Thursday, February 7, 2008

Letters from home - Post 2

This is the first letter in the stack of Letters from Home to Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer, residing in San Diego, California in 1888. An explanation of the family situation is here.


From Davie Smith in McCook, Nebraska to mother Abby (Vaux) Smith in San Diego. Envelope with return address of Blue Front Livery Stable, D.D. Smith proprietor, McCook Nebraska. Addressed to Mr. Austin Carringer, National City Cala. 2 cent stamp. postmark on front dated Aug 31 1888, McCook Neb, postmark on back dated Sep 5 1888, National City, Calif.
Letterhead of D.D. Smith, proprietor of Livery, Feed and Sale Stable,

McCook Neb Aug 31st 1888

Dear Mother and all,

Your letters received some time ago and found us all well.

I received the BB Bal all OK and think it is fine. Every one that seen it thought it was elegant.

Well I got a letter from DJ several days ago and he thought he had sold your timber claims for you for cash. Now if you folkes don't want to use the money for any thing this winter I will take it off you and pay 1-1/2 per cents a month and send out to you each month if it suits you folks. Write me at once and let me know. I will buy up grain while it is cheap for a years use. Now if I get it of you can get it for you any time in the spring by 30 days notice ahead when you need it.

Buck tells me that DJ cropps are not extra this year as his corn was not taken care of. Matie seems to be satisfied here but as soon as I can ... will visit that country.

Love to all, Davie.


This letter is all about business. This family had an abiding interest in business, making money, saving money, being responsible, planning ahead, etc. You can see it throughout these letters, and throughout Della's Journal that I've published during 2007 in weekly installments.

DJ Smith must have been down at the ranch in St. Francis. I don't know where the timber claims were - perhaps in St. Francis or in McCook. Davie offers 1.5% a month to use their money - a pretty good deal!

"Matie" is Mary Ann Smith, Della's and Davie's sister, daughter of DJ and Abby (Vaux) Smith, who also lives in McCook.

More to come!

1 comment:

Melissa Barker said...

Randy, I was surprised at how contemporary this letter was written. When I have read 1800 letters they had a lot of flowery words and very "proper" language. This one sound it was just written last week. Loved reading it and look forward to more.