December 30, 1849 letter to Hiram and Sally Crawford from Louisa Sherwood and William Sherwood

December 30, 1849               

To: Hiram Crawford Sr. & Sally Crawford, Gulls Mills, MI

From: Louisa Sherwood & William Sherwood, Essex, MI

Louisa wants Hiram and family to move near them. Next part of letter is written to Sally. Writes that she is going to school for the first time since she left Canada. Wants to know if Sally is married or not. William Sherwood then writes the remainder of the letter. He was taken sick 3 years prior and unable to do anything since. Had to sell his farm as a consequence but has since bought another and the farm next to his is for sale. He also would like them to come and buy property near them. Mentions when they were neighbors in London (Canada).

This letter was originally posted to the Crawford/Comfort Family Letters blog and can be read here:

September 25, 1849 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Joel James

September 25, 1849

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr.

From: Joel W. James, Charlestown, OH

He was at Uncle Jason’s for 3 weeks because of his wife’s illness. She had the ague on the way to Michigan. Joel was 33 years old yesterday. Mother wants him to tell Aunt Hannah about John’s affairs. She was opposed to John’s and Catherine’s match up. Catherine was determined to have John and did everything in her power to get him. She has apparently left him. Sends regards to Aunt Lydia. Wants to know how Uncle Warren is. Wants Luke to find out if Catherine intends to come back because John wants to know. Joel lives in Garretts­ville, Ohio, but is staying at his father’s in Charlestown to help him shingle the house.

Scan of 1849-09-25 Joel James to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Charlestown Sept 25 / 49

Respected Friend

It being a rainy morning so that I could not attend meeting: I thought I could spend some time vary agreeably in writing you a few lines. Altho passing twice through your town I did not have the plasure of calling upon you: The first time I should have stoped but for my hurry and the expectation that I should call on my return. Having anticipated much pleasure in making all my friends a viset I was doomed to be disapointed, having taken a Ticket at Millwaukee for Detroit thinking that I could get a permit to stop; But I was disappointed so that I could not without some 8 or 10 dollars expense which I was then not able to do. If life and health is spared I intend to make you a call next summer; My health is not vary good. I have the Ague[1] occasionaly which is not vary agreeable. Father[2] and Mother[3] and all the family are as well as comon; It is a general time of health in these parts. There is but little fruit here this season. Wheat come in poor it was badly hurt by the rust; corn & Potatoes look well. 11 Oclock and it continues to rain. It is probably the beginning of the live storme as we call it. I like to have forgotten to say that I was at Uncle Jason,s[4] some three weeks on account of the ill health of my Wife[5]; she had the Ague before we started and every other day on the way to Michigan. On that account and for some other reasons I thought best to sell my Horse and Carriage and make use of other menes that we might accelerate our journey. We found Uncle Jason him and family well. We found Uncle Jason him as cheerful as ever full of life and glee. But old Time with his Locomotive powers is a conveying us along one and all to that bourne from whence no travellor returnes. Yesterday I was 33 years old; surely our life is but a vapor which appears for a little while and then vanisheth away.

Mother wants I should write a wourd for har to Aunt Hannah.[6] Time and trouble is makeing an impression upon har which is plain to be seen. It regards Johns[7] affars. She has been blamed vary little by those who were best acquainted with the circumstances: she was strongly opposed to the match and said everything that could be said in opposition to it but all to no avail. Catharine was determined to have John and she accomplished har end. And I say it understandingly and knowing what I say that Catharine never would of had John had she not made use of every means in har power to have accomplished it; even by saying that har hapiness presant and future depended upon it. Yet for all this Mother will pass it all by say nomore if she will come back and do as she should do. But I hope that John will act the man so much that he will not go for har until she is willing to return. Not to live in the house with Father and Mother I do not say; for John has a house engagued until he can build which he will do as soon as Catharine will assist him. John has property and has not put it out of his hands as Aunt Electa[8] has reported. And he can make a home comfortable and who is to blame for Catharines not enjoying it. And who is to blame for har presant circumstances no one but har self all this is true and can be proven if necessary. Mother sends her respects to Uncle Luke[9] Aunt Hannah Aunt Lydia[10] and all the Relatives and friends. Give my respects to all who inquire after me. This from your friend; Joel W. James[11]

Luke Keith Jr.[12]

I wish you would write on the reception of this, and write all the perticulars; write how Uncle Warren[13] and family are a getting along; ascertain and write whether Catharine intends to come back to the place and Oblige John for he wants to know.

