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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Amanuensis Monday (Addendum), 2016 July 19: J.P.McPherson's Diary, July 1 through September 14, 1854, 1854

JAMES P. McPHERSON FAMILY 
 AS  SEEN IN THE  DIARY ENTRIES  
FROM JULY 1 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1854


In 1854, James P. McPherson was 38 years old and his wife, Mary, was 31.  They had five children, William, age 11, James, age 9, Jabez, age 7, Anne, age 4, and Elizabeth, age 2.  As you may remember, the boys all had their mother's maiden name of Burns as their middle name.  Anne's middle name was Adamson, the last name of her aunt and uncle, Anne and Thomas Adamson.  Elizabeth was named after her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Sprink of Arbroath, Scotland.  Her maternal grandmother's first name was also Elizabeth Horrock Burns. 


Woodcut from painting by Ernst Henseler, (1852-1940), in public domain


HOME AND FARM
July started off with "still working on the road, followed by hoeing corn.  In mid July,  James P. started  cutting and putting up hay.   A few days later, on July 20, a very heavy rain "laid down grain and broke corn.

It appeared that there was some sort of a 4th of July celebration as he went to Paton's Grove on that date.  Although he didn't mention a celebration, James P. mention the 4th of July on the very first one that he spent in Springdale.  He wasn't impressed and stated that in the future he would see better celebrations of the nation's Independence.  Except for 1850 and 1852, there had been an Independence Day celebration, albeit small.

Cradling Grain",  Digital ID:93371, NY Public Library
  A week or so later, on July 15, he "bot a cradle from Chandler."  On the July 25, he "fixed cradle" and "tried the cradle."He later began cutting wheat and oats.He continued with the harvest of his grains and hay through mid-September.   He also   assisted Mr. Miles in cracking his oats, as well as thrashing and cracking his own crops. 

Note:  In 2011, I wrote a post about cradlingOriginally, I thought James P. was talking about buying a cradle for baby Elizabeth who was just a babe, but it soon became evident that he was talking about a different kind of cradle.

Evidently cutting hay is hard on the sycthe, as James P. spent a couple of days fixing his scythe and grinding it on a sharpening stone.  Reading his diary makes it clear how difficult it was to "make hay."  Every stalk of the alfalfa or grass was cut with a scythe and then gathered by hand into mounds to haul into the barn or yard.  Tedious and hard work as is most farm work when done by hand.

The last part of July is usually huckleberry picking time.  He noted a couple of times that he picked berries, and once when he went to Baird's hill for huckleberry picking.  In the past couple of years, James P. has sold huckleberries in Madison, but there is no indication that he sold berries in Madison in 1854.  He was busy with farming and his new duties as Town Clerk, Justice of the Peace and Superintendent in the county.  Perhaps, Mary made huckleberry pies and cobbler for the family, and put up huckleberry jam for the winter.  

Sunday, August 6, James P."directed Mr. Ole Lawrence and  the Norwegians to Oleg Levis'.  The Norwegian population of Springdale was growing, and would continue to grow for the next few decades.

On August 8, James P.'s friend William Cairncross arrived, possibly from Cincinnati,  and apparently stayed with the McPherson's for a week or so.  The Diary indicated that Cairncross helped with the harvest and may have accompanied James P. on his visit to the blacksmith and when he received 38 lbs. of flour from Mr. Baird.  Mr. Cairncross left "after dinner" on August 16, and most likely went to his land or stayed with other friends in Springdale.  However, on August 24, James P. went to the Cairncross land with William C. Cairncross. 

Near the end of August, McPherson "engaged Mr. Jass to open the quarry and Mr. Wilson to fix the grain bins.  He also got flour from W. Menzie, as well as cracking oats for Mr. Miles.

CORRESPONDENCE
In early July, James P. received and returned letters to William Cairncross, the subject mostly likely was about Cairncross' plans to be in Springdale later in the month.  He also received and posted a letter to his father-in-law, William Gibson Burns, as well as the Madison Post Master.

