February 23, 1902 letter to Cora Keith from Malvina Meredith

February 23, 1902

To: Cora Keith, Chicago, IL

From: Malvina Meredith, Shelbyville, MI

Walter had to take Flora back because Mr. Bowen got in trouble with Harry Kinnell’s wife and had to skip town, so Hannah can have her back any time. If Jim and Cora move back in March or April, Pa will put in the oats and grass seed. Their cow doesn’t give milk yet, but will by the time they get there. Malvina bought a milk pail, pans and strainer and John has the chickens sorted and they are beginning to lay. John has an incubator and filled it today with 50 eggs so in three weeks there will be little chicks.

Scan of 1902-02-23 Malvina Meredith to Cora Keith

Shelbyville Feb 23, 1902

Dear Daughter

I have been trying for a week to get time to write to you but I have been feeling so mean I could not write. I tried to get the girls[1] to write but they said you owed them two or three letters apiece now. The barrell came a week ago last Thursday and evry thing was all right except one of the hinges on the stove was broken and I did not know whether it was broken coming or before you sent it. We have not used it yet for it has not been cold enough to need it since it came. We have not got the measure of those windows yet for Pan Tussles have not got out of the house yet but I should think they ware about the length of our dining room windows. Tell Jim[2] Pa[3] had to take Flora[4] back for Bowen got in to trouble with Harry Kimells wife and had to skip out so Hannah[5] can have her any time. Pa says you could do just as you like about coming in March or April. He will put in the oats and sow the grass seed. Your cow does not give milk yet but will by the time you get here. I bought you a milk pail and am going to get some pans and a milk strainer and you will be all ready for buisness. John[6] has your chickens sorted out and they are beginning to lay. John has an Incubator and he has filled it to day and got it started so I suppose three weeks from to day we will little chicks if nothing happens. It only holds fifty eggs. Pa started the mill last Thursday to saw out Mr Morrells barn timber. They will finish it Monday and Tuesday and wont saw any more untill it gets warmer. Fred has not been here to day for a wonder. He was up to the dance Friday night to the Woodman Hall. Marian went but Josie has not been to any of them this winter. The girls want you to send Winnie[7] out here with the Dr. this week if he comes home that way so she can begin with the spring term of school. The winter term has three weeks yet and the Teacher thinks she wont have any vacation not more than a week any way. Tell Mr Hiner[8] Marian got the Chicago American last week for the first time in four or five weeks. Well I guess I will close for I am getting sleepy and I will have to be the first one up for Jim has to Kazoo, so good night.

With love to all from your loving Mother

I will send five dollars for you to get your curtains with and if I can get some more before you come home I will send it to get me some but I think it will be doubtfull for I wont have any boarder to get any from. We will try and get the measure of those windows before I write again. I hope this will find you all well.

From Mother

Tell Mr Hiner we will look for him to stay a month this summer.

——-

[1] Her daughters, Josephine and Marion Meredith

[2] Cora’s husband, James Keith

[3] Her husband, Walter “Burton” Meredith

[4] There are several letters regarding Flora; see the “Saga of Flora the Horse” following Malvina Meredith’s 10-04-1901 letter

[5] Hannah (Keith) Towne, Jim Keith’s sister

[6] Her son, John Evans Meredith

[7] Cora’s daughter, Winifred Keith

[8] John Z. Heiner, a friend and/or co-worker of Jim’s when he lived in Chicago and who lived with or near Jim and Cora when they moved back to Michigan

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February 16, 1902 letter to Sarah Keith from Amanda Crawford

February 16, 1902

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Amanda Crawford, Golden, CO

Ida and Harold are both well. She has not been very well this winter. Had to work so much harder than ever before and misses her darling husband so much. Ida is engaged to a young student attending the university there and works in her office of County Superintendent of Schools. Everybody says she makes a good officer.

This letter was originally posted to the Crawford/Comfort Family Letters blogsite. Click here to read the letter.

