9 August 28, 1847

In late summer 1847, Henry’s nephew Frederick T. Ranney writes from Centreville Michigan, about 45 miles from Allen where Lucius lives and seven miles from Lewis’s home in Florence.  Frederick is Samuel Ranney’s son, born in 1820, who moved out to Michigan when his father died in Phelps in 1837.  He is apparently still in the peppermint oil business in Centreville, where mint planting continued through most of the nineteenth century.  Frederick asks Henry to send him money for oil he had shipped the previous fall, to prevent him from having to sell property at a loss to pay his debts.  The brothers in Michigan are apparently not able to help, although Frederick apparently went to them first, which suggests that they would have helped and would have covered Henry’s obligation if they could have.


My transcription follows the image:


The original images are from the archives of the Ashfield Historical Society and are used with permission.

Sherman Aug the 28th 47

Dear Sir

I am obliged to call on you for the money on that Peppermint Oil that was sent last fall. I have some money to make out in few days or sell property at a low price.  Lucius nor Lewis cannot help me to money this fall therefore I shall expect it in a return letter.  You must write on the receipt of this for time is short with me.  Let me know what you can do.

Yours truly in haste,

Henry Ranney

F. T. Ranney


St. Joseph Co,


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