Joel Kimball Diary - December 1874


Tuesday, December 1, 1874

"Washed out deer skins and oiled them. Cut some wood."

Joel Kimball

After soaking the skins in the hardwood ash concoction for the removal of the hair, the hides were then thoroughly washed and rinsed, removing any residue left on the hide. - Fred
Wednesday, December 2, 1874

"Grained buck skins and cut wood."

Joel Kimball

Depending on the what purpose the tanned leather was being made for meant just how soft it needed to be. Leathers used for shoes or farm implements were more rigid while leather used in clothing was made to be more supple. Further work on graining the hair side of the hide by the continual rubbing and scrapping the now hairless surface with the blade would make the leather more pliant. Beating the hide also helped to soften the leather. - Fred
Thursday, December 3, 1874

"Worked at cutting wood and tanning hides."

Joel Kimball

It is unknown the method Joel used in tanning the deerskins. The general procedure used at the local commercial tanneries would be to immerse the hides into a vat filled with a hemlock-bark liquor. The finished leather made from this process would be less pliable, not easily used as clothing articles but ideal for boots and shoes, products of which the local tanneries were well known for. Other procedures used in transformation of hides into leather required the use of oil emulsions, which required more work on the skins but yielded a softer product that also was more water resistant.  Fred

Friday, December 4, 1874

"Worked at tanning deer skins, cutting wood and so forth.

"Not very interesting."

Joel Kimball

The leather made from deer skins was known for its durability, and used as clothing articles such as jackets, trousers and gloves. The local tanneries relied on hides shipped to them from all parts of the country, such as calfskins from Texas, and beyond. The hides of kangaroo skins from Australia were sometimes sought, its leather known as being strong and flexible. -  fred

"The Debruce tannery lately tanned the hide of a South American tapir, which made leather an inch thick."

February 22, 1877
Sullivan County Republican

Saturday, December 5, 1874

"Made buck-skin mittens nearly all day. Called at P O and did not get any mail. Made one pair mittens and mother ditto. Cut a little wood and done chores."

Joel Kimball

Up until 1870, the tannery factories within Sullivan County were thriving operations employing an estimated three thousand men working either at the factories or with the related hemlock timber industry. To furnish the necessary ingredient for the factories' tanning process, hemlock bark, 600,000 hemlock trees were felled annually. This onslaught on chopping down and the destruction of the hemlock forests soon brought about the demise of the industry within the county. During the 1870's, tannery after tannery began to shut down operations, many removing to the hemlock forests of central and western Pennsylvania, followed by many of the experienced and skilled tannery workers from Sullivan County.

By 1874, the Cochran & Appley tannery at Westfield Flats, like other tanneries in the county, was not running full-time, closing operations until enough resources could be stockpiled and allowing the plant to resume activity. For eighteen months, the Cochran & Appley had lain idle as bark and wood, now not as easily accessible, were collected. In November, the tannery resumed operating. - fred

Sunday, December 6, 1874

"Started for Neversink with C Mott's horse and wagon, arrived at B S about 1 o'clock, nobody home.

"M soon came, Stayed until 3 o'clock. Went to Uncle Asa's, M with me, had pleasant ride and broke wagon spring. Found all OK at Uncle Asa's. Stayed all night.

"Sold two pair mittens, received cash, 4.00."

Joel Kimball

Joel again headed for Neversink to visit the Asa Hodge family [see January 28th and 29th]. Midway between Parksville and Neversink, at the four corners known as Krum Settlement, Joel stopped at the farm of Benjamin Schoonmaker. The fifty-four-year-old farmer had married one of the Krum girls, Delia, and was known throughout this section as a dealer in livestock and drover. Joel's visit, though, was not to talk cattle with Benjamin, but to pay a visit with his daughter, Mary Schoonmaker, whom he had been corresponding with off and on throughout the past year.

Mary Esther Schoonmaker is the oldest child of Benjamin and Delia, born on April 4th, 1848 at the pioneer log cabin on the Krum homestead. After attending the local one-room school, Mary furthered her education at the Liberty Normal Institute. This school at the village of Liberty, which usually had an attendance of over seventy students from around the area, and other statewide incorporated academies were the forerunners to public high-schools in New York State. Besides the secondary level education courses, these academies also offered advanced subjects that were taught in college along with teacher training. Since her graduation, Mary has been teaching for the past several years at local area school districts, receiving two dollars a week and board. - fred

Monday, December 7, 1874

"At Uncle Asa Hodge's. Started for S about 8 o'clock. Stopped a short time and Irwin came and we started for home. Arrived in Parksville and repaired wagon spring at Sarr's shop. Ate dinner at Sturdevant's and Irwin came to Morsston on mail-train. W P Rose rode with me.

"For Sarr, .75
 For C Mott, 2.50"

Joel Kimball

On his return home, Joel stopped at the Parksville blacksmith shop of William Tillison Sarr to repair the broken spring on Cyrus Mott's wagon. The forty-nine-year-old smithy was born at Neversink where he practiced his trade for many years. With the coming of the Midland railroad and its necessary blacksmithing needs, Sarr and his family relocated to Parksville in 1868. His son, twenty-four-year-old Ten Eyck Sarr, has followed in his father's footsteps in the blacksmith trade, recently taking over the old blacksmith shop in the center of the village of Liberty, located behind the newly opened mercantile business of Sarles & Purvis. - fred

Tuesday, December 8, 1874

"Hiram Rose and I went on the hill after noon and got wood for school house. I cut wood at home before noon."

Joel Kimball

Hiram and Joel are delivering more wood for the local school house [see November 20th}. The school children in the one-room schoolhouse under the supervision of teacher Ida Seeley range in age from six to seventeen, each age group required to be taught at separate levels. To do this, a textbook series has been written by William McGuffey during the mid-century that became the most popular schoolbooks and teaching methods used in the country during the latter half of the century. The McGuffey Readers consisted of a series of six textbooks, each at different levels of difficulty. As the student advanced through the Readers, the lessons, though similar in each level of textbooks, became more difficult as the student advanced from the lowest level in the first reader up through the series to the sixth reader. This method promoted by the McGuffey Readers allowed the one-room classroom teacher to be able to work with all the students at the same time. - fred

Wednesday, December 9, 1874

"H E Rose went to Buck Eddy. I cut wood nearly all day. Cut twelve feet off large maple."

Joel Kimball

The MuGuffey Readers combined educational exercises for the student with lessons on morality and religious readings. The first Reader contained 56 lessons, stressing righteous personal qualities such as kindness, honesty and being truthful. The second Reader, though similar with its morality content as in the first book by stressing tolerance, respect and good behavior, also included lessons on reading and spelling, along with history and science. - fred

Thursday, December 10, 1874

"Drew some wood down, braided two lashes. Weather poor."

Joel Kimball

With the nation's fascination concerning the railroad industry and its recent trans-continental expansion to the west coast by the Union Pacific just five years earlier, events along the growing rail system often made front page news in the local weeklies. Wealth gained by railroad barons from government-sponsored land acquisitions and the manipulation of railroad stock was occasionally dispersed to other types of criminals, not of the white-collar variety, in the actions of bold and daring robberies; fred

"Kansas City, Mo., December 8th, 1874 - The passenger train of the Kansas Pacific Railroad was robbed by a gang of five masked men at Muncie Station, at four o'clock this afternoon. The robbers were mounted and heavily armed with revolvers and rifles. The engineer saw the rails piled on the track and halted when three men mounted the engine and presented revolvers at his head and ordered him to detach the express car and mail car from the train and pull it some distance up the track from the passenger cars, which was done, and the express car was entered and the messenger was compelled to unlock the safe and cash boxes when the robbers took $30,000 there from.... Wells, Fargo & Co. offer a reward of $5,000 for the recovery of the money and $1,000 each for the robbers, dead or alive."

December 19th, 1874
Evening Gazette

Friday, December 11, 1874

"Helped H E Rose butcher cow. I knocked her down first time in my life. Struck three times.

"Spliced whip for Appley Stewart.

"Appley Stewart due for splicing whip, cash 30c."

