Warren County, New York
Genealogy and History

Historical Letters 1852-1869, Upper Warren County


These are copies of letters that were written by Julia Hill and sent to Juliette Baker, possibly her cousin. They were written between 1852-1869 (the girls are about 11 years of age when they start). They are a wealth of names, events, and daily life. These letters cover a great deal of the families in the upper Warren Co, and Schroon Lake areas. Even if these names are not in your family, hopefully you will find these to be invaluable in both historical nature and sense of what life was like then. If you wish to see the originals they can be found at the Historical Society of the Town of Chester in Chestertown. Hopefully everyone enjoys these letters and the transcriber kept the original spelling intact.

Jan 3, 1852

I wish you had come out with Wesley and Mr. Walker.  I wish you had been here New Year's.  We had a fine time.  Mr. Washburn and Nancy Ann and George and Sarah Jane were all up here.  We all went up to see Mrs. Hare then we went up to Pottersville.   I will tell you who went.   Mr. Washburn and Nancy, George and Sarah, Fred and Sarah Jane Middleton, Vane and Lydia, and Sophia Pritchard and I, among the rest.  New Years night they stayed here.  They started for home about 3 O'clock in the afternoon yesterday.  Come out this winter.

June 23, 1852

Your folks say you can come out with your Uncle Ely.  You must come when he does.  You wanted to know where I am going on the 4th. I guess I will go to the hogpen.   I don't know anywhere else to go.  Mother and your mother has gone to Chester today.  I have a compliment for you.  Sam Pritchard wanted to know if you was coming out this summer.  I told him I did not know.  He said Julia was a clever girl.  He liked her first rate.  I suppose Betsy Ann is going up home with your folks when they go.  I do not go to school this summer so when you come out we can visit. I have not been to a curcus lately, have you?  Mr. Prindle is having a singing school to Horicon Church now every Tuesday and Friday evening.  I have been two nights.  I saw Flavilla Wells the other day.  Come out when Betsy Ann comes back and stay 4 or 5 weeks and we will have rite old times again.  I guess Vene has hired a horse and wagon to go to the Fourth with, so I guess you can go to the fourth.

Dec. 27, 1853

Joseph Prouty is very sick.  I have not been to school but three days. Mother is piecing her quilt.  May came down here and said that Joseph is dead.  He had a fit.  

No date

Little Thomas Roberts got killed a spell ago.  A wagon run over him.  Ira was driving the oxen and he fell off.  Abigail Hill or Mastin hasbeen up this fall.  Content Holey or Reasic has been up.  School is out Friday.  Wesley and Uncle Rafe is here now.  Tell your mother I should like to see her and Jany.  Clarissa says she hopes that your  mother will want me this winter and so do I.

Nov. 1854

I am lonesome today.  Mother is gone to Horicon. Clarissa has gone to grandfathers.  I should like to see you this moment. Mary has got a new winter hat. Mary says my pen is poor.  School has not begun yet

Jan. 1, 1855

The snow is all gone off here.  School keeps here and I go.  Miss Mary Livingston teaches here.  Mother and father is to grandfathers. There has been two spelling schools here and I went to both.  Their will be one Wed. night.

Feb 1855

Dear friend, I have been to school today.  I should like to see you.  I am lonesome here.  I had a letter from Mary Richards last week.  She says they are all well.  We call the baby Orvil Daton.  Write to me when Uncle Rufus comes out.

April 1855

It is snowing today.  I went to Mr. Newberys last week.  They are all well but Nancy.  She is sick.  Uncle George has sold his place.  He is going to move to Bolton next week.  I am peacing a quilt.  I will send you a block.  Samy has been over here today.  Orville is asleep in his cradle.  Wesley come and brought me your letter.  I must bring my letter  to a close   Julia Ann Hill, Warrensburgh

May 19,1855

I and Clarissa attend Sunday School down the river now.  Aunt Mary stayed here last night and I wrote a letter to Victorene.  Samy and Mary goes to school. Clarissa is holding the baby.  Mary Prouty stayed to Mrs. Bakers last night.  There is a Sunday School out to our school house.  There is about 17 to 20 scholars in our school  Grandmother was here yesterday and she read your letter.  We have a new scholar to school.  His name is John Prescott.

