Morgan County, Illinois
Illinois Genealogy Trails
Genealogy Trails

Letters written by members of the William John Patterson family
1864 to 1918


Documents submitted by Michael-Lee O'Brien Brockhouse

Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by our Transcription Team Member, Linda Brandau

(all original spellings are maintained)

From the research of Michael-Lee O'Brien Brockhouse
(NOTE: data not verified by Genealogy Trails)

Please contact Mr. Brockhouse for further information on his family lines at

Willam John Patterson
Birth: Jun. 5, 1830 Near York County, Pennsylvania
Marriage May 5, 1853 Pennsylvania
Death: Apr. 20, 1915 Concord, Morgan, Illinois,
Burial: Concord, Morgan, Illinois,
Parents: James Patterson and Ruth Anna

Isabella Yothers
Birth: Nov. 1, 1834 Maryland, USA
Death: Nov. 6, 1919 Concord, Morgan, Illinois,
Parents: Joseph Yothers and Elizabeth Reiter

 Most of the letters are by William’s children to my great great grandmother.

Mary Elizabeth (Patterson) Filson,
Sophia Ella Patterson,
Cora Estella Patterson,
Harriet Elotte (Patterson) Burton,
Anna Gertrude (Patterson) Grieve)
William Edgar Patterson

One letter is from my great great grandmother, Clara (Patterson) Brockhouse, to her father, William John Patterson, when he was serving in the Union Army.

June 4th
Dear Father
I this after noon wil try to write you a few lines. we are al weak to day but Addi she is sick. Poor little Petmust allways be sick but we hope she wil soon be well again we had such a fine time this morning a sabbeth schooland oh how I do wish you could have been here yesterday to go to the Picknick with us I saw all of my old schoolmates we had a fine time. I want you bring me a new hat when you come home and Ely to Mother has not got us anything this spring yet. I wish you would come home soon Ely and i are to run a race when we see you come see wichwil get the first kiss do hurry up for I want to see you so bad.
Your daughter Clarra

Ella Patterson to Clara Patterson
Jacksonville Ill July 5 1885
Dear Clara.
Guess you think it time for an answer to your letter so here it is.We have not recovered from the fourth and itsfestivities. Jacksonville cele-brated immensely or thought it was there was a great crowd of people in town. Allthe country yaps for miles round. Ana Hattie Gertie and Ella Finch came up here in the morning and after dinnerwe all went to town. We tried to enjoy ourselves but it was so hot and the crowd was so great that there was notmuch chance for pleasure We wanted the girls to stay to see the fire works but they thought they couldn’t it isa good thing they went for they wouldnot have been paid for staying. Gertie got very tired but it will furnishher something to talk about for a long while.The last letter I had from Mary she & Ida were looking for Winkto make thema visit; last Sat a week I got a card from her saying she had changed her mind and was going to Nianticto visit Will and her Mother and asked me to come to the train to see her. so I went on Thursday morning and sawher. she looks quite thin and is the same old Wink her baby is not one bit pretty it’s face was so dirty I couldhardly tell what it did look like. I too would like to see Tab and her twins but guess they will not get out muchthis summer. I saw Bob and Edgar and Jane in town yesterday but didnot speak to them. I would like to come in andsee you all this evening but it is no use to wish it will be nice for you to have Gertie come out there but I hateto see her goaway so far. It is very dry and dusty now it hasnot rained for one week which is some-thing new forus this summer. it seems so strange that there is so little har-vesting at this time of year guess therewill benothing but oats and hay.We were up late last night and I’mso sleepy I can scarcely keep myeyes open. I don’t knowany news fromhave to tell you Mrs Potts and I were down there a week ago last Wednes-day they were all well andbusy with their silk worms. Fred is talking of going some after A Arvest but is not decided to go yet. I have _____toread a book in which the hero is named Vinton Arnold the name. [Upside downon top of page:] of it is without a home. Guess that is where you got thename for Vinton how I would love to see him. but I must close for this time for I can’t see to write any more.write to me soon.
Love to all
from Ella

Hopkins Jno
Sunday July 12th 1885

Dear Sister & Bro
We received yours in due time it found us all on the sick list or not all but four of the children have been sickthey were all taken alike with pain in the left side and hot fever Grace was very sick all day the fourth so ofcourse we was at home we could see the fire works at Bedford Iowa and at Hopkins Gus is done plowing corn and isgoing into his hay this week he went to Hopkins yesterday after noon took Bell Grace & Ada he was out in thestreet talking to Mr. May Ada went into a store and saw some little brooms she went out and told him she wantedone he told her to go and ask the man for one and she did (he thought she would not do it) and brought it homewith her so he had to go in and pay for it for she went right out on the street and went to sweeping consideringthe dry weather our garden is doing very well, we have had onions lettuce radish beans peas and could have hadbeets our cabbage is not fit for use yet I got a letter from Cora & Hallie friday they said they had Cabbage& beans does Lou Masterson live close to you Hattie said she was coming out and they was thinking of sendingGertie out to your place We need rain. We have had no rain of any account for three weeks there was a little showerhere last Sunday evening but it was dusty Monday noon well it is not dinner time yet and I am so sleepy. I canscarce ly keep awake to write and oh no don't send me any more flies for they are so thick they wont let me writehalf you had better luck with your chickens than I did I have about 60 and six hens seting I have sold thirty fourdozen eggs at eight cts per dozen butter is only 10 cts but Hopkins has a creamery and every body sells their creaminstead of making butter When you answer please send me your receipt for caning corn I hope binton will get throughthe summer without any trouble with his teeth did you hear that Jennie Masters Park has a son I put up 13 quartsof gooseberries I bought them at 6 cts a qt all stemed and I made a galon of Jam and a quart of Jelly I got enoughwild strawberries in the pasture to make two galon of Jam

Well, I will have to close Ada has waked up and wants her din ner write soon love to all
From Mary

Dear B.J. and ___
Hattie wrote to you last night and says I must finish this morning. We are all at home this morn none of us wentto church. But we ________will go to Sunday S. this afternoon. I am going to the spring after SS. With "Crookedneck" and expect will stop at church to night. There were visitors up there last night Sunday night at theSpring. Don't you think I am kind of off? Hattie was down to Mags last Thurs morning to see if we could get someblack berries there. I suppose we will get some now it has rained. _____ ____ __

Across Top first page:
How much acid do you put in corn to can it. We have forgotten. Em Rogers her father ______ is to be buried thiseve Also William Smith was buried today. ___and___ were to be married.
Yet she thinks she is better since she used the ______ spring water
We have a _____________ the children and Jerry are in it having a bad time.
I will have to close for this time as here nothing new comes into my head to write
Bye Bye with a kiss
From ____

We have not had a chance to send this to the office but will send it this morning is papa takes ___ to Chapin togo to J. Tuesday night as Mr. Newton & Aunt Mary Valentine were on their way home from Chapin.

Up side of paper:
They had ___to take Mrs. N to the train to go to Oregon

Across Top upside down:
But Mary fell out of the wagon

Across top:
Broke her back. They did not think she would live through last night but we have not heard this morning from her.It is very sad

Jacksonville Ill May 1 1887
Dear Clara,
It has been a long while since I wrote to you so will try to tell you a few things that I know this afternoon.We are having a very warm windy day a good deal like sum mer time. Cora came up last Sunday evening and is notgoing to leave before the last of this week. It is so nice to have her here. I would like to have her all summer.We went to town yesterday and went to the Dentist's office. I had one of my wisdom teeth taken out it was decayedand so close to the Other tooth, was afraid it would in-jure it. Thought I would have to have some filled but wasglad to hear him say, that was the only unsound one_ in my mouth. Cora goes on Wed. to have one of her front teethfilled. We walked down to S.S. this morning it was nearly over when we got there. They had 222 present and eightabsent. Tonight they have their first young people's meeting. Seven were taken into the church this morning. Fiveof them blind pupils who were im-mersed last Sunday night. Yes you had lots of new things on Easter Sunday I didnot have any thing new but a new brother. Fred joined the church on that day. Cora says Ma is quite well afterher trip and enjoyed it first rate. Do not know when I will go down home.

Well the sale went off quietly and all right as usual. There were a good many here. The cattle did not sell sowell as last year there were thirty seven in the catalogue which only brought five thousand and something do notre-member the exact amount but you will see it in the Courier or Journal as reporters for both were out. I do notknow any home news to write you. Cora had very little to tell me so guess news are a little scarce. Cora Fred andI had a lovely buggy ride last night we went to turn in the carriage and when we came back we let Ma P. out atthe house and went on to the barn and while Fred was in attending to a sick cow we took Dick from the carriageand hitch ed him to the open buggy and off we went out to the top of the mound it was a lovely night It beginsto look like we would have some rain and stop us from going to meeting tonight. Don't forget that you are cominghere in the fall. It won't be long but expect the time will seem long to you and to us too.

Suppose you have heard from home since Cora came up so she has nothing to write more than they will tell you Imust say good bye for this time. Write to us soon.
Love to all from Ella

Oct. 11, 1918
Anna Gertrude Patterson Grieve to Clara Patterson Brockhouse
Minneapolis Minn 11/5/18
Dear Sister. I was certainly shocked to get the news of Johnnies Death in the Chain Letter. I knew he had not beenWell for sometime but I thought he was better after his trip to the Springs And did not realize that he could beso bad. You should have let some of us know or sent for someone of us and not been alone. I knew you did not feelright beCause I did not stop when I went to McAlester. I went down on excur-sion rates and could not get a stopover. And when I came backI was on some one elses time & money. You more than likely think I could go and dodifferently But I have to look out for my own Bread and Butter. And have very little time for myself. But whenany of the family are sick or need me. I am ready to be their if such is possible. You are alone in a way but youhave your home to go too. And your boys to visit when you get lonely. It was fortunate that ________ got home.I wrote them Both cards a short time ago. From the looks of things now I don’t believe they will have to go across.What a blessing it will be if they don’t The Spanish Flu has been getting In its ____ ____ up here And it is Badyet. All Public Houses are closed and have been for two weeks Some of us have had it yet. Lucile had a light touchof it but it was soon over. It is cold and damp Today looks as though it might snow. It will be a very good thinkfor sick folks if it does.Did you put johnie away at Peculiar or bring him to be buried. No one said in the C.L. But we though it must have been at Peculiar I wish I had a place to invite you to spend some time when you areso Lonely but you know I haven’t
Write us when you feel like it.
Love From Gertrude
1410 7th St SE

