May 1889

Wednesday, May 1, 1889

Pleasant but windy. Mother did washing and made bread. Sewed on Henry’s new waist that I cut last week.

Prescott stayed at home to help in the saw-mill. Men are sawing out shingle.

Rec’d letters from Aunt Susie, Florence, Cousin Anna and Mrs. James Clapp they all came with mothers. She and father are taking care of old Mr. Ellenwood who has just had his arm taken off just below the elbow – he is not getting along very well.

Thursday, May 2, 1889  

Men sawing wood – had a man to help. Prescott can run things in the engine room all alone – he stayed down there until 4 o’c – then he had to give up and come to the house. Did ironing. We churned & worked butter – had 13 lbs.

Friday, May 3, 1889

Rainy this morn. Prescott went to school today – the girls have not been this week.

Mother made doughnuts and cake. I ironed fine clothes. Finished Henry’s waist.

Saturday, May 4, 1889

Henry has a hard cold.

Sunday, May 5, 1889

Very pleasant. Frank, Grandpa and the three older children went to church. Frank & Pease went down tonight.

Henry is most sick with his cold.

Monday, May 6, 1889

Mother has done a large washing – heavy flannels etc. to put away for the summer.

Warner Tilden here – mother helped pack things.

Tuesday, May 7, 1889

Pleasant and hot. We cleaned the sitting room.

Rec’d letter from Aunt Susan Miller, wrote one to her and to mother

Wednesday, May 8, 1889   

Pleasant and very warm. We ironed, made bread and churned.

Men finished sawing their wood. Mr. Cooper here tonight.

J. Howard Pease is 23 yrs. old today.

Thursday, May 9, 1889

Very pleasant. Merc. up to 84⁰ in the shade. We have been fixing mother’s silk dress. Henry is better today: he went with Susie & I to call on Mrs. Billings – had a very pleasant visit.

F. cleaned out the cellar.

Took Chesterfield cow off.

Friday, May 10, 1889   

Warm – Thunder shower this P.M.

Grandpa, Grandma & Prescott went to Florence and Northampton – Prescott has a new suit of clothes with hat. Susie has a new bonnet etc. Grandpa looked at a carriage for us.

I cleaned the floors, cellar stairs & corner closet.

Saturday, May 11, 1889

Showers. Grandpa and Frank left home at 6 o’c  A.M.  – carried the butter to Mr. Cutler’s store, then went to Grave’s Livery Stable and looked at a carry-all which they bought for $50. It is in good order but has been run a few years.

Mother made bread and mince pies. I fussed around about as usual.


A carryall was a type of horse-drawn carriage. There’s a picture of one on this Wheaton College webpage:

Sunday, May 12, 1889    

Warm and pleasant. We have all been to church except Grandma – Susie behaved like a lady. It seemed good to ride in such a comfortable carriage – I am surely thankful for it.

Mr. Snyder is to be installed next Wednesday. Mr. Reed of Haydenville preached from Heb. 10.10. Frank did not go this eve. J. H. Pease went.

Apple trees in full bloom – pears & cherries gone by – people begin to ride past to see the sight.

Monday, May 13, 1889  

Pleasant not quite as warm. We had a large wash.

Heavy rain this evening – Frank and Pease went up to Mr. Hiram Nash’s this eve.

Tuesday, May 14, 1889    

Showery. We did our ironing, & churned. Cut out some dresses for Emma & Mattie – nearly finished the skirts.

Grandpa and Grandma were married 15 yrs. ago today. They were married at his sisters in Northampton – by Mr. Richards the M.E. minister.

Men fixed hog yard front of mill.

Wednesday, May 15, 1889   

Very warm and pleasant. Grandma did not feel able to go down to the ch. with us. Father, Mother and Arthur came over and are here tonight.

Mr. Snyder was installed today. Services commenced at 10 o’c this morn. We went to the 2 o’c meeting. Prof. Mather of Amherst preached the sermon. Rev. Mr. Clarke of Northampton the installing prayer. Mr. J. F. Gleason the opening prayer. Rev. Mr. Woods of Hatfield the charge to the Pastor, Mr. Cobb of Florence the charge to the people, Rev. C. O. Day the Right hand –of-Fellowship.

The exercises were all very interesting. Prof. M’s text was from Luke 2-49” “How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business.”

The church was well filled with interested people. We had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Day and Mr. Gleason. Mr. G. had on a wig to cover his bald head.

Fifteen years ago tonight Father, Mother, Willie and I came up here to spend the eve. in honor of the wedding which had taken place.


Prof. Richard Henry Mather was a professor of Greek at Amherst College. He died about a year after this journal entry.

In a 1918 announcement about J. F. Gleason’s pastoral retirement, the Amherst Graduates’ Quarterly provided a quick biographical sketch, which mentions Gleason’s service during the Civil War, where he was in the battles of Wilderness and Gettysburg. “It was told of him that he enlisted while visiting a village as a member of a glee club”.

Thursday, May 16, 1889

Cloudy this morn but pleasant before noon. We spent most of the forenoon visiting with father and mother.

Spent the rest of the time sewing on girls dresses.

Mrs. Billings and her little girl called here yesterday. Frank took them with mother Williams and went to ride around the square.

Today is the 15” anniversary of the Mill River flood.

