D[avid] G[ilrye] Muir
[Ann Gilrye Muir]
[Original letter in possession of Mrs. Mary Muir Hand].Martinez, Calif.,Jan. 5, '96.My dear Mother:I suppose you think by this time that I ought to write you, and I think so too. To begin with, all of the friends and relations here are well. John, Louie, Wanda and Helen have been here this afternoon, all blooming full of health. Maggie is just as usual, and John R[eid] is getting a little fatter. John Jr. is 21 now and thinks he is quite a man. May and her husband have rented the Woolford place and have moved into it. It is about as far from Maggie's as from your house to the new Presb[yterian] church. Mr. Coleman (May's husband) has also rented all of the Strentzel or Muir ranch except what I rented last year and have again rented for another year.Well, Mother, I (or rather we) made a little last year.We were able to pay our interest on the ranch and reduce the principal considerably. I have also paid the interest on Mr. Rogers mortgage on your house and reduced the principal to $400.00, so we will pound away the best we know how for another year and hope to do still better. SO now John has no ranch to look after and can stick to his books. He is well pleased with the way I managed his orchards and vineyards last year. I know I made more money out of it than he could have done, for I am with the men every day and all day, while he was only with them perhaps half an hour per day.We have had very fine, clear, warm weather for over two weeks. Have had very little rain yet, and some of the weather prophets predict a dry winter. Last year we had too much, 32 inches. 15 or 20 inches would answer our purpose.We are beginning to feel more at home here, and Ette and myself like it very much. We joined the Congregational church in Martinez Nov. 1st, and attend when the roads are good and when we are not too tired. We have a splendid minister and some good church friends.We received your Christmas booklet and thank you for remembering us. Have had letters from Carrie and Anne lately - they all appear to be happy and well, but have not heard from will for a few months.Am sorry the crops were again poor about Portage and the prices so low. I am sorry for the merchants also. I don't think times are quite as bad in California. I suppose by this time you have enjoyed a visit from Dan. I would like to see him and his family. They were very good to us when we were with them. I wish he would write to me. I suppose it is pretty late to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, but I now do so. With love, also to Sarah, Joanna, Annie and all the youngsters - Ette joins me in sending love and good will to all,Your son,D[avid] G[ilrye] Muir[Envelope addressed Mrs. Daniel Muir, Portage, Wisconsin].06178
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