FEBRUARY 1907 - 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 ! Oh, and I've tried to type the diaries as is - mistakes & all
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 -- ENJOY
Friday Feb 1 -- $9.50. Cloudy. 30/34. The Standard Oil Co. $3.25 for a 60 gal oil tank to replace a leaky one. Mercury. Yesterday I sent the Logansport Laundry $5. Nancy Kelso returned home this afternoon. She was at Jim Alfreys last night. She says Harry Alfrey has give Jim and Mary $3,000 to be put into a farm for a home. Mercury stood at 34 nearly all day. Rain some today.
Saturday Feb 2 - Cloudy. 34/12 $5.10. Paid 30 c for cough medicine I have had a bad cough all of the afternoon. "A one Minute" cough cure done me a lot of good. This was Ground Hog day. The sun was out two or three times. He could have seen his shadow, so according to the old saying, we are to have 6 weeks more of Winter before the winter breaks. The News will not be here until after midnight. The weather is getting colder every minute.
Sunday Feb 3 - Yesterday I sent the Record Herald $5.34. Expense 7c. I did not go in to the meeting house today, but sit by myself in the annex. My coughing at times is uncontrollable. It was 12 minutes past 12 when I visited poor little Willie's grave. Remained at home tonight. Have paid out 50 for cough medicine. Flour 50. Beans 25. Rice 25. Mince meat 25.
Monday Feb 4 - Cloudy. 8. $1.35. The ground was made white with a light fall of snow sometime last night. The last clause in yesterdays diary belongs on this date. My cold is a good deal better. Came very near having pneumonia. Have ordered the News over the CH&D to Guion station they will be here in the a.m. No sunshine today. I am not well, but have not put my self in charge of a doctor.
Tuesday Feb 5 -- $2.25. Cloudy. Paid 7 dollars for 26 bottles (8 oz) of dry shampoo. The day has been cold, mercury below the freezing mark all day. A 6 ½ inch ice crop is being harvested. Jim Alfrey has a new cream separator $31.75 on 60 days trial. WR Kelso, his wife and daughter were at our house for dinner. The News was in on time tonight. Paid 35 for a quart of oysters, 20 cts for 12 lbs corn meal 10 c for a small bit of ham.
Wednesday Feb 6 -- $1.90. Clear 0/26. Ice harvest was on in good shape today. But few clouds were seen flying. A very little thawing was discernable, paid 50 yesterday for a bottle of our minute cough cure. I have given to Charlie Kritz an order for a $20 overcoat. A man by the name of Brown representing the Cincinnati Enquirer called to see me. I have agreed to take 2 copies daily with 3 extra on Saturdays. Cold tonight.
Thursday Feb 7 -- $1.60. Eva has been sick all day. For her breakfast she eat (sic) a small bit of fried mush. She had made arrangements to visit her sister Miranda at Rossville, Illinois. She will not be able to make the trip unless a change for the better is very favorable in the morning. The watch works ordered by Bert Kritz has not arrived. Mag Moore 35. Oliver McCall $1. Snowed today.
Friday Feb 8 -- $3.30. Piad 15 for pork sausage at 12 ½ c per lb. There was no sunshine today. Mercury was below the freezing point all day. Eva was much better this morning and she continued to improve all day. She is now of the opinion she will be able to venture on the trip to her sisters' in the morning. My cough is better, the soreness has left my side. I am very worse.
Saturday Feb 9 -- $5.35. Paid $4.25 for 5 c gallon of coal oil. Eva went up to Crawfordsville on this mornings 7.25 train. Harry Moody took her to the station. He runs a cab or "buss," for 10 c each. She telephoned me from Alfries (sic). The running gear for my new watch came in this afternoon. Cost $6.50. I now have a watch. That can be relied on.
