Personal Diary of William Thompson Hall for the year 1864 

1-Jan       Very cold. We had quite a snowstorm yesterday. Aaron & I chopped and hauled a load of wood for Marg. Hall.  Miss Jennie Lowry at our house

2-Jan       Hauled wood and corn. Took Jennie home. Went to Aaron's for supper; from there to Charles Dodd's; stayed till bedtime. Mrs. Weir and Mahard here.

3-Jan       Geared my team and started after Sarah & Aaron; Mr. Lion brought them from Mrs. Baker's. John Lowry came after me to tell me. John Baker at our home. Mrs. Lowry broke their wagon & I took them home in the sleigh & stayed till bedtime. Kitchen with us.

4-Jan       Took some wheat to Loami; Aaron went with me. At night, J. C. McClure at our house.

5-Jan       Went to Wash Hall's and vaccinated.  J. C, McClure came home with me and vaccinated the rest of the folks.  Mr. McClure and I went to Mr. Van Deren's; sit till bedtime. Wm Miller and folks there.

6-Jan       Went to mill for Mrs. Marg. Hall [Henry, Jr.'s 2nd wife].  Got 155lbs. Of flour; rec'd $13.80 of J. L. Foster.  Mr. Van Deren and Lowry's hauled wood for Marg. Hall

7-Jan       Aaron and I went to Jonathon Jarrett's sale.  John Lowry came back with us through the field and got corn.

8-Jan       Hauled wood and corn.  Sarah and Amanda and Miss Flora Lowry went to Mr. Charles Dodd's on a visit.

9-Jan       Hauled straw and corn.  Went to Loami, John Lowry & I.

10-Jan     At home; Samuel Lowry here.  He and I went to Mr. Van Deren's until bedtime.

11-Jan     Hauled a log for Aaron to the mill and load corn.  Went with Esquire Barger to a wedding at Lions (Ben Santo Susan Cook).  Sarah, Amanda and I went                home with Jennie; Sarah Kitchen with us.

12-Jan     Went to help haul wood for Mrs. Marg. Hall.  Father went after Dr. Browning for Martha Ann Hall.

13-Jan     Aaron, Sam Lowry and I went to Springfield.  I got vaccinated for $1.00.  The Dr. gave me a little scab.  I vaccinated our folks, Maggie and D. Lowry.

14-Jan     Hauled wood.  Went to the sick folks house to see how they was getting along.  Married: John Hunter, Mary Weir

15-Jan     Hauled wood.  In the evening, went to see M.  Hauled corn from McCarries.  Father made an axe handle for John Lowry.

16-Jan     Father and I went to the mill.  I hauled a load of corn after I got home.  I received a letter from Virden.

17-Jan     Went to Mr. Van Deren's in the morning.  Mrs. Van Deren and I went with Mrs. Louis folks to church.  Vaccinated Sam Lowry in evening.  Charlie and Sarah Turpin called in the evening.

18-Jan     Killed two hogs in the morning.  Hauled corn.

19-Jan     Hauled corn all day.  Wm. N. Dodd came from Rock Island on furlough.

20-Jan     Went out to Talkington Township to pay our taxes - $11.47.  Aaron and folks at our house.

21-Jan     Hauled hay and corn. Mrs. Van Deren and Mrs. Kitchen on visit.  Mr. Wm N. Dodd and Sarah Dodd at our house a few minutes in evening.

22-Jan     Hauled corn all day.  Miss Flora Lowry, Miss Jennie Kitchen and Amanda on a visit.  Charles Turpin's and Mr. King’s folks came in evening.

23-Jan     Loafed.  Mr. Wm N. Dodd and I went to Marg. Hall's to see folks.  We went to Loami in afternoon.  Amanda home with King folks. Came by Mr. Turpin's after Sarah.

24-Jan     Went to Mr. Van Deren's to tell them that Mrs. Priddy's funeral was to be preached. I went with Mrs. Lowry's folks to church, went home with them and vaccinated the folks at ? Turpin’s.

25-Jan                Chopped stove wood all week.  Pretty weather all week.

26-Jan     Do

27-Jan     Do

28-Jan     Went to Loami in the forenoon.  Sent for the Chicago Tribune 2.25.  Abraham Workman and James helped chop.

29-Jan     Rained in forenoon.  Hauled a load of corn.  Mr. Lowry stopped out of rain.  J. C. McClure helped me chop in afternoon.

30-Jan     ? ? Aaron helped us chop.  Finished our patch. Rained at night.

31-Jan     At home rained all day. John Col? came after bundy? for Cyrus Collier.

1-Feb      Went after a coffin for Cyrus Collier.  He died about six this morning; bought it of Thayer & Sons, Waverly.  Price $25.00.  Bought a bottle of oil for the family, 25 cents.

2-Feb                Chopped wood for Aaron; John Lowry helped.  Spit snow in forenoon.  Sarah came from Charles Turpin's.  Sarah Dodd stayed all night at our house.

3-Feb      Chopped stove wood for Aaron.  Sarah Turpin at our house on a visit.

4-Feb      Chopped wood for a smokehouse in the forenoon.  Hauled corn in the afternoon.

5-Feb      Aaron, father and I and the Mr. Lowry's killed hogs for Mrs. Marg. Hall in the forenoon.  Chopped and hewed sills for smokehouse in the afternoon.

6-Feb      Sawed blocks for smokehouse in fore noon.  Went to Loami in afternoon

7-Feb      John Lowry and I went to post office in forenoon. I went to Charley Turpin's and spent the evening.

8-Feb      Hauled logs for smokehouse in forenoon. Hauled corn in afternoon.

9-Feb      Raised our smokehouse.

10-Feb    Worked on the smokehouse. Aaron helped us his.  His stove often burned out.

11-Feb    Just got home from Jacob Leonard's sale.


13-Feb    Made rafters for the smoke house in the forenoon. Went to Loami in the afternoon. Received letter from Christian County.  Went to Mr. Joy's and stayed all night.  My horse got loose.

14-Feb    Went to church with Lowry's folks.  They came home with us and took dinner.

15-Feb    Mother and I went to Christian county. Started in Decatur at Mr. Hamm's.  Went down to Moweaqua at night.

16-Feb    Went to Moweaqua to take potters team home.  From there to Andrew Hay's from there to Taylor's until bedtime. From there David Hay's Jr. (pretty cool).

17-Feb    Major Hay's and I went to G. W. Jacob's in morning. Uncle David and I went to town. I got David Jr. a horse and went to Allen Snyder's and stayed all night - traded knives with Mr. Snyder.

18-Feb    Went to Uncle Virden’s in the afternoon, stayed all night.

19-Feb    Came from Virden’s to Snyder's from there to Moweaqua from there to Andy Hay's, stayed all night.

20-Feb    Went from Hay's to G. W. Jacob's and stayed until after dinner.   From there to the depot and came home. Aaron and Jennie met us at the Depot.

21-Feb    Went out to Mrs. Lowry's and spent the day.  Aaron and his folks there.  Flora away on a visit.

22-Feb    Joseph Joy and two Mr. ? At our house.  Joe stayed all night.

23-Feb    Father and I sewed timothy seeds and oaks.

24-Feb    Hauled corn and wood in forenoon.  Sewed a few oats and went to Loami with Sam Lowry.  Sarah and Amanda gone to Joy's all night.

25-Feb    Finished sewing oats on this side in forenoon and hauled three loads of stove wood.

26-Feb    Amanda and I went to Springfield. Mr. ? Folks was in a marriage spree - Arnold married, we got home about four.

27-Feb    Hauled two loads of corn from Large's.  Commenced raining when we was out there.  We roached our mules in the afternoon.

28-Feb    Thomas Baker and folks at our house.  John Lowry also.  I went to Mr. J.M. Turpin’s and sat until bedtime.

29-Feb    Went over to the timber by Ms. Baker's and cut a tree for boards and hauled a load home with us. ? Len and I came by old Will Workman’s and got the ?

1-Mar     I hauled corn.  Father made boards.  I went down to the North Fork after dark to doctor my Mare's leg.  Warren out the house at night.

2-Mar     Len and I split two cords of wood and corded it in the forenoon.  Hauled stove wood in the afternoon.

3-Mar     Len and I went to Henry Jacobs after spring wheat in morning.  Hauled stove wood.  Sold our mules to Hudson's boys for $8.10

4-Mar     Hauled corn for McCrairies in forenoon. Commenced snowing about noon.  Sat in the house and read all evening.

5-Mar     Went to the sale of Cyrus Collier's bought a double barrel shot gun for $5.75.  Went a hunting in the afternoon killed six ducks.  Mr. Woodford Turpin died in the morning.

6-Mar     Went to the funeral of Mr. Woodford Turpin.  Mrs. Lowry and Sam and Jennie stopped for dinner.

7-Mar     Aaron, Father and I went to Loami. Drove a cow to Mr. W? Bought .45 cents of ammunition for my shotgun. Worked on the smokehouse.

8-Mar     I worked on the smokehouse on the forenoon.  Went a duck hunting in afternoon, killed two ducks.

9-Mar     Sowed spring wheat. Rained at night.

10-Mar   At Loami in forenoon.  Aaron and I went a duck hunting in the evening.  A rainy one us Ray ? Others married couple.

11-Mar   Hauled manure from the stables.

12-Mar   Hauled manure half of the day. Went for a duck hunting in the afternoon.

13-Mar   Went to Sulphur springs to church.  Spitting snow in the forenoon.

14-Mar   At Loami in forenoon. Went after my boots paid Brown $2.25 for fixing them.  Worked on the creek bank.

15-Mar   Hauled wood in the forenoon and corn. Sat by the fire in the evening.  The rest of the time went to Workman’s to cut some wood for the gun (pretty cool).

16-Mar   Worked on the smokehouse. Covered it.

17-Mar   Worked on the smokehouse in forenoon.  Went a hunting in the afternoon.

18-Mar   Father and I went to the mill. I stayed the day at the Masonic Lodge.  At night they nominated governing officers.  A dance at the hall then went home.

19-Mar   Hauled load of corn in forenoon.  Helped Charles Dodd fix his stable.

20-Mar At Sabbath School in evening. I went home with Jennie.







27-Mar Organized Sabbath School; John Baker, Jr. Supt. Warren and I went to Charles Dodd's and sat til bedtime.



30-Mar   Went to Loami in forenoon.  Sowed a few oats in the afternoon.  Went to Mr. Gibson's, to John W. Hall.  He came home with me and stayed all night.

31-Mar   The Ladies Of the Masonic Lodge of Loami gave the Veterans at home on furlough a dinner dance at night.

1-Apr      Came from Thomas Bakers in the morning to the field and helped Father sow grass seeds.

2-Apr      Father and I went to Loami with log.  I went a duck hunting in the afternoon.

3-Apr      At home until Sabbath school time.  Mr. Prescott's folks at our house all night.  Warren and I went to Mr. VanDeren's after school.  Jennie M came up.

4-Apr      Rained in morning.  Aaron and I practiced with revolver.  Hauled corn in afternoon.

5-Apr      Went to the township election. We elected our ticket.

6-Apr      Hauled corn in the morning.  Went to Auburn and sold a couple of hogs for $5 1/2 cents per pound. Saw Miss Smith for the first time.

7-Apr      Father and I went to Auburn with two hogs received $27.00. Cal and Miss Smith gave us a call.

8-Apr      Rained last night. Raining this morning.

9-Apr      Miss Jane Baker at our house. She and our girls walked to Loami, we went with William M. Gibson. I walked back on the road.  I went home with John W. Hall stayed all night.

10-Apr At Sabbath School in afternoon. 

11-Apr    Plowed sod at McCrarrie's.  Rained at noon and at night.  Plowed all week at the same place.




15-Apr    Went to blacksmith’s shop and got our plows sharpened.  Plowed in afternoon.  Miss Stricklin died.

16-Apr    Plowed all day.  Miss Ruthy Stricklin was buried.

17-Apr    Sabbath school.




21-Apr    Plowed at McCrarrie's all week until today noon. Plowed some hedge rows on other side of farm. Rained all morning.  Plowed a few hours in the hog patch.

22-Apr    Plowed all day on the west side of timber. Rained most all night.

23-Apr    Rained all the forenoon. We put our calves in Uncle Wash's pastor.  Warren and I at Asa Turney's for dinner. Came home, John Lowry at our house. Stayed all night. J.D. VanDeren's at house.

24-Apr    At home. J Lowry and J.D. VanDeren in forenoon. Very few at Sabbath. Rained in forenoon.  I went to B.A. VanDeren's after school.

25-Apr    J.D. VanDeren started for Cairo.  I helped J.M. Turpin drive hogs home. He and I hunted the wild gobbler in the afternoon.

26-Apr    Put a load of hay in the barn in forenoon. J. Turney and I went to Loami in afternoon.

27-Apr    Loafed all day at Wash's, J. Baker’s and the schoolhouse.

28-Apr    Planted potatoes all day.



1-May    Rained first as Sabbath school was over.  Mrs. Dodd stopped until after the shower. J. S.? Hall and J.W. Hall with them.


3-May    Plowed all day by the spring.

4-May    Went to Springfield as a delegate to the County Council.  Bought a suit of clothes worth $35.00. Maggie Lowry came from Virden.

5-May    Plowed all day. Miss Lowry went to Charlie Turpin's.

6-May    Marked ground for planting.  Planted this afternoon for the first this season.

7-May    Marked the piece by the Sulphur Springs.  Went to Mr. VanDeren's for supper.

8-May    At home until Sabbath school.  Rained so we did not have any Sabbath school.

