1898 Letters

October 16, 1898 letter to Nancy Brown from Henry Brown

October 16, 1898
To: Nancy Brown, Kalamazoo, MI
From: Henry Brown, Chicago, IL

Update on Henry’s photography business. As soon as Ed Atkins comes Henry will start another place. Jay Harris has returned but didn’t find a pile of gold.

1898-10-16 Henry Brown to Nancy Brown

Chicago Ill
Oct 16 1898
Sunday morning 915

Dear Ones at home

Well I have developed 14 negs to night made 270 to-day took in about 4100 last Sunday made 320. It has been a nice day here but not quite so fine as last Sunday. We have had lots of poor weather during the last two week. Have taken in about 9000 past week. Bess[1] & Mary have [gone] down town to-day looking at display for carnival. We are going to have a big time here hope it will make business better. Claude[2] & Rene have gone to show. I have had a fire past 4 days bought ½ ton coal it is 525 per ton here now. Shall have to buy a stove when it comes real cold but am using the crayon artists now. I suppose you have a new stove up before this hope so at any rate as it has been very disagrable without a fire. I will have 50000 in the bank tomorrow and I hope can keep that much any way. Ed Atkins[3] is trying hard to sell and writes me I can look for him within thirty days. As soon as he comes I will start another place. I am going to look for you Nan this week but of course will not be supprised if you do or dont come but hope you will see a way to come. It is too bad that Jay Harris[4] did not unearth a pile of gold while he was out there. I cant see much hope for D-[5] as long as things are as they are but hope he will come out all right and he will in time so will we all. Every thing is just as it has to be and it cant be any different. I am about convinced that our parts are written for us and we have simply got to go through them without any rehersal and think every body does pretty well considering. Poor Ma[6] hers is a hard one but she is apparintly nearing the last act and how glad she will be when the curtain goes down. But what will be her part in the next play and all the rest of us for that matter. Lela[7] has been here and gone and while she was here it seemed as though she was always here and now she has gone it dont seem as though she had been here hardly. Bess is going down town in the morning to get some things for Lizzie.[8] The 3 girls are going to a show sometime in the near future and all will come and stay with Bess. Also they are going down to see the doings one day this week and will all stay here that night I suppose. Mary has never been to a theatre in her life. She is a great girl. Well I have been writing about ½ hour and it is time to go to bed so will stop. I am pretty tired and did not think of writing so long a letter when I started and if you cant make out what I have written it wont make any difference as I dont know what I have written and shant try to read it to see if it can be read or not so good night.

Love to all

H A Brown

We have a restaurant in next door to gallery wheir the saloon was. Just got ready to do business to day. It is a nice place.


[1] Their daughter, Bess Brown

[2] Their son, Claude Brown

[3] Edgar Atkins, his paternal first cousin once removed. Edgar was also a photographer

[4] Nancy’s diary entry for February 16, 1898 shows that “Jay Harris left for the Klondyke this 1-30 A.M.”

[5] Daniel Harris, Jr., the husband of Nancy’s sister, Louese (Keith) Harris. Jay and Daniel were brothers

[6] Nancy’s mother, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[7] Their daughter, Lela Brown

[8] His brother Will’s wife, Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown

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