Letter from Sarah Atwell Gilbert to Caroline Atwell Noyes, 1877

Sarah Ann Lydia Atwell Gilbert was Caroline Atwell Noyes’ sister.

Mention is made of a number of people in the letter. Viola, who had been apparently ill, was Caroline’s daughter and would have been about sixteen.

Sarah’s husband, to the best of my knowledge, was a dentist.

Uncle Best was Thomas Best Scagel b. 1805 in Vermont. His wife was Chloe Fisk Dillingham who died August 11 1876 in Vermont. Emery was their son, born in 1835 and died December 27 1872 at Hoosick Falls, New York. In the 1870 census Emery Scagel, a manufacturer of clap board, is living with his parents, Thomas and Chloe, their daughter Mary E., 16, and Dora, 6, and Flora, 4. Dora and Flora were children of Emery and Eliza Betsey Henry who had died March 11 1866. So Sarah is bringing up here the deaths of Mary and Emery and how they were difficult on Chloe who had died the previous summer.

Lorenzo R. is possibly Lorenzo Randolph Bryan, b. 1832 in Waterbury, Vermont to Orson Patrick Bryan and Sarah Sally Scagel, an aunt to Caroline and Sarah, sister of their long deceased mother and Thomas Best Scagel. Sarah Scagel, Lorenzo’s mother, had died Jan 7 1873 in Waterbury and Sarah Gilbert appears to not remember whether she was living or not, which I find peculiar with so close a relative. But Lorenzo Randolph Bryan is my best guess.

I’ve decided Marge/Mary Carlton is Marge (Margaret) Fisk, sister of Lorenzo, who I believe married a Major Alfred Lanthrop Carlton. He had died in Montpelier on May 29 1874.

Who Katie and Carrie are I’ve not been able to determine. I’ve checked for names like this in the Randolph, Orange County census and am finding nothing.

Clark who moved to Burlington Kansas? His last name appears to begin with a B. I’m unable to id him or his family.

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Before Jan 3 1877

417 Showmont (?) Ave.

My dear Sister

It has been a long time since I have written you still I have not forgotten you I think of you every day and wonder when I am to see you again I hope you & Viola are back to health and the rest of the family well – I am much better than in the summer. West is not very well – his partner was sick for near three months this summer & it was very hard for him. He is talking of selling out again although no one knows it here and if he does he will take a long rest perhaps go out west – if he was not so miserable I should feel terribly about it – he has done very well since he went back into the office and

if I could feel sure that he was going to be able to work for two years to come I should feel terribly but I don’t want him to work on the confined (?) when he is not able to be we are fated to be unsettled all the time if he does go out of business I shall try to get out of the store by the way how many (unintelligible) has been & is there a chance for another some time when you are in town wish you would work out the (unintelligible) but some good responsible person that would know what the chances would be there for the spring trade – I can’t sell to Mrs. Fill (?) because she has not got any thing to buy with and I may be obliged to take the goods somewhere to set them up and perhaps (unintelligible) & then sell out – I can’t tell what I shall do would go to (unintelligible) I could hear of where there was a good chance – there are many things I like about being in a store

but if West is going to be miserable (unintelligible) go to be here – I don’t get home until after he is in bed almost every night – I have had so much (unintelligible) for the last year that I shall like to be relieved of some of it for a while – business is at a stand still here as well as at other places – don’t expect much until the Election is settled you probably hear (have?) more than I do for you are in a democratic district I believe – West went to VT this summer went to (illegible) at Waterbury took dinner with Uncle Best – Aunt Chloe is not there any more she died the last of July with softening of the brain Uncle Best said and that it was too much for her burying Mary and Emory I never have seen her since Mary was buried – the girls were there with him keeping home & going to school West went to the school house to see them said that Dora was

quite slight and stooping but Flora was plump & very pretty. They have a little old house at the Mill Village. West met Lorenzo R. between the center & streets said he had moved and that I should know where he lived if he sold the Baxler-Whitney place but I do not – West did not ask him for his mother so don’t know whether she is living or not & had forgotten (?) he said he had five or six children – Marge (Mary)? Carlton (?) is trying to sell out her store don’t know whether she will succeed or not – she was at Philadelphia and did not see her but a little while he went to Randolph to see Katie & Carrie they have each of them a good place he said Katie was taller than I am. The man their (?) mother married does not do any thing for them and the people that have them took them out of sympathy because they had no where to go

you will remember (..) Clark (…) used to be at Bradford one year ago he sold out of Bradford and went out to Burlington Kansas we did all we could to prevent his going but he went – He thought he had got into the (…) of the world he brought him a horse a small one and after a little he bought (…) house & 20 acres of land right in the heart of the town (…) $1800 for it – then he went in to different kinds of speculations such as hogs & (…) but in Aug. he was taken sick had the fever that is peculiar to that climate – we kept hearing from them by way of his wife that he was getting better then he would be worse until news came that he had got through with this life he leaves a wife & four children its oldest thirteen its youngest little more than one (…) she probably will have about 2000, not any more, and the last we heard from them

she was sick with this fever & two of the children how she is going to get along I don’t know but Clark had never been sick in his life I am so sorry that one of us did not go to them for Clark would have come to us if we had been sick he was a true friend. I remember this (?) ago this fall (?) when West was feeling so badly and was sick that I wrote him and asked him to write him he was (always full of fun) and say something that would encourage him but instead of doing that he took the first train of course and came right here to the store that he might know just how every thing was before he saw West he staied a week and it did West ever so much good he was always read to help but (…) now he is gone I know it must have been so hard for him to give up his family – I think his will will be a poor person to get along for the reason that she can do so few things she is an excellent teacher & that is about all she can do no housekeeper neither can she doe any sewing if (….) for her if West goes out of business he probably will go out there and see if he can help her to dispense of the business then I (…) wish I was at liberty so I could go with him & go and see you – he will stop at your place if I don’t go if he goes either in going or coming – Let us hear from you just how you are & if Viola has got well wish she was a little older I would set her up in business that is if she wanted to but she ought to go to school some longer – my love to them all remember me to your neighbors (…) you think (…) sister

Sara A. Gilbert
Nov. 21

This is the last letter I ever received from her. She died January 3, 1877, was buried at … the 5 day of January.

Carrie A. Noyes

Courtesy of Nancy Benton. Transcribed by JMK.

Sarah Atwell Gilbert letter, page 1

Sarah Atwell Gilbert letter, b

Sarah Atwell Gilbert letter, c

Sarah Atwell Gilbert letter, d