January 1- Wife and I, William and Mrs. Campbell, Clare and wee Sarah went to Mr. Clark's in the cutter-a very pleasant time.
January 2- Frank took Bell and Robert to School-Mary and Elizabeth took provisions to Anna at her boarding house.
January 3- Wife and I went in the cutter to Mr. Miller's pleasant home-Frank took 30 bushels of corn at. 30¢ to the German Mason.
Some young folks came in the evening and had a jolly time.
January 5- Wife and I went in the cutter to see our old friends the McDougals-they seem well for their age but passing little by little.
January 6- Elizabeth's birthday-her 20 years seem to have passed away like a dream.
Mr. Smith asked me to read a paper before the Farmer's Institute.
January 8-Robert and Elizabeth started in the cutter before daylight for Pittsfield-Bell waded to school in the deep snow-8–15 below zero.
January 10-Shelled corn-Milder-Wife and I called on Mr. Richmond-had supper with brother Robert.
Paid Frank Smith $1.25 for the New York Tribune.
January 13- Cold and more snow-winter reigns supreme.
January 15- Mild-2 lambs already-Went to Mr. Campbell's.
January 19- Bought new pants $3.00-Mr. Yost offered.33¢ for wool
January 24- Wife and I went to Farmer's Institute and spoke in the evening before a large crowd.
January 25- Robert Burns Birthday-born 1759.
January 28- Milder, snow going away-Wife and I went to Augusta in the buggy.
January 30- Mr. Campbell and I went in his cutter and visited Mrs. Hewens-David Gardener's big house and great Barn-The Gardener's glad to see us as old friends. Mr. Gardener has seen 4 score and may not see many more. Gave William Campbell 3 of Crane notes payable to Robert Campbell, notes put in one for $463.33.
February 1st- Wife and I went to call on old friends; Mr. & Mrs. John Geddes-Father always looked on him as salt of the earth.
February 3- Mr. Clark and wife, Sara and our Elizabeth came to dinner-left Frank and Dr. Hogarth letter with brother Robert-bought 4 tin pails for $1.00.-Shoes for Bell and broom for the School.
February 8- Looks like spring-hens beginning to lay-Wife went to see old Mrs. Morton-bought 251b tallow from Howland $2.00.
February 13- Mr. Clarke and I went to see Robert Campbell-he has made a fine improvement elevating his Barn. Next went to Elizabeth's School and heard her scholars sing and like it.
February 14- Valentine Day 16 below zero. The Saw Mill burned yesterday.
February 18- Mrs. Blackman died.
February 20- Full accounts of unveiling of Burns Statue in Scotch Papers.
February 22- Washington's Birthday-Robert and I went down ans saw the Light Guards and several hundred Temperance Men with red ribbons on their coats in the procession.
February 28- Wife and I went to visit Ben and Mrs. Voohees-Frank went to Hall's Sale.
March 1st- Mary and Robert went to Pittsfield-Frank to Kellog's Sale.
March 3- Grant's term expires-Frank bought a crosscut saw and cut down a big tree.
March 9- Last day of our school.
March 10- Hayes takes his place as President-Democrats prevailing at last.
March 11- Robert's birthday-14 years old.
March 13- Had a pleasant visit from Mrs. A. Campbell, Robert, Daniel and Catherine-Bell started at Normal School.
March 16- Bell walked to Normal and is to be admitted without going in the Model like her associates.
A letter in the Tribune “Honest Farmers”-Skinned a sheep-
March 18- Dan Yakley died-lots of snow. Rabbitts barking-Young apple trees bad.
March 21- Great snow storm last night-The black sow had 13 pigs last night.
March 30- Frank Fletcher, T. Casey and man, B. Roberts and Miller and 6 horses sawing wood with a buzz saw in our grove-Frank, Mary and Elizabeth went to another Midnight party at Miller's. I did not want them to go. Gave Crippen an order on William Campbell for $75.25.
April 1st- Town Meeting Day for Citizens-Frank went to Mrs. Gage's Sale.
April 5- 38 years since I left Straven and the stone house where I was born. If I could have foreseen the toil and disappointments awaiting me in great America I would not have left the land that bore me.
One of Mr. Norman's boys shot his brother.
April 7- Mrs. L and Eliza started in the mended buggy-E to her school-Mrs. L to see Mr. Clarke in his sickness.
April 11- Plowing and repairing fences-Frank working for brother Robert.
Walked to town and got $10.00 from William Campbell.
April 13- Walked over to see brother Robert plowing with one horse-he is dejected and in poor health-the vigor of youth is over.
April 15- My Birthday-56 years gone by-I have to yield to the inevitable and believe boyhood and youth are past and I am an old man-my body failing and my eyes grow dim but I think my spirit has not failed me.
April 18- Frank and Jerome killed 2 pigs and sold them to Lucken (Lucking) 281 lbs at 6 1/4 cents $17.50.
April 24- Russia and Turkey going to fight-Wheat up to $1.90. Sold two pigs to B. Voorhees $5.00-Sold two loads wheat at $2.00 bushel-6 cents less than $100.00.
April 26- Mr. Fletcher bought 5 bushels wheat $10.00-Robert went fishing-came home empty and tired-the 3 Grays came took a bushel of potatoes to Mr. Graves $9.00-bought single harness from Mr. Yost $25.00-Frank paid me for wheat $99.96–3 pigs $7.50.
April 28- Sold two small loads oats-John Campbell and Joe took away the yearling bull-turned cows out to grass.
May 1st- Willows green-had asparagus for dinner-left $80 with William Campbell-sold more potatoes to Mr. Graves store. Paid $1 for Commercial.
May 3- Went to Mr. Pecks, Swifts and Caseys-hitched up the new horse in the new harness-he went well-
May 7- Jones sowed plaster on the 2 clover fields-
Taylor bought 2 pigs $4.00.
May 10- Wife has Ague-Lucken bought two yearling sheep at $2.50-Went to see sick neighbor Mr. Casey.
May 15- Bought seed corn from A. Leach and B. Voorhees-
May 18- Frank and Jerome built a dam in the creek and we washed the sheep.
May 21- Went to Detroit and Canada-I thought my sisters and Mother treated me unkindly claiming my money I received from Uncle James years ago but they did not give me a double portion of Father's Estate. Mr. Inglis and I visited old Mr. McClelland-called on brother James and wife-David Inglis played and sang for us.
May 22- Mr. Inglis and I went to the Oak in David's buggy-was kindly treated-
May 23- Mrs. Inglis and I planted flowers on Father's grave-Came home-
May 24- Frank and Jerome painting the house-Mr. Lucken got 2 pigs-helped my Mary wash blankets-Wife and I called on Anna, Mrs. Campbell and our sick friend neighbor Swift.
May 26- Wife, Robert and I went to Augusta-Bell was rejoiced to see us-she was homesick, I think she is treated like a servant and not like a daughter-My poem Auld Lang Syne in the Commercial.
May 28- Frank and Jones replanted corn-then Mary, Robert and I went fishing for a rest.
May 30- Mrs. L, Frank and Robert started for John Clarke's in the early morning.
May 31- Last day of lovely May-Frank received $32 from Lucken for 3 pigs-he helped B. Voorhees shear sheep and had the Ague.
June 1st- B. Voorhees, Hiram and Frank shore all the sheep-Rams wool average 12–13 lbs.
June 2- Paid Frank $20 for wages and painting the house-Out of Oats and Pork money-had $50 left to buy a wagon-Robert away with his new dog.
June 3- Sacrament-horse sick-My old friend John Geddes walked 4 miles to dispence the elements and communion with the disciples of Christ-Mr. & Mrs. McDougal were present-the first members.
June 6- Mrs. L and Frank started for Mr. Campbell's sheep shearing.
June 10- Robert at Fletcher's-Have a letter in the Interior-A free concert.
June 12- Mrs. Hiscock paid $15 for the Bull-Frank went to Ann Arbor-Good crop of strawberries but we have few pickers and dull sale at 8¢-Abundance for home use and free feast for friends.
June 13- The Church was full last night hearing Bethune Duffield and Stalker on Sunday Schools, Temperance and red ribbons. Frank fishing-Mary, Robert and I picked 16 quarts strawberries-First swarm of bees-put them in Willie Campbell's hive-Mr. Crane paid $9 for the pig-Sold a fat sheep to Fowler at Stephensons for $3.50-took berries to town.
June 16- Robert Campbell and wife and girl, our Lizzie and Sara Clarke came and we had a pleasant time in the strawberries
June 18- Robert cultivated corn with the colt and did not vex me like Frank. Young Jones forked up the manure-Robert paid $1 for his dog.
Picked 20 quarts strawberries-sold for 6¢-too cheap for any profit.
June 20- Sowed buckwheat where the corn had failed 3 times-Big swarm of bees, 5 new ones.
June 21- Robert and I had a nice ride to Rawsonville and exchanged wheat for 38 lb of flour, 12 of bran and 2 of midlings for each bushel.
June 23- Light frost hurt several acres of corn on the low Marsh ground-had never had corn frosted before.
Frank bought a Buckeye Mower from Thompsons and had buggy repaired.
June 24- Mr. Swift says my family will scatter money faster than I can gather it. Strawberries plentiful and selling cheap-wool selling at 35-
Man in town selling Patent Medicines from a 4 horse carriage.
June 25- A new swarm of bees, now have began to cut clover with new mower and it working well. Robert and I met Father Campbell at the Depot and went to Ann Arbor and heard H. McDougal in University Hall-Saw the Museum in afternoon-Our friend A. Campbell selling wheat by the car load.
Juen 28- Robert took the 2 Mary's and I to the Depot and to the Normal closing where we heard good address and sweet music.
June 30- Frank received $40 from Wm. Campbell to pay for his Buckeye Mower. Gave Julie Camp an order on Wm. Campbell for teaching at $40.00. Anna came home-Elizabeth came home from her school-Mrs. L's birthday.
July 3- Sold 3 clips of wool to Rogers-1032 lbs at 36¢ $382.68-We were pleased with the price and weight-Paid Frank $200, all I owe him.
July 4- Bell would not come home until she comes for good-helped Mr. Campbell turn the hay-At night Mary, Lizzie and I rode to town to see the Archers play and the crowd. The boys waited for the fireworks-getting home late.
July 6- Good Hay day-Frank mowed for Voorhees until 9 o'clock warm and weary-now have 21 swarms of bees.
July 7- Robert borrowed Mr. Gray's horse and Stevenson's sulky rake and raked all the hay in the meadow and we got it all in the stack-Willy helped-New potatoes very good-weak and weary.
July 9- Wheat fields ripe for harvest-Frank, Robert, Willy and I harvesting-a good day-too weary to be grateful-38 years I began under the warm Michigan skies-My younger brothers all left it years ago-James to Canada-they have gone to Scotland (Frank), the Sea (Robert) for his health and Niagra and I toil on in honor if not increase-
Wheat not so good as last year and the clover nearly a failure-Went to see neighbor Fletcher's self binder.
July 12- Frank went to mow for Swift-Robert and I sowed plast in the south field-Robert, Alford Gray and I got in 3 loads of wheat.
July 14- Frank and I drew in all the wheat, I settled at the Farmer's store-$310.15 due to us to June 30-Mary $66.
“Life on the Farm” in the Commercial.
July 21- Wife and I went with wool above Ann Arbor-the colt was afraid of the railroad cars-called on John Geddes.
July 24- Wife and I called on brother Robert. Mr. Crane that owes us, doesn't manage very well.
July 26- Strikes and bad riots on the railroad.
