The Love Story of
Zachariah Mathuss & Josie Uhl

Copyright 2004 © Contributed "With Many Thanks" by Margaret Gagliardi

These are the letters that survived their 6 year correspondence courtship. They will be presented in 3 parts. Part 1 is from 1863 to 1868. Part 2 and 3 covers the letters written in 1869 and will end with the invitation to their wedding, the notice which appeared in the Dixon newspaper, and Margaret will let us know some of what they did after they married. The letters are marvelous in that they mention "many" Dixon people and they give us a true glimpse of a time when life was true and honest.

Dixon - May 20th 1863

Miss Josie Uhl
Please accept this small package as a token of my esteem & Friendship and as a Philafaina present.

From your Friend,
Z. D. Mathuss

Dixon, July 1st, 1863 Tuesday Evening

Mr. Z. D. Mathuss
Many thanks to you for your kind invitation which will be accepted with pleasure. Brother is going and wishes me to go with him, but of course I shall have to refuse him.

Yours in haste,
Josie E. Uhl
P. S. You will also please excuse this note as it is written in great haste and pened.

Dixon July 15th 1863

Miss Uhl
Can I have the pleasure of your Company to the Festiville this Evening if I can please ancer this note.

I remain yours truly
Z. D. Mathuss

July 16th 1863

Mr. Mathews
Please excuse me this once for refusing your very kind invitation, but there are some friends visiting us from Paris and I promised to go with them tonight hoping you will excuse me.

I remain as Your friend,
P. S. I have been riding ever since morn a splendid one too. I hope to meet you there tonight.

July 16th 1863

Mr. Mathews
Please excuse me this once for refusing your very kind invitation, but there are some friends visiting us from Paris and I promised to go with them tonight hoping you will excuse me.

I remain as Your friend,
P. S. I have been riding ever since morn a splendid one too. I hope to meet you there tonight.

Dixon, October 31st, 1863 Friday evening

Mr. Z. D. Mathews
Without making any applogies for this liberty, to what I do not consider a very pleasant task, I will at once proceed. Nor do I do it from any presumptuous feelings towards you. Reliable reports have been told me concerning the Society you mingle with. Which will hereafter (if true) terminate all friendly and Socible intercourse between us. I as a lady am bound to sustain my character, by so doing. I must choose my associates and these associates I wish to bear the same untainted character that I try to possess. And I do not think I would be justifiable in retaining the friendship of one whom I am told is guilty of such unbecoming conduct. I did not hear this by letter nor from any person who is particularly interested in you. I shall not expect an answer to this unless these accusations are false. I will not doubt these reports until I receive an answer. Let justice reign though the world oppose.

With Regret
Josie Uhl
P. S. Your friendship will still be welcome if reports are not true. And your pardon solicited for this hasty and indignant message. Intended sending it Saturday but did not have an opportunity.

Dixon, November 6th Thursday morning

Mr. Mathews,
You desired an explanation of the contents of my note. I prefer giving it by note. For the subject itself is of rather to delicate a nature for me to approach it in any other way. I am sorry that I am obliged to write on such a Subject. I can assure you it is done with very much reluctance. “But” give honor to whom honor is due”. I have been told that you are in the habit of associating with a certain disreputable charactered person in North Dixon, a woman whom even the most degraded ought to countenance with contempt. This is the basis of my indignation, although other incidents connected with this matter, have been told me. I have heretofore suspected you as one deserving respect. Your deportment has been Gentlemanly your kindness appreciated. But do you ask a continuance of these feelings, if what I have heard be true? Your own good judgment will certainly say No. But as I told you in my last that your friendship would be welcome if false.

In Haste,
Josie Uhl

November 16 Tuesday morning 1863

Mr. Mathews,
I answer your note by request. It does seem so strange that a little business matter (as you say it was) should create such a disturbance and so many remarks. Yet this only verifies what I have always said. That the character of a person is always known by the kind of Society he mingles with. Your character was doubted when it became known that you had been at this certain place. I advise you hereafter to discard Mr. Boardman’s recommendations and select your employees among a people with whom you need not be afraid of having your character tainted. I have shown your last letter to the person that told me these reports. Do not suppose me in the habit of making my letters public, but justice to you demanded that I should. The purport put upon this report is now believed to be false. And your respect is estimated as it formerly was. Believing your explination to be correct. I shall forget the past, and hope that the future may never have occasion to arouse again such matters. But remember this can only be avoided by carefulness of and with Society.

Yours Respectfully
J. E. U.

Miss Uhl
Can I have the pleasure of your company to the concert tomorrow Evening please ancer.

Yours as Ever
Z. D. Mathuss Dixon Dec 29th 1863

Dixon February 14th 1864 St. Valentines Day

I received your welcome letter and now hasten to answer it. I did think you had forgotten your Dixon friends for I did not hear one say they had received a letter from you. I think you left here very unceremoniously. I did not know you were gong to leave at all. Zack I want to know if you sent a message to me by George Ball. We have had very little sleighing since you left. I have been sleighing twice and those were in loads we had gay times though. Libb Becker was along one. We have not had any snow for a month or more. It seems just like Spring. I was to Sunday School today and saw Lena. Hellen has come home but I have not seen her. I do not know wither she will stay or not. I will ask the same of you to excuse a short letter this time. And should be quite pleased to have you correspond. And assure you would be quite agreeable. And want you to answer a long letter. Do excuse this short uninteresting letter for it is written in haste, I will promise not to be in a hurry next time.

I am your friend
P.S. we have grand times skating last night were over three hundred out.

Vernon Ind. Feb 22, 1864


I reseived your welcomb letter and now hasten to answer it but haven't got much news of importance to write for I cant have as much to write about here as you do in your town Dixon Allthough Indiana is a nice Country but I cant see it yet but if I stay In Indiana long I may change my mind and think it is a nice country but I think that I will not trouble this state with my company veary long. I will not tell you my reason in this letter but probably I will in my next letter. Josie you asked me if I sent a message to you by George Ball. I don't now but it did now I will tell you what it was it was simply to bid good by for me as well as I remember that was all the message I sent by him. Josie you sed that you thought that I had forgotten my Dixon friend but I have not forgotton those homes I supposed to be my friends I have not forgotton I dont think that I have got meny evenings in Dixon or at least I hope not well you have heard a nuff of that. Josie you said that you had not heard any one say that they had got a letter from me I don't think any one got a letter before you for yours was with the first that I written to. Josie you must not expect long letters from me for don't see a nuff down her write about to make out a long letter but I will always do the best that I can in writing letters for I love to get good long letter and I expect a good long letter from you next time that I hear from you an dhope that will not be long coming fir it is veary lonely down here from me but I will get used to it some time.

Please excuse all mistakes and bad writing & spelling.

I remain as every yours. Friend
Z. D. M.
P.S. Direct to me as before and write soon I will _____ and have some news for you next time. Yours Truly Z. I have been writing in the Country last week and had a splendid time, I was to spelling school one night to the school house and after spelling was over we had a gay time Some went to a neighbors and got a fiddle and it was some where near three o'clock when we broke up I am learning to dance really well last night we had some splendid dancers here and I learned real fast we had one set on the floor all the time that is all the room we had the seats were all moved in one corner if you would have been here I should no have refused to dance, but would have asked you to dance.

Dixon March 7th 1864 Monday morning

Absent Friend

I received your welcome letter a week ago but have been away from home, and could not answer it as soon as I wished to. However, I presume it will be just as welcome now as a week before. (If my letters are such). I am very sorry you do not like Indiana not because I don't want you in Illinois again, but because you are in business there and it would be so much pleasanter if you liked the place. If it is any of my business, I would like to know why Indiana is not going to be troubled with your Company much longer. Don't call me inquisitive for you said perhaps you would tell me in the next letter; So you see my curiosity could not help but be excited a little.

No Zack I don't think you have any enemies in Dixon at least I have not heard so. I was invited out tonight but being the first night in twelve at home Mother thought it best for me to stay at home. I have been enjoying Country life, and have had a grand time. I went to Spelling school two nights, after the first on was over we sent to a neighbors for two Fiddles and a gay dance ensued, there were some Splendid dancers. We had the seats moved to one corner so there was room for one set all the time. I think I learned a great deal. And if you had been there I should not have refused you again because I was afraid of making so many mistakes. I shall soon understand it pretty well. I do not think Dixon is as lively as it used to be I presume you took all the life away. There is nothing going on at all any more. I guess the Small Pox has scared it all away. There are some half Dozen cases in town now I believe. I had a letter from Peru yesterday persuading me quite hard to come and visit them right away. I do not know wether I will or not. School is the only thing that would keep me from it.

Father has sold our home, but is going to build in South Dixon nearer the mill if he can. He thought this place to inconvenient to his business. By next letter I can tell you for sure where we build. It is very late in the night now and for want of more news I close. Answer soon.

I still remain your friend
Josie E.
P. S. Please excuse these mistakes for I am sleepy it is only just twelve oclock. And also excuse this envelope it is all I have here. The others are in School. Farewell My name in Indian is Ceola

Vernon Jennings Co. Indiana March 13th 1864

Friend Josie
It is too weeks to day since I wrote to you but have not as yet recd a ancer and so I concluded that I would drop you a few lines to day as I am going to leave this place before a great while and I would like to here from you as oftain as I can before I leave for I am going a long distance from here. Josie I start for Origan By the way of Idaho on the first of April if not sooner it may be that I will get off by the 25th of this month I can not say positively how soon we will go but I am surly going by the first of Aprial and Josie I would like Veary much to have your Photograph to take with me I will look for it in my next letter. Josie please ancer soon for I now not how long I will be here.

I remain as ever your True Friend
Z. D. Mathuss
P. S. Direct to me as before and give all Enquiring friends my best respect.

Vernon March 20th 1864

Dear Friend Josie
Yours of the 7th received and I assure you that it was welcome and your letter are always such I think I will start on my journey two weeks from today I may back out but I don't think much of it now for I want to go now more than ever I think I will only go to Idaho I cant see where your letters stay while coming to me for I only received yours of the 7th the 19th I am a fraid that I will not get and ancer for this but I shall look for your Photograph in my next letter I am expecting it on every train your will please excuse all mistakes as it will probly be my last for some time I would like to come to Dixon before I got but I don't think I can for the time is so short the wether is veary cold here at present and plenty of Sickness of mast all deseases. Josie if you ancer this letter please do It soon as it takes six or eight days for a letter to get here and I would be glad to hear from you one more before I go now don't fail to send that pictures I am glad to hear you say that you are enjoying your self so well if you ever see me a gain you will see a Different Boy from what I was when I saw you last for I have changed my mind in some things I am not so wild as I was no don't expect to ever be again you will please excuse a short letter for I have not got any news to write and so I will bit you good by.

I remain as ever yours.
Z.D. Mathuss

Dixon March 24th 1864 Thursday evening

Friend Zack
I received your most welcome letter today and am going to oblige you by answering it immediately. I mean to set an example, your letter was just four days on the way. Strange that my letters do not go through as quickly as yours. I am sorry I cannot give you a better picture but I sat twice but still are not good. I don't pretend to get a handsome one but one that does Justice to me. I had to sit twice one day and once another day but I do not think Mrs. Cutler is as good as Crawford. I am sorry you are going to leave so soon. I think you could write again before you go for I presume when you get to Idaho your thoughts wont wonder back to old friends at Dixon. I am glad to hear you are improving. Although I always thought you exceeded the majority of the Dixon Gentlemen in conduct and character. It is a good motto, to “always be improving”. You deserve a credit mark as well as the title of a Gentleman. Don't accuse me of flattery. It is all real.

Please excuse this short letter but I know you will excuse me if I tell you why it cannot be longer. Next Tuesday is our examination day and I have been studying so hard all evening so far, it is now eleven o'clock; and I have for tomorrow a composition to write yet, and being alone here, I am more tired than if some one were stiring about and keeping me awake. I must first tell you we are commencing our new house. It is to be at the head of Main Street, below the College, a very pretty place. When you come back we will be living in a new home prettier than the other I think. Hoping to hear from you once more at the least I will bid you Good night.

I Am still your friend
Josie Uhl
P. S. I will promise you a better Photo soon. Friend, Josie

Vernon March 25th 1864

Kind Friend Josie
Your favor of the 20 is at hand and now I hasen to reply I am well and feel first rate. I am going to start on my journey one week from next Monday I am in hopes that I will get that Chole before I go. Josie I have only got one and it is the same one that you had before I wish I had one of the ones sitting for I like them so much better than this one I had a mind to send you that large one but I thought perhaps you would rather have this one. Josie I will not have time to get a answer to this but I hope to see you some time if I live and if not in this world in the world to come. Josie one thing I ask of you is this I want to corrspont with you through all of my absence I am going to Say aside most of my Corispondance but you Josie I beg to for ever bee friends and I will write to you if no one else. Josie I am going through St. Louis and if you will direct a letter there for me I will probly get it you can tell whether it will have time or not. I will bee thare on the 6 of Aprial and mabe I will come up to Dixon if I haft to wait for a Boat going up the river I will come and see my Dixon friends. But don't' look for me until you see me I will close hoping to hear from you at St. Louis. I remain as ever Your True friend. Z. D. Mathuss P. S. Direct to St. Louis Mo. Care of Dr. Shields give all Enquiring friends my

Best respects From Your True Friend.
Excuse all good By

In my room March 28 1864

Dear Zack
I am right glad you have come and will be happy to see you whenever you see fit to call.

As ever, Josie
Please excuse this half sheet of paper. Zack if convenient a letter later will suit me better, will tell you why when I see you. Josie

Dixon March 30th 1864 Wednesday evening

Absent Friend
I received your welcome letter four days after date. I do not know wether this letter will reach you or not I should like very much, if you get this one to answer it in St. Louis if possible, for I should like to hear from you one more before leaving for I suppose when you get to Idaho the letters will not be so plenty or so frequent as they are now. I wish they could be. Why do you ask me for us to be true friends. You know I am your friend and with great pleasure will correspond with you, for I am sure it is a pleasure to receive your letters and if my letters are as interesting to you as yours are to me I am sure you are lucky.

Today was our examination. You may imagine we had a nice time but more than I expected I did not make any mistakes. We had quite a number of visitors. Tonight there is a Presbyterian Fair in the Hall. Man wanted I should go but I preferred staying at home and writing to my friend, as I wanted to send it off tomorrow morning. I should really like to see you up here before you start on your long journey. I almost forgot to thank you for your kindness in sending your Photo. I am only sorry I could not get a better one for you but will promise you a better one. I saw Lena Reynolds and she asked me to give you her kind regards. She said if you write to him (which of course you do) Give my &c.

