EXCERPTS FROM A JOURNAL BY FRANK GIBSON PORTER

Born in Frostburg August 21, 1856.

Written In Lonaconing, Maryland from May 1885 - March 1889

 

May 14, 1885 - Chiefly to aid me in systematizing my work is this work begun. I can ill afford to buy the book, but the need of a journal is greater than the price. [First entry]

May 16, 1885 - Baptized Tom RICHARDSON's first daughter, Mary Alice, born September 12, 1883. The coal companies' committee met the miner com. In C'd (Cumberland) today. No concessions of any kind made, but we do not anticipate a strike. Only three at Trustees meeting, hence no formal meeting, but we decided to build a new privy. We talked church debt over. Mr. CLARK thought we ought to try to raise $500. Mr. Isaac BRADBURNE favored $1000….

May 17, 1885 - …Went to S.S. (Sunday School). My class of young ladies has increased from 9 to 11, and I hope it will not contain more than 12. The members are: Maggie CONNER, Mary PEARSON, Mercy NIGHTENGALE, Lizzie HUTCHINSON, Ann JOHNSON, Ida SHOCKLEY, Bettie and Jessie ANDERSON, Maimie CLARK, Aggie and Sarah SCOTT. Had a talk after school with Esau MORGAN (local preacher) and loaned him Thompson's "Theology of Christ"…

May 18, 1885 - .. Spent rest of afternoon in visiting, - Mrs. J.C DICK, Esau MORGAN, John SYMONDS, Mrs Anne HARVEY. ..The Rev. Joseph GRAHAM baptized Muscoe STOTLER (first name after my oldest brother), also daughters of Bro. King and Mrs. D. DIXON. Mother and Lizzie were present, as were Dr. SKILLINGS' folks and the SLOANS…

June 23, 1885 - Married Robert DOYLE and Annie SIMPSON - Fee $5. Buried Adam GREEN at Moscow. He dropped dead on street…

August 20, 1855 - …Called at John BROADBURN's and at Isaac's, Mrs. R. SHOCKLEY, Mrs. HENDRA, Mrs. J.C. DICK, Mrs. PEARSON's -- also on Mrs. ENGLEBY who is visiting here….We called at Mr. FOOTES.

Oct 29 - Nov 29, 1855 - Had a wedding, Oct 29, 1885; CLOSE - CATON, $5. Nov. 6 married, MORTON - WALKER, $5. Another marriage Nov. 27, HOBELL - KIRKPATRICK, $5. ..

Christmas, 1885 - On the 23rd, 24th & 25th a wedding, receiving as fee $5 - from each. Parties were: Joseph ROBERTSON and Rebecca JOHNSON; Joseph JONES and Mary E. HENDRA; Wm KIDDY and Elizabeth MORTON. Thus far since coming to Lonaconing I have married nine couples and received as fees $42.50…

December 29 - 31, 1885 - …I have heard sad news - another man instantly killed in the Jackson mine. He was unconverted but his widow (Mary A. PEARSON) is a member of our church. She is very dedicated and has a family of seven girls and one boy. Only one girl large enough to be of service at home, and a boy of sixteen who looks as if he were thirteen…

January 5, 1886 - …married…James GOLDSWORTHY and Margaret GUNTER, both of Frostburg. Fee $5…

August 5, 1886 - …Married a couple, W.E. LAW and Laura MORGAN. Fear Laura will have a hard time. Fee $2.00. last week I married Henry L. WILLIAMS and received $6…Spent from two to five visiting, took Henry FRAILEY with me. Called on Mrs. L. SHOCKLEY, sick woman; on Mrs. W. ALBRIGHT, a probationer; on Mrs. John SCREEN, the happy and comfortable bride; on Mrs. W. ALBRIGHT, had a good talk, she and her daughter promised to attend class… Also called on John GARDENER and spent a pleasant hour…

August 6, 1886 - … Was called to see Mrs. James DUCKWORTH (widow) the last week in July. Heard a long and sad story about her ... young brother-in-law, Robert DUCKWORTH. She said he was now waiting on Katie GRAHAM and would not marry her (Mrs. D). Spoke to him (R.D.) on Saturday, July 31, [sensitive details omitted] Mrs. D's son (a young man of 18) met me as I came from R.D. and said his mother wished to speak to me…

August 8, 1886 - … baptized "Rachael Peebles MORGAN"…When I reached the parsonage found, Richard MEAGER and wife waiting to have their child christened…

August 21, 1886 - ..I baptized a baby this evening "Nellie JOHNSON" daughter of William S. MURPHY and his wife, Janette…

August 27, 1886 - … Mr. MAJOR died suddenly of cholera morbus, unprepared, and left wife and three little daughters…

August 30, 1886 - After breakfast I walked a couple of miles to see a sick man, Salem KOONTZ, a rich, worldly person, with no training. Stayed two or three hours but he could only talk a little, being under the influence of opiates. [Note: Salem KOONTZ died September 1]

September 2, 1886 - … At half past one buried the infant of Esau LEES…About eight o'clock married John BARNETT and Mary STEVY. Fee $2.00.

September 3, 1886 - …As we were starting a train frightened some horses, one young lady was thrown violently from a buggy and two wheels passed over her body. She did not appear to be much hurt. Found it was the daughter of Dan LONG, a friend of mine, a sweet girl…Mrs. Sarah JONES came in with an old lady who brought her great-granddaughter to be christened. Baptized it "Patience Mabel" Lynn, after the old lady..

September 10, 1886 - Yesterday I baptized a colored child, son of Daniel ABLE. This afternoon went To Charlestown and baptized infant daughter of James PRICHARD. ..

September 12, 1886 - …Received into full membership Rachel SMITH and Maggie BRADBURNE…

September 24, 1886 - …At eight I married a poor couple, Peter MATHEWS and Viola BOTHWELL. He was very disconsolate; she has a bad name, I learn..

October 26, 1886 - At five this morning I was sent for to see an old woman, Mrs. BROTEMARKLE, daughter of a Pres. Lady (?). She was hardly conscious….
[Note: she died October 28]

October 27, 1886 - …Has a marriage at night…Parties were, John RICHMOND and Mollie BOSTON…

November 10, 1886 - … baptized both children. Helen Edna, d. of Moses BIDE and Emma Frances PORTER, born April 17, 1884. Harry Pendleton, son of same parents, born June 14, 1886.

November 21, 1886 - ..Received into church on probation two girls .. Bessie GARDNER and _____WYLAND. Baptized a baby; Sarah Catherine, daughter of Thomas and Eliza WELLS, born 14th of Sept. 1886…

November 26, 1886 - ..On Friday I had a marriage; Thornton James CROWE to Isabelle W. MORTON, $3 fee.

November 28, 1886 - ..Two baptisms in afternoon; John Henry, son of George H. and Lottie WHITFIELD, born July 16, 1886; and , Jannette Lowry, d. of Joseph and Margaret DICK, born August 10, 1886 - fees $2.00.

December 1, 1886 - … Took tea at Sandy NICOL's and baptized his baby boy - Alexander, son of A. and Susan A. NICOL, born Oct. 31, 1886….

December 6-10, 1886 - .. Married William W. POWELL and Josephine WHITFORD on Thursday, Dec. 9. Fee $5…Dec 9., baptized Joseph GARDNER, son of Matthew and Rebecca MARTIN, born July 6, 1886.

December 25, 1886 - … After supper I married John MITCHELL to Elizabeth HENDRA. Fee $5..

December 26, 1886 - … Before preaching I went to Pritchard's and married Frederick KNIPPENBERG to Maria PRITCHARD. Fee $2. Also had two baptisms; Joseph, son of Joseph S.W. and Elizabeth HARRIS, born March 17, 1886. Maria Luella, daughter of Maggie PRITCHARD, born April 27, 1886.

December 28, 1886 - .. I had a marriage at 10 o'clock this morning. John McCORMACK to Isabelle McCORMACK. Fee $5.

December 29, 1886 - George RUSHTON was very badly hurt in the mine, thigh broken and mashed, several ribs broken and some entering his lungs…

January 1, 1887 - ..Met Dr. SKILLING who told me that Thomas NORTON was dead. I was knocked to pieces… to think of Tom Morton being dead, there must be a mistake. Poor Christie! Went in to see s. NIGHTGALE, having diphtheria. ..

January 3, 1887 - … Learned that John SCHUYLER was badly hurt and doctors were amputating the limb…said Schuyler was dead, died soon after the amputation... Baptized baby - Thomas Alexander, son of Thomas and Christianna MORTON, born Nov. 3rd, 1886…

January 5, 1887 - .. At the opening of service at the church I received on probation five persons: John DASH (single), Henry ATKINSON (married), Hannah JOHNSON (single), Samuel SLOAN (child), Andrew SLOAN (child)…

January 6, 1887 - … Three accidents in the mine this morning, Robert COOK, young, married man very badly hurt; A. THOMPSON, an aged man, had ankle bone fractured; Joe NICHOLS, young married man had entire forefinger torn off…

January 12, 1887 - … Marriage on the 14th - John MUIR to Flora DAVISON. Fee $5.00. On the 11th three baptisms: William Henry, son of Joseph C. and Alice V. SPIKER, born Oct 1, 1880, at Lonanconing Md. - Thomas Edgar, [Note stopped in mid sentence]

Feb-Oct, 1887 - … I was re-appointed to Lonaconing. .. Early in Summer my health was poor from over-work - so many sick and so many dead… Oct 12th, Uncle James Gibson died on the mountain, in woods, - drunk …

October 17, 1887 - … Baptized, infant: Edward, son of W.R. and Mary WILSON, born Aug. 2, 1887.

October 18, 1887 - Returned to Lonaconing at noon. Was met at the train and taken to Mrs. Eliza WRIGHTS's to baptize a dying infant…

October 19, 1887 - …Baptism before dinner: Harry Alexander, son of Robert and Elizabeth LANE, born in Lonaconing, July 7th, 1887. Gave certificate. Fee $1…

October 21, 1887 - After supper I rode to Laurel Run, some threee miles to marry a couple: Parker WILKERSON and Betsey EILBEEK. Fee $3. Baptized William Allen, son of Michelson and Mary Anne EILBECK, born Pekin, Md, Feb 7th, 1886. Fee $1.

October 22, 1887 - In afternoon visited Samuel MURPHY, child dead, diphtheria; Joseph BAILEY, daughter, sore leg; Jos BISHOP, three children, typhoid fever…

October 25, 1887 - …Reached McKENZIE's at eleven o'clock. Tom was married to Maggie. A good match…

October 30, 1887 - .. Had a baptism at church: Thomas Gilman, son of J.W. and E.A. JOHNSON, born July 22, 1887.

November 3, 1887 - How sad a day! It makes my heart sick to think of the agony and sorrow in Sister Rachel PEEBLE's home. Davie, a lad of 16 years, went to the mine with laughter on his lips and was brought home before noon a mangled corpse. He worked with this father and brother, but on this morning he took the trapper boy's place. His father had told him at times never to take the place, but the lad wished to accommodate a sick friend. His duty was to open and shut the door, as the cars went in and out. The smoke from the engine settled in this place, and the trapper boy had to go to the mouth of the mine between trips, to keep awake. As a trip of loaded cars was coming out this morning, the brakeman felt a slight jar. He put down the brakes and whistled to the engineer, who was behind, to stop the engine. As they went forward to see what the trouble was the engineer stepped over a head…. Little Janet with Typhoid fever in one room and Davie in the next…

November 4, 1887 - … Heard of a William HAUSEMAN being killed in Jackson Mine…Sad house: he leaves a wife who will soon be a mother. This morning as he went to the mine, he said to someone, "Before we've been married twelve months, my wife will be a mother and a widow."…After supper married Jacob A MOSES and Annie JOHNSON. Fee $3…

November 5, 1887 - … After supper I baptized Annie HOPPELL's child, father unknown…Boy was born Jan 3rd, 1887..

November 7, 1887 - …At one received word to visit a sick man at Ocean (4 miles) and as Father was going that way I went with him. Mr. GOODRICH, sick man, is an old engineer (67 years old [Note: later writes 74]), and he said that I was the first preacher that had been in his house for twenty-five years...After supper, Bros. ESAU and Morgan and John FOOTE went with me to Mr. Tom DICK. We found him seeking God…I baptized the baby, Margaret, d. of Thomas and Margaret DICK, born January 4, 1886…

November 14, 1887 - … Then I baptized a grandchild, Katie Lisbeth BERTIE, daughter of Jacob and Arthelia POTTO, born in Bedford County, Penn, May 2, 1885…

November 20, 1887 - … arrived at the house of the widow Mrs. William LOAR. Over the coffin I baptized the only child, William, son of William and Julia LOAR, born August 2, 1887…

November 26-28, 1887 - …Mr. GOODRICH is dead and I bury him on Tuesday. Bird (?) going away, has asked me to attend funeral of William AYERS on Wednesday in Barton… I received a letter from Gilbert asking me to come to Piedmont and bury James JACOBS…

November 29, 1887 - …at DUCKWORTH's I found an invalid young husband and a poor wife with two living children. The other died of diphtheria. .. I am to bury it at Moscow tomorrow morning…

November 30, 1887 - … Will HANEKAMP…Mr. AYERS was his uncle … [a long story about the families problems]…

December 3, 1887 - This evening at the parsonage I married John UDY and Clara PERCY. At the house John's home, I baptized "Freddie William", son of William and Mary Ann "REEVES", born Dec. 8th, 1886….

December 6, 1887 - … Baptized a little boy, son of Aaron and ______DUCKWORTH, also "Mary Annie", d. of Wm. E. and _______HOUSMAN, born Nov, 1887. Then we walked across the fields to Jacob CLICK. Had a pleasant time. Baptized the twins, two fat girls: "Edith May" and "Annie Hazel", daughter of Jacob and Annie CLICK…

December 11, 1887 - … It was the memorial service of W.E. HAUSMAN… Baptized "Miriam", d. of Jessie and George H. BENNETT, born in Lonaconing 1887…

December 19-21, 1887 - .. Tuesday evening I married the sexton's daughter, Gertie FREZISE (?) to James M. NICHOLS…

December 24, 1887 - Last night, Dec 23, I married John Henry DASH to Isabell WILLARD…

December 25, 1887 - … Between four and five I baptized "Grace Laird" d. of Joseph and Alice NICHOLS, born Sept. 25, 1887… Baptized "Amelia" d. of Joseph and _____ SCREEN…

January to March, 1887 - … Have had two marriages: one was that of William FOOT to Katie DOYLE….

March 16, 1887 - [Moved to Keyser, WVa]

March 16, 1887 - .. Called at Sister MONTGOMERY's and baptized her baby, "Carrie Estelle" for Mrs. Porter. Called on Brother John SYMONDS…

March 17, 1887 - … Called on John H. STRAIT, a young brother who has lately had his leg amputated. Baptized the sick child of Bros. Theo SMOUSE.
[Note: the child died March 19]

October 23, 1888 - … Wrote to Robt. C. WILSON.

October 25, 1888 - At noon went to father STOTLER's to take part in Lillie's wedding. Married Robt. C. WILSON to Lillie B. STOTLER about half past one. The two families were present. Grace S. and Will WILSON, Bert S. and Jennie HILL, stood with the young couple. After dinner they all went to WILSON's for tea, though I returned to Keyser. About nine o'clock Rob and Lillie went to their new house.

October 26 - November 15, 1888 - .. married Wm. HUEY to Ida ASPINWALL…

December 21 - March 1, 1889 - This has been an eventful time in my life, It had seemed to me that I could not do in Keyser what ought to be done, for the church was cold, dead. For a time I suffered much and tried every plan I knew, and concluded to write the elder to move me at conference…[Last entry]

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