November 17, 1875 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

November 17, 1875

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Received a letter from Hiram. He said that Harry’s lungs were so bad they had to take him to Sarah’s. Nancy Brown wrote that Aunt Kate and Harry had been there and Harry appeared better. Went to Winneconne to visit Prosper and family. Bell is looking quite well. Leo is a smart little fellow but full of mischief. His other son runs all over and says some words. His name is Lucius Byron. Received a letter from Alice. She doesn’t like Oregon as much as Wisconsin nor does her brother.

1875-11-17 1875-11-17B

Omro Novem the 17, 1875

My Dear Daughter

I take my pen in hand to answer your kind letter. I was glay to hear from you all and to hear that you injoy usual good health. I received a letter from Hiram[1]. He said that Harry[2] lungs was so bad they was a blige to take him out of the City so Kate[3] toke him to your place and he heard he was gititing better and I received a letter from Nancy Brown[4] and she wrote that Ma[5] and Aunt Kate and Harry had ben there and maid her viset and Harry apeard to be getting better. I havent I havent received any from DC[6] this month yet but the last I received he said Amanda[7] dont like the Hotell bissness and thought som of selling ought if he had a good chance. He like it well. They where all well then and like wise one from son Henry[8]. They whare all well as usual and thought if he could spare the monny he would make us a viset the last of this month. I hope he will com but I dont much expect him. I went to Winneconne last week to viset Prosper[9] an famly. Found them all well. Bell[10] is looking quite well. She has grown quite fleshy sence her sickness. Leo[11] is a smart littel fellow but a very full of mishchief. The second one run all over and sais som words. His name is Leuchus Biron[12]. They have a very comfortabel home and Bell is a very good houskeeper. Lousea[13] and famly is well. Robert[14] whent away last week to be gone the most part of the winter. Wille[15] is a going when it comes sleighing. I have forgotten the name of the place but most a hundred miles from here.

I received letter from Alice[16]. She said she dont like Orgon as well as Wisconson nor does her brother[17] but think they may when they get better aquainted with the peopel. Nancy Brown said they where all well and her baby was we think the smartest littel fellow there is and grate compana to me. My health is better sence I have ben taking th August flower. I will send Ethen[18] a coppy of it. You did not tell wether he got the medeson so I thot I will send him this circurlar. I think it mite cure him. He is young. Tell Hannah[19] I wish when she gets marrid that her and her man come out to Omro on a weding tour to see her granmother [and] uncels. Tell Jimme[20] to write to me and I will answer it. Tell Lousea[21] that Kit[22] sais she will write wen she can get her picture takeing. I hope Harry will get well so Kitte can go home with him for Hiram sais he dont wanto live a wider all winter. Give my love to Kitty and Harry. I want to see you very much. Tell Luke[23] that I say I wish that he and you would muster up monny and courage aknough to come and make us a visit. O how glad I would be to see both. Please except of my love for your self and famly. Excuse all misstakes and bad spelling. I mus close. Write soon again and write plain. I am very nerves and tired.

From your mother

N B Betts

——-

[1] Hiram Crawford Jr., Nancy’s son

[2] Harry Crawford, Hiram’s seven year old son

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

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

[5] She is referring to Sarah Keith

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

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

[8] Henry Clay Crawford, Nancy’s son

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

[10] Isabella (Steele) Crawford, Pros’ wife

[11] Pros’ son

[12] Pros’ son, Lucius Byron Crawford

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

[14] Robert Crawford, Nancy’s son

[15] Robert’s son

[16] Alice Crawford, Nancy’s granddaughter and orphan daughter of James H. Crawford

[17] Rollin Crawford

[18] Ethan Keith, Sarah’s son

[19] Hannah Keith, Sarah’s daughter

[20] James Keith, Sarah’s son

[21] Louese Keith, Sarah’s daughter

[22] Believe this to be Katherine Sarah “Kit” Crawford, Robert’s daughter

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

November 13, 1870 letter to Nancy Betts from Alice Crawford

November 13, 1870

To:  Nancy Betts

From: Alice Crawford, Glen Haven, WI

Hasn’t heard from her grandmother in quite a while. Inquires into the whereabouts of Uncle Robert and his family. Grandpa’s health is very poor most of the time. Aunt Kitty has another little girl named Flora. She received a letter from Aunt Harriet a few days ago, who is well and likes Iowa very well. Rolla sends his love. He says he will write when he thinks he can write well enough.

1870-11-13 1870-11-13B 1870-11-13C 1870-11-13D

Glen Haven    Nov 13, 1870

Dear Grandmother

I have not heard from you in quite a while so I thought I would write to you to let you know that I am well and hope you are the same. Is Cousin Nancy[1] any better? I have not written to her yet. I did not like to write when she was so sick. I will when I hear from her again. How is Uncle Robert[2] and his family now? It is snowing here a little to day for the first time this fall. I think of going to school again this winter. Rolla[3] is going also. School will commence in two weeks and I must be ready. We have had splendid weather here all the fall. Grandpas[4] health is very poor most of the time. My Aunt Kitty[5] has annother little girl. She has named it Flora. She has only two children. It seems so nice to have her here. I wish you could come and see us. I received a letter from Aunt Harriet[6] a few days ago. She is well and likes Iowa very well.

I have not bought any postage stamps with the money you sent me. I have kept it because you sent it to me. Send me a piece of one of your dresses in your next letter. I am a going to send you apiece of one of mine in this letter. Thank you for sending me cosins Nancys address. Well I must stop writing for this time it is getting late. My little cousin Carrie[7] who is watching me write wants me to send my Grandma her love too. Rolla says give you his love. He says he will write to you when he thinks he can write well enough.

Accept my love also and write as soon as you get this for I would like to know how you are.

Good bye from your granddaughter

Alice N Crawford

——-

[1] Nancy Betts’ granddaughter, Nancy Keith

[2] Nancy Betts’ son, Robert Crawford

[3] Alice’s younger brother, Rollin Crawford

[4] After the death of their parents, James and Ann (Rogers) Crawford, Alice and Rollin lived with their maternal grandparents, Thomas and Mariah (Brown) Rogers

[5] Her mother’s sister, Amanda (Rogers) Braithwaite. At the writing of the letter, Amanda and her husband, George Braithwaite, had a son, Charles, and Florence

[6] Her mother’s sister, Harriet (Rogers) Shutt

[7] Daughter of her mother’s brother, George 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.