Luke Keith’s diary entries from June 1 – October 31, 1858

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

June 1 – Pleasant 54 Abz warm. Planted potatoes. Lucy[38] came to go to school. Brot two bushels wheat 80 cts pr bushel. Sowed my corn.

June 2 – Cloudy 56 Abz. Sarah went down to Barbers. Finished planting garden.

June 3 – Cloudy 57 Abz. 2 new Engines went west Shelby & _____ H. & St. Jo RR. Rainy day cow out. Repaired wheel for York. Sarah went to Mansfields.

June 4 – Pleasant 70 Abz. Lots dutch this morning worked on road. Rainy fore noon. Dance in the evening.

June 5 – Pleasant 54 Abz. Worked on road. Lois came home. Coes Horse fell through race[39] Bridge.

June 6 – Cloudy 60 Abz. At home. Catharine & Mark here. Lois went up to Flanders.

June 7 – Pleasant 66 Abz. Saw Fire Eugene _____ for LaCross. Wes worked on road. Received six Dollars of Wm Whitcomb.

June 8 – Pleasant 52 Abz. Worked in shop some on seat. Shower in the night.

June 9 – Cloudy 64 Abz. Rained after noon. Put in reach[40] for A. Chipman 50 cts. Shower in the night.

June 10 – Rains 68 Abz. Killed 3 Kittens. Made seat for D. Lamkins. Rainy day. Bot cloth for pants Bed cord. Recd a letter from C. R. C.

June 11 – Rainy 50 Abz. Lucy went home. Carried corn to mill. Repaired wheel for Mark. Extracted 3 teeth for Powlison boy.

June 12 – Cloudy & cool 49 Abz. Hoed corn worked in shop some Rained afternoon. Show in the Evening Mad Dunbar.

June 13 – Pleasant 49 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Ethen & Toot came home.

June 14 – Pleasant 44 Abz. Worked on Chipmans wagon. Hen & Mary here. Rained in the night.

June 15 – Pleasant 56 Abz. Worked in shop on Chips wagon. Rained in the night.

June 16 – Cloudy 62 Abz. 12 cars of Dutch. Worked on Chips wagon. Warm day.

June 17 – Pleasant 69 Abz. Worked in shop on Chips wagon. Mary Earl here.

June 18 – Pleasant 72 Abz. Finished Chips wagon. Sarah & children went over to Fathers. Very hot. Deyoe repairing P. S. Carmers buggy.

June 19 – Cloudy 70 Abz Rains south of us very little heavy shower in forenoon. T. Flanders came here. Sarah & children came home. Heavy shower in the night.

June 20 – Pleasant 63 Abz. Lois came home. Carried T Flanders to County house.

June 21 – Pleasant 65 Abz. Carried Chips wagon to Mix shop at 4.95. Put spoke in Hopkins wheel 56. Mrs Beckwith brot Parasol 40. Mrs Flanders parasol.

June 22 – Pleasant 68 Abz. Bennets folks here. 100 in the shade 126 in sun at 15 minutes past 3. Lots of musketoes. Made Carmers stock.

June 23 – Hot 69 Abz. Worked in shop some finished _____ _____ cts. Had a _____ shower at four. Bronson Brot cradle.

June 24 – Hot 77 Abz. Worked in shop some. Very hot day 98 in the shade at 3 oclock. A Chipman down got an ex put in at cross.

June 25 – Hot 76 Abz. Hoed potatoes. Filed saw for B Clark. Put Chipmans wagon up. Bot five lbs shugar 10~ 50 cts. One string 10~. Shower in the night.

June 26 – Pleasant 74 Abz. Put in cradle finger for D Bronson mended parasol for Mrs L. Burdick. Shower in the night.

June 27 – Hot 74 Abz. At home. Went in swimming. Rogers called in. Catharine and Lucy came at night. Libby West buried today.

June 28 – Hot 72 Abz. Catharine here. Hoed potatoes made whiffletree[41] for Watts 25 cts. 94 at 3 oclock.

June 29 – Hot 75 Abz. Catharine here. Made wagon neap[42] for Andrew McLarey. Catharine went home. Hellen here.

June 30 – Hot 75 Abz. Hoed potatoes. Very hot 99 in shade at 3 PM. Filed saw for Wesley. Wes went to Kalamazoo. Had a heavy thunder shower just at night.

July 1 – Some cloudy 70 Abz. Hoed some in garden. 97 at 3 PM. Stranger here from Utah. Bot ½ lb tea 31~. Jo Flanders here in the morning.

July 2 – Hot 78 Abz. Worked in the shop put hair in violin bow for Yankee. Bot cloth for pants 61 cts spice & nutmegs 20~ violin strings 30~.

July 3 – Cloudy 80 Abz. Great day in Galesburg large crowd. Catharine Mark Jo & Hellen Father & Wesley here too. Two Balloons went up in the Evening.

July 4 – Pleasant 69 Abz. Went over the river saw my calf. Went over to Lashers.

July 5 – Pleasant 63 Abz. Hoed corn. Cordelia Earl here. Flanders Brot cradle here. Cool nights.

July 6 – Pleasant 61 Abz. Made cradle fingers for J. Flanders.

July 7 – Pleasant 63. Finished Flanders cradle & Bob neap. Hoed some.

July 8 – Pleasant 68. Rimed a wheel for Wightman 10/-. D. Lampkins plowed my potatoes. Small dash rain in the night.

July 9 – Cloudy 76 Abz. Worked in shop some hoed some. Catharine came up. Lucy & Lois went home with her. Sarah over to Turners[?].

July 10 – Pleasant 74 Abz. Hoed potatoes. Put in cradle finger for Mr Baty 10~. Some rain in the night. Henry stayed all night. 17 coaches on the train.

July 11 – Rainy 68 Abz Rainy day. Flanders got his cradle. Mark got Caper Deyo.

July 12 – Cloudy 60 Abz. Put in ex for Hawver got ex stick of cross.

July 13 – Cloudy 63 Abz. Hawver 2.00. Streator brot his buggy. Sarah went over the river. Bot 3 bottles bitters 2.00. S. Bristol at the shop. Millards agent called on me.

July 14 – Pleasant 56 Abz. Worked in shop on Streators buggy. Put in cradle finger for Ed Flanders 10~.

July 15 – Pleasant 66 Abz. Worked in shop on Streators buggy. Made barometer. Bot 5 lbs shugar. Had a shower afternoon. Mrs Barber & Mrs Child here.

July 16 – Pleasant 68 Abz. In the shop cut out stuff for Streators Box & seat. J. Deyoes Boy Born.[43] Some showers. Lucy went up to Yorks.

July 17 – Pleasant 72 Abz. Worked on buggy. Wheat mostly cut. Father came over just at night. Father here just at night.

July 18 – Pleasant 64 Abz. At home all day. Pleasant fine day.

July 19 – Pleasant 61 Abz. Went over to Fathers and repaired his pump one tooth for Sta____ 25~.

July 20 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Repaired violin for Clark. One tooth for E. Watts 25~ for McLary 25~ Clarrissa Starr here.

July 21 – Pleasant 60 Abz. Bot Beef 4½ lbs 36 cts. Circus here. Made tail peas for _____. Clarrissa Starr went home with A. Chipman. Father brot some potatoes.

July 22 – Pleasant 57 Abz. Bot ½ lb Tea 31~. Worked in shop on seat. Harriet & Mary Nickols here.

July 23 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Worked on seat. Mrs Bennet here. Put in one _____ for ___. White 25~.

July 24 – Pleasant 54 Abz. Worked in shop on Streators box & seat. Bot violin string 15~.

July 25 – Pleasant 59 Abz. At home all day. Deyoe gone up to gull. Curly Buck died.

July 26 – Cloudy 71 Abz. Worked in shop fore noon. Went up to Bristols after noon.

July 27 – Pleasant 67 Abz. Worked on Buggy. Bot one lb candles 15~ One violin string 10~. Had cucumbers for the first time.

July 28 – Cloudy & Rainy 68 Abz. Had a shower about 4 AM. Sarah went and got some Berries. Worked on Buggy Box put on dash.

