`Letter From Home
William Patterson Warden (born August 15, 1834, in North Robinson, Jefferson Twp., Crawford Co., Ohio), on February 3, 1889, wrote the following letter to his cousin William Rufus Warden, of South Dakota. It is unedited, which adds to the charm of this exchange of more than 100 years ago.
North Robinson, Crawford County, February 3, 1889
Well friend and cousin after a long delay I will try to answer your kind faivor that I received a few days ago. I was verry glad to hear from you and family to learn that you was all well and a doing well. You cannot imagine how glad I was to see your picter that I found in your letter. I would have known it yet a mong a hundred others. I return cincere thanks for it you must excuse for the present my not returning the compliment as I have not got one of my own but hope to get one for you as soon as convenient. Well I will now inform you that we are all well at this time kicking up our heels as jolly as a set of colts. our oldest girl that is at home is a teaching school this winter in our town at $35.00 amonth we have three schools here. She is a teaching the second one. the girl next her is in the post office and drug store and the other one and last one is a going to school. our baby boy is also a going to school he will soon be 13 years old he is a great help to me as he can do lots of work he is big and stout of his age. he taks after his dad in the way of being left handed he is the only one of the family that is left handed Except old Pat as I am caled throughout this part of the country it does not insult me to use it.
Well you wished me to tell you all about the old neighbors that you used to no well I hardly know where to commence but I hafto make a start. Old Henry Johnson is yet a live and tolerable well he is 85 past and also old Elxandew his brother the same old dry coon he used to be but a getting old to. I believe you mind old John Erret that lived east of your old place he died on the 22nd. of January. I do not no of but a few that is a living that you use to know. Isaac Belts and John is aliving on the farm lands yet of old Christopher Belts. the old stock of the Gearharts are all dead except old Jacob he is on the same old place north of where you use to live. the old Burwell family that is old unkle Isaac family not one left to tell the story. the old Smith tribe is all dead Joseph & George & Daniel & Jacob. well to cut it short they are all left america some of them mite have got back to Pennsylvania for I think that is about as high a ground as they would find. it is not necesary to tell you about people that you never see or herd of here for their has been a great change in that respect since you use to live here. the old ground is here but other old land marks is antirle diferent with many great changes that you would hardly think of.
Well old aunt Jane Frantz was harty and well the last account of her and that was not long since. she lives in bucyrus yet well I must rectify a mistake that I made telling you in a letter some time ago that old Jane Frantz was a keeping a boarding house it is Will Frantz widow I believe she runs it yet pleas forgive me for the blunder I hope it will not hurt any thing. Well I do not no of any more old neighbors that is worth while telling you about. Job Frantz is a keeping a hotell I beleave in Mansfield. well brother James is yet in Dayton Ky. whear he has lived for 2 or 3 years we herd from them lately they are all well. John R. Warden is still on the farm all well and a doing well. now for old Sampson Wardens stock that is our fathers old stock. Tomeka Jim Warden is ded some years a go. Sampson is aliving on a farm about 3 miles north of here all well. Joseph C. lives in Galion and well last account of him. Benjamin, the youngest got to reckless to do honest work for a living claimed a call from god to preach and went to the far west some whare to preach. and I think as the boy said it will be a hell of a preach. the girls I cant tell you whear they have all scatered to. I have lost track of them.
Well that other Warden you spoke of I never saw or herd of that I no of. he is a stranger to me. I cant tell you about all the Shay boys. John Shay is in kansas some whare Steve is a bout Gilboa some whare James has no regular stoping place I seen him last fall. Isaac Burwell is a living 3 or 4 miles from Gilboa. Isabel lives in Gilboa James Madison Warden is a living yet he lives also close to the same place. aunt Nancy and unkle John Cunningham are yet a living old John is very porely he soon will pass in his checks like all has done befor him. Abraham Waters and Harrison the youngest son was aliving the last account Elisabeth old John Burwells widow is a living yet. Salley Ann Waters now Smith she mired old Billy Smiths Isaac. Well dear cousin I wish you good luck and prosperity hoping to hear from you as often as convenient. I never expect to see you unless it would be chance work or you would come out here once more soon for we are ageting old I will soon be 55 years and you are mutch older. give my respects to all write often and I will do better here-after if you forgive me this long neglect. it is a snowing a little at present we have had no winter worth talking about. Well farewell dear friend.
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