Salt Lake City Feb 24th 1884 [Salt Lake City, Utah Sunday 24 Feb 1884]
My Dear Elisabeth [Elizabeth Rebecca Ashby (Snow) 1831-1915] (Sunday 1 P.M.)
Your long looked for letter of thh 17th inst [instant – Sunday 17 Feb 1884] reached me Friday [22 Feb 1884] and was perused with much pleasure. Was very glad you had been trying to favor yourself about the housework and as a result felt improved in health. Hope you may be able to continue so doing for I shall need your your personal kind offices in my decline as well as your children and your latter days shall also contribute to the instruction and comfort of your younger sisters. The chief reason of my improved condition this winter is first, less labor and responsibility of domestic affairs and 2- good care and regular food & rest and 3- a horse & buggy to relieve me of so much walking. I have also a commode in my room and have fires evenings & mornings. During our Sanpete [Sanpete, Utah] trip we encountered some stormy weather and had twenty miles sleighing each way between the R. R. [railroad] terminus & Manti [Manti, Utah] and I took a little cold in my head which added to my extra mental labour [labors] since my return has caused headache several nights past. Today I have taken a Warm spring Bath (and used liquor freely on the surface which together with opening [?] medicine makes me feel much improved. I am hastening to pen these few lines before going to meetings. The weather is delightfull [delsightful], like spring, and has been for two or three days. I allmost [almost] shudder for the people on the Santa Clara [Santa Clara River] and Rio Virgin [Virgin River] least the sudden melting of the deep snows along the whole rim of the Baisin [Basin] should inundate all the lower country. Dee started home two weeks ago this afternoon [Sunday 10 Feb 1884] intending to leave Juab Station with his Buck Board Monday morning [11 Feb 1884] and expected to reach home Friday [15 Feb 1884] following. The heavy storms continuing I feared he would be snow bound at Panquitch [Panguitch, Utah] or on this side the divide and knowing he had left his family and stock in a perilous condition to encounter such a storm I feared he would in his great anxiety take desperate chances in his efforts to reach home. I began Tuesday [12 Feb 1884] to telegraph to Orderville [Orderville, Utah] and as far up the Severe [Sevier River] as [I] could reach by telegraph and to the Pangquitch [Panguitch, Utah] mail carrier and could not learn of his whereabouts only he had not reached home and that the divide was covered by ten feet snow and impassable only with snow shoes. Yesterday my anxiety was relieved by a telegram from him dated at Ranch post office at the Steam saw mill 5 miles west of home on Thursday 21st [21 Feb 1884] via Orderville [Orderville, Utah] 22nd [Friday 22 Feb 1884] announcing that he was barely saved at the last moment from perishing by timely arrival of help which brought him into the mill at 10 P.M. Wednesday night [20 Feb 1884] after having been two days and one night out in the snow trying to get over the divide. He adds that snow was four feet at the mill and great loss of stock and that they were all going to try to make his home on Snow shoes that day. I was glad to have learned by your previous telegram that Bro. Bentley was still with the family at Upper Nevada so I trust with him to help and advise the boy Dee left in charge, the family will be all right only only [sic] their anxiety for him. but I fear most of the stock including 6 horses and 20 head [of] horned stock of mine will have mostly perished. If however he and the families come out safe we can soon repair the other losses. I am greatly pleased to hear of the good [?] and intellect of our children therein and should much enjoy their entertainment next Friday [29 Feb 1884], but the labours [labors] assigned to me with Legislature committees are likely to last sometime, though I have not abandoned the hope of returning home in March [Mar 1884]. God bless you all. E. Snow [Erastus Snow]
[Along the margins] In hauling up hay the Boys must take no risks with high water in the river.
Council [Quorum of Twelve Apostles] voted on Wednesday [20 Feb 1884] to releas [release] Tony & Miriam Pratt to come home in the Spring.