NOVEMBER 1903 - 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
Sunday Nov 1 - This morning it was after 8 before I got started for Greencastle. It was half past one when I put Bob in the livery barn for his dinner. I eat at Ms. Fannie Wall's. She is a daughter of Mr. James Alspaugh. We started home at 3:30 on the way home we stoped at Mr. Nugents and his daughter Perle gave us all the good sweet cider we could drink. Stoped at Turner Grimes Home at 8:30.
Monday Nov 2-- $7.80. Paid express charges on the laundry 35. To the AOUW $3.84. Tom Deers wife was buried at old Union yesterday. (note this is Edna Canine Deere 19 Oct 1852 - 30 Oct 1903). Mercury was up to 62 at 7 o'clock tonight. Paid 5 c for nails and worked an hour in repairing the fense (sic) to keep Bob in the lot assigned to him. There was 16 killed in the railroad wreck at Indianapolis, 51 injured.
Tuesday Nov 3 -- $1.40. I sent the Crawfordsville Journal $3.13 fee 5c. Sent a one dollar note to the Curtis Publishing Co of Philadelphia Penn for papers. Sent the Evening New of Indianapolis $9.94. Expense 8c stamps 20. I sent Eva another letter. She will be home one week from today. Two weeks ago she started on her visit to Okmulgee IT.
Wednesday Nov 4-- $3.85. Sent 50 c worth of lard to Mrs Jennie Hanna. A card today from Eva's niece Mrs. Myrtle Anderson said Eva would start home Thursday of this week on the noon train. I will look for her Friday at 2:21 p.m. Will be glad to see her. She will make home look a good deal nicer than it does. Warm today. Rained.
Thursday Nov 5 -- $2.90. Paid 20 for a pumpkin and a squash. $1 for 18 lbs of granulated sugar 80 c for a gallon tin bucket of lard. I live in hopes that Eva will be at home in good time for supper. She is on the road now (9 pm) I got John McMains to do some clearing up about the house this afternoon. The weather is getting cooler. A little rain fell this forenoon. Dave Canine will be buried tomorrow. (Note: this is David Alexander Canine 8 June 1866 - 4 Nov 1903 son of William Ralph and Margaret Ann McCord Canine).
Friday Nov 6 -- $4 yesterday. I sent the laundry $4. Today I paid 10 c for a half pint of Vermont Maple molasses 20 for 5# of sweet potatoes. 35 for a peck of apples to eat. Eva returned at 3 p.m. the train was half hour late from St. Louis and our train waited else she would have got here at 6 this evening. She was sick all the way never eat a bite of anything. She thinks she never will take another as long a trip by rail. Cooler.
Saturday Nov 7 -- $8.25. Paid $3.75 for 3 cord of Millwood. Sent Hubert Loudermill out to the Deer's Mill for bran. Got 5 2 bu bags of bran for $2.80. A qt bottle of Maple Molasses 25. Admission to the pie supper10. It was given by the women of the Methodist Society in the armory of the Knights of Pythias Hall. As I went to go out I chanced to see Eva. She was with Jennie Hasimar ? Hanna? . Pie and cake with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.
Sunday Nov 8 - I went to church this morning with Eva. After meeting was over I went to the restaurant and got a quart of oyster 40. 1 ½ pounds of crackers for 15. Before church time Sam and Bob McMains came in. We stoped at Alfreys on the way to church. I attended services at the Baptist Church house and heard the pastor TC Smith for the first time. The weather is very fine.
Monday Nov 9 -- $2.40. Paid $4.90 for 20 gal of gass @ 13 and 20 c of oil at 11 ½. Paid 41 for a couple of large tisue (sic) paper rosettes for fly roosts in summer time. I got them at half price. The artist wanted to put up a sample to let others see the design and assist him in getting other work. Mine was the only work he got to do. Sam and Bob went down to Judson this forenoon. Sam is at Alfreys tonight.
