Saturday, July 4, 2015

2015 June 29, Amanuensis Monday: J.P.McPherson's Diary, September 1, 1851 through November 1, 1851

September and October (and the first day of November) of 1851 were busy times for James P. McPherson.  Harvesting, haying, and thrashing for neighbors as well as for himself comprised about one-half of the entries.  He also described an incident when he was husking corn for Mr. Lester and fell across the tumbling rod, got caught by the coupling pin and was carried around the roll two or three times.  J.P. wrote that he escaped with only bruises, though it sounded like the tops of his pants and drawers might have suffered damage.

J.P. did, however, have his priorities.  The next day, October 7th, there was no mention of the accident, but he did note that there was “no paper.” As you might remember that he ordered the newspaper, Wisconsin Argus, on September 20th. Newspapers had long been important to McPherson and it worth noting that his order of the newspaper subscription was the first non-necessity item that was noted in the diary.
In conjunction with the interest in the news of the day, McPherson's involvement in the village politics was becoming apparent.  On September 29th, he was appointed Town Clerk, Pro Tem by M.L. Curtis, Clerk of Election. The next day, he commenced his appointment by tracking down the “town box.” J.P. posted a notice of a General Meeting and Special Election for the town of Springdale on October 18th and the meeting was held on the next day. Then on October 30th J.P. was visited by the Hon, Mr. Bird, with whom he had been in correspondence over the past year. It is not clear why McPherson contacted the Hon. A.A. Bird, nor the content of their subsequent letters, but it does seem to be important, whether the reason was political or business related. Hopefully, future entries will provide more clues.

During this period, J. P. “bot. a red heifer for $11,” to add to their two pigs from Mrs. Thomson and he went to the John Beats house raising. The major endeavor of the last 10 days in October was raising and hauling stone, and then building the chimney for their cabin. When I read this series of entries about the fireplace and chimney, I realized that the McPherson family had spent the first year in 15' x15' log cabin with only means of cooking and heat had been a fire in a pit in the dirt floor.
That realization made the winter storm when the thatch roof blow off even more harrowing for the family. They really had to be strong and determined to hew out a home on that western frontier.
As usual, McPherson was actively corresponding with friends and other persons. Apparently he was trying to convince Ann Adamson and John Brown, both in New York, to move to Wisconsin because he sent Statistics of Dane County to each of them at least once, and possibly twice. He also wrote to the Land Office, as well as Mr. Crawford, S. Westwood, R. Brand and A. A. Bird. Hopefully, as the diary unfolds we well find out the relationship between McPherson and these folks.

The last item of interest, at least to me, is the Sunday activities of the McPherson family. The day appears to be set aside for family and visits to and from neighbors. Only once did J.P. note that a couple came visiting, i.e., Mr. and Mrs. Jackman. It also appears that Mary did not accompany J.P. on his visits with neighbors, nor is there an indication whether Mary attended the funeral for the Christian Morich's child. The diary tells the reader much, but leaves so many questions unanswered.

Journal Entries for 
September 1, 1851 through November 1, 1851

Sept      1st   Mon     Forenoon howing. Afternoon at Messers.Childs & Wrights. Bot Red Heifer for $11.  
   "       2nd  Tues.
   "       3rd   Wed.    Mowing.
   "       4th  Thurs.       DO
   "       5th   Fri.      Raining. Posted letter to R. Brand.
   "       6th   Sat.      Mowing in the forenoon for Mr. Anderson.
   "       7th   Sun.     At home – not very much. Had calls from J McDonald and G. Davidison.
   "       8th   Mon     Making Hay
   "       9th   Tues.       DO     DO
   "      10th   Wed.      DO    DO
   "      11th   Thurs.    DO    Do  and thashing half-a-day with A. Davidson
    "      12th   Fri.     Thrashing for A. Davidson.
   "      13th   Sat.           "         "    "      "
   "      14th   Sun.  At Lesters and Bairds.
   "      15th   Mon.  Hauling my hay forenoon – Mr. Andersons with Mr. Bairds team and waggon.
   "      16th  Tues.    At Patons and fixing fence.
   "      17th  ed.    Making hay for Mr Anderson. Recd letter from R. Grant. 
   "      18th  Thurs  At Mr. Wrights, Davidson and LaMonts.
   "      19th  Fri.     Mowing forenoon. Raining afternoon. Posted letter to S. Westwood.
   "     20th   Sat.    At Madison. Ordered “W. Argus”.
   "     21st   Sun     Raining. At Lesters in the morning. Mary sick.
   "     22nd  Mon.   Raining. Mary still sick.
   "     23rd  Tues    Fixed Chicken House. Mary better.
   "     24th  Wed.   Cutting Corn.
   "     25th  Thurs   DO    DO forenoon. Hauling hay for Mr.Anderson P.M.
   "     26th  Fri.     Raining. At home.
   "     27th  Sat.     Thrashing for Mr. Paton.
   "     28th  Sun.    At Messers. Bairds and Beats.
   "     29th  Mon.   At M.L. Curtis' – Clerk of Election. Appointed T.C.ProTem.
   "     30th  Tues.   Went to Mr. A. Whytes; to get town box & from Mr. Munger. Got them at Mr. Whalleys. Afternoon hauling hay with Mr. Lester.
Octr     1st  Wed     Digging potatoes forenoon – thrashing for Mr. Cummings afternoon. Mr. Anderson went to the Cat Fish. Recd letters from John Brown & R. Brand.
   "      2nd Thurs.  Thrashing for Mr. Cummings.
   "      3rd  Fri.           Do        "   "       "
   "      4th  Sat.           Do        "   "       "  ¾ of the day Mr. Anderson 
   "     5th  Sun.     At Mr. Childs with Mr. Anderson for his steers. Visited by Messers. Brown & Findley, and Mr. and Mrs. Jackman.
   "    6th  Mon.    Husking and hauling my corn.
   "    7th  Tues.     Husking for Mr. Lester – in the afternoon fell across the tumbling rod – got caught by the coupling pin and was carried around the roll 2 or 3 times. Escaped with bruises on my legs and side and the tops of my pants & drawers.
   "    8th  Wed.    Husking corn. No paper.
   "    9th  Thurs.      Do      Do
   "   10th  Fri.    Thrashing for Mr. Anderson and Self. Had 6 ½ bushels of wheat. Posted letters to J. Brown, M Crawford and Land Office.
   "   11th  Sat.    Thrashing for Mr. Anderson til 10 o'clock. Husking corn.
   "   12th  Sun.   At Mr. Jackmans.
   "   13th  Mon.  Walked to Madison with John Eadie. Rode back to Flicks with John Thornton. John Beats house raised.
    "   14th  Tues.   Husking corn.
   "   15th  Wed.       Do      Do   and lifted the balance of my potatoes.
   "   16th  Thurs.  Mary at Mr. Stewarts. Thrashing for Mr. Lamonth from 3 o'clock.
   "   17th  Fri.     Thrashing for Mr. Lamont til 3 o'clock. Posted Statistics of Dane Co to Ann. Adamson & J. Brown.
   "   18th  Sat.     Posting Notice of General Election & Special T. Meeting.
   "   19th  Sun.    At funeral for Christian Morok's child, and Meeting.
    "   20th   Mon.  Raising stone for chimney. Cold winds – some hail fell.
   "   21st  Tues.    DO        DO  DO   Still cold with a little hail.
   "   22nd Wed.   Hauling straw and sand with D. Lesters team.
   "   23rd  Thurs. Raising stone.
   "   24th  Fri.    Hauling stone, assisted by Mr. Jackman. Posted Statistics of Dane Co. to Ann Adamson & J. Brown.
   "   25th  Sat.    Hauling stone and commenced building my chimney. Assisted by Mr. Jackman. Mr. Js corn husker away.
   "   26th  Sun    At home.
   "   27th  Mon.   Building Chimney.
   "   28th  Tues.        Do         Do
   "   29th  Wed.        Do         Do
   "   30th  Thurs.      Do         Do   visted by Mr. Bird.
   "   31st   Fri.         Do         Do
Novr  1st   Sat.         Do         Do

End of September, October, and November 1, 1851, diary entries.

