Return to Finding Aid for the Henry Smals Diaries



Trail of the Henry Smals Diaries

Presented by his grandson Gal Miller to George M. Hanger in 1910

Presented to George P. Furry by G. M. Hanger in 1920

Presented to Edwinia Furry by George P. Furry in 1970

Rebound by Dorothy Merriefield in 1983


Book 1


July 9 – Rev. Holland preached.

July 28 – “Negro procession burying a black man, 27 numbers.”

Aug 11 – “Ingenears at work from Harrisonburg to Bridgewater.”  (sketch of surveyor’s transit)                    

Aug 17 – “Eingenears leveling the road through town.”

Oct 10 – Described Chicago Fire giving damage figures and drew a sketch.

Nov 8 – A man was fined.



March 31 – “Charley Clark got his leg broke by the kick of a horse in the street near the Methodist Church.”  Rev. Engel (J. J. Eagle) was preaching at Mossy Creek.

April 28 – “class as usual at Lutheran Church.”

May 4 – Preaching by Rev. Whitscarver at 3 PM.

May 8 – “A drove of cattle went through town today to West Virginia to graze.”  (sketch of cow skull)  “A load of corn to Staunton.”  (ear of corn sketch} 

During this period time small pox (drew symbolic dots) was raging at Tenth Legion and there is reference to Tobias Swartz making barrels. (sketch of barrel)

May 27  – “A cow ate up a pocket book for Harry Soule with $140 in the book.”

June 1872 – “Glade was as dry as we had seen in 40 years.”

June 23 – “No class today, our church is under repairs.  Prayer meeting at Lutheran Church.”


Note:  References to the Community of Cross Keys were depicted with a sketch of two keys crossed.


Book 2

July 14 –   Sabbath Morning.  - “Preaching by Reverend Engel (Eagle).  Rev. Whitescarver preached in the Methodist Church.  A very small congregation today.”

Aug 4 – Henry Smals birthday.

Aug 5 – “Some Scoundrels went in T. Hites watermelon lot & cut & stole all his watermelons.”  

Aug 23 – “A camp meeting commence at Lacey Springs for the United Brethren in Christ.”

Sept 3 – “Greely Club meeting this evening.”

Sept 4 – “25 wells gone dry.”

Sept 5 – “load of crocks from Mt. Sidney.”

Sept 14 – “Reverend Perry killed 23 squirrels.”

Sept 22 – “A large crowd  at the M. E. Church South.”

During this period Smals mentions drummers from Baltimore and Alexandria being in the area.  He notes a number of meetings being held at Allemong’s store.

Dec 22 –  “Class at usual hour 9 o’clock, Sabbath School at 2 o’clock. Singing after class.  Also singing at 6 ½ o’clock, Closed singing a 8 o’clock.”  


Book 3


March 9 – “Singing by Professor Wartman at 10 o’clock.”

April 22  – “There are 11 preachers in town.”

April 27 – “Baptism by Immersion in the River near the Bridge.”

May 18 – “Hattie Dinkel & Frank Perry baptized.”

June 22 -  “Preaching by Reverend Nihiser.”


Book 4

Aug 31 -  “Preaching at M.E.C.S by Reverend Waugh.”

Aug 27 – District Conference commenced in Mt. Crawford.

Oct 5 - Reverend Weddell was to preach in Temperance Hall.

Dec 12 – “Dr. McMarren came to our town to open a drug store.” (mortar and pestle sketch)

Dec 28 – “ Preaching by a Northern Methodist.”

Dec 29 –“A Negro frolick in our town to night in Odd Fellows Hall.”



Jan 1 – “John Allemong and Mack Aden leased the Band Mill of  George Berlin for 3 years.”

Jan 4 -  “Preaching at Brethren Church by Rev Nihiser.  Prayer  mtg. 6 ½  o’clock in M. E. C. S.”


Typical entry for Sunday: 

Jan 11, 1874 –  Sabbath morning   clear cool   class at the usual hour of 9 oclock   Preaching by Rev. Mr. Engel (Eagle)  Sabbath School at 2 oclock   Preaching by Rev. Whitescarver (Baptist?)   Also Rev Mr. Weddell at 3 ½ oclock  Rev Mr. Stuart preached at M. E. C. S. at 6 ½ oclock

Feb 1 –  “Singing by Professor Bucher at 11 o’clock.  Black Liz had a child and carried it to the stable, child had a bunch of straw crammed in it’s mouth, found dead.”

Feb 22 – “Sabbath Morning.  Class at the usual hour at 9 o’clock.  Preaching by Rev. Mr. Engel (Eagle).  Sabbath School at 2 o’clock.  Preaching at 3 ½ o’clock by Rev. Mr. Whitscarver.   Prayer meeting at the usual hour 6 ½ o’clock.  Very warm  mercury up to 82 degrees.”

Feb 26 – Two houses and lots were sold in Bridgewater for $375 each.  (Smals always drew a house when one was sold and when people moved to another house)

Mar 8 – “The old Methodist Church in Mt. Crawford Blown Down by wind today.”

Mar 13 – “Rev Engel (Eagle) came home from Conference this morning.”

April 11 – “Lovefeast at 9 o’clock.  Preaching at 11 by John H. Marten.”

July 25 – “The Normal Professors and Scholars gone on the Round Hill, a pleasure trip.”

Aug 15 – “Professors and Boys had a fine game of Bass Ball this afternoon.”

Nov 2 – “Adam Rader butchering today.” (Adam Rader was the first mayor of Bridgewater, Virginia and organized the first Methodist church in that town in 1841.  He is commemorated in a stained glass window in the Bridgewater United Methodist Church).

Dec 13 – “Rev Haines buried in Port Republic. Requested that all people who had heard him preach come to see him buried.”



Book 5

April 28 – “Dick Rogers killed 1 loon and 1 Night Heron.” (accurate sketches of both birds)

May 24–  “A panther attacked one of Wises boys this morning on Wises.”

June 6 – Sabbath morning.  “Mack Adar elected a delegate to serve as a member of Sabbath School Convention on 13 and 14 July.”

June 9 – “Negro hung near Harrisonburg for insulting a white woman to day without judge or jury.”

Aug Friday 13 – “Methodist Camp Meeting commence today above Mt. Sidney.  Rev. Mauzey (Mausee) gone to attend this meeting.  Also a camp meeting near Lacey Springs commence to day held by United Brethren.”

Oct 15 – Sketch of a steam sawmill.



Book 6

Jan 2 – Sabbath Morning.  “A blind man by the name of Johnson addressed the Sunday School and children.”

Feb 10 – “A large supper and surprise party given at Rev. Mauzeys (Mausee), about 50 in number.”   

Feb 21 – “Monday morning cloudy and rain.  This is Court Day.  A great many persons in town to day.  A great many drunk.  The Mite Society met at the Parsonage at 7 o’clock. Collected 6 dollars & some cents.  Miss Player was indited before the grand jury for killing her child by sticking scissors in its neck, seven holes.”

June 18 – Sabbath Morning.   “…the M. E. Church received a new library today, 125 volumes of good literature.”

July 12 – “Old Miller Campbell drown in a barrel of water in Daton this morning.”

Aug 21 – “Jedediah Hotchkiss of Staunton lectures geography of Virginia today at two o’clock.”

Sept 19 – “Adam Rader came to town today.”

Oct 1 - Sabbath  - Henry Smals attended Quarterly meeting at Naked Creek.

Nov 5, 1876 Sabbath – “John Allemong very sick”

Nov 6 – “John Allemong still sick.”



Feb 4 – Sunday -  “The colored Quarterly Meeting closed this evening about 9 o’clock.”

Feb 16 – “Negroes have a dance in lower room in Odd Fellows Hall to night.”

March 16 – Smals mentions Pastors Graechen and Kinzer who were both new ministers at the M. E. Church on the Bridgewater Circuit.


Book 7

April 1, 1877 – “Preaching at M. E. Church by Rev. Kinzer.”

June 12, 1877 –“a new engine went through our town today.”

June 23 – “The Masons had a picknick below the bridge today.  All the Masons in town were present.”

June 24 – Sabbath morning – “Preaching by Rev. Kinzer in M. E. Church.  Preaching in the Brethren Church at 8 o’clock in the evening.”

Aug 19 – Sunday – “About 3,000 people at a Camp Meeting in Parnassus.”

Sept 2 – “Preaching in M. E. Church by Rev. Graechen.”

Sept 9 – “Preaching by Rev. Mausey (Mausee).

Wednesday Sept 12 – “Rev. Roe preached in M. E. Church tonight on object of Bibles.”

Sept 23 – “I (Smals) delivered an address to the Sunday School Prayer Meeting tonight.”


Book 8

Nov 14 – Preaching by Rev. Graechen.

Nov 27, 1877 – “…Jenkins nephew making boats to cross river.”

