1865 Letters

July 27, 1865 letter to Sarah Keith from Luke Keith

July 27, 1865

To: Sarah Keith

From: Luke Keith, De Pere, WI

Luke writes that he is not well. The sores he has from “the itch” are getting worse and he doesn’t blame Jimmy for crying and saying it burns. He is thinking of going to Kewaunee and Manitowoc next if he is well enough. Jim King is thinking of manufacturing on a large scale and would provide him with all the bed bottoms he may want. He has the blues and wishes some sales had been established to sell the bottoms in different places before he got into the business. He would like to sell enough territory to cover everything they will need in the fall: hay, wood, straw and taxes. Says he would give Mark and Oscar 25% each for any territory they sold for him. Tells her that if an offer for $2000 was made to buy their place she shouldn’t hesitate to sell.

Depere July 27th/65

Well Sarah I wish I was at home. I am not well. I have been well ever since I left home except the itch. I keep getting worse as far as sores are concerned. I dont blame Jimmy[1] for crying and say it burns. I never was so before. I had a hard head ache last Monday. Tuesday I was taken with your back door complaint and it runs me rather hard. I dont have much luck in selling yet some times I wish the bed bottoms[2] had been in some other place before I got into the business. You say you are almost out of flour perhaps you are before this I hope not. I hope I shall be better soon. I think some of going to Kewaunee and Manitowoc next week if I am well enough. I can tell when King[3] gets back he dont get round yet. He has been out two weeks dont know what luck he has had. He says he can sell if any one can. You may bet I have got the blues. I hope you and the children are all well. I would like to drop in and stay over Sunday with you. I was in hopes I could made some sales so to get around home the last of next month. Dont like to give it up so I guess I am not one of the lucky ones. You may direct to Depere if you get this Saturday you can write so it will go out Monday. I will send you five Dollars now. That wont go far. Perhaps I can send you more when that is gone. I will send some as soon as I can get some. Keep dark. I must stop I have got to run. I cant eat much no taste good. Tell sis an Jim[4] I will come home some day. What does Patty[5] go home so soon for. Perhaps I will go home by the middle of the month. I shall any way if I dont get better soon you will see me poking along. I have got some presents for Nancy and Hannah.[6] Ethen[7] you find out where Mr Blackburn gets his end pieces and what he has to pay for them also what he pays for rubber. King thinks of going to manufacturing on a large scale. He would like to buy a few hundred end pieces while he could get started if he goes into it he will furnish me with bottoms[8] if I want. I would like to sell Territory enough to pay up this fall if I could then I would go to putting in bottoms around the county a while. I think of what is coming every thing to buy hay wood and straw and taxes to boot. Has your Mother[9] got home yet? I should think by reading the Galesburg Herrald that Galesburg was the only place west of Detroit. I see by the paper that property has come up. I suppose it is the ile[?]that has done it. I hope they will find enough to grease the burg. If you get a chance to sell our place for 2000 dont let it choke you to tell them they can have it. I must write to Brad soon. Tell Mark[10] I will give him 25 pr cent for all the Territory he will sell for me and Oscar[11] likewise. If they want to try it they may write me and I will make some arrangement with them & tell Mark to write any how.

Respects to all &c

Yours as ever

C. L. Keith

To Sarah C. Keith


[1] Their son, James Keith

[2] Luke sold Ulmer’s Spring Bed Bottoms, which were a form of rubberized bedsprings

[3] His cousin, James S. King, with whom he is staying

[4] Their two youngest children, James and Louese Keith

[5] His sister, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[6] Their daughters, Nancy and Hannah Keith

[7] Their son, Ethan Keith

[8] Luke sold Ulmer’s Spring Bed Bottoms, which were a form of rubberized bedsprings

[9] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[10] Marquis de Lafayette Lee, who was the grandson of Luke’s aunt and uncle, Rhoda (Keith) & Charles Lee

[11] His nephew, James “Oscar” Keith


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