The following is a neatly hand-scripted letter written in purple ink (likely pokeberry juice) to William Thomas Walker, his wife and family from “S. J. S.” (Sarah Jane Spitzer – W.T.W.’s sister), dated May 25, 1885. No spelling or punctuation has been corrected. Submitter’s name was not included.
Notes (indicated by numbers in parentheses in the text below) are at the end of the transcription.
“Dear Brother Sister & family after being on a visit last week at Gabe’s(7.) and John’s(4.) returned home yesterday, found all in common health Eliza Berry(10.) & family was hear she can now go a bout (sic) on crutches has bin down a long time she asked me if I knew they had seen you since I had been gone, the thought struck me you had sent your picture I inquired about it Mother(2.) gave me the letter & picture Thom I cannot express how glad I was, Thom you know how my silly way is to say I can hardly write for looking at it it seems like I have seen you. you could not sent me any thing that I could a bin (sic) as proud of as I am of it. I did wish you had sent Marys(6.) & the Childrens pictures hope you will sometime. Andy went down last Monday to haul some rails & fix some fence I went with him to Gabes the land he bought is about a half mile this side of Gabes Gabe is not very stout he has something like bronchittus & Mat is not stout she complains of her lims (sic) aching so, I tell her no wonder she is on her feet nearly all the time. After Andy(1.) got his fence made he helped Gabe replant corn the cut worms has been so bad they hav (sic) been replanting the second & third time we come to John’s saturday evening stayed with Mary(9.) an the children till sunday evening John was gone to walnut grove to meeting near whear (sic) Edons lives John & Edons has & (sic) appointment up at Liberty Flat next saturday & Sunday near Crum (?), Coffies & Jim Walkers Pa,(3.) Ma,(2.) Andy & my self wants to go I hope we will have the opportunity I wish you would come & go with us Mother now wants me to write some for her she says she wants to see you all, she was glad to see your picture if she could not see you, she was sorry to hear of your bad luck but was glad it was not some of your family. she says beare it patiently, for all things works together for good to them that loves God, she wants me to tell you about our good meeting Saturday & Sunday was a week ago. Edons was hear preached as god (sic) as ever we heard him, saturday evening while he was preaching Amma West commenced praising the Lord and thanking him for his goodness & blessings & that she had heard the true gospel & was pleading withe the Lord for her Children & for all sinners, & Vina Coffie raised to her feet she commenced telling a bout (sic) Jesus, she says it is not me, it is the power of God & I think it was, for every word she spoke it seemed like it was with power, Miss Jane Long she was rejoicing & had been for two or thre (sic) days, Edons soon closed his sermon & began to sing, I wished you could have been hear & seen & heard for your self what a rejoicing time it was. I think they preached I dont know what els (sic) to call it. we had a good meeting on sunday, Sacriment & feet washing sunday evening then we had another time of rejoicing Mary Arnott that married Lum (?) Setser she joined the Church Saturday she seemed to enjoy the good spirit while she was engaged in washing feet, it seemed that meeting closed with glad & rejoicing hearts that some day we would all meet where parting will be no more. Jane Long, Vina Coffie, Sallie J Grilly (?) Amma West, Nanna Vaun, was all shouting it seemed like Edons John & all the rest was enjoying the good spirit you know how good it seems when the lord visits our hearts & make us feel that all is well if I could live near the Saviour & feel that peace of mind more that is my desire, but we all have our ups & downs & I have more dark seasons than light ones Mother(2.) says tell Lizza(8.) she wants to live near the Saviour search his word & follow it close, she wants to hear from you & mary how your ar (sic) getting a long (sic) we ar(sic) all so dsirius (sic) & anxious for you to come up this faul (sic) at our next sacriment if we live we hope to see you. life is uncertain, as to my health it is not good & I hardly expect it ever will be I will write a few lines for A J(1.) he says his whet (sic) is froz out so he is a fraid (sic) he will not make enough to sow, he is replanting his corn the third time we have 33 hundred potato slips set out I dont know how many irish potatos 11/2 bushels I guess our garden looks very well we have strawberry & corn pie for dinner it is going on eleven, we will eat dinner Mother & I ar going over to P C s(5.) to see Ed(12.) I will finish writing when I come back I cant hardly write with this pen) now we hav (sic) come home & set out some tomato plants it is half past 4 Oclock P.C(5.) said tell you about his pleasant visit last week. Luther Brown & wife nephew of Becka,s come over Monday last P.C & Wife took Luther & Wife in their buggy down to Scot Hutsel(?)(Antsel?) stayed all night come back to Jake Mc culleys stayed all day back to P Cs at night next day went with them 5 miles above Roggersville to Dr Browns, Beckas Brother in law, next night to see her neice Emma Glilinwaters (?) Then home saturday he was well pleased with his trip only he was uneasy about Ed,(12.) he stayed hear (sic) with mother(2.) Pa(3.) says tell you he is battling along like common says the cut worms is bad hear he is replanting the third time he says tell you maby (sic) he will come down this winter & eat gouber peas with you he says for you to come up for fear he does not get to come he says when he gets a indeable (sic) pencil he will write to you Ma says tell all the Children howdy for her
Cam. Grigsby(11.) was up at our meeting said silvesta was not stout I reckon the rest of Marys(6.) folks is well the neighbors & connection is all in common health I dont hear any body complain of being stout
I forgot Aunt Abby is not hardly able to go Mary(9.) fetched her ove (sic) to meeting she stayed hear till saturday Aunt Sallie Login has not been well for some time Uncle Andy Login is dead John Mcfarron (barron?) is porly so good by to you all S J S W T W & all”
(These following names penned at the dated top of the page, as an afterthought)
“Aunt Elizabeth Aunt Sarai Aunt Hali Aunt C Berry Aunt Hannnah Bernard Millie & Malon is all getting along smooth as common uncle J. Bernard is not well could not come to meeting A Bernard is well Mary Jane Bernard has been sick Sarah Henderson was able to go to meeting god(sic) by”
Sarah Jane Walker (S J S), was married to Andy Spitzer, “Andy” & “A J” (1.) in this letter (2.)”Mother” must refer to Elizabeth Bryant Walker, Edward Walker’s wife, or “Pa”(3.)
(4.)”John” is John Walker, a Baptist preacher & eldest brother of William Thomas Walker (5.)”P.C.” is Preston Clay Walker, second eldest brother of William Thomas Walker
(6.)”Mary” is Mary Elizabeth Moore Walker, first wife of William Thomas Walker
(7.)”Gabe” is Gabriel Walker, younger brother of William Thomas Walker; his wife being “Mat” (8.)”Lizza” must be William Thomas Walker’s daughter, Lizzie
(9.)”Mary” is wife of John Walker, Baptist preacher
(10.)”Eliza Berry” might this be the grandmother of John Walker, whose grandfather was Edward Walker, married to one Elizabeth Berry? Or some other Berry connection?
(11.)”Cam. (Campbell) Grigsby” & “Silvesta” are Mary Elizabeth Moore Walker’s relatives
(12.) “Ed” is Preston Clay and Ellen Walker’s eldest son, Edward W. Walker, born 9/10/1866. He had a younger brother James H., born 10/11/1875