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Letters to Family

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These are various letters I found among my grandmother's genealogy files. The included transcripts are my best attempt at deciphering the handwriting. Click on the letters to see larger versions of the images.

letters to family
Est. March 7, 1860. Letter from Minerva Johnson to Malvina Lafluer.


Absent children after waiting till I am tired--and sending to the office till I am weary I have come to the conclusion that you care but [very] little or nothing about your Mother if I had a dog for a Mother and it could read I would write once a while--not one word has Charles or any of us heard since Vina was here C came home last Friday and [stayed] till [Tuesday] Malvina I had no visit with you at all for I could not tell you half I wanted to--and as for you Joseph I half expected and looked for you till I have now given up the Idea of seeing you till I come out there--the talk is now--that if I hold together till C comes home that he and I are coming to Burke the school terminates, three weeks from last Tuesday this is Friday the 7th of March--the letter that I wrote last to you--which you never received I have at last found that the person that I sent it by to the office had the Impudence to open it and never took it there at all O I can tell you lots when I see you--the next week after you was here [Vina?] my bloat went down and I could work like a bee and felt happy to think could work with some east bit it did not last long and Olive had to quit her school and come home, Agnes is as fat as a pig--this certain person that unsealed my letter has been as kind to me since as I could as--when I see you I will tell you the contents of the letter--write soon as you get this--in haste

September 10, 1864. Letter from Joseph Lafluer to Samantha Lafluer.


Hart island Sept 10th 1864

Dear wife

I am quite well this morning, I received thirty three dollars & thirty cents of the government bounty & I [enclosed] fourty dollars in a letter last night & sent it this morning by Patrick Shield he is to leave it in the Bank of malone & you can get it any time when you want it. it is directed to Miss Joseph Lafluer the 2. take good care of this letter for you may have to let the banker see it perhaps you may want to leave it in the bank for safe keeping till you want to use it. I saw [Albert?] [Norse?] this morning he was well put your trust in god dear wife and he will take care of you live religion every day remember me in your prayer though I am [surrounded] with [wicked] men I enjoy my mind well the Lord is my Shepherd & I am his. see that the team is not used by any body in the mud. see that the wagon be kept un-der cover I would be glad to hear from you but it is no use for you to [write] to me till you hear from me again for I [expect] leave this place today give my respects to all the folks So good [bye]

Joseph Lafluer
yours ever truly

April 15, 1865. Letter from Joseph Lafluer to Samantha Lafluer.


Suffolk Apr 15th 1865 Wednesday

My Dearest wife
this may inform you that I am yet alive and well and it is very healthy around here generally. I came in from pickit yesterday morning and I have got to go to the colonels head quarters on guard to day. o how thankful I am to think that I am able to do my duty the clerk comes in every morning to see if there is any one that wants to go to sick call, but I have never been to a sick call yet. Thank the good lord for it, and how thankful I am to hear that my family has got along as well as they have since I left them I suppose you have heard that the president of the united states has been murdered before this time most every loyal man is mourning on the account of his death, but he lived long enough to see the rebellion nearly all put down, and slavery put out of existence. I am glad for that. I may not get home quite as soon on that account, but I don't know as it will make much differe-nce as the vice president [seems] to be going right on with the busi-ness. I don't know as you could do any better with the money than to hire it out where you did you said that you [were going] to [raise] the old cows calf but it would be my mind to kill it as we may have to be moving next winter and will not have much to feed it perhaps you can get a young pig to use up the milk and it will be worth more next fall. you said that you had got the [fence] fixed across the pasture but all the fence you need to move and build was that near the house and barn for the pasture all belongs to us and quite a [stretch] on [?] side but I do not expect to get the use of it unless it is that near the road but if he wants the garden let him use it I mean that near his well. I got a letter from father and he said if you wanted some jobs done he would try and help you if he is able I hope he is well but I do not think it will be convenient for him to help you much but I hope you can get some one to plow your garden in good season so you can make it at your [leisure] perhaps you can get the rest of the plow land plowed sometime about the latter part of May and have it sowed to oats or black [sea] wheat. I am in hopes I can get home time enough to do the haying but I may be disappointed how does your sheep look this spring you never say any thing about them but no matter, how does Rosey and Ephraim get along I hope they are well any how, and I hope you are all well have you turned out the horses yet or not well you must turn them out as soon as you think it will do. if they should run down some they will soon pick up their crumbs again when the grass gets good but you must take good care of your cows how are your cows doing now I hope you will write often as you can and I will do the same be [patient] the time [will] soon pass away trust in [the] Lord always for in him is our strength I have some very good times here talking with some Christian people and with some ungod-ly men the Lord helps me all the time may he guide and direct us all by his spirit

