Sulivan Moultrie Co Ills
June 25th 1872
Dear Father I Received your kind letter dated the 5th June in reply I will Say we are all as well as usual The last I heard from Jacksonville Harriet was improving. *(1) I would have answered sooner But I was starting to Chicago with Some Sheep I Sold them for five cents they weghed 104 lbs Made me some money they cost me about 2 1/2 cts I have about 200 Sheep on hands my pastures is good about knee high Timothy When up I saw the Burt district *(2) and no one can discribe it nor can they discribe the improvements going on it look like anything But a City The Buildings going up are mutch better then the Old Ones We have a fine prospect for corn and oats wheat will be light grass is fine Stock is low cattle from 3 to 5 cents hogs 3 cts corn 38 cts If I could get a good lot of Sheep I would come to Pittsburg But they are hard to get what I mean by good ones are some that will weigh 120 oz upwards. I would like to hear from you often You will find endorsed my note with Mother Millers name Dated Back to the time you got the interest from Tompkins *(3) with these lines I reamain yours as ever Abia Minor.
*(1) Harriet is Abia’s second wife. Why she was a patient at Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane, Jacksonville, Illinois, is unknown.
*(2) Abia Minor, eldest son of John Pearson Minor and first wife Hannah McClelland, was a farmer taking his stock to Chicago. On this trip he witnessed the recovery efforts that followed the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 started, as a the folksong would have it, by ol’ Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. It raged from October 8 until extinguished by heavy rainfall on October 10. Seventeen thousand buildings of Old Chicago were destroyed, and 90,000 people were left homeless. Three hundred people lost their lives.
*(3) John P Minor lent money to relatives and friends, charging up to 10% interest. Each act was recorded with a note which detailed the loan and its terms. This references one such transaction.