In order by date, the third letter we have from the Tuder's back to their homeland of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky was written September 10, 1885 by Nicholas Francis Marion (N.F.M.) Tuder to his dad's brother Hezekiah Tuder. NFM was J.W. Gailey's oldest Tuder uncle. He enlisted and served with J.W.'s father Asa Lomax Gailey in the Civil War. NFM was discharged early due to illness. He always lived near his family and no records indicate that he ever married. NFM was a skilled carpenter like his father.
The following is my transcription of the letter complete with his exact spelling of words. I believe it helps to paint a picture of maybe how they might have sounded when speaking as some words are spelled more like they sounded to the writer than the actual spelling.
Things were a bit on the dire side considering the tone of his letter. A lot of deaths in the few years the family had lived in Eastland County. There was continuing talk in this letter about property that NFM's father had inherited from his father that was apparently sold off by another member of the family with no money sent to the Texas branch of the family.
The letter below also mentions William, which was a common name for J.W. Gailey. You can tell that the family was close enough that they all knew each other's business. At this time J.W. likely lived within a quarter mile of N.F.M. at his mothers house on Rush Creek (eastern Eastland County, east of the Tudor Cemetery). J.W. Would have been married five years at this point with two small children at home.
Eastland Co Strawn PO Palo Pinto Co Texas
Sept 10th A.D. 1885
Deare uncle in answer to yours of Sept 3rd to hand was glad to heare from you all to heare that you was well. This leaves us all well that is alive. Our sisters is both dead Jane has bin dead about 5 years. Rosey has been dead a little over 1 yeare. Both left heirs. Jimey's wife is dead. She died one month after Rosey died. Father died in Dec 31, 1877 his business heare has bin wound up and I do not know how to inquire in on that matter there. I do not know the law there. I do not know wother the estate is worth enough to justify one of us to come there or not. I wish you would write the poticlars. What right Abe Reno had to sell that land and what father was due him for and all about it. See him and find out. He had better be shore he is right in his proceedings. I do not think he had any law for that. I think limitation would settle a debt 30 years old is he had of course owed him when he left there.
You wrote you had wrote several times to us. This is the first letter we have got form any of you since before father died. We heard through J.S. Biard that Grandmother was dead. You wrote that the land fell to Daniel's heirs. Did you mean to Grandfathers or uncle Daniel's? Some things one way and some another.
So no more. But a little more. William has been running a thrusher this season. Wheat and oats is very good. Cotton is sorrow it will take about 6 acres to make a bale of cotton. Corn is tolerably good. It is worth 50 cents per bushel. Wheat is 60, oats 25 cents per bushel, bacon 10 cents a lb. No sale hardly for any thing.
It is getting late and I must close for this time. Write soon as you get this. So no more but remain your nephew until death.
NOTE: This letter was among several uncovered by Hezekiah Tuder's granddaughter Willa Dean Noffsinger, who still lives near the old Tuder land in Muhlenburg County, Kentucky. A special thank you goes to Mrs. Noffsinger and her generosity in sharing these letters.