May 28, 1909

Friday May 28  My 73 birth day & a very Sad one   Amanda My only Sister died this morning at 2 oclock without gaining Consciousness & about 3,30 I came home & slept awhile   My age tells more & more on me every year & although my health is reasonably good I feel very weak & no account at times specially in the morning   I bot [bought] 4 boxs Strawberries but they failed to come in the Eve  My cousins Mrs Carr[1] & Mrs Pope[2] came from Sigourney & went home with Bell for the night   I buy much bread & meat & Leslie came from Iowa City this pm on the freight   Bell went home this Eve & Maude came to help us

[1]  Mrs. Carr was Amanda (Pinkerton) Carr  (second wife of Samuel S. Carr, who is not related to Isaac Newton Carr, as can be determined).  Amanda was the daughter of John Pinkerton and Julia Darling per the 1925 Iowa State Census.

[2]  Mrs. Pope was Hannah (Pinkerton) Pope and the daughter of Cyrus and Martha Pinkerton.  Hannah was the wife of Alonzo J. Pope.

May 27, 1909

Thursday, May 27th 1909  Mostly cloudy dried very slow  I was called at 3 am by phone to go to Amandas   I hurried & dressed & found her much worse & we thought any time she would leave us but at daylight She rallied & Suffered much pain till the Dr injected Morphine   I came home at 8 am & was back & forth all day & my only Sister is as bad sick as she can be & live   I wrote to Leslie in Iowa City to come home Saturday and I wrote to Sigourney to Amanda [Pinkerton] Carr [1] & sent a Card to the Hawkeye   My paper failed to come to day & Tuesday last   I will soon go up to see Amanda this Eve   Lucy Taylor Rinehart [2]  went home to Cedar Rapids this Eve

[1] Amanda Pinkerton Carr was Isaac’s cousin and the daughter of John Pinkerton & Julia Darling.  Amanda was the wife of Samuel S. Carr (not related to Isaac Carr).

[2] Lucy Taylor Rhinehart was also Isaac’s cousin and the daughter of Addison Taylor and Sarah G. Story, and the wife of Charles Rhinehart.

April 22, 1909

The Washington County history, like other county histories published during the 19th and 20th centuries, was subscription based.  Note Isaac’s insistence in the first receipt that “this is to be first-class binding, or not accepted”.   Isaac sat for a photo portrait (shown in the header of this blog) and provided autobiographical information.  When I first found Isaac’s biography in this history book, I marveled at the amount of detail he provided.  This was before I learned about his journals, which, I’m sure, he referred back to for help in writing his biography.

The county history was published[1] once there were enough subscribers.   This was an expensive purchase at the time and is probably a contributing factor for many of our ancestors choosing not to be included in these “mug” books.

Receipt of purchase of Washington County History
Receipt of purchase of Washington County History
Receipt for photo proofs
Receipt for photo proofs

[1] Burrell, Howard A., History of Washington County, Iowa:  From the First White Settlements to 1908, The S. J. Clark Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1909


March 3, 1909

By 1909, the house needed repainting.  Isaac ordered paint in a letter dated March 3, 1909 to the John M. Smith Catalog as shown below:

Isaac's Letter to John M. Smith Company
Isaac’s Letter to John M. Smith Company

Wellman Iowa  Mar 3 1909, John M Smith co Chicago Ills


Enclosed find draft for $27,30 for which Send soon as Possible by freight the following Paints &c 

10 gals house pt 28 lt cream 85c                            8,50

7      “    roof  Roof green                                                3,85

5      “    white out side or inside                                4,25

3      “    light citron                                                         2,60

3      “    floor paint leather brown No 19B_25  2,85

5      “    pure linseed oil                                               2,00

5 lb Can Crevice filler 58c                                           58

3 gals light Canary house pt                                   2,67


I took these prices from paint Catalog lately Sent me but Saw no prices on pure linseed oil & put it 40c gal  if this is not right will make it right  if I send too much I know you will make it right 

 Resptly [Respectfully]

I X Carr Wellman Washington Co Iowa

Note:  The Gunther Christiansen family purchased Isaac’s home in 1973, and restored it to its former charm.  In October 1992 it was opened for periodic tours.  New owners purchased the home in March 2004.  Sadly, the home was in decline when visited in 2012 and 2014.

January 1, 1909

This is the speech Isaac gave at the GAR and WRC installation ceremony.

                                             For Installation Jan 1st 1909                                                                                   As Commander of Post 12th or 13th time

Ladies of WRC & Comrades

 It is not my intention to worry you with a very long Speech  you well know I Couldn’t do it if I wanted to & I well know that I wouldn’t do it if I could in again assuming the duties of this office  I feel that we have great cause to be thankful  we have cause for congratulation in the fact that no member of our organization has died Since last installation  we have no use for the blank death roll of members just recd from dptmt hdqrs in making our report for the year just closed  I thank my comrades for their good opinion & confidence in again electing me to this office  however I value the good will & confidence the TC&L of Each comrade for more than I value the office  I promise with your help to do all I can to build up & Keep up our organization

 I expect to give it my Earnest attention & my best Effort & to comply as near as possible with order No 4 which was read at our last meeting & I hope all will rember & put to practical use the words of our installing officer that we listened to a little while ago when he Said I now present to you the officers of your choice  I counsel you to help them in the discharge of their duties to Strengthen their hands & Encourage them in their labors with your help he says their term of office may be very Successful  Without it = well they might as well not have been elected or words to that Effect & truthful words & very aptly spoken  I am confident that I shall need the help & Encouragement of Evry comrade & I am just as confident that we will all need the Encouragement of our Sister organization in the years to come just as we have needed it & recd it in yrs gone by

Let us Each one So conduct himself as to be worthy in a measure of their respect & consideration  there are other good & patriotic organizations of Women Soldiers aid Societys & ladies of the gar & others but we have only one auxillary & Surely no other organization of men is Sustained & Encouraged by So good an organization of women  no other organization that I have Ever heard or read of is so Royally Entertained & with Such pains & patience & patriotism as Ed Hamlin Post is Entertained on installation day & on Evry hand we have undoubted Evidence of help & Encouragement both Social & financial  here we have our flag & here we have our desk at which our adjt [adjutant] does the business of the post & the gavel I hold in my hand a most appropriate gift brought from Mt Vernon on the Potomac river the home of Washington made from a tree planted by Washingtons own hand & this marble Slab once part of a mantel in the White House in Washington City & used by Pres Roosevelt & many other Presidents & notable men til finally thru the instrumentality of Ed Hamlin WRC 88 it found its way to our table additional testimony that Ed Hamlin Post has an auxillary in deed & in fact & last but not least I must not forget our grand good dinner composed of the best that Ioa affords & more too & gotten up in the best Style of culinary art   Surely we are favored as an organization beyond anything we might Expect or deserve  Comrades I cant find words to Express my Appreciation of these favors,  ladies I can only Say I thank you, I thank you for meeting with us in this joint installation  I thank you for the grand good dinner, I thank you for the best of music furnished for this occasion, & now that Each Comrade may Express his appreciation of these favors I ask for a Standing vote of thanks from Ed Hamlin Post                                                                 

January 1, 1909

Friday January 1st 1909  Quite Cold in the morning but a fine day  I took a dizzy Spell & felt very poorly til near 11 am then I dressed in my gar blue which Leslie had pressed & brushed  Mother & Nellie went to gar Hall about 10 am  I went near noon  Post & WRC hold joint installation & we had a grand good time  I was installed Commander of the post & mad[e] a short talk to the post & thanked the WRC  the ladies Service was very impressive & I Enjoyed it  after the meeting I called on Comrade Hastings  I found him quite poorly living alone  the women Sent him a good dinner  they also sent dinners to Longwell & wife Amos Hull & wife  the past year has been a grand good year & prosperous 

Crops good Except oats were mostly light but from 40 to 45c bu  I had 120 bu & Sold them for 44c  Corn best I have had in 10 yrs  My Share 800 bu (Isaac wrote “guess” above the 800 bushels) worth at least 50c bu  I raised 1 big load of Corn 35 bu good & very few Squashes & punkins on my pasture & I raised 75 bu potatos at digging time  I have 3 bu clover seed & hay  Enough to do me  Mel Whetstine farms my place & pd me $25 for Stalk pasture & clover hay 

My Health has been good til lately  I have dizzy Spells  am taking medicine from Dr. Wells  I have $2700,00 at 6% & $4500,00 in bank  none in pocket  $14120,00 yet on my farm  plenty of wood for more than a yr 

Mother & I made a trip to Shiloh in Apr & another to Oskaloosa this fall  Leslie in School at Ioa City  Vic Still in the bank


During 1908 Isaac was one of five Board of Directors at the Wellman Savings Bank and a stockholder in the Bank of Keota, Iowa. Isaac and Margaret were active members of the Methodist Episcopal church.  He owned two hundred and eighty-three acres of land in Lime Creek township, as well as five residences in the village of Wellman.  [1]

[1] Burrell, Howard A., History of Washington County, Iowa:  From the First White Settlements to 1908, The S. J. Clark Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1909

Information in these posts is taken from Isaac's journals and speeches written between 1861 and 1923. If you had ancestors who lived in Washington County, Iowa, they might be mentioned in Isaac's diary. Try searching for them in the search box, below. Use spelling variations in your search as names were often spelled differently.