Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Courtship Letters of Clayton Ford & Harriet Hagerman

Post in Progress - I have not finished adding all of the letters.
Clayton Ford 1852-1921
 married 
Harriet Hagerman 1853 - 1934
You can view my research on them here:
Sometime in 1882, before Christmas, the youngest child of Mahlon & Catherine (Weidman) Hagerman traveled to Findlay Ohio to stay with her sister Susan "Ella" (Hagerman) Wyman.  While there she apparently met Clayton Ford on at least two occasions.  Harriet would have been around 29 years old when she made the trip, and we know from her letters that she stayed for 14 months. Ella had given birth in July of 1881, to a daughter named Jessie, who would die a short time later, in September of 1883.  It seems likely that Harrriet traveled out to help her sister with the new baby, but I do not know if the child was ill, or died suddenly, or which 14 months Harriet was there.  I'm also curious who accompanied her, as it is unlikely she traveled by herself.
It is not until September of 1885 that the letters begin.  Even if her 14 month stay began in December of 1882 and lasted until February of 1884 (and I do not know that those dates are true - December of 1882 could easily have been the last of her 14 month stay, not the beginning, or it could have been the middle) that would leave almost a year and half before the letters begin.
Another researcher kindly mailed me copies of these letters, this is her email to me:
"What I have is about 15-20 letters written between Clayton and Harriet.  They aren't really my letters.  They belong to my cousin.  He had given me several bins of family history items to make copies of, and these letters were included in those bins.  I know his Grandmother, Mildred (Moore) Cole had them at one time, and they have been passed down.  I don't know how Mildred obtained them.  Are there any Moores, Ewings, or Coles in this family line?  I just haven't been able to find any family connection.  Anyhow, these letters are written from 1885 thru 1887, when Hattie lived in Comly, PA and Clayton lived in Findlay. It was obviously a courtship through the mail situation. "
Comly Pa does not appear on google maps, however, there is a Comly road leading out of Turbotville, to the area of the Hagerman farms.

A letter to me, from the generous researcher above, also included this note:
"I transcribed them just the way they were written, misspelled words and all.  You will find that Clayton was quite a "flowery" letter write, he was probably trying to impress Hattie, and Hattie wrote brief and to the point letters."

The first letter from Harriet is obviously in response to one from Clayton that I do not possess.  Harriet would have been 32 years old at this time, making Clayton 33.

Comly Pa
Sept 29 1885
Mr Ford                   
Kind Friend
    Your letter of 12 has surprised me indeed.  I consider that you are not entire stranger to me for we met at different times but not acquainted.  I shall be pleased to see you whenever you feel inclined to come and make me a visit.  This leaves me, well you have head  that I did not often write.  I had better own up to the truth and say it is so.  I seldome write.  I heard that sister Ella is coming home this fall, can you tell me if it is true.  I don't want to ask her for not likely she will tell me.  II will try and meet you if you write and tell me when you are comeing and which way you will come.  We live eight miles from Watsontown that is where you are to stop off.  P S anwer
Sincerely Your Friend,
Harriet
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Findlay O Oct 11 '85
Miss Harriet Hagerman
Kind Friend:
   Your very welcome letter was received in good time and of course I felt relieved of any further feat of getting no answer.  Thank you for the very liberal priveleges you give me of paying you a visit.  My only feers are that I may not be able to meet your expectations as to the kind of visitor I may be; for I must own, as you do, that you are not much of a letter write, that I am not much of a visitor and it is not often by short acquaintance that I can succeed in making good friends.  I think sometimes my first acquaintance is disappointing to those whom I meet, especially if they expect the acquaintance to be all on my side so that I may be only after the usual amount of blundering that they may think me a friend worth having.    Whether this will be the case in forming and acquaintance with you, I hope not.  If I had thought you one of those persons whose acquaintance could be secured only by going through a routine of etiquette & etc which should be as dry in the end as in the beginning, I do not think I should have sought for it.  I do not like to see women too free and open as to loose or throw away their womanly virtues, but I make mistakes and do not consider any body much of a friend who does not overlook some of these mistakes and be friendly anyhow.  If I ca get off I intend visiting you sometime next month.  If I cannot get away until later, I will write and tell you.  As to the way I will go I cannot now tell you.  You have gone over the road and the way you went might be a good one for me to go, if you will tell me which way that was.  From what I know of it, I do not think you sister Ella intends going home this fall. She would like to have gone but I do not think it is her intention to go.  Ida and mother see her occasionally and I think is she intends on going she would  have told them of it.  I am well and am feeding a car load of cattle which may keep me pretty close to home until I have sold them, which will be, I think, in February.  Now I think I have written you a pretty long letter and I hope it will not disappoint you either in length or in quality.  Would like to hear from you whenever it may suit you to write to me, and if you do not have or have not often written letters maybe you can write them oftener.
                                                         Sincerely Your Friend
                                                            C.W. Ford
Ida is Clayton's sister, 11 years younger than him. Claytons mother's name is Mary, husband of Jesse Ford.
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Comly PA
Nov 28nd 1885
Mr Ford,
                      Kind Friend, 
As I will take this present opportunity to enclose you a few lines to let you know that I read your letter and was glad to hear from you.  We had a very deep snow here this week, has not all melted yet, yet we have pleaseant weather here now.  I would like to exchange pictures but can not at the present time.  Perhaps I can between now and February, but would like to receive one of your pictures very much indeed.
You told me that Uncle Hagerman was well.  I have not written to them in two years or more.  When you come to Watsontown you can inquire for Mahlan Hagerman, that is my Fathers name.  Why I told you, then you don't need to ask any one in your own neighborhood what his name is.  Well news is scare in Comly and it is a dry place at best.  You lost your neighbor Mrs Wolf, I think.  I was her once at your place but I got very little acquainted around that part of the county.  I met a good many people around the neighborhood where Mr Hagerman live.  Will could not take sister and I very often as he was quite busy in general.  I received a letter from Sister Ella this week, but she don't keep me posted in news.  But I think if you and her can, if you half try as I as I was in that neighborhood for fourteen months.  I think it was a longer visit that I could stay now.  Some weeks was long to me.
Ella told me that Findlay had improved quite a good bit since I was there with.  She told me about those gas wells and the new railroad that run to Findlay.  And did you attend camp meeting at Portage this summer.  I was down the time I was to Findlay.  Oh it was a long drive.  Tell me all the news when you write.  Excute this poor letter.  Will you write often.  I will look for your picture in your next letter.  From a friend.  Harriet Hagerman.

