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
Friday July 1-- We had no rain last night, nor none today; came close to it though. I came home from Hannas at noon when I got there this morning they had cut just one round. The field that we were at work in was finished by noon. It seems that my fingers are to sore to bind any longer without gloves on.
Saturday July 2-- $6.50 I made in the shop today was home by 12 or midnight. My fingers on the left hand are very tender, if I work anymore in wheat harvest I must have some protection for my hands. There is a good deal of talk about work commencing on our railroad next Monday. Rec'd some papers from Burlingam, Ks sent by Uncle Dave. The weather had been cooler today than for common.
Sunday July 3-- We stayed at home until 3 p.m. then went up to prayer meeting. Mrs. Benham and her daughter Alice came home with us and spent an hour or so in pleasant chat. Afterwards, Mr. Ayres and wife called - meanwhile the 2 first were here the others came. Eliza answered her sister Julia's letter which was rec'd on the 22nd of last month.
Monday July 4 -- Had rain this evening a little. I went over to Mr. Hanna's to help harvest, they had been twice around the field when I got there. Pen has persuaded me to stay all night with him. I told Eliza when I left not to look for me home. Seven years ago today I participated in the battle of Helena, Ark. 3500 union men against 18,000 Democrats. Flour 1.50 Beef .30
Tuesday July 5 -- Penn Hanna and I lay until breakfast was ready this morning. We then after eating went over to Mr. Henry Banta's to help him with his wheat. At night just as we were ready to quit a rod in the machine broke. The young man from John Dietrichs who came out this morning to help us came home tonight as I did we brought the broken rod to have fixed. I am not going back anymore now. Eliza was surprised at me for not coming home last night.
Wednesday July 6 -- $.60 is all I made today. Pd. 75 for pint hair oil and .25 for 1/2 gal coal oil. .40 for butter. Eliza was visiting at Dave Gault's. This evening at 4 1/2 Mrs. Eastlack was buried. She was old Man Eastlack's wife. Bro. Hayes presided at the funeral. 6000 hands are to be put on our railroad immediately. Wrote a letter to Bro Bill registered 7.15 to the Blade Office Toledo, Ohio.
Thursday July 7 -- 60 cents I made today. I wrote Ause Pratt a letter in answer to the one I got from him about 3 weeks ago. Eliza done her washing of clothes this morning. The Ottumwa Courier speaks of a big fire at that place $17,000 worth of property destroyed; it was the foundry burned. Rained a little last night; Cool today.
Friday July 8 - Pd rent for June 20 for beef 1.25 for salt .25. $2.00 is all I made today. Had a rain last night none yet to do any good. Charlie Marshall came very near dying this evening. His pulse were entirely gone at times and he drew his breath very slow. I never seen a woman go to such a desperate rate as did his mother. He revived up a little and tis thought he will live untill late in the night. Joseph Woodgate here tonight.
Saturday July 9 -- $6.40 I made today in the shop. Charlie Marshall died last night at about the hour of midnight and was buried this evening at 5. I bought 1/2 pt bay rum for .35 and one of salts of tarter 10 cents. John Crutchfield was here for dinner. Eliza has not been very well today did not attend the funeral.
Sunday July 10 - I attended preaching at our meeting house this forenoon. Eliza did not feel able to go, concluded she would go up this afternoon at 4 but was hindered by a gentle shower of rain a good soaking rain would be a good treat, my garden is promising but without a good shower of rain it will be almost a failure. Hope it will rain all night. Gave 25 cents to SS Union.
Monday, July 11 -- $1.10 I made today in my shop. Spent 10 cents for stamps Sent Father Shaw some papers. My little woman is not well this evening. She complains of being sick at her stomache. Sent 2 more names off for the Toledo Blade. We had most a splendid rain last night. Pd. John Thornton for plowing my garden 25 cents. Some signs of a rain tonight.
Tuesday July 12 -- $.90 I made today. We had a little sprinkle of rain. Eliza was so sick last night that I had to send or go for the doctor. He gave me some powders as soon as I gave the first one she went to sleep before this she had been vomiting. She is considerable better this evening. I got a Hostetter bottle of whiskey for 75. Gave 25 for sausage 10 for central inspid (?)
Wednesday July 13 -- $2.85 I made today. The weather has been tolerable warm. The railroad surveyors passed north of town about 1/2 mile. For my part I don't want it on that side would rather have it south of town. It is the talk that the road will be built to the coal banks by cold weather. Eliza is considerable better though not well by a good deal.
Thursday July 14 -- $.60 I made today in my shop. There was a big rain passed up north last night. Mrs. Young came by this morning and took Eliza with her on a visit to her mothers who live close to my grandma's. She got home at about dusk, said she had a good visit, seen Polley and Grandma. They were all well. Sent 2 more names off for the Toledo Blade. Warm tonight.
Friday July 15 -- $1.50 today. Bought two bushel of coal from Dr. Bill Steele for $1.80 not to be paid for until after next Christmas. Yesterday I had my chair at the shop fixed, the seat was about split it cost me $1.30. There is something else to be added to the cost that I don't know of now. John T. Moore arrived from Kansas last night. Says males are all well and all well pleased but Aunt Susan.