9-May    Loafed most of the day at Uncle Wash's. In afternoon helped John Lowry shed seed corn part of the time. The Mrs. Dodd's and Hall's here.

10-May  At home in the forenoon went to Loami with Mr. VanDeren in the afternoon.  Got a letter for Ms. Smith and Lowry.

11-May  Went to Mill in forenoon. Planted corn in afternoon.  Father and I near the Sulphur Spring, ground pretty wet.

12-May  Len Jacobs and I planted corn all day.

13-May  Set hedge on the south farm.  Mr. McCrarrie helped in the afternoon.

14-May  Finished setting hedge on the south farm.  Had my hair cut.

15-May  Sabbath morning cool and cloudy.  Went to quarterly meeting. Peter Cartwright our presiding elder preached. Went with Aaron and Mrs. Dodd in afternoon. The ? Lodge ladies took up a collection - $23

16-May  Breaking ground for corn. J.W. Hall went to Camp Butler to the hospital. Father and Ellen set out hedge.  Mrs. Maggie Lowry at our house on a visit. I was out at Lowry's at night.

17-May  Breaking ground for corn.

18-May  Breaking for corn, pretty warm.

19-May  Planted corn in the afternoon.  Mrs. Maggie Lowry went back to Virden

20-May  Marked ground in the forenoon.  Planted in afternoon.

21-May  Finished planting the west piece in the forenoon. Fished, hunted and loafed.  Went out to look at the soil in the evening.

22-May  Very warm; at Mrs. Margaret Hall's in forenoon.  Sabbath's school in evening.  Went to Mr. VanDeren's after Sabbath school. (Rained at night).

23-May   Harrowed soil.

24-May   Harrowed soil. Rained about 1:00 Father and Mr. J.M. Turpin went squirrel hunting.

25-May   Harrowed.

26-May  Planted corn all day out on the sod.

27-May  Finished planting corn about 2:00.  Mr. David Hay's Jr. and Major Hays came down.

28-May  Harrowed in forenoon.  Davy Hay's and I loafed.

29-May  John Lowry and I went to the Sulphur Springs Sabbath school in forenoon. John took sick at Sabbath school and came down here. Sam and I set up nearby. Sam went after medicine.

30-May   Commenced plowing corn. Miss Flora Lowry came down to wait upon John.

31-May  Plowed corn all day. Mrs. Aaron Hall had a wool pulling. Maj. and Davy at our house at night.

1-Jun    Mother, Ellen, Tommy and I went to Springfield with wool.  Mr. And Mrs. VanDeren and Miss Jane Baker there.

2-Jun      Plowed in forenoon.  Father and Mr. Turpin went to Auburn and got some plows. I went to Mr. Turpin's to see his double shovels. Plowed two rounds with Sam Lowry's plow.

3-Jun    Mowed fence at McCrarrie's. Watson's horse run with his buggy.

4-Jun    Fixed fence in the pond in the morning. Father and I killed 7 squirrels.  J.W. Dodd and I skinned in the swimming hole. J.W. Hall came from Camp Butler.  We went to Mr. Henry's.

5-Jun    Went to church with John, Jennie, Flora and Sarah Dodd. John and the girls stopped for dinner after Sabbath school.

6-Jun    Commenced plowing with my double plows. John Hall went back to Camp Butler.

7-Jun    Plowed by the Spring.

8-Jun    Plowed by the Spring. Rained two or three times.

9-Jun    Finished plowing Sulphur Spring.  Commenced harrowing the back piece

10-Jun  Harrowed all day.

11-Jun  Harrowed and plowed until noon. Mr. And Mr. Turpin and Sarah went to Loami in his buggy. Martha, Margaret and Amanda went in their buggy.

12-Jun  I went t Sulphur Springs to Sabbath School; from there to Loami Church; heard Reverend Mr. Coly preach Sabbath; at home.

13-Jun  Plowed a little in the forenoon.  Went to Auburn in the afternoon to get my shovel plows fixed.  Quite an excitement about horse thieves.

14-Jun  Commenced plowing on the sod.

15-Jun  Plowed on the sod; the folks gathered strawberries.  Mrs. VanD and Hall in the forenoon.  Mr. VanD, Marg. Hall, Jennie Lowry, Sarah Turpin.

16-Jun  Finished plowing the sod in the morning.  Put my mare in Mr. Turpin’s pasture.

17-Jun  J. M. Turpin and I went squirrel hunting.

18-Jun  J. W. Dodd, J.M. Turpin, Aaron Hall and I went swimming.  At Loami in afternoon.

