April 12, 1857 letter to Luke Keith from George Tomlinson

April 12, 1855

To: Luke Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: George Tomlinson, Pavilion, NY

Has written three times and received no reply. Mother is anxious to hear how her folks are. Wants to know if Luke has succeeded in selling their farm.

Scan of 1857-04-12 George Tomlinson to Luke Keith

Pavilion Apil 12 1857

C. L. Keith Esq

I have writen you three times have recevd no reply. I write a line to say that mother[1] is anxious to hear how her folks[2] are. We are all well — hav our grief as well as a christian faith calls us to do. We know it is all right yet cannot avoid wishing it otherwise.

Monday morning. It is a pleasant morning. I am full of business.

How do you succeed in selling our farm.

Write without fail soon.

Yours

G. Tomlinson[3]

——-

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

[2] Charles Luke Keith Sr. and Hannah Willcutt

[3] George Tomlinson was married to Luke’s niece, Marion Sprague

February 15, 1857 letter to Luke Keith from James S. King

February 15, 1857

To: Luke Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: James S. King, DePere, WI

Another report on the various places Luke could purchase.

Scan of 1857-02-15 James King to Luke Keith

Depere Feb 15th 1857

Cousin Luke[1]

Sir, I now take my pen to write you afew lines in answer to yours of the 25th. In the first place we was rite glad to here from you and that you was then all well. We had about made up our mind that you had given up all thought of coming west but now hope has revived alittle. I have delayed writing for afew days to look over the chances and I find they are about the same as when you was here. You can have the Eighty East of me for $5 per acre if you take it soon. I think Uncle Luke[2] can by afarm here that will suit him. Tell Cousin Catharine[3] she need not wate or delay comming West on acount of a School. There will bee a school here in the spring. Mr Newton is going to move on to his farm in the spring and said he would have aschool at eny rate. Charly Dickenson is comming back from Chipaway this month. He says it is 10 times as cold there as here. It has not been as cold here this winter as last but we have had rather more snow but it has now started for low river. It has been nice and warm here the past week and yesterday we had afine thunder shower about the same as the day you left. The man you speak of that wants 40 acres of land can bee acomadated to his harts content. There is 40 acres South East of Leroys that I know will suit him. There is a good log callin [cabin?] on it and log barn. Messrs Blake & Field have been lumbering on it this winter. The falls crick runs through the West end of it (see plan on first page). Price 4 dollars per acre. Well, now, some thing else. Mother[4] says tell Aunt Hannah[5] to come along and if she likes as well as she dose she will never bee sorry she started. Father[6] & Mother are quite well and so with all the rest of us. My helth was never better than it has been the last 2 years. Jonas[7] is as tuff as abare, has had no coff this winter. Edeth[8] is about as contented as she was when you was here but she said tell Luke if he will come and bring his family she shall try to bee contented. Mr Burnells[9] family are all well and he is doing well. He has all he can do with his oxen at 3 to 4 dollars per day. Tell Alvin if he has not started before you get this to come out here and see us if no mor but I think if he should come he would stay. I know he would find enough to do. Now with regard to the winter here it is no comparison to Mass. The coldest day we have had I took the ponyes and went from Mr Burnells to Harris Jameses in the town of Morrison, distance 15 miles, without stoping to warm. Staid there 2 ours. Took in Marian James. Drove back to Burnells with out stoping to warm and was not very cold at that. So you may have no fears abou freesing unless it is colder than it has bee this winter with us but they say it has been very cold up in the pinery and on the prairys but let him squeel. We can hold him. Mr Leroy says remember me to Luke. Tell him I hope to see him out here on the first bout. The iron company offered me three thousand Dollars for my place last week. They think of commencing buisness at the fall next summer. I should like rite well to see you as I can talk much faster than I can write. Tell Aunt Hannah to come with you when you come and she & Mother can goin to the dary buisness. Butter 30 cts per lb. Pleas write me as soon as you receive this and tell me when to meet you at the Bay. Remember me to all the friends. My Best respects to you and family.

Very Truly Yours
J. S. King

To C. L. Keith, Esqu
Galesburgh, Mich

——-

[1] Charles Luke Keith Jr. went by the name of Luke

[2] Luke’s father, Charles Luke Keith Sr., who also went by the name of Luke

[3] Luke’s sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[4] Lilly (Willcutt) King

[5] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith, Luke’s mother; Lilly and Hannah were sisters

[6] James Hunt King

[7] James’ brother-in-law, Jonas LeRoy

[8] James’ sister, Edith (King) LeRoy

[9] James’ brother-in-law, Luther Burnell, who was married to James’ sister, Sarah

October 21, 1855 letter to Luke Keith from George Tomlinson

October 21, 1855

To: Luke Keith

From: George Tomlinson, Pavilion, NY

Aunt Patty is concerned about her mother’s health and wants Luke to inform her immediately regarding same. She would like to come see her mother but feels she cannot leave the Deacon at this point. He has been unable to do much for the past month. George thinks he will come to Luke’s in about two weeks, but the Deacon and Aunt Patty may come instead, if the Deacon’s health improves. Heard that Loyal Starr’s wife is dead but had no particulars.

Scan of 1855-10-21 George Tomlinson to Luke Keith

Pavilion           Oct. 21, 1855

C. L. Keith Esq

Aunt Patty[1] wants me to write meant I should a week ago when we rec’d your last & insisted on an immediate answer.

She wants to know how her mother[2] is – is she able to be about? Does her health improve? &c, &c. write immediately all the particulars.

Aunt Patty has about concluded to stay at home this winter & not visit _____ till next summer. If her mothers health is not too precarious – she feels torn to do so. Various reasons induce her to say so – the most important of which is the Deacons[3] health. He has been unable to do much for a month past – is now some better. If his health continues to improve she may go but if not – only on the most pressing anxiety of her Mother.

We are behind hand with our work – our hired mans time is out – he is gone. I am now down with a lame back – help is scarce. How we shall get along I dont now see – got the blues some I guess.

I think I shall be ready to start for your place in about 2 weeks if nothing happens. It is very possible the Dea. & Aunt Patty may go in my stead – tho the Dea. will have to get very much better first.

When do you get lime? I wish you would speak to a mason to help me lay the wall the first thing after I get there if you can find one. I want to get the wall up before frosty weather. Write about your mothers health right away.

Yours

Geo. Tomlinson

We just heard Loyal Starrs wife is dead, no particulars.

——-

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

[2] Patty’s and Luke’s mother, Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[3] Patty’s husband, James Sprague Jr.

August 7, 1855 letter to Luke Keith from Marion Tomlinson

August 7, 1855

To: Luke Keith

From: Marion Tomlinson, Pavilion, NY

Marion was inquiring into the health of her grandmother who apparently was not well. Sarah Crittenden sold her farm to a Mr. Olmstead.

Scan of 1855-08-07 Marion Tomlinson to Luke Keith

Pavilion           August 7, 1855[1]

Uncle Luke,

Geo[2] recieved a letter from you stating that grandmother[3] was quite unwell. Now mother[4] wants to know the particulars – what the matter is, whether you consider her dangerous, or not. As soon as you get this write all about her. Mother thinks of going there this fall with Geo. It rains most of the time – we had a shower yesterday. This morning it is cold as winter. Our folks have their wheat cut and five loads in the barn. They have cut but little hay, what they have is mostly spoiled by the rain. Wheat is grown some, ours is not injured much yet. Harmden[?] Olmstead has sold his farm and bought Sarah Crittendens.[5] He gave her $3,000, sold his to Ozro Brown for $10,000, gives possession the 20th of this month. It is thought that Sarah will save but little. Gordon is very slack and their affairs were left in a bad shape. Gordon has sold his half of the shop to Sam Crossman he _____ bought to save himself. Write as soon as you recieve this. All well. Tell us all about Aunt C’s[6] affairs. Wont the Lees[7] all die some day.

Marion

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[1] While the letter itself has a date of only “August,” on the reverse side it appears that Luke may have started to answer the letter as follow: “Batavia, Aug. 22, 1855; Mrs Tomlinson; Marion your letter of the 7″ came to hand Saturday last, safe and sound.” Nothing more was written

[2] Marion’s husband, George Tomlinson

[3] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[4] Luke’s sister, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[5] Sarah (Curtis) Crittenden; Sarah was the widow of Henry Crittenden, who was the brother of Luke’s second wife, Jerusha (Crittenden) Keith

[6] Luke’s sister, Catharine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[7] Catharine’s second husband, George Clinton Lee, died December 18, 1854, and this seems to be some reference to this branch of the family

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

May 13, 1841 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Marion Sprague

May 13, 1841

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Galesburg, MI

From: Marion Sprague, Pavilion, NY

Is replying to Luke’s request for an update on “all the gals and boys” and relates the recent marriages and deaths in the area. She went to school in Leroy and boarded with Mrs. Belding, the teacher.

Scan of 1841-05-13 Marion Sprague to Charles Luke Keith

Pavilion, May 13, 1841

Mr Keith

We ****ing[1] good health, cold weather, and a plenty of water besides a great many other good things. You ask me to write about all the gals and boys but it would take me from now till next winter to write about them all but I will begin. Altherd goes to see Juliet once in a while and they say he is stepping up and Peter Coon walks up to Uncle Amos’es pretty often and poor lib and I cant get any beaue,s. Captain Crofoot comes here once in a while and Mother[2] says he comes to see me but he will come here and stay two hours upon the streach, and not so much as ask if I am at home, and if that looks like coming to see me, I dont know what looks like coming to see Mother, and I made him angry the other day too, and she is dreadful fraid he wont come again. Mr Belding and his family have moved to Rochester. Eliza came up last saturday she sais they are very home sick. I presume you have heard that George Mathews is married to Betsey Hannun.[3] If you have not you will now. Sylvenus is keeping company with Louisa but I dont know whether it will be a match or not. Gid Crofoot kept company with Bird all last winter and Eliza told me that he staid there as often as twice a week besides being there almost every day. High times for a girl 16 last March I reckon. I went to school to Mrs Belding in Leroy last winter. She had a small school only six schollars besides her own children, the three Miss Sweetland’s from Stafford, the two Miss Freeman’s from Bethany and myself. We had a very pleasant school. I enjoyed myself first rate and was not homesick a bit. I boarded with Mrs Belding. They had five boarders besides. I have not danced a step since last October and I have not been a visiting with **** young people but three times since that time. I wish **** come and see us to day for we look real slick. We took up our carpet yesterday and scoured our floor and swept the wall so it looks almost as slick as though it had been whitewashed but it made my arms so lame that I cant hardly use them and my hand trembles so that I can scarcely write at all but what you cant read you must guess at. Married by the Rev Mr ______ Mr Julius Hurlburt of Moscow to Wife Dorothy Innis[4] of this place. Also by the Rev Mr Kelsey Mr Simeon Church to Miss Eliza Hubbard[5] all of this place. Adaline is teaching school at Ronoke this summer and Betsey at Bayleys Mills. Harriet Scranton was here last Friday. She has not got married yet and George Tomlinson[6] says she is not like to be, but she says never mind time enough yet. Jason Miller is attending school in Wyoming this summer. John Hasey is in your part of the world somewhere. They expect him home in June.

Asels folks have got a boy. Aunt Lou will tell you about it when she comes. Samantha’s health is very poor. Jerushe[7] was at meeting last sunday. She said she was well but she looked pale and has a very bad cough. There are a great many people sick in this place this spring with the meazles. There were three funerals here last sunday one at the school house on the hill at ten oclock a boy of Mr Forbes died of the meazles and scarlet fever, two at the Babtist meeting house at three oclock Mr Bisby’s[8] youngest boy died of the meazles and Mrs Gillmore.[9] She had been sick several weeks with the dropsy but she had got better so that she sat up considerable. Thursday morning she sat up and dressed her babe. Friday morning she had a ****ack of the numb palsy and died saturday about noon. ****ore drinks as bad as ever. To day is Thursday and he has been drunk two days this week already. Where he gets his liquor I dont know for there is no one in the place that will let him have any. Mariah Barret was buried two weeks ago last sunday. She had the consumption. There has been five buried in this yard within one month. The Methodist meeting house has been moved into this place. It stands where the old wagon shop stood. Mr Coburn has bought the house that stood up near Mr Chilsons and moved it onto the corner of Mr Sanders lot. Pa[10] has set out a row of maple trees from the farm to Mr Whitney’s about six feet from the fence. When they grow I expect they will look very nice. I guess I have written all the news. I dont think of any more. O yes Robert Snow preached in this place all day last sunday. What under the sun has become of your gal. We have made up our minds that you have thrown it away or that it dont know much for you dont never say any thing about it. Now if you dont write me a letter to pay for this I never will write you another now you see if I do. Tell katy I should like to have her write me a letter and tell grandma[11] that I have got to be very steady and they all say that I shall be an old maid. Give my love to all the folks and write about Jane, Caroline, Harvey and all the children and all the rest of the folks.

Good by

Marion

——-

[1] **** indicates missing word/s due to a hole in the pages

[2] Luke’s sister, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[3] A search of Ancestry.com reveals that George L. Matthews married Elizabeth or Libbie Hannum in Dubuque, Iowa on December 3, 1840

[4] A search of Ancestry.com reveals that Julius Hurlburt married Dorothy Annis March 4, 1839 in Warsaw, New York

[5] A search of Ancestry.com reveals that Simeon Church married Eliza Hubbard on April 4, 1841 in Covington, New York

[6] Marion’s future husband; they married on April 6, 1845

[7] Perhaps this is Jerusha Crittenden. Luke was engaged to her; however, when a new girl, Minerva Payson, came to town he broke off the engagement and in 1838 married Minerva. She died August 29, 1843 and Luke then married Jerusha on July 25, 1847

[8] A search of Ancestry.com reveals that John Bisbey, age 7, died May 8, 1841, in Pavilion, Genesee County, New York

[9] A search of FindAGrave.com reveals that Mehitable (Smead) Gilmore, age 33, the wife of William Gilmore, died May 8, 1841, and is buried in Pavilion Cemetery, Pavilion, New York

[10] James Sprague Jr.

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