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Diary of Hiram A. Pratt


Hiram A. Pratt was a businessman in Waveland, Montgomery County, Indiana for many years. Here is one of the yearly diaries he wrote in.


Note 1: 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 !

Note 2: I've tried to type the diary entries as is (mistakes etc.)


Monday, January 6 - $5.10. Clear and Warm. Paid 30 express. Rent last week $1.25. Lester Clark gets Indianapolis Sunday papers. Peter H. Culbertson keeper of a restaurant first door north of my shop has left the town with the bag to hold. He owed me 25 c. Eva went with me tonight to the meeting instead of last night, Jim and Mary went too. The first solo was "I'm the Child of a King," the one at the close of the sermon was, "No not tonight" composed by Billhorn a noted Evangelist singer. The sermon was by the Presbyterian pastor, Gibson. A song and prayer by JJ Fischer pastor of the Methodist Church. All are sick at Bob McMain's.

Tuesday January 7 -- $7.10. Clear. Paid 50 c for 14 head of cabbage, none were large. 20c for quart of turpentine. Sent the Curtis Pub Co of Philadelphia $13 ordered the Ladies Home Journal for Mrs. JSV Milligan of this place and a copy of the Saturday Evening Post for Jap Rice of Marshall, Park Co. Ind. Sent 13 c to the Cincinnati Post for R Moore, this office. Sent a bundle of papers and pictures to Miss Natt Pratt of Ottumwa postage was 22c. I did not attend the meeting tonight. Meetings will continue until Sunday night and longer if there seems interest enough to extend them. 'Twas past 9 when I went home.

Wednesday January 8 -- $2.15 Clear. I sent the Indianapolis Sentinal a post office money order for $5.70 fee 10c. Made out the Laundry list and done some work after lamp lighting. Did not get to go to the meeting. I am alone in the shop and if I expect to do business people expect to find me at my post of duty, yet I believe I ought to be at meeting even at a sacrifice of my business duties. I love to hear our little man sing and preach, he keeps me wide awake. Last Monday I paid $4.20 for 40 gal of oil. John McMains and his sister Nancy Kelso returned from a days visit at Sam McMains.

Thursday January 9 -- $3.65. Clear and warm. Paid Sam McNutt for underwear for Eva and $3. John McMains went out to the mill for me and got 138 pounds of bran and shorts cost $1.50. The weather has been so warm that I let the fire go out in the stove in the shop. Eva had written a letter to Miss Edith Smalley of Greencastle and one to her niece Miss Perla May Petty of Kansas City Mo. John McMains took dinner and supper with us and will remain with us all night. Harrison McMains is located in Baltimore, Md in the practice of Osteopathy and is getting $600 a month. He is a graduate of the School at Kirksville, Missouri.

Friday January 10 -- $2. Cloudy, cooler. Paid 25 c for 3 pounds of crackers, we were going to have an oyster supper, but when Eva put the oysters in the hot milk it curded and they were cast into the slop pail. Today we took dinner at Jim Alfrey's. Anderson McMains and wife from Crawfordsville were there also, so were Wm. kelso, wife and daughter Mary. We had a real nice dinner. It was made a birthday dinner for Jim Alfrey and Anderson McMains. Jim was 62 and Anderson 63. Anderson and wife went to Kelso's for the night and will be at our home for dinner tomorrow.

Saturday January 11 -- $4.25. Clear part of the day. I don't call to mind when on a Saturday I took in so small amount. The receipts for the week are not so bad. The Knights of Pythias lodge had public installation of officers last night. I would liked to have been there, did not get to go to meeting either, work in the shop kept me until after 9 p.m. Last night paid 35 c for beef and tonight 25 c for pork. For a bushel of corn I paid 80c. Anderson McMains, his wife and sister Mary Alfrey took dinner with us today. The Republicans held a convention here this afternoon. I was done work by about 10 p.m.

