Maggie [Margaret Muir Reid]
John has an interest in the land. this land & its prospective rise in value is all we have to look to to help us out of this terrible state of affairs
what helped to make things so bad now was the loss of their crops by drouth & chink bugs these two yeas. & having to buy feed for the horses. & last summer the buffalo grass was dried up. & in the fall the late rains have made it worthless for this winter (& feed is so high there (it is not quite so high here & [illegible] has shiped a car of feed down from Crete) & the loss by Jim [stricken word] [sign?] -ing those notes, then the Bankers lost confidence in Jim & would have nothing to do with him so John has gone to Kansas & taken Harry with him to help take care of the horses all winter hopeing things will be some better in the spring.
John is five moles from the post-office so we can not exchange letters very quickly. I had a letter from him last night. he said the had written to Walter to find out exactly what he had done about the land. he said the weather had been unusually cold on
Crete, Neb, Jan 19th, 1888, Dear Bro John
We received your letter of Dec. 26. on the last day of the year & I can never till you how grateful I am to you for your kindness. I do not wonder that you are surprised at not hearing from us_ as soon as I read your letter I wanted to sit down & write tto you but [illegible] said I had better wait until we heard from Dan. John wrote to him that same evening & sent it off) which was Saturday) but no answer & in the middle of the next week he wrote again & also telling him he had to go to Kansas in a day or two but still no answer. So John had to go according to arrangement on Thursday
Kansas & that they have had some awful [blissard?]. we had had some awful weather here too. last sunday morning the thermometer stood at -32 degrees below zero, but it was a still morning, & it did not seem so cold as it was the two days before when it was 20 & 22 degrees below with a high wind how good it is to think of the nice weather you are enjoying in Cal_ I was sorry to hear that Mrs Strentzel is sick I hope she will soon be about again remem -ber me to them & to all the rest with love. what a mine of comfort & pleasure your two girlies must be to you all. I wish I could see them. how good it is that sister Annie is so well now I hope she will soon be
telling me to forward Dan's answer but the day after John left I was so anxious I could not help writing to Dan & begging him to say something the way or the other tilling him how the land was unsafe. & how we had written to you.
he then very [quitely?] answered that money had been scarse all fall, on till more. that he had some notes he was trying to sell but that the prospect was not very good but when he got the money he would send it
Walter Brown had in the mean time written for the deeds of the land telling us he had seen the spent & had fixed it up. he did not explain or say anything about money but that he would keep the papers safely in his vault till they were signed & john not being able to turn himself in any
every sent them. with out asking any questions.
John & Fosters have dissolved partnership & I am thankful for that. What John Foster & John Reid put in to their business (Jim never had anything) is all gone. & John Foster has been trying to do business in Wis these years since we left & has greatly run behind there. the yards in Crete & the horses on the ranch in Kansas is all the property belonging to the firm & it is morgaged for more than it is worth at present- Jim has got the yards & John the horses. & for the improvements on the ranch John released them from all endebtedness to Sarah, as they have her money too. John has all the land in Sarahs name & sent them the deed all to her when she had so much trouble last spring. through Jim & signing the name of the firm to notes to accommodate others. & all without [illegible] knowledge (but perhaps I told you about it. Foster does not know that
perfectly well. we are all above in our usual health our family seems small without John & Harry
I feel ashamed of the long miserable story I have written you but your kindly interest has encouraged me. I can never express to you how I appreciate your kindness thank you a thousand times
I thank Wanda & you for the beautiful cards. & kind wishes. I now with much love to Louie & yourself & all the rest I am affectionately Maggie
[in margin: Johns address is Collyer [Ransers?] Trego Co.]
1888 Jan 19
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.
Reid, Margaret Muir, "Letter from Maggie [Margaret Muir Reid] to John Muir, 1888 Jan 19." (1888). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1740.
Reel 05, Image 0932
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