September 7, 1876 letter to Sarah & Luke Keith from Henry Brown and September 23, 1876 letter to Nancy Betts from D.C. Crawford

September 7, 1876

To:  Sarah & Luke Keith 

From: Henry Brown, Lawton, MI

Hank describes his plans for Chicago and his new job as a conductor on the street cars. He seems to be somewhat bittersweet about this move, but is hoping that the change will provide happiness for his family, although he is not sure. He also gives Luke his recipe for varnish.

1876-09-07A 1876-09-07B

Lawton Mich

Sept. 7/76

Dear ones at home

Nancy[1] and Hannah[2] are abed and Claude[3] is asleep so I will try and write a few lines. We received two letters from Ma[4] to day. Sorry to hear that Eugene[5] is sick. Guess Aunt Kate[6] will think her trouble is not at an end if Eugene is taken there and Grandma[7] stayes there too. I expect to start for Chicago next Wednesday morning. Did calculate to go Monday but cant on account of weather being so cloudy. I am going on the street cars as conductor and if I can get a job at Photographing I will take it or any thing else that will pay better than it (railing) does. I shall moove out there if I can rent rooms to suit us for $10 or $12 per month and I think we can at leaste. I could when I was there before and if we can do that we can do better than to stay here and do twice as much work as we have for the last 2 years or more and it is getting worse and worse every day. We talk some of takeing boarders. If we do Hannah will go with us if she wants to and if we dont do that and she wants to go and sew she can do so and I think it would pay her. But dont make any calculations on what we are going to do as we cant tell until after I get there and see what is what.

Now I will tell Pa[8] what that Varnish is made of before I foget it. “Alcohol 5 oz White” Shelac 1 oz Sandarac l/4 oz. Dissolve Shelac in Alcolol. Then filter and add Sandarac. Filter again and you have a varnish that will varnish any thing. If you neglect to filter it you will not find it very good!!

Friday morning five o’clock. I am up got a fire built and called the girls now I will try and finish this letter. I am packing the things at the Gallery and shall moove them down here and then if we go to Chicago I shall have to store them some where. Maybe I will send them home if you can find a place to put them. It is not very pleasant to think about but thank God there will be a change in about 50 years with us and that change will probly come a great deal sooner with you than us. I hope in the next world we can have some of the sweets as well as the bitter but dont suppose we will. I dont care a darn for myself but those that are counting on me is the ones I pity. I would gladly work myself to death if it would or could possibly make others happy. Well I guess I have went it about long enough so will close hopeing that this will find you as well as it leaves us. We are all as well as usual. Nancy & Hannah will probly be home about middle of October.


Henry Brown

[1] Henry’s wife, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[2] Nancy’s sister, Hannah Keith

[3] Henry and Nancy’s son, Claude Brown

[4] Nancy’s mother, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[5] Nancy’s cousin, Eugene Crawford. Eugene was the son of Edwin Crawford, Nancy’s uncle

[6] Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford, wife of Nancy’s uncle Hiram Crawford Jr.

[7] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[8] Nancy’s father, Charles Luke Keith Jr.


September 23, 1876

To:  Nancy Betts

From: D.C. Crawford,  Colorado Springs, CO

D.C. is proprietor of the Crawford House in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has been nominated as State Auditor for the upcoming election. Amanda is quite well but not strong as she is still nursing her baby.

1876-09-23 1876-09-23B




Colorado Springs, Col., Sept 23, 1876[1]

Dear Mother

I have not heard from you for sometime and have been so busy during the final campaign that I have not taken time to do anything outside of the regular routine of business appertaining to my office and Hotel business. On next Teusday is the day of Election, Oct. 3. If I should be successful I shall go out of the Hotel business pretty soon, if not I shall probably not for the present, but close my present place of business and take the management of a large House at Pueblo on a salary as then I would know what I was doing.

Dear Mother, I have been honored with the nomination of Auditor of the New State on Rep ticket as above stated. I think I shall be elected. This leavs us all quite well. The children[2] are much better then ever before. Amanda[3] is quite well but not strong as she is nursing her baby[4] yet. Will wean her soon she says. We are having quite a nice season, but very dull for Colerado. The Centennial has done us a great deal of injury I think then the Grashoppers have taken a large portion of the crops, especially the late crops. Keeps everybody hard up. This is the poorest place to farm in, in the world I guess as we have to depend on artificial means for water. We have rains but not just as we need them. Also about every year we are visited with the grasshopper–pest. Love to you dear Mother and all of sister’s[5] family. Your Son

D.C. Crawford

P.S. I herewith Enclose Five dollars. If you need some take a part of it and give bal. to Sarah or all just as you can or think best. I am pretty hard up just now and will send some more just as soon as I can. D.C.C.

(In margin on front of letter:) Dear Mother – I have written to you but have no time to write to Sister. Now I will direct to Sister as if you are not at home. Sister can read it an send it to you. D.C.C.

[1] While the date on the letter looks like it is 1878, D.C. refers to the upcoming election of October 3, where he was running for the office of auditor, and that election was in 1876. From Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming – 1890, by Hubert Howe Bancroft, regarding the election of October 3, 1876: David C. Crawford was a native of Canada, moved to Mich. and Wis., and in 1860 came to Colorado. He first engaged in mining in Gilpin and Boulder counties, in 1862 in merchandising in Park co., and in 1865 in farming in Jefferson co. He was elected clerk and recorder for the latter county in 1867, and afterward opened a real estate office and insurance office, becoming in 1875 proprietor of the Crawford house at Colorado Springs. He married Amanda J Thornton of Golden. His opponent for the office of auditor was J. F. Benedict, whom he beat by 922 votes

[2] Ida and Allie Crawford

[3] Amanda (Thornton) Crawford, D.C.’s wife

[4] Allie Crawford

[5] Sarah (Crawford) Keith


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Another Letter | Crawford/Comfort Family Letters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: