MAY 01 – TUESDAY – I had work until after dinner in the shop. I waited until after we were paid off and then went up to Hoyt and Scribner’s office and had my house and furniture insured. My house at $700 and my furniture at $200. Insurance at one percent including the policy - $1.50, it made the total $10.50. I, came home and sowed some Timothy and Red Top grass seed where I had previously sowed clover on my yard. Cloudy all day and a prospect of rain. I wrote a letter to Father and Mother Griswold to the General Conference at Buffalo in the evening. MAY 02 – WEDNESDAY – East wind all day. No work in the shop. I painted over the worst spots on the north side of my house, preparatory to putting on a full coat. The first coat being dry on the front, south and rear, I commenced puttying over the nail heads, etc. An alarm of fire at 10 minutes before 4 o’clock this morning woke me. I dressed myself and went over to Abel’s to have him go with me to the fire. He went. It proved to be the restaurant above the bridge. I was glad to see it burn for it was one of the worst places in town. Drinking, gambling and other vices have been carried on there on a large scale. It is undoubtedly a good thing for Danbury that it has been burned. It was entirely burned up. Mrs. Baxter and daughter and Mrs. Richards called on us a short time in the PM. I mailed my letter to Father Griswold who is at the General Conference in Buffalo, New York after inserting an account of the fire. I attended class in the evening. MAY 03 – THURSDAY – I worked all day puttying the bad places on my house. I had a new point put on lightning rod by Quintus Chichester and his partner. I had a headache in the PM and evening. I did not attend meeting on that account. MAY 04 – FRIDAY – No work in the shop. I worked in my garden until after dinner when I broke my spading fork. I carried it to McDonald’s Blacksmith Shop to get it mended. I called at my shop and came home and finished the day by puttying nail heads, etc. on my house. Gussie walked down to see the ruins where the restaurant was burned. I went to drill and she came home. After drill, I bought a Sash Paint Brush of Andrew Knox. I came home and copied the minutes of the military meeting and retired. MAY 05 – SATURDAY – I spaded my garden for a while before breakfast. I went to the shop, but the work not being ready, the foreman told me if I would go home, he would give me my share some other time. I came home and worked hard all day in my garden. I planted onion, carrots, parsnips and beets. I planted 4 rows of the Van Epps Monarch Peas and two rows of the Champion of England, also quite a good number of Dwarf Peas. I transplanted a few strawberry plants. MAY 06 – SUNDAY – Warm and sultry. An old man called in the morning to solicit aid to have an operation performed which is blinded by the providing of a cataract over the sight. The left eye is also becoming so. Also, he is rather an elderly man, poor and not having the means of having the operation performed without aid, he is trying to get enough together by force of gifts of such as may pity and sympathize with him. He is John Colebrook of this state. Brother Pegg preached today and it seems to me to be the best preacher I have ever heard. Text in the AM was Revelation 14:6. His theme was the Everlasting Gospel (see text). In the PM, Psalm 137:14. We walked over to Cousin Frank Boughton’s after tea. We attended prayer meeting in the evening. Brother Pegg announced in the meeting that the wife of Brother Wooley was dead. Brother Woolley preached in Ridgefield last year. He is now stationed in Norwalk. MAY 07 – MONDAY – It still continues warm and sultry. I went to the shop in the morning but had nothing to do. I came home and went to work in my garden. I planted squash, potatoes, cucumbers and corn. Mrs. Richards and Mrs. Eli Rockwell (now a widow), formerly of Ridgebury, the one with whom I lived when I was a boy, were walking in the lot west of my garden, and I saw her for the first time since I lived with her. Mr. Smith, my tenant, helped me to clean out my rain water as it was nearly empty and there was a prospect of a storm. I went downtown and to market with Gussie in the evening. MAY 08 – WEDNESDAY – Cloudy with an east wind and a little rain in the morning. I helped Gussie to cleaning the parlor. I worked in my garden and puttied over nail heads on the house. I was very busy all day. George and Emma Wildman came and spent the evening with us. I had to go to market just after they came. MAY 09 – WEDNESDAY - Cloudy and a little rain. No work in the shop. I went down there and came home and painted my parlor. I finished my work late and was so tired that I did not attend class in the evening. MAY 10 – THURSDAY – Cloudy with an east wind, but little rain. I have had work all day in the shop. On my way to the shop, I went up to Andrew Knox’ to carry home a bottle and get some white varnish. But I finally concluded not to get any and came away without any. I came home and found the house vacant and locked. I