Clara Denton Roach continues to transcribe sections of a diary that Charles Zachary Denton kept in minute detail that gives a glimpse into life in Graham County in the early days. This portion of the diary covers March of 1899:
March 1: Bought clothing from R.J. Cook for $14. Had horse shoed for 60 cents. Bought coffee for the ranch for $4.50. Paid Jake Bishop for clothing $1.25, oatmeal, $1.00, sugar, $1.50, total: $22.90. I stayed in Murphy to attend to business for Mr. Waldo and myself. Mr. Hyatt did not charge me for staying last night. I deposited $500 in the Murphy bank.
March 2: I left Murphy at 9:00 A.M. I paid Dr. J.W. Patton $20 for the use of their lands for grazing livestock last summer. I paid for myself and horse lodging $1.25. I bought a book for $1.75, total: $23.00. I came to Andrews in the afternoon and stayed with Uncle Bill Jones.
March 3: R.J. Cook met me in Andrews and brought 40 pounds of hams which I shipped to Professor Waldo at Haverford, PA. I paid 20 cents for freight on some stuff, kerosene, 20 cents, two mule shoes, 30 cents, one bag, 10 cents, soda, 10 cents, soap, 10 cents, one pair of pants, $2.50, three shirts, $2.00, paid W.P. Jones for feeding cattle,$3.50, lodging, 30 cents, postage, 10 cents, total: $12.70. I got home at noon and put up a footbridge over Snowbird Creek.
March 4: I paid Frank Cook $2.00 for labor. I finished footbridge by noon. In the afternoon I went to Professor Waldo’s sheep corrals and marked out some land to be cleared. I was in a thunder and rain storm as I came home.
March 5: I went to Bear Creek and gave our cattle some corn which we have on winter range. In the afternoon I rode to Robbinsville to see our cattle there.
March 6: four inches of snow and thermometer at zero degrees. I stayed in Robbinsville all day. I paid W.F. Mauney a boarding bill of $3.00. I paid G.B. Walker $5.00 for merchandise for Forrest Denton and myself. I paid R.J. Cook $3.75 for labor.
March 7: I paid W.F. Mauney $32.50 for corn, N.M.C. Slaughter $19.00 for two head of cattle, H.L. Ghormley $13.00 for feeding cattle.
March 8: I bought 1,000 pounds of salt from G.B. Walker for $8.00. I hauled hay on the Wiggins farm and went to the Will Rice home in the evening.
March 9: I did some writing. I bought two head of cattle from J.A. Ammons for $12.00. I traded to John Bennett of Robbinsville a cow I had bought from Robert Welch of Andrews for a seven year old horse and paid him $14.00 to boot. I bought medicine and sulfur for the cattle for 40 cents. I bought a revolver from John Robinson of Robbinsville and traded it for a silver watch.
March 10: I hauled hay on the Wiggins farm, bought tobacco, 20 cents, one shirt, 75 cents, and one pair of socks 10 cents. While I was in Robbinsville, I saw a great smoke two miles east of town. I rode over there and found it to be C. Listenbee’s lumber on fire that he had for a house on his farm. I helped him and we saved the saw mill.
March 11: I left Mr. Wiggins and rode to Homestead, N.C., a distance of 15 miles in three hours. I bought one steer from Sam Hoge for $14.50. Mr. Will Wiggins and I stopped at D.R. Welch’s. Weather is fine.
March 12: I went to church at Homestead. I gave the preacher, Reverend Foster, 25 cents. I went 1 ½ miles toward Bushnell with Miss Nancy Welch and stayed at the Welch home that night. It was warm and clear.
March 13: I left Homestead and rode back to the home of Mr. J.A. Wiggins. It rained all day. I drove a steer home that I bought at Homestead.
Editdor’s note: Denton’s month continues next week.