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1888 Diary of Hiram A. Pratt, Waveland Barber (Standard Diary #31) -- February 1888

Note1: The money at the opening of most diary entries indicates the amount taken in at his barber shop that day.

Note 2: Hiram's 1st wife, Eliza Shaw died 12 October 1879, so at this point, he and son Willie are bachelors. Hiram did not remarry until 1888 when he married Sarah McMains. They had no children, Willie died young so there were no descendants.

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. 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. 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 !

Karen Bazzani Zach, 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!

Installment #2 for 1888 -- February

Wednesday, Feb 1 -- .85 -- GAR 50 cts. Meat .30. Sent Montgomery Ward & Co. $10.79. IN this order is a gold head coin for a present to father Shaw (his 1st wife's father). Its a razor and strap. Meal 40. Coffee 55 cts. 1 pk of green apples 35. Sister and I have bad colds.

Thursday, Feb 2 -- $2.25 -- Harry came up with me at noon and had a tooth pulled cost 25 cts. I had one pulled too cost 25. My jaw is very sore. 30 cts for fresh meat. Cough drops for sister 5 cts.

Friday, Feb 3 -- .85 -- Sent the TH Mail and our town paper to Clara. I send these every week. Sent a letter yesterday to sister Helen, my wife's youngest sister. She is a widow of nearly 3 years. Sister rec'd first paper Tuesday.

Saturday, Feb 4 -- $8.50. 5 lbs of sugar 50 cts. We have had a poor run of custom work today. I took a dish of oysters tonight in preference to going down home for supper. My mouth is yet very sore from the tooth pulling.

Sunday, Feb 5 -- This has been a lonesome and sorrowful day with me. Just four months ago today my little woman submitted her body to the surgeon's knife for the removal of ovarian tumors. Was at church. Note: His first wife died in 1877. His reference to her having Ovarian cancer 4 months earlier is either a 2nd wife I don't know about or he's refering to an October, 11 yearsin the past. I'm inclined to the second choice.

Monday, Feb 6 -- $4.10 -- B & L .$5. Freight on wash stand $1.40. Postal cards 10 cts. Bacon .80. Krout .35 Oyster 25 cts. I am now occupying my newly fitted room. Everything is in good shape (sic) and I am well pleased.

Tuesday, Feb 7 -- $2.65. Paid $4.02 for a wagon load of coal for shop use. Yesterday I rec'd a good letter from Clara. I have sent to Chicago for a nice seal silk plus coat for her. Also a beaver coat for my sister. Note: At this typing, I'm not sure who Clara is although his brother, Cyrus Pratt, has a Clara Harrow living with him in 1880 marked as "sister-in-law," and single. It's odd he hardly has enough money to feed his son Willie or purchase Willie shoes, but is buying Clara presents. Unless Clara is a daughter I don't know about?!?

Wednesday, Feb 8 -- 5 yds of bleached muslin for sister 50 cts. 4 1/2 pounds of rice 40 cts. Everybody who comes in my shop have a word of congratulations on the nice appearance of the room. Cold and snowing tonight.

Thursday, Feb 9 -- $3.10. Sent The Sentinel of Indianapolis 2.40. The American News Co $5.05. Stamps 50 cts. Sent my mother at Blakesburg, iowa $5. Commenced a letter to Clara - have ordered her a nice coat from Chicago.

Friday, Feb 10 -- $3.70. A ticket to the show by home talent 30 cts. I did intend to go but had a lot of work come in. I gave the ticket to Evaline McMains a neighbor girl. A light snow is on now. Note: He calls her "girl" but she is 25 and he marries her later in the year.

Saturday, Feb 11 -- $8.30. 5# prunes 50. 3 # peaches .35. 1 # Apricots .25. Express on goods from Montgomery Ward & Co. 40 cts. Our winter is well nigh gone. Have ordered from New York a beautiful Valentine for Clara. Hope she will get it the 14th. (Note: Ahhh, is he whooing Clara whoever she is?).

Sunday, Feb 12 -- Willie and I remained home all day. His foot wear is in bad repair. I wrote a letter to Bro. Ben Dowell (Note: I'm not sure who he is either) Am of the opinion that I will go down there (Farmersburg) soon. The snow and ice is about all gone.

