William Henry Austin writes his son Lon Austin

Eldred, January 12, 1879
A.A. Austin
Solomon City, Kansas
Dear Son,
I will write a few lines in answer to your vary welcome letter and to let you know that we are all well and I hope this will find you enjoying the same blessing.

The weather is quite cold here now. The snow is about 12 inches deep. The coldest it has bin yet is 13 below zero and that was as cold as I wanted.

Mr. Kelso has bin to N.Y. abuying goods last week to start a store. He was gone 8 or 10 days. He told me that he tride hard to sell out, but could not. He said that he was afeared to sell for $1100 dollars, but could not sell for any price.

Your Mother and Me was down their Christmas and had a nice visit. Mrs. Kelso wished that you and Maria was there. We ware to Mr. Collins New Years and had a good visit. Mrs. Kelso made the same wish there.

They had a donation for Mr. Martinas Friday nite the 10th. They took in $37 dollars. There that their was not much of a turn out. I did not go for I had nothing to go with. I never saw money more scarce. I can’t see yet how I can rais a nuff to pay my taxes.

They got half a nuff, but where the other half will come from I can’t tell. It is impossible to sell anything here for money.

I feel as tho I would sell for enny price sometimes. For there is not much plesure in working hard and not seeing much for it. I hev bin thinking about trying to traid for a place in southeastern Kansas.

I wish if you could find out enny thing about that part of Kansas you would let me know. It is in Allen County, Kansas, 5 miles from Solomon. I don’t think that I could do much worse in Kansas than here. For everything that we raise here is vary slow and it costs so much to raise it.

I understand Jim Eldred is living on Jim Hill this winter. I understood that he got an advance to sell anvils when he first went to Kansas and he gave $3 to git rid of it.

He writes home that it is too cold to look for a job. I think he will be back here in a year or two poorer than he went away. He mortgaged his house to P. McColam and he owed him $100 besides the mortgage.

Peter sent me a dun letter on the third for $11.00 eleven dollars. I am a going down to see him tomorrow and to find out what it is for. I have not traded enny with him since I paid him last February, but I suspoes it is on that wood deal you had with him.

I wish you would write and let me know as near as you can remember how much traid you got there all together and how much wood you think you took him. I don’t think he could heve allowed for more than ten cord.

The Merchants here appere to think that they are the onley ones that ought to live here.

Write soon and let us know how you are gitting along and if you hev enny thing to do this winter and how cold it is there now and what you think of Kansas now.

Well I suspoes Mort wrote you all the news in his letter, if there is enny. I suppose he told you all about his colt for he appears to think more of it every day. It is almost as big as Collins colt now and I think by spring it will be all he can handle. I must stop writing.

Write soon to your loving father,
W.H. Austin

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