January 1, 1883 - March 31, 1883

January 1, 1883 - March 31, 1883

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...

Oct. 1, 1882. Sabbath.
Cloudy and warm, rain with thunder about 10 o'cl in morning.

Oct. 2, 1882.
Cloudy and foggy in morning, very warm, mercury 80° in middle of day, clear and very hot in sun at noon. The great Fair in St. Louis commenced today.

Oct. 3, 1882.
Foggy and cloudy this morning and very warm. George went to St. Louis this morning on the accomodation train. He goes to see Veiled Prophets tonight. Had a letter from Annie today.

Oct. 4, 1882.
Cloudy and foggy this morning, warm. I went on the early train this morning to the St. Louis Fair with Mary (our servant) Shirley and Louise Martin. We had to walk out from Gamble's Station , the street cars were so crowded. Thousands of people at the Fair. There is everything there of the finest that the art of man can devise, machinery, all sorts for everything, the finest of every breed of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs. You grow weary looking. Very hot day, we came back on the early train.

Oct. 5, 1882.
Clear and warm, this is a very hot spell for the season, no frost yet. I set out 400 strawberry plants 3 weeks ago and half of them dead, too dry. Mercury 82° at noon today. James Lindsay called this morning.

Oct. 6, 1882.
Clear and still warm. Saw the comet this morning at 5 o'cl. It is very large and in the east. Albert Gauss came over before breakfast to tell us that Miss Virginia Fawcett, old Aunt Geeny was dead, she died suddenly at Mr. Sam McCluer's on Dardenne Prairie. She is nearly 76 years old. One of the best old ladies I every new, she has lived to do all she could to make those around her comfortable and happy. Funeral tomorrow at 11 o'cl at Mr. Gauss' house.

Oct. 7, 1882.
Clear and warm. At 11 o'cl this morning the funeral of Miss Virginia Fawcett took place at Mr. Gauss' house. Reverend Thomas Watson preached and Reverend Rutherford Douglas prayed. A good woman is gone from earth. George went up to o'Fallon to Democratic County Converntion to nominate a candidate for legislature. Rutherford Douglas is staying with us. Henry Lackland was nominated for the legislature.

Oct. 8, 1882. Sabbath.
Cloudy, cooler. Rutherford Doublas preached today. He will preach every night during the week at our church. About 1 o'cl this afternoon we had a heavy shower of rain. Rain much needed. Henry Gauss and Eugeen [sic] came down yesterday.

Oct. 9, 1882.
Clear and cooler. I went up to Wentsville today to see Mr. Pearce about arranging for Mary and Tome coming up from Arkansas. They can get Ed Pearce's place They are in extreme poverty in Arkansas. We have preaching every night by Rutherford Douglas.

Oct. 10, 1882.
Clear and ooler. Got a load of corn from Dierker. George went to St. Louis on evening train, and returned at 10 o'cl p.m. They commenced Monday to repair the church.

Oct. 11, 1882.
Cloudy, cool, very dark and cloudy all day and quite cool. Saw Dr. George Johnston today. Just came from San Antonio, Texas. Annie and children got to his house last Thursday night. He gives a very favorable account of Fred's propects in Uvalde County, Texas.

Oct. 12, 1882.
Clear, bright, cool morning, mercury 55°. very windy and very hot during day, appearance of rain. Called with Mr. Martin at John McDearmon's. Commenced raining at half past 7 o'cl p.m.

Oct. 13, 1882.
Clear and cooler this morning, had a good rain last night. This has been a delightful day, cool. George went up to Wentzville this morning and then on to St. Louis in evening and returned on late train. A terrible tragedy occurred in St. Louis yesterday evening, Colonal Slaybeck was killed by Cockrell, Editor, Post Dispatch.

Oct. 14, 1882.
Clear and very pleasant. Rutherford Douglas left this morning. He has spent a week with us and we have enjoyed it very much. Preached with great acceptance every night.

Oct. 15, 1882. Sabbath.
Clear and pleasant. Arthur came last night. reverend C. E. Cunningham of Elizabeth, N. J., preached for us. He is a young man, an acquaintance of Mr. Alf Stonebraker and his mother, Mrs. Watson. Cloudy in evening.

Oct. 16, 1882.
Raining this morning. Arthur left on early train. Continued to rain all day. Reverend C. E. Cunningham of Elizabeth, New Jersey took tea with us.