Note:  Yellow highlighted words mean that this is my best guess  as to the word.//JGH 
~ ~ ~
 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sepia Saturday #285: Joyce Sigford, The Baronof Hotel and Juneau, Alaska

Ah, what a great theme this week.  I dinna have much in the way of postcards, but my offering this week is a 1940s photograph of the Baronof Hotel in Juneau, Alaska.  As Sepian readers, you might remember that last week, I posted photos of my twin aunts as business women of the 1940s.  This is not a follow up, but somewhat of a pre-quel. 

Baronof Hotel, Juneau, Alaska, circa 1938
Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)

Juneau, Alaska, circa 1938
Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)
The photograph at the right is the
Baronof Hotel in Juneau, Alaska, as it must have appeared to my Aunt Joyce Sigford when she arrived some time in 1938 or 1939.  At that time, it was a very "posh" place according to my aunt, and it had all of the amenities that one would expect in Seattle, or San Francisco, Chicago or New York.  I am not sure how Joyce knew about hotels in New York or Chicago because I don't think she was ever in either of those cities. In the late 1930s Alaska was, as now, a booming place, though at that time the boom came from the perceived war threat from Japan and the defensive preparations.

As you can see in the photograph to the left, Juneau rather clung to the side of the mountain.  The Baronof Hotel was  nestled against the mountains and almost in a direct line from the nearly right-angle of the bay waterfront.

The Baronof Hotel of the 1930s and 40s was an elegant hotel and played to the Russian-American heritage of the area.  The hotel was named after Alexander Andreyevitch Baronof (Baronov) who was the first governor of Russian-Alaska and the first Manager of the Russian-American Co. (a fur trading company) from 1799 to 1818.  Baronof Island, also known as Baronov Island, Shee (by the Native Tlinglit people), or Sitka Island, was also named after him.  Whether for the history, the elegance or the adventure, Joyce loved the Baronof Hotel -- and Alaska.  To hear my aunt speak of the Baronof Hotel and it's namesake there was an aura of royalty that was imbued into my memory. I also remember a large painting or print  of the hotel that hung in a place of honor in her dining room --  I don't remember what happened to it after she died.

To me, on of the more interesting elements of her sojourn in Alaska was what motivated her to pack her bag, get aboard a ship and travel to far away Alaska, alone and without nearby family.  Although the time has long past when I could sit down and ask her these questions, she did leave an interesting album of photographs of her time in Juneau and at the Baronof.

She left the lower 48 to head for Alaska and the Baronof Hotel sometime between 1937 and l938.
She was not much over 30 years old at the time.  The photograph below is how she looked as she sailed away.  My guess is that the following two photos were taken by her sister Loise, or perhaps her brother Clemmon.

Joyce Sigford standing at
the ship railing
Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)

I always thought she looked a bit pensive in this photograph to the left .  However, she was the well dressed young woman of the day (although, she does seem to be missing her gloves -- she and Loise always wore gloves as young women), as she stood at the ships railing, and getting ready to leave all that was familiar behind her.

Joyce Sigford, smiling and ready for
her adventure in Alaska
Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)

I have always liked the photo to the right and how Joyce was smiling.  She looked so excited about her new adventure -- and an adventure it was.   Women  raised in rural Klamath County, Oregon, weren't expected to go off on an adventure such as this  -- Going to Alaska!  By yourself!  Goodness sakes, what will people think!  I can hear my grandmother muttering those words.  On the other hand, my grandmother yearned for adventure, but never was afforded her dreams.

Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)


And in Alaska, Joyce met the love of her life, John Harold (Hal) Williams.  Here they are standing on the moorage catwalk next to Hal's  boat which was the source of many of their activities.  I never thought of Aunt Joyce as an outdoors-kind of gal, but during her years in Alaska, she fished, boated, and hiked  -- and apparently loved every minute of her stay in Juneau.

Joyce and Hal in a photo labeled as "March 22, 1940"

A Very Stylish for Catching a Big Fish
Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)

Joyce in an Alaskan Winter Wonderland
Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)

Joyce and Hal on their Boat In Alaskan Waters
Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)

Joyce and Hal Fishing from Their Boat
Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)

Joby (as she was called in the family) communing with a critter
Courtesty of  the Archives of  Roots'n'Leaves and  JGHill
(also from the personal albumn of Joyce Sigford Williams)

Hal and Joyce, circa 1943

The photograph to the left is one of the few undated and/or without Joyce's annotation.  My guess it was taken just before she left Juneau for Stateside.  Alaska was preparing for the worst scenario  with the Japan's aggressiveness of the late 1930s.   On June 3, 1942, six months after bombing Pearl harbor, the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor in the Aluetians.  Many of the Aluets were evacuated to Southeast Alaska and  Hal hurried his wife back to Seattle, safety and to be with her parents (who lived on a small farm south of Seattle).   This ended the Alaska adventure of my Aunt Joyce.

A year later, the Japanese invaders of the Aluetian Islands were pushed back, even though the war in the South Pacific went on for another two years.  Hal remained in Alaska during those war years, but after the war he joined his wife on a berry farm they had purchased near the little town of Puyallup, about nine miles south of Tacoma.  They lived on this idyllic little farm on the Puyallup River for nearly forty years.  Hal died in 1980, and Joyce remained on the farm until about 1990, when she and her sister Loise moved into a retirement village.  Joyce died 2 July 1993.

A few years later,  when we moved my Aunt Loise to Oregon to be closer to family, I rescued Joyce's suede-covered Alaska Photo Album from the trash pile and have ever since kept and shared her record of her grand adventure.

Now march on over to see the buildings, architecture, postcards, and such offered up by fellow Sepians.

~ ~ ~
 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 June 22, Amanuensis Monday: J.P.McPherson's Diary, July 1, 1851 through August 31, 1851

Although July and August were harvest months in the village of Springdale, Wisconsin,  James P. McPherson managed to go to Madison on July 2nd to pick up the wool bags.  He started to pack wool on July 7th, but was "stopt by rain."  There is no further mention of the wool for the remainder of July and August.  He was also in correspondence with R. Grant and received a draft for $100 on August 6th.  Considering the timing of the letters to and from R. Grant and the money drafts from R. Grant, it may be that R. Grant and James P. McPherson were engaged in a business relationship and  that McPherson may have been selling the wool to Grant.  To date, I cannot verify that relationship, but it is an intriguing question.

My great great great grandfather J. P. McPherson had strong political aspirations and as we have previously seen, he had been involved in the school meetings and building of the school.  On July 20th, his diary noted that he was in attendance "At Meeting."  Shortly afterwards, he noted that Mr. Lamont was appointed Post Master and that the Board of Health was organized.  These are interesting entries because as we will see in the future, James P. McPherson was a long time Post Master in Springdale and very involved in county health issues.

The last entry for August was rather curious and I was not exactly sure what to make of the entry that stated, "At Henry Bolton's grave for Black Horse."   I suppose that it could have been a very important black horse  -- or perhaps, Bolton just needed help burying his horse.  I do wish my Scots ancestor would not have been so sparse with is words. 

