Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Marie Hafford Garrett
Scope and Content
For additional information on the Hafford family see the Warren Graves Hafford Local History Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection.
Letters from the Marie Hafford Garrett Collection were featured in a Hayes Historical Journal article titled “Strangers in a Strange Land: The Frontier Letters of John and Anna Graves” by Thomas S. Edwards, Summer 1987.
Marie Hafford Garrett was born May 15, 1894 in Painesville, Ohio. She died June 17, 1977 in Vermilion, Ohio. She was the daughter of Harry C. Garrett (1869 – 1940) and Anna Graves Hafford (1870 – 1934), Marie’s grandmother was Martha Graves (1839 – 1919) who married Eben Hafford (1830 – 1880). Following the death of Eben Hafford, Martha married Captain John G. Nuhfer.
Marie’s great grandparents were John and Anna Foote Bridges Graves. Anna was born December 3, 1813 in Bolton, Connecticut. She moved with her parents to Williamstown, Massachusetts where in 1836 she married John Graves of Hoosick Falls, New York. John was the son of Timothy and Martha Comstock Graves. The following year, John and Anna Graves migrated to Ballville Township, Sandusky County, Ohio. They purchased 125 acres of land, but in 1837, they moved to Worthington, Ohio, where they settled on a farm with their daughter. In 1838, the Graves family returned to their Ballville Township land. In November of that year, their firstborn child died. Two more daughters were born to them before John Graves’ death in 1844. Anna moved to New England for a short time, but later returned to Sandusky County, where she married William Colby in 1847. The couple had one daughter, William Colby died in 1877 and Anna Graves Colby died in 1896.
Scope and Content
The collection, from the estate of the late Marie Hafford Garrett, contains correspondence, photographs, deeds, and other documents pertaining to the Graves, Hafford and Nuhfer families of Fremont and Sandusky County, Ohio. The correspondence, dating from 1837 to 1934, consists primarily of letters written by John and Anna Graves, early Sandusky County pioneers and the great-grandparents of Marie Hafford Garrett. Most were written to family members in Hoosick, New York and Williamstown, Massachusetts.
This collection also contains deeds and other documents for land purchased by John and Anna Graves in Ballville Township, Sandusky County, Ohio. Mrs. Martha G. Nuhfer, formerly Mrs. Eben Hafford and grandmother of Marie Hafford Garrett owned Inlot 1151 and the residence at 500 South Arch Street. On the death of her mother, Anna Hafford Garrett in 1934, Marie inherited the property on Arch Street.
The collection also contains photographs of Anna F. Graves (later Mrs. William Colby), John and Martha Graves Nuhfer and the Nuhfer residence on Arch Street, Anna Graves Hafford, Marie Garrett, and other members of the family.
While this collection contains only a small number of letters, they offer insights, particularly from a woman’s perspective, into the economic instability, hard labor, illness, death, despair, and loneliness that were an ever-present part of the lives of pioneers who settled in Ohio’s Black Swamp region in the 1830s and 1840s. An item-level description of the collection is provided followed by typed transcription of three of the letters.
¼ linear ft.
BRIDGES, Henry A.
To Mrs. Mary S. Knowlton dtd Ballville, Lower Sandusky, Aug. 28, 1848. 2pp. A.L.S. W/Anna Colby to Mary Knowlton dtd same date.
BRITS, [Nancy] Jane
To Mary Knowlton dtd [Ballville, Feb.6, 1842]. 1p. A.L.S. See Anna F. Graves to Mary Knowlton dtd same date.
COLBY, Anna F. (see Anna F. Graves)
To Mrs. Mary S. Knowlton dtd Ballville, Feb. 14, 1849. 3pp. A.L.S. W/Wm. Colby to Mary Knowlton dtd same date, 1p. A.L.S.
To Mary S. Knowlton dtd [Ballville, Aug. 28, 1848]. 1p. A.L.S. See Henry A. Bridges to Mary Knowlton dtd same date.
