1880 Letters

June 13, 1880 letter to James & Mary Ann Keith from Katie Randall

June 13, 1880

To: Oscar & Mary Ann Keith

From: Katie Randall, McBride, MI

She has been so busy she has not had time to write. They have built a new house farther away from the mill and there is not as much smoke and cinders. She has been feeling better and has not had any cough since they have been up there. Writes about her new baby, Lettie Inez, and sends an impression of her foot.

June 13, 1880

Dear Father and Mother

We are all well and hearty. We have been so busy a working on the house and putting in a small garden that I have not had time to write before. We have built a new house father away from the mill. It is ever so much better. There is no so much smoke and cinders. The cars[1] go about 10 rods in front of the house. I am real well now. The last time I wrote I could no write very much because I felt so bad. The day before I done a large washing and I was tired out. It was the first one that I done since I got well but I have done a good many since and did not hurt me. I have not had any cough since I have been up here but once that was when I first come well. Lettie Inez[2] is the baby name. It suits very well. She has got so she can laugh and croon. I wish you could see her. She is just as white as snow. Every body thinks that she looks like that little picture of me when I was a baby looks just her only she is larger. Our broth tasted good when we had onions. Ira[3] says he can not taste the leeks a tall. We have used up about half of it. Our barrel cost 70 cts. I have got me a hemp carpet. It would not cost so much as to get mine wove it cost $260. Maybe I can get it wove this fall. George Withams wrote and told us about those men that were killed by lightning. It was horrid[?]. I think Ella is pretty smart May as good as ever had prepared pies and one strawberrie shortcake. It was good. Allie Simpson is teaching the north school this summer. Had two letters from her and one from Aunt Sallie. She said she had not heard from you yet. Well Ma[4] we have Sunday School to our neighbors every Sunday and every Wednesday night. They meet around to the houses and practice singing. Can you tell me what to do for the baby. Every time she does everything she has to strain like every thing. You must excuse poor writing for I halfto rock the baby and it jars me. I have last got through a washing and moping. Where are you going the fourth of July. We are not going any where. I wish we were able to go to the excusin to the Niagira Falls. The fare there and back is five dollars but we can’t afford it for it is hard times just now. I have not received my paper yet. Russell said that they had sent it. It is supper time and I will halfto close.

Good by and a Kiss to all and one to Herbie[5] from Leattie. Tell Herbert that sister wishes he could come and see her baby.

Good by

Write Soon

From Katie

Kiss Leon[6] make him let you and make Glen[7] wash dishes and do all he can. Here is the impression of the babies foot when she was two weeks old. How is that. Ira thinks there is nobody like the baby.


[1] Train cars

[2] Her daughter, Inez Alice Randall, born April 22, 1880

[3] Her husband, Ira Randall

[4] Mary Ann (Batey) Keith

[5] Her youngest brother, John Herbert Keith, who was 9 years old

[6] Her brother, James Leon Keith, who was 15 years old

[7] Her brother, Glenn Noah Keith, who was 13 years old

This letter is among several which were loaned to Jim & Ruth (Stankey) Keith, probably back in the 1980s, by Ella Nola (Curtis) Eaton, whose husband, Clifford Eaton, was the great-great-grandson of James “Oscar” & Mary Ann (Batey) Keith. This is a photocopy of Ruth’s handwritten copy of the letter. Note: Jim Keith is the great-grandson of Charles Luke Keith Jr., who was James “Oscar” Keith’s uncle.


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