January 21, 1910 letter to Oscar Keith from Ethan Keith

January 21, 1910

To: Oscar Keith

From: Ethan Keith

Gives an account of Hannah’s accident of November 2nd, and how much pain she still is suffering from. Their brother Henry has been visiting them since December 16th; it has been 29 years since he was last there. Nancy is staying with them now to help take care of Hannah, taking over for Louese who had been there from the time of the accident until Nancy came.

Scan of 1910-01-21 Ethan Keith to Oscar Keith

Galesburg Jan. 21, 1910

Dear Cousin Oscar

Your card written Dec 22nd was received in due time. Hope you will excuse me for not answering before, my excuse is I have been so busy that I be not seen the time to write. We were glad to hear from you and that you and Mary[1] were as well as you were. We had heard your sickness through Leons and Herberts[2] folks. I think it the proper thing for you and Mary to be at Ina’s[3] through the cold weather and then in the spring you will be there to help eat warm sugar. Be sure and eat a lot for me.

The evening of the 2nd of Nov. Hannah[4] and I went to the Burg[5] she to do fittings and when she got into the buggy at Carl Clapps[6] to come home she and Mrs C–[7] were talking and I think she did not notice just where she sat down and must have gotten too far out on end of the seat for it tipped out with her. She struck the ground on her left shoulders and side. A man from across the street came and he helped me get her up and it seemed as though she never would get her breath. Mr Clapp came and he and I got her into the house and that man went after the doctor. He came and found one rib broken. He put on a plaster and bandage and we got her into the buggy and we came home. I made the horse walk slow but every little while she would get a jar that would almost kill her. When we got home I took the horse off from the buggy got a high chair and a stool so it make steps for her to get out on. After a while she got into the house on the lounge and there she sat all night with pillows all around her.

She did not lie down for seventeen days and nights that with her run down condition to start with about used up her nerves. Her side did not heal real well and it seemed to go to her right limb that began to swell and pain her so she had to go to bed. The doctor bandaged her limb so the swelling has gone down quite a considerable and does not pain her so much. Has been sitting up sum the past three days. She is so weak and has weak spells that starts in her stomach. When she has them them she is put to it so for breath. The doctor says her heart is call all right. Henry[8] has been visiting us since Dec 16th until last Sat then he went to Shelbyville[9] to make his visit. He lives [with] his son Ray[10] in Ithaca N.Y. It had been almost twenty-nine years since he was here last. He looks about the same as he used to only older. Presume he went wants go home before the first of March. Nancy[11] is with us has been here four weeks. Lou[12] was here from the time Hannah was hurt until Nancy came. We have been very fortunate in having sisters to help us out! Meredith Chaffees[13] daughter and husband (Mr & Mrs. Sherly)[14] live in the Burg. He clerks in a grocery store. He seems to be a very nice young man. I have not met her yet. We have not heard from Helen[15] in over a year. Think it is getting to be too much of a task for her to write. Just before Christmas we received an invitation to Delphas[16] oldest sons wedding.[17] I hope this will find you and Mary both improved in health. Give our regards to Ina and husband.[18] Write when you can. With best wishes will close

Your Cousin Ethan B. Keith


[1] Oscar’s wife, Mary Ann (Batey) Keith

[2] Oscar & Mary’s sons, James Leon Keith and John Herbert Keith

[3] Oscar & Mary’s granddaughter, Inez (Randall) Eaton

[4] His sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne

[5] Galesburg, Michigan

[6] A neighbor

[7] Minnie (Spier) Clapp

[8] His half-brother, Henry Keith

[9] Where his sister, Louese (Keith) Harris, and his brother, James Keith, lived with their families

[10] Arthur Raymond Keith

[11] His sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[12] His sister, Louese

[13] His cousin, Stephen Meredith Chaffee, who was Oscar & Mary’s nephew

[14] Elva & Harry Shirley

[15] His cousin, Helen (Bradley) York

[16] Helen’s daughter, Marion Adelphia (York) Page

[17] Frank York Page married Leila Huntley in Canyon, Idaho, on December 25, 1909

[18] Jay Eaton

This letter is among several which were loaned to Jim & Ruth (Stankey) Keith, probably back in the 1980s, by Ella Nola (Curtis) Eaton, whose husband, Clifford Eaton, was the great-great-grandson of James “Oscar” & Mary Ann (Batey) Keith. This is a photocopy of Ruth’s handwritten copy of the letter. Note: Jim Keith is the great-grandson of Charles Luke Keith Jr., who was James “Oscar” Keith’s uncle.
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