Mary Patterson Filson to Clara Patterson Brockhouse.
Chapin Ills Nov 8th 1918.
Dear Clara.
I have been thinking about you all morning. The word came last night and it was in large headlines. The war hasEnded. it is joyful news if it is true.and you may possibly have one of your boys at home with you. Your cup isa bitter one and none knows it till it is placed to their own lips. We certainly know. I am alone now. Carl hasgone to Moline to work in the Moline TractorWorks. The Garage closed here and he would not go back into the storefor the work was so heavy he could not stand it. I had a letter from him yesterday. I wish you were here. We couldgo over to Concord and visit the few old friends that are left I took the paper over to Lizzie Hoover tuesday Eve.She had just got home from Concord. Ad is so poorly she cant walk without help and her cane. Her limbs from herknees down are geting numb and she says now she feelsit from her hips to her knees. Dealia is at home with herbaby And she is far from well. looks so bad. Poor old good Carrie is begining to show the case she has I thinkshe looks the worse of all. she has been with them ever since Edgar Coopers last illness and that is a year. shewent to the springs with AD. And brought her home And stayed with her all this time. (Deals daughter) Bertha wentto Camp Taylor with her husband and she took the flu and pneumonia. hesent for Carrie she went down there and stayedwith her and just as she was ready to leave her she got a letter from Lizzie telling he Ad was worse. then shemust fly back to her. I don’t wonder aat her looking bad. Link is a care and a trial all the time. He cries atevery thing. when any one goes in and pass the time of day and shake hands with him he cries till he shakes allover, but will go on talking .but is hard to understand. It is certainly a pitiful home. Lizzie looks older thanher mother her face is so wrinkled. Jakes hair is almost white. the girls are all well. Ada and Dan went to Meridosiathis morning onthe train with some friends. Will go out to the club house and stay a few days. Just for an is raining and has been since night before last. The flu has about run out of here. I don’t hear of any newcases. There has been two fatal cases. Harry Rickie was one and he was the only decent one of the name. He livedwith his mother in Bethel. I will send you a clipping from Wednesdays paper. poor old Hattie has a heart full oftrials as well as some others. I don’t know any special news and if there is anything occurs I will save it fornext time
Yours with much love

Clara Patterson Autograph Book

Transcribed by Linda Brandau without corrections to spelling or punctuation.
Continental LifeInsurance Co Of New York
Calendars for 1876 and 1877
Continental Life Insurance Co Of New YorkAssets, $7,000,000
Income, $3,000,000
Policies Issued, 78,000
Claims Paid, $3,600,000

To Clara,Keep ever green In the garden of your memory the name ofyour friend M. E. Dewers

To Clara, Peace be around thee whenever thou rovest May life be for thee One summer’s day And all that thou wishestAnd all that thou lovest Come smiling around Thy sunny way! If sorrow ever this Calm should break May even theytears Pass off so lightly, Like spring showers They‘ll only make The smiles that follow Shine more brightly. Writtenby your friend Laura Brennan

The rose is red, The violet’s blue, Sugar is sweet And so are you. As sure as the __ine Grows ____You are my owntrue sugar lump Harry Hanson

Around me shall have In sadness or glee Till life’s dream is over Sweet memories of thee Willie B Foster, Girard,Ills

In crowded hall,Or lonely bower In pleasure’s smile Or sorrow’s hour One effort of mine shall bealways to rememberthee A. L. F

Remember me ever In kindness I pray; Forget me oh! never, Though far, far away.Willie

Fall from your home and break your neck Fall to the ocean from the deck Fall to Earth fromHeaven above But never!never! Fall in LoveA. H.

To Clara Study latin Study greek Grease your shoes to make them squeak Clara M

To Clara Remember me When this you see in trouble far a way A. C. Valentine

When memory,brings before your mind, those early friends that’s long forgot among that band those long consignedforget me not. Narnine

Tto Clara“Virtue is the wealth in everything that ornaments the brow of youth”Ella

Life’s paths are rugged smooth them whenever you can Anna

June 24th 11 When wavering passions cross the mind. and adverse storms attend In every scene I’ll know to be thyconstant faithful friend Anna

May all your days Be spent in peace, And all your eggs Be fried in grease. Saillie Ashton Moore

To Clara Bright be thy dreams May all thy weeping Turn into smiles While thou art sleeping May those by death orseas removed, The friends, who in thy Spring-time knew thee All, thou hast everPrized or loved, In dreams comeSmiling to thee! Laura

To Clara In this book as in your memory Permit me to occupy the Last Page W. B. Brosten, Girard Ills


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