No Date

I was down to Nats when your father got there.  We was abed.  We went to Sunday School today.  I see Nancy.  She said Thomas was agon to start for Virginny next week.  Blackberries is ripe now.  I have picked 20 to 29 quarts.  I am comin up there this fall if I have to come afoot.  Daisy Prouty was here.  We have painted the kitchen over since you was here and papered both rooms so it looks much better. Mother has made 22 cheeses this summer.  Uncle Rufe said that he guessed he should go up there after he got his grain cut down.

Jan 26, 1856

I will tell you what the reason was that I did not wright to you because Wesley went in there sooner than I expected and I did not have time to wright.  I wish you had come out here when Wesley did.  I have been to Schroon this fall.  We had fine times.  Mother is making pies.  Orville is out with Lyman and Delia on the stopp playing.  Uncle Sam Hill has bought a farm in Queensbury and moved there.  I have got a new dress and am goin have it made long.

March 10, 1856

I shall go up there this spring if I get a chance.  I should go with Uncle Rufus if he was going with a horse and cutter.  Vileta Baker is dead.  She had the croup. Henrietta Duel is married to Albert Tibits.  Abigail HIll is married too but I don't know who to.  I am working another pair of panlets.  We have had lots of snow here this winter and spring.  If I don't come this spring I don't come atall for in the summer school keeps. I have just got three new dresses.  Grandmother and Grandfather was here yesterday.  She wanted to  see you letter and I read her part of it.  Father has bought him a yoke of oxen this spring and he is drawing his bark.  Mother is making Clarissa's dress.  Orville is eating cake.  Lyman and Delia is gone down to cut open the water hole.

June 13, 1856

I am to school now.  Sarah Jane Middleton teaches here. There has been three deaths here lately Melvina Randell, Mr Wells and Lucinda Burch, and her baby.  I presume you have seen the baby.It was 2 years old.  Mary has been down to your house and taken up your flowers.  She has got your tiger lilies and your sweet williams.  Lorina and Clarissa and I went to Bolton last week.  I saw the steamboat close to it.  We had quite a good visit.  Clarissa and Hannah and Caroline all sends their respects to you. David Robles is dead.  Uncle Noel come down yesterday aand carried Grandmother Bartlett back home with him.

Sept. 16

Francis came here this morning and said you told him to tell me to write to you.  I had a letter wrote and was waiting for Father to go to the postoffice.  He said that Wesley is coming out here in a fortnight after me.  I told mother I could not wait that long now that I know I am goin.  Mary has been to Caldwell since you was here and stayed a fortnight .  I have pierced my ears but have not got any ear rings.  Uncle Rufe has bought him a horse of Joseph Coon,  and I asked him if he could not go now and he said he could not for he has so much to do.

Sept. 24, 1856

Seneca brought your letter from the postoffice yesterday but I did not get it till after dark.  I was a berrying.  I got 6 quarts.  They are thick. Luke goes most every day with a 10 quart and a 5 quart pail and Amos goes and carries them to market the next morning before other folk are up.  I can't come up unless Wesley comes out for Uncle Rufe does not have time.  Mother said that if the colts was broke that he should go and carry me up there but they are not.  Father bought the George Green colts. The folk from Gilford, Vt. has been up and they started for home day before yesterday.  Tell Wesley to come along for if he don't I can't come.  We have made two barrels of pickles.  School has commenced.  Mercy Ann Cobb teaches.  I have not been any.  I don't know as I shall go.  Clarissa goes and she has carried all the writing paper off allmost.  There has been an association in Horicon.  I went one day.  Betsey Ann Wells was here day before yesterday.  There has been four Irishmen here today to buy some pork.  Father has bought a table spread and a stand spread since you was here.  Tell Wesley I shall expect him out.

