April 1, 1883 - June 9, 1883

April 1, 1883 - June 9, 1883

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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...

Jan. 1, 1883.
We now enter upon a new year, the old year was crowned with blessings and what will the new year bring. I know not and it is well that I know not. All our ways are with the Lord. My desire is that our little church here and the church universal may grow and prosper but there are many bright spots too and they are increasing rapidly. Thousands of missionaries are preaching the Gospel among the heathen nations, may God speed the work. Called on Mr. E. C. Cunningham who has been sick and also on Mrs. John Redmon. Called in afternoon at Mr. Robert Parks, occasional social calls on old friends, very pleasant. Mr. Martin called on us in morning.

Jan. 2, 1883.
The trees are covered with brilliant frost work, mercury 7º early morning. Young and old Mrs. Sheppard called in afternoon, the old lady is going to St. Louis to live with her granddaughter. Poor unhappy old lady, she has a good deal of money but doesn't know what to do with it, she refused to give a present for the pastor. Called on Mrs. Ross and Miss Charlotte Shaw.

Jan. 3, 1883.
Called on Mrs. Watson, she lives alone in that great house, plenty of money but very few enjoyments. What a pity that an old person cannot make her house and herself pleasant so that her own kindred could live with her in her old age. Eleanor Martin spent the afternoon with us. Received letters from Fred and Annie, they seem to be delighted and happy in their Texas home.

Jan. 5, 1883.
We miss the Journal this morning, it has been a welcome visitor for two years. Newspapers are nearly as essential to our comfort as our daily meals. George is settling up his business, he went to St. Louis.

Jan. 6, 1883.
Arthur and Dolly came on the 6 o'cl train. Arthur seems to be very well. The house raised his salary to $1500.00 this year.

Jan. 7, 1883 Sabbath.
Arthur and Dolly went to the city on evening train. Mr. Goodlet came to tea. Reverend Mr. Marshall of the Northern church preached in our church tonight.

Jan. 9, 1883.
This has been a very remarkable day, at one time tremendous gales of wind and snow and then intervals of calm and sunshine, in evening by 9 o'cl mercury went down to 18º, Great many getting ice. George went to St. Louis in evening.

Jan. 11, 1883.
Killed two hogs, very fat. George returned from St. Louis on accommodation train at 8 o'cl. Called on Mr. Stonebraker (Alf).

Jan. 13, 1883.
Robert Pourie called early this morning to tell that John Pourie was dead, he died yesterday of pneumonia in the Prairie, 68 years old.

Jan. 14, 1883.
At 2 o'cl p.m. the funeral of Mr. John Pourie was preached at the church. My wife had a bad night with rheumatism and neuralgia in the face.

Jan. 20, 1883.
Cold, stormy morning, mercury 2º below zero and the fine snow or sleet pouring down, winter. Terrible cold weather in northwest and even down in Texas. I did not go out in the yard today.

Jan. 21, 1883.
Clear and cold, mercury zero by my thermometer but others as low as 4º below. We could not use our audience room at the church today because we could not heat it sufficiently. I have been reading a life of Whitefield by - - - - What a wonderful man, he had the spirit and almost the power of an Apostle. At 22 years of age he turned this world around London upside down by his eloquence and zeal, his missiionary spirit lead to America where he preached with great power from Boston to Charleston.

Jan. 23, 1883.
George went to St. Louis this morning on Moberly train, the trains from west all behind time and George went on cannon ball just before twelve. Called at Mr. Gausses this afternoon. They are getting ice now 12 inches thick. Sis Gauss has been here this afternoon, she has been in sedalia for five weeks.

Jan. 25, 1883.
My wife sick last night, stomach disorder, she was in bed all day, little fever.

Jan. 26, 1883.
My wife better and up. Minnie McDearmon, George's intended, took tea with us and spent the evening. She is a very fine girl, quite accomplished, fine singer, very gright and very domestic and good prindiples.

Jan. 28, 1883. Sabbath.
Had a large congregation at church this morning, the Lindenwood girls fill up a large space. The goodness and beauty of the Lord was the theme of the sermon. I have nearly finished reading the first volume of the life of Whitefield. He was a wonderful man. Before he was 26 years old he preached with the most wonderful success all over England, Wales, Scotland and America. The world never saw an evangelist before nor since among uninspired men. George expects to go to St. Louis to engage in journalism, we shall miss him very much.

Jan. 29, 1883.
George went to St. Louis on accommodation train this morning to commence work in the Post Dispatch office. I called on Mr. Martin in afternoon.

Jan. 30, 1883.
George came up from St. Louis last night to attend a party at McDearmon's. He went back to St. Louis this morning, he commenced reporting for Post Dispatch yesterday. I made deed to Mary Pearce for the land I bought at sheriff's sale, being part of tract Mr. Ben Pearce now lives on near Wentzville.

Jan. 31, 1883.
Eleanor Martin came out in afternoon.

Feb. 2, 1883.
Ground covered with snow and sleet. George came from St. Louis.

Feb. 3, 1883.
Rain, thunder and lightning continued and this morning. The ground, trees and everything covered with ice, the mercury is 32º. Strange weather for the time of year, ice and thunder, the water all runs off the gutters are full of ice. George is remaining here today. It has gotten colder during the day and the sleet continues to fall. What a wintry scene, the trees are bending and breaking with the weight of ice, every branch and twig is covered with ice hald an inch thick with long icicles hanging down. George went to town on skates after dinner. In the northwest this storm is terrible, hard on stock everywhere. This blizzard has been very disastrous and destructive.

Feb. 4, 1883. Sabbath.
The Jefferson Street church people with their preacher, Mr. Hoyt, came over to our church this morning and he preached a good sermon on prayer. Their house smoked so they could not use it.

Feb. 5, 1883.
George went to St. Louis on accommodation train. Mrs. Durfee is better. The poor stock must suffer a great deal, the fodder is so covered with ice that cannot be handled. Eleanor came out.

Feb. 6, 1883.
About 10 o'cl this morning Mrs. Durfee was up in her room alone and her dress caught fire from the stove. I heard her cries and ran up and found her in a blaze, threw her down and smothered it before it burnt her although all the dress was burned behind, what a narrow escape she made.

Feb. 7, 1883.
Clear, splendid morning. As the sun shines so brightly the whole scene is one of surpassing beauty, every tree has a thousand sparking diamonds, mercury 18º. Dr. Fergurson and wife, Mrs. Gauss and Mrs. Alderson called in afternoon.

Feb. 8, 1883.
Called on Mrs. Rector and her daughter, Mrs, Franys to see shat can be done to get some money from car shops for the death of Mr. Franys.

Feb. 9, 1883.
I had to serve on a jury -- an assault and battery case -- Miller and Sheafer. No such cases, unless serious ought to be brought to court, both sides are generally to blame. We were kept in the court house until 11 o'cl at night.

Feb. 11, 1883 Sabbath.
Mr. Rathburn called to see Mrs. Durfee on church matters. Mary went to the country.

Feb. 13, 1883.
Wrote to Fred today. Mary (servant) went to the country to see her folks but has not returned as she promised. Mrs. Durfee sold a little strip of the Van Meter land, about 25 acres to H. C. Lackland for $200.00

Feb. 14, 1883.
The ice on the ground sleek as glass. William Parks and Reverend Mr. Creighton of Farmington, Missouri, took tea with us.

Feb. 15, 1883.
Collie came on the morning train. Unprecedented high waters on the Ohio River -- great destruction in all river towns. Sent a box with some provisions to Mary.

Feb. 16, 1883.
Commenced raining by 9 o'cl this morning. The Missouri river rising rapidly, the flood gates let loose all over the country, the low lands in the prairie covered with water, great destruction. My wife has a severe attack of rheumatism. Got a letter from Fred.

Feb. 17, 1883.
Mercury dropped to 15°, will do good in checking the rise in the river. The Misses Prayser and Minnie McDearmon, Lottie Stonebraker and Eleanor Martin called in afternoon to see Dollie. George and Arthur came on early train, George has the prospect of a good position on the Post Dispatch.

Feb. 18, 1883.
Eleanor Martin came out in afternoon. Jack Martin returned from Florida last night. Mrs. Alderson called in afternoon. Had a talk with Dr. Irwin this morning on church matters. He wishes the two Presbyterian churches here could unite in some way to worship together and support one minister, no organic union but each manage its own affairs -- but worship together. I see no serious difficulty in it.

Feb. 22, 1883.
Called on John E. Stonebraker this afternoon, he is quite sick. Called on Mrs. Alf Stonebraker and her mother also. Had my meat hung up in smoke house today.

Feb. 23, 1883.
Called on Mrs. Milton Spencer who is low with cancer, I tried to talk to her on religion, but her mind is entirely averse to it. Shirley is sick today, disordered stomach.

Feb. 26, 1883.
Called to see Mr. Stonebraker and Mr. Cornwell today, both better. Eleanor Martin was out to see us this afternoon.

Feb. 28, 1883.
Mercury up to 55°. Took potatoes out of the kiln, kept well. Eleanor was out in afternoon. A letter from Mattie and postal from Lizzie, they expect to come down by 15th March.

Mar. 1, 1883.
Sent Mary Pearce a lot of chickens by express.

Mar. 2, 1883.
Called on Mrs. Spencer this morning, found her calmer, talked to her on religion, her mind very unsettled, read some of out precious hymns to her and prayed with her. Saw Mr. Stonebraker, he is quite sick yet. Called on Mrs. Frayser and her daughters in afternoon.

Mar. 3, 1883.
Narcie King is dangerously ill, Sis Gauss went to St Louis this morning. Miss Aurelia McDearmon called in afternoon.

Mar. 4, 1883. Sabbath.
George came last night. Mr. Stonebraker is perhaps a little better today, Mr. Cornwell thought to be dying. We had a Missionary Meeting in afternoon, it is lamentable how many Christian people take no interest in missionary operations, they never read on the subject. It is the church's great work for God's cause. Went to the Methodist Church at night.

Mar. 5, 1883.
Narcie King (Robinson) died in St. Louis last night. Mr. Ben Pearce came to dinner. He reports Tom and Mary doing well. He came back to supper and Mr. Ward who married his niece and stayed all night.

Mar. 6, 1883.
Grat Provines came up from St. Louis this morning to make arrangements for the funeral of Narchie King tomorrow. I went ou to the cemetery with him to select a lot . Grat dined with us.

Mar. 7, 1883.
The funeral of Narcie King takes place today about 11 o'cl. The train arrived an hour and half late, it was nearly 3 o'cl when returned from the funeral. Grat Privines, Mr. Jewett, Cabell and Chapin, pallbearers took dinner with us. What a sad state the Kings are in, all earthly treasures gone. Mr. Conrwell died last night, Mr. Stonebraker is better.

Mar. 8, 1883.
Mr. Stonebraker not so well this morning. In afternoon Mrs. Alf Stonebraker and her mother, Mrs. Watson called. I called on Mrs. Robert Parks.

Mar. 9, 1883.
I called on a Mrs. McAfee who wants her child baptized on Sunday. Had ashes spread on garden.

Mar. 10, 1883.
Wigginton, the Canada weather prophet predicted the most unprecedented storm to occur yesterday all over the country and even around the world but so far nothing has occurred.

Mar. 11, 1883 Sabbath.
Mrs. McAfee had her child baptized today. Mr. Stonebraker is down again. At night the annual meeting of the St. Charles Bible Society was held in our church. For the last year a colporteur has been supplying the destitute of the county with Bibles.

Mar. 14, 1883.
Mr. Stonebraker is no better. Mr. James Lindsay took dinner with us. He is 78 years old and is very stout.

Mar. 18, 1883. Sabbath.
Henry Gauss and family came last night. Lizzie looks very well, more fleshy, she has a fine baby boy. George came from St. Louis today and returned as he has to go up to Jefferson City tonight to report for the Post Dispatch. The Jefferson Street Church invited our church to join them in communion today which we accepted. They have a young minister visiting them, a Mr. Ayres.

Mar. 21, 1883.
I called to see Mrs. Spencer, she is getting very low. Poor woman has no Christian hope. Called at Mr. Stonebraker's, he is mending slowly. Called out at Lindenwood in afternoon, met Reverends Mr. Ayers and Steed, there. The school is very large and flourishing and a great deal of religions interest among the girls. Eleanor Martin was out this afternoon, Lizzie spent the day.

Mar. 24, 1883.
Winter lingers in the lap of spring. Attended a lecture by Professor Ives of St. Louis last night in our church on art as seen in Louvre, Parris -- gave us magic lantern scenes of the palace and the rare statures [sic] in it.

Mar. 25, 1883. Sabbath.
Arthur and Dollie came up on the early train last night. Henry and Lizzie and children took tea with us yesterday evening. George came in at 10 o'cl. We had communion in our church today, preaching by Mr. Ayeres of Chicago. Two of our boys joined the church, Robert Parks, Jr. and Hugh Roberts, on profession. Henry and Lizzie took dinner with us. Went to hear Mr. Alexander lecture on Christian liberality in the Methodist Church tonight.

Mar. 26, 1883.
Arthur and George went to the city on early train. Dollie remained with us. Henry Gauss went to Sedalia.

Mar. 27, 1883.
Saw Mr. Goodrich from Wentzville today, he told me Mr. Ben Pearce was very ill with pneumonia. Dollie returned to St. Louis on evening train, I called to see Mr. Stonebraker in afternoon, he is improving gradually. Mr. Temple had a very sudden and violent attack of something like meningitis this morning.

Mar. 29, 1883.
Saw Mr. Ward who said Mr. Pearce was some better. Eheker, one of my tenants, says about 12 acres of his wheat is killed. It was sowed very early and pastured a good deal.

Mar. 30, 1883.
Ladies Sewing Society met here this afternoon. George came on the 8 o'cl train.


  • Sis Gauss is Virginia Gauss, the daughter of Eugene Gauss and Henrietta Fawcett.
  • George Sibley Johns was later editor of the Post Dispatch, one of St. Louis' major newspapers.


Source: Location of handwritten original unknown.  Transcription and excerption by Florence Johns.   Transcribed to softcopy by Susan D. Chambless, April 21, 2001.

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Last modified:Sunday, 09-Nov-2003 16:36:26 MST