Monday, Feb 13 -- $6.10. B& L 5. Mrs. Adaline Pickard was buried today. She used to visit at our house years ago. Sent a letter to my brother-in-law, Ben Dowell. I have taken the sewing machine from Wm. Milligans. (The next sentence was written with a different pen but Feb 14 is same pen as 13th so must have been written later). Rep on boots 40 -- Willie.

Tuesday, Feb 14 -- $6.25 -- Coal oil .40 - gas .30 2 1/4 yds jeans for Willie a pair of pants cost $1. We have a cold spell upon us again. Sister ELiza spent the evening at Mrs. Broomfields. The coat for sister and Clara has not come.

Wednesday, Feb 15 -- $1.80. sent Western Sprtman $1.50 - 5 cts fees. Thawed a little. Ed Scott had a leg broken while in a scuffle with Alslapugh and Dred Hargrave - the latter is a colored man. I am troubled with sore teeth.

Thursday, Feb 16 -- $1.35 -- Seven and a half pounds of sugar 50 cts. 5-yds of gingham for my sister .50 thread .05. Frank Kritz went yesterday to see his bro Bert at Flora. He is sick.

Friday, Feb 17 -- $2.70. Postage stamps .25 cents 80 cts for cutting and the trimmings Willies pants. Eva McMains is to make them. Wrote Clara a letter. We are having some soft weather. Suguar (sic) making is about here.

Sat, Feb 18 -- $9.20. Dried Beef 1.50. Baking powders 25 cts. Oysters and crackers 55 cts. The roads are getting very muddy and everything looks like we were to have and early spring. Sent letter to Clara.

Sunday, Feb 19 -- Willie and I attended the Methodist Church this forenoon -Clara Talburt took dinner with us. Afternoon we were at the funeral of John Spruhan's little girl Edith. Rained.

Monday, Feb 20 -- $6.30. B&L 5. Blade 1. GD 65 cts one qt of Orlean Molasses 15 cts. Sent Clara a nice seal skin silk plush coat. It came in at noon today. The coat will be returned if it does not fit.

Tuesday, Feb 21 -- $3.25 -- one gallon of krout 35 cts. The roads are getting fearful muddy. Several farmers have opened up their sugar camps and I look for Maple molasses next week.

Wednesday, Feb 22 -- $2.35. Sent the Jouranl $14.95. Stamps 50 cts. I read my last years Diary today from the month of May to the last of November. Pd Eva McMains 50 cts for the making of Willie's pants.

Thursday, Feb 23 -- $2.20 -- Sent commercial gazette Co. 5.15. John W Shaw died at 7:30 p.m. The day has been most beautiful. Had a tooth extracted paid 25 cts.

Friday, Feb 24 -- $2.70 -- Sausage 45 cts dried apples 25 cts. Rained most al day very sloppy and hard to get around. Eva Mc was at our house today and done some sewing for herself. Shaw will be buried tomorrow.

Saturday, Feb 25 -- $7.90 -- The weather is like into March, very blistery. Snow and sunshine. At half past 11 tonight I was turning cold. Rec'd a letter from Clara this morning. She says that a revival meeting of three weeks closed Thursday night . Glorious time.

Sunday, Feb 26 -- Willie and I were at our Sunday School at 2 1/2 p.m. I made a fire in my shop today -- I never before in my life did the like.

Monday, Feb 27 -- $4.45 -- B & L 5. 8% of beans 50 cts. Starch and blueing for sister Eliza .35 also 2 cakes of cuticura soap 40 cts. Rent for last month 3 dollars. Weath as cold as Greenland this morning. Coal oil 20 cts.

Tuesday, Feb 28 -- $.95 -- AOUW $2.50. Yesterday and todays paper have an account of a big strike of Engineers and firemen on the CB&O 11,000 of them. Recd a letter from sister Helen McMullen.

Wednesday, Feb 29 -- $2.25 -- 10 yds bleached muslin for sister. Her coat cost $10.50. Clara's cost 32.50. Doll for little Jennie McMullen $1. Two gallon of Maple molasses 2 dollars. 10 yds muslin for sister.


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This page created:  16 Nov 2009