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: April 18, 1868
Type: manuscript
Physical description: 1 sheet (4 p.) ; 5 x 8 in.
Note: Letter tells of farming matters, crop prospects and the hope that black birds will destroy the grasshoppers.

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


18 April 1868 Salina

Dear Parents

I have been waiting long and patiently for an answer to my last letter but no letter has come to hand yet so I come to the conclusion today to try again and let you know how we are getting along, how crops are looking, grasshoppers and the like. We have had a very early spring and are well forward with our work. The ploughing is about finished up and considerable of corn planted. I put in 6 acres yesterday and John finished 10 the day before. The winter wheat looks pretty bilious in this section, with the exception of a few patches. Half a crop is all we can look for. Two of the pieces that look well are Willie's and John's and theirs is the best that I have seen and promises a good crop. It has been hurt some with the grasshoppers but nothing to complain of. If my own makes 10 to 12 bhls to the acre I will be well pleased. A dry fall, winter and spring is what done it. Up to the beginning of last week we have not had snow and rain enough to make one good rain in the last 6 months, but the prospect for plenty now is pretty good. I sowed 10 acres of spring wheat and that is looking very well at present, but the hoppers are on it in places and eating it some and may damage it considerable if not destroyed soon, which I feel confident they will as soon as the black birds get along. The hoppers hatched out about one month earlier this year than they did last, but not near as many of them and consequently have not done the damage. They have cleaned some fields of wheat and oats entirely and others they have hurt but nothing like they did last spring. And if they disappear entirely as they did last year, and we have no reason to doubt it, they won't have done half the damage that was generally anticipated. We are still having the lightest kind of times in regard to money matters and the prospect for easing up is not very flattering. I cannot complain much myself for I still managed to keep a little on hand, enough to keep on moving. The worst thing for us is we cannot sell our corn for cash at a fair price these times, and it won't do to sell on any other terms. We are having considerable of fever and ague this spring. Both myself, Nancy and the baby has had a shake or 2 of it, but I think we'll be all right after this. At least we hope so. We got the little boy's ears fixed. It took about a week for them to fall off after they were tied. They still show a little but nothing to hurt. He is getting to be quite a stirring fellow and some say he looks like Grandma Muir. I will be pleased if he does. The rest of the boys are well but if I know anything they need a wife amongst them bad enough. But the chances if they have to make the effort is pretty slim. Mr. Jones the preacher has been here for some time and gives good satisfaction. I believe he is the most suitable and will do the most good of any we have ever had. The subscription for his support ranges from 15 to 40 dollars. I will close by saying we are all well. Hoping this may find you the same. Give our love to all not forgetting uncle Andrew. Write soon.

Your son Robert Muir

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