July 29 – Cloudy 75 Abz. Worked on buggy Box. Sprinkled some. McAlister got his violin 40~.

July 30 – Cloudy 72 Abz. New engines from Kassons Express N. J. No. 28. M & C. Received a letter from C. R. C. Repaired B. Clarks wheels. Rained a very little in the night.

July 31 – Pleasant 68 Abz. Finished Streators Buggy. Henry came home. Chase Brot his Buggy. B. Spalding Brot his wagon.

Aug 1 – Cloudy 70 Abz. Emigrant Car 108 went west. Rainy day. Henry at home.

Aug 2 – Cloudy 70 Abz. Painted Streators Box put felly for Mark Lee. Rained some had a shower in the evening. Bot cotton 11 yds 2 lbs bran __00. Boardman here in the Evening got a _____ out Boys _____.

Aug 3 – Cloudy 68 Abz. Made an Ex for B. Spalding. Streator got his Box and traps. Killed my Rooster.

Aug 4 – Pleasant 69 Abz. Made thills for A. Lamkins. Clarrissa Starr & __. Neuman here. Killed my Rooster.

Aug 5 – Cloudy 68 Abz. Worked on Chases Ex. Bot Buttons 28~. Recd A letter from G. T. one from D.C.[44] Rather dry.

Aug 6 – Pleasant 73 Abz. Finished Chases Buggy. Stilwell Brot his wheel. Toots school closed. Dug a few new potatoes.

Aug 7 – Pleasant 72 Abz. Went to the Caravan. Mark & Catharine went. Toot went home. Mended End Board for Caravan wagon 25~. Cow gone to night.

Aug 8 – Pleasant 75 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Rained some afternoon. Had the first ripe apples & green corn. Eliphants Hannibal passed here going East.

Aug 9 – Foggy 66 Abz. Worked on Stillwells wheel. Truman Cory & family left for York State.

Aug 10 – Pleasant 71 Abz. Finished Stillwells wheel. Carried my wheelbarrow hub down to the shop. Stilwell Brot two Bushels wheat. Rained some.

Aug 11 – Pleasant 76 Abz. Went up to Mr Claps to level his ditch. Extracted tooth for Wm Whitcomb 25~.

Aug 12 – Pleasant 68 Abz. The old cow went to Bull this morning. Sarah gone over to Halls.

Aug 13 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Worked in shop some on bobs.

Aug 14 – Pleasant 63 Abz. Made neap for Fay Aldrich. Went over to Fathers. Rained in the night.

Aug 15 – Pleasant 70 Abz. All went over to Fathers. I went up to the swamp & up to Wesleys place. Uncle Sam McLellen died to day.

Aug 16 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Made spring to my chest lock mended chair for Swartout. Filed saw for Clap. Cow gone to night. D. K. Rogers & A. Chipman started for G. T. Bay. Lashers Boy Born.

Aug 17 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Cleaned out cellar pulled my onions. Went over to B. Hartwells. Had a fine shower in the night. Sarah went over to Fathers.

Aug 18 – Cloudy 69 Abz. Worked in shop made violin top for Bilington. Chase got his buggy paid $1.75. Hogs in the garden. Deyoes folks here to Tea. Ethen swallowed a pin.

Aug 19 – Cool and Pleasant 58 Abz. Bot veal 47~. John Wilcut here. Mended Lamkins wagon 50~. Stevenson Raised his house.

Aug 20 – Pleasant 60 Abz. Made cross bar for W. McLelleon 40~. Bilington got his violin paid one Dollar. Rained some. Cordelia Earl & Miss Brown called here.

Aug 21 – Cloudy and fogy 58 Abz some misty. Went down to Catharines. Mark & I went a hunting. Cow gone to night.

Aug 22 – Pleasant 60 Abz. Came home all right. Mark carried Sarah & children over home. Cow gone to night.

Aug 23 – Pleasant 42 Abz. Edward Romans got his violin. Went up to Swaddles after my cow. Cut up my corn. Worked in shop some.

