Amos Claycomb’s April 1902 Diary

My Grandfather kept diaries most of his life.  This is from his 1902 journal when he was 16 and living in Sycamore, Illinois.  I post a month each Monday.

Tuesday, April 1, 1902
It has been cloudy all day and pretty close to freezing point most of the time.
I went down to the church to a supper tonight but did not eat anything.  I walked both up there and back again.  Louise, George and Edward also went and Louise staid up to Grandma’s all night.  Eleanor staid up to Grandma’s all night to take her music lesson and then to go to a party.

Wednesday, April 2, 1902
It has been cloudy all day until tonight when it cleared up.
I have been trying to collect money…for the Sycamore High School baseball team today and have got $2.50.
The roads are very good now.

Thursday, April 3, 1902
It has been a very nice day today.
Mrs. Hill went home on a visit this morning and Papa went into Chicago this afternoon.
I went up town tonight to get the horse that Papa drove up town which was at Ostrander’s stables.  I ran all the way up town after supper and did it in eleven minutes.

Diary page for April 3, 1902Friday, April 4, 1902
It has been a very nice day.
Papa came home from Chicago this morning where he went to hear the Grand Opera last night.
I went down to the ball park for a little while after school and then walked home.

Saturday, April 5, 1902
It has been cloudy all day and raining part of the time but the rain did not amount to much.
I took the milk to the factory this morning and then piled some wood.I went up town for a little while this afternoon.  Nell and Louise went into Chicago today and came out with Grandma who went in yesterday.

Sunday, April 6, 1902
It has been partly nice and partly cloudy today.
I took the milk up town the factory this morning.
I went to Sunday school at noon and then went with Louise to church tonight.

Monday, April 7, 1902
It has been cloudy all day and has been snowing a little but the snow has not amounted to anything.  It also has been very cold.
Papa went up town after supper tonight.

Tuesday, April 8, 1902
It has been cloudy all of the time today.
Eleanor staid up to Grandma’s tonight to take her music lesson and Papa went up town after supper to take his singing lesson.

Wednesday, April 9, 1902
It has been a very nice day.
I rode the pony up town tonight and went to a show called The Country Kid which was fairly good.  It was home talent and was done for the Catholic church.

Thursday, April 10, 1902
It has been a nice day today only it clouded up this afternoon.
Papa went up town after supper tonight.

Friday, April 11, 1902
It has been partly cloudy and partly fair today.
Wilkin’s Hall which was owned by Grandpa Pierce burned to the ground last night a little after one o’clock.  The building was all wood and the cause of the fire is unknown.

Saturday, April 12, 1902
It has been cloudy and cold all day today.
I worked around home for a little while this morning and then went up town and from there to Grandma’s where I staid for a little while.  I went to a baseball game this afternoon at the ball park played between the Sycamore and the Dixon High School.  The former won by a score of 13 to 7.
It was so cold that it was not very much fun to watch it.  George and Edward played ball all the forenoon and they and Louise also went to the game this afternoon.

Sunday, April 13, 1902
It has been a fair day today.
I took the milk up to the factory this morning.  I went to Sunday school at noon.

Monday, April 14, 1902
It has been a fairly nice day today only a little cold.
I went up town after supper for a little while tonight.

Tuesday, April 15, 1902
It has been a nice day today.
Grandma started this morning for Idaho.  She will go around by Galesburg and Aunt Jennie will go with her.
Papa went up town after supper to take his singing lesson and Eleanor will stay up to Grandma’s tonight to take her piano lesson.

Wednesday, April 16, 1902
It has been partly fair and partly cloudy today.
Eleanor staid up to Grandma’s tonight to get to a dance.
It sprinkled a little about four o’clock this afternoon.

Thursday, April 17, 1902
It has been a very nice day today.
George went up town tonight to a show and Papa went up town also.
It is very dry now but it looks a little like rain tonight.

Friday, April 18, 1902
It has been cloudy most of the time today.
I went to the last dance given by the Social Club and had a very nice day.  I am just learning to dance the waltz now.

