Ann is just bursting with ideas and assignments for her son Edward. She is writing from Malcolm, Nebraska where she is planning to build a house. She wants Edward to run the numbers for her and help her figure out how much of her livestock she will need to sell in order to finance the construction. I’m curious to know whether the house got built!
She is also upset that Edward did not receive her previous letter and you get the sense she doubts Edward’s word on this. She says that Santa Claus will be sending him a “letter receiver” so he doesn’t lose any letters in the future.
Edward is in his mid-20’s at this time and still single, although by this time he may be working as a hired hand for Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Rosecrans, the adoptive parents of his future wife Ida Black.
Dec 25, 1883
We received yourletter Sunday. It is strange you did not get my letter. I wrote 5 weeks ago but did not get it sent for a week. 4 weeks ago Sunday it was mailed. Do you send by any one that’s going for your mail? Ella mailed 4 cards the same day, received answers to all.
I am glad you are well. We are all well, I have had a lame arm & is lame yet. S & Maggie were here to dinner. It seems to me you might have been for all the distance. We had a Christmas tree. Old Santy put a letter receiver on for you , I will send it so you won’t be allways losing your letters. I sent a plan of a house to you & wanted you to make out or get a bill made out of cost. I will send another. Wish you would as soon as you can, so I can make calculations. What are cows worth or 2 year olds heifers worth or is there any for sale * what are spring & yearling colts worth & is there such a thing for sale.
The new church is finished at Hatswells. Ella had a letter from Mary McNeal. She said tell Ed she was real mad ’cause you did not say good-bye when you came past & Mrs. Harrison felt bad ’cause you did not go to see them. Dec 28. It is a beautiful day. We have had 2 cold days. The 26th blew rather hard. Ella has gone up to see if Maggie can go to the office today. S. has about 60 rows to husk. I wrote for you to save me 4 bushels seed corn, 2 bushels of each kind. Can you do it yet & shall be left. I don’t think he can put in our corn. He got no crassing (?) done & he wants to break 40 more. It will make it bad for us, unless we can get it listed. A good boy could tend it, do you know of a good boy we could get? If Travers boys can why can’t we? Mrs. Travers said the boys done it all.
I will send the plan of the house. 14 by 24 & you can tell me the difference between 14 & 14 feet. It would just be the lumber & underfinishing. It would take no more doors or windows. You know the lay of building [spat?] How many brick & which is best & cheapest brick or stone, cost of underpinning, siding & ship [lap] this floor will do for chamber. I want best of every thing. Give amount of each article & price with you & it may make them do better here. I want you to write just as soon as you can. Make out the bill so I can calculate what I can do & cost of building. I want plaster or finish this year. Just enclose & flour & put in the studding for petitious the kitchen or wing will be 12 x 14 & porch, is just like Taylor’s in Emerson. I do not know the height on corners. I should think 14 feet would be plenty high. I will send a stamp & I want you to write to George Heady for I don’t want to & have him tell you what yearling colts coming to or year old in spring are wroth or if he knows of any for sale. I don’t mean blooded just good colts. Write him as soon as you get this don’t fail.
[the following notes were in the margins]
there will be 7 doors down stairs & 2 up. will have 2 windows together in front in … [can’t read words] … it is next to a bay window, 8 windows downstairs 2 up.
I will send letter holder next time. Have no box today. It is so bad about milking in wet weather. If colts are not too dear we could make just as much of them. We have just one pig. Is ready to kill. I want to get some hogs.
I like it first rate here. When will you be home.