Salina Public Library Local History Collection

Thumbnail image of the 1st page   Title: Letter from Robert Muir, Jr., Salina, KS, to his brother William, visiting in IL.
Author: Robert Muir, Jr.
Date: March 1, 1865
Type: manuscript
Physical description: 1 sheet (4 p.) ; 7.5 x 10 in.
Note: Letter mentions settlers Irwin Faris, Minerva Jane Huddleston, P.M. Thompson, John Lane, "old man" Zigler, Nancy Kenison.

View the original letter: pages 1, 2, 3, 4


1 Mar 1865 Salina

[written on the top margin sideways] P.S. You need not be surprised if Irve Faris and Minerva be married when you get here. They are going it strong.

[Saline Co marriage records show that Erving Farras and Minerva Jane Huddison, married by J. J. Woodward, J.P. on 17 May 1865, at the residence of Mr. James Muir in Saline Co. KS]

Dear brother

I received your letter yesterday after waiting until my patience was entirely wore out supposing that you had neglected writing as I much feared you would do when you left, but I was mistaken by your letter had been detained on the way from some cause or other. I suppose on account of bad roads and high water for we have been having a very roft (rough) time. Since you left more rain than I ever saw in Kansas at this season of the year. And 2 days ago we had as heavy a fall of snow as we have had this winter. But it is quite warm and the snow is going off very fast leaving everything in a perfect splunging(?) if the weather keeps on as ofices(?) as it has been. I believe the winter wheat will come out all right. Jim's is looking first rate. I was examining ours amongst the corn a few days ago and was surprised to find so much of it living and looking well. If there is no more of it gets killed it will be plenty thick I believe. I was inquiring at

Anderson's about the patch in the other field. He seems to think that it will do well enough too. From present appearances I will not need to sow so much spring wheat, but a week or so of such weather will tell. Ph M. Thompson got home last Saturday with plenty of money to settle up everything and 3 or 4 hundred left. The bill James was showing against him was all humbug. He owed Ph M 150 dollars when they settled after deducting 50 cents per day for the use of his wagon, which amounted to 52 dollars. When I settled with Thompson we were owing him more than I expected. There was only $123.31 cents coming to us but 10 dollars of what we were charged with belonged to Jim and Anderson. You will have to bring me a horse out with you. If you can get one rising three year old no matter if she is a little thin, if she is the makings of a good mare and you think she can stand the trip. We have plenty of feed for them when they get here and not much to do until they can recruit up some. Jim wants you to bring one out for him also. Johnston wrote to him that he would rather send the money as the mare so he contended he would take the money and get you to bring one out and he would know what he was getting. He wants you to get him a three year old. He does not care if it is a little poor and coarse made so being it is a good size and not too high priced. You will have to arrange about the paying for them the best way you can. You know the money is here ready to send the first chance. And if we do not get a chance to send it by some person we can send it by express, but arrange it to suit yourself. The only thing I fear is this will not get back in time before you start. I am in quite a dilemma to know how and when I am to get the money down to Leavenworth for you because I don't expect to hear anything about when you will arrive there. But I will send the first chance $150 and a list of what's needed to be left with Garret so you can inquire there and if nothing of the sort has been left you will know not to wait, but I will try if possible to have it there ready for you. Now for what I have been doing since you left. I sold the two black and white Cherokees for 55 dollars and traded the old cow to John Lane for 60 rails. That was the only condition he would let me have them on the rails having gone up to 50 cents since you left. I thought it a good price and let her go for the rails we were bound to have. Since that I bought all the improvements on old man Zigler's claim for fifty dollars, which is a cheap bargain. Jim takes the buildings and I the fencing. I made 174 posts on Shippel's claim at the mouth of Mulberry, which I think will do us with what we have got. I razed the house about two weeks after you left. It took one day and a half to raze it. He had it well notched down and is the best of the houses I have helped to raze in this country, had shapers and all put in when I razed it. One reason for taking so long to do it I have it all ready for the lumber doors and windows cut out and window frames fitted in ready to put the windows in, and chinked so you can see that it can be all ready to move into in a short time. Other things has been moving along pretty much as when you left. The stock are all doing well and looking better than when you left, but still giving us a good deal of trouble to keep them together and know where they all are, as quite a number of them never comes home. Now that is about the sum total of what I have been doing with the exception of an occasional visit to see Nancy who is doing and looking well, and worried sometimes how long it will be to [sic] you get back. Perhaps you can guess the reason. Well, Willie the wheel of fortune is turning in the Provost Marshall's office in Leavenworth, and I noticed in yesterday's papers that quite a number are drawing prices and getting drafted into army, our turn coming. Next mail I think will tell the result. There has to be ten men from this & Ottawa Countys. Twelve of us has formed an organization, fifty dollars each as a bounty to any of the number that may be drafted provided no one man gets over 300 dollars. No more at present. Give my best respects father and Mother and all the rest. I am right glad that Bryce is coming out with you.

Your brother Robert Muir


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