Diary of Hiram A. Pratt, Waveland Barber
(Standard Diary #31)
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 - typed as they were written
Note 2 : 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 3: Some information about Pratt -- he was born in Parke County, Indiana April 20, 1840 the oldest child of eight born to Erastus & Elizabeth Allen Pratt and died October 12, 1914 in his beloved Waveland, Indiana. He was twice married, first to the love of his life (he kept a life-sized poster of her in one of his cabinets at his barber shop, even long after his second marriage) Eliza Franklin Shaw (born Oct 23, 1841 died Oct 12, 1887), and #2 to his friend, Evaline "Eva" McMains. He was very active in the community where he and Eliza chose to live. He gave generously of his time and money to the Methodist Church in Waveland. For a few years, he served as Marshall of the town. Also, he worked diligently for his Odd Fellows, Rebekah & Knights of Phythias Lodges, was for a time on the town board, and read to those who could not read from the several newspapers he was agent for. Pratt volunteered and served for three years during the Civil War (Co. B, 36th Infantry), and spent time in the dreaded Andersonville prison. He and Eliza adopted a son, Willie Franklin Stump, age two (not sure ever officially or just had permission to take him from the Poor House in Crawfordsville) and he was an amazing young boy (high grades, worked in the church, quite musicially inclined, just an ideal child) until Eliza was taken to the hospital where she was operated on for six cervical tumors (one weighing six pounds) from which she died. Willie went wild after that and he and Hiram's second wife, Eva never got along. He ended-up in Reform School (for stealing a dollar twice from Eva among other small crimes), and later sent home to die due to consumption (what we know as tuberculosis) dying in Hiram's arms on April 12, in 1894. Hiram missed Willie and Eliza more than most I do believe as he wrote about them so often in these diaries. Just wish the rest of Pratt's diaries he wrote for over 50 years as a barber in Waveland still existed :( kbz
Monday Aug 1-- I rigged up a team this morning hitched to the Hack and with Eliza and cousin Nan Pratt went over to Rheuben Marrs an uncle of mine by marriage. We stayed here until 5 p.m. then Eliza and I went to John A. Rushea ? for supper, then went over to see Frank and Polly Shally then went to see Grandma' Pratt. We will stay here all night. Sheidls Shelly went security for Yount on his bail.
Tuesday Aug 2 -- This morning after breakfast got two notes from John Pratt for uncle Dave - one calls for 75 and the other for 10 dollars, to be payed next Christmas. On our way home Granma and Aunt Polly came with us as far as Uncle Ruben Marrs, we stayed untill after dinner then came home by the way of uncle Ray Grimes and uncle Marshals, David Grimes came with us to take the team home. Rain this p.m.
Wednesday Aug 3 -- $3.50 I made today. Yesterday I received a letter from Uncle Dave and Aunt Susan. They were all well. Rec'd a copy of "Brick" Pomroy Paper and Daily Toledo Blade and one Tri-Weekly Blade. They are first newspapers, the weather is very nice since the rain. 3# sugar .30. 2 yds bed ticking 1.00 I am well.
Thursday Aug 4 -- I done no work today that I got the money for. Spent 75 cents for hair oil. Received a letter from Bro Ben. Mother and sister Eliza are not very well. Ben sayes that Sam Swiggette is going to furnish $2,500 in Sept next and is to receive 1/3 the profit for one or two years as they may agree. Success to you, Brothers. Wrote Ben Abegg a letter this p.m.
Friday Aug 5 -- $1.20 I made today. About noon today Uncle Wm. and Aunt Jane Oard came to see us. They live at Brazill (sic) Ind. Will stay here overnight. They hold a note on uncle Dave for $60 with interest at the rat of 10 % since last Oct. Wm. traded it to Davis and Hannah for $52 cash. The day has been pleasant.
Saturday Aug 6 -- $6.00 I made today in shop. My work was not so brisk as last Saturday. Our uncle and aunt went away this a.m. at 9. After dark tonight we had a little shower of rain just enough to settle the dirt. I have rec'd 12 copies of "Brick" Pomroy Democrat sent to me by Job Durham.
Sunday Aug 7 -- We went to hear Bro Hayes preach at 10 1/2. His text was "be ye not slothful in business but fervent in spirit serving the lord." This afternoon at 4 he read the articles of faith and received into full connection with the church 7 persons family, probationers and 2 by letter. He will preach his last sermon here on the 17 of this month. Andy Crutchfield was here for dinner. We stoped in a few minutes to Mrs. Haley.
