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1843 Pioneer letter of Jacob Mills

1843 Pioneer letter of Jacob Mills

Posted: 950270400000
Classification: Biography
Edited: 1018660201000
Jacob Mills was born 6 February 1822 and "was killed by bushwhackers during the war" in 1862 in Washington Co., Arkansas (according to bio on A.L. Thompson in "Goodspeed's History of NW AR"). On 18 December 1845, in Washington Co., Arkansas, he married Edith "Edy" LEWIS who was born 14 March 1826 in Floyd County, Kentucky. Their children were:Moses, Franklin, Sarah Elizabeth, Enos P., Tolbert, Emily & Jacob G. Mills.

This is one of two letters which heresay tells were given anonomously to an antique seller, copied and made available.

Postmarked 16 June, 1843, Fayetteville, AR
Addressed to Mr. Aaron Mills, State of Indiana, Morgan County, Belville P.O.

WashingtonCounty, Arkansas, June 5, 1843

Esteemed cousin, I gladly embrace this opportunity to write to you a few lines to let you understand how we are coming on and we are about as well (as) common and hoping these few lines may find you enjoying good health.

Now I will inform you that we received your letter the 28 day of May and read it with great joy, that you were all well and all doing well. You said in your letter thar you had looked for a letter time after timne but looked in vain. I have thought a great many times of writing to you but I did not know where to direct my letter to you.

I will just state that Father has 200 acres of land where we live, 55 cleared on it. He has another farm in one mile and half that contains 160 acres, a house and six acres cleared on it. He has another farm in 5 miles of him, contains 120 acres with 50 acres under fence and 22 acres of it cleared of it, with a very good house on it. He also gave Aaron L. Mills 140 acres of land. He also gave Enos Mills 160 acres of land. He also gave Henry Mills 160 of land. He gave Joseph Thompson 80 of land. He also gave John Camp 60 acres of land. I will quit that subject.

Enos Mills was married June the 14th, 1838 to a girl by the name of Edy Mankins. They have four children. The oldest is a girl, they call her name Martha Jane. The second call her name Lydia, the third his name William Riley, the fourth is a boy, he is four days old. They have not named it yet.

Henry Mills was married in 1840. He married a girl by the name of Milly Reed. They have one child, they call his name Seth Phineas. I am single yet but I have my own fun with the girls. I can go when I please and come when I please. And if that is not enough you must come and see for yourself. I would be very (glad) of your company.

I will just state that Aaron L. Mills and Henry Mills has moved to Missouri. They live in Dade County, 35 miles of Springfield west on the head of Limestone Creek. They have very pretty farms from accounts. I heard Henry Mills say that he expected to have 50 acres in cultivation this spring. All they have to do is fence it and break it up. They say it is most beautiful prairie out where they live but timber is bad.

John Camp and Sarah Camp has moved to Missouri where Aaron L. Mills lives. He has bought a farm, contains 80 acres, but he claims 80 acres more joining him.

Aaron L. Mills has had five children. Eldest they call his name John Riley. The second is a girl, they call her name Mary Ann, she deceased from this life last fall. The third they call his name Enos. The fourth they call his name Lewis Williams. The fifth they call her name Sarah. Henry L. Mills & Aaron L. Mills are both sick with the chill and fever. I do not believe it is as healthy as it is here. I will quit that subject.

Father and mother is healthier than they have been for many years with the rheumatism. I will give you a small sketch of our country. It is very hilly and rocky here but there is some good land here. I do believe it to be the most healthy country that is in the nowing (sic) world. Times are hard here. Money is scarce and to help the cause, Ball, our cashier of the Bank, he and some of his securities has hooked the money out of the bank and fled to Texas. There was no douby there was more Ball than one, so the old bird has gone and the young ones will soon all follow.

Prices of things. Horses is from 15 to 20 dollars, cattle form 4 to 8 dollars, sheep 1 dollar, pork from 1 to 1.50 cents per hundred, wheat 50 cents per bushel, coffee 6 pound to the dollar, sugar 6 pounds to the dollar. I will just state that we have had the hardest winter that we ever had here before. We had a very cold spring.

I and father and mother talks of coming to Indiana this fall if we can but times is so hard I can't tell whether we can or not. We want to see you all very bad. If we do not we expect to go to Missouri to see our people. Isaac Mills has sold his place and gone to Missouri this spring. He write a letter back to us that he was going to Oregon Territory, and also John S. Mills & William Willson, Polly Mills' man, was going with him and a great many of the neighbors are talking of going also and father. He would like to cross the Rocky Mountain if all are willing and couold sell out. He says it would be a fortune to them in time.

Uncle Aaron Mills lives with father & he wants to go to Colombia if he could sell his land. It was your request that you would like to hear from Benjamin B. Mills. We heard that he was in Missouri, in the Iowa Territory, & that he was married and doing well. We did not understand as to your request that you want to hear from Walter Mills. we heard that there was a man in Arkansas, over at a town they call Little Rock. His name was Walter Mills. We heard that he was a cabinet worker. He got on a steamboat and the boiler bursted and killed him and another person. In fact it was in the newspapers that W. Mills, cabinet workman, was killed, so we do not know whether it was Walter or not.

Owen Mills has left his wife and gone with his father. Peter & Amanda Narcissus Mankins is well. They met with bad luck -- they got their house burnt last spring, and also their father and mother was burnt. They judge it was set afire.

I shall draw to a close. I want you to write to me every opportunity you can, how you come on. We are all glad to hear from you all. I hope if we do never see each other again in this world, I hope we will meet in heaven where we never shall part no more. The day is past and gone, the evening shade appears. May all remember well, the night of death draws near. We lay our garments by, upon our beds to rest. So shall death soon disrobe us all, of what is here possessed. Lord, keep us safe this night, secure from all our fears. May angels guard us while we sleep till morning light appears. So with sincere love to you all I bid you farewell and all inquiring friends, to Aaron Mills and all my relations.

Jacob Mills

Re: 1843 Pioneer letter of Jacob Mills

Posted: 1071597547000
Classification: Query
Mr. Lemke sent me a copy of this letter in 1964. When I questioned the name of Peter Mankins, Jr.'s wife, I was told that evidently Jacob was confused about her name because the tomb of her daughter Milley in Reece Cemetery says daughter of Peter and N.R.C. Mankins, which was probably N for Narcussus, R for Rachael(her mother was Rachael Beales Mills), and C. for Charity (her grandmother was Charity Mendenhall Mills), so Narcussus Rachael Charity Mills Mankins. It is not likely she would have been identified on her daughters tombstone by these initials if they were not hers.
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