Old letter from Elisha Allen McUmber - 1875 - submitted by Tom Sawyer, September 20, 1999
My 3rd great-grandfather, Elisha Allen McUmber (1805-1878) wrote this letter to his daughter, Louisa McUmber Sawyer in 1875. Elisha (EA) and Jane McUmber lived on a farm south of the village of Andes. He is also writing to Louisa's son, James Sawyer. Louisa McUmber md. Robert Sawyer in 1850 and they lived on a farm just south of the village of Andes along Trempers Kill road. In 1860 they moved to Whiteside Co., IL, then in 1864 they moved to Tama Co., IA. When they moved west from Del. Co., they went with 3 of Louisa's sisters: Phebeann Slead, Jane Affa Barnhart and Mehetabel Sickler. For further background, Elisha is the son of Christopher McCumber and Hannah Allen. He married Jane G. Elijah (1806-1895), daughter of Lewis and Phoebe Elijah. This letter is significant as it confirms the names of the children of Christopher and Hannah McCumber (there are many different spellings of the McCumber surname). I have not changed any of the spelling but I have added some punctuation for ease of reading. --Tom Sawyer
Andes, Feb. 2, 1875
I thought I would ansure your letter or rather James letter for if it was
not for him I dont no as we shold hear from you atall. I am very thankful
that he will write and let us no that you are living and how you am geting
along and we am happy that you are geting along so well. But James, that
300 achors of wheat and 75 achors corn will make som work for you. But if
you can get it inn I will try and com out and help you harvist it.
We am all well and hope these few lines will find you the same. Jane has
ben very sick but she is all better now. We have very cold wether hear
this winter but not much snow until now. We have good slaying.
Now I will tell you how we are geting along. We are not doing much now
but we shal have to work like the Devil for we have bought that hundred and
fifty achors of land that john slead had that lays joining ours. your maw
knew the place when she was hear and perhaps she does now. We have got a
good farm for this country. We can keep thirty cows and team but we have
not got but 10 cows now. But we think of bying 3 more this week. We have
8 haffers that will make cows one year from next spring if nothing hapens
them. We will have all we can keep for we intend to keep fifty sheap and
Now James, if you cat read this letter you must guess at it as well as you
can and write as often as you can and I will ansure all you will write.
I should be glad to have one and all of you com out hear and see us once
more and if you dont com soon you wont se me for I am geting all most old
enouh to Di. I shall be 70 years old the 9th day of next April and I am
left all alone. Luke and Lewis and Hester (Esther) and Elizabeth and
Gideon and Martha and Christopher is all Ded.
So no more at presant. Dont forget to write soon as you get this. Give
my love to all.
E A & Jane Mcumber
to Louis(a) and all the family