By Luna Kellie
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Our horses are doing well. We have 29 hens and 4 little young chickens. We have 1 cow 1 calf and 2 hogs. We commenced breaking sod 28 day of February. We bought several hundred strawberries and some currants, so cherries, 50 plums, 100 apples, 100 peaches. Tuesday all one year old. Paid for in work. Father and Uncle are going to the Republican (river) after a load of little trees to plant on the edge of the field. The place is much different than last year. When we came here first there was no house no barn no nothing and now one year a barn a house 50 acres of land broken and a well.
R. bridge gang of which Mr. Kellie was foreman. He sent for us in April and we spent the summer on the east bank of the Mississippi nearly opposite the old Jefferson Barracks. It was very unhealthy and very hot and misty. Everyone around us had the ague and expected to have it. Mother held off until fall [and] then got the malarial Typhoid and died. Father had such bitter regrets that he had not come to Nebraska when she wanted to where whatever hardships she might have to have undergone the climate was so healthy she would likely have lived to raise the family.
John Schacht, historian and librarian at the University of Page x Iowa Libraries, was extremely helpful in directing me to source material. In addition, the staff at the Nebraska State Historical Society were always helpful and speedy in providing all the manuscripts and photos needed to complete the project. I thank them for all their assistance. Special thanks go to my mother, Shirley Taylor Nelsen, who has always encouraged me to be the best that I can be, and to my friends Birgit Grimlund and Laura Ellis, who provided me with encouragement and support.
A prairie populist: the memoirs of Luna Kellie by Luna Kellie