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February 14, 1902 letter to James Keith from Hannah Towne

February 14, 1902

To: James Keith, Chicago, IL

From: Hannah Towne, Galesburg, MI

More correspondence about Flora the horse. Hannah knows more about Flora than Jim does. She would rather go without the money than have Flora go through another summer like last in regard to her breathing. Mr. Bowen can keep her till June and if she “don’t have the heaves” then he can pay for her, otherwise Jim should kill her, but “don’t take her hide off and sell it for a dollar.” Hannah thinks Jim’s health will be better if he does move back to Shelbyville and expects them home before they “go to house keeping.”

Scan of 1902-02-14 Hannah Towne to James Keith

Galesburg Feb. 14. 1902

Dear Brother

Received your letter last evening. Will answer it right away. Now about Flora.[1] When Lou[2] wrote she said she had been told that Burt[3] had done just what he said he would do and that was to sell Flora. He was to get twenty dollars for her and take it out in black smithing.

It fired me and would you if you had been in my place. I know more about her than you do. I had rather go with out the fifteen dollars than to know she had got to go through with what she did last summer in regard to her breathing than be sold from one man to an other and be pounded around. Now I will tell you what I think. Let Mr Bowen keep her till June and if she dont have the heaves then let him pay for her, but if she does have them you can kill her and bury her but dont take her hide off and sell it for a dollar.

You wrote as if you thought I did not have any sympathy for you but I have got as much as any one and would do as much for you as any one and I am doing some things that you might have to _____ in and help do if it was not for me but that is all right. When you have the asthma awful bad you can lay off but a horse is in a mans power and some havent the reason of a dog.

About your going to Shelbyville. I have said all the time that I thought your health would be better and I think it is very kind in Mr Meridith[4] to give you such a chance but what I ment Burt may think you are treading on his toes for I know what Cora[5] has always said about him the way he treats her some times. I dont calculate to interfere with your business and I hope every thing will be all right and I guess it will be.

We will expect you all home[6] be fore you go to house keeping.

Now if I have said any thing I am sorry for I am willing to be forgiven. Nancy[7] goes to Shelbyville to morrow, goes home some time next week. I must go to work.

Good bye with love from your sister

Hannah Minerva Towne

Ma[8] will answer Winnies[9] letter soon. We all think it was nice and will keep it to show to her when she gets to be a young lady.

H T

——-

[1] There are several letters regarding Flora; see the “Saga of Flora the Horse” following Malvina Meredith’s 10-04-1901 letter

[2] Their sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[3] Walter Burton “Bert” Meredith Jr, brother of Jim’s wife Cora

[4] Walter “Burton” Meredith, Cora’s father

[5] Jim’s wife, Cora (Meredith) Keith

[6] She is referring to the family farm where she and her brothers and sisters grew up and where she and her brother Ethan were then living

[7] Their sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[8] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[9] Jim’s daughter, Winifred Keith

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February 10, 1902 letter to Cora Keith from Malvina Meredith

February 10, 1902

To: Cora Keith, Chicago, IL

From: Malvina Meredith, Shelbyville, MI

Scan of 1902-02-10 Malvina Meredith to Cora Keith

If Hannah won’t take $25.00 for Flora, then Mr. Bowen will give her back. Pa thinks that Malvina and Cora “must be sick” to let little things like that worry them. Malvina’s arm hurts her so bad she had to quit sewing Marion’s handkerchief. Lou Harris sent over some liniment that D.D. makes but so far it hasn’t helped. She hasn’t done any washing since last July but hopes to begin again once it gets warmer.

Shelbyville Feb. 10. 1902.

Dear Daughter

I will write a few lines in regard to the letter I got from you Sat eve. Pa[1] says to not let it worry you about the horse[2] for he will make it all right some so all will be satisfactory. If she[3] wont take the twenty five dollars for the horse Mr Bowen will give her up but he would like to keep her awhile. I was pretty near mad but Pa laughed at me and said you and I must be sick to let such little things fret or worry us. He said he had rather give twenty five dollars right out of his own pocket than to have any trouble about it and I know he had.

