JANUARY 1903 - HIRAM PRATT DIARY
This particular one was "bought of Thomas Burrin Jan 2, 1903 in Waveland, Indiana
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
Friday, Jan 2 -- $1. I have concluded to keep my diary for another year, provided it is the Lord's will that I should Sam Jones has ordered from me a can of lard 50 lbs. "Kingman's Ket" the rendered. The Methodist Church commended their series of special meetings yesterday evening. I would like to attend every meeting. I am going when I can.
Saturday Jan 3 -- $7.40. Paid out for material to go into the Mince meat $1.05. Yesterday I sent A. Coulter of Chicago $3.05 expenses 8c for a bill of goods Solomon ? subscription. Our work in the shop did not commence until later this a.m. By 11 we were through. Harry Barr is going to make a good barber I think. He shaved me very nicely tonight. Paid George Fullenwider a dollar.
Sunday Jan 4 - I was at my post in the church service at 11 a.m. Brother Paxon was real interesting to meet did not get sleepy to amount to anything. After meeting I made my usual visit to Willie's grave. I attended the services tonight. There was a good attendance, I got to the Christian Church in time to go home with my wife. We eat our dinner at Alfreys today.
Monday Jan 5 -- $4.45. Sent the Crawfordsville Journal $3.45 by John Dietrich. There was a snow fell last night and was snowing most of the forenoon. Tim Alfrey and Tom Deer were at Jimmie McClure's funeral on the account of bad weather. Eva and Mary concluded not to go. I am up today of date with my Diary. Paid Bob Kelso for corn $1.20.
Tuesday Jan 6 -- $1.60. I have had 3 cord of stove wood put in the wood house. It cost me $4.85. I got a hard fall tonight while delivering the Evening News. Sliped on the icy pavement on the down grade to the Vandalia Station. Sent a dollar to the Curtis Publishing Co Philadelphia Pennsylvania. A letter was rec'd today from Almira Petty of Ocmulgee, Indian Territory, Eva's sister.
Wednesday Jan 7 -- $1.15. Cheese at 20 cts a pound 48 cts. This has been a bad day for business out of door. A blizzard all day. The mercury was up to 28 ½. Have had repairs on the harness to the amount of 60. Since any report has been made, Rev. Wm. T. Cuppy is very low not expected to recover. His two sons have been called and are here. WA Colman our tailor has a clerkship in the state legislature at 5 dollars a day.
Thursday Jan 8 -- $2.60. Box Rent in the post office for the present quarter of 3 months 15. Dues in Knights of Pythias Lodge $1.30. Independent Order of Odd Fellows 1.36. To the AOUW $4.84. This morning I sent $3 to the Logansport Laundry Express on a package of goods from Chicago. 30. I have not been to the meeting since Sunday. I have that Rev. WT Cuppy has given up to die. Snowed some today. Colder than yesterday.
Friday Jan 9 -- $2.55. Paid 50 cts for fresh port at 12 ½ per lb. The train from the north was over 5 hours late due here at 10:03 a.m. Snow drifted bad last night. The state legislature is in session since yesterday noon. Bought 12 yds of shirting at 10 pr yd $1.20. I have not yet been to the meetings. I hear they are not as well attended as they ought to be. Cold weather now
Saturday Jan 10 -- $5.90. Paid 60 for 24 lbs of flour. 25 cts for 2# of prunes, 65 for a dish pan 15 c for 5# of parsnips. This morning was the coldest we have had this winter. At 7 o'clock at our house Mercury stood at 5 below zero. Cold all day. We were done work by 11 o'clock. There is great distress in the cities among the poor for coal to keep warm. Sickness is on the increase on the account of a scarcity of fuel for warming.
Sunday Jan 11 - I was at class meeting at the class of Sunday School. The meeting was well attended and was taken part in by nearly all present. Tonight I attended preaching service by the pastor OP Paxon. On the way home I stoped in at the shop and recruited the fire. Mercury will I believe go below zero before morning. Eva attended her meeting and put a dollar on Pastors salary.
