OCTOBER 1895 - Hiram Pratt Dairy
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 Oct 1 - $2.25. Yesterday morning early I awoke from my sleep hallowing. I was not scared but for joy for in my dream I thought my deceased wife Eliza was standing by the large heating stove. She appeared dressed in black with a white standing collar. She looked to me as natural as life. Meal 15 cts. Baking powder 10 cts. Soda 5. A box of peaches 35 cts. Post office box rent 15. There was more frost this morning than on yesterday. Paid in AOUW $4.50.
Wednesday Oct 2 - 3.50. Paid 3.20 laundry bill 25 cts for 2# of fresh bork (pork?) One day last week I bought a couple pounds of pork sausage 20 cts lard 30 cts. The frost this morning was light today has been warm. Eva made 4 gallon of apple butter today. Yesterday Mrs. Arp and her daughter Dollie Butcher came in and helped her peel and cut apples. She has an abundance of all kinds of fruit put up for winter use.
Thursday Oct 3 - 15 cts. Eight years ago today my wife and I went down to Terre Haute. The day of the week was Monday. Oh my! How time flies. The Standard oil Co's man with gasoline & oil was to see me today and I bought $4.23 worth of gasoline including 5 gal of oil at 8 ½ cts per gal. Gasoline cost 9 ½ . Eva set up at Mrs. Roberts' tonight. Mrs. Roberts is nearly at the end of the race of life. She does not eat anything.
Friday Oct 4 -- $1.50. Sent 2 dollars to the Enquirer Co. Paid ice bill 72 cts. Fresh port 50 cts. Eva set up until two o'clock this a.m. I ate no breakfast this a.m. was sick most of the night. Eva made a good dish of potato soup for dinner and I ate a good hearty meal. This dish seemed to fill a long felt want. Fresh pork 50 cts. Rev LM Campbell writes to PM Conner to ship his household goods to Green castle Ind. He is to live there at present.
Saturday Oct 5 -- $7.55 We have had a very pleasant day. Mrs. Martha Roberts died this a.m. at 9:15. She had lived close neighbors to us for a good many years. I had her acquaintance 29 years. I had a good run of business today. Almyra Petty was expected to put in an appearance today from some cause she has not shoed up. Eva will perhaps go over to her brother Sam McMains tomorrow or some day early in the week.
Sunday Oct 6 - Before going into the Sunday School I visited Willie's grave. The grave for Mrs. Martha Roberts was being dug by the side of her husband's. His name was Thomas. Mrs. Roberts was in her 71st year. Heard Bro. Vessels at 11 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m. the funeral service and at 7:30 p.m. Eva went to Mrs. Bloomfields after the funeral. I met with her there before church time. She went with me to meeting. Bob McMains his brother Anderson and David Fullenwider took amen with us today.
Monday Oct 7-- $3.00. Sent THB McCain $4.45 Sentinel Co 2.65 Indianapolis Journal 7.58. Chicago Record 2.23. Expense 35 cts. The laundry bill last Saturday cost 35 cts. Express 5 cts off the Express on laundry is included in fee for money order for remittance for laundry. Had a little rain last night and this morning. The weather is cooler tonight. Eva done her washing. Her visit to her bro is put off.
Tuesday Oct 8 - 0.00 A row of goose eggs for today is the best showing I can make. Paid 30 for a broom and 5 cts for a quart cup to use when milking. We had more frost this a.m. Eva has moved her kitchen into winter quarters. She uses the gasoline stove exclusively for cooking. We have no word yet from Almyra Petty. Yesterday had a letter from Bill Durham his wife Sittie Ellis is no better one 25# sack of flour 45 cts.
Wednesday Oct 9 - Almira Petty came in yesterday morning. She left St. Louis in the forepart of the night and got into Terre Haute at about 2 a.m. She is well and looking as well as usual. Seven years ago today Eva and I were married and on our way to Foster, Mo to visit her sister Almira Petty. Oh! OH my! What a wonderful change in my financial affairs since then. Then I had plenty and now nothing I am well.
Thursday Oct 10 -- $1.00 Cloudy 26. Mercury was 21 degrees above zero this morning before sun up. Fresh pork ribs, steak and sausage 65 cts. 5 cts for a loaf of bread. Eva and her sister Almira walked across the way and spent the day visiting at Kelso. Lloyd and I took dinner at home. Eva had company come to see her soon after she left. The ladys name before marriage was Stockdale, old friends and acquaintances of the McMain's. Democrats carry the election in Indianapolis.
Friday Oct 11 -- $2.00 Cloudy 66. Mercury stood at 66 at noon today. Almira went out home with Mary Ellen this evening. She was at Kelso's all day. John Kelso and wife from Cofferville, Kansas are in on a visit. They used to live a mile north of town. This afternoon we have had a delightful shower of rain. Snowed at St. Joe Michigan day before yesterday. I ordered for Dr. Straughn an oil burner for heating stoves. It is a venture.
Saturday Oct 12 -- $6. Paid 35 express charges on box of laundry from Terre Haute. Five cents of this is for laundry remittance by Express money order. I was through with my work by 10 ½. I am reminded that just 8 years ago at 2:40 a.m. Eliza died at No. 210 South 13th street Terre Haute, Ind. The day of the week was Wednesday one year and seven months ago at 2:40 a..m. Willie died at the residence of Mrs. Bloomfield, Waveland, Ind.
Sunday Oct 13 - I was at Sunday school this morning but did not take any part. Visited Willie's grave before going in. He was buried one year and seven months ago. My little lady Eliza F. was buried 8 years ago today. Eva and her sister Almira stayed at home tonight. I went to hear Bro Shuey. His subject was "I have sined." (sic). I have too. God has forgiven me and now saves me from and not in my sins.
Monday Oct 14 - 2.00. The Cincinnati Enquirer which failed to get here on time are placed to my credit. They came in on time last Saturday night. Eva done her usual weeks washing and for dinner had beef soup. I enjoyed it very much Paid 15 for the soup bone and 25 for 4# of crackers. The sun set as I walked home apparently due west from me on a straight line while I walked in the middle of the street.
Tuesday Oct 15 -- .50 cts. John Spruhan has placed in my coal bins at the house and shop a one horse wagon load of coal. For it I owe him $4.66. The city election of Indianapolis resulted in a victory for the democrats James Corbett and Robt Fitzimmons are to fight a prize fight to a finish on the 31 of this month. As yet they have not found a sure place where they will be allowed to fight. Rained a little.
Wednesday Oct 16 - 1.50. Bob Moore has gathered a portion of our apples we have a few bushel of fall apples. Apples are in great abundance this year and are very cheap only $1 per barrel for cooking apples. Almira and Eva were out at their sister Mary Ellen Alfrey's today. They made some apple butter for Almira to take home with her. I seen Mrs. Mary Spencer Kelso at Mrs. Bloomfields today. She lives in Kansas.
Thursday Oct 17 - 1.50. Paid 25 for a job lot of fresh pork odds and ends and then 20 for 2 lbs of fresh ham. I attended our regular weekly prayer meeting tonight. There was a good attendance services were voluntary and the responses were not as prompt as they should have been yet we had a pretty good meeting. I delight in the service of the Lord and a lively spiritual meeting is my souls delight.
Friday Oct 18 - Two loaves of bread 10 cts. 75 cts. Eva and Almira were over to their brother John McMains this evening. Almira will remain there over night. Eva rode part of the way home with Frank Johnson. The weather has turned a little warmer. There are more dry wells in town than I ever heard of before. Our well has not entirely gone back on us and yet we have some to share with our neighbors.
Saturday Oct 19 - 3.50. One peck of sweet potatoes 30 cts. They are not very good grade and Eva don't think she will use them. 10 a gallon is the way apple cider is selling. I invested 5 cts I was done work by 10 p.m. Have been reading in my dairies of 1882 3-4 and I find items of interest that I had forgotten. We have had a raw windy day. We hoped rain would be the out come but no signs of rain yet. (Note: Wish we had that 1883 diary or Hiram would have mentioned the items - alas, neither are available)
Sunday Oct 20 - When I was at home last night, found Anderson McMains there. He had come over to see his sister from Arkansas. We all took dinner over at Wm. Kelso's. Almira went home with Anderson. Jim Alfrey and wife and Bob Kelso and Almira will go over the Rossville, Illinois Tuesday. I attended meeting at the Methodist church before going over to Kelso's. Eva went with me to meeting tonight. Heard two good sermons. Visited Willie's grave after dark.
