James Methven of Stewarton, Scotland was a teacher, a minister and an author on religion. On July 5th, 1803 he was inducted as minister of The Secession Church of Stewarton. Prior to this he served at Balmullo, in Fife, Scotland, but had resigned there in 1800. He continued his ministry at Stewarton until May 22,1826.

James married Catherine McPhee of Bunker's Hill on July 9th, 1791. She was the daughter of Alexander McPhee of Cannongate. The known children of James and Catherine Methven, (according to the Paris Register of St Cuthbert's in Edinburgh) are as follows.

The three sons, Thomas, Angus and James, all immigrated to America around 1820-1830.

The Reverend James Methven died June 28,1841 in Glasgow, Scotland.


Thomas, the son of Reverend James Methven and his wife Catherine McPhee was born in Scotland in 1795. He was educated in Edinburg and Kilmarnock before leaving for America around 1820. He married Elizabeth Lightfoot in 1825. Their children were James Frazier Methven (April 17, 1827-September 11, 1889), Daniel Methven (November 23, 1829-February 17, 1902), Elizabeth Methven Brittain of Bryan, Ohio, and Angus Archibald Methven (December 3, 1832-April 21, 1912). Thomas later married Isabelle Ewing (who died May 26, 1883), and had a daughter, Jeanette Methven. She in turn married Daniel French a Presbyterian Minister in Mansfield, Ohio. Their sons Thomas E. and Edward H. French were residents of Columbus, Ohio. According to the census, Thomas was a weaver by trade.

Thomas and family was living in Wayne County, Ohio, Frankin Township in the 1840 census: Thomas Methven 1 m 5-10, 1 m 40-50; 2f <5, 1 f 5-10, 1 f 30-40.

The 1850 census finds Thomas in Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio

225 Thomas Methven 57 M Weaver 1000 Scotland

Isabella 45 F Scotland

Jenette 9 F Ohio

The 1860 census also finds this family in Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio, although there is a wide variation in the ages from 1850 until 1860.

403 Thomas Methven 50 M Weaver 500 600 Scotland

Isabella 50 F 100 Scotland

Netter H. 18 F Teacher Com. School Ohio





James Frazier Methven was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Lightfoot Methven. He was bom April 27, 1827, in Dillstown, Pennsylvania. He married Sarah A. Murray (23 July 1824- 27 Nov. 1911), the daughter of James and Susan E. Walter Murray on May 30, 1850 in Philadelphia- Their children were: Thomas Jefferson Methven (23 Feb 1852-12 Mar 1880), Benjamin Franklin (Frank) Methven (23 Sept 1853-13 April 1924), John Walter Methven (25 Jan 1856-3 July 1918), William B. Methven (3 June 1858-30 Apr. 1859), Isabelle J. (Belle) Methven (3 Dec 1861 - ), Henry W. Methven (10 Sept 1864- ), Samuel L. Methven (22 Aug 1869-17 June 1922), and twins Houston F. and Martha Higgins Methven bom 7 Feb. 1871. Martha married Richard W. Bock a sculptor, and died in 1925. Their son, Richard W. Bock, was a sculptor and head of the sculptor department at the University of Oregon from 1929-1932.

James F. was a hatter in Philadelphia before the Civil War and after the war moved to Wooster, Ohio.

James served in the Civil War in the 2nd Provisional Artillery Pennsylvania Volunteers 112 Regiment, fighting in the Battles of Spotsylvania and Petersburg. He was injured on July 30,1864 at Petersburg and had his right arm amputated by Surgeon G. W. Snow of the 35th Mass. He was discharged July 27, 1865.


2nd Regiment Provisional Heavy Artillery

The 2nd Regiment Provisional Heavy Artillery was organized from the 2nd Regiment Heavy Volunteers (112th Volunteers on April 20, 1964. This unit was originally organized in Philadelphia in 1862, Their job initially was to help defend Washington. The new Provisional unit then served in the Campaign from the Rapidan to the James Rivers from May 4 until June 12, 1864. They then saw action in the Wilderness Campaign (May 5-7), Spottsylvania (May 8-21), North Anna River (May 23-26), Line of the Pamunkey (May 26-28), Totopotomoy (May 28-30), Cold Harbor (June 1-12), Before Petersburg (June 15-18) Petersburg until August 20 and during the Mine Explosion at Petersburg on July 30th, in which James F. Methven was wounded. This regiment disbanded on August 20, 1864 and rejoined their original Regiment on September 5, 1864.


  James wrote several letters to his wife Sarah: The following letters are written the way James wrote them, the way he spelled and with the desperation he apparently felt at not receiving answers to his letters from his wife. He was feeling neglected and forgotten-

The first letter was written from Alexandria, Va. Parts are missing or not readable. Note how James (who addresses his letters to "Said", apparently a nickname for his wife, Sarah) tells Sarah that it is her duty to write him.

"...Colonia Wilhelem at Alexandra, Va wheare we are now encamped on the common awaiting the organization of our new Redgment as we have all ben ordered to joine the new Redgement- which is styled The 2nd P.V. Heavy Artillery 112th Redgement. We have all ben divided among the different companeys I am in Companey A. Capten Cripps is our Commander. He has been very sick ever since our arrival, not abel to be in camp, it is Hard to tell what our Destination will be, as soon as our Redgement is organised I escpect we will be marched to the front. We are guarding the Railroad from Heare to Brandy Station - Burnsides Hole Division 40,000 men strong pased through since the day we arived, the whole country down heare is one mass of Soldiers. Yesterday we witnessed what Soldiers call a grand spective the Elimination of a Deserter from our forses to the Rebbels. He was caught in our lines at Chain Bridge and was sentenced to be Shot The regulars and several old regements Stationed heare was formed in line on the Common facing our camp and after going through all the millatary prelimanarys. He was stood up facing the vast asemblage of Soldiers. His coffin place rightly behind Him. A file of twelve men were ordered to fire where he fell backward into his coffin with Scarse a Struggle piersed with they say with 5 bullets. This don the Soldiers all marched to there quarters and everything was as though nothing happened. This is about all the news that I can send you now.

I am anscious to heare how you all are getting a long. How long were you in Wilmington? What did you doe there and what are you doing now, I want you to let me know everything that you doe or place that you go and not to doe anything with out first consulting me. How are you expending the money and have you seen Thatcher let me know as soon as you can. Last night I had a very sad dreame about you and I fear that something is rong with you or you have forgot your Pledg. When you wright direct to .,James F. Methvin, 2nd Provisional Artillery P.V. 112th Regiment, (Washington or elsewhere). Now Sarah you must wright at least twice a week and let me know what you are doing. Tell the boys that I want them to wright as often as they can and as soon as we get settled, I will send for them to come down and if we remain heare I will have you to come down and spend a couple of weeks - as soon as things gets settled we were mustered for our frey the 30th and I suppose from all accounts that we will receave at about the 15th. I must close. Wright soon so that I may know that you receaved this.

Give my Love to all my Friends and God

Bless my enemies

Your Affectionate Husband

James F- Methven

112th Redgment Provisional Artillery


This letter was written April 30, 1864 in Alexandria, Va.


Dear Said,

"After several attempts to wright in which I have failed, I now make another attempt - first I will give you a sketch of our travels, We arived in Baltimore on monday morning about 1/2 past 7 o'clock we were then marched to the other side of the city where we was drawn up in line, after standing there for near 2 hours we wer taken into the soldiers rest where we was served with a soldiers breakfast. At eleven o'clock we took the cars for Washington where we arived by dark, we got supper about 9 o'clock we then retired to sleep on the floore. On tusday morning we took up our line of march to join our Regement at Fort Ethean Allen about 7 miles from Washington. We arived heare about noon we were quartered heare for the night. And on Wensday morning we were ordered to ...

... have no time to think of me or the promise you made. May God bless you and teach you your duty and obligations you owe to me. My love to all friends. My love mor especialy to you if you ... duty"

I am your afectionate husband, James F. Methven

Direct to 2nd Provisional Heavy Artilery, 112 Redgment,

Washington,D.C. or Elsewhere



James must have finally received his letter from Sarah because he writes to her on May 3rd, 1964 from Alexandria, Va., the following letter:


Dear Said,

I have been very sick cince I wrote to you. I was over heated and fatiqued with the march and being compelled to lay on the damp ground it gave me a chill and brought back an attack of the sore throat and my limbs feel as though they would separate from my boddy. And now in the midst of all this we are ordered to be packed and ready to march at 4 o'clock tomorrow morning. We are informed that Fairfax Court House is our destination it is hard to tell. We have ben plased in a new redgement and I trust they are doing all they can to make an infantry redgement of us. They gave us shelter tents and muskets prepretory to our march which makes us think that we are bound for the front. Said, you are very kind and your love for me must be verry deep that makes you think and wright...