Nov. 1856

I got home safe.  We got out to Gates 15 minutes past 10 o'clock,and then got home half past 3.  Just as we got to Uncle Abels it began to rain and blow.  I asked mother if I might go up there this winter and work and she said that I might.  Betsy Ann wants to work out this winter .  Tell your mother I would like to work if she wants me and I can come any time.  Laurinda is going to work to Albert Russells or to Enley Watters.  Uncle Baronet has bought Samuel Middleton's farm.  He gave $700 and Samuel gave $100 of it to the baby for its name.  Tell William Sherman that I would like to see him and all the rest of the hands.  Seneca is going to Chester Academy to school this winter.  Write whether your mother wants me.

No date

Uncle Rufus has got a fiddle.  I went yesterday and got 4 qt. of berries.  I am making me a pair of garters.  Mother has got her a new bonnet this summer.  It cost $3.25.  Grandmother went to Bolton yesterday and got back today.  I have just been working me a shimy.  Mary Ann Hilkings came to school yesterday a few moments and Sarah Jane dismissed the school before noon and went home.  Be sure and come out the 4th.  I shall expect you.  We have had 2 swarms of bees come out.  Father hived them and the next day they came out again and the next day they came out and went off. I study arithmetic and grammar.

April 15, 1857

Mother is quilting.  Aunt Charlotte Middleton was up here yesterday.  Mr. Fosmer's baby got scalded last week. and they do not expect it will live.  One of Sam Hases boys is going to be buried today.  I was at Uncle Abels when your father was here.  If you will come out here I will learn you to crochet collars.  I have knit five.  I am going to learn to knit tidies when Nancy Ann comes up.  Hol has took the Elisha Randle farm to work this summer and left Seneca to work this farm.

Sept. 1857

School is out this week.   Camp meeting begins the 9th.  I suppose to Warrensburgh.  I wish you was here to go.  I think I shall go.   I went berrying today and got 5 qts.  There is going to be a grove meeting up to the Towner place next Sat. and Sun. and there is going to be an association at Chester Wed.  William Middleton was up to Hol's last night and Mary did not go to the pond till this morning.  Betsy  Ann and Almira was here today.

Nov. 15, 1857

I must tell you they have  got a singing school started down the river to the Duel school house.  Elisha Baxter is the singing master.  It is every Sunday evening.  I guess I  shall go.  Olive is going to attend.  I suppose you want to know who is Olive's beau.  I will tell you.  Fred Smith goes there now.  Mother and Father has gone to Horicon to meeting today.  Laury Noble is married to a preacher by the name of Ira Stacy from Bolton.  Sarah Jane Holley has got home and Olive Jane Mead is to Asa Meads now.  They have got a girl there.  Mother says Uncle Rufus is going up to Uncle Abel Prouty's tonight.  Lisha Baxter is here to go to singing school.

Dec. 29, 1857 Chester.

I must tell you about Christmas.  I stayed at home all day but I went and took a ride Christmas evening.  I don't but you have lost Vene, but I guess not.  He has been home with Olive 2 or 3 times.  James Warren Middleton has been home with her once and Fred has too.  She is not thought much of out here.  Leander Sherman goes home with Almira Middleton.  Edward Pratt waits upon Betsy Ann Middleton.  Mary Prouty has been down there 4 or 5 times and comes home alone just as I do.  You know singing school has 10 nights more yet.

Dec 23, 1857

I received your letter yesterday just as I got ready to go to meeting down the river.  I read it on the way.  There was a singing school last night.  I was there.  The house was as full as it could be.  Wesley was there.  He went home with Almira Middleton.  You bother him about it for me.  You wanted to know how they make their dresses out here.  They make cape waist now.  You asked me a question about Steven Newbery that I cannot answer.  I am at school now and it is most time that I am getting my spelling lesson.  I have got me a singing book.

