1890 Letters

February 4, 1890 letter to Ethan Keith from John Frank Tomlinson

February 4, 1890

To: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: John Frank Tomlinson, Perry, NY

Business has been slow and they had a surplus of flour on hand so shut down the mill and did some repairs and added two new double purifiers. Several businesses have closed due to the weather and crop failures. Gives an update on his family.

Office of the
Silver Lake Flouring Mills.
Geo. Tomlinson & Son, Proprietors
Perry, N.Y., Feb 4 1890

Cousin Ethan

I have been for some time thinking of writing to you but have not got at it. Tonight am at office alone and will write a little. Started mill this morn, after being idle half the time or more since Holidays. Trade has been very dull, had surplus of flour on hand so shut down and have been repairing. Have put in new round reel to finish up midlings, and two new double purifiers. Think they will work nicely when we get fully adjusted. There are not many double machines used in small mills, but we could use them all right, and had oportunity to buy them at less than single machines of same make. Bot of G. T. Smith Co. and they drew on us for pay before machines arrived. We let draft go back unpaid. We _____ found the anxiety for money as the report of failure came out some after. Was not surprised as I heard some things when in Jackson that indicated there might be an end to the pile, even of manufactures of milling machinery. Have storage full of wheat at 80 cts. It is hard matter to sell flour to make much even at that price.

Business is badly demoralised in our town. The failure of produce firm[?], frost, wet weather, no fruit, &c make times hard. Last Saterday two stores on Main St were closed. Williams & Co. made assignment. M. F. Tallman had given chattel mortgage on stock and closed. He has opened up again today. The business in R. W. Brighams name. There is a big fight going on tonight over the affairs of William & Co. She made assignment to Mr. Gates. They were owing Citisens Bank and Bank people began suit to secure their claim with view of keeping matter quiet and working out the debts and saving something to Mrs Williams and Sophia. Mrs W. flared[?] up and was fairly wild, and made assignment. N.Y. parties are here pressing their claims. This was a foolish move, as the matter could have been kept quiet and something saved, now can not tell how it will come out.

Reaper folks are runing a few men this winter. Are getting out fifty binders 200 _____ and a few reapers. Mr Wyckoff is sick, confined to house with heart trouble. Chances are he is thro active business. Ice Co. have been reaping a rich harvest out of old stock of ice. Have about 200 cars left yet. Have everything ready to begin cutting except ice to cut. Mercury has not been below 10° above with us so far about 50 today with rain. Report of Salt Co. shows a loss of nearly $7000 for the year. Not very encouraging to Mr. Nobles. He is still Supt tho no longer directs the salt maker. Reports are current that he is hard up and parties having claims are pressing for security. Do not know what result will be. Nellie[1] is down with the grip.[2] Not able to sit up. Gaining slowly. Walter[3] got Lizzie to day, girl that worked for us a year ago. Father[4] had grip but is out every day. Is not very strong. Rest are well as usual. Hattie[5] does not get over lameness. Better some days than other. Children[6] are well. Agnus has cold but is good as ever. Walters trade has been very light. Gets a little more now other store is closed. Must close as it is time to go home.

With love to all.

Your cousin

J F Tomlinson

Write soon


[1] His sister, Nellie (Tomlinson) Gillett

[2] Influenza

[3] Nellie’s husband, Walter Gillett

[4] George Tomlinson

[5] His wife, Harriet (Root) Tomlinson

[6] His daughters, Irene and Agnes Tomlinson

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