother-in-law a box of goods was sent there a couple weeks ago.
Tuesday Jan 8 -- $1.00 Paid 22 cts for a pound of coffee and one dollar to Jos Strong & Co on account. James Alfrey, had two hogs butchered this afternoon.
Wednesday Jan 9 - Clear, cold 10 degrees. 30 cts. Ed Davis a former citizen of this place but now of Newport, Ky called today. He is working at the barbers trade on the account of close times in money matters has been laid off for three months. Brother Loyd McMains has bought a dressed hog. We have let out our sausage cutter to several who have given sausage rent to the amount of over 2 dollars during the season.
Thursday Jan 10 -- $1.50. Snow 26 degrees. Jimie Alfrey was 56 years old today A surprise dinner was the crowning feature of the day. Anderson McMains his wife and Nora their married daughter came in with a surprise for Anderson. The day was also his 55th birthday. He was innocent of any surprise in store for him. Jim was engaged hauling ice for Frank Belton. Eva, Loyd and I were at the feast.
Friday Jan 11 -- $.85 cents. 10 degrees Bannanas 10. Anderson McMains his wife and daughter Nona, Nancy Kelso and her daughter Mary, Jas Alfrey and wife were at our house today for dinner. I attended the Knights of Pythias lodge tonight, acted as inside watchman. Charlie Richey was put through the 2nd rank or made an Esquirer. He showed to be of a good mercury was 10 below zero at 11 p.m. (that's what the last sentence looks like but only makes part sense)
Saturday Jan 12 -- $2.30. Cloudy & Snow 14 a.m. Paid $1.13 for coal oil. Mercury was 14 below zero at six this morning at noon it was at zero. Paid 15 cts for apples 5 cts for cayen pepper. The snow is now about 10 inches deep. I have not had very much work today. It is now after 12. I have not had work for 3 hours. Harry Kritz has been a social visitor.
Sunday Jan 13 - Snow. 18. I called at the meeting house at 11 a.m for class meeting. There was no one present. I visited little Willie's grave waded snow a full foot deep. Ten months ago today Willie died. Seven years and 3 months today my dear little lady was buried. I went with Eva tonight to hear TJ Shuey. Virgil Morgan died this a.m. 15 after 12. He will be buried in Kentucky.
Monday Jan 14 -- $2.35. 25 above. Cloudy. Turned warmer today. Paid 1.45 for cotton goods and two shirt fronts. Eva done her washing today. Snow was too deep to put cloths out on the line. Hung them on a line in the summer kitchen and on a cloths horse by the heating stove in our sitting room. Snowed a little this a.m.
Tuesday Jan 15 - Cloudy $1.00 23 degrees. Tonight I thought I would be at home by 7 o'clock. I had more work to come in after night then throughout the day. Albert Kleiser came in and engaged in an interesting chat and time passed unobserved at 8 I went home. Nancy and Mary Bloomfield were spending the evening with Eva and her broth Loyd McMains.
Wednesday Jan 16 -- $.65. Clear 34. I paid 35 cts for 25# of flour. 10 cts for a rabbit and 5 cts for a bar of toilet soap. "Coal oil Johnnie" is the name of the soap and the best I have any knowledge of. Dr. Z Ball is fixing me up an affidavit for a pension increase. I am getting 8 dollars per month. Snow melted fast today. Eva has been at work on my shirts today.
Thursday Jan 17 - Clear 34. 30 cts. Paid 10 cts for a small bundle of celery stalks. Eva has been at work upon my shirts one is in a manner done. The snow is disappearing rapidly. Fred Stebbins is going to put up a two storry brick hotel on the ground where the old one stood. The new fire engine was tested yesterday. I cost $or 35.00 ?
Friday Jan 18 - 40 ts Clear 37 Ed Cuppy has got moved into his new quarters. He has a real nice room being next door to the post office will be very apt to get a good deal of work to do. I attended the Knights of Pythias. Charlie Richie and Jim Conway rode the goat ? in the third degree. Last night I attended and lead the prayer meeting in the ME Church.
Saturday Jan 19 - 33. Cloudy. $1.80. My receipts are wonderful by light compared to the year of 1885-6-7. Paid $3.53 for oil and gasoline 50 for cow feed. Joe Alfrey and wife were at the county seat (Crawfordsville) yesterday. Eva has completed two new shirts for me. Wm. Chamness is to do the brick work on the new hotel. Perhaps he will remember me for the groceries I sold him. I had no work after 9 o'clock.
Sunday Jan 20 - Fair 46. I attended Sunday school and remained for Sunday school prayer meeting. This evening visited Willies grave. Eliza's death and that of Willies occur on the same day of the month and at the same hour and minute. 20 of 30 a.m. Eliza's Oct 12, 1887 and Willie's March 12, 1894. One year ago Willie had returned from a visit at Farmersburg where Eliza's father Shaw lives.
