Historical records matching Egbert Starr Newbury, I, founder of Newbury Park, CA
About Egbert Starr Newbury, I, founder of Newbury Park, CA
Egbert Starr Newbury was born on September 8, 1843, in Allegan, MI. His parents were Reverend Samuel Newbury and Mary Ann Sergeant Newbury.
Egbert served in the US Army during the Civil War, and was honorably discharged as a private from Company A of the 44th regiment of the Iowa Infantry on September 15, 1864, after having served the full 100 days for which he had enlisted. (See documentation of his discharge.)
Name: Egbert S Newbury Residence: Dubuque, Iowa Age at enlistment: 20 Enlistment Date: 5 Nov 1864 Rank at enlistment: Private State Served: Iowa Survived the War?: Yes Service Record: Enlisted in Company A, Iowa 44th Infantry Regiment on 01 Jun 1864. Mustered out on 15 Sep 1864 at Davenport, IA. Birth Date: abt 1844 Sources: Roster & Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of Rebellion
Hearing that the climate in San Francisco would be good for the serious throat ailment from which he suffered, Egbert traveled there from his home in Dubuque, Iowa in about 1869. He became acquainted with Frances Kellogg when before his family moved to Dubuque, when both of their families lived in White Pigeon, Michigan. Later, once he’d been living in Santa Barbara, Frances traveled to California to teach mathematics at a women’s college that was later to be called Mills College, in Oakland. Egbert met Frances’s boat as it came into the port of San Francisco. Their courtship was speedy. They wed in San Francisco a short time later.
A year or so later they moved down the coast to Santa Barbara, where they shared a house they called their “cottage by the sea.” Determined to make a home and a living for his family, Egbert purchased 2,200 acres in the Conejo Valley a few miles east of Santa Barbara, and about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Here Egbert established a sheep ranch. To get mail, Egbert had to ride on horseback for a day. Once his house was completed, and Frances joined him, he petitioned the federal government to let him create a post office at their residence. They also maintained rooms for overnight travelers at what was first called “Newbury’s Stage Stop,” but which later became known as the town of Newbury Park.
Egbert borrowed money to buy the land, purchase livestock, and the construct a barn. (See a photo of the barn taken in the 1870s.)
Then came thirty months with only three inches of rain. This long period of drought was so devastating to the ranch’s profitability that Egbert was forced to abandon the venture. With his wife and two sons, he returned to Michigan in 1877.
Egbert’s sister Frances married John Judson Bagley (born 1830, died 1881), who was governor of Michigan for two terms, from 1872-1876. A very wealthy man, Bagley’s principal business in Detroit was the manufacture of chewing tobacco. Frances N. and J. J. Bagley had eight children. Upon Egbert’s return to Michigan, Bagley helped him obtain employment as a traveling salesman for Pingram & Smith, a Detroit shoe manufacturer, but Egbert’s health declined, aggravated by Michigan’s severe climate. He died on February 10, 1880, in Detroit, MI, at 36 years, of tuberculosis and was buried in Jackson, MI. Frances’ father and the Bagleys supported Frances, Egbert’s widow, and her children after Egbert’s death.
Read a memoir written by Egbert’s aunt Jeannette Sergeant Ames Rice in 1883, titled "Tales That Have the Rime of Age." Jeanette presented the manuscript as a 60th birthday gift to Frances Newbury Bagley. It describes their experiences in the 1830s, when Jeannette accompanied Frances’s parents — Reverend Samuel Newbury and Mary Ann Sergeant Newbury — when they left their homes in western Massachusetts and moved by wagon, train, and boat to the Ohio River valley; and later to Indianapolis, and then to Dubuque, Iowa. [Michael Delahunt edited an old typescript of this memoir, and posted it at <http://www.artlex.com/delahunt/Tales.3.pdf>. It includes a longer account of Frances N. and J. J. Bagley’s life. - MRD, 2010]
In the 20th century parts of Newbury Park were occasionally used for filming Hollywood Westerns for television and the movies. It is now a portion of Thousand Oaks, CA. The Janss Corporation purchased 10,000 acres in the early 1900s. Janss eventually created plans for a "total community." Absorbing Newbury Park, the City of Thousand Oaks was incorporated in 1964. Although there is still a postal area called Newbury Park, what was Egbert Starr Newbury’s 2,200 acres covers much of what is now downtown Thousand Oaks. Its city hall is on land that was part of his ranch in the 1870s. Conejo County’s historical society operates a museum – the Stagecoach Inn Museum, 51 South Ventu Park Road (near Newbury Road), Newbury Park, California 91320 – an element of which is a replica of the house Egbert built in 1874. The museum’s URL is http://www.stagecoachmuseum.org
In 2006 the museum published a book about Egbert and Frances, "The Newburys of Newbury Park," written by Miriam Sprankling with Ruthanne Begun. The book is hardbound, 80 pages, 9 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches, has both color and black and white pictures, ISBN 0-9725233-3-2.
Along with the story of the Newburys’ pioneering experiences, the book contains accounts of some Newbury ancestors and descendants, including photos of some relatives who have visited the museum in Newbury Park.
The publication of the book was made possible through the financial support of one of Egbert's great-grandchildren, Gibbs Newbury Roddy (email@example.com) of Concord, Massachusetts.
[I corresponded with Gibbs and Mrs. Sprankling during the writing of the book, shared scans of family pictures and information with them, and helped to edit the text. - MRD, 2010]
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Following are two letters Rev. Samuel Newbury sent to his wife Mary Ann in May of 1860. Parts of the letters touch upon Egbert, and his need to read and write more:
Detroit, Mich., Sat. May 19, 1860
My Dear Mary Ann
I feel inclined to employ my lonesome moments this forenoon in commencing a letter to you I have finish and mail it next Monday or this day. I have not yet left the house since I came not feeling as well as usual and it is cold and rainy without. I shall try to go down into the city this afternoon. We expect John home today. Frances was much tired out by her journey and the calls and excitements at Jackson but she feels much better this morning. The children are as happy as larks and give their mother no trouble. Emma is thin, quick, guardian and helper. Franny has another very good girl in the kitchen. Saml is busy and I should should think steadily increasing his business and yet I should not be surprised if he yet went to Chicago. This question will be settled however within a few weeks. I hope and think that he will remain here, but he thinks he can make more money at Chicago, says he shall not go there until that is made certain. If however any arrangements are made here for Egbert, he will probably decide to stay here or at least that would affect his determination somewhat.
Frances of course opposes all projects for Saml's going to Chicago. Told him yesterday, if he want, she would go too. I wrote a postscript in Saml's letter to you yesterday and enclosed your two dollars which I hope you have received. I shall expect to receive a letter from home by Monday. Good bye till Monday.
