Chapter 7 - Missouri after the Civil War, and the Return to Pennsylvania (1867-73) - Documents

Letters to John Wright Wheatley from his Parents, 1870-71

WMW, Annual Accounts, 1 Jan_ 1867 [Ledger 4, p_1 (third series)]

Real Estate in Johnson Co. Mo. 1800.00    
” “ “ Morgan Co. “ 500.00    
Bills Receivable 2000.00    
Household Goods 200.00    
One Horse $75 two mules $250 325.00    
One cow $35 Six Calves $50 85.00    
Twelve Pork hogs 75.00    
Two sows and Eleven sprats 35.00    
Two stacks hay $33 Leather and Harness 40– 73.00 5093.00  
Cash on Hand 65.60 5158.60  
T.R. & J.G. Humes Bal. acc. 18.59    
John Wheatley Bor. Money 300.00    
Wilson&Gibbs Store a/c \less error $8.49/ 43.00 341.59  

I.A.e.2. JWW2 to WMW, Americus, 2 Feb. 1868

Americus Ga. Feby 2nd 1868

Dear Will,

I have thought for some time that I ought to write to some of you, & last Sunday night did write part of a letter to Rachel & then burned it up. It looks now as though I intended giving you a benefit by writing on foolscap, but we have no other in the house except note paper & I prefer this to that.

I have no doubt but you often wonder how we are getting on in our unreconstructed condition. Well, very poorly in some respects. Our people are very much demoralized yet & there is but little hopes of their being any better soon. Our legislation is a farce and our Judiciary worse. We had a striking instance of the latter a short time ago here. You may have heard of the murder of Judge Hume(?) last summer. the negroes who killed him (some four I believe) were tried & found guilty of murder, on a/c of some irregularity in the trial the case was carried to the Supreme Court and a new trial granted. They were tried \again/ a short time since, the first one was tried & the jury returned a verdict of Guilty of murder in the first degree. The others plead guilty of Manslaughter before being tried & applied to the judge for mercy. he sentenced them all including the first to the Penetentiary for a series of years I forget how many, evidently afraid to execute the penalty of the law. Had the first one been a white man there is no doubt but he must have been hanged. We have no laws in force by which one can collect his debts, & with stay laws, bankruptcies & convention ordinances we dont know where we are drifting to, Only yesterday I was served with a paper from the U.S. Marshall at Savannah informing me that a man who owes us $350 & upon whose cotton crop we hold <p.2> a mortgage had gone into bankruptcy. We have a little contemptible Freedmans Bureau here. Commanded by a drunken low lieutt who sways supreme power with his few soldiers & from whom we have no redress except at Headquarters which amounts to nothing. He is bribed & kept as a tool by evil designing persons who accomplish their vile ends by his instrumentality. & some of those who were the hottest secessionists are the thickest with him. I have a supreme contempt for him & altho he has been here over a year have never spoken a word to him.

Our Governor has been deposed and a Federal Colonel now acts as Governor. We have a Convention in session now in Atlanta Composed partly of negroes & partly by whites but little or no better presuming to make laws to govern the state. Tis true there are several men in it of some mind, but no influences. whom it would be much more to their credit if they were somewhere else. I was very sorry that Mr Kent should have allowed himself to occupy such a position and have told him as much, when he comes home he has to hear some very hard things said against him. His people are very much chagrined & mortified at his position. They think is combining with others to take away what few rights they had & bring them still further to poverty. that he is the representative of the negroes in opposition to the whites, as in the election there was not a single white vote cast in the county.

To any one who has nothing much to do, but to talk & think over all these things is enough to disgust one with his own country. I try to think & feel as little about them as possible & mind my own private business, avoid all discussions & keep out of trouble on account of them. Did I have my affairs in as great a fix as I did two years ago I would <p.3> move somewhere where I could live cheap and educate my children, as it is I try to make the best of it and may yet live to see this a desirable place to stay in.

I am comfortably fixed, and live as well as I can afford. The country life I enjoy much more than I did town, my health is better & it does not interfere with my doing business in town, I weight this winter 176lb and am still growing, when the weather is good I frequently walk in & out, generally get to my business by nine o’clock and as nobody expects me any sooner do as much as if I got in earlier. Our business is better this season than it was last, but altho we have made more we have also lost more, but still expect to come out a head. should the present month prove as profitable as the past has then will be some probability of us coming North next summer. the early part of the season we lost on our cotton speculations some $1200, the past month we have more than made it up and are now ahead a little. had we ventured a little further could have made a good thing out of it. Cotton bought in December will now pay a profit of 25%, but not much has been made by any one here as but few could hold it long on a/c of the scarcity of funds to operate with. but I find I am occupying to much space with such topics supposing you would be more interested in them than in anything else I could write. Knowing though that other members of the family will read this will have to refer to other things, Firstly we are all well and enjoying ourselves as best we may. Kate has been staying in town for several weeks & we dont know how much longer she will stay. Tomorrow she and Callie Dudley with whom she is now staying will go around <p.4> and by their good looks and beseeching ways try and get up a subscription for an new preacher who we just heard yesterday was coming to preach for us. We have agreed to pay him $1200 salary & it will take some pretty hard begging to get it up in these hard times. It comes pretty heavy on me as I have to give $150, but the Lord loves a cheerful giver, & we all feel like doing all we can to enjoy good preaching again. He was here some time ago and preached a week or more for us & every one was very much pleased with him. Mr Kent has agreed also to give $150 and says he will do it if he has to give up his tobacco & pipe which will be a great sacrifice to him.

I must tell you we had a snow the other day, it snowed right hard for a little while but as it had been raining before it did not lay long on the ground. It was the first the children had ever seen & they did not know what to make of it. Mary told them if they went out in it she should certainly whip them George did go out however & said he was willing to take a whipping for the priviledge. some little chap in town called his mother to the window to see if raining cotton.

Thornt has not been well for several days has a bad cold & was threatened with Pneumonia at last accounts however he was better.

Charleys health is very good this winter and he is doing well. keeps busy doing small jobs about town & gets good pay for them. He has had quite a crowd of visitors on him this winter that made it more expensive for him, but they will leave this week much to his gratification.

Our little Crawford is just learning to walk, and requires the constant watch of his mother or nurse.

But I must close, it is 10 oclock & Mary is asleep, & I have written you more than I thought I could. Give a great deal of love to all from all & when you can write me.

Yours truly


<p.1, top margin, upside down:>

Monday morning.

Mary has just asked me who this letter is to, as she sees no evidence in it that it is for Will Wheatley or Will Forsythe & says it will do for both.

Ledger 4, loose. Lawyer for Ruth E. Carlin to MMHW, Springfield OH, 11 Dec. 1868

Springfield, Ohio

Dec 11th 1868

Mrs Mildred M. Wheatley,


We have just written your brother Joseph G. Hume, concerning an offer to compromise the Carlin will case by Mrs. Ruth E. Carlin, the widow.

She offers $5000, in addition to the special bequests, about which there has never been any controversy. The $5000 to be divided between the heirs according to their relationship. This would give your branch of the family about $625, or $125 each,–less attys fees. This is only about one <p.2> third of what we would recover, if we should succeed in all we claim; but on account of the uncertainty of the case, in view of the adverse decisions already made, we think it better to accept this offer than to take the risk of losing the whole thing. We have, therefore, advised all the parties we represent to accept Mrs. Carlin’s offer, and settle up the whole matter at once.

Please let us know whether you are agreeable to this arrangement, immediately, as we desire to hear from all without delay.

<Ledger 4, p.32, records the receipt of a cheque for $141.62 from the Carlin estate.>

I.B.o. WMW to JWW3, Gravois Mills, 16 Aug. 1870

Gravois Mills. P.O.

Morgan Co. Missouri

Augt 16th 1870

Dear John

I intended to write you. before this. but have been so busy since my return that I really had not time. When I first came back. a great deal of the fence round the meadow and the large field over the creek had either to be made new. or repaired. and about the time I had this done. Werner took sick. and was very bad for a few days. so between the two misfortunes. my time has been fully taken up. considering the small \jobs/ that come daily. Werner is much better now. and mamma has just gone to Farris’ on some business. and has taken him along. Millie is a very good girl and help me very much. and Mary and Thornty do all they can. they are all good children generally. though sometimes I have to whip them a little. I hope you will be so good to Grand-pap & Grand-ma and aunty Kate that you will \not/ need correction. though if you dont be good to them and mind what they say. they must whip you to make you better. You must not only be good and kind to them but be good to everybody. always call every grown person Mr. or Mrs. as the case may be. If you will be a good boy to all. every person will be kind to you. and respect you. <p.2>

I bought a very fine ‘surger’-sewing machine for Mamma. it is all fixed up so nicely. and has a neat pannelled box in which mamma locks it up. so that mischievious children cannot meddle with it. Polly and Fan are very good horses and so gentle that Millie and Mary & Thornty ride them. I traded Nellie off for a colt 2 ½ years old. and gave twenty five dollars to boot. He is one of the finest young. horses I ever saw. and if I have luck with him. will be worth 200^$^ by the time you come back. I may be I will give him to you. if you prove deserving of so great a present. I sold Brindle(?) and Snow, with their calves to Mr Webster (that lives where Mr James did) to pay for Mammas sewing machine. I sold also, Lilly, and Rose, and Daisy, and Dolly. I thought it would be better \to buy/ some larger pigs to fatten. to replace what I lost by the flood. so I bought seven of Jo for which I paid $54.75/100. I will fatten about twenty five \hogs/. this will leave twenty for sale. I sold six shoats to Mr Webster. for which he paid $38.75/100. There are but six of the 900 ___s left. and Tom is among them. the foes having caught the rest. I suppose by this time you are going to school. be attentive to your book. respect your teacher. and obey the rules of the school you will be glad that you went to school. for then you will see the advantage of an education. I. of course. will expect to hear how you progress with your studies– You must not forget that you have an affectionate Mamma \Pappa/ and here. who loves you very much. and thinks of you every day. Be sure that you write to us often– your affectionate


<p.1, top margin> Give my love to Grand-Pap– Grand-ma Aunt Kate– and all– say to Mr Jenkins that I got his letter. and will attend to request soon as I can find time.

I.B.m. Lizzie Lansdown to JWW3 and MMHW, Jefferson City, 2 Oct. 1871 (must be 1870), with note from Mildred to John added 14 Oct.

Jefferson Cty Oct 2

1871 <must be 1870>

Dear John

It has been a long time since I received your letter it has not been for the want of an inclination to write that I have not answered it long ago I can hardly every find time to write to my friends I have been trying all day to take up my pen to drop you a few lines and I am now writing \by/ lamp light to let you know that I have not forgotten you and wishing so much that I could come up this fall I have been looking for a letter from your Mama for some time telling me if your Papa had returned home I thought he would call and see us I think you are getting large enough to come and see me and bring your Mama you do not know how glad I would be to see you <p.2> we have some chickens and some flowers and many thing in twon [sic] that you would like to see when the railroad comes to Versaills you must be sure and come then and I will go home with you write to me soon and tell me what you all are doing did your Mama rose bloom I gave her you must not move off and not tell me I want to come and see you before you go I must clos [sic] my letter to you as I want to write some to your Mama Nothing

more but remain

Yours truly

Lizzie Lansdown

Dear Mildred

I can assure you it is a pleasure to me to spend my few spare moment in writeing to you I am getting along the same old way plenty to do and no prospect of any less to do. or any better times with us we have had 19 in family for the last three weeks which makes a great deal of work it is months <breaks off at end of page>

<Mildred’s additions, written crosswise>

Oct 14th

Dear John. Your letter was received and we were glad to hear form you but sorry you feel so homesick. you must try to not think of home so much the time will soon pass and Papa will come for you as soon as he can, try to be pleasant and agreeable to your playmates and the good ones will be kind to you. and the bad ones you can have done. Milly and Mary would like to say a great many things to you but I have not time to write. I received the patterns from Aunt Kate. and will make your pants and coat tomorrow and will send them in a few days. I know you are a good boy and learn your book well. and mind Grandpap Mama & aunt Kate. I am glad you can assist Grandpap with the freight. but do be careful to not get in the track. I should be so distressed if anything should happen to <p.2> you. This is aunt Lizzies letter to you. it has been here sometime. but I neglected sending it. Good night may God bless and keep my little boy from all evil.

Much love to all

Ever your affectionate

Mildred Wheatley

I.B.j. MMHW to JWW3, Gravois P.O., 30 Oct. 1870

Gravois P.O.

Morgan County Missouri

Oct 30th 1870

My dear Johnny

Aunt Kates letter enclosing three from you came a few days since. and we were very glad indeed to hear from you. We had not heard for a couple of weeks and I was beginning to be uneasy about you. We had a talk about you this evening all concluded they loved you very much and wanted to see you ever so bad. Milly says I shall tell you that Papa has finished the cellar and that it is ever so nice, and Mary says she wishes Papa would bring you home. Your water melons ripened some after you left they were very good but small, we saved some of the seeds. Milly and Mary would not disturb any of your things for pay. but are very careful of everything you left. they never go in your trunk unless it is to put something of yours away.

I think you must be a real good boy to get so many nice presents. and you must try and be better yet. and love those that are so kind to you. always be kind and obliging to every one <p.2> but particularly so to Grand-Ma and Grandpap. You must learn your lessons good that we may see you. have learned something when you return. I am glad you can sing with Aunt Kate. you must learn something nice to sing to Milly & Mary. Mrs Allen & Farris often ask about you. Jo & John1 have been going to school since you left. Aunt Mary and Lou always ask about you and would like to see you. Aunt Mary has not found a name for her little baby boy yet.2 The colt Papy bought is doing nicely, and Papa wants you to be a good boy to Grandpap & Grandma learn your book well that he may give him to you when you come home. I have had some beautiful flowers this fall. and many of them are still blooming. I should like very much if you could send me some Dahlias. You must not fail to write to me every week. you must remember me with much love to Grandpap and Mama Aunt Kate Uncle Will and Aunt Rachel and all your little Cousins also and Aunt Sis I had like to forgotten she was with you. also Mrs Diefenbach.

Your affectionate Mama

Mildred Wheatley

I.B.k. WMW to JWW3, Gravois Mills, 7 Nov. 1870

Gravois Mills P.O.

Morgan Co. Missouri

Nov 7th 1870

Dear John

I have a little leisure this Evening & thought I would write you a short letter. Mama recd. the patterns yesterday and will get some clothes ready for you soon as we can. I expect by this time you are having pretty cold weather. and people need good warm clothing. With us. the weather has been extremely mild. and indeed pleasant. for the season. We have fire in the room in the mornings but that is all. I hope you are well again and able to attend school regularily [sic]. and be of use to Grand Pap. Your little red pig is growing finely. next year he will be worth $15. & that will buy you some nice clothes as well as some good books. You must never spend any time in idleness. if Grandpap or Grandma has nothing to do. (as it may often occur) get a book or paper & read. there is always something to learn. I have a great deal to do & find but little time to read. I do not like to strain my eyes to much. by reading at night.

Enclosed is one dollar. for your sage. potatoes &c which you must apply to having your photograph taken & send me one. & one for your brothers & sisters & mama. <p.2> We are all very well. Alice Taylor came yesterday to live with us. she will be of great use to Mamma, I wish you would send me some democrats once in a while: & ask Uncle Will for some journals of commerce to send also. I thought I would subscribe for it: but have lost the address.

Tell Grandpap to please write to me. I have not heard from him since I came back. & you must write often Give my love to all, & be a good boy

Your affectionate father

W.M. Wheatley

I.B.q. MMHW to JWW3, Gravois Mills, 21 Nov. 1870

Gravois Mills P.O.

Morgan Co. Missouri

Nov 21st 1870

My dear Johnnie

I did not have time to write you but a few lines on Aunt Lizzies letter. but will try and do a little better this time. We are all quite well now. Werner is getting rosy and plump as ever and can say a great many words. indeed he talks almost as well as Thornty. Milly & Mary learn their books very well now. Milly says she is going to learn all she can: or you will call her a dunce. when you come back. We will take good care of \all/ the agriculturist and you can read them when you come home. I will not send your catalongue. as I would rather you would spend your time in studying. and when you come home you will have plenty of time to look over it. and if you are a good boy and are improved. as you should be we I am sure papa will get you almost anything you may want. I have your clothes made and will send them to you in a day or two your coat looks like it would fit you but the pants seemed so large I would not finish them. but thought Aunt Kate could let you try them on and if too large get the tailor to fix them. I cut them exactly by the pattern. <p.2>

Alice \Taylor/ knit you a nice pair of mittens. out of yarn which was spun at Uncle Jose’s factory. Aunt Lou has been sick a great deal since you left. and has gone to Sedalia for medical advice. Eva3 keeps well and says she would like very much to see you.

I was down to see Aunt Mary a few days ago and Alice and Eddy4 had a great many questions to ask about you and said they would come to see you as soon as they heard you had come home

I have been wanting to write to Aunt Sis but somehow I never get time to write to any one but you. I am going to send aunt her a little present which I hope may prove acceptable. I could get many things which would be considered more appropriate wedding presents. but I choose to be a little odd this time. and give something that I am quite sure no one else would thing [sic] of.

I think you are improving in your writing the last letter was much better than any you have written. You must write your letters nicely. Every one that comes in asks about you and I let them read your letters. Miss Charlotte5 was here a few days since and read your last once. and says if you will be studious you will make a man. Much love to everyone. be a good boy and write to me often

Your affectionate mama

Mildred M. Wheatley.

I.B.n. WMW to JWW3 and to Kate Wheatley, with added note to “Mama” (MMHW?), Gravois Mills, 6 March 1871

Gravois Mills P.O.

Morgan Co Missouri

March 6th 1871

Dear John

We recd. your letter yesterday. and was very sorry to hear of you being laid up again with a cold. and earache. but I hope you will be soon well again. You must not go about the river & canals in the spring for there is always a damp. cold air. which is enaything but pleasant or healthy. better stay about home and help Grandpap in the garden & yard. I expected to come for you about this time. but find I cannot. for I have to much work to do. We had such a hard and disagreeable winter that it was impossible to get any work done. & now since the weather is good I cannot spare a day. you know. farmers must plant & sow when the seasons come or they raise nothing. I have hired Henry Merriots oldest boy to work this season. & he is a very good boy. Last Saturday mother made some garden. and this week I want to sow oats. The weather now is very fine & everybody is busy that pretend to do anything.

You must content yourself until I can come for you. which will be in July. for I do not now see that it is possible to come before. Be a good boy & keep studying your books. I send you a little change for stamps &c. I did intend to send a dollar but have no more change. you must not spend any of it foolishly.

affectionately Your father

WM Wheatley

<p.2> Dear Kate

I find that it is impossible to come for J John this spring we had such a wretched winter that work was out <of> the question. and indeed I have done nothing but feed our stock keep up the fires & set by them. When warmer weather comes. John will need some other clothes. and a pair shoes. please get what he may need but do not buy anything but he really needs. better get ready made clothes. they will be cheaper. and will give you no trouble for I know you have enough to do. Keep account of what you spend for him. and tell me the amount & I will send you a money order for it.

If there is any private or any kind of school send him by all means. and I will pay the tuition.

It will cost much more to get clothes here and send him by half than where he is though we have plenty of cloth &c It would afford me much pleasure to see you all again but must defer it until summer. Please say to Mr Jenkins. that I have not forgot him but will bring the result of my work when I come. with much love to all.

affectionately your bro

W.M. Wheatley

<in a childish hand, written in any blank space in this letter:>

Dear Mama

I was very glad to hear from you as I had not heard from you for so long. We gathered the currants day before yesterday and had about a half bushel. the bushes was quite full. We also gathered the Cherries the same day and the next Preserved them and pickled them and made Pies. We had a good many of them too. the Peach Trees look as if we would have a good <p.2> many of them too. The weather is delightfull and we have(?) a good deal of rain. am glad that Papa has a part of the harvest dune(?) with so that it will not be so long before I go home. and(?) I would like to go home very much. we had 22. nice chickens almost ready to eat and the next time we came to feed them we only had 14 and the next 12. so we lost 10 chickens. the most of them Run in Mr. Loyds(?) lot and get Killed some way or another we do not know how.

Ledger 4, loose. J.W. Mitchel to WMW, Union Mills MO, 18 Apr. 1871

Union Mills
Plate County Mo(?)

Apr 18th/71

Wm M Wheatley

Dear Sir I recvd your letter a fews says since stating my tax in your county on lands was ten & 50/100 Dollrs your charges one & 52/100 Dollars You will please find enclosed a check for Twelve Dollars to pay the Same Drawn on the Buchanan Life and ____ Insurance Company on the Exchange Bank St Louis Mo in My favour. I am verry glad you consented <p.2> to attend to this matter for me and I hope ou will continue to do so you will please see that the land is properly assessd this summer and let me know in tim to pay my tax by the first of July at all times put in your own charges please. Remit the Receipt as soon as you pay. Respect

J.W. Mitchell

I.B.p. MMHW to JWW3, Gravois Mills, 8 June 1871, continued on 19 June

Gravois Mills P.O.

Morgan Co Missouri

June 8th 1871

My dear Johnny

I have been anxious to write you for some time but I have had so much to do letter writing was out of the question. there is not a day but what we think and talk of you. and wish we had you at home. I hope you are going to school and improving your time. and also that you pay close attention to the cautions given you about going on the rail-road and canal. if you should get run over or drown it would make the remainder of our lives miserable. and always lament having let you go to Grandpap’s but on the other hand if you are a good boy and mind all that is said to you it will be a great pleasure for us to let you go again. Pappa commence<d> harvesting the wheat last week and found it most excellent. it will be a least six three weeks before he gets through with the oats and hay. the season has been good and everything in the farm looks well. we have plenty of vegetables have potatoes large <p.2> enough to eat.

I have nineteen nice goslins and I always think about you when I go to feed them. Milly and Mary are not so good to teach them to talk as you were. Mr John B. Farris died a few days since. after a few days illness. no one knew of his sickness until after his death.

June 19th. I commence this letter over a week ago but being interrupted by company. I could not finish at that time and this is the first opportunity I have had to write since. I have been quite busy preparing twine for papa to have a fish net made. which will be done this week and then we can have fresh fish when ever we wish. There has been a great many caught this season. as I have but a few minutes to write in I will close. my \with much/ love to all and hoping you are always a good boy. not giving Granma or pap any unnecessary trouble. Write oftener. we are too often disappointed in not getting letters from you.

Your affectionate Mama

M.M. Wheatley.

I.B.l. WMW to JWW3, Gravois Mills, 26 June 1871

Gravois Mills P.O.
Morgan Co. Missouri

June 26th 1871

Dear John

It has been some time since I wrote you. but I have been very busy with our summer work. our crops are very promising. The wheat is very good & is now safe in the barn. & are about done working the corn. We never had so good a garden. We will commence on the oats & hay the first of July. & hope to get through the hardest of our work by the middle of July. but really a farmer is never done. if a person has good health they ought not to mind that. We are very well & have no reason to complain of anything but the scarcity of money. there is really none in the country.

My principal object in writing you this morning is to caution about going about the canal & river. I noticed in the Democrat you sent. that six little boys about your size & age were drowned in different places in Penna. just think what sorrow & grief that caused their poor mothers & fathers. & I now [sic] if you were to drown it would set your dear mother crazy. Not a day passes <p.2> but what she talks about you & the canals & bad boys that lead others with them fishing. & swimming &c against their parents wishes. Now I want \you/ to remember that you must not go about the canals & river at all. without Grandpap or uncle Will, or some safe & reliable person is with you. I know you want to be a good boy & I think you are. but the best proof of a good boy is that he obeys all their wishes & commands. whether they are present or not. If I were to guess what your mama is thinking about. I would say the three fourths of her time she is thinking about you & the canal. Aunt Kate I expect has told you about aunt Rachaels poor little Johnny that went to the canal and was drowned. & all they have now <to> look at \is/ the picture of the poor little boy to show what he once was. It is a dreadful thing for parents to loose their dear children. I am glad to hear that you are at school. and that you will continue to learn while you have an opportunity. You must be kind & obedient to all at home. & try & repay them for their trouble by doing as you are bid. I want to write to Grand Pap. & Mr Jenkins now as I have a little leisure I cannot say about what time I will be home but will come when I can. I wish you to be more punctual in writing. Aunty Kate does not speak very well of it. With much love to all–affectionately


Ledger 4, loose. WMW to JWW3(?), Gravois Mills P.O., 16 Nov. 1871: a scrap from a letter

<lWritten on the day of the birth of Harriet Gilmore Wheatley, who is referred to in the last line.>*

Gravois Mills P.O.

Morgan Co.


Nov. 16 / 71

… I received your last letter
… glad to hear from you
… horse & does not allow any
… gathering corn now & I do not have
… Except at night. Mama has a
…<na>med her after Grandma. When

<the back is blank>

II.I.l. JWW3 to JWW1, Gravois Mills, 28 Nov. 1871

<In WMW’s hand, presumably at JWW3’s dictation. Addressed on the back: John Wheatley Esq / Northumberland / Northd Co / Pennsylvania. No stamp or postmark.>

Gravois Mills P.O.

Morgan Co.


