Horace Purdy Journal, April 1860 Entry

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APRIL 01 – SUNDAY – Prayer meeting in the AM instead of preaching. Quite a number of certificates were given to the scholars in the Sunday School for collecting $3.00 each. Preaching in the PM. Text - John 5:28-29. Subject, “The Resurrection.” A good sermon. I came home with a severe headache. We did not go out in the evening, although preaching was appointed. Brother Lovejoy, Clark Beers and myself were made life members of the parent Missionary Society with the money collected by the members of the Juvenile Missionary Society composed of the Sunday School attached to our church. It requires $20.00 cash to make life members. APRIL 02 – MONDAY – Election Day. I spent a part of the day in plastering up the broken places in the wall in a closet upstairs before my tenants move in which came today – Mr. Russell Smith. We helped them move more or less all day. I in the morning and after work and Gussie during the day. I was obliged to work a part of the day on work which is to be shipped tomorrow to California. Abel took three of my apple trees which I gave him today and set them in his garden. The election as far as heard from stands thus: Danbury, Republican 35 majority, Bethel, Republican 32, Norwalk, Republican 25. Redding as far as heard elected both representatives. North Fairfield gave a Democratic majority of 1; Bridgeport, 125. Wildman for Senator, 11th district standing 32 ahead and one town to hear from and that town has always given a Republican majority. I hear the band playing now. It is now after 10 o’clock. They are, I think, serenading Senator Wildman. I guess they have heard for the other town and he is elected. We had Mr. and Mrs. Smith take tea with us as they are not yet settled. I went to market in the evening in company with r. Smith and mailed a letter to Aunt Mary in Ridgefield for Mr. Crofut and one to Cornelia Post in Essex for Gussie. APRIL 03 – TUESDAY – We rose a little after 5 o’clock. I brought water from the brook for washing. I went to the shop in the AM and had one dozen. The election so far as I have heard is in favor of the Republicans. In the PM, I fixed the fastenings to some of my window blinds. Gussie went up to Brother Scofield’s with her folks and Brother Miley and wife to spend the PM. I went up to tea. On our way home in the evening, we did some shopping. Gussie bought a new dress and hat at Mary Jane Hoyt’s. APRIL 04 – WEDNESDAY – My work in the shop lasted me a short time after dinner. J. W. Nichols came after dinner for our ladies and at 5 o’clock, Father Griswold, Abel and myself got George Starr’s horses and went over to tea and to spend the evening. We took his long box wagon so that we could bring the ladies home with us. We enjoyed the evening very much. The evening was spent about as follows: the older ones enjoying a special chat. Harriet and Gussie played a game of checkers and then I played two games with Harriet. She beat me both times. We were treated with a little homemade wine. The wine was brought in on a server with filled glasses. One of the glasses was a perfect cheat, it being made with hollow sides and the hollow filled with wine or some liquid colored exactly like wine so that it could not be detected by its look. I was tricked by taking that glass and trying to take a drink, but could not get a drop. The ladies were tricked in the same manner in the PM before we came. But the hour finally came when we must start for home, it being nearly 9 o’clock. Abel and I went outside to get the team ready, but were surprised to find no team there. They had broken the hitch rein and started for home. Well, what should we do was the first thing that I thought. It was finally arranged that we three men should start for home on foot while Brother Nichols should bring the ladies with his team. We got as far along on our journey home as old Mr. Marsh’s and found our team in his yard. The gate being open, they walked in of their own accord and no one, not even Mr. Marsh’s people knew they were there. We got the team ready and waited until Mr. Nichols came along and then we took in the ladies and started for home while Mr. Nichols returned home. I shot Mother Griswold’s cat dead in the PM. APRIL 05 – THURSDAY – I went to the shop in the morning – no work. Theodore Fowler, our foreman, paid me $16.00 which he drew for me yesterday, as I was not there when they paid off. I came home and commenced working on my house blinds (repairing them) as they are tight and will not play and some of them are broken. I am obliged to take them to pieces, bore the holes for the slats longer and put them together again. It is a real task. Father came down and stayed for dinner and helped me some before dinner and most of the PM. We only repaired three pairs of them. I set out a quince tree (very small) that father Griswold had given me. Father helped me transplant some Lawton Blackberry roots before he went home. He has been sick for a few days. He does not yet feel well. I went to the market in the evening. We did not attend prayer meeting. APRIL 06 – FRIDAY – I worked all day (except for the time I spent helping Abel dig up three cherry trees and transplanting them) repairing my house blinds. George came over and helped me a little just before dinner. He took dinner with us. After dinner, he came in a wagon with two ladies to get a weeping willow tree to set out over the graves over at Mill Plain. Father Griswold gave us one from his garden. I went to drill, got excused and went to the church to witness a presentation of a pronouncing Bible to father Griswold and Brother Miley and “The History of Methodism” complete in two volumes to Brother George Starr. The presents were bought and presented by the officers and teachers of the Sabbath School. The cost was $15.00 - $5.00 each. After the presentation, Hattie Brockett, Clark Beers, Gussie and myself went up to our drill room to hear the band play. I told Clark if he would come home with me, I would give him an apple. He came, and Hattie with him. APRIL 07 – SATURDAY – Pleasant. I finished repairing my house blinds at noon. I commenced painting again in the PM. I worked until sundown. After tea, we went downtown to get our kerosene lamp fixed and do some shopping. Abel and Harriet went to North Fairfield this afternoon. I have nothing to do now in the shop. APRIL 08 – SUNDAY – Stormy all day. Sacrament in the PM. A love feast was appointed for this morning at 9 o’clock. We did not get ready in time to attend church in the forenoon. We went down to Sunday School and stayed in the PM. I gave the chairman of our Juvenile Missionary Society, R. Wildman, $72.04 this noon to hand to the preacher, Brother Miley, to take to the conference this week. A thunder shower in the evening, the first of the season, if I am not mistaken. We did not go to church in the evening on that account. Unless Brother Miley comes back to preach on next Sunday which will be Conference Sunday, instead of sending some other preacher, today is his last with us as a pastor. APRIL 09 – MONDAY – Rain and fog all day. I went to the shop in the morning. I did not expect to find work, but I found that there was nearly a full day’s work on drab hats. I came home for sinner, which is something which is unusual for me. I should have carried my dinner if I had known there was to be any work. As Brother Miley was to start this afternoon for Conference, I left the names of three persons with him to be made life members of the parent Missionary Society by the Juvenile Society of our church, viz., Brother Lovejoy’s daughter, Mary, Clark beers and myself. The Annual Sunday School Teachers’ meeting in the evening. Officers were elected as follows: for President - the Preacher, for Vice-President – William Scofield, for Secretary & Treasurer – James Maynard, for Superintendent – George Starr, Assistant – Peter Starr, for Female Superintendent –Maria White, Assistant – Sarah Bartram, for Librarian –myself, Assistant – J. Clark Beers. The regular business meeting of the officers and teachers was changed from monthly to quarterly hereafter. The Brass Band gave a concert in Concert Hall in the evening to defray the expenses of hiring teachers. The Bethel Glee Club, I understand, volunteered their services on the occasion. I heard the band playing as I came home from the teachers’ meeting. Jet, Harriet’s cat died this evening over to Father Griswold’s. APRIL 10 – TUESDAY – No work in the shop. Cloudy all day and stormy most of the time. I seeded down my south front yard with clover. I worked a good deal in the rain and I am afraid I have taken a cold. I stayed at home in the evening and read my paper. William Stevens (an Englishman) our nearest neighbor to the north, had his furniture set out of the house by Sherriff Morris to make room for other tenants who had hired the house. Stevens was enraged and showed fight to the sheriff. He left to get out a writ to arrest him, but in the meantime, Stevens left home so that when Morris came, he was missing, so he finished carrying out his things. The other family took possession and Morris went away. Jet Wheeler was buried this morning. APRIL 11 - WEDNESDAY – I rose and found it raining still, but by the time I was ready to go to the shop, it had stopped. But it did not clear away entirely until night. No work in the shop. I tore away the west side of my cellar hatchway wall in the PM. I went up home in the evening to engage Father to come tomorrow and help me finish laying it up again. Gussie had a good deal of shopping to do in the evening, such as getting a new pair of gloves, going to Mary Hoyt’s for a new bonnet, etc. I borrowed a large size carpet bag of henry to carry with us to Stamford tomorrow. Bailey’s Menagerie showed here this PM and evening before setting out from winter quarters. APRIL 12 – THURSDAY – We rose at 5 o’clock. I went into the street before breakfast and again after for some lime to make mortar to lay up anew the stonework in my hatchway. Father helped me until about 2 o’clock when he went home and we started to prepare to go to Stamford. We went on the 4:20 train and arrived in Stamford about 6:20. Phebe and Edwin met us at the depot. Aunt Abigail had tea ready for us when we got there. We went to conference preaching in the evening. Preaching by Dr. Curry, text 1st John 2, middle clause of 1st verse. We saw Brother Miley after meeting, Brother Wooley also. APRIL 13 – FRIDAY – We rose about six. A shower in the morning. It cleared away so that we all went to church to attend a session of the conference – Aunt Abigail, Phebe, Gussie and myself. Four of the delegates to the General Conference were elected, viz., William Norris, Daniel Curry, E. Griswold and James Foley. It being noon, the conference postpone the election of the other delegates and adjourned. A private session in the PM. We came home to dinner rather late. We went to the Daguerrian rooms in the PM and Aunt Abigail had her picture taken for us. We did not go out in the evening. APRIL 14 – SATURDAY – We are still in Stamford, enjoying ourselves very much. We attended conference in the AM. The remainder of the delegates to the General Conference were elected. The names are as follows, seven in number: William Morris, Daniel Curry, E. Griswold, James Fay, Seymour Landon, Albert ___, Robert Hatfield. Two reserves were elected, viz., Harvey Hempstead and J. S. ___. The Slavery Question was then taken up. An anti-slavery speech was made by ___. A few remarks (pro-slavery) by H. Perry, followed by D. Curry and Herman Baugh. After dinner, I went to the barber’s and had my hair cut, after which Phebe, Edwin, Gussie and myself went down to the steamboat landing to see the boat come in about 4 o’clock. We came home by way of the railroad Dept. Aunt Abbie and Phebe went out in the evening, but Gussie and myself stayed in. APRIL 15 – SUNDAY- We attended church all day (We are still in Stamford). After the service, we went up to Oliver Hoyt’s to dinner. Father Griswold and the other elders with the bishop are stopping. We were taken to and from Mr. Hoyt’s in his carriage. We had an excellent dinner, served up in an aristocratic manner. The view is delightful in all directions form his residence. The Sound is in view. The village of Stamford is also seen to good advantage. APRIL 16 – MONDAY – We attended conference in the AM. The sun shone dimly in the morning, but before noon, it began to rain. Eddie went home for umbrellas and rubbers for Phebe and Gussie. We did not go out in the PNM or in the evening. We went down in Mr. Hoyt’s room in the PM to sing. We sang until teatime. In the evening, Mr. Hoyt came upstairs to stay with us as his family were all gone to church. It continued to rain all the PM and evening. APRIL 17 – TUESDAY – A little rain in the morning. It cleared off pleasant and warm in the forenoon. We attended the morning session of the conference. Gussie’s friend, Elizabeth Bedient from Hempstead, L. I. was there. Gussie was very much pleased to meet her. She was in company with her intended, Henry Mead. After dinner we all went to church as it was the last session of the conference to hear the appointments read off. Mr. Pegg was appointed to Danbury and Father Griswold for the New Haven District. He is to remain with us in Danbury for the coming year and if he should take the New York District next year, he will not move at all. Brother Miley, our old preacher, is going to Forsythe Street in New York City. The conference has been altogether interesting. We have enjoyed it much. It has been Gussie’s first trip to Stamford. We have enjoyed the visit very much. Aunt Abbie has done all she could to make it pleasant for us. After the conference closed which was about 3:30, Phebe, Eddie and Marquise Hatfield, along with Gussie and myself all went up to Rock Spring which is situated on a hill about a mile north of the village. We gathered moss, etc. We arrive home about 6 PM tired and hungry, but Aunt Abbie had tea all ready waiting for us and we did justice to it. After dinner, Mr. Hoyt, his two daughters, Olivia and Harriet, and Mr. and Mrs. Remonde and his two children came in to sing. We all sang until about 10:00 and then we retired. APRIL 18 – WEDNESDAY - It was 7 o’clock when we rose. The weather is pleasant. Phebe, Gussie and myself went to the store after some material to cover the shelves I gave Phebe last summer. We went to work and put them up. While we were downtown, I saw William Hoyt, our old Danbury preacher, now presiding elder of the Bridgeport District appointed yesterday at the conference. He has