Salina Public Library Local History Collection

Thumbnail image of the 1st page   Title: Letter from Robert Muir, Jr., Salina, KS, to his parents, Robert, Sr., and Jane Muir in Sparta, IL
Author: Robert Muir, Jr.
Date: January 21, 1867
Type: manuscript
Physical description: 1 sheet (4 p.) ; 5 x 8 in.
Note: Letter tells of Salina becoming "quite a respectable looking place", the high price of goods and that the baby is growing.

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


21 January 1867 Salina

[written on the top margin sideways] I have had the most trouble in writing this letter of one I ever write. I believe you will have to excuse all blunders

Dear parents,

It is a long time since I wrote you a letter and I must own that I feel ashamed of my negligence, but I will try and make up for it now by giving you all the particulars I can. I will begin by stating that we are all enjoying pretty good health at present. I had a very severe cold myself, the worst I believe I ever had, but I am pretty well over it now and do not think that it will give me any more trouble. There is a great many complaining with the cold, but few cases of winter fever in the country as yet. We have had a very changeable blustering winter though not as cold as last winter and winter before, but a great deal more disagreeable to both man and beast on account of so much damp cloudy weather. But we are looking for a change for the better before long and right welcome it will be. There has been a great change come over this place. Since I last wrote the town of Salina has grown to be quite a respectable looking place, and property of all kinds hold at very high figures. Some lots as high as 650 dollars which the same lots could have been bought a little over a year ago for 50 dollars. That is running up pretty fast for a frontier town, and I may say here that property in the country is keeping step to times pretty well. Produce of all kinds is a little lower this winter but still bringing fare [sic] prices. Corn from 80 to 100, hay 10 dollars per ton. But so far the demand for hay is not equal to the supply but it is generally below. There will be a demand for all surplus hay before spring. I am living in hopes there will be as I have considerable to dispose of and will need the money being rather tight in money matters at present. It is an expensive business getting along here. Everything is selling at such high rates and taxes high. My taxes this year was 42.20 [and written above that was 8.26]. And I am getting 3500 feet of cottonwood lumber at 4.50 per hundred feet for fencing and fixing up my house in the spring. I have got tired of dirt roofs and look upon them as considerable of a bore unless a person can not do any better, and then they will do very well. Well, Mother, little Robert is getting along first rate and has grown to be quite a big fellow and a very stirring one. He is wearing out his second pair of shoes so you may know that [he] romps round considerable. He has not tried walking alone yet. He is perfectly able to do it but seems afraid to try it. Anderson told me you was fond to know who he was like, but I don't know of anyone. Nancy was very proud of the dress and stocking you sent to little Rob. She thinks the dress is very pretty. We all prize the presents you sent us very much and thank you for them. Well, Mother, Anderson was telling me that father and you was looking as hale and hearty as ever and was talking of paying us a visit. I tell you I was right glad to hear it for I had been thinking you must be getting pretty frail, but I think you had better not undertake the trip until the railroad is completed to Salina which will be sometime early in the summer. I will have to close by hoping this will find you all well. Be sure and write soon and tell me all about how you are getting along. Give my best respects to all.

We remain your affectionate son and daughter. R. N. Muir


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