Letters from Western Migrants to the Folks Back Home in Rutland
Postcard sent in by Creig Crippen
CRIPPEN FAMILY LETTERS
Submitted by Creig B. Crippen -- Oct. 18, 2001
Letter of explanation:
These are the letters etc. that I mentioned. They are all copies, as you can see; I presume that Helene Crippen Martin has the originals. Apparently she has tried to read and transcribe them.
It was a year or so ago that I received them and after reading them I gave them to my brother to read. I had forgotten the dates, they are dated from 1862 to 1920 and are from Martha, Gideon and their children to George Pine, Louisa, Rush and Osmer. There are a few from other people that I can’t identify.
You probably know that Martha Rexford, dau. of Thomas Rexford and Sophronia Rose Watson, married Gideon Hodges, youngest child of Nehemiah Hodges and Sally Shearman. Gideon’s siblings each married into the Crippen family. Hiram married Lorinda Crippen, Peter married Orilla Crippen, Anna married Daniel Crippen. Because of this they all refer to each other as "cousin." Actually, I guess they were all cousins of one sort or another.
In 1893, when my father was 13 years old, he went with his father and Uncle Rush to the World’s Fair in Chicago, Ill. I think it was called the Chicago Exposition. One of the letters mentions that visit. They stayed with Martha at Elgin.
The typed copies are in chronological order, the oldest first; the handwritten ones are in no order.
Creig B. Crippen
Note from Joyce M. Tice, As was common in all migrations, these people migrated from Rutland and Sullivan Townships in Tioga County PA with or following other people of the nieghborhood whom they already knew, related or not. So. many of the people menitoned in the letters by the migrants are also former residents of our area.
Addressed to George P. Crippen, Roseville, Tioga County, Pennsylvania from Martha CRIPPEN Hodges
Lyndon Feb. 9, 1862
We received yours this morning happy to hear from you again. Sorry to hear that Rush was sick again. I felt in hopes that he was going to regain his health again.
We have bought a farm on Rock River, 195 acres for $1500 dollars with apples, cherries, three kinds of currants, strawberries, wild plums. The buildings are not very good. We have got our goods and are going to (start) keeping house tomorrow.
We have been at Justus Rews most of the time since we came here. They have been very kind to us and wished us to stay with them till we found a place. They have given us about 20 hens, some pickles, a pan of lard, some soap grease and a number of things which come very good.
It’s warm and thawing the snow of which was about two inches deep, all the snow we have had here this winter.
I guess A. B. Austin will be apt to find his shawl if he looks around sharp. I guess he begins to find out that his customers have done the mischief instead of me. I presume the old Parrot has got her share. The accursed old bitch, I would like to ring her neck.
Tell Rush to write as soon as he gets able and give me the particulars about the vendue. Was Keturah there? How did she act? Did Mother stay till after the vendue? How do the folks feel generally when Keturah’s nose and chin meets. Let me know and I will send her a prop so she can jaw. I don’t care whether she eats or not.
We have got the check all right and the goods we have not opened yet.
Anson is getting rich very fast. He says tell Osmer Myrum (?) Austin gave him two pigs; Isaik (?) Austin gave him a pair of dove and hens. The girls have got each a hen.
I have written to Mother but have no answer. I am going to write again today. Tell Dan Watson to write. I have written to him. Tell Louise and the boys to write.
Mr. A. B. Austin was paid the money at his store. Gid says he has written to you about some money. For fear you won’t get the letter he wishes me (?). He wants 100 dollars more if you can get it for him. He has got to buy seed and everything. It will be a hard case to get along without it.
I shall have to close this now for they are waiting to take it to the office.
Please write often and long. Give my love to the boys and Louisa as
well as yourself. I will write to them soon. Good by. Please direct to
Lyndon, Whiteside Co. Ill. (Signed Martha M. Hodges)
Penn Yan Oct. the 21, 1862
I received your letter last Friday morning and was glad to hear from you but was to nervous to write to you then. I received two letters from Hiram Thursday night. One of them brought me the sad news from John. O how I wish that I was with him so that I could take care of him for I feel to sympathize with him being sick away from home among strangers. I hope that you Father or Roswell will go and see John and I wish that I could go with them. I mailed a letter to John Friday morning and shall write again soon as I get over being so nervous. Never slept a wink for three nights after I heard of his being so sick and have tried to sow days until I am very nervous. It is very sickly here with the diptheria and the typhoid fever. I want you to write as soon as you get this and let me know if you hear anything more from your Uncle John or if anyone has gone to see him. I hope these few lines will find you all well. I can’t write any more tonight.
Good by (Signed Orvilla Hodges)
From G. L. Hodges to G. P. Crippen -- Turner Jan. 2, 1863
I now sit down to let you know that we are still in the land of the living and of peace and plenty. We are at Chimlesy Stoping (?) a few days til our goods get along.
We have been to Sidney’s, found him with a new wife and all in good spirits. I don’t know exactly yet where we shal settle but think some of taking a farm for the first year till our money comes. By that time we can find a bargain.
The weather has been very fine since we came till New Year’s Day. Then came on a terrible rain storm which makes it rather unpleasant. There has not been any snow here yet.
Now with regards to the check if you have anything to send you can direct it to Turner, Dupage Co., Ill.
As Gid has not given you any of the particulars I thought I would write a few lines.
We started from Addison Wednesday night, laid over at Dunkirk half a day, got to Charles Watson’s Friday noon, found him well and comfortably situated. Then we went to Sidney’s 142 miles further west, found him with a new wife. He married a widow woman with 3 children by the name of Wolcott.
It has cost us about fifty dollars to go through. We are to Charles’ now. I have sent the boys each a paper and will write as soon as we get settled. I must hurry for the mail is ready to leave. When I write again I will write more.
I have written to Mother. You must write as soon as you get this and give us the news in general. You must all write. My love to you all good by.
Direct to Turner, Dupage Co, Ill (Signed by Martha M. Hodges)
Direct to Morrison, Whiteside Co., Ill -- Lyndon Jan. 21, 1863
We received yours last evening; was happy to hear from you and to hear that you was well. We are at Mr. _____ now near a station called Morrison on the airline road leading from Chicago to Fulton. We have visited Mr. Hagardus (?) folks. They live near Mr. _______.
We are all well with the exception of Clara. She has got the tooth ache and earache. It is quite sickly here at present with smallpox measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever.
The weather has been quite pleasant but very muddy. There has not been any snow to speak of. It has not fell an inch deep.
We received a letter from (?) folks and Mary Crippen at the same time we did yours. In regards to business matters he says he did not owe Nancy Smith anything. Shattuck and Compton was paid up. He let them have buckwheat to finish paying them. To my knowledge he paid Mr. Vanbarriger all he owed him but three shillings. He did not owe A. B. Austin anything but the 12 dollars, but he has no receipts to show. So it will have to go as it is. I presume in regards to the $500, he wants that sent in check. You can get a check at ______ for it is not safe to send money. He wants you to enter the note against Joseph and that will be the only sure way to get it. Do the best you can with all of them and he will be satisfied. No doubt that you will.
He was going away with Mr. Rue today and wished me to write for him. We have not received our goods yet. We don’t know hardly what we shall do yet. We talk some of working a farm on shares this year, but know we shall anchor somewhere as soon as our goods get along.
I would like to know how the folks feel in their minds especially A.B. Austin. I hope he won’t have the _______ on the account.
There was a butter tub in the cellar with a cover that I did not think to speak of. Also a butter worker in the milk house that the vinegar barrel stood on. The lever that belongs to it lays on the plate right over the barrel.
Tell Osmer and Louisa they may have the flowers in front of my door. I don’t think of anything
more at present.
Morison, Feb. 2, 1863
Yours of the 22 came to hand last evening bringing the check all right and finds us all well and thriving. I think this climate will agree with Martha. She is fating up. Our goods have not arrived yet. I have written to the station agent at Addison to trace them up and have not received any answer yet. I should like to have you find out whether Lack took a receipt and if he did I want he should take care of it till I am sure of my goods or pay for them. I have a farm in view. I buy it for $1,500 dollars, pay $500 down, and the rest in yearly payments. There is 110 acres with fruit of all kinds and comfortable buildings. It lies within three miles of the station and has a road in contemplation across the farm, has got good water, 2 acres of timber, 60 acres all plowed ready for spring crops. Now Mr. Hasard and Mr. Rew tell me it is a great bargain. They say the place sold four years ago when times were good here for $2,000. But my capital is rather small to start with and I shall have to buy team and seed and farming utensils and house furniture. Now if you could raise me a $100 from some of those notes I could get along. Shame them a little and send it if possible direct to Morison, Whiteside Co. Ill.
