And now for something completely different. I was on Ancestry.com this morning and noticed that there is quite a bit of good stuff out there about the Frasier side of the family. I have in my files about 20 original, personal, handwritten old letters, many dated before 1900. Some of them have valuable genealogical information, while others are just fun to read and paint a fascinating picture of years gone by. I think it’s high time that I scan and transcribe them and make them available to other interested researchers!
First up is a letter from William McKay to Edward Frasier (my great-great-grandfather). William and Edward were first cousins; their mothers were sisters. They were only a year apart, and this letter was written when they were both around 17-18 years old.
Following is the text of the letter.
October 29th 1874
I wrote you a letter a long time ago and have not had an answer yet so I thought I would write again. We are all well. I was sorry to hear through Aunt Mag’s letter that you was sick but hope you are better now. We have had a very nice fall so far it has has been rainy for two or three days .
We are most through husking. One had 103 bushels on 13 acres of wheat, 11 on 14 acres of oats, 14 of rye on 2 acres, the 6 acres of wheat over near George’s went 11 bushels to the acre. I put in three acres of redchiff west of the house and got 10 1/2 bushels on the whole the west field done poor even on the flat. Wheat is cheap here it is only worth 80-85 cents. Corn is bringing a good price now it is 50-55 cents. We will have about 400 baskets on 8 acres. The rain came in time to give us a good crop of corn. We had lots of melons this year. I wish you could have been here to help eat them.
I will give some news now.
Sam Brown has been sued again. He borrowed some bags of Robert Jones in threshing time and one of them got lost and he would not give one in its place. He give him some dirty tongue and Jones sued and it cost him 20 dollars.
John Dalton sued Jenkins for stealing turkeys. We have not heard the particulars but he [Dalton] beat him.
Neil Dimond has had a fight. They was out on a road near Andrew Thomsons. They ordered Andrew to move shome sheds that was out in the road sox feet. Had some words and Neil struck him and then they both fit, and Andrew sued him. The Justice was John Berry and he was partial so Dimond beat. He is Candidate for member of Assembly but there is a good many thinks he will get beat. This fighting scrape has bust him some.
Morison sold his farm to old man French for $1000 and French has rented his shop to the Pardeville Blacksmith that you used to go to so much for $80 a year.
George McKay bought up eighty head of Cattle and drove them down to Illinois. He could not sell them in Millwaukee or Chicago so he drove them to about the Center of Illinois and sold them to a man that is agoing to feed them more. We cannot find out whether he has made anything or not but they say he Mortgaged his farm to get money to buy them with.
I intended to have been out to Portage the first of the week and take Ada’s letter but it rained but I guess it will so I can go tomorrow. I have not spoken about Uncle Bowley’s for he said they had written lately. We got our tub set in the spring but the water came in so fast it is not much better then it was before. We couldn’t settle it but two feet. They are all in bed but Mother’s snoring so I will have to quite writing and go to bed too so good bye.
Write soon now be sure
from your efectionate Cousin
Here are links to .jpg scans of the original document: