Search billions of records on
Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

This page is part of the site located at There is no charge or fee to access this site or any information on it. If you have arrived here from somewhere else, such as a pay site, and are in a frame, you can click the above url to access this page directly.

This Family Letter was contributed by: Kim Kester

Enos & Ruth Gardner Letter

Plymouth, WI

July the 23rd, 1861

After so long a time, I have got down here by the table with all of the materials for writing, but a clear head and a steady hand. The one aches and the other one trembles and if you get a letter that you can read, it will be more than I expect. But knowing that you have been too long neglected and supposing that your patience is near exhausted. I will do what I can to get into shape something like a letter. we are well as usual. At rpesent, and trying to do the best we can in these hard times. When I speak of hard times, I do not attuide to anything in the produce or provisison line. That is abundant and like to remain so far we could hardly give away any kind of produce, but wheat and that will hardly pay for carrying to market. Besides the general depression of trade in produce. A want of confidence in bank currency creates a still greater panic in all business towns actions of quite a number of the banks not worth but about 50 percent, and no one willing to take them at that merchants, declare their unwillingness to take them to sell the goods and take Wisconsin notes anything that the farmer has to spare is down to nothing or under and do sale at that. How long this state of things will last or what will be the end. It is impossible to foresee, but one thing is sure, if things remain as they are, till fall, it will be hard to pay debts or get anything, but we produce ourselves. It looks dark, but I hope that some way may be provided that some bright prospect may appear to dispel this financial darkness, restore confidence and bring back a more sound and healthy state of business. We recieved your letter dated 21st of June. We was glad to hear from you, but sorry to take so much trouble to get a letter and then be disappointed perhaps you have repeated the same before you get this. I should have written before, but supposed you would hear from us by Celestia, more than I can write and perhaps you would prefer to have a little later information. We are glad also that you are so well, and pleased with your school. I hope that you are equally pleased with your mutual good will and employer and one employed is certainly pleasing and is an evidence that each tries to do their duty while you keep school try to learn your schollars all you can. Do not be a worthless teacher, we have enough of them in our school for two summers. The children might as well stayed at fome for all they learned, but very little. De Alton is backward yet learning under the care of those instructors. He has progressed, but slowly. Last winter, I went to work with him myself, the proficiency he made, convinced me that he has been neglected. This summer he has begun in small arithmetic, but makes little progress. I have neglected this summer to instruct him, because I did not know how to spend the time, but see that I must begin again or he will fall behind. Our little Annette is a good child and full of talk and play. She has heard us talk of you so much, she thinks to ask about ????(can't make word out) , as she calls you.

Oh how glad we should be to see you and tell and hear all. Much better would be than this half ways writing, but I suppose I should be thankful for this way of communication. I do wish we could be near you and Esther. It seems hard to be so far from you and be so poor that we can not come to see you. but I hope it may be different with you and that we shall live to see you again. Ruth has been to Sheboygan, two days last week to visit her sister, and she was up here week before last. They live in the city, now, but expect to move away soon. Your friends here are well.

Jow as to that Private concerned. Do not know how to decide without a little explanation it is to much like giving judgement without witness. I suppose you think that the evidence is on your side and that your cause is a good one, and I will not condem till I hear the testamony if you have found a name that suits you better than the old one. I suppose you will have to change it, but consider well who bears that name. If he is worthy to take away your name, you have my full consent. When you write again, be a little more explicit and let us know what name it is that you have chosen and what his claims in life are or his standings are in society. Give our live to Esther and William tell them to write soon, and give my respects to Mr what ever his name is.

Your Parents
Enos and Ruth Gardner

Enos Wells Gardner wrote this letter to his youngest daughter, from his first marriage to Martha ????? or Matilda Wilcox he raised this family of 3 daughters to adulthood, then migrated to Wisconsin with his brother Horace in 1855. Here he married Ruth in 1855, and started a second family. Celestia mentioned above is the sister of Horace and Enos. I decend from the first family, and moved to Sheboygan County in 1979, completely un aware that the Enos Gardner I was looking for in New York was right under my nose. Enos was born 1813 in Saratoga County, NY, and died 2 Oct 1883 in Plymouth, Sheboygan County, Sheboygan. He is buried in the Union Cemetery in Plymouth.

Return to the Family Letters Page

Return to the Sheboygan Page

If you have any question, e-mail Debie

Copyright 1997 - 2006 by Debie Blindauer
All Rights reserved