- Born: 24 Sep 1808, Ohio 1
- Marriage: DUNHAM, John Ellison on 7 Sep 1826 in Wayne County, IN
- Died: 6 Aug 1873, Mendon Township, Chariton Co., Missouri at age 64
- Buried: Aug 1873, Mendon Township, Chariton Co., Missouri
Letters in my possession transcribed by Ryan Wadleigh
Letter from Vashti W. and also Peyton R. Dunham to Irvin H. Thurston and children, 1870:
Salt Creek Chariton Co August 7th 1870
My dear Son and granddaughters
Your ----? letter of july 25 came to hand yesterday finding us in good health in general Maggie is sick and has a rash or something all over her Katie the little one has had large places come like blisters then turn verry red and look raw for some time some days is quick sick, she is a verry interesting child, oh the many times since I have been here and takeing such good care of her have thought of dear little Anabel and julia not only since their dear Mama that cared so much for them has gone but after I heard from her own pen that her health was not good I can hardly forgive myself for not going as soon as the last letter that she wrote to Peyton was received yet my calculation was that her Papa would be at home and we would go to keeping house and we were intending to send and have you to bring them on a visit so it was, the dear children are to care for now and it has been a grief to think that I could not be with them last spring my intention was to be there this fall in regard to having Minnie and Nellie I would gladly take them if I had a home and the other two also there is nothing to prevent one from devoting my time to them dear Children only a chance to get at it - Grandpa has not got home nor has been heard from since the first day of june he has sent several papers containing Indian news he was tired of writing and no wonder for he has written so many long good letters since he has been away do you think of stil living in Minnisota for my part if I were there it would do me as well as any place I have a deed for 40 acres of land here joining Peytons and if I have an offer for it shal sell out and try to do the best I can with the money it may bring eight or nine hundred dollars ten acres near Leavenworth City would bring a good living it a great place to make money - Ok I cannot bear to think of them four little girls if I just could see how to do Kate and all the children are writing for me to come up there my and I do not know what to do may Providence direct me to his praise I have a great desire to do some good to them little ones I feel like I must get up and go to your relief it seem to me that you must stay together - Peyton will finish he is waiting to take
Aug 8th Dear Irve
Yours of July 25 came to hand on the 6th ins., and we hasten a reply. You ask our advice about breaking up house I do not know what to say to you about it. I judge from the way you have been doing that it is not your wish to do so. I know you situation is bad, but I cannot realize it. We are too far off to render you any assistance in the way of helping about keeping house, but would gladly do so if we were near enough. I hope something will turn up that will keep all of you together. You will more than ever feel lost when separated. I suppose from what I see in the papers the mails have been slow - is New Mex. Papa has been having a terrible time, and I fear he will never get home. We have had a very dry season here. Oats and ----? short. ----? of wheat splendid field of ---? moderate, we had good soaking rains on the 6th & 7th insts., corn will be a full average, I am offering the place for sale and will sell as soon as I can. I have a strong notion of going to Oregon. Allie is willing or anxious to go. I can't tell yet what I shall do. Allie and the children join in sending much love to all, Can't you come down here and see us, we have a fine country and plenty to eat. We would be glad to see all of you write soon from Peyt.
August 13th our letter has been delayed thinking possibly we might hear from Grandpa I hope that you can do better than anticipate my wish is to be with you and your four daughters I am just waiting the result of G Pa he is all that keeps me away from them
V W D
13 we may get news to day - you will have to wait a little and ---? that I can get to take a great deal off of your mind this perhaps will be the most trying year you may have would the friends take the two little ones let us not let them be separated and your things squandered I hope the way will open for your good cannot ---?
August 13 if we were intending to stay here I would try to have a house put on my part of the land but Peyton will sell soon as possible and so do not know how to turn if my cough gets no worse this winter I can do a good deal of work
V W D
Letter from Vashti W. Dunham to Irvin H. Thurston and children, 1870:
Salt Creek Po Chariton Co Mo
Sept 12 1870
Dear Son and granddaughters
I am so uneasy about you all that I cannot rest until I hear from you again - are you all together yet or has it come to a sepperation - it is a great trouble to me to think that our dear Lydias Children may have to be sepperated - if I dare I would soon be with you - but grandpa wrote us that he expected to start home the first of december he was waiting to come with a Mr Bradford and family of that Post he will have an escort so he says he can get to Kit Carson with only the expence of his board they say the travel is dangerous he is ready to come at any moment if it was safe he was in good health and did wish to be with us just as much as we could he did not say whether he had got his pay or not his letter was dated 1st of August he said he would write again in a few days - I wrote to him some time ago that I wished to go to you and asked him if he would be willing to go but he has not answered near all my questions but said he would
I have been knitting several pairs of stockings for the dear little children do tell me how you are doing and if you have to hire them knit it may be better for me to do it I do want to be with you all if it was only for a year or two I could take a great charge off of you and Minnie and if my life is spared I shal not be easily prevented - if you think that you will stay in Minnisota we may not be able to stand it my earnest wish is to live with or near you while I am able to work I can do light work from morning until night but not hard so if I were with you you could keep a girl or woman and the children could be happy and go to school and if you was too lonesome and could fine one of your own age I would say all rigth if you were suited and the hope of being of some use to you and all the Dear ones promts me to say candidly what I do you must believe me - we are anxious to sell I have 40 acres of good land Peyton had 40 all good and it is nice farm he would not offer his for sale if he was out of debt if I do not get to come this fall I will send the stockings if you think it will be best I will pay the express do let me hear from you if you are at home together
Please accept this little Christmas present, as a token of love and affection from
Letter from Vashti W. Dunham to Irvin H. Thurston, wife and children, 1871:
Leavenworth --- Kansas, Feb 2- 1871
My ---? and granddaughters
The last letter that I had from your dear Pa was written in November after the ----? package was received -----? in ----? something that ---? my mind a great deal for your lonely situation was -----? before me I do hope that you all love her and as days and months increase that your love and affection to your new Mama and hers to you may steadily increase and I am sure if that is the case that you will all be happy oh may the great dispenser of all good ---? impress our hearts that its influence will be seen and felt all around, of all things I desire most to live in love with all good people of every ----? Feb. 28 you will see how slow I am finishing my letter I have not been feeling verry well and not at all like writing oh how agreeable it would be if we lived near each other so that we could see you all often - Well Dear Irvin and all of you it is strange but it is so that your Grandpa has not got home yet he is engaged in a silver mining operation him and Twelve others have gone into it he has never said any thing about the amount that he ----? I received a letter from him last Saturday that was written the 31st of january he was well and still in the same place Fort Craig New Mexico he told all that he could about their prospect tho did not know yet what could be done he said there was no doubt about the ----? the mine but their being able to get it out, he said he did not have much news to write but thought he would have soon - he has been cheated and robbed so he seems to be determined to make another trial to make a raise I believe he would have been home a year or more ago if he had not been disappointed - March 2d I am not smart enough to do much of any thing yet I am always doing something - I arrived here on the 18 of Feb Peyts folks were well - You must not get discouraged about Grandpa not getting home it is a botherition to me but if he does not come this spring I do intend to take a trip to see your Aunt Maggies children and your Uncle Roberts little boy his name is Robert Luther they live in Iowa and Nellie and her folks live in Illinois She was teaching last fall - How are you getting along are you living in a nice improved place or is it new and how far is it from Garden Citty you must tell me - I do not see why I should not say something to the one that has come to be a mother to my own dear Daughters dear little bereaved ones I trust that thogh it is a great responcibility that it will be a blessing to all you do not know how anxious I am to be with you I am I mean all ---? of the family Dr wrote that you Frank if I may make so free to call you (but I feel like calling you Daughter more than any thing else and am in great hopes that if I should be permitted to visit your house I may be to you as a true Mother) oh them dear children how are they I would have gathered them all to myself if it had been in my power and will think it a privilege to do all that is possible to do to help you and if I cannot go to be with you at your own home I intend to send you all something nicer than I did last fall yet the stockings were nice but after I found they were safe I was so sorry that I did not get something that would have been good to send it seems to me that I must see you all soon Minnie you and Nellie must write to me when you can and tell me about julia and dear little Anabelle oh when shall I see you all if I had a home I should have you all with me all that I could - Now Dear Irvin I want you and Frank to write to me I can assure you it will be to one that feels a great concern for you all, it seem to me that I write and say nothing but I do the best I can and hope you will make allowance, Minie Mary is ironing on one end of the table and jars a little she says to tell you that she will write to you some time if Grandpa gets home I think he must either go to Reeking? house and have you come or we go to see you, Now do all write soon tell me if your Grand Pa and Ma Thurston are alive and well and when you saw them your affectionate Mother and Grandmother,
Vashti W. Dunham
Williamson Cemetery located southeast of Mendon, Mo. on the property of William and Jean Hayes.
Noted events in her life were:
• She appeared on the 1850 Federal census on 24 Aug 1850 in Centerville, Wayne Co., Indiana. With husband John E. age 50 born in New Jersey, Mary age 23, Margaret 21, William P. age 19, Payton R. age 17, Lydia E. age 13, John H. age 10, Robert F. age 3. All children born in Indiana.
• She appeared on the 1860 Federal census on 18 Jul 1860 in Kansas, Linn County, Potosi Township. Age 52 with husband J.E., son John age 20, Robert age 15 and family of daughter Margaret Dunham Hannah.
• She appeared on the 1870 Federal census on 9 Aug 1870 in Chariton Co., Mendon Twnship. With her son Peyton Randolph Dunham and family. Township 55, Range 19 page 173. Ancestry Image 7. Census record erroneously lists the family as "Duncan".
Vashti married John Ellison DUNHAM, son of Henry Dayton DUNHAM and Sarah ELLISON, on 7 Sep 1826 in Wayne County, IN. (John Ellison DUNHAM was born on 26 Jan 1800 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ 3.)