Luke Keith’s diary entries for June 20 – August 24, 1856

The first part of his diary is basically notations and then he makes a few sporadic entries from June 20th to August 25th. Daily entries start on August 8th. To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary click here. Entries after August 24th will be posted in chronological order with the rest of the letters from 1856.

Jun 20 – very Hot Thermometor stands 93. in the shade

Jun 21 – Hot and dry in shade 97.

Jun 22 – Hot as ever very sultry 97. in shade

Jul 4 – Went over to the Burg[7] and took Sarah[8] & the children[9] over Julia was very sick

Jul 5 – Julia Chiles Died half past Eleven

Jul 16 – At noon 114. in the sun in the shade 101

Jul 24 – Very hot and dry 113. in the sun shade 98

Jul 25 – Hot 114. in the sun shade 100.

Aug 8 – Went over to Lyman Earls A Chipman paid me 3.25. cts

Aug 9 – Went down to Catharines[10] Had a good visit found them all at home

Aug 10 – Stayed at home A. Bristol came to see me

Aug 11 – Left Home 12. Oclock noon went to Kalamazoo stayed until 12.25 Evening lft for Laport I.A. Had A fine shower at Kalamazu L. T. Earl paid seven Dollars

Aug 12 – Arrived at Laport half past ten found the folks comfortable heard the Hon. A. Bur_________ lecture on our present wrongs in Kanzas

Aug 13 – At Laport visited all the principal machine shops saw the engine that the clock company owned that used Barnums Name so freely

Aug 14 – Left Laport at 7. AM arrived in Chicago at 9. AM Left Chicago half past eleven on the steam Boat Superior had a good trip

Aug 15 – Got to Sheboygan four oclock Saw the Steam Shovel work on the railroad left Sheboyan at one oclock arrived in Fond du Lac at 9. evening left quater past 7 took a 3 Dollar Bill[11] of Wm Russel not good on the Lewis County Bank

Aug 16 – Left Fond Du Lac 15 min past 7. got to Omro[12] 12 at noon found the folks all well Hiram and Prosper waer ther David[13] was gone some sixty miles west to Stephens point on the Wisconsin River

Aug 17 – Rainy. Went up to Waukau in the after noon saw some of the finest country out corn and oats are heavy farms sell from 20. to 25 Dollars pr acre with good buildings

Aug 18 – Cloudy and warm the Steamer Berlin City passed here at 7. in the morning went to Eurekah in the after noon up the fox River Between Omro and Berlin Citty saw Armstrong at Omro

Aug 19 – All well fine pleasant day went a hunting killed two squirrels Pros went up to Kings after butter did not get Home until evening left his butter said he could not bring it

Aug 20 – All Right warm and pleasant the boys loging Went over to town in the evening went into the big mill saw the nicest engine I ever saw was got up at Milwaukee

Aug 21 – Cloudy and cool some rain went down town with bob[14] in a skiff saw Mose Mix and armstrong he says tell simmons he will come and work for him when he gets his shop done if hes helped bob fix his Barn for thrashing

Aug 22 – Shower in the morning warm thrashers on hand one death in town child got done thrashing before night 53. bushels wheat 90 bushels oats on 3. acres 3 acres wheat

Aug 23 – Pleasant going to help his neighbor thrash went over to town with Coffee Roberts Boy is one year old today his name is Wm Edwin[15] made him a cart

Aug 24 – Cool and cloudy in the morning Hiram & the women have gone to church had a heavy shower between 3 & 4 oclock in the afternoon at Omro Wisconsin

[1] Known better, and referred to, as Luke

[2] These first two entries appear to be the itinerary for his August 11 – September 23 trip

[3] These entries of January 3rd through the 14th appear to be just notes that he jotted down to serve as reminders

[4] His wife Sarah’s sister-in-law, the wife of her brother, Robert Crawford

[5] Could be either his uncle or his cousin, both of whom were named James King

[6] Luther Burnell, husband of his cousin, Sarah (King) Burnell

[7] Galesburg, Michigan

[8] Sarah (Crawford) Keith, his third wife

[9] Most likely referring to his children, Ethan, Nancy and Hannah, but may also include Henry and Lois, his two oldest children by his first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith

[10] Catharine (Keith) Bradley Lee, his sister

[11] 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”

[12] Omro, Wisconsin

[13] Hiram, Prosper and David Crawford, Sarah’s brothers

[14] Robert Crawford, Sarah’s brother

[15] William Edwin Crawford

 

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