I remain your affectionate husband
Joseph Lafluer

March 28, 1877. Letter from Charles W. Johnson to Olive Lafluer.


Mr Charles Johnson
Brasher Falls
Mch. 28th 1877

My Dear Friend
Olive Lafluer
I thought I would take a little time this eve, and answer your kind favor I recd. a some time since but have been so busy in closing up school and one thing and another I have not had time to answer I was glad to hear you had a school for I was fearful you would be bothered to get a school I hear a good report of you from your school and I expect to hear more that will be gratifying in the future if you continue to work at your trade I think you will have no more bother about school I never applied for but one school and that was the first one I taught. The old saying is get your name up and then you can lay to bed until noon but teachers must be careful and not lay abed before they get their name up. We are all quite well at present Jennie is three years old today she is quite well now but she has had a bad cough Mattie is well and getting as fat as a little pig Mother has not been very well this winter but is quite comfortable for her I and all the friends would be glad to have you come up and see us this spring if you cannot you must come up when your school closes Our folks are talking some about putting up a cheese factory so we will get [?] of making butter & taking care of our own milk Aunt Olive and her two children were out last week and made us a visit she would have been glad to of had you come out and taught their school this summer and boarded with her but she was not master or she would have had you You tell your father I have not sent those papers yet but I have them all save I will send them by mail if he says so but I can keep them until May when I pay the interest money then I can hand them over and not run any risk. When you write let me know which I [shall] do Write soon and let us know how you all do and when you commence your school

all send love [Good] bye C. W. Johnson

July 11, 1879. Letter from Charles W. Johnson to Olive Lafluer.


Brasher Falls
July 11th 1879

My Dear Olive
I have been trying to get time to write you for some days but now I am seated for a few mom-ents so I will tell you as long a story as I can in a short time I am at work in the cheese factory on Maple Ridge and this is where I am now I like my work well only I am obliged to keep myself here most of the time somedays and all I go home after and see the folks but have to be here very early in the morning I wish you could come up and make out your visit and stay a while with Aunt Mary Grand Ma has been very sick this spring but she is some better than she was but she [doesn't] think she will ever get over it she was out of her head for a long time and now by spells she is not right Bothers her to talk and very often we cannot make out what she wants to say Mattie and Jennie are going to school and little Hattie is as fat as ever so much so that she does not walk yet My health is good never better think it agrees with me to make cheese Tell your Mother if she was here I would give her a nice piece of cheese and then I know your Father and you all would have some How do you all do let me know This is the first letter I have written since I came to the factory but one and that was very short I don't know as you or I can make this out I have made such hast Now I want to know if you are in need of the $50 dollars or had you as leave let me pay you the interest on it I want to use the money for I find that money is [?] and comes rather slow now on cheese and I agreed not to trouble Mr. [?] for money as he is using all he can get fitting up Eleven factories Let me know and when you write let me know how you all do and what you are all about now I must close and weigh milk a while

In love C W Johnson

January 6, 1882. Letter from Alva Coburn to O. J. and Sarah Baker.


Hesperia Mich
Jan 6 1882. A. D.

Dear Brother and Sister Jake and Sarah as I have a little time I will answer your letter I am to work for Aunt Libby now She is getting ready to move in her New House She has over Four Hired Men and Three Hired Women. I have lots of fun with the Hired Girls you bet. I am at Dells to day an go-ing back to Aunt Libbys to Morrow Dells folks are all well but Car-roll. She has got Three big Soars on her legs. every body Says they look like Rose Cansors one of them is as large as the top if a Tea Cup and is Raw they are Burning them out with Castic. the Doctor says it is caused by the Medicine she is taking Aunt Libby's folks are all well I was at Ab Altons Wm [Kimies?] and Charly Moles this week they are all well. I didn't See Charly. he is to work in the woods Kit Says She is a going Home next week but it has been next week all Winter I dont know whether She is agoing at all or not. I expect She will go where Jerome Benjamine goes. there was a bear killed up here last week north of Hesperia. he was a little fellow. I havent Seen any thing big-er than a Red Squirl Since I came up here. Well Jake I am glad you are making Some Money. I havent mad much Since I came up here. I have made about $1500 Since I came here that is more than I would of made down there and I have had lots of fun to every boddy told me I would find no Girls up here but I have found lots of them all ready. Well I must close for Dell is waiting on me Good by Write again. Kiss all the Children for me from your Brother Alva

August 7, 1909. Post Card from Ersie Phelps to Cecil Phelps.


From Ersie Phelps

Happy return of the day.

September 25, 1909. Post Card from Catherine Bowers to Lillie Sheets.


I like to see you come down when you can

Hellow Lillie. How are you from your Mother. So good by. Write soon

March 11, 1910. Post Card from Lillie Sheets to Emma Clayberger.


March 11, 1910

Dear Emma

I haven' got time to write a letter just now for I have so much to tell you. I have to iron yesterday. Amsy was 35 years yesterday. I feel better than I did Saturday. Emma, he is only going to work here a bout 3 weeks longer and just as soon as we get settled down I want you to come home and stay a while. Any way [Marrion?] is getting worse all the time. He can't hardly speak out of a whisper and can't raise his self up. He can't last long. Good by. I write soon as I can. Send me Charley's address for I have a card for him.

March 14, 1910. Post Card to Warren Hinks.


Warren - I am not sure of Miss Sholes address but when I wrote sent it to Earlville, N.Y. I never received a reply, how ever, so she may not have gotten it. Hope you will find her. Better come to [Burke] and get some maple sugar.


December 9, 1913. Letter from Christopher T. Phelps to Morgan Phelps.


Dec 9 #1913
Akron O.

Dear Father and Grandpa
I take the pleasure to write you a few lines to let you know that we are well and hope you are the same. Well Father What are you doing this Winter work is scarce up here now but will pick up in a little while. I have got a good job I work all night time 5 nights a wk. I am sending you the baby pictures how do you think she grows she put her hand on the side of the stove and Burnt the inside of her hand. she can walk every where and talk some. Well how is every body down there tell them I said hellow. in the spring I want to get a bigger house and a big Yard so I can have some chickens eggs are .50¢ per doz up here and some places they are .55¢ per doz what do you think of that. Well we had a snow up here last sunday and it got good and cold up here Well when I get moved in my new house I want you to come up and see me and stay a wk or 2 wk you can just as well as not Cecil is going to school every day and he get a good report at school Well I gess I will have to close for this time hoping to hear from you soon

So good by ans soon
From Your Son Daughter and Granddaughter
To our Father and Grandpa

My address is
Mr. C. T. Phelps
11 East Cedar St

July 12, 1921. Letter from T. P. Griffith to Amos E. Hinks.


Richville July 12 -1921

Dear friend Amos
your good and interesting letter received we were very glad to hear from you and to know how you have succeeded in your work we often have talked of you and wondered where you have been since you left college we received a card from you when in school but think I never answered it. since you were here our oldest son has gone to his large house he died in San Francisco on his way home had been president of a college in Honolulu 20 years had worked himself to death as that was his trouble over work and heart troubles Then the second son lives in Brooklyn N.Y. works for the Vaceum oil company has a good position they have sent him abroad two years in succession on business for the company his wife went with him both trips David the youngest son lives in Massena is manager of a theatre there a very good position is married and has two nice children a boy and a girl we are very proud of them Sorry to hear of the death of your Father it is nice that your mother can be with you [?] of you to have her and take care of her my boys are very good to me and of their Father too he is not very well he is getting along in years will be 80 the last of October he is not able to do any work to amount to anything we celebrated our golden wedding two years ago + will send you the clipping out of the paper We are glad that you remember all the things you mention in your letter the little red headed boy next door is in business for himself now calls once in a while when going through here is married and has a family of his own

I hope Amos you have made a good choice and that she will be the joy to your mother that my three daughters in law are to me + love them all if you are ever near hear hope you won't miss seeing us and we are as glad you have had your college education and that you have a good job remember us to your mother and lots of good wishes for yourself

very sincerely your friends
mr + mrs T P Griffith
Hope to hear from you again soon

March 12, 1924. Letter from Amos E. Hinks to Mildred Frank.


Room 517 YMCA
Johnstown Pa
March 12, 1924

Dear Friend,

Am back in Johnstown again, just where I was a week ago. My trip back to Indiana to which I had looked foward to for so long has become a reality and the only think I didn't like about it was the having to come back so soon. The reason I had such a good time all the time was that every day from Friday to Sunday had something to look forward to, and you could hardly blame me for feeling a little downhearted when I left you in Waterloo, realizing that it was the end of the things I had looked forward to for so long.

I rode into Ft. Wayne with a rather important personage, a Mr. Hogg who is going to try for Congressman against Congressman Fairfield. He took me to the First Baptist Church in Ft. Wayne where a pageant was scheduled at 8:00 o'clock and we got there just in time. It was the best pageant I ever saw. It was supposed to have been put on once in Japan and once before in this country, in Boston.

I was very glad I had a chance to see your little sister Martha. I certainly think she is a dear little girl and I am sure I will not forget how beautifully she sang. She wrote her name in my banquet book and I am going to write her a letter before long. If there is anything I could get for her to sing, sheet music etc, here in Johnstown that they would not have in Auburn, I would be glad to send it to her.

I have been wondering how those four character sketches have been coming on. Ha! That sure was tough luck Mildred. I suppose this term will be completely finished by the time you get this, and you can forget your studies for a couple of days and relax a little.

One of my boy friends and I sent for a radio set with four tubes and loud speaker. We are planning on getting a room here at the "Y" together. Then we can go almost anywhere by staying at home in our room. Watcha know bout that?

Would like to be in Angola next term to substitute for your friend who is leaving. Whatcha know about that too?


September 19, 1924. Letter from Mr. Soriano to Mildred Frank.


529 Sales, Manila, P.I.
Sept. 19, 1924

Dear Mildred,

I have been exceedingly glad to hear from you and I am writing you right away in appreciation of your good wishes. So you think I have forgotten the good old U.S.A? Well, you are certainly mistaken if you think that way, be-cause I have been always think-ing of the many happy days I enjoyed while there. At the present time I am planning of going back next year and if nothing unusual happens I expect to leave next March. A friend of mine is going with me and he will go to T.S.C.

Indeed you have had a pretty bad "scares" especially the electrical shock. Anybody who might have such an ac-cident will certainly be scared but I congratulate you for being so brave as to stand immediately after you fell to the floor. However, I hope you have fully recovered by this time. I know God is mercyful and He will surely save you. I would not have known what to do if I would hear that such an accident has happened to you.

So you are teaching school again this Fall. I hope you will enjoy your stay in Ohio, but if all the hap-piness which surrounds you one favor I wish to make - please don't forget an old friend in a far away land.

It has been over a year since I return here in the Islands and I have occupied two or three different positions. At present I am connected with the Manila Electric Co. operated by J. G. White Engineering Corporation of New York City. This is the largest concern of its kind in the Philippines. We furnish light, power and trans-portation to the city and neighboring towns. At present we are increasing the capacity of the plant. It is the eighth extension. We have to construct four more additional sub-stations.

Well, this is not a long letter as I wish to write but I have been working hard today and I am very tired and rather shakey so if this letter appears scratchy to you you know the reason why? I must close hoping to hear from you again.

Till then,
H. H. Soriano

April 18, 1927. Letter from Mildred Hinks to Amos E. Hinks.


Apr. 18, 1927

My Dearest Amos,

I fully intended to do my letter writing last night but had too much company so will try to do so this A.M. before the mail man comes. Dr. was here yesterday morning before I had time to get the house cleaned up. Guess he's used to that though. The kids went to S.S. and church so gave me a little time to work. I asked Dr. how long I'd have to stay and he said, Anywhere from a few days to a few weeks so I can't tell when I'll be back but I don't believe it will be so very long. While I'm glad to stay here as long as I'm needed, I sure am ready to come home to my sweet heart. While I'm working all day, I don't think much about it, but when night comes, then I'm terribly lonesome & homesick. I was glad that we had company yesterday for I'd have not known what to do with myself. It was really too hard on momma to have so many in though. She was awfully tired last night. She rested well though and feels some better this A.M.

Uncle John, Momma's brother was here awhile. Aunt Matie came over for a few minutes. An old friend of momma's came also. Then Elva came to see me. You've heard me speak of Elva, haven't you? I was glad to see her. Had quite a nice visit.

Don't worry about me dearie, I'm feeling fine, even though I do have plenty to do. The boys help me with carrying water, etc. I didn't try to wash today for it's too rainy. Really need the clothes, but guess I'll wait until tomorrow.

Well sweet heart, the mail man is due now so must close. Must get dinner too. Was so glad to get your letter honey. It helped a lot.

Oceans of love,

January 9, 1928. Letter from Charles W. Clayberger to Charles G. Clayberger.


Allentown, PA. Jan 9, 1928

Dear son Chas. + family just a line to sent you a news paper clipping of what the old Civil War Vets did. The two G.A.R. Posts had a Public Installation with all our friends as guests, etc. Ma, Graul (Thomas Graul Clayberger) + family were present to see the old man installed as Commander of Yeager Post no 13, and Emmanual L. Reinheart Commander of Young Post 87, G.A.R. Had a grand good time fine speeches, etc. then a grand dinner. Beef roast with all the trimmings, etc. We all had our relations present as guests and all free to us no expenses. The ladies Lodge of the G.A.R. did it all. Well the severe cold spell is over. We now have milder weather again. Hope you all enjoyed your xmas + N.Y. (New Year). I was sick over xmas. Had a spell of indigesting. Am better on N.Y. Ma too is some better. The severe cold was against us. Best wishes to all, your dad C.W.C.

PS Chas. you failed to write and do as you promised. Consider.

March 28, 1932. Letter from Mildred Hinks to Amos E. Hinks.


Monday P.M.

My Darling,

Have to go to the Dr's this P.M. but will try to write before I go. Mrs. H. is coming over to stay with the kids.

Ann is better. Let her get up yesterday. And is she cantankerous! Doesn't feel well enough yet, I guess.

I am a great deal better but I think there's still room for improvement.

Was home all day yesterday. Deloss & Florence dropped in a few minutes at supper time.

Auntie & George came over after supper. Mike, George and Bill played marbles, while we talked. They left about 9:30. We washed dishes and then listed to Chevrolet program. Read a little and went to bed.

Russell Orr called me this A.M. We had quite a long chat. He called to see if reports were true that you had gone. (So maybe I'll have a caller now, Ha!) He said he'd take me to S.S. next Sunday if I wanted to go. Will go if I get the family well enough. He considered it a pretty good joke when I told him that the shop thought you'd do more work if I weren't along.

I surely be glad when you get back. The responsibility along is almost too much, especially if I have another week like last. Don't believe I will though. I need a bed fellow too, if it continues to be so cold. Bill isn't so hot. Ha! He wakes up in the A.M. and won't let me sleep then tickles me or throws the covers.

Well this isn't such a long letter but at least you know we are better.

Must hike to town now.
Heaps of love,

December 7, 1933. Card from Mary Jane Clayberger to Thelma Stuiber.

It appears that someone probably soaked off the stamp to add to their stamp collection.

January 8, 1935. Card from Sherman Clayberger to Thelma Stuiber.

The return address is for the U.S.S. Wickes operating out of San Diego, but the card is for the U.S.S. John D. Ford deployed to China. It is very likely Sherman Clayberger was in the process of transfering from one ship to the other at the time he sent this card.

November 20, 1988. Letter from Thelma Sadler to Raymond Clayberger.


Nov 20

Dear Ray

Just to let you know I'm in Hospital. Had a stroke last Sunday on the 13th on right side -- writing on left hand. Arm was useless a few days -- can lift some but no strength. Leg is not so bad but can't stand on it yet but will get better.

Getting test tomorrow see if some thing can be done. Won't know for days. I'll keep in touch.


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