The author was born near Wolf Lake, Noble county, Ind., in 1842. He was a student at Hillsdale College in Michigan when the Civil War began, and enlisted in the Union army early in the second year of the conflict. He fought at Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and was with Sherman on the "March to the Sea." At the close of the war he was mustered out as a first lieutenant in the 88th Indiana regiment. He returned to Indiana, married, and worked his father's farm near Wolf Lake until 1873. In that year he moved with his family to Kansas where he purchased a homestead of 160 acres in Cloud county about eight miles southeast of Concordia. To this farm he later added 40 acres of "school land."
Young was intensely interested in public affairs and was soon a prominent figure in local politics. A Democrat in the early years, he later became an enthusiastic member of the Farmer's Alliance and of the Populist party. He served as justice of the peace, treasurer of his school district, trustee of Nelson township, and was elected probate judge of Cloud county in 1894, and re-elected in 1896. When the Populist party collapsed he returned to the Democratic fold. He was also active in fraternal affairs and was a mason in the Concordia lodge and a member of the Knights of Pythias in
Aurora, Cloud county. At various times he subscribed for Topeka, Chicago, New York and Louisville, Ky., newspapers.
There were seven children in his family, four sons and three daughters, and by 1899 five of them had married and left home. It was then that he decided to sell his farm and return to Indiana. So he went back to Wolf Lake, purchased his father's farm and lived there until his death in 1919.
THIS diary covers the period from August, 1886, to January, 1895. The editor believes it presents a good picture of the conditions in Kansas that had much to do with the strength of the Farmer's Alliance and the Populist party there. Hiram H. Young was one of the many veterans of the Civil War who sought better opportunities in the West after that conflict, and it is reasonable to presume that his experiences and problems were similar to those of other farmers in Kansas at that time. His social life, complaints about the weather, prices received for farm products, and political activities are particularly significant. The diary refutes the popular impression that farmers in that portion of the West lived isolated lives.
25 A. C. Goble mowed.
1 Went to Clay center to attend the Democratic congressional convention
Nominated Joe Low [Joseph G. Lowe of Washington county] on first ballot.
everything Harmonious. Arrived in Concordia 6.30 P. Heard Colonel Jessie Harper
[of Manhattan] speak in favor of John A. Anderson [congressman], and in favor of
the K. L.
3 Big Rain last night. Every thing fresh and pleasant this
morning. Sold 2 loads Oats Bus 101.08.
18 Went to town Renewed my Subscription to the Democrat 1.00.
Paid Democrat 1.00 for Democrat for my Father. From Sept. 18, 1886
Paid Goble $2.00 for mowing in full for all demands to date.
friends to the number of 54. They took the old lady and Hank completely by
I Went to Clyde with Brother Thomas
18 High wind terrible Husked corn.
ernor] and Jo Lowe speak. Moonlight and Lowe Both stop[pled at our place a few minits. I trust they will both be successful.
1 Fine windy day terrible High wind. [No other entries for November, 1886.]
3 Went to Stoners Met J. E. Bean and Kinsley Morgan there. Signed J. E.
Beans over seer Bond and approved it. Signed C. C. Stoners Bond for Justice. Went
with J. E. Bean and Kinsley Morgan to view line fence between Serie and N. Broe
Found all spite work on the part of Serie.
Cold bad day. Took Dinner with D. A. Skeels. H. D.
Cleveland and wife were there Mrs. Skeels able to be up first time in many weeks.
J. E. Bean and Kinsley Morgan were qualified for their respective offices that of
Town Clerk and Town Treasure[r].
19 Paid Julius Ward Cash $10.00 Bought 2 bunches Shingles. Drove Kitt
and Dick to Rice. The first time Kitt had the harness on. She drove well
considering, G. Huscher called on me yesterday in regard to R. R. matter.