My residence is in Garrettsville. I am in Charlestown now at Fathers helping Shingle over the house.

No more at presant. J. W. James

P.S. Direct your letters to Garrettsville Portage Co. Ohio

[1] Chills and fever

[2] Aaron James

[3] Irena (Willcutt) James

[4] Jason Wolcott, Irena’s brother (many Willcutts changed the spelling of their last name to Wolcott)

[5] Lucy (Tilden) James

[6] Luke’s mother, Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[7] Joel’s brother, John James

[8] Their uncle Warren Willcutt’s wife, Electa (Damon) Willcutt

[9] Luke’s father, Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[10] Presume he is referring to their aunt Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[11] Luke’s mother, Hannah (Willcutt) Keith, and Joel’s mother, Irena (Willcutt) James, were sisters

[12] Charles Luke Keith Jr. went by the name of Luke as did his father, Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[13] Warren, Irena, Jason, Hannah and Lydia were all sons and daughters of Jesse Willcutt and Katherine Beal

April 29, 1849 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Sarah Crittenden

April 29, 1849                                   

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr, Galesburg, MI

From: Sarah Crittenden, Covington, NY

Was waiting for Henry to write, but he is in poor health, as is Aunt Lois and Clarissa. Aunt Lois lent all her money to a man and lost it. She hopes that Luke will send her some. Was sorry to hear of Jerusha’s death, but it was not unexpected. Guy Sprague died leaving two children.

Scan of 1849-04-29 Sarah Crittenden to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Covington Apr th 29 1849


I have waited a long time for Henry[1] to answer your letter but it is such a chore for him to write that he says he cannot write. His health is poor is not able to work any but I am in hopes he will be better when it comes warm weather. Pauls[2] wife[3] and I went to Stafford last week found Aunt Louis[4] very unwell. Her health has been very poor all winter. She was in low spirits. She had lent what money she had here and the man had failed and she had lost it so it had left her with out any thing and she feels very bad. She is in hopes you will collect some for her there and send her. She is very anxious you should. I hope you will for I feel very sorry for her. I also found Clarissa[5] poorly. She has a bad cough and I fear she will go the way of the rest. It was meloncoly news when we read of Jerushas[6] death but it was not unexpected although we had hoped she might recover. I think you must be very lonely. You wrote you would be glad to have Henry and I come up to Michigan this spring but times go hard with us and we can not afford it though I should be very glad to. The friends at Pavilion are well. Julia is gone. She died in December 11 months after _____. The little boy has gone to live with Mrs Dodge Julias sister. It is now evening since I wrote the above. Marion and George[7] have been here and say they have heard from you and hear you was comeing down this summer. Give my respects to your father[8] and mother[9] and when you come we can tell you all the news. It is getting late so I must close.

We have just heard of the death of Guy Sprague.[10] Left too children. No more at present. Good evening.

Sarah Crittenden


[1] Sarah’s husband, Henry Crittenden

[2] Paul Sprague, Henry’s first cousin

[3] Lydia Sprague, Paul’s wife

[4] Possibly Lois (Sprague) Mears, sister of Henry’s mother, Eunice (Sprague) Crittenden; however, it could be the mother of Luke’s first wife Minerva (Payson) Keith whose first name is believed to be Lois, as there seems to be a connection between the Sprague and Payson families; investigation continues

[5] Henry’s sister, Clarissa (Crittenden) English

[6] Luke’s second wife, Jerusha (Crittenden) Keith, who died September 23, 1848

[7] Luke’s niece, Marion (Sprague) and her husband, George Tomlinson

[8] Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[9] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[10] The U.S. Census Mortality Schedule for 1850 lists Guy C Sprague, living in Middlebury, New York, married, age 36, with a date of death of April 1850. Guy Sprague and Henry Crittenden were first cousins

August 16, 1848 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Henry Crittenden

August 16, 1848

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Galesburg, MI

From: Henry Crittenden, Covington, NY

He sent the castings and skeins to Luke yesterday and gives an accounting of his expenses for doing that. Sarah has recovered from her fall from the wagon. They are anxious to hear how Jerusha is.

