November 13, 1878 letter to Nancy Brown from Edna Crawford

November 13, 1878

To:  Nancy Brown

From: Edna Crawford, Omro, WI

Edna is home cooking and caring for her mother, whose health is very poor. Louisa is suffering from sores on her foot and has not walked for five weeks.


Omro Nov. 13 1878

Dear Cousin N[1]

Your nice long letter was recd & must tell you it was quite a surprise party to me to get your letter for I had given up all hope of ever hearing from you. Thought you had gone back on your Wis. cousin. Oh N I am so mad to think that fellow had to wait until I had gone before coming but then he come under my wish bone so of course it will be allright. In time he will go back on his other girl or she on him.

Well I am home again & it don’t seem possible that six or seven weeks ago I was away out in Mich. or Ind.[2] I have written Lou[3] since I come home but have not heard from her yet but I know her failing so shan’t look for a letter until she get ready to write. I almost fell in love with her. She has a very pleasant house to live in. It is so nice to live with our aunts & uncles.[4] They are so thoughtful & generous to their neices especially Chicago ones.

Mother[5] is very poorly. Her foot has the worst sore I ever saw. She has not walked for five weeks or steped on her foot. Father[6] is not at home now. Will be gone three or four weeks. Will[7] goes away next week. Kit[8] is going up north on a visit to ma’s sisters & they have elected me chief cook. Don’t you pity me?

Well how is Grandma?[9] All settled I supose presume.[10] I suppose her granddaughter Hannah[11] stays with her most of the time. You know she was so lonesome without her when she was away to Chicago.

Mr Allen[12] my cousin — I didn’t see him but half a day. They came Monday night at ______ oclock & he went away the next afternoon. He got a nice carriage in the forenoon & took us all around the city. I think he & Edna[13] make a very good couple. They both think a great deal of themselves.

I have had one letter from uncle D.C.[14] since they got home. They were all well when he wrote. As to the pictures the neg have been taken to Chicago but we are going to send for some as soon as we can get the artist address.

How is Jim[15]? Is he at home now? Are you going to stay at home this winter?

Now don’t so long before writing again & make up your mind to come & see us as soon as possible. Yes Mr ____ was knew me too well I guess. Love to all the folks. Write soon.

Your Cousin



[1] Nancy (Keith) Brown

[2] According to September entries in Luke Keith’s 1878 diary, several family members visited them before continuing on to the wedding of Edna Alice Crawford to Oscar M. Allen, Jr. in Dowagiac Michigan on September 25th. It appears that Luke’s family, as well as Edna, did not go, but on September 28th, Edna left for Dowagiac. Since their Uncle Henry Clay Crawford’s family lived in South Bend, Indiana, it is presumed that Edna made them a visit before returning to her home in Omro, Wisconsin

[3] Louese Keith, Nancy’s sister

[4] Louese was living with their uncle and aunt, Hiram & Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford, Jr., while attending school in Chicago

[5] Louisa (McCann) Crawford

[6] Robert Crawford

[7] William Crawford, Edna’s brother

[8] Edna’s younger sister, Katherine Crawford

[9] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[10] Since May of 1876 Nancy Betts had been living with her daughter and son-in-law, Sarah & Luke Keith. According to a letter from Sarah’s brother, Hiram Crawford, Jr., she was “so lonesome and not having any church privalegs and that she was so happy while living by herself, that we agreed to let her try and get her a room in the Burg and try it this winter.” Luke Keith’s 11-2-1878 diary entry shows that she moved into John Freer’s home in Galesburg. The June 1880 census shows her in the household of Amelia Davis. A December 12, 1880 letter from Hiram notes that her mental health is failing and by January of 1881 she was again living with Luke & Sarah

[11] Hannah Keith, Nancy’s sister

[12] Oscar Allen Jr., the husband of their cousin, Edna Alice Crawford

[13] Their cousin, Edna Alice (Crawford) Allen, who was the daughter of the late Edwin and Mary (Hamilton) Crawford

[14] David Caleb (D.C.) Crawford

[15] James Keith, Nancy’s brother

[16] Edna Irene Crawford

October 27, 1878 letter to Sarah Keith from D.C. Crawford

October 27, 1878

To:  Sarah Keith

From: D.C. Crawford, Denver, CO

They arrived home safely on Saturday. While in Chicago D.C. met with Hiram and Prosper to discuss Mother and the difficulties in managing her care. He would like Sarah to destroy the letter after it is read, because he would not wish to have Mother see it.