Monday Aug 8 -- 50 cents I mae in the shop today. Sent two names off for the Blade. Eliza does not enjoy very good health ... there has been no regular engagement between France and Prusia up to Aug 1, only one little skirmish. Prusians captured one cannon & have 8 men lost. F lost 20 men. We had a splendid rain and some hail this p.m.
Tuesday Aug 9 -- 35 cents I made. We had a little shower of rain this forenoon. Received a letter from my Aunt Sarah S. Hinck of San Franciso California. It was mailed the 31 of last month. She wants her father's picture. Pd rent for July 2.00. 7 yds of cotton, 1 spool of thread, 2 linnen (sic) bosoms, all for 2.25. One water mellon for 20 cents.
Wednesday Aug 10 - .85 is all I made today. We had another big rain this forenoon. The ground is now wetter than it has been for 8 months. Uncle Marshall Pratt came in this evening and paid me for Uncle Dave $62.50. He owes yet 425 for interest. I neglected collecting enough by that much will go over in the morning early and get it. Eliza and I will go to George McIntosh's tomorrow. I am going to help thresh wheat.
Thursday Aug 11 -- Rain last night. I made .55 today. Pd .15 for 16y eggs to put under a sitting. I was over to Uncle Marshal's this morning before he was out of bed. He paid me the money due. I helped George McIntosh to thresh wheat this forenoon. HIs little boy Charlie came over after Eliza early. She came home this pm. Traded 3 of uncles notes of for cash deducting 10 per cents. Rec'd 155.40.
Friday Aug 12 -- Had a rain last night. Early this morninng I went out south of town 2 1/2 miles to get with Uncle Marshal so as to go with him to Rockville. By 8 he came along at noon arrived at Rockville. Pd of (sic) uncle Daves sewing machine note of $86.15 and got a bank check for him of $630.55. Spent $2.50
Saturday Aug 13 -- $3.85 is all I made today. Rec'd a letter from Ause Pratt. They were all well and getting along fine. I got one from Bro. Ben at Chicago, Ill he had gone out there to take some cattle for TG Tharp, he was there on the 9 of this month would be at home again on the 11. In Sept he talks of going to st. Louis with SA Swiggetts to buy goods. Had some rain last night and some today. We are as well as common.
Sunday Aug 14 --We had a good rain lst night. The ground is now full of water. We have been at home all day. Eliza wrote a letter to her brother Alexadre. I wrote on epage in it. The Prusians have the best of it in the war in Europe. I read in the papers most all day. Eliza read a good deal in the bible.
Monday Aug 15 -- 80 cents I made today. No rain last night or today. Work is said to have commenced on our road today. I mean our railroad, 10 miles more of it is soon to be located and let to be built. I bought 3 # sugar for 50 cents. 2 # rice for .25 5.3 cent postage stamps 15, answered Aunt Sally's letter addressed John Hinck San Francisco Cal.
Tuesday Aug 16 -- $1.00 I made today in the shop. Mrs. Alward, Mrs McClain, Mr. and Mrs. Haley were here for dinner. Late this evening I wrote AUnt Susan a letter will send it out in the morning it will contain a bank check from Rockville of $630.55 payable to David J. Pratt. Rec'd a letter for uncle Dave coming back pay on a reaper note of 75 to now at the Express office at Crawfordsville, Ind. Due the 15 of next month. ELiza was not very well today.
Wedneday Aug 17 -- 90 cents I made today. Pd Post office box rent .40. 1 bunch papers Treasuerey Note 90 cents. 1 bunch envelopes 15 and 1/2 pt bay rum 35 cents. Farmers are busy plowing for wheat sowing. Eliza done her washington today. There is a report of a big fight having gone off in Europe. The Rusians (sic) winning the day. French lost 71,000 Prisoners besides the dead left on the field.
Thursday Aug 18 -- $2.50 - I made today. Wrote my brother Ben a letter. Bought one water mellon for 20. 1 pt hair oil for 75. Went in the evening to see Mr. Bill D. F. Travis Panerma of the Cumberland Army during the war for 50 cents. He has 3,680 ft of his own paintings on canvass, he was our own special artist in the army of the Cumberland. the pictures were very nice.
Friday Aug 19 -- $1.50 I made today in shop. The weather is warm and pleasant. Rec'd the first no of the Rockville Republican on subjscription of 3 more. It contains a speech of Senator Pratt. It is about the same as others I have read during this campaign. Gen. Lewis Wallace of Crawfordsville, Ind received the nomintion for Congress on the 17 of this month I hope he may be successful.