Dec 8, 1877 – “A boat sank today with a load of wood on the wagon belonging to Daniel Evans, supposed to weigh 6 tons.”

Dec 17 – “Uncle Adam Rader paralyzed today.”

Dec 18, 1877 – Jacob Dinkel died (brother in law of Smals).



Jan 22, 1878 – “Business very dull.  John Allemong put his calico down to 5 cents per yard.”

Jan 26 – “Boys killed a red fox on Round Hill today.  Shot by John Keaton.”

Jan 31, 1878 – “John Smith and Right Hartman had a fight today in the confectionaire.”

Feb 1 – Rev. Graechen came to town.

Feb 7 – “Samuel S. Miller cut his hand in my shop.”

Feb 9 – “The Dunkards made arrangements to build a church out at the woods.  Layed off the ground today.  Joe Summerlance and Tailor Sheetz had a fight at the bridge today.  Paid a fine of dollar apiece by decision of the Mayor.”

March 6 –“Our annual Conference goes in session today in the City of Baltimore. Business looking up now.”

March 7 – “Black woman linched & hung for burning a barn.”

March 19 – “Great Elocution in M. E. Church to night by Rev. Ross.  A failure. Ross sick.”

March 22 – “Henry Smals fell in the river today.”


Book 9

May 31, 1878 – “Peter Miller started to Baltimore to purchase stock for his factory.”

June 3, 1878 – “John Hatfield and Gallice Miller finished the bridge today.  Gallice Miller drove the last nail.”

June 10, 1878 – “Presbyterians organized their church today.  Rev. Price preached in the Lutheran Church.”  “Spits of snow with 3 ½ inches on Mountain.”

June 18, 1878 – “Several strangers in our town today.  A good many Pendletonians (Pendleton County) came to our town today.”

June 20, 1878 – “Perry Meace crossed the Bridge with a steam boiler weighing 9200 pounds.”

June 23 – “Preaching in M. E. Church today by Reverend Kinzer.  Mr. Kiracofe married to Miss McWilliams.  Some of the Negroes had a big fuss in their church.”

July 21 – Preaching by Rev. Daniel (David) Bush at Church.  “Meeting at M. E. Church to pass a Resolution to have a festival on the 9 & 10 of August for the benefit of the M. E. Church.”

July 25 – “Editor Delaney is taking the origin of our town from year 1826.”  (This was apparently a history of Bridgewater).

July 27 – Rev. Rosenbough at M. E. Church.

Aug 3 – Iron safe weighing 5110 pounds installed in Bank of Bridgewater.

Aug 4 – Smals birthday.  Preaching by Rev. Graechen in M. E. Church.

Aug 9 – Camp Meetings at Parnassus and Fort Defiance.

Sunday Aug 11 – “No class today in consequence of church being out of order.” (Repairs?)

Aug 20 – Frank Miller got 15 years in penitentiary for stealing horses. 

Aug 25 – Meeting at the new Dunkard Church.

Aug 28 – “Dr. Brown got his printing press.”

Oct 24 – “Rod & balls for church put on.” (The legibility is unclear for this entry but from the accompanying sketch, it appears a lighting rod was installed on the church).

Oct 27 – Rev. Green preached in M. E. Church.

Nov 3 – Rev. Rosebough preached in M. E. Church.

Dec 1 – Rev. Hat preached in M. E. Church.



Book 10

Feb 15 – Rev. Grachen preaching.

Feb 17 – “A Grand Supper gave by the Band of Bridgewater.  Cornet Band to night.”

Feb 20 – “Charles Furry’s wife had twins to night.”

Feb 28 – “Mr. McClouds House burnt up about 11 o’clock to night.”

Mar 1 – “A fine Revival going on in Harrisonburg. About 76 conversions up to this date.”

Mar 5 – “Our Annual Conference goes in session at Salem, Roanoke County.”

Mar 6 – “Commenced work again on the (African) Church in rear of our church. George White  bought 5 hogs of Mrs. Ward for $20.”

Mar 8 – Four day conference.  (likely M. E. Church)

Mar 12  - Eight day conference adjourned.  Brother Kinzer returns to our Sircuit and Rev Holcomb (Homan?) moved to Jesse Frys house in our town.

Mar 14 – “Negro Escoluction at old Town Hall tonight.”

Mar 19 – “Dr. Brown moved his drug store to Armstrongs store room and also the printing press upstairs in Browns Store.  Samuel Miller upset his buggy and broke the top off it.”

Mar 22 – “Lute Swartz killed a Sandhill Crane this morning.” (sketch of crane)

Mar 30 – “Quarterly meeting going on at Crawford.”

April 13 – “Preaching by Kummingham (R. S Cunningham) at M. E. Church.”

April 14 – Henry Smals got sick on his way to Richmond Odd Fellows Conference.

April 29 – “A. Hollins brought a load of agricultural implements to the Old Town Hall.”

May 29 – “Peter Miller’s stable burnt down.  Supposed to have caught from the engine of Mr. Sheetz.”

June 9 – “Memorial Day at Staunton to decorate the soldiers graves.”

Thursday June 12 – “This is the day the Lawn Festival commences in church yard at M. E. Church.  No festival on account of rain.” (sketch)

June 23 – “Willie Bradburn got his arms in the carding machine, tore off the flesh of half the arm.” (Smals always drew a sketch of injured arms and legs)  “about 2500 black bass put in the dam above the woolen factory.”

June 27 – “A great many cherries in our town to day at from 11 to 20 cents per gallon.  Mr. Mefall got his buggy and harness broken near Allemongs by hoisting an umbrella, horse got frightened.”

July 4 – “Day of Celebration in Harrisonburg, about 15,000 people present, 6 bands and 6 military companies, a powerful turnout.  98 degrees for 3 hours and one hour 100 degrees, awful dust.  It was supposed that $10,000 dollars was left in Harrisonburg today.”

July 13 – Rev. Rosbrown (?) preached.

Aug 25 – “Oliver L. Rhodes made me a present of a fine hat this shape.”  (sketch of the hat).

Sept 1 – Rev. Cunningham had gone to District Conference at “Wainsborough.”  (Waynesboro).

Sept 5 – First issue of the Bridgewater Journal published.  (sketch)

Sept  6 – Dr. Brown had gone to Rawley Springs to bottle water.  

Sept 14 – Rev Kemper preached in PM.

Oct 2 –  “A blind black man sung in the African Church this morning.”

Oct 13 –  “Cars ran off the track and smashed 11 cars all to pieces, hurt a good many.”

(Smals does not tell where this happened).

Book 11

Oct 28 –  “The winter meeting in the M. E. S. Church still in progress.  Herschel Young professed religion tonight”

Oct 29 –  “547 cattle passed through town today.”

Nov 2 – “56 for church service.  Protracted meeting still going on in M. E. Church.”  (This revival continued for the first week or two of November)

Nov 6 –  “Mr. Sheetz plank mill burnt down with 7,000 feet of lumber.”

Nov 8 – “Several drummers in town today selling goods.”

Nov 9 – “Wofered Vancant struck Joe William with a club at our church door.”  (sketch of club with word club written on it)  “John Myers was converted to night about 9 o’clock.”

Nov 11 – “Moffett Miller, Dr. Bucher and Thrush Sellers were all converted.” (Moffett Miller is commemorated in a stained glass window in Bridgewater United Methodist Church).

Nov 21 – “I  H. Smals heard a great noise to night in the skyes about 12 o’clock. The Noise was as Distant Thunder.”  He noted that the temperature was 8 degrees the next morning.

Dec 8 – “Miss Rosenbaum came to our town to teach music on the piano from Staunton.”

Dec 13 –  “The Tunkard Brethren had quite a revival.  15 were baptized by immersion.  Old man Marshall killed a 568 ¼ pound hog.”  (Sketch of hog, Smals always reported who all was butchering this time of year)

Dec 24 – “Christmas tree in the M.E. Church.  A large attendance on the occasion.  In Shiffletts Hollow, Shifflett killed his brother Shifflett.”

Christmas Day – “a ladder at the Methodist Church with presents for the children.”

(This must have been a structure erected for the children’s presents).



Jan 13 – “Miss Mulley Robinson gone home to Harrisonburg with mail wagon.”

Jan 18 – “Preaching at 11 o’clock by Dr. John S. Martin in the M. E. Church.  Quarterly meeting.”

Jan 20 -  “John Allemong elected president of our Narrow Gauge Rail Road.”

Jan 21 – “A cave discovered on Blosser’s Farm by Bud Peterson close to Pike about 2 ½ miles this side of Harrisonburg.”

Jan 22 – “The U. B. trustees sold the church to the Baptists for $400.”

Jan 24 – “Some scoundrel stopped my shop chimney up and smoked me powerful.”

Jan 28 – “One hundred cases of smallpox at Culpeper.”

Feb 3 – “The organ for the M. E. Church came this evening.” (sketch)

Feb 9 – “Campbell killed Smith at the Warm Springs today.”

Feb 11 – Rev. Grachen preached at M. E. Church.

Feb 23 – Big fire in Bridgewater.  Destroyed Mr. Byrd’s House and stable and burned the houses and out buildings of Mrs. Covington and Mrs. Arey.  $10,000 loss.

Mar 2 –  “The chimneys of the burnt houses were thrown down today.  M. E. Church broken into and the organ injured.”

Mar 3 – “The Baltimore Conference met this morning at Front Royal, Warren County.”

Mar 4 – “Wild geese over river today near bridge.”

Mar 6 – “There was a man here today measuring 6 feet 7 inches high, he was a monster.”

Mar 10 – “Rev. William O. Ross preached in M. E. Church this evening.”

Mar 17 – “A. Sweet came to our town to fix up our Wilson 4 wheeler sowing machine.”

Mar 19 – “A meeting today to try to organize a fire company.”

Mar 23 – “The Cotton(?) tree in the church yard was blown down with the wind this evening, 

Uncommon high winds.” 

May 31 – “The Negroes had a fight at Lowmans stable last night.”  “William Grove went to Mossy Creek to see about building a new church.”

April 28 – “George Dinkel and A. H. Smals commence making brick back of the school house.”

May 6 – “George Jenkins wife had a child cut from her womb and saved the woman.”


Book 12

May 23 – Preaching by Rev. King.

June 14 – “Allemong gone to Stuanton to close of female school of the M. E. C. South.”

June 17 – “Mrs. Goldsmith buried to day in our grave yard and Brother Cunningham preached text Revelation.”

July 3 – “Hopewell was elected Sargent for the Corporation Bridgewater colored people.”

July 6 – Smith stole George Milstead’s watch and about ten dollars in money. (He got it back in the next day or so).

(Smals records that Bridgewater had a population of 400 people in July 1880).

July 20 – “T. P. Humphreys gone to Sunday School Convention at Valley Grove between Baltimore and Washington City.”

Aug 3 – “William W. Gibles moved his shop in Smith Dinkels Jewelry Store to make boots and shoes.”

Aug 6 –  “Rev Bush and Rev. Wolfe came down the street in a Rockaway and spindle broke and one jumped out the other fell out of the Rockaway and neither got hurt.”

Aug 9 –  “Henry Hocks and T. Sheets had a fight.  Sheets struck H. Hocks with a piece of iron.  It is supposed that Hocks was in fault.”

Aug 22 – Sabbath – “Preaching by the Tunkards at the far end of town.”

Sept 3 –  “A big watermelon trial between Joseph Nisewander and the Kerecoofs.”

Sept 30 – “Negro show at the River School.”

Oct 1 – “Old Uncle Adam Rader has come over to our town at the age of 90 years old.”

Oct 19 – “A big show in Harrisonburg today, a great many persons present.  Some drunk & some sober.” (sketch of circus tent)

Nov 11 –  “Peter Miller gone to West Va. on a preaching ture today.”

Nov 29 – “I  H. Smals killed my hog today.”

Dec 1 – “Some scoundrel cut the guts of Charley Teters horse this morning.  Mat Barber was arrested for gutting the horse, his trial comes off next Saturday in this place.”

Dec 4 – Mat Barber trial commence in old Town Hall. (Smals implies that others were implemented, but the trial out come is not clear)

Dec 24 – “Coldest weather I ever felt or saw.”

Dec 31 –  “25 degrees below zero.   Frank Erwin and Dewit Brown froze their ears stiff.”


Book 13


Jan 3 -  “8 degrees below zero, wood getting very scarce.  E. B. Simpson went to Harrisonburg today with snow shoes, they are about six feet long & six inches wide.  Oh this is fearful weather, a great deal of slaying going on.”

(A note in the back of this book says 32 snows fell in the winter of 1880-81).

Jan 6 – “Professor Geason gave a Grand Free Exhibition of Scientific Horsemanship today and commenced a class with 20 or more pupils at $2.00 per pupil.”

Jan 21 – “the horse tamer is in our town today.”

Feb 6 –  “Niggers had a fight a fight in African Church tonight.”

Feb 7 – “I H. Smals made a pair of boots for a Mr. Stokes that he wore for 25 years, please beat that.  There were 26 persons at the young mens prayer meeting in M.E.C. to night.”

Mar 2 – Stuart Lindsey lead union prayer meeting in M. E. Church at 5 o’clock.

Mar 6 – “Mr. McNeal came to our town to see his sweet (sketch of heart) & I tell you she is very Handsome.  he lives in Hardy County.”

Mar 7 – “Engineers & Simpson gone on the route of the railroad.”  (sketch of surveyor’s level)  Rev. Mr. Whisner came to Marg Areys.  A good many preachers went through our town to Harrisonburg to Conference.” 

Mar 27 – Rev. Bush had his first sermon in M. E. Church.

Mar 29 – “Joseph Williams taken to jail for fighting in Methodist Church, colored.  The Engineers Simpson & Bell came home from their Byrds Eye Survey.”

April 1 – Preaching at M. E. Church by Rev. Deans.

April 14  -  “F. K. Speck went after Uncle Adam Rader who died on the 7 of the present month at Culpeper County near Brandy Station.”

April 16 – “Uncle Adam Rader has been brought to this town to be buried in our grave yard this evening.”

April 23 – “Jesse Fry shot Dr. Jones cow in his wheatfield with small shot.”

May 5 – “Adam Smals commence the brick church at Mossy Creek today with 6 hands.”

May 8 – “Preaching by Rev. Price in M. E. Church at 7 ½   oclock.  Mrs. Stickler lost 2 $5 Dollar Notes some where between the M.E. Church & home.”

May 24 – “This is the most powerful year for Locus Blooms I ever saw.  I hope will get a good corncrop.”

(David Bush was the M. E. preacher at this time.)

June 1 – “Lighting struck Samuel F. Millers house without much damage, Storm tore 8 apple trees down & Blowed down 1 ¾  miles of fence & threw down Mr. Ervins shed to the barn.”  “Allemongs horse run off with carriage & broke it badly in Harrisonburg.”

June 5 – M. E. Church was dedicated at Centerville.

June 21 – “Thrush Sellers finished Mrs. Covington’s fence today at $8.00.”  (sketch of  iron fence)  “He finished a lattice fence the next day.” (sketch of lattice fence)

July 1 – “John Carpenter Brought an Engine Thresher to Bridgewater.  Daily mail commences between Bridgewater & Stribling Springs.”

July 2 – “Quarterly meeting commences this morning at Sangerville.  Presiding elder is I. S. Martin.  President Garfield was Shot in the City of Washington, District of Columbia.”

July 13 – “Dr. Brown tapped Mrs. Showalter near Mt. Solon, 10 pints of water from her abdomen.”  (Dr. Brown was often noted being present at births).

July 18 – “Dr. Brown had the first Roastnears in our town.”  (sketched ear of corn)

Aug 20 – “Cora Crickenberger cut her throat & stabbed her self in the head two or three times.”

Aug 23 – “This day District Conference commence 2 oclock in M. E. Church.  Preachers present.  Conference organized at 3 oclock this evening, John S. Martin in the chair, a good many preachers present & a large Lay Delegation Present.  Preaching at 8 oclock this evening by  Rev. A Weller.  Conference lasted all week.”

Aug 29 – “all the preachers gone home today.”

Sept 2 – “Mrs. B. Kyles lamp exploded this evening but did not hurt any one.”

Sept 4 – Rev. Tailor had prayer meeting at M. E. Church.

Sept 9 –  “A Lawn Festival held in M. E. Church lot to night, Realised about $25.”

Sept 20 – “Shef Lewis & Wise fought a duel to day, Neither of them hurt.”

 Sept 22 – “Henry Smals I appoint you as Stuart for the Corporation of Bridgewater Council given under my hand for the sum of two Dollars for Services Commencing on the first of July 1881 & Closing July 1, 1882.” _ M. Stickler, Mayor

Sept 25 – Rev. Hildebrand preached at M. E. Church.

Oct 5 –  “James Clary open his Degarian (?) Saloon at Robert Funks.”


Book 14

Nov 13 – “Mrs. Arey came home today. Sabbath morning class at the usual hour 9 oclock, Sabbath school at 2 ½  oclock.  Prayer meeting at M. E. Church 7 oclock.”

Nov 18  - “Clear  & Warm. A Great Republican procession in Harrisonburg to night, Governor Walker came to our town.”  

Nov 19 –  “Rev Perrys children all have the Hooping Cough.  Some of them very poorly tonight.”

Nov 20 – “Preaching at 11 oclock by Rev Hildebrand.”

