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Adair County Iowa

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Diary of John Handley 1873

Editor's note: John Handley wrote this on a trip back to Virginia when he was 28 years old. He uses hardly any punctuation. The ones that he did use were mostly not used correctly. This made it very difficult to read. He writes in a "stream of conscienceness." Spaces that have a line represent words that I could not read. All punctuations and spellings are as they were written.

Diary of John Handley 1873
New Year’s I was in Richmond, Ind, was in Cinatia by ten o’clock in the morning, got on the train at Cummingeville on the Merriette and Cinatia road, ran at the rate of twenty five miles per hour changed at Hamden Forts Mouth took the hack at seciolabille for Ironton

Thursday, 2 started for Huntington in a hack at eight o’c arrived opporter at twelve went across the river in a skiff the ice was running lively, went to a Restuarant and took a dish of oysters then strolled around the town till three Oc in the evening it is quite a nice little town will make a large place in new years got on the train and ran up to the falls

 Friday, 3 hired a man to take me up to Fayetteville. Being too late to go to the ferry went home with Mr. Hutchinson and stayed ______ overnight it is the most God forsakin country I ever was in, rough and mountainous it hardly looks like an one can live

Saturday, 4 in the morning Mr Hutchinson went down the river with me. I croseed New River in a canoe the river was high and rapid ol logs and _______ nage were floating but we crossed in safety, waited a long time for the train but concluded it was not coming. Then started down the railroad too Bongers ferry and stoped over night

 January Sunday, 5 1873 Started for Lewisburg on the old State road very thinly tilled road the road was very muddy and was hard walking passed through a place called the shoiles of death, it is growing up laurel and pine. Staid overnight with Mr. Anderson ten miles from the ferry

Monday, 6 hired Anderson to take me five miles on horse back paid him one dallor for his accomadation. I walked from top a big Sewell Mountain twelve miles to Mr. Samuel  Mc Clunge, introduced myself to the old gentlemen and staid overnight, had a very pleasant chat with the old gentlemen and felt as if I was among friends agiay January

Tuesday, 7 1873 started from Mr. McClung next morning early, stoped at the post office and write a few lines to my friends bought some paper envelopes and stamps. Walked twelve miles that day was pretty well worn out staid at Joe McClungs overnight

Wednesday, 8 _________ morning Joe McC brought me up to cousin Sirous McClungs got here afternoon. They thought me a fiddler of some kind but were mistaken Paris was at school came home at night but did not know me, and would not make up to me for some time went to bed a nine o’c

Thursday, 9 1873 This day has been cold and windy and rather disagreeable to be out have kept close to the fire, have been thinking this would be a cold day in Iowa and wondering how the folks at home were getting along write a letter and dated it a year behind time

Friday, 10 Friday was very cold. Cousin Cyrus McClung brought me over to Uncle Richard in the afternoon the roads were very icey and it was bad traveling. The folks looks quite natural I don’t think they have changed any except Brown Hanna

January Saturday, 11 1873 Cousin Geny and Sae went with me over to cousin Mike Gillian found them all well. I would not have recogonised cousin Mollie or cousin Ruth I think cousin Mollie has change considerable

Sunday, 12 spent the day at Uncle Richards, did not go to church. The two Mr Stewart came over after church John Stewart staid till in the evening from what I can learn he is a regular visitor here cousin Sae serves to be the attraction I did not feel very well this night

January Monday, 13 1873 went over to town today with cousin Cassie Cassie seen Harve on his way to S_____ he seemed to be very much surprised at seeing me he looks well as usual was at cousin Mikes. Seen cousin Mollie and the rest of the family they were well

Tuesday, 14 left Frankford this morning for spring creek the roads were muddy. Went to cousin Austin Burrs for dinner went over to Aunt Polly Handley and staid all night seen cousin Dick I think he has changed since I seen him last

January Wednesday, 15 1873 went up to Uncle Alberts today with Harve and Dick. Found them all well they have changed some since I saw them last. It rained some to night the roads are very mudy

Thursday, 16 to day is cloudy and it is raining some Harve has gone to Falling Springs. Did not get home till late Rube Miles came home with him it is the first time I have met with Rube in fifteen years he has changed but little. The rain just poured down this evening

January Friday, 17 1873 cousin Mary Hanna and myself started to Frankford this morning stopped at Autin Burrs for dinner we met Austin Kincade and his wife they look quite natural we came to the crick it was very high but got over safe