Monday May 21. The Sabbath is past. Saml and I attended Dr. Duffield's church yesterday morning. Rain in the evening prevents my going out. It rains hard all night. Hope you have some rain at Dubuque. I have been quite unwell since I have been here so that I have not been out at all. My [ ] trouble [ ] terribly night and day. I feel a little more comfortable to day. As to my future course I am wholly at sea and more in doubt than ever.Saml opposes outright my going to Ohio and John opposes my having anything to do with the [agevry?]. He thinks it all "pop cock." I am wholly undecided what to do. Hope the question will be settled this week. Saml wants us to take a trip up to Lake Superior for my health on a fire [srap? not sloop]. But I am too anxious about home [or how?] to do any such thing at present, unless I have [or hall] some money to [ ] home. I shall however try and see that you are kept in market money. Saml has quite an increase of business lately last week that will soon yield him some money. I hope you will write me every day or two and keep me posted as to all matters at home. I shall remain here for several days yet. How long I can not tell.
Monday, Detroit, May 28,/60 My Dear Mary Ann Your very welcome letter of the 25 inst was received this morning. I was much relieved to hear from home, had begun to be nervous not hearing last week. I expect to leave here Cleveland tomorrow evening. enclosed I send you five dollars (5$) for Mary Woodbury, the balance of the fifteen dollars I had of her. Ten dollars I sent back to her from Duluth[?] by Egbert, which he of course gave her. I also enclose two dollars for yourself. Saml and I attended Rev. Mr. Hogarth's church yesterday morning and evening. He is a fine preacher, the best in the city. He reminds me of Rev. Trowbridge. Rev. Hogarth inquired particularly after Bro. Trobridge, and wished to be remembered to him. Saml is very popular here. His business is steadily increasing. Lockwood & Clark this morning put some new business into his hands, had him appointed receiver of the assets of a firm that failed. It gives no money now, but will when the matter is finally settled. Saml has nearly abandoned all idea of going to Chicago. Franny wrote you last week. She and the children are quite well. John is full of politics, is terribly disappointed that Seward was not nominated instead of Lincoln.
Saml received this morning a very long and interesting letter from Robb, or rather from "Pat" as his signature was. Ch. J. Eire[?] advanced Saml fifteen dollars on the Kirtland[?] note as he holds the security of Kirtland[?] in his hands, seven dollars of which is enclosed in this letter, the balance for my own expenses to Ohio. I wish Egbert [nearly 17 years old] to give special attention to the practice of reading, writing. Have him read alone every letter mind from every source till he can read readily any handwriting. Let him spend hours in this practice every day. And I wish him to devote at least one hour each day to writing so as to be able to write a good business hand. Then two things vis: writing and reading writing are absolutely indispensable to his obtaining a clerkship of any volume. A plan will soon be obtained for him, but John says it will depend on his writing and his ability to read writing readily. Please hand the enclosed line to Mr. Allamy[?] without delay.
From your affectionate husband, Saml. Newbury
P.S. I will write soon after reaching Cleveland. Much love to the children. Mr. Story, whom you knew in Jackson just called and wished me to remember him to Mrs. Newbury. S. N.
Source: The original letters, handwritten in ink, are (2011) in the possession of Michael R. Delahunt, whose transcriptions of them are posted here by him.
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Following are several letters Egbert Starr Newbury wrote to his relatives in Dubuque, Iowa, between March 1872, and march, 1874, during the time he was living in Santa Barbara, California, and on the ranch land he bought and occupied during that period. These letters include Egbert's description of his wedding to Frances Kellogg in San Francisco, and their life on the El Conejo County Ranch, in what became known as Newbury Park, California. Conejo County Historical Society, and its Stagecoach Inn Museum, 51 South Ventu Park Road (near Newbury Road), Newbury Park, California 91320 has (2011) a much larger collection of Egbert's letters, and transcriptions of them.
sender from location date recipient(s)
Egbert Santa Barbara March 5, 1872 Sisters Egbert Los Angeles March 21, 1872 Kittie Egbert Santa Barbara May 23, 1872 Kittie Egbert Santa Barbara June 7, 1872 unnamed Egbert Santa Barbara June 22, 1872 May & Russell Egbert Santa Barbara November 21, 1872 little Sister Egbert Santa Barbara July 27, 1873 Mary Egbert Glen Oak,
El Conejo Ranch October 5, 1873 Kittie
Egbert Santa Barbara October 24, 1873 Kittie Egbert Santa Barbara February 24, 1874 Kittie Egbert Santa Barbara March 29, 1874 Kittie
From Egbert S. Newbury, Santa Barbara, March 5, 1872, to Sisters Kate (Kittie) Robb in Jackson, Michigan, and Frances (Frank) Bagley in Detroit. Black ink on lined paper, entire: 10 1/4 x 8 1/8 inches, one leaf folded to form 4 pages.
[embossed on the stationary: an oval wreath of leaves around the word “CAREW”] Santa Barbara California March 5/72 Dear Sisters,
I have just returned from a Mondays trip — Sunday I rode down to church, the first time since I have been up here. Dr. Phelps family were anxious I should come there to dinner and though I had several invitations, I accepted theirs as I had rather slighted them (at least they thought so) I found it very pleasant there and as it was very warm I occupied their spare room and spent the night. So I proposed yesterday to Miss Carrie Phelps to go and ride, and on her cream colored pony, and I on my “Gray”. We started off six miles to the “India Orchard with the variety of loosing [?] vail saddle turning getting thrown etc. etc. we reached the place in safety, picked and ate all the oranges we could filled our pockets and home we galloped through the “Cathedral of Oaks” over the bright soft sod of the foothills, affording us fine views and great sport. After dinner we played croquet with Miss Mills and Miss Harris of Minneapolis until six oclock when the purple tints of night tinged the distant Island Mountains off at sea and the bright glow on the waters bid us a quiete repose.
Today we were going out to Col Hollisters (to see about sheep) but the morning opened out rainy and foggy so we gave it up and after I had called around to cheer up my disconsolate “Hotel” friends I rode home to find them worrying not knowing why I did not come home from church and all very glad to see me judging by the way they came out to meet and greet me as we heard of the rattle of the ponies hoofs and the “Bobwhite”.
But the grandest reception I receive when I “go to town” I almost imagine I am a Yankee prince “and hero as it you always feel so well” they all say. “I can tell you by your quick step on the stairs – none like it here – and that nock means life” They say they miss me more than a dozen ordinary persons and I guess it is no puton for they hold on to my hands and “will not let me go”
They certainly do look awful gloomy. The old “stand bys” have gone or changed and there is not the daily throng coming and going. I find by comparison I am “distancing” my friends child & ordeal badly [or is that ‘child and I eat badly’] (or goodly) in the great race for life. While they are hardly able to be out walking or riding in a carriage I am riding from five miles a day on a lively prancing mustang.
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Los Angeles, March 21, 1872, to Kittie (Kate) Robb, in Jackson, Michigan. Black ink on lined white paper; entire: 7 3/8 x 10 1/8 inches, one leaf folded to form 4 pages.
