January 1, 1887 - March

January 1, 1887 - March 31, 1887

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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...

Oct. 1, 1886.
Mrs. Glenday, Shirley and my wife went to St. Louis this morning to the Exposition and stay with George tonight. I wrote to Fred. The Bulgarian trouble is not over. The Great Russian Bear is inclined to squeeze her too tight and Austria is showing her teeth. The European nations all want more territory somewhere if they can get it without too much money and blood. Fortunately we have no such complications on this continent. We have little states, Canada on north and Mexico on the south. We do not need either of them as much as they need us. Our only danger is internal too much prosperity, social and political corruption, intemperance and Sabbath breaking. The Christian religion under God is our only safety. Received a letter from Mary Pearce today. They had returned from Lincoln Co., and had rented the farm of Campbell.

Oct. 3, 1886.
My wife, Shirley and Mrs. Glenday came yesterday evening on 6 o'cl train. They had a pleasant trip, stayed at night with George. They say the cable cars are fine, the Exposition is very good as usual but the Art Gallery not so good as formerly.

Oct. 6, 1886.
In afternoon I called on Mrs. Robert Parks. She and I are about the same age. Our prayer meeting tonight was with reference to the day of fasting and prayer appointed by the general assembly in view of the unhappy controversy that has arisen about the Dr. Woodrow Evolution question. It has given rise to serious difficulties, dissensions, strifes, alienations in churches and among bretheren, broken up the Columbia Seminary, S.C. Our only hope of deliverance is the God and if the people of the southern church will confess their sins and implore God's blessing all will be well. The Lord grant it.

Oct. 9, 1886.
Met Cyrus Lindsay today. He is living in Arkansas. He has been unfortunate, his wife left him soon after their marriage. He is weak and unstable in his character. Received a letter from Price and Godby of Decatur, Alabama about contesting the will of Mrs. Mary Rice. I wrote to them and also to Cousin Louisa Patton of Huntsville, Ala. Called on Mrs. Frayser in afternoon. A postal from Fred, Annie has another daughter.

Oct. 16, 1886.
The College boys held contests in gymnastic exercises, running, jumping and bicycling at the Fair Grounds this afternoon. The Northern Pres. Synod at Fulton took action looking to union between the southern and norther churches.

Oct. 17, 1886. Sabbath.
Mr. Howison preached on tempereance this morning. He is an extreme temperance man. The temperance question is absorbing great attention all over the country. The demoralizing tendencey of the saloon and its power in politics is exciting a good deal of discussion even in the secular papers and reviews.

Oct. 18, 1886.
I bought a horse today for John Pearce from a mover from Indiana. He is a large ugly horse, 9 years old, a natural pacer, he is a rought looking horse, dark chestnut sorrell, gave $65.00 for him and if he is sound it is cheap enough. I put the horse in buggy and rode out to Mrs. Durfee's place in forenoon. He is very gentle and paces in harness all the time and can pace rapidly.

Oct. 20, 1886.
Gathered the few apples on my young genetian trees and a few from the large newton pippins. They have rotted a great deal, too dry in summer and too warm lately. John Pearce came down on the 5 o'cl train.

Oct. 23, 1886.
John Pearce, Shirley and other boys went to the country today to gather nuts. Another earthquake shock in South Carolina yesterday. At night I attended a political meeting at Court House to hear speaches from Colonel Hutton, candidate for congress and Col Peom.

Oct. 25, 1886.
John returned home this morning on the horse. Letter from Dollie, wrote to Virginia Gauss and called on Mrs. Ross. Mr. William Parks called in afternoon to invite us to Maggie's wedding Thursday afternoon. I received a letter from Mr. Gauss yesterday asking for letters from the church for Theodore, Virginia and Eugene. Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Smith came on 10 o'cl train today and at 2 o'cl p.m. we went to the wedding, about 30 persons present, friends and relatives. Our church is loosing [sic] a very valuable member and one greatly beloved. May the blessings of God be with them. It was a very pleasant affair and we had a fine dinner.

