Luke Keith’s diary entries from June 25 – July 21, 1857

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

Jun 25 – Cloudy 71 Abz morning. Worked in shop. 90 Abz at noon. Went over and got my banisters of Byington got fifty 18 cts pr Doz.

Jun 26 – Pleasant 61 Abz at six morning. Worked in shop on seats. 90 at noon. Bennets folks gone to Lansing.

Jun 27 – Pleasant 61 Abz. Worked in shop. Sarah & children went over to Fathers. Jenkins Brot some fence boards. Had a fine shower in the evening some Thunder 103. Abz 3 P.M.

Jun 28 – Cloudy 72 Abz. White Bear and Grampas in White Eagle in. Broke down. Had a heavy shower. Went over after Sarah. Flanders came and Brot us home.

Jun 29 – Pleasant 59 Abz at six. Worked in shop. Comfortable day. J. Sherman there. Received a letter from Mrs. Cridland. F Sherman & the Lion had a Brush.

Jun 30 – Pleasant 56 Abz. Worked in shop. Went over Jesse Earls and pulled tooth for Polly Received 25 cts.

Jul 1 – Cloudy 53 Abz. In shop mended cultivator for Lefever 50 cts. Jenkins Brot load fence Boards. Rainy afternoon. Henry came home stayed all night.

Jul 2 – Cloudy 56 Abz. Finished Jenkins Buggy. Filed saw and _____ _____ for __ Jackson 25 cts. __________________ to day. Sent letter to Mrs Cridland. Railroad company commenced the foundation of Freight House.

Jul 3 – Pleasant 49 Abz. Hoed potatoes. Filed a saw for Mr Joy 50 cts. Had a shower. Got some strawberries of S. Bristol.

Jul 4 – Pleasant 54 Abz. Hoed corn & potatoes. Mr Bennet Moved to day. Great Day in Kalamazoo.

Jul 5 – Pleasant 63 Abz. Went over to Fathers with J Deyo to see cow.

Jul 6 – Rainy 63 Abz cleared of. Went over to byingtons. Got wheelbarrow hub turned. H. Clinton Brot som spokes (for Deyo) 25 cts and stuf for cultivator. H. Stevens had a Brush. Heavy shower in the night.

Jul 7 – Cloudy 66 Abz. Worked in shop some. Got feet oak plank of T. Clark. Deyo paid 40 cts.

Jul 8 – Pleasant 64 Abz. In shop some. Deyo paid 30 cts. A Lamkins paid 1.00. I paid Mason Balance on Hat one Dollar. Bot 3 lbs Sal. Soda 30 cts.

Jul 9 – Pleasant 66 Abz. Hoed some. Worked in shop on spokes for my small wheels.

Jul 10 – Pleasant 58 Abz. Worked round some. Cleaned out sellar. 93 Abz 2 oclock. Verry hot. Mrs Bennet here in morning.

Jul 11 – Pleasant 66 Abz. Shaved spokes for my cart wheels. Bot one lb candles of Poopy Reading 17 cts.

Jul 12 – Pleasant 73 Abz. At home. Went down to the river to swim. Deyo went with me. Hurt my foot.

Jul 13 – Pleasant 70 Abz. Took the calf of to day. Deyo got cow to day. Received a letter of G. T. Had a shower after noon. Maude mot[her?] here in evening. Left for Wisconsin.

Jul 14 – Rainy 7__ Abz. Worked on cultivator some. Shower afternoon.

Jul 15 – Cloudy & misty 70 Abz. Worked on cultivator.

Jul 16 – Cloudy 65 Abz. Went up to J. Yorks. Bot violin string 10 cts.

Jul 17 – Pleasant 72 Abz. Worked in shop some. Had a shower afternoon.

Jul 18 – Pleasant 72 Abz. New Engine Pequon Milwaukee & Superior R.R. West wind. Brother Father was here. Had a heavy thunder storm in the evening.

Jul 19 – Pleasant 70 Abz. At Home. Had headache all day.

Jul 20 – Pleasant 66 Abz. Circus at Kalamazoo. Mended Clarks cradle. Horse tamer in town. Bot ½ lb Tea 31 cts. Shower in the night. Clinton got cultivator 2.50 cts.

Jul 21 – Cloudy cool 69 Abz. Sick. Mose brot his skeins. Clark got his cradle 38 cts. Got my shoe mended 5 cts. Lamkins and Flint had a brush.

June 24, 1857 letter to Luke Keith from Mrs. Charles Cridland

June 24, 1857

To: Luke Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Mrs. C. R. Cridland, Cleveland, OH

Charles has not received the money owed him by Luke’s father or Mrs. Mills. Charles needs to pay transportation fees on his goods and needs his things from the boxes. She is sending a stamp and hopes Luke will answer immediately. She asks to be remembered to Luke’s wife, brother and children.

Cleveland June 24th, 1857

Mr Luke Keith

Sir, I rec’d a letter from Charles today in which he said, that he had not got the ten Dollars from your father yet. He said that there was a Dollar from Mrs Willard L. Mills. If you will be so kind as to send the Eleven Dollars to me. If your father[1] will not exchang the bill, I will get it exchanged and pay the difference myself. Charles had been to considerable expense and needs it to pay transportation on his goods, they have been delayed so long on the road that his trees are worthless yet. He needs his bedding and other things in the boxes or else I would advise him to let them go. I will send a stamp and if you will answer immedately it will add another to the many obligations which we are under to yourself, and Mrs Keith.[2] Remember me to her, your brother[3] and children.[4] We reached home safely, and are now very well.

