August 31, 1856 letter to Sarah Keith from Luke Keith

August 31, 1856

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Luke Keith, Omro, WI

He is still at Robert’s in Omro. He is feeling somewhat better and plans to leave Monday or Tuesday for Green Bay. Some of the men are going bear hunting and Robert has his hunting shirt done and “is a dancing around the floor.” Luke doesn’t feel well enough to go with them. Describes the area again and that they get their water from boring into the ground. When they get to water, it spouts up from 3 to 15 feet high. Says that Robert has a very good woman and their boy looks like Eugene and is as cross as ever Eugene was. Wants Sarah to tell Nancy and Ethan that he “will come home some time.”

Omro Aug 31st 1856

Sarah your letter was received Friday afternoon. I was glad to hear from home,[1] was sorry to hear that Father[2] had hurt his leg.[3] I am at Roberts[4] yet. I feel some better than I did when I wrote you before. I think I shall leave here monday or tuesday. I shal go to the bay and then I will write you a gan. I am glad you and the children are well. Pros[5] says he wants to see you the darndest ***[6] the other children. He wishes he could *** and nancy[7] sing pop goes the weasel *** enjoy themselves very well. Robert *** wishes you and the children *** got a very good woman.[8] She is not *** Lois[9] she wares short dresses and pant___ *** a little girl. Their boy[10] looks like Eugene[11] and is as cross as ever Jean[12] was. We have heard from David.[13] He is well. Hiram[14] is going out where Dade is in two weeks. Robert starts to morrow morning for the woods. There are six of them going up the woolf river a bear hunting. Bob has got his hunting shirt done and is a dancing around the floor. He wants I should go with them. I cant I dont feel stout enough for that. I like this country very well. There are some as farms about here as I ever saw in any country. They get their water by diging. They bore into the ground with a two inch auger from 20 to 75 feet. When they get to water it raises to the top of the ground, just spouts up from 3 to 15 feet high. I went to Osh Kosh friday saw James Sprague[15] Uncle Jesses[16] son. He showed me one that was —5 feet deep *** pipe some 4 feet above the top of *** and cold as any spring water *** crockery store. I will get around *** as I can. If I stop at Green bay or Mackinaw long enough to get a line from you I will write where to direct. I saw a man last evening, said he was some acquainted at the bay, said he knew one man there by the name of King.[17] He did not know what his given name was. I am comfortably well. Tell Nancy and Ethen[18] I will come home some time.

Yours as always

C. L. Keith

[to] Sarah C. Keith


[1] According to Luke’s 1856 diary, he was gone from home from August 11 through September 23. See the pages following the August 24, 1856 letter for a transcript of the entries during that time period

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

[3] See August 24, 1856 letter

[4] Sarah’s brother, Robert Crawford

[5] Sarah’s brother, Lucius Prosper Crawford

[6] There is a large hole that runs through all the pages of the letter; *** indicates missing words

[7] Their daughter, Nancy Keith

[8] Robert’s wife, Louisa (McCann) Crawford

[9] Lois (Keith) Clark, Luke’s daughter by his first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith

[10] William Edwin Crawford, who was born August 23, 1855

[11] Eugene Crawford, Sarah’s nephew, the son of Sarah’s brother, Edwin Crawford

[12] Believe this is short for Eugene

[13] Sarah’s brother, David (D. C.) Crawford

[14] Sarah’s brother, Hiram Crawford Jr.

[15] James G. Sprague and family were listed in the 1860 Census, living in Oshkosh

[16] Jesse Sprague was the uncle of Luke’s second wife, Jerusha (Crittenden) Keith; also, Jesse’s nephew, James Sprague Jr. (the son of Jesse’s brother James & Abiah [Carpenter] Sprague), was married to Luke’s sister, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[17] Luke had an uncle and a cousin, both by the name of James King, that lived in De Pere, Wisconsin, which is in the Green Bay area

[18] Their son, Ethan Keith

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Updates & Corrections | Crawford/Comfort Family Letters
  2. Trackback: August 31, 1856 letter to Sarah Keith from Luke Keith – Letters to and from the Keith and Related Families
  3. Trackback: Corrections and Additions – Letters to and from the Keith and Related Families

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