Letter from Marion K. McMurphy to Erastus H. Reed, February 26, 1860

In this letter from February 26, 1860, Marion K. McMurphy writes to her brother, Erastus H. Reed, from Pontoosuc, Iowa discussing family news and the prospect of a railroad being built "from Appanoose to the junction or Burlington the coming summer." She states that she hopes the railroad will "make business a little more lively here as it is very dull on account of hard times in getting money."

Dear Brother Erastus

Your kind & very welcome letter of Feb. 5th was received in due time & I would have answered it before this, but one of my neighbors; that was very kind to me in that long sickness that I had two years ago was very sick at the time of its reception and all my time that I could spare from family duties was spent with her & on Wednesday the 22nd day of Feb. she passed quietly to the spirit world and on Friday the last sad tribute of respect was paid to her remains.

You speak of not having received a letter from me in a year & this is the fourth letter that I have written & mailed three to you (as this is not yet on its mission since March 1859. If you have not recieved then "Uncle Sam" is to blame not Marion; but Erastus you are not the only one that complains; for I write letters & wait a long time for an answer and get tired waiting & then write again then perhaps after waiting a long time get a letter.

You speak of being at Mr. [Govey's] all of last summer and their inquiry about friends; well would I like to see some familiar faces from Joliet I could spend a short time very pleasantly in conversation with them.

I was in hopes that Samuel & family would have visited me before they left Muscatine but there was doomed to disappointment. There is nothing of importance here that will interest you & why should I write it.

There is a little excitement just now caused by there being a slight prospect that the R. R. running through this place will be completed from Appanoose to the junction or Burlington the coming summer. It has been graded & the ties on the ground ready for laying for three years. There is a prospect of getting iron for the track this spring. I hope that it will make business a little more lively here as it is very dull on account of hard times in getting money.

How I would like to visit Joliet this spring & do talk about it often, but that is all that it will amount to I think. There are five of my brothers at Joliet now and ere another season passes they may be scattered in different places and I could see only one or two by going to Joliet.

We are all in usual health & hope that we may be blessed with health for some time to come, have had considerable sickness in the family the past year. I am glad to hear that you are well & healthy as you are.

Tell Samuel Ann & Rollin that I will write to them soon. I must write to sister Anna B. first as hers was first received & ought to have written to her before but leisure moments are few & I thought that if you had not recieved a letter from me in a year I must certainly write to you first.

Writing does not quiet my feelings at all I want much to see you all & hope the time is not far distant that I shall visit Joliet when, I can not tell.

Just imagine yourself here for a moment. You would see me sitting before a large fire in the fireplace, writing to you, with the cradle on my left, baby asleep. Reed, Crawford, Clarence & Dellsner out on the porch talking & playing, but here they all come in chattering together. Archie Mc sitting in the armchair reading a democratic speech from Mr. Pagh of Ohio. How I wish you could step in and make one of the group.

Burritt has not written to me since last June. I can not tell the reason why. When you write to him tell him to remember me his sister Marion by sending her a letter.

Mc joins me in sending love to you & to all all the friends at home.

You may kiss Sam & Charlie's children for me & in return they may kiss you for me & mine.

Affectionately your sister

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Marion K. McMurphy to Erastus H. Reed
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 25
  • Date: February 26, 1860