Lake County, California
VOICES FROM THE PAST
March the 11 A D 1855
Letter from William H. Moore to his son, James Frances Moore in Louisiana
(Although it is written from Sonoma County, it refers to several Lake County families)
Santa Rosa Sonoma Co Cal. Jan 25?, 1856
James F. Moore
(This letter is referring to Commodore & America Jane Elliott of Lake County, and Missouri Ann Porter (wife of Thomas A.D. Porter) of Healdsburg area of Sonoma County)
Contributed by Anita Crabtree
Another letter from William H. Moore to his son, James, in Louisiana (again written in Sonoma County)
Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co., Cal.July 12th
Mr. James F. Moore
It is once more that I write you a few lines in compliance with your request & to let you know the state of our health in general. My self and family is all well at present and all of the rest as fair as I know. Anderson is at my house now. He is just from Oregon and all was well when he left. Anderson has bin sick since since he come down from Oregon but he is recovering. Anderson lost his wife on the plains in fifty two and he was left with four children. Benjamin married to a Miss Waller. Americas husban has bin sick but he is about now. You wrote to know some of their names. I will tell you from Joseph Henry down Eliza Sharp, Nancy Cecilia Moore. Missouri has 3 children, one boy and two girls. America had none. Benjamin hasn't bin married but a short time. William has six children, four girls and two boys. Robert married old Joab Powels daughter and he has four children tow of each sick. (sex) Washington married a Miss Robinet and thay have three boys. James Cyrus died in the spring of fifty two and Mary moved to Oregon in the spring of fifty two and has married again and has one child by her last husben. She had one by Cyrus. Anderson wishes you to write often and direct your letters Oregon Taritory Lin County Washing Butt Post office. Elizabeth lives in Iowa Maderson County Winter Sit Post office. Married to a man by the name of Thomas F. Brown. My wife intendes to write in a few days and she sends her best respect to you and family.
(Probably written in July 1857,
since Benjamin was married in
January 1857 and his son was
born in January 1858)
Again, a letter from William H. Moore to his son, James, in Louisiana
(The handwriting seems to differ on these letters, so I think someone else was writing for him. In this letter, the person writing couldn't spell very well. So, use some imagination on the names mentioned)
San Tarosa, nov [?], 1857
Letter from Benjamin Logan Moore to his brother, James Frances Moore in Louisiana
Clear Lake Dec the 27th 1858
Napa Co Cal
Mr. James F. Moore
Letter from Benjamin Logan Moore to brother, James Moore's widow in Louisiana
A letter from Hettie Moore to her William F. Moore family in Lakeport.
(The Aunt Sena she talks about is her mother's sister, and is married to Dr. Willard Burke of Burke's Sanitarium.)
St. Helena, July 5. 1887
Dear Mamma and all of you for I mean one letter for all. I got up this morning at 8 o:clock ate my breakfast helped Aunt Sena do the dishes took my treatment and am now writing to you. I have my treatment early. I couldn't hardly describe what all they do. Uncle Willard writes out a ticket for each one and then the lady in the bathroom does what ever that says. It generally takes until sometime in the afternoon to get through.
Letter from Daisy Martin to Mrs. Anger
Lakeport, May 10th 1906
Dear Mrs. Anger
I guess you think me lazy but I have had almost as many troubles as a poor married man lately so no wonder I don't write. We have been having earthquakes, first we had an awful hard one, it almost shook the house down here and then it shook San Francisco to pieces and set it on fire and Mabel was there and for days while the city burned to ashes we could see the smoke hear the explosions and that the whole city was on fire but we could not go there and if we had gone we could not find her alive or dead one chance in a hundred so we worried ourselves almost sick. finally we got a scrap of paper from her saying she was alive still she did not come homne and the danger was not over. Finally after another wait of a week and no more news she came home. She had been nursing the injured of that poor wrecked city trying to save life all possible. She saw San Francisco all burned to ashes from the top of the highest hills in the city as far as the eye can reach nothing can be seen but blackened ruins, thousands of people were killed and burned to death. She saw hundreds of blackened bodies buried in trenches. For days the hospitals cared for the injured while even the nurses had nothing to eat or drink and nothing to offer the thousands who appealed for aid. It was terrible. Finally they got water and some food but the water was horrible black stuff. They all expected to be killed. Mabel along with the rese, They were at Fort Mason in the officers quarters. They had established a hospital there and the fire kept coming that way it had taken all the rest of the city and bid fair to take the park and the Fort and over 200,000 people but the wind died down at sundown & saved the lives of thousands. Then the firemen got the fire under control and put it out. You see they could have saved the city from fire if it had not been that the earthquake bused all the water pipes so they had no water to fight the fire and had to use explosives to throw down the buildings but it was of no use the wind was fierce.
And all that while we were here and helpless like persons watching a ship in distress and not being able to aid. Mable came back all tired out but otherwise well. It was still shaking hard in SF and is still and last Sunday it commenced to shake here again and all day Monday it shook every little while. And it worried me so I was sick by the time the day was over and Mabel had to dope me up with medicine. In SF it shook so hard it turned the largest steel buildings around on their foundations and strew lots of the buildings entirely flat. I wish it would quit shaking here if it don't I shall sell out and leave unless it kills me first. I am tired of it all.
