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John Jay Johns journal, April - June, 1889

3 Apr 1889
Saw Mr. Wm. G. Clark and dougherty in town today. Wife[1] and I called to see Mr. Wm Parks[2] about painting the parsonage and we called on Mrs. Lemon. The election for city officials and school commissioner yesterday resulted in favor of the Democrats, mainly. Jones was badly beaten by Heine for commissioner. The Democrats carried St. Louis and Chicago.

5 Apr 1889
Yesterday I went to Troy to see Mary Pearce[3]. She is quite unwell, liver out of order, the rest well. They live 3/4 of a mile from Troy on a small place near Colonel McClellan. It is on a hill tolerably good house with a good orshard. Tom[4] is plowing for corn, has his oats sowed and is working well. Arthur is a bright boy, 9 years old. I wrote to Mattie[5] today and received a letter from her yesterday. I received a lot of seed from seed department in Washington, from Mrs. King I suppose. I called at the parsonage than p.m. It looks very pretty with its new paint. Called in afternoon on Mr. Salveter and Mrs. Ross with Mr. Spencer.

8 Apr 1889
Went to the car shops in afternoon. The Baptists Church here is badly broken up. Prof. Jones and Rev. Mr. Rood had a serious split some time ago and a committee of Baptist ministers met here 1ns week and decided in favor of Mr. Reed, Jones and several other families left the church. In afternoon I rode with Wm Parks to the cob factory. The ladies cleaned the church this afternoon. Rode with Mr. Spencer to call on Mrs. Oglesby.

12 Apr 1889
Our Presbytery met here this morning at 11 o'cl. Rev. Peyton Walton preached the sermon. Mr. and <rs. Thos Smith are at Daisy Martin's[6] . Rev. Dr. Wilson of Permington, Mo. principal of The Female School there took dinner with us and Mr. Moon of Olivet Church. Mrs Cayoe, Mrs. Smith's sister is visiting her husband's relations, the James'. Dr. Cannon of St. Louis preached last night on foreign missions. Mr. Ven Ansanbarger came with us.

13 Apr 1889
Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Mr. Moore came with us to dinner. John[7] and Shirley[8] plowed the garden with two horses, very deed and planted potatoes. Mr. Wilson, elder from Dardenne and Mr. Murphy from BonHomme Church took supper with us. Jack Martin[9] just returned from San Antonio, reported all well and flourishing.

15 Apr 1889
George[10] and Minnie[11] and two children came up on early train and left in afternoon. Good many of our church people are sick. Rode out to see Dr. Farris'[12] lot, the fences poor. Received letters from Lizzie[13], Eugene Gauss and his grandfather. Called on Robt Pourie[14] who has been sick. I rode with Bob Luckett to my farm and Mrs. Durfee's[15] to examine the house for insurance. Bloom came to see me to rent my place when Cruse leaves. Cruse it thinking of buying Mrs.. Boyce's place near town. Cruse told me he had not made up his mind what to do, he hates to leave my place. Wheat looks well but it is dry, oats, grass and gardens suffering. Shirley went to St. Louis to hear the gringeton singers tonight.

18 Apr 1889
I called to see Mr. Morris who hurt his foot at the car shops last week. Called at Mrs. Salveters, the girls are better. Wrote to Ellen Cowan[16] today. Received letters from Mattie and Bonnie Johns[17] at San Antonio. Bonnie is to be married on the 30th this month to Mr. Lemly[18] of Hot Springs, Ark. He is a widower with two children and is a druggist. Wrote to Mattie.

22 Apr 1889
My wife rode with me to attend the ladies sewing society. Rented Dr. Ferris' lot to Oliver Ells (colored) and have to make a fence and he is to pay in advance for the fence. John and Shirley went to Cole's Branch fishing. My wife called on Mr. Nicholson, Mrs. Lintz, Madge Martin[19] and Mrs. Theo McDearmin. I received a letter from Mr. John E. Stonebraker[20] at Temple, Texas on his way to Dick Overall's.