From Alexandria Va., the Union troops marched to the south to Spotsylvania, Virginia, where James wrote Sarah on May 12th, 1864, telling her about the intense battle just fought and about losing his hat, which was bad because of the heat in July.


 Dear Said,

I again take my pen in hand to let you know that I am still a live though nearly woren out with fatague. We have ben in line of battel for the last ten days, marching and fiting day after day from all accounts there has never ben such a prolongued and deathly fiting on this continent. The loss on both sides is emence there is no description as yet every place is strewn with dead dying and wounded. Today has ben the hottest fiting ever heeard of. One constant volley of musketry and artillery ever cince 12 o'clock last night there has not ben one moments sessation. We have today captured 10,000 rebs and sent them off for safer quarters. Cince dark there the firing has seased. And cince comenced these lines they are now renewing the attack. They are trying hard to break our lines but I they will have to surender in mass between now and tomorrow night. They are fiting desperate but it will availe them nothing. I think they are about plaid out. I will bid you good night the roar of artillery and the whising of the musket balls and shells are coming to close. I must leave my love to all. Tell them I am still safe well and without a scratch. I lost my hat at the battel, of Mine Run on last thursday and if I live to get through this battle I would like to hav a nother.

Your affectionate Husband

J.F. Methven (Remember me in your prayers)


From Spotsylvania, James F. Methvin and his Regiment traveled south to Petersburg, Va, where he writes the following letter to Sarah on July 5th, 1864. He is very depressed about the lack of being paid, being robbed of his possessions and his sickness. The lack of good drinking water also added to the misery of both sides.


My Dear Wife

To day I have a few leasure hours, and my first thoughts are of you and my family. I am anxious to know how you are getting along. I know that this must be hard on you, but when you think of what I am going through, your troubels would not be a drop compared to mine, we have gone through another change our officers and all our best men have fallen, maney buryed on this ground and others wounded and sent to Washington or home and others captured and sent I suppose to Richmond. The handful that is now left has ben plased under comand of a bulheaded Irsh man that is lording it over us all that he can and all of us that our other officers had detached on with special services to keep us out of danger have ben releaved and placed in the extreme front line and me with the rest will now have to be the formost ... The coming battel which is momentary expected we lay heare in the broiling sun watching each other like to fiting cocks, going through all the motions, each waiting on the other to commence the ball. We have a regular picket scermish every night and an artillery duel every day. The heat is killing of our men nearly as fast as the bulets. Heat and sulfer water that we have to drink the water is very scarse and bad it reduces us to walking scarcely strength enough to move one foot before the other. You would be surprised to see the demorlised state that we are in to see the few and emaciated formes of those now left it would Surprise you beyond your compryhention, all brought on by hard marching and being kept constantly in the front without any liagal organization. We have ben compleatly swindeled in every respect, eaven to our pay we have not receaved a cent yet nor can we tell when we will. We were mustered the other day for pay but as yet we know not when it will come along. This is the third time that I have ben mustered and receaved nothing yet. As son as we get the money we are going to appoint a man and send him home to our famileys with it. I have never ben so poor and destitute in my life as now. The carpet bag you spoke of was carried by a young man from Phily and he was captured and I suppose sent to Richmond. So that I lost all that it contained and in the first battel of Mine Run, I lost my hat and nearly all my clothes and the worst of all was the few littel trinckets and bit of clothing that I had preserved and carryed in my haversack. One of those New York pickpocket crowd of 2nd mounted riffels had to steal from me at Cold Harber. After marching all one night and day untill about eleven o'clock the next night we lay down on the side of the road to take a rest being over come with fatique and almost dead I lay down fasend my haversack to my arm so that if any raid was maid on it that I would be imedeatley awakend for it now contained all my worldley stores your likeness in the locket, my shaving tools, hat band, pocket hankercheifs sacks and all the keepsakes from you and the boys and even my canteen, the straps wer cut and taken from me without my feeling any motion of the theif So you see that I was left compleatley minus of every thing worldly even to my wife, the boys likeness I still have, all that I possess. I hope that you have better luck than I have, and that the origanall will still continue true. Today is the first day that I have ben abel to put my boots on in fact I have onley one on. My blood has ben so over heated and my system so reduced that I became very sick and broken out with a rash- It first resembeled eresyplysis and toard the last small pose. The doctors having no medicins and still less brains I had to drag a long in this condition for the last six weeks doctoring my self the best that I could. I am now about recovered and begin to feel like myself Your Affectionate Husband,