Sunday Feb 10 - Clear. 23. I remained close all day at home, slept a good deal of the time. Never visited the grave of my poor little boy. At the evening service in the Christian Church I took Nancy Kelso. She walked to the noon day service. By invitation I took my noon meal with Wm. Kelso's. AP Hanna went to Terre Haute with the remains of James Demaree of Rossville, Ill. It was sent home by mistake from El Paso, Texas yesterday a.m.
Monday Feb 11 -- $42.05. 36 of this was Pension money. Clear 30. TL Hanna $19.50 for 3 months rent. A loaf of bread 5. Sen George E. Hanna came in from Rossville, Ill this morning, Eva he said told him to say to me that she was well and enjoying life fine. I can't say as much for myself for I am hoarse and lonesome, time drags along slowly. Cold tonight.
Tuesday Feb 12 -- $3.00 Clear - sent The Star of Terre Haute $1.79. The star of Indianapolis $6.03 Union Mutual of Maine $5.35. Expense 21 cts. 1 loaf of bread 5.c can of Salmon 15. FN Johnson, his mother and wife left today for a trip to Southern Texas. His mother will ship from Texarkana for Leesville, Louisiana to visit a granddaughter, Mrs. Bessie Harris Sweitzer. My cold is not any better save the cough.
Wednesday Feb 13 -- $1.15. Cloudy 50. Paid 43.70 for 300 lbs of cow feed. Beef roast 50 c. Nancy Kelso will co this for me tomorrow. They will use of it for dinner and I will get the remainder and for a few days will feast on cold beef. The Midland Station house was a fire on the roof near the stone flues. It was put out before the fire department could get there. Warm weather today.
Thursday Feb 14 - Cloudy 28. $2.20. I eat dinner with Kelsos when I called for the beef. Nancy had cooked, they were about done with their noon meal and I accepted an invitation to dine. I did not have to be pressed to accept. Paid 5c for a loaf of bread. The ground was covered with a thin layer of snow, during the day it all disappeared. Frank Kritz is going to start a roller skating rink in the upper room over Wolfe's store room, Saturday night.
Friday Feb 15 -- $1.70. Today I took dinner at RL Rusk's. Mary his wife is a niece of my wife. Her mother and father and Herbert Lewis her oldest son were there also. Mary is a good cook and had a good dinner which I enjoyed. Eva wanted me not to bother anyone for meals but when I am "bothered" with an invitation I don't count that I am the aggressor. I called to see old Wm. Neely - he will soon be 84.
Saturday Feb 16 -- $6.90. I had no help in the shop today. Did not get back from dinner until after 2 o'clock. The weather has been lovely all day. "Buddy" Kelso is suffering with a severe pain in the left side of his face. Quarterly meeting at New Market tomorrow. I have paid $7.50 since the conference year began. Paid Mrs. Margarette Moore for washing and ironing. It was 12 o'clock when I went to bed.
Sunday Feb 17 - I visited Willie's grave at 7 o'clock this evening when on my way to Presbyterian meeting. There was no meeting and found out on the way and I went to the Baptist meeting and heard a good sermon by the Pastor PH Baker. Buddy Kelso had the hardest spell with the hurting of his cheek of any time yet. I am thankful to Mrs. Mary Rusk for the help she gave in putting house in order.
Monday Feb 18 -- $1.35. Cloudy 60. Paid 35 for a quart of oysters and 10c for a pound of crackers. Had them served for supper at Kelso's. Buddy eat of them heartily. Mary Alfrey called Nancy over the telephone line and told her that Eva would be there next Saturday. If the weather is fair and I am well enough I will try to meet her there and bring her home Monday. The skating rink is being well patronized. Had a little shower this p.m.
Tuesday Feb 19 - Cloudy 30. $3.75. Paid $1.25 for "Saul of Tarsus" by Mrs. Elizabeth Miller. It is a good book. Bought a watch chain of Steadman Jeweler for $2. The trial of Jacob Wolverton for slashing with a knife a man by the name of Dewey a laborer on his farm is attracting considerable attention. Have had to increase the demand for more Crawfordsville Journals. Eva will be home next Monday. I will be glad to receive her. Bought a beef steak for 10c. I am quite hoarse.