Now about your friend Mary Xouk is married and gone so are the rest of the Xouks gone. The Bramlets are all OK the oldest boy is married to a Miss Fouch. Ellie is not married. The Hazelwoods and Watenbergers are all well. Nora is as fat as ever. Mrs. Frank Farrier has a baby girl Cora West married Charles Benson. Wirt West & Guy West are both married. Mrs. Jackson married a black french man and went away, her younger sister is at Masons. She is 16 & her husband is 18 and she is suing for a divorce. She looks just like Mrs. Mason. Mr. Smith deserted his family so I don't know where he was at the time of the SF fire. The Smiths lost all that they had but escaped with their lives. Nobody in SF saved anything. Millions there now have to be fed & clothed by charity and carry burned bricks at the point of a soldiers gun for all who eat & are able to work are made to work to clean the ruins away.
Lakeport had several brick buildings thrown down and the rest cracked and all the big windows smashed and all the chimneys in town including ours were down in a shower of bricks. This house rocked like a ship in a storm bricks fell like rain the noise was like an immense log had struck the house. I hope you didn't have any of those shakes for they might make you sick.
Lakeport is still above ground but I have myt doubts if it then will stay so unless it quits shaking.
I tore this paper by accident. Thank you ever so much for that soapstone. I will pay you the postage on it if you will tell me how much it was. I will get that poem if Mrs. H hasn't lost it and send it to you. I hope you will come down and see us some time after these earchquakes stop. My writings bum but maybe you will forgive me this time. I have so many troubles. Mother is real well but just as helpless as ever. She sends her love to you she often talks about you & Amos. We heard you were married again.
I wrote you a long letter before but must have sent it to the wrong address.
Your loving friend
Letter from Mary F. Layman to her brother
Lakeport, Lake Co, Cal.
May 19th 1881
This evening I seat myself down with the intention of answering your last letter. It is now half past nine and all in bed but myself. I am sitting in your room by Major's bed and he is awake. He says the mosquitoes are so plenty that he can not sleep, his pillow is on top of his head. Lately Uncle has got considerable honey out of one of the bee-hives he got stung in his eyeball, ma put on soda and it did not get sore. He hived a swarm on the small walnut tree today but did not get stung. The last few days Father and Uncle have been scytheing a little hay. There will be a "Working Men's Society" picnic Saturday, Miss Lilly Martin Reader of day! They have a polatform at the picnic ground upon which the young folks will dance. We all had a very good time on Mayday at the picnic Millie went with us. I suppose she will go with us again, Saturday, if everything is well. We have had messes of strawberries but now the vines are not fresh-looking as they were because we do not water them. So, you went to the Kelsey picnic. Heh. And had a girl. What was her name? Mary Crawford told me so. Have you been to any parties in the hails-hills. Mrs. Sotterbeck has a little dutch-girl. I wanted to go with pa to see you very much but he told me he thought he would stay all-night. Dates wants to come and stay with you. Major did not like it much when you did not say for him to come and stay. When will your school be out? About a month ago Mrs. Ross' sister came from the city San Leandra. Tomorrow morning Mrs. Ross and family and sister will leave on the stage for that place. They are staying over night with Mrs. Slotter tonight. Yesterday Mr. Mathews was driving two cows to his pasture and his horse accidentily stepped into a badger hole and fell, falling partly upon Mr. bruising his leg and side, he is tolerable lame now. Last week I got a letter from Lucy Burton. Mr. Burton's family live at snelling but Lucy is staying at Plainsburg at Mrs. Addie Foot's formerly Carpenter.
Duzy already eats candy, and sits up and plays with paper. About three days ago pa went to Grandma Christie's and got your scarf home. Major went to sleep before I had scarcely started to write, so he did not tell me what to write. The weather is quite warm at present. Our school lately taken two trips to Uncle Sam, one last Saturday. I didn't go either time. I want to go out and visit your school sometime if Father will take me. We are all well, but somewhat tired. I will send letters from Uncle Jake and Joe to you with this one. Our love to you.
Mary F. Layman.
Please write soon. A kiss from Duzy
Letter from Emmett C. Carver to his teacher
Middletown Lake Co, Cal.
Feb 13th 1882
My Dear Teacher,
I thought I would write to you, so that you know how we are. We are all well except Mother who has been sick for about ten days. She has had a great many visitors. I am getting along very well in my studies. I am past division in Fractions. And in the second years work in spelling. In reading we are shipping about In Geography we are through the maps. And in Grammer we have been through to parts of speech. Carl has started Grammer. We are glad you had a good time.
New Year I snowballed Mother that day as it was her birthday. But the last time it snowed she was sick. We had a good time at school. Jo, Si, and Lula got hurt a little. Jo got hit by Ira with a ball with a rock in it. Si got hit on the knuckle with the same. Lula got hit on the cheek. Byrd got kicked with a horse a few days ago. Mr. Starks folks got home from Colusa last evening. I will close for this time. Your obedient scholar.
Emmett. C. Carver.
P.S. I did'nt tell how bad Byrd was hurt. He has his lip and chin cut badly but is getting along nicely. We have had a nice snow today. Fathern and Mother joins me in love to you.
E. E. Carver.
Note from Belle L. Combs to Mr. Layman
Lakeport, Cal. Mar. 8th, 1882
We would be pleased to have the company of M. Layman, Friday, 10th, at six thirty o'clock P. M.
Belle L. Combs.
Letter from Carrie Crump to Mr. Layman
May 11th, 82
I was very glad you heard from Will, I was a little uneasy about him, but now my mind is some what relieved. Hattie returned day before yesterday, she had been in Ukiah visiting Miss Compton.
Edward has also been absent some time, I think he returned yesterday.
The Sunday school as usual, is progressing very rapidly.
How is George Leotold?
Our school will close about the middle of June, I am very busy preparing for examination. Lakeport is about as dull as usual, not many changes have taken place since you left.
Letter from Sadie to Mr. J. D. Layman
Uncle Sam, Lake Co.
Thursday, Sept. 7th 1882
Mr. J. D.Layman;
Dear Friend Joe,
Your unexpected, but not unwelcome letter of Aug. 30th is before me:
Many thanks for your information in regard to the C.L.S.C.; I hadn't altogether given up the idea of becoming a member, as I think it would be a great benefit to me, but I doubt my ability to make much progress alone. I can know nothing definitely about the matter until I consult my mother, who is now in San Francisco. I spoke to her about it last Summer. She seemed willing that I should become a member, when a new course was commenced.-"I'll see you later."
My father and mother have been in S.F. nearly two weeks; visiting my sister, and attending the fair at the same time. We are expecting them to be at home next Saturday; I am beginning to realize what home is without a mother. David returned to school today; I shall miss him very much, as he was so much help to me. I suppose you have heard that one of Prof.'s fair pupils, has sailed out into the matrimonial sea. Her "mate" bears the romantic name of Jim Jones". - The young lady was Miss Myra Abbey. David seemed to feel very badly about it, but he is too young yet, to let such things trouble him.
I had a very pleasant time on the Mountain, but O! Joe, I never was in such a "nest" of infidels in my life-before, and I sadly need the opposite influence. I, too, was disappointed that I didn't see you, but I expected you a week before I went away, was sorry you didn't stop in as you went home. (to Lakeport). I didn't stop at Middletown as I expected, but came directly home. Brother M. went to a party at Lou Yates' last Friday evening; I think it must have been a failure, as there were only three girls present; viz: Miss M. Ferguson, Miss D. Wallen and Lucy Howard. You Guenocites seem to have a good time when you go out "surprising". I have never seen Hazen Cheney, but have heard Jennie Marshall speak of him. I expect to attend the fair this year, if circumstances, over which I have no control, don't prevent. I hope to meet you there.
"Madame Rumor" says our mutual friend, E. N. Lee, and Miss M. L. Ferguson, are soon to be married, but don't shed too many tears 'till you know there is some truth in the report. You didn't say one word about your school. I suppose you have the 10 big girls on your side; Or, did you read the story, in which, the writer advised teachers to gain the good-will of the ten "great gals" in his school, and he would be proof against disturbance, for the remainder of the term.
Mr. and Mrs. Turner went East, shortly after I came home from the Mountain. I miss them very much. They will bring one of Mrs. Y's sisters, when they come back. She is a widow, and has two children.
I shall attempt to draw a picture for the fair, but think it will be a failure; The picture I have chosen, to copy, is Lake George, N.Y. The neighbors are all well, as far as I know, but Mrs. Rosebrough, has been quite sick. Mr. Guinnar is living on Mr. Turner's ranch, while Mr. T. is away.
We will soon have the Eureka mill for a neighbor. It will be moved on to Mr. Clausen"s ranch, between his house and the road.
The weather is simply too warm for anything up here, but the heat is caused by numerous fires in the woods. The smoke has settled in the meadows today, 'till it looks like fog; We'll all be first class bacon, if we are smoked much more.
I must close now, or your patience will all be exhausted, you will regret that you have wasted so much of your valuable time reading this. I was intending to tell you to be a good boy, but that advice would be useless, as I always considered you "akin to the Saints:.
Please write again Joe, I like your letters or letter very much, and letters are always welcome visitors, to me.
Your True Friend
P.S. Will let you know if I decide, to be a member of the C. L. S. C. S.M.
Letter from Minnie Ferguson to Mr. Layman
Sept. 25th 1882.
Yours of Aug 31st is at hand, contents carefully noted and in ans. shall say I was truly glad to hear from you.
I think you are right myself, in your belief that I am not going to school; not that I think I have education enough, for I know I am not near to a stopping place yet. I would like ever so much to join that circle and would if I had nothing else in view.
We are trying to get John to join and hope we may succeed in so doing. I have been stopping in Kelseyville the past two weeks.
