Luke Keith’s diary entries from February 7 – 22, 1859

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

Feb 7 – Cloudy 10 Abz. Went over to Byingtons. Calvin Streator here. Bot one lb saleratas 10.

Feb 8 – Pleasant 24 Abz. Worked on Byingtons wagon. Mr Spaulding here. Deyeo got maple of Mr Warner.

Feb 9 – Cloudy 24 Abz no snow hardley no sleighing. Worked on gearing. Lasher here. Father Brot Mary An here. Recd letter from G. T.[24] one from Momence from Wm Peters.

Feb 10 – Pleasant 8 Abz. Worked on gearing. Mrs Bevere here. Mary An went up to her Fathers.[25] My Kettle came home. Mary & Ed Bennet here. Bot cloth & floss 10¢. Mrs Lane died.

Feb 11 – Cloudy 11 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Bot cloth for pants 1.41. Snowed some in the night.

Feb 12 – Cloudy 10 Abz. Went over and measured the fractions for Geo Tomlinson. Lasher led my heifer over. Bot ½ lb Tea 25¢. Durgy Brot load wood.

Feb 13 – Cloudy 18 Abz. Put on my new pants hard times Sarah gone to church. Took the top of Yorks violin. Mr Kingsley[26] died to day.

Feb 14 – Pleasant at zero. Durgy Brot his violin saw A. Hoag. Swaddle called here in Evening. Sent letter to G. T. one one to N. B. Betts. Paper 10¢ candles 15¢ letters 6¢.

Feb 15 – Cloudy 41 Abz. Worked in shop some. Mr. Kingsley buried to day.

Feb 16 – Cloudy 27 Abz. Went up to Flanders. Hellen[27] here. Jerome Turner here. Bot Jug 25¢ Bot ½ galon molassess 28¢ 4 sheets sand paper 4¢. Ed York took Tea here.

Feb 17 – Cloudy 38 Abz. Worked in shop. Swaddle Brot his spokes. Harvey here. Flanders Brot load hay.

Feb 18 – Cloudy 28 Abz no snow. Worked in shop on neap. Had door open all day pleasant as Spring.

Feb 19 – Cloudy 48 Abz. Repaired Yorks violin. Durgy got his violin. Bot 50 lbs Bran 35¢. D. Henyon here in Evening. Some thunder & lightning in Evening some hail & rain snowed in the night.

Feb 20 – Windy cold snow flies 28 Abz. At home. Sarah gone to church. Blustrous.

Feb 21 – Pleasant 23 Abz. Drove spokes in Swaddles hubbs. A Hoag called here. No snow on the ground.

Feb 22 – Cloudy 32 Abz. Finished Swaddles wheels. A Hoag & Wesley here. Lois came home. Pleasant & Warm.

 

[24] George Tomlinson, husband of Luke’s niece, Marion (Sprague) Tomlinson

[25] John Batey

[26] A search of FindAGrave.com shows that Salmon Kingsley died February 13, 1859 and is buried in the Galesburg City Cemetery in Galesburg, Michigan

[27] His niece, Helen (Bradley) York

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February 6, 1859 letter to Luke Keith from George Tomlinson

February 6, 1859

To: Luke Keith

From: George Tomlinson, Pavilion, NY

Has negotiated a trade with Uncle Noah Starr for the land. Wants Luke to get a chain and measure it out in metes and bounds. Aunt Patty thinks it strange that none of her friends have written her since she left. She thinks Luke was glad to get rid of her and won’t write for fear she will come again. Uncle Myron Douglass was buried February 3rd.

Pavilion Feb. 6, 1859

C. L. Keith Esq

I have partly negotiated a trade with Uncle Noah Starr[1] for that land – can trade if I am a mind to – the land I git is not worth over 2000$. Now what I want to know is can that land be sold for more than that amt.? I want to do the best I can with it. I am not able to keep it in its present shape. It pays nothing as you know. Is there any sale for land?

2nd Have you ever chained it out so you know there is what the deed calls for? Uncle Noah wants metes and bounds & a deed for 116 acres omitting the words “more or less.” Can you give me a plan of it with the distances in rods marked on each line? Like this: [there is then a simple drawing]. Also the directions. If you dont know can you get a chain & measure it? I should like to have this done without delay – so I can consummate the trade at once – if there is no prospect of doing better. I suppose the farm is running down pretty fast and I am afraid it will run down faster than land will raise in value.

I have had several nibbles for trade but nothing that comes to a focus till now. I want to get the farm off my hands to the best advantage as soon as possible.

3d How much is there due on that note you hold against me? I must try and pay you up some day.

4th I wish you would call upon Lasher[2] & find out how he thinks the acct. stands between us – get his bills if he has any – I suppose I may as well say we are square as any other way.

You must not say any thing of any trades for I have learned that a trade is not a trade till the writings are made – there may be forty slips besides I may think it not best to trade when I hear from you.

5th Write as soon as possible.

So much for business.

We are all well – get along first rate for lazy folks. Aunt Patty[3] thinks it strange that some of her friends dont write. She has heard nothing from them since she left. She thinks you were so glad to get rid of her that you wont write for fear you she will go again or else you have all gone to salt lake.

Uncle Myron Douglass[4] was buried Feb 3.

Yours

Geo. Tomlinson

[1] George’s wife, Marion (Sprague) Tomlinson, and Noah Starr’s daughter-in-law, Emma (Sprague) Starr, were first cousins

[2] While “Lasher” is referenced repeatedly in Luke’s diaries and also in letters to Luke from Charles Cridland, the only evidence found regarding his first name, Joseph, was a receipt in the back of Luke’s 1858 diary dated December 6, 1858 for the payment of Comstock real estate taxes

[3] Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague was Luke’s sister and George’s mother-in-law

[4] A search of FindAGrave.com indicates that Myron Douglass died February 12, 1859 and is buried in Jug City Cemetery in Genessee County, New York; however, since George writes that Myron was buried on February 3, and since the headstone is broken and worn, it would appear that Myron died February 2. Myron Douglass’ relationship to either George or Luke is unknown at this time

Luke Keith’s diary entries from January 1 – February 6, 1859

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

Jan 1 – Cold 28 Abz[1] Rainy. Went over to Fathers.[2] No snow.

Jan 2 – Cloudy 30 Abz. At home all day.

Jan 3 – Cloudy 29 Abz. Jo Sherman here. Father Brot Nancy[3] home. Lasher[4] drawed load wood. Bot this Book 38¢.[5]

Jan 4 – Cold 25 Abz. Worked in shop on violin. Barlow got his violin. Bot ½ lb yarn 44¢.

Jan 5 – Pleasant 31 Abz. Worked in shop. Paid Tax 4.29 Georges tax 10.66. Bot 30 lbs flour 82¢.

Jan 6 – Cloudy 22 Abz. Went over to Taylors to the mill. Bot ½ lb yarn 50¢ one lb ratas[6] 10¢. Elder Sills here & prayed for Two Sarahs.

Jan 7 – Snow 20 Abz. Worked in shop on sleigh. Cold snowey day. Bot screws 30¢ one lb candles 14. Sent letter to N. B. Betts[7] 3¢.

