27 August 1883 Salina
I will send you a few lines to let you know how we are all getting along.
To begin with we are very busy and help hard to get at any price. The
boys and I have been going it alone since harvest and get along with our
work pretty well. I believe I have got the best boys in the county. I
gave them a colt apiece to be their own. They are very proud about them.
Emmy met with quite an accident 4 weeks ago. She fell out of an apple
tree and broke her left arm close up to the shoulder. She is still carrying
it in a sling but will be all right. The rest of the children are well
and have been all summer. An(n)y has been helping to milk all summer.
Tell Janet that her namesake is the smallest totum [?] in the Muir family,
about a year old and only 14 pounds, but as lively as a cricket. Nancy
has not been quite as well as I would like to see her. She is very thin
of flesh but don't complain much. As for myself I had a pretty hard time
of it with my stomach in harvest time, but am all right again and can
eat a good hearty meal and not hurt me. But I find that I am failing.
I can't do as much work in a day as I use to without being very tired
at night, and if I could get help would not try. Now in regard to our
crops we have not thrashed any yet, but the way the wheat crop is turning
out generally we will have a good year. I expect to have upwards of 4000
bushels. Our oats was a good crop. I think we'll go 50 per acre. Our corn
was badly hurt with dry weather and crickets. The very late field, and
fields protected by timber from hot winds will make a very light crop.
I have 90 acres and take it all over may make 20 to 15 per acre. Enough
to do me if I don't feed any cattle this winter. I bought a lot of cattle
intending to feed but will have to be governed by the price of corn about
feeding them or not. I suppose you know by this time how we have been
spreading out and buying more land. I bought 80 acres last spring, price
2400 dollars, 65 acres of it in wheat. I get the third at harvest at best
500 bushels. Will, Brice, Andrew and I bought 1600 acres railroad land,
price nearly 8000, one-fifth down balance in 5 to 6 years at 6 per cent
interest. We bought to graze our cattle on. We could sell at a handsome
advance more. Last week Will, Bruce and I bought 160 acres joining me
on the north, price 4000, 2000 down balance in 1 & 2 years at 8 per
cent. You must not think we are going in too heavy. We can stand it and
will pay us well. The last we bought we intend to fence for pasture for
our young horses so as to have them near home. The rest of the folks are
well. Andrew & Melissa and children was down and stayed a little while
this evening. The little boy is a stirring fellow. Andrew said he was
having a good harrow trade, but short of help like everybody else. Now
Mother I want you to write me a long letter as soon as you can and tell
me all about the folks, how they are getting along and if the failure
of the wheat crop will emberas [sic] them much. Be sure and write.
Your son, Robert Muir
Apple trees just
loaded, some trees breaking down with weight of fruit. Sold a good many
at one dollar per bushel. Will has sold over 100 bushels.