Letters Home #05

By Peggy Smith Hake

1880 Letter from Wm. & Julia Ann (Bilyeu) Kinder

THIS LETTER WAS WRITTEN FROM OREGON IN 1880 to the brothers and sisters of William Kinder (and perhaps was to be passed on to Juliann’s family as well)....... the original letter was rather difficult to read because the grammar was typical of our 19th century pioneer ancestors who did not get a full education, often only a few lower classes at the elementary level.

Well, I will tell you how many grandchildren I have got..32 alive and 4 dead. How is that for _____? I can inform you that one of my sons-in-law and one of my daughters–in-law is dead. They both died this winter with consumption. They was brother and sister as well. I don’t know what to write that would interest you at this time. If I could see you I could talk to you and tell you a great deal. Well, brother, you said you was going down hill. You said you was not as heavy as you was by 20 pounds..... Well, I can put down 160 pounds and I can do a good day’s work, yet I am fat and hearty.........Well, Jane, you ought come out here and see Juliann weave carpets. She weaves from 10 to 12 yards a day. Juliann sends her love and compliments to you all and would be glad to see you all and would like for you to come and see her.......Well, I want you to tell all my brothers and sisters to write to me and fail not for I want to see a letter from them all one time more in this life. So I will close for this time by asking you to write soon. We still remain your brother and sister till death.

From William and Juliann Kinder
To all my brothers and sister, so good bye..............

NOTE; William Kinder was a son of John Kinder Sr. and his wife, Martha/Patsy (Melone) Kinder. He was born in Shelby Co., KY and came to Miller County in the 1840s. He first married Lydia Bilyeu and had several children. After her death, William married Lydia’s sister, Julia Ann Bilyeu. They moved to Oregon in the early 1850s with her parents, William and Diannah (Coker) Bilyeu.......The brothers and sisters of William Kinder were: James S. Kinder (died in 1889), Peter Kinder, George Allen Kinder, Jacob Kinder (died 1882), John Kinder, Jr. (d. 1911), Samuel Kinder, Christopher Kinder (d. 1869), Ephraim Kinder (d. 1898) and Rachel Kinder......I think most of these brothers and sisters (except Christopher who died in 1869) were living in Illinois in 1880 when William wrote his letter. He was over 1500 miles away when he wrote to them in 1880. I do not know if they ever saw each other again in this life..............WILLIAM’S BROTHER, JOHN KINDER JR., WAS MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER WHO MARRIED DIDAMA RUTH BILYEU IN MILLER COUNTY. BY 1880, THEY WERE LIVING IN CHRISTIAN COUNTY, ILLINOIS AND NEVER RETURNED TO MISSOURI TO LIVE AGAIN....(Peggy Smith Hake)