File #16416: "Robert-Russell-diaries-May-1898-March-1900.pdf"



Robert Russell
Proton Township, Grey County, Ontario
Volume 5
24 May 1898 – 2 March 1900
Editorial Note: For examples of the variable spelling and syntax, and for the editorial conventions
used, see the Preface to Volume 1. For details on the physical structure see the Material
Description of the diaries. Pagination is noted inside angle brackets (e.g. <p. 1>), preceding the
running title found on each page of the manuscript. Insertions and pasted-in items are indicated by
annotations inside tags enclosed in angle brackets, e.g. <insert> text of insert </insert>.
As noted in the Material Description, one page between pp. 70-71 has been torn out, and the
last entry is on p. 92, and the remaining pages are blank, except for pasted-in clippings and
annotations on p. 234, and on the endleaf (recto and verso), and the inside back cover. The last
diary entry is for 2 March 1900. Robert died on 11 March 1900, of heart failure, three days after
being paralyzed by a stroke.
<inside front cover>
[written across top]
The Alonzo O. Bliss Co., Washington, D. C., U. S. A.
& Montreal, Can.
Herb, medicine for / the Blood
T. H. Atkinson
O[nt]. General Agent
[3 newspaper columns, pasted on the inside cover]
1. “The Toilet.” [series of treatments—“To Soften the Skin”; “To Keep the Hair in Curl”; “To
Beautify the Teeth”; “Hair Restorative”; “Sea Foam, or Dry Shampoo”; “To Make Cold
Cream”; “To Restore Gray Hair”.]
2. “Napoleon’s Religious Views. Gen. Gourgand, who accompanied Napoleon to St. Helena, has
left in his memoirs some interesting information relative to the Corsican’s religious views.
3. “Electrical Treatment of Cancer. Dr. Massey, an Ohio physician, is treating cancer
</inside front cover>
<p. [i] flyleaf, recto>
<title page>
[three pasted-in newspaper columns at top edge of page, which obscure slightly the written Diary
1. Letter from “C. S. dit Blondin”, on the merits of Chelmsford, versus Algoma, etc.
2. continuation of this column
3. 7 4-line stanzas, title: “When You Are Gone”, clipped from Boston Pilot

Robt. Russell
Township of Proton
Co. Grey
May 24th 1898
Dundalk is said to be about 1480 feet higher than Toronto
and 700 feet higher than Owen Sound
</title page>
<flyleaf, verso>
<p. 1>
May 1898
24th Cool and cloudy. The spring is pretty well advanced, the trees are out in leaf, the apple trees
beginning to blossom, the cherry and plum are blossomed out fully.
25 Fine and dry, a little windy in the afternoon. I wrote a letter to Brother William, Kosema P.
O., Indian Territory, U. S. Mrs. R. with her poney took Mrs. Jim Patterson out for a drive.
26 Fine day, dry and warm. Good growth. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon, got the Buggy
harness mended & posted a letter to Brother William. Miss McDonald was here. [in margin]
Sowed / parsnip / seed
27 Fine day, close and warm. Mrs. R. and I went to Joe Bowerman’s in the forenoon.
28 Dry and cool. I attended Council meeting at Hopeville and stopped all night.
29th Sabbath. Dark, with a slight rain in the morning. I left Hopeville in the morning, got home at
10 A.M.
May 1898
30th Dry and fine. I went over the receipts and payments made on Saturday, found the cash
correct. I digged a while in the garden in the afternoon.
31 Fine and dry, warm in the afternoon. Mrs. R. went to Ida’s. I finished digging the cabbage
plot, then posted Twp. orders.
[June 1898]
June 1st Dry and pretty warm, thunder clouds in the afternoon. I fixed a Brush fence. Jim gave
me a little pig about five weeks old. Miss Bell was here selling tickets for the entertainment
on tomorrow night. I bought two for thirty cents.
Fine day, dry and warm. I chopped firewood in the swamp in the forenoon. Mrs. R. and I
went at night to hear Mr. Campbell, S[chool] I[nspector], describe a visit to Europe.
Fine day, dry and pretty hot. I went to Dundalk and helped at the shed of Presbyterian
Dry and hot. I chopped some firewood in the swamp.
5th Dry and hot. Willie, Sue & Baby were here. [in margin] Willie [faint writing; the beginning
of this annotation is written on inside of front cover, at the bottom left corner: “Letter From”
with “Willie” on the bottom of p. 2.]
<p. 3>

June 1898
6th Cloudy and hot. I chopped stove wood in the swamp. Pretty hot work most of the time.
Hot day with a slight thunder and rain in the afternoon. Mrs. Jim Patterson was here in the
afternoon. Mrs. R. went to visit at Mrs. Wright’s of Wereham [=Wareham]. Mrs. John
Arnold gave birth to a Baby girl. [in margin] John Arnold’s / Baby born
Dark and cool. I planted out some cabbage plants, wed some in the garden and went to
Dundalk. Mrs. Mortimer and Mrs. W. Bell, former Scholars,* visited me. [*i.e., they were
pupils in his school many years earlier.]
Cool and cloudy most of the day. I went to a Council Meeting at Bell’s Corners, 20 miles
away. Went home with D. McKenzie, Reeve of the Township.
10 Slightely wet and cool with cloudy weather. I and the Clerk and Reeve met at Hopeville on
Township business. Came home in the afternoon. Heavy rain at night.
11 Dry in the forenoon, showery in the afternoon. Mrs. R. and I were at Dundalk in the eavning.
<p. 4>
June 1898
12th Sabbath. Showery, especially in the forenoon. Mr. S. McDowell and wife visited us.
13 Slightely wet, cloudy, no sunshine. I posted township orders in the forenoon and in the
afternoon attended a meeting of the Stockholders of the Woolen Mills Comp. Limited, Called
for the purpose of passing a By-Law enabling the Directors to borrow money. The By-Law
was carried. A partially blind man called here, taking up collections to enable him to provide
for his family.
14 Cool and cloudy, especially in the afternoon. I posted in the Township Cash Book the receipts
and Expenditure for the month of May and Balanced the Book for the month. Jim got the
poney and Buggy and went to Dundalk.
15 Clear and cold, almost a frost last night.
16 Clear and cool. I cut wood in the swamp for about two hours in the forenoon and went to
Dundalk in the afternoon. Withdrew $450.00 of my money out of the P. O Savings Bank.
Mrs. Jas. Patterson was here.
<p. 5>
June 1898
17th Fine and clear, warm especially in the afternoon. I cut some stove wood in the swamp.
18 Dry and pretty warm, cloudy towards night with some lightening at night. Arlie is here
19th Sabbath. Cold and cloudy, almost a frost at night.
20 Cold and cloudy. Jim got the poney and Buggy and went to Proton Station. Johney and Ina
were here and got some cabbage plants. I cut some stove wood in the bush.
21 Cool and clear. I cut stove wood in the bush.
22 Cool and clear. I hoed potatoes. Mrs. R. went to Johney’s.
23 Dry, clear and warm. I went to Dundalk, then hoed potatoes when I got home. Johney
brought me a load of stove wood. Mrs. John Arnold with her baby was here.
24 Dry and hot with a high wind and thunder. Cloudy in the afternoon. I bossed the Statute
labor in John Allen’s pit.* [*a gravel pit]
<p. 6>
June 1898
25th Splendid shower last night, this day dry and pretty warm, with the exception of a slight
shower at night.
26th Sabbath. Dry and cool. I went to Sam’s. Mrs. R. came for me in the afternoon with the
27 Dry, warm and cloudy having rained quite a bit early this morning. I hoed potatoes. Two
persons, man and woman, with span of horses and buggy called at night wanted to stop, could
not keep them.
28 Mostly dry, cloudy and cool. I hoed potatoes.


Dry, sunny and hot. I finished hoeing potatoes for the first hoeing. Willie and Susan were
here in the afternoon to see their baby who is here for a few days.
30 Dry and hot, cloudy in the afternoon, almost like a thunder storm. There was a thunder storm
accompanied with heavy lightening and Rain about the middle of last night. I went to
Dundalk in the afternoon and washed some of my fruit trees when I came home with soap
<p. 7>
July 1898
1st Dry and warm. I washed the apple trees with soap suds, wed some onions, etc. Jim brought
me from the P. Office, my cheque for Sup[erannuation] pension, $101.00
Dry and hot, cloudy in the afternoon. A short sharp shower of rain last night about 12
Midnight. Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk in the forenoon. When I came home I made and
put up two scar[e]crows in the cherry trees to keep the birds off.
3rd Sabbath. Dry in the forenoon, a thunder storm in the afternoon accompanied with sharp
lightening and Rain. Henry Lonsway (a neighbour) had a horse killed in the pasture by the
lightening. Willie and Sue were here and took Reta home.
Dry but quite cool and cloudy. I posted a month’s work in the Municipal Cash Book, also
made out the half-yearly Financial Statement for the Township and hoed some potatoes. Jim
scuffled my potatoes in the forenoon. Mrs. Henry Lonsway with her baby was here in the
<p. 8>
July 1898
5th Dry and warm with a bright sun in the afternoon. Mrs. R. and I pulled some cherries assisted
by Arlie and Vern in the forenoon, in the afternoon, I hoed potatoes. In the afternoon about 8
O’clock there passed in the sky from East to West a bright ball or streak of Electricity, leaving
in its course for several minutes a long narrow streak of fire. After it had passed there was a
rumbling, appearantly in the ground, quite loud for about one minute. [in margin]
Phenomenon in the sky
6th Fine day, dry, sunny and warm. I hoed potatoes. Ida and Joe were here a while in the
afternoon. They pulled about five quarts of cherries.
Dry and hot. I finished hoeing potatoes. Mrs. R. left this morning for Hillman, State of
Michigan, in order to see Clark, Maria and Pearl. Jim drove his mother to the station. I
gathered up 117 cancelled stamps, intending sending them to Mrs. D. McKenzie, Cedarville,
according to request. [in margin] Mrs. R. left for / Michigan
Dry and warm with showers in the distance. I went to Dundalk, done some business. Jim
brought me 185 lbs. shorts from Dundalk at $1.85.
<p. 9>
July 1898
9 th Mostly dry, a slight shower in the afternoon, the day cool. I attended a Council Meeting at
Proton Station. Jim came for me with the poney and Buggy at night .
10 Dry, cloudy and cold. At night clear and very cold. Arlie and Delbert came and tidied up the
house. It is quite lonesome since Mrs. R. went to Michigan. There was a very heavy frost at
night, a regular scorcher. [in margin] Sabbath / Big frost / at night
11 Dry and fine. I balanced the orders paid on the 9th with my cash. Came out exactly straight.
12th Frost this morning. The day dry, pretty windy and very dusty. I went to Dundalk, seen the
Reeve and Clerk, done some Township business, came home with Brother Sam. He had
supper with me. I fixed up, then prepared and counted up the costs of the day. [in margin]
13 Dry, sunny and hot, especially in the afternoon. Brother John[’s] son Johney called to see me
on his way home this afternoon.
14 Dry and hot. I cleaned out a watering place for the cattle on the Arnold place in the forenoon,
and in the afternoon mowed around the house.

<p. 10>
July 1898
15th Dry and pretty warm. I finished cutting grass in the Garden, took the Buggy and went to town
in the afternoon. Sent off $1.00 renewal of subscription to the Globe, bought Paris Green,
Bread and tea. It is very lonesome being without Nancy.
16 Dry and pretty warm. I Paris-Greened the potatoes, put on the 1/2 acre about 3/4 of a pound.
Put in a teaspoon full to a pail of water, and this done two rows. The bugs are pretty
numerous. Helped Jim in the afternoon to fix his spring for the cattle to drink. [in margin]
Paris-Greened / potatoes
17th Sabbath. Dry and hot with thunder clouds in the afternoon. I drove to Johney’s and Willie’s.
18 Dry and hot with the exception of a slight sprinkling of Rain in the afternoon. Jim & George
Corbett hauled in three acres of Jim’s hay and put it on my stable loft. I raked and carried in
the hay of the fence corners on the acre. [in margin] 3 Loads
19 Dry and hot in the forenoon, a very heavy shower of Rain about 2 p.m. I chored around and
fixed some township papers preparitory to my going to Toronto on tomorrow. Sent a letter to
Mrs. R.
<p. 11>
July 1898
20th Fine day, dry and very hot. I went to Toronto to sell some Drainage Debentures of the
Township of Proton. Disposed of them at 3 3/4 percent per annum interest. Came home that
same day.
21 Dry and hot. I helped Jim at his hay.
22 Dry and hot. I helped Jim in the forenoon, he put in my stable loft one load of hay. The loft
is about full. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon. Son Willie was here this afternoon.
23 Very hot day. I attended Council meeting at Hopeville, came home at night. [in margin] Hot
24 Sabbath. Exceeding hot, the hotest day of the season. Brother Sam came here in the afternoon.
[in margin] Hot
25 Hot and dry with some clouds. I went to Dundalk.
26 Hot and dry. Mrs. R. got home this night from Michigan. I helped Jim a little at his haying.
27 Hot and dry. I helped Jim at his haying, drove the horse attached to the hay fork rope.
<p. 12>
July 1898
28th Every appearance of rain this morning, heavy clouds but only a very slight shower fell. Jim
took his pigs in the wagon to Dundalk (7 of them). Got $5.25 per hundred for them, they
weighed over 170 each. I drove his stag for him, could not get him to the place of shipment
on account of the heat and his fatness. He gave out. Poured water on him several times
during the drive. I attended a meeting of the officials of the Cheese Factory at 6:30 p.m.
There was a slight rain with some thunder and lightening while I was in Dundalk at the
29 Dry and pretty warm. I built a load of hay for Jim in the afternoon.
30 Fine and dry with the exception of a slight shower of Rain in the morning, the day pretty
warm. I worked at posting Twp. orders, writing business letters, making out the Township
estimates, etc.
31st Sabbath. Dry and warm. Johney and Ina called here on their way home from H. Lonsway’s
where they had been visiting. Mrs. J. Arnold also was here a while this afternoon.
<p. 13>
August 1898
1st Dry and pretty warm. I went to Dundalk in the forenoon, cleaned out the watering place for
the cattle in the afternoon. Jim hauled three loads of hay and put it in a stack for me at the
stable, this makes seven loads in all which he has given me. Mrs. R. went in the afternoon to
Willie’s. [in margin] Jim finished / haying
Pretty hot. I worked at entering orders in the Twp. Books.


