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This letter was obtained from Eldon Folkerts and prepared for text by Barth Weistart
Minonk, Ill. 18 September 1890
This Monday, September 15th, John Weber came from Nebraska back home. Weert was in Minonk and they said it didn't look too good around Nebraska. Everything was dry. The corn was no good so they put the cows in the cornfield. If that is true what he told us, they will have a very bad winter to go through. There is no chance to get a second job so it isn't too good for them. Weert and Henry went deer hunting at Flanagan. From Carl, they heard the same thing. But you've never told us that. It probably would be better to come back with your wife and children and your brothers will help you. They probably will help you like when you left. The one who can help, won't sometimes, and the ones who have the will can't do it. Now you will have to make up your mind whether to come back or not. If you feel like it you can come over here if it is dangerous and hazardous to come back here. There are two people that live at Minonk that came back. If you would like to come back we will try to help. A lot of people came back from Kansas and Nebraska. For instance, John Meier and_______ Weber and they live south of Minonk. They came with a buggy. Norman Fritsen from Nebraska came back and live a mile from us. And a lot of other people would like to come back too which I can't name. Just going through this old world. A lot of people are coming back and from Germany too, but those don't go back to Germany. Those that come here to Illinois and want to work, it is better for them as they can make better money here. Here in Illinois most of them are driving a buggy already.
Eilert as you know, studied for three years at Rademacker and he didn't make no money. The 4th year, he only make enough money to buy clothes. And then he was three years in the army. So, he worked 7 years for nothing. Because he didn't make anything his parent could have sent him something. If he had stayed in service he would only have made lieutenant because he didn't have enough education.
Now, I have to end my letter and who knows whether I'll be able to write again. I can't say that I'm sick or have the flu, but never know when my end is near. Time goes and death draws near. I am over 74 years old. Greetings from mother and brother and your dear father.
John H. Folkerts
P.S. Write soon again. We like to send you a newspaper, the Chicago Express (?).