Diary of Joseph Beaman Oviatt
Winter of 1847-1848, Keating Township, McKean County, PA
Smethport, 11th mo. 23d 1847
Tuesday.-Rained this morning. Cut some wood. Mr.
Mauts brot some corn, which was very poor. Told him I would not give him
but $.50 per bushel. He took it over to the mill and promised to give him
up his note ($2) for 2 1/4 bushels by weight & $.38 in cash. Two bushels
and 3 pecks only weighed 2 1/4 bushels. Took my saw over to have George
Chapin file it for me. Took a file from home and lost it. Went back &
found it. George and G.N. Smith have bot an instrument for taking pictures
& intend to spend the winter in that business. Came home by the creek
and waded. Rained all day.
Wednesday.- Rained all night. Wm was in &
got some bags & went with the Dr. up to Starks after oats. After breakfast
I went down to the mill (illegible) to see if there were any slabs there,
found some in the creek. The water is high again over the road this side
of the bridge. After I came back from the mill I got Benj to help me grind
my axe, after which I made a new shaft to the grindstone. Rained all day
pretty hard. The water will doubtless be very high again. It is raining
now 10 o'clock p.m.
Smethport, 11 mo. 25th 1847
Thursday.- Rained all night. The water is high
this morning, but not as high as before. Maria found the Dr's. pigs in
the office & was driving them out when one got his head fast in a gate
& could not get out & made a dreadful noise until I got dressed
& Arthur came over when we got him out. I thought the Dr. was offended
at it. Chopped some wood after breakfast & went up to the Court House
to hear a Thanksgiving discourse by Rev. J.L. Smith which was very appropriate.
Took dinner at Geo. S. Came home & chopped wood for (illegible). He
talks as tho he would not like to (illegible) back in the event of my getting
an office. Snowed this evening.
Smethport Nov. 26th
Friday.- Cold & snowing this morning.
Chopped some wood & then went over & got the corn from the mill
that I got of Mauts. Miller & Hiram were here. Cleaned out the hog
pen & put in new straw. Helped Wm dip candles this afternoon &
evening. Brot over 13 candles. Eat supper at at Wms. Patrick Lynch &
(Aryesvelle?) were at Wms. Patrick says that Azro's wife is going home
again to leave Azro. Belinda was very good, but could not refrain from
backbiting & making insulting remarks.
Smethport, 11th mo. 27th 1847
Saturday. -Cold this morning. Chopped some
wood after breakfast. The Dr. killed his beef today. About 9 o'clock Harnessed
Wms horse with one of the Dr's & went down the other side of the creek
& got some planks at Halls where Ichabod White used to live for sleighs.
I got 3 planks which I thought would make a pair of bobs. I got them of
I. White for $1. per pair for Dr. I drew them around by the Judges, the
Bridge being gone by the old (illegible) mill. The bridge is gone the other
side of Dave Corneliuse's & I had to drive thro. the lot - I got some
slabs there & came up and left the (illegible) at G. Tubbs & came
home. It snowed a little all day
Smethport, Nov. 28th
Sunday.- Snowed this morning. Had breakfast
late. Did not go to church Read some. Was over to Wms a little while. Got
some wood into the office and chopped it. Wm got his cow & horses down
from the lot Azro said I must divide the hay so that he could feed some.
Sister F. was at Wms yesterday & staid all night, but did not come
in here. She said the other day that she did not come as often as she wod
because Belinda was watching her etc. Snowed a part of the time today the
sun shone a few minutes. Was up to the P.O. in the ev. got a Sat (illegible)
& Lady's Book & the mags that Bart borrowed. Called in at bro.
S. F. gave some butter to bring home.
Smethport - 11th mo. 29th 1847
Monday.- Cold and clear. Froze pretty hard last night. Brot water for Maria to wash. Worked on the hog pen putting a new roof on it & chopped wood above the house. Ormond A. Holmes died last evening of consumption aged 3 years & 7 months.
Tuesday. Nov 30th Clear & cold. It was
a very cold night last. froze very hard - as cold as we usually have in
Feb. The Dr. killed his hog today. I helped him dress him.. Mr. Howard
was chief butcher. It weighed just 300 lbs.