July 28- Mr. Campbell came-brave active in his 76 years and Mrs. L went with him to help with the thrashing.
August 1- 92 degrees-sick last night-Frank, Robert and the German binding oats.
August 3- Paid Mr. Leash $70-Went to Alfred Allen's child funeral and to Mr. Pattison's daughter next.
Mrs. L came back-800 bushels of wheat at the Father's.
August 6- David Inglis sent us his wedding cards Saturday. Old Bill the horse we have driven 20 years died last night. The trees, the animal and ourselves are fading away-Fletcher's boys helped bury the old horse.
August 8- Frank and Jerome drove George's 10 sheep over to John Miller-Sold the cow that liked to jump over fences to Mr. Crane for $40.
August 9- Mary and I went to see the School Director in August had dinner at Mr. Campbell's with old Mrs. Gardener aged 82 wh had walked over thru the woods. Bell was cheerful and rode with us to “Luckets”.
August 10- Very dry, hardly enough water in the Huron to turn the Millstones.
August 14- Robert went with Mr. Campbell-Mr. Crane paid $10 on the cow-A grand shower at last.
August 22- Drew out straw and manure-Robert came back from Augusta-a darkie helped out in the afternoon.
August 25- Clare came to hold his Birthday-Mr. Crane paid $5 on the cow. Paid Abbly or Alhlay for Medicine. J. Willy slept in the Barn-Frank, Robert, Willy and I drew manure. Sold 3 yearling sheep to Martin $15.
August 28- Gabriel Campbell came and we had a pleasant evening. Great storm in the night-Mr. Tifley's Barn struck and burned-600 bushels of wheat burned.
August 29- Wife and I rode to R. Campbell's and had a grand dinner with a select party, it being 16 anniversary of their wedding-stayed overnight-At J. Clarke's fine home our friends tell of their great crops of wheat but a wee crop have I. Wife and I had a pleasant ride to our wee farm and humble house.
September 1- Robert Wiley drew manure-Paid him $4.50 for the week's work.
September 4- Bell came up the lane rejoicing us all after being away 4 months with $40 for her summer's toil and glad to get home.
September 5- Annual School meeting-A. Leach, Chairman and is to furnish the wood. T. Casey elected Director. $10 voted to M Knapp.
September 7- Mary, Eliza and Robert went to Augusta to see the school-sowed 9 bushels of Casey's wheat.
September 10- Frank and I went to old Mrs. Swift's burial-wet day-finished writing on Labor Questions-Robert went to Mr. Camps-Mr. Crane paid $13.32 all he owed on the cow. Henry Backus took Mary and E. to Uncle Andrews.
September 13-T. Casey and I sowed about 14 bushels Clawson W on the Northwest Field.
September 14-Went to Augusta with Mary to commence her school o-stayed overnight and saw the new house and great wheat.
September 15- Sent away my essay on the labor question.
September 18- The Thrashing machine came at 3 and got out 95 bushels of corn by sundown.
September 19- Took Mrs. L to Wm. Campbell's at sunrise-finished thrashing at noon. 270 bushels of Oats and 115 of wheat-paid $10 for thrashing. Paid T. Casey $33.80 for seed wheat-Received $30 from Wm. Campbell.
September 20- Frank, Bell and I went to State Fair at Jackson. A great crowd of well behaved people-good exhibits-30 years since I had been there last and all was changed. Bell and I had a fine ride home but could hardly get on the train for the pressing humanity.
September 21- My old friend John Camman I had not seen in 20 years came with his wife-pleasant time-went to the Depot with them.
September 22- Took Anna and her provisions to her boarding house. Her and some others found fault with me for not doing enough for them. I have worked from 12 years old till now-I am old and weary and she is going to school at 27.
September 24- Raked up clover we cut for seed with Thompson's steel rake-Paid Hindricks $3.50 for cutting corn.
September 28- Frank's birthday-We all went to the Fair-Did not wait for the races. Boys came home at night.
September 29- Wife and I to Chauncy Knapp funeral-a sad ending.