Los Angeles, Cal March 21, 1872
Dear Kittie, Here I am you see. I have not had a shake of the hand from old ague yet. I am in the land of oranges and lemons now sure enough. Acre upon acre of trees loaded down with the golden fruit – indeed the “golden state” I rode along on horse back and when I felt like refreshing just pick one off above my head. Though in the city they sell for 5 to 8 ct a piece higher than in SF or SB. __ Mr Oge [?] & wife came down here ten days ago and the trip made Mrs. O. so sea sick Mr O wrote up to me to drive his horse with buggy down as I was coming so they could return by land. So I got Mr Child to go with me and I took “Tip” and when I got tired in the saddle hitched him to the buggy which made it pleasant for me We rode down 110 miles in two days through a lovely barren country until we reach thirty miles of this place. I shall remain here and about going to San Bernardino sixty miles east to see the “lay of the land” and spend two or three weeks probably ont the trip before returning to SB. I don’t like this place as a place for health, quiet, and good society __ as well as SB. Not near. The place does a larger trade with Arizona with teams of twelve & fifteen mule power each, and the place is the extreme of western & California turn tobo [?] Settled up with Jews Mexicans Spanish & c the former do much of the trading. I am stopping at the “White House” but am glad to say not in the “B… room” I weighed my self to day the first time since I left San Jose when I had got down to 142 now I can say I brought down 146. Better than I anticipated as I have not been as well for a few weeks but think I will ride off the reaction My lungs have been some tight … pressed tuoie [?] not as good. It does “beat thunder” how I can keep in such gend [?] flesh & physical indurence [?] and otherwise be so troubled. I think it will be just the thing for me to get a rancho & hurd sheep, and I am now looking up ranjes [?] to buy or rent Mr Child has sold out his business and I think will want to join me.
I am on the road no to mary’s Arizona but I don’t think it prudent to risk that wild country I had as soon risk myself in a pich battle. Oppi [?] our “White House” is where they had the Chims mob & hung the Chmarnu [?!] and most any time you can see the native women brick batting each other. Almost naked & wild as they can be. This is certainly the hardest place I ever laid eyes on and smells to one end to the other so you want to hold your nose. The air is harsh and not as good as SB. It seems to bad such beautiful fruit should so grow with the native that are here. I am seeing wonderful sights and so varied since I left home. In c dMary’s letter of Mch 5 & two bundles of papers also a line from John. … And a letter from Mrs Laye[?], All of which will answer soon. Lovingly, E. S. Newbury I sent SB Press to Agusta Larned [?] & Louis M Alcott Mrs Ira [?] W Bend [?] Jr Mrs Vanduze & c what the peace: You may send my pear ing so I need not use this apt[?] racing as need
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Santa Barbara, May 23, 1872, to Kittie (Kate) Robb, in Jackson, Michigan. Black ink on what-was-probably-lined white paper; one leaf, two pages, 12 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches.
Santa Barbara, California May 23, 1872 Thursday morning At Howard W. Mills
I am back safe and sound. I have traveled 400 miles – 10 days of the fifteen days in the saddle – I am surprised when I come to figure up where I have been what been through. I had two “sick spells” – one bilious turn at Mrs Jacks at “Chamann [?] Rancho” The worst I ever had last Friday evening, but I put that flannels [?] on my stomach and was all right next day __ rested and Sunday I rode over 50 miles – Monday after leaving San Luis I had another “lame time” of it laid up half a day & then got on my horse and rode forty miles. Came into Ballards Station 45 miles from here by moonlight and yesterday came through there arrived in time for supper – nothing to east since breakfast. I came over the mountain range [on] a road seven miles long – up & down – winding around in every direction & through the roughest kind of places. The Mtns are covered with flowers and heavy foliage and the valleys around golden with the cut grain in stacks and musical with the rapid reaper. Brooks were everywhere singing their praises and birds their songs. The sheep lay quietly under the trees resting as they get up at 4 oclock in the morning for breakfast and rest through the day, and the cattle were lounging around the water ways. Bands of horses were prancing over the valley and eagles soaring above our heads. The squirrels chirp on the rode side and “swifts” [?] shoot across our path & even the rocks & trees & serpents slowly c… through the dusty road. Quails run [scur?] off at every turn in the road & antilope run before us almost out of sight & about face” & come whizzing by close enough to shoot with a pistol.
The air here seems cold & raw by the side of the interior, when I was at “Chamaine [?]” N. E. of San Luis and S. E. of Monteray Counties it is very warm. The air was very soft and truly balmy. So I had my coat off all day. The next day after my arrival there I walked out to one of the sheep camps for a morning walk and & back by noon. Eight or nine miles. Do you think I would even entertain such an idea in Dub [Dubuque] with this t [temperature] at 85 or 90, as it was here. So you see by any works or acts I am master of considerable much – physical endurance – I lack very seldom, and raise very little. Am in full habit. Still my right lung pains me occasionally and sometimes raise some blood. Tho I feel perfectly strong and not weak or used up & gone as I used to. Eat hearty, sleep sound, talk some. Write considerable & do considerable acting with my hands & expressing with my features. I imagine I work about as you remember that little Levi boy that was dumb. Everybody thinks I am deaf as well, which affords me considerable amusement sometimes. One day I stopped at a station & wrote down for something & handed [it] to a young lady & she said “yes thank you.” I handed [it] to another maden, leaving the first one chagrinned & she was so excited hardly stopped to read what I wanted but said “He wants something to eat. Get a lunch quick.” I left her also crest [?] fallen & turned to the matron Mrs. “Smith.” She took the paper with the dignity of a judge & went to work to study half a dozen words (written as plain as print) as though she had a mathematical problem to solve. I cannot rest, so go to the kitchen & pantry for what I want & before they knew it, or gather their senses I am out of sight. They say “poor man” deaf & dumb & sick & such a good looking man.” The Chinese think I am a queer [?] (“Amelican” man) I guess you think I don’t worry myself much about it or, as much as I should perhaps, at all events I don’t stop to lament but get all the comfort out of a very trying difficulty. I have no faith in docering [doctoring?] and never did “go abut [all out?]” on Doctors any way [The text ends here at the extreme lower-right of the second page of the leaf. There is neither an additional page nor a signature to confirm that there was originally more to this letter as I suspect, or that this is its intended end.]
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Santa Barbara, June 7, 1872, to an unnamed recipient, probably one or more of ESN’s sisters. Pencil on three small leaves – six pages – torn from a bound book of lined paper, each leaf is blue-lined horizontally, and also (for record-keeping) with four columns formed by vertical red lines; each leaf 6 1/8 x 3 7/8 inches.