Feb. 28, 1858

Mother is sick.  She was taken ill last night with a pane in her stomach.  She has not ate anything all day.  Dayton is not very well.  He was sick all day yesterday but is better today.  I went out to Mr Holley's yesterday.  Uncle George Holley's folks have got another baby.  Mary has got home from the academy.  I suppose she is an accomplished lady now.  I should think us trunnelbed trash might go to the academy. Well, we might if we had a rich father as she has.  Tell Mr Lawlover he must come and fetch you out this spring.  I should go up there if Dick was not going, and mother was well.  Singing school is out now but they talk of having Mr. Prindle teach a singing school right off down the river.  Elizabeth Duel's youngest child is dead.  Henrietta Tibits has got a  baby.  Smiths folks was up here last Friday night and Ike Smiths too.  I have got to get mother some medicine.  Clarissa is not here now and has not been home since yesterday morning.  She is over to Uncle Franks.  They are to Bolton.

Chester, Oct. 3 1858

George Hill is going into the woods for Mr Chadwick, Vene is going too.  He said he should go  and see you this winter if he lived.  Betsy Smith has been here today.  She was fooling as much as ever.  I went to meeting yesterday up to the elbow.  The Freewill Baptists yearly meeting.  Elder Graves girl died last week, I guess it was his oldest.  And Nel Barritt's oldest girl died yesterday.  She was 15 or 16 years old and her name was Caroline.  The funeral will be in the Wesleyan meeting house tomorrow.  Mrs. Wells is very sick.  I went down to Uncle Dave's yesterday and they were down there and said she was no better.  I went out to Uncle Sam's last week.  I went to Sandy HIll and Ft. Edward.  I see the cars too.  Give my respects to Mr. Terry and Mrs. Butler.  I would like to see all the ones that I saw when I was there.  I should like to stay there two months longer.  Sarah Jane Holley has gone home with Mr. and Mrs. Stacy. Mary Prouty's school is not out yet.

Nov 28, 1858 Chester.

I have been to Isaac Barritt's to work a fortnight and I worked for Lias Proutys a week and when I got home Mother and Fahter and Orville were all sick.  They are well now.  Father and Mother are out to Kingsbury.  They are going to be gone a week I expect.  I see Mr. Smith who said he was going up to your place to hunt.  I wonder if Mr Smith is hunting the same game as Mr. Fenton was.  Tell me whether Brother John,as you called him , has written again and what he said.  Uncle Dave's children is all here, so that our little kitchen is pretty well filled.

Dec. 31, 1858

Betsy Ann Middleton is married to Edwin Pratt.  She was married a week ago last Sat.  Lucy Palmer is married to Richard Watters.  Betsy Watters is married to a gentleman from the falls.  His name is Crandle, I believe.  Julia Malery is married to Benjamin Beeby.  I have been to a donation since I came up here, to Horicon.  Mr. Prindles.  We had a great time there that night.  Good afternoon.  I wish you a happy New Year.  I am here in Chester yet spending my new year almost alone.  Elizabeth Tripp is to work in one part of the house here.  She has gone down to meeting today.  You had better believe we have some great times when she is here.  We go out making calls every evening or two.  Night before last we went to Mr. Faxons.  Sophia Watters and Mary Ann Parker is there to work.  Mr. Egertent is going to have a donation next Thursday evening. I am not going though I guess.  Tell me Walker I was glad to hear from him.

Chester, March 28, 1859 (Marriage)

We are all well at present but Steve complaines of a headache.  Yesterday we all went  up to quarlerly meeting.  We had a very good time but it was muddy.  Betsy Ann Wells was married yesterday to William Middleton and Tom Chaddock was married to a German girl, so I heard.  I was disappointed cause you and Wesley did not come out.  You and Wesley  are the only ones I asked to the wedding.  Prindle married us.  He come up Sunday night .  The ceremony was pronounced about 7 o'clock in the evening.  Hle folks did not happen to find it out nor anybody else.  I went over to father Newberys Monday in the afternoon and stayed till Thursday.  Nancy nor Thomas never spoke to me while I was there nor she did not speak to Betsy while I was there.  You must come out and live with me as we talked last summer when I was there.   You and Wesley was going to live with me if I got married first.  Come and make a good long visit.  I shall expect you out here.  I heard you said you had lost your best friend you had in the world but need not think so, for I think just as much of you as I ever did.

Aug. 28, 1859

I have been spinning but I finished it three weeks ago.  Then berries were ripe and  I had so much knitting to do that I have not had much time to write.  I wish you much joy with your New Yorkers.  Give my love to Mrs. Butler and all inquiring friends. Steve and I have picked most 3 bushels of blackberries and they are not near gone.  George Duel  is married to Emy Jane Pratt.  Steve is building a stoop.  Mrs. Wells is very sick and is not expected to live from one days end to another.  Betsy Ann has been with her mother through her illness for a long time but now has gone back to Warrensburgh with William.  Mrs Wells has not consented for William to go in the house.  She says that she does not want him to look upon her corpse after she is dead.  Betsy Ann says that if William can't stay there, she can't, so she has left her mother and gone with W.  Isn't that bad for a mother who is just ready to sink into her grace.  Nancy remains as kind and affectionate as ever.  She and Thomas has not either one of them spoken to me.  Martha Middleton and Clarissa was over here the other day.  It is very sickly about Chester.  Most all that is not sick is dead.  Old Mrs. Faris and Wesley Faris is dead.  Laurinda has come back from Bolton.  She and Susan Smith was over here the other day.  Mary Prouty is teaching Hayesburgh.  Mary is going all about doing good.  Don't you wish you was a school mam.  Cynthia Fish has a baby, so they say.   Your special friend, Julia Newbery.

Chester, May 4, 1859

Jeanette Middleton is very sick.  She has not been very well this spring.  She was taken crazy last Friday.  The first they knew anything about it, a peddler stopped there and she began to talk everything.  She said his name was Wesley Rice (he couldn't fool her). They sent for the doctor and he thought she couldn't live long.  There is two doctors every day, Dr. Malry and Dr. Serrette.  She has not been herself since she was taken.  The house is full all the time.  It takes four or five all the time night and day. She tears everybody's clothes all to pieces, if they would let her.  They could not keep anything on her till they made her a loose dress out of cotton cloth and bound it at the neck so she could not tear it.  She teases for the shears or a knife to cut it off. Grandmother was there the other day  and she was stark naked and she went so all day. hey do not think she will live long.  They have sent word to all her relation, to the falls and all around.  Father is going to sit up there tonight.  Lucy Palmer teaches school here this summer.  Mary Prouty teaches school up to the pond.  Julia Hill

Feb. 12 1860

Our folks has been gone three weeks but  they are home now.  The snow is almost gone so the lumbermen have all quit work.  Steve has not got his lumbering half done yet but is waiting for snow.  I saw Mr. Smith when I was down in the falls and he did not know me.  Hadto tell him who I was.  They say Wesley has bought Havern's land.  Tell him all that is lacking now is a woman.  The next we shall hear that he has bought him a landlady.  There has been no less than three funeral in one week in this neighborhood this winter.  Old Aunt Amy Dickerson is dead and Sam Weller's only boy is dead.  He died of the canker rash.  Aunt Sally Baker is dead.  She died the 19th of January.  I wish you were here to go to our spelling school.  We have had 3 and are going to have another.  The last one we had there was 125 people there.  Steve and I went down to Little Bills yesterday.  They are the greatest talking folks I ever saw.  Sophia Pritchard is married to a fellow by the name of Oliver Bates and it will not be long before you will hear that Sarah is married to Sylvanus Smith.  They are riding around all sorts.  Almira Middleton has got her another silk dress.  It is plaid and she has got her another white dress.  Feb. 19,  We got plenty of snow now.   Steve is going to draw wood in the morning and I can send this to the office.   Julia A. Newbery of Bolton.

Sept. 16, 1860

We have one of the sweetest little boys born to us the 23 of June that you ever saw.  It is the prettiest one I ever saw.  Oh yes and don't you believe, Mother has got another boy.  Well she has and Billy Middletons folks has got a boy.  You must know our folks are all wonderfully pleased with the new baby. It is quite a rarity there.  Aunt Mary Hawley has got another girl, ten children now.  And Aunt Sarah Wallace has another boy, ? days younger than Mothers, and Sally Baker has got a girl.  Betsy Smiths baby she thinks looks like you. Lydia Smith is married to Levi Pratt.  He lost his wife this spring and has 3 children.  Lydia has a good start, I think.  Jane Smith is married to Orin Burge.  Don't you believe Nancy and Thomas has made  up friends again.  The first Nancy come up here and come upstairs and shook hands with me and she is as good as she ever was and has been here a great many times since.  She and Thomas both make everything of the baby.  We have named him William Arthur.  We are looking for you down this fall.  Steve took a job that will last him all winter of drawing logs.  We have had lots of melons this year and lots of tomatoes.  We have got them now.

