Publication: Letter written by Henry Wells, 1864, Omaha
A 2 1/2 page holograph letter written from Omaha, Nebraska and dated July 18, 1864, from Henry Wells to his brother Elisha Wells, who resides in Old Deerfield, Massachusetts. A very neatly written and easily read letter as follows: Brother Elisha I wrote you a short time ago about lending me some money. I have not yet received an answer. And as some things have transpired of interest since I wrote I will not wait for an answer but write again Since I wrote you. I have discovered that the Chintz Bug has destroyed my Barley so that I shall not cut it. My Wheat I have cut. But it will hardly pay for Cutting. My oats I shall cut this week. The Bugs have now left the small grain and have commenced on my field of Corn. They Commence at the ground and work up Causing the leaves to die as they go. I have done raising Small Grain. There are 2 things on of which I want you to join me provided you have or can raise the Capitol. One is the Mill Businefs. There is now being built near me a Grist Mill on which the owner has invested 4000$. He has not the means to finish it. He says if I will invest 3,000$ he will give me a Deed of one half of the property and give me ½ the future profits. 3,000$ will put it in running order and I am satisfied 3 years time will pay back the investment. There being no other mill within 10 miles. I propose that if you can furnish the capital You shall have 1/2 my shares of the Profits and you shall have the deed of the property as security. After we get running the money invested can be paid back every 3 months if you choose and I will take the property or it if should prove profitable your Investment can lay and we share profits as I first proposed. To satisfy you my confidence. (After looking the thing all over) in the undertaking I will deed you my farm provided you will deed it back to whoever I say after you are satisfied the thing is all right. Now for the other thing which is stock raising. An investment of from 1 to 3000$ will pay big If you don’t start to go into the mill businefs. And will furnish Capital for this I will of set my time for Capital and then Share equally Profits last year 1 year old steers Could be bought for 5$ per head. 2 year old from 8 to 12 in Southern Iowa. There is a good demand from the mining regions for all that can be raised. All Spring and until within 4 weeks large drives of from 200 to 2000, each have passed through here for that region. It Costs nothing, but the expense of herding in summer. And with improved machinery and quantity of hay can be put up for winter. 3 and 4 year old Steers sold here last Spring for 100 to 125$ for yoke and were scarce at that. It would be best to buy 2 year old Steers in the Spring and turn them the following Fall for Beef. We should want some Cows from which to Stock letting the Calves run with them. There is not mistake Elisha but that either of the Kinds of business which I have named will pay big in this part of the Country. They are now at work on the R Road from Omaha to My place. An we shall soon have a market both East and West. Although West will take all and more can be furnished for a long time. If I owned a mowing machine I should put up 100 tons of hay to sell and feed stock which I might purchase during next winter. About 10 miles from me are the Elkhorn and Plat Rivers between those 2 Rivers is splendid grafs and Grazing land. There is 160 acres there entered by a man who came with me when I came West. I have the privilege of using it as I wish. Now Elisha what say you to these propositions. What propositions have you to make if any That you may feel safe. I will deed you my farm in this last. The same as in the first but I want all these matters kept entirely to yourself and not let any of our friends Know what I am about. Our Love to all. Please write soon. Yours Truly Henry Wells." Three pages, written very legibly, with the original addressed envelope, all in very good condition.
Inventory Number: 48758