December 7, 1899 letter to Luke & Sarah Keith from D.C. Crawford

December 7, 1899

To: Luke & Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: D.C. Crawford, Cripple Creek, CO

Speaks of their Golden Wedding Anniversary. The great Cripple Creek fire put him in a financial bind. Before the fire his income was $30 a day clear. All outstanding accounts were valueless and there was no business for over two years. His family lives in Golden. They lived in Cripple Creek for three years but the cost was too high. Ida is teaching school at Fort Collins. Amanda and his son, who he thinks will be nine on February 14, are at home. A handwritten note on the envelope reads “Uncle D. C. Crawford’s last letter to Ma”

1899-12-07A 1899-12-07B 1899-12-07C 1899-12-07D 1899-12-07E 1899-12-07env

Cripple Creek, Dec 7, 1899

Dear Brother and Sister
Galesburg, Mich.

When I opened my Box at the P.O. and tore open the wrapper exposing a newspaper and I read the word Galesburg, I commenced to hunt for items and was pleasantly surprised when I read of your “Golden Wedding Anniversary”[1]. Surely it must have been a joyful meeting of so many of you under the old homestead roof and to one and all must brought to mind many many of the reminiscences of by gone days at the eventful time full of the joys and hopes of youth. I note all were present except H. L. Keith[2] and James[3] – that was to be regreted as on such an occasion all should have tried hard to have been present. I would liked to have been present myself. Well, My Dear relatives we are getting along in years and these reunions should be encouraged as it brings us together, renews our friendships so to speak as we are apt to become unmindful of each other when long separated as in my own persenal experence. I do not know just when but has been years since we have exchanged letters. Why simply because we just neglected it. Other cares and duties have daily taken up all of our time (and absent friends and relatives have been to a certain extent almost forgotten.) This should not be, yet I am “guilty”. My time for past ten years has been almost incessently taken up. The great Cripple Creek Fire put me in such a financial shape that my whole time was taken up to exist for along time after the fire. At the time of the fire my income was about $30.00 per day clear and all outstanding accounts were valuless and there was no business for over 2 years. We are experencing better times but nothing to compare (at that time). While this is a great mining camp there are a great many poor people here. We have to put forth the same effort to make a dollar here as elsewhere. My family do not live here. They live at Golden, Colo. They lived here for three years but little to high here and having a home there, and Ida[4] is teaching school at Fort Collins 75-miles beyond Golden. (Amanda[5] and the Boy[6], who is coming 9-years of age, I believe February 14th are at home and Ida and myself are out restling for bread and butter. Of course, I would be very glad to see you all. Yet, I cannot promise that I can. “Darne fortune” has all to say about it. I find the battle of live much harder task in last twenty years then previous to that. Many a lucky fellow has made fortunes here but think of the thousands that expended their little all and went hungry and walked out of camp while his more fortunate Brother rides in and out in Palace cars. Now that I have commenced, I must write to Brother Robert[7] and Brother Hiram[8]. Both have written me and I do not quite remember if I have answered either of them. As stated, I am getting quite advanced in years and cannot move around as in former years. Yet I do get around all right and have the name of being the leivliest man of my age on the street. I will enclose one of my pictures as I look now. Well in conclusion will say that please remember me kindly to all the children and their parents, both present and absent. I had forgotten Louis[9] husbands Name. I note now Mrs Skinner[10] and her son C I Clark, wife[11] & 3 children[12]. He has done well, very nice man. He was with us awhile. Well dear Luke and Sarah, may God continue to bless you and yours and if it is our destiny never to meet on the shores of time may we hope to meet in the great hereafter if it be the will of him who doeth all things well.[13]

Your loving Brother

D.C. Crawford
Box 34

[1] Sarah Crawford & Charles Luke Keith Jr. were married November 14, 1849 in Comstock Township, Michigan

[2] Henry Keith, Luke’s son by his first wife, Minerva Payson

[3] James Keith, Sarah and Luke’s son

[4] Ida (Crawford) Kelley, D.C.’s eldest daughter

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

[6] Harold Valentine Crawford, D.C.’s son

[7] Robert Crawford

[8] Hiram Crawford

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

[10] Lois’ second husband was Adelbert Skinner

[11] Charles Ira and Clara (Youngs) Clark. Charles was Lois’ son by her first husband, Byron Clark

[12] Edna, Ethan & Charles Clark

[13] There is a note on the envelope that this was Uncle D.C. Crawford’s last letter to Ma

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