Susan Ellen "Ella" Hagerman married William Wyer in Turbotville PA, on March 22 1879  in 1880 William & Ella are found in the Findlay Ohio census, the same town where Clayton lives.
I'm unsure which Uncle Hagerman Harriet refers to here - her father Mahlon had two brothers, Squires & Francis.  If I were to hazard a guess, I would say she was referring to Squires, as I think Francis lived near Harriet.
About the "gas wells" - "During this period, many towns in Ohio experienced rapid boom-to-bust cycles. The usefulness of natural gas was not discovered until the 1880s. Up until then, it was considered a “nuisance.” Findlay was “the gas capital of Ohio in late 1885.”  For example, in Findlay, the first commercial natural gas well began producing in 1884. In 1886, the productive Karg Well (over 10,000,000 cubic feet/day) and other wells resulted in so much gas being flared that Findlay was known as the "City of Light" and free fuel and light attracted many industries, including glass. By 1888, Findlay was one of the largest glass production centers. The gas was assumed to be "inexhaustible". By 1890, gas output began to decline"- Wikipedia
A night view of the Karg gas well with a derrick to the right.  Early reports stated that the roar of the well could be heard two to four miles away.  
- From Ohio Oil & Gas by Spencer & Camp
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Findlay O Dec 6 '85
Miss Harriet Hagerman
Kind Friend
         Your letter was received a few days ago and I shall take this the first opportunity of answering it properly.  Thank you for giving me your fathers name, it will enable me to find the place more easily and I need not set anybody to wondering here by asking of them the way to Mallan Hagerman. I think if I am not mistaken, you go by the name Hattie H. among your friends and acquaintances  Would you object to me calling you by that name?  I used to have a Harriet in school, they all called her Hat, or Hattie, and the name sounds familiar.  I could send you an old picture by this letter but would rather send you are new one, which I think the photographer will have ready before very many days.  No maam, I did not attend the Camp Meeting at Portage this summer.  I am not much of a hand to go any where.  The place I like best is at home, where I can attend to my work and things in general. I have my regular places of going to Church, S. School, teachers meetings & c.  where I meet regularly with some of the best people in Findlay, and by which meetings I have formed acquaintances that I esteem very highly, and who I think have as friendly a feeling toward me as I have toward them.  I go around some in the neighborhood, and away occasionally on business and this makes up my round of visiting.
   This is a very stormy day with little snow on the ground and about as much in the air with the wind blowing furiously and the air growing colder.  I worked with all my might yesterday to get ready for the cattle to go into the straw shed and last night was the first night they have not had to sleep in the open field.  23 of them and they all found their winter quarters more comfortable in stormy weather.
    We had a little fire in Findlay this forenoon, which caused the usual excitement for such occassions.  Its smoke came from the Farmers Bank and was seen about 10o.c. while all the s. schools were in session, it did not take long to thin out the schools until there were hardly enough people left to have school.
     Have just been out choreing and have frozen my left ear badly so that I am afraid it will spoil that picture I wanted to have taken soon.  Write soon, and if news is scarce, tell me what you are doing and how you spend your time & c.
Respects, C.W. Ford
Town lighting was still rare for rural settlements like Findlay. But here, gas was cheap and wildly abundant. Wood engraving in Harper's Weekly, Dec. 19, 1885, photo by Charles Graham. Credit: Library of Congress.
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Comly Pa
Dec 22 1885
Mr Ford                       
Kind Friend, 
This pleasant eve I felt a little lonely and thought of you and try and answer your welcome letter that I read several days ago, but feel sorry to hear that you frosted that left ear as to spoil that picture that I have the promise of.  I thank you for the one you did send, and I think it looks very much like the young man I met at Wm Wyer one eve.  I cant not see as you have change in least.  If I was to meet you at the door I think I shall remember your face by this picture.  You think I go by the name Hattie.  I do by a great number of people and will not object to anyone calling me Hatt for short. Yesterday I was to Danville and it is quite a drive from here.  All the work lay for me today.  Every day brings its work and I try to do all of the sewing done so that I can do in the winter seasona as I am kept buy s at household affairs.  My time is put in good, I got to work hard every day but I hope to have a few slight - one in Feb when you come to visit us, as my Mother health is not very good.  That is why I go to do a little more than my share, yet I am willing to do the hard work.  Mr. Ford when you come to Comly and see these little hills, I think you will say what a hill you got to go over to get to our barn.    If you have so far to go to feed your cattles as our barn, you would shure freeze before you get back.  I wish you a happy christmas as it will be dull around here, and I think of staying at home.  Three years ago I called at your place, do you remember of my call.  As my time is short, I will stop rite here.  Excuse haste and short letter.  Write soon,  Your Friend Hatt.

