Vett Noble's Handwriting

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, February 1984,
February 1984
Original Images:

Aashville Jennuessee
February 14th 1863
Dear Mother
Auspiciously again to day & examined the mail for our Regiment as it came through the Post Office. But after the last letter went into the bag and I had seen none with my address upon in familiar for my other in fact/hand writing. I drew a long oma said well it her went they will come some day “and I went at my work again. I have seen very for about a week I had my recording all even when the a. a. Gent got a new set of Books for 1863 and I had from January 1st all record over again into the new Books. what kept coming in, and still keeps coming in though I think if I keeps finally steady at work all day tomorrow. I will have everything fair and the weather to-day has seen warm and nice but how muddy. I had no idea it was so awful muddy unit evening I went over to the Company and it being very dark. I could not keep out of the mud & conecqus and it being very dark. I could not keep out of the mud I confess it. I got my feet wet while over there I drew me an ruff set a genuine are. I think it will be a very good if I happen to be traveling anytime and it raing there was some over three a few sweety ago but they were only oilcloth. I told the orderly I didn't want one of those but if ever he could get his eye outs any that-were genuine first to freeze to one after for me I being a very particular friend of his he did just as I requests, Ma it is 1/2 past 11 at the present time and I onghs

William Lambie Diary, January-April 1899

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, June 1993,
June 1993
Original Images:


1. New Years Day-Mother, Mary & Belle went to hear a Sermon. Ann & I rested at home-6 above in the sunshine-Frank came at Noon and went home with Bell.

2. Ann & Mary went to Town-12 above zero. Mrs Fletcher & the boys came back from Uncle Williams.

3. Rexford sent over 2tons of coal-Mrs Fletcher & the boys came back from Uncle Williams.

3. Rexford sent over 2 tons of coal-Mrs Fletcher & the boys & Ann & Mary went to Bells. Anna & Mary stayed overnight-Robert brot a load of wood.

4. Dark, mild and muddy-Mary went home with Frank in the rain-A big Paper from Australia.

5. Frank brot back Mary-frost & cold-Mother, Ann went to Town. Mother & Anna stayed at the Dentists till after dark-Frank brot me new trousers.

6. Franks butter would not came, took home his churn. More snow-Anna, Mary, Mrs Fletcher & 3 boys had supper with Aunt Eunice & came home in the dark. Bell came after dark and Will called for her in the dark at 11.

7. Robert took Anna to the Depot at 9-Cold stormy blasts-Frank came to dinner.

8. Robert came and told us a wee boys came and was born in their home last night, Mrs Fletcher and family & Mary went to Church. Mary walked home and fRank came-the eaves dripped at noon.

9. 20 above zero-Belle came adn Wills sister was dead & Mother & her went home together.

10. Frank came in fornoon-Mary walked over to the grave yard & Wills sisters funeral-Belle came home with her-Will came for bell about bedtime.

11. Insurance meeting-8 above zero-Mary & Mrs Fletcher walked to Town-sent a letter to Anna.

12. Mr & Mrs Couvert made us a good visit-Frank came-Robert brot us a grist-dark day.

13. Rain in the night-dark-mild wet morning. Mary, Mrs Fletcher & the boys went to Town in afternoon.

14. Wet morning-water standing in the Wheat-Mary & Mrs Fletcher went to Town.

15. Mother & Mary went to Church and the boys to Sunday School.

16. Like a Spring morning-Wife & I wnet to Roberts & saw the wee boy over a week ald. Will took 2 boys to his house & Mrs Fletcher went to Town and did not find them till she got hame.

17. Fine morning-Wife & I had a pleasant visit with Belle. Mr & Mrs Frank Fletcher came.

18. Mother & Mary went to Town-We saw over 20 cederwax birds in the Mountain Ash tree. The boys & girls had fun sliding on the ice by the Orchard. Mary had a headach-hens don't lay & roses don't bloom.

20. Robert brot 2 loads of straw from the stack to the barn. Mr & Mrs Hunter & Mr & Mrs Cameron gave us a pleasant call. Mrs Fletcher & 3 boys went with Frank to his farm.

21. Stormy-The wind blew over a brick-killed Mr. Kirk.

22. Mother & Mary went to Church-Mrs Fletcher & boys to the Sunday School.

23. Mother & Mary went to Town then Mother to Bells-Frank came-Mary & Mrs Fletcher walked over to the grave where they were burring the body of Mr. Green.

24. Split wood & tried to draw Haplen Cargo(?).

25. Burns Day-Mr. Hunter, his wife & daughter came to see us. Robert brot Oats & corn to feed the hungry hens.

26. Mrs Fletcher & Mary went to Town & came home in a snow storm. Frank took Mary, Mrs Fletcher & the boys to his home at night. Robert walked up to see us after dark.

27. Six above zero-cold-sunshine. Lines on Burns & Whittier.

28. Willie started early-Frank brot the Detroit Journal-6 above zero.

29. 3 above zero here-10 below at Franks home. Mary, Mrs. Fletcher & the boys walked to Church.

30. Monday-2 above zero-Frank drew a load of hay-Mary hitched up and Mrs Fletcher and the boys went to Roberts.

31. Willie said it was 10 below zero-Wife & I walked to Roberts who was husking corn in the barn. The wee boy looked bright & fell asleep on my knee.


1. About zero-split wood-Wife went to Bells with the Milk Man.

2. Mr. Fletcher took Mrs Fletcher and the boys to the farm.

3. Snow in the night-20 above zero-Frank brot papers.

4. Mrs. Fletcher & the boys & Mary went to the City.

5. Cold-Mary walked to Church-Willie & Harris to the Sunday School.

6. Zero-hear 4 below at FRanks-he got a load of hay out the shed.

7. Zero again-Mother walked to Roberts-fed out all the corn-Robert brot corn & a barrel of Oats.

8. Mary says 2 below zero-Mother has a cold and can hardly speak. Mary, Mrs Fletcher & the boys walked to Roberts-very cold-come balmy Spring and cheer sad hearts.

9. Ten below zero-The Milkman says 16-We pray for warmer days-20 below at the Normal-Father killed 2 swine for Robert.

10. 14 below zero-22 at Franks & one of his Cows had a calf in the cold and cruel winter.

11. 10 below zero-Bell walked over to see us. Frank came-some sunshine.

12. Lincoln's Birthday-14 below zero-Mary & Mrs Fletcher & boys walked to Church.

13. Still cold-12 below zero-Frank & Mrs Fletcher set a stove in the Cellar-Harris, Robert & I helped Robert to load Hay.

14. Glad Morning-South wind, Mercury up to 6. Mrs Lambie went with the Milkman & walked to Roberts-The wee boy seemed to laugh on my knee.

15. Grand mild day-eaves dripping-Frank went to the Farmer's Institute at Ann ARbor-Willie got pills from Mr Fraser for me.

16. Sunshine & balmy breezes-Robert brot a laod of corn in the car from the cars for himself and then brot a load to us and put it in barn floor-Frank went to Ann Arbor Institute.

17. Another fine morning-20 above zero-trimed trees.

18. Wife & I had a cheery dinner with Will & Bell yesterday. Wheeled manure out the stable. Mary & Mrs Fletcher drove to Town to read a poem from Mr Golder to Wm Lambie in the Hamilton paper.

19. Willie took Mother & Mary to Church in the Surry.

20. GRand day-wheeled manure out the stable-Mother & I dined with Mr & Mrs Robert Lambie-Mary, Mrs Fletcher & the boys went to Town.

21. Rexfords man brot over 2 ton of coal-Mr Alison sent two Almanacs from Australia-Robert thinks the Walnut trees on the old farm are worth $50.

22. Washington's Birthday-Mrs Fletcher, Mary & the boys went to Belles-Rain, snow & mud when they came back.


23. More snow-Mother went with Robert to his home. Robert brot Papers.

24. Sunshine and after snow & rain-Mother went to Bells with Milkman.

25. Mary walked to Town-Wet & Muddy.

26. Willie drove Mother & Mary to Church. Mary went for the Sunday School Scholars-A thunder shower at night.

27. Mother & I walked to Roberts-ice & cold-driving blasts-Roberts brot Mother home.

28. Ice & cold blasts-Mary, Mrs Fletcher & 3 boys went to Roberts-Roberts girls went home in the Surry & Mary & Mrs Fletcher came home in it. More Papers from Mr Allison.


1. Glad to live safe and well thru the winter and see another pleaant Spring. Bell and Mrs Lang came-Mother went to Mr. Hiscocks and Bells.

2. Wife took Mary, Mrs Fletcher & 3 boys to the Motor on the way to Uncle Williams. Wife & I called on Aunt Eunice-about the first I have been to Town this fearful cold winter.

3. Wife to see Bell-Mild, dark and damp-Dined alone. got cold reading.

4. Did not rest well, a long night, mild, muddy and damp. Mary came down on the Motor & then walked home in the snow alone.

5. A fearful snow storm-The Milkman thought it the worst storm he had seen & Will had to turn back. The wind broke down the door on Franks shop.

6. Robert drove through the fields & called. Glad to see a friend-Robert, Hattie & the babe went to Hatties Mothers then Robert brot Mrs Fletcher and family here to his own family home.

7. More cold-north drifting blasts and some sunshine wearring for blue skies & balmy breezes-Robert & Hatties drove thru the deep drifts and gave us a pleasant visit.

8. Willie & his Mother drove thru the snow to Town-Mrs Fletcher came back afternoon & her & Mary & boys drove to Roberts & Bells.

9. Mild & Murkey-Mrs Fletcher & 3 boys went in the snow to Mr Hiscocks & met Will & Bell.

10. Mother drove thru the snow to belles coming back after dinner. Mary, Mrs Fletcher & boys went to Town-mild, dark & damp.

11. Willie & Mother went for Bell to celebrate Roberts Birthday. Sunshine and Mud-A grand dinner-3 generations-21 in number round the table.

12. Willie went with Mother & Mary to the nue Chapel. Mary went for Mrs Fletcher & boys. Willie & Mary saw Robins in the Orchard.

13. Mary, Mrs Fletcher & the boys went to see old Mr Fletcher who was better and called on Eunice & her Mother who were earing small apples of Roberts. Eunice has ahd the grip & has not been at Church for weeks.

14. Roads froze-Mrs Fletcher drove to the farm then her & Mary to Roberts-Frank told us Uncle William had bot a house in Town so none would be oppresed boarding hired men.(?)

15. Mild rain & sunshine-Mother drove to Cells-Robert and Hattie came.

17. St. Patricks dAy-Wife & I walked to Roberts & Bell walked back with me. Robert had to go to bed. Mother was tired walking home in the mud. Mary & mrs Fletcher called on the Stevenson family.

16. Mother drove to Roberts then Mrs Fletcher took her to the Motor to see Aunt Mary.

18. Cold icy rain-Willie started for the creamery at daylight. Robert brot us a grist. Cold bleak Sabbath.

19. Mother went to Church & Mary went for Mrs Fletcher & the boys.

20. Robert not well. Mother walked in the North blasts to see him. Sunshine-Robert had a Dr. Mother was brot up at night.



21. Cold stormy morning-Come balmy Spring.

22. Mild and Mud-Robert better-Mary, Mrs. Fletcher and the boys went to Belles. Frank called.

23. Thunder last night-colder, ice and sunshine this morning-Mary, Mrs Fletcher and the boys drove down to Roberts.

24. A robin sung at morn. Mother drove to Belles, when she came back, Mrs Fletcher went to

25. Willie started for the Creamery at daylight & in snow storm.

26. A year since my kind brother Robert died. If a man dies will he live again? I drove threw the mud to Church for Mrs Fletcher & family.

27. Wife & I had a pleasant time with Will & Bell. Called on Mr Gray coming back. Robert better.

28. Mary & Mrs Fletcher called on Mrs Loveridge.

29. More drifted snow-long winter.

30 Wife & I called on Eunice Lambie-did not see them.

31. Wife & I had dinner with Robert and Hattie & had? 3. years with peace and good will. Good sister Agnes sent a fine Baby Quilt she made a at hame.


1. This morning looks more like January than April.

2. Mary, Mrs Fletcher and the boys walked to Church.

3. Blue & White clouds-Mother drove to Bells.

4. Mrs Fletcher, Mary & the boys drove to Roberts. Enjoyed a Sun bath and rest on the South Porch.

5. Fine Morning, rested in the sunshine.

This is the last of the Lambie Diary. Mrs. Fletcher & the 3 boys that is mentioned was Foster Fletcher's mother and 2 brothers. Peter Fletcher's father.

I have been doing the diary for 9 years now and have enjoyed it very much. It is just as tho I was walking along the time with them.

Mr. Lambie died April 25, 1900 at the age of 79.


Vett Noble of Ypsilanti: A Clerk for General Sherman

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, February 1984,
February 1984
Original Images:

Edited by Donald W. Disbrow

Sylvester (“Vett”) Noble of Ypsilant, Michigan, was a lowly and sometimes impudent clerk in the Union army. The bome town people disappointed him in being less concerned with him than be thought they should be. Yet, in the youthful outpourings be sent to his family he managed to record shrewd observations of the kaleidoscopic wartime scene; and he proved to be not unimportant after all, for he just happened to be one of William T. Sherman's few headquarters clerks during his campaign in the Carolinas in 1885.

Because Private Noble of Ypsilanti had a happy flair for capturing quite well the nuances in both army and home relationships in a time of great national tragedy, his letters are much more than the boastful yawps of a lonesome nobody in uniform. For in them be discerned the major issues of the Civil War, and be could do so all the better as he himself grew from an immature army goldbrick to a proudly seasoned though still lowly functionary on the spot where important history was being made.1

As was certainly typical of most volunteer soldiers, Vett Noble belonged to a family that was almost totally unfamiliar with military life. Before Sylvester, the only ancestor with any military service at all was Captain Thaddeus Noble, who was an armorer in a Connecticut regiment during the French and Indian War. So, without doubt, the Noble clan was eager enough to get all the details from their son, the first member of the family in more than a century to shoulder arms and march off to the defense of his country.2 His father, Alonzo Miletus Noble, born in 1817 in Otisco, New York, was too old for Civil War service, and consequently devoted himself to the daguerreo-type business in Ypsilanti. He also ran a livery stable and seems to have made enough money to purchase a new house and barn, a result of improved business conditions and the profits he received from the horses and mules he sold to the army. He made money, too, from his daguerreotypes, in sharp demand from families who wanted likenesses for absent husbands, sons, and brothers during the war. (The Noble Home & Livery was at 212 S. Huron)

Vett Noble's volunteer enlistment papers describe him as twenty years old; a farmer by occupation; five feet, ten inches in height; with black eyes and black hair. The medical officer who examined him signed a statement that “[he] in my opinion is free from all bodily defects and mental infirmity.” Noble was mustered into the 14th Michigan Infantry at Ypsilanti on February 13, 1862, and apart from detached service, he remained with the regiment until it was mustered out of service on July 18, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky.3

Young Noble showed a healthy interest in telling his family all about the army. In the early months of his service he was quite fascinated with the subject of army discipline, or rather the lack of it and he was proud of those instances when he was able to outwit the military system. Only a few days after Ulysses S. Grant's standoff with the Rebel forces at Shiloh, the 14th Michigan reached the battle site. Vett sat down in the field a mile and a half from enemy troops to tell his family about Brigadier General John Pope's unaccountably harsh reaction to soldierly high jinks.

The boys find that to do any thing against orders is harder dealt with here, than in the old barracks. Gen Pope ordered that no soldiers must shoot off his gun in camp. This morning there was 5 tied up to a tree so tight that they could not move head, hand nor foot, & have got to stay there forty eight hours with nothing but one cake of hard bread to eat & one pint of water to drink a day, just for snapping caps on their guns.4

After dysentery forced him to miss the minor engagements in which the 14th participated at Farmington, Mississippi, as well as Henry Halleck's bloodless occupation of Corinth, Vett wrote home from Camp Farmington about further army escapades. In one instance he and a friend were innocent victims of a roundup of gamblers. They were brought in with more than a gross of gamblers under the orders of General James D. Morgan. Vett could have gotten ten days fatigue duty, but his captain may have vouched for his honesty, for the matter was mentioned by him no more.5

Private Noble continued to exhibit his angle psychology when the regiment left Big Springs for Tuscumbia, Alabama. In a somewhat smug letter to his mother, he described his carefree association with the army as it marched.

Last Monday morning at 1/2 past 5, our Brigade started from our old Camp at Big Springs & our Regt with knapsacks on our backs. Some were foolish enough to trudge on with them. I only carried mine about 3 miles & fell out of ranks & stayed with my things most all day, while others (at least some) would throw theirs away just to keep up. I waited until it was cool & then carried it 2 or 3 miles further, stayed all night, & in the morning, I coaxed the wagon master to put my things onto the wagon.

Then you see, I could travel, but I did not care to catch up, because it is a great deal easier traveling out of ranks than in, as you can stop whenever you please. Well, Jimmy Sargent & I completed our march of 60 miles on Saturday morning. But didn't we see sights, have fun & do just as we were a mind, have everything to eat we wanted etc., saw thousands on thousands of acres of corn & more Peaches & Blackberries than all of father's horses could draw at a 1,000 draughts, melons that 4 couldn't eat to save their lives, milk all the cows we came to, eat all the peaches & apples we wanted, roasted & boiled corn, made succotash etc. We couldn't get any bread, so when we got hungry for a change we would go into a house, about dark & call for supper. They would set some of the niggers about getting it. We would eat supper, lodge & get breakfast. Ask them what the bill was, tell them to charge it to Uncle Samuel, say good morning & leave.

Some splendid country here in the state, some of the plantations through here are just old nice, very nice houses, large, square, white ones with green blinds, & the lawn, beats anything I ever saw, even in Detroit city, & such nice little houses for the slaves, two rows making a pretty little street just swarming with little sons of Africa. We are on one side of a right-smart little town, about as large as two Salines, & as pretty as six of them.6

In September, 1862, Vett was on the march from Tuscumbia. On the twenty-eighth he wrote his mother from Nashville and routed the letter through Confederate lines north of the city via a discharged soldier returning to his home under a flag of truce. On October 9, he forwarded still another letter north in the same manner. As enemy troops in the vicinity of Nashville had been seriously harassing Union supply lines, Vett had reason to be exultant over a recent Yankee victory. He described a sharp night encounter with the enemy at Lavergne in which he took part: “Why: we've had a fight, we have; don't you believe.* Vett gave as account of the five Union regiments that routed the Rebels and captured troops and supplies as well as hay and corn. It was his first fight and that old carefree, nonmilitary mood captured him after participating in such a splendid engagement. It seemed to call for a celebration, and his sister was privileged to be the first to bear of it.

The way back was a direct road & only 15 miles—& after coming about 4 of it two of us fell out & went to a secesh house & demanded a dinner (a good one we got too). We then told him to have a team hitched up & take us to town. It came like pulling teeth but he saw that it was no use & told his niggers to bring us a six mule wagon. Hadn't come more than 1/2 mile before we had 31 onto it.

Private Noble escaped a good deal of foot slogging, guard and picket activity, and work details when his captain made him a clerk. He made out his first payroll soon after the regiment left Ypsilanti for the front. From Farmington he wrote on May 24 that his social position in the army was rather exalted for a lowly private as he took his meals with Captain Edward Nixon, the commander of Company F; Mrs. Nixon; the chaplain; and Lieutenant Calvin C. Porter (both Nixon and Porter were from Grand Rapids). A company clerk's life was certainly for him even though he received only $13 a month, the wages of a private (at that time, there was no special provision in the army's table of organization for a clerk). All could not have been roses, however. In December, 1862, when Noble was detailed as a clerk at Headquarters, 7th Division Army Corps, in Nashville, he was quite happy with the change. Vett had discovered what lowly army clerks have always known—that their proximity to commissioned officers makes them especially vulnerable whenever the question is one of values as determined by the army's social scale. As enlisted men away from line duty, they always miss the camaraderie of their fellows and often find the demeaning contacts with some of their officers a rather hard substitute. In Vett's case, he was particularly pleased to get away from his commanding officer, whom he excoriated in a letter home.

He is disliked by every one in his regiment, laughed at every where he goes & one other thing that is heard whenever he is seen anywhere—that is gobbling. He got into a little scrape with a boy about a couple of turkeys last summer while on the march from Tuscumbia & ever since then everybody in the whole Brigade gobbles whenever he is around, which makes him feel like daggers and look daggers too.7

Vett's scorn for the captain carried over to the captain's wife.

Mrs. Nixon. Yes, she is another pretty subject for contemplation. It is perfectly scandalous to think of how she has been with the army all the way from Ypsilanti, been right in camp all the time, doing no good (which she might if she had only kept herself in the right place, the Hospital), not even cooking for herself & the Captain. Kept a horse at the expense of the Government, rode a horse all the way from Pittsburg Landing to here, through the most circuitous route, besides all the riding she done while in camp. And only a few days after arriving in Nashville have a baby. There's the flat of it. It cost the Captain $31 for beer the next day.8

Apropos of army wives, Vett wrote to his mother about the matter some months letter, September 11, 1883, when he was on special duty at Franklin, .

I have had a very unpleasant job this morning. A Lieutenant had his wife have for some times, and after a reasonably lengthy visit Col. Mizner told be had her home and she didn't go, and yesterday Col. C. W. C. got a letter Col. M saying that Mrs Devereaux must leave, so my to that effect and the Lieut came up here and told C.W.C. be wouldn't obey it, and by the means was placed in arrest & to quarters inside the Fort on the other side of the river his wife is this side. Col Mizner telegraphed back this morning for Col. C.W.C. to direct “ber” to be ready to go on the noon train, and if she desired, to give her an escort of a “Corporal and 3 men.”

Well I wrote the order and had to carry it to her “rough but honest.” No woman have say business in the army. Col M is the only one that has over had say effect on Mrs. Nixon. She stuck and hung to the army like sixty, had a baby etc. but Col Mizner told her to go or be would send her “& she went.” Col Mizner is the man after all, though some think him dread-fully strict, best the 14th Regt Mich Inf Vols is a better Regt by 200 per cent than the day the took command.

Vett folt none too secure on detached duty. His old nemesis, Captain Nixon, kept thambing regulations in order to find authority to promote him from private to corporal and return him to Company F for duty as clerk. Vett wrote home that the captain even spoke of making him a sergeant if he would come back to the company. If Vett is to be believed, he had something on the captain and could have gotten him dishonorably dismissed from the service, but he never intimated what it was that gave him so much freedom to talk back to his company commander. Nixon (if we are to believe the private) always responded to Vett's strong talk by imploring him to return to the company. Noble's detached service with Brigadier General James D. Morgan at division headquarters kept him out of the reach of the captain, who may well have been trying to hire him into a position where Nixon as company commander might then have had the impudent soldier court martialed. In any case, whenever Vett did have to return to Company F for duty, it was perhaps his good fortune that Nixon was never at the time his commanding officer.

Vett owed his job to Sergeant Major Wallace Phillips of the 14th Michigan, who in April, 1863, recommended Noble for the top enlisted position of sergeant major itself. Soon Vett was to become acting sergeant major while Phillips, serving as the acting adjutant, waited for his own official commission. In his capacity as acting sergeant major, Vett had to assign details, prefer charges against soldiers derelict in their duty, and perform in the best spit-and-polish manner. In May he was officially promoted and, accordingly, sewed on his sergeant major's chevrons. He wryly commented regarding this metamorphosis of a recruit goldbrick into the number-one enlisted man of the regiment: “It don't embarrass me as much to give a command or make the boys toe the stretch, as at first.”

As sergeant major, Vett Noble could appreciate the importance of army discipline. And now at long last he was even proud of the staff officers of the 14th under whom he served, saying of them:

The men will begin before long to appreciate discipline and drill, something the 14th were total strangers to until within the last two months since the new Col [Henry R. Mizner] and Lt. Col. [George W. Grummond] have come to take things into their hands. They are thorough going men.9

Back in Ypsilanti the very pleased Noble family begged of their young hero that he tell them all about his duties, for such details would be grist for the mill that processed the family's propaganda for home town consumption. Accordingly, Vett obliged.

I get up between 7 & 8 o'clock regular every morning, (early isn't it) i.e. I get up before I eat my breakfast every day—make out Regtl. Morning Report—make out the details for the day-Pickets', couriers—Forage Train guard—Fatigue parties—Videttes etc etc do little odd jobs, write orders or something of the kind—At 10 1/4 A.M. mount guard, which takes an hour-put up the mail—send off the couriers-eat my dinner—sit & have a good smoke. Then as a general thing have a little spare time which I use up as follows—wash up, put on my “boiled shirt,” black my boots, order my steed & cut a dash around town [Columbia, Tennessee]. Am sure to ride past all the houses where lives the pretty girls. How do you like that for a program so far?…

It isn't every afternoon I have to myself but I get out of the Office every opportunity. Should die sure if cooped up all the time—Evenings I get out considerably too-call on the ladies, hear music, read etc etc. Have been to Church most every Sunday since stopping in Columbia's Presbyterian.10

Vett's letter also sheds light on what he called “the slew of Reports and Returns” that were his responsibility.

