I received your kind letter yesterday. It come very unexpected but very happily received. It found me in reasonable health and all the rest of the folks.
I am now making my home with my sister Rachel, the youngest of my sisters. She was married to a man by the name of Dan Heaton. He lives in this county. It is 8 miles north of Princeton. He is a farmer and owns 160 acres of land and it is worth 25 to 30 dollars per acre.
My sister Sarah is married to a man by the name of John Daugherty. He lives in Jefferson, Greene County, Pa. He bought 200 acres of land in Iowa and calculates to move to it next spring. Sarah's health is very poor and I don't think she will ever gain her health again.
I was back to Pennsylvania and spent the winter there last winter and when I left there this spring I come to Indiana 20 miles from Indianapolis and stopped there a short time, about 3 months. My health was poor and I come back to my sister's about a month ago.
They are getting along very well. When I wrote you them few lines I did not know whether they would ever come to hand or not. That was the reason I did not write more.
I am a plasterer and painter by trade. It has been 3 years since I was free. I have been one place or other. Since not long in once place, I can do very well here at my trade. Wages are from $2.00 to $2.50 per day though times are rather dull at the present time on the account of grain being very low. Corn is only worth 18 and 20 cents delivered at the depot. Wheat is very low -- 75 to one dollar per bushel. It makes things rather slack here. It is very dry here and has been for a long time. The people think their crops will be very poor the season.
You wanted to know about John Baxter's wife. I can't give you much information on that subject. She was living at home with her people in Pennsylvania. Her name was Jonston. She was married to a man by the name of Cornely and that has been 4 or 5 years ago and I can't give you much satisfaction one way or the other.
James was in Virginia the last time he wrote to me. That has been about 6 months ago and he has never wrote me a letter since he stated in his letter that he was going to Indiana to see the country and likely he is in that country now for anything I know. Not knowing, can't say.
I had a letter from Mary Shewas in Ohio in Monroe County. She has been married several years. I can't tell how long. It has been almost as long as I can recollect. She was married to John King. They was doing well. The last time I heard from them they are all married off, but myself, I am not and don't think I will be for a great while. I am going on 21 years old since the 10th of April. I expect to remain here in this country till next spring and if I have luck I want to go to Minnesota and see that country and if I don't go there I will stay here.
If I had got your letter before I left Indiana I would have come and seen you. I suppose it is not a great ways from the railroad. I could have stopped as well as not if I had known where you lived. I think it can't be a great ways from the Indiana central road. I want you to write and tell me how far it is from Michigan City and tell me the nearest point on the railroad so that if I ever should happen to be in that county I would know where to find you.
Aunt Esther and Rebecca lives near Jefferson. I saw them last winter. They are getting along as well as could be expected. They still keep house. Aunt Polly Braden was well and Uncle Sam Braden and her talked of going to Iowa this summer but I don't think they will go. They live within 12 miles of Washington. Their children are all away from home the most of the time.
Rachel sends her best respects to you and aunt and wishes you to write to her. I believe I have written about all I can think of at the present.
Princeton is the county town of Bureau Co. and is quite a business place. It is close to the Chicago and Burlington Railroad. It is 110 miles southwest of Chicago. The number of inhabitants are between 4 and 5 thousand in Princeton. That is the nearest town to where Rachel lives. It is a beautiful country round it. I will close this time by asking you to answer these few lines as soon as convenient. Yours with respect.
Harvey W. Baxter To
James H. Woodruff
Direct your letter to Princeton
Go to James Harvey Woodruff, "Pioneer History Index," for further information.
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