Joel Kimball

To butcher Hiram's cow, the animal needed to be knocked out, then hoisted up by its hind feet so that when the throat is slit, the animal's still beating heart pumps out the blood. In stunning the animal, it is restrained by Hiram and others with ropes as Joel takes a mighty swing with the sledge hammer, placing a blow on the cow's forehead; but apparently not mighty enough. The first blow should knock the animal out, but this was not the case with Joel's timid or misplaced strike. The animal was now no doubt in a panic, creating problems for Hiram and fellow rope handlers as the cow struggled against its restraints. Again Joel swung the hammer onto cow's forehead, and again the animal failed to fall, the rope-holders now quite anxious over their ability of restraining the struggling beast much longer. With no doubt less than modest encouraging words from his butchering partners, the novice behind the hammer succeeded with the third blow, knocking the beast and all involved out of their misery. fred
Saturday, December 12, 1874

"Went down to Westfield Flats, saw Doc Reed, did not get any money.

"Came to Morsston on train and home.

"Asa Cochran due for two lashes @60, 1.20
 Sheeley & Wilson due for four lashes @60, 2.40"

Joel Kimball

Due to the dry weather conditions from the previous summer and fall, many of the water tanks at depots along the line of the Midland railroad have run low on water. Because of the company's steam-powered locomotives' thirst for water, a new tank, along with a new water supply, has just been completed near the station at Westfield Flats. Iron pipes have been laid across the Willowemoc above the Cochran & Appley mill pond, tapping into sources of spring water coming off the side of the hill. The water is then piped to the new tank, located near George Hunter's Willowemoc House [see May 29th]. fred

Sunday, December 13, 1874

"Called at Collins, saw Dave. Received cards for J & H and Wm Keener. Uncle Billings and Aunt Katie called.

"F Reynolds called at Col.'s."

Joel Kimball

Frank Reynolds is the son of Oliver Reynolds, the proprietor of the grist mill at Parksville. The family's roots are from the Town of Neversink and they have recently become firmly established at Parksville, with the operation of the father's mill and Frank's older brother, Benjamin, being a highly successful and much sought-after attorney, having his law practice in the village. The family is also well-known at Purvis as the daughter, Elizabeth, married Jack Sherwood, the ex-proprietor of the Purvis Hotel and who has taken over the operation of the old lumber mill at Purvis. "Polk" Reynolds, young Frank's nickname, works at the family's grist-mill, learning the trade from his father. fred

Monday, December 14, 1874

"Cut wood at home nearly all day. Made a pair of gloves for Arthur Dodge. Mother made a pair of mittens for me."

Joel Kimball

With the financially strapped Midland railroad company's refusal to pay state and local taxes, Lewis Clark, the tax collector from Middletown, has seized the railway's property and rolling stock within that township and has scheduled a sale on the confiscated property for the 17th. In an effort to keep the bankrupt company solvent, the receivers now responsible for the company have reduced the labor force, cut the express-freight service and combined the freight cars onto the passenger trains, and discontinued all non-paying telegraph offices along the line. At present, the company owes nearly $100,000 in back taxes.  fred

Tuesday, December 15, 1874

"Went on the hill and cut a drag of wood and run it off the hill. Weather very cold. Cut some wood.

"H E Rose and I went down to J M Sheeley's and paid school tax which was 1.53."

Joel Kimball

The Midland railroad has also not paid taxes on their assessed property within school districts. Surveyors employed by the local district have determined that three miles of track run through the district, the resulting school tax levied on the railroad being $40. fred

Wednesday, December 16, 1874

"H E Rose and I went on the hill and cut wood all day, carried out dinners with us. Cut about three cords for school house.

"Very cold in morning and warmer after."

Joel Kimball

Ida Sheeley, the school teacher at the one-room school, was also a graduate from the Liberty Normal Institute where she received training for classroom teaching. The Institute opened in November of 1847 offering not only the normal primary and high school curriculum for those wishing to attend, but also advanced courses for college preparation along with a teacher's training instructional class.

Course offerings at the Institute included; modern language and English literature; ancient languages such as Latin, Greek and Hebrew; mental and moral sciences; mathematics and natural sciences; drawing and instrumental music. These courses ranged in price from six dollars to fourteen dollars each per semester. There were two semester during the school year, each being twenty weeks in duration. Fourteen weeks was allocated for those participating in the teaching-training courses. In association with the Institute was boarding facilities. Those who boarded were expected to spend from half past six to nine o'clock in the evening and from seven to half past eight o'clock in the morning in the school's study room. - Fred
Thursday, December 17, 1874

"Hiram E Rose and I cut wood on the hill until noon, are nearly done. After noon I cut wood and made some lashes."