5 Sold 2 hogs, we [i] ght 760 Price 4¢ = 30.40 Settled in full
with Dave Scott for Husking corn and by the month for all demands to date. Cash
$6.50 Snowing bad day
12 Went to town Paid Dr. Else cash $5.00 in full for
all demands Terrible high wind this after noon, fearful dusty. Sold the old white
cow for $20.00 to be delivered next week.
what I will do if it dont let up. Received P. C. from wife Charley no
2 Went to town Received Cash from Klug $3.00 In full for all demands to
25 Freddie is a little better I think. Dr. Bigelow Called this morning.
Thus I write this midnight Paid Squire Stoner Cash $1.00 for work on assessment
roll, all paid for all demands to date.
2 Planted corn with planter
2 finished Building three Bridges in Nelson Township. The three Bridges
cost Two hundred and seventy Dollars Gave order for said amount To the Contractor
George D. Biggs. Order No 7, $270.00
27 J. E. Stillinger mowed my clover
19 William Henry Matthews time out Paid him cash $47.50 Fearful hot and
dry Halled a load of Sand from the river for the chickens.
Received Cash from H. B. Parvin $117.67 for 10 Hogs
weight 2615 lbs. 4.50 per hund.
3 Glorious good rain wet down about 2 inches. Corn past redemption.
Rain came too late.
tice when the town Caucus was to be held. His address is St. Peters. Had a
pleasant visit with Alex Hadley Fred Thompson and old Gentleman Sawdy. Sent
Postal not[e] to American Rural Home for 81¢ with orders to stop the
culture Bought 2½ bushels Rye Paid 90¢ per Bus. Rained nearly all
day. Went down about one half inch. Quite cool for the season.
1 Went to the fair. Good time. Rained quite hard about three oclock.
Arrived home in eve. about 7 P. M.
7 Bright and clear. Republican Caucus this after noon. Cut 30 Shocks
Clear and pleasant This morning Pain all in my back
1 Saturday. Democratic Convention in Concordia, [Hiram H.] Young
chairman credentials. Nominated C. Guilbert for Treasure [r] A. T. Sidwell for
Clerk G. B. Vanlandingham for sheriff F. W. Fraisus [Fraisus] for Register R. S.
McCrary Surveyor Jimmy Flynn for Coroner, Baker Borton for Commissioner 1st
district. A good ticket all but Commission [One line from diary torn out.]
1 Fine day Attended funeral of Thomas Russell Buried in Campbells
Cemetery. G. B. Vanlandingham and A. T. Sidwell called today in my absence. But
reported everything in good shape. Awful fine day. Sent John to J. S.
Lillybridges to notify him of town board meeting tomorrow. Big turnout of
people at funeral today. Freddie quite unwell today
hear speech. G. B. Varilandingham A. T. Sidwell Sam Demers Dr. Jeannotte A. N.
Lafaron and H. H. Young made speeches.
8 Election day. This was the cussedest election I ever Saw. The new law of
drawing the line 50 feet. Some men havent a damed bit of Sense. . . . Now I will
remember them. They blame me for the law. Showing at once the[y] are ignoramuses.
Good rain Today. Got home at 9 P. M. Dark as tar ground wet and muddy. Was
Elected Trustee without opposition
63 Pounds of Beef. The 4 quarter. Slutman returned the Hog meat they borrowed
1 Cloudy and raining. Every thing looking Gloomy. Mother was most
Terrible sick last night. Commenced with pain in left breast I was awful scared.
I feared fatal result. I rub[b]ed her arms and hands with Camphor and Bathed her
breast with Camphor, which gave her relief. She was terrible sick for a few
minits vomited Fearful hard. Rained nearly all day; or rather misted. Dull and
Gloomy. Muddy and Disagreeable. Gurley Spargur and H. Slutman called Today.
and broke his leg All of which is fearful bad for both Mrs. Bigelow and
Willard Lillybridge. Accidents will happen in the best of regulated Families.
time since Freddie is sick. . . . Freddie is sleeping good at this writing 10
Fearful high wind North west. Cold. 2 degrees above zero Fearful high wind all
day. Hank Slutman Called during the day and told us Mrs. McCasey did not want a
turkey. Willie Slutman Called in the evening for butter milk. Cold bad day, went
to bed at last night 11 P. M.
yards Calico. Home 4 P. M. Governor John S. Marmaduke of Mo. Died Dec. 29,
The first day of the New Year 1888.
1 Bright and clear. High wind North West. Cold. 8
d[e]grees above zero. Slutmans went to town this morning. This is Sunday. Halled
fodder this morning for the cattle. Fine day after noon Pleasant in evening.
Bertrams young folks called in the evening on their way to church. Alba and
Johnny went to church. The free Methodists are expounding the gosple at district
76. Mother wrote to Mrs A. E. Cookingham, Irving Park, Cook Co. Ill. George wrote
to Riley Banta, Kendal[l]ville, Ind. Thus passeth the first day of the New year.
Beside all being well and healthy.
11 Cloudy and quite cold this morning Some Snow flew.
Halled hay. Laid up since about noon. Boys staid home from School to help hall
hay. Received a letter from United States Auditor informing me that my claim was
18 Fair day went to town with Dug. Greathouse.
Consulted Dr. Jeannotte and [Dr.] Priest about Charley.
1st day. Cloudy and warm, very foggy and Disagreeable fear ful mud. Went to
Had my corn Sheller repaired which cost cash - $1.00. Bought 700 lbs coal -
6 Cloudy and cool Fan.
25 Went to town. Cold Old Gentleman Merritt came home with me.
1st day. Fearful bad. Rained and misted nearly all day. About 4 P. M. hard rain
and Heavy Thunder. Shortly after wards it grew colder and Snowed quite brisk for
a little while. We tied all the cows we could, and prepared for a blizzard. 9 P.
M. High wind from the north, cold and disagreeable.
Contracted with L. A. Bartlett to work for him at Nelson. To handle and sell
machinery for him at that place at $50.00 per month.
3 Paid Empson Cash $5.00 on Horse Service Due Empson $3.00.
13 Came from home this morning found every thing as I left it. Dave
Skeels called today.
2 Came up big rain and wind blew fearful Staid at Hotel last night.
18 Cloudy and cold High wind north uncommon cold for this time of
1 Friday morning Nice little rain last night. Fine large morning. Had
severe tooth ache last night.
7 Paid P. Miller cash 7.50 for 3 weeks board paid up to date
Received of L. A. Bartlett cash 10.75 Due me on third months wages Cash $47.00
Third month out this 7 day of July 1888.
6 Paid all accounts against me at Aurora. For board and other debts.
S[e]ttled in full with L. A. Bartlett for all demands to Date Received cash from
L. A. Barlett on acount in full for all payments $85.75. Went to town
31 Brought my steers from pasture. Big trouble to get them out of pasture.
2 Sunday, went to Dave Skeels after noon. Fine nice cool day.
2 Paid Mrs. T. C. McCasey Cash $5.00 for Charley's Board This is $10.00
Paid in full to date. Bought John a pair [of] gloves cash $1.25
12 Sold 4 Hogs weight 1260 lbs 4.65 Per Hundred = $58.59. Paid Switze
Goble Cash $9.00 in full for all demands to date.
1st Day warm and pleasant.
I owed him $1.00 which is wrong. I can not owe him that amount.
Had Great big good time. Came home with Truman Pierce. Subscribed for the Day
Light for Mrs. Lybilla Frey for one year Cash 52¢
1 Fine day. Good Day 2 Fine Big day Mother Clyde.
to town. Bought lumber cash $2.44 lime cash 30¢ paid Mother cash $6.00.
Poor old McIntosh Sold out by his creditors. Broke up, too bad in his old
Honors. Gave Mother Cash $5.00 Home in good season Roads fearful bad
1 Bright clear Fine day. W. So. W. Spotted heifer had her left hind leg
broken some how or other today. Hank Slutman knocked her in the head and stuck
her. Dr. McCasey called Also Truman Pierce and Frank Miller I released Frank from
his rental of the Banta farm and rented it to Truman Pearce [Pierce], on the same
visiting. This is the meanest day this season Fearful wind north west and
north wind and Dust to beat the Dutch. Hay stacks torn Down and scattered. Awful
Stop Short, never to go again Sent him P. O. for $3.18 Cussed outrage that the
one that sent it did not pay for it.
