July 1, 1886 - September 30, 1886

July 1, 1886 - September 30, 1886

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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...

Mar. 12, 1886.
Eleanor Martin came in afternoon and was surprised to see us. Mr. Stonebraker called in afternoon. He has been a good friend.

Mar. 13, 1886.
Went down town and saw a good many old friends. Mr. and Mrs. Alderson called in afternoon.

Mar. 14, 1886.
Went to Sunday School and church and saw all the dear church people. Had a good congregation and Brother Howison prached [sic] a good solid sermon on Adam's sin, the guilt imprinted to all the race as Christ's righteousness is imprinted to his people by faith. Prof. Jones called in afternoon. The strike still goes on to the great distress of the country.

Mar. 16, 1886.
Took dinner at the Odd Fellows Hall given by the Episcopal ladies. Met Mr. Harrison, he is a candidate for state senate. I introduced him to a good many democrats. Mrs. Howison called in p.m.

Mar. 19, 1886.
Anna Pearce went home today. I rode out to Garvin's sale this afternoon with John Cunningham. Saw very good wheat and some injured in exposed places.

Mar. 23, 1886.
Called on Mrs. Custer in afternoon and Mr. Howison, he is sick with chills. Strike still on and becoming a very serious matter. Mr. John McDearmon has pnewmonia. Called in Mrs. R. H. Parks and old Mr. Johnson, he seems to be in good health but it is difficult to understand him when he talks.

Mar. 29, 1886.
The papers report the Great Strike ended to the joy of everybody. Gould and Powderly agree to arbitrate. Mr. Alderson called in afternoon and I rode down town with him. Mrs. Ross called.

Mar. 30, 1886.
Papers report the strike still unsettled, mistake or misunderstanding between Gould and Powderly. Evening papers report everything very unsettled and some disturbances. Called on William Parks.

Mar. 31, 1886.
The papers report the strike ended by arbitration, although appears still unsettled.

Apr. 4, 1886. Sabbath.
Part of the Planter's House in St. Louis burned yesterday morning, the laundry and suffociated [sic] four girls. In a conflict between the strikers and officers in Fort Worth, Texas, seven men were killed. Brother Howison preached on Christian Forbearance.

Apr. 5, 1886.
The strike still continues, everything in a very unsettled condition. I have a good deal of cold, it seems imposiible for me to escape a cold in the spring in this cold, damp climate. I called on Mrs. Alf Stonebraker and mother now living at Mrs. Fielding's, also on Mr. Christy.

Apr. 7, 1886.
Minnie came over with her baby and spent the day. William Parks came over in afternoon and we went out to Mr. E. C. Cunningham's. Called on Mrs. Salveter. I am still quite unwell with cold.

Apr. 10, 1886.
Terrible scene in East St. Louis yesterday afternoon. Some Deputy Sheriffs on guard, fired on a crowd of strikers and killed six or seven persons. Great Excitement. This strike is terrible evil.

Apr. 12, 1886.
Called out to see old negro man, Granger, who has been sick all winter. He worked for me for several years past. Mrs. William Parks and Mrs. Bennett called in afternoon.

Apr. 17, 1886.
My cow showed signs of ailment today, lost her cud, I put a piece of fat bacon down her throat. Shirley and Bob Bruere went to the prairie with me to see my farm and Mrs. Durfee's, the roads very muddy. Called in afternoon on Mrs. Sheppard, Mrs. (Dr) Johnson and Wm Parks.

Apr. 18, 1886. Sabbath.
Mr. Howison preached on the duty of worshiping God with our substance, the practice of the church through all dispensations, giving as God prospers us -- weekly offerings. At night we had union services with all the churches to hear the Agent of Children's Educational Aid Society in our church, large crowd, the object is to take poor neglected children and find homes for them in families. A great deal has been done in the large cities for this unfortunate class. Sent to Chicago for two books for Fred's inquiry meeting. Old John Lon (col) to commence fence back of the orchard tomorros.

Apr. 21, 1886.
Rode out to Mrs. Durfee's farm with John Cunningham to see Dierker's cow and calf, stopped at John Lindsay's. The ladies are making a very thorough cleaning of the church, painting, recarpeting below and above. Wrote Joel Carr.

