Download Full Text (14.8 MB)
A letter written by two sisters in Edwin, Kansas to their sister in Allen County, Pennsylvania. Details include life on the farm, the weather, the sisters' families, and the crops.
Two pieces of paper; one measures 8.1" x 9.8" and the other one measures 8.1" x 10.1"
Digitized by Forsyth Digital Collections.
Forsyth Library Special Collections, https://fhsu.edu/library/specialcollections/index
This material is in the public domain.
"Letter to Mrs. E. Bell McIlhenny from her sisters" (1888). Kansas Territorial Documents. 24.
Hotel Mitchelville Feb. 17 1888Dear Sister, so Ida is staying with us tonight We will together write you a letter We are all in our usual health, mother had been real sick with something like pneumonia was unable to go from her room for almost one week, is not really strong yet but has a good appetite. She was out here a few days breathing country air. I have not [illegible] here yet to my claim have saw them all at different times. I am getting used to [illegible] [illegible] [illegible] minds it (the inconveniences, I mean) as much as I feared I would. Rush has gone home to plant and herd cattle and we miss him so much. He is one of the Calways there boy sin the office kitchen dining room or anywhere, and always joking some and he is growing so fast and continues a favorite with every one old and young. We have several seeds in and out of the house. Have had such beautiful weather(top clockwise) There is little sickness around here at present Butter is 20 [illegible] both seems plentiful but our [illegible] are not fresh yet Chickens have begun to lay a little I will close hoping to hear from your son again I want to write to the girls yet thought it is now after nine. Give kind regards to James.[left side] don't think I shall ever forget these meetings as long as I live. I knew the ministers so well too his Reeds boy is a homely boy and real cross, so there was only me I could not send Lane any this time but will look around somewhere else I think he could do as well perhaps in another family. I enclose a few pictures of fruit for him to look at to amuse himself. Mother buys so many canned fruit her [illegible] is [illegible] [illegible] Will he took his family back in January after [illegible] up his land He had dinner with us on Tuesday. He thinks we can organize a church here this spring. A colored man (Baptist) is to preach in the office at the Hotel next Sunday morning. I have never heard him yet but hear he is good. [illegible] holds the fort she and Charlie had a long letter from Hattie since her visit to you with Sam and Annie. You must have had a nice time Sam write me that he's a new fellow but very scratchy I think Sam's affections are [illegible] [illegible] Illinois [illegible] Lennie McDowells's visit. Hope he may get a nice wife soon if he really wants one.I imagine I could see Annie when Will would sell off his hogs. He must be the same boy he used to be I did hope he would lose his [illegible] ways and be cheerful. The women talk of calling baby [illegible] . Think that pretty for it my name for a girl is Ruth her Emmet is fidgeting [illegible] while we write says he won't write any new. I sent you a paragraph from the Courier which will explain why he has a little time to wait, We had so much sewing to do this week, as I have made two aprons 6 pillow slips and almost a dress besides two wash days [illegible] [illegible] and [illegible] days and [illegible] of other things knitting darning and mending. We do a [illegible] bit at night [illegible] [illegible] until after six I forget I made a new green and white [illegible] gingham. We have fifty [illegible] to make yet besides the shirts have Ida's machine in here now Hope Mrs. McCleary is better nowMost of the time since I came home. [illegible] few days were cold and windy, but we all laugh when we get letters from Ray saying what winter you have had and you each and all imagine we had worse there were only two or three snow storms and bitter cold days here and little snow. But the reason it seems so cold there is nothing to break the storms. A few have perished from being caught on the way to or from their homes and the snow blinded them causing them to lose their way and so perish. A Methodist preacher on his way to conference stopped over night with us. He was from [name of town?]City Â¾ of a mile from no mans land Says he paid $2 per line for all his [illegible] this winter and has nothing else to use for fuel except coal We pay $6.05 and think that's a high price but he is for form a railroad. He had dinner with us on his way back today and I got his photo but he did not give it to me. He gave Arthur Larsen one and it [illegible] was eating with us girls and as usual teasing and he handed it to me saying I will give you this as you will appreciate it as it is a Methodist preacher. So I took it his name is [illegible] Charlie West. The M. E. Lowe have been holding a unrelated meeting in [illegible] [right side]for six weeks. Closed last night I attended all the time I was there and enjoyed it so much. I thought it the best and spirited I even was at there were 125 conversions last week don' know if there were any this week or not as Conference lasted three days.The Meth_Baptists and Pres. were working together. There was experience meeting almost every night after [illegible]. The church was so full the aisles were croweded. The altar with men standing and the pulpit was full of men women and children just room for the ministers to sit inside the altar rail. As many as 16 would be at the altar at one time. The ladies were even [illegible] workers by word and prayers and such hand shaking as there were I never saw Business houses were most all closed for an hour in the afternoon while the proprietors engaged in prayer meetings. The church would be crowded at such times. Seemed to me one could feel the Spirits working and it was the [illegible] everywhere one went. Some of the worst gamblers in the city as well as children of Christian parents came out on the Lord's side. I knew so few at first but they were so friendly made me feel so much at home I would as soon miss my meals as a meeting[left side]Lamly is a lively girl, Charlie and Anna took her home. I am making a dress for Mother will send you a piece it is stamped muslin it is much heavier than calico. We have so much sewing to do now and so little time to do it; we have four shirts and four calico dresses I make for the home folks and to have a calico dress and and two shirts I made for me and the old man. Have just finished the third gingham apron one for each of us girls. Mr. E and I were down at Johnson City day before yesterday having papers made out to prove up our claim don't know just when we can make final proof but think about the middle of may next then C. and E. I suppose will set sail for [illegible], [right side]don't know if I will come just them or not perhaps so and perhaps not will tell you later. Welty Fahrney is going to study medicine and wants us to take charge of things there don't know about it yet, but if no Providential hinderances I will see you all sometime during the summer I think. You spoke about tomatoe seed last fall have you any to spare yet if you have another would like to have a little and also sweet corn seed if you can spare it but don't rob yourself & send for so many garden seeds but don't expect to put out much garden if any have my cabbage seed sowed but will just leave another plant there out in her garden. Was surprised to hear of Charlie Knox (top upside down)Were three tried and lay yesterday but only one got accomplished but he thought they would succeed today. Eggs are 15 cents & butter 20 give my love to every body that [illegible] for me and write me a good [illegible] [side]longer letter your sister Ida G. E.[left side] Getting married that sort of style do you think it was a case of necessity or not I was expecting to hear of it but no in that way exactly, what did Kate kink about it. Tell Jim if he wants a pig pen put up at short notice just to let CAE & Rush [illegible] I suppose Ella has told you the joke we have on them I will also send you their advertisement Have you or rather Jim been ploughing any yet folks around here have been at it for two or three weeks the hotel can't hold Rush any more he had no rest until they would leave him go out to plough a few days we miss him so much here.[right side]Dear Sister your welcome letter arrived safely quite a while since I often thought of answering but have put it off until tonight and we are staying in town thought we would write together. We are all well and enjoying good health and warm weather. The boys Char and will started on a 60 mile drive this morning to Lamar Col to see Ed Gordon and went by way of Borders to see the Conrad's folks when you write to Charlie ask him something about Cousin Conrad's girls (Edith C was over and stayed three weeks with us, she can[top sideways]As he is quite good help good at any thing we put him at from clucking down and washing dishes the boys often wash the dishes alone but can't make up their minds to tackle the pots and pans. Rush is as tall as any of us and weighs more than I do but I only weigh 115 lbs but C A E weighs 155 or 56 I think so your [illegible] [illegible] suits him pretty well Tell Jim if comes out here we will [illegible] [illegible] [illegible] [illegible] out of him in a short time and you come along after we get through with him we will see what can be done for you. Do you make much butter now and are your hens laying ours just began to lay this week Charlie said thereMrs. E. Bell McIlhennySeven StarsAdams County PaCancellation stamp has Edwin Kas Feb 18 1888Cancellation stamp has Chambersburgh PA Feb 21 1888 8 PM