1st Day. Cloudy and warm, very muddy. This is wash Day. This is Friday.
Disagreeable Huschers are out looking for their Dog. They think him mad. Shoot
him on the Spot
4 Fine day Mother went to George Reeves, Mrs Reeves not better. Went to
Rice with Truman Pierce
cellar. Went to Rice to Shop. Wash day. . . . Went to town Got a dog. Had
Slutman's Stretcher repaired Cloudy. Went to Dr. Bigelows and Stoners. Got 24
bushels of black oats from Stoner, will exchange with him. Rained a little in
evening. Killed the old Dog. Barns came home with me from town.
1st Day. Monday Fine day went to town Bought John a
pair Shoes $3.00. . . . Planted Potatoes. Broke the plow. Got repairs for plow in
6 Saturday Fearful wind went to town and took Stalk
cutter for repairs. Home 6 P. M.
20 Kitt Had a colt This Morning Horse colt 11 Days
overtime. Went to town and Democrat Smith for Dinner Bought George Shoes $2.50
Pants $2.50 Shirt and socks .75 John 1 shirt .50. . . . Hat for Freddie .35
[Total] $6.60 Home 4 P. M. Children went to Aurora to an Easter party, at H. B.
1 Wednesday Big frost this morning. Cloudy and cool. Boys listing corn. Good day. 2 Went to town with Charley Muller, Bought 2 ounces Laudanum. . . . Came home with Lisha Ledoux. Boys listing corn.
3 Good day. Boys listing corn. Frost this morning also
19 Fine day went to Dave Skeels wife boy Mabel and George Arther. From there to Pin town. Beat the boys playing Brazzel Dazzle Home in good Season.
20 Fine day painted on the house. Alba went to Aurora. .
21 Good Day. Took up pump & one piece fell in. Paid Curt Goble cash 1.00 to get it out. Commenced to plow corn after Dinner. Big Job to fix pump and put it in again. Old Gentleman Spargur called today.
23 Thursday. Big excitement Mad dog Bit Nip Betsy Ellen and Jessie. Killed the dog. Went to town. Bought Rope 45¢ Ammunition 45¢ Tobacco 15¢ Oil 20¢ Total $1.25 Home in evening. Killed Nip. Shot him. Rained Good during the night.
24 Good day John and Alba went to town and Staid all night
25 Fine morning Rained a little last night. John & Alba Home at noon.
26 Sunday. Cloudy & cool High wind North west. Monday 27 Went to town with Fred. Thompson. Bought over alls 1.00 Suspenders 25¢ Sugar 50¢ Lye 10¢ meal 25¢ Total $2.10. . . . Rained a little today
28 Tuesday. Rained most of the day. Ground well soaked. Big Shower 4 P. M.
29 Cloudy & cold. Rained last night. Made fence around the orchard. Old Mother Snavely called
30 Decoration Day, went to town with Dr. Hebert. Bought sweet Potatoes plants. Big crowd in town.
31 Friday The last day of May. Good Day howed corn.
1 Saturday. Went to town. Bought sugar 1.00 Coffee
50¢ Toba. .40 soda 10¢ Total $2.00 Rained a little Shower in the
5 Good Day.
ers came and took a v[i]ew of our House. High wind
South. Bill Short & Family visited us today. Dr. McCasey called in the
1 Monday. Commenced to Harvest Oats.
25 Beer 10¢, Shoes 2.00 Hat .25, Beef 65&y#162; Total $10.40 Big rain in
the night. Sister Ellen came.
Republican platform[:] We believe in high priced blankets and taxed
machinery, but to offset this the high taxed blankets to American labor we
propose to make whiskey free. Harrison and free whiskey Harrison and free Chinese
immigration The love of the republican party is past finding out
[Diary missing from July 14, 1889, to June 8, 1890.]
DR. POWELL Moore, of 444 Highland, Hammond, Ind., is assistant professor of history at the Calumet Center of the Indiana University Extension Division. His wife, a daughter of George A. Young, is a granddaughter of Hiram Young, the diarist.
1. Concordia is referred to as "town" throughout the