Bill Akins Journal


Pages 27 - 37


Page 27

                          Dec 10th 1855

             Tremendous cold last night the wind blowed savage.  Today made some repares on the siding mill & assisted the engineer some.  Shall run the mill tomorrow.  Going to copy some from Pop now R. Hale is with me.                    Monday, Dec 10th 1855

D15, 1855.  Went to Eastmens today found it very hard walking indeed.  Bought one pare of overhauls & ________, $1.00.  Saw Judge Waters my old friend and had a long chat together.  Think I shall work for him next summer for 14 shillings per day.  Saw my friend Geo Cahoon who had his eye knocked out by a mallet, falling on to a siding mill saw which made him senseless for a week he is a fine fellow.  But the boys are kicking around here and jarring the floor tremendously and all feeling well.       Bill


Page 28

             Polkton             Dec 11 1855

                          Went down to Eastmans Landing yesterday helped drink 2 quarts of Cidor.  Seth returned saw him get on to the Steam Boat Empire & come back with E. Jewitt.  Received a letter from Brother George with inquiry about locating government land here in these parts.  But the question is easy answered, there is no land of that description here bouts.  Must go down and see Jewett about the matter.  Very cold this morning, snow about 3 inches deep.  No busings today except reading, writing & Fiddling.  Amen for the present.      Bill


             William F. Akins

             William F Akins


                                       Otawa                Mich

             Robert M Hale

             Robert M Hale

             Bill Akins


Page 29

             Every man is born for some destiny and every day of his life is a consumation of a part, most of which he takes no notice and is not long remembered.  But one’s life is a confused ginggle of actions, he is a fugitive in many mans estimations and if his own conception of himself is flattering, his final settlement with the world will leave but little to balance.

             The weather is fine today and I am afraid we shall have a breakup.  I have been idle now four days though in perfect health.  I want to get into businey.  Dreamed hard dreams last night with no conclusion.  The effect perhaps of my visit last evening at A Bigalow & F. Tubbs and the company of their fair looking wives.  Dec 18, 1855

Dreamed a dream the other night when all around was still I thought.


Page 30


             December 27, 1855

Very tedious wether for the past week.  Snowed every day in it.  If more comes it will bring money to me for Damons lumber will be drawn to the river and our pay will come forthwith.  Mine will amount to $150.00 at this time & perhaps double of that in the spring on in the middle of the summer.  Hatch has hired four new hands and they are all fine fellows except one Gumus Hall who will get shifted shortly.  One Irishman and one mongiral something its both clever fellows.  Wrote a letter to Frank Winship last Sunday hope to get an answer soon.  Hear nothing from home for four weeks.  Think tonight I would like to be among the gentle folks in Berkshire, but tis but I should be away at present from home.  I have to work pretty hard now a days.  But feel well and in good health.  Bill


Page 31

                          December 30th 1855

             Had a visit from Hub Titus yesterday in the afternoon with his wife.  They stayed in the evening and we had among us all a great time.  I sat on the table in a chair and played the violin for Cotitions Hordigs.  Thin whats & brakdown danced till half after eleven.  ________ till ten minutes to nine this morning then arose washed, shifted clothes and read some in Taylors Digesis and indrsed the most of it.  Got my Tribune last night must read some in it.  Going down to Jewett’s after dinner to write to Seth.  I with Jewett collectivly the weather is rather sad and dreary and very cold and I will transfer myself to reading.

Amen Bill Akins

Polkton  Dec 30, 1855 up stares by the stove pipe Sunday morning.


Page 32

                          Feb 25th 1856

             The preceding few pages were written while I was in rather a debilitated state of health.  When physical and mental facal ties were declining and also laboring under a melancholy apprehension that I was about to have the Ague and fever.  This is my appology for grunnefs.  Though now my friends are indefferent to me for letters and don’t care more than ever.  Good by to nonsence and away to bed.     Bill Akins

                                                                                                        Polkton Ottawa Co Michigan

             The envious snow fell in past

             To prove they beast less fair

             But grieves to see itself surpassed

             And melts into a tear.


             The snow fell on her white boosom has

             And we know it hadn’t order

             Pray till it last, alas.  A Dear

             ______ shirt was wet as water

                          Swampenous Toinous


Page 33

                                                                 Roseville 12 of May 57

             Eating ____ cakes this afternoon.  The girls have got home.  Fib is sick with the head-ache & Vira is on the nip cat and the mother gone visiting.  Every thing seems brighter ______  all around the room.  The weather is desidedly pleasant but cool.  4 ¼ ocl pm.           Bill Akins


                          An hour at the old playground.

I sat an hour today _______.

Beside the old playground.

I sat an hour today _____

Besie the old brook _____

When we were school boys in old time.

Haven ______ was a dream

The brook is ekked with fallen leaves

The pond is dryed away

I scarce believe that you would know

The dear old place today.

The school house is no more John

Beneath our front tree

When _____ _____ rose by the window side


Page 34

             Roseville May 16, 1857

Friend ------

                          Our pardon my friend for the liberty I take in addressing now in this thoughtful hour.  I am thinking at present of the melancholy days that are again returning.  Although it’s early in autumn the wind is whistling through the trees newly robed of their green leaves, the tree standing tall and bare bending slowly and wailing mournfully to the winds the leaves lie dead at their feet.  How continually are we reminded of the friends that have sickened and died, that were once dear to us.  That had perhaps, proud hopes in youth, like ourselves.  That strickened down in youth and all such hopes frustrated.  But spite of blighting & withering winds I can not help thinking that better days will return as do loved friends for another, & another farewell.  ____ she leaves us to the mercy of a teadious Northern winter – but now for the present supper must be attended to.

                                                    Yours as ever be   Wm F. Akins


Page 35

Bears the man heart that looks beneath W star.


Behold the child by Nature’s kindly law

Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw

_______ livelier plaything gives our youth delight

A little louder but as empty quite

Scarf garlier, gold our riper years engage

And beads and prayer books are the toys of age

Received with this bulle still as that before

Till tired we sleep—and Life’s poor play is over.

             Crabb’s Tales of the Fallen

                          Roseville  Aug 16, 1857

                                                   This day Sunday in the morning went out hunting Pigeons with Bob Hale.  Coming home fell in with a gang of raccoons.  We shot two and caught two more and brought them home and made a cage for em.

                                                                                                        Bill Akins


Page 36

                                       Hatch & Merritt


July 23               Balance due on settlement                                             $ 284.28

July 29               Pd By Cash                                                                       $     5.00

Aug 13               Pd By Cash                                                                       $   15.00


Aug 14               Dn, To Note given for the about account                     $ 264.28

Aug 22               Pd For Bill of Merchandise

received of Porter & Mathewson                                   $20.00

Wm F. Akins.

Nov 10th  Dn, to letters from Miss Emily Akins

Nov 10   To letter from Mary Akins.

             The damed old mill has fell in to hands of Wm J. Wills, the banker of Grand Rapids.  Hatch ag____ foreman.

             February 22nd 1861   We. F. Akins


Page 37

             Tis hard to dessever the ties of affection.  To part with the object which cherished our love.  The tear and the sigh will denote our dejection and grief the deep feelings will move.


             Like the child the eager stream let leaps and laughs a down the hill happy to be freed at twilight from toiling at the mill.


             Roseville Sunday Morning August 7, 1857

Awoke at seven this morning in good spirits notwithstanding my imprudent beer drinking last night with my old friend Jewitt, Leeander Brown and Charles Brown at the Roseville Saloon of Thomas T. Davis.  “4 glasses of beer & 2 cigars & candy each.”  Hatch has sold out his share of the mill to his pardoner, Titus Merritt of Iowa.  He is very desirious to have myself & Bob Heale take his mill to run by the thousand if we should what would be the consequesnes.  :bankrupcy would