1874 Letters

February 23, 1874 letter to Frank Tomlinson from Henry Keith

February 23, 1874

To: Frank Tomlinson

From: Henry Keith, White Pigeon, MI

He is not doing much business as he is having trouble with his eyes. Aunt Alfleda is very sick and says when she dies she does not want her children to know until she is buried.

Scan of 1874-02-23 Henry Keith to Frank Tomlinson

Pigeon Feb 23rd 1874

Dear Cousin

You doubtless think it has been a long time it since you wrote me, yes I think so. I intended to have written you before. I was over to Kalamazoo last week found the folks all well. Aunt Katie[1] went out to Helens[2] while I was there, she and that old ___ince (Mrs Gafney). Business is very quiet am not doing but very little in fact I have not been so that I could do but little on account of my eyes. My left eye is quite bad off caused by using the glass and looking close at fine work. Our folks think I had better give up my trade but I don’t wish to if I can avoid it but if my eyes continue as they have to grow worse I shall be obliged to. The doctor says it is the optical nerve that is affected caused by using the eyeglass. Mr Peck has sold out to Mr Murray the gentleman you talked with in the grocery so if I continue here in Pigeon I shall have to look for a new place. If I knew that my eyes were not going to be any better I would pull up and not put down again at my trade but am not realy sure about that. Am in hopes they will get better but time will tell. I suppose you are having gay times there this winter. Well I have been having pretty gay times here, playing parlor croquette and Euchre with the ladies. Guess I had better left out the word Euchre don’t see as I have bettered it any have got it down again. Well if your father[3] says to much tell him I’ll take his best card and play it alone. We have here in Pigeon more real handsome girls than any other town of its size in Michigan or Wyoming Co N.Y. either. When they are all in town. My best[?] is out just now down to Toledo will be back in a few weeks. I am sorry you could not have stayed longer when you were here. You was not here long enough to see anything and in the night at that. Ethen[4] has been making a pair of bobs had not sold them when I was there. Aunt Alfleda[5] has been quite sick was better when I was there. She looks rather poorly. I fear she is not long for this world. She does not wish to take anything when she is sick. She says if she should die she does not wish to have any of her children know it until she is burryed. Rather strange way of talking. I will write in four week from to day if nothing happens.

Yours K. L. Henry[6]


[1] Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[2] Helen (Bradley) York, Aunt Kate’s daughter by her first husband, Ethan Bradley

[3] George Tomlinson

[4] His half-brother, Ethan Keith

[5] Alfleda (Starr) Keith, the widow of Henry’s Uncle Harvey Keith

[6] Silliness; writing the words in his name backwards

*Thanks to Leigh Terrass, great-granddaughter of John Frank Tomlinson, for sharing this letter with me and allowing me to post it. In order to keep the letters chronological in the https://lettersfromthe1860s.wordpress.com/ blog post, it was given a posting date of 07-26-2018 even though it wasn’t until September of 2021 that I received the letters from Leigh

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