October 1, 1885 - January 20, 1886

October 1, 1885 - January 20, 1886

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, 1885.
Received a letter from my cousin, Tom Johns of Virginia. He has lost one of his eyes and the other very weak. His daughter, Alice, is very low in Lynchburg. Rhaker, my teneant, came to see me today about trouble with Mr. Shafer about a turning row between them -- bad blood between neighbors for a very little matter. Went to the Prairie this afternoon with the two Shirleys. The corn on my place looks very fine. It is the first time I ever saw the farm without any wheat, nearly two hundred acres in corn. Proposed to my tenant to lease it for the next year, from March 1886 at $7.00 per acre.

July 3, 1885.
House belonging to Kesling was burned up last night about 11 o'cl. Hoffman in giving the alarm was thrown from his horse and dangerously hurt on the head. Sent a bundle to Mary by old Mrs. Gleason, George and Minnie came on accommodation train.

July 4, 1885.
A big celebration by the Germans today. They are great people for parades, music and beer.

July 5, 1885. Sabbath.
We have no preaching in our church -- a very unhappy state of things, our people are scattered. I attend the Jefferson Street Church.

July 7, 1885.
Got a letter from Mary Pearce and postals from Taylor Martin and Reverend Mr. Howiser. Saw Mrs. Tom Pearce in afternoon, she came down from Wentzville today. Tome is talking of farming in partnership with Joel Carr.

July 8, 1885.
In afternoon rode with Mr. Alderson down the river where the dike was built last winter. It was put at the wrong place too high up, it does no good in the bend below where the river has cut must. It has cut some below too.

July 10, 1885.
Got a postal from Mary Pearce. Mrs. Glenday was sent for, Mrs. Tanner dying. Shirley Borden went to a part[y] at John McDearmon's/

July 11, 1885.
Mrs. Tanner died about 10 o'cl last night. I rode up to her wedding at Femme Osage about 35 years abo. Dr. Tanner was my physician at that time. He was a very sprightly man but he got to dissipating and in a few years died in Memphis, Tennessee, she was a sincere, modest good woman.

July 12, 1885. Sabbath.
I went to the Episcopal Church and heard Mr. Hunt, their new preacher. In afternoon, attended the funeral of Mrs. Tanner.

July 14, 1885.
Called on Mrs. Watson in afternoon -- with all her failings which render her unhappy and unpleasnt to others I believe she is a Christian. There are a good many unhappy and unlovely Christians. Met Mr. John Judge Judge [sic] on the Street today, he still lives in Cincinnati. His father came to this place from South Carolina about the time I did, 41 years ago. He was then the richest man in the County. He finally became poor before his death -- bad management, bad speculations and dissentions in his family.

July 15, 1885.
Saw Sam Alderson today, he lives now in Ohio. Mattie and Shirley Borden went to St. Louis to visit George and Minnie. Dr. Irwin's fine horse was stolen last night.

July 17, 1885.
Dr. Irwin's horse and the thief were taken above Warrenton. Mr. Stonebraker called with Rev. Mr. Howison who is to preach for us tomorrow. Mattie rode to cemetery with Sam Alderson.

July 19, 1885. Sabbath.
Reverend Thomas W. Howison preached for us today on walking with God. He is a very good preacher and a very pleasant man. He made a very favorable impression on our people. He came over and took tea with us. Sam Alderson was at Westminister College with him and called to see him after tea.

July 22, 1885.
We received a letter from Dollie yesterday. Lizzie has been quite sick, and attack of her old trouble in stomach. I wrote a letter to my old friend and cousin, Thomas Johns of Appomattox, Va.

July 23, 1885.
Mrs. Clark's (Eugenia Watkins) child died this morning and they asked to attend the funeral this evening at 6 o'cl. I conducted the funeral service. At such a time how comforting the words of Jesus. "Suffer the little children to come unto me". Mrs. (Dr.) Johnson and Mollie Wells called after tea. General Grant died this morning at 8 o'cl.

July 24, 1885.
The papers are full of General Grant's life and death. I wrote to Lizzie today, it has been a month since we heard from Fred. The sermon of Sam Jones, the Georgia Evangelist, now at Plttsburg, Missouri, excited a good deal of attention and criticism. He says very rough things but he is a man of good deal power, is in dead earnest. He reaches some people that the regular ministry does not.

July 25, 1885.
Shirley Borden went to a picnic, moonlight in the country. I had an attack of diarrhea. Mrs. (Col) Cunningham died this morning, she is about 73 years old.

July 26, 1885. Sabbath.
Heard Sam Alderson preach both morning and night in the Jefferson Street Church, he has improved as a preacher. Doug Martin took tea with us. Attended the funeral of Mrs. (Col) Cunningham as pallbearer. Reverend Mr. Snow conducted the services in the Methodist Church. He made some good remarks on the immortality of the soul - death made only a change of existence, the body was the tabernacle of the soul here -- in heaven there is house not made with hands, the soul's identity and individuality not changed and of course no recognitioin in heaven.

July 27, 1885.
I rode down to Wm. Shafer's with Mr. Alderson to attend the funeral of his little girl, 7 years old. Large concourse of people. Minnie remained with us for awhile, George went back to St. Louis. Mattie and Shirley Borden leave this afternoon for Philadelphia. They have been here a month. These annual visits are very pleasant, this world is changing scene, coming and going, meeting and separating until the final adieu and we pass to that land where no changes take place, an unchanging state of bliss.

July 28, 1885.
Called at the College at the Teacher's Institute and then at Wm. Parks and then at the Car Shops. Received a letter from Arthur, fine prospects for crops and business. In Afternoon, went with Mr. J. E. Stonebraker down the river bottom by my 40 acre tract and by Mr. Watson's place. George and Minnie took a ride and lunched in the woods and got back at 10 o'cl.

July 30, 1885.
Received a letter from Mary Johns at Austin. Heat intense, sky looks like brass. Began taking ice from Dugan. Rain is on the way though.

Aug. 2, 1885.
Mr. Thomas Watson preached for us today. Large audience, grand sermon -- on the cross of Christ. Dr. Briscoe and boys came with us to dinner. George and Minnie go up to Kansas City today. I wrote a postal to Miss Kate Myers of Boonville to know if they had heard from Fred lately.

Aug. 4, 1885.
Received a letter from Mr. Howison saying he would come to preach for us Sunday. My wife and Mrs. Glenday called on Martin girls, Mrs. Salveter and Lizzie Rood called here.

Aug. 5, 1885.
Yesterday the funeral of General Grant began at Mc[G]regor, the funeral oration there by Dr. Newman, full of the most flttery, then there is a grand funeral display all over the country to end in New York on the 8th. Grant, without any great military or other talent, was successful because he had great resources and his energy was completely exhausted. His administration was full of blunders and official corruption. He aspired to a third term which no patriot would do. While he had no serious moral defects he had serious weaknesses, he accepted gifts from any and everybody and sought to be a man on very equivocal terms and in partnership with very dishonest men.

Aug. 6, 1885.
Received a postal from Miss Kate Myers today, saying they heard from Fred two weeks ago and all well. Shirley went up to Wentzville this evening to stay until Saturday evening. Mr. Gauss has bought land near Columbia, Missouri. His leaving is agreat loss to our church and neighbor.

Aug. 8, 1885.
Received a letter from Fred today, the first for six weeks. They were well -- mails miscarry. They had been to camp meeting in the Sabinal Valley and expected to attend a protracted meeting in the Neuces Canyon by Mr. Jacobs, Presbyterian preacher at Uvalde.

Aug. 11, 1885.
Mr. Howison and I called at Mrs. Roos', Mrs. Pourie and Mrs. Frayser's. Saw Dr. Goodrich in town, told me he was broke and would give up everything -- the times are so hard, failure of crops. It would be great deal better if he had given up the land years ago. Mr. Howison called on the Misses Goebel, they wish to join the church, their conversion is wonderful as they belong to the class of infidel Germans. But through the influence of our pious girls they have been brought in.

Aug. 12, 1885....
Mr. Howison called on Mr. Salveter's family and took tea with Mr. Jos H. Alexander. Also called on Mr. Gauss, Mrs. Gallaher, Mrs. Custer and the Martins. Mr. Howison has agreed to supply our church for 12 months, beginning 1st October. He returns to Fulton today.

Aug. 14, 1885.
Mary Pearce came down unexpectedly today to attend some business for Mrs. Tom Pearce. She looks a great deal better. Shirley, John Pearce and rode down to prairie in afternoon. I received a letter from Minnie, wrote to Lou Morgan. Mr. Stonebraker borrowed by surrey to go to camp meeting.

Aug. 16, 1885. Sabbath.
No preaching in our church today. Though it is much more pleasant to have our own church and preacher, yet I suppose it is good for us sometimes to be thrown among other Christian people in their churches. The real oneness of Christ is a blessed truth.

Aug. 18, 1885.
Received a letter from Mattie at Fall River, she is now in Philadelphia. Mr. Bates is putting new roof on north side of parsonage. Wrote to Mary Johns, Austin. Received letter from Lou Morgan. Received several orders for books from Dr. Martin's library. Had broken rocks put on my walk.

Aug. 27, 1885.
Received a letter from A. Campbell of Huntsville, Alabama, saying that Cousin Mary Riuce was dead and that she had willed most of her property to Bishop Lay of Maryland. She was about 84 years old. She had been infatuated for years with Bishop Lay. I went out to see Mr. E. C. Cunningham, he has been quite unwell for a week, coughs badly, bronchitis, heart disease. Mrs. Harrington and Julie Frayser called on us in afternoon. Great deal of talk in Post Dispatch about railroad discrimination against St. Louis -- constant hammaring at it will probably correct it. The threatened strike will probably be averted by concessions to the railroad magnates.

Aug. 29, 1885.
Shirley went with Dr. Irwin, Ed, E. and Joe Parks and others over to Creve Coeur Lake this morning. Daisy Martin, my wife and I went over to see the Bruere house in afternoon, good house, fine yard and garden with good deal of fruit.

Aug. 31, 1885.
Had some cement put on where the back buildings join the front to keep the water out when the rains come and where the back porch joins onto the kitchen and wash house by Mr. Bede. Took some fine grapes and pears over to J. K. McDearmon's to be canned and jellied by Mr. Orrick for Minnie and George. Theo and Eugene Gauss left today for Cooper County in wagons. Mr. Gauss sold his residence to a German named Stermer for $3,520, a terrible sacrifice. Received a letter from Fred. Great religious interest there among Baptists and Methodists.

Sept. 2, 1885.
Colonel Emmons died in Leadville last night. I went to my farm and Mrs. Durfee's in afternoon with Shirley and Bob Bruere, Mrs. Rheker sick and sickness at Dierker's.

Sept. 3, 1885.
Met the new Professors in the St. Charles College today. They brought a young Japanese boy to attend the school. Japan has made wonderful advances in the last 25 years in Christian civilization -- nearly everybody reads there.

Sept. 5, 1885.
Called at Professor Jones' this afternoon and took his son over to the church to look at the books in Mr. Martin's library. Met Prof. Myers and Prof. Procter. Colonel Emmons buried this afternoon, no religious services. He was not a member of the Catholic Church and no Protestant minister was asked to officiate.

Sept. 10, 1885.
Sam Alderson's town in Ohio-Washington C.H. was torn to pieces by a cyclone, Storms and cyclones in different parts of the country. Louise Martin feel [sic] from a horse and had her shoulder out of place.

Sept. 11, 1885.
Went with Shirley to St. Louis Exposition. Took some chickens, butter, eggs, grapes and pears to George and Minnie. The Exposition is fine, everything of the finest in every department of human invention and skill. In afternoon, Minnie, Shirley and I went to Lafayette Park. Shirley was greatly delighted in rowing on the lake. At night we saw the illumination in front of the Exposition and George, Shirley and I went to see the siege of Paris. That is a wonderful thing. You have no idea that you are in hall, looking at a painting but you seem to be in an elevated place looking out on the acutal scene for miles around in every direction. We stayed at George's.

Sept. 12, 1885.
This morning Shirley and I went down to 4th Street and took a Pine Street car for Shaw's Garden, very windy and dusty. We rode six miles to Tower Grove and walked and walked through that to Shaw's Garden. Every kind of flowers, plants and trees are here in beautiful order. The wet summer makes everything look fresh. We returned to the city just at 12 o'cl and just as it commenced raining. Got dinner and then went to Rarr's to meet Minnie. she and Shirley went to an amusing play and I rested at the Laclede Hotel until car time and we came home on early train. Found them all well at home and what a sweet place home is. Here is rest, quietness and companionship and love.

Sept. 14, 1885.
Old Mr. Lindsay, an uncle of Clem Lindsay died last Saturday. Saw old Judge Barwise in town today, he is 84, very strong and active though he has had a cancer on the ear for a year. The Martins moved out of the parsonage today, Louise and Julia spent the day with us.

Sept. 18, 1885.
Having the parsonage repaired, two rooms papered and ceilings whitened. Saw Dr. Page who formerly lived here but now in St. Louis. received a letter from Mr. Howison. He expects to be here today and commence his labors tomorrow.

Sept. 20, 1885. Sabbath.
Mr. Howison preached this morning and evening. We hope the Lord has sent him to us to do a good work.

Sept. 21, 1885.
We had a letter from Annie and Mattie too. They are having great religious interest in Fred's region. He is thinking of joining the Methodists as no Presbyterian Church likely to be in that region for a long time. Annie says she cannot join them, but will work with them. Received a letter from Mrs. Mary Johns, all been sick with Dengue Fever which has prevailed in Austin. Also a letter from Cousin Lou Patton on the will of Cousin Mary Rice. She thinks it ought to be broken. A letter from R. H. Miller in Virginia on same subject. I wrote to her and a lawyer.

Sept. 24, 1885.
Lottie Stonebraker was married yesterday. I went over with Mrs. Wm Parks and Miss Mattie Reed to meeting of Presbytery at Mizpa church in St. Louis County. We had a delightful day, a very full meeting of Presbytery, Wm Paxson, Moderator. A Northern Presbytery in the Indian Territory sent charges against Paxson for distributing tracts and preaching the doctrine of the annihilation of the wicked. Presbytery referred the matter to common judiciary. Reverend Thomas Watson preached an able sermon in forenoon. They gave us a fine dinner in the basement of the church. We returned in evening, received a letter from Cousin Lou Patton about the will of Cousin Mary Rice.

Sept. 25, 1885.
Mrs. Watson called in afternoon and Mr. and Mrs. Luther. Miss Aurelia McDearmon spent the afternoon and took tea with us.

Sept. 26, 1885.
All the elders and wives were invited to Mr. Stonebraker's to take tea and meet Mrs. Howison. We had a very pleasant evening. Mrs. Howison is a very good looking and very agreeable lady. Received letters from Cousin Lou Patton and Shelby Walker and a lawyer about the will of Cousin Mary Rice. Received a long letter from R. H. Miller today about the will, wrote lawyer in Huntsville.


  • Eleanor Martin was engaged to JJJ's son Glover at the time of his death..
  • George and Minnie -- George Sibley Johns and Minnehaha McDearmon Johns. George was JJJ's son, Minnie, George's wife, the McDearmon's are her parents.
  • Lindenwood -- A Presbyterian women's college in St. Charles.
  • Shirley was JJJ's son.
  • Mary was JJJ's daughter by Catherine Woodruff, his first wife. Her husband was Tom Pearce.
  • Lizzie was JJJ's daughter by his second wife, Jane Amanda Durfee. Her husband was Charles Henry Gauss, son of Eugene Gauss. They were my great grandparents.
  • Percy was JJJ's nephew. Mary was Percy's sister and Bonnie was Mary's daughter.
  • Mattie and Shirley... Mattie Johns was JJJ's daughter. This Shirley was his nephew Shirley Borden, son of Jane Durfee's sister Margaret. She died while he was quite young, and Mattie went to Philadelphia to care for him.
  • Mrs. Durfee was JJJ's mother-in-law, Anne Glenday Durfee.
  • Dollie (Laura Tutt) is Arthur Johns' wife and JJJ's daughter-in-law. Living in Texas.
  • Fred is JJJ's son; Annie is his wife. At this time they were living in Uvalde, Texas.
  • "Received a letter from Mary Johns at Austin." I believe this is JJJ's sister-in-law, wife of his brother Alfred
  • Mr. Gauss is Eugene Gauss, father of JJJ's son-in-law, Charles Henry Gauss. Theo would be his son, Theodore.

  • Mary Pearce is JJJ's daughter from his first marriage, married to Tom Pearce.

  • Louisa Morgan (Lou) is JJJ's other daughter from his first marriage.


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

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