The remainder of his correspondence appeared to be related to the community and polititical aspects of his life.  He was in contact with Ben C. Eastman, H. Barnes, Wm. R. Taylor, Elijah Isham, Charlie Wilson, and Mr. Wm. A. Wheeler 

COMMUNITY AND POLITICAL
In regards to community and political aspects of his life, James P. McPherson was at Paton's Grove on July 4, 1854.  Although an emigrant from Scotland, he was wholeheartedly an American in celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day.

The County Poor Farm was a major factor in his community and political life during this quarter.  He was at the Poor Farm on July 10, and on July 24, he saw William R. Taylor while he was in Madison.  He was again, on August 22, at the Poor Farm  with William R. Taylor and Elijah Isham.  Then on September 11, he was at the Poor Farm and "bot. 9 1/2 sheep at $1.5o each from N. Herrick.  He was also in Madison on September 2 for the Senatorial Convention, as well as Poor Farm business. (I am at a loss to explain the 1/2 sheep that he bought for the Poor Farm.//JGH)  He again stopped at the County Poor Farm on September 12, when he was on his way to Madison.

In his capacity as Justice of the Peace, McPherson issued writ of attachment against John Mallo(w) on August 1.  The trial was held on August 8, between Smith and Mallo(w), but there was no indication of the results of the trial.

When James P. was in Madison on July 24, he was in the company of John Oleg and "his brother-in-law"  and they saw Mr. William R. Taylor.  The next day McPherson was at the N.E. 1/3 of Section 36 with John Oleg and his brother-in-law.   On August 4, he posed a letter to the Land Office enclosing pre-emption claim of W. Weise and $1.   It appeared that W. Weise was the brother-in-law of John Oleg and that Weise purchased the land at which he visited on July 25.

He was at the village of Springdale on September 9, and on September 10, he was  at William Henderson's "making out school report.)

Unfortunately, the last two weeks of September and the first two weeks in October were either not written by James P. McPherson, or the photographing crew of 2011 failed to capture these entries.  Nevertheless, based on the diary entries to day, and especially of 1854, we can infer that he continued with his work with Springdale's Town Council, the County Poor Farm and as a Justice of the Peace. 

FOLKS MENTIONED IN THE DIARY FOR THIS THIRD QUARTER OF 1854
A. Paton
Ben C, Eastman
William Cairncross
H. Barnes
William R. Taylor
J. Conchan 
A. Lust
William Henderson
W. Menzie
William Gibson Burns
Thomas B. Miles
H. C. Chandler
Warren Baird, 
Ole Lawrence
Ole Levi
John  Oleg
W. Weise
John Edi
James Edi
James Steele
John Mallo(w)
Smith
McGregor
Charles Wilson
Elijah Isham
Mr. Jass
Mr. Wilson
McCaughey
O.B. Daley
Perry Haney
Thomas Haney
John A. Douglas
N. Herrick
The review of the Diary for the period of July 1 through September 14, 1854 is concluded.  
 
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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Friday's Faces From the Past, 2016 July 23: Another Lady from Benton County

Her is another one of my Orphan Photographs.  This young woman was photographed in Benton County, by Milton C. Glendenning  some time in the late 1800s.  Many of the photos were taken about the time of Margaret Delilah Keyes' marriage to Abiather Barrett Newton of Benton County in 1875.  However, Glendenning was in Benton County until the early 1900s.  Possible last names might include, Newton, Donnelly, and Brumfield.  In addition there were Keyes and Keyes relatives that came from Tennessee.
On June 18, 2016 I posted another photograph of a young girl from Benton County, Oregon.  In my mind, the two young women in the photographs look quite similar, perhaps sisters or relatives, or perhaps the same person.  What do you think?


If anyone recognizes this young lady, or ladies, please let me know via my email address at the upper left of this blog.  I would really like to put a name to the photograph(s).   