Emmett brought me home yesterday, while comming I asked him what I must tell you for him when I wrote to you. He said tell you that he was well and hoped you was enjoying good health, and that he was going to take one of your last Summer pupils to be his for ever. Yes, next Sunday morning early we, he and I (and another couple) are to be married at my fathers and then go to his fathers for dinner and then to Cloverdale and perhaps to the City, on our wedding tour. If it is so you can we would like to have you come up. Yesterday Joe Cooper & Lola Hains (Harris?) were married and to day they start with his folks to Texas. Steve is going too. While in Kelseyville I was invited to attend a party at Mrs. Long's. In honor of Will Clendenin, but did not go. Mr. Layman if you will accept one of my photographs I will send you one. I will send it now and if you do not want it you can return it the first chance, it is not very good, well I will close, we all join in sending our regards and best wishes to you.
Emmett and I will be pleased to have you call and make us a visit when you come home.
I remain your true friend
Letter from Hazen Cheney to Layman
Lakeport, Cal., Oct 15th 1882
Dear Friend Layman:
You must excuse me for not writing sooner for I thought you heard all the news when you were up here attending the Institute. I intended to come down last Friday but it looked so much like rain that I was afraid to go. Last night there was a democratic speaking in town but some way or the other I fail to go I fished till about half past ten O'clock I caught four while the other boys caught 15 or 20 apiece & I concluded I had better quit so I hunted around till I found a bail-rope & strung the fish (cat-fish) for them every time I stuck my finger in their mouths they would bit it & this morning my finger is all scratched; they drawed blood several times before I got them all strung. I wish now I had went to the speaking I'm going to-night & hear a blind man lecture, his subj. is "What a blind man saw in palestine" We have organized a literary society we had quite a time in electing the officers; We meet every Friday night The next time you come up you must give us a call som Friday night.
I suppose your school will be out in a few weeks? How are you getting along with your school? We had quite a time a few days ago. Bower Boone & John Hepburn had a fight I wasn't there at the time but I believe John called Bower a d-- fool for something or the other & Bower couldn't stand the insult & they had quite a set to. John had a pistol up in his room & Prof. thought it wasn't best for him to have it & Prof in try to get it had quite time before he succeeded in getting it. I'll tell you more fully about it when I come down (& I intend to next Friday) for I don't think I can tell it with pen & ink so you will understand me. I'm an awful poor hand at writing. How's your spelling school getting along? Mr. Layman I'm very well satisfied up here Prof is not half so cross as I had been informed. I don't think he has had any words with any of the boys except Hep. (& if I had been in Prof. place I would have given him a sound thrashing for he acted awful stubborn) I'm studing latin in which my father doesn't like it. but Prof & all the Freshmen class tell me to study it Sam Rice told me he wouldn't take $500 for the latin he knows. What do you think about it do you think I had better drop it or keep on studing it? I've got the single room upstairs but Dave McIntire is bunking with me We haven't had any fire in our room yet but it is awful cold studying at night. Prof hasn't fixed the rooms as yet but he is going to (I don't know when) I've made very few acquaintances in the girl line out side of the college I believe. I've got acquainted with one girl. Tell Leo, if you please, that I will see him next Saturday & make it all right with him. I don't know whether you can read this letter or not I there is any thing ommitted just name it & I'll try tell you what I can about it. I've n't made Mr Wood's acquaintance yet. I've attended S. School several time
Letter from John E. Layman to Joe Layman
Lakeport lake co, cal
Apr 4th (1883)
two or three weeks ago I saw Emet Carver. He was at the afternoon Sunday school. I did not know him at first. Well I have a little play pistol and an IXL knife. I caught one fish last night and I am going to go a fishing next Saturday down at doby crick I run a squirrel up a tree and caught him and last Saturday I caught another squirrel Mr. West moved in the old sims house about three weeks ago I took a cypress tree over ______ west well I guess this is the first letter I ever wrote and i think it is the best one I ever wrote
Well I am getting sleepy now so I guess I will close. it is nine o'clock now please send me a letter as soon as you can and I will try and answer it. good By your friend.
Letter from Mina Coulthard to Joe Layman
Upper Lake Aug 20th 1883
My Very Dear Friend;
Tonight when I returned from School, I found three letters awaiting me and I hastily and with a little surprise opened the one post marked Berkely.
You wouldn't-or at least didn't ever shake hands with me when you left, and I have wondered so many times why, and have been trying to plan a way to find your address, without having to ask about it for I knew you would tell me why you left me so unceremoniously, if I asked you; and tonight it all came right. I am so glad you wrote me as you did. You seemed so icy when I saw you last (or did I just do it myself?) I was so glad to see you, but everybody was there and I didn't say so nor act so; then you were sick and changed some, and everything went wrong didn't it? I was a little afraid you would feel lonesome when the novelty wore off a little and you fully realized how far you were from every one and every thing you knew and cared for. I wonder if you think and feel as I do, when everybody is gone but myself and I am dropped right in the middle of a throng comprizing every body that I don't know and don't want to know; but at the same time, knowing that Ive got to do something or say something and not knowing what that possible thing is to be, and generally feeling just about as much like having a refreshing little cry as anything else. But I know enough about the generality of boys, to know that the ache has to be just a little harder, the suffering more poignant to bring the tears to their eyes. What made you cry? I know that's abrupt, but were you lonesome, & homesick or did you feel disappointed and discouraged? Are they good to you down there? If that boy is (that spoke to you in church) he doesn't know how grateful I shall be to him. I wish I was there going to Berkely or somewhere. You don't know how many friends you left there, or rather in Guenoc.
