1890 Letters

July 9, 1890 letter to Jim Keith from Cora Meredith

July 9, 1890

To:  James Keith, Chicago, IL

From: Cora Meredith, Shelbyville, MI

Cora wrote that she did not enjoy the Fourth any more than Jim did. She went to Long Lake but had an awful headache. Cora suggests that Jim work on the passenger trains rather than the freight trains since he likes that better, and also suggests he get accident insurance.

Shelbyville July 9 – 1890

To One I Love

Dear James

Your ever kind and welcome letter rec- Mon- after noon. I was very glad and anxious to hear from you once more. I dont know but that I am just as lonesome as ever but guess I will live through it. Lou[1] came back to day. Will have some place to go now and some one I can talk to about you.

Jay[2] is here yet. I tell you he is a D- Fool. Dont know when Dexa[3] will come home. I guess I dont care if she dont come.

My dear I dont believe I enjoyed the fourth any more than you did although I went to Long Lake and tried very hard but had an awfull head ache.

You wanted to know if I went home that eve- or stayed all night with Mrs Brown. I went home that evining. Floyd[4] was a good little Boy and did just as his Mama wished but woke up and cryed a little before I got back.

Bessie[5] came home with Lou. I went picking Berrys to day and my hands are all scratched to death.

If you like passinger train better than you do frieght why dont you work there all of the time if they can give you work. You have never told me what wages you get or perhapse you think it is none of my affairs. Now my dear do you want me to tell you what I would do. I would have my life insured in the accidental company so if any thing would happen to you you would have something coming in just the same you would have your doctor bill payed if you should happen to need one. Now my dear pray dont feel offinded but think it over. I think it would be for you benefit.

Stella has gone home. I feel as if we had lost some thing and I guess we have. I almost forgot to tell you if you would come and see me some fine eve I will swing in my new Hammock with you.

Jessie Anderson came here Thursday eve- and stayed untill Sun- evening. She is almost as bad as I am only I most always stay a week.

When is my Nephew coming home. Well my dear my time is limited the bed is wating for me.

Write soon to your best girl. I dont know wether I am or not.

Ever yours



Jim[6] this is the answer to the question you asked me. I found it in one of Grandma’s papers and as I could not cut it out I thought I would write it off. I don’t know as you can read it for I am about froze.

(I’ll Marry None But Jim)

Say what you please of other men,
Their virtues recommend,
There’s many a one among the throng
Might please me as a friend;
But if they sought to win my heart,
Their chances would be slim,
For I have made a solemn vow
To marry none but Jim.

I’ll marry none but Jim,
For I’ve pledged my word to him,
And my cup of happiness is full
And sparkling to the brim.

I know he has a tender heart;
I know he’s good and true;
And many a brave heroic deed
I’ve proudly seen him do;
And though compared with some I know
His purse is rather slim,
In spite of that, I still declare
I’ll marry none by Jim.

I’ll marry none but Jim,
For poverty with him
Will sweeter be than wealth with one
Whose gold will soon grow dim;

Why Jim and I were little tots
Together you must know;
And as a girl I never cared
For any other beau;
If any sorrow touched his heart
The tears my eyes would dim,
And I would most unhappy be
If I didn’t marry Jim.

I’ll marry none but Jim,
For I’m dead in love with him
And my cup of happiness is full
And sparkling to the brim. [7]


[1] Jim’s sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[2] Jay Harris, Louese’s brother-in-law

[3] Jay Harris’ wife, Dexa (Strait) Harris

[4] Louese’s son, Floyd Harris

[5] Bess Brown, daughter of Jim’s sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[6] Believe one of Cora’s granddaughters hand wrote a copy of Cora’s original poem and sent it to her cousin (Cora’s grandson), Jim Burton Keith, who was researching the family history. It is uncertain whether the original poem was sent with the foregoing letter or not

[7] Jim Keith and Cora Meredith were married June 10, 1891

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