Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel B. Reed, July 30, 1863

In this letter from July 30, 1863, John R. Boyle writes to Samuel Reed discussing his progress constructing the rail line in Washington, Iowa. He notes that he has "about 14 men on my 12 miles," but has trouble finding men to work despite the high pay. Boyle states that he will be finished with his present work by the first of October "if they don't take all my men away," and asks Reed to give him "timely notice" if he decides to extend a portion of the railroad.

Washington Iowa

Saml B Reed Esqr
Burlington Iowa
Dear Sir

Yours of July 21st has been recieved [sic] after a long time and hard travel a semi weekly mail to Nevada, which makes it very bad I think I will not get down until you get ready to let the road west. I think I will be through with my present work by the 1st of Octo if they don't take all my men away. I have about 14 men on my 12 miles. It is my opinion all those Iowa roads into [be] til this fall I am inclined to think it will be unhealthy under the bluffs on that bottom if you let the road please give me timely notice. I am pretty [well] prepared to do work now See over. Prices has to be very good to do work now men $1.25 and cannot get half what you want even at that and they work about 3 or 4 days in a week. Could get just as many men for $1.00 per day. My health is rather poor. My liver is is [sic] out of order. We are also proud to hear from your Mrs. Reed and the children. There has not a drop of rain fallen on my farm for nine weeks so says Charly. Please write frequently to Nevada.

Yours Truly
John R. Boyle

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel B. Reed
  • Extent: 2 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 30
  • Date: July 30, 1863