March 20, 1861

I now seat myself to let you know how we got home from your place.  When we got out in the edge of the woods there Tomy was loading logs and there I had a fare view of him and I looked with all my eyes.  We found the sleighing rather better when we came out than when we went in.  I didn't have to get out of the cutter but once coming out.  We didn't stop to Gateses when we got there.  The wind blew like Sam Hill until we got to Minerva Corners.  There we took dinner.  We found pretty hard grinding before we got home you had better believe.  They go with wagons mostly now.  We went to that exhibition I told you about.  We had fine times.  The church was crowded full of people as it could be.  Vene and Sarah and Mary was there.  Vene went home with Sarah and left Mary to go home alone.  That shows which he thinks the most of.  There has been a great wedding in our place lately.  Uri Baker is married to that old hag of a Jones woman that has been living here this winter and his other wife is going to raise a rumpus.  Willie has been cross as a bear  since I come from there but he is better now.  ls Uncle Sam  Goodman is dead .  Nancy and Thomas was here yesterday.  Aunt Peasy Baker is here today.  April 13,  Have not had a chance to send my letter to the office.  Father is going so I will improve the opportunity.  We have made  150 pounds of sugar this spring. Young John Varnum was buried yesterday.  Sarah Jane Middleton is very sick and Harriet Watson is very sick and is not expected to live.   She has got a girl.  I guess Nat's folks has got something for there was a great deal of stir there yesterday.  Lyman and Delia has just come here.  They say Mother has been sick ever since she was here last week.  Steve has gone a fishing today over at Brant Lake, he and Lorenzo Tripp.

May 4, 1862

We are all well but not in mind, for we feel that we have bereft of a near and dear sister, but thanks to God for that blest assurance that she shall reign on high.  Little did we think that it was the last time that we should on earth all meet again the last time you  and she met at our house last winter.  Is it possible that we shall see her face no more on earth?  But let us strive to meet her in heaven .  Let us travel that straight and narrow path that leads us to eternity, so that we can feel as she did that Jesus was ready to receive us.  Death is certain but life is uncertain.  Josephus Coon has a very sick child with the scarlet fever.  It cannot live many days.  Malry Tripp is very sick.  Elisha Baxtor's little boy is dead.  Almira Middleton is married to Warren Barton, Mary Barton's brother.  Father has been over here today.  They are all well.  Mother Newbery's arm had got so she can use it very well doing light work.  She has got a girl here to help her this summer.  It is Mary Jackson, the girl that used to live here.  She has been here some six weeks.  She is a very good girl.  William I. Middleton's folks has moved up on the Uncle Dave Cooper place.  Ben Baker is going on William Roberts place, a little farther off.  It is very warm and pleasant.  Willie plays outdoors all of the time.  He talks everything most.  You must try to come out this summer and stay a month.