Saturday, 18 it is froze up today Dick Hanna and myself was over to Frankford today we called at cousin Mike Gillilan this afternoon. Cousin Ruth was not very well the rest of the family were all well it was quite cold to day

January Sunday, 19 1873 stayed at Uncle Richards all day it is still cold to day and snowing a little Dick and Mary Seizzie started home this morning. I am not feeling very well to night

Monday, 20 to day is still cold and disagreeable Charles is sick to day and not able to do anything cousins  Matt McClung and wife Nany Baight started home this morning it will be rough traveling on the roads to day

January Tuesday, 21 1873 it is raining hard this morning Anthony Kincade came over to Uncle Richards this morning is the first time I have seen him since I came back here stopped at cousin Mike as I went up to spring creek to day

Wednesday, 22 this has been the sutest day since I have been in the state it has thawed considerable today came up to Uncle Alberts today they are all well

January Thursday, 23 1873 this has been a stormy day but not very cold has snowed pretty much all day I have put in the time today playing checkers and reading the newspapers it is still snowing away tonight

Friday, 24 today it is still snowing and blowing have staid in the house pretty much all day interested to go up to Mr Beards but did not go it is quite cold this evening

January Saturday, 25 1873 it is tolerable pleasant this morning Uncle Albert and Aunt Sarah went to Frankford today I started from Spring Creek at Two o’clock for Frankford got down here before sundown

Sunday, 26 staid here all day cousin Charles has been sick for a week Uncle Richard cut his leg and is confined to the house. Cousin Mollie Gillilan (Gilliand) is sick has been over yet it is snowing hard this afternoon

January Monday, 27 1873 it is still snowing this morning there is about ten inches of snow on the ground went to a funeral today Mr. Seppes preached a very good sermon I went in to see cousin Mollie she is getting better

Tuesday, 28 went up to Mr Browns today on a visit they are all well this has been a nice day there has been another death in town a child of Doctor Kincady died this morning at nine o’clock will be buried tomorrow

January Wednesday, 29 1873 this has been the coldest day for more than two weeks was at up the funeral this afternoon but did not go out to the grave yard it has got a little warmer this evening

Thursday, 30 today has been a very pleasant day I went to seewisburg (Lewisburg?) today with Clowny Scaggs and cousin Charly Gillilan we all had a good time and a good sleigh ride siaisburg(?) Has not improved much in the last five years

January Friday, 31 1873 this is a splendid day have been at Uncle Richards most all day went over to Frankford in the evening I staid at cousins Mike Gillilans all night

February Saturday, 1 this morning is very nice and warm the sleighing is about gone. This afternoon cousin Charles and myself came over to Cyrus McClungs they are all well. It is colder tonight

February Sunday, 2 1873 today has been nice and warm. Cousins Charles and myself have stayed here all day at Cyrus McClungs are going over to Frankford tomorrow

Monday, 3 when we got up this morning we found it was raining and sleeting we started before nine o’clock this morning for home. Cousin Cyrus came over with us it poured on us most of the way I am not feeling very well this evening it is still raining

February, 4 1873 today is nice and pleasant. Cousin Jennie and myself went up to Mr. Kinchdes on a visit we started home in the rain but did not get much wet

Wednesday, 5 I went out to the back part of the farm this morning with Charlie helped him to feed the cattle This is a warm day and the snow is about all gone Mrs. William died yesterday and is buried today

February Thursday, 6 1873 today is fine but the mud is awful I have been loffing all day. Was in town this morning am going to the lodge tonight Mr. McNeal is at Uncle Richards tonight

February Friday, 7 this morning I started to spring creek with cousin Jeny cousin Ruth and Elowry (?) Scaggs we got up here about one o’clock the roads are very mudy and hard traveling we found them all well as usualy

February Saturday, 8 1873 this morning is fine cousin Jennie and Ruth are going to Mr. Abe Beads today I went with Harve on a fox chase but it was not much sport

Sunday, 9 today is blustery and cold very suden change from yesterday
I went down to Mr. Beards this morning we staid till after dinner then came back to Uncle Alberts. It is still cold tonight

February Monday, 10 1873 started from Uncle Alberts this morning and came down to Austin Burrs staid there for dinner.
We then started for Frankford and got down here at sundown

Tuesday, 11 we intended to go to Lewisburg today but as it is raining hard this morning I went over to town with Harve this morning we staid over there till afternoon it is still raining hard this evening

February Wednesday, 12 1873 it is still raining staid with Elowry(?) Scaggs last night was over at cousins Mike’s today they are all well
Harve has gone back to spring creek he will have a good time in the rain

Thursday, 13 the ground is covered with snow and it is still snowing this evening.
The roads are dreadful snow and mud in abundance I went over to town this evening and staid at cousin Mikes all night

February Friday, 14 1873 this morning was a dreary looking morning but it cleared off about noon and was very pleasant the rest of the day. I came up to Falling Spring in the afternoon staid at Austin Burr last night

Saturday, 15  I went over to James Mathews today on a visit they have not changed much since I was there before
It commenced sleeting and snowing about two o’clock and has kept at it study all evening and up till eleven o’clock in the night when it began to rain

February Sunday, 16 1873 it is till raining this morning and rained all most all night
I am at Aunt Polleys today have written two letters today this evening it has quite raining

Monday, 17 it has cleared of this morning and looks like there would be some fine weather I came up to Uncle Alberts this fore noon they are all well I went with Harve up to Mr. Rapp this evening on a visit Joe nor Mr. Rapp neither were at home

February Tuesday, 18 1873 this is a beautiful day and warm as a May day. We came Mr. Rapps the roads are very bad but that is nothing for this country as I have not seen any good roads since I came here

Wednesday, 19 it is raining again this morning but has cleared of now
We started up to Poeahontas(?) after dinner found the roads pretty bad in places came to Mr. Beards and staid all night Mrs. Beard is quite sick

February Thursday, 20 1873 this morning is quite nice and pleasant
I started up to Stony Creak stopped at John (Auldrige?) (?) to see Mary Ea(?) up around (?)(?) staid with Sam Moore

Friday, 21 it is raining again this morning snowed quite a skiff last night
I went up to Mr. Auldrige today I seen Mifs (?) Mary Auldrige she looks very natural. This has been a stormy day

February Saturday, 22 1873 this morning to pretty cold and it is snowing I left Stony Creek expecting to go Mr. Jackson’s but changed my mind and come down to Heallsboro staid all night with Kean Gary(?)

Sunday, 23 this has been one of the coldest days since I have been in the state has been blowing snow all day
Was at church today at Heallsboro seen some very pretty girls came over to Capt. McNeals this evening

February Monday, 24 1873 today is very cold and blowing snow
Stayed at Capt. McNeals till in the afternoon. Then went over to Mr. Joel Hills met up with Mr. Austin (Brown?) had met with him in County Niclsollow(?) five years ago

Tuesday, 25 left Mr. Hills this morning came over to Heallsboro and then came on down to Mr. Frank Renicks found them all tolerable well they have not changed much in the last five years this day has been tolerable good

Wednesday, 26 1873 it has clouded up today and looks as if it would storm left Frank Renicks this morning and came down to Renicks Valley got a letter from H. Moore today it is raining this evening

Thursday, 27 this morning is fine went down on the creek to whare they were thrashing they have not got a very good machine and thrashed very slow
It has clouded up this evening and looks like it would storm before morning


February Friday, 28 1873 it is storming hard this morning and is quite cold I left Uncle Alberts this evening and came down to Austin Burrs and staid all night they are all well


March Saturday, 1 left Austin Burrs this morning and started to Frankford found them all well at Uncle Richards they have had bad luck in the last two weeks.
I was over to see cousin Mollie this evening she has not been well for some time this had been a nice day

March Sunday, 2 1873 it is snowing this morning. I started to Sinking Creek this morning with cousin Scy(?) McClung we went to church at Williamsburg and heard Mr Quinn preach his farewell sermon

Monday, 3 this has been a very stormy has snowed most of the day and the wind has been blowing hard and has been about the stormiest day I have seen this winter I am at Sey McClung today I want to go over to Frankford tomorrow

March Tuesday, 4 1873 this has been a very cold day the coldest that I have seen since I have been in the state I am still at cousin Cyrus McClungs it has been too cold for the girls to go home but if it moderates will go tomorrow

Wednesday, 5 it has moderated this morning but is still cold we started to Frankford this fore noon and got over here about one o’clock I went over to cousin Mikes they are not very well all seem to be sick. Cousin Mollie is better

March Thursday, 6 1873 this has been a very pleasant day and it thawed considerable had been at uncle Richard most all day went with cousin Charley to the timber this afternoon Anthy(?) Kincade came here tonight we are all going to the loge(?) this evening