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


Monday, July 18, 2016

Amanuensis Monday 2016 July 18: J.P.McPherson's Diary, July 1 through September 14, 1854

Diary entries for July 1 through September 14, 1854


JULY, 1854
1st Sat. Working on the road.
2nd Sun. At Home.
3rd Mon. Hoeing Corn.
4th Tues. At Patons Grove.
5th Wed. Hoeing corn. Recd letters from Ben. C. Eastman and Wm. Cairncross
6th Thurs. Hoeing corn forenoon. – Raining afternoon – writing.
7th Fri. Posted letters to H. Barnes, Wm. R. Taylor and Wm. Cairncross.
8th Sat. Hoeing corn
9th Sun. At home. Conchan doged my steer.
10th Mon. Hoeing corn in the Morning. At county Poor farm.
11th Tues. At Lusts with Cow “Nan”, to bull. Got scythe mended.
12th Wed. Mowing. Recd. Letter from Father-in-law.
13th Thurs. At Henderson for his truck and Menzies for flour.
14th Fri. Posted letters to Father in law and Post Master at Madison. Mowing & putting up hay.
15th Sat. Hoeing corn for Miles forenoon. Hoeing potatoes for self afternoon. Bot. a cradle from Chandler.
16th Sun. At home. Picked a few huckleberries.
17th Mon. Mowing and putting up hay.
18th Tues. Hauling hay.
19th Wed. At Chandlers Store. Thunder Storm and heavy rain in the evening.
20th Thurs. Writing forenoon, gathering H.Berries afternoon. Very heavy rain in the evening, which laid nearly all the grain, and broke down corn.
21st Fri. Posted letter to W. R. Taylor. Cut Pants for Jabez. Gathering berries.
22nd Sat. Hauling wood forenoon
23rd Sun. At Bairds hill for Berries. Visited by J. Oley & Jn Edi. At Miles in the evening.
24th Mon. At Madison with John Oley & his Brother in law. Saw Mr. Taylor. Thunder Storm in the evening and night. Stopt all night in the Stone house.
25th Tues. Writing. At N.E. 1/4 of Sec 36 with J. Oley and his Brother in Law.
26th Wed. Binding wheat for S. Lamont. Recd. letters from W. R. Taylor & P. M. of Madison.
27th Thurs. Raining in the morning. Fixing Cradle.
28th Fri. Posted letter to James Steele. Try'd my cradle in the afternoon.
29th Sat. Hunting cows A.M. Cutting wheat P.M.
30th Sun. DO DO Visited by Jas & Jn Edi and Wm. Henderson.
31st Mon. Cutting my wheat.

AUGUST, 1854
1st Tues. Issued writ of attachment against John Mallow. Cutting and binding wheat.
2nd Wed. Cutting and binding wheat. Raining in P.M.
3rd. Thurs. Raining morning & forenoon. Cutting wheat P.M.
4th Fri. Posted letters to E. Isham, and to land office, enclosing pre-emption claim of Wm. Weise, and $1. Cutting & binding wheat.
5th Sat. Cutting and binding wheat.
6th Sun. Directed Ole Lawrence & Norwegians to Oley Lee’s. At McGregors. Visit from Mr. & Mrs. Baird.
7th Mon. Cutting wheat.
8th Tues. Binding wheat. Mr. Cairncross arrived here.
9th Wed. Cutting wheat. Tried case between Smith and Mallo.
10th Thurs. Cutting wheat.
11th Fri. At Blacksmiths A.M. Hauled 2 loads of wheat, P.M. Stopt by rain.
12th Sat. Hauled wheat, assisted by Mr. Cairncross.
13th Sun. At Mr. Barnes. Borrowed Miles horse.
14th Mon. Cutting oats forenoon. Raining.
15th Tues. DO DO Recd. 38 lbs. Of flour from Baird.
16th Wed. Cutting oats. Mr. Cairncross left after dinner.
17th Thurs. DO DO
18th Fri. DO DO Posted letter to Charles Wilson.
19th Sat. DO DO
20th Sun. Stacked oats. At Miles in the evening.
21st Mon. At County Farm with Messers Taylor & Isham.
22nd Tues. DO DO Engaged Mr. Japp to open up quarry, and Mr. Wilson to fix grain bins.
23rd Wed. Hauled the last of my oats. Went to John Edis, he not at home. Fixed my scythe.
24th Thurs. Mowing. AT Wm. Cairncross land with Mr. C.
25th Fri. Posted letter to Wm. A. Wheeler. Cracking oats for Mr. Miles.
26th Sat. Cutting hay.
27th Sun. At McCaugheys, Hendersons & Bairds.
28th Mon. Cracking for Miles till mid afternoon.
29th Tues. Trying to thrash wheat.
30th Wed. DO DO
31st Thurs. Cleaned up the little wheat I thrashed and hauled hay.

SEPTEMBER, 1854
1st Fri. Hauled hay forenoon. At Menzies for flour P.M.
2nd Sat. At Madison, attending Senatorial Con. and on Poor house business.
3rd Sun. Returned home. At O.B.Daleys, Perry, and Tom Haneys.
4 th Mon. At John A. Douglas' attending District Convention.
5th Tues. Grinding Scythe and cutting hay.
6th Wed. Making hay.
7th Thurs. DO DO
8th Fri. Raining. Cleaning out cellar.
9th Sat. Lifting Stone forenoon. At Village P.M.
10th Sun. At Wm. Hendersons making out school report.
11th Mon. At County farm. Bot. 9 1/2 sheep at 1.50 each from N. Herrick
12th Tues. DO DO and at Madison. Wrote to Taylor and Isham.
13th Wed. Returned home
14th Thurs. (Entry cut off from photocopy//JGH)
NOTE: No entries for Sept. 15 through September 30, 1854 not written or not copied.  //JGH

End of diary entries for July1 through  
September 14, 1854
 


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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Amanuensis Monday 2016 July 11: J.P.McPherson's Diary, April 1 through June 30, 1854

Diary entries for April 1 through June 30, 1854
APRIL, 1854
1st Sat. Hauled hay from Miles. Splitting rails
2nd Sun. At Jackmans & Hendersons.
3rd Mon. Hauled hay. Splitting rails. Put up chicken house.
4th Tues. At Town Meeting. Elected Town Clerk & J.P.
5th Wed. Hauled hay. Splitting rails
6th Thurs. DO DO & laid up fence. Mary at Bairds.
7th Fri. DO DO Splitting rails.
8th Sat. DO DO At Village P.M. Qualified for Town Clerk and received ballot box, books & papers from S. Shumway.
9th Sun. At Jackmans.
10th Mon. At Madison. Met Messers Taylor and Isham. Visited Varneys land.
11th Tues. At Blooming Grove & Cottage Grove
12th Wed. Recd letter from W. C. Dunn & Greenfield
13th Thurs.                               DO     DO
14th Fri. In Dunn and Greenfield. Returned to Madison.
15th Sat. Returned home.
16th Sun. At Beards & Lamonts
17th Mon. Fixing fence.
18th Tues. At Miles for hay & Lamonts for flour.
19th Wed. Chopping & Splitting rails. Recd Patent Office Report and abstract of Census from Ben C. Eastman.
20th Thurs. Fixing fence. Cut pants for Jim & Jabez.
21st Fri. DO and Splitting rails.
22nd Sat. At meeting of Town Board.
23rd Sun. Visited by Jn. Edi and Jackman. At Wm. Hendersons. Borrowed 36 lbs. of Flour from him.
24th Mon. At Madison. Met with Mr. Isham, County loan not effected.
25th Tues. At Mr. Demmings. Returned home with Messers. Beat & Menzie.
26th Wed. At Mt. Vernon & Haffsingers farm in Primrose. Engaged G. M. Baulch to do my plowing. Recd letter from Father.
27th Thurs. Made straw hat. Very cold for the season.
28th Fri. Chopping, fixing fence, etc. At Menzies for oats. Paid postage on Evening Post till middle of September.
29th Sat. Splitting rails and fixing drag. Baird took my grist to mill.
30th Sun. Baird returned my grist – 294 lbs. flour out of 9 bushels of wheat. Made out School Register for Mr. Henderson.

