File 15 - Diaries, 1883.

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Diaries, 1883.

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  • 1883 (Creation)
    Shoults, J.H., Rev.

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Biographical history

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.)

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Ms. diaries contained in three coverless notebooks kept by J. H. Shoults. The first [32] p. diary covers the period Jan. 1, 1883 - July 28, 1883, the second [15] p. diary covers the period July 29, 1883 - Nov. 30, 1883, while the third 8 p. diary covers the month of Dec. 1883. During this time there was a sudden change in Shoults' circumstances. The entries for Jan. - May 1883 are sporadic and are written from Toronto. In the diary entry for May 21, 1883 Shoults' explains "In my domestic surroundings and termporal affairs great changes have been. March 21st I rented stone dwelling 340 Yonge St., Toronto intending to open a business in the Stationary and Book line". He moves in on Apr. 9, 1883 but then explains that "under the influences of certain circumstances" he decided to return to the country on Apr. 10, 1883. The remaining diary entries (from May 21, 1883 onwards) are written daily and indicate that Shoults has returned full-time to working with the church. Initially Shoults and his family live with Bro. George in Markham and Shoults appears to be working for Bro. George engaged in farm activities. On Oct. 15, 1883 (see diary entry) Shoults and his family move into their own house in Orono. The diary entries describe 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 funerals he attended, and to other church activities in which he was involved. Social and parish visits are also described, and some references to Shoults' family are additionally included in these diaries. Accounts of the weather conditions are also contained in these diaries.

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