OCTOBER 1886 - Hiram Austin Pratt Diary
Waveland, Indiana Barber 50+ Years, CW Soldier + More
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
Friday Oct 1 - $1.15 Postal card stamps 15 cts. GAR for dues to Dec 3/7 $1. We had a good turn out at our GAR Post tonight. A white frost covered the ground this morning. One gal of coal oil 15 cts. Wife is not quite as well.
Saturday Oct 2 -- $6.10. One day this week I sent the Enquirer Co 1.65 and Thomas H. Martin 1.12. We had another big frost on hands this morning. All vegetation liable to be injured by frost if unprotected is now badly frosted.
Sunday Oct 3 - Wife, Minnie and I were at church today at the forenoon service. Minnie and Willie were at Sunday School. I lay down and took a nap for I was up last night until after 12. We have had a fire all day as it was almost to cold indoors without it.
Monday Oct 4-$6.10. The American News $5.50. Starch 25. Stamps 50 cts. Salt 25. B&L 2.50. 6 yds of canton flannel .75. The weather has been very nice. I met with the Odd Fellow order tonight, no quorum being present the minutes were not noted. Journal Newspaper Co. 13.60.
Tuesday Oct 5 -- $2.00 Coal oil 20 cts. Sent the Commercial Gazette $2.62. The weather is getting to be quite fine. Wife and Minnie are getting along real nicely with the work. James T. Johnson republican candidate for Congress will speak here next Saturday night.
Wednesday Oct 6 -- $1.55. Sugar 16# $1. About noon today there was quite an ugly accident occurred on the railroad just to the west side of town. The work train ran into a train fo 22 freight cars that were detached form the engine and allowed to drop down the road. Three men were on the caboose, 2 got badly hurt.
Thursday Oct 7 - $2.35. Paid 55 cts for a small bit of bacon. CS Moore and Lizzie Read are going to get married next Tuesday evening at 7 ½. They have been 5 years in making up this match. The weather continues very nice. Wife and I had some pictures taken yesterday.
Friday Oct 8 -- $3.70 - 3 quarts of cranberries 25 cts. Spices 40. Shoe polish 20. Peppermint lozengers 20. Salts one pound 10 cts. Sent to Ross Robins & Co of Cincinnati $1.25 for cards. The weather continues very fine. Joe Chandler was to see Minnie tonight. They have frequent seeings.
Saturday Oct 9 -- $11.15 60 cts for a bag of chicken feed. I failed last week to note a purchase of an equal amount of chicken feed cost 60 cts. We were not through with work until after midnight. Several drunks in town tonight. Haley (George) and Mike Daly were each fined $.20 (or $4.20 - hard to tell)
Sunday Oct 10 - I attended services at the Methodist Church and heard a man by the name of Glaze a member of the United Church (Brethren) he did not impress me very favorable. He talks very loud and very fast. The audience was small and not very well impressed.
Monday Oct 11 -- $5.55. Gasoline .30. Beef .25 Wife met with a few of the invited guests for the purpose of arranging for the purchase of presents for the wedding Miss Montgomery stayed over night with Minnie last night. Miss Ida (long blank - don't know if he does not know her last name or if she is the Ms Montgomery) took supper at our house.
Tuesday Oct 12 -- $1.60. Sent the Sentinel 2.88. Since we had an invitation to the wedding of CF Moore and Lizzie Read we have been enjoined to go in with a club to get presents. We gave one dollar. The wedding took place at 7:30 p.m. and was a very nice affair. They received a good many nice gifts.
Wednesday Oct 13 -- $3.40. I assisted Dr. VanNuys take some honey of which I took 45 lbs at 12 ½ cts per pound. He will take from me the daily Journal at 25 cts per week until it is paid for. The weather continues very fine. We are well.
Thursday Oct 14 -- $1.50. Paid 5.60 for 80 bushel of coal. Rained last night and has been considerable cooler. I sent by GW Moore $61.40 for redemption of a note belonging to Wm. Hauger upon which I was his security. 3 yds of red flannel for Willie 1.35. Pepper .35
Friday Oct 15 -- $2.60. Paid corporation tax 2.23. Received this morning 2 one pint bottles of perfumery and one doz cream lotion of WC Garwood of Evanston Illinois will send him the money for it next week. The weather has faired up.