To AMy Dear [email protected] dtd Fremont, Mar. 4, 1891. 4pp. A.L.S.
To AMy Dear [email protected] dtd Fremont, Mar. 18, 1891. 2pp. A.L.S.
To Mrs. Mary S. Knowlton dtd [Ballville, Feb. 14, 1849]. 1p. A.L.S. See Anna F. Colby to Mary Knowlton dtd same date.
GRAVES, Anna F. (see Anna F. Colby)
To Miss Sophia Bridges dtd Williamstown, Mass., Aug., n.y. 4pp. A.L.S.
To Martha [Graves] dtd Feb. 20, 1837. 1p. A.L.S. See John Graves to Timothy Graves dtd same date.
To Mary Knowlton dtd Ballville, Jan. 30, 1840. 3pp A.L.S.
To Mary Knowlton dtd Ballville, Feb. 6, 1842. 3pp. A.L.S. W/Nancy Jane Brits to Mary Knowlton dtd same date, 1p. A.L.S.
To Mrs. Cyrus Graves dtd [Ballville, Oct. 15, 1842. 1p. A.L.S. See John Graves to Cyrus Graves dtd same date.
To Mrs. John Knowlton dtd [Ballville], Apr. 14, 1843. 4pp. A.L.S.
To Miss Sophia W. Bridges dtd Ballville, Apr. 14, 1844. 4pp. A.L.S.
To Mrs. Mary S. Knowlton dtd [Lower Sandusky], Apr. 22, 1844. 3pp. A.L.S.
To Mrs. Mary Knowlton dtd Ballville, Nov. 9, 1845. 3pp. A.L.S.
To Mary Knowlton dtd Ballville, Oct. 13, 1846. 3pp. A.L.S.
To Timothy Graves dtd Ballville, Feb. 20, 1837. 2pp. A.L.S. W/Anna Graves to Martha [Graves] dtd same date.
To Cyrus Graves dtd Worthington, [Ohio], Aug. 27, 1837. 3pp. A.L.S.
To Cyrus Graves dtd Ballville, Nov. 13, 1838. 1p. A.L.S.
To Cyrus Graves dtd Ballville, Oct. 15, 1842. 3pp. A.L.S. W/Anna Graves to Mrs. Cyrus Graves dtd same date.
To ADear Aunt S. dtd Home, Feb. 8, 1873. 4pp. A.L.S.
HALL, Gilbert E.
To Marie Garrett dtd 706 Hayes Ave., Fremont, O., Aug. 19, 1934. 1p. T.L.S.
To AMy Very Dear Sister [Anna Colby]@ dtd Williamstown, Massachusetts, May 31, n.y. 4pp. A.L.S.
2. Transcription for the letters of John and Anna F. Graves
3. Warranty deed transferring ownership of property in Section 21 of Ballville Twp. from Joel Strawn to Samuel West dtd Oct. 16, 1833. Same property later assigned by West to Samuel Hafford and his heirs dtd Sept. 12, 1835.
Indenture or warranty deed entered into between Joel and Lydia Strawn and Samuel Hafford for property in Section 21 of Ballville Twp. dtd State of Illinois, LaSalle Co., Nov. 10, 1835.
Warranty deed transferring title to In Lot 1151 in Fremont from Joseph Battig to W. L. And Mary Scott dtd State of Ohio, Sandusky Co., Dec. 18, 1873.
Copy of deed transferring title of land in Ballville Twp. from Samuel and Ester Hafford to John Graves and his heirs dtd State of Ohio, Sandusky, Co., Feb. 3, 1836.
Mortgage deed from Joseph Battig to Frank Heim for In Lot 1151 in Fremont dtd State of Ohio, Sandusky Co., Jly. 10, 1880. Mortgage later assigned by Heim to John G. Nuhfer dtd Fremont, O., Mar. 21, 1885; also signed by Nettie G. Neason and Anna F. Colby.
Mortgage deed from Joseph and Mary Jane Battig to Simon Kalb for In Lot 1151 in Fremont dtd State of Ohio, Sandusky Co., Fremont, May 9, 1883.
Copy of petition filed by Thos. Kinney for building a ditch in Ballville Twp. dtd Auditor=s Office, Sandusky Co., Fremont, Jly. 26, 1882.
Warranty deed with dower from Joseph Battig and wife to Nettie G. Neason and Anna F. Colby for In Lot 1151 in Fremont dtd State of Ohio, Sandusky, Co., Mar. 18, 1884.
Affidavit for transfer and record of real estate inherited B Anna F. Colby deceased to Martha G. Nuhfer and Nettie G. Neason dtd State of Ohio, Sandusky Co., Aug. 30, 1912.
Quit-claim deed from Martha G. and John G. Nuhfer to Marie H. Garrett for In Lot 1151 in Fremont dtd State of Ohio, Sandusky Co., Fremont, Aug. 30, 1912.
Certificate of transfer of real estate for land in Ballville Twp. from Anna H. Garrett deceased to her daughter, Marie Garrett dtd Probate Court, State of Ohio, Cuyahoga Co., Nov. 16, 1936.
4. Receipt for $6.70 for property taxes paid by John Graves for land in Ballville Twp. dtd Treasurer=s Office, Sandusky Co., Fremont, O., Jly. 11, 1860.
Certificate of purchase noting that Eben F. Hafford purchased Lot #7 in Section 2 in Oak Wood Cemetery dtd Fremont, O., Sept. 12. 1866.
License and certificate of marriage for John G. Nuhfer and Mrs. Martha Graves Hafford dtd Sandusky Co., O., Feb. 23, 1882.
License and certificate of marriage for Harry C. Garrett and Anna Graves Hafford dtd Fremont, O., Oct. 5, 1892.
Wedding announcements for the marriage of Anna Hafford to Harry C. Garrett.
Certificate noting that Mrs. M[artha] G[raves] Nuhfer has paid the sum of $38.20 to the Oak Wood Cemetery Assoc. for the purpose of perpetually maintaining E. F. Hafford=s lot in the cemetery dtd Fremont, O., Mar. 29, 1915.
5. Funeral notice of Albert H. Hafford dtd Fremont, O., Dec. 19, 1858. Prtd.
Typed copy of last will and testament of Martha G. Nuhfer dtd Fremont, Aug. 31, 1910.
Typed copy of last will and testament of John G. Nuhfer dtd Fremont, Apr. 24, 1921.
Typed copy of last will and testament of Anna Garrett dtd Fremont, Nov. 10, 1926.
Letters of administration for estate of Martha Nuhfer (#10680) granting to Anna Garrett the goods, chattels, rights, credits of said estate dtd Probate Court, Sandusky Co., Fremont, O., Aug. 12, 1924.
Family record group forms for Eben Hafford and Harry C. Garrett.
Pharmacist certificate of Harry C. Garrett dtd State of Ohio, State Board of Pharmacy, Sept. 20, 1937.
6. Sketch of John Wylie Garrett, the father of Harry C. Garrett dtd Jly. 20, 1919. 3pp. Typed. Author unknown.
Biographical sketch of the family of Timothy Graves. 1p. Prtd. from book.
Small autograph book with sentiments which belonged to Harry C. Garrett, 1881-1904, including sentiment entered by Marie.
Miscellaneous genealogical notes, obituaries, Graves family record, and material relating to the Hafford family.
Notations about the marriage of Anna Hafford to Harry C. Garrett dtd Oct., 1892. Author unknown.
7. Photographs *
8. Photographs *
*Six views of the John G. Nuhfer residence, 500 Arch St., Fremont; either John and/or Martha G. Nuhfer appear in the photos. Photographer unknown, after 1900.
Ten photos (carte de visites, cabinet cardS, and other paper prints) of Anna Graves Hafford, Marie Garrett=s mother. C.J. Pascoe, Geo. D. Bartlett, and R. Grob, photographers [all from Fremont], also London Studio, Baltimore, Maryland.
Two family portrait photos of Marie Garrett with her parents, Anna Hafford and Harry C. Garrett. Photographer unknown, n.d.
Ten mounted photos of Marie Garrett during her early childhood. Photographers include Davis, Painesville, O., and Arcade Studio, [Cleveland]. Many of the photos dated.
Two school pictures [locations unknown, possibly Cleveland] including Marie Garrett. Photographer unknown, n.d.
Four mounted photos of Anna F. Colby, formerly Mrs. John Graves, Marie=s great-grandmother. R. Grob, Fremont, photographer, n.d.
Two photos of John G. Nuhfer, husband to Marie=s grandmother, Martha Graves Nuhfer. J. Dick, Fremont, photographer, n.d.
Four mounted photos of Martha Graves Nuhfer (formerly Mrs. Eben Hafford). R. Grob and Arcade Studio among the photographers, n.d.
Four mounted photos of Anvinette Graves Norton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Willard I. Norton of Fremont and a cousin to Marie Garrett. R. Grob, photographer, n.d. (taken before her death on Sept. 10, 1900).
Four tintypes of Anna Graves Hafford as a young girl. Photographers unknown, n.d.
Two tintypes of Martha Graves Nuhfer as a young woman. Photographer unknown, n.d.
One tintype of Anna F. Colby, Mrs. Wm. Colby of Fremont (formerly Mrs. John Graves). Person to the right of Mrs. Colby unidentified. Photographers unknown, n.d.
Tintype of Martha ([email protected]) S. Hafford (Mrs. John G. Nuhfer by 2nd marriage) and her sister, Anvinette ([email protected]) Neason, Mrs. William E. Neason, of Fremont. Photographer unknown, n.d.
Five unidentified photos, four which are group photographs.
9. Correspondence and documents relating to the final disposition of family lands in Ballville Twp.
Sandusky County, Ohio.
August 27th 1837
Brother & Sister
I received your letter of the 1st inst with much pleasure, pleas pardon my neglect for not answering it immediately agreeable to your request I now feel it a pleasure that we can associate in such a convenient manner when at such a distance Now for the news, we are all well we had a daughter born the 19th of June she is as fine a buckeye as there is in the State we call her Martha as we have no other name yet for her, Cropps cum in here tolerable good Corn looks promising. There is a large supply of Apples but no Peaches, I was at Lower Sandusky about the 1st of Aug Wheat and Oats was good Corn looked tollerable well but rather bouquard, there is no fruit in that Country Samuel will probly have 150 or 200 Bushels of Wheat he planted but little corn it looks rather small his Potatoes looked well He had got his Barn up and was cuvering it; they were all well but Esther She remains about the same as usual James works in the Village, he has 12/- day and board J Hafford lives in the village he has ben rather homesick but his family is well suited They have had a considerable of a revival of religion there Eveline has joined the church Things look more favorable there than they did last Spring Daniel Tindal is building a Saw Mill against my land so the Mill prevalegs are improving the mills below has ben repaird so they do first rate business, there has ben severel new stores started in the village there is not much building going on there on account of the hard times. They have raisd 100 Dollars or more by subscription and they git 75 from the County to be appropriated to the cutting out the Road 60 feet wide from Samuels School house to Town on or near the oald road there was a Man engaged in chopping it across my land, I was at Mr. Slys his wife is verry discontented she is determined to go back to Michigan he thinks he shal sell as soon as he gets a chance his Cropps is good he has got a good stock a growing but he cant rase a School amongs the Duch. Corn was worth 8/ to 10/ pr Bushel flower had ben as high as $15, but it had got down to $11- they had began to grind new Wheat Eddy says the man that bought Sahlls farm is well suited he thinks you mist it that you did not buy it Shall bought a Saw Mill near Slyes and a large tract of land after looking Illanois land [verso] Worthy friend.
