1876 Letters

October 23, 1876 letter to Frank Tomlinson from Ethan Keith

October 23, 1876

To: Frank Tomlinson

From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

Uncle Joe Lee died. Ansel Lee, who lived in Titusville, Pa., was able to come in time for the funeral and will stay until everything is settled. It appears that Uncle Joe didn’t leave a will. Uncle Charles thought it was “pretty bad to put such nice clothes & coffin in the ground.”

Scan of 1876-10-23 Ethan Keith to Frank Tomlinson

Galesburg Oct 23, 1876

Cousin Frank,

Aunt Patty[1] wants me to write & let your folks know that she has received their letters. Aunt Katie[2] came up here yesterday & brought them. Mart[3] got them Saturday night. There was one from Nellie[4] written in Philadelphia & one from your father[5] while he was in Chicago. She says she would like a little more money has not got as much as she wants to get home with. Uncle Joe Lee[6] died a week ago last Tuesday & was buried Thursday. He was’nt sick but five days but suffered a great deal. They telegraphed to Ansel Lee.[7] He lives in Titusville.[8] He got here in time to attend the funeral. Will stay until the business is settled. They dont find a will yet guess Uncle Joe did not make one. Uncle Charles[9] thought it was pretty bad to put such nice clothes & coffin in the ground.

We are having a cold wet fall. It is putting farmers back about husking corn. Apples are pleanty. The boys are haveing about all the work they can do in the cider business. I carried aunt Patty down to aunt Katies last night, stayed all night came home this forenoon. Aunt Patty was peeling a pumpkin when I came away. They were talking some of washing. Mart is not making much cider.

Tuesday morning. I have got to carry Hannah[10] down to Mr Browns[11] & Ma[12] over to the Burg so will bring this to a close. The folks are all well as usual.

Write soon.

Yours &c[13]

E. B. Keith


[1] Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague, Frank’s maternal grandmother

[2] Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[3] Martin Milham, Aunt Katie’s son-in-law

[4] Frank’s sister, Nellie Tomlinson

[5] George Tomlinson

[6] Joseph Lee was Ethan’s first cousin once removed and Frank’s first cousin twice removed

[7] Joseph’s brother, Ansel H. Lee

[8] Titusville, Pennsylvania

[9] Charles Lee, Joseph’s brother

[10] His sister, Hannah Keith

[11] Ambrose Brown. He was a neighbor and the father of Ethan’s brother-in-law, Henry Brown

[12] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[13] 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 10-03-2018 even though it wasn’t until September of 2021 that I received the letters from Leigh

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