PS do not read before Mother if there. D.C.C.

D.C. Crawford

State of Colorado

Auditor’s Office

Denver, October 27, 1878

Dear Sister,

We arrived home on Saturday all safe. Had a pleasant trip home and thinking over our visit we came to the conclusion that we had a very pleasant time and feel to thank you all for your effort to make our stay pleasant. Amanda[1] joins me in the hope that we may be permitted to visit you at some future time and hope it may be next year. We had a pleasant time @ Mary Henry’s in Chicago. We had a nice time. I could have been very much interested. Its a big city and I could live there very well if I had money enough. As to our Dear Mother[2] she at the last felt very bad of course. We felt very bad to leave her. Mother is to be pitied. And yet she is certainly very difficult to manage. We had a talk, Hiram[3] Prosper[4] & myself at Hirams. Found her very obstinate still am inclined that after she gets at home again and finds things more pleasant will be better contented. I believe now we have had several talks that she will be more quiet. I feel that she feels terribly because she cannot attend church. If some of you would go to church with her once in a while that would help to make her better contented. I enclose five (5) dollars for you to invest in Wood. She complains that if the room was fixed and a stove put in she would have no would to burn and be obliged to go to the kitchen to keep warm. I promised Hiram I would send you five (5) dollars and request that you have Luke[5] go to the Burg[6] and get her a load of nice stove wood all cut up or if he cannot, get Mr. Brown[7] or some one that can and have it piled up at her door so that she will not have that to complain of and when that is gone we will get more. I hope that you will be able through the efforts of Luke and Ethen[8] to have the room completed just as soon as possible as she is getting so uneasy again that she may start home at anytime. I hope she will not until you get ready for her. Hiram or Prosper cannot make her comfortable and she knew it before she went there still I think she was of the opinion that she would remain this winter. I think she has decided to the contrary. I received Ethen letter and will give it some attention soon as I get over my hurry. We all join in much love and good wishes to you all. Please destroy this letter as I would not like for Mother to see it.

As ever your Bro.

D.C. Crawford

Write soon as convenient


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

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] Hiram Crawford Jr., their brother

[4] Lucius Prosper Crawford, their brother

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

[6] Galesburg, Michigan,

[7] Ambrose Brown, the father of Henry Brown, Sarah’s son-in-law, who lived near Sarah and Luke

[8] Ethan Keith, Sarah’s son

September 30, 1878 letter to Hannah Keith from Edna Crawford

September 30, 1878

To:  Hannah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Edna Crawford, Dowagiac, MI

Edna recounts a conversation she had with her grandmother regarding a general review of Omro and its inhabitants, Hannah, Aunt Jenny, the room and lastly her cousin Edna’s wedding. They had a very quiet wedding, with only Uncle D.C., Aunt Amanda & Grandma attending. Uncle Henry and wife did not come. Emmett is in the asylum and has been since the 13th of August.

1878-09-30 1878-09-30B 1878-09-30C 1878-09-30D 1878-09-30env 1878-09-30envB

Dowagaic, Sept 30, 1878

Dear Cousin

I promised you I would write yesterday but Grandma[1] was entertaining me so you know how much time I had to myself. We have had a general review of the Omro subject & inhabitants. Hannah, Aunt Jennie[2], the room and lastly Edna’s[3] wedding, how she talked pretty freely to the bridegroom but then she told him she was his grandmother &c but then you know how it is yourself. Well I landed all right in Dowagaic[4] Saturday afternoon & was met at Depot by my aunties namely Mary[5] & Amanda[6] & of course I soon made inquires conserning my cousins[7] & found they had gone to Detroit on their wedding tour but they would be home Monday. That is today, so I shall have a chance to show my good clothes after all.