We are all feeling better. Fred has been here evry day since he came home untill to day. He has been up to day but did not come in. He he was over to Berts[4] to supper. He saw Marian[5] over to the Store and told her he was going to skip one day but would be up tomorrow. I guess his folks roast him about coming up here so much. His Mother is improving evry day. I guess they think she will get along all right now. Fred talks about Walter[6] all the time. He says if he stays at home this summer he is going to have him over thare part of the time. Pa is going to load some of his green wood tomorrow. Will wants him to ship it as fast as he can but Pa dont want to let it go now but Mr Briggs ordered three cars to ship his wood and cant get any body to draw it so he is going to let Pa load them. Marian got her Battenberg and trimming all right and I have been trying to sew it on her hand kerchief this eve but I had to quit for my arm pained me so I could not stand it. It has been worse since this stormy weather. D. and Lou[7] was over last eve and Lou sent D. over with some Linament that he makes. She did not know but it would help my arm but it has not yet. I have not done a washing since you first came home last July or any one else here. Just think what it has cost me in that time but we are going to begin again as soon as it gets a little warmer weather. Josie[8] had a good long letter from Cora and Aaron[9] to day. I guess thay are as happy as they ever expect to be in this world. You need not get John[10] any slippers for Pa got him a pair. D. is having another sale on shoes. Well I guess I have written enough for this time so good by. Love to all.

From your loving

Mother

——-

[1] Her husband, Walter “Burton” Meredith

[2] There are several letters regarding Flora; see the “Saga of Flora the Horse” following Malvina Meredith’s 10-04-1901 letter

[3] Hannah (Keith) Towne

[4] Her son, Walter Burton “Bert” Meredith Jr.

[5] Her daughter, Marion Meredith

[6] Cora’s son, Walter Keith

[7] D.D. and Louese (Keith) Harris Jr.; Louese was the sister of Cora’s husband, James Keith

[8] Her daughter, Josephine Meredith

[9] Cora (Harris) and Aaron Hogeboom. They were married January 15, 1902. Cora was D.D. Harris’ sister

[10] Her son, John Evans Meredith

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February 6, 1902 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

February 6, 1902 

To: Sarah Keith

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

Hiram is writing Sarah to tell her of the birth of his granddaughter, Katherine Louesa Eck. Jessie delivered earlier than expected and there was a certain amount of excitement while they desperately searched for a doctor.

This letter was originally posted to the Crawford/Comfort Family Letters blogsite. Click here to read the letter.

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February 5, 1902 letter to James & Cora Keith from Hannah Towne

February 5, 1902    

To: James & Cora Keith, Chicago, IL

From: Hannah Towne, Galesburg, MI

Hannah is writing to let Jim and Cora know how upset she is that Cora gave Flora to Bert to sell her. She considers Flora her horse more than anyone else since they never paid her anything for her. She also advises them to keep the letter Mrs. Meredith sent them about coming back to Shelbyville and to do whatever Mrs. and Mrs. Meredith tell them to do, but not to listen to Bert. She knows more than they think she does.

Scan of 1902-02-05 Hannah Towne to James Keith 

Galesburg Feb 5, 1902

Mr & Mrs Keith

Dear Brother & Sister

We[1] have just got a letter from Luo[2] and she says Cora gave Burt[3] _______ to sell Flora.[4] Now I want to know if he know whose horse he is selling. You know I never wanted her to go off from this place and you and Cora said she could go up there and be all right and now she is sold but I would smile to see that blacksmith or any one else keep her if I had the money to take an officer up there with me. I never asked Mr Meridith[5] to keep her and I dont blame him for not wanting to keep her any longer but I think I had ought to have been consulted in the matter for you both know how I feel and as long as you had never paid me any thing I consider her as much mine as yours and a little bit more. The money dont cut any figure with me it is my feelings and I supposed you would keep her and if she could not be used or raise colts you would bury her but now she is trading property and if you think I feel good you are mistaken.

