letters from a widower
These are letters written to his family in 1915 and 1916 by an eighty-one-year-old father, Charles Henry Killough. His wife Margaret had died in October. Of their six daughters, he had gone to live with Lura May "Lou" and family. He chose to spell his name as Killough, though his twelve siblings and his daughters spelled it Kellough. However, he spells it Kellough when he writes to them. Charles Henry passed away a year and a half later and is buried with his wife at Macomb, McDonough Co., Il.
Copied as written.
Daughter's name unknown:
Dear Daughter and Family one and all.
Lou proposed that I write each of you girls a letter for Xmas so I said all right so she got me a tablet & hear goes it has bean so long since I tride to write that I don't now how to begin then I can hardy see the lines so I will make lots of mistaks but maybe it will be better than nothing then. The teares will come so easey but I will do the best I can I am going to write only on one side of the paper it is so thin mabe you can reade it better this is a nice brigh day though more to day than it has fore over a week we have been ice bond fore over a week the ice was not very thick but very slick fore two days. I cold not get to the coal house Hellen (Lou's teenage daughter) had to carey my coal it was not very cold just enof to hold the ice not much snow no corne gethered for the last ten days quite a bit to gether Denten is halling cola (coal) for the lakoul (?) house. Henry (Lou's husband) is not doing much of any thig I am feling farly well now have not had a cold to amont to much this winter have a good apetite yet sleppe farly well my feet burns at nigh some haint had any cold feet this winter yet day nor nigh I keep my roon in fair shap I sweep it evey morning shake my rugs twise a week then Lou comes in every once & awhile & gives it a thour going over it is a nice plesant room have plenty of good coal but so lonsom so hungry fore some one to talk to but will try to make the best of it Wendes morning an nother nice m this maks three nice days this week There has been lots of grip around Lou & Helen both had a toch of it but are better now R & M was laid fore two weeks with it but are all right now the little girl ha been real well all winter dos grow so fast Give my best wishes to Wm Walker when you see him I will always remember his chery good morning Wishin you all a mery Xmas and a happy New year's I remain your loving Father C H Kelough
Dear Son (husband of his daughter Anna)
Hellen come with the mail with Anna's letter and the recips in it. Thanking you ever so much fore what you and yours has don fore me and my dear one. Yours truly C. H. K.
P. S. Give my best regards to Mr. C. wen you see him. Henry (Lou's husband) has ventered out to the cornfield this afternoon fore the first time in ten days Henry
To his daughter Anna and family in Creston, Union Co., IA:
Dear Iowa Folks one and all Greeting I think it is about time I was thanking you fore that box of goodes you sent to me They was fine they come all righ was not jamed up a bit the cake was fine I faired very well fore boxes of gooddes Minnie (a daughter and family) & Harvy & Eolene sent me a box then Frank M sent me quite a New Years box with lots of things in it I still have a good apetite so I got a way with them with some help so I thank you ever so much if it is late then I received some other things no one forgt me. We have had so many clody darke days it is hard fore me to see it has been cloudy all this week but I suppose it is the same with you we had so much rain last summer it wold be difernt when winter comes wit dredful ice days I can hardly get out to get my coal Hellon is offul good to carey my coal when its icy but she has so much to do I hate to have her to do it if I can hep it Lou has been sick since last satday is some better to day There is so much sickness every whre Henry was laid up all last week but has got all righ again Thay just finish that corne yesterday finish in the storm We got sno this morning then Joe got in to the Grove last night come back to see his Farther he is rather porly was some better the last we heard It is snoing again and has tured colder it is so icy John is out to Mini's went last sat said he was going to stay a week But we got a letter to day from M written Monday said he was goin to go home the next day Has Vera got a plase yet . . . . . . . Give my love to all my dear Frinds and Keep a hole lot for yoursef
From your lonsom but loving Farther
C H Kellough