Dear Uncle I take this opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that we are wel at present and hope that these few lines will find you enjoying the same unearthly blessing - we have had some very cold weather this winter - I believe the coldest we ever had here from the first day of March it has froze every night and the snow fell about 7 Inches deep on a level and drifted as high as the fence and layed on about 10 days - during all this time which was a little more than 2 weeks ago William Julius and John had the measils and it was about as cold weather as there had been this winter - I had just had the measils about a week before the snow and you better believe that it kept pa and I pretty busy to get wood and feed - it has moderated now a little - the winter of 1857 I believe as a general thing has been the coldest that was ever known - we had a well at the barn which was dug 13 feet deep at one time it froze solid with about 7 inches of water and covered tight at that - one of our neighbors a man by the name of Gill living on the land that Uncle Edward [Adkins] sold to Frank Barnhad says that he went out in the morning pulled up a dozen sheep at a time which was frozen down to the ground. The same man has lost about 15 head of sheep the principal part from cold weather - we have lost 5 old sheep (word looks like re---sell) to lamb we had one calf to freeze - we have 3 young calves and milk six cows - we have about 40 head of hogs 11 work horses - 2 had to (illegible) and we still hang on to old Tige and Jerry they are all the work cattle we have got now we have 2 good horses teams and dont need them very much now.
I must tel you some thing about the town there has been a grert deal building since 1853. There is now a very good steam mill there and a printing office and neat little paper published by the title of Kirksville Enterprise - some say that the town is incorported but I guess it isnt yet and then a branch of the State bank and a fire engine - 3 new churches and school house. There is to be 2 Railroads and a depot for the same in Kirksville. These roads are to cross in Kirksville one is the Keakuck and Kansas City R.R. and the North Missouri R.R. - then look out for a city where Kirksville stands. The town is now spreading far and wide every day adds more to its increase prosperity Kirksville has now a population of 635 and still increasing both prices and wages are high now - oats sell at 40 cents per bushel - we have sold about 60 bushels and promised 30 more - corn 50 cents per bushel - I dont know what potatoes sell at they are very scarce. It has been such a cold winter that they froze.
The land has been entered up so fast that there is not a foot of vacant land anywhere - now the Hoosiers Suckers Buckies Yankies and so are settling the Chariton hills not completely pretty fast - they say that such land as that where they come from was worth 40 dollars per acre - land sold in a half mile of Klrksvllle at 120 dollars per acre - Chairton timber sells at 5 dollars per acre. We have about 100 acres in cultivation - and have little more to fence for a pasture.
The prairie is all taken and very near all fenced - there is lanes all the way from here to town - we have built a kitchen since you was here. Pa has got the house about finished of which makes a very snug dwelling. Old Schratch was married last summer to the widow Asher and Frank has come back to live with him again - he is a great big stout looking chap and dont know much. I dont think Old Schratchs cabin still stands where it always stood and a renter in it. Pa talks a little of renting his place and letting us go to school - dont you think that would be right - but you know very wel that he wont rent a foot of it as long as he has got boys that can tend it. He ought to think that the time of life is short and that now is the time to give us an education - maybe he does but we havent went to school much for the last 3 years time I reckon I have went 2 months or 3 in 3 years but only went a week or so at a time and have forgot all I knew before. William me went 19 days this and I learned to scribble a little as you can see it ant much, but I reckon you can make it out.
I just now found an old letter from you of January 9, 1856 in which you inquired what Tom and Gile - wel now I tel you about it - Tom came home with barly clothes enough to cover his nakedness and Gile about the same way. Some of them told that Tom was treated worse than a niger and Gile said he would like to (?) Coridon but that he would not care if the other two were in hel meaning Uncle Edward and Uncle Jason - now isnt that a great way for him to talk. I think it is and what do you think of him - he told worse things than that - he stated that Ed commenced jawing him and he was about leave him out and you interfeared and he was about to mash your mouth and then he told about him and Uncle Jason and the a hoghaler meaning a shooting scrape. I am filling my sheet with nonsence about them.
I would like for you to write ma a long letter and tel me something about your journey across the plains. As for Eperleys boys they here doing a little of nothing as they always were - Sim moved - his wife died and he now is working for Mr. Hanersash calls him lucky is maried - Well I must not tell you more about them -
William Beker and John own a large steam mill on the Chairton and also the old barding machine and house where it stood - Tell Uncle Edward his brothers are well and doing well. Joe has a prie---ion of 160 acres tell him also that I can get buckskins plenty - Julius found 7 hides that a man lost in the road.
Give best wishes and love to Grandma, Aunt Helen, uncles
and aunts in generall and believe your affectionate nephew
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