Good bye

Hannah

P.S. I will give you a little advice. Keep the letter Mrs Meridith wrote you[6] about coming there for you may need it. And when you get there do just as Mr & Mrs W Meridith tells you to do for they are all right but dont listen to Burt. I know more than you think I do.

H-

——-

[1] Hannah lived with her brother Ethan in the family home

[2] Their sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[3] Cora’s brother, Walter Burton “Bert” Meredith Jr.

[4] There are several letters regarding Flora; see the “Saga of Flora the Horse” following Malvina Meredith’s 10-04-1901 letter

[5] Cora’s father, Walter “Burton” Meredith

[6] See January 15, 1902 letter

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February 4, 1902 letter to James Keith from Hannah Towne

February 4, 1902

To: James Keith, Chicago, IL

From: Hannah Towne, Galesburg, MI

Hannah is writing to let Jim know that she doesn’t want Flora sold. Since Flora has such trouble breathing in the summer, whoever would buy her would most likely mistreat her. It would be better to kill her and bury her beside Bill.

Scan of 1902-02-04 Hannah Towne to James Keith 

Galesburg Feb 4, 1902

Dear Brother

Ethen[1] is sending your letter. Now about Flora.[2] I dont want her to be sold so I think she had better be killed and buried for when summer comes she will be just as bad about her breathing and who ever gets her wont have any sympathy for her and she will be pounded around and made to go whether she can or not. I cant see into her kicking for she has always been a kind horse never offered to kick or bite. Perhaps D[3] would take her and keep her till spring and use her what he can then the ground would be thawed out so she could be buried good. Now dont you decieve me for I want to know just what is done with her. All I wish that she had been killed last summer and put beside of Bill.[4] She is more to me that any one else. All well as usual. Nancy[5] is here.

Good bye

Hannah

I am in a great hurry so cant write much.

——-

[1] Their brother, Ethan Keith

[2] There are several letters regarding Flora; see the “Saga of Flora the Horse” following Malvina Meredith’s 10-04-1901 letter

[3] D.D. Harris, their sister Louese (Keith) Harris’ husband

[4] Another one of the family horses

[5] Their sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

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January 27, 1902 letter to Cora Keith from Malvina Meredith

January 27, 1902 

To: Cora Keith, Chicago, IL

 From: Malvina Meredith, Shelbyville, MI

 Has not been able to write because of sickness, company and family illnesses. Pa wants to sell Flora to Mr. Bowen for $25.00. The children can hardly wait for spring and Hilda is anxious for Winnie to go to school with her.

Scan of 1902-01-27 Malvina Meredith to Cora Keith

Shelbyville Jan 27, 1902

Dear Daughter and family

I have been trying to get around to write to you for two or three days but Friday I was sick in bed all day with neuraliga in my head and Saturday I had so much to do I could not get time and Sunday we had a house full of company so I could not write and Josie[1] has been feeling so bad lately that I have been worried about her. I was afraid she was going to have Pneumonia she had such a pain in her Lungs but I put on raw onions and rubbed her with Mrs Doxeys oil and she takes it evry night and takes the hot water bag and lays that on her lungs and she is getting better and Grandma[2] is not very well. She has been having a time with the shoulders ache and she did not want to put mustard on so we rubbed them with Turpentine and sweet oil and it finaly left but she is having trouble with her heart and head now. We have been having lovely weather here untill to day. We have had a regular blizzard and it is terrible cold to night and we have a man stopping all night that has driven from ten miles the other side of Grand Rapids in the storm. Now Jim[3] Pa[4] wants me to ask you if you dont want to sell Flora.[5] Mr Bowen will give twenty five dollars for her and Pa thinks the money will do you more good than the horse for Cora cant never drive her. She is a terrible kicker to turn her out with other horses or cattle and she kicked Jim on the hand in the barn one day last week and he has a bad hand yet. Pa says thare will be plenty horses on the place so you wont lack for a horse when you want one and evry one says she cant never be got with foal she has the heaves so bad. You write and let Pa know as soon as you get this. The children cant hardley wait for spring to come. Hilda[6] is anxious for Winnie[7] to go to school with her. They all went to day in the storm. Old Mr Callward[8] died a week ago yesterday and so did old Mrs Gibbes.[9] Thare is quite a good many sick. Mrs Edd Brabon is very sick with the Measles. You know they live on the old Brabon place south of Gurleys. Our Teacher has never had them and she is afraid she will get them. I will close for this time. With love to all.

