This letter was written by Elvira Ruth (Cable) Cody (1832-1911), the wife of Joseph A. Cody (1813-1885) — a farmer residing in Grasshopper Falls [now Valley Falls], Kansas. Elvira was the daughter of nurseryman Eleazer Cable (1802-1879) and Minerva Way (1804-1896) of Cleveland, Ohio. The Cody’s were married in 1860 and the “baby” referred to in this letter was probably Josephine Lucretia Cody (1864-1929) who was born in May 1864.
Joseph A. Cody was the uncle of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Joseph was born in Scott County, Iowa. Joseph’s letters are housed at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas.
Addressed to Mr. Eleazer Cable, Cleveland, Ohio
Grasshopper Falls, Kansas
August 9th 1865
My dear Mother,
Yours of July 31st was received last evening. I had been looking a long time for it.
Mrs. Bolton was nearly two weeks on the way here. She found the railroad so washed away that she had to return to some friends in Illinois and wait some days. I wish you could have come with her but it would have been an expensive journey for you. I knew they were coming and Miss Bolton mentioned once that you might come together, but nothing more was said about it, and I did not like to mention it again. If I had known that Mrs. Bolton would have been so willing, I would have written to you about it. I was glad she called on you. It made me feel for a moment as if I had seen you. She and her son James reached here last Friday night about eleven o’clock. Joseph had gone to bed but I had not. Not knowing there was any lady there, he went to the door in his night shirt, lamp in hand. I like her very well but not half as well as her step-daughter, Elizabeth. Everybody likes her — rich and poor, learned and unlearned. She will probably go hoe in the fall though sometimes she says she should like to live with us. She don’t like Cleveland. I will ask her to call and see you. I will write you when Mrs. Bolton goes home. I expect them all here today or tomorrow.
We are all quite well now. Baby has had a turn of diarrhea but has recovered from it. I have weaned her from the bottle. Had no trouble at all hardly in doing so. I have the girl now that I had last winter — the best I have had. Sally helps me mind the baby, but she wants to stay with me all the time and takes up my time so I can’t work much.
Peaches will probably be cheaper in Leavenworth than in Cleveland and we had better get them here. I should like some ____ when they are ripe, preserved and c____ed. They are a great rarity here. Joseph still thinks of going East but it is not certain. It seems as if you might shut up the house and and father stay somewhere if he won’t come. I will make you a visit as soon as I can.
It is about decided that the railroad will be graded through our place, across the bottom this winter. But possibly it might not have been so if we had not come here.
Don’t work yourself to death. Goodbye. Ever yours, — Elvira