We received your letter in due time, and perused its contents with pleasure We should be glad to hear from you often and much more so to see you if we were situated near each other how pleasing it would be certainly to me I think I should have been contented if we had never crossed the lake, Still I am contented here it is a very pleasant country indeed if people cant live here I dont know where they can it does not look like a new Country here I honor your husbands judgment not purchasing in Ballville I did not feel discontented, still I thought we were not treated right by Samuel I was very much disappointed in that man, and if Elmina things she did not know uncle Samuel untill last winter, she shed some tears you know Elminas feelings I will venture to say as much as this to you I think you will enjoy yourself as well as if you lived near him but dont say a word to any one, for you know it will not do My Babe is quite unwell and you will have to excuse me for not writing more I will write more next time Tims waggon springs has not bee[n] Strained since we rode to Troy
I commenced my letter some days since you will see by the date I had wrote my calculation to go to Granville so I delayd finishing it till I returned I called on Mr. Fitch he lives 5 miles West of Granvil on the Delawair road he bought 200 Acres of bottom land at $15 Acre 70 cleared a good house and Barn he could sell it for $6000. or more. John Fitch is at Toledo,
Granvill is a fine flourishing town Coesin Enoch Graves is Dead the res (sic) are all well and dooing well. Mr. Little was not at home This is a good Country to live in but rather a slow country to make money in I dont think it is generally more healthy than it is in Ballville
Sept 10 Things remain about the same as when I commenced wrighting. we have had a verry heavy rain the weak past and to day a heavy shower Samuel thinks he shant sell he says he is suited as well as he shall be any where, Elmina is teaching school in Sams Schoolhouse she has 3 to 5 schollars, I dont know but I could swap my land for land in York State better than I can for land here people dont like to move to the north if there is any boddy that wants to swap you may wright me Your Brother John Graves
Excuse this hasty scroll and except it from your friend and Sister
Love to all
Lyman Day has ben here he married Fanny Watson he moved out with Richmon last spring into Portage County he says R has got into a poor country he says they cant rais much there but grass everything is as high as it was in Hoosick he has gone to work in Columbus. The scarcity to the north has made provision high here Flour has been worth 7 to 10 Dollars it is down to 6- Dollars Corn 6/ - Oats 1/6 to 2/ - they think Wheat wont be worth over 6/ - a Bushel Pork is worth 16 to 18 Dollars pr Bushel Hams 10 to 11 cts Butter 1/ to 1/4 Cheese 7 to 8 cts green, Salt is worth $3.- to 3.25 per Barriel Coffee 1/4 to 1/6 Shugar maple 8-10 N Orleans 1/ Molasses 6/ Cattle is high here Oxen good price 75 to 80 Dollars Cows 15 to 25 Dollars She good fat weathers 16 [ torn ] there is sum good lotts of Sheep here it [ torn ] rather difficult keeping Sheep here on the [ torn ] account of Doggs and Wolves the principle business for making money is fatting hogs and cattle I cant tell what I am going to do I think I shall higher a farm for a year or two things look so favorable at Sandusky that I may go back again in a year or two if I cant seell my land. We had a little frost in sum places here the 22nd or 23rd I am a frade that it has done sum damage to the north Land is worth near the village 30 to 38 or 40 Dollars pr Acre under good improvement there is a farm 1 Mile south of the village they ask $30 pr Acre a Brick house on it, 170 Acres Land can be bought cheaper back from the turnpike or village, I wonder how asher stands the hard times I wrote to him but I have not received an answer yet I dont know but it must be because ink is scarce or paper is hard to be got, Time must be hard if there is no sails of Wool. Land rents midling high here I have no place in view yet, My foot troubles me a good deal. I don=t know as it will ever get sound again Where is Philander what is he dooing
Wright to me again soon without fail for we are alone strangers in a strange land
I shall sell my saw Loggs or have them drawd into the mill this winter You must excuse this imperfect scroll for I have had to wright with one hand and rock the cradle with the other
November 13, 1838
Most affectionate Brother and Sister
