Original Document
Original Document
Francis F. Cable's Farm Diary, 1877-1884

October 1877: he spends a number of days "setting up Buckwheat," thrashing it, and and "cleaning it up," then they put it in the "grainery" on Oct 4 (165 bushels).
––– 10-12, fencing, apparently with rails because he "hauled two loads of Bottom rails to the Brickyard field" on the 10th.. They cradle buckwheat on the 14th.
––––- 17th: "jeremiah Berkeybile commenced to work for nine Dollars a month"
––- 24: cuts corn fodder
December 1 they got 109 bushels wheat from five ac.
––- 4 they ship butter, "hauled it to the express Office"
he tends the stock, thrashes oats, still works on fence

In January of 1878, they haul coal, by the bushel, to "the camp." He often goes to church meetings, cleans the stables, ("staples"), etc. In January they ready the maple camp; he "help[ed] to fix the flue" there, and also helps to "scalt" the Keelers', haul wood there, then hauls the keelers there.
January 25: "I made a Petition [partition] in the Cold Staple to put Tom in & Cleaned the Staple & Cleaned the Barn floor & Cut 100 Sheaves & 8 Bundle..."
April 13 "I & John Sowed Clover & Timothy"
hauls stones, makes fence, sows buckwheat
May 13: went to Somerset, "Stopped at the Cheese factory in the morning."
– 28: they buy clothes in Johnstown
they go to lovefeasts in Shade, Berlin, all over the county
June 24: "I helped to raise the wagon shed"
July 16 "I went out in the wheat field to Cradle around it, then we took the machine & Cut all day."
–– 18: "I help to open a road around the rye to take it off with the machine, but it was down too much. J. H. Buchanan Cradled it & I bound some & gather. At supper I went over to Wm Hamer for him to help me to Shock. In the evening we Shock 56 Doz. Very warm"
July 26: "We put in 4 loads of grain & 4 loads of hay & built a Stack behind the barn."
–– 27: We halled in the old Staple from the little house & laid the foundation"
–––– 31 they "raised the little Staple"
cradles oats;
August 31 –- "We thrash our Clover hay with the machine."
October 2 "We boiled apple butter"
––– 8 "I fixed up the Barn to thrash & fetched in one load of wheat from the little house"
November 9: sounds as if they have a horse power thresher: "We plowed awhile, then we unhitch & thrashed 20 Doz. of Oats & Cleaned it up"
1879, they share their bull

January 11 1879, "I & John flail rye"
––––––– 18 "I help to thrash oats called the White Dutch"
April 26 sowed oats in the corn stubble, 8 bushels
–– 28, sowed oats and clover seed, then cultivated and harrowed it
May 19 he "commence to dig out the foundation of the Barn". On the 23, "I & John haulled Stones from the old house wall for the ditch". On the 24th, "tore Some weather Boarding off the Barn Etc."
–– 27: "I work at the old Barn. In the afternoon the carpenters came and commenced at the Barn, taring down the old Shed. Hirem Geiser was the Boss, Isaah Holsopple, Jno. Weible, John Caldabuach, Peter Knable, & David Miller were his hands." then they "tore down the barn" on the 28th
early in June, the masons come and he helps them (he says "I tended the masons," maybe as in "attended?")
28" I helped to fetch four Sleepers from woods, then I work at the horse Staple laying in planks etc."
July 9, "cradled a road around the wheat to take it off with the machine, took of 77 Doz. with the machine till Supper."
borrowed a plow from Hamers.
–- 14: "I & Jno. Sowed Phosphate oh the Buckwheat..."
August 4 cradled the timothy and "we commence a board fence above the Barn" Also in these weeks he's digging a ditch and hauling stone, but I'm not sure what for, a fence??
––- 8: I &Jno. cut some oats below the meadow, then we planted some Posts."
September 2 "I worked on the fallow"
–––- 20: I & the Boys hauled stones till dinner, then we fix the machine in the new barn & thrash the wheat rakens..."
November 12: "I& James plowed till dinner. John went around to ask Persons to our husking. In the afternoon there wasn't many come till in the eve. 65 ate Supper, then they Played till 3 O'clock, 3 Girls stayed till morning. They conducted themselves very Good. I hope they may be rewarded in the future. They all went home rejoicing."

