Smith County, Texas

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Diary Entries
Joseph Robert McKay (1852 - 1943)

Transcription Notes: The following entries were transcribed from a diary kept by Joseph R. McKay on a trip he took in 1883 from his home in Smith County, Texas to Carter's Creek, Tennessee. The original diary, in very poor shape, was found by one of his descendants, Byrd Carroll McKay (1912 - 1987) whose brother, Jesse Speed McKay (1932 - ) forwarded a typewritten transcription to Aubrey Stamps, who in turn sent me the typed version. In the following paragraphs, I have attempted to clarify the various relationships mentioned, as well as omitting some words or passages that are either meaningless or unidentifiable. (Any words, names or phrases italicized and/or in parentheses are notes made by this writer, J.P. Childress.) All the names identified in italics herein are included in this writer's family tree data and may be researched according to name and birth date at the following Internet website: J. P. Childress
Sugar Land, Texas
April 2001

Byrd Carroll McKay's Note: "This diary was found in a storeroom during a search by Beth McKay Howell, Aunt Janie (Jesse Speed McKay's aunt Martha Janie McKay, 1877 - 1969) and me, it is in faded and torn condition."

My thanks to Byrd's brother, Jesse Speed McKay, for allowing me to transcribe the diary once again and to use the resultant updated work in my genealogy studies. Also thanks to Aubrey Stamps who forwarded the work undertaken by Jesse Speed McKay.


Uncle Claibe's (his uncle, Eleazer Claiborne Overton, 1812 - 1903) family his wife Susan, Alice, Steve, Robert, Claibe, Walter, Margaret, Emma, John, Alice has two children, Buford and Susan. (Eleazer C. Overton's brother, Samuel E. Overton, was a physician in Smith County and served as Robert McKay's family doctor. Click here for an in-depth article covering Dr. Sam Overton's medical ledgers.)

May 31, 1883 (Thursday)
Arrived at Carters Creek in the evening about 6 o'clock. I met Uncle Rich McKay (his uncle Richard A. McKay, 1819 - 1898). Went over to his house (met) his wife Aunt Jane (his uncle's wife Eliza Jane Jennings, born about 1820) and daughter Sally, sons Tom and …

June 1 (Friday)
Went to the (railroad) station and wrote Dona (his wife Margaret Fredonia Cross, 1855 - 1892) and Harvey (his brother Harvey James McKay, 1838 - 1903) cards. Met cousin Jeff McKay, Emily's brother. Uncle William E. McKay (I don't recognize this name, perhaps he meant William M. McKay, born 1810) children also and cousin Tom McMeen, also several not any kin…In the evening Aunt N. (his aunt, Nancy McKay, born 1815), Cousin E. (perhaps his first cousin Emma Overton, born 1873) and I went to Elic McKay's (perhaps his first cousin Alexander McKay, born circa 1852) met his wife and daughter, Coris and Annie Lou. Spent the night.

June 2 (Saturday)
Spent the day at Dr. Hills met his brother Lang. Aunt Pollie's (probably his aunt Mary McKay, born about 1818), sons. Went to cousin Jeff's with Aunt N. and cousin E. came back to Uncle Richard house…I went to Aunt N. (and) met cousin John McMeen, his wife Harriet, one son Charlie, spent the night.

June 3 (Sunday)
Spent the day at Aunt N's met second cousin, Johnnie McMeen, also Tom.

June 4 (Monday)
Aunt N. and I spent the day at C.M. Jimmison's, met her husband.

June 5 (Tuesday)
Aunt Nancy, Cousin Emma, Dr. Hill's wife and I went to Aunt Pollie's had a nice ride, passed through Columbia (and) arrived at Aunt P. by 12 o'clock, met her son Elic (Alexander?), his wife Dolly, daughter Lizzie, have met several not kin. Have enjoyed myself fine up to table and had all to eat that the appetite can call for.

June 6 (Wednesday)
Still at Aunt P.

