Letter from Sarah Sim to Mother, July 15, 1858

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.

page image

Dear Mother

We have a new Sabbath School Library sent us by the [A.S.L.] Union it consists of 100 volumes and also another collection of books of 200 volumes sent us from Meriden. They are donations to the Sabbath School. They were obtained through the influence of Mr. Lee the man that came out with us so it seems that the Pioneers of Nebraska are not forgotten.

It is some time since I have written to any of you. It is not because I have forgotten to write for I have been thinking about it every day for a long time but something always comes along to prevent my doing so. We received a letter some weeks since written by you and Mary and Harriet and I suppose you are looking for an answer before this time but we are very busy all the time and don't get time to write much. We received a letter from Wealthy dated at Haddam in May and one from Mr. Hathaway last week and also one from Margaret a short time since which I have not answered yet. We learn by Mr. H.'s letter that she has gone home to spend the summer. I suppose she is prepareing [sic] for the great event that is soon to take place. I suppose that you will all have a great time. You will have to make up lots of nice cakes and things for the occation [sic] but I am so far away that don't expect to get a taste of any of the good things. I would like very much to be at home with you this summer but it is out of the question

page image

so I must not think about it at present. I hope I shall be able to come some time. We shall have to wait until we get a little more money. It seems that you have got a new buggy. I hope you will take your comfort riding in it. You have got them great girls home there let them work and you take your ease by and by they will run off and leave you get all you can out of them while they are at home they are great strong cretures [sic] and able to do lots of work. Harriet seems to think it quite Missionary work to teach school in Ponsett. I suppose she thinks it a sort of heathens. I hope she will teach them something. I suppose that Electa is at New Britian [sic] at school yet she seems to have the best time of any of us. I think I ought to go to school a little more. We learn that Julia is in Cincinnati selling sewing machines. I expect she will fetch around home after a while. I guess as soon as she gets money enough. I should think she would be almost tired of roving. I hope some of you will come and see us some time. I shall look for you and Father by and by if you live in a few years you will have nothing to do but go around and visit your children. I expect that we shall have to work pretty hard for some time to come to get along and make everything straight. We can't seem to get anything but what

page image

we have to work hard for but if we have our health we shall get along. We have about 20 acres planted mostly corn, some potatoes, some buck wheat turnips and plenty of garden vegetables. We sowed some wheat but the wheat crop is an entire failure in this part of the country. Corn and other plants and potatoes look very well. I sowed the flower seeds you sent me but the weather was so wet and cold that many of them did not grow some of them are now in bloom and look very pretty. The cranberry seeds did not grow. I have not sown the fennel seed yet. I do not know when is the best time to sow it. I sowed some caraway seed in the spring but it did not come up.

Helen goes to school and seems to like it very well. Phillie is busy at play the most of the time is never still except when asleep. He is getting to be quite a large strong boy. We have preaching and Sabbath School nearly every Sabbath in the school house we go and take the children along with us. There is also preaching at the Ferry and sometimes we go down there so you see that we are getting to be a little civilized. Otoe City is building up some it looks quite different from what it did when we landed there. They have now a Printing Press there and are going to publish a Paper. The town

page image

site is entered and another Company have taken hold of it and are going to build it up. Times are very hard and money very scarce. We are getting along as usual. Father Sim is still with us his health is very good. Mr. Sim's health is very good this summer he has a plenty of work to do. We have no help but grandpa and we have to be very busy. My love to you all. It is time to get supper so I must leave off writing. I mean this to all. Write soon.

Your affec Daughter


Enclosed I send you some flowers and leaves the largest is a cottonwood leaf the next is a leaf from our largest apple tree the other is from a peach tree. The flowers are wild ones, they are somewhat faded.

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Sarah Sim to Mother
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Nebraska State Historical Society, Sim Family, RG3435, Box 1, Folder 1
  • Date: July 15, 1858