Letter to Roxy From Her Father


This letter was written by our ancestor, Charles E. Wells, to his daughter (also our ancestor) Roxy Wells Stauffer, March 23, 1888. He is writing about her mother, his wife, Hannah Compton Wells. The envelope carries a Grand Rapids postmark and a two-cent stamp (!) and is addressed to:
Mrs. Roxy Stauffer
Kent Co. Lisbon

(My spell-checker didnít like it , but I have copied the note just as he wrote it.)†

Dear Roxy, I take pen in hand to informe you of the State of Motherís health it is verry poor. She dose not get any better but is growing weeker all the time. I am afraid she will not get up again. But we will do all we can for her. I went to town Sunday got medison for her and am going again to day. I wish you could come down and stay a week with her. She wants to see your verry much. The rest are all well. Yours in love, C.E. Wells†

The day Charles wrote the letter, March 23, 1888, was his and Hannahís 51st anniversary. Hannah died a month later on April 28, 1888. Notice that the culture of their day made him sign his formal name, not something even a bit warmer like "Your father."†

Inside he says heís writing from "Alpine," which is a township just northwest of Grand Rapids, where they are buried (and where I taught second grade in 1958). Lisbon is a few miles further northwest, a distance we drive in minutes now but which would have taken a good part of a day by horse and buggy. Likely the "town" he refers to going for "medison" was Grand Rapids itself, which may have been quite a few miles south of Alpine in that point in time.