March 1, 2018

I began this blog in June 2014 and have thoroughly enjoyed bringing Isaac’s personal story to my followers — primarily cousins and persons interested in the history of a Civil War soldier and farmer.  My goal to learn more about Isaac’s life was reached, and I hope you have enjoyed reading Isaac’s words.  He has taken us on  a remarkable  journey.

During the Civil War years, Isaac wasn’t able to journal on a daily basis.  Even so, I’ve estimated that Isaac’s journal entries, spanning sixty-two years,  probably total over 20, 000 entries. This blogs represents only a fraction of that number.

I am especially indebted to the State Historical Society of Iowa for allowing me to post a small portion of his journal entries.  If you ever find yourself in Des Moines (main facility) or Iowa City, Iowa (home to Isaac’s journals and papers), definitely take time to visit their collections.

As for the future, some additional postings are planned, which will cover a bit of information about Isaac’s wife, Margaret, in the years after his death.  If any other relevant information surfaces, I will add it.   My next goal is to write and publish Isaac’s life story, which will get underway shortly.

Sincere thanks goes out to my loyal followers. I have enjoyed your comments and thank you for joining me on this journey through Isaac’s life.

Carole Carr Magnuson


February 13 and 14, 1923

[Feb. 13 & 14]  Nora staid constantly & rest [of family] all in often.  I was up little while Tues. Feb 13 & went in to see him, & O, how he had failed.  He was conscious to the last & passed away at 3 o,clock Wednesday p.m. Feb. 14th.  O, how hard it is to know we will never again have our dear father with us, but he wanted to go & made all his funeral arrangements, his songs to be sung, his pall bearers ect. 

O, how we shall miss him, he was always so generous, so kind & just always made the best of every thing & we always tho’t [thought] what ever father did was just right. 

His life has truly been a most wonderful one & he certainly has always had such high ideals & tried so hard to raise his family right.  We certainly have much to be thankful for such a life as he [has] lived, always so truthful & such a good neighbor & his kind deeds shall long remain in the memory of every one who knew him. 

It is so hard for mother, but they have had a long life together, with very few separations. 

 Father was born May 28 -1836.                                                                                       Died at our home in Pomona                                                                                                           Feb. 14 -1923                                                                                                          Age 86 yrs. 8 mos & 14 days.             Written by Isabelle.

Isaac’s death certificate stated that he died of “marasmus accompanying general arterio sclerosis”.  Marasmus is generally known as the gradual wasting away of the body due to severe malnutrition or inadequate absorption of food.

According to Isaac’s wishes, his body was returned to Iowa.  The funeral service took place in his Wellman home.  Isaac’s obituary was long and descriptive.  It appeared on the front page of The Wellman Advance. Isaac was buried in the Taylor Cemetery, just south of town.


February 8, 1923

Thursday Feb 8   Father said he was so much better this morning & said he could get up & get breakfast & could run a foot race.  He got up at 11 & ate quite a little.  Dave came & staid for dinner. 

Father laid down in p.m.  Roy & Winnie, Dave & Ruth came & spent eve & father was up all eve & they had just gone when Nora & Allie came & O, how glad we were to see them.

February 7, 1923

The remaining journal entries were written by Mary Isabelle (Carr) Hull, Isaac’s daughter, because Isaac was too weak to write. 

Wednesday Feb. 7  A lovely day.  Father got up at 10 & ate little breakfast & was dressed when Dr. Gardner & wife and Suzanne came to spend day.  Father seemed to enjoy their visit & had quite a talk with the Dr. but was so short of breath.  He came to table to eat with us for the last time at noon, but ate very little.  He laid down all p.m.  We called Dr. Kelley at 4-30 & he came & said it was form of dropsy & water forming in his pluray [pleura].  The lung was stopping his breathing & he would come back in eve. 

He came back at 7-30 & Roy & Dave came & he tapped father’s lung & drew nearly 2 qts. of liquid & O, he suffered so as it took one hr.  He rested better tonite & said he could breath so much better.

February 6, 1923

Tues 6   Cool but Sunshine fine day   I lay til near Eleven & arose feeling Poorly   I ate some dinner at Noon   Mother & Isabel knotted a comfort[er]   Dave & Ruth Came after dinner   We got mail   No letters  Dave Read awhile in the Advance 2nd Edition of the Lew Gardner & Coffey fite   J H Romines Obituary   I laid down awhile   Florence Hull called   I wrote to C M Livezey & sent statemnt of monies & Credits

All rights reserved. The journal entries contained in this blog are part of the I. N. Carr Papers, Ms132, Special Collections, State Historical Society of Iowa, 402 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City, Iowa, 52240-1806, (319) 335-3916. They may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the State Historical Society of Iowa. Please see the “Conditions for Reproduction” on the copyright page for guidance before using the material contained on this site. 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.