Yours truly, G. L. Hodges
Lyndon, Feb. 25, 1863
We have just received yours about ten minutes ago. Glad to hear from you again. Sorry to hear that Louisa was sick. Hope that she will soon recover. We are well and hope this will find you and yours enjoying the same. There is some 3 or 4 letters behind which you have not received I think by your writing. We have written two letters to Daniel Crippen, never have received the one he wrote. I have wrote Mother two letters. Never have got any answer from her. We have got to keeping house. Opened our boxes, found everything right, was very thankful for the towel. The children were very much pleased with the ______. They thank you very much. Anson wishes to have a chance to send Osmer something. The girls are going to give Aunt Louisa something very nice when she comes out here to see us. They talk about all of you every day. Ida says that if Rush will come out here she will cut his hair for him. She says she is coming out to Pennsylvania to pick flowers in the sugar bush and eat warm sugar this spring. So you may look for her. You say you have sleighing. We have not had any snow to speak of this winter. Not enough to cover the ground. It is raining now very hard. We are quite comfortably situated here and could take more comfort here if I had my folks here than we did there for we have to one to growl and find fault with us. Nobodys business to tend to but our own; no Mother to misuse. Keturah has got it on her own hands now. I hope it will go right. When I think of the happy hours I have spent with George, Louisa and Rush and Osmer, I must confess the tear drops roll down my cheek but I hope and trust we shall see each other again and be happy. Gideon wrote you a letter the 20th of this month. I have wrote to which I think you have not got yet. I don’t suppose it would do any good to ask you to let Rush come out here and go to school. We have an excellent school within forty rods of the house. The academy is two miles away but in sight of us. I will take as good care of him as you would. It would cost him $25 dollars to come, take him three days to come. I wish you would sell your place and move out here. You could double your money. You could buy a splendid situation here with what could get for your property there. I think you would like it here, not a stone to interfere with your sins. I think you would be healthier than you are there Louisa. You must visit Mother as often as you can and cheer her up. Rush, I have never received those papers you sent. Have you got yours? I shall mail you another letter soon for you and Osmer. You must both write. Osmer you can write me a letter as much as anybody. I must bring this to a close. Write often. It cheers me up to peruse a letter from a friend. My love to you all – good-by---the children send their love to you all and their good bys. Write often and long. Martha M. Hodges (Direct to Lyndon Whiteside Co. Ills.
Addressed to Mr. George P. Crippen, Roseville, Tioga Co., Pennsylvania
April 20th 1863
I received a letter from you a few days ago bearing date March 29. Last evening I received the copy of the dollar letter that you sent. I am much obliged to you for your trouble. Will try and do you as good a favor. It is fine weather now. Folks have got most done sowing and talking about planting. The trees are leaving out. April 26 finds us all well. We got another letter from you last evening. Glad to hear from you again. We got one from Mother also. She is well as usual. It still continues warm and pleasant.
Gid has got done sowing; is going to commence planting this week. Samuel Sargeant is at the junction. We had a letter form him last week. He thought he should be up here before long. I think George F. must enjoy a happy state of mind at present. I think he has a jubilee every day.
Now George I ought to pull your ears for you to think that we would want anything for Rush’s board. We have a plenty to eat such as it is as the fellow said and if any of my friends come to see me I will not charge them for their board.
William Sargeant writes that he intends to come out here next fall but I don’t believe he will. There is a great many kinds of plants and herbs here that there is out there and a good many that I don’t know anything about – all kinds of wild flowers; we have cowslips and dandelions close by so I can cook Louisa a mess of greens when she and old Nanee gets here. I sent a letter to Mrs. Hodges at the same time I mailed your last. You must all write often. Good by. My love to you all. The children send their love and wish they could see you. Lyndon is the name of our town and a village by that name.
Martha M. Hodges
You must allow me to stick in my gab if it is not so cunning. I have
done sowing – have good 30 bushels of wheat and 40 of oats; have commenced
fiting my corn ground. I intend to plant 25 or 30 acres which will keep
me out of develtry. The children have just come in loaded with flours which
they have gathered on the prarie. It is getting quite dry here. It has
not rained any to speak of since the 20th of March. Please give
me a list of those notes in your posetion and who the were at the so I
can make some calculation.
May 5th, 1863
I sit down this morning to address you with a few lines to let you know how it is with us. We are well and hope this will find you the same. Samuel Sargeant is here, is well, is going to stay two months with us. He would stay all summer but his folks think they cannot get along with their haying. We have had a beautiful spring, fine warm weather. There was not a frost in the month of April. We have just had a nice rain and it is quite a cool wind this morning. Peaches, plums, cherries, apples all in full bloom which makes it look very pleasant. Gid has sown 25 bushel of wheat, 50 of oats. It is all up and looks very green and nice. He has planted 20 acres of corn and is going to plant 20 more. Our school commenced yesterday. We have the same teacher we had last winter. She is an excellent teacher, equal to Miss Bailey. I mailed a letter to you a week ago today. I got one from Mother and Betsy the week before. Samuel got one from his folks last week. It is quite sickly there. Mary and the baby had both been sick but was better. I have not had any letters from A. J.’s folks in a long time, have written several to them. I don’t know but they have forgotten us but I presume not. You must write often. I must bring this to a close for I have a chance to send it to the office. Good by – my love to you all. Martha M. H. (To G.P. Crippen)______
Lyndon June 22, 1863
I again take pen in hand to answer yours of the 7th which came to hand yesterday. I am glad to learn that you were all well but on purusing I found that it had sad news of the death of some of our intimate friends.
This eaves us in good heath and good spirits. We have penty of fresh fish. Today they have been after strawberries which are very plenty.
Jasper (?) spends the Sabbath with Samuel to prevent his getting homesick. I expect Samuel intends to return as soon as I can raise the money. Samuel and I were yesterday in the timber. You will be astonished when he tells you of the enormous size of some of the trees we measured. One tree four foot from the ground measured 27 feet around and another’s branches expanded 104 (?) feet. This grows on the banks of Rock River. We have a tall country.
I have had to swap horses once. They thought I was a little green at the business and they rip me a little but I guess they are satisfied over the _______I am offered 180 dollars for them. I don’t know but I shall have to let them go and buy again. Horses are high. They are buying for the government service all they can get.
You mentioned that some of those that bought at the vendue could pay now. It would oblige me very much if they could please send what you can get conveniently if not more than 25 dollars. Our crops look very promising I shall have plenty of fruit and a good garden for us.
One of your Rutland boys called on us last week and stayed one night with us. He gave us all the news from that place.
Now, Rush, we have a plenty of fun here. They have picknicking and last Saturday there was two within three miles. We attended one. They have plenty of fat girls here. There is to be a great celebration next Saturday in one of our neighborhood groups a half mile from us.
So good by Please write often (From G.L. to G.P. and family)__________________________
Lyndon, Whiteside Co, Ill June 28, 1863
Good morning to you all. It is a fine morning, beautiful and pleasant and I am improving it by writing to you. I have a very poor pen and poor ink so you will have to guess at part of it.
We are well this morning. The boys are ploughing corn. The children are gone to school and I am alone.
It is a general time of health here, some few having the measles. We received a letter from you last Friday evening; was happy to hear form you again. I began to think that you were not going to write any more for I had written four letters to you and had no answer from them. We have not had any news from Jacks folk since early last spring. If you see Clara tell her I remember her if she don’t write. I wrote one to Mrs. Hodges and Olive Updike. Have not received any answer from them. Did not much expect to.
Rush, if you see Olive and have a chance ask her if she got her letter.
They are having a grand time with picnics here. They have had four within a mile of us and have another Saturday a half mile from us. I would like to have some of my friends come out here but as for Dan Crippen’s I would just a live they would stay where they are.
I will bring this to a close. Good by and write as often as you can make it convenient. My love to all. Martha M. (to Rush Crippen)
Well, Rush, I take the opportunity to write you a few lines in answer to yours. We are well and hope this finds you the same. We are having very good weather now. We had a nice frost here the 29 of August which swept everything before it that was not ripe. It injured our potatoes some but our corn was too early for it. As far as I have heard it reached all over the western states and done a good deal of damage.
I have not heard from the East to know how it was there. Grain brings a fair price now; oats are 40, wheat 90, corn 50 cents per bushel. Gid has got 200 bushels of wheat and 300 of oats. Butter is worth 13 cents per pound.
Bennet Reynolds son was telling us that they had got news that they had drafted in the county. They will not draft here; they are enlisting all the time. They are having hard times in Kansas. I saw a letter from there last week. They have got old Jim ______ and he is getting up a company to hang every man that won’t take his gun and fight the rebs. I expect he will start them.
I have not had any news from you in a long time. Did Osmer get the letter that I wrote to him. I wrote one to mother at the same time and got an answer from it. It was a good while ago. You must write often and tell the rest of your folks to write a good long letter and give us all the news. I will do the same when I get some paper. The children send their love to you all and so do I.
Good by from Martha Hodges
Yours of the 26 came to hand this evening finds all well. I also find a check of one hundred dollars. You must excuse my neglect of writing. I have been busy. I have husked corn two months steady; have worn out two pairs of buckskin and a cast iron husking pin but we finally have seen the last of it. We finished yesterday and are well rewarded for my labors. I have more corn than I ever raised in my life time. Had about two thousand bushels which is worth about 75 cents at the moment.
Today I have been to the timber. The woods are very fine and tomorrow I shall go again and start this _________.
We have had quite a cold snap the last of November. It froze Rock River over, but now it is very pleasant and warm again. I have plowed about 25 acres or rather Anson has done the most of the plowing. He can plow as well here as a man that weighs 2 hundred and he likes the fun.
He is now going to school and makes fine progress. He says tell Osmer he is most through the mental arithmetic. We have an excellent school and very handy.
I forgot to mention that we received a letter from Rush a day or two ago which Martha will answer soon.
Produce of all kinds brings a big price in this country. Wheat is worth 100 dollars to 110, corn 15, Oats 60, pork 6, beef 4 to 5, potatoes 3 pecks.
Excuse me for this time for my pen wont give down.
G. L. Hodges
To G. P. Crippen
Dec. 5th 1863
As Gid did not fill the whole sheet I will take the opportunity to write a few lines. I have received two letters from you since I wrote my last but there has been a cause for me not writing. I have been very sick with a fever but have got quite smart again so I do my work. It is very healthy here. I do not know but one person who is sick and that is heart disease.
I was very glad that you would write, Rush, if I could not. You must keep doing so.
Did Osmer get his letter that I wrote him? Tell him to write again One short year has made a grat change in that place.
I will write again as soon as I get a pen and some new paper and ink. I expect you will see Clara and Ida out there in a few days. They are talking about it. You must come and see us and write often.
My love to all and good by. (M. M. Hodges)
Lyndon March 6 1864
Dear Friend Osmer,
I received your kind note and news happy to think that I have some faithful correspondents; also to hear that you were well when you were having that last cold weather.
It was very pleasant here and warm. Anson thinks he can not write hardly well enough to write a letter so he wants me to tell you that his puppy has grown to a large Newfoundland black as ink and that he has a nice two year old colt that he has been offered $100 for but he is going to keep it to ride to Sunday School.
Ida says I must tell you that she has got a kitten named Flora and Clara says to tell him that I have got a spotted calf named Betty.
We all send our love so good by and write often,
From Martha M. Hodges to Osmer Crippen
I sit down to improve the present opportunity by writing to you. I received yours happy to hear from you.
Sorry to hear of your Ma’s poor health. I think it would improve her health come out here and make a visit. I suppose you think I am joking but I am not. I would like to have you all come great and small.
This leaves me well. We have beautiful weather, the road dry and smooth. Some have commenced sowing their grain.
You spoke about coming out here after haying. I would be glad to have you come and shall look for you.
I don’t have any news to write. You must write often and all the news.
My love to you.
M. M. Hodges to G. R. Crippen
There will be no draft in this state.
I improve the present opportunity to inform you that we received yours with the draft which came very acceptable. Now we can get along and make our payments without selling our corn now; perhaps it will be higher and our gaps lower. He intends to keep it a while at all events.
This leaves us well and enjoying the benefits of very beautiful weather.
Is it much of a sugar season? If it is we would like to have you send us two firkins of good thick molasses if you can get it for a reasonable price. Considering the high price of sugar and syrup perhaps George F. would like to let us have some. One of our neighbors wants a firkin and we want one if he will let us have it. You know what a reasonable price is. You can send it and we will be satisfied and pay the freight here. It will have to be hooped up solid to stand banging.
In regard to Dan Watson’s charge Gid says pay it, of course. In regard to George F. he says he will throw off the interest if he will pay it all now. He says he intends to collect the interest if there is any chance but don’t tell him until you get the molasses but you must not be at too much trouble for the molasses for we have made you trouble enough already and I hope you will take your pay, if money will pay it.
Love to all. I hope you will come and see us. Good by
From Martha to G. P. Crippen
I improve the present opportunity by addressing you to inform you of the present state of affairs in our vicinity. We are well and it is a general time of health in this vicinity. War news is favorable and I think Old Abe will be reelected by a great majority. There are a few copperhead sneaks about here but they wont amount to anything I don’t think.
It had been so long since I heard from you I did not know but you had forgotten where to direct. So I thought I would write and put you in mind of it. I expected Rush would have been here before now but I have seen nothing of him yet.
Gid is picking corn. He thinks it will be as good as it was last year, if not better.
Henrietta and Janette Watson have been out to see us. Their folks were all well at that time. You ought to write to Jasper or the girls a letter. You would get a good letter from them.
Our district school commences tomorrow. The children are all making preparations to go. They have school the year round in Lyndon.
Tell your folks they had better hitch up and come out to see how they like the country. Then you and Osmer could get a ride with them.
I will bring this to a close by saying good by. My love to you all. Write often.
Martha Hodges to Rush Crippen______________________________________________
Dear Friend Osmer,
I improve this opportunity to write you a small note to let you know how we get along. We are all well but Ida. She is having a severe time with the tooth ache at present.
Anson has been picking corn this fall and ploughing but now he is intending to go to school. He has got him a grey colt and rides him to Lyndon to Sunday school every Sunday. If you was here what times you would have galloping over these praries.
Anson and the girls send their love to you. Write often. Goodby
Martha M. Hodges to Osmer Crippen
Postmarked Empire, Ill, Jan. 10
Lyndon, January 15th 1865
Your kind letter came to hand last evening and found all well and we hope these few lines will find you enjoying the same. Great blessing it is a general time of health in these parts. The winter has been very mild and beautiful. Not much snow but beautiful wheeling. I am teaming considerably this winter. I haul coal and stone. I pay $4 per ton for coal at the mines and sell for $15 in Sterling, and haul my stone back from Sterling. Stone costs $4 per cord. We talk of building this summer but it looks like a hard stunt. Material comes very high and I have been buying more land. Bought 40 acres all under cultivation which makes me over a hundred under the plow and no prospects of any help. I came very near selling my farm. All that split us was the amount of interest. He was to pay me $3,000 and $2,000 down and have time on the $1,000 at ten percent and he wanted it at 6 percent so I thought I would buy more. I have written to Joseph and Sidney to come out and help me. Tell your Father to pay the boys fare and send them along and charge the same to my account.
Yours in trust, G. L. Hodges
Lyndon Jan. 15, 1865
Dear Cousin Osmer as there has got to be a first time I thought I might as well break in first as last so I will write something if it aint so cunning. Osmer I should like to have you here to go to school with me and attend our skating parties. I have got me a pair of skates and can skate to the post office. We have an excellent school. I study arithmetick and geography. We are a going to plant about 75 acres of corn. We have got two pair of horses to tend it with one pair of ??? my team is black and grey you must excuse poor spelling and pencil marks from your friend Anson Hodges
Big Flats, Sept. 3, 1865
Mr. G. R. Crippen
Your letter was received the last of the month and I was glad to hear that you was all well. I am not very well at present. This hot weather don’t suit me much. You wrote you got through haying. We got through haying and harvesting out the worst of all is the tobacco next comes on but we will take about one week to finish that. I did not take a piece to tend this year. I did not like the looks of the ground after I got it plowed so I tend it by the month and it is well I did too.
You want me to come out and sugar with you. I can’t tell now but if nothing happens I may but I can’t tell for sure just now.
Well you must excuse me for not writing more. I had been out eating melons today again. So good by.
S. H. Vanzile to G. R. Crippen
Como, Sept. 10, 1865
I again take pencil in hand to inform you that we are still in the land of the living. We have written twice, have received no answer.
I would say to you that the landwarrant (?) is not right. When we came to present it to the Land Office it lacks your County Clerk’s signature so I shall have to send it to you and ask you to forward it to Wellsboro as I don’t know who your clerk is. I have sold the land warrant for $100. Please return it to me as soon as possible and oblige.
G. L. Hodges
I attended the State Fair in Chicago commencing the 4 of September. The show of stock and machinery was very great. A heavy rain spoiled the sports on the racecourse.
We have had a very wet harvest. Small grain is in a very bad condition, grown very bad and rotting in the stack.
Tell Rush to write often. If he can’t think of anything to write he can do as Hiram did-cut an advertisement out of the Wellsboro paper and send it.
. G. L. Hodges
Como, Sept. 10th 1865
I improve this opportunity of writing to you to let you know tht we are well hoping this will find you the same. My health is better than it was when I left Penna.
I received a letter from Janette Watson last week. Charles has been very sick but is better now.
Emory’s folks have lost their little boy. He died with diptheria.
Perhaps you have not got our last letter so I will tell you where we live which is no other place than the quiet little village of Como pleasantly situated on the banks of Rock River about five miles east of our farm and one mile and ½ from the station. The steamboat passes here daily.
There is fruit in plenty; that is, apples, corn, _____ very nice folks are very busy grinding their sorghum and making molasses.
Our school commences tomorrow and the children are going. Tell the boys to write soon. Love to all and good by.
Address M. M. Hodges Como, Whiteside Co., Ill
I expect Rush and William are on their way.
Como, Ill. Mar. 5th, 1866
Yours of the first of March is at hand and I hasten to reply. Now with regard to George F. I want you to collect that interest. For God knows it’s fair and honest that I should have it and furthermore Squire Card and Dan Crippen cannot be so forgetful. I am quite sure they both understand it. As far as proving anything that I said by Manly, you need not fear for I have a better opinion of the boy. Manly and I never had any conversation about the note. I want you to question Mother a little about the matter. I think she has heard Mr. Card and George F. talk about the matter and according to the laws of this State interest can be collected unless the note specifies no interest. Furthermore Mr. Card has been heard to say it was through his mistake that the note was not on Interest. This leaves all well. I am getting up my teams and tools preparatory to going on to the farm. We expect to move next Monday.
Yours in haste G. L. Hodges
March 6, 1866 (?)
Finds all well, Now, George, I have been thinking the matter over and want you to exercise your own judgement on the matter. I don’t feel disposed to make you any more trouble. I think you have had your share. I should not like to have George F. know this but I am troubled with the shorts ________. I have two or three hundred dollars due that I can’t get right off so send me all that you can spare right off. Then I will send back as soon as I can collect and I will furnish funds to _________ if you think best.
Act on your own judgement and I will be satisfied. You can show the other sheet to the parties concerned but not this. You understand that.
Please forward the money as soon as possible.
Please direct to Lyndon, Whiteside, Ill
The arbitration and parties in the above named suit met at the time and place specified and continue the case over till January 8, 1867 at the same place and time of day. H. Olnyd (?)
G. P. Crippen
Mainsburg, Pa. April 1st/1866
Dear Cousin Rush,
How do you do today? Are you well? Rather muddy, isn’t it? Most too bad to go to Mansfield.
I am out of your reach now; you can’t hurt me but I guess I won’t say any more about it. I received your letter a day or two since and was very glad to har from you; was also agreeably impressed when I got your letter. I supposed you did not consider me worth wasting paper with.
I am enjoying myself extremely well. I am going to school now. Frances Joseph (?) is our teacher. Gay teacher too. Why don’t you go to school? Does Osmer go?
I don’t see how Frank can get along with so many scholars. Must be she is making money. I received a couple of letters from the Hill last week and they said she had but four scholars the first day. I should think that rather discouraging. Do you know who the scholars are?
Ella Davis is now at Mainsburg. She sent word to me last night that she is coming up today. I wonder if her Bennie will come with her. She made quite a visit to Mr. Shermans (?) I understand.
What is Osmer about? Why don’t he write to his old schoolmarm? I shall have to talk to him a little.
Does Frank stop to Mr. Palmer’s? If she does, she is all right. Then Oscar is admitted in full communion, is he? I hope he will have a good time. Though I fear if he gets Jane he will be as bad off as you and Sal Trut (?). What was it she would have to do? Go outdoors to turn around? Don’t let anyone see this horrid letter. You know it is natural for me to be rather soft.
I think you are extravagant in using capitals. You better be a little saving of them and more. You had not better call me a wild animal again. Calling me such names, aren’t you ashamed? "Precious child I shall whip you tomorrow." I guess that will do for me to quit on. When you want to hear any more of my foolish talk please let me know.
I have so many letters to write today that I shall have to be frief, though I have been very lengthy considering the brevity of your letter.
Give my regards to all of your people. Tell Osmer to write.
Good night, write soon.
Your friend and cousin Mag - Mainsburg, Pa Box 16
Elyria, May 9, 1866
Thinking perhaps you would like to hear from me and feeling quite sure that I would like to hear from you and knowing of no other way than by first writing to you, I have concluded to pen you a few lines hoping you would deem it worthy of a speedy answer.
Here I am at last in the state of Ohio, but not at home; father has not got settled yet, but we expect to settled ere long. Just where I do not know, but I some expectin Willouby. We have not seen father or mother yet; they are in Clarkfield where mother has several relatives living. We are visiting here at an uncle’s. I do not know how long we shall remain here, but I think only a few days. We left Penna. March 15th and visited first at Mr. Blivens (perhaps you remember Mrs. Blivens. She was at our home when you were there last Oct.) in Nichols, and then at Grandfather Whitney’s in _______; and then at Binghamton where we have two uncles living. We left Binghamton Thursday afternoon April 26th at 7 o’clock and arrived here Friday at half past five.
We had to stay in Cleveland from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon which was not very pleasant being strangers in a strange place. It was the longest day I ever saw. I think Cleveland might be a very pleasant place if it was not so filthy. Perhaps they do not let is always look quite as bad as it does now. It is pleasantly situated on Lake Erie. The lake was very muddy the day we were there.
Rush, you would laugh to hear the people talk about their rivers here. They are what in Pa. Would be called creeks, so narrow that you can nearly step over one. I crossed Black River the other day by stepping on the stones in the bottom.
Their hickory nuts here are very nice, large and rich. I think vegetation is rather farther advanced here than in Pa. There is some beautiful scenery down by the river, falls, cave and very high rocks.
Are you attending school? Give my love to your parents and also Osmer. I will write to him soon, that is, if he will answer it. I hae a photograph for you and one for Osmer. When you get yours taken, send me one as you promised. Well, guess I must close. Please excuse all mistakes and don’t forget to write me a good long letter and write all the news.
Your true friend - Sarah L. Whitney (Direct to – Clarksfield, Huron Co., Ohio – Care of Samuel Hardy)
Lyndon, May 12, 1866
I improve every opportunity of informing you how we get along and hope you will find more time to write than I do.
This leaves all well but pretty well worked down. Anson and I run the farm alone. We have sewn about 50 acres of small grain. Have about 20 ready to plant and intend to plow 30 more for corn making a hundred acres with two small teams. The man that had the farm last season failed to plow what he agreed to so that with a late spring puts us away in the back ground. But now the weather is very fine and the prospects are more favourable.
Well, Rush, I should like to send you a big fish if it would not spoil for we have plenty. They are brought right to our door cheaper than we can catch them.
Dan’s folk played smart coming to this country. It was a very unfavorable time, cold and wet and the slews were all full of water and Dad got his feet wet and you ought to have heard him take on. But things have changed. Everything looks beautiful.
I will just say I received the draft allright. I wrote soon after receiving it.
So no more. Please write often.
G. L. Hodges
Mr. Rush Crippen
Of course, the first question to be asked is, "How did you spent the fourth?"
I, for one, am thankful that the fourth does not come but once a year; if I have got to feel as miserable after it as I do now. Did you say you would like to know where I spent the anniversary of our independence? Well, I will tell you; the fourth I spent at an uncle’s in Camden about nine miles from here; they had quite a large company and all relatives. After dinner we took a ride to the lake and down to the cemetery; came home in the evening.
The fifth (yesterday) we went to Norwalk about 12 miles from here to a circus and caravan; Oh, dear, such a crowd. I was glad to get home once more and today I don’t feel very spruce; but took a notion I would answer your kind and welcome letter, so here it is.
Now, Rush, don’t you think it unkind for you to accuse me of sending you that valentine just because "it was in a long narrow envelope like the one I sent you a letter in". I will have to deny writing you any such valentine so you are mistaken this time. You will have to search further for the guilty one.
Are you attending school this summer? Is your father building? What is the reason Osmer don’t answer my letter? Tell him I think he had better.
I am glad to hear that Oscar James is getting along so finely at White house landing. Tell James that I say "not surrender yet."
Yes, I lost a bean at your house. Tell your mother if she will accept it, I will will it to her.
Now, please write soon and tell me all the news. Give my best wishes to your parents and Osmer. Please excuse mistakes. Your true friend,
Sarah L. Whitney
Care of Samuel Huron Ohio
I am anxiously waiting for photographs
Willougby Aug. 26, 1866
Rush, I hope you will please pardon me for not answering your letter sooner. I write a good many letters and it takes me so long to get around.
I was highly pleased to receive your letter and hope you will write often. Do not delay if I do. Why does not Osmer answer my letter. I think he had better; if he don’t I shall have to give him a severe letting alone.
You will see by the commencement of this that I am home now. I came home a week ago last Friday; found all well. I like it here very much. It is a beautiful country. I wish father was able to buy a place here but land is very high from $125 to $200 per acre; we can’t afford it. One man about a half a mile from here has a small place of 2 acres and asks $2000 for it. Cheap, is it not? I like it much better here than I did in Clarksfield where I spent the summer.
I am sorry to hear that your health is so poor. I know how to sympathize with you. My health has been very poor the past spring and summer. The amount of it is my school teaching for the last two years has been too much for me. How do you get along building?
Please write soon and write all the news. Love to all your folks. Allow me to imitate your example and subscribe myself your cousin,
Sarah L. Whitney
Sunday, Lyndon Jan. 31, 1867
I improve this opportunity of informing you that we are still in the land of the living and enjoying good health. It has been very healthy in this region of the country.
We have had some very cold weather and a very nice run of sleighing lasting about six weeks which was enjoyed and improved. I had first sold my team but soon bought again. I bought a wild pair of four year olds and put them in and done good business right along. I have got my fuel tax last year before the sleighing failed. We hare having a regular January now. The mud is deep and raining today.
Times in this section of the country are very good. Good money is plenty although I am troubled with the shorts as usual. Everything that we have to sell am too _________ is very high. I think at every good time to pay debts and I am bound to pay my debts if we have to go ragged and eat _______ milk. We have one thing to comfort us. We can get plenty to eat here.
I think I shall have a thousand bushels of corn to sell but the price is uncertain. It’s now worth 65 to 75. Farmers here don’t ______ to shell to about the first of June. Then we have little leisure time and good roads and the highest prices. Wheat is worth $1.00 to $1.10 and 50 cts. Hay is worth $7.00 per ton; pork $6 to $7; beef $4 to $6; potatoes 50; apples $1.00 per bushel.
Now, in conclusion, I must inquire a little after my financial concerns. I should like to know what I can depend upon from that ________ to meet my March payments. So if I have to haul off my corn I can make such calculations. I have received aside from the first check that G. F. paid three small checks amounting to $300 which I suppose after paying all the debts leaves a scanty allowance for your trouble although we never knew what the Goods and Chattles amounted to. So no more at present.
Please forward in good time what is coming to meet my March payment March 1st. Please write as soon as you get this.
From your friend G.L. to G.P. Crippen
Sunday Lyndon Jan. 31, 1867
I improve this opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that we are well and hope this will find you the same.
We received yours and was glad to hear from you. You say that Louisa is coming to bring me a letter. I would be very happy to see her. You think by reports you would do well to sell and invest your money here. I think you would. It would be very pleasing to me to have some of my folks come and live by me.
There is a farm for sale not far from here – 140 acres for 28 hundred with good new house and barn. Now is the time to buy. Land will come up; steamboats are going up this river this summer. Railroad is to be completed. You would be where you could see steamboats and cars every day, within half a mile of town and school.
I will bring to a close for want of room.
M. M. Hodges to Rush and all the rest
Tell us what place Hyrum Canfield lives. Write often, good by
I improve the present opportunity in writing to you. This leaves me well, hoping it will find you the same. I received a letter from you a long time ago but have been very negligent. I will try and do better next time.
We are having very nice weather now. Farmers have sown their small grain and are preparing their corn ground. Our spring is one month earlier than last year. We are expecting good crops this year. Gid has sown 40 acres of small grain and is going to plant 65 acres of corn. That will keep him and Anson stepping.
Madison was with us about two months this winter – hired out for the season to one of our neighbors – got homesick and started for home the 16th of March. I do not know whether he got home or not. I have not heard from there since he left.
Bariah Hart and his family are here with the C. Austins and are talking of going to Dower in Benton Co. Dan Hart lives there, I believe.
We have had a very fine winter. We have not had any snow to speak of and it has been nice wheeling. The roads just as smooth as the floor did not break up till the first of March.
Then it rained one day and night and the rain and snow melting up north overflowed Rock River and it was the greatest freshit ever known on this river. The water was three feet higher than ever known before. There was quite a destruction of property in the line of bridges and buildings, grain and hogs and cattle on lowlands. We stand too high to have it damage us. The water came within 40 rods of the barn but it could not come any further on account of the high knoll.
We have not had a storm since and the roads are dry and beautiful and fields as green and nice.
I expect you are making sugar, or have been. You must eat a big dishful for me.
I heard from Charles Watson’s folks a short time ago. They were well. I have no news of importance. You must write soon and give me all the news.
Clara and Anson say that Osmer owes them a letter.
Gid is shelling his seed corn today and every 80 ears make a bushel. He has got 16 bushels of seed corn. I guess he will have enough.
Louisa says she has room to spread my carpet. It is a humbly thing. I don’t believe it would compare with her house.
From Martha M. Hodges (To Geo. R. Crippen and all the rest)
Lyndon, July 26, 1868
Dear Friend Rush,
I received yours last week and hasten to answer it. This leaves all well with the exception of Anson. He has been sick about 3 weeks but is getting better.
Harvest is almost done. We have had very hot dry weather for harvest. It has killed some horses and men but there has been a change. It is cooler now but no rain.
Fruit of all kinds is scarce in Rock River Valley this year. Has Mother gone home yet? Have you seen Mrs. Hodges lately and how does she get along?
You say you are trying to get your folks to come west. I hope you will persever and succeed. I think it would do them good. I’ve heard nothing from Charles Watson folks since May. They were well then.
We are to have a railroad built this summer which passes through our farm. It is called the Rockford Rock Island & St. Louis Road.
Ed Frost, Seally’s brother, is here now. I have no news to write so I will close by asking you to write soon.
Love to all, Good bye
From Martha M. Hodges to Rush Crippen, Esq.
Addressed to Mr. Geo. R. Crippen, Esq. - Rutland, Tioga Co., Penn. – Postmarked Lyndon Ill, Jul. 27
Lyndon, July the 26, 1868
Dear Cousin Osmer,
Ma has been writing so I thought that I would let you know that I was alive yet and that I have not heard from you in a good long while. We had some hot weather, A great many men and horses killed by heat. I have not been able to do anything for about three weeks. Harvest has rushed along very fast. Now is the 26th of July and harvest almost over. Corn looks fine but it is getting middling dry for it. You must coax your folks to come out here this fall and they can come right to Lyndon within two miles of our houses and I want you to come, too. Well, it is time for me to start to Sunday School so I must close by asking you to write. So good by for this time from A. E. Hodges to Osmer Crippen.
Write as soon as you get this. Good by
I received your letter last evening, found us all well but Anson and he had a chill yesterday. He went to the station yesterday afternoon after Janette Watson.
You say that you went to a dance the other day. The folks around here are having a great many dances but I have not been to any yet. You said that you was going to have a donation. I guess that we have not had any as I know of (?) is writing to Rush and Anson to Rush.
We had a surprise party last week and I went. There were 33 there. We all take our suppers with us. We did not get home till two o’clock in the morning. Went to school the next day – was pretty sleepy. They talk of having another next week.
The school teacher has just been curling my hair and it hangs all over my face. Anson’s jaring the table so that I can’t write at all.
I have got to write a composition today and I don’t know what to write about. Anson is mad because I won’t let him scribble up my letter. He has scribbled up one.
Well, if I have got to write a composition I will close this by saying good by and write soon.
Clara Hodges to Osmer Crippen
Addressed to Mr. G. R. Crippen, Rutland, Tioga, Co. Penn.
Postmarked Lyndon, Ill. Jan. 13
Lyndon Jan. 8th 1869
Dear Friend Rush,
After waiting so long a time I will try to answer your short letter. We are all well and hope this will find you the same. Pa is out there. I expect you have seen him before this time. It is raining. The ground is covered with water. I am going to school this winter. We have a very good school and a very good teacher, too. She is boarding at our house. She is writing tonight. I am studying Reading, Spelling, Grammar, Robinson'’ Practical Arithmetic. We had composition and declamation today. I wrote a composition. What did you get for Christmas and New Year’s presents or where did you go? I stayed at home both times. Ma and Pa went away and Anson went to one of the neighbors. I got a gold ring for a Christmas present and a bible for a New Year’s present. You tell Osmer that I say he must answer my letter that I wrote him. I received a letter from Ada Watson sometime ago. Have not answered it yet. Ma has been cleaning house this week. She finished white washing today. We received a letter from Uncle George last evening. The Railroad is below Lyndon. They had an excursion from Lyndon to Sterling yesterday. Had a dinner and then they had a dance in the evening and a supper. A boy by the name of Joseph Roe came here and him and Anson went to the dance. Well I don’t believe I had better try and write any more tonight for Anson wants to write to Osmer and he keeps telling me to hurry so he can write. I send my love to all.
Write soon from Clara Hodges
I thought I would answer your kind letter. We are all well at present but Anson has a chill every other day.
It is pleasant today. There has not been any snow to speak of.
Janette Watson is here. We received a letter from Madison last evening. They were all well.
Our teacher is boarding at our house this winter.
I would like to see you all. Tell Aunt Louisa I am coming to live with her and get breakfast for her and I am going to cut your hair for you. Tell Osmer to write to me. I study reading and spelling and grammar and geography and arithmetic too. My tooth aches like everything and I guess I will have to bring this to a close by saying good bye.
From Ida E. Hodges to Rush Crippen
I now improve the present opportunity to drop you a few lines to let you know how I get along. I had a touch of the ague yesterday. It is not a very nice thing to have.
It is splendid skating now. We have not heard from Pa in quite a while. I hope he will have good luck with his law suit.
Nettie Watson came out here yesterday. I wish I could come out and go to school with you at the state normal school.
I attended a surprise party last evening, had a very nice time, did not get home until two o’clock in the morning. I expect there will be another one very soon.
Tell Rush that he must excuse that short note that I wrote in Clara’s letter for I had a poor pen and the paper was not ruled. I go to school this winter – study reading and Arithmetic, spelling etc.
What snow we had is all gone. It was not much. We have had a splendid winter. It has been good wheeling the most of the time but it is very ruff now. The ice in the river has been so weak that teams could not cross the ferry. Men have made a good deal by the means of cutting the ice and charge 50 cents for ________.
This is all for this time so good by,
From A. E. Hodges to Osmer Crippen
Nov. 8, 1869
We are usually well and I hope that this will find you all well. George Worden that lived here with us has been very low with the typhoid fever. Five weeks he has been sick, cannot sit up yet but he is on the mend. We are encouraged about him.
I have no news to write except on business. I have not received any answer from that receipt and do not know whether you got it or not. I am very anxious about the money as our prosperity depends on that. We have two years taxes to pay on our land and with the other money I paid up the last year’s tax and saved my place from being sold; and now if I can pay up this year’s tax this month, I can save ten percent on a dollar. This makes me anxious about it, and I have bought a cow and calf which depends on that money.
Please write soon as you get this and let me know if you have sent it or the check. Please send it soon.
Give my best respects to all enquiring friends. Excuse all the mistakes for I have not undressed to go to bed for five weeks but took care of the sick and I go to sleep a writing.
So good-by Lavinnia D. Smith
George P. Crippen
Give my love to father and mother. Tell them Uncle John Worden is on
the road coming here; Thomas and George are yet with us.
Turner, Dec. 12, 1870
Having a little leisure time and a little scrap of paper I write a few lines to let you know that we are still in the land of the living. This leaves all well at present hoping these lines will find you enjoying the same blessing.
The weather is very fine ______ the ground is not frozen so as to stop the plow yet. The junction friends are all well as far as I know.
Charles and family have been visiting in Kansas this fall. S. S. Hodges did not stop when he came back from the East. I suppose he was afraid the earthquake would overtake him before he got home. Recollect that happened about the time he left there. He promised me that he would call at your place. Did he do so? He promised to call when he came back but only threw off a paper with his name on it at our railroad crossing.
Excuse this __________ Please excuse all the "s and give us a lengthy letter.
G. L. Hodges to G. R. Crippen
Postmarked Cuyler, Nov. 28
Cuyler, N. Y. Nov. 29, 1874
Mr. G. R. Crippen
My Very dear friend and bro –
I suppose you think I am a little slow, but I will explain. I visited friends in Pa. Nearly a month and did not return until the 13th inst. And since that time I have been so very busy that I could not tell what to do. I have not forgotten you by any means nor will I as long as I live. You were all so very good and kind to me and may the Lord always bless you and reward you for it. I like the people here very much indeed – they are very kind to me. We have one superannuated preacher and two local preachers and I like them all very much. We have no Mansfield’s or DeWitts here to trouble us and I am very glad of it. I hope the time is not far distant when there will be no such people to trouble the church on Rutland charge. "Hasten, Lord, the glorious time". I guess they have been courting Rev. Van Kirk and successfully, too. He knows them, and if he allows them to fool him it will be his own fault. May the Lord take care of the church there. You must let me know all about the affairs of the church –how you get along, too, I am anxious to know. How about the choirs at Roseville? Remember me to Frank Davis and wife and Morn’s and S.G. Smith and to Jason Watkins, Esq. Watson and all friends. Come to see me anytime you can. Will try and take care of you.
How about your preaching? Are you preparing for the work? Don’t give that up whatever you do, no matter how church affairs drift there. Put in to your books with all your might – sing, pray, exhort and preach every chance you get and your confidence will increase and you will get through. You will make a preacher by the blessing of God – you must not fear. Master the little Compound-Binney’s. It will be a great big help to you all along in all of your examinations. Carry it with you – study all leisure hours – throw aside miscellaneous reading matter almost entirely – a preacher must dare to be ignorant of much in order to know what he ought and to know it well – May God bless you and make you a useful minister of the gospel. Does Van Kirk give you work? Let me know all about it. The money I borrowed of your Pa came very good to me.
May the Lord be with you all. Give my love to your Pa and Ma and Osmer. I set for some pictures in Cortland a few day ago but have not got any or I would send you one – when I get them you shall have one.
Hoping to hear from you soon again, I am as ever yours for the Lord
M. V. Briggs Cuyler, Cortland Co. NY___________________________________
Dear friends George, Louisa and family,
I received your welcome letter yesterday being 18 days since it was written. We were very glad to hear from you and to hear that you are able to eat; it is a great blessing to be able to enjoy the comforts that our heavenly father provides for us; oh, may we all raise our thoughts and voices to God in praise and thankfulness who is the giver of every good and perfect gift.
We will sign your paper with willing hands and thankful hearts for your kindness to us and will try to get this to the office before the next mail day. I would never thought of Warren wanting us to throw off any of the interest. We are old and feeble and can do but little and have no one to depend on; Galon being crippled for life and a great sufferer we can’t depend on him, and we have not got near money enough to finish our house and we are building only a small house 14 X 20.
George, don’t think that it is his duty to throw off any and we have to suffer for it for the sake of helping one that has had the use of it so many years for nothing. We are very needy of every cent we can get honestly but what we can’t get honestly we don’t want at all. We have got the principal of our share in father’s property. All that lacks is the interest and when you get that, take out your pay for all your trouble.
We would be very much pleased with a visit from you; come and spend the summer with us. We could pass the time pleasantly together I know. I will give you that directions; come to Quincy, Ill. Take the Hannibal and St. Joe railroad to Macon City. There take the North Missouri railroad ten miles to Atlanta. This is our nearest station. We live ten miles right east toward Cherry Box. If we get word when you would come we will meet you at the depot; but if we don’t get word our parsonage is close to the depot. You can go there and make yourself known as a relative of old father Smith of Trinity Chapel; that is the name of our church. A nice church it is too. Maybe the preacher would bring you. If they were not at home, go to Mr. Wm. Cully store. He knows us. He keeps a team or used to. His wife’s folks live near us. The 2 ½ miles north east of Atlanta is Sylverter Ayers, one of our old Pa. Friends. We are like brothers and sisters; he has a splendid wife. He would bring you. When you get in the neighborhood of this church everybody knows us.
We have had a splendid fall till in Nov. It began to rain and soaked up the ground. It has been mud and mud most of the time since, not much cold, a few snow squalls, not hardly enough to cover the ground, just make mud. It froze about two inches deep once and stayed frozen for two weeks but is thawed out now. Salt River, one and a half mile from us, has overflowed and is impassable.
I must close. I can’t keep awake. Goodnight__________________________________________
Yours of April 14th came to hand in due time; was glad to hear from you. It is a shame that none of us had written in so long a time and promise you that if you overlook this lack of promptness I will in the future be punctual and do my duty as becomes a man.
Our folks are all well at present feeling and hoping this will find you in good health and spirits.
There has been considerable rain for the past week and quite cool – good weather for grass and small grain both of which are doing fine. Farmers are preparing their ground for corn which will be planted soon so it gets a little warmer.
You asked how Ida and son-in-law No 2 gets along. I don’t know said person. Perhaps she could answer better for herself. She seems contented to live the life of an old maid.
Our May has not forgotten "Bush" yet by no means but she has got so she can say Rush now as plain as anyone. She says that if you will come and see her she will read to you out of her new book. Our Edith (?) just commenced to talk. Rush, I think we have two as fine children as they get up now days. May is away from home about half of the time. Grandma Hodges has her a week and then Grandma Jones has to have her a week. Consequently we cannot keep her at home very much. She likes living in the country better than she does in town. I don’t blame her for I do not like city life myself.
Our company have just issued a new time card taking effect today. They have put on two extra passenger trains from Chicago to Cedar Rapids. The Omaha train is going to make fast time from Chicago to C. Bluffs competing with other lines via CB&Q--______. The northwestern can make the best time if they are a might to. They have steel railroad best engines & Ct.
Well, Rush, you had better pack up and come out and I will make a railroad man of you. We would all be pleased to see you. Write soon. My best respects to all inquiring friends.
Anson E. Hodges
Dear Cousin Rush,
It has been a long time since I have heard from your part of the country but I guess I am to blame because I have not written. I have been very busy and have not had much time to write. The folks are all well at this writing, hoping this will find you enjoying the blessing of good health. We have had a very fine winter – no snow to speak of, not very much cold weather. Our spring has come and farmers are busy at tilling their ground. A good many are done sowing wheat. Some have sown their oats. We had a very refreshing rain night before last and yesterday which settled the ground and started the grass in good shape. The sun is shining and everything looks lovely this morning.
Uncle Dan’s folks landed safely in Nebraska but we have not heard a word from them since their first arrival in their Prairie Home. We are going out home today if nothing happens to prevent.
There is not much sickness in our vicinity this season. A few accidents occur among our R.R. boys. Several have been killed, a good many wounded. Well such is life. In last letter you wrote you spoke of coming West. We would be pleased to see you if you can make it convenient to come.
Well it is time for me to go so I will close for this time. Write soon. Love to all
I received your letter a short time ago, was very glad to hear from you. I began to think that you did not intend to answer it. We are well as usual and hope you are the same. This is not a very pleasant day and is cold.
We are going to have plenty of fruit. The cherry trees hung full and are pretty near ripe enough to do up. Apples are not quite as plenty as cherries but we will have all we want I guess.
Last Thursday I went to a circus in Aurora. Yesterday I went to St. Charles camp meeting and next Thursday I am going to Elgin to Branum’s circus. Ain’t I doing well? There is a good deal going on here now – excursions, camp meetings, picnics, circus and everything (as Elmer says.)
Well, now I guess we are going to have quite a shower. The rain is pouring down in torrents. They say a bold, wet May will fill your barns with grain and hay. I think ours ought to be filled for May has been both wet and cold and the most of June so far.
Anson has been promoted. He gets higher wages and probably he has told you his family are well, also Clara and her family. If you know whether Uncle Hiram’s second wife Sadie, had a sister or not. We heard that she had and that she wrote to Uncle after Aunt Sadie died asking him for something that belonged to Sadie – some little keepsake and he would not give her anything. Now I do not know whether that is true or not. It is what we heard. If it is so it shows what kind of man he is. That makes me think. One of the ministers yesterday asked the question, ""hat is man?"" I had a notion to get up and tell him this much. Man is a conglomeration of hair, tobacco smoke, conceit, confusion and boots. Now don’t you think that is quite a definition.
What has become of Ida Watson? Is she married or not? You say you have a mind to get married. I would if I were you. It might creat quite a sensation.
Mrs. Janette Gibbons started for the east about one week ago, I don’t know whether she intends to go any farther than Jasper’s in Meadville, Penna or not.
My paper is full so will stop. Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain.
Dear cousin G. R.
I was out home yesterday and Ida gave me a letter to read and it was from Rush and it put me in mind of the fact that I – A. E. H. was in debt to G. R. C. for a letter received long ago. And I do hereby acknowledge receipt of such a letter and plead guilty of negligence in regard writing to my friend.
We are all well and happy. Why? Because we have got the finest boy in the land born July 14, 1880. Ain’t that enough to make anybody feel big?
Uncle Chas Watson never looked so well in his life. Joe Norn’s (?) and family have been in Wisconsin for three months; will return in about ten days. All of the Hodge nation are well so far as I know.
It has rained for a whole week steady – very wet and hot – crops are good.
I have been promoted, get sixty dollars per month. Business is booming on the road. Don’t know how long it will continue. Our company has leased a _____ of engines off the Lakeshore and Michigan Southern Company. It is impossible to buy engines. Now this company are making them at the rate of four a month and cannot keep themselves supplied so you can imagine the people are alive to business in this western country.
Dad is running the farm and is getting mighty sick of it and wants to rent it bad but I presume he will not.
You had ought to been in Chicago to see a big crowd of darn fools. I have seen lots of big mobs in Chicago but that discounted them all.
Well, Rush, it is most eleven o’clock and by your permission I will close for I am very tired. If you knew how to appreciate a good night’s sleep as us poor R. R. Devils do you would not blame me for wanting to get to bed.
If you cannot read this return it to me and I will write another. Please write soon.
I will give you the details of our journey home. We arrived at Elmira Monday evenin at 5:30, bought our tickets of Mr. Baeker for 13-25, stayed at the Delevan all night. Left Elmira at 5:10 Tuesday morning. Our tickets were via Salamanaca but they took us up to Buffalo, then to Jamestown. Did not have to change trains, but did have to change cars. We had an awfull nasty old car till we got into Kent. Then they put on a nice car and put all that were going to Chicago into it. There was one that was glad to have a better car and that was me. We arrived at Chicago on Wednesday morning at 8:40, got a warm breakfast, went uptown a while then took the 1:40 train for home. Got to Clar’s about 5, found them all well.
Gid went to Morrison last Monday to attend the Morrison fair so we have not seen him yet.
Anson, wife and her children are out here on a visit. She is at her mother’s now.
Louisa, how are you getting along. Now if you get worse, let me know. If you get better let me know. Don’t you think you had better have that Dr. Musgrove come up and see you. It is not impossible that he might help you.
How is Jenie and Little Gussie and Osmer and Ada and well how is Rush?
My fruit and honey came through all right and trunks also. It must seem quite good to you to get rid of so much trash. We have kept your parlor furnished all summer. I shall go out house hunting this week and be keeping house when the old gent gets back, that is, if I can.
Well I will bring this to a close for it is bedtime and I feel quite lazy, we hope to hear from you soon. All write.
M. M. R. Hodges
Turner, Dupage Co., Ill. Feb. 25, 1883
Dear Nephew and friends,
Your letter bearing date of Dec. 17 reached us in safety and was a very welcome guest I assure you. I had begun to think that you had dropped me as a correspondent. I could not blame you much if you did for I know my letters are not very interesting but still I like to receive letters from my friends all the same.
I suppose you think I ought to have acknowledged your letter before this but it has been so cold I was afraid my pen would freeze fast if I undertook to write but the weather has moderated now so I will scribble a little simple trash and call it a letter.
We have had a very cold winter and a heavy body of snow. Most everybody’s cellar froze. It is getting warmer now and we had a heavy rain which melted the snow some so that water was about a foot deep on the surface some places – very much deeper in front of Henry’s house. It is a perfect lake. Yesterday we had a sleet storm. This morning everything is covered with jewels. I don’t think we will have much more cold weather. I hope now for I am sick of it. We have had bad colds all winter. None of us have been free from colds and coughs. All our neighbors in the same fix.
This leaves all well no except GL. He is always grunting.
Clara’s baby has been quite sick with lung fever but is well now.
Anson is running on a road in Town (?) He has not moved his family yet. The town he is stopping at is a new one. It is hard matter to find a house to rent so they will not move till he can get a house. I received a letter from him last week. He said when I wrote to you to send his regards to you and all the friends.
Ida is at home and would be very glad to come east but hates to come alone. Uncle Charles and family are as well as usual.
You spoke of Osmer buying a farm. I think he has got a good one cheap, too. Sorry to hear that your folks are so feeble. I think a trip West would do them good if they could stand it, don’t you?
The Illinois State Fair is to be held in Chicago the two next years. It will be a grand affair. You want to remember it. I will let you know when it commences.
Remember me to your folks. Tell them I would like ever so much to see them. How is that boy, young Eugene, I believe. I expect he beats them all, doesn’t he?
Love and respects to all. Write soon and eat a good lot of warm sugar for me.
Martha M. Hodges to Rush G. Crippen
Addressed to Mrs. Louisa Crippen, Roseville, Rutland, Tioga Co., Pa.
Postmarked Edina, Mo. Jun. 29, 1883
Cherry Rose: Shelby Co. Mo. June 17, 1883
Dear Cousin Louisa and family,
It is with regret that I take my long neglected pen to say a few words to you hoping this will find you all well. We have been looking for you and George for the past year; and we did not know where to direct to you; for George had written to us that he had rented his farm and did not know where he might go, and that perhaps he might visit us which gave us some hopes of seeing and visiting our beloved cousins once more. And we would still be looking for you but we got a letter a few days ago from our sister Eliza Smith that told the sad news of the descease of our loved cousin and friend. But my dear friend I hope that our loss is his infinite gain for the Lord has said I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. We hope to meet him in the better land. My dear friends put your trust in the Lord who has said that he will be a Father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow and again that he will be the widows God and that he will never leave thee, nor forsake thee and that he will stand by thee through all troubles; yea, in the seventh he will not forsake thee. Dear friend Louisa lift your eyes and hear heavenword to him who is able to save; even to the uttermost, all that will come unto him. My dear friends, may we all be permitted to meet around the throne of God in heave where parting will be no more. May the Lord bless you is my prayer.
We are able to be around and do our own work in our weak and feeble way. George is farming. He has put in 19 acres of crops; a little of all kinds of eatables. We are having garden stuff to eat. We have large radishes and nice onions and lettuce; peas big enough to eat and some just in bloom and some not in bloom yet. Will have green beans in a few days. We have three pecks of dry ones yet. The potatoes are in full bloom. We do not eat them yet. We have old ones. We have the large English gooseberries -–grow large around as my thumb. The cherries and currants are ripe. Strawberries are about gone. I have plenty of all kinds of dried fruit.
I am getting very nervous. You cannot read this. We are having a late wet spring; a great many people planted corn so early that it rotted; some have planted three times over; people are trying to plow their corn but it rains so often that they cannot do much with it. We had a hard winter for this country. We had about eighteen inches of snow at a time. It made good sleighing most all winter. It froze very hard but we had potatoes, apples and carrots buried outdoors and they came through all right. It was a beautiful winter if we had been able to enjoy it but we did not have money enough to make our house so as to get into it; so we had to stay in the old one and like to froze to death. Some nights I did not expect to see morning. And we have to live in the old one yet. We have got our house enclosed and the upper floor laid; we only built 14 by 20, two rooms above and two below; we cannot do it off without money. George wrote to us that hew had got the interest that was to come to us from Warren on Father’s estate all rekoned up and drawing interest. Now Louisa if Osmer is living with you or near you so that he can get the money for us and send us a post office order or check and he may take his pay out of it for his trouble, and if you do not have anyone to do business for you please let us know immediately how the thing stands. Please write to us as soon as you get this and write often. We have written to Warren but do not get any answer.
George W. and L. D. Smith
Turner, Page Co., Ill Jan 25th 1885
Dear Friend Rush and Family,
We received your kind and ever welcome letter with its many excuses; with pleasure we read it, very glad to hear that your western trip done you and yours some good, glad to hear that you talk of returning in the spring, shall be glad to welcome you all. We had company yesterday from Elgin – Minnie and three of Emory’s girls. They said Ida was better. They have moved her from Charles to Emory’s. They thought she would be able to come down here in about two weeks. The rest of the folks are well as far as I know. We had company last evening – Henry’s folks and David Martin’s folks stayed until half past eleven. We have had very cold weather and considerably snow. Yesterday it was warm. Today it is sunny and very pleasant.
I haven’t any news of any importance and that will interest anybody. Oh, yes, a little sketch from Mrs. Mueanby – the lady that was at our house when you were there – you remember they were going to Florida. Well, they are all there and like it quite well so far. She says she has to dress very thin, sweats most of the time while we poor unfortunate mortals here have to almost freeze. She said they have green tomatoes in the garden, just planted their sweet corn, bathe their feet in the lake and fish. Is not that pretty fine for January?
Well, now in regard to your letters. You say they are not interesting. I say they are and we would all be glad to get one from you every week. When I read your letter to Henry and Gid they laughed and said they were sorry you forgot to tell the stories; said they were anxious to hear them and as you were not here to relate them by word you might write them. They are still at checkers everytime they meet. It is six of one and half dozen the other. Received a letter from Anson. They were well. Please write often. Love to all and good bye for this time.
Martha M. Hodges
Your letter was received. Very glad to hear from you. I wish I could hear that you were all well and coming to see us for I want to see you very much. If I could find a pocket full of money I would come and see you.
We are having very delightful weather. It is cool and nice now. We have had very hot weather this summer so hot we could hardly live – thermometer stood 90 and 100 in the shade most of the time through the month of July. Now it is cool and nice. It has been very dry this summer but the crops have been pretty good so far and corn is looking well in our vicinity.
Fruit is scarce all except crabapples. Have any amount of them so if you want to make some jelly you had better come soon.
Do Dan Watson’s folks think that Ida’s trip west was an injury to her health. I think if she had stayed all summer she would have been all right, and Louisa do you wish you had stayed here all winter. You don’t stay long enough to have change of climate do much good.
You spoke of Dan Crippen. We have not heard from them since last spring. Then Dan was sick with rheumatism or something the matter with one of his hips or leg so he could not get around and had rented his land.
We hear from Anson quite often but have not seen him since you were here. It seems like a long time. Have been looking for EM and the children but they have not come. Anson says he is so busy he can’t leave very well. Clara and her family are well as usual. I don’t know how it is with Charles. I have not seen him this summer. He doesn’t care much for his poor relations I guess for he never comes to see us but I guess he is well or I should hear of it if he was sick.
Janett lost her oldest boy this summer. I presume you have heard of it probably by Flora. Oh, that reminds me who is her fellow you wrote about?
No news of importance. I heard some time ago that the Rose family were going to have a grand reunion in September and invite all the branches that have spread out over the country. Have you heard anything about it? I suppose they will have a good time.
Well, this leaves all well hoping it will find you the same. Love to all. Good by. Please write
Martha M. R. Hodges
Louisa, have you tried the milk punch. D. Reynolds cured himself and a number of others with it.
Turner, Dir. Page Co. Ill Oct. 24, 1886
Dear friends, Rush and sister Louisa,
I have been waiting very anxiously to hear from you but have not heard a word from you since last spring. I wrote to you and wrote to Dan Watson. Have received no answer from either of you.
Ida got a letter from Ida Watson stating that Louisa was not as well as common and that is the last we have heard. I hope this will find you better.
Gid wrote to Rush a short time ago and he has had two letters from I. Watson through the course of the summer.
I hae thought so much about you this summer and wondered how you got along. Did Mary Packard work for you this summer and is she there now?
Two years ago the 8th of this month you came to our house and one year ago the 7th of this month you came so this year we looked for you. Oh, why did you not come on the 8th? I said to Ida I guess Rush and Louisa will be here today so we dug a mess of greens and cooked them and baked a chicken and did not get dinner till two o’clock so you would have plenty of time to come from the depot but you did not come and I was so disappointed I did not enjoy my dinner worth a cent.
We have had a beautiful fall. So far it has been dry and warm and very pleasant. It is about time to set up our hard coal burner and we shall need some help so Rush you can come out and bring your mother and make a visit and help set up the stove again.
How are Osmer’s folks getting along? We have looked some for him this fall.
Anson was home in July and made a visit. He lives in Savanna yet and has the same rub he had when you were here. They were all well the last we heard from them Clara and family are well and this leaves us usually well. Hoping this will find you all well, I remain as ever yours. Love to all. Good by for this time.
M. M. R. Hodges
Please write soon
Turner, July 10, 1887
Friend Rush and friends,
I improve the opportunity to write you a few lines after a long rumble through the west I am again back on the old stamping ground. You must excuse my neglience in not writing as soon as I got back. I have been waiting for news from Met Pt. Finally came yesterday that Uncle Van was dead – died the 14 of June. I presume you got the news before I did. They did not know I was home. Letters get miscarried and never reach their destination. I have written several and get no reply.
I suppose you people out there expected Clara and P to make you a visit but Clara bolted and I was afraid to come alone. I am sorry to disappoint anybody.
I thought perhaps our folks had got their visit made and would be on their way home and would miss them. I fail to get any direct news from them. Don’t know where to direct or when to expect them home. Will you please inform me by return mail and oblige.
I had a very pleasant trip. It improved my health. I am feeling first rate. I am loading hay for two pitchers.
This leaves the friends all well. If you are not too busy give us the news by return mail and say where our folks get their mail.
Yours with respect.
Mr. Crippen and wife,
I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know that we got your kind letter and we was glad to hear from you all but you said you were quite sick when you got home so you had to go to bed. We were sorry to hear that but we hope when you get this it will find you well and also the rest of the family. If you aren’t any better and you think we can do you any good we want you to come out and we will do all that we can for you or Rush or any of your family.
Tell Rush if he had of come out to work for hunter he could have had all the grapes he could eat. Penn Yan shipped one hundred and fifty tons of grapes in one day. There is over a hundred tons comes down the lake every day besides what comes in on wagons. You had ought to see the wagons come in loaded down with grapes and hundreds of tons that is froze that ain’t fit for market.
Well, Osmer, we have broke into that pail of butter and we find it number one. It is good and I don’t know but you will have to send more if we can raise the money to pay for it.
Well, how is Gene and ______ getting along. We hope they are both well. Tell them they must come out and see us as often as they can for I like to have a little fun with them. Now, tell Ada she has learned the way to Penn Yan we want her to come out as often as she can. We will be glad to see her out here at any time. You tell her to drop us a line when she will come and we will be at home. She won’t have to go to the hotel to stay over night as you did.
We thought that was too bad. We hope that won’t happen again.
George Warden was to my house last week. Came one day and went back the next. Mr. ____ Bentley came with him. Stayed with us overnight and then went up the lake to see if he could find a place that would suit him. He wants to build he said. He liked our lake very much.
Now, I don’t know as I have anything more to write only to say we are hard to work and trying to live. Give our best respects to all of our friends out there. When you see them we want you and Ada and also Rush to write to us as often as you can and you will oblige your old Uncle and Aunt.
Now I will close. We hope that we will hear from you all soon.
F. G. Wheeler and wife
Elgin October 12, 1891
After a long delay I take pen in hand to write you a few lines not because I expect to interest you but because I am always interested in your reply.
This leaves all in fair health as far as I know. I suppose you and Anson correspond. They still live in Savannah. His family was here in July. They went from here to Nebraska to visit friends.
Now I must say a little of our town. It is booing. Factories of various kinds are locating here. Besides the watch factory there is located here a very large shoe factory from Chicago which employs about 400 or 500 hands and a case factory of about that capacity, a table factory, large condesing factory, a very extensive (?) factory. Several others have about 7 miles of electric street cars. This fall they are paving the streets. The various factories employ about 6,000 hands. There has been over 1,000 lots sold since we came here ranging from 200 to 2000 dollars.
Please excuse this short note.
Elgin, Illinois Nov. 22nd, 1894
Dear Nephew—it is a long time since I recvd your kind Letter so long that I am almost ashamed to acknowledge it but as the old addage has it better late than never. I thought a great many letters to but never put them on paper but now I will do so. It will not be much of a letter for in the first place I am not well and that is poor food for a brain that never was very fertile you know; but I will do the best I can – angels could do no more.
Well in the first place I am so glad that you and Osmer and Genie (Eugene Crippen Osmer’s son) came to see us. I was sorry that we had so much to do we could not make it as pleasant as we could if we have been alone. No more borders at present. Well how do you get along. All well I hope. Mr. Hodges and Ida are quite well; Clara and her family are well; Anson has had a sick spell this fall but well now. They are coming home for thanksgiving – Clara and her folks and Anson and his folks. Won’t you come and bring your family and Osmer and his folks and we would have a good time. I saw Uncle Charles (Watson) a week ago and he was growing young instead of old. He was so last month; he is growing fleshy and smart to get around. I don’t know much about the rest of the folk. Emory (Watson) has been removed from Elgin to a small station a few miles north of Elgin called Carpentersville. I haven’t any news of any kind only we are going to have a Republican President next election if we don’t get left. Did you attend Aunt R’s birthday party. Somebody generally sends me a paper but they have not this year; Yes, it would be very pleasant to live nearer together so that we could exchange visits oftener. I would enjoy it very much. Does Osmer get his mail at Rutland or Austinville. I will write to him soon. We have had a nice fall only rather cold some of the time. Well I will bring my silly scribbling to an end for this time. Please give my love and best regards to your wife and babies but keep a share for yourself. Please let me hear from you soon.
Good by M. M. Hodges Elgin 324 Hendee St.
#396 South Academy St.
Galesburg, Ill. Oct. 11th, 1918
Writing you this beautiful evening to advise you that we are both well, we moved the 15th of last month and now have a new up to date modern cottage of five rooms (all by ourselves) plenty large enough.
We are all working on the eight hour system now and it is ceertainly a new life, my hours are from eight am to four pm.
On account of the acute prevalence of the Spanish Influenza the state health board has ordered a state wide closing of schools, churches, movie shows, and all other places where people are in the habit of assembling, this city has about 500 cases of that dreadful disease, the order to close becomes effective at midnight tonight in this city, I hope it will bring effective results.
We received a letter from Edith today they are all well, they have closed up every ting there.
We are having beautiful fall weather, crops in this vicinity are 100% better than any average of the past, farmers are piling up money so fast that it has given them a sort of a financial intoxication, they are sore because of the gasless Sundays, some of them have tried to beat it consequently have had their cars painted yellow by the loyal ones.
For those who live in town and have to buy every thing that they eat, drink and burn it’s a fierce game, we are simply being robbed on the price of many things wherein there is no excuse or justice for so doing.
How is Ford has he been called to the colors yet, did he have any trouble getting help on the farm, hope Wida and her hubby are well and happy, how is Lotta’s health, presume she does not work so hard since you left the farm.
I guess that the Kaiser has changed his mind about the Yank soldier boys being so weak kneed and not knowing how to fight, they are the kids that made the cowardly villian yell "Kamerage". I hope that it will e an American division that will catch the old cur and torture him as his subjects have tortured many a poor helpless human being regardless of his cowardly whine for peace and yelping "Kamerade", may kind providence guide and protect the allies in their onward march to destroy the dirty Hun to the end that they will be exterminated from the earth, I wish I was eligible to go over and help them do it.
It has, so far, been a terrible sacrifice of human life and will be a greater sacrifice before it is ended, but we are in it and I say fight to the last ditch, the last drop of good American flood until they are whipped for all time to come, they have caused too much destruction, death and suffering to be allowed to even exist on earth, and all because a few Autocrats wanted to rule the earth.
I had hoped that you and Lotta would make us a visit this summer, you would have enjoyed a visit here as it is a beautiful place in the summer, the old Knox college buildings and grounds are sublime in beauty and character, one of the most substancial institutions of its kind in the country, many a successful man received his education there.
Hoping that this finds you all well. I remain,
With best wishes and regards to all.
Savanna, Ill. Feb 12th, 1920
Dear Cousin Rush,
At my request my daughter Edith has written you twice recently advising you of my physical condition, evidently you have not received them as you make no mention of them.
Dec. 29th I went onto the operating table at St Marys Hospital Galesburg, on making an exploratory incision at the pit of the stomach they discovered that I had a tumor on the pancreas an organ which can not be cut in to or in any way brused which would cause a leakage of the digestive juices, the incision was sewed up and I was advised that the only remedy left for me was to absorb and kill the growth by medicine providing it was not too malignant, and if it was too malignant the tumors would absorb me, so you see my future is not very encouraging, I am able to be up around the house part of the time and suffer a great deal of pain. I have not been out of the house but once since Christmas and that was on the 30th day of January when they brought me home from the Galesburg hospital and that pretty nearly did me up, after the incision had healed and the stitches removed I had an accident and bursted the wound open which set me back a lot, the accident was caused by a severe attack of sneezing.
Emma is quite well and strong she takes care of her house and me, our children and grandchildren are well with the exceptions of colds. Our weather has been hard and steady but no blustering storms to speak of, it is warming up and the snow and ice is rapidly disappearing, I have worked only 42 days since the 1st of July, was altogether 12 weeks in the hospital during that time.
I note you state that Ford is going to leave the old Farm, is he going to take up some other line of work, I wish that I was able to go down there and help make maple sugar and then spend the balance of the summer in the good old woods, from the appearance of conditions when we were there I don’t think that the Old Hodges sugar bush had been worked for years.
Is Louisa’s husband making good with his thorough bred horses I assume that he is breeding draft horses.
Well Rush, I too, am glad that we have kept up about 60 years of correspondence, it has been a source of great pleasure to me, very few relatives have made such a record.
Clara made us a lengthy visit she went home about a week ago her health has not been very good, her husband is 72 years old and has never seen a sick day, that’s some record, the balance of her family are well, her oldest son Elmer is a wealthy farmer.
You did not mention Lottie how is her health. Give my regards to Ford and Louisa and their better halfs, hope Lottie don’t have to work too hard since you left the farm.
Very truly, Anson
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