J.F. Methven


The next letter was written at the front lines near Petersburg, Va on July 28th, 1864. James was getting upset again because he felt that Sarah was not writing him like she should, he still had no money but he still feels lucky to be alive when so many other soldiers around him are getting killed.


My Dear Wife,

Why in the name of God is it that you do not wright. I have not receaved a line from you cince the 4th of July. i can not imagine what you are thinking of. Heare I am hamesed up night and day with scarsley a place to lay my head and on the go all the time from one point to another. You may imagine of our movement by the name that the Rebs give our corps. They call us Bumside's flying menagrie. This is on account of our quick movements in flanking them, our movements have ben flank movements and we have headed them off in every move they made, and where they least expect to see us there they find we are in front and have headed them off. For this they are at a loss to account, but our toil and suffrings account for it all. We have ben kept in front and on the move all the time cince we left Alescandra. It has ben a hard ordeal for us , we have ben all broke down in body and spirits what is left of us. Our battery now out of 147 men when we started numbers 15 men for duty, and the other batterys in proportion. The redgement where we started numbered 1400 and 80 men the redgement now numbers less than 600. This will give you a slight idea of what we have gone through in marchings toils and suffrings. Tongues can never tell of our endurances in this unholy rebellion. and the deceptions practised on us by our government. We are still held in the infantry servis, which was to be for 30 days, we are now 90 days the 2nd of august which by law is all they can compel us to serve for three years. I beleave they will releave us about the 2nd and remove us to the rear perhaps back to Washington, but we can not tell. Time alone will solve our fate. And as yet they have not payed us a cent of our money. Perhaps they will give us our money the 2nd of August. But amidst all these difficultys and hardships you and I should thank God that I have ben spared and protected from the many dangers that suround me. I can not be thankful enough when almost hourly my comrads are beeing cut down by my side. I am still spared with the exception of having the stock of my gun shattered to pieces in my hands by a bulet and a slight cut across my right arme. I have receaved no other injury. This was done by a reb sharp shooter while I was on picket. I have recovered from sickness and am enjoying good health at present. The weather heare is so intensley hot that I can scarsley endure it. It seemingly takes all life from my body and I feare that it will harme me more than the bulets. I must close. The rebs are now throwing shells all around us and we have to retire to our hiding places untill they stop. If you can I wish you to send me some money. I wrote you a letter a few days ago telling you what I wanted. I have no money to get even a smoke of tobacca, and many like comforts I could get had I some change. Most of the boys get papers and letters and many littel things every mail sent to them and heare I am a lonly forgotten nothing. No mail comes for me. I trust God will not forget me. My love to the boys and friends. Your affectionate Husband. J.F. Methven


James wrote the following letter the next day, July 29th, 1864 from Petersburg, the day before he lost his right arm during the battle. This letter names the children he and Sarah had up to that date and talks about the coming battle the next day.


