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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