JUNE 1890 - 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
Sunday June 1 - Willie and I attended church and Sunday School today. I was at church tonight. Willie was not at church but never got in until after 10. The weather continues very fine. We have commenced the use of our gasoline stove. For warm weather we find it the more agreeable and pleasant for culinary purposes. Almira Petty is talking of going home next week.
Monday June 2-I sent for 3 cases of strawberries to be sent me in the morning and they came this evening. There was two of them for a church festival to be held at FN Johnson's tomorrow night. I sold the one extra after 6 o'clock at 10c per qt. James Alfrey was in a few minutes today. His wife will be here on the 5 of this month while he is at Terre Haute at the June recess. Warm day.
Tuesday June 3 - I furnished 12 gal of berries for the strawberry festival at FN Johnsons tonight. The ground was broken last Monday week for the Campbellite Church. The brick began to arrive yesterday. Eva was at the festival tonight. Willie Butcher took his best girl out to the festival this left me to stay at the store. Willie went out hunting today and brought home a couple of nice young squirrels which we will have for breakfast in the a.m.
Wednesday June 4-32 months ago yesterday My little woman and I went down to Terre Haute. When these dates occur monthly I am always sad and sore at heart. I remember so well our last meal at home on Monday morning Oct 3, 1857 When her sister Clara and Willie had left the table we remained at our places. She noticed the tears coursing down my cheeks, came to me and wiped them away. She said, "You feel sorry for me don't you?" I did!
Thursday June 5 - 32 months ago today My little pet was operated upon for the removal of ovarian tumors by Dr. Lee J. Mimestein of Terre Haute. She was roomed at No. 210 South 14 Street and Mrs. Mahan's. A very kind old lady. Old GrandMa Mahan called upon her a couple of days before her death. She put her arm over her neck, pulled her down and kissed her and said, "Grand Ma, I love you, for you are so good and kind to me, when I get back to my little home I am going to have you come and see me."
Friday June 6-I was out to see comrade David B. Brush on the 29th of this month. He is the poorest piece of humanity that I ever saw. He has cancer of the stomach and is starving to death for he can not eat any food that will lay on his stomach. It is a wonder that he has survived so long. He has been a sufferer for several years. Death would be a relief to him and all of his friends. It can not be long delayed.
Saturday June 7 - For several days I have been bothered with tooth ache. This forenoon I had it extracted. It was hard to pull and now I am glad that it is out. I now have but one lower jaw tooth on the right side. At present I have a sore jaw, preferable to the toothache. I had to give Willie a whipping last night for his willful disobedience. He was set to mowing the yard and as soon as I was gone he left his work. I intend he shall do better.
Sunday June 8 - Comrade David B. Brush died this morning at 5.40. A post mortem examination was made. A cancerous tumor was found in the stomache, an ulcer had eaten through the stomache and it was otherwise deranged. The great wonder is that he lived so long. The stomache had contracted until it would not hold half a gill and was full of black stuff. He had to die. Willie and I were at class this morning. Warm day.
Monday June 9 - I and Comrade WH Fullenwider were detailed to stay at our comrade Brush's tonight. We left town at 7 ½ p.m. The weather was a little cool for it had rained and throughout the night it rained a little. Willie had job at hauling brick today for the new church. I took charge of the mail for him this p.m. We dined at Mrs. Bloomfields today, Mrs. Petty has a telegram to come home sickness.
Tuesday June 10 - Comrade David B. Brush was burried today in the Waveland cemetery. The GAR post at Crawfordsville and this place took charge of the body for burial. There was a large turn out of the people. His grave was lined with hand burned brick laid in cement and arched over. The object is to have it water proof. It was today and not yesterday we dined at Mrs. Bloomfields. The old line of railroad south of town to be revived. Surveyors are here.
Wednesday June 11 - - Willie went over to Wm. Kelso's this morning and told them that Almyra would start for home on the 10.23 a.m. train. The telegram rec'd yesterday evening (not on Monday) said that Bertie was sick and for her to come at once. Six men from here are now at work running a survey for the Midland railroad. Beginning just a little SE of town and running west to some say Guion. I don't know where.
Thursday June 12 - Very early this a.m. I remembered the date 32 months ago. My precious little woman died at 20 minutes of 3 that morning. I have thought of her hundreds of times during the day. I have not seen her in my dreams for a month or more, wish I could see her every night in my dreams. James Alfrey and wife were at our house for dinner. We have had several good showers of rain today. Mrs. Moore washed for Eva this week.
Friday June 13 - We have had a real warm day of it. The bedroom set from Hadey & King has at last arrived. It has been ordered for several weeks past. I have arrangements made to give it away to some one of my customers. To every cash customer of 50 cts, I give a ticket when 1000 are given away, the set belongs to the ticket holders. We suppose that sister Petty is at home by tonight.
Saturday June 14 - The weather has been very warm this afternoon. I have felt the heat more oppressive this evening than at any other time this summer. Prof. JB Evans has taken the 4 burner gasoline stove on trial. It is my opinion that he will keep it. His wife baked light bread cakes and pies on it today. She says it does the work all right. I was home by 10 ½ p.m. Eva was sound asleep.
