February 11, 1875 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

February 11, 1875

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Had a great snowstorm last week. The snow drifted ten feet in Oshkosh and they sent to Ripon for the snowplow and engine. It piled four or five feet high on the porch. It has been real Canada weather. Robert is in the woods and will be till next month. Louisa was in last evening; her health is not very good. Prosper wrote last month that they were all well. His wife and children are with him. He has rented a room or two from an old farmer. His work is scaling logs. Eugene is working on the streetcars. He doesn’t like it very much. Says he will leave as soon as he can get another job.

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Omro Feb the 11 1875

My Dear Daughter

I received your kind and wellcom letter this week a Tuesday and was glad to hear from you all and from Nancy[1]. I am glad that Nancy has got a long with her trobles so far. I hope she will git up well and have good health and her babe[2] may live and be well and healthy. We have had a grate snow storm last week. The snow drifted in som places they say ten feet in Oshkosh. They sent to Rippen for the snow plow and Engin to drive through. It pild on our Porch four or five feet high. It has ben extrem cold wether. It was real Canada wether. Last week I was very un well. I had caught a very hard cold. It seand to me that I never had such a hard cold before but through the goodness of kind Providence I am giting better of it. I was so un well and had to get up in the mornings and build my firs. I thought som times I could not stand it. Robert[3] is in the woods yet and will be till next month some time. Lousea[4] was in last eveing (her health is not very good) to let me know that she had received letter from Robert. He and his son Wille was well. He has so large Camp of men it makes him so much cair it make him feal some times that he would like to get out of it.  I havent heard from Prosper[5] sence last month. He wrote me a letter then and I answers it. They were all well. He has his wife and children[6] withe him. He has hired a room or two of a old farmer. They took a knoff things to do while they stay. His work is a scailing logs. They expect to be at there home next month. I dont remember the name of the place where he is at work. I look for his letter but could not find it. I havent hear from Hiram[7] this month. Hiram wrote to me last month that Kitt[8] had furs that her brother had sent to his granmother. She would like to send them to me if I would have them so I wrote to him and told him I would received and thank her to so they have and I have receive them. They com by exspress. They are nice furs. They are all well. Eugene[9] is on the street cars. He dont like it, the bissness, very much. He sais he will leave as soon as he can get a nother place.  He sais he dont get time to write. You write a good letter to him and tell him to be carrful of him self and advise not to go far a way. I am afrade he has lost all he has put in the firm. And dont say any thing to any one about it but your own famly. I feal sorra for he has no Fathe nor Mother[10] to go to. Direct the same as Hirams, 430 North Clark St. I received a letter from your Aunt Jimia Comfort[11]. Thay was all well as useal but brother[12] head trobles him very much. I havent room to tell you the perticulars. I wish Ethen[13] could come out here and maby his health would be better. We all like to see him.

I thank you for your likeness. I think it is a good likeness of you. It looks jest like you. My love to your self and famly. Write soon a gain. If I could see you I could tell you a goodeal.

From you Mother N B Betts

I dont expect that I can go to mishigan but if the boys would all put in thear visits I mite go but I dont know as they will but if you can com I wish you would.



[1] Sarah’s daughter, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[2] Claude Keith Brown who was born January 23, 1875. Nancy had twin boys on May 30, 1873; one was stillborn and the other only lived two hours

[3] Nancy’s son, Robert Crawford

[4] Robert’s wife, Louisa (McCann) Crawford

[5] Nancy’s youngest son, Lucius Prosper Crawford

[6] Isabella (Steele) Crawford and their two sons, Leo and Byron

[7] Nancy’s son, Hiram Crawford Jr.

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

[9] Nancy’s grandson, Eugene Crawford

[10] His mother, Louisa (Hall) died sometime before 1854 and his father, Edwin Crawford, died in 1866

[11] Jemima (Wilcox) Comfort; wife of Nancy’s brother Francis Comfort

[12] Francis Comfort (see also Nancy’s letter of March 18, 1872, which also mentions Frank’s head pain)

[13] Sarah’s son, Ethan Keith

March 18, 1872 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

March 18, 1872

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Talks about Robert and family as well as Prosper, who has not been feeling well. Mentions that Aunt Jemima Comfort has been married fifty years in February and celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary.

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Omro March 18 1872

My Dear Daughter Sarah,

I take my pen in hand to answer to your last letter wich was gladly received. I was happy to hear that that you all had got a long in your sickness as well as you have. I hope that the good Lord will restore you all to good health again. I should have written before now but I have ben waitting and looking for som letters from the boys before I rote to you but I have not receive non as yet. Lousia[1] and famly is well. She had a letter from Robert[2] last satterday. He was well. He expects to come home next weeke but dont think he will stay a grate while. One weeke ago last satterday Prosper and wife[3] was here and took dinner with me. They where well. He was here last weeke. He complaind of not fealing well and said that Bell was quite un well. My health is not very good but better then it was som weekes a go. I still take the vinegar bitters but only twice or three times a weeke. They have help me but I dont expect they will cure me. Robert is takeing them. He sais they have help him very much. If he hadent got help he couldent work. There is a good meny rond here that is a takeing the bitters and thinks they are a helping them very much. I have thought if Ethen[4] could get them and persavear in takeing them I thing they would cure him. He is young. There is a better chance for him then for older folks. We have had a very cold winter and deep snow. Good sleighing. Febuary was the plents months of the three winter months but March has come in like a roaring Lion. So far it has ben cold and blustering wether. To day it is cold and winday. There is not meny sick at present but there has ben quite good meny deaths. Erva MacCall Dr M Call son is a going a decline. They think he has the consumption. He is a fine young man. He is a bout Ethens sise. He made me think of him often. I would like to know how you have got a long with Chapans or if you have got any thing to pay Osker Keith[5]. Do write the perticulars when you write a gaine. Dont waite so long befor you write as you did. Tell Nancy[6] to write to me and tell me when she is a gone to get married if she knows and I will send her a colla to be married in. Tell Hannah[7] to write to me and tell me if her bow has got back from Ohio and if they are a gone to get married. I would like to know it and if they are I will send a nice littel present. I have nothing that is very interesting to write. Tell Ethen I wich he would take a tramp out to Omro. We think it would do him good and improve his health. All of the boys sais they would like to have hime and stay a few wekes withe us. Tell Sis and Jim[8] that I would like to see them if I could I would give them some canday. I would like to see you all very much. I wich you and Luke[9] could come out and make us a viset. It would do you both good to get a ride on the cares. My love to you all.

From your mother

[to] S. C. Keith                       N. B. Betts

NB Your aunt Jimima Comfort[10] she sais they have ben married fifty years in Febuary and they had Golden Wedding and they had all of there children but Alford[11] and grand childred. He could not leve. They had menny nice presents. She did not say what they where. They wich that could ben there. They ware all well but your Uncel Frank[12] is troble with a bad pain in his head the most of the time. Write soon.

[1] Louisa (McCann) Crawford, Robert’s wife

[2] Robert Crawford, Nancy’s son

[3] Lucius Prosper Crawford, Nancy’s son, and his wife Bell (Steele) Crawford

[4] Ethan Keith, Sarah’s son

[5] James Oscar Keith, son of Harvey Keith, who was Charles Luke Keith Jr.’s brother

[6] Nancy Keith, Sarah’s daughter

[7] Hannah Keith, Sarah’s daughter

[8] Louese and James Keith, Sarah’s two youngest children

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

[10] Jemima Wilcox was married to Nancy’s brother, Francis Comfort

[11] Francis and Jemima Comfort had a son, Francis Alfred Comfort. Perhaps this is who this reference relates to. See also a reference to Alford Comfort in the January 30, 1869 letter

[12] Francis Comfort

October 28, 1867 letter to Nancy Betts from Nancy Comfort

October 28, 1867 

To: Nancy Betts

From: Nancy Comfort, Clinton, Ontario, Canada

Nancy Comfort is writing her aunt and mildly chastising her for not writing back. The rest of the letter is devoted to updating her about Nancy Comfort’s brothers and sisters and news about her aunt’s sister Mary Wickersham and her long lost son, Edward.


Clinton[1] Oct 28th, 1867[2]

Dear Aunt[3]

I wrote to you sometime ago according to request but for some reason unknown to me I have received no answer. Mother[4] thinks perhaps you are married and too much engrossed with domestic affairs to attend to corresponding or it may be you have forgotten us entirely. Be that as it may I thought I would jog your memory by intruding myself once more on your notice. It is a very droll rainy day. Aunt Betsy Smith[5] is stopping with us at present. She came from home about four weeks ago, and has been visiting among her relatives and friends. She expects to return home in a week or two. Andrew[6] is living in Beamsville and practicing his profession[7]. John[8] has moved from Wardsville and intends to settle in St. Catherines. His family at present are stopping in Beamsville. Alfred[9] is at Colledge in Ann Arbor. Daniel[10] his wife[11] and child[12] are with us. Daniel back is very lame, he has not been able to do anything for a long time. I think he intends to go back to Hamilton next week. Jane[13] has been stopping with Margaret[14] a couple of weeks and is their yet. They are both well. Hannah[15] is stopping with Andrew. Her health is considerably improved since you were here. We received a letter from Aunt Mary Wickersham[16] about two weeks ago. She is well and has at last heard from her long lost son, Edward[17], who left home six years ago and grieved her very much by not writing a word until last July.

He then wrote to his sister Kate[18] wishing her to write and tell him all about his relatives and friends, his Father[19] death, and in what circumstances his Mother was placed stating also that he had several hundred dollars to dispose of and if he could add to her comfort he would think it a privilege to bestow it. It was a great satisfaction for her to know that he was alive and doing well. She did not say any thing about any of the rest of her children. Angeline Lacy[20] and her husband[21] are living in Dunville. He is peddling tin. Angeline health is very poor. She has symptoms of consumption. Mrs Wellington McAffry, is very ill at present. They have poor hopes of her recovery. Mrs Beckett came home on a visit and lost one of her little boys with diphtheria. The disease is very prevalent around us. We got word of the death of Uncle Archie Patterson[22] a short time ago. We knew nothing of his sickness till we heard of his death. They telegraphed to his brother William[23]. Aunt Betsy sends her kind regards to you says she frequently thinks and speaks of you and it would afford her much happiness to see you again. They all join with me in sending their love to you and cousins and hope to see you again in Canada. With kind wishes for your health and happiness, I remain your affectionate niece.

Nancy Comfort

[1] Clinton Township, Ontario, Canada

[2] Believe this letter was written around 1867. From Comfort Families of America, Daniel Comfort (see footnote #10 below) only had the one child, Cora Edith Comfort, who was born 3-5-1866. Further down in this letter, it mentions that Edward Wickersham (see footnote #17 below) left home six years ago, which if that was for the War, he left in 1861, making the date 1867 or thereabouts

[3] Nancy Comfort was the youngest daughter of Nancy Betts’ brother Francis Comfort

[4] Jemima (Wilcox) Comfort

[5] Don’t know what relationship, if any, she has to the family; sometimes the parents of in-laws were referred to as Aunt and Uncle

[6] William Andrew Comfort, Nancy Comfort’s brother

[7] Doctor

[8] John was Nancy Comfort’s brother

[9] Francis Alfred Comfort, Nancy Comfort’s brother

[10] Daniel was Nancy Comfort’s brother. According to Botting’s Comfort Families of America, Daniel was the only son who was not a doctor. In the 1870’s he moved to Florida where he engaged in the marble business remarking that with three brothers practicing medicine, he had to sell tombstones

[11] Mercy Louise (Corson) Comfort

[12] Cora Edith Comfort, born 03-05-1866

[13] Eliza Jane Comfort, Nancy Comfort’s sister

[14] Margaret (Comfort) Kennedy, Nancy Comfort’s sister

[15] Hannah was Nancy Comfort’s sister

[16] Mary (Comfort) Wickersham, Nancy Betts’ sister

[17] Edward Wickersham enlisted 11-25-1861 and was discharged in 1864

[18] Phoebe Catherine (Wickersham) O’Connor

[19] Jesse Wickersham, who died May 10, 1861

[20] Angelina (Wickersham) Lacey

[21] Alonzo Lacey

[22] Archibald Patterson, husband of Hannah Comfort, who was Nancy Betts’ sister, died October 27, 1864

[23] William Patterson