This is a conclusion to a series called "Tuder Letters", which features five letters the Tuder family sent to family in Kentucky from their homes in eastern Eastland County, Texas.
To set the stage, the Tuder family migrated to Texas from Muhlenberg County, Kentucky in the mid 1850s. The patriarch of the family was William Tuder, the father of Permelia Jane, Nicholas Francis Marion (NFM), William Henry (WH) , James Edward Daniel (JED), and Rosannah. Along with them was William's second wife Sarah (who was the mother to Rosannah), Sarah's son Etson Campbell from her late husband, and Permelia's new husband Asa Lomax Gailey (whom she met along the way). William's first wife was Jemima Brown, who died around the time the family left Kentucky.
When the family left Kentucky, William's parents (William and Permelia) were still very much alive along with roughly 8 siblings. William was the oldest, and his closest in age brother was Hezekiah, who was four years younger. Hezekiah who stayed in Muhlenberg County was the recipient of these "Tuder Letters".
A lady by the name of Willa Dean Noffsinger, a descendant of Hezekiah, discovered the letters from Texas when going through an old cabinet years ago. Sometime in the 1970s or 1980s one of the early Gailey historians (either Edna Smith Fry or Zina Gailey Betsill) made contact with Mrs. Noffsinger and she was gracious enough to share copies of the letters.
On to the fifth installment of "The Tuder Letters"...
To put this fifth and final letter into context, like the previous letter, it was written by William Tuder's son J.E.D. It is the last letter we have coming out of the Eastland County area from the Tuder family. It was dated February 28, 1900. J.E.D Tuder would pass away six years after this letter was written, which leaves us assuming other correspondence occurred, we just dont have a record of it.
This letter involves a mention of J.E.D.'s remaining sibling W.H. and an effort to have tomb stones places at the family (Tudor) Cemetery. He asks his uncle for information about birthdates for the headstone. He also talks about the family's local religious standing and how church was conducted in the area. While there was a Tuder Schoolhouse, church didnt often meet there.
Feb the 28 1900
I take the opportunity of writing you a few lines.
We are all well except cold. I received a letter from W.H. Tuder a few days ago he was well. His PO is Jimesmal, New Mexico.
We are getting along very well. Got our land broke and oats sawed Mar the 1st.
Well I want to put toom stones to Pap’s grave and we got the record burned. If you can get them and send them to me I would be glad. He married Sally Campbell (or Sack) they called her. If you can send work when she was borned too.
Tonight is our prair meeting night but it is so far away tonight and the weather is cool I did not go.
We have prair meeting once a week at the neighbors houses. My son W.H. Tuder professed last summer and also married last summer. His wife professed at the same meeting.
There is lots of sickness. Pneumonia in the country. I hope this letter will find you in joying religion and good health. I hope you will write soon and you can and give the wanted information.
Good by uncle,
J.E.D. Tuder to H. Tuder
(PS) Willie and his wife is gone to sit up with a sick child tonight. We had to exclude 3 members from the church this winter for dancing. We had a good meeting last summer 45 or 50 conversions. I dont remember the exact amount. Some nights the preacher could not get to preach. They would get happy at the grove meeting and shout until 10 o’clock. Well it is 9 o’clock I want to go to bed so goodnight.