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Wyman Family Letters (Provided by Sherry Breeding Chandler)

Letter from Hesparius Anson Wyman to his daughter Mary Hannah Smith (copied as written with mistakes):

Here in the kitchen Thursday Jan 20/81

Mrs Smith My Dear Daughter

Your interesting letter of 4th just came to me the 15th. I am glad you & Abel went to see Russell what can he say for him self that he has not been to see you or write to you. Oh he is a singular boy and always was so we must let him have his own way and love him still with all his peculiarities & supose you did not tell how far it is and the price of ticket. Oh how it would gratify me to see you & Abel at your home with those 5 noble young men truely you are an honorable couple and no doubt have the respect and confidence of all your associates how I should have enjoyed seeing you all at Russells. Martin sent us a photograph of his house as he did to you. Oh dear only think of it 20 acres of corn all covered up in snow I had one acre so I could not sleep nights and I do not as it is very much for your mother goes to bed soon as dark sleeps but a short time each nap then wakes & begins to whine & groane then to hollore but I generaly start soon as I hear her groane and help her up & back to bed again I sleep in the dining room have put her bestead down low so I can put her in bed easy and have cut Ansons old night chair down so I have every thing as good as can be but it is an awful task to take car of her. She rants teribly in spite of all we can do. She never appreciates any service renderd to her I take her by the arms or shoulders and lift her along she can not see to feed her self very well but two proud to accept my help oh the poor woman many times a night sais oh that the lord would deliver me I think she is some afraide to die but is anxious to be free from paine I have had the Doctor he thinks there is not much use to doctor her but left some soothing medicine but all our remedies availe nothing she will not take any medicine she sits stuped most of the day times dont seem to know much most of the time & then for a short time will talk with some sense. I find my task a hard one that takes the life out of me fast besides all that I have a family in the house that I shall git out first of April unless I sease to be Anson Wyman and what I shall do then is a hiden mistery but you know I am well used to being driven to heights but have always found some way of escape when the Devil thinks he has me all cornerd up - now if I dont find a chance to let my place to a man & wife with no child I shall try to hire an old woman to care for maam and I can carry on the little plow land & have my self and I have one cow will purchase another if I think best I can git along so better than to put up with what I have to now

Well we have as much snow as folks can turn out in very well and the best of playing now for full 2 months and a fair prospect for the next 6 or 8 months unless old Mrs Shiptons Prophesies are to be fullfilled I tell you the large number of teems loaded with lumber & bark that pass here would astonish you RS Whitcomb & wife are prety feeble & grunting about as usual wants to sell but wont sell out John Knowlton has the place where M Averill was has built a shed & barn this side of the house ? on to the house sits back against the trees on top of the long steep bank He has 2 smart boys and a little daughter. Oh how much better if he would go west but I dont care for any body only to do my duty to all with whom I associate and wate the arival of the good angels to conduct me to my home in the spirit land it is growing dark I must once more say goodby Dear Daughter & all the dear Beloved ones in Seward Anson


Gaysville Vt Aug 21/81

Mrs Abel D Smith

My Dear daughter your kind letter of 7th has come to me in due time always glad to git & reade your letters yet simpathise deeply with you in your loss of the company of your 3 sons but Dear Daughter in spirit you are not ailinated you are near to them & they to their Mother than some who dwell under th same roof they are as much in hand of god as if they was in Seward you of cource wish to learn all you can of your Mother who lingers yet in the farm well she still continues to decline but as she cries & takes on for any thing that a very small child would I think her suffering is not what we would mind much about tis in her mind more than body she has the best of care at the hands of the nourse a woman about your size 44 or 50 of age from Pittsfield and excelent house keeper & nourse to whom I pay 2.00 pr week but poor Mother she makes us a sight of washing 4 or 5 times a week I shall try to keep her while Maam lives altho as her helth is poor I have to hire a helper now have a young woman daughter of John Mills at 1.00 pr week She will leave and go to school next week & I must tare round and git another helper so Luna Ravill can devote her attention to her patient it is an expensive task & I am considerabley worn out with it but Martin advances money fast as I need it he came here to see his Mother once more while in the body arived week ago this morn I carried him to Bethet with Tincys horse Tuesday morn I have just put down a oil cloth floor cloth in dining rooms & painted kitchen floor yesterday Your Mother can not remember any thing (ie) to speak it we have to guess what she wants when she cries her physical helth seems full as good as it has been for 2 or 3 months she stays in her room & in bed most of the time eccept when she gits mad at Luna or me then she will up & stand in the door & say or say Devil many times & slam the door too or say Pop take ye oft repeated then when exausted she lays still for a long time so now I have told well as I can about her situation she very often sais Lord deliver me many times not always in a suplicateing tone but seems to demand it and we think she is justified in demanding it for she has sufferd until as the neighbors say it is wicked to wish her to live so any longer I tell them the grim monster death has to contend sharply for every inch of ground he gians on her I am doom'd to care for her & git her up many times each night & listen to her groans now ever since Jan 21/80 except one night and if the recording Angel dont credit me with so much in Pergatory I shall appeal to a higher court if I have the right of appeal. Men from Ill? & Moway here report a small crop of corn & wheat on acount of drouth prices have advanced there & here I paid 1.40 pr 100 for meal last tuesday at Bethel we have had a dry spell but recent showers revive things up some my corn & potatoes look well had 4 two horse wagon loads of rye from 13/4 acre lot out one & 3/4 lbs acre lot where that birch tree used to stand out in the pasture I often hear from all my Dear Children except Russell he choses to be let alone so let it be to his heart content my pen is poor my hand is not very steady My left eye in a bad condition for 8 or 10 years now pains me & I have writen as much as I think will interest you this time. Much love & respects to you and Abel Dear good Son wish I could see him once more but little expect to in this form on earth. Respects to all the royal family of cource that mean my Relatives All self sustaining familys & Persons are the true Royalty of America None rank ahead of the true Americans the river runs just as it used to the hills & vallies all just the same only a little older not many apples this year but enough for our use what more do we want adieu a heart warm fond adieu dear friends all be of good cheer there is rest for the weary Beloved there is Rest

This from your own loveing Father


Letter to Abel Dudley Smith from Alex W. Eastman (copied as written):

Letter: Topsham, VT Jan 31, 1872

Abel D. Smith,
Dear Cousin By the request of Mother I (unreadable) your very welcome letter of Dec 11 which reached here in due time bearing the glad greetings that you and family were in the land of the living and that you had not forgotten us all although many miles separate us. In regards to Fathers family there have been no deaths only mothers which occured some twelve years ago of which I presume you have heard of. Of fathers children their is eight of us some of which have been born since you left the state three boys five girls Emily & Newll are in California. Never have been home since they left 14 years ago we expect them home soon. Sophronia is married has one child lives in Newbury Elvira & Evelyn is teaching school Bill is at home this winter Jimmie the youngest is at home is a perfect - chip of the old block as for myself I am married and have four children two boys and two girls the oldest nine youngest - four all well and healthy I live in Topsham on the place which I think Arch Renfro owned when you left here I have owned it 9 years A verry good farm for this rockribed country Father and mother are getting along well they have acumulated a good propity and need not work as they do But they are anxious to make money as they were when poor compared to what They are now Mothers health is verry poor her lungs are verry bad Father is healther and can do more work then he could twenty years ago and I think he is a much better farmer He keeps better (unreadable) and more of it - does not do much at the lime only what we burn to use on our farms his apple orcherd is paying him well now he has more than five hundred grafted trees now bearing Grandfather Smith is living with Sophronia at the present I saw him yesterday is verry slim I do not think he will live until spring Curtis Fisks folks are alive the old folks live on the Grandsier Eastman place they are in quite good circumstances Samuel Eastman is located at Newbury he owns the seminary and boarding house and is supertending a school there Henry Whitcher lives on the old farm he (unreadable) on Abner lives on the old ladies place she is alive and in good health Arch Mills lives on the old Mourse place there has been many changes here since you left of which I do not know as will interest you so will let them rest for the present but perhaps you would like to know who lives on your old place there is a young man by the name of Rowell the old buildings all stand have been repaired some but have about the same apearance as in years gone by The whole east side has been cleared up to the road has been a new set of buildings built on the road about oposite of where I helped you harrow on new land when I was a small shaver that land has been verry productive John Peach built the building he made well John Mcallister went on next with six hundred dollars he stayed about ten years and left with four thousand which he made there it has been well cultivated it is as steep as ever but the stumps are all gone and the stone built onto well it looks verry differnt from what it did ten years ago There has been a new road built from ther to South Ryegate the new Railroad from Wells River to Montpelliar has made Ryegate quite a smart little town Well I guess I have written enough to begin to think about closeing But in regard to your enquirey as to the estate of Uncle Abel we have not never heard any thing in regard to it of late I think that Mrs. Rice is not dead as we should be likely to heard of it they never have got any thing of late but I did not ask our folks as much about it as I should for I do not know what the will was but ask more about it when I see them As to Uncle Thomas' folks I did not learn but hope to hear from you agin soon and we will try to inform more particular about it We should be verry glad to hear from you often should like to know your children names ages & also all about your climate farming fruit And enough to fill two sheets a number of times every year I shall be glad to inform you in regard to any thing that I can of which you wish From your well wishing friends & cousins From Alex W. Eastman

