The Journal of John Jay Johns

The Journal of John Jay Johns

Disclaimer: The opinions on these pages are those of the writers and don't necessarily reflect my own views. More...

Biographical Material
The Black Book
John Jay Johns Journal
Notes on Families:
Orrick Johns
Pen of John Jay Johns
Pioneer Families of M.gif" width="20" height="15" border="0">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, 1888 Sabbath
Now we begin a New Year, another stage in life's journey. Our great aim should be to rise to a higher plane of spiritual life. Our great aim should be to rise to a highter plane of spiritual life. Eleanor Martin dined with us. Received letters from Fred and Lizzie, Fred has hard work to collect any money in that country. He expects to send Mary Glenday to San Antonio to get eyeglasses for her. Called at Mrs. Ross. This is the week of prayer to be observed by all Christians through the land -- Union meeting at Methodist Chrch, a Thanksgiving meeting. This is a very appropriate way to begin the year.

Jan. 3, 1888.
Received a letter from Mary Johns from Mississippi. Claude was defeated for the office of Recorder. They will remain in Miss. till spring. Lys had not gotten there. We had a good union meeting at our church last night. Subject: The family and colleges and schools. Nearly all our colleges are under Christian control.

Jan. 7, 1888.
Received letters from Mattie, Lou Morgan and a postal from Lys Johns. He is with his uncle, Will Johns. I wrote to Mary Pearce.

Jan. 8, 1888. Sabbath.
Mr. Howison preached a good serman on the text, "Forgetting the things that are behind, I press forward for the work of the prize of my high calling in Christ Jesus". The Christian should aspire to hightst attainment in spiritual life.

Jan. 9, 1888.
Received a letter from Eugene Gauss, Jr., San Antonio, all well. Reverend John F. Cowan of Aux Vauxe Church is expected to preach for us every night this week. I called to see him this forenoon at Mr. Howison's. I knew his father years ago. He was one of the early preachers in the state and contemporary of my wife's father, Mr. Durfee. Received letter from Arthur, all well.

Jan. 12, 1888.
Mr. Cowan and Mr. Howison dined with us today. Received a letter from Lys Johns in Madison Co., Miss. at his Uncle Alf's. Tom Pearce is here today. He went to St. Louis Tuesday and tried to get some work in Tabacco Factory (Drummond). He is going back tomorrow to try to get a street car conductor's place in East St. Louis. Received letter from Mattie, she is a good deal better. She and Mr. Borden expect to go to Florida next month.

Jan. 15, 1888. Sabbath. Mercury 10° below Zero. This beats all other days this winter. I fear the peach buds are killed. We have had no peached for five years. We had communion in our church today. Mr. Charles Willson, a fine young lawyer, joined the church by profession and was baptized. Dr. Cowan preached a delightful sermon.

Jan. 17, 1888.
The papers report terrible cold in all the west and northwest and even south in Texas. In the afternoon called at Mrs. Ross'. Miss Charlotte Shaw in bed. Called at Salveter's, old lady still lives, but very weak, she longs to go. Received a note from Dr. Farris. The Fraysers girls called.

Jan. 19, 1888.
Snyder's child died last night night of Dyptheria. My wife and I called on Mrs. Rhodes and Mrs. Cora Hoelke whose little boy broke his leg some days ago coasting. Session of the church met last night and received Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins into the church on profession of faith. Wrote to Mattie and received the pictures of Henry Gauss' three young children. John, Virginia and Matthew.

Jan. 21, 1888.
This is certainly a hard winter, towns in the northwest blockaded by snow without fuel or any provisions. Received letter from Mattie, she is quite well again. I wrote to Arthur. I called in afternoon on Charlesworth, Mrs. Runquiet, a Swedish family, a very intelligent religious family from Rockford, Illinois, and also the Howison's.

Jan. 23, 1888.
In afternoon my wife and I called at Mrs. Ross'. I wrote an article fotday for the Cosmos on the evils of the saloon. It is a great source of moral corruption and human suffering and extreme povetty that exist in this land. Mrs. Ben Emmons was buried. Received a letter from Eleanor Martin. Received a letter from Mary pearce. Judge Martin is very sick. Had my pork hung up in mast house.

