(Hixon Family Letters)
Collection of Incoming Correspondence to the Hixon Family of Newton, Jasper County Iowa, 1861-1900

Collection of 55 letters, 148 pages, plus several ephemeral items, bills, receipts, postcard, 1 photograph, generally in very good clean condition.

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Collection of incoming correspondence to the Hixon family of Newton, Iowa, the Hixon’s appear to have emigrated west to Iowa from West Virginia and the letters are mainly from family members, siblings and friends who emigrated even further west to Oregon, California and even British Columbia. The letters describe events in their lives, agricultural and business conditions, family news and family squabbles.


      San Francisco, May 22, 1869, Thaddeus to his sister’s Sallie and Maggie, Newton, Iowa

      “… I have not the time to write you separately, so will write you together and inclose you the photog you desired me to send you they are poor owing to the bad weather now prevailing here & I have not the time to wait & get others. I will leave for the North in the morning. I was only 6 days from “Omaha” to this city came through without accident or delay passed over some very bad roads saw some very beautiful scenery & only wanted one thing to make it pleasant along the road & that was the society of some pleasant & highly imaginative companion for m\we have much beautiful scenery & that together with the exhilarating effects of rapid motion makes a pleasant trip at this scenery of the year. Cala looks as beautiful as ever … it cost 150$ from Omaha beside ones board.

           Tell Miss Virginia that as soon as I get the time to look up a Chinaman’s queue that I will get it & send to her, but I want to get a good one for her, one about 4 feet long so that instead of having no hair that she will have enough for a good “chignon”.

           I have no letters from Jennie, … they say that the winter was a mere bagatelle & that all our stock is fat but business is terribly dull... this city is growing very fast & is thronged with a busy eager crowd & makes me feel more at home than I did anywhere back then. Tell Mr. Scott that if he moved anywhere that he had best go to Oregon to live that country has a good climate, a good soil, & men can make money as well as they can anywhere … If Mr. Scott should conclude to move to Oregon tell him not try to travel in on the Emigrant roads to Salt Lake but to take the RR to Ogden City to ship his wagon & harness & to buy Horses there or down at Salt Lake City & then travel down the Boise City road to Walla Walla in Washington Territory…”


      Oskaloosa, Iowa, January 23, 1874, Proudfit Robb & Co., to Jacob Hixon

      “Dear Sir,

           We have a prospect of selling our building and grounds at this point and if we do so would move our machinery to some place west of here, and believe if you and other influential men we have written to would take this matter in hand you could raise a moan or stock to the amount we need, would have to sell on part time here but would not want a very large amt to get us started up there.

           Please talk this up with your neighbors and if you think it can be done write to us for particulars… Proudfit Robb & Co., .. Woolen Mills…”


      Cosmopolitan Hotel, San Francisco, Hany, 14/75, Thaddeus to cousin Virginia Hixon, Newton, Iowa


      “My Dear Virginia,

           … I’m a bachelor yet but I am so busy and travel about so much that I do not feel the want of a wife, and again I wished to close up business in B.C. as the country is too cold & inhospitable for me to like it. This is getting to be a great city & growing rapidly & I should like to come here to live, yet if a man wants to live here & has a family it takes lots of money.

           As to your Aunt Sallie I have not seen her since she came out here …”


     Harpers Mills West Virginia, March 6, 1875, A. Harper to his cousin Jennie Hixon, Newton, Iowa

     “Cousin Jennie,

              … I will come to your wedding if you write me in time (if you are not married now) I was in Indiana Missouri & Kansas last fall and did not get up to your house. I will be in grasshopper falls Jefferson Co. kan. In April next and may come up to your state. I think it is too cold yup there for me(leave West va is a settled fact with me) but where I will locate myself is unknown even to myself. Anyman that make a living in W Va can make it somewhere else. I have been selling goods the last year and that is a slow business. What is corn & wheat worth in Iowa. Kansas is about starved out from grasshoppers eating up crops, but I suppose you had good crops & plenty to spare times are hard here & business of all kinds dull. Except cattle & they are very high & sell for cash that is the only business here worth paying attention to & then comes winter & spoils all for feed. I received a letter from Uncle E Harper yesterday He talks of going to California next spring…”


     McMinnville, Oregon, May 5, 1875, J. C. Scott to Jacob & Margaret Hixon

     “Dear Bro & Sister,

        I rcd your letter yesterday evening and also a copy of the will of Adam  Harper it is the first that I have seen but it is about as I heard it was. I did not act as executor therefore it did not require me to resign my reason for not acting was I thought there was to Administer upon and I don’t think any different yet and if any person can find property to administer upon “Ill treat to the Oysters” … You ask us if we are willing to join in the expense of an investigation of validity of the will I will just say now and always and always that I am not willing… Jacob & Margaret I hold you in highest regard and would do anything to advance your welfare or your interest in this world but I cannot see that I would do you any good to join in this Law suit but rather an injury…”


      Northfork, May 20, 1875, Bertha to sister Margaret Hixon

      “Dear Sis,

          … I was in the Indianna las fall and went and was sick all the time and I want to come and see you next fall if I can and stay till you are tired of me. Thaddeus Harper says that he wants me and Sylvanus and you and Virginia to come out and winter next winter out there and go to Santabarbara and see Jerome Harper be interred to his final resting place. Miles is married and is living with us but wants to go west Harnese is gone west to hunt a situation for a stor Doc Shaun Melvins son in law wants him to come to the republican valley in Nebrask and I don’t know whether he will com to see you or not and our youngest boy is in the state of Ind running his farm and store …”


     Elkton, Oregon June 21, 1875, Wesley to his cousin Virginia Hixon, Newton, Iowa

     “Miss Jennie

          … I am at work for the Elkton Mill & mining Co & am first here & then there as they have Mills in several localities, but a letter addressed to Susanville will always find me… I am leading a dreary, lonely life here and Oh how I sigh for home. This is a mining country & the business I follow as you may know is Engineering, wages fair & money plenty of it. …”


     Granite Falls, Minnesota, June 22, 1875, J.W. H. to sister Jennie, Newton, Iowa

    “Sister Jennie & Bro Adam,

           … There are grasshoppers in part of 3 counties of this sate but it is now believed that we will not suffer any damage unless some of those from Kansas or Missouri should happen to fly this way. But they may go anywhere – they keep on the wing about a month before they settle down for good. If they should alight on you don’t give up your crops all at once to them if they are thick as raindrops. By hauling old straw or manure on the windward side of a field and making a “smudge” as we term it or smoke all within 100 rods will instantly arise and fly off in a cloud. There have been numerous persons saved their crops here in that way last year. Granite is to have a new ferry soon it is not run where it was when Ad was here it was taken up above Hills mill dam… the pidgeons [sic] are nesting about 3 miles from here great numbers of them…”


     Carthage, Illinois, Jan. 31, 1890 Cora Harper to cousin Laura

     “… Mother said the mush ice was floating down river when she crossed at Keokuk. And it was warm and bright here with no snow which she thought was quite a change from Newton. She said to tell Adam that he might talk of sugar making if it was as warm there as it is here… She wants to know how the boys prospered in their next wolf chased. If they catch any nice wolves this winter Mother would like to know what two skins would cost without scalps ready for lining…”


     Lafayette, Oregon, Sept 27, 1891, A. H Scott to Mrs. M. Hixson, Newton, Iowa

     “dear Sister,

             we had a fine horse & cart stolen  last night & JC & George & F J Sutton our son in law are on the track of the thieves… it is 3 years since Adam was home & 8 months since I heard from him Jerome is in Montana had a letter from him the other day he is in the mines says he is doing fine…”