Thursday, September 1, 2016

Feb 15, 1940 - Ernest Birge

Seymour Manufacturing Company
Scythe Snaths, Grain Cradles
Post Hole Diggers, Etc.
Established 1872
Seymour, Indiana

Feb 15, 1940.
Mrs. Sarah A. Johnson,
1506 Y. Ave.,
LaGrande, Oregon.
Dear Mrs. Johnson:
I received your address through your niece, Mrs. Edward Bruce, and learned from her that you are one of the surviving children of John H. Birge. Our family is rather inclined to be long-lived. I regret that you cannot recall or at least may not have heard the name of your grandfather as I have been of the opinion that your line connects to the line of my great grandfather’s family, your line coming down from Elijah. It is apparent that or father was married several times and according to some information that I have received, you are one of the five children of his first wife, who was apparently Eliazabeth M. Dow. These children as I have them are William J., Charles Dunning, Sarah Ann (yourself), Rebeccah Jane, Eldora Inis. Other children seem to be Helen Hulda, Theodora Delbert, Jerry Edward, John Lewis, David Albert. I have no record as yet to indicate the maiden name of the mother of the five children just named above. I have a record that shows that Joe was a son of a fifth wife and H.J. Birge the son of a fourth wife, but no record so far as to the names of the mothers.
You mentioned in a letter to Mrs. Bruce that you thought there was another son, Earnest, who as a son of the fifth wife. Can you give me any further information as to these families?
I have a letter written to my father in 1860 which gives some information about Elijah and his son, John, but there is nothing very definite in it. I would appreciate it very much I you would kindly give me what information you can with reference to the family as it is only the older members like you who can remember this information firsthand and  am anxious to have the facts recorded for the benefit of any of those who might be interested.

Sincerely yours,

Ernest N. Birge.

April 19, 1940 - Ernest N. Birge

Seymour Manufacturing Company
Cythe Snaths, Grain Cradles
Post Hole Diggers, Etc.
Established 1872
Seymour, Indiana

April 19, 1940

Mrs. Sarah Johnson,
1506 Y. Ave.,
La Grande, Ore.

Dear Mrs. Johnson:

I thank you very much for your trouble in again writing me and appreciate the records which you have sent me with reference to your family. I have copied these and am hastening to return them to you so that they will not be lost.

Someone in the family, possibly yourself, gave me your son, William’s address and I several days ago wrote him asking him if possible to give me what records he could of your children, as I thought it would be easier for him to write than to trouble you for this information.

I think you must be feeling better and I hope that you are. I judge this from the fact that your letter just received shows very little indication of your being nervous. The letter after you had had your fall indicated that you were not feeling at all well. If I can ever get to 88 years of age I will be happy even if I cannot keep my hand steady enough to write.

I am making some little progress in getting the data on your grandfather Elijah’s family. It is my guess that by the time I have completed the records I will have something over 200 descendants without counting the in-laws who have married into the family. The line to which I belong descending from Elijah’s brother, William, is just about as numerous.

Hoping that your health continues to improve, I am

Very sincerely,

Ernest N. Birge.


July 22, 1940 - Ernest Birge

Seymour Manufacturing Company
Scythe Snaths, Grain Cradles
Post Hole Diggers, Etc.
Seymour, Indiana

July 22, 1940

Mrs. Sarah Johnson
1506 – Y Ave
La Grande, Oregon

Dear Mrs. Johnson:

I am getting your branch of the family n a little better shape all the time but it is still far from complete as there are a number of lines that I have not been able to bring down to date. I have tried not to bother you with too many questions at one time for I know that it is difficult for you to write and if I can get some other member of the family to share in the work it would not be so difficult for you.

Can you again give me the address of your brother Albert in Oklahoma? Either I have not read the name correctly or I did not get the right address of any members of his family so that I could write to them.

I have written to your son Will and will try to get from him all the names of your children, the date of their birth and to whom married but as yet have not heard from him. It is undoubtedly a busy time of the year for him and I will write again in the fall when work slackens up some.

I forwarded your pictures up to my wife and she could not believe that you are s old as the records show. If I ever got to 88 I would be happy, say nothing about looking young.

Very sincerely,

Ernest N. Birge


Oct 23, 1954 - Nellie LaRosh

Osborne, Kans
Oct 23 1954

Dear Archie & Mable

After so long a time we are writing to you to tell you how much our visit at your place added to our pleasure and benefit of seeing so many wonderful things besides feeling a sense of being at home with you and we were there long enough to learn so much of conditions and then meeting your mother was a lasting joy – I expect to meet her again.

We got home 630 PM Oct 6 – after taking Albert home from Alton – Albert Sr was milking when we got there & we visited a while and he gave us a dressed chicken for our supper, but we were to tired to fry chicken so we had it later.

From Seattle we went to Portland – thru Van Canver ect.  Right down the inner coast Hi wa – till we were well in Ore – then turned west to coast Hi wa 101 and that is on the coast sure enough and its an old road & Im glad we got to travel it for they are already making a regular four or six lane Hi wa to take its place, and its curves & ups and downs are marvelous – I said to Jr “I like this” & he said, “I don’t.” seemed he didn’t like driving on it – one felt as tho we might meet ourselves coming back on some of it. Jr. said “I know now where the carnival people got their idea for the roller coaster.” The new road just moves the Mts and hills & fills the valleys We stopped many times for a closer look. One was at sea lion “roast” I don’t know what to say – but where they congregate on the rocks there were hundreds of them & such a continuous roar almost like the sea its self.

We stopped at Couse Bay for a little to see something of where Shirley would be living but did not see a thing to indicate there was any army camps or grounds of any kind so we knew they were back on the bills at DePot Bay we went into the aquarium where they had a lot for unusual sea varmints of so many kinds a octopus was most interesting to me – I had been there twice before and he was always sprawled all over the rocks. With those suction cups against the glass & this time he was exerasing, I guess, for he changed so much & findly went up into the highest corner & started for apposite end & all stream lined to a beautiful feathery form.  Something like this (**nothing there**) It taught me how the most dangerous & deadly sins can be made beautiful & deceit feel beyond belief – the anonires are so very beautiful & such decently colors one can hardly thing they are alive – I hope you get to go there  some time don’t miss the aquarium at Depot bay – or on down along Cal coast are many wonderful things. T confussion Mt for instance you will be more than confused – for there is a bout 100 ft along there that has a magnetic pull that makes you walk 7 ½ degrees from straight up and then they built the shed over with a slanting floor that makes it work much more so – I sent a picture Jr & Laura went in. I stood & had to hold onto a post to keep from falling, at them trying to keep from falling – Laura never did let her baby loose & just stand - & forget she wasn’t straight up – but Jr, move arsed to choppy walking soon did & he was so graceful & looked a perfect picture (see the picture enclosed) its just as he looked when walking straight a head. The door frame is made standing to deceive one more. Lay a bottle down at lower level & it would start rolling slwly up hill, a marble also that a 35 lb weight steel rot was standing on its chain. I was & is a marvelous thing the most plausible reasm is that a meter has fallen & penetrated the sat & has the magnetic force in itself. A car will roll backwards right up that hill. It’s a spookey thing indeed – Its on Red Wood Hi wa 101 – so. Of Garberville, Cal.

We took pictures along the way & will send you some when we get them made.

We went on down as far as Palo Alto to Stanford University campus for a few hours pleasure, they were just coming out of stadium after they had pummeled Ill St at foot ball & was they a happy bunch.  Made us feel glad too. I was glad to see the Hoover memorial & to know he can enjoy seeing it himself.

We didn’t stay long at Linetas Mento Park as Jr was thinking of his father working alone getting wheat in (it was all done when we got here) & I was getting worse with my cough. I think I was coughing quiet a lot at your place but was not sick and could eat but I lost my appetite & then my heart bothered. I could hardly walk when I got home, and it will be three weeks Wed - & I’m a lot better but I can hardly trust myself to come down stairs & I wo’nt be over it for a long time – I eat good now & by to build up – I was sorry but so very glad I had my good times first I have so many pleasant memories to help & we have written many letters & read so much of magazines piled up & letters & birthday cards – was 83 Oct 4 – AND NOT MANY COULD TAKE THE TRIP - & Laura had so much to do – altho we made a special effort to have everything in order when we left home there was dust every where & it made me cough worse – but we got a woman to come & help wash windows & put up storm windows & now we are ready for cold weather which was foretold yesterday, even to snow & sleet but then was 58 & 60 now 10 am. & it being first part of month all the “olds” & WSCS etc. move on & she went & she has done work in yard – we got bulbs alongte way but she has them all in - & a big washing & I slept all thro it & she said “was I ever glad”? I wanted to help some Laura left at 833 this am for Smith Center where the women society of Christian serving (WSCS) has a convention & will be late getting back – it has worried us not to have written to you & she said she was going to start a letter this am but I had made up my mind to write & so she will write later It will take you a while to read this & we went to be remembered to the Taylors, Boedekes, & any others who might be interested we will go to all Grandmother Boedecker as soon as I fl well enough –

May God bless you all. Love & best wishes, Nellie A LaRosh

Every body likes our hats & Frances wants mine!

Nov 5, 1956

Dear Archie and Mable,

It seems mother didn’t get her letter addressed right and it returned so thought I would write a little note.

I was up to Ira last evening watching TV as first it wasn’t much good but later good. It came from Hutchings.

We are having fine weather temp each morning around 26 one morning was down to 13. We have just about finished our fall house cleaning some times we feel as though we have to much house.

It seems we have to go to a funeral about twice a wek. Harley Newton will be buried in the morning out at Kill Creek. I think by now you have heard about Vern Cronk shooting himself. He was found near his car and at the enterance of the covert cemetary was such a shock to every one. His time was up next march on Ira’s place, and Ira had taken the wheat land last fall so some other fellow could put it out.

It was so hard on LeRoy and Roberta the children. Both are married and Roberta has four little girls and LeRoy one.
Albert and Jr. brought cattle in to the sale last Frida and didn’t sell until four in the morning got a pretty good price for them. Albert Jr has been up holstering a big rocker I havn’t seen it yet but Lucille said it sure is nice.

Well how are you two making I with out your little girl. I’ll bet the baby gets lots of loving. Id be glad to have Shirley’s address to send Christmas Cards.

Hope to hear from you some time. Laura

I forgot to say that Aunt Maud was very pleased with her cake & samples of dress & we told her every thing about the wedding & took her for a ride out in the country. She seems real well – but is so very frail & thin – dresses as nice as ever & what did she say but “You know” I have always hoped there would be a “match” of Jr & Shirley we told her of Shirley telling people that “he was the only brother she ever had.” Iras are having a TV pu in now. All care very well – it’s in & we still don’t ever want on here.


Dear Mable,
You will think we are ungrateful but we are not, but yesterday here came my letter back – wrong address – Laura will write today. Many thanks

Have you had your money blessed? Ha Ha
Poor Aunt Maury

(Had N.W. instead of S.W on letter)