Atascosa, Bexar Co. Texas Sunday, Apr. 5, 1885. My Dear Father, In my letter of last Monday I merely gave an account of our journey and of our safe arrival; and this P.M. I will try and tell you how we are situated. We are on a rolling prarie more or less wooded; six miles from from any running water, and the only standing water is in an occasional mud hole. We get our water from a well 50 ft. deep one half mile away; Uncle Benjamin dug in two other places first without finding water. The hired man (Mr. O'Conner) brings up a barrel or two each day; it is warmer when first drawn than _____________________________________ 2 after standing awhile, and, would be excellent if only colder. A number of families for quite a distance get all their water here. The town of Atascosa does not contain a village or hamlet even; and the nearest church is in another town three miles away. (a Methodist church). The nearest Baptist church is six miles. Sunday School and preaching is helf by a Baptist min- ister on a small scale in a school house one-half mile away. I did not attend today for the rain. We are disappointed in our accom- modations here. Native Texans are _decidedly _lazy, and northern men ar smitten more or less badly with the same disease, and as one result they are willing to live in almost any kind of a hovel or hut and call it home; and fortunate it is for them that ____________________________________ 3 their climate is so mild. Uncle Benjamin's house is the best in this vicinity, and that is saying but little. The main house is 18 x 20 conains but one large room, has six windows and two doors, and schould be divided some way into two rooms, but most every body here lives in one toom. The house painted white, with green blinds and has a large fireplace. There is a veranda in front 8 x 18 latticed at both ends and all but 4 ft. in front. Last fall Uncle B. built a larger beer saloon 15 x 20 back of his store, but it gathered such a low class of men around his place that he soon gave it up, and moved the building back of the house and uses it as a kitchen and dining room combined. It is sheathed inside (painted white) and rough ______________________________________ 4 boarded outside. He expects to clap board it soon. A Mr. Sanborn from Vt. a realative by marriage of Uncle B. occupies the main room. He is very sick with consumption; been here all winter; has lost rather than gained, was sick three years before he came; his disease is is agrivated by an injury to his lung made in the army. He wants to go home, and is hoping to gain strength so that he can; but sometimes I think he wil never get it but yet he may. When the large room is vacant we are to have it; some of our things are in it, and we sit there a great deal. Uncle B. sleeps in the room on a cot. I suppose you wonder where we sleep, well the veranda is curtained off with a room at either end. Adah, baby and myself occupy a bed at one end, and Horace and Aunt Clair the other. "Camping out" Aunt Clair calls it. Excepting one month Uncle and Aunt slelpt out there all last winter. _____________________________________ 5 Our night accommodations is the part that we don't like; it may di first rate for saummer or a little earlier, but I think it is a little too open for the babies, for the wind will get around the corners of the curtains and they won't keep their legs covered up, especially the baby. They both caught a succession of colds on the R.R. and have added more since, so Harace still has his cough, and baby has gained one, which is worse yesterday and today. I am going to make a crib for baby and see if we can't keep her feet under coverk and we will take Horace in bed with us. You ought to see the little fellow; his nose and face alll peeled, and his complexion is already several shades darker that when you saw him last. Adah appears to be about ______________________________________ 6 the same; while I am very much better. I do just enjoy myself. We all have excellent appetites. Perhaps it is rather early to judge, but from what we have seen we think the climate is not quite what it has been cracked up to be. Still it is safe to say that it is an improvement on New England, and if people only had houses, and stoves, and more of the comforts of life so they might make themselves comfortable according to the weather, I know they would be healthier and happier, at least lend wonderfully to our contentment. I don't care at all for myself, but I know Adah misses it. One thing we are gratified about, and that is the way Uncle and Aunt take to the babies. They both appear very fond of them, and usually they will leave any of us for Uncle Benjamin. The mail goes in 15 min. so more next time. Adah and I join in sending love to Mrs. C. and to Dear Father from Your affe't son Fred. ________________________________________ 1X Aunt Clair rec'd letter a paper this morning.