1890 Letters

December 18, 1890 letter to Hannah Keith from Nancy Brown

December 18, 1890

To: Hannah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Nancy Brown

A lady stopped by selling Buddington Charts and Nancy thought Hannah might be interested in it. Christmas is near but there isn’t enough money to buy everyone presents. If some of the family can come by and if she can get some cream she will be able to make some tapioca pudding.

Thursday Afternoon

Dear Sister

A lady called here this fore noon with a chart that it looks to me as if it ought to be the best thing of the kind made. I think the name is Buddington chart.[1] It is made of tin put togather like paper. I enclose all the numbers or sizes of children & grown people are on the chart and you can take the numbers & slide the chart & you have a perfect formed waist[?] front & back. She goes to Jackson Monday. I told her about you & she said if I would rite and find out she would go up on morning train & stop there and let you see it. The price with instruction book is 3.00 but if she teaches you it is 5.00. I dont think you would need any learning[?] it is so simple. She will call Saterday night to see if I hear from you. I dont know where you are but hoped you might be near home for I know Pa or Ethan[2] would have to take this to you if they thought you would care for it.

Ethan I will address this to you so you will open it. If you dont do any thing about this no will be put out for she goes Monday any way.

Jim[3] is coming on Saterday morning train. Have not heard any thing about Cora.[4] Well Hank[5] is doing just enough to send me my regular allowance 5.00. Look for him home just a little Christmas. Ma,[6] Lou[7] left your veil here. Told me to be sure & send by Ethan but I forgot it. Am real sorry will surely send by Jim. It seems like a long time since I saw any one or heard from home.

Mother[8] is still to Mrs W. Have not heard how things are getting along. Well it is most Christmas. Wish my purse was large as my heart & you would all be remembered but as it is cant do any thing but wish. Dont know what we can do for the children[9] but they must have a little something. Been dressing their dolls for them. Guess I will write to Will[10] & see if he can let us have some kind of meat for Christmas. Expect to be alone but shall have to eat all the same.

Hannah if you come down Wednesday you had better stay all night then have Ethan & Charley[11] come down next day & spend Christmas with us. Let me know how that suits[?] you all. If Jim & Cora are in there _____ they can come too. Wont have such a dinner as Lizzie[12] did but we will have something. If I can get cream will have a good tapioca pudding. Browns[?] are only ten cts a doz. Well I must stop & go to work. Write soon as you can some one for I want to hear from home. Love from all to all.


If you want to see the agent rite where you will meet her.


[1] A 3-piece adjustable pattern maker

[2] Charles “Luke” Keith Jr. and their brother, Ethan Keith

[3] Their brother, James Keith

[4] Jim’s girlfriend, Cora Meredith

[5] Her husband, Henry Brown

[6] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[7] Their sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[8] Her mother-in-law, Matilda (Allen) Brown

[9] Claude, Lela and Bess Brown, but perhaps she also meant her nieces and nephews

[10] Her brother-in-law, Willis Brown

[11] Hannah’s future husband, Charles Towne

[12] Will’s wife, Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown

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