Bolton, March 26, 1863

Aunt Mabel Baker is very sick and we think she will not live long.  She has had another shock of the numb palsy about 10 days ago and is growing worse all of the time.  She cannot help herself more than an infant.  Orpha Sherman has just come and says she is failing fast.  Isaac has run away with Seen Unez as soon as she was out of jail.  Armena has got quite smart but is not well.  She is to Bens yet.  If Sally does not get help from the town they will have to go to the County House, it is thought.  Uncle Hiram Murdock has moved to Schroon.  Uncle Martial Bradley has moved in his house.  Good neighboors I guess.  Caroline Baxter has got another boy.  A boy year. I think I will not try it this year.  Olive has got a girl.  Delia is over here.   Our folks are well.  We have been out to Ball Mountain in Grinage this winter and I went to Uncle Hiram Anderses.  Had a good visit, plenty of fruit of all kinds.  Nancy has named her baby Elton Scott.  Sarah Prichard is married to a man by the name of Palmer, a widower with two children.  Jim Middleton has left home, what for I do not know.  Leander Bartlett has got back again.  His wife is in Albany.  He has been here to see her since he got back.  The snow is about 8 inches deep out here.  Father has bought him a dandy span of colts.  Mary is here yet.  Freddie walks all around.  He is crying now and I must go to bed with him, so good night.  Morning, the snow is 6 inches deeper than last night.  Peter Bradley has got home on a furlough of 8 days and his mother did not know him.  He has been gone most two years.  Hiram Bidwell has got his discharge.  Dick Duel has moved up on his place.  I have got me a new jacket, a new hood, a new delain dress since you was here.

Sept. 30, 1864

It is with a mourning heart that I write these few lines, for death has been in our little family and taken our dear little Willie from us.  He was sick about 10 days with the diptheria.  He died the 23 of Sept.  Oh, can it be possible that he is banished from our presence forever until the day of judgement?  God's will be done but we think it hard to part with those that are near and dear to us.  Mary Jackson is dead.  She died about a fortnight ago at the County House.  Mother Newbery is here with us.  Freddy has been very sick but is better now.  We are calculating to go into the woods for someone if we get a chance.

Feb. 26, 1865

The snow is very deep out here.  It is almost impossible to move around.  We are all at home.  We moved back a month ago.  Steve got done work up there so we come back home.  I suppose you have heard that your Uncle Jep Baker is dead.  He died the 8th day of Jan.  Jessie Tripp is dead and his daughter, Lansing Thurston's wife, is dead and two of Frank Barretts children  and several others that lived about here, that you are not acquainted with.  Mary Maholand is dead.  Tell your mother that Mrs Flansburgh has got a boy, one worth having.  It weighed 11 pounds.  Mr. Flansburgh has jammed his fingers very bad.  They thought he would have to have two of them taken off.  I have not heard whether he did or not.  He was rolling some logs.  Mr. Foster is going to preach  on this circuit another year.  Leander Bartlett and his wife is at home.  Jane Ann Swan has got a boy and Welthy Prichard has got a girl and George Barrett's wife has got a boy and Minerva Jane Holley ,it used to be has got a boy.  Mary Ann Taylor is sick with a sore throat.  Samy Taylor has got home.  He looks better than he used to.   He is as fat as a bear.  Mother has got her new teeth.  She likes them very much and looks much better with them. There is a man here over Sunday who is selling rights for receit.  Steve bought one.  Tell Uncle Rufe we begin to think he is going to stay up there till he is of age.  I wish you was here for we have a few apples.  We opened the hole but they had rotted very bad.  Tell your mother and Janey I would like to see them.

Chester Feb. 2, 1866

I have so much to do that I don't have much time to write. We have six men here.  We are all well but Steve.  He coughs some yet but has got so he works.  Father is a great deal better but not so he does anything yet.  Uncle Than Roberts is dead.  Mr. Foster is holding a protracted meeting down to the church.  It commenced last night.  Mr. Flagler has a conation next Wed. night.  I wish you was here to go.  Elder Cobb had one at the Horicon last night.  Ida Duel  is dead.  Tell Uncle Rufe that Hattie Warner is married.  One of John Woods little boys is sick of the lung fever.  Gus and Mary Ann Mosier is up from the falls.  I suppose you have heard that Ella Weatherhead, it used to be, is dead.  Delia was over here last week and stayed most all week.  Thomas has commenced selling goods in his store.  Chancy Stanard is partner with him.  Nancy is in her glory I expect.  Well I am willing.  Myron Tripp has bought a store at Chester,the old Smith store and is going to keep a hardward store.  George Young is married.

