Saturday, February 9, 2008

Letters from home - Post 4

This is the third letter in the stack of Letters from Home to Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer, residing in San Diego, California after 1887. An explanation of the family situation is here.


From D.J. Smith in Wano, Kansas to wife Abby (Vaux) Smith in San Diego California. No envelope available.

Spring Ranch Oct 15th 1888

Dear Wife. Here I am tonight after dark and do not feel much like writing at all, not that I do not wish nor that I am sick, but I feel tired, I tell you. I put in a very buisey week every day last weak Monday I sliped of and did not let the folks here know, but I was lectionering and would be in town every night but Charley's folks. Went to Cedar Bluffs met Dave and Cammell that bang. Delleys claims delayed me on the Papers, so we went to McCook that night, got there at 9 AM. Mati was playing on the piano when I got to the door then she hollered PaPa and sed that she was so happily surprised we talked and visited until after midnight.

Then went to bed but did not sleep much, she is well and looks well, after Dinner Dave and myself went to Cedar Bluffs got Cammell papers all right and drove after dark to Oberlin do up the business next forenoon, saw Mrs. Linder she is in the store yet, she wanted your address Davey had given it all but the number of the box so I gave that and she sed she was going to write you, oh yes I saw Em Patrick she was there to Ed Beckwith's. She is looking fine. Her face is as smooth as any ladeys, we took an early Dinner had Hairpin drove 12 miles to Cedar Bluffs in one hour and a quarter, we was so buisy talking that we was there before we knew it.

Then Dave went home and I had to stay there until 10 next morning but then I went down the creek and gathered a good lot of box elder and ash seed before dark, got home Thursday noon all OK, but Cammells did not pay my expenses as they should as I spent my time and saved them going and I suposed as they talked that they would. Expenses was 10.75 I sent Dave the 300 and have not got but 85 of the balance of them yet but will try and get the balance this week and then will send Austin the draft. They are sick of the deal as they paid that other claim ...... at 100 and down to 75 cash price, but that does not matter they had ought to be willing to pay my expenses for I saved them twice the amount by doing the business for them. I gave Matie a Denver paper that Mr. Binkleman's sister gave me last Sunday with Mrs. Killpatrick's death in they took her remains east, perhaps Rufe and Betty may stop at McCook when they return if they came on the B&M. Well, Ma, as I said before I got home Thursday noon all OK.

I picked some corn next day and yesterday afternoon sold horses for Mr. Buck sold 20 odd and one week from next Sat I will sell as many more for him. I will send you one of the bills in this. I took a little cold Friday night the first I have had since I left California but am better of it tonight. I am working to get my work all up this month but will not make it out but I have got clear off the Gray Backs you better bett, how is that for high and I got your papers day before yesterday but have not had time to read them but will take it this weak and got a good letter from Austin and Delly Monday before I left for Oberlin and one from you to and let the children read them.

Ma I am feeling better Davey thinks he will sell the stock and rent the barn and then he will come here with me. Ma the way money is I am afraid that there would be money lost in running a car load of butter and eggs and chickens out there but I want Austin to talk with difrent tones and see and write me and to see if a fine matched team waying 12 or 1300 lbs each would sell for. Oh how I would like to come but I am afraid I can't match the samtifee to see if the 10 dollars excus comes off as want to for you will hear it long before I would. Oh if Dave only sells as he thinks he may and then I will have company.

I am so lonesome and no one here I have had a hard time since July. I expect to serve notice on these people tomorrow to vacate in 30 days. I will tell you all when I see you but do not worry for I will take cair of no one they shan't beat nor steel no more from me if I can help it. Now sweet dreams and 100,000 kisses and as many hugs By By yours,

DJ Smith


DJ Smith is a lonely man down in northwestern Kansas with winter coming on, and can hardly wait to see any of his relatives. The business part of the letter is complex - I have no idea what he's doing except he's working for the Cammells and thinks he should be paid for his work. I didn't know that DJ had come to California - it must have been after Austin and Della married in September 1887.

So many questions, so few answers, and not much hope of finding more answers.

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