Edward C. Smith to Henrietta Fletcher, 1885 November 15

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San Jose CalNov 15th 1885My Dear Sister

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Your letter of July 6th was duly received and should have been answered at once but like many other duties of life was postponed and yours of the Oct 18th was forwarded to me at San Diego and as I have just returned home will answer In regard to what little poor mother left I regret to know that the same could not be disposed of on the most friendly terms for the whole business is not worth mentioning much less a family quarrel Immediately after mothers death Bent wrote me that you at once went to packing up what few things she left which you no doubt had a right to do taking some trifling articles

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which mother told him she desired me to have two of those articles were her Brosha Shawl and a set of silver spoons. Bent says he is very anxious I should have some of Mother's articles and you likewise say the same thing now if you are both so anxious why dont you both comply with mothers desire and send something along In writing to Bent shortly after mothers death I was anxious to know whether she was well taken care of and supplied with all the comforts she needed and his reply was that Lucy did all that an own daughter could do in fact wore her self out in her close attention and affectionate care (all of which I take for what it is worth) but I will discard my doubts and accept the same as true for I never could think kindly of any one who ill treated mother I regret that I ever consented to her going back for here she

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would ever had a good home and childrens good treatment Now that you and Bent have all that is left I do not ask for any thing because I am in any need or that I have any inherent right only that I would like just some little trifle that came from Mother and the old home If Bent is entitled to mothers one fourth interest in the homestead through some technicality then he will hold it but he has my consent and then I can tell him that with all this I can buy him out twice over I do not say this boastingly merely mention it as a fact About one month ago a friend of mine and myself rented the largest and best dairy rancy in this valley consisting of 500 acers of choice land together with all dairy utensils we have 50 cows of our own and will at once purchase 50 more and a few hundred head of hogs and we can raise poultry by the thousand I will not devote

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but little my attention for I can hire a man at 25. Dolls per month in my place and my partner will over see the business and I will continue to travel at 275. Dolls per month. unless I should change my mind by the first of the year Now about that little of land willed to you and I which contains according to Bents figures 18 acres you had better sell it to the highest bidder and divide the proceeds you ask what I will give or take I cant answer this for I have no idea as to its value and you should be the one to make an offer the matter should be disposed of at once Our rainy season has begun and the weather is balmy and spring like and the fields are green and beautifull We are all in the best of health my self tiping the scale at 200. Bell Rust from Burke

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is doing house work and Pam folks live near by. I saw L.N. Stevens last week in the extreem southern end of the state he is merchandising and I sell him goods a Proctor by from your place is in the same town have seen him Pardon my long neglect in writing and reply to this soon Marilla sends love so the chldren remember me Kiss them for Uncle Ed and Lucy or no Lucy I am ever

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