My Dear Wife Peetersburgh July 29th, 1864

Last night we wer releaved from the front line and moved back to the rear for the purpose of having a few days rest. How long we can not tell. I wrote to you yesterday, which will give you an idea of my feelings and situation and the rest that we are now enjoying is a God send to us I assure you. I want you to answer these letters as soon as possibel. I have not receaved any letters from you except the one dated the 4th of July. If you doe not explaine your neglect I will not wright you againe. There is no excuse for the mail comes regular every day and all the men get letters and mail parsels from home but me. i am the forgotten one of the redgment. Just as I expected when I left home. But thank God He still protects me and I am now enjoying good health but much deprest in Spirrits to think that her that should always be first and last in all my well being has forgotten but I hope not forsaken me, With this letter I send you a small pacage contaning some rellicks of the battel field of Peetersburg Va. As you will find a pair of womans stockings, one silver quarter dollar, one silver ring and 2 pocket knives, the small one I want you to give to Walter, the large one to Frank. the quarter dollar to Thomas and the ring and stockings to your self or you can make the devision if you can fix them better. But above all things doe not alow them to be lost for my object in sending them home for your protection is that they may be kept safe as rellicks of a battel (17th of June) that can never be forgotten by our redgment and one that placed maney of our comrades in there long homes. These are things that I found the next day in the rebbl works that we had taken, and which we still hold though we have advanced cleare to Peetersburgh and yesterday our morter blue up and set fire to the buildings on the out skirts of the town and to night we expect to blow up there forts. We have them all undermined and tonight they will be scattered to the fore winds of Heaven. And very likley we will have another hard fight to wind it up. God only knows our fate. We expect to be paid off in a few days and perhaps return to Washington, but we can not tell. Give my love to all and tell the boys that they must be very particular about these rebbel presents I sent to them. They must have them when I come home or I will be very angry. Tell the boys to wright me a letter and if I can send them anything I will doe it. Your ring and quarter I war you particularley to be carful of .., and I will send you money as soon as I get payed. No more now. May God bless and protect you is the constant prayer of your affectionate and absent husband.

James F, Methven

2nd P. V. Heavy Artillery 2nd Brigade 9th Army Corps Peetersburgh, Vir.

(No Paper No stamps

No Money or friends)


 James was on the 30th of July wounded at the Battle of Petersburg, The Following letter was sent to his wife Sarah.

Douglas Hospital

U.S. Sanitary Commission,

Washington, D.C. Aug. 3, 1864

Mrs. Sarah A. Methven

1016 Clair St.




I am requested to write you a few lines by your husband James F. Methven who arrived this afternoon to this hospital with his right arm amputated. He seems in good spirits and would like to see but he may be transferred to Philadelphia. I hope this news will not cause you any fears for his life as he is entirely out of danger only poor in health. number of his bed 236. Ward 5.

Very Respectfully,

Isaac D. Aaron

Clerk Douglas Hospital, Washington


James was recuperating in Douglas Hospital from his amputation (performed on July 30, 1864 by Surgeon G.W. Snow of the 35th Mass.) and broken leg when he had a nurse write his wife on August 30, 1864. Sarah had been to visit him prior to this letter as he mentions her visit.


My Dear Wife

Yours of the 22nd received in due time and this is the first time I have had to answer it.

I am getting along nicely though I suffer a good deal of pain from my wound. I am so that I can sit up now every day a little while. I have plenty of reading matter so that I pass off the time pretty well, and though I think of home a great deal yet I keep up good courage and live in hopes of seeing you before a great while, though I guess not quite as soon as the Dr. said when you was here.

I do not get any potatos yet, eggs are the heartiest food that I get.

Our state agent has not been to see me yet, faithful isn't he?

Please to continue the remittance, as it is a great help to me, to be able to get things that I can not get without money.


I have written 2 or 3 times to ... but have not received any answer.

Tell the boys that as soon as I am able to walk I shall be at home to attend to them, they must be good and do all they can to help their mother.


Love to all, write soon to your aff. Husband (By E.F. Skinner, Nurse)



James again writes to Sarah from Douglas Hospital in Washington through another nurse on September 26th 1864. Sarah has had a baby boy between his last letter dated August 30 and the date of this letter- September 26, 1864, (Henry W. born September 10th). James is patiently waiting on his papers so that he may go home to Philadelphia.


Dear Wife,

I received your kind and affectionate letter and was glad to hear that you are getting along so well. I am getting along quite smart and as well as I can expect under the present circumstances. I am sorry that I could not been home before this and I also tell you that I cannot tell when I will be able to get home. They are very busy making out furlongs and tranfers for the men but I can't tell when my turn will come but it will come it time. Suppose I would also tell you if you want me to name the boy you will either have to wait until I get home or name him yourself I would also tell you that I sent you on last Friday $20 dollars in Father's letter I will also send you $40 dollars in this. Please answer right away and let me know whether you get it or not. I am not able to write yet or I would have wrote sooner to you but you may rest assured that I am doing as well here as I could be doing anywhere having good treatment and every thing else that is beneficial to my health and my wounds. I must now close. Give my love to all inquiring friends and accept a big share for yourself I remain your husband,

James F. Methvin


The following letter is written to James Methven, September 13, 1864, while he is still at Douglas Hospital in Washington by Thomas Methven, James' father. He is writing from Wooster, Ohio and has apparently just heard of James misfortune at Petersburg. The handwriting is wonderfully neat.

