1866 Letters

May 13, 1866 letter to Luke & Sarah Keith from Lois Clark

May 13, 1866

To: Luke & Sarah Keith

From: Lois Clark, Spring Hill, OH

Lois is trying to make some decisions about her life as a young widow. She is trying to decide whether to buy a farm in Spring Hill (draws a map) but also thinking about going to Michigan. The children think she should leave Charlie. She thinks she can afford it if she sells all her livestock. She is also asking whether her sisters have visited the grave of her late husband, Byron. She would like her father to mark the gravesite with a board.

Spring Hill[1] May 13th /66

Dear Father Mother Sisters and Brother

Perhaps you begin to wonder why Lois does not write. One reason I have not much to write and another reason I would rather come and tell you than write it. To commence with what do you think about my buying a place hear. I can buy Fathers[2] village property by selling of all my stock. That is one cow, a span off colts, a yoke off stears, seventeen sheep and eleven lambs and my farming utensils but I dont know what is best. The sheep I would like to keep and let them out and the cow I dont know how to spare but the matter stands like this. I dont like to buy property hear. Now I would like your advice on this subject. Sometimes I think I will go to Mich and stay this summer if I can get a chance to work for my board and the children.[3] They[4] think I had better leave Charlie but I dont like to do that.[5] Girls,[6] have you ever been to Byrons[7] grave? I wish you would go. Pa,[8] I want to get you to put a board at the head of his grave and letter it. That will answer[?] for awhile. Why did Grandma Betts[9] brake up housekeeping? I received a letter from Cousin Noble the same day I rec– your last. He is not comming after those plants the Grape Growers are trying thier best to brake it down so I have lost my sewing machine. Charlie was very much pleased with his letter he rec– from Ethen.[10] I had forgotten to tell you that C C Palmer and Wife had areved hear. Whare has Jim Clark bought? And also who did Vilda Vorce marry? Did Sarah Ralph marry one of that Strubels sons that lived in the Burg? Does she live at home with her folks? Has all the Vorce Family gone to Salt Lake? I wonder if Oscar[11] is trying to collect any of thoes debts. Dont say anything about that I have any thought of buying a place. Just let me know what you think best. Who has Helen got for a girl? What has become of All and Chloe.[12] We had a nice rain last night. Wheat is looking poor about hear now. I was a fraid one while I should not have enough to pay for harvesting. I dont think of any thing more this time. Pa, why dont you write to me? All write soon.

My love to you all.

Lois G Clark


[1] Spring Hill, now known as Tedrow, Ohio, is in Fulton County

[2] Believe she is referring to her father-in-law, Ira Clark

[3] Charles, 7 years old, and William, 2 years old

[4] Believe she is referring to her in-laws

[5] It would appear that she did leave Charlie with his grandparents as the 1870 Census shows a Charles Ira Eldridge, age 10, living with Ira and Angeline Clark, in Tedrow, Ohio, along with Albert and Eva Eldridge. Since Albert is only 22 and Eva 17, it is more likely that this is Charles Ira Clark 

[6] Lois’ half-sisters, Nancy, Hannah & Louese Keith

[7] Lois’ husband, Bryon Clark, who died December 25, 1865

[8] Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[9] Nancy Comfort Crawford Betts

[10] Lois’ half-brother, Ethan Keith

[11] Most likely Lois’ cousin, James Oscar Keith

[12] See September 8, 18 & 19, 1865 letters from Lois for more information on Almon and Chloe Austin

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