Letters from Home

The following letter was written by Emma Shattuck Shaw, Alleyton, to her brother, George Shattuck in Texas. Submitted by Judy Palmaffy

Dear Brother George,

Sunday evening finds me seated for the purpose of answering your letter which we received a short time ago. We were glad to hear from you, had begun to think you were not agoing to write to us. We are all well as usual. Clare has been having the measles, is getting better now. It is very sickly here, there has been several deaths since you were here. Mr. Kesters have lost another child. Mr. Hines lost their little girl. Mr. Seabolt's child was buried the day we came home.

We got home & found that you left here that same morning. We arrived about noon. We stayed to Mr. Harvey's the night before or should have been soon enough to have seen you. I was very sorry for I would like to have seen you before you went off.

Mr. Belding has been back about two weeks I believe. He did not like Texas a bit. He saw Mr. Cole and talked with him. He still talks of sending for his family as soon as he can get the money, but they do not want to go there. They had rather he would come back here. Mrs. Cole is keeping house over by the railroad. They have all been sick.

Willis has come home to live with us and I like him real well, he is a good boy I think. Has been here two weeks. He is as tall as Charley and is a splendid violin player. He plays the banjo too. Nellie is at Mrs. Labarre's yet. She likes it better and better every day, so she says. I am glad of it, it is the best thing that could have happened to her. Will be the making of her.

You want to know about Pete. Well I don't know what to say hardly. He is into some row or fight all the time. He drew a revolver on Charley Laffedy, and Laffedy drew a knife on Pete. No damage done though. It seems Pete owes Laffedy and will not pay it and they got to not fighting, exactly, but quarrelling for you could not hire Pete to fight. Pete stole some of our lumber out of this new part here and when Charley missed it and saw some in Pete's market that looked like it, he asked Pete where he got his lumber. He said he bought it of you, but finally he owned it up; said you gave him lease to get it here. But we knew better than that. At last he said that Frank Johnson got part of it and he the rest. Frank Johnson says he got it for Pete and by Pete's orders. But Pete has had to pay for it you bet.

I have been to see Lena once and she has been here but once. Gennie stays there yet. Lena inquired about you. I think Lena is a nice woman. Helen Keef has gone home. We heard she went to see Charley before he was taken to Jackson but he had gone.

Mrs. Warren's folks have got the measles, I heard. I have not seen any of them to speak to them since you wrote. Nellie said Alice had got a, what do you call it, why a baby! a boy. How is that for a new dress? I have not heard first hand, but Ma said first that Lesta was going to work for Alice. Now don't you feel about 10 inches taller than you did. Just think of it; Uncle George again. Still another nephew. I tell you, it elevates me considerable.

Ma wrote about your amprella. Just as soon as I go to Lena's I will ask her. I don't want to say anything to Pete of course. When we got home I found a pocket handkerchief and a pair of your red socks. I suppose your farm products are up and looking nice. I hope you will like your farm, but it's off a great ways from all your folks. Well I expect I shall be the only one left, after the rest go.

It is dinner time and I guess I have written all you will care to puzzle your brains with. Give my love to all the cousins, and Aunt Mandy and Uncle Ira. I would like to see them all. Tell Helen to write to me and I will answer it. I have been a week writing this but it is finished at last, I hope. I have so much to do that I am busy every moment. You must answer this right away. Write all the news.

Emma E. Shaw
(Tuesday morning) Old Mrs. Bradley died last night. She had one of those bad spells and died in one. Mrs. Ambrose is sick also. They live in Mr. Foltz's house. Mr. Ambrose's step daughter, she is Johnie's half sister, lives with them. Mr. Ambrose belongs to the Red Ribbons. We have a Society of over 100 members here; we all belong. Mr. Seabolt joined them and closed his saloon. I have got a white ribbon. We have been fixing the new part of our house to have dances in; are talking of having a dance Thursday night and have ice cream and lemonade; are not keeping boarders at present.

Emma Shaw
Born Jan. 4, 1855
Died Jan. 21, 1945

Mahala (Blanchard) Shattuck - Ma
Born Feb. 27, 1823
Died Feb. 12, 1889

 Return to Home Page
Submit Your Newaygo County Memoirs