I did not answer you remember she and Hellen used to be so intimate. I think they have cooled down some. She does not go to see her at present (neither do I). Please not say any thing to Hellan for my sake. If that is any. I mean if it is worth anything. I hope you will excuse this writing for my pen is not by any means good. With my best wishes for your success, I bid you “Adieu”

Yours as ever
Josie E. Uhl
P. S. Please write again, or which is better of course come yourself. I will expect either. Josie E.

St. Louis April 6th 1864

Dear Friend
I received your welcome letter and now I am doing as you Requested me which I will for ever indever to do. I arrived here on last Monday morning but got a Boar for atchiston and we was to have gone out on Tuesday but we are not gone as yet ever will go to night and Josie if you will write me at atchiston K. I will get it for ________ will not leave there Before the 20 or 25 of the month and Josie as for writing to you it will gladly write every chance I have and I think I will write Severell on ________ for my and I now you will if possible for me to get the Letters. Josie I received your Photo and I am a thousand times ablidged for it I wish you could see where I have got it. I would have ancerd at Vernon but did not git it in time and I would have written here before but we have just finished getting our frait and wagons aboard the Boat. Josie please excuse this writing with a pencil for it is all it I have at present but I now you will I have laid a side most all of my corispondance in Dixon in fact every where ____________ but you Josie as long as my Letters are welcome I will write and Josie Believe me for I am true to you. I will write you all about our trip up the River to atchiston the Boat is just cramed with Passengers. I think we will have a nice time going up to atchiston I will close hoping to hear from you at Atchiston I remain as ever Your True Friend. Zack P. S. I wish you was on the Boat and about five more copple of the Dixon folks then

I know we would have a nice time and so I will Bid you good
By till I get to atchiston. Z.

Dixon April 10th 1864, Sunday Afternoon

Esteemed Friend
I was quite disappointed when I received your letter for I have been expecting the writer instead. Now I don't want you to understand, that your letter was not welcome, for you know better, but I would rather see the original. I am very much obliged to you for your promptness. I hope you will continue to do so, and I am going to do the same. So as to set you a good example I am sorry I could not give you a better Photo for the one I gave was very poor but I am going to have some more taken very soon and will promise you a better one. You have excited my curiosity and am going to be inquisitive about my picture. You said you wished I knew where my picture is. Now if you wished it very much you certainly would tell me for remember when we were walking across the bridge one evening you asked me where I kept your picture and other questions concerning your photograph. I said in my pocket generally. I continue to do the same. I really should enjoy a boat ride. I have not had any since the excursion to Fulton. Manuel went to Fulton, Clinton and Lyons, Thursday and got back last night. He went to buy wheat. He and Smith and Julias Anderson are in partnership with the mill. Man [he is Emmanuel Uhl, her brother) is book keeper and wheat buyer. The old grocery has changed again, it is now Stephenson and Ghriste. I think it has changed hands a number of times.

I have just returned from a long walk. Some lady friends called for me, and we made quite an excursion up the river. It is a delightful day, and so made it pleasant for all. I also attended the funeral of Mr. James McKenney. There was a vere large crowd at the church. There was a number of deaths lately. Old Mr. Herrick, Mrs. Ceney and several children besides a cousin of mine was buried last week. She died with consumption. There was no particular disease. This is a very pleasant day but for the last two weeks it has rained every day. The last being vacation week you may imagine I enjoyed it. Lib McPheron and I were going up to Polo Friday but it rained all day and Saturday just as the cars came in a very hard rain commenced, and rained the remainder of the day “another disapointment.”


Today our School commenced again, how glad I am for I love to go to school. Think I should like to go to school all the time vacations just spoil me. I have taken up a number of new studies so I have more to do than ever. This letter is a great deal longer than yours. Please excuse that blot I made it when I wrote my pen scratched. I am going to stop now for I hope to hear from you soon.

I am your friend as of old.
Excuse this last writing for man is waiting to carry to mail.

Atchison Kansas Apr 17th 1864 Sunday afternoon

Dear Josie
Your favor of the 10th is at hand we left St. Louis on the sixth and was Eight days comming up the river while on the Boat we had a nice time theay had on board 1.25 Passengers about 30 Sadie Passengers theay danced Every afternoon and Evening the reason why I say theay is it never danced don't you think I am changing to what I was when I left Dixon we have 27 in our Company and I think theay all danced but me I did say that I would not dance any more until I returned to Dixon and I havant changed my mind as yet nor don't think I will. Josie in your last Letter you told me some things which you wished me to sway nothing about to Hellen about. Josie you need not fear any thing that you tell me will not go any forther by me. I will tell you something which I have never told you yet. Mr. B's folks and I had a fuss before I left Dixon. It was about Mrs. W. that was one of the reasons why I left so soon as I did. I would not tell you but I now you will not say any thing about it. I have wrote Hellen too or three letters since I left but I don't think I will write to any one much more while I am gone Except one who I think is a true friend to me. I hope so truly. You wanted to know about your Photo. I now have got a Pocket album and I now have got your Photo in the front of it that is all I can tell you about it. Now I will Expect a nother one of you when I hear from you again th Photo that I Have is not a first rate one but it looks some like Josie. I think if I could see that original it would look more natural than the Photograph to me. I Saw Ead Sterling here to day. He is on his way to Idaho he is going by stage he leaves here on Thursday next our Ed. Will leave on the same day we have got Eight wagons and we are taking provisions a nuff to do us one year and every thing that we need for the trip I think we will have a nice time a Crossing the Plains & hope so any way. Well I cant think of any thing more at present I will close for this time you will Please Direct to me as follows. Z. D. Mathuss Fort Kerney

W. Braskey As I told you in my last letter I will write to you every chance I have and I now you will ancer all I write if you get them this is Leap year I will not say anything about love. Josie Please excuse all mistakes and spelling

I remain as Every your True Friend. Z. D. M.
Remember Z. Good By

Dixon April 24th 1864 Sunday afternoon

Kind Friend
I received your welcome letter and am going to answer it soon. So that I will not have to offer any excuses for long delay. For Dr. Franklin says a person that is always making excuses for themselves is good for nothing else and of course I do not want to be classed with the good for nothing. It is a very dreary day been raining all day. I did not go to church or Sunday School today. Dixon is just as dull as ever with the exception of marriages and deaths. Among the marriages are Mr. Fouke and Miss Shular. Sarah Morgan and Mr. Jones from Polo, Mat Wagnor and Mr. McCune, and I heard for a fact Hellen Becker and Leon Moore. I suppose it is true Leon has gone to Idaho he started last week. Nina Moore and Hellen have been very intimate sometimes H would stay one or two weeks to Nina’s then N. would do the same.

The Small Pox has been and is quite bad in town and prospects of it being worse there were so many exposed before they found out what it was. Mr. Dewolf, Mr. Decamp have it besides, more that I am not acquainted with.

Last Friday there was an exhibition at the Seminary. It was very pleasant indeed. Tomorrow night the Sociable is to be at Mr. McPheron’s. The last time I was there, you were there too. I wish you could be there this time. (I mean Wednesday night I was thinking of the Methodists).

By the time you come back we will have a New Church. They are making strong efforts to do so and I think will succeed and we will have a new house. The mason work is done and Mr. Anderson is to commence the frame this week. It is to be at the head of Main Street on the Second College Hill. It was not sure before we commenced a house and now it is considered one of the prettiest locations in town. I do not mean this as self praise, and I do not want you to think so. I hope you will have a very pleasant trip. I am sure you shall have all of my best wishes, if that would only better it. I am quite glad to see I cant see the change in you in that one respect. I cant say as any more are needed. I don't mean to flatter you and still I want you to believe that it is true. I aint sure wether you will get this letter for I did not exactly make out what Fort you are at. I will have to close my letter.

Please answer soon and Remember Josie.

Excuse this letter for I have written it when I did not feel for writing.
P. S. If it is pleasant tomorrow I will have a Photo taken for my friend Zack. If you cant read this send it back and I will do better. I am your friend, Josie E.

Camp Lee, Kansas Sunday, May 8, 1864

Dear Josie
As I am feeling lonely to day I will write you few lines, we are in camp about fifty miles from Atchison waiting for grass to come as it is infeasible for us to get feed for our stock west of here we have been here too weeks but we will start on our journey on next Tuesday. Josie I would have written to you before this but I have been very sick since I left Atchison the first day out of Atchison it Rained and I got wet and cought cold and I have not been well since but I am feeling first rate today. It is so pleasant that any one cant help feeling well. I would like to bee in Dixon to day and see if the grass and wild flowers look so gay and nice as they do in the Hard state of Kansas. I always heard that Kansas was a hard place and now I now it to bee the fact for I have not seem a good thing since I come in the State. Sunday is no more than any other day only theay have their big Horse Racing on Sunday. I will haft to go back one road five miels to put this letter in the office to a small place called Grannda. I will take one of our ponies and take it down this afternoon and then I will go out to morrow after noon you can direct to me as before to Fort K. I say as before for I am sure you have ancered my letter from Atchison. Tell Emanuel that I will write to him when I get to F. K. and I would like to hear from him veary much I will write a gane soon hoping to get too or three big letters from you at Fort K. with plenty of good news. You will please excuse a short letter for I cant think of any thing that would bee interesting to you.

I remain as Ever your True friend.
Z. D. M.
P. S. please excuse all writing and spelling for if you could see where I am writing you would not wonder why I made so many mistakes. Don't forget the picture. Zack.

Sunday, May 29th 1864

Kind Friend
As I have got ____ I will ancer your kind letter of April 24th I was much surprised to only receive on letter from you I expected too __ but I don't want you to think that the one I did get was not welcome for I assure you that it was thankfully received. We are in camp about 40 miles north west of ____ on the Bank of the Platt River. We don't travel Sundies. The emigration is veary heavy we see from twenty to one hundred teams per happened near our camp this fore noon. A yong ladi had her arm shot off by a shot gun. It was done by her little brother I think. Dr Shields of our company took it off. Her folks are Emigrants going to Banncock City. I think we will have trouble with the Indians they had a brush with some Emigrants not long since but they got the best of them. We have with us one gentleman and family traveling with us and we will have too or three more to morrow morning when you write please tell me some war news for I have not seen a paper since I left Atchison. This trip a cross the plains is veary much like Soldering to me but when I was in the Army we had plenty of wood but here we don't have any. We can get some green Cotton wood by crossing the River on to the Island about a half or three quarters of a mile wide. I would have ancered your letter at Fort Kearney but we never stopped than but there is a stage station near here. I will send it back to Kearny. I will write a gane before I get through if I can send it back you will please direct to me to Fort Laramie. Josie you say you are quite glad to see me change in one respect please tell me what respect you mean and don't fail to send that Pho--. Please excuse my writing with a pencil for I have lost my pen and I cant by one in this country but I will try and do better next time hoping to hear from you soon I will close. I will try and spell the Fort Rite.

I remain as every your True Friend. Z.D.M.

Fort Laramie. I am not positive whether it is in this Teritory or Idaho. Please look on the map.

Dixon Decem 1st 1864

Dear Friend Zack
Your long looked for welcome letter was received this eve and read and re-read with the greatest of pleasure. Zack you cannot imagine how many strange ideas I have had about you. I thought you were dead or were not going to write any more or that you had written and I not received them, but I will not think you do not intend to write again for you asked me to write all through your absence and I consented. So of course it is in your place to tell me when I shall stop. Dont you think so? Your letter was a month all to five days coming so you see unless you write often I will not hear often from my old friend Z. D. I can assure you it is a very great pleasure for me to receive your letters. Zack I had my fortune told about two months ago. I had to make a wish. I made one. Shall I tell you what it was? Will you consider it bold in me to tell you? It was that I would hear from you either by letter or some way that came true a short time after Nell Becker (“Moore”) said she had received a letter from you and my fortune said I would get a letter from you soon that has also come true. So much for my fortune.

She said I was to be married within two years. “ahum’ “I cant see it.”

Dixon is as it always was sometimes dull and then again somewhat Livened by a dance or Show &c. the Mito. (?) Societies have commenced again for the Winter. It is to meet Monday eve at Mr. Woods. Do you remember the last time you were there to a Mito. (?) S. ? I do, the Sociable is to meet at Mr. McPherrans. I remember the last time you were there too that was my last too. I am going to both this week if I can. I have not been at all well for the last two weeks. I took a very bad cold in my head which made me a beautiful looking creature my face swollen and eyes the same. I am considerable better now, so that I think I will be able to start to school next Monday bright and early. I am and have been for some time attending school in the Seminary. A very good school I think we have a very large School at present. We have your Counterpart in School a young Mr. Porter. I don’t think he has a right to blame me for glancing at him occasionally. Do you? He is quite good looking.

Remember your counterpart? I am really glad you are so well pleased with your trip. I should think it was quite expensive living at the rate you spoke of. Brother John has returned from California. He says the same. By the way. I have got a real nice new Piano. I am very much pleased with it. Am taking lessons at present.

Zack you asked me to tell all of the news here are some sad news to tell some of some our old friends have passed away. Bella Anderson is one, Old Mr. Godfrey also. A great many others that I do not just now think of. Some gay news too. Mary Crippen was married to Wm. Right. Quite a young couple, long life to them.

It is one oclock at night only. I had Company this eve but I was bound to write this letter to night. My hand trembles so and I feel so very miserable. I shall have to say Good night. May pleasant dreams attend your slumbers & accept the best wishes and prayers of your old but true friend.
Excuse all I will write again in a few days and tell the rest of the news. “God bless you.”

Dixon Seminary Decem 14th 1864

Dear Friend Zack
I wrote you a letter (an answer to the one I received) the first day of this month and now am going to take the liberty to write again. Hope you will return the compliment by writing real often for I love to receive letters from old friends especially those who have been so kind to me as by friend Zack. For instance it would be a great pleasure for me could I have those pleasant moments over again, that I so much enjoyed when your home was in Dixon yes: it is a great pleasure to borrow a leaf from well filled book of time. It is living the happiest part of Life twice over.

I was down on the Ice from four o’clock till dark. I had a splendid time. It is the first time I have had skates on since a year ago last winter and of course it was beginning again, but I got along very nicely. I thought I would not go down tonight, stay at home and write to you since we have moved it is very convenient for me to go skating when I wish. The River is just at the bottom of the hill we live on. Sleighing is not very good it is too rough.

As you will not likely get his letter before Christmas I will have to say how have you enjoyed it? Do you remember last Christmas? Ahem. (did not find me at home). I expect to attend a Family dinner at my Uncles. The rest of the Holidays I expect to be away from home also, perhaps out of the State.

By the way. Zack I almost forgot to tell you that I had a new piano. I got it last Sept. paid three hundred and fifty dollars for it, like it very much.

Zack did you ever receive two Photo’s from me. One I sent to you at Vernon Ind. And the other while on your way to Idaho. I don’t believe you received all of my letters. I answered all you wrote to me except your last. You told me not to answer. I shall not write again till I hear from you again as your address may be changed. It is getting late so I shall have to say “Good night”. Yours &c.
Josie E. Uhl Dixon
“It is quite moving tonight” “Answer very soon and often”

Virginia City, M.T. Jan 22, 1865

Dear Friend Josie
I received your welcome letter of Decm 14th this morning and now hasen to reply. I wrote to you by last mail and stated that I was going to leave the City for a while, but I don't now as I will now as the wether is so veary bad. I think I will put off going till spring opens and then I can go and not suffer with cold so much.

Josie I told you in my last letter that I would have my fortune told by the next teller. I had it told but I cant tell you all of it now but I will tell you some of it. He told me that I was going to stay in the mountains four years and then I was going back to the states and get married and he told me something about you but I will not tell you until I see you. He told me that I had got a letter from you and that I was going to get a nother soon.

Your letter was written Decm 14th and I received it on the 22nd of Jany so you see how long it was on the way. You say that you would not write a gane until you heard from me. I hated to read that for Josie you cant amagen how much pleasure it is for me to receive a letter from you.

Josie I cant see the four years that I am going to stay in this country. I may stay out here four years but If I do I will change my mind from what it now is. I am think veary Str ong of coming to the states next fall. Josie you spok of senety me a photograph while on the road. I only received on letter from you and that was at Fort Kearney. I received one Photograph at Vernon Ind., and expect to receive one in the next letter I receive from my friend J.E.

I am glad that you have got a piano so if I ever return to Dixon, I hope to have the pleasure of calling on you and hear you play. Josie they are having some veary good meatings here this winter and theay are getting a great many to join, that is the only excitement here at present. Times are veary dull at present but times are going to be good here in the spring. Theay are offering seven dollars per day for Laboring hands for the Summer. Board per week is from twelve to twenty dollars per week. I have told you all that is of importance here or that I can think of at present and I want this to go out in first mail.

P.S. please excuse all mistakes. I will write soon when you write. For tell me all about Dixon and don't forget to tell me what I asked you in my last letter about the B. Family please direct to me as before and write oftain.

I remain as Ever Your True Friend.
Z. D. Mathuss
Remember Zack Tho many miles from you.

Dixon March 14th 1865

My very Dear Friend
Oh Zack you don't know with what pleasure I received your good long letter, and am so glad you are going to write every week. It will again seem like old times. I supposed you had not received my letter nor had forgotten your old friend Josie, but am more than pleased to see the contrary. I will write every week too as often as possible and I assure you I shall spare no pains to write often to my absent friend Zack. I have been enjoying my self hugely this winter. I learned to skate and never had a pleasanter amusement than skating, but it is past now as the ice is all gone, and spring showers in place. Zack I could not help often this winter when I was skating to wish you were enjoying the same in Dixon (not Virginia City). You asked me to tell you all of my fortune. Well I guess I will. I told you in my other letter what my wish was well that has come true. She said I was going to marry a fellow with hair not very dark, blue eyes and light complexion and he was not in Dixon – “ahum”. What do you think of the description. I should think by that he might be good looking. Don't you? I believe that is the most important that she said. She also said that there were a great many that thought a great deal of me and would love me in course of time, also that I was to have two proposals in the course of a year. Well one has come to pass (but rejected) and was to be married within two years. Now Zack I have done as you requested, don't consider me foolish in telling you all this simple fortune will you? When you have your fortune told don't forget to tell Josie. I guess your will be your are going marry some Virginia City Damsal or perhaps some other in that Country. Yes Zack when you return I will not be at all surprised to see a Mrs. Mathuss. Wont you call on me and be introduced to her. I should really consider it an honor to be acquainted.

Speaking of Mrs. Beckers family I really have nothing to say. I have not been inside of the house since Mrs. Hyman was living there. That was a long time ago. Hellen of course your know is married to Leon Moore. I do not pretend to say where Peter is as I could not tell. There has been something very very mysterious about Hellen and Nina Moore. Hellen would not acknowledge she was married until about three month ago and I could not say wether Nina is or not. Her intended Charley Kennedy is dead and she has been going in mourning but I cannot tell wether they are married. If I was married would not be ashamed to own it. All I can say is Hellen does not conduct herself as a married Lady should. Zack I hope and plead for you to say nothing in regard to what I tell you about Mr. Beckers. I will write again very soon and hope you will do the same. The letter I write to Fort Larimie with my Photo, I received a few days ago from the Dead Letter Office. Excuse great haste for this writing looks badly. Your letter dated Jan 11th was reced March 14th.

Good night. Wont you tell Josie your dream that was so good

Virginia City March 16, 1865

My Veary Dear Friend
Oh Josie you don't' know with what pleasure I received your veary kind letter with your Photo. Josie you want me to tell you all of my forture will I guess I will I told the most of it in one of my letters some time a go but told me that I was to make three fortunes in this country and that I would spend the two first and the third one I was to take to the States and that I was going to get a letter soon from the girl that would be my companant when I returned and I got the letter in the first mail and the letter was from my dear friend J. E. ahem. And what do you think of that and he al so tole me that thare was some young folks that though a great deal of me and thare was some that lived in the same place that would do any thing theay could to brake friend ship between you and me but theay did not know that we were corresponding nor know where I was. She also told that I had some warm friends in the place where I lived and that thare was some enemies that would do all theay could to hurt me and I think that I know them all. Josie I would give this world if I could only say one word that you wrote on the head of your letter and that was Happy Home. That is one word that I cant now have never had the place that I could call home since I was old enough to know what it was but Josie I have always found plenty friends wherever I rome. I think when I leave this country that I will settle down and Quit rambling over the world don't you think that will be a good idea and I don't think it will be four years eather. You want me to send my Photo in return I cant send in this letter as this is not a good day for pictures and expect to start away tomorrow morning on a prospecting trip and I expect to be gone about four or five weeks and as soon as I return I will send you my Photo with the greatest of pleasure. Thare is nothing that I would not do for my Dear friend that was in my power. You say that I promist to invite you to my wedding well I will stick to it. I will try and have you thare I will invite you at any Rate and I don't' think that you would Reject. You will please excuse me this one time as I can not attend the Party at your house this eve but if I was thare I surely would consider it an honor to attend your birth day party. I hope to have the pleasure of attending your next Birth day Party. \

Please excuse all mistakes and writings as I have got a veary sour finger please write oftain and I will do the same when I am where I can.

I remain as ever yours Truly
Z. D. Mathusss

Dixon March 22 1865 Happy Home

Dear Friend Zack
I was happily disappointed in receiving two letters from you in one week. They were the first I had since the first of Decem so you may know I was very very much delighted and hope you will continue to write real often for I do not like to have my friends so far away and never hear from them. Especially one that has been so kind to me as you have been. Zack I feel under many obligations to you for your kindness to me and one way to repay you is to write to you which I shall take great pleasure in doing and if there is anything else I hope you will not hesitate to tell me. (“Any thing”)

What you have told of your fortune is not very encouraging. Four years more in the mountains. How do you like that? I don't for I should like to see my friend Z before four years. Zack why wont you tell me all of your fortune. Please do. I have told you all of mine in my last. If you are not coming for four years and then get married you will not think of me. Zack you promised once that you would invite me to your wedding. I am not going to forget it and will hold you to your promise. Do you remember when you made that promise? I do, we were going to church on Sunday eve.

Today is my birth Day, sweet eighteen on the verge of old maidenhood getting old. I shall soon despair. Shall I tell you how I was occupied I have had a lame foot so that I could not wear a shoe for a week so that today I have been penned in the house all day I had intended inviting Company in this eve but will now have to postpone it until next week, “and should be pleased with your company if convenient for you to come”. The Young people here are all alive yet I believe I heard Ada Nash was to be married Monday night. I do not know how true it is. She and her mother are stopping at Beckers and as I said before it is a mysterious family. I am sitting all alone in the Library writing. The rest of the folks are all gone to bed and as it is getting quite late I shall have to say “Good night”

Yours as ever Josie
Do not fail to send one of yourself in return and more than oblige. Joe

Virginia City, M.T. March 26 1865

Dear Friend Josie
I have arrived in this city from my journey safe but some what under the wether. I froze both of my Ears and tow of my fingers and was snow blinded for three daies after I got in the city. But I am all rite now on my trip I saw some hard stormes. We had a fine storm here on the twenty fourth of this month. The snow is not going off here veary fast. Times are veary hard here at present but theay are goint to be good soon. I think thare has not ben any mail in from the States for over too months. I am told that thare is some trubble with the Indians on the South Platt River. Thare was a large mail come in this morning from the States. I will expect to get some letters from my friend J.E., but I thought I would not wait till the mail was distributed for it will be about too or three dies before the List will be Pasted it is not much like Dixon here theay have from six to ten thousand letters in a mail from the States Caliafornia & Denver & Salt Lake and this is the Distribetting office for all the different mining camps in the country. I want to get to work on my claim by the fifteenth of Apr. I think I will mine this summer. I believe it pays the best in this country. I am not going to stop in this city this summer unless I by a claime here in the Gulch. Clames are selling from five hundred dollars to five thousand. Theay have made some Rich discoveries here this winter. I am going to start out tomorrow mining on a prospecting tour I will not be out long for I have got to be back by the first or second of apr.

Don't fail to send me that Photo please excuse a short letter for I cant think of any thing more of importance to write just now I will write agane soon. Well theay have a wedding in town occaisionly theay had five last week. Ancer soon and tell me all the news about Dixon.

From your True Friend
Zack Mathuss
PS is just one year ago today I started on my journey and you wrote me a letter also.

Virginia City, Montania Teritory Sunday Evening May 7th 1865

Dear Friend J. E. U.
I have returned when I wrote to you Last I stated to you that I was going out on a prospecting tour I have had veary good luck on this trip but veary much surprised when I returned and found now letters here from my friend J. E. I have not had a letter from you since the tenth of January and I have written you five since that time. I cant tell you how I feel tonight can it bet that you have not got them or that you have got them and do not want to answer them or you have got them and answered them and I have not got them. I have got a great meny different idies about them but I truly hope that it will all turn out rite yet thare is nothing of importance here for me to write the miners have commenced some work in the Gulch but the Snow melting on the mountains is doing a greate deale of damage in the Gulch. Times are hard here for a mining Camp. Provisions are high flower is worth seventy five and Eighty dollars per sack and was once up to one hundred and twenty five and the miners held a meeting to put the price down and while theay was making laws the merchants hid and sent out most all of the flower that was in the City and by the time the mob got orgizined the flower was scearce but theay went around to the stores and took all that theay could find which as about two hundred sack and then theay distribetted it out each one got ten pounds. Each as for as it went some of the mob never got a pound you will please excuse all mistakes and a short letter and Josie please write soon and obtain if you have not forgotten your true friend. I will close hoping these few lines may find you and all well.

I remain as every you True Friend
Z. D. Mathuss

Virginia City M.T. May 14th 1865

My Dear Friend
Oh Josie you don't know with what pleasure I received your dear letter and am so glad that you are going to write oftain to me for I assure you that I will write once a week when I am where I can send them. This is the first letter that I have received sine the 10th Jan. Well Josie good for your fortune so for it seems as though it was coming round about as she told you but we will see if the rest comes true about the weding. Now Josie I don't think you would get married and not ask your old friend Zack to the wedding. And I am a fraid that you have broke some lovers hart by not excepting his proposals. Josie I was told before I left Dixon that you was engaged to a young man that was in the army but I did not credit for I once heard your Father make a remark about you that led me to believe to the contrary all though I was I may be rong but if you will forgive me and not think me inquisitive I will ask you the Question are you engaged. Josie you wanted me to tell you my fortune if I expect you know it long before this for I told you in the first letter after I had it told which was in Jan. I believe and it sid nothing about the Virginia Damsalt no Josie if you was out here you would not think that I would ever marrie a Virginia City Damsal for I have not spoke to a young ladie since I come to this country. Now I expect you will think this veary strange but it is true Josie. I never come to this country to marry no dont entend to do it eather. I am coming back to Dixon before I get that far along in the world. Josie you wanted me to tell you my dream that was so good I cant tell you until I get an ancer to this letter and I know that it will not be long till I get an ancer from my friend Josie. I am glad that you have enjoyed your self so much this winter for I cant say that I have enjoyed my self this winter for thare is not much enjoyment here only around the Saloon and gambling houses and them I don't visit. When you write tell me if thare is any emigration from that part of the country coming to this.

You spoke of Hellen Beckers being married to Leon Moore. I did not know that. I though that Leon was in this country some place. You say the letter you wrote me to Fort Larmie with your Photo. You Recd from the dead letter office why did you not send it to me in your letter this time. You will in your next wont you. Well here it is the 14th of May and it is Snowing hard and has been snowing since last night. The snow is about eight or ten inches deep. Your letter dated March 14th was received May 13th it seems like a long time for a letter to be on the way but the snow has ben veary bad and stoped the mail for about twenty days on the Range between here and Salt Lake.

Please ancer soon and excuse all mistakes. I will write soon and try and do better next time. Speaking about Beckers folks, I have not heard from them since I left Kansas nor dont expect two only by my friend Josie. Dont forget to ancer my questions will you. Direct as usual.