May 21, 1880, "I and Jno. made holes for a wire fence at the back end of the orchard..."
–- 22: "Three couples were occupied in the Parlor..."
–– 26: "Plowed a piece for Mexican wheat"
June 29: "I spreaded lime till dinner"
–- 30: "We raked hay by hand..."
August 14 "We had a supper of ice cream"
September, works to drain by brickyard field
November 1 "I halped to weigh 2500 lb. of hay, for a contract at Hooversville..."
December 20: "I & Jane went to Johnstown .... We had Potatoes & Butter. They sold well."

February 7, 1881. "I& John starded for Johnstown. We had a load of hay & Potatoes, oats & apple butter. We sold the hay at Scalplevel, at the rate of $ 14 per ton. We had 1594 lb., paid cash, G. Ream got it."
April 25 "I sowed oats & helped the women to spade garden"
They bring a lawsuit against a Harrison Lohr to force him off a farm they bought
June 6 "I helped to plant some cabbage plants in the corn patch"
–- 24 "Father & Silas went to Somerset on the train."
September they have a horse drawn cultivator
He is a staunch Republican
December 2 "I starded a shoe shop my self" in Hooversville
–– 12 "I was in a bad humor all day, about the way things is carried on in this Part of the country."

In his summation for 1881, he mentions that the "Somerset & Cambria railroad is doing a grand thing. The company has opened a coal Bank on Peter Lohr's land."
Though he has his shop, he still works on the farm too.
Commutes from home, it seems.
early 1882, works at limekiln
November 27 cut corn fodder
He often says he "was at a certain place"

February 22, 1883 records his marriage to Miss Maria M. Lambert, Daughter of Moses almbert near Shanksville
March 17, 1883, he thrashes oats, "Mother & Maria was up in Stoystown on the train"
On the 22, they move to Joseph Weigle's house on the Keller farm, the big house, to live with them until the third of April . This may be in Stonycreek Twp.
March 24: "I hitched in the spring wagon. Maria & I went to town of Somerset. Father come on the train. Father got me a cookstove at A. C. Schell & Co. for $34.00, 1 set of chairs for $4.00, 1 Bedstead for $5.00. We loaded & got home all right." The next day he went to Stoystown to pick up dishes Maria had bought
–- 27, "I took the spring wagon and went to Mrs. Lambert's and brought Maria's Bureau & Chest, etc.,"
–– 29, went to a sale, bought a spinning wheel for 25 cents and a saddlers clam for 7 cents.
–- 31, "In the afternoon I & James went out to Levi Koontz & fetch a cow that Maria had bought..."
April 3, as noted they move, not clear where but presumably to the small house
–– 16 "I & father walked over the farm &c. He left after dinner. John Feig was here to see what I intended to do with our Butter. I told him I would try the creamery. He wanded me to go in as a partner and ship our Butter to Johnstown all Summer, once a week. I told him I wouldn't, then I fixed fence."
–– 17, "I & Maria went to Peter Keefer's to buy a cow, but got none. She went to her Mothers & I went down to Father's for my seed oats..."
––– 21, "I helped Maria in the Garden"
he makes a fence around the garden
May 8, "Maria helped Schrock's to clip sheep."
They get in some stock: 2 cows, a calf, and four yearlings on the 17th
–– 21 "I laid a walk to the spring house till dinner"
June 19 goes to a Barn Raising
There's a barn on the new place
July 5, "I got up at two o'clock & got ready & starded for Johnstown, arrived in town at Eight o'clock. Father come on the train, then we bought a two horse wagon from J. Swank & Son for $180.00, hay Fork, hay Rope & Pulleh's, &c, then I hitched in the wagon & starded for home..."
––- 7 "In the afternoon I took the wagon & went to Somerset for a mower, but got none, then I bought 2 hand Rakes, then home."
––- 9, "In the afternoon I took the wagon and went to Colemans Station for a mowing machine from Holderbaum & Son. David Schrock was along. I got the Warrior machine." The next few days he mows with it., but in the lower meadow he mows "by hand."
He goes to Shanksville a lot
July 25, "... I went up to Mother's had dinner, then I went to Hugh Lambert for Maria's sheep..."
August 9, "I went down to Father's for my cradle & cultivator shovels. I left home at 3 o'clock & went to Peter Forwalt's to see him about making a cultivator & left the shovels there..."
––– 15, "I & Maria went to Shanksville, for some coloring Dye and got Lottie shod, then home & I help to color some yarn. Mother-in-law was here. She came yesterday."
It's hard to know when he says "we" who he's working with, but when he gathers berries it's probably Maria.
––- 21 pays $37 for a ton of phoaphate from Sam Yoder
––– 22, he gets his cultivator from Forwals ($1.50)
September 10, "I, Maria & Katie [the horse] finished up tying up oats for this year..."
––––- 25 they get 32 crocks from Swank at Coleman Station
October 5, "I& Maria pick apples for cider all day..."
they make apple butter together
thresher comes and they do his "Russian oats"
November 6, he helps to snitch apples
–– 14, "I & Maria helped Schrock's to butcher 3 hogs"
––– 19 "I helped Maria to scrub the kitchen..."
––- 26, they send 13 lb butter on morning train to Johnstown
December, orders and receives a stove for $14.00 from Somerset foundry (No. 4)
But on the 10, he exchanges it "for one size smaller, No. 3, for $11.00, then home & set up the stove, done splendid. It seems like home."