“Unlucky” Friday 9 AM S. B. Cal. June 7, 1872
One week this afternoon at 3 OC [o’clock] since I was hurt, and I have lain on my back without moving. Mr. Kelly has just sprayed [sponged?] me off in water & whiskey. I am about as helpless as an infant. Since I wrote you they have been busy finishing up the bandages & tomorrow or Sunday will be dry enough for me to get up. I have about 100 yds of bandages one three inches wide. This diped in a paste of glue & lard, & wraped on commencing around the base of the foot, laping 2/3d’s & so continued up around my body just above my hips. First there was put one two layers of cotton then three layers of these heavy dressing bandages & after each layer paint on a heavy coat of the paste & dry by bags [?] of hot sand & ironing then comes heavy past board splints one inside & one outside enclosing my limb. Then follows two more layers of bandage which make a case nearly as thick as your finger and as stiff as if made of sheet iron. I cannot use any of the joints, not even the hip you see. The operation of streaching my limb consists of what is called “counter extension.” A [9?] long strips of sticking plaster are put on my back and my chest & the ends nailed to the top of the bed which holds my body up firm. Then a pail of 25 lbs of shot hang from my foot through a pully at the foot of the bed. This keeps my limb streached out in the proper length. The fracture is in the shape of this [drawing of a leg with an s-curve drawn through it above the knee] You cannot lay this to sickness or inf… [?] as I was on an old Ami [not army, but?] saddlehors of Col H. I had on a simple snap bit. As soon as I got out of the stable the horse stoped perfectly still & I pulled on the bit a little to one side to turn him when he arose right up on his hind legs, lost his balance & went right over backwards & came down on me. As I went over I thought I was crushed as the horse was very large & I don’t see how I escaped. He rolled over me & jumped up and ran off. A China boy got on the went right aft all right [Hunh?!] There were two gentlemen here from Washington & we were all in the “buss” at the caning [carring?] house after dinner. One of the W. men was little … & Col H. asked Mr Longdon [?] to go up the canyon for Doc Winchester and L. asked me if I w’d like to go. I said I was always ready for a tramp & he sent the horstler [?] off in the field after what he supposed to be the best saddle horse. The only way I can account for the horse acting bad is that the “sire” of belly bund [?] was bucked too tight, & he had not been used very lately. As the accident happened before the eyes of most of them they immediately picked me up. I holding in my arms the powerless limb like a quarter of mutton. I had my pluck & nerves up high & told them what to do until the Dr. came. It is four miles to his house. I had my clothes & boot cut off & laid out on a cot. There was no bruise anywhere & no pieces of bone & I had the bones so firm in place the flesh was not irritated & did not I will at all once or twice after the Dr. came & he room[?] commenced to get little “shady” as I relaxed my nerves & drank a sip of water & was all right. I was under the influence of ether fifteen minutes & the Dr. had on “extension” bandages, pully & c [et cetera]. Thus it ws for three days while I suffered severe pain & bachache & slept none for three [?] days and was so restless & sore on my bones it seemed as tho I w’d die. I have been very costive [?] for a week or so & nothing w'd move them until yesterday. So now I am feeling much better. Got used to laying still on my back to eat & sleep a little better, but now the limb has commenced to nit together & heal & it seems as tho I w’d tare it to pieces but cannot get at it in this tight jacket & bandaged up solid. I am just one bunch of nerves wh [which] take more will than I have to control. Sometimes the nerves will jerk up the pail of shot, but the worst I think is over. I am in the best of hands. Col. H. hire his physician by the year & he lives right here. Much a head of any in S. B. He buys anything his abundance does not furnish & Mrs. Brown [?] Col. N. [H?] sister fixes my meals & feeds me as I lay on my back. They all divide time with me and seem to think a great deal of me.
Jennie the little cripple girl of 10 years goes on crutches & picks bogurt [?] wreath & c [et cetera]. Mr Kelly from S.B. has been with me all this week constantly & others come out every day. I get along without anyone up at night now but three [or there or then or ?] men [or?] lay on beds next door for me my up to any time. Tomorrow I will get up on my crutches tho I cannot sit down except in a very high chair on one hip, but can lay around and change my position. It will take three weeks for the bone to nit together. When I suppose will go off the “…[?]” covering but it won’t be safe to use my limb Dr. says under three or four months. But so far everything has been very favorable. I shall remain right here & we will see here sleeping quiet about the lungs. [?]
These large ranches are institutions by themselves. They get up here a dozen meals every day. Farm hands. Chinese, girls, family, Children & c 30 men at work, two houses all furnished, blacksmith and carpenter shops and every dozen or so famiies have a school house & church. Think of the extent of eleven leagues this size of the “Conejo” 48,400 acres & more surrounded with high rocky amyrs [?] with rolling hills & one small range of Mt groves of live oak, deer, rabbit, bear, & c [et cetera] all in this little county about off by itself you might say, now occupied by Spanish with 3000 sheep cattle … living in … houses. There is 10000 acres of valley farming lands adapted to wheat. Wouldn’t a steam plow have fun there [here?]. Springs brooks and streams abound, to sea ward we can ride up on top of the arye [?] & have the grand old ocean all before us. There is free hospitals, and abundance about Cal. I like. Liberal to extravagance sometimes. [?]… comes easy & grows [?] easy & all the time is spent in pleasure seeking. One day as a whole year and the whole year the same as today.
E. S. Newbury
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Santa Barbara, June 22, 1872, to May & Russell (Robb), in Dubuque. Pencil on lined white paper; one leaf folded to form four pages; entire: 8 1/8 x 10 3/16 inches.
Col. Hotlesters Rancho Santa Barbara, Cal June 22, 1872
My Dear May & Russell, or Russling [?] May and Mayday Russell Annabel See [Sec?] Eugene Hubert and fair C…?… I cannot write you each separately but will with a pencil faintly, as if whispering to you let you know by word and deed direct to you cutting up a lot of extra pranks that you have been holding for this glorious opportunity and improve the day “while the sun shines” before you know it there may a storm come. But then they will not harm you much, they used to tell me it would make me grow. Aunt Nettie writes she has “gone out to grss” with two of you, and E. [Eugene] says his beating all the boys playing ball (or his nine [? or ruin?]) and I imajion Annabel making herself proficient on the piano in her writing and reading and Celo [?] bubling up are all as much [?] everywhere
Did you see a “lame duck”? You have probably heard of them, at least. Well that is what they call me, perhaps it would be nearer the truth to say “lame goose.” Probably you never saw anyone with their leg broken right off as you would brake a stick of wood into, that is flesh and all, only the little bone way inside is broken as the heart of a stick of wood, where in some woods the strength lies. So that my limb bent over the same as if I had another joint halfway between my knee & my hip. So I am “extra jointed” I was fixed up about as I remember of doing to a chicken I had that broke his leg once when I was about as big as Eugene. I wrapped cloths [?] around it, and put little pieces of wood along the place broken and then wraped those on tight and after a long time the bone grew together & the lame chicken – not duck this time – was livelier then ever. Well that is the way it is with me, only I have cruches to help me now.