Now, without question Vett was a busy man. The carefree days were gone. Each day he had to tell all the companies what the orders were. There were compensations, however, such as the knowledge that the Noble family in Michigan (and his mother's family, the Stones of Penn Yan, New York) were really proud of him and that the Ypsilanti girls who had ignored him before the war might now consider him quite eligible, With evident satisfaction, Vett described his uniform.

First a nice white shirt (from Ma), paper collar, neat little necktie, a very nice fine blue black vest (present from Lt. Magill) & in the pocket of it a $30 watch & to it a gold chain, a good Government Jacket (regular round about) with Sergeant Major chevrons (stripes) on the sleeves, something in this shape of light black cloth [see page 39] on each arm, hair just as I always wore it at home (shingled), nice military (officer's) cap, sky-blue pants with a stripe of dark blue 1 & 1/2 inches wide down either leg & the boots that father sent me. I tell you I look gay.11

This letter has two interesting references. One is to the boots his father gave him. Alonzo Noble, the livery stable proprietor and photographer in Ypsilanti, had sent these boots some weeks before, and though Private Noble could boast they were the envy of the troops, red boots were not regulation. But as sergeant major he wore them, apparently as a privilege of rank accorded him by the regimental commander. The other reference was to Lieutenant Arthur E. Magill, who was the regimental adjutant. Magill had begun his military career as a corporal in the Confederate army, where he rose to become an aide to a general. For some reason he had deserted the Confederates to join the 14th Michigan. A special friend of Vett's, Magill was teaching him the fine points of army clerking so that the new sergeant major might someday qualify for a commission as adjutant, whenever Magill should win his captain's bars. Once when Magill went on a trip north, Vett in the best apple-polishing manner implored his sister to see that the lieutenant was given a hero's welcome if and when he stopped off at Ypsilanti to visit the Noble family. “Give him a nice dinner, do things up in style, give him a few turns on that piano, etc.,” were his instructions.12

Leadership made demands on Vett which in the end showed that he had never quite made his peace with the army's hierarchical system. When he discovered that Colonel Henry Mizner on occasion could display a nasty temper toward him he regretted that he had ever sought promotion. However, he managed to weather Mizner's first violent outburst, but only after he had taken a knife and had begun to cut off his chevrons. As the colonel had no ready replacement for him, Mizner calmed down. The episode had resulted from brigade headquarters' reprimand of Mizner for tardy morning reports. The chastened Mizner had with some heat upbraided Noble, who already on his own had arrested the three derelict first sergeants. The rumpus blew over, and a month later Vett could report that once again he was a solid favorite with Colonel Mizner. He even began to have visions of a commission should the war last. But the good feelings on the part of the colonel proved evanescent; in less than four months a special order, dated November 14, 1863, broke Sergeant Major Sylvester C. Noble to the rank of private. He had been the top enlisted man for only eight months.

Vett coolly took his revenge a few weeks later, however, when as a clerk private detailed to the provost marshal's office in Columbia he was invited to a civilian party. Colonel Mizner was also at that party and the colonel received a lesson in what the code of a civilian army really meant.

Last Wednesday night there was a large champagne supper given by the citizens. We three clerks were invited as belonging to the Provost Marshal's office. The Col and several more shoulder straps were there and the clerks were all the enlisted men that were there. We ate our oysters etc. when Col. M-gave the Capt (Fro Marshal) to understand that he did not like to associate with his Privates and the Capt told us so and asked us to go. The other two went and I stayed just to bother him, and finally freed my mind on the subject of my being of as much consequence as any freed my mind on the subject of my being of as much consequence as any live man at a social gathering of the kind. The Capt persuaded but it was no go. They couldn't order me, for I was invited there by the same parties that they were and all rank of course had to be waived. I stayed until the last dog was hung and had to laugh to see how mad the Col got but dam't say a word to me & next day when I saluted him and he was obliged to salute in turn.13

An afterglow of spite toward Mizner prompted Vett to write home about another unpleasant encounter. This time it was a friend of his who had a run-in with the colonel. Jim, the friend, was also a clerk. The colonel refused him a horse to go seven miles to his company to get the men to sign furlough papers. At this, Jim simply declined to walk the distance. With evident relish, Vett told the story to his family.

Col. got his back up immediately and told Jim with plenty of oaths that if he didn't shut up he would kick him 16 feet out into the road. Jim said no more but came away, had got about 1/2 way across the street when off went his hat, turned around to pitch into somebody, but saw that it was the Col. They had but few words as some of the Colonel's female friends were passing and he bareheaded, but Jim told him he was no gentleman, and that's all whether enough or not. I would have struck him I believe had I been in Jim's place, for when an Officer begins to curse a man, both are of equal rank.14

Let us call that Vett's Law—“When an Officer begins to curse a man, both are of equal rank.” It does not seem to have come to light before or since, and only Mrs. Noble and her daughter Dott were privileged to hear of it firsthand when their Vett enunciated it so clearly. Somehow, it never caught on in the army!

Though Vett could valiantly uphold the rights of enlisted men, he nonetheless appreciated the necessity for strict discipline when the occasion called for it. As an instance of this, he witnessed a dramatic threat to military authority that involved Colonel Mizner himself. The event occurred when the regiment marched from Franklin to Columbia, Tennessee, in the fall of 1863.

We arrived at Spring Hill a hamlet like place about mid-way from Franklin to this place when one of the men was censured by the Col for some misdemeanor and he gave the Col saucy insulting language, then was ordered in arrest. The penalty of his offense was to walk the remaining 11 miles. He laid his hand on the hammer of his gun and swore to the Col that if he was punished he would have satisfaction—Finally the man's insubordinate language resulted in his getting shot, and he died in a few moments. This of course made everyone's spirits as heavy and gloomy as the weather all the way through. It is the first instance of the kind in the annals of our Regt and nobody who saw it and thinks the matter over can blame the Col. one mite.15

But Vett's mother had read newspaper reports that did not square with her son's account of the episode, and, smarting at the disgrace of her son's reduction in rank by the same colonel, was willing to make something of the matter. In reaction to the press censure of the colonel, Vett sharply let his mother know just where his own loyalty lay.

Michael Flynn was shot for insubordination at Spring Hill, a small village 11 miles from Columbia. A coffin brought and his remains brought through, buried next day with all honor. Col Minzer was ordered to Nashville, his case investigated and he cleared. He would do the same thing over again tomorrow under like circumstances and so would I were I the commander of the forces and placed the same as he was. Are you satisfied with my explanation. I saw the whole thing and know. The Niles Republican wasn't there.16

Vett Noble's appreciation of discipline was matched by a corresponding change in his attitude toward the civilian population of the South. His initial delight in foraging at the expense of the rebel home folks was balanced later by his genuine respect for the southern people he came to know, people he admired for their zest for social life. His love affairs with various young ladies seem to have been chivalrous and filled with a full measure of innocent fun and merriment. Whatever the true story of these romances (soldiers do not tell everything in letters home), the girls and their mothers welcomed his visits in the best tradition of southern hospitality.

But this happy fraternization was slow in coming as a perusal of some of his letters will show. Within the first fortnight after his regiment left Ypsilanti in 1862, Vett wrote his family (April 28) From Farmington, Tennessee (“In the woods 1$1/2 miles from the rebels”). He told of headquarters being set up in an evacuated farm house.

Left all their live stock behind, turkeys, chickens, geese, cattle & horses except the ones they rode away…. Soldiers killed everything they could lay their hands to. I help's kill a two year old heifer, fat & pretty, skinned it & cut it up and gave Gen Payne one quarter, took a 15 gallon kettle & had some soup, & it was good I tell you after eating bacon & hard tack 2 or 3 weeks. Another man of our Co killed two pretty fat hogs & brought them into camp.

Somewhat later (June 7), still a Farmington, he confided in his diary that the army authorities were trying to stop the men from looting. They were allowing the soldiers to take up fences for wood, but “whatever else we got we had to press or cramp & keep it kind of shy (our officers didn't care as long as we gave them some & kept it out of sight).”

Later that summer (August 15), while in Tuscumbia, he wrote his sister that he had been on picket duty which afforded him the chance to live off the land. “They are confiscating all the cotton, mules & niggers they can get a hold of if their owners act anyway suspicious… Dott, we have lots of fun here, cramping from the Secesh, milk their cows, eat their peaches, etc. etc.”

A few days later he described a night roundup they made of a few Confederates at the edge of Florence, Alabarna. He told of one southerner surprised in his cellar while drawing wine. When they returned to town, the party went to the hotel.

[Here we] got the “Widder” [Richmonds] up and made her get us all some supper & I tell you she done her best, for she had a son leave for the C.S.A. only the day before & was afraid she would be left destitute by confiscation if she didn't toe the scratch. Everything came onto the table hot & watermelons & oranges to top off on, but what good tea she had.17

On this raid, Vett temporarily acquired a colored servant:

I myself individually confiscated (or rather he came of his accord) a darkie to fetch water, cut the wood etc. for our squad… They come in from the country every day, lots of them, run away from their overseers & are glad to work for board & clothes with freedom.

Concerning the same subject, he wrote his Aunt Adella Noble of Ann Arbor, Michigan, from a new camp near Florence.

About colored men. We take them & let them help us. The Capt is allowed one & each Lieut one & four for the Company cooks making 7 to each Co. besides the Staff Officers, & what the Quartermaster wants for teamsters etc. etc. There are lots of them come in every day-fed, clothed, & Freedom given them for what little they help about bringing water & wood & washing for us.18

From beleagured Nashville in the fall of 1862, young Noble boasted to his mother of hoodwinking one of the rebels whom he claimed had overcharged the Union soldiers for buttermilk.

About 3 o'clock in the morning the orderly & I goes over & milks the Secesh's cows (4) & gets two pails full of sweet milk which pays us for giving 10 cents for butter milk. Have done so now 4 times. Good joke on him, the old rebel. He thinks we are just the nicest fellows he has come across. Don't know that it is us that milks his cows, but the General [Brigadier General James S. Negley, their new commander] told us all that when the citizens charged more than a reasonable price for anything to take what we wanted & so we do.19

Throughout 1862 the 14th Michigan moved around Tennessee and northern Alabama with such frequency that Vett had little occasion to become well acquainted with the southern girls—at least he did not write home about any social life. Early in January, 1863, he mentioned Nashville dancing parties and referred to Caroline Stanton, a beauty from New York. Soon afterward he met another pretty girl at a party and saw her picking flowers the next day (March 24). Vett was always proud of his ease in getting to know the girls, explaining, “I stopped to have a little talk with her as a natural consequence. She gave me a very pretty bouquet.” Although she invited him to a party she was giving, he had to work at his clerical duties that evening until past midnight, and so missed the chance to socialize. It irked him as he had planned to go in his white shirt “with its 5c paper collar.”

In May, the 14th Michigan was gone from Nashville and Vett wrote his mother about camp activities at Brentwood, Tennessee.

I have been enjoying myself hugely for about a month ever since we left Nashville. The camp is more quiet. These Irishmen can't get whiskey as freely as there. I have just enough work to do to keep me feeling well, and every day there is something exciting turns up to keep everybody in good humor. At night as soon as it is dark there is two or three violins a guitar and a flute going, and with singing one manages to pass away time very pleasantly. It is the Drummer boys that play. They have so light work during the day that they would rather play than not. The Colonel [M.W. Quackenbush of Owosso] is very fond of music, so he has them at his tent nearly every night & they are in there now, playing and singing “Kitty Wells”…. I can play no musical instrument, nor dare put on boxing gloves with anyone for fear of my poor nose… [but] when they come to the jumping business I beat them all.20

Lonely camp life in the woods gave way to garrison duty in Franklin, Tennessee. Vett worte home on July 7, 1863, that the 14th with a new colonel in command (Henry R. Mizner of Detroit) was the only infantry on hand. The town (Vett estimated it as half the size of Ypsilanti) was obviously hostile and the Union troops investing it were on the alert “for fear of being gobbled up,” The colonel had already detected and sent to Nashville under guard two rebel spies. But there was one solace in General Rosecrans' telegram to Mizner, reporting the fall of Vicksburg. Mizner had not yet heard that Robert E. Lee had been turned back at Gettysburg.

Six weeks later (August 23) Vett happily wrote about a success for the 14th Michigan, the capture of the rebel marauder Dick McCann. By this time Vett was becoming quite partial to the local girls and their chagrin over the capture of a local Confederate hero did not escape his attention.

Our Company of Mounted Infantry captured the other day with the help of a company of the 1st Mo Cavalry the famous I. Dick McCann as you will see by our “Sentinel” of yesterday if you get it… He was as notorious and more so according to their rank than the Marauding John Morgan that was caught in Ohio. Both are from this section of the country having bothered our Dept for about 9 or 10 months. Great favorites in and around Franklin especially with the fair Secesh-siding community, who used to praise them up to the top notch whenever anyone spoke of them and I Just bother them the worst kind about their both being captured. I told one of them the evening the Scouts went out, that they were gone after McCann and would get him too, but I couldn't make her believe it. She said “Dick” was to sharp, and the next evening I saw her over at the Provost Marshal's office and had another confab about it and had hardly through with conversation when the guards came marching down the St with the prisoner “Dick” with the rest. She acted as though she were sorry a little but would say nothing—but “I don't care,” “It's mean.”21

During the summer of 1863 Vett seems to have fallen in love with a beautiful Franklin belle. He wrote his mother on July 23 that he had gotten some of the boys from the band to accompany him with string instruments to serenade at her house this girl who caught his fancy.

It was quite dark and about 1/2 past 11 o'clock, but the Miss knew who it was by my having a linen coat on, [he was then in his glory as the sergeant major] and a magnificent bouquet was handed out the windows—had a magnolia blossom right in the center done up with a satin ribbon, and this morning I took the ribbon off the blossom and found a card inside the flower, with the following, “Will Mr Noble except [stc] these flowers with the compliments of Miss Sallie Reams. And many kind thanks for the nice Serenade. Call.” & I call this evening.

On August I he wrote his mother that he saw “mi honey… Miss Salie… She's ‘just old pie’ well and hearty and as social as a kitten,* A fortnight later he was telling his sister how Miss Salie sent a Negro boy with a basket of flowers and fruit. It included A note that read: “Let these flowers remind Mr Noble of our lovely country and his little Southern friend, Sally Reams.” To which, Vett replied by card, *My heart is too full for utterance.” To his sister Vett confided his rather unmilitary thoughts.

Oh! I'm just already to fall head over heels in love with her, She is as handsome as a picture, 14 years old, plays on piano and sings splendidly. Ain't I just having the gayest time here in Franklin? Hope we will stay until the war is over. I thought we were in a pretty place at Brentwood and we were, but no ladies around where a person could go and spend an evening occasionally as here, and have none to molest. You see there is none here but our Regt and as Southern people all like favors they just more than do their prettiest for us and some have done the agreeable more than they expected, for some very dear attachments have been made with a few of the Regt. One man of Co “H” married as you will see in the “Sentinel” I sent. Billy [Buskirk of Ypsilanti too is going in heavy for a little fun while he has a chance, has found a girl out on the picket line that looks and acts a good deal like you and he thinks she is another of you all over.

Ohl I forgot to mention the music. I took over to my “honey” last night 2 violinists, 1 guitar player and a viol player. The boys sat in the large hall and played while we sat in the parlor and-I suppose you have some idea of what is done on like occasions. Can hardly call it having a convenation, but mixed up all sorts of stuff, then she would play and sing etc. etc. to numerous to mention.22

Vett felt that his mother would appreciate the social qualities of Sallie and her folks, for Mrs. Noble herself had visited Vicksburg before the war. Her son reminded her (August 10) that “Southern people are more warmhearted, more social than Northern. I think it must be on account of the climate….” But the gay interlude at Franklin had to end, and Vett sorrowfully wrote about the regiment's move to Columbia, a larger town twenty-four miles to the South.

It was like leaving home, coming away from Franklin, and I done better when I left there than I did in Ypsilanti for I went around and bid all my acquaintances good bye and so much was thought of our Regiment that many a tear was shed upon our leaving…. I would be willing to go back there to Franklin tonight afoot if I could only stay until the war was over…. I'm going back to Franklin to live some day-see if I don't.23

With the rest of the brigade is Alabama under Brigadier General James D. Morgan, Colonel Mizner and the 14th Michigan were left to hold both Franklin and Columbia. Eight companies were stationed in Columbia with two others in Franklin. Up ahead General Rosecrans was fighting to hold ground won from the Confederates. Vett reported from Franklin on September 26:

The great-and to be decisive-battle now on the program at Chattanooga occupies everybody's attention. Besides we are continually pestered with guerillas in this country-keep picking them up every day or two….

The Regiment is now all mounted except about 100. Its just fun to see the boys press horses-not one horse has been taken as drawn from the Government. These scouting parties bring in all the horses they come across in the country, The next day the old women & men will come in to get them back, take the oath and then only get receipts for their animals. That shows the stability of Tennesseans principles. Will take the oath of allegiance to the United States for a poor old blind horse or mule if they think there is any chance of getting it back but except in cases of extreme necessity none are given back.

News just rec'd from the front by telegraph are favorable and General Rosecrans has nearly all the Southern Confederacy to whip and I am as confident of his success as that I am now writing.

Having advised his family about the certain success of Rosecrans' campaign (and turning out to be a poor prophet for his troubles), Vett directed his attention to a matter that was bothering him considerably. He proceeded to roundly scold his mother for her unfavorable comments about his southern girl friends.

About the ladies. My waiting upon one so much younger than myself I think perfectly excusable as I suppose you know in a climate so widely different from Michigan as this people mature some two or three years younger than there-besides, she is agreeable society-an excellent performer on the piano, not afraid to build a fire or set the table although she has plenty of servants-she is in fact a lady and of refinement. My object in calling upon her is to break the monotony of an every day soldiers life-she knows what the object is and makes it as agreeable as she can-in regard to the one so much older than myself I will say that there was not a years difference and will ask the same question I used to-Who would you rather have me go with than her? Who in the neighborhood was there to go with to places I went. You know-that no thought of marriage ever entered our minds, neither of us. The same in regard to the one so much younger than myself. Are you satisfied?

He had been in Franklin over two weeks, having been sent back by Colonel Mizner to act as adjutant for Lieutenant Colonel Grummond, who was commanding the two companies in the rear. Here, in a fine brick home, he and Grummond's orderly occupied one part of the house while that officer had the other large room. But proximity to Sallie soon ended, and on October 16, Vett was writing home again from Columbia. Mizner's eight companies at Columbia had been ordered to evacuate for fear of being “gobbled up” by a superior force. After burning commissary stores, Mizner took his troops through mud and rain back to join his smaller force at Franklin, where the companies from Columbia had no quarters for four days. Vett explained:

In the meantime the Colonel went to Nashville and told General Granger that it was folderol leaving this town after getting it so well fortified. So night before last at 11 o clock (marching orders always come at night) packing up began and at daylight were to come back to Columbia….We left not Franklin until 10 oc.A.M. It just poured rain all the way through…

So, it was good-bye to Sallie once again. Apparently, however, Vett was not really in love with Sallie so much as he was in love with the idea of being in love. He was playfully reassuring to his mother.

Ma, there are some very fine young ladies here in Columbia and I am to do the same here that I did at Franklin. If you haven't got any one picked out for me to live my life with, and don't object, why. I'II pitch in for somebody down here, with a large plantation and plenty of rocks and-and-marry her. If you have, tell me & I will lay over any such plans.

But within a few days (October 21), he was writing that Columbia just was not the same as Franklin when it came to girls. His plaint-made it clear that military occupation was the less onerous to the soldiers when the women they met were the more sociable.

Wish I were back there [in Franklin] now. It is pretty lonesome here, there being but 2 or 3 places in town where they will receive Federal soldiers. They either are “not at home” or they will grossly insult one to the face, though several of the latter kind have been put in jail for 24 hours. The men keep mum, but the women (I can't call such ladies) will turn up their noses & pull aside their dresses when passing a soldier & some of them get insulted too when they cut up any such capers if the English language can express an insult to such.

Nevertheless, in a few week's time Vett could report a new interest. He now was visiting at the home of a Mrs. Kirby (“a very nice lady by the way”) and calling on her daughter. Letters home never mentioned the Kirbys after that, however. His clerical duties took him now and then to Franklin. He explained on January 20, 1884, that whenever he stopped overnight in Franklin he visited Miss Sallie: “I was down and stayed three days awhile ago. Mrs Reams is as nice a lady as I know of anywhere, and Salliel Oh! just as sweet as a peach (ha-ha).”

By then Vett was a private again after his eight month's stint as sergeant major. In December, 1863, as a lowly enlisted man he was detailed to serve in the provost marshal's office in Columbia. On January 18, 1384, he was on a new assignment in Nashville, under his old friend, Arthur E. Magill, the adjutant and now a captain. A good clerk, Vett kept out of the ranks because of the demand for his talents. With a dash of humor, he alluded to his professional qualification.

If my right hand holds good-if it don't I will write with my left, that failing I will try my toes. I'm bound to write. Say Ma, wasn't I born writing? I am with a pen in my hand or behind my ear all the time now and I believe I shall die in the same fix.24

In January, 1864, the 14th Michigan became a veteran regiment as over four hundred men had reenlisted.25 But Vett had no intentions of signing up for three years more just for the enjoyment of a two weeks' furlough. He made out forlough papers and wrote up muster rolls for Captain Magill and then in February for Captain Edward Nixon, his erstwhile nemesis and the man the brigade used to gobble at. When “a greenshon,” Captain Caspar Ernst of Nuncia, took over the provost marshal's office in Columbia, Vett and his fellow clerks worked him for an unauthorized free pass for each one of them to go to Franklin. They even got the careless captain to sign for five-dollars worth of tobacco from their sutler, but when Ernst found out about the jokes going too far he good-naturedly but firmly confiscated the tobacco.26

On April 30. Vett wrote home from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was returning to the South from a month's furlough home, the entire 14th Michigan having been treated to the same privilege in two separate relays. Apparently Vett sent no letters home after one on February 29 from Columbia until he wrote from Kalamazoo, and thereafter he scarcely mentioned what had happened at home. It was back to the front and invariably his life in the army was to remain the principal concern of his letters.

Writing from Bridgeport, Alabama, on May 10, he reported that he had drawn a gun in Nashville. He saw little chance in the future for clerical details, now that the army was on the move. But four days later he found himself again with pen behind his ear in the provost marshal's office, under a Captain Galeski, whom he described as a very jolly Pole. On May 19, Vett wrote that his duties as provost clerk would soon end, since the regiment was planning to move to the front On June 1, from Kingston, Georgia, he gave a foot soldier's view of moving toward the front, which was still forty miles ahead. He was now under Major General William T. Sherman, and until the war ended his family in Ypsilanti would be hearing of life under a general whom Vett would even compare to Napoleon as the world's greatest.

Vett wrote that he had lost tea pounds from marching, was a lithe 140 and feeling the better for it. He was getting plenty of rough fare: meat, coffee, sugar, milk, and hard tack But as the troops closed in on Kenesaw Mountain. Georgia, they were out of tobacco and consequently were directing all complaints at the poor sutler for not having a load of it on hand.27

It was during a lull in the fighting at Kenesaw Mountain that Private Noble by the sheerest coincidence came across men from Franklin, Tennessee, his favorite southern town. Vett, writing from near Marietta, complained that it was too hot for campaigning but he found plenty to write home about

We (Yanks) beat all creation digging. There is about 6 lines of heavy breastworks facing the Rebs and nearly every 24 hours brings another one to light. The last one is so close to theirs in some places that one can toss a stone into the other, not more than 20 feet between two armies. It is beyond comprehension-I don't see & yet I do see how it is done without losing more men-it is done & yet if a man shows his head, it has a bullet into it right quick.

While the truce of the day before was in effect, Vett met the Confederates from Franklin.

I went out & talked with the Greyabacks the day that the dead & wounded were being taken care of, saw most of their leading Genls. & talked with them, saw men that lived at Franklin, Tenn. & whose families I am quite intimately aquainted with. They haven't had letters for most a year, so I told them all the news and an going to write to F-to tell them the news & let them know that nearly all their friends are well, for I know they are anxious. Sallie happens to have no relations in the army, so the can't have a chance to mourn their loss etc. but I saw her “sweetheart,” That will tickle her I know.28

At Kenesaw Mountain, Vett told of a truce violation that the Yankees were successful in pulling off without detection.

The other day when both, parties were out between works burying dead our men dug several extra holes and at night took barrels and cracker boxes filled with dirt and keeping them before them worked up into the extra graves, right close up to the Rebs, and keep digging until the hole was big enough for more-throwing the dirt towards rebs for bank, and in that way corrected their trench with others and at daylight presented a formidable work right under their noses.

After Sherman got past Kenesaw Mountain, Vett wrote from near Atlanta, a city he could view from the vantage point of a tall tree. He was back with the regimental adjutant, again detailed as a clerk. The brief career as a foot soldier was over, as it turned out. On July 28 he wrote that Atlanta was nearly surrounded, and he referred to the Confederate change of leadership in the field.

The Rebel Army has got a new commander, one that suits us to a T. His name is Hood. His policy unlike Johnston's is to stand & is “going to drive the Yankees back across the Chattachoochie River or annihilate their army in the space between” to use his own (as repeated by rebel prisoners) expression. That is what is to be the destruction of his own troops.

On August 6, Private Noble was detailed with a supply train of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division. He now had little to do but play cards (“old Hedge”) with the sutler (“I best him every time”). He described the supply line, fifty miles of wagon trains besides thirteen peck mules and seven horses for each regiment, all bringing in provender from Louisville with Nashville a stand-by storage base. His new hero, General Sherman, came in for praise as Vett let his mother know how little the people at home realized what war really meant.

And Genl Sherman knows all about it (the supply line) for he orders it kept straight and when he can put his finger right onto it, besides watching the Rebs and knowing all about their movements. I tell vou “without hesitation and without fear of contradiction” that it is no childs play, and people north have no more idea of what is going on and how it is done than nothing in the world. All they know of War is by the high prices of everything-the death of a relative or near friend. The rest they are in nocent of.

It was but a few days later (August 9) when Vett let Ypsilanti know about the deaths of a couple of local boys following a regimental charge on August 7. “Billy Elwell and Hank Carpenter both from Ypsilanti bunked together and have been as inseparable almost as the Siamese twins.” Among the wounded was Billy Buskirk, who was sent to a rear base hospital in Nashville; Buskirk was Vett's best friend in the regiment and was also from Ypsilanti. Vett's family interceded, at his request, with Mrs. Elwell, the dead boy's mother, and she allowed Vett to keep Billy's pen (“a first rate one”).

After his return from furlough, Vett had hoped all along that he might be detailed to Sherman's headquarters. His chances went a glimmering when General John W. Palmer (“our gallant Gen.”) was transferred, and Private Noble was returned to the 14th Michigan again, or as he put it, “[to] this miserable God-forsaken Regiment,” But he continued to clerk, and once again for Colonel Henry Mizner, who he reported was acting more gentlemanly toward him than ever before. The colonel went further than that, Vett related. “He yesterday made me a present of a very nice checked woolen shirt price when new $8, He had not worn it twice.”29

In the heavy fighting just preceding the fall of Atlanta, Vett was a busy soldier. He summarized the time during which be had not been able to write home: “It has been march, work and fight for the last two weeks. I am in the Adjt's office and such a rush of work you can't imagine.” On September 1, when the 14th Michigan earned its brightest laurels and yet suffered its slightest losses for heavy action. Vett was subjected to a new kind of experience. This was the occasion when, to quote the official account in John Robertson's Michigan in the War:

The Regiment, in command of Colonel Mizner…. charged and carried a line of rebel works at Jonesboro, capturing four pieces of artillery and caissons, a rebel general and staff, the colors of the 1st Arkansas (rebel), and 300 men. The loss of the 14th was two killed and twenty-eight wounded.30

Vett wrote about his own actions during the battle.

I having no gun, helped the Surgeon to take care of the wounded on the field & when Capt of Co “K” [Harbaugh] got wounded I was sent to rear with him to Hospital, where I remained all night working hard, helping the surgeons at their work of caring for wounded men. 4 tables were kept busy at the Hospt from before dark till yesterday when I came back to the Regt…. Atlanta was occupied by Genl Slocum U.S.A. yesterday at 11 o.c.A.M. The Confeds having evacuated the night previous after exploding vast magazines and blowing up 80 car loads of ammunition.31

The elusive objective Atlanta theirs, now the men in camp could relax. Vett treated the Nobles of Ypsilanti to a bit of army humor.

I washed and scrubbed at myself about half an hour in the creek this morning and guess I will be obliged to go through the same operations for several mornings to come, before I come out myself again. I had been berating some unknown personage for some weeks past for “realizing” (as I supposed) my two shirts but can you judge of my surprise when this morning with the help of the Sgt Maj I washed enough dirt off my back when I found I had the identical shirts on which bad become so effectually concealed beneath what I supposed to be my body instead of three months accumulation of dirt that I thought I had lost them. Hurrah for hurrah! Two shirts ahead.32

After a few weeks of rest in Atlanta, Vett went to Kingston to join the 14th, which was girding for its next campaign. Vett was now one of Sheman's famous “bummers,” and he described the next venture, writing later from near Savannah.

We started from Atlanta, after burning it, with 11 days rations the 16th of November, lived on the country, had plenty of flour, meal, sweet potatoes, molasses, fresh pork etc. etc. never lived high on a march in the Army. The army swept a “row” about 40 spiles wide through the country, as near as I can judge, and what the inhabitants, who never felt the war before will now find to live on I cant see….33

When Sherman took Savannah, the fortunes of Private Noble took a turn for the better. He was, for some reason unexplained is his letters, picked as one of the few clerks in Sherman's headquarters. Naturally, he was rather proud to report all the implications involving this new assignment. For instance, he had to get a special order from General Sherman himself so that one of the lieutenants of the 14th Michigan could finally consent to give him his detached service papers (January 17,1885), For his old outfit, he had only this to say: “I have, had heaps of trouble getting clear of the Regt but now they may kiss my foot. That is the amount of harm I wish them.”

From now on until his discharge Vett was Sherman's man. His hero-worshipping attitude never thereafter abated. In his first account (January 17) of his new relationship with the general Private Noble stressed the point that the great man was so very human after all.

When the General feels good he is real funny. I went over this morning to write off some letters for him. I knocked and he said “Come in Ah Clerk how are you?” speaking very fast, says he take a drop of that “Madera” and pitch in. I am in a hurry “going out to see some ladies.” His tone of voice, his grin and the “by-jerks way he had of talking nearly set me into a laugh, but I got through with but a smile.

… Genl. Sherman is some. He has military control of eight states and all the U.S. troops that in them are. I expect we will next turn up at Charleston or in the vicinity of Richmond next time we come to light after having made a break from here.

In this letter Vett purred with pride as he described the superior qualities of western over eastern troops in the Union army sad supplied a humorous vignette that showed why the great general was so popular with his enlisted men.

Some of the Army Corps are moving and in all probability this week will see the last of Sherman's Army in Savannah, at least for awhile. A Division from the eastern army under Command of Cen'l Crover arrived today to garrison the place which doesn't please our boys much as they think they have earned the right to garrison this city etc., but Genl Sherman thinks that his Army is composed of too good soldiers to be left in the rear as garrison and intimates that such business is all that the Eastern army is capable of doing. They are called the “4 acre,” and “band-box” men, because they have done all their soldiering on so small a space of ground and are in camp nearly all the time and put on lots of style, new clean clothes, white gloves and collars, draw full rations, get butter and all the good things issued to them and know not what the real trials and hardships of soldiering are, hence, our boys call them “band box” or “parlor” soldiers.

Besides if the Genl should leave any of his Divisions here the rest would grumble and say that he showed partiality, but he thinks so much of them that he wants them all with him and wouldn't trade one of his Divisions for a whole Corps of the Potomac Army.

Bully for “Uncle Billy.” He's cute I tell you, and funny sometimes too. One of his foot-orderlies yesterday thought to take a ride and asked the Gen'l for a couple of hours absence. The Genl. just for fun asked him what mischief he was up to now, said he knew the pranks of these boys. Orderly said he was going to the stable and get a carriage to take a ride. He then asked him if he had his lady engaged, if not would he take him? Ohl yes the orderly was just tickled to death at the very idea of driving Genl Sherman out. Well they went out, the Genl letting the orderly go where he pleased and seemed to enjoy himself hugely. They finally came on the outskirts of the city upon some very strong rebel fortifications. The Genl looked at them and granted two or three times and finally hawl hawed! right out. It amused the orderly and he liked to have killed himself laughing at the General, who turned round and spoke as he always does very dry and blunt, “What are you laughing at?” “I was laughing because you did” says the orderly. The Genl with another laugh and a glance at the breastworks said, “I was laughing to think how nice I fooled 'em”—meaning the Rebs.

My description of it is worth nothing. You ought to hear the orderly tell it with a mimic of the general's manner and voice. I could hardly eat my dinner today when he was telling it.

With the South Carolina campaign in the offing, the new headquarters clerk had some predictions based on his own sure knowledge of Union army psychology.

[We'll]… trudge along all day devastating the country, as you may rely upon for South Carolina, when our troops get loose in it. They all hold a particular grudge against the one leading State of Secession and the one least harmed by the U.S. so far—but my! if a man says bool he will rue the day he met Sherman's army for they are “up to snuff” and will take his last grain of flour, last cow, last horse, last hog—drop of molasses, honey, and burn his house if he says boo twice.34

Aside from one letter Vett wrote his mother from Pocotaligo on January 31, none of his letters that was sent from South Carolina is extant. But in that particular one, he did write of the march about to be undertaken.

Tomorrow morning at daylight we leave here and as communication will close its doors upon us when we are away from here I will write one more shot note before going behind the cloud from the sight of the world. I thought the last chance of a mail had left but Gen'l Sherman wrote a letter to his wife tonight and proposes to send it over to Gen'l Hatch, commanding a Division of the Dept of the South and who does not accompany our army, only guards what it leaves. He will when we are far enough up country again open his own line and send our mail. It may not be in a week or ten days, but it will be one more letter from Vett anyway.

Although his next letter in the collection is March 14, 1865, fully six weeks later, and carries a North Carolina dateline, Private Noble did have something to say about Columbia, South Carolina, in a much later letter (April 20). He responded to a query of his mother that showed what was on her mind.

How in the world should such a thought enter your head as “saving silver from the sacking of Columbia?” Though the “bummers” proper had nothing to do with anything, only grub, houses and such were not touched until after the whole city was on fire and such stuff taken because it would have been in the ruins otherwise. I cant keep it to myself any longer I see—so here is “whats the matter,”

I have got a splendid silver teapot for you, been used of course but yet it is a nice one. I did have a lot of trinkets, knives, forks and spoons, goblets etc. all silver, but the mess kept growing larger… so most of the things are in use by mess as mess property…. I had a dozen silver plated dessert knives, quite nice. I broke into them and I guess all will go, some of the forks are lost, spoons ditto, goblets getting jammed up etc etc but the teapot I laid away.

When the army was resting after the capture of Fayetteville, Vett furnished a homey picture of his hero, “Uncle Billy.”

There is a Band playing in front of the quarters. Some Band or other serenades the General most every night. He sits on the opposite side of the desk from me now, and forty bands might be making the nicest music in the world and he wouldn't know they had been playing. He is a queer old coon, but cant he just settle the Rebels? He has so much on his mind that his orderly has to tell him when to put on clean shirts etc. Wouldn't think of anything else…35

After several letters, all containing superficial comments about the military campaign, Vett wrote his sister from Goldsboro, North Carolina, on March 29. Commenting that his own birthday was over and gone two days before, he set down a reflective analysis of his situation in life and the limitations he had brought on himself for not going on to college when he could have done so. It was such a letter an American soldier might well have written in the closing days of World War II, before the G.L Bill was passed.

Hare I am 23 years old and know scarcely more than my A.B.C.'s—sever get done anything for myself or others save for the came of my country which thousands and hundreds of thousands have done the same—living entirely upon the favor of one of the best of fathers and not taking the advantages of education etc. offered me—with the will I ought. I know nothing! Mere nothing. I must though. A man with ability makes himself known in this world while such as I are not of enough importance for the world to acknowledge the existence of. It may always be so, but I now regret not having studied to the utmost of my ability when nothing on earth was to binder me but worthless frivolity.

I can now see the worth of knowledge and the all controlling power of it while I am merely a nonentity still old enough to be something. Regrets are useless but cost nothing. I propose if not getting into business to study some yet.

But such retrospection was rare with Vett, for most of the time he was observing the scene before him. The Sherman brothers came in for some close scrutiny in another letter home from Goldsboro (March 31). The general and his brother, Senator John Sherman from Ohio, had returned after William Tecumseh's visit with Ulysses S. Grant at City Point.

Their features are a good deal alike but the General's hair is sandy—or tow color—while Mr's is dark—now almost grey—both are very tall and of slight build, look as if they were dryed, like old shrivelled up men, won't get fatl Their brain is far stouter than their body.

Writing from Smithfield, North Carolina, Vett explained that Sherman's headquarters served six corps (the 10th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 20th and 23rd) plus Kipatrick's cavalry. He boasted of his own importance within the intricate army system.

I write the orders for movements that they are to execute, a privilege that only 2 Privates and perhaps 5 or 6 Maj Genls only, with a Staff Officer or two know anything about the worth of.36

When General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, Vett was with Sherman's headquarters at Raleigh, He saw at first hand the excited interplay of events between Sherman and Joe Johnston (who had been restored to his command after Hood was relieved), and he shared the bewilderment that officers and men alike felt when the authorities in Washington refused to accept the lenient surrender terms Sherman had tendered the Confederates. The assassination of President Lincoln and the threat of any vengeance that was quelled by Sherman's quick counter-moves were events Vett reported to his family from the vantage point at the Raleigh headquarters located in the North Carolina governor's mansion.37

As events crowded last upon each other at the war's end, Vett, so close to headquarters gossip, reacted angrily against Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, General Henry Halleck, and other Washington politicos seeking to injure his hero, “Uncle Billy” Sherman. Writing in the field outside Hanover Court House, Virginia, on May 12, Vett responded to the public furor over Sherman's allegedly “soft-on-the-South” posture.

I am glad you stick up for Sherman! Let them tear. I believe and most sincerely hope that he will come out at the head of the heap yetl You see he is a political man—having held a seat in Senate38-as well as military, and Secretary Stanton is afraid to let his (Sherman's) popularity get too high because he might accidentally be our next President.

Secr'y acknowledged the Gen is ability in a military view and let him work upholding him till the war was finally finished by him and now wishes to lower him the public favor lest he would be President, or some other high official. The N.Y. Herald” takes its cue from Stanton & the rest of them go it after the “Herald.”

But the General has written a scorcher of an official report of 33 foolscap paper pages (I copied it at Richmond). It will perfectly annihilate Genl Halleck & some others. I presume you read the “Memorandum” of negotiations for peace between the Genl and Joe Johnston, as it was published as wes not the letter accompanying It to Washington. Said “Memo” was sent to ditto on purpose to be criticized, changed etc. to suit and was not an usurpation of power or anything of the sort on the part of Genl Sherman. Gent Grant knows what is what and everything will go off all right I guess. He (Sherman) cant (be) relieved from command as yet and I reckon wont be. I'll go my last cent that he is and will be known to be the best Genl in the wide world but when—if it is at all-his last report is published wont Genl Halleck wilt! I think he will and Mr. Stanton will feel quite shaky too!

On May 23 Vett wrote to his mother from Washington. This particular missive represents the last of the collection, and it was a fitting end because the war was over and Vett saw it all unwind in glorious triumph.

Last Saturday I went over to the Reg't and yesterday (Monday) morning I had my Discharge Papers before noon, had my money $331.55. Wandered around this little city of Washington till night. Got tired went to the theatre. Then went to hotel and stayed there until the morning fast asleep. Found HdQrs about 4 P.M. They had moved since Saturday into town from near Alexandris-after tiring myself out looking at the Review of the Army of the Potomac.

Genl Sherman's Army is to be reviewed tomorrow. I couldn't think of going off and miss seeing the whole of this Grand Affair the equal of which the world never yet saw and it will probably [be] some time before another such is seen.

I have the Capital, Treasury Dept. War and Navy Depts, Patent Office Also President Johnson and more Secretary's than you could shake a stick at, of war and Asst's Navy ditto… Seen everybody and Everything but the last of the Review and then I will come home… The writer expects to be in Ypsilanti June 1st.

Good By


Thus he is left there in Washington, the next day ready in all ecstasy to see General Sherman and his army honored after its great campaigns from Chattanooga to Atlanta to Savannah to Raleigh and now marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. After that, what else was there left but to come back to Ypsilanti!39

  1. Dates of Noble's letters not given in the text are footnoted. Unless the name of another respondent is furnished, all citations refer to letters written either to Noble's mother, Elizabeth Stone Noble, or to his sister, Irene Elizabeth (“Dott”) Noble, or to both (he wrote most of the letters to his mother). The Sylvester C. Noble Papers belong to the Ypsilanti City Historical Museum.
  2. Lucius M. Boltwood, History and Genealogy of the Family of Thomas Noble of Westfield, Massachusetts (Hartford, Coon., 1878), p. 387.
  3. Sylvester C. Noble's enlistment papers in 14th Mich. Inf. Regt. file, in Records of the Michigan Military Establishment, at the Michigan Historical Commission Archives, Lansing. Noble was born March 27, 1842, in Ann Arbor.
  4. Apr. 2, 1862.
  5. May 9, 1862.
  6. July 28, 1862.
  7. Dec 15, 1882.
  8. Jan. 9, 1883.
  9. May 15, 1863.
  10. Nov. 8, 1863. In addition to Mizner, there was still another officer of the 14th Michigan regarded highly by his superiors. Maj. Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau, commander of the District of Nashville, in reporting Jan. 30, 1864, to Brig. Gen. William D. Whipple, assistant adjutant general, Dept. of the Cumberland, upon the fine administrative work of Col. Minzer, added: “His troops, generally led by Maj. Thomas C. Fitzgibbons, a very efficient and gallant officer, have captured, I believe, more armed rebels than he has men in his regiment.” The War of the Rebellion; A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Ser. II, XXXII, 268.
  11. June 12, 1863.
  12. June 7, 12, 1863. John Robertson, Michigan in the War (Lansing, 1882), p. 877, makes this notation: “MAGILL, ARTHUR E., Grand Rapids. First Lt., 14th If'y, Nov. 18, 1861. Capt, June 4, 1863. Resigned July 14, 1864, and honorably discharged.”
  13. Dec. 5, 1863.
  14. Jan. 23, 1864.
  15. Oct. 16, 1863.
  16. Dec. 3, 1863. Also see Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, Nov. 7, 1863. There seems to be no mention of the matter in Mizner's dispatches recorded in Official Records. Helen H. Ellis, “Robertson's Michigan in the War: A Review Article,” Michigan History (June 1966), p. 184 takes note of the episode: “Colonel Henry R. Mizner of the Fourteenth Infantry shot and killed a soldier for refusing or misunderstanding a minor order. The soldier, Michael Flynn, is listed in the publshed Record of Service of his regiment as dying on October 15, 1863, but with no mention of the shooting.”
  17. Aug. 20, 1862.
  18. Sept. 1, 1862.
  19. Sept. 28, 1862.
  20. May 8, 1863.
  21. The Nashville Union, as cited by Robertson, Michigan in the War, p. 344, tells the story of McCann's capture.
  22. Aug. 14, 1863. Col Mizner later claimed an important first: “At Franklin us the Court House, upon the Square, I caused the first Union meeting held in the South, addressed by Military Governor Andrew Johnson… [and] Parson .” Mizner, “The Fourteenth Michigan Infantry, the Battle of Murfrees-boro. Tennessee; the Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, sad Incidents of Army Life,” 31-page pamphlet, 1888, in papers of Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the Unitted States, Michigan Commandery Reccords, 1885-1951, Michigan Historical Collections, University of Michigan.
  23. Sept 8, 1863.
  24. Jan. 23, 1884.
  25. June 15, 25, 1864. Col. Mizner later reminisced how he had been authorized to mount the regiment from the country, securing seven hundred horses “for which my Quartermaster gave certificates, to be settled as the Government might thereafter direct.” Mizner, “The Fourteenth Michigan.” As a mounted infantry unit, the 14th was issued suitable equipment, including revolves and a hundred Spencer rifles.
  26. Feb. 10, 1864.
  27. July 2, 1864.
  28. Sept. 13, 1864.
  29. Aug. 15, 17, 1864.
  30. Robertson, Michigan in the War, p. 348. Col. Charles M. Lum, 10th Mich. Inf., acting commander of 1st Brigade, 2nd Div., 14th Army Corps, in his report gave credit to Mizner's 14th as the first unit to break into enemy lines, driving the Confederates from their artillery and capturing same. OR, I, XXXVIII, 654. Col Mizner later returned some Mexican War trophy spors taken from Cen. D. C. Covan, commanding a brigade of one of the divisions from Hardes's corps. Covan surrendered to First Lieut. Patrick Irwin of Ann Arbor (later captain and Medal of Honor winner). Mizner and Govan exchanged pleasant letters in 1898. Mizner had remained in the army as a captain and had takes part in Indian fighting in the West. He was retired as a brevet brigadier general in 1891. Mizner, “The Fourteenth Michigan.” For an interview with Mizner, see Detroit Free Press, Aug. 2, 1914. Mizner was born is 1827 in Geneva, New York, and came to Detroit with his parents when he was nine. For his obituary, see Detroit Free Press, Jan. 5, 1915.
  31. Sept. 3, 1864. Maj. Gen. Cox in his volume on Sherman's campaigns made frequent references to trenches in the Kenesaw Mountain engagement, Jacob D. Cox, Atanta (New York, 1963), V, 118-129.
  32. Dec. 15, 1884.
  33. Vett's letters at the time he joined Sherman's headquarters reveal that there was bad blood among the staff officers of the 14th Mich. This is borne out by correspondence between some of these officers and John Robertson, adjutant general of Michigan, and Gov. Austin Blair. After Col. Mizner departed, these was a power struggle that was quite bitter between Lt. Col. Grummond and Ma. Fitzgibbons: see letters in 14th Mich. Inf. Regt. file, in Records of the Michigan Military Establishment, at the Michigan Historical Commission Archives.
  34. Mar. 24, 1865.
  35. Apr. 11, 1865.
  36. Apr. 2, 1865.
  37. Apr. 13,18,20, 1865.
  38. Noble was confused on this pant Willism T. She never held political office and would have been by this allusion. His brother, John Sherman, was senator from Ohio.
  39. Sylvester C. Noble died in 1916 (intersted in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio). After the war, in 1867, he married Lois Hinckley, daughter of Sherman and Orpha Hinckley of Pittsfield, New York. She died in 1870, age 21, leaving no children. In 1880, he married Clara Adelaide Crosby, and had a family of five children. In 1867, after his Civil War service, he was a city clark in Ypsilanti. In 1876, he was serving as a bookkeeper in the office of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, living in Houston. Interestingly enough, Leroy Charles Noble, a cousin from Ann Arbor, was at that time also employed by the same railroad as a master machanic. Also, Vett's yuonger sister Gertrude (born in 1862), then Mrs. Jacob E. Van Riper, lived in San Antonio, Texas. Thus, Vett's promise to move South after the war turned out to be a true forecast, and he sems to have used his powers of persussion to get some of his relative to join him.

William Lambie Diary, July-December 1898

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, February 1993,
February 1993
Original Images:

1. Wife, Mary and I & the boys went to the Normal with Ann and then to James Hamiltons. The warmest day 95 here 98 at Franks. Robert & Frank drew in hay.

2. Mrs. Fletcher took Willie to the Creamery. Robert reaped about half of the wheat by the Gale Field-very warm-90 in the shade-the earliest harvest on the old farm home-went to Roberts for Mother.

3. Mother, Mary & I went to church-Came home in a driving thunder shower.

4. Cool morning after the thunder shower-Mother went to Bells & Bell sent me to make ice cream-Mrs Fletcher brot Mrs Dawson-Robert reaped one field and begun another-Had supper and ice cream before the house.

5. Robert reaped west of the house-a good one but falling down & hard work for man & beast.

6. Robert got the good crop of down wheat nearly harvest. Bell Hattie and youngsters picked cherries-was about as glad to get a new knife as when I was a boy.

7. Robert reaped all his wheat and went to reap for Frank-his men begun to draw in his wheat-90 in the shade-papers from Australia. Willie went on his wheel-Mother took Ann to the Normal-Mary brot her back-Mowed peas and sowed buckwheat.

8. Mother took Ann to the Normal and went to Bells-Robert reaping for Frank and his men drawing in wheat-Bell & boys & Girls picking cherries.

9. Robert got the wheat in the barn on his farm-Wrote to Brother. Peas ripe-boys & girls picking cherries-Mrs. J. Campbell came.

10. Cold morning 43 above zero-Mother, Mary & I went to Church. Mrs. Fletcher and the boys to Sunday School.

11. Cold-44 at dawn-Harvie could not come to thrash & Roberts men stacked the heavy wheat-Mother took Ann to the Normals and went to Bells.

12. Harvie came & thrashed the good crop of wheat. 260 bushels-grand harvest day-13 men to dinner-they all worked in harmony. We had joy in harvest-a good crop, good help & a good day.

13. Went with Mother and Ann to the Normals-carried bright clean straw to the stable-Frank got his wheat all in-helped Robert to hoe potatoes-85 in the shade.

14. When I got up before 5 Robert was raking wheat stubble-Mother took Ann to the Normal then took Mrs Fletcher, the boys & Mary to Bells-about 90-Frank brot 2 laods of hay… The whisles blew because Santago had surrenderd.

15. 97 in the shade-Robert raking stubble-to warm forenoon-His Men and he left-Wrote to Mr Allison-put clean straw in the hen house-Frank brot 2 loads of hay. Mother took Ann to the Normal.

16. Very dry, looking for clouds & rain-Frank brot more hay-Robert and his man picked 3 pails of cherries.

17. Mother, Mary & I went to Church-Mrs Fletcher & family to Sunday School A light refreshing shower last night.

18. Willie started on his wheel before breakfast-Mrs Fletcher, the boys and Mary went to Uncle Williams. Robert took me to dinner and we went to see his corn & beans on Wilbers farm. A black cloud in the west like a aligator.

19. Mother took Ann to the Normal then we went to Roberts & got a jug of his pure water. Mrs Fletcher & the boys & Mary brot Ann home. Went to the River with Frank & Willie-it was to dirty. Some light showers.

20. Hoed Roberts potatoes-very big weeds-broke the hoe-Clouds & prayers little rain.

Lambie Diary July 1898

21. Robert & his man, Willie & his man howed potatoes-weeds like to ruin the potatoes-very dry.

22. Willy went on his wheel before breakfast-helped to hoe potatoes-get them all howed-some Alegander peaches about ripe. Called on Eunice Lambie-Osband returned th poem Straven callan by J. Golden.

23. O for clouds & rain on the dry grass.

24. Wife, Mrs Fletcher the boys & I went to Church-great heat. All of a hundred in the shade-lay under a green tree and prayed for rain on the dry grass.

25. A thunder shower and rain at daylight-A good deal of thunder & light showers-Robert raked Oats for Martin-picked peaches & Gooseberries. Mother went to Bells after the shower.

26. Robert reaped Oats till the reaper broke-Mother took Ann to the Normal-Mrs Fletcher & Grandfather went to Moorville-Mary & the boys pickned out north.

27. Roberts reaper was so broke on the hill side he had to borrow Harvest reaper to finish cutting the Oats-Clare Campbell made us a short visit.

28. Thunder in the morning & little rain. Roberts man mowed Oats-I picked black currents.

29. Mother took Ann to the Normal & went to Bells. Dr. Fraser came to s the wee sick boy. Robert & Hattie I think went to Whitemore.

30. Wife went to Roberts-till they got back some rain.


1. A little rain in the night-Robert got a grist of new wheat.

2. Roberts men stacked the Oats-90 & dry. Wife went to Bells & took Ann to the Normal.

3. A fine morning shower-Robert helped Frank to thrash his wheat & Oats were good-Mrs. Fletcher & Mary went to Bells-I picked Gooseberrie

4. Mrs Fletcher took Ann to the Normal-Robert helped Harvy James-I dug Clairs early potatoes-Cool breezes.

5. Robert begun to plow near us for wheat-Anns school ended at the Normal-Mrs Fletcher & family went to the farm. Willie hurt his hand with a pistal.

6. Robert plowed-We had a great gathering at night in honor of W. Scotneys Birthday & got home late & dark.

7. Mother, Mary, Mrs Fletcher, the boys and I went to Church. Clouds & dust & a few drops of rain.

8. Mother went to Bells And Mrs Fletcher the boys & Mary went to Mr. Smiths in Ann aRbor afternoon. Got a letter from J. Ingles that Margaret not well. Mr Kimmiel got Franks hike pols.

9. Roberts man plowed had to drive the hens out the stable-Frank was to raise Kimmels barn-Steven & sisters came.

10. O for clouds & refreshing rain-Trimed peach trees. Robert Campbell Wife & Eunice Lambie came-Mrs Fletcher the boys & Mary went to the farm and Bells.

11. Wife & I went to Town with eggs & plumbs.

12. Wife & daughter went to Town-Mrs Fletcher & Ann went to Bells.

13. Rain at Ann ARbor & Detroit & my poor garden wilting in the drouth-Robert helped Theodore to thrash-It looks like the end of the War with Spain-glad for peace.

14. Mr Morey prayed & Mr Goodrich preached-Mr Fletcher & the boys went.

15. Cloudy morning-Robert sold a load of wheat-his man plowed & burned the stubble-dangerous in such a dry time-Mrs Fletcher got plumbs & chickens from her farmer-a little rain.

16. A little rain in the night-Robert bot a load of fence posts to fence between him & Martin-Wife went to Bells.

Lambie Diary August 1898 August

17. Mrs. Fletcher went to the farm-Went to Roberts to see the new barbed wire fence.

18. A light shower at night & another at noon-Wife & I went to Town-Mr A Campbell & daughter Kate came-went to the old farm. Grateful for peace & rain & all the blessings of life. Robert finished the barbed wire fence between him & Martin.

19. Robert & Wife started for Detroit & Canada. Mrs Fletcher & family went to Town-Bell came.

20. Got Roberts man to plow near the house-Wife & I went to Town-Sarah CAmpbell & her cousin came on their wheels.

21. Wife, Mary & I went to Church-Mrs Fletcher & family to Sunday School-A thunder went north but no rain for us.

22. Mrs Fletcher & family went to the farm, same clouds but no needed rai

23. Went to dear good bells with Mother-Mrs John K CAmpbell came-dry wethering blasts. Robert & family came to see us.

24. A grand shower of refreshing rain to water the witherd grass & save us from fire & desolation-thank the Lord, rain & Other blessings-Read at night that good Margaret Ingels dead & at rest.

25. A cool moring breeze-Picked peaches & grapes-Mrs Fletcher went to the farm.

26. Mrs. Dectar (?) & Mrs John Campbell came-Eunice Lambie brot word that Mrs Heartt was dead.

27. Cut dry corn in the garden-Mother, Ann, Mrs Fletcher & I went to Mrs. Heartts funeral.

28. Mother, Ann, Mary & I went to church, A great number went to the buriel for Mr Frier & his son who was drowned in the river.

29. Mother took eggs to Town. Mr Fletcher farmer brot 5 baskets of plumbs 90 yet 0 for rain on the dry grass.

30. Wife took plumbs to Uncle Andrew-Frank took plumbs to Uncle William. Roberts men cutting a dry corn-Robert bot a ladder and we picked peaches 94 in the shade.

31. Mother, Mrs Fletcher, Mary & the wee boy after breakfast went to Bells. The last summer day-great heat wearing & praying for cooling showers.


1. Picked peaches & grapes-Robert got coals for thrashing.

2. Robert got his thrashing done before supper-had 265 bushels of wheat & 113 of Oats. Mother, Mary, Mrs Fletcher, Willie & I went to the Church meeting.

3. Robert & his man brot us Oats & picked Peaches.

4. A grand refreshing thunder shower in the night-the best morning in the year water standing on the road-When we went to the scrament.

5. Another grand welcome shower in the night-Thank the Lord for prayer answered needed rain & saving us from fear & fire danger. Mother went to Bells, Mrs Fletcher to her farm.

6. More refreshing rain this morning. Wm. CAmpbell, Wife & daughter made us a pleasant visit.

7. Belle came & Mrs John Campbell & Ann picked grapes & peaches-Roberts girls went to School-Mr Fletcher to Town.

8. Cool morning, 4^o at dawn-Mr & Mrs Grover came to dinner-Wife & I went to Town-Peach trees breaking down with abundance.

9. Mother, Mary, Robert & I went to the depot with Ann on her way to Elkhart-Laidlaws flowers look grand & the flower ship was better yet-Wife & I called on Mr Voohees & Mr Gray.

Lambie Diary 1898 September

10. 48 in the shade at dawn-peaches plenty & cheap.

11. Down to 40 this morning-Mother, Mary & I, Mrs Fletcher and 3 boys went to Church-pure air & sunshine.

12. Mrs Fletcher, Mary & 3 boys started for Uncle Williams-picked peach sold a bushel to Mr Lang-Robert brot flour.

13. Robert & I picked Peaches-Mother went to Bells-,r Fletcher & Mary came from Uncle williams.

14. Robert his man & I picked peaches-Then Roberts man gets 2 bushel o peaches for a days work-there is not much for Robert.

15. Robert, Hattie, Ann & William came to pick peaches-Mother took peaches to Bells-Robert sold peaches in afternoon. Had a good shower.

16. Robert helped to pick & sell Peaches.

17. Wife & I spent a pleasant day at Uncle Williams-Robert helped Harvis to thrash.

18. Mother, Mary & I went to Church-The ald Churchto be renewed & improve before we meet again.

19. Got 12 papers with the Straven collan from Woodruf. Roberts man drilled in wheat south of us.

20. Robert drilled in Wheat, Wife & I went to Bells for dinner.

21. Robert got his wheat all drilled yesterday & him & Evens helped to pick all the peaches today-Mr Fletcher, Mary & the boys went to Bells.

22. A wet day & we just rested and rejoiced over the refreshing showers & peeled peaches.

23. More rain & green fields again-Sawed branches off the broken peach trees.

24. Read the flowery City in the Ypsilantian-the great rain was absorbed in the very dry land-Mrs Fletcher & Mary went to Town.

25. Mother, Mary & I went to worship in Mrs Starkwethers grand hall n the Normal while the church is being enlarged-a fine place to hear ser and singing.

26. Mother went & visited with Mr John K. Campbell-good roads-clear skie & fine breezes.

28. Hoed strawberries-paid to Sherwood our insurence $12–14. Wife paid Miss Steward $4 for the seat in Church-Got strawberrie plants from J. Hamilton.

29. Bell came & Mother took her home. 3 of us planted strawberries.

30. Mother went to Uncle Williams-Robert & Hattie went to Ann Arbor fair


1. Wm. Fletcher, Harris, Robert & I planted 100 Clydes & 50 Glen Mary strawberre plants.

2. Wife & I went to hear a Sermon in Mrs Starkwethers fine building, a great number drove past seeming to enjoy the beautiful day.

3. Grand Autumn morning-Robert was sick & Mother stayed with him nearly all day-warm 86 in the shade.

4. Wet morning-rain nearly all night-Wife & I went to Bells-Got papers from Woodruf about Mothers Birthday.

5. Wife & I went to Bells for dinner yesterday-Robert unwell-went to see him-has no apitite-Bell came to see him.

6. Cleaned the hen house, 40 in the shade, repaired the floor of the Corn crib. Robert was able to ride to Town. Mrs Fletcher got more peaches-Wife & I drove to Roberts.

7. Willie sold the Rusters 37 pound at 7 cents-sold 2 hens & chickens to Worden for a dollar-Mrs Lambie & Eunice called.

Lambie Diary-October 1898 October

8. Wife & I gathered Apples & went to Town-Robert sold wheat.

9. Mother, Mary, Bell & I went to hear a Sermon in the Starkwether Building-Mr Fletcher & family went to the Sunday School.

10. Grand morning-Wife & I went to Roberts-he had 2 men picking apples. Mrs Fletcher her family & Mary went to Uncle Williams-picked quinces. Mothers Birthday a second time in the Sentinel.

11. A great rain in the night-Robert picking apples.

12. Cleaned the hen House-picked quinces-Wife & I went to Town.

13. Caught a hen-its spur went in my finger, I can hardly hold the pen. Bell sold a lot oc chickens-Robert helping to thrash beans-Got silver pens from New York-papers from Australia.

14. Mother walked to Roberts-Robert brot the stove in the kitchen-Robert men picking apples-cold showers in the afternoon.

15. Lines to Wilber in the Sentinal-Roberts men geting cider apples. Mrs. Fletcher, her boys & Mary to visit Mr & Mrs Smith. The barn white with frost till the sun thawed it. Roberts men took nearly 2 loads of apples to Harvies cider mill.

16. Mother, Mary & I went to hear a Sermon in the Starkwether building. Mrs Fletcher & family went to the Sabbath School-Forest trees doning there robes of splendor.

17. Mother went to Bells-I split and put wood in the shed-Robert Campbell sent a check for $18. Mrs Fletcher & Mary went to Town.

18. Wet night & Morning-I keep a concience clear and have $18 a year-drew the $18 out of the bank.

19. Wife & I went up the river road & had a grand day with Mr & Mrs Smith and dear delightful Sister Agnes.

20. Wife & I went to Roberts then to Bells for dinner. Mr & Mrs William Campbell & John Clarks sister came. Robert brot more & better potaotes then we expected.

21. Wife & I went to Town in the morning then came a dark wet day.

22. Wife & I went to Town-got shoes and prim roses from Archie. Called on Mrs. R. Lambie.

23. Mother, Mary & I herd a Sermon in Starkwether Hall.

24. Mrs Wm Campbell, Mrs Hit & Sarah Campbell came-Roberts man geting apples.

25. Wife & I drove to R. Campbells-a good visit but got wet coming home & 6 near the train.

26. A wet night & morning-Mrs Fletchers farmer put a load of potatoes in the celler-cold blasts all day.

27. Robert sold a load of wheat at 53. Mother went to Town-Mrs Fletcher to Roberts, ice so thick could not break it with my fingers-sunshine. Robert brot 2 bags of shelled corn.

28. Mother went to Bells for Mrs. Aulds then her, Mrs Fletcher family & Mary went to Uncle Williams.

29. Yesterday I walked to Brother Roberts grave with strange thoughts of bygone days.

30. Mother, Mary and I heard a Sermon in Starkwether Hall. Mrs Fletcher & family wnet to Sunday School.

31. Wife & I went to Bells for dinner-Frank & Robert came.


1. Wife walked to Roberts home; carried wood in the shed

2. The boys & I put the Cabbage in the celler-Bell came & Mrs Fletcher the boys and Mary went with her to dinner-no ice or sunshine. Paid 165 for the Ypsilantian till October 99.

3. Mulched the strawberries-Robert drew dirt for Lucect.

Lambie Diary-November 1898 November

4. Robert set up the coal stove-Mother took Roberts girls to the Normal Training School.

5. Wife & I went to Town-Wrote lines for Ypsilantian.

6. Stormy-Wife & I rested at home-Mary & Mrs Fletcher went to Town.

7. Sunshine-Mother went to Bells-I nailed old dirty carpets in the hen house to keep out the cold. Robert sold his Turkies for $20.

8. Election day-banked up the house-Robert drew a load of stalks from Ben Voorhees farm.

9. RAIN IN THE NIGHT & snow shower in the morning. Mrs Fletcher's farmer brot apples-Frank & Robert came-dark, damp day-rested in the house got a Review from Australia.

10. Another wet morning-Mrs Fletcher the boys & Mary went to Robert home in the rain-Got milk from Willies man.

11. The ground white with snow at morn-Mother, Mary, Harris & Robert carried apples from the barn to the celler.

12. Put in the celler window-wrote a letter to Ann-got cold in Town

13. Mother & Mary went to Church-Mrs Fletchers family to the Sabbath SChool-cold showers.

14. Mother, Mary went to Franks & Bells-Robert & family came to supper.

15. MR Fletchers family & Mary went to Bells-I mulched strawberries.

16. Wife & I went to Roberts home to celebrate our 49 wedding day-It was sunshine like 49 years ago but there was no house, barn or Orchard where we dined with Robert, Hattie & Little ones today. Robert ga us money for seeds & dirt-His sore eye improving.

17. Frost at morn-Sunshine at noon-Robert set up a coal stove for MRs Fletcher-Mother, Mary called on Aunt Eunice & Miss Harris.

18. Mild & sunny-Mrs Fletcher, the boys & Mary went to the City. Hatt & Robert had a call from friends.

19. Mrs Fletcher had a sore arm-Willie lay on the longue-Mother went to see Bell-cool & I had to split wood.

20. Mild-Mother & Mary went to Church-3 boys in the Sabbath School-Robert & 3 girls besides Frank came to dinner.

21. Fine morning-Mother took Mrs Fletchers boys to Bells to let her rest-sunshine on the green wheat fields.

22. Mr & Mrs Smith came to get 21 hens from Robert that Bell raised. Mrs Smith walked to our home & back bringing us wine & good cheer & helping to revive Mrs Fletcher-Rejoice ye righteous.

23. Cold-the pump froze-got out the plug-had to get our the winter coal.

24. Thanksgiving-Mother & FRank started for the old home in Augusta-grand ol party. 20 above zero-Mrs John Campbell sent me a thanksgiving dinner. Robert, & Hatties family dined at Bells-I was very thankful Robert sore eye was better.

25. 12 above zero at morn-Mrs Fletcher, the boys & Mary went to Roberts.

26. Shoveled snow to the stable-first this winter-Mary walked to Town in the snow.

27. Mother & Mary went to Church-Mrs Fletcher & boys to Sunday School = I rested at home.

28. Mary took the clothes-Mother started fro bells. Robert sold a load of wheat for 65 per bushel.

29. Robert and his man helped to split tough apple wood. Mrs Fletcher the boys & Mary went to Bells who was not home-then they went to Roberts-mild-dark & damp-threw wood in the wood shed. Bell brot word Wills sister died yesterday.

Lambie Diary-December 1898 December

1. Bell came-Mother, Mary & Bell went to Wm. Scotney sisters funeral. Got a letter & paper from McCamache.

2. Mild & Sunshine-Mother went to Bells.

3. Mother & Bell went to Miss Waterberries and stayed till night.

4. Bell came-Mother, Mary, Mrs Fletcher & boys went to Church & came home in a snow storm & Frank went home in a snow storm.

5. Snow in the night-Robert took Mrs Fletcher, the boys & Mary to his house & brot them back in the snow.

6. Another snow storm-Wrote to Bowmanville yesterday.

7. After 2 stormy days the sunshine came & Mother went through the snow to Bells.

8. Robert took the children & Mrs Fletcher to Town and then Mother to his home. Robert brot 2 bags of Oats & 2 of corn. Frank came.

9. Mother went in Roberts cutter intending to go to Uncle Williams to get Mr Smiths mortage discharged.

10. Robert & Williw put the Surry on runers.

11. Mary, Mrs Fletcher & the boys went to Church-Mary wlaked home in the snow.

12. More snow-Frank went to Mrs Steven Voorhees funeral.

13. Anns Birthday-about zero-3 above in the sunshine.

14. A zero morning-Belle walked down to see us-Mary & Bell walked to Town & back-Mary heard it was 6 below zero.

15. Above zero-Mrs Fletcher, the boys & Mary went to Roberts in his cutter-pleasant sunshine-Wife drove to bring Mrs Gabriel Campbell but she did not come.

16. Mary says 12 above zero-Frank came on his way back from seeing Brother John at Royal Oak.

17. Mild morning, Mother drove to Roberts home on the snow. Robert paid the taxes $19.60.

18. Willie drove Mother & Mary to Church, Mrs Fletcher & 3 boys went to Sunday School. Mild & thaw.

19. Mary & Bell walked to Town-dark icy rain-Frank got the clock to strike.

20. Wet morning, ice melting-Mrs Fletcher & 3 boys went to Bells with the milkman.

21. Mary went to Bells with the surry for Mrs Fletcher. Mrs Allision sent a Australian paper & lines on the Straven Callen. Ice, snow, mud & Mi

22. Shortest day-wrote to sister Agnes thanking her for poesents. Eunice Lambie came with kindness & presents-Mild, dark & wet.

23. Some frost & slippy. Robert helped Frank to load hay.

24. Robert took Mother to Bells and got the horse shod. Mary went to Bells for Mother.

25. 29 years since Father died, Mother, Mary went to Church, Mrs Fletcher & boys to the Sunday School.

26. Mother drive with Anna & Mary to Franks farm-20 of us enjoyed a Turkey dinner and got present off a Christmas tree at Son Franks farm.

27. Cold blustry morning-Anna & Mary & Mrs Fletcher & the boys went down to Roberts.

28. Clear morning & above zero-Willie hitched up-Mother went to Bells. Mr. Kirkpatrick sent a letter yesterday and Mrs Pawan a Christmas card from Pearth, Scotland.

29. Mild morning-Mrs Fletcher went to see Mrs Dawson-Mother & Willie went for her at night.

30. Mary took Mrs Fletcher & family to the Motor on the way to Uncle Williams-Mother went to Robert & Hatties-damp & muddy.

31. the last day of 98-Ann & Mary went to Town.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, January-June 1899.

View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.

William Lambie Diary, 1875

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, April 1983,
April 1983
Original Images:

Author: William Lambie

Excerpts from the 1864–1871 Diaries appeared in the March, 1978 issue of Gleanings.

Family members referred to in the writings of William Lambie are:

FRANCIS L. LAMBIE, born March 22, 1794 in Avondale, near Strathaven, Scotland. His wife, MARY HAMILTON LAMBIE, born February 20, 1796 in Strathaven, Scotland. Their nine children were all born in Strathaven.

Their eldest son is WILLIAM LAMBIE, born April 21, 1821.

His sister, AGNES LAMBIE, born February 26, 1828, married RICHARD, INGLIS, M.D. and lived in Detroit.

ROBERT LAMBIE, born October 26, 1822, married EUNIE WHITE MORTON in Ypsilanti. He was a tailor and merchant.

FRANCIS (FRANK) LAMBIE born August 12, 1824, married ANNE McMILLIN in Detroit.

ISABELL LAMBIE, born June 6, 1826 and married WILLIAM TODD and lived in the Oak (Royal Oak).

JAMES LAMBIE, born June 17, 1830, was a business man in Windsor Ontario, Canada.

JOHN LAMBIE, born September 6, 1836 and was a tailor with his brother Robert.

WILLIAM LAMBIE married MARY CAMPBELL, oldest daughter of Robert and Anne Muir Campbell. They moved into a very small drafty house in Superior Township on Clark Road in 1849.

Their six children were:

Anna, Mary, Frank, Elizabeth, Belle and Robert.

Anna and Mary never married. Frank married late in life and had no children.

Belle married William Scotney and there were no children.

Elizabeth married Azro Fletcher whose father was Franklin J. Fletcher. Charles and Rolland Fletcher were his uncles.

Elizabeth's uncles were William, Gabriel, Robert, Andrew, James and John K.

Her Aunt Elizabeth Campbell married John Clark. They lived in Pittsfield Township and had no children.


January 1st Beautiful day to start the New Year. All of us went to William Campbell for dinner. A grand material and mental feast. A pleasant talk with I.W. Childs. Then we went to help bury faithful David Scott, the Scotch miller. Rather a sad duty the first of the year.

January 2nd Cold stormy day. 3 girls went to Pittsfield in the afternoon in the storm. Wrote some letters. The brook frozen solid at the barn. Cistern pump frozen. All day cold and dreary.

January 3rd 4 walked to Church (Presbyterian). Plenty of water on the ice. Robert and Bell sang at night.

January 5th Mary and Elizabeth came from Pittsfield. Very cold, 6 or 8 below. Pump frozen. Carried water from the creek. Carried down shoes and boots to mend. Paid $2 to Davis for rural paper.

January 6th Elizabeth birthday, 18years old. Cold and cloudy. Water low and ice thick. Robert and I went to a Prayer Meeting in the Church at night, solemn service. E.B. Ward gone and left all wealth.

January 8th Letter from Detroit. Frank, Mary and Elizabeth went to a party at night. 13, some said 20 below.

January 12th Cold. Wife and I went to Augusta. Talked and had a pleasant visit. A household of honor, industry and economy. Went with Mr. Campbell to the woods after horses.

January 16th Bought some middling for feed in town.


January 23rd Bell and I went to town and had our pictures taken. Wife went to Stephensons.

January 25th Snow and drifts. Robert took Mary to school. Wife went to see her mother (Ann Muir Campbell). Brother Robert brought papers.

January 29th Frank and I went to town in the sleigh. Thought our account more than usual at Farmers' Store but it will be alright. Came home to find our cows in Heath's garden. Elizabeth helped and we had a hard time getting home.

January 30th Cold sharp wind. Robert, Mary and Elizabeth started for Augusta in the sleigh. Frank and I working at home. Robert came home with the sleigh. The girls stayed with the Wm Campbells. Bell went to a Gleaners' meeting.

February 1st Brother Robert came in his Cutler and talked a little bringing word from the friends in Detroit and Canada.

February 3rd Milder and eaves dripping and then frost and bitter cold wind before noon. No water at the Barn. An-other Polar wave upon us.

February 5th Piercing cold wind. Wanted Mary and Bell to stay at home but they went to school. The cows and horses would hardly drink it was so cold.

February 6th Mr. and Mrs. Wm Campbell, wife and I went to Andrew Campbells on Platt Road. Webster Childs and wife, Fred Graves and wife were there at a dinner party. Anna came down on the Railroad (Lake Shore and Michigan Southern) from her school in Pittsfield.

February 7th Wife and Bell went to Augusta. Anna to town. Robert to Andrew Campbells. Not quite so cold and Bees have survived.

February 8th Very cold again. 18 below zero. Anna went to her school on the railroad. Mary to the Normal and Bell and Robert to our school. Wife and Eliza washing. Frank drawing wood. He bought a corn sheller from Letan $7.50.

February 9th Some potatoes and apples froze. Said to be 10 or 15 below. Quite sick in the night. Frank got the horses shod. Had 4 bushels corn and 4 wheat ground. Lizzie came home from Mrs. Swartz. Shelled corn.

February 11th More snow. Frank took Mary to the Normal in the sleigh. Wind blowing and snow drifting in the lane. Mary and Robert came up from where the cattle were drinking


Feb. 11th con't down by the road on horseback. Old winter reigns. Felt anzious about Bell. Frank found her at the Stevensons. She did not try to come thru the drifts.

February 13th Clear and cold. Mary went to the Normal and Robert part way with her. Went to the Farmer's Store Meeting. The 9th year. Always 20% before but no dividend this year. Settled our account. Only $16 behind. Wm Campbell paid $10 on the Crane note.

February 17th Wife, Robert and I went to Brother Robert's for dinner. A great contrast between his home and mine. A pleasant visit. He showed me a letter of mine in the Evangelist.

February 20th Mrs. L and Frank went to Wm Campbells. Went to town in afternoon. Got a Scotch paper and read death of A. McGowen.

February 24th Rain and thaw like spring. Water in the brook. It has been frozen since January 7th, the longest I ever knew. Woodruff, the newspaper editor says below zero 40 days in succession.

February 26th Water flooding the low lands. Walked to town. Got papers from Brother Robert. The last day of school for Bell and Robert (country school).

February 27th Took down 3 bags of corn to have ground for feed. One of the horses fell on the hill. A slippery dangerous place, but we got her up with great difficulty.

March 1st One of the greatest snow storms I have ever seen. Glad to have a humble home to shelter me and mine from the lashings of winter.

March 3rd Robert took Mary and Elizabeth to school thru the deep drifted snow. The world looks pure white, cold and beautiful. Long dreary winter.

March 5th Some more snow but milder. Wife unwell. Gave Alfred Gray an order on Wm Campbell for $40. Frank went to Seymore's Sale.

March 8th Wife and I went to Augusta. Had a pleasant interview with our friends. Came home at night. Boys piled in the sleigh and hit us with snowballs. All in fun.

March 11th Son Robert's birthday, 12 years old. Wife, Robert and I went to Pittsfield. Good sleighting. Stayed overnight at Mr. Clarks.

March 12th Went with Robert Campbell to the closing of Anna's school. Scholars acquited themselves well.

March 14th Thaw. Thunder and Lightning, rain and the robins are here to greet the Spring. 4 went to Church in the wagon thru the mud and the snow.

March 17th Cold again. Ice in the washbasin. Saw 4 blue birds. Called on Mr. Casey and Mr. Swift. Frank and Jerome Miller sawed stove wood. A large party of youngsters here at night. They seemed very happy and went away in a cold snow storm.

March 22nd Light at 6 in the morning. Cold pure snow. Anna and Mary went to the Normal. Frank to look at his traps. Others washing and cooking. Robert has sore eyes.

March 26th Rain and mild. A great flood of water over the bridge on the road. Helped Mary over the ditch on two fence boards. Frank, Mary and Elizabeth went thru the flood to eat oysters at John Millers. The oyster eaters did not get home until 2.

March 27th Wm Campbell paid $20 on the Crane note. Trying to buy a horse. Some old Spavin and very dear.

March 31st Sore eyes. Went for a grist. Frank and Harry clearing Brother Robert's land. Birds singing, bees humming, boys playing ball — Spring is here. Went to Hutchinson Sale, bought some things.

April 1st Went to town. Bought one bushel Timothy seed $3. A pair of shoes $2.

April 3rd Frank and I sowed the northeast field with clover seed. Bought a horse from I. Burns for $125. Paid $25 and gave an order on Wm Campbell for $100. Anna gave me a note of $50. Mr. Adair sent a letter promising appointments to Anna and Mary for teaching. Balmy day. Hens now laying.

April 5th 36 years since I left the old stone house in Straven, Scotland for America. 18 of young life in Scotland and 18 in America. The first 10 years of our life seems to be the best part. After that life becomes a kind of repetition.


April 6th Went to Town. Yesterday was election. Got a note from Anna and took $10 from William Campbell and left $40 to pay for the horse. Frank and I plowed in the south field with the new horse. Sowed cabbage seed.

April 10th Bought 4 ___ of barley from I Voorhees at $2.40, total $9.60. New horse plows well. Anna and Mary studying. Eliza sewing.

April 15th My birthday, 54 years old. Ah me. Brother Robert, his wife and daughter came to dinner. Pleasant indoors but cold dashing showers outside.

April 17th Cold like winter. Ice on the stream. Frank went to Spooser's barn raising.

April 20th Harrowed on the old meadow. Sowed peas. Wm Campbell brought Mrs. L home and told us they had a little daughter (Sarah). Sent a letter to Wm Adair. Frank bought 3 pigs.

April 26th Frank broke the plow and I had to pay $10 for a new one. Robert set fire to the marsh and burned our fence. I fought fire till my head ached. The brook does not run much water. Hoping for rain.

April 27th Peg Reed would like to get some help, poor woman. What shall I do? So much to pay and so little coming in. Sewed onions and radishes. Cleaned the creek.

April 30th Welcome showers. The brook running again. Only 3 showers this month. Mr. Campbell came. Sold him 12 apple trees. Had a pleasant thoughtful walk with him among the Tombstones in the Cemetery, the silent City of the Dead.

May 1st Lat cold spring. Ground white with snow and some frost. Went over to see where to plant trees on Brother Roberts lane. Three lambs.

May 5th I plowed forenoon. Mr. Campbell brought Mrs. L home. Wet afternoon—reading, Robert fiddling and Frank cutting hay. 5 lambs.

May 7th Sold 12 apple trees to Brother Robert. Mr. Gray got some strawberry plants and grape vines.

May 10th Ground too wet to plow. Rhubarb big enough to use. 20 lambs.


May 17th Ice in the wash basin, I maked for the potatoes. Wife came back from Wm. Campbells. Heard of the death of John Hamilton (William's mother was Mary Hamilton) of Drumglag. Have a letter in the Evangelical about foreign paupers.

May 18th Wife and I went to John Hamilton's Burial. The last of Durmglag. Born in Avondale, Scotland and buried in Ypsilanti.

May 19th Wife and I went to Mr. Campbells. Walked over the farm with Mr. Campbell. Talked of how little we really know of this life and how much less of a world to come.

May 22nd Mary's Birthday. She, Anna and Elizabeth up in Pittsfield. Planted corn in the North field hoping to raise corn where only wild grasses grew before. Trees blooming and birds singing.

May 23rd Got $10 from Wm Campbell. Paid Jones for ditching. The little ditch cost me $10. Planted 3 acres of corn on Brother Robert's land. Paid Davis $3 for the Tribune and Farmer till next May and some rascals broke into the Farmers Store.

May 24th The apple trees giving great promise of fruit blooming in beauty and fullness. Seem to be on the edges of Paradise. Our hearts are not large enough nor our gratitude expansive enough to take in all the loveliness that spring brings us.

May 31st Went out in the Dawn and the new horse was not in the stable. Was afraid she was stolen but found her grazing by the stream.

June 1st Went to Detroit and to Dr. Inglis grave with sister Agnes. Mixture of pleasure and sadness. A monument of Aberdeen granite, some daisies and myrtle on a green grave where the summer winds sigh through the pine trees is all that is left to tell of the departed worth of my great and good friend Dr. Inglis. Went to Canada. Mother looking well in her old age. Returned to go to the Oak. Wm Todd wanted a divorce. All the divorce he needs is from Folly and Laziness. Found sister Isabell planting beans barefooted and Wm Todd sitting in the house with his boots on. Stayed overnight and needed no lawyer to tell me who was to blame for their family difficulties.

June 2nd Came back from the Oak and went to Windsor in time for a dinner with mother. Stayed til 3 talking of now and long ago. Slept in sister Agnes' grand house. Herself being grander than the house.


June 3rd Woke up in a grand room in the great City. Kind and true Sister Agnes after her great sorrow and loss seemed to strengthen me more than I did her. Got home on the noon train. Bell went to Eunie Lambie's birthday party.

June 5th Sold 11 bags of wheat and more. $120 and Frank kept $40 I owed him. $80 small return for two years work and yet we owe no man while some who despise us defraud their creditors.

June 7th Morris came with a 2 horse buggy and we shore 44 sheep. Chipmunks and gophers and worms eating the corn as it comes up.

June 9th Finished the rest of the sheep. 60 in all. About 300 lbs of wool.

June 14th Very peaceful and beautiful. It is the day that the great bloody Battle of Waterloo was fought. Phillips and Hall two residents of Forest Avenue were working out their road tax barefooted. Robert and I went to Brother Roberts for some posts. Left $50 with Wm Campbell. Dry and dusty.

June 17th Some strawberries ripe. Looking for rain. Frank and James ditched down at the road. Paid $6 for our Church seat rent.

June 19th Bell's birthday. Some young people came. The brook nearly dry.

June 22nd Wife and I went to Mr. Clarks and Andrew Campbells. Pleasant time.

June 23rd Spread manure. Gathered strawberries. Sold 29 quarts so far. Platt paid his interest to Wm Campbell.

June 26th Hived a swarm of bees. Bought 2 pigs from Fletcher. Paid $12 for shingles.

June 28th Wife and Bell gathering berries. Sowed 3 acres to buckwheat. Frank and Jones shingled the barn. Paid E.M. Gray $40 for teaching. A tornado passed thru Detroit.

June 30th An Excersion to Niagara Falls $4 but I did not go. Took 3 bags corn and wheat for deed. Got $10 from Wm Campbell. The girls picked 18 quarts strawberries. Mrs. L birthday. Mrs. Wm Campbell, Clair and the baby came.


July 1st Cloudy. Too tired to rejoice. 5 of us went to hear Gabriel Campbell and the graduating exercises of the Normal students. Took dinner with the Governor, Professors and teachers under the Church. A very pleasant day. Indebted to the William Campbells for getting me inside the Ring.

July 2nd Wife sold 25 quarts strawberries.

July 3rd Wife, Mary, Elizabeth and I went to Detroit and over to Windsor and enjoyed a visit with Mother and called on all the friends. Came back alone in the rain. As we grow older the mysteries of existence seem to increase instead of diminishing. Robert poor boy paid 10¢ to get on the Fair Grounds. Got tired, wet and no dinner.

July 5th Five at home. Three in Detroit. A great rain. Wife and two daughters got home from Detroit. Frank got $10 from William Campbell.

July 6th Crop of grass for hay very light. Howed strawberries. Hived a swarm of bees. Strawberry season over. Picking gooseberries.

July 9th Wife and Elizabeth sick. Robert raked the meadow sweet with hay. We got in 3 small loads. Very light crop. Mowed weeds. Very weary. Sommer like all earthly good things passing away. The birds don't sing as gaily as they did in the spring. Paid T.B. Goodspeed $3 for Insurance.

July 12th Hay poor but corn promises well. Brother Robert brought me papers. Mr. Fields, editor of the Evangelist, had first a letter about London, then mine about the Blue Birds nest and next Mr. Cuyler. Was very much pleased to see my letter among such respectable company. A great many people read that old standard paper. May Wisdom and Prudence be granted me.

July 14th Wife and her Father came from Augusta. Little demand for wool. Frank went to see a selfbinding reaper. Robert was tired and had nose bleed.

July 19th Settled with William Campbell. Sent a notice to Sheldan Secretary about the horse that was killed. Wife got her new rag carpet. New potatoes for dinner.

July 21st Frank and 2 girls went to a party at Millers. Letter writing on new rag carpet. Unbound wheat quite wet from all the rains.


July 22nd Set out wheat to dry and drew a lot of it in as it looked like rain but none came. A letter from N. Sheldan regretting the Company could not pay me for the horse. Wife sold berries. Had the buggy repaired. The barley is mostly weeds.

July 25th 5 went to Church. I walked and came home by the Upper Bridge (LaForge Road) the way that Father and the rest of us used to walk home in years gone by. If Father's spirit ever accompanies us when we think of the departed we are contented.

July 26th First summer I have had to use glasses to write and read. Brother Robert brought me two papers and said I had a letter in each one. I was pleased that my thoughts were worthy of a place in them.

July 29th Mrs. L and Robert went to grandfathers. 3 girls to Fletchers. Bell helped milk and got supper and was brave and true. Farmers Store robbed again.

July 31st Cool and first symptons of Autumn. Brother Robert came and is thinking of going to the sea for his health. I would like to see some of the world but duty before pleasure.

Wife and I went to call on the George McDougalls. Although they suffer in body they were contented and cheerful in virtuous old age.

August 2nd Cool after the rain. Wind signing like autumn. Wife bought blankets $9.00. The Farmers Store not willing to give us goods on our stock. Robert rode up with Brother Roberts horse. Semans looked over our wool—would only give 36¢ lb.

August 6th Had to cut some of the rag weed with the Brush Scyth. The mower worked for a while and cut weeds and oats up to the horses bridle. A great storm of thunder and lightning last night. We learned the light last night was C. Albans barn burning—struck by lightning.

August 8th Frank caught some nice fish in the river. Wife and I went to town. Brother Robert has gone to the sea for a change of air. Another shower but no great floods like they have in Ohio. Drew manure and got a box of honey.

August 12th Damp and misty. Went to get a box of honey I had in a barrel and bees and ants had taken all the honey. Nothing left but comb. Wealth seems to elude me. Bell went to the depot with the buggy to get her Uncle Frank but he did not come. Heard from Brother Robert at the sea shore.


August 14 Found a swarm of bees on the trunk of a small hickory tree-brushed them bown to the hive and they stung fiercely.

Went to the Depot with Bell. She and Willie Campbell started for Brooklyn on the Huckleberry (Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, Ypsilanti to Hillsdate) Post card stating the James Lambies wife was dead. The tide of events seem to go hard against that poor fellow. Was pleased to see my Harvest Hymn in the Evangelist. Drew manure and spread it on the south field. Brother Robert at New York.

August 19 Very tired. My life in the country is almost never ending toil. I long for some relaxation, change of scene—to the Lakes and Mountains—but I toil on. Some who spend freely for the benefit of their health are not extra healthy after all.

August 20th Finished cleaning the barn yard at noon. Mrs. R came back with her father. Anna and Mary went to hear Miss Dean, the missionary. Brother Robert took away his horse but said nothing about the journey to the East.

August 24th Drew ____ and rails off Brother Robert's land. Son Robert and I went to the Depot for an excursion to Detroit but the tickets were all sold. Great crowd and we didn't go.

August 28th Dug early potatoes in the south field. Mr. Tindell and Bell Gleaners came and we had a picnic in the grove. Pleasant time with the young folks.

August 30th Summer days, life, eyesight and strength fading away. Mrs. L brother John came. The German mason built the wall under the bard. Hard, heavy, expensive work. Grapes nearly ripe.

September 1st Gathered a pail of fine summer queen apples. Paid the mason $7.50 for the north wall of the barn. Went to the river to see a balloon with Robert but we did not go up.

September 3rd Spread manure. Very weary. Went to Church Meeting in afternoon. A. Knapp came to see about the school affairs. Harpers Magazine sent my poem back.

September 6th Went to school meeting. Wife, Robert and I had a long dark walk from Stevensens thru the corn.


September 8th Began to cut corn. Anna went to Camps. Robert and Bell picking plums. Some grapes about ready. The brook just running but signs of rain. ok Mrs. L over to William Campbell's. Frank, Robert and I harvesting beechwheat. Showers a blessing in the afternoon. A letter from Kate Inglis.

September 13th Another box of honey. Wife and I went to Cornwells and exchanged wool for stocking yarn. A pleasant day. Had tea and an interview with my old friend John Geddes. Some going to the State Fair. Gave E. M. Gray an order on Wm Campbell for $24.

September 17th Wife and I and Mrs. Campbell went to a family gathering at Andrew Campbells. A fine company of righteousness. Five Noble Brothers and one is not with us (James is the one who died).

September 20th Drew dirt from under the barn. Set up buckwheat. Had an interview with Brother Robert and the Catholic priest on Robert's hill. Paid Jerome Miller $36.00 for painting the School House.

September 21st White frost on the barn roof. Drew dirt with G. Allen's cart. Went over and had supper with Professor Campbell and family at Wm Campbells and saw them start for Minnesota. Anna and Elizabeth going to the Normal.

September 24th The German mason building the barn wall at $2.50 a day while I get 30¢ for corn and less for potatoes. Went to Shavos for line to haul big stones for the mason. Hard and expensive work.

September 28th Son Francis, birthday making him twenty-one. How fast time passes away. It seems not long since I was a youg man. The mason finished the wall at noon. Brother Robert and daughter came. Received a kind letter from my friend Wm. Adair. A model letter and saving the girls and me $12.00 school tuition.

September 30th Wife, Mary and I went to the Fair. A great crowd. Saw beautiful apples and great vegetables. Met my friend Wm Adair. Wife went home with her father. Robert came back from Uncle John Clarks. My old friend John Lindsay age 79 stayed overnight with us.

October 2nd Gathered 12 barrels apples. Took 2 to Brother Robert and got 10 empty barells from Ainsworth. Voorhees thrashed the buckwheat.


October 4th Mr. and Mrs. Tailer called. Mr. Casey gone to New York. Took 10 barells of apples to Ainsworth. Dug 2 locad of rose potatoes.

October 5th A wet misty morning. Anna and Elizabeth went to school. The rain is much needed. James dug potatoes and Robert, Bell and I gathered nearly three loads of them. Left most of the Captain's Surprise in the field… they had rotted.

Mr. Lucking paid Frank $20 for his cow. Sold him 5 lambs at $2.50 and 2 wedders at $3.50. Glad to get a little money. Old Mr. Hall the grape man was buried yesterday.

October 9th Wet night. Bell got new shoes. Filled 10 barrels apples and took them to Ainsworth.

October 11th The sky looked like winter. Took 6 barrels apples to Ainsworth and two to Mrs. Smith. Forgot to put up the bars and the cows got in the corn.

October 18th Ice on the rainwater in the wash bowl but it did not break. Took 5 barrels apples to the Depot for Mr. Ingils. Two to Ainsworth. 37 in all to him.

October 19th Frank shingling Brother Robert's barn. Mrs. Tailer came and the youngsters gathered nuts.

October 20th Cold north wind. Wife and I had a grand dinner at Brother Roberts along with Brother Frank and wife and Mr. Batcheldor. Ainsworth paid $79.55 for apples. I intended to get 10 cents a barrel more.

October 22nd Frank building a corn crib. Robert and I drawing pumpkins. Wife went to bring Mrs. Wm Campbell. Paying my family what I owed with the apple money. Took 4 barrels to Macy at Lowell.

October 23rd Mr. and Mrs. McDougal came, also Mrs. Campbell and son John from Augusta. Wife went hmme with them. Robert and I drew in corn. Mrs. Warts and friends came and gathered nuts. Paid Elizabeth $5.00, Frank $20.00, Johnson $5.00 and James $2.00.

October 24th 3 rode to church, 3 at home. I walked and had to hunt for the cows after I came home and thought I was not too well used by the young folks.

October 25th Put two loads of good corn in the new crib and two of soft corn in the barn. Wife came back with her father. It seems I have underwent a great deal of toil this summer and accomplished very little.


October 30th Mild morning. Feeding pumpkins to the cows. Went to town and bought a coat $8 and hat 75¢. Wife gathered onions. Mary and Bell husking. Frank came back from Detroit after seeing his grandmother in Windsor and Mrs. Inlis.

November 1st Mr. McLouth was our Preacher yesterday. A little snow this morning. Another summer ended. 34 wild geese flew over us going South. I banked up the house. Wm. Gage came and thrashed our barley and some oats.

November 2nd Finished thrashing before dinner… 91 bushels of wheat, 148 of oats, 43 of barley. Paid Gage $9.97— small return for our Summer's work but more than we expected. Put all the chaf in the barn.

November 4th We pulled a load of turnips and put them in the cellar. Wife received $13.00 from Mr. Crane for interest. Received a letter from David Inglis. Very kind and complimentary. Took apples and turnips to G. Stephensons for Anna.

November 6th Bought a coarse wooled ram from Wm Watling. Put him among the flock. Helped Bacen to ditch.

November 7th Mr. Tindall unwell. Mr. McLouth preached well. Mary, Elizabeth and Robert heard Mr. Estabrook at night.

November 8th Robert and I husked on Brother Robert's land. We get 2/3 of the corn. First time I ever worked land on shares.

November 9th Dellison the younger help with husking. We took home 18 bushels of corn. 3 colored men helped with our husking. A slow, sure way of getting an honest living.

November 16th 26 years since we were married. Mr. and Mrs. Inglis came a year ago but they will never come again.

November 18th Damp and dreary. Lucking bought 3 wedders and 3 lambs $18. Have about 800 bushels of corn. The biggest crop we ever had. Mr. Campbell sent a quarter of Beef.

November 25th All of us went to our friend Wm Campbell's to a grand Thanksgiving dinner.

November 28th 4 went to Church… Anna has a sore throat. Robert took a lantern to Church to light the girls home.


November 30th Very cold. Not very well. Downhearted and suffering from the cold.

December 1st Put up cow stanchions under the Barn. Took down a grist of white wheat and Buckwheat.

December 4th Sold Lucking 4 lambs and 2 old sheep… $17. Took 6 bags buckwheat to have it floured at Deubels. Got the grist—9 bags.

December 6th Very sore throiat. Raining. Elizabeth went to the Normal and Robert to the District School. Bought a broom 40¢, crayons 25¢ for the school.

December 9th Another night of suffering sore throat. Tried fat pork and pepper and kerosene rags. Like to loose both breath and reason. Afternoon some little gathering burst in my throat and I was relieved from pain and suffering at once. Joined my family for a supper of pancakes and honey.

December 11th Ground white with snow. Robert at Mr. Camps. It took me all forenoon to draw up a load of dry wood, feed the animals and clean the stable. Well, but rather weak.

December 12th Sacrament Sunday. Some additions to the Church. Sara Campbell was baptized.

December 13th Wife and I went to Robert Campbells Birthday party (Mrs. Lambie's brother in Pittsfield). A fine pleasant company. Stayed overnight at John Clark's fine comfortable home. Helped with the sheep and pigs. Came home to our humble house and found all well. Mr. Crane paid $10 interest. Mr. Clark sent a black lamb to Robert.

December 15th Anna's birthday. Wife and I went over very rough roads to Augusta. Stayed over night. Mr. Campbell and I went to see M. Hewins. He looks very poorly. Mr. and Mrs. Clark came and we had a pleasant dinner party. Cmae home in a blinding snow storm. Brs. Boyce died.

December 17th Cold wind from the North. Put the lambs by themselves. Frank, Mary and Elizabeth to the Normal at night to hear Anna read a poem. Heard Brother Robert had sore eyes. About a year since Dr. Inglis died. Pail our taxes $17.43 to John Packard—a very modest tax.

December 19th All went to Church. 3 stayed until evening. Mr. Tindell intends to leave us. He is a good man and Minister but he has had a good salary and far more good things than ever I had. I think a rest would benefit me as much as it would him.


December 20th Called on Brother Robert. His eyes very sore. The Presbyterian Chruch on fire in the basement. Helped put it out. Pitkin hooped the pork barrel.

December 25th Christmas…… seven years today since Father died. Wm Campbell and family had dinner with us. A very pleasant time for all.

December 28th Mr. Packard paid the School money $174.87. I paid Goodspeed $23 for teaching. Willie Campbell and Robert went to John Clarks in the wagon. The Bees out like a summer day. 75 years fading into oblivion.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1876.

View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.

William Lambie Diary, 1872-1874

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, January 1983,
January 1983
Original Images:

Author: William Lambie

Excerpts from the 1864–1871 Diaries appeared in the March, 1978 issue of Gleanings.

Family members referred to in the writings of William Lambie are:

FRANCIS L. LAMBIE, born March 22, 1794 in Avondale, near Strathaven, Scotland. His wife, MARY HAMILTON LAMBIE, born February 20, 1796 in Strathaven, Scotland. Their nine children were all born in Strathaven.

Their eldest son is WILLIAM LAMBIE, born April 21, 1821.

His sister, AGNES LAMBIE, born February 26, 1828, married RICHARD, INGLIS, M.D. and lived in Detroit.

ROBERT LAMBIE, born October 26, 1822, married EUNIE WHITE MORTON in Ypsilanti. He was a tailor and merchant.

FRANCIS (FRANK) LAMBIE born August 12, 1824, married ANNE Mc-MILLIN in Detroit.

ISABELL LAMBIE, born June 6, 1826 and married WILLIAM TODD and lived in the Oak (Royal Oak).

JAMES LAMBIE, born June 17, 1830, was a business man in Windsor Ontario, Canada.

JOHN LAMBIE, born September 6, 1836 and was a tailor with his brother Robert.

WILLIAM LAMBIE married MARY CAMPBELL, oldest daughter of Robert and Anne Muir Campbell. They moved into a very small drafty house in Superior Township on Clark Road in 1849.

Their six children were:

Anna, Mary, Frank, Elizabeth, Belle and Robert.

Anna and Mary never married. Frank married late in life and had no children.

Belle married William Scotney and there were no children.

Elizabeth married Azro Fletcher whose father was Franklin J. Fletcher. Charles and Rolland Fletcher were his uncles.

Elizabeth's uncles were William, Gabriel, Robert, Andrew, James and John K.

Her Aunt Elizabeth Campbell married John Clark. They lived in Pittsfield Township and had no children.

January 1, 1872 A beautiful winter morning. My family gave me this book for a Christmas present. Mrs. Wm Campbell walked over here. Willie Campbell drew the wee wagon and Clare. Uncle William did not come. Frank took them home, slippy going.

January 2 Frank got shoes on the horse. Wife and Frank went to town. Elizabeth to Wm Campbells.

January 4 Wife and I went to Pittsfield (Clark's) stayed over night.

January 5 Anna and Mary went to a Church Social.

January 6 Dull winter morning. Frank got breakfast. Wife came back from Pittsfield and went back. Elizabeth's birthday. Frank bought a double gun and went to hunt with Jerome (Miller).

January 10 Three girls went to spelling school.

January 11 Frank went away with his new gun to hunt. Cut willows. Mr. Hall got 5 swarms of bees, one before, 2 for doctoring Frank and 2 for $9. Paid $5 down.

January 13 Anna and Mary went to Church meeting. Mrs. L came back from Pittsfield. The Paper Mill burnt.

January 20 Deep snow. Went to town in the sleigh. Attended the Farmers' Store meeting.

January 22 Wife, Robert and I went to Augusta, stayed over night. Went to the Campbell woods where he had great whitewood logs. Came home. 3 girls and Frank went to a party at Steven Voorhees.

January 23 Frank and 3 girls went to the Normal at night.

January 27 Anna and Eliza in bed at breakfast time. Went to the Farmers' Store meeting. Chidister elected Superintendent of the Farmers' Store by the directors.

February 1 1872 Clear cold morning. Went to see Mr. Fletcher. John Clarke came back from England. Wife and I went home with him. Over the Sea and back since husking.

February 3 Sent $5 for the Independent and a picture-1/2 to Willy Green for the Rurals. Prof. Darows and Mr. Goodwin died this week.

February 9 Wm Campbell, wife and Clare, wife and I want in the sleigh to Augusta. Nice time. Went to Mr. C's wood lot. Great trees.

February 12 Eliza went to school. James Lambie depressed in spirits. Went to the Depot with him.

February 14 Dismal cold dreary day. Went to J Miller's. Found party of Methodists feasting on Oysters and Turkey. Pleasant people.

February 15 Walked to town. Wm Campbell marked $10 for in-terest on Mr. Crane's note. Gave us receipt for $30 on our Shares in the Farmers' Store. Talked to Brother Robert about James indebtedness.

February 16 Frank and two girls went to the Normal school.

February 24 Wife, Robert and Mrs. Aulds went to Augusta.

February 26 Talked to Mr. Gray about buying 20 acres of his farm.

February 27 Went to Mrs. Goodwin's sale. John Clark and A. Campbell came. Bought a bedstead.

February 29 Last day of winter. Cleaned the stove pipe. Fed the cattle. Wife getting breakfast. Boys and girls in bed. Went to A. Campbells.

March 3 Sacrament Sabbath. Cold solemn day. No new converts to eternal life.

March 7 Smythe offered $40 for the spotted cow, better than Fletcher's offer of $25.

March 10 5 went to church. A collection to educate Ministers. I got no education in America.

March 11 Robert's birthday.

March 27 Went to Detroit. Called on sister Agnes, Mother, John and Frank. A sign across the road at James store— Bank-rupt Sale of Dry Goods.

March 29 Tried to have brother Frank make up peace with sister Agnes but failed.

April 4 Paid Priscilla Boyce $53 for teaching school.


April 9 Mary, Eliza, Frank and I went to Detroit. Frank and the girls stayed over night.

April 15 My birthday. Another year gone. Job wished he had never seen the light. With all my sadness, I look on life as a blessing. I hope this will be my best year. Anna began her school.

April 17 Frnak plowed and planted apple trees. Sowed peas and radishes. Got 2 pigs from T. Voorhees $2.50. The ____ Pox sore on my arm. Anna went to a concert.

May 6 25 lambs. Plowing for corn, planting potatoes. Mr. Campbell came and went to hire G. Frain. Grafted apple trees. Someone broke into the school and stole Anna's clock. Some more of my hard earnings gone.

May 15 David Inglis came and brough gladness with him. Bought some spoons. David had a happy time with our young folks and went home.

May 22 Mary's birthday. Wife and Wm Campbell went to Mrs. Hatfield's funeral. Wheat $2 a bushel.

May 27 G. Stephenson and us made a dam and washed his sheep and our before noon. 4 went to Mr. Clarks and 3 to school and I was left to cultivate alone.

May 31 Frank took down a load of corn and got a cultivator. Brothers Robert, Frank, their wives and little Eunie came. Pleasant time. Frank gave me none of my Father's inheritance.

June 1, 1872 Called on Mrs. Phillips and Wm Hiscock. I think he is passing away.

June 11 Letter from James wanting help.

June 12 The girls put new wallpaper and a carpet in the west room. The first time we ever had a new woolen carpet.

June 14 T. Spooncer and Vanaten would not come to shear sheep. Frank and I shore 11 and then the men sent word the man would come.

June 15 T. Spooncer and Vanaten shore 50 sheep. Paid them $5. Wool heavier than we ever had it. If the byers and our weights agree, it will average many lbs. The girls bought a croquet set $4.50.

June 19 Isabel's birthday.

June 20 Wife and 4 girls went to hear the Normal graduates. Frank and I dug a well.

June 22 Settled with Wm Campbell $21 in goods and $80 in money due us. Bought a large grindstone and pants from Brother Robert.

July 3 Swift wanted Frank to mow for him. All of us went to Anna's school picnic in Bennett's Woods.

August 24 Wife and 3 daughters went to the Church to bid Julia Bacon Goodby before she went sailing to India as a Missionary.

September 28 Frank's birthday.

October 1 Took 20 varieties of apples to the Ann Arbor Fair. Frank took 3 barrels apples to Robert, 15 bushels to Sears.

October 10 Sold 8 barrels apples to Bennett for $8. Sent 2 barrels to Dr. Inglis. Apples not so profitable as last year.

October 28 Frank and I went to Ann Arbor to see Barnum's Show.

October 31 Frank and I went to Detroit, Canada and the Oak. Grand visit. Frank stayed at the Oak. Sister Isabel a brave good woman.

November 20 Frank came back from the Oak. Anna's school ended today.

November 26 Took down the wool to Yost-348 lbs at 60¢-$208.80. 6 lbs for each sheep. Our weighing and Yost agreed. I had more wool and got more money that I expected, a thing that seldom happens. Happy to share my prosperity with my family. A beautiful prosperous day for me.

December 6 Killed a swine. 150 lbs and salted it down. Did not want to sell pork for 4¢ a lb.

December 20 Received $10 interest from Mr. Crane.

January 1, 1873 Wife, Robert and I, Wm Campbell, his wife and the 2 boys went in the sleigh to Augusta. Pleasant visit.

January 2 Frank took Anna to school. Mr. Goodspeed brought her home. Living on pork and pancakes.

January 24 4 of us went to visit A Campbell. Snow drifted in the lane and the horses had hard work to get thru. Mr. Campbell has a much better home and farm than mine, acquired in far less time. (on Platt Road in Pittsfield Township)

February 13 Walked to town. Wife went to Mr. Fletchers. Mr. Yost does not give satisfaction in the Farmers' Store. An account about our bees in the Tribune.

February 14 Mr. Goodspeed brought Anna home. Took 3 girls to a party at Mr. Camps.

February 16 Walked to Church. Had to cross the river on the ice. Mr. Dodge died.


February 17 Sold 6 dozen eggs at 28¢. Brother Robert has sold out his goods to Robbins and Sweet.

February 21 Took Anna to school. Bitter cold wind agoing against the blast. Frank came at night. Mary and Eliza went with him to the Normal.

March 8 At a full meeting of the Stockholders of the Farmers' Store, 80 voted in favor of Mr. Yost resigning as Superintendent and 6 or 8 in favor of his remaining. A full vote in favor of Wm Campbell.

March 11 Robert's birthday. Elizabeth took Mary to the Normal School. Liza and Mary went to the closing of Anna's school.

March 22 Robert got new boots again. Anna and Mary going to the Normal.

March 29 Brother Frank sent word about the death of James Lambie's wife.

March 31 Eliza went with the buggy to get the girls and missed them.

April 10 3 girls and Frank went to a sugar party.

April 15 My birthday. 52 years of my life spent. Have tried to do some good in a humble way but the hopes of my youth have been over clouded and great America seems to grant me none of its greatness-but goodness and mercy are better than great-ness.

April 21 Mr. Platt paid $20 interest on his note to Wm Campbell. A good lift to my purse.

June 13 Mr. Smith paid $15 for 5 fat wedders.

June 19 Heard of Samuel Campbell's death (Robert Campbell's brother). Wife went to Augusta.

June 20 Wife and I went to Belleville to Samuel Campbell's funeral. There was a great lamentation over him.

June 25 P. Vanaten raised the Barn about a foot. Came next day after the rain and raised the Barn 2 feet as he agreed. Paid him $15.

June 28 Frank mowed in the old orchard and broke his machine. I mowed by hand with a sythe.

July 18 Went to town. Paid Mr. Garrison seat rent $4.75 (church). Frank and Lizzy helping Voorhees.

July 21 Willie Campbell helped get in the wheat. Had to work hard.

July 28 Mr. and Mrs. Clark and R. Campbell came. Frank and Jerome cradled oats.

August 1 The colored man's jubilee.

August 16 Prof G. Campbell came and stayed overnight. John Campbell came. Frank went to Augusta for his mother. Went to hear a lecture about forming a Farmers' Grange. Got the buggy tires set $2.50.

September 1 Frank bought 5000 shingles and began to shingle the barn. He, Willie Campbell and Robert shingling all the south-side of the barn.

September 11 A great gathering of my wife's friends at Mr. Clarks. Anna and Mary went to Mr. Gales about the School. Wife and Robert went to her fathers next day with Mr. McConnichie.

September 28 Frank's birthday making him 19.

October 1 Found Mr. Campbell at the depot. He came up with us to dinner and we went to the Fair, wife and I, Anna, Eliza, Robert and Frank. A grand day. Beautiful–people, flowers, pictures and fruit. A day of recreation, pleasure.

October 8 Wife and I went to Augusta. Wm and Andrew and family came. Pleasant day. My friends appear to excel and pass me in the race of life.

October 10 Frank took 2 loads of apples to Bennett. 73 barrels in all. Brother Robert, wife and daughter came. Robert Campbell and wife came. Had a pleasant time and gather-ed apples.

October 15 Ainsworth (Ainsworth and Bennett) paid $100 check on apples. Robert got a new coat. Wife and Belle a pair of shoes.

October 16 Gathered apples in the nw orchard. Sister Isabel and her daughter Mary came. Brother Robert paid $5.25 for 3 barrels of apples. Mrs. Todd, wife and I went round by the old Moon farm and went to Brother Roberts for supper.

November 3 Frank took cider apples to Burt, about 68 bushels.

November 5 Robert and I went to Detroit to Mrs. Inglis and I went to Father's grave. Staid over night with Mother in Windsor. Her hair very white at 77 years. Sisters not in-dustrious.

November 16 24 years since wife and I were married. Time flys fast. Mary took Eliza to school.

November 27 Wm and Mrs. Campbell, Willie and Clare to dinner. They brought a turkey. The youngsters were happy sliding down the hill.

December 2 Robert went to school. Eliza went to the Normal. Isabel and Robert to the district school.

December 13 Anna's birthday.

December 25 Five years since Father died. Dr. Inglis sent Christmas presents.

December 31 The white cow broke her stanchion. The year '73 with all its hopes and fears gone forever.

January 1, 1874 Mr and Mrs. Campbell, Willie and Clare, my wife, Robert and I went to Mr. Clarkes. A very peasant day.

January 6 Elizabeth's birthday. Cutting down the grove. Liza took Anna to school, went to the Normal. Wife and I started to go to see Mr. Campbell. Roads too bad, turned back. Heard of G. Hart's death.

January 8 Mary took Lizza to school. Bell and Robert waded through the snow. Frank came with the sleigh and took his mother to Augusta. Killed a sheep for mutton.

January 9 Robert and I went to town at night and heard Pres-ident Angel's fine address.

January 17 James Campbell, wife and I came up from Augusta. Elizabeth went to the Normal and then Anna, Robert and the Pony start for G. Gales. Mrs. Fletcher came.

January 20 Bought 17 hens and some furniture at Will Thorn's sale. Wet and flood on low land. Had to fetch Bell and Robert thru the stream on horseback.

February 7 Robert and I dressed a sheep. Drew up some wood. Hens eating the eggs.

February 14 Mrs. Inglis and Maggie came and Robert and Eunie. Attended Farmer's meeting in afternoon, 20 percent as usual.

February 19 Mr. Crane paid $10 interest on his note, an easy way to get money. Wife bought goods on the dividend.

March 11 Robert's birthday. Elizabeth's last day at the Normal for the present.

March 26 Frank and Mrs. L went to Augusta. Left $100 of Anna's money with Wm Campbell. Went to Mrs. Sander's funeral, the old man left alone.


April 2 Went to Detroit and went with Dr. Inglis to a number of places. Saw Smith's farm and fat stock and Farry's (Ferry?) Garden.

April 4 Went to Mr. Adairs and bought trees. Called at Frank's coal office and then home.

April 15 My 53rd birthday. Planted evergreen trees that may remind my friends of me when I am gone. I can hardly realize I am old.

April 18 Sold our wool 389 lbs at 43¢. It weighed well. It was pleasant selling wool to Mr. Saxon. Bought 8 Steels Red, 8 Greening and 8 Waggners of E. Cotton. Ed is sick, poor fellow.

April 20 Robert started to school. Frank making board fence. I planted apple trees. Mr. Fletcher came in the night for Mrs. L. Set out 100 Canada and Wagner apples.

April 29 Called on poor sick old destitute John Campbell. Wife went to Augusta to tell her friends of his distress.

May 9 Received 500 green trees from A Root in York State. Paid dollar for freight and $1.50 for trees. Sold pie plant and bushel of apples for a dollar.

May 11 Planted 500 green trees alone.

May 18 Cool morning. Feeding horses. Wife getting breakfast. Bell milking barefoot.

May 21 Robert and Mrs. Morton came. Two girls were drowned in the Paper Mill dam.

May 24 Mr. Yost died.

June 18 Wife and Frank went to Pittsfield. Hived a swarm of bees.

June 19 Bell's birthday. 3 of her companions came to rejoice with her.

June 20 5 girls bathing in the brook.

June 23 Paid Vanatten, a lazy greedy boy. Mary and Bell gathered strawberries. Wife sold $4, $14 dollars in all.

June 25 Frank and Vanatten put supports under the barn. Wife, Mary, Liza and Bell went to the closing of the Normal.

July 4 Mary, Liza, Robert and I went down to see the soldiers come in. Heard a grand oration from Layton Colfaz. Went to see the fireworks. Some horses were frightened and broke our buggy wheel. Our American friends were sensible and did not read the Declaration of Independence but sang A' Lang Syne—a great improvement.

July 8 Left the buggy for Ben Thompson to fix. Sold 3 lambs and 2 wedders to Shilemire. Girls went to Mr. Fletcher's child's funeral.

July 13 Frank to harvest for hire. Paid Ben Thompson $5 for repairing the Buggy. Blacksmith $1. Mary, Elizza, Robert and I went to Lowell. Frank did not come home.

July 22 Went to John Campbell's burial at Stoney Creek.

August 2 Mary and Elizabeth washed. A writer in the Country Gentleman speaks in favor of one of my letters.

August 7 Anna and Maggy and James Inglis arrived from Detroit. James helped me with arranging the bees. Bell sick.

August 12 Went to Detroit. Mr. Inglis, Willie and I had a delightful sail on the Dove to Grosse Isle. Mr. Inglis and I went to Father's grave, all that is left of the greatest of men to me. Went on street car to Sulphur Springs. Returned home at night. Dr. Inglis coming with me to Ypsilanti and going on to Kalamazoo.

August 25 Brother Robert building a brick building for his horse. Would like to have one for my family.

August 26 Roe Fletcher paid Frank $33 for the wedders. Kate Inglis and Hellen Todd came at noon.

September 5 Wife at Wm Campbells while he is contending for his rights at Ann Arbor Court House.

September 8 Anna, Elizabeth, Robert and I went to a pleasant family gathering at Mr. Campbells. All the friends and I.W. Childs, Aron Childs and Mr. P.A. Childs and their wives.

September 11 Wife and Wm Campbell went to Mr. Coverts burial.

September 12 Mr. Campbell came and we looked at Mr. Grey's 30 acres of land at $40 per acre. He thought it a poor looking place. Frank going to State fair. Anna going to teach in Pittsfield.

September 18 Talked to Brother Robert about buying Mr. Gray's land.

September 28 Frank's birthday. 20 years old. Wife and Robert went to Augusta at night.

September 30 Robert came bringing the sad announcement of James Campbell's death, bringing a shock of unexpected sorrow over us all. It is wonderful that a young man of such unusual virtue and ability should be taken away so suddenly forever from us and so many left less worthy to battle for the Right. It is like a Standard Bearer fainting in the ranks of the faithful.


October 1 The leaves are fading reminding us that we will all fade as leaves. It is difficult to believe we will never see our good and true friend James Campbell anymore. Anna, Mary, Frank and I went to James' burial–a very sad duty. A great concourse of mourners. Professor Cocker and Angel came from Ann Arbor to pay their last respects. These three great men paid tribute to the virtues and great ability of the deceased and seemed to make our loss all the greater.

October 17 Mrs. Campbell, Willie and Clare, Brother Robert and Eunie came to gather walnuts. Some of my brothers that think they are smarter than me have received a great deal of money from Robert and want more. We have sustained ourselves, honorable on a small farm and ask no help. A genial kind letter from David Inglis.

October 19 Took down a grist. Got a barrel of salt.

October 21 I have been reading that in 10 of the families in Britain leave the bulk of their real estate to their eldest Son to preserve and honor the family. I received nothing when my younger brothers sold my Father's estate, but will try to maintain the prestige and honor of the family without it.

November 5 The Democrats seem to be gaining ground and my friend, a Campbell, will not be sent to the Senate as I expected. Went to see Mr. Woodard surveying 28 1/2 acres of land belonging to Mr. Gray for Brother Robert.

November 18 Wife went on to Augusta. Frank angry because his mother took the horse.

December 3 Brother Robert has three men working on his marsh.

December 14 Frank hunting. Wife and Elizabeth washing and mending. Bell milking. Robert putting in window lights. Brother Robert came. Wanted Frank to help and be civil.

December 16 Heard of Dr. Inglis sickness.

December 18 Went to Detroit. Found Dr. Inglis very ill, taking a long and last farewell to all his family and me. Another great wave of sorrow. Will I see my grand good friend again? Stayed over night with Mother. She old and feeble.

December 19 Came over the icy river and found crepe on the Doctor's door.

December 21 Wife and I, Robert and Eunice went to Dr. Inglis funeral. A sad, strange day. All the ceremony, pomp and dis-play, the flowers and tributes to his departed worth cannot fetch him back. His spirit is certainly absent from the body. Strange two of my sisters were not wanted at the House. We might lay animosities aside when death comes.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1875.

View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.

Francis Lambie Waste Book

Original Images:

Author: Francis Lambie

From the Waste Book of Francis Lambie….

(If you have an old Dictionary and look up Waste Book, you will find it a Scotch term for record book. Francis made daily entries in this Waste Book from 1858 to 1868.)

Francis Lambie was born March 22, 1794 in Avondale, Scotland and died December 25, 1868 in Windsor, Ontario.

Francis and Mary Hamilton Lambie came from Scotland in 1839 and lived on a farm in Superior Township until 1857. Francis never became a citizen and did not like the United States. He kept saying he wanted “to die under the Crown” and moved to Canada in 1857.

Thursday 19 November

Calm and frost. Mary, my wife, went to Windsor. Getting in firewood from a little Frenchman and far too dear but we are nearly out and have to take it.

Friday 20 November

Rather unwell, went in quest of woodcutter, fell into the little River, and fell in a very bad plight indeed. Could hardly get home.

Saturday 21 November

Unable to do the Common affairs about the house.

Monday 23 November

Feel very bad, had Doctor Inglis (from Detroit) and his wife and child. All very kind.

Tuesday 24 November

Had James, Frank and Anne and John Murphy to work. (James and Frank are his sons.)

Wednesday 25 November

Feel a good deal better. The Girls doing well, Murphy working.

Thursday 26 November

Sick, John Murphy went home, paid our Taxes $24.00.

Friday 27 November

(his handwriting changes noticeably showing great effort) Frank, Inglis down through the day. James in the evening.

Saturday 28 November

The Doctor and James down, also Mr. Adair afternoon.

Monday 30 November

Isabel and John came down yesterday and Frank went home. William and Agnes and the Doctor all here today. (Isabel a daughter, John a son, Agnes a daughter and wife of Dr. Inglis.)

Tuesday 1st December

Isabel and William and Agnes and Frank went home.

Wednesday 2 December

Mild weather. Mr. Hurst was down--all very kind.

Thursday 3 December

John Murphy thrashing and cutting wood faithfully.

Friday 4 December

John and James and Mr. Hurst down. Weather wild and snowy.

Saturday 5 December

The Doctor and Frank down and all kind and thankful.

Monday 7 December

Yesterday, James and Fanny came down. John Murphy went bank and James Todd came (husband of Isabel).

Tuesday 8 December

The Doctor was down and ordered wine. The weather very rough and stormy and wild.

Wednesday 9 December

Two Doctors down and I write these lines at Father's request. It is with sad conviction sadly settling over all our hearts, that he will write these daily records no more. (The “I” of these last entries is not identified. We know from the Diary of William Lambie that he was with his Father during that final illness and is probably the one who wrote these last entries.

Thursday December 10

James and I stayed with Father--he suffers very little and says he is quite willing to die--told the Minister last evening that his trust was in his Saviour--and he receives every attention gratefully—-and seems only to care that others should get rest and be well looked after. After a noble life his end and peace in believing in that blessed Savior of of whom he has said little and served well.

Friday December 25

In the intervening fifteen days Father continued to change but little. Mother and all of us by turns being with him till this, the 25th, 1868, at precisely 11 o'clock when he died--William with Mother, Mary and Catharine being present…a sad Christmas--the last of earth!

The bloom of earth has faded

Death stream appears less wide

Faith sees these saints regathering

Now on the other side.

The farm was sold in 1870 and the widow went to live in Windsor with two unmarried daughters. The widow lived until 1892.

This advertisement published in Windsor and Detroit newspapers


The Old Lambie Homestead, situated on the Canadian Bank of the Detroit River, about four miles below the city, can now be bought cheap, and immediate possession given. This beautiful Villa, consisting of (90) ninety acres of land in a high state of cultivation has 500 of Adair's best fruit and ornamental trees in two orchards, an avenue of evergreens, and Lombardy poplars in front of the house, and a grapery in the rear, between the house and barn. It is on the line of the Niagara South Shore Railroad, within half a mile of the famous Sandwich Sulphur Springs. For beauty and culture unequaled between Windsor and Malden, and with or without annexation would make the finest rural retreat or suburban residence in this region, the fishery alone frequently yielding $1,000 per annum. The whole will be sold at one. Terms easy. Title perfect. Particulars made known by application to F. Lambie & Bro. Also 50 lots for sale in the Ninth Ward.

F. Lambie & Bro.
Grain, Glour, Money and Real Estate Factors.
March 20, 1870.

William Lambie Diary, January-June 1898

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, November 1992,
November 1992
Original Images:


1. Robert family, Will & Belle and all of us had a pleasant meeting and a good dinner in Son Franks home.

2. Mother, Mary & I went to Church-Frank came.

3. Mother went to Roberts-Robert brot a load of wood from Franks.

4. Mother went to Bells for Ann & Mary & then we went to Mrs. Fletchers.

5. Mother went to Bells-sunshine-Robert split wood. Wrote to Mr. Calvin in Perth.

6. Robert drew stalks out the Barn and sold a load of hay-Mrs Fletchers birthday-Mother went for her & the three boys.

7. Mohter walked to Roberts-sunny day-Roses in full bloom-Robert & family came to dinner. Belle came, Ann & Mary went back with her.

8. Robert & Mother went to the Depot with Ann on her way to Elkhart. Mary & I went to Mrs Fletchers for Mother.

9. Mild mornings, Mother, Mary & I & Mr & Mrs Fletcher & the three boys went to Church-Frank came.

10. Mother went to Bells-sunshine & mild, Robert sold 2 good loads of clover hay. 4 jays in the Corn Crib.

11. Mist & Snow birds-Mother & I went to Pattisons.

12. Thunder & rain in the night. Mary walked to Mrs Fletchers.

13. Mother & I wnet to Azros. Mary came home with us. Robert drew manuer from Twon.

14. Mother walked to Roberts-Belle called-Hattie brot up Mother-Ann & William & Mary walked to Roberts.

15. Pure snow & 30 above zero-Robert brot up Mary.

16. Mother, Mary & I went to Church in the Snow-Little Williams third birthday.

17. Mother went to Belles in the Snow. Mother, Mary & I drove to Mrs. Fletchers.

18. Clare Campbell made us a pleasant visit. Frank came-Robert Pate sent us a picture of Straven 7 the Straven Almanac. Mary walked home at night-Mr. Allison sent the picture of R. Griffin the fammous Straven callan.

19. Mother walked to Roberts-Robert came at night and played and sung fro us.

20. A wet morning-Eunice brot presents to Hattie and papers to us. Mary went to Bells with the milkman-Will & Belle brot Mary home after dark.

21. Belle came and Mother & Mary went to Town with her. 30 above zero-Robert came at night.

22. Received a silk handerchief from a kind weaver in Straven-he liked the lines on Pamilliam. Mrs Fletcher and the boys came. Mother & Mary went home with them in the snow storm.

23. To stormy to go to Church-Frank & Robert came-saw the sunset.

24. Mother went to Bells-Sunshine forenoon-Mother, Mary & I went to Azros in afternoon. Brother Robert called when we were gone.

25. Burns birthday, Mother walked to Roberts-stormy day-Robert brot up Mother on the sleigh and took down Mary and his girls.

26. Robert took the 3 girls and a load of feed to Town.

27. Mary walked in the snow to Mrs Fletchers, Frank brot Roberts girls & papaers. sent a paper to Mr Fleming who sent the silk handkerchief-blinks of sunshine.

28. More snow-Robert took down a load of girls and brot up a load of manure-Frank came-Mary wwlked home from Azros in the snow.

29. Sunshine-Belle came, Robert brot Mrs Fletcher and the 4 boys to his hosue in the long sleigh and took them home afternoon.

Lambie Diary-1898 January

30. Mother, Mary & I went to Church-cold and dreary-Mary stayed to Sabbath School with Harris & Robert Fletcher & went home with them.

31, Robert took the 3 girls to School and brot home Mary in the sleigh & moather went back with him-cold, blustry & sunshine.


1. 4 below zero & a cold north blast-come gentel spring-mildness came-The primroses blooming bright in the sunshine in the south window. Robert sold 2 loads of hay-to cold to go to the cremery meeting.

2. Zero last night-8 above this morning-blinks of sunshine-Robert sold 2 loads of hay and Frank came.

3. Belle walked throught the snow to see us when it was 3 below here and eleven downtown in the morning-Frnak sold hay and came to dinner.

4. 3 above zero-got a paper from Australia-Robert brot a load of wood from Franks famr and it tumbled off by the way.

5. 30 above zero-mild & eves dripping-Mother, Mary & I wnet to Azros-Brother Robert not well-called to see him.

6. Mother, Mary & I at church & Mr & Mrs Fletcher & 2 boys.

7. Like spring-Mother went to Bells-Mother, Mary & I went to Town-got papers & shoes-Jack dressed Roberts big swine.

8. A wet Morning-Mary went with Robert-Mother & I, Mr Fletcher the 3 boys rode round by the cremery.

9. Mild, misty morning-Mary walked to Azros in the snow.

10. Mother & I wnet to Mrs Fletchers and Mary came home with us.

11. Mother walked to Roberts-Like spring.

12. Robert brot us a grist-Mother, Mary & I drove to Mrs Fletchers.

13. Mr Allan of the Methodist Church preached for us.

14. Cold blast at noon-Mother drive to bells-Mary went with Frank to his home.

15. A snow storm-shoveled a path to the stable-rode pure white snow myself. dreary northern blasts.

16. ABout zero-sunshine. Mary walked in the snow to Azros, More paper from Australia-12 eggs.

17. 20 above zero-Clouds & cold blasts-Roberts man drawing manure from Town-come gentel spring.

18. A wet morning-Frank & Clare were at a Republican party in Ann Arbor went over with him to his home-Mary came home with a headach. Mother & I went to Mrs Fletchers-CAll on brother Robert-he looked very sick & weak & was prepared for life or death. Our Robert had a headach & Sister Agnes had sickness at her home.

19. Cold & cloudy-Robert split wood-Frank came.

20. Icy rain and snow-stormy-rested at home-Mr Fletcher & family came.

21. Deep snow & cloudy-Wrote to sister Agnes-Robert took Mary to his house-More snow but not very cold.

22. Washingtons birthday-Clare Campbell came and arranged that his father & Frank should go tonight to see sick John Clark at Guelph in Canada.

23. Mary went in the long sleigh along with Roberts 3 girls. More snow Son Robert came and told us that Brother Robert was worse & he took me down in his sleigh to see him-he looked very feeble-hardly lifted his head and siad that “tho I walk in deaths dark vale, yet will I fear no ill for thou art with me and thy rod and staf will comfort me still I can only say Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.

24. Good daughter Belle walked all way through the deep snow to see and cheer us. Robert got a good fur coat and went to Franks farm and took a great load of live swine to the Depot.

Lambie Diary-1898 February

25. Mother went with the Milkman to Bells. Robert brot home Mary-Hattie brot home Mother.

26. Frank came home from Canada this morning-Went over to his farm with him-Robert & Mother went to Town.

27. Belle came with her Cutter and took Mother & Mary to Church.

28. Mother went to Belles-Then Mother, Mary & I went to Mrs. Fletchers.


1. Belle came and Mary went to the City with her. Wrote to Mr. Mcconchie 13 above.

2. Wrote to Mr & Mrs Smith-Frank brot word Brother Robert was some better. Robert drew manure from Town-Mary walked home from Azros.

3. Ten above zero-a golden sunrise-Robert brot us a load of sawed wood from Franks farm-Mother walked to Roberts & back-went with Robert to dinner. Enjoyed seeing the Horse & colts in the sunshine.

4. 20 above zero-Mary went to bells with the Milkman-Roberts man chopping willows-Frank brot Peters.

5. Starry morning-Frank & his man cleaned beans-10 above zero.

6. Mild morning-Mother, Mary & I went to Church. A Missionary who had been round the world preached.

7. Like Spring-Mother & I had a pleasant dinner with Belle.

8. Mother went to Azros and he got hurt with steam bursting. Frank sold the beans he has kept for 2 years.

9. Went with Mother to Azros & brot up Harris & Robert. Saw the first robin & a large flock of geese.

10. Robert drove Mother to Azros and brot up Harris & Robert. Sent a letter to A. Fleming the silk weaver. Raked pie plant & berries in the garden-Birds singing.

11. Roberts birthday-Frank, Bell, Mother, Mary & I went to his home for dinner-Willie, Harris & Robert came after dark so as not to disturb there sick father.

12. Mother & I called on Mr. Fletcher who is very sick and his brother who was up walking but very weak-we seem to be under a cloud of sorrow.

13. A Sacrament-Mother & I went to Church-Mary at Home taking care of Harris & Robert.

14. Sunshine, blue skies-birds singing. Mother went to Belles. Then Mother Mary, Harris, Robert & I went to Azros but did not see him. Mr Fletcher said he had good nurses to take care of him. Brother was able to be out. The boy fretful-gave Mary a headach-sold 10 dozen eggs for a dollar.

15. Mother walked to the old home. Wheeled manure out the hen house.

16. Mother went with Mary, Harris & Robert to Bells-then after dinner we went to Mrs Fletchers and round by Millers to bells for Mary & the boys. deep mud on the roads-Robert helped Frank to move his man on his farm.

17. St Patricks Day-Sunshine & song birds. Mother, Mary, Harris, Robert and I went to Roberts for dinner, it being little Anns birthday-Frank brot good news from Azros.

18. Belle came and went home with the Milkman.

19. The Fletcher boys got eggs-I went to Town-Miller drove against the Surry and the wind blew the egg basket in the river-Heard of the death of I. Clarke.

20. A sermon on religious honesty and fifteen thousand to be spent on the Church this Spring.

21. Mother went to Bels then Mother, Mary, Harris & Rboert went to Mrs. Fletchers.

Lambie Diary-March 1898

22. The deep waters of sorrow are come to our family may they not overflow us, it is easy to see thy Will Be donein prosperity but it is not easy to say Thy Will be done in great waves of sorrow. Robert went & told our friends of our great loss.

23. Mother, Mary have headachs and are sad and weary. Frank came back from Canada-Went with him to his farm-very deep mud. Robert brot Ann home at night.

24. Robert took Ann and the 3 boys to Mrs Fletchers then Mother, Ann, Mary & I rode in a carriage to the house then to Church. Mr. Wharton preached a good sermon, conseling to all then we went to the grave trying to be resigned under a great wave of sorrow.

25. Starry morning-went through the deep mud with Frank to his farm, then Mother, Ann and Mary went to Town.

26. Son FRank told me that brother Robert died peacefully at 3 o'clock this morning. This seems to be the week of death & sorrow. Sent letter to brother John, Sister Agnes, Sister Mary and Catherine in Canada. They Kingdom same, thy Will be done.

27. Rested at home, Sister Agnes & her Son James came to go to Brother Roberts funeral on MOnday.

28. Sister Agnes & her son William, Robert & Hattie, William Scotney & Bell, Mother, Ann, Mary, Frank, Brother John & I paid our last respects to Brotehr Robert and saw his body laid in the silent grave.

29. Went with Frnak to his farm. Mrs Fletcher & family came from William Campbells and came to live with us. Mrs Smith, Ann came and went to the Motor with her.

30. Mother went to Bells, Robert brot a load of wood from Franks farm-went to Town with Frank. Ann & Mr. Fletcher went to Town.

31. Frank sowed cloverseed yesterday-Robert today. Mother & I called o Mrs. Robert Lambie & Eunice in what used to be Brother Roberts home-we think he has gone through the pearly gates.


1. Mr. Fletcher came-Roberts man sowed clover seed. Mother & Mary went with Ann & she called at Brother Roberts old home.

2. Hard on peach buds-A little snow-cold blasts-Frank brot furniture & the Surry from the Cremery-Grandfather Fletcher came.

3. Mother, Mary & I went to church-Sermon on Easter-A meeting on Tuesday to spend fifteen thousand on a great church that I don't need and gave us an envelope for collection & my careful wife income at present is eggs at 7¢ a dozen.

4. More ice & snow-cold blasts-hard on peach buds-Mother went to Bells-

5. Mrs. Fletcher, the boys & mary went to Town-Cold blasts.

6. STill cold-helped Robert to fill corn brib for feed-Mr Fletcher & Mrs Fletcher went to the farm.

7. 24 above zero. Wife & I went & called on Mrs Eunice Lambie-Frank & Robert brot 2 loads of furniture to Mrs Fletchers. Mrs John cAmpbell called.

8. Mother Mary & I went to Town.

9. Robert brot 2 loads of good furniture to Mrs Fletcher.

10. Flowers in the Church for Easter. Harris & Robert walked to Church with Will and rode home with us.

11. Mother went with the Milkman-Robert brot her home.

12. Mother & I went to Town-Then Mr Fletcher, Mary, Frank brot a load from Mrs Fletchers. Robert plowed part of the garden & burned some vile weeds

13. Sowed little gem champion pears-Roberts man plowing.

Lambie Diary-April 1898

14. Sowed cabbage, letuce & radish before breakfast. D. fRaser Came.

15. My Birthday-77 years old-A good dinner party met with me at Son Roberts home. Glad that the joy & Comforts of life lifts us over the sad trials that come over us.

16. Robert & I set out 3 green trees in Eunice Lambies garden-Paid $2.00 for 25 peach trees planted til I was weak and weary.

17. A collection this time for Almy(?) College. Frank and Mrs Fletcher at Church.

18. Harris helped to set all the peaches-Harris & Robert helped to sow pease. Roberts man plowed & rolled. Robert went to Franks.

19. A wet morning-peach buds almost red-cold driving blast-could not keep warm-dug out and planted 4 small cherry trees. Robert let 3 acres of Marsh land for 3 per acre to Dubel for 25 to grow callaflour.

20. Helped Robert to load corn & oats for feed-Robert took Mother to the Motor to go to Uncle Williams-dreary driving cold blasts-Went for Mother at night.

21. Sunshine, trimmed peach trees-Roberts man drew up wood-Robert drew down part of Franks straw from his beans that has been long in the barn. Mother, Mary & Mrs Fletcher went to Town.

22. Was sick all night-wet morning Mother went to Bells and came home in the rain.

23. Mr Fletcher, Mrs Fletcher & family & Mary went to the farm-got 4 bushels of coal.

24. Mother, Mary & I went to Church-Bell & Frank came.

25. Wet morning-War & rummers of War. Wife & I to Bells for dinner.

26. Mary, Mrs Fletcher & Belle went to Town to see the Soldiers off to War. Harvie & James sowed Oats with both Hands.

27. Mr & Mrs & Miss campbell came-went to fRanks farm forenoon and the burying ground in afternoon-A grand visit and a grand day.

28. Mother walked to Roberts-Peach trees turning red.

29. Mother, Mrs Fletcher, Mary & them all drove to Town. Eunice Lambie & Agnes made me a plesant visit while I was alone.

30. Mrs Fletcher & family & Mary went to Bells in honor of Willies Birthday-sowed onions & cabbage seed. Robert drew up rough apple wood.


1. Mrs Fletcher & her boys & Frank went to Church with us. A War Sermon on wicked Spain.

2. Harvie, James & Frank sawed us a great pile of wood by noon. Mother, Mrs Fletcher & Mary went to Town-Harvie sawed Roberts wood pile by Noon.

3. Mother weary & resting. planted small potatoes.

4. Mrs. Fletcher & Mary went to Town-planted all the potatos from the cellar.

5. A wet morning-wet nearly all day-rested in the house.

6. 10 grapes & gooseberries from Mr Geer & planted them. Robert saw ice in the morning.

7. Mrs Fletcher & Mary went to Town with Mother-A grand day.

8. Another collection like Foley out of the Church-Frank, Robert & family came.

9. Up at 3 to see the glory of the morning-Mother went to Bells. Mother got strawberrie plants from Mr Miller & 3 helped to plant them,

10. A wet Morning-sent papers to Royal Oak. Scotland & Australia. The blossoms in the sweet Mays winds are falling like to snow-planted some of Roberts strawberries.

11. Mother went to Mrs Dawsons with Mrs Fletcher-Mr & Mrs Smith made us a pleasant visit & Mary went for Mr. Fletcher.

Lambie Diary-May 1898

12. Planted corn before breakfast-War & rummers of war. Mrs Smith in a small way blew up the War ship Main yesterday.

13. Balmy breezes-blue skies & whole clouds.

14. Wife & I went to belleville & Mrs Samuel cAmpbells 84 birthday-delightful day-Huron Banks in bloom-Earth like Eden.

15. Wife & I went to Church-Frank did not come for Mrs Fletcher.

16. Mother, Mary, Mrs Fletcher & the boys wnet in the surry to Uncle Willima Campbells & left me to mediate in sunny skies.

17. Planted potatoes Clare sent-Robert plowed down clover & red root south of w.

18. Went to Bells-she was sick & Not able to come to the table. went to the Motor for Mrs Fletcher & Mary-thundered at night.

19. A morning shower-Wife & I met Sister Agnes at Mr Smiths on the banks of the Huron. A delight. we enjoyed about all that earth & part of Huron could give Heaven-bless my good life long friend Mrs Inglis.

20. A good rain in the night-Mother went to bells-found her better & Hatties Mother taking care of her.

21. Grandfather & Mrs Fletcher went to Ann ARbor-I planted melons.

22. Sabath-rain in the night-Mother, Mary & I went to Church Blue Skys & grand white clouds.

23. Robert planting corn-put a wire fence round the pie plant & flowers.

24. Queens Birthday-Put Paris Green on the potatoes-Mother went to Roberts.

25. Wife & I had a grand pleasant day at the good home of Mr & Mrs Andrew CAmpbell.

26. Frank & Robert worked with three horses on Mrs Fletchers lot where Azro was buried-put paris green on the potatoes-fine day.

27. Hoed potaotes in the garden-sowed turnips.

28. Hoed cabbage-Went to Town, turned round and was at home in the rain

29. Mother, Mary & Mrs Fletcher, the boys & I went to Church. Mr. Morie preached.

30. Hoed potatoes after 3 in the morn, Decoration Day-Mother went to Bells and she came home with her-Robert & family went to Town-Hoed corn.


1. Frank & I went to Davud Uhls burial with a large company of old men and we read of great Gladstones passing away from Earth.

2. Mary & a woman helping her to clean the house-Wife & I drove to Roberts Wee William and I found Robert cultivating along the corn over the brook on G. Wilbers farm.

3. Plowed amoung the Potatoes and hoed them. Mother, Mary, Mr Fletcher and I went to the Chruch meeting.

4. Mother, Mary & Mrs Fletcher went away-planted corn amoung the potatoes Willie cut rye out of the wheat 86 in the shade. Went to Roberts found him working on the land he let to Mr Dubel.

5. Wm. A. fletcher & Mrs Webbs girl united with the Church-89 in the shade.

6. Wife & I had a pleasant day with Mr & Mrs John Campbell. Warm & dusty 89 in the shade.

8. Wife & I went to the Pioneers Meeting-It was a grand gathering. Read a paper that was all right but could not make them hear well.

9. Hoed in th garden till the heat of the day.

10. Willie cultivated corn in the garden-I planted string beans.

11. Wife & I got medicine from Dr. Fraser-a good shower-Roberts man got wet cultivating corn. Strwaberries 8¢.

12. Childrens day-warm shower after the Sermon.

Lambie Diary-June 1898


13. A wet morning-burned out the Chimney-Robert got the Surry repaired and painted.

14. Mother, Mary, Mrs Fletcher, the boys & I went to Town. Got strawberries 3 & 5¢ a quart-Showery-Letters and papers from Mr Cowan in Perth.

15. Wife went on the Motor to her brother Roberts & Mr Campbells-a good visit.

16. Went with Robert to Franks farm-he got 10 bushels of wheat-set out cabbage-Roberts corn & beans look well.

17. Bell came on her wheel & Mother took her and the wheel home.

18. Got up about 4-went to Roberts before breakfast-picked fresh peas for dinner.

19. Mother, Ann, Mary & I went to Church-Bells Birthday. Her & Will, Mrs. Fletcher & Us had a family supper on the porch.

20. Ann & Mary drove Mother to Bells-I went for her at night.

21. Mother, Ann, Mary went to hear singing at the Normal. Wife & I went for her at night. Wife & I went to James Hamiltons & saw his garden-called on Mrs Stephenson. Ann & Mary went to Roberts for Mrs Fletcher. Wrote to Mr. McConchie-Longest day-Mother & Ann went to hear a speaker at the Normal.

23. Robert & Frank in the hay field.

24. Frank brot a load of hay-warm 93 in the shade at 2-Went to Bells for Mrs Fletcher & the boys.

25. Wife paid Miss Stewart 4 dollars for seat rent till October.

26. Mother, Ann Frank & Mrs Fletcher and the boys went to Church.

27. Frank brot 3 loads of hay-went with Mother to bElls-Mrs Fletcher, Ann & mary went to Town.

28. Mother and Ann went to Town-howed beets-girls picked currents. Mrs. Leveridge called.

29. Whealed manure to the garden and howed potatoes & cabbage. Mother went to the Normal with Ann-Frank brot a load of hay.

30 My wifes birthday-warm morning 70 at sunrise-called on Mrs McNicle and Mrs CAmeron-Wife went to Town.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, July-December 1898.

View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.

William Lambie Diary, July-December 1897

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, June 1992,
June 1992
Original Images:

July 1. A warm misty morning-working among the potatoes and bugs.

2. Mother brot up Mrs Fletcher and the 4 boys-Put paris green on the vile bugs-90 in the shade.

3. Robert mowed the clover by George Allans-between 90 & 100 in the shade.

4. Mother, Ann, Mary and I went to Church-great heat-Robert & family came-98 in the shade.

5. Warm night-Robert mowed-Will raked-3 men got in 4 loads of Clover hay in the afternoon and helped to cack(?) up hay-a breeze in the afternoon. Robert, Hattie and wee William walked up at night.

6. Fine cool morning-60 at morn-Roberts men drew clover hay into our barn-Went to Mrs. Fletchers for Ann and Mary.

7. Robert drawing clover with 2 teams-Mary picked currents-5 brot up good milk from Roberts at dusk.

8. Ann and Mary went to Bells-about 100 in the shade. Robert raking and drawing hay-have about 50 chickens.

9. Robert has 3 men getting in his good crop of clover hay-still very warm. Mother, Ann, Mary & I went to Azros at 4-Mother stayed-A farmers sermon in the Ypsilantian.

10. Robert has 3 fields of clover hay in the barns-not quite so warm-4 of us went to Azros.

11. Some thunder & rain-cool breezes-a relief from 100 in the shade. 70 today-Frank called then Robert and all his family-a fine shower coming from Church.

12. Robert man mowed went of us-picked currents and wild cherries. A heavy shower in afternoon-Mother went to Bells-shook dry stuff on the potato bugs-some wheat fields into shocks.

13. Cool after teh rain-below 60 at dawn-Robert put Franks beans on the granary and put his reaper in order. Picked gooseberries and cherries-a good shower in the afternoon.

14. Robert reaped wheat till his reaper broke. Will raked-I helped to cack up clover and sprouted potaotes. Hattie and us and Digmans boy picked cherries-Mother took the girls to Bells.

15. Robert reaped by Harries fence-the reaper went out of order and faithful Hattie walked to the foundry at noon and got chains to repair it-had a pleasant ride with Brother to Franks farm-his ripe wheat looked well and he had 3 men helping to get in his 70 loads of hay with more on the field. Bell brot home Ann & Mary.

16. Robert reaped all the wheat on the old farm-set up some shocks-they were heavy and I was very weary-joy in the harvest when the wheat was all in stacks and the good hay in the barn-4 went to Mrs. Fletchers at 4–2 stayed overnight. Robert went to reap for Frank at noon.

17. Robert reaped for Frank-picked cherries. Wee Robert Fletchers birthday-4 of us and 3 of Roberts girls went and had supper at Mrs. Fletchers.

18. Four of us and 3 of Robert girls at Church-good summer breezes.

19. Mother went to Mrs Fletchers and brot her and the 4 boys. Robert helping Frank in his harvest-Ann & Mary went home with Mrs. Fletcher.

20. Mother went to BElls-Robert reaped all FRanks wheat-warm 88-Willie & Bell picked cherries-cut big weeds.

Lambie Diary 1897

21. A morning shower-Robert sold a load of hay to Wilcox. Went to Mrs Fletchers and then to Roberts-little Ann quite sick.

22. Helped Robert to unload 2 loads of hay-Mother and Mrs Fletcher and family went to the sunday school picnic at Uncle Williams.

23. Cool 64 at noon-Joy in harvest-Robert got men to help and got his wheat all in the stack-had a pleasant ride with Brother Robert by the old Moon farm-Ann and Mary went to Bells.

24. Dug some small potaotes-the bugs and dry weather like to spoil the, 4 went to Mrs Fletchers.

25. 4 went to Church-the Minister going away 4 weeks-very warm 92 in the shade.

26. Great Showers and some thunder-Robert brot a grist and his horses run away and vexed us all-rested all day.

27. Clouds and cool breezes-Mother went to Mrs Fletchers with Ann & Mary and then to Bells-Frank and I dined alone. Robert went to reap for poor Norton-Hattie, Mary and Willie came to pick cherries but it was to wet.

28. Invited to Mr & Mrs Leels golden Weding-Went to Mrs. Fletchers for Ann and Mary-Dug small potatoes.

29. Wife and I went to Town-Saw the Eclips on the Sun. Mrs Fletcher & her boys came-had a pleasant visit then she called on Roberts family & Bell wrote lines to Mrs Houelitt.

30. Robert reaped his Oats-the weeds grow faster than I can cut them down-big weeds and small potatoes.

31. Robert reaped his Oats, dug potatoes-Went to Town and Azros.


1. Mr. Goodrich was the Minister-Mrs. Fletcher walked to Church and we went home with her.

2. Wife and I went to Azros, Ann & Mary to the old home. Robert reaped Oats for Frank.

3. Three of Robert girls and their Grandmother started for Port Huron-Brother Robert and I had good ride past Franks farm and the old Backan farm-90 in the shade.

4. A morning breeze-Mary not well-a great thunder shower.

5. Went to Roberts-tried to fill the washout at his gate. Went to Azros-Ann and Mary stayed overnight.

6. Robert reaped the Martins Oats-Wife and I went to Bells then to Mrs Fletchers and Bell came home with us.

7. Robert built an Oat stack-Mother, Mary and I went to Azros.

8. Mr. Goodrich preached-Mrs Fletcher walked to Church and we went home with her.

9. Showers prevented Robert from geting his Oats. Mother went to Bells. A hen came out with 15 chickens-Frank getting his wheat thrashed.

10. Rain last night-To wet to get in Oats-Robert begun to plow for wheat-dug big weed to get some small potatoes.

11. Mother went to Azros fro huckleberries and took them to Bells-Frank and I dine-he had about 480 bushels of wheat. Ann & Mary came home from Uncle Williams.

12. Reminds of the Moors of old Scotland-cool morning 55-Mother and I went to Azros and went to Bells with Ann & Mary.

13. Dug potaotes the wild grass-Brother robert, wife and daughter called amd invited us to dinner-Mother went to Bells for Ann & Mary-50 at morn 83 at noon.

Lambie Diary-1897

14. Mother, Ann, Mary and I had a grand dinner and a delightful visit with Brother Robert and family.

15. Mrs Fletcher walked to church and we went home with her. Gave 2 for a present to Mr Green on his eightieth birthday.

16. Cool breezes-Robert cleaned our barn faloor-Ann & Mary went to Roberts-dug potatoes and weeds.

17. Mrs A CAmpbell & Mrs Fletcher called, Wrote lines to D. B. Green on his eightieth birthday-Cool breezes 46 at dawn-Harvey came with his engin after noon and FRank helped to get men and thrashed the wheat 240 bushels.

18. Harvy thrashed all the Oats before noon-247 bushels-Robert brot the Oats and put them on our barn floor.

19. Mother went to Bells-hoed cabbage-went with Robert to the old home.

20. Mother, Mary, Mrs Feltcher and I called on the Miss Stevens-a pleasant visit.

21. Brother Robert came with paper-Ann came back from Uncle Andrews and came home with us from Azros.

22. Wife, Ann, Mary and I went to Church and Roberts 3 girls.

24. Did not get as good potatoes as I planted.

25. Mother brot up Mrs Fletcher so that Azro and wife could go to see a sick friend.

26. Sent to the Youths Companion and Mr McConchie.

27. Mother brot up Mrs Fletcher and the boys-Bell and Will came and we had a pleasant meeting and a good dinner under the trees. We planted at the old home.

28. Mother went to Mrs Fletchers-Ruben Risley came-Ruben and I went to Mrs Fletchers for Mother.

29. Went to Church-thunderstorm-Frank saw a barnburning.

30. Ruben went away-Robert got the horse to go to Hatties farm.

31. CAlled on Miss Stevenson, Miss Yakley-then we went to Mrs Fletchers the sumer days ended.


1. Mrs Fletcher and the boys came-a great thundershower in afternoon. Brother Robert came.

2. Mother brot up Mrs Fletcher to Bells in the morning-Dug small potatoes-Wrote to Mr Allisen-Robert & family, Bell & Will & Frank came to supper before Ann went away.

3. Went to the Depot with Ann on her way to Elkhart. The railroad garden looked well-Mother, Mary and I went to Church meeting.

4. Robert got the surry for them all to go to Murrys Lake. Mother and Mary went to Azros, dug small potatoes.

5. Sacrament-Mr Green of 4 score waited on us.

6. Robert brot a load of Oats from Hatties farm, George Risley Rubens son took dinner with us on his way to Pontiac.

7. Mother went to Bells then we went to Mrs Fletchers at night. Leah and Minnie went to the Normal.

8. Mother went to Roberts, his man begun to cut corn-very warm 90 in the shade.

9. Mother went to Roberts found him drilling wheat-warm 94 in the shade-after dinner Mother and I went to Azros for Mary.

Lambie Diary-1897

September 10. Went to see Robert drilling wheat-dug poor potatoes. Warm 94 after dinner-read in the shade afternoon.

11. Mother, Mary and I went to Mrs Fletchers-wrote about the Ann Arbor Fair-Brother Robert brot papers.

12. Wet morning-then 3 went to Church-5 of Roberts family made us a barefoot visit.

13. Mother and Mary brot Mrs Fletcher and the boys-Roberts girls went to the Normal.

14. Mother went to BElls-picked grapes-Robert begun to drill west of our barn.

15. Bell, Mary and Roberts girls went to Town. Wife helping Hattie-Robert drilled all the field west of the barn-Mother went to Bells for Mary-92 in the shade.

16. Warm morning, 70 at dawn-Robert got all his wheat drilled before noon-a heavy thundershower in afternoon.

17. The breezes of Autumn 48 at dawn-Cut corn-Received the Courier with a poem on the Fair.

18. Paid Mr Harris $4 for Seat rent till October-Went to Mrs Fletchers.

19. Mother, Mary and I went to Church-Mary went home with Mrs Fletcher.

20. Cold 37 at daylight-Mother went to Bells-Cut corn and picked grapes.

21. 35 at dawn-part of the shingels whit with frost. Went to Mrs Fletchers for Mary.

22. Fine morning-Mother went to Azros for the boys. Mary and I went back with them at night.

23. Mrs W. Campbell and daughter came-I went to Bells for Mother-Stayed at Bells for dinner then they went to Roberts then in Azros and then took the Motor home.

24. Corn about all cut-Robert helping Harry to thrash-Brother Robert and I had a fine ride to Franks farm.

25. Mother, Mary and I went to Town and to Mrs Fletchers.

26. Harvest Festival at Church-decorated with corn and flowers.

27. Mother went to Bells-sold 5 chickens alive for 7 a pound-17 pounds to a meat pedlar-Went to Mrs Fletchers.

28. Trees doning their Atumn splendor-Robert broke the pump then repaired it-grand day-Mary went to Bells with Miss Waterberry.

29. Mrs Fletcher give wee William his first pair of breeks. Went to Roberts for dinner.

30. Robert and all the family went to Ann ARbor Fair.


1. Gathered apples-few good ones under the trees. Mr Dale caught 46 pounds of chickens paid $3.22-Warm-88.

2. Frank has men thrashing clover seed-Robert sold wheat-The clover thrashers came and left their Engin here after dark.

3. Mrs Fletcher came to Church and we went home with her.

4. Robert got his clover seed thrashed-about 6 bushels and Frank 24. Wife and I went to Church meeting about being nearly out of debt and more money wanted.

5. Frank and Robert went to the sale where C Merril used to live.

6. Wife and I went to the home of Mr & Mrs Smith-met good sister Agnes, a day of glee and gladness-a light shower at night to gladden hearts langing for showers of blessings.

Lambie Diary-1897


7. Robert, his wife and Mary went to Mrs Fletchers brother. Robert and wife and daughter called.

8. Harvest Hymn in the Ypsilantian-O for rain and showers of blessings.

9. Went to Mrs Fletchers, Mary and I gathered apples-Robert selling hay.

10. Mother, Mary & I, Mr & Mrs Fletcher and 3 boys at Church.

11. Mother went to Bells-Went to Mrs Fletchers-paid Insurance $10. Longing and praying for rain and the rain came on the dry grass-grass safer from fire and danger thanks to the giver of showers of blessings.

12. Pure breezes after the refreshing rain.

13. Will Martin picking apples.

14. Wife and I went to Belleville to see old Mr Campbell in his 84 years-a pleasant visit, was kindly used-forest trees in golden splender.

15. Very warm-84 in the shade-Robert geting apples before they are stole.

16. Robert and all the family gathered about all the apples. Helped in the forenoon then we went to Mrs Fletchers in the afternoon.

17. Mr & Mrs Fletcher and 3 boys sat before us in Church.

18. Mr Ring helped Mary to clean the house. O for rain and showers of blessing, wrote to old Mrs Samuel Campbell.

19. Mother went to Bells-a good refreshing shower at night.

20. Showers of blessing-Went to the old home and to Mrs Fletchers. Got a letter and $18 for interst from my good friend Robert CAmpbell Were invited in to Mrs Childs home to see her Mother's body but the spirit was gone.

21. Robert selling clover hat at $5 per ton. Robert has 2 colred men and 2 women husking and they laugh louder than anything I have herd this summer.

22. Mother went for Mrs Fletcher and 3 boys and we all went to Roberts for dinner-the forest in atumn splendor-a day of feasting, kindness and mutual joy for 3 generations.

23. Robert put 188 bushels of corn in the crib and paid the shouting huskers.

24. A grand day-Ye are our glory and joy was the text-Robert sung for us at night.

25. Mother went to Roberts to help his wife-planted slips of grapes and currents.

26. Brother John and his wife, sister Agnes and daughter, Wife and I had a grand dinner and were kindly intertained at Brother Roberts in honor of his birthday.

27. Mother went to Bells-Golden October.

28. Planted current slips-Mary walked to Azros.

29. Robert selling Oats-geting ready for winter.

30. Grand day-Mother Mary and I walked to Azros.

31. Mr & Mrs Fletcher and 3 boys with us in Church.


1. Wet night and morning-puting the hen house in order.

2. More rain-Robert not well-Will took the girls to school.

3. Mother, Mary and I enjoyed a pleasant visit at Uncle Williams-Sunshine and kindness.

Lambie Diary-1897


4. Mother went to Roberts-he sold cornstalks to Ring. Mary walked to Azros.

5. Robert got a load of stalks in the stable-wheeled manure to the cuttings in the garden-rain at noon. Went to Town came home in a fair downpur of cald rain.

6. Took dinner with Mrs Fletcher and Mr & Mrs Smith-a grand meterar and mental feast.

7. Wife and I went to Church after the rain-dark day.

8. Bell came and took away Mother and brot Mary-Rexfords men brot 2 tons of coal.

9. Robert set up coal stove-paid Osband $1.65 for the Ypsilantian and Tribune till October 98.

10. Mother and I walked to Town-Robert sold corn to Worden.

11. Mother walked to Roberts-codl showers-Roberts head ached. Mary, Ann and William brot us milk.

12. The first thick ice-wheeled cabbage into cellar.

13. Called on Brother Robert found him quite unwell. John Campbell came and told us the sad tidings that his daughter Susand dress caught fire and burned her so that she died.

14. Mother, Bell, Frank and Robert went to the funeral in the surry. a dark wet day.

15. Mother went to Bells with the Milkman-Mary brot Mother from Bells.

16. 48 years since we were married-Robert & family came-Mrs Fletcher called and brother Robert found him improving.

17. Wheled manure and split wood-very tired and cold and weary.

18. Mother and I went to Azros for Mary.

19. Mild-dug radishes-Robert sold hay-drove to Bells did not find Mary.

20. Like morning in spring-Went to Azros-a golden sunset.

21. A full church-Frank came, Robert and family home in a snow storm.

22. Mrs Fletcher and sons walked to our house-Mother went to Bells-Mary drove Mrs Fletcher and family home in another snow storm.

23. The fields white with snow-Robert selling hay.

24. Mother and Mary wnet to Azros-got a book from Australia.

25. Robert and family had a Thanksgiving dinner with Belle, Mother, Mary and I had a pleasant dinner at Azros-came home in a heavy rain.

26. A wet morning-Robert brot a load of Frank's wood. Banked up the house.

27. Mother & Mary went to Azros-bot overshoes-called at Brother Roberts.

28. Not very cold-A Minister spoke for the Sailers-Azro called and Son Robert.

29. Cold blasts-wrote lines in memory of Duncan Stewart.

30. Mother went to Bells-some snow-Robert drawing corn stalks.


1. More snow-Bell took Mary and the girls to Town.

2. Frank came back from Uncle Andrews-Robert tied cornstalks. Kept the hens shut up and out of the snow-8 above zero.

3. 25 above zero-Robert drew stalks to husk in the barn. Brot Mary and Mrs Campbell-Mother, Mary and I went to church meeting.

4. Dark morning rain & ice-Hattie took Saddy Campbell to the Motor Frank came.

Lambie Diary-1897


5. Sacrament & Mr & Mrs Fletcher went to Church.

7. Thaw & Mild-Mother went to Bells-Mother & Mary went to Azros. Brother Robert weak and weary-called to see him.

8. Mother walked to Roberts-beautiful sunshine, Mary walked to Azros, Robert selling hay.

9. Mr & Mrs Fletcher, Mary & Frank went to a great supper under the Presbyterian.

10. Wife and I called on our good old friends Mr & Mrs Ben Voohees-dark wet day.

11. Wet morning-Mother, Mary and I went to Azros-short dark day.

12. Mr & Mrs Fletcher and 3 boys at Church-Frank came.

13. Anna's birthday-mile-Mother went to Bells-Mary to Roberts.

14. Mother and I called to see brother Robert and he was out-Got a letter from Kate Ingels that her sister, Margaret was very sick.

15. Mild sunshine and muddy roads, Robert brot a load of wood. Mother went to Azros.

16. Breezy morning and sunshine-Mother went home with Robert. Mary walked to Mrs Fletchers.

17. A driving snow storm-a blink of sunshine at night.

18. 2 below zero-rested at home. Mary, Mrs Fletcher and little Robert walked to Church.

19. a White world-pur snow and sunshine-sawed wood in the wood house till I was warm. Mary went to Town with robert.

20. 24 above zero-sawed wood-dark and damp-Robert & Hattie came.

21. Sunshine, Mother went to Bells-Robert and Fox got Azros cider in the cellar. Mother and I went to Mrs Fletchers.

22. Shortest day-Mary & Willie Fletcher walked to Town-9 above zero.

23. Robert sold a load of hay. Belle brot home Mary. Frank came. Mrs Smith from Willis paid Mother $137 he owed her and thanked her for waiting till he was able to pay her.

24. 4 below zero at dawn-Received a box and presents from Sister Agnes. Brother Robert was able to drive up and bring presents.

25. Christmas 28 years since Father died. All the family and the 10 grandchildren enjoyed a grand turkey dinner, and then a Christmas tree, over 20 of us happy and grateful for so many blessings bestowed on us.

26. 20 above zero-Mother and I went in the snow to the Church.

27. Sunshine-Mother went to Bells-Frank came-sawed wood.

28. Bell brot 20 hens-Mother to Azros in morning-Mary and Ann & Mother to Mrs. Fletchers.

29. Mld and snow showers-Roberts brot Ann and Mary home.

30. Mild snow melting-Robert and family went to Town-Have a cold-Received a fine Christmas card from Pearth, Scotland and from the Cowan family.

31. Robert paid the taxes $24-Frank sold a load of hay and put in a new cistern pump-Ann and Mary at Roberts.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, January-June 1898.

View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.

The History of Ypsilanti: A Brief Summary from the Colburn's History

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, March 1992,
March 1992
Original Images:

Long ago our city was a forest. A beautiful river wound among the trees, inviting the deer, wolves and small animals to drink the clean water. The only sounds were the songs of the birds, the rustle and swaying of the wind blown trees, and the speech of the animals.

There came a day when Indians began camping on the river bank. They were walking to a clearing called Detroit. Here they could trade furs for beads and other things they had never seen before.

The Indian tribe called the Hurons, made their homes, from time to time, along the river bank. They were Iroquois who had been driven from Canada. The Potawatomi tribe were Algonquins and since they were friendly with the Huron, they camped nearby. A trial called the Potawatomi Trial reached to Detroit from the place where the Michigan Avenue bridge is today.

The Indians used only things they found in the woods to help with their survival. Their clothing was made from skins and furs. Tools and dishes were made from wood, stone, and bone. They were very good carpenters and, with their stone hatchets, made huts, boats, paddles, bows, arrows, bark baskets bowls and traps. They built lodges by bending young trees together and covering them with bark. Fires were built in the center and the smoke escaped through a hole at the top.

Food was uncertain since they depended upon hunting and fishing and had only crude ways to be successful. The men did the hunting but women and children were kept busy gathering berries and digging up wild roots. Later the women learned that seeds could be planted and corn would grow and could be used for good. Crude tools for planting and harvesting were left and found later in the earth on the south side of the river near where our city is now. This proves that an Indian camp became a village where they stayed for some time.

In 1809 it was a great distance to walk single file to Detroit so the Indians were pleased when a Frenchman named Godfroy built a trading post on the river bank. Indians brought their furs here to trade and the Godfroys sent them across the ocean. One day the trading post burned to the ground.

In 1820 the second post was built. This one was also destroyed by fire but not before the Godfroys and two other Frenchman had bought 2000 acres of land west of our river. The Indians could not understand about land ownership and were surprised when they were asked to move. They had believed that they would continue to live as usual and share the land with the new owners.

In 1823, one spring day some men from Ohio came up the river on flat boats. They were looking for a place to build new homes. These men were brave men who were willing to live in a wilderness without even a path in order to make a clearing and build a log house they could call their own.

Many hugh houses were built near the college site. They added elegance to the area.

A setback occured in 1851. A fire broke out and most of the business places on Michigan Avenue burned. They were soon replaced by better buildings and an iron bridge took the place of the old wooden one across the river. All of this prompted the first fire engine called the Tea Kettle. Fireman pumped the water from cisterns behind each house.

By 1850 there were newspapers and people were traveling from north to south by train. The states in the north learned what was happening in the south. The news stated that black people were called slaves because they were owned by the people for whom they worked. If these slaves could run away and get into Canada they were free. Some people in Ypsilanti sympathized with them and helped to free them.

Many came to Ypsilanti in the night and were hidden and fed until they could be taken further under cover of darkness.

One man took them to the river in a covered wagon with two floors. The top floor was stacked with boxes of cigars which he made for sale, but between the two floors lay the people seeking freedom. When they got to the Detroit River a boat would be waiting to take them to Canada

In 1861 the states in the south decided to leave the Union. President Lincoln called for help to keep the United States together and the men from Ypsilanti were some of the first in the state to offer themselves for service. When this Civil War ended the black men were free and many came to Ypsilanti because the city was anti-slavery.

The East side of the town was unhappy with the West side and decided to leave the town and form one of its own. After many meetings the two sides decided that they needed each other so they united and found that together they could form a city. They elected Mr. Chauncey Joslin the first mayor.

The city bloomed like a garden during the next twenty years. The first Prospect School was built and the cemetery was moved and a park took its place. The ladies club planted trees and bushes and added a pond. A cannon was sent from Maine.

In 1893 a Business School called Cleary College brought many people to the city.

The bicycle had made its appearance so people were meeting more. A streetcar called the Ypsi-Ann was pulled by horses between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

Electricity came in the next ten years and the street-car used it instead of horses to make the wheels turn.

The first electric light was on the porch of the mill on Cross Street.

Beautiful gardens were planted at the depot and small bouquets were presented to the passengers on the train when it stopped in Ypsilanti.

A stone has been marked where Prospect Street and Grove Road meet to show us where Woodruff's Grove was located.

The new road was built by cutting logs and placing them side by side across the trail. The thin logs were placed on high ground and thick ones went on the low wet spots. It was called a corduroy road. A cart or wagon could be heard rattling over the logs for a mile coming or going.

The new road had brought enough people to join the villagers, to form a town. There was a store, a mill, a small school house and a church.

People began buying land for one dollar twenty-five cents an acre. Many homes were built. The materials were nicer and were replacing logs and bark. The Norris family built a large home on the east bank of the river. They drove the first two wheeled carriage in town. A stage coach began carrying people from town to town. Other settlements like Plymouth, and Ann Arbor and Dearbornville had sprung up.

A name for the town was necessary. Judge Woodward from Detroit was asked for advice. The news from across the ocean told about a brave Greek General who won a battle for his country. His name was Demetrius Ypsilanti. The people decided to name the town for him so it has been called Ypsilanti to this day. A statue of the general may be seen where Cross street and Washtenaw Avenue meet.

In 1837 Michigan became large enough to be made a state and to get a star in the flag. Soon after Governor Mason visted Ypsilanti.

The first steam engine was coming to town on the railroad track which had joined us to Detroit.

Wood from the trees had played another important role. Very little iron was used in building the track but first blocks, stringers, ties, sills and wedges, all made from wood, formed the bed for the track. Wood would be used in the engine furnaces to make the steam to drive the wheels.

Nearly all the people had gathered at the track to wait for the first iron horse to come in. History tells us that the Governor walked into town because the engine broke down but surely the monster must have followed, snorting fire and smoke and breathing hard.

There was very little talked about around Ypsilanti, except the “cars”. Everyone knew that a new era had begun for Ypsilanti and Michigan.

A depot was built to receive the passengers from the train. This brought a hotel and some stores to the Cross Street area.

The city cemetery was placed where Prospect Park is now. High School pupils were traveling from the outside and staying at school during the week. A hotel where the Cross Street High School now stands was made into a seminary for these pupils. The sleeping rooms were on the third floor.

In 1849 Ypsilanti was chosed as a site for a State Normal School. This was a great honor for the town. Teachers would be trained here. The students would come from all over the country and would need “rooming houses”.

They found just the right place near our river. They began wearing out the axes they had brought with them. New sounds were made in the stillness, by the heavy blows of these axes as many trees were falling. The ground shook with the force of their fall and the birds and animals fled deeper into the forest.

As soon as the homes were built the men went back to Ohio for their families, furniture and stock. One of the men was Mr. Woodruff.

When the families, especially the wives were introduced to their log homes they were quite unhappy. They found the ground wet and swampy, the homes crude and cold and the forest lonely and scarey. They were also brave and unselfish and began thinking of making the best of their fortune. Detroit was the nearest postoffice. The settlement was named Woodruff's Grove.

This same year (1823) in the fall, Mr. John Bryan and his family came all the way from New York in an ox cart. The last four days of their journey was spent hacking a road through to this area. The BRyans stayed with the people in woodruff's Grove until they finished their log cabin in December. In February a baby boy was born to them. They called him Alpha Washtenaw which meant First in the County.

The next spring these few families planted seeds they had brought with them and soon were enjoying potatoes, squash, beans, and corn from their gardens. The men rode their horses to Detroit and bought a few things like molasses and raisins, Mr. Woodruff would bring their mail home in his hat. Honey from the bees provided sweets, game from the forest and fish from the river furnished their meat. The next year 1824 more people came and brought good seed, currant bushes, rose bushes and small apple trees.

The Woodruff's were kind to the new neighbors who were tired and homesick. Mr. Woodruff decided that everyone who had survived the move to this part of Michigan should meet and celebrate. He planned a picnic for July Fourth, when Independence Day is celebrated.

This time, he took the flat boat to Detroit and brought back barrels of food. The ladies cooked over fires in the yard.

Thirty-eight people were living in Washtenaw County and they were all invited. It have been something like the first Thanksgiving.

Ond day in June in 1825 an exciting thing happened. Some men came to measure land. They were trying to find the best place to make a road between Detroit and places west of it. Many people wanted to come to Michigan to build homes and the soldiers needed roads to protect the people.

The surveyors knew about the old trail and they decided to build the new road over it.

The people at Woodruff's Grove were very happy about the road but they were sorry it did not go through their village. Soon they joined the people who were planning a new village where the trail crossed the river.

In 1893 Ypsilanti had another set back. A cyclone either damaged or destroyed most of the business places. Luckily not one was killed. The buildings had to be rebuilt and by 1900 the city looked much like it does today except for the horses and carriages that drove up and down every street and were tied in front of the shops while the owners were inside.

1900 brought the invention of the first automobile. Miss Woodward drove one of the first cars in Ypsilanti. It was a Covert Motorette. The horses snorted, reared, and ran out of control whenever they met one of the contraptions.

The car demanded a change from rough roads. Cross street was the first paved street. Michigan Avenue was bricked so the dirt road was only on the side streets and in the country.

By 1904 Ypsilanti had its first Beyer Hospital, a daily newspaper, 126 street lights, 10 churches, 15 shops and 3 parks. 7587 people lived here and 993 students came to college.

In 1905 a three day reunion was held and 1000 people came back to visit. There were ballon ascensions, parties, band concerts and parades.

The United States had entered a World War in 1914 but by 1920 it was over. An American Legion Post was formed in Ypsilanti. Its members were men who had fought in the war. Another Club called the Chamber of Commerce was working to make Ypsilanti a successful business place.

These organizations united to furnish the best of parades and carnivals. People came from all over the state to see the American Legion Parade on the Fourth of July.

Almost every family had some sort of an automobile and the horse and carriage was disappearing on the streets.

The airplane had been invented and used during the war but one was seldom seen over Ypsilanti.

The Normal was educating teachers from the entire country. A six weeks summer course plus a teacher's examination made a high school graduate into a teacher. A two year course made one a teacher for life. Since graduates wore a cap and gown, Ypsilanti adopted a Town and Gown slogan.

Twenty years of peace then another world war in 1941 found us joining up. Airplanes were quite a common thing by this time and were used to do the greatest damage in battles because they dropped bombs on targets.

A mammoth building and airfield were added just outside of Ypsilanti and bombers were built there.

It seemed like the whole United States moved to Ypsilanti. The big houses were divided into apartments. A whole village called Willow Village was built near the Bomber Plant and homes were built in groups called subdivisions.

New Schools, churches, eating places and Business were added to care for the new neighbors.

When the war ended and the Bomber plant closed the people stayed because the airway became Willow Run Airport and our sky was filled with passenger planes. Kaiser Fraser made automobiles in the factory and later General Motors made auto parts. Ypsilanti had become industrial so the slogan became Where Commerce and Education Meet.

The Normal had grown from a College to Eastern Michigan University.

So much has happened since this metropolis was a dense forest with a winding river we tend to forget the early days.

To prevent this, The Ypsilanti Historical Society has been formed in Ypsilanti.

Interested citizens have furnished a Museum near where the first settlements stood.

When you visit this Museum each picture, early furnishing, articles of clothing or other objects from a former era should remind you of a story in these pages.

The memories of the days gone by should be remembered and told to our children, grandchildren and our great grandchildren so they will be aware of the changes that have taken place and what will take place in years to come.


Syndicate content