Thursday, February 24, 2011

1854 Apr. 21 Letter to William Chandler (3562) and Hannah Blain (3565) from Rebecca Bell (3559)

Letter written on two sides of a folded sheet from Rebecca Bell (3559) in Jefferson County, Iowa to William Chandler (3562) and Hannah Blain (3565) in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Jefferson County Iowa 4th month 21st 1854

Dear brother (35620 and sister (3565), I take my pen to inform you that we are well. Hoping these lines may find you all well, a blessing that we poor unworthy beings know not how to be thankful as we ought to be for. We received a letter a few days ago from S. Blain (3705). It was a satisfaction to hear that you were all well. We received a letter from thee brother late last fall. I wrote thee an answer shortly after receiving it. I understand from Sarahs letter that thee has not received it.

We have had a very dry winter. Several light snows but very little rain. The streams have not been up this spring. Many wells have failed so that people are beset for water. The weather was very changeable through the winter from extremely cold to moderate so that bad colds have been very prevalent. Some cases of Thyphoid and lung fever, also some cases that is called the scarlet fever, and a good deal of what is termed the scarlet rash. The small pox was in and about Salem last winter but not to any great extent. The cholera is prevailing along the Mississippi and we understand that many are falling victim to that disease.

There was not much wheat sowed last fall in our neighborhood. What was it is said looks well. It has been a great time for putting in spring wheat and oats and many are plowing for corn.

Stock of all kinds high. A good horse will fetch a 100 dollars quick enough.

The people are in high spirits about railroads. There is one laid out from Rock Island to the Council Bluffs. The nearest point to us will be some 8 to 10 miles. They are at work on it also one in competition from Burlington by way of Fairfield to St. Joe on the Missouri river. It will be about the same distance south of us that the other will be north.

Land is rating high and people are emigrating to Iowa rapidly. Come see us Brother if thee can and see our fast improving state. Thee can get on the cars and come to Rock Island, and then the stage to Pleasant Plains, and then thee will be in sight of our place. Thee can come in a week or less time if all goes off well. Thee may think I am trying to persuade thee come but I don’t wish to persuade any one to come. But be assured that we would be pleased to see thee. We have been building last summer a frame 18 by 28 a story and a half high with an ell kitchen on the north 12 by 18.

Tell Sister Sarah (3563) that her old traveling companions Barkley and Sarah Johnson are well. They were at our house a few days ago. They often enquire after her wellfair. But it seems as though we can give them little information as she does not write to us. I would be pleased to get a line from her and the address of the post office where she resides.

When this comes to hand if ever it does please write as soon as convenient and let us know how you are coming on. So no more at present and but remain your affectionate sister.

Rebecca Bell (3559)

William Chandler (3562)
Hannah Blain (3565)

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