They had a very quiet wedding, no one here except Uncle D.C.[8] Aunt Amanda & Grandma. Uncle Henry[9] & wife did not come. As near as I can find out the wedding was very much hurried because there was another fellow after Edna & Mr Allen was going off & didn’t like to leave her to the tender mercies of her mother & the other fellow. She did not have her wedding dress done, so was married in a brown silk that she had & wore her navy blue silk for a traveling dress. Aunt Mary seems quite reconciled to the match now.

Emmett[10] is in the asylum & has been since the 13 of Aug. Uncle D.C. has not started for Colorado yet. That is all we know. Aunt A. had a telegram from him. Edna did not have any presents.

Everything is very quiet here now but I expect we will have a grand time before we leave. I see Grandma is fixing for it. She was up before daylight out making calls & I know she got snubbed somewhere for she has been crosser than an old bear all the morning.

Things don’t quite come up to my expectations but thats not to be wondered at. Any one that has been used to everything so much nicer, of course it would be hard to come down to common living.

Hannah if you & I had of come to the wedding, & worn our common clothes, I dont believe the bride would have felt out of place at all but then I dont feel bad because we didn’t come. Tell Henry[11] Aunt Amanda wants him to keep the first negative he took of her. They are well pleased with the pictures.

If you can read this you will do better than I can. Please burn this for if anyone should see it they might take me at what I have said not what I mean.

Grandma is paddling up stairs to see who I have been writing to, so I must close. Love to all. Write soon.

Your cousin


[Written on the back of the envelope]:                                              

Rec’d Oct 2nd 1878

From Edna Crawford

Omro, Wisconsin



[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

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

[3] Edna Crawford, the daughter of Mary and Edwin Crawford

[4] Dowagiac, Michigan

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

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

[7] Edna Alice Crawford and Oscar Allen Jr. were married in Dowagiac on September 25, 1878

[8] David Caleb (D.C.) Crawford

[9] Henry Clay Crawford

[10] Edna’s brother, Emmett Patrick Crawford

[11] Henry Brown, Nancy (Keith) Brown’s husband and Hannah’s brother-in-law

[12] Edna Crawford, daughter of Robert and Louisa (McCann) Crawford

May 25, 1877 letter to Sarah Keith from P. T. Johns

May 25, 1877

To: Sarah Keith

From: P. T. Johns, Kalamazoo, MI

Between the handwriting and the poor spelling, it was hard to transcribe this letter, but it appears that Sarah had written to Mr./Dr. Johns to obtain some relief for her mother’s health problems.

1877-05-25 1877-05-25B 1877-05-25C


May 25 77

Mrs S.C.K.

Yours of 21 is before me contents noted, Requsting a dignoces of your mothers[1] case. I require lock of Hair one or more of the leading cimptoms _______ and _____ go to exam but will do the best I can under the circstances.

As it shows its self to me thare is goodeal of _____ _____ Deseas of lim and stomach _____ Bad with tendency to Poralacis considerable catarahol affects with Pluretic affects Blood in Bad state considerable iritation of throat and Trachoteal inflamation Kidneys and urinary organs are considerable beset with General debility and _____ bad feelings in _______ small of Back thigh left-side and head & regin of Blade with Rhematism Pains all through the _____ restless nights besides torpid urine high _____ and coldness of extremities which arose from the lim and stomach and kidneys.

If so can help her. Will cost $.8.00 for_____________________________________________ or $5.00 for one will take me two or three months to restor here to eny permency of helth.

Respectfully Yrs

P. T. Jones Jr

P.S. I will go to B.C.[2] Saturdy and remen to next weak Thursday so if you want to send do so _____ or else send to Battle Creek untill next thursdy weak the 5 of June I return to ______  iIremen untill the 9 and the return here as I have settled here.


[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Battle Creek, Michigan

January 19, 1877 letter to Sarah Keith and Nancy Betts from Henry Crawford

January 19, 1877

To:  Sarah Keith & Nancy Betts, Galesburg, MI

From: Henry Crawford, South Bend, IN

Henry is sending a brief note along with $2.50. The shop reopened on the 2nd, but it was so cold during the first week that not much was done. The children have not been well. Henry hopes to visit his mother in the spring.