Sunday January 12 - Clear and cold. I attended church service at 11 a.m. and immediately after the meeting was out, I prepared the buggy for Miss Nancy Durham for her return home and then visited little Willie's grave. On my return home found that Eva had returned from church and May Lewis nee Kelso her niece had gone from church with her. She spent the entire evening with us. After lamp lighting we went to the Alfrey's (Jim and Mary) we stayed home until a few minutes of church time. Rev. John Newlin of the Christian Church had been their guest for dinner. I went to hear Bro Fisher. He preached on the Judgement - a good sermon.

Monday January 13 -- $2.75. Clear and Cold. Paid $3 for a one house (horse?) wagon load of coal this was for the stove at the home. 1 lb of baking powder 25. 1 stalk of celery. Rent for lst week $1.25. Lester Clark 25 c. Express on the laundry 30 c. Sent the laundry last Thursday $2.44. Returned. RL Moore the 25c he gave me for the Cincinnati Post. Received a good letter of 8 pages from Miss Carrie M. Harrow. She says she has an opportunity to go to housekeeping and her concent is all that is in the way. Paid $1.75 for 20 gal of Perfection oil and $1.05 for 10 gallon of Escene Oil. I had a ?

Tuesday January 14 -- $3.75. Clear and warmer. I attended meeting at the Methodist Church tonight. Heard a good sermon on the text, "And they all began to form excuses," also heard tow good solos by the pastor. At the close of the service a vote of the congregation was taken as to the closing or continuing of meetings. It was voted to close. Jack Ashley is conducting a series of meetings in the Christian Church. He is a splendid preacher - wonderful in the use of words. I intend to hear him as often as I can. Eva was to hear him last night and tonight. Paid 50 c for a bottle of Omega oil to use on the bottom of my feet.

Wednesday January 15 -- $2.90. Clear and warmer. Paid 25 c for white soup beans that Eva ordered of JR Canine a few days ago. 60-c I paid for a peck of apples to eat. I had been reading today in the book Miss harrow sent me Drummond Lectures. They are religious and interesting. Frank Kritz has again resumed his place in the Post Office. His face is red since the scorched skin has peeled off. Jack Ashley took the midnight train last night at Russellville and went over into Illinois and preached a funeral and was back here tonight and preached. I did want to hear him tonight but had the laundry to bill out, aside from tired. I took in 50c Mary Lewis has ordered the Ladies Home Journal for one year.

Thursday January 16 -- $.80. Cloudy. Paid $1 for 20 pounds of granulated sugar. Flour 70. Pumpkin for pies 10. Eight pounds of beef 48c. There has been a few cases of small pox in Crawfordsville, in tonights paper I don't see it mentioned. The Indianapolis News did not arrive tonight. Jack Ashley is having good crowds to speak to. He has spoken in public every night since last October besides on every Sunday a.m. We have not had rain or snow for about one month. The saloon keeper is hauling ice from Deer's Mill. It is clear and about 9" thick. Bess Harris is now in Danville, Ill.

Friday January 17 -- $1.15. Cloudy and cooler. Paid 5 c for a pound of soda, 15c for a dozen of bananas, 10c for stamps, 5 c for bread. Rev. Jack Ashley, Rev. John J. Fischer, his wife, mother and Frank, a young brother and Mary Ellen and Sarah McMains, a brother's wife and her daughter, Grace were at our house today for dinner. Ashley remained until after supper. I went to meeting at 8 o'clock last night and listened to Ashley for 25 minutes. The report is that Crawfordsville has been quarantined against the spread of small pox - 22 cases are reported in the city. School children here have been ordered vaccinated at once.

Saturday January 18 -- $5.00. Cloudy and cool. Paid Lester Clark 25c. For pork chops 25. Sent the Globe Democrat 73. Expense 5c. On the way home last night I stoped at the meeting house and heard Jack Ashley for nearly a half hour and went home with Eva. There is 37 cases of small pox in Crawfordsville. A man from there was here on Friday night of last week to attend a meeting of the Modern Woodmen, he was not feeling well and in a couple of days after his return home broke out with small pox. Doctors here have been busy here all day vaccinating our school children and people.

Sunday January 19 - Cloudy. This morning at 11 o'clock I heard a sermon by Rev JJ Fischer, he sang a beautiful solo titled Speed away. After the service I visited Willie's grave. There is a pathway from the entrance gate leading to his grave. Eva was at her church service, after our noon meal. I hitched "Bob" to the buggy and we went down to Irve Fullenwiders. Pearly (Ruby?) Goslin went with us. We enjoyed the drive and the visit fine. Had Pop corn and Walnuts for desert. We met with will Durham and wife there. Tonight I heard Fischer again, Rev. William Newlin of the Christian Church is spending tonight with us.

Monday January 20 -- $1.80. Cloudy. This is the least I have received on a Monday that I have any recollection of at this time. Paid $1.70 for 20 gallon of coal oil. Rev JJ Fischer has been invited and will sing a solo at the revival meeting tonight. Tonight at 8 o'clock a snow is falling. James Elmore of Alamo is here to deliver a lecture on Pure Literature he writes poetry and has a booKnights of Pythiasoems on the market. A good deal of fun is made of him by the Press but he thinks it flatters him. Sam McNutt and Joe Ball have bought a room in the Brick block. Sam will move therein.

Tuesday January 21 -- $1.30. I commenced a letter to my brother CW Pratt of Ottumwa, Iowa. Eva received a letter from her cousin AW Groves of Waynetown Ind, containing a dollar note with a request that it be handed to TE Huston, Editor of our town paper. The Independent. I will give it to him in the morning. The snow settled considerable and water driped form the house tops. Some of our citizens are putting up real nice ice. George Leebo called to see me this evening. I did not know he was living, had not seen him for 5 years. He used to live here, made his home with Henry Alward, now deceased.

Wednesday January 22 -- $2. Cloudy. Paid 68c for fresh meat. I finished and mailed my letter to bro. Wm. He will get it Thursday morning. The snow became real sloppy to day. This is the first wetting the ground has had for a month. Farmers say because of the dry freezing weather the growing wheat is being damaged. Ordered the Daily news to be sent to Hugh Reynolds 60 days. Paid 60 cts for stamps. Thus far there has been two persons joined church at the revival meeting in the Christian Church, Mr. and Mrs. James Goslin by letter. They are having good preaching every night.

Thursday January 23 - 80c. Paid 20 c for 2 dozzen dress buttons for Eva. She is having a new shirt waist made by Mrs. Goslin. A son was born to Joe L. Todd and wife this morning, they were married the 12 of last June. Ordered the Ladies Home Journal 1 year for Mrs. Mary Lewis and the Success for Miss Carrie M. harrow of Ottumwa, Iowa. Money order cost $1.50 fee & stamps 10c. Jack Ashley preached a good sermon on the Prodigal Son tonight. I did not get to hear him but have had its priviledge of hearing it well spoken of by those who were there. Our cow was a wanderer from home last night.

Friday January 24 -- $1.05. Eva and Jack Ashley drove out to Wm. Kelsos this morning. Jim and Mary Alfrey drove out there, too. Clay Lewis came in for me to go out there for dinner. Bro. Ahsley and I had a good talk as to church unity and about the teaching of the scriptures. We left off where we began. He don't read the Scriptures through the same glasses as I do and visa versa. We don't see alike nor understand alike. He believes that there ought to be but one church, Christian. I believe all orthodox church's who have Christ as their standard bearer are Christian. The name Christian is generic. When one body set themselves up as The Christian Church all others are heathen or idolators.

Saturday January 25 -- $5.60. Cloudy. Paid 65 c for fresh pork at 12 ½ per lb. I was through my work at 11 o'clock. Those who heard the sermon to night said it was a good one, some say it was the best they ever heard. The subject was the two ways - the narrow and the broad way. Two united with the church confession one by transfer. The meeting closed with the sermon tonight. Jim Alfrey will use Bob in the morning to take the preacher over to Portland Mills where he will preach on tomorrow. There was a little snow fell tonight.

