1881 Letters

November 7, 1881 letter to Henry & Nancy Brown from Nettie

Date: November 7, 1881

To: Henry & Nancy Brown

From: Nettie T. C., Battle Creek

Her husband had been working in Jackson for three weeks but came home Saturday and thinks he will stay in Battle Creek for the present. She wishes he could get a job in Kalamazoo so they would be near each other. He says if Henry can find him a job in Galesburg, they will come there. Her daughter Blanche is doing very well but is getting spoiled living with her grandparents. She expects to have a hard time when they are living on their own.

Battle Cr. Nov. 7. 1881

Dear Friends

I was so very sorry that I could not be at the train to see you, but it was quite impossible. Did you go as you intended.

Al[1] has been at Jackson to work three weeks but came home Sat. night, and thinks he will stay in Battle Creek for the present any way.

I wish he would get a job at Kalamazoo. I would like to live near you where I could see you often. When do you intend to move there.

Al has relatives living there and we may visit them this winter. They have asked us to ever so many times, and if you are there would like ever so much to come and see you.

I will send that pattern. You will probbly have to cut it larger to fit Lela[2] as it is just right for Blanche.[3]

I had 1 yd of the blue, and 1/2 of plaid but had to get 1/8 of yd more of the plaid (it was double fold and quite wide). I meant to have sent it before and have started to write but some thing would happen that I did not.

I have not seen Miss Packer for a long time but the last time I did see her she spoke very kindly of you.

How is Mrs. Barber now. It is to bad she has poor health.

We have had quite a snow storm. 4 in. on the level. I hope winter wont set in yet a while. I hate to have so much snow. I think it is healthier now. I dont hear of as much sickness as I did.

I supposed you have heard how Mrs. Helmer took poison through mistake, and died.[4] It was very sad.

Blanche is real well, but is getting quite spoiled living with grand-parents. I expect to have a time with her when we get to keeping house.

Al sits reading the noon. He says if Mr. Brown[5] will find him a job in Galesburg[6] he will come, but I think it is all on your account. I remember how he used to give you free rides, and try to shine around you so I guess we had better stay here.

But dont forget the March meeting,

Well I guess it will be you that will be sick this if I dont stop some time.

Do you hear many remarks made on the camp meeting. I suppose you do for they are haveing wrangling. Did you see what how the papers run on Burdick, about his spelling.

Do you ever hear of that Dr. Hammond that was up to camp meeting. (I think that was his name) or of that couple that were married there. I would like to know how they got along togather.

Well no more for this time. Write soon and believe me your ever true friend.


P.S. Write soon and long the longer the better. I am not very good at writing but will do the best I can, and I like to hear from you often. N.T.C.[7]


[1] Her husband

[2] Henry & Nancy’s daughter, Lela Brown

[3] Her daughter

[4] A newspaper clipping at FindAGrave.com shows that Martha Helmer, whose husband John was a druggist, died from an overdose of medicine. Her date of death is shown as November 4, 1880 and she is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan. Perhaps this is the woman Nettie was referring to

[5] Henry

[6] Galesburg, Michigan

[7] A search of 1880 census records for a family living in Battle Creek with the names of Al, Nettie and Blanche and the last name starting with C came up with Al Cummings, age 21, his wife Nettie, age 20, and their daughter Blanche, age 9 months. They were living at the same address as Austin & Stella Parker (ages 38 and 34); however they were not old enough to be either Al or Nettie’s parents. The similarities though are intriguing so maybe this is the Nettie who wrote the letter

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