Monday Jan 21 - 10 cts. Cloudy 58. The mercury was 58 above zero this morning but tonight it has gone down several degrees below zero. Last night Eva and I went down to Fount Johnsons and set until bed time. Paid 20 cts for a scrap book 5 cts for mucilage 70 cts on old account. Our minister AC Guyer will leave in the morning for Nashville, Tennessee. Paid 15 for daily Journal. The wind is high tonight.
Tuesday Jan 22 - 20 cts. Wind high. Cloudy 18. The motormen on the electric railway sin Brooklyn NY are on strike, having been worked overtime without remuneration. 5000 state militia have been ordered to the scene of trouble. I met with a very few of the members of the ME C at AJ Wolfes office to consult on the topic of revival services. Eva was at Mrs. Bloomfields this p.m.
Wednesday Jan 23 - 35 cs. Cold all day. Clear. Mercury at sun up was 10 above zero. There was no thaw today. This afternoon Eva and Lloyd went with Jim and Mary Ellen Alfreys over to Bro. Kelso's. I spend most of my time reading. Have the daily Indianapolis Journal Western Christian Advocates and Christian Wilness. The New Testmanet I read nearly every day. Eva stopped awhile at Alfreys on her way from prayer meeting.
Thursday Jan 24 - 30 cts. Cloudy. Mercury stood this a.m. 15 above. Bro AJ Wolfe game me two tickets for the reminder of the lecture course. They were formerly tickets belonging to our Pastor AC Guyer now gone to Tennessee. We have quarterly meeting next Saturday and Sunday. The elder HM Middleton will dine with us on Sunday The weather continues real cold. Loyd is over at Kelsos. Going to be gone a week.
Friday Jan 25 - 55 cts. Is the receipts. 18 degrees. Paid 25 for two lbs of dried peaches very fine. 2# of coffee 53 cts one peck of apples 40. Eva and I went to hear Mr. JHW Ham of Georgia. His subject was Snologoster(?) in Politicks (sic). He spoke for nearly two hours and was very entertaining. We faced a veritable blizzard on our way home. The wind was high and cold. The snow was blown in our faces as hard that it was very unpleasant.
Saturday Jan 26 -- $2.10 are the receipts. Paid Wm. Milligan rent for the present month 3 dollars on life insurance 5.47. Bannanas 15 cts. Apples 5 cts. Rheumatism in my feet and knees cause me much pain. Last evening before going to the lecture I attended and lead prayer meeting. The Elder was in to see me this evening. The lecture is favorably commented by all who heard it.
Sunday Jan 27 - Cloudy. This morning at 7, 4 above. I attended quarterly meeting at 10:30. It was 12:30 by the time I got home. The Elder TJ Shuey and wife, Jas Alfrey and wife were at our house for dinner. Eva stayed at home and had the house comfortable and a real good dinner. The preachers eat very heartily and after dinner talked over old times which was very entertaining. Iw as at Prayer meeting tonight. Visited Willies grave this forenoon.
Monday Jan 28 - 10 cts. Cloudy. Mercury at 6 o'clock am. 2 above at noon it was 6 above. Snow screaked all day when being tread upon snowed some. I was at prayer meeting again tonight. Bro Wolfe was to have been the leader but having gone north on the road this morning the train was interfered with by snow drifts and he could not get in. Bro PM Conner lead very acceptably. Loyd came in last evening and helped Eva wash this am.
Tuesday Jan 29 - Cloudy Mercury was above zero this a.m. 10 cts is the receipts of the day. Eva went out to her brother James with Kelsos this morning. The alarm of Fire awoke me at about half past five. I went to the door and asked of the fire and was told that it was the Flouring mill. James O. McCormick Proprietor. The mill originally cost $12,000 and was insured for a little over $4,000. I could render no aid and did not go.
Wednesday Jan 30 -- $.03 is all I took in. 2 above. Clear. Snow melted a very little in places most favorable. We are having prayer meeting every evening in the ME Church. Meetings are well attended but as yet no particular enthusiasm is prevalent. Mary Lewis .. Kelso took supper with us. I and Will Butcher called to see Garwoods pork packing house. I bought a 2 ½" tenderloin for 25 cts.
Thursday Jan 31 - This a.m. at 6:30 mercury was 2 below clear. $1.15 Eva and her sister Mary Ellen went over to old uncle Hugh Groves this afternoon. Mr and Mrs. Smalley house gone over to Ladoga to a wedding of a nephew of Mr. S's Frank Kritz was married to Mrs. Dora Thomas she is 29 he 33 years old. She has one son perhaps 10 years. I have a bad cold which gives em considerable trouble. Bro Wolfe lead the meeting tonight.