George Ballou's Journal
Ledger-style journal with daily entries from April 5th, 1911 to April 6th, 1912.
Some days the writer simply noted the weather, along with high and low temperature, and wrote one line, such as "I done my chores and cooked a chicken".
Many days he wrote about going to nearby towns and seeing friends and neighbors.
Although there is no name or specific location to identify the writer, by reading the names and locations he mentions in his daily entries, and comparing them to maps and census records, I was able to figure out that the writer was George Ballou, living in Seward, Kansas in 1911.
(Actually the name "Dr. Duvall Hutchinson" is written in the front of the book, but I could find no record of this person in any census in any state. I'm quite sure that this was just a name George noted for some reason).
Around the 28th of May, 1911 he sold some of his farm equipment and set off on a trip back East by train.
Here are a few of his entries from that trip.
June 1 in Pennsylvania - "got to Gettysburg 4PM the first time I have been there since the battle - got a man to take us over the battlefield to the roundtops".
June 3 in Massachusetts - "went to Fitchburg, got to EG and Georgie Walkers 9 1/2 AM staid overnight".
June 4 - "went to John's house in Westminster at noon we went back to Emma's and had dinner. Went back to John's and staid over night."
June 5 - "Rainy...started from John's 7AM went to Fitchburg and Leominster and Sturbridge by trolley, got sister Mary's 2PM."
June 6 - "at sister Mary Lee's".
June 10 - "Left Joseph's and took the train at Spencer for Springfield and Greenfield 9AM"..."got to Hattie Allis in Bernardston 2PM".
June 12 in Vermont - "got to Brattleboro 9AM came to CW Berry's eat dinner there. we three went to West Brattleboro to Myrtie Covey's..."
also visited John Tiscomb, Albert Putnam, Hattie Putnam, Alonzo Stone, Henry Barber
June 15 - "left Wilmington 8AM on cars, left cars at Graves place, walked to Jacksonville, eat dinner at hotel. Got a horse and buggy there and went to John C Winn's. He went back with me to return the team, see Herbert Porter and others that I knew".
June 19 - "We left John Winn's house 7AM. Came to my old farm in his buggy, went through the place to the road and he turned and went back. I went on over Shearer Hill. Called to Syd Rich on the Whitney place then walked to Wilmington village."
June 20 - "8AM I took the cars got to Hoosac tunnel 9 1/4, N. Adams 9 1/2, to Bennington 11. Went to soldiers home saw Lewis Crosier and Jerome Smith. Had dinner there. Took cars for Chicago at 3:20PM...".
By June 23rd he was back in Seward, Kansas.
The book has 2 sections - his journal, which is in the front and his expenses ledger, which is in the back.
A big clue in identifying this journal as belonging to George Ballou was a single page in the middle, surrounded by blank pages, listing all the heirs (and their location) of Lewis Ballou and Eleanor Bishop of Athol, Mass. He mentions on November 11th signing the deed on uncle Lewis Ballou's estate, and sending it on to Mattie Gould in Hartford, KS the next day. The only person on the list of heirs who lives near the places he mentions in his journal is George E. Ballou of St John, Kansas. The census record for 1910 shows him living in South Seward Township - St. John is less than 15 miles from there.
Many names of folks in Stafford County, Kansas and of course names of his family and friends in Massachusetts and Vermont. Here are a few more excerpts...
May 14 - "Frank Green and his brother came & bought my 8 yr old mare Mamie for 215 and Dutch Landis came & bought my 4 yr old mare Nora & old mare Cora for 200"..."I went to St. John deposited in first National bank $415.00 have now there $475.69. My horse Etta is lame."
August 28 - "I went to Hudson in AM have got a cold. Sent to Hayner for whiskey. Mr Shipe came in PM and mowed in my pasture. I got a letter from John".
October 16 - "I got a letter and a check of $35.49 of uncle Lewis Ballou's estate from A. Twitchell of North Richmond, NH."
November 30 - "Albert Ahnert came his horses ran away and threw him & his wife and baby out of the buggy. I went to Mr. Shipes in evening with Carl Hahn's folks".
See below the 1910 Census record for George Ballon, age 66, living in Seward, Kansas.
See also the 1880 Census record for George Ballou, age 37, living in Wilmington, Vermont with his wife Nellie Ballou and daughter Isda Ballou. (Thanks to Jan for telling me their daughter's name was actually Isolda Ballou.) I'm almost certain this is the same person - same age, and that train trip back to "my old farm" in Wilmington. I can't find any record of his wife or daughter in subsequent Census years - I'm guessing they died prior to 1900 and George headed west. However, he writes letters to "Isa", so maybe that's his daughter.
George Ballou served the Union in the Civil War - his record of service is also shown below.
When I provide this genealogy info, it's my best guess that it's a match for the person in the photo, but I don't guarantee it.
Thanks to Jan for the following information about George and Nellie. Their daughter's name was Isola Ballou.
I wonder if Nellie's father's shooting one of his son-in-laws (see below) had anything to do with George and Nellie no longer living together in 1911...
Nellie was the nickname for Mrs. Cornelia Olivia CROSIER GRAVES BALLOU [1848-1916 aka Nellie], daughter of James L. CROSIER. Isda is probably a misspelling for daughter's name, Isola Louisa BALLOU [1873-1953]. Nellie was married 3 times: to Arthur GRAVES, to Joseph Leonard BALLOU, and to Joe's 1/2 brother George E. BALLOU. I think Cornelia Olivia CROSIER [aka Nellie] had a sister, Olivia M. CROSIER. Another sister, Mary Roby CROSIER [1857-1941] is listed in the 1873 diary. There was a family murder in the summer of 1873 where James CROSIER [Nellie's father] shot his son-in-law, William SMITH. I think William SMITH was married to Nellie's sister, Abigail Minerva CROSIER [1846-1911].
Good condition - worm holes along the center edge for the first several pages, both front and back - visible in scans.
Click on image for larger view. Actual size of book is about 5 1/2 x 14 inches.
Scanned size is larger so you can see the detail.
Churck, Bonnie Miller is selling this diary at ebay.If you would like her email address to contact her directly, please let me know, Jan