We are called upon to inform you of the death of our dear little Martha She died the 4th of Nov She was 16 months and 16 days old She was taken a vomiting which lasted several days then it terminated in inflamation in the Liver which caused violent spasms and cramping fits She was sick about 13 days, She was an interesting little creature. I tell you it was hard parting But the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away and blessed is his name. We feel the loss but what is our loss, will be here eternal gains Ebenezer was buryed just 6 weeks after Esther Martha was buryed 6 weeks 2 days after Ebeneezer whose turn it will be next the Lord onely knows We are all well and have enjoyed good health it is generally healthy now there has been considerable sickness the latter part of the summer and fall, The season has ben remarkable dry and hot Samuel received a letter from Timothy a few days since he states they arived since at home and are all well, I expect T. and A, told you all about our situation. Times is hard here yet. Wheat is worth 10/ - it has ben 13/0 [?] - Corn 50 cts Potatoes 50 cts the Potatoes has turned out verry poorly, I have sown about 9 acres and have got an acre or 2 more to sow with spring Wheat I think I shall put off another pese of 8 or 10 Acres to sow another f[ ?] We can make our calculation for Years to come but we know not what a day may bring forth We are verry lonely here since our little Martha died we have Anns Sister here She is a fine pious girl and a great Deal of company for us I want you to wright to us immediately tell us what Asher thought of our situation and if he thought of buying near yours If he did I should like to be neighbour to you whether he is or not I should be where we could get together for an evening visit ocasionally Ann joins in sending her best love to you and yours your brother
C & L.G.
Ballville Feb 6th 1842
My dear dear Sister
I was almost overjoyed to get a letter from you I received a letter a few weeks since from Sophia on saturday answered it on Sunday and received your[s] on Monday I thought I would wait a little while before I answered your I had not heard one solitary word from any of you since last spring I felt neglected and forgotten by you all I have shed more tears than a few while talking and thinking of you all when I answered Sophias letter I got to thinking if I was in Wmstown and any one of my sisters was living west, alone as it were, if I should forget them so as not to write to them in so long a time - I had a real first rate crying spell John came in and said what is the matter I told him I had had a real crying serape, he laughed at me some but felt so sorry for me that he did not say much We moved into our house the saturday before Christmas we have only our kitchen part done because the streams were so low that we could not get sawing done We have a kitchen bedroom and clothes press and butery done and painted and low chamber over it. One story and a half high, the front two stories high 18 by 32 feet In front will be a sitting room with a fire place in it I shall have a bed in it for sickness or for company and then a square room for a parlor and fire place in it and chambers over them I have got geese I am going to make some beds I am making a new one I am going to begin a carpet as soon as I get a little of my sewing done - I want you should tell me how to make a pretty one I know yours is handsome I should not have so pretty red filler [?] as yours Oh, dear me how I do want to see you but we can write that is a great comfort when I think of it I feel as if I hadnot been home for I did not stay with mother any - - - nor see one half of my folks, give my love to mother and tell her I should like a pinch of her snuff for I have a bad cold - I think it would make a hole into my head - Now Mary I want you and John to come here [p.2] next summer you can if you think so - Do Mary if you care any thing about your sister Ann do come and see me what what [sic] would be more gratifying, and Percy and Henry what does hinder them from coming give my love to them, and tell them to come - O Mary you do not know how I feel when I get seriously thinking or you for I love you all but sometimes feel as if I had not your love in return - No I dont either finally But cant keep the tears from running
I have got over crying and thought I would finish the thing but I do not know as you can read it I received a paper from Sophia yesterday all well written on it, Martha carries on so that I cant write she feels so disturbed about a scratch I have got on my finger She says Aunt Ann be careful it get well by by She calls her father Uncle John says hold on minutes Uncle John She has got my old quilt rolled up for a baby She calls her Sarah, she says put down your Cose naughty gale show knees shame Uncle John Pit on um -------- You give our best respects to Ephraim and family and tell them to write if they can O I want to see you all and especially that sweet little Martha A, Martha S says I love my little Cozzn Martha Ann she feet Little Charles and Wells I often think of them - Harriet Bridges I have never heard whether she larnd the millinery trade or not write and tell give my love to her tell her I often think the time I saw her last and expected to see her again tell her to write I am trying to coax John to go East if I dont next summer but her thinks that would not do to go without me I do not expect he will go Give