Fathers adress South Ryegate Vt Ours East Corinth Vt


Letters to Mary Wyman Smith from Alma L. Newell

Gaysville Vt Sept 27th 1885

My dear Auntie

I will try and write you a few lines this Sabbath eve. We have had to part with our dear mother she has gone home to that bright home above where there is no more suffering she was a great sufferer ever since I have been home but I am so glad I could be with her all through her last sickness and it was such a comfort to her that all of her children could be with her. she had a shock you of course knew and the 5th day her right foot & leg up to the calf of the leg all turned black and the Dr said it was dry gangerene well it kept getting worse the foot all dried and the toes were all most transparent they were so dried she suffered every thing from it and at last she had to have the leg amputated at first she thought she never could be reconciled to have that done but she see that was her only chance and she was prety reconciled to that to live any way but poor soule that could not save her we had four Drs and two of the finest surgeons in the State and they amputated at first about half way between the knee and ankle but the old Dr said that he should have to go higher than that so back to amputate it between her knee & hip and after we had to go through with all of that and then have her taken from us it seemed terrible it dont seem as tho I could have it so any way that I have got one thing to comfort me and that is that I done and had done every thing that could be done for her she died the 17th of Sept at 10 minuets of six oclock in the evening she died in fathers armes she died just as easy as one going to sleep Father said that she never moved a muscle still all through the day she was out of her head a good deal but oh aunt Mary you ought to have heard the two prayers that she made on her death bed they would melt a heart of stone and she repeated the 23 psalm and at her funeral the minister read the same psalm it was rather singular I thought as there had been nothing said to him a bout it and he took for his words to speak from the 13th Chapter of St John the 7th verse What I do thou knowest not now but thow shall know hereafter we had her funeral here to the house the 19th day and we had for the bearers Father & Uncle Martin and my husband & Bertha's Husband and Fathers two brothers and they carried her from the house up to her last resting place in thee there hands and the procession all formed and walked up we had a good many flowers Mother looked as natural as could be and she looked so peaceful I think if any one has gone to heaven my mother is there now. but Oh dear it breakes the home all up to loose a mother know one knowes untill they are placed there how heard it is Father dont know what he is going to do but I guess he will sell of every thing that we dont want to keep and go down to Boston with us and work and live with us I want to make a home for him as well as I can Brother Walter has got him a good job for a year up to Pittsfield runing an engine and little Martin will live here with Bertha and go to school he says he can learn better here in the schools than he could down country he is almost a man grown he will be 14 years old the 7th of Oct Mother had knit some handsome lace last winter to put onto an apron for you and she said the day before that she had the opperation that if she did not live she wanted me to sew that lace onto an apron that Charlie Wymans wife brought up to her this summer when she come up and send it out to you and so I am going to do it so you may look for it any day My husband & I shall stay here with Father untill the 18th of Oct any way I have not told you when she had her leg taken off it was the 15th of Sept well Father sends his best respects to you and all the family and says that perhaps he may some time come out and see you. well to morrow we are all going over to Berthas and spend the day. well I guess I have told you all that I can think of Aunt Lydia was up here this afternoon and she said that she was going to write to you so I guess I will draw this letter to a close by sending you love this from your niece I hope to hear from you soon direct your letters here to Gaysville Vt this from Alma L. Newell

