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Leaves from my Family Tree

1883 Letter

  The following letter, which tells of a death in the family, was among the things that have been handed down to me. I haven't researched any of the information in the letter, but I have always thought that it was very interesting, and very sad.

The letter that Nancy Wilcox Henderson received:

Sept the 8, 1883        Bartlesville IT  (Indian Territory)

Dear uncle and aunt

it is with a sad heart that I write you a few lines this morning - it is so hard to tell you that my father is dead -  he got shot the last day of August - we dont know how it was done - some thinks it was an accident and some thinks that somebody done it - the boys was across the river about two miles from home on the other lease - he had taken a hay -  he said that morning he would go over and see how the boys were getting along and took his gun along   and said he would try to kill a turkey - he had got in about fifty yards of the boys and got off of his horse to lay down the fence - he had got the fence down when the fatal shot was fired shooting him right through the heart -  he hollered oh me and fell to the ground  - when the boys got to him he could not speak and he died in about ten minutes  - when his gun was found both locks was up and only one load in   (paper torn)  and he had had shot one load out before he got there -  we dont know whether he loaded again or not -  the marshals were after some men at that time and some thinks it was somebody that was hiding from justice and he run on to them and they shot him -   the grass is very tall there and it is mashed down in three places like somebody had laid there -  the bullet has went through both sides of his left sleeve and right through his heart -  we don't know how it was done but it has left us in a sad state but Jim and George will keep us all together -  we want you to write as soon as you get this.

Mary E. Wilcox

We will send you a lock of his hair and a piece of his shirt he was buried in.

Dear Sister

it is with a sad and broken heart I rite to you -  it was is so hard to give my poor Dear husband up -  I loved so dear - he was so good to me and so much comfort to me now I have no one to comfort me -   oh Dear Sister this is the worst trouble I ever had -  if I could have spoke one word to him and if I only knoed how he it was done but God only noes -  Dear Sister rite to me and come to see me if you can -  I am so broken harted I can not rite -  my Dear one is gone and  I cant be comforted
this from your lonsom sister

Sarah Wilcox

Some of the information on this site is Family Tradition;
some of it has been documented.
If you would like to know my sources, please e-mail me.

Robert A Henderson William P Henderson Nancy W Henderson Photos Siblings Sources
  1883 Letter Nancy's Photos Newspaper Articles  

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