Nov. 2, 1886.
This is election day and I have to act as one of the Judges of election. It is disgusting to see the drunkenness among men that claim to be respectable.

Nov. 3, 1886.
My wife had a sharp attack of rheumatism yesterday afternoon, some fever. The election in this county was very hotly contested. There was a desperate effort to beat J. K. McDearmon and Arch Alexander, Democrats, who have been long time in office. Alexander was beaten by Mudd and McDearmon is supposed to be elected by about 30 votes. What a miserable thing it is to be dependent on office for a living. Have Mr. Bates repairing my chicken house today.

Nov. 7, 1886. Sabbath.
This day has been set aside by all protestant christian churches as a day of prayer, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all Christians to awaken a greater missionary spirit and for a special blessing on missionaries and missionary operations. Modern missions are now a hundred years old. A very great work has been done but eight hundred millions are yet without the gospel "Thy Kingdom come". George came up yesterday on his bycyle, returned on the train in evening.

Nov. 10, 1886.
My wife, Shirley and Mrs. Glenday went to St. Louis this morning to do some shopping. They returned from St. Louis on 6 o'cl train. Mrs. Glenday fell as she got out of the got out of the omnibus and hurt herself some. They had a good day in the city. My wife got a cloak and bonnet and Shirley a complete outfit, overcoat, suit, hat and shors [sic] and cap, all cost $53.00.

Nov. 12, 1886.
Mary Pearce and boy, Arthur, came down this a.m. Saw Tom Pearce down town in afternoon.

Nov. 15, 1885.
Mary Pearce and Arthur went back home this morning. I gave her $200.00 to buy a pair of mules for John to work and a plow. Called to see John E. Stonebraker who is sick. He was taken ill with a return of the old trouble with his leg and back Saturday, it may be serious. He talks of going to Hot Springs, Ark. He is on eof the old faithful, good man, a great blessing to any community and a great helper in the church.

Nov. 17, 1886.
Mr. Stonebraker is better. Wrote Louisa Morgan and John Jo Walker, Virginia. Received a letter from Price and Gedby, Attorneys, Decatur, Alabama.

Nov. 20, 1886.
Called at Mr. Stonebraker's, he is decidedly better. Called on Salveter in afternoon. Mrs. Alf Stonebraker called in afternoon.

Nov. 22, 1886.
Papers report death of Charles Francis Adams at 79, son of John Quincy Adams, also Governor Phelps of Missouri - and Ex-Pres. Arthur was buried today. Received a postal from Louisa Morgan saying that John was better. Insured my house and furniture in the St. Charles Mutual Company today for $3,100.00 and stable for $100.00 for 6 years at $31.00. Called to see J. E. Stonebraker in afternoon, he is better and called at J. K. McDearmon's.

Nov. 25, 1886.
I went with Shirley last night to the Opera House to hear Miss Helen Pottes the elocutionist, she has great power of impersonating others in voice and manner. This is Thanksgiving Day, it ought to be observed earnestly and truly as a thanksgiving day, we all as individuals, as families, communities, as states and as a nation so much to be thankful to our God for temporal and spiritual and civil blessings. We had a good sermon by Rev. Mr. Woody of Methodist church at the Jefferson Street Church. Received a letter from William Morgan telling of his troubles -- john's insanity and hogs dying of cholera. Poor man, he has no religion to comfort him in his troubles.

Nov. 26, 1886.
Went to Lindenwood last night to an entertainment by young ladies assisted by three gentleman. It was Goldsmith's "She Stoops to Conquer" It was very well done but I fail to se the propriety of such things in a Female College. received a letter from Eleanor Martin today, she is discouraged a good deal "a fit of blues," I suppose. In afternoon called on Mrs. Watson and Mrs. (Dr) Johnson.

