A box of corresponsdence stored at the Hack House yielded an unexpected treasure; an 1836 letter addressed to Bethuel Hack, one of Milan's founders. The letter, written by Hack's mother-and sister-in-law to Hack and his wife Sally, is folksy and full of family news. Interestingly, the letter was addressed to Farmersville: one of Milan's early names. By the time it arrived, the settlement had assumed the name of the neighboring township. The correspondence, dated eight months before Michigan became a state, could be the earliest personal document, relating to our community, to survive to the present. The full transcript of the letter is below:
Mr. Bethuel Hack
Farmington April 19, 1836
I once more resume my pen to try to inform you of our helths and how we git along, but I no not how to address my self tow you. But we are all through the Mercy of God enjoying good helth at present. We received your last letter and recved it with Joy. We were glad to hear that you was well and a doing well. You spoke of our forgitfulness and I think it not strang you did, but I have not forgotten you. No I often think of you and speake of you and we all wish to se you, but we have put of ritting to have something more interesting to ritte. But our wishes all semes to fail us. We have nothing very interesting to ritte. I cannot tell you all the perticklers of what has taken place. Ransom Fuller sold his farm in (city name?) and moved to Cataraugus last September and bought Rubin Powells farm, and Rubin Powell came hear and bought your Farthers farm and moved hear in January and Ransom sold thare and moved back with them and now lives in Avon Lorayn Co. Edwin is in the same town. We have heard from them of late and they ware all well and so I must leave them. I have nothing more in pertickler to say about them. Rubin & Olive sends there best respects to you. Rubin says he is rich since he has got away from Catteragus. Tha have nothing in pertickler to say. We expect you have heard from them this spring by the way of Harrisons letter. They buried Sally M. December th13. I expect you wold like to hear a few words about Mary Ann. She was married to Alford Smith November th16 and went to keeping house March th8. We live in the house with Rubin and how long we shell live so I cannot tell. Stephen L has by the menes of trading obtained a deed of fifty acres of land in Avon. He is now on the cannel to work. His business is cutting ston. Sally, I will speake a few words to you about your little girl. I like the name very well. I wish you to bring her up in wisdoms ways and in the parth of virture that if her life is spared she may be an honnor and a blessing to you. I cannot rite much more as I have no good nor very bad newes to tell you. We have not had any letter from any of our friends since we recved yours. I wish you to rite as soon as you git this. Direct your letter to Farmington Trumble Co and now I must leve you one word more. When you rite tell us when you will come to se us. Now I must close.
I remain your affecanate Mother Sally Pain
Dear Brother & Sister:
It is with pleasure that I sit down to write a few lines to you but I don't know what to write for mother has written all the news. I am married and have gone to keeping, that Mother has told you. I came home yesterday. I shall go back tomorrow. This is the first day of May and it is very pleasant and warm. My home is about 12 miles from Fathers in Garretsville, town of Nelson, Portage Co. I think our folks are blest with old son in laws enough for my old man is nine years older than I. We want you should come and see us this summer or fall. I don't think of any thing more to write only Father and Mother are a going to Barre in June [if] nothing happens. I hope you will write to me as soon as you can, but I had rather you would come and tell the news yourself. If you cant come this summer, tell us when you can.
Mary A S
Alfred A Smith
I forgot to tell you my old man is a gun smith.