Monday Jan 12 - I am reminded of Eliza's and Willie's death. $1.35. Mercury at 7 a.m. at our house was 8 below zero. During the night I recruited the fire no plants were frosted. Apples and oranges 30. 2 lbs of prunes 25. There is good sleighing now the snow is fully 6" deep. No mail has been received from the north today. Traffic as well as trains are all out of line on account of drifted snow.
Tuesday Jan 13 -- $1.15 Paid $4.60 for oil and gasoline. Telephone rent $1.10 for 10 c was for a talk by Earnest Ellis to Russellville. I did not get to go to the meeting last night nor this afternoon. Mercury registered 4 below at our house at 7 a.m. Thawed a little at about noon. Our cow failed to eat any this morning. She may be foundered for aught I know hope at least she is not to be bad sick.
Wednesday Jan 14 -- $1.55. Paid 20 for 1/8 bushel of apples 10 c for ½ pound of sour candy. There was some giving a way in the snow it melted a little. The Indianapolis papers failed to arrive today - Journal and Sentinel, Mary Kelso Lewis was at our house and went with Eva to her prayer meeting. She will abide only the night.
Thursday Jan 15 -- $1.55. Buddy Kelso cam over after his daughter, Mary. The snow was quite slushy until late in the evening. John McMains has been compelled to have his renter John Robertson Jr put out of his house. He does not pay rent and will have to vacate. Yesterday and today I attended the afternoon meeting. Not any enthusiasm visible - a dull hard pull all the time only 3-6 males present 3 or 4 times as many females.
Friday, Jan 16 -- $3.15. Mercury ran up to 40 degrees today. Snow melted fast. A letter was returned today from Kansas City MO addressed to P. May Petty. I have written a few lines and will fire it back tomorrow. Bro. Moorman, wife and his mother were callers at our house yesterday evening. Bob McMains was here yesterday. I have the promise of a load of coal Tuesday.
Saturday Jan 17 - $7.25. Paid 45 c for a beef steak and 25 c for 3 slices of fresh pork ham 25 c for 2 pounds of prunes 40 c for a peck of nice apples for eating 10 c for a couple sandwiches or sanwitches don't know which. We were done work by 11 o'clock but I did not get home until midnight. Pd for 2 cord of wood 18" tong $3. For a can of Kingan's kettle Rendered lard $7.37. Ground in base in places.
Sunday Jan 18 - I was at Class meeting last Sunday and today was at the preaching service cast in the hat a dollar to be applied to apportionment due the church. John and Eva went over to Russellville and spent the day. Anderson and his daughter Elsie were there at Jim's awhile this p.m. I visited Willie's grave at noon and went to Church tonight. John is here at our house tonight.
Monday Jan 19 -- $2.90. Paid $3.50 for 10 gal of oil and 20 of gasoline. For 1 ½ cords of stove wood I paid $2.25. The snow melted some today. It has all disappeared except in places where it was drifted. The meeting was expected to have closed last night but Bro. Paxon concluded to hold another meeting tonight. I was detained at my shop. There has been very little ice put up in this locality.
Tuesday Jan 20 -- $1.75. Paid 25 c for 4 lbs of white soup beans. Two tons of coal $3.50. This is the best lot of coal I have bought this year. I hope to have my coal bin for next years use, filled with this grade of coal during the summer months. A little snow fell before noon, not enough to cover the ground. The meeting closed tonight with 6 additions. I did not get to go too bad.
Wednesday Jan 21 -- $6.60. Paid 15 c for a 10 pound bag of meal. There was not much of a thaw today. We have a promise of fair weather and warmer on tomorrow. Eva received a letter from Pearla Petty. She is to be married to Dr. Conover next April or May. She will reside in Kansas City. Her sister Myrtle is going to move to Independence 10 miles from Kansas City. She is glad of it.
