Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 2a, 1873

Harmon, John

Santa Rosa, California

January 21, 1873

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother John Harmon:

I have written you several letters but have not heard one word from you. We concluded you must be dead, but then again we thought if this was the case, your children would write us. Brother Stephen Belden has just sent me your address. I am so glad. And now, dear brother, I am hungry to hear from my only brother. I am anxious to see him. I write now for an answer. Do not delay to write me at once. Direct your letter to James White, San Francisco, California. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 1

Last May we were compelled to leave the pressure of business at Battle Creek, in order to save the life of my husband. We spent nearly two weeks with sister Caroline and if we could have learned where you lived we should have visited you. We had a very pleasant visit with sister Caroline. We found her about six miles from the city of Ottawa, Kansas. They were pleasantly located on a broad prairie. They had a comfortable little painted frame house. Mr. Clough had planted maple trees about the house. He had also put out a large number of peach trees. He has quite a flourishing little farm. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 2

I had not seen sister Caroline for twenty-five years. Our sister has worked very hard to educate her children. They have done this at a great sacrifice. They would now have been independent had they not kept their children in school and helped them so much. Their children are intellectual but they have but little knowledge of practical life. Mr. Clough is a reformed man. He treats our sister tenderly now and she speaks well of him. I enjoyed our visit with him. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 3

I spoke three times to the Methodists in the vicinity of where they live in two different localities. I spoke by urgent request in the park in Ottawa City. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 4

Sister Caroline urged us to visit her children in Colorado. We decided to do so. My husband was very feeble when we got into Denver. He fainted, and lay upon the floor of the depot until Willie went in search of Mr. Walling, the husband of Louisa Clough. Willie found Walling and came in company with him with a covered carriage and took us to his home in Denver. He then proposed that his uncle should go with him up into the mountains of Colorado and rest for a few weeks and recover his health. Mr. Walling is a lumberman, owning large mills in the mountains. He cared for us as courteously as though we were his parents. He was at the expense of fitting out an expedition over in the Middle Park. We went over into the park on our ponies. This journey was of great advantage to my husband. He could not write while riding a spirited horse. He generaled the company of ladies while our Willie and Mr. Walling aided one another in getting the wagon through. But I am rambling. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 5

We came from Colorado to California. My husband has been very low some of the time while here, but he is now coming up. The Lord has heard our prayers in his behalf and He has blessed our efforts for the recovery of health. This is a beautiful country. The climate is mild. For two weeks we had rain with a few pleasant days occasionally. We have now had nearly three weeks of most beautiful weather. It is as warm now as July in Michigan. We are uncomfortable riding in the sun unless we raise the umbrella. The brown earth is covered with rich, green verdure. The trees are putting forth their leaves. The farmers are plowing to put in their grain, while wheat fields of beautiful green are seen in beautiful contrast with the brown earth everywhere we look. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 6

In San Francisco the flowers are in bloom the year round. We dined with Governor Holden one week ago last Sunday. He has attended our meetings quite regularly. We visited a banker and his wife a few weeks ago. She showed me her beautiful garden by moonlight, and plucked for me, about the 28th of December, a beautiful bouquet of rich roses and carnation pinks. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 7

Last Tuesday, one week ago today, I visited at a beautiful residence in San Francisco. Mrs. Diggins culled for me a beautiful bouquet of choice flowers. I wish you were here with your family. We return to Michigan in the spring. How can we reach you? Please give me the directions. Name the prominent places near you. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 8

We shall spend our winters in California. I must close. Love to your wife and children. Write me without delay. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 9

Your sister. 2LtMs, Lt 2a, 1873, par. 10