1877-01-19 1877-01-19B 1877-01-19env

South Bend, Ind.     Jan 19 1877

Sister & Mother

You will pleas except a few lines written with my thumless hand. I cant write with my pen as yet but I guess you can read this for it wont be very long. Every thing is about the same with us as when I was with you. The children are not well. The factory started up the 2d of this month. It was so cold the first week that we did not do much but I have order for thre hundred set wheels per week & more if I can mak them. Mother as soon as spring comes I am going to send for you & as long as you feel like staying we will mak it pleasant for you.


You will find two ___

Our love to all


October 1, 1876 letter to Sarah Keith from Robert Crawford

October 1, 1876

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Robert Crawford, Omro, WI

Robert writes that Louisa is getting her strength again but her lungs are still quite weak. His daughter, Lulu, is growing. Robert hopes that Mother is contented now that she is living with Hiram in Chicago but he is afraid that Hiram’s wife, Kate, and Mother will have difficulty getting along. He feels that it is likely that Mother will move to Omro in the spring. If she does Robert will do his best for her but he feels that she will not be contented.

 1876-10-01 1876-10-01B

Omro Oct 1, 1876

Dear Sister

I received your very welcome letter last week and was pleased to hear from you again. We are all quite well at present. Louisa[1] is getting her strength again but her lungs are quite weak. Baby[2] is growing finely. I suppose that Mother[3] is contented now as she is living with Hiram[4] in Chicago but I am afraid the Devil will be to pay before another spring for I dont think that Kate[5] and Mother will agree that long but they may. I hope so for Mother is so discontented. How long did Mother stay with you Sarah? Are you sufficiently paid? Write me particulars as Mother has been writing to me to send money to her now as she was living with Hiram. I will send you $2.00 Sarah for I believe it is your due and more if it is necessary. It is very dull here and I have been out of work a month nearly. Expect to go in the Pinery this winter if I get a chance. I know you have a struggle to get along Sarah and I mean to do all that I can and I had hoped that Mother would have been contented to have stayed with you. We would have known just what to do. It is very likely that Mother will come here in the spring. If she does we will do the best we can for her but she would not be contented.

Well Sarah I will close now by wishing you all well and our love and regards to you and your family.

Write as soon as you receive and oblige.

Your affectionate Bro

R Crawford


[1] Robert’s wife, Louisa (McCann) Crawford. The 1880 census indicated that she was suffering from consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis).  She died in 1883 at the age of 46

[2] Robert and Louisa’s daughter, Lulu, who was born July 22, 1876

[3] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[4] Robert’s brother, Hiram Crawford Jr.

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

September 7, 1876 letter to Sarah & Luke Keith from Henry Brown

September 7, 1876

To:  Sarah & Luke Keith 

From: Henry Brown, Lawton, MI

Hank describes his plans for Chicago and his new job as a conductor on the street cars. He seems to be somewhat bittersweet about this move, but is hoping that the change will provide happiness for his family, although he is not sure. He also gives Luke his recipe for varnish.

1876-09-07A 1876-09-07B

Lawton Mich

Sept. 7/76

Dear ones at home

Nancy[1] and Hannah[2] are abed and Claude[3] is asleep so I will try and write a few lines. We received two letters from Ma[4] to day. Sorry to hear that Eugene[5] is sick. Guess Aunt Kate[6] will think her trouble is not at an end if Eugene is taken there and Grandma[7] stayes there too. I expect to start for Chicago next Wednesday morning. Did calculate to go Monday but cant on account of weather being so cloudy. I am going on the street cars as conductor and if I can get a job at Photographing I will take it or any thing else that will pay better than it (railing) does. I shall moove out there if I can rent rooms to suit us for $10 or $12 per month and I think we can at leaste. I could when I was there before and if we can do that we can do better than to stay here and do twice as much work as we have for the last 2 years or more and it is getting worse and worse every day. We talk some of takeing boarders. If we do Hannah will go with us if she wants to and if we dont do that and she wants to go and sew she can do so and I think it would pay her. But dont make any calculations on what we are going to do as we cant tell until after I get there and see what is what.

