October 12, 1856 | Letter
In this letter from October 12, 1856, Sarah Sim writes to her sister, Electa, and details her family's small home and the favorable land they have purchased. Though she describes the roads in southeast Nebraska as "first rate", she notes her disappointment in not yet receiving any mail or the remainder of her family's possessions. She remarks that the country is "filling up very fast" and that most of their neighbors are "eastern people".
November 16, 1856 | Letter
In this November 16, 1856 letter to her sister, Wealthy Hathaway, Sarah Sim gives the details of her new home, the land, and the health of her family. She mentions that though the land is filling quickly, there is still no church or school in her area, and that Indians lived on their land as recently as the past winter. She ends by expressing her thankfulness for several newspapers sent to her and the receipt of the rest of her long-delayed possessions.
May 5, 1857 | Letter
In this May 5, 1857 letter, Francis Sim writes to his parents and describes the details of his wife's mental illness. Apparently triggered by the death of their son, Sarah Sim's depression causes her to try to kill herself and her remaining children. Francis laments her condition and the loss of his son, as well as his struggle to try to maintain his farm while protecting his wife and children from physical harm.
July 15, 1858 | Letter
In this July 15, 1858 letter to her mother, Sarah Sim writes of the new Sabbath School library (containing 100 volumes), her triumphs and failures in gardening, and the developments in Otoe, Nebraska, which include a school, regular preaching, and a printing press. She inquires after the activities of various female relatives who are teaching, attending school, and, in one case, enjoying a somewhat unconventional lifestyle selling sewing machines in Cincinnati.
August 15, 1858 | Letter
Francis Sim's August 15, 1858 letter to his brother, John C. Clark describes the results of "the Election" and his great satisfaction in the triumph of "the People" over the Democrats-a marked contrast, he observes, to the political events in Kansas. He also reports on the development of Otoe, Nebraska, and the corruption that marks land sales in the area. Though times are hard, he thinks that his family has enough, and he gives a full listing of his crops and livestock.
July 11, 1859 | Letter
In this July 11, 1858 letter from Sarah Sim to her mother and sister, Sarah describes the summer heat, her children's participation in school and church, and the behavior and appearance of her new daughter. She also mentions the continuing settlement of their part of Nebraska, the lack of a railroad, and the relatively small number of her neighbors leaving for Pikes Peak. Part of this letter is damaged.
January 1, 1860 | Letter
This January 1, 1860 letter from Sarah Sim to her parents describes her loneliness, the cold winter weather, and the current lack of a school for area children. She closes the letter with news of a railroad being built that will pass within three or four miles of their home, and she expresses hope that it will enable her to more easily return home for a visit.
February 5, 1860 | Letter
In this February 5, 1860 letter from Francis and Sarah Sim to Sarah's parents, Francis tells of the abundance of food produced on their farm and of the migration patterns of settlers in the region. He invites them to visit them, pointing out that they can make most of the journey by railroad and the remainder by steamboat.
October 29, 1863 | Letter
IIn her October 29, 1863 letter to her sister, Sarah Sim describes the deaths of her daughters, Helen and Mary, from diphtheria. She also mentions the recent birth of another son, and her struggles to maintain her own health while watching three sons under the age of three. With her childcare burdens, she fears that she will not be able to return to the East for a winter visit.
March 25, 1867 | Letter
In this March 25, 1867 letter, Sarah Sim tells her mother of Nebraska's recent attainment of statehood and of the expansion of the railroad across Nebraska. She reports that there is over 300 miles of railroad in Nebraska west of Omaha, and predicts easy access to any part of the country within a year.
January 30, 1880 | Letter
In this January 30, 1880 letter, John C. Clark writes to his sister, Wealthy Hathaway, of the details of his sister's illness. He describes Sarah Sim's tumors and the slim chances of her recovery.
February 23, 1880 | Letter
In the first part of her February 23, 1880 letter to Frank, Genie Hathaway rapturously describes the luxuries of riding in a Pullman car on the way to Chicago. She mentions several of her fellow passengers, one of whom is female world traveler. The second part of her letter describes the vulgarity of the passengers traveling with her in a "common car". Part of the letter is damaged.
April 17, 1880 | Letter
In this April 17, 1880 letter, Wealthy Hathaway writes to her husband about her Aunt Sarah's final days and the settling of her affairs. She proposes several scenarios for different relatives visiting and staying with the Sim family, and leaves the date of her return up to her husband.