Letter from John C. Clark (Willis) to Wealthy A. Hathaway, January 30, 1880

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.

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Dear Sister Wealthy

Have been here 2 days. Wrote Margaret yesterday as to Sarah's condition, but perhaps my letter to her does not give sufficient information and at the risk of becoming prolix I write to you. I came here in a cold storm, but it has today cleared off but the ground is covered with ice & sleet so it is almost impossible to travel untill [sic] it thaws. I shall leave, soon as I can as imperative business calls me back to Falls City Neb 50 miles south of here. Sarah has been confined to bed constantly since Thanksgiving. Her right breast is enlarged to nearly the size of a lady's head and is as hard. A tumor or outgrowth from the lower right side as large as my fist and 3 smaller ones, 2 of which have opened on the upper part. Ocasionally [sic] she is taken with bleeding from the large tumors which weakens her greatly and great care is exercised in dressing the breast to prevent bleeding. She is able to lay only in one position and is only out of bed once in 24 hours long enough to have the bed arranged. Dr. Campbell of Neb. City prescribes but visits her only at intervals of several days. They have a good nurse and house keeper at present - who is however to leave tomorrow to fill

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another engagement. Sim will get another soon as possible, such persons are scarce and hard to get. Sim takes some encouragement from the Doctor who thinks his treatment will help her but through Sarah's delicacy treatment has been too long delayed and it was on that account I urged so hard for one of her sisters to visit her last fall. I knew then little of her situation except from her gait & countenance. She is now very loth [sic] to have me report to you her true condition. I have little in fact no hope of her recovery. Sim thinks unless she improves, she can not last to exceed 3 months. Sim's farming has been profitable this year and they have an abundance, and are all in health except this great distress and impending shadow of death. Sarah can not now go east or west. She has little strenght [sic] and little appetite, that has failed in the last few days. She has fruit oysters and everything to tempt the appetite and vary her diet. Sim and her children show all the care and kindness possible. Her mind is tranquil and peaceful and seems resigned to the inevitable. What more to say, what more to report I know not. I hope to be able to return to West Covington in 2 or three weeks. I flit here and there, and have some cares, and some sever trials. Ought I to say more? I will close by sending you my love to you and all our friends in Conn.

Your Brother
John W. Clark

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John C. Clark (Willis) to Wealthy A. Hathaway
  • Extent: 2 pages
  • Citation: Nebraska State Historical Society, Sim Family, RG3435, Box 1, Folder 1
  • Date: January 30, 1880