Three years earlier would mean she visited Findlay Ohio in 1882. Hattie's sister Ella had a baby, Jessie Mae Wyer, July 29 1881.   Jessie died in September of 1883. Ella gave birth to their second daughter, Stella Eva Wyer,  in May of 1884.
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Comly PA Jan 27 1886
Mr Ford
     Kind Friend
This eve I will try to answer your welcome letter that I read a few days ago and found me well.  We have good sleighing here at the present time but I have not made good use of the snow here yet.  I will send you one of my picture as I told you that I would before you would come east. I shant say that it is a poor one, I will let it for you to tell.  My neighbor say it looks like me, I don't think so.  You spoke about me going home with you.  I accept our love as freely as it is gien and all of mine is yours in return. I have no fears for my future if you are with me and if that future be not bright and my efford to make it so will nto have been wanting.  I would rather wait until we meet then I can tell if we could live together, it will not be to late will it, and I think I could liver whare you can.  I think i written as much on this subject for this time, but will look for a letter from you soon.  tell me when you will be here.  I write a short letter this time for I don't like ot write.  Folks are well. Pelase let me know when you can, as soon as you can say any ?.  Your friend Hattie as ever your friend Hatt.  I will close saying good night.  Excuse the short letter, a poor one.
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                                                                                                          Findlay O Jan 30 '86
Miss Harriet Hagerman
Dear Friend: Your very welcome letter was received yesterday and I heartily thank you for the picture and for the speedy response you have given in this letter.  I trust I may ever be true to the confidence you have placed in me and for the love you have freely given.  Mine may be as freely returned.  Will start for Buffalo this evening and from there to Watsontown Monday, hoping to reach your place Tuesday.  
Sincerely Yours
C W Ford
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Findlay, O Feb. 5 '86 
Miss Harńet Hagerman
Dear Friend:
I was almost Sorry that I left you as I did last Tuesday when you were so desirous of my staying longer. I expected to find in you a friend whom I could love, but did not expect to find you thinking as much of me as you do. Neither did I think of you going to so much trouble for me as you did. While it was my intention to love you anyhow, and give you my heart and hand for better or worse. Instead of being disappointed, I am surprised at finding a friend who very much surpasses any expectation and whoml shall be happy to call L‘my dear little wife”, and I hope with all possible speed we may get things ready to live together in a home of our own, and in a way becoming to God and men. But you want to know how I got home. I did not leave Watsontown until 2 -4 the next morning, because if I had left in the evening, l had found after I had bought my ticket that I could go no further than Elmira until 10 o.c.the next day. So I prefered to stay in Watsontown rather than in Elmina. Then of course I could not take the midnight train at Buffalo to home. But it tooke nearly all day Wednesday to get to Buffalo. Hence did not get home until yesterday, Thursday noon instead of Wednesday. Aside from waiting at Buffalo from 5 I did not stop on the road anywhere long enough hardly to get anything to eat. I must shorten this letter in order to send it to the office.
Good bye
C.W. Ford write soon
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Findlay O Feb 27 86
Miss Harriet Hagerman
Dear Friend
I am at a loss to know why I got no for a letter from you.   It has been nearly three weeks since I wrote you of my return, and I thought you would answer soon  I think something must be wrong and find I have some things to tell you.  I shall not wait longer for a letter from you.  Maybe you are wondering of me, as I am of you.  Why I do not write if that be the case.  I hope you will get this letterin in good time and then send one on back so that I get it in good time.

Tomorrow will be the last day of February, then it will be only 31 days until the first of April, when I left you it was the intention to return by the first of April, when you were going to come back with me to Stay- Now doesn't this seem a very short time to get ready for housekeeping? I expect, Just like yourself, you have working with all of your might to get your things ready and very likely you have succeeded better than I have.  It is like moving and no one knows what all ought to be done or how long it will take until he  begins and finishes. It requires time to sell land and I told you I would do with mine. Hardly anybody will buy on a moments notice. Renters, they that a person is bound to sell, then they will wait just long enough to buy it cheap. I do not intend to sell this way, and rather than take less for it than it is worth, I will go on with it just as if I was not going to sell at all. Old man Toyer would like to own it and has the money to buy, but he is not a man to be caught napping when a deal is to be made. I have told him that I would sell and I think he wants to and intends to buy, but is holding to get it for less money. I have some carpenter Work to do for him perhaps 75 or $100 worth and I think While I am doing this work for him, I shall out about it. But I fear Icannot make sale and buy again and get possession all in 35 days. There is plenty of land here for sale but I shall not buy or make any arrangements to buy until I can determine definitely what is to be done with my own. I have about $2000 in land here besides any team, wagon, buggy, harness and etc., and do not intend to sacrifice them in order to get married by the firrst of April. The home place here will be for sale or rent in the fall and if I do not succeed in selling, I think We can rent this place until this spring, a year. Besides, our folks intend to have a sale in the fall and there will be some things sold cheap here which I would like to buy to make up our outfit. Now I hope you will not think me trying to shirk my engagement for the first of April, but will share with me this to make the best arrangement for what we think will prove to be best for us in the end. Would like to hear from you Whenever you see fît to.
Sincerely yours,
C.W. Ford
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Comly Penna March 2nd 1886
Mr. Ford Dear Friend
This cold evening I’ll try and answer your welcome letter that I read some time ago. Was glad to of Your Safe arrival at home, but felt sorry that you did not see about your ticket till in the evening, as you should have seen after it in the morning, then you could have made made me a little longer visit than what you did. Well I have not see any of the Watsontown people since you was here, the news of  Comly, a great many people was asking about you. One would ask the other but none knew you, thats where the fun comes in. But my Mother told who you was, not your name but that you was Sister Ella near neighbor, then the cat run out. Haha. I not write any more but will tell you when we meet. I accept your love. I will try to be a good Wife to you, with gods help and my own best endeavor, and if it dont suit you to come after me this spring it will be all light for me to stay at home this summer, for I have a good home and hired girls, that is good ones is scarce and my Mother has been very poorly for the last two weeks, but I think she is a little better now. We have very severe Wheather hear now and had for the last week. This leaves me well. I could Write a longer letter if I had time, it keeps me it keeps me a  flying to get through with any work. Excuse this short letter and from one. Please write soon, love to you.
From Hatt Hagerman
Tell me all the news will you
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Comly Pa,
Fri  April 5nd 1886
Dear Clayton, as I would like to call you. As this is the first opportunity that I have to your letter that I received in March sometime. No doubt you think my letters come far apart, but I had a cold and Neuralgia I my head for the last two weeks that I could not write. Now that  I am better and rid of all that. We have very wet weather hear for the last week and is a raining afternoon, how dull. We had quite a snow yesterday, but is all melted. You think you would like to know my age, you shall know it if you read this letter from beginning to end. I guess I told you that my birthday come on the 12 of January. I was 33 years old. I am tell the truth about it. Don't feel as if I told you a Story for l dont tell story in letters, When I talk then is the time to jokeing. You say you are not rich. l dont think that the richest people are the happiest. I think this about riches, it is nice to have plenty to do with but all or nearly all beginners start on small degree and increase little by little. So I think that you and l can do, don't you think so. I am not rich but my Father has plenty to do with as long as time dont get any harder then what they are now, but We don't know what is in the future and I hope that our life together will be as happy when the time comes for us to live together as if we had never postponed our time- I think it depends on us, if We fret and scold from morning till night it will be unhappy. But that is not my way a living. I want my husband to do what is right and I will try and do my part which I think we both will call it right. I Work very hard last summer raising poultry. I sold poultry that amounted to $62, and I thought that was good. Well I have 12 little chickens now, how nice they are. I dont think that I ever was up past the bretheran church as I remember who lives Where. Will Wyer left  it was it a large place where he bought and hope did it happen that Will got to go. Old Mr. Wyer was for keeping Will as long as he could, or was it on account of not like him as well as he should. Write soon and tell me all the news. Keep these letters on fire when read. As ever your true friend. Call me - Hattie Hageman. Good bye