Sunday Nov 25 1871

Dear Grandpap

Papa recieved your letter a few days ago & was very glad to hear from you. We had a small snow on Thursday but it all melted away by to day. We finished the corn last week & have nearly 200 bushels. Papa says he is not going to lose both corn & hogs this \year/ he said he fed all his corn to the hogs & the price was so low that the money he got for the meat would not pay for the corn he fed them. Corn is worth from 40 to 50 ct. a bushel. We have eat all the fish up & have nearly finished the venison. Has Mrs McGregor got my letter? I heard that she was very sick. The \lame/ horse that papa told you of is improving rapidly & \Papa/ says if she keeps so Papa will use her in the spring for plowing. What time do you get up to go down to the train. We are never out of butter or milk. We always have 10 crocks of milk & 1 of butter. We feed our 3 horses 8 ears of corn apiece cows 2 good sized pumpkins apiece oxen when used 10 ears of corn apiece & feed all our stock plenty. I told you papa had 200 buls of corn for I guessed it but with the Johnson County place & this one he has nearly 2000 bu altogether.

Must close my letter with much love to all.

Ever yours affec.

John Wheatley

(Write soon as possible)

Ledger 4, loose. Israel Thornton Wheatley to WMW, Americus, 8 Aug. 1872

Americus Ga Aug 8th 1872

Dear Brother

Sometime during my absence from home last month your kind letter including photographs of two of your children came to hand. We were very glad indeed to hear from you & to see the pictures of your little ones \and(?)/ whose features all of course were strangers: I saw the whole lot at Northumberland: & while as you say the work is not done in the highest style of the art, still I doubt not the likenesses are very faithful and that of course is what we wanted. The pictures you sent Charley also came to hand, but Johns had not arrived the last time I heard him say anything upon the subject. About a month ago I decided very suddenly that I would pay a short visit to the old homestead and on the same night I beleve [sic] Friday July 6th, I started with Mrs Kendrick (my mother in law) and Master Walter. & after a tiresome journey, & many delays & detentions: we at last arrived in Northd on the following Tuesday morning at 6 am having lost nearly 24 hours en route. As I had not time to inform the homefolks of my intended trip: they were not expecting us, but were of course glad enough to see us. <p.2> I remained at home only one week which time passed very quickly & pleasantly. notwithstanding the weather there was excessively warm, at that time: I left Mrs K & Walter at Fathers: & had a quick & pleasant trip home. In a day or two after my return Mr Kendrick started north for his usual summer trip and called by Northumberland for his wife and Walter. & spent two or three days there. after which they all went over to New York & then up to Vermont where they usually summer in the village of Poultney right under the shade of the Green Mountains. So you see our family is somewhat scattered, there being no one at home except Julia myself & the baby Alice! I should have liked [sic] very much to have passed the entire summer at North. but it is quite out of the question for Mr K & myself both to be absent from our business & upon the whole I do not know as I should have been any the better for it: I never was in better health in my life than at present, indeed I can say this of all of us who remain at home. Julia is as well as any one can be weighing at the present time only 167.–& little Alice is the very picture of health & happiness: We are all blessed with good appetites & have abundance of good things now, to gratify the same. Our gardens have afforded us a splendid supply of vegetables during the entire summer, in addition to which we have the finest fruit of almost every variety in unlimited supply <p.3> We have a very large crop of Peaches & the finest quality I ever saw, figs in abundance, & watermelons to throw to the hogs. & with all these luxuries & no scarcity of the more substantial articles we have no cause to complain of our lot, and I am very certain I can live better at home in the summer than I can in any of the Northern Country Summer resorts, or watering places. I believe also that upon the score of real comfort we have the advantage here. I found the weather as warm in Penna as we have had here with the exception of a day or two. While at home we can have larger rooms, more air–& can adapt our clothing to suit the changes, in a way that we cannot very well do while at a public place–John starts north sometime during the latter part of this month. He takes Callie with him for the purpose of having her at school in Staunton Va. His wife is not in very good health, is in fact quite feeble and would have gone north this summer if she had been able to stand the trip. the remainder of his family are all very well, he has fallen off in weight considerably during the last month. Lou (Charleys wife) has presented him with another fine daughter, named Flora Maxwell Wheatley, she is a very beautiful little thing, black hair and eyes, & is now about 3 weeks old. Lou was doing very well & was up & about but was attacked last week with something like dysentery which gave her quite a serious set back, she is now much better <p.4> Just now: is our dull season in business still I manage to find enough to do to keep me employed the whole time, my affairs fell behind while I was gone, and it has kept me engaged busily to get them up square again. Our business so far this year has been very good–and I hope we shall have a good winter trade & collections–notwithstanding the business is paying about as well as anything we could be at still I am always looking forward to the time when I can get out of it & for that matter I may say I am now looking forward just as anxiously to the time when I can get my affairs in shape to get out of this country, every thing seems to be running behind here, there is no progress in anything–Property is low–People generally no better off than right after the end of the war–so you see it is not very encouraging.–If however I should determine right now to emigrate, It would take me more than a year to get away from here. Political affairs are not yet exciting very much interest–notwithstanding some of the straight out democrats talk of getting out a third ticket–I think it will be a stand up square fight between Greeley & Grant–and I am not sure that it makes very much difference to us which wins–Julia joins me in love to yourself as to Mildred & family–& I often wonder if I <p.1, top margin> shall ever get to see you again. I want to see your entire family–as I cannot do that I want to hear from you as often as possible–so send along your letters. Ill promise you a “Roland for an Oliver”. and let the Olivers come as fast as they may. I remember that I owe my faithful nephew Johny for a very interesting <p.1, right margin> letter, a long letter still(?) & am determined that I will answer it but I have become such a very poor letter writer, that I always dread the job of writing –

Your affectionate Bro


Ledger 4, loose. JWW1 to WMW, end of a letter (first page(s) missing)

<on letterhead of “Howard & Co.’s Express, General Office, 607 Chestnut St., Philadelphia”>

But I shall not sell until I hear from you which I wish as soon as conveniant there is many enquiring about you & Mildred frequently & are glad when I can say I heard from you & was Well

If you have you Old Book of accts I wish you would send me J.W. Hopewells acct as I cant find it

I wish you would wright to Charley he says he has wrote to you but gets no answer

We are all sorry that you are so far away from us. Mother often talks about the children Mildred & yourself which [sic] & would be glad to see you all we are all well Neal & Hetty was here this fall & spent a few days they are alway verry glad to hear from you he sent me 2 Barrels of those verry <p.2> fine Apples & some Butter this fall for which we are all much obliged as apples are verry scarce & dear here. Bob has had a great time here this summer in surveying the Town grading the Streets & giving line for Curb Stone as the Council have ordered pavements to be laid along the principal Streets at 12 feet to the curb it makes quiet [sic] a fuss in some parts of the Town as the Houses are 5 feet on the Street in places & other 4 feet off the Street Tell Thos to wright & let us know how he is doing also any of the rest of the Family

Will & Rachel sends their best respects to you & all the rest also Kate Sis & all of us

Write soon from your affectionate Father

J. Wheatley

Ledger 4, loose. A.H. Voris to WMW, Altoona, 30 Nov. 1872

Altoona Pa. Nov. 30 1872

Wm M Wheatley Esq.

Gravois Mills Mo

Dear Sir

Your favor of Oct 22nd came duly to hand, but being very busy at Mill building have had but little time to devote to my friends or tax paying on worthless western lands.

Yesterday and today we have it so extremely cold that our men cannot work, and I find it much more comfortable in my office than outside, and can find plenty to do in writing up my back correspondence, and giving some attention to my own private affairs.

I herewith hand you P.O. order for $10.00 with which please pay the taxes on our lands in your county. the ballance appropriate <p.2> for the benefit of the Childrens Christmas. and for yourself accept my thanks for your kindness in looking after it: till such time as I can pay you better.

We were very sorry to hear of the death of our little friend Bessie Forsythe6, until we left the first week in October she was our own little girls constant playmate, and when we all kissed her goodbye but little thought it was the last we would see of her. Mr & Mrs Forsythe have our sympathies in their great distress.

We could not get a House in Altoona last fall, and went to boarding in Hollidaysburg till next spring when we expect to get a house here, I come out to our works every morning by train, and home again in the evening. We are about as comfortable as boarders generally <p.3> are but does not come up to my ideas of “home comfort” by any means.

My family are all well, and hope yours are in like good health and that you may soon find a customer for your rich corn fields on the Gravoi [sic], and that you find a place to suit you, where your children can have the advantages of good schools. I am

Yours truly



<rest torn away>

Back to Pennsylvania: Letters to William McCoy Wheatley, May-September 1873

I.A.e.4. A.H. Voris to WMW, Altoona, 12 May 1873

<On letterhead: “Altoona Iron Company. / A.H. Voris, Sup’t. L.C. Baker, Pres’t. E.L. Hutchinson, Sec. and Treas.”>

Altoona, Pa., May 12 1873.

Wm M Wheatley Esq
Northd Pa

My dear Sir

Your esteemed favor of 10th inst. came duly to hand. I heard from my friends at Northumberland some days ago that your Father was very ill, and of that you and all his family were expect [sic] home. I hardly expected a call from you on your way to see him but most certainly look for one on your return, when you will have an opportunity to see the place and in the mean time I will see what can be done by way of situation.

Dot [sic] fail to come to see me and let me know a mail or two in advance of your coming.

Hoping that your Father will regain his general good health again, and that your present home gathering will not be broken up in sadness I am

Very Respectfully Yours

A.H. Voris

<On the back, some pencil sums in WMW’s hand, including a set relating to the land deal:>

Market St Lot 1000.00
Square Lot 800.00
Homeplate 8000.00
Jacketwiderpr.(?) 1800.00
Bank 100.00

<Among the sums, in another hand, an address in pencil:>

902 Locust St
Salen(?) Maria(?) Co

John Wright Wheatley died on 14 May 1873.

II.C.d.3. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 7 June 1873

Gravois Mills P.O. Missouri

June 7th 1873

My dear William

Yours of the 30th inst is at hand and I feel much obliged for the favor. such a letter goes along way toward short\en/ing the time of our seperation & I think I am doing wonderfully in not getting the blues. I think of you all the time but feel that you are much more comfortable where you are and know that you love me well and are doing all you can to have us with you.

We are all well and everything is going on as it should. John’s corn is looking very well and he works like a good fellow. The potatoes were in bloom a week ago. and they were well and clean not a weed to be seen. The garden is also looking well. and we will have plenty of vegetables to use. The hogs have annoyed me greatly. but I have at last succeeded in stopping all the holes in the fence and they go off more. Polly looks well but I have to give her a great deal of attention it seems impossible to get John to do it. He will not groom enough and will leave her standing hitched to the plow. I wish you would write him and make the necessary suggestions. but dont let him know that I have said any thing.

I had a serious time with the meat on yesterday I sunned washed and picked off all the worms I could find which were very numerous. and I had thought I ought to take it to town the first day John can spare from plowing. Henry Merriot wants to get all we have and pay for it in harvesting. but he will just get one piece at a time and I <p.2> am afraid the shoulders will spoil. if there is a day to spare this week I think I had better take the shoulders up. Lumpee said he would give seven cents. for shoulder & nine for sides. the meadow is looking well and the frequent showers we are having \will/ make a great deal of hay. the wheat too promised well though the chintz bug has made its appearance in some sections. I will go over and examine ours before I close this.

I have since been satisfied the mans intentions were not against me. but a very attractive lady which Colby the Wyan(?) Furnace man. brought from St. Louis. and I was only a covering. I will never give a chance for an advance. and it shall either be a bold move on his part or none. I dont believe that he thinks there is but one virtuous woman and that is more from imbecility than anything else. I am not really afraid of any \one/ know but there are a great many strangers coming in to the mines and they are so near it makes me uneasy sometimes. two were here last evening to buy some onions & lettuce. were civil. but rough fellows called me the old lady. I saw Lou the other day she never made any allusion to their trouble except when I invited her up to tell me she did not feel as if she could ever go anywhere.7 I met \Mr &/ Mrs Silvey in the road the evening I mailed your letter and as soon as she spoke. she burst in into tears and could say but a few words. S– is putting up a house on his river place and would like to sell.

You will see from you enclosed receipt I have been supplied with change from Greenlee. and will try to make this do me till you come. with the two dollars \you sent/ <p.3>

I wrote to Mrs Chism to know if she would come & stay with me awhile I could not stand it any longer. but if I cannot get her. I will have to stand it. I know she has always borne a good character. if she has a bad temper. Mr & Mrs Allen came down and staid one night last week. John is greatly pleased at the thought of living in Penn. says if you could just buy grandma’s house he would rather live there than any place in town. and indeed I should like it very much too. but I expect that would go too high for our means. There is a very flattering acct of the iron Furnace &c in this weeks paper which I will send you and John wants you to be sure to hand it over to Frank. Harriet is beginning to talk. the others night after we had gone to bed she kept chattering and playing and at last she thought of you and would lay and say pap pap py. Tell Milly I will write to her soon I should have written last week but was out of paper I knew she would be a good girl and it would have been a great shame to keep her here this summer. though I miss her greatly about attending to the fowls and calves. though I get along very well except when I have the sick head ack [sic] which has been rather frequent the last two weeks, except that I am very well. Thornty & Werner are two of the most mischievous little fellows ever was and ang fret John most to death. The latest source of amusement is to put a young duck in their mouth. I have a little over half a barrel of flour but will have to use more the children have all been troubled with looseness of the bowels. and the weather is getting too hot for one to do so much cooking <p.4> There is plenty of fish in the creek. and a lot of find bass down by the turnip patch. the day I was in town I heard Crane tell a ___ he caught two hundred fish the day before. Websters too have caught a great many but they have never sent me any. A brother of Mrs Asa W–8 is here will spend some time and I expect with a view of buying. Stover seems to be doing something in mineral lands and I should not wonder if he would be the best chance to help us off.

