July 29, 1882 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

July 29, 1882

To: Sarah Keith

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

Hiram has just put Jessie on the train, but forgot to give her lunch. Wants Sarah to write and let him know if she arrived safely and whether she had to use some of her spending money for her ticket.


V.C. Turner, Pres’t.                                   H. Crawford, Treas.
North Chicago City Railway Co.
Office, 430 North Clark Street,
Chicago, July 29 1882

Dear Sister

I just had time to get Jessie[1] on the train this morning as it started fifteen minutes sooner than I expected. Not having time to buy her ticket I gave her all the change I had under a five dollar bill amounting to $2.25 besides about fifty cents for spending money and in the hurry forgot to give her a lunch. I wish you would let me know how she got along and if she had to take any of her spending money to pay her fare.

With love I am

Your Brother

H Crawford

[1] Jessie Crawford, Hiram’s daughter, who was nine years old

July 24, 1882 letter to Sarah Keith from Kate Crawford

July 24, 1882

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Kate Crawford, Chicago, IL

Kate is writing to inquire whether Jessie can come visit Sarah while Kate is on a trip home. Harry is hoping to start work soon for Marshall Fields.

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Chicago, Ill

July 24th 1882

Monday Morning


Dear Sister,

Perhaps you will be surprised to hear from me at this time, but you know strange things are happening all the time. I would write you oftener but as Hi[1] writes once a month I feel that you hear from us and I excuse myself from the responsibility. I expect to start for my home[2] on Thursday 27th. I had intended to leave Jessie[3] at the boarding house as long as Hi was here and while he was away I thought I would let her stay with Kit Crawford[4] but in thinking the matter all over we have thought (if it is agreable with you) best to let her go down and stay with you and we will stop there on our way back and make you a short visit and take her home with us. Saturday was the day we thought best for her to start. And now Sarah if this does not meet your approbation do not hesitate to let us know by return of mail. If you are situated in any way so that it would not be convenient dont fail to say so. Harry[5] is hoping to get into Marshal Fields wholesale house soon. And I hope he will. Hi will come East about the middle of August if all is well.

Now Sarah, I will close, hoping this will find you all in good health and spirits. Give my love to Mother[6] and tell her we will come and visit her soon.

With love to all from all. I am as ever

Your Sister,



[1] Hiram Crawford Jr., Kate’s husband

[2] Kate lived in Ogdensburg, New York, before she was married

[3] Jessie Blanche Crawford, Kate’s daughter

[4] Katherine Sarah “Kit” (Crawford) Birkland, the daughter of Hiram’s brother Robert

[5] Harry A. Crawford, Kate’s son

[6] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

July 6, 1882 letter to Nancy Betts from Mary Wickersham

July 6, 1882

To: Nancy Betts

From: Mary Wickersham, Waukegan, IL

Sorry to hear Nancy is not well. They are both getting old and they have to deal with these afflictions and be thankful for what they have. Hasn’t heard from their brother Stephen. The only relatives she has are Louisa Spaulding, Jane Nelles and Nancy. Signs the letter “your lone sister.”

1882-07-06 1882-07-06B

Waukegan, Ill. July 6th /82

My dear Sister,

Your welcome letter came to me a few weeks since. I sympothise with you in your afflictions, failure of the eye and ear and pains that you have. I have my own afflictions but, Nancy, we are quite old.[1] Such things attend old age. All the aged are more or less afflicted and some not able to help themselves. Let us be thankful for the many mercies we have, asking strength equal to our day and trust in life or death. I have none but my God, all earthly sources are vanished. He is all that I need. His promises are forever, the same unchangible, the same like himself.

