Letters Written by Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell

Provided by Karen Nelson

Introduction to letters written by Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell:

Margaret Shipp lst married Joseph Renner, 2nd husband William Bell. Margaret was the daughter of Martin Shipp and Elizabeth (Preyer) Shipp. Margaret had two sisters and one brother, they were:
Elizabeth (Shipp) Henbest married John Albert Henbest.
Nancy (Shipp) Presser lst. married George Washington Presser, 2nd Joseph Hodgeon.
William Shipp married Martha Ogden.

Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell also had a step-mother Lucretia (Burch) Shipp and three half brothers and 5 half sisters.

The following letters written by Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell were sent to her brother and sister-in-law William Shipp and wife Martha (Ogden) Shipp of Licking, MO.

The letters are typed as written. No attempt has been made to correct the spelling. The letters written by Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell were handed down through the Shipp family who lived at Licking, MO. The letters were sent to Jim Nelson from a cousin who lived in California. Jim and Karen Nelson have the letters.


Terre Haute Ind. March 25th 1861

Dear Brother and Sister

I take this opportunity of writing to you, to inform you that we are all tollerble well at present, and that we hope when this comes to hand will find you all well. Times are hard with me this spring. I have not been to work since the 5th of January, and no prospect of getting work any way soon yet. Our sickness last year put me back so far that I have not ben able to set strait yet, besides the big Doctor bills.

I have written to Robert (Robert Shipp) for some money some time since and he wrote back that he would send me the money if I would send a receipt for it to him and Washington (Washington Presser), I done so accordingly I sent the receipt to Washington in a Registered letter, and waited two or 3 weeks with out hearing from them I then wrote another letter to Robert which was about 3 weeks ago, and have not herd from him yet. I don't know what is the reason, they have got the Receipt for the money then and I am waiting for an answer and don't get it.

I hope William you will let me know imediately how matters are and if possible git Robert to send me some money, as if you could lend me about 25 dollars for 2 or 3 months I wish you would do so, in that time I will have work again. And will be able to pay it back to you. I am finished for money and I don't know where else to get it. I told Robert in the letter if he would not send it all, to send me some, and Washington could fix it with him for me, about the rest, which he could send some other time. But I don't understand why they don't write one way or the other.

I hope William you will have the goodness to write to us about it, as quick as possible, the quicker the better, had I not sent the Receipt, I would think that was the reason but as they have got it I can't see what is the matter. I have to receive 25 dollars by the 10th of April and don't see how I am to do it, if Robert or you can't send it to me.

So I will close by sending our best love and Respect to you all. And we still remain yours affactionate.

Brother and Sister To William Ship and Martha Ship
Until Death and Children
J. F. Renner
and Maregret Renner

Note by Karen (Cavaness) Nelson: Margaret Shipp first married Mr. Renner. Her second husband was William Bell. Margarett (Shipp) Renner/Bell is William Shipp's sister.


Terre Haute, Ind
Sept. 15, 1881

My Dear Brother and Sister

After a long time of neglecting to answer your kind and ever so welcome and most affectionate letter I take the present oppertunity of letting you know how we are getting along and hope that you will forgive us for not writing sooner, but better late, than never. Mr. Belle has been in very poor health, ever since last Christmas. And has not made much inprovement ever since. I am also under the weather, and _____ _____ on myself, for there is always something ailing me. I thought of giving up keeping Boarding House, but we are obliged, and compelled to do something for a living, we have had a terrible hot summer, and no rain for the last three months, untill about one week ago. The sun had dried up every thing and the farmers raised very poor crop this season. It is raining today, and we except it as welcome visitor, for the weather has been very offensive. William and his family has moved to the country, and has gone farming. And his family are all well, at present. Our old house caught fire the first of June, and damaged it to the amount of about one hundred Dollars, the fire Department were promptly on hand, and there would nothing been saved. I have been thinking of selling out, that is if I can get a fair price for the place. I would not have even thought, of selling out if William would take a little interest in looking after things, it would be to his own benefit to do so, for I am almost too old and feeble, and so is Mr. Bell, but we do all that is in our power and save what we can. Children are not like they used to be, they are too stuck up, sassy and independent, at the present time. I was verry sorry to hear of brother Allen death, and I really symfshtize with his family in their sad bereavement. I also wish to inform you of Mr. Montgomery and his oldest sons death, they died last spring and were Berried here in Terre Haute, as I have no more particular news to let you, I will put a close to my writing and hope that when you receive these few lines, that you may be enjoying the best of health. And we all join in sending our love and best wishes and an early reply, will greatly oblige. Your affectinate Sister & Brother inlaw.

Mrs Margaret Bell
Direct to No. 524 North 11th Street
Terre Haute Ind.

Note by Karen (Cavaness) Nelson: The letter was written to William Shipp and wife Martha (Ogden) Shipp. William Shipp was a brother to Margaret (Shipp) Rinner/Bell.


Terre Haute
July 17, '82

My Dear Brother and Sister

Your letter of May 20th was received with much pleasure and should have been answered long ago, but it has been neglected. Our health is not very good at present. The warm weather does not agree with Mr. Bell, he is poorly We were very sorry that Nancy (Nancy Shipp Presser/Hodgeon) lost her Husband. I am still keeping boarders. Some time we have a good many, and again not so many. We have been building this summer. We tore away the old house that was on the lot and built a little frame of four rooms and a good cellar and a front poarch, even think of putting a kitchen in the fall. It is so sweet and pretty that I am almost tempted to move in it myself don't know yet if we will rent it to a small family or I may furnish it and take more boarders. If I rent it I will rent it for about ten dollars. My son Will and wife are living near Clayton Bard on a farm. Had a letter from him a few weeks ago they are getting along nice. I wrote for them to come and spend the fourth of July with me, but don't know if they will or not. I am going out to make them a visit soon. Wish you were here to go with me. I would be so glad if Wm. (William Shipp) would come and see me, or any of you that can come. We would like to pay you a visit this fall but we have been to a great deal of expense this spring so will have to put our visit off till some other time, but if we keep our health we intend to both come and see you. Am sorry to hear that money is scarce out there. We can't complain for times were never any better money is plenty, but every thing is very high. I think from what I hear the wheat was splendid untill, we had so much wet weather, they could not cut it when it was ready, but for all that I guess there will be plenty even though we were going to have an abundent fruit crop in the spring all the trees were in full bloom, but most of the blossom's fell off of the cherrie we won't have any but there are plenty of apples and peaches and blackberries, but not any currents or good berries. I did not make any garden only put in a few rows of bush beans I am going to have lots of grapes. I will write no more for this time give my love to all the relation and tell Nancy (Nancy Shipp Presser) I would like to hear from her. Write to me soon again don't waite for me to write. Our best wishes to your self and family. We remain your Bro and Sister.

Margaret Bell
No 524 North 11 St.

Tell me all about the rail road that you mentioned in your letter. What part of the country does it run from. Write me all about it. (End of Letter)

Note by Karen Nelson: The letter was sent to William Shipp and Martha (Ogden) Shipp. The letter was from Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell. Margaret was lst. married to Mr. Ryner, also spelled Renner. She was married a second time to Mr. Bell. Margaret (Shipp) Bell is a sister-in-law to Martha (Ogden) Shipp. Nancy Shipp was a sister to William Shipp and Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell. Nancy Shipp first married George Washington Presser in 1847 in Clark Co., IL. Nancy's second husband was Joseph Hodgeon. They were married in Texas Co., MO. Apparently the Presser's and Shipp's were in Illinois during the same time and later moved to Texas county, MO. The Presser and Shipp families both appeared on the 1860 Texas County, MO Census.


Terre Haute
April 26

Dear Brother:

Martha arrived here safe and well, she left Salem Friday and got here that night at half past one, she is going to York the last of this week we are all well. I wish you could have come along we would like to see you. Next time I will write a long letter, my love to all.

Your Sister

Post card addressed to: William Shipp
Texas Co., Mo.

Note by Karen (Cavaness) Nelson: The letter was written on a post card, there is a post mark April 26, but no year.

The letter was written to William Shipp from his sister Margaret (Shipp) Rinner/Bell. Martha Ann (Ogden) Shipp is William Shipp's wife. They lived at Licking, Texas County, MO. Martha went to Salem, MO (a neighboring town) to apparently ride a train to Terri Haute, IN. According to old family records Martha (Ogden) Shipp's family lived in the area of York, IL and Marshall, IL. Her parents were Benjamin Ogden and Courtney (Harrison) Ogden. Courtney was the daughter of Wm. Henry Harrison and Ann (Beeson) Harrison.


Terre Haute, Ind.
Nov. 29, 1889

Dear brother and sister

Your kind letter is at hand and found us all usual. Our health is not good, but we are able to do what little work we have to do. We were glad to hear that you were well. You wanted to know if there was a man listed in Marshall (Marshall, IL) I could not make the name out. William I haven't ben to Marshall for so long I don't know who is dead or living but I will ask ?Mrs. Semmon when I see her she go to Marshall and mabe she will know. I thought the man was ______ was your capton Mr. ____ was cournel but he is dead. Well William we would like to know how you are getting along. When you write tell us where your children all live do they live close to you and what else do you live on. Is any of Nancy (Nancy Shipp Presser) children live near you. I hope you all have plenty to go on. We rent out our house all but three rumes for the winter we git 14 1/4 a month and we git eight and half a month for the little house so we can live off the rent and we will have it easy this winter. Yesterday we was invited out to turkey dinner and we had a nice time and a good dinner it was at doctors ____ where we maried on the thanksgiving day we kept _____ us a holiday. My son and family lives in Peorie 200 miles from here they were all well. It is very cold to day and snowing we have had lots of rain. They found it has bin terable sickly this fall but so much at the present time. Martha where dos Bob (Robert Shipp) live he never write to us we would be glad to see you all if we could stand the trip we would come to see you all once more but we can't say if we ever will be. Is your son Bob (Robert Shipp) married or not. Who is living with you are any of your children with you. Well this is all hope to hear from you all give our love and best wishes to every body tell them to write to us you must write soon this is from your brother and sister.

William & Margaret Bell

Note by Karen (Cavaness) Nelson: The letter was written to William Shipp and wife Martha (Ogden) Shipp from William Bell and Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell.


Terre Haute, Ind. Sept 14

Dear Brother & family

Your kind letter is at hand we was glad to hear from you We are not well we are able to be up William if you was able to go to Marshall (probably Marshall, IL) I would go to see about your pension I have ben wanting to see Mrs. Reanner. She said she did not think of Abraham or believe he was living she said for you to write to Henry brother she thinks he can tell you all you want to know I wish you could get it Well Martha we have not had any winter here worth speaking of My roses looks green every thing in the yard is green but trees We had only two snows this winter not enough to stay nice. We had one sleet it broke some of our trees. Well this is all at this time hope to hear from you soon would write more but I have not got the use of my hands I think sometimes I am going to loose the use of them I will try and write Robert (probably Robert Shipp, son or brother of William Shipp) Give our love to all and keep _____ sure for yourself Martha I will send my valentine that my gran son sent to me I had a good laugh they thought it was funny I sent them nice ones they will get them to day so good by

I will send you one of my valentines that was set to me my little gran son sent they thought it was nice I sent them a nice one. Write soon.

Note by Karen (Cavaness) Nelson: The letter is written by Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell. The hand writing is the same as other letters Margaret wrote. The letter is written to Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell's brother William Shipp and sister-in-law Martha (Ogden) Shipp. Robert Shipp is mentioned in the letter, there were two Robert Shipp's. Robert is probably a son or a half-brother to William Shipp. Abraham and Henry mentioned in the letter are probably Abraham Harrison and Henry Harrison, they are related to Martha (Ogden) Shipp.


Terre Haute, Ind. 4th

Dear brother and sister

We received your kind letter was glad to hear from you all. William I have bin sick every since I wrote you before I have bin bad sick with _____ of the stomick. I am so nervious that I can't hardly write Mr. Bell is not very well all of the rest of the family is well you said you were making schingles for 1 dollar a thousand how can you make them so cheap we pay 4 per thousand do you still own your mill is it runing or not. You said Bob (Robert Shipp) had bin sick. Was it your son that was sick was brother Bob (Robert Shipp) that moved where did he move to. Is your children living near you and how are they giting along tell them I have not forgot and would like to see them. Tell Nancy (Nancy Shipp Presser) that I would like to see her and family she must write me how is your mothers family is she (Lucretia Burch Shipp wife of Martin Shipp and step-mother to William Shipp) well. Remember us to allhave you any new railroads runing any where near you then when I was out there let me know how near you live to the rail road if we keep well enough we intend coming to see you all. We have very cold weather here since before Christmas but it war and nice today every thing is bright but we expect dood times, in the spring eggs ____ censt per dozen buter is 25 for pound you must excuse my bad writing and spelling So I will close for this time wishing you well and that it will ____ and hearty. You must write soon and let me hear soon We join in sending love and best wishes to ever one so good by.

William and Margaret Bell
Direct to North 11th Street 524

Note by Karen (Cavaness) Nelson: The letter was written to William Shipp and wife Martha (Ogden) Shipp from William Shipp's sister Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell. Nancy mentioned in the letter was Nancy (Shipp) Presser/Hodgeon a sister to William Shipp and Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell. The mother mentioned in the letter was Lucretia (Burch) Shipp, wife of Martin Shipp. Lucretia was a step-mother to William Shipp and Margaret (Shipp) Renner/Bell. William Shipp had a son and a half-brother named Robert "Bob" Shipp.


July 26, 1891 Terre Haute, Ind.

Mrs. Emma Walker to Mrs. Martha Ann Shipp

William Bell requests I inform you that his beloved wife and your sister (sister-in-law) departed her life Monday the 22 of July 1891. She had been a inveled for one year and a great sufferer bur her last days very peacfull and Martha she has gone to a place where there is no more sickness or death. Be kind enough to answer immediately so I may know wheather you have received this. Also let me know where your nearest express office is. Hoping that the all wise Savior will be with you in sorrow.

I Am Yours Sincerely
Mrs. ?Thes Walker

Direct your letter to
Mr. Bell
524 North 11 Street
Terre Haute, Ind.

Note by Karen (Cavaness) Nelson: William Bell had Mrs. Thes Walker to write to Martha (Ogden) Shipp informing her of her sister-in-law Margaret (Shipp) Rinner/Bell's death 22 Jul 1891.


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