February 20, 1884 "I & Maria cleaned 25 bushels of seed oats"
––– 25, goes to Peter Farnwalt to "see about building my Barn." a few days later he says okay
––- 29 they load a barrel of apple butter on train for Johnstown to sell at Wood & Morrell & co.
He has oxen, cleans oxen stable on March 3
March, he gets ready for the barn. Gets a crosscut saw; on the 24, "At supper time Peter Farmwalt stopped from his home road from Somerset, had supper & said that they would come to hew timber till timarrow, then I give him my mare to go home, then I went to John Zarfoss to see if he would help to scorein. He said he would, then I got Josiah Zarfoss yet, then home.
–––- 25, "I done my feeding, then I went down to Mathew Walker's & got John to go along to the woods to show me where the lime (line?) is between us, then home, then Peter Farnwalt come, then I and him looked at the timber till dinner. Jno. & Josi Zarfoss & Henry Kann came to hew timber.
––– 26, "The same hands were here all day." and also the next two days, most of the day.
–––- 31, "I &Jno. Zarfoss worked at the Barn, took off some weather Boarding & cleaned it away."
Early in April they take the hay and chaff and straw out of the barn and stack it, on the 1st "Peter Farmwalth come & we tore away the wagon shed & work at the shed for the cows & fixed a Pig Pen."
––- 8 they take shingles off the barn
––– 10 "I took out the granary of the Barn."
––– 11 went with Maria to Mrs. Sam Zarfoss "to see about a maid" "I went to Sam Zeigler's to see him about hewing my timber off the old Barn. He said he would"
April 14-16 they "tare down the Barn"
––– 19 "I & Tommy fixed up a Krautcrock"
––– 21 two guys come to "hew the timber off the old barn" and they the "score in"
––- 28 "I and Father stake off the Barn."
–––- 29 "went down to Hughie Lambert's for lumber, but none sawed..."
They get it on the 30th, it comes from timber in their wood, because on the 1-2 of May they are hauling "timber out of the woods" then took it "to the saw mill at Shanksville to get it sawed in Post" then they also went to the "saw mill for lumber."
May 13, 1884, he "helped at the Foundation"
–- 14 "Maria helped Schrock's to shear sheep"
–- 20 "I helped Maria to clean house"
–– 21 "Harrison, Josi & Jno. Zarfoss were here & we dug out the foundation of the storm shed and finish it. Jno. come with a load of lath
–– 27 "I helped the masons. Albert Mostoller was here all day & John Zarfoss three-fourth the day, Jno. Cable brought a load of lath."
–– 28, "I & Jno. went down to Hugh Lambert's for lumber, then I went over to Mahlon Lambert's to get him to work for me, then home, then Jno. went home. I was helping at the wall. Father went home."
––- 29, "I did not do much. I had it so in my head. Mahlon lambert com this morning. Mrs. David Schrock & Mrs Susan Keller were here in the afternoon. Father come on the Eve. train. Tommy brought him from the train. A. D. Brubaker was married to Miss Jane Gahagan at Brubakers. I was out at Jos. Zarfoss & we settled up all Book account."
–– 30 "I was helping the masons and so on"
June 2 "Wash Risling & Finicy Frank come to help Sivits to mason. They all come J. Zarfoss & Mahlon Lambert. About noon Father & Silas come. H. B. Kann came with three hands Isaac Miller, James Miller & Jno Keefer.