June 7 (Thursday)
Left Aunt P. stopped at Columbia, met cousins R.M. McKay (his cousin Robert Martin McKay, born 1852) and his brother Ashley (Ashley J. McKay, born after 1852). Got back to the Station in the evening and met cousin Jim McKay (probably his cousin William M. McKay, born 1810). From there to Aunt Nancy's. Left Aunt N. for Uncle Claib's. Stopped at Cousin Annie Kenard, Uncle R., got to Uncle C. and met the family, also Alice, his married daughter (his first cousin Alice Jane Overton Moore, born 1857). His children are named as follows: Alice Stevens 27 (note: I do not show Alice marrying a Stevens, so perhaps she remarried a Stevens, or perhaps this is a typographical error and the original manuscript reflected Alice, then Steven, 27), Robert 28, Claiborn 19, Walter 16, Margaret 13, Emma 11, Johnie 8.

June 10 (Sunday)
It rained nearly all day, had to stay at Uncle Claib's.

June 11 (Monday)
I feel tolerably well this morning, went to Station and Uncle R. back to Uncle C's then to Cousin Alfred's (his third cousin Alfred Jones Lane, 1848 - 1921), arrived there about night.

June 12 (Tuesday)
Alright this morning, except my eyes are sore. Went to Louisburg with Cousin Alfred, Alice, Mrs. Seeton and Mrs. Holt and the children. Drove 12 miles back in the evening caught in the rain.

June 13 (Wednesday)
Feel pretty good this morning, all except my eyes. Stayed indoors all day except awhile in the morning, went squirrel hunting and killed one.

June 14 (Thursday)
Still at Cousin Alfred's went to Chapel Hill in the evening and returned did not get any mail.

June 15 (Friday)
Left Alfred's in the morning and got to Uncle Claibe's by two o'clock, stayed there awhile and then went to Uncle Rich's and to the P.O.

June 16 (Saturday)
Went about half way back to Uncle C's to turn his horse loose then back to Bob Lockerage's (probably related to Rebecca Lockridge, 1835 - 1910, who was the wife of Joseph McKay's uncle, James Overton, 1823 - 1899) to see a self-binding reaper, then back to Uncle R's and remained all day. Have not felt well at all today.

June 17 (Sunday)
To church this morning, feel better, back to Uncle R's for dinner, Robert, Anna and Ashley were at home. Went to Cousin Jeff's for supper, from there to Aunt N's got there by ten o'clock.

June 18 (Monday)
Aunt Nancy and I went to Cousin Lou Roundtree's and spent the day, met her children Georgia, Nichol, Lee Tillus Roundtree, back to Aunt N's. Georgia is going with us, she is 20 and splendid girl.

June 19 (Tuesday)
Remained at Aunt N. till eve, then went to the Station. No letter - disappointed. Returned to Aunt N.

June 20 (Wednesday)
Aunt N. and I went to Cousin Martha Fitzgerald's, she has four children Ida, Walter, Spencer and Abb. All with four names each. A nice family - stayed all night. (I don't have this family in my family tree database. However, Lena Drucilla Overton (1872 - 1953) married Walter Fitzgerald (1870 - 1943) in 1895. This Walter could have been the child mentioned above.)

June 21 (Thursday)
In the evening we went to Cousin Nan Fitzgerald and stayed all night. Cousin Mat went with us. Cousin Nan has two children, one boy and one girl. William 22 or 23 and Eugenia 13. Cousin Mary Young and one of her daughters Olivia came and spent the night - well pleased with all.

June 22 (Friday)
We went home with cousin Mary and Cousin Nan (Sis) went with us and stayed all day. Cousin Mary has five children; four girls and one boy. Maggie, Lizzie, Olivia, Angeline and Henry. All three of the girls are grown. And a nice family all of them.

June 23 (Saturday)
Came back to Aunt N. and Cousin Mary's oldest (Maggie) with us. Was happy to find a letter here from Dona. Found Cousin John's wife sick, had a pleasant visit and enjoyed myself as well as could be expected. Wrote a letter to Dona and one to Harvey. Remained at Aunt N., got a card from D. in the evening by Cousin John.

June 24 (Sunday)
Still at Aunt N. Don't feel as well this morning. Old Cousin Abb McM. (probably his first cousin, once removed, Abdon Alexander McMeen, 1816 - 1883. See entry on August 2 for explanation of Abb's demise.) and granddaughter came, also Cousin Frank McMeen. I remain at Aunt N. awhile after dinner then to Cousin Mary Jemison's with second cousins Maggie Young, remained all night.

June 25 (Monday)
Don't feel well this morning. Cousin Mag has sent word to one of her neighbors to come over who is very anxious to see me. Mrs. Gooch came, was very pleased with her. Went back to Aunt N.

June 26 (Tuesday)
Still at Aunt N. Cousin Lizzie Young and Genia Fitzgerald came. I fixed the machine for them and cut some weeds off the yard.

June 27 (Wednesday)
Still at Aunt N. Went with Cousin John to help him grind some mowing blades, watched him cut clover awhile then went with him after a sow and pigs. Cousins Lizzie and Genia and I started to Cousin Franks, met Cousin Ida and took her with us, spent the night. F. has two children, Maggie and Mary Lou, his wife's name is Belle, enjoyed my visit.

June 28 (Thursday)
Returned to Aunt N. with the girls. Cousin Ida went home, hemmed pillowcase for cousin Lizzie. Aunt Nancy and Gena has gone to store. Charley brought me a letter from Harvey. Helped Cousin John with his rake, held a young mule while he sheared it, went to the creek to wash and fell in. Come to the station, Charley carried my horse back. Got a letter from Dona, went to Uncle R's and stayed all night, found all well.

June 29 (Friday)
Feel pretty well this morning, have come in here to write. Wrote to Dona and Harvey mailed letters and went to Cousin Jim's room and shaved. Back to R. for dinner went to office to sleep, but put in the time reading. Cousin Sallie came down to get me to go with her and Miss Bettie Nichol after some plums. We went, Cousin Emily with us, as far as Cousin Jeff's then we went to Grand P's (probably his paternal grandfather, Alexander McKay, 1776 - 1870) old place, got a few plums then back. I stopped for the night at Cousin Jeff's. Cousin Sally and Betty went home.

June 30 (Saturday)
I helped cousin Jeff put a strand of wire on the fence to keep cows out then he and I took a long walk over to Grand Pa's old place. Felt bad in the eve. Went up to the Sta. and kept getting worse. Came back to Cousin Jeff, had a first class spell of Cholera morbis, was sick for awhile, went in to go to bed early, had a lively time catching fleas, rested tolerably well all night.

July 1 (Sunday)
Feel some better this morning. Went (to) Uncle R. with Cousin Emily, dressed to go to church, but did not feel like going, lay around all day. Cousin Cam (probably his first cousin, Cameron H. McKay, born after 1852) and wife came for dinner, the first time I had met Cousin Anne (perhaps his first cousin and sister to Cameron, Anna McKay, born after 1852).

July 2 (Monday)
Felt bad all day, in bed most of the time, sharpened Aunt Jane's scissors.

July 3 (Tuesday)
Cousin Sallie and I went to Cousin Alex McKay and spent the day. I felt tolerably well all day. In the evening, we went from Cousin Alex to Cousin Anna Kinnard's and spent the night.

July 4 (Wednesday)
Returned to Uncle R.'s with Sallie, after dinner Tommy and I took the gun and went up in the grove and shot at a spot. Shot 25 or 26 times, from there we went to Jo Foster's field, where Billy Moor and Uncle Claib's boys were running a thrasher, then from there back to Uncle R.'s with Tom and Finis, then over to the station. Come up a rain and kept us for some time, was disappointed at not getting a letter, wrote a card to Dona, come over to Uncle R.'s and got my slicker for Cousin John to wear home.

July 5 (Thursday)
Aimed to go to Uncle Claibe's today, but backed out after Uncle R. told me I could (not?) get a horse, have not been refused a horse since I have been here, only have to say I want to go anywhere and there is a horse bridled and saddled for me. I have enjoyed myself fine all the time, have some lively times teasing Cousin Sallie. She enjoys it and I can't make anything off her, she is right smart and lively too. Uncle R. asked me did I want to ride about today with him as he was going off, but I declined as I thought it would be hot and he said I acted wise. Cousin Georgia came over to Uncle R.'s to see and Bettie Nichol with her, had a lively time. Cam's wife came down, brought some nice plums. Robert came out and stayed all night.

July 6 (Friday)
Went up to Aunt N's in the wagon that was hauling wheat to the Sta. Aunt N. was not at home. I missed her but enjoyed myself pretty well helping Cousin John's wife fix dinner for the thrashing hands, about 30 eat dinner. Helped load and unload two or three wagons.

July 7 (Saturday)
Went over to Mr. Porter's where they were thrashing and stayed awhile. Cousin John brought me a letter from Dona, was pretty restless for some time. Wrote D. a card, went to the thrasher with Cousin J. after dinner, then part of the way to the Sta., then over to Cousin Mag to see Aunt N., found all well and they would have me and Aunt N. to stay all night.

July 8 (Sunday)
Went back home with Aunt N. Blacked my shoes and read awhile, then went to sleep. Heard Aunt N. after a chicken and got up and caught it. Cousins Johnnie Mc. And Lankston Hill came up, also Tom McM.; also Ben Gary, a third cousin. Went to the Sta. With Lank and Johnie. Cousin John would not trust them with horses for fear they would drive too hard. Rain before we returned.

July 9 (Monday)
Went to the station with Aunt N. She was going to see Dr. Hill's wife, went over to Uncle R. to see him run a saw by horse power, went back to Dr. Hill's and rode Aunt N.'s mare over to Uncle R. and put her in the lot then back to Dr. H., then to the P.O. then to Dr. H. then up to Cousin John, found his hog on the way and drove him home.

July 10 (Tuesday)
Went to Cousin Mat to stay all day. In the evening cousin Mat, her daughter Ida, son Abb., Cousin Nan, daughter Gena and myself went to the springs (sulphur) for a pleasure trip. Had a nice time, and enjoyed the trip and company splendid. Returned to Cousin Mat's awhile before sundown. Stopped on the way and ate some B. berries, stayed all night at Cousin M. Cousin N.'s son and nephew came up and stayed all night, all enjoyed a joke Cousin Mat told on Billie.

July 11 (Wednesday)
Cousin Mat and I went to Cousin Lou's and spent the day. Went to Aunt N. in the evening, found Cousin Mary Young and daughter there. Got a card from Dona. Aunt N. brought it from the Sta.

July 12 (Thursday)
Still at Aunt N., wrote one letter to Harvey and one to Nannie (probably his sister, Nancy Alcina Jackson McKay Wilson, born 1857). Cousin had a bee tree cut, I was to rob it for him but there was not any honey in it, had some fun running from the bees.

July 13 (Friday)
Stayed at Aunt N.'s all day. Knocked around the house some, fixed a coffee pot handle on, went off with the gun awhile but did not kill anything but a bee martin.

July 14 (Saturday)
Went to the station, found a letter from Dona. Wrote her a card, went to Dr. Hill's to see Aunt Pollie then home with Aunt Jane, took dinner, then wrote a letter to Dona. Jawed (with?) Aunt Jane, Cousin Emily and Sallie awhile, helped Cousin Alex Hill catch his mules, then caught my mare, went to station then to Dr. Hill's, then to sta. to hitch up a horse of a Lad that came to see the Dr.'s wife. Bought Aunt N. some lamp chimneys, got some stamps, tob. (tobacco?) and envelopes. Waited for the train to come in, got a card from Dona and answered it. Then came back to Aunt Nancy's.

July 15 (Sunday)
Went to creek and washed, came back and put on clean shirt, got Aunt N. to tack up my sleeves, they are too long, counted up Aunt N.'s son's age, looked over the name and birth and marriages of Aunt Betsy children. Went and helped Cousin John with the horses. He and I went to Cousin Frank's, they were about starting to Cousin Ben Gary's (probably related to John W. Gary, 1825 - 1884, the husband of his first cousin once removed, Eliza Jane Graham, 1828 - 1897). We went with them and spent the day, then back to Aunt N.

July 16 (Monday)
Helped Cousin John catch a young mule, then caught Aunt N.'s mare and saddled it for her to go somewhere, then made Mag's boys a whip, then slept awhile then took dinner. Then, cut Cousin John some bridle reins and sewed them on. Mended another bridle, then come in to post up my book and Cousin John let the boy give me some pencil points to write John a letter.

July 17 (Tuesday)
Went with Aunt N. to Dr. Hill's and drove the buggy, was at Uncle Rich's two or three times during the day. Helped Cousin Anna and Aunt Jane across the creek, carried Cousin A.'s babe to Aunt Jane's for her. Went to Sta. to hear from Dona, got a card and answered it. Then back home with Aunt Nancy.

July 18 (Wednesday)
Put some legs in a bench to wash on, fixed two chick coops, then made a battle bench and stick for Aunt Nancy, come in and got a shirt for Aunt N. to sew up the B Holes (?). Went to sleep and slept till dinner. Eat dinner, read a little in the p.m., went and hunted a guinea nest, went to barn to (?) fleas and tried to go to sleep. Cousin John and I went to Cousin Mag's. I stayed all night.

July 19 (Thursday)
Got Clarence's horse to ride to Uncle Claib's, stopped at the sta. and got a letter from Dona and answered it, went to Uncle Claib's after dinner, went to Cousin Alice Moor's then back to Uncle Claib's and stayed all night.

July 20 (Friday)
Started to Uncle Jim Overton's (his uncle, James Jefferson Overton, 1823 - 1899), but got out of the notion and went back to sta., got a letter from Harvey and wrote him a card then back to cousin Mag's to eat dinner, cut Johnie's hair, went to sleep. Mr. Gooch came over to Cousin Mag's and stayed until nearly night, right smart talker, went to Aunt Nancy and stayed all night. Sampled Cousin M.'s wine and it was fine.

July 21 (Saturday)
Got Cousin John's little boy to go over to Cousin Mag's and get me a horse to ride to Snow Creek. Stopped awhile at Cousin Mat's, went on to Cousin Nan's, stopped just before I got there and cleaned out a spring to get some water, said to be very cold, found it to be so, then went on to Cousin Nan's. Cousin Maggie Young was there, Cousin Nan brought me out some apples then I went out and got some fine plums, Gena brought me her picture and gave it to me. Eat dinner, spent a pleasant evening and all night.

July 22 (Sunday)
Cousin Nana and I went to Cousin Mary's Cousin Maggie, Lizzie, Gena and Henry went to church, I stayed with the old folks. Cousin Lizzie's fellow came home with her, a very good-looking fellow name Rich. Have enjoyed myself fine with all of Pa's kin I have met and like them fine. Remained all night at Cousin Mary's. Spent a pleasant evening. Cousin Ana and Gena went home.

July 23 (Monday)
Mr. Young and two of his daughters, Maggie and Lizzie, came up with me as far as Cousin Mag's. Wrote a card to Dona and got Mr. Young to take it to the office. Cousin Mag made me a present of a (?), enough to make me a pair of pants. Went over to Aunt Nancy's, got ready and went to church and heard a Campbellite for the first time. Then went home with Cousin John Alexander (Ma's cousin) (his first cousin, once removed, John Campbell Alexander, 1824 - 1892) for dinner, met some of his children, has several married, but one of his son's name is Ross. Then went to the Sta. Uncle Rich and Dr. Hill. Wrote to Dona then back to church, got Mr. Jamison to take his horse home and I went to Aunt N. with Tommy McMeen and stayed all night. Got a letter from Dona.

July 24 (Tuesday)
Helped Aunt N. churn, feel bad this morn, layed down awhile. Cousins Maggie and Lizzie Young came over to spend the day, after they had been here awhile, Cousin Ida Fitzgerald came, so I have company today and enjoyed it. The girls went home, I went to the Sta. got a letter from Dona and wrote she and Harvey a card, come back to Aunt Nancy and stayed all night.

July 25 (Wednesday)
Helped Cousin John shell some corn then fixed a chest drawer for Aunt Nancy. Don't feel very well this morning, nor have not for three or four days. Went upstairs and went to sleep, got and eat my dinner, then hunted for and found a guinea nest, had thirty five eggs in it, sit around awhile, helped take some things out of the wagon and helped Cousin John put his corn sheller up and see how it (worked?). Cousin John, Tom and (?) went to church. I did not feel like going and stayed with the women. Tommie brought me a letter home with Lang Hill, brought it out to church from the Sta.

July 26 (Thursday)
Got up feeling bad, eat breakfast though, then helped Cousin John with a hog. I done the roping and used the knife, he was a large one, took five of us. Then I wrote a letter to Dona and went to the Sta. to register it. Cousin John let me have $10.00. Stopped and talked to Aunt Pollie awhile then went over to Uncle Riches. Talked with Aunt Jane, Cousin Emily and Bettie Nichol awhile, then went back to Sta., got a bonnet for Aunt N., her paper, then back to her house. They have company, Mr. Gordon and his daughter Mrs. McMeen (Cousin John's stepmother), Abb McMeen's wife, and have just finished dinner and feel better than I have today. Went off down to an old house and went to sleep awhile. Looked over my book, cut off my toe nails, smoked (?), went back to the house and stayed awhile then went to the creek and washed, climbed a tree, and made a cat jump out, Cousin John and boys were with me.

July 27 (Friday)
Helped Cousin John shell corn, fixed a place for the cobs, came to the house awhile before night and shaved and put on a clean shirt, eat supper and went to church. Spoke to Mr. Jameson for a horse to the Sta. to go with Aunt Nancy, went back to Aunt N. and stayed all night.

July 28 (Saturday)
Got (?) to go to Mr. Jameson for a horse to work. I greased the buggy. Waited awhile for (?) to come with the mule, hitched up and waited awhile for Mrs. Carolina McMeen to go to the Sta. with us. Went to Dr. Hill's with Aunt Nancy, then I went to Uncle R. for dinner and put the horses up, went back to the Dr.'s and then to the Sta., then to the Dr.'s then to Uncle R.'s and (?) the horses and got Cousins Emily and Sallie to go to the depot with me. The train was on time and I met Dona and the children on (?), all were wearied and looked bad. We went to Dr. Hill's where Aunt N. and Sallie were waiting to see us, staid awhile, then I got the buggy and horses and drove over to the Dr.'s for Aunt N. Dona and children then rolled out for Aunt N.'s and stayed the night after Dona came.

July 29 (Sunday)
Spent the day with Aunt Nancy, Cousin Frank and family came and several others for dinner. I stayed with Dona and the rest of the women and the rest of the men went to church.

July 30 (Monday)
Helped Cousin John shell corn till he went to the Sta. and back with one load, then I went with one and back by twelve. Cousin Lou Roundtree and youngest daughter came over to spend the day, Cousin Mag came in the evening. Dona seems to enjoy herself with all the kin she has met and has expressed herself that she would love to live in this neighborhood so she would be near them all. I am well pleased with the kin I have met and never will forget the good treatment and kindness they have shown me and my family. Helped with the work awhile, put Cousin John's male cow in the pasture.

July 31 (Tuesday)
It is raining this morning; helped to get off a load of corn, helped shell some corn, made a fire in Aunt Nancy's room. Dona and Noble (his son, John Noble McKay, 1882 - 1971) are improving, stayed about the house all day with Dona and the children, rained all day.

August 1 (Wednesday)
Raining this morning, all able to be about, I was up with children several times last night and went off to the barn and went to sleep, went out and got some peaches, then eat dinner. Am about the house to help Dona with the children all I can. It has been raining off and on all day. The children all went to sleep today. I wrote Harvey a letter. Rained all eve. Charley Roundtree came by and told us Cousin Abb. McMeen was dead (Uncle Bill's brother). He fell from a barn loft and hurt himself Monday. Died Wednesday eve about 3 o'clock on 1st of August. Rained, thundered and lightened all night.

August 2 (Thursday)
Raining this morning, all up and about. Noble was fretful last night but is at play this morning. I was helping Willy move a wash pot and took pain in my back or took a catching pain in my back and have been scarcely able to move all day with hollering (?) in bed most all day.

August 3 (Friday)
Found a bee tree today. No better this morning, all the rest seems well, will have to lie down again, have taken three doses of spirits of turpentine and bathed my back with some, but it don't seem to relieve me much. Have been in bed most all day, feel better this eve, got a letter from Harvey and one from John. Cousin John got in from the burial of his Uncle in Hickman Co.

August 4 (Saturday)
All well this morn, but me and I am some better. Aunt N. is complaining some today, I have been getting better all day, took the children off to play to let Aunt N. and Dona sleep, went to look after Cousin John's new mule, then went after bucket water, knocked around the house some.

August 5 (Sunday)
Got ready and went to cousin Mag's and Aunt Nancy with us. Met Mr. Young on the pike going over to aunt N., but turned back and went back to Cousin Mag with us, had a tip top dinner. My ride wearied me and I had to like down awhile, spent a pleasant day. Aunt Nancy went back home, Dona and I remaining all night, went out and looked at the stock while Cousin Mag was milking. She says she wished I could draw a picture so I could draw hers now while she is milking, to take to Harvey.

August 6 (Monday)
Got up better this morning, all of us are improving. Noble was very fretful last night, but don't seem to be sick. Mr. J. and Clarence have gone to the hill after rails. I will go to the P.O. I went to the office, got a card for Dona, mailed a letter to Harvey, got some cloth and floss for Dona to work some pillow cases, cousin Mag gave her enough cloth for one pair and floss to work two, stopped at Uncle Riches and remained awhile, then went to sta. Cousin Jim sent the children some candy, stopped at Uncle R.'s and helped eat a watermelon, the first this year. Cousin Emily is not well, has a very bad cough, then back to Cousin Mag's, ate another good dinner and went down to the buggy and went to sleep. When I got back to the house Aunt Nancy and Mrs. Gooch had come. Spent a pleasant evening. My back seems to be better, but hurts yet.

August 7 (Tuesday)
Was sick last night, got up tolerably early to get off to Cousin Mary's, Mr. Jameson (likely related to his uncle John Franklin Overton's first wife, Mary Jane Jameson, 1822 - 1849) let us have two horses to the buggy, and he put two to the wagon till he got to where his lumber was and he went on to Cousin Mary's to take our two back to haul lumber. Aunt Nancy went with us, found all up, Cousin Maggie is not very well, the trip wearied Aunt N. and I both. Maggie and Livia got me two sheep skins and a pillow and layed down and felt better. Mr. Young went off to rake up some hay, all seem glad to see us. My back has hurt me pretty bad all day, have been laying down most of the time, helped eat some melons and spent a pleasant evening.

August 8 (Wednesday)
I don't feel as well this morning, my back is worse today than it has been for several days. Dona and the children are still improving. Noble has taken up with two of the cousins, Mary's girls, more than he has with any one since we have been here. Mr. Young has not been well. Today (he) has been lying down most of the evening. I have been in bed nearly all day. Spent the day very pleasant to be as poorly as I am. Dona and chaps enjoy their visit splendid. Has been the coolest weather I ever felt for the time of year, fire in the house felt pleasant night and morning. Georgia Michael came in the evening and stayed all night.

August 9 (Thursday)
Mr. Young caught up the horse and mule for us to work to Cousin Nan's. He and Henry went with us to take the horses back. Cousin (illegible verbiage in transcript)…to stay all day. I arrived at Cousin Nan's, found her complaining but up, all seem glad to see us. I was (illegible verbiage in transcript)…I got there, layed down till near dinner time, got up then and ate a splendid dinner and walked round a while, felt better than I did in the morning. Mr. Young and family showed us great kindness while there and he came over to Cousin Nan's after dinner on business, bid us affectionate farewell when he started. Spent a pleasant evening.

August 10 (Friday)
Raining this morning, aimed to go to Cousin Mat's, but waited till after dinner, Georgia Michael came by going home, Cousin Maggie went home this morning, Dona and chaps are all right and I am better, have been laying down some. Been to the apple orchard…two eat dinner feel better. All beg us to stay longer but we guess we will go to Cousin Mat's this evening. Arrived at Cousin Mat's after a rough ride for three miles, found all well. Billy Fitzgerald went with us to take the horses back, Aunt Nancy and Dona were pretty smartly wearied when we got to Cousin Mat's. Morgan had been to town and got a new stove left on piece.

August 11 (Saturday)
All up this morning, Noble was not well last night, but better this morning. I feel better than for several mornings. Dona expresses herself as thinking a great deal of all of the kin she had met, thinks she never was with cleverer people and I Know I never was. Remained at Cousin Mat's till after dinner. Had a splendid dinner, caught up the horses and put out to Aunt Nancy's. Aunt N. went horseback on acct. of the road being rough, got to Aunt N.'s safe. We went from Aunt Nancy's to Cousin Mag's last Sunday to work Cousin John's horses. Tuesday worked (perhaps this should be "walked") Mr. Jamison's horses to Mr. Young, Thursday we worked Mr. Young's horses to Cousin Nan's. Friday worked their horses to Cousin Mat's and Saturday we worked their horses to Aunt Nancy's. Stood the trip fine and enjoyed ourselves fine and never was treated better, found a letter from sister Nannie at Aunt Nancy's. Wrote a letter to Nanny. Cousin Mag sent Dona and children's clothes home she kept to wash.

August 12 (Sunday)
Dona is not well this morning, but up and about. All the rest seem better, I went out to help drive some horses in the stable, Cousin John and I then walked out to look at a bee tree I had found. Came back and put on a clean shirt and then went to sleep and slept till nearly dinner. Dona slept awhile before dinner. I don't feel the best in the world, lay around the house all evening, have taken mighty bad cold so has Dona and the children.

August 13 (Monday)
Don't feel any better this morning, Aunt Nancy is complaining a good deal, but up. Dona is ironing, children are all at play and seem to enjoy themselves fine. I took a long walk after Aunt Nancy's turkeys, found them and drove them home but they did not stay. Met Mr. Jameson as I came back. He told (me) when I wanted a team to come over, took a walk over in the field where ? was plowing, came back and went to bed. Ate dinner, two of Cousin Harriet's nephews came in (name Cook) sat around awhile, then caught Nate and drove Kit up to Uncle R. Cousin John with us to take the buggy and horses back, arrived at Uncle R.'s safe, found Tommie suffering a great deal with a felon (?) on his finger. Dr. Hill came over and split it open, he rested very well last night, for the first in several, all the rest are well.

August 14 (Tuesday)
All well this morning except colds, all of us have very bad colds. Sallie is going to town today, I lay around all day after I got back from the P.O. Have been pretty poorly with my back and cold. Janie (his daughter, Martha Janie McKay, 1877 - 1969) has a cold too. All ate a nice watermelon, Dona ironed, Cousin Emily fluted, Dona's dresses, looked nice.

August 15 (Wednesday)
Got up feeling bad, don't know hardly whether to start home tomorrow or not, failed to get conveyance to Aunt Pollie's, went to Aunt Nancy's after our trunks. Came up a hard rain and detained me. Aunt N. gave me a dollar to buy some things for the children on the way home. She was greatly affected when I left her, I was so sorry for her. I met Ida, Spencer, Abb. And Gena Fitzgerald and Lu Roundtree and told them goodbye, got back to Uncle Riches before night, ate supper and then helped Dona with the trunks. Aunt Jane, Cousin Emily and Finis (perhaps his brother, Samuel Finis Ewing McKay, 1854 - 1928) were present at the packing of our trunks, had several big laughs. Aunt Jane and Cousin Emily gave Janie some presents, got ready to go to bed.

August 16 (Thursday)
Got Finis to go up to Aunt N. after something I left. All of Uncle Rich's folks helped us off, Uncle R. took the trunks to the depot and sent Finis back after us. Cousin Emily, Sallie, Tom McMeen, Finis and Uncle Rich were at the train when we got on, also Lank. Hill is agent. Uncle R. made me a present of a nice felt hat. Took the train at Carter's Creek at 9:46 A.M. Tickets cost me $5.10 to Decatur, got to D. a little after 12. My tickets cost me $33.40 to Overton from Decatur in all from Carter's Creek Station $38.50. Aunt Jane put up a good lot of grub. Got to Memphis 2:40 P.M. and stayed till 5 A.M Had a pretty rough time.

August 17 (Friday)
All well. Dona complained of her cold, but I reckon she did not have a chill. Left Memphis 5:00 A.M. for Little Rock, made pretty good time. Killed a cow just before we got to Forrest City. Children seem to enjoy the ride.

Though for time may frown
And fates Stern decree
May banish me far
From the presence of thee
Wherever I roam
What ere be my lot...................
Thou will not then cannot
Ere be forgot.

…end of diary entries

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