24 Apr 1889
Received letters from Blanche[21] and Annie Gauss[22]. Mr. John Montgomery and wife of Sedalia were visiting them. My wife and I called at the Redman's, Dr. Johnson's and Mrs. Watkins and Mrs. Gallaher. Received a letter from Louisa Morgan[23], John has gone to Oklahoma, there is a tremendous rush there from all quarters. My wife wrote to Annie Johns yesterday. I received a letter from Matie and wrote to her, wrote postal to George today. Deamer who keeps the county asylum is dead.

26 Apr 1889
Called to see Judge Edwards to talk over the Monroe Doctrine, great indefintteness as to its true meaning. Monroe's idea was to warn Russia and Great Britain not to encroach on American territory as as to endanger our country. We look with jealousy on any movement of European powers in establishing colonies or interfering in the governmental affairs in this continent-but the government must determine in each case as to the danger and the action necessary to prevent it. Called on Mr. Wm Parks who returned from Troy today. They have troubles in the church there and Rev. Mr. Van will leave. He is very unpopular with the people. I heard that the Missah church was burned up a few days ago. Received letter from Mary Pearce, wrote Louisa Morgan.

29 Apr 1889
Mr. Spencer preached yesterday on the institution and perpetuity of the Sabbath. It was appointed by God at the Creation of the world and its observance enjoyed by special command at Sinai on the 7th day changed to the 1st day after the Resurrection of our Saviour. My wife and I rode down town in afternoon, called on Mrs. Frayer's folks. received letters from Fred[24], Eugene Gauss and a postal from Ellen Cowan. Fred is anxious to send his daughter, Mary Glenday, up here to school, she is too young, only ten years old.

30 Apr 1889
One hundred years ago George Washington was inaugurated first President of this republic. This is the greatest event in history and Washington was the grandest and noblest character in history. He was 1st in war, 1st in peace and 1st in the hearts of his country men. He was raised up by God to lead a few weak colonies through a 7 years to victory and independence and then as head of the government to guide the nation through its first years of constitutional free government, civil freedom, religious freedom, free press and free speech. In 100 years we have grown from 13 colonies to 40 free and independent states under one general government and spread out territory from the Alleganies to the Pacific Ocean, from 3,000,000 to 65,000,000 people-all by the blessing of God on us and our fathers. We celebrate this day by public worship in all our churches. Oh, that God would give us the grace to preserve this great heritage to His Glory, to the spread of his Kingdom. Amen and Amen. Shirley and John went fishing.

1 May 1889
We went to Lindenwood last night to a Martha Washington party. Dr Irwin and Mrs. Irwin personated Gen Washington and wife by wearing the costume of that day--velvets coats trimmed with gold lace, knee breeches with silver buckles and powdered wigs. Many of the young ladies wore the Martha Washington styles and powdered hair, some the Quaker dress, one young lady wore a robe which was worm in Washington's day, one wore a Japanes[sic] robe, she had been to Japan and brought it from there. Several gentlemen were there in costumes of that day. How fashion changes! The great celebration of the centennial passed off gloriously in New York and St Louis. It was a grand occasion and was gloriously observed. If it only leads people to realize more deeply the greatness of our civil and religious blessings and that they come from God! My wife is cleaning house today.

4 May 1889
Brought some spectacles, gold nose glasses and steel frame ones for my wife. Saw Mr. John Adams of St. Louis, he as sold his land--22 acres south of me. He and Peterbus, his tenant, fixed on me to say he is to be paid for his crop and give possession now. Shirley planted some Peerless watermelons.