–– 3 "The same hands were here. I was helping at the wall. Mahlon Lambert hauled sand. Grandmother Rodgers & Aunt Susan Lambert were here on a visit. Grandmother went over to Schrock's all night.
–– 4 The hands were all here at work. Grandmother &Silas went home in the afternoon.
––- 5 Risling & Finicy finished the wall till dinner & Sivits took the hack to Somerset. In the morning Father left for home. Mahlo & Jno. hauled the wetherboarding to Ross's Plaining Mill. They staid at Z. Lambert's all night. I & John Zarfoss cleaned up around the Barn.
––- 6 I went to the raising at Jo. J. Weigle. It was removed on account of the railroad By Charles Raiman.
[at various things]
––- 9 "... After supper I went to J. J. Weigle's for some speer Poles."
––- 10 I was working at the Barn till dinner, then I took the wagon & went to Shanksville for Flour. Father had put it there (10 bus.), then home.
––– 11 "I helped the carpenters to get things ready for to raise tomorrow. S. B. Yoder went to Shanksville to ask some hands yet. Maria was over at Schrock's Baking in the forenoon. Mrs. Dice Walker & Mrs. S. B. Yoder was here. In the Eve. Father & Jennie & Alice Miller come. They all went to Schrock's to sleep.
–––– 12 "The hands gathered together & they begun to raise. There was about 20 here for breakfast & about 130 for dinner with women & all. Everything went up nice. no one hurt. They got it all up till the rafters. In the Eve. the youngsters had a party in the little house. They all left till Eleven o'clock. They enjoy it very well. Warm.
––– 13 "in the afternoon I went to Ross Plaining Mill for a load of Boards." [other things]
–– 14, 16 (Sat, Mon) he plows, helps at barn, his father also, then on the 19th "James took three horses & the wagon & went to Somerset for shingles from Cunningham, 8,000, he loaded, then they commence to roof."
–– 20, I & Father laid the floors & James fetch a load of shingles"
––- 21, "We all work at the barn till dinner, then Father went home with Lottie & James took the train. I took the wagon & went for a load of shingles. The carpenters left at supper."
––- 22 Sunday "We was at home..."
–– 23 "I was at various things, plowed the corn & Potatoes. In the Eve. James come. The carpenters were five in number."
–– 24, "James fetch a load of shingles till dinner. Jno come at noon for to help to plow. Mary was along. ... John Zarfoss worked three fourth day at the Barn Bridge."
––- 26 "The carpenters finish up till dinner, then they all left. Father & Jno. went home."
––- 27, "I hitch in the spring wagon & took the tool Box over to Henry Kanns, then from there I went to Jo. Sorbers to see Peter Farnwalt, then to Emanuel Blough's, had dinner & supper, then I load a calf that I Bought from him, then home till ten o'clock. Pleasant"
–– 30 Mon, I plow till supper, then we work at the Bridge above the Barn.
July 1 "I was at the Bridge till dinner, then James came to help me to Plow. About one o'clock Mr. Shaulis move 23 Hungarians out to the Allegheny tunnel. I give him staple room. I sold them Hungarians 12 quart of milk. Warm"
–– 3 "I & Tommy work at the Bridge at the Barn & mowed a little. In the Eve. Jno & James stopped a little & we put the Hay ladders on the wagon, then they went over to Schrocks..."
–– 4 "I& Tommy hauled in the old [word missing] in the Barn of the stack, 4 load.
––- 5 "I hitched in the wagon & went down to J. J. Miller's, then Silas come & we exchange Hay ladders, then home..."
–– 7 Mon. "Maria & Rachel Schrock went to J. J. Blough's for cherries. They had Harry & the Buggy. I & Tommy put two loads of hay out of the meadow. Mr. Jones & Mr. Pugh move in David Schrock's house, 2 women & 4 children, Railroaders. Warm"
––– 8 "I took the machine & went down in the lower meadow & commence to mow & mowed all day. Warm"
–– 14 "Andrew Mull come & cradled wheat all day. I tied up some & took in one load of hay for S. B. Yoder. We took off 61 shock. Warm"
––– 17 he butchers a calf
June 18, "I send Tommy down home with 21 one half lb. of veal & I took one quarter to Schrock's & some to Walker's. I tied grain all day."
–– 19 "We took off grain till dinner, then we postpone it till Monday. I fix at the Barn. James was here for supper & we put up the hay rope, change, he struck for higher wages. Warm"
[he gets 128 doz. rye]
August 7 "I & W. Platt commence to set up limestones in the fallow field & put away two loads of hay. Pleasant"
–– 8 "Platt & I finished the lime pile till supper, then I want up to Martins for coal, but got none..."
–– 9 "I hauled 35 bus. of coal from Schrock's bank & tended the lime pile.
–– 11 Mon "We work on the fallow field. I tended the limepile till dinner, then I took the wool out to Hills Factory, then I went up to Banjamin Musser & left two calf skins there, then back to Hills & waited on my wool & home. Warm"
–––- 16..."went to Jacob Stutzman to notify about his fertilizer, then to Jno. Miller & so on..."
–––- 18 "I went out to Berlin for my phosphate..."
cradles oats
––– 22 "Andie Mull flailed rye"
September, begins to haul lime
They are gone over the weekend, and "Lizzie Yoder done the milking" (Sept 8, Monday)
Oct 2 the carpenters "are done for this fall."
–- 4 lays floor in the feeding room, hauls in corn to the barn
–– 16 he buys a reel at a sale
––- 23 "In the evening Jno. Raimans Brought his machine here to thrash my grain. Father & Mother, Silas & Katie Miller & Ed & Rob come to help." they thrash 222 bushels oats, 80 wheat
––- 28 "I & Maria cleaned some wheat over at Schrock's & then home & in the Eve. we went over & we made some sourkrout together." November 18 "I & Maria helped Schrocks to Butcher"
–– 20 "I & Daniel Schrock Butchered my two hogs... The girls help"
December 4 sells his straw for 10 c a bundle "cash" in Somerset
––- 8 "I seen that 2 of my sheep is gone, then I hunted for them until dinner..."
––– 10 goes to sawmill for a load of sawdust
––- 8 plows in the "coalbank field"
–– 15 "I sold a Bus. apples to the Italian..."
–– 16 takes butter to Sam Yoder
–– 19 "Three Italians come for apples."
––– 27 "S. B. Yoder was here & said that I should take my apple butter up to Moses Yoder at 50 cts a Gall. father & Mother left for home about 3 o'clock & I took the apple Butter to Yoder 28 Galls."
––- 30 takes butter & eggs to Somerset
1884 year-end summary: ..."we had a good Market the Past year. The Building of the railroad is what helps us along. It will take considerable work yet till it will be complete."

Credit: Excerpts from the Diary of Francis F. Cable (1857-1930), near Stoystown, Somerset County,PA. Somerset County Historical Society. Summaries by Sally McMurry, Penn State University.
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