Oddly enough, my quest to find out the owner of the 1888 journal began with a brief review of the back of the journal. There I found quite a few memorandum pages with notes and other tidbits. On one of the pages an embossed stamp with “Lenox Grange P&H of Ashtabula County, Ohio” was imprinted. At some point, the writer was in Ashtabula County, Ohio. Perhaps this is where he lived.
I searched for a Lenox Grange company and couldn’t locate one. However, I did find a small town named Lenox in Ashtabula county. In his January writings, he often went to Jefferson with his mom and dad. Jefferson Ohio is also located in Ashtabula county and is not too far from Lenox. I am quite sure that this is where the writer is living. `
Our mystery man starts 1888 with $15.08 cash on hand. According to a calculator online, that is about $423.00 in today’s worth. He notes that on New Year’s day that he went to Sunday School and started the week of prayer.
He attends”meetings” at various churches most nights. During his days, he spends lots of time helping his father out with various jobs. Some of these jobs included shorting sucker rods and gathering wood.
He lives with this mother and father. He talks a great deal about an Elvin. On Jan. 2nd, he goes to the school house to skate with Elvin. He also worked for Elvin in the saw mill to cover for Elvin while Elvin went to Pennsylvania. He also mentions Gertie and Nettie quite a few times. I believe these might be sisters.
He attends several events throughout the month including a wood bee(?) and a taffy pull. He also takes several sleigh rides and attends a couple of parties. But for the most part, he spends time working, reading, writing letters and visiting the post office to check his mail.
I’ve transcribed each day below. Words I am unsure of are in brackets.
January 1– I went to the meeting and Sunday School in the morning. In the evening began the first of the week of prayer. Had a very interesting meeting. Weather still very mild.
January 2– in the morning went into the woods and helped father cut some oak logs on Laughertys and Barnes. I also helped to sort rods. After lunch cleaned my little saw and filed it. Picked four chickens. Went out after the mail. In the evening went to meeting. After which Elvin and I went down to the school house to skate.
January 3-Found a slight snow on the ground in the morning. Some more fell during the day. Went to the wood bee for the church at McNutt’s. Played sexton in the evening as Birny had gone to Jefferson. Had a splendid meeting although not many were there.
January 4– We had a lot of company today and I was hired just as we could not get any other. Mr. and Ms. Reed, Mr. and Mrs. Webster, Mr. and Mrs. Kaffer, Mrs. Libby Carpenter. Ms. Reyes Robinson and all the French‘s were here. Escorted Miss Libby to meeting in the evening. Had a very good meeting. Weather deteriorated and rained some into the evening.
January 5– Got up at half past seven a.m. Went over to the French’s with Frankie in the morning and read. In the afternoon read and helped swell down logs. In the evening we all went to meeting. There was not many out although it was a fun meeting.
Jan 6– Got up at half past six. Ate breakfast at eight. Went to the mill to work in Elvin’s place while he was going to Pennsylvania. The water came up in the wells so that we could work out half a day. Rained a bunch all day. And the evening went to meeting. Received a letter from Jesse Scott.
January 7– Arose at 7:30. Went over to Netties to see if she was going to Ashtabula. Came home and hitched up. went up town and got two teeth filled and all cleaned. Each $2.75. ($84 in today’s money). Brought home two crates of oysters. Which we had in the evening. Benny and Maddie were here.
January 8– Arose at 8 o’clock. Shaved and got ready for church. Attended church and Sunday school. Collection taken up for A. Kerns, Miss Joe. In the afternoon wrote to the postmaster at Benua Vista and to Old Book publishing. In the evening went to meeting. Was not many out.
January 9– After breakfast took the clothes over to Mrs. Williams. Then took some letters over to mail. Then father and I went down and repaired the town pump. In the afternoon piled up rods. In the evening went out to the Methodist meetings.
January 10– In the morning went up to the mill and helped load up three loads of oak. And helped each when we came back in the afternoon. Loaded up again so to be ready in the morning. Went up to the center to meeting in the evening. Weather very cold and strong snowing and blowing.
January 11-Father and I drove up to Jefferson in the morning. Took the preacher up with us. We loaded three loads of oak. Got back at 12:36 noon. Did not get out again in the afternoon. But loaded up the teams. Weather was very cold and blowing all day. Did not get out in the evening.
