MARCH 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 March 1 -- $4.50. Raods are fearful bad now. The freeze is going out of the ground, when it is all out the water will soon settle and the mud will dry up. The women of the Methodist Church are arranging to give The Pastor Claud Hershey a reception at the church house on tomorrow evening after the lighting of the lamps. CD Barr is now Rural Route Mail Carrier on Route No. 2
Saturday March 2 -- $9.00. Pine apple 20. Cakes 10. Bananas 10. oranges 10. Cranberries 10. Fresh pork 45. Brother Hearshey (sic) was at our house for supper and over the night. He will take dinner at Bro. Sam Byrds tomorrow and will remain with me until Monday morning. He will begin a serries (sic) of meetings here on Friday evening 15th. I went home for supper tonight. Unusual for me.
Sunday March 3 - Visited Willie's grave at 12:15 p.m. Eva went with me to meeting. "Buddy" is suffering a great deal with that nerve in the left side of the face. Bro. Hershey had a reception given him by the church last night. I gave 25 c toward defraying expenses. I also gave the IOOF 50 co n the night of Bro. Airheart's (sic) lecture. Eva let Bro Hershey take a pot of beautiful blooming lilies to church.
Monday March 4 -- $6.15. Cloudy. Paid Henderson Oliver $3 dollars for a ton and 100 lbs of coal. Coal cost 15 c for a hundred pounds. Sent the Cincinnati Enquirer 90 c and the IndianapolisNews 42. Expense 10c. Paid 5 c for a small bit of beef for the cat. I took enough of it home for our breakfast in the morning. A nice snow fell this evening. My cold has not yet entirely left me, otherwise am well.
Tuesday March 5 -- $4.20. Clear The snow looked very beautiful early this morning. It was soft and puffy, made the limbs on the (trees) look like arms of snow. The sunshine added to the beauty of an ideal winter morning. I returned a pair of glasses for Nancy Kelso for repair and exchange to Coulter Optical Co. Chicago. Buddy Kelso is no better he finds temporary relief from hyperemic injection of morphene (sic).
Wednesday March 6 -- $5.05. Cloudy. 30. Weather has been cool all day. The snow in a manner is all gone. Paid Mag Moore 35 for wash bill while Eva was in Rossville Ill was 70 c. Yesterday I sent the News a money order for $2. for Wm. Oglesby - 1 yr sub. Four pounds of mince meat 50c . I see that on the 4th of this month I sent in the money order to the News for Oglesby. A new watch chain for Eva cost 41.65 and was sold at cost. It was marked to sell at $3.25.
Thursday March 7 -- $2.70. Cloudy. 32/44 35c Express on laundry. Bought 2 calico dress patterns $1.25. 5 c for a spool of thread. We have had a very disagreeable day. Rained nearly all day. Budy (sic) Kelso has had the worst round with his cheek this afternoon of any time yet. The funeral of Billy Thorn was held today at Old Union Sermon by Elder Cornelius Airheart. Mrs. and Mr. Evans are in town for a couple of days. They lived here 20 years ago.
Friday, March 8 -- $1.45. Cloudy. 43/32. The day has been a little damp. The freeze is not all out yet. Maple sap was not driping very much today and is not as sweet as it was last year. Anderson McMains and wife are at Buddy Kelso's tonight. They heard so much of the suffering they wanted to see him. Oliver McCall gets his dollar regular every week.
Saturday, March 9 - Cloudy. 42. $9.55. Sent Terre Haute Star $1.36 for papers sold last month. Expense 8. The Express on the Laundry is 35 every week. I sometime forget to mention it. Paid 45 for 10 lbs of Buckwheat flour. 25 c for fresh ham at 15 per lb. The News did not get in until after 11 tonight. I delivered all in west part of town.
Sunday March 10 - Cloudy. I went to church with my big woman both before noon and at night. I was not "up town" all day and the visit to Willie's grave was neglected. The ground was covered with snow this morning, before night it has about all melted off. I did not get to bed last night until after one this morning. Had the News to deliver in west part of town.
Monday March 11 -- $5.45. Cloudy. Last Saturday I paid 90 c for 10 gallon of coal oil. Today I sent 2 dollars to The News and paid $1.30 for cow feed. There was rain falling tonight as I went home. The News was 2 hrs later tonight. Paid 20 c to have 2 hatchets ground, one of them for the home and the other for shop. WC Butcher has moved to Lebanon.
Tuesday March 12 -- $.75. Cloudy. This date in 1894 my foster son William F. Pratt died at 20 minutes of 3 in the morning. The day of the week was Sunday. "Keep the fan going" were the last words he spoke. He was resting on his left elbow and was adjusting with his right hand a pillow, under his head. He said he felt sleepy and allowed if he could get a little nap would feel better. My sweet little woman has been dead 19 years and 5 months. Paid 3 c for fresh pork 5c for Eva.
Wednesday March 13 -- $1.95. Cloudy. Sent J. Campbell $5. The Crawfordsville Journal Co 85 c by Charles Williams. Little Willie F. Pratt's body was put in the grave 13 years ago today. My little woman's body was laid away in the cemetery at Fletchers Chapel near Farmersburg Vigo County Ind this date 19 years and 5 months ago. Eva spent the day at her niece Mary Rusks. I was there for dinner. We had a lot of rain last night. Several showers today.
Thursday March 14 - Cloudy. $.75. The big rains last night and the night before has caused another overflow of the Ohio, Wabash and White rivers. The rise was so rapid that people in a few instances was so rapit (?) that scape (?) was impossible. The season for the making Maple Molasses is about over. The Clore brothers have made a little over 200 gal. All were sold.
Friday March 15 -- $2.55. Cloudy. Paid the laundry 5 dollars. Sent it in the Hamper yesterday. Paid 30 cts for a small piece of fresh pork. Breakfast bacon is now selling at 23 cts per pound. Beef steak is worth 15 c a pound Flour is selling from 50 to 65 cts for bags of 24 lbs. I had a talk over the telephone with Mary Dowden She is not 3 years old. I could understand but very little of what she said. (this is probably Mary Ann Dowden daughter of Bert & Nannie Sharp Dowden).
Saturday March 16 -- $8.75. Clear. This was a beautiful day. Sun shone all day. This was the 4th of 5th clear day this year. Paid Mr. Maxwell 43.30 for 3 gal of maple molasses. 60 c for a rib beef roast. 25 for 1 ¼ lbs of cheese. 20 c for a cake of honey. 20 c for a can of pine apple 10 c for 4 small oranges 10c for ½ doz bananas. I had no help today. Have had no supper. 12 o'clock or midnight.
Sunday March 17 - Cloudy. Jim and Mary Alfrey arrived at Buddy Kelso's at 9 o'clock. Eva and I eat dinner with them at Kelso's. We had a fine spread. Eva went with me to church both forenoon and in the evening. The night was real dark and no lamps were lit or lights. I visited little Willie's grave at 5 o'clock this evening. I dreamed of seeing him at work pulling weeds in Bert Kritz's garden.
Monday March 18 - Cloudy. 64. $1.35. Paid Mag Moore 70 c $2 I sent the News $1.75. I sent the Indianapolis Star. There was a goodly number out to the meeting last night. I did not attend tonight. The meeting will continue for 2 or more weeks as the interest may demand. Expense on remittance 8 cts. Bought 11 yds of calico for Eva for 66 cts. The weather is real warm like into summer. Eva rec'd a letter from her niece at Topeka, Kansas.
Tuesday March 19 - Cloudy. 68. $2. Bought 3 large oranges for a dinner. Our apples for winter use are about all gone. The day has been cloudy and real warm. Charles English got a leg broken in a reck (sic) on the old Midland. He was at one time a citizen of our town. Ermins ? Russell returned home yesterday. She is looking better than I ever saw her. I failed to get out to the meeting tonight. My cold is about well for this time.
Wednesday March 20 - Clear. $2.15. Piad 34 c for ten pound packages of Arbuckles Coffee 50 for ½ of Blakei's ? Tea and 15 c for a pound of beef steak. The sun shone a part of the day. The weather was a good deal cooler. This date last year we had a snow about a foot deep. Buddy Kelso was able to appear in the business part of the town yesterday and today. Eva was at Eliza Jarvis' when I went home last night.
Thursday March 21 -- $2.25. This has been a very warm day. We are expecting a rain soon. FN Johnson, his mother and wife returned today. Fount's mother was at her granddaughters Mrs. Bessie Harris Schweitzer at Leesville, Louisiana, FN and wife from San Antonio, Texas. I did not get to go to meeting tonight have not been since last Sunday night. OE Kelly came in tonight. Home by 9 p.m.