I am Yours Respectfully

Mrs C. R. Cridland

[to] Mr L Keith
Galesburg Mich

[1] Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[2] Luke’s wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[3] His adopted brother, John “Wesley” Keith

[4] Lois and Henry (by his first wife, Minerva Payson), and Ethan, Nancy and Hannah (by his third wife, Sarah Crawford)

Luke Keith’s diary entries from May 27 to June 24, 1857

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

May 27 – Couldy some rain 54 Abz. Sheled some corn. Bot half lb. Tea 50 cts. Rany after noon heavy shower in evening.

May 28 – Cloudy 53 Abz. Mrs Flanders sister came this morning. Some rain. Mad a cross bar for Freers bugy pole 50 cts. T. Flanders came. Planted some early potatoes.

May 29 – Pleasant 44 Abz. Planted Mexican potatoes. Bot garden line 15 cts Brass hooks 38 cts. Flanders here one paper Beet seed 5 cts.

May 30 – Pleasant 50 Abz. Flanders here sowed my Beets parsnips Radish onions pop corn & mellon seeds. T. Flanders here. Had a fine shower.

May 31 – Some cloudy 63 Abz. Stayed at home. Put the lining into my violin. Lois came home. John Tyson came after her.

Jun 1 – Cloudy 60 Abz some lite rain. Went over to Lashers raised the Barn. Bot Ethens hat (15 cts). Paid Father 22 Dollars. Rcd ten Dollars for Cridland. Freer paid me 50 cts. Bot _____ 25 cts.

Jun 2 – Pleasant & cool 50 Abz. Sold Bennet ½ bushel potatoes (50 cts). Bennets Friends came from Stafford[?]. Had a fine shower in the afternoon. Killed my Rooster. Flanders took Tea here. Sent G. T. a letter 24 lb _________

Jun 3 – Cloudy 48 Abz. Finished planting potatoes. Worked in garden. Mark[45] came here. T. Flanders here stayed all night. Sent 2 papers to J. O. Keith 2 cts.

Jun 4 – Cloudy 46 Abz. Bot cloth for Ethens pants 86. Father cam over and Sarah and young ones went over with him. Flanders here. Brot my pump pipe over.

Jun 5 – Pleasant 40 Abz. Worked round the house. Put in my pump. T. Flanders here. Mortised my small hubs. Got a letter from David.[46]

Jun 6 – Pleasant 38 Abz Pleasant. Pon and J. Built fence. Flanders here. Pulled 2 teeth one for Mrs Bennet one for Mrs. fisk. Received a letter from Cridland. Flanders left.

Jun 7 – Pleasant 60 Abz. At home all day. Went down to the river and went in swiming. Put my violin together. Young Clark[47] was buried to day. Had a fine shower in the night. Fisk left.

Jun 8 – Cloudy 70 Abz. Commenced building my Bridge. Flanders folks here to dinner. 30 lbs shugar of Flanders.

Jun 9 – Pleasant 69 Abz very hot day. Worked on the road. Let A. Lamkins have one bushel corn $1.00. Chicken commenced sitting.

Jun 10 – Pleasant 57 Abz. Worked on road. Mason Book came to day. Had a find shower in the evening.

Jun 11 – Some cloudy 58 Abz. Let A. Lamkins have bushel corn. Worked on road in the foornoon. Hoed corn in the afternoon. Bot one lb candles 18 cts. Had a shower in the night.

Jun 12 – Rainy 58 Abz. Circus teams along this morning. Worked round the house. Lois & Ethen went over to Fathers. Henry Clinton at the shop.

Jun 13 – Pleasant 60 Abz. Built my Bridge. Got some corn ground. Bot Nancys shoes 81 cts. Got my Hubbs land___ 62 cts.

Jun 14 – Cloudy 55 Abz. At home. Ethen over to Fathers. Sharpsteens child dead. Rainy day rained all night.

Jun 15 – Rainy morning 60 Abz. Worked in shop. Filed up bands on small hubbs. Rainy afternoon some thunder Rainy Night. Sent a letter to Jenkins Cridland. Jenkins old buggy came.

Jun 16 – Cloudy 70 Abz looks like rain. Mended fathers wheel. Went over to Byingtons. Hung a door for Rogers. Had a heavy shower.

Jun 17 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Went over to Fathers after Ethen. Rogers paid me 50 cts. Had a shower afternoon. Got strings for my violin 50 cts.

Jun 18 – Rains some 54 Abz. Hoed in garden. Rainy. Bennets folks got home ____ ____ my hand screws march paid me fifty cts. Boston Boys here. Sent letters to Ed & Pros.[48]

Jun 19 – Cloudy 55 Abz some mist in morning. Hoed in garden. Had a shower at night. Wind blowed quite hard 60 Abz. Fisk here. Warm July.

Jun 20 – Rainy 55 Abz. Went over to Fathers put up one _____. Some rain. Bot hat 2.50 cts. W. A. Blake paid me $1.25 cts. Shower in evening. Frank Fisk left. Wet August some hot weather about middle of ______

Jun 21 – Cloudy 58 Abz cool air for September. At home all day. Boston Mason Preached at the Methodist church. Had a shower in the evening.

Jun 22 – Pleasant 48 Abz. Work in shop. Boston Mason left. Bot ½ lb Tea 25 cts. Commenced Jenkins seats.

Jun 23 – Pleasant 44 Abz. Got plank of Sutherland. Worked in shop. Negro here. Lois at home. Lasher was here.

Jun 24 – Cloudy 64 Abz morning. Worked on Jenkins Buggy Boddy. Pleasant day. Bot one lb nails 5 cts.

[45] “Mark” is referred to quite often in Luke’s diaries and it is believed that he is referring to his cousin, Marquis de Lafayette Lee, the oldest son of Dr. Ezekiel and Elizabeth (Strong) Lee. The Lees were Mormons and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, and eventually to the Salt Lake Valley in 1850. Mark stayed behind with the Keith family to run his father’s farm. (Thanks to Margaret Williams, Ezekiel Lee’s three times great-granddaughter, for this information)

[46] Believe he is referring to his brother-in-law, David “D.C.” Crawford

[47] A search of FindAGrave.com shows S. G. Clark died at the age of 23 years 2 months 1 day, and is buried in the Galesburg City Cemetery. It is unknown if there is any relationship between Luke and S. G. Clark

[48] His brothers-in-law, Edwin and Pros Crawford

May 26, 1857 letter to Luke Keith from Charles Cridland

May 26, 1857

To: Luke Keith

From: Charles Cridland, Leavenworth City, KT

As he traveled to Chicago, St. Louis and then to Leavenworth City he had many difficulties along the way. Misled in Chicago by a man named Whitford who told him there was a second class car on the train, it turned out it was a first class train and was told by the conductor to pay for first class or get off. He got off only to find that his baggage remained on the first class train. After several wait times and delays, he finally got on the right train only to have several mix-ups and fears of losing all his belongings including his trees. The only brooms there were made by the slaves whose masters allowed them to make a few to sell for themselves for pocket money. Everybody was civil and polite and did not show any symptoms of the Border Ruffian Spirit. He found the lower class people ignorant and the Capitalists very uncaring about land development although they were the only ones who could afford to pay the asking price and have the funds to fence it. He saw over a hundred mules but very few horses and described the land as very beautiful. Due to the slowness of transportation up the river he believed that his trees would be dead before they got there. He determined that dairying and land speculation would be profitable things to pursue due to good pasture, ample water and a new village called Doniphan. He asked Luke to send money immediately as he is running low on funds.

Leavenworth City, KT.[1] May 26/1857

Friend Luke,

I arrived here in about five days after starting. I could have got here sooner had I hav not laid over one day in Chicago and part of a day St Louis. I was detained in Chicago through Whitfords Stupidity. He told me there was a second class car in the train at Midnight. When the train came in they put my baggage aboard in a hurry. I could not see any car I thought was second class, but there was no time to make enquiry and I got aboard. The conductor told me I could not go on that train. He said there never was a second class car on that train. He didn’t care what Whitford told me I must pay first class fare or get off. I wouldnt pay any more so I had to get off at Kaloo.[2] The next train which had the second class on met with some detention east, so I had to wait at Kaloo till day. When I got to Chicago owing to my baggage being ahead of me it was so covered up with other baggage, they could not find it and I began to fear it was gone somewhere. At last I espied one article and I stuck to it until it was all found, but in the mean time the train to St Louis was gone and left me behind so I had to wait. It took me some time to hunt up my boxes with the trees. They told me at the station they had been forwarded but I took pains to look for them and found them there yet. I got them started to the St Louis Station and found it was too late for them to go that day. There was nothing waiting there but my things and they assured me they would go the next day. As it was pretty dear staying at Chicago, I went on without them. I went to the Consignee at St Louis who promised at to attend to forwaring them immediately and I went on to get a place for them. I landed here because I thought I should be more likely to find a place to set them. I was much disappoted to find so little land plowed here. The people here are all so full of money they do not seem to think of doing any thing toward improving the Land, indeed it requires such an enormous outlay to fence it. I do not see how it is ever going to be done. Land about the City within a mile runs as high as a thousand dollars an acre and where I now write six miles from the City it is called worth 30 to 50 dollars with not half wood enough on it to put a fence round it. I think the country is very beautiful, very superior to Illinois as there is no flat prairies here and the bluffs are not so high as to be bad to plow or to travel. The roads are excellent and every gentle rise you make presents you with a beautiful prospect. There are several fields being fenced in between here & the city. They pay $32.50 per thousand on the Wharf for Cotton wood timber. There are just about trees enough here to stand for shade trees. You can see trees every where, but not one that ought to be cut down. I found a place here to plant my trees, but I did not bring any broom corn seed and the first time I went into Missouri I got seed which I thought was good, but it turned out poor on careful examination. I had to go there again and I have traveled three days and stopped at every house. There are no brooms made here only by the slaves whose masters allow them to make a few to sell for themselves for pocket money. I did not find a free state man, but every body was civil and polite to me and did not show any symptoms of the Border Ruffian[3] Spirit. Among the lower class I found them pretty ignorant. At one place where I stayed the woman told she couldnt live where there was a Queen she was sure for she would never give up to divide every thing she had to the King and Queen. One young fellow asked me how they could get along in Michn without mules and niggers. He didn’t see who could do the work. I have seen a hundred mules at a time here, but not many horses. The navigation up the river is pretty tedious and I am afraid my trees will be entirely dead before they get here. I think this must be a healthy country. There are no low places that I have seen yet. Mechanics wages are high and they ought to be. Board is seven dollars a week. I had to pay 1.50 for several days. Verbenas grow wild here on the lime stone bluffs, so I am sure the winters are milder than they are in Michigan. There is scarcely a squatter living here. They were generally poor people who had no money to pay for their land when it was sold, and so they sold out their claims for 2 or 3 hundred dollars and moved on further to squat again. Indeed it takes so much to make fence here that the land is of no value only to Capitalists who can expend thousands of dollars upon it. I know of no business here so profitable as dairying. Cows are as cheap as with you. There is an unlimited range of good pasture plenty of water and butter sells readily at 50 cents a pound. I have not seen a bit in the territory. The few people who make it eat it up themselves pretty much. The Missourians are doing big business bringing their produce here to sell. Speculation is at a great pitch. I heard one man telling of another on the boat, who boasted that he could go ashore while the boat stopped to take wood and make a thousand dollars buying and selling lots and be in time to get aboard before she started. I was in one Land office where an Irishman was enquiring the price of Shares in Doniphan (a new village) the agent paid $400. These are up a hundred since you was in here before. I have several lots there I consider worth a thousand dollars a lot. I thought I wouldn’t pay any thing so I walked out. I paid a man six dollars for a days work with his horses plowing for me. He said he could make 8 or 10 dollars a day hauling goods to Lawrence.

