Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3 thru 6, 1886

As always, click on the picture to enlarge for easier reading of original. Feel free to contact me with corrections, additional information, or comments. Additional information can be checked out with the links to the right.

Wednesday, November 3, 1886 --- Omar takes a large load of potatoes to Bloods in the morning, and the last load in the afternoon. A grand total of 551 bushels and 44 pounds. A bushel of potatoes is about 60 pounds. Thirty three thousand one hundred and four pounds of potatoes... all dug by hand, loaded by hand, and drawn by horse and wagon for 33 cents a bushel - about a penny for every 2 pounds. Henry notes that that they took a total of 13 loads...... about 1 1/2 tons per load! Seems like it must have been a pretty strong wagon, and pretty strong horses.... at least it is downhill most of the way to Bloods, but holding back that kind of load must have been pretty much as hard on the horses as pulling it up! Upon his return from Bloods, Omar starts plowing under some stubble - could be grain or corn stubble (the part left after cutting down what you want) Sarah goes to Bloods for something, and the first snow of the season falls!

Thursday, November 4, 1886 --- Henry goes to visit Leicester Fox, and settle up accounts on Bart's work for the season. My great grandfather Bart has been working for Leicester Fox since March 17th, except for the few days in September when he was very ill with "cholera morbus" and missed 12 days. Bart needs to make up the time he missed, and they figure he owes Mr. Fox 12 days to make the time up. Bart has evidently worked a extra 5 days already, and they arrange for Bart to work until next Thursday - November 11 (Maybe Friday November 12th - Sunday would not count - Bart does appear in the diary entry next Friday - helping put the pigs in the new hog house at home.) Mr. Fox pays Henry $50 on account for Bart's work, and owes $62.50 balance to be paid in a week or ten days. The total money arranged for the seasons work was $112.50 for 7 1/2 months work. (You can see the "value" of a large family. Henry has extra hands he does not need, and can "rent" out Bart for cash. My Fox either has a smaller family, or a bigger farm, and must pay Henry for the help he needs. While we have seen lots of examples of neighbors helping neighbors, exchanging and bartering, etc. this is very much a business transaction with no leeway for "sick time". When you figure in the value of not feeding Bart for the 7 1/2 months, Bart's labor has profited the family almost as much as the cash value of the potato crop sold to Welds!)

Omar draws potatoes to the cellar for storage.

Friday, November 5, 1886 --- Henry is sick and does not do anything until around noon. Omar goes on with plowing - preparing fields for spring planting. Sarah and Lois go to Naples in the forenoon. Omar and Mills continue putting Comfort potatoes into the cellar for a total of about 90 bushels. Total potato crop is up to about 650 bushels so far?

Saturday, November 6, 1886 --- They butcher and dress the "fat hog" in the morning. Omar and Mills husk corn in the afternoon. Henry and Sarah go to Fellowship Meeting in the afternoon. "The meeting was an important one in many respects, and a good Spirit seemed to pervade the majority of those present, and an important resolution was past (sic)"

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