Phelps-Lyon family papers  1803-1894
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains ten letters written to Lavinia Butler in Woonsocket, South Dakota, and Sanford, Maine, during the 1890s and early 1900s. Her nephew, Nathaniel Butler, wrote nine letters, and a friend, Linda Beacham, wrote one letter. Nathaniel Butler described his life as a cattle rancher near Midland, South Dakota, paying particular attention to the hard winters and their effects on his animals and neighbors.

In two letters (December 19, 1896 and February 19, 1897), Butler mentioned Mr. Lewis, a nearby rancher who had disappeared while driving sheep during a severe storm. His other letters concern his efforts to raise cattle and turn a profit as a rancher. Linda Beacham, a friend of Lavinia's, wrote the final letter about mutual acquaintances in Stanford, Maine. She also inquired about Lavinia's plans to return to Maine.

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