Thomas Hay, 65, was living in Annawan (Henry County, IL), nearby his daughter Minerva Jane Giles. At the time, Robert Lyle Hay, 43, was living about 40 miles east in Boyds Grove (Bureau County, IL).
|photograph of actual letter. It was in two pieces, the left-side loose and the right side pasted in the book (with a tight binding). Photographed 2007. (Click on picture for larger view)|
Dear Son. I seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know our state of health. We are all well at the present and hope you are enjoying the same Blessing; it is with sorrow that I relate to you the Death of Sarah Cathrine Giles. She was at school the 1 day of March and came home at noon complaned of a pain in the back of her head and neck and was chilly all the time but was not sick. She continued so til she fel asleep. Did not complain any in the night; next morning she was insensible and continued so only at intervils of about 3 minuets until Tuseday morning at one oclock. She expired and was interred on Wensday; her lose is deplored by all the friends. She talked and sang night and day til 3 hours before she died she ceased talking and fel asleep. We mis her very much. We understand that some of you is coming down here before long. If any of yo does come I want you to bring about 100 of them rasberrys as we would like to have a small patch likewise. We would like to hear from whoever; I have nothing of importance to write but remain yours as ever.
To Robert Hay ~~~ Thomas Hay
NOTES: The spellings were retained as in the original letter. Periods were added for ease in reading.