6 May 1889
Yesterday, Mr. Spencer preached a fine sermon on right observance of the Sabbath. We must keep it holy, all its hours, by private devotion and meditation, reading God's word, public worship in the sanctuary. We need a day of rest for the body, soul, mind. I went to Mrs. Durfee's farm this morning, the wheat looks as fine as I ever saw it, begins to show signs of heading. Received a letter from Lizzie Gauss, all well. Bonnie Johns was married in the Presbyterian Church by Dr. Smoot of Austin, Texas. Henry Gauss[25] had been elected elder of the church. The saloons were all closed yesterday, a young man named Schieder threatened to prosecute them and they closed.

9 May 1889
Mr. and Mrs. Spencer went to Kirkwood today, she to visit her cousin, Mary Brown and he to help Mr. Parks in a meeting at Newport, Franklin County. Wrote to Lizzie today inviting them to come up this summer to see us. Wrote postal to Fred and wrote to Mattie. College boys had an exhibition at the Opera House last night. Had a letter from Eugene Gauss. Met Rev. Peyton Walton in town this afternoon, his brother, a young minister from Kentucky, was with him.

13 May 1889
Sabbath. Mr. Spencer returned last night from Newport, he preached this morning on the text in John: "If I be lifted up I will draw all men after me". Christ draws men by his priestly, prophetic and kingly office, by his promises and by His Spirit.

15 May 1889
A big circus and menagerie is in town today. Mr. Spencer called. Wrote Fred about Mary Glenday, she is too young to go to boarding school. Old Mrs. McDearmon died last night, aged 87 years. Wife and I called there this afternoon and also on Mrs. Watson. Sent some things to Fred's children by mail.

16 May 1889
It rained steadily for 3 hours, it is a blessing for all vegetation. This is the day, at 2 o'cl for old Mrs. McDearmon's funeral. George and all his family came up this forenoon, he and little George[26] came over with me to dinner. Large funeral, she was an excellent old lady and had great many friends. She and I were born near each other in Buckingham County, Virginia. I called in afternoon to see old Mr. Kisinger who is sick at the Catholic sisters hospital in upper part of town, a very comfortable place,he is 80 years old. He is a member of our church but a weak erring member, too fond of drink. Having my fences and outhouses whitewashed.

18 May 1889
I called on Mr. Robt Parks in forenoon, he is suffering greatly with a carbuncle on back of neck. What a kind, amiable woman Mamie Bennett is. Received postal from Mary Pearce and wrote to her. John and Shirley finished hoeing potatoes. Mrs. Durfee is quite feeble, coughs badly, she lies in bed a good deal. Carbolic soap is said to be good to kill potato bugs and cabbage worms.

20 May 1889
Called with Mrs. Glenday[27] on Mrs. Ross and Mrs. Salveter. We heard the sad news today that Mr. Stonebraker had been paralyzed on the left side, he is at their niece, Mrs. Cox, in Cass County, Mo. in their way from Texas. Mrs. Vincent and sister called this afternoon. Letter from Mattie. Our people are greatly afflicted by the news of Mr. Stonebraker's illness, he is held in the highest esteem by all the church, he holds the most important place in out church. It seems that we could not get along without him but the Lord reigns, he knows what is best for him and for us all as a church.

23 May 1889
Letter today from Sam Griffith says that Mr. Stonebraker is a little better, can move his hand and leg some. I wrote to him today in behalf of the Session expressing our sorrow and sympathy in his affliction. Had my garden walks cleaned out today. Robt Parks is very ill with carbuncle. Mrs. Salveter told me that Mr. Salveter was in Texas suffering from exema. Wrote Mattie and gave Mr. Kilpatrick a letter of introduction to Mr. Lemly (Bonnie's husband) in Hot Springs, Ark. I went with Mr. Spencer out to the Lutheran picnic in afternoon, what a crowd of people. There are 800 members in the Lutheran Church. We called at Mr. Salveter's. Sam Alderson is at his father's. My wife received a bonnet by express from Miss Danery of St. Louis.

