IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Letter from from Florence Ida Foster
to her brother Alfred Foster


Lansing, Iowa February 16, 1879

Dear Brother and Sister

We received your welcome letter last night but it came to late for our poor Father to read for Father departed from this world of pain and trouble on Tuesday the 11th of Feb at three oclock in the afternoon after a sickness of 10 days during which time no one can imagine how hard the pain was that he suffered. he was taken sick on sunday the 2 of Feb. but he sit up most of the day except by spells he would lie down for a little while at a time and Monday morning when we were eating Breakfast he got up and went out on the porch and that was the last time he was out, and it was the last time that he was up from his bed, after Tuesday the 4 he could not turn in bed without help and on Wednesday morning his stomach swelled about 9 inches above his breast and it was very hard. it stayed just so untill Monday evening the 10th when there came a change and the swelling all went down and he became soft. and from 5 oclock when the change untill 3 oclock when he died our poor Father could not say anything that anyone could understand he would talk most of the time when he was awake but no one could tell what he said. on Friday night before he died he thought he was dying about 12 oclock and bid us all goodby, and oh how hard it was to think that he was going to leave us, he told us we must not grieve for he said he had to die and he wanted to die. the doctor was with us all that night we had two Doctors called the best in Lansing and Waukon but neither of them could do any good. his sickness was strangulated Hernia and it turned to inflamation of the bowels. He has talked so much for the last 4 months about coming out to see you, he would say that if we could only sell here the first thing he would do would be to go and visit you. we should have telegraphed to you but for the rain hope we had that he would get well untill it was to late to do so. we held the Funeral on Thursday the 15th at 10 oclock in the morning and buried him about six miles from here in the nearest Methodist graveyard it was a very cold day. the thermometer stood 10 degrees below zero which caused the Funeral to be small. We had to stop at a house by the graveyard to get warm before we could come home again. Oh how lonely it is here now for we miss Father so much he was in the house most all the time this winter but we have to submit. we deeply feel our loss but do not mourn without hope for we fully believe he died a christian he was often heard to praise God and prayed for the end to come quickly.

Alfred will you please write and tell Wesley as I do not know where he is. the last letter we got from him he said he was going to the city but did not tell what city. Tell him that I have written to him and my letters come back to me again. we would be very glad if you would come out and see us. I hope you are all well. Mother says she would like so much to have you all come and see us. Kiss little Frank and Hattie for Mother and for us girls. I hope that we may see them sometime. I will have to close now as I have several other letters to write this evening. Please write soon and tell Wesley to write. we all send our love to you all,

I remain your sister
Florence Ida Foster

p.s. Here is a lock of father's hair we cut it of after he was dead his hair was so thin we could not get a bigger lock.

~contributor's notes: John W. Foster was my 3great-grandfather, and Alfred Foster was my 2great-grandfather.
~contributed by Jolynne Bockman

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