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: March 18, 1877
Type: manuscript
Physical description: 2 sheets (4 p.) ; 5 x 8 in.
Note: Letter tells of the grasshopper problem and youngest brother Andrew and family who arrived in Salina in 1877 and purchased E.A. Miks' blacksmith shop. Also mentions William's children who lost their mother, Anna, when she died December 22, 1875; a baby girl died a few weeks later.

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


18 March 1877 Salina

Dear Parents,

It is a long time since I wrote you a letter and no doubt you think I have been very careless. I must confess that I have been, and the only reason I can give is that Willie was sending and getting letters and consequently you were hearing from him how we all were. I have no doubt you are anxious to know how the children are getting along. I may say that we have had more sickness amongst them this winter than we ever had before. There was for one week that we did not expect little Emma Brown, that's the baby, to live, but she got over it and is feeling better now than she has this winter and is quite a sprite little girl, able to sit alone on the floor. Jenny is a great big fat girl for her age and could come up with any of Ellen's for a romp. An(n)y is but little bigger than Jean (nickname for Jane) and I suppose will be a very little lady. She has the best ear for music at her age that I ever saw, which means organs and pianos by and by, if we are spared and do well. The boys have been going to school all winter and getting along very well. Asa a little the best. They are a great help too about feeding. Andrew has done the feeding in the barn at night nearly all winter besides watering colts and other chores. I can trust him tying up and feeding the horses as much as I would a man. Asa tends the pigs and goes very well for his age. Nancy has been stout and hearty all winter and getting to be quite a motherly looking body. She has had help the most of winter. Now in regards our prospects for a wheat crop, we can form no ideas. At present in our neighborhood it looks all we could wish, but can't say the same for all of the country. A great amount of it was sowed too late on account of hoppers. What the young ones will do for us when they hatch out is beyond the ken of man. We are doing all we can to destroy the eggs by getting our land for spring crops plowed and the eggs turned under so they can't hatch. I have forty acres turned and 60 more to plow if the weather holds will get it done before they get out. I have been at work with a heavy roller in my wheat and intend rolling it all, believing that by that means I can destroy a good many eggs. So you see we are doing our best to destroy them. Andrew is seemingly favoring all the work he can do and would hire a man to help him if he could get a good hand. He has had two spells of the ague, which made him a little blue, I think. Little Lillie has had something like it too, but they are well at present. Melissa seems to content herself very well. They think some of renting a house in town so he will be close to his work. Willie's folks are well, and Willie and Jane are going to school. They seem to be greatly attached to Maggie and I believe will get along first rate this summer. Maggie is as cheery a lass any time I have been there. She is either laughing or singing. Bryce's folks are well. James I have not seen since the fair but suppose all well. I must quit. Write soon and let us know how you are all getting along. Hear you are sick along with John's little boy. Tell him that cousin Andrew will give a ride on his pony if he comes to see him.

Your son, Robert Muir

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