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- Shoults, J.H., Rev.
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The diaries of Rev. J. H. Shoults provide details of his life history over the period 1870-1884. Rev. Shoults worked as a minister with the Christian Church during this period. The majority of diary entries relate to his work with this church though reference is also made to his work as a teacher, family affairs, farming and gardening activities, shopping and errands, prices of food and farm goods, his personal finances, social visits (Rev. Shoults had many friends and acquaintances), and to weather conditions.
Rev. Shoults was born on Mar. 27, 1843. At the time of writing the diaries he has already married and many references are made to "Mrs. Shoults" or "Mrs. S." Diary entries also include references to his three children - Ella, Herschel, and Bertha. Rev. Shoults appears to have begun his career working as a school teacher and in 1870 (the first year for which the diaries are available) he was teaching and living on a farm in Whitevale, Ont. During this year he was also involved in the activities of both the Baptist and Christian churches, and he began to play a small part in preaching for the Christian Church working with Elder Jesse Tatton. In 1871 Rev. Shoults became involved in working as a Minister of the Christian Church on a full-time basis preaching in Bloomington, Ringwood, Markham, and Brougham. Rev. Shoults writes increasingly of his preaching, church meetings, funerals, and baptisms, and other activities of the Christian Church.
In Apr. 1872 Rev. Shoults moved from Whitevale to Altona, Ont. and in 1873 he moved from Altona to Little Britain, Ont. In 1879 he took up a new position as an Evangelist under the direction of the Mission Board and lived in a rented house in Newmarket, Ont. During 1880 Rev. Shoults moved from Newmarket to Kettleby and later in this same year he moved to live in J. Steven's house called "Mt. Pleasant" on the third line of King Township.
In 1883 Rev. Shoults' circumstances suddenly changed when he decided to rent a store and dwelling at 345 Yonge St., Toronto. However, his plan to open a store selling stationery and books was never realized, as he returned to the country and resumed working as a Minister with the Christian Church, first living at Bro. George's residence in Markham, and then in Oct. 1883 moving to Orono. In Feb. 1884 Rev. Shoults' daughter Bertha died of an illness. The final year covered by the diaries is 1884.
(Source : Materials in GA 110 Rev. J. H. Shoults Fonds.)
Scope and content
Ms. diaries contained in two coverless notebooks kept by J. H. Shoults. The first ca.  p. ms. diary covers the period Jan. 1, 1879 - June 30, 1879 when Shoults lived in Little Britain. The second ca.  p. ms. diary covers the period July 1, 1879 - Dec. 31, 1879. In this latter diary Shoults describes how he moved from Little Britain in Oct. 1879 to take up a new position "as an Evangelist under the direction of the Mission Board" (see diary entry for Oct. 6, 1879). While in this new position Shoults lived in a rented house in Newmarket (see diary entry Oct. 7, 1879). The diaries for 1879 contain daily entries recording personal, social, and professional activities, as well as accounts of weather conditions. The majority of entries relate to Shoults' activities as a minister, and include the names of the places where he preached and of the Bible readings which formed the basis for his services. Reference is also made to the many church meetings he participated in, to individuals he baptized, to funerals, to a Christian conference, and to other church activities in which he was involved. The funeral of Eld. Thomas Henry, who died at the age of 81, is referred to in a diary entry written on Sept. 23, 1879. Descriptions of social, and parish visits are also contained in these diaries, including the names of many friends and acquaintances.