Lakenan Shelby Co
Dear Nephew After an absence of nearly 4 years, since I last saw you, and not hearing from you, I concluded to write once more, and owing to my age & circumstances probably the last time I am living on a Choice Farm of 160 acres, with a fine Apple Orchard yielding about 500 bushels a year it is two miles from a Station on the Hannibal & St. Joseph R. Road and 40 miles from the Mississippi River and up to the time of my sad accident enjoying myself very much with my family of 4 Daughters, aged 18, 16, 14 & 10 years, on my return from England, I moved to Iowa, about 150 Miles north west of my former home, I remained there until last October and then moved to this place.
My principle reason for moving again, was to get a warmer climate more timber and fruits One object of my writing is to let you Know how my oldest children are Situate and their Addresses – You already know that Marys husband committed suicide in a fit of temporary insanity since then she has managed affairs very well, she sold the farm lately she lives in her own house in [Iowa? Town?] and is worth £1000,, Her oldest Sarah Ann aged 20 has been living in a Gentlemans family several years as one of their own – they have given her a good education, her sons Joseph 18 George 16, work in Summer & go to School every winter they are very kind to their Mother her address is Mary Cooke
No. 9 Keilings [?] Addition
William is a good Scholar a first rate BookKeeper & Salesman his Salary £150 a year, but he is in connection with another, going to commence business, the Druggists, 12 Miles from Mary, in a few days, so I learn from a Letter last week,, he Married his cousin, and has 3 children one named Mark Crossley Cocks, his address is Cuba, Fulton Co. Illinois he is 39 Mary 44, Myself 66 – I enclose an Ambrotype of Mary which you will please give to her Cousin Sally Crossley oldest daughter of James and Nanny Crossley of Oldham I forget her Married name,, In answer to the enquiry, “do you think I could do better in America” I would say that 9 out of 10 that come to the West where land is cheap, who are willing to do anything they can, and learn anything else by perseverance coupled with Industry, Economy & a just regard for character, do well; sooner or later, and if they have a family the more boys the better- I send my very best Love, to yourself and family, and to all the Crossley family in your Section, and would like to know if John’s widow or Williams widow are living, and how they and their families are getting on in this changeable world, also to Nanny Crossley of Oldham, and her children, and hope that one of her sons will write me a letter soon as possible, tell Nanny to give my letter to Rosey Allen & her husband, to James Schofield and family, and now I come to the circumstance alluded to before – on the 4th of November my horses took fright, & ran away, I was jerked under the wagon, which was loaded, and the Wheels passed over me, breaking my left leg, & severely injuring my hips, als passing on the right side between the hip and my body injuring my back&&[?] I was dreadfully hurt If I ever walk again, I shall be a bad cripple, but fear I shall never be able to walk
Your affectionate Uncle Thos. S. Cocks
Submitted by Jeff Carter (Edinburgh, Scotland)