bought a place in Stamford and is going to reside here with his family. APRIL 18 – WEDNESDAY – (Danbury, 10 o’clock at night). We started from Aunt Abbie’s about 4:30 PM with Phebe and Edwin to accompany us to the cars. We took the cars at 5 o’clock and 27 minutes for Norwalk. The train started from Norwalk to Danbury at about 6:30. Arrived home about 7:30 and took tea with Father Griswold. APRIL 19 – THURSDAY – I was awakened this morning about a quarter to 2 o’clock by the ringing of the bells. It was general alarm fire. Upon dressing myself and going to the scene of the confusion, I found it to be the residence of the Widow Phillips on Deer Hill Street, the fire proceeding from the cellar and just breaking out of the first story window. The upper part of the house was unhurt, but the flames spreading rapidly in about half an hour, their beautiful house was leveled with the ground, a heap of ashes and burning timbers. The family are staying, I now learn, with Charles Benedict, their nearest neighbors on the north whose house narrowly escaped the flames. The fire department were on hand as soon as could be expected but the fire burned so rapidly that nothing could be done except throw water on the side of Charles Benedict’s house and put out the fire as soon as possible. After the house fell in, everything was list except a sofa and a few chairs and a trunk containing some valuable papers which was taken out by William Harrison at the peril of his life. He was offered $50.00 if he would secure it and he accomplished it. The members of No. 1 Engine Company and other rowdies have been intoxicated all day, threatening the members of Engine Company No. 2 and knocking down peaceable citizens and quarreling among themselves generally. They are keeping themselves nearly all of the time in and around the Wooster House, giving that part of our village the appearance of a general riot. Deputy Sherriff Morris, Constable Hawley and citizens who were called upon to assist, arrested several of the ringleaders who were tried this morning. The names of those arrested and the results of the trial, I have not learned. The officers met with a strong resistance, but were finally successful. I had work all day in the shop. I had a severe headache all day and in the evening. I had my summer’s coal brought to me this afternoon by Griffing. Bought it on credit - ½ ton of Lackawanna. Gussie washed this morning and went up home in the PM. APRIL 20 – FRIDAY – I went to the shop in the morning and finished off some work which was left over from yesterday. I came home and altered my walk which goes across to Father Griswold’s. The northern end of it is a little farther to the west. I took up some strawberry plants from a low spot in my garden so that I could fill it up and transplanted them I went to the drill room in the evening. After the business was done, I got excused and went down to the parsonage where the church members were preparing a supper for the reception of our new preacher who was expected on the evening train. But alas, he did not come, so instead of eating the new preacher in, we ate the old one out who is still with us. I believe he is to move next week (Brother Miley). Our new minister’s name is John Pegg. Jr. The supper was made up of stewed oysters and various kinds of cake. The entertainment was closed with prayer by Father Griswold. I came home and after copying the minutes of the military meeting and writing in my journal retired about 1 o’clock. APRIL 21 – SATURDAY – Warm and pleasant with a west wind this morning. But before noon, the wind went around to the east and it rained. I had Mr. Sayers, the cart man, in the morning to help me draw some dirt to level off around my house. When he finished, I got him to take my house blinds up to Andrew Knox, the painter. Gussie has been at work with her folks to get them ready for Ohio. We took dinner with them. I went to market in the PM and to George Hull’s for a lamp chimney in the evening. I worked out in the rain before dinner and think I have taken cold. APRIL 22 – SUNDAY – It was rather late when we rose. It was storming hard. Cloudy all day and some rain. Brother Peg, our new preacher, preached for us in the AM for the first time. Text – Isaiah 52, part of the first verse. (Awake, awake. Put on thy strength, O Zion). An excellent sermon. Father Griswold preached in the PM. Text – Philippians 1:27. After tea, we went over home and to Abel’s to sing. Mrs. Bigelow was there; she is cousin to Abel. We attended prayer meeting in the evening, the first one that Brother Pegg has attended with us as he only came yesterday to preach for us today. He will go back again to Hartford for his things and family. We liked him today very much. APRIL 23 – MONDAY – I went down to the shop in the morning, but there was no work. I came directly home and leveled off the ground in back of my house and sowed clover seed. It kept me busy all day. We took tea over to Father Griswold’s house. Gussie has been helping t hem get ready to go to Ohio with Father Griswold when he goes to the General Conference. He planted his garden today. Mr. Stevens, the English gardener, and Father spaded it for him. I went for some groceries and to see Mr. Sayers to have him draw some more dirt on my garden tomorrow. APRIL 24 – TUESDAY – Mr. Sayers came this morning and hauled for me 3 more loads of soil for my yard and one load of white sand for my walks. I gave away some black currant bushes to Robert Sayers and his brother, the cart man, who drew my dirt, and Ephraim Gregory. I finished leveling off and seeding down my yard and sanding my walks by working very hard and late. I intended to attend class tonight because I cannot attend my own tomorrow because of a meeting of the Wooster Guard preparatory to our annual parade on the 27th. I went over to Father Griswold’s in the evening to get some instructions about his garden during his absence to the General Conference. It commenced to grow col after dinner and was quite cool just at night and in the evening. APRIL 25 – WEDNESDAY – Frost last night, cool this morning. I rose in good season and went down to Charles Stevens for a vest for Father Griswold. He sent it last night by his apprentice, Elijah Brown, but he carried it home to his boarding place at Albert Howard’s instead of delivering it as he should have done to Father Griswold. I had to go to his boarding place, for he had not got up when I called. As Father and Mother Griswold and Fanny were to start for Ohio this morning, Gussie went over and helped get the breakfast and we ate there. After seeing them to the cars, Gussie went home and cleared away the breakfast table, swept the house, put things in order, locked the house and came over to her own home while I went to painting. I attended an extra drill in the evening, as the Guard intend to turn out on the 27th. We had an invitation to go to New Haven on the 2nd of May to participate in the Governor’s Parade. Our circumstances are such that we shall not attend. I have worked hard painting my house today. APRIL 26 – THURSDAY – Snow on the ground this morning; just enough to make it look white. The weather is still cold, making my hands so numb that I could scarcely paint towards night. Mother came down just before night and went with us to Prayer Meeting. Aunt Louise and Frank came along and went with us. We expected to see Brother Pegg there, but we were mistaken. He has not yet arrived with his family. APRIL 27 – FRIDAY – Pleasant and warmer. I painted in the AM. After dinner, I went up to the Hall about 2 o’clock to turn out on our annual parade, but only 10 members appeared so that we did not appear in the street. I came home early and resumed my painting. I attended military meeting in the evening. On my way home, I stopped at the parsonage for Gussie as she was there helping clean, etc. preparing for our new minister who is coming tomorrow. APRIL 28 – SATURDAY – I painted a little before breakfast, after which I went to the shop. I had work all day. After I came home, I carried out my Dahlia roots for sprouting. We went down to the parsonage in the evening to make a supper for the reception of our new preacher, Brother Pegg. He came on the morning train with his family and took dinner with Brother George ___ and came to the parsonage for tea. Brother William Hoyt, our presiding elder came on the evening train and took tea with us at the parsonage. We came home about 10 o’clock. When I came from the shop, I brought a letter from the Office to Gussie from her cousin Eliza in California. APRIL 29 - SUNDAY - Pleasant. Our new presiding elder, William Hoyt, preached for us in the morning from 3rd John, 4th verse. Sabbath School as usual. Brother Pegg preached in the PM from Ephesian 3, first part of the 19th verse. After the service, the funeral of Mrs. Wylie was attended. We went. After tea, Gussie wrote to her folks who are in Ohio visiting. We attended meeting in the evening. Preaching by Brother Pegg. Text- Psalm 68:18. The sermon was excellent, a full house. APRIL 30 – MONDAY – Pleasant. I had work all day in the shop. Brother Bartram came in the PM after Gussie and Harriet and took them up to his house to spend the afternoon to take tea and to sing in the evening. Ana and Sally Miley, Hattie Brockett, Martha Stevens, Susan Holmes, Harriet, Gussie, Abel and myself were there. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Smith with their son and daughter came in in the evening. Brother Bartram brought the ladies home, while Abel and myself walked.






Purdy, Horace, 1835-1909. “Horace Purdy Journal, April 1860 Entry.” Horace Purdy Journals, MS 044. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 21 Feb. 2020.

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