Joel Kimball

The sale of the Midland's seized property and rolling stock by Middletown tax collector Lewis Clark to compensate for the railroad company's overdue and unpaid taxes, which was scheduled for today, has been postponed by an injunction order granted by Judge Blackford of the United States Court. In an effort to promote the building of railroads in New York State, a bill adopted in 1866 by the State Legislature, with later subsequent amendments, allowed railroad companies to be exempt from paying taxes to the municipalities that provided revenue in the form of bonds for the construction of these lines, for a period of up to ten years or until the completion of the line. During the past year, in 1874, a new law was passed by the Legislature repealing the tax exemption with bonded municipalities for only the Midland railroad. The company is now appealing the validity of the most recent law as it is written, claiming that its language is inconsistent with the previously passed legislation. - Fred
Friday, December 18, 1874

"Went down to Westfield Flats, called at Uncle Oliver's, saw grandfather who let me have four lashes he braided for me. Carried cards to W Keener, delivered eight lashes to Sheeley & Wilson, got two pounds coffee and a shirt.

"Came home and went to Morsston depot - found deer skins had arrived. BuBois made mistake and sent for sixty pounds instead of three hides. I took twenty-two pounds. I went to writing school which proved a failure."

Joel Kimball

Back on November twentieth, Joel ordered through the Morsston Depot mercantile firm of Divine, Dubois & Co., three deer hides from the New York City leather merchant Charles Fosdick [see February 19th] for the price of sixty cents per pound. The hides have now been delivered, but due to a mistake, or a misunderstanding, on somebody's part, be it Dubois, his clerk William Denman, the merchant Fosdick or even Joel himself, instead of three hides, sixty pounds of hides were delivered. - Fred
Saturday, December 19, 1874

"Called at post office and mailed some letters. Came home and hooked 44 succors out of the river near G W Sprague's. After noon cut some wood and drew wood off the hill. Dave and Julia came in evening.

"I went to Morsston, saw Dubois and talked about deer skins. Called at D.'s. Pleasant and stormy."

Joel Kimball

Across the river from the depot at Morsston, on the hill next to the church, Joel no doubt would have noticed that the new residence of Philip Woolsey, that has been under construction throughout the fall, was almost completed and ready to be occupied. Woolsey was the son of a lumber and mercantile merchant and the grandson of of a Baptist minister, the family residing at the Delaware County community of Shavertown. Young Philip had learned the lumber trade from his father, but at the age of seventeen, the tales of California and its gold-filled mountains brought the lad to the brink of heading west, until his father offered to sell him the family lumber mill. Though his fortune may have been waiting for him three thousand miles away across the continent, the forested hills of Delaware and Sullivan counties offered other types of riches that the ambitious Philip just could not pass up. Philip's eventual  success with the Shavertown mill was not just due to the fact of an ample supply of hemlock trees, but also that the inventive fellow created a shingle-planner machine, which he had patented, selling the machine to other lumbermen throughout the northeast..... fred
Sunday, December 20, 1874

"At home, pretty dull day. Snowing all day. Went on the hill and fixed fox traps and fed cattle. Julia and Dave went home."

Joel Kimball

The first real winter storm of the season blew in overnight on Saturday and continued throughout the day on Sunday as the ground became blanketed with an abundant snowfall of heavy, moisture packed snow. - Fred
Monday, December 21, 1874

"Drew wood off the hill and got some stakes for drag rack.

"Came home and found father here, he has come home to stay. I am well pleased and hope he will stay and depart no more."

Joel Kimball

Joel's father, Isaac Kimball, who had been away from his wife, son and youngest daughter for at least the past year, has returned home. The reason for his extended leave from the family is unclear, though there may be hints taken from Joel's dairy entries that he had been working in the lumber business, but where remains unclear. Whatever the reason, the Kimball farm has been left in the hands of his son who, with the occasional help of relatives and young neighbors, managed the farm quite well.