19-Jun  At home until time for Sabbath School.  John Lowry started for Sabbath School, Sulphur Springs, looked like rain.

20-Jun  Plowed on the west piece of corn.  Rained, considerable showers in the morning.  Went to Loami to make some arrangements for the fourth.

21-Jun  Plowed in the forenoon, went to Mr. John Baker’s son and got a list of the names of the singers and went and notified them of their appointment.

22-Jun  Commenced laying by corn by the Sulphur Spring.

23-Jun  Plowed by the spring; very warm.

24-Jun  Finished plowing by the spring in the forenoon.

25-Jun  Split middles in forenoon by the gate.  Went to Loami in the afternoon.  Mr. J. H. Lippard of Texas made a speech, tried to pull the cord on the pulley on flag pole.  I was appointed asst. marshal.

26-Jun  John Lowry and I went to Sulphur Springs to Sabbath School in the forenoon.  Mrs. Baker’s folks came home with Mr. Van’s folks.  I went to Mr. Van’s at evening.

27-Jun  Plowed on the west piece.

28-Jun  Sprinkled rain in the morning; rained very hard in the evening.

29-Jun  Finished plowing on the west side of the timber in the forenoon,  Went out to the sod in the afternoon.

30-Jun  Mother and I went to Springfield,  I bought a pair of shoes, $4.00, gloves, $1.75, sash, .80, necktie, .50

1-Jul     Plowed sod in the forenoon; went to Loami, helped to fix seats for the celebration, Found a dollar and twenty cents.

2-Jul     Finished laying by corn about the middle of the afternoon.

3-Jul     Sulphur Springs meeting and Sabbath School, forenoon.

4-Jul     We celebrated the day at Loami.  Rev. Mr. MacElfresh and ? orators at the day.  I acted as asst. marshal.

5-Jul     Fixed the reaper and took it over to Uncle Wash’s, rained in the afternoon.

6-Jul     Commenced cutting wheat at Wash’s.  Lost a nut.  Cut wheat remainder of the week.

7-Jul     Finished cutting Uncle Wash’s wheat.  Mr. Happin had some sheep killed by dogs at night.

8-Jul     Cut our wheat.

9-Jul     Cut Turney’s wheat; worked till dark.

10-Jul   At home until Sabbath.  Went to Mrs. Lowry’s after school.

11-Jul   Sprinkled rain in the morning early.  Bound wheat in afternoon for John Lowry.  Nine o’clock p.m. sitting at the window at Mr. Van’s. Miss Smith and Cal with me.  Miss Smith sitting on the stair step sewing.

12-Jul   Bound wheat for Lowry’s all day $2.  Cal Mc? And Miss L? Smith on a visit.  John Turpin, Aaron Hall cut J. M. Turpin’s oats in afternoon.  They cut till bedtime.

13-Jul   Father and I cut a patch of oats in forenoon; bound & shocked them in the afternoon.  Rained at night.

14-Jul   Grass and weeds wet; machine not running this morning.  Shocked wheat in afternoon for Sam Lowry.

15-Jul   Father and I cut by the cherry trees in the forenoon.  Jacob Workman, Jun. Helped us in the forenoon.  Bound wheat for Sam Lowry.

16-Jul   Father and I went to Loami in the dugout.  John W. Hall came from Camp Butler.  He came from Loami with us in the geholygo.

17-Jul   John Lowry and I went to Sulphur Springs to Sabbath School; from there to Loami to church.  Rev. Mr. Coly preached (Text: John 9-23 “One thing I know”.  I came home with ? 32 from Sabbath.

18-Jul   Started to hunt the horses before breakfast; came back and got my breakfast and went again.  Found them and went to mowing on the west side of timber; put that piece in shock.

19-Jul   Mowing on the east side.  Went and borrowed Mr. Van’s hay rake. Went after it; David Lowry and John Hintten shocking hay.  Raked hay in afternoon.  Rained a little in evening.  Cal, Miss Smith and went to Sugar Creek.

20-Jul   Finished cutting hay; took the rake to Mrs. Marg. Hall’s.  I went up there in evening; borrowed her buggy to go to Virden.

21-Jul   Father and I fixed the fence out at the pond in forenoon.  Went to Chatham to a donation party for the benefit of our Preacher Hickocks.  Contributed $2Cal and Miss smith came from Sugar Creek.

22-Jul   Built a stack of hay in the forenoon.  Cool and pleasant.

23-Jul   Hauled hay in the forenoon.  Went to Uncle wash’s in the afternoon.  John came home with me and stayed all night.  We went to prayer meeting.

24-Jul   John Lowry and I went to Virden.  Maggie not in town.