This letter was written by Emery D. Albro (1802-1883) and his wife Polly, to Emery’s brother, Ira Albro (1809-1898). Emery and Ira were the sons of John Albro (1776-1861) but Emery was one of three children born to John’s first wife, and Ira was one of seven born to John’s second wife. Ira married Betsey Dunham (1819-1880), the daughter of Solomon Dunham, on 29 September 1839 – not long after this letter was written, and lived near the DuPage — Kane County line in Illinois. Emery married Mary (“Polly”) Seymour in 1825.
Addressed to Ira S. Albro, Little Woods, Illinois
Warsaw [Genesee Co., New York]
June 22, 1839
My Dear Brother,
I now take this opportunity to inform you that we are in joying good health at present and hope that these few lines will find you in joying the same blessing. I must acknoledge that I have to long neglected to write to you. I hope that you will excuse me for this time. I should be very glad to se you and hope that if Providence should permit, I shal have the privalege. I think that I shall come thare within one or two years if ever. I should be glad to have you come out hear and se us. The only reson is that I have not writen before is that I calculated to come there imediately and have ben thinking so ever since but being confined in business and for the want of money to bear my expenses, I have not reach the western workd. There is but two things thay hender my coming to that country if I should like. The first is an opportunity to sel. The second is should it be the will of God. There are many things that I should like to write if I could. I could talk a great deal faster than I can write. Those things are not easily in countered if by going one or two hundred miles, I could see you. I should of ben there afore now. I have not seen [our brother] Gus since I saw him at Lodi that winter that I saw you to Lodi. I should like to hear from you and Uncle Solomon Dunham verry much. I saw Samuel Lake a few weeks ago and he told me that he seen you and told me a good deal about that country and about your situation and was very anxious to have me go with him but I could not.
My dear brother, the subject that I mentioned of matrimony I was in earnist about and if you could not sute your self in that country, I know that you could hear with my assistance and I know the best is none to good for you. We have but the children – the youngest a boy. Harry Keeny and Mariah has but two boys. They lost their little girl and it was the means in the hands of god of their conversion. They have both of them im brast religion. They air building a nice house this sumer and they air prospering on every hand. When I concid the shortness of time and the certainty of death and the importance of our being in constant readiness is certainly nesisary and I hope that you wil not forget to pray and trust in the Lord. I am glad to hear that you air prospering in the things of this world. I hope that you may prove a blessing to all your surrounding acquaintance.
It is so dark that I can not se to write more. You must excuse my poor [writing] and read as well as you can. This is from your unworthy brother and friend, — Emery D. Albro
Dear Brother. I embrace the present opportunity in writing to let you know that we are a live and have not forgotten you although separated from each other. I trust that we are not intirely forgotten by you. We have received two or three letters from you since we have written. We have been very slothful about answering your letters not because we have not been glad to hear from you but because we are not in the habit of writing but verry little and have not had anything very special to write. But presuming that you will be glad to hear from us, we have written a few broken sentences & hoping they may find you in good health and prosperity and above all enjoying the religion of the ever blessed God. I hope, dear brother, that you in that western country have not forgotten the religion that you professed to have when you were hear. I hope better things of you than to think you have laid down your watch even in the wilderness world. I hope and trust that you are privileged with blessed gospel preached. I want to say to you that for one, I am _____ to strive to make my way toward the __________. I hope that you will remember us at a throne of _____. Write as soon as convenient and if we are not ______ to see each other on the shore of time that meet in ______ world of glory which is prepared for them that love him. This from your unworthy friend and sister in the love of Christian union, — Polly Albro
From a history of DuPage County, Illinois:
“Ira Albro, a retired farmer residing in Wayne Township, is well worthy of representation in the history of DuPage County, for he is numbered among its honored pioneers of 1835, and has borne an active part in its growth and upbuilding. A native of the Empire State, he was born in Erie County, October 31, 1809. His father, John Albro, was born in 1776, and in an early day removed with the family from Nova Scotia to Rhode Island, but he left that State at the age of sixteen, and became a resident of Saratoga County, N. Y., where he engaged in rafting and in the lumber business on the Hudson River for a number of years. John was twice married. In Saratoga County he wedded Betsy Dunham, and in 1807 removed to Erie County, which was then an almost unbroken wilderness. There, in the midst of the forest, he opened up a farm and reared his family. In Monroe County, he married Martha Gardner, a native of Newton, N. Y., and a daughter of John Gardner, one of the early settlers of Monroe County. In 1853, John Albro came to Illinois, and spent his last days in the home of Ira Albro, dying February 2, 1861. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812. His wife survived him about a year, and passed away January 4, 1862. She died in Buffalo, N. Y., and was buried in the Buffalo Cemetery, by the side of her daughter.
John Albro had ten children, three by the first union and seven by the second marriage. Emery D. died at the age of seventy-two. Emily is next. Melvina married Frederick White, and both are now deceased. Sallie Maria became the wife of Harry Keeney, and both have passed away. Ira is the next younger, and Eliza resides with him. James R. is living in Chautauqua County, N. Y. Augustus G. is a resident of Pennsylvania. Jerome B., Almira and Harriet Celina are deceased.
The subject of this sketch spent his boyhood and youth in the county of his nativity, and his early education, acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by an academic course. He then successfully engaged in teaching for three terms, and in 1835 he started westward, reaching Chicago on the 10th of May. The western metropolis then contained about a thousand people. He spent the first summer on a farm in Lake County, and in September came to this county, where he entered two hundred and twenty-seven acres of land from the Government. It was entirely destitute of improvement, and he turned the first furrow upon it, but, as the years passed, acre after acre was placed under the plow and the highly cultivated farm now yields to him a good income. In connection with agricultural pursuits, Mr. Albro has been engaged in the dairy business and in the manufacture of cheese. He has a substantial residence and good barns and outbuildings upon his place, and all the other improvements are first-class.
On the 29th of September, 1839, Mr. Albro married Miss Betsy Dunham, a daughter of Solomon Dunham. She was a native of Erie County, N. Y., and there remained until sixteen years of age. Her death occurred October 25, 1880, and she was laid to rest in Little Woods Cemetery. Adrian D. Albro, the only son of this union, is a man of good education and business ability, well known throughout this community. He married Sylvia M. Hathaway, daughter of E. T. Hathaway, and they began their domestic life upon the old homestead farm which Mr. Albro has managed and operated for some years. He is recognized as a wide-awake and enterprising agriculturist.
The father, Ira Albro, cast his first Presidential vote for Martin Van Buren, in 1836, and has since supported the men and measures of the Democratic party. He has filled a number of local offices of honor and trust, was Township Supervisor, Highway Commissioner, Trustee, and for about ten years was School Treasurer. In whatever position he has been called upon to fill, he has proved a faithful and efficient officer, discharging his duties with promptness and fidelity. His residence in this community covers a period of fifty-eight years, and he has watched the development of the county from an almost unbroken wilderness to one of the best counties of the commonwealth. An honorable, upright life he has led, and as one of the pioneer settlers and leading citizens he is deserving of representation in this volume.”