If I’m not mistaken, the following letter is the last I have from Edward Frasier’s cousin, William McKay. The letter was written in March of 1880 – by his own admission, it’s been four years since he last wrote.
Will and his Mother seem to have struggled in the meantime. Something happened with the horses and “that other trouble”. The letter gives a lot of news and gossip from home, including the discovery of silver deposits throughout the county. The delightful little postscript reveals that Ed’s gun was traded for $15 worth of rutabaga’s. Who knew?
I have only one photo of Will. He and his mother are sitting with what appears to be funeral mementos of Will’s sister Addie. I believe that Addie died in 1888.
Following is the text of the letter:
March 22, 1880
Dear Cousin Ed
Adda received a letter from you to-day and you said you thought I was dead and buried or was mad so I thought I would write and let you know I had come to life or was beginning to come to life again for I feel as if I and the rest of us had been half dead for three or four years past wince we had that loss with the Horses and that other trouble for we have been continualy hampered for the want of means to get things that was needed and I have had to get along alone with the work ever since Will Andrews went away except a little by the day once in a while so you see I have been pretty well confined. There has been lots of times I have intended to write to you and been ashamed of my for not but lots of times I would be late with chores and feel to tired when night came and Sundays it is about the same and other times I would be all ready and some thing would come up to interfere but I think it will be different with us before long. We have been getting along better lately. I have got started to write at last and will try and do better in future.
We are all well except Mother. She has not been very well this Winter. We have had a very mild open Winter but very changeable only two days sleighing. It looks as if we would get spring soon. Think the Winter wheat is damaged badly. We did not sow any.
Well Ed you say you have gone to Neb – have you taken a Homestead. I was a little surprised to hear Maggie was Married. i wish her luck and expect to hear of you getting spliced the next thing as that seems to be the fashion now days.
Hattie Horner about two weeks ago was married to Seymour Maynard and about a week ago Arny Morgan to Velney Frenches daughter and he went to Dacotah Y the next day and Mrs. Russell to Parnes Hunter. John Darly moved away from George’s place today and the McDougle boys are moveing right in. I think they will make good neighbors. Adaline Bremmer died the 16th. She had been sick for nearly a year with Consumtion. Elder Round died the 20th with Brain fever and Lung fever together. There is a good deal of sickness this winter.
I must tell you some news. I[f] you were here you would get rich. They are finding Silver in under nearly every stone in the country. I have found it in paying quantities at “Rock Hill” and at Goodman’s Rock and the Observatory. I have not commenced turning up our stones yet. I forgot to say John Chadwick was about to be married. Parry Vining is going to teach our summer school. Mr. Bow got kicked by a colt quite severly. Mr. Barker is raising trotting stock. He has got three from a $15 Horse.
Well Ed I think I have told you all the news and will close hoping your are satisfied I am not mad and that you will not wait as long as I have done to send an answer. So send my love to all and luck to yourself from your cousin
W. C. McKay
P.S. I tried a long time to sell that gun but could not find a buyer. There was so many old Guns in the country I could not get much for it. I finaly traded it for $15 worth of Rutabags. I will send it when we shear the sheep.