(Hovey Family Correspondence) Hovey, Henry Porter
Incoming Correspondence sent to Henry Porter Hovey of Freedom and Ottawa, Illinois, pioneer settler of Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois, with letters to his daughter, Susan E. Hovey, from the Hovey family, of Boxford and Lynn, Massachusetts; East Machias, Maine; and other miscellaneous letters, 1854-1887

267 letters, 900 handwritten pages, (161 retained mailing envelopes), letters dated 10 May 1854 to 10 March 1887; 16 of the letters are not dated; plus, approximately 110 related ephemeral materials, including used envelopes, receipts, and small photographs, which appear to have been used by a salesman to sell photos (has pricing for photos on rear, same picture of the same man, etc). With: Manuscript Business Ledger, folio,133 pp., entries dated 15 May 1846 to 9 May 1885; first 25 pages of entries are recorded for Indian Creek, Illinois, and dated 15 May 1846 to 12 November 1854; with the remainder of the entries from Freedom, Illinois, and dated 17 May 1850 to 9 May 1885. Bound in original half leather, paper eroded from boards, spine open, boards loose, several pages with tears, first couple of leaves lack pieces, paper quality poor, entries written in ink, in a legible hand. While the volume is not signed, it would appear to have belonged to Henry P. Hovey, as he is known to have lived in Freedom, Illinois, before settling in Ottawa, Illinois. Also, there is an envelope laid in with Hovey’s name on it. The ledger entries at Indian Creek, have a number of entries for lumber, possibly for a sawmill. However, it also has some entries for general store accounts as well. Later, in Freedom, it has foodstuffs (farming?) and general merchandise, bills, cash, etc.

Description of Collection:

The collection includes mainly incoming letters to Henry Porter Hovey and his daughter Susan Elizabeth Hovey, both of Ottawa, Illinois. Hovey immigrated to Illinois from Maine via Canada, then to Ohio, and in 1839, settled as a farmer, first in Freedom, Illinois, and subsequently in Ottawa, Illinois. Ottawa then contained few settlers, and Chicago was a small village about 80 miles east and slightly north.

The letters are mostly from members of the large Hovey family, which originally settled in the 1630s in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and moved to Boxford, Massachusetts about 1700. These cousins, etc., write Henry and his daughter from Boston, Boxford, West Boxford, and Lynn Massachusetts, as well as from East Machias and Andover, Maine; as well as family members living in Freedom and Ottawa, Illinois.

The cousins tend mostly to be the children and grandchildren, of Henry P. Hovey’s father’s brother Thomas, who all stayed back East, while Henry migrated West. There are also cousins of Henry’s wife’s side of the family, the Sinclair’s, who married into the Flint family and settled in the Santa Clara Valley in California, becoming a pioneering farming family in Ventura County.  There is also some correspondence from Dakota Territory, as Henry had some interest in buying land in the Dakotas.

Susan E. Hovey attended school at Jennings Seminary in Aurora, Illinois, and there is correspondence from her to her parents, and some incoming letters from school friends. Susan also receives many letters from female cousins.

The correspondence is informative about conditions and lives of pioneering Illinois settlers, the 19th Century social fabric and history of long-distance family relationships from the east coast to the west coast, from farming communities, to cities, and in between.

The correspondence includes the following letters:

        Incoming Letters to Henry P. Hovey and family

      18 letters, 65 pp., written by Mrs. Emma E. Hovey, of Lynn, Massachusetts; 9 of the letters are written to her cousin Henry P. Hovey, dated 10 July 1878 to 7 September 1884; and the remaining 9 to Henry’s daughter, Susan E. Hovey, dated 29 July 1883 to 31 October 1886.

 55 letters, 225 pp., written by Lucy Porter Hovey, of Boxford, Massachusetts, to her cousin Henry P. Hovey and Henry’s daughter Susan E. Hovey; dated 10 May 1854 to 24 December 1885; 46 letters sent to Henry Hovey, 9 to Henry’s daughter Susan.

19 letters, 82 pp., of Orville and Larissa Hovey, of West Boxford, Massachusetts, to their cousin Henry P. Hovey (7). Larissa also wrote 12 letters to Henry P. Hovey’s daughter Susan E. Hovey; dated 28 December 1866 to 30 October 1885.

4 letters, 16 pp., written by Rachel Hovey and her husband Uriah Miller, of Freedom, Illinois, to her brother Henry P. Hovey, dated 14 May 1853 to 4 August 1866; one letter written from “Jacksonville,” likely Jacksonville, Illinois.

11 letters, 42 pp., written by “Lizzie” to her cousin Susan E. Hovey, at Ottawa, Illinois; dated 9 July 1883 to 29 August 1886; 7 of the letters are written from Ithaca, New York; 1 from Serena, Illinois; and 2 from Ransom, Illinois; plus one other; Lizzie appears to have a connection to Cornell University, as one letter is written on the college’s letterhead.

22 letters, 97 pp., of the Talbot family to Henry P. Hovey, dated 6 November 1866 to 5 September 1884; letters written by J.C. Talbot, of East Machias, Maine (1); Susan H. Talbot, of Bellows Falls, Vermont and Boston, Massachusetts (3); William H. Talbot, of Andover, Maine (18)

        Letters to Henry P. Hovey from Friends, or Associates

3 letters, 4 pp.; written by George B. Frary, of Chicago, to Henry P. Hovey; dated 19 June 1882 to 4 February 1884.

6 letters, 7 pp., written by John Horford, of Fargo, Dakota Territory, to Henry P. Hovey; dated 5 June 1880 to 1 December 1883;

5 letters, 13 pp., written by Swain Knuteson, of Carbon, Iowa, to Henry P. Hovey, dated 26 November 1883 to 13 December 1884; 3 letters postmarked from Carbon, Iowa, two others from Morton’s Mills and Villisca, Iowa.

23 letters and notes, 26 pp., written by Dr. Robert M. McArthur, of Ottawa, Illinois, to Henry P. Hovey, dated 9 December 1882 to 9 May 1885; McArthur writes about Hovey’s medical condition, and offers medical advice, etc. Dr. McArthur is the health officer of the Department of Health for the city of Ottawa, Illinois.

17 letters, 45 pp, from various correspondents to Henry P. Hovey, dated 6 August 1866 to 30 June 1885; from family, friends, etc.

9 letters, 22 pp., from various correspondents to Mrs. Mary Ann “Polly” Sinclair Hovey, dated 29 July 1875 to 10 March 1887.

        Letters to, or by, Susan E. Hovey

13 letters, 42 pp., written by Susan E. Hovey, to her parents Mr. and Mrs. Henry P. Hovey, dated 7 December 1870 to 13 January 1871; Susan wrote the letters to her parents while she was attending the Jennings Seminary, at Aurora, Illinois.

46 letters, 165 pp., from various correspondents to Susan E. Hovey, dated 17 January 1869 to 13 May 1886; some from school friends; some from cousins, etc.; 1 letter is from Henry Flint, of Saticoy, California; 1 letter from Lizzie Flint, also of Saticoy; one letter from Aunt E.J. Flint, of Saticoy.  The Flints were a pioneering farming family in the Santa Clara Valley in Ventura County, California.


       Undated Letters

16 letters, 44 pp.,  not dated, but circa 1854-1887; six of the letters are written by Susan E. Hovey, to her father, or  jointly to both father and mother; two letters written to Susan E. Hovey; the rest are written to Henry P. Hovey.

       Miscellaneous Letters

2 letters, 5 pp., miscellaneous letters, dated 14 February 1864 to 24 May 1880; includes 1 letter to “Dear Friend Susan” from her friend Mary E. Knight, dated 14 February 1864; and 1 letter of John D. Horferd, of Fargo, Dakota Territory, to Uriah Miller, dated 24 May 1880.