A slight shower in the morning, the remainder of the day dry and pretty warm. I entered
orders in the Municipal Cash Book and in the afternoon went to Dundalk. Mrs. R. went with
the poney for Mrs. Jim Patterson and her sister Minney. Mr. Walter Bell was here a while in
the afternoon.
Slight shower of rain in the morning. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon.
Dry and pretty warm. Mrs. R. and I put some Boiled linseed oil on the Buggy wheels. We
had a piece of tin like a half circle, the shape of the section of the tire, made like a Box. We
put the oil in this, placed it over a fire till it boiled, kept turning the wheel in it for 3/4 of an
<p. 14>
August 1898
6th Dry and warm. I attended a Council meeting at Hopeville. Came home at night. The oats are
nearly all ripe towards this place, some fields are cut and people are threshing their fall wheat
and Barley. Potatoes seem to be a failure owing to the frost and dry weather.
7th Sabbath. Fine day, dry and warm. Ida was here in the afternoon. Jim took her and the little
girl home in the afternoon with my poney and buggy.
Dry and warm, thunder clouds going round. I drove Brother John’s daughter Minnie home to
Adjala, about 34 miles from here. Got there at 6:30 P.M. I had Jim’s horse as my own
appeared stiff in the legs.
Dry and warm. Stopped at Brother John’s. He has a fine crop of wheat, oats and barley, is
done harvesting all but about 3 acres of oats which are still in the field. Fine crops in this
section of country.
10 Dry and pretty warm. Left John’s about 8:30 A.M., got home at 5 P.M. The roads very dry
and dusty.
<p. 15>
August 1898
11th Dry and pretty warm, mostly, through the day. I went to Dundalk and bought some pig feed.
There was a pretty heavy rain accompanied with thunder and lightening at night.
12 Dry and cool. I herded cattle (Jim’s and mine) all day out of the grain. Mrs. W. Neithercut
and Mrs. S. McDowell visited here.
13 Dry and cool. I herded Jim’s cattle and mine out of the oat fields on the Arnold farm. It
requires strict attention, as they keep moving around very rapidly.
14th Sabbath. Dry and warm. Mrs. J. Patterson called.
15 Dry and warm mostly, slight rain in the middle of the afternoon, a little thunder and lightening
at night, but no rain. I was herding the cows.
16 Dry and warm. I was herding the animals. Sam’s daughter, Eddie, is here tonight.
17 Dry and fine. I chored around, minded cattle and drove them to water, pulling it up for them.
<p. 16>
August 1898
18th Dry and warm, with heavy clouds in the West in the afternoon. I stooked and helped Jim to
haul in some oats, also went to Dundalk.
19 Dry and warm. I helped Jim mow oat sheaves. He and Jim Lock hauled in to the barn.
20 Dry and warm. Jim finished cutting oats. His mother and I stooked them (7 acres). We heard
that Sue is pretty sick tonight with what Dr. Mitchell says is inflamation of her stomach. Mrs.
R. and Jim’s Mary is now (11:20 P.M.) gone out to see her. I hope nothing serious will
happen, poor Sue. [in margin] Jim finished / cutting oats
21st Sabbath. Dry and warm. Joe and Ida were here.
22 Dry and warm, misty in the afternoon and a few drops of rain fell. Jim finished hauling in his
oats, Johney Hudd and I helped him. [in margin] Jim finished / hauling in / oats
23 Thunder, Lightening and heavy rain about 4 A.M. The day was dry then to 5:30 P.M. when
another heavy rain fell with some thunder. I did not see any lightning.
<p. 17>

August 1898
24th Slightly wet during the day, a very heavy thunder, lightening and rain storm at one o’clock
this morning.
25 Cloudy and cool with a slight sprinkling of Rain. I piled up some stove wood which I had cut
in the bush.
26 Cloudy and cool. I worked at posting Township orders in the Day Book and Le[d]ger.
27 Fine day, dry and pleasant. I attended a Council Meeting of Proton, held in Dundalk. Nice
pleasant time, all things went harmoniously. Mrs. R. drove me home.
28th Sabbath. Dry, cool and breezy with very heavy clouds around the horizon in the afternoon. A
slight shower of rain after night. Mrs. R. and I went to Willie’s and Johney’s.
29 Dry and Breezy. I and Mrs. R. were at a paring Bee at Joseph Bowler’s. I think he got 2
Barrels pared, cored and strung. Mrs. John Arnold and Baby were at our house a while this
30 Dry and hot. I fixed up some Township orders. Mrs. R. went to a quilting at H. Johnson’s.
<p. 18>
August 1898
31st Dry and hot. I cut some cedar in the swamp for kindling wood. Jim got the poney and Buggy
and went out to buy hay for pressing. [in margin] Hot
[September 1898]
Sept. 1 Dry and hot. I cut light wood for the winter. Jim brought back the poney and Buggy at
noon then Mrs. R. drove to Mrs. Jim Patterson’s. She was not at home. Then she went to
Brother Sam’s. There is a great fire burning out in the southwest, it appears very much like
some person’s Barn. [in margin] Hot
Dry and hot. I piled up some stove wood. Johney and Willie each hauled me from
Melancthon a load of stove wood which I had there. [in margin] Hot
A little Rain early this morning, the day very warm. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon. Met
with Mr. D. McKenzie, Reeve of Proton.
4th Sabbath. A little rain early this morning, the day pretty warm, high winds. The fire burned
fiercely in the swamp 30 rods to the west of the house, swept an old stump fence from end to
end. I drove to Dundalk at night for Mr. Hood.
<p. 19>
September 1898
5th Quite a Rain this forenoon, I drove Jim to Dundalk, he is going to Toronto with car load of
hay. Got home and fixed fence which had been burned. Got five bushels and twelve pounds
of pease from Mr. D. McDonald, paid him fifty cents per bushel for them.
Rain in the forenoon, the afternoon dry. I fixed a burned down fence, then went at night to
Dundalk for Jim who came up on the train.
Dry through the day, some thunder and lightening with a shower of Rain about 8:30 P.M. I
posted Township vouchers in the Municipal Cash Book.
Slight rain, the day mostly dry. I piled up some light wood in the forenoon and went to
Dundalk in the afternoon, posted three letters.
Cloudy and dark with a slight rain in the afternoon. I cut stove wood in the swamp.
10 Dry and cool with a good deal of sunshine, very cold at night. I cut stove wood in the swamp.
<p. 20>
September 1898
11th Sabbath. Very hard frost this morning, it has fixed the potatoes and the buckwheat. My
potatoes were not killed by the first frost, but this one blackened them badly. The buckwheat
which Jim had cut down by the first frost had sprung up again and was about 1/3 of a crop,
was now in blossom and partly in grain. It is now killed by the frost. The day was cool and
clear. Brother Sam called here on his way home in the afternoon. [in margin] Frost
Dry, clear and warm, lots of sunshine. I cut stove wood in the swamp.
13 Dry and warm. I was cutting stove wood.


Dry and sultry, cloudy in the afternoon, every indication of Rain. I was cutting stove wood.
A little rain in the morning, cleared up, dry till about 4 P.M. when there was heavy rain,
thunder and lightening. Mrs. R. and I went to Johney’s and Willie’s.
<p. 21>
September 1898
16th Dry and fine. I went to Dundalk posted a letter to Clark, bought some coal oil, oatmeal, Fly
paper, stationery, etc.
17 Very fine day, dry, bright and sunny. I wrote out Deed and Duplicate, Mortgage and
Duplicate, between son John and me of Lot 31, Con. 5, Township of Melancthon. Also wrote
out Lease of ten acres of said Lot from John to Me. I am giving him the land for $800.00. He
has paid me in all $200.00 since he got it. This leaves $600.00. I am giving him ten years to
pay this amount at 5 per cent per annum interest. I am renting from him for thirty years (I
won’t live that long) ten acres off the southeast corner at 25 cents per annum rent. The farm is
a good one containing one hundred acres. John Jackson called here this afternoon.
18th Sabbath. Rain, thunder, and lightening very early this morning, the day afterwards dry. I
went to Sam’s. Ida was here.
19 Cold and windy, the sky quite hazy, the wind very chilly. I did not do anything, felt tired and
worn out. Mrs. R. went to Mrs. J. Patterson’s.
<p. 22>
September 1898
20th Dry, sunny and warm. I cut stove wood in the swamp in the afternoon. Pretty cool at night.
21 Dry and warm. I cut stove wood in the swamp. Johney White called here this afternoon.
Dan Reid came along with his dogs a-hunting when I was chopping. He had only got one
rabbit. Poor sport, I think.
22 Dry and misty in the forenoon, the afternoon slightly wet. I cut stove wood in the forenoon
and in the afternoon wrote some business letters, went to Dundalk and posted them.
23 Very wet day, heavy showers all through the day, especially in the afternoon. The Equinox
storm, I think. [in margin] Equinox / Rain
24 Dark and misty all day with a slight shower of Rain at night. We brought the stove in out of
the summer kitchen. Jim left his children here at night during the time he and his wife were in
25th Sabbath. Dry but dark and overcast. Jim’s three little ones, Arlie, Vern and Delbert were
here, their parents having gone to Brother Sam’s.
<p. 23>
September 1898
26th Mostly dark and cloudy with a little thunder in the distance. I cut a little stove wood in the
27 Dry but cloudy mostly, a little sunshine now and then. I cut stove wood. The Rev. —
Harrison, Presbyterian Minister, had tea with us this afternoon.
28 Bright and sunny, I cut stove wood in the swamp. Mr. D. McKenzie, Reeve of Proton,
stopped here this night.
29 Bright, sunny and warm. Mr. McKenzie and I went to the 5th Division Court, Flesherton. The
Township of Proton had two suits, the 1st, J. C. Hooker sued the Township for the Keep of an
indigent. Hooker lost the case. The 2nd case was where a man got his horse’s leg damaged
on T[own] Line Proton and Artemesia. Proton offered settlement before trial, and to pay as
their part, $7.50. Artemesia would not settle, hence the plaintiff sued both Municipalities.
Judgment given against the Townships, each to pay $10.00 and costs. Mr. J. McKenzie
stopped here this night.
30 Dry and sunny in the morning, thunder and Rain in the afternoon. I wrote some letters. Mr.
McKenzie and daughter, who came here in the morning, left for home.
<p. 24>
Oct[ober] 1898

1st Dry with an overcast sky, indications of Rain, none fell. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon.
2nd Sabbath. Dry and fine. Johney and Ina, Joe and Ida, Willie, Sue and their two children* were
here. [*first mention of the Willie and Susan’s second child, R. Melvin, born 6 Aug. 1898;
Susan’s illness 20 Aug. 1898 is mentioned, but not the birth of her second child.]
Dry and very sultry. Thos. Laughlin, Township Clerk, was here this morning to get the
Collectors Roll of 1897 as a guide for him. I gave it. I piled wood part of the day and took up
a drill of potatoes. There was just a bag full.
Dry and cloudy in the forenoon, the afternoon wet. I piled the remainder of the stove wood in
the forenoon, had in all about ten cords.
Dark and showery, especially in the afternoon. I went to Dundalk to meet the Reeve
and Clerk of the Township on Twp. business. Did not get going up to the fair grounds. Mrs.
W. Talbot stopped here all night. [in margin] Dundalk / Show Fair
Frost, the day fine. I pulled some mustard at Jim’s. He put a handle in my axe. I also raised
a few potatoes at home. Mrs. Talbot left this afternoon with Joseph Jackson’s son, Arthur.
<p. 25>
October 1898
7th Fine day, cool in the morning, with some frost. I dug and gathered three bags of potatoes.
Fine and dry with a good bit of sunshine. I took the poney to Dundalk, had two old shoes
taken off and two new ones put on, cost .50 cts. Also bought two snaps at 6 cents.
9th Sabbath. Dry and fine. Mr. J. Patterson Junior, and wife were here. Went to J. Russell’s for
10 Dry and cool, cloudy in the afternoon. Very much like rain, which will be inconvenient for
me as I have laid out to raise my potatoes on tomorrow. I digged and gathered three bushels
in two hours today. There are not many at a stalk, but they are large and dry.
11 Wet day all through. Not very heavy, generally, but it kept coming down. Bad for me as I
could not get my potatoes dug.
Fine but cool. Mr. Thos. Laughlin, Twp. Clerk of Proton, was here on Township business in
the afternoon. I oiled the Buggy harness. Mrs. R. went to Ida’s.
<p. 26>
October 1898
13 Rainy day, not very heavy but enough to make it unpleasant. Johney and Ina came here, he to
help me take up my potatoes but the day was unsuitable. Willie also started, must have went
home again as he did not get this far.
14 Another wet day. T. Laughlin, Twp. Clerk, called here this morning and left me a cheque of
$466.00, proceeds of a sale of Drainage Debentures which he had made in Toronto. A.
Trugon brought me two Bags of pease and one of oats. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon,
got the cheque cashed.
15 Cold and wet in the forenoon, the afternoon dry but cold. Some snow with the rain. I went to
Council Meeting at Hopeville, stopped all night. [in margin] Snow
l6th Sabbath. Dry and fine with quite a frost. Came home, got here about one O’clock.
17 Cold but dry, and misty. Took up the potatoes, there were about 60 Bushels, good large
potatoes, most of them. Gave Willie 5 bags, and Jim 7, put in a pit 30 Bushels for seed. Jim
and his man and A. Trugon, Junior, helped. [in margin] Raised / potatoes
<p. 27>
October 1898
18th Dry in the forenoon, very wet in the afternoon. I wrote some business letters for the
Township, intended going to Dundalk to post them but the rain prevented. Johney and Willie
each brought me a load of stove wood from Melancthon. This is the last of what was cut by F.
Bellamy in 1896 for me.
19 Dark and cool with some rain at noon. I went to Dundalk in the forenoon, and posted some
letters. Among them were ten debentures, Registered to Geo. A. Stinson & Co., Toronto. In

the afternoon I carried out of the drive house in to the cellar 15 Bushels of potatoes. [in
margin] Jim threshed / Grain
20 A little sunshine in the morning, then the day clouded over and was dark and lowering. I went
to Dundalk, Jim also. [in margin] Jim / finished / threshing
21 Dark and without any rain, only a mist like in the forenoon, the afternoon showery and a
heavy rainfall after dark set in.
22 Dark and wet mostly all day. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon, met the collector who paid
me in taxes $520.00. I deposited it in Dundalk Bank.
23rd Sabbath. Cool and cloudy. Cold at night.
<p. 28>
October 1898
24th Dry and quite a bit of sunshine, strong wind in the forenoon. I split some stove wood. Mr.
McKenzie, Reeve of Proton, called,
25 Fine and dry with quite a bit of sunshine. I went to Dundalk and mailed a P. O. M[oney]
order to the Clerk of the 5th Division Court for $16.42, being the amount Proton had to pay in
the case of Best against the Townships of Artemesia and Proton.
26 Chang[e]able day with alternate rain, there is now at 10 P.M. a wind and snow storm raging.
This is the first snow of the season. I chored around. [in margin] First snow
27 Cold morning, with some snow on the ground, the day cold with a sharp frost. I butchered
two spring pigs, would weigh about 190 lbs each. Mr. Deveral, the Dundalk butcher, and
Joseph Bowler done the job. I was in Dundalk in the afternoon.
28 Pretty chilly day, dark with an East wind. J. Bowler hauled a dressed hog for me to Dundalk.
I had sold it to the Butcher for $5.50 per hundred. It weighed 188 pounds and deducting 3
lbs. for shrinkage, Brought me $9.71. Not bad for a spring pig.
<p. 29>
October 1898
29 Very fine day. Bright and sunny, almost like Indian Summer. I salted away a pig, also took
up some roots in the afternoon. A German Jew by the name of Herman James, a pedlar, is
stopping here tonight.
30th Sabbath. Cold and raw, the Jew is still here.
31 Some snow on the ground and a little fell during the day, the day was lowering and very
chilly. I cut a road to the stove wood which I have in the swamp. The pedlar went away this
morning, gave about 25 cents worth for keep.
[November 1898]
Nov. 1
Mild day and a good bit of sunshine. I took up some roots, beets, parsnips, etc. and put
some cabbage away. For the cabbage I dug a trench about nine inches deep and eighteen
inches wide and placed the cabbage roots up in it, having previously put some cabbage leaves
in the bottom. I then put some more cabbage leaves on the top and finally put a slight
covering of earth on them. I also put a few in the cellar on shelves.
2nd Mild day, considering this time of the year. I took the tops of[f] the Beets and put them in the
cellar, and also some carrots. I went to Dundalk with the Buggy at night. [in margin] Mr.
Calhoun / died
Fine day, dry and sunny. I went to Dundalk, paid my third call on J. T. W[oolen] Mills Co.*
Seen W. Reid and Mrs. Reid. Collector stopped here all night, paid over $200.00. [*see 16
June 1899, where he refers to his fifth call on The Dundalk Woolen Mills Co. Ltd. It is
possible that J. T. is a person at the Woolen Mills, although the writing is cramped and the ink
blotted in this entry. There is a share certificate, 22 Feb. 1901, to Samuel Russell from The
Dundalk Woolen Mills Company Limited, signed by W. H. Peterson, Secretary, James
Russell, President. These two entries suggest the name of the mill is unofficially J. T. Woolen
Mill, but officially called The Dundalk Woolen Mill Company Limited.]
<p. 30>
November 1898