Tuesday Nov 10 -- $1.60. Paid 20 c for a beef steak and 5 c for a loaf of bread. Yesterday I sent the Sentinel a 6 month subscription for JJ Canine 78. Sam McMains was at our table for supper and will remain until this morning. The weather is continuing very fine. Farmers are cribbin their corn. J. DeWitt Fischer is putting a concrete foundation under his new house. Cellar is walled same as foundation.
Wednesday Nov 11 -- $2.00. An easy rain began to fall last night before I went home. Several times during the day it rained a little. Snow was seen falling late this evening. The days are getting short very fast. Street lamps are lighted before 5 o'clock. Sam McMains eat dinner with us (Eva and I) to night he is at Alfrey's. My pension check for #6 came in today. It is just like finding this much money.
Thursday Nov 12 -- $2.65. The rain has stoped and there is no cold weather yet. Sam McMains is over at Buddy Kelso's tonight. He took "Bob" and the buggy. I bought a peck of apples to eat for 30c. Paid telephone rent and 1 talk $1.10. State and county tax $5.97 fee 25 c. Frank Belton returned from Oregon this a.m. His wife is bad sick not expected to live. Tom Rice came home also.
Friday Nov 13 -- $1.30. Paid 25 c for fresh pork. Snow fell today but it did not make a showing on the ground. Eva sent a letter to her sister Almira Petty. Sam McMains returned from Kelsos this evening. He attended the administrators sale at the late residence of Clay Jarvis deceased. Mrs. Frank Belton is yet alive, no perceptible change for two days.
Saturday Nov 14 -- $8.55. Paid 15 c for an oyster stew and to Oliver McCall 50c. 15 for a box of 13 bottons with locks. A new device no needle or thread used. The agent said he had been selling buttons for 16 years. He is a great chicker (sic) player. Paid 25 for 2 ½ lbs of Rice. Mrs. Belton is reported a little better. Life is despaired of - a little bit cooler all day.
Sunday Nov 15 - Eva and I attended Quarterly meeting at Russellville this forenoon. We dined at Jim McMain's and were at home and all the evening work done up and ready for company by 6:30 Jim and Mary, John and his daughter Jennie come in at set with us until bedtime. For pass time we eat hickory nuts. I have not visited Willie's grave for 2 Sundays. Too bad.
Monday Nov 16 -- $1.30. Paid 20 c for two dippers 25 for 3 10 c cans of Chapmans Chicago Yeast Baking powders. Yesterday the weather began turning cooler. Today we have had a dark drizzly day. Had to light the lamp at 20 minutes after 4. The oil man was to see me today. I paid him $5.45. I gave $3 on church expense.
Tuesday Nov 17 -- $4.85. The papers in their weather report say a cold wane has started this way. I am prepared. Have a nice warm shop and 2 ton of coal and wood. Rec'd a letter from Sister Maggie V. Pratt of Ottumwa, Iowa. She is yet in the hotel and restaurant business, would sell it if she could find a cash buyer. I think she is doing well. Her daughter Alice is married since July. (Note: She married Ernest Hugh Ferguson 1 July 1903 in Ottumwa).
Wednesday Nov 18 -- $4.50. Paid 25 c for 3 6-oz cans of ___ I see a note was made of the test Monday. Paid 20 c for a gallon of vinegar Mercury at 7 o'clock this morning 13 degrees above zero. It has been cold all day. I am thinking quite strong of putting up my coal stove as the grate seems insufficient to keep the room as warm as it aught to be. Last Monday I paid $5.45 for 45 gallon of oil. My feet hurt me very much
Thursday Nov 19 -- $4.55. Frank Kritz has been sending his laundry customers to me for 3 weeks. I give him the commission I get (40 percent) and he pays a part of the freight. The ex now is 35c every week for anything under 50 pounds. Mercury was 10 degrees above zero this morning at 7 o'clock. Bro Ed's son Harry is married and lives in Oregon, Ks is getting $21 a week for his labor. I don't know what it is he is doing.