I remain Your Sin Sear True Friend.
Z. D. Mathuss

Dixon May 1865

Dear Friend Zack
I have neglected you for some time and may I again ask your forgiveness. I say neglected, not forgotten. I have thought often I would write and yet could not find time too. You know ere you receive this that I am holding the position of Schoolmarm and I am kept quite busy with my little school of twenty scholars, but it is increasing and with it my labors will increase. I like teaching very very much and have been happy with my school so far. At the end of this week I will have taught two months and yet three more before me that I am to occupy this position. I get home once in two or three weeks sometimes luck favors me and I get home twice in two weeks, but you know the longer I stay away the more anxious my friends are to see me. (that is the way I reason) my school is eight miles from Dixon so it makes it quite inconvenient for me to go home often. I was home last Friday on the cars, and was brought back Sunday afternoon by a friend of mine (ahem). Well Zack when are you coming back to Dixon again and see your Sister Josie. I dont believe you care much for your sister or you would come home sometime. Nor have I heard from you in three weeks. Do please write often wont you? You are all alone out there and of course we would like to hear from you often. There was a young gentleman asked me Sunday if I would not drop all my Gentleman correspondents. I told him no not yours for I wished to hear from you. Nor did I drop any for him. The young folks in Dixon are about all gone. Those that you were well acquainted with. Kent that used to be in Conuroys, is married to Miss Tuttle, some two months ago. I saw Lena Reynolds Sunday. She sent her love to you and told you to hurry home. I am writing this letter in my school room at noon the Scholars are out most of them it is almost time to call school so that I cannot write much more. But will expect letters from you from every mail and do not fail to send your Photo as soon as you get this. (please Please do do) I have more of mine ready now or I would send mine. It is one oclock

Good By (By By)
Your sister Josie Love from all

Know all men by these presents that I WM. E. HAMMER for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred Dollars to me in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged do this day sell and convey to Z. D. Mathuss all my right title and interest in Gulch Claim No. 89 in Currys District East from _______. Signed W. E. Hammer Emigrant Gulch 3d June 1865 Attest: O. C. Kirltz? W. E. Hammer Deed to Z. D. Mathuss, Field for Record 3 June & Recorded same day. O. C. Kint? Dist Recorder Page 112

Dixon, Illinois June 22d, 1865

I rec’d three letters from you lst week how very very glad was I to hear again from my old friend Zack. Yes my “brother”. (what was once) perhaps he now wishes to release himself from that title, perhaps I am not the Sister he wishes for. However if you say so, I will release you. I can give you up although you have been a very good brother to me ever since you asked to be my brother, but I have sacrificed a great deal within the last year and can bear with another. Zack it does not seem as if I deserved so many letters from you (although I love to receive them) because I have been so negligent. Before I commenced teaching I used to write almost every week, but since I am teaching school I am kept so very busy I do really not have time. I have a great many correspondents (too may for my time) that I do not have time to write very often to one. You have been neglected but not forgotten. I will try to do better.

Zack you said you heard I was engaged to a fellow in the Army. Do tell who could be so lucky (unlucky) do you know his name? What were the remarks father made to you which led you to believe I was not engaged? Please tell me all and more too.

Zack you asked whither I was engaged. (rather inquisitive ha ha) of course not. Except I engaged myself to teach School for five months this summer (only that and nothing more). You also said you would tell me your dream. I will be all ready to hear by the next letter so now do not fail to tell. Zack I cannot write any more this eve. Will you excuse all for I have only a few leisure moments to write this in. I have a report make out yet. I have been out riding tonight. I will write again very soon and tell lots more.

Good by write very soon to Josie

Virginia City July 3rd 1865

Dear Friend Josie
I have just returned from the Yellowstone and find too letters in office from my friend one is dated March 30th and other May 31st. Theay seem to be some time on the way but I assure theay was received with the gratest of pleasure and read and rea read. Josie I could not help laughing at the Ida of you teaching School the lat letter I received before I left you stated that you was just on the eave of old maden hood, and then the next letter stating that you was going to teach school. It looks as though you thought that you was on the list of the old maids. Well Josie you need not fear of being an old maid for I know of one young man that will never allow you to be an old maid if he can help it. Of course all jokes are free. I am afraid that I will get a letter some of these daies with an invitation to a wedding. Now Josie, don't get married until I come home for I want to be at your wedding party for I know you will have a nice time. You say you have a school of twenty scholars. I wish I could be thare I would increase it to twenty one. Don't you think I would be a nice little scholar. Josie I hope you will not conclude to do as that young Gentleman wanted you should to drop all Gentleman correspondence for I for one would be veary sorry to have you through aside your correspondence with me for you are the only Ladie correspondent I have.

Josie You want to know when I am coming back to Dixon. I cant say now. I will come in some time when you are not expecting me. I will not be thare in time to visit your school. You can expect me most any time but I don't know when I will come. Time are veary dull here and the Indians are getting troublesome. Theay have murdered some twenty or thirty Prospectors in the Yellowstone country my self and four more was in side of the Indian camp. We dident know at the time that it was Souix Indians theay killed two and wounded another that same day. I Expect to start for Black foote in a few daies. I will be gone about fifteen daies I think and when I come back I will try and get a better Photograph than this. This one is a Harred looking one I think. I would not send it. If you had not begged me to be sure and send it by this mail you will please give my respects to my Sister Lena R and all enquiring friends and if I have any more Sisters thare I send my love. I believe I have one that is a true sister at any rate. I am true to her. I will close hoping to hear from you soon and oftain don't fail to ancer my question in my last letter. Please excuse all I will write again soon.

From your True friend.

Nelson July 5th 1865

Dear Brother Zack
I have not heard from you for three weeks, but you spoke of going away and will not blame you so I will write again and again. May I? I do not want to leave my brother way off there among uncivilized beings all alone, without a letter from Sister Joe, and for that reason I am going to write as often as possible. After this weed I have a vacation of four weeks. Aint that grand? I do not expect to spend my vacation home. Think of going in the Southern part of this State to visit since I last wrote to you I have been down to Rock Island & Davenport. On one excursion from Dixon we went Friday morning, and returned Saturday night 12 oclock. Had grand time “Did not go through Pig Pens” ahum”. We went as far as Clinton. On the car from there down the Miss. River (sixty miles) in a Steamboat. I never enjoyed a ride better. It was splendid. We danced on boat all the way down and up. I did not though. Oh no. Of course not. “ha ha”. Yes I did and enjoyed it hugely. How I wish my Dear brother Zack had been there instead of being way of there among the Indians. Do you remember the excursions to Fulton. Was not that gay? There are lots of the Dixon boys (soldiers) back again and a great many more coming. It is so nice to see those familiar faces again “Welcome thrice welcome brad boys”. I cannot write any more so please excuse and write very soon and often which will very much oblige.

Virginia City August 8th 1865

Dear Friend
I received your kind letter on the sixth but have no hand time to answer until the present. A friend of mine that I crossed the with Died on the morning of the Sixth. He was from Indiana he has a family thare. Your letter was dated June 22nd. It is the only one I have recd since July 3rd. I had almost come to the conclusion that young man had come home and you had for gotten your Brother but since I Recd your letter I have come to conclusion that I was misinformed. Josie I am so glad that you are so good to me as to answer all my questions but I cant answer all of yours now but if I ever see you I will tell you any thing you want to know. And who told me. The young mans name I did not learn. I have almost give up the Idea of coming back this fall if I do come this fall I will haft to come back next spring I think that I will sell my interest in this country by next spring if I stay here. I really would like to visit my friend or sister this winter. I believe that she will forgive me if I don't come back this winter if I will promise to come back next summer or fall. I may come this fall but don't look for me until I come or tell you I am coming. I have not recd the letter you wrote some too weeks before this one I am answering. I will not ask so many questions this time but I will ask some Soon. You say that you will reliece me from the title of Brother and that you can bair with another years sacrifice that is all I will ask is one more year from this time.

Mr. White is here and has ben here Since3 last fall and I never new him until latly. I have seen him frequently but could not place him. Josie I will send a nother Photograph before long please burn the last one I sent you. I beg to remain your Sinsear friend or Brother. Please Excuse all this time as I don't feel like writing to day. I will writ every soon and oftain.

Please write soon and oblidge.
Brother Zack

Virginia City, M. T. August 10th, 1865

Dear Josie
I am conscious that it may be presumptuous for me to address you this note & yet feel that an honorable declaration of my feelings toward you is due to my own heart and to my future happiness. I first met you to admire your beauty and intelligence served to increase that admiration to a feeling of personal interest; and now I am free to confess your virtues and graces have inspired in me a sentiment of love not the sentiment which finds it gratification in the civillis of friendly social interturse, but which asks in return a heart and a hand for life. This confession I make freely and openly to you, feeling that you will give all the consideration which it deserves if I am not deceived it can not cause you pain; but if any circumstance has weight with you any interest in another person, or any family obstacle forbid you to encourage my suit then I leave it to your candor to make such a reply to this not as seems proper. I shall wait your answer either some anxiety, and therefore hope you may reply at your earliest convenience. Believe me dear Josie, with feelings for true regard.

Yours most sincerely, Zack

Nelson Sep 2d 1865

Dear friend Zack
Sitting alone in my School Room. I thought I could not do better than to pencil a few lines to Z. D. What think you? I have but three weeks to teach yet. Then I am free which will be before you receive this humble missive fir it generally takes a month or more to send a letter. I intend going to school as soon as I have finished teaching and be taught at the same school (Dixon Seminary). I am not going to confine myself altogether to the School Room the coming winter. Will take but fue studies and spend most of my time to music, but will not promise that when skating comes. Zack are you not going to try and be back so as to enjoy our skating parties this winter. Do come. I will promise to go skating once with you and then as many times more as you want me, providing circumstances admit. There are ever so many of the girls going away this winter. I shall be lonely. My Dearest friend is going, Mati Woods. She leaves the fourth of this month. She and Sophia Wood and Anna Stedeman are going to Canada to school. Liz McPheran, the two Dement girls, Grace Everett are going to Monticello to school. Ern Kennedy is going south to live, Nina Moore is going to Chicago to live, so you see Dixon will be minus a few of it young Ladies. Our folks intended I should go off to school to this winter, but being away all summer I had no desire for such, and we have very good schools here so that I doubt whether I could have learned any more away from home, but there are lots of girls left yet. Zack what make you ask me such a queer question, and insist upon me answering it. Of course I am not engaged. What lead you to suspicion such a thing. No never thought of such a thing although being reminded of it several times since you left. But I cannot write any more now.

Write soon and often to your Sister. Josie

Dixon, Nov 17th 1865

Pardon my long delay in not writing to you sooner or answering a letter I rec’d from you in September. I am afraid you never will forgive me, for I do not deserve it and therefore will not expect. I do not know (even if I wished to offer some) great excuse to give for my tardiness in the first place. I was so much surprised to receive such a letter from you. I did not know what I should say and then again thought I would not write at all. Never let you know I had rec’d such a letter from you but have come to the conclusion it would be doing very wrong ___ I to act in that way. All I have now to say is this (and if I speak plainly do not be offended). Do not encourage yourself with any ideas similar to the ones you wrote. Let the question rest where it is until you return to Dixon or until we see each other. Then there is sufficient time to consult each other on a question which so much concerns our future. Will you be content with my answer Zack. Hope you may for to me it was a great surprise and would not could not answer any other way.

I have not heard from you since I rec’d that letter. Why don't you write.

I have ever so much news to tell you. I am through with my school and am now attending at the Sem. Again. Am studying this winter Rheton’c? Physiology, Latin, and German and music and painting.

There has been so many weddings this fall I am going to commence and give as many as I remember.

Julia Peacock, Herman Mead, Anna Wadsworth, Charlie Worthington Widower, Olie McKinney, Sam Myres, Manda Hetler, Ezru Becker. Bit I forgot you may have other correspondent that have told you all these. I will stop here. I am writing this in School when I ought to be studying my German. You see the sacrifice I am now making all for you. But I must stop here. I will expect to hear from you often again.

Good Bye, Yours as ever Josie

Home, Dixon, Feb 18, 1866

Long did I wait but not in vain. The expected letter came at last. I did not know but what Zack was provoked at the answer I studied so long over and tried so hard to answer in such a way as not to offend you. But am happy now and my mind once more at rest. To think of the time when you left Dixon it seems so long, so much longer than it really is. I hope it may not so long before we wee you once more in the Streets of Dixon. Zack it would do me ever so much good to see you, and as that is impossible now, why don't you send me your picture. I should so much love to have it. Wont you grant your old friend Joe that little request.

You say you feel proud to have but one Correspondent in Dixon. Have you really so poor an opinion of our people. If you have I shall either feel flatters, or consider your opinion of me cannot be very much perfection, if every body also is of so little importance in your mind. I am going to commence and give you some news.

Mr. James Moore is dead. Nina is in Chicago, Mr. Houses? Are occupying the house of the Deceased. I do not know whether I told you of the weddings or not. Ollie McKinney to Mr. Myres, Anna Wadsworth to Mr. Worthington, Ezra Becker to Manda Hetler, Julia Leacock, Herman Meade. I cannot think of any more now. It has been so long since I have written to you I have almost forgotten what has happened since. The Seminary had an Exhibition some four weeks ago in Union Hall. It proved what the people said “A perfect success.” I represented Liberty in a Tableu. Sang in a Duett, and was in a Dialogue on the Death of Lincoln, “Yesterday & today” was the title. The “Lituary Society” of which I am a member is going to have one exhibition in about four weeks. How I wish when I come upon the Stage, I could see Zack’s face in the crowd. I expect to take several parts in it. Will tell you more after it is more arranged. I never saw the Hall so full as it was at our School Exhibition. There were over one hundred that could not get in. Do you have sleighing in the mountains? W have had splendid sleighing all winter and I have had chances to improve it well. Skating is all spoiled, the snow is so think on it.

But my sheet of paper is filling up so fast and yet I have seemingly written nothing. Please write often and real long letters & remember the Photo.

