Early Married Life

December 19, 1871
Clarrissa Baker
Allegon, Michigan

Dear Momma,
I hope you and Father are settled on your new farm by now. It was heartbreaking to watch your wagon head away from the home you and Father built and where I grew up the most. I pray for you all daily. Howard sends his love and says he prays for you also.
          We are doing so wonderfully and I am such a joyful wife and mother. Howard has fixed the house beyond my expectations. A new stove right in the middle of the kitchen is the most modern one I have ever seen. You would love seeing your grandson, Walter, who just turned four, come in from the cold weather and settle with the dog next to the stove when it gives off its warm wood heat. Walter already follows his Father around as much as he is allowed to. Howard has not taken him trapping just yet, as his trapping lines stretch for over a hundred miles along the river. He now has six men working for him overseeing the traps. It is amazing how many animals they have trapped. Just last week he caught four brown bears.
          The news is, I am expecting again. We are praying for a little brother for Walter. Little Walt is praying for a brother also. I sure hope you can travel up here when I deliver sometime in the Spring. If not, Jane, Lyman’s new wife, and Mary could help me deliver. Mary is still arranging her house since her marriage to Walter. Howard and Walter’s younger brother Jesse has moved in with Walter and Mary for the time being. Jesse really misses Lucy and can barely wait for their wedding next year. Jesse is busily building their house just east of here on Jesse’s land. It is amazing that your three “Baker” daughters are marrying the three “Mesick” brothers. How many times does something like that happen? Not very often I am sure. Little did we realize while coming to this place seven years ago that all three of us girls would even be married, much less to three wonderful brothers.
          Howard planted our apple orchard along the northern part of our land. We have dozens of trees now that once they mature we will be able to provide apples for the whole community. Now that Howard is starting to farm more than trap, he is able to have the time to hunt more for deer. This winter he, Walter, and Jesse have killed about twenty deer. Many are the times the brothers have laid a saddle of venison at the door of needy settlers with no thought of reward. They really practice giving of all God has blessed us with.
          On a sad note, Lyman and Jane are having some squabbles. I hear it from Jane mainly. I finally got to see the massive courthouse in Sherman that Father helped to build. Howard took me a few weeks ago under dubious circumstances. Lyman had an altercation with a man and was in the Sherman jail for a night. Both of them were fined five dollars and told not to see each other again. Jane is worried about Ly. She hopes she and Ly can have a baby soon. After he turned 22 last year he got a laborer’s job in town. I think it is his job at present. He is working around some men of foul character. I wish Father were here to talk to him. But just pray for him and Jane. I would talk him into moving down with you and Father if I could.
          Well, I will sign off and wait to hear from you again. I am anxious to hear about the new farm and all Father is planning to plant in the spring. Give him my love. And Leafy and little Howard and tiny baby Alvin also. Give them all hugs and kisses from their dear sister up north.
I love you all, your daughter,

Eleanor Mesick