By Charlene Shields
Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."
Copyright ©1999 by "The Carmi
Permission to reprint granted to Laurel Crook and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."
Jan. 22, 1999
From one Pioneer to Another: A Grayville man writes an old friend in Texas. Ed Hon of McLean, Va., sent me a copy of the letter below. He had received it from a researcher in Marble Falls, Tex., who said the original letter was found with others in a flour barrel. The letter is dated March 18, 1854, and was written by Edward Kershaw of Grayville to Daniel Boultinghouse, a former resident who by that time was living in Williamson County, Texas. The original spelling, grammar and punctuation are preserved.
"Dear old Friend I saw your brothers, Zac and John and Zac give me your letter from Texas and I was very glad to hear from you. I have made very much inquiry about you since you left me and I never could hear of you being satisfied until now and I want you to tell me all about your country. You know what this country used to be and tell me if you have found one as good, tell me all about it good and bad if it is healthy if the water is good if the land is good if the Timber is good and all about the climet and about the crops and the price of Land and if there is any congress land and if there is any prairies and if there is any springs of good water and if there is plenty of Deer and Turkey and bee Trees and tell me about the state of society and how far you live from the colorado river and witch is the best route to your country your Brothers wants to know all particulars as well as myself, now I will tell you something about myself and family, we are all well and I hope you are the same, we are living on the place where John Burton lived and are doing tollarable well we have had Thirteen Children seven girls and six Boys We have lost two girls and one boy, and one girl married. I have 1,120 acres of land and not in debt, and the price of land is geting up the Town of Grayville is growing very fast there is 4 steam mills and they are going to build another one and there is going to be one or two railroads through town and there is a plank road from Grayville to Albion and land is worth $100 an acre close to town, and we have got a steam saw and gristmill in Stinking Creek prairie, and Rice Howell is building a saw and grist mill at hites Shole on the Little Wabash River, and land is all bought up in Edwards County, now I will tell you about the price of stock and produce horses are worth from $80 to $100, cows from $18 to $25, pork from $3.50 to $4. pr hundred, Wheat $1.10 pr Bushel, flour is worth $7.25 pr Barrell and Corn is worth 35 cents pr Bushel and oats 25 cents pr Bushel and potatoes is worth 35 cents pr Bushel and Butter 15 cents pr pound, now I will tell you about this country the range is all gon and grown over with brush the game is nearly all gon and we work much harder than we use to do, some of your old neighbours are living Robert Willis and wife are yet living, old man Spencer and wife are both dead and old John Allcock died this winter, your Brothers told me to tell you that your relations are all well. I should like to live neighbor to you and have a long talk with you and see your country You will excuse all my questions and send me an answer as soon as you can and except of my best wishes for your happyness, my wife joins me in our best respects to you and all the family, Edward Kershaw to Mr. Daniel Boultinghouse"
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