Friday Nov 20 -- $1.03. Durham & Harbison delivered to me 12 bushel of apples some are badly frozen. I don't want to pay for unsound apples. The weather is gradually turning warmer at sundown tonight it was barely cold enough to freeze. Eva has been very busy today in preparing for settled winter weather. Mrs. Dowden was (Lewis) buried today.
Saturday Nov 21 - $7.15. Paid 10 c for a bottle of crown shoe polish 5 c for a lunch of cheese and crackers. I received a letter from William Reed of hat Spring, South Dacota (sic). I have not seen him since the war. We were school mates in 1860. I have not had time to read the entire letter. He refers to many things I had forgot. Mr. Duncan our teacher he sees quite frequently. We were done work by 10:30 p.m.
Sunday Nov 22 - This has been a beautiful day, like a cool day in ? summer time. Miss Sadie Barton and I went over to Russellville to meeting. We took Julia Johnson a 3-year-old daughter of Frank and Nina Johnson's. We got back home by half past 12. Eva had a good dinner prepared. Miss Ethel Gilkison was a guest at the dinner table.
Monday Nov 23 -- $1.85. Paid Mag Moore 45 c for the washing. The extra 10 c was for the washing of a pair of pants for H.A. Pratt. Paid $5.45 for oil last Monday and today nothing did not need the oil. The weather is as fair as could be asked. Richard Garland came in this morning from Texas to see his sister Mrs. Belton.
Tuesday Nov 24 -- $1.50. Eva was over to her sister Nancy Kelso's today. While there she prepared a turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner. Its weight was 16 # cost 11 cts a pound $1.71. Sent $1.40 to Chicago American. To the Crawfordsville Journal last week $1.52. Nice weather
Wednesday Nov 25 -- $1.85. Put a five dollar bill in EE Moorman's laundry package for the laundry. Colder weather now and a snow promised for tomorrow. The Apples delivered to me were badly frozen. Paid 55 c for a half bushel of potatoes. 25 c for a half gal of cranberries. 20 c for 2# of pork. 50 c to see the Ideal Entertainers.
Thursday Nov 26 -- $3.15. Paid 20 c for bread, 40 c for celery. Had to send to Crawfordsville for it. 25 c for crackers. Eva has sister Mary and their niece Mary Lewis Kelso put up a splendid dinner. Thanksgiving Sam McMain's Anderson McMains and daughter Elsie, Bob McMains, wife and daughter "Aunt" Nan Alfrey of Crawfordsville, Sarah Catherine McMains of Russellville Jennie Hanna and son Raymond, Herbert and Clay Lewis. John McMains and Jim Alfrey were our dinner party ?
Friday Nov 27 -- $3.15. Paid Charlie Jones $10.60. Five of it was for a 100 pounds of sugar. John R. Canine $1.45. Henderson Olliver $13.70 for coal put in the bin at home. The 12 bushel of apples cost $8. I got a dollar off on the account of some of them were badly frozen. Bob McMains is at our house tonight. He left his mare in and case since the morning of the 26th weather is threatening snow.
Saturday Nov 28 -- $2.99. Sent the Crawfordsville Journal $1.55. The Record-herald $2.99. The Cincinnati News $10 expense 22c. A bunch of 25 stamps envelopes 53. Fresh pork 20. Snow commenced falling by 8:30. The ground was covered 9 o'clock. Farmers are more nearly up with their winters work than last year some are through with corn husking and shredding of the fodder. Buck wheat 45 c.
Sunday Nov 29 - At the usual hour for church. I was present but before going into the house. Visited Willie's grave. Snowed nearly all day one had hard snow storm in the afternoon. There were 60- persons attended the Methodist Church at the service tonight at 7 o'clock. The snow clouds have passed away and the moon was shining bright as I went home from meeting.
Monday Nov 30 -- $2.50. Paid Wilson Lee 50 on last Saturday night for delivering papers throughout the week. Paid 35 ct ex on laundry, washing the weeks wearing apparel 35. I have been giving Eva $1 every Monday since her return from Ocmulgee. She will save it for the Worlds Fair at St. Louis next year. Snowed a little.