got some bread and milk for my supper, Gussie being away with Cousin Frank Boughton up to Marion Boughton’s visiting. They came home about 7:30 and went to the stores together while I, being very tired, stayed at home. I received a letter from Father Griswold at the General Conference at Buffalo, New York. MAY 11 – FRIDAY – The anniversary of brother John’s birthday. He would have been, if he lived, 23 years old. I have had work all day in the shop. Warm and pleasant. Our threatened storm has passed over without rain enough to dry the dust. George Quien brought me ½ peck of the South American potatoes for seed to plant in my garden. Gussie went up home in the PM. I attended drill in the evening. I brought home two large porgies and dressed then for my breakfast tomorrow morning. MAY 12 – SATURDAY – I have had full work in the shop which kept me busy early and late. After tea, I sowed some cabbage heads in Father Griswold’s hot bed. I sowed some broad leaf pepper grass also in my garden. Gussie went with me to market in the evening after which we went up home to see if I could get Father to come on next Monday and finish spading my garden. MAY 13 – SUNDAY – Very warm. Brother Pegg preached from the latter clause of the 22nd chapter of Luke: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” Sacrament in the PM. After tea, I wrote two letters – to Father Griswold in Buffalo at the General Conference and the other to Cousin Phebe Palmer in Stamford. Preaching in the evening by Brother Pegg. Text from Isaiah 66:13. Subject, “God’s love as represented by the mother”. A good sermon. A full house. MAY 14 – MONDAY – I brought water from the brook for Gussie to wash with. I had work all day in the shop. Father came in the PM to finish spading my garden, but a hard shower which we had drove him from his work. It was the first rain in nearly a month. We needed it very much. The ground was very dry. A meeting of the male members of the church in the evening to see about repairing the church. I did not attend on account of having the parlor carpet to tack down. MAY 15 – TUESDAY – Pleasant but cooler since the shower of yesterday afternoon. It commenced with hail. Father came this morning and finished spading my garden. It took him until about 2 PM. I finished my work before night at the shop and came home and planted potatoes, lima beans and bush beans. I went to market in the evening. MAY 16 – WEDNESDAY – Pleasant but cooler in the morning and evening. I went to the shop, but there was no work, the hats not being dry. I came home and transplanted some tomato plants for Father Griswold and planted some lima beans for him. The remainder, I cannot plant until I hear from him. I planted some more limas for myself and two hills of squash and some radishes. I hoed up the grass in my walks and raked them off. I finished puttying up the north side of my house and commenced painting. I worked so late at painting that I could not get to class. MAY 17 - THURSDAY – Cooler in the morning. Some say we had a frost last night but I did not see it. I suppose I did not get up early enough, although I was up at 5 o’clock. There has been work in the shop all day. I came home for dinner and stopped on my return at Concert Hall to vote in accepting an act of the legislature to provide water for our town. It was passed. I was taken with a headache and had to leave work before night. Mr. Weatherspoon came over after tea with some pepper seed to sow in Father Griswold’s hot bed. I went to market in the evening and received a letter from Father Griswold at the General Conference and mailed one for Gussie to Eliza Humphrey in California. After I came home from the street, I commenced a letter to Father Griswold. MAY 18 – FRIDAY – Cloudy and a little rain. Plenty of work in the shop. After tea, I finished my letter to Father Griswold. I mailed it on my way to the drill room. I also mailed to him the printed act of our present legislature to provide Danbury with reliable water works. I attended military meeting in the evening. MAY 19 –SATURDAY – It rained very hard early this morning. Showery all day. Mr. Baxter helped me fix the chain pump in the well before breakfast. I was obliged to descend into the well as far as the surface of the water and fish out the chain with a hook attached to a pole. The water was about eight feet deep. I had work all day in the shop but sis not accomplish much on account of waiting for blocks about half the time. We were paid off in the PM. I received $15.00. Theodore Fowler brought me 25 early cabbage plants when he came from dinner. I transplanted after tea also some Silicia lettuce plants from Dr. Bennett. We went downtown in the evening, I to market and Gussie to Mary Hoyt’s to see about a new hat. I called with her. MAY 20 – SUNDAY – Cool, but pleasant. A high northwest wind. Very much like March. We attended church. Brother Pegg preached in the AM from the Song of Solomon, 2:11-12. Text in the PM - Matthew 5:8. Both sermons were excellent. We did not go out in the evening on account of Gussie feeling unwell. MAY 21 – MONDAY – I painted before breakfast. I had work nearly all day. Showery all day. I put a casing on the chimney corner in my bedroom after I came from work. A child of Clark Hoyt’s was buried this afternoon. Gussie attended the funeral. I did not go out in the evening. MAY 22 – TUESDAY – A hard shower last night. Showery nearly all day. No work in the shop. I helped Gussie clean house. I white washed and painted the bedroom. Mother came down on the PM. I hurt her feelings by scolding her about letting Bell go out of church last Sunday. We went downtown in the evening for some wallpaper to put on the walls in our bedroom. Clear and pleasant in the evening. A new moon. MAY 23 – WEDNESDAY- A beautiful day. I went to the shop in the morning and finished a dozen hats and came home and went to painting in m y bedroom and afterword on the north side of my house. I also took away the west side of my grape vine frame. Cousin Frank Boughton and her baby spent the afternoon and took tea with us. I went to class in the evening. MAY 24 – THURSDAY – In the morning, I whitewashed the pantry for Gussie. No work in the shop. I worked at painting my house all day, when I was not helping Gussie with her cleaning. We did not attend prayer meeting in the evening, but went to market and to Mary Jane Hoyt’s for Jussie’s new hat. A shower came up while we were there. We waited until it was over before we came home. MAY 25 – FRIDAY – No work in the shop. We commenced to paper our bedroom. In the PM, I went over to Jacob Fry’s with William Bradley to get some Pea Brush. We got them out of the swamp and Mr. Fry is to bring them to us the first opportunity he has. I attended drill in the evening. Our new rifle muskets have come. They are a splendid affair. The day has been very warm. MAY 26 – SATURDAY – Warm in the AM. Showery in the PM. I did not go to the shop to see if there was any work or not. Mr. Fry brought in my Pea Brush in the morning. Gussie and myself worked all day to finish papering the bedroom. Stormy in the evening. I did not go away from home in the evening. MAY 27 – SUNDAY – East wind. Cloudy and misty all day. Brother Pegg preached in the AM from Genesis 22:2-3. In the PM, from 1st Corinthians, chapter 6, the last of the 10th verse. Both sermons were excellent. Harriet and Abel called a short time after tea. Gussie wrote a letter to Cornelia Post and I one to Father Griswold at the General Conference in Buffalo, New York. I mailed them when I went down to prayer meeting in the evening. The meeting was in the Lecture Room and a good one it was, too. Brother Pegg was more than usually warmed up and so was the brethren generally. The house was crowded. After the meeting, I went over to brother Stevens to see his son Charles to send by him to New York at the Book Room for two Certificates of Life Membership in the Missionary Society, one for Clark Beers and one for myself, also for two Librarian’s Books. MAY 28 – MONDAY – Cloudy until after dinner when the sun shone. I had work nearly all day in the shop. On my way to work in the morning, I went up to Andrew Knox’s for some varnish and turpentine which I carried to the shop with me and after work I brought it home with me and varnished our bedstead. Mayor Tweedy called to see about our assessments on the new street through Barnum’s and Olmstead’s property on Deer Hill. We went up to Mr. Wise’s in the evening and carried a pot to get some plants rooted. MAY 29 - TUESDAY – A pleasant day. I had work in the shop until nearly night. John Brush got intoxicated and appeared ridiculous as usual when he s in that state. Mr. Wise sent me some early London cabbage plants this morning. I transplanted them this evening. After tea, I helped Gussie put up the bedstead and get things righted a little in the bedroom. MAY 30 – WEDNESDAY – Pleasant in the morning. Cloudy in the middle of the day and a thunder shower just at night. The moon shine brightly just before bedtime. I have had all the work I could do in the shop today. An Irishman named Thomas Kinney was drowned yesterday in Taunton Pond in Newtown. The Wide-Awakes paraded the street in a torch light procession headed by the brass band in the evening. I went to the Hall to help Captain Wildman box up the old muskets and unpack the new ones in the evening. MAY 31 – THURSDAY – It rained hard early in the morning. I have had to train hard all day today as it has been our May training. We were warned about 7 AM and trained until 6 PM. We had 1 ¼ hours for dinner. We used our new rifle muskets for the first time today. We had martial music in the forenoon and the brass band in the PM. We did a hard day’s work but most if not all the men enjoyed it. I was tired and did not go out in the evening. There was thunder shower about 6 or 7 PM.
Purdy, Horace, 1835-1909. “Horace Purdy Journal, May 1860 Entry.” Horace Purdy Journals, MS 044. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 14 Oct. 2019.
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