1876 Letters

December 10, 1876 letter to Sarah Keith from Luke Keith

December 10, 1876

To: Sarah Keith

From: Luke Keith, Perry, NY

Luke is staying at the Tomlinson house. George received a telegram informing them that his sister Susan was dead. The funeral will be on Monday but the weather is so bad that they are unable to go. Luke is concerned with how things are at home in this bad weather. Writes some about the various Tomlinson businesses as well as their house.

Perry N.Y.

Sunday December 10th 1876

At the Tomlinson House. Very well except headache. Yesterday was a very cold blustering day, mercury 4 above zero. Snow blowd so you could not see into the street. George[1] got a telegram from LeRoy[2] saying that Susan[3] was dead and he started as soon as he could get ready. Marion[4] was down there. They expected to have the funeral on Monday but George telegraphed back this morning not to start out. Said they could not get there, the snow was drifted so. Yesterday was about such a day here as it was up there the day Will Starr went home from our house. The cars[5] could not go out, there was no getting out here. I kept thinking all day about you at home how you was going to keep warm if it was as rough there as here. Patty[6] thinks we will go over to Pavilion[7] before many days. I hope we can for I am getting tired setting around. I want to get round as soon as I can. I think the wood will run low if it holds cold. Did Ethan[8] get the strawbery vines covered up before the snow came. Patty and Nell[9] went to church, Frank[10] and I stayed at home. It has been pleasant to day no storm, the barometer is moving up, that indicates good weather so says Frank. They shut up the cidermill yesterday got all cleaned out. Now I suppose they will go to making vinegar. Frank is in the bean business. They pay from one forty to one seventy five pr bushel for beans. George is in a perfect sweat all the while. They have got so used to it they dont any of them mind much about his stewing. They have got a large business taking it all, milling, cidermill, vinegar works and bean business. It wants some one up and doing I tell you. I have written to Nancy and Hank,[11] thought I would hear from them by this time dont get any thing as yet. My head aches so I cant hardly write. It keeps it up most of the time. I tell Patty I think it is the furnace, so much hot dry are. They have got a nice house and furnished right up to the handle from bottom to the top, no two chairs alike and there is lots of them with all their finery. They seem very common, full of fun and cutting up with one an other all the while. Frank he wishes Ethan could come down here and stay as long as he was a mind to. He would show him something that he never thought of. How is Ethan getting along. I hope he wont get down so he cant do any thing. I dont know when I can go home. Patty says I cant go home yet if you all keep well. She is cashire[?]. I wish Ethan would find out soon as he can how much the taxes are and get what money Barton[12] owes us. Rowland must have the roll by this time I think. How does Jim[13] get along doing chores. How does the cow hold out her milk. Does the Peacock stay at home, how do the pigs make it, do they fat any, and how are all the folks. I want you to write all the particulars when you write. I will write a gan when I get back from Pavilion. They say the roads are very bad between here and Pavilion.

Write soon, from me &c,[14] to S. C. K.    C. L. Keith

Monday morning, all well, mercury 3 below zero. The mail will have to go out on sleigh this morning. I wish I was at home this morning for I think it would feel as well. Dont hear any more from George yet about the funeral.


[1] Luke’s nephew-in-law, George Tomlinson

[2] Le Roy, New York

[3] George’s sister, Susan (Tomlinson) Sprague

[4] Luke’s niece, and George’s wife, Marion (Sprague) Tomlinson

[5] Train

[6] Luke’s sister, and Marion’s mother, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[7] Pavilion, New York

[8] Luke & Sarah’s son, Ethan Keith

[9] George & Marion’s daughter, Nellie Tomlinson

[10] George & Marion’s son, Frank John Tomlinson

[11] Luke & Sarah’s daughter and son-in-law, Nancy & Henry Brown

[12] Neighbor, Samuel Barton

[13] Their youngest son, James Clinton Keith

[14] Etc.

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