1876 Letters

July 23, 1876 letter to Frank Tomlinson from Ethan Keith

July 23, 1876

To: Frank Tomlinson

From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

Hasn’t written because he’s been busy working on his binder. They hope to try it out on a patch of Dell’s oats. A new cousin, Mary Milham, was born June 24. Also more updates on family members.

Scan of 1876-07-23 Ethan Keith to Frank Tomlinson

Galesburg July 23, 1876

Cousin Frank,

I will try and answer your letter after so long a time. Ought to have answered it before but I have been quite busy & have kept putting it off. I have been to work at the binder[1] most all of the time since the 20th of April expect to get it ready so as to try it this week. Dell[2] is agoing to leave up a piece of oats for us to try it in.

They have had a good many jobs of lathe work to do so it has kept the binder back. Wheat is a good deal better around here than it was last year. The boys have bought a new cider mill. The agent said he was acquainted with your father,[3] said he sold him the press. They are agoing to keep in one of their old presses.

How did you like your trip to Philadelphia. We had a very good celebration at the Burg the fourth, some was afraid that it would hurt Philadelphia but I dont think it did.

We have got another cousin born the 24th of June her name is Mary Milham.[4]

Hannah[5] and & I was down to Aunt Katies[6] two weeks ago to day they were all well as could be expected. Adelphia York[7] was there helping Aunt Katie. Henry & Nancy[8] was down there last Sunday. They said Mart[9] had a rush of blood to the head & he was afraid he would not be able to do anything for a week or so. We have not heard how he was getting along. We some expect Louese[10] home to on a visit during her vacation.[11]

Mr Rufus Clapp an old acquaintance of Pa’s has just called to see him. He was a delegate from Nevada to the Cincinnatti Convention. He has a brother & sister[12] liveing near here that he is a visiting.

I read a letter when I was down to Aunt Katis that Nellie[13] wrote to her. Thought by what she said that there was some show for Mrs Gaffeny. Dont you hope she will get married & settle near you.

Respects to all. Write soon.



[1] Ethan was working on inventing a “platform grain binder” which was later patented on August 16, 1881

[2] His brother-in-law, Adelbert Skinner

[3] George Tomlinson

[4] Mary was the daughter of Ethan’s paternal first cousin, Lucy (Lee) Milham

[5] His sister, Hannah Keith

[6] Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[7] Marion Adelphia York, Aunt Katie’s granddaughter

[8] His brother-in-law and sister, Henry & Nancy (Keith) Brown

[9] Martin Milham, his cousin Lucy’s husband

[10] His sister, Louese Keith

[11] Louese was living in Chicago, Illinois with her Uncle Hiram & Aunt Kate Crawford while attending school

[12] Believe these to be Edwin Clapp and Mary “Polly” (Clapp) Earl

[13] Frank’s sister, Nellie Tomlinson

*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 09-27-2018 even though it wasn’t until September of 2021 that I received the letters from Leigh

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