Friday, 7 this has been the nicest day we have had for more than two weeks the mud is getting very deep again. I went over to town this morning and staid most all day. I was at cousin Mikes in the afternoon they are getting better received a letter from home this evening they are not well at home

March Saturday, 8 1873 this has been a splendid day though it rained last night and a little this morning I started over to Will Stewarts this evening came over to town and got Howard Scaggs to go with me had a very pleasant visit

Sunday, 9 came over to town this morning and went to Church and then went over to uncle Richards looked for cousin Charley home all evening but he did not come this has been a beautiful day more like spring than any day yet

March Monday, 10 1873 this has been a very nice day. I went out to help the boys feed the cattle went over to town this afternoon was at cousin Mikes cousin Mollie has got a bout well it has clouded up tonight

Tuesday, 11 left Frankford this morning and came up to Falling Springs stoped at aunt Polly for dinner they are all well came up to uncle Alberts this afternoon they are all well. The roads are in a bad conditions for traveling this has been a beautiful day

March Wednesday, 12 1873 went up to Mr. Beards this morning with cousin Sizzie and Mifs Mary Rapp found the folks all well this has been a nice and pleasant day we went up to cousin George Caraways this evening and staid over night

Thursday, 13 left cousin George Caraway this morning and came down to Mr Carson Caraway and spent the day had a very pleasant visit
This has been a nice day the mud is drying up fast

March Friday, 14 1873 went over to James McCoys this morning with Uncle Albert they are making sugar had what I could eat we spent most of the day at the sugar camp staid with John Arbuckle

Saturday, 15 went up to Mr. John M. Browns this morning with John Arbuckle I took dinner with them they were making sugar had all I could eat but left there at three O’clock and came over to Uncle Alberts this has been a very warm day

March Sunday,16 1873 left Uncle Alberts this morning and came down to church at Falling Springs then came over to Austin Burrs and got dinner I went over to Mr Walkups this afternoon the old place looks familiar

Monday, 17 left Falling Springs this morning and came down to Frankford and found them all well at Uncle Richards
Was over ton cousin Mikes this afternoon Cousin Mollie is not very well and Ruth has not been well for some days.

March Tuesday, 18 1873 staid in Frankford last night with Clourry Skaggs and staid in town most fore noon
I came up to Mr John Miles this evening and staid all night it rained some last night

Wednesday, 19 left mr Miles this morning and went down to Chris Walkups then came up to Falling Spring and stopped at Austine Burrs for dinner this afternoon I came up to Uncle Alberts this has been a nice day

March Thursday, 20 1873 it has been raining today and has been rather a disagreeable day is quite cold this afternoon
I came down to Mr. John J Beards this evening Harve came with me

Friday, 21 left Mr. Beards this morning and came down to Frankford it is quite cold and stormy today there is some snow on the ground and is drifting was over to see cousin Mollie this evening

March Saturday, 22 1873 it is quite cold this morning and still storming was over in town this fore noon it cleared off about noon today and is bright warm and pleasant came over to give Joe McClungs this evening

Sunday, 23 this has been a fine day and warm. Staid at Joe McClungs till after dinner
Started to Frankford with with Joe McClung Cousin Charly and Reny Skaggs got over here at 5. It commenced rain this evening

March Monday, 24 1873 came over from town this fore noon Uncle Richards he is sick today it rained last night and this has been a wet bad day cousin Charlie went to po_a(?)  this afternoon

Tuesday, 25 left Frankford this morning and came up to Spring criek Stoped at Aunt Pollys Dick came up home with me. This has been a fine day and is very warm the roads are in a bad condition for traveling it is raining hard tonight

March Wednesday, 26 1873 this is stormy day has been raining all night. staid at Uncle Alberts most all day. came down to Aunt Pollys staid all night it is storming very hard tonight

Thursday, 27 this is the day that Dick is to be married I left Falling Springs this morning and went down to Lewisburg with the boys. staid in town till evening and then came up to Mr. Sea Rius. Dick was married at eight this evening

March Friday, 28 1873 left Mr. Sarews this morning and came up to Frankford staid here till in the afternoon then came up to Uncle Alberts to the infare there was a very large number of the people at the infare

Saturday, 29 left Uncle Alberts this fore noon and came down to Austin Burs intended to go on down to Frankford. but the crick was so high we could not get across it is storming hard this afternoon

