1809: William Widmeyer to Frederick Fox

This letter was written by William Widmeyer (1750-1824), a son of Hans Michael Widmeyer (1711-1778). He was married to Mary Magdelena Fox (1750-????), a sister of Frederick Fox who came to Warren County, Ohio, from Sharpsburg, Maryland, with his wife, Catherine Booker, and family.

Catherine Booker married Frederick Fox on March 1, 1773, probably at or near Middletown, Maryland. Frederick and his parents probably lived at or near Fox’s Gap, Maryland, during the 1760s. The gap received its name from Frederick’s father, John Fox, because he was the earliest settler in the immediate vicinity of the gap. Fox’s Gap in Maryland is where the Old Sharpsburg Road from Frederick, Maryland, to Sharpsburg, Maryland, crosses the South Mountain.

Stampless Cover


Addressed to Mr. Frederick Fox in Ohio State, near or in Warren County on the Big Myama [Miami River]

Chillicothe [Ohio]
October 14th 1809

Dear and loving Brother‘n Law

As to acquaint you by this opertunity that we are all, thanks be to God, in perfect good helth as long as God pleases hoping these few lines will find you all in good health. You seem to regard us but little as not giving us a call in coming and going as it is not ten miles out of your way. If I was to come within 30 or 40 miles of you, I should come to see you.

We suffered this sumer with drouth – the most ever we did in my remembrence. It will be scarce times I am a thinking. If I could sell my place, I should not tarry long hear long. I want to see the western parts. My wife will not go any ware else but ware you live. But without selling I can’t leave these parts because I can’t purchase there.

The last I heard of Mother, Jacob Reel and family, they was well. No more at present but remember our ove to all inquiring friends. From us all to you and all you remaining. Your loving Brother’n Law. – William Widmeyer


The following transcript of a letter found on the internet mentions the names of all the same people:

A copy of the following letter from Jacob Reel of Sharpsburg to Michael and Frederick Fox about the death of their mother Christiana was obtained from Robert H. Fox of Cincinnati, Ohio:

Received and forwarded from Lebanon. Warren Co. Ohio Sept. 8, 1812. Addressed to Msrs. Fredric & Michael Fox, Franklin Township Warren Co. Ohio.

Sharpsburg Aug 9 1812.

Dear. Brothers and Sisters by these few lines we let you know that we are in considerable good state of health at the present time. Thanks be to God for all his blessings. But we inform you that our aged Mother departed this life the 6th of Aug after a sickness of four weeks and was decently burried on the 7th and hope she is now at her rest. We had a physician who attended her regular. She did not complain of very severe pains in the time of her sickness. We suppose on account of her much sleeping. Mr. Widmeyer and wife were down to see her in time of her sickness and gave advice in some cases it seemed to give her some relief but according to the decree of God “dust thou art to dust return” stands good against all of the human family to which period we all hasten as fast as the wheels of time can carry us and may it please the Great Author our being to grant and give us all that true wisdom from above that we may consider our in most soul to meet the great Redeemer of Mankind who is the great Judge of quick and dead therefore let us all seriously and with good earnest consider the great importence of these things to our souls salvation. So we conclude by remembering our love and esteem for you all. Yours Truly —  Jacob Reel.

Jacob Reel died in 1844 in Sharpsburg. His Will is found in ?, pages 547-552, in Washington County Records. He mentions Christiana Fox twice in his Will, both times in reference to the 1/2 of Lot #6 in Sharpsburg which he purchased from her. He gives his wife’s name in the Will as Elizabeth. On an 1877 Map of Sharpsburg, 1/2 of Lot #6 was owned by a D. Reel. Although this property was left by Jacob Reel to his daughter, ? ? , it could have come into the hands of one of his sons, David Reel.

“Item. To my daughter Nancy Michael, Wife of Adam Michael, I give and devise the half lot and premises in the town of Sharpsburg Washington County Maryland adjoining Crise and Beard and which was purchased of Christina Fox etc.”

“To my beloved Wife Elizabeth I give, bequeath and devise for and during her natural life the following property viz. half a lot of ground in the town of Sharpsburg Washington County Maryland adjoining Crise and Beard which was purchased of Christian Fox, also the house and lot on which I now live situate in the said town of Sharpsburg and which I purchased from Jacob Houser etc.”

The tombstones of Frederick Fox and his second wife, Susannah, are in the Gebhart Church Yard Cemetery in Miamisburg, Ohio. Also in the Gebhart Church Yard Cemetery are tombstones for George Fox, Daniel Booker Fox, Elizabeth Fox Liter, Christena Fox Mettert, Mary Magdalene Fox Benner, and their spouses. Several of these tombstones indicate the individual was born in Frederick County, Maryland. There can be no doubt the Fox family that lived at Fox’s Gap in Maryland was the same one that moved to the Miamisburg, Ohio, area in late 1807.

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