Nov 21 – Court Day.   “Professor Steel commence his Wrighting School today.”  (sketch of quill) “N. Marion Miller gone to Het Smals to do sowing for them.”

Nov 22 – Cloudy & cool.  “Stuart Lindsay has gone to Monterey to see his sick wife.”

Nov 27 – “No preaching in town today.  Mrs. J Lindsey & T Lindsey came from Monterey this evening.  Stuart Lindseys wife some better.”

Dec 1 – “Dr. T. H. Brown gone to Moorefield Hardy County to see his daughter Verdie Mcneal (McNeil)…  Mr. Jos Byrd move to his new house today.”  (sketch of 2 story house with 2 chimneys, Smals sketches of houses that people bought and sold often show details which were probably characteristic to the particular house)

Dec 4 – Preaching at 11 o’clock by Rev. Bush.

Dec 6 – “Stuart Lindseys wife some better.”

Dec 10 – “P. Miller gone to Broadway to see about the schoolhouse to be built here or at Broadway.”

Dec 11 – “No preaching in town today.”

Dec 12 – “Cloudy & threaten for snow cold weather.”

Dec 14 – “Snowed through the night one inch in depth.” (drew a one inch purple line)

Dec 16 – “Stuart Lindsey and wife came home from her Father’s at Monterey, She is right peart.”

Dec 25 – Sabbath morning clear & cold this is Christmas Day

Prayer Meeting at 5 oclock

Class meeting at 9 oclock

No preaching at 11 oclock

Sabbath school at 2 oclock

Preaching at 6 ½  oclock by Rev D. Bush.

Dec 26 – “Professor Hull commenced his singing school today.”

Dec 27 – “Peter Miller is receiving contribution of the German Baptist Formal School to be established at this place.”

Dec 28 – Clear & warm.  “the Baptist members are moving their church back 6 feet today. 

D. John Allemong sick.”




Jan 4 – “John Allemong very sick.  Allemong has Nierulalgia of the Bowels.  8 inches of snow.”

Jan 5 – “Allemong no better.”

Jan 6 – “J.W. F. Allemong no better”

Jan 10 – “Street Lamps made for the Corporation, they will be put in a short time.”  (sketch of lamp)

Jan 11 – “John W. F. Allemong some better.”

Jan 17 – “Allemong still improving, able to get up & be shaved.”

Jan 18 – “the Ladies are holding a Missionary metng this afternoon in M. E. Church at 3 ½ oclock.”

Jan 20 – “John W. F. Allemong improving very fast”

Jan 24 – “Allemong has gotten well”

Jan 27 – Jury brought in a verdict, that Guitttoes committed Murder in first Degree for killing President Garfield.”

Feb 2 –  “groundhog day – He saw his shadow.“  (Smals drew a sketch of a ground hog every year, but his drawings resembled a cat more than a ground hog)  “Allemong hauling ice from Factory and Robert Wrights Ponds.”

Feb 10 – “Charley Schenk fell in the Creek”

Feb 12 – Preaching at 11 oclock by Rev. Hildebrand.

Feb 15 –  “Miss Ryan buried in our graveyard today at 3 oclock   Funeral preached by Rev Hildebrand.”

Feb 17 –  “Oyster supper this evening for the Benefit of the M. E. Church, realized $21.50 Dollars.  John Allemong Enlarged his office to day.”

Feb 18 –  “Adjourned Quarterly meeting met in Allemong’s Office today.  Oyster supper this evening for the Benefit of the M. E. Church.  Realized (?)  Dollars.”

Feb 19 – “Preaching by Rev Rosebrow in M. E. Church at 7 oclock.  Mrs. McNeil of Hardy County Dr. Browns Daughter had a son born today at Dr. Browns.”

Feb 21 – “Uncommon windy & Storm & uncommon muddy…  Rev. Kinzer came to our town today.”

Feb 22 – “Rev. Kinzer preached for us.  Click Miller, Ad Hollum, Walter Davis & John Allemong bought the wood factory & Foundrey for the sum of $9000 Dollars.”

Feb 25 – “A Great many Deprecations acted tonight by the Boys, Shooting, Cursing, Swearing and being Drunk.”

Feb 26 – “Preaching in M.E. Church by Rev Bush & Sacrament of the Lords Supper.  Hopewell shot a chicken for Salley Fitchew.  Laurence fired a pistol also on the Sabbath.”

Mar 2 – “Queen Victoria was shot & mist her.”

Mar 6 – “Preachers all fixing to go to Conference.”

Mar 8 – “Sheets sold his Hartman Lot & house to J. W. F. Allemong for the sum of $200 dollars.”

Mar 14 – “Stuart Lindseys wife very poorly.”

Mar 16 –  “Rev. Hildebrand came back from Conference today to our town.”

Mar 17 – “Joseph Attaffer died this morning at 1 oclock.”

Mar 18 – “Saturday morning cloudy sleet & Rain  Rained all day long,   Joseph Attaffer buried today.”

Mar 22 – “Dog bit Eugene Ervin in the hand this morning very badly.”

Mar 26 – “David Bush preached.”

April 2 – Rev. Whitescarver preached.

April 7 – “Widow John Arey died this morning.”

April 16 – “Preaching by Rev. Tailor at Barbees Office.”

April 17 – “Jacob Wynant’s Horse Run off.  It went home & never Broke his Buggy.”

April 20 – “Joseph Biery Hung himself in his granary this morning about 5 oclock.  the cause not known.  Jack Thuma killed a large loon.”  (sketch)

April 20 – “Joseph Beery Hung himself in his grainery this morning about 5 oclock on Linville Creek the cause not known.”  (Smals wrote of at least four horse-runoff episodes during April).

April 24 – “Mrs. Stuart Lindsey Died at Jacob Lindseys House…”

May 4 – “The smallest Baby Born to day in the world some where in the north, it weighed 8 ounces and was perfect child.”

May 5 – “The Mossy Creek folks settled with Allemong to day for the church.”

May 6 – “A waggon Run over G. Claude Smals to day & Did not Break any of his Limbs.”

May 11 – “The Presbyterian Church was dedicated to Day.”

May 18 – “A fish & meat house opened here to day.”

May 28 – “Rev. Armstrong preached the Dedicatory sermon for the Mt. Solon Church to day & Realized money enough to the pay the Deposit on the Church which was $300.”

June 6 – “Jack Dooms finished the Parsonage House today.”

June 15 – “Jack Dooms finished the Parsonage Stable today.”

June 18 – Rev. Bush preached.

June 19 – “Isac Marshall Bought a Cow of Mr. Brown for a price of $45.00   She is a full Jersey.”

July 24 – “11 Wagons went through town for Blackberries to Parnassus, 50 bushels to town”

Aug 1 – “A new Barbershop by Barber and John Collbert commenced to day.”

Aug 8 – “I H. Smals had the pleasure of shaving Francis O’ferell the Colonels Brother from Minnesota, he came to our town to see his Mother.”

Aug 17 – Commenced laying Brick on the Bank to day.”

Sept 9 – “Overseer of the Poor took Peachy Hoak to the Poorhouse to day”

Sept 12 – “I H. Smals was Disfranchised as Sexton & P. Hartman was put in my place.”

(This undoubtedly pertains to the Methodist Church).

Sept 14 – “Scaffold at Bank fell & hurt 3.”

Sept 23 – “Meinars Jim Dog died to day.”

Oct 2 – “the Great Comet made its appearance this morning in the East.”

Oct 4 – “H. Dice sold a lot to Casper Earheart for $100, 1 ¼ acre.  Thrush Sellers Bilds Mrs. Williams a house for $600 on High Street.”

Oct 22 – Preaching by Rev. Hildebrand.

Oct 23 – “Humphreys Loose got his new engine this evening, it cost about $1200.”

Nov  (?) – “Dr. Brown & Robert Whitescarver have a Quarrel in our Shop this morning, but Did not come to blows.”

Dec 25 – “Jack Higgins & Jack Jones were tried and convicted for stealing and sent to jail.”

Dec 26 – “A Christmas tree for benefit of the Sabbath School Children.  Speech from Rev. D. Bush.”  (sketch of Christmas Arch)



Jan 24 – “Old Brother John Altaffer Died in this Place this evening about 4 oclock at age of 84 ½  years old, he has been a Methodist for 65 year and over.” (Commemorated in stained glass window in Bridgewater United Methodist Church.)

Jan 26 – Rev Bush preached Altaffer’s funeral.

April 6 – “Our young Preacher Waters came to town this evening from Maeraland (Maryland).”


Book 15

June 24 – Dr. Folensher preached.

July 1 – Preaching by Rev. Waters

July 11 – “The Wizard men came to our town this evening and will stay until next Sabbath.”

July 12 – “Mr. Allemong and family gone to White Sulphur Springs to stay for 3 weeks.”

