May 15, 1901 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

May 15, 1901

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

Hiram is responding to Sarah’s news of D.C.’s death. He had sent a letter to Robert and had received a copy of D.C.’s obituary from Henry. He has sent condolences to Amanda.

Scan of 1901-05-15 Hiram Crawford to Sarah Keith

Anthracite-Bituminous Coal Co.
Miners and Dealers in Coal.

Chicago, May 15, 1901

My Dear Sister

Your letter with the sad news of our Brothers death[1] reached me Saturday morning. It was a great shock to me for somehow I hadent thought of DC passing away. He was a strong active man and was comparatively young amongst old people. I feel it probably more than the rest of the boys for we being so near the same age.[2] All during our boyhood and young manhood when we could be together we were very chummy. He ought to have lived ten or fifteen years longer and undoubtedly would if he had taken care of himself. No one ought to fool with the grip[3] or pneumonia. When he does he practically commits suicide. Well, Sarah, our circle has been broken for the first time in a good many years.[4] We have stood at a half of a dozen for a good while. May we stand at five[5] for many years yet. But we are like the grand army. We are at that age when we must expect these events to naturally happen a little oftener. It is the fate of the human family and we must take it as it comes and as philosophical as we can.

I wrote to Amanda[6] as soon as I got your letter expressing my condolences and sympathy as best I could and asked her to write. I also wrote Robert.[7] Amanda must have sent Henry[8] a paper and perhaps written him for I received a South Bend paper with the obituary in exactly as it was in the Denver paper you sent me, which by the way I gave to Nancy[9] last Sunday. I shall however write Henry today and send him Amanda’s letter with directions to return it to you. We are all as well as usual. Received a letter from Blanche[10] yesterday. She was well and happy. I mail you some chop today. Please let me know if you receive it. Love to all

Affectionately your Brother

H Crawford

215 Dearborn St

——-

[1] David Caleb Crawford, who went by the nickname of D.C.

[2] Hiram was two years younger than D.C.

[3] Grippe, another name for mild influenza which was an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus and associated with running nose, sore throat and cough, temperature elevation and aches and pains throughout the body

[4] Their brother James died in 1858 and brother Edwin died in 1866

[5] Sarah, Robert, Henry, Hiram and Prosper

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

[7] Their brother, Robert Crawford

[8] Their brother, Henry Clay Crawford

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

[10] Hiram’s youngest daughter, Blanche (Crawford) Hessey

(This post was updated on 02-18-2021)

September 5, 1870 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

September 5, 1870

To: Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Nancy received a letter from David last week. He said he had not received a letter from any of his folks. He would like to hear from Sarah. She also received one from Hiram. Prosper came home a few weeks ago. He had a cold and was very sick, although he is better now. She also received a letter from Henry. The family has been sick, including himself and Jenny. He was very bad last spring and Jenny was sick all winter and all summer and is just now getting better. Nancy is thinking of visiting Hiram. Henry says he wanted to see them all very much. He would like her to come and stay with them awhile. She would like to go but doesn’t want to stay long. Wants to see Henry and all of his family as well as Sarah and her family and Hiram and his family. Received a letter from Alice Crawford, James’ daughter. She would like to hear from her aunts, uncles and cousins.

Omro  Sept 5 1870

Dear Sarah,

You kind and wellcom letter came to hand a few days ago. I was glad to hear from you all. I have ben looking for a letter from you this sam time. I am sorra to hear that all have ben so flicked with sickness. I hope you all will get your healths again. Where is Ethen[1] now? You did not say anything about him and Sis[2]. Tell Jimme[3] that granma would like to see him very much and all of you. I received a letter from David[4] last week. He was well. He said he had not received a letter from any of his folks but me. He would like to hear from you and yours. I received one from Hiram[5]. He said they whare all quite well. The old lady[6] hasent got home yet. I dont bleve she is a coming home. Prosper[7] came home a few weekes ago. He took a cold and was very unwell. He is better now so he can work. Robert[8] has got quite well. He can do all the work he can get to do. It is hard to get work to do. There is so meny that wants work and cant get it. His famly is well as usual. I received one from Henry[9] the other day. He sais they have ben sick, himself and Jenna[10]. He was very bad last spring. He thought he was a going in the quick consumption. He got relief at last. Jenna was sick all winter and all summer, gest agetting better so she thinks of makeing Hiram and wife[11] a visit. He said he wanted to see us all very much. He wish I could come and stay with them awile. I would like to go and stay and make a visit but I dont wanto stay a grate while. I do want to see him very much and all of his famly and all of you and Hiram and famly. O Sarah I wish I could step in and see you and famly. If I had the monny to go and com back I should do it. I pict up a littel adversing thrown in at the door. I pic it up and read it though[t] I would it put in the letter and send it to you. Perhaps you have the same there. If she that is Nancy[12] was I mean was withe me, I should get it for her. I wanto make the trial it mite help her. Your father[13] was a grate hand to try those paten medicines and he beleived there was more virture in those syrups then there was in th Dr medicines.

This is the second letter I have written to day. I am so nervis that I cant write ver well. I wish you and Luke[14] could com here and see us. We all would be glad to see you. It would do you both good to travel. It all ways done me heep of good. My health is quite good at present. Write soon as convent. I received a letter from Alice N Crawford[15] your brother James[16] daughter. She wants to hear from her Aunts and uncels and cousans. She inquired about Nancy. She said she hope she was well. She said if I would send Nancy adress she would write to to her so I will. When you write to me again remember Pros in your but dont let him know that I said anything. The boys dident say anything about him ether. He thought it was singler Glen Haven grant co. I hope these few lines will find you all. I received a letter from Eugene[17]. He was well. He said he got a letter from Eathen. My love to you all. Kiss Jimme and Sis for me.

From your mother

N B Betts

[to] S C Keith

——-

[1] Ethan Keith, Sarah’s son

[2] Louese Keith, Sarah’s daughter

[3] James Keith, Sarah’s son

[4] David (D.C.) Crawford, Nancy’s son

[5] Hiram Crawford, Jr., Nancy’s son

[6] Hiram’s wife Katherine’s grandmother, Elizabeth McGrath, who had been living with them

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

[8] Robert Crawford, Nancy’s son

[9] Henry Crawford, Nancy’s son

[10] Virginia (Worley) Crawford, Henry’s wife

[11] Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford

[12] Nancy Keith, Sarah’s daughter

[13] Hiram Crawford Sr.

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

[15] Her granddaughter

[16] James Crawford died December 15, 1858, just seven weeks after his wife Ann died. At the time of their deaths, Alice was 5 and her brother, Rollin, was 3

[17] Eugene Crawford, Nancy’s grandson

February 22, 1859 letter to Luke Keith from D.C. Crawford

Footnote #6 updated 02-11-2017

February 22, 1859                

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Galesburg, MI              

From: David (D.C.) Crawford, LaCrosse, WI

Describes where he lives in LaCrosse by the Mississippi River. Received a letter from Robert who spoke of James’ death and also his wife’s death and that there might have been something wrong in regard to him dying so suddenly. Received a letter from Platt Betts. Mentions Stanley Crawford.

1859-02-22 1859-02-22B 1859-02-22C 1859-02-22D 1859-02-22env

La Crosse Feb 22nd 1859

Mr C L Keith

Galesburgh Michigan

Dear Sir

In answer to your last letter I would say in asmuch as you described to me your wherebouts it would be no more than fare for me to give you a little information on that point but there would be no danger if you should wish to come and see me because the trees are all spotted on or along the Old Territorial Road. We live in Wis near La Crosse on the pleasant Banks of the Raging Missippi the “Father of Waters.” We have a Flourshing and Enterprising R Road making their regular trips Daily between Milwaukee and La Crosse the (La Crosse and Milwaukee R Road) which makes a vast difference here in the Winter season I assure you. The toot of the Iron Horse or Whistle sounds good up in this County you had better believe only a few years ago hardly dreamt of. You say there is no sleighing their quite the contrary here. We have had a very pleasant and gay Winter this way. I re’d a letter from Robert[1] stating that sleighing was good in the Pinery and he was doing well. He spoke of James[2] and of His Death[3] and also His Wifes[4] and as though that there might have been something wrong in regard to Him dying so suddenly. It seems to be rather lamentable fact to realize a near kindred Blood a beloved Brother folded in the arms of Death so near us and none to say a kind word or smooth His Dying pillow. I was expecting to pay them a visit this comeing season.

I re’ed a letter from the Rev. Mr. Betts[5] the other Day for the first time. I should judge that He was and odd Old chap (allow me). He invites me to come and see them which I should like to do very much and shall soon probably.

Stanley[6] said that He called on you but did not stay but a few moments. He said that He was used well and was much pleased.

Please ask Sarah[7] if She knows or Lois[8] (Miss Sarah Hall). If so please inform Her that Stanley Crawford wishes to be remembered to Her. Stanley says He saw more pretty Girls in Galesburgh and vicinity then He has seen in this Country for a long time that is when He was Home this last time. Tell Sarah if She does not write me I will think she has forgotten me. My love to all.

Yours truly David [to] C L Keith

Write Soon again please

[1] Brother, Robert Crawford

[2] Brother, James Crawford

[3] An entry in Luke’s dairy shows that James died December 15, 1858

[4] James’ wife, Ann (Rogers) Crawford, who died October 26, 1858

[5] Stepfather, Platt Betts

[6] Stanley Crawford. At this stage his relationship to David is unknown Believe this to be George Stanley, who operated a jewelry store with David “D.C.” Crawford under the name Stanley & Crawford from approximately 1856/1857 to 1860

[7] Sarah Keith, Luke’s wife and David’s sister

[8] Luke’s daughter, Lois Keith, who was his daughter by his first wife, Minerva Payson

October 30, 1858 Letter to Nancy Betts from James Crawford

October 30, 1858                  

To: Nancy Betts                                

From: James H. Crawford, Cassville, WI

His wife Ann died on the 26th and he is left with two small children.

1858-10-30 1858-10-30B

Cassville 30 October 1858

Dear Mother

In answering your letter I have to inform you of the deth of my dear companion. Ann[1] dear wommen is gone. I am left with to little children[2] to mourn her loss. I am not well myself. I have a bad cold. The children is well. The children is at their grandfather[3] and I am to. Ann died at her father. I was with her at the time she died on the 26. Mother I was glad to here from you and yours and to here that your helths was good.

Mother I cant any more at present. I dont feel able at presant. I will write a gain as soon as I can. I want you to write as soon as you can.

My love to you Both.

James H Crawford

[1] Ann (Rogers) Crawford

[2] Alice and Rollin Crawford, ages 5 and 1

[3] Thomas Rogers

May 23, 1856 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Crawford

Footnote #6 updated on 02-11-2017

May 23, 1856

To: Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Crawford, Cassville, WI

Arrived at Cassville on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin three weeks ago. Apparently staying with son James. Describes the area and also James and his family. Speaks of Eugene being quite sick. Asks Lois to write when she is going to marry Byron.

 1856-05-23 1856-05-23B 1856-05-23C 1856-05-23D

Cassvill May the 23 1856

Dear Sarah

We arived at Cassvill three weeks ago to day safe and sond and found James[1] and family the same. James looks quite natural. He is a vearry large stout man. Perty good looking. He has sandy wiskers, not quite so hevvy as Edwins[2]. His wife[3] is a verry good looking. She is bout Louesa bild, a verry little taller, verry fare blue eyes, lite chesnut brown hair. Thear children is large and fleshed for so yound as they be. The little girl[4] will be three years old the tweneth of next September and she [is] largear then your Nancy[5] and the boy[6] is one year old and he looks like a child two years old.

