Battle Ground, IN
7 September 1888
Transcribed & Submitted by Adina Watkins Dyer.
Although John Watkins lived in Battle Ground, Indiana, he had ties to Warren County.
John Watkins was the son of William Watkins and Mahala Butler and was born in Sussex Co., Delaware, where he married Rachel Sharp in 1853. In 1850 his brothers, Josiah and William Henry, were living in Caroline Co. Soon after their marriage, John and Rachel left Maryland and removed to Warren and then Tippecanoe counties in Indiana.
This letter was written by John W. Watkins to relatives, names and place unknown, but possibly to his half-sister, Jane Ann (Watkins) Wright, in Ross Co., OH. The date on the letter is September 7, 1888. I have transcribed it as written, with words misspelled and lack of punctuation, however I did add periods where I thought they should be.
Battle Ground Indiana Sept. 7th 1888
after a long time I write to let you here from us. we are as well as can be exspected we have ben working so study that we negleced writeing to you. we hope you are all well and a doing well. we have been haveing chills & fever but have worked this away. we are gethering in our fall crops. it has ben so very dry here I have out a big pach of sweet pertatos but it is so dry it will not take long to spad them out. well I must tel you about Brother David being lost in the rockey mountains in the State of Colorado. 2 years ago David had in a good melon pach and garden here at Battleground and maid money but he left here and went to Colorado and bought some garden land near Denver City and he don well there last year. last winter he bought a house & lot in morrison rite at the fot of the rockey mountains then went up into the mountains to gitting out tilafom poles & he wrote to me in February that he was doing well. that was the last letter I got from David. 3 weeks ago yesterday I learned that David was lost in a snow storm up in the heavy thick mountain timber and is soposed to be devoured and draged in to a hole in the rocks by wild anables. i have been writeing out there to find out all I can about David and will continue to write but I have such strait news that I think David was kiled by anamels or perished in cold snow storm that lasted 3 days in Colorado. the last time he was seen was May 5th about 2 o'clock on his way to a claim of land he had traded for up 22 miles in the mountains.
Brothe Josiah has not ben able to work for a long time but sence Benjamon Harrison has ben nomanated for president Josiah has revied and thinks he will live to vote for Ben. I think Josiah put in his first ticket for William henry Harrison in 1840. Brothe Joseph was up to see us. they was well also the relatives out here so far ok. now must close & run to office you all write to
John W. and Rachel Watkins
©2008 Adina Watkins Dyer