Here are 3 letters. The first is from Hiram Cooley Burrell to Herman Burrell. The second letter is from Aldebert Patchen Burrell of Palmyra, Wayne, NY to Herman Burrell. The third one is to Herman Burrell of Olena, Illinois from John D. Gunn of Kortright.
Herman Burrell is the eldest of 10 children of Sylvester Reeder Burrell and Mercy Ann Packard. Sylvester, Aldebert, and Hiram, born in Delaware County, are sons of Caleb Burrell and Diadamia Turner. Mercy Ann Packard is the daughter of Lydia Dibble and ? Packard. Lydia Dibble remarried to John Gunn in 1854 and had George Gunn and John D. Gunn. George Dibble mentioned in the letter is Lydia's brother.
Bill Gullberg Sr. of Stronghurst, Illinois has the original letters. He has them in a book he put together that he graciously gives away. I "transcribed" the letters. In John Gunn's letter, mother and grandmother is Lydia Dibble, the letter was written 3 months before her death. - Kassie, October 31, 2000
Otego, Otsego Co., NY
December 14, 1896
Mr. Herman Burrell dear sir-
As we have not heard from any of you in along time I thought I would try and write a few times and see if we could hear from some of you once more- We are all well at present that is at home we have 8 left, Sarahs 2 girls, Dels youngest boy by his first wife, our 2 youngest girls Carrie and Eva and Charlie our youngest boy, and my wife, and myself. George lives in Gilbertsville. John in Norwich in Chenango Co., Emaa and Hattie in Otsego, Fannie in New Jersey, they are all married- To your mother and family well should like to hear from the once more. I have not been in Kortright since Uncle David Turner was buried. I saw John and George Gunn and your grandmothere all well then and George Dibble and Family. I saw all of Uncle David Turner's family except wes all well there Uncle Hopes(Hopestill Turner) family well except Malissa she not very smart think she has the consumption. Uncle John Turner died over one year ago- we have had some cold weather here this winter just had another cold again now no sleighing plenty of snow drifts on the hills-Times hard all kinds of produce low, taxes high, so you see we only stay up here among the store I would like to come out and see you all once more but do not know when I can, getting old and good for nothing my lungs bother me so I cannot work much only what Doctor and that is the most of the time except in bad weather We would like to have some of you or all come out and see us we will take you sleigh riding if you will come when there is snow- Dells wife is very low with consumption she may live until spring but should not be surprised to hear that she was dead any time. We were there last Saturday they live at West Bridge about 4 miles west of here Charles lost his farm on the hill they live in East Davenport. Charlie and the boys are butchering, the girls were married now. If you think this is worth answering please do so and oblige your uncle.
Hiram C. Burrell
Should this reach you, as I hope it will, I trust you will answer it as I have not heard from any of you for so many years and I would like to know how many of you are alive and is your mother alive and where are you. I am here in Palmyra Wayne Co., NY 24 miles east of Kochester city on NY central railroad. Your Uncle Hiram is dead. Your Uncle Charlie is alive. Also your aunt Susan and Aunt Caroline and I am very much alive but getting old and played out. Should this reach any of you please answer as I want to hear from you all once more.
Your Old Uncle,
Olena, Henderson Co., IL
If not there deliver to any of S.R. Burrell Family.
The Sunday November 18,
Well Herman, thought I would write you a few lines to let you know that we are still living and hope this will find you all well. Mother is a little better she guessed. The Doctor says the trouble is with her heart he called it something I forget what it was, you can hear the blood gush in and out very plane. She sets by the window from morning till ten or eleven at night. I am chief cook and bottle washer. There's no hope to be got here I got a man's hired girl to come when she was first taken and she stayed from Friday morining till Sunday night, the 2 old maids on the hill stayed with me two nights and the rest of the time we have stayed alone. We have had a quite a cold spell for a few days. It snowed the other night knee deep but tonight it is about off. I had bad luck this fall I was drawing up my sowed corn I had fethered up one load and got another part way up through the field when the little Sorrell mare dropped down and before I could get the harness off she was dead. So I haft to use old Handsome alone, the black is no better. I have just got the pictures today will send them along with this letter. The graphs is not verry good I guess it was on the account of me being in it. Tell Wilma I can eat more Potatoes now than she can tell her she had better come out and keep grandma company while I am out doors. Tell Georgetta she had better come out and I will try and get her in to the school if she wants it 10 dollars a week. I will send you a picture of our new bridge. What was the matter with Susie that she came back so quick? Lizza Harlett has been over twice today. I don't know anything more this time come out all hands when you can. Write when you get this, goodbye for this time.
John D. Gunn
Del. Co., NY