Smethport Nov. 30th
Tuesday. Attended the funeral at 2 o'clock
this afternoon. Did not get there in season to go to the grave. Mr Smith
preached the Sermon & was pretty severe I thought. Ormond's connexions
& friends are all Universalists. He said that the deceased met with
a change of heart before he died. There were a great many at the funeral.
The Methodist church was nearly full. Came home & Arthur took the Dr's
team & went with me & got a load of wood off of the hill.
Smethport, 12th mo. 1st 1847
Wednesday - Clear & cold this morning.
Went up to the lot. Azro was not at home. He had went away without leaving
his wife any wood & Lew. Chapin was drawing some of that he cut for
Wm. Offered his wife the money for that butter I got a short time since.
The neighbors say that Azro has done nothing but get his wood & they
have been without half of the time. Stopped at Linderf's when I came down.
Wm came up & got some apples of Thomas. He gave 38cts. per bushel.
Linderf sent some down to Maria. (Illegible) was in this ev. to buy my
mare. Took supper (illegible). He offers what I ask ($50.) & the only
thing is to agree about the pay. He proposes to pay in notes & stock.
It is warmer & has rained all the ev.
Smethport, Dec. 2d 1847
Thursday.- Rainy this morning. Went up on
the old State Road with Wm Howard & cut Hoop poles Hickory &c.
In the afternoon made an axe helve. Howard put on eight Hoops on the the
Dr's meat barrel for which he charged $1. Arthur came up with the horses
& drew our timber down. Hiram Payne loaned a bushel of oats of me -
said I should have them when I called for them &c.
Smethport - 12 mo. 3d 1847
Friday._ Cold & snowed - Chopped wood
after breakfast was going up to the lot after some hay, but Wm was gone
after his mare & colts with one of the horses. Made two more axe helves
& two whip (illegible) was about home all day. It was a disagreeable
day to be out. Snowed, blew.
Smethport Dec 4th 1847
Saturday.- Cold & cloudy. Chopped wood
& then harnessed the horses & went up to the lot after a load of
hay. Was up to Azro's. He was not at home had to load my hay alone. Found
the boards that lay on the barn floor were gone. When I was driving down
into the lot above the house I fell off of the load & hurt my wrist
a trifle. Kept both horses in my stable. After I had unloaded my hay I
drew a load of wood & chopped for Sunday.
Smethport, 12th mo. 5th 1847
Sunday.- Snowed this morning. Washed &
shaved before breakfast. Went to meeting at the Court House. Mr. Smith
preached. Was in at the P.O. but the mail had not got in. Met it when I
was coming down. The Roads are very bad the mails are all delayed on that
account. Sylvester while holding the lamp for me broke it. accidentally.
Gave the mare some boiled oats, but she did not eat them very well.
Smethport Dec. 6th 1847
Monday.- Clear & cold. Worked on the
stable. Made a door & manger. Chopped some wood & helped Wm make
a hound for his sleigh. Got a pound of tobacco at Dr's & had it charged;
While over there a crazy man came along. Jane Darling was here today &
Sarah York came in to see (illegible). This is the first time she has been
in the house. She was quite familiar before I was married; but since then
she has been cool. Jane was here to dinner. She is a good girl.
Smethport - 12th mo. 7th 1847
Tuesday. - Clear & cold in morning.
The boys harnessed the horses & carried some oats to the mill for Wm
to feed cows. I put on the rest of my corn and went up to the Taylor's
shop. Dave Spencer has come back & is at work for John. He says he
has no iron suitable for horse shoes. He expects some Friday. Went from
there up st. Had a talk with Brad about the pr. business. He says if he
was a candidate for office again and they charged him so much for tickets
he wud send off and get them done. It is rather mean of him to talk so
as he has the best office in the county; but it shows the breed.. Went
from there to Steele's store & bot a pound of tea at $1. & a (illegible)
shovel for $1.25. Came home & Arthur helped me get a load of wood with
the Dr's horses off the hill. Made a window for my stable, done my chores
&c. It has been very warm & pleasant today.
Smethport - Dec 8th
Wednesday. - Cold thro the night. built
fire & prepared to kill my hog went up with the buggy to Howards &
got Wm's barrell to scald in. Got ready to kill him about noon. I eat dinner
at Wm's. Had a good scald. He weighed, when dressed, 284 lb. Wm intends
to butcher tomorrow if the weather is suitable. Wrote a letter to Wilson
& Co. N.Y. ordering 10 copies of the double Jonathan & sent $1.
for Jacob Stickles. The Dr. loaned one of my (illegible) to H. Payne &
when sent for today it was not got. It has been very warm & pleasant
today & is raining a little this ev.
Smethport, 12th mo., 9th 1847
Thursday. - Rained during the night-. H.
Payne, Dr. McCoy & Wm were in here this morning. Mr. Payne took an
axe helve, but did not pay for it. I cut up my pork & weighed one half
of it which weighed 149 1/4 lb. When weighed last night he was not clear.
He probably weighed as near 300 lbs as may be. It rained nearly all day
& I done nothing but make a feed box for the mare. Benjamin took the
letter I wrote yesterday for Jacob & money to pay the postage. Azro
was here this ev. he says he has bot Alex Gifford's share of the hay in
the Bay. I was in the Dr's office this ev. W. F. Ormsby settled with the
Dr. who owed him $1.67. It is growing colder & the wind is blowing.
Eat dinner at Wm's.
Smethport, Dec. 10th, 1847
Friday - Rainy thro' the night - Helped
Wm Butcher hogs today. Horace King & Mr. Tracy helped. Got thro. about
noon. A.D. Hamlin shot one of them twice before he killed it. The heaviest
weighed 320 lbs - the next 272. Got 25 lbs of salt of dr. & Wm salted
my meat for me. Did not use it all. Maria was whipping Frank all the time
they were here. to make him mind. Did not whip him very hard & could
not make him give up. I set out 5 apple trees on my (illegible). The trees
were brot from Dr's nursery by Wm. Eat dinner at Wm's. He was over before
we were up & got some meat - for breakfast. Arth. was over here &
took supper. It has been clear all day & warm; but is raining now.
The ground has all broke up & is very muddy.
Smethport, 12th mo. 11th 1847
Saturday. - Clear this morning & rather
colder. Maria cleaned house today. I did not do much, helped about the
house - shaved out a single tree put a few boards overhead in the house,
nailed some boards on the barn &c. Arthur was in this evening &
played cards with me. The sun shone almost as warm as summer at times.
It did not rain any of consequence today. The water is over the road &
the little bridge by Chapin's is out.
Smethport, Dec. 12th
Sunday.. Rainy this morning. Saw Mr. Bush
go up with the Wellsboro mail this morning & rode the mare up to the
P.O. expecting a letter from Holcomb. but was disappointed. I got the Col.
Mag. The (illegible) Journal & G. Benj. Smith's Herald from N.Y. &
the Philad. Sat Cour. from Philad. Stopped in at bro. S. & left their
Bap. Reg. & brot. down Wm's Reg. & a shop letter from R. Chadwick
for him. Read thro. the day & did not go to church. It has been a cold
rainy day. The roads are nearly impassable.
Smethport - 1st mo. 10th 1848
Monday. - Cold & windey. Went up street
in the forenoon was in the Comm. office, Mr. Barnaby had not come over
yet. Maria's father was here to get me to write to Washing an application
for some mail routes. Found the proposals had not come on yet Stopped at
bro. S. on my way down. It has been a cold day - did not do any out of
Smethport - Jan'y 11th 1848
Tuesday. _ Harnessed up the horse & went down to Mr. Stickles. Maria went with me. George helped me chop a load of wood & I drew it up & then took some hay down & stayed all night & then was over at Wms & got a skein of silk of Belinda
I heard, yesterday, that Minard was not going
to start till next week & that his wife & Jane Pelton were going
Smethport - 1st mo. 12th 1848
Wednesday. - After breakfast George &
me chopped a load of wood & I drew it up & George came this side
of Rockwell's & chopped. I drew two loads of wood sled length. P. Lynch
has bot the bob, of Williams, that I had, for $1. he says that - W. wants
me to bring home the Shoes & pay for the use of them. He had Wms mare
5 days which I have paid for. & I also have an acct against him, which
I supposed would nearly pay the shoes.
Smethport - January 13th 1848
Thursday.- George, Miller & Hiram staid
here all night - & George went over the creek to chop wood. Wm went
up with me after a load of hay. After dinner we drew a load of hay for
him. Mr. Smith has a wood (illegible) tomorrow. It is raining this ev.
Minard was up today. He does not know when he will start, for his wife
is sick, & he wants to take her with him. Jane Darling was in this
Smethport - 1st mo. 14th 1848
Friday.- Helped Wm get one load of wood
above the house, for Mr. S. After breakfast went up to bro. S. & eat
dinner. did not go into the woods till afternoon. Mr. Hall, T. Mattison
N. Dunbar G. Vansickle, from O.R.B., an Irishman from G. Corwin's. Mr.
Webster. Mr. Williams A. N. Taylor George Smith Wm & myself were there.
Got up about 7 cords of wood (sled length.) Rained in the morning &
in the evening. Lydia came up today.
Smethport - January 15th 1848
Saturday. - Pretty warm & rainy. Maria
washed today. I brot water & chopped wood in the office. Arthur came
up today. He says he has broke the evener & one whippletree. He was
over in the evening & played cards. Rained nearly all day.
Smethport - 1st mo. 16th 1848
Sunday. - Washed & shaved & went
& heard bro. S. preach at the Court House. Came home & went up
again & heard Mr. Lane. heard bro. S. again this evening. It has been
a warm, pleasant day & seemed like a May day.
Smethport - Jan 17th 1848
Monday.- Clear & pleasant this morning.
Chopped wood in the office. Minard was up in the forenoon & says he
wants to start Wednesday. He & Wm went up to see Acre's colt, but did
not trade for it. Wm says he will not let me have any land. Says that Belinda
said he sho'd not &c.
Smethport Jan 18th 1848
Tuesday.- Cold & Winday. I did not work
much. Wm bro't over his account book & we settled our matters up to
this date. except the hay my horses had last winter & he only accounted
for twenty-five of the fifty dollars which the Cory's paid him for me on
the old pr. office. He made me the offer of $50. for my mare. Went up st.
to see B. Freeman but he was not at home. Joel Bishop's wife died yesterday.
Smethport, Jan'y 19th 1848
Wednesday. - Cold in morning Went over in
the morning & took up my notes for fifty-dollars & gave him my
mare. He came over afterwards & proposed to let me have a deed for
1200 acres of land &c. Minard was up again today & after talking
with him I concluded not to at present.
Smethport, 1st mo. 20th 1848
Thursday. - Chopped wood a part of the day
& made arrangements to start for Hinsdale for oats & flour loaded
up 22 bushels of stone coal to take along. Dr. M'Coy gave me $18. Wm $10.
& H. Payne $7.25. I saw more of Payne's character this evening than
ever in my life before.
Smethport, Jan 21st, 1848.
Friday - Was on the road as soon as it was
light. Fed at Millgrove. A. Millport sp W. flour was worth $6.50 in bus.
& $6. in bags. Went up to Hinsdale. Oats were worth 31 cts pr bushel.
Staid all night at M. Ree's had supper. There was a ball at this house
tonight & I did not retire till late.
Hinsdale, N.Y. Jan 22d 1848
Saturady. - Was up a little after four o'clock,
had my horses fed & harnessed & my breakfast eat & ready to
start as soon as day. Went up to Franklinville & (illegible) M. George's
oats were worth 28 in the village & none for sale. Sold my coal for
25cts per bu & got the money for it. It fell short 2 1/2 bushels. Went
on a mile to a farmer's & got 3 bushels of oats & left my bags
till I returned from Buffalo. Went to Machias & staid all night.
Machias N. Y. Jan 23d, 1848
Sunday. Had breakfast &c & was on
the road before light. went as far as Blakley's at Protection & fed.
Went from there to Jackson's, 10 miles short of Buffalo. Jackson used to
live in our county & pilot down the Allegany. Had supper &c.
Reservation near Buffalo Jan 24th
Monday. - was on the road before day went
in to Buffalo put up at the Buffalo Hotel. Bot 4 bus flour at $5. &
2 at $4. 1 bu salt $1.50 7 1 bu whiskey $8.24 of Smith & Carpenter,
& paid $32. & gave my note for the balance - $5.80 Came back as
far as Jackson's that ev. Did not pay my bill at the Hotel in Buffalo.
A man by the name of Rich of Franklinville lost his horses this ev.
Reservation 10 miles from Buffalo
Jan 25 1848
Tuesday - Was on the road again, before
day. went as far as Holland fed at Morey's had dinner. In the room where
we eat was a sick child which they thought wod live but a short time. It
had the Scarlet fever. Came to Machias & staid all night. Got in late
at night. Sold my whiskey. Got 3 bushels of oats & the rest in cash.
Machias Jan. 26 1848
Wednesday. - Came off early without breakfast
or feeding. Came where I left my bags & fed & got breakfast Got
15 bushels of oats at 25 cts per bushel. Came to Franklinville & got
some blacksmith work done & traded to the amt. of $2.95 cts. Com raining
about ten o'clock & kept on nearly all day Came as far as Hinsdale
& fed & got dinner with M'. Ree. Came on from there to Olean. The
roads were getting pretty bad. Today was the first rain or unpleasant weather
I had since i started. I put up at Comstock's in Olean.
Olean Jan 27th 1848
Thursday.- Was on the road about daylight.-
It had rained some during the night & the roads were very bad. Got
to Millgrove about half past 11 o'clock Threw off 3 bus of flour &
1 of salt. Fed & had dinner. Came from there home. Got home about eleven
o'clock in the evening & unloaded in the office.
Smethport Jan 28th
Friday.- Rained some during the night. Did
not do much thr'o the day. Mr. Payne got a bu of flour & W. Y. M'Coy
another. Dr. Cory was in today & paid Wm $40.85 on account of land.
Mr. Smith & Frances was over to Wms this afternoon, did not come in
Smethport, Jan 29
Saturday - Snowed some today. Mr. Smith
was in today & got a part of the bu of flour that was left. Did not
anything today except clean out the stable &c.
Smethport, - Jan 30, 1848
Sunday - Did not go to church Read &c.
It rained some towards evening Wm harnessed the horses & his whole
family went to church he was in this evening and brot a book on chemistry
from the P. O.
Smethport, - Jan 31st 1848
Monday. - Rained & snowed some. Filed
my saw &c. Elder Evans was over at Wms today. - was over there a short
time the Elder is a sound old man has read a good deal & thinks more.
Yesterday Mr. S. preached the funeral sermon of old Mr. Garey - an old
Revolutionary soldier who died from the effects of Liquor; it is thought
- having drank near a pint & started for home He was found dead in
the road lying on his face
Smethport - 2d mo. 1st 1848
Tuesday. - Clear & pleasant but rather
cold - Did not do much today. Harnessed up Kate & Maria & Jane
went up to Mr. Cook's to see if she could get a girl; but got none. Was
over to Wms several times. Wm has a new milk's cow. Mr. Walcott was down
to trade a colt, three years old next spring, for Kate but I think they
will not be able to agree. Dr. M'Coy took 10 bushels of oats & left
4 for Wm.
Smethport - Feb 2d 1848
Wednesday.- Clear & pleasant. Rode up
to the pr. office & ordered my name to be (illegible) & tickets
pr. for court. They have enlarged their press. Came home & got dinner
& went up to Mr. Bakers & got Betsy to come & work here. Joel
King told me that my bridle was in town went up to Bennett's barn &
found it. Dr. Smith brot it in. I let him take it home on his promise to
be responsible for it.
Smethport Feb 3d 1848
Thursday. Clear & pleasant. The ground
not froze hard enough to hold a waggon. In the morning carried the chain
to (illegible) out the old White lot on the hill joining Wm. Brot water
to wash. Had a talk with Wm about taking the mare back told him how his
wife & children acted because I used the mare to go after a girl. He
said it was not his disposition but he could not control her &c. bot
of Dr. M'Coy 5 yds of sheeting 12 1/2 3 yds bleach 1/6 & 4lb of coffee
& 1/2 (illegible). Betsy & Lydia $1.81 25cts each to attend the
Smethport. 2d mo. 4th 1848
Friday. - Snowed & blew & rained.