Monday Oct 21 -- $1.70. Paid 45 cts for a 25 lb of flour. The Cubans are yet contending with Spain. The United States and England are in dispute over boundary lines of Venezuela. The Monroe doctrine seems to have been ignored by England. Charley Canada of New Market this county has been parolleled from the prison North. He is nearly dead with consumption [tuberculosis] . Was convicted of horse stealing in 1893 sentenced for 3 years.
Tuesday Oct 22 -- $1.40. Paid one dollar for 2 yds of 1 ½ yd wide oil cloth. Eva and Mrs. Arp, Mort Butcher's aunt and mother-in-law, came uptown this evening and Eva called upon Dr. Ben M. Harbeson who pulled all of her upper teeth 9 in all. I told her she was better looking since the teeth are out. We had a very light sprinkle of rain this morning. I would be glad to see a weeks steady rain. God grant the rain.
Wednesday Oct 23 -- $60. Last night I was in detail from the IOOF to set up at Wm. D. Shular's who is very bad sick with typhoid fever. He is reported as dying this evening at sundown. He had no hemorage last night, but two are reported since dinner. A telegram was received from Popular Bluff, Ark of the death of Roy Alfrey. His body will be up on the morning train. The Laundry Express charge last Saturday was 35 cts.
Thursday Oct 24 - My first wife had she not died would have been 54 years old yesterday. She was born in Hardin Co KY Oct 23, 1841. Lard 4# 40 cts which was bought last week. Will Shular died this morning at about one o'clock. When the hemorage of the bowels wet in he soon passed away. He was a member of the IOOF but not a good orderly Odd Fellow. His sickness was brought on by intemperance. Had he been a good member he had not done so.
Friday Oct 25 - I came very near dying last night of strangulation. I had taken home a quart jar of honey and had opened it before Eva. She tasted of it and I took out a small bit on the point of my pocket knife blade and put it in my mouth and instantly strangulation set in and for awhile I could hardly get my breath. I helped Tommie Furgeson dig the grave for Shular.
Saturday Oct 26 -- $7.03 - Paid 5 cts for 10 apples 50 cts for honey. 15 for meal. 22 cts for coffee. 25 for 2 ½ lbs of sausage. 60 cts for a 2 bushel bag of bran and shorts ? Sam McMains came in this evening. Almira is in from Illinois. I was done work by 10 o'clock but did not leave for home until nearly 12. Dr. Straughn came in and we talked awhile. Frank Belton has a new meat cutter of whom he is well pleased. Ex on laundry .35
Sunday Oct 27 - I was a little late for class meeting yet in time for a splendid meeting. It was 40 minutes from the time I went in the room until meeting was out. I went home with Bro. PM Conner. I neglected my accustomed visit to Willie's grave. At night I went with Eva and her sister Almira to hear Bro. TJ Shuey. Were at home by 9 o'clock.
Monday Oct 28 -- $2.00. Bought 4 pounds of crackers for 25 and not quite a quart of oysters for 25 cts. On the 11th of this month I sent for an oil burner for a heating stove for Dr. Straughn. The burner is made in Ohio at Cleveland. It was shipped on the 19th and is not here yet. Eva done her usual weeks work today. The washing machine gave out the top of the machine I refer to. She will have to adopt the old pilar ? for awhile.
Tuesday, Oct 29 - 75 cts. Yesterday I sent a money order of $5.37 to Portland Maine for Life Insurance. Tonight I bought 2 pounds of fresh pork ham for 20 cts. Almira will leave for her home in Arkansas on next Thursday week. This is the time set now. Circumstances may be the cause of a change in the date. Lloyd is at present suffering with a bad cold. Eva also has a cold, but is not sick with it.
Wednesday Oct 30 - 45 cts. I invested 20 cts for about one half pint of oysters which we had for supper. Paid $2.20 to Union Mutual Benefit Association of Piqua Ohio. The oil burner refered to last Monday came in yesterday. I got it today. Tomorrow we will set it up and I hope that it will do all right. I believe I can find sale for a good many of them and hope to make some money. Mercury was 20 above zero at sun up this a.m.
Thursday Oct 31 - 75. Mrs. Charles Richey said to me this morning, "Did you feel the earth quaking this morning?" I had not for I was asleep. The earthquake occurred at 5.15. Almira Petty was the only one in our house who felt it and she supposed someone was in the house walking rather heavy. The Quake has been discussed nearly all day. In 1891 I had a slight experience of the earth trembling.