Chester, May 26 1867

I am very sorry to hear that you are so miserable.  How I wish I was where I could come and see you.  How lonely you must be off there alone with nobody to come and see you.  When you are well you can stand it up there but when you are sick it is a hard place to be.  My health is not good this spring.  I am like a broken stick, but I am so to be around the most of the time but I never was so miserable in my life.  But I have one of the best babies in the world.  He is good and pretty and cunning. He is three months old yesterday.  We call him Willie.  He will sit up in his crib and laugh and play an hour at a time.  Old Uncle  Ephraim Smith died yesterday morning.  We are going to commence our stopp tomorrow.  We are going to have two carpenters here.  We are going to build it halfway around the house and we are going to build a corn house the same time.  Steve has bought him a two year old colt.  Some time we will have a team I expect.  Fathers folks are well excepting Mother's health is not very well.  Delia is at home this summer.  Louisa Taber has got another boy, only 1 year and 20 days difference in her two boys ages.  And Helen Terrell has got a girl.  She beat me.  I have lots of company this spring , as usual.  I was up to the circus a week ago Monday and I saw Jim West and his wife and child.  Jim seemed very much pleased to see me, took particular pains to come and speak to me, but as greasy looking a mess as I see there.  They was both dirty and ragged.  I suppose you have heard that Aunt Mabel Baker is dead and all Urve thinks about is getting married again.  Mariah Hill, it used to be, has got a boy.  It weighed 2  pounds and is a smart baby.  I have not been over to Father's but once since Christmas.  I wish you was  out here some place where I could come and see you.   I heard your mother was coming out to Chester village to live.  I wish she would.

Nov. 10, 1869

We are all well up in Grassville in a little log hut 7 by 9, cold enough to freeze (edited) to death, but I have some bad news to tell you.  Grandmother W. is very sick.  Steve was there four days ago.  He said he would not have known her.  Dr. Sharett is attending her now.  She had all the other doctors around but still kept failing.  He had not been there but once but was coming again that day.  I am very anxious to hear.  I hope for the better.  Aunt Polly Baker is dead.  She died at Ann Bakers.  Uncle Levi is at Urve Bakers.  He must be very lonely.  Mary Jane Wallace is married to Harvey Carpenter.  I have not been out  since I came in 8 weeks ago.  I have not but 2 men besides Steve so I do not have much to do.  Ida is well and grows like a pig.  She talks some. I have not weaned her yet, think I will not until I am obliged to.  When you get out to the Gates place I will come and see you if I have to come afoot.  Steve keeps promising me to go and see you but never gets ready.  He has so much to do.  I suppose you are alone.  I wish I could come and stay a week or two or that you could come and see me.  I should be lonely if I dare to be. There is a family  of  Fritiers close by, most to near.  They have never borrowed my shirt.  I do not know as they know that I have one and I shall not tell them.  We have lost our neighbors out home. Robinsons folks have moved to Uncle Dave Coopers since we came up here.  They have bought his Puckerstreet lot.  Gave $500 for it.  I hear Sages folks are going on the Loyd place.  Hope it is false.  Delia is home this winter.  Mother was staying with Grandmother when Steve was out.  Libby Wood has got a girl.  You are losing time.  Idy go away and stop bothering me.  Thomas and Nancy is coming up here Sunday and the man and his wife that keeps the next shanty. They are a mile and a half from us.  His name is Alfred Matison.  Steve come in and wanted to read my letter so I read it to him.  He says there is one thing I forgot.  He has taken a dose of salts and expects they will operate before night.  Sunday heard from Grandma.  She is better.


Juliette was the daughter of Thomas Baker of Minerva, Essex, NY.  He was born in 1809 and  married Eunice Harris, born in Athol, Warren, NY.  He was a Wesleyan Methodist minister, and preached in the Darrowsville Church in Chestertown, NY. The Rev Baker and wife went into the woods above Minerva to log for August Sherman. Juliette married Wesley Rice in 1864.

Julia and Steven Newbery, her parents, Phebe and Sidney Hill, the two Willies,(4 yr. 3 mo.& 3 mo.8 da.), Julia's sister, Clarissa, and more who are mentioned in these letters are buried in the Starbuckville Cem. on Starbuck Hill Rd. in Chestertown. You can also find both families in the 1850 Warrensburg Census only two houses from each other. The girls are both 8 in that census.

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