Apr. 23, 1886.
Called on Sydney Martin, he is getting well, met his brother from Troy. Shirley went with R. H. Parks to party, the birthday of little Mary King. Received letters from Mattie and Lizzie. Called on Frayser's this p.m., Julia returned from Texas yesterday. Wife commenced cleaning house.

Apr. 30, 1886.
Called on Mrs. Ross this afternoon. Mrs. Alexander with Emily Martin and children returned from Florida last night.

May 1, 1886.
The put down the new carpet in the church today. Rode out with Mr. Overall to see Mr. E. C. Cunningham in afternoon. He was very sick last night. Letters from Arthur and Mattie, Postal, Fred.

May 4, 1886.
Sydney Martin died very suddenly this morning of heart trouble. Got 3 pigs today from Barklage.

May 7, 1886.
Papers report very heavy rain and hail storms in S.W. Missouri, Kansas and Illinois yesterday. I found my bank deposit $100 short today and searched among my papers and found in my vest pocket a certificate of deposit for $100 they omitted to put to my credit. How important to keep such papers. They had bloddy riots in Chicago yesterday and day before, incited by the Society of socialists or anarchists. Throwing bombs among the police and killing them. In their papers and speeches they urge laborers to murder, pillage and plunder, they are the vilest class in the world.

May 7, 1886 (cont'd)
They come from Europe here to preach and practice their vile principles. Received letter from Fred and Mattie. Fred's letter gives a very gratifying account of religious interests at Leakey. Old Mr. Leakey, the old pioneer settler, was converted and joined the Baptist church. The ladies met at the church this afternoon and cleaned up, everything looks very pretty.

May 9, 1886. Sabbath.
At night attended a lecture by Mrs. Hoffman on temperance at Jefferson Street Church. She is a fine speaker. I doubt the propriety of women speaking in public or publicly. Intemperance is a terrible evil, nine hundred million spent annually for drink and only five hundered million for bread. May God in his infinite Mercy deliver us from this curse.

May 12, 1886.
Evening papers report a tornado at Kansas City, some lives lost. Armistead brought his pony today to sell me -- I am to try it a few days. Eleanor Martin spent the evening. Saw Mr. Walker of Wentzville. Called on Mrs. Ross this afternoon. Mr. And Mrs. Howison here to tea.

May 15, 1886.
Went with Mr. Alderson down to his farm in the Prairie. Everything very wet. I suffered a good deal with cold riding, a strong west wind. Most Unprecedented rain storms all about.

May 17, 1886.
Mr. J. E. Stonebraker came early this morhning to tell me that E.C. Cunningham died this morning at 7 o'cl. He ate his breakfast as usual and lay down on the bed and died without a struggle. He was 77 years and 3 months old. He has been in poor health for a year or two, an affection of the heart. He was a very remarkable man, great energy, strict integrity, warm and generous heart, decidedly religious. His life has been full of troubles and bereavements. He made me his executor. I have known him intimately for 42 years and has been my intimate friend all that time.

May 18, 1886.
Rode out to E.C. Cunningham's this morning, saw Mr. Abner Cunningham who arrived this morning. He is now 70 years old, looks well. Rode down town in afternoon and took old Col. Cunningham out riding as far as E.C. Cunningham's. He is very feeble and thin, has had chills, now 87 years old.

May 19, 1886.
Attended the funeral of Mr. E.C. Cunningham in forenoon. Great many people attended. He had lived here fifty years and was greatly esteemed for his high integrity and generous character. Whatever he did, he did thoroughly -- on a grand scale.

May 21, 1886.
Went out to E.C. Cunningham's with his son, John, Mr. Redmon and Temple to examine the papers, notes and accounts.

May 22, 1886.
This forenoon we had the butchering, furniture and tools of E.C. Cunningham appraised and sold at Market House in afternoon. Mr. Alderson called in morning to borrow my buggy for a week while his is being repaired. We are having an abundance of strawberries. Doug Martin returned from Texas, very dry there.

May 26, 1886.
The car shops gave fine entertainment last night of strawberries, ice cream and cake to their emplyees in the new shop building. Tonight the colored hands have the same, a good thing.

May 28, 1886.
Received letters from Arthur and Lizzie and a postal from Louisa Morgan. I rode with Shirley down the river road and across by my bottom field over the Marias Croche bridge and back. Saw the new levee, one side next mine plank and the other side dirt.

May 29, 1886.
Shirley and I washed and oiled the buggy harness. A postal from Mattie says she will not leave until June 8th. We all went to the art exhibition at Lindenwood. We are particularly interested in Eleanor Martin's work. George and Minnie came on early train. They went out to Lindenwood after tea to see the art exhibition.

May 31, 1886.
Went out to Cunningham's this morning to have the meadows surveyed. Went down to the Opera House tonight to hear the address of Dr. Fisher of the State University at Columbia to the Lindenwood students.

June 2, 1886.
We went out to the commencement exercises at Lindenwood. They were in the grove but a little shower drove us to the chapel. We had a picnic dinner in the grove, quite a crowd of people on the grounds. Dr. Brookes made a short address to the graduates. He made the address to the first graduating class nearly 30 years ago. President Cleveland is to marry Miss Folson today.\

June 4, 1886.
Mr. E. C. Cunningham's sale of presonal property today. We have a large crowd, a good many old things, plows wagons, harness, sold very low. Mrs. Alderson and Mrs. Watkins called in afternoon. Letter from Mattie saying she had shipped a set of furniture to us to George to forward, shipped to East St. Louis. I called in afternoon to see old Mr. Haigler who has been sick for several months, he suffers a great deal, thinks he will never get well and has a good hope in Christ for eternal life. The evening papers report a conviction verdict in McDowell case.

June 8, 1886.
Received a postal from Mattie saying she wouldn't leave till this morning. Called at Eleanor Martin's in afternoon. She has been out to help Dr. Irwin pack the pictures. He gave her $10.00 prize for painting and offered her a position to teach next session. Called at Mrs. Ross.

June 9, 1886.
Went to the Alumni Banquet at St. Charles College last night, quite an interesting affair. Judge Krekel, Col. D. P. Dyer, Judge Edwards, Prof Pitman and many other present. After a good deal of speechifying about college days and formation of an Alumni Association we adjourned to dining room and had a splendid supper. The college has been in exhistence 50 years.

June 10, 1886.
Letter from Wm Morgan and postal from Mattie saying she expected to leave yesterday morning and may expect her tonight. Shirley and I went down to the Opera House tonight to the Exhibition of the St. Charles College students. Met Dr. James Gibson who has a son at the college. We went up to the depot to meet Mattie who came on late train.

June 13, 1886. Sabbath.
Mr. Howison preached a good sermon on that part of our Saviour's intercession prayer "I pray not they be taken out of the world but that they be kept from the evil. Good people must live in the world for their own good that they may be trained and for the good of the church and the world, they have a work to do for the building up of the Kingdom of Christ. Mr. Harrison of Fulton took tea with us, he is a member of the Presbyterian Church, a lawyer and a candidate for State Senate.

June 15, 1886.
Wrote Arthur and sent him a book co9ntaining evening and morning famiy prayer. The set of furniture from Philadelphia came this morning. It is a large set of solid walnut furniture, bedstead, spring andmattress, dresser, wash stand with large marble tops. Mattie and I went to the public school examination after noon to hear Shirley's examination in history, grammer, reading and arithmetic -- very good.

June 17, 1886.
Miss Lizzie Rood and Maggie Parks retire from public school and will probably leave this place. They will be a great loss to our community and church.

June 20, 1886. Sabbath.
The Reverend Dr. Davis, one of our missionaries from China, with Mr. Edmonds of Mizpah Church in St. Louis County, came over. He lectured in morning on China, illustrated with large maps, in afternoon he lectured to the children with maps and pictures on China and at night on Japan. These lectures were very fine, full of information about those countries, the productions, people, habits and customs, religion and the missionary operations. He came to this country a year ago and returns next fall.

June 23, 1886.
Saw Rhaker, my tenant, this morning -- has out his wheat, very light. They are in great trouble about the poor crops and low prices and the rent. They were to pay $7.00 per acre this year but I will have to reduce it. They want to rent on shares hereafter. The prospect for grain raising is very gloomy -- over production in this country and India wheat in English market. The only hope for better price is that there is no surplus of old wheat in this country. Called at Mr. Salveter's in afternoon, he returned from Colorado this morning.

June 27, 1885.
This is my 67th birthday. I cannot recount the mercy and goodness of God to me all my life long. Shirley goes to Wentzville this morning to spend a few days.

June 30, 1886.
We are quite concerned about a situation for Eleanor and Aphra Martin to teach, Aphra is greatly excited about her examination and the situation in the Public Schools, poor girls, what a strain on them -- their own support to make and to help the others. Received a letter from Dr. Chaney saying no opening for Eleanor Martin. In afternoon rode with John Stonebraker down to bottom to see John Graso's crop on my land, corn crop looks promising, wheat crop light. Shirley came from Wentzville on evening train. They finished harvesting today, tolerably good crop. Anna is doing well at her Aunt Louisa's. Eleanor Martin received a letter from Prof. Blanton of Elizabeth Aul Seminary proposing to employ her as an art teacher. That is good.




Lizzie and Louisa Morgan are JJJ's daughters; Arthur and Shirley are his sons.

Mattie is another one of JJJ's daughters; George and Minnie are his son and daughter-in-law.

Lindenwood was a womens college (now coed) in St. Charles.

Eleanor Martin was engaged to JJJ's son, Glover, at the time of his death.

"Minnie came over with her baby..." Minnie is JJJ's daughter-in-law, wife of his son, George Sibley Johns. The baby would be George McDearmon Johns who was born in January, 1886.

Shirley, Arthur & Fred are JJJ's sons; Mattie & Lizzie are daughters.

Mattie is JJJ's daughter. His wife's sister, Margaret Durfee, married Edmond Borden (Mr. Borden), and they had a son, Shirley. Margaret died when Shirley was quite young and Mattie moved to Philadelphia to care for him.

Mary Johns is JJJ's sister-in-law, widow of his brother, Alfred Johns.

Ellen Cowan is a cousin.

Henrietta Fawcett Gauss' sister, Lucretia Fawcett married Sam McCluer. Henrietta was the mother of JJJ's son-in-law, Charles Henry Gauss. He married Charlotte Elizabeth Johns (Lizzie).

Mary Pearce is JJJ's daughter. She was married to Tom Pearce.



  • Shirley is JJJ's son. He probably had malaria, at least at a later date. See his letters.
  • Fred is JJJ's son, living at this time in Uvalde, Texas. Annie is his wife.
  • Dollie is Laura Tutt, wife of JJJ's son, Arthur.
  • Mrs. Mary (Wharton) Johns. I think this is JJJ's sister-in-law, wife of his brother, Alfred Johns.
  • Mary Pearce is JJJ's daughter by his first marriage.
  • Louisa Morgan is JJJ's daughter by his first marriage to Catherine Woodruff.
  • Claude Johns is JJJ's nephew, son of his brother, Alfred Johns.
  • Mrs. Durfee is JJJ's wife's mother, Anne Glenday Durfee. She lived with them in her later years.
  • Mattie is JJJ's daughter. His wife's sister, Margaret Durfee, married Edmond Borden (Mr. Borden), and they had a son, Shirley. Margaret died when Shirley was quite young and Mattie moved to Philadelphia to care for him.
  • George and Minnie were JJJ's son and daughter-in-law. George was editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for many years.
  • Blanche Guauss was the eldest daughter of JJJ's daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Johns (Lizzie) & her husband, Charles Henry Gauss.
  • Eugene Gauss was the father of the above-mentioned Charles Henry Gauss. While the Gausses were in St. Charles, they lived only a couple of doors down from the Johns family on Tompkins Street.
  • Mrs. Gauss was the wife of Eugene Gauss. Her maiden name was Henrietta Fawcett. Sis Gauss was Virginia Gauss, their daughter; Theo Gauss is their son.
  • Eleanor Martin was engaged to JJJ's son, Glover, at the time of his death.
  • Ellen Cowan & Tom Johns are JJJ's cousins.


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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