Mild day with some sunshine, the sky a little like Indian summer. Mrs. R and I went to the
funeral of Mr. J. Calhoun.* He was buried with Masonic rites in the Maple Grove Cemetery,
Dundalk. The funeral was large. [*James Calhoun and son, General Store, is listed in 1887
directory; see History of Dundalk, p. 104.]
Dark and dreary in the Forenoon, the afternoon mild and wet. I worked at the township
6th Sabbath. Several showers of snow through the day with a strong wind, almost blow a person
down. [in margin] Stabled / Cows
Ground covered with snow this morning, some of it melted before night, the day was pretty
cool. I entered Township orders, wrote letters, &c.
Fine and dry with quite a bit of sunshine. I worked at the Township Books. The collector was
here and left $405.00.
Dark, dreary day without sunshine and pretty cold.
10 Snowing and Blowing all day, a regular blizzard, and a good deal fiercer as the day advanced.
The night was as bad if not worse. The snow will be piled up pretty high in the fence corners
in the morning.
November 1898
11th Another pretty bad day, but not so fierce as yesterday.
12 Milder, the snow thawing some, and the day pretty mild. The Twp Collector was here and left
me $140.00 taxes. Brother John’s wife Eliza came here in the afternoon. Mr. Reid’s daughter
Annie drove her up from Dundalk. She stopped all night. Ida was here in the afternoon.
13th Sabbath. Mild in the morning, the afternoon was a regular snow storm. Eliza went with Jim
and wife to her daughter’s, Mrs. Jim Patterson’s.
14 Mild day, the waggons and sleighs are both running, but the snow has melted during the day.
Johney & Ina were here in the afternoon. Jim sent me a load of firewood, also some bedding,
which I needed.
15 Strong wind in the forenoon, and pretty cold, the afternoon slightely given to thaw. I split
some stove wood, got 13 Bushels of oats from C. Mills at .25¢ per Bushel. Ida was here in
the afternoon.
16 Mild day. I split some stove wood in the forenoon. Mr. Reid & wife, Thos. Hanbury, wife &
son, Joe Bowerman and Ida, Mr. John Russell & Ina were here at night.
<p. 32>
Nov[ember] 1898
17th Mild day, the Roads very muddy. I went to Dundalk. Seen George Wright, Councilman, done
some Township business, also bought 3 Barells Flour, l 1/2 Manitoba & l 1/2 Ontario, for
18 Dark and showery, anything but a pleasant day.
19 Dark and mild. I dug a drain in the garden to carry off the water in the spring when the snow
melts. Merritt Nicols left his tax, $21.39, here for the collector
20th Sabbath. Dark and without sunshine mostly all day, pretty cool. Mrs. R. and I drove to Ida’s.
The Roads are very muddy.
21 Fine, dry with a good deal of sunshine, the snow is pretty much gone, the clouds are
threat[en]ing this afternoon.
22 Showery, mostly cold with a heavy damp atmosphere, the roads are extremely bad, not many
people moving around. Joseph Bowler and wife were here at night.
23 Cold and snowing, a little snow fell mostly all day. The cold was pretty severe. The roads are
very rough, the wheels are still running.
<p. 33>
Nov[ember] 1898
24th Rather mild. Mrs. John Russell came from Mrs. Jas. Patterson’s and stopped here all night.


Mild mostly all day, began to grow colder in the afternoon. I went to Dundalk. Bob Mills
hauled home for me three Barrels of flour which I had bought last week.
26 Snow falling this morning and all through the day, quite wintry weather, some sleighs and
some waggons running. A span of horses belonging to a Mr. McMaster of Osprey ran away
opposite here and broke his buggy
27th Sabbath. Mild, dry, dark and inclined to be soft. Joe, Ida and Albert Thompson were here.
28 Mild but dark and without any sunshine. John Hudd with Jim’s team hauled me a load of
bedding. He then fixed a horse stall for me.
29 Mild and dark with all appearance of a snowfall at night. I fixed the cows’ stall. Jim got the
Buggy, he and Mr. S. Bell are going to Flesherton. Joe and Ida were here a while at night. [in
margin] W. Robinson / died
<p. 34>
Nov[ember] 1898
30th Mild but dark, without sunshine. Mrs. R. and I went to Brother Sam’s to the Marriage of his
eldest daughter Madella to John White of Artemesia. There were about Sixty guests. The
wedded couple left in the afternoon for Toronto. Madella is a splendid girl and will make a
fine wife. [in margin] Niece Madella / Russell / married
[December 1898]
December 1st Quite stormy, snowing and blowing, especially in the forenoon. Mrs. R. went
to the funeral of W. Robinson, a son of William Robinson. Brother John’s wife Eliza came
here at night. Jim Patterson drove her here. Some snow fell, the day was mild but overcast.
John and Ina, Joe and Ida and Miss A. Bowerman, Brother John’s son, Jim, and his Mother
were all here at night, stopped till after 12 O’clock.
Quite a snowfall last night, a little fell during the day. Johney helped me Butcher a pig
of six months old, it would dress, I think, 200 pounds. Ina came with Johney
Bright sunny day, the snow thawing some. Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk. Sent deed &
duplicate, mortgage & duplicate of Lot 31, Con. 5 Melancthon to be registered in Orangeville.
<p. 35>
December 1898
4th Sabbath. Pretty cold with a slight snowfall in the forenoon which increased to a heavy fall in
the afternoon. It snowed and blowed all night. Jim’s three children were here, viz., Arlie,
Vern & Delbert.
Very deep snow. I think there must have fallen during the night two feet. Snowing and
blowing all day. Jim’s man John Hudd hauled me a load of stove wood from where I had cut
it in the swamp. I made a start at writing out my Financial Statement. [in margin]
snow Storm
Cold and stormy, snow falling throughout the day, the roads are very badly filled up. I
worked at making out the Financial Statement for the Township.
Stormy, Rough day, snowing and blowing. The Proton Collector and his Brother
stopped here all night, he left me over $2400.00 taxes
Very Rough and stormy. The collector tried the road West, but the snow was too much
drifted. Then he turned and went towards Dundalk. I worked on the Financial Statement.
Stormy and rough, snowing and Blowing. I am laid up with a cold.
<p. 36>
December 1898
10th Stormy and rough, snowing and blowing, Roads filling up.
11th Sabbath. Stormy and rough, snowing and blowing. Jim and Mary got as far as here in
his cutter.
12 The storm has abated a little, people were trying to open up the Roads in the afternoon,
some shovelling and others driving their sleighs through.
13 Rough day, stormy, the roads bad.


Pretty Rough, Snowing some, the Roads very heavy. Mrs. R. went to Jim Patterson’s. [in
margin] J.Patterson’s / Boy* born [*Oscar George Patterson]
15 A little milder, no snow falling. Went to Council Meeting at Hopeville. Jim drove me out
with his horse. We stopped all night.
16 Mild day. Came home and settled up my accounts. Came out straight.
17 Pretty Rough, the Roads very bad. I worked at making out the Financial Statement. Johney
brought me a load of wood, so also did Willie.
<p. 37>
December 1898
18th Sabbath. Pretty cold, without snow. Joe and Ida were here.
19 Very cold, raw day. Rhime on the Bushes. Mrs. R. went to help Ina kill turkeys. I finished
the Financial Statement.
20 Dark and slightely wet, the snow sinking. I took to the printer in Dundalk the Financial
Statement to be printed. I had not much trouble in Balancing. [in margin] Thaw
21 Dark and mild, a little snow fell but the thaw has ceased and is about over. I got a letter from
22 A little snow mixed with rain in the forenoon which turned into rain in the afternoon. Mrs. R.
and I went to Dundalk in the eavening, then she went to Mr. Bell’s School entertainment. [in
margin] Rain
23 Snowing and blowing a fierce storm all day, and the blow increased as night came on.
24 Cold and rough, snowing and drifting. I got a Christmas Gift from Mrs. R. (a cup and
saucer), gilt china .70¢, very nice.
<p. 38>
December 1898
25th Sabbath. Pretty mild, the Roads heavy. We had Jim and family, Willie and family, Johney and
Ina, Joe Bowerman and Ida, Newt Oliver and Miss A. Bowerman spending their Christmas
with us.
26 Cold and pretty rough, the wind strong and the snow drifting. Mrs. R went in the afternoon to
Mrs. Jim Patterson’s.
27 Stormy and wild, snowing, blowing and drifting. An exceedingly rough day, the roads filling
up. Joe Bowler was here a while.
28 Extremely cold day, the wind is not high but the freeze is very sharp, the coldest day. I think,
that has come this season.
29 Mild, the snow thawing. I and Mrs. R. went to Dundalk. I got the cutter fixed, also seen the
Twp. Collector, he made me a payment.
30 Mild in the forenoon, the afternoon cold and windy.
31 Extremely cold, nothing like it this winter. The old year is passing out and the new coming in.
We have had some reverses in this year, still, our health has been good or fairly so. We hail
the New Year and hope that things in general may be more prosperous with us. [in margin]
Very cold / Bob Russell hurt
<p. 39>
January 1899
1st Sabbath.
Cold day, sharp frost. Brother John’s eldest son Robert died this morning. He
was for some time working in a foundry in Toronto and while helping to put up a smoke stack
last Friday something gave way and a piece of wood hit him on the head, Breaking his skull.
He was insensible till he died. Poor boy, to be carried off so suddenly. His Father, Mother &
[stricken: family] Brothers & Sisters will be in agony. [in margin] Brother John’s son /
Robert died on the 2nd
Very cold, sharp raw wind. I with Jim went to the voting in Melancthon, Dundalk and Proton.
Milder, thawing, at night raining. I went to Dundalk, got the poney’s shoes shaped and the
cutter fixed. Also attended a meeting of the Stockholders of Dundalk Cheese Factory. After I
came home Mrs. R. and I drove to Dundalk again. I sent a telegram to Jim when on his way

to Toronto, the telegram got him at Cardwell.* Johney and Ina were here all night. [*4 miles
north of Orangeville, ON.]
Raining this morning, the day wet all through. Mrs. R., Johney and Ina, Willie and Jim
Patterson and Brother John’s daughter Vina left this morning in Jim Patterson’s sleigh for the
funeral. Brother Sam left here about noon for the same. I did not go, was afraid of getting
<p. 40>
January 1899
5th Cold, snowing and Blowing, the thaw is over and the Roads are a glare of ice. I worked at
Balancing the Township Books. John Hudd brought me a load of stove wood from the swamp
with Jim’s horses.
Cold day, snowing some and blowing. I worked at the Township Books.
Jimmey Bowler
milked the cows for me. The folks got home about 1 O’clock tonight. Ina stopped here all
night. [in margin] Storming
Fearfully stormy, snowing and blowing. Johney came here for Ina, they left about 3:30 P.M.
Brother Sam came here about 9:30, stopped all night. [in margin] Stormy & cold
8th Sabbath. The blow is partly over. Sam left for home.
Pretty cold day. I attended Council meeting at Hopeville. Stayed all night. [in margin] cold
10 Piercing sharp frosty day. I came home. [in margin] cold
11 Very sharp keen freeze. I entered Township orders. [in margin] cold
12 Milder than yesterday. W. Lonsway called here this afternoon. Johney brought me a load of
<p. 41>
January 1899
13th Soft and thawing, rain mixed with snow in the Forenoon and pure rain in the afternoon. Mrs.
R. and I went to Dundalk in the afternoon.
14 Stormy day, Blowing and snowing, especially so in the afternoon. Very chang[e]able weather.
15th Sabbath. Mild and fine. Joe & Ida were here.
16 Very mild, thawing some. Johney brought me two loads of firewood. Willie and Tom Oliver*
were here at noon. The Rev. Mr. Harrison, Presbyterian Minister, and his Lady were here in
the afternoon. [*Tom Oliver later marries Ada Davidson, sister of Mary and Susan.]
17 Colder than yesterday, Freezing and snowing some. I split a little wood in the woodhouse.
This is my Sixty-third Birth-day. [in margin] 63rd Birth / Day
18 Fine and sunny with quite a sharp air. I split some wood in the woodhouse. Mrs. R. went to a
Presbyterian Social in Dundalk. Miss Robinson was here about taxes.
19 Fine and mild, good sleighing. Mr. W. Bell and wife were here a while this afternoon.
<p. 42>
January 1899
20th Quite a fall of snow and the wind pretty high, not cold. Jim’s boys, Vern and Delbert, were
here in the afternoon.
21 Very stormy from morning till night, snowing and Blowing. Mrs. R. went to Dundalk for me.
Brother John and wife came here this afternoon.
22nd Sabbath. Mild and not cold. Brother John and wife Eliza left here this morning and went to
their Son-in-Law’s, J. Patterson.
23 Mild day mostly. Thos. Laughlin, Clerk of Proton, was here in the afternoon. Brother John
called with J. Patterson. Willie called also. Ida was here in the afternoon.
24 Mild day mostly. Mrs. R. and I visited at Brother Sam’s. Brother John and wife Eliza were
also there. Sam and I went to George Brown’s, a neighbor, and I bought a package of “Nature
herbs” from him. He is the agent for the sale of the Medicine, said to cure almost anything.
25 Mild day, good Sleighing. Johney brought me a load of firewood. Mrs. D. McAulay spent
the day here.
<p. 43>

