|Hurrah for West Virginia
Howard Haines' Journal
August 25, 1893 - September 28, 1893
This is Howard Haines' account of the wagon journey he
and his younger brothers, Charlie and John, made from Rice Lake,
Wisconsin to Buckhannon, West Virginia. Howard was 23 years
old at the time and newly wed to Marie (Mary) Lejeune. The rest
of the family went by train to West Virginia, Howard and
his two brothers hauled the household goods.
August 25, 1893
Started from the windfall at ten o'clock this morning. Just
after the rain. Road's muddy. Got to Rice Lake after 3
- 1/2 miles. Shipped the boxes and sent the receipts home.
Left the lake and ate dinner below Schneicartdale. Went
on to Chetek and camped below the town on the lake shore.
Borrowed a few ears of corn along the way at two different
places. I will pay back when the owner calls in W. Va.
Borrowed some hay near where we camped. Made 26 miles
today. Sam's neck is sore, tongue of wagon too heavy.
Shot pheasant and two jays.
August 26, 1893
Slept good. Did not cook any breakfast. Went within 2
miles of Bloomer. Field dinner. Most of the country dry.
Teams scared at canvas. Big pkms. Sam's neck pretty sore.
Finished the ham. Didn't cook the bird yet. Afraid of
fires. Horses got well filled with grass. Went 8 miles
below Chippewa Falls and bought a guide dog. Also postal
cards and nails. Borrowed brace and bit from Blacksmith
at Bloomer to fix the brake. Showed a smart alex what my
horses were good for. Started at six and camped at seven
in a "jack oak grove". Roads pretty sandy and some parts
stony. Brake didn't work good, wagon needs grease. Made
38 miles today.
August 27, 1893
Sunday. woke up early, fine rain. Didn't last long.
Went to sleep until rain was over. Horses had a good rest
today. Owner of grove came around and helped me wedge two
saplings in one of the hind wheels. Greased wagon. Fixed
the brakes good. Cleaned out the wagon and packed well.
Kept the birds away, spoiling, cooked a great old mess of
corn and potatoes. Made patent with work of sapling. Lots
of rigs going to Eau Claire. Boys took gun and dog out.
Got nothing. I went up the bluff behind the camp and
"viewed" the landscape O'er. It is a fine country, level
as a floor but scareful dry. Fixed the wagon tongue so
old Sam won't have to carry it. His neck is better. A
couple of young fellows visited us today. Gave me a feed
of hay. Charlie shot a squirrel for Rover's supper. He
also gave us a tune on the mouth organ. Looked at future
route in guide book.
August 28, 1893
Slept well. Started at 6 o'clock, mailed postal at Eau
Claire at seven. Dined below Fall Creek. Fine country,
big farms. Camped below Augusta. Stopped at small feed
mill at a farm and got two sacks of oats. Good road part
way, partly sandy. 40 miles today.
August 29, 1893
Slept cold. Big frost. Up early and started at five
o'clock. A few apple trees along the road. Sandy roads.
Passed Fairchild. A rambling village. Also Hummingbird (Humbird),
another one horse place. ate dinner below Merrilan.
Struck a miserable country and roads. Black River Falls
is no place at all. Big Rapids. Camped 5 miles below
B.R. Falls. 28 miles. Sore and tired.
August 30, 1893
Slept well and started at 5:30. Morning chilly. Ornery
country, Miserable roads. Passed Millston. An
insignificant station. Ate dinner at Kirby, a little
country village. Good land, fine farms and roads. Shot
prairie chicken in fence corner while the boys ate dinner.
It is a spring one reddish in color and a rooster.
Charlie sampled corn for a stew in field this morning.
Sam's nose bled, too hot and sandy this morning. I guess
they have started today. (The home folks for W. Va.)
Charlie also got two pockets of crab apples at noon. Passed
Tomah in the evening. Fine farms. Camped in big ravine 6
miles south of Tomah. Lots of Indians. Fat and high toned.
Beautiful valley. Fine place where we camped. Good water.
Cooked corn, potatoes, and chicken. Only 32 miles today.
Horses pretty tired.
August 31, 1893
Slept well, also late. Started at 7:30. Good hard road -
partly rocky. Small but fine valley. Nice small farms.