Will Wyer was married to Harriet's sister, Ella Hagerman
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Findlay, O. Apl 18 86
Miss Hattie Hageman
Dear Friend:
Your very welcome letter came to hand several days ago, and I would have answered it sooner, but wanted to find out about some business matters that I wanted to tell you. I have been thinking about buying the home place here, and our folks would like for me to have it. The payments to them will be easy, providing we can raise $1000 or nearly that by the first of September. There is a mortgage of about $2500 on the place held by a neighbor, and I think he will wait for the payment of that until we could pay it. The hardest part will be to make the first payment, after that if the place does as well as it has done, We can make from ten to twelve hundred a year out of it. Since it is the home place and very desirable as well as profitable property, it looks as if I ought to buy it if by any means we can. I would rather wait a year or two or three, but it must pass hands inside of six months and to wait would be to loose it all together. Now there are many things that might be said about this matter of business which concerns us both and I have wished that our marriage contract had been legalized so that we could take lawful steps toward making ready for our future home. That though would cause greater inconvenience and expense than to wait a while until we know what we are going to do, where we will live & etc. As it is, I think we shall have to go a little on faith, trusting each other a little without asking the law to ratify our ? until after the marriage. I wrote your father a few days ago so that I suppose he knows by this time, if he did not before, what We intend to do. Now I would like to ask you whether you would like to help any to make a payment on the place this fall if we should conclude to buy it. I think it would be best for us to tum in all the cash we can raise to make this first payment, and buy the things we need for housekeeping at the sale here which will come about the first of September. Since if we buy this place or any other, we shall have to turn to good account every thing we can, the things which will be sold low here and as at all sales, on time, they are good enough for me to begin with and we can replace them with new ones as we get better able. Besides, I Very much prefer to spend all we can in stock and things that will pay us something as We go along, rather than put very much into household goods. I do not know whether this plan will suit you or not, but I rather think that you think very much as I do on this subject. This is very much a business sort of letter and I hoped to write on some other day than this, but it is time it is to you, and if you can, after you have thought it over, write write me soon about it.  I should be much obliged.  I helped Williams move onto the new place. He was bound not to stay up here any longer and to keep him from going west to Kansas, his father helped him to buy this farm of 100 acres for $7000, $1000 down and $1000 a year with Interest at six percent. His place is badly run down and I am pretty sure that we can or could make more money on this place than he on that, because this place is in fine shape for making something.  You told me of your chicks. I hope they are doing well. I have 27, not going to make a good bunch of hogs by next spring if they continue to do as well as they have done I have also 15 acres of wheat that looks well, and have an excellent site for corn on the same amount of ground. Have plenty to do at work that pays pretty well but am a little behind on account of making so little last winter on my cattle. Heretofore I have had I have had to buy the stock I fed, in the future I expect to raise more and buy less. Drove out to church and s.s. today, and I wish you had been here to Such a nice day and such beautiful weather we are having.
Sinc. C.W. Ford
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Findlay, May 1 '86
Mr.. & Mrs. Hagerman
Your note consenting to the marriage of your daughter, Harriet, has been received, and I am happy to thank you for this gift next to the greatest of all gifts, a wife, a helpmate, and a life companion. But I fear that while this your sacrifice is any comfort, it is also your sorrow, in that it takes from you the last of your children, which are always the joy and of parents in their old age, but. thc prosperity of their children adds new joys to fathers and mothers, and the bitterness of lifes declining years looses half its sorrows in the success of those for whom their life has been spent, and whom parents learn to love most dearly. May fond hopes and bright prospects illuminate your path as they do ours, and may God bless you lot as we trust- he will also bless ours.
Respectfully,
C .W. Ford
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Comly Pa June 11 1886
Dear Friend
This pleasant evening I'll try to answer your long letter that I received some time ago and was glad to hear that your health is good, and what a blessing it is to have good health. My health is tolerable good but I work to hard for my strength. I must tell you that we had company this afternoon, my Brother, that one that had his lim broken, That was the one you Saw on the wood pile. This is the first place he has been, how glad we was to see him able to ride out, for the time was very long to him. Well Clayton can you tell me Why it is that my Sister Ella has forgotten me, for the last letter that I reed from her was last Feb., but I never Write the second letter until she writes.
You told me that you have bought the home place it trouble me a little at first when you told - but I hope that we can pay for it now as you have taken the step. Now we both must save all we can so that we can pay for our home which we can call our own someday, but 1 am afraid it wont be very soon. You spoke about me loose ten pounds on the hill to the Barn. I dont know how much I did weigh when we moved here, but the last I weighed 104 lb. Can you beet that, but the people that did not see me in a year says I got thin. We all was to Mrs. Hagerman mothers funeral on last Wednesday. She was 93 years old. She lived about 14 miles from here, but Mrs. Hagerman did not come to attend the funeral and they wondered so why she did not come, is any of them sick, do you know. Well I must tell you how my garden is, it is very good and lots of strawberry. I wish you was hear so I could treat you. Have you any garden this year.
I must tell you how I did when I sent your last letter­ I took it to the office and never sealed it, and Went up to the farm and commenced to milk and it came in my mind that the letter was not seal and I come down to the and the P_M. told me that he sealed it for me. I tell you it made me feel so bad for I was afraid he had read it.` I cant see what made me do so as to forget to seal it, no doubt you will laugh when you see this. I don't know if you ask any questions in your last letter for I dont have time this evening to look over it. Who lives where Will Wyre lived when I was to Ohio. We are commence to make hay this week the grass is good in places, corn is very small- We had so much Wet Weather hear this spring. This leaves me Well, I must close for the rest has retired for the night and it is time for me. Write soon, and along letter. From Harriet Hagerman- goodby

Harriet had two brothers - Joshua "Shortie" & John. I know almost nothing about John, not even when he was born or died. He is listed as an administrator in his fathers will. I do not know which brother this letter refers to.