I have been over to look at the wheat and cannot see that anything is in it. it is perfectly fresh and green from the bottom and I think very large heads.

I believe I have written you all that would be of interest. Remember me with much love to Mother Kate and all. a kiss for Milly and a great deal of love for yourself. Write often as you can. to

Your affectionate


<At the foot of the page, upside-down:>

John’s latest effusion

Johnny had a little dog
Its wool was black as jet
And every where Johnny went
The dog would go “you bet”

I.A.e.14. JWW2 to WMW, Americus, 12 June 1873

Americus Ga. June 12/73

Dear Bro.

Yours of 30 ult came duly to hand & should have been answered sooner. but I have had so many things to harass me that I cannot get ___ed enough to write. Mr Dudley left the very day I got home & I have had all the office work to do & generally there is some one in to prevent me writing & when I get home I am so worn out that I cannot.

Callie has been very dangerously sick since we got home, Instead of Neuralgia of the bowels for which we had been treating her. we found she had Peritonitis. (if you dont know what it is Dr McCay will explain). She suffered exceedingly & had to keep her under the influence of Morphine most of the time. I am satisfied that she would have died had I not got her home just when I did. for the Physician in Staunton did not know what was the matter with her & was treating her for an entirely different disease. She is slowly improving new. we got her at(?) home in Friday. but she is not yet able to sit up. but we are so thankful that <she> is better at all. for she had a narrow chance. Mary is up & <p.2> going about but half the time is not able to be. She has had a hard time of it, sick herself & nursing others all the time.

But to business. We have had several conversations in relation to your propositions. & have decided to accept your first. if the others at home interested are agreed about it. that is you take the square lot. and 34 ft off the lower end of homestead at $2400 upon the terms indicated in your offer. This is sufficient for you to base your business arrangements on for the present & when I get more leisure will write you more fully about the other matters.

Dr McCay loaned me a book to read which I left at home, if not already done I wish you to hand it to him & explain my negligence. I cannot close without letting you <know> that I travelled from Lynchburg to Dalton in the ____sleeping car with Col Pennington & Col Cotham(?) of Rome both of whom (for your sake I reckon) paid us a great deal of attention & gave us every assistance they could. They are both good genial fellows and both have a high respect for you. Will write more of them in my next.

With much love to all in haste, Yours etc.

J.W. Wheatley

II.C.d.4. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 17 June 1873

Gravois P.O.

June 17th 1873

My own dear Husband

Yours of the 12th. came to hand on Monday. and was very glad indeed to hear from you. I had become so accustomed to hearing from you on Friday that I should have felt uneasy if had not heard from you. and the time always seems long between letters any way. You cannot be more anxious for us all to be together than I am. but I am determined. to make the best I can of our seperation. and try to be as near satisfied as it is possible for me to be away from you. and I know you will make the time short as possible. You must take good care of yourself you have been so accustomed to out door life confinement will not suit you for a while. and I shall be so anxious now you are among strangers. I think about you all the time my dear William and the children talk a great deal about though I believe Thornty does more than any of the rest. Werner always says you are never coming back.

We are all well and getting along very well. John is plowing his corn and it looks first-rate. though the grub worms have taken some which discouraged him very much for while.

I begin to think there is a possibility of us having iron on our land in paying quantity. there had been a vein struck on Indian Creek eight feet thick. and Jim Allen told me the surface indications were more favorable in this section than over near the furnace and the furnace men have pronounced our surface ore a superior article. John & me were out the other day and found quite a quantity. one piece as <p.2> large as a barrel. I sent you a paper with a speech in it of Stovers giving the statistics of the mineral products of the county. and I think you will be very much surprised. if you do not get it I will send you another.

I cannot get Mrs Chism. so I will stay alone. and try to get along as best I can. I am not annoyed by too frequent visits since the lady I told you of left the neighborhood. though I have received some favors in a very time of need. (putting up fence) I have sold most of the meat at 10 cents. which was better than to keep it.

I will not have time to write much this morning. but I thought a short letter would be better than none. write to me often as you can. Write to John he feels hurt that you have not written him before. with such a kissing as I dreamed of giving you last night I will close. Good-bye

Your loving wife


I.A.e.10. Thornton Wheatley to WMW, Americus, 20 June 1873

Americus Ga. June 20 1873

Dear Will.

John handed me for perusal. two letters received from you. in regard to your purchase of some of the estate property. after consultation with Charley. we decided that your proposition. (The number I cannot now remember:) to take the square lot. at $800 and 34 feet on Front Street @ $160000. struck us more favorably than any other and I suppose John has written you informing you of this decision. I suppose you can have the papers drawn. and you can send them to us for signatures: I do not know the views of the others. but for myself I should be in favor of not dividing the amt of your cash payments. but keeping it together <p.2> and placing it at interest. or investing it. for the benefit of Mother and Kate. This arrangement would in order to make all equally interested would require you to add. to the amt, your portion. correctly $22800. Of course I just make this as a suggestion the others may favor an immediate division. if they do of course. each one must decide. If you are fully decided to locate in Northumberland. the property you get. will give you a good business & residence lot. and you may be able to start some business that will do well. though I must confess I still have a rather poor opinion of Northumberland as a place of business. except in manufacturing. or business connected with it: my views upon this point are based upon my observations. while in there. and possibly it may be <p.3> a better place than I suppose.

The best chance is in the shoe trade. if you could manage to get control of that branch of business. it would give you a good paying business. & usually if one takes up a certain single line of goods. and manages it with judgment. the trade naturally gravitates towards him. from the mixed stocks. because he can show a better assortment. and can after becoming established, get better prices than for the same goods. than they bring in mixed stocks. If you go into shoes you will I suppose carry on a shop in connection with the store.

If you take the property mentioned above you will I suppose proceed at once to build your residence. & store. At present I suppose Mother and Kate will remain in the homestead. if they should prefer <p.4> the change to Market Street. then I am in favor of the remainder of the property. being sold for cash to the party who will pay the most for it. but if they prefer to live together in the old brick house. I am decidedly opposed to disturbing them in any way. and some of us must if necessary advance the funds needed to put the house in repair– The comfort of Mother and Kate is the first thing to be considered. and in regard to selling the property or removing. or remaining. their wishes shall be law. to me. This leaves me in excellent health. and the same may be said of all of our family excepting Julia she is not very strong. I think of taking her up country. soon.–I have not used an ounce of tobacco in any form since my return home. and I think I feel very much better for the abstinence from its use–

<p.1 top margin> Yesterday was the first day without rain that we have had since May 25th it has been very injurious to the cotton crop. I hope now to see some fair weather. Much love to all

Your afft.


II.C.d.5. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 22 June 1873

Gravois Mills P.O.
Morgan Co. Missouri

June 22nd 1873

My dear Husband

Yours of the 14th is received and I take the first opportunity to write. Next to receiving a letter from you. my greatest pleasure is to write to you. You know how much I love you when you are here. but it seems I love you a great deal more than I ever have done. and I am sure I cannot tell what is to be done when you come home again. I have sold the most of the meat what I have is not in any danger.

Merriot has promised to help cut the meadow and wheat. Humes have plenty of hungarian grass. It seems to me there is a bargain in the property and if you can see your way out safely I should say but it. if you should only make 500. I should think it worth trying. but \do/ whatever you may think is best and I promise you I will not complain. We can sell the land over the creek anytime. would it not be worth your while to try and find a purchaser for it \farm/. I am afraid there is no dependence in S– I think in case we cannot sell Keple will take the place. & they are good tenants. The sk\c/andel in regard to Mrs C seems to have taken a turn. and it would not surprise me if it should end in a trouble more serious than was at first expected. Mr Carpenter has brought satisfactory proof of his character. and he confronted O’b– and they had to take the <p.2> lie. with a promise of something stronger if they did not quit talking. It is all a puzzle to me. I think men that can stoop to such things should be expelled from the community. Her friends have all turned against her. and she has had a hard time. but bears it meekly. no doubt looking forward to her marriage and removal from the scene of so much annoyance.

Mrs I am still alone. and shall continue so unless I get sick. Mrs A– comes down once in <a> while and stays all night. which is some help.

Versailles has a local to<o> good for the paper. there was a hurried wedding at Lumpee’s a few days since Henry Penebaker being the unhappy youth. the little forward girl we saw in the picture gallery the unfortunate one.

It has been very seasonable so far and everything looks very well. and Johns corn looks is in good condition for growing. I have not been so well this \past/ week. but as the cause of my weakness has ceased. I hope to be better. but the hot weather almost prostrates me. Harriet has had chills again but I checked them at once and she is very well now the other children are quite well. I can hardly find time to write to you & Milly both I had John write to her to day. John received his & Marys books. and was very much pleased. but a little disappointed as he had set his heart on history and he had just finished reading Crusoe.

Think of me often my dear William and every believe me to be the truest & lovingest of wives. Write me a good long letter often as you can.


II.C.d.6. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 26 June 1873, with note added 27 June

Gravois P.O. Missouri

June 26th 1873

My dear William

I have but little time to write this morning. but I have been thinking and loving you so much the past few days. I cannot stand it any longer without having something to say to you. Night before last I dreamed you came home and I felt so much relief. that I would not have any trouble. about the corn or harvest. and last night the dream was continued. You are ever in my thoughts and it is little wonder I should dream of you. Henry Merriot is cutting wheat today. there is a portion of it quite ripe. while the ballance is only beginning to turn. I have not been able to get any hay cut yet. but Griswold Bill Forester & Merriot will come next week. It should have <been> done this week. as it has been splendid weather for such work and the hay \grass/ in good condition. but I have done the best I could. and I began to fear I would not get it done at all.

I still continue very unwell. and will be compelled to hire some(?) for a while. my menses continued on me for nearly two weeks. and profuse. the first week. and I am so weakened & unstrung I can scarcely keep up. I will try Mrs Farris and if she cannot come I will have to take Francis as I know of no better chance. I think if I could keep off my feet for a short time I should be much better. I wish you would get me one of the pessaries spoken of in the Doctor Book (Blundell’s) I am a great deal better when I can take moderate exercise. and I cannot do this without <p.2> some support. Putting up fence is what brought this on, and there is not any chance for rest now. without some help. You must not feel uneasy though. for I am doing all I can to take care of myself. hoping to afford you some pleasure when you come home. and if it had not been for the fresh. I should have gotten along finely. for before this I was improving all the time.

Keples are pleased with the prospect of renting, and I believe you could not do better. the Jefferson City R.R. has bought the road from Versailles to Warsaw and we are sure of a R.R. now. and perhaps two as Jo Stevens is an interested party in the Iron furnace and favors the prospect of a road though this country.

I cannot write more as it is time for dinner. I want to hear from Milly so much but do not have time to write to her & you too. I had John write her on Sunday last.

Take good care of yourself my dear husband and always think you have a wife that loves you dearer than all the world besides. and whose greatest happiness is to be with you. and receive your caresses

Ever your loving


27. inst

Henry M– reports thousands of Chintz bugs in the wheat and I went out yesterday afternoon for more hands. and they will finish tomorrow. He thinks the wheat was too near ripe. to be injured. There was never so many Chintz bugs in this country before. John is very much alarm for the safety of his corn. and thinks farming is too uncertain a buisness [sic] for him.

II.C.d.7. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 30 June 1873

Gravois Mills P.O.

June 30th 1873

My own dear William

Yours of the 22nd inst was received on Friday. and I would have written to you on yesterday but I went to preaching. and then I intended writing a few lines in Johns letter but George came along before I had finished churning so I concluded to send his letter and write this afternoon. You cannot imagine how pleased I am when I get your letters. each one is read and reread untill another is received. and if I am disappointed in getting one on the day I think I should. I cannot help being a little blue.

I had scarcely hoped to see you so soon. but since it is so, I am heartily glad. for the thought of staying here during the winter was a gloomy indeed. and I could not see how I was to be reconciled to stay apart from my dear husband so long. We never really know how necessary we are to each others happiness until we are seperated.