I presume you have got that money made right. You can send me Michigan or any good money[4] you can get handy. Please to get it registered at the office. I am getting short of funds already. Write immediately.

Your friend

C. R. Cridland

[1] Believe this referred to Leavenworth City, Kansas Territory; the City of Leavenworth was founded in 1854 largely to support Fort Leavenworth, but quickly became the springboard to the west.  The settlement was the first official town in Kansas

[2] Kalamazoo, Michigan

[3] Citizens of western Missouri who endeavored to establish slavery in Kansas Territory

[4] During the Free Banking Era, lax federal and state banking laws permitted virtually anyone to open a bank and issue currency – states, cities, counties, private banks, railroads, stores, churches and individuals – as long as that bank could satisfy a minimal set of conditions.  The bank notes were of all different sizes, shapes, and designs, as well as denominations – 25¢, $1.00, $2.00, $3.00, as well as the denominations we use today. During that time period, consumers could not be sure that merchants would accept their paper money, and approximately one-third of all paper money during the Free Banking Era was estimated to be counterfeit. These bank notes are now known as “broken bank notes”

Luke Keith’s diary entries from April 13 – May 26, 1857

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

Apr 13 – 34 Above zero snows some. Fred Left to day. Lois went over to Lashers. Fred paid me 2 Dollars. Mended my gloves. Snowey very muddy.

Apr 14 – 35 Above zero snows. Mended my mittens. Very bad weather. Lasher traded horses with Eldred gave 15 Dollars.

Apr 15 – 22 Above zero snows about three inches on the ground ice in the watter pail. Bot wood 2.94 cts 5 lbs butter of Flanders one sack Flour of Babcock $1.75 cts.

Apr 16 – 30 Above zero snows cold. Got some nitric acid. Flanders pulled stumps. Brot me some hay. Two chains mended at Bennets. G. Matthews left.

Apr 17 – 26 Above zero. Lamkins drawed my wood. Mended wagon for bush 75 cts paid 25 cts. Got link in large chain hook on small chain.

Apr 18 – 29 Above zero snows like fun about 2 inches deep morning stormy day.

Apr 19 – 37 Above zero snow on the ground cleared of pleasant after noon good sap weather.

Apr 20 – Got shingles of Rogers. Pleasant 31 Above zero froze quite hard. Worked in shop made reach for A. Brown[33] 50 cts. Sent a letter to G. Tomlinson. 5 candles 25.

Apr 21 – Pleasant 30 Above zero. Made Axletree for A. Lamkins wagon $2.00. Snowed some in the Evening.

Apr 22 – Pleasant 33 Above. Went up to Yorks and down to Oscars loaded load of goods Oscar moved Mary[34] come over to our house.

Apr 23 – Pleasant 30 A. Mary An here. Made H. Potts dash. Mary An left for Paw Paw.

Apr 24 – 31 Above Pleasant. Pots paid me 18 cts. Worked in the shop. Flanders Paid me 20 Dollars.

Apr 25 – 40 Above zero cloudy. Went over the river and got some eggs. Catharine Harriet and Uncle Warren[35] came over. 60 Above at noon.

Apr 26 – Rainy 41 Above. Toot and Lois here.

Apr 27 – 33 A. snows very little Pleasant after noon. Uncle Warren here to dinner. Worked in the shop on Claps bugy boddy.

Apr 28 – 30 A Pleasant. Worked on Claps boddy. Harvey & Oscar here. Got a letter from Pros Crawford.[36] Calope in town.

Apr 29 – Pleasant 38 A. Harvey here this morning. Went over the river with Sarah and children. Circus at Kalamazoo.

Apr 30 – 56 Above Pleasant. Went over to cooks and __unyons to look at some cows. Got Fathers wagon ___ moved his things.

May 1 – 56 Rainy. Mary Brown here. Went over to Cridlands got some sedar an Lilack trees. Bot a lot of sedars.

May 2 – Pleasant 34 Above. Got my sedars and pines and set them out. Lois came home from Lashers. Got half lb Tea 25 cts.

