Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Elizabeth Belden to Sarah Ann Camfield Dec 28, 1908

Kilbourn, Wis Dec 28th 09 08

My Dear Aunt
I am ashamed that I have not written you before this and have intended doing so but just allowed myself to neglect it.

First I want to thank you for the pretty pin ball you sent by Belle; I am very proud of it because it is pretty but most of all because it is your work

I am pleased to show it and tell people that it is the work of my only living aunt and at your age too; I have few things I prize more and Effie wishes me to thank you for her for the card you sent her

Well Christmas has come and past; at least the day is past but I am sure the spirit of the time

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will last a much longer time with us

I was a quiet day here; when there is but two we cannot be very merry; when such days come I miss my friends and wish we could eat our dinner with some the few dear ones who are left me
We were both well remembered at Christmas; several handkerchiefs and acrds a pretty handkerchief box for me.

Effie got a pretty necktie a handkerchief a silk opera bag a silk petticoat and several cards and aprons and a few little trinkets.

Wasn’t it nice to see Belle and you had a good visit with her while we only had a call but was glad to get that much

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I must write to Ella too and I have a book I intend sending her and have neglected it

We have had the finest weather all the time so far; have now snow for fine sleighing and the town is taking advantage of it I don’t expect a sleighride though I should enjoy one very much Effie expects to go this evening; her S.S. teacher lives a few miles in the country and has invited her class for the evening: they will drive in after them and bring them back

Effie is at home all the time this winter as she has a position in the Kilbourn City school and we live only a block from her work, so you see I have it very pleasant.

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We are only the same distance from our church so we have no reason to stay from its services and we are there always if we are able and have not been kept at home by sickness very many days.

We had our Christmas exercises Christmas eve, and tonight both the Episcopals and the Presbyterians have theirs: I think I shall go to one of them.

Now Auntie I hope you will be able to answer this but if not tell Annie I shall look to her to let me hear from you as I am always so pleased to hear; remember us to all the family and my best love and prayers for you

From your affectionate niece
S. Elizabeth Belden

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I must add a little more to my letter to say that I enjoyed my visit to Lake Co this summer very much though there is but little that will be of interest to you as nearly all of those you would know about or remember are gone to their last home and everything is changed so much since you were here.

But I must tell you about Mrs Culver: I took supper with her & she asked after you; you would be surprised to see how she keeps and looks so young

She is 84 and does all the work for herself and Sim and even the washing and goes whenever and wherever she wants to and is not very gray I was pleased to see her. Julie lives near her but is nearly white

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She is the only girl left her though The boys are both living

Mr Shultis has gone and really there are not many left: George Wisner has failed a good deal since I saw him last. more than I expected he would.

Well I will close once more
With love

Sarah Elizabeth Hall Belden was the daughter of William Hamlin and Maryetta (Wisner) Hall and in 1908, Ella McKinnon's only living sister. She is writing to Sarah Ann Wisner Camfield who would have been 91 at the time.

I have written before that I don't know much about Elizabeth. In last few days I have learned a bit. She was married to Ephraim Belden on 18 December 1875. I can find him on them on the 1880 census in Waukegan, Lake, IL. In 1900 Elizabeth was living in Poynette, Columbia, WI and was listed as married but Ephraim was not listed with her. From this letter I know that in 1908 she was living in Kilbourn, WI, which is now known as Wisconsin Dells. In 1910 she and daughter, Effie, were living in Elk, Lancaster, NE and she is listed as a widow. An undated letter, that I think was written in January 1910, was written from Benedict, NE as was one dated December 1910. In 1920 I find her living with her daughter, Effie, and son-in-law Thomas McFarlane, in Moline, Rock Island, IL. Was she already a widow in in 1900 or was Ephraim simply living elsewhere at that time? It appears they may have moved around to wherever Effie's teaching positions took them.

I believe the Culver's and Shultis' were neighbor's of the Hall and Wisner families in Avon, Lake Co, IL but I will be looking at them a bit more closely to see if they may be related in some way.

For more see:
Carlisle - Wisner Letters
Family of William Wisner
Descendants of Maryetta Wisner
Descendants of Sarah Ann Wisner

Belden, Sarah Elizabeth Hall (Kilbourn, Wisconsin) to “My Dear Aunt” [Sarah Ann Wisner Camfield]. Letter. 28 December 1908. Digital Images 1-6. Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Snowville, New York. 2008. [Carlisle Family, Box #1, Correspondence, 1908, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. 2008.]

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