My Dear James,

I have just now heard of your sad misfortune through Sarah, she tells me that you right arm is amputated and one of your legs broken, which is certainly bad enough, nevertheless it might have been worse, we are all so happy to think that your life will be spared a while longer, and that you will get home to your family as soon as you are able to be removed. She says she heard from you since she arrived home, and that you felt ,better and hoped to regain the use of your leg, and that you were very kindly treated where you are, for which we all feel thankful. Bad as your condition is, it is not so bad as your poor brother-in-law, Henry Murry, by the by Sarah does not mention him in her letter, but we heard before that he is blind, lost his eye sight at the battle of Gettysburg, and I have just heard from your brother Angus that his brother-in-law Henry Williams was killed before Atlanta. Angus was in that Raid of Rousseau's thru Ala. and Georgia, where they committed such depredations on the Rebs. He said they rode for 20 days and had not over 2 to 4 hours rest out of the 24. He rode for 6 days with his left leg hanging useless, his horse fell with him and fractured the ancle bone and as it was unwholesome to fall behind, he kept up with the rest of them. He wrote last from Vining Camp, Georgia, but I hear the Regt. is coming back to Decatur, Ala. again to get fresh horses.

The rest of us are well, I will not trouble you with any more news till I hear how you get along. I hope soon to hear of your recovery, and I beg of you to keep up your spirits and never think of getting the blues. You will yet be a useful member of society and altho' you cannot write yourself, perhaps a friend will drop me a few lines on receipt of this just to say how you get along. I answered Sarah,s letter, but am not sure that this will reach you, as I have no directions but Douglas Hospital and I know not where it is located. Your Affectionate father, Tho. Methvin

On October 16, 1864, James again writes his wife telling her that he doesn't know when he would be able to return to Philadelphia.


Dear Wife,

It is with pleasure that I have those few lines wrote to let you know how I am getting along. My arm is doing well but my leg, is not so well. It keeps sore. The doctor operates on it every morning and I haven't been very well myself for several days. I can't tell when I will be at home. You needent look for me untill you see me coming. I received them papers and all the letters you sent me. I want you to write. Don't stop writing because you don't git answers to them for I cant answer them only as I can git a friend to do it. I wont you to write and let me no whether the United States (?) has ben there or not and if he comes pay him the ten cents and git a receipt and send it to me, or git someone to do it for you. Tell the boys to be good boys and I will be at home before long and I will fetch them a presant. You were talking about coming down here and fetching the baby with you. It wont do you need nothing of such a thing. i would like for you to be here with me but it wont . So I will close hoping to hear from you soon.

This from James F. Methven To Sarah J. Methven



During the later part of 1865, James and Sarah's son Frank had apparently gone to Ohio to visit or stay with his grandparents. During this time there were some letters exchanged between Frank and his brother Thomas. This first letter is from his Mother, obviously proud of her son being able to write.


My Dear Son Philadelphia Oct 8/1865

It gives me great pleasure and I cannot tell you how proud I feel to know that I have a son able to write a letter to me. I feel as if I had not labored in vain in sending you to school, Your letter was very interesting and nicely written and every one I saw today I told them I had received a letter from you. I expect you feel at least I hope you would like to see me for I want to see you right bad and Walt wants to see you to. He can scarcely wait for he thinks his father is coming for him. I was thinking of you today for I baked a Dutch cake and you like cakes. How would you like to live out there. What do you think of me going down to (?) for that set of garden tools, now is the time you will need them when you live in the country. Oh I feel as if I could tel you a whole lot of things. Will? Murray said he was going to write you today. But I do not know how he made out. Well Frank you know that Great Base Ball Club that Tom belongs, he is secretary, well they had a meeting last night and they have 12 members. Mrs. Gibson sends her love to you. Good night. I will send you a kiss in this X. and 25 cents to buy some candy. I am forever your affectionate Mother. Sarah A. Methvin Write very soon again.