Scan of 1848-08-16 Henry Crittenden to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Covington  August 16th 1848

Dear Sir

I have sent the castings and skeins to you yesterday by the railroad to Galesburg from Attica directed to Luke Keith.

The Axels cast at 5 cts per lb                        $5.65
The Boxes and Skeins                                      4.00
I shall have to charge for going to Att.       1.00
I have to hire a horse & waggon                  10.65
and Cr. to you in cash                                    $6.00
Leaving a balance in my favour of                4.65

Which you may forward to me as soon as it may be convenient for you to do so and you will oblige yours &c.

You promised to write to some of us before this. My health is better than when I was at your place. I am some encouraged. Do not know but I may take another trip on the lakes as far as Cleveland this fall. Do not know certain yet. Sarahs[1] health _____ she has entirely recovered from her fall from the waggon. I have Miss Pasons own words to write. She says she would like to see some of your handwriting once more. She wishes you to say something about a certain Note. I could not tell whether or not you said anything to me or not. If you did I have entirely forgotten everything about it. You must write the old lady something. She feels anxious to hear from you all verry.

We have not heard from you directly since I left but once indirectly that was by the way of D. Smith. Mr Hall of pavillion saw David some where and he said Jerusha[2] remained just as when I was there. You scarcely know or think how anxious we are to learn something about her health. Do write something soon and relieve this anxiety with us all.

Our friends and neighbours ____ all in good health healthy generally in this vicinity.

Some pollitical news we go free Soil measures Martin Vanburen is the man for York States for president and Mr Adams for the vice and we will Screw Slavery out of the land. _____ more nonsence to write what did Davis Smith say because I did not go see him. _____ he say any thing about the waggon any thing about the pay for it & write soon. It is a great trouble for me to write. I can scarcely write my hand trembles bad. I do not know if you can read this scrall.



[1] Henry’s wife, Sarah (Curtis) Crittenden

[2] Luke’s second wife, Jerusha (Crittenden) Keith; Jerusha was Henry’s sister

[3] Between a rather large hole and portions of the paper having been torn off, transcription was difficult; however, it appears that the letter was written by Henry Crittenden

May 6, 1848 letter to Charles Luke & Jerusha Keith Jr. from Dwight Crittenden

May 6, 1848

To: Charles Luke & Jerusha Keith Jr.

From: Dwight Crittenden, Albion, MI

Father has sold his farm in Hanover and bought again in Concord.

Scan of 1848-05-06 Dwight Crittenden to Charles Luke Keith

Albion May 6th /48

Worthy Uncle & Aunt[1]

I take this oportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I have not forgtten you entirely. My health is quite good at present. Ellen[2] is now here attending school. I think I shall stay here this summer with Scranton & Dean.

I was at home last Sunday. Our Folks wer all well. Father[3] has sold his Farm in Hanover to Mr Hale for $2200 and bought again in Concord. He Recd a letter afew days since from Uncle English[4] statng that his share of the Estate was sold to Mr C____ for $1103. He will start for Covington next Monday and will probably be back in about two weeks. Uncle Henries[5] health is very poor, the rest of the friends are well. I have herd nothing from Saline[6] since you was here last winter. I hope you will write me on the receipt of this and let me know how homesick you are. I hope you will Excuse this scrawl for I have nothing to write with but a miserable old steel pen.

Respetfuly yours

Dwight Crittenden[7]


[1] Charles Luke Keith Jr. and Jerusha Crittenden, Luke’s second wife; they were married July 25, 1847

[2] Ellen Crittenden, Dwight’s sister

[3] John Crittenden, Jerusha’s brother

[4] Charles English, husband of Clarissa (Crittenden) English, Jerusha’s sister

[5] Henry Crittenden, Jerusha’s brother

[6] Saline, Michigan, where various family members lived

[7] Dwight was the son of Jerusha’s brother John Crittenden

July 25, 1847 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Harvey Keith

July 25, 1847

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Pavilion, NY

From: Harvey Keith, Comstock, MI

Has been very warm and wet, so much so that wheat is growing in the shock. Would like a first rate set of wagon arms and boxes. Wants to know when Luke is coming home.

Scan of 1847-07-25 Harvey Keith to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Comstock July 25th/47

Luke I Receved your letter in due season. You wished me to see Cathrine in regard to Clapps concern. Clapp has not got back yet. He said he would write to him. Whether he has or not I dont know. Father wants you to pay her what he owz & he will pay you when you get here. Father & Mother[1] is quite sick with the ague or chill fever. They have not been sick but a few days. Mrs Zeiglar is quite sick chill fever other wise it is very healthy for this season of the year. It is very warm & very wet so much so that wheat is groing in the shock. I have been to Fathers to day. His is all grown together. The best crop we have had in some time. I am to work on the mill. We are getting along very well with it. Mr Hunt has burried his wife this sumer. I have been thinking of sending & have you get me a set of waggon arms & boxes. They make such work here casting they are not worth much. If you can get me a set and get them turn’d or fitted up & have any way to bring them I should like it. You may do as you think best. I want a first rate set.

Mrs Starr[2] is here. She came here this moring. I send this by her. When you write me again say what time you will probably be at home & when you get to the burgh[3] call at the mill. I shall probably be there if nothing happens. Mother wants you should see Westly[4] & have him write to her. Give my respects to Wetly. Tell him he must stick to his trade and be steady get it learnt and go into some good place & set up for him self. Give my respects to James & family & to all others that may enquire after me.

Yours &c

Harvey Keith


[1] Charles Luke Sr. and Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[2] Presumably his mother-in-law, Alfleda Starr

[3] Galesburg, Michigan

[4] John Wesley Keith, Harvey’s & Luke’s adopted brother

The Alphadelphia Association


The Alphadelphia Association

The Alphadelphia Association was established in Galesburg, Michigan, in 1844. A German, Dr. H. R. Schetterly, was the leader. Three thousand acres of land were purchased, and a large mansion was built. At one time probably 300 members were admitted. The common property was valued at $43,897.21 in 1846. It was disbanded in 1848.

Two of the primary founders were the Rev. Richard Thornton, and the Rev. James Billings, both Universalist preachers. They published the Association’s paper, the Alphadelphia Tocsin, from 1844 to 1846.

The association was founded on the principles set forth by French socialist Charles Fourier which combined a belief in the possibilities of scientific evolution and social progress and the sense that ridding the world of evil would inaugurate a “reign of Social Harmony” that would hasten, according to the members of such groups as Alphadelphia, the coming millennium or the thousand year reign of Christ on earth.

The constitution for Alphadelphia was drawn up in December 1843 by a small group of individuals from various Michigan counties. These same selected members for a site committee to search out a suitable location for their home. Some partially cultivated acreage in Kalamazoo County seemed ideal for their purposes. The land was cut across by the Kalamazoo River and close by the anticipated completion of the Michigan Central Railroad tracks. Those who owned land on the site were encouraged to join the organization.

In the spring of 1844 a barracks for living quarters was built. There would also soon be a saw mill for the timber on the land, a blacksmith shop, and a printing office. From this latter office, the Alphadelphia members printed the Alphadelphia Tocsin and a journal, the Primitive Expounder.

Alphadelphia lasted but four years and really flourished only for one year until 1845. Some members left because of poor economic conditions and their sense that they could better themselves elsewhere. Internal dissensions also tore at the organization with charges of mismanagement and the shortage of cash to do business and to pay taxes. Alphadelphia ceased functioning, according to their records, in 1848.

More information on the Alphadelphia Association can be seen here.

May 23, 1847 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Harvey Keith

May 23, 1847

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Pavilion, NY

From: Harvey Keith, Comstock, MI

Jane Earl died Friday morning. The sore on Alfleda’s foot has pretty much healed. She has not done a day’s work since February. He is going to be working in the flowery mill. Galesburgh is growing. Alonzo Matthews sold his farm to Mr. Percival and it has been laid out into village lots. They have sold all south of the railroad and some north. Frank Clark is going to put up a brick tavern. Marion Wilcut married Mr. Rice from Illinois last Sunday. Harvey’s son Ruel lived only five weeks.

Scan of 1847-05-23 Harvey Keith to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Comstock, May 23rd /47 Sunday afternoon[1]

I have been trying ever since I got your last letter to get time to write but something happens every Sunday so that I could not get time. I have been to work all the forenoon and ought to be this after part ‑ we are generally enjoying good health here now. Jane Earl has been sick this sometime. She died at Charles Whitcombs Friday morning. Alfleda[2] has begun to step on her foot again. She has not done a days work since the first of Feb. The sore is pretty much healed up. I am to work in Galesburgh this summer on a flowery mill Ford Mills & Batt ar building for two run of stone. I get 10/- cash & my Board. Galesburgh is coming up this summer. Alonzo Mathews has sold his farm to Mr Percival. Has had it laid out into village lots. Has sold all south of the Rail Road and some north. Frank Clark is going to put up a brick tavern house in front of the old log house. He gave $.100 for the lot to build on. Henry D was down last Monday. He is the same old Henry. We have had a verry Backward Spring. People have not got their planting done yet. Father[3] ploughed his ground last fall & has got it planted. He has planted fifteen acres. It rains here about half of the time. Wheat looks verry well this Spring. Westly[4] wants to know what kind of a cake mother[5] wants. She says if he sends it she wants it sweetened but if he brings it she will take it without sweetning. Henrys health is verry good this sprig. Jo live in the old log house. Mr. Tubbs and Jake are in the other. Mead has gone to Ingham County. Crid & Taylor stay in the Manshion[6] yet. I have been building a hog power for Crid this spring. Alphadelphia[7] remains the same a usual. Ford has been trying to get his place back but has not brought it about yet. He offerd $.6.000 Stock for it and wanted the buildigs moved back on to it again and we wont stand that no how ‑ we had better set fire to the building than try to move them for the will hardly stand where they are. We have sold the square timber & old lumber to Mart and Nelson for about $1.80. Marion Wilcut[8] was married last Sunday to a Mr Rice[9] from Illinois. He came here last fall. They are going to start for the west in a few days. Groves goes with them. Uncle warren[10] is to work with me on the mill. Ezekiel was to have started last Thursday for the far west. Have not heard whether he has gone or not. Aunt Salina live with James on the widdow Earls place. Marquis Lee[11] has just been here. They are going to start tomorrow. The boys feel like death to go away. Mark says he had rather die. You mentioned in your last something about going into business when you get back. If I should go in with you I think we could do better here than at the Burgh for this reason. Here we could keep cows horses hogs & sheep if we wanted to but over thare we should have every thing to buy. We can get all the work to do here that we could do & we could do no more any whar else. I have Been down to Joes. He says tell Luke heis tinding Juliette this summer. He has got a pen built & keeps him shut up all the time. You said you had forgotten the name Alfleda hat laid up for the boy. We calld him Ruel but he lived only five weeks.[12] You say that when you come back you come double.[13] I should like to know in what way you in tend to double up. I have heard of animils doubling up and sticking their nose in their …. A. T. Jones[14] lives with Mr. Wells down below Lees. I saw him last Sunday. His health is about the same. Cathurnce[15] & family are well. Aunt Rhoda[16] has gone to Gull to live. There is a prospect of plenty of fruit this season. Wheat is slling at Battlecreek for $.100 in cash. Father is going to cary his there about 50 bushels.

Write when you get readdy. Our respects to all. Tell James to write som day.

Yours When you get it

Harvey Keith


[1] The letter was folded in such a way that it made its own envelope. It was addressed to C. L. Keith, Pavilion, Genessee Co., N York. Charles Luke Keith Jr. went by the name of Luke as did his father, Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[2] Harvey’s wife, Alfleda (Starr) Keith

[3] Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[4] Luke and Harvey’s adopted brother, John Wesley Keith

[5] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[6] Most likely referring to the Alphadelphia Association mansion

[7] See next page following for a brief description of the Alphadelphia Association

[8] Luke’s and Harvey’s first cousin, Marion Willcutt, daughter of Warren Willcutt and Electa Damon

[9] Elijah Rice

[10] Warren Willcutt

[11] Luke’s and Harvey’s cousin, Marquis La Fayette Lee, son of Charles and Rhoda (Keith) Lee

[12] Ruel was born March 6, 1844 and died in April 1844

[13] Luke married Jerusha Crittenden on July 25, 1847 so perhaps this is what he was referring to

[14] Have not been able to establish a blood relationship between A. T. (or A. F.) Jones and the Keiths. The 5-27-1838 letter suggests that he is living with Aunt Lydia, the 6-24-1838 letter from A. T. Jones says his is living with “Grandmother,” and the 5-23-1847 letter says that “A. T. Jones lives with Mr. Wells down below Lees.” A search of the census records shows an Asa F. Jones is living with Harvey Keith in 1850

[15] Luke’s and Harvey’s sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[16] Luke’s & Harvey’s paternal aunt, Rhoda (Keith) Lee

December 13, 1846 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Harvey Keith

December 13, 1846

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Pavilion, NY

From: Harvey Keith, Comstock, MI

Gives a brief account of what has been going on since Luke left. There have been some deaths and some marriages. Smallpox has broken out in the area. Was to Flanders and saw Henry. He “wants to see you Louis Grandma Payson.” There was a meeting of the Alphadelphia Association and some want to divide the land.

Scan of 1846-12-13 Harvey Keith to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Comstock Dec 13th/46

You will discover by this that I am in Mich. We got your letter yestrdy which found us all in very good health. Father[1] has been unwell a few days back with a bad cold but has got pretty much over it now. I got home the third day of Nov about eight oclock in the morney just in time to vote. We have had first rate weather for business this fall but I have not done any thing but rig up a place for my cattle mud up my house &c. I am going tomorrow to work on Cooleys mill up at Dibbles place. I will give you a short history of what has takes place in this part since you left.[2] There has been some deaths & some marriages. Eli Clintons wife & her twin brothers are all dead. Dict Harrises wife Died the day before I came home. Hannah Low is married to Silas Low. Widdow Whitcom is married to Braddock Baley and moved up to his place.

We are having in this place what the Doctors call the small pox. Lyman Bacon & family have been to Indiania on a visit this fall came home three weeks ago on their way home stop’d at Charls Galligans staid all night. He was then braking out with the disorder gave gave it to two of the children one of Charles & one of his Brothers that lives in the house with him. There is none others got it yet. Bacon did not know what was the matter with him.

You wanted to know how the old cow gets along. She has not got a calf yet dont think she will have before Feb. Mother[3] & Wes[4] made a bet before he left. She says he must get the biscuit ready. He bet she would give milk by the first of Dec. Mother says tell Wes he must write to them and let them know what he is doing.

I have been down to Flanders.[5] Henry[6] says he wants to see you Louis[7] Grandma Payson.[8] He has had the ague considerable this fall by spells. He is having it now. Flanders says he has not got any pay from those demands you left. I want you should make a pattern for the axletree to my waggon and bring with you if you come home in the spring. John Earl was here to day. Says he wishes you wer here to build him a waaggon. They have not got their works to going yet. They cant get their Engine. It was to have bee here the middle of Oct. Their boiler has got here. They have a grist mill saw mill & Distilery all to go by one Engine. David Smith has bot Capt Thayers place on the Indian field the place that Ruel Starr[9] first bot. I have not seen him. R. S. Clapp has not got back nor I dont know when he is coming back. Alphadelphia[10] remains about the same. We had a meeting the other day. Some were for dividing the land according to the stock others not. Ransom thinks that Bond a good one. He says he is not going to divide his farm but is in favour of wating a while longer pay up the Vandewalker Mortgage and then put that Bond into the mill and see what they can make out of it. But for my part I am willing or would rather have ten acres. I know it was mine and to have it lay along in this way for a number of years. Crid lives in the old printing office cooks and eats his own Bread and Diner. Cooks it all on the _____ stove. Father has been down in the woods to day. They are all well. I have not been there since I got home. You say you have sold your knife for fifteen shilings. I dont think you got pay for making it. I keep mine yet.

You say that Mr Starrs family are all well but Orson. We did not know that he was in that part of the country. I saw him the fore part of Sept said he was going to the coppe contry to spend the winter. Write to me let me know how long he has been thare and whether he went to the copper mines. I dont think of any thing more to write this time. Give our respects to all the friends in Pavillion.

Yours When you get it

Harvey Keith


[1] Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[2] After Luke’s wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith died on August 29, 1843, it appears as though he traveled back to Pavilion, New York, once or twice. His daughter, Lois, was living with her grandmother there until he could get settled again. It is also possible that he was courting his second wife, Jerusha Crittenden, at this point

[3] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[4] John Wesley Keith; Bible records indicate that he was adopted

[5] After Charles Luke Keith Jr.’s first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith, died, Joseph & Amanda (Hobbs) Flanders took in their children, Henry and Lois Keith. From letters from that time, it would appear that Lois was then sent to Minerva’s parents while Henry lived with the Flanders family. According to Carol Boyer, the Flanders raised Henry even after Luke married his third wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith. They wanted to adopt Henry but Luke said no; however, it looks like he lived with them throughout his youth. This seems to be corroborated by the 1860 census showing “Henry L Flanders,” who I believe was actually Henry L. Keith, age 16, living with Joseph & Amanda. From a picture album, written above Mary Flanders’ picture, it was written: Mary & Edwin Flanders raised Lois & Henry after their mother Minerva died until Luke married Jerusha Crittenden. However, Edwin Flanders was born 10-7-1837 and Henry was born 8-20-1843, so that is obviously wrong

[6] Luke’s son, who was about 3-1/2 years old

[7] Luke’s daughter, was was about 6-1/2 years old

[8] Research continues as to “Grandma Payson”

[9] Harvey was married to Alfleda Starr so perhaps this is one of her relatives

[10] The Alphadelphia Association. See page following the May 23, 1847 letter for a brief description of the Alphadelphia Association

April 21 1845 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Charles Webster

April 21, 1845

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Galesburg, MI

From: Charles Webster, Middleburg, IA

Hopes that the wagon Luke is making for him will soon be done and that when it is that Luke will “come and fetch it down and make us a visit” and fetch Aunt Lois and the children.

1845-04-21 Charles Webster to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Respected Friend

Your favor was duly Recd I was glad to hear that you had got the Waggon on the stocks. I hope it will soon be done. I have made arrangements for ironing of it. I Want it as Soon as posible. I Wish when you get it done you would come and fetch it down and make us a visit. Fetch aunt Louis and the children.[1] I Would come out for it but my business is such that I can not. Well _____ yours may be so to. If it is I wish you would send it to Kalamazoo and write to me what place I will find it by so doing you will confer a great favor on me. I think I can send and get it most any time. Now Luke just do this and write to me the Balance your due and I will see that you have yore pay before a long time. Do not fail. You must give our Respects to your folks and tell aunt Louis Sarah wants to see her very much.

We are all well. No news of any acount.

Middburg April 21 1845[2]

Chas Webster [to] Luke Keith Jun


[1] Luke’s daughter, Lois, and son, Henry

[2] The letter was folded to form its own envelope and the return address portion appears to read:

Middleburg  }
Ia April 21    }