1867 Letters

May 1, 1867 letter to Nancy Keith from Lois Clark

May 1, 1867

To: Nancy Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Lois Clark, Wayland, MI

Lois writes that she has been doing some work around the house. Willie and Meredith are out to play and Kate is holding Myrtie. They are all well as usual. She asks a lot of questions about various people and is wondering who is going to teach school this summer and when does it start. She asks after Mr. Schram’s family and if Nancy has seen the baby. Kate has not heard from her mother nor has she written. Wants to know if Oscar got the money he went after. Jeff went fishing at Gun Lake but did not have any luck.

Wayland May 1st 1867

Dear Sisters[1]

I have been moping some and bakeing and verious other kinds of work today. We have been to supper and I have got the dishes washed. So I thought I would write to you. Willie[2] and Meridith[3] are out to play. Kate[4] is holding Myrtie[5] and Jeff[6] has gone to the Village. This is the second time he has been today. We are living at Mr B-[7] yet. I should not be surprised if they had to stay here all summer.

We are usualy well. Myrtie has seemd to be better for a few days past but I do not know how long it will last. I recieved a letter from Mrs Allerton[8] the same day I did ma.[9] She was very anxious I should come and work for her. Kates hands are sore yet but not as bad as they have been some of the time. Has Mark[10] got his shanty done and moved into it. I have had one letter from Charlie[11] since he went home. Fathers[12] folks took Bernice[13] home with them. Has Pa[14] sent for that medican I wanted him to get. What is Ethen[15] doing. I wish he would come out this way some of these fine days. Is Pros[16] living with his mother.[17] What does Aunt Kate[18] think about Aunt Pattys[19] proposition or rather what does Mrs York[20] think. Who is going to teache the School thare this summer and when does it commence.

How does Mr Schrams family[21] get a long. Have you seen the baby[22] since I come a way. I wish I could drop in and see you all this evening. Kate has not heard from her mother[23] since she has been hear only by the way of some one else nor she has not written to her. Kate wants to know if Oscar[24] got that money he went after. Jeff went a fishing last week was gone from Thursday untill Sunday. He went to Gun Lake he did not have very good luck. I do not think of any thing more to write this time.

My love to you all write soon.

Lois G. Clark

[Written on the back page which may be Nancy’s handwriting:]

Mr Henry A Brown[23]

Kalamazoo Michigan

Box 205

Mr Henry A. Brown


Box 205 Michigan



[1] The envelope is addressed to Miss Nancy C. Keith, who at the time the letter was written was 15 years old and the oldest sister left at home

[2] Her son, William Byron Clark, who was about 2½ years old

[3] Stephen Meredith Chaffee, who was about 8 years old, the son of Jeff & Kate Chaffee

[4] Lois’ paternal first cousin, Frances Catherine “Kate” (Keith) Chaffee

[5] Kate’s daughter

[6] Kate’s husband, Thomas Jefferson Chaffee Jr.

[7] Lois’ husband, Bryon Clark, died December 25, 1865, and she was apparently staying with the Chaffees, but it is unknown who this Mr. B is

[8] Possibly Caroline (Repelje) Allerton who was a neighbor of the Keith family in Comstock/Galesburg, Michigan

[9] Lois’ stepmother, Sarah (Crawford) Keith; Nancy and Lois were half sisters

[10] Believe she is referring to their second cousin, Marquis de Lafayette “Mark” Lee

[11] Her son, Charles Ira Clark, who was 7 years old. He lived with his grandparents, Ira and Angeline Clark, in Spring Hill (now Tedrow), Ohio

[12] Her father-in-law, Ira Clark

[13] Bernice Clark, who was about 7 years old; Bernice was the daughter of Lois’ late husband’s brother, Loren Clark

[14] Their father, Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[15] Her half brother (and Nancy’s brother) Ethan Keith

[16] Lucius Prosper Crawford, Sarah (Crawford) Keith’s brother

[17] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[18] Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[19] Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[20] Lois’ paternal first cousin, Helen Bradley, was married to Joseph York. Whether Lois was referring to Helen or Joseph’s mother is unknown

[21] Isaac & Olive Ellen (Atkinson) Schram

[22] Olive B. Schram

[23] Alfleda (Starr) Keith

[24] Their paternal first cousin, James “Oscar” Keith, who was Kate’s brother

[25] Henry was a neighbor of the Keiths and he and Nancy married October 5, 1872

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