July 25 – “Hanger and wife joined the M.E. Church to night.”

July 29 – Henry Smals granddaughter Sallie Miller married Samuel Boselmen.

Aug 4 – “My Birth day.  I H. Smals was born on the 4 August 1810 Saturday in afternoon at 3 oclock near the head of Muddy Creek about 2 miles of the head of Linville Creek & Bowmans Mill.”

Nov 12 – “Dock Van Pelt moved to Sangersville, he has moved 18 times in 6 years.”

Dec 31 – “Watch meting to night in M. E. Church.”



Feb 26 – “Dr. Jones Drugstore caught on fire and burt up all his drugs & medcane.  Did not burn the store house.”

June 15  - “Lighting struck Rev. Raley (Lutheran) near Mt. Crawford and knocked his horse down but did not kill either of them.”

June 18 – “All the presses & other tools to Bridgewater this evening to make cigars.” (sketch of cigar)

Aug 6 – “Old Jimmie Coakley, colored, died today near Rushville at the age of 110 years old.”

Aug 10 – “Sabbath Morning, Warm Cloudy.  Rained some last night.  This is Childrens Day with the M.E.C.S.  The collection amounted to 10 dollars.  Preaching by Rev. Waters at 11 oclock.  Exercises at 2 oclock, also at night.”

Aug 16 – “Professor Hoover & Professor Hulvey came to our town.  Spoke in the Old Town Hall as Democrats.”

(At this time Rev. Campbell was preaching in the Lutheran Church & Rev. Clark in the Baptist Church.  Smals usually mentioned the services in Lutheran and Baptist Churches).

Sept 3 – “Uncle Jake Hesberger raised a watermelon that weighed 47 ¾ pounds.”

Sept 7 – Rev. Linch preached in M.E.C.S Church.

Sept 13 – “A fellow going to walk on a Rope started from J. Dinkles to the top of the old Tavern.”

Sept 22 – “Jacob Bierly & son were killed in the well by foul air.”

Oct 5 – Rev. Ross preaching at M. E. C.

Nov 1 – “Mrs. Showalter Beat a little child today Black & Blue.  She was arrested & had her trial.  Paid the Corporation $5.00 and $25.00 to the County Court.”

Nov 20 – “There was the Largest Prosession I saw in Bridgewater.  It was supposed that there were 300 in Prosession  & very good order.”

Nov 27 – “This is Thanksgiving day all over the United States.”

Nov 30 – Sabbath Morning.  “A. L. Lindsey Died this evening about 6 oclock at his home with poralosis.”

Dec 25 – Thursday Morning Clear.  “Very cold this Christmas Day, Plenty of ice on the River   Boys skating and shooting.”

Dec 26 -  “I H. Smals Eat a fine Dinner at George Hangers.”

Dec 27 – “Oyster supper to night by the Masons at Will Areys.”



Jan 12 – “The Cigar Boys commence making cigars today.”  (Smals makes frequent  references to the “cigar boys” working in the cigar factory in Bridgewater)

Jan 18 – “Old Mr. Hailman fell through the Bridge & Caught himself before he got to the water.”

(Smals had been writing regularly of work on the bridge)

Jan 24 – “William H. Grove finished the Bridge today.  Got $56 for his 16 days work.”  

Feb 21 – “21 below zero.”

Mar 18 – “Our Preachers have come from Conference to day.  Rev Dice the Presiding Elder & Rev Lynch & Prettiman (Prettyman) the Senior & Junior Preacher for one Year.”

Mar 21 – “Dam frozen over to night, never was known to freeze over in March before.”

Mar 22 – Preaching by Rev. Reade (Reid?)

Mar 24 – “Old Miller Areys sale today on Muddy Creek.”

Mar 25 – “Hales engine went through our town this morning.”

Mar 27 – “A Degarion (?) car came to town today.” (sketch of train car, maybe an early photo studio?)

Mar 28 – “The dogs killed a parse of sheep for John Allemong this morning. John Allemong discharged 6 of his cigar men.  Only 4 rollers left & 2 packers.”

April 3 – Good Friday.  “This is the day our Savior was crucified nearly 1900 years ago.” (sketch of cross) 

April 10 –  “The old Brick Shop that I Built 1840, 44 years ago, they are taring down to Build Drivers House.”

April 12 – “Bettie Brown joined the M. E. Church South.”

April 16 – “John Fisher rented the Lower Room of the Odd Fellows for the sum of  Two Dollars per month…”

April18 – “The first Quarterly Conference held in this place.   Presiding Elder present and both of the preachers on the Sircuit present & a good many of the Official Body present.  Brother Lynch gone to Spring Hill to hold a Quarterly meeting for the presiding Elders.  Brother Prettyman preached at night at 7 ½  oclock.” 

April 22 – Moses Stickler had been recommended as Post Master in Bridgewater.

May 6 – “Smith Dinkel hired a Bisicle in Harrisonburg to learn to Ride on.”

May 15 – “My Daughter Annie Died to night at 10 oclock.  She was 42 years & some month old.”

May 20 – “Richard Berlin put a whistle on his engine today.”

June 8 – “Shifflett stabbedd Riddle 2 times in the side.  The one stab is supposed to be fatal.”

June 9 – John Allemong had had no success selling his cigars in Chicago.

June 14 – “Rev. Dr. Martin preached for us to night.  The beginning of the Village Camp.”

July 1 - “Robert Furry steps out as Mail Carrier on the Warm Springs & Harrisonburg Turnpike.”

All of the postal officers of the District were stepping out.  James Blakmore was to be the Mail Carrier from Bridgewater to Harrisonburg.” (James Blakemore and his wife Laura are commemorated in a stained glass window in Bridgewater United Methodist Church).

July 2 – People were harvesting with their coats on.  “Very cold, almost a frost.”

July – William Arey died.

July 9 – John Flavin fell from a 3 story Building & hurt himself very Badly, not expected to get over his fall.  (sketch of man upside down)

July 23 – “General Grant Died this morning.”


Book 16

July 22 – “2 Negroes Broke open Wines & Funkhousers Store & stole 2 suits of clothing, coffee, sugar and 4 other articles.”

July 25 –  “2nd Quarterly meeting commenced to day at Mt. Solon.  Presiding elder present.”

Aug 22 – “Great Misical Convention here to day.  There were 9 Bands.  About 1500 white & colored present.”

Aug 26 – “Allemong bought 300 lbs of Honey from the Pendletonians.”

Sept 1 – “Stuart Lindsey gone to District Conference at Greenville Augusta Co.”

Sept 9 – “The Sunday School Institute was held in M. E. Church to day.  The Tunker School commenced today with favorable success in the Tunker College.”

Sept 17 – “The Great Reunion in Harrisonburg of the soldiers north and south.”

Sept 19 – Smals shamed people for being at a skating rink on the Sabbath in Berlintown.

Oct 17 – Rev. Prettyman preached.

Oct 28 – “Mrs. Mag Arey died.”

Nov 17 – “Moffett Miller very sick.”

Nov 18 – “The Appraisers appraise Miss Mag Areys property to day.  Snyder Jacobs & Jacob Lindsey were the appraisers.”

Nov 19 – “Miss Mag Areys Sale to day.  Isac Hilbert was the auctioneer.”

Dec 25 – “Blind Tom played piano in Lutheran Church at night.  $87.65  raised from Tom’s playing.  Charles Teter & Joseph Wiggins had a fight in Mr. Perry’s Yard.”

Dec 26 – “William Richcreek & Mr. Myers had a fight on the sidewalk near Mr. Bydes gate.”

Dec 30 – “Rev. Samuel Holt preached Miss Mag Holts funeral in the M. E. Church.”



Jan 7 – M. B. Childers caught 7 Suckers weighing 10 pounds and average in length 15 inches.”

(sketch of fish)

Feb 22 – “Beerlys old Mill burned to night.”

March 6 – “A flock of wild geese went through our town today.  The meeting of the Stuarts today on the finances.” (likely M. E. Church)   “James Blakemore & Son came to town this evening from Staunton.”

March 15 – “Stonewall Jacksons horse Old Sorrel died at the Soldiers Home in Richmond at 32 years of age.”

March 17 – “Conference adjourned today. A man the name of Kibler is our Preacher in Charge.  The Junior Preacher is Prettyman.”

March 18 – “The Colored Minstrell Singers came to our town today & sang tonight in the M. E. Church.”

March 21 – Preaching by Rev. Kinzer.

March 31 – “George Hanger moved to Allemongs house on Commerce Street.”

May 3 – “Conference of M. E. Church commenced in Richmond today.”

May – “Samuel Sterling caught a play fish that was 17 ¾ inches long and 9 inches around.”

May 21 – Temperance Meeting.  “Mr. Tatum spoke with a great deal of credit to himself to the congregation which was much pleased.”

May 22 – “A great Picknick came off on the Roundhill to day with the Young folks of our town.”

June 10 – “I Henry Smals & F. Hudgens commenced as Sexton in M. E. Church to day at $3.00 Dollars per month in advance”

June 18 – “All the Students from the College left for home this morning.  They went east, west, north & south”

June 24 – “A show in our town, part man part bare.”

July 16 – Smals started pasting newspaper clipping pictures in his diary to replace some of his artwork.

July 19 – Rev. Whisman came to our town this evening & Rev. Linch also came to our town. John Wise put up Mag Areys Tombstone & Fence around it.”

July 29 – “Henry Lang made a wach (watch) out of wood & Ivory that runs well.”

Aug 7 - “Washed the Bridge away on the River on the turnpike below John Miller’s tombstone factory.”

Aug 22 – Rev. Kibler preached.

Aug 25 – “Engine crost our Bridge & Broke 3 or 4 slippers.  Injured the Bridge very much.”

“Moffett Miller gone to Lexington to see Mr. Adds.”

Aug 31 – “A Great Earthquake in ____ .     Shook the houses & Made the door and windows rattle.”  “EARTHQUAKE”   (The location Smals gives is illegible, but this would have been the major earthquake centered around Charleston, SC which was felt all over the South Atlantic states. In fact Smals noted this in a September 3rd note in which he writes: “Another shock to day in Charleston, South Carolina, no other nuse, done a great deal of damage to night by the Earthquake.”)

Sept 6 – “Old Mr. Fulton Died near Centerville at the age of 76 years old.  Franklin Irvine Raised a blood Beet in his garden that Measures 29 inches Round and Weighed 11 Pounds.”

Oct 3 – Rev. Prettiman (Prettyman) preached.

Oct 17 – Rev. Kibler preached.

Nov 28 –  “Sabbath the largest class that we have had in for 5 years & the best feeling that I saw for many days.”

Nov 29 – “Preaching by Rev. Prettiman, 41 converts up to this date.”

Dec 30 – Missionary performance in the M. E. Church this eveing.



Feb (?) -  “Mr. Fry was arrested for stealing Bran Rices Wheelbarrow and had $22.50 fine to pay.”

Feb 20 –  “Prettiman preached.   Brown preached at 2 o’clock.”

Mar 6 – Kibler preached.

Mar 9 – “The Baltimore Annul Conference commenced today at Leesburg.”

Mar 14 – “Charley Dull hit Laurence Kibler in the head with a rock that weighed 1 ½ pounds, Badly Hurt.”

Mar 15 – “Conference adjourned today.  J. H. Waugh was Presiding Elder of the Rockingham District.  In the Bridgewater Circuit J. L. Kibler was Preacher in Charge and F. J. Prettiman was Junior Preacher.”

Mar 19 – “Presiding Elder Dice came to our town this evening.”

Mar 20 – “Preaching by Presiding Elder Dice.”

Mar 30 – “George Hanger moved to the Perry house on the street & Cease moved in the house Hanger came from.”

April 3 – Kibler preached.

April 11 – “Miss Kate Dinkel gone to Baltimore to have a Cancer operation.”


Book 17 -  (The first several pages of Book 17 records some 170 deaths along with numerous births & marriages from 1887 until 1889).

April 16 – “A great deal of Business Done in Allemongs store to day.  Allemong & his son Edward gone to Staunton on Business.”

April 17 – “Rev. Prettiman preached on Temperance.”

April 26 – “Daniel Bierly put up his Frigerator to day in Mrs. Williams Shop to save his Beef.”

(sketch of refrigerator)

April 29 – “Samuel Boserman sent in to work the creamery for Sanger Brothers for $25.00 Dollars per month.”

April 30 – “A big Dunkard metg held near Bridgewater.  Suppose to be 2000 persons present.”

May 1 – Children’s Day at M. E. Church.

May 5 – “Mr. Joseph Click Commence Laying the Floor of the Bridge.”

May 7 – “The Presbyterians Rented the Old Town Hall for a Church of the Council for sum of $5.00 per year & the Episcopals Rented it $5.00 per year.”

May 10 – “North River past fording all day long.”

May 15 – “Preaching by Rev. Prettiman.”

May 16 – “James L. Lowman sold his 2 mules for the sum of $235 Dollars & 1 Roan horse for $130.”

May 27 – “A Lawn partie came off in the old town hall, Realized about $12 dollars.”

May 28 – “Festival still going on in old town hall by I. O. & O. F. (International Order of Odd Fellows)  They realized  about $30 dollars cash for both nights.”

May 29 – “Preaching in M. E. Church & Sacrament of the Lords Supper.”

May 31 – Ernest Strayer is gone to Pendleton & Hardy Countys to purchase wood.”

June 2 – “Dr. Fauver took a Quantity of Morpheme & came very near killing himself, it may be it will kill him yet.”

June 4 – “Quarterly meeting in Mt. Crawford to day, Presiding Elder Waugh Present.”

June 6 – “Dr. Fauver Died this morning at 9 ½ oclock.  He was 30 years old.”

June 11 – “Hirem Miller raised his barn today.”

June 13 – “Rev. Prettiman gone home to Maryland on a wedding ture.  George Hanger and George Hartman had a Dreadful Quarrel on the Street near Allemongs Store.” 

June 15 – “William O. Ross Preached in M. E. Church to night at 8 oclock sharp.”

June 19 – “Rev. Brown preached at 11 oclock in the old town hall.”

June 23 – Simeon Long’s hole family got poisoned to day, one of the Children got a box of Arsneck & throwed the contents in Flour Barrel & when they baked of that Flour 9 of them eat the bread & were all poisoned.”

June 25  - “This is Dimesday.”  (?)

June 26 – Preaching by Rev. Kibler.

June 27 – “Henry Covington gone to Sharlottesville to Doo business in a store.”

July 14 – “Cornet Band were on the Street playing for the town.”

July 19 – “Rev. John Speck will preach in M. E. Church to night.”

July 22 –  “A mink Rat or Weasel Killed 40 ducks of Mrs. Bradys.”

July 23 – “I. M. Yost & Billy Harlow were Rasselin & Yost fell on the floor on his Head & came very near Killing himself.’

July 27 – “A church meeting in the M. E. Church to night.  Preacher in charge Kibler present.”

Aug 4 – “This is my Birth day, I am 77 years old to day.  I thank God that he has spared my life so long.” 

Aug 6 – “A Sabbath School Celebration at Mt. Solon to day of M. E. Church.”

Aug 15 - “The Adventests came here to day.  Pitched their tent behind the old town hall.”

Aug 20 – “Local Preachers Convention of the Colored People to day in Bridgewater at 11 oclock.”

Aug 26 – “The God tempelers have a convention in Bridgewater.  L. L Lloyd of the Methodist Church makes a Speech to night in M. E. Church. Temperance Convention Commenced this afternoon in Bridgewater at 2 oclock.”

Oct 9 – “Sabbath morning, clear & warm, class at the usual hour 9 oclock, no preaching, Sabbath School at 2 oclock, Prayer meeting at 7 ½ oclock.”

Oct 18 – “The Great County Fair commenced today in Staunton, to continue for 4 days.”

Oct 27 – “J. W. H. Allemong posted his land to day for warning any person or persons hunting & shooting or trespassing on his land.”

Dec 22 – “The Big Mill Burnt with 5,000 Bushels of wheat & 400 Barrels of Flour & no insurance on the Mill in Harrisonburg.”

Dec 25 – “Preaching by Rev. Prettiman from the text Glory to God in Highest.  Sabbath School at 2 ½ oclock & there were 156 present.”

Dec 30 – “A large Oyster Supper in Oddfellows Hall to night.”  (It is possible that the Methodist Church used the Odd Fellows Hall for fellowship at that time)  “Mr. Flinchum was hung in Harrisonburg to day at 11 oclock & 40 minutes.”  (sketch of hanged man)



Jan 4 – “Evangelick Alliance meting in Methodist Church this evening on Subject of Missions.  Rev. Hawkins officiated.”

Jan 10 – “A Great Church Trial with Professor Miller & Professor Wightman in the Dunkard Church.”

Jan 13 – “caught one of the boys that stole Rice’s Goods.”

Feb 14 – “This Valentine Day for the Year 1888.  Very muddy & Bad underfoot.  I think this is a weather breeder.”

Feb 27 – “James Lowman (horses) run off with the Mail Wagon & some of the passengers  got hurt, broke the wagon  all to pieces”

Feb 29 – “Mr. Allemong bought the house & lot where George Hanger live in for $400.00 dollars”

Mar 1 – “I saw Mr. Luther Hailman & Mr. Messick make 2 Rods of Wier fence in 21 minutes, the best wier fence I ever saw.”

Mar 3 – “Last Quarterly meeting held in this place today & tomorrow, presiding Elder Waugh present, a Great many of the official Body Present, next Conference in Mt. Crawford.”

Mar 9 – “Pink Tea Partie (?) comes off to night in the Bank hall.”

Mar 14 – “The United Brethren Conference to day in Daton.  Bishop Kepart present.”

Mar 18 – “Preaching in M. E. Church at 11 oclock by Rev. Lorenezo.  Also preaching in old Town Hall by Rev. Brown.”

Mar 25 – “Miss Sue McWilliams funeral preached by Rev. Prettiman at 3 ½  to day, congregation of about 500 persons, a lecture by Rev. Prettiman at 7 oclock in the M. E. Church, what he saw & heard at Conference.”

April 2 – “Frank Johnston stabbed Samuel Brady with a Knife in the Back.  John Hatfield moved in Widow Browns House near the M.E. Church.  Some one shot at Professor Miller this evening.”

April 4 – “Our young Preacher made his first effort lead Prayer Meting in M. E. Church.”

(This would have been Rev Evans)

April 26 – “George Hanger moved to his new house on Bank Street today.”

May 16 – “Samuel Jordan came to Bridgewater, he is a tomb stone maker.”

May 27 – Children’s Day in M.E. Church.

May 28 – “A Reck at Sangersville to day, smashed the Engine Badly, no one hurt, Run over a   ____(?).

June 10 – “Preaching by Rev. Evans, a public collection for Missions amounted to $11 dollars & 25 cents.”

June 25 – “William Lindsey Died.(He is commemorated in one of the stained glass windows in the Bridgewater United Methodist Church)

June 27 – Rev. Brown & Rev. Hawkins assisted Rev. Kibler preach Lindsey funeral.

July 21 – “The Sabbath School Institute commences in this place this morning at 10 oclock in the M. E. Church, an address by Rev. Wheeler in the morning & address by Rev. Cox of Harrisonburg in the evening & singing by the children through the day.  There were about 600 persons present at the Sabbath School Institute, fine speeches & Dialogs & fine singing & the matter came off very well.”  

July 31 – “Ted Brookins scoured out the M.E. Chruch today.”

Aug 5 – “A Black man stold a horse in Augusta Co. & Came to Bridgewater & was arrested & taken to Stuanton Jail by John Hatfield, had a Big fuss among the negroes & white people.”

Aug 30 – “All the Bands in the Valley meet in Harrisonburg to day.”

Sept 21 – “Some Fools Drove through the street & blew Horns & hollered & waked all the People on front street.”

Sept 29 – “Dedication of church at Sangersville Augusta Co. Va.  Dr. Bucher returnd from Odd Fellows Convention in California.”

Oct 10 – “I  H. Smals Rented a sowing machine from John Carpenter.  Thieves broke in Areys Store & Mrs. Woodardlys Drug Store.

Oct 12 – “Professor Miller was captured in Mr. Kiles orchard by George Hanger, Hamilton Richcreek & John Click about two oclock in Morning. ”

Oct 23 – “Democrats put up a pole Cleveland & Thurmond.”

Oct 28 – Rev. Evans preached.

Nov 11 – Preaching by Rev. Cox from Harrisonburg.

Dec 19 – “The Presbyterians had an Oister Supper in the Jos. Dinkel House.”

Dec 25 – Mr. Shipman the Druggist is gone to Chicago Illinois.  I suppose to get Married to Miss Young.”



Jan 2 – “Tonight the Christmas Presents to be given out to the Sunday Methodist School Children. A very fine house built for the occasion.  The gifts were very satisfying to all the Children.”

Jan 8 – “Charley Shank caught a Playfish that measured 20 inches long.” (sketch of fish with the “20 inches long” written on the fish)

Jan 25 – “Professor Miller was cleared of the charges brought against him.”

Jan 26 – “Cloudy & Raining very muddy & Disagreeable on the human Body.  Rev. John Click to be tried for Helping to Ketch Professor Miller & George Van Pelt to be tried for some Misdemeanor.”

Jan 30 – “A Dead child found in Mr. Crawfords Woodhouse.  Do not no whose it is.”

Feb 2 – “Allemong & Strayer Bought Iron Safe that weighed 3100 pounds, plated all over, the iron safe cost $150.”

Feb 4 – Rev. Rosser preaches to night at 7 oclock in M. E. Church.”

Feb 24 – Lovefeast in the morning at 9 oclock.  Preaching by Dr. Waugh, after preaching 23 join the Methodist Church.”

Feb 25 -  “Dr. Rosser preached two weeks.”

Mar 3 – “24 more joined church.”

Mar 4 – “102 conversions in the M. E. Church up to this date.”

Mar 11 – “Our metg closed to night, they were 126 converted & 58 joined M. E. Church up to this date.  Dr. Rosser gone to the Baltimore Conference with Brother Killen.”

Mar 12 – “The People paid Dr. Rosser about one hundred dollars for Services Rendered.”

Mar 13 – “Our Annuel Conference Commneced to day in Alescandria.”

Mar 24 – “Preaching by Rev. Wheeler at 7 oclock in M. E. Church.”

April 8 – “Old Mr. Trumel got hooked By a Cow in the Lower Jaw & Knocked out 2 teeth, he is very Bad off.”

April 14 – Rev. Sites preached.

April 17 – “A church Metg in the M. E. Church this eveing at 7 ½ oclock, Rev. Armstrong & Rev. Sites present.”

April 23 – Mr. Dutton  the State Temperance Speaker Speaks to night in the M. E. Church to a large crowd.”

April 28 – “Rev. Armstrong preached.”

April 29 – “3 white Boys and 3 Negroes had a trial for crossing the bridge unlawful & and they had to pay a fine.”

April 30 – “This was national Thanks Giving day, 100 years since the Enaugeration of General George Washington in New York, the people are Selebrating this day all over the United States of America.”

May 4 – “a big Frost cut my Garden down to the Ground.”

Starting May 6 and for the next week or so Smals listed the texts of 40 some sermons preached by Dr. Rosser.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

May 16 – “The Great Medical Wagon (?) of Blakemores left from our Carriage Factory.”

May 26 – “College Boys & Girls went on the Round Hill to see what they could see.”

May 30 – “A Strawberry festival for the Prebsterian Church.”

May 31 – “Rained all day long, River very high, the largest flood we have had since Nov 1877, it Done a Great Deal of damage, Pleckers Bridge washed away in Mt. Crawford, Considerable damage Done at the Butman (abutment?) of our Bridge.”

June 6 – Pastor Armstrong & family moved to Bridgewater to day in the Nieal House.”

June 29 – “I  H. Smals & F. K. Speck went to Allemongs wheat field to show the young men how to Reap wheat, had our photograph taken in the act of Reaping.”

June 30 – Rev. Brown Preached in Presbyterian Church.

July 2 – “This is the Day that the Virgin Mary crossed the Mountain.” (?)

Rev. Sites preached in the M. E. Church in early July.

July 8 – “John Wesley Web came to our town, he is a Dr. of Divinity in the Methodist Church of West Virginia.”  “Sullivan whiped Kittering in New Orleans.”

July 18 – “The colored people bought a parsonage for their preacher in Bridgewater, the Mrs. Brown (?) house near the M. E. Church for $400.”  (This may have been the house on the north corner of Main and Green Streets that was razed in the 1970s)

Aug 1 – “the niggers had a festival on the schoolground to night.”

Aug 8 – “Sole Hites mule Died.”

Aug 12 – “David Whitmore took possession of the Post Office of Bridgewater for 4 years.”

Oct 3 – “Buffalo Bill Dinkle & wife came to Bridgewater to day.”

Oct 10 – “William Myers the cigarmaker moved in New House to day in Bridgewater.”

Oct 15 – “Ken Dinkel and others shot about 50 partridges to day in Augusta Co.”

Oct 29 – “William Myers bought the Brick Shop at Mrs. Bradys for the sum of $400 Dollars.”

Nov 7 – “J. W. F. Allemong sale to day, crier name is Hudlow, sale amounted to $3,000.”

Nov 9 – “Allemong family moved to Salem.”

Nov 12 – “D. G. Whitmore moved the Post Office in his Jewelry Shop.”

Nov 24 – Rev. Sites preached.

Nov 25 – “Isac Marshall butchered 5 hogs totaling 1705 ½ pounds.

Dec 22 - Rev. Sites preached.

Dec 30 – “The Colage of the Dunkard Church Burnt to the ground to day, $4,000 insurance on the House.”



Jan 1 – “Drisling rain, a large Sunday School Treat to the children, a large turnout of People to hear the singing & rehearsals of  the children, a small sprinkle of Rain through the night.”

Jan 4 – “Peach trees in bloom, willows Getting Green.” (Other weather notes by Smals indicates this was a mild winter).

Jan 21 – “Mrs. Girtrude Dinkel moved to the George Dinkels to day from her father’s M. T. Jenkins.” 

Feb 6  - “I  H. Smals has called to a Dinner at George Hangers & such a Dinner I have not set Down to for a long time, the variety is to tedious to mention, many thanks to Hangers wife.”

Feb 8 – “The Swiss Bell ringers performed to night in the old Town Hall with great success.”

Feb 22 – “Allemong sold  the Strayer House & lot to John W. Click for the sum of $2500.”

Feb 27 – “George Heartman & I. Miller had a fight at Heales Sale.”

Mar 18 – “Wm. Myers commenced work in the Corner Brick house near the Bridge with 12 Hands making cigars.”

Mar 21 – “John McLouds Elocution closed to night, Mrs. Herms horse died to night at the Elocution.”

Mar 27 – “A powerful Sicklone (cyclone) passed through passed through Louville Kentucky to day Destroying all the best part of the city & killed about 7,000 persons.”

Mar 28 – “Miss Ida Karens stable Blowd Down to the ground about 1 oclock to day.”

(Smals entries from April 8 through April 14, 1890 indicate that he was very ill at this time).

April 19 – “46 carts and wagons went through our town this morning going to southwest Virginia on a Railroad.”

April 27 – “Preaching by Rev. Armstrong in morning. Rev. Hawkins in evening.”


Book 18

May 7 – “Selling lots in Basic City.”

May 13 – “A well Digging Machine went through our town today.”

May 15 – “I  Henry Smals ____ (illegible word) sick this evening & was very sick this morning _____ (illegible word).”

May 17 – Smals was still very sick.  “Our young preacher Joice (Joyce) came on the Sircuit to day.”

May 21 – “The Dunkard School Broke up in a Row.”

May 22 – “A great many students left to day in a Sputter.”

May 22 – “Dr. Brown, Dr. Wairon, Dr. Argeloust (?), Dr. Bucher, Dr. Edward Brown cut a black mans arm off above the wrist, the man name of Kilpatrick.”

May 28 – “Dr. Bucher gone to Richmond to see the unveiling of General Lees statue, they went with the Stonewall Band.”

June 8 – Preaching by Rev. Joice.

June 16 – “Black Tom Adams came to our town to his father.”

June 26 – “P. H. Snyder fell down the top steps of the Masonick Hall & Bruised him self very Badly.  Old Mrs. Carney from New York fell down the stare way & hurt herself Badly.  P. H. Snyders shoulder was dislocated.”

June 27 – “F. K. Speck & myself cut 1 Shock of Wheat with Sickels.”

July 4 – “Solomon Garber got Hit with a Bass Ball and is very Bad off to day.”

July 7 – “Doomer & Arey commenced the Benches for the M. E. Church.”

July 13 – “Sabbath School at Old Town Hall, our church is on repair, no preaching.”

July 14 – “Clifton Hites Black Goat choked to death today.”

July 15 –  “Mr. Bricker Died from the foul Air in Samuel Longs well…”

July 28 – “Mearse Burdley got hit in the head & was killed for a short time with a Base Ball.”

Aug 8 – Henry Smals noted his 80th birthday.

Aug 14 – “There was a meeting called today by 30 citizens of this town and a Joint Stock Company formed under the name of the Bridgewater Mining Land & Improvement Co.”

Aug 23 – “The Presbyterians have concert to make money to By a Bell for their church.  The Presbyterians realized $68.00 Dollars clear of all expenses with their fir Jipsey tent and (illegible) tent.”

Aug 28 – “David J. Whitman Built a New Stable for his Cow.”

Sept 3 – “The Bell in Presbyterian Church put up to day & rung at 1 ½  oclock, a very fine tone keyd on letter.” 

Sept 19 – “Mr. William Bricker fell off the Presbyterian Church, Hurt is arm.  Rev. Brown preaching a Presbyterian.”

Oct 12 – Rev. Armstrong preached.

Oct 16 – “Presbytery still going, a great many Preachers & lay Delegates present.”  

Oct 19 – Preaching by Rev. Carson in M. E. Church.

Oct 25 - “The Dunkards have a big meeting on Mill Creek to day.”

Oct 26 –Rev. Joice preaching at M. E. Church.”

Nov 6 – “At the election of Nov 4 Professor Hulvey was elected Mayor of Bridgewater.  Councilmen were Dr. Booker, M. T. Jenkins, James Lowman, M. B. Childress, Sam Dinkel & Dr. Brown."

Nov 13 – “Boys shooting ducks on the River.”

Nov 23 – Rev. Hawkins preached his last sermon in Bridgewater at the Lutheran Church.”

Dec 15 – “Benjamin Kurlin was kicked by one of his horses & hurt very Badly.”

Dec 16 – “Benjamin Kurlin Died this morning at  6 oclock.  A big snow fell to day about 2 feet in depth.”

Dec 25 – “Another foot of snow.”



Jan 7 – “Protracted meeting commenced in M. E. Church.”

Jan 8 – “Joel Miller’s team Run off an Runn over Black Streud & Bruised him very much.”

Jan 18 –  “Sabbath  School at 9 ½  oclock, Preaching By Rev. Armstrong, Lovefeast at 2 ½  oclock.”

Jan 25 – “A Big Snow, no Sunday School, no class, prayer meeting at 7 oclock, very cold weather.”

Feb 2 – “this is Ground hog day, he saw his shadow all day long.”

Feb 15 – “Walter Turk got Badly Hurt this evening.”

Feb 17 – “Walter Turk some Better.  Walter Turk Died this evening.”

Mar 3 – “Widow Wises sale to day near St. Michaels Church.”

Mar 6 – “All the snows that fell this winter was 4 feet 6 inches in depth up to this day.” (Smals notes another 15 inches of snow on March 28 and recorded more snow in early April of 1891).

Mar 11 – “The Baltimore Conference Commenced her session to day in Roanoke City & the Colored Conference Commenced in Baltimore City on the same day. Lee Hammer Bought the old tan yard on Ken Dinkels for $260 Dollars in Bridgewater.”

Mar 24 – “John Wise moved to Basic City, Augusta County.  Everest Penny cut one of the students Badly above the knee.”

April 22 – “Ned Brown gone to Moorefield in a Drug Store, Hardy County.”

April 25 – “Quarterly Mtg. In Mt. Crawford, Presiding Elder Gardner Present on Saturday.”

“A new cigarmaker came to our town to make cigars for Myer & Garber to day.” (the word “cigar”on sketch of cigar).

May 13 – “(Henry) Smals & Jenkins moved from P. Gavins Shop to Dinkels Store loft to day.” 

They were to pay Dinkel one dollar a month rent.

May 22 – “A temperance Speech made in our church By the State Lectuer.”

May 28 – “Danle Hilbert Son had his thumb cut off with Jack Doomers Plainer. (sketch of thumb)  “The Republicans Elected all over the County.”

June 9 – “Strawberries in our town for sale at 30 cents per gallon.”

May 10 – “J. W. F. Allemong sold his John W. Click farm for the sum of $4200 to Wm. Tutwieler of Centerville.”

June 15 – “Robert Furry had one of his fingers cut Badly with the Machine, the Jointer.”

June 16 – “The Trial of the Dunkard Church commenced to day, will last for Several Days between the church & Miller.”

June 17 – “The trial of the Dunkard Church against Professor Miller Still going on in this church in Bridgewater.”

June 22 – “Trial between church & Miller Closed..  Professor Miller was acquitted & the others acknowledged Rong.”

June 27 – “Sam P. Jones preached to about 6,000 persons in Stuanton.”

July 21 – “Monument of Stonewall Jackson unveiled to day in Lexington, Virginia, 50,000 persons thought to be present.”

July 27 –  “Robert Hudgens drowned someone’s horse.”

July 28 – John Wood commenced repairing the Bridge in this place to day.”

Aug 2 – Rev. Joice preached.

Aug 8 – “The Dunkards had a Harvest meeting to day.”

Aug 27 – “Edward Miller gave me the Largest peach I ever saw & I am 81 yeas old.”  (sketch of peach)

Friday Sept 4 – “A Great Stir on the street to day.”

Sept 6 – “I H. Smals Eat a fine Dinner at P. M. D. Hatfields to day.  Negroes had a Camp Meeting in Augusta County.”

Sept 10 – “The people can Cross the Bridge.” 

(Smals makes several reference to very dry weather in late September 1891).

Oct 25 – “Sabbath morning clear & cool, Sabbath School at 9 ½ oclock, no preaching at any of the churches to day, class at the usual hour 2 ½ oclock, Preaching at Lutheran Church at 7 oclock, Prayer Mtg. at M. E. Church 7 oclock.”  (This was the last Sunday entry Henry Smals made in his diaries).

Oct 28 – “Wednesday morning clear very cold Frese.” (His last entry on October 28, 1891)