Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel B. Reed, January 2, 1860

In this letter from January 2, 1860, John R. Boyle writes to Samuel Reed from Iowa City, Iowa discussing the difficulty he is having finding profitable employment in the railroad business. He states that his brother in Massachusetts wrote him that the railroad company there "is very timid in letting their road [as] money is more scarce south than it has been." He writes that he does not believe very much of the road he is currently working on will be built the next summer, and states "I don't hear of a road to be let any place in the country."

Saml B Reed Esq

Dear Sir

Yours of Dec 26th has been duly received. And in return would say I am proud to know you are well. I spent Christmas at home. My family are all well. Robert is preparing to go to the college at Davenport.

I have not heard a word from R. Gardner since I seen you last. But I am satisfied if he gets anything to do that he will divide with us. I had a letter from my brother in Ma a few days ago; he says the co is very timid in letting their road money is more scarce south than it has been, and they don't wish to let until they see their way through, but he says he has got the promises of the road for me from the President. I am on the look out for something; hard getting anything to do just now I missed it very much that I did not take the first work of the Co instead of doing it by the day for the Co. I would have made over 4000 dollars on it. I now have four miles of light work. Cannot make it proffitable [sic] working this winter the frost being in so deep. Mr. Farnam is not in the contract with Durant. Thos C Durant seems to be the man. Mr. Farnam I am inclined to think wants to get out of the concern.

It is my opinion the road won't do much or there will not be much much of the road built next summer. The last letting was 12 miles not as far as Homested [sic] . I join D. Carmishad there is 8 or 10 miles from Homested [sic] to Marengo. We were to have it done by the 15th of January 1860, but it cannot be done sooner than spring. With regard to Cook and Sergeant's Florence money I think they are not as poor as they pretend to be. They have a great many acres of land that they want to get rid of. I paid out several thousands of dollars to my men in Florence. Dauney redeemed it all. Times here are very brisk and good among the farmers they got as high as 490 gross for pork and corn is from 20 to 29 & everything else in proportion. Write soon. Rastus is well he takes charge of a gang of men and he is very attentive and industrious does mostly as I wish him to do there is no more boy about him and I think won't be. His desire to be a R Road man I think is very great. I don't hear of a road to be let any place in the country.

Yours Very Respectfully
John R. Boyle

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel B. Reed
  • Extent: 3 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 25
  • Date: January 2, 1860