Jan 8 – Cold 3 Blz[8] 4 or 5 inches snow. Finished fathers sleigh. Bot darning needle.

Jan 9 – Cold 4 Blz. At home all day. Cold.

Jan 10 – Pleasant 10 Blz. Painted Fathers sleigh. A. Sumner at the shop. Flanders here with his bobs.

Jan 11 – Cloudy 21 Abz. Painted Fathers sleigh. Jesse Earl here. Bot 54 lbs bran 32¢ one box matches 6¢.

Jan 12 – Cloudy 36 Abz. Lasher came over and killed my pig weighed 252 lbs.

Jan 13 – Cloudy 37 Abz. Repaired wheel for Wightman. Rainy night. Nationals in town to night.

Jan 14 – Cloudy 37 Abz very muddy. Mrs Bennet here & Bennet to dinner. Rainy afternoon snowed in the night. Anna Fries[9] died to night Ae 16 years.

Jan 15 – Cloudy 30 Abz. Covered cistern. Bot salt candles. Got stove hearth mended.

Jan 16 – Pleasant 26 Abz some snow snowed some. Anna Fries buried to day.

Jan 17 – Cloudy 22 Abz. Went up to Yorks. Father got his sleigh.

Jan 18 – Pleasant 17 Abz. Went over to Lashers got pig. Sent letter to Abiah Sprague.[10] Sarah[11] went to Watts.

Jan 19 – Pleasant 29 Abz. Went over to Byingtons. Oatman moved his house. Took tea to Deyoes.

Jan 20 – Cloudy 42 Abz. Went over to Fathers took hannah.[12] Rained some.

Jan 21 – Cloudy 25 Abz. Sawed wood. Sarah came home. Filed saw for Mr Smith.

Jan 22 – Snows 3 Abz. Went over to Fathers after hannah. Mrs Frary here. Wesley[13] here in Evening.

Jan 23 – Pleasant 1 Abz. At home. Wrote letter to King[14] & D Crawford.[15]

Jan 24 – Pleasant 17 Abz. Worked in shop some. Bot 26½ lbs flour 77¢ ½ lb Tea 31¢. Wesley got corn 6 bushels 56¢ pr bushel. Sent letter to King one to D Crawford.

Jan 25 – Cloudy 31 Abz not much snow. Rimmed wheel for A. McLary. Calvin Streator here to day.

Jan 26 – Pleasant 22 Abz. Sawed out one pair bob runners. Flanders here. Ralph got his gloves. Calvin here.

Jan 27 – Snows like fun 32 Abz rained & snowed all day. Worked on McLarys Ex.

Jan 28 – Cloudy 32 Abz. Finished McLarys Ex. Bot G. string. Received letter from Mrs M. Keith one from N. B. Betts two for Lois.[16]

Jan 29 – Cloudy 24 Abz. Went up to Yorks Jo[17] brot me home. Father & Mother[18] here. Got Buck Wheat & meal from the mill. Bot 50 lbs bran 30¢. Cal Streator got his violin 50¢. Lasher paid me 50¢.

Jan 30 – Pleasant but cloudy 23 Abz. At home all day. Sarah went to church. All well as usual.

Jan 31 – Sun shines no snow 13 Abz. Worked round house & Barn. D. Lamkins here Wesley here in evening. Bent hoops for violin. Race[19] run over. Mr Gero very sick.

Feb 1 – Sun shines Pleasant 30 Abz. Went over the river after my Heifer could not get her. Made axhelve[20] for C. C. Johnson. Mrs Watts here. Barlow gave me an E. string. Went to Barlows.

Feb 2 – Snows some 31 Abz. Made axhelve for Wesley. Mary an Keith[21] came here. Johnson got helve.

Feb 3 – 24 Abz. Filed saw for Joseph Lee.[22] T. Ford brot some flour. Wm McLary brot sleigh.

Feb 4 – Snows 16 Abz. Worked in shop sawed out bob knees. Blocked out foot for T. Sherman. Recd letter from Canada. Some sleighing. Bot one lb candles 16¢ letter 10¢.

Feb 5 – Snows some 12 Abz snowey day. Worked in shop some sawed out gearing and neaps[23] one for Byington.

Feb 6 – Pleasant 11 Abz. Sun shines. At home all day. Sarah went to church. Ed & Mary Childs here to Tea. Snow most gone.

[1] Above zero

[2] Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[3] His daughter, Nancy Keith

[4] While “Lasher” is referenced repeatedly in Luke’s diaries and also in letters to Luke from Charles Cridland, the only evidence found regarding his first name, Joseph, was a receipt in the back of Luke’s 1858 diary dated December 6, 1858 for the payment of Comstock real estate taxes

[5] This appears to be Luke’s symbol for “cents.” It was actually written as a quarter of a round circle slanting upwards to the right (see scan of diary entry)

[6] Saleratus; sodium or potassium bicarbonate used as a leavening agent; baking soda

[7] His mother-in-law, Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[8] Below zero

[9] A search of FindAGrave.com reveals that Anna H. Freese died January 15, 1859 and is buried in the Galesburg City Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan

[10] Abiah was the cousin of Jerusha (Crittenden) Keith, Luke’s second wife

[11] His third wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[12] His daughter, Hannah Keith

[13] His brother, John Wesley Keith who, according to the family Bible, was adopted

[14] Most likely James S. King, his maternal first cousin

[15] His brother-in-law, David “D.C.” Crawford

[16] His daughter, Lois (Keith) Clark, by his first wife, Minerva Payson. Lois married Byron Clark on March 17, 1859; it is curious that Luke didn’t enter that in his diary

[17] Joseph York, the husband of Luke’s niece, Helen (Bradley) York

[18] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[19] An artificial channel or bed of a stream leading water to or from a point where its energy is utilized, such as a mill or a mining claim

[20] An axe handle

[21] Mary Ann (Batey) Keith, the wife of his nephew, James “Oscar” Keith

[22] His nephew

[23] The pole, or tongue, of a cart

Luke Keith’s diary entries from November 1 – December 31, 1858

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

Nov 1 – Cloudy warm 45 Abz. Worked in shop some. Sent 3 letters G.T. C.R.C. M.K. Bronson. Sherman & J. Flanders here in Evening. P. Johnson & wife here. Rainy night. Lasher Brot Eleven bushels corn.

Nov 2 – Rainy 50 Abz. Worked in shop some. Went to Election. Very Rainy day mid day. Edwin Flanders got home.

Nov 3 – Cloudy 45 Abz. Worked in shop on Fathers sleigh. Patty came over & Henry came home. Rained some.

Nov 4 – Cloudy 45 Abz. Worked in shop. Killed chicken. Patty went down to Catharines. Henry here. Rained some. Mark came after Patty.

Nov 5 – Cloudy 42 Abz. Went over the river. Lasher Brot 14 bushels corn and ½ cord wood from Yorks. Rainy. A. Blakeslee Brot my stove home one lb & half candles 25~.