our best respects love to Brother John and tell him he must come next summer without fail do do come, Mary she is a little jealous for fear Caroline will have the most clothes Mary I often [think] if you and I had fared as well as Mary and Caroline that we should have fared better than we did I am glad we can do for them Mary goes around this morning as if the old Cat was tied to her heels. Our ministers daughter Catherine Fitch and one or two more girls are coming here to visit her today from Sandusky I expect they will stay a day or two - The little girls come up from Sandusky often to visit Mary and Harriet Andrus Mrs. Haffords little girl. I have company enough but one visit from my dear Sisters would exceed any thing that has happened to me in a great while John says if they would come that time we would have give our best to all Cousins and acquaintances and keep a large share yourselves I cant write any thing that will interest you but excuse all imperfections which are many
From your sister Ann
You expected you said to see mark for me but no mark at present I should be sorry to be in that way seeing my sisters have all got through I tell John if he will move back I will have a boy for him
Dear Sister It is almost two years since I have seen you But I have not forgotten you, no my dear sister neither time nor distance will make me forget you nor the rest of my dear friend[s] my health is good and has been ever since I have been in Ohio I have been in school most of the time it closed yesterday, our teacher got married and of course could not teach, I studied Geography and grammar and wrote last summer I recited 1120 verses of scripture but did not learn them in school but nightly and mornings when I had leisure and sabaths when I had not gone to sabbath school & I am contented and glad I came here for mas= health is so poor that it was not best for us all to be at home I do not think you can not read it martha S is the greatest roidy [?] I ever saw She is a very affectionate little thing when I get home from school she puts her little arms around my neck and says I love you goodely mary and kisses me I suppose you take as much comfort with Martha A. As I do with Martha S. Tell pa and ma & eviline write us a letter I talk of going to town visiting next week I wish you was here to go with me I have become acquainted with some prety girls when you go home kiss honey and [others] for me
from your sist
Mary Jane Brits
Mrs. Mary Knowlton
[P.O. Stamp] Lower Sandusky, O.
Ballville April 7th 1844
My dear dear Sister
What shall I say to you, Shall I tell you that I have drained the cup of affliction to the very dregs Yes my dear Sister I never knew what trouble was before It is true I have lost Parents a Brother and an own dear Child, but this is severing a still more tender Cord John was taken sick the 28 of January and died 7th of Feb He was taken unwell Sabbath Eve before he got home from prayer meting but said he believed he had got cold some way I felt alarmed about him, but he said O Ann I shall be well again in a day or two, that night had fever and it never left him untill the night before he died the night before he died he got up and put on his pantaloons with my help I see he was failing, Mrs Tindall made his bed as quick as possible and helpd him back on to it - He had a sinking spell we washed him in Brandy and he revived again I was up with him night and day he could not bear to have me out of sight a moment I would go off to another room and have a good crying spell - Sometime he would notice I was gone a good while and he would call me and say what are you up to in there - I would wipe up and go out and be as cheerful as possible and he would put his hand and take hold of my chin, smile and say O ann you must not be discrouraged for I am not I said John I am afraid you dont know how sick you are but said I It is of the most importance to be prepared - He say I have always felt as if we she (sic) should live to enjoy religion He says I dont feel satisfied with taking up the light and going along with it, hopes to be directed in the right way - He had not his right mind, all the while O Sophia you cant begin to think what distress he was in all night it took four men some of the time to keep him on the bed O what a night that was, In the morning I thought I take one more look of him I was so broken down it nearly over come me I fainted they worked upon me a while and carried me in to the bedroom and that was the last I saw of him that day he died about noon I could hear his groans, it was so aggravating It did appear to me that I could not live I had fever the doctor attended me more than a week Mrs Colby stayed with me a week O I thought if I could only followed his Dear Body to the grave - It would have been a satisfaction I could not set up I told them if he looked natural I wanted to see him they said he did, and he could be brought into the bedroom where I could see him I told them to put a cloak around me and let me lean on Mr Haffords arm and I could go out I did so O he looked so pleasant Just as if he was asleep O Sophia it is painful to write the particulars It brings every thing so fresh to my mind that I can hardly endure it I had some men come to work a few days and they would come in for the meals and I sitting by the fire did not know it was made and then I would get something No appetite, fever every day it was then I wished that my dear sisters could come in and comfort me I think if I had a lock of his hair I would give any thing in this world but I was so sick that I was not capable of thinking and no one to think for me Martha says Mother dont cry It does seem as if my father would come back again Oh Mother she says what a good Father I did have She will sit and look into the fire and then break out and say some thing about him Mary frequently cries when she sees his clothes His cap hangs in in (sic) the room here where it did when he was sick I have taken it down a great many times and put it away but cannot bear to so hang it up again I have lain away night after night thinking what I should do when my Children was sick; for when he was alive if they were sick, he was the first one up to take care O Ann I can get up better than you can and he knew more about sickness than I did, what he said I knew [P.3] correct since or here last week Mary and Martha were both sick, there is a young man lives with me to carry on the farm that has lived with us two years from York State one of the kindest young me I ever saw he loves the Children to distraction Anvinette will cry after him every time he comes in to the house Wm Colby had a lame hand, he stayed here a week he went after the doctor two or three times in the night, Martha I expect was troubled with worms had a high fever but could get no worms Mary the doctor says her age is troubling her She is taking medicine I dont know what to say about her I dont need her I shall keep her for the present I am afraid if she should go she will not be favored at all places and make a weekly woman I wait on her, and when she goes any where Wm Gregory the young man that lives with me goes and takes her and goes after her the doctor says by the time she takes up her medicine [she] will be well he thinks My children are come down with whooping cough I feel afraid it will go hard with them The folks are all up in arms about your comeing out how I would like to have you come but dont know as you would enjoy yourself as you do there I am lonely and expect to be Mr Hafford says tell Sophia for me that she must come out here Esther says give [ torn ] if she dont come she will take a stick and spank her Every one says Sophia will come I have not room to write one half that I wish to John did not make his will There is not any thing said about it they thought he had not his right mind -, I presume you will think strange my not having Mr Haffors for Adminstrator but there is other good men in the world beside him I could tell you a long yarn Could I but see you tell Harriet Wm Colby speaks about her often, she will know what it means I chose Mr Stahl Rachel Camps husband he is a fine man I am Guardian for my children - the laws are different in Ohio what they are in Mass Mr Stahl and myself chose men for appraisers and the Court appointed them - Mr. Hershey Daniel Tindall Mr Hafford they appraise the property and then set off my years support
The appraisers set off two hundred and fifty dollars for my years support they appraised every thing low and I could take it at the appraisal they will sell for a great deal more I take horses and waggon farming tools 18 Acres of wheat 20 bushels wheat Hams pork Beef potatoes, both green apples and dried and the land give me 12 sheep 1 cow the furniture with a few exceptions besides what they set off, there is enough personal property very near to straiten every thing I felt when John died that if I had been left with only enough to carry me to my friends I would be satisfied the next thing is who would want me I began to think I had children to support and it was not right to feel so I tried to guard against such feeling.
Judge Nyce is very low frets bad because I dont go to see him, told Doct Rawson was doing court work and I did not come to see him
If I did not I should not be capable of seeing to my family You know Sophia that he was one of the kindest Most Indulgent - Affectionate husbands in this world It does appear to me that there is no more Comfort for me in this world I know the Lord can clear the darkest skies can give us day for night - Pray for me Dear Sister that this affliction may be sanctified to my never dieing soul write soon Give my love to every one
Miss Sophia W. Bridges
Lower Sandusky O