Have not yet heard from Br. Stephen.[2] Fear he is sick. Wish I could see him once more. I think that I wrote in my other that I had been in Chicago to visit Loiza Spaulding.[3] She visited me in the spring. She is the only one that cares for me of relatives. The Lord will bless her. I will pray to my latest breath for her. I have no other relatives but you and Jane Nelles[4] and Loiza Spaulding.[5]

The weather has been cool and much rain. Your friends here are all as well as usual and sends kind regards to you. Willy How has been sick but is better. The church it is thought by the minister to be in a good state. Hope these few lines will find you in better health than when you last wrote. Hope Sarah[6] and family are well and doing well. With love to all, yourself in perticular. Write if able soon.

Your lone sister M. W. Wickersham

[to] N. B. Betts

[1] At the writing of this letter, Mary was 77 and Nancy was a couple months short of 80

[2] Mary’s and Nancy’s brother, Stephen Comfort

[3] Louisa (Sunderlin) Spaulding was the daughter of Mary’s and Nancy’s sister, Jane (Comfort) Nelles Sunderlin

[4] Mary’s and Nancy’s sister, Jane (Comfort) Nelles Sunderlin, had a daughter Jane by her second husband, Peleg Sunderlin, and perhaps this is who Mary is referring to

[5] Obviously, as she already mentioned him, Stephen Comfort is also a relative

[6] Sarah (Crawford) Keith, Nancy’s daughter


More letters have been found and have been added in chronological order. They are:

May 27, 1863 letter to Sarah Keith from Edwin Crawford, which can be read here.

September 28, 1864 letter to Luke Keith from Sarah Keith, which can be read here.

January 3, 1867 letter to Nancy Keith from Nancy Betts, which can be read here.

May 2, 1872 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts, which can be read here.

December 8, 1880 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr., which can be read here.



Correction to May 23, 1856 letter

The following note was added to the bottom of the letter and refers to Footnote #6 and the letter can be read here:

According to the obituary for Alice Crawford, “she was the last surviving member of a family of three children.” This confirms that Rollin was born in 1857/58 and that there was another boy born to James and Ann around 1855 and that that boy died before Ann did in 1858.

June 2, 1882 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

June 2, 1882

To: Sarah Keith

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

They sold their home and are looking for a place to live. Kate wants to go home in the summer. Prosper and family are living at 3750 Dearborn. Wants to know if Henry and D.C. send her money regularly.


V.C. Turner, Pres’t                                    H. Crawford, Treas.
North Chicago City Railway Co.
Office, 430 North Clark Street,

Chicago, June 2nd, 1882

Dear Sister

This is another miserable rainy day but they are so common that we have about given up hope of having any other kind. One half pleasant day to a week bad is about the average.

We sold our home last Tuesday and am now looking around for some place to live. Houses are scarce and rents are high. And as Kate[1] intends to go home[2] sometime this summer we think of boarding until fall if we can find quarters.

Prosper[3] and family are living at 3750 Dearborn St. They have four boarders beside Bell’s[4] father & mother.[5] He has got steady work in a ____________, so I guess they will get along. Enclosed find five doll. Does Henry[6] & D.C.[7] send their remittences regular. With love,

Your Brother,

H. Crawford


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

[2] Since Kate was born in Ogdensburg, New York, presume that is where Hiram is referring

[3] Lucius Prosper Crawford, Hiram’s youngest brother

[4] Pros’ wife, Isabella (Steele) Crawford

[5] Joseph and Eliza (Knox) Steele

[6] Henry Crawford, Hiram’s brother

[7] David Caleb Crawford, Hiram’s brother

May 22, 1882 letter to Nancy Betts from Henry Crawford

May 22, 1882

To: Nancy Betts

From: Henry Crawford, Auburn, NY

Henry is writing his mother to learn more about the details of Mary Crawford’s death.


Auburn, N.Y.[1] May 22, 1882

Dear Mother

A few lines to you. The reason of my delay in sending you money before is that I had some obligation to meat that I could not put off. I wrote you two weeks sinse requesting you to tell me about Mary Crawford[2] death as I suppos you was thare at the furnerell. Not hearing from you I was afraid you must be sick. I hope that is not so & that this will find you well. Jinne[3], our youngest, has had the meeseles but she is getting better to day. The rest of the family all well. We have had a cold spring, every thing about one month behind time. I send you order for four doller. My love to you & all the family.

Your affectionate Son

H C Crawford

63 Clark St. ______

[1] Sometime in early 1881 Henry moved to Auburn, New York where he was superintendent of the E. B. Clapp Wagon Company, but returned to South Bend after two years to become superintendent of the Coquillard Wagon works

[2] The widow of Henry’s brother, Edwin W. Crawford. Mary (Hamilton) Crawford was his second wife

[3] Virginia W. Crawford, Henry’s youngest child

May 18, 1882 letter to Sarah Keith from D.C. Crawford

May 18, 1882

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: D.C. Crawford, Fairplay, CO

D.C. writes that he had received a telegram from Edna Allen that her mother had died. He is concerned about Edna’s ability to handle her new responsibilities and doesn’t think that her husband will be of any help.

1882-05-18 1882-05-18B 1882-05-18env

D.C. Crawford,                                                 W. S. Lafferty,
CLERK.                                                           DEPUTY.
County Clerk and Register of Deeds.

Fairplay, May 18” 1882

Dear Sister

I have been failing to write to you daily for sometime. I know I am neglectful and will try and be more prompt if possible.

Dear Mother[1] wrote me in answer to one I wrote her. At that time I was quite busy and hearing through her that you were usually well. I of course allowed my memory to fail me. I receivd a telegram from Edna[2] that her mother[3] was no more. Oh, how will she do now poor girl. She was one of the many poor girls that never appreciated home and an indulgent mother. Our poor “Job.”[4] What will ever become of him?

If this man Allen[5] was a business man and trusty it would not be so bad but now Edna has the whole responsibility upon her and is she equal to the emergency? I think not. Now Eugene[6] is a good business man. I should think she would call him to her assistence and thereby do a kindly and sisterly act. Eugene is her half brother. She is able & he is poor. I hope she will. Cannot you have some influence with her in this matter? This man Allen is rather a fast man if such & such are true. I hope he has become more in harmony with good society of late. We are all usually well and send love to you one & all. Please say to Mother will write soon & hope she is well for her. Love to her.

Your Broth

D C Crawford

Please excuse this writing & after reading it destroy it as maybe I have said to much about Allen.


[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Edna (Crawford) Allen, daughter of Edwin and Mary (Hamilton) Crawford

[3] Mary (Hamilton) Crawford died April 24, 1882 in Dowagiac, Michigan

[4] Believe D.C. is referring to Edna’s half-brother, Eugene

[5] Edna’s husband, Oscar Allen

[6] Eugene Crawford, son of Edwin and his first wife, Louisa (Hall) Crawford

April 24, 1882 letter to Sarah Keith from Louese Harris

April 24, 1882

To: Sarah Keith

From: Louese Harris, Phoenix, MI

 Louese Harris is describing their trip to their new home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by way of Chicago, shortly after her marriage to Daniel (D.D.) Harris.

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***March 16, 2019 – This is an updated version of the letter that was originally posted on October 11, 2015***

Phoenix Apr 24/82

Dear Ma

After leaving Galesburg[1] arrived at Kal[2] waited for the express come through to Chicago. Found no one at the depot. Went up to Uncle Hi’s[3], found them expecting us. Rec’d the postal that afternoon. They were very much surprised to hear that we could not stay longer than Wed eve. Jess, Lil & Ida Hudson spent the afternoon with me. Ida & I called on Carrie Stray. Walt came down after work & he & Jess stayed to tea then went to the depot with us. Will & Joe Hayward called a few moments.

Got my album it was all right. Uncle Hi invited D[4] to go to dinner with him that day so he did not get back to see the girls until four o’clock. Did not see Uncle Pros[5] or any of his family. He is running on the cable now. Aunt Bell[6] & the children[7] are going to Omro[8] to live in their house they own there. (We rec’d no presents there.) Aunt Kate[9] said if I had told them just when I was going to be married[10] they would have sent me something. We left Chicago Wed eve at 9.5. arrived at Ishpeming the next after noon at 2.30. Put up at the Nelson house which affords first class accommodations. It is a nicer looking building than any hotels in Kal.

Ishpeming is a pleasant place & lively. Left there Friday morn at 8 o’clock. Arrived to L’anse just before noon. Had to stay there until Sat morning then took the stage for Houghton. We were from 8 in the morning until 6 at night getting through. Of all the roads I ever saw those were the worst. The wheels were into the mud up to the hubs half of the time. If it was’nt mud it was water or sand. Thought we’d tip over every minute. Part of the time we would ride around rocks where it would be right straight up on one side & down hundreds of ft. on the other. I’d think of home when we come to such places. Well we got through all right. Staid at Hancock over night. Han– & Houghton are beautiful places. The river only divides them. There are as nice residences there as they have in Kal on their prettiest street and it is so full of business every one is on the go. Left Hancock yesterday morning by rail road. Arrived at Calumet at 1.30 then came over there by stage. Part of the way we rode over fearful large snow drifts then again the road would be bare. There is scarcely no snow here at Phoenix only a few spots on the cliffs. We got here yesterday after one I believe. Of course they were all glad to see us. Can’t tell how I’ll like the Brockways[11] but think I’ll like Albert[12] & Mrs Scott.[13] We have a room up stairs in Mrs Scott’s house. I’ve been over to the store twice to day. They have a nice store frame building & a good stock of goods. Brock– house is furnished quite well but no upholstered furniture excepting a couch & lounging chair. They keep a girl. She has done my washing to day. The boys turned up last night to let us know that they would be on hand to night so I expect we’ll have a homing. I’m going home with Bess Farwell to get away from it. Do not know whether D will come up or not. My trunk looks very bad. They knocked a hole in the top of it & it is banged up all over. Does not look very much like my trunk.

Sallie (Mrs Scott) gave me a silk tidy[14] this morning. It is real pretty. Will tell you how it is made in my next. Hav’nt been homesick yet but know I shall be[15]. Good Bye. Write soon


[1] Louese’s husband, D.D. Harris, was a merchant and they were moving from Galesburg, Michigan up to Phoenix, Michigan, where he would work in the store owned by the Brockways; Lucena (Harris) Brockway was his father’s sister

[2] Kalamazoo, Michigan

[3] Hiram Crawford Jr.

[4] Louese’s husband, Daniel D. Harris Jr., who was referred to as D.D. or D.

[5] Lucius Prosper Crawford

[6] Pros’ wife, Isabella (Steele) Crawford

[7] Leo, Byron, Ernest and Albert Crawford

[8] Omro, Wisconsin

[9] Hiram’s wife, Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford

[10] They were married April 12, 1882

[11] Daniel & Lucena (Harris) Brockway

[12] Albert Brockway, Daniel & Lucena’s son

[13] Sarah “Sallie” (Brockway) Scott, Daniel & Lucena’s daughter

[14] A tidy could be either a decorative protective covering for the arms or headrest of a chair or a receptacle that holds odds and ends (as sewing materials)

[15] Apparently Louese cried every night and after just 18 months, they moved to Shelbyville, Michigan, which was closer to her family, where D.D. opened a general store and also served as postmaster

Death Notice of Mary (Hamilton) Crawford

Mary (Hamilton) Crawford died April 24, 1882 in Dowagiac, Cass County, Michigan. The following was from the April 27, 1882 Cassopolis Vigilante.

Crawford, Mary - Death Notice

Mrs. Mary Crawford, of this city, died this afternoon.

(Further down is an earlier entry.) Mr. Emmett Hamilton was to have started for Dakota last week but will defer his journey till his sister, Mrs. Crawford, is better.

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