Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sharing the First and Second Parts of the "Edward Lusk Diaries" - from Mr. Scott Kneer - Auglaize County, Ohio

Scott Knerr – March 2, 2019

 “ The Edward Lusk Diaries Part 1”  

"In reading over Edwards’ diaries I feel it’s more important to let him tell you his stories. I think trying to rewrite his words would take away from them. I’m going to date and write his exact words as we all learn about this wonderful man and throw a few of my own thoughts in along the way. But one thing is for sure your going to love meeting and following Edward through his life here in Auglaize County from the years 1889-1909. Hope you enjoy.

Edward Lusk was born June 14th 1865 in Clay township. Tragedy hit early in his life. When he was just 11 years old his father William died. This event had a huge effect on his relationship with his mother Sarah. The bond these two had after Williams’ death was of a deep love for each other. In his diaries he often talked of his mother. 

Gary Denig told me in the original diary as he was writing about his mothers death in the middle of the page there is a spot where the ink is all smeared. It was determined that Ed was crying over his diary as he wrote about her death and a tear was what smeared the ink. 

Edward grew up on the farm with his mother and the rest of his siblings until adulthood. He then went to Ohio Northern University in Ada to study being a teacher. After getting his degree he came back to Clay township and became a one room school house teacher. It is at this time he started to write the diaries."

Monday Nov. 4th 1889:

School. Had 33 scholars today. Weather clear and warm. Some scholars are still barefoot. John Darnell brought out from Wapak 2,500 shingles. Due for shingles $7.50 paid.

Saturday Nov. 9th 1889

At home in the forenoon killing beef. Drew my first month’s school wages $42.50. Bought at Wapak shoes for Ina 2 pairs $4.50. 1 pair mother $2.25, 1 pair for myself $2.50, overshoes 50 cents, dry goods 85 cents.

Tuesday Dec. 24th 1889

School. I treated, gave eight sticks of candy to each scholar. All seemed well pleased. My treat, 20 lbs. cost $2.25. A very nice day.

January 11th 1890

Ina ( my wife) and I went to Wapak. Left the children at her pa’s. Ina got 4 teeth pulled. Spent $1.50 getting teeth pulled. We were up at Lou Faler’s a little while. Almost everyone has La Grippe, a new disease just imported from Russia. 
January 20th 1890

School: Not a very full school on account of La Grippe. Jim Brentlinger took mumps today at school. I went and saw directors of Dobie school. Put a bid at $1.40 a day for the coming summer term.
January 23rd 1890

Mary wife of Amos Brackney died very suddenly this evening of La Grippe and Quinsy. Went down to tell Mrs. Kemper of Mary’s death. Got home at 3am.

*Note*: La Grippe was a strain of flu from Russia. Edward logged many days about the affects this was having on our county. At one point he said most of our county was sick from La Grippe in 1890. We lost many citizens over the winter of 1890 to this strain of flu.

June 14th 1890

My birthday 25 years old. At work hauling and splitting wood, and cleaning old rails out of the road( Thrush road was a pike road at this time). Went to New Hampshire to get mother’s buggy. Cost $8.00.

June 25th 1890

School. William Shockey plowing today with one horse. Paid him 75 cents for today. Mr. J. Davisson and hands came this afternoon to finish building wildcat fence.

June 27th 1890

Hauling rails this morning. Men finished fence along the road. John Darnell and I went to Wapak in the afternoon. John bought a Jagger wagon from Kreitzer’s for $135.00. Harness at Nagel’s $10.00.

Oct.4th 1890

Started at sun up for Van Wert County. We reached Lima at about 8:30 am and Elida about 10:30am. Stopped and fed “Mollie” ( his horse) at a Mrs. Ford’s then started on at 1:00pm. We reached Delphos at 2:00pm. Then a long drive to Van Wert which we reached at 5pm. It got dark early and we did not reach Convoy until after night. Inquired and finally had to get a man to guide us to John Rader’s which we found at about 8pm. They were very much surprised. Rainy all day.

