1890 Letters

June 2, 1890 letter to Ethan Keith from Jim Keith

June 2, 1890

To: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Jim Keith, Chicago, IL

Hasn’t had any luck finding a job. He was not the only one who was let go and believes that the only reason was because he was earning top pay and they could replace him with someone new and pay him much less.

Chicago June 2ed 1890

Dear Brother

Yours and Nan’s[1] letter rece’d last Wednesday. Would of ansured it so you would of got it Saturday but did not get time for I was looking for something to do. Have not found any thing yet that will pay. Can find enough work for $1.25 – $1.50 a day and no show for ever geting any more or working up. When you come to pay $4.50 for board and car fair besids cant do it and have any thing left and besids I would not have time to look for any thing better. I wrote Charley[2] this morning to see if there was any show to get on the road at Jackson. Dont know what kind of a brakeman I would make but then I would try it. Will stay here the rest of this week and see if I can find any thing. You see in order to get any kind of a job now have got to have some one to help or some one to watch the chance for you. That is what I thought about. Charley may be the right watch and when there was an opening let me know and if I did not have any thing by that time I could go there. Gene[3] was going and see Harry Farwell but dont seem to go yet. Well he dont get time any way. I dont think he would want to do any thing for me not knowing me. I asked Roche what I was discharged for when I settled up. He told me what I was reported for (will tell you when I see you). He told one of the Conductors that he did not beleave I was that kind of a man and if I did did not think that I ment to do it but said he had to discharge me for it was the rules but I think it was done because I was giting $2.25 a day and thay can get a man to do the same work I was doing for $1.50. I am not the only one that has been fired this sprind and when one goes it is one that is geting full pay. I never had any thing use me up any more then this has. To think that as long as I was trying and doing what was right to get bounced for it. If I could get something to do I would not care and would be glad of it. Well I may find some thing. We are all well here at preasent. Minnie is so she is around the house now.[4] Well I guess I will close this. You may see me most any time and you may not so good bye. Write soon.



P.S. Do you want that money if so let me know.


[1] Their sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[2] Their nephew, Charles Clark, who worked as a conductor with the Michigan Central Railway Company

[3] Their cousin, Eugene Crawford, the son of their mother’s brother, Edwin Crawford, and his wife, Louisa Hall

[4] Eugene’s wife, Minnie (Crooks) Crawford, who had just had a baby (see May 25th letter)

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