January 27-30, 1916

Clipping from The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) January 29, 1916. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/Iccn/sn83045487/1916-1-29/ed-2/seq-14/

Wh 1.19 Monday

Thur. Jan 27, 1916

Cloudy & mild. 40 above. Rained considerable during the nite, tank run over. No letters from Lola this week at all, spose Lester [Lester Graves Pottenger, Lola’s first son, born 15 February 1915] & her work keeps her busy the most of time. Hope it will get to 1.25 soon & get that off our minds. We went down to Smiley’s & Mrs S & I got beat again. No other news to speak of. We talked some of going to Florida but nothing definite.

Friday 28

Cloudy, Mostly, 20 above. Not cold at all. I had pretty bad nite caught more cold yesterday someway and coughed all nite. Felt bum all day. Got card from Keohane saying wh[eat] was 1.21 Wednesday, down some today & yesterday too. Wrote to A. W. Winegas, Burlington Col [Colorado] about the farm down there. Did not go out doors all day – looks like storm of some kind coming.

Wh 1.21 Wednesday

Sat. Jan 29, 1916

Cloudy & misty. Sleeting. I walked over to Emerald St. and then took car to West Mad. to meet Clara – but the walking was very slippery. My cold is rather bothersome. Commenced to write the girls. Wheat mkt on down grade. Helen gone to stay over night with Miss Olson. Edna wrote about Fordyce [Edna’s son Robert Fordyce Ames] having near escape to getting killed or drowned. Thank God for the care & protection.

Sunday 30

Cloudy & mild, 18 above. I did not go out only to feed the chickens. Cold does not let up much if any. V & Mrs. Biggert went, Helen was away. Helen & Mrs. B went this eve to see Pilgrims Progress in Motion pictures in M.E. Church. No news to speak of. Snowing little this eve. Having terrible floods in California. Pray God may guide her & us all in everything.


Jan 27-30

January 23-26, 1916

Wh  1.17 last Fri

Sun. Jan. 23, 1916

Clear, fine, 30 above. Very nice day. I guess I feel little better than last night. Started letters to Lola & Edna and then we & Helen went to church & after chicken dinner we went down to Cong. Church to 4K sing. It was so close in there & I did not feel well so I got up & left was so faint. We took supper with Adams – Went to hear Dr. Chase talk on Jacob Reis the great Danish American.

Monday 24

Clear, Mild, 30 above. A nice day, it clouded over towards night and looks like storm brewing. I felt good deal like a fool all day, did not go to town, got a boil on back side & center of anatomy & it’s just awful sore. Got PC from Beach (Beach, ND, near his Montana land) saying wh(eat) worth 1.17 last Friday. No news to speak of got letter from Quincy [Quincy Ames, husband of daughter Edna] containing copy of letter he wrote to Dr. Montgomery.

Tues. Jan. 25, 1916

Cloudy & mild, 40 above, looked like rain. A mild day. I feel better today, have some cold & cough good deal night. Went to town this forenoon & finished up the loan 275.00 on little house in Oregon (Oregon, Wisconsin). Remained at home all afternoon. We got nice letter from Edna. Mrs Adams says Lola wrote her. Wish Lloyd could get into biz with Adams, think he might like it. Wheat boomed up again today.

Wednesday 26

Cloudy & mild, Rainy. I was home all day again, might have gone down town but N.T.(Slauson) & Mr. Skarney of On [?] came to see about doing some work for us & we are going to have 3 rooms down stairs Halls & our bedroom & Bath room & probably the kitchen before they get away. Will cost us about 100.00. Wheat stronger today. Letter from Mrs. Smith regarding the cemetery lot.

Jan 23-26

January 19-22, 1916

Wage rates_0002

The above is an helpful table printed in the diary. Weekly wages from $1.50 to $18.00 a week must have been customary.

Wheat 1.13 Monday.

Wed. Jan. 19, 1916

Cloudy & cold, 4 above. Chilly day, wind in South. I decided to have the house or flat at 1127 Emerald St should be fixed up & took Mr. Bruce over & let them the job to have the flat all fixed up & they will do it soon – 30.00. Villa got home from Evansville this noon & Jennie was very little better – No news from any but letter from Edna. Which I sent to V & she missed it. Changed my license No to 22900.

Thursday 20

Cloudy & Mild, 30 above. Quite a change in weather today, thawed considerably and is almost too warm as it will hurt the sleighing. Than writes Jennie is little better if anything – Dr. thought if she could live couple days he would think she might get up again. Mr. Halt went over to see what work I wanted done on houses at Emerald St., going have closet built in one bedroom. Helen went with Mr. Stone to Orpheum.

Wh 1.16 Wednesday.

