Howe Letters - 1862


Tremont House, Chicago, January 29th 1862
Isaac B. How, Esq.
As't. Sup't CI&N RR
Dear Sir:
I am in the employ of the M.S.&N.I. RR Co. [Michigan So. & No. Indiana] and also the Illinois Central Company in getting us the evidence of defence, in suits brought against them for infringment of the "Cawood Patent - Swage Block" for repairing RR rails.
In a conversation with Mr. Williams, Dr. Williams, As't Sup't on the G.ana [Galena?] C.W. R.Road, he recommended you to me, as a person well qualified to testify as to the comparative merits of the plain block with grooves and those with clamping dies to hold the rail in the process of welding and reforming. Believing that you have much experience in laying track and repairing track, the companies I represent in this matter would like to have you look into the matter a little, and give us your experience in mending rails upon the Common Block, now in use upon the Vermont Central Road, as well as on many other Roads in the United States. We would like to know all the particulars of Cost in mending rails upon the V. C. Road as you are now in Northfield.
The trial of the case is expected to come off in March, probably between the 10th and 20th of the month, at Detroit, Michigan. Can you make it in your way to favor us with your presence, when the trial takes place? If so please inform me as soon as practicable after receipt of this note.
In my investigations of this matter, I have had occasion to notice the different methods of keeping up rail joints. Your method strikes me as the best I have seen. I should be please to confer with you in relation to your joint, should you come to Detroit, as we desire, and when we give you the proper notice.
Yours very respectfully, S.M. Whipple
P.S. Direct, Biddle House, Detroit, Mich.

Cawood patent: '...improvement in the common anvil or swedge-block, for the purpose of welding up and re-forming the ends of railroad rails when they have exfoliated or become shattered from unequal wear.' Patent pooling was considered good business practice by the railroads. The Cawood infringement case was noteworthy.

Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad
Office of the Engineer & Assistant Superintendent

30 March 1862
To the Sawyers in Boxford.
Clinton, Iowa,

Dear Friends!
I was glad to hear that you were so well, and shall hope that "the little one" [little Mattie, born February '62] may live and be well: but it will be well with the child in any event. Father! How is it with you? I think of you at Soph's because I have not heard of you're going to Vermont -- going "home" I should say, for the dear, old hills are home for me yet, and we will hope that the time is not far distant when it will be our home again.
It is pleasant here now -- the steamboats have commenced running on the river again. The snow is all gone -- the streets are dry as summer and the grass is beginning to look green, but my old friends, the ground squirrels and the robins that used to sing to me in the sugar-place, are not here. Last week Annie and I saw a flock of wild swans -- great, beautiful, white creatures sailing on a pond near where we were passing in the cars. They were wild and are not often seen so near men and engines, I think. Eva [9] and Sue [7] may have one if they will come and catch it. Perhaps the Indians will help, for we have some Indians that look bad enough to be real savages -- decked out with feathers, paint and -- whiskey. They make maple sugar that looks very white and nice; but -- blah! Who could eat it after seeing the manufacturers.
The season is said to be very backward here. Last year the river was open and boats running, March 8, and at this time farmers had nearly all their Spring grain sowed. Now they have only commenced. Perhaps the war makes the difference. We are hourly expecting news of a big fight "down the River" -- Soph! Didn't you admire the character of Com- Foote? [Commodore Foote] -- I sent Father a copy of the Louisville Journal and would like a Mass. paper in return. I get an occasional Vermont paper, but hear but little news from there now that Father Gould is away. Asa is always brief, you know. It seems that they are almost covered with snow at any rate.
We continue to board with Rogers, and are very comfortable. Annie is well as usual. She would prefer to keep house, but I don't think it will pay for so short a time as I intend to remain here. Jim [Gould would be 21; Sawyer would be 12] is here asleep on the sofa. He often speaks of "Father Howe". He is a good boy, and much company for us. I intend to visit Net sometime next month. She is a regular farmer now. I have some curiosity to see how she manages. The Deacon [Han & Roys] writes quite often and seems very contented in her Minnesota home. I am sure it is a pleasanter home than their Vermont home would have been to them.
With love to all -- I remain, as ever, your Ike
Clinton Market: wheat, No 1 - 65, N 60, Oats -- 10 C 13, Corn -- 10 C 13, Flour 4.50, Potatoes 45C50, Butter 12 1/2, Eggs 12 1/2, Apples per barrel 2.50 C 3.00, Cranberries per bushel 1.25, Hay per ton 4.00, Wood per cord 3.50 C 5.00. [What does the C symbol mean?]

Father! You must let me know when you want anything.

(addressed to Mr. I. B. Howe, Clinton, Iowa)
Northfield, June 26, 1862
Dear Son,

You wish me to write about the folk here and myself. I have been at Asa's since I came home. My health now is very good. I could work some if I had anything to do. Ann is just the same - good woman as ever. Josey, I think, rather fails. Ella is a good girl, helps her mother take care of Josey and does many chores. (Josephine (age 6, died 1864) & Ella are both Asa & Ann's daughters)
Aunt Phila has gone to see her beloved Sarah.[Not sure who this is; later references indicate Abijah is not friendly with Phila. 1860 Census shows a Philinda Eastman domestic servant ]. Has been gone two or three weeks and we hope she will make herself so agreeable that they will keep her many weeks longer. Mr. Bowmans folks are well. Alonzo wife is staying with them this summer. [Alonzo Bowman was one of Ike's childhood friends from both Norwich and then Northfield] William takes good care of your garden. The strawberry bed looks very nice. He has talked some of going to the war but has given it up. Adda (Adelaide,18, his granddaughter by Martha Jones. The Jones family had an inn on the turnpike. Martha's husband Wm was flaky, so maybe that is the reference.) has to run the ? as much as ever and her mother has to do about all the work. The last I heard from Malverd he was in the hospital at New Orleans. Was getting better. He said should get his discharge and come home as soon as he could. He did not think he was stout enough to endure camp life. [Malverd Tucker would be 25 and apparently in the war but not for long.]
We have had a cold spring and summer thus far. We have not had rain enough to soak the ground since April until this week. A week last Sunday night we had frost that killed the beans and tomatoes and some corn and potatoes in this village but did no damage on the hills. Most crops must be light. I have been in hopes of seeing you and your good wife here before this but I hope you will do as you think best. I miss Uncle James and wife much for they were very kind to me. [Jim Gould would be 21, must be father Gould.]
Abijah How


Montpelier, July 19, 1862
Addressed to: Mrs. IB Howe, care of D. E. Fifield, Janesville, Wisconsin.

Lib was sister Mary Elizabeth Gould, Hannah's sister Harriet was married to David Fifield in Janesville. Mother and Father Gould had moved at some point to Janesville along with brother Jim. Convention will be James for father and Jim for son. -- Tana and Mark.
Questions? Home was probably Northfield; they still intended to return after work was finished in Clinton. Ike
could have made it to Montpelier from Northfield in a morning; could Lib be in the house in Gouldsville?

Dear Wife!
I reached home last Monday. Stayed at Toronto Friday night, as trains did not connect. Got to R.???'s Point Sunday morning and went to bed and slept till noon. Found everything all right at home. Came here this morning to write this in Merrill's counting room. Have not yet been up to the house to see Lib, but learn that she is much better and doing well. Think I will go there to dinner. It has been very dry and hot: but is now raining. This rain will improve things greatly -- particularly the grove.
I am having good times drinking Saratoga water and am beginning to feel very well -- have not had a minute to play and may not for I shall start for Chicago next Monday night, if not before. I may need to go to Clinton before going to Janesville, but you will hear from me. I shall look for a letter from you Friday if I am here.
Yours ever -- Ike

Clinton, Iowa, October 2, 1862
Darling Wife!
It is possible that I shall get to Janesville on night train Saturday but I do not think I will go until a week from Saturday. If our "traps" came I may be there almost any night next week, so it will be best for you to be under "marching orders", and ready to leave at almost any time. We will go to house-keeping soon as possible. I am feeling well -- going to Rapids today -- back tomorrow.
Shall expect a letter from you when I get back. Your Ike
That carpet we saw in the auction room in Chicago was sold for $1.05 per yard!

16 March
[Not dated, probably 1862: Ike has been Asst. Supt. of the Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska RR; talk of leasing to Galena. When was connection with Marshalltown? In same envelope with the following.]
The Excursionists to this city (Chicago) from Marshalltown Iowa met at the Sherman House on the 16th Mrch & unanimously voted the following preamble & resolutions.
Whereas thru the polite and liberal arrangements of the Managers of the Chicago & Galena Union R. R. & Extensions we have been passed over this line from Marshalltown to Chicago in celebration of the completion of the road to Central Iowa.
And whereas during our stay here we have received many considerate civilities and attentions from numerous citizens.
Therefore Resolved we view with much pride & Exultation the perpetual iron band that now binds our home to this vast city distinguished as the metropolis of the West & unequaled for public enterprise & private uovch?
Resolved that we have a lesily? & lasting recollection of the pleasure & entertainment derived from this Excursion.
Resolved that our thanks are due to the officers of the Rail Road & our friends in Chicago for their generous & marked courtesy.
Resolved that the Secretary enclose a copy of these resolutions to EP Talcott, Supt and IB Howe, Asst. Supt. of the R. R. also to Miss M. Ladd and B.F. Calmn? citizens of Chicago also a copy to Chicago with request to publish.
G. Glick Prest.
HEJ Brandman Secy.

Cedar Rapids and Missouri River Railroad, secretary's office,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 28th 1862
At a meeting of the Executive Committee of this Company held at the Tremont House Chicago Ill. September 9th 1862 the following resolution was passed.
"Resolved. That IB Howe Esquire be and hereby is appointed "Superintendent of the Cedar Rapids and Missouri River Railroad" under such terms and conditions as he shall make from time to time with the Galena
& Chicago Union Company."
I hereby certify that the above is a full and true copy of an original Resolution passed as stated
Witness my hand & the Corporate Seal of the Company the day & year above written --
SC Pardee Secretary

Cedar Rapids and Missouri River Railroad, secretary's office,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 28th 1862
IB Howe Esq. Supt. C.R. & M.R.R.Rd. Clinton
My Dear Sir
By a law that was passed by the "Genl. Assembly" of this State last session -- it became necessary that the Sec'y. Treas. or Asst Treas. & Gen. Supt. of all Railroads now or hereafter to be built, should reside in the State. And in pursuant with the said law, our Executive Committee, passed at their meeting held September 9th 1862 at the Tremont House Chicago -- a Resolution appointing you as Supt. of our Road. A certified copy of which I herewith enclose -- and would say that I should have sent it to you before, but as I left for the East within a few days after the meeting and have only been back a short time it slipped my mind until now. I also return the letter in relation to Passes for the ensuing year from our Prest. McCrocker trusting that all will be now satisfactory.
Yours truly, S.C. Pardee Secy.