May 5, 1901 letter to Sarah Keith from Amanda Crawford

May 5, 1901

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Amanda Crawford, Golden, CO

Amanda is writing to Sarah to inform her of D.C.’s death and the circumstances leading up to it.

Scan of 1901-05-05 Amanda Crawford to Sarah Keith

Golden, May 5th

My dear Sister and Brothers,

My heart is to heavy to say much but I am in duty bound to tell you of my loss. My husband is dead.[1] He has been sick with bad cold for some six weeks, was home most of the time for last three weeks but would not give up and was in Denver all of the last week attending to his business affairs. I tried to have him come home but he said he was not sick enough. I was with him evry other day and heard from him evry day. He would not go to bed and I did not realize how bad he was. I was with him all day on Monday and Tuesday he expected to return to Cripple Creak, but did not and on Tuesday evening sent for me and I went down on early train expecting him to meet me, but as he did not I went to his room and found my darling unconscious. He revived and knew me once or twice but did not know Ida.[2] We were both with him all day until the end. I had left Harold[3] at home and he did not know of his father’s death until next day. Oh, how can I ever stand it. My poor darling. We loved each other so and he always lived for and loved his little family. As I do not know the address of either of the boys[4] so please forward this letter to them or let them know of their Brother’s death. Ida has sent the papers to you also. My poor dear husband is at rest and sleeps by the side of his two little babies Allie and Mamie[5] at Riverside Denver.

In sorrow,

Your Sister

Amanda

——-

[1] David Caleb (D.C.) Crawford, was 65 years old at the time of his death on May 1, 1901

[2] Ida Louise (Crawford) Kelly, Amanda’s daughter

[3] Harold “Doc” Crawford, Amanda’s son

[4] D.C. had four brothers still living at the time of his death: Robert, Henry, Hiram and Lucius Prosper “Pros” Crawford

[5] Both daughters died in early childhood

(This post was updated on 02-13-2021)

March 23, 1877 letter to Sarah Keith from D.C. Crawford

March 23, 1877

To:  Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: D.C. Crawford, Denver, CO

D.C. is writing to inform Sarah about the death of his daughter, Allie. There had been a great deal of scarlet fever and diphtheria and he feels that the doctors did not appreciate the seriousness of Allie’s case until it was too late. He then writes about the difficulties that people encounter when they “go away from old and tried Friends and places made dear by associations for new and untried Fields & Friends.” Many do well but thousands lose all they have and have to endure many hardships. Many who have tried farming in Colorado are so poor and hundreds are flocking to the Black Hills. If he had not been elected Auditor, he probably would have “gone on a wild goose chase somewhere either to California or Black Hills.”

1877-03-23 1877-03-23B 1877-03-23C 1877-03-23D 1877-03-23env

D.C. Crawford
State of Colorado
Auditor’s Office

Denver, March 23d 1877

Dear Sister

Your most welcome leter reached me in conjuntion with Mothers[1]. You may be assured we were very happy to receiv them as they brought words of consolation from those whom we knew wrote them in no meaningless way, but emenated from hearts brim full of heartfelt feeling and sympathy in this our time of sore tribulation and great trial. Still we feel that Providence knows best how to deal with His Earthly Children for their good and therefore we bow in submission in this affliction that He has seen fit to bring upon us. Trusting in His Wisdem and Goodness for consolation in this our seemingly irreparable loss our little darling Allie[2]. She was a sweet child and just beginning to be so interesting. She was very pretty and affectionate, always with me evenings and of course I miss her very much. With her mother[3] of course she is in her thoughts all of the time as she is reminded of her all of the time as she was in her mind continually being with her all of the time. Our little Ida[4] keeps speaking about her little sister having gone to Heaven and is now a little angel. There has been a great deal of sickness about here with children Scarlet Fever & Diptheria prevaile alarmingly. I presume however you have such diseases with you only in a more aggravated State our Diseases of such a character are generally handled by our physicians but in the case of our Baby it seems as though they did not understand her case or did not think she was so sick until it was to late. I never have been sick to speak of since I had the Typhoid Fever at Galesburgh[5] when a boy. Except sick head ache I have been troubled with that for years. I sometimes I think I inherited it from Mother as she has been more or less troubled with her stomach for years. Dear Sister I deeply feel for poor Ethen[6]. Poor boy. He must be very miserable with such poor health & Luke[7] also. I am so sorry for both of them and you to. You must have it hard at times. I hardly know how to advise. I know Luke and you must feel greatly discouraged but the question arises where can you go to better yourselves. Most every man that has tried Farming in Colorado has made a loosing thing of it. The great majority of them are so poor that they cannot get away and are ekeing out a miserable exestince. Hundreds are flocking to the “Black Hills” country. No doubt some will do well but Thousands will loose all they have in the world and all will have to suffer many hardships. Many will be murdered and hundreds will be killed by Indians. With me I am inclined to the opinion that as a general thing People are foolish to go away from old and tried Friends and places made dear by associations for new and untried Fields & Friends. I have witnessed it in this county so much where People have come amongst us seemingly well to do and after several years having elapsed they have become disheartened living out in some by way place trying to farm. “Hoppers”[8] eat them out of house & home. No neighbors near for generally sickness & misfortune overtake them an after having exhausted their means are obliged to leav the country and not an uncomm thing have to procur means from friends at home to get away. This of course is not so in every case because some do well anywhere but the great majority are living from hand to mouth in this country and especially during the past few years as it has been extremely dull. We hear of rich strikes now and then in the mines but when you go there its a “humbug” often. (Not always) as there are some rich mines here. I have a friend visiting with me for a few days from the mines that has lived in this country as long as I have & mined all of the time & cannot pay his debts today & been in a good Mining District all of the time & so it goes. I used to think I would be well off sometime but have about given that up as the time for making money is gone past here. That is to make it big speculation as this country has assumed something like the condition of the states when I lived there & of course you know about how things are here. If I had not been elected[9] I should have gone on a wild goose chase somewhere either to California or “Black Hills.” Love to you all in which we all join. Pleas say to Mother I shall write soon.

Your Bro. D.C. Crawford

[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Allie Crawford, who was about two years old

[3] Amanda (Thornton) Crawford

[4] D.C.’s eldest child, who was approximately four years old at the time

[5] D.C. was born in Canada. The family left Canada in the early 1840s with the intention of settling in the Grand Rapids area, but were forced to stop in Galesburg, Michigan when D.C. developed Typhoid Fever

[6] The eldest son of Sarah and Luke Keith

[7] Charles Luke Keith Jr., Sarah’s husband

[8] Grasshoppers

[9] D.C. was the first Auditor of the newly formed State of Colorado. His picture now hangs in the State Capitol building

September 23, 1876 letter to Nancy Betts from D. C. Crawford

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.

CRAWFORD HOUSE

D.C. CRAWFORD,

PROPRIETOR.

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

February 6, 1876 letter to Sarah Keith from D.C. Crawford

February 6, 1876

To:  Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

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

David is sitting up with his little daughter Ida, who has been very sick for five weeks. David is running a hotel but Amanda does not like the business and so he may sell it in the spring or fall.

1876-02-06 1876-02-06B 1876-02-06env
CRAWFORD HOUSE
D.C. Crawford, Proprietor.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Feb 6th 1876

My Dear Sister

In looking over my old letters this evening I came on one of yours not reccollecting if I had answered it and having a little time I placed myself in position to drop you a few lines trusting you are all usually well. At this moment I am sitting up with my little daughter “Ida” going on three years old I think her Mother said in May[1]. Its six oclock in the morning. Everyone is asleep in bed. I take the watch with her from one oclock every night. She has been sick for five (5) weeks in the morning (Sunday) commenced in her bowels information. At times thought she was dead. Three physicians having given her up but kept to work on her and finally succeeded in returning her to life. We of course all feel very grateful to human as well as Providential aid in saving to us our first born. She is getting along quite well still slowly as she cannot walk yet owing in fact that the docters used a hollow instrument to perforate the skin & injected some poisonous substance under the skin in the region of her heart that made two bad running sores & of course makes her sore & weak. Amanda[2] and Baby[3] are quite well. Baby has been more or less fretful with her teeth. I am keeping a hotel and have the reputation for going very well. Still Amanda does not like it much & I may not remain at it very long. Perhaps not longer than Spring or Fall. Amanda does not have to work much only oversee as its quite a large house & we have to keep so much help any way. Letters from Mother[4] & Hiram[5] & Henry[6] lately state all well as usual. Hiram says his Family paid you all a visit & had a good time the going after them. I believe if I was rich I would do the same. Write soon. We all join in love to you all.

From your Bro. D.C. Crawford

Say to Luke[7] I have not forgotten him but will send him a paper some day. I hope Ethen[8] will get better. If I was expecting to remain in hotel I would try and have Ethen come out here & see if it could not help him but now I think I shall sell out in spring & possibly go to “Black Hills”.

D.C. C.

Tell Luke first class board at Crawford House would cost or does cost $3 per day by the week $17.50 single double 25 to $30 _____ rooms & that he must bring his wife & come out to fashionable Waterbury Place & put on style get your ______________ water every morning.

D.C.C.

No I _____ seen Miss Brown but heard of her ______________ should like to have met her.[9]

D.C.C.

[1] Ida Louise Crawford was born May 20, 1873

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

[3] Allie Crawford

[4] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[5] Hiram Crawford Jr., D.C.’s brother

[6] Henry Clay Crawford, D.C.’s brother

[7] Charles Luke Keith Jr., Sarah’s husband

[8] Ethan Keith, Sarah’s son

[9] D.C.’s handwriting is hard enough to read, but the last several paragraphs were written crosswise across the page and partially overlapped the main body of the letter making it almost impossible to decipher