I found this and it gives some good information on the Meetch family and others of Dauphin Co., PA.
Egles Notes and Queries,Third Series Volume I, Notes and Queries - XLVII, Pages 382, 383, 384.
A letter written to Joseph B. Meetch, then a resident of St.Francois county, Missouri by an old friend, John Davies, a resident of Halifax, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania.
"Halifax, June 19, 1824
Dear Sir: I have the pleasure of acknowleding the receipt of your favor, dated 30th of April, received last mail. I need not inform you that your letter gave me exquisite satisfaction. The contents thereof were highly interesting, as it gave me much useful information of a country which I heretofore had but a very imperfect knowledge of; and it relieved me of a doubt which myself as well as your friends have had for some time, that is, that you had long since paid the debt that we all owe to nature.
Before I proceed further, I must be the means of communicating what I am confident will give you a pang-----your pious old mother is gone to reap the rewards of the faithful, and is now without doubt," where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary be at rest." She died as she had lived, a Christian, leaving a bright testimony behind her, that your loss was her infinite gain. She departed this life two years ago last May. Your father is yet living but does not enjoy good health. He has had several severe spells since the death of your mother, and is now quite indisposed, though I believe not dangerous. Your brother-in-law, Thomas H. Trump, is also deceased---he died of typhus fever last October. Your sister has lived with your father from some short time before your mother's death, and has been left with three children, one of which was born a short time after the death of her husband. Your father and several of your sisters have embraced religion, and become pious members of the Methodist church.
Since the death of your mother your brothers John and Benjamin have farmed your father's place until last spring. John is now working at his trade in Milton, Northumberland county. Benjamin is at home, but in very bad health. Your father has rented out his mansion place and farms the back place himself. Of your brother Daniel I can give no account. Since you left this there has not been the most remote account of him. It is supposed that he is dead also.
Since you left many of your old friends and acquaintances have gone to that country " from whence no traveler returns." The following are some with whom you were acquainted: Old Nich's Boyer, Philip Shepherd, Adam Swigart and wife, Wm Noblet and wife, Adam Wilt, Robert Peat, Theodore Burr, Henry Long ( hatter), old Michael Bower, and John Bower. As the death of John Bower was rather a tragical one, I shall attempt a more minute detail. Last August in one of his usual inebriating fracases, he agreed to ride on an unfortunate race ground, where a few years since a friend of your own was killed.Poor Bower had scarcely mounted his favorite horse Barney, when he became affrighted, consequently unmanageable, ran off, came in contact with a tree, and at, or nearly at, the place where Brubaker was killed, instantaneously on the spot, his brains were dashed out, and his skull and head smashed in the most shocking manner. He has left a helpless family, and his property in a highly embarrassed situation. Among other misfortunes and casualties permit me to mention my own.Last November was a year, I unfortunately broke my leg. Dr. Dorrance set it, or attempted to set it, but through ignorance failed in the attempt. After suffering the most excruciating pain for ten weeks, I was compelled to send to Harrisburg for a Doctor, and undergo a second operation. I was confined to my bed for four months, and am yet a cripple.
Of this country, I cannot give you a very flattering account. Times are extremely dull, business of every description stagnated, and no prospect of a resuscitation. You can have no conceptive idea of the general depression felt here. Money has become extremely scarce and consequently of great value; laborers' pay 25 cents per diem, and I am told the farmers have come to the conclusion of paying but 50 cents per day for cradlers and reapers. Lumber and all kinds of produce are of such little values that those who have cannot effect sales at any price.
Missouri is, I presume, the greatest scope of the country in the U. States. What a boundless field for enterprise! While these old States are on the retrogade or at most but stationary, the march to the improvement in the Western States is accelerated to a ratio which at once astonishes their most sanguine friends. My opinion is, that the day is not far distant, when the Western States, in point of wealth and greatness, will totally eclipse the Eastern States, and effect for themselves a name and praise throughout the habitable globe. I beg your frequent communications; besides the pleasure of hearing from yourself, I am very anxious to have a description ( which, may I not say, without the imputation of flattering, you are so capable of giving) of the countries through which you have travelled, and now located in, and also an account of the manners and customs of the people.
Your father has had much uneasiness of mind on account of the absence from his paternal roof of yourself and brother. I know that it would give him unspeakable satisfaction if you would return home again. He has frequently unbosomed himself to me ( and, indeed, I have frequently heard him preferring his petitions at the Throne of Grace, for your temporal and eternal happiness) and I can assure you, with confidence, that towards you his affections are very strong. If you should continue absent, let me, with the feelings of a friend, request you to write occasionally to your father and keep him advised of your residence.
No doubt you would be anxious to have a political sketch. Democracy has gained the most signal triumph in Penn'a the last year. The Republican candidate for Governor, J.A. Schulze, had a majority of 25,000 votes over the Fereral candidate, A. Gregg. The State has been completely revolutionized, and the Democracy of this State completely fixed for the next nine years at least. The Presidential question is now agitated. General Jackson has almost the unanimous voice of Pennsylvania. So sanguine are his advocates in this county that proscription follows opposition to him.
By the next, or following mail, I purpose sending you a package of newspapers, believing that they will afford you a satisfaction in calling to mind objects with which you were conversant, and may help you to realize old times. Excuse this crude and ill-digested scrawl, wrote in great haste, without time to correct or transcribe; and believing me to be, very respectfully and truly your friend,
Mr. J.B. Meetch
P.S.---I shall expect a letter from you when and as often as convenient. Your father will write to you shortly. "
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