Oct. 17, 1882.
Cloudy and cool. I attended by invitation the centenniel birthday of William and Robert Parks' father and mother at William Parks. We had a fine dinner. There were present, Wm. C. Clark and his wife and three daughters, Robert Parks, wife, two daughters and two grandchildren, Mrs. James Dougherty and children, Joseph M. Alexander and wife, Dr. Ed Martin and myself. I had known the father and mother 46 years ago at Oxford, Ohio. They were eminently pious people, the mother a woman of great strength of character. It was a very pleasant affair. George went to St. Louis this afternoon.

Oct. 18, 1882.
Partly clear, cool, light white frost this morning. I expect to go to Fulton today to attend the meeting of the Synod of Missouri. The semi-centennial is to be celebrated at this meeting.

Oct. 24, 1882.
Clear and cool. I returned yesterday evening from Fulton. We have had ten days of the most lovely weather, clear, bright autumn days and frosty nights. I attended the semi-centennial meeting of the Synod of Missouri. It was a most glorious meeting from beginning to the end. The memorial services occupied all of Thursday. The history of the college by President Hersmantt was a noble effort and he is a grand man. He has grown up with the college. The history of the Synod by Dr. Robinson who is an old pioneer and very vigorous for a man of seventy-six. History of the old pioneer elders by Dr. Lacy. The memorial sermon by Reverend Thomas Watson of the Dardenne, this county, who has been forty years in the ministry in the same church, a man of great modesty and great intellectual power. Also a speech by Dr. John Montgomery in his own peculiar masterly manner on the old pioneers of the synod. He is one of the fathers, feeble in body, a very small person but a giant in intellect, the eye of an eagle and a voice of great power. We were all stirred up to the depths of our souls by the wonderful things we heard. Westminster College is in a very prosperous condition, full of students, with a noble faculty and out of debt. Steps were taken to increase the number of professors. The Female College is very full. Fulton is our Presbyterian Jerusalem. The people crowded the services of the synod and did all that was needed to make the members of the synod welcome and comfortable. This meeting of the Synbod will be long remembered by all who enjoyed it and I hope will be the beginning of a new and more glorious era of prosperity to our churches and colleges. On my return I found all my family well. May the Lord enable me to be more faithful in all my religious duties in view of the great privilege I enjoyed in attending this precious meeting of synod.

Oct. 25, 1882.
Some clouds, warmer, warm day, cloudy, gathering my apples here, two trees, one Newton Pippin and the Gonitan.

Oct. 26, 1882.
Clear and warm, this is a most delightful spell of weather. Got a young cow from E. C. Cunningham (loaned). Put seven bushels of winterapples in the cellar, made some cider from Genitan apples. Dierker brought me seven bushels apples and ten bushels corn.

Oct. 27, 1882.
Clear and mild. Had my Mangel-Wertzel beets put up, very fine, about 15 bushels. Sent John Pearce his winter clothes by Mr. Alderson.

Oct. 28, 1882.
Cloudy. Georgbe went to St. Louis on the accommodation train. Had a heavy rain by 9 o'cl this morning, a thunder storm. The rain continued till after 1 o'cl. We received a very satisfactory letter from Fred today. Most of the church ceiling is on.

Oct. 29, 1882. Sabbath.
Clear and cooler, mercury 46° this morning, very pleasant day. Learned today that old Mrs. McAfee, an Irish lady member of our church, was very ill. I called on her at her daughter's in afternoon, read Bible and prayed with her, she is perfectly willing to die. Heard Dr. Thomas Gallaher preach in Jefferson Street church at night.

Oct. 30, 1882.
Cloudy and warm. George came home on the late train last night. Thunder storm passed west and north of us this morning. Hot warm wind, very strong, has been blowing all day from south.

Oct. 31, 1882.
Cloudy and cooler this morning, had a rain with thunder and lightning in south and east tonight.

Nov. 1, 1882.
Dark, cloudy morning, thunder and rain, cloudy all day, cooler in evening. Letter from Mary today, saying they are getting ready to come up. Political meeting at the Court House (democratic) Cam Clark spoke and H. C. Lackland.

Nov. 2, 1882.
Clear and cooler, cloudy on afternoon. Called on Mrs. Ross.

Nov. 3, 1882.
Cloudy and cool, no frost. Having my garden manured. Ladies Sewing Society met here this afternoon. They have made $60 in seven months and propose to put a new portico on parsonage.

Nov. 4, 1882.
Clear and mild. George went to St. Louis in afternoon and returned on late train. Arthur came.

Nov. 5, 1882. Sabbath.
Cloudy and wet, rain last night, mild and clearing in forenoon. How very mild the weather continues, bright afternoon. Mr. Goodlet, principal of Public Schools, took dinner with us. Missionary meeting in afternoon. It is the great work of the Christian church to spread the Gospel over the earth. Arthur returned to St. Louis this afternoon. In a week he goes to New Orleans to be married to Miss Laura Tutt. I pray it may be a happy and useful marriage.