       Henry Porter Hovey (1810-1885)

Henry Porter Hovey was born in East Machias, Maine, on 4 September 1810, the son of Capt. Moses Hovey (1773-1827) and his wife Mary Foster, both of East Machias, Maine. Capt. Moses Hovey was born in Boxford, Massachusetts and named for his mother’s father, Moses Porter, of Boxford, Massachusetts. Moses Hovey was a tanner by trade. Moses and his wife had at least two children, Henry, mentioned above, and a daughter, Mary Hovey (1808-1835), who married Rev. Ward (-1860). Mary had two daughters, who died before their mother.

Capt. Moses Hovey’s father, Joseph Hovey (1746-1820), was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. He was a minute-man and served in the regiment of Col. Samuel Johnson. The Hovey family had lived in Boxford, Mass, since at least 1700. The family descended from Daniel Hovey, of Waltham Abby, Essex County, England, who immigrated to America and was an early settler of Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1635.

In early manhood Henry P. Hovey went to Canada, then to Ohio, and in 1839 in Illinois settling first as a farmer, in Freedom, and subsequently in Ottawa, Illinois, which then contained few settlers. Chicago was then a small village about 80 miles east and slightly north. Ottawa, Illinois, is where the first Lincoln-Douglas Debate took place on 21 August 1858.  The John Hossack House was a station there for the Underground Railroad. (John Hossack, Joseph and James Stout). Ottawa gained in importance when the Illinois & Michigan Canal, opened in 1848.

Henry married Mary Ann “Polly” Sinclair in on 31 January 1850, near Ottawa. She was born in Kentucky on 16 September 1826, the daughter of Amos Sinclair (1789-1839) and Elizabeth Chamberlain Watkins (1792-1868). The Sinclair family was an old Virginia family, being descendants of Amos Sinclair, of Bath, Somerset, England, who emigrated to Virginia, and died in Fairfax, Virginia, in 1744. Mary’s parents first moved into Kentucky before moving on to Illinois about 1833. Mary’s father died at Ottawa, Illinois, in 1839. 

Besides Mary, the Sinclair’s had six other children: John W. Sinclair (1816-1886), who died in Ottawa, Illinois; Watson Sinclair (1824-1895), married Laura Jane Beckwith, buried in Serena, Illinois; William T. Sinclair (1828-1891), married Susan R. Miller, also buried in Serena, Illinois; Eliza Jane Sinclair (1830-), married Samuel H. Flint, moved to Saticoy, California; Rachael Sinclair (1833-1905), married Uriah Miller, died Ottawa, Illinois; and Sarah Elizabeth Sinclair (1836-1925), married Martin Luther Clifford, died in Ottawa, Illinois. Mary’s sister, Eliza, of Saticoy, California, writes her several letters. Eliza and her husband Samuel H. Flint, were pioneer farmers in the Santa Clara Valley of Ventura County, California.

Henry P. Hovey was known as a great reader, well informed, and a good citizen, as well as a Christian and a student of the Bible. He died in Freedom, Illinois, on 2 July 1885, at the age of seventy-four. He was buried in the West Serena Cemetery, at Serena, Illinois, which is where many of the Hovey and Sinclair family members were buried. Henry’s wife survived him, and died in Ottawa on 2 February 1893, at the age of sixty-six. She was buried there with her husband.

Henry and his wife had only one child, Susan Elizabeth Hovey, who was born on 3 January1851 in Freedom, Illinois, and lived in Ottawa after the death of her parents. She died on 8 March 1936 and is buried in Serena, Illinois. She never married.

When Susan was a student at Jennings Seminary in Aurora, Illinois, she wrote several letters to her parents. The Jennings Seminary got its start in the early 1850s under the impetus of Reverend John Clark who moved to the Aurora area from New York. Reverend Clark died in 1854 but his idea was carried on by his supporters.  In 1855 the Clark Seminary School was chartered, fielding its first classes in 1858.  In 1864 the Clark Seminary was sold to the Rock River Conference of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Eliza Jennings was the biggest contributor toward the purchase of the school, hence the school was renamed in her honor to Jennings Seminary. The school averaged over 300 students during its first eight years under this name.  Susan appears to have attended Jennings from at least 1870 to 1871.