Now I will tell Pa[8] what that Varnish is made of before I foget it. “Alcohol 5 oz White” Shelac 1 oz Sandarac l/4 oz. Dissolve Shelac in Alcolol. Then filter and add Sandarac. Filter again and you have a varnish that will varnish any thing. If you neglect to filter it you will not find it very good!!

Friday morning five o’clock. I am up got a fire built and called the girls now I will try and finish this letter. I am packing the things at the Gallery and shall moove them down here and then if we go to Chicago I shall have to store them some where. Maybe I will send them home if you can find a place to put them. It is not very pleasant to think about but thank God there will be a change in about 50 years with us and that change will probly come a great deal sooner with you than us. I hope in the next world we can have some of the sweets as well as the bitter but dont suppose we will. I dont care a darn for myself but those that are counting on me is the ones I pity. I would gladly work myself to death if it would or could possibly make others happy. Well I guess I have went it about long enough so will close hopeing that this will find you as well as it leaves us. We are all as well as usual. Nancy & Hannah will probly be home about middle of October.


Henry Brown


[1] Henry’s wife, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[2] Nancy’s sister, Hannah Keith

[3] Henry and Nancy’s son, Claude Brown

[4] Nancy’s mother, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[5] Nancy’s cousin, Eugene Crawford. Eugene was the son of Edwin Crawford, Nancy’s uncle

[6] Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford, wife of Nancy’s uncle Hiram Crawford Jr.

[7] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[8] Nancy’s father, Charles Luke Keith Jr.

September 3, 1876 letter to Sarah & Luke Keith from Nancy & Henry Brown

September 3, 1876

To:  Sarah & Luke Keith

From: Nancy & Henry Brown, Lawton, MI

Hank and Nancy have been struggling to make ends meet and have decided to move to Chicago where Hank will be able to find work. They have sold their cow and are thinking about selling their pig. They are currently $30 in debt. Hank believes that he will be able to double his income living in Chicago.

1876-09-03 1876-09-03B

Lawton, Michigan

September 3rd 1876

Dear ones at home

How do you all do to day. Claude[1] is not very well. His teeth are bothering him some. The rest are well as usual.

Grandma[2] left here yesterday for Dowagiac. She was feeling quite smart. Hank[3] goes to Chicago a week from tomorow morning. Grandma is going to wait and go with him. We hate to have him go awful bad and he dreads to go just as bad but cant do any better. He did not hear from that other man and we had got to do something and that was all the way we see opened for him. We will stay here a spell and if Hannah[4] dont have much to do we will fix things a little and come home and make a visit. I expect we will be lonesome and home sick and Claude will miss him to. Hank is going to work in the gallery till Wednesday night then move the things down here so that will stop a dollor a weeks rent. If we did not owe any thing we could stay here but it takes all we can earn to live and a little more and we owe abut thirty dollars here and you know that must be paid. Hank sold the cow. Could not get but $35.00 for her. We dont know how to get along without her _________ is going to sell the pig. I tell him it seemed as if we had just got to living with plenty of room in doors and out and a cow and a pig and now we must break up but I suppose it is all for the best. If we all keep well we ought not to grumble. He has bought him the cloth for two shirts. Will send you a piece. Paid $1.25 per yard. It takes a little over three yds. He thought they would be warmer that his white ones and he can save the price of them in washing in a little while.[5]

Monday morning

I will try and write a little this morning. We are well as usual. The girls have got most done washing. I have commenced tearing up this morning. I am going to pack up the most of the things in the gallery. I dont take in on an average over 4.00 per week here and I shall have $7.50 per week left after paying my board & washing in Chicago so I calculate that I will do at least twice as well to go there and maybe I can strike something better but dont expect it. Well I must close as I am in a hurry this morning so good by.