Edwin recommendation and pas that the Superitendent gave him past us all over raile and watter free. He thinks he can go to Roberts[7] without paying anything. He left hear the third day after we arrived hear and was a going to Roberts place and saide if he bought thear he wold rite to us in a few days and let us know all the perticulars. He had a grate ide of having James move thear if he bought and if not he was a going back to Hamelstons[8] and get Mary[9] and the houshold stuf and move out hear in this regeion of country to a place call Hastings and have James move with him but we havent heard from him cence he left. This is the resson that I delaid in riteing to you before.

Cassvill is a smoul town, quite a hamson location with scatterd housses and few good bildings in the loer end of the town, four stores, two publick houses, three groasses and som few bourding houses. It is on the Missippa river. Som of the bildings is close to the watter age. Cassvill is surrounded by mountains on south side of the river and iowa layes on the west side of the river. In some places the mountains is one hundred and thurty feet high. The hous we are aliving in is about thurty rods from the river. To morrow we expect to move in a hous that sets on the river edge. He [James] expects to stop thear tell he puts up one for themselves. He is a going to bild soon if he dont go with Edwin. James has traveled a grate deal sence he left us at Yorkvill[10]. He has ben to liverpool, round cape horn and to the east indes and to quebeck and Newyork City and broolin and a grate menny other places that is to leigus to menchen. He traveld betwen three and four years after he left home studdy. James has a unstiddy mind of his own fore ever to keep property after he earns it. He is indurstres, hard working fellow. I wish he could git with Robert in that kind of bissniss. I think he wold do better whare he cane have Roberts consol. I think he will hear [listen?] to him but I have no apinion of him going with Edwin, but still he may do well and I hope he may let him be whan he will for he has got a good kind wife and one that thinks evry thing of him and he is a good harted fellow as ever was.

Now Sarah I think I have told you all. Now dont split your sids a laughen when your reade this wen you see how I have blundert in the perticulars. James and family is well. I have a bad cold ever cence I have ben hear and a hard cough but I am som better of it now. Eugene[11] has the ague. He was verry sik yesterday. To day is his well day but he looks bad. He saide he wanted to go and see Eathen[12] and Nancy[13] but poor boy I dont know if he will ever have that oppertunity agane in his young days.

I cant tell you much about my self and and what I will do at present. I think now I will go back to Laport the first of July if the Lord spare my life. My things is thear. James and Ann wants me to stay longer if I can be contented. This place is settled mostly by dutch and a few irish and som americans and English. Rite as soon as you can. Give my respects to the old folks. My love to Luke[14] and youslef and the children, to Lous and Henry.[15] Tell Lous that she must rite to me when she and Byron[16] is a goen to git married[17] and get those verces from Miss Taylor and to put then in letter. James and Ann joins withe me in sending our love to you. No more at present but remain your afectunate Mother till death

Nancy B. Crawford

[to] Sarah C. Keith

N B give my respects to all inquirn frinds and rite evry peticulars.

N.B. Dear Sarah

The Missippa is a beatiful stream of water. It looks verry much like the river St. Clair only the water is soft and the cullar of rain water. The large boats is a runing up and down the river consinly. They engage six aday.

NBC

[1] James Crawford, Nancy’s son

[2] Edwin Crawford, Nancy’s son

[3] Ann (Rogers) Crawford

[4] Alice Crawford

[5] Nancy Keith, Nancy’s granddaughter (Sarah’s daughter)

[6] The baby’s name is unknown This was actually the second of three children born to James and Ann; name unknown. See notes below

[7] Robert Crawford, Nancy’s son

[8] Nancy is referring to the Hamiltons, Edwin’s in-laws

[9] Edwin Crawford’s wife

[10] When the family moved to Michigan from Canada, they lost contact with James, who apparently went his own way while the family was living in Yorkville, Michigan (about 1846). See 9-16-1851 letter where they are trying to find the whereabouts of James. This is apparently the first time Nancy has seen James since he left

[11] Edwin Crawford’s son by his first wife, Louisa Hall

[12] Sarah Keith’s son, Ethan Keith

[13] Nancy Keith, Sarah’s daughter

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

[15] Lois and Henry were Luke’s children by his first wife, Minerva Payson

[16] Byron Clark

[17] Lois and Byron were married March 17, 1859

Additional note added on 08-09-2015 regarding Footnote #6 above. It is possible that this was another child who died in childhood. According to this letter, James and Ann had two children: the “little girl will be three years old the tweneth of next September and she [is] largear then your Nancy and the boy is one year old and he looks like a child two years old.” If that boy was Rollin (nicknamed Rolla), he would have been born around 1855, yet according to census records, Rollin was born around 1857 or 1858. Perhaps another boy was born to James and Ann who then died before Ann did in 1858. If Rollin was born in 1857/58, then possibly Ann died from complications of the birth.

Correction added on 10-18-2015: 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.

April 15, 1856 letter to Luke Keith from David (D. C.) Crawford

April 15, 1856

To: Luke Keith

From: David Crawford, LaPorte, IN

David is updating is brother-in-law on his brief trip to LaPorte, where two of his brothers, Edwin and Henry, as well as his Mother, are currently living. Edwin is thinking about quitting his job with the railroad and going west. His Mother is planning on going to Wisconsin to visit her son, James. Henry has a 5-month-old son that David is describing to Luke. David seems to be in some kind of venture with Luke that has had a couple of false starts. David would prefer that Luke not mention this if Edwin comes to visit. David is planning on returning to Chicago shortly.

Friend Luke    Laport I           April 15th/56

I presume that you have been looking for A letter from me before. I am at Laport to day at Edwin’s.[1] I have concluded not to go on the Lakes this summer but work at my trade in Chicago for the present. I have A good situation, but if it should happen to be sickly I might not stay. I came from Chicago to Laport last Friday and intend to return to morow if I dont haft stay with Mother.[2] Let me tell you why Edwin has been talking of quiting the road and letting Mary[3] go home and he go west to buy land or look for some other buisness. He talks now of quiting Tuesday. If he does he intends to go out to Dewagiac[4] with Mary and to Galesburgh to see you & Sarah[5] if he can. If he does Mother wants me to stay with her until he gets back. She intends to start for Jameses the last of this Month or the first of next. She had a letter from James the other day. They were all well at the date he wrote. He told her that the ice would be out the Lake so that she could come after the twentieth of the Month. Henry[6] sits here in the room where I am writing. He says tell you and Sarah they have got A boy[7] that weighs fifteen pounds. A nice fine boy. I think that he is pretty good looking all except it mouth if that was contracted in A little smaller space it would look all the better. His wife[8] has been sick but is recovering rather Consumptive. I think he is working in the car Factory this summer but say nothing.

Well Luke when are you going out West. It has been very dull out here so far this spring. I have been disipointed two or three times in my calculations but will make A go of it now. I think keep cool and I will straighten that matter with you and as soon as possible. If Ed comes out there dont tell him any thing about it nor what I wrote, if you please, for he will tell enough. He is A considerable of A hand to lengthen out on A story as you propably see if he comes out there. Write soon and address Chicago. Mother sends her love to all the folks, mine ditto.

Yours as ever

David Crawford Esq

——-

[1] Edwin Crawford, David’s older brother

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford

[3] Mary (Hamilton) Crawford, Edwin’s wife

[4] Dowagiac, Michigan

[5] Sarah (Crawford) Keith, Luke’s wife

[6] Henry Clay Crawford, David’s older brother

[7] John Henry Crawford, who was born on December 6, 1855

[8] Virginia (Worley) Crawford

 

September 16, 1851 letter to Almira Nelles from Nancy & Hiram Crawford Sr.

September 16, 1851

To: Almira Nelles

From: Nancy & Hiram Crawford, Dowagiac, MI

Edwin is working on the “Engine,” Louisa is boarding at Marshall with her baby, and Sarah has a little 7-month-old boy. Robert is still in Wisconsin but she hasn’t heard from James. Said she wrote to “our folks in Canada” but hasn’t heard from them. Describes Dowagiac. Expects Sally and Louisa to visit. Asks Jane, if she receives news from California, to inquire if there is such a name as James H. Crawford there and to let them know as soon as possible.

Dowagiac September 16th 1851

Dear Niece[1] Once more I take my pen in hand to inform you that our healths is all very good eccept myself which has not been very good the last three or four weeks. I have not answered your letter as soon as you expected I should. I suppose it is beause I could not find anything to write about and because my health as I said before has not been very good. Edwin[2] is working on the Engine and Louesa[3] is boarding at Marshall [Michigan] with her baby.[4] Sally[5] has got a fine little boy[6] about 7 months old. Robbert[7] is still in Wisconsin and we had a letter from him last June. He was doing well then. We have not heard from James[8] yet. We expect Sally and Louesa out here to make us a visit and I should like to have your mother[9] or yourself or your sister[10] or both of you to come out and visit with Sally and Louesa. I have written to our folks in Canada and have not heard from them since last fall. This is a fine and thriving little Village. It is quite sick around here though. This little Village contains two taverns four dry good stores two groceries and one Drug store. It has one school house which answers for a school and meeting house to the Baptist and the Congregsionalest are fixing for to build a church a piece for them. Then there is a number of dwelling houses. There is a large grist mill going up besiges many other wonders of the grat Dowagiac City. Give my love to your mother and brothers  and sisters.

and believe to be your Affectionate Aunt

[to] Almira Nellis        Nancy B Crawford

NB Sally and Louesa will be here the last part of this month or the first of next. Jane if you recieve any news from Californ[11] let us know and if you write back to them ask them to inquire if there is any such a name as James H Crawford[12] there is let us know as soon as possible.

Your Sister

Nancy B Crawford

NB Almira answer this letter as soon as you can.

Your Aunt

Nancy B Crawford

[The following portion seems to have been written by Hiram Crawford[13]]

Dear Neice

You will excuse you aunt for not answering your letter sooner as she had nothing particular to write, but I could not put off any longer as I am anxious to hear from you all. Since I last wrote our healths have been as good as usual. We are living alone in Edwins house, his wife and child is living at Marshall and he is on an Engine running from Marshall to Detroit.

Sally has got a son 7 months old and was well when last heard from. Robert is in Wisconsin yet. We are looking for him home daily. James we have not hears from our anxiety is great about him.

We have had no news from Canada notwithstanding I have written several times. There is some sickness here prncipaley among the new comers. It is much heathier than last year. Our Village is growing fast. Some twenty or thirty buildings have gone up this season. In addition the Baptist and Congregation are each intending to erect meeting houses within a year.

Jane if you have any news from your Husband & children write. Should you write to them have them enquire for James H Crawford. Answer this letter Almira and come out one and all and see us as soon as [letter ends here, however the following paragraph was written upside down after this.]

Large subscripions have been raised for the building of two meeting houses, one by the Baptists and the other by the Congregationalists.

[1] Almira is the daughter of Nancy’s sister, Jane (Comfort) and Jacob Nelles

[2] Edwin W. Crawford, Nancy’s son, worked as an engineer for the local railroad

[3] Louisa (Hall) Crawford, Edwin’s first wife

[4] Eugene Crawford

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

[6] Ethan Keith

[7] Robert Crawford, Nancy’s son

[8] James H. Crawford, Nancy’s son

[9] Jane (Comfort) Nelles Sunderlin

[10] Almira had two sisters, both born to Jane (Comfort) Nelles Sunderlin and her second husband, Peleg Sunderlin: Jane Sunderlin (born in approximately 1840) and Louisa Sunderlin (born in 1846)

[11] Jane’s husband, Peleg Sunderlin, as well as two of her sons, Wallis Sunderlin and Henry Nelles, were apparently bitten by gold fever as they were all working as miners in Empire Canion, El Dorado, California, in 1850

[12] James may have been a sailor for a time. See description of his travels in letter dated May 23, 1856

[13] Nancy’s husband

1851-09-16 1851-09-16B 1851-09-16C 1851-09-16D