       Children of Thomas Stickney Hovey, brother of Capt. Moses Hovey

By far the largest correspondents in this collection are the children of Henry Porter Hovey’s uncle, Thomas Stickney Hovey. Lucy Porter Hovey, Joseph Henry Hovey, and Orville Hovey, all of whom write letters to their cousin Henry Porter Hovey.

Lucy Porter Hovey (1826-1894) lived in Haverhill, Massachusetts. She was a teacher and died unmarried in Boxford, Massachusetts at the age of sixty-seven. She was the daughter of Thomas Stickney Hovey (1792-1869) and Sarah Chadwick (1795-1888). Thomas was a farmer. Thomas and his wife were the parents of at least four other children besides Lucy; Orville, Albert, Joseph, and Edward.

Lucy’s brother Orville Lauriston Hovey (1823-1872) was a wheelwright and also lived in Boxford, Massachusetts. He married Larissa Clark (1829-), daughter of Phineas Parker and Sarah (Day) Tyler. He bought the Foster House, located in front of the Meeting House in Boxford, and lived there. He and his wife had no children. Both Orville, and especially Larissa, write letters to Henry P. Hovey and his daughter Susan.

Joseph Henry Hovey (1830 – aft 1913) of “Hovey & Weeks” – Last Manufacturers. Joseph was born in Boxford, Massachusetts. For many years he was a last manufacturer in Haverhill, Massachusetts. His first marriage was to Hannah C. Weeks (1858-1870) and his second to Sarah Learnard (1879-). He had at least three children: Albert, Edward, and Clarence. Hovey apparently was a partner in his business with someone in his first wife’s family, as the company was called “Hovey & Weeks.” There are several letters from J.H. Hovey on the company letterhead in this collection. A “last” is a mechanical form that has a shape similar to that of a human foot. It is used by shoemakers and cordwainers in the manufacture and repair of shoes.

       Flint Family – Ventura County, California

There are letters in this collection from the Flint family of Saticoy, California. Samuel H. Flint was an early Ventura County pioneer farmer/rancher in Santa Paula and Saticoy. His wife, Eliza J. Sinclair Flint writes several letters to Mrs. Flint’s sister and niece (Henry Porter Hovey’s wife, Mary Ann “Polly” Sinclair, and their daughter Susan E. Hovey) from her farm in Saticoy. The Flint house/farm is historically important in Ventura County history because of its association with the development of agriculture in the Santa Clara Valley. The land was purchased in the 1880s by Henry and Lizzie Flint. The Flints raised lima beans and corn on their property. The second owners were the Joseph Leavens family, whose descendants continue to own the property. They replaced the earlier crops with lemons and eventually avocados. The Flints had three children: Henry A., Lizzie, and Clara.

       William H. Talbot (1813-1903) and Family

Some of the other correspondents in the collection are the family of William H. Talbot. Talbot was born in East Machias, Maine, and died in Andover, Maine. He married Martha Laurens Poor (1818-1864) in 1846. Talbot was the son of John Coffin Talbot and Mary Foster. He appears to be a cousin of Henry Porter Hovey on his mother’s side of the family, and was born in the same town as Hovey. He writes some letters as do his children and other Talbot family members. At the time of William’s death in 1903 he was Andover’s oldest resident. Some of the Talbots went to California and were engaged in the lumber business.

       Indian Creek, Illinois

The first twenty-five pages of the business ledger, offered in this collection, are dated “Indian Creek” from 15 May 1846 to 12 November 1854. Indian Creek, Illinois, has an interesting history. In 1830, William Davis settled with his family along Indian Creek where he built a sawmill in 1831. On May 21, 1832 between 20 and 40 Potawatomi and three Sauk attacked the Davis settlement at Indian Creek. In all, 15 settlers—men, women, and children—were killed. Two girls were kidnapped but were later freed unharmed upon payment of a ransom.

The attack at Indian Creek was most likely spurred by the actions of a settler named William Davis. Davis was a blacksmith and a sawmill operator and had built a mill dam across Indian Creek to power the mill. The creek was a vital source of food to a nearby Potawatomi village. The Potawatomi were upset by the dam because it prevented fish from swimming upstream, requiring them to fish downstream of the dam rather than near their village. Keewasee, a young Potawatomi from the village, was particularly angry about the dam and insisted that Davis remove it. When his pleas went unheeded, Keewasee attempted to dismantle the dam himself. Davis caught him in the act and assaulted him, angering Keewasee further.

It is believed that the Potawatomi and three Sauk attackers were the only parties responsible for the massacre. Though the massacre occurred shortly after the start of the Black Hawk War, there is no evidence that Black Hawk sanctioned the massacre and the violence at Indian Creek is seen as an act of personal revenge which was peripheral to the war.

The creek also contributed to the settlement of Paw Paw by providing the fledging settlements near Ross, Coon and Paw Paw Groves with potable water.

The business ledger offered in this collection was kept only sixteen years after this massacre at Indian Creek.


       Sample Quotes from the Correspondence:

“Georgetown, May 10th, 1854

Dear Cousin Henry,

    I hope you will not infer from the length of time I have suffered to pass since the reception of your letter, that we were not glad to receive it. We were all glad to hear from you, it greatly relieved us of the anxiety we had felt – on account of your leaving us in such feeble health.

And now I beg that you will not let this long silence, at length interrupted, by a very uninteresting letter discourage you from favoring us with frequent communications.

We received the ‘Prairie Farmer’ regularly and Ottawa papers occasionally. Do you receive the Ploughman which we send weekly?

Our family were all well Monday when I left home. Pa has commenced ploughing and has planted a very little. Albert is assisting him, but the cold has been rather discouraging. Last Saturday we had a very cold day in the afternoon severe snow squalls, the ground was frozen at an early hour; but this week it is milder. Edward is at home making shoes, Orville has an abundance of work at his trade.

After Joseph completed his work on the new hot air ship, he paid us a visit at home, but has returned to N. York. He talks quite strongly, as do my other brothers, of paying you a visit in Ill., but I do not see any prospect of their doing so immediately but think they will at some future time.

As for myself, I talk too, but shall be less likely to perform, and even Mother sometimes wishes she were at the West but presume she will never undertake the journey.

At present I am boarding in Georgetown, engaged in teaching. My scholars number over forty. Wages including board $5.00 per week. Mr. Hosea Killam is one of the towns committee. I have seen him for a few moments. If I remain here shall probably become more acquainted with him…

Aunt Morse’s two sons, Edwin & Henry have lately started for California…

Hoping to hear from you soon…Yours affectionately, Lucy P. Hovey”


“Freedom, Ills. Nov 21st 1856

Friend John [Sinclair],

Dear Sir, I embrace the first favorable opportunity to drop you a few lines to let you know that we are all well at present with the exception of your mother her eyes are very weak one of them is very bad. She is doctoring with an eye doctor in Ottawa. Watson & William are at home, well & doing well. Wm. Has the use of his foot as well as could be expected.

Your mother rented the farm this last summer to Samuel Flint his crops are middling good. He has left & gone up to Greenleese to take care of Hamlett, his brother, who is there sick with consumption & is not expected to live. He has hired men to pick his corn. Hannibal is in Iowa not married yet. He built a large house last summer perhaps will take the wife, you have no doubt hear of the death of Mr. Bradshaw.

I will say here for fear you never heard it that Jane Hurlburt is married to John Derick the boy that Jim Pritzer sent to California. She looks at this time very interesting no babys yet. Mary Ellen has stacks of them. Jane Wemple & Mary Clark are still on the sunny side of life not prospects of their getting married soon. Jane has a beau but there will be no marry to it.

Henry P. Hovey is still in the land of the living doing well. Susan is a nice big girl. Tom Parr has built him a large house. On the site of the old one he feels quite nice. Mr. Greenleese has built him a nice house. Mr. D. Breese has built him one that out does Pete Jacobs. So, he will have to take his for a back house. So, you see we are some here on improvements. Miss D. Flint or Mrs. Bill Warren has a thumping big boy. Joseph Pools have a little gal. Lizzie is not married yet report says she will be before long & Jane is at home with Marm the same steadily hard worker she always was. Now John one word for you in sober earnest. Your mother requests me to write to you & request you to come home. She wants you to take the farm & take charge of everything as though it was your own. She thinks it would be better for you & her booth. Bill & Watt have land of their own & she must rent to strangers that don’t take the interest that one of the family would. I think you had better come home & come in time to put in Spring crops. I think you could do as well as in Cal – write on Receipt of this & let her know if are coming so she can let the farm in case you don’t come in time. You mother is getting old & it is your duty as the oldest boy to see to her & her interests. You have enough of Cal – by this time no doubt to come a long with you soon.