And your friend Josie

Virginia City February 27, 1866

Dear Friend Josie,
I just arrived in the city and was some what surprised when I went o the office and found no letter from my friend Josie. I received letter from Mr. & Mrs. Holmes from Wisconsin theay say that thought that I was dead some eighteen months ago. Theay heard that I was killed by the Indians. Theay heard where I was from Jerome McKenney. Lion Moore is in Salt Lake I had a letter from him some six weeks since. Josie in your last letter you asked when I was coming home or coming back to the States that is a hard question for me to answer. However I expect to come next fall and I thought that I would come last fall and did not come. It may be the way this coming all but I think not. Josie why don't you write oftain to your friend Zack or have you almost forgotten me. I think if you as oftain as ever I did and I cant why you don't write to me oftainer than what you do. I am going out in the Hot Spring country to be gone about five or Six weeks and when I return I expect several letters from my friend . You are the only young ladie that I correspond with and all that I want to correspond with. I think our winter is about over here. We are having some veary fine wether here and has ben for some time past. I think some of going to fite the Indians at fort Benton the Indians are getting veary bad in the vircinity. Thare is about fine hundred men going from here and Hellena who do you think theay are going to start in the core of six weeks or two month I am almost as willing to go as when I Enlisted in 1861 to fite the Rebs. I would like to take a few scalps to bring Home with me when I come I will come in some time when you are not Expecting me and then....Well I will close by sending my Respect to all enquiring friends and my love to you. Zack

I have that truly loves can never die. Yours

Meadow Creek March 20th 1866

Dear Friend,
As I have a chance of sending a letter to town I concluded that I would write you a few lines to let you know that I am still on the land of the living and that you are not forgotten by me. I will be in town in about three weeks and I will expect several letters from my friend Josie. I have not heard from you for over two months. I have written you four during that time. By the way Josie did you get two photographs from Virginia. You only spoke of receiving one when you answer this tell me and if you did not get both I will send you another. I am making calculations to come Home next fall to see my old friends once more. Give all my Enquiring friends my best. Rigards, we are having some fine wether here at present. It only snows every other day now. The winter has not been so hard. It was last but it has ben so hard that I don't want to spend another winter here if I can help it and I think I can for I will make calcaltion to leave early and I think I can get all Ready by the first of August. If I come home next fall I will come down the River. I think Leion Moore & Rome McKenney will come home net summer or fall. They both write me that they are coming. Jerome is in the mines near Confedrate Gulch. Leion is in Salt Lake City with an uncle of his. I expect letters from both of them when I go to the office. I am going over where Jerome is as soon as the wether will admit. Times are okay good in the mines but every thing keep up its prices. Now Josei please answer this soon and write oftain to your old but true friend. You are the only correspondent that I have in Dixon & the only Ladie correspondent I have any where and all I wan. I will close hoping to hear from my friend soon, and oftain. Please excuse all mistakes and spelling for I am in camp and don't feel like writing. Excuse this envelope for it is all I have out here. And would not write to anyone else but my friend Josie. For get me not, but Remember that thare is one whose mind is constantly on the and only the.

I remain as ever Yours.
P.S. I have that Truly love never forgets. By By.

Home Sunday afternoon April 15th, 1866

Dear friend Zack
I rec’d a letter from you on Friday eve. I was real glad to hear from you again. You were silent so long, but I must not complain I see myself erring too much. I do confess I am too negligent to be worthy to be called a correspond out of any persons but really my time is so much occupied. I have every moment engaged. I am in a Room here there a two and three keeping at a constant chatter and my pen flying at a ___ rate, so please excuse all. I am real glad you are coming Zack this fall. Now do not put it off till a year from this fall as you have done so often. You speak of sending me two Photo’s no I rec’d but one, and that one not good. I don’t think. It is strange that letters will get lost. There are certainly some of mine lost for I write to you oftener than you tell me, you receive them. I wish you would send me a Photo. There were tow festivals in the Hall last week and I acted as last mistress both evenings, had a splendid time. How I wish I could have sold a letter to Zack, but I must not make such wishes which cannot for the present be. Man is going to school to the Commercial School in Chicago, like it very much. Will remain there untill fall. I cannot writ any more this time. Will write soon again. I have an awful headache tonight. Please excuse haste. I am scarcely see the lines. My eyes and head hurt so much.

Write soon and Remember Josie

Virginia City August 12th, 1866

Dear Friend,
I have just arrived in this place and will leave here tomorrow morning for Rattle Snake. I have almost given up the idea of writing any more. I have not had a letter from you since the fifteenth of April. It cant be that you have forgotten your friend Zack or have quit writing to me with out telling me at any rate this will be my last until I hear from you. I hope I have never written any thing to offend you if I have I will take it all back. Jerome McKennie is here with me at the present and Leon Moore is in Salt Lake. He is coming home this fall so he wrote me this spring and as for me coming I will tell you when I hear from you again if ever. I am so luck as to hear from you again I will not write much for it don't seem as though you will answer it. But I hope you may and that soon and give me all the news of Dixon for the past four months. Please write soon and oftain to me. Direct to this place in care of Davis Housie & Co and they will forward them to me. I remain as

Ever your True Friend.
P. S. I sent you a Photograph the first of April I think or about that time but don't know whether you ever got it or not. Please tell me when you answer this and tell me what you think of it for mountain men By By

Home, Sep 1st 1866 Saturday Eve.

Friend Zack
Was quite surprised this eve, when Man handed me a letter from Virginia City. I did not know as there was such a person as Zack D any more. But am glad to know the contrary. Am very much surprised to hear that you have not heard from me since April. I am quite sure I have written since. The reason I did not write oftener, was because you said you were not going to be in the City, and consequently did not know where to direct until now. I will try and avail myself of the opportunity so favorably presented. Yes. Zack I did receive your Photo, and admired it much especially the coat. If you do not soon come home, I fear you will turn wild like the country. They say surrounding objects influence people in such a manner that they are apt to assume habits similar to those associated with them if such is always the case do hurry home. I feel so little like writing tonight. I do not think I can say any thing to interest you so I will say Good night. I have not been well for some time.

Write soon to Josie

Virginia City Oct 11, 1866

Friend Josie

I was quite surprised this morning when I called on Mrs David H. &c and found a letter from Dixon for I thought that you had forgotten your friend Zack. But now I think to the contrary and I hope your letters will be more frequent than theay have ben for the last five months. I think Dixon is pretty well represented in Va City now thare is four boys here now besides myself, Henry Powers, Charlie Ben, Jerome McKenney and the other one I cant think of his name. He came out with Henry Powers. I did not know where Henry was until yesterday when I come in town who should I meet but Henry & Charley. Theay was the best tickled Boys you ever see.

Well Josie I am not coming back this winter. I will not make you any more promises about coming back but you may look for me most any time for some time when you least Expect me I will step in to see you. I Expect to start away in a few days to be gone four or five weeks as soon as I return I will write to again.

You will please Excuse a short letter this time as I have got know news of importance to write unless it would be in regards to love and that is something that don't trouble you in my opinion. Please answer this soon and write me oftain and Direct in care of Davis Housiel & Co. I remain as Ever

Zack D. Mathuss

Bursh Creek Rabbit Dist., Montana Territory Dec 8, 1866

Dear Friend,
After an absence of some two months I one more pen you a few lines.

As I have a chance of sending to the office, I have not heard from you for about three month. Although I think I will when the Barrier of this returns from the office. This place is about forty fives miles north west of Virginia City. I have not ben there for some two months now don't' expect to be for two month to come for now. Thare is an Express running to Virginia once in two weeks so that I can get mail and other things with out going after them. For it is no plesant trip to the city this time of the year through the cold and snow.

I write to Man and send him one of the Montana papers that is printed in Virginia and the Telegraph line is finished to Virginia which is a big improvement to our territory. All the Dixon boys I wrote you was here are gone to Salt Lake except Henry Powers. He is stopping with me this winter he likes the mountain life veary well. I think he has no notion of coming home. I suppose you are having gay times sleighing skating now in the town of Dixon we have both here but don't take the advantages of eather as we have neather sleigh or skates. Our sport is riding Indian Ponies when we want to have a nice time we saddle up our Ponies and write to town in one day forty five miles so you see we make good time horse back riding. We just got the Presidents message I think he is coming down some from last year. Please Excuse all. I will close this time I will write again soon. Direct as usual in care of Davis Housul & Co, Virginia City M. Ter.

I remain as Every Your Friend. Z. D. Mathuss

P. S.
A meary Christmas to my friend. I wish with all my heart and should And may the angels from above her gentle fate contrite. And make her life so susect and gay one long and hapie Christmas day.

Dixon, Dec 16th 1866 Sunday, Morn.

Dear Friend Zack,
Last night we had a very hard snow storm, and this morning the wind is so strong that the snow blows in every direction. I am giving this as an excuse for not being to church this morning instead of writing. It is something very unusual for me not to be there.

I am Secretary in the S. School and of course am always in my place not simply because I feel it my duty to be there, but I love to be there. I do love the Sabbath School. Zack do you go to Church or S. School? I suppose you do not often have the chance but, do you when there is an opportunity for you to do so? I hope you do, Pardon me for interfering with your affairs but you are way off in that wild uncivilized country and you say I am the only lady you correspond with so I take the liberty, you will excuse me, wont you?

Some very great things have been happening since I last wrote by you. Let me give you the weddings first. There always seems to be such great quantities of them here every fall. The first one perhaps I have already told you, Horace Beal, Grace Clay, Annie Upham, Ed Utly, brother John, Katie Tremper Dick Wadsworth Mrs. Tom Eustace. I do not think of any more just now.

Leon has returned. He and Nell seem more devoted than ever, bad enough ___. There is not a day but what they are out either riding or walking, I shall not ask you when you are coming back. I have given up ever seeing you again. A sleigh has just passed. The bells sounded very much like winter, so you remember the ride we took on Christmas? How are you going to spend this Christmas perhaps this will be the best chance to say “Merry Christmas”, We are going to have a Christmas tree in our church, wont it be nice? Why cant you be home? I would put a present on the tree for you, but as you will not se it is not worth while. Zack I received on picture of your but it had on one of those great fur coats, wont you please have a civilized looking picture taken for me. Perhaps you don’t like my language but to be candid you look better in another dress. That will be very pretty to look at when you come back, but while you are not there why not send me a good one. I cannot write any more now.

Good bye. Write soon.
Your friend Josie.

Dixon Jan 13th 1867 Sunday Evening

Dear Friend Zack
I was glad to hear from you once more for I received letter very seldom from you. You seem to be so much taken up with your business around you and very frequently remark about it. But you never tell me what you are engaged in. Perhaps I am rather inquisitive but I have waited four or five years and been corresponding so long, and never have yet found out What year did you leave Dixon in? I scarcely remember. I presume you feel very much better since you have found old friends from Dixon. How did you spend Christmas & New Years? On Christmas I went skating. Afternoon and evening. Christmas eve, I enjoyed very much. We had a Christmas tree in our church, which all thought was very pretty. At least I found some very pretty present on for Josie.

How can you resist the temptation of skating and sleighing. Don’t the people in the City indulge in such pastimes? I should thing your sport would be very agreeable riding horseback. I enjoy hugely.

I have been skating evenings so much that for the last week I have not be able to be out of the house suffering very much from a cold. We have had but a very little sleighing this winter. Zack I am waiting for you to comply with my request. I will tell for fear you may have forgotten. Send me please a real good Photo of yourself. I do not believe you received all my letters, for there are things made mention of in some of my letters that you do not reply too.

Zack did I ever tell you my brother John was married. Perhaps you were not acquainted with him before you left. He is my oldest brother. He married a Miss Katie Trimper from Lena. Her folks are now living in Dixon her father the minister of our church. I cannot write more now. I am afraid you will find difficulty in reading this my hand trembles very much. Man received your papers and letter. Write soon.

And believe me every a True friend.
Josie E. Uhl

Brush Creek March 1st, 1867

Dear Friend Josie
Long did I wait but not in vain for the long looked for letter has come at last. Thare is something rong in the mail for I don't get answers to half of my letters and you are complaining because I don't answer your letters well I am out of the way some but there is chances to send mail every week. You told me before about your brother Johns getting married. I was not acquainted with him although I met several times before he went to California. You want to know what year I left Dixon. It was in 64 on the 9th day of January. Now going on four years a go. But if I am not mistaken I will be in Dixon before the four years are up. You want to know what Business I am in. I am now sinking on some Quartz Lodes, but for two years past I have ben prospecting but since the recent of last November I have ben here. You will see a letter in the Dixon Telegraph from our Lode soon. I have got H. C. Powers with me and the rest of the Dixon boys are gone to California. And Jay? go with them. I have a mill put on the Lode, as I soon as the mill is finished I am coming to see you and all my Dixon friends. We will commence work on the mill as soon as the wether gets so we can. The snow is about two feet deep here now. Our lode is one of the best in the territory. You may have noticed the name in some paper it is called the Walseka Lode in Rabbit District M. Ter.

Well Josie I have not complied with your wish yet for the simple reason that I have not ben to Virginia City since, but I am going up soon and you may look for the photo in my next letter. Now if I have not answered all of Questions I will next time. Josie if thare is any thing you want to know don't be backward in asking me for I will tell you with pleasure when I come home. I will bring you a nice specimen of Quartz showing the native gold and also the native silver and copper which will be quite a curiosity to those who never saw any such oare. I am saving up a nice variety of specimens of the different ___ of Montana.

I will close by sending my kindest regards to all your folks and love to you. Yours as Ever Z. D. M.

P.S. write soon and direct in care of C. C. Housiel, Va City. I sent Mr. Boardman a Montana Post.

Dixon March 4th 1867 Monday Morning

Friend Zack
I really do not deserve to be favored for not answering your last letter sooner. I tried to do better but all seemed working against me. I made several commencements but was interrupted before completed. My sister in law has been sick and also my sister so that I have been quite occupied. Yes Col Jones is married to Miss Phebe Moore instead of Mrs. Phebe Cassel. There has been a number of wedding here this winter probably I have forgotten to tell some. Lena Reynolds is to be married this month some time I believe to Uriah McKenny. You say Harry Powers is with you. I heard he was to be married Christmas was he? I am sorry you have been sick. Hope you may keep well and soon return to Dixon. You said you would send me a Photo of yourself. If I would not let all the girls get married. But save one for you. I will try to do so. So dont fail in your bargain. I will try to get some real nice girl to wait for you, but you must not stay too long for fear I cannot keep her. I doubt whether you will know Dixon when you return. There are so many improvements and a great many strange faces. Zack I cannot write more today. It is time for me to take my music lesson.

Please write soon and often, and don’t forget the Photo.
Your friend, Josie

Virginia City, M.T. April 18, 1867

Dear Friend
I am once more in Virginia City and I have tried to comply with your wishes by having some photos taken but theay are not good but then theay are as good as the Artist can take. I guess if nothing happens you will see the aridginell (original) this fall sure for I have made up my mind to come back this fall if I come back in the spring a gane which I expect I shall I am getting along finley with my Lodes and the company is getting ready to go to wrk with the mill which is to be in running order by the first of august next. I am now making arrangement to have a Smelter put up on a Silver Lode that I have near where the mill is to be put up.