Nov 6 – Cloudy 42 Abz. Worked in shop. Rained some. Hunter Walker Buried to day.

Nov 7 – Cloudy 41 Abz. At home all day. Rainy. Sarah went to church.

Nov 8 – Cloudy 37 Abz. Tinkered round Barn. Hawver Brot his Buckskin. Made glove for Frank Cle_____. Rained some & snowed. Father got his lime.

Nov 9 – Cloudy 31 Abz. Went over to Fathers and set up corn fodder. Got teapot mended. Snowed some in the Evening. Porpoise of the track.

Nov 10 – Cloudy 30 Abz. Dug some potatoes. Toot & Lois came over. Mr Wiseman here. Bot canton flannel 1/- Bot steak 1/-.

Nov 11 – Cloudy 30 Abz. Lasher came and dug potatoes. Father got stove.

Nov 12 – Cloudy 33 Abz. Lasher drawed two loads corn fodder. Rained towards night snowed in the Evening.

Nov 13 – Cloudy 31 Abz snow on the ground. Bot ½ lb Tea 31~. Bot ½ Bushel salt 28~. Bot Ethen Boots 1.50~. Father Brot ½ Ransom pig 65 lbs.

Nov 14 – Snows 27 Abz. Stayed at home. Sarah went to church.

Nov 15 – Pleasant sun came out 21 Abz 2 inches snow. Worked in Barn moved corn. Put up the cow the first time.

Nov 16 – Cloudy 23 Abz. Cut gloves & mittens for Hawver McLary & Baxter. Bot pr taps for my Boots 25~.

Nov 17 – Pleasant 22 Abz. Went over and got my last load stalks. Mr Lasher drawed them. Patty came over. Snowed in the Evening.

Nov 18 – Snowey & misty 24 Abz. Worked in shop cut out battens[61] for Barn. Patty here.

Nov 19 – Cloudy 23 Abz. Went over to Lashers got him to draw ½ cord wood from Yorks. Patty & Lois went home with him. Flanders called here.

Nov 20 – Cloudy 12 Abz. Set shoes on one bob. Bot Flanders paint. Snowed some. Got corn ground.

Nov 21 – Cloudy 28 Abz snow 2 inches deep. Mark & Lois here. Sarah went to church.

Nov 22 – Cloudy 29 Abz. Mark & Toot & Catharine here. Sarah went home with them. Going to Kalamazoo. Flanders Brot me two bushels flour. Patty left to night 12.40.

Nov 23 – Cloudy 33 Abz. Sarah gone. Tapt my Boots. Had Loucks up for sealing. Sarah Bot Shawl & Dress &c.

Nov 24 – Pleasant 27 Abz. Painted Bobs. Sarah got home. Uncle Chichester here.

Nov 25 – Snows Some 32 Abz. Worked in shop on Ex for Beach. Stanley here in the Evening from Lacrosse.

Nov 26 – Cloudy 32 Abz. Finished Beaches Ex. Old cow out to night. Bot one lb candles 15~.

Nov 27 – Snows some 32 Abz. Worked in shop some. Put fenders on Fathers Sleigh. Snowed all day and all night. Enos Smith came here stayed all night.

Nov 28 – Snows 31 Abz snow some six inches deep. Enos left for home. Went over to Fathers. Very snowey.

Nov 29 – Cold 10 Abz snow some eight inches deep. Cleared out the shop. Deyo moved his tools. Bot 10 lbs shugar one lb saleratas two books.

Nov 30 – Pleasant 19 Abz. Worked in shop. Flanders Brot his timber for rack to his bobs.

Dec 1 – Cloudy 25 Abz. Worked on Flanders bob rack. Father got his Sash. Deyoes here to supper.

Dec 2 – Cloudy 34 Abz. Finished Flanders bobs. Flanders got his mittens. Sarah went down to Barbers. Snowed in the night.

Dec 3 – Snows 24 Abz. Put battens on East side of shop. Snowed and blowed _____ Mrs Corys here & Mrs Rogers. Lasher Brot load wood.

Dec 4 – Cloudy 30 Abz. Painted Flanders bobs. D. Smith here. Sawed out bob runners for Mose. Bot 50 lbs bran 25~. Rainy night. Father Brot Boards for bottom.

Dec 5 – Cloudy & windy 32 Abz. At home all day. Sarah went to church.

Dec 6 – Cloudy 22 Abz. Stoped the cracks in shop floor. Put up stove.

Dec 7 – Cloudy 24 Abz. Worked in shop some. Put on some battens. Very little snow.

Dec 8 – Blustering 12 Abz. Went over to Fathers got the old deed[?]. Put _____ under the doors. Howell here to night concert. Very cold.

Dec 9 – Cloudy 12 Abz. Lasher drawed ½ cord green wood. Put on battens East west side shop. Got letter from J. S. King.

Dec 10 – Pleasant 20 Abz. Flanders got his Bobs. McLary brot load wood. Bot Eye water two bushels Buckwheat of Lasher at Flanders Brot Rooster.

Dec 11 – Cloudy 24 Abz. Put battens on Ends of Shop. Bot gloves for Sarah. Wes brot Rooster. J. York got home.

Dec 12 – Cloudy 29 Abz some Rainy. Lois at home in Evening. By paid me. Rainy night.

Dec 13 – Cloudy & misty 48 Abz. Commenced smoothing my slead put on some battens. Got out all of them.

Dec 14 – Cloudy 28]?] Abz. Worked on _____ slead. Wesley brot Henrys coat. Snowed in the Evening. Bot one lb _____ of Mead 12~.

Dec 15 – Cloudy 30 Abz. Worked in shop on slead violin accordion. Flanders here Mrs Wiseman & family here to tea. James H. Crawford[62] Died to day.

Dec 16 – Pleasant 25 Abz. Put thills together then painted slead & thills. No snow _____ ground froze hard.

Dec 17 – Cloudy 22 Abz. Mended accordion & violin. Martin Turner here. Oscar Keith here.

Dec 18 – Cloudy 26 Abz. Ethen & I went down to Catharines. Caty & Jef came over.

Dec 19 – Cloudy 30 Abz. All came up to Fathers. Brot the rifle home.

Dec 20 – Smoky 32 Abz. Sawed out bob runners. Snowed in the night. Mr Deyo here. Barlow first violin school.

Dec 21 – Snows some 33 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Saw J. York. Sold Milham 12½ bushels corn 4/- pr bushel. Bot violin string 18~.

Dec 22 – Pleasant 25 Abz. Worked in shop mended violin bow. Barbers folks here to tea. Very _____. Sawed out knees for bobs.

Dec 23 – Cloudy 32 Abz. Worked in shop some. Lasher drawed load wood. York brot stove. Bot one lb candles 17~.

Dec 24 – Cloudy 24 Abz. Worked on shop floor. Got Fathers sleigh from shop. Bot broom.

Dec 25 – Pleasant 18 Abz. Tinkered round shop. Mr Huchison here to look at farm. Bot 50 lbs bran 25~.

Dec 26 – Rainy 33 Abz. At home. Sarah went to teacher meeting.

