Howe Letters - 1873

Addressed to: I.B. Howe, Esq., Clinton, Iowa
Bainbridge, N.Y. July 18" 1873?
Dear Howe.
I reached here last night and find your letter of 10th. I regret that there has been so much delay in answering it but I did not reach here quite as soon as I expected. I notice what you say in relation to Clinton Bank matters, and after consulting with my wife and Mrs. Reed, I have concluded that it will be better for me to remain in Marshalltown than to move to any other point in Iowa, and that in case we should conclude to move from there, we should leave Iowa entirely. Taking this view of the matter and considering the fact that Mrs. R. desires to have her money invested in mortgages and real estate and that she must depend on me to attend to her business, makes it more prudent for me to keep my means invested with hers, rather than divide it. From these and some other reasons, which I will explain to you more fully when I see you, lead me to conclude that I would prefer to withdraw from the new bank organization. I look upon the project as a good one for you all who are located at Clinton and, you may feel free to withdraw your capitol from Kirby & Howe, and invest it elsewhere if you wish, regardless of any interests which I have with you. Altho I dislike extremely to terminate the firm which has run so pleasantly, I think that I shall shape my business so as to leave Marshall at some time in the future, and as early as it can be done without loss. My inclination and those of my family are toward Chicago - now. If any moves have been made that this decision will embarrass, I will regret it but as my connection would not add any local strength, but only what means I put in, I see no reason why it should disarrange, except that it will desolve the bank firm of K & H – in the event of your going ahead - unless you go into both.
I regret as I said before that so much time has elapsed, but I could not give you my full convictions until I had consulted with Mrs. Reed as to her wishes. My plan now will be to return to Iowa by the 20th of Aug. and then be governed by circumstances, but I see no way by which I can turn my affairs in Marshall inside of a year or two. Henry* writes me that all is moving smooth. Silas [Silas Steinbeck] that he is making not much money. I shall not go to N.Y. City but expect to go to Canada, Toronto and will examine Jewelry there. Mrs. K's. cameo, sett. cost something over $400. Would you want to go up to that. I would advise you to go to the importers, as you can save 25 per ct easily. I will look in Toronto & let you know.
I wish you would write me on receipt of this. I shall be here 2 weeks. Now Isaac, I have written just as I feel about bank matters, and want you to receive it just as I write. We have always talked frankly & plain & by so doing have avoided any difficulty. I wish now that some plan could be devised that we could remain together, but I should not feel satisfied to go to Clinton to live, & must not think of moving unless I do so permanently.
Yours truly, Geo. F. Kirby

*Notes: Henry was I.B's. nephew, Asa's son, who went into banking in Marshalltown and stayed with it his whole life. Geo Kirby, Henry Howe, and Ike worked together in Marshalltown and the nearby Le Grand quarry and elsewhere for many years. Probably Ike's decision was to do both banking operations, or let Henry take over the Marshalltown operation . It appears Kirby stayed with it as long as he didn't have to relocate to Clinton. Silas Steinbeck was another partner on the letterhead.
George Alonzo Howe(Pepa) worked with Henry for a while before [and after] he married Alice.

"Kirby & Howe Stone Manfg. Co., Incorporated under the Laws of the State of Iowa.
G.F.Kirby, Silas Steinbeck, I.B.Howe, Directors. Silas Steinbeck, Agent,
251 Putnam Street, Chicago. Stone Cutting Mill and Yard, Putnam Street, near Chicago Av. Bridge."


B.F.Allen, President C.T.Bowen, Vice President. C.G.Bulkley,Cashier
of Chicago
United States Depository,
CAPITAL, – – – – – – – – $500,000.
Chicago, Ill., July 18, 1873
I. B. Howe, Esq.
Dear Sir,
I have just seen our mutual friend Mr. Bailey (the original Iowa Granger). He tells me that you and some other friends propose starting a bank in Clinton.
I asked Mr. Bailey to talk with you and say we wanted your account in Chicago. We will allow 4 per ct on daily ballances [4% on daily balances?] furnish you with N.Y. exchange at par and feel confident we will please you.
Hoping to hear from you.
Yours very truly,
B. F. Allen, Prest.

Addressed to: I.B. Howe, Esq., Clintn, Iowa
Written in side: From Grandpa Gould to Papa. Margaret Howe

Janesville, July 31, 1873
Dear Son,
I arrived home from Oshkosh yesterday - found friends all well, wrot David [Fifield] with your letters, I also read the Post Office card. I dont like to take the responsibility of deciding for you on any one ??? they had better embark in any understaking where there is so much profite involved in the ?? . I will state what I think I can safely & let you be your own Judge in regard to the matter. I think I can safely say my Millend is a man of principle & a reliable man & his statemts can be depended on. I think the statements that we now have from him through David are open, fair & straitforward, & that he has no interest that he has not openly represented everything connected with the ??? , & I think the property is worth what he represents it is, and I have no doubt but it would be a good investment. I think I have said all that is necessary for to say in regard to the matter.
I went to Oshkosh last week, ?? found Jim [Gould 32] & little family all well. The baby is better nights than has been. They have plenty of business. They have decided to make a change in their business next October if they dont sell before. We are all well. Mary [age 8] is well and contented. Let her stay as long as you can. We shall not go East til the second week in August. It is very dry here. Not had any rain since we was home. We like to see that ??? ?? we will all ??? ??? this warm weather.
Kiss the little one [Pepa] for me, James Gould Write often.

Notes: Jim Gould, 32, was his son living and working in Oshkosh. He was in business with Jim after turning the Gouldsville mill over to his brother Joseph. Don't know what property they are considering. This is the year that his daughter Harriet Fifield died at age 40.-Mark


Envelope says: Return to HYDE, PEABODY & CO.,
82 Friend Street, BOSTON, Mass.,
Addressed to: I.B. Howe, Esq., Clinton, Iowa
Written in pencil on envelope it says: From Cousin George Peabody about Howe's Station.

