July 25, 1872 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

July 25, 1872

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

Provides a general description of a potential job should Ethan wish to come to Chicago and work for Hiram’s company. Mentions that he received a short note from Henry indicating that Henry’s shop had burned down.

1872-07-25 1872-07-25B 1872-07-25C

Chicago  July 25” 1872

Dear Sister

I presume you think I have been very dilatory in answering your letter which I will attempt to explain.

Shortly after I wrote you about Eathan[1] coming here the company decided to adopt a new method of collecting the Fares. Something which makes it a great deal more difficult for the Conductor to Steal and of course more liable to be detected. It also makes more work for the conductor not begin as easy for him to get along as under the old System. Well this thing was put into operation about the time I received your Letter and I thought I would wait and see how it worked before I wrote.

My observations are that anyone with average quick intelligence can master it in a few days, that is the running of it not the beating of it. That I think would take a much longer time. The only real unpleasant thing about it is that you are subject to the report of a hired detective who can have you discharged for a theif if he chooses too.

In regard to boarding he would have to board at a boarding House, so as to be near his work for on some of the cars they only have twenty four minutes to eat their meal. Another thing their meals are very irregular. Breakfast from 5.30 to 8. Dinner from 10 to 12.30. Supper from 4.30 to 8. That was what killed Pros[2] [3]. He said he could stand most everything else but the irregularity of eating was too much for him.

At the time I first wrote we were a going and did soon after put on six more Cars. Now every vacancy is filled, and if he comes will probably have to wait three weeks or a month before he gets a Steady car. Of course, during that time he will stay with me.

I received a short visit from Henry[4] the 1st of the month. I presume you know that their great Shop[5] burned down. Received a Letter from Mother[6] few days ago. She was complaining with various ailings. We are all well & join in Love.

Your Broth

H. Crawford

430 N. Clark St.

[1] Ethan Keith, Sarah’s son

[2] Lucius Prosper Crawford, Hiram’s brother

[3] See Prosper’s letter dated April 23, 1868

[4] Henry Clay Crawford, Hiram’s brother

[5] Presumably this was the Studebaker Company (see footnote on May 11, 1871 letter)

[6] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

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