These books are well-worn, and while we don't get Lavina's innermost thoughts, much can be gleaned of what farm life was like for the Haley family there in Colfax.
She begins with just temperatures for the first few pages, but then begins giving us snippets of the Haley family's days including when various family members go to nearby towns for things and attend events as well as when the family has certain people over for dinner.
Daniel and Lavina (Richmond) Haley adopted a baby boy, and his name was Frank Edward Haley who was 3 years old in 1880 according to the 1880 Federal Population Census. They later had a biological son named Wilbert Raymond Haley in 1886, who Lavina refers to as "Ray". At the beginning of the first book in 1 Jan 1900, Daniel is 51 years old, Lavina is 49 years old, Frank is 23 years old and living and working in Nebraska, and Ray is 13 years old and living with his parents in Colfax.
The first several pages are not so interesting unless you're a meterologist, but it gets better. I promise. In the following entries for January of 1900, Lavina mentions Ray having gone to Newton, Iowa, which, according to Google Maps, is 11.2 miles west northwest of Colfax, IA. Lavina also mentions "Travers" having called on them. In 1900, there is a Travers family in the neighboring county of Marshall Co, IA just north of Jasper Co. She also mentions "Dainton" calling on the family as well. In the late 1800s and early 1900s Dainton households can be found in the Fremont and Fayette counties of Iowa, and in 1870 a Dainton household can be found in the neighboring Story County just northwest of the Haley family in Jasper Co. She also mentions a sale at "Rambo". In 1900, there are 3 Rambo households in Jasper County.
And then on page 3 there is the random Apr 1900 entry indicating Ray had gone to Kintz for a few days. In 1900, there are 3 Kintz households in Jasper County, 1 in neighboring Story County, and 1 in neighboring Marshall County.
temperatures in morning
Colfax January 1, 1900
clear 3de below 0. Ray came home from
clear thermometer zero. got dishes and lamp.
clear. zero. wind in south.
clear 20 d. above
clear 24 d. above
cloudy. foggy 30 above
warm and clear no snow 34 above
clear 20 above
cloudy foggy and rainy Travers called [word scratched out] . 40 above.
cloudy 16 above
[too faded to read]
Colfax Jan 12 1900
cloudy and snowing a little morning 18 above
clear Mr. Dainton called. 24 above
cloudy 28 above
cloudy 30 above
sleety misty 30 above
cloudy got 5 grigs [?] at Rambo o sale 3 dol apiece 28 above
cloudy foggy 20 above
cloudy 26 above
clear 22 above
clear 22 above
clear 26 above
Colfax Jan 23 1900
clear in morning, 30 above
clear 36 above
clear 4 above
clear 2 above
clear 14 above
clear 14 below
clear 4 above
clear got load of corn 36 bu 25 cts bu 8 below
clear 13 below
Apr. 18, 1900 Ray went up to the Kintz came home 21.