Feb 112013
John Jay Johns

John Jay Johns

I am transcribing the volume of the journal in the holdings of the Missouri History Museum library. It covers 1874, 1875, and a bit of 1876.  As of today, Em has transcribed through November of 1874.

In December of 1874, John J. Johns’ wife, Jane Durfee Johns, was gravely ill.  She had a fever for almost 2 months.  They seem to have treated her with quinine and “broken doses” of calomel and ipecac.  The doctors seem never to have made a definitive diagnosis, or if they did, they didn’t share it with JJJ.

The summer of 1874 was one of drought; summer of 1875 was one of catastrophic rains and flooding.  I am in the process of scanning my transcription of the journal and will post it to the site; Emelie is really fast at getting the softcopy transcription done.  She is doing some of the annotation, too.  I can’t keep up with her!

Nov 272012
John Jay Johns

John Jay Johns

I have finished uploading the scans of that part of the John Jay Johns journal typed by Florence Johns to our site. I’m going to ask Emelie Strother to transcribe the part that is not yet done, starting today. Meanwhile, I am transcribing the part of the journal donated to the Missouri Historical Museum by Frederick Johns.

I’m finding working from the original journal interesting. Apparently JJJ used the first pages of this volume for various writings, the middle for his journal and the last pages for accounts. I have found a recipe for cleaning clothes and polishing furniture…doesn’t seem to me like you would use the same solution consisting of turpentine (3 pts), something I can’t read but I think it’s a kind of linseed oil (1 pt), aqueous ammonia (2 oz), liquid camphor (1 oz), melted beeswax (2 oz) to both clean clothes and polish furniture. The instructions say to use black alpacca cloth for clothes and cotton for furniture.

Anyone up for an experiment?

Nov 212012

Well, I had quite a satisfactory day today. I went and had lunch with the two guys I retired with. It was very enjoyable. We met at the Maya Cafe in Maplewood (Missouri).  Their menu has none of the “standard” Mexican items, though one guy had a burrito.  One had a stuffed chayote squash, and I had a chicken breast with a pepito sauce with raisins and almonds.  Very good.

On the way home, I made a stop at Trader Joes, and got fancy sides for my very small Thanksgiving dinner.

Then on to Valhalla Cemetery, where I found Joseph Henry Gauss’ grave, along with his two wives and one of his daughters.  This time I went prepared with boots and a cane to deal with my bum ankle.  I’ll make memorials for them all at Find-a-grave and, of course, add the pictures and info to Gauss’ Children.

I wish you all the best for Thanksgiving.

 Posted by at 2:41 am
Nov 192012

Well, my daughter, Annie, has scanned the rest of the journal — at least the part typed by Florence Johns. I have gotten 2/3 of the scans uploaded to the web site. About half of the typed part of the journal has been transcribed to softcopy. Next comes copy editing and creating links to the people mentioned in the text.

Then comes the big part — transcribing the parts missing from the typescript directly from JJJ’s handwriting — I’ve started on it a couple of times; they say third time’s the charm. His writing was truly awful.

If anyone would like to help in this project, let me know.

 Posted by at 3:28 am
Nov 182012

Vallhalla CemeteryWell, I have found out where Joseph Henry Gauss, his two wives, Annie and Olive and his daughter Esther Mary Gauss are buried.  They are buried in Valhalla Cemetery, close to my old neighborhood in St. Louis.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found the graves yet, though I know approximately where they are.  I will get the photos, though.


Valhalla is a HUGE cemetery, 300 acres.  I drove by it for years without realizing how big it is.  I drove back and forth 3 or 4 times in the back forty looking for these graves, then had to desist to go to a book club lunch.  Next time I’ll wear my boots — my bum ankle isn’t up to any kind of rough terrain.

 Posted by at 2:13 am
Mar 272011

...but it's almost April

I decided that I might use blogging to keep a gardening diary, so I am starting this one.  I expect to blog all of my interests, and then maybe cross post to the excessive unused blogs I seem to have.

At any rate, I thought about noting that I missed the winter aconite that bloomed a couple of weeks ago, but my daffodils are coming up strong, along with what looks like a stray tulip. The grass is greening and a few trees are beginning to leaf out, and something I am guessing are Bradford pears are blooming.  Last weekend it got up into the eighties(F), but this weekend has been a re-visitation of winter.  I think about it as a tussle between the coming summer and the waning winter…summer will win out in the end, but winter isn’t giving up without a fight.

 Posted by at 3:11 am