25 May 1889
Received a letter from Lizzie Gauss saying she could not visit us this summer-too much trouble and expense with 4 little children, she says Blanche will come. I received a letter from Mrs. Stonebraker in answer to mine, not much change in his condition, cannot move him for a week. I called with Mr. Spencer at Mr. Robt Parks, he is about the same. Mr. Spencer went on to Dardenne to preach tomorrow. In afternoon my wife and I called at Mr. Alderson's to see Sam and his wife, then called at Wm parks and after tea at Daisy Martin's. We gather about 1-1/2 gals strawberries every day. Lucy McDearmon came over with little George.

23 May 1889
Received letters from Mattie, Eugene Gauss and Prof Blanton of Lexington inviting us up to the commencement and speaks very high terms of Eleanor's Martin's[28] art work. Called on Robt. Parks. Little George came over with us in out buggy. Mrs. Allen brought me two pigs today.

30 May 1889
Wrote to Prof Blanton. Received letters from Louisa Morgan, Mr. Howison[29] and George. Sam Alderson called this afternoon. Mr. Robt Parks reported very low. Mr. Stonebraker to come down home Saturday morning. Invited Mr. Spencer to tea tonight.

1 Jun 1889
I got up at 4:30 o'cl this morning and went with Mr. Spencer up to Depot to meet Mr. Stonebraker, Mr Alexander[30] went too. Sam Griffith and Dr. Tom Robinson came with him. We took him home in spring wagon on a mattress, he entirely helpless on one side, he talks well. I went out to Robt Parks in afternoon, he is very low, not conscious. Mamie is in great distress. Saw Mrs. Clark and Mattie Rood. William Parks persists in going over to BonHomme to preach tomorrow. I brought little George over in afternoon. Sam Alderson's wife and Dave Alderson's wife called in afternoon. Received a letter from Annie Johns, she has rheumatism, Fred has a billious attack, she complains of the people eating them out. Will send Glenday up to her mother at Boonville.

3 Jun 1889
George and Minnie and Children were here yesterday. Mr. Robt. Parks died last night at 10:30. He is past 75 years old, I have known him 53 years, was at College with him, he has been here 46 years. He has been a prominent man in this community all the time, he was a liberal minded energetic man, a man of fine mind. He was a decided Christian man, took great interest in Sunday Schools. He was exceedingly kind husband and father. He was greatly afflicted with epileptic children, one of whom still lives. He was exceedingly kind to his aged father and mother and provided a home for them with every comfort. I called to see Mr. John E. Stonebraker today, he is getting along as well as could be expected, talks well but his left hand and leg utterly helpless, he is a good man. I rode down to my land in the bottom this p.m., Shirley went with me. My wife and I called at Mr. Robt Parks after ten, and household. Saw Mrs. Clark and Lizzie Rood, she just returned from Indian Nation where she taught 5 months.

4 Jun 1889
My wife, Shirley and I went to Mr. Robt Parks funeral at 11 o'cl. Large number of people there, Mr. Spencer conducted the religious services. He always gave hearty support to the pastor and had been prominent in all important enterprises in the county and city, did a great deal to build up the car shops.

6 Jun 1889
My wife wrote to Arthur[31]. The great disastor[sic] at Johnston, Pa., is worse and worse, the estimate now is that 15,000 people perished, almost unparalled in human history. They insist on my writing an obituary of Robert Parks. I prepared a notice for Robert Parks's for the papers. We had a monthly concert last night for missions, subject: Africa. The eyes of all nations are turned on that country. It is a great and inviting missionary field. Livingston and Stanley have brought to view the character and resources of that hither too dark continent. In the last 20 years, great progress has been made in missionary work in that land. It was a mysterious Providence that permitted the negroes to be brought to this country long ago to be made slaves. They have labored and developed the southern country wonderfully, they have been civilized and Christianized to a considerable advance in education, have many flourishing schools and colleges and very large religious demonstrations. Does it not strongly indicate the Lord will use them to take out civilization and christianity back to Africa, their fatherland? My wife and I called to see Mr. Stonebraker, it is slow and tedious mending, patience needed.