MAY, 1854
1st Mon. Clearing timber of the breaking. Raining a little.
2nd Tues. DO DO Mr. Baulch commenced to drag in my wheat on the breaking.
3rd Wed. Mr. B. finished dragging. Clearing of brush & grubs. Recd letter from Mr. & Mrs. Radcliff.
4th Thurs. Dragged in a little patch of wheat on old land. Mr. B plowing.
5th Fri. Sowed oats. Mr. B. plowing. Posted letters to W. G. Burns, W. Davidson & W. Cairncross.
6th Sat. Dragged corn ground. Mr. B. ploughed half a day. At Village in the afternoon. Planted potatoes.
7th Sun. At Mr. Hendersons.
8th Mon. At Lamonts for oats. Issued warrant for Mow and Meredith. Sowed oats. Mr. Baulch finished plouging.
9th Tues. Sowed oats. At Verona & Montrose with G, Oleson & C. Holverson.
10th Wed. Dragging. Planted potatoes. Examined Meredith and Mow on a charge of larceny. Recd letter from A. Tice.
11th Thurs. Planting corn.
12th Fri. Sowed oats. Planted corn & potatoes.
13th Sat. Planted corn. At G. Olesons with Meredith.
14th Sun. At home.
William T. Jackman,
a friend of James P. McPherson
15th Mon. Went to Madison. Rode with S. Wheeler from his house. Meredith sued out writ of Habeas Corpus before W. N Seymour. Admitted to bail. Jackman sold out his place for $560. Mary planted beans.
16th Tues. Returned home in company of Jackman & Lamont. Very heavy rain during the day and night.
17th Wed. Raining. Recd a letter from W. Cairncross.
18th Thurs. At Jackmans.
19th Fri. DO DO Posted letter to A. Tice.
20th Sat. Jackman left for the west. Sowed carrots and beets. Finished dragging my corn ground.
21st Sun. Hunting for my sow by Blacks & Griffiths.
22nd Mon. Went to Madison via Lakeview. M. planting corn.
23rd Tues. In Madison. Celebration of completion of M. & M. R.R. to Madison. M. planing corn.
24th Wed. Visited N.E. ¼ of Sec 13, town of Fitchburgh. Returned to Madison in the evening. Recd letters from Father-in-law and W. Cairncross with $3.
25th Thurs. Bought the above named quarter Section for a poor farm, from Messers Richardson and Vauslyke for $11, per acre. Returned home with Mr. Fritz.
26th Fri. Planting corn. At Bairds with L. Blackburn. Cloudy in the afternoon so that the eclipse of the sun was not visible.
27th Sat. Planting corn for Mr. Miles.
28th Sun. At Bairds afternoon.
29th Mon. Raining. At Mount Vernon. Sowed peas.
30th Tues. (“Planted potatoes” lined out //JGH) Digging drain.
31st Wed. Hauled potatoes. Had visit from Malone and George Wright.

JUNE, 1854
1st Thurs. Weeding wheat forenoon. Planing beans afternoon.
2nd Fri. Posted letter enclosing 50 cents to land office for Town Plat. At raising of Hendersons Stable. Planted beans.
3rd Sat. Hoeing Potatoes, etc.
4th Sun. At Miles in the afternoon.
5th Mon. At Blackburns, Toston Thomsons, J. I. Berges and Martin Nashs. Mary planted corn & beans. Raining afteroon.
6th Tues. Drew Mortgage for Oley Hanson & took acknowledge of it at his house. Raining afteroon.
7th Wed. Received Report of Patent Office, Mechanical, from Ben. C. Eastman Member of Congress. Raining nearly all day.
8th Thurs. Hauled firewood, fixed sleigh & Sowed beans.
9th Fri. Hoed beans. Posted letters to A. Tice, Ben. C. Eastman and Elijah Isham.
10th Sat. Hoed beans, planted peas & beans. At Chandlers Store.
11th Sun. At home.
12th Mon. Thrashing for John Edi. A. Henderson arrived.
13th Tues. Planted beans.
14th Wed. Recd. letter from Richardson & Co. Sowed Ruta Begas.
15th Thurs. At Madison. Found that Richardson & Co. had sold the Poor Farm.
16th Fri. Returned home with John Edi.
17th Sat. Weeding my wheat.
18th Sun. At Wm. Hendersons.
19th Mon. Cutting grubs on corn ground. Miles commenced ploughing my corn n the evening.
20th Tues. Miles ploughed a little in the forenoon. Hoeing corn.
21st Wed. Ploughing with Miles horse.
22nd Thurs. Hoeing corn.
23rd Fri. DO DO
24th Sat. Clearing for breaking. Wm. Morich began to break afternoon. Qualified Chandler for Postmaster of Mt. Vernon.
25th Sun. At home. Visit from Mr. & Mrs. Baird.
26th Mon. At Madison. Visited lands by Dead Lake. Stopt with Mr. Wm. Baird all night.
27th Tues. At Jewetts and Pheasant Branch. Stopt all night at Barnes.
28th Wed. Visited Wm. A. Wheelers farm. Returned to Madison. Stopt with Mr. Lerner. Recd. Letters from Tice, Davidson and Jackman.
29th Thurs. At Wm A. Wheelers. Bot his farm for $1,000.
30th Fri. Returned to Madison. Got deed for Co. Poor farm. Returned home.

End of diary entries for April 1 through  
June 30, 1854
 


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

Monday, July 4, 2016

Amanuensis Monday (Addendum), 2016 July 14: J.P.McPherson's Diary, April 1 through June 30, 1854

JAMES P. McPHERSON FAMILY
AS SEEN IN THE  DIARY ENTRIES
FROM APRIL 1 THROUGH JUNE 30, 1854


In 1854, James P. McPherson was 38 years old and his wife, Mary, was 31.  They had five children, William, age 11; James, age 9; Jabez, age 7; Anne, age 4; and Elizabeth, age 2.  As you may remember, the boys all had their mother's maiden name of Burns as their middle name.  Anne's middle name was Adamson, the last name of her aunt and uncle, Anne and Thomas Adamson.  Elizabeth Spink McPherson was named after her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Spink of Arbroath, Scotland.  Her maternal grandmother's first name was also Elizabeth (Elizabeth Horrock Burns)

Home and Family
Springtime is planting time – and so it was in Springdale, Wisconsin in 1854. One of the major changes in farming for James P. was that he now was in a position to hire help for work that require a horse or oxen – or because he had other claims on his time. He “engaged Mr. Baulch to do plowing” and Christian Morich did the breaking for new land for planting. He got oat seed from S. Lamount and Menzie. McPherson planted oats, wheat, corn, beans, peas, beets, potatoes, and rutabagas. Mary also did a fair amount of planting peas and beans. They also had cutting grubs in the corn and weeding to keep them busy
 
In addition to preparing the land for planting and planting crops to feed the stock as well as the family, he was involved in hauling hay for himself as well as neighbors. He also kept laid out and fixed fences, as well as building a chicken house.

He didn't have time to sew for friends and neighbors, but during a rainy spell, he did manage to make pants and coat for young Jabez. He also wove a straw hat, apparently for himself.

He often vised or was visited by William Jackman, Mr. and Mrs. Baird, William Henderson, and Thomas Miles. Baird also took his grist to the mill and returned with 294 lbs of flours out of nine bushels of wheat.

On the last day of May he was visited by Mr. Malone and George Wright, and then on June 6, he was visited by Blackburn, Tosten Thomson, J. I Berges, and Martin Nash. The visits on these two days seemed to a more of a flavor of community and political business, though it seems that James P. often combined his social activities with his farming, community and political contacts.

During the last few months, in addition to visits between McPherson and Jackmans, he had written agreements and contracts for William Jackson. He often going to Madison with Jackman. On May 15, he noted that “Jackman sold his land for $560.” James P. returns home from Madison with Jackman and is at Jackman's on May 18 and 19. On May 20, “Jackman leaves for the West.”

The Diary, always a bit sparse on words, is equally so in this instance. There seemed to be a close connection between McPherson and William Jackman. However, there are no words to fill in the gaps and questions. Nonetheless, Jackman's “leaving for the West” left me feeling a loss of a friend, and as I might guess, left James P. also feeling the loss of a friend.