Saturday, April 19, 1902
It has been partly cloudy and partly nice day.
I took the milk up to the customers this morning and then slept for about an hour this forenoon as I was not in bed as much as two hours and a half last night.
I went to a ballgame this afternoon over to DeKalb on the pony where the Sycamore High School played and was snowed under by the DeKalb High School team by a score of 25 to 0 in a very poorly played and uninteresting game.  The cause of so large a score was that all but one of the Sycamore players staid up till three o’clock last night at the dance.  The line-up for Sycamore was Love catcher, Hammond and Hennigan pitchers, Libhart 1st bas; Welty 2nd base; Brenan ss; Smith 3rd base; Shields and Callahan lf; Quinn centerfield and Meekes and Hammond rf.  The DeKalb pitcher, Wood, got twelve strikeouts in eight innings and Brenan was the only one to get a single hit off of him.

Sunday, April 20, 1902
It has been a nice day.
Papa went into Chicago this morning.  George took the milk up to the customers this morning.  I went to Sunday school at noon and have staid in the house most of the afternoon.
A strong wind has been blowing all day and has been cloudy some of the time.

Monday, April 21, 1902
It has been very hot and cloudy today but a strong west wind has been blowing all the time.
It is Louise’s birthday today and she is fifteen years old.
I have just finished translating some Latin about Cincinatus.
Louise staid up to Grandma’s tonight.

Tuesday, April 22, 1902
It has been cloudy all day and the wind has been very strong from the southwest all the time.  It rained for a little while this afternoon.
Eleanor staid up to grandma’s tonight to take her piano lesson and Papa went up town after supper to take is singing lesson.

Wednesday, April 23, 1902
It was cloudy most of the forenoon but it cleared up and has been very nice this afternoon.
Grandpa Pierce was taken sick yesterday and went to bed today and the doctor does not  know what the matter is yet.
The trees are just beginning to leaf now.  George went out into the woods with another boy after he had done the chores tonight after flowers.

Thursday, April 24, 1902
It was nice this forenoon but it clouded up this afternoon.
Papa and Eleanor went to a concert tonight at the Waterman Hall.
Papa got a new surrey today.
Grandpa Pierce is worse today and Grandma who is in Idaho has been telegraphed for.

Friday, April 25, 1902
It has been cloudy all day and raining most of the time and is raining very hard now a little after nine o’clock.

Saturday, April 26, 1902
It was cloudy and rainy all the forenoon and part of the afternoon.
I took the milk up to the factory this morning.
I went to a ball game this afternoon when the Sycamore High School team played the Elgin team by a score of 8 to 1.  It was too cold to enjoy it very much.  The left fielder on the Elgin side had only one arm (right) but he got every thing and made a good hit also throwing the ball with his glove on.
Grandpa Pierce is worse than usual and Aunt Mary Tapper has come out from Chicago.

Sunday, April 27, 1902
It has been a very nice day today.
I went to church and to Sunday school.
Grandpa Pierce keeps getting worse and he is not expected to live many days longer.  Papa went up there this afternoon and is up there yet.
Edward went to church tonight.

Monday, April 28, 1902
It has been a very nice day.
Grandpa Pierce died last night at about half past eight and Grandma and Aunt Jennie arrived this morning.  Uncle Will and Aunt Mary Tapper are also out here with Jane.  Grandpa is to be buried Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday, April 29, 1902
It has been a very nice day.
Eleanor staid up to Grandma’s to take her music lesson tonight and Papa went up town after supper.
Uncle Charlie Webster came from Galesburg this morning for the funeral.
Louise and Edla went out riding after supper.

Wednesday, April 30, 1902
It has been a very nice day.
I went to school this morning but staid out this afternoon and went to Grandpa Pierce’s funeral which as held at Grandma’s at two o’clock this afternoon.  After the services at the house I rode down to the cemetery with Eleanor and Louise.  There were a good many people there from all over.

[The Grandpa Pierce that Amos writes about is actually his great-grandfather, Daniel Pierce, who was quite a force in Sycamore in his time.  Daniel’s daughter is Eleanor Pierce Townsend – Amos’ “Grandma Townsend” who plays a large role in Amos’ and his siblings’ lives.  In my next post, I’ll include more of Daniel Pierce’s story.]

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