May 3 – Pleasant 32 Ab morning. Sarah gone to church. Marked Stetsins Box of Shugar. White tailed hen commenced setting on 13 Eggs. Went up to Gull with Cridland.

May 4 – 50 Above cloudy. Went over to Cridlands got some Lilack and Siberian crab. Carried Lois and young ones over. Made a reach for Mr. Watts 50 cts. Rainy day.

May 5 – 36 Abz[37] some rain some snow. Put in one felly[38] for Dea White 38 cts. Commenced corn plants. Watts paid 50 cts.

May 6 – 37 Abz Pleasant. Went over to Byingtons got 22 feet white wood boards. Got two Hubs turned. Mended wagon for D. Beach 38 cts.

May 7 – Pleasant 49 Abz. Worked in shop on Claps buggy boddy. Got cotage Beadstead of Pond on Byingtons Ate $5.00.

May 8 – Pleasant 37 Abz at 4 afternoon 86. Fired my stumps. Commenced putting on my hubs[?] on my violin. Warm night.

May 9 – Pleasant 70 Abz morning About 2 oclock we had a terrible Hail storm brok lots of glass round town blowed over some fence for me. Got my watch.

May 10 – Cloudy rather cool 40 Abz. Dol 23 years old to Day. Went over to Fathers. Got two Pine trees on Harveys old place. Went over and got Mrs Cridland.

May 11 – Pleasant 28 Abz. Mrs Crid left this morning. Went over and got Early potatoes & two bushels wheat of Father 10/- Flanders Brot two bushels wheat 10/- six lbs Butter. Got Journal of Alphadelphia.[39] Sold Cory som potatoes 1/-.

May 12 – Pleasant 36 Abz. Made a reach for poopy Watts tightened a box for H. Potts. Cridland left in the evening. Gave me a basket. Let Wiseman have some Early potatoes.

May 13 – Pleasant 39 Abz. Worked in shop on Claps seats. Pots paid 50 cts. Bot Hannah[40] 1 pr shoes 4/- 9 cts. Rainy afternoon. Extracted tooth for Wightmans boy.

May 14 – Rainy 44 Abz rather dark. Worked in shop some. Went over to Fathers. Got wheel barrow wheel of Cridland. Moses Mix came in town. Brainard & V. M. Tuttle came.

May 15 – Rainy 46 Abz. Finished Clapps seats. 50 Abz at night. Sold D. Johnson some potatoes 25 cts. Got flour of A Lamkins $2.00 56 lbs.

May 16 – Pleasant 32 Abz morning. Made my Wheelbarrow. Got 4 bushels Flour Bot 6 & ¼ lbs Fish 44 cts Bot 1 lb nails 5 cts. Lois & Henry[41] at home.

May 17 – Pleasant 34 Abz. At home. Sarah went to church. Nancy[42] went over to Fathers with Lois. East wind.

May 18 – Pleasant 40 Abz East wind. Wheeled ashes on my garden. Took Clapps Buggy down to the shop.

May 19 – Pleasant 45 Abz East wind. Wheeled ashes & chip manure on the garden. Fathers heifer came in.

May 20 – Pleasant 34 Abz some wind. Went over the river. Left dol in pasture. Commenced taking down my stable.

May 21 – Pleasant 35 Abz. Moved my stable and corn. Let Father have _____ bushels. 72 Abz after noon. Mrs. Wiseman here. Harriet and Edith here.

May 22 – Pleasant 42 Abz. Wesley[43] & Lasher plowed my garden. Some folks are planting corn.

May 23 – Pleasant 54 Abz. Worked in shop on cornplanter. Bot hoe 62½ cts. E. M. clap Paid me eight Dollars cash three Dollars yet due to be paid in Shugar 1/- per lb.

May 24 – Pleasant 68 Abz some wind. Went over to Fathers and saw my cow & calf.

May 25 – Pleasant 60 Abz morning. Finished cornplanter. John Crittenden[44] came. Had a fine shower evening.

May 26 – Cloudy some rain 58 Abz morning. Went over and got Dol. She started for concord this morning half past nine. Got one thill of ____. Got my cow home. Bot pail 75 cts.

 

[33] Ambrose Brown, Ballou Brown’s son

[34] Oscar’s wife, Mary Ann (Batey) Keith

[35] Warren Wolcott

[36] His brother-in-law, Lucius Prosper Crawford

[37] Above zero

[38] Felly or felloe is the rim of a wheel supported by spokes

[39] The Alphadelphia Association; more More information on the Alphadelphia Association can be seen here.

[40] His daughter, who was not quite two years old

[41] His son by his first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith

[42] His daughter, not quite five years old

[43] Believe he is referring to his adopted brother, Wesley Keith

[44] The brother of his second wife, Jerusha (Crittenden) Keith

 

April 12, 1857 letter to Luke Keith from George Tomlinson

April 12, 1855

To: Luke Keith

From: George Tomlinson, Pavilion, NY

Has written three times and received no reply. Mother is anxious to hear how her folks are. Wants to know if Luke has succeeded in selling their farm.

1857-04-12

Pavilion Apil 12 1857

C. L. Keith Esq

I have writen you three times have recevd no reply. I write a line to say that mother[1] is anxious to hear how her folks[2] are. We are all well — hav our grief as well as a christian faith calls us to do. We know it is all right yet cannot avoid wishing it otherwise.

Monday morning. It is a pleasant morning. I am full of business.

How do you succeed in selling our farm.

