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Marshall, Sep. 30. 1884
My dear Aunt Martha,
I have just finished the weekly washing, and am quite tired, but must try to write a little to send with a letter received from Mother yesterday, that she requests me to forward to you. This is the longest letter Mother has been able to write to me for months, but I hear from her every week through Mamie. I suppose cousin Laura received my answer to the good letter written some time ago. I sent her letter to Larimore that Mother, Will & Mamie might enjoy it too. I have been busy lately putting up fruit for winter, in addition to the rest of the work. I used large mouthed gallon jugs & sealed them.
I have one jug of ground cherries & four of wild plums, and one of transcendent crabapples, also a gallon jar of plums and nearly a gallon jar of preserved peaches. I have more ground cherries and green tomatoes to put up yet. We are going to send a barrel with winter squashes, acorns, cantaloupes & melons way up to Larimore for Mother & folks. Vegetables and fruit are very high there. Will said he would willingly pay the freight if we would send them. I shall put in ground cherries too & they can preserve them after they get there. I am afraid I am not making this penciling plain enough for you. Another of the scholars in our school, Belle Thomas was buried last Saturday. She was sick less than two weeks with diptheria & would have been twelve years old today if she had lived.
There were only two children, a girl & a boy & her parents seem inconsolable. Our children have escaped so far and I hope they will continue to. This is the fifth death since last June in this neighborhood of diptheria. We had over 150 nice melons this year, & a good many cantaloupes. The latter are of the casaba variety & very nice, green fleshed. How I wish you could have had some of them. I have a Baptist magazine this year. Have you seen it? It is "The Home Circle & Christian Reporting" published at St. Louis. We like it very much. We take "The [illegible] man" "The [illegible] Spy" "Rochester Post" "Minneapolis Farmer's Tribune" "Chicago Post" and the two Marshall papers "The Lyon Co. News" & "The Marshall Messenger"- so are pretty well supplied with reading as we own a great many books.
Our elder boys raised 15 acres of flax this year on their own responsibility. They bought the seed, & pay their own threshing bell, but their father let them use his tools & teams gratis. They will have what the flax comes to for their own use and intend to get photographs of themselves. If they do I hope to have some for you. I have not had pictures of the little ones yet. Mamie had an excellent portrait here a year ago but I had but one copy. I wish she could get more for the next time & send some East. I sent my one copy visiting at Newport & Providence & it has not come back yet. She was about the age when it was taken that I was when I was married.
Well, I must close my letter with much love to Lowell, Laura & yourself & hoping soon to hear from you all. Most affectionately your Niece,
Mary E. L. Carpenter
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