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

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