Letter from Wealthy A. Hathaway to Husband, April 17, 1880

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.

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Dear Husband:

We sent postal of Aunt Sarah's death last Sunday. For two days before, she suffered very much, but through Sunday lay more quiet & said but little. She knew the children at 11 o clock, and may have known us after that because she always opened her mouth to take wine and teas from the spoon even to the last, and I think was concious [sic] . Willis said Sarah Sarah to her 1/2 an hour before the last and she answered "What." She went without the faintest struggle as quiet as an infant goes to sleep. Mrs. Lee & Mrs. Lyon assisted me in preparing her for burial. I had her black watered silk made for her, and went to Neb. City & helped Mr. S. select the other things, and she looked very nice & natural not a spot but as fair as a lily when we laid her away. The

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boys & Mr. S. were so glad I bout the black silk on her. She just looked sleeping & so she is sleeping in Jesus. His name was often on her lips in the last few days. Mr. Creseman the minister was sick so we had Mr. Thompson Congregational from Neb. City, about 45 years old. We liked him very much. We had a terrible wind storm that day. We buried her Tuesday & he said he never took such a dreadful ride in his life. Others came as far, but some could not come it was so bad. They never had such a dry spring. Such winds & no rain. The crops will not do well if it does not come soon. Well, Willis staied [sic] till Wednesday morning after telling me the way to Will's, & said he would engage this place for us to stay over night. It is where he usually stops. I went to housecleaning & setting things to rights looking over all Sarah's things & arranging clothes. Mr. S. told me to take anything I wanted. She had not many dresses I cared for, but I have underclothes & calico dresses. The rest I packed away. I took nothing which the family could make use of. I cleaned

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the two front rooms & our room & closet, and went over the farm some. Mr. Sim, Charley, Genie & I were with Mrs. Lee to tea Thursday evening, & Friday morning at 1/4 of 10 William Genie & I left in the light-spring waggon [sic] with all our baggage. Mrs. Baker will be there till the 1st of May to finish cleaning etc. Then her husband wants her in the City & I cannot tell who they will have. Mr. S. things they can bachelor it, but the boys think they will have a very lonesome time of it & look forward with gloom to the summer. They do so wish Genie could stay & then Annie come out in vacation. They would make it just as nice as they could for them. Genie has been a great comfort to them since she has been here & strange to say she likes it here and almost wants to stay & is getting over wanting to teach. The country is getting to look pretty fruit trees are budded grass in some places green fall wheat fields beautiful. Yesterday was a lovely day and we had a delightful ride of 30 miles over a beautiful Country which surpasses

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my powers to describe. I will tell more when I get home blackbirds & meadow larks made field & timbers vocal with their music. We got pretty well sunburned although that umbrella of mine did good service. The carriage was not large enough for trunk & bag, & we would have to send them way round by Lincoln by express so I thought it best to take the other waggon [sic] . It was easy & I am real well this morning. It is now 7 A.M. We have had breakfast & the rest are looking from the window & say Willis is coming so he will go with us the rest of the way today to Wills about 30 miles. It is more windy than yesterday but pleasant. Willis staid about 4 miles from here last night, & he says he is going on with us now. We start in a few minutes & I will put this in the Office at Falls City, the only place there is between here & Wills. I can not tell how long we shall stay there a week or more. I expect we will find letters at Falls City as I sent word to Postmaster at Neb. City to send our mail there. We have had spring since last Tuesday. Tell Mother to cheer up. Sarah is better off from here. Write to us just how long to stay, by hurrying we could get home in time for Genie to teach. Likely we will not though.

Love to all


About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Wealthy A. Hathaway to Husband
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Nebraska State Historical Society, Sim Family, RG3435, Box 1, Folder 1
  • Date: April 17, 1880