From your loving Mother

Mrs Walter Meredith

Tell Mr Hiner[10] that Pa was out to Hartford a couple days last week to get the money for his little Indian boys. They got another $100 apiece. Guy said Fred was coming home today or tomorrow. Cora if you will let me know how much those slippers cost I will send the money to get John[11] another pair. He gave the other ones to Bert.[12]

——-

[1] Her daughter, Josephine Meredith

[2] Her mother, Charlana (Adams) Johnson

[3] Cora’s husband, James Keith

[4] Her husband, Walter “Burton” Meredith

[5] There are several letters regarding Flora; see “Saga of Flora the Horse” following Malvina’s 10-04-1901 letter

[6] Her granddaughter, Hilda Meredith, daughter of Walter “Bert” and Ida (Curie) Meredith Jr.

[7] Cora’s daughter, Winifred Keith

[8] Michigan death records show that John James Calleward died in Martin, Allegan County, Michigan on January 19, 1902

[9] Michigan death records show that Harriet (Pierce) Gibbs died in Watson, Allegan County, Michigan on January 19, 1902

[10] John Z. Heiner, a friend and/or co-worker of Jim’s when he lived in Chicago and who lived with or near Jim and Cora when they moved back to Michigan

[11] Her son, John Evans Meredith

[12] Her son, Walter Burton Meredith Jr.

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January 15, 1902 letter to Cora Keith from Malvina Meredith

January 15, 1902              

To: Cora Keith, Chicago, IL

From: Malvina Meredith, Shelbyville, MI

The whole family thinks that it would be best for Cora and Jim to move back to Shelbyville. They would be able to live in Uncle Marion’s house and the family would give them a couple of cows, pigs and some chickens. They would be able to buy their groceries with butter and eggs and would be able to raise a garden and as many chickens as they wanted. If they decide to come Mr. Heiner should also come as he would be “just as welcome as can be.”

Scan of 1902-01-15 Malvina Meredith to Cora Keith

Shelbyville Jan 15, 1902

Dear Daughter

I will try and write a few lines as Marian[1] has written a few. We are all well but Josie[2] and she has a terrible cold and cough. I am nearly over my cold and would feel pretty well if I was not so lame all over. My Rheumatism has been in my back lately and it is hard work for me to get up when I sit down so I keep going the most of the time. Bert[3] got home last Thursday night. He did not stay half as long as he wanted to. If he had known the cattle was sold that he had bargined for he would have stayed longer. He is buying a car load this week for Yakey and he said he could go with them if he wanted to and he had about made up his mind to go. Now Cora and Jim[4] I am going to talk buisness. Our folks all think, Bert and Pa[5] and all the rest of us, the best thing for you to do is to come home bag and baggage and move in to Uncle Marrions[6] house.[7] Pa told Jack yesterday he wanted the place for you in the spring and his time is out in April. Pa says if Jim cant work but a little of the place it will be better than staying thare. We can let you have a couple cows and some chickens and a pig or two and you can buy your Grocries with butter and eggs. You can raise your own garden truck and raise as many chickens as you are a mind to and have some thing to sell in the fall. You can put in a lot of potatoes and such things and we will all see that you dont starve untill you can get a good start or go bare naked. Now I want you to think about this and make up your minds right away for if you dont want to come thare is a dozzen that want the place but we all want you to have it. Tell Mr Hiner[8] if you make up your mind to come he need not think he is left out in the cold for he is just as welcome as can be and always will be only we want him to come so as to stay with us longer he must get two or three months lay off next summer for he will have two homes to go to and be ever welcome and Fred to when he comes home must not forget us. Well it is dinner time and I must quit so good by for this time.