Write without fail soon.

Yours

G. Tomlinson[3]

[1] Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague, George’s mother-in-law and Luke’s sister

[2] Charles Luke Keith Sr. and Hannah Willcutt

[3] George Tomlinson was married to Luke’s niece, Marion Sprague

Luke Keith’s diary entries from February 16 – April 12, 1857

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

Feb 16 – Rainy 57 Above z not very cold. Worked in the shop on Tuttles wheelbarrow. Bot one comb hairpins 15 cts.

Feb 17 – Warm 59 Above zero. Worked in the shop made H. Keith one ax helve, worked on R Tuttles wheelbarrow. Some rain in the morning.

Feb 18 – Cloudy 48 Above zero some misty. Worked in the shop. Commenced my violin top. Oscar & Drayton here.

Feb 19 – 27 Above zero snows some. In the shop. Deyo & wife here in the Evening. Ed Childs here.

Feb 20 – Stormy 30 Above zero some snow. Made axhelves. B. Brown[24] here.

Feb 21 – 30 Above zero cloudy. Worked in the shop painted my sleigh box & seat. Killed a pig.

Feb 22 – 31 Aove zero cloudy. Cloudy no rain to day. Athome all day no one here.

Feb 23 – Pleasant 36 Above z clear and Shiny. Painted my sleigh. Attended a lecture on physiology. A letter from J. S. King.

Feb 24 – Rainy 58 Above zero. Worked in the shop some. Went overt Fathers. Got some potatoes. Attend a lecture 50.00.

Feb 25 – Pleasant 50 Above ze. Painted my Sleigh. Bot 3¼ lbs Butter 20 cts. Harvey got the planer[?]. Attende a lecture.

Feb 26 – Colder cloudy 26 Ab zero. Worked in the shop. Attended lecture in the Evening.

Feb 27 – 28 Above zero. Worked in the shop. Harvey[25] & Oscar there. Attended lecture in the Evening. Snowed smartly.

Feb 28 – At home. Worked in the shop some. Harvey got the hatchet or hand ax. 26 Above zero. Mended the mop iron.

Mar 1 – Morning 26 Above zero cold and snowey. At home. Cold night.

Mar 2 – Pleasant 2 below zero some snow. Finished ax helves. Jef drawed one load wood. Received a letter from J. Sprague.[26]

Mar 3 – Cold some snow 22 Ab zero. Went over the river. Byington turned my hub for wheel barrow. Meeting here to in the evening.

Mar 4 – Not very cold. Worked in the shop afternoon. Drove the spokes in wheel barrow wheel. Mrs wisemans child Born.

Mar 5 – 29 Above zero cool wind. Worked in shop. Bot curry comb 25 cts. Lois came home. Evening party up to D. Bronsons. Flanders in the shop.

Mar 6 – 16 Above zero cool. Went over and got 2 bushels wheat of Fathers. Lois at home.

Mar 7 – Cold 16 Above zero. Worked in the shop. D. Smith here. Finished tuttles wheel.

Mar 8 – Rather cool 20 Above z. D. Smith here. Took the glass away with him.

Mar 9 – Some snow not very cold 22 Above z. Lois here she went home. Ethen[27] went with her. Mr Ludington Buried to day. Cars run together Below Lumston.

Mar 10 – 4 Above zero some sleighing. Killed my sow. Bot 19 lbs salt 23 cts of W. March.

Mar 11 – Pleasant 20 Above zero. Elias Sherman one ax helve one ax helve to W. S. March. Sold my Pigs to March 99 lbs 4.00. Mrs Cridlands cousin came.

Mar 12 – Pleasant 3 Above zero. Went up to Farmers ville to see Wm Browns[28] timber.

Mar 13 – Pleasant 14 Above z. Went up to J. Yorks. Sarah & children stays to Fathers. Cars of the track evening.

Mar 14 – Received a line from G. T. Cloudy 27 Above zero. Sarah came home. James Howard had my Buggy. Carried my watch to Sternes for Repairs.

Mar 15 – Pleasant 24 Above zero. At home. Buggy came home.

Mar 16 – Pleasant 20 Above zero. Worked in the shop. Cut my thumb in the Evening. Rogers commenced his frame.

Mar 17 – 36 Above zero cloudy. Sowed my Lettauce seed. Stimpson Brot back my siding. Sold G. B. 500.04 feet $12 pe thousand.

Mar 18 – 24 Above zero. Worked in the shop. Finished R. Tuttles wheelbarrow. Received 6 Dollars of G. Brown.

Mar 19 – 26 Aove zero snow on the ground cloudy morning cool at noon. Dresed Spokes. Warmer at night. Tuttle got his wheelbarrow.

Mar 20 – Pleasant 32 Above zero Sun Shine no Storm pleasant middle comfortable at night. Filled 2 teeth for Clara Johnson 38 cts 2 for Dan Earl 50 cts.

Mar 21 – Pleasant 34 Above zero snowy. Went Down to Catharines.[29] Quite warm.

Mar 22 – Rainy morning snow and hail afternoon. Hellen and jo ______ shugared of twice Boiled sap some.

Mar 23 – Warm. Came home. Flanders fetched down some runners and Axhelve _____ Rogers folks here. Father traded wagons.

Mar 24 – Rainy morning 44 Above zero Cloudy. Went over to Fathers. Bot 11¼ lbs Lard of March 1.38 cts Bot one pr Shoes $1.25. Filled teeth for Reading girl 75 cts.