Journal Entries for 
July 1, 1851 through August 31, 1851

July     1st  Tues     Hoeing corn for Mr. Paton.
   "      2nd  Wed     At home.
   "      3rd   Thurs. At Madison. Recd Wool Bags.
   "      4th   Fri.     At home and Mr. Andersons.
   "      5th   Sat.    Hoeing corn for Mr. Anderson.
   "      6th   Sun.   At home.
   "      7th   Mon.  Started to pack Wool. Stopt by rain.
   "      8th   Tues.   Packing Wool.
   "      9th   Wed.       DO      DO   Recd letter from R. Grant
   "     10th  Thurs.  Cutting thatch.

   "     11th   Fri.    Cutting hay.  Posted letter to R. Grant.
   "     12th   Sat.       "        "
   "     13th   Sun.   Visited by Robert Thomson, Green Co.
   "     14th   Mon.  Cutting hay. Delivered to J. Stewart. Paid him $8.
   "     15tHh Tues.   Cutting hay. * Land Appraisal.(To highlight important text, JPMcP used a symbol which looked like an X” with dots at each intersection. I have used an asterisk for his symbol. //JGH)
   "     16th  Wed.    Hauling hay for Mr. Anderson. *(The above notation about Land Appraisal* and the "*" after Mr. Anderson appear to be added after the original entry,//JGH
    "     17th   Thurs.     “               “       “    Self.
   "    18th    Fri.     Raining. Posted letter to R. Grant.

   "    19th    Sat.     Thatched roof of house.
   "    20th    Sun     At meeting.
   "    21st    Mon    Binding for Mr. Anderson.
   "    22nd  Tues.        "        "   Mr. Davidson.
   "    23rd   Wed.        "        "    "      "  till noon.  Rain in afternoon.
   "    24th   Thurs.      "        "    "      "  All Day.
   "    25th   Fri.          "        "    "      "  Posted letter to Anne Adamson.
   "    26th   Sat.     Hauling Mr. Andersons wheat and my own hay.
   "    27th   Sun.    At home.
   "    28th   Mon.   Harvesting for Mr. Davidson
   "    29th   Tues.         "          "   Mr. Anderson.
   "    30th   Wed.         "          "     "      "
   "    31st   Thurs.       "          "  Self. 

Augut 1st    Fri.     At John Stewarts & Dd Beats.
   "     2nd   Sat.    At home. Mr. Miles returned to Badger Prairie.
   "     3rd   Sun.   At home & Mr. Lamonts.

   "     4th   Mon.   Harvest for Mr. Paton.
   "     5th   Tues.        Do     "   "     "
   "     6th   Wed.    Mr. Lamont appointed assistant Post Master. Received 
                            letter from R. Grant enclosing Draft for  $100.
   "    7th   Thurs.  Board of Health organized.
   "    8th   Fri.     Hauling grain for Mr. Anderson & Self.
   "    9th   Sat.     Harvesting for Mr. Paton.
   "   10th  Sun.    At Mr. Bairds for Huckleberries.
   "   11th  Mon.   Harvesting for Mrs. Thomson.
   "   12th  Tues.        Do         Do  "       "
   "   13th  Wed.        DO forenoon for Mr. Paton. Raining afternoon. 
                              Recd. Letter from Mr. Westwood.
   "   14th  Thurs.  Opening and drying my wheat.
   "   15th  Fri.     Raining.
   "   16th  Sat.    Heavy rain in the morning – more or less all day.
   "   17th  Sun.   At Mr. Beats for flour.
   "   18th  Mon.  Harvesting for Mr. Paton.
   "   19th  Tues.        DO       "     "     "   
   "   20th  Wed.        DO       "    "     "   Till 5 o'clock P.M.

