Thursday, January 14, 2016
O Dear Children Death has entered our family circle once more, Kimber Letter 10
The Kimber Letters are writings exchanged between the Kimber sisters and their mother, Keziah (Bennett) Kimber. The letters found their way to the sister’s descendants. They’ve been saved and shared among us for over 150 years. I treasure them and am grateful to the late Edna Raymond for giving me transcriptions.
Today’s letter was written by 4th Great Grandmother Keziah (Bennett) Kimber to her daughter Jane Eliza and husband Moses Seely. Although this letter is not dated, I know it must have been penned between April 23rd and July 25th 1855. Jane and Moses Seely recently moved their family to Bradford County, Pennsylvania leaving their home in Minisink, New York.
In earlier letters family members expected 3rd Great Grand Aunt Julie Ann’s passing. Her time came March 30, 1855. She was only 34 years old leaving a husband, Erastus Elston, and five young children—Corcelia Elizabeth, Samuel Floyd, Warren Wickham, Albert and Charles.
“O dear children I must inform you that death has entered our family
circle once more”
Keziah devoted much of her letter speaking of her great grandchild’s time with her before he died. Phebe Jane (Clark) Doty, Keziah’s granddaughter, brought her sick son Ephern to stay with Keziah and Benjamin Kimber April 11, 1855. Great Grand Aunt Abbie helped care for him too. Little Ephern rallied but passed April 23rd.
Jeremiah ‘Ephren’ Doty (age 2 years, 9 months) was buried in Loree Cemetery, Minisink, New York. He rests besides Alice Sematha Mackney (2 months, 5 days) and William Emmet Seely (age 9 months, 21 days).
Keziah mentioned my 3rd Great Grandparents’ (William P. Clark and Charity Kimber) grief when they lost their first grandchild.
Transcription Letter 10
My Beloved children:
I once more thru the mercies of Gods' goodness
and blessings in sparing of me life until the
present now and by his will, I will try to
inform you of our welfare, at the present we are
about as usual in health, that is we are well,
and hope these lines will find you all wel and
enjoying the comforts of Gods blessing. O my
children, ever pray that I may be kept under his
protecting care while he is prolonging my days
on earth. Jane I received your letter the 23rd
of April and was very glad to hear from you all
and that you are all well but Sarah O to think
that she is sick and I cant come to see her. O
it makes the tears to fall but I hope and pray
that when I hear from there again that she may
be better. Do write to me as soon as you get
this to let me know how you all are for it does
me so much good to read your letters seeing I
cant see you but O how glad I would be to see
you all once more if it could be so but I dont
ever expect to You must give my little Susan a
kiss for me and tell her it is from her grandmaw
Kimber O how I do want to see the little lamb.
O dear children I must inform you that death
has entered our family circle once more and took
from my arms a little great grand son and a
lovely little boy was he and he was laid beside
"Little Emet". There lays three little graves
side by side all dear to me. Pheobe Jane
fetched little "Ephern Doty" to live with me.
She fetched him here the 11th of April to stay
with me as long as we could keep him. He was
not very [well] when he came and the 14th he was
very sick then he got better so a Monday he
played some and he got better so he ran and
played all the week until Saturday about 2 o
clock he began to cough a hoarse cough and Abbie
said, "mother he has the croup". we went and
soaked his little feet and put drafs on we
done all we could and he grew worse until night.
I did not think he would live until morning.
In the morning Benjamin went after Phebe to
Erastus and I felt afraid he would not live
until she got here and that night Phebe and
Mrs. Scofield and John Jones and myself sat up
we thought he would not live until morning but
he lived until about 11 o clock Monday when the
breath left him. He died and went home to his
Father, who said "Let little children come to me
and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of
Heaven". Yes he is gone from my arms to dwell
with Christ O what a sweet babe he was it
was paw and maw and Aunt Abbe. He slept with
Abbe two nights and the rest of the time with
me. O the sweet little dear, how I did miss my
babe for he loved me so well, I could not be out
of his sight, He would say "where is my maw"
“will you give me some bread and milk", I went
and got him some about 10 o clock then when I was
getting dinner he said "will you give me some
more bread and milk". I told him "yes I
would”, he ate a hearty dinner and fed the cat
and played so pretty and laughed so hearty. I
sat and laughed to see him play so pretty, that
was a Saturday noon and Monday noon he was a
corpse and a Tuesday he was burried. Mr.
Grimley preached the funeral from the 39th
psalms 2nd verse. "I was dumb, I opened not my
mouth, because I didst it". Jane you wanted me
to write wether we had got black hats or not,
Abbie has got one, I have not yet. I have spoke
for one but have not got it yet. Abbie has got
a plain black lawn and a black gingham dress and
I have got three black dresses and a black veil.
The veil cost me 10 shillings. Abbie has got
her a black crepe collar, it cost her six
shillings. Erastus told me that he talked of
coming out to see you after haying and see how
he likes it out there. Jane you wanted me writ
you whether Erastus took it hard or if the
children realized their mothers death. As for
Erastus, he seemed to take it very hard the day
that she was buried. I have not seen them since
but Erastus and Cecelia, they both came down to
the funeral when babe was buried and when mr
Grimley spoke about Julia Ann dying and being
gone from us for ever from our family some one
said that Cerseley bursted out a crying and took
it very hard. Poor sis how nice she did act tha
day she looked so solom and when the corps was
shown Erastus carne and took Cerceley by the hand
and led her out to see the corps. O how nice it
did look, Erastus went to the grave with us.
Calebs team took your father and me [and] Pheobe
Jane to the grave poor Pheobe how hard she did
take it what a pretty corpse he was, looked so
pleasant, just as if he had fallen asleep. O
the little dear They have laid the baby darling
in the cold and narrow bed, there within the
silent coffin, sweetly rests thy infant head,
there the night winds and the zephers sing their
O how hard Wiliam and the girls and Charity did
take it O my children how much comfort you must
take in going to church and I hope you will
remember me in your prayers. Well I must bring
my letter to a close for it is a getting tea
time, so I must bid you all good by for this
time. So fare the well, do write soon to let me
know how you all are now.
To Moses and Jane Eliza Seely
From Benjamin and Keziah and Abbe Kimber
SOURCE: Edna Raymond, a past Town of Minisink historian, gave me typed transcripts of the letters exchanged between the Kimber sisters and their parents. This letter is #10 of 31.
To read earlier Kimber Letters click on the label 'Kimber Letters' at the bottom of this post.