January 1899
26th Pretty stormy in the forenoon, the afternoon just terrific, snowing and Blowing, drifting.
Brother John and wife, Jim’s wife and three children were here. John stopped at Jim’s at
night, his wife stopped here. James Conner, a young man of Melancthon, about 27 years of
age, born here, a son to John Conners, Farmer, Melancthon, died in Toronto after three day’s
illness of typhoid fever. He was a splendid specimen of manhood, large, strong and
handsome, a good boy, civil and obliging, loved by his neighbours and friends. He had been
working for some time in his Uncle’s store in North Toronto but death claimed him and he
had to go. [in margin] James Conners died / in Toronto
27 Cold, but the storm has ceased. Sharp frost. The remains of poor Jim Conners came to
Dundalk this night from Toronto. My son Jim helped to carry them from the train; my Jim
and the deceased were greatly attached to each other. Brother John and wife Eliza are here.
[in margin] cold
28 Sharp cold day, the roads heavy. Brother John and wife started this morning for home. They
upset about 40 rods from here. They came back. They then started after dinner for J.
Patterson’s. Mrs. R[obert] R[ussell]* went to Jim Conners’ wake. My cold prevented me
from going. [in margin] very cold. [*to distinguish her from Mrs. J. R., previously
<p. 44>
January 1899
29th Sabbath. Extremely cold. Jas. Connor was buried in the R[oman] C[atholic] Cemetery in
Melancthon. There was a large Funeral. I could not go, not being well. Mrs. R. went. [in
margin] Extremely / cold
30 Very cold, a snow storm in the afternoon. Johney and Eliza left Jim Patterson’s for home.
Son Johney called here. Mrs. J. Bowler was here. [in margin] Extreme / cold
31 Very Cold. Mr. P. Cowan [MS Cowand] and Alex. Gillespie, Township auditors, were here on
my books. They found them right. Patrick Connor and son John were here at noon. [in
margin] Cold
[February 1899]
Feb. 1st
Very cold, the frost is exceedingly sharp.
Not quite so cold, a good deal of sunshine. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon.
Quite a snowfall last night, the day rather mild in comparison of the former days.
Mild with a slight fall of snow last night.
5th Sabbath. Pretty fine. Johney & Ina, Donald McAulay, wife and daughter were here.
<p. 45>
Feb[ruary] 1899
6th Pretty cold, a very sharp frost in the afternoon and at night.
Fine sunny day, the afternoon pretty sharp. Mrs. R. and I went to the funeral of Mrs. S.
McDonald of Proton. She was a sister of Mr. Thos. Laughlin, Clerk of Proton. Was quite
young, the mother of two children, one of them a baby. She was Buried in Ventry Cemetery.
The funeral was very large. Mr. George Carnpbell, an old Resident of Proton, died this
morning. [in margin] G. Campbell died / Mrs. McDonald buried
Sharp day, keen frost, with a little sunshine now and then, also some showers of snow. I split
some stove wood. Very cold at night. [in margin] cold
Very cold, the wind blowing strongly and the cold intense. Snow falling now and then, a
bitterly cold day. [in margin] very cold
10 Extremely cold, the cattle after drinking would shake as if they had the ague. Few people on
the Road today. [in margin] very cold
11 Clear and sunny, but with a very sharp frost. I attended a Township Council Meeting held in
Dundalk. [in margin] very cold
<p. 46>
February 1899

12th Sabbath. Cold all day and cloudy. Mrs. D. McAulay and Ida Bowerman were here.
13 Cold with quite a bit of sunshine. I got in a little hay stack which I had at the stable. Billy
Bowler and Jim Bowler with their team hauled it, there was quite a bit of bad hay in it.
14 Bright and sunny. I fixed up some Township papers which the auditors asked me to do for
them. Mrs. R. went to Johney’s and Willie’s.
15 A little milder. Still, it’s cold enough.
16 Mild day, a good deal of sunshine, the snow thawing in some places, some pools of water in
Dundalk. Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk. Willie hauled me a load of stove wood. [in
margin] Willie / hauled / me a / load of wood
17 Mild, a good deal of sunshine, a little rain in the afternoon. I went to Dundalk and sent Clark
$57.48 in two money orders, one for $50.00, the other for $7.48, payable in Alpena,
Michigan, U.S. The commission cost me .60 cts. The money was paid me by Johney, who
wished me to send it to him. Johney owed Clark.
<p. 47>
Feb[ruary] 1899
18th Dark and quite a thick air, a slight snow in the early morning. The Proton tax collector called
here in the afternoon. Mrs. R. went to J. Patterson, Junior’s. Came home at night, then went
to Jim Russell’s. Came home, got her supper, then started for H. Lonsway’s.
19th Sabbath. Mild but dark, very much like a thaw.
20 Dark and soft, a fall of soft snow last night. Mrs. R went to Ida’s. Thos. McAulay, Township
assessor, called here (not assessing).
21 Beautiful [MS Beautifuld] day, sunny and warm, the snow thawing fast, quite spring-like.
Jim’s Delbert was here all day.
22 A heavy fall of snow last night, and more fell during the day. Mild and soft. Mrs. R. and I
went to see Andrew Lonsway who is pretty sick. Jim Russell called a while at night.
23 Bright and sunny but a very sharp frost in the eavening. Mrs. R and I went to Dundalk. The
Collector returned his Roll.
24 Very fine with a bright Sun. Keen freeze in the shade. Jim is teaming out his oats, price 28
and 29 cts. per Bushel. Brother Sam was here at night and I gave him a little pup.
<p. 48>
February 1899
25th Pretty sharp Frost but a good deal of sunshine. I wrote in the Township Books, posting
orders, etc.
26th Sabbath. Pretty windy, sleet falling through the day and rain at night. Jim’s Four* children
were here this afternoon. [*Arlie, Vern, Delbert and Elva.]
27 Stormy, Snowing and Blowing all day. I copied the defaulters into Defaulters Book. Ida was
28 Stormy, Blowing and snowing all day. The snow seemed something soft in the afternoon. I
worked at Township accounts
March [1899]
1st Pretty cold in the forenoon, Blowing & Snowing, the afternoon milder but with a sharp freeze.
2nd Fine, a good deal of sunshine, quite sunny in Dundalk. I attended a Meeting of the Dundalk
Woolen Mills Co. L. T. McAulay, Proton Assessor, stopped here all night. Assessed Jim’s
250 acres for $2400.00. Assessed my acre and House $100.
Dark and very misty, a fall of soft snow turning to almost rain in the afternoon, quite a thaw.
Mrs. R. is going now 5:50 P.M. to attend a social held in the Union Church, Melancthon.
<p. 49>
March 1899
Dark and a very heavy mist, the day soft, the snow going. I made out Financial Statement for
the Bureau of Industries, and a very crooked bit of work I found it!
5th Sabbath. Rough and stormy. Blowing and snowing, filling up the Roads at a great rate. [in
margin] Big Storm


Calm and sunny in the forenoon, the afternoon dark, cold and a little snow falling Miss A.
Bowerman was here.
Rather finer than yesterday, but sharp frost in the afternoon. Miss Jenny Russell came here
with Brother Sam from Rosemont.* [*a hamlet in Adjala Township, 7 miles (11 km) west of
Alliston, on what is now Highway 89.]
Fine day, mild. Mrs. R. took Jenny out to Sam’s. John Hudd hauled me about 3000 lbs hay
from Jim’s place (the Arnold Lot). Jim would not accept any money for it.
Mild day, getting something like a thaw in the afternoon. Mrs. R. and I drove to Dundalk.
10 Dark and windy, the sky indicating a storm. Ida was here and went to Jim’s. Her mother
drove her home at night.
<p. 50>
March 1899
11th Quite soft, a strong thaw wind. The water ran in pools accross [=across] the Roads. I
attended Council Meeting at Hopeville. Stopped all night.
12th Sabbath. Bright, sunny morning, the day got clouded, the thaw continued till about 3 P.M.
when a snow storm arose. Kept snowing and Blowing all afternoon. Willie and Sue and their
two children were here.
13 Bright and sunny but with a very sharp frost. I made out a copy of the defaulter’s to send to
Co. Treasurer, and wrote Four Business letters.
14 Bright and sunny most of the day, the afternoon cloudy and cold. I went to Dundalk in the
forenoon, drew $200.00 out of the Bank, and sent it, along with $800.00 more which I had in
the house, making $1000.00 in all, by Express to the Manager of the Molsons Bank, Owen
Sound. The parcel of money was rather large to go into the envelope, but Mr. Symington the
agent put them into the press in his office and reduced the bulk. There were 10 x 10 = $100,
and 180 x 5 = $900, [total] $1000.
Miss Minnie* Russell is here this afternoon. [*daughter of John and Eliza.]
<p. 51>
March 1899
15th Wet day from morning till night. Jim Russell’s Sale of Farm Stock and implements which
was to be today had to be postponed, on account of Rain, till Friday the 24th inst.
16 A good deal of sunshine but a pretty sharp Frost most of the day. Jim was here a while at
17 A little sunshine in the forenoon, the afternoon cold, and stormy at night.
18 Stormy day. Blowing, Snowing and Freezing from Morning till night. Brother Sam called on
his way home From a meeting of Victoria Cheese Factory.
19th Sabbath. Rough and stormy, snowing and Blowing.
20 Very Stormy day, Snowing, Blowing and Freezing. Walter Bell and Robt. Irwin called here in
the afternoon with a petition [MS patition], getting signers for seperation [sic] of the Country
part of Union S. S. No. 1, Dundalk, from Dundalk, and to unite with Sch[ool] Sect[ion] 5,
Melancthon. I signed the petition.
I worked at the Township Books in the forenoon.
<p. 52>
March 1899
21st Very stormy. Blowing, Snowing and Freezing. I attended Council Meeting in Dundalk. Mr.
McKenzie, Reeve of Proton, came home with me and stopped all night. Sam’s Madella and
Willie called here.
22 Soft and evidently a thaw is setting in, the snow is quite soft. Jennie and Mrs. R. went to
23 Stormy, Snowing and Blowing all day long. There was some thunder last night. Jim called at
noon. [in margin] Thunder


Very stormy, especially in the forenoon, Blowing and snowing. Jim’s Sale was in the
afternoon. There was a large crowd of persons, and the animals and Farming implements
brought good prices. Miss Abbie Bowerman stopped here all night. [in margin] Jim’s Sale
25 Mild and without storm in the forenoon, the afternoon wild, Blowing and snowing. Miss
Bowerman is here making a dress for Jenney. Miss Bowerman went to Dundalk in the
26th Sabbath. Mild and the snow softening some, quite sunny.
27 Very fine, Bright and sunny. Miss A. Bowerman, Jenny and Ida were here making dress for
<p. 53>
March 1899
28th Dark, with a big snow storm in the afternoon. The snow is now (6: 30 P.M.) falling
thickly. Jim moved in to the Arnold house. Miss Bowerman went home this afternoon.
29 Stormy from morning till night, Snowing and Blowing.
30 Fine, and the snow inclined to soften, a good deal of sunshine. I went to Dundalk in the
afternoon. Jennie left this morning for Brother Sam’s. [in margin] Jennie left
31 Bright clear morning, the day fine and sunny till about 5 P.M. when the sky got overcast, like
a coming storm. [in margin] Good / Friday
[April 1899]
April 1st Fine in the morning, the afternoon got overcast and there was a heavy fall of snow.
Brother Sam called on his way to Dundalk and I sent a letter with him to post, addressed to
John Philips, Grand Valley P. O., Ont.
2nd Sabbath. Moderate in the forenoon, the afternoon rough. Jim and family spent the day here.
Mild with a good deal of sunshine. Jim brought me a jag* of straw for bedding. [*farming
vernacular, dialectal usage for “small load” or “amount” e.g. straw, hay, wood; see Webster’s
New World College Dictionary, 4th ed., 2010.]
<p. 54>
April 1899
4th Sunny and with a sharp air. I worked at the Twp. Books.
Bright and sunny, the snow melting pretty well. I entered Twp. orders. J. Bowerman and Ida,
Miss Bowerman and Bob Agnew and Jim Russell were here a while at night.
Bright and sunny, the day very fine. I went to Dundalk.
Dark, a slight snow fell in the afternoon, almost rain.
Snowing, Blowing and pretty stormy in the afternoon.
9th Sabbath. Fine. Johney and Ina were here.
10 Fine, a good deal of sunshine. Jim’s second boy, 5 years old, Delbert, met with a bad
accident. He fell down a feed hole in the Barn and broke his right leg up within three or four
inches of his body. Dr. McWilliam of Dundalk set the bone. He is doing as well as can be
expected. Dr. Mc[William] Sett it very carefully. [in margin] Delbert broke / his leg
11 Mild with a pretty heavy rain in the afternoon. I attended Proton Council Meeting in
<p. 55>
April 1899
12th Very fine, strong sun and thaw wind.
13 Fine, Bright and sunny, cool in the afternoon.
14 Mild. Strong Sunshine, the snow disappearing fast.
15 Mild and quite springlike, the snow going rapidly. I worked at the Municipal Cash Book. A
very heavy snow storm at night
16th Sabbath. The ground covered with fresh snow about four inches deep this morning, the day
fine. Brother Sam and Walter Bell called in the afternoon. [in margin] Seen Robin
17 Fine, the snow melting pretty fast, a good deal of sunshine. W. Bell called here. I wrote out a
communication for him to the minister of Education. [in margin] heard frogs

