Two Old letters from Richfield Springs - Otsego County, NY

The two old letters were in the possission of Marian Lowe Rose, grandmother of Chuck Rose of San Jose, CA. He contributes them to this site in hopes that someone might help him discover additional information about the subjects.

Note from Chuck: "Calvin Woodard, 1813, was my 2ggf. He had a brother Henry, 1810, Both were baptised at Lutheran St Paul's, Minden, Montgomery Co, NY. Parents names given as Calvin and Marie WOODERT/WOODARD. I have been unable to find the parents after Calvin's baptism in 1813.

The 1865 letter states Calvin and Henry both died "in the same way and from the same cause". I have no idea where or how they died or what was the cause.

These letters imply that Calvin was a sister of Nancy Sprague (who was the dau of James Sprague and Mary House) . Although I have background information on the families of Colman, House, and Sprague, I have thus far found nothing to connect Calvin Woodard to any of them.

If anyone recognizes any names or events mentioned in these two letters I would be grateful to hear of it."

Chuck Rose, San Jose, CA.

The following two letters were written by Hamilton Coleman of Richfield Springs, NY to Mary B. Woodard of North Plains Michigan...

(Letter #1)
Richfield Springs, March 8th, 1865
(to)Mary B. Woodard
North Plains Michigan

Dear Sister
Your letter of Feb. 16th 1865 unexpectedly notifying us of the sudden (to you as well as us) death of your Husband and our Brother & to be taken in the way he was & you to know nothing of it, until his lifeless body was brought into your presence must have been a trying time to you and and a time that required resignation to the inscrutable ways of Devine Providence. How singular that his brother Henry as well as himself should both lose their lives in the same way, and from the same cause.

Nancy and I both thought very much of Calvin. He has lived with us a great deal. I have worked with him many very many days & I do not recollect that there ever was an unpleasant word passed between us.

Nancy allways took pains with his cloths & kept them clean and well repaired & when he went in company, there was no young man whose dress was more tidy than his. Calvin was honest as far as I knew him & was justly entitled to the proverb "that an honest man is the noblest work of God". My Dear Sister we feel sympathetic with you in this your severe loss & affliction. May a kind Providence support you and your dear Children in this time of your severe trial, and may you place implicit faith in his promises, that He will be the Widows God, and a Father to the fatherless.

You write you have eight children, the youngest 3 years old. Are any of your children married? How many boys & how many girls. How old is your oldest boy & is his health such that he can manage the farm? You als ask what your indebtedness is to me. On the first day of April next it will be ($157.00) One hundred fifty seven dollars with simple interest. If interest had been computed anunally as note and mortgage specify it would amount at the same time to $190.29, but I only claim simple interest & as you are now situated I will not take any more. I wish I was able to present you the debt, but I have had a hard time almost ever since I let the money the money to Calvin. I let him have the money in 1854, Jan 21st that year & the next I lost over $20,000.00 (twenty thousand dollars) & the debt is not wholly paid yet. But if Providence will spare my life 2 or3 years more I hope to see the last dollar paid.

Have you a likness of Calvin? Nancy wishes you to send it if you have it to spare. Akso your likeness & the likeness of all your Children. If you have the likeness you can have them photographed. If you can send them deduct the expense of the same from what you owe me. Please write us all about your family. I'm glad your circumstances are as good as they are, that you have few debts left for your to pay.

Write often and believe us as ever your
Brother & Sister, Hamilton Colman & Nancy Colman

******************* (letter #2)
Richfield Springs Oct. 15th, 1868
Mrs. Calvin Woodard,
Hubbardston, Michigan (Auth note: Hubbardston is a village in North Plains twp)

Dear Sister
It is a long time since I heard from you, or, your family. I concluded therefore that it was my duty to write you, as you did not write me, not recollecting which wrote last. In looking over my papers some two or three days ago, I unexpectedly came across the Mortgage you & Calvin gave me Jan. 21st, 1854. I had supposed that I sent it to Calvin, when he was with me to release a portion of the lot, the Mortgage covered. I was glad to find it, however, & I had kept it in my trunk with other valuable papers previous to the time he wrote me for a release & supposed I had returned it to its proper place, but it seems, it had got into a pigeon hole, in my writing desk, with other old papers, that I had put in there, never expecting to look at them, only in case it became necessary to do so. I was looking through those papers more out of curiosity, than otherwise when I found it. I suppose you would be glad to get it, & the note that was given with it which I will send you as soon as I can cancel the mortgage, by its being paid, which it will be necessary for me to do, before it will be of any value to you. That I promise to do as soon as you send me the amount that will be due when I receive it, which I hope will be soon. I sent a copy of the note with endorsments some time ago. On the 14th of Oct, 1865, at the date of the last endorsment there was due $42.95/100, $52.07/100 (Fifty two Dollars,seven cents) being due on the 14th of Oct,1868., being 3 years yesterday since the last endorsement of $120.00.

It had been a long time since I let Calvin have the money, a part of it 14 years ago this fall, balance in January following. Calvin agreed to pay part interest annually, as the note states, which would make some $50.00 more than I ask you to pay, as I suppose it is hard enough for you to pay simple interest, or 7 percent. However I have been the loser, of that amount. I trust you will send me the amount due me, as soon as you receive this, as possible, that I may send you the Mortgage & note Satisfied.

Write us fully about your family. Nancy and myself are both getting old. I passed my 65 birthday on the 7 of this month.

Write soon,
From your Brother, Hamilton Colman.

P.S. Nancy wishes me to add, that her & Calvins' MOther died on the 15th of April last. You have probably heard of it.

She also wishes me to write you that there is so,me prospect of getting a large fortune from Holland that belong to the Heirs fo the House family, in conjunction with the Maybie family who emigrated from Holland some 200 years ago. Calvin's Great Grandmother was a Maybie.

The rumor is that $15,000,000 have been deposited with the holland government, for Maybie & House heirs. The House and Maybie families are very numerous, therefore ewach heir cannoth expect many thousand Dollars.

The report may be true & it may be false. It is being investigated. WIll write again as soon as I get any news. H.C.

(note: The mortgage mentioned above was satisfied in 1869, payment made by Lester C. Woodard, son of Calvin and Mary Woodard, registered in Ionia, Michigan)