Wednesday Feb 20 - Cloudy. 35. $1.05. There was a little flurry of snow fell today. I eat my dinner with Richard and Mary Rusk today. Richard has bought a nice side board for his wife. It will be shipped from Crawfordsville today. Cornelius Airhart will deliver an address for the benefit of the Order of Odd Fellows in their Hall tomorrow night, I am but very little better of my cold.
Thursday Feb 21 - Cloudy. 27. $1.10. Paid 5 c for a loaf of light bread. Henderson Oliver was taken sick today and had to call a doctor. I did not attend the address of Bro. Airhart tonight. I have a new overcoat, a new chain for my little watch and a new pair of shoes. Cain I bought for $2. Shoes cost $2.50 and coat $20. Our garden was covered over with stable manure today. My cold is not any better.
Friday Feb 22 -- $1.05. Cloudy 46. The address by Elder Airhart in Odd Fellow Hal last is well spoken of by those who heard it. Paid Henderson Oliver 75 c for having the garden well covered with manure from the stable 10 for sausage. I have oiled the buggy and adjusted the storm front preparatory for the trip Sunday morning to meet my old sweetheart at Alfrey's. I expect a telephone message from her tomorrow.
Saturday Feb 23 - Cloudy 30. $6.60. Paid 25 c for my supper at the restaurant my old sweetheart is at Alfreys. I talked over the telephone to her she could not hear me very distinctly while I could hear ever word spoken by her. I hope to be with her before the noon hour tomorrow. I had no help today. Could not do all the work that was offered, yet I done the best I could. Snowed a very little bit.
Sunday Feb 24 - I got out of bed this morning at 5 o'clock, a slow rain was falling and freezing about as fast as it fell. It was 20 minutes after 8 o'clock when I got out of town on my trip to Jim Alfrey's. In 2 hours and a half I was at the end of my journey. Eva was standing to the right of the door as I entered the enclosed porch to give me a big boo. I was glad to see her and find her well.
Monday Feb 25 -- $1.55. After breakfast we went over to Anderson's for dinner. I then went over to the city and bought 25 lbs of granulated sugar for $1.25. Two doz of towels for shop use $1. Two cakes of toilet soap 10 c yesterday at Alfrey's Mary had roasted turkey and an abundance of other good things that went to make with a fine spread. We had another fine dinner today. Heard a good lecture at 3 p.m. yesterday for mem only.
Tuesday Feb 26 - Cloudy. $2.45. It was 6 o'clock when we got home last night. Eva got supper while I milked the cow and done such other chores as was necessary. Paid 20 c for pork chops. Buddy Kelso is a great sufferer with a severe shooting pain in the left side of his cheek or side of the face. Roads are all muddy from the freeze going out. Tom Harroll an uncle of R Rusk was buried Monday in the Masonic Cemetery near Crawfordsville.
Wednesday Feb 27 -- $2.10. Clear Paid 25 c for 2 lbs of fresh pork. I never visited Willie's grave last Sunday. The rain made it inconvenient. This has been the third of perhaps the fourth clear day we have had this year. Eva had her niece Mary Kelso Lewis Rusk to call on her this evening. Mrs. R. Burrin was also a caller. The maple trees are being utilized for the manufacture of maple molasses. None on the market yet.
Thursday Feb 28 -- $8.45. Cloudy. Jim Alfrey sent me by Garfield Walden 10 bushel of corn and I returned him $4. I had spoken for 50 bushel. Sent the Laundry Co $5. Paid 25 cts. For 2. I see mention is already made on yesterday. Buddy Kelso is having the worst round with the hurting of his cheek he has ever had. My cold is a great deal better, though hoarse yet. Had my shoes half soled for 65 c. Telephone rent $2.10.