Friday March 22 -- $5.50. Clear 68. Paid 15 c for a half pound of chipped dried beef. 10 c for cinnamon bark. Sent The Indianapolis News $16.29. Expense 12 cts including letter postage. Clay Lewis eat dinner at our house today. He was kicked on the left leg by a horse in the livery barn. Could scarcely walk. Yesterday the day and night were each 12 hours long. Our Bob will help in the delivery of groceries for John Holland, commencing in the morning.
Saturday March 23 -- $10.15. Paid 55 c for supplies to ? over Sunday. 55 for a 24 lb bag of flour. 10 c for cinnamon. We had a couple showers of rain after 10 o'clock tonight. The Indianapolis News did not arrive tonight. Paid 25 c for lunch tonight. When I got my work done it was in a manner of 12 or midnight. Mrs. Nancy Jarvis died of poisoning, She was demented.
Sunday March 24 - There was no preaching service in the Methodist Church home today and I went to meeting with my big woman. Tonight I attended meeting at the Methodist Church house. Seen Miss Bertha Ward. She used to live here but now is a citizen of Ill. Miss Emma and Dave Russell were our guests for dinner. I visited little Willie's grave after meeting closed tonight.
Monday March 25 -- $3.05. Paid $1.05 Express on laundry. $4 for 24 cakes of honey as fine as I was eat. 27 bars of Fairbanks Big 4 Soap 90c. A 1 pound butter print 15c. Dues in the IOOF $1.40. Post office box rent for the 3 months ending with June of this year. Mrs. Nancy Jarvis died yesterday and will be buried at Russellville cemetery after the funeral at 2 p.m of tomorrow. Warm nice day.
Tuesday March 26 - Cloudy. 82. $3.215. Paid Mag Moore 35 c. Fount Johnson drove our "Bob" horse to the funeral of Mrs. Jarvis, Eva went with him. Tonight she attended the revival meeting in the Methodist church house. Paid 5 c for a load of light bread. Peach trees will be in full bloom by the last of the week if not overtaken by Jack Frost. Midland train was an hour late tonight. Real warm today.
Wednesday March 27 -- $3. Cloudy 78. Sent the laundry $5. Expense 5c. Herbert Lewis and Olive Moore were married today in Crawfordsville. They were at Jim Alfreys for their dinner. Nancy Kelso his grandmother it badly heart broken over the event. She eat no dinner or supper. There was a nice rain fell early this morning no thunder. I was done work tonight before 9 o'clock. Warm today.
Thursday March 28 -- $3.10. Paid 10 c for half pound of lettuce. 10 for oranges 25 for dried beef 30 per lb. Eva went to the meeting tonight. The sun shone dimly all day. The moon can be seen through a thin vail of clouds. Hebert Lewis was in to see his grandmother today. They were married by Cloyd Hershey in the parlor at Schell's in Crawfordsville. Nancy Kelso will have a mess of greens for her dinner tomorrow.
Friday March 29 -- $2.50. Paid a dollar for a window curtain stretcher. Mercury went down to 64 late this evening. When I went home my lady had a fire in the heating stove. We had a mess of weeds for dinner. Nancy Kelso gave us of what she had cooked. Sant Moody has bought a phonograph with ten records. It talks, sings and gives Instrumental Music. Paid 20 c for ice cream last night. Had no chance to go to meeting.
Saturday March 30 -- $10.15. Cloudy. 60. Sent the Crawfordsville Jouranl $1.10. Expense 5. Beets in a can 10. Pineapple 20. Cheese 38 at 30 a pound. 2 lbs of prunes 25. New onions 05. 3 oranges 10. Beef roast 20. Sliced green ham 20. The Sun shone dimly through a vale of clouds. There is going to be a new house of worship built by the Methodist pf Browns Valley this summer a class of 33 has been organized. JS Fullenwider is one of them, a Presbyterian.
Sunday March 31 -Eva went to church with meat both morning and evening.. Cloudy 32. I made accustomed visit Willie's grave at 11 o'clock. The Protracted meeting closed with tonights services. Four united with the society. 3 by letter and one little girl on probation. At bed time Mercury was 26. It seems to me that the peach and other small fruit now in bloom will be destroyed by the cold weather.