I never saw Chester come so near working himself into a fury, as he did one evening over the way the G. folks treated you about your misfortune, as you felt it. (but I maintain that it was that little wretch's good fortune). The whole family (unless Mr. S. I don't want to vouch for anything extra in him) seem to think you were one of this worlds untarnished ones, and Iknow it. I don't ask your permission to tell you what I think, consequently you get the unvarnished article sometimes, candor I mean-
Mayb you wonder what made me say unkind things of Mr. S.
They are all cross at me about not going down to school as I intended-that is, all but Effie,-the only one who could possibly suffer because I didn't go, she is bettery than everyone knows of.-
I doubt if Mrs. S. ever does forgive me, and she said so many unpleasant things, that I'm afraid didn't appeal to my charitableness, that, right now I don't believe I care very much. On Tuesday Mr. Mathews sent me that postal about the school & on Friday you saw me in L. Mr. S. said very slowly and distinctly and emphatically- "If-you didn't know- about this school- (as you say you didn't)- and expected to go to the Normal, as you say- there- I think you had better go- as you intended."
I wouldn't have answered him for any consideration. I don't believe he doubted my word near so much as he pretended to- but he made me pretty cross with him- & Mrs. S. & others very interestingly made a scene and we women folks parted in tears, but some were not very tender, I'm afraid.
There, what kind of nonsense am I telling you! You see such things don't have a very softening influence on me. The bitterness and hardness all comes up in marked rebellion, when I'm censured for what I can't help, and don't feel as though I ought to.
My school so far is very very interesting with 25 enrolled, and only one troublesome one. I'll tell you a few of his symptoms - see if you can think up a remedy. Age 10 - tall - blue eyed - fair complected - pink cheeks - very pretty when his face isn't screwed into a knot. He crossed the room last week and finding a hat on the floor kicked it across the house, and said it was an accident. When I tell him to study he points so hard to something in his lesson that he cuts his book in two with his pencil. If you knew what a horrid pen & what a little bit of ink I've got you would pardon this & all the other scratches & mistakes; when he tires of looking at a lesson he accidentally tears it out. Gets contrary in class & won't spell if he can. Tonight his brother says "He knows how to spell that word and wont" and Frank glared at him with pale face, clenched hands and set teeth, and took a step toward him muttering something dreadful, that I didn't fully catch. His mother makes it pretty uncomfortable for him sometimes, but I have not punished him yet & don't want to, though there are times when I think it would be a blessing to him if someone would whip him a little. But he gets punished at home "considerably" and I think he needs a change. At recess he quarrels with the children one half the time & crys the other. Kindness affects him for about one minute then he forgets all about it and everything else but his own selfishness. He doesn't do it to worry me, I know for he doesn't dislike me. What shall I do with him I've done every thing I can think of to affect him but nothing makes a lasting impression on him. His mother instructed me to make him learn - keep him in at recess - whip him - pay no attention to his crying &c,&c. but I've done nothing of the kind and moreover dont think I shall.
Did any one ever tell you to make a young one learn, when you were in dispair about him?? But I know you wont rejoice at my visitation. I think I used nearly the same language she did - some of it at least - and you said nothing directly but wished some persons could be in your place - now I am only worse - I know Joe never was so hateful as Frank.
Well Joe Ive made that nuisance of a young one the subject of a longer "sketch" than I intended but he really worries me.
I have 10 scholars in the fourth reader - 6 girls aged from 13 to 16, 4 boys from 12 to 17. The larger ones are all real good and every one else but Frank Jones.
I board 2 1/2 mi. north of U. Lake at Mat. Johnson's - 1/2 mi. from my school house. It is a real nice little school-house; well supplied with every thing needful. It seems perfect after my experience below. My address will be U. Lake. How would it seem to you, to be in a house which you knew was surrounded by burglars and have the very light from their dark lantern flashed into your room windows. The first week I was here I had that experience and three nights since I had the grim pleasure of knowing they were here. They are around tonight but we have not seen them yet. The folks here shot at them the first time they came.
You gave the privilege of asking any question I wished. Promise you wont alter that perogative. Sometime I shall make use of it. I do want another good letter, soon. Would it be too selfish to ask for it? You said in L. that you could not write many long letters, so don't if you don't feel like it or have not time.
I wrote a good deal of this when I could not see the lines but preferred staying out of doors where it was cooler. Saw Belle Rice Sunday; received a hearty handshake. She & S. will board themselves this term.
I have had no word from home but through Emelie Williamson. She has promised to write every week and she has so far. Home folks too glad to be rid of me to think very long about it afterward. How did your father feel about your leaving? Did he fully approve? You ask about Crockett. C. M. Crawford taught here last term & was not hired again because he tried to keep order, &c.
