1884 Letters

April 15, 1884 letter to Sarah Keith from Louese Harris

April 15, 1884

To: Sarah Keith

From: Louese Harris, Shelbyville, MI

Doesn’t think she will write much as she has an awful headache. She has started cleaning the house a little and has moved the crib into her bedroom where Jay slept in it for the first time last night. Since Ollie has moved in she feels that all she does is cook and bake. Cora will go back to school in the next week and she doesn’t know how she will manage without her help. She noticed that Hank is now the editor of the Enterprise and wonders why Ethan will be coming home next month.

Shelbyville April 15/84

Dear Ma

Received yours and Nancy’s[1] letters a few days ago. Was sorry Cora[2] did not stay until Saturday on account of the cucumber pickles did’nt care so much for the horse raddish as we have lots of that. I dont feel much like writing and probably wont write very much. Have got an awful head ache. I have commenced cleaning house a little. Cleaned my bedroom yesterday will not take up the carpet until fall so I was not very long getting the room straightened again. Have moved my bed back where it stood last summer, have the crib in there and Jay[3] slept in it for the first time last night. I finished cleaning the parlor to day. Will wash to morrow forenoon and commence at the dining room in the afternoon if I’m not too tired. I want to get it all cleaned to the kitchen this week. Cora goes to school next week then I shall be alone again. She is going where she did last summer two miles walk you remember. She does not have time to do much in the morning and does not get home until summer supper time at night and I dont know how I shall manage it having Ollie to wait on besides. Seems as if I dont do any thing but cook and bake all the time since he commenced boarding here. But as this is the only place for him he will have to stay. He wouldnt stay at Schroders any longer. Dont say any thing about it to any one. Will tell you when I go home. I see by the paper that H. A. Brown[4] is Editer of the Enterprise[5] now. Should think Hank had got his hands full now sure. Why does Ethan[6] come home next month. Is’nt he getting better or has’nt he the money to stay. I wish he would talk turkey to that wind mill company. I wrote to him last week.

Did’nt I understand Pa[7] that he was going to put a barbed wire fence all around the farm. D[8] said he thought I must be mistaken but I told him I knew that I was right. He said that if you was going to make as much fence you would want twelve or fifteen hundred pounds of wire he thought. He said he would write to you in a few days but I presume not until we hear from home again. I have fried and put down one ham this week. Have got a ham and two shoulders yet to take care of. Dear me so much to do and no one to do it, but I presume I will get through with it some way. I was over to see Mr Johnsen Saterday after supper. He is quite bad yet, has been sick seven weeks. D is locking the store and I must close. Nancy I will ans your letter soon.

Good Night. Love to all.


Ma you wanted to know if Jay pulled him self up by chairs[?] yet. He did that before he was ten months old. We think he will walk a lone in three or four weeks. Nancy will you go to the furniture store and see if they have any thing in the shape of a shaving case and how much they are. Aunt Kate got one for Uncle Hi[9] for a dollar. A small glass shelf & box to put your strop &c in. I want to get something of the kind for D the 5th of next month he is 21.[10] Ollie is going down in a week or two and what ever I get can be sent back by him.


[1] Her sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[2] Her sister-in-law, Cora Belle Harris, who was 13 years old

[3] Her son, Jay Harris, who would be one year old on May 4th

[4] Her brother-in-law, Henry “Hank” Brown, who was Nancy’s husband

[5] The Kalamazoo County Enterprise was a weekly newspaper covering the Galesburg, Michigan area. In 1890 it merged with Smiley’s Weekly to form Smiley’s Kalamazoo County Enterprise

[6] Her brother, Ethan Keith, who was staying with their uncle and aunt, Hiram & Kate Crawford, while receiving treatment from a magnetic healer in Chicago

[7] Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[8] Her husband, Daniel “D.D.” Harris Jr.

[9] See footnote #6 above

[10] His birthday was May 5

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