Passed Kendal (Kendall) also Elroy at noon. Pretty good-sized
place but ill looking. Ate dinner at a creek one mile
south of Elroy. Charlie shot 2 pigeons and 2 robins this
morning. Roads dry and dusty. Hot and disagreeable. I
shot a pigeon on the telegraph wire and hit the wire, it
glanced and killed the pigeon. We passed Union Center and
Wonewoa (Wonewoc), both small. Camped a mile above LaValle.
Had a good supper. Made 33 miles.
Sept. 1, 1893
Slept well. Up early before 4 and started before 5. Good
roads. Fine open country and farms. Passed Reedsburg,
poor road. Passed Lyons. Poor place. 1 mile from
Baraboo. Crossed Baraboo River after dinner and had good
roads. Big farms. Camped in a farmer's grove half mile
from Prairie du Sac. Made 37 miles.
Sept. 2, 1893
Slept well. Charlie got up by 4 and tended the team. We
started at 5:30. Passed Prairie du Sac and Sauk City.
Crossed Wisconsin River and made 17 miles by 11 o'clock.
Stopped at Blacksmith shop and had tire on front wheel set.
Ate dinner there. Went through Madison in afternoon.
Camped 9 miles below Madison. Poor campground. Madison
is a beautiful place. Big capitol and courthouse building.
Made 36 miles.
Sept. 3, 1893
Slept well. Got up late. Moved off at 9 o'clock. Poor
place to camp, no water. Passed Oregon and Brooklyn. Ate
dinner 3 miles above Evansville by big corn field. Got
some corn. Passed Evansville and camped 3 miles below
town. Wrote a letter to Mary. Made 15 miles.
Sept. 4, 1893
Got up late, slept well. Finished letter to Mary while
boys straightened up things. Passed Footsville (
Footville) and Hanover, both small places. Mailed
letter at Hanover. Ate dinner 3 miles below Hanover.
Passed Beloit, crossed Turtle Creek and entered Ill.
Good-bye Wisconsin. Passed Rockton and camped 2 miles
below that place. Fed fodder from cornfield and got some
straw for the horses. Fine warm evening. Made 34 miles.
Sept. 5 1893
Slept well, up early. Husked half a sack of corn. Took
fodder along for dinner. Passed Roscoe, also Caledonia
and Belvidere. Ate dinner 3 miles below Belvidere. Dry
and warm. Camped within 5 miles of Sycamore. Made 36
Sept 6, 1893
Slept well, up early. Started at 5. Passed Sycamore,
Maple Park and Canefield (Kaneville). Ate dinner a mile from
Canefield. Shot Prairie chicken also snipe. No place to
camp. Threw them away. Charlie got in orchard to get
apples saw man coming, stuffed apples good. Passed Aurora,
nice place. Also Montgomery, camped below same. Horses
took fright at cars at at Maple Park, took us three to
hold them. Broke my kerosene in the racket. Threw it
away. Made 39 miles.
Sept. 7, 1893
Did not sleep well. Too many trains running to Aurora.
Up after 4 and started at 5. Passed Oswego, also
Plainsfield (Plainfield). Ate dinner within a mile
of Lockport. Big quarries of stone or something.
Big blasting, lots of stone fences. Also many hedge
fences. Canal at Lockport. Country gradually changing.
Camped 4 miles from Frankfort Station (Frankfort). Made
35 miles. Saw a tramp.
Sept. 8, 1893
Charlie stood guard until 9 o'clock and I from 9 till 12.
On the lookout for tramps. Up at nearly 5 and started at
half past 5. Passed Frankfort Station (Frankfort). Also
a small town the name of which I do not know. Ate dinner
about 6 or 8 miles from Indiana line. Shot a big fox
squirrel in morning. Made Rover a big breakfast. Crossed
into Ind. and struck Dyer and sand. Dyer is a poor ornery
place. Passed Dyer and camped within a mile and a half
from Crown Point. Stopped in an oak grove in a Hoosier's
field. Made 31 - 1/2 miles. Cooked supper.
Sept. 9 1893
Slept well. Up after 4 and started half past 5. Passed
Crown Point, a fine looking town and Hebron. Ate dinner
east of Hebron about 3 miles. Going a crooked road to
Kouts. We reached that one horse place where I was much
disappointed at not getting a letter from Mary. I dropped
her a card. After leaving Kouts I noticed that Belle was
swelled badly. I unhitched her and rode her up and down
the road while Charlie went to town for salts. I got a
long neck bottle from an old German woman for five cents
and drenched Belle. If I could not have spoken a few words
in German I would have been left in a fix. These people
are a pack of fools. No one I met knew what to do or
didn't even stop to look at her though I asked them. I
worked with her myself and she got all right after dark.
But I was uneasy for awhile I can tell you. She was in a
bad way. It didn't act like colic at first, that is what
puzzled me. We camped 2 miles from Kouts, in an oak grove,
in an old field. Made 30 miles.
Sunday Sept 10
Had a good nights sleep and woke late. Retied everything.
Greased the wagon, aired the blankets and coats. Fellow
around wanted to trade horses. Charlie and Johnny went
hunting. They got a couple of birds. Belle is all right
but eye cloudy. Drove too hard. Will not put them through
so hard hereafter. I noticed today that the potatoes were
beginning to rot. Nearly all gone anyway. I took a wash
this afternoon. Cooked supper. Took hay from hay stack
for horses. Lots of hay. Passed Sunday in good shape.
Horses well rested. Sam's neck better.
Sept 11, 1893
Slept well, up after 4 and started half past five. People
fearful dumb. Sent me a short cut for Wilder (Wilders).
I happened to be a long cut. Big ditches, big sloughs all
drained. Hundreds of tons of wild hay stacked in marshes.
Ornery country. Long crooked roads. People ignorant
fools. Turned off south 1 mile from Wilder (Wilders).
Was told the road to N. Judson was a worse road for crooks
than the other one I just traveled. Passed San Pierre or
Sand Pile it should be called. Sandy roads. Ate dinner 1
- 1/2 miles south of that town. Ran race with the cars.
Crossed Kankakee River north of San Pierre. Nice streams.
Roads. Roads sandy. Passed Medaryville as ornery a sand
pile of a place as I have ever seen. Camped half way
between Medaryville and Winamac. Made 30 miles. Pulled
a calf out of quicksand.
Sept. 12, 1893
Slept pretty well. Up at 4 started before 5. Soon came
to old familiar scenes. Struck Winamac by the upper road
between 7 and 8. Passed through the town and camped below
it. All the old lots and groves fenced and built up. The
boys took a look at the old place. Charlie knew it. Then
we watered the horses in the Tippicano and took a wash off.
I felt good and took a look around. The same old town but
lots of changes. I would like to stay here a couple of
weeks but no more. Courts is in session. Charlie sent a
letter to Johnnie LeJeune. I want to get away from here.
I feel disappointed. Passed through Star City and Royal
Center. Camped below that place. Rained nearly all
afternoon. First rain we have had. Belle had colic again.
I think the oats was too green. Hornet stung me in the
dark. I forgot to say we pulled two yearling calves out
of the quicksand yesterday. One was nearly gone up.
Made 27 miles.
Up late. Slept well. Raining. Charlie got stung by
hornet. He found the nest, laid a heavy stick of lumber
on it smashing it flat as a pancake. Passed Logansport.
Fine large place. Bought watermelons for 10 cents. Big
time. Passed Anoka, passed small station (Onward) also
Bunker Hill. Cleared off after dinner. Camped 4 miles
below that place. Made 28 miles or over.
Sept. 14, 1893
Up early. Borrowed some corn from field. Started at 5,
passed two stations (McGrawsville and North Grove) and
Amboy. Also a fine little place. Passed two more
stations (Converse and Sweetser). Ate dinner 5 miles from
Marion. Bought watermelon and cantalope. Good roads.
Some mud. Sam interferred (sic)so I got him some caps at
Xenia. Dropped card to Marie and one to Hubert. Passed
Marion, a fine place, also Jonesboro and Gas City. Two
nothings. Lots of natural gas. Fine smell. Good roads,
melons cheap, 2, 4, and 5 cents. Got 4. Big times.
Camped 6 miles below Gas City. Made 36 miles.
Sept 15, 1893
Slept well. Awoke early. Started at 5. Passed Upland,
turned south 2 miles west of Hartford City. Heard smallpox
was there. False report. Passed Eaton. Stopped by
quarantine officer. Showed diary and passed through all
right. Charlie got apples at orchard on road.
"This is to certify that Howard B. Haines passed through
Eaton on his way to West Virginia from Rice Lake Wisconsin,
and left Muncie to south 12 miles. Signed by guard at
Eaton - D.W. Younce."
Ate dinner 2 miles east of Eaton. Passed Albany. Camped
in a field west of Ridgeville. Thunder shower in evening.
Good roads. Made 35 miles.
Sept. 16, 1893
Slept well. Up after 4 and started halfpast 5. Passed
Ridgeville, passed Union City, a railroad center and
pretty nice place. Part of town in Indiana and part in
Ohio. Shaped course differently. Too much zig-zag by way
of Urbana. Ate dinner 7 miles below Union City. Charlie
got his hat full of apples. Horses kind of slow. Too
much corn. Good watering place at noon. Passed
Greenville, a fine lively place. Nice big buildings.
Paid toll on pike. Belle swelled some so I camped 5 miles
from Greenville at a creek. Fine place. Made 28 miles,
will go a few tomorrow. Bought watermelons for 10 cents
and all we could get away with.
Sunday Sept. 17
Slept well. Up late. Loafed around. Good camping ground.
Lots of lime burned. Small farms. Breast hurts from
riding so much riding. Nice people here. Charlie and I
took a swim in evening. I got pretty sick for half an
hour. Charlie found a hen's nest in the brush and we had
half a dozen boiled eggs for supper. I wrote a long
letter to Hubert and one to Marie. On old soldier came
around and talked travel and hunting.
Sept. 18, 1893
Slept well. Up after 4 and started at 5. Passed
Gettysburg a small place. Covington a fine town. Troy is
a nice large town. Mailed letters at Gettysburg. Ate
dinner one mile east of Troy. Passed two small villages
(probably Alcony and North Hampton). Bought hay
off a man who said he was born and raised in Middletown
Valley, Md. Camped on the roadside under a willow hedge.
Made 35 miles.
Sept 19, 1893
Slept pretty well. Up early. Passed Springfield, a fine
good sized city. Took National Pike for London. Bought
bucket of grapes at 3 cents a pound and ate all we could
stuff. Good. Stopped to feed on Pike east of Springfield.
Charlie shot a big shepherd dog. Shot him in the shoulder
with a lb (sic) cap and he youled in great shape. Passed
a couple of small villages on Pike (probably South Vienna
and Summerford). Passed London and changed our course at
London on account of there not being a road to Lancaster.
Good roads, country slightly rolling. Poor crops, too dry.
Camped 6 miles south of London. Made 36 miles. Horses
Sept 20, 1893
Slept well but awake often. Charlie got half a sack of
corn from cornfield. I got two ears. Afraid someone
would hear me. Up after 4, started halfpast 5. Passed
Mt. Stirling, a small place. Also a couple of cross-road
villages (probably Chrisman and McClimansville).
Stopped for dinner 9 miles north of Circleville. Passed
Circleville. A fine looking, good sized town. Started
out on Lancaster Pike to Lancaster northeast of Circleville.
No straight road to Logan. Bought some cakes at bake shop.
Hounds sitting on steps. After we were out of town a half
mile, the boy came running with two dogs. He wanted to
give me the hound so I took him. Camped 5 miles east of
Circleville. Had hard time getting hay. Made 33 miles.
Sept 21, 1893
Did not sleep well. Up after 4 started at 5. Passed
Amanda also Lancaster. Country getting very hilly. Ate
dinner 2 miles south of Lancaster. Belle got colic.
Drenched her. Passed Sugar Grove. Got brake fixed and
tire set there. Nice sleepy little village. Made 33 miles.
Sept. 22, 1893
Slept well. Up after 5, started halfpast 5. Good road.
Hilly country, good land. Nice small farms. Passed Logan,
a nice town. Also Kingsville a manufactory of tile (No
such town exists today). Camped for dinner 4 miles
above Nelsonville. Broke rod in brake this morning.
Blacksmith straightened it too much yesterday. Passed
A dirty looking town. Stopped long enough there to get
brake rod fixed. Big storm came up in evening. It passed
around without giving us much trouble. Camped 1 mile west
of Athens, by the Little Hocking River. Pretty good place.
Road good. Country very hilly. Road led down Hocking
Valley since Lancaster. Coal mining - dirty houses and people.
No framing to speak of around Nelsonville. Made 32 miles.
Sept 23, 1893
Sprinkled all night. Up after 4 did not sleep well all
night. Started after 5. Passed Athens which is not very
large and built upon and around a hill. Kept down the
valley east. Good road. Not many sprinkles today.
Plenty yesterday. Passed some one horse villages
(probably Guysville and Stewart). Lots of apples
along the road. Stopped for dinner 1 mile above Coolville.
Poor looking houses and stables. Reminds me of W. Va.
Horses getting fearful slow. Boys took a swim while I
wrote in diary. After I finished I took a swim too. Fine
place, nice streams. About the size of the Buckhannon River.
After swimming in the Hocking River, I fixed the brake.
Couple of fellows came along with paw-paws. Tasted pretty
good. We gathered some. Boys don't like them. Passed
small station (probably Frost)also Coolville. Cool
by name and cool by nature. It is a small country town
without any railroad, and it sits on the top of a high flat
hill. Lots of dogs. We had a dog fight. A little and
big dog piled on Shep and he did them both up. Bought
melon east of Coolville. Not very good. Had more apples
than we could eat. Lots of them along the road. Passed a
small village (probably Torch). Met a man who said
he was going to W. Va. himself next week. I invited him
to pay Buckhannon a visit. Camped by an old meeting house
in clearing by road. The old church is going to rack pretty
badly. Built of hewed timbers and framed. Built more
than 50 years ago. Fine orchard close by. Lots of fine
red apples. Boys went to sleep and I saw a man in the
orchard shaking an apple tree. He went away and I got
three of the apples he had shaken down. They were fine
and I ate them. Then went to bed. It was a beautiful
night. Almost full moon. Made 28 miles. Brake did not
work very well.
Sept 24, 1893
Slept well but was chilly towards morning. Up late.
Charlie forgot to wind his watch so it stopped. He got up
and fed the horses and got a number of apples I sampled
last night. I did the same. Fixed the brake so it works
well. Sewed a couple of buttons on and the boys greased
the wagon. Three farmers came around and had a talk. I
wanted to get to Belpre to get a letter I expected to get
from Marie, so we started. Passed over a big hill and
beheld a sign we wanted to see for several days. "THE
OHIO RIVER AND THE WEST VIRGINIA HILLS." The Ohio River is
a fine stream here. We followed it to within a mile of
Belpre. Camped on its banks. We passed a small town this
morning (probably Little Hocking) This is a
beautiful valley. Small farms well cultivated. Nice
houses. I went to Belpre to get my letter. I got to the
Post Office when no one was there. So I hunted up the
Postmaster and got him to come down and get the letter for
me as I wanted it pretty badly. He looked through the mail
and handed me nothing. I was disappointed. I got some
crackers and bolgna and went back to the wagon. The dogs
will have to do without as I could not get into the butcher
shop. We camped under a beech tree the size of those
Grandma used to tell me about. I hope to be resting on my
own place next Sunday. Charlie went down to swim in the
river but the current was too much for him with his clothes
on. I looked over the map of W. Va. Lots of boats on the
river. Water very low. Looks like rain. Here we have
come 900 miles more or less and not an adventure. I went
down by the river and sat on a log and talked with an
oldtimer. 7 miles.
Sept. 25, 1893
Didn't sleep worth a cent. Horses had no hay and they kept
me awake with their racket. I led them to grass at
midnight and in the morning started about 6. Rained in
the night and in the morning it rained hard. we got
started and it poured. I had to go back aways after Sam's
hock cap which I had laid on the ground. Got soaking.
Crossed the Ohio River on a steam ferry. Rained in great
shape. I said something pretty often. Horses didn't
scare until half way across. Charlie and I had to hold
them by the bits. Cost 40 cents to go over. The horses
made a rush for the shore when they got to the other dock.
Parkersburg is a pretty nice town of about 10,000
inhabitants. We struck the pike for Clarksburg and lit
out. It was the meanest morning we have had on the trip.
After going 3 miles we was told to turn south and take the
Atanton Pike as it would go through Buckhannon. The hills
are slippery for a smooth shoe and the horses slip. Ate
dinner on the banks of the little Kanawha River. 12 miles
from Parkersburg. Cleared off slightly. Roads dryer in
afternoon. Came over the hills and came on the river again.
Saw the first chestnut tree on the trip. Had hard time
getting hay. Left Little Kanawa and went up the Hughs
River. Met a fellow who wanted Belle, the 22 and Shep.
He got neither. Camped on the banks of the Hugh R. in an
old deserted clearing. Shep started a rabbit but lost it.
Sept 26, 1893
Slept well. Cool enough to sleep under two blankets. Up
early and Shep started another rabbit this morning so
Charlie chained him up. Got awake in the night and heard
3 fox hounds on the mountain. After a fox I guess. They
ran close to us. Started at 5 and followed the creek
towards its head. The road good and level most of the way.
Some old log houses and some nice frame ones scattered
along the valley with patches of corn and grass around them.
At noon we came to a small village with more open country
around it. Ate dinner on its outskirts. 43 miles west of
Weston. Fine old hills all around. Hung the clothes on a
fence to dry. Cleared off nice and warm. Passed the town
we had eaten dinner at which is Smithville. Went over the
hills to Grass Valley. We struck some poor road before we
got to Grass Valley. Crossed some more hills and I bought
some hay on top of a regular mountain. The people thinks
their country can't be beat. Some of the land ain't worth
a cent and only mountain sides and ravines to farm.
Camped in a small valley by an old school house. Made 32
miles today. Horses very tired. saw green persimmons and
didn't know what they were till we bit into them.
Sept. 27, 1893
Slept well and late. Up at 5 and started at 6. Followed
valley awhile and crossed a big hill. Houses a quarter
mile straight down. Struck Load Creek and followed it.
Road good and poor by turns. Met a chap who thinks this
is the place to live and Buckhannon no place at all. I
didn't agree with him. Lots of apples. We got lots of
them. Paid toll 15 miles from Weston. Stopped for dinner
about 13 miles from Weston. Charlie got apples and apples
while I write. I nearly forgot to mention passing the big
city of Elroy (Doesn't exist on todays map, possibly it
was Troy) a place of about 40 people and all told a
half dozen one-horse-stores. It was very cold last night.
Hardly slept comfortable under 2 blankets. The valleys
were full of mist. It rolled away when the sun came up
which was a bout 9 o'clock. Now it is uncomfortably warm.
The general feature of the country is still high steep
hills and deep narrow valleys. Tomorrow this time we will
be at home. Passed a fellow who wanted to swap horses.
Paid toll one mile from Weston. Also on the east side of
town. Passed Weston and camped 2 miles southeast of that
place. Had very hard time getting hay. Made 30 miles.
Sept 28, 1893
Slept well. Up at 5 and started at 6. Passed several small villages
(Horner and Lorentz. Sun came and mist cleared away earlier than it
did yesterday. Struck Buckhannon at a little after 10 o'clock. We all
climbed the hill west of town and "VIEWED THE LANDSCAPE O'ER". Charlie and
Johnny liked the looks of the town and country. We passed Buckhannon and lit
out for my place. On the way I found out just where they lived. I didn't see
many people in town I knew. I saw Minter Foster at Strater's. Stopped at my
place long enough to see the folks. Met Isaac Foster coming from my father's
place. Charlie don't like the rocky roads. He saw Marie the first one. Made
18 miles today. Had a fine time for the most part. Was not a bit tired but
the horses were. Turned them in pasture which they liked first rate and had the
first good meal, good comfortable dinner since we started. This ends the trip and
I am glad it ended so well. Made 992 miles. Not as far as I thought it was when
I started. Took five weeks.
HOWARD B. HAINES
New Castle, Indiana - Feb. 10, 1925
Typewritten by his sister, Iona Autellia (Haines) Scoggin
nearly 32 years after first written
Warren, Ohio - June 23, 1993
Re-typed from Autellia's script by Betty Autellia Snow
Gasparek nearly 100 years after written by my Uncle Howard.
Billings, Montana - November 16, 2003
Modern place names added and posted on the Haines
Homestead web site by Gary Baker 110 years after written
by my grandfather Howard.