1874 Letters

December 18, 1874

December 18, 1874

To: Frank Tomlinson

From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

Uncle Joe Lee had a shock paralysis and could only say yes or no, but is getting better and can put words together. The mill is installing a 50-horsepower engine which costs $8,000.00 as the race freezes in the winter and they are unable to grind hardly anything.

Scan of 1874-12-18 Ethan Keith to Frank Tomlinson

Galesburg Dec 18th 1874

Cousin Frank

I received yours letter of Nov 6th in due time, glad to hear that you was getting better. Henry[1] told me a short time ago that you that you or Nellie[2] wrote him you was troubled to get enough to eat. So I should think by that you was still on the gain.

We are haveing nice weather for Dec. roads are dusty. We had a few days sleighing the last of Nov. It is trying to rain to day but dont make out much yet.

Pa[3] & I have gone down to Aunt Katies[4] to day. Uncle Joe Lee[5] is there now confined to his bed most of the time. He had a shock of Paralysis[6] the 2nd of Nov & part of the time he has been so he could not say only yes or no. He is considerable better now can connect his words very well. Uncle Charlie[7] thinks there will not be much money left now, he has not been there to see Uncle Joe since he has been sick & has been past there to Kalamazoo too.

Pa has just got home, says Uncle Joe is considerable better so he walked out into the kitchen this morning.

They have been putting in an engine in the grist mill at the Burg it is fifty horse power cost $8000. Their race[8] freezes in the winter so they have cannot grind but a very little. John Bloke & his brother are stocking the mill they give $25 per hundred barrels for flouring. Most people think that the engine will not be a very paying thing.

Ma[9] has gone out to Nancys[10] expect her back this week.

Tell your father[11] I guess he had better make that machine for takeing pegs out of boots[?]. I cant think of any way to make one better than they have got.

I believe he said he was agoing to get up one if some one dident.

Folks are all well as usual.

Respects to all. Write soon.

Yours &c[12]

E. B. Keith


[1] His half-brother, Henry Keith

[2] Frank’s sister, Nellie Tomlinson

[3] Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[4] Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[5] Joseph Lee was the uncle of Aunt Katie’s husband, George Lee

[6] A loss of sensation accompanied by motor paralysis with initial loss but gradual recovery of reflexes

[7] Charles Lee, Joseph’s brother

[8] The channel carrying the swift current of water that drives a mill wheel

[9] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[10] His sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[11] George Tomlinson

[12] Etc.

*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 07-28-2018 even though it wasn’t until September of 2021 that I received the letters from Leigh

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