   "   21st  Thurs.      DO       "    "     "   Till 5 o'clock P.M. 
                                   (Entire entry lined out.//JGH)
    "   21st  Thurs.   Helping Mr. Anderson to haul his oats.
   "   22nd Fri.      Harvesting for Mr. Paton.
   "   23rd  Sat.          DO        "    "      "
   "   24th  Sun.    At Messers. Wrights and Jackmans.
   "   25th  Mon.   At Madison. Recd cash for Draft $100.
   "   26th  Tues.   Harvesting for Mr. Paton.
   "   27th  Wed.     DO          DO      DO     Bot corn from Mr. Jackman.
   "   28th  Thurs.   DO          DO      DO
   "   29th  Fri.       DO          DO      DO
   "   30th  Sat.    Took up onions and some Potatoes.
   "   31st  Sun.   At Henry Boltons grave for black horse.

End of July and August, 1851, diary entries.

~ ~ ~
 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications



Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sepia Saturday #284: Loise and Joyce Sigford, 1940's Business Women

The  old manual typewrite is a self-explanatory theme with the immediate "jump-ours" of typewriters, writing and words emblazoned on the prompt image.  However, my mind immediately zeroed in on my twin aunts, Loise and Joyce, my mother's older sisters (12 years older).
The twins were born on 19 February 1907 to Frank Clemmon and Agnes Laura Sigford.  The girls carried the names of the grandmothers as their middle names. Loise Aurerlia for her maternal grandmother, Agnes Aurelia (Brown) Keyes, and Joyce Maria (pronounced in the family as Mariah) for her paternal grandmother Maria (Salisbury) Sigford.

Joyce Maria (Sigford) Williams
at the Baronoff Hotel, Juneau, Alaska
circa 1944
Courtesy of the Roots'n'Leaves and J.G. Hill Arcives

My strongest early memories of the twin aunts were when I was about 9 to 11 years old.  I remember that they came for the holidays a couple of years during that period.  Joyce was, as I remember her telling about it, the head bookkeeper for the Baranof Hotel in Juneau, Alaska.  Loise, not to be out done said about the same thing of her job in San Francisco.  I remember my mother laughing at the way the identical twins, each related their work and activities -- almost identically.  I remember one Thanksgiving in particular.  Joyce arrived first and regaled us with the great responsibility of her job and the difficulties that presented themselves. A few hours later we went in to pick up Loise from the bus station and were treated to exactly the same description -- just different jobs, different cities.

Loise Aurelia (Sigford) Stradtman,
probably at Hinch & Kaye in San Francisco
circa 1949
Courtesy of the Roots'n'Leaves and J.G. Hill Arcive

At that time in my life, these two extraordinary women epitomized the business woman of that era.  They loved their jobs and were evidently very good at what they did.  They were classy in dress as well as how they viewed themselves in those pre-feminist days.   Although neither would readily admit that they came from a poor Klamath county farm family,   they always kept close to their upbringing -- did a days work for a days pay, paid their debts (and in Loise's situation, those of her husband), and above all kept busy.  Even in leisure moments, my aunts were busy, they gardened, kept their homes fanatically clean, and did needlework worthy of the greatest of those old taskmasters of needlework.  As a child, and adult, I was the recipient of hand knitted sweaters, crocheted doilies, table runners, and afgans.

 These two aunts of mine, I know realize, molded much of how I view a women's role in the world of work  -- and they would be quite surprised that in many ways they would be considered feminists.  In fact,  women of the 1940s, such as my Aunts Loise and Joyce,  taking their place in the business world paved the way for those who followed them.  And they did it without fanfare or even thinking it was out of the ordinary.

Now click you way over to see the words and pictures of other Sepians .

~ ~ ~
 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Monday, June 15, 2015

2015 June 15, Amanuensis Monday: J.P.McPherson's Diary, May 1, 1851 through June 30, 1851

The May and June, 1851,  diary entries by James P. McPherson are interesting in both, what the sparse entries tell us about about McPherson and Springdale, and the questions left unanswered.

On May 5th, J.P. dug his well, which told us that the family did not have a well during that first year in Springdale.  Their property may have had a creek or spring, or perhaps they carried water from a source further away from their property.  Whichever might be the case, it probably meant that significant effort was required to have water for the family.

