Submitted by  John Grace

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This letter was written by John Kinnamon of Harlem, Mo. to Reuben F. Ross 
of Carter County, Kentucky. John was the the brother of Reuben's mother, Nancy
Jane (Kinnamon) Ross. Descendants of John Kinnamon still reside in the Kansas City area.

Kinnamon family chart

John Kinnamon was born in Kentucky, possibly Louisville, on June 25, 1925. He died March 8, 1918.
John Nelson Ross married Nancy Kinnamon in 1839 in Bath County, Ky., so the Kinnamons must have been
in the area around that time. Somewhat mysteriously, Nancy's parents did not file a formal 
consent contract for her marriage to John Nelson Ross. All evidence seems to indicate that after her 
marriage in 1839, Nancy never saw her parents or her brother and sister again.

Reuben Fletcher Ross, the son of John and Nancy Ross, was born March 1, 1843 in Carter County, Ky. He died 
December 30, 1935 and is buried with his wife and children at Ross Chapel Cemetery, near Olive Hill, Ky.

Ross family chart

The fact that John Kinnamon wrote this letter to Reuben implies that they met at some time in their lives, 
although there is no record of the Kinnamons in Carter County. John appears on the 1860 census living near Kansas City, Mo.

There are photos of both Nancy and John Kinnamon in the Carter County Photo Gallery. Both Nancy and John Kinnamon's 
descendants were told that John and Nancy were Native American.

This letter is now in the possession of Glenn and Opal Sparks of Olive Hill, Ky. It is in an old photo album that was 
passed down from Reuben to his son, Harlan Ross, and subsequently to Glenn and Opal after Harlan passed away in 1958.

The letter was sent from Harlem, Mo. Harlem no longer exists, but was located near Kansas City, Mo.
In the letter, "Geo" refers to Reuben's brother, George Ross. 

"your grandfather and Sarah" refers to John and Nancy's father, George W. Kinnamon. George was living with
John Kinnamon on the 1860 census. George died in 1866 in Platte County, Mo. I believe that Sarah was John Kinnamon's first 
wife. This context would imply that Reuben Ross had not seen John Kinnamon during the 32 years since Sarah had passed away 
and John Kinnamon had re-married. On the other hand, it seems somewhat strange that John would refer to his first wife as
"aunt Sarah", but he may have referred to her that way because that's how Reuben knew her.

							Harlem, Mo.  
  							Feb. 2, 1899   

Dear Nephew,

   I received your kind letter. We are all
getting along very well. I never expect to be well.
My head is roaring and my eye sight is poor.
I will be 74 years old the 25th of this coming
June. Rubin tell me where Geo. and the children
is. How long since your father and mother
died. Your picture never came here. We would
of been glad to have it but it never came
here. Your grandfather and Sarah has 
been dead 32 years. The boys names are
John, Geo., Chas and Emmet. The youngest is
21 years old. My wife name is Missouri Anna
She is fifty-one years old. The three girls names
are Elmira, Queen and Rose. The two youngest
girls are dead, been dead over a year. Your
Aunt Sarah's children are all dead but one and
that is Fanny. There were four. If I live till spring
I will have all the children pictures taken and send
to you. Rubin I have the best set of children in
the world. The boys are industrious and the
girls are smart. Rubin how many of sister
Nancy's children are alive. How many
there was. How many are dead. Send me the name
of all sister Nancy's children. Good by. I send my best wishes.

				From you Unck
  				Uncle John Kinnamon,  ans soon

On a personal note, I am a descendant of John Nelson and Nancy (Kinnamon) Ross. Several years ago I was able to make
contact with a descendant of John Kinnamon who lives in the Kansas City area. This descendant had heard of
John's "Kentucky family", but knew nothing about John's sister Nancy's family. I was able to personally meet 
John Kinnamon's great grand daughter in 2000. I believe that that was the first time that the two branches of the Kinnamon 
family made face to face contact in over 160 years. We thought that was kind of neat ;>)