Saturday Aug 20 -- $8.20 I made in shop today. Pd 40 cents for the hay that uncle Bell Oards horses eat while up here. Gave 25 for 1 muskmellon. 7# fresh mean 70 cents. The day has been mild and pleasant. Eliza has been preparing for company that promise to be here tomorrow. Work has been commenced on our railroad. Gen. Wallace is our candidate for Congress.
Sunday Aug 21 -- Pd for Uncle Daves Advocate 2.50. We were at church today to hear Bro Hayes, this is his last day with us as a pastor. His text was of the Prophecies of Daniel, but the words I do not recollect. Bro H. and lady and one of his children took dinner with us today for the last time I recon ? John Crutchfield and lady with two children were here too. Wehave had a very pleasnat meeting this p.m. at 4.
Monday Aug 22 -- I did not make any thing in the shop today. The weather is nice and very pleasant. We can feel very sensible that winter is fast approaching. People are having their wood houses filled with wood so as to save time and expense after a whole ? I have not my wood up yet but hope to have in due times. Eliza has been working in her dress I got her at Rockville.
Tuesday Aug 23 -- $1.60 I made in shop today. The weather has been unusually warm. Atley Buser informs me that he is getting a salary of $1200 a year, he is selling good by sample for a house in Indianapolis, this is much better than when he was clerking for D & H here in Waveland. Bought 17# salt .35 and 2 prarie chickens for .40 Eliza is as well as common.
Wednesday Aug 24 -- $1.60 I made today. We are now having some warm weather. THe masons having been engaged in session for the last two days at court 3 of their members were on trial for false swearing in the Glen Clore seduction case. 2 were expelled. Eliza has her new dress done. I got her another nicer one today will not pay for it until after the fair.
Thursday Aug 25 -- 10 cents is all I received today. Spent it for a muskmellon and gave 10 cents more for a dozzen of eggs. Rec'd 3 newspapers today. The Gazette has lots of war news. The Prusians are yet crowding the French, hard fighting has been done and still harder yet remains to be done. The Prussians have lost about 40,000 dead and wounded. Eliza is at work on her new dress. She is going to have it done by Sunday next.
Friday, Aug 26 -- Did not make any money today. Park (sic) Co. Republican gives an acct of the joint discussion between Moses F. Dunn and DW Voorheese. Daniel I think has got his match in point of talent in this man, Dunn. When they speak at Rockville or at Parkville I hope to be able to go hear them. Eliza has been busy at her dress all day.
Saturday, Aug 27 -- $6.50 I made to day in shop. The weather was cool this a.m. but in the afternoon it was considerable warmer. John Moore got a letter from Ause Pratt, he said they were all well. I got Eliza a pair of shoes cost 3 dollars, will not pay for them until a week after the fair. Pd out 1.50 for butter and .75 for another lot rec'd last week. Hair oil 35 cents.
Sunday Aug 28 -- We were intending to have gone over to Russellville this morning to hear Bro Hayes preach again but got disappointed so we concluded to stay at home all day, however we took a little stroll this evening and went down to Aunt Lucy Davis. The day has been pretty warm. My little woman has better health now than she has had for a good many weeks past hope she will get entirely well. Hike A. Pratt (first time I've seen a nickname for him)
Monday, Aug 29 -- No work today that got any money for. Spent 10 cents for a bottle of ink. It does not let down as good as I would like (it is VERY light and hard to see). Eliza's shoes were to large at the top and had to rip them open that she might sew them up so as to have them fit closer. wrote Ause Pratt a letter sent uncle david $3.13 counting the money paid Hayes for Advocate.
Tuesday, Aug 30 -- I done some work today but got no money for it. The weather continues warm and dry. The roads are very dusty. From the Ottumwa Courier I learn that Judge Laughbridge was dfeated in the nomination for Congress by Lt. Governor Walden of Centerville, Iowa
Wednesday, Aug 31 -- $1.30 I made in shop today. We have had no rain today. A good deal of sickness is now prevailing in some localities. Work in earnest has commonced in earnest (sic) on our Railroad. Eliza had Grandma McIntosh her son Ben and his wife Molly with 3 children visiting here today. Molly has one sick child. Bought 6# lard 1.20 49# flour 1.60 Have to work on roads tomorrow.