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 miles.

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.

Sept.13, 1893

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 very tired.

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 Nelsonville.

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. 26 miles.

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.