July 26, 1874
To: Frank Tomlinson
From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI
Had some rain yesterday and again this morning, the first in over four weeks. He is afraid the corn and potatoes will be a light crop. Henry Brown was in Chicago at the time of the fire of July 14. Both Lois and Kate have had babies.
Galesburg July 26th 1874
Yours of the 5th came to hand in due time concluded you was waiting to get a good ready before writeing to me.
We had a fine shower yesterday & another one this morning, the first we have had in over four weeks, crops had about dried up. I am afraid corn & potatoes will be a light crop, it was so dry corn could not set. About half of our early corn in the garden is dead.
Wheat & most of the Oats was harvested without any rain on them. Wheat ripened very fast. Most of it around here was cut in fore part of the day before it got to shelling very bad then draw in the rest of the day.
Mr Flanders bought a Massilon harvester, two men ride on the machine & do the binding, they have a canvas over the driver & binders so it is very comfortable for them.
Eugene Crawford was here a few weeks ago he has been down in western N.Y. with the Supt of the Novelty Iron works selling a patent Sash balance. The Novelty works is not running now on account of the hard times. So the Supt & Eugene started out with the Patent right but they did not make much. Eugene is in Chicago Conducter on a Street car now. He said he was in Leroy & Batavia two weeks, said he would have made you a call if he had known where you lived. You see by this I am not on the R.R. as I expected to be. The reason I did not get a position was on account of the hard times the Company did not do the business they expected to do. It is just my luck so I am not very much disappointed.
Hannah came home yesterday to make a short visit. She likes her business real well. Henry Brown was in Chicago at the time of the fire attending a Photographers Convention. He says it was the grandest sight he ever saw & yet it was hard to see so much property destroyed. Said the streets were crowded with people & most of them crying. There they would have to stand & see all had burnt to the ground. Pa & Ma are down to Aunt Katies to day. Aunt Alfleda has gone to Kalamazoo a visiting at her brother Orsons. Lois has got a little girl it was born the 14th of June.
E. B. Keith
 Neighbor, Joseph Flanders
 His maternal first cousin
 New York
 His sister, Hannah Keith
 Hannah was a seamstress
 His brother-in-law, Henry Brown
 From Wikipedia: Not to be confused with the Great Chicago Fire … The Chicago Fire of 1874 took place on July 14. Reports of the extent of the damage vary somewhat, but sources generally agree that the fire burned 47 acres just south of the Loop, destroyed 812 structures and killed 20 people. July 14 was a hot day in the city, with a temperature above 90°F. The weather had been dry for weeks, with only one day recording more than a trace of rain since early June. It was these circumstances, along with a “strong prairie wind” blowing from the southwest, that made the 1874 fire similar to the 1871 fire.
 Charles Luke Keith Jr. and Sarah (Crawford) Keith
 Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee
 Alfleda (Starr) Keith, the widow of Ethan’s Uncle Harvey Keith; Alfleda was living with Luke & Sarah Keith
 Orson Starr
 His half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner
 Ina Mary Skinner
 His paternal first cousin, Frances Catherine “Kate” (Keith) Chaffee
 Mabel Chaffee, born June 5, 1874