1843: Enos Church to Elizabeth (Nichols) Church

James Edward Church, eldest child of Enos and Anna Chase

This letter was written by Enos Church (1813-1863), husband of Anna Pinea Chase (1815-1883). The couple had at least eight children: James Edward Church (1839-1928), Emily Church (b. 1841), Helen Augusta Church (b. 1842), Louis P. Church (1845-1869), Herbert Veloise Church (b. 1847), Howard Montague Church (b. 1851), Hattie Alice Church (1851-1870), and Ida Church (1856-1870).

Enos was the son of Seth Church (1785-1840) and Elizabeth Nichols (1784-18xx) of Castile, New York. Seth’s and Elizabeth’s son Benjamin Church (1819-1855) is also mentioned in this letter.

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Addressed to Mrs. Elizabeth Church, Castile, Wyoming County, New York

Auburn [Michigan]
November 22d 1843

Dear Mother,

I last week received a letter from Mr. Wells to Samuel by Benjamin stating that you were anxious to trade the farm in Castile for wild lands in Michigan with a desire that some of us here should go and see the land in question. Accordingly, Benjamin and myself went and examined it. The lot on Sec five is not a very good one. The one on Sec. six is a very fair lot. I am informed by persons residing in the neighborhood that Mr. Warner has 3 lots lying in a body there. We examined the whole and came to the conclusion if Mr. Warner would dispose of the two lots on Sec six at a fair price, we should be willing that the trade would be effected.

Lands in Michigan are very cheap. Improved lands are selling from $10 to $15 per acre according to location. Wild lands are selling from $1.50 to $5.00. The inhabitants living near Mr. Warner’s land tell me his land would sell for cash for $2.50 per acre but I understand he wishes to exchange at the rate of 5 for 1 of ours. In making a trade of this description, we should take into consideration the relative situation of both parcels. The one is under a good state of cultivation with necessary orchard &c. The other is in a state of nature which it will take years of toil and hardships to bring under the same state of cultivation as the farm you now possess.

I for one of the heirs am willing you should make the exchange if it can be done without too much loss on the part of the estate. I think Mr. Warner could not do less than give six acres for one, all things considered. But I am not to dictate but would rely upon the wisdom and prudence of those entrusted by a dear Father with the settlement of the estate.

The land is 12 miles northwest from Pontiac, 4 miles from Clarkston – the nearest place of any business. There is at the last place a Grist Mill, Saw Mill, and leveling machine all in operation and a meeting house enclosed. On the whole, it is tolerable location. The land is what we call in this country timbered openings.

Benjamin has gone west and at his request, I write the above. Your obedient son, — E. Church

Our little family flourishes and increases as usual. We have 3 children – the two youngest girls we call one Emily and the [other] Helen Augusta. She is not quite a year old. I am at work at my old trade. Just about make the two ends meet. We have enjoyed very good health since we returned to Michigan. The babe has the ague some at present. It is probably in consequence of teething. John’s folks are well.

I should like to hear from home once more and know how you get along in this unfriendly world. I want to hear from you all. Edward goes to school this winter – also last summer. He spells in words of two syllables. He often speaks of Grandmother down in York State.

Remember us to all the children and inquiring friends. Your affectionate children, — E. & A. P. Church


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