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Letter: James Mathews to Prudence Hart, Feb 1877

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 26 Feb 1877 to 26 Feb 1877
Location: Knoxville, Iowa, United Statesmap
Surname/tag: Letter
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Knoxville, Iowa.
Feb. 26, 1877

Mrs. Prudence Hart,
Wellsville, Ohio.

My Dear Cousin:

Your welcome letter of the 7th inst. came duly to hand but have been unable to answer till today. Though it is a good many years since we visited you, my recollection of you and your family as it then was is quite vivid, and rest assured we were exceedingly glad to hear from you, and gain the information you gave about your children, our Uncle William, etc. I wrote to, and had a letter from cousin Samuel about four years ago. Also wrote him about a month ago, but to that letter, I have received no answer. I have also corresponded considerably with Rev. Alexander Clark, though not within two or three years past. I believe he now lives as he did when we were corresponding in Pittsburgh, or Allegheny city. I should be quick glad to hear again from your brother, Samuel, and hope he may yet write me. We removed from Coshocton, Ohio, to this town 22 years ago, this spring. We have a splendid country though the town improved quite slowly until about 18 months ago we got a railroad here (a branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, R. R.) and about four months ago, we got another, an extension of the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific. When the first named road was built here, Knoxville numbered only about 1,500 inhabitants, and now it contains 3500, and is rapidly improving. We have a fine residence in town with fruits, flowers, evergreens and other shrubbery about, and all that we could desire; only that since our children are all married off but one, we have too much room; nevertheless we do not like to part with our homestead, but have limited our grounds by selling off town lots, until we have only about an acre left. To keep this in good order, and do other necessary chores and work pertaining to housekeeping occupies my time about as busily as I could wish. We have also retained for our own purposes 60 acres of land just out of town on the south side on which we have a large orchard and nursery. This belongs to our son and myself, he being the only one of our children who is single, and who lives with us. Our eldest daughter married just after we moved here to W. M. Stone, who read law with me in Coshocton, Ohio, and we became partners. The partnership continued after we moved until he went into the army where he remained till the battle of Vicksnburgh, where he was wounded pretty badly. He then came home on furlough and while at home, he was elected Governor of Iowa, which he held four years. Since then he has practiced law here. They live only one square from us, say two hundred yards, and have just finished a fine residence. His wife’s name is Caroline. They have one son, now thirteen years old.

Our second daughter, Augusta, lives in the city of Philadelphia. She married Dr. A. E. Foote, who was professor of chemistry and geology in the Iowa State Agricultural College six years. They moved to Philadelphia a year ago, and the doctor exhibited at the Centennial the largest geological collection perhaps ever owned by any private individual in the United States. When the doctor and Augusta got married, she was teacher of instrumental music in the college, which position she had occupied about four years. They have had three children, the eldest a boy four years and a half old. Their second, a daughter, died over a year ago in St. Louis where they then lived and they have one son born six weeks ago. Our third daughter, Tilly, is married to F. C. Barker, who is the owner and principal editor of the Knoxville Journal of which I send you a copy. They live about as far from us as Stone does. They have no children. Helen, our next daughter is married to Charles H. Robinson who is a young lawyer, and is our County Auditor, which office he has held three years. They have commenced to build on the opposite side of the street from our residence. They have no family yet, and are staying with us until their house is finished. Addie, our youngest daughter, was married last fall to C. H. Edwards of Des Moines, where they now live, but they expect to settle somewhere in Texas, where they will go in about a month. Mr. Edwards had a musical instrument store in Des Moines City which he has sold out, and expects to establish himself in the same business in Texas. I should be glad to hear from you again, and would like to know what has become of Uncle George Wilhelm’s children, son and daughter. Their son was here in Knoxville about the time we moved here, but we did not know it then. He did not call on us. Perhaps did not know we were here, or perhaps did not remember us. Affectionately, your cousin,

James Mathews


Transcribed letter copied from:

  • Hart, William Lincoln, "Hart Family History: Silas Hart, His Ancestors and Descendants" Alliance, Ohio. (1942)

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Categories: Knoxville, Iowa