Went with Arthur to the Blacksmith's shop. got a new strap made for the
reach & paid 25 cts for it Bot a ball of wicking at A.R. Bennett's
& paid 10 cts for it came home & dipped candles Jane was over in
Snowed some during the night. After breakfast
it commenced snowing harder & looked likely to continue cold thro the
day & I got the Dr's Jacox mare put with Kate & took his fore bob
& went to Millgrove after the balance of my load. I started about 10
in the ev. Opened a bu of the (illegible) flour & found it rather dark
Smethport Feb. 6th 1848
Sunday. - Did not go to church. read some
was over to Wms a while I heard while I was at Millgrove that Henry Easty
son of (illegible) Easty had run away. It snowed thro the day & is
now pretty good slipping. Wm thinks of starting for Buffalo tomorrow or
Smethport 2d mo. 7th 1848
Monday. - Cold this morning looks as tho
we might have a run of sleighing. Brot water to wash, drew a load of wood
& went with William to Dea. Taylor's after a load of coal. My cow went
away this morning & I cannot find her yet
Smethport Feb. 8th 1848
Tuesday. - Cold this morning found my cow
over near Wms lot in the woods. She had a calf. Brot them up. Mr. Smith
& wife were here for a visit. After they went away put the (illegible)
on Wms cutter & then went to Mr. Winsor's wood (illegible) got up a
fine lot of wood
Smethport, 2d mo. 9th 1848
Wednesday.- Cold in the morn went up street
with the (illegible) & Mr. Smith mended it for me went up to the Post
office got a paper containing the advertisements for the mail lettings
&c. Feb. 10 Thursday. - drew up proposals for 5 routes for Mr. Stickles
& carried them to the office. " 11 Friday Town meeting. I received
a maj over the next highest (Jas Miller) of 2 votes. Asa H. Cory was elected
Road Comm Dea. T whose term expired Ed. Hartscott ass. Jno Chad T. Clerk,
W. A. Williams T. Treas. &c. (Illegible) Joel King, N. Medberry &
Jas Miller were candidates against me for const
Diary of Joseph Beaman Oviatt 1847-1848
Residents of Keating Township, McKean County, PA unless noted otherwise
Acre, could be Daniel or William Acre, 48, 56
Allegany, river in McKean County, 62
Arnold, A.G., a blacksmith, 43
Arthur, card-playing friend p. 3, 8,10, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26, 41, 45, 46, 54, 74
Aryeville, might be neighbor Morris Angerville, farmer, age 34, born in
Ireland, wife Mary and 6 children, 4
Azro, Azro Cory, age 23, farmer, wife, 3 children, born in PA, 4, 6, 9, 12, 17, 23, 25, 26, 32.
Baker, Mr., Nicholas Baker, carpenter, age 49,
large family, 72
Darling, possibly Orin Darling, gunsmith, age
33, born in NY, wife Angeline, three children. or Jedediah Darling, age
34, physician, lives in household of Paul E. Scull, 39
Eastey, McKean County Commissioner, 36, 76
F., sister Frances Smith, 6, 28
G. Henry, 29
Hall, Mr., William Hall, farmer, 53
Jackson's, stopover en route to Buffalo, NY, a
former pilot on the Allegany River, 61, 63
Kate, a horse, 71
Lane, Mr., 55
M., Mrs., Mrs. Moon, 45
O. Benj., boarder at Rev. Smith's. Father Benjamin
Oviatt? or nephew Benj? 29
Pay, H, probably Hiram Payne, 28
Ree, M., stopover en route to Buffalo, NY, 60,
S., Mr., Rev J. L. Smith, brother-in-law, married
to sister Frances, 23, 29, 52, 70
T., Dea., 79
Vansickle, G., James VanSickle age 26, farmer,
Walcott, Mr., 71
York, Sarah, 14
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