Winter 1999

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Diary of Abigail Hackett

edited by

George Dickey

Introduction, Jan. - Feb. 1865, Mar. 1865, Apr.-May 1865, Jun.-Aug. 1865, Sept.-Nov. 1865,
Dec. 1865-Feb. 1866, Mar. - May 1866, Jun.-Aug. 1866, break, Nov. 1866-Feb. 1867,
Mar. 1867, May-June 1867
, Households on the Swale

December 1865

Wednesday 6th. A week of sickness has passed, dear journal -rain and snow, frost and sun and wind. I have been so sick that it has seemed like a long week.

Thursday 7th. Had company today. Mrs. Downs was here this afternoon and Lina P. came down and sat with me this afternoon. Grace ----?---- stayed with us today. Mr. Stevens is here tonight.

Friday 8th. Sewed all day on Tallie's cloak. Cold today.

Saturday 9th. A cold day. Made Willie's pants. Called on Mrs. Powell.

Wednesday 13th. Been quite busy the past 4 days. Nothing of importance having happened to write about. Today Mrs. Powell and myself went to Mrs. Turner's avisiting. Charles went to Bennetsville to get coal and Santa Claus.

Thursday 14th. This is Charles E's birthday. I spent it up to Miles Powell's making Santa Claus. Very cold.

Friday 15th. Stayed at home and baked bread, cake, pies.

Saturday 16th. I made a visit to Marshes today, called on several. Talked Christmas to them all. Lina and Reta came down and helped make birds tonight. Good time.

Sunday 17th. Charles and I, Eddy and Willie went to Charles Benoms today. They had a house full of company besides us.

Monday 18th. I washed today. Sim came here and told us that William Dickey ws found murdered in the road this morning. How horrible it is. May the murderer be found out.

William Dickey was the brother of my great-great-grandfather. His murderer was never found out, although rumors persist of a death-bed confession that a family covered up. See William Stuart, Tales of the Canisteo Valley.

Tuesday 19th. This has been a warm day-been busy around the house all day. Called on May Dickey.

Wednesday 20th. A cold raw day. I went to the funeral of William Dickey. He was a horrible looking corpse-three gashes on his head. Mr. Bush preached from the text: "am I my brothers keeper." I called on Mrs. Powell this evening.

Thursday 21st. A cold day. Charles came home today.

Friday 22nd. Charles and Charles E. went to Hornellsville today. I have been very busy. Received four letters tonight-one from sisters Ann and Betsy. They are coming to visit us tomorrow.

Saturday 23th. Charles and Eddy went to Cameron today and got Ann Elisa and Betsy. Ann is real sick. Willie was taken sick about noon today-is quite sick. All the folks are at the Christmas tree but Pa and me. Will wait and see what they bring me.

Wednesday 27th. Oh, here I am old journal. Willie has been quite sick ever since the 23rd. and I have had my time all taken up with him and with my company. Some excitement also. Charley E. was married the 26th of Dec. to Miss Perlina Powell. I did not attend the ceremony. Willie was so sick, I could not leave him. Charley has gone back to Allegheny Bridge. We were all remembered well on Christmas Tree. I had a new dress, Eddy had a new overcoat, gloves comforter, neckties.

Saturday 30th. My sisters left here the 28th. Lucina went to John Boyds the 29th. Pleasant and quite warm for the season. I have been very busy the last few days-it seems almost like a troubled dream the past week-Willie has been sick, sister here sick.

Sunday 31st. The last day has passed away of this year. I hardly know old journal as it is worth while to keep you alive another year or not. Still I think my time is better accounted for if I note down my doings so I shall try from time to time to keep you informed of my doings. Hope that if I should live till next new year, I may have done something better. Today Charles, Eddy, Willie and I went to Mr. Turners in company with Mr. Isaac Jones and wife, Mr. S. Hatch and wife and several others. Had a good visit and a good drive. Our folks have all gone to meeting tonight-left me to take care of Willie. Quite pleasant days. No sleighing yet.

January 1866

Monday 1st. A pleasant day. I washed, called to Mrs. Powell. Cut out some shimes and my dress skirt. Done up my work and went to John VanHoughton's this evening. They had a party-heard the fiddle and see the elephant. Great days work. Charles worked in the shop.

Tuesday 2nd. Pleasant day. Stayed at home all day, done house work. Charles worked in shop. Permelia Converse called.

Wednesday 3rd. Stayed at home. Baked bread, pies, and sewed some. Went to school house this evening-heard Elder Paine preach. Text: James 2, 17. Pleasant day.

Friday 5th. A very cold cay-the cold went 3 degrees below zero. Stayed at home, done some sewing besides house work. Received three letters tonight, one from Charley and Lina, one from Lucina, and one from -----?-----. All well. Charles worked in shop all day.

Saturday 6th. Done house work, cleaned some. Went up to Mats avisiting tonight.

Sunday 7th. Awful cold-19 degrees below zero-a very long day. Charles went to Adrian. I have had the -----?----- all day. Tried to read but did not get interested at all. Wrote to Lucina. Oh, what a long day.

Monday 8th. A very cold day-the coldest this winter-kept fires and got two meals, washed dishes and sewed a very little, nobly done. Charles worked in shop. Awful cold, says he will not do it again.

Tuesday 9th. More moderate today. Went avisiting today to William Moores with Mr. and Mrs. Turner, had a fine ride and a good visit. Mr. Stephens stays here tonight.

Wednesday 10th. Stayed at home alone. Charles had help with his ties. He took dinner in the woods. Warmer today.

Thursday 11th. I went to M. P's and helpt Mrs. P. put on a comforter and fussed around. Got three meals and knitted a little. Been quite comfortable today. Mr. Hill is quite out of sorts.

Friday 12th. A fine day. Chester Chilson was here today. We are all well-warmer.

Saturday 13th. Charles and I and the little boys went to Bennetsville today. I went to John Olmsteads-had a good visit and a fine ride.

Sunday 14th. Colder. We went over to Burt Smith's today, had a good time. Called to see Cyrus Angel. Sarah Smith came home with us. Very cold.

Monday 15th. Very cold. Sarah went home today. I kept busy keeping warm. Charles worked in shop.

Tuesday 16th. Very windy last night, warmer today. Went over to Mrs. Turner's this afternoon. Mrs. Smith was there making Walter's coat.

Wednesday 17th. Attalia has stayed home today and took up carpets and prepared for her party which has came off this evening. I write while the fiddle plays.

Thursday 18th. A warm day. Mrs. Downs was here avisiting this forenoon. Charles shod a span of mules-came very near getting badly hurt shoeing them, got kicked in the leg and hit on the head. I hope he will never shoe them again.

Friday 19th. Very warm day. Charles has had help drawing ties. Mrs. White had been here avisiting today.

Saturday 20th. Today Eddy, Willie and I, Mrs. J., Mrs. T. and Grace went up to Diamond's avisiting and had a fine time. Charles stayed in the shop. Tallie kept house. Weather very warm-thermometer stood at temperate heat this morning. Tonight 10 degrees above zero, quite a change. No snow yet.

Sunday 21st. A cold day. Stayed in the house all day-read some, seemed awful lonesome.

Monday 22nd. Very cold-took all the forenoon to get the pump thawed out. So did not wash today. Mrs. Converse called.

Tuesday 23rd. I washed today. Mrs. Powell called, also Mrs. Turner, been quite busy. A very pleasant day-the thermometer was up to 28 degrees. No snow yet, but wished for.

Wednesday 24th. Quite pleasant but cold. Cleaned my pantry today. Mrs. Teletson came her today. I spun some stocking yarn in the evening.

Thursday 25th. I baked pies and cookies and fussed around the house all day-a few flurries of snow today but not enough to do any good.

Friday 26th. Very busy preparing for Lucina party. Charles went to Cameron after Lucina. Tonight she had her party. A very good time they seemed to have. Feel tired.

Saturday 27th. Today Lucina is 18 years old. We have got all straightened around the house again and don't believe I shall tear up carpets again for a party. Charles has been sick all day, the party has been too much for him. Chas. went to Bennetsville after coal today.

Sunday 28th. Lucina went back to Rathboneville today. Charles carried Charlette Tiletson to Jasper. I called on Mrs. Turner tonight.

Monday 29th. Commenced washing. Mrs. Benom came avisiting. Charles worked in shop all day-hard.

Tuesday 30th. Cold. Simand Lib called in evening.

Wednesday 31st. Cold. Mrs. Powell called. I went home with her-got papers.

February 1866

Thursday 1st. Cold. I washed and cleaned kitchen. Most sick tonight.

Friday 2nd. Very cold. I baked pies and cake, pork and beans.

Saturday 3rd. Still very cold. Lucina came home today.

Sunday 4th. Very cold-thermometer below zero. Charles and I went to see Granny Creasey. Found her very sick. Doc. Crocker says she will never get well again, he thinks. Wrote a letter to Charles and Lina. A little snow last night.

Monday 5th. Lucina has been quite sick today. Snow.

Tuesday 6th. I went over to see Frank Converse today. Found him very sick. Awful cold.

Wednesday 7th. Set up with Granny Creasey last night. She died today at half past nine. I came home at noon.

Betsey Creesey was a month short of her 83rd birthday when she died. Her husband, Joseph Creesey was one of the first settlers on the Swale. He arrived there in 1822 and cleared some land and built a cabin. He returned to Francistown, N. H. for his wife and family, returning to the Swale in the dead of winter of 1822-23. Mr. Creesey died in 1858 and his widow had resided with her daughter, Eliza Downs, since then.

Thursday 8th. Stayed at home and washed today.

Friday 9th. Started to go to Perk Creasy's, found Mrs. Sam Dickey bleeding from the nose. Stayed with her till after the funeral. Came home with Doc. Chittendon. Received a letter from Charley and Lina.

Saturday 10th. Done up Saturday's work-received a call from Mr. Diamond-bantered him about his place. Called on M, talked it all over.

Sunday 11th. A very rainy day. Mr. Schoonover and wife and Charlotte Tiletson came here today. Will stay the night. Lucina went to Mark's.

Monday 12th. My company went home today. I washed. Our rain has turned to snow-the first good snowstorm this year. Charles went to Cameron with ties.

Tuesday 13th. The men went to town meeting and I went to Levi Creasey's with Mrs. Turner-had a first rate time. Saw a light-thought it was somebody, but only shavings. Lucina came home tonight.

Wednesday 14th. Snowed most all day. I baked and mopped and so forth.

Thursday 15th. A very cold day. John Benom and wife was here. I did not do much but get victuals and visit.

Friday 16th. Colder today-thermometer down to 15 below zero. Perk Creasey and wife was here avisiting.

Saturday 17th. Some warmer today. I helped the girls do up the Saturday work and went up to Powell's. Intended to go to Isaac Jones'. Charles went to Cameron.

Sunday 18th. Stayed at home and visited with Charles E. and Lina-they came last night. Snowed some.

Monday 19th. I washed. Lucina sent to school.

Tuesday 20th. I baked and called on Mrs. P., Charley and Lina and Mr. Stephens visited us.

Wednesday 21st. Pleasant day. Charles drawed a load of bark. We went to Isaac Jones' in the evening. Had a fine time. Got home at 11 o'clock.

Thursday 22nd. A warm and pleasant day. Mrs. Frisbee was here avisiting. A good time.

Friday 23rd. Charles took Mrs. Powell and myself over to see Frank Converse. Found him very sick. Hardly think he can live long. This is the last day of school.

Saturday 24th. A very rainy day. Cleared off at night. Henry stayed here.

Sunday 25th. Very cold and blustery. Stayed by the fire and read aloud till I am hoarse.

Monday 26th. Cold day, I washed with the girls help. Sat up with Mrs. Frisbee over to Frank Converse's.

Tuesday 27th. Charles started for Elmira this morning. I called on Mrs. Turner and Mrs. White. Jenny called. Giles Morgan was here. Pleasant.

Wednesday 28th. I went over to Frank Converse's today-he died about noon. Charles came home today. Charles E. went to Greenwood.

Frank Converse was a relatively young man when he died, only 37 years old.
© 1999, George Dickey
Introduction, Jan. - Feb. 1865, Mar. 1865, Apr.-May 1865, Jun.-Aug. 1865, Sept.-Nov. 1865,
Dec. 1865-Feb. 1866, Mar. - May 1866, Jun.-Aug. 1866, break, Nov. 1866-Feb. 1867,
Mar. 1867, May-June 1867
, Households on the Swale
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