Friday, February 25, 2011

1856 Apr. 17 Letter to Sarah Blain (3705) from Mary (Molly) Stergeon

The letter is written in ink on paper. It is folded in half and is written on four sides. The date is April 17, 1856. It is sent from Kossuth (north of Burlington), Des Moines County, Iowa. The letter is from the sister of Ann and Judy and Gertrude (Blain?) to Sallie (Sarah Blain (3507) in Chillicothe, Ohio). A later letter identifies the author of this letter as Mary G. Stergeon....

Des Moines County, Kossuth Iowa April 17th 1856

Dear Sallie,

I take this opportunity to write to you to let you know that I am well. Now I will tell you a bout our new home. We have longed for a farm. We did not expect to buy when we came out. But it is most impossible to rent because there was a great many wanted to rent but could not. Land is a getting very high. It is growing in value every day. We gave a pretty good price for ours - 30 dollars per section - but it is all under good fence. Very good house - it has one large room and another very nice room for a parlor, and a little bed room, and a kitchen in good place up stairs, and a good smoke house. --- a good fence around the yard and the best barn in the neighborhood. It is called a bank barn. Most every farm has a barn. There is several a young to burld (?) and we have a young orchard with about 70 to 80 apple trees. There is a few of them dead, There was a great many fruit trees killed this last winter

We bought our farm from a gentleman by the name of Mr. Backus. We are boarding with him. Our board is one dollar apiece a week, and that is cheaper than Housekeeping. Boarding is just as high as it is in Ohio, but the reason is that we get ours so cheap is that Mr. Backus expected to give possession in short time after we a bought. He owns a farm adjoining us but it is not improved. If he can get help he will improve a few acres. But if he cannot, he is going to Burlington. He formerly lived there and was a hotel keeper, and the Burlington folks was so glad that he would out. For they thought that they would get him back there to live.

They are a making soap and getting ready to move. He has owned the farm
for some time but not moved on it till last spring. Mrs. Backus said that she does not like to move away for she thinks that it is so pleasant to live here. I forgot to tell you that we have an excellent well of water just at the door.

Sarah (3705), I think that you had better come out here to see me. We live a mile and a half from Kossuth. There is a male and a female college. It is a small town. It is improving very fast. The professor of the college is a New School minister and he is a very smart man. The school is in a very flourishing condition. There is a very large boarding house near the college. It is not quite finished but will be in a few weeks.

We live on what is called the round prairie. Our timber is a bout three quarters of a mile from the house. I know some that has to go 6 and 8 and 10 miles for wood. I am a going to write to Mother when I finish your letter. When you write I want you to tell me every thing you know. Write long letters, and you must not neglect to write. And Sallie, you must not neglect to go and see my dear mother and sweet sister Ann and little Judy. I think that I would be a great deal better contented if my Mother lived out here, and it would be such a good chance to send Ann and Gertrude to school to college.

Two pages of a letter, ink on a single sheet of paper, undated and found separately. The letter seems to be a continuation of the previous letter to Miss Sallie Blain (3705), and is signed Mary G. Sturgeon, Kossuth, Des Moines County, Iowa. The paper and the hand writing of the two documents are very similar.

And you, Sallie? There has been a good many weddings out hear since I came out. Last Thursday there was a Mr. Hiser to a Miss Ernest. And next Thursday Mr. Carmian to a Miss Gray. And in a week or two there is to be another wedding – Mr.Harper to a Miss Birdwell. Mr. Harper is a cousin Johns. Sarah. I think there would be a chance out hear for you when we came out here.

Your brother, John Blain, came as far as Cincinnata with us. I want you to tell me whether they have moved west or not. Sallie, I will have to bring this letter to a close. John and Mr. Backus went to Burlington today The pararrie begins to look prety and green. The wind is quite high today. We had rain last night. Sallie, you must excuse this letter for there is some bad spelling in the letter. Give my best respects to your Mother (3565) and uncle Billy (3562). And reserve a large portion for yourself. I am in quite a hurry, for dinner is near ready. So Farewell this time.

Yours sincerely
To Miss Sallie Blain (3705) Friend Molly
Mary G. Sturgeon

Kossuth, Des Moines County, Iowa

Mrs Mary S. G. Sturgeon

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