Isaac and Lavina Kimball took ownership of the farm in 1866, originally a portion of the Amos Sheeley homestead and later made into a small farm by Joseph Rose. On Isaac's return, he would find that Joel has been busy clearing off the hill behind the house, increasing the acreage for pasture. There is an increase in the number of livestock on the farm, and a barn has been erected on the hillside to help house the animals. At the house, a new brick chimney has been built, the garden harvested, firewood gathered and the house foundation banked all in preparation for the coming wintry weather. Fred
Tuesday, December 22, 1874

"Father cut drag wood and I worked at drag rack, put in side stakes and made beam for the hind rack. Drew down two loads of wood."

Joel Kimball

Henry Davis, whose family were early settlers at Old Morsston, died this afternoon at the age of 74 years. The cause of his death was listed in town records as being the results of "chronic disease." Family historians state that Henry was a tanner by trade, working at William Bradley's tannery at Parksville, erected in 1843, and may have influenced Bradley's decision to build a plant in 1849 at Old Morsston [see September 26th].

The original tannery building at Old Morsston was a two story building, with an attic, one hundred and fifty feet in length and thirty feet in width. It originally used water from the Little Beaverkill, which flowed directly behind the building, to generate power for the plant's operation. Nearby was a large shed to store the cords of hemlock bark, twenty-one feet by one hundred and ten feet, along with other buildings used for storage of hides and a "sweat pit." When Henry Osborn and Medad Morss took over the operation, they built an addition onto the old plant and converted the operation over to steam power. - Fred
Wednesday, December 23, 1874

"Went up to Morsston and met with Board of Excise, granted license to O O Horton. Ate dinner at James W Davis' hotel, did not pay for it.

"Wrote to Flemming, Adams & Howe. Sent Davis poultry for them.

"Town of Rockland due for one day, Credit Board meeting and Excise Board meeting, 2.00

"Attended donation at J E Sprague's, good time."

Joel Kimball

The hotel of James Davis is the scene of town business with meetings by the credit board, giving final approval on bills submitted to the town, and the excise board, which grants licenses for the operation of boarding houses or the selling of intoxicant beverages. James Wallace Davis, the son of Henry W Davis who had died only yesterday, is now the proprietor of the old manor house of the late Dr. Edward Livingston. Built in 1823 for the reclusive gentleman, the manor house consisted of three wings, with a cupola that housed a bell situated atop the main wing. Livingston lived on the manor in grand Old-English style, retaining domestic servants to serve him and his guests as well as farm laborers that worked the farm and grounds.

After Livingston's death, his estate passed out of the hands of the Livingston family, and with the coming of the Midland railroad, whose route bisects the farm, the property is now beginning to be developed commercially. The railroad erected their depot near the still-attractive old mansion, which is now an ideal location to accommodate the traveling public. - Fred
Thursday, December 24, 1874

"Father went to Parksville and I worked at deer skins, graining and tanning.

"In evening went down to school house and saw Christmas tree. Received the honorable office of taking presents from the tree, L. Seeley and Ed Huntington assisting. Pleasant time."

Joel Kimball
Friday, December 25, 1874

"Father and I chained over some oats and I took them to the depot and sold them to Divine Dubois & Co. for 65c per bushel. 23 bushels and 20 lbs. I got 40 lbs deer skins and received check from F A & Howe for butter, 17.20.

"Received of collector, 6.93

"Balance due on town accounts paid, 12.27.

"Merry Christmas"

Joel Kimball
Saturday, December 26, 1874

"Worked at deer skins a while and then went up to John Decker's and got his horse and Laf Sprague's wagon and started for Downsville. Stopped at Flats and got wagon fixed by Geo. K Green, paid him 2.00 sent by Laf.

"Received $10.00 of T A Read on account of Martin Gillet. Stopped at Lewis Hitts and ate dinner, left mother there. Eli came and we started for Downsville, arrived about half past four.

"I found Lodge, dues 4.00. Attended Lodge."

Joel Kimball

Yesterday, Christmas day, appears to be somewhat of a normal business day at Morsston Depot, with Joel and his father doing both personal and town-related transactions. It also appears that Joel has bartered with Alvin Dubois [see August 13th] to straighten out the confusion concerning the order of deer hides that Joel received from New York last week.