Saturday Oct 16 -- $8.75. Coal oil 15 cts. Received a letter from Charlie Kritz in receipt of the money I sent him by GW Moore. I was compelled to request of George Haley the discontinuance of profane language in my shop to night. Home by half past 11.
Sunday Oct 17 - We attended church this morning at 10 ½. John Todd and wife were at our house for dinner. I did not attend Sunday school. Tonight wife, Willie and I called at Mrs. Burrows to see her sick daughter and at John Spruhans to see his father and mother in law before going to church.
Monday Oct 18 -- $3.35. 40 cts for 2 gal of coal oil rent for last month 2. Beef 45 cts. B&L 2.50 Kritz & Bro of Ft. Wayne for National Story paper .62. Te weather has been very nice. Is ? VanNuys little child died this morning at 4 o'clock. John L. Goben in town today B&L 2.50
Tuesday Oct 19 -- $1.00 Crackers 25 cranberries 25, one broom .30. Sent the American News Co 3. Davis is not in his shop as constant as he was before his marriage. In the course of two or three weeks this will wear away. The weather is most delightful.
Wednesday Oct 20 -- $2.15. Some two weeks ago I bought a pair of shoes $3.25. For the use of Dietrichs 'buss to convey wife and Willie home from the depot on their arrival from her fathers the forpart of September 50 cts. Wife was uptown today and spent 25 cts.
Thursday Oct 21 -- $3.35. Paid 60 cts for 2 ½ bushel of chicken feed. 10 cts for conference minutes 20 cts for a piece of fresh pork. 20 cts for a pound of peppermint candy. Bill of Nursery goods $6.50. Rained last night and faired off today and the weather remained so al day.
Friday Oct 22 -- $2.25. At noon today I set out the Nursery goods which I bought yesterday. The weather has been real nice. A white frost was plain to be seen this morning. There has been several candidates for county offices in town today. Wife had a bad spell with her stomache.
Saturday Oct 23 -- $7.05. 2 gasoline .30 Paid Dan Garwod for his son Winchester 8.15 for perfumery one pint of "Boquet" and one of "Wild Roses" and one dozen of 4 oz bottles of cran lotion. Rained a little this evening. The weather is very mild.
Sunday Oct 24 - I shaved Wm. ? Fisher at his residence. He is crippled by a fall from a horse in an attempt to get on. This occurred some 3 weeks ago. At 2 ½ I attended Sunday school since last report. I have cast in the Sunday school funds 15 cts.
Monday Oct 25 -- $2.30. Sent to Chicago to Ben Williams for Life Insurance $5.47. Minnie Haley has taken an agency for a booKnights of Pythiasoems I believe she will do well with it. The weather is a little cooler this evening. B& L association $2.50.
Tuesday Oct 26 -- $2.10. Life insurance. The Union Mutual of Maine w
as paid yesterday. THE AOUW tonight $3.75. including assessments and dues. Rained a little today. Weather is a little cooler. There has been no freeze yet.
Wednesday Oct 27 -- $65 - wife bought of an old soldier by the name of Brown of Frankfort a few paper stamping patterns for 35 cts. Minnie Haley has taken an agency for a beautiful Knights of Pythias poems (home?). Hope she will do well with it. The weather continues very nice. One half bush of apples 50 cts.
Thursday Oct 28 -- $1.70 - first snow of the season today. Pork 15 cts. Coal oil 40 cts. One sack of flour 55. Two and one half yds of canton flannel .30. Two and one half bushels of chicken feed 50 cts. ½ bu of corn meal 25 cts. Two Jenetin Apple trees 50 cts.
Friday Oct 29 -- $3.80. Chicken feed 50 cts. Wife spent 35 cts for a half doz stamping patterns Willie 25 cts for 3 sticks of oil paint. He is going to try to paint. Sent Charlie Kritz a letter candidates for county officers are numerous and restless.
Saturday Oct 30 -- $7.90. Express on papers ordered one week ago of THB McCain 50 cts. The demand for the Journals was not so great today as it was last Saturday. It was after 12 o'clock tonight when I got home. Frank Kritz my helper ate supper with me at 11:30. Weather warm.
Sunday Oct 31 - We attended service at the Methodist Church this morning. Willie Minnie and I were at Sunday School at 2 ½ p.m. I gave 10 cts for the benefit of the school. The weather continues mild and rather dry. Our preacher spoke 50 minutes at morning service.