This is very interesting. We always assumed Little Bessie was related. She would have been Grandma Mildred Arnold's grandmother's daughter by her first marriage to Will Isbester. Later Mary Ann Burrill Isbester would marry Julius Day and have children: Stella, Ralph, and Caroline.
1738 Johnson Ave.
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Dec. 2, 1956
We all enjoyed your good letter, and can understand how busy you have been this year helping out your children. You and Ernie are rich in grandchildren. Among my happy memories is the little visit you and Ernie made us, and Glen's visit when he was getting out of the army.
I won't write a long letter now, as I know Dorothy always writes to you at Christmas time, but will try to answer some of your questions about some of our family histories. It is interesting to know what our relatives went through to make a house.
My father and mother grew up in Boston. He with two other young men went out to Iowa to find a farm in the prairie country. The didn't like it there and went to Illinois. He bought a farm of a man who was unhappy in pioneer life or his wife was.
Then my father went to the Civil War and after four years when that war was over and he came home, he and mother were married, Oct 24, 1864, in Boston, and came out to their Illinois farm. It was a great change for a city girl to come out where there were no neighbors. There were no roads. They could drive anywhere over the country. The two families they made friends with first were the Days and Isbesters. The latter was a Scotch family, living east of Thawville. The Days, formerly had a boarding house in Chicago. I think they came to the farm north of Buckley where they lived so many years. A short time before the Civil War ended, your great grandfather (Ebenezer Day the II ?) and his second wife were living there.
My mother's sister, Mary Burrill, came out to visit my folks. William Isbester, an ex soldier fell in love with her, and they were married, and lived on a farm adjoining my father's. The had two children Bessie and Willie. Bessie died when she was a baby, and was buried in the Lisk Cemetery (this is near Thawville, Illinois). Then there father came down with tuberculosis, and the family went to California for his health, but he died there, and Willie and his mother came back to Illinois. The lived with my folks for a while, and part of the time in Boston with her family.
Several years later she married Julius Day, and they were your grandparents, and lived in the same house you did when you were growing up.
This story sounds very matter of fact and cold blooded, but I can imagine some of the happiness and sorrow, and loneliness, also the good times those early settlers had together. They had to make their own good times they didn't have any radios or television or movies, but perhaps they were just as happy.
There has been a great change in the country since that time. Give my love to all you family, and I wish you all a Merry Christmas. Kiss the babies for me.