Friday, May 17, 1889   

Pleasant. Mother made doughnuts and cake. Susie has a hard cold.

Saturday, May 18, 1889

Pleasant. Men planted potatoes, corn and beans.

I finished the girls dresses this P.M.

Mr. Cooper’s family came to Mrs. Wheelers Wed. night.

Grandma made bread and pies. She had another poor turn at 10 ½  o’c this morn. She fell but the table broke the force of it so that her head was not injured as badly as it was before.

Sunday, May 19, 1889  

Warm and pleasant. Pease, Emma & Grandpa stayed at home with mother.

Her head has distressed her today.

Mr. Snyder’s text was from Phil. 1-6 ‘I have you in my heart.” A very interesting and touching sermon. He closed his sermon by saying I am yours for Christ’s sake.

Frank and Pease went down this eve.

Monday, May 20, 1889

A very rainy night and day. Children all went to school. Susie does not get over her cold very fast. Emma coughs too.

Grandma has felt a little better today.

We churned but did not work the butter.

Wednesday, May 22, 1889

Pleasant. We had a large washing.

Mother, Henry Susie and went down to Mr. Billings’s.

Thursday, May 23, 1889    

Pleasant. Frank went to New York. Left here on the 5.45 train.

Rev. Mr. Bragg called this evening. He is the new Methodist minister. Pease went down to the sociable held by the C. E. Society. The young people gave Mr. Snyder a revolving book case – he was very much surprised to receive such a present.

Friday, May 24, 1889

Pleasant. Pease drawing flour bls. from the depot. Rec’d telegram saying that Frank will not get home until tomorrow night. Mother washed the kitchen windows.

Saturday, May 25, 1889

Pleasant – cooler. Frank came on the last train – Grandpa went down after him.

Pease’s brother Ed. came this noon. They went to the village this eve. Finished a pair of pants for Henry.

Sunday, May 26, 1889  

Rainy. Frank went to ch. The boys all went this eve.

Monday, May 27, 1889  

Rainy. The Pease bros. went to Northampton. Howard had his teeth filled. They both had their pictures taken.

Father and mother were married 32 yrs. ago today, by Rev. F. F. Perkins who was the minister here in town at that time.

Pease brought mother W. her ann’y present – a standard napkin ring very handsome one.

Cut out a turkey red dress for Susie.

Tuesday, May 28, 1889

Showery. Men have been up on the side hill planting.

Prescott picked a qt. of ripe strawberries up next to Aunt Fannie’s garden. Grandma and the children had enough for their supper.

Pease’s bro. went home this P.M.

Men drove the sheep down tonight.

Wednesday, May 29, 1889    

Cooler. Mr. W. Sears came down from Goshen arrived here at 6 o’c this morn; he reports a heavy frost up on the hills – it was cold enough to freeze the dirt quite solid.

We have done our washing had a nice cool time. Mother stirred cream so as to have some fresh butter.

Mr. Sears sheared 43 sheep today and drove home to Goshen.

Mr. Snyder and family all called here this P.M. We had a real nice visit. They were very much interested in sheep shearing as they had never seen it done before.

Blanche Cooper called it shearing off the feathers.

Mrs. Cooper called.

Rec’d card from mother saying that Ed. has a boy that was born last Tues. morn. Ma sent the “Electric Belt” to Mother W.


I found an entry about the electric belt on this website called Museum of Quackery.

FOR NERVOUS DISEASES of all kinds in men and women, to reach the nerve centers for the cure of all nervous disorders the Heidelberg Electric Belt stands alone.  For weakness in men and women, personal exhaustion bringing back lost strength and power, over brain work, vital , impotency, rheumatism, sciatica, lame back, railroad back, insomnia, melancholia, kidney disorder, Bright’s disease, dyspepsia, disorders of the liver, female weakness, poor circulation, weak heart action and almost every known disease and weakness. The constant soothing alternating electric current is ever at worktouching the weak spots, building up the system, stimulating the circulation. ALL THAT ELECTRICITY WILL DO FOR YOU WILL BE RECEIVED through the use of our electric belt.”

Thursday, May 30, 1889    

Decoration Day. Pleasant this morn but commenced to rain before noon. Men put sheep on the hill – Grandpa carried wool to Conway. He sold it for .22 per lb. it came to $55.00.

Quinces are all set on the trees. Apples are ½ in. in diameter grass is so forward that it is lodging down in some places.

A most remarkable season.

Our dutcia & wegelia bushes are in full bloom and the prim roses are opening.

Friday, May 31, 1889     

Very rainy day. Men at work up to Aunt Fannies and down to the mill. I cleaned girls room and part of the front entree. Mother finished cleaning the kitchen – I put up the clean curtains. Finished mending – also Susie’s red dress. Grandpa went to the village to get iron fixed to handle barbed wire.

Prescott has not been able to go to school at all this week – think he would feel better if we could have clear weather.

The big summer hotel in Montgomery was struck by lightning and burned last Friday night (a week ago tonight). The building was nearly ready to be occupied. The loss will be keenly felt by all those interested – they hope it may be rebuilt in season to be used a yr. from now.


The owner of the hotel-in-progress was a A. M. Butterfield. Butterfield later went to court with the contractor that built the hotel. From what I understand of the court ruling, Butterfield lost and also it sounds like he did not end up rebuilding the hotel: