1890 Letters

January 21, 1890 letter to Oscar Keith from Ethan Keith

January 21, 1890

To: Oscar Keith

From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

Doesn’t think Oscar needs to send his family record to Aylmer Keith as he included their generation in the record he sent in. Corrects Oscar regarding Hannah getting married. She wasn’t even engaged, so there was no marriage planned. Informs Oscar where to write to Rose James and Henry Keith and writes about the patterns he is working on.

Galesburg, Mich

Jan 21, 1890

Dear Cousin Oscar

In regard to sending your family record I hardly think Almer[1] cares to go back that far for it would take in so many. I sent record to and included our generation. I gave date of birth and death and marrige (as far as I knew) when and where and who to, also where they reside at the present time. He wanted me to mention if there was any noted ones. Told him I did not know of any also there were no cranks unless it was myself. Received a letter from Almer a few days ago thanking me for that bunch of Keith news. He had sent it to the Dr and had heard from him said he was very glad to get it. Almer sent five sheets of paper with the Keith Scotch coat of Arms also a little history of it which I will copy one and send with this. Dont know but we ought to have them framed. Well according to that we have had some good blood between us and the toads[?]. It is a mistake about Hannahs getting married.[2] I know she is not engaged to anyone and that would have to happen first I expect. Nancy[3] has been very sick with “Le grippe.”[4] She was confined to the bed about two weeks and suffered a great deal. The Dr. said it was the worse case he had and he had a lot of them.

Rose James[5] is at home (or what has always been her home) keeping house for her brother Albert. Send a letter to Rose C James Ravenna O.[6] and she will get it. Henry[7] lives at Stockton 336 __ines Ave. He never lived at Sacramento. I have been making patterns for castings for a Grain elevator for Harvesters for Charley Towne.[8] My next job I expect is to make patterns for a Printing Press for its Editor of the Enterprise. Some thing new as Uncle Joe Lee[9] said to say. This has not been a very good day for Mosquitos the mercury is 5° above zero now 8:30 p.m. Think I have written all the news. With regards to all and hoping to hear from you soon. Will close.


E. B. Keith


[1] Aylmer Lot Keith, paternal first cousin of Ethan’s father Luke

[2] His sister, Hannah Keith; see Oscar’s letter of January 15

[3] His sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[4] Influenza

[5] Roselia James, Ethan’s second cousin

[6] Ravenna, Ohio

[7] His half-brother, Henry Keith

[8] His neighbor, Charles Towne

[9] Joseph Lee was actually his cousin once removed; it is assumed he called him Uncle because of the difference in ages

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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