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

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[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

May 27, 1838 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Harvey Keith

May 27, 1838

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Pavilion, NY

From: Harvey Keith, Comstock, MI 

Will give Luke one bushel of potatoes and one pig, Alfleda will give him a hen and roosteScr, and Oscar will give him his steers if he comes to Michigan. Mother says Luke can live with them and Father will help him if he will come to farm in Michigan rather than work his trade in Covington. Father built a barn for himself. As for Galesburg, they are to work at the race this summer. Supposes A. T. Jones is living with Aunt Lydia.

Scan of 1838-05-27 Harvey Keith to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Comstock        May 27th 1838

Dear Sir[1]

I received a letter from you a few days since. I was glad to heare that your health was good. We are all in good health in this place. We have had a verry backward spring so far. It is cold enough to day to want great coat and mittens if we go out of doors. The people in this county have just finished planting whis is about ten days later than we planted last season. You say that you are getting homesick to come to michigan. I think it is a verry pious notion. You wanted to know what I would give you to come here. I will tell you I will give you one bushel of potatoes one pig – Alfleda[2] says she will give you a hen and rooster. Oscar[3] says he will give you his steers. He has got a verry fine pair of yearlings. I am farming a little, work a trade a little. I have put up mr Tubbs barn this spring. For the want of lumbr we neglected it last season. I have got ten acres broke and in to grain on the south side of Road. I have got a hired man this summer. Father[4] has one. Mother[5] says you may live with her if you come to michigan. Father says if you want to come here and go to farming he will give you a good chance so that you can make mor than you will to stay in covington and work at your trade[6]. I think it will be better for you to go to farming if you dont make any mor it will be better for your health. Father is building a barn for himself this summer. As for Galesburgh it is not doing much. They are to work at the race[7] some this summer. Their is but verry little building goingon. Mr wiseman has sold his place. Their is a stor kept their now. They are building a store on the corners east of Reynold. It is to be fild in two weeks and I hope if may for their is nothing in any of the other stores that any body wants such as tea and other groceries. We have been without tea in this place for about three months and I tell you what it is their is some sour looking faces among the women.

I saw Jesse Turner[8] the day after I got your letter. He say he wants the waggon and thinks he will send for it by Osmond Smith about the first of July. Osmond is at Otsego with R. Crane and is going to New York for goods. He wants all that is necessary about the waggon and that of the best kind and not be extravigant. Jesse has had a letter from Alvan[9] this spring. He has lost his wife. Nancy is going down with Osmond and is going to fetch Alvan and family to Michigan. I suppose you know your own business best but my advise is not to send the waggon without the money. Jesse is considerably in debt. I suppose A. F. Jones[10] is livin with Aunt Lydia[11]. Sylvia White live with Jesse down to the pinery. Emeline live to martins but I think she will go to mr Tubbs soon to live with Nelson. We have had a Universatist Preacher here this spring. He preachd at the schoolhouse on the priarie. His name was Richard Thornton[12]. Jame wrote in his litter that they ware having their social meeting. What do you think they will amount to. They are going on in the same path of the orthodoks. They ar going step by step till they will have their protracted meeting and make as much nois as any of them.

Give my respects to all the people in Covington that I know any thing about.

Yours &c H Keith

May 29th 1838

Orren Starr came her this afternoon and I send this by him. I have it ritten to send by the mail

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

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

[3] Perhaps Harvey’s son, James Oscar Keith, who is about six years old

[4] Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[5] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[6] Luke was a wagon maker

[7] A channel for the water flowing to or from a water wheel is called a mill race, or simply a race

[8] Luke’s and Harvey’s first cousin, son of Asa and Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[9] Brother of Jesse Turner

[10] 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 living with Harvey Keith in 1850

[11] Lydia (Willcutt) Turner, Luke’s and Harvey’s maternal aunt

[12] One of the proponents of the Alphadelphia Association (see brief description following the 5-23-1847 letter)