While I sit or lay in my willow lounge on the porch of a house way out here on a little hill close to the great Pacific Ocean. I want to tell you what I see to interest you. First before me is a large flower garden full of bright beautiful flowers of all kinds, but here comes the grass hoppers, not one by one as you see them at home but “showers of them.” They look like a shower of snow or cotton from the cottonwood trees flying through the air in clouds as thick as those bees when you frighten them around the hive & these grass hoppers are very hungry and eat all the time as they march on [munch on?] and very soon they will eat every thing up as they have now large fields of oats and beans & corn. And they have a good deal to eat as I have seen the oats here as high as my pony so I could tie the tops over the saddle and wheat too and the corn grows so high that I cant see over it on horse back. But then when you come to get the grain, the real good out there is not much more than there is when there is not so much “chaff” as it is called.
Speaking of bees, they have them wild here in great quantities. Men go out in the hills & in a little while bring home any am’t [amount] of honey. The bees make their hive in trees & they cut the limb, or tree down & smoke the bees & so get the honey and it is the very best kind. I bot some while in Colorado last year & paid a high price for it because it came from Cal. And was so clear and sweet. Right down to the beach in front of our house is what they call a “whale fishery” where they catch those large whales that spout water, that you have seen in the pictures of or read of, and the Bible says Jonah lived in a whale’s belly three [?] days. I should think he would have no ... month an four to six feet I should judge on each side & open like the head of a hogshead. There is one laying down on the beach below here. & at one of the stores they have got a whale’s ribs one on each side of the door & they reach from the ground to the roof of a one story house or about fifteen feet long & bent about [on a bow when reads to chest brow?].
I walked outside in the yard this Sunday “afternoon” on my crutches so I am feeling better & feel as happy to get out as a bird, or prisoner from jail.
Well here I am at the end of my sheet of paper and as supper is ready I am tired writing laying down & must say good by. With a kiss all around from your affectionate uncle, Egbert Starr Newbury
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Santa Barbara, November 21, 1872, to “little Sister” — Nettie, as named in the second paragraph. Black ink on (what was originally lined?) pink paper, one leaf; entire: 8 x 10 1/16 inches, folded to form 4 pages.
SB Nov. 21, 1872 My dear little Sister,
I suppose Kate has sent her letters to you so I will not repeat what I have written her. I wrote Kate a “birthday letter” last Saturday of eight pages of “fools cap.” Full of interesting matter to you I guess, as well as myself.
To continue my story, Fannie is still lovelier and dearer to me than ever. I supposed weeks ago I thought as much of my precious Fannie as it was possible, but I find every day I have greater powers of love. We know not what we are capable of until we have our talents put to use. I have often imagined, or tried to, the happiness of two hearts united in love to each other. We that are perfectly devoted and have perfect confidence and trust and both very affectionate. But I find I knew very little about it before. I can now begin to realize what it was for dear Kittie & Pat to be separated. It seems as though it would kill us both if one of us should be taken away. And I think Nettie I can more than realize your disappointment as my strong powers of affection and devotion have been more than returned, as both of us have been perfectly united to each other. And you know what heights the Newbury blend (or Sergeant) is able to attain to. And Fannie’s disposition heart and feelings are as near like Kate’s as any person I think c’d [could] be. Each day we grow in strength of loving unity.
Wednesday morning Prof. Patzken [Putzker?] of the College came over for Fannie to take the place of Miss Weston. She having resined, and as the position she came to take was not ready she accepted this in the “Intermediate” department at $50.00 a month with board, washing, etc. She had given up teaching anyway, but as this place must be filled at once and she could as well fill it for the present as not and seeing she came out here for that purpose, we thought it best for her to take it for the rest of this term which ends at “Christmas.” The place gives her a good home & more independence than staying here at Mr. Mills. She is on the same block and gets out of school at 4 PM and our back gate is very convenient for her to run over home. We have decided it is not best to go to housekeeping on account of the extra expense and care and confinement. Still it seems cruel to rent or sell that pretty little “Cottage by the Sea” where we could have such a pleasant home by ourselves. But I must look at these things in a common sense, practical way & not rose colored and visionary. I can rent the cottage furnished as it is for $40.00 a m’o [month] which will be an interest of 30% on what the place cost me $1,300. & the help that I will need with expense of living added to what I c’d [could] get for the place would make it too expensive for a poor man like me with out money except what I borrow here at 18%. So I will take my rent & what I would have to pay for help and that will support us both & leave us free to go & come as we wish.
You ought to write me often. Write often (if short) and take pains Nettie. I want you to open a correspondence with F. [Fannie] She writes a splendid and perfect letter every day. [way?]
This paper came from Florence in a very handsome writing case from her I suppose Jno [John] is happy now. I have not heard direct from Detroit by letter since June. I believe though Frank is a good true sister & loves us all.
Affectionately & trusting brother with many kisses, Egbert Starr N.
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Santa Barbara, July 27, 1873, to his sister Mary. Black ink on one lined leaf of paper folded to form 4 pages; entire: 9 7/8 inches.
SB July 27, 1873 Dear Sister Mary, It is so long since I have written you I am at a loss where to begin. I sent you a paper with the notice of our marriage on the 9th at S.F. and also a photograph of Fannie and now you can think of us no longer one at the College & the other out on the ranch but both together in our rooms at the little Cottage. At present we are stopping at a large private boarding house, but our “Cottage by the Sea” will be as empty the 5th of next month when I expect to move in. I repainted the inside of the house before I left for S.F. put down the bedroom carpets you sent in the box & got everything in order to live but rented it for a month while I was gone and I wanted to try boarding for a few days to decide which was best for me to do. But I very quickly decided I could not live this way and more expensive to pay $80.00 a month board besides though my cottage rents for half that amount. There I have plenty of room for all our things, a stable for horses & wagon, chicken yard & all the conveniences and above all our own little home to live in as we wish.
I left here on the 5th and reached S.F. on the 7th Monday after a little sea sickness but the cool air and spirit of the occasion is rather the cheering spirit of the one “all together lovely” brought me out as my real self. I found Mr Stebbins and family just starting for their new home on a sheep ranch 36 miles below us (P.O. Ventura, Ventura County) and of course they were all torne up though they invited us to go to the theatre Tuesday night to see Southern play “Sam” – Fannie stoped with her aunt Mrs. Samuel A. Chapin where we were married Wednesday at 1 1/2 PM her cousins Samuel Chapin & Nettie Tubbs standing up with us. The ceremony was performed by Dr. Stone, as pleasant a man to act in that capacity as I have ever met. There was no “fuss & feathers” & nobody present besides Mr. & Mrs. C. & family & her daughter Mrs. Tubbs & family. Mr. & Mrs. Stebbins was unable to be present for which I was very sorry. We simply had a little cake. A little of one kind I sent to Nettie the brides loal [bride’s loaf?] was all used up & carried off. Fannie was dressed in her traveling suit a drab valoure [velour], very handsome & we both wore a pretty tint of lavender kids [kid gloves]. I wore broadcloth coat, white vest and beaver pants. At 3 o’clock we took the train for S. Jose where I spent two months when I first came to Cal. Where we staid two days. Then took the stage over the mountains covered with emence cedars & redwood to Santa Cruz on the coast 35 miles. Here we passed a few days very pleasently with Fannie’s cousins Mr. & Mrs. Karner[?], gathering mosses & riding about one of the oldest & pleasant towns on the coast. Wednesday we took the stage again to Pescadaro a pleasure resort from S.F. a charming little place where there is a pebbly beach, moss & shell beach. We got a lot of the beautiful pebbles & took the stage again over high mountains to San Mateo & RR back to S.F. About a hundred miles on the RR & the same on the top of stages the latter rides were grand & beautiful. We had one day in the City before we took the Steamer Saturday the 19 for this place & arrived here all right a week ago to day. All our friends were down to meet us and it being Sunday the largest propo[r]tion of the town people were there also & so endith the short wedding journey of your far away brother and we settle down to real married life.