This first letter from Thomas Methven to his brother Frank was written January 20, 1865. Frank was in Milibrook, Ohio staying with his grandparents. He tells about his father James receiving his new arm.


Dear Brother, Philadelphia

I received your welcome letter and was very glad to hear from you. Walter says that he sends his love to you. Mother says that we are coming out soon. I send my love to you and to all the folks. Frank dont be worried about us because we will be out there as soon as Pop can walk on his leg. Little Bell sends her love to and a kiss. Little Harry has a boil on the side of his which has made him very sick. Tell cousin James that Walter has got a present for him. Shorty sends his love to you. Tell grandmother that I send my love to her. Little Bell has got a set of dishes and a box of wooden furniture. Maggie also sends her love to and Uncle Harry also sends his love to you. Mother has sent you a box of things and she was worried about your receiving it. Mother is going to write to you. Write soon to us when you recieve it. Little Bell says that she is going out west. I am well and hearty as ever. W. says he can hardly wait to see you because he wants to have a long talk with you. Mother sends her love to you and all the folks. Tell Grandpop that I send my love to him and to all the folk, Grandmother has gone to live up town. We have had a heavy snow and now it is raining. Pop has just received his arm and he thinks he can use it. Write soon. We have plenty of good news to when we see you which will not be long.

No more at present I still remain your affectionate Brother, Thomas Methven Mother has sent you a box of clothes ten days ago and wants to know if you have received it and if you have not go to Wooster for it.


Thomas writes Frank late in October. The spelling is Thomas' and is pretty good for a boy of about 13 years of age in the 1860's. He and his brother are very close as is evident in these letters.


Dear Brother

I tought that I would drop a few lines to you. To ask you how you are and to tell you how lonesome I am with out you for Walter has gone to Wilmington and I have no body to play with and little bell is waiting to see you and I cant hardly wait till I get there for mother says we are coming out there to live when is pap going to send for us. Mother is making up all your clothing and getting ready to come out. I think you must have had a splended time and I wish I had been with you. We still have our baseball club and I am going to bring my ball with me. Shorty wrote to you last week do not fail to answer it and write the best you can . Frank dont let pap come back again for I can help mother out there. I am stil in the office but mother is trying to get me another place for they only give me a dollar and a half. All the boys in the neighborhood are inquring after you. We went to (?) point and you ought to have been here. It was elegant, the procesion was seven miles long and in the prosession were sixty indians and a goddess of liberty drown in choarot look like silver aunt Martha and all the folks were there. Give my love to all.

T.J. Methven

James arrived back in Philadelphia leaving Frank in Ohio. This next letter is written in December, 1865. It sounds as if Thomas is getting anxious about moving out west to Ohio.

Dear brother,

I thought that I would drop a few lines to you to tell you that pop got home safe and to ask you how you are getting along and to ask you how uncle Daniel is getting along. Mother was very glad to see pop and was very sorry that you did not come home with pop. Tell grandfather that father got home safe saturday afternoon and he said that you all are waiting for us to come out there. Frank, mother says that we are comming out there very soon dont be worried about us comming because mother says that she is comming out there soon. Walter has been taking care of your skates he has been greasing them and keeping them clean and he has been rubbing the rust off. Walter says that he is going to bring them out to you. You may be looking for us in a couple of weeks. Frank tell all the folks that I send my love to them tell uncle Daniel that i send my love to him tell my cousins that I send my love to them all tell aunt Ellen that I send my love to her. Tell grandmother that I did not forget her tell her that I send my love to her and to Mrs. (?). Frank, little bell is wanting to see you. little harry is well he can stand nearly by himself Uncle Harry and James send their love to you and they say that you must have a plenty of fun. Father says that he will come out there soon. Mother thought that she would be out there within ten days. I have just stopped in on the first Monday of Decr to tell you that Wm. J. MacMullon came in here this minute. He says he wishes you good luck, good health and good properity. Tell archi I am better than I was. No more at I remain your affectionate brother,

Thomas J. Methven


James was discharged from the service on July 27th 1865. He served as the Wayne County, Ohio County Recorder from 1873-1876. He died in Chicago, September 11, 1889.

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