Nov. 29th 1890

A big Quail supper at dance at Schultz’s saloon in St. Johns. 

Nov 27th 1890

No school. Thanksgiving day. Borrowed Dode’s gun and went out hunting with Jim, Dwight, and John Darnell, Will Morris, and George Lusk. Had lots of fun and I got 1 rabbit. This is the first one I have ever shot. Mother and Ina at Dan Runkle’s. I cannot be to thankful for my good luck, good health, ect. Weather cloudy with snow in the morning.

Dec 11th 1890

Old Captain Hugh Elliott was struck with Paralysis or Apoplexy. He is in precarious condition. (*Note* I added this log because I couldn’t find much on Mr Elliott. I wonder what he was the captain of? Does anybody know anything about Hugh Elliott?)

Dec. 31st 1890

School. Weather misty and rainy all day. So ends the old year. I guess I have done some good, at least in the way of schools. Anyhow, I hope I have. I am no better morally for it seems I give up to my temper to often. I have made some money at least enough to feed and clothe my family decently and have saved some money as well.        

Scott Knerr – March 2, 2019

 “ The Edward Lusk Diaries Part 2”

"This part covers from January to July of 1891 due to some things happening that you will read below. 

January 14th 1891

Began school but felt so very bad that I dismissed at a little after 10am. 

Ina and mother at church at Bethel today. I went to Dr. Lusk in late afternoon for medicine. 

Got medicine for myself and for Edna’s face. Paid Dr. Lusk 50 cents. Paid the peddle wagon debt to Charles Martin in full $11.17. Borrowed from mother $10.00. Feel very bad.

January 15th 1891

Still feel very bad all day, but up most of the time. A whole house full of visitors all day and evening. Dr. Lusk called. Dwight’s stayed all night. 

January 16th 1891

 My back feeling worse most of the day, but my head is better. Sent Manford to get groceries in St. Johns. Several visitors again today.

January 18th 1891

Feeling a great deal better all day. Dwight’s, Granville’s and Aunt Cynthia all here today. Willie and Rissie called in the evening. I have been taking no medicine today and shall begin school tomorrow if nothing happens. 

*Note* I added this part to show how people from all over the area stopped in to check up on Edward while he was sick. I kind of felt sorry for him too with having to sit up with so many guests while feeling so bad. But this part really shows how people cared about Edward. 

January 28th 1891

Charlie Campbell tried once more to run the school- to do as he pleased etc. But, I set down on all such doings. In fact, I almost set down on the boy. 
I was mad- too mad. 
Perhaps, but I cannot and will not be imposed upon in any such manner. Went over to Jerry’s in the evening and Jerry told me that I did quite right. That Charlie must obey my rules. 

Feb 2nd 1891


Very warm and bright most of the day. The old groundhog could see his shadow.

Feb 7th 1891

At work. Hauled in a load of hay and did other chores in the forenoon. John Darnell helped me. Went to Waynesfield in the afternoon. A grand fox hunt took place through here centered in Clawson’s woods, but not one fox caught. 

March 28th 1891

Went to convention in the afternoon and received the nomination for Clerk. 

(Edward is running for county clerk). Went on to St. Johns and got my hair cut.

April 6th 1891
Election Day. 

At the election all day. I was defeated by five votes, think I did very well and am very pleased. Weather snowy in morning, but rather pleasant the rest of the day. 

May 19th 1891


The first day I have done without fire at the schoolhouse all day. Weather warm with a small shower of rain the the afternoon. 

May 20th 1891


The horses out on the road this morning and I had to run after them. Weather warm. 

May 22nd 1891

School. Went to school in the buggy today. 

June 1st 1891

School. Morgan Harrod raised his barn today. John Gross replanted corn until noon for me. Weather very warm with rain in the afternoon. 

A strange wind cloud, very low, passed over here from the west, with a great noise while in the Southwest it seemed to simply hang as on a pivot. It was a splendid sight. 

June 18th 1891


Carl Gray got a frog up his pants and thought it was a snake. We had quite a time. Ethan is to move on Elliott’s farm tomorrow. I am sorry to see Ethan leave, as he is the best hand I ever had. 

July 3rd 1891

A good sized rain last night. There are to be some some big races by gas light at the Wapak fairgrounds tonight.

July 4th 1891

Independence Day! 

But, it seems that I can never get time to have a holiday. I was helping J.W. Darnell shock wheat all day. We didn’t quite get done with his wheat, he has a splendid crop of wheat. 

Weather pleasant and windy. 

Big races at Wapakoneta. 

July 16th 1891

Helping Ab thresh today. 

( But a terrible accident happened)

“ A Heart Sending Accident” 

At about 5:20 pm and after we were entirely done threshing except to gather up some shattered rye. Ab climbed upon the separator to get a half bushel and in attempting to get down over the feed board, his right foot and leg caught in the cylinder and was torn into shreads, but he caught a hold and saved himself. But, Oh! Such a sight. Several men, John Idle, George Brackney, Dan Runkle, and I caught him and I bound two handkerchiefs toward the end of the leg to stop and prevent the bleeding, then sent for Dr’s Van Trump and McCally while I ran to the barn and got the horse and buggy and brought Ab to the house. Dr. Van Trump arrived first then Dr. McCally, but as neither had a case of instruments, Br. Bryan and he arrived shortly before midnight. 

The Dr’s amputated the leg about 4 inches below the knee. 

The amputation continued from midnight until 1:30am Friday morning. Ab roused from the chloroform and was talking very rationally when I left at about 2am. I came home and staid by myself as Ina and the children are at Dan’s tonight. 

The news of the accident is spreading rapidly and the most intense excitement prevails. 

People are coming from far and near. 

I never expect to banish that awful sight from my memory!

July 17th 1891 

Albert W. McCally died today at about 9 o’clock from the injuries received yesterday. We went down there this afternoon, a great number of people there. Lib entirely prostrated with grief. The undertaker embalmed Ab’s body this afternoon. 

July 19th 1891

A.W. McCally buried today at St. Johns Cemetery. The largest crowd that I ever saw at a funeral and said to be much the largest that was ever in St. Johns. People from almost all over this county and many from adjoining counties. The text for the funeral, “I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness.”

"Well due to the length of this part I’m going to stop here for now. Much more to come. 

Thanks again to Bonnie and Gary Denig for letting all of us see these wonderful diaries. 
Until next time…"

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Sharing Scott Knerr's "Diaries of Edward Lusk" of Auglaize County, Ohio.

 Scott Knerr is a master storyteller with his accounts of the lives of those who lived in and around Wapakoneta in Auglaize County, Ohio.  
It is my pleasure to share Scott's 5-part series, with the Introduction below, detailing the "Diaries of Edward Lusk":

Scott Knerr – March 2, 2019:
"The Diaries of Edward Lusk"
"Hello all: I’m back with a new family for you to learn about. Bonnie (Lusk) Denig contacted me last winter about some old diaries she had. Her great grandfather Edward Lusk wrote the diaries between 1889-1909. Ed was a important part of his rural community back then in eastern Auglaize county. He was a farmer his whole life but was also a one room school teacher and many other things I’ll get into later.
 Bonnie pointed me to Gary Denig who also did a ton of research about the family and composed everything to a CD. The information these two brought together is amazing. What I write in this mini series about the family will only be a small dent into the depth of history this family has. 
Bonnie & Gary have granted me full access to the use of their copy written material on the CD.
Their hard work on the Lusk family needs to be seen and I feel honored to be allowed to share it with you. But enough of the introduction it’s time for you to meet the “Lusk” family. Hope you enjoy.

“ The Lusk Family”

I mentioned above about the diaries of Edward Lusk. But before I get to those I want to take you back to William Lusk III. William III was born in Virginia on August 23rd 1784 and his future wife Charity Runyon was born Oct. 29th 1786 also in Virginia. Their love for each other was very special, because they chose Christmas day 1806 to be married. What a day that must have been for family and friends. I image the celebration must have been quite an event. 
After getting married they bought some property in Tazewell Virginia and started a farm. Over the next 27 years William and Charitys’ love stood strong. Together they had 10 children on their 136 acre farm. Things were looking good for the family but the opening of the northwest territory of Ohio was now on Williams’ mind. 

I’m sure after many talks with Charity they decided to sell the farm and move. On Sept 4th 1833 the property sold for $150.00 and it wasn’t long after that they started their journey with all 10 children and all their possessions for Ohio. This trip would be nearly 400 miles long over rough terrain and take around 47 days.
During this time at least 11 other families from Tazewell decided to head to our area. 
Whether they came together I’m not sure but some of these other early families included Hugh Rinehart, Richard and John Bailey, Joseph Davidson, Joseph Brown, Christopher Richardson, and Williams’ brother Charles Lusk. 
Also included was William and Charles mother Mary. Mary was born sometime around 1766 and married William II. He only lived up to around 1807. After his death Mary married Benjamin Runyon. 
These two would have been well into their 70s when they arrived here and I’m sure it had to be hard on them to move into the wilderness. But they wanted to be here with there families. Mary was a tough old lady though and made it to around 89 years old until her death in 1855.
William III and Charity bought 80 acres of land in Union township at the cost of $1.25 an acre. To get to their land was no easy task. Since there were no roads they had to cut a path to their land. Once there they cleared an area and raised a cabin which took about 3 or 4 days to build. 
After the cabin was built they built a shelter for the horses, then the outhouse, and finally a barn.

As hard of work as all this took it was just the beginning. The family now faced clearing land to raise crops. Imagine trying to clear acre after acre of virgin forest all by hand. Many of these trees were massive and hundreds of years old. As long as it took to drop just one tree was nothing compared to removing the stumps and all the roots of each tree.

This area of Auglaize County was also very swampy. The Lusks’ would have had to dig trenches also just to drain the land. They also faced having to move many big boulders out of their future fields. These early pioneers were very tough people that went through many hardships just to survive. 
William III brother Charles settled just west of him in St. Johns. Charles was a religious man and formed the very first Methodist church in St. Johns at his home shortly after his arrival in 1833.

The meetings were held for several years in his home until the first church was built. Charles only stayed here until 1855 when he moved out to Missouri, then Iowa, and finally Kansas.
Charles grandson Hugh Lusk was also a religious man. He had land between Uniopolis and Waynesfield. In the late 1800s he leased land to the “Mount Lookout Association. From August 11th to the 21st of 1898 Mount Lookout held it’s first gathering in a grove of trees of which many attended. 

The meetings turned out to be a huge success. So much so that Hugh and his wife Anna deeded the land of 11 acres to the church. Hugh was a great carpenter and helped direct and build the church. Since the floor inside the church was a dirt floor in the early years they often kept a thick coating of saw dust over the dirt.
But now back to William III. As I said above William and Charity had 10 children. After moving here they spent the rest of their lives on the farm. One of their sons was named William IV. William IV must have been a private man because there isn’t much written history on him. He was born in Tazewell in 1823 and was just 10 years old when he arrived here with his family.
He later married a young lady named Sarah Bennett on May 2nd 1844. Sarah's family was from Waynesfield. The Bennett family has a wonderful history about the family that one day I hope to return to but is to long for this story. Together William and Sarah had 10 children of only which 5 survived into adulthood. Of these 5 one son they named Edward. 

So now that I have all of you caught up in the early years of the Lusks’ leading up to Edward's birth I’m going to end this part here since it ran so long. Up next I’ll share some of the diaries with you so that you will learn more about the man behind the diaries. Until next time…
P.S. These tombstones are all located at Mount Lookout Cemetery east of Uniopolis in Auglaize county other then Charles and his is located out in Kansas."