January 12– In the morning father and I drove up to Jefferson and finished loading the car of oak. Mr. Ward helped me. Stayed at house in the afternoon. Wind got around in the south and weather begin to moderate.
January 13– Started down to New Lyme at 9 o’clock in a sleigh. Found the roads very muddy but got there all right. Got my book that Frankie had and brought them Home. Had to walk most of the way back. Weather very mild but colder towards the evening. B. B. B. came by mail. Went to meeting at the Methodist in the evening.
January 14– In the morning went and notified the […] boys and Mr. Ward that they were wanted to draw […] more days. Got the clothes on the way home. Then handled sucker rods the rest of the day. In the evening went to choir meeting. Also took a bath. A beautiful day.
January 15– In the morning went up with three loads of sucker rods and loaded a car. I then went to church in the morning and Sunday school. Elvin and I went to the Methodist in the evening.
January 16-Loaded sucker rods at Jefferson in the morning. In the afternoon loaded three loads of connecting rods. Went to the meeting in the evening.
January 17– In the morning Father went over to Dorset to load ship timbers. I culled a load of sucker rods and George helped and took them up about 11 o’clock. Had to wait an hour at the depot. An hour before could get the S. Bill. F. did not load my timbers. It was so icy. Went to meeting in the evening. Got letter from Buena Vista.
January 18– Stayed at house all day except to go to the P. O. for the mail in the afternoon. Father went down to Sandy Lake in the morning and intended to come back in the evening but did not for some cause. Could not get to meeting in the evening for mother would be all alone.
January 19– Stayed at the house all day and kept the green wood a blaze in the big stove. Father did not get home with until noon. Had to stay all night at Sandy Lake. Weather is moderate and sleighing good. Did not get out in the evening at all.
January 20– Stayed in the house most all day. Mother went up to Jefferson in the morning to have some teeth filled. Father went with her. In the afternoon the children went over to Nettie’s and I went over to the P. O. after the mail. Stayed in house house in the evening.
January 21– In the morning F. went to Sheffield to buy hickory timber but did not find anything suitable. I went over to the courier in the afternoon. Got a letter from Gertie but no money although strong […]. Went up to a taffy pull at Kateclear in the evening had a good time. Went alone.
January 22– Arose […] in the morning and went to meetings. Also to Sunday school. Came home and started to write a letter to Gertie but did not finish it. Mother and I went to a meeting at the [….] in the evening
January 23– Got up with a hard headache. Father went over to Rock Creek and mother to aunt Betsy’s leaving us children all alone. Lula and I picked over the apples. In the evening mother and I went to a meeting at the Methodist.
January 24– In the morning took a post all over to the P. O. Peeled and cord apples the rest of the forenoon. After dinner went over to Dorset to see if the cars had came for the ship timbers. Then went to Mr. Schillenger to look at some hickory. Only three trees any good. Went to meeting in the evening.
January 25– Stayed at home in the morning. In the afternoon went over to Dorset again to see about the car. Found that they had came. Went to meeting. Calhoun had a racket with Caleb Chapin for speaking with his girl.
January 26– Got up at 5 o’clock and got ready and went over to Dorset to load the heavy timbers. we successfully loaded five of them leaving two to be loaded the next day. Was a terrible day. Snowing very hard some of the time. I went to the courier for the mail in the evening.
January 27– Went over to Dorset and finished loading the timbers in the morning. Got home at 2:30 PM. In the evening mother and I went to meeting. Got a letter from Charlie Darrow.
January 28– Stayed home all day. Did a little reading. Nettie came over a little while in the afternoon. I went home with her in the evening. The edifice of the moon occurred bright and it was a grand spectacle. The moon rose calais red so we did not see the finish of it.
January 29– Shaved and went to a meeting in the morning. Did not stay to S. S. In the evening went over to the Methodist. Weather was quite mild compared with what has been.
January 30– Father and I went down and went over the barber lot looking after Ash. Did not find any of any importance. In the afternoon went over for the mail. Got the French sister Popular Monthly that Charlie sent. Went to Lottie’s a short time before meeting. Mother and I went to meeting.
January 31– Did not do much. Talked up sleigh ride and party with Elvin. Went to meeting in the evening and got Mr. Moore to take a sled load of young people down to New Lyme. We then went up to Mr Websters in house there was a party from N.L. Did not succeed in finding enough young folks to make a load.