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30 Dec, 1866

My dear and much esteemed niece,

Your kind letter came safe to hand. We were truly glad to hear from you and your little orphans, glad to hear you had recovered from your spells of sickness, but sorry to hear of the death of sister Martha, but I trust our loss is her eternal gain. I trust the good Lord will enable us to bear up under all our bereavements. The wretched war we have passed through will still continue to kill our people, so many delicate ladies have now to go to all kinds of hard work, they have no constitution to bear up under it, there will many I fear have their days shortened by it.

This leaves my little family all well as common. Times are hard here in this country and corn crops were very short. There is most half of the people in a fair way for starvation. They are also suffering for bedclothes and wearing clothes. We are now reaping the good of secession my dear niece. I never did believe in it. I always thought it would do just what it has done to us, leave the world full, of widows and orphan children.

I was glad to hear you had made plenty to do you. I trust the good Lord will sustain you in raising your children, some persons told me that was in Thomas' Company they thought he was more anxious to see his family than any man in service. it grieves me to think he had to be taken from you.

Lemuel and myself are doing very well. Lemuel teaches school every year, I tend the farm. I made a good crop of corn, wheat and potatoes and sorghum. I think I can sell one hundred bushels of corn and three hundred pounds of bacon. I tell Lemuel I can made more money on the farm than he can in the school. His school was worth one hundred and eighty dollars this year. He is to commence teaching again New Years Day. I wish yor little children could be in his school. We have a very cold winter, so far snow on the ground most of the time.

Threre is a great moving with the negores, they are so trifling people don't want them about their houses. We have the girl bound to us that Lemuel bought, she was an orphan, all such had to be bound here, she is turned in her fourteenth year. I have to give her a bed and clothes. Jane, I must tell you something about the young widows here, they can outfly around any woman you ever saw. They make themselves a country talk, some that lost their husband was married again before the war closed.

Tell Brother Moses to write to us, tell him I was at Mr. Griffins the other day, they were in a bad fix. Mrs. Griffin had got falls which disabled her from doing anything. Their negroes are all gone. They have a white woman hired to cook. Mr. Griffin said it took him all day to feed his cows and make fires, he has no one to tend his farm, he told me he had no money to get any thing with, he said his wife had no clothes fit to wear. Jan, Mrs. Griffin said you must write to her, direct your letter to 18 Mile Post Office.

You must write to us often as you can write whether Sarah Jane Hendrix has got well with her cough. The mail has now come i will have to stop. I will remain your affectionate Aunt until Death to Eliza Jane Hendirx.

Elizabeth Hendrix

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DEAVER - Mrs. Mary Deaver, nee STATON, was born at McMinnville, Tenn, Mary 12, 1814, and moved to Murphre's Valley, Blount county, Alabama, when quite young; was married at the age of sixteen years to Mr. W. B. Deaver, both of whom professed religion in about two years after their marriage; professed religion at Old Blakely campground, one mile from Chepultepec and was baptized and received into the Cumberland Presbyterian church by old Father Guthrie. Her husband, in a short while after joining the church, became a minister of the gospel, and as a pioneer preacher did much good through this country. Fifteen years ago he finished his course, and leaving one of his sons to take his place in the ministry (Rev. T. B. Deaver) he took his leave to a better country; and now, this the 22nd day of January 1892 we chronicle the death of his loving wife, aged seventy-eight years, four months, and twelve days.

She was a member of the church sixty years and leaves nine living children, fifty-six grandchildren, and fifty-five great-grandchildren, besides several descendants who proceeded her to the better world. All the descendants now living, one hundred and twenty in all, who have arrived at an age for it, so far as we can learn, belong to the church.

Sister Deaver was a noble Christian and a good and faithful mother, a woman well fitted for the many stations that she was called upon to fill through a long and useful life. A preacher's wife and a preacher's mother gave her a high rank among women, all of which were sustained as only the best of women can do until relieved by the messenger, death, that she might enter into the joys that have been awaiting her so long. It was my lot to have sweet converse with her just a month before her death, upon this subject and there was no evidence of an early demise at that time. I never talked with any one whose prospects for heaven seemed to be brighter. So positively she spoke as having already entered the portals, that the hearts of us who listened leaped with joy, and it may be that some sweet spirit from above was already bending near by to whisper. "Come for all things are now ready.".

A large procession followed her to her last resting place (Old Liberty Cemetery, in Murphre's Valley), where she was tenderly laid away by the side of her sainted husband and many of her friends and loved ones. We shall miss her, but so must it be now, and we humbly pray that the long line of kindred and friends may follow her foot-prints to the crossing and the landing where they may spend an eternity in the praise of a glorious and all-wise God. Weep not dear ones whom she loved so. Your loss is her gain, and while the world is partially robbed, and only in part, for her influence will speak on down through the ages to come (still, "bringing in the sheaves"), heaven is the richer thereby but strive to be ready yourselves, as she was, and all will be well.

Peace to her sleeping dust Till God shall bid it rise.

G. W. Crutcher.

The Reverend G. W. Crutcher was a well known Cumberland Presbyterian minister.

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