Henry Brown

[1] Nancy’s son, Claude Brown

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] Nancy’s husband, Henry Brown

[4] Nancy’s sister, Hannah Keith

[5] Unsigned, but it is Nancy (Keith) Brown’s handwriting

August 14, 1876 letter to Sarah Keith from Louese Keith

August 14, 1876

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Louese Keith, Chicago, IL

Louese is writing her mother, Sarah Keith, and describing her adventures over the previous four weeks which have included trips to Graceland Cemetery, Lincoln Park, a visit to the city water works and a nearby Catholic church, a tour of the tunnel under the Chicago River and an ice cream festival at the church (which she got into for free).

Chicago  Aug 14th 1876

Mrs Sarah Keith

Dear Ma

Tuesday evening. You see by this that I commenced this last night but I was so sleepy that I have put it off until now so will try my luck at it. Now I will tell you where I have been since I wrote to you last. Four weeks ago last Saturday Aunt Kate,[1] the children[2] and I went out to Graceland Cemetery. We took a City limits car[3] and rode down to the dummy (that is a car run by an engine) and that took us to Graceland. I can not tell any thing about. They have Sofas, chairs and marble dogs on every lot mostly to have it look as near like a home as possible. When we enter the grounds we go through kind of a church and every time a funeral possession passes through the bell tolls. I dont know how they afford to die in that little country town (Galesburg)  after all if it is so little I would not mind it if I could get off from the train when it stops there to morrow but dont expect to very soon. I see that I have run on further that I expect so will go back. After we left Graceland we went on came back and went over on the South side got home at six. The next Monday Jessie and I went to Lincoln Park. We saw Gene.[4] He wanted us to get on his car but he had got to run up to the limits and it was so late then that we would not have time so we came home about 7 Oclock. That week a Saturday we went down to the water works, went to the top of the tower. We could see all over the City. It was splendid. I counted over 300 steps. All the water that is used in the City has to go clear to the top of this tower. It is forced by 4 of the largest and nicest engines in the world. If Ethan[5] could see them he would not have any dyspepsia or any thing else. They shine just like silver and gold. The steam is all in the basement so that it does not touch the engines. When we came back we stopped in a catholic church. It was just magnificent. The alter was marble and gold but I can not tell any thing about it with a pen. The next week Tuesday Aunt Kate, Jessie and I went down and took a Cly borne avenue car and went down to the bridge, got off and went through the tunnel on the South side. We went down two short flights of stairs to get in to the tunnel. There is about 3 ft of earth between the tunnel and river. We could hear the boats going over us. You better believe I was glad to get out. Then we took a car and went on to the west side. When we had went about 12 miles we got a dish of Ice cream and came home. The next Thursday I went to an Ice cream festival at the church. The fee was __5 cts but Mrs Smith the door tender let me in for nothing. Mrs Hollis treated me. Her husband is Superintendent of the Sunday school. We are going to have a picnic next week. I am going. We are going to take the street cars and go some where. We are in for a good time. Write soon.


Grandma[6] Mr Brown wants to know how you get along. We would like to see you out here first rate.

Aunt Alfleda[7] how do you stand this warm weather.


[1] Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford

[2] Kate’s children, Harry and Jessie Crawford

[3] Streetcar or trolley

[4] Eugene Crawford, Louese’s cousin

[5] Her brother, Ethan Keith

[6] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[7] Alfleda (Starr) Keith, the widow of Luke’s brother Harvey Keith; Alfleda was living with Luke & Sarah Keith

June 27, 1876 letter to Luke & Sarah Keith from Louese Keith

June 27, 1876

To: Luke & Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Louese Keith, Chicago, IL

Louese is writing her parents about an accident three weeks earlier in which she was burned by heated dish water as it was being hoisted from the basement in the home of Kate & Hiram Crawford, her aunt and uncle. She had not placed the pail properly on the hoist and it tipped over when it hit the ceiling as she was raising it. Although her face was burned, Aunt Kate treated the burns and now three weeks later there is little evidence of the accident. Uncle Hiram decided to redesign the hoist so that it can be raised from above to avoid future injury.

Dont read this before Grandma.[1]

Chicago June 27th 1876

Mr & Mrs. C. L. Keith

How is Aunt Alfleda[2] and Grandma,

Dear Pa and Ma

I recieved your letters a week ago yesterday and expected to have answered them before but have put it off until now. Aunt Kate and Uncle Hi[3] have gone out this evening, Jessie and Harry[4] have just gone to bed and as it is not very late I thought it would be a good chance to write. The weather has been fearful warm until to day which has been a little cooler. Aunt Kate and Mrs Squires went into the Country to Mr Marwoods to day to pick cherries. They got back about five Oclock and got a few cherries. I suppose Nancy[5] has written about me getting burned. It was a pretty narrow escape and if you have not heard I will tell you. It was three weeks ago this morning I went down in the basement to get the dish water before I went to school. I put it on the dummy[6] but did not set the pan on far enough so that when it went up it hit the floor and the water came down on me. I was very near to the front gate before I knew any thing and how I got out of the basement is more than I know but I run up stairs to Aunt Kate and she put some Cosmoline[7] on my face right away and covered it with batting and if I know my self it burned for the next two hours like fun.[8] My face was burned to a blister and it broke four times and the hair has come out on that the left side considerable but it is all well now and it left no scar but as Uncle Hi says a good rich color. No one would know that I had ever been burned now. Uncle Hi said that I was the last one that would get burned to death so he bought and iron rod about fifteen inches long and fastened in the top of the dummy as you see by the picture so we pull it up instead of pushing it so if the water gets spilled it will not burn any body. This is a picture of the dummy the three sides shelves in the dummy and it slides up and down in those two those sides that you see.


Well I will have to say a word or two to Jim[9] and Ethan[10] so (Good Night).

School was out last friday we had a big time it com– the last of sept.

James and Ethan

Dear Brothers,

I recieved your kind letters and was glad to hear from you but should’t wonder if you had given up ever recieving any answers, but here she goes. Gene[11] was up here last Saturday night. It was the first time that I have seen him since we went to the exposition building and that was seven weeks ago. He is running a North Clark St car now. He puts in his 13 hours a day so he does not have much time to run around. Lincoln park is on that street. I some expect to go to the park Saturday. Am going to a conversation meeting any way at the church. Ethan has Gene ever answered your letters. He told me the night that we went to the concert that he should not blame you if you never spoke to him again but he said that he run the car nights and when day time come he was so sleepy that he kept putting it off until he thought it was two late. I told him that you would not get mad at that that you knew him too well. He said that he knew it but he had used you mean. Now dont tell Grandma this for she will write to him and dont you write this to him or ever tell him of it for I dont want him to know that I told you of it. Now besure and dont tell him or Grandma. I did not say any thing to him about it Saturday night but I know that he thinks you are offended but for lands sake dont tell him that I’ve ever said a word. Aunt Kates hat or the price of it was seven dollars[12] and the price of mine six and a half. They are both real handsome and Ma how I wish you had one. Write soon. Good night.

How is Ma’s leg.

Louese Keith

Membr of Lincoln School


[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Alfleda (Starr) Keith, the widow of Luke’s brother Harvey Keith; Alfleda was living with Luke & Sarah

[3] Hiram & Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford Jr., Sarah’s brother and sister-in-law

[4] Hiram & Katherine’s children

[5] Nancy (Keith) Brown, Louese’s sister

[6] A hoist, similar to a dumbwaiter, that used rope and pulleys to lift heavy items from the basement to the first floor of homes

[7] Cosmoline was commonly used in the storage and preservation of some firearms. According to The Homeeopathic Domestic Physician, by Konstantin Hering (B. Jain Publishers, 1993), “Cosmoline or vaseline are excellent applications in burns.”

[8] The Oxford Dictionary gives its meaning as “vigorously or quickly”

[9] James Keith, Louese’s younger brother

[10] Ethan Keith, Louese’s older brother

[11] Eugene Crawford, Louese’s cousin, the son of Edwin & Louisa (Hall) Crawford

[12] Seven dollars in 1876 equals $165.00 in 2018 dollars

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