Jan. 25, 1888.
My wife wrote Lizzie and Leanor Martin. Called with my wife on Mrs. Lemon, Mrs. Runquist and Reverend Mr. Gonzelman, German Methodist minister. He recommended to us a servant girl, a German in Illinois. Our girl, Louisa Stacklas is going to be married and leave us. We have had her for three years, she is a faithful servant. Wrote to Mary Pearce and Mattie.

Jan. 27, 1888.
We had a lecture last night on religious subjects illustrated by stereoptician vision. Mrs. Durfee wrote to Mary Pearce. My wife and I called on Mrs. Howison in afternoon. I got a large map of United States one side and Europe and Asia and Africa on the other side with a book with all the Post Offices and a great statistics, $1.90. Received a letter from George. At half-past six this evening we had eclipse of the moon.

Jan. 31, 1888.
Received letters from Mattie and Ellen Cowan. My wife fell on ice this forenoon and sprained her left wrist and she has suffered a good deal of pain. Received letter from Minnie and one from Louise and Kathy Pearce. Called at Mrs. Frayser's and the parsonage in afternoon.

Feb. 2, 1888.
My wife's wrist is better. Mrs. Durfee got letters from Louise and Kathy Pearce last night. Old Judge Martin is very low and Tom Pearce is Nursing him. Received letter from Calvit Johns at Denver. This is ground hog day and fortunately he has not seen his shadow yet. Received a letter from Lys Johns. Wrote Mattie and my wife wrote to George and Annie Johns.

Feb. 6, 1888.
Received letter from Lizzie Gauss. Mary Glenday, Fred's little girl is there to have her eyes treated, she is near sighted. Received a letter from Mattie. Wrote to Mary Pearce proposing to her to send Louise here to go to the public school. I sent Curtis (colored) down in Prairie with horse and buggy for Connie Mittlebusher who is to take Louisa Stecklas place. I called at Mrs. Parks this afternoon to see Lizzie Rood.

Feb. 9, 1883.
I wrote to Lou Morgan today. The Mittleburger girl will have to have regular lessons on cooking and washing. She is being initiated, Louisa is teaching her, it is a new world to her -- what a fine school for these German girls is a year or two of service in a good American family -- it makes new beings of them, it brightens their mind, improves their manners and fits them to be useful wives and mothers. Our poor American girls are too proud to go out to service and miss a great deal.

Feb 11, 1888.
I wrote a letter to Lys Johns. We called in afternoon on Mrs. Higerson, Mrs. Fielding and Mrs. Jenkins. Received postal from Minnie saying she and George would be up tomorrow. Received a letter from Mary Pearce saying she would send Louis(a) down next week. My wife has rheumatism and she is very much tried with the new servant who knows nothing. Robert Pouris came out in afternoon.

Feb. 14, 1888.
Received letter from Arthur, he says their business has not been so good this last year. They have heavy rains and expect6 good crops this year. They are doing a great deal to boom the State. Their church matters working badly. Arthur says Mary Glenday's eyes are very defective and require very strong glasses. Old Mr. Amerlin was buried today, 75 years old. The Baptists are starting a church here. Mr. Reed is their preacher.

Feb. 16, 1888.
Louisa Pearce came today to remain with us and go to public school, she is 16 years old and had very few advantages out in the country. Received a letter from Mary Johns in Mississippi enclosing one from Claude in Austin. Claude's wife and her mother have gone to Europe. Wrote Arthur and received postal from Louisa Morgan. Called on several poor families in afternoon. The never go to church and their children never go to Sunday School, the main excuse is want of good clothes. Poverty is bad enough but where it is accompanied by filth and indolence it is wretchedness. This is the beginning of Lent which is observed very strictly by the churches which have the least piety but the most ritualism -- Catholic, Eposcopalian and Lutheran. Wrote to Fred. Rode out to Lindenwood to an exhibition.

Feb. 20, 1888.
Papers report a terrible cyclone at Mr. Vernon, Ill., yesterday p.m. at 4 o'cl, terrible destruction of life and property. Just at that time we had a thunder shower and then a strong wind. Received letters from Mattie, Sis Gauss. Wrote a postal to Mattie. Our servant girl did a good deal better washing and ironing clothes this week. She is very anxious to do right. I attended the Literary and Scientific Society at the College last night. Subject Discussed: Should foreign immigration be restricted? There are a great many reasons why it should, a great many paupers and very dangerous classes are coming to our country now for $8.00 a head. I attended a meeting of the Medical Association this afternoon.

