November 5, 1901 letter to Louese Harris from Sarah Keith

November 5, 1901   

To: Louese Harris, Shelbyville, MI

From: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

Update on family and neighbors.

Scan of 1901-11-05 Sarah Keith to Louese Harris

Galesburg Nov 5 1901

Dear Lou and family

Wed eve

Ethen and Hannah[1] have gone to the Burg.[2] Your pa[3] and I are alone. I can see better by lamplight then by sunlight especially when thare is no sun such dark days. Been snowing today. Went off about as fast as it come. Am sorry D[4] is not well. I do not wonder he is sick. Wish he could come down whilst you are here. Aaron and Cora[5] called here last Sunday eve. Had a good visit. Think you must had quite a time at the hall Thursday eve. Mrs Boem died yesterday. I asked Gertrude when her father and mother were going to your house. She said she did not know as they were going. Did Cora write they had a new carriage. Leone[6] has been sick the past four weeks. Mrs Ralph told Hannah she had sliped her apron strings and had taken cold. She said one ought to stand over her with a cudgel to make her know her place. Guess Willis has a hard to get along, rent to pay, wood to buy and every [thing] they eat has to be bought and Willis out of work. The rats got so thick at the barn did not know what to do. Carrie brought us a cat and four kittens, two of them have no tails. Wish Mildred[7] could see them. Expect Mate Ford[8] will have them. Tell Floid[9] his Grandpa says when he comes down to fetch his gun he has some squirrels he wants him to shoot. Cora thinks Leone done[?] pretty well your pa’s eye is better. Dont you think Mr Blains family ought or are thankful that the girl was awake to see what he was doing. I think he ought to go to states prison for life. I hope he can be caught for Hanks sake. I am glad he did what he did. He will not dare to come to Chicago. He may be brought here cannot go to see Hank and tell his yarns. He had Hank completly under his thumb. Hannah went to Mrs Pease’s last Sat eve staid till Sunday eve.

Grant Oatman[10] is sick again probably you know it. Ethen got a letter from Henry Keith.[11] He said he and Pros[12] met in Oakland. Dont know but I wrote you last week about it. Do hope you can come home the last of the month.


Thursday Eve – have not sent this epistle today. I shall be glad when we get free delivery. Hannah had a very narrow escape from what might been a sad affair. We keep the cloth we wipe the lamps with in the dry oven. Ethen built a hot fire, set the cloth a smokeing. She opened the window and doors, took the cloth and started out doors. It blazed up burned her eye brows, eye whiskers, singed her hair, burned her hand. That was eve she is all right today. If she had thought to thrown it in the stove but she did – the danger was her cloths catching afire. It scares me when I think about it. Ethen has been having a spell with his heart this afternoon. Done lifting at the barn he ought not to have done. He has been taking Miles nervine that has helped him. He has it about used up. Mrs Bowen died yesterday. Ethen got a letter from Mark Lee.[13] He is awfuly bad off he cannot get around only as he uses crutches. Rheumatism is the cause.


[1] Her son and daughter, Ethan Keith and Hannah (Keith) Towne

[2] Galesburg, Michigan

[3] Her husband, Charles “Luke” Keith Jr.

[4] Louese’s husband, Daniel D. Harris Jr., known simply as “D”

[5] Aaron Hogeboom and Cora Harris. Cora was D Harris’ sister; Aaron was her future husband

[6] Several names in this letter could refer to family members, but the references raise questions. Louese had a daughter named Leone, however why would Sarah be writing to Louese about that? Other names that could be family but also raise questions are the references to Willis and Hank (could be referring to her daughter Nancy’s husband, but he died May 22, 1901)

[7] Louese’s daughter, Mildred Harris

[8] Neighbor, Mary Ann (Thompson) Ford

[9] Louese’s son, Floyd Harris

[10] Her neighbor

[11] Her step-son

[12] Her brother, Lucius Prosper Crawford

[13] Her husband’s cousin, Marquis de Lafayette Lee

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