September 30- Robert took us to Church-Minister found fault with his hearers for not giving enough nor doing enough-If I had received $1800 for a years work I would have at least expressed my gratitude.
October 1st- Went to Church meeting-liked what Dr. Rexford said-Most of hearers paid more than us-would like to give more. Daughter Bell worked at the rate of $100 a year, Every time she got $1.00 Richmond got $18.83.
October 3- Mr. & Mrs. John Geddes came-had a fine visit. Father thought John some of the salt of the earth-his life has been a long incentive to virtue, a sermon in favor of truth, rectitude and honor.
Wife bought a bedstead, extension table and rocking chair.
October 6- Robert paid $3.25 for new boots-Bell and Mrs. Warts party gathered nuts.
November 16- 28 years since we were married-Mary had 10 teeth pulled-painful and expensive-bought a suit of clothes for Robert $10-Frank got a barrel of cider. Wife and I went to see our old friends G. McDougal. Put the Rams with the ewes-Frank working for Fletcher.
November 20- Wife and I went to see her parents-was kindly received-They have fought the battle of life long, bravely and well-Came home before dark-3 funerals in town.
Dr. Ashley wanted to buy 4 swarms of Bees for $12.
Robert and Crealman to shoot against my wishes.
November 24- Mary got false teeth-Frank did not get home till very late and Robert never came at all, alarming us as so many are hurt with guns.
November 25- Frank walked to Crealman's and brought Robert home.
November 29- We all had a grand dinner at Mr. Wm. Campbell's along with Mr. Richmond.
November 30- Mary's health failed and she was not able to go back to her School-Mrs. L and Bell went to Augusta-Bell intending to continue Mary's School if she could qualify.
December 3- Frank went with Elizabeth to the Depot to see her on the cars to go to her School in Pittsfield (the Huckleberry to Pittsfield Junction).
Walked to town to get mail and papers-Schribners sent back my piece about Husking corn.
December 9- Great fire at night-Robert and I went down and found it was the Seminary-A great pity to see so much property consumed in a few hours-$60,000. loss with $27,000. insurance.
December 10- Brother Robert and wife came to tell us Willie Todd was very sick.
December 11- No word from Detroit-$32,700 insurance on the Seminary-J. Campbell says Bell got a certificate and is teaching but lacks experience for so large scholars but is doing bravely.
December 12- Sister Isabelle was married 27 years ago to Frank Todd-A grist to Rawsonville-sold sheep skins to J. Holland (Howland) $2.
December 14- Wife and I to call on our old friends, John Geddes, and very pleasant visit-Roads bad-Robert went to Rawsonville but could not find his dog.
December 15- Paid our taxes $21.60-Mr. Swift carried me up to see his stock-his farm and farm animals looked well but he is feeble.
December 18- Mr. Bemis came to thrash the clover but the rains came and we could do nothing. R. Fletcher got 9 pigs $14-Mr. Luken the white heffer $25.
December 22- Received of G. Ruthruff, Township Treasurer $1,116.30 of School money. Left $100 with Wm. Campbell-Paid A. J. Leetch $16.90 for wood-
Bell came home from her School in Augusta and Elizabeth from hers in Pittsfield.
December 24- Church decorated with evergreens-took biscuits and apple to the Church Festival, Wife and 3 girls and Robert went there at night.
December 25- It is nine years since Father spoke to me for the last time on earth-if there is no future reunion why are we full of such endless longing.
Frank got $10 from R. Fletcher for pigs, $10 from G. Fletcher for wheat reducing what I owe him for wages to $30.
December 27- Clover thrasher had been waiting for a week to get a dry day-Robert has exchanged his gun for a fiddle-I doubt he paid too much for it.
December 28- Heard of J. Campbell marriage-Paid F.B. Goodspeed $28 for teaching.
December 31- Received a paper containing account of death of David Inglis' Minister Bracklin-Last day of the year.
Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1878.
View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.