Lyman Colton to Ruth Fletcher, 1868 February 23

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Otsego Feb 23rd 1868Dear Aunt

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It is a long time Since any communications have passed between us and hence we know nothing of your welfare or you of ours Living as we do so far apart it would seem that we ought to keep up a correspondence and by this means obtain not only a knowledge of each others welfare but also an insight into the transpiring events of the time in each others locality Why this has not been the case is hard to tell without it be a mutual indisposition to write And after a long silence again taking the pen with which to write & speak we scarcely know how or where to commence A few general items however to begin with We are having some rather cold weather for this western country this winter with a tolerable share of good sleighing and until within a few weeks past it has been quite healthy all around us

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Now however there are several cases of sickness of varioius types and grades withing our knowledge There are some well to do farmers in our country and a short list of produce prices may be interesting We quote as follows Wheat $2.40 & 2.50 per bush Corn 75 to 80 cts potatoes 50 to 75 Oats the same never beyond buckwheat 75 cts beans $2.00 to $3.00 pork p. lb 12 1/2 to 15 cts lard 8 to 12 cts butter 25 & 35 Sometimes 40 cts per lb flour per bbl $10 to $14 & [   ] Eggs per day 25 to 30 cts Hay per ton $10 to $15 good cows from $30 to $40 Horses from $100 to $150 other grades of stock in proportion The reason for wheat being So high in market is owing to the failure in raising a sufficient supply for two or three years past.....There has been a good degree of interest manifested in matters of religion among the various denominations of Christians in this region of country during the winter so far and a protracted meeting is in progress held by the

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Methodists about 2 miles from this place with somewhat favorable results so far But now to speak of our family matters for this is intended to be in the line of what you may call a family letter Father has been failing for some time and is now evidently slowly but surely wasting away with (so far as we can see) no possible prospect of recovery We fear that by the time spring opens he will leave us His disease is called Asthmatic consumption Verona & her husband are in usual health Their little girl Sarah Eveline is growing finely and begins to help her mother. Carseldana's two children are getting to be quite sturdy boys Lyman and his wife are also in usual health Their two children Annette Jane and Edwin Lyman are growing finely the little boy has not been very well for a few days past Unkle Lemuel and family are usually well although age with its infirmities is increasing upon him His son Lemuel is taller than he is and much stronger

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Now we wish to know how you and Unkle Andrew are getting along in your old age And your children although we have never seen them. They must have grown to be "helps, to you in the affairs of life It would be indeed pleasing to see you after a lapse of so may years but this privilege is at present and perhaps may be forever (so far as this world is concerned) denied us but trusting in God we hope to meet in a better world where there are no separations known Please give us all the information you can with respect to all our dear relatives within your knowlege Please write soon Permit us to express in some measure our sincere affection for you all Hoping to hear from you soon and hoping also that these few lines may reach you and find you all in good health and prosperity we crave the divine benediction upon you and subscribe ourselves

Affectionately yours till we meet to part no more in the better land In behalf of the whole familyLyman. S. Colton