Frances Amelia Winchester was born 18 February 1848 in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Benjamin Winchester and Mary Hannah Maria Stone. She was the third of seven children. Her father had been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but left after a number of years. She married Joseph Abel on 9 January 1866 at Council Bluffs, Iowa. Together they had five children three of whom lived to maturity. Frances passed away 23 February 1925.
This manuscript contains six original handwritten letters and two original envelopes. The letters are all addressed to Savillion A. Winchester, the brother of Frances Winchester. During the time of their correspondence Savillion is living with relatives in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Frances starts every letter with the introduction “My Dear Brother I take the pleasure of writing you a few lines to let you know that we are all well at present, and I hope these few lines will find you the same”. She goes on to discuss the family events he has missed since her last letter. She writes of their father’s construction of a new house with two floors, of the other young people they grew up with and their present engagements, of her father’s sickness and then recovery, and a week full of making molasses. Frances expresses her longing that Savillion would come back and how much she misses him. She closes her letters by directing him to write frequently and let them (the family) know how he is getting on. She then ends every letter with the salutation “This is from your affectionate sister, Frances A Winchester, To Savillion A. Winchester”. All of the letters are handwritten in dark brown ink. The penmanship is cursive and difficult to read, but legible with some effort. There are four three-page letters and two two-page long letters. All of the letters have become browned with age and are kept in clear plastic coverings. The two envelopes are marked with the information “Mr. Savillion, A Winchester, Care of Stephen Winchester, Salt Lake City, Utah, T.Z.” they both have an original postal stamp over which has been stamped with black ink “Council Bluffs IOA” and the date, Sep, 28 ’65 and Dec, 17 ‘65.