May 14, 1873 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

May 14, 1873

To:  Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

The Chicago City Railway is testing the Car Starter and are very pleased with it. It will be given a very thorough trial and if it proves to be what it claims to be they will put it on the cars. He has bargained for a house and lot. The house is to be finished so they can take possession by the first of June – price $3,200.00; $500.00 down and the rest in monthly payments of $25.00.

1873-05-14 1873-05-14B 1873-05-14C 1873-05-14env

Chicago     May 14th 1873

Dear Sister

I was much pleased to receive your letter to learn that you were all as well as usual and I presume correspondingly happy. I think that I would have written you before but Kate[1] has been saying for the last month that she was agoing to write you, and for fear that you might be surfeited with Chicago news I have held off until now.

In regard to that Car Starter[2] I know that the Chicago City Railway[3] tested it and seemed to be very much pleased with and as I understand at the time intended to adopt it on their Line. Mr. Turner President of this company went over there inspected it and thought it to be a pretty good thing. Said he would wait until they had given it a thorough trial and if it proved to be what it claimed and looked to be he would put it on his cars. I have no doubt but that a Car Starter which would combine Economy, simplicity and utility would sell but as the “proof of the Pudding is in the eating of it” so this invention would have to stand a practical every day test and that at the expense of the owner.

By looking at the Calendar I notice that it is about the middle of May but it is in reality a cold dreary March day. Hot stoves and overcoats being about the most comfortable things you can imagine. It having been demonstrated beyond a doubt that we are not to have any Spring this year the interesting question now is whether we will have any Summer.

I have been investing a little in real estate. Have bargained for a House and Lot. The house to be finished so we can take posession by the 1st of June – price $3200.00. I pay $500.00 down and the rest in monthly payments of twenty five dollars not upwards. It will take me quite a number of years but when it is done we have a home.

We are all well. The Baby is fat as butter. Kate joins in love to all.

Your Brother

H. Crawford

430 N. Clark St

[1] Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford, Hiram’s wife

[2] Believed to be one of Ethan Keith’s inventions

[3] Hiram’s place of employment (see Prosper’s letter of February 4, 1874, wherein he states that Hiram was promoted to secretary and treasury of the road)

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