Tuesday I left for the ranch to see that all had gone right there. I have a man engaged to look after & take all care of sheep & ranch until Nov. 1st so I shall not have to spend only a part of my time there & it will be pleasant for us to go back & forth. I left Fannie at home this time & was only gone three days. Also visited Edith & family on the Ojai Ranch (pronounced as if spelled Ohi) near Ventura which is half way between SB and Conejo. She looked forlorn enough as it had been hot & they are back from the sea breeze & have had to work hard themselves trying to get settled. Mr. S leave[s] soon to be gone several weeks after his sheep which will be awful lonesome for her. Belle Large is to be here the 3rd next Sunday but goes right into school Monday. I am glad we succeeded in getting Belle a place it will be so pleasant for both to be so near each other. I wish Net. [Nettie] was strong & able to take a good position. I could get one for her. We have [Meryan? Mryon? Merjru??] from Trinity Ch. Brooklyn to play for us in ch & teach music & S.B. seems in every way to be in a prosperous condition & very attractive. I must go now. More anon. Thanks for your two letters long ago read and read with much interest. I wrote to …?… a long time ago and hope she has not forgotten me. Fannie will write Nettie more particularly about wedding etc. This is the first letter I have written east since we were married. Cant you write Fannie a good long letter[?] I want you to get acquainted & not get or be separated in that way. With much love to all the children and friends, I will answer Mrs Large letter before long. With much love, from bro Egbert
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Glen Oak, El Conejo Ranch, October 5, 1873, to Kittie (Kate) Robb, in Jackson, Michigan. Black ink on one leaf of lined white paper; entire: 9 7/8 x 15 7/8 inches, folded to form 4 pages.
Glen Oak El Conejo Ranch Cal. Oct 5th, 1873 Sunday night
My darling Kittie,
Your good dear letter of Sept. 17th I received at S.B. a short time since. It did me good to receive so long a letter and in such good spirits. We have all got the Father’s energy & perseverance under all sorts of trouble even death staring us in the face. So I think we will outlive many of our stronger and healthy looking persons. I cough all the time more or less, and raise some [blood], and can eat more & endure more & look better than most persons we meet. On the 15th of Sept. three weeks ago tomorrow I went to Doc. Winchesters near Col. Hollister’s to shear those sheep I bought (1,600) which took me just two weeks including the branding of each one on the side of the nose with a hot iron the letter N. I got 18 bales 6,500 lbs of wool which I also got off and started my sheep for this country last Monday a very hard and busy two weeks work for me.
Wednesday I picked out a few withers for the butcher as they passed through SB & sent them on their way rejoicing. Each day on the road I cooked the meals for the three men & took it to them until Wednesday. Fannie would ride out with me. When we had a little suit in a Justice Court Friday I came down to Ventura 30 miles to try & went up the Ojai Valley one night eight miles to Mr. Stebbins place and spent the night at Th [Thomas?] R Bard’s [Thomas R. Bard] who is agt[agent] for Th R Scott the great “Rail Road King” [this must be Thomas Alexander Scott, 1823-1881] who owns some 250,000 acres of land near “Conejo.” Saturday I came down here to fix up a new camp for my sheep which will be here tomorrow. This week I got to work on the shearing down here which will take ten days or more. Mr. Foster has sheared the 1,000 lambs we had last spring from 1200 ewes, & now comes the wool off again from 3400 old sheep ewes & withers, and a 100 of the latter I send up to SB for mutton at $3.00 each sheared so you see I am full of business all the time, and am now loading more wagons back to the ranch with lumber for lambing corrals & cabins for winter quarters & spring increase which ought to be some 3,000 lambs this year on all the ewes.
Mr. Mills has not yet returned on account of Mrs. M’s ill health. Though I expect him every week, I am trying to fix it up here so Fannie can come down here & stay six months. If I could only induce some other families down here to live it would be pleasant, but it is very lonely out here alone. We are an easy day’s ride from Los Angeles the home of oranges & lemons, which will be in all their glory all the winter season (wish you) with us the spring time & glory of the whole year. It seems to me this country from Dec 1st until first of June would almost make you well or at least come as near to it as possible on earth. I hope the future has some good fortune for us all with long life, health & happiness. My little Cottage is so pleasant in SB it is hard to think of leaving it for the Ranch, but all my interests that are to furnish me with bread & butter are down here & my health I feel depends largely upon it also. Can you see us in the Cozy little home? Our old pictures on the wall with new ones and choice that Fannie brought & you Nettie & Frank have sent. An easy lounge in one corner of the sitting room & black hair cloth easy chairs I bought with the house.
A bright wood fire is in the fireplace on the great andirons with large brass stands. Beautiful vases & hanging baskets of flowers are on the mantelpiece an exquisite Geneva Clock Fannie received as a present. Our bedroom carpet on the floor & each & all the room furnished as complete and comfortable as possible under the circumstances. Fannie had a great many nice little things & she has a wonderful power of making everything go a great ways & look just as pretty as possible. We have enjoyed our housekeeping alone very much. She gets so awful lonesome & homesick when I am away I dread to leave her at all. She is now at a Dr. Bradbury’s, one of our neighbors, very pleasant & congenial people from Maine. Mr. & Mrs. Hough have gone to San Jose to attend some church meeting, but we seldom see them & Mrs. H. has no faculty of making it pleasant to others at all. She made me an offer for her sheep the other day to get the money to invest in Real Estate. I could have done well by if I could have “made the raise” 3.00 for ewes, 2.50 for withers & 2.00 for lambs all with their wool on. I clipped off 50 cts worth of wool from each & sold 500 withers to Butchers for 3.00 each cash. This is a good place to trade with cash but a poor place for a poor man.
But here I am at the end of this blanket [sut? but? sun?] I could talk with you all night, but it is going on 10 o’clock. I have not written Fannie and I must be up at 5 o’clock in the morning. I wrote Mr. Adams to sell the piano at some price and apply what there was coming to me in the life assurance policy of $10,000. I don’t know how to spare money here & meet all my interest due this fall but we can’t afford to lose that policy. It will do somebody some good sometime if I cannot not get any good from it [meaning: if I could only keep from losing it] “I wish I could borrow some money on it & I could if I was only east where money is plenty & parties have it to loan on low interest.