The second interesting entry concerning their house occured on June 6th, when J.P. "bot. 225 feet of flooring."  This entry told us that the cabin had a dirt floor from the time they moved into the cabin in December, 1850, until after June of 1851.  This entry also gave us an indication of the size of the cabin.  A quick analysis of the cabin based on some "guess-timates" of features in the photo of the house and some mathematical computation, indicates that the cabin was most likely 10'x20' (200 sq. ft) or 15'x15' (225 sq. ft.).  The 15'x15' model is most likely, given that J.P. purchased "225 ft of flooring" and as a frugal Scotsman, he would not purchase more flooring than needed.  Also, the 15'x15' model also provided 25 sq. ft. more floor space for the same amount of outside materials.

J.P. was able to purchase the flooring after receiving a $200 draft from R. Grant on May 7th.  According to Measuring Worth.com, $200 in 1850 was worth between $4,200 to $5,700 in today's economy.  So far there is no indication as to the identification of R. Grant, or where he resided, or what his relationship to James P. McPherson was.  If anyone has any information about this R. Grant and James P. McPherson, please contact me at the email address listed on this blog.

Another interesting development in the diary centers around J. P. and his wool buying.  Back in April, he borrowed $10 from Mr. Anderson and purchased 42# of wool at Fullers.  In May, J. P. went to Madison and obtained a $100 Cash and Due Bill from Tibbitts, Gordon and Co.  Then on June 4th, he received $100 from Mr. Gordon,  and at the same time he purchased a "steel yard" (which is a balance device for weighing material, such as wool).   Over the next 10 days he bought wool from Whyte, Waddell, Harlow, Brian, Munger, Jacket, McDonald, and Bently (a good portion of the Scots living on Scotch Lane).  When I first read these entries, I thought that he was going to use the wool himself, but after checking the Wisconson Argus newspaper for 1850 and 1851, it appears that Tibbitts, Gordon and Co. were in the business of buying and selling goods. J.P. appears to be showing his entrepreneurial acumen.

On a community level, J.P. was quite involved in working on the school house and spent 3 days working on the school house.  On June 2nd, while on his way to Madison (probably on foot and it's 20 + miles), he stopped at a Mr. Martin's to see the school he built.

On personal level, J.P.'s wife Mary was "at Mitchells" on May 3rd, and their friends the Mitchells left for NY on May 5th.  She may have been helping the family pack for the trip, or perhaps she was there in some other capacity.  Also, on June 20th, William Cairncross arrived.  William was the son of J.P.'s friend Alex Cairncross with whom he had been in correspondence.  It would have been interesting, if J.P. had written more about Mary's activities, the content of his correspondence to Ann Adamson and Alex Cairncross, as well as R. Brand, A.A. Bird, and R. Grant.  On these issues, the reader has some interesting, but unanswered questions.

Now with all of this background, enjoy reading J.P.'s diary entries.

Journal Entries for 
May 1, 1851 through June 30, 1851 

May     1st   Thurs   Ground white with Snow. At J. Mitchells afternoon.

  "       2nd  Fri       Helping J. Mitchell to get out Stone & build wall.

  "       3rd  Sat.       Working at garden. Mary at J. Mitchells.

  "       4th  Sun.      At Mitchells, Eadies & Jackmans.

  "       5th  Mon.    J. Mitchell and family left for New York. Sent by him letters to A. Adamson & J. Blackhall. Received two small pigs from Mrs. Thomson.

  "       6th  Tues.     Working at School house.

  "       7th  Wed.    Received letter enclosing Draft for $200 from R. Grant  also letter for J. Mitchell from C. Hairy  Planted potatoes at Mr. Andersons.

  "       8th  Thurs.   Chopping wood for Line burning.

  "       9th  Fri.           DO        "      "    "         " Posted letter to R. Grant.

  "     10th  Sat.      Digging well. Thunder & rain storm.

