Kaintuck P. O. Idaho, Sept. 7, 1890.

My Dear Brother Helaman: –

After a long period of forced neglect in writing you, I again undertake to drop you a few lines to let you know we have not forgotten you.  It has seemed next to impossible during the last few months for me to take time to write anything but very urgent business letters and many of these have had to go sadly neglected for a time.  My time has never been so much in demand in my life as of late.  I have had so much to attend to in connection with our store freighting, buying, selling, looking after matters on the ranch, and attending to the duties of my calling &c &c, and have been unable to obtain help that was of service in these matters, that it has seemed when I came to a place where I could “chop off” for the night, that I was wholy unfit for anything but rest and sleep.  I have often upbraided myself for neglecting to write to you, but have always seen more leasure ahead.

I was in Salt Lake in July and saw Chariton and had a talk over land matters, he had consulted able attorny and discovered that he was under no obligations to you and had decided to fight the land matter upon his own ground.  but I reminded him very forcibly of his verbal agreement with me to pay a nominal sum for the use of the land so as not to have your claim suffer any harm.  I told him that if he proposed to ignore that verbal agreement he could go

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ahead in his own right without question from us from a legal stand point, but if he acknowledged that agreement and proposed to stand by it, that would compel him to admit your claim, he finally said he did not propose to go back upon the agreement, if it could be proven to his satisfaction that your claim could avail you anything, otherwise he would go on in his own name.  I had Ben consult LeGrand Young and give him all the points regarding the matter and he said without question Chariton would do well to cling to you in the matter and satisfy you.  I was compelled to leave the City before this interview with LeGrand and therefore have not seen H C Jacobs since, but Ben has it in hand and I will try my best to bring things to some kind of a focus when I go down in October.

You spoke of expecting some rent from the place.  I will explain how this came to be neglected;-

Chariton said he would pay just enough to keep your claim good, and only for that purpose, as he understood in buying the place that he got everything as you left it, but before papers were drawn up the city had decided to sell nothing more to private individuals but would up put all the land they had up at auction and I knew you would not want to invest the amt the land would have sold at then so I thought there was no good of doing anything more about it., but the city set this and all other public land in the canyon aside as a public park and so Chariton was left alone in peacable  posession then came this other matter.  Having been so far away it was impossible for me to watch things as closely as I could have done had I been in the city.  [page break]


Now regarding our brother Alma: – he was much enthused with an idea of a drive running north from Main street to ensign peak, and in fact had transformed the entire country immediately north of the City into a grand park, some of his ideas were very grand, beautiful and with proper backing quite practicable, others had the tinge of extreme impracticability.  He was so untiring night and day working up his great scheme the it was quite evident to myself and some others who had an opportunity of understanding his condition best, that his mind was becoming imbalanced, after learning that this was the case we sought advice and did all we could to get his mind from his hobby and succeeded so far, that for a time all were inclined to be hopeful for his coming around all right; but in a short time he became worse than ever, and it was found necessary to send him to the Asylum, there were hopes for a time that careful treatment would bring him around all right but he got worse instead of better and there is now no hope as I understand it that he will ever be right again in this life.  and I scarcely think he could endure life now after what he has passed through even should he be restored to sanity.  Perhaps you have not noticed an item in the papers concerning some of his actions: – a razor was left lying for a moment in the room when he was by one of the attendants, and while his back was turned for a moment Alma grasped the razor and completely severed the head of a chinaman patient.  Moroni L. called to see him one day and it was my intention to call, but [page break]


Moroni advised me not to do it, saying he never wished to see him again in this life.  Alma has recently writen some good sensible letters letters to different ones, but as soon as he had completed a letter he would have a raving streek again.  Poor boy his lot seems cast in thorny places in this life, but when we know all we will no doubt see the wisdom of Him who doeth all things well.

I will now say a few words regarding ourselves at home: –  We are all well and doing as well as we could expect in our new home  Mother has been with us since the early part of July, and our delightful climate has done her much good, she has enjoyed the visit much and will return on the 30th inst.  Nell  also spent some six weeks in our valley with Apollos P & wife.

our stock are doing splendidly, we found our heaviest loses came when spring comes, but we got through very well compared with many of our neighbors.  We are doing a nice business in the little store – fully as well as we could expect.  We have put no crops in yet, but have our large canal in a fair way for completion, and expect to considerable grass & Lucerne and some grain next season.

Regarding the purchase of Holstines I am not posted as to rates from the different points and therefore cannot judge from which point it would be most profitable to ship, but I am satisfied from what I have learned that you could buy in salt Lake at fully as good if not better figures than east.  I enclose you copy of Pedigree of stallion for sale by N. V. Jones Price $1,000.00  I haven’t seen the horse but he is said to be very fine.  How we would all enjoy a good visit with you and the folks, Mother often asks me will Hela ever return to salt Lake?

Now Dear Brother good bye and God bless you and yours and help us all to perform the duties of life.

Your brother,

M. W. Pratt

M. W. Pratt to Helaman Pratt. Letter. 7 September 1890. “Helaman Pratt papers, 1883-1909,” digital images, https://eadview.lds.org/findingaid/MS%20199/: Retrieved September 2011), MS 199, box 1, folder 5, p. 10-13. Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah

[Transcribed by Angie Grigg, Dick Grigg, Mauri Pratt, Vincy Stringham, and Doratha Rae Pratt Young; September 2012]

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