Mary Ann Eldred Austin wrote her son Lon Austin in 1881, with local news.
Lon lived in Solomon City, Kansas, where he worked for his brother Ell who managed the many acres of farm land owned by Henry Parmenter. In 1883 Ell married Henry’s daughter Emma. When Henry died, Emma and her sister inherited 220 acres on the Smoky Hill River.
Mary Ann Austin, Eldred, to Lon Austin, Solomon City, Kans.
March 27, 1881
My dear Son,
Your long looked for letter has arrived. It is very welcome, for indeed I thought you had forgot your Mother and I was afraid you was sick, as Eldred [Ell] did not say anything about you.
How I do wish you was working to Proctors and boarding home. Gus Osier has moved on his father-in-law’s place so that he will be nearer Proctor. But George Parker lives near his father, so he has a good way to walk.
They say that this man that has bought near Proctors is worth the most so that it will make plenty work.
George Hickok came home last week dressed like a gentleman and set some crazy to leave this place. Bill R. and H. Sprague expect to leave for Catheray in a few weeks. Olin Hickok went last Monday.
Wells’s wife came out with George. George says he gets $100 a month driving a gypsy wagon, is doing well; and Wells makes money. But he has bad luck losing horses I think.
Tom [Collins] and Gus [Osier] find it cost them more married than single. Kelso and his team don’t look as though they could stand up to the school boys who hollar at him, “Take that team to the boneyard.” Kelso threatened to arrest them and take them to Monticello where they would learn manners.
Rob [Kelso] is home yet to help build a new house on the hill again.
Mr. Middaugh is our neighbour in the Parker house. They buried their little boy a few weeks ago. Miss Emma Middaugh (I suppose you are acquainted with her) who was home to the funeral, went back to her work.
Our Congregational minister lives in the Newcomb house. Dr. DeVenoge has moved back.
I have told all the news I can think of except Henry Lily’s wife is dead. Her daughter, Mrs. Parker, moved out there about four weeks before she died, but they do not like it there and have moved to Kansas City.
I received a letter from Mrs. Wells. She likes it very much in Tennessee. Says they are making gardens. It is anything but that here. It is very cold and the wind is blowing. A very hard March. Came in like a Lion and stays like a roaring Lion.
I do hope you will have success. Mortie is sick.
Please write to your loving Mother