18 Fine, sunny, and very springlike. I dug through the Banks of snow and opened out a drain to
let the water away from a potatoe pit.
19 Fine springlike day, a shower of rain last night and another this morning.
<p. 56>
April 1899
20th Fine, dry and warm, the snow is mostly gone.
21 Beautiful day, hot in the afternoon.
22 Very spring-like, there is quite a bunch of snow in the South-west corner of this acre but it is
going rapidly. Some parts of the roads are dry and dusty while other parts have got a ridge of
snow and ice in the centre about two feet deep. Johney and Willie called here this afternoon.
Willie took home a heifer calve which he got from us, he took it on the stone boat behind his
waggon. [in margin] Sowed / cabbage seed
23rd Sabbath. Fine, dry and warm, quite spring-like.
24 Very fine, dry and warm. Some are starting to plow. [in margin] plowing began
25 Dry and sultry, a little thunder in the afternoon. Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk with the
Buggy, the first time we have used it this spring. The roads are very bad, in some places there
are ridges of snow.
26 Beautiful day, a little thunder. I split some stove wood. Got two pigs from Jim, they cost me
nothing, they are small and not thrifty,* Came last fall. [* “thrifty” also has the meaning
“prosperous; thriving physically”, in addition to its current meaning “frugal”.]
<p. 57>
April 1899
27th Fine and warm, cloudy in the afternoon with indications of a thunderstorm. Jim borrowed the
poney and Buggy and drove around to buy some hay for pressing. He got some at $5.00 per
ton, first class timothy. Mrs. Henry Lonsway was here a while this afternoon. The last of the
snow disappeared out of the Garden. [in margin] snow all gone / in the clearings
28 Dry and very windy, pretty warm in the afternoon. Mr. Walter Bell was here in the eavning. I
wrote him an application to the Minister of Education re. appointing arbitrators.
29 Beautiful day. Heavy dew last night, a little thunder. I fixed fences, made some garden and
went to Dundalk.
30th Sabbath. Fine day, warm, thunder storm in the afternoon. Jim Patterson, wife and Baby were
[May 1899]
May 1st. Sultry, cloudy in the afternoon, great growth. I fixed old fences as usual, and worked in
the Garden.
Fine but not so warm as yesterday. Dr. McWilliam took the splint off Jim’s Delbert’s broken
leg in the morning, but in the afternoon the leg seemed to have shortened so Jim Brought the
Dr. again and had it made right. The trees are about half leaved-out, the weather being so
favourable. [in margin] Trees out / in leaf
<p. 58>
May 1899
Fine but a little cooler than yesterday. I fixed brush fence.
Fine, a little cool in the afternoon. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon.
Fine, dry and warm. I sowed garden seed: Coucumber [=cucumber], Butter Beans, Carrots,
Parsnips & Beets. Mrs. R. had sown top onions, potatoe onions* & Lettuce. [in margin]
Sowed garden /Seeds [*presumably “top onions” were what is now called “green onions”,
and “potatoe onions” were onions to be grown to maturity, of which the bulb only is for food.]
Fine, dry and warm. I fixed lane for pigs and put up a slight Board fence of 72 feet long, only
one Board on top, nailed to posts about five feet off the ground, to keep the poney out of
7th Sabbath. Very fine, sunny, dry and warm. Mr. W. Bell and Joe Bowler and wife were here.

Lovely day, sunny, dry and warm, an ideal spring day. I put some brush on the garden beds to
keep the hens off. Helped Jim a little in the afternoon at his fence.
Fine, dry and warm. I sowed some carrot seed and washed the fruit trees with soft soap suds.
<p. 59>
May 1899
10th Dry and fine, cloudy and cool in the afternoon. I minded Delbert in the afternoon while his
mother went to Dundalk, then finished washing fruit trees. Mr. Walter Bell was here a while
in the afternoon. [in margin] Jim sold a / Roller for S. Bell* [Skeffington Bell was an
implement dealer, among other things, in Dundalk. This seems to be the very beginning of
Jim’s career in selling farm equipment. He worked about 30 years full-time for Deering, then
International Harvester, then Cockshutt, before retiring in 1931.]
11 Quite a Rain last night or early this morning, the day cool but dark, with a strong wind, the
eavening wet. I split some stove wood at the house.
12 Dry and fine, pretty warm, cloudy in the afternoon. I went to Johney’s and Willie’s then went
to Dundalk, bought a bag of shorts at .75¢, a Box of Matches 10 cts, and some toilet soap .10
13 Cold, Dry and windy, bright sun, a little sprinkling of Rain in the morning. Done nothing
14th Sabbath. Hard frost this morning, ice on the water, the day dry, cold and windy. [in margin]
15 Very hard frost this morning, quite thick ice on the water, the maple leaves are scorched and
the blossoms on the fruit trees must have suffered. I split stove wood at the house. [in
margin] Frost / D[undalk] C[heese] F[actory] opened
<p. 60>
May 1899
16th Cold damp morning, very heavy rain with a little hail and some thunder in the afternoon, very
17 Dark and cold, showery. Delbert was here for the first time since his leg was broke. His Pa,
Ma, and all the family stopped here all night.
18 Dark and cold, a slight mizzle of Rain through the day. Delbert and his Ma went home
this afternoon. He is not able to walk yet so we took him accross in his ‘spruce waggon.’* I
split some stove wood at the house. [*presumably a child’s wagon.]
19 Cold drizzly day, very unpleasant.
20 Cold and cloudy, the day getting a little brighter in the afternoon.
21st Sabbath. Dry and fine with rather a chilly air. In the afternoon I went to Brother Sam’s.
22 Dry and fine. I cut seed potatoes. Delbert was brought here in the absence of his Mother and
I minded him. [in margin] Got / papers / from / Toronto
<p. 61>
May 1899
23 Very fine, dry, sunny and warm. I finished cutting seed potatoes, then bagged up the
remainder of the pit for Jim and Willie. I put in pit 30 Bushels last fall and could only get out
28, there were none either frozen or rotted, they apparently had just wasted away. [in margin]
I. Traynor* / called here at / night [*a surveyor]
24th Queen’s birthday. Victoria is 80 years of age, a long life. The day pretty warm in the
morning, also bright and sunny, the afternoon a little cloudy.
25 Fine, pretty warm. A pretty sharp shower after night fell, some thunder and lightening. Willie
with his team and Newt. Oliver helped me to plant potatoes, about Eight Bushels on 5/8 of an
acre. They hauled out the manure, I spread it, then Willie plowed in the potatoes. Arlie and
Vern dropped, also I and Newt. We had all done at six O’clock, also had harrowed them. We
placed the seed about twelve inches apart in the rows, and dropped [stricken: a see] in every
third furrow. I gave Willie [to take] home with him about ten bushels, and I have six bags for

Jim, as neither of them have any, got killed with the frost last summer. The rows are about 2
1/2 feet apart. [in margin] Began and finished / planting potatoes
<p. 62>
May 1899
26th Dry and warm, till about 4 p.m. when there came on a heavy shower of Rain, some thunder
and lightening. I worked at the Township Collector’s Rolls, getting up a statement re.
Drainage of Sch[ool] Sect[ion] No. 1, for the information of Proton Council.
27 Showery, pretty warm, a fine growing day, cloudy.
28th Sabbath. The forenoon dry, the afternoon wet, with a thunder and lightening storm about 6
O’clock P.M. Mr. Walter Bell was here a while at night.
29 Dry in the forenoon, the afternoon Raining. I went to Dundalk and drew out of Bank
$200.00, Twp. moneys.
30 Cold and windy in the forenoon, the afternoon dry and some sunshine. I attended a council
Meeting at Hopeville and stopped there all night. There is a great amount of land between
here and Hopeville covered with water on account of the frequent and heavy rains.
31 Left Hopeville at 7:30 and got home at 10 A.M. Mr. R. Oliver called to see us in the
afternoon. The day was dry and windy.
<p. 63>
June 1899
1st Dry and fine, a little windy. I cut some seed potatoes for Jim. Mrs. R. and I went to DundaIk
in the afternoon. John Madill and John Hudd was here in the forenoon. I drew up an
agreement between them for the buying and selling of a property in Dundalk.
Dry, sunny and warm. I finished cutting Jim’s seed potatoes. 3 Bags in all.
Dark, Cloudy and cool. I posted Township orders.
4th Sabbath. Heavy Rain, Thunder and Lightening early this morning, the day sultry.
A shower of Rain this morning, a little thunder and lightening. I put up a fence to keep the
poney from running over the potatoes. Mrs. R. was repapering the kitchen.
Dry and sultry with the exception of a shower of Rain mixed with hail in the afternoon. Mrs.
R. finished papering Kitchen. Jim’s wife Mary helped her. G. Watson, Co. Councillor, was
Sultry and showery in the afternoon. I Consulted Dr. McWilliam Regarding an ailment. He
said it was a double rupture, sent for a double truss for me. Said I was in danger till I got it
on. [in margin] Set out / cabbage plants
<p. 64>
June 1899
8th Fine, dry and cool. Cloudy in the eavening.
Dry, cool and sunny. Delbert stopped a while here. His Grandma with the poney and Buggy
took him and a Bag of potatoes to Ida’s. Brought Delbert back but of course left the potatoes!
10 Saturday. Dry and cool. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon, took Jim’s Mary along ashopping.
11th Sabbath. Dry and fine. Willie, Sue and the two babies were here. Jim got my poney and
Buggy, he and wife and Delbert and the wee lady [=Elva] went to Jim Patterson’s. Arlie and
Vern stopped here.
12 Dry in the forenoon, a sharp shower in the afternoon. Ida was here. I went to Dundalk in the
afternoon and Dr. McWilliam fitted on me a double truss which I am necessitated to wear.
It’s very uncomfortable but such must be. I think it’s as bad as wearing a hair shirt or any
other kind of penance.
13 Cloudy, close and warm. I worked in the Garden weeding Carrots, digging beds and
preparing ground for planting out Cabbage plants.
<p. 65>
June 1899

14th A shower of Rain in the morning, the day very hot till about 3 p.m. when there came on a rain
with some thunder. I worked in the garden, sowed some carrots, parsnips and Beans for the
second time, weeded some beds and planted out cabbage plants. [in margin] sowed carrots /
& parsnips
15 Quite cool this morning with a shower of Rain, the day cool and cloudy. I digged a patch for
cabbage in the garden and planted out about Forty Seven. This is the second planting on the
same patch. Brother Sam called this eavning and I gave him 100 plants. Jim’ s Mary and
Delbert were here.
16 Very cool in the Morning, the day dry and cool. I went to Dundalk and paid the 5th Call to
the Dundalk Woolen Mills Co. Limited.
17 Dry and fine. I wed some in the Garden.
18th Sabbath. Mostly dry and cloudy, a little rain.
19 Dry and warm, hot about noon. Mrs. R. took the pony and Buggy and went with 100 pounds
of hay wire for the pressers to Melancthon. Delbert is stopping with me.
<p. 66>
June 1899
20th Dry and cool. Cold at night. Johney and Ina were here a while in the [stricken: eav] evening.
Jim and Arlie and Vern stopped here all night. Jim had caught 13 speckled trout and he gave
them around amongst us.
21 Dry and cool most of the day, the evening was something warmer. Jim is in bed here all day
with something like a cold. Cannot tell what it is. I hoed some potatoes in the evening.
22 Dry and cool, a slight shower of Rain in the morning. Jim kept getting worse last night. I
went for Dr. Martin at 11:30 p.m. He came and said he could not tell whether it was typhoid,
Malaria or Measels. He left [dittog.: he left] him some powders and medicine. Jim began
taking them and the fever abated, so much that he drove with me to Dundalk this afternoon.
23 Fine, dry and warm. I hoed potatoes. Jim is on the mend. He went out to Willie’s for Mary
in the afternoon.
24 Dry and hot. I hoed potatoes.
<p. 67>
June 1899
25th Sabbath. Fine, dry and warm. Johney & Ina were here. Sam also called.
26 Dry and warm. I hoed potatoes.
27 Dry and fine, I was hoeing potatoes. Jim got home from Toronto and stopped here all night.
28 Slightly wet in the forenoon, the afternoon more Rain fell. I hoed a little at the potatoes, but
had to quit on account of the Rain. Jim is here, also Delbert, Vern [MS Verne] and Arlie.
29 Fine, dry and sunny. I finished hoeing potatoes for the First time, then went to Dundalk, took
Delbert along.
30 Bright and fine. I went to see Mr. B. Bowerman. Miss A. Bowerman and Ida were here this
July [1899]
1st Bright, sunny, and warm. I went to Dundalk in the forenoon, stopped about three hours.
2nd Sabbath. Dry and fine. Jim’s children were here while he & wife were at Sam’s.
<p. 68>
July 1899
3rd Showery and pretty warm. I hoed potatoes between showers, this is the second hoeing which
I am giving them.
Dry till about 6 P.M. when there was a very heavy rain. The day was quite sultry. I done
Statute labor.
Dry and warm in the forenoon, showery in the afternoon. I hoed potatoes.
Dry and fine. Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk in the Forenoon, I hoed potatoes in the

A little Rain early this morning, the balance of the day dry and pretty warm. I worked at the
Township Books and prepared 1/2 -Yearly Financial Statement.
Showery and cold. I attended a Council Meeting at Proton Station and stopped all night.
9th Sabbath. Bright, sunny and warm. Came home this morning. J. Bowerman and Ida, Mr. B.
Bowerman and wife, Jim and Mary with children were here.
<p. 69>
July 1899
10th Warm and Bright. Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk. Mrs. R. took Ida who was picking Berries
home. I examined the orders which I had paid at Council Meeting and compared them with
the cash which I had taken. Came out right.
11 Shower of Rain early this morning, the day dry afterwards and pretty warm. I entered one
hundred and two Reeve’s orders in [dittog.: in] Township Day Book.
12 Fine and dry. Mrs. R. and I went to Brother Sam’s.
13 Dry and hot. I wrote some Business letters in the Forenoon and in the afternoon Mrs. R and I
went to Dundalk. I sent a letter to Br. William, Kosoma P. O., Indian Territory, U.S. [in
margin] sent letter / to Willie
14 Dry, sunny and hot. I entered Twp. orders in Book.
15 Cloudy and cool in the forenoon, the afternoon wet. We were in Dundalk this afternoon and
sat for our pictures. Family group, viz., Mrs. R., Jim, John, Willie, Ida and I. Clark’s, who is
in Michigan, was also taken off an original and put in. Price six dollars for all.
<p. 70>
July 1899
16th Sabbath. Dry and fine. Willie and Sue with the two children were here a short time in the
17 Cloudy with a slight mizzle of Rain in the forenoon, the afternoon dry and windy. I wrote
some business letters and Paris-greened the potatoes (5/8) of an acre. I put on a pound less
about a tablespoon full. Sue and Baby were here a while.
18 Fine in the forenoon, the afternoon cloudy with a rain at night. I posted Township orders in
the Municipal Cash Book.
19 Dry, cloudy and cool. Mrs. R. and I went to Willie’s and Johney’s.
20 Rain in the forenoon, the afternoon dry. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon. Mrs. Abraham
Jackson and Miss Eda Russell were here in the afternoon. Brother Sam called in the evening.
21 Heavy shower early in the morning, the remainder of the day dry and breezy. Mrs. R. went to
Misses J. Patterson’s.
<page torn out, covering the days 22July - 24 August 1899>
[Corresponds to the period when the episode occurred which led to Willie’s commital to the
Hamilton Insane Asylum. Details are known from the records of the Asylum (now Hamilton
Psychiatric Hospital) now held in the Ontario Archives. Willie suffered a psychotic event
(called an attack of insanity in the sources, or violinte mania, caused by “hard work, extreme
heat”). This happened suddenly “about 2 weeks prior to 9 Aug.”, i.e. in the week following
21 July, the last entry above. He was taken into custody on 7 Aug., certified insane by two
medical examiners at Orangeville jail on 9 Aug., and transferred to Hamilton Asylum 24 Aug.
1899. The medical case notes cite his symptoms: “Delusions, signs, signals and
representations of different parties, and other things.” As well, he “imagines he is suffering
from an incurable malady. Quite excited, has to be closely watched on account of his
impulsiveness to strike and kick those near him.”
He seems to have had only this one psychotic event,
followed by prolonged depression. He was discharged on probation in care of his brother
James, 2 April 1901, and fully discharged 11 Oct. 1901 as “recovered.” It seems, on the
evidence, that he was probably manic-depressive, with a history of only one manic attack,
followed by lengthy depression. The documents sent to me from the Ontario Archives include

copies of the correspondence between the family and the Medical Superintendant (Dr. James
Russell), which are referred to in the diary, below.]
<p. 71>
August 1899
25th Dry and fine. Mrs. R. drove Jim to Willie’s place this forenoon, then she came home and
Jim’s wife and she went to Jim Patterson’s in the afternoon.
26 A little cool in the morning, the balance of the day warm and pretty hazy. Jim got the poney
and Buggy and went to Dundalk.
27th Sabbath. Dry and fine. I drove Jim to Willie’s.
28 Dry and fine. Mrs. R. and I went to Willie’s and along with Sue stooked about 8 or 9 acres.
29 Dry and fine. Mrs. R. took the poney, drove to Willie’s and immediately returned, all being
well there.
30 Dry and hot. I took Jim to Dundalk in the afternoon. He went to Toronto on hay business,
fare & Return, $2.30.
31 Dry and sultry till about 8 p.m. when some rain fell and gradually increased in quantity till
there was quite a rainfall during the night. Ida was here in the afternoon. I drove her home
then went to meet Jim in Dundalk. He did not come. The night was very dark for driving.
<p. 72>
September 1899
1st A few drops of Rain in the morning, the day cloudy and cool. I went to Dundalk at night and
met Jim, who was coming from Toronto, at the station.
Cloudy most of the day but dry and sultry. I wrote some Business letters,* drove to Dundalk
and posted them. [*one is a letter to Dr. James Russell, Medical Superintendent of the
Hamilton Asylum, inquiring on the state of health of his son Willie. He receives a reply on
the 5th; see below.]
3rd Sabbath. Dry but quite cold in the afternoon. Mrs. R. and I went to the funeral of C. Johnson’s
daughter, Mary. The funeral did not take place because the corpse did not arrive in time. She
had died in Vancouver.
Dry and fine. John Agnew called here in the forenoon. Mrs. R. and I went again to Mr.
Johnson’s daughter’s funeral. She was buried in Flesherton Cemetary.
Wet in the forenoon, the afternoon dry. Johney brought a letter here at night which Jim got in
the post office from Hamilton. The letter contains good news, says Willie is improving
mentally and physically and the chances for his cure are good. [in margin] Letter from Dr.
Russell / Hamilton
<p. 73
September 1899
6th Fine day, dry and pretty warm. I went to Willie’s, raked up some oat sheaves. Jim and
Johney hauled them in [MS in then] in the afternoon.
Wet in the forenoon, the afternoon dry. Some people hauled grain in during the afternoon.
Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk. I got some teeth pulled by Dentist Henderson who will replace
them with false ones when my gums become healed. Those which I got out were stumps and
old, partly decayed, a bad lot. A thunder, lightening and Rain storm at night.
Cloudy, cool and dry. We pulled our Siberian Crabs, about five pails full.
Dry and fine. Susan and her two Babies came here and stopped all night.
10th Sabbath. Dry and fine, Cloudy in the afternoon. Mrs. R. and I went to Brother Sam’s.
11 Dry and fine till night when there came on a Rain. Mrs. R. took Sue and the Babies home,
then when she came back, she and I went to Dundalk and bought $13.75 worth clothing for
Willie and Expressed them, with other clothes of his, to him in Hamilton. I contributed $5.00
and Sue the remainder.
<p. 74>
September 1899
12th Fine most of the day. I chored around.


Dry with a little sprinkle of Rain about 4:30 P.M. I went to Willie’s, stopped till the
afternoon, then came home.
14 Dry and fine but very cold. Quite a heavy frost last night, thick ice on the pail of water
outside the house. Got news* from Willie. He is still improving. [*reply from Dr. Russell to
a letter from Susan enquiring about Willie’s state of health.]
15 Dry and fine. Mrs. R. with Jim’s two children went to Willie’s and they with some others
raised his potatoes. I think there would be about 40 Bushels.
16 Dry and fine with a strong wind. I went to Dundalk, bought a Bag of Manitoba flower
[=flour] for $2.25, took it out to Susan.
17th Sabbath. Dry and fine. Jim Patterson, Junior, and wife and Baby were here. Jim Russell got
my poney and Buggy and went visiting to Mr. S. McDowell’s.
18 Dry and fine in the forenoon, the latter part of the afternoon wet, and now (9:10 P.M.) raining.
<p. 75>
September 1899
19th Dark and lowering, quite a sprinkle of rain fell in the afternoon and a little in the forenoon. I
attended a Proton Council Meeting in Dundalk. Mrs. R. took me there and came for me at
20 Dark and misty all day, a little rain. Ida was here a while in the afternoon, her Mother drove
her home in the Buggy. I Balanced my cash and paid cheques in the Township Business
which I had done yesterday.
21 Fine, dry and warm. I went to Dundalk, got a letter from Willie*, he is still mending. I also
digged and picked five Bushels of potatoes in the forenoon and Five in the afternoon. [in
margin] Got letter / from Hamilton
[* reply from Dr. Russell in answer to letter from
22 Cold and slightly wet in the morning, the day afterwards was clear and cold. J. Bowler and
Anthony Trugeon with their Boys came here to raise potatoes for me. I thought the day rather
cold. Afterwards I took up some myself.
23 Frosty morning, the day fine. J. Bowler and his two boys, A. Trugon and his Boy helped me
raise potatoes. They were a good crop, about 124 Bushels, a little over two Bushels to the
row. [in margin] Raised / potatoes
<p. 76>
Sept[ember] 1899
24th Sabbath. Dry in the forenoon, Rain with thunder and lightening in the afternoon. Sue with her
Babies were here, came last night.
25 Wet and cold all day. I sorted over potatoes in the stall.
26 Dry and cold I sorted over some potatoes then got W. Bowler to haul me a load (45 2/3) Bags
to Dundalk. I sold them to John Sinclair for .40 cents a Bag, cash.
27 Dry and cold, some sunshine in the afternoon. I picked a barrel of apples off the two Wealthy
trees, the Haas trees’ apples are worthless on account of worm[s].
28 Dark and cold with a very high wind. T. Laughlin, Clerk of Proton, was here for lend of 1898
Collector’s Roll. I went to Dundalk in the eavning.
29 Cold and cloudy. I chored around. Snow fell tonight. [in margin] First Snow
30 Snowing this morning, a particularly cold day, could make snow balls at the end of the house.
Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk in the afternoon. Moved our cook stove in to the kitchen. [in
margin] moved stove
<p. 77>
October 1899
1st. Sabbath. Dry and cold, hard frost in the morning. Sue and the Babies called here. Johney and
Ina were here.
Dry and fine, hard frost in the morning. Sue was here in the forenoon. She and I wrote letters
to Willie.* [Robert writes covering letter to Medical Superintendent, asking for the enclosed

letter (from Susan) be given to Willie; this follows letter sent 27 Sept. inquiring if Susan could
visit Willie, with response on 28 Sept. saying “not yet”.]
Cold and clear. Heavy Frost this morning.
Bright and sunny. Johney and Ina were here. Dr. Martin paid me a visit at night. I am
slightly indisposed.
Fine mild day, Bright mostly. Mrs. Bell and Mrs. Roseborough visited us in the afternoon.
Mrs. R. drove them here from Dundalk.
Fine, dry, sunny and warm. I went to Dundalk in the forenoon.
Dark and cool.
8 Sabbath. Pretty fine. Mrs. J. Patterson & Mrs. W. Russell were here.
Dry and fine. John Agnew and wife stopped here at night.
10 Dry and fine. Ida was here a while, Mrs. R. took her home.
<p. 78>
11th Dundalk Show Fair. Dark and misty in the morning, the day cleared up and was fine. I went
to Dundalk in the afternoon, did not go to the grounds. Sue and the children were here in the
12 Fine day, dry and sunny, hazy also like Indian Summer. Miss McDonald and Mrs. McDonald
and Ida were here. [in margin] Indian Summer
13 Very fine. Dry, sunny and warm, like Indian Sununer.
14 Misty in the forenoon, slightly wet, dry in the afternoon. Mrs. Wm. Talbot was here in the
afternoon. I went to Dundalk.
15th Sabbath. Dry and fine.
16 Dry, warm and Sunny. Hazy like Indian Sununer.
17 Dark morning and wet. Heavy rain through the night, the day showery. Mrs. Wright and
daughter-in-law were here. I worked at the Township Books.
18 Fine day, dry and pretty warm. Mrs. Wright went to Jim’s this morning, Mrs. R. took her
over. The threshing machine (W. Silk’s) was to be at Willie’s.
<p. 79>
Oct[ober] 1899
19th Dry in the forenoon, slightly wet in the afternoon. Mrs. R. drove Mrs. Wright to Dundalk. I
went to Dundalk in the eavening. [in margin] Trouble / in the / camp* [unclear reference to
20 Frost this morning, the day sunny but cold.
21 Cold and cloudy with a good deal of sunshine. Ms. R. went in the afternoon to Ida’s.
22nd Sabbath. Dry and cool. Ida and Joe were here.
23 Very heay rain with thunder and lightening early this morning. Mrs. R. and I went to Susan’s
and brought her two Babies home with us.
24 Beautiful day, sunny and warm. I took out the carrots and beets.
25 Fine day, dry and warm but cloudy. I went to Dundalk. Mrs. Widdow [sic] Neithercut & Mrs.
S. McDowell came here, also Susan.
26 Dry and fine in the forenoon, the afternoon wet. Mrs. R. & Sue took the team and went and
picked Willie’s potatoes. They brought Jim’s 29 Bags & some in the wagon Box. It was hard
work putting them up on the top.
<p. 80>
Oct[ober] 1899
27th Dry and cloudy, damp in the afternoon with a good deal of Rain at night. I went to Dundalk,
and drove to J. Bowerman’s, Coming home, for Mrs. R.
28 Wet all day from morning till night, dark and gloomy
29th Sabbath. Dark and cloudy, but no rain.
30 Dry and sunny, a very fine day. Mrs. R. and Sue took Willie’s team and went to Melancthon
to bring home the remainder of Willie’s potatoes. I piled wood in the woodhouse. [in
margin] Sent letter / to Hamilton [asking if Willie mixes with others, or is “taciturn and

reserved.” Answered on 31 Oct.: “has improved rather of late. He goes out working now on
the farm and is a little more talkative, but is still rather confused and not making many
friends. His general health is good.” ]
31 Dry and fine. I put about 13 Bushels of Willie’s potatoes in a pit in the Garden. J. Bowerman
and Ida, Mary and Susan were here for supper.
[November 1899]
Nov. 1st Dry and fine. I sorted some potatoes in the cellar. Sister Sarah came here about 1 P.M.
Brother Sam brought her.* Sue and her children are stopping here this night. [*Sam has
brought Sarah (and her son George, age 15, b. 10 May 1884, Simcoe Co., ON) to visit their
brother Robert and family. This visit is likely in response to the news that Willie was in the
Hamilton Asylum, and that Robert’s health was failing. Sarah and her family perhaps lived in
Sudbury, ON at this time. Sarah spent the last years of her life in British Columbia.]
Cold generally, but dry. Sister Sarah’s son, George, came here and his mother went with him
to Sam’s. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon.
<p. 81>
November 1899
3rd Cold and raw, with rain at night which turned to snow. I sorted over potatoes in the cellar,
picked out 30 Bushels for seed and eating, and left about 15 for other purposes.
The ground covered with about two inches of snow this morning, and a little more fell during
the day. I worked at the Township Books. Made entries in the Municipal Cash Book which is
a Big unwieldy humbug. Stabled up the cows for the first time this season. [in margin] 1st
stabling / of cattle
5th Sabbath. Snow on the ground, the day pretty Chilly. Mrs. R. and I dined with Jim. J.
Bowerman and Ida were here in the eavning.
Mild day. I took Susan out to Sam’s, then I engaged Sam’s son, Johney, to work Willie’s
farm for one hundred dollars, he to go to School during winter and to do the chores.
Very fine day, sunny, dry and warm. I Butchered two fat Hogs, one of them weighed 200
pounds and the other 160. J. Bowler and J. Bowerman and Benny* helped. [* Joe
Bowerman’s brother.]
<p. 82>
November 1899
8th Fine, dry and sunny. almost like Indian Summer. I went to Dundalk in the afternoon.
Very fine day, especially in the forenoon, a trifle cloudy in the afternoon.
10 Cold this morning, with snow, the afternoon milder. I attended Council Meeting at Hopeville
and stopped all night. Mrs. W. Bell and Mrs. T. Robinson visited Mrs. R.
11 Cold and raw this morning, the afternoon milder. Left Hopeville this morning, got home
about 1 P.M.
12th Sabbath. Quite a bit of snow on the ground, the day cold. Joe and Ida were here.
13 Cold morning with snow on the ground, the afternoon milder. Mrs. R. dressed three of her
geese, took them to Dundalk. They weighed 24 pounds, she got Eight cents per pound for
them. I bought 18 Bushels of oats from Bob Mills at 25 cents per Bushel. Mr. John Arnold
and wife were here a while at night.
<p. 83>
November 1899
14th Some snow on the ground in the forenoon. The most of it had vanished before night. The day
pretty mild. Sam brought Sue and Rita (who had been at his place for a week) here.
15 Dark and misty all day, pretty cold, slightly wet. The snow is all gone and folks are plowing.
16 Mild for this time of the year, Misty in the afternoon. Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk in the
afternoon. T. McAulay, Collector, stopped all night, paid $725.00.
[Following notes, written by Robert Russell at end of the year, explain the gap in the
diary entries.]
Laid up with sickness, dropped the tally for quite a while.

This year has passed away a sad one for us. My poor son Willie is now in Hamilton
Asylum. God, restore him to his reason again.
[Robert makes no mention, in this year-end reflection, of Susan and Ida’s Christmas
visit to Willie in Hamilton. This happened following the letter Robert wrote to Dr. Russell,
Medical Superintendent of the Hamilton Asylum, on 18 Dec. 1899, asking if Willie’s wife and
sister can visit him “about Christmas.” Dr. Russell agrees: “he will no doubt be glad to see
his wife and sister.” Following the visit, Robert writes on 21 Jan. 1900: “Did Willie grieve or
fret after his wife and sister left him at Christmas?” The reply on 22 Jan.: “We did not notice
anything in particular in regard to him after his wife and sister visited him, and if he grieved
any he must have kept it all to himself.”]

