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The following diary written by Lodema Bayless was submitted by Sharon Bearce.


picture submitted by Beth Kaler


Sept. 25, 1846

We started for Illinois and got here Oct. 17 - bought our place the same fall.    


Dec. 2nd, 1848

Joseph was hurt and died the 19th of the same month. He was buried Thursday the 21.

Elder J. B. Fast preached from Rev. 19-6 Alleluia for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

We see that one after another are leaving the stage of action and are -----ing into rest. Eternity - how solemn the thought, to die and appear before a just and Holy being and there to receive our everlasting doom.  Awake then, O my soul, awake to righteousness. Put on the beautiful garment of the Lord.


Jan. 1, 1849 Lodema Bayless.


Jan. 2, 1849

Went to Lewistown to take out administration on the estate of Joseph.


Jan. 27, 1849

Day of sale. had property sold to the amount of $300.


Jan. 29, 1849

Paid for the morning Starr $1.00. paid 10cts on letter. 10 cts postage on Joseph's death .20


March 12, 1849

Paid Matthew Scott for 2 halters bought by Joseph Feb. 8, 1848 $1. 75

Paid two dollars to Mr. Knight toward making Joseph's coffin.

Received 1/2 days work of Daniel White stacking wheat on a note due the estate Nov. 20, 1849. John Knott paid me and took up his note and gave one of 15 dollars.


Dec. 7 1850

bought a pair of cattle of Jacob for 38 dollars

Timothy Rumsey moved in with me, and agreed to take my place next summer.


Dec. 8 1850

Butchered and let Timothy Rumsey have a fat hog which amounted by weight to six dollars and 30 cents. at the same time two pork barrels and one he had before to put cabbage in - all at one dollar apiece - all of which I am to have my pay in work - at the same time half a bushel of salt

Timothy Rumsey to 11 lb salt
ditto                   to 15 lbs. salt
ditto                   to 6 3/4 lbs. salt
let Timothy have 13 lbs pork
ditto                    5 1/4 pork
ditto                    3 3/4 lb pork


Dec 8 1850

Two years ago now Joseph had passed 6 days of his last sickness. O how painful the thought to look back, to see what he had to undergo. 2 years has not obliterated the scene; my mind often wanders back, not only on his sufferings but on passing events. Did I converse with him as I should on a dying bed? I think not. I thought it might not be his last, hoping he would yet recover. But alas, it was not so to be. He was taken away and I was left with my four children J. Franklin was 8 years old, Sarah Louise was 6 years and the twins four. But God was my supporter. He stood by me in that trying moment. I have thought Him to be my God ever since, but although trust has been in the arm of the Lord, yet I often feel as though things were working against me, for besides being alone and lonely my family must be supported. I have a small farm but I am no farmer. My boy is not big enough to farm it. Some body must do it for me and what if it does not suit me, must I complain...... no. I must bear it with Christian resignation. May the Lord ever help me to be both able and willing to do that which is right, both to mine and those around me, but more particularly to my God.


May 1851

May 5    Jacob had the horse

May 6    Lyman plowed

May 7    He plowed in the forenoon. in the afternoon Jacob and all the boys mark out.

May 8    Joseph dropt corn. Frank and myself covered.

May 13  Franklin and horse work for Jacob

May 14  Cr Jacob for cloth for Franks Jants.

May 16  Dr Jacob to 11 1/2 lb. pork 

June 3   Jacob Dr to a little tin pail salt

June 5   The children & myself pull weeds

July 14  Joseph plowed for buckwheat

July 15  Jacob sowed it & Lymon harrowed it in. Jacob Dr to 7 lbs pork. Jacob had the horse.

July 23  Received 1 bu. corn of Mr. Sinnit. One bushel corn of Oliver. Three bushels wheat of Lorenzo.

            Cr Dr Cline 4 lbs. sugar

            33 lbs. flour Lorenzo


Possibly 1852 or 1853

July 13  Joseph cut our wheat

July 16  Lyman plowed for buckwheat and Jacob sowed it.

July 17  We had one horse 1/2 for Franklin to harrow

July 31  Joseph cradled oats

Aug 3    Joseph bound oats. Franklin worked 5 days in haying for Jacob

Aug 13  Settled with Jacob Bayless found him due $2.65

Nov 16  Jacob Gee moved in with me

Nov 30  Let J. Gee have half bu potatoes



Sept 22  Let Lyman have seven pigs for 5 dollars

Sept 23  Lyman cut buckwheat

Sept 31 Got of Jacob 8 lbs beef 6 cts per lb.

             Got of Jacob 3 lbs honey 12 1/2 c lb.

             Bought Jacobs light wagon for $20



Jacob Bayless Cr.

Feb 1     by 50 cts borrowed in Canton
             by 50 cts by Mrs Snidden by paying for carding for one pair shoes
             10 lbs flour

Apr 29   Had a horse to plow with

Apr 30   Had horse to go after corn. Had the steers to harrow with in the forenoon. In afternoon had the colt to plow with.


May 5th 1861

rainy - not going to Sabbath School.

     Louisa has just left. she is going to commence her first term of school. May the God of heaven go with her and aid her in the discharge of every duty while trying to instruct the young and tender minds.
     While thinking of teaching school I would try to call to mind the number of schools which I have taught

My first school was when I was 18 in the year 1824 in the town of York in Livingston Co. N. Y.
the second Allegeny Burns
the third in Almond.
Then in Ohio Huron Home Dist 2 on East Creek.
One at McClave school house.
One in Brighton.
One near Moredocks.
One in Sackets Dist.
One in Case's school house.
Here in Illinois - one summer & taught 5 weeks - another 6 weeks - another 3 months.

I have kept our school the last four summers straight along. Now my girls are going to try teaching and perhaps I will give it up.


May 6th 1861

This is the day for 2 of my girls to commence teaching school for the first time, Louisa & Mary. Louise teaches 12 miles from home while Mary is only about one mile west.


May 15th 1861 

Nancy has taken our school which is one mile east of us, so I will be between the two youngest. She is to begin next Monday May 20. Thus it is my girls all commence teaching school this spring, even this present month May 1861.


May 25, 1861

Franklin joins the home guard volunteer Company in Cuba. They chose for their captain a christian preacher.



In the fall let Wm. Jones have 8 pigs which amounted to eleven dollars. Three dollars to be turned toward making molasses & eight to be paid in rye.


Feb. 1863

I received two letter from the South where Franklin had been sick for a few weeks. Both of which informed me that Franklin was no more. That he had gone the way of all the earth. We had received two letters while he was sick the first written Dec. 7 from Elijah White, the second from Mr. Peterson their chaplain, who said he would get well. Then Jan.7 Franklin himself wrote and said he had had a hard spell of sickness, but that he was better that he hoped soon to join his regiment again. He says in his letter 'Mother this is your own sons writing' thereby letting us know that he was able to write and how glad we were to get another letter in his own hand writing and to learn that he was better - but alas how soon the scene was changed, how soon our joy was turned to grief. The next we heard was those two letters above mentioned, which brought the sad news of his death, but while they brought such sorrowful tidings they also brought some cheering.

Mr. Kelley his first lieutenant wrote that he had no doubt but that in the Lambs book of life was written the name Franklin Bayless. He said he appeared cheerful, contented and happy.

Mr. Vandevander wrote that Franklin was a good boy, a good soldier and that he had no doubt but that he was better off than the rest of us. He said his testament showed marks of usage. How cheering the thought to think that he has given such satisfactory evidence even way there among strangers, that he was a child of God. It cheers my heart. If he must die, how much I would rather that he should die a good boy, a dutiful son, a child of God, than without these to die with all the honors that could be given to him by man. It is better to die good than great. Franklin was 22 years old the first day of Dec. and was taken sick about the same time. He died Jan 27, 1863. Thus Franklin was taken from us while still in the prime of youth and while we needed his help so much, as well as his company. We miss him very much. He was a good boy. He experienced religion under Elder Shaws preaching, was baptised and joined the Free Will Baptist church when he was 15 years of age. From that time to the time of his death, I don't think he ever went to bed over 3 times unless we had company, without first raising his voice in family prayer with the rest of us. If he was tired or sleepy he would say "Mother I want to go to bed." when our work was laid aside. Till we prepared for bed; and then he was satisfied to go to bed. I trust he did not forget to pray while he was in the service of our country, away yonder in the South. He was a Holly Springs in the hospital sick, at the time of the raid there when part of the place was captured and burned. His clothes were burned with the rest. There he was taken to Jackson, Tennessee where he stayed until he died.


July 4, 1863

The girls are all gone to Canton to celebrate the day & I am here by myself.


July 5, 1863

There is no meeting today here and I stay at home while the girls attend 2 singing schools after sabbath school.

Cure for mad dog bite: one pound salt put into one quart water, bathe the wound and squeeze it for one hour. Then bind in salt for 12 hours or more. said to be a sure cure.


July 18, 1863

Husk corn (agree to take Elizabeth Lazwells little boy for awhile but for no definite time)


July 14, 1863

Bought a table in Canton for 4 1/2 dollars


Aug 6, 1863

Sam Laswell laid our kitchen floor. Mr. Mathina helps him in the afternoon.

Ezra Wheeler came here to live awhile.


Aug. 7, 1863

Mathena fixes the cupboard and agrees to put in some sills under the house.


Aug. 21, 1863

David Matheny finished the house which had taken him eight days at a dollar a day. I paid him 7 dollars in money 2 bu corn and 6 lbs meat.


Aug 22, 1863

Jacob had worked with him four days at a dollar a day. Let Jacob have 11 bushels of corn


Sep. 4, 1863

William Eckley is no more. He was wounded on the battle field and then died - O the havoc of war but - hard feelings will arise even among children and when matured and nourished till manhood see - the same selfish, evil spirit produces war, O that children would learn to govern their tempers and nourish love.



Jan. 27     Mrs. Mary A. Davis sent her little boy William to live with me.

Feb           Sent another grist of corn to mill.

Apr 6        Nancy went to Mr. Shermans to ?.

Apr 18      Mary got oats at W. Johnsons.

Apr 20      Sowed oats & harrowed them in.

Apr 21      Set onions

Apr 30      Got a letter from C. T. Heald with receipt for back pay. Got Wm. Jobes? & Sarah Johnson to sign it.

May 2       Went to Lewistown with it & the pension papers and sent them back to Canton.

May 5       Planted potatoes after sowing fla?

May 20 - 7 1/2 yds. calico @ 25 c
$1.87 1/2
June 2 - took our wool to Canton to be card.

bought a barrel of salt for

a wheel for spinning wool

1 stew kettle lined

2 bake pans 60 c 2 deep dishes

1 set plates 40 c bell 25

1 trunk $3.25 hoe 60 c

4 yds lawn 35 c $2.00 mop handle

10 yds muslim 35 c $3.50 spool thread

5 yds muslim 42 c

50 sweet potato plants

1 skimmer 10 - 5 lb. sugar 1.00 2 lb. rice 14 c

1 shaker 30 cts cucumber seed 5

1 fan 15 cts. 1 1/2 yd calico 25 c

4 yds cambric @ 45 c

2 collars

2 day books for 50 c ink 10

1 pocket book 1.00 sulpher 15 key 5

2 parasols 80 tea 25

1 paper pins 1 paper needles

1 hoops














.52 1/2










Aug. 30    Mary to the office - Nancy spins

Aug. 31    2 of the girls to Gees in forenoon. In afternoon Louisa & myself to Widgers.

Sept. 1    Had our threshing done which cost $4.40 to Hendersons. The other boys said they would have no pay.

Sept. 2    Nancy spins. I work at house work

Sept. 3    Went to Mr. Eckleys. bought a scythe $1 1/2

Sept. 5    Gathered onion sets and lopt the broom corn

Sept. 6    churned & drawed water

Sept. 20  The girls go to Eckleys to work on flag.

Oct. 1      Work all day about the house. Nancy cut the buckwheat with scythe

Oct. 10    Mary cut cain. Nancy to Jacobs

Oct. 11    Mary got wagon & hauled cain. Made molasses

Oct. 12    finish molasses

Oct. 16    Wm. Bradford starts for Canton. Will he ever return or like others be hurried into Eternity.

Oct. 24    This week some of the girls spool Rachel? piece while the rest of us clean up our buckwheat, dig potatoes etc. Then Louisa  warps & gets it beams? on & digs potatoes while the other girls draws it in then she goes to weaving.

Oct. 29    The girls went to mill.

Nov. 1      Nancy digs potatoes about 8 bushels. I do housework & quilt for Louisa. Mary thrashes beans. In the evening we pare apples for apple butter.

Nov. 2      We make apple butter.

Dec 1-2    Louisa put our piece in - 14 y. Wove it out & cut it into garments. in the evening sew.

Dec. 3      Wm. Johnson came to see about the sch.

Dec. 4      Nancy starts for her school at the Mealey.

Dec. 5      Mary works at Jacobs helping about the butchering & fetched home 8 lbs bo? 2 lbs was to pay for helping Sally. 1 for helping Sarah and the rest to pay.

I was born in the town of Jefferson Schoharrie County and Sate of New York in the year 1805 on Oct. 18. My parents were poor. Jesse Braman was a shoe maker. My grandmothers name before marriage was Martha Mudge - three of her brothers were Baptist preachers. Jonathan Ward was my grandfather on my mothers side and my grandmothers name was formerly Nancy Beach. Her relatives were well off. Among them were three doctors. My father Jesse Braman was married to Nancy Ward my mother on May 13th 1803 sister Elizabeth was born Oct 18, 1805.

Sister Lucinda on March 26, 1808
Sister Louisa on March 5, 1811
Sister Pauline on May 22, 1813
Jesse was born March 18, 1816 (Jefse)
David Briggs was born July 15, 1818
Samuel Gilson was born Jan. 18, 1821
John Adams was born Sept. 17, 1823
Johnathan Wm. was born May 3, 1829

They are all married but the last or youngest. Written by myself Lodema.

J. W. Braman is also married.

My father Jesse Braman was born June 29, 1782
My mother Nancy Ward was born Sept 27, 1782
They were married March 28, 1802
My father died 8th of May 1839
I was married Nov. 7, to Joseph Bayless 1839.
Jacob Franklin was born Dec. 1, 1840
Sarah Louisa was born Dec. 2, 1842
The twins Nancy & Mary were born Nov. 20, 1845
We moved to the west Oct. 1846
My brother David died Feb 1847.
My brother Joseph died Dec. 19, 1848

My father came to his death by digging in a well or rather by a piece of timber falling on his head while in the well. He was taken up as dead but recovered for about ten hours and then expired. Thus in that short space we were deprived of a kind and tender father, and mother of an affectionate companion. How necessary it is that we are always ready to meet any affliction that shall come upon us and even for death itself for we all know that we must die and be laid to  the silent tomb.


     When I was 6 years old my grand mother came to our house to live as her companion had now gone home having died that same fall. In the evening during one winter, and in the absence of my parents, she commenced talking to us about the salvation of our souls, about heaven, hell and our duty toward our fellow beings.
     Before this time I do not know what the state of my mind had been, only I frequently heard my mother and grandmother say that I would strive as much as possible either to be alone or to come and sit down by one of them while the other children would go out to play. But from this time my mind was considerably wrought upon, the subject of religion dwelt much upon my mind. I did not feel conscious of having been a great sinner, but I felt a desire to do right.
     The winter after I was seven years old I had frequent lonely meditations and one evening my father and mother went about a mile and a half to a singing school. I was perfectly ignorant at that time. I thought of it then as I would now of a dancing school. I thought my parents had done wrong, my father being a preacher, and my mother a professor of religion. I thot they ought not to attend such places. On their return they said their sled had by accident broke down, and caused them some trouble. It occurred immediately to my mind that it was a judgment from God, because they had been to that place. When I read the psalms of David I thought he must be a righteous man; I thought if he could meditate day and night I ought to if the goodness of God called forth so much praise from him it ought to from me. Yet I mentioned none of these, my thoughts to any person not even to my mother. The spring after I was eight my father moved to the town of Mendon, Ontario Co. to preach to a small church. Made small salary by disunion, by diffion? and exclusion. Nine members were all the church then consisted of. Father commenced preaching and the Lord blessed his labors...

     When I was married my husband made no profession of religion and cared little about going to meeting. I would go to meeting when I could and sometimes I would enjoy my mind well and sometimes not so well. When we had been married about 3 years he thought it time for him to commence serving God. He first commenced living or trying to live religion at home, then he wants to join the church. Said he could not unite with the close or regular Baptists, but he could with the free will and wished me to unite with him. I had long felt dissatisfied with close communion which rendered it quite easy for me to leave my old brethren and I with Joseph united at the organization of the Brighton, N. Y. Church in 1843, where we remained until we moved to the West some four years afterwards. But while we stayed with them or when we were formed into a little branch with only 8 members and only 3 males I felt the necessity of each one being active in the cause of God. The little church numbered over 20 when we left. May the Lord bless that little branch of Zion and add to its numbers; such as shall be saved.


April 15 1865

Heard of the murder of Abraham Lincoln who was shot the evening before. O the wickedness of the wicked.


Sept 19 1865

Louisa was married to S. Goodell - They with the other girls went to Lewistown.


Sept 21 1865

Louisa left for her new home.


Sept 28 1869

Jo & Nan started for the far West with others.


March 3 1870

Joseph and Nancy have returned from the West. They have bought them another place.

The following diary written by Nancy Bayless Kaler (daughter of Joseph & Lodema Bayless)
was submitted by Sharon Bearce.


picture submitted by Sharon Bearce



What my clothes cost

2 pair shoes

8 yds. lawn 20 1.30
Shawl, shaker, trimming 1.60
5 yds muslim 2.50
5 yds muslim 2.50
3 yds muslim .60
8 yds calico 1.00
10 yds calico 1.60
1 set skeletons 1.00
pr. mitts 1 pr gloves .25
handkerchiefs, apron .30
velvet coat 3.00


Jan. 18, 1863

Mary & I went to Prairie City to go to school. We stayed 3 wks. and came home on Saturday. Went back on Mon. and on the next Sun. we went to meeting. Came back. Went up to our room, laid aside our things and looked out and Ellen Prichard was right there; she said "I suppose you have heard of Franklins death,' but we had not. It was wholly unlooked for by us. We felt we were left almost without a friend, that we could not bear it, but we think that he is better off. We were very lonesome - for two long weeks we stayed in school - then went home.


March 15 1863

Franklins funeral sermon was preached the 15th of March by Elder Cafl? from Revelation 14 Chapter - 13 verse.


April 24 1863

Dearest brother thou hast left us
Here thy loss we deeply feel
But 'tis God, that hath bereft us
He can all our sorrows heal

Yet again we hope to meet thee
When the lamp of life is fled
Then in heaven with joy to greet thee
Where no farewell tears is shed.



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