Main content

Title: Andrew Greenlees, Ellenwood [Kansas?] to his Brother.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileGreenlees, Andrew/12
SenderGreenlees, Andrew
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginEllinwood, Kansas, USA
DestinationMagheramore, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
RecipientGreenlees, John
Recipient Gendermale
SourceT 2046/17: Copied by Permission of Aiken Mc Clelland Esq, 3 Beechill Park Avenue, Saintfield Rd, Belfast 8. #TYPE EMG Andrew Greenlees, Ellenwood [Kansas?] to his Brother, May 26 1874.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N. Ireland
Doc. No.8911030
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
Log13:11:1989 LT created 21:06:1990 CD input 21:06:19
Word Count1030
TranscriptEllenwood [Ellinwood?] May 26th 1874

My dear Brother
yours of the 29 ult [ultimo?]
reicved [received?] I will proceed to answer some of your questions so
far as I am able in your letter prior to this you asked what kind of a
house (we) had well we did not have any at that time only a shed of boards
(or shanty) as it is called here but now we have a little house and it is
our own only 16 feet square three rooms the one above the other now do not
infer from this that it is a three story [storey?] first we have the
cellar where we keep milk and butter in fact every thing that requires to be
kept cool in summer or from freezing in winter then over that we have our
living room eight feet between floors over this another room sleeping room
if you please I had a very steep roof put on the house in order to get the
most room with the least expense for we have to be very economical there is
so much necessary expense before the farm is in running order we have also
got a well of water at the door as good as pure soft water as I ever drank
we found [plenty?] at a depth of 23 feet you ask on what terms we recieve
[receive?] the land the Government gives to each actual settler a
homestead of 160 acres of land outside railroad limits; inside railroad
limits 80 acres to explain further when the company was organized for
building the Atchison Topeka and santafee [Santa Fe?] Railway when the
matter was laid before congress and aid asked to build the road through a
Grant of land was given to the compan[y?] every alternate section for
twenty miles each side of the road where [?] then was government land the
length of the road inside of this twenty mile grant government only gives
half as much as outside of it or sells its lands at 2 dollars and 1/2 per
acre instead of 1 1/4 this is really good policy as the one half the [they?]
retain is worth as much as the whole was before the road was built for
without the road the land would be comparatively valueless I am inside the
limits and get 80 acres of a homestead Gratis except the expense of the
survey which is 16 dollars I also preemted [pre-empted?] 80 acres that is
I am improving it and hold it by right of possession from the
Government for thirty months at the end of that time I am to pay for it at
2 1/2 dollars per acre without interest I also took a quarter section for
a tree claim (that is for the) cultivation of timber on the prairies
Government gives to every head of a family 160 acres of land any where
inside of railroad limits or outside if not previously occupied on the
following conditions first agree to break up 10 acres the first year plant
it to young trees second year and plant 10 acres a year for four years trees
12 feet apart in all 40 acres and cultivate it three years then I recieve
[receive?] or if not living my heirs recieve [receive?] a deed from the
Government for the land there can only be one tree claim on one section a
section is one mile square I have half a section 32 acres the quality
of the land is excellent a [sandy?] [loam?] wel [well?] adapted for wheat
and oats fruit & corn and cattle the prairie is beautiful it is [fai?]rly a
forest of flowers the beautiful passage in Christs sermon on the mount often
comes to my mind when I see the fields [?] clothed in verdure and beauty & I
shall wherefore if God so clothe the grass & he not much more clothe you oh
ye of little faith
you ask how we obtain seed well I will tell you I brought my seed oats with
me from Illinois for seed [corn?] and potattoes [potatoes?] I hitched up my
team and drove 85 miles east for them also for wheat I brought it at the
same time I was gone five days tied my horse at night to the wagon rolled
myself in a blanket on the gr[ound?] and slept till morning beside them I had
a very comfortable journey the weather was good but it does not take much
seed the first spring as the pr[airie?] soil requires to rot a summer before
it is really fit for a crop though I think the soil is not quite so
tough as in Illinois I will have a good field ready for winter wheat I hope
to be able to raise the seed somehow I sowed about ten acres to [intent?]
and onto it looks very well considering it is the first crop we will also
have about thirty acres of corn in of course we cannot count much on it on
the soil but we expect to raise plenty to feed our teams and make our pork
our pottatoes [potatoes?] to look very well indeed I am at present a cripple
I struck the hatchet accidentally into my ankle making an ugly wound I have
not been able to walk for three days but expect to be around all right
[alright?] shortly Lucy joins in sending kindest love & love to our sisters
tell Hugh & Jenny they have our deepest sympathy in their late
bereavement give my kindest love to Ellen and Agnes if they only had a
little of this clean dry atmosphere I believe it would almost cure them yet
I see various questions I have not answered which I will try and remember in my next as my letter is already lo[ng?] I would be happy to give any desired information about the country to any persons desiring to come here for a home I might add that the Government land round me is taken up but there is plenty of railroad land at 6 1/2 dollars per acre 11 years credit 7 per cent interest