Saturday, January 05, 2008

Letter from Lydia - October 1895

Letter to Malissa Joslin Brubaker from her mother, Lydia Robison Joslin, October 1895. Spelling is the same as in the original letter [with some corrections within brackets]. Some punctuation added for readability.

Father is Lydia's husband Lysander Joslin. Charle is their 16 year old grandson who lived with them. Ida is their daughter who, by this time, had divorced her husband John Dressler and was living in Kansas City. Though not mentioned in the letter, Ida's 12 year old daughter Elnora was living with Lysander and Lydia at the time the 1895 Kansas Census was taken. Her 10 year old son, Joseph Dressler, lived with his father. Ole Joslin is Lysander and Lydia's grandson.


Oc the 1895
Lyndon Kansas

Dear Childron. I will rite a few lines, Lisse I em a lone this after noon. Father and Charle went to quiqnamaw withe a load of appels. took a load yesterday. only gets 25 cts per bushe [bushel] for winter appes [apples]. we made a bout 37 galons appel butter. we have not all gatherd. mabe will be this week. it is quite cool and windy to day. I em baking punk pies.

charley will go to help get out rock for the new church to Morow. the are billing [building ?] two new churches in Lyndon, the Babest [Baptist] and christian.

well Lisse I em nerves to rite but I em quite well if dont work to hard. Ida was home last week. cleaned house. she is so good to help work. her an Father did the work.

I ges you have a nice winmill up now. I wish Miss parkison cold [could] come here to. has romey went home yet, do you know or her [hear] of ole Joslin. well rite soon, tell all the noose [news]. the dipthera is very bad thru ocage co.

well be good to the girl, does will like her.
the Lord bless you all

Mother. L. R. J.


The 1895 Kansas State Census shows that they had 40 acres of land with 38 under cultivation. The cash value of the farm was $1,000. They had farming implements valued at $30 and planned to plant 30 acres of corn in the spring of 1895.

They had 100 Bushels of corn on hand 3/1/1895. Had cut 3 tons of tame hay in 1894 and 40 tons of prairie cut. They sold $100 worth of poultry and eggs and made 200 pounds of butter. Farm animals included 3 horses, 3 milch cows, 26 swine and 2 dogs. They sold $180 worth of animals for slaughter. Their orchard contained 274 fruit bearing trees: 140 apple, 2 pear, 50 peach, 7 plum, and 75 cherry. They had 6 stands of Bees that produced 60 pounds of honey.

This is the third (and last, darn it) letter from Lysander and Lydia to Malissa that were in my grandmother's papers. The other two letters are posted at:


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

37 gallons of apple butter would have been a lot of work. I wonder how much they sold and how they used what they kept? I'm guessing that punk pies were pumpkin?

Anonymous said...

I know how you treasure these letters and thankfully they were in English. I have one letter that my great-grandmother wrote my grandmother but it is in German. I don't even know if she ever learned English. You are right, they are special keepsakes.