AUGUST 1895 Hiram Pratt Diary
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; however, only 14 of the 50+ diaries were saved from the library's incinerator. 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
Thursday August 1 -$1.45. Eva has had lots of company today. Her sister Mary and two nieces, Mary Lewis (Kelso) and Sarah Catherine McMains, daughter of Russellville, Ind and Mrs. Swank of Terre Haute and Miss Pine Russell and her sister, Bettie Penn of Kentucky. Paid 75 cts for a piece of beef. 9# and a couple slices of ham 1 lb and 10 oz 30 cts. One dollar for sugar 20# 1 doz bananas 20. Cinnamon 10. Coffee 23. Nights are cool.
Friday, August 2 -- .25 clear and 75. Paid 10 cts for 3 stalks of celery and 10 cts for a pad of note paper. Yesterday I took charge of the sale of the daily news papers. I once had the control of the news trade here but when I went into the Grocery trade I gave them to Mort L. Butcher. He after a few years sold to Will Cuppy and I bought of him. I believe I can make a hundred dollars a year on them. Paid 5.30 on gasoline bill.
Saturday August 3 -- $9.85. Rain 72. One doz. Com 10. Cinnamon 10 cts. I am well pleased with my days work. I was through with it by 11 o'clock. Yesterday some man made an assault on the wife of David C. White near Russellville which caused a big stir. I heard this evening that he had been captured and I think identified by the wife. Eva has had to recan some of the plums . It is queer that she has such bad luck, so when she does her part so well.
Sunday August 4 - Clear 76. We had two nice showers of rain yesterday morning. Bro. Campbell held Quarterly meeting yesterday morning at Russellville. Whilest Bro McHenry of Crawfordsville held a like service here. I visited little Willie's grave before going into Sunday School. We had a good sermon from the text, "He purified their hearts by faith." I attended meeting alone tonight. Communion services at night.
Monday August 5 -- $9.00. The laundry bill last week was 3.43. Expense 30 cts money order fee .5. Total 3.78. I paid JT Scott 75 cts for cutting my pants pattern. Goods for a vest 90 cts. By invitation I went up in Milligan's Hall and saw a hypnotist put a couple of young men to sleep and Dr. KK Straughn run a ladies hatpin through one of the boys cheeks the pin passing over the tongue. He gave a fare entertainment tonight.
Tuesday August 6 -- $3.00. Eva done her usual weeks work yesterday and today. She has commenced the making of my pants. The Professor in hypnotism got no encouragement last night and concluded not to stay here tonight. Bob McMains, Eva's brother will stay at our house tonight. He is engaged in selling fruit trees. Has lately sold two orchards. Warm day. Expres on Laundry Sat .35.
Wednesday August 7 -- $1.15. Paid 10 cts for 1 doz corn. I paid the Standard oil CO. 41. Eva attended her church prayer meeting. If I can keep the list of daily papers at what they are as to patrons I will in the run of a year make 4125. As next year is campaign year I hope to do even better. Paid Will Cuppy $1. The Silverstein ? soon in the state convention at the meeting of state delegates in Missouri. Warm & Dry.
Thursday August 8 - 35 cts. After delivering the daily papers, I went out to Wm. Kelso's for dinner. Mrs. Steele Low and her daughters Harriet Steele and Anna Johnson her two children and a young niece from Indianapolis Mary Alfred - Sam and Lloyd McMains and I were there for dinner. I went home by the wood land rout and visited the improvements made at the junction of railroads about a mile out of town.
Friday August 9 -- $1.00. Spent 35 cts for meat. Sam McMains and I fixed at the pump in the well this morning but done it no good. Charlie Johnson and wife and two children Edith and Naomi Mrs. Low and daughter Harriette and the little niece spoken of on yesterday and Nancy Kelso were at our house for dinner. Bananas 15. Onions 20.Vin ? .40. I sent by Bob McMains to Crawfordsville 7.00 to pay on gasoline. I had on deposits with the Enquirer 2.00 anyhow.
Saturday August 10 - Clear 92. $.00. Piad 30 Ex on Laundry basket. My pention (sic) check came in today and I turned it over to the Bank. Irvine Fullenwider took in the excursion over the LC & SW Vandalia line to Maxine Kukey (?) (Maximhunkey?). His wife Rhoday was in waiting for him at our house until his return which at 11 o'clock had not arrived. I have suffered more with the heat today than for a long time.
