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RG1554.AM:  Martha Ann DeVoll Mott, 1840-1903

Correspondence:  1876-1880 and undated

Virginia; Red Cloud, Webster County, Nebraska:  Settler

Size:  19 items


Martha Mott, daughter of Jonathan and Mary Jane (Potter) DeVoll, was born in New York on June 1, 1940. She married Washington Irving Mott in 1860, and the couple spent the first dozen years of their marriage farming near Glens Falls, New York. With their children, they moved to southern Virginia in 1872, where they were unsuccessful in their farming efforts. The Motts and their four children moved to Nebraska by wagon in 1878, spending nine weeks on the road until they reached Red Cloud. They moved to Indianola in 1883 and Curtis in 1888, where Martha died on July 5, 1903.


This collection consists of nineteen pieces of correspondence dating from 1876-1880 and undated. Written by Martha Mott from Virginia and Red Cloud, Nebraska, to her relatives in the east, the letters describe the Mott family’s struggle to make a living by farming. In the Red Cloud letters Martha discusses prairie fires, the costs of grain and meat, crops planted, condition of land in the area, excursion trains bringing new settlers into Red Cloud, the growth of Red Cloud, hard times experienced in 1880 due to dry weather, tree planting and the advantages of settling in Nebraska.

The letters were transcribed by Henry and Evelynn Schutz. Patron copies of the original letters and transcripts are available. Due to their fragile condition, the original letters are restricted.



  1. Correspondence, 1876-1880 and undated [Restricted originals]

  2. Correspondence, 1876-1880 and undated [Patron copies]. Includes an introduction written by Henry and Evelynn Schutz

  3. Correspondence, 1876-1880 and undated [transcripts]. Includes an introduction written by Henry and Evelynn Schutz


Subject headings:

Agriculture — Nebraska — Webster County

Frontier and pioneer life — Nebraska

Mott, Martha Ann DeVoll, 1840-1903

Prices — Nebraska — Red Cloud

Red Cloud (Nebraska) — History

Weather — Nebraska — Webster County

Webster County (Nebraska) — History

Women pioneers


AIP/ksa                  04-1993

JS/kfk                     03-25-2004

Revised TMM        05-14-2007


Acc. Number:  1992.223