(1) Hon. John Wiggins Simonton (1812-1895) the third son of James and Ann (Bell) Simonton was born in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. On March 2, 1843, he married Sarah Harris Irwin, sister of William Laird Irwin who wrote this letter. They continued to live in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania until their deaths and chose not to move to Miller County even though they were encouraged by William Irwin to come to Missouri in 1859.
(2) William Steanes, son of John and Agnes Steans, mentioned in the first line of this letter, was also a brother-in-law of William L. Irwin. He married Caroline Irwin. They also did not come to Missouri. William Laird, Caroline, and Sarah were children of William Irwin Sr. and Jane (Jennett) Holmes. Other children were John Irwin, Jane Kerr, James Irwin, Mary Struble, Robert Irwin, Harriett Irwin and Thomas Irwin.
(3) In May 1859, William Irwin bought land from Robert K. and Dorinda Blevans for $1,300. In December 1860, they sold off a small 2/3 acre parcel to Isiah A. Gardner.
4) He was probably waiting to hear from the land office at either Clinton or Fayette.>
(5) They were living in a home, made of logs, which lay on a knoll between the present day home of Mrs. Hazel Morrow and the one where the Mobley family once lived.
(6) George Irwin was the oldest child of William and Sarah (Livingston) Irwin, born in 1844. After the Civil War, he went out west and settled in the wild frontier town of Tombstone, Ariz.
(7) In the 1830s, a subscription school was taught in the old Smyrna Church house in the Big Richwoods near the Iberia Cemetery. In 1838, a school was built at Milyeu’s Mill in Richwoods Township, approximately 2 1/2 miles east of Iberia near the Big Tavern Creek.
(8) I am not sure what store he was referring to. In 1837, Zachariah Price was licensed as a merchant and grocer in Richwoods Township. In 1840, Elijah Dyer was a grocer at what is today Iberia. In 1850, Jesse W. Burks was also an Iberia merchant. By 1860, merchants included Tucker and Burks; Dickerson and Noyes; Haman Dyer; Marks and Isaac Lesem. J.H.C. Branaham and Samuel Short were merchants in 1858 having bought the original Elijah Dyer store. Samuel Ticker opened a store also in 1859, with partner Jesse W. Burks.
(9) This could have been the old Bilyeu grist mill or the old Rowden mill which later became known as Brays Mill.
(10) Harvest time would have been over and the storehouses were filled with provisions so it would probably have been more economical to have bought needed provisions at a lower price in the fall.
(11) I believe he was referring to a farm back in Pennsylvania.