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.

Mother

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.

Mother

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[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.

1872-01-05 1872-01-05B 1872-01-05C 1872-01-05D 1872-01-05env

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

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[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