Fri. Jan 21, 1916

Raining, 35 above. Rained & thawed all day & was misty and foggy and very good grippe weather – I did not feel so very foxy all day. Went down to Temple put new add in paper and had some calls. Read letter from L.A. [Lloyd Alson Pottenger, husband of daughter Lola] but his inventory is somewhat padded to make a showing of a profit. Smiley & wife were up to spend evng. Wheat was up again today, card saying wh was 1.16 Wednesday.

Saturday 22

Clear & very pleasant & warm. I have felt pretty bum all day. Have not eaten but little. Went to see Dr. Evans & he gave me something for system & piles also. Masons have supper tonite but I did not go. Have some symptoms of Grip. Wheat mkt. seems to be OK. Hope Keohane will be able to sell next week, but presume it will not reach 1.20 that soon.

Jan 19-22


January 15-18, 1916

Sat. Jan. 15, 1916

Cloudy & cold. 7 above. Good deal warmer today. Mr. Jones went with Helen to some classes and went home  at 3:45. Had a call for the house or flat today that hoped would materialize in renting – but did not hear. Went to the Temple and played Lim Clark & held him pretty well. No letters today. Went about the town. Thank the Lord for a dear Wife & Daughters & pray we with all our loved ones reach Heaven.

Sunday 16

Cloudy & cold, 8 below. Cold all day. We 3 went to church & heard good sermon by Dr. Chase. He lectures on “Helen Keller” tonight. We mite not go as its too cold. Helen is going to sing in the choir. Wrote to the girls and had a sleep on lounge. Laura Harker came home with Helen and called for some time.

Wheat 1.11 last Thursday

Monday, Jan 17 1916

Clear, 6 Below. We washed today. I rented Flat on Emerald St. Sat night and this morning the fellow backed out. Had to go over to 1125 Emerald this morning and then then out again. Went to town called on Mr Riley to see about a dun [?] he sent me. Got phone this eve from Than [Nathanial Slauson, brother of Villa] saying Jennie was very very sick & they think no help for her. Villa going to help them first train in a.m.

Tuesday 18

Clear, Cold, Zero. A cold day, but our house was warm this am. Villa went to Evansville to help a/c Jennie being sick. V reports she seems better but takes no nourishment. Went to town this p.m. No news only letter from Mrs. Chas Little, wrote to Eve, sent ck to pay taxes on Arribu farms. Think Bessie has not had his deed recorded as yet – went to B B game, N W & W, 22 to 18 for W.

January 15-18_0002

January 11-14, 1916

Middy blouses

Janesville Daily Gazette, Janesville,Wisconsin, Tue, Jan 11, 1916

Tues. Jan. 11, 1916

Cloudy, 6 above. A cool ? day. I loafed around home this forenoon and read book. Got nice letter from Lola. She has been very busy and could not write. Went to Temple and stayed till 4K & then went to Adams, Fox office and got re-elected Director & examiner. V & I called on Smileys & played S.R. Set & Mrs S & I got beaten. Cairns called on Helen again this evng.

Wednesday 12

Cloudy, 32 above. A little snow fell during night, thawing, but tonight is very much colder, nearly 10 above. I met a Mr. Brown at 5K to look over the flat & he is to have his wife look at it Monday. V & Mrs. Smiley went over to Mrs Hauts to Circle & had quite a walk. I can’t play Billiards at all any more, my knee is very bad with Rheumatism.

Thur. Jan 13. 1916

Clear & cold, 18 Below. Some say 20 to 24 – but it is cold any way & all day our house is comfortable tho. I was home all fore noon. We had nice letter from Edna. Wheat is gaining some all time – hope it will go up so Keohane will sell out. Went to Temple and walloped Emery 3 out of 4. Got to pay taxes ere long & they will be 275.00 or so.

Friday 14

Clear, Cold, 15 Below. Had phone from 1125 Emerald St. saying water was froze up so went over & worked quite a spell took over our kerosene stove & Hatfield saw everything is ok. Got letter from Keohane reporting Zable farm returns & we have 2927.40 Ba Wheat out west & he desires holding on thinks we will get 1.25. Mr. Jones came last nite to see Helen. They were alarmed at not hearing from her.



January 7-10, 1916

Jan7-10-2_0001Janesville Daily Gazette, Monday, Jan 3, 1916, Newspapers.com


Fri. Jan. 7, 1916

Clear, 10 above. A nice mild day. I tried hard all day to rent my flat on Emerald St. but no sure success today – Went to Temple for spell, Have a lame knee, hard to walk. Wrote to Keohane to sell wheat or hold at his pleasure. Mr. Mrs. Adams were here to supper. We played dominoes. Helen & Young Cairns are infatuated, have not heard from Lola this week.

Saturday 8

Clear, 30 above. A nice day, thawed some. I was home all fore noon and V & Mrs. B went to town to get a suit for Mrs B. V bot some satin for dress. I went over to the flats this pm but could not find Mrs. Redders to get receipt. Went to town, pd for Gas lights & phone – went to Temple. Could not play for shucks. Got a chicken 18¢ pr lb. No letter from Lola all this week.

Sun. Jan. 9, 1916

Cloudy – 30 above. A mild dreary day. We, V, Helen & I went to church. Dr. Chase is not well but he preached. We did not go out again. Had Smiley & wife up to tea & we all talked & said something about going to Florida. It rained or misted & froze on walks and was real slippery – Helen has her man Powell here tonite. Was out with Caerns last nite.

Monday 10

Cloudy, 25 above Not so very cold but grew colder towards night. I went to Adams & Fox to work on the Ins Co. books & we got thru before noon at Adams office and went to Treas this pm. I met Mr. Hines at McKays office & he decided in my favor as to rent so presume he will pay it over to Pratt now. We were to Adams to supper this eve. Huggins & wife also, nice supper. Went to official board meeting.

Janesville Daily adJanesville Daily Gazette, Janesville, Wisconsin, Fri, Jan 7, 1916, page 5, Newspapers.com.

Monday Jan 3-Thursday Jan 6, 1916

Madison St. House

A picture taken several years ago of Larry and Ellen in front of the house where E.H.Graves lived in 1916, located at 1913 Madison Street.

E.H. Graves’ 1916 Diary

Mon. Jan 3, 1916

Clear, 13 above. A cold still morning. V [Villa or Arvilla] did a small wash. We got few letters. Got Bill Hooks notes back again and heard from James Slauson he reached home all right – got 50.00  Mrs. Ashard on her note. Went to Temple and got beat 3 games. Helen Jones got here this noon. We invited Ed Richards & Chas. Hook up for Wednesday. Wheat took another drop today.

Tuesday 4  Wh [wheat] 1.25

Cloudy, 34 above. I did not sleep very well last night had a pain in my lungs, loafed around all forenoon. Walked to town this pm via West Mad [Madison] & enjoyed the walk. Went to temple and played two games with Ed Polk & beat him on 5 or no count, rec’d letters from Frank Clara with co for Amelia [Brown, sister of Villa]. Wrote to Ernest Slauson & Carl Nelson abt trading Colorado farm towards his Stoughton house.

Wed. Jan. 5, 1916

Cloudy, 25 above. A cold day kept getting colder & colder all day. We expected Ed Richards & Chas Hooks & wives here today but they did not show up, both got sickness in family. Wheat is going up again & hope it goes to 1.25 in Beach. Put an add in the Journal & had 5 calls this eve about the flat. We called on Mr. & Mrs. Teal out on Leonard St, new people.

Thursday 6

Wh 1.27 5/8

Clear, 4 Below. The coldest am of the winter. I went to Makey’s office & pd Jaslin 2200.00 & int on the Emerald St. property – guess we not be able to pay the 2000.00 till its due to W W Warren. V & I went to depot & saw Mr & Mrs Irish on train bound for Texas & visited them till the train went. Got very lame knee, cannot walk very well. Bot & pd for auto license, they to mail it to me.


E.H.Graves 1916 Diary, January 1-2

Saturday, January 1, 1916 was 32 degrees out, a miserable day in Madison Wisconsin. Elizer Hiram Graves conducted his business, and then went to the Masonic Temple to play billiards. He had kept a diary since 1888 and wrote a few lines each day, recording the weather, keeping track of business and social activities, births and deaths, and in general the day-to-day happenings of his life.

How did people spend their time 100 years ago before television, computers, Internet, cell phones, tablets and all the other gadgets we have today?  In many ways his diary gives us a clear picture of the “good old days.”

Born December 27, 1853, E.H. Graves had just turned 62.  He and his wife Arvilla had moved to Madison from Brooklyn, Wisconsin so that their daughters could attend the University and in 1916 their daughters were both married. He had two cars and a vacation home, and the fun and problems that came with them. He and his wife Arvilla are buried in the Methodist Church cemetery in Brooklyn.

Elizur H. gravestoneHis diary can sometimes be difficult to read so I am including transcriptions, although I’m not sure I have spelled some of the names correctly.

Sat. Jan. 1, 1916

Damp & Misty – 32 above. A very miserable day out in it; called up Mr. Jaslyn & told him we would take up his daughter’s mortgage on Emerald St. property on Thursday. McKay not rented the house as yet. I wrote to Bro Irish & sent a little Jingle, he is 75 tomorrow. Went to the Temple and beat all I played with. I made 15 points the best I ever did, played for Davidson & Mr Emery, Mr. Adam’s father is dead, they go to funeral on Monday.

Sunday 2

Clear, 30 above. Froze some during night but the day has been just beautiful. Mother & I walked to church and enjoyed it all very much. Had such a good sermon by Dr. Chase on Faith, Hope & Love. We had fried eggs for dinner. Wrote to the girls, Ol Gray and Ruby & cards to Saltsmans & Jones. Had good snooze. We went to church this evng [evening].

Jan 1-2, 1916_0003