Sunday January 26 - Cloudy. I was out of bed by Seven O'clock. I was kept busy until time to go to meeting. Heard Rev. JJ Fischer at 11 o'clock after meeting was dismissed visited Willie's grave. The snow that fell last night was all melted away by this morning. Roads are bare of snow. Jim Alfrey returned from his trip to Portland Mills a little before dark. Mercury is falling fast. When we went to bed tonight it was 5 above zero. Eva remained at her sister Marys until I returned from meeting tonight. Miss Perla Guy went home with me from church at noon and remained until nearly 5 o'clock.

Monday January 27 -- $5.65. Clear and cold. 2 degrees below zero at 7 a.m. Sent the Union Mutual Life Insurance Co of Portland MA $5.47 including expense. Paid 40 c Express. Sent a package of papers to the Cin News Co last Saturday morning. Paid $1.70 for 20 gal of oil. 15c for 3 spools of thread. 50c for 24 cakes of utility laundry soap. 30c for last weeks washing of wearing apparels 25c to Lester Clark. The papers of tonight say we are to have 10 degrees below zero by morning. Received a letter from Siss Eliza J. Donahoo last Saturday. Mother is unable to feed herself, can't use her hands and is a great deal weaker than when I was there. She is getting very near the end of the world to her. Eva has written a letter to Sister Eliza.

Tuesday January 28 -- $5.95. 1 degree above at 6 a.m. Cloudy. Henderson Olliver our next door neighbor related to me a deploreable tale of woe. He married a second wife, Miss Emiline Sullivan whose mother, Mrs. Sulivan is doing what she can to cause a separation of a man and his wife. Mr. Olliver is expecting any day to get marching orders any day or hour. His trails at present is not to be compared to the loss and burial of his former wife and two little children. Mary Alfrey and Mrs. Rachel Crabb were over to spend the evening until bedtime with Eva. Three spools of thread 15 c . There is signes of rain or snow befor many more hours pass by.

Wednesday January 29 -- $6.30. Cloudy. Paid Irve Fullenwider 70c for a 2 bushel bag of corn. There was a light snow fell last night, a little bit has been falling during the day. I had 17 packages for the Gosnell Laundry at Crawfordsville, Indiana; it will leave here in the morning and return Friday evening. I make more than enough to pay my shop rent out of the commission in the laundry business. John McMains is at our house tonight. He is Eve's oldest brother and is quite active for one of his age, 70.

Thursday, January 30 -- $5.50. Cloudy. Paid 75 c for repairs on a pair of shoes, $1 for a quart of whiskey. My wife uses this for the cure of rheumatism, she was one table spoon 3 times a day, the whiskey is put in a bottle with Polkberries. Sent the Gosnell Laundry $5.65. I had not paid the laundry for 3 weeks. I was shown the Rosedale Record this evening by Elmer Dietrick. The name of Mort l. Butcher is at the head of Editorial column. Mort is a citizen of this town. I was surprised to not his venture in the publishing of a newspaper. Hope he will succeed but am fearful that some one will get beat out of some money. I have added a few lines to wifes letter to Siss Eliza. Some warmer now.

Friday, January 31 - Cloudy. $4. Gave Irve Fullenwider 50c for 2-bushel bag full of corn for cow feed. Paid $1.25 rent on shop for last week. Sent the News $4.45 the Journal $4.83 the Cin Post 9 expenses 20c. Two loaves of bread 10c. 1 quart of fresh oysters 35c. Irve Fullenwider wife and two children were at our house for dinner. John McMains also. There was a little more snow fell last night, snow melted some today. Mort Acker has bought the Restaurant stock left by Pete Culbertson and has commenced business. Pete is at work in Schnell's wholesale grocery house in Indianapolis. Hoy Deer was in today.

File Created: 2007-Jan-12




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