Sunday June 15 - I was at church at the morning service and at Sunday school in the afternoon. The services at night were children's day services. Eva and I were at the services. The main part of the audience room was much crowded. Eva and I were at the services. The main part of the audience room was much crowded. Eva and I were in the west room an annex to the main room. Willie was not at either of the services today. Bro. Badger on the account of sickness has failed to meet his last appointment also the one previous.
Monday June 16 - Eva was sick this morning, yet she felt able to do the weeks washing. I rendered some assistance. She in company with Mrs. LE Acker was up town this evening after night fall they were at Mrs. FN Johnsons a while. The weather is getting real warm and I would not be surprised if we are not going to have a spell of real genuine summer weather. We are well as common.
Tuesday June 17 - Eva was sick again this morning. Mary Lewis came over and ironed for her, the weeks washing of clothes. The thermometer today was close on to 100 degrees of heat. Wm. Kelso will bring over a load of hay some time this week. It will be a mixture of wheat and cheat the latter largely predominating. It will be a new feed for the little cow.
Wednesday June 18 - Eva was sick again this morning and continued so during the day. I related her ailments to William Steele as he prescribed for her. We have had another real warm day. The register denoted 102 in the shade. Mill hands over come by the heat. The laborers on the church are not able to put in full 10 hour days. I look for report of deaths in the papers tomorrow.
Thursday June 19 - Willie Butcher went to Prayer meeting tonight. He has some attraction other than the goal of the meeting. The weather as warm as ever. Several deaths are reported in different parts of the country. It is reported cooler weather in Texas and Florida than it is here. Had a letter from Ella Petty.
Friday June 20 - Eva is not at all well. I have bought a bottle of syrup of figs for her cost 50 cts. The extremely warm weather is not very acceptable with her. She is rather fleshy and not constituted for such hot weather. My cloths get dripping wet with sweat. Eva's ma can hardly navigate, the warm weather is hard on her. A rain did not cool the air.
Saturday June 21 - I done over a dollars worth of work in the shop tonight. It was past 1 o'clock when I got home. Eva thought it was about time to get up for the morning the heat is hard on the people in many parts of the country. If it were so that I could leave my business for awhile I would do it.
Sunday June 22 - I was at church this morning saw a man in his shirt sleaves at church service. The man seemed out of place. Yet there was no harm committed. I was at our Sunday school at 3 p.m. The wife of Johnie Robertson is thought to be dangerously sick. The abatement in warm weather. Eva is some better.
Monday June 23 - Eva had her washing done by Mrs. D. Moore last week and this also. Mrs. Moore is going to get a washing machine from me and wants to pay a part in work. More rain by no means any cooler of nights we lay without any covering and use a fan as long as we have the use of our arms. It is so very warm.
Tuesday June 24 - Eva has trouble with her stomache. She does not retain her food complains of a swimming of the head. The cherries were all cared for by the neighbors. I paid Mary Bloomifled 50 cts for the assistance rendered by her. Mrs. Kelso, Eva's sister came over and rendered valuable aid. I don't believe it has been as warm today.
Wednesday June 25 - Eva was not able to attend church prayer meeting tonight. The syrup of Figs I believe is doing her considerable good. I have a good deal trouble with Willie, he is disobedient, untruthful and dishonest besides being lazy and ingredient. He promises to work in the garden and then leaves for the creek or woods.
Thursday June 26 - I did not attend our prayer meeting tonight. Willie Butcher went. His girl is the load stone that draws. I have reported Eva's case to Dr. Straughn and he has prescribed for her - paid him 50 cts. This warm weather is fine for gasoline stoves. I have sold two this season. Will ordered more provided I find it necessary.
Friday June 27 - Johnie Robertsons wife is no better but is growing worse all the time. She will not be apt to get well, this is his second wife. Loyd McMains has bought about 15 gal of cherries. When put in cans do not make much of a show. I have had all of the old potatoes cleaned all out of the bins in the cellar. Warm weather is not affected by local rains.
Saturday June 28 - Tonight I was wending my way home, I found two men dead drunk by the old dead locust tree at the corner of Cross and Main streets or at the north east corner of - 2 mean southeast corner of the burnt district. Their basket of groceries set at the roots of the locust tree. They had taken on more beer than they could hold.
Sunday June 29 - Willie and I were at the social services at the Presbyterian Church. I concluded not to attend Sunday school. The weather is too uncomfortably warm. W. Kelso's entire family except his son Bob were at our house for dinner after dinner we occupied the shade in the yard under the evergreen trees. Wheat harvest is here again.
Monday June 30 - Eva had the weeks washing done by Mrs. Moore. She is not well but I think better, her head does not swim so much and the food stays with her more than for common. The weather is considerable cooler than it has been for several days. There is a report going that Miss Nettie McIntosh is to be a mother out of wedlock.