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Andover March 17th 1824

(Unknown author)

     Dear Brother & Sister, it is a pleasing opportunity & blessing from God that I have the time given to me to write to you a few lines informing you that we are in common health & we hope that when you receive this letter that you will be well.  We received your letter this day & was pleased to learn from your letter that you were all well.  We are glad that you are thinking of moving into our country & as you requested us to write to you concerning the place.  The place is well watered & timbered.  The water is good for washing in this place & the chief timber is beach, maple, elm, there is white pine, black cherry, some chestnut, some oak, some butternut, some red cherry & considerable of white ash.  The price of the land is three dollars per acre good title two years & six months without interest & in ten years pay day & kind of produce will be received in pay, good wheat one dollar a bushel for land & maple sugar ten cents for pound & all kinds of other produce accordingly.  

The Town when we came here was four townships in one, and called Alfred & was numbered numbers No. 4 & No. 3, No. 2, No. 1 & in one year after we came, towns No. 4  &  No. 3 were set off from No. 1 & No. 2,  & No. 4 was called Almond, No. 3 was called Alfred  & No. 2 & No. 1 was called Independence until this winter then No. 2 was set off from No. 1 and its name is Andover.  All this was done on account of the place settling so fast.  We stay in the same place & when we came here we had to go twenty miles to trade & soon there was a new store came within twelve miles & and soon after on other new store with in eight miles & now last spring there was a very nice rich man came into this place, he came from Massachusitts State & is now going to put a store this spring within two miles of me, for I have been having his timber for his building.  We live within 70 or 80 miles of Rochester.  I think you can’t do better than to come & see for yourself, it is a very healthy place here & there is a grist mill in two miles & a half of us & there are two rich men going to put a new grist mill about one mile nearer & there are two saw mills within two miles & a half of us, there is a man going to build a new saw mill in about 3 ¼  of a mile from us next summer.

House ashes are one shilling per bushel & good field ashes ten cents per bushel, all cash down, salts lye 2.50 per hundred, & we can get good axes for $2, iron for 50 cents per lb. & good sole leather for 32 cents per lb., & we can get salt here at our store for one dollar pr bushel but we can get it cheaper at the salt works or by the barrel & there is plenty of Whiskey stills here, we live near the center of this town & it is very easy paying our taxes, for in our county & one other county joining it, has granted each town to raise 2.50 to be laid out on the public highways & there is a man who hires a man to work at potash business & gives for 16 to 18 dollars a month cash & it is likely that you can hire out here to work if you wish.  You must excuse me for not writing to you before as I was waiting to see how things were going to be & now I think that we have been living long enough to form an opinion of the place & now we shall be expecting you out here in the spring, for there is good wild land here for sale and there are some men who have betterments that they will sell.  Sandnass says that he can’t pay you all this summer, but he will pay some & will pay you the rest next winter.  I have no news at this time, only the 19th of this month we are expecting to go to Angelica the capital of our county to see a man hung by the neck until he is dead, between the hours of eleven & one o’clock for murder.  So no more at present, this from your friend & brother Levi says he can let you have some pork this summer & grain next winter, so no more.

To James & Nancy Adams, Horatio Walker, Sarah Walker


Hello Ron,

I was looking through your Allegany County web site and came across the letter titled "When Andover was out West, dated March 17, 1824.  It stated the author was unknown and I may shed some light on that issue in case you may not have any information on a possible source and would like to know.  Three brothers, Solomon, Levi and Joseph Pingrey came to the area in the early 1820's.  Solomon Pingrey had his farm on Pingrey Hill Road.  Levi Pingrey died in 1829 near Andover and Joseph Pingrey moved to Indiana.  This left Solomon Pingrey in Andover where he raised his family. Solomon and his wife Eliza Chase are buried in Hillside cemetery.

The Nancy (Pingrey) and James Adams and Sarah (Pingrey) and Horatio Walker mentioned in the letter as the persons it was sent to, were sisters of the three Pingrey men mentioned above.  The Adams' and Walker's did move to Andover.  Horatio and Sarah (Pingrey) Walker eventually moved to Jefferson County, Indiana.  James and Nancy (Pingrey) Adams remained in Andover.  Both are buried in Hillside Cemetery.

It is a good chance one of the three Pingrey men wrote that letter.

Solomon and Eliza (Chase) Pingrey are my 3rd great grandparents. Nancy Adams and Sarah Walker are my 3rd great grand aunts.

Thank you for the work you do preserving history, Jim German