1890 Letters

May 25, 1890 letter to Ethan Keith from Jim Keith

May 25, 1890

To: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Jim Keith, Chicago, IL

He was let go from his job as a railroad man and is unsure of what he will do now. He would like to get a job with the police in Lincoln Park. His cousin Gene suggested going to Colorado where his Uncle D.C. could get him a good job. He has never had the Hank Browns blues before and never wants them again.

Chicago May 25th 1890

Dear Brother

Yours of May 22ed rece’d so will ansuer it to day as I have nothing else to do now. Now dont let this make make you or any of the foks at home sick but I am out of a job now and an no longer a R.R. man. When I went over to go to work Fridday noon I was told to go and get my time. Dont know what I done. I know it was not for nocking down and I have not had any trouble with any one and have had no accidence of any kind. I was not alone there was two gripmen got it the same day. John Threedy (brothe to Fred) was one. Roch told him that thay had no use for him. It made old John pretty sick. He has been here on the road about 14 years. I have not settled up with them yet. Dont know what I will do yet. Gene[1] wants me to go to Col.[2] say D.C.[3] would get me a good job there. I can go there now for about $5.10. Gene is going to go and see Harry Farwell think he can help me some. I thought I would like to get a job Police in Lincoln Park. That pay $66.00 per moth month. I think I would like that better than City Police but there is not the money in it though. City Police pays $83 $33. Dont know as I can get it. I will stay here this week and look around see if I can find any thing but if you want that money I guess I can let you have it. I was never more surprised then I was when Scannel told me that he had had orders to get me go. Scannel said that I was the last one he ever thought would get it. I thought that I could hold it down just as long told as any one could. I think I know when I come get my head off. Will[4] will not be home now. He say that he is going to stay and work as long as he can now and get what he can out of it. Would like to stay here in Chicago if I can get any kind of a job. This has been the warmest day we have had here yet this spring. I most forgot to tell you that there was a boy put in his aperance appearance here week Friday night and all doing well. Thay seem pretty well pleased to think it was a boy. Thay call it Harry Eugene.[5] Let me know when you would like that money and if you dont see me pretty soon will send it to you. I dont know what to do. I never had Hank Browns blues befour and never want them again.[6] Well I will close this.

Good by. Write soon.




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

[2] Colorado

[3] Their uncle, David Caleb Crawford

[4] Their nephew, William Clark

[5] Believe this was the son of Eugene & Minnie (Crooks) Crawford. Their first child, Eugene Leslie Crawford, who was born about January 1883, died May 18, 1883. They then had a daughter, Grace, born September 6, 1888. Their second daughter, Ruth, wasn’t born until November of 1895 and the 1900 census shows that Minnie was the mother of four children, two of whom were living. Jim’s letter of June 2, 1890 says that “Minnie is so she is around the house now.” Putting all this together seems to be a probable conclusion

[6] Their brother-in-law, Henry Brown, suffered from depression as can be seen by the many entries in Henry’s 1873 diary regarding his feeling blue

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