Correspondence
Correspondence seemed to be a notch or so higher in this spring of 1854. McPherson received and replied to two letters from his father-in-law William Gibson Burns. He also posted letters to and received replies from William Davidson, William Cairncross (enclosed $3), and Abraham Tice. Of course, he sent postage for receipt of the Evening Post.

On May 3, he also received a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Radcliff, to which there was no mention of a reply. Odd.

Then on June 28, he received a letter from William Jackman, arriving nearly a month after Jackman left for the West (St. Croix, Wisconsin).

McPherson also engaged in correspondence of a more political and community nature with Ben C. Eastman and Elijah Isham. Ben C. Eastman, a member of Congress, had previously sent him a report from the Office of Patent. Isham was involved with the county government and the Poor Farm.

COMMUNITY AND POLITICS
James P. McPherson's involvement in politics and community was evident even in the first year that he lived in Springdale, and had since grown. On April 3 he was elected to the position of Town Clerk and Justice of the Peace. He was qualified for the positions and received the town ballot box, books and papers from S. Shumway. From that point onward through this second quarter of 1854, he was busy with local government affairs. He met with Mr. Taylor and Mr. Elijah Isham and visited the Varney lands, and then returned to Madison. It appeared that these contacts were connected to establishing a Poor Farm.

He visited several farms and folks in early April, which appeared to be related to the Poor Farm; the Varney land, W.C. Dane and Greenfield, Haffsingers farm, and Richardsons & Vanslykes farm in Fitchburg. He did make an offer of $11 an acre to “Richards & Co.”, fact, the diary noted on May 25, “bought … land for Poor Farm.” However on June 14 he received a letter from “Richardson & Co.”. On June 15, McPherson was in Madison and noted that he found that “Richardson & Co. had sold Poor Farm.” By June 26, he was out looking a property again, and on June 28 he visited the William Wheeler farm, which he bought the next day for $1,000. He immediately returned to Madison on June 30 and obtained the deed for the Poor Farm.

On May 5, McPherson was at the village in the evening, and a few days later, probably in his position as Justice of the Peace, he issued a warrant for Mow & Meridith. For the next week, a good portion of his time was taken by this case. He visited and “examined” G. Oleson and C. Halvorson. On May 10, he “examined” Meridith and Mow on charges of larceny, and then met with G. Oleson and Meridith. On May 13 he went to Madison with S. Wheeler from whom he had purchased the Poor Farm. While in Madison, Meridith “sued out on writ of Habeaus Corpus before W. N. Seymour. Admitted to bail.”

In addition to the activities related to the Poor Farm, as well as the Meridith and Mow warrant, McPherson “made out school register for Mr. Henderson,” “drew up mortgage for Oley Hanson and took acknowledgment of it at (Hanson's) house,” and qualified H. C. Chandler for Postmaster at Mt. Vernon. He also received Patent Office reports and Census from Ben C. Eastman, Member of Congress. In addition, he also met with Elijah Isham several times in regard to the County Loan issue. It appeared that the County Loan issue might be somehow related to the purchase of the Poor Farm. However, that is speculation at this time.

James P. McPherson also traveled to Madison on May 22, via Lakeview, to attend the celebration of the completion of the Madison & Mississippi Railroad.

PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE DIARY
Thomas B. Miles
William Jackman
William Henderson
Andrew Henderson
S. Shumway
Mr. Taylor
Elijah Isham
James P. Beard
S. Lamount
Ben C. Eastman
John Edi
Mr. Demmings
David Beat
W. Menzie
Haffsingers
G.M. Baulch
William Gibson Burns
Mr. and Mrs. William Baird
Mr. and Mrs. Radcliff
William Davidson
William Cairncross
Herman Mow
Meridith
G. Oleson
C. Halvorson
Abaham Tice
W. N. Seymour, Judge
John Blackburn
Thomas Blackburn
William Griffiths
Mr. Richardsons
Mr. Vanslyke
A. Malone
George Wright
Toston Thomson
J. I Berges
Martin Nash
Oley Hanson's
Hall Chase Chandler
William Morich
Christiam Morich
Barnes
S. Wheeler
William A. Wheeler
Mr. Fritz


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