<p. 84>
January 1900
1st Rather mild in the forenoon, the afternoon sharper. I went to the Township election at J.
Cold day, snowing and Blowing. I worked at making up the School vouchers for Co.
Milder than yesterday. I split some stove wood in the wood Shed. Mrs. John Arnold was here
a while at night.
Mild. Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk. J. Bowerman brought me some pressed straw. Ida was
Fine day, good sleighing. I worked at the Township Books.
Fine and mild, good sleighing. J. Bowerman Brought me a load of stove wood. I finished the
Township Books.
7th Sabbath. Rain, the day turned to snow at night, quite a thaw. [in margin] thaw
The Snow gone off the fields in a great measure, the roads very Rough, but enough of snow
left to make sleighing. I attended Council meeting at Hopeville, came home in the eavning.
<p. 85>
January 1900
9th The day a little mild. The Township auditors, Alexand[er] Gillespie and Archy McMillen,
were here and audited the Twp. accounts, found them correct. [in margin] Auditors here
10 Very fair sleighing, but the Roads slippery. I wrote out an address* for D. McKenzie, late
Reeve of Proton, took it to the printers. Got the poney shod on the hind feet. Mrs. R. visited
at Mrs. Johney White’s* in Dundalk. [* “address” in the sense of “statement of public
appreciation”; *Mrs. Johney White is Madella, Sam’s daughter]
11 Quite a snowfall, the day mild, sleighing improving. I entered orders in the Day Book.
12 Mild most of the day, good sleighing. Joseph Bowerman hauled me two loads of stove wood.
13 Quite a Bit of snow fell during the day. I went to Dundalk in the forenoon to see about Jim.
14th Sabbath. Mild, dry. Jim Patterson, wife and Baby, Sue and her two Babies, Joe and Ida,
Johney and Ina were here. [in margin] Mrs. Patton / Died
15 Mild day, dark, with a little snow falling. I split some stove wood in the wood shed. Mrs. R.
went to the wake of Mrs. Patton in Dundalk.
<p. 86>
January 1900
16th Mild, and dark, without sunshine, good sleighing. Mrs. R and I went to the funeral of Mrs. J.
Patton in Dundalk. She was buried in the Dundalk Cemetrey [sic].
17 Blowing and drifting, the roads filling up badly. Very sharp frost in the afternoon. I have
passed another Milestone in my journey through life and am now 64 years of age. Will I see

another, that’s the question, or will I be better or worse if I do see another? [in margin]
18 Dark morning and thawing, a slight mizzle of Rain during the day. Mrs. R. and I went to
Dundalk in the afternoon and then drove to Ida’s coming home.
19 Quite mild, thawing, the snow going fast. Mrs. R. went to Jim Patterson’s.
20 Still thawing, but the afternoon turned to freezing with a strong wind. Mrs. R and I went to
21st Sabbath. Cold, with a raw N.E wind. Ida was here in the afternoon. Joe called for her with
the cutter at night.
<p. 87>
January 1900
22nd Cold in the morning. The day got milder, some sunshine in the afternoon with a softening of
the snow. Mrs. R. and I drove to Mr. Bowerman’s in the afternoon.
23 Windy in the morning, the snow softening. The wind rose in the afternoon and quite a frost
set in, getting quite cold towards night. Mrs. R. is quite sick, overstrung nerves is the cause, I
think. Her long trouble on account of Willie is very trying on her. [in margin] Mrs. R. Sick
24 Very cold, strong wind and excessively cold. [in margin] cold
25 Cold day From morning till night, but especially in the morning. Mrs. R. is something better.
26 Extremely cold. Frost enough to please a Greenlander. Strong wind with a few flashes of
sunlight in the afternoon. The cold so intense that our pump froze last night, however we
have a small well in the cellar available. [in margin] pump / Froze
27 Sharp morning, the day quite cold but not near so bad as yesterday. Mrs. R. went in the
afternoon for Sue and children. [in margin] cold
28 Very cold and stormy. Sue went to Swinton Park with H. Lonsway and got Babtised
[=baptised], by dipping, into the L.D.S.* It’s a fad, I think.
[*Latter Day Saints, here short for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S., a
splinter group from the Mormons, led by Emma Smith, first wife of Joseph Smith, and one of
her sons, following the assassination of Joseph Smith in Illinois in June 1844. This small
group formed in opposition to Brigham Young’s leadership of the Mormons, and their exodus
to Utah. It is the Reorganized L. D. S. that Clark and his wife’s family joined in Hillman,
Michigan in 1894. Despite Robert’s scepticism, it seems Clark converted Susan, Jim’s wife
Mary, and Robert’s wife Nancy. Willie and his family later joined, and some of Willie and
Susan’s descendants continue active in this church, now renamed the Community of Christ.
Its headquarters are in Independence, MO.]
<p. 88>
January 1900
29th Cold and Stormy. Mrs. R. took Sue and the children home in the afternoon. [in margin] very
/ cold
30 Stormy and rough from morning till night, Snowing, Blowing and Freezing. [in margin] very /
31 Very cold day. Sam and Ida were here. [in margin] very / cold
February 1900
Feb. 1
Very cold. Mrs. R and I went to Dundalk.
Exceedingly cold all day, but especially at night. [in margin] very / cold
Not quite so cold as yesterday, snowing and blowing occasionally. Mrs. R. is going to
Dundalk for Jim who is to come home from London this afternoon. Brother John and wife
came here this evening, stopped all night. [in margin] Sharp
4th Sabbath. A little milder, with quite a snowfall last night. Mrs. R. and I visited at Mr. W.
Bell’s. Brother John and Son, Jim, slept here this night.
The Roads quite heavy with snow. I worked at the Township Books. Brother John and Eliza
went to their son-in-Law’s, J. Patterson. Mrs. R. went to Ida’s.
<p. 89>

February 1900
6th A little milder, with quite a bit of sunshine. I wrote some business letters.
Mild and turned to Rain in the afternoon, quite a thaw. I attended Council Meeting in
Dundalk. Mrs. R. took me in and Jim brought me home.
Rain during a good part of the day, high wind in the afternoon, with a driving mist. Mrs. R.
went to Willie’s.
The Rain has turned to snow, it’s now freezing. John and Eliza were here at night.
10 Pretty mild but not much snow falling. Mrs. R and John’s wife went with Jim Patterson to
Dundalk at night, then John’s wife went home with Jim Patterson.
11th Sabbath. Mild. Brother John left this morning for S. Russell’s.
12 Mild but dark, like a fall of something. The snow is thawing some. I wrote some business
13 Mild in the morning, some Rain. Cold in the afternoon. Snowing, Blowing and Freezing.
Brother John and Eliza stopped all night.
<p. 90>
February 1900
14th Cold with a strong wind. Brother John and wife left for home this morning. Mrs. R. went to
15 Pretty chilly day, the sleighing is improved.
16 Another cold day. I went to Dundalk, lifted the money for son Willie’s oats, got .25¢ for the
Black oats and .26¢ for the white. Mr. J. Arnold’s Baby born dead. Total Cash Received,
17 Pretty fine, with a good deal of sunshine. Mrs. R. and I went to the funeral of Mr. J. Arnold’s
18th Sabbath. Rather cold. Jim was here a while at night. John & Ina were here in the afternoon.
19 Pretty sharp day with a good deal of sunshine. Mrs. R. went to Ida’s to purchase a turkey.
Jim started to Shelburne on his Agency.* [*Presumably as a seller of farm implements, and
this is the beginning of his three decades in this business; see 10 May 1899.]
20 Mild day with a good bit of sunshine. I copied the defaulters list into the Book. A tough job
it was on account of the Clerk, Thos. Laughlin, having omitted to place the No. of acres
against each Lot on the collector’s roll.
<p. 91>
Feb[ruary] 1900
21st Mild in the forenoon, the afternoon overcast, windy and cold. Mrs. R. and Mary went to
22nd Rather mild with quite a fall of snow. Mrs. John Murdo and Mrs. H. Lonsway visited here in
the afternoon.
23 Mild with a little snow falling. Mrs. R. went to Willie’s. Two men stopped opposite the
house in the afternoon. One of them came in and showed me a Map of Ontario and other
places. I purchased one map for ninety eight cents, to be delivered in about a month.
24 Dark and mild with quite a fall of snow. Mrs. R. and I went to Dundalk. I bought a Draft of
$128.00 from the Bank. Sent it to Mr. David Boyle, Richmond Hill, as payment of $100.00
principal and $28.00 interest, due 1st next March on Willie’s Mortgage on Lot 32, Con. 6,
Township of Melancthon. Paid Commission on Draft .15 cts.
25th Sabbath. Rough and Stormy. Blowing, Snowing and Freezing, the stormyest day came this
winter. Jim was here a while at night.
26 Very cold, sharp frost with the sun shining now and then. [in margin] very cold
<p. 92>
Feb[ruary] 1900
27th Sharp Frost, quite a bit of sunshine, still, a very cold day. Mr. Walter Bell was in a while.
28 Milder than yesterday. Still, cold enough. Ida was here, her mother drove her home in the

[March 1900]
March 1st. Roads quite heavy from the fall of snow last night. Blowing and quite Stormy in the
afternoon. I and Jim went to Dundalk, attended the annual meeting of the Dundalk Woolen
Mills Co. L[td]. Mrs. R. is very sick with a cold.
Blowing and snowing, a very rough day. Mr. Henderson, Agent for the North of Scotland
Co., called here.
[No more entries in the diary, the remaining pages blank. Robert Russell died 11 March 1900,
presumably of a stroke, leading to heart failure, the cause of his death mentioned on the death
certificate. The certificate states he was paralyzed for three days before death. He is buried in
Maple Grove Cemetery, Dundalk, in a family plot where now are buried his wife Nancy, and son
Willie and his wife Susan, all indicated on the same red-granite monument.]
<insert><between pp. 92-93>
1. Envelope from Deputy Postmaster General, sent O. H. M. S. Free, date-stamped Ottawa, July 14,
1896—contained the cheque reimbursing Robert for the lost money sent to Brother William in
the U.S. The letter meant for William went to the Dead Letter Office because of an error in
the address.]
2. Slip of paper, on which is written in ink (recto): May 21/92 Invoiced Mrs. R. $10.00,
(verso) Six months. [above this, notes in pencil at top of slip]:
15 March 1890, Dep. 83.00 June 16
Left - $79.00 on June 16th 18-[cut off]
79 + 20 = 99 on Nov. 28, 1890
99 + 33 = 132 Feb 17th [cut off]
3. Post Card (recto), featuring picture of an envelope, with rose tied to it by ribbon [with simulated
postage mark] HAPPY NEW YEAR JAN. 1 84; (verso) [written note] A new year’s card /
from my son Jim / in 1884 / To his mother
4. Interim receipt, from The London Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Canada, May 30 1899, for
$6.30, to Mrs. Robt. Russell, for insurance: Dwelling House $350, contents $250, Stable $70.,
Contents $30, Live Stock $50., from June 16 1899 to June 16, 1902, signed Geo. Watson.
<p. 234>
[Pasted-in newspaper clipping, two full columns long:]
Liquid Air A New Cure For Cancer: Dr. Campbell White Cures Cancers by Freezing Them.
<p. 235>
<Endleaf, recto>
[Pasted-in newspaper clipping, 2 1/2 cols., lengthy letter to the Editor of the Globe:]
Men Wanted. To Take Up Land in the Island of St. Joseph [an island 25 miles southeast of Sault
Ste Marie]
<p. 236>
<Endleaf, verso>
Handwritten list of Express Charges From Dundalk to Owen Sound: on $500.00 = .40 cts, on
$600.00 through $1000.00 = .50 cts., on $2000.00 = 1.00.

[Pasted-in newspaper clipping, one column, with bottom fold-over:] The Infinity of Space. The
Centre of the Universe Everywhere; Circumference Nowhere. [a long description of the solar
system, and deeper space.]
<p. 237-inside back cover>
Top half, handwritten recipes:
Cure for Cancer or other sores. Break a milkthistle and rub the milk which comes out upon the
Cance or sore. Continue this for the season, perserveringly, so long as you can find a
milkthistle. It has been known for certain to effect a cure. August 15th 1898
<double line>
Said to be good for a shortness of Breath and to cause an appetite for food. Prickely ash obtained at
the druggist’s, steeped in whiskey, a little taken before meals. Nov. 23, 1898
<insert, bottom half>
[two pasted-in newspaper clippings]
1. For the Spramotor: Spraying, Disinfecting and Whitewashing can be done with the
2. Some Timely Hints. Prepare for Spraying the Fruit Trees. Test Your Seed Corn Before
Planting-General Notes.
</inside back cover>
<end of volume 5>

Editorial Postscript
3 December 2018
Appended here is the text of the encomium, dated 31 Dec. 1900, sent to Mrs. Robert Russell by the
Proton Township colleagues of Robert Russell, as an expression of their condolences following his
untimely death. It was printed on silk, and framed. It hung on the wall beside the large formal
photograph of Robert Russell in the farmhouse at Shrigley of his son Willie, and later of his
grandson Glenn.

To Mrs. Robert Russell
We have purposely delayed the expression of our deep sorrow, awakened by the death of your
dear husband, in order that we might not break in upon the period of your affliction, until the elapse
of a little interval had, in some degree, tended to mitigate the heavy burden of sadness you have
been called upon to bear.
As members and ex-members of the municipality in which the late Mr. Russell held the
position of Treasurer for so long a period, we have met together, at this time, to place upon record
the tribute of our mutual kindness and respect. We desire to do honor to the memory of one whom
in life we had by a long and intimate association, learned to appreciate as a friend worthy of our
highest confidence and esteem.
We assure you, Dear Friend, that apart from his official capacity, we are deeply impressed
and with the conviction that a friend has departed from us whose place it will be hard indeed to fill,
and the direction of our thoughts point to the unselfish, generous nature of Mr. Russell and the
kindly social sphere of influence which he filled, and filled so well.