Saturday July 16 - $5.00 $6.00 Rec'd from Mr. Hanna for helping to harvest. Bought 4# of coffee for 1.00 1/4 of tea for .45 3 1/4 of fish .40 The weather has been very warm this afternoon. Eliza has not been very well all day nor is she tonight. Jerry Steele sold off his household goods, preparatory for Kansas.
Sunday July 17 - Eliza has not been well at all today. Mrs. Lowe a good neighbor woman living next to us on the east side had us come over and eat dinner with her. Eliza wrote a letter to her sister Mollie. I wrote some in the same, then I wrote two full sheets to Aunt Susan Pratt out in Kansas. The day has been real warm. Camolites have meeting today.
Monday July 18 -- We have had a warm day, late this evening a very light sprinkle of rain, it could hardly be discovered in the dust. I am afraid that our railroad will pass town on the north. If it would pass on the south we could have a grand view of it. Eliza had Ellen Marshal to wash for her this forenoon gave her 50 cents. I bought 1 box collars .30
Tuesday July 19 -- For supper we were at TJ Crutchfields. I bought 3 gallon of blackberries for .75 and 2 yds of gingham for Eliza to make her a bonnet of. I done nothing today of notice only I sought out cool places and fanned. The air was awful warm. I was the calculation to help Jack Sympson thrush wheat this pm. but they did not get ready. Jerry Steele started to Kanssas this p.m.
Wednesday July 20 -- Helped Jack Sympson to thresh wheat. My position was not in the field pitching what on the wagon. George McIntosh while his machine done the work. Eliza and "Aunt" Nancy Lowe went visiting at Mrs. Shellada's she says he was well pleased. The railroad news is state now. There are strong indications of war in Europe between Spain or Prussia.
Thursday July 21 -- $2.00 I made today in my shop. This morning by 7 1/2 the Mercury stood at 96 degrees; it has been warm all day. The ground is needing rain bad. France has declared war against Prusia. Both are concentrating their forces at the city of Mentz in France for a big fight. There has been no blood shed from last accounts. Magg Talbort was here visiting today. .75 for hair oil.
Friday July 22- $.35 is all I made today. Wills ? generally believed the railroad will run on the north side of town, probably 1/2 mile. I bought 4 gal of blackberries for $1.00 15# of sugar for 2.00 one big iron spoon for .25. 2 bars of sealing wax for .10 cents. The weather has been as warm as I would like to see it. We desire to have it any hotter.
Saturday July 23 - $7.25 I made today in the shop. The weather is very dry and hot. It seems like vegetation will dry up. John Robinson got a letter form his Uncle Bill Robinson of Kansas near where Uncle Dave lives from which I learn that Aunt Susan is having the ague. She used to shake with it here. It has been one month today since I have had a letter from them. Eliza is as well as for common.
Sunday July 24 -- We went to meeting this morning. Let's Celebrate. Hayes and John Crutchfield came home with me for dinner. I gave .25 cents for Freedmen's aid society and .25 cents for incidental church expenses. We stayed at home afternoon Bro Hickman preached at 4 o'clock.
Monday July 25 -- $1.65 in shop. The mercury was up to 99 degrees, the air was warm, yes it was what might be called hot. I gave Bud Marshall 423 for an order on the PO for 25 given by T. Roberts due the 30 of Sept next. Bought 4 gal Blackberries for 50 cents, 49# flour for 1.50 Eliza sayes she is tired tonight sent for the Blade 6 mos for JL Durham. 65 Thursday July 26 - $2.85 is all I made today. The Metropolitan Circus exhibited in town today. Not very many were out at the afternoon performances. Tonight I went, it cost me nothing for the circus, I stayed for the Minstrals which cost .25. There was a little fuss in town today between Russell Shay and James Yount. Yount found some whiskey in his stable belonging to Russel. Russel was fined 2 dollars and 50 cents including costs.
Friday July 27 -- $2.00 is all I made in shop today. The mercury was up to 98 most all day. At one time I believe it was up to 100. Dr. Ball said so. Bought Eliza a pair of gloves for .50. Received yesterday a paper from Iowa. I guess my Bro Ben sent it. Sister Eliza sent some nice croshaw (sic) work about 4 yds of it to my little woman. John Crutchfield was here for dinner.
Thursday July 28 - $1.60 in shop. Yesterday at 2 p.m the funeral of Wm. Stilwell to (sic - took?) place, services at our church by Rev. Reece Davis. Text 119 P29. The corpse was burried at the Presbyterian Cemetery. Mrs. Mary Moore was burried this evening at 5. I bought one fine toothed comb for .25 and one pound of sausage for .25 we had a little shower of rain this a.m.
Friday July 29 -- $2.65 made in the shop. Pd. Quarterage for Bro. Hayes 2.00 The mercury stand at 68 this evening the air felt a little cool. Jim Yount is under arrest for stealing a beef from one Smiley. It was taken last Friday night. We heard him pass between 12 and one o'clock. The impression is he will have to go to Penitentiary at least two years, his trail will be tomorrow.
Saturday July 30 -- $11.75 made in the shop. Jim Yount had his trial today it lasted until late in the night. The squire remanded him to go to court on a bond of $250. He failed to give bail at the time but was given more time to hunt it up. He will have to go to jail. Uncle Marshal was here for dinner and will stay all night with us.