M M C (Mina Coulthard)
Letter from Willie Ferguson to Mr. Layman
October 28th 1883
I seat myself to write you a few lines. We are all real well except bad colds. I hope these few lines will find you the same. I went to the fair this year. I went with Mary and Emmett I went to the race grounds in the daytime and to the pavilion at night. We had a first rate time. There were a great many people there. I went to Marys tuesday and to the Fair thursday and came home Saturday. I am going to school now Our school will be out friday. are you teaching school now. I received those Sunday school papers you sent me and am a thousand times obliged to you for them. I killed a deer a bout two or three months ago it was back of the old house it was a two year old buck. there was a big fire here a bout two months ago it came pretty near burning up the school house. pa and the rest of us fought fire pretty near a week tuesday night. John Joslin and I fought fire all night and all the next day to keep it from burning our house. John's at work for Emmett. I forgot to tell you that I had a little Niece. Well Mr. Layman I hope you will excuse such a few lines. If you think this letter is worth answering I would like to hear from you.
From a friend
Letter from G. E. Lewis to Mr. J. D. Layman
Feb. 12th, 1884
Mr. J. D. Layman-
Your last and very welcome letter came to hand some time ago but between negligence and _____ of time I have delayed answering until I am afraid you will never say another good word to Sadie for me.
We was agreeably surprised on recipt of your picture for which please accept our thanks. I see that you are getting quite bony, don't suppose you would stop to chop wood before breakfast now. But wish you were here to chop some with me or to finish that fig log in the garden. I am about out of stove wood. guess since I will have to borrow some from my neighbors in town for it is and has been fearfull cold for the last month or two. Suppose though that you must be having some of the same kind of weather. The last big storm of rain was very welcome. As things were very dry and looked very discouraging. I was up in Lakeport in Dec stopped over night with Mrs. Simpson(?) and called on Miss Sadie at Prof Kelleys and had altogether quite a pleasant trip on my way home (according to ____and to please myself) I stopped over night at Miss McIntires and of course make the acquaintance of Miss Annie. I _____ she is a daisy and likes a great deal of being _____. Both of the boys were at home Miss Sadie looked much better than when I saw her at the fair. She seemed quite well pleased with the school. And now to return to Coyote. We was much pleased about 7 weeks ago to receive an Uncle and Aunt on a visit from Sierra Valley. they stayed a month with us and spent the Christmas hollidays with us. We were completely surprised to see them for the rest of the folks had not seen them for 20 years they went here to healdsburg and stopped there 3 weeks and are now at Vacaville Solano where they will remain two or three weeks. then they will return to Sierra. Ches will go back with them and stay a while as the Doctor thought the change of climate might be beneficial to him. and Uncle and Aunt insisted so strongly on his going. Mr. Saunders has got back to Middletown again so now maybe Miss _____ will once more be happy. I attended church yesterday and sat with Nettie and of course had a good time. attending school at Nappa they do not like it at all. and Zella has also got the measles I believe Joe and wife are blessed with another girl about 18 inches long Have examined _______ in ____ to its author. He says it is written by an old Boy which is all the satisfaction I could get out of him on the subject. Hoping this will find you WELL and with a good appitite
G. E. Lewis
Letter from James Guinnar
Kelseyville, Dec. 20 (1884)
Lake Co., Cal.
Dear Friend I have not wrote to you sence you have been gon. and I thought I would drop you a few lines to let you no that we all are alive yet.
We just received your kind and welcome letter, to day. we were all glad to here from you and see your picture but none of us new who it was, till we red the letter you have changed very much.
We are having a long hard rain and I guess it will rain till Christmas. The farmars can plow when it dries off. I guess you herd that Mr. Shearwood and wife parted. but I guess he is better of for he has got our schoolmarm Miss Cole.
I can not tell you who will be our teacher next.
You said you was coming up in the Summer and I want you to make us a visit. I will send this letter but do not no whether you will get it or not.
please give me your post office address. I took the address off of the back of the envelope.
Excuse bad writing
From James Guinnar
Mary Christmas to you.
Letter from Jesse Guinnar
Dec 20th, 84
I am in the fourth reader. we have a sawmill on our land and we are selling the timber to it. there are a bout 15 marrages the paper says. pleas excuse my bad writing
Letter from J. B. Rideout
Lakeport Cal April 22 (1885)
I have been intending for a long time to write to you but on account of poor health and over work I have thus far neglected to do so. At present I am sick, not in bed but confined to the house. During the last two Sundays I have not been able to preach. I think however I am beginning to improve a little. Our youngest child has been very sick, came near dying with croup. In fact there has been more sickness in and around Lakeport during the last three months than I have known before for a long time. I should like to have a line from you I trust you are prospering nicely. If you meet with trials and difficulties you must not be discouraged but put your whole trust in God and remember that it takes hot fire to separate the gold from worthless material May God bless you and make you a good soldier of the cross
J. B. Rideout
Letter from B. Bradley to Mr. J. D. Layman
May 23rd 1885
Mr. J. D. Layman-
How familiar that sounds don't it Perhaps if some folks knew that I was addressing you by the endearing title of "Dear Joe" there might be some grave things said- something stronger than a mild remonstrance. I would just have to take it my only defense being my grey hair I hope I shant say anything very naughty. I feel just as _________ would. I do indeed feel as though I should moderate my language since you have taken into your heart to be somebody's teacher Imagine myself even I being taught by you Joe even you. Laying all jokes aside I am not egotistical at all, I have not reached the point yet beyond which I may cease to receive instructions
my knowledge upon scientific and biblical questions is very apparent but I am no worse that 99/100 of my associates and why fore should I lament what cannot be helped What matter it to most of the people whether there be a material or external world. "Let us eat drink and be merry" is painfully apparent even here in quiet little Lakeport
I think you will be surprised when you return to see how few go to church now. Sometimes I think. Well, what is the use, we go Sabbath after Sabbath to listen to these poor one ______ preachers and feel so disgusted that some of us never want to go again. but we go feeling that the pillars of the church must be upheld and as christians we dare not leave it. So another Sabbath finds us in our accustomed place, but irreligious people wont go. they must have fine ________ and good music to attract them- here ____ are deficient in both. People seem starving for good strong spiritual food. If you do follow out your idea of preaching, and cant interest or entertain your audiences let me implore you to quit and go at something else. I heard of a young minister saying once, after he had tried the hardships of a ministers life that he wished he had planted his seeds in a different soil. Well, since that time he has become a successful lawyer. Preaching did not suit his taste- he was gay, flirted with the girls and got jilted. I don't say that all these calamities are liable to befall you. I only speak of this case because I was personally acquainted with the young man- he was really gifted in language but better fitted to plead for the life of criminals at a court of Justice than for the souls of dying sinners at the feet of Jesus. Sometimes men imagine they are called to preach when they are mistaken. When I see you I will explain this idea of mine more fully- now I am going to tell you something Lakeport boys and girls.
Fastly some new young men are letting their lights shine in L. Miss Crump who was so nearly married is not and a Mr. Jones recently of Vallejo is paying his court to her- Mr J. is quite a gallant and beaus all the girls but secially Carrie. Proff. O. of the Lakeport Academy seems to my short sighted vision to be quite smitten with Miss Eloise. Bythe-by Eloise is developing a very sweet voice for singing. She sang a soprano solo this A.M. very beautifully. Now right here let me say that all the girls of my acquaintance she would make the best minister's wife of them all. The Proff. is not a dangerous rival- he not good looking neither is he young I think he must be most as old as I am. So keep a steady nerve and look your best when you come, and do write me right away when you are coming I would like so much to see you The Commencement exercises of C. L. College come of June 4th Cant you be here. Sam and Bell are both going to graduate and it would be so nice if you were here to see the spread-eagle and style and all the rest Are you going to come as any body's special guest when you come. If not there is now a vacant room here where I am boarding and for a trifle you can have the room and board round with your friends of which I am one. You know hotels are so expensive. Perhaps you will think me inquisitive in regard to your affairs but you know if my sister were here she would listen to nothing else but that you should stay with her, so to feel a kind of sisterly interest in your affairs.
David and Sarah are still here. David will return but Sarah I have heard is not coming back- Well now I must close- Write me soon With kindes regards to your partner in housekeeping and much regard to yourself
I am your friend
Letter from Belle Townsend to Joe
Oct 6, 1885
My dear friend Joseph
Would that I had the power to say much in little. First I must tell you of my surprise when your letter reached me- a pleasant surprise. I feared you had forgotten your halfmade promise- I remembered that there were conditions etc., but Fannie & I were very glad to hear from you- Your flying visit seems more like a dream we saw so little of you & were so glad you enjoyed it so much. Come again. I was rejoiced that you were still interested in us, manifested by your reference to the C.L.S.C. I think that an article came out in the "Bee: the same week that I rec'd your letter asking a meeting of those interested in the Chetauquan Course, several were glad to respond & I think will commence their studies soon. A class was organized with Capt. Crump Pres, Fannie Vice Pres, Miss Eloise joined Miss Werner Ella & Mary Phelan, Eunice Smith Archie & Mr. Reynolds-several others including your "humble correspondent". I think we shall derive much benefit. An encouraging word from you now & then will cheer us and think, you may be aware that Mr. & Mrs Rideout are in the City or thereabouts attending Presbytery. They had a very beneficial & enjoyable tour of the Coast via Ukiah, thence down the coast & to Cloverdale thence down street to Petaluma & the City returning by way of Petaluma & Napa visiting the Gardners; quite a trip wasn't it! They wanted to go farther but duty called the homeward. Fannie & I went camping on Elk mountain several weeks-quite a company went from here- My health was quite poor, but among the pine, spruce & fir I rapidly convalesced. It was decidedly pleasant; I gained in strength wonderfully & weight 2 1/2 lbs more than ever before. Nicely fitted for work you think- Yes I've been in school a month & am feeling remarkably well. I was sorry not to meet your friend. He stopped a few days at the Mantz House & just as Miss Bradley had invited a few of your friends to meet him he left. I hope his health will improve. How are you? The church work is going on as usual. Not as much spirit in it as I wish there might be. Winnie(?) Rideout took dinner with us today, he seems quite happy & contented in his work- they are about beginning the study of the Greek Testament. Things are going on about as usual. The brick block is completed opposite the Court House. Two houses opposite us; one occupied by Mr Boones fammily- & several other houses on our commons have been erected- I think you would be surprised to visit us now. Sister is at her work where you met her. Our Fair is to be held this week. Our Teachers Institute at Lower Lake commencing Oct 21, we anticipate a pleasant time, as well as profitable. Quite a rambling letter, you see I haven't the power of saying much in little. The little I have said seems voluminous. I could say more were you here to talk too. I trust you are getting on nicely, keep up good courage & "be strong in the Lord". When convenient let me hear from you. Fannie wishes to be remembered & accept the kind wishes of your friend Belle Townsend.
Letter from Dora Cheney to Joe?
Jan 21 86
I hope you will pardon my delay in writing. It rained very hard yesterday it blowed that elder tree down that stood in fron of the well & one up in our field and one down at the road and big limbs off of the trees. the creek was up higher yesterday than it has been this winter it ran over in one place. it has gone down a great deal.
Lonnie went up to bill Hale Monday to stay all night to go hunting he hasent come back yet. I gess he cant get across the creek. Zella has gone down to Napa to school. Hazen & Carley Netherland went hunting they saw a deer and shot three times at it and dident even hit it they are grate hunters I think shoot at a deer three times and cant even hit it. Leo came up after Christmas and stayed till after New years. I will send you one of my cards. The sun is shining bright now. Mr. Adam Fickas has moved to Colusa Mr. Jake Fickas has moved to Middletown. Mr. McGreer has moved to town and Mr. Leaches, Mr. McGreer sold to Mr Young he keeps a store in Middletown.
Effie Stark's applied for our school but she dident get it a man by the name of Mr O A Taler he lives in Lakeport I think I will like him for he looks and acts like you. Our school begins the first of March He is going to bord at our house for $4.00 a week.
I weighed 88 pounds this morning I am only 10 years old I will be 11 the 24th of March My hight is 4 fet 11 inches.
Pa and Ma send thier regards to you. Carley McGreer is keeping hotel and butcher shop and a saloon John is keeping the livery stable I gess they are all happy I gess. I got a gold locket & chain I paid $5.00 for it I think it is very pretty.
This is all I can think of your little friend, Dora Cheney
Letter from Lula C. to Joe?
June 6th 1886
I received your letter a day or so ago. I haven't seen all of the girls about those letters but I think they all will want a letter a piece Dott said she wanted a letter herself. We are all well up here at present We have the headers _____ and are going to have the thrashers tomorrow. Dott was awful glad you print letters so she could read them easy she says she wants a big long letter herself. We haven't another for next term yet Cedora has been down in Hope Valley visiting some friends and I guess she will come home to-day or tommorrow I went to the Celebration yesterday, it did not amount to any thing, the worst I ever saw in Middletown We did not go until in the afternoon. Effie and Ches has gone down to Vacaville to work in a canery, Effie did not get a school and so she went down there for the Summer. There is a young lady from Santa Rosa here this Summer and I am having a nice time this vacation This is all I can think of at present
From Lulu C.
Letter from Dulcie Netherland to J. D. Layman
Middletown Nov 10(1886)
Mr. J. D. Layman
Dear Friend= Your kind letter was received and I was glad to hear from you I am agoing to school now I like my teacher very much. I hope he will get it again. The children are all learning very fast. Our school will be out in a week longer. It has been raining to day but it has stopped now but looks very much like rain now. The farmers are a putting in their grain now. Frank is agoing to school this term. I got on my birthday 2 gold rings. There are only 21 scholars comming to school. Our teachers name is Mr Anderson he is a very nice man, he is a young man. Norine Conelly is agoing to school this term. We are having spelling school tonight is the night for the spelling school I and Lula went a horse back riding Sunday & we had a fine time, Lula fell off once. And my horse run away with me but I did not fall off. Zella has not come home from school yet she will not be home till the last of December. May did not come to school to day she stay out a good deal of the time. This is all now I will close.
Letter from Dot Connelly to Joe?
Middletown Oct 7th 1887
My dear Teacher
The first thing I will tell you about our teacher. I suppose you know her name. I shall tell any way her name is Miss Effie Stark I like her splendid. She has about twenty two scholars now. There is going to be preaching at the schoolhouse this evening at three oclock.
I have a uncle from Pennsylvania he arrive here last Tuesday he came up for health.
Did you ever here of a hamock made of barrels? my uncle made one yesterday it is very nice it don't swing much it is only made for reading but I guess you have heard of them haven't you? I thought I would send you one of my cards they aint very pretty I haven't went for any for a long time.
Well this is about all I can think of today
From your friend.
Last Updated 10/18/2015
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