Dec 27 – Cloudy & muddy 35 Abz. Went up to Yorks & Wesleys.

Dec 28 – Cloudy 39 Abz. Wes came & helped me fix the well. Rained in the night.

Dec 29 – Cloudy 34 Abz. Finished the well. Moved my currant bushes. Snowed some. Ed Wilcut[63] here.

Dec 30 – Rains some 33 Abz. Sawed out two sets Bob runners for Milford Matthews.

Dec 31 – Cold 28 Abz froze some. Worked on Barbers violin.

[61] Roofing lathes, used to provide the fixing point for roofing materials such as shingles or tiles

[62] His wife’s brother; see February 22, 1859 letter

[63] Edward G. Wolcott, his maternal first cousin, the son of Warren and Electa (Damon) Willcutt

October 30, 1858 letter to Nancy Betts from James Crawford

October 30, 1858                  

To: Nancy Betts                                

From: James H. Crawford, Cassville, WI

His wife Ann died on the 26th and he is left with two small children.

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

1858 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

_________ 27, 1858

To: Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Crawford Betts, Omro, WI

Mentions Robert, Prosper, Henry & Hiram. Received a letter from (your) Uncle Nathaniel Crawford’s daughter. David wrote to Robert. Hasn’t heard from Edwin and wonders if he is dead or alive. She wants to see Eugene. When she heard from James, Ann was very low.

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

Luke Keith’s diary entries of July 27 – October 31, 1858

July 27 – Pleasant 67 Abz. Worked on Buggy. Bot one lb candles 15~ One violin string 10~. Had cucumbers for the first time.

July 28 – Cloudy & Rainy 68 Abz. Had a shower about 4 AM. Sarah went and got some Berries. Worked on Buggy Box put on dash.

July 29 – Cloudy 75 Abz. Worked on buggy Box. Sprinkled some. McAlister got his violin 40~.

July 30 – Cloudy 72 Abz. New engines from Kassons Express N. J. No. 28. M & C. Received a letter from C. R. C. Repaired B. Clarks wheels. Rained a very little in the night.

July 31 – Pleasant 68 Abz. Finished Streators Buggy. Henry came home. Chase Brot his Buggy. B. Spalding Brot his wagon.

Aug 1 – Cloudy 70 Abz. Emigrant Car 108 went west. Rainy day. Henry at home.

Aug 2 – Cloudy 70 Abz. Painted Streators Box put felly for Mark Lee. Rained some had a shower in the evening. Bot cotton 11 yds 2 lbs bran __00. Boardman here in the Evening got a _____ out Boys _____.

Aug 3 – Cloudy 68 Abz. Made an Ex for B. Spalding. Streator got his Box and traps. Killed my Rooster.

Aug 4 – Pleasant 69 Abz. Made thills for A. Lamkins. Clarrissa Starr & __. Neuman here. Killed my Rooster.

Aug 5 – Cloudy 68 Abz. Worked on Chases Ex. Bot Buttons 28~. Recd A letter from G. T. one from D.C.[44] Rather dry.

Aug 6 – Pleasant 73 Abz. Finished Chases Buggy. Stilwell Brot his wheel. Toots school closed. Dug a few new potatoes.

Aug 7 – Pleasant 72 Abz. Went to the Caravan. Mark & Catharine went. Toot went home. Mended End Board for Caravan wagon 25~. Cow gone to night.

Aug 8 – Pleasant 75 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Rained some afternoon. Had the first ripe apples & green corn. Eliphants Hannibal passed here going East.

Aug 9 – Foggy 66 Abz. Worked on Stillwells wheel. Truman Cory & family left for York State.

Aug 10 – Pleasant 71 Abz. Finished Stillwells wheel. Carried my wheelbarrow hub down to the shop. Stilwell Brot two Bushels wheat. Rained some.

Aug 11 – Pleasant 76 Abz. Went up to Mr Claps to level his ditch. Extracted tooth for Wm Whitcomb 25~.

Aug 12 – Pleasant 68 Abz. The old cow went to Bull this morning. Sarah gone over to Halls.

Aug 13 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Worked in shop some on bobs.

Aug 14 – Pleasant 63 Abz. Made neap for Fay Aldrich. Went over to Fathers. Rained in the night.

Aug 15 – Pleasant 70 Abz. All went over to Fathers. I went up to the swamp & up to Wesleys place. Uncle Sam McLellen died to day.

Aug 16 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Made spring to my chest lock mended chair for Swartout. Filed saw for Clap. Cow gone to night. D. K. Rogers & A. Chipman started for G. T. Bay. Lashers Boy Born.

Aug 17 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Cleaned out cellar pulled my onions. Went over to B. Hartwells. Had a fine shower in the night. Sarah went over to Fathers.

Aug 18 – Cloudy 69 Abz. Worked in shop made violin top for Bilington. Chase got his buggy paid $1.75. Hogs in the garden. Deyoes folks here to Tea. Ethen swallowed a pin.

Aug 19 – Cool and Pleasant 58 Abz. Bot veal 47~. John Wilcut here. Mended Lamkins wagon 50~. Stevenson Raised his house.

Aug 20 – Pleasant 60 Abz. Made cross bar for W. McLelleon 40~. Bilington got his violin paid one Dollar. Rained some. Cordelia Earl & Miss Brown called here.

Aug 21 – Cloudy and fogy 58 Abz some misty. Went down to Catharines. Mark & I went a hunting. Cow gone to night.

Aug 22 – Pleasant 60 Abz. Came home all right. Mark carried Sarah & children over home. Cow gone to night.

Aug 23 – Pleasant 42 Abz. Edward Romans got his violin. Went up to Swaddles after my cow. Cut up my corn. Worked in shop some.

Aug 24 – Pleasant 40 Abz. Made plow Beam for T. Ford. Tightened Box for Wightman. Sarah went to Watts. Bot Thread & needles carried Miller home got hurt on Band car.

Aug 25 – Pleasant 45 Abz. Went up to Flanders and made pump pipe. Ford got his plow. Flanders brot two Bushels wheat.

Aug 26 – Rainy 60 Abz Rained all day and all night. Made spout for Brown & Vosburgs machine. Worked on sleigh _____.

Aug 27 – Cloudy & some Rain 64 Abz. Worked in shop. Martin Turner[45] here. Rainy. Filed saw for Joy. Bot shugar & saleratas.[46]

Aug 28 – Cloudy 56 Abz. Got my Boots Tapt 75. Bot one lb beef. Mortised Bob runners & Beams. Rained some. Extracted tooth for Aldrich girl 25~.

Aug 29 – Cloudy and cool 56 Abz. Stayed at home. Mark and Catharine here. Rained some. Sarah Beedle came home.

Aug 30 – Cloudy 54 Abz. Sent letter to Mrs. M. Keith Kansas. Worked in shop got out spokes for wheel Barrow. Lois came home.

Aug 31 – Pleasant 57 Abz. Went over to Fathers Sarah & Hannah stayed. Put the spokes into my wheelbarrow hub.

Sep 1 – Pleasant 53 Abz. Worked over to Lashers laid grainery floor. Sent letter to G. T. Sarah came home.

Sep 2 – Pleasant 59 Abz. Rimed my wheelbarrow wheel. Bot half lb tea. Oscar Hall died in the night.

Sep 3 – Pleasant 54 Abz. No work to day. Alvan Turner[47] came here. Bot mutton cranberries 26~. D. K. Rogers and A. Chipman got home from G. T. Bay.

Sep 4 – Pleasant 58 Abz. Put Bobs together. Oscar Hall buried today.

Sep 5 – Pleasant 59 Abz. Went over to Fathers and up to Yorks Wesleys place and to Lashers. Mary Earl died in the night.

Sep 6 – Pleasant 57 Abz. Went up to Yorks got load wood Bot 2¾ lbs butter. Jesse W. Turner[48] and Alvan here. Recd a letter from C. R. Cridland.

Sep 7 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Jesse Turner went home. Sent letter to C.R.C. Mary Earl buried to day. Paid S. Bristol 50~ costs on Whitings matter.

Sep 8 – Pleasant and warm 72 Abz. Some ague.[49] Went over to Byingtons got oak plank. Rainy afternoon. Nel Canfield here. Luther Eldred paid his note 5.8%. Bot 15 lbs salt 15~. Rained all night.

Sep 9 – Rainy 72 Abz. Nel Canfield here. Went over to Lashers got Deyoes cow. Sawed some fellows.[50] Henry Scramlin here Mr Wilkinson here from Pavilion. Heavy shower in the night. Recd a letter from G.T.

Sep 10 – Rainy 72 Abz. Went over to Lashers here with Wilkinson to see the farm. Recd a Letter from G.T.

Sep 11 – Pleasant 50 Abz. Worked in shop sawed some fellys. Extracted tooth for Mrs B Spalding.

Sep 12 – Pleasant 45 Abz. At home all day. Sarah went to church. Deyoes folks went to gull.[51]

Sep 13 – Pleasant 47 Abz. Cleaned up wheat 19.7 bushels. Sold 10 to Tenant 7½ to Father. Harriet & Edith here. Father raised his hog pen. Bot two Bushels wheat 2.00.

Sep 14 – Pleasant 51 Abz. Tightened box for Beach. Sharpened rasor for Clap.

Sep 15 – Pleasant 61 Abz. Worked in shop some. Sent Hoags note to Illinois. Rained some. May Childs here. Henry Childs left in the night for Ill. Bot box pills 25. Paid school bill 48. Rained in the night.

Sep 16 – Pleasant 50 Abz. Sabath celebrating. Henry came home. Sick no work to day. Cool rained.

Sep 17 – Pleasant 47 Abz. At home sick no work to day. Daniel sweet here in the Evening with his guitar. Cool wind. Sent letter to J. S. King.[52]

Sep 18 – Cloudy 52 Abz. Packed up Cridlands things and took them to the Frieght house.

Sep 19 – Pleasant 56 Abz. At home. Cut Wisemans hair in the morning. Cut James Flanders hair just at night.

Sep 20 – Pleasant 65 Abz. Went over and cut corn. Lasher worked afternoon. Very hot. Wesleys folks moved.

Sep 21 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Cut corn. Henry Sheldon came to Fathers. Bot ¼ lb Tea of D. K. Rogers.

Sep 22 – Pleasant – 42 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Henry Sheldon came over. Boxed up Beach timber. Truman Cory and family came home. Bot one lb candles 1.15. Old man Whitfer buried. Pulled tooth for lady 125.

Sep 23 – Pleasant 38 Abz. Cut corn. Went up to Yorks. Commenced raining 2 oclock in morning. County Fair at Kalamazoo. Sent letter to Mrs Betts.

Sep 24 – Rainy 62 Abz. Worked in shop some on floor. Bot ½ lb Tea of D. K. Rogers 31~.

Sep 25 – Pleasant 38 Abz. At home. Cory raised his Barn. Flanders Brot my window. Recd 3 letters one from G.T. one Peters one from Mrs Whiting. Bot 52 lbs bran.

Sep 26 – Pleasant 38 Abz. Went over to Fathers & up to Yorks.

Sep 27 – Pleasant 45 Abz. Worked round home. Cut out gloves for Hopkins. _____ up lumber. Sent letter to Mr Peters of Momence Ill.

Sep 28 – Pleasant 56 Abz. Worked in shop put in Ex for Dick Lamkins 2 Doler. Got stick of Cross. Sent letter to G. Tomlinson.

Sep 29 – Pleasant 66 Abz. Cut corn. Jesse W. Turner here to night.

Sep 30 – Pleasant 56 Abz Rained some. A. McLary Brot half cord wood. Bot shoes hdkf[53] stockings dishes.

Oct 1 – Cloudy 52 Abz cleared of pleasant. Started for Waverly Vanburen County. Got to Oscars about 5 oclock P.M. Stayed with Alfleda.[54] Got pair suspenders for Ethen 12½ cts.

Oct 2 – Pleasant 40 Abz. Went all over the woods. Saw all their farms. Warm day. Went to Katies[55] stayed all night.

Oct 3 – Pleasant warm 72 Abz considerable wind. Went over to Bennets had a good visit. Mary & Ed gone out to Chapins.

Oct 4 – Cloudy 56 Abz. Left Oscars this morning went to Uncle Warrens took dinner. Got home about seven Evening. Had a shower. Got my watch repaired 2.75 cts.

Oct 5 – Pleasant 38 Abz. Father came and got Toot. Made bed and set some strawberries.

Oct 6 – Pleasant 42 Abz. Worked in shop some. Rained afternoon some had a shower in the night.

Oct 7 – Cloudy 48 Abz wind blows high snowed some. The hickory pole fell at galesburg killed a horse. Got my wheelbarrow tyre made.

Oct 8 – Pleasant 31 Abz. Went over to Fathers got some pumpkins. Lois went over saw Alvan Turner. Got Tea Kettle mended 6~.

Oct 9 – Pleasant 40 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Charles Lees folks[56] here. Patty[57] came on the 2.28 train. Lasher Brot some corn. Bot Sarah shoes 88~. Bot 5 lbs Shugar 55~.

Oct 10 – Pleasant 29 Abz. Went over the river. Patty Catharine Hellen and Lucy there. Rained in the night some.

Oct 11 – Cloudy 46 Abz. Dug potatoes filed saw for mix. Sent letter to Marion.[58] Post Office moved to Flints Store.

Oct 12 – Cloudy 52 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Rainy. Put up the joists in wood shead.

Oct 13 – Cloudy 47 Abz. Cut out stuf for my window frames to shop. Wind blew hard all day.

Oct 14 – Cloudy 44 Abz. Worked in shop. Father mother & Patty came over. B shoes for Nancy & Hannah $1.17.

Oct 15 – Pleasant 39 Abz. Worked on window frames. Patty here. Had soup and milk for dinner. She went over to Fathers at night. Bot candles 15~. Shower night.

Oct 16 – Cloudy 52 Abz. Worked on window frames. Put in one window. Bot 10 lbs nails 50~.

Oct 17 – Pleasant 57 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Jos Flanders here.

Oct 18 – Pleasant 58 Abz. Put in windows in shop. Put hoop on wash-tub. Rained in the night. Bot ½ lb Tea 31~.

Oct 19 – Cloudy 48 Abz. Finished my shop windows. Rainy afternoon. James Burnet married. Bot saleratas.

Oct 20 – Cloudy 45 Abz cool bad day. Got likeness for Patty. Lasher brot load pumpkins. Went over to Fathers with Mark Lee.

Oct 21 – Pleasant 42 Abz. Put Bobs together. The Readings all here went over and got Elbow. Bot rasp of Pond.

Oct 22 – Pleasant 45 Abz. Worked in shop put up stove. ___ Chandler lectured here. Jos Flanders left one Dollar.

Oct 23 – Pleasant 40 Abz. Worked on bobs. Patty & Catharine came up stayed all night.

Oct 24 – Cloudy 47 Abz. Patty & Catharine went to Fathers.

Oct 25 – Cloudy & windy 50 Abz. Worked on bobs some put in cross bar to Wightmans thills. Rained som in the night. Deyo & Johnson went to Kalamazoo.

Oct 26 – Cloudy cool 44 Abz. Went over to Fathers and Taylors. Saw his house. Rainy. Pulled tooth for woman at Ponds. McLelan brot his violin.

Oct 27 – Cloudy 45 Abz. Worked on bobs. Sarah went over the river. Bot receipt Book. Rained in the night.

Oct 28 – Rains 48 Abz. Worked in shop made Box for Crid.[59] Bot Books for children. Mark came just at night after a x girl.

Oct 29 – Cloudy warm 56 Abz. Went up to S. Bristols and put up trees & plants for Cridland. Rainy day. Brot them down to the burg.

Oct 30 – Cloudy 48 Abz. Worked in shop got out runners & knees & beams for Fathers sleigh. Bot violin string 10~.

Oct 31 – Rainy 46 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Carried letter to Patty. Mr Gays girl buried.[60]

——-

[44] Believe he is referring to his wife’s brother, David C. “D.C.” Crawford

[45] His maternal first cousin, son of Asa & Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[46] Saleratus; sodium or potassium bicarbonate used as a leavening agent; baking soda

[47] His maternal first cousin, son of Asa & Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[48] His maternal first cousin, son of Asa & Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[49] A form of malaria characterized by stages of chills, fever, and sweating

[50] A felloe, or felly, is the rim of a wheel supported by spokes

[51] Gull Lake, Michigan

[52] His maternal first cousin; son of James Hunt & Lilly (Willcutt) King

[53] Handkerchief

[54] His brother Harvey’s wife, Alfleda (Starr) Keith

[55] Believe he is referring to his niece, Frances “Kate” (Keith) Chaffee, the daughter of Harvey & Alfleda Keith

[56] Believe he is referring to his paternal first cousin’s family, Charles and Juliana (Davis) Lee; Charles was the son of Charles & Rhoda (Keith) Lee

[57] His sister, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[58] His niece, Marion (Sprague) Tomlinson

[59] Charles R. Cridland

[60] A search of FindAGrave.com shows that Adelia Gay died October 30, 1858 and is buried in the Galesburg City Cemetery. She was 18 years old, the daughter of William and Sarah Gay

July 26, 1858 letter to Luke Keith from David (D. C.) Crawford

July 26, 1858

To: Luke Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: David (D. C.) Crawford, LaCrosse, WI

David is writing his brother-in-law to thank him for sending along the local Galesburg paper. He also mentions that his business in LaCrosse looks promising, particularly since the Milwaukee & LaCrosse Railroad will extend to LaCrosse in the next couple of months, which will serve as the railroad terminus for some time. David traveled to Black River Falls on a business matter. On his return he passed through beautiful sections of farming country which have a prospect of a plentiful harvest. David received a letter from Mother. Her recent remarriage seems to suit her. She apparently had a difficult time getting along with her son Robert’s wife when they were all living under the same roof.

This letter was originally posted to the Crawford/Comfort Family Letters and can be viewed here.

Luke Keith’s diary entries from June 1 – July 26, 1858

To read the entire diary and/or to see the scans of the diary, previous footnotes, tags of people mentioned, click here.

June 1 – Pleasant 54 Abz warm. Planted potatoes. Lucy[38] came to go to school. Brot two bushels wheat 80 cts pr bushel. Sowed my corn.

June 2 – Cloudy 56 Abz. Sarah went down to Barbers. Finished planting garden.

June 3 – Cloudy 57 Abz. 2 new Engines went west Shelby & _____ H. & St. Jo RR. Rainy day cow out. Repaired wheel for York. Sarah went to Mansfields.

June 4 – Pleasant 70 Abz. Lots dutch this morning worked on road. Rainy fore noon. Dance in the evening.

June 5 – Pleasant 54 Abz. Worked on road. Lois came home. Coes Horse fell through race[39] Bridge.

June 6 – Cloudy 60 Abz. At home. Catharine & Mark here. Lois went up to Flanders.

June 7 – Pleasant 66 Abz. Saw Fire Eugene _____ for LaCross. Wes worked on road. Received six Dollars of Wm Whitcomb.

June 8 – Pleasant 52 Abz. Worked in shop some on seat. Shower in the night.

June 9 – Cloudy 64 Abz. Rained after noon. Put in reach[40] for A. Chipman 50 cts. Shower in the night.

June 10 – Rains 68 Abz. Killed 3 Kittens. Made seat for D. Lamkins. Rainy day. Bot cloth for pants Bed cord. Recd a letter from C. R. C.

June 11 – Rainy 50 Abz. Lucy went home. Carried corn to mill. Repaired wheel for Mark. Extracted 3 teeth for Powlison boy.

June 12 – Cloudy & cool 49 Abz. Hoed corn worked in shop some Rained afternoon. Show in the Evening Mad Dunbar.

June 13 – Pleasant 49 Abz. Went over to Fathers. Ethen & Toot came home.

June 14 – Pleasant 44 Abz. Worked on Chipmans wagon. Hen & Mary here. Rained in the night.

June 15 – Pleasant 56 Abz. Worked in shop on Chips wagon. Rained in the night.

June 16 – Cloudy 62 Abz. 12 cars of Dutch. Worked on Chips wagon. Warm day.

June 17 – Pleasant 69 Abz. Worked in shop on Chips wagon. Mary Earl here.

June 18 – Pleasant 72 Abz. Finished Chips wagon. Sarah & children went over to Fathers. Very hot. Deyoe repairing P. S. Carmers buggy.

June 19 – Cloudy 70 Abz Rains south of us very little heavy shower in forenoon. T. Flanders came here. Sarah & children came home. Heavy shower in the night.

June 20 – Pleasant 63 Abz. Lois came home. Carried T Flanders to County house.

June 21 – Pleasant 65 Abz. Carried Chips wagon to Mix shop at 4.95. Put spoke in Hopkins wheel 56. Mrs Beckwith brot Parasol 40. Mrs Flanders parasol.

June 22 – Pleasant 68 Abz. Bennets folks here. 100 in the shade 126 in sun at 15 minutes past 3. Lots of musketoes. Made Carmers stock.

June 23 – Hot 69 Abz. Worked in shop some finished _____ _____ cts. Had a _____ shower at four. Bronson Brot cradle.

June 24 – Hot 77 Abz. Worked in shop some. Very hot day 98 in the shade at 3 oclock. A Chipman down got an ex put in at cross.

June 25 – Hot 76 Abz. Hoed potatoes. Filed saw for B Clark. Put Chipmans wagon up. Bot five lbs shugar 10~ 50 cts. One string 10~. Shower in the night.

June 26 – Pleasant 74 Abz. Put in cradle finger for D Bronson mended parasol for Mrs L. Burdick. Shower in the night.

June 27 – Hot 74 Abz. At home. Went in swimming. Rogers called in. Catharine and Lucy came at night. Libby West buried today.

June 28 – Hot 72 Abz. Catharine here. Hoed potatoes made whiffletree[41] for Watts 25 cts. 94 at 3 oclock.

June 29 – Hot 75 Abz. Catharine here. Made wagon neap[42] for Andrew McLarey. Catharine went home. Hellen here.

June 30 – Hot 75 Abz. Hoed potatoes. Very hot 99 in shade at 3 PM. Filed saw for Wesley. Wes went to Kalamazoo. Had a heavy thunder shower just at night.

July 1 – Some cloudy 70 Abz. Hoed some in garden. 97 at 3 PM. Stranger here from Utah. Bot ½ lb tea 31~. Jo Flanders here in the morning.

July 2 – Hot 78 Abz. Worked in the shop put hair in violin bow for Yankee. Bot cloth for pants 61 cts spice & nutmegs 20~ violin strings 30~.

July 3 – Cloudy 80 Abz. Great day in Galesburg large crowd. Catharine Mark Jo & Hellen Father & Wesley here too. Two Balloons went up in the Evening.

July 4 – Pleasant 69 Abz. Went over the river saw my calf. Went over to Lashers.

July 5 – Pleasant 63 Abz. Hoed corn. Cordelia Earl here. Flanders Brot cradle here. Cool nights.

July 6 – Pleasant 61 Abz. Made cradle fingers for J. Flanders.

July 7 – Pleasant 63. Finished Flanders cradle & Bob neap. Hoed some.

July 8 – Pleasant 68. Rimed a wheel for Wightman 10/-. D. Lampkins plowed my potatoes. Small dash rain in the night.

July 9 – Cloudy 76 Abz. Worked in shop some hoed some. Catharine came up. Lucy & Lois went home with her. Sarah over to Turners[?].

July 10 – Pleasant 74 Abz. Hoed potatoes. Put in cradle finger for Mr Baty 10~. Some rain in the night. Henry stayed all night. 17 coaches on the train.

July 11 – Rainy 68 Abz Rainy day. Flanders got his cradle. Mark got Caper Deyo.

July 12 – Cloudy 60 Abz. Put in ex for Hawver got ex stick of cross.

July 13 – Cloudy 63 Abz. Hawver 2.00. Streator brot his buggy. Sarah went over the river. Bot 3 bottles bitters 2.00. S. Bristol at the shop. Millards agent called on me.

July 14 – Pleasant 56 Abz. Worked in shop on Streators buggy. Put in cradle finger for Ed Flanders 10~.

July 15 – Pleasant 66 Abz. Worked in shop on Streators buggy. Made barometer. Bot 5 lbs shugar. Had a shower afternoon. Mrs Barber & Mrs Child here.

July 16 – Pleasant 68 Abz. In the shop cut out stuff for Streators Box & seat. J. Deyoes Boy Born.[43] Some showers. Lucy went up to Yorks.

July 17 – Pleasant 72 Abz. Worked on buggy. Wheat mostly cut. Father came over just at night. Father here just at night.

July 18 – Pleasant 64 Abz. At home all day. Pleasant fine day.

July 19 – Pleasant 61 Abz. Went over to Fathers and repaired his pump one tooth for Sta____ 25~.

July 20 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Repaired violin for Clark. One tooth for E. Watts 25~ for McLary 25~ Clarrissa Starr here.

July 21 – Pleasant 60 Abz. Bot Beef 4½ lbs 36 cts. Circus here. Made tail peas for _____. Clarrissa Starr went home with A. Chipman. Father brot some potatoes.

July 22 – Pleasant 57 Abz. Bot ½ lb Tea 31~. Worked in shop on seat. Harriet & Mary Nickols here.

July 23 – Pleasant 62 Abz. Worked on seat. Mrs Bennet here. Put in one _____ for ___. White 25~.

July 24 – Pleasant 54 Abz. Worked in shop on Streators box & seat. Bot violin string 15~.

July 25 – Pleasant 59 Abz. At home all day. Deyoe gone up to gull. Curly Buck died.

July 26 – Cloudy 71 Abz. Worked in shop fore noon. Went up to Bristols after noon.

——-

[38] Most likely Luke’s niece, Lucy Irene Lee, the daughter of Luke’s sister Catherine by her second husband

[39] An artificial channel or bed of a stream leading water to or from a point where its energy is utilized, such as a mill or a mining claim

[40] A pole, called a reach, was usually a 2-by-4-inch piece of white oak with a hole at the front for connecting the wagon to a hitch

[41] The pivoted horizontal crossbar to which the harness traces of a draft animal are attached and which is in turn attached to a vehicle or an implement

[42] The pole, or tongue, of a cart

[43] A search of census records shows that Horace Deyoe was born to James and Polina Deyoe in July 1858

June 1, 1858 letter to Luke Keith from Charles Cridland

June 1, 1858

To: Luke Keith

From: Charles R. Cridland, Delaware, KS

Writes with instructions for sending his stove but tells him to wait until he hears from him to send it as money is tight at the moment. The weather has been cold and wet and it took six weeks for some of the early corn to come up. There has been so much rain that “I calculate to have about a dozen chickens drowned every Sunday night.” Uncle Sam’s oxen and mules have kept the prairie grass down, but they are a nuisance. Thousands of them have come through on their way to Utah and the men are more of a nuisance than the cattle. The rest of the letter deals with land warrants in Kansas.

Delaware June 1, 1858

Friend Luke,

I am in receipt of yours of May 17. I thought from your long silence, that my last could not have reach’d you until Wallace Earl came here and brought word from Taylor that my things were moved to Galesburg. I wrote you that I thought the Stove would come best without being packed, as I see all the Stoves do come unpacked, and there is perhaps less danger of being broken, than when tumbled over and over in a box. But you can use your own judgement about it, if you do box it, do be sure to fill the box tight so that it cannot fall and break when the box is rolled over, if you box it, send a good box if you have to buy a new one. If I pay freight on a box I should like one that will be of value, when it gets here. Good pine boxes are very useful for many things. I think myself if you pack the kettles & things and pipe in a box the stove could come safe unpacked. You had better take the brooms of Mills. You can trade them for some thing you want and credit me with it and when you have got through with me I will pay you whatever I may owe you. I do not want you to send the things just yet. I am rather in a tight place just now. I ran out of handles and have been expecting to receive a lot from Cinncinite for the past two weeks, and until they come, I shall be short of money, as the freight on them will be considerable. I will send you a line, as soon as the way is clear, but I don’t want to borrow money again. I would wait a little longer first. Wallace Earl left his trunk at my house and I got a line from him a few days since he has hired out to work for some man near Lawrence. Times are as tight in Kansas now as anywhere. The immigration this spring has been principaly of men who wanted work and consequence has been that wages have got very low here as the great scarcity of money has prevented many from building this summer but for all that Leavenworth is as busy a place as you will find in a ride of a thousand miles. Brooms are down to two dollars a dozen, but they command cash a good deal easier than in Mich. I have been some how very shiftless and miserable this spring. We have had a cold wet disagreeable windy time. I believe it took some of the early corn six weeks to come up and when it did come, it looked just as though it had the yellow fever, and has’nt quite made up its mind to live through it, but things look better now, and we have had so much rain, that I calculate to have about a dozen chickens drowned every Sunday night. On an average the grass on the prairie will soon be fit to mow, where Uncle Sams oxen and mules have not kept it down but we have such thousands of them that come here to start for Utah that they are a complete nuisance and the men are worse than the cattle. I am not working any land this summer. I have got much as I can do at broom making and a neighbour has planted five acres for me to make on shares. I though as I was situated I could do better so than to rent land. I should like as many as a peck of June potatoes if you could get them for me. I do not hear of any earlier kind than the Mishaunocks[?].

I heard from a man who owns a claim near to mine a few days since, that there was still some good quarter sections unclaimed in that neighbourhood, but I could not tell if there are now. Land warrants cannot be located in Kansas until after the public sales which were to have come off on the 5 July, but I am told they have been postponed till some time in the fall, but actual settlers can enter their lands and pay in warrants at any time before the sale. If Rogers’s idea is that he would give a settler 40 acres of land for his chance, he would be laughd at here. I suppose I could find a thousand men in Kansas who would furnish me a warrant for a hundred & sixty acres, and give me 80 acres – of it. At the land offices at Lecompton[1] they have any amount of warrants to furnish setters with to locate for the halves or they offer to lend them and take for a year on big interest, about 50 per cent – and take security on the land. There is a very poor chance here for a man to locate a warrant without actual settlement, as the good land is pretty much all settled on, except now and then a lot on the prairie which is missed or overlooked. After the prairies are burnt over, the section lines can be found without much trouble, but when the grass is growing, the corner stones are so many of them covered up by weeds and grass that lots are missed. Settlers are careful not to build their cabins too near together lest they should get two on the same lot, and sometimes they get so far apart that they find when they get to know where the lines are, that there is a vacant lot between them in this way [a drawing was inserted]. I am now writing in sight of a lot worth 20 dollars an acre which was missed in this way or it would have been settled on, but it was not discovered till a few days before the sale, and then one of the settlers had a brother living with him who put up a cabin before any body else knew it and secured the claim to himself. There has been a good deal of _____ and some blood shed, followed from folks getting two on one lot and both trying to hold it, and so they are careful now not to get too near each other without they are certain where the line is. There is of course no trouble then, and there is no little rascality carried on in moving or hiding the corner stones on purpose by men who wish to reserve lots for their friends who have not come on yet, as a good many land hunters would pass on rather than settle where they cannot be sure of not getting on to some other man’s claim.

I am going up to my claim as soon as the handles arrive and I can make a lot of Brooms, as I intend to take a lot of Brooms to Lawrence on my way, and if Rogers wants me look out for a claim for him and will give 40 acres to have it located after the sales, I will see what can be done, but there is no speculation to be made on such terms as you seem to think. If the good land in the neighbourhood is all taken up, I might travel for a week before I could one find one. Besides my own time (and I should not want to tramp from morning till night every day for nothing) there would be not less than a dollar to a dollar and a half a day cash out in expenses. When I found a claim that I thought would answer I must tramp to the land office 60 miles or more. I might be detained a day or two there _____ and then have to tramp home. It would cost at least five dollars for fees at the office, so you see there is nothing to be made at that rate. All there would be in it, I should turn my labor into land by spending perhaps twenty dollars in Cash and the land would be worth double what it cost in a short time I do not doubt. I suppose it is (any good land) worth three or four dollars an acre as soon as it is entered, but there is another side to the story which ought to be told for the especial benefit of Speculaters, like Rogers. I will locate his warrants on the next quarter section to mine and not ask him 40 acres. I will do it for Five dollars in Cash besides the fees at the Office. If he dont want it I calculate if I live long enough to get it for 25 cents an acre, there is plenty of such land in Kansas to be got, and I expect there will be many a warrant sent to here to be located by land agents who will go to the Office and lay them on the best locations they can find without going to see the land. After the owner has paid 25 or 30 dollars for locating he will fancy he has made a good operation until he goes to see or offers it for sale. He will then find out that his particular quarter sections sits astraddle on a bare lime bluff stone bluff and if he should attempt to climb to the top of it he will have a beautiful and enchanting view of the prairie lying around, but he will be apt to come to the conclusion that he will never get another warrant located without seeing the land. I expect there will be some speculators terribly bitter if they buy land without going at the Sales without going to see it. The good land is mostly settled now, but the country is very much broken up by lime stone bluffs which are of very little value now. When the country gets old and men have time to pick up the stone and fence them in with stone wall they will make excellent sheep pasture, and be valuable as additions to the farms on the prairie adjoining them, but they are not fit to make farms of stone, consequently nobody settles on them. If Rogers wants me to do anything for him he must let me know immediately as to I may be ready to go on to my claim by the time I can get answer and I do not know how long I may stay there. I have got a warrant to locate for another man, and I expect to look round the neighbourhood a good deal before I return. My claim is one mile north of the southern line of Franklin County so you can see by map where it is. The quarter section east of mine is unsettled, yet according to the last I heard, it is better land than mine and the stage road which runs from Lawrence to Hyatt runs across it. I took the one I did because I chose to be on the bluff side on account of an orchard and being sheltered more from the wind. I am expecting to settle my claim for the halves. I have not made any engagement yet. I will locate Rodgers warrant for the quarter after the sales, if I can find land that I think he would be satisfied with. If I cannot, I am willing to give him the same chance as others if he wants to that is I will give him half of my claim that I have settled on. I will do the same for you if you want. I want you to understand distinctly that if he wants me to locate his warrant he must send it on. I don’t want to spend my strength in looking into land for a man and then have him come to the conclusion that he don’t want it or any thing of that kind. Land agents don’t work for nothing in this country.

The bluff I am on is better than common. It is sand stone and good for building and not so steep as some. It rises about as steep as the field south of Jesse Earls, and there is good deep soil almost to the top, and then blocks of Stone big enough for a sled load.

Your friend

Chas R Cridland

[1] At the time, Lecompton was the capital of the Kansas Territory