And then, Dear Friend, when our minds pass from the more kindly considerations of
personality to dwell upon his attributes as an executive officer of the Township we are constrained
to acknowledge that the one whose memory we desire to honor, was a man not governed by
sectional, sectarian or selfish motives. He stood for the best; he strove for the best. He was faithful
to every trust: a man of sterling integrity, who discharged his duty as a Municipal Officer with
conscientious industry, correctness and courtesy.
The sympathy and counsel of Robert Russell were never sought in vain by his colleagues;
how often has his voice been heard amid our deliberations and always with an inspiring influence!
Claiming the privilege of uniting with you in sorrow for the sad loss of our Dear Friend, we
remain respectfully,




G. Watson, County Commissioner
Proton, Dec. 31st, 1900

J. H. CORBETT, Reeve
D. WILSON, Counsillor



T. McAULAY, Collector


Appendix 1
Russell Family Members Mentioned in Diaries
(My thanks to Reta Russell Lancaster for the historical and genealogical details provided
here in Appendix 1, the fruit of her extensive research into archives and sources in both
Ireland and Canada, from the 1970s to the present. Disambiguation of names is not always
possible, e.g. the replication of names such as William H., James, Robert, John, Hannah,
Maria, Sarah in different generations of the same family can lead to confusion. Conjectural
identifications are marked with (?).)
First Generation Russells:
James, b. c.1811, Whitehouse Townland (?), Co. Antrim – d. 7 July 1882, Melancthon
Twp., Dufferin Co.; married, 29 Dec. 1834, Raphoe Presbyterian Church, to Anne Clarke,
b. Sept. 1807, Maghrehane, Raphoe, Co. Donegal – d. 4 Feb. 1882, Melancthon Twp.,
Dufferin Co.
James and Anne Russell and seven children were immigrants to Canada from
Raphoe, Ireland, in June 1851. James and Anne were established on Lot 37, Con 4 NE
Melancthon in 1854.
Second Generation Russells (children of James and Anne Russell):
1. Robert—the diarist, b. 17 Jan. 1836, Raphoe – d. 11 Mar. 1900, Proton Twp.; married,
Proton Twp., c. 1861, to Nancy Agnew, b. 14 July 1840 – d. 1931
2. James, b. 16 Jan. 1838 – d. (?); last heard from in two letters from Ohio in Dec. 1853
3. John, b. 27 Mar. 1840, Raphoe – d. 26 May1912, Simcoe Co.; married 7 Mar. 1866, Proton
Twp., to Eliza Agnew (sister of Nancy), b. 13 Aug. 1845 – d. 1904
4. Sarah Russell, b. c. 1842, Raphoe – d. 11 Nov. 1929, Trail, B.C.; married c. 1862,
Melancthon, to Allen Thompson, b. 1840 – d. 1909 Sask.
5. Margaret Russell, b. 23 Apr. 1844, Raphoe – d. 3 Mar. 1892, Simcoe Co.; married,
Melancthon Twp., c. 1875, to William Lonsway, b. 26 July 1849 – d. 27 Sept. 1917
6. William Henry Russell, b. 6 Dec. 1846, Raphoe – d. (?), Texas; married, Lawrence Co. TN,
USA, 28 Jan. 1869, Louisa Hortence Melisia Wooten
7. Samuel Russell, b. 21 June 1848, Raphoe – d. 23 May 1929, Dundalk; married, 5 May
1874, Flesherton, to Phoebe Jackson, b. 28 Apr. 1856 – d. 10 June 1895, Melancthon
Third Generation Russells (and Robert’s granchildren, the Fourth Generation):
Children of Robert and Nancy Russell:
Robert Clark, b. June 1862, died as infant, 10 Sept. 1862
James (Jim), b. 11 Nov. 1863 – d. 11 Feb.1939; m. Mary Davidson, 4 April 1888, Dundalk;
Grandchildren: Arletta (Arlie), b. 17 Feb. 1889 – d. 1 June 1910;
Robert Vern (Vern), b. 22 Jan. 1892 – d. 6 Mar. 1952;
Delbert Glen, b. 9 Jan. 1894 – 9 Nov. 1941;
Elva Ida, b. 16 Feb. 1898 – 27 Dec. 1959
John (Johney), b. 16 Nov. 1865 – d. 9 May1932; m. Thomasina (Ina) Oliver, 26 Oct. 1887,
Grandhildren: baby girl, died an infant, b. 10 Sept. 1888 – d. 20 Oct. 1888
Robert Clark (Clark), b. 23 Aug. 1867 – d. 5 Feb. 1929; m. Mariah Moran, 15 Oct. 1890,
Grandchildren: Lawedna Pearl (Pearl), b. c. June 1895 (see 21 Nov. 1895 entry)
Eliza (or Ida), b. 29 Sept. 1869 – d. 18 July 1941; m. Joseph T. Bowerman, 5 Nov. 1890,

William Henry (Willie), b. 27 Aug. 1871 – d. 16 Feb. 1957; m. Susan E. Davidson (sister of
Mary), 27 Nov. 1895, Toronto;
Grandchildren: Mada Reta (Reta), b. 2 May, 1897 – d. 31 Jan. 1980;
Robert Melvin (Melvin), b. 6 Aug. 1898 – d. 18 Aug. 1982
Robert’s grandchildren born after his death in March 1900:
Clark and Mariah Russell have two more children: Stanley G., b. 5 Mar. 1901 (?) – d.
Lanita Fern (Fern), b. 21 Jan. 1903 – d. 21 Oct. 1973.
Willie and Susan Russell have two more children, Marjorie E., b. 11 July 1904 – d. 2 Sept.
Glenn D., b. 19 May 1906 – d. 27 Mar. 1998;
Ida and Joe Bowerman have a son, Jack, b. 26 July 1908, Dundalk – d. 21 April 1993, Alliston
Johney and Ina Russell adopt a Bernardo Immigrant boy c. 1913,
Harold, b. c. 1904 – d. 10 Oct. 1972
Robert’s nephews and nieces are frequently mentioned in the diaries. Only Robert’s brother Sam
lives in close proximity to Robert; his other siblings moved to Simcoe County in the mid 1880s. Of
the family members listed here, not all appear by name in diary entries, and some dates of birth and
names are not confirmed from reliable sources.
Children of John and Eliza Russell:
Robert Alexander, b. 8 April 1867 – d. 2 Jan. 1899
Nancy, b. 12 Oct. 1868 – d. 1941
James, b. 13 Oct. 1870 – d. ?
Mary (Minnie), b. 13 Jan. 1872 – d. 1917
John Agnew, b. 20 Sept. 1873 – d ?
Lavina (Vina), b. 31 Mar. 1875 – d. ?
William H., b. 23 Jan. 1877 – d. 21. Nov. 1880
Annie Eliz., b. 20 Apr. 1879 – d. 12 May1964
Children of Sarah Russell Thompson and Allen Thompson:
Edward, b. c. 1864
Annie, b. 7 Dec. 1865 – d. 27 Jan 1951
James R., b. c. 1868
Margaret, b. c. 1871
Mary H., b. c. 1873
Sarah, b. c. 1875
William, b. c. 1878
George, b. c. 1881
Children of Margaret Russell Lonsway and William Lonsway:
Annie, b. 25 July 1877 – d. 15 Mar. 1941
infant, dies hours after birth, 29 Dec. 1880
William Herbert, b. 18 Jan 1883 – d. Feb. 1960
(dates not confirmed in diary): Hannah Maria (Maria), b. c. 1876, m. 23 May 1894, d. 25 Nov.
(not confirmed in diary): Sarah, b. c. 1878
Children of Sam and Phoebe Russell:
Annie Elizabeth (Madella, later Dell), b. 9 Mar. 1875- d.10 Dec. 1936
William James, b. 18 Mar. 1876 – d. 2 Feb. 1941
male infant, b. 27 Jan. – d. 30 Jan. 1878
Mary Edith (Edith), b. 2 Feb. 1879 – d. Nov. 1915
John Henry (Jack), b. 28 Nov. 1880 – d. 26 May 1948

Hannah Maude, b. 8 Oct. 1882 – d. 3 Feb. 1951
Robert Jackson (Bob), b. 24 April 1884 – d. 19 May1957
Samuel Clark (Clark), b. 18 Mar.1886 – d. 3 May 1926
Abraham, died an infant, b. 3 Feb. – d. 6 Feb. 1888
Phoebe Alma (Alma), b. 13 May 1889 – d. 6 May1987
Elmer Kilburne (Kilburne), b. 26 April 1893 – d. c. 10 Jan. 1960)
Austin Ashla, died an infant, 10 June-11 Sept. 1895
Sample of extended family, neighbours, mentioned in Diaries
(with their ages as given in the 1881 Census)
John Agnew (Nancy and Eliza Agnew’s brother; ages extrapolated from 1891 Census) in 1881 is
42, wife Margaret 36, children Jos. Wm. 10, J. Thomas 8, Robert 7, Nancy 5, James 2, and
they later have (by 1891) Nassau 9, Eliza 8, Lena 2;
W. J. Arnold (26), Anne (22), Margaret (7 mos);
Mrs. Clements Bell (Sarah, age 61, widow); Skeffington Bell (30), wife Sarah, sister Sarah (23);
William Bowler (age 70), Hanna (63), Albert (24);
John Brinkman (25);
Robert Cross (29);
John Gott (34), Catherine (25);
Andrew Lonsway (53), Hannah (52), William (31), Elisabeth (27), Andrew (25), Henry (23), James
(21), Mariah (19), Samuel (16), Wesley (14) [William is married to Margaret Russell; the sons
William, James, Henry are listed only in 1871 census, so are no longer at their parent’s home in
Daniel Reid (21), Emma (21), Eliza (3 mos);
James Roseborough (50).

Appendix 2
Teacher Qualifications for Ontario Common Schools
In his diaries Robert mentions his son Clark’s various attempts to gain teacher certification,
including attending schools in Collingwood and Durham, and attempting the qualifying
examinations in Owen Sound. Clark begins to teach on 4 Jan. 1888. Robert himself had Third
Class and Second Class Certificates during the seventeen and a half years (1858-75) he taught at S.
S. No. 3 (later renamed No. 5), Melancthon. After his retirement from teaching, in order to qualify
for his pension, Robert had to provide a medical report each year to William Ferguson, Priceville,
who was Public School Inspector for South Grey. Ferguson was responsible for Proton, Artemesia,
Osprey and Melancthon Townships (Belden, Historical Atlas of Grey and Bruce; see also Sawden,
pp. 124-25).
Before the establishment in Ontario of Normal Schools for teacher training (the first was in
1904 in Toronto), prospecitve teachers attended Grammar Schools (high schools), and in those
designated as Model Schools, they observed teachers, and thus learned to teach, and gained
certificates if they passed the annual teacher examinations. These examinations to qualify to teach
were held over three days. Candidates who succeeded adequately on the first day received Third
Class Certificates. Those who passed the examination on the second day received Second Class
Certificates, while those who succeeded the examinations on the third day were awarded First Class
Certificates (see Sawden, p. 89).
The following are the official criteria for each class of teaching certificate, as approved by
the Ministry of Education in October 1856 (cited from Sawden, pp. 87-88).







Third Class Certificates
Candidates are required to be able to read intelligibly and correctly any passage from
any common reading book.
To be able to spell correctly the words of an ordinary sentence dictated by the
To be able to write a plain hand.
To be able to work readily, questions in the simple and compound rules of arithmetic,
and in reduction and proportion and to be familiar with principles on which these
rules depend.
To know the elements of English Grammar, and to be able to parse an easy sentence
in prose.
To be acquainted with the elements of Geography and the general outlines of the
To have some knowledge of school organization and classification. Teachers of
French or German may substitute their knowledge of these languages for English,
whose certificates will be limited accordingly.
Second Class Certificates
Candidates for certificates of Second Class Teachers, in addition to what is required
for Third Class, must be able to read with ease, intelligence and expression, and to be
familiar with the principles of reading and pronunciation.
To write a bold free hand, and to be acquainted with the rules of teaching writing.
To know fractions, involution, evolution, and commercial and mental arithmetic.
To be acquainted with the elements of bookkeeping.
To know common rules of orthography, and to be able to parse any sentence in prose
or poetry; to write grammatically, with correct spelling and punctuation, the
substance of any passage which may be read.
To be familiar with the elements of mathematical, physical and civil or political
geography, as contained in any school geography.
First Class Certificates
In addition to the requirements for Second Class Certificates, candidates for First
Class Certificates must understand the elements of Mensuration and Land Surveying.
Algebra to quadratic equation; and to know the first four Books of Euclid.
To know the outlines of general history.
To be familiar with the elements of botany, zoology and natural philosophy.

Appendix 3
Farmer’s Co-operative Movements: The Grange
Following a commission in Jan. 1866 by U.S. Pres. Andrew Jackson to Oliver Kelley to report on
the state of agriculture in the southern states following the Civil War, Kelley and a handful of likeminded men in Washington and Boston founded the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry
in 1867 in Washington, D.C. It was a fraternal organization for farmers, which borrowed rituals
from the Masonic Order. It required both men and women to be members of its executive
committees, and was intended for the social, intellectual and economic betterment of farmers. It
spread rapidly throughout the US, with 25 states having Granges in 1872, with a National Grange,
to which the state-level Granges reported.
The Granger movement entered Quebec via Vermont in 1872, and entered Ontario in 1874,
first in Prescott, then in London, and, following expressions of interest from famers in Grey county,
a representative from the National Grange established 3 Granges in Grey (east and west) in MarchApril 1874, and a constituent assembly in June 1874 in London established the Dominion Grange,
making the Canadian movement independent of the US National Grange.
Growth in both countries was rapid. By Jan. 1875 in the US there were 22,000 subordinate

Granges in 41 states. In Canada, by Dec. 1879 there were 766 subordinate granges with 31,000
members, with 65 Granges in Grey County. A feature of the Dominion Granges was the annual
picnic on 2 June, anniversary of the foundation of the order in Canada. In 1876 the picnic at
Flesherton had 22 Granges attending.
The rapid growth was followed by an equally fast decline in Canada; by 1884, ten years
after its foundation, membership had dropped to 12,500, and was merely a few hundreds in 1904.
In the US the National Grange recovered from its decline, beginning in 1900, and continues to the
present as a farm organization.
The purposes in both countries included the economic benefits of bulk buying from
suppliers, functioning as a cooperative; and political advocacy against commercial monopolies
(railways), or middlemen between producers and consumers. In Grey county, Robert Russell, as
secretary of Mayburn Grange, was involved in placing orders for supplies for members, but his
disappointment in the advantages was quickly apparent—local merchants also quickly adjusted
prices so that they were competitive with prices offered to Grange members. And there was some
feeling that the institution was too “Yankee” to appeal to Canadians. Robert and Nancy Russell
joined the Grange 7 Dec. 1876, and by 26 Dec. 1877 he declares it to be a fraud, and he is no longer
secretary, and has divorced himself from it for “all practical purposes”. (These details on the Secret
Order of the Patrons of Husbandry are based on Wood, A History of Farmer's Movements in
Canada; see pp. 21-105, at pp.24, 28, 60-61.)
The impulse for concerted commercial and political action on behalf of farmers, and the
importance of women in political life, evidenced early in Grey County, preceded the later
development of these principles in the United Farmers of Ontario political party (founded in 1914, it
won the Ontario provincial election in 1919), and the associated United Farmers Cooperative.
Agnes Macphail from Priceville, elected in 1921 as the first woman member of Parliament in
Canada, was active in both movements.