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William Masterson, Pike County, (Part II)

In January of 1888 William was disappointed that his letter with his photograph had possibly not reached his sister in New York. He was writing over the Christmas vacation from school but did not mention his Christmas celebration.

Pittsfield was installing new street lights and city water. William was apparently interested in their progress and reported that the pipes were all "lade" and all that was left to do was to put the tank on the water tower. I'd love to have a photo of that process in 1888.

He had enjoyed a few sleigh rides after a big snowstorm and closed because he was becoming sleepy. "Good by from Willie X Ida XXXXXXX"

He wrote again in October of 1888. At that time the city was excited by the upcoming elections. On October 3 the Democrats had their large rally. The people had marched through the streets with torches "for about an hour." The Republicans would march the next Wednesday.

It was raining all through the day, but Willie reported gathering hazelnuts and "wall nuts." They had not yet picked hickory nuts but he thought they might go to the river to pick peacans (sic) the next day if the weather was better. What a variety of nuts available for the picking!

When Willie wrote a letter in May of 1889 he wished his sister better health and reported that his health had always been good since coming to Illinois.

Ida had seen the new president as well as the New York governor, and Willie recalled the excitement of October, 1888.

"Well Ida I would give anything to know what has become of mother and what she is doing(.) I expect that she is married and again and don't care wheather (sic) she sees I or you anymore or not(.) The last time I saw her was when I went to the Asylum(.) She have come to see me if she wanted to but I guess that when she got rid of us that was all she cared for(.) So Ida I want you to try and find out where she and tell me and cousin Tom and Katey is since uncle Joe has died."

Poor Willie, even though the rejection by his mother still hurt him, he wanted to find her and know where she was.

He closed with a little poem and drawing:

Such was life for an orphan in the sleepy town of Pittsfield. No Christmas exciting enough to comment on, political rallies, town water and heartbreak over his mother.


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