Below is the last letter I have written from the hand of Matthias Woodruff, younger brother of my great grandfather William E. Woodruff. Like the previous two posted, this one is written from Dakota Territory, but this time to William rather than to father Francis Woodruff. For previous posts on Matthias, please search his name using the search box to the right.
Sheyenne Valley, October 7th 1882
I did write to you once but did not direct it wright so that it came back again. I got your letter and was glad to hear from home. I am glad Father keeps well. I have been very busy since I came to this country. in fact everyone you see is all very [?] taken up north their prospect but they will be a good many of disappointed [?] for they all expect a real road [?] in a few miles of them but won’t get it. there is a great lot of young and old coming to this country to farm. the land is certainly very good for wheat, in fact any small grain. i hear you want to come out. is that so. if it is when are you coming and do you intend to engage in raising wheat? they are surveying now we have had a very dry summer [?] but it is raining all the time now. i have been sick almost all summer so that I could not do much. then i lost my team right in breaking season so that it was a big loss to me. I have got seventy acres broke and still have 60 acres backsett [?] but I have had so much work for my self that I do not know what I am going to do this winter for [?]. I have plenty of hay but no grain nor money. but if I live to see next harvest I shall be on my feet again. I am glad to hear that your colt is doing well and that you have done well farming this year. the farming here is different from there. there is no little things you know what to do every day. this is a kind of ruff life to lead but I rather enjoy it. there is plenty of game and I do my own stewing so then I know how it is done and don’t leave my fault to find with the cook. if you still have a notion to come on, let me know and I will be on the lookout for something for you. ther is no land to take up and even if there was it don’t pay to go so far from a settlement. it is raining very hard here now. it is very dismal weather so that I cannot do much. am in hopes that it clears up in a day or two. I think a young man with a little money can do better here than on east even if he should buy a house he can pay for it in a year or two. the wheat is a sure crop. you have to work hard in summer but it is different from following a walking plow. it is tiresome, but when you get up you are rested. this is going to be a good country in a few years. it will soon be all settled up. land is worth around Larimore 10 dollars per acre even at that it is a good investment. Well it is getting late & I must close. With love to all I am as ever your loving Brother. Good bye for this time.