Howe Letters - 1874

Clinton, March 12 (Pepa wrote: about 1874)
Dear Sister Sophia,
I thought as soon as I got Oda's picture I would write to you and send one. I wish you could see the little girl herself. She is such a dear little woman. George has a bad cold on his lungs and I wanted him to have his nap today so Oda takes him into the other room and shuts the door and rocks him in her arms and tells him stories, but he is not sleepy and she has to give it up. He is not as regular about his nap as he was last summer - has so much business on hand he can not stop. Ike is quite smart. I think he looks better than he did last summer. The rest of us are very well. Susie (Ellsworth) gets along nicely now. She has got so she can make splendid coffee. She takes more interest and seems to want to learn and please, and I do not think she is homesick any now. Net does not come very often but we enjoy her visits very much when she does come. Hannah [Aunt Han 51, Roys will die the next year] is alone now. I mean does her work herself and I do most see?? but she gets along just as well as she did when she had Bridget. Mattie [Martha Han's daughter, 24, married to Leslie] is just about the same. Seems to keep her visiting up, as usual. She has just got home from a visit in the country of two weeks. Tell Susie I have just had a suit made of my gray goods that George* got me like hers, had a Palamaise and skirt. Trimmed it with a large black cord. It looks quite pretty. I wish Susie was here now. We have had so many fine lectures this winter. She would enjoy it. Daisy often speaks of Nettie [Annette Sawyer, about 10]. Supper is ready. I can not write more today. Will close hoping to hear from you soon---we all send love,
Your sister, Annie

* This George could be Nett's husband or more likely cousin George Peabody. The baby George earlier mentioned is 2. Oda is 7, Daisy is 4. Mattie McGregor Leslie married Clinton grocer James Leslie in 1869 at age 19; he was 24 at the time. Mary/Cub would be 9 but not mentioned. Susie Ellsworth is apparently a housekeeper, Soph's 'girl', they brought out from New England. See letter 1939. Susie Sawyer is 19.


Railroad Company
President's Office
June 25th, 1874
I.B. Howe Esq.
Clinton Iowa
Dear Sir --
An application has been made to the U.S. Court at Chicago, among other things, for the appointment of the receiver to manage the affairs of the Rockford Rock Island and St. Louis Railroad Company during the pendency of the suit for a foreclosure of the Mortgages.
I desire to fully justify my management and for that purpose desire to get two or three competent railroad managers to examine into the present condition of the track, rolling stock etc. and give to the court in the form of affidavits the results of this investigation.
Knowing your experience in such matters and believing that you would willingly do me a favor, I take the liberty of asking you to join with some two or three other railroad men in a trip over the road having that object in view. I will put the necessary car and engine under your command and see that you have every assistance to facilitate such examination and take as little as possible of your valuable time.
The gross income of the road has been about $1,000,000 per year, and it is complained that too large a proportion of this has been used in expenses of operating and keeping up the road, and I desire to have your judgment as a railroad man and one who knows something of the road before I became its Manager, of its conduct in that regard --
We will want to leave Rock Island early Tuesday, June 30th for the trip.
Truly yours
R. R. Cable