I will send you some of Mothers lace and I wish I could send you a picture of her but have not got any but I am going to have some copied and if I get some good ones I will send you one


Alma L. Newell

Boston - Mass Nov 17th 1885

Dear Aunt

I will try this morning and answer your kind letter that I received while in Vt I feel very guilty for not writing before this but it seems as tho my time has all been taken or else I would have company I have made the attempt to write you a number of times and some one would come so to stop me. well since I last wrote you we had an Auction up home and father sold off all the things that we did not want to keep and then my Husband & I come back to Boston and we have one half of Bonsine Walters house out in Dorchester and we had all of my things come from Vt that mother had taken care of for me since they moved back there & so we are keeping house very cozsy well the very day that we moved out here Father & Bertha come down here so you can imagine the fix we were in with not one bed set up when they got here at eight oclock but we made out to get a long with it and just got so we could stay not live but sleep through that week so I could go around with Bertha and give her as good a time as possible for it was an excursion that they came on and could not stay only till saterday and they some on Monday the 26th of Oct and Father give his ticket to cousin Walter to so he went home with Bertha to see his Father & Mother and Father is down here now he is up to Peterboro visiting Mothers folks and is visiting Ln's Brothers & sisters I expect him back here this week some time poor man he takes Mothers Death very hard & Oh Auntie Mary it is hard for us all but poor suffer she is over with it all now and after she was dead she looked so relieved and so pleasant you wanted to know what I laid her out in and I laid her out in her nice black cassmere it was her request she told me when she was first paralized that if she died for one me to lay her out in her black dress and had her limb burried in the grave with her you asked if she had her sences after her limb was taken of yess she come out from the either as nice and was as rational as you or I was and talked about her limb and was so pleased to think it was done and she thought she was going to get well then Oh it seemed to bad she did want to live so bad but the last day that she livd I think she was out of her head tho most of the time she was talking of heavenly things all day and she made two of the most lovely prayers that any one ever heard and she repeated the 23 psalm she seemed to be strugling all day between life & death but the last hour she was just like a child going to sleep she died so easy about an hour & a half before she died she looked at me and smild so lovely as I was over her weting her lips I was the last one she smild on and I never shall forget how nice she did look she knew us all and the last day she would want us all to keep walking around the room every one of us and she wanted us to walk fast and I asked her why she wanted us to walk Oh she says it seemes better Direct our letters to 37 Foundry St, South Boston that is where Leon works to Uncle Martin's shop


Alma L. Newell}

Dorchester Mass Jan 1 1886

Dear Aunt I will begin my letter this morning by wishing you and Uncle a Happy New Year Len has just gone into the city to work and as I fell more like writing that doing my breakfast dishes just thought I would answer your letter I received quite a while ago we are both well as usual. Father went from here last Monday and I expect he will go up to Vt to day or to morrow he worked two weeks in the Tannery up to Hudson but it was a cold wet job and he got cold and was quite sick and they did not want to pay him enough pay as he could stay there so he quit work I had him down here with me and made as nice a Christmass dinner for him as I could and I had Cousin Charlie Wyman & his wife and baby here too I had a lot of Christmass presents and real nice ones I had a lovely Photograph album & a nice skirt and a nice pair of kid walking shoes for the house and a large bottle of perfumery they were all from my Husband then I got a nice scrap album from Walters wife and Charlies wife gave me a very handsom cake or fruit plate and Father give me Mothers picture all copied in India ink life size 12 x 14 it is splendid it seemes as tho she would speak to us he had three made one for himself and one for each of us girles and I had a good many little things that I have not mentioned I think I fared well. Walter got a letter from his folks one day this week and they wrote that poor old Uncle Ira was dead & buried Oh! dear aunt Mary how that family is going one after the other so fast I think Uncle Martin will be the next he is sick almost all the time this winter & has been ever since Mother died the most of the time it almost killed him to bury his little sister Martha as he used to call her he said it was the greatest calamity that ever happened to him he is putting out a sight of money fixing up the old homestead I expect is going to be just lovely by what I hear a bout it but I am afraid he wont live very many years to enjoy it after he gets it all done but he may I am sure I wish he might for he is a good soule. Father was very very pleased with your picture I hope you will send me one of your pictures and I would like one of Uncle Abels to so to put you side by side in my new album I think the picture was real good of you. Well I dont know as I can think of very much more to write this time so guess I will close for this time by sending you much love and hope to hear from you soon and dont forget to send me one of your pictures if you have it. This from your niece Alma L. Newell

