Spencer D. Lyon, was the son of Spencer Lyon and Betsy (Ricker) Lyon, early settlers in the town of New Hudson. He was born May 23, 1834. On May 7, 1851, he married Lydia Ann Pratt, daughter of Garrison and Almira Pratt. They had one daughter, Alice M. Lyon. Spencer died in March 1903, three months after his last diary entry.
Spencer's diary was mainly a financial record with a few personal notes recorded. A quote from his obituary aptly describes him: "Mr. Lyon was a man of few words but of the strictist integrity and honor in all things"
March 15 - Mr. Strait leased S. D. Lyon place on shares.
April 11 - Sold 20# butter @ 25 cents per pound.
Sept. 25 - Cuba Fair. Rain. No trot today.
Dec. 11 - Went to Cuba to buy sack of flour from Webster. $2.25
Jan. 1 - Bonfire, rang bell, fired cannon, not much sleep last night.
Feb. 19 - Great Northern lights large and colorful.
Feb. 25 - Rearwin moved to Friendship. Dividing his stock I am to have $12 on division plus his part of hay at $8 per ton.
March 13 - Sold 16 sheep for $100 to Mr. Little
March 17 - It was reported two black bears seen in town.
April 18 - Fire at Preston House, Prospect St in Cuba.
April 28 - Fire at 1 a.m. Foundry burned down.
May 25 - Took Allie fishing at the reservoir. Got one about 1 pound.
June 6 - Helped Pol drop colt about 1:30 a.m. Jirah went to the corners. Allen and Libbie (7) start on NO. 1 for Ohio.
July 4 - Big bonfire for holiday. Went to Olean to hear Colfax (8) speak. Estimated 10 t0 15 thousand in crowd.
July 6 - Gen. Rufus Scott here for political speech.
July 14 - Mrs Hendricks died. Funeral tomorrow.
Sept. 13 - To Olean by way of Haskell, took dinner with Bristol, Called at Olean band Got $27.97 interest on bond. Came back by way of Hinsdale.
Oct. 10 - paid up Maggie and let her go. Hired another girl $1.50 per week.
Oct. 13 - Tight rope walker wheeled a barrow forward and back across the street. Stalwart man.
Nov. 8 - Left for Philadelphia abt noon, arr there 5 p.m. Found lodging in Daskell St. $1.50 per day.
Nov. 9 - Thousands on centnl grounds. Splendid large fireworks.
Nov. 21 - Receivd 50 cents for 1 day jury duty. Found no cause.
Dec. 3 - Mrs. Sam Story funeral saddens town.
Dec. 7 - Pd colored woman $1 to clean house for Allie. Alma Truax (16) home from Wisconsin.
Dec. 29 - Pd state and county tax. On house alone up to $17.69 Fierce for what it is.
Feb. 27 - Ad Stevens auction today.
Mar. 16 - Thief took 2 watches from T. F. Rude store
Apr. 10 - Home talent show in hall. Surprisingly professional.
May 14 - Libbie came this eve. Start for Kansas in the morning.
May 25 - To Olean, horse and buggy, staid all night at Bristol's. Bought 51 yards carpet and lining for $50.
May 26 - Circus in town. Nothing extra. Small crowd.
June 9 - Took Holly to be bred. Stallion named Security. I am to pay stud fee of $5 if she has a good sound living colt.
Aug. 26 - Stevens tannery burned down.
Sept. 26 - Big show big crowd at Cuba Fair.
Oct. 10 - Drawed stone for the fence and gate in front of the cemetery at the corners. Allen cemetery adjacent mowed.
Oct. 14 - Bought a cow from Gary $22.50
Feb. 27 - Paid state and county tax, house and store $41.28
March 7 - town meeting voted 67 dry. No license.
March 30 - Lydianne and Allie went to Black Creek for a week.
April 13 - Wind took roof off the Story Block.
May 5 - Cuba postoffice broke into, safe blown apart, $1000 taken in stamps and money.
May 25 - Planted some corn in the garden, early type.
June 6 - Big turnout for Farmers' Picnic today.
June 7 - Worked awhile in Black Creek cemetery. In bad shape.
June 20 - 90 degrees in the shade most of the day in Cuba.
Sept. 7 - Heavy storm, dark as night at noon. roofs, trees blown apart.
October - Doctor had hours at Kinney Hotel. I had 7 teeth pulled, Lydianne had 2.
Oct. 18 - Lent Swift another $10 so he could go to Chicago, he didn't say why.
Dec. 28 - Dallas Whipple barn burned, 7 horses and a colt lost.
Jan. 11 - Lib Truax fell here and broke her wrist. Had Ote Allen.
Jan. 12 - Ote here again for Lib and Lydianne got new medicine off him.
Feb. 28 - High water, some streets flooded. Will Ackerley's house caught fire, slight damage.
June 24 - Went to Pent's for Lena's wedding. Stayed two day. Pleasant.
July 17 - Smith barn struck by lightning. Horses and building lost.
Sept. 18 - Large crowd at fairgrounds, good races. My pocket happy.
Oct. 27 - Plumbed for gas and did over store, bricked up son of the windows.
|Mortar and dray||1.40|
|plumb for gas||6.00|
Nov. 3 - Shingled water closet.
Dec. 31 - A. Swift paid interest and some prin on mortgage leaving $2,200 due me. Dr Dudley paid $8 for rent of a room over the store for a month and $11.50 for 4 months water rent. I paid Ote Allen $18 of 20 house calls last five months. Finances in fair shape should the grim reaper call me.
(2) This was the presidential election with President Grant
running against Horace Greely, editor of the New York Tribune, for his
second term. Grant's previous term had been riddled with scandals.
Grant won by an electoral vote of 286 to 66. The popular vote was
3,597,132 to 2,384,124. This was also the year that Susan B. Anthony
was arrested for leading a group of women to vote in the election.
(13) Rutherford B. Hayes, republican, against Samuel J. Tilden, democrat.
Tilden had a popular vote of 250,000 but the republicans refused to concede the election because the returns
from the states of Forida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Oregon were in
dispute. A special commission had to finally determine the electoral
vote and Rutherford B. Hayes won the election.
(14) The nation's 100th birthday celebration.
The Centennial Exposition, the 1876 world's fair was held in Philadelphia.
The Exposition covered 450 acres. Each state had its own building.
Fifty foriegn nations also had exhibits. The most popular attraction was
Machinery Hall with its exhibits of the latest technology.