We had some of the times here in Election matters. We elected our Governor (Republican) & at the state offices but the state went Buchanan for President in the South part of the state they voted a split ticket & so that Buchanan carried the state by a small majority. We elected all our ticket for County officers by about 1000 majority. We elected our state senator two representatives & our congressman (Lovejoy) by 6 or 7000 majority. So, you see that Mr. S. A. Douglas will meet his just rewards for the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. I will tell you how we stand on Polly Licks Hovey. Watt & myself, Rachel, Polly Ann & Lizzie are Republicans. Your mother, Elzie & Bill are Buchanan Democrats, so you see this house is pretty well divided, still it stands. Buchanan is our next President shure. I hope he will do the fare thing in regard to Kansas make her what she by rights ought to be, a Free State & I will be satisfied. If a Slave State ‘wo’ to James Buchanan after his term of office expires, he will be called upon to retire to private life there to ponder over the folly’s of a misrule of four years, then “hurrah” for John C. Fremont & Republicanism. I must now close give my respects to Paine, to Mr. Gamble & all my old friends, Mr. Lewis & Lady. Write soon & except the love & well wishes of all but in particular my little wife & myself. Your truly, Uriah Miller”

     Freedom, Ills., August 24th, 1866

Mr. [Henry P.] Hovey,

I received four letters about two weeks ago, but owing to the busy time I put off writing, which you must excuse & I will do better in the future. The Friends are all well at present, with the exception of our little girl. She has been sick all summer but is better at present. You stated in you letter that you have had no word from home only Bill’s letter. I wrote you one about the same time & sent it to Harding by Vance. The crops on your farm look well. The boys have the stacking done all in good order. We were down to the house last Friday & found all right.

The Mormons are having a big time in our school house. Young Joe Smith is running the meetings. He & Vance had a controversy. It lasted about three hours. He laid Vance out, so most of the people think he is a smart nice speaker. He will preach in two weeks.

You wanted to know what I thought about selling your corn now, or holding it. Later corn is now worth 50 cts. I don’t think it will be much higher unless we have early frost, which bids fare to come the nights have been very cool for the last week & we may have frost at any time & if so, old corn would then bring $1.00 pr Bh this fall yet I don’t think that you will loose much by holding on yet awhile. Bill says your stock is doing well. Caloways corn down in the woods can’t be beat - in the town of Dayton it is very good…

Today the Sunday Schools of this town & the one at the bend had a grand picnic in the grove near the grave yard. We did not go, I was busy at my hay. I will send you your two Ottawa papers, so you can see who is running for office. B.C. Cook is re-nominated for Congress he is a good man. We are losing some of our Republicans. They are out supporting old Johnson. John Miller, Allen Cody, & some others. For myself, I can’t vote with Rebels & traitors yet awhile. The health of the neighborhood is good, no cholera as yet in Ottawa. I see by the papers it is in Chicago. If I was in your place, I would not think of coming home until the cholera abates…Yours truly, Uriah [Miller]

“Aurora, Dec 7th 1870

Dear Pa and Ma,

I am in good health but a little inclined to be homesick, though in a few days when the classes are arranged, my lessons will be longer and I will have to study harder, then I will not have so much time to think of home.

My roommate is very good to bring water and makes the fires in the morning, but she has one fault, that is she is not very nice, she throws everything just where she happens to use it last. My lamp gives a good light but it burns lots of oil.