you will excuse me for not answering your letter before I have no excuse for not writing before only negligence that is all I never like to write I dont mind it when I get a bout it is getting started a bout it that is all.


Martin L. Wyman

Letters written by Martin L. Wyman:

Gaysville Vt. - April 24th 1898

My Dear Sister Your ever welcome letter was received in due season I was very sorry to learn that you was so sadly afflicted. I know you have allways been active and now to be unable to go about your house work and about the farm and to assist your neighbors in times of sickness, must deprive you of the greater part of the pleasures of life, but you have the pleasure and satesfaction of looking back on the journey of life and feeling that your life has not been lived in vain. You have reared and educated a large family of noble children, many if not all now have homes and children of there own. It has not been your fortune to have received any bequests, or ade, to ease yours and brother Abels burden during lifes journey from the begining of your married life here in Stockbridge, Vt. to your present home in Nebraska. You have defrauded no person on earth out of one dollar. You have allways paid one hundred cents on the dollar of your indebtedness. How few have so noble a record. Now as I look on the family record I find that we alone are all that is left upon earth of our parents family and I am admonished by the dates of our births that we shall soone pass to that undiscovered country from where bourn no traveller returns. I think we can feel that it is right that it should be so, and that we may put our trust in that all wise beeing who doeth all things well, the links in the chain that binds us to earth are rapidly breaking. The friends of our youth have nearly all passed on and joined the great majority. Where in due time we hope to meet them.

In regard to our parents, and brothers, and sisters graves, it may be a pleasure for you to know that head stones set in granite foundations have been erected at the heads of there respective graves with proper inscriptions thereon, and that provisions for the perpetual care of the lots and the monumental work thereon is provided, so that for all time the lots will receive good care.

Son, Martin, and his wife, will leave the little cottage accross the way and go to Boston on the 29th for a six or eight weeks visit with his brothers and sisters. Our farm work is well advanced. I shall only have to plant and perhaps hoe the corn previous to his return. It is expected that a Rail Road will run up the White River Valley before the snow falls next fall. It is to go from Bethel to Rochester.

This day is fast drawing to a close. Lydia has been writing a long letter to our daughter Alice who lives in Boston. She has a very pleasant and happy home we feel quite proud of her choice of a life partner. We call him our baby, he beeing the last one to enter our family circle, and beeing the youngest one in the family he is over six foot high and weighs about two hundred pounds. He occupies a very responable position in one of the large firms of Boston.

All our family are well and happy. I will try and write you again in a short time. Please write me as soone as you can. Affectionally your brother Martin L. Wyman


Riverside Farm Gaysville, Vt., Dec 7th

1910 My Dear Nephew & Niece,

Your letter dated at your home in Ashland, received in due season. I am glad you were able to take the long trip East, and that you arrived safely home. We are all glad you favored us with a visit and we all wish you could have stoped longer with us. I wish you could have visited at my sons homes, in Mass, I feel that you could not have enjoyed the trip to Newbury as much as I did, for you know I spent near two years of my boyhood days on the old farm. Memory caried me back to the many happy days spent there, and to think that the same old boards in the atic roof that shelters the bare footed boy in his slumbers from rains and snows, were still in evidence, and still contributing to the comfort and happiness of man. When I looked at them, to me, they were dear old friends of long ago.

Martin and Ada, were out in there auto, most every day, during the months of Nov. makeing the last run of twenty miles, on the 27th. Snow fell on the 28th we have had good sleighing since. We hope and expect it to continue untill April 1st. To day the tempature is the lowest of the season, being only five degrees above zero.