Mrs Hagerman's Mothers Funeral - I am guessing maybe John's wife's mother? It cannot be Joshua's wife's mother, as she didn't die until 1888, and was not 93 when she died. Catherine (Weidman) Hagerman was Harriet's mother , she died at age 68 in 1888, so it is not her.. but Catherines mother, Hannah , died around 1870 - this could be referring to her? But why would Harriet ask Clayton if any of them were sick that Mrs Hagerman did not attend the funeral... I just do not know.
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l have no garden, do not get posession until Sept l hence we will have no garden and but will have all the fruit after first of September. CW.


Findlay O,  June 27 86
Miss Hattie Hagerman
Dear Friend: Your latest letter was received a few days ago and I must say that it did me more good than any I have received from you for a long time. You were afraid the PM. had read your last letter and were uneasy about it. 1 was not afraid of the PM. reading mine (the last one), but I feared that when you had read the everlasting thing through you would not like it, or the person who wrote it very well. The land purchase here did not suit me much, if any better than it did you, but it Seemed to me the best thing I could do, The thing that hurt me worst was for my father to so give way to his feelings as to go off to Kansas and buy property there, when we were in no way prepared for such a transaction- thus putting us all in better shape to be “trusted” than for anything else. But that is over now and since he chose to take his course, since I oould not endorse him, I was compelled to choose my own; and putting all things together you have what I have chosen. He is old and his outlook does not look to me to be very flattering, but in any case it is different. I am young and think I can safely defend you 13 good years for work, and if we can pay for the place in even that long a time, the value of the property will pay us for our $800 or $1000 a year. This debt looks large and the time looks long, but we will have a good place to live with plenty of fruit, buildings, and things and good shape to make every thing we work for pay. You will have no long hill to wear yourself out on, walking up and down, and you will not have alot of hands to cook for, etc. The work you are doing now is to much for you, it might not be too much if it were not for the long hill to your barn, the only wonder it that you can stand it at all. If you see to raise poultry and milk cows here you will have 'rt much handyer, one of the restaurant men come out here town and gets cream at 40 cents a gallon, and would take all the young chickens we can raise. This is one of the advantages in living close to town. We can keep a supply and they can come and get them as they want. Then looking at the mailer sometimes I get the blues, but a1 other times it is pretty clear to me that we can make more here and at the same time live better than any other place I could have found.
I have not seen sister Ella since they moved and cannot tell why she does not write, There is a new Bradford living Where they lived before. Am glad your mother is well and about again Things around here were looked nicer than they have this spring. Corn is fine, wheat good grass pretty good, oars good, potatoes good, no failures at all so far that I know of.
Well, when will you be ready to come to Ohio? Early August: only about 8 weeks and then - what will, There is a out here that I am to be married to a Miss Paxson a girl here in our neighborhood. I suppose they have made up their minds that I am to be married, and since they think Miss Paxson the most available. She of course to their minds, is the one. Well let them think so, I shall not tell them different, and I do not think I will hurt Miss Paxson, you, or myself, any of us.
I do not know what you think about wedding` Whether you believe in having a general good big time, or a very quiet one. I like the quiet kind where young people get married and go to themselves to make their fortune afterwards, then if they do not succeed nobody much will be disappointed, and if they do succeed, life will be a little surprise all along the line. Whatever you have l shall have no wedding doings here. Did not think of bringing you here until after or may be a day or two before our folks left. l did think once of asking you to come to Ohio and get married in order to save expense, but l do not know if suche economy would be wise or not. If you like, you might tell me what you think of it, but I fear it would look more like unmanly stinginess economy. Write soon. Respt. CW. Ford
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Findlay O, Aug 4 86
Dear Friend Hattie:
In my absentmindedness I have sealed up the envelope and slìped it into the office so  I must write another. Have just been to the Ticket Agent and he tells me that I can leave here one day soon and reach Danville the next day a little after noon. This being the case I would like to start from here Monday noon Aug. 23“, reach Danville Tuesday Aug. 24”’ and drive over to Comly Tuesday evening, be married on Tuesday Aug25'h a1 10 Oc am and start for Ohio so as to be sure and get back by Friday morning. Now I Should life to hear from you right away whether this will suit you or not. If this plan will not suit you please say what will. Please excuse this hasty letter and write me soon and if you have any suggestions to make, be free to make them. Will it be out of place for me to visit with you a while before the wedding vow Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning?
Sincerely yours,