The wheat is harvested. and at a cost of about six dollars which I think is doing very well. Bill Forester is cutting hay to day and Griswold will come tomorrow and I think I can get it all cut on the shares (1/2) and put it in the barn. The wheat was excellent but some patches were injured by the chintz bug. I try all the time to take care of myself but I these hands are here to cook for & you know it must be done. Francis was to have come this morning. but she has not made an appearance yet. I have felt much better the last two day and if I could ride <p.2> around a little and not work much I should be all right again. I have been taking a shower bath every morning the last week and I believe it has benefited me. Do just as you think is best in regard to living and buying property in Altoona. I should prefer living there to Northd. As to building I should think it best to select a plan that would admit of addition. and I think in the mean time you could make enough out of the money to finish building. for we could do without so large a house as we will need when the children are grown.

From all that I can gather. there is a good prospect for a railroad and an advance in property. and the iron of this neighborhood is creating attracting considerable attention at present. Stover is down today visiting various places and if he is satisfied with the prospects he says there will be furnace erected as soon as it can be done. It is supposed he is working for a company. You can tell better about these things when you come home. I am making preperations for our departure all the time. but get along slowly. as it will take a great deal of sewing to fit us out. and what is still worse. considerable expense. I have made up all the material I have in the house. and would like to get somethings soon that I may be getting them. made. would it be best to pay the money for them. or make and act and pay for them in potatoes &c. Tom Merriot has the money and would like to pay for Betsy. so I have heard. He got up over $100 worth of lead last week. Bill James went through a veign of iron ore eight feet thick in digging his well. Some of the Osage company were to look at it and pronounce it good ore. I hope you have received the paper containing Stovers speech. as it will give you a better idea of the interest felt in the mineral wealth of this section. Versailles people are beginning to be very proud of owning land on Gravois. Take good care of my little fellow and see that he does not injure himself by doing <p.1, margin, crosswise> more than is required. You ought to supply Kate with some money for Milly as she will need many things there that she would not here. I want to see her so much I can hardly stand it. Dont forget about your Photograph. John will get the orchard laid by this week. and I believe he is about satisfied with farming. says it is too uncertain between wet \& dry/ weather Chintz bugs and grub worms he thinks there is a poor chance to make much money. Good-bye by [sic] dear William and think often of you loving


II.C.d.8. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 1 July 1873

July 1st 1873

My dear Husband

I had finished the foregoing letter and taken it down to mail but I met Mr Webster & he said “he knew a man that would like to buy the place. and would pay cash if you did not ask an unreasonable price.” I told him that I had always thought you offered it below its value. but that I did not know what you would take for it just now. and he said he would be up to see me about it soon. I would hardly be satisfied for you to sell without first being here. John has been mining a little above the peach orchard and the indications are good for lead. but then we may never realize any thing from these things. and I know we should not throw a good chance away for an uncertainty. I should think we were doing very well if we could get $400000 for everything we have to sell here. I know if the place is rented we will never get the interest of the money. and it will go down from the time he leave. I think you should offer it to S– again and between the two you may do well. You must tell me exactly what to say to W– as I do not wish to injure the sale. and you know they are such careful people.

Mrs Allen tells me S– has told \some/ his connections that he considers this a great bargain and if he can raise the money & he will buy. but this may be like many other things we hear. I have never told any one what you are getting. and Forester told me he heard you was getting 1200 a year.

Please send me six yards of Hamburg edging about an inch wide. if it should not be known by this name, ask (of a woman) for suitable trimming for childrens underclothing. <p.2>

You will answer this immediately. that I may be be [sic] able to five them some satisfaction.

We have the first & largest potatoes in the neighborhood and as it is raining I think there will be a great many. and this rain will mature them. if we did not have any more. Everything looks so brushy and bad. dont you think I had better have the fence rows cut out. on this side of the creek anyway. and I know you would feel mortified to show anyone around the field across the creek. two or three days at furtherest would tidy up considerably. and there are weeds in the garden over ten feet high.

I have not dared to work in the garden for a couple of weeks and as this has been such a good season the weeds grow astonishingly.

I hope you may be able to read this. Harriet has been riding on my foot the most of the time. She is the dearest little pet we ever had. She is talking a little and jabbering all the time. a few nights since she was playing after we had gone to bed. and I asked where Pappy was and she raised up and felt all around on your side of the bed. John is very uneasy about his corn as the chintz bug are moving towards but I hope this rain will drown them all out.

Write often as you can to your affectionate


I.A.e.13. Kate Wheatley to WMW, 9 July 1873

Wednesday July 9th 1873

Dear Brother,

I have at last succeeded in getting Millie to answer your letter and I will add a word. She is getting along very well and seldom says anything about home. Sis sent her a doll when I came home and since then she has been kept pretty busy making cloths for it. We will not have any school till September but I will have her read some every day so she will not forget all she has learned. She enjoyed the 4th very much The fire works has something new for her I don’t remember that I ever saw so many strangers \people/ in town but they were all strangers to us and we didn’t have any company. Mrs Davis (Mag Murray as was) and her son came to spend the 4th with Rachel and stayed till Monday. <p.2> The Insurance Agent came the day before I went to Scranton. I gave him the check and took a receipt for the same. We are all getting along very well Frank stays with us at night. Millie’s heavy shoes are about worn out. and her Sunday ones are so shabby and I think she had better have a nice Sunday pair and let the other two pair last her till she needs a heavy pair towards fall. Millie has written to John too and I want to add a little to that before the mail closes.

Yours affectionately

Sister Kate

Mr Little was burried on the 4th he lived to suffer a great deal.

II.C.d.9. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 10 July 1873

Gravois. July 10th 1873

My dear Husband

I am not willing to let the week pass without a few more words of cheer for my good William. I know I shall get a letter from you this evening. and I want you to have the same pleasure as often as I can. We are all well except John. He had a chill the other day. and there was a disposition to run into fever. but I gave him medicine that had the desired effect. and I dont think that he will have any more trouble. He is up mending a shoe for Mrs Farris.

The excitement in regard to iron ore in this vicinity is not in the least abated. Stover has bought several thousand acreas [sic] of land and is still trying to buy more. He offered Jose five dollars an acre for land up on the head of brushy. Where Mr Allen told us there was so much. some of the Silveys dug down a short depth and found nothing but iron from the top down as far as they went. There seems to be a course of ore from near Proctor through Jose’s ridge land. by the factory old McFarland lace and on down towards Indian Creek. and there has been some talk of a furnace being built on Humes land near the lead Furnace. and there are also some negotiations propositions for land for laying off a town where Bill \Mc/Farland lived. and I have heard that Jose favors the project. and you will see this is a great change. There are rich deposits of ore on the old McFarland tract. and this is considered the most central point for a Furnace. I was told in Versailles the other day that there was more strangers coming to the County than at any time since the war. Mr & Mrs Allen were down last evening <p.2> and iron was all the talk and Mr Allen says there is considerable advance in the price of land. and every one seems to think you would do well to hold on a while yet. every body knows about Websters proposal. and I have heard that he would not give more than 2500 for this side of the creek. but this may only be talk. I try to write you the talk of the country that you may have an idea of matters. but as to knowing anything about it. I do not for I never leave home except when buisiness has forced me to. Keple is anxious to know about the place that he may go to plowing for wheat. There has been several to rent the place. but none to compare with Keple.

You must not think my letters are contradictory. I think of [sic] we could get four thousand we could do better than to keep it, but but I should not like to take less without you were here that you might inform yourself of everything that would favor an advance. I have the wheat all in and most of the meadow cut and in the mow and Barnx(?). Griswold will finish this week. I get the credit for being a good farmer. Corn looks spendid [sic]. but many fine fields will be distroyed by Chintz bug. Kaltners next to where the wheat grew is fairly black with them. Did you get the paper with Stovers speech in it? Caltners have told around the country that they had made arrangements to get the land over the creek and were going to put it all in wheat. I feigned ignorance. I know there is some money in the place. and it is safe from Burglars. Write often as you can my dear Husband. it seems so long between letters. I have Francis with me this week and feel better of rest. If you have not sent the pessary please do so soon as you can or send a brace if you cannot get one. as my old on is about done for. Do you hear from Milly I have not heard form her since you left Northumberland. and I do want to see her so much. I must close my hasty letter with all the love a loving heart is capable of for the best of Husbands. Ever

Your own Mildred

II.C.d.10. JWW3 to WMW, Gravois Mills P.O., 11 July 1873, with letter from MMHW, 13 July

Gravois Mills P.O.

Morgan Co. Mo. July 11th


Dear Pap

Your letter of the 4th was recieved by Mama yesterday and she was very glad to hear from you. I have been laid up with Ague for 4 or 5 days & am just recovering from the effects of it. I have the corn laid by: and it looks as if it would produce an average yield. I and Henry Merriot hauled in the wheat a last week in stowed in the Barn. The Meadow is cut and Mr Griswold will to day haul in all he cut yesterday The Crops in this Section of the County \so far as I have seen/ were it not for the tormenting Chintz Bugs would have been an average yield. There were chintz bugs in the nearly everybodys wheat. in ours in Mrs Caltners Mr Allens, Mr Kepples Henry Merriot & everybody I have heard of. The chintz bugs are in Mr Kepples corn. They are in Caltners corn too. They are not in my corn & I hope they wont get in. The Pottatoes are larger than my double fists Somebody got into the cellar window and stole 2 hams; Mama is going to Remove what is left into the Kitchen I and Mr Kepple and [=are] going out next week to look for lead. I will send you some Papers before long. I wish you would send me some Altoona Papers, I would like to see some of the Altoona papers. We all well, except me & hope you same. Please write soon without fail

Yours Very Truly son

John W. Wheatley



July 13 1873

My ever dear William

Yours of the 4th is at hands and contents highly appreciated. I do not doubt but that some of my dreams will be realized. If there had been any way to get out of putting up the fence I should surely have not done it. There was Polly looking at the gaps and ready to go out if we left either. and while John worked at one I put up the other. I am determined to try and take things easy from this out if I can get any one to take it off of me. and besides it is necessary that I should be getting all the sewing I can done.

If you should undertake a house remember to arrange it so as to save all unnecessary steps. I.E. have the sink stove & cupboard near to gether. and have it so the well will be near the door and under the porch. and arrange set the house so that we can have a nice flower yard \a/ strait walks to the garden & stable (if we have one) and I want an entry through the house. and the rest I will leave to you.

I think some people will be disappointed that we will not sell. and there has been numerous applicants to rent and there has been some very clever maneuvering to keep Kepple from taking the place. but all to no purpose as the old fellow knows what he is doing. I was talking to Harriet about you this morning and she said Oh! Pappy ever so often. I told Werny what you said and he says you are coming home now. John was in the habit of getting them to stay out in the field with him by promising them candy & they have got so now that when he asks them if they want candy “they say no they dont like it” <p.3>

Some one stole four hams form me the other night. which only leaves me with one. they raised the window next to the road and I could see the ashes down too the fence.

I think of you all the time my dear husband. and think I will make you feel that I love you more than I ever did before. and I am sure there will not be two happier mortals than we are. when we meet again. there is not much danger of the children forgetting you for we talk of you late and early and all the time.

John is puzzling his brain to know what place you can find for him where the pay will be better than farming. This is my poor week but I hope to get along better this time as Francis was with m<e> last week and she has come again this evening.

The potatoes are very good but it takes constant ____ and fighting to keep the bugs from destroying.

The largest half of the time of your absence is passed now and I hope the remainder may pass without any more cause for anxiety than the first has and I know I shall never have been so happy to welcome October. I saw Doc Williams the other day and he did not know you was away. He says he is going to leave here. Thinks he may go to Clinton.

Write often as you can my dear William. and you must write to John and Milly. John thinks you neglect his letters. Take good care of my little fellow and see that he loves his absent wife good. and always feel that I am loving you.

Ever your loving Mildred

II.C.d.11. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 17 July 1873

Gravois P.O.
Morgan Co Missouri

July 17th 1873.

My dear precious Husband.

Yours of the 12th is received and I thank you ever so much. it came one day sooner than I expected and it was such a welcome surprise I cannot tell you how much I loved you for it. We have a real loving time when your letters come. I kiss and hug the children all around and they seem to understand it too. loving so much at a distance is very unsatisfactory. but better than none at all. Keple wants to go to plowing for wheat. and I shall tell him to go to work as I have heard somethings I dont like about W–s plans. I.E. that the land over the creek was to go to an interested party. but before I tell Keple to go to work I will tell W– that you are not much disposed to sell just now. but that if you could get four thousand you would let it go. I heard from Mrs Allen through Caltners that he would not give more than twenty five hundred. but this may be only a feeler. Keple would move in as soon as we could give possession. and this would be very desirable. Everything that could be done or said to defeat Keple has been tried. but he always comes to me and goes away satisfied. The bugs have been so distructive on the prairie this season many persons are greatly dissatisfied. two persons have applied for the land over the creek to sow wheat. and I think this part of the country is looked on more favorably than it ever has been before. As John came from the mill yesterday he said he could hear someone <p.2> digging up on the hill over the creek. and we are going to watch and see what they get. as it is on our land he was cautious enough to not go near. Caltners are getting considerable land while they were digging and I think it is some of them. I have not told folkes what you intend doing. but they all know everything. there is two parties. one knows the truth. and the others say you will never come back. Ben Harrington is getting a dollar and a quarter per day and has said something about paying. This has been my poor week. but I got along first rate. Francis did not come back to stay. but Mrs Coontz heard the place was vacant and she is worth a dozen like F–. I am taking all the care I can. so I may be some benefit. to my dear William.

