We certainly knew our neighbors. We knew who was related to who. And who was doing what with whom. And who was doing what they shouldn't. And whose business was doing well. And whose business wasn't. And sometimes why. And how the economy was affecting us all.
And we certainly had an opinion about it all too. (Sounds like a country song, no?)
And it seems that it was the same for Lavina (Richmond) Haley in June of 1900 in the wee town of Colfax, Jasper County, Iowa. With the "booming" market prices, Lavina seems to get more into writing in her diary. She's doesn't reveal all her feelings or opinions, but she's opening up. Who's to say why, exactly, she does. Perhaps she's inspired by the economy. Perhaps with practice and daily discipline, the act of writing is becoming more enjoyable. Or maybe she just has more to say. I dunno. But Lavina seems to be inspired enough to write, "we have had the nicest spring..." on page nine.
Lavina goes on to reveal the market is doing well and the farm hands are making great money. On June 4th, she (or maybe the whole family -- she doesn't specify) stay(s) at George Marsh's overnight. This is her brother-in-law who is married to her oldest sister Sarah Ann. So she's visiting her sister and her sister's family in the nearby town of Clyde.
She also mentions on the way back home the next day, she stops "to Crocker for dinner and had a good time." There isn't a town called Crocker in Jasper County, Iowa, but there is a Daniel and Sarah Crocker who live in Clear Creek, Jasper County, Iowa, in the 1900 census.  And Clear Creek is nearby to Colfax and Clyde so I'm guessing this is where she dines and has a good time on the 5th of June.
Also, on the 5th, she indicates Lyle Berry comes a-visiting. As mentioned before in a previous post, there are quite a few Berry households in 1900, and the last time a Berry came to visit, it was a John Berry. And because of how many Berry households there are, I haven't bothered to connect all the Berry dots. But, obviously, the Haleys knew the Berrys there in Jasper County, Iowa.
On the 7th of June, Lavina reveals she got a "Manda Logsday to make a waist." I've been unable to find a "Manda Logsday" in the 1900 census in Jasper County, but there is an Amanda Logsdon who is married to a Burtsell Logsdon and their daughter's name is Jessie. Lavina has a first cousin named Bert Logsdon. So, I'm guessing this is family Lavina is talking about. And back in I'm Lovin' Lavina Loca, I mentioned Lavina's diary entry where she takes her dress to a Jessie Logsdon. (Who is probably Jossie. Or maybe they called her both. I don't know but she's listed in the different censuses over the years as Jessie, Jossie, and Josephine, but Lavina calls her Jessie. Or maybe I'm not interpreting Lavina's handwriting correctly. Totally possible.)
But getting back to the waist, perhaps, Amanda/Manda and Jessie/Jossie/Josephine like to sew. Or perhaps they do it on the side to supplement the income Burtsell makes as a carpenter. (He's also listed as Burt in other census records. But "Burtsell" is too good of a name to not use.) Of course, maybe there's a Manda Logsday in Jasper County and I simply could not find her.
But I'm pretty sure it's Lavina's cousin-in-law that she had make a "waist" for her. I don't sew, but I'm guessing that this involves a dress. Maybe it is a dress, like a waist dress or perhaps she's adding or taking in a waist.
On the 11th of June, Lavina tells us Beryl visits. Lavina has a niece named Beryl, and I'm guessing this is the same Beryl who stays with the Haleys for five days, and Beryl's parents, John and Jane Holtz (Jane is one of Lavina's sisters) come to pick her up on the 16th, which is the same day as the Implement Parade in Colfax. I'm guessing they all went to it because Lavina indicates on the 17th "the folk went back to Newton after dinner."
And the Haleys had a set back with all the rain they had on the 16th. I'm guessing the rain came after the Implement Parade because Lavina reports they had 2 feet of water in their cellar, and she writes, it was "the hardest rain I ever saw."
Poor Lavina, even if it's just family you have over for one night, having a bad rain and your cellar filling up with two feet of water is a big mess and annoying when you have visitors. At least, she had more hands on deck to help out with everything.
And, apparently, the cellar is dry enough by the 20th because that's when Lavina tells us they begin tiling their cellar. This is also another indication the Haleys were doing pretty well financially, I think. If you're poor in 1900, you're not tiling your cellar. At least, I wouldn't think so. (My husband's Pointer kinfolk had a farm in Story County, Iowa starting the early 1900s and they had a dirt floor in their cellar.)
And then Lavina tells us they went, "to Kintz to Baptizing." (Ah, I love this.) With a very quick preliminary check in the 1900-1940 census records, I can't find a Kintz born right before this time period, so perhaps if it was a baby Kintz, that passed away and wasn't recorded on the census and are not on Findagrave.com. Possibly, this is an adult Kintz being baptized. There are 3 Kintz households in Jasper County in 1900 that I can find, and if a Kintz descendant is looking to identify this Kintz being baptized, perhaps starting with this list of Jasper County churches on IAGenweb might be helpful. (However, there might be other churches and most certainly more records elsewhere, but this is a starting point.) And perhaps when I discern which church the Haleys attended, I'll find the Kintz family and this baptism on microfilm. (Or not. This is my husband's family. Oddly enough not only is his family history pretty easy trace, but the neighbors of his ancestors are too. Unfortunately, mine are not, and, of course, the tough problems are the ones that attract me the most.)
She also mentions going to "Uncle Tom's" on the 29th. Since I've not found a brother named Thomas of her father's, I'm going to guess she is referring to her mother's brother named Thomas Logsdon.
And on the 30th, Ray works for a Mrs. Jennings. There are quite a few Jennings households in nearby towns to Colfax in 1900 so it could be any of these.
And at the bottom of the 2nd page of entries on the very last line is the most cryptic phrase. And wouldn't you know? It's hard to read because the edge of the page has worn away. It looks like: "26 clear went to Kunters to casket tick".
But it can't be. That doesn't make sense. But there are some Kunters near there at the time, but not super close — a county away. And I sure wish I could read the last 2 words. Lavina is taunting me again...
A casket tick!
Um, no. (At least, I don't think so.)
Colfax June 1 , 1900 morning temperature
1 clear we have had the nicest spring 68
have had no storms every thing looks
nice everything is booming prices is high
farm hands get 20 to 25 dol per month cattle
fat 5 1/2 stock 4 1/2 hogs 4 1/2 to 5. all [word scratched out] the
winter and spring are worth 4 1/2 now.
2 clear. chickens is 7 cts per lb. butter 17 cts eggs 10 cts 60
3 clear cooler 50
4 clear cool went to George Marshes 54
et din in Clyd stayed all night to Marshes
came back next day. stopped to Crocker for dinner had a good [word "dinner" is scratched out] time
5 clear Lyle Berry visit. warm afternoon. 68
6 clear 65
7 clear got Wanda Logsday to make a waist 65
8 clear 65
9 clear. high wind. in night severe lightning 68
10 clear 60
11 clear Beryl came to visit us 64
12 clear rained good shower in night 66
13 clear 60
[Haley Diary, page 10]
Colfax June 14 1900 morning temperature
14 clear 70
15 clear 60
16 clear Implement parade in after noon
Father John and Jane came to take Beryl home
brought 4 boxes of strawberries it rained [temperature 65 scratched out]
four hours without stopping washed out culberts
bridges filled cellars and basements
our cellar is two feet deep in watter the
hardest rain I ever saw. hard thunder. 68
17 cloudy rained a little in the morning
cleared away by noon. the folk went back
to Newton after dinner 70
18 clear nice day 65
19 clear 68
20 clear in day rained in the night very light
rain no lightning commenced to tile the cellar 68
21 clear finished tiling cellar. hard shower in evening [circled] 68
22 clear 62
23 clear 62
24 clear went to Kintz to Baptizing 62
25 clear [small word scratched out] hot in afternoon 6[? page torn off]
26 clear went to Kunters to casket tick 7[? page torn off]
[Haley Diary, page 11]
Colfax June 1900 morning temperature
27. hard wind and rain storm early morning 62
28 clear got 4 gal. of gasoline 15cts gal 70
29 clear went to Uncle Tom's Cabbin in Colfax 70
30 clear wind in east Ray worked for Mrs. Jennings 60
31 [word "clear is crossed out with 3 lines] cloudy cool lovely day 60
2. Lavina (Richmond) Haley, "Diary" (MS, Jasper County, Iowa, 1900-1905), pp. 9-11; privately held by R.L. Pointer, [Address for private use,] Spring, Texas, 2016. Mr. Pointer is the great-grandson of the diary's author.