Henry Power is with me yet and Expects to return with me in the fall. He likes the mountain life veary well thinks he will come back with me in the spring if I come. The spring is veary late this year the snow is about six or eight inches deep over at our place yet. We have quit work for the want of timber which we have got to Hall five miles from the mountains and the snow is so deep that we cant get up with a team but I think we will get to work in the ___ of 15 or 20 days. I would have written you sooner but thare is now express at our place now but thare is going to be on started in May next and then my letters will be more frequent and I hope yours will be for now it is most two month since I have had a letter from you. I would ask you for a nother Photo but I am afraid that you would refuse me. Then I would feel bad for I never was refused by you but once and then not positively is that not so. I am going back to Rochester Gulch tomorrow. Every thing is very dull here Except the Indian scare the familiys are moving out of the Gallitain Valey for fear of the Indians. I have promised to bring you a nice specimen of Quartzs which I have got in my trunk waiting to be delivered. I received a letter from Man (Emanuel Uhl) some two weeks ago. He talks of going to New York to go in to business. I wish him good success.

Well I will close as I cant think of more to write and I don't know as what I have wrote will be interesting for you, but you want to know what I was doing and How I was getting along and so I will try and keep you posted in the future.

I remain as every your friend. Zack

Dixon May 19th 1867

Dear Friend Zack,
Last night I received a letter from you in which was enclosed a Photo said to be of Z. D. Mathuss Esq. Were it not for a little similarity about the eyes, I should not know whose Photo you had been honoring me with. Is it really possible you have changed so much? Or is it in fault of the Artist. If you have changed so much probably it would be a wise plan to come to Dixon, before your contenance becomes that of a perfect stranger. Allow me to thank you for your Kindness in sending me the Photo. I certainly should not refuse you a Photo in this letter if I had it on hand. But if you are coming home this fall, you may see the original if you trouble yourself to call. I am glad to see you are looking so well. Hope your health is as good as it appears, for I know by experience that one cannot enjoy themselves when their health is not good. I am enjoying such good health this Spring. I feel quite ____ were you to see me you would not ever believe I ever had been sick.

I think when you and Harry return, you will find many changes in Dixon. Dixon is going to be improved considerable this summer, and there are as many changes in the people as in the place. So many new ones coming in.

Zack, I have some news for you. I hope it may be news. Lena Reynolds and Uriah McKenney were married in March. I was very much surprised. I was to church this evening and it is quite late. Zack do you ever go to church? Excuse the question. We will welcome you back this fall with great pleasure at seeing a stranger friend. But as I said it was getting late. So I bid you Good night and be a good boy.

Your Friend, Josie Uhl

Rochester Gulch May 20th 1867

Dear Friend Josie
Long have I waited but not in vain for a letter has come at last but it has ben on the way for over two months. It was mailed March 9th and I have just Received it and it is the only one I have had for two months sure. And you say don't forget the Photo. I send one about six weeks past which I hope you have recd long before this. But it is a ___ one but it is the best that this country afford but I guess it will do to look at until the originell comes which will not be long I think and I think you will see a whiter fact than that Photo shows. Now don't fail to send that young ladie for me that you speak of for I have sent the Photo and I am coming soon. You want to know whether Harrie Powers was married or not, well he is not that I know of he has ben with me since the last of October last and I think if he had be married I would have known it before this. But Josie if you ever see him in Dixon again you will see a different boy than he was when he left so he has promist me and I think he will live up to it. I mean in regard to drinking. He has quit and I think he will stick to it. I know he will if he stays with me. I can sit my cabin door and look up on the mountain and see snow that is four feet deep and still snowing this the 20th day of May. Dont you think that this is a could country and it is so cold that I must my over coat on. We are having a grate Excellent he now about the Indians thay are Raising troop in Virginia and Helena to go to the Galitan Valiy for the protection of the families thare if I was foot loose I would like to go after the Indians. I think I would have some fun the Indians sway that they are going to exterminate the whites this somer in Montaina. I think theay will have a good time of it. Well I will close as there is a chance to send this letter to Virginia by a friend that is on his way and he is waiting for this note. I will write again soon. I am going up to the city next week. We are getting along veary well with our work. Please write soon and oftain and I will do the same.

Please excuse all.

I remain as every your friend. Zack

Virginia City, M.T. July 7th 1867

Dear Friend Josie
I have just received your kind letter dated May 19th and I assure you it was received with pleasure. I have come in from camp to stay for a month or so in the city. I have got tired of work and so I am going to rest now until I get ready to come to Dixon which will be in about two month or sooner if nothing happens more than I know of now. Harrie is down at camp. I look for him up in a few days. I have been here most a week playing the gentleman.

You want to know whether I go to church or no. To tell you the truth I have not been to church for most two years. Well why because I have not been where I could go for there was no church to go too. But never mind if I come Home this winter I will try and make up for all of my absence. I was very much surprised to hear of the wedding that was the last weddin that I expected to hear of. I am all most afraid that you wont keep that young ladie for me if I don’t come home soon. Suppose I don’t come back this fall cant you keep her one more year for Zack. Now say yes. I know you will if I come back this fall. I will tell you in my next letter when I will start from Benton so as to not surprise my Dixon friends by my return. I can look out of my room window now and see the mountains white with snow. Not more than three nites distant and this 6th of July. I think this mountain country is just the place to live. Now wouldent you like to live where you could see snow all the year round. I know you would if you could go slay riding every day. Well I cant think of any more nonsence to write this time and so I will close hoping to hear from you soon.

P.S. Please tell me in your next letter who there is in Dixon that has returned from Montana with so many nice reports about me. I would like to meet the Gentleman face to (face) for a few Minits.

Please excuse all the pencil writing. I will write you a gane soon.

I remain as every your sincere friend. Zack

Dixon July 28th 1867

Dear Friend Zack,
It has been some time since I have written to you. Would have done so sooner, but have been away from home, and since I have been home, have been quite busy. I am real glad to think of starting for America, by the first of September. If you only don’t disappoint your friends. No doubt you will be glad to come back to Dixon again. You have many friends here, which of course are strong inducements to visit here. You say in your letter that I wont believe you are coming till I see you. That is very near true. I shall not expect you till I see you. You will find Dixon improved considerable since you left. There as been over one hundred and twenty five buildings gone up this summer among which are some very fine stores, factories, and dwellings. You probably remember my telling you of Anna Uphams wedding to Ed Utley. She died some four or five weeks ago. Was married only since last November. Ed had commenced a very fine house. Everything looked bright and pleasant for her future, but poor Anna was called home. She died happy. Ed feels it deeply. I was to the Episcopal Church Friday night. Ollie Myers (McKenney) and her husband were confirmed that evening. About two months ago Jophie Goble and John Wadsworth were married.

Zack I try to keep you posed with the news when I write so you very readily perceive there is not much originality in my letters, but by the time I tell you the news, there is no room for any more. It is almost Church time. I must shorten my letter. Write whenever you can find it convenient. I am very fond of receiving letters from my friends. I will try to write again before the first of September.

Good bye, In great haste, Josie

Virginia City Sept 25th 1867

Dear Friend Josie,
Your kind and welcome letter dated July 29th is just received. The reason why I did not get it sooner is that this is the first time that I have been here for about two month and this is the only letter that I have received from you for near three month. But I assure you that it was received with pleasure. Well the time set for me to start to America has past and I am still here and don't expect to start now until the first of March 1868. And now I will tell you why the time is put off and I know you will forgive me this time for not coming as I agreed.

We have Sold Half Interest in all of our mining Property and cant get all of the money before the first of March and I think by staying here until that time that I can sell the rest of our Property in Montana and then when I come I can stay for I am getting tired of mountain life.

Thare is a larger Emigration for the states this fall from Montana. Harri Powers is still with me likes mountain veary well he will come back with me when I come. I think more of him than ever. He has improved a grate deal since I first met him here. The other Boys I don't know where theay are. We have only had one letter from them since theay left here for California.

The Indian Excitement in Montana is about over and times hard but all kind of goods are cheap to what theay ust to be. Well my paper is veary near full and not much news in it either. I cant write as oftain as I would like now as thare is no express mining to our place now and I have no chance to send letters to the office but I will write to you every chance I have and when I come to the city I will write sum. Please excuse al land pencil writing. I will not make any excuses this time for the Pensil please write soon and oftain to your True friend.
Z. D. Mathuss
P.S direct to Box 220

Rochester Gulch, M.T. Dec 11th 1867

My Dear Friend
Long have I wated for a letter from you but in vain.

The last letter I received from you was dated July 28 that seems like a long time to wait for letter from my friend. I have come to the conclusion that you have forgotton your friend that is so from you and why have you forgotten him. I know because he has made so many promises to come home and still lingers in the mountains. But never mind I will come in some day when you least expect me and then will you not be sory that you forgot your friend. I know you will.

Well now I will give you some Rochester news. Harni and I have Bilt us a nice little long cabin and we are living old Batch. We have got us a dog and a cat and that is the extent of our family. I am first cook and Harni is dish washer and dont you think we have nice times out here than in a store in ten miles of us where we get our Provisions and so we don't go to Virginia as oftain as we did last winter. We have not had any snow yet this fall to stop our work on the Lodes. Our Lodes are turning out well we are still running our Arastra which is paying well. We have a chance to sell all of our mining property and if we do we will surely come back to old Dixon to see some of our friends that is if we are not forgotten all together.

Well I know why you have not written to me sooner is that you have been expecting me in stead of letters is that not so say yes. Well Josie to tell you the truth I don't know when I sall come back you know what all men come to this country for they all come here to make money and that is what I come after. Well I am making some now and why should I leave all to come back when in a short time I can come back with all I want for life. And now you know why I linger in the Rocky mountains.

But you may expect me at any time for I am ___ to come any day.

Please excuse all and write me a good long letter and I will do as well in return.

I remain as every your True friend.
Z. D. Mathuss
P. O. Box 220 Virginia City

Home Dec 11th 1867 Wednesday

Dear Friend Zack.
The last letter I received from you was dated Sep 25th. This is the second letter since knowing the difficulties you labor under when you wish to send letters. I have laid formality aside and do as you desire. I am sorry we did not see you this fall as you said we should, but March is only three months away and then you say you will see Dixon if nothing happens. I shall not say we will expect to see you for when March comes I will expect a letter saying, in the fall I will come and so on. I should not wonder if Zack spent the remainder of his days just where he is in all probability “settle down”. I am glad Harry is enjoying himself. He is a real good boy. I like him, and am real glad to hear he is improving. Give him my good wishes. Man was home a few weeks ago and he says you and H. owe him a letter. I miss Man so much, for I am the only child now and I feel the need of a brother. I wonder of the brother that went out in the territories some years ago, has forgotten his Sister Josie. I have letters from him occasionly but he never calls me Sister. I guess she must have grown tired of her. Ahem. If nothing happens I will go to Indiana this month to visit an Uncle, Mollie Wood has been in Chicago visiting for some time. We expect her home soon. Mollie and I are as dear as ever to each other. I think she has changed a great deal. There is more woman about her. It is getting so dark I can scarcely see the lines. Write when you can. I like to receive letters very much.

Good bye. Josie E. Uhl. I will write again soon.

Rochester, M.T. February 25th, 1868

Dear Friend Josie
Your letter of the first has just arrived and I now hasen to reply. We are having some veary fine wether for this time of the year. I have just got Home from a Dance the only one I have attended in the Territory I believe. I enjoyed my self veary well. I had an interdiction to two young Ladies which is the first young Ladies that I have made the acquaintances of since I came to the Territory. So you can see that I have not paid much attention to society in the mountains and the reason why I did not make the acquaintances of more than two is that theay was the only young Ladies that was thare. The Balance of the Ladies thare was all married. It would of ben called and old folks dance in the states and that is why I went because I will be numbered among the old fololks when I get back. I don't know how soon I will get off for the states. I will rite you when I start so that you will know about the time for me to arrive in the City of D. H. and I are still keeping House but expect to Brake up House keeping soon since I last wrote you I a __ Slay ride with some friends of mine down in the valey and it was splendid. We drove twenty miles and back there was two married couples in the party. Times are veary hard here know thare an no work of any kind being done. We have hade some veary cold and bad wether this winter but at the present we are having some fine weather and if it continues work will soon commence in the mines.

You asked me whether H had changed any since he has ben with me. I can say and speak correct that he has for that was the understanding when he first came to this place with me that he would not Drink to excess anymore and he has kep his work veary well and I think he will keep it. And I am in Hopes that he may not brake his word when he comes back for I know that he loved Mollie And still Loves her but I am not saying this for him. For he don't know that I have ever mention his name in a letter to you. Now I think as much of H as though he was my brother and I believe that what he says he will do with me. Remember don't mention this to Mollie for she don't' like me and she mite suppose that I was trying to find out how she felt in regards to H. Now as for my self I don't believe in making up matches for my one let young folks make up his own Dificulties and love scrapes. Don't you say so. I have not received the Dixon Paper which you have sent me. Papers sent to this country or Territory Hardly ever get through. Thare are not many more of the young Ladies left that ust to be our associates when I was in Dixon theay are most all married off. We are going to write Man as few lines. You will please excuse all mistakes and write me soon and oftain.

I remain as ever your True friend.
Z. D. Mathuss Box 220

Rochester, M.T. March 23rd 1868

Dear Friend
Well here it is the twenty third day of March and Zack is still in Montania. And now don't expect to leave before the Boats come up the river this spring. I now expect to Come down on the first Boat this summer and then stay all summer and winter in the land of sivil lization. I may come sooner if I can get away the company that we sold to has not come up to their agreement with us yet but make fair promises to us. We are having some veary fine wether this month so far. Since I wrote you last I have attended two more old folks dances. Now dont you think I am improving I have ben in the mountains most of four years and have ben to three parties and have ben introduced to two young laidies or was young laidis at the time but theay are boath married since. And I have ben to one wedding since I come to Montainia. I received the Dixon Papers yesterday from you which I am under many obligations to you for theay are the only papers from Dixon that I have seen since I come to the mountains. I believe I think Dixon must be improving veary much to support two papers and theay are booth good papers I think. It seems veary strainge to see what a change thare is in Business in Dixon since I left. There are but a few of those left that was in Business when I was thare or at least it seems so to look over the advertisements now in the Papers. But then I expect I will see a larger number of old acquaintances when I return this summer. You will please excuse this letter as it is written in great haste for the man that I am going to send it to the office by is waiting for it now and he ____ when I go to Virginia. I will send you some Montaina papers as what we have here an old ones please write soon and oftain and oblidge

Your True Friend Zack.
P.S. I will write again soon and tell you when I am coming Home. Z. D. M.