Thursday Jan 22 -- $1.20. Sent the Logansport laundry $3. Paid Express on the return of laundry last Saturday 30 cts. John Robertson Jr was forcibly ejected from John McMain's house for nonpayment of rent. I am sorry that this had to be done. The roads got sloppy along the middle of the day. Some indications of rain. Clyde Giltner started for Texas yesterday.
Friday Jan 23 -- $3.90. Sent money order of 90 cts to the Sunday Star of St. Louis, Mo and 36 c to the Post-Dispatch of St. Louis. At 8 o'clock tonight a snow was falling. Eva was at Mrs. John Spruhan's tonight at a church social lunch. She stoped at my shop on her way home after 9. Wm. Coleman engrossing clerk of the state legislature is home for a few days returning Monday forenoon.
Saturday Jan 24 -- $6.75. Paid George Fullenwider $1. For a water pail 85 c for hominy 20. Laundry soap 30 c. The snow did not amount to much only about an inch deep. Paid Bob Kelso $1.50 for cord of wood The wood house is about full of wood now have 2 more cord engaged. It was 12 o'clock and a few minutes past when I quit tonight.
Sunday Jan 25 - I was at class meeting this am. 25 were present. The meeting was highly spiritual - what I would call a real good meeting. I clearly forgot to visit Willie's grave until it was to late. Miss Sarah Barton went home with me for dinner at 3 p.m. She went to the Junior League meeting tonight I went with Eva to hear Bro. Moorman. He preached 22 minutes. The snow has a bout all disappeared.
Monday Jan 26 -- $1.30. Express on laundry was 30 cts. Len Acker is visiting in Ohio. H Is brother is bad sick. I bought for myself a new pair of rubber overshoes for 65. This is the second pair this winter. I have a cold and is the walks are real damp and when off the walks the ground is so very soft and wet, I need to keep my feet well protected.
Tuesday Jan 27 -- $4.65. The new preachers name at the Presbyterian meeting is Montgomery. He is well liked by those who go to hear him. Yesterday I paid 45.80 for 20 gal of oil and 30 of gasoline. Oil cost 11 and gasoline 12 c per gallon. The rods are getting torn up badly. Vehicles drop nearly to the axle in places were the wheels have cut through the gravel. Heavy loads are forbidden.
Wednesday Jan 28 -- $19.30. Paid John Spruhan for two one horse wagon load of coal $7.22. Eva her sister Mary and their bro John spent the day over at their sister Nancy Kelso's. James Robertson has the care of his brother John's little girl Margarette and then father Zach has the little boy. John has yet no house to go into. He is for the present with a Mr. Britton.
Thursday Jan 29 -- $16.50. Sent the Union Mutual Life Insurance Co of Portland, Maine $5.47. The Chicago Record $7.42. Indianapolis news $10.51. Fees 18 c These three were sent out yesterday Today I sent the Sunday Star of St. Louis 90 c. Glove Dem 72. Post Dispatch 72. Commercial Trib 3.42. Chicago New 1.49. The Indianapolis Journal 716. Expense 38 c. There is a cold wave coming We have the promise of zero weather tomorrow.
Friday Jan 30 -- $4.60. Paid 75 c for 7 ½ lbs of beef for a roast. Yesterday I sent the Logansport laundry $3.00. Sent Perla Petty a copy of the Crawfordsville Journal. There was an item in it about the young divorcement suit at Covington Ind. They were well to do and married last May. Our cold snap was very light.
Saturday Jan 31 -- $10.15. Paid George Fullenwider a dollar. A peck of apples 40. a pound of crackers 10. Saxon yarn 10 for a skein. We were done work before 12 or midnight . It was or will be one o'clock before I get to bed. Have had no supper yet tonight save a lunch of 2 biscuits with a little beef. Rain is falling at midnight. I'm tired and sleepy