10 Jun 1889
I received notes from George and Minnie. I wrote to Judge Andrew King. We have concluded though not to have preaching at the car shops but Sunday School there instead on Sunday afternoon. Shirley went to St. Louis this morning to take his examination for entrance in the manual training school next fall. Received letter from Mattie and I wrote to Fred. This is a great Holiday for Catholics and Lutherans--Pentecost Monday. Called on Mrs. Watson in afternoon to get a donation for the Johnstown sufferers. Called at Mr. Spencer's. Eleanor Martin came home this p.m., she looks very well, the school a great success this year and her art department fine. Mr. Spencer and I went out to Lindenwood at night to hear the annual address by Dr. Taylor of St. Louis, very good on reverence due to youth.

13 Jun 1889
This is Lindenwood commencement day. I rode out with Mr. Spencer, not well and left soon. Minnie and children came up this morning to see Urilla graduate. We rode to McDearmon's in afternoon too see her. Miss Charlott Shaw called in afternoon. I called on Mr. Stonebraker, he is very despondent, suffers a good deal of pain in back. Wrote George and Lou Morgan. Called with my wife on Mrs. Bennett and went to Mrs. Alexander's[32] sewing society.

16 Jun 1889
Sabbath. We were greatly shocked this morning to hear that Mr. John E. Stonebraker had another attack of paralysis and was probably dying. I found him insensible. What a terrible blow to his devoted wife[33], to me personally and to our church. Mr. Gibson, Methodist, preached for us this morning, very fine sermon. In afternoon we organized a mission Sunday School at the car shops, Bennett, Superintendent. At night the Baccalaureate of the St. Charles College was preached in our church by Mr. Gibson, text: work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God that worketh in you to will and do his good pleasure. Mr. Gibson is a very promising young man.

18 Jun 1889
Shirley got a letter from Eugene Gauss. Farmers commenced harvesting today and tomorrow. Mr. Stonebraker still lives, met Rev. John Robinson and wife, Sam Griffith and wife there this a.m. Shirley went over this morning with college boys to camp at Creve Coaur Lake for a week. Received note from George enclosing railroad ticket for Aphra Martin[34] to Virginia. My dear friend and brother John E. Stonebraker died this p.m. at 3 o'cl, aged 63 years, one of the best men in this community.

20 Jun 1889
The ladies draped the church for the funeral of Mr. Stonebraker. Called at Mr. Parks in forenoon and talked with him about the obituary he is writing of Mr. J. E. Stonebraker. Wrote to Mattie and Arthur. Received a postal from Mary Pearce. We attended mr. Stonebraker's funeral this morning at 10:30 o'cl at the church. Great concourse at the funeral, he was universally beloved by all classes of people. Dr. Ferris preached the sermon and a very able one it was. The Christian religion was so beautifully illustrated in the life of our departed brother, he loved him like a brother, seldom that two men are so attached as that of Dr. Ferris and J. E. Stonebraker. He was a quiet unassuming man but a power in the community for his purity of life, his benevolence of heart and great firmness of purpose. What a loss to our city, our church and to his family.

23 Jun 1889
Sabbath. Shirley came home from camp, hurt his foot. In afternoon I rode to my farm with Mr. Renno. My tenants will finish in two more days if weather is good. The wheat is as fine as I ever saw it and corn is growing finely now. Mr. Spencer preached on the mysteries of Providence, ye know now not but ye shall know hereafter that the dark afflictions of Providence that come to God's people and church will be made clear hereafter. I went to the car shops Sunday School in afternoon, not very encouraging yet. Mr. Alex Carvin is here on a visit.

25 Jun 1889
Received a letter from Mattie and wrote to her. My wife gathered a great many raspberries to make jam today. In afternoon I called on Mrs. Watkins, she is better than she was. I urged her to join the church, she has been intending it for a long time but put it off. Called in at Mr. Spencer's and met Bro Wm Parks there. After tea Wm Parks called to tell Mrs. Durfee about Tom Brigham, her husband's nephew, who lives near Newport, Franklin County, Mo. Wrote postals to Tom Johns and lawyer Godby, Decatar, Ala. Sent $4.50 to W.N. Mosley, Owens Station, Lincoln Co. for two pigs for Mary Pearce.

27 Jun 1889
We held a memorial meeting in memory of our dear departed brother, J. E. Stonebraker, in our church tonight in connection with the Methodist church of which his wife is a member. Large crowd present. His loss may never be made up to us as a church but the Lord does all things right, he wounds and he can heal. This is my 70th birthday. I am overwhelmed when I think of the Lord's gracious dealings with me all my life long, what love and mercy to a poor sinner, a good home and a good wife, good children, an abundance of means for comfort. Goodness and money have followed me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. Amen.

30 Jun 1889
We had a very pleasant party with us on the evening of my birthday at tea. Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, Mr. Wm Parks, and Mrs. and Mr. Alexander, Mrs. Ross and Miss Charlotte Shaw, Jack Martin and wife, Eleanor and Doley Martin. We greatly missed our friend, J. E. Stonebraker. Wrote postals to Ellen Cowan and Bonnie Lemly. I called with Dr. Johnson at Mrs. Stonebrakers and saw John Robinson and wife. Letter from Mattie, she had sent the Tennis things by express. I wrote a postal to Mrs. Stevenson, my cousin Lizzie Johns, at Aurora, Illinois.

  1. DURFEE, Jane Amanda (1829-1915)
  2. PARKS, William Humphrey (1818 - 1896)
  3. JOHNS, Mary Jane (1844 - 1922)
  4. PEARCE, Thomas J B (1843 - 1905)
  5. JOHNS, Martha Jane (1848 - 1905)
  6. MARTIN, Marie Vass (1860 - 1931)
  7. PEARCE, John Jay (1869 - 1952)
  8. JOHNS, Shirley Winston (1873-1909)
  9. MARTIN, John Blennerhassett (1852 - 1939)
  10. JOHNS, George Sibley (1857 - 1941)
  11. MCDEARMON, Minnehaha (1860 - 1940)
  12. FARRIS, Robert Perry (1826 - 1903)
  13. JOHNS, Charlotte Elizabeth (1850 - 1938)
  14. POURIE, Robert F (1817 - 1902)
  15. GLENDAY, Anne (1809 - 1890)
  16. COWAN, Ellen (1840 - )
  17. JOHNS, Roberta Lee (1859 - 1922)
  18. LEMLEY, Charles Clifton (1859 - 1922)
  19. FIELDING, Madge (1859 - 1946)
  20. STONEBRAKER, John Emery (1826 - 1899)
  21. GAUSS, Blanche Lindsay (1870 - 1950)
  22. GAUSS, Anne Durfee (1876 - 1932)
  23. JOHNS, Louisa Woodruff (1842 - 1917)
  24. JOHNS, Frederick Durfee (1851-1945 )
  25. GAUSS, Charles Henry (1845 - 1913)
  26. JOHNS, George McDearmon (1886 - 1944)
  27. THOM, Mary (1823 - 1890)
  28. MARTIN, Eleanor (1858 - 1940)
  29. HOWISON, William Thomas (1850 - 1931)
  30. ALEXANDER, Joseph Hugh (1828 - 1906)
  31. JOHNS, Arthur Clifford (1853 - 1935)
  32. CORNFORTH, Jane (1832 - 1915)
  33. GRIFFITH, Julia Elizabeth (1827 - 1910)
  34. MARTIN, Elizabeth Aphra (1855 - 1943)


Location of handwritten original unknown. Transcription and excerption by Florence Johns in 1960s. Transcribed to softcopy by Emelie E. Strother, 2010.

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