Boston, Aug. 16, 1873

Dear Cousin Isaac:
I received your letter a few weeks ago, and was real glad you wrote Mr. Prescott about the Station. I saw him a few days after and he told me he received a beautiful letter from you. You know that all these things tell I have been working hard for the Station for more than 2 months and the People about these are much pleased at the success, night before last the train first stoped at Howe's Station. I send you a notice, as requested by Mr. Prescott with the wish that you would hurry that ''Boy'' up as quick as possible. Mr. Prescott and some other officer's of the road are coming up next Wednesday to have a little "sit down" wish you could be there. Mr. Hatch Gen'l Manager told me he was slightly aquainted with you, he is a westernman. How I wish you could be there with us! When you come this way perhaps we will have a picnic somewhere in the neighborhood. Perhaps under the old Elm and invite them up.
I am very sorry that yours and Mrs. Howe's health is so poor. I think if you should get untied from the railroad, you should before launching out into any new responsibilities, come East and spend one season at least. I realy think it would be the best thing for your health, and purse in the long run, we will put you up as house at the new Station. I think there is a little money around there.
William Hyde and family have gone to Bradford Springs, NH for a few weeks. Jane [sister is Sarah Jane; lived in Peterboro, NH] went with. I went up to spend the Sabboth.
Business is pretty fair tho sometimes I get sick, of "shoes". I suppose I should hardly know the girls now, to say nothing of the young man. Mr. Hyde often speaks of his visit with you, and would a word to send if he were here. Tell the Girls to write to me .
My love to all. Truly yours George.

The paper notice he sent says:

Eastern Railroad Co.
New Station!
A new Signal station to be called
Has been established on the Lawrence Branch between
SWAN'S CROSSING and MIDDLETON, and hereafter
Trains will stop there, only on signal, to leave and take passengers.

August 14. 1873 J. Prescott. Sup't.
C. C. Roberts, Printer, 21 Brattle Street, Boston.

George Howe Peabody, son of Uncle Charles and Aunt Hannah; later became the family's guardian when I.B. Howe died in Danvers, Mass. in 1880


Chicago & North Western Railway
General Managers Office
Chicago, Aug. 26, 1873.
To I.B. Howe, Clinton
Dear Sir:

Col. Howe wished me to ask you to send a set of "our artists" graphic sketches of the Pacific R.R. Excursion, accompanied by the laureate's fitting dirge. for Judge Blodgett, of this city.
Yours reverently,
J. W. Midgley
I.B. Howe, Esq.


Washington, DC, October 6, 1873
Dear Uncle:
It has been a long time since I have heard from you directly, and I have heard nothing from you indirectly since Maria and Ione were in Vt., some three weeks ago. You were not very well then, and have been in poor health nearly all summer, as I understood; and Aunt also had been in poor health much of the time. I do not know that this letter will find you at Clinton, for I believe you were intending to go away somewhere for a change as soon as you could, but wherever it may reach you, I hope it may find you and Aunt both in better health. I am inclined to think that Clinton must be an unhealthy place to live in. Aunt Adelia * was back to Paris on a short visit last month, but was glad to return to Denver, whose climate agrees with her health much better than that of Illinois does. Uncle Asa, we learn, is at home again, and must have come rather unexpectedly, as when Maria was at N. (Northfield - Tana) Henry was there intending to take the family to Iowa with him. Now we hear that they are not going, Uncle having lost his place. I am sorry, unless he can do as well or better, elsewhere.
Note: According to the write up in the Norwich University book, Asa never had a job very long. In '66-'68 it shows him division engineer on the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad and in '74-'75 shows him in engineering construction on the Montpelier and Wells River Railroad. This letter sounds like he was working in Iowa when he lost his job, likely because of the financial panic of '73.
Maria has fully recovered her health, and is quite as well, I judge, as she ever was. Baby Onie [newborn Ione] keeps very well, and is smart and sprightly. Ione [his sister the music teacher, 30] is also well and we hope to pass together a pleasanter Winter than the last. Wish you and Aunt and some of the little ones could make it in your way to make us a visit.
Uncle Geo. was in the South all summer, returning just in time escape the yellow fever, having run into Memphis at midnight and run out again the next morning, about the time of the breaking out of the fever there. He has been at home about a month. I suppose he will go South again the coming Winter. He goes as a Government Agent, but that does not cure his dislike of Grant.
How far has the money panic effected the West? I suppose that "times are dull" there as well as in other parts of the country. I hope your business may not be injuriously effected. By the way, some two months ago I wrote Kirby that I should wish to withdraw the remainder of my investment in Iowa when the present year's note becomes due, which will be Nov. 3, I believe. Henry wrote that he would see that I got it when due, and doubtless he will attend to it, if he goes back there to attend to Kirby's business. I shall have some of it to pay some $250. taxes now due on my city lots here.
We have had beautiful weather here this month, which has been warmer and pleasanter than Sept. was. Maria and Ione send love to Aunt and the children and all the friends. Maria says she owes Aunt Anna a letter which she hopes to pay sometime, but she has been very busy about her housework since she came back. Please write a few words when you can find time.

30 Oct 1873
(on a scrap of paper/ telegraph:
C. Rapids 30
Isaac Howe
Mr. Watkins is dead. Will you break the news to his wife in your own way.
M. Hughitt
John B. Watkins was Supt. Iowa Div. Killed 30Oct73 when crushed between cars 3mi. west of Cedar Rapids.
He was a friend of Ike; town of Watkins named for him, probably by Ike.
Marvin Hughitt was Gen. Supt.