MAY 1884 - Hiram Pratt (Waveland Barber) 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. 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 (although he often attended the Presbyterian as well). 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. For some, he wrote an article about the town, too. 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
Thursday May 1 -- $.25. For several years my receipts have not been as low as are reported today. We have had considerable rain today. Willie Hauger and Eliza have been at house cleaning today. Paid 35 cts for a beef steak.
Friday May 2 -- $2.40. For lard .52. Combs, three 70 cts. One pair of barber shears $1.50. We have to have a fire in the stoves today. Our apple, cherry and plumb (sic) trees are in full bloom. Peach trees have no bloom. 5 gal gasoline 90 cts.
Saturday May 3 -- $10.70. Paid .75 for 5# of meat and 40 cts for 2 lbs of butter. Sent to the Sentinel Co. $672 (must be $6.72 but no period). We were through work by 10 ½ o'clock. Home by 11 a.m. Rain has been falling most of the day.
Sunday May 4 -- We have had an abundance of rain. I remained at home all the forenoon, attended no Sunday school but at night I and Eliza and Willie were at preaching. The prodigals return was the subject.
Monday May 5 -- $6.70. Yesterday I gave to the church expense fund 41. Paid 40 cts for coal oil. Eliza and Willie Hauger have our house renovated in fine style. She done the usual weeks washing this a.m.
Tuesday May 6 -- $1.30 - Eliza was up town last Saturday and bought a pair of shoes for Willie which cost $2. She spent $1.40 for goods of various kinds. Have had more rain today. The weather is backward for the farmers.
Wednesday May 7 -- $5.70. 30 cts for beef steak. More rain today. A man representing the hull Vaper Stone Co. was to see me Monday I ordered two stoves to pay for them the 19 inst. Eliza has a bad cold. I have printed 200 and 300 = 500 more dodges (lodges?) for Moore.
Thursday May 8 -- $2.30. Last Tuesday Billy Hauger went to Crawfordsville for his new suit of cloths (sic). I gave him $16.60. John Goben has promised to buy of me a gasoline summer cook stove. Mr. Wilkerson will be in for a sewing machine next week.
Friday May 9 -- $1. pd 85 cts for meat. 50 cts for 6 lbs of sugar .20 cts for 1 package Arbuckle roasted coffee. I and my wife are both taking a fresh cold. Paid 35 cts for a pocket knife for a birthday present to Willie. He is 11 years.
Saturday May 10 -- $10.25. We have had considerable work to do since 2 o'clock. The weather has been real nice since the rain this morning. We were done work by 10 ½. I am better of my cold.
Sunday May 11 - I attended and lead the class meeting this morning. There was no women in attendance. The 2 Willies and I were at Sunday school and I remained at class. Bought a bottle of cough medicine for wife.
Monday May 12 -- $5.20. Paid yesterday one dollar for a bottle of cough medicine for wife. Sent the American News Co 7.10. Eliza has a very bad cold. She coughs very hard. My cold is some better. Willie is real hearty.
Tuesday May 13 -- $3.35. Paid 25 cts for a bucket of salt. Sent John C. New & Son $14.65. I will have by the last of this week three new gasoline cook stoves for sale. We can use ours for everything about cooking.
Wednesday May 14 -- $2.10. Bought one paper of hair pins and 3 of brass pins for 40 cts. I have printed over 2000 little dodgers for CF Moore since yesterday evening. Paid 25 cts for beef steak. The weather is fine.
Thursday May 15-- $2.50 - Paid 20 cts for beef steak. Dr. Van Nuys has tonight prescribed (sic) for my wife the catarrh is troubling her very much. I pulled a tooth for our little boy today. Farmers are busy at corn planting.
Friday May 16 -- $5.20. Lard 50 cts. Butter .75. Paid Billy Hauger 3.20. My little woman is getting better of her cold. Thus far our Willie has escaped the mumps. The weather is getting nice for corn planting.
Saturday May 17 -- $9.75. Paid April rent $2. For 2# of roasted coffee 40 cts. Eliza was up town and spent 60 cts for flowers and 20 cts for cotton yarn. Our work did not commence today until late were home by 11 o'clock.
Sunday May 18 - We all attended preaching this forenoon at the Methodist Church and at 2 ½ were at Sunday School with the exception of wife. Rain tonight also this afternoon. There was no preaching tonight.
Monday May 19 -- $8.90. Yesterday I put $1 in for church purposes. Paid 2.20 for a ham of meat. We have had rain at intervals throughout the day. I attended IOOF Lodge tonight. Paid 10 cts for two spools of thread.
Tuesday May 20 -- $1.60 Sent to Cincinnati Enquirer 2.22 and to the Indianapolis Times 3.35. Apples for pie .50 Ham sausage .75. Terre Haute Express $1. The weather is now getting warm enough to make things grow.
Wednesday May 21 -- $1.30. Sweet potatoe (sic) plants .65. Gasoline ½ gal .10. Rain a little at 9 o'clock tonight, more rain will perhaps fall before morning. I rec'd 3 gasoline stoves today. Willie Hauger planted our sweet potatoes today.
Thursday May 22 -- $1.50. Paid 40 cts for 3 pounds of prunes .20 cts. For lemon extract. Rained last night . Today the weather was warm and farmers were busy with this corn planting.
Friday May 23 -- $2.65. Rev TC Webster's wife and Mrs. PM Conner took dinner at our house today. Had a shower of rain this afternoon. The weather is warm. John Fishero's little boy was taken to Alamo for burial.
Saturday May 24 -- $10. My little woman was up town this morning and solicited a new style spring hat. It is a plug had (hat?). The weather has been very nice for a couple of days. We were done work by 11.
Sunday May 25 - The weather during the day was genial but the pleasure of it was somewhat mared (sic) it rained. John Spruhan and wife and little Fred were at our house this evening. I attended class and Sunday school. Remained at home tonight.
Monday May 26 -- $6.75. Paid last Saturday 45 cts for butter. Paid $1 for 16 lbs of sugar; 75 cts for lard; 40 cts for corn meal; 50 cts for tea and 40 cts for coffee. Attended IOOF Lodge tonight. Eliza came up town and selected for herself a new hat.
Tuesday May 27 -- $1.70. American News Co $10.10. 6 lbs of sugar .50. Rained this afternoon. I have a job of printing 1000 small dodgers for TV Peacock of Rockville. Will send them to him tomorrow. We have a splendid garden.
Wednesday May 28 -- $1.75. The weather has turned real cool. I would not at all be surprised to hear of a frost some where by the morning. Eliza's new hat cost 2.45 - yesterday she paid out 35 cts for goods.
Thursday May 29 -- $4.00. Last Tuesday night I paid assessment in the AOUW Lodge $2. Paid 10 cts for gasoline -- .53 cts to Terre Haute Gazette. And to Billy Hauger $3. Billy has gone down home.
Friday May 30 -- $4.05. Paid $1 for a bottle of cough medicine for wife. For cow pasture I paid 1.50 for Express .30 cts for postal cards. 30 cts. Willie Hauger returned this evening. School is out. The day has been real fine Eliza and Mrs. Hutton were out calling today.
Saturday May 31 -- $12.55. The weather has been remarkably fine. Little Willie brought our supper to us. When ready to go home he asked for a dime to get a couple of bananas to take to ma for a surprise. Home by 11.