DEC 01 SATURDAY - Pleasant but a little cooler. I worked around home today, sorted my apples in Father Griswold’s barn and brought them down into my cellar. Weeded out my strawberry beds and spread manure over them. I took down Mother Griswold’s kitchen stove pipe and cleaned it for her. Went up home and got a ½ bushel of French turnips of Father Griswold and brought them home just before tea. He was sick yesterday, but is better today. Georgie has been up home since Thanksgiving and just after dinner today, Bell came home with him. I carried Henry Blair’s gun home in the evening and made new arrangements to keep Bird, his dog. I went to market in the evening and bought a dog chain I borrowed of Charles Hull. DEC 02 SUNDAY - A cold morning though pleasant. It thawed some in the sun in the middle of the day. Before breakfast, I went up home and carried a little tea and coffee to see Mother who was sick last night. She was no better, getting but little rest last night. Gussie attended church as usual in the morning and I to Sunday School at noon and to prayer meeting in the P.M. After tea, I took a walk over to see Robert Cocking and then called at Harriet Phillips and got $1.50 for a book she wants me to send to New York for – “Women of Methodism” by Abel Stevens, LLD. Also $25 to get a Centennial Illustrated paper for her. She at the same time paid me for the Sunday School Advocate and the Sunday School Journal. Before evening meeting, I wrote to N. Tibbel for the book and paper. Also a short letter to George telling him of the bundle of good things and the letter and bounty papers sent to him yesterday by Sherman Smith. Also telling him that Bell is to be baptized this evening at the Baptist Church. Gussie is nearly sick with a head cold. DEC 03 MONDAY - Pleasant . Before breakfast, I went over to Mr. Bell’s to engage him to come and work a day for Father Griswold. No work in the shop. I went hunting and got two quails. When I got home, I had a hard headache. Before tea, I went over to Mrs. Blair’s and got a 3 quart pail full of leavings and scrapings for Bird. I gave then to him for his supper. I stayed at home in the evening to let Gussie go to the milliner’s with the baby’s hat and to go to market. Bell was baptized last evening in the Baptist Church. Mr. Cocking paid me $3.00 rent money this morning when I stopped at his place as I went hunting, the four months past having been paid with a ton of coal which I took from him. By the evening mail, I received a letter from George; Gussie brought it. DEC 04 TUESDAY - No work in the shop. It commenced raining about 10 A.M. I commenced to cover my strawberry plants before the rain and got quite wet before I finished it. I copied the constitution and by-laws of the M. E. Sunday School from an old record book into a new one. I went to the Post Office in the evening, but before going, Robert Dunning called to enquire about the place where Epephas Widman lives. He supposed that Father Griswold owned it. He is contemplating buying it. DEC 05 WEDNESDAY - Pleasant and remarkably warm for December. I made a box for a mortar bend then made some mortar and painted around my back chimney and the inside cellar door; it took me all day. Before tea, I went to market and bought a beaver pluck for the dog. I also went over to Mrs. Blair’s and got some leavings for him. I received the book and Centennial paper by mail for Harriet Phillips and carried them over as I went to Mrs. Blair’s for the remnants she had saved for Bird. Mrs. Pond called on Gussie this P.M. DEC 06 THURSDAY - Pleasant until just at night when it threatened rain, which it commenced to do in the evening. I went hunting and returned before 3 and 4 o’clock. I went to Terry’s Woods and Mill Plain Swamp; followed the Miry Brook Swamp across Wallingford Road down to Wolf Pond and returned. I got only two quails. I went to market in the evening for Mother Griswold and received a letter from George inquiring whether he could get trusted here for a pair of boots. I called at Charles Reed’s before I came home to see about it. He does not like to trust these times but says he will accommodate George. Gussie went to the milliner’s this P.M. for a new hat for Georgie which is made of an old silk hat cover. Before retiring, I commenced a reply to George’s letter. DEC 07 FRIDAY - I was surprised this morning to find it pleasant. It has been a beautiful warm day. Sidney Grannis and I went on the top of Mt. Thomas. I took a hatchet and cut 8 poles for Mr. Pond and myself. I took my gun but found no game. I bought a pair of boots on credit for George at D. & M. Benedict’s. I did them up with 2 pairs of socks and took them over to Mr. Fanton’s. He will take them to New York tomorrow. I went into the street this evening and did some marketing, waited for the mail and then came home. Letter to George by the P.M. mail about sending the boots. DEC 08 SATURDAY - I rose at 5 o’clock and went with Mr. Pond down to Mt. Tom and got the 8 poles I cut yesterday with Sidney Grannis. We returned about 7 o’clock and found breakfast waiting for us