CW. Ford
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Aug 5nd 86
Dear Friend
I received your  last letter last evening was glad to hear so often from you and that you are well. I thought I would answer both now. No, I don’t to expect to be at your place when your Pas sail is. I am willing to have you buy furniture at your Pa sail if it is cheap, but dont pay more for old then we can buy new. you go to the furniture store and price the goods then you can tell what to pay at the and if your folks have a young cow that is not over 6 years old and is good. I will have one of my own but dont go to high in price, for the best of cows is only fetching 30 dollars a head. But if you haft to pay a little more, I wont dare to say anything abou tit, and you can get all you want. I am willing to take up with old furniture if it is good, not worn out in the 'I and dont buy the cooking stove unless it is good and get it very very cheap. l expect to begin with few things and as we get better able then we will get some new things. I thought you might pay for the furniture and the money I will get l will invest in land. Well Clayton, my Father said if you ever got angray at me and then you would cast up to me, that I come after you. 'I told him if you would ever say that, I would pack my trunk and come home. Are willing say that you will never cast that up to me, for I dont want you to miss your father sail or be gone when your people start, for I know how it would be for myself. My fathers wish is for you to come after me but he said l should do just as I wish abou tit, but I have decided to come alone to Findlay and you can meet me at the depot, or at the hotel. There is whare we will get married. If l think wright, the Joy house is one of the ñrst class hotel and it wont suit me until 31 of Aug, as near as l can tell now. If I start hear on Monday 30, I expect to reach Findlay Tuesday some time. If I take the noon train, I will go by the way of Pitsburgh and when I come to Mansfield I change and run to tiffin and from tiffin to Fostoria and had my trunk transferred. Now if I had stayed on the train at mansfield and run up to either to Corra or lima, I dont remember as hearing either of these name of the place so I don’t go to Fostoria. . Will you please see the ticket agent abopt it. At Watsontown they dont know if it should rain that monday morning, then I will not start, for I got quite a distance to meet the train. If I go that way I will be at west depot. Tell me whare you will meet me, please.
From Harriet Hagerman.
Please write soon. Goodbye.
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Findlay O. Aug. 13 86
Friend Hattie:
I was very much surprised when you told me in your last letter that you had decided to come to Findlay alone and without so very much thought about it, but considerably pleased to think that you even willing to come. I wrote my answer promptly without even approving or dísapproving it: but thought l would answer it definitely when I received your next letter. I had not from the first decided whether it would be best for you to come here alone even if circumstances should seem to make it necessary but after you first expressed yourself about it and told me what your mother thought of it and  what your sister Ellen would think of it - I wholy gave up the idea and thought myself that if out of place for you to be married anywhere else than at home. I think now it would look small and ungentlemanly  for me to consent to you comeing here alone and should take it as an offense to your friends, especially to your parents to be the means of getting their last daughter away from home to be married. Besides, it would look as if the state of things here must be desperate to call forth such a way Of married, to meet at a railroad station, hotel or some other improper plane, call in the pastor ge: license and etc, all away from home among strangers, as if you had no home, no friends or relatives` when you could have your wedding in the ordinary way. No Hartie, I shall not consent to you being married anywhere else than at your house, though I must thank you for your willingness to sacrifice the pleasures of a wedding at home in order to save me a little expense. This seems to me the only proper course to pursue and the thing for us to do is to choose the course that is proper and not allow our preferences and circumstances to press us into a way that is ? and mean, or that people might think it mean even if it were not. Marriages are always published and if there is anything peculiar about them or anything a little out of the natural order of things, it is pretty sure to be severely criticized` and if there is anything I dislike to stir up, it is the idle curiosity of strangers and the unfriendly criticism of our second rate acquaintances about our marriage. This is one ofthe things that people are most eager to talk about, and if there anything they can get a hold of ? badly they are pretty sure to do it.
Now if an early ? date will not suit you, I can leave here Monday noon Aug. 30, reach Comly the next  evening, be married Wednesday morning Sep. l, and at noon start for Ohio, and get back here by Thursday evening Sept. 2. This will require only about three or four days and I think I can get somebody to stay here and look after things for the use of them.  At any rate I can manage that some how, besides I have not been away on a vacation or a holiday all summer and I think this will be an excellent opportunity for me to get away on a good errand in a good cause, If you want your company of 20, have it and I think we shall enter ? our new duties with better spirits and more of the sympathies of our friends for the pleasant times we  have at father Hagermans when Hattie is married.  If you want to, meet me at Danville Tuesday evening Aug. 31 all night.  If not alright, I must go to Danville and I think the ? for me to get ????  there to County on time would be by private conveyance.
  Now I have received no letter from you since the one in which you said you were coming and this is the second answer to that letter and I hope you will not consider me ? hasty or headstrong for not consenting to you coming here alone.  If when I get your next letter I see ?  it that it will suit you to be married on the 25th, then I will start from here on the 23rd, but if I do not see from your next letter that the 23rd will suit you I will with for an answer to this letter.  Please write soon if it is not more than a line or two.

C.W.Ford


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Letters After The Wedding
Letters from family members to Clayton & Harriet


Dear Son and Daughter..

I have been dreaming and thinking about you a great many times.  I have been there in my dreams and talk with you and Hattie. Did you get the house straíten up before Hattie come. Didnt Hattie get scareed at all them old traps. I wished I had time to straitend things up. Our house is small, we have four rooms and a summer kitchen. I dident know what to do with all my things, I got them all stored away.  We have no up stairs, we have a good cellar. Iam well pleased with our home and fann. How does Hattie like her home, what does Will Wyre call their boy, have any of the neighbors called on Hattie. Dont she work too hard does she get homesick. You speak of Hattie Ford and your record in old family Bible. Mrs. Ford & I & all the family would like to have seen her before we left Ohio.A now many hundreds of miles stretch out between us also great rolling rivers & there is only a possibility that we will ever meet in this world, so I will just say that you seem to have got the Woman for you and L possibly the only one in the wide world that would have suited you & so I would enjoin you to care well for her. We would like you to bring her here on a visit if you can do so. And now I will ask some questions. Did you see my tax receipt from Linn County land- they are missing. How much was the note of hand we gave to the Heull Baule which is due March l, 1887. Will you please send to us the complete family records as the old Bible was left -records were in it. With Kind regards to Mrs. Ford I remain yours. Jesse Ford
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I think the letter below might be from Harriet's neice, Ella Smith, daughter of Charles & Sarah (Hagerman) Smith. Sarah was Harriet's sister, and may be the "Mother Smith" mentioned in this letter. My best guess is that Ella was living with her grandparents when she wrote this? In 1887, Ella Smith would have been 20 years old. She did not marry until she was 25.

The Ella mentioned here as having a baby would be the sister of Harriet. She had a baby, Mahlan Wyer, in 1887.

Comly Jan 26th 1887
Dear Friend
I thought I would answer your kind and Welcome letter which was receìved the other day. Was surprised to hear from you for We thought you was to saving to write to me. We ought not to have written so soon and made you wait as you did us, but will Write any Way. Maybe you will write sooner this time. I hardly no the latest news of Pa., but will give you a part of it. Is there any sickness out there we hear most every day about some body a dying. Mr. Plotts beried 19th, Mrs. Walter was beried 19m, Jacob Lincon Mother. Also John Little on 18th. Aron Hilldred has been or is very poorly and is not expected to live over night. We had a letter from aunt and she wants to no weher you married a widower,­ is it so, if it is we would like to no so you try and Write to her and tell her what he is, so write to her. You Wanted how the cows do. We sold 13 lbs. a Week. The chicken dose not do good, We dress the geese, get '7 cts lb.. the turkey did not amount to mutch as they did not weigh heavy. We made a soot of the White one, gobìer is living yet. You wanted to know wether the house missed me, only the money dish and the bed- is done up for a spare bedroom, dress the bed up in white Howard J ames trim. Jonney  ?? out so he sleeps here in the little bedroom. You spoke about the garden truck, if you had it out there you would be welcome to it. I felt bad when I heard of Rachel Prugles death many a night together. Why did you not have a Birthday party when our ‘.7 . ?You can in? You may have one by the next time. Was very mutch surprise on when l heard of Ella having a little boy. I expect they will have one ? to you sometime, but I hope it will not come in winter as you will freeze it to death in your cold kitchen. Kate Hagerman is out west yet as she was Xmas they had 2 turkeys roasted. Sally Ann felt bad about not seeing you. they will not write to you till you Write to them. Joshuas inspect did not turn out good. According to the ?? did not get his hundred as expected to. Thursday even. I thought I would finish your letter. Mother Smith was up today, they are all well. John's folks is well as far as We no. There is a great many public sales around hear, ?Lacfes? 16th Jan little John Caldwell Jan. 17th. Mrs. James has been on the sick list and so is the Eastern Maby you dont no who I mean why Mr. Derr, They hant very dangerous I gess. If you want any of them onions, cabbage, or celery or enything else Why just write in and we will send you some if you pay the freight. Grand Pa thinks he spent a neough money for to send things. You said you wanted some pumpkin seeds, well we cant hardly send eny in our letter for we have always so much to send. So if you Want eny other kinds of seeds Why Write to us and we will send you a little box or a paclg for one of your aperons is hear and your basket that big stephen bought you. We dont Want anything that belongs to you so what ever want Why tell us and you are welcome to it. Gess I will haf to close writing page. Maby I have wrote to much all readyJ but if I did, you must excuse me, and I will try and do better next time. Mrs. Watts was up to Ruth Watts, so if you no ware that is about. 2 Weeks Ruth and her sister was down a. few days. Lizzie is middling well. Did you hear that Will Schuyler had an ? to Annie Phillips Mary Eliot is going to have something but I dont know what, boy or girl. George Shade Widow is married. So what do you think of that . To start in the world to a hilger, you thought he is married?????‘?. look at them. He is about Mr. Wilsons age, is poor, What do you think of that why you are young. Wilsons are better than they was, Mr. is as spry as a cricket Alice is better. Did you hear anything about any car accident in Ohio. It was close to a place that was called Republic Ohio to tiffin. I ges that is all the news. Excuse all mistakes. If l have wrote anything to offend you please excuse me. Grandma have a little cold now and cough pretty hard in day time but at night she rests very well, dont need hardly to cough. I will close by sending out love to all, Good night and a kiss. 
From E.LS. to Mrs. C.W.F

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Emporia, Kans. 1.15.87
CW Ford
Dear son, Your letter dated & 8 came duly to hand, carefully read and contents noted. We were glad to know of your general prosperity, very many things there in which we are interested and would have written soon t0 make Some inquiry. We are all Well1 We all attended SS. and church today. Rev. Altman is our Pastor. We as a church are worshiping in a rented building but have the foundation laid for a fine stone church in one ofthe best parts ofthe city, alittle over one mile away from our home. New officers were installed today & one of the Elders was your humble servant. 1 think the Pastor in the County is a much abler preacher than any I ever heard in Findlay except bishop Foster. I believe the congregations here ofthe principal churches are better looking, better dressed than anywhere else I ever went at. This city has about 20 & 25 places of worship & is a great place for going to church and the colored and whites dont worship together. The Salvation Army are here & have been for two months. Their proceeding are verry like the Neber revival at Findlay with the addition of some Tamborines which they use verry vigorously. From present appearences we are likely to have a boom of no ordinary character to commence in the spring. There is to be a direct line of RR. from here to Chicago & this place is to be a feeding place, large cattle yards will be put up here & from here they will be shipped directly to Chicago.
We have now been hear nearly 5 months & have been too busy to speculate much on Findlay gas & oil .. Mrs Ford & I are commencing life anew in many` respects, our expenses here were much larger than We expected them, We have Wagons & buggy & harness, three head of horses With a prospect of 2 Colts in the spring, one Colorado lately the plains. We have 5 cows, one fresh and two to come in, in the spring. Etta is getting along now Well with her school. The house is a new one & only from our home. Lully is going to commercial college in the city. Ida is veny much as she was in Ohio. I suppose it was very near as cold here as there but it dont last nearly so long. The roads are ñne & have been nearly all the fall and winter. There is a scarcity of stock water, our pond had got verry low. I put another batch of carp into it in the early Winter. I suppose you heard we beat the Groninger tribe on the land suit. The letter you sent to me from Linn County came verry opportunity as l was going over there soon & want to lease. The receipt of Beardsly I gave notice to my Atty. at Mound City about & will be to pay the other & so I will have it charged in bill of costs to be collected from the Groningers. I nearly forgotten about the threshing bill, thought I had settled it. Lully and I intend farming the place in the spring, there will be 10 acres oats, 6 Millet, 45 corn & 130 acres to mow. We have already over 200 loads of manure & there is 150 yet to draw, besides covering our 2 acres nearly over. There are 2 RR. running in sight of our farm7 one of them only V2 mile away. There about 10 or 12 farm houses all painted up in sight of farm, 2 or 3 new ones so our neighborhood is improving. We have been treated verry kindly here, We draw water from a well 30 feet deep with two buckets, one goes down & one up. We get our flour for per hundred 85 have better bread than We had in Ohio & we all have verry goed appetites. Lully has gained some 15 Ib. Think Mr. Crites will will go back to Findlay, If he puts any stories in circulation there please let me know & I will give some of his history here as an to them. 
THERE IS OBVIOUSLY MORE TO THIS LETTER1 BUT IT MUST BE MISSING
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Comly Jan the 23 1887
Friend Hattie
I received your long looked for letter, read it with interest. We are all Well, we have all had some Cold weather not? as last winter. We have had snow since Thanksgiving, it snow on that day to the depth of about l0 inches, have had splendid sleighing since Christmas until today. There have been some buggies running, it has been warm this 3 days, spoiling the sleighing. They are holding there meeting at the church this Week. Mr. Plotts was buried last Thursday. Old Mrs Nichols is dead. Your Mother went to her funeral. Your Mothers cough has been pretty bad by spells, not so bad as last winter. She dont cough so mutch at night. She was out to the Christmas service, it was Grand, not accomadate all, so they had it over on monday night get? ? They had a contata show or representing the poor on Xmas and the rich Enoch is married, was married the 14th of December. They moved her up on last tuesday. So now he is settled. Henry Shade is married to Alice, has been west Since last fall Visiting. Alice VVllson is pretty well again, they are going to have a Birth party for Tabitha Smith on Wendsday Your folks had a turkey roast some time ago, had the boys and their familys home. Ally Smith was home a week, so they had it then. The whole family was there, they had a nice time. i felt sorry when read your letter. i hope if i wrote any thing to olfend you or husband, you will forgive me. I would not Wound your feelings for a good bit when so far away from home. Josh family are well, they espect to have the sale the 16th of February. There is quite a number of sales this Spring. i cant think of muteh to write so I will stop until I think of some more news. Elmer espect to start for the west next month, Illinois will be his stopping place i hate to see him go, it seems they go one by one. 3 years ago all together, now all scattered ‘P ‘?and? I are lett as it is a few days since I lay my ?pen? ? take it up and finish my letter, as is writing for your Mother. They will give you all the news, so I will bring my letter to a close hoping to her from you whenever it will be convenient to write. No I do not intend married. As you know, I have give up all hopes of even getting a man. i just felt discouraged when you. i gess I will have to stay with my father. While I remain truly your friend. '
M. E. O?