Martin and I have spent the greater part of the day in the woods getting out saw logs, with ox team.

Thank you for your kind invitation to visit you, also for the photos. I think your long journey East and safe return home will allways be a sourse of happiness to you bouth, as long as you live. May your lives be long and happy is the sincear wish of your uncle,

Martin L. Wyman

Mrs. Spaulding sends regards and joins in the above wish.

Dec. 8th 7A.M. Tempature five degrees below zero. It makes one feel like a young colt. Martin and I will draw logs to the saw mill to day.


Gaysville, Vt., Sept 4th 190

Dear Brother Abel,

I received your letter in due season, but have been so busy in careing for my poore suffering wife, and business of the town, and my own, that I have not seemed to have any time to answer your welcome letter untill this late day. On the 6th of July, I got appartment in parler car, at Boston, and with the assistence of nurses, brought my wife, to our home here on the bank of the White River, among the green mountains of Vt. We now have a rail road running up the White River Valley, with station on our farm, about three hundred feet from our house.

My wife has gained in general health and strength ever since April. She can use her right hand, and she can talk all right, her appitite is good and she can now feed herself, she can not step a step, or move any part of her body except the right arm and hand so we lift her about from bed to wheel chair, from wheel chair to rocking chair, or sofa, or cary her to the carrage when she desires to ride out. We have some beautifull drives about these hills and valleys under the shade of the forest trees, and she enjoyes riding very much, but gets tired if the drive is extended more than seven or eight miles. Her bodeley suffering is not very much, but her mental suffering is terable to witness. We try to aleviate it with music. We have a very large music box with forty eight tunes. We have an organ and the nurse is a good player she also is a good singer, and reader. We also have a large Phonograph with near one hundred records, and often she can be entertained for a long time with that, so we get along from day to day.

So you see the dark side of the journey of life we are now traveling. Still there is a bright side, we have many things to be thankfull for our four sons, have grown up able and honest men, two of them at the work in Boston, one is Treasurer and general manager, the other Superentendent of the works, the third son is Superentendent of a large Manufacturing Establishment at Walpole, Mass. where he gets a larger salery thea his father ever dreamed of getting. The fourth son is with me here on the farm, he has held the office of First Selectman of the Town for many years. Our daughter, married one of the finest men on earth, he is Superentendent of a large coal wharf in Boston where they receive and deliver some five or six hundred tons of coal dailey, they have eighty heavy horses on the wharf with wagons of all sizes. Wagen and blacksmith shops, steam engines and all necessary facilities for handleing the mountains of coal. They live in Boston, they have a beautifull boy, some three years old. Perfect in form and as bright as the sun at mid day. We have six other grandchildren all bright and perfectly formed.

I am very glad that you have erected at my sisters grave, a nice mouument. It is the last thing you could do for her. So ends her journey of life on this earth. All of my brothers and sisters have passed on to that undiscovered country from where bourn no traveller ever returns. We will soone follow Gods will be done, but let us hope our suffering here on earth will be of short duration.

Our farm here is quite small, and we intend to plow so we will have nothing to sell, we desire to rase all we require for our tables and for our horses and other stock. If we want lumber for repairing buildings we go to the forest and cut the logs and draw to mill and have them sawed up as we may require. My son is now in the woods cutting a large Hemlock, and I will now close and go out and help him.

6 p.m., Just returned from the woods, where we cut a large hemlock seventy ft. long, two feet diameter at the but, and we had to cut a large beach tree which was in the line where we wished to fall the hemlock.

Our crops are all looking fine, of course you know our fields are small but the yeald of produce I think will equal yours, when in high state of cultivation that is taking equal amount of land, you have beautufull large fields. How well I remember our visit to your home many years ago. I never saw so nice farming land anywhere before. The vast cornfields, the deep wells, the windmills and many things wer new to me and have furnished food for mental reflections ever since.

It is now getting dark in my office and I will close by bidding you good night and sending love to all.

Affectionatly yours,

Martin L. Wyman

I enclose our last years Town Report

Wyman Letters

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