Nov. 6, 1882.
Clear and cooler this morning, cloudy through the day and cool. Spading garden.

Nov. 7, 1882.
Clear and cool, white frost, mercury 42° early this morning. This election day and I have to act as Judge of election. The prospect is that the Democrats will carry the states of New York and Pennsylvania.

Nov. 8, 1882.
Cloudy and warmer. Still counting votes. The news from New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other places is a tremendous Democratic majority. We finished counting tonight. Raining hard tonight. Eleanor Martin stayed with us tonight.

Nov. 9, 1882.
Cloudy but clearing, warm. This is a remarkable fall, breat deal of rain and very warm, tomato vines still green.

Nov. 10, 1882.
Cloudy and wet, warm, good deal of rain, thunder, lightning during the night, cleared up during day, very warm, like summer. Covering my raspberry bushes.

Nov. 11, 1882.
Clearing, very warm, mercury 90° this morning. George went to St. Louis this morning to buy presents for Arthur's wedding. He (Arthur) expects to leave St. Louis tonight for New Orleans to be married next Wednesday to Miss Laura Tutt. This has been a summer day, mercury up to near 80°. Called on old Mrs. Sheppard in afternoon, she thinks her trials greater than anybody else's. I she only knew how to do good to others with her money she would be happier. Letters from Fred and Mary. Commenced raining before night and has rained heavily ever since.

Nov. 12, 1882. Sabbath.
Yesterday was summer and today winter, mercury 80°, today 40°, heavy rain last night. Cloudy today, wind west. George came on late train last night. Dr. Martin preached old Mrs. McAfee's funeral sermon today.

Nov. 13, 1882.
Clear and cold, mercury 30°, hard freeze this morning. This is a genuine touch of winter suddenly, heavy snows in the northwest. What extremes, Saturday, summer, today, winter. My cabbages are out. Covered my cabbages today. Finished covering raspberries.

Nov. 14, 1882.
Clear and cold, mercury 33°, three degrees higher than yesterday, will moderate today, wind south. Got booler in afternoon, wind strong from west. Called on Mrs. Wilkie.

Nov. 15, 1882.
Mr. Ben Pearce took dinner with us. Ed Pearce was to come today from Texas. Clear and cool.

Nov. 16, 1882.
Cloudy and warmer. Gorden and Ida McDearmon to be married today. Raining now at noon. Attended the wedding at the church and reception at John McDearmon's. Rain most of day and rain still at bedtime, warm.

Nov. 17, 1882.
Cloudy and drizzling, cold mercury 40°. Doug Martin stayed all night with us. Damp, unpleasant day. Letter from Arthur in New Orleans day before his marriage.

Nov. 18, 1882.
Clear and bright in morning, cool, mercury 38°, soon clouded up. George is seriously considering selling out the Journal and going to St. Louis, the field is too small here, no room for expansion, poor location for a young American, too much German.

Nov. 19, 1882. Sabbath.
Cloudy day, cool and damp. Called yesterday evening on Mrs. Alf Stonebraker and her sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor of New York. Called this afternoon on Mrs. Page at Robert Pourie's. She and Ed Pearce's wife on the way to Texas.

Nov. 20, 1882.
Partly cloudy, afternoon clear and pleasant. Called in afternoon at Mr. Salvete and Mr. Higginson's.

Nov. 21, 1882.
Clear, fine, cool day. We look for Arthur and his bride this eveing.

Nov. 22, 1882.
Partly cloudy, milder, circle around the moon last night, delightful day.

Nov. 23, 1882.
Cloudy and colder this morning, wind west and clearing. Nothing from Arthur yet. Called this afternoon at Mrs. Parks. Will is sick.

Nov. 24, 1882.
Clear and coldest morning we have had, mercury 28°. Expecting Arthur and his bride this morning, they reached St. Louis yesterday. Arthur and his bride came this forenoon. She is a very fine looking, very fine person, above the medium size, sweet expression, gentle and sprightly in manner, winning ways, a very sensible and good woman. We think Arthur has been very fortunate. Mr. Martin, Doug, Nellie and Minnie McDearmon called after tea.

Nov. 25, 1882.
Cloudy and cool this morning, not so cold as yesterday. In afternoon, cold rain.

Nov. 26, 1882. Sabbath.
Rained a good deal last night, cloudy and colder this morning and clearing. Arthur and wife still with us, we like her very much, she is a sweet woman. Letters from Fred and Mattie today. Fred seems to be getting along finely. Clear and bright most of day.

Nov. 27, 1882.
Cloudy and cool, mercury 27°, Arthur and wife left and my wife left early this morning. My wife goes to Sedalia to be with Lizzie in her confinement.

Nov. 28, 1882.
Cloudy and cool, mercury 26°, white frost. Feel lonely in the absence of my wife. What an inestimable blessing is the good wife and mother in a household. May the Lord bless her in her mission of love. Every day I realize more and more the value of my good, sensible, kind, industrious, neat, careful, loving wife. Commenced snowing late this evening.

Nov. 29, 1882.
About four inches of snow on the ground this morning and still snowing some, not very cold, the ground isn't frozen, some appearance of clearing, sun shone most of the day, snow melted some, wind in north.

Nov. 30, 1882.
Clear and cold, mercury 24°. Got a cow from Mr. J. E. Stonebraker today. This is Thanksgiving Day. How great has been the goodness of the Lord to me and mine, his benfits are more than I can account. Service in the Jefferson Street Church, Reverend Marshall.

Dec. 1, 1882.
Clear and warmer, mercury 38° this morning. Received letter from my wife today in Sedalia -- Lizzie has a fine boy. Warm day.

Dec. 2, 1882.
Cloudy and cold this morning, strong west wind, in afternoon, clear and more pleasant. We had a letter today from Annie, giving her account of that part of Texas (Uvalde County, Rio Frio). Climate delightful, pretty country, people very ignorant and very lazy and dirty.

Dec. 3, 1882. Sabbath.
Clear and col, moderated during day, wind south. Succeeded Saturday night in getting the City Council to remit back taxes on our church parsonage lot. Reverend Mr. Steen of the Northern church preached our union services at our church last night. George went to St. Louis in afternoon and returned on late train.

Dec. 5, 1882.
Rain this morning and last night, mild, got cooler during the day.

Dec. 6, 1882.
Cloudy, damp, chilly morning, wind east. This is the day of the transit of Venus across the sun but cloudy day has prevented its observation in this region. About half past two this afternoon, the wind shifted suddenly to the northwest and commenced snowing, wind blowing very strong and very cold. More like winter than anything we have had.

Dec. 7, 1882.
We are in Greenland this morning, one of those tremendous changes that occur in this climate, yesterday at noon, mercury 36° and this morning 6° below ZERO. Clear this morning, light snow on the ground. Some of the flowers froze in the parlor.

Dec. 8, 1882.
Cloudy and cold, mercury 4° below ZERO, wind changed to east, cleared during day and moderated a good deal. This cold wave has been general over the country. The ground is covered with a light snow.

Dec. 9, 1882.
Cloudy, chilly, damp day, some drizzling in afternoon.

Dec. 10, 1882. Sabbath.
Clear and cool. Mr. Franz, who was killed at car shops was buried today. George went to St. Louis this afternoon, returned on late train. Letter from Jane, Lizzie not very well.

Dec. 11, 1882.
Clear, fine, frosty morning, mercury 25°. Called at Mrs. Frayzer's in afternoon.

Dec. 12, 1882.
Cloudy and warmer today. Killed three hogs today, they are very fat, though young. Rather warm and very cloudy in afternoon. Served on grand jury today, indicted two boys for stealing and two other desperate men for burglary and larceny at New Melle. They bound the clerk, and and foot and gagged him and left him in that condition. Had a shed built for my buggy. Succeeded in settling the church back tax case by which we saved over $200.00.

Dec. 13, 1882.
Clear, cold, frosty morning. Hogs in fine condition for cutting, very fat. Eleanor Martin came out in afternoon.

Dec. 14, 1882.
Clear and cool, in afternoon got much colder and cloudy. Finishing up the church.

Dec. 15, 1882.
Clear and cold, mercury 16° early in morning, continued very cold all day, wind northwest.

Dec. 16, 1882.
Cloudy and cold. We are cleaning up the church so as to have services in it on Sunday.

Dec. 17, 1882. Sabbath.
Cloudy morning, milder, before noon cleared and bright. The church looks very fine and greatly improved in appearance and comfort. We received a postal from Henry Gauss saying that little Mattie was seriously ill, dangerously ill.

Dec. 18, 1882.
Clear, frosty morning. Had a dispatch this morning that little Mattie died yesterday. This is a great affliction. How many of their children have died. She was a very bright, sweet child. Only about a year ago our dear Glover died there and not long before they lost their little boy.

Dec. 19, 1882.
Cloudy and mild. George went to St. Louis this morning. Mary and her children came from Arkansas. They have been there four years, living in miserable cabins and very poor and yet they are strong and healthy while Henry Gauss's children and Louisa Morgan's who had every comfort have died. Strange Providence. A letter from Jane today giving an account of little Mattie's sickness and death. She died in the third chill of congestion of liver and kidneys. The doctors mistook her disease.

Dec. 20, 1882.
Steady rain all day. George returned from St. Louis on the late train last night. He had an interview with Colonel Cockerel of the Post Dispatch and he gave him great encouragement and promised to give him a situation by the middle of January. Mary has a very fine set of children.

Dec. 21, 1882.
Cloudy and mild, mercury 42°, some cooler during the day. Got a postal from Henry Gauss today saying that my wife would come down today. She has been absent nearly four weeks.

Dec. 22, 1882.
Cloudy and cool. My wife came from Sedalia last night. She left them better. Lizzie feels deeply the loss of little Mattie. John Pearce came down from Wentzville this evening. He hadn't seen his mother and the other children for more than a year.

Dec. 23, 1882.
Clear, bright, frosty morning. This has been a real October day, most delightful. Getting Christmas gifts has been the absorbing talk for several days. Children and old people too enjoy the giving and receiving of gifts. What joyful times! among poor and rich. What happy times in the households of the land Christmas brings but how few realize that all that is good in this life comes from the birth, death and resurrection of Christ. We received a box of Christmas presents today from Mattie in Philadelphia. What a thoughtful, kind-hearted girl -- something beautiful or useful for everybody in the house; also a box of nuts and candy from Arthur. All these things make sunshine in this dark world.

Dec. 24, 1882. Sabbath.
Clear, bright morning, heavy, white frost. We had a large congregation at church this morning. Cloudy in afternoon, rain tonight. This is certainly very soft weather.

Dec. 25, 1882.
Cloudy and warm. This is Christmas and how excited the children are. Mary's children are here and they have had no Christmas for years. After breakfast and prayers we all went to the parlor, where the presents were all spread out and George distributed them to each one. All the family had something, many of them came from Mattie. These things cheer and brighten the life of old and young. My earnest prayer is all may have the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal life through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dec. 26, 1882.
Cloudy and chilly, sent off some furniture for Mary.

Dec. 27, 1882.
Cloudy and cool, no freezing. Mary and her children go up to Wentzville today.

Dec. 28, 1882.
Cloudy and colder, mercury 30°. We have had a long speel of cloudy, damp, chilly weather. This closes the career of the Journal. George sold out to the Cosmos. It has been a success as a country paper, it has done good service to the city and county. It has been bold and outspoken agains official wrongs and encouraged all measures for the public good. Its subscription list has increased steadily and has grown in favor with the public but there is no money in the newspaper business in this town and a young man who has any ability and ambition in that line must go to better fields.

Dec. 29, 1882.
Clear, frosty morning. Went with Mr. Alderson down to Mrs. Shafer's and spent day. Called at Charlesworth's on way back. A very bright day.

Dec. 30, 1882.
Clear, bright frosty morning, mercury 26°. George went to St. Louis this morning. My wife and I called at J. K. McDearmon's in afternoon. Eleanor Martin was out to see us. They day is lovely.

Dec. 31, 1882. Sabbath, and the last day of the year 1882.
Cloudy and chilly, a light drizzle falling fells like snow, in afternoon some snow and cooler. The sands of the old year are nearly run out, three more hours and it is gone. How the years fly, the faster, the older we get. But for the precious hope of an eternal life of joy what would this world be for its joys are so fleeting and so unsatisfying and its troubles so many and so great. Now in a retrospect of the past year I have much regret in neglect and unprofitableness in God's service but how much I have to be thankful for in the unnumbered blessings I have received from the hand of my Heavenly Father. As a family we have had uninterrupted health, we haven't had a doctor in the house during the year. Our gardens, orchards and fields have yielded the greatest abundance. The only death in any branch of the family was that of little Mattie Gauss, Lizzie's child. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The Lord's name be praised.

NOTE: This completes eighteen months of daily living as recorded by John Jay Johns. It should show during the period the hazards of life in those days. Starting with 1883 we will copy the important items and probably extremes in termperature and anything that might interest the readers. [Florence Johns]



  • John Montgomery Gauss was born on November 29, 1882
  • Martha Gauss (little Mattie) was born on September 24, 1879, died on December 17, 1882.
  • The other Mattie mentioned was the daughter of John Jay Johns and Jane Amanda Durfee.


Source: Location of handwritten original unknown.  Transcription and excerption by Florence Johns.   Transcribed to softcopy by Susan D. Chambless, 2000.

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Last modified:Sunday, 09-Nov-2003 16:36:24 MST