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Emporia Kans Julyl 1887
Mr. CW. Ford
Dear Sir Your favor of the ,'24th will come to hand several days since & as I was ready to go to the farm did not take time to answer until my return. This monday morning we are well Mrs Ousler and two chiìdren visiting with us for one week They are from Circìevílle Kans and are very pleasant folks. John Ford beiied his wife on the 23. Well I suppose I told you that DMP. and wife gave us a visit sometime in June. The Weather here has been dry & crops are very much damaged. We had for several days warm SW winds, mercury standing at 104 in the shade ai times. In reference to the amount from Farmers Nat Bank, 1 hereby send the receipt from bank which will be an explanation or statement from said bank. There may be one ofthe notes not yet collected. I do not think they will make much of a change for coiiecting as the notes were sent for security & interest taken for the money received & the notes were made payable at said bank. It will be an aecommadaiìon to us if Mr. Heay will take the notes on the farm at his proposition. Wili expect to hear from him soon.
wth our kind wishes for your prosperity and happiness. I remain yours. Jesse Ford
Dear Son and Daughter we was gìad to hear from you añer so long a time I have been busy Canning crab apples. I wish you and Hattie could be here and the grapes are getting ripe, we have some pears, We had appìes to use in June. We had a very nice garden. The dry weather hurt it. How are your crops this year and how many chickens and turkies have you. How is your garden, your cabbage, apples, pears, crabs, grapes, peaches, plums. How is old chery and rosy and nig and maltie and ned and flory and kate. Where is Mr. Kunts going. is going to move in there. Katey not married. Jennie is going back in two Weeks, is going to spend two weeks on the mountains. Ida is pretty well. When are you and Hattie coming to see us. Mother '

Write a long letter
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Aug 1st 1887
Emporia Kan.
My dear brother and sister Hattie
It has been a long time since We had a letter from you and Hattie. I do think that we might take up our correspondence that We had soon after you left Ella's to go away. I do actually think that We might write more Otten then We do, dont you? How are the old flowers that we lett in the front beds? We haven't hardly any in the yard like the ones what we left, but the neighbors seem to have a great plenty around us, but I suppose they will have to get naturalized first. It seems as though flowers and the gardens is where ma finds most of her pleasure. We have a nice big yard if the things were only arranged the Way we wanted them. We have about a 1/2 dozen or maby more Wisteria vines and some other kind which we dont know the name of. So Clayton cousin Clara Ousilers is here at our home home now and will stay this whole week if not longer & she brought her oldest son & youngest, which is the baby. Roscoe does like to be out on the farm so he and Lullie will be together this week. They were eenling to visit her relations there at Findlay so I suppose she would come out to see you, but the baby is teething now, and she says she Wont come till next summer. Roscoe tends to stock in the winter & they say he does well in it for one of his age. Does Alice ever Write any to you? So cousin Solom is High school teacher for next year is he? (so We saw it in the paper)- Why didn't you answer Jennie Parkers last letter to you. Aunt Mary says you didn‘t. Pa got a letter from Uncle John telling us of his Wife’s death, congestion of the stomach was the cause of it, and one from Aunt Mary Parker at the same time telling of Ollie's and ïenníe's double wedding this fall, but not sure of Jennie's, for her intended isn't through school yet. Clayton are you ñnding cattle this winter or what are you going to do? I spose I will have to stay at home.
Our S.S. will have its picnic some time soon now, right close to our house, down in Sodens grove, but I don't think lwill go for the -sun will be to hot for me. You must come out and see us. thinks that they will if evefy thing goes as she expects it to. Well pa wants to get of uptown, so I will have to stop for a But you dont seem to care whether we hear from each other or not? So farewell to you both, till ì hear from both you.
How is Nig, you must remember me to nig for she was my best friend there. Goodbye to both &

ìove, Ida
August l“

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