Dutchcreek Iowa Jan 6th 1856
Dear Brother and Sister
I received a letter from you some two weeks since and would have
answered it sooner but I have been waiting to get a Post office in
Talleyrand a little town one mile and a quarter south of my house, but
have waited in vain. I was verry glad to hear from you but was sorry
to hear that you had had so much sickness in your family and also to
hear of poor Berryman Murphys death. We have had some sickness
in our neighborhood and some few deaths R.J. Henderson had one
child to die last summer with the head dropsey. we have had no
sickness in our family this season of any note. the health of the
country is verry good at present.
I have not heard from Oregon for several months now nor from
William I would like to know where he is and what he is doing.
if you hear from him let me know the particulars as soon as posable
for I am anxious to know something about him.
We have had a verry cold winter so far but it is a little more pleasant
today than it has been for three weeks. we have a tolerable good
sliding snow about five inches deep We had fine crops this season.
I had the best crop of corn that I ever raised in my life. I have not sold
my pork yet I have only eight head to sell I expect to butcher mine and
take them to Musketine pork has been selling here at three and a half
and four dollars per hundred gross weight I heard it was not worth from
six to seven dollars meat in Musketine I think I will go down there this
week-- you wanted me to come and see you this winter but I don't
expect to get over there this winter but if every thing goes on right I think
we will be over there some time next summer or fall.
We have our hous finished except painting that I will do next spring if I
keep my health we have a fine prospect of a rail road through our
neighborhood I think it will run about five miles from my house it maybe
clooser there has been five or six routs surveyed one through my farm
one in one mile and and a half one in two miles one in four and a half
and one in five miles they expect to be at work on it along through here
next summer it is to be finished as far as washington in one year from this
winter. the contract is let as far west as Oskaloosa. I think we will have
better times when we get a railroad.
Land property is on the rise here farms that sold some two years ago for
$1000 sell now for three thousand or more horses and worth from $100
to $125. every thing else in proportion. flower $4,00 per hundred wheat
$100 per bushel corn .20 cents oats 20 cents I have killed three deer this
fall and winter I want you to write ofen dont put it off as long as you did
before and write all that you hear from Oregon that is all the important
news, and all so from William, I am all ways glad to hear from you, this
leaves my family in good health
[to] John M. Butler
P.S. I have not sold my farm yet if I do I shall settle some place in Iowa I