Today, Joel borrows Alphabet Decker's horse along with Lafayett Sprague's wagon and with his mother riding beside him, head out on the road to Downsville, Delaware County. With repair work needed to be done on the wagon, they stop at Westfield Flats, and George Green and George Sheeley's new blacksmith and wagon shop, built over the past fall and now recently open for business.

With the wagon fixed, Joel and his mother continue on their journey. Riding across the covered bridge that spans the Beaverkill River above Westfield Flats, they immediately come upon the residence of Lewis Hitt. At thirty-three years of age, Lewis is a veteran lumberman and raftsmen, piloting many rafts down the Beaverkill to market for George Kimball from the Kimball Banking Grounds, located along the upper Beaverkill. George Kimball is an uncle to Lewis, on his father's side, and a cousin to Joel.

Lewis Hitt is also a veteran of the past war, enlisting into the Union Army on two different occasions. He first enlisted as a nine-month recruit with the 101st Infantry Regiment, Company A, which was recruited at Hancock early in 1862. The regiment participated in Union General George McCellen's ill-fated Peninsula Campaign to capture Richmond, Virginia, the following June, seeing heavy action during the Seven Days Battle from Oak Grove to Malvern Hill. With the Union Army's retreat back to northern Virginia, Hitt was soon mustered out of the regiment.

As the war dragged on over the next two years, shortage of enlistments forced the federal government to initiate the draft to induct men into military service. With a conscription drive to be conducted in September of 1864, the veteran Lewis Hitt did not wait to be drafted but again enlisted, this time with the Sullivan County regiment of the 143rd NY Infantry, where he served under General Tecumseh Sherman and saw action with Sherman's march through the Carolina which concluded with the war's end. - Fred

Sunday, December 27, 1874

"At Downsville. Ate breakfast, hitched up and came home. Heard of death of Loweing Fuller's father, died last evening of stroke of palsy. We, Eli Echart arrived at his home about 2 o'clock, stopped and ate dinner and fed horse, then came home. Found mother at A J Thompson's, she came with me.

"Paid bill, 1.25
 job and pipe, 20c
 hostler, 10c
 cigars, 20
 T A Read credit by cash, 3.30"

Joel Kimball

Joel traveled to Downsville in order to attend the meeting for the Masonic Lodge and with his mention of finding the lodge and payment of dues, it appears as if he has become a member. Joel has chosen to join the Downsville A F & A M Lodge 464, which was organized and received its charter in 1859, over joining the three existing chapters already operating in Sullivan County during the year of 1874; Monticello Lodge being the oldest chapter in the county, begun in 1817; Callicoon Lodge at Thumansville, chartered in 1859; and the Delaware Lodge at Cochecton, chartered in 1865.

The Masonic Lodge that was to be formed at Livingston Manor would be organized twelve years later, in 1886. When it was, Joel would become one of the organization's charter members. - Fred

Monday, December 28, 1874

"Rainy day, worked at graining deer skins until about 2 o'clock, then father and I went on the hill and worked at drag rack.

"I called at Col Moore's in the evening and got writing paper of D J M.

"David J Moore credit for w paper, 1.25
 for one dozen cards, .35
 due for two bushel corn, 1.10
 due for cash, .50

"We heard Julia's baby is sick and mother went over there, paid mother $6.00."

Joel Kimball

Sickness has been passing through the Munson family for the past month, with Julia, Joel's sister, showing ill effects last month from some disease [see November 22nd] and now their five-month-old baby, Ray Munson, is sick. Julia and her husband, David Munson, reside at the old George Kimball place located along the Beaverkill River, near the Kimball banking grounds. David's parents are also in this vicinity, moving to the Beaverkill valley after selling their northern Delaware County farm.

The Kimball banking grounds is located about one mile below the Beaverkill tannery of Babcock & Ellsworth. Here, for a short distance, the river valley widens somewhat, allowing the Beaverkill's waters to become more placid, forming an eddy that that has become the farthest point along the upper Beaverkill where lumber could be safely assembled into colts. Before the war, lumber mills were erected at this location by Kimball, utilizing the banking grounds to assemble and ship lumber down-river. The mill is now being operated by Peter Tripp. - Fred

Tuesday, December 29, 1874

"Grained one deer skin and went up to depot to meet school trustees, did not all meet, adjourned until next Tuesday.