Sunday August 11 - I was at Sunday school at the usual hour of the morning contributed 5 cts. Before entering the room I called at the grave of poor little Willie. His grave appears to me as very lonesome. I wish I was able to put up a small tombstone someday. I hope to do this. His grave may be found by passing through the cemetery straight west from the entrance gate. The last grave nearest the outside limit is Willie's grave. (Note: there is no gate there now if Willie is buried in the Methodist Cem which I thought he was but if he's buried in the Presbyterian then there is a gate yet).
Monday August 12 -- $3.00. Paid on gasoline $6.40-. Eva done her usual weeks work and recanned nearly all the fruit she had heretofore canned this season. She is fretted at the poor luck she has. None of her neighbors have any complaint of note to make. Mrs. Steele Low went home today. I seen that her daughter Hattie Steele did not accompany her mother. Eva and Rhoda Fullenwider were together 8 at night to 12.
Tuesday August 13 --$1.75. Mary Ellen Alfrey, Eva's sister was at our house for dinner today. She donated us a lot of roasting ears and a basket of nice apples to eat. I paid 41 for 20 lbs of "A" Sugar. 50 cts for ½ bu of pears and 25 cts for steak. I have been at work fixing a stove for FN Johnson. I had to send the Generator to Chicago for repairs. The hot weather continues. Wm. H. Bridges was halled home sick from Ben Bilbo's this evening.
Wednesday August 14 -- $1.00. During the last three weeks I have paid 2.25 for ice. I paid 20 for 2 lbs of beef steak,. Lewis McMains and wife and two of their lady friends were at our house tonight. James Alfrey and wife came in late this evening. Mary Ellen had made 3 gal of cider for Mr. Canine. I had a drink of it. A card today from brother John Allen says he left the hospital at Chicago July 30. Start today from Ottumwa for Cal.
Thursday August 15 -- $1.25. Clear. 92. The blades of corn are rolling considerable. Wells are failing the walls in many instances are being taken out and wells dry deeper. The water in our well is to low to be drawn out by the pump. We had a very light shower on last Sunday evening. I was at our prayer meeting tonight. Just one dozen (sic) were in attendance. Had a real good meeting. I am well.
Friday August 16 -- $2.40. Paid Cuppy on yesterdays $1.00 and one dollar to Jos Strong & Co of Terre Haute. The weather is very warm and the ground is so dry that late corn will be much damaged. Corn planted real early will not be hurt very much. Had we had a few good rains last week and the forepart of this, the like of corn in these parts were never known before. Paid Will Cuppy $1.
Saturday August 17 -- $7.25. Clear 96. The heat nearly overcome me this afternoon. Eva has made me a pair of pants and a vest I wore them for the first today. The pants I have had on for 3 days. They are a good comfortable fit goods are "Yountsville" machines are of light weight and very nice for this kind of weather. I am proud of them. I was done work by 10 p.m. 30 cts dray or Express.
Sunday August 18 - clear. 95. I was at Sunday school at the usual hour, but before going in visited the grave of little Willie. After SS bro. Campbell preached a wonderful good sermon and took up a collection. I gave $1 and 5 cts to the Sunday school. Eva went to meeting with me tonight. There were only 16 composing the audience yet Bro. Campbell was as interesting as if booked a house full. The Baptist preacher had a house full. He preached a sermon on Good citizenship.
Monday August 19 -- $2.75. clear 90. 20 lbs of sugar 1.00. the weather is very warm and dry. People have to skirmish around for water. The Midland Railroad at last has got to running trains over the Vandalia line from here to Sand creek on their way to Brazill (sic) Ind at present the terminal of the Midland. Harriet Warrick dead this evening of typhoid fever. Bob Mc was at our house for dinner. Mrs. Warrick was an old school mate of mine.
Tuesday August 20 -- $2.75. Paid for gasoline $14.90. Yesterday evening there was rain enough fell to lay the dust, but not enough to drip from roofs on houses. I and Eva were out to hear SE Nicholson of Kokomo Ind at the Methodist church. He is the "author of the present temperance law known as the Nicholson Bill." I gave 75 cts to the cause of Temperance. $1 to ME Church. I am as well as usual.
