Archie McKeown to Niah Elenor McKee McKeown
Some background on this particular letter from Bob Powledge:
This 1888 Letter is from Archie McKeown of Bedias to his Mother, Niah Elenor (McKee) McKeown and to her husband John H. McKeown. The letter was written by Archie while in Seattle, Washington, where he had gone on his way to Alaska, where he intended to mine for gold. After this letter, he was never heard from again by the family, and what happended to him was/is unknown. (Clues, anyone?)
Mentioned in the lettter are Archie's dad, John H. McKeown, who is best known as the man who owned the land where the present town of Bedias is located the I.G & N. railroad bought the land from him), and as the man who built Bedias' first cotton gin in 1872.
Also in the letter, Archie mentions his sister R. Jane "Jennie" (McKeown) Stampley, and her husband Will Stampley Smith. Will is remembered as a Deputy County Clerk in Anderson (1886-1896), and the Bedias Tax Assessor (1901 - 1904). He also organized the Bedias Independent School District, and the Bedias Hardware store - for which a stock certificate was already submitted to the Grimes website.
"Adopted sister Jennie" is Miss Jennie Campbell, a single woman who was a student of Pat McKee and later a Grimes County school teacher for 50 years. She lived with many in the Bedias community, including the McKeown and Powledge families.
"Maggie" is Margaret Eleanor McKeown, Archie's sister and (at the time) soon-to-be bride of Charles Gideon Powledge.
"Mau" and "Maurie" are unknown to me, though this name appears in a number of documents I have.
Comments in square brackets are Bob Powledge's
Seattle, W. T. [Washington Territory]
July 17, '88
My Dear Mother
I received your little letter yesterday and was very much surprised to get one at all but I was glad to get it as small as it was. Well this leaves me well and I heard from Maurie a few days ago and they say she is a getting better all the time. They have been to lay/pay [unintelligible]Madison for a lil visit but she did not remember anything about it. Well this is a very fine country up here, that is, some of it-and some of it is something like the Michigan Mau wrote back to
Michigan about he said that some of it was very fine but some of it the law compelled the people that owned the land to put a fence around it to keep other peoples stock from getting on it and starving to death. The principal crop here is hops. It is a great hay growing country, Timothy and clover hay it is more of a lumbering country than we [unintelligible]. They run timber rafts down the rivers here for hundreds of miles. Well, I have written to Sister Maggie all of the news so I will have to close for this time. Give my love to Pa, also to Jennie and
Willie and kiss my little nephews for me Oh how much I would like to see the little strangers & send my love to my addopted sister Jennie
almost forgotton Son
[scratchings - mostly names and letters] A SAC SAIC McKeown? MM Mary McKeown WS Stampley WS Stampley Anderson JJJJ Jean Eleanor
Scan of Page 1
Scan of Page 2 & 3
Submitted by Bob Powledge