"Town of Rockland due for one day writing school trustees, 2.00
 Due for charges on school reports from state superintendent, 30.00
 J W Davis 35c for dinner
 Received note from C D
 Sent 2.12. to F W Johnson for copy jury list
 Received returns for Dave's poultry, $9.19"

Joel Kimball

To satisfy the requirements stipulated within the recently passed state legislation known as the Compulsory Education Act [see November 25th and November 27th], Joel has scheduled the meeting today with all the school trustees within the township to discuss the new regulations and set up arrangements on how the trustees were going to enforce the law. Judging by the attendance, or rather the lack thereof, many of the trustees were either not in favor of the new regulations or had concerns over its effects on the districts, enough so as to ignore attending the required meeting.

These major concern, very important for these rural school districts, were the problems created if all the district's school-age children were forced to attend school. In most cases, the existing one-room school buildings would not be of adequate size to accommodate the increased enrollment, forcing the district into renovating the building. Coupled with the need to purchase additional school supplies, these added expenditures would certainly mean an increase in local school taxes. - Fred

Wednesday, December 30, 1874

"Went on the hill and drew down one drag of wood. Worked some on drag rack. After noon went on the hill and finished rack except bottom boards, drew out some wood. Father chopped drags of wood. We finished cutting school wood. Copied mortgage for Martin, constable from Parksville, received 65c.

"H E Rose paid me 25c for cough syrup.

"Cool, windy day.

"H E Rose called in evening."

Joel Kimball


"It is now fifteen years since the attention of the public was first called by Dr. L. Q. C. Wishart to this wonderful remedy, and so well has it stood the test of time, that to-day it not only has the confidence of the entire community, but is more frequently prescribed by physicians in their practice than any other propriety preparation in the country. It is the vital principle of the Pine Tree obtained by a peculiar process in the distillation of the Tar, by which the highest medicinal properties are retained. - Fred

"For the following complaints; Inflammation of the Lungs, Coughs, Sore Throat and Breast, Bronchitis, Consumption, Liver Complaint, Weak Stomach, Disease of the Kidneys, Urinary Complaints, Nervous Debility, Dyspepsia and diseases arising from an impure condition of the blood, there is no remedy in the world that has been used so successfully or can show such a number of marvelous cures."

December 24, 1874
Republican Watchman
Thursday, December 31, 1874

"Braided on a whiplash some in the morning. Took steers and drew wood off the hill across Wm P Rose. Drew three loads and finished Ed Huntington.

"This is all a mistake.

"Paid Cyrus Gray $18.21 on mortgage. Worked at deerskins a while, then went on hill and drew load of wood down across Wm P Rose for school house. Left part of it near A Cochran's and the remainder near J H Sheeley. Drew a load after noon. Dave came up and brought mother. Paid Dave $9.10 for poultry.

"Farewell 1874."

Joel Kimball

And farewell to you, Joel. Throughout the past year, his journal has introduced us to his family, friends and neighbors along with the communities they were all very much a part of and the way of life that they all lived. Joel's daily entries, mostly written in a matter of fact manner and often used as his personal financial ledger, on occasion reveals more; his joy of building a fishing boat or with the return of his father, the sorrow of losing a close friend, the hurt of a seemingly failed romance, or the spirit of adventure while rafting the rapids over the spring-melt swollen river. Unfortunately, the tale that is recorded in this diary ends with the entry written on the 31st of December, 1874, but it is not the end of the story of Joel and his friends, as they continue on with their lives. Some will move on to other parts of the country, satisfying their own personal yearnings, but many  stay, becoming the leaders within the rapidly growing communities. The communities thrive with the eventual success of the railroad, and the area's natural resources are utilized in other fashions.

As for Joel, the hilltop clearing he has worked on throughout the past year eventually becomes his home, at least for a short time, and he does soon get married to ... But then, this is probably all recorded in later journals that he has kept, but as yet undiscovered. While on a trip to Westfield Flats this past November, Joel had purchased another blank diary book from Cochran's store. No doubt he intended to continue writing. Perhaps, stuffed away in an attic filled with old family belongings, or buried in another box of garage-sale items, lies the sequel to Joel's story, a diary kept for the year 1875. - Fred