You will please forward the enclosed with the price of patterns and postage I pay the full price of patterns and this entitles me to them free of postage. Please write to them for sample of good likely to be worn this winter and if they have anything more desirable. to send in place of what I ordered.

Write to me often as you can my dear husband and always remember how much I love you and how anxious I am to be with you. The children are all well but Harriet she has been a little feverish and cross. but I think her teeth are troubling her. There is a case of small-pox in town. a negro came up from Jefferson City. he was removed two miles from town and every precaution taken to prevent it spreading. I would like very much to give you a real good hugging. but I am not will<ing> to trust the performance to any one else for fear it would not be well done. I am very impatient for your return and <p.1, margin, crosswise> cannot see how I am to carry such a heart full of love so long. take good care of yourself. and think often of how much I love you. Maybe you can make sense out of this the children have troubled me so I could hardly think of anything.

Ever your own wife


I.A.e.11. JWW2 to WMW, Americus, 21 July 1873

Americus July 21 1873

Dear Bro.

The enclosed receipts were handed over by Thornt to send you. Thornt left a week ago to the upper part of the state until Julia who has been quite poorly all summer. to be gone a month or so. My own folks are not well either Callie has been in bed for the past three days. & I left Crawford with fever on his this A.M. Mary also is quite feeble. & upon the whole we are a poor set. I wish we could all get well again.

Charley & Lou keep well. Sues health is better this summer than usual.

We have not had much hot weather this summer & more rain than usual. this I think has had a good deal to do with sickness.

The crops generally are looking well tho the prospects are for low prices in Cotton.

I hope you are doing well in your new position & that you can get permanent employment at a good paying salary. I think I have a letter from you unanswered, but if so it is at home & I dont recollect anything particular in it. But I cannot write anymore now. being interrupted so much. Write when you have opportunity.

Your aff. Bro


II.C.d.12. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 24 July 1873

Gravois P.O.
Morgan Co Missouri

July 24th 1873

My dear William

I had intended writing to you on Monday but I went to town and did not feel very fresh the next day. so I have put it off till this afternoon. but I have not been forgetful of my dear absent husband. I have been thinking of you constantly. and loving you so much. I think if I could be with you for a short time you would not complain of indifference on my part. I have heard the fright about small pox has about subsided. there being no new cases.

I saw Ross the day I was in town and he said he would write to you the next day. and give you all the R.R. news. I hope he has done so. I mail two papers this evening one of which Col. Stover sends. I am glad you did not set a price on the place. it is just as you thought. people think you are determined to sell at some price. and \now/ some are at a loss to know how to straiten up things that they have said. I met Pris the other evening and he asked me if the place was rented. I have had six applications to rent. but all together are not worth one good man. You must write your terms. Keple is anxious to know. he will not do anything until he hears form you. and he wants to sow turnips and plow for wheat. He will not be able to pay all money but will repair fences & the first year. I told him I thought you would like to have money enough to pay the tax. You know he can always trade corn for work. and in the uncertain state of his health he is unwilling to run any risks If he gets the place he will have it all cultivated he would like to plow up some of the meadow which <p.2> is very weedy for wheat. and he spoke of letting a man on the prairie have the land over the creek for wheat. I forget the name but he is a penn dutchman and a good farmer. Keple was afraid he could not do the necessary repairing and cultivate all this year He has been around looking at the hills and wants to prospect for lead. I told him he could do so and you would give him a good showing. I did not know exactly what to say. but wanted him to go to work. knowing a good prospect would increase the value of the property.

The hogs are worrying the life out of me. and I have Merriot fixing up fences to day. there is 23 in all 15 shoats the Polands are never. out of hearing I thought you said there was 30 shoats. If I knew what to ask for them I could sell the iron kettles and there has been two persons here to look at the stove. I wish you would say what they are worth. Sarah Jane wants the stove provided she can get it cheaper than a new one. and she would take the chairs and bedsteads. and I think will pay the money.

You will have to make a fence around the yard. and I want the grave yard pailed in before we leave. Griswold has been talking about getting some of the trees in the meadow for hauling them out. if you think best you can make some arrangement bout the boards. I saw Asa W– and merely said to him you would not sell or set a price on the place \untill your return/ and he seemed very indifferent in regard to it. Mrs Coontz will leave on Saturday and I will have to get some one. I had thought of trying Sarah Farris she has been staying with Jose. but her health is poor and she went home. but she would not have so much to do here. and I do not know of any one else I could get. if I can get her. The children are all well and we talk about you late & early and 20 times a day. and love you all the time. Write often to your devoted Mildred.

I.A.e.8. Thornton Wheatley to WMW, White Sulphur Springs, 29 July 1873

White Sulphur Springs

Wall Co Ga July 29th 73

Dear Will

Your letter from Altoona Pa reached me a day or two before I left home. and as I left it behind. I cannot now remember if their was anything in it that called for an answer. Julia and I left home two weeks ago. for a little recreation. but more particularly for the terrific of Julias health. She has as you may know been in earlier feeble health for some months past.–She spent nearly a week with our friends in Atlanta. when we had a most delightful visit. To one coming from our section. Atlanta affords a very agreeable change of air & water. beside they have now discovered two very valuable mineral springs. near <p.2> the city. easily reached by street cars. She drank the water daily while there and with the water & change. we were both greatly benefitted. On last Tuesday morning we left Atlanta. for this region intending to stop a week in Gainsville but failing to get any satisfactory information in regard to the hotel accomodations there we decided to come directly to this place. We have been very well satisfied with our choice. as we have found this a most delightful spot. the water-possessing great curative powers being very strong sulphur: and thought to be the very best of the kind. This region of country is high and mountainous the scenery rather grand & picturesque but not at all comparable to that of the Susquehanna country. still to a low country man. if presents great attraction. The air is certainly as pure and bracing as can be found anywhere. and that of itself would be sufficient inducement to <p.3> one to come here. We have a pleasant company numbering from 60 to 70 persons. all very agreeable people. mostly from Atlanta Athens. Madison and a sprinkling from our own region. The fare is good. but the other accomodations are not quite up to the mark. Still we have been very comfortable. and have passed a week here very pleasantly. and now that the time has come to leave. I must say I do so with many regrets.–As soon as I have finished this letter I shall pack our trunks. We will spend tonight with some Americus friends. a few miles from here and toward morning we leave \them/ for Clarksville in Halensham(?) Co. where we will make our Headquarters for a week. in the meantime making excursions to Tallulah, Iron(?) falls. We will probably be in At<p.4>lanta next Saturday night. and on the following Monday will start on a trip up the State Road. as far as Dalton or Catoosa Springs–We met Coz Kent here. he had been stopping here two weeks but left for Atlanta. to open his court. Some days since. he is as well and jolly as ever. and we enjoyed being with him very much. We left all our children at home and of course miss them very much. but we thought it best for them and Julia. both. that they remain at home where they can be more comfortable. Their grand ma of course has them in charge and will take good care of the them. We hear from home regularly every day. and all there are well. at last account.–I hope you find your situation at Altoona pleasant <p.5> and profitable: and if it is I hope it may b permanent. at least as long as you may wish to keep it. I was surprised to hear that the iron trade was not very profitable at present. I had quite a different opinion of it.

I presume it is your intention to accept the proposition. in regard to the square lot. and business site on Front street. as you mention. it as being your intention to proceed at once with your building on the former–I hear nothing from Mother or Kate in regard to their wishes but presume they would prefer to remain undisturbed for the present at least in the old homestead.–and I believe all interested are willing that they should choose for themselves. I hope you hear good news from your family. in the west <p.6> I know you are becoming anxious to see al of them. and will be glad to have them with you again–

Please remember us with love to them always. when you write them.

Julia sends love. and I am as ever

Your afft. Bro


II.C.d.13. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 8 Aug. 1873

Gravois Mills P.O.
Morgan Co Missouri

Aug 8th 1873

My dear William

It has been two long lonely weeks to day since I had a word from you. and I feel so uneasy I cannot rest for fear something has happened to my dear darling husband. I could not sleep \much/ last night for thinking of you. and when I did it was only to dream of you. once I thought you had come home and your kiss awakened me. and the next time I thought you had were sick at Mothers and I had gone to you. These dreams tend to make me still more anxious and I feel as if I could hardly bear to be kept in suspence any longer. and if you were to be taken from me during your absence I could never forgive myself for letting you go. I do not intend to look at the dark side. but these things will present themselves in spite of all my efforts to the contrary. and if you should be well and your letters have been delayed on the way I shall be too happy when they come. The country is over run with people looking at the mineral prospects some to gratify curiosity and others with a view to buying land. Stover continues to work hard and buy land. though he is working on the sly at present. one of the company he is employed by made hasty trip through this region last week and went away well satisfied with the prospects.

T It still continues dry. though some appearance of rain this morning. We have to take Polly to the creek the branch is perfectly dry. We are all about though no one is feeling very well. I was afraid of chills and bought some whiskey and we take bitters three times a day. Harriet is well and talks all the <p.2> time. and is so cunning and sweet you will about eat hear up. I have to iron to day and cannot write much. Write often as you can and always think there is one heart that beats only for you and that loves you always.

Ever your own Mildred

If I get a letter from you to day I will make a mark like this + on the left hand corner of the envelope.

II.C.d.14. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 10 Aug. 1873

Gravois P.O.
Morgan Co Missouri

Aug 10th 1873

My dear Husband

Yours of the first and third inst were received on the eight. and I cannot tell you how much relief and they afforded me. I had about concluded that you and all your friends were stricken with either small-pox or cholera. and having such a fright has made me doubly anxious for your return. and I cannot now see how I can ever be willing to let you go away again. and I hope there will never be any necessity for it.

People talk dont annoy \me/ a bit but on the contrary is very amusing. they guess such rediculous things. and then again come so near the truth. I do not think any of our letters are ever opened as some of us are there to get them some as they arrive. the amount of it is that if these folkes have a hint of a thing they do not want anything more. to make out a plausible story. some have one story and others a different one but all seem to know that we will migrate. Obrien was asking me if the place was rented and when you would be home and said he had been directed to make inquiries in regard to it but said if you would be home soon he would see you about it. There has been protracted meeting going on at Richie’s school house and Bill S– would have Mrs Farris go \home with/ him for dinner and on the way he told her all about his prospects. said he had over three thousand dollars worth of stock and that he intended selling off everything this fall and moving on his farm. his We have all been sick this week though not seriously so. all have taken pills and feel better and I think with care and watchfulness we will have no further trouble. John had never entirely recovered from the <p.2> chills he had. I hardly think we will get the price you ask for the bedsteads. at least the two best ones. and I believe new stoves like ours are selling for 28 and thirty dollars though I believe we will get a good price for it as every one thinks it is a superior stove and there is three or four that want it.

Rhodes never put in any corn and I have only seen him once since you left. he has moved over on Woods farm. Neid put in the little field over the creek and I think he has only plowed the corn twice. but it looks right well. and if it would rain now it would make some corn. John put in both the deer park and orchard and had a good prospect for corn as any one. but I am afraid this dry weather will ruin it and the potatoes are about done for. most of the vines being dead.

Jim Allen is going to teach the school. and I will start the children in the morning. it will be very lonely for me. but they are forgeting all they have learned. and I will try to get along. but if I cannot I will keep Mary at home and send John & Thornty.

When this reaches you it will be only six weeks until you come home. and I am getting so impatient I can not think about it without getting nervous. I know there will not be another such a happy household in the county. and the happiest wife in the world. We think and talk a great deal about you. and love you all the time and I know you love us all the time. and wish to be with us. Take good care of my little idol and bring him home as soon as convenient so I may judge of the care you have bestowed upon him. and if you have done your duty. I will try to reward you.

Always think of me as loving you. and being unhappy when absent from you. Ever your own


I.A.e.3. J.G. Dieffenbach to WMW, Northumberland, 11 Aug. 1873

<On letterhead: “John R. Nagle & Co., / Wholesale / Paper & Envelope / Dealers, / Blank Book Manufacturers and Stationers, / No. 630 Arch Street, / Philadelphia”>

Northumberland Aug 11 1873

W.M. Wheatley

Dear Sir: –Have you come to any conclusion about selling the Front street property. I would like to have from 20 to 28 ft. front for the purpose of erecting a brick store room. Please let me know if I can have a piece and the price of same, and how soon.

I am Your Rspt Ser

J.G. Dieffenbach

II.C.d.15. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 18 Aug. 1873

Gravois P.O.

Aug 18th 1873

My dear darling Husband

Your two welcome and affectionate letters came so close together. I have loved you so much I have felt ashamed of myself. but I charge it all to your training since you have had the care of me. I think sometimes if you were only here I should loved you so much you would tire of me and I think all the time about you. and as the time draws near for your return I get the more impatient and think I cannot bear to be seperated from you any longer. I am so glad to think my dear husband has all confidence in me and believes me pure and chaste. and I would prefer death to betraying your confidence.

The box has not come yet. but I think it will in a few days and the very sight of it will make me sick to see my little fellow. I am doing all the sewing I can to try and be ready when you come. though I get along very slowly. by the time I do the work and tend the baby it does not leave me much time for work.

Billy Humes9 joined the Campbellites and has gone to preaching. Old man Weaver is down with cholera in Versailles and has sent for his wife. and it is thought he will not recover. We are all well at present except Harriet. her bowels have been a little troublesome for the past few days. but I think she is over the worst of it now.

No rain yet and everything burning up. I have sold about all the corn I ought. and am now selling hay occasionally. Write to me often as you can. I had company yesterday and could not write to you. and am in a hurry to finish this for the mail carrier. With a great deal of love for my little fellow. I will close. Ever your own loving


II.C.d.16. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 22 Aug. 1873

Gravois P.O. Missouri

Aug 22nd 1873

My dear precious Husband

Yours of the 10th 13th and 16th are all received and I cannot thank you sufficiently for them. but will try to repay you with love. such messages of love make me love you so much. I cannot think of anything else. and spend all my quiet moments in laying plans for loving you better than I have ever done before. which was not to be complained of. but when thought of seems like indifference compared to my present feelings. We are all very well except Harriet her bowels are a little troublesome. though not anything serious. The box has arrived and everything all right except I had to pay $1.95 on it. the children were all delighted. and as soon as Harriet spied the cart she took possession and would say “mine. mine!” she gets astride the tongue and runs around till she is tired out. Please notice the price of good rag carpet I think I can sell all mine at a price that would enable me to get new in the east. <p.2>

Jim Allen has a full school and the children seem to be learning. the absence of the children makes it very quiet for me. and I get more sewing done than when they were at home.

Weaver died. but Versailles will not agree it was cholera. but there are several more cases like him but I have not heard if any have died. I think an epidemic would be a benefit if it would make them clean up.

No rain yet. but clear and hot. in day and cool at night. The hogs are not doing very well. and I had thought maybe it would be a good plan to buy the corn from Neid and turn them in that field. I think we could pay him in corn. What do you think about it? and about what would his two acres be worth. I sold ten dollars worth of corn and have feed some to the hogs. and by the time I feed the threshing turn it will all be gone. and the little purselain(?) they get does not do much good.

Good-bye my dear William and always think of me as loving you dearer than all the world besides

Ever your loving wife

Mildred Wheatley

Received five dollars. much obliged

II.C.d.17. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 24 Aug. 1873

Gravois P.O.

Aug 24 1873

My dear precious Husband

This has been a long hot and lonely day. and my thoughts have been entirely of my dear absent husband that I love so much. I want to see you so much. I took a good look at your picture and it seemed as if you were looking right at me. and would like to kiss me. but alas. the kiss did not come. and I can hardly wait another month. though I will have to do it. though I reckon a body will feel all the better when this time does come. We are all very well. I have been better than usual this month consider<ing> we are having such dry and hot weather and I am doing all that is done. The thresher has not come yet. it has been a week since it first came to Websters. but they broke something and did not do anything last week. I wish they would hurry up for I want more wheat bread to eat than we are having.

Tom Thompson would be glad if you would make some inquiries about his mother. he has not heard from her for more than a year. Ike Hattenstein is still living at the dam. I went up to the saw mill to buy in a bill for the yard. but there is poor prospect of getting it done unless it rains. though it is clouding up and looks like rain now. <p.2> Henry Merriot stopped from preaching and eat dinner with us he has been very clever to me and indeed everyone has and I should get along right well if it was not for the hogs. I was just about to sit down to dinner to day and I heard something in the front room. and went to see what it was. and one of the Polands had torn open the lounge(?) and was eating husks. it was thought there would be a very heavy mast. but I have heard a number of persons say it\here/ would not be half as much as was thought to be. Every one asks me what you say about the season and crop prospects. You must write something about the crops. I cannot close my letter without a good loving for the best of husbands. and an assurance of the constant devotion of your affectionate Mildred

The patterns have not come yet.

I.A.e.5. JWW3 to WMW, Gravois Mills, 24 Aug. 1873

Gravois Mills P.O.
Morgan Co Mo.

Sunday Aug. 24th 1873

Dear Father.

I received your letter day before yesterday, and was much obliged for the 50ct. enclosed as I was just out of money and was wondering how I would get any more I gave Mary her 25ct. and Thornty & Werner their 10ct each. We are all well and I hope you are too. Mary, Thornty and myself have been going to school for 2 weeks. I am studying Geography, Arithmetic, Spelling Reading and writing. Mary is studying Reading and spelling and Thornty Spelling. I am progressing finely in my studies. I am cyphering in addition of Compound numbers. Mama Recieved the Box you sent last week. I am much obliged for the Envelopes, Paper, Knife, Pencil, and the Arabian Nights Entertainments you sent me. I do not know of anything else to tell you so I must close my letter with love to all.

Write again soon.

Your Affectionate Son

John W. Wheatley

II.C.d.18. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 5 Sept. 1873

Gravois P.O. Missouri

Sept 5th 1873

My dear precious Husband

I fear you will be disappointed in not getting a letter from me at the usual time but you must be forgiving for I have had my hands full. Harriet has been quite sick and it has taken all my time to attend to her. for four nights in succession I scarcely knew myself asleep. and during the day no one could attend to her but me. and now she seems quite well but often wants to be rocked and petted up. and is quite peevish. I called in Doctor Fish. Doc Williams being down with the cholera at the time. Since my last Mrs Livingston has died of cholera. but for several days now there has not been any new cases.

Yours of the 29th arrived last night and I felt ever so much obliged. I needed just such a good loving as it brought and I sent you many a loving caress by the moon light. and if you should have happened home at the same time I am sure you could not <p.2> have slept very much. I know I have the most devoted husband a loving wife was ever blest with. and I would not presume to “teach you how to love me.” indeed I believe we both understand that to perfection. and I will not deny you the privilege of hugging me as much as you may desire. I am taking all the care I can of myself for you. I \have/ never received the patterns you sent for. I need them very much. had you better send about them. or if you have not sent let me know.

I will need some waterproof which you can get and bring along with you. I have to pay $1.50 per yard for it here and there is only one color (black) and it is all second rate material. if you have to pay $1.50 per yard for a reasonably good article. I could get the suit already made for the same money. from A Burdette Smith. You may send me some samples of grey brown & dark blue. and I will see what is best to do. I want to fix up on as little money as possible. but it seems to do the best I can will cost considerable.

Mrs Allen is talking about getting the largest kettle but as they only gave $1.50 for their large one. they dont know what a kettle is worth. would I do right to let them a cent or so lower than Stover is selling for. Mrs Farris <p.3> has told that you gave eleven dollars for the small one and the largest size and they think I am \a/ crazy or crafty woman that dont know what I ought. if we put them up at public sale we can not get as much as we gave for them. Mrs Allen wants to go to making molasses. in about two weeks.

We have not had any rain yet to do any good only a light shower but there are some indications for more. I am feeding the hogs. and have had to turn Flower out. as she was not giving much milk and getting poor. No word of the thresher yet.

You will please answer this immediately. and let me know about the patterns waterproof & kettles.

I had refference to the wool carpet in the front room it is very much worn. and very dirty. and if I could replace it with a new rag carpet for the same money I should prefer it.

About three more weeks of longing and impatience and I will see my dear husband and feel his warm kiss upon my lips. and you will never have been loved so well before. just think darling how happy we will be. Harriet is calling and with a great deal of love I must close. Ever your own loving Mildred.

I.A.e.6. Millie Wheatley and Kate to WMW, 6 and 11 Sept., 1873

<Letterhead: “Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Express. / NEW YORK OFFICES: / No. 7 PARK PLACE, near Broadway. / No. 72 WARREN STREET. / No. 22 COLLEGE PLACE, cor. Chambers Street.”>

Northumberland Pa

September 6 1873

Dear papa

I thought I would like to right you a few words we are all quite well and we hope you the same I am at Scranton now on a visit at aunt Sises I am coming back to northumberland on Monday after noon at six o.clock on Monday after noon I havent herd from home for about three weeks I am exspecting a letter from uncle Ed every day and one from home every day <p.2> but dont get enny from home nor from uncle Ed but get are from you every once and a while I rote one to uncle Ed nearly a too or three weeks a go but have not got the answer for it yet but am exspecting it every day but never get the answer for it yet I cant think what is the reson that he doesnt right me the answer for it I am righting this in a hury I would like to right you some more but I must send it when are you got start home let me no. When you are for I wuld like ton know when you are

Miss Milly Wheatley

<on back of p.1, in pencil, in Milly’s hand:>

I herd from home that Docter Willams has got the scholary and they are all afraid that he will die docter kwon(?) is dead he died with the cholary.

<below, in adult hand:>

Sept 11th 1873

Dear Brother

Millie has just given me her letter to mail for you and I will add a few lines as I intended writing today. Sis was home Sunday a visit and took her up with her for a little visit she returned last night delighted with her trip. She had ½ doz card photographs taken they are not finished yet. but Sis says they are going to be very good. <p.2 back> School commenced the 1st of Sept. ____ send her this morning. I went to Sunbury to see about the stone for Papy’s grave I saw two that I liked very well. one white three inches thick and about 4 feet high for $80 another clouded or mixed marble the same width and thickness but not quite so high for the same ____ that includes all expenses putting up & c. Mother was over on Saturday and prefers the white but says she will leave it with the rest of us as she thinks we know best. she would like a text on it & we all know no objections.

I suppose you are thinking about going West soon and I know you cant go too soon for Mildred’s pleasure. Will you bring them on to see us now or wait till you all get rested and settled. We are very anxious to see all but I suppose you have hardly decided which would be best yet. Millie is very well and I hope will escape the chills that are beginning to show themselves pretty plentifully. Will had a chill yesterday and Kit(?) looks ague stricken so I suppose she will <p.1 back, margin> be the next subject. Write soon

Sister Kate

II.C.d.19. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 7 Sept. 1873

Gravois P.O. Missouri

Sept 7th 1873

My dear precious Husband

Yours of the 31st is at hand and I thank you kindly for it. I need such good loving words they seem to help me wonderfully. and make me forget my loneliness for a while.

We are having bright moonlight nights now. and every night I waken up and spend a while in thinking and loving my dear absent husband. Darling I know I never loved you so well before and if you pay me for it all you will have considerable to do. though I firmly believe you will be equal to the task. and I shall not hesitate to accept compensation.

Thornt has lost his baby (Ryland) and you ought to write to them. Mrs Livingston has died of cholera since my last besides several others. John Davis went to Tipton on buisiness was taken sick and died in a few hours (Porter Davis’ son) There is so much cholera along the route and in some places its [sic] is of such violet [sic] form I am very anxious about you. and beg you will use every precaution. and much as I wish for your return unless the disease abates you must defer coming until it <p.2> does. We must not let our anxiety to see each other over rule our better judgement. You are all the world to me. my lot would be dreary indeed if I did not have your coming to look forward to.

The children are all well except Harriet her teeth are troubling her. and of course her bowels are deranged and she is crass and troublesome.

We have not had any rain to amount to anything. but I dont know but what we ought to be thankful for it. for where ever there has been plenty of rain there is cholera. in less than a week after there was rain in Versailles & Tipton there was cholera. The health of this immediate neighborhood is good at present. I think of you almost all the time and love you better every day. dont think I can ever bear for you to be away from me again.

Good-bye my dear husband and I pray God will keep you. and permit you to return in safety to the ones that love you so much and so well

Every your own


I.A.e.7. Kate Wheatley to WMW, dated “Friday morning”

Friday morning

Dear Brother

Cousin Neal’s folks are here and I haven’t time to write much this morning but I thought you would be anxious to see Millie’s picture. We think they are splendid and I know you will too. Sis and Rachel and Mother each took one so there is only three left but you can get more if you want them. We are all going to Sunbury this morning to see Barnum’s show. Millie has a cold and I am almost afraid to take her as it is so damp but she has talked about if so long and would be so disappointed that I guess she will have to go. Mother went to Lewisburg with Cousin Neal and <p.2> stayed two days. I was glad to get her off and I think a change does her good. I will write when I have time.

In haste


II.C.d.20. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 18 Sept. 1873

Sept 18th 1873

My dear Husband

Yours of the 11th inst is at hand and the favor is highly appreciated. and I should be glad to make a better return for the kindness than the distance between us will permit of. but I hope the time is not very far off for your return and then we will be two of the happiest mortals living. I think of you all the time. and always conclude that you are about the best old man a woman was ever blest with.