  "     11th  Sun.     At home.

  "     12th  Mon.        DO

  "     13th  Tue.         DO

  "     14th  Wed.     At Home         "         "     Rcd letter for J M from L F.

  "     15th  Thurs.   Digging garden.

  "     16th  Fri.      At Madison. Recd $100 cash and due bill for $100 from Tibbets, Gordon & Co.

  "     17th  Sat.      At Home.

  "     18th  Sun.     At Mr. Andersons.  Raining.

  "     19th  Mon.    Working at School House.

  "     20th  Tue      At Ben Hays, Perkins Mill & Harlows.

  "     21st  Wed.    Clearing for breaking. Recd letter from Alex (Cairncross/JGH)

  "     22nd  Thurs.     DO    Do     Do

  "     23rd  Fri.     Posted letters to R. Grant & A. Cairncross. Clearing for breaking.

  "     24th  Sat.                                                                  DO DO DO

  "     25th  Sun.    At Primrose P.O. Britzs, Mill &c

  "     26th  Mon.   At home. Raining.

  "     27th  Tues.    Working at School house. Hauled my lime.

  "     28th   Wed.    At home.

  "     29th   Thurs.   Working with Mr Anderson. Planting corn.

  "     30th   Fri.           DO      "    "        "              "          " 

  "     31st    Sat       At Home.  Raining.

June   1st    Sun.    At Miles and Lamonts.

  "      2nd   Mon.   Started for Madison – Stopped at Mr. Patons. Went to Mr. Martins to see his school.

  "      3rd  Tues.    Planting corn on the Sod at Mr. Andersons. 

  "      4th  Wed      At Madison with Mr. Paton. Recd $100 from Mr. Gordon. Bot steel yard.

  "      5th  Thurs.  Bot. Messers. Whyte & Waddeles wool.At Brian & Clevelands
  "      6th  Fri.     At Britzts sawmill. Bot 225 feet flooring.

  "      7th  Sat.     Planting corn at Mr. Andersons.

  "      8th  Sun.    At Home.

  "      9th  Mon.   Planting corn.
  "     10th  Tues.     DO        DO   Recd Whytes & Harlows wool.

  "     11th  Wed.     DO        DO  Recd Waddelles & Brians DO

  "     12th  Thurs.   DO        DO   At McDonalds & Browns.

  "     13th  Fri.     At Stevensons raising forenoon. Recd Munger & Jacket wool.
  "     14th  Sat.    Planting corn. Recd McDonalds & Bentlys Wool.

  "     15th  Sun.   At house.

  "     16th  Mon.  (Planting corn Lined Out by JPMCP.//JGH)   Working on road.

  "     17th  Tues.  (Do  Do Lined out by JPMcP.//JGH)                 DO   DO for Mr.Stevenson.

  "     18th  Wed.                                           DO  DO Recd letters from A. Adamson, R. Brand & R. Grant & enclosing Draft for $16.

  "    19th  Thurs.  At Madison.

  "    20th  Fri.     Hoeing corn fore Mr. A.   Wm Cairncross arrived.

  "    21st  Sat.   Planted potatoes at Mr. A's Raining til noon.

  "    22nd  Sun  At Cross Plains Hotel.

  "    23rd  Mon  Hoeing corn for Mr. Davidson. 

  "    24th  Tues.  (Photographic copy did not include this entry as it was cut off.//'JGH)

  "    25th  Wed. Hoeing corn for Mr. Beat.Recd Letters frm Grant & Brand.
  "    26th  Thurs.  "        "     "    "     " 
  "    27th  Fri.      "        "     "    "     "  
  "    28th  Sat.   At home.  Raining all day.
  "    29th  Sun.  At Martins Stewarts Patons & Beats. 
  "    30th  Mon.  At home.
End of May and June, 1851, diary entries.

Note:  Yellow highlighted words mean that this is my best guess  as to the word.//JGH 
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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications