January 1881 - March 1881

January 1881 - March 1881

Home ] Statement Of Business,  March 1846 ] Recollection Of The Departed  --  In Memory of Catherine Woodruff Johns ] A Short History of My Life ]

The Journal of John Jay Johns ]

Biographical Material
The Black Book
John Jay Johns Journal
Notes on Families:
Orrick Johns
Pen of John Jay Johns
Pioneer Families of MO
St. Charles, MO
Tax Records

Carl Friedrich Gauss Page
Wilhelm Ahrens Speech
Scan of Letter from Gauss
G. Waldo Dunnington Article

Chambless, Sanderson, Simmons

Disclaimer:The opinions on these pages are those of the writers and don't necessarily reflect my own views. More...


July 2, 1880.
We are having an old-fashioned wet spell.  It rains without any trouble.  The Lord reigns.  How hard it is to bear wet or dry weather.  We are so impatient under trial.  The great lesson for the Christian to learn, and it can be learned only by grace, is cheerful submission to trial under Providence.  The Lord reigns.  Let the earth rejoice.

July 4, 1880.  Sabbath.
The governor has appointed tomorrow to be observed as the legal Fourth or holiday.  But the German Societies have three celebrations today.  They hold very loose ideas of the Sabbath, both Catholics and Lutherans.  The open violation of the Sabbath in traffic and open beer and liquor saloons is seriously corrupting the morale of our people.  Fred has moved into the old Yosti (French) house at the corner of Main and Clay.  Johnson and he use one part for offices and elective bathroom.

July 8, 1880.
In afternoon I called on Mrs. Alf Stonebraker and mother and Mrs. King, and by invitation my wife, Lizzie and I took Tea at Mr. Robert Parks.

  July 10, 1880.
Went up to the Democratic mass convention at Wentzville today.  Large meeting.  The principal matter of interest was in the congressional matter.  There was an effort to defeat Judge Buckner.  His friends were out in force, and sent a strong Buckner delegation to Mexico.  Met General Marmaduke and Colonel Crittenden, candidates for Governor.

July 16, 1880.
This is the day for the great barbecue at Flint Hill in this county.  It is a great gathering of Democrats from three counties, Lincoln, Warren and this county.  Crittenden and Senator Cockrell expected to speak.

July 22, 1880.
The State Democratic convention at Jefferson City nominated Crittenden for Governor, a very good man.  My peaches are getting ripe.

July 23, 1880.
I have just read a little book, a history of the Virginia Convention of 1776, by Grigsby, which has afforded me intense delight.  What grand men were the leaders in that assembly of giants.  They were the men to set in motion the grand Revolution that let [sic]  to American independence.  They urged the congress to declare independence.  He gives graphic sketches of the leading men of that convention and the leading men of Virginia who were prominent actors in our Revolution and in inaugurating our present form of national government,- Randolph, Tazewell, Harrison, Pendleton, Mason, Carrington, Madison, Henry and Jefferson.  What Glorious Worthies - what wisdom in council, what eloquence in debate and what self-denial and sacrifices they made to accomplish this work of constitutional republican states.  Oh, that we, their descendants, may have wisdom, moderation and virtue to maintain and perpetuate what they bequeathed to us at so great a cost.

July 31, 1880.
We received a letter from George today.  He has a prospect of employment in the office of the Evening News, Philadelphia.

Aug. 2, 1880.
Called in afternoon at William Parks'.  Saw Mrs. Reed.  Knew them 44 years ago in Oxford, Ohio (attended Miami University there).

Aug. 3, 1880.
Mercury this morning 58°.  Feels like October.

Aug. 5, 1880.
All summer our grandchildren have made the house and yard lively as it used to be years ago with our own children.  Lizzie and her children left on 5 o'clock train.  Such is life, coming and going.

Aug. 6, 1880.
House feels lonesome today without Lizzie and her children.

Aug. 8, 1880.
Dr. Tanner finished his fast of 40 days yesterday at noon.  He drank water during the time.  He is a man of powerful endurance and very strong will.  He suffered a good deal in the last ten days.  He is an enthusiast.  I see no practical benefit to result from it.  If he recovers, he will made a fortune lecturing, he has become so notorious.

Aug. 12, 1880.
We have had very fine soft peaches for two weeks.  There is a small soft peach in lower part of orchard that is very delicious.  I think it is a seedling.

Aug. 13, 1880.
Having my fences and kitchen white-washed by Perreau, an old Frenchman.

Aug. 15, 1880, Sabbath.
Fred and Glover went over to the Marvin Cam Meeting after dinner.

Aug. 17, 1880.
Mattie and Shirley Borden came as we expected.  She looks very well and is as bright and lively as ever.  at 4:00 p.m. the mercury is 101°.

Aug. 24, 1880.
Ellen Cowan, my niece, came from St. Louis.  She looks well.  She has great energy.  By her exertions she does a good deal to support her Aunt and Uncle Brown.

Aug. 25, 1880.
We have abundance of fine grapes.

Aug. 26, 1880.
Ellen Cowan returned home today.  She certainly looks better than I ever saw her, remarkably fresh and young.  She is 38 years old, same age as my daughter Louisa Morgan.

Sept. 1, 1880.
I called at Judge King's on Bob King's wife from Jerseyville, Illinois.  She is the daughter of Reverend Mr. Munson who married a sister of Judge Andrew King and was pastor of this church when I came in 1844.

Sept. 2, 1880.
I called on Naomi Barron at her sister Cora's (Mrs. Holke).  She has been nearly two years in Texas, near San Marcos, near Austin.  She doesn't like Texas at all.  Too hot and too cold and too dry, and no fruit.  Too many fleas.  Glover received a letter from George yesterday.  He has made an engagement with the "Evening News".

Sept. 5, 1880.
A good many ladies called to see Mattie today.

Sept. 8, 1880.
Mattie went to St. Louis to see Mrs. McCarty.  Glover went to Hamburg with Wilson.  My wife making peach marmalade.

Sept. 10, 1880.
Dr. Rogers died yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock.  He died of rapid consumption, though he has been in poor health for ten years.

Sept. 11, 1880.
We expect George today from Philadelphia.

Sept. 13, 1880.
George did not come until last night on late train.

Sept. 14, 1880.
Sociable last night at Mrs. Joseph H. Alexander's in honor of Mrs. Strother who is visiting her after an absence of seven years.  Old Mr. Charles Johnson is visiting his son, Dr. Gum Johnson.  I called on him this afternoon.  He is 90 years old and is remarkably preserved.  He is very active in mind and body.

Sept. 15, 1880.
A few days ago I received a letter from an old classmate, M. M. Brown, with whom I graduated forty years ago at Miami University. I had not seen or heard from him since.  He is a preacher in the United Presbyterian Church and is now living at Greenwood, Jackson Co., Missouri.  Of the 25 of us who graduated then, I suppose more than half are dead.  What memories of the last [past?] his letter awakens.

Sept. 19, 1880.  Sabbath.
Doug Martin took dinner with us.  Fred and Annie came to tea.

Sept. 23, 1880.
We have the freestone Heath peaches for supper every day.  It is a very fine peach.  Rev. William Paxson, Agent of American Sunday School Union, took dinner with us.  He is full of this great work, the greatest institution of the age, the establishing Sunday Schools in destitute neighborhoods in the land, a pure missionary Gospel work.

Sept. 24, 1880.
Glover returned this evening from Kansas City where he went to attend the River Improvement Convention.  He thinks it is a great place, full of stir and business.

Sept. 26, 1880.
Mr. Martin went up to Columbia to preach for Mr. Wilkie.  Reverend Dr. Farris preached for us today.  He preached a grand sermon on I Peter, 2d Chapter, 9th verse, "Ye are a chosen generation, etc.".

Sept. 27, 1880.
Very unexpectedly Reverend Rutherford Douglas came.  We walked out to Lindenwood in afternoon and went to the observatory and looked at the country around, - so beautiful.  I spent a pleasant evening with him at Mr. Gauss'.

Sept. 28, 1880.
Rutherford Douglas returned to St. Louis.

Sept. 29, 1880.
Glover and George went out to Dardenne to fish.  I went with Fred to the County Asylum.  Comfortable place for poor people.

Oct. 1, 1880.
We are having sweet potatoes every day.  The White Queen of South yields best ant the Yellow Spanish.

Oct. 5, 1880.
This is the night of the Veiled Prophet making his grand procession in St. Louis.  Fred and George went down in buggy this afternoon.  Glover, Annie and the Misses Martin to go tomorrow to the fair.

Oct. 6, 1880.
Clear, cool, delightful morning.  Fine weather for the Fair.  Annie went to the Fair this morning and we brought Mary Glenday up here.  She was sick most of the day.

Oct. 7, 1880.
I unexpectedly found some peaches on a seedling tree in chicken yard.  There are [sic] a white freestone peach like the white Heath.  Rev. Rutherford Douglas came up to Judge King's yesterday.  I rode out with him to the cemetery this afternoon and he takes tea with us.  Glover went down below Portage with Ed Gill and returned about nine o'clock at night.