Rochester, M. Ter Apr 19th 1868

Dear friend Josie
As I have a chance to send a letter to the office I will write you a frew lines to assure you that I have not forgotten you. Henry has ben veary Ill for over two weeks. He got hurt in a shaft on one of our mines but he is improving at the present. For eight days and nights he was out of his head and I was afraid that he was not going to get well but he looks favorable now. I think he will come home as soon as he gets well. I don't think he will able to get around much for two month.

And as for me coming back I will not make any more promises now as we are Having a Quartz Mill put up on one of our Lodes which will be in running order by the first of June and then I cant say what I might do. But I think if you would answer one question which I asked you about two years a go that I might come to Dixon in a short time and I may come any way on purpus to get an answer. Which will be the best way for me to do dont you think so. I know you do for you told me so once. I received letter from Tiler Smith last night which he give me some Dixon news in but it was the same that you have give me long ago. I think it is about two month now since I received a letter from you but I expect one from you by the next mile from Virginia City. I have just ben looking over all of your letters to me since I made your acquaintance in 1862 (since that time I have received) 33 (letters and notes which I will bring back with me when I come to Dixon or to see you. I don't mean that I will bring them to you, but that I am going to keep them and I don't want to leave them here for fear I may not come back again. Well I think I have wrote a nuff nonesence for one time and so I will close by asking you to write me oftain and oblidge

Your Truly Zack
PS I am muc oblidged to you for the papers which you sent me. I will send you some montania papers in return when I go to Virginia the first of the month.

Yours Z. D. Mathuss, Virginia City, Box 220

Home May 11th 1868 Monday, P.M.

Dear Friend Zack.
I received a letter from you today which not withstanding I was disappointed in the letter. I shall at once answer it. I say I was disappointed instead of getting the letter that would tell me when you start for home, I rec’d one that says not one word of coming. True, I don’t want you to promise again, till you are sure of coming. Then you will not arouse my expectations. I am very sorry to learn that Harry is so sick. If it is not too late when you receive this, give him my regards, and sympathies. Man says Jerome McKenney has returned. I have not see him.

Our winter weather has past and we hope that spring may not long be interrupted with cold winds and rain, as it has been. Monday Morning 18th Zack, please excuse my interrupted letter. Since I commenced this letter we have been tearing up and settling down or housecleaning. Been very busy so that until now I have had no opportunity. I should have written to you before but you said you were coming in March so that ever since the last of February I have not dared until for fear it might be lost, for I expected you would be on the road home. You said if I would answer a question you asked me two years ago, you might come. Zack, you have been out in an uncivilized country for so long, that you may have changed very much from what you were when I saw you. You have sent me no pictures but the one taken with a fur coat on an din that you resembled an Indian more than an American. No compliment, Is it? Neither do I wish you to come back that we may become better acquainted and think no of the question nor answer for the present. Don’t you agree with me? We were well acquainted once. But that was almost seven years ago, when we were young. I especially, so that there has been room for many changes since. Zack don’t consider me bold or inquisitive, but I would like you to tell me your age. I did know it once but have forgotten it. I will send you an account of the Festival we held here the last of April. We realized after expenses were paid two hundred and eighty ($280) dollars. Quite a help to our sewing Society which is working to pecure funds, to aid in furnishing the new church. Zack please excuse the appearance of this sheet. I have been in such a great hurry. Will write soon again and try to do better.

Please write again to your Friend Josie

Rochester M.T June 19th, 1868

Dear Josie
Your veary kind letter of May 18th has just come to hand and I now hasen to reply for it has been so long since I heard from you that I had all most come to the conclusion that you had steped off with some nice young man. But I am glad to learn that you have not and that you have not forgot your friend Zack. And you say that you don’t want me to promise to come eny more until I am sure of coming and I will do as you wish. Harrie is yet (part of letter is destroyed) fast and I expect he will start for Home in the course of two or three weeks but as for me I don’t know when I will come perhaps he can tell you when he gets there for I don’t think that I will set a time to come again until I am all ready. The Mill is finished and is running on our Lode and we expect to do well.

I am glad to hear that Jerome McKinney has got Home safe. Times are veary dull in Montania this summer on account of the scearcity of watter in the mines. There are a large number of mines out of employment. Well you want (part of letter is destroyed) my age. I will be twenty five years old the 12th of next November and now I suppose that you will allow me to ask you the same question of your age. I think I know but I am not sure. And I will do as you request of me. I will come back some time not for the answer alone but that we may get better acquainted with each other. I have got every note that I ever received from you. Both in Dixon and in this country and will keep them till I see you. I have got two Photographs of your self and I have sent you two of mine since I left Dixon for this country. Yes I have sent two from (part of letter is destroyed) and send (part of letter is destroyed) the first time I am up town and expect one in return will I get it or not. Say yes for I know you will. Now please write to me soon and oftain for it is a grate pleasure for me to receive letters from you.

I remain as every your true friend.
Zack Mathuss, Box 220, Va City, M.T.

Home, July 27th, 1868 Monday Afternoon

Dear Friend Zack,
It has been a long time since I have heard from you. Yet I will undertake to write again fearing through some Postal difficulties. Our letters do not reach each other as promptly as they should. Harry Powers arrived here last week. I have not yet seen him. Do not know whether he will favor me with a call or not. I hear he is looking well would like to see him. Am sorry you could not have so arranged it that you could have come along. Hope you may soon be willing to leave behind the uncivilized country and return to a portion more congenial to your own mind. Last week I returned from a visit to Freeport, Had delightful time was gone nearly four weeks. Do not feel much like keeping quite since my return. The friend with whom I visited were very kind which added much to the pleasure.

I am very much obliged to you for giving me your age. “Turn about is fair play”. I must now tell you mine. I was twenty one the 22d of last March. Getting quite old aint I? I feel so today. I have caught cold and feel the effects of it today. The weather has been so insufferably warm for the past month until a few days ago. The nights became quite cool then is when I took my cold. Hoping to hear from you soon and often I will close. Good bye. Ever your friend, Josie Please excuse the short and uninteresting note. I have made so many mistakes I have not the courage to continue. Will write again soon. Take good car of yourself, and be a good boy.

Is the desire of your Sister Josie

Helena, M.T. July 28, 1868

Dear Josie
After a silence of three weks I once more write you a few lines. I expect that you have heard from me by Harrie before this time. He left here on the tenth of this month and I see by the papers that the Boat he went down on arrived at Sun City of the 22th which would give him ample time to be in Dixon before this time. I have just arrived here from Rochester. I will be here about a week on business and then will go to Virginia City. And when I get there I will write you a few lines and send you a Photo. And then I will expect one in return will I get or not. I think I will times in our camp in good the mill is running every day. Henry will give you a detail of this country if he don't I will when I come. I write to Harrie by this mail. Harrie was not well when he left me. I come this far with him but I hope this letter will find him in good Health and enjoying him selft in old Dixon for unless Dixon has changed veary much since I left I know that the can enjoy him self thare for it is the nicest place that I ever lived in for enjoyment and society and I expect to see some of Dixon yet if I ever get out of Montania or the mountains. I don't care which you may call it eather is Bad enough don't you think so. I know you do. Please write me soon for I have not heard from you for five weeks or now. Please excuse a short letter.

I remain as ever yours. Z. D. Mathuss, Va City, M.T. Box 220

Va City, M.T. Aug 17th 1868

Dear Friend Josie
Your veary kind letter of July 27th is before me and informes me of Henry arivill in Dixon. I am glad that he is looking well for he did not look veary well when he left me in Hellena. I all so received a letter from him by this mail but he says nothing about his helth and he tells me that he has not called on you yet but wood call on you soon which was my last request of him when we parted in Hellena. I am expecting a nother letter from him before I leave town and than I expect to hear from you by him and all the news in jenerll around Dixon. The mill on our Property here is doing well and I think of coming back to America to make a call my self. How will you like that - Henry thinks of stopping in Dixon again or making Dixon his home and if he does I am in hopes that he and Mollie will make up this old spat and get married for I think that that is all that will get Henry settled down for I think all the world of her and I know it all though he keeps still about her to me. You will please excuse a short letter this time. I sent you a photo of my self not long go and will expect one of yours in return. Will I get or not. You will eather see some one or hear some news soon after the arivill of this note.

I remain as ever yours Z. D. Mathuss Box 220 Va City M.T.

Dixon, Aug 19th 1868 Wednesday 11 o’clock P.M.

Dear Friend Zack
Many thanks to you for the letter I received a few day ago, saying “enclosed you will find my Photograph according to promise”. I thank you for the letter not the Photo. I was however considerably amused after taking the letter out and reading it. I picked up the envelope again and looked all over and through it but found nothing that resembled the Phiz of Zachariah.

Zack I thought I could finish this letter tonight so that it could be sent tomorrow but I am so sleepy I must beg off, for your own as well as my benefit, for a sleepy letter will do credit to no one. So I will bid you good night. Pleasant dreams.

Thursday P.M.

Oh Zack! You are cruel. I wish you could have seen me when I opened your letter received today. You would not wonder at my calling you cruel. Your Photo I received today, for which receive my thanks. But Zack you have changed wonderfully. I scarcely could believe my eyes. Of course as soon as I saw the envelop I know that contained the Photo that the other did not, and when the envelop was opened the first I did was to find the picture which I did and while looking at it was preparing myself for a treat which would be in reading the letter not looking at it while unfolding it. I had got my mouth all fixed to read, when Lo! And behold I held a Blank paper before me. I was disappointed and could have scolded just a little if you had been here, for not writing or for sending an envelope so far with out a word in it. I shant be so cruel.

The Sabbath School Convention met here this week closed last night. It was very interesting and instruction eminent men from abroad were here. Dixon is not lively now. There seems to be plenty going on there are a number of the old girls that used to live here visiting here now and for this sake there are evening parties, tea parties visits &c &c to claim ones attention.

I have been to one day picnic, two moonlight picnics, one party at Mr. Utleys, One tea party, since the fourth of July. Aint that doing well? Am invited to another tea Party this afternoon at Mr. Woodfords, will go if it does not rain. Sophia Wood is visiting here. The improvements in Dixon are not very extensive this summer. But what there are, are very nice. There are two new churches going up. Lutheran and Catholic, two new schoolhouses, which will added much to the appearance of the town.

Our new church is not going to cost as much as the Catholic by fifteen thousand but it is going to be the nicest Prodestant Church in Dixon. They are going to try and have it done by winter. The old Church is sold for school purposes and next Sabbath we begin to have preaching on the Courthouse. Won’t that be gay?

Harry says you are coming home this fall. We will be glad to see you, but I don’t’ expect you until you start.

Zack your letters of late are only about two weeks on the road. The letter you wrote Aug 4 I received on the sixteenth (16) no not two weeks only eight days. Railroad is a vast improvement it usually took four to five weeks.

I am making a very long letter. I cannot send you a Photo now, as I have one. Am very much obliged for yours.

Write again to Your friend. Josie E. Uhl

New York City Nov 2th 1868

Friend Josie
I am still in the city. I have ben here seven days and expect to be here the most of this week. I think likely I will get back to Dixon next week but cant say what day nor that I will be back next week for when I leave here I have got to stop at Cleveland Ohio for a day or per haps more. I cant tel yet. I will not get off the Montania as soon as I expect when I last saw you. I called on Mollie Wood and delivered your note. I think Mollie is about the same girl that she was when I last saw her in Dixon. I will try and get you as far as Chicago next week at eny rate. I will be in Chicago for a few days and I hope to me you thare if you drop me a letter at Road & Cadies. I will get it but if you are in Chicago I will find it out when I get thare you can write to me here in care of McAndrew and Wann 40 & 42 Broadway New York.

I am as ever your friend. Z. D. Mathuss

Zack D. Mathuss
Dixon, Lee County Illinois
Home Nov 24th 1868 Tuesday Noon

Zack, I received no note from you this morning and supposed you did not arrive at Dixon till this noon. Am very sorry for I very much wanted you to spend this afternoon with me. I am going to the Society at the Parsonage, but will come home at four o’clock. Will you come up then? I want to talk to you and cannot say all in the time limited. Call & please come sooner than five. That is if you love me.

In haste, Josie

Salt Lake City Sunday Morning Nov 29th 1868

My Dear Josie
We arrived here this a.m. We are going to hear President Young Preach this after noon. We would of left for Montaina tomorrow morning but the agent of the Express Co, sent my trunk west on the California Stage by mistake and now I will haft to stay until Wednesday morning. Oh. How I wish you was here with me to go to church with us and tomorrow we are going out to the hot springs. I know you would enjoy it so much. Mr. and Mrs. Wann stands the trip nicely and are veary nice company for old People. But I would rather have your company than eny one elces I know in this world. Josie now write to me oftain for I assure you it will be more pleasure to me to receive letter from you now than ever I will write you again from Virginia and oftain afterwards.

I remain as every yours affectionaly. Z. D. Mathuss

One who thinks of you constantly

Home Nov 30th 1868 Sabbath Afternoon

Dear Zack,
This beautiful day found me at Sabbath School and Church, and now at the very pleasant task of writing a letter to one who has promised to think of me very often, and of course I do not doubt the sincerity of his words. I miss you very much more than you would think for we have not been together very much, but you were never so far away, but that I could hope to see you soon. Now you are a great way off liable to dangers all the while and even tho you escape a year is a long separation Don’t you think so? And yet I would not ask you to make the trip sooner for it is a long and expensive trip.

Since you left I attended the Presbyterian Festival on Thanks Giving night, had quite a pleasant time, went with Mr. Hunt a young gentleman here.

