1st Tues. Working at Billys coat. Mrs. Caircross and Mr. & Mrs. Morrison at Supper with us. Measured John Beat for vest.
2nd Wed. Working at Billly coat.
3rd Thurs. Fixing fence round hay and corn.
4th Fri. Cutting and hauling wood.
5th Sat. At Robert Craigs and Belleville drawing and taking acknowledgement of deeds.
6th Sun. At B. Brinks and Cairncross's on my way home. Thomas Adamson out from Madison.
7th Mon. At Madison on county business til the 11th inclusive.
13th Sun. At S. Lamonts and F. Housels
14th Mon. Killed 3 hogs, assisted by Messers. Housel and Morrison. At John Edi's for pork barrel
15th Tues. At Poor House afternoon settling with Mr. Pickett.
16th & 17th At Madison to Sell County land in town of Burk to Pat Carmody, who was not prepared to buy.
17th Mrs. Adamson moved into Madison. Bot. me a new stove. Mary at Madison.
18th Fri. Making clothes for boys.
19th Sat. DO DO
20th Sun. At Home. Visited by B. Brink.
21st Mon. Working at Boys clothes.
22nd Tues. Cutting and hauling wood.
23rd Wed. Wm Henderson making closet for me. Issued Summons in case of W. Brown vs. Wooley. Paid T. Brady's fare $2, to Wiota.
24th Thurs. Wm Henderson finished closet. Took P. Whites acknowledgement of deed to B. Brink.
25th Fri. Posted letters to W. Davidson, Adam Mickel, Modina, to land office, Mineral Pt.
26th Sat. Cutting & hauling wood. At Mr. Morrisons in the evening. Made vest for self.
27th Sun. Left home for Madison in the evening. Stopt at Poor House all night.
28th Mon. Went into Madison with Mr. Cook. Bot.and paid for several bills of goods for Poor House.
29th Tues. Mr. Dow not having attended according to arrangement to accompany Mr. Taylor with crazy girl to Illinois Hospital for the Insane. Made arrangements for leaving with Mr. Taylor, tomorrow.
30th Wed. Left Madison at 3 o'clock P.M. For Janesville – no communication that route with Chicago – went to Milwaukie – Stopt at “Hawkins House”.
31st Thurs. At Depot of Lake Shore road at 8 o'clock A. M. but found that no train would leave till 3 o'clock P.M. owing to the Snow on the track. Left at 3 o'clock P.M. for Chicago where we arrived late in the evening. Stopt at the Jarvis House.
1st Fri. Left Chicago at 8 o'clock A. M. by Chicago and Mississippi R.R. for Springfield, where we expected to arrive at 7½ evening. After passing Joliet found the roads much obstructed by snow, but having 3 locomotives ahead the train got along, tho slowly, untill on Grand Prairie between Gardner and Dwight it stuck fast in a snowy bank about 4 o'clock P.M. The cars were run back about ¾ of a mile and the locomotives alone were used in an attempt to force a passage thru the snow, but without success. They even ran into the drift and wood and water being used up there they were froze up. The passengers remained in the cars all night and it being very cold, they were very uncomfortable.
2nd Sat. During the forenoon Sleds were sent from Dwight to carry the passangers to that place. Rode down in a sled with two ladies and the crazy girl, and were almost froze when we reached the Tavern. Got dinner the first meal I had since yesterday Morning. No progress made in opening the road today. All the beds in the Tavern and the floor of the bar room being occupied, Mr. Taylor and I went to the house of Mr. Conicle – one mile from the Tavern – to sleep.
3rd Sun. After spending a miserable cold night in bed got up, and shaking and shivering put on our clothes – got down stairs from the open garrett in which we slept and found by a Thermometer sheltered from the wind that the Mercury was 27 degrees below Zero. Went to the Tavern to breakfast and on our way there Taylors ears and my foot were froze. Men working in clearing the road all day and succeeding in getting our train down to Dwight but could not get any farther on account of an obstructing train between this place and Bloomington.
4th Mon. Stopt in the cars all night – Still cold. Left Dwight about 2 P.M.
5th Tues. Arrived in Springfield this morning at 2 o'clock. Left for Jacksonville at 10-45 – got the girl into the hospital, and at 3-30 P.M. left for Springfield where we arrived between 6 and 7 evening. Took lodging at a private house.
6th Wed. Left Springfield at 8 A. M. by Illinois Central branch R.R. via Urbana for Chicago. Snow fell during the afternoon and evening and we did not reach Chicago till very late. Stopt at the Merchants Hotel.
7th Thurs. Left Chicago at 11 A. M. for Rockford. Enquired for Wm. Davidson and found that he had gone to Patterson N.J.
8th Fri. Left Rockford for Beloit, at 1-30 P.M reached Janesville about 8 o'clock evening.
9th Sat. Called upon Robert Brand this morning – found him well and prospering. Left Janesville at 10 A.M. for Madison but were detained at Milton till late in the afternoon because of baggage train which had broke down on the road. Reached Madison just at dusk.
10th Sun. Returned home – called at the Poor House on my way out and gave Mr. Cook $50.
11th Mon. Fixed Sled. Visit from Mrs. Cairncross.
12th Tues. DO DO and doing chores. Grinding axe.
13th Wed. (“Grinding axe” lined out) Surveying our lands.
14th Thurs. Surveying.
15th Fri. Surveying till noon. Visited by Mr. Cairncross. Posted letter to Judge Dow.
16th Sat. Working at Jims Coat.
17th Sun. At Mass's store.
18th Mon. At Housels for farming Mill. Cleaned up a little wheat. E. Thorson & A. Henderson agreed to rescind their contract for Sale of land.
19th Tues. Cleaned up wheat forenoon. At Cairncross's P.M.
20th Wed. Went to Madison Mills with grist with Cairncross's horses and waggon.
21st Thurs. Returned home . Out of 20 bushels of grist had 725 pounds of flour.
22nd Fri. Drew deeds for S. Lamont and T. B. Miles. Visited by H. N. Fargo and School teacher. Took to McGregors the flour we had borrowed from them Posted letter to T. Adamson, containing 2 letters recd for him.
23rd Sat. At Primrose visiting family of Mr. Hoyt. Sick paupers.
24th Sun. Visited by Mr. Chauncey Wakely. At Mr. Morrisons.
25th Mon. At Mt. Vernon, pleading case of Mr. Wakely, in attachment case – Byron vs. Wakely. Obtained non-Suit on errors in process (“of” lined out) and service..
26th Tues. Chopping forenoon, at Lamonts and Morrisons P.M. Visited by Messers Hough and Wakely. In the evening a mob took Mr. Wakelys horses from the custody of the Constable and drove them off.
27th Wed. At Madison with Mr. Wakely. Stopt all night at Carters Hotel.
28th Thurs. Returned home to trial of Second Suit against Wakely. Settled without going to trial.
29th Fri. Made out road petiton for Stevenson. Working at Jim's coat.
1st Sat. Chopping. Visited by Mr. Fargo. At Morrisons, with his flour. P.M.
2nd Sun. At home.
3rd Mon. Visited by S. Wright. Chopping and Splitting wood. Drew contract between John Salamanson and Andrew Henderson.
4th Tues. Chopping and hauling wood. Went to Poor house afternoon.
5th Wed. At Madison on County business
6th Thurs. DO DO Opened offers for building Poor House awarded contract to J. & W. Vrormen
7th Fri. Drew, signed contract for building PH. Returned home in the evening.
8th Sat. Did nothing forenoon. Chopping afternoon.
9th Sun. At home. Visited by John Edi, W and S. Cairncross, H. Lewis & C. Lust.
10th Mon. Chopping. Drew Mortgage for A. Lust. Visited by Mr. Fargo.
11th Tues. Chopping. Visited by Mr. Cook & J. Mahoney.
12th Wed. Chopping forenoon. At Mount Vernon afternoon taking evidence in case of B. Lewis, V.D. Spears and S. H. Naffsinger against Philander Byron and others. At trial between Rider and Newhaven in the evening.
13th Thurs. Taking evidence at Mount Vernon.
14th Fri. Killed a pig and sent it to T. Adamson, by Mail Carrier. Chopping afternoon. Teacher with us all night.
15th Sat. At laying out of road on town line. At Meeting in School house about the Byrons.
16th Sun. At William Hendersons.
17th Mon. Cleaned up wheat.
18th Tues. DO DO and a little oats.
19th Wed. Chopping and splitting wood. Recd. letter from J. W. Cook, by Peter Harper.
20th Thurs. Chopping & Splitting rails. At Morrisons and McGregors, with M. S. Barnes, teacher.
21st Fri. At Blacksmith Shop with waggon & chain. Chopping afternooon.
22nd Sat. Fixing hounds of waggon forenoon. At Anti-Byron Meeting at Mt. Vernon afternoon.
23rd Sun. At home. Visited by C. S. Wright.
24th Mon. Bad with cold did nothing all day. Mary at Cairncross's
25th Tues. At meeting of town Board at Gilbert Olsons.
26th Wed. Writing. Chopping. Vis. by Harker and his Father-in-law.
27th Thurs. DO Mary at Madison. J. Edi's dog bit Jim.
28th Fri. Chopping and hauling wood.
29th Sat. DO DO
30th Sun. At home. Visited by A. Cairncross & J. Beard.
31st Mon. Chopping and hauling wood.
End of diary entries for January 1 through
March 31, 1856
March 31, 1856
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© Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications