March 7, 1902 letter to Sarah Keith from Angelina Lacey

March 7, 1902

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Angelina Lacey, Flushing, MI

Her mother died April 6, 1896 at Rattlerun, St. Clair County, Michigan. An obituary was placed in the Flushing paper and the Detroit Christian Herald. Angelina’s husband had been an invalid for years. He died August 9, 1897. She wants to know if Sarah’s brother who died was the one who was so kind to her mother.

Scan of 1902-03-07 Angelina Lacey to Sarah Keith

Flushing March 7, 1902

Dear Cousin,

I was very much surprized when I got your Postal card making inquiry about my Dear Mother[1] and your Aunt. Well, she died April 6, 1896 at Rattlerun St Clair Co, Mich at my Daughter’s[2]. I got their she had been unconcious some time but came to her self and reconized me, motioned to me and pointed to her one hand that was parralized. She she new my voice and motioned to me things she wanted me to know. It was about 6 in the evening when I arrived there. She lived till the next morning, Easter morning. I got her a casket, had a sermon preached by a young man at my Daughters home from a text she had chosen herself. I brought her home with me, put her in the vault, then our minister and Friends went to the Semetry and she was buried in our family lot and we have a monument so I got a marker for her. My Husband[3] was in bed as helpless as a babe as he was for years. I had a nurse for him. I could not bring Mother to the House for fear of exciting him, but he to is no more. He died Aug 3, 97 so I am quite alone yet not alone. Alone yet not alone am I yet in the solitude to dream, I feel my Savour awlways nigh, he comes the weary hours to cheer.

I had Dear Mother obituary put in the Flushing paper[4] and also in the Detroit Christian Herald. I sent one of each to you marked but did not get an answer, intending to write you when I did. I did the same to all corresponing with Mother and the rest of our cousin. The rest answered by letter. Then I wrote the particulars but then I supposed your address that I had must be wrong and I would wate till you wrote to her but this is the first I received. You to have lost your Brother. Is it the one was so kind to my Mother?[5] Well I hope this will be satisfactory. Will be pleased to hear from you when ever it is convenient.

Your affectionate cousin

A. Lacey[6]

[1] Mary (Comfort) Wickersham, Sarah’s Aunt

[2] Alberta (Lacey) McConnell

[3] Alonzo H. Lacey

[4] From the Flushing Observer, Thursday, April 9, 1896, page 4, col. 1

The remains of Mary W. Wickershan were brought to this village Monday evening and placed in the vault until yesterday afternoon at 3 o’clock, when a short service was conducted at the grave by Rev. S. S. Clarke, and interment was made in the village cemetery. Deceased was born in Orange county, N.Y., December 14, 1804. At the time of her death, which occurred Sunday, she lived with a grand-daughter at Rattlerun. The funeral was held from her late residence Monday and the remains were brought here for burial as above stated. Mrs. Wickershan had been a member of the Baptist church for 72 years, was a devoted wife and mother, and had taken a prominent part in church work during her life. She was the mother of five children, only one of whom survive her, Mrs. A. H. Lacy, of this village. She had many friends here.

[5] Apparently this was Hiram Crawford (see July 25, 1902 letter)

[6] Angelina (Wickersham) Lacey

April 9, 1896 Obituary of Mary (Comfort) Wickersham

From the Flushing Observer, Thursday, April 9, 1896, page 4, col. 1:

Wickersham, Mary - Obituary

The remains of Mary W. Wickershan [sic] were brought to this village Monday evening and placed in the vault until yesterday afternoon at 3 o’clock, when a short service was conducted at the grave by Rev. S. S. Clarke, and interment was made in the village cemetery. Deceased was born in Orange county, N.Y., December 14, 1804. At the time of her death, which occurred Sunday[1], she lived with a grand-daughter[2] at Rattlerun[3]. The funeral was held from her late residence Monday and the remains were brought here for burial as above stated. Mrs. Wickershan had been a member of the Baptist church for 72 years, was a devoted wife[4] and mother, and had taken a prominent part in church work during her life. She was the mother of five children, only one of whom survive her, Mrs. A. H. Lacy[5], of this village. She had many friends here.

[1] April 5, 1896

[2] Alberta (Lacey) McConnell

[3] Rattlerun, Michigan

[4] She married Jesse Wickersham on May 12, 1830

[5] Angelina (Wickersham) Lacey

October 1, 1890 letter to Ethan Keith from Hannah Comfort

October 1, 1890

To: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Hannah Marie Comfort, Campden, Ontario

Ethan had sent Hannah a picture of himself, which she has been showing to a young lady who lives in Campden. “Perhaps I may succeed yet in getting a lady who will be willing to share your fortunes.” She mentions her sister Mary’s death and enquires about her Aunt Mary Wickersham’s health. Her sister Jane, who has been nearly helpless at times, is waiting for a bath and rubbing. She uses salt and water, besides dog’s grease and liniment and yet does not get cured. The doctor says she has muscular rheumatism.

1890-10-01A 1890-10-01B 1890-10-01C 1890-10-01D 1890-10-01env

Campden, Oct 1st/90

Dear Cousin Ethan

Perhaps you think it strange why I have not written sooner. I should have replied immediately after receiving yours with the photograph. But it seemed I scarcely had a minute to spare just at that time. My sister Jane[1] has been nearly helpless at times & I have had the whole care of waiting on her besides doing our housework. She is very much better now, so that she can dress her self with a little assistance. She gets up to take breakfast with me sometimes.

She did not sleep very well last not & is takeing a rest this morning, so I had to take my breakfast alone. And before she gets out, I want to write a little to you. That photo is good, it looks like you, & I thank you very much for it. I have been showing it to a young lady who lives here. Perhaps I may succeed yet in getting a lady who will be willing to share your fortunes. I wish I had one to send. It never seems to be convenient to get mine taken. We are having lovely weather. Soon it will time for the fairs & then we may expect rain. We have all been interested in a great murder trial that has been going on in Woodstock, a city west of here. You may have seen it too in the papers, on account of it I mean. A young man, a married man, murdered a young single man, both Englishmen. The trial I think is about ended & the man is condemned to be hung next month. There were both of good families, well connected in England, so the papers state. And it was all done for money it seems.[2]

Did I write you about sister Mary’s[3] death. I think I did. She died on the nineteenth of February last[4]. I hope Aunt Mary[5] is comfortable where she is. I would like to know her address. Not that I want to write to her. But I promised to try & get it of you for Cousin Alexander Patterson[6].

Jane has come out & is waiting for me to give her a bath & rubbing. She uses salt & water, besides dogs grease & linnament & yet does not get cured. The doctor says she has muscular rheumatism[7]. Besides her general health is not good. I told her she must wait until I finish this. Jane says remember her to your mother[8]. I would like to hear from Uncle Stephen[9] but he never writs to us. With my love to all the family.

Your Cousin,

H. M. Comfort[10]

When I get a photo of my own will send the first one to you.


[1] Eliza Jane Comfort, third child of Francis and Jemima (Wilcox) Comfort. Francis Comfort and Ethan’s grandmother, Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts, were brother and sister. According to Botting’s Comfort Families of America, Jane died of cancer March 13, 1892

[2] According to Wikipedia, Reginald Birchall (aka Lord Frederick A. Somerset) (25 May 1866 – 14 November 1890) was born into a situation of some privilege in Lancashire, England. He became heavily indebted and sold off his inheritance at a discount, purchasing a farm in Woodstock, Ontario. He traveled there with his new wife after an elopement, arriving in 1888. He soon fell into debt there and left again for England, where a scheme to defraud several wealthy people led him back to Canada with one of his victims. He supposedly murdered Fredrick Benwell in order to silence him. Birchall professed his innocence to the end and even wrote a long account of the affair while in prison. This memoir was published in an attempt to create an income for his wife after his death. The murder took place in Princeton, Ontario in a swamp that would later be called “Benwell Swamp” by the locals. Hunters in the area found the dead man on February 23 1890, who was apparently dressed quite well. Birchall had told authorities that Benwell had returned to England, so his story did not add up. The body was exhumed in order for Birchall to identify it. The trial of Birchall took place in Woodstock, Ontario and was a world wide media event. Birchall was sentenced on September 30 and was hanged on November 14, 1890 at Woodstock, Ontario. He was buried in the court yard of the Woodstock City Gaol, where he still remains

[3] Mary Catherine (Comfort) Haney, second child of Francis and Jemima (Wilcox) Comfort

[4] According to Botting’s Comfort Families of America, she died February 23, 1890

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

[6] This most likely is James Alexander Patterson, fourth child of Elizabeth Comfort and John Patterson. Elizabeth and Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts were sisters

[7] In the 19th century muscular rheumatism was used to refer to symptoms resembling those of fibromyalgia

[8] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[9] Stephen Comfort, Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts’ brother

[10] Hannah Marie Comfort, eighth child of Francis and Jemima (Wilcox) Comfort

September 9, 1884 letter to Sarah Keith from Mary Wickersham

September 9, 1884

To: Sarah Keith

From: Mary Wickersham, Waukegan, IL

She received Sarah’s letter of July 21 telling her of Nancy’s death. She wrote to Stephen telling him. Says her “time is next by age.”

1884-09-09 1884-09-09B 1884-09-09C 1884-09-09D

Ill, Waukegan Sept 9 /84

Sarah my dear Niece,

Your most welcome letter was duly received mailed the 21 of July. It touched my feelings very much for they where so like your own only I can realise that she is dead[1]. I can picture in my imagination her body lying in the grave mouldering to dust but it always looks light there in the night. I often when awake think of her. The same light appears in my mind because I know that Jesus laid in the tomb lighten and made it a resting place for the bodies of those who has believed in and excepted Him as their salvation. Her soul is safe with Him in whom she bleived and as He arose the third day and triumphed over Death, hell and the grave, so in the morning of the resurrection we are told in Gods word that all who sleep in Jesus untill the time when He will come to Judge the world in righteousness then will the trump of the arch Angle sound forth and awake the sleeping dust. The dead in Christ will rise first, their glorified bodies like unto their saviors in the twinkling of an eye. The Apostle sais body and soul shall unite and be caught up with the Lord in the air. So shall we ever be with him. What glorious thruths such causes light to shine on my pathway of lonelyness toil and sorrow buoys up my sinking spirits and enables me to look forward with antisipated hope of rest with Jesus and all the blood washed throng which John in his vision saw standing on the sea of glass who had come out of great tribulation having washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb. These truths I meditate on by day an night when awake or I would long since been in the insane Asylum or sleeping in the grave. These thoughts make it look so light to me when I look in your Mothers grave which often do. The darkest night it is always light. I seem to see her so plain always have since her death.

Dear Niece dont think because have been slow in answering your kind letter that it was carelessness or lack of sympathy. No far from that. I am as anxious to keep up correspondence as you and will as long as able so to do. Was sick in the spring, sick spells often, over worked some times, because of age alone. None to do a chore but myself. Last winter had nine correspondence, now have five. Will drop more. The lady who lives in part of the same house with me has been sick for nine weeks. Three weeks and half since she was taken to a friends house to be nursed. For five weeks I done her work and mine and and waited on her throug the day. Now I have the care of her house, also watering her plants with my own. It is hard for me so you can see why I have not written sooner. Br S.[2] wrote to me as he said. I answered and told him of your Mothers death. Hope you are all well as usual. Write soon. I like to hear from you. It will not be long. My time is next by age. Oh I long to rest. With much love to you all.

Yours Affectionately

M W Wickersham

[to] Sarah Keith

[1] Mary is referring to her sister, Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts, who died June 4, 1884.

[2] Brother, Stephen Comfort

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

January 10, 1881 letter to Nancy Betts from Mary Wickersham

January 10, 1881

To: Nancy Betts

From: Mary Wickersham, Waukegan, IL

Was glad to hear Nancy was better and her life spared. Most of the letter was praising Jesus. Her health has been better than it was in the fall.

1881-01-10 1881-01-10B

Ill Waukegan Jan. 10/81

My dear Sister

Your ever kind and welcome letter was received by me in propper time bringing the good news to me that you were better and when I comsidered it was your own hand wrote it I could see how mercifully the Lord had dealt with you to restore you so spedely and give you strength to write to me. I fell down on my knees before my God and gave thanks to Him for the mercies bestowed on you in sparing your life and raising you again from a bed of sickness. Let us give Him all the glory for that and all other mercies and consecrate ourselfs truly and sincerely anew the begining of this year. Our time is short here, not many years left for us if any. We may not live to see the end of this, if half of it. Let us see to it that we are ready, having our house in order, our hearts right through faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus, and our Lamps trimed and burning, watching for the call to go home to the mansions prepared for those that love Him. Oh I want to be like Jesus, transformed to His heavenly Image, having a pure heart, poor in spirit will lost in His passive in His hands as a child weaned of its mother. My health is better than it was in the fall. I applied to a Physician. She gave me prescriptons for medicine twice. Been better since with treatment for my head and throat. Weather verry cold part of the time. No snow, once an inch and half. Some sickness. Many quite sudden deaths. Week of prayer past. No additions to the churches. Mrs How sends love. My love to you dear Sister, to Sarah[1] and family. Write again.

M W Wickersham

[to] N B Betts

PS thanks for all kindness

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

January 3, 1876 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

January 3, 1876

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Mrs. Cynthia Long came with her husband at Christmas hoping to find Robert at home but he wasn’t there. She gave Edna and Kit a dollar and Lizzie a gold locket. Received a letter from David over Christmas. He never forgets her. She hasn’t heard from Hiram but expects to soon; nothing from Henry. Hiram said in his last letter that Henry talks of visiting her but she feels that it is all talk with him. She doesn’t expect to see any of her children again unless they come and visit. She has no money to travel and visit any of her children. She would like her children to provide enough money for one visit.

1876-01-03 1876-01-03B

Omro Jan the 3, 1876

My dear daughter

I sit down with pen in hand to adress a few lines to you hoping they will find you all in good heath. My health has not ben very good for som time but am fealing better for a week past. I feal to bless God for his grate merces to us all as a famly. We have ben spaird to see a nother New year while menny for the past year have ben call to try the reality of eternty and we are yet spard to seek God and live to his Honor and glory and O may the Lord Jesus help us do it and prepare us for that upper and better kingdom whare we may see his face without a glimmering vail between.

Mrs Cyntha Long[1] came here with her husband[2] a Chrismas hoping to find Robert[3] at home but he wont be home till next week. They was som dispointed. She gave each Edna[4] and Kit[5] a dollor and Leizy[6] a gold locket. The two oldest girls whent home with her. They expect Kit home this week to go to school but Et is a gone to stop with them awhile. Her uncel told her if she would stop with them two or three months and take music lessons he would pay half of the expences. Louse[7] and the two children is well. I havent heard from Prosper[8] in one week. They whare well then. He couldent be from home this winter very well. He got a chance with another man to furnish the railroad with three hurndred cords of wood so now he can stay with his famly and I am glad of it. I received a letter from David[9] a Chrismas. He never forgits his Mother. They where all well with the exception of bad colds. I havent heard from Hiram[10] yet but expect to soon. None from Henry[11]. Hiram said in his last letter about the time Kit[12] left your place she maid Jenne[13] a visit that Henry talk of making me a viset but it is all talk with him. I dont expect to see any of you a gain with out you come come and see me for I have no means to go and viset any of my children. I think som times that you mite be help with monny knoff to make me one viset. Dident you say that Mr. Wats is ded? How is William? Does Peter Jonson live with his wife? Who preaches in the Baptest Church? We have a splended minster. Has ben preaching for us for one year. I dont know as we can keep any longer. If the church can rais the salary we will keep him another year. This is the week of prayer but I cant a tend the meeting because it is to fare for me to walk after night. We had a hard rain last week thunder and lighten. The snow has left us and we arr in the mud. It is a very plesent day. The sun shines warm. Lousea and Syntha had a plesent viset with thear folks[14]. You remember little Hatta has two boys and a pare of twins.[*] Tell Jemme[15] to write to me then I will answer it. I took Auges flower some time before. It seam to help. It has help me but it will never cure me. Except my love to you all. From your Mother.

N B Betts

I have the palpatation of the heart som times very bad. I have ben takeon Dr. Fitch heart corrector.


I received letter Sister Mary[16]. She is at Waukegan with Sis Jane[17] rents her hous and is a living with Marget How[18] the girl that lernt the trade of her and poor Mary hasent no home nor cant get work to do because thear is more woman than work. I feal sorry for her. Febe Cathrine dide last march[19] going out there it through her out of her place of work sence she has no home. Write soon.

N B Betts

Write soon. Write all bout the old folks in Gales burg. Give my love to Mrs Birget and all of old friends.



[1] Cynthia (McCann) Long, Louisa (McCann) Crawford’s sister

[2] Leonard Long

[3] Robert Crawford, Nancy’s son

[4] Edna Crawford, Robert’s daughter

[5] Katherine Sarah Crawford, Robert’s daughter

[6] Melissa Crawford, Robert’s daughter

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

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

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

[10] Hiram Crawford Jr., Nancy’s son

[11] Henry Clay Crawford, Nancy’s son

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

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

[14] “The folks” most likely refers to Cynthia’s and Louisa’s families

[*] Louisa and Cynthia’s sister was Harriet. She married George Knight and they had sons, Calvin and Herbert, and twin girls, Bertha and Stella

[15] Sarah’s son, James Keith

[16] Mary (Comfort) Wickersham

[17] Jane (Comfort) Nelles Sunderlin

[18] The 1880 Census shows Orrin & Margaret Howe listed at 117 Utica Street, Waukegan, Illinois, which is the same address listed for Mary, however in separate households

[19] Mary’s daughter, Phebe Catherine (Wickersham) O’Connor, who died March 17, 1875

January 5, 1872 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

January 5, 1872

To:  Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Nancy has not been feeling well lately, but appreciates the kindness of her landlord as well as her son Robert and his wife. She describes an unpleasant visit with Henry and Virginia. She talks about her sisters, Jane & Mary; Mary Crawford, who is planning a trip; and Prosper, who has just purchased a team of horses from his father-in-law for $300.

Scan of 1872-01-05 Nancy Betts to Sarah Keith

Omro  January 5th, 1872

Dear daughter Sarah,

I take my pen in hand to write a few lines to you. I should have written sooner but I thought I would wait till after there[1] visit to your place. My health is quite poor at present. I havent ben very well since I came home. I am troble with the palpatation of the hart and dyspepsin[2] with it. I have no appatite to eat. I am now taking the vinegar bitters. I think I am fealing som better than I did and I hope they will help me so I can get my health again. Since I have ben so un well I have thought of you a grate deal. I thought if I could live with you or near you so you could take care of me when I am sick. I havent sufferd for the want care but it would be difernt have you with me. The old lady that I am a living with is very kind to me. Robert[3] and wife is kind. I am writeing with trimling hand. I hope if Henry[4] and Jenne[5] has ben to see you you have injoyd there visit. I was tretted well knoff by them only Jenne was not very sosabel. I had no chance to talk to Henry. He would come in eat his meals and then soon she would start from the tabel and then he would follow her till the next meal. One day I thought I would hed him out when he was a feeding the hogs and so I did and how mad she was. She call to him and he dident go and she diden speak to him that afternoon. She would not eat no supper and she went out doors and staid to the barn till he went out to where she was and staid som time coax her to come in and took the horse and buggy and whent out a rideing and next morning she peard a littel more social. O dear Sarah it was no viset for me. I never want to go again. You dont know how miserbel I felt while I staid there. Hiram[6] came there to tell me that I could not see Kate[7] nor Harry[8]. He and Henry said I had not better stop to Marshal if I dident go he would go with me to the next station so I whent on to Sister Janes[9] and found her well. Her sone Wallos Sunderland wife and three children was there and they have ben there for five months and they have looing for him. He has sent them monny and have promes to come but dont come. We whent to Sister Mary[10] in the afternoon. I staid with her that night. I feal sorra for Mary she is not very well and hast to sow for a living. Her daughter Kate husband[11] is well of but they are a bording but she sends her somethings but she mite send her more than she does but he is a Catholic. That makes the diferance. Mary Crawford[12] was packing up to start her journy but I dont know anything more about her. When you received this write soon and wite all of the perticulors. Prosper[13] bought a span of horses of his Father in law[14] and is to pay three hundred dollors when he can ern it. She is living with her folks. He bords her as pays them. They expect to have adition to there famly the first of April[15]. She went with him to where he was to work the two weeks ago. I havent space to write. How are Luke[16] gitting long with his farm afairs? Dous Ethen[17] do anything with couplin[18]?  From you mothe my love to you all.

[to] Sarah Keith

Nancy Betts

[The following was written on the first page above the date.] Write soon. Tell all about Ethen and the girls[19] and Sis[20] and Jimme[21]. My love to them all and Luke and your self. Your Mother


[1] Nancy seems to be referring to a visit by Henry and Virginia Crawford

[2] Indigestion

[3] Robert Crawford, Nancy Betts’ son

[4] Henry Clay Crawford, Nancy Betts’ son

[5] Virginia (Worley) Crawford, Nancy Betts’ daughter-in-law (Henry’s wife)

[6] Hiram Crawford Jr., Nancy Betts’ son

[7] Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford, Nancy Betts’ daughter-in-law (Hiram’s wife)

[8] Harry A. Crawford, Nancy Betts’ grandson (Hiram & Kate’s son)

[9] Jane (Comfort) Nelles Sunderlin

[10] Mary (Comfort) Wickersham

[11] Felix H. O’Connor

[12] Believed to be her son Edwin Crawford’s widow

[13] Lucius Prosper Crawford, Nancy Betts’ son

[14] Joseph Steele

[15] Leo Ashton Crawford was born to Pros and Isabella (Steele) Crawford on April 16, 1872

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

[17] Ethan B. Keith, Luke and Sarah’s son

[18] Ethan was an inventor and had several patents related to coupling jacks. Perhaps this is some reference to that

[19] Luke and Sarah’s daughters, Nancy Keith and Hannah Keith

[20] Luke and Sarah’s youngest daughter, Louese Keith

[21] Luke and Sarah’s youngest son, James C. Keith

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. 

Scan of 1867-10-28 Nancy Comfort to Nancy Betts

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

July 19, 1867 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

July 19, 1867

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Robert and family are well. Pros came home for a few days then went back to the boom. Heard from her sister Mary. She is living in Beamsville. Robert and Willie Crawford went to the boom; saw Pros.

Scan of 1867-07-19 Nancy Betts to Sarah Keith

Omro   July 19th 1867

Dear Sarah,

I received your kind letter a short time ago. I was glad to hear from you but fell bad to hear that you had ben sick and Luke[1] having a nother bad spell. I hope you both will git your healths gain. When you received this write soon and let me know how you all are a getting a long for I am anxous to hear from you. Robert[2] and famly are all well. He came home a Satterday and whent back a monday. Prosper[3] came home two weekes a go and staid few days and has gon back to the boom[4]. He dont work for Robert, he works for Mr Drake this summer. He thought he would not be home in four weekes again. I would wrote your sooner but I had not anything in perticular to write. I have jest finished quilting that quilt that I peast out of mothers curtens. It looks nice. Evryone that see it sais it is a hansom quilt. I received a letter last eveing from David[5]. He is well. He sais nothing about coming home. He complains of his folks of not writing to him, only me. I wish you or Luke would write to him soon. I heard from your Aunt Mary[6] by the way of one of her friends in Oshkosh. She is living living at Beamsvill[7], a sewing with a taylor. She was well then. I wrote to her last weeke. Davids bissness is not setteld yet. He sais it may take a good share of his property or he will make a grate sacrafice. He sais if he can have good health he will not be discourage. He sais he has learnt a good lesson. He has ben very bissy a getting his bissness in good shape a gain. My health is quite good at present. When Prosper came home he was quite un well. I was afrade he would have a run of the fever. He whent back a fealing better. Wille Crawford[8] whent up to the boom with his Father and Prosper came to theare camp while he was thear. He said Pros was well. Lumber is so low they cant sell them only at a very low rate. That is our famlys luck. Is James Holding better so he can tend to his bissness? Is Mrs Buding home againe? Is she better? Is Mrs Persivill a live yet? Have you ben to see her? Tell me how the Baptest Church prospers. Write soon. I was in hops you would move to green bay[9]. What put Luke in the noshen of going to that new country when he is not abel to work. O I cant have it som that you and your famly to go a way whear I never can see you a gain. Lousia[10] and I was a talking about you a moveing to green bay. Then we would go and see you. O dont go away Sarah till you come and make me a viset and Luke to if he can. I want to see you all very much. I wanto see all of the children and Sis and Jimme[11] very much. Crops looks well hear and they say all through this region of country gardens is a doing well. Peas and beans and young potatoes and beerys. I must close for the present. My love to you all from your Mother.

Nancy B Betts

[to] Sarah Keith

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

[2] Robert Crawford, Nancy’s son

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

[4] There were as many as five companies running logs down the Wolf River in Wisconsin which were then sorted at Bay Boom and sent to saw mills in Oshkosh

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

[6] Nancy’s sister, Mary (Comfort) Wickersham

[7] Beamsville, Ontario, where Nancy and her husband Hiram Crawford lived when they were first married in 1820

[8] Robert Crawford’s son and Nancy’s grandson.

[9] Green Bay, Wisconsin

[10] Robert Crawford’s wife and Nancy’s daughter-in-law

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

Previous Older Entries