Zack you once said that when a young lady was engaged she had to sacrifice a great many pleasures. Did you mean that I should? Now I do not think it necessary for her to deprive herself from gentleman Company, especially if her betrothed is not here. If he is, then the preference should be for him. If she truly loves him she would not prefer another. What say you to that? Your Journey is no more than half over. I shall wait very anxiously for a letter from you. Then I shall know your Journey was a safe one for I am weary all the time. Your stories of the Indians and other terrible people is enough to alarm a faint heart like mine. This week has passed quickly to me. I have been busy all the time. We have had a great deal of company, and that keeps one busy. One week ago tonight you were with me and I told you those cruel works which made both of unhappy, but we will not think of that. Our thoughts now will be on the bright future when we hope to be together again and that for each others happiness. It is getting dark and I will not write much more. Let me hear from you soon. Of course I will get a letter before you receive this, for you will write from Salt Lake. May Our Heavenly Father protect you is the Prayer of Your Own Josie

P. S. I wish you were here to go with me to church tonight. How many such wishes do you suppose I will make before I see you again.

With love, Josie

Dixon Dec 7th 1868

Dear Zack,
I received your short, but very welcome letter last night, dated at Salt Lake. I was so gad to receive it for now I know that part of your Journey has been a safe one, and you have not been sick. So much of the fortune teller is false. I confess I was a little alarmed when you complained here of not feeling well. Did I cure you Zack? I hope I did. Am sorry you are delayed, but it will be a chance for you to rest. I presume you all needed it. I am sure you do not wish more than I do. That I could be with you. I have wished so a number of times since you left. Of course the circumstances would be different, but I think we would be happy, don’t you? There was a wedding in our little town last week. Nettie Kimball to Charley Cropsey. They went to Boston and New York on their wedding trip, aint that a nice trip? They had a large wedding. She received some very pretty presents especially from her husband. I expect to have my hands pretty full for a few days. Our church has an Oyster supper on Tuesday evening, and I have lots to do of course. I always do on such occasions. I wish you might be here. There I have just been intersupted and I will close this and write again soon. This is my second letter in not quite two weeks. Aint I doing well? Write to me soon Zack, for I am anxious to hear your safe arrival at Rochester.

Good bye Dear and write soon to Your own Josie

P. S. My paper is scarce excuse scraps. J. E. U.

Salt Lake City, M. T. Tuesday Morning Decber 1st 1868

My Dear Josie
As I have a surpulis of time this morning I will write you a fiew lines. Mr. & Mrs. Wann or Warm and my self visited the hot springs yesterday and the Theater in the evening which was veary nice. The play was the Marble Hart and I think it is a nice play. This afternoon we will visit the Mormon Temple. We have the privilege from one of the leading members who will go with us. We are stoping at a Morman Hotell they treat us veary nicely. Oh how I wish I was with you or that you was with me. But you know I did not advise you to come for Montana is two ruff a place for a ladie.

We will leave for Montana tomorrow morning at six a.m. and arrive in Virginia City on Saturday Morning if nothing happens us. I have got my trunk all rite. Now don't fail to write me oftain and I will do the same. We are having splendid weather. I dont need eny over coat here. Give all the family my love and don't foret the one who thinks of you constantly. When you write me tell me how Harrie Powers is getting along as ___ as you can. I remain as ever your Truly.

Z. D. Mathuss

P.S. I will give you the name of that Perfummery it the Double Extract Bouquet Jocky club

Virginia M.T. Sunday Dec 7th 1868

Dear Josie
I am safe in Virginia. We have hade a veary nice journey. We are having some cold wether since we left Salt Lake City. I will go down to Rochester on Tuesday. I will write you again soon after I get home - I mean Rochester. As every yours

Z. D. Mathuss P.S.
My regards to all write soon and oftain to Zack

Rochester, M. T.Dec 12th, 1868

Dear Josie

I am once more at my Cabbin home. I will commence living this afternoon. I am having a female house cleaning the Mr. Warnns and wife are here with me now but they are going to Va city this P.M. We are having some splendid wether now. I am going up to Va City on Wednesday next to lay in my winters provisions. Thare are some Boarding houses here but I can cook better than eather of their cooks my self. Now I don't know as this letter will interest you much but I thought you would like to now how I was living and how I was going to like this winter. Mrs Wann was veary much disappointed that I come back with out a wife and by the by Mrs. Wann wants you to send me a nother Photograph like the one I haiv for her album and I will send you one of hers for yours. She is a veary nice laday and if you ever meet her you will agree with me. And now don't fail to send the Photo. The mills are both running nicely. Mr. Norton will be my companiont in the cabbin this winter. He is from St. Louis a veary nice young man I think. Rochester is quite a Place since I left here. Thare are over fifty good cabbins in the Baisone and when I left thare was only about 10 counting the mill that was here when I left. After I get fixed up in my cabin I will write and rive you all the Perticulurs of my way of living and sute of living. Mrs. Wann will move from Virginia down here in about three weeks. Mr. Wann is Bilding a cabbin. I think I told you abut them while in Dixon thay are not the Wanns that come out with me. I have not heard from you since I left home but think I will surly on Monday which will be our next mail. We have three mails per week from Va City. I will write you oftain.

As ever your friend. Z. D. Mathuss

Home Sabbath Evg. Dec 13th 1868

My Dear Zack,
I have been to the Sabbath School Concert this evening, came home talked until ten o’clock, when father thought it was time that Children were to bed, so off I started for my room, but could not possibly think of sleep till I had written at least a few lines to my Zack, way off in the wilderness alone by himself. No one to comfort or care for him. But never mind if Zack is bent on spending the rest of his days in the mountains, at the end of a year he must come back after a certain one here who will promise to comfort and care for him. I have been real busy this week have not even taken time to improve the good sleighing which we are now having, but we have a new cutter and a good horse and I will make up for last time this week. I had one splendid ride last week, which answered for the whole. On last Tuesday evening Our Church held their Oyster Supper and did well. The attendance was good. We cleared one hundred and twenty Seven ($127) dollars. Don’t you think we did well? That kept me busy. And on this week the Cemetery Association have a Support & Concert and I am to help sing in the latter. So you see there is not much liberty for the week ahead. I declined Singing, but they would not let me. I am tired of these public performances. I have had so much of it to do lately. Zack my wood in all burned (I mean all that is up stairs) and the room getting cold. You will excuse a short letter wont you? Write to me soon. I have rec’d both your letters from Salt Lake but have had none telling of your safe arrival at Virginia City. I trust you are there. My folks wish to be remembered to you and I with love. Am Your own Josie

I have not seen Harry since you left. I guess he has gone away.

Good night. Josie

In my Cabbin Dec 14, 1868

My Dear Josie
Your loving letter of the 30th of Nov came duly to hand this after noon and I assure you it was read and re read by the one who thinks of you constantly. We are having some delitefull wether here for this time of the year. Infact it makes me home Sick. If I was in Dixon now I know Montana would not see me this winter sure but Im here now and I will make my stay until I leave for good or to stay. I wrote you a note by last mail and sent you a Paper it was a Democrat Paper. I suppose you will not object to reading it on that account. I will send you one every week or so. I will not send them all Democratic though. I will send the Montana Post Part of the time. Mrs. Wann me with a serious accident on her way to Va City from here on Friday. She fell from the wagon and put her sholder out of Place and was badly buzed otherwise. She is not able to be out of her Room. I wish you was acquainted with her. She is such a nice lady. Your will please not forget the Photo of your self for her.

I received a letter from Harrie Powers today and my Photograph all so I will enclose one for your. Three weeks ago tomorrow after noon I left you and truly it seems as if it was six month but never mind if I live keep my helth. I will come back next fall. I will not say next summer for I don't want to disappoint my dearest friend. Now Josie I hope you will not wait for me to write but write to me every time you have can find time for you know that I will appreciate your letters more than __ can tell. I will case hoping to hear from you soon and oftain. I remain as ever your admirer.

Zack D. Mathuss
P.S. In regards to keeping company with young Gentlemen I have no objections of corse I don't wish you to deprive your self of eny pleseues of life just becase you are engaged to me.

Yours Truly Zack

Rochester, M. T. Dec 21st, 1868

My Dear Josie
I was veary much disappointed this after noon when the mail came in that I did not get a letter from you. But I will do as I wish to be down by. I will write to you. I have only received one letter from you since I got back to Montana and this is five that I have written you. It is snowing out tonight and I have got to go to Hellena on Saturday to be gone for a ten or fifteen days and I am afraid I will find it a ruff trip. It is about one hundred and twenty miles from here. I am going the trip on horse back. Don't you wish that you was here to go with me. If you don't I do and I know you would enjoy it veary much. If I stay in Helena over ten days I will write you while thare. I see by the Papers that the Pacific Rail road is Blocked up and I think that is the reason why I did not get a letter from you by this mail. When you answer this Please tell me whether Henry is in Dixon or not and what he is doing as well as you can. I had a dream about you last night which was pleasant. I dreamed that I was in Dixon with you at your fathers house and that we was to be married in a few days. And that you was coming to Montaina with me or we was going on a long Journey at Eny rate but I could not tell where. You will not fail to send me the Photograph for Mrs. Wann. She is much better. I wrote you about her accident on her way home. Her Husband arrived in camp this after noon from Virginia it is the first time he has left her since she was hurt.

Now my dear I want you to write me oftain which I know you will. I will close hoping that this may find you well and enjoying your self. How is Mollie Wood and her fellow getting along and what does Mollie say about what I told her while in Chicago the last time. Now don't forget the one who thinks of you day and dreams of your by night. I remain as ever yours sincerely.

Z. D. Mathuss

Virginia City, M.T. Dec 25th, 1868 Cristmas night

My Dear Josie
I have spent the day with Mr. Warms the couple that came out with me and couple that was here. I am now in the Parlor all alone and oh how I wish you was with me. Theay had a splendid Dinner today. When I wrote you last I did not know that I would be here today but nothing would do but that I should come up and spend the Cristmus with them and take the stage here for Hellena instead of at Jeferson River. And now theay have made me Promiss them that I will get back to Rochester in time to take dinner with them on the third of Jan which is the 18th anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. Warm (Wann? - I just cannot tell exactly what this last name is!) marriage. Mr. & Mrs.Wann are going to move down to Rochester next week. I am much oblidged to you for the letter which I received last evening at eleven oclock. Just in time for a cristmas Presant and I assure you that it was received with as much pleasure as Eny Presant that has ben given this day.

Mrs. Wann told me to send her love to you the next time I wrote to you and tell you to be sure and send that Photograph for her. Most of my friends here think that I am surely married and theay will not Believe but what I am. I have met severell old acquantences here since I came back. I forgot to tell you that none of my fortune had come to pass. I was not veary well on the way from Salt Lake here and I did meet an old friend on the stage that I had not seen for most six years. Wht do you think of that. Now my Dear write me oftain and tell me all news and how Mollie is geting along with her Harrie. Give all of your folks my love. I wish you all a merry critmuas and Happy New Year. I leave here at eight oclock tomorrow morning for Helena. I will write to you as soon as I get back to Rochester or my Cabin Home.

The letter I received last night was dated on the 7th and was an ansuer to one I wrote you from Salt Lake. I wrote you two at that Place and I cant say how many since but I know you will ansuer them all wont you. It is now 11 oclock. I will close hoping to hear from you soon and oftain. Good night and Pleasant dreams. As ever yours Truly.

Z. D. Mathuss Rochester M.T. Via Virginia City

Dixon, Dec 27th 1868 Sabbath afternoon

Dear Zack,
I received a letter from you a few days ago, telling of your arrival at Rochester and your Cabin Home. I think I should like to get a peek at you while at housecleaning. It must be quite a take considering the large house, and so much furniture to arrange. I wonder you are able to do it yourself. You must have been very tired, and also very glad when you once more reached Rochester. No doubt your trip was a very pleasant one, but I was surprised at your telling me you had received no letter from me yet. This is the fourth letter I have written since you left. Have received three from you. I thought I could have a nice treat for you when you arrived at your home. So only four days after you left I wrote to you thinking it would get there before you as you laid over at Salt Lake and Virginia City. Suppose of course you have them e’er this.

Well Zack how did you spend your Christmas? Was it a merry one to you. I spent mine at home in the fornoon, and skating in afternoon. In the evening attended the Baptist S.S. Anniversary. On Christmas eve we had an entertainment in our church for the children at one end of the church there was a platform raised and on that we had a little grove of little trees and a very pretty fountain. It was all lit with little wax tapers so that the effect was beautiful. Presents were distributed at the church. Would it interest you to know what I got? Well Santa Claus brought me a very pretty watch case, a bead basket, a set of silver tea spoons and salt spoon (so much toward housekeeping) also a set of coral Jewelry and a very pretty bouquet. The spoons were from par and the Jewelry from Man. And on last night a little to late for Christmas, but t’was meant for it, I received by mail, from a friend of mine in Albany N.Y. a copy of Evangeline (by Longfellow) very nicely bound. You see your Josie, was not forgotten by her friends in your absence.

It has been snowing most all day, so that sleighing will improve. But skating will be spoiled. Perhaps I can get my cold cured then. It has made me feel quite miserable today.

Last week Sophia Wood was married and a grand affair it was. There were a number of the Chicago aristocracy there and quite a number from Dixon.

Now Zack, about that Photo from Mrs. Wann. I would like to know how she came to know about me. Has Zack been telling her that, he has claims upon a certain young lady here. That photo is the counterpart of that same person. No matter if you did. You say she is a particular friend of yours. Of course you have a right to if you see fit. I am flattered with her interest in me for your sake, and will send you another as soon as I have some printed, but do not wait for mine. I shall be pleased to receive hers soon. It is getting so dark I can scarcely see where I write. I wish you were here to go to church with me tonight. I received the Paper you sent me. Found the notice of your arrival at R. I was a little surprised at the name of the paper being the democrat. Is that your choice or is it the only one to make choice of?

Zack have you felt any symptoms of homsickness yet? You spoke in your letter of Mrs. Wann moving down to R. that will be very nice for you. You will not be so lonesome, but I did not suppose that she after living in such nice style in Virginia could content herself in a cabin.

Zack I have just returned from church, heard a good sermon. I wish you could say the same to me sometimes. Dear Zack will you not whenever you have an opportunity attend preaching. It may not always be convenient but Zack you will never regret it and I will have great cause to rejoice, for Zack my daily prayer for you is that you may receive strength from above, to resist all temptations and that you will eventually gain not only worldly wealth but an inheritance above, which ___ not away. I hope Zack not to tire you with Religion, that is not my purpose, but my interest in your welfare prompt me to do it.

It is getting late and my paper is full. I wish you would write me such long letters. I hope this wont tire you if it does tell me and I wont write so much next time. Good night Pleasant dreams. A Kiss.

Write soon to Your own Josie ----------------------------------