Aug 24 – Pleasant 40 Abz. Made plow Beam for T. Ford. Tightened Box for Wightman. Sarah went to Watts. Bot Thread & needles carried Miller home got hurt on Band car.

Aug 25 – Pleasant 45 Abz. Went up to Flanders and made pump pipe. Ford got his plow. Flanders brot two Bushels wheat.

Aug 26 – Rainy 60 Abz Rained all day and all night. Made spout for Brown & Vosburgs machine. Worked on sleigh _____.

Aug 27 – Cloudy & some Rain 64 Abz. Worked in shop. Martin Turner[45] here. Rainy. Filed saw for Joy. Bot shugar & saleratas.[46]

Aug 28 – Cloudy 56 Abz. Got my Boots Tapt 75. Bot one lb beef. Mortised Bob runners & Beams. Rained some. Extracted tooth for Aldrich girl 25~.

Aug 29 – Cloudy and cool 56 Abz. Stayed at home. Mark and Catharine here. Rained some. Sarah Beedle came home.

Aug 30 – Cloudy 54 Abz. Sent letter to Mrs. M. Keith Kansas. Worked in shop got out spokes for wheel Barrow. Lois came home.

Aug 31 – Pleasant 57 Abz. Went over to Fathers Sarah & Hannah stayed. Put the spokes into my wheelbarrow hub.

Sep 1 – Pleasant 53 Abz. Worked over to Lashers laid grainery floor. Sent letter to G. T. Sarah came home.

Sep 2 – Pleasant 59 Abz. Rimed my wheelbarrow wheel. Bot half lb tea. Oscar Hall died in the night.

Sep 3 – Pleasant 54 Abz. No work to day. Alvan Turner[47] came here. Bot mutton cranberries 26~. D. K. Rogers and A. Chipman got home from G. T. Bay.

Sep 4 – Pleasant 58 Abz. Put Bobs together. Oscar Hall buried today.

Sep 5 – Pleasant 59 Abz. Went over to Fathers and up to Yorks Wesleys place and to Lashers. Mary Earl died in the night.

Sep 6 – Pleasant 57 Abz. Went up to Yorks got load wood Bot 2¾ lbs butter. Jesse W. Turner[48] and Alvan here. Recd a letter from C. R. Cridland.

Sep 7 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Jesse Turner went home. Sent letter to C.R.C. Mary Earl buried to day. Paid S. Bristol 50~ costs on Whitings matter.

Sep 8 – Pleasant and warm 72 Abz. Some ague.[49] Went over to Byingtons got oak plank. Rainy afternoon. Nel Canfield here. Luther Eldred paid his note 5.8%. Bot 15 lbs salt 15~. Rained all night.

Sep 9 – Rainy 72 Abz. Nel Canfield here. Went over to Lashers got Deyoes cow. Sawed some fellows.[50] Henry Scramlin here Mr Wilkinson here from Pavilion. Heavy shower in the night. Recd a letter from G.T.

Sep 10 – Rainy 72 Abz. Went over to Lashers here with Wilkinson to see the farm. Recd a Letter from G.T.

Sep 11 – Pleasant 50 Abz. Worked in shop sawed some fellys. Extracted tooth for Mrs B Spalding.

Sep 12 – Pleasant 45 Abz. At home all day. Sarah went to church. Deyoes folks went to gull.[51]

Sep 13 – Pleasant 47 Abz. Cleaned up wheat 19.7 bushels. Sold 10 to Tenant 7½ to Father. Harriet & Edith here. Father raised his hog pen. Bot two Bushels wheat 2.00.

Sep 14 – Pleasant 51 Abz. Tightened box for Beach. Sharpened rasor for Clap.

Sep 15 – Pleasant 61 Abz. Worked in shop some. Sent Hoags note to Illinois. Rained some. May Childs here. Henry Childs left in the night for Ill. Bot box pills 25. Paid school bill 48. Rained in the night.

Sep 16 – Pleasant 50 Abz. Sabath celebrating. Henry came home. Sick no work to day. Cool rained.

Sep 17 – Pleasant 47 Abz. At home sick no work to day. Daniel sweet here in the Evening with his guitar. Cool wind. Sent letter to J. S. King.[52]

Sep 18 – Cloudy 52 Abz. Packed up Cridlands things and took them to the Frieght house.

Sep 19 – Pleasant 56 Abz. At home. Cut Wisemans hair in the morning. Cut James Flanders hair just at night.

Sep 20 – Pleasant 65 Abz. Went over and cut corn. Lasher worked afternoon. Very hot. Wesleys folks moved.

Sep 21 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Cut corn. Henry Sheldon came to Fathers. Bot ¼ lb Tea of D. K. Rogers.

Sep 22 – Pleasant – 42 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Henry Sheldon came over. Boxed up Beach timber. Truman Cory and family came home. Bot one lb candles 1.15. Old man Whitfer buried. Pulled tooth for lady 125.

Sep 23 – Pleasant 38 Abz. Cut corn. Went up to Yorks. Commenced raining 2 oclock in morning. County Fair at Kalamazoo. Sent letter to Mrs Betts.

Sep 24 – Rainy 62 Abz. Worked in shop some on floor. Bot ½ lb Tea of D. K. Rogers 31~.

Sep 25 – Pleasant 38 Abz. At home. Cory raised his Barn. Flanders Brot my window. Recd 3 letters one from G.T. one Peters one from Mrs Whiting. Bot 52 lbs bran.

Sep 26 – Pleasant 38 Abz. Went over to Fathers & up to Yorks.

Sep 27 – Pleasant 45 Abz. Worked round home. Cut out gloves for Hopkins. _____ up lumber. Sent letter to Mr Peters of Momence Ill.

Sep 28 – Pleasant 56 Abz. Worked in shop put in Ex for Dick Lamkins 2 Doler. Got stick of Cross. Sent letter to G. Tomlinson.

Sep 29 – Pleasant 66 Abz. Cut corn. Jesse W. Turner here to night.

Sep 30 – Pleasant 56 Abz Rained some. A. McLary Brot half cord wood. Bot shoes hdkf[53] stockings dishes.

Oct 1 – Cloudy 52 Abz cleared of pleasant. Started for Waverly Vanburen County. Got to Oscars about 5 oclock P.M. Stayed with Alfleda.[54] Got pair suspenders for Ethen 12½ cts.

Oct 2 – Pleasant 40 Abz. Went all over the woods. Saw all their farms. Warm day. Went to Katies[55] stayed all night.

Oct 3 – Pleasant warm 72 Abz considerable wind. Went over to Bennets had a good visit. Mary & Ed gone out to Chapins.

Oct 4 – Cloudy 56 Abz. Left Oscars this morning went to Uncle Warrens took dinner. Got home about seven Evening. Had a shower. Got my watch repaired 2.75 cts.

Oct 5 – Pleasant 38 Abz. Father came and got Toot. Made bed and set some strawberries.

Oct 6 – Pleasant 42 Abz. Worked in shop some. Rained afternoon some had a shower in the night.

Oct 7 – Cloudy 48 Abz wind blows high snowed some. The hickory pole fell at galesburg killed a horse. Got my wheelbarrow tyre made.

Oct 8 – Pleasant 31 Abz. Went over to Fathers got some pumpkins. Lois went over saw Alvan Turner. Got Tea Kettle mended 6~.

Oct 9 – Pleasant 40 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Charles Lees folks[56] here. Patty[57] came on the 2.28 train. Lasher Brot some corn. Bot Sarah shoes 88~. Bot 5 lbs Shugar 55~.

Oct 10 – Pleasant 29 Abz. Went over the river. Patty Catharine Hellen and Lucy there. Rained in the night some.

Oct 11 – Cloudy 46 Abz. Dug potatoes filed saw for mix. Sent letter to Marion.[58] Post Office moved to Flints Store.

Oct 12 – Cloudy 52 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Rainy. Put up the joists in wood shead.

Oct 13 – Cloudy 47 Abz. Cut out stuf for my window frames to shop. Wind blew hard all day.

Oct 14 – Cloudy 44 Abz. Worked in shop. Father mother & Patty came over. B shoes for Nancy & Hannah $1.17.

Oct 15 – Pleasant 39 Abz. Worked on window frames. Patty here. Had soup and milk for dinner. She went over to Fathers at night. Bot candles 15~. Shower night.

Oct 16 – Cloudy 52 Abz. Worked on window frames. Put in one window. Bot 10 lbs nails 50~.

Oct 17 – Pleasant 57 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Jos Flanders here.

Oct 18 – Pleasant 58 Abz. Put in windows in shop. Put hoop on wash-tub. Rained in the night. Bot ½ lb Tea 31~.

Oct 19 – Cloudy 48 Abz. Finished my shop windows. Rainy afternoon. James Burnet married. Bot saleratas.

Oct 20 – Cloudy 45 Abz cool bad day. Got likeness for Patty. Lasher brot load pumpkins. Went over to Fathers with Mark Lee.

Oct 21 – Pleasant 42 Abz. Put Bobs together. The Readings all here went over and got Elbow. Bot rasp of Pond.

Oct 22 – Pleasant 45 Abz. Worked in shop put up stove. ___ Chandler lectured here. Jos Flanders left one Dollar.

Oct 23 – Pleasant 40 Abz. Worked on bobs. Patty & Catharine came up stayed all night.

Oct 24 – Cloudy 47 Abz. Patty & Catharine went to Fathers.

Oct 25 – Cloudy & windy 50 Abz. Worked on bobs some put in cross bar to Wightmans thills. Rained som in the night. Deyo & Johnson went to Kalamazoo.

Oct 26 – Cloudy cool 44 Abz. Went over to Fathers and Taylors. Saw his house. Rainy. Pulled tooth for woman at Ponds. McLelan brot his violin.

Oct 27 – Cloudy 45 Abz. Worked on bobs. Sarah went over the river. Bot receipt Book. Rained in the night.

Oct 28 – Rains 48 Abz. Worked in shop made Box for Crid.[59] Bot Books for children. Mark came just at night after a x girl.

Oct 29 – Cloudy warm 56 Abz. Went up to S. Bristols and put up trees & plants for Cridland. Rainy day. Brot them down to the burg.

Oct 30 – Cloudy 48 Abz. Worked in shop got out runners & knees & beams for Fathers sleigh. Bot violin string 10~.

Oct 31 – Rainy 46 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Carried letter to Patty. Mr Gays girl buried.[60]

[38] Most likely Luke’s niece, Lucy Irene Lee, the daughter of Luke’s sister Catherine by her second husband

[39] An artificial channel or bed of a stream leading water to or from a point where its energy is utilized, such as a mill or a mining claim

[40] A pole, called a reach, was usually a 2-by-4-inch piece of white oak with a hole at the front for connecting the wagon to a hitch

[41] 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

[42] The pole, or tongue, of a cart

[43] A search of census records shows that Horace Deyoe was born to James and Polina Deyoe in July 1858

[44] Believe he is referring to his wife’s brother, David C. “D.C.” Crawford

[45] His maternal first cousin, son of Asa & Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[46] Saleratus; sodium or potassium bicarbonate used as a leavening agent; baking soda

[47] His maternal first cousin, son of Asa & Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[48] His maternal first cousin, son of Asa & Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[49] A form of malaria characterized by stages of chills, fever, and sweating

[50] A felloe, or felly, is the rim of a wheel supported by spokes

[51] Gull Lake, Michigan

[52] His maternal first cousin; son of James Hunt & Lilly (Willcutt) King

[53] Handkerchief

[54] His brother Harvey’s wife, Alfleda (Starr) Keith

[55] Believe he is referring to his niece, Frances “Kate” (Keith) Chaffee, the daughter of Harvey & Alfleda Keith

[56] Believe he is referring to his paternal first cousin’s family, Charles and Juliana (Davis) Lee; Charles was the son of Charles & Rhoda (Keith) Lee

[57] His sister, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[58] His niece, Marion (Sprague) Tomlinson

[59] Charles R. Cridland

[60] A search of FindAGrave.com shows that Adelia Gay died October 30, 1858 and is buried in the Galesburg City Cemetery. She was 18 years old, the daughter of William and Sarah Gay

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