Mar 25 – Cool 28 Above zero. D. Smith here. Worked in the shop.

Mar 26 – 22 Above zero. D. Smith left. Bot 4 lbs shugar 50 cts. Sent letter to __ H. Crawford.[30] Pleasant. Extracted 2 teeth for Mr Watts 25 cts. Cleared of Hog pen.

Mar 27 – 26 Above zero Pleasant. Dug stumps some. Made trunk cover for Cridland. Received a letter from Pavilion. York brot his violin Down.

Mar 28 – Pleasant 26 Above zero. Went and got my pump and some potatoes one lb Tea 44 cts. Lightning train run of the track above Augusta.

Mar 29 – Pleasant 35 Above zero some frost on the ground. Went over to Fathers twice. Went over to Lashers.

Mar 30 – Pleasant 51 Above zero at noon. Worked in the Shop. Post Office moved over to Hydes again. Prust Bennet here.

Mar 31 – Cloudy 32 Above zero. Bot 24 Doz Buttons 10 cts. Worked in the shop some. Went up to Shermans. James Sprague Died to Day[31] About sun down.

Apr 1 – 39 Above zero windy some snow. George Simmons[32] Died this morning About seven oclock. Bot a lot of traps for the children cost most 3 Dollars.

Apr 2 – Pleasant 16 Above zero quite cold. Simmons Buried to day. Frederick Partrige came here to day. Luddingtons son Died to day. Lois came home.

Apr 3 – 30 Above zero cloudy. F. Partrige left to day. Received a letter from G. T. told of J. Spragues Death. Mr Ludingtons son Buried to day.

Apr 4 – Cool 6 Above zero. Transplanted my rose bushes and other things. Stranger eat supper here. Shower in the Evening. E. M. Clap Buggy to day.

Apr 5 – 34 Above zero cloudy. Went over to Fathers. Snowed some. ______ Caray there.

Apr 6 – 19 Above zero snows in the morning. Went down to Comstock with S. Bristol. Cold and snowed like fun. Came back on Hand car 3 Oclock P.M. 21 Above zero. Fred came this Evening.

Apr 7 – Pleasant 19 Above zero. Fred here. Snowey. Went over to Fathers. Got some potatoes. Tom Camel married this Evening.

Apr 8 – 36 Above zero. Fred gon to work for chair company. Worked in shop.

Apr 9 – 30 Above zero Pleasant. Went and got my Potatoes over. Toot was here.

Apr 10 – Pleasant 26 Above zero. Worked in the shop. Bot pr shoes for Lois 93 cts thread 10 cts. Let C. Baker have 10 cents.

Apr 11 – Snows 36 Above zero snowed all day. Put Yorks violin together.

Apr 12 – 29 Above zero thaws some. Fred here. Went up to the Bridge with Fred. By____ here in the evening to see our darter.

[24] Believe he is referring to Ballou Brown, whose grandson (Henry Brown) would eventually be married to Luke’s daughter Nancy

[25] Presume this to be Oscar’s brother, Harvey Keith

[26] Believe he is referring to James Sprague Jr., who was married to his sister, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[27] His son, Ethan Keith, who was six years old

[28] Believe he is referring to Ballou Brown’s son

[29] His sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[30] His brother-in-law, Hiram Crawford

[31] James Sprague Jr. actually died March 30, 1857

[32] A search of FindAGrave.com shows that George Simmons died at the age of 42 years 10 months and is buried in the Galesburg City Cemetery. It is unknown if there is any relationship between Luke and George

February 15, 1857 letter to Luke Keith from James S. King

February 15, 1857

To: Luke Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: James S. King, DePere, WI

Another report on the various places Luke could purchase.

Depere Feb 15th 1857

Cousin Luke[1]

Sir, I now take my pen to write you afew lines in answer to yours of the 25th. In the first place we was rite glad to here from you and that you was then all well. We had about made up our mind that you had given up all thought of coming west but now hope has revived alittle. I have delayed writing for afew days to look over the chances and I find they are about the same as when you was here. You can have the Eighty East of me for $5 per acre if you take it soon. I think Uncle Luke[2] can by afarm here that will suit him. Tell Cousin Catharine[3] she need not wate or delay comming West on acount of a School. There will bee a school here in the spring. Mr Newton is going to move on to his farm in the spring and said he would have aschool at eny rate. Charly Dickenson is comming back from Chipaway this month. He says it is 10 times as cold there as here. It has not been as cold here this winter as last but we have had rather more snow but it has now started for low river. It has been nice and warm here the past week and yesterday we had afine thunder shower about the same as the day you left. The man you speak of that wants 40 acres of land can bee acomadated to his harts content. There is 40 acres South East of Leroys that I know will suit him. There is a good log callin [cabin?] on it and log barn. Messrs Blake & Field have been lumbering on it this winter. The falls crick runs through the West end of it (see plan on first page). Price 4 dollars per acre. Well, now, some thing else. Mother[4] says tell Aunt Hannah[5] to come along and if she likes as well as she dose she will never bee sorry she started. Father[6] & Mother are quite well and so with all the rest of us. My helth was never better than it has been the last 2 years. Jonas[7] is as tuff as abare, has had no coff this winter. Edeth[8] is about as contented as she was when you was here but she said tell Luke if he will come and bring his family she shall try to bee contented. Mr Burnells[9] family are all well and he is doing well. He has all he can do with his oxen at 3 to 4 dollars per day. Tell Alvin if he has not started before you get this to come out here and see us if no mor but I think if he should come he would stay. I know he would find enough to do. Now with regard to the winter here it is no comparison to Mass. The coldest day we have had I took the ponyes and went from Mr Burnells to Harris Jameses in the town of Morrison, distance 15 miles, without stoping to warm. Staid there 2 ours. Took in Marian James. Drove back to Burnells with out stoping to warm and was not very cold at that. So you may have no fears abou freesing unless it is colder than it has bee this winter with us but they say it has been very cold up in the pinery and on the prairys but let him squeel. We can hold him. Mr Leroy says remember me to Luke. Tell him I hope to see him out here on the first bout. The iron company offered me three thousand Dollars for my place last week. They think of commencing buisness at the fall next summer. I should like rite well to see you as I can talk much faster than I can write. Tell Aunt Hannah to come with you when you come and she & Mother can goin to the dary buisness. Butter 30 cts per lb. Pleas write me as soon as you receive this and tell me when to meet you at the Bay. Remember me to all the friends. My Best respects to you and family.