with we ate with relish after our morning jaunt. I emptied and cleaned my pork barrel in the forenoon. In the P.M., I took my gun locks apart and repaired and cleaned them. In the evening, I held lamp for Mr. Pond to make a box in which to keep the Sunday School class books at his church. I assisted him until 11 o’clock with the exception of a short time, when the train came and I went to the depot to meet Fanny who has been away about 7 weeks on a visit to New York, Brooklyn, Newark, Middletown, Hartford, Bloomfield and Canton. It commenced raining in the forenoon and continued until about 8 o’clock in the evening when it cleared up and was pleasant. Widow Benedict died this morning about 8 o’clock. DEC 09 SUNDAY - Pleasant again this morning. After breakfast, I went up home to carry a letter to Harriet from George which came in a letter I received several days ago. She has been sick for several days with an inflammation on the lungs. I unchained Bird and let him go up with me for a run. Gussie attended church in the morning; I went down to Sunday School which was prayer meeting. Sacrament in the P.M., which I attended. When I came home from church and before tea, I went for Dr. Bulkley for Mother Griswold. I let Bird go with me. I stopped at his home to have him eat the scraps Mrs. Blair had saved for him. I attended church in the evening. Brother Peck preached an excellent sermon. DEC 10 MONDAY - Cold this morning. The ground considerably frozen. After breakfast, I went over to Mrs. Blair’s for some stale victuals and leavings for Bird. I repaired his kennel. Took George’s little Georgie’s, Gussie’s and my bank books to the savings bank and had interest added to cash. When I returned, it was about dinner time. Mrs. Stone and Susan Brayman were to dinner with her two youngest children. Mrs. Stone was washing and Susan visiting. In the P.M., I spoke with Fred Starr about beef and pork. In the evening, I attended Sunday School teachers’ meeting and put on record medals received and amounts collected by the children for the Centenary Offering. This was a long task and accounts for returning so late. Bell came home after meeting to stay all night. DEC 11 TUESDAY - Very cold last night; water was frozen in our sink room this morning. Pleasant but cold all day. I went down to the shop this morning to see if there was any prospect of work very soon. We may have a little the last of this week. About 11 o’clock, I took Bird and my gun and went over to Mr. Lynes’ and called on Robert Cocking and wife. They were dressing poultry to send to Mr. Lynes in New York. I drank a glass of cider with Robert and then went a little farther to look for game, but did not get any. It being pretty cold, I came home and took a nap as I was feeling sleepy from being up so late last night. Fannie went with Gussie this A.M. about 11 o’clock to get a picture of Georgie. They are to be photographic card pictures. I called in the evening and got a proof of his whole figure and a vignette and brought home to let the women decide which they will have. I also went to Fred Starr’s and selected a hog - 275 pounds - to be delivered tomorrow. From there I went to Concert Hall to the Temperance meeting. Peter Holmes was called on the platform and in the course of his remarks, gave Rev. Mr. Powers of the 2nd Congregational Church a shaking up for advocating billiard playing by church members. He handled Powers without gloves and served him right. Powers may be honest, but I think he will never accomplish what he designs; namely to take such games out of the hands of the devil. Instead of getting such games out of the devil’s hands, I more fear the devil will get him if he attempts the thing. DEC 12 WEDNESDAY - Pleasant and cold, though I think a little warmer through the day than yesterday. No work in the shop. I went to the savings bank in the forenoon and drew $20 and paid Fred Starr towards my pork, which I expect will be delivered this P.M. It is a hog weighing 275 pounds at $.10, $28.87 being the whole bill. From the market, I went over to Halley’s Wool hat factory to see Father. He wants ½ pound of my bulk tea which I will let him have, it being better and costs less than he can procure here. I then went down to Foster Brother’s Carpenter Shop and ground my drawing knife preparatory to doing some coopering tonight. I also paid Charles Stevens $9.00, the balance due towards church pew rent. After dinner, I put Father Griswold’s hand cider mill in his wheelbarrow and took it to the express Office for him. He is sending it off for repairs to Peekskill. Mr. Webb, the young preacher was married this P.M. at the church. While the ceremony was being performed I was in the basement repairing partitions in the Sunday School library and did not witness it, not caring to. After they were married (he married Fannie Holmes), I went with Gussie over to Charles Hull’s and bought a round bottomed donut kettle for her. My pork came in the afternoon. Bell came in the P.M. and took Georgie home with her to stay over until tomorrow while she is tying up her lard. In the evening, Gussie went with Susan Brayman up to Mrs. Cole’s and I worked with Mr. Pond in his cellar hooping my pork barrel. It was about 11 o’clock when we stopped work. DEC 13 THURSDAY - Pleasant but cold; It has thawed none anywhere today. I went to the shop in the morning, but there being no work, I went with Edward Cody over to Oil Mill Pond to skate for the first of the season. The afternoon, I spent helping Gussie tying up her lard. I also salted down my pork. After tea, I took the sausage meat down to Benedict & Nichols and ground it. Also left word for Dr. Bulkley to come tomorrow morning to see Mother Griswold. I waited for the mail and got a letter from George acknowledging receipt of the boots I sent him. DEC 14 FRIDAY - Pleasant but still colder. I had work in the shop; the first work in the shop in 16 days. Gussie went up to Father Purdy’s to see Georgie who has been up there for two days out of the way of our work with pork. She carried to them as a present a piece of hogshead and a nice piece of spare rib. Bird came home this morning about 9 A.M., he having been gone since last evening when I let him go for a run. In the evening, Gussie and I went to market together. I did some errands for Mother Griswold. I took a letter from the Post Office for Willie Franklin. DEC 15 SATURDAY - Very cold again this Morning. Mr. Pond is very sick this morning. He is threatened with fever. He wished to take a sweat with Aconite, so I prepared some for him. I was obliged to get some more medicine from the doctor so I called the doctor to supply me and sent him to see Mr. Pond and prescribe for him. The time I spent looking for the doctor and cutting some wood for Mother Griswold made me late to the shop this morning. I called at Couch’s and got the 4 Cartes de Visite and one vignette of Georgie which he promised yesterday. He gave me a large photograph of Father Griswold to take to them as a present. Mr. Pond borrowed a spare rib of me weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces to be returned when his pork comes. Bell came home with Georgie this P.M. He has a severe cough. We fear Whooping Cough. After tea, I washed and scrubbed an old half of a lard barrel preparatory to putting my hams in brine. I made brine in the evening and before retiring, I put my hams and shoulders into it. DEC 16 SUNDAY - Cloudy and cold this morning. The air grew a little warmer, I think, and about 11 A.M., it commenced snowing. Gussie did not attend church as usual this morning. I went down to Sunday School at noon. Meeting commenced in the P.M. before I finished my work at the library, so when I did finish, I came home. Mr. Pond is better this morning. After tea, I wrote to George and enclosed a letter for Willie Franklin. I also wrote to Carlton & Porter ordering for the school a dozen class books. I enclosed the money for them - $.45. It stormed so hard in the evening that there was no meeting or at least when I went down about 8 o’clock to mail my letters there were no lights in any of the churches. It was snowing hard when we retired. DEC 17 MONDAY - Stormy about half the day, Snow. It cleared off just before night. I shoveled paths this morning for Mother Griswold, Mr. Pond (who has been sick) and myself. It was snowing at the time. I was in consequence late at the shop. I had work all day. This is the second snow and the first sleighing. After tea, I helped Gussie press her headcheese and then went to the Post Office. I returned a letter to the Office for Harriet Purdy which I took out Saturday evening, expecting to get it to her before this time but I did not do so. I walked up with Ed Dunning who was coming in from a hunt. He had a bagful of birds having shot 30 quail and several rabbits. Before retiring, I called to see Mr. Pond. He is better and hopes to get to his school tomorrow. DEC 18 TUESDAY - Cloudy and not very cold considering that there is a body of snow on the ground. I worked all day in the shop. I went to class in the evening; Brother Peck led. As I went, I took a letter to Phebe Palmer in San Francisco, California for Gussie. Mrs. Stone called while we were at tea. She was on her way to call at Mr. McKnabb (on Deer Hill near our folks) who was last Friday badly stabbed at White’s factory. The 2nd Congregational Church has a fair and festival at Concert hall this evening. DEC 19 WEDNESDAY - No work in the shop. I went and finished off a few hats I had left over from yesterday and came home. In the P.M., I went over to see George Starr about money. I want to borrow $200 on January 3rd with which to take up a note with Hanford Fairchild. Mr. Starr could not promise me the money and yet would not positively refuse saying that if I did not get it elsewhere to see him again. Cloudy with appearance of snow this morning but it grew warmer towards night and appeared more like rain. Gussie washed this forenoon and had a severe headache in the P.M. At teatime, she drank a cup of tea and felt better. Her folks gave her a complimentary ticket to the 2nd Congregational Church Fair and Festival and she went. After tea, I rubbed my fresh meat (Spare Ribs) with salt and pepper to keep them. I carried a nice piece over to Mrs. Curtis as a present. It snowed at the time. DEC 20 THURSDAY - Very cold but clear. We had to wait for work this morning in the shop until 10 o’clock. There being but one dozen, I finished about 3 P.M. It was not very cold early this morning, but it grew cold during the day. I went in to see Mr. Pond a few minutes in the evening. Bell came here after evening prayer meeting to stay all night. DEC 21 FRIDAY - A severe cold morning. Some of Gussie’s plants in the parlor were frozen. I went to the shop but had to wait until about 11 o’clock for work. The weather moderated somewhat during the day. I came home from work with a headache. I cut a little wood for Mother Griswold before tea. I wanted to attend the temperance meeting this evening, but did not feel able to do so. I stayed at home with Georgie and let Gussie go. After she had gone, Mrs. Stone and daughter Matilda called to see her to get instructions about knitting a worsted hood. Soon after she left, George came in, he having just arrived on the train from Brooklyn. Prentiss having stopped work until after New Year’s, George came home to spend the holidays. When Gussie came from the temperance meeting, he hid in the parlor and surprised her greatly when he revealed himself. He is to stay with us tonight. DEC 22 SATURDAY - Not so cold today; appearance of rain in the morning. The sun shone in the middle of the day, but it soon clouded over again. George cut a little wood for Mother Griswold for me after I went to the shop this morning. He stayed down until the train arrived at 10 ½ o’clock and then went up home. I had but one dozen hats today and had to wait so much for blocks that I had to leave over 4 hats, not being able to get a block. I drew $14.00 for my week’s work. As I came home, I went to Fred Starr’s and paid him $8.88, the balance of my bill of $28.88 for my pork. I then called at the Jeffersonian Office for my paper and at D. B. Booth’s to see about George’s bounty papers. I went to the Post Office for Harper’s Weekly and got the Sunday School Advocates and Sunday School Journals and then came home. I found Mrs. Stone and Mrs. Daniel Starr there. Before tea, I went down to see if benedict & Nichols had beef pluck for my dog Bird, but they had none. I then called at Charles Hull’s tin shop and got the nozzle to my shot pouch in which John Cable has been putting a new spring. I felt nearly sick this evening, the effects of a cold. It commenced raining in the evening and froze as it came. Before retiring, I marked of the Sunday School Advocates and Journals. DEC 23 SUNDAY - Stormy. A warm fine rain and mist, making the walking on account of the melting snow very bad. George came this way to church in company with Bell. Gussie went with them. She came home at noon and I went down to Sunday school. I stayed to the Prayer meeting in the P.M. George came home with me to supper, after which he helped me look over the Librarian’s Books and compare my list of the school with them. While we were doing this, John Brayman came in. I did not go to church in the evening on account of the rain and bad walking but called at Mr. Ponds a little while. George went to church and came home afterwards to stay all night. Before retiring, I made out a statistical report of the Sunday School, to be given to Brother Peck this week for the Quarterly Conference. DEC 24 MONDAY - Misty and more or less rain during the day. As I went to the shop this morning, I stopped at Harry Stone’s and ordered coarse salt and saltpeter for Mr. Pond. I left George at the house when I went to work. I finished a hat for Louise today and brought it home at night. I did not feel very well so I stayed home this evening. Louise came down and stayed while Gussie went into the street and made some Christmas purchases. Mrs. Stone called in the evening. Later – 8 ¼ o’clock P.M. – George has just come in and wants me to walk downtown with him. Still later. I went with George. When we returned I found Gussie and Fanny at the house with toys for Georgie. After Fanny went home George and Gussie went over to John Brayman’s a few minutes. When they returned we ate apples and roasted oysters and the Gussie and George took a large pumpkin and three beets and went over to John Bouton’s and fastened them to the doorknob, the pumpkin labeled merry Christmas to Mrs. Purdy (for Aunt Louise) and to the beets were attached a label inscribed as follows; “ Mr. Bough Town BEETS DED! DED! DED!!! DED! Mary Krismas." It was 12 o’clock when they (pages 284 and 285 missing)… salt to be sent up as I came from the shop, I stopped at J. M. Ives to see if I could borrow $200 of him. He was not in but his chief salesman, Edward Allen thought it was doubtful about me getting the money as Mr. Ives was rather straightened at the moment in money matters. I called also at Charles Hull’s store to see if John cable had mended my shot pouch. Also at D. M. Benedict’s and paid him the $5.00 I owed for George’s boots. About noon, Enos Kelly, the man I bought 10 bushels of charcoal a while ago came along. I gave him his dinner and then went down to Charles Reed’s Show Store to Ed Knapp who held the due bill to Kelly and paid him the $1.80 and took the said bill. Before night, Kelly called there as I directed and got the money. The snow continued during the day and the wind and cold increased so that at bedtime it blew tremendously. Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House in Congress gave a lecture this evening, Subject, “His travels Across the Continent”. I stayed at home and retired early. I felt poorly all day and retired nearly sick. My kidneys and liver are affected, I think. DEC 28 FRIDAY - A very high wind last night and today. The frame for a new house nearly opposite Abel Wheeler’s old place just raised by Ephraim Gregory was found this morning leveled to the ground by the wind. There was no work in the shop today but three or four of us who left our yesterday’s work over until today had that to finish off. Mr. Crofut yesterday requested the men to meet this morning as he wished to make some propositions to them. The men accordingly assembled and his business was to reduce our wages as he could not make hats at the present prices he was paying and sell them in the market. As the question seemed to be work for less or do nothing, we concluded to make a reduction. He would listen to nothing less than $.50 off on each dozen and we finally with no hard words or feelings between employer and employees accepted his terms. The day has been blustering and severe for those obliged to be out, though I think not so exceedingly cold as some days we have previously had. DEC 29 SATURDAY - George stayed with us last night. Not feeling very well myself this morning, George sifted my ashes for me and Mr. Pond got my milk as he went for his own. . I went to see George Starr about 10 o’clock to see about letting me have $200. He could not let me have it. From there, I went to the shop and got my pay. While there, Eliaken Widman paid me $1.25 for a sifter he bought about a year ago of George. I took the money and gave George credit for it. We had corn and beans for dinner of which I ate hearty and after dinner I was taken very sick in consequence. After vomiting and throwing off from my stomach all I ate for dinner, I felt better and then went over to Mr. Pond’s to see if he could lend me $200. He kindly consented to do so. While I was over to Mr. Pond’s, Dr. Bulkley came to see me. Gussie having gone into the street at the time I was most sick called the doctor about it. But when he came I did not need him as I was feeling better. I however paid him $.50 for his trouble which was only half hi price for attendance. In the evening, I went to market for a beef’s pluck for the dog, to Charles Hull’s to get a lamp repaired, and to the church where quarterly conference was in session to hand some Sunday School statistics to the preacher, Mr. Peck. Mrs. Stone and daughter Matilda called in the evening to have Gussie show them about knitting a ladies’ hood. DEC 30 SUNDAY - Pleasant. A very destructive fire occurred this morning about 3 or 4 o’clock in Selleck’s old wooden block opposite the savings bank. It burned 4 stores, viz., Decklyn’s Bakery and Store, O. H. Swift’s Yankee Notions and picture Store, Colgan’s small Clothing Store and Mrs. Ely’s Millinery rooms upstairs. Swift was also burned out of his residence over his store, as was Mr. Decklyn over his. I heard nothing of it until Mr. Pond told me of it when I went for milk. Mr. Pond and myself walked down to see the ruins before we ate breakfast. Gussie went to church in the morning as usual. I went to Sunday School at noon and stayed to the funeral of old Mrs. Coles. As the funeral was held in the P.M. at the church. I do not feel well yet; am just able to be around. A union meeting was held this evening in the 1st Congregational Church at which contributions were made in behalf of the Freedmen. A discourse was delivered by ____, the state agent. DEC 31 MONDAY - I do not feel well yet. Cold and raw this morning No work in the shop. Mr. Pond helped me build a shelf for lamps in our sink room this forenoon. George came in just at dinner time and dined with us, after which I helped him make some blocks upon which to fasten curtain fixtures in his room in Brooklyn. I then went to the Danbury Bank to ascertain when my note of $200 to Hanford Fairchild (which he had discounted) would mature. I then called to see Dr. Bulkley about myself and bought of O.H. Swift a diary which was saved from the fire yesterday morning. He spoke of using Robert Cocking’s rooms upstairs until April 1st. It began to snow about the middle of the forenoon and continued all day. George called in the evening as he went into the street and carried Father Griswold’s clock to Fanton's for repairs.
Purdy, Horace, 1835-1909. “Horace Purdy Journal December 1866 Entry.” Horace Purdy Journals, MS 044. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 18 Nov. 2019.
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