Mr. Stebbins likes his sheep business & is improving in health. Belle is having an easy time in the college and drawing her $80.00 a month in gold besides her board & co. I am glad to hear the children are all so well & doing well in school.
Edith seemed happy with her two children on her lap, as I saw her at 7 in the morning dressing them before the fire.
Where can I find room for love & a kiss, but my love runs through the whole letter and on each line. not forgetting Frank, Florence [daughter of Frances Newbury Bagley] & all.
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Santa Barbara, October 24, 1873, to Kittie (Kate) Robb in Jackson, Michigan. Black ink on one leaf of lined white paper, 2 pages, 10 x 7 7/8 inches.
Santa Barbara, Cal. Oct. 24, 1873 My darling Kittie,
Yours of the 12th also the Insurance papers I rec’d [received] a few days since on my return from the ranch. My Assurance premium was $209 30/100. I sent Torbert $100.00 all I could possibly spare at present as our wool is not yet off so I could realize much in advance on it & I must pay expenses & c. [etc.] Mr. Adams wrote me he would try & arrange it if I was short; so I telegraphed him at Des Moines what I could send & I expect he has settled for the balance some way. I do all I can, & that is all any one must expect. If my insurance is lost to those that will receive it it will not be because I did not do all I could for them. I thank you very much for sending it so promptly. Fannie got the letter out of the office but one returned home. I was gone two weeks & she got so awful homesick, so I tried to go away and leave her, & I have not things fixed up yet there so it would be at all comfortable for her. She is delicate & so sensitive & dependent on me out here so all alone I am afraid she could not endure the rough living so far from anyone. But I hope to make some good arrangement for the winter or rainy season very soon either here or on the ranch. Mr. Mills arrived last Monday & has been busy at work setting up ranch suit case & c. [etc.] The ranch is to be surveyed now soon & Edwards & Mills will probably buy up the balance of Conejo and we will have our separate interests set off. We expect to go down there next week. We now all altogether [have] some 8,000 but a very small propo[r]tion are mine. Our spring lambs 1,000 sheared 3 lbs. Each the old sheep averaged over 4 lbs for the past 5 months. This business will pay well but it needs a little time, and is about the only business that I can attend to. All of it is also very health giving, but I shall have to sell out my land to pay expense of keeping improvements on ranch & living. If I have to dispose of my ranch I shall try Real Estate business here as long as I can stand it, and trust providence for the future. I shall be glad if I ever get so I will not have to worry about the future all the time, as it makes my lungs ache so to have the future so cloudy in the future. I am rejoiced to hear you are so encouraged about your health and I guess your trip to Jackson will be pleasant and I guess not injure you any, and you will see the Kellogg family. If you go there get the long letter Fannie wrote home to her mother of our wedding trip. You will be interested in reading it over I guess though she may have repeated considerable in her letter to you and Nettie.
We enjoy our home very much and it is fixed up so comfortable & pleasant I wish you could come in and see us. The sewing machine I sent for & Nettie had it fixed up & sent at once and it came through all right and Fannie is delighted with it. Though I think it runs as hard as ever & I am afraid it will do her health no good. Nettie says she sold the black walnut chamber set for $25.00. That cost $75.00. It would have paid better to send here to be sold at such figures. Mr. Mills is selling out his old furniture at twice that price for common painted sets. I wrote Nettie if the marble top table was not sold she had better box it up nicely & send to me if you were willing, as we needed just such a piece of furniture. There may be something else that would pay to send, but I don’t know if Nettie should leave Dubuque. There might be considerable in your rooms it would be better to send to give away. The freight on the machine was only $9.75 total from Dubuque to SB. That is better than selling it for 1/2 or 1/3 what it cost.
They are having a crashing time in Dubuque now. I can hardly think of Mrs. Sheffield being left as they are. I believe Sheffield was honest but Babbage[?] I presume was equal to any swindle. This is a world of “ups & downs with others as well as ourselves. Mr. Adams [Is this Austin Adams? Austin Adams was married to Egbert’s sister Mary. MRD has a photo of him made in 1887. I sent you a digital image of it on a disc, Miriam.] writes he is very hard up & pressed to make ends meet. So we are all in about the same boat.
This place has been very much favored in a financial way, as strangers are coming here in crowds all the time with their packs full of money, and the call is for property all the time. And it goes up, up, up all the time. I had a lot of over $30,000 worth of town property put in my hands yesterday to be sold but I am hardly able to talk enough to do myself any good to expect myself too much in that way I am feeling very well, but feel much better on the ranch where I can live outdoors all the time & ride around & not do much walking or talking. We have a fire in the fire place every evening & have our popcorn, apples & grapes. Our friends Dr Bradbury, wife & two daughters run in & see us often. The walls are covered with our pictures. The chairs are hair cloth[?] & easy [chair] & a [chaise] lounge in one corner. A charming little clock on the mantle, which must have cost $30.00, your vases, & a hanging basket of flowers on either side of the clock. The sewing machine is in the front bedroom, the pleasantest sunny room in the house. Fannie & I do the cooking together & clearing up. The washing is done by “John Chinamen” for $1.50 a week, 50 pieces, all done up in the very nicest manner. Our geraniums are as high as the side of fence, ten feet or more, that would look strange in Dub. [Dubuque] or Det. [Detroit]. Mr. C. C. Hodges & family have returned to Detroit. You must see them & I wish Mr. Hodges could tell you & John about our splendid ranch. He is a real estate man & has spent considerable time on C.[onejo] and knows the character of the men I am with. I dread to give it up but I must without help. I wish I could borrow money on my insurance policies.
Good by my darling Kittie. Thanks for the letters you write so often and for the papers you send. I send. I ordered the S.B. Weekly Press to your address some time ago but never heard whether it is [read? used?] The illustrated paper of the 21st Sept is a splendid paper, but as it costs 50 cents can’t afford to buy them. Sorry to hear Mrs. Andrews is so unwell. Mrs. Mills & family are very well in Minneapolis, & they have a nice home there & Mr. Mills will remain here this winter.
Much love & a kiss from your affectionate bro Egbert
[PS] I have just found a ticket in a little box that says that my sleeve buttons were from Florence [his niece, Frances N. Bagley’s daughter].
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Santa Barbara, February 24, 1874, to Kittie (Kate) Robb. Black ink on one leaf of lined paper, folded, 4 pages; entire: 8 x 10 inches. It is accompanied by the envelope in which it was mailed: postmarked “Santa Barbara Cal Feb 27” addressed “Mrs. Kate S. Robb, Jackson, Mich. Care E. H. Rice” (E. H. Rice was the husband of ESN’s aunt, his mother’s sister, Jeanette Sergeant Ames Rice.)