Nov. 27, 1886.
My wife and I, by invitation, took tea with Mrs. Ross. Mr. and Mrs. Howison, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander, Mrs. William Parks and Miss Emma Cornforth were there. Very pleasant. Received letters from Lizzie and Fred. Fred says his health was bad in fall but good now. That country is suffering very much from extreme low price of cattle, no money. Sent a bag of walnuts to Minnie.

Nov. 30, 1886.
I wrote to Mrs. Gauss enclosing $11.50 for his stove left here for me to sell. Heard of the death of Foster McKnight in Carrollton, Mo. called on John Stonebraker this a.m., he is not well.

Dec. 1, 1886.
The Martin girls and Pourie boys and girl and Lawrence David met here last night and had a lively time till 10 o'cl. I wrote a letter to Dr. Jas. H. Brookes of St. Louis expressing sympathy with him in the death of his daughter, Mrs. Warfield. Killed my hogs today, they are quite far, about 200 lbs each.

Dec. 3, 1886.
Salted my meat this a.m. We had a letter from Mattie and one from Mary Johns at Austin, Texas. They are all delightfully situated at Mrs. (Major) Johns. My wife had her sausage and lard made today. In afternoon I went to a musicale at Mr. Alf Stonebraker's.

Dec. 4, 1886.
I went with Shirley last night to an oyster supper at the Opera House by the Methodist Church Ladies. My wife and I called to see Mr. Stonebraker in afternoon. He was dressed and sitting up. The young people skating on the pond. Served on a special Grand Jury today. The weather is beautiful, the mercury went up to 44° at noon today, the snow on the ground reminds us that it is winter. Most of my winter wood is in the wood pile. Congress reassembled on Monday. The President's message is published. He urges a revision of the Tarriff -- to much surplus in the Treasury at $100,000.000 annually. that is the great question, but the Democrats are divided on it. Letter from Mattie and John J. Walker of Farmville, Virginia.

Dec. 11, 1886.
Called to see John E. Stonebraker in afternoon. He is a great deal better -- is up and walks about the house. Met Harry Gallgher on the street, the came yesterday. Doug Martin is back from Texas, saw Arthur, says he looked well and was doing well. Received a note from Mattie. Sent a basket containing chickens, butter, sausage and apples to George.

Dec. 14, 1886.
Letter from Eleanor Martin and one from Mary Pearce. Had my chimney cleaned today. Called at Wm Parks in afternoon with my wife and Mrs. Glenday to see Maggie Parks and Her husband, Harry Gallagher. Mrs. Howison called out here in afternoon and Mrs. Fergurson and Mrs. Morton. Will Parks came out to tea with us. He is going to take charge of Robert H. Parks large orchard farm in the prairie.

Dec. 15, 1886.
Clear and cold, mercury 18°. This is a fall of 35° since yesterday, strong west wind today. We had a very light snow last night. Rev. Wm Parks lead the prayer-meeting tonight. The Post-Dispatch tonight report a panic in Wall Street, N. Y., on stocks. Most religious papers are discussing organic union of the Northern-Southern Presbyterian Churches, everything seems to tend to that end now. Called at Mrs. Frayser's in afternoon.

Dec. 17, 1886.
Shirley and I went out to Lindenwood last night to hear a lecture by Dr. Porteous of St. Louis on the Yellow Stone Park. It is a wonderful thing, the geysers, the mountain scenery, lakes and natural meadows. Shirley and I went to the church sociable at Alf Stonebraker's this evening. Had a large crowd, young and old. Postal from Louisa Morgan saying John was a good deal better, also a letter from Capt. Trent of Roanoke, Va., telling me about Cousing Tom Johns and family.

Dec. 19, 1886. Sabbath.
I attended a meeting at the St. Charles College last night to form a society for scientific and literary purposes. About 30 gentlemen present and a committee was appointed to prepare the constitution.

Dec. 20, 1886.
Capt Shaler Smith, who built our bridge on the Missouri River, died in St. Lois yesterday. Received letters from Mattie and Arthur today, Dollie is very unwell with sore feet. A trunk came by express today from Mattie in Philadelphia full of Christmas presents for the family. She is always so considerate and kind in such matters, she always sends me good books. Jane sent letters to Dollie and Lizzie today. Mr. and Mrs. Luther called to see Mrs. Durfee in afternoon.

Dec. 22, 1886.
Jane wrote to Mattie and we sent her ten dollars as a present for Christmas. I wrote to Dr. Farris and sent him his tax receipts and a draft for $23.40. I saw Robert Dunlap of Mechanicsville in town.

Dec. 23, 1886.
Great many people in town preparing for Christmas. What an amount of things are bouth for Christmas presents. It is a good thing as it makes the children glad -- what a change since I was a boy. Now my boy, Shirley, has dozens of fine books on a great variety of subjects. I sent some things up to Mary Pearce today. Called at Wm Parks this p.m.

Dec. 24, 1886.
I got a draft from William Morgan for $250.00, two hundred of this I paid for a pair of mules for the Pearce's to be used for John Pearce and $15.00 for a plow for John. Wrote to Louisa Morgan. Shirley is very much excited about Christmas. How many children and households will be made happy Christmas morning with presents.

Dec. 25, 1886. Christmas Day.
Shirley was up early this morning shouting over his Christmas presents. He got 3 fine books, shirts and collars and cuffs -- the first he ever had -- a fine silver napkin ring from Mattie. Our house girl, Louisa, was happy over the presents we gave her. What streams of light and joy have come down the ages from the Babe of Bethlehem. Joy on Earth, Peace and Good Will to Men. George and Minnie came up last night to McDearmon's, he came over in forenoon and spent an hour and he and Minnie came over with the baby and stayed till bed-time.

Dec. 26, 1886. Sabbath.
George and Minnie and Eleanor Martin took dinner with us they left in afternoon. Mr. Luther preached a good sermon from Deuteronomy: "Ye have compassed this mountain long enough, go northward." The duty of growing in knowledge, character and labor. General John A. Logan of Illinois a distinguished U.S. Senator died yesterday in Washington City. A great many distinguished men have died recently.

Dec. 28, 1886.
Received a letter from Louisa Morgan, John is at home from the Asylum, greatly improved in health and mind. I hope it will be permanent. Jim Pourie and John Walker stayed all night with Shirley. Wrote a long letter to Arthur today. Have some headache.

Dec. 31, 1886.
Shirley went up to Wentzville this a.m.



  • I suspect that the Eugene Gauss that is sending letters to Shirley (JJJ's son) is the son of Charles Henry Gauss and Charlotte Elizabeth Johns (JJJ's daughter). He was close in age to Shirley.
  • Arthur and Glover were JJJ's sons.
  • Mary Johns was JJJ's sister-in-law.
  • Lou Morgan was JJJ's daughter from his first marriage to Catherine Woodruff. John is her son.
  • Mattie was JJJ's daughter
  • Mrs. Durfee was JJJ's mother-in-law.
  • Fred was JJJ's son. Annie (Meyers) was his wife.
  • Dollie was Laura Tutt, the wife of JJJ's son, Arthur.
  • Tom and Mary Pearce were JJJ's daughter & her husband. John Pearce was their son.
  • Mrs. Glenday was Mary Thom, married to James Glenday, brother of JJJ's mother-in-law, Anne Glenday Durfee. She lived with JJJ in her later years, and was probably living with them at this time. She was born in Scotland.
  • Mrs. Mary Rice and Lou Patton were JJJ's cousins, on his mother's side (Jones/Walker).
  • Virginia Gauss is the aunt of JJJ's son-in-law, Charles Henry (Henry) Gauss who was married to his daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth (Lizzie).
  • Mr. Gauss is Eugene Gauss, father of the above Charles Henry. Theodore, Virginia and Eugene are others of his children.


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

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