Wednesday August 21 -- $3.00 Paid 14.90 for gasoline yesterday. Laundry bill 2.31. I am taking cold and have a head ache. I had a small lot for the laundry today my commission net is .51 cts. The Midland trains are making good time and glad to say are doing fair passenger traffic. The war in Cuba is going on with the Cubans in the lead thus far. Spain will have to send in a large army to bring the rebels into subjecation. Yellow fever is depleting the ranks of Spain.
Thursday August 22 - 1.00. Paid 84 cts for ice used last week. Eva's sister Almyra Petty of Mammouth Spring, Ark will be here early in Sept to stay about a month and then Lloyd McMains her brother will return with her. I was at our prayer meeting tonight. There was less than a dozen present. Bro. Campbell opened up the meeting and Bro. PM Conner took charge. It seemed to me void of genuine spiritual life.
Friday August 23 -- $1.40. Cloud 80. Paid Cuppy 1 dollar and Express on Laundry basket. OCR Ellis representing the Chicago daily Record was to see me today. He made the transfer of agency from JW Cuppy to me. Eva was at Mort Butcher's this evening when I went home. Lloyd is over at Wm. Kelso's tonight. Fred Sharp is thought to be dying. He has typhoid fever. John Warrick has the same fever. He was taken sick the evening of his wifes funeral.
Saturday August 24 - 9.55. Paid Will Milligan rent for Aug 1895 $3.00. Pork stake 20. Beef roast 28. A lady friend and acquaintance of Eva's residing at Rossville, Ill came in this evening on a visit. This morning at 7:30 a gentle rain was falling, it did not last long only a few minutes. I was done my work by 9 o'clock. My cold is better. Fred Sharp died this morning at about 2:20.
Sunday August 25 - I was not at Sunday School this morning. I visited Willie's grave before going in the church house. Bro Campbell preached the funeral of Fred Sharp from the text, "Precious inn the sight of the Lord are the death of his saints." After meeting, I went out to Kelso's for dinner. Eva and her friend Mrs. Marilla Seals went over in the carriage. I returned home via the railroad junction. Weather is real warm.
Monday August 26 -- $3.23. Paid 22 for a package of Arbuckle coffee. 13 cts for cards. Eva done her washing notwithstanding we were having a beautiful rain. The Waveland Bank Safe was moved into the new Bank building this afternoon. Tonight I and Mc Wasson and a babtist (sic) preacher by the name of Leonard Galey went to hear a colored man preach. He is holding forth in Milligan's Woods east of town.
Tuesday August 27 - 85 cts. Mixed 92. Paid 42 for 20 gal of gasoline. Eva was out at her sister Mary's today. Mrs. Seals went from Kelso's with whom she stayed over the night. She will leave for her home this week. The colored people will continue their camp meeting over the next Sunday. They sing plantation melodies as well as real spiritual songs. The warm weather to me has been very oppressive today. I was home tonight before nine.
Wednesday August 28 -- $1.15. I paid 15 for a collar button. Mrs. Rillay May is at our house to night on the way home I waited at the meeting house for Eva for I supposed she was there for a prayer meeting. She was at home. Mrs. Bloomfield is making arrangements to move up east of cross street. She is going to board school teachers this winter, Charlie Richie will move in where Mrs. B lived.
Thursday August 29 -- $1.00. I was at our prayer service tonight only 3 women including 1 girl, 1 boy and 4 men. Bro Campbell lead and oh what a good meeting we had. It seemed to me that I never heard such sweet sentences flow from any ones lips as from Bro. Campbells. He was wonderfully near the Lord and talked with him in the most confiding manner. Sent the Enquirer $2.05.
Friday, August 30 -- $1.25. Paid Cuppy $1 and for a pair of nickel plated spectocheframe ? 35. 5 cts for a stalk of celery. I assisted brother Campbell in filling with water the Baptistry in the Christian Church. He receives into full connection tomorrow the probationers I say tomorrow when I should have said Sunday. Eva has been putting aw3ay grapes today. She says she is sick and tired of putting up fruit we have more than enough this year.
Saturday August 31 - 8.50. Paid 25 cts for a 25 pound paper bag of salt $1 for sugar; 20 pounds 63 for the ice used last week. I was done work by 9 o'clock. The weather is considerable cooler tonight. Paid 30 cts Express on laundry basket from Terre Haute. The rain we had day before yesterday was a God send corn was famishing and pastures were in a manner dryed up. Eva is not well pleased with the goods Bob sent her for sisters dress.