Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel B. Reed, October 29, 1860

In this letter from October 29, 1860, John R. Boyle writes to Samuel Reed discussing his search for railroad employment. He states that they missed out on a contract in Oskaloosa, Iowa, but he remains determined to find work in that area as he believes "there is nothing to be made in this western country now as there is too much competition in the way of RRoading." He notes that there has been much "log rolling" with regard to a 70 mile extension of the Cedar Rapids road, and also tells Reed he is worried he may lose some money on his present work in Washington , Iowa.

Washington Iowa

Saml B Reed Esqr
Dear Sir

I would have wrote to you before this; but was waiting to hear something about the Cos next opperations [sic] , but I am still in the dark, and I think the majority of people connected with the road is so.

We missed a contract I think at Oskaloosa by not knowing anything of it. I heard of it when too late. I went there but this work was let to a man by the name of Smith of Greenfield Mass. (He is poor.) The engineer done it for him. I think I will go down again this winter. I am determined to get something to do in that country. It is the country to do work in. There is nothing to be made in this western country now as there is too much competition in the way of RRoading. I think I am going to loose [sic] a little on my present work. I will if the approximate does not hold out. I will finish up this work.

They are talking of letting on the Cedar Rapids Road 70 miles but they say there is a great deal of log rolling amongst the directors president [&n]. I am just come home today to draw money out of where it was earning me something to pay off my hands as pay day will not come before the 18th of Nov.

Let me hear from you on receipt of this; have you heard any news about work from any source. We are getting beautiful weather here but business is a little dull. My wife & self join in love and kind regards to you and Mrs. Reed. My wife wishes to know if Mrs. Reed and Annie got home safe and well.

I am sorry I was not able to be at home when Mrs. Reed was here and that her visit with us was so short. Good by [sic] dear Ffriend.

Yours Very Respectfully
John R. Boyle

Please think of those "potatoes." J R B

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 26
  • Date: October 29, 1860