John and Alice Hecker papers 1861-1864
Collection Scope and Content Note
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This collection (76 items) contains letters that Robert E. and Elizabeth Elder of Urbana, Illinois, wrote to their children William and Emma in the 1880s. They shared news of friends and family members and discussed livestock and crops. Robert Elder composed most of the letters, which also include some brief contributions from his wife. The Elders often discussed news of their son Erwin, who had a nearby farm; Erwin's daughter Nettie, and neighbors, including members of the Clayton and Ruggles families. Robert Elder reported on prices for hogs and cattle and Elizabeth Elder discussed fruit production and canning; in one letter, she shared her suspicion that the 1885 fruit crop would consist primarily of raspberries and plums due to the destruction of peach trees. In his letter of October 18, 1886, Robert Elder described the destruction caused by a recent severe storm, which uprooted trees and destroyed at least one house. Undated items include a letter by Elizabeth T. Elder reflecting upon the recent death of her husband.