Feb. 22, 1888.
One Hundred Fifty-six years ago today was born in old Verginia George Washington, the most illustrious man the world ever knew. He has no peer in history. Received a letter from Eleanor Martin. Louise and I wrote to Mary Pearce. My wife and I took tea at Mr. Wm Parks. Curt McCluer was there. I wrote to George today. Miss Aurelia McDearmon called in afternoon and Miss Aphra Martin took tea with us. The evening papers report that the National Democratic Convention will meet in St. Louis next June. Great rejoicing in St. Louis tonight.

Feb. 25, 1888.
Received letter from Mattie, just starting to Florida. Shirley received letter from Eugene and Mrs. Durfee one from Annie D. Gauss. Daisy and Aphra Martin called in afternoon. Letter from Mary P.

Feb. 27, 1888.
My wife and went down town in afternoon to buy presents for Louisa Stocklas, our servant, who is to be married tomorrow in the Lutheran Church. I gave her a large fine lamp and my wife gaver her a fine white bed spread.

Feb. 28, 1888.
I had a large oak tree that stood in the back yard cut down. It shaded the garden too much. My wife and I went to the Lutheran Church to see Louisa Stocklas married. The church was very cold and the ceremony very long all in German. We called in afternoon at McDearmons. Saw Mrs. shore on the street. Mrs. Durfee has a severe attack of Sciatica, can hardly get up or down. Received a Uvalde Texas paper from Fred. It reports a great deal sickness among children and Fred almost broken down with practice. The country is jubilant over the abundant rains, fat cattle and prospects for crops.

Mar. 2, 1888.
My wife and I went to a party at Mr. Alexanders's yesterday evening. Received a letter from Lys Johns and wrote Mattie. Wrote to Lizzie Gauss and a postal to George.

Mar. 4, 1888 Sabbath.
Mr. Howison preached on the negative evidences of regeneration. Those who do not read and love the work of God, who do not pray, who do not love the people of God and house of God, who do not cheerfully give of their mean to support and spread the Gospel cannot be regenerated, Missionary meeting for children this afternoon.

Mar. 5, 1888.
Received letters from Mattie and George. Mattie and Mr. Borden are in Florida, it is spring there, eating strawberries and all kinds of vegetables. Northern people and capital have gone there and made great improvements. Wrote Mary Pearce, called at Mrs. Fraysers in forenoon. Received a letter from Miss Mattie Rood in St. Louis, stating that a young man from Minnesota named Nelson who is threatened with consumption and inquiring about T4exas. Wrote to her recommending San Antonio. Received a letter from Arthur and San Antonio papers.

Mar. 8, 1888.
Last night's paper reports the German Emperor dying aged 92. Our servant girl, Carrie Mittlebusher, has been with us a month, she certainly knew less than any girl we ever had anything to do with. It is hard to understand how a girl could be raised to 18 years old and know so little about cooking and washing and so difficult to teach anything. Received a box medicine from Charlie James for rheumatism. In afternoon my wife and rode out to Mr. Robt Parks. She is in better health. Wrote Charlie James and sent him $1.50 for medicine. Wrote Arthur and my wife wrote to George. Emperor William of Prussia died today.

Mar. 10, 1888.
The papers full of matters connected with the death of old Emperor William of Germany. The Crown Prince, now Emperor, but a sick man. He is called Frederic 3d and is now about 53 years old. His wife is Victoria, oldest daughter of Queen Victoria of England. He is a man of fine character and a man of peace. His son, Prince William, who will succeed him at his death is talented, wild and fond of war. Bismark who is the great ruling spirit is very old and at his death and the probably death of the present6 Emperor great changes will come to Germany and Europe.

March 12, 1888.
Mr. Howison preached a very plain sermon on the duty of attending public worship yesterday a.m. Reverend Mr Reid of the Baptist Church preached for us last night on the assurance of faith. Received a letter from Mattie today written from St. James City, Pine Island, Florida. It is far down on the western coast of Florida, a great place for fishing. She speaks of a fish called tarpon with scales like silver that weighs from one hundred to four hundred pounds. The weather there now is like our June. I wrote a letter to Mattie at St. Augustine, Florida and a letter to George. A sister of Mrs. Oglesby died at her house last night and Mrs. Howison, Misses Rood and Christy and I went down this afternoon and had a religious service at the house.

Mar. 15, 1888.
My wife and I called at Salveter's and Mrs. Ross. Miss Lizzie Rood and Mrs. Alf Stonebraker called her this p.m. and Mr. and Mrs. Howison. Received a postal from Lizzie Gauss. Mrs. Durfee wrote to Annie Gauss. Received a letter from Minnie today. I wrote to Lizzie. Sturmer commenced building his new house today. Mamie Bennett gave a fine entertainment to the Ladies Sewing Society this p.m. Wrote Arthur and gave him some account of our ancestors.

Mar. 17, 1888.
Received a letter from Annie Johns giving us an account of her visit to San Antonio. She gives a very fine account of them all. Received a letter from Mary Pearce, Arthur had been sick. Old Judge Martin is in a dying condition. I called to see Dr. Rives who is very sick.

Mar. 20, 1888.
Robertson (colored) planted a few potatoes in my garden for himself. I sowed a little bed of lettuce for Shirley. Received letter from Virginia Gauss and one from Mary Glenday. Oliver Pourie stayed all night with Shirley. Received a letter from Mattie from Punta Gorda, Charlotte Harbor Bay. Had been cool there. Shirley got a little paper edited by Eugene Gauss of San Antonio. I wrote Mary Johns today and sent her a Sunday Post Dispatch. Saw John Adams down town and sent by him for some garden seed. Heard that Mr. Sam McCluer of Dardenne was dead, he is the brother-in-law of Mrs. Gauss, and valuable citizen, a very successful farmer, has large family of fine boys and girls a member of the Dardenne Church and a brother-in-law of Reverend Thomas Watson who has been pastor of that church 45 years. It is the first death that has occurred in his family since his marriage 46 years ago. Dr. Rives very ill. Robbie Alexander quite sick with fever. Session met at Parsonage.

Mar. 23, 1888.
Received letter from Dollie, all well. Received letter from Mary Pearce and I wrote he today. Dr. Rives very low. I went up to the old woolen mill to see the new tannery. The tan sheep, goat and calf skins for making gloves. Saw Mr. Runquist. And went to old woolen mill on Jefferson Street where they are preparing to make tiles for draining wet land. This promises to do a great deal for the wet lands in this region. Received a note from John Adams about the seed he got for me in St. Louis. Wrote to Sis Gauss and Jane wrote to Minnie. Chief Justice White died yesterday.

Mar. 25, 1888 Sabbath.
Reverend Mr. Rider, a Methodist Minister from West Virginia, preached for us today. He married a niece of Mrs. Frayser. He preached a good sermon on the text: “God so loved the world.” Miss Aphra Martin came home with us to dinner and to remain all week with us as Louise has scarlet Fever and she cannot stay at home and teach in the public school.

Mar. 28, 1888.
Old Mr. Goebel was buried today. Received a letter from Mary Johns enclosing one from Mrs. Major Johns and Claude Johns of Austin, Texas. Also a letter from Mary Pearce. Mrs. Pourie called in afternoon.

Mar. 29, 1888.
Shirley and I went to St. Louis today mainly to get him a spring suit of clothes. We saw George and Minnie and children. I saw Dr. Farris a short time. I wrote to John Adams and Louisa Morgan this morning. Received a letter from Ellen Cowan.

Mar. 31, 1888.
Received a letter from Mattie at Palm Beach, Florida. Louisa, our old servant, called to see us today. She looks very well and is very bright. In afternoon I rode out to Mrs. Durfee's farm with Charlie Wilson. Ladies Sewing Society met here this p.m. Mrs. Durfee wrote to Ellen Cowan. Mrs. Frayser called this a.m. Shirley went fishing in Cole's Creek.




1. Lys Johns is probably Ullyses Johns.
2. I think Mary Glenday is Mary Glenday Johns, daughter of Fred Johns. She frequently known as "Glenday".


Source: Location of handwritten original unknown.  Transcription and excerption by Florence Johns.   Transcribed to softcopy by Susan D. Chambless, 2003.

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Last modified:Sunday, 09-Nov-2003 16:35:46 MST