Letter from Francis and Sarah Sim to Mother and Father, February 5, 1860

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.

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Dear Father & Mother

Your kind letter dated Dec. 25 is received and was happy to hear from you, but should feel much better could we be with you and make you all a good visit, but I suppose we shall have to content our selves a while longer before we can think of doing so. I am thankful to kind providence for the prosperity attending our very hard labours in this new country where we have had everything to do in order to make our farm. On one hand we have been successful, and on the other hand we have been very unforchnet [sic] our losses as [sic] been very hard to us, and as [sic] made us feel it very much. Every cent as [sic] been put to its express use, but we no [sic] live in hope that after a few years more hard work we shall get over the worst of it. It is true at this time we have a plenty to eat. We are blessed with abundance our crops are good. We have a plenty of pork killed two hogs a few days since one hog was 405 lbs and the other 360 lbs and we have four large ones more to bucher [sic] yet.

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We shall salt it all down and sell next summer when it will make a good prise [sic] pork by the hog as [sic] been selling at 4 & 5 this winter and corn @ 25 bushel. Wheat 50 bushel. I have not sold any since last fall then I sold four 400 lbs @ 6 1/2 & 7 per lb. My corn and pork and potatoes I shall not sell on till the spring. Then it will sell at a good price I hope. A great many people are bound for the gold diggens [sic] at Pikes Peak and other points at the gold field. Some settlers are comeing [sic] in to this part of Nebraska. We have a good Country here and it is very good. Next spring if all be well I shall plant about sixty acres and over. I am bound to have a big part planted and see if we cannot make some money in Nebraska. I think you are better to come out here next spring. I should like to have you and Ma come you will never come any younger. You can come most all the way by Railroad and the ballance [sic] by steam boat. I have that Land in Iowa yet. With regard to my lots in the City if you wish to make a speculation? I will sell them to you cheep for cash, or will make a trade with you for some of your Land in Iowa or Kansas and give you a quit claim deed.

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for the last three months the times as [sic] been very dull and not much doing. Willis located some land about two miles from my place last summer near the Missouri river. Willis located some of the very best land when out here last. About ten miles west of Nebraska City. Dear Father, we are well and hope this will find you much the same. Our love to you all at home. Tell Daniel he should write us. I think [unclear] Clark has done much as one might expect him to do. Where is Aunt Julia and Uncle Tom at this time. Write us again soon. I Remain yours Truly

Francis Sim

Dear Parents

As Francis has not quite filled the sheet I will write a little. I suppose he has written nearly all the news. This is like old Haddam is rather a dull place in winter not much going on that is very interesting to write about. It takes us a great part of our time to do chores. I am generaly [sic] draging [sic] about house from morning till night. These cold short days it takes me Helen sends her love to Aunt Josephine and Cate.

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about all the time to do the house work and take care of the baby. She is getting teeth and is rather worrisome. She creeps and gets up by the chairs and is getting to be very mischieveous [sic] and it is a good deal to take care of her. Helen and Philly are roughing about and cutting up all kinds of capers. I wish we had a school for them to go to so that I might have a little peace a part of the time for I cannot have a quiet hour from the time they get up in the morning until they are asleep at night. Helen is a dreadfull [sic] romping girl however she is a good deal of help sometimes but I want to have her go to school and be learning her book. She can read in the testament some and if she could go to school I think she would learn very well. You spoke of our coming east next summer. I don't see that it is possible for us to do so. I should like to come and see you all but under our present circumstances I cannot expect to do so. I think you are better able to come to see us. You say you have nobody to keep house while you are absent. Who do you think is going to keep our house and take care of our things while we are gone? From present appearances I think we shall have to wait a little longer until we can raise some money and get our farm better fixed so that we can leave it for a season. I hope we shall be able to come and see you in a couple of years. I got a letter from Julia the other day she says she wants to go east next summer. It would be very nice if we could all go together. Grandpa sends his love to you and would be very glad to see you he is very well and is able to use his saw and do a good many other things. He makes himself very usefull [sic] but I perceive old age is fast creeping upon him although he is a great deal better than many of his age.

My love to you all, your affect. daughter

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Francis and Sarah Sim to Mother and Father
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Nebraska State Historical Society, Sim Family, RG3435, Box 1, Folder 1
  • Date: February 5, 1860