If you'd like to contribute letters, I will gladly add your generous contribution to this webpage.
Thank you kindly!
I will try to make this introduction short and sweet. The intent of this first paragraph or two is to let you know how I came in possession of these letters and envelope from Oneida, Illinois dated 1886 and 1887. It is the hope of my neighbors Warren and Charlotte Boone and myself that we find relatives of the Huntleys or Chilsons and get the letters to them.
My neighbors Charlotte and Warren had bought two new chairs for their living room about 12 years ago. A few weeks ago Warren had dropped some quarters down the cushion of one and went to feeling around for them. He lifted the cushion and put his hand down the inside of the chair and felt something and when he pulled it up it was the envelope and the letters inside. There was also a funny but a bit risque 3x5 card included that is titled the Last Race, " The Mid-Night Handicap" however very funny, I don't feel it is appropriate to repeat. You could imagine how surprised they were when they saw the date. Furthermore how puzzled they were because they had no idea how the letters got there. The only answer they came up with was shortly after they bought the two chairs they took one back because it squeaked. They were given a replacement chair which was supposedly another new one and brought it home. They think the replacement chair could have been one that someone else had for a short time and they too had brought it back. During the time they had it the first person some how was looking at the envelope with the letters and they dropped down there.
The furniture store had closed it doors several years ago. We live in Sun Lakes, Arizona so we hope someone out there can help the relatives from the names you will be seeing the in letters that will follow. I only wished the letters were from a relative of mine.
Charlotte and Warren Boone of Sun Lakes, Arizona
Note from Janine: It's possible that these letters are from Levi A. Huntley's family who had a farm in the Oneida area. In the 1878 History of Knox County, a biography of Levi A. Huntley mentions that Levi was born in Connecticut, son of Asher and Phebe (Hitchcock) Huntley. He then moved to New York and subsequently to Summit County, Ohio. He married Elizabeth R. King (also from Summit County, Ohio) and moved to Knox County, Illinois. Together they had three girls: Mary J. Huntley (who married Charles King in 1879), Nellie E. and Cora B.
(I have transcribed this letter as it was written on Nov. 25, 1886 Kathie Karpinen June 9, 2005)
Oneida Nov 25 1886
Dear Mother and Sister and Brother Wal
Mother I will try and write a few lines since you and Brother James have ben a staying a lone and as Sister Julia has ben of doctern
No wonder Sister Jane could not come out to see me I thought she had got thrue having babies that (sp not sure) what also Sister Mary Mark is it you sayd that her helth was poore
Talked Wal the same day that I got your letter. I got one from Cora and Levi got a card from Chancie stating that Brother Leonard was dead
I littled thought when I was there that he wood go so soon but so one after a nother goes. Cora says that she wants to get here by the first of January she says my crock of butter won’t last long after the Kansas Homesteaders are there a while
Wal I gess she has went with out butter so long that she thinks she will considerable to eat
I have a three gallon crock of butter put down and am eating on a crock that I put down last spring
I have one crock and a little more at night and two crocks in the morning
I solde a little last week and got 16. cents for it. Wal as it is Thanksgiven I will tell you what we had for dinner for we all stayed at home
We had to have something Wal we had baked chicken and smashed potatoes they were real small ones bread and butter and mins fire and coockeys and two kinds of sauce and warm drink
Wood of liked it if you all had ben hear to took dinner with ours. One week a go last Satturday Mrs Clifford and I called on Mrs More on the shed plase and last Saturday we called on Mrs Reas the first time I have ben there sens you and I went as we came back we called on Mrs Emmie Clifford
A week a go last Tuesday Mrs Glenn spent the day hear and Mrs Clifford sayd that she eat so much that it made her sick we hade some of Aunt Netts fresh pork byled and you bet it was good. And the next day I spent the day at Aunt Netts had a good time. Nellie is a making her scarp book she dont feel very well this week. O. Mrs Coolie intends to go back east this winter as Oren is going back to Springfield again this winter. O. Mrs Mores chiled next to the yongest got scolded pretty bad last week tiped the coffee pot over on him from his hip dowm
Leevi went up and save him he sayd it looked bad
O O Julia has Mother got her dress and cap on that I sent or has she got her a better one for this winter
Uncle Leonard died Saturday Nov. 20 and was buried Monday the 22nd
We had a regular blizzard here last Thursday. Father took a sleigh ride that day as he was a bliged to go to Oneida, that is all the sleighing there has been and that was not very good. I expect Julia has now got annough chinck to get her Photographs taken. So when do you expect to sit for them Julia. As Jane has a present of $1000, dollars in the shape of a gentleman or baby boy. So I expect she would so proud over it that she divide with you liberal.
Yours ever, Nellie Huntley
(This letter is transcribed as it was written from Oneida, Ill on January 26, 1887. The stationary has a letter head that has a sheep in the upper left hand corner next to where the L. A. Huntley is located. The size of the paper is 51/2 x 81/2 inches. )
COTSWOLD AND SOUTH-DOWN
Oneida, Ill 91/2 January eve 26th 1887
To Mrs Mary Chilson. Dear Mother.
As the family has gone to bed. I will write you a few lines. I cant lay a bed, because my brest does ache so bad. I have not much chores for 8 or 9 days. Charles does the most of them.
The children goes to Oneida every day and somedays 2 to 3 times. Tis very good goin.
I am truly sorry to hear that your eyes and health is so poor. Give my respects to Uncle James and wife. I will try and send you the money if I can rais it tomorrow.
Our folks got nathy because I refused to let them read your letter before I did. If you get this letter answer soon.
I shall have to quit because it is getting cold. Wishing you all health and happiness.
I will sign L.A. Huntley
(This letter was transcribed as it was written the original is on a 5x8 paper front and back. Nothing has been changed. Kathie Karpinen June 9, 2005)
Akron Sept 13th 1887
Dear Mother and All I received your Postal yesterday and was glad to hear from you. And I am glad that Luther and Nettle can go to Ticnicks and enjoy themselves if I do have stay at home and work. I have done a large Baking to day and I am some tired other wise I am as usual. James is feeling better than well when you went away. Mary is working for Mrs Slaybaugh, but Mrs is dead, she died Moonday at 700 pm, she is to be buried on Thursday at 9 oc. Froney was home yesterday to dinner Immojene was with her, her health is very poor she is not able to go to school. I got a Postal from Nellie today, she wrote you a letter, one week ago last Sunday and sent it to Both. And she wanted to know if I knew wether Luther intends to go West this fall or not, But can not tell her.
I got a letter from Bucyrus from Sister Mary, she has been having the ague but was some better when she wrote. She cannot come home to the Fair or does not know when she will or can.
We have had a shower this evening and it Thunders and Lightens now as it is late I will close with love and best wishes to all
Hopeing to hear from you often Good bye
Letter submitted by Todd Walter
La Grange Tenn
Mar 7 1863
Your letter of Feb 4th sent by George Moore I got yesterday, and I was glad to hear from you for I had not heard from home for a long time. the bags were stopped at St Louis, and have not all got here yet some of them (I hear) have gone back home. I got a letter from Uncle Jacob with yours, Giles Hand you say is captain good for him I say "my best wish for him is that he will be capable of filling his position and will do so with merit and honor.
you say you have not heard from Sally Helm for some time. I heard from her a few days since she was well then said she would like to hear from you. I am glad you are going to school but sorry you have no better tutor. Edward is mistaken about my deserting if the negros are armed though I am verry much opposed to it. think it would be disgracing ourselves to arm the blacks. tell Fanny Thurman if she will wait until the soldiers come home she can get a younger if not a better man than her teacher. well sis they talk of giving soldiers furlough's again if they do, I think I can get to come after while, should like to come
very much if I could. we will soon be in the service two years and it does not seem to me that I have been from home half of the time, Ma wishes that I had some office so that I would not have to stand so much guard. I believe I never told you, I am 2nd corporal but that does not relive me from guard duty. I do not have to stand on post but the reponsibilty of having sentinels do their duty rests upon us. A major is the loest rank exemted from guard duty. well we have but very little fighting to do here now. we were out foraging yesterday comeing back the captain sent me in charge of a squad in
the advance. we had not gone far when whizs came a ball amongst us followed by another taking a few men and following the direction of the fireing we started about a dozen rebels out of the brush but could not catch them this is their mode of fighting. unless they are far superior in numbers their is nothing more than a few gurelia parties here now I think. well me space is short and I must quit writing. tell ma I will write to her soon and I should like to have her minature. tell Lil I have not receive and answer to my letter. give my love to all at home. tell william to write to me. my respects to all enquirering friends and write soon to your brother.
P.S. Sis I noticed you used in writing several times the expression bully, which does not sound very well, not that I care for myself but for your benefit in writing to others
Any contributions, corrections, or suggestions would be deeply appreciated!
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Updated June 15, 2005