From the whole family

Your loving Mother

——-

[1] Her daughter, Marion Meredith

[2] Her daughter, Josephine Meredith

[3] Her son, Walter Burton Meredith Jr.

[4] Cora’s husband, James Keith

[5] Walter “Burton” Meredith

[6] Burton Meredith’s brother, Marion Meredith, who died January 30, 1899

[7] This house has been continually lived in by Meredith descendants and at present is owned by Jim and Ruth (Stankey) Keith; Jim is the grandson of Jim and Cora (Meredith) Keith

[8] John Z. Heiner, a friend and/or co-worker of Jim’s when he lived in Chicago and who lived with or near Jim and Cora when they moved back to Michigan

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January 12, 2902 letter to Sarah Keith from Harriet Plank

January 12, 1902

To: Sarah Keith

From: Harriet Plank, Grand Rapids MI

Received Sarah’s letter and thanks her for letting her know about Mrs. Simmon’s death as well as keeping her informed of the people in the old neighborhood. Her rheumatism has been bothering her, but she hobbles around and does the best she can. It is hard for her to realize that their children are getting so old.

Scan of 1902-01-12 Harriet Plank to Sarah Keith

Grand Rapids Jan 12 1902

My Dear Mrs Keith & all

I received your good letter sometime ago & was vey glad to hear from you and that then you all were usually well but sorry to hear that Hannah[1] had had such a sick time & I well know how much harder it is to [be] sick when there seems to be so many depending on you for it is hard enough to be sick & suffer without other cares on ones mind. I also received that paper with the sad news of Mrs Simmons death[2] & thank you very much for sending it as none of her family had sent one. I should know but very little of what was transpireing in the old neighborhood[3] were it not for your & family & thank you so much for sending me accounts at different times when you thought we would like to know about things out there as we still feel an interest in all you people there & ever shall. I wrote to Nancy[4] after her husbands death[5] but I do not know that she ever got the letter as Carrie[6] said she did not know that she directed the letter right as there was one word in the directions she could not just make out which may it was[?]. Your friends here are all usually well except myself. I do not get much better of my rheumatism but manage to hobble around & do what I can but I do not go out hardly any & beside I have had a Grip[7] cold for the past six weeks or should have written before but am better of it now. We never saw anything of that relative of yours that was a going to canvass in the City. Did he come here. If he did I do not know how I could have missed seeing him if he came here for I am always at home. Tell Mr Kieth[8] I think he may get arround better than I do if there is quite a difference in our ages & you dear friend. How I wish you could get arround better than you could when we were there but we cannot always have things the way we would like to have them but the only way for us to do is to make the best of things as they come upon us & you certainly seem to do this better than the most of us. Will[9] most always enquires when he comes here if I have heard from any of you of late as he knows you are the only ones that write us. Mary[10] was saying the other day when here that she had about given up ever hearing from Hannah but she said she knew she had her hands full. Tell Ethan[11] Will would be so glad to hear from him once more. It is hard for me to realize that our children are getting so old.[12] It is getting so dark I can hardly see so will say good bye with much love to all & hopeing this will find you all usually well I remain as ever your old friend

H Plank[13]

Remember us in in love to Nancy when you write her.

——-

[1] Sarah’s daughter, Hannah (Keith) Towne

[2] Margaret (Wayne) Simmons. Michigan death records show that she died in Comstock, Michigan on October 19, 1901

[3] The Plank family had been neighbors of the Keith family in Comstock/Galesburg, but moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1873

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

[5] Henry Brown, who died May 22, 1901

[6] Her daughter, Caroline Plank

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

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

[9] Her son, William Plank

[10] Her daughter, Mary (Plank) Skeels

[11] Sarah’s son, Ethan Keith

[12] i.e., +/- 50 years old

[13] Harriet (Groat) Plank

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