Very Truly Yours
J. S. King

To C. L. Keith, Esqu
Galesburgh, Mich

[1] Charles Luke Keith Jr. went by the name of Luke

[2] Luke’s father, Charles Luke Keith Sr., who also went by the name of Luke

[3] Luke’s sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[4] Lilly (Willcutt) King

[5] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith, Luke’s mother; Lilly and Hannah were sisters

[6] James Hunt King

[7] James’ brother-in-law, Jonas LeRoy

[8] James’ sister, Edith (King) LeRoy

[9] James’ brother-in-law, Luther Burnell, who was married to James’ sister, Sarah

Luke Keith’s diary entries from January 31 – February 15, 1857

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

Jan 31 – Worked in Blacksmith shop. Fitted the Braces on my sleigh. Bot one pound candles 18 cts. Groing cold fast.

Feb 1 – Cold wind 2 Above zero cloudy snows some. Stayed at home.

Feb 2 – Worked in the shop made an adze handle for E. Childs 25 cts. Made a sleigh neap[16] for Simmons. He paid me one Dollar. R. Tuttle paid me seventy five cents. Pleasant not very cold.

Feb 3 – Received a letter from E. ____. Not very cold 22 Above zero. Sarah went over to Oscars.[17] I worked in the shop. Got my Boards for my box. Bot half lb Tea 25 cts. H. N. Tulls[?] 2 whiffletrees[18] 50 cts.

Feb 4 – Quite warm. Worked in the shop. Goot my sleigh from the shop. Crid was in the shop. 34 Above zero Evening.

Feb 5 – Quite warm 36 Above zero heavy rain some thunder. Worked on my sleigh box. Got my screws and corner irons 30 cents.

Feb 6 – Worked in the shop made my sleigh box. Got 6 lbs shugar ½ lb Tea 8/- ____ 2 lbs nails 10 ___. 57 Above zero Evening. Sarahs gone over to J.O.K.[19] Oscars gal[20] Born.

Feb 7 – Rainy quite warm 57 Above zero snow all gone. Bridge gone some part of the plank. Sarah came home. Lois at home.

Feb 8 – Very cold 14 Above zero. At home. Some snow. Mr. Roulands child buried to day. Very cold Evening.

Feb 9 – Went over the river and got some potatoes. Left dol[21] at the Bridge. Very cold.

Feb 10 – Cold 2 Below zero. Made my sleigh seat. Bot 2 lbs candles. Alvan came here in the night. Received a letter from Omro[22] Mrs. N. B. C.[23]

Feb 11 – Cold 1 Below zero morning. Went over to fathers with my [s]leigh. Scoured[?] the shoes first rate.

Feb 12 – Not very cold 20 Above zero cloudy. Went over the river got two bushels Buck wheat. Sent it to mill. Let Stimpson have my siding.

Feb 13 – Cloudy 28 Above zero. Worked in the shop some. Lashers folks here. Drawed ice for D Beach. Deyos violin here.

Feb 14 – 41 Above zero cloudy some rain. Went up to Hellens. Got 2 lbs butter 20 pr lb 40 cents. Made a finger board for J Deyos _______ bridge.

Feb 15 – Warm 54 Above zero rainy day. My hogs got out of the pen got them back again.

[16] The pole, or tongue, of a cart

[17] James Oscar Keith, son of his brother Harvey and Alfleda (Starr) Keith, who went by the name of Oscar

[18] The pivoted horizontal crossbar to which the harness traces of a draft animal are attached and which is in turn attached to a vehicle or an implement

[19] James Oscar Keith

[20] Jessie J. Keith

[21] His horse

[22] Omro, Wisconsin

[23] His mother-in-law, Nancy B. (Comfort) Crawford

January 30, 1857 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Crawford

January 30, 1857

To: Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Crawford, Omro, WI

Nancy is keeping house alone with the little boys. Pros does the chores before school. Eugene goes to school with Pros. Louisa went with Robert to the woods to help with cooking. Nancy received a letter from Edwin saying he would like “the boys” to come out. He has 609 acres and will give them 50 or 70 apiece if they will chop him 20 apiece. Nancy has written to James and Henry but has not received a response. She received a letter from Hiram.

This letter was originally posted to the Crawford/Comfort Family Letters blog and can be read here.