We are all well. but there has been five more deaths in town from cholera. Doctor McCoy and Mrs Williamson being among the number Mr Williamson was taken very bad yesterday. and I expect to hear of his death this afternoon when the mail comes down. it does not spread out into the country. except where persons have been about those that were sick. Mrs Williamson went to see Doctor \Mc/Coy and the next day she was taken and died in about 12 hours. there is not any cholera in Tipton or Boonville. and excepting Versailles the health of the country is good. Sarah Jane has a fine big boy. but after great deal of suffering and is still in a very critical situation.

A suit of waterproof will come too high. so I will try <p.2> to make out with something cheaper. Please get 12 bunches of \black/ alpaca braid about this wide. <1/2 inch line> it comes in bunches like skirt braid. there may be more in a bunch than there is of skirt braid. but I want what would make 12 bunches of the skirt braid. and I would like a couple of sets of linen collars & cuffs. Two yds and a half of waterproof like sample. or some as nice as that. I had thought it would be best to make Werny & Thornty a suit to travel in and get them a better one when we can fit it on them. and of course John must have a suit. A Burdette Smith 914 Broadway N.Y. Box 5055. write maybe they will send the patterns yet.

Write me good letters they do help me along so much you are the first thing thought of in the morning and the last at night and all the time. and if we do not need the Doctor soon after one union again it will be a wonder. Mr W– is still alive. I must close in haste. Ever your own affectionate


II.C.d.2. WMW to MMHW, Altoona, 21 Sept. 1873

<On letterhead of Altoona Iron Co.>

Altoona, Pa., Sept 21st 1873

My own sweet Pet.

I will not attempt to thank you sufficiently for your loving letter of 14th which greeted me last night. but had you been here on its arrival I really think I could nearly have done justice. I tell you darling. it made my heart throb much faster. & love itself ooze from me. My precious I really feel is [sic] if I could never leave your embrace. When I meet my love I will open my arms wide to receive her & clasp her tightly to my bosom and between kisses tell her the best & sweetest things she ever heard. I [sic] seems really that you are necessary to my existence. My love for you increases every day. and what is more desires increase in proportion. & hope your strength will be adequate for the <p.2> emergency. and seems as if it would take a great deal to satisfy me. but you know. and happily \to<o>/ that you only are possessed of the remedy. and a little good treatment may have more effect than I now think. I want you to draw on \me/ to the full extent of your inclination & I shall feel so happy to contribute to your felicity. I want my sweetie to give her loving heart full liberty. and love & caress me to the utmost. for it will be a perfect heaven to your poor little husband. I know I can meet all demands. somehow I look forward to more happiness & satisfaction than we have ever experienced. & am sure we will realise it. for we certainly love each other more than we ever have. I wish you could know how I feel. when you say how good you are going to love me so good & long. & that love shall take precedence over all other consideration. my plan was to have a grand union loving. & then give ourselves up to each other alternately. & see who can exhibit the most love the most. I have not made you bad. sweetie. but good. & I think you will confess that I have awakened many a spark of love in your bosom which otherwise might have remained cold & dormant. My angel is the very essence of purity & truthfulness. and my love & devotion for her is unbounded. It seems to do my best. I cannot find words to express my love fully for my blessed wife. & sometimes despair trying. but poor & weak as they are they will serve to tell that you are very dear to me. & when she sweets me. she will only realize the full extent of that love.

Good bye my precious for a little while. & you will embrace your affectionate husband


II.C.d.21. JWW3 to WMW, Gravois P.O., 21 Sept. 1873, with letter from MMHW on the back

Gravois Mills

Sept 21st 1873

Dear Papa

I have not heard from you for a long while and I have sit down to drop you a few lines

We are all well and I hope you are the same. Mary Thornty and myself go to School regurally and learn tolerable fast I think. Thornty is spelling in 3 sylables. Mary is Reading in the second Reader; I am cyphering in Greatest common Divisor. Reading in the fourth Reader. Spelling Websters Primary Dictionary. and studying Geography.

My Corn is ripe enough to take the Mill, and I am feeding the hogs Regurally. I have fed the hogs about 7.00 worth of Corn. We say speeches speeches which I have said at school viz:– “Old Ned”, “Up with the Breeze” <”>In memory of R.E. Lee” “The Song of Marions Men” “Oh I’m a good old Rebel”

When you come home please Bring me a pair of Boots. Thornty and Werney wants you to Bring them a pair of Boots too.

I sold all my onions at $1.25/100 Per Bushel. Hoping to hear from you soon I remain as ever

Your son

J.W. Wheatley

Write soon

<p.2: Mildred’s hand>

Sept 21st 1873

My ever dear precious Husband

Yours of 14th is at hand and words fail to express my gratitude for such a kind loving husband and letter. I have always placed a high estimate on your love for me. and if I have not done you justice. I will try to make amends by being more devoted myself. I wish sometimes I could keep from thinking so much of you and then the time would not seem to pass so slowly. but it is all in vain you are in my mind all the time. and if you realize half the loving I am giving you in imagination I dont think you will complain. These cold nights make me feel the need of a couple of loving arms very much. and my last thought at night and the first in the morning is of how happy I would be to have you to myself and love. There has not been any deaths from cholera since I last sic. wrote to you and as they are giving the town a thororough {#sic} cleaning and every body is using disinfectants. there may not be any more. strange as it may seem there was never any lime used in the town till after Mrs W– death. and Stover says the filth in back of Petty’s establishment was sufficient to have created an epidemic & when they commenced stiffing it there was such a stench they could work at <it> but a short time without being relieved. We are having clear cool healthy weather and I do not see any reason why there should \not/ be an improvement in the health of the country <p.2 crosswise> I do not think there would be any danger in passing through town. people are going there as usual. no one has taken it by doing so. it is only where they are in the house with the sick. Mrs Williamson sent for Lou and she went up and staid until after the burial but Mr W– had every means used to disinfect the premises. <p.1 crosswise> I have had greater fears on your account from passing through Indiana and Illinois than here and you will have a good if not better means of learning all about it in those places. and I suppose they are having frosts the same we do and I do hope the disease will cease. and that my dear good husband may be permitted to soon return to those that love him so well. I wonder sometimes what would become of me if I did not have your coming to look forward to. it seems to me I could not live. it would be a sorrowful lot indeed. Come home as soon as you are satisfied it will be safe along the route I do not think you need apprehend any danger at home. but do be careful and inform yourself of the health along the route and do not run any needless risk. for I shall not feel safe until your [sic] are at home. dont cast this aside with out reading the cross lines carefully. I know it will be a rather difficult task. What did you pay for my brace. I am too sorry to tell you that it is too small by four inches. Mrs Caruthers wants to get it. I am still wearing my old one. but it is not as much support as I need but I get along very well . According to my calculation if everything is favorable you will be home in about eighteen days I will be the happiest of wives. but be careful of yourself my dear William you are all the world to me. Ever your Mildred

<p.2 top margin> John does not consider that he hears from <you> in my letters

II.C.d.22. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 26 Sept. 1873

<On the back, before Mildred wrote, Mary made some scribbles, e.g.: Mary E. / Mary E. Wheatley / Mary E. Wheatley / Mary Wheatley is my name / Eliza is my name. Mildred wrote around them.>

Gravois Sept 26 1873

My dear precious Husband

Yours of the 18th & 21st are at hand and I would thank for them. such good loving words are appreciated at this distance. and they make me feel so good and loving towards that I almost reach out my arms to embrace you. but as you are not here I generally give the children a kiss and hug for you.

I believe I ____ just how you will behave when you come and I have never had any fear. but what you would not only be able but willing to attend to my wants. the only thing that troubles me in regard to it is that I may not be able to do as I would like. for I do love my darling husband so much and my greatest delight is to contribute to his happiness. There has not been any new cases of cholera in town since they cleaned up. but I have heard of some out in the country west of town. We are all well though. I have felt very trifling to day. but not sick.

I send you the measure of all our feet. just the length of the foot with a stocking and around the heel over the instep

  length of foot   around the heel
mine 6.   13
John 3   12 2/8
Mary 14   11 1/2
<p.2> Werner 10   10
Thornt 12   10 3/4
Harriet 4   7 1/2

John took the measure with the size stick and I hope you will understand it. I would like a nice pair of morocco for Mary and myself. and you can tell how many sizes they should be larger than the feet. The boys will all need hats too. and I would like for you to get pocket hankerchiefs for me and some of small size for the children. there is but one in the house and that is Johns. I would like mine a good article but cheaper ones will do as well for the children. John will need a coat and vest. but J– and W– have a nice suit which will do for them I will send Johns measure in the next letter as I am hurried. love me much darling, for I am loving you all the time and longing for you to come home. My excuse for this sheet is that John has the paper down at the cabin. So much obliged for Millies pockets and it is so good and she looks sweet enough to eat and you ___ the 14 kisses &c. Good night my dear William may God keep you and soon bring you home to your loving Mildred.

II.C.d.23. MMHW to WMW, Gravois P.O., 28 Sept. 1873

Gravois Sept 28th 1873

My dear darling Husband

Yours of the 24 inst is at hand and the thought of you coming makes me all in a flutter. the nearer the time for your arrival approaches the more impatient I become. I believe too that our love is nearer perfection than ever before. and judging from my present feelings I dont think that it will ever grow any less.

I think I will kiss and bless my dear husband until he is satisfied. (if that can be) but you must not calculate too largely on our union loving for I am afraid natures call will make it necessary. to postpone it for some eight or ten days. I cannot nor will not ask you to do as you have for sometime to prevent offering. but I should be glad if you could provide against it until we are safe in our own house. and then I will make you the happiest man ever lived and abide the consequences without a murmur. I do want you to have the benefit of your cultivation for you have aroused a passion I never felt before. but do not get ashamed of your wife for maybe I could not tell you if you were here and I want you to know it.

I believe Harriet will know you for she often talkes about tells me the paper is papa’s and will take your letters out <p.2> of my pocket and say “papa’s letter Mama” she is talking consid<er>ably will tell me “Ringy catch a cow Mama<”> (and by the way this is a frequent occurrence for everything knows you are gone.) she seemed to know Millys picture and would tell me it was Milly and seem so pleased. every person that sees Millys picture says “bless her sweet soul” Mrs Caruthers was almost affected to tears.

I enclose two diagrams. one for vest the other for a coat I think I have made all necessary allowance. John’s size for a hat is six and seven eights. John is 21 1/4 inches around the head Thornt 20 1/2 inches Werner 20 1/2. get them nice ones and not too light colared for this time of year. I will need a bonnet if I get one here it will be very common and a high price. I want a plain drab \or grey/ colored straw brimmed with drab brown and a pair of good cotton gloves. do not get thick clumsy ones. for Mary you will have to trust to the woman you buy from to make a selection. for I have not any idea what to tell you. but do not get anything expensive. for either of us. though I want something that will pass muster. and that will do me all winter. and do not make a mistake and get me a hat. I believe about the only difference between the two is that the bonnets have strings. You had better get the woman you buy from to pack the bonnet and hat in a light wooden box and put it in your trunk. for fear it gets wet or mashed. I have but little room left for loving but will try and save a good heart full up for your arrival and will give it all to you <p.1 crosswise> I shall wait with great impatience your coming. and we will all try to look our best. God bless and keep you safe my dear William is the prayer of your affectionate


Notes to Chapter Seven

d. 29 July 1871.

Joplin, who was the sister of Thomas Humes’s wife Lou (II.B.d).

and Thomas Edwin (1865-1837).

married William Silvey (II.B.d).

years later, and operated it until it was bought up by the Bagnell Dam company in 1929 in preparation for the damming of the Osage and the creation of the Lake of the Ozarks; it was then the last grist mill operating in Morgan County. See “Historic Mills to Pass”, Kansas City Star, 17 Nov. 1929, reprinted in Missouri Historical Review 25 (1930-31) 185.

her grandfather John by his second wife (widow Purse). One was the son of Berry Humes (wife unknown); he was known as “Billy”, so he is perhaps the stronger candidate (II.F.c p.6). The other was the son of John Humes and Sally Taylor, and was killed accidentally (II.B.d).

  1. Unidentified; probably children of the Allens and Farrises. 

  2. Walter Humes, son of Jose and Mary Jane Phillips, b. 28 Sept. 1870, 

  3. Perhaps Eva Caruthers, the daughter of James H. Caruthers and Ann 

  4. Children of Jose Humes and Mary Jane Phllips: Mary Alice (1863-?) 

  5. Perhaps Charlotte Joplin, sister of Thomas Humes’s wife Lou; she 

  6. Daughter of WMW’s sister Rachael and Will Forsythe; b. about 1864. 

  7. I haven’t found any information about Thomas and Lou’s “trouble”. 

  8. Asa Webster bought the Humes brothers’ mill at Gravois Mills a few 

  9. Mildred had a couple of cousins named William Humes, grandsons of