Santa Barbara Cal. Febry 24, 1874 Dear Kittie,
I have not heard from you since I wrote you two weeks ago as I was starting for the ranch, but must drop you a line. Mrs. Hough handed me Auntie’s letter a day or two ago. I was so glad to read so long & good a letter from her & Mrs. H[ough] was so pleased to get it. She thinks a great deal of her Jackson friends & nothing hurts her more than to think they forgot her any, or that any influence is abroad in her disfavor. I think they felt a little hurt & hard towards me thinking I had said something to Auntie which had kept her from writing. Now she says Auntie is all right.
Mr. Hough is still away, but we hope he will be home this week. I was gone to the ranch ten days & it seemed all the time I was gone commencing the first night. So I had to leave my buggy at the first town 30 miles away & go from there & back horseback in the rain. It was enough to make me sick but I came through all right, took a little cold but got over it. It was very cold & I wore two pairs of pants & heavy over coat. Mr. Mills & Howard were with me, the latter has bot [bought] Mr. Hough’s sheep. I like him very much, from Orange NJ. The sheep have just commenced lambing & now if our pleasant weather continues as it has been for nearly a week past we will have a fine increase of lambs. Mills & Howard shipped 500 sheep to S.F. last week & 500 more this, & I expect to do the same next week getting all our withers in to the market while they are fair & in good demand. On my way home a team [horse and buggy] was carried out to sea just ahead of me on the beach by high tide. They got in with a good wetting broken buggy. I waited a while and came along all right. It is so hard for me to be away from home now. I shall not go from Fannie any more to speak of until next July. The weather is beautiful now & I spend most of the day riding around in the little buggy. F[annie] goes out either morning or afternoon. The rest of the time she is sewing on the little clothes (only three months more) [first baby expected]. Everything so far is very favorable and she is feeling very well indeed. Mrs. Hough knows nothing about it at all yet and we want to keep her from knowing it.
The family that have our little cottage said today they wanted to rent it for the summer or buy it, and I suppose they will do one or the other, if so we shall continue to board or get another house up this way. I like boarding, it is so pleasant here, we are so free and live well and cheap. I ask $2,400 for my house or $300- for 6-month rent cash, which ever way they take it will be good for me. I don’t like to let the pretty place go, but it rents so well I can’t afford to live in it, and I also need the money I can sell it for. The fact is I can’t afford to pay my debts. If I can get enough money to stop my 18% interest I can get income enough from my sheep to keep things up snug. I never can do any laborious work again & must just depend on sheep for a living. I am all right if I don’t work hard & get tired. I am afraid to try a store again though I am very anxious to do something while I am here in town, but out there I cannot talk louder than a whisper. I am a queer case you see. I am in good flesh & have a good appetite all the time. Oh it is such a comfort to me to have Fannie always so cheerful & happy. I would not care a cent to live here without her, & the longer we live the more closely are we bound by the cords of love.
Ever affe[ctionately,] Egbert
[PS] I hear through Mrs. Lowell that Frank has been in J[ackson]. Love to all in Mich[igan].
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From Egbert S. Newbury, Santa Barbara, March 29, 1874, to Kittie (Kate) Robb. Black ink on one leaf of lined white paper, folded to form 4 pages; entire: 8 x 10 inches. It is accompanied by the envelope in which it was mailed: postmarked “Santa Barbara Cal Mar 31” addressed “Mrs. Catharine S. Robb, Care Ethan H. Rice, Jackson, Michigan”
Santa Barbara, Cal. Sunday March 29, 1874 Dear Sister Kittie,
I don’t intend that a week shall slip away without you receiving a letter from me, but somehow the days, weeks & months go so quickly I don’t keep my good resolution good at all.
We are having a regular old March wind today. The dust blows in clouds so I am not going to church, and I am not sure as I am good enough to go today anyway as Mr. Hough is not going to preach but a Dr. Kitchell from Middlebury College, Vt. I don’t like these old prosy presidents of eastern colleges. They may have been up to their times in their day of preaching, but they are dried up & won’t do now. Mr. H[ough] has not preached for us more than a third of the time for these past three months & I don’t like it at all. I think when he only preaches one sermon a Sabbath, and that an old one he should not play off on us so much he has nothing else in the world to do except his Wednesday afternoon prayer meeting or Bible lecture and once a month preaches out in the Montocito in the afternoon & gets $2,500 or $3,000 a year in gold. Much easier than Jackson for him. Mrs. Hough got up a Ballard Concert that came off last week & was a great success in every way. She cleared some $80.00. I have not seen her out since & presume she is used up for a little time. She is about buying a sheep ranch now of 4 or 5,000 acres next to the Conejo. I think it cost some $10,000. She is the liveliest speculator on the streets. Real Estate has taken another start in the past ten days & considerable changing hands to parties who are buying for homes & building is again going on & will soon be brisker than ever.
Fannie’s friends from Racine have been here the past week. Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Bull. They came Wednesday noon. We called on them at once & took them to the concert in the evening. Thursday they got a Barouche [a four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with a collapsible hood] & invited us to go out to Col. Hollister’s with them. We spent the day very pleasantly & in the evening went down to the hotel to bid them goodby & have a fairwell visit. Fannie enjoyed their visit very much the first friends or relatives from home since she left. I was very much pleased with them tho whom I did not like at all. They told me that Mary[Marny, Manny or?] Young from Dubuque, who married a Dr. (something) & went to Racine to live made a great mistake, threw herself away, as he is a poor drinking man & a sort of goodfornothing worthless fellow. She has had no children that have never lived already & is having a hard life of it.
Little Kittie Crone that was in school with me & so smart, did still worse there. She married a Dr. Knapp, son of a traveling professor terribly dissipated & she is broken down. I am sorry, but it seems as though girls would not learn from others but shut their eyes & get blind. How much better off Nettie is than either of those girls. There is a comfort for her when she mourns her loneliness. How in the world I ever got so splendid a wife I don’t know. I take it as a reward for my long waiting. F. is feeling remarkably well. She has not much to do & I take her out to ride every day & try & not have the time grow tedious. We shall not move in to the cottage until May 31st. We think we have a good … engaged a Mrs. Burden[Benden?] F. thinks she would like the lady physician better than anyone else. She is having a large practice here & everyone so far that I have heard of had her under the same circumstances. She is Homapathy [a devotee or practitioner of Homeopathy] but I don’t see as that will make much difference now. She is smart & has had ten years experience & comes highly recommended.
With much love dear Kittie from us both to all, Auntie Emma[?] & our dear sister, Ever devoted bro[ther,]
Egbert S. Newbury
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Egbert Starr Newbury, I, founder of Newbury Park, CA's Timeline
September 8, 1843
Allegan, MI, USA
May 21, 1874
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
March 26, 1876
March 13, 1878
Jackson, Michigan, United States
October 28, 1879
Detroit, MI, USA
February 10, 1880
Detroit, MI, USA
Jackson, MI, USA