Oct. 10, 1880.  Sabbath.
Beautiful Sabbath morning, mild.  Mary, our servant, returned from St. Louis last night.  Shirley has been sick for several days, has a good deal sick stomach.  we had a very precious sermon from Rutherford Douglas this morning.  It was a great comfort to me to have such a sermon from one whom I received into the church 28 years ago, when he was a boy.

Oct.  11, 1880.
Received a barrel sugar, keg syrup, and hominy today.

Oct. 12, 1880.
Some of the forest trees show the sere and yellow leaves of autumn.  How greatly the season of the year corresponds with my feelings at my time of life (61), calm and serene, not melancholy, bright and sober; sweet and sad memories of the past, mingled with some bright hopes of eternal life.

Oct. 14, 1880.
Our Presbytery meets at Dardenne Church tomorrow and I expect to go, God permitting.

Oct. 18, 1880.
I have just returned from Presbytery at Dardenne Church.  I went up last Friday with Mr. Martin and William Parks in his carriage.  We had a heavy rain in afternoon.  We stayed most of the time at Mr. Sam McCluer's.  With exception of rain and the cold, we had a delightful time.  We had very fine preaching from Drs. Brank, Rutherford Douglas, Farris and martin and large audiences.  Some of the best people in that church I ever knew.  I spent part of the time at Judge Dates', a most charming family.

Oct. 19, 1880.
Dr. martin and Mr. Alexander left for Fulton to attend meeting of Synod.

Oct. 21, 1880.
Received a note from Louisa today saying her little Harry had died.  Thus the dear little ones pass from earth to heaven.

Oct. 22, 1880.
Nat Reid fell from a pecan tree yesterday and was killed.

Oct. 24, 1880.  Sabbath
Attended the Mission Sabbath School in Frenchtown and organized it by electing Professor Howland superintendent - 42 scholars.

Oct. 26, 1880.
The Merchants' Hotel burned up last night between tow and three o'clock.

Nov. 2, 1880.
This is election day for president and all other state and county offices.  I acted as judge and Glover and George as clerks.

Nov. 3, 1880.
Garfield, the Republican, has carried the election for President.  This is a sad disappointment to the Democrats, who has so much faith in their political principles, the principles of Jefferson and Madison, and so much faith in the purity of popularity of their candidate, General Hancock, that they thought they must win.  But such is the weakness of human calculations.  The Lord reigns and we trust he will overrule it for good.

Nov. 4, 1880.
How fast the leaves are falling.  The forest trees show the dark rich colors of autumn.  I wrote a letter tonight to Cousin Louisa Patton at Huntsville, Alabama.  She was a Miss Walker and I knew her well when we were at Memphis 45 years ago.  Nearly all her family and mine have died since that time. Her family and mine lived near together in Virginia and her mother and mine were sisters.

Nov. 7, 1880.  Sabbath.
After sermon this morning Mr. Martin requested the male members of the congregation to remain a few minutes.  He informed us that he had received an invitation to the church in Shelbyville, Tennessee.  That it was well known that this church was not paying a sufficient support and if they could not do any better it was his duty to his family to go where he could get a support. The church at Shelbyville had offered him a support and he had promised to visit them on the next Sabbath.  He greatly preferred to remain here if the church could support him.  It will be very difficult to increase his support here.  No dissatisfaction with him, but the peculiar condition of things in this community are very unfavorable to the growth of our Protestant American churches.  The American population diminishes gradually.  Our young people go away as they grow up.  The Germans have the predominancy.  When Dr. Martin came here eleven years ago, we paid him $1500.00 and house per annum.  Now we can only pay $800.00.  Dr. Martin has a very interesting family and our people will part with them all very reluctantly.

Nov. 11, 1880.
I received a letter from a most unexpected quarter, a most pleasant surprise.  It was from Cousin Mary Rice at Huntsville, Alabama.  I haven't seen her for 42 years.  she is not [sic] 77 years old and in perfect health.  She lost her husband many years ago and all her children.  She is very wealthy and has travelled a great deal in Europe and this country.  She is the daughter of my Uncle Lewellyn Jones, my mother's brother.  Her letter has afforded me great pleasure in giving a good deal of information about my relations, the Winstons and Jones.  My grandfather Jones' brother, Jack Jones, married a Winston and his sister also married a Winston.  Governor Winston of Alabama was one of this family.  [See Copyist's Notes]

Nov. 14, 1880.  Sabbath.
Dr. Farris preached for us today.  Called with Dr. Farris to see Mr. J. E. Stonebraker who is very sick.

Nov. 15, 1880.
Glover went to St. Louis this evening to have his eyeglasses fixed.

Nov. 18, 1880.
I wrote a long letter today to my cousin, Mary Rice, Huntsville, Alabama. (letter follows)  [I have placed the letter with the Johns letters -- SDC]

Nov. 19, 1880.
Colder this morning by 2 degrees -- 4° above zero.

Nov. 21, 1880.  Sabbath.
Dr. Martin returned yesterday from Tennessee and preached today.

Nov. 24, 1880.
Fred and Annie and baby came up in sleigh after supper.

Nov. 25, 1880.
Cloudy and wintry - six inches snow on ground.  Mercury 15° above zero.  This is Thanksgiving Day all over the country.  It is too much observed as a mere holiday.  We have so many blessings as a nation that we can scarcely enumerate them.

Nov. 27, 1880.
George and Glover are considering the project of establishment of a Democratic paper here in connection with the Bodes, who conduct the German "Demokrat".

Nov. 29, 1880.
Glover and George have this day entered into an arrangement with the Bodes to edit and publish a Democratic paper to be called the St. Charles Journal.

Dec. 2, 1880.
Glover and George went to Wentzville and Foristell to get subscribers for their new paper, The Journal.  I called on William Parks in afternoon.  Glover and George returned home.  They had good success with the paper.  Went to Lindenwood in evening to hear Dr. Gauss lecture on the Bible.  The different writers of the Bible during a space of 4,000 years all point to Christ the Great Redeemer.

Dec. 3, 1880.
Called out at E.C. Cunningham's. He is not well.

Dec. 4, 1880.
Snow gone except on north side of hills.  Glover went to Wentzville about his paper.

Dec. 5, 1880.  Sabbath.
Rev. Thomas Watson of Dardenne preaches for us today.  Mr. Martin went to Mr. Watson's church.  I attend the Children's Missionary meeting at 3 o'clock p.m.  This little society Keeps alive, has been in existence 27 years.  We talk to the children and read to them of missionary operations in heathen lands.  They raise thirty or forty dollars a year and it amounts to something.  It does us good and the children too.  The Lord will bless the feeblest efforts in his cause.

Dec. 6, 1880.
Cold, west wind, mercury 15°.  Glover and George started through the country to get subscriptions for their paper.

Dec. 7, 1880.
Cold and cloudy, commencing to snow.  Killed hogs today.  Cut and salted them after night.  Had four hogs, two of them good size, about 700 lbs in all.

Dec. 14, 1880.
Mercury 36°. Beautiful day, Parrot, a young man who is engaged to marry Miss Marietta Garvin, was found to be deranged yesterday.

Dec. 15, 1880
Last night there was a grand wedding at our church. Barton and Hattie Overall. Great crowd present and grand reception at Mrs. Overall's. Arthur came up to the wedding and left this morning. Looks like falling weather, Cloudy and raw. John Atkinson and Miss Jessie Hodgeman were married this afternoon.

Dec. 21, 1880,
Mrs. Whitney had a stroke of paralysis night before last.

Dec. 24, 1880
I gave my wife a clock tonight as a Christmas present. It is a fine bronze eight-day clock. The first clock we have bought in 29 years - since 1851. It commenced snowing tonight at six o'clock. Arthur came on the late train and found us up. He brought a fine student's lamp for his mother.

Dec. 25, 1880.
Cloudy, good deal of snow on ground, mercury 30° . We had a happy time this morning giving and receiving presents, At dinner we had all the boys with us, the first time for a long time on Christmas Day. George has been at college for four years on that day. Parents' lives and happiness are greatly wrapped up in their children. Good children brighten so much a home circle. Parental love is so strong and filial love is grateful and pleasant. Mattie sent me as a Christmas present the Life of Dr. Hodge, the great theologian.

Dec. 26, 1880. Sabbath.
Another cloudy dull-looking day. Doug Martin took dinner with us.

Dec. 28, 1880
Cold and snowing this morning, mercury 3° below zero. This is real winter. Glover went to the wedding of Eliza Twyman and John Cox at J.C. Stonebraker's tonight.

Dec. 29, 1880.
Intensely cold and clear, 14° below zero. This will probably kill the peach buds, The snow will be great protection to the wheat. In afternoon mercury went up to 6° below zero. I have not been down town for two days - too cold.

Dec. 31. 1880.
This is the last day of 1880. How many blessings we have had during the year, almost constant health in the family. May we so number our days as to apply our hearts unto wisdom!


Source: Location of handwritten original unknown.  Transcription and excerption by Florence Johns in 1960s.  Transcribed to softcopy by Susan D. Chambless, 1999.

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Last modified:Sunday, 09-Nov-2003 16:36:07 MST