I send you some threads out of carpeting that is said to be all wood one way, it is wove in stripes like rag carpet, I send you some of the colors there is also a green and orange stripe. The warp is cotton black with a little white stripe. It is called cottage carpeting, price 40 cts per yd. hemp is 75 cts. yd. So, one of the girls says that she has just bought a new carpet. I want you to tell me what to do about getting one. I think this is the only room without a carpet. I was very homesick the first night last night, I wrote to Cousin Larie. I have been more homesick in the morning before school yesterday and today than any other time. Miss Foster told me today that she thought my music lessons would be at 8 o’clock in the morning so that will take some of my mornings.

I think that I shall like Miss Foster as well as her father she seems very much like him. She said she would tell him that I am here for she says he always inquires if there is any one here that he has met with before.

Everyone seems to be very friendly though it will take some time t get acquainted with so many. Miss Foster and Miss More the preceptress called on me the first night.

Miss Eichelberger received a letter from her sister to day. She calls in several times every day to see how I get along.

My roommate Miss Austin’s things have not come from her home we expect them tomorrow. She bought a piece of oilcloth for the stand which makes it look quite nice.

I went into the second Arithmetic class, which commences at miscellaneous problems after fractions. I am in the first class in Geography and expect to finish it this term.

I am well satisfied with the board. I sit opposite Mr. Munson at the table. I have to dish out the apple sauce at tea which is the only time we have sauce. I think that I shall like here when I get acquainted more. Write soon and tell me all the news. Does George go to singing school. Much love to you all and all inquiring friends. Good night for this time from your daughter, S.E. Hovey

P.S. Direct to Jennings Seminary, Aurora, Ills.”

“Fargo, Dakota, July 26, 1880


H.P. Hovey

Ottawa, Ills.


Dear Sir,


Your letter of the 22 ins at hand and in answer to your enquiry about nearness to R.R. &c, I would say your purchase is 21 ½ miles south of Town City on the N.P.C. R. Road. There was no settlement in the town last April but there is some of the government land been homestead since that date and one party purchased a section. I think it comes to yours at 3 50/100 per a and has taken a Homestead & free claims adjoining and he tells me he is going to break 400 ac next season, when the deed arrives. I will see to its secured & I am as ever your obt…John H. Horford”

“Ottawa, Dec 9th, 1882

Mr. Hovey,

I send you some powders for your cold to be taken three or four times a day. Take your other medicine as before with the exception of the pills. You may take two of them at night instead of one.

If you are not better next week, I will come up to see you if you will let me know.

Your obedient servant, Rob’t M. McArthur”

“Ottawa, June 6th 1883

Mr. Hovey,

Dear Sir,

I send back the box of Lactated Pepsin, which I think you ought to continue to take after eating – and when your stomach troubles you between meals take a little more food (if nothing more than a cracker) followed by about a tablespoon full of lime water in a little milk.

I will come up and see you in a few days just as soon as the roads get a little better.

Your obedient servant, Robt M. McArthur”

“Fargo, Dakota, Dec 1st 1883

H.P. Hovey, Esq.

Dear Sir,

Your favor of Nov 28 is before me having been forwarded from Minneapolis – and in answer would say I know nothing about the matter of Ransom Co. Finance only that they have been building co., buildings and school houses and consequently taxes must be high for a time and further land is advancing in value as the co. settles up and more R. Roads are built. I hear that there is a R.R. in prospect from Lisbon to Town City all of which enhances values and taxes.

The weather is just splendid, could not be finer. Times are quiet but all are hopeful. My health is good. I will be here sometime to come. Yours most truly, John H. Horford.”


“Ottawa Feb 4th, 1885

Mr. H. P. Hovey,

Dear Sir,

Yours just rec’d and in reply I would say in relation to the action of the pills, that instead of one every night, it will perhaps be better to take two. I think they are as mild in their action as any cathartic you can take. It might be well to substitute the Hypophosphates for the other iron tonic as the preparation of the Hypophosphates also contains iron and you can take a teaspoon full of that in a wineglass of water.

I send you some bromide of potass to take at bed time to alay the nervous condition and you might even take a dose occasionally in the day time if necessary.

Your obedient servant, Rob’t M. Mc Arthur”