September 15, 1876
To: Frank Tomlinson
From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI
Has a job with the Kalamazoo Valley Agricultural Works making pulleys & patterns for castings. The iron works in Lawton which employed 300 men has closed for a while and that “just about kills the place.” Nancy and Hannah are coming home to spend the winter and Henry and Grandma are going to Chicago.
Galesburg Sep 15, 1876
Pa & Ma have gone down to Mr Browns this evening and left Aunt Alfleda & me alone so I thought it would be a good time to answer your letter. I am to work for the Kalamazoo Valley Agricultural Works. Have been for the past week & will work for them until they get their cider mill ready to run, which will take another week I think. I am doing light work makeing pulleys & patterns for castings. I have not been very well lately, dont feel as well as I did last fall, guess well never amount to much. We did not try the binder. My calculations for cutting the wire did not work to our satisfaction so before I could change that first it was too late. We have set the machine up in the shop & will try it there when it is ready. We can run it by the power.
Nancy & Hannah are comeing home tomorrow to stay this winter & Henry is agoing to Chicago as conductor on a street car. The iron works in Lawton has closed up business for a while so it makes it pretty dull with the hard times. That made busines for about three hundred men & stopping that business just about kills the place. Grandma is agoing to Chicago with Henry. She talks some of staying there this winter. We are haveing very wet weather. It is putting a good many back about their seeding. Corn & potatoes are a light crop most of the corn is cut. Apples are pleanty. Mrs Skinner & Sate talks of going out to their farm to live this winter. Dont know how Henry will stand it. Should think Mrs Gaffney was rather slow about getting around. Nellie is probably very anxious to see her. Say to Nellie that if she would like some slugs & milk to come out. Now about my comeing down to your place this fall. I should like to first rate if I was well enough but as I am I could not earn my salt. If I was well nothing would suit me better than to come & work for you this fall, but I shall have to wait until I am better than I am now. I am very much obliged to you for your kind offer. We have not heard from aunt Katie this week. The last time our folks was there aunt Katies eyes was troubleing her a good deal. Pa, Ma & aunt Katie was intending to go out to Joe Yorks this week but I guess they will wait until next week now. Love to all. Write soon.
E. B. Keith
 Charles Luke Keith Jr. & Sarah (Crawford) Keith
 Ambrose Brown, the father-in-law of Ethan’s sister, Nancy
 Alfleda (Starr) Keith, the widow of Ethan’s Uncle Harvey Keith; Alfleda was living with Luke & Sarah Keith
 Ethan was working on inventing a “platform grain binder” which was later patented on August 1, 1881
 His sisters, Nancy (Keith) Brown and Hannah Keith
 Nancy’s husband, Henry Brown
 Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts. She stayed with her son, Hiram Crawford Jr., and his family while in Chicago
 Sarah (Knight) Skinner and her daughter, Sarah “Sate” Skinner. They were the mother-in-law and sister-in-law of Ethan’s half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner
 His half-brother, Henry Keith
 Frank’s sister, Nellie Tomlinson
 Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee
 Joseph York was the husband of Aunt Katie’s daughter, Helen (Bradley) York