Friday, April 23, 2004

John St. George Honner in Minnesota to brother Edward W. Honner in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada 1863

Name: Maryjane Honner
E- mail:

Okaman (1)
July 19th 1863

My dear Brother I recived (2) the news of your marrige (3) from Mother last week and it gives me much pleasure to know that you have made so good a cohoice (4) and I hope that you will engoy (5) all the happiness that I wish you. Your settling in Canada was a grait (6) disapointment (7) to me for I alwas (8) was in hopes that you would settle in Minnesota but so it is our dearst (9) hopes are oftenst blighted but hoping that it is all for the (10) and that you will do well and prosper and be help and comfort to Father and Mother in their old age.

I am content. The seosan (11) has been very dry here but corops (12) look very well. wheat is very promising, is filling good. will be fit to cut next week. The Indians are giveng (13) trouble yet. there was three stole horses at Northfield. was making there (14) way through the big big Woods when they were seen nere (15) Waterville. the people turned out, came up to them nere (16) duck Lake and shot one dead and wounded one and (second page) was after the other last accounts. Squire went on his place last spring but the Indians was so bad that he came back and is now in York State. Write soon and tell me all the news.

I remain your affectionate Brother J. S. G. Honner "

John Honner was a brother of grandfather Edward Honner" - Notation added to letter by Winifred Honner, granddaughter of Edward W. Honner

1 Okaman, Waseca County, Minnesota
2 recived: received
3 marrige: marriage
4 cohoice: choice
5 engoy: enjoy
6 grait: great
7 disapointment: disappointment
8 alwas: always
9 derst: dearest
10 that it is all for the: probably meant to write "best" at the end of this phrase
11 seosan: season
12 corops: crops
13 giveng: giving
4 there: their
15 nere: near
16 ibid.

Notes: John St. George Honner in Minnesota letter to brother Edward W. Honner in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada - dated July 19th, 1863 transcription by Maryjane Stelmach Honner w/ special thanks for the help of Janean McKay, Redwood Falls Genealogical Society, Minnesota Regarding the envelope and postmarks: The front of the envelope is postmarked Nov 30 9PM (year illegible). However, there are two postmarks on the reverse. One is ---BURG (illegible) SE(?) 2 80 ONT. The second is WINDSOR AM DE 2 80 ONT. Edward W. may have not received this letter until December 1880, perhaps because of the United States being in a civil war when it was posted. The letter may have been lost in transit for quite some time.

John St. George Honner, son of Maria Howard and Edward Honner of Mountrath, Queen's County, Ireland, was born 28 May 1831 in Turin, Lewis County, New York. The family lived briefly in the United States after immigrating, then moved on to Canada, eventually settling in and around Amherstburg, Essex County, Ontario, across the Detroit River from Michigan. JSG Honner's 6 living brothers, 7 sisters, and many cousins developed strong ties to both Great Lakes shipping and lumbering. Brothers-in-law Thomas Hackett and John Sunderland, as well as brother Thomas were all captains and masters of many vessels, the latter lost in the wreck of the Ira H. Owen. Husband of cousin Dorcas Honner was George Ruddiman and husband of cousin Caroline was John Torrent, both lumber barons in Muskegon, Michigan. It is thought that "Squire" in the letter is John Torrent's son Squire, who returned for a time to his grandparents in New York. Both JSG and brother Edward worked as sawyers in Muskegon as young men, probably for Ruddiman and Torrent. While Edward returned to Canada, JSG went on to Minnesota, first to Waseca, but eventually to Brown County, that part now Redwood Falls, Redwood County. JSG was one of the first settlers, and he and his wife were one of the first families in the stockade there. He had married Antoinette Green, who was born in 1842 in Wisconsin, in 1858 in Waseca. In 1865 & 1870, JSG was elected to the Minnesota State Legislature and, in 1872, to the Minnesota State Senate. He was also the county's first Registrar of Deeds. John St. George Honner died 22 June 1888 in Redwood Falls, where he is buried. The 3 of his children who survived to adulthood, Howard, Minnie, and Edward, all moved to Washington State and Oregon where their descendents still reside. John St. George Honner was my great-great uncle and Edward Walton Honner was my great-great grandfather.

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