March Sunday, 30 1873 came down to Frankford this morning was at Mr. Bells this afternoon. This has been a fine day the roads are in a bad condition was over to see cousin Mollie this evening had a pleasant time

Monday, 31 Staid in Frankford this morning till after the mail came up but got no letters
Started over to Sinking crick to Cyrus McClungs
this has been a fine day the roads are drying up fast

April Tuesday, 1 1873 left Cyrus McClungs this morning and came up to Mr. Reapps (?) staid here till in the evening and then came on up to Uncle Alberts it is raining again this evening

Wednesday, 2 it is raining this morning but not very hard
 went up to cousin George Caraways this morning with Ellen Hanna came back this afternoon to Uncles this day I shall have to spend at Uncle Alberts

April Thursday, 3 1873 I left Uncle Alberts this morning perhaps for the last time. They have been so kind to me that I was sory to have to bid them goodbye
came down to Mr. Walkups and staid for dinner is very warm today Seventy degrees above zero

Friday, 4 left Falling Springs this morning and came down to Frankford stoped at Hamilton Browns and took dinner then bid them all good bye I stoped in town and seen cousin Mollie there went over to Uncles was at church tonight

April Saturday, 5 1873 was at Mr. Stewarts last night they are very clever people. Went to church today this has been the warmest I have ever seen in this month the Thermometer stood up to 87 today

Sunday, 6 staid last night at cousin Mikes it probably be the last night I shall ever spend at their house they have been very kind to me I am very sory to have to have but the best of friends have to part was church today

April Monday, 7 1873 I bid them all good bye today and started for the west hope I will have a safe journey home and a pleasant one Am at Mr. Dreuns(?) tonight it is very warm I expect to get on the train in the morning

Tuesday, 8 took the train at Roncovert at ten o'clock the road is pretty rough but are no Slides in the way pass through seven or eight tunnels on this road got down to Hunting and then took the boat to Fleck/Heel/Fleet (?) Wood

April Wednesday, 9 1873 the boat landed in Cincinnatia this morning at five I got on the train at quater past eight the fields look green has been raining a good deal we did not get in Chicago till midnight

Thursday, 10 staid in Chicago till ten the next day then started for Londen (?) and got off at seven it has been raining some today the country looks natural there seems to have been  a good deal of snow here lately and there has not been much seeding done

April Friday, 11 1873 hired a livery team to bring me over from Loudery(?) the roads are miserable and not much traveling done got home at ten found the folks all tolerable well but  Sam(?) he is just getting over the lung flu

Saturday, 12 this is a nice day went down to see John McGrims this fore noon he looks natural and I think was glad to see me Joe Sean(?) came this evening still follows his old occupation was glad to see him the boys have gone to debate night

April Sunday, 13 1873 this is the first Sunday I have spent in Iowa for a long time went down to Dunkard meeting this fore noon. Stoped at Harveys/Henry Bolhing (?) for dinner as I came back this has been a fine day

Monday, 14 went out to plow this morning found the ground very wet and in bad conditions but as it is getting late we will have to go at it anyway ought to have been done sowing wheat before this time it set in to raining this afternoon and continued to rain till dark

April Tuesday, 15 1873 have been plowing today and am tired is the first days work I have done for a long time and it gots preatty hard it has been cloudy all day and looks like it would rain to night

Wednesday, 16 this has been a rainy day have not done anything today went to Inland after dinner then went down to Henry Moores and played checkers with Henry and the boys. Looked at his cattle but did not buy Staid all night

April Thursday, 17 1873 came home from Henry Moores this fore noon it has been raining part of the time today was looking over my old letters this afternoon have over two hundred burnt most of them

Friday, 18 went to plowing this morning the ground is not in good order is too wet this has been a nice day and I am tired tonight
we commenced to sow wheat today got about four acres sowed

April Saturday, 19 1873 this has been a nice day have been plowing and sowing wheat have got about twenty acres sowed I am pretty tired tonight Cal has gone to the debates tonight

Sunday, 20 it is raining again this morning but has cleared of now I write three letters today to old friends in VA was over to Inland this afternoon saw Billey Young for the first time since I came home stoped at Henry Boltan and seen Tosh Boltan

April Monday, 21 1873 this has been a nice day for working snowed some today are plowing for what is awful wet and mudy
Tuesday, 22 it is cloudy this morning and looks like storming. began to snow about eight o'clock. we had to stop plowing about ten this fore noon it has cleared of we went to work again after dinner the winds blow pretty cold this afternoon



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