Nov. 14th, 1909


My dear Tom[1],

           I don't know how often I have made up my mind to write to you but, dear, I am kept so busy since we came on our little farm I have neither time nor heart for writing when my work being done I can sit down.  You see I never was much used to work and it "comes odd" to me in my old days.  I suppose you have heard before this of poor Jack's[2] death in Eureka.  He died on the 9th of August. He was sick off and on for about 13 months, had haemarrhages of the brain. After the second attack, he lost the use of his right side and partly lost his speech.  The last attack lasted three hours and as his sons, Tom[3] and Jack[4], could not nurse him properly they sent him to the hospital, where he died after three days.  The doctor's bills have been very heavy & what with that & the funeral expenses the poor boys are left about $1000 in debt (about £200).  I wish I could help them but I can't.  We are badly handicapped now ourselves since Mr. Whiteside[5] had to give up preaching.  Poor Jack!  The news of his death came as such a shock to me though I knew for a good while that he had been ill.

  And now, dear Tom, I want to know how you are yourself.  I hope better in health than you were when you wrote last, and how is the wife and the dear children?  How I should like to see you all again.  The bairns must be greatly grown since I saw them and very useful to you.  I don't know what we should do without our two.  Clair[6] does all the work nearly on the farm and is his father's right hand.  And Mary[7] helps me in the house.  Mary is still going to school though she has got her Merit[8] certificate.  She has grown greatly and is far stouter since she had the typhoid.  Clair is small for his age and very slight,  he is sixteen now.  Mary is thirteen.  Do you still get your money regularly from Canley Rutherford[9]?  Where are you living now?  Are you renting a house? And how do you keep the pot boiling?  How I wish you were living nearer so that I could see you.  We could have a good chat.

  In haste with love to all




Write soon.


[1] Thomas McCullagh – brother of Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[2] John McCullagh (1847-1909), brother of Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[3] Thomas MCCULLAGH


[5] William Sherlock Whiteside, husband of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[6] Thomas Clair Whiteside, son of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[7] Mary Ione Whiteside, daughter of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[8] Merit Certificate was grade 8. This was the level at which most children at that time left school, although Mary went further. Although now the second year of high school in Australia, back then there were few high schools, and most primary schools went up to grade 8.

[9] In other letters referred to as M.M. Rutherford, appears to be the land agent or manager back in Monaghan.

[10] of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside