[X001M3284], Letter from Wilson Stout Howell to John White Howell, April 5th, 1889


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[X001M3284], Letter from Wilson Stout Howell to John White Howell, April 5th, 1889

Editor's Notes

My dear Brother, I received the copy of the wire yesterday and are highly gratified to find that Grandfather had such a level on family matters. I think it rather severe on Dad and the 2nd batch but they are all right for some time to come and when Pa dies I think Aunt Eliza will look out after them I am obliged to you for your trouble and thoughtfulness. Mother told me of your night with marks at Phila. If the Phila Co. don't appreciate his zeal and hard where any more than the N.B. did mine he will call himself a fool for working so hard. Johnston wrote to me last month to stop on way East to consult with them and I foolishly Vail know that I intended to stop there. I work Johnston that I would probably reach them on the 19th. Today I got the enclosed letter from him? Do you know who A.S. Hatch is? What are [xxx] capabilities? Will he not work for less that would? My work will slack off in summer and will grow less in quantity as the parent company looks after their stations. With a competent inspector kept on the road all the time, and a generous policy in dealing with the local companies my work can be cut down very materially and in that case I might better take some large station to run than to struggle on with the worry of uncertain sources of income. I am not anxious to work for, or under, Vail, but I am anxious that they should not appoint an inspectors of sufficient ability to command the confidence of the local companies and charge a low rate for his services for them my "goose" will be "cooked." I have had no communication from the Edison Lt. Co. or from Vail regarding the request of the association that I be appointed an inspector of stations and have not decided how I should act in case I were offered our appointment. Will you kindly take the enclosed better from Johnston Co. to Mr. Jenks and ask him what is in the wind. Vail has ordered me to go to Des Moines, Iowa to make an inspection of that station for him, on my way home, and made no bargain for terms and expenses but simply said go. Now I can make the bill light or heavy as I see fit. I can charge what I choose to St. Paul Co. and the balance to the N.Y. Co. (Vail). If Hatch or any other inspector of parent Co. is to cut my work up, I shall dip as deeply in the treasury of the Light Co. as my connection will allow, for I cannot expect to get many chances at them if they have an inspector. On the other hand I can get their to work if I cater to Vail, for their one inspector can't be all over the country at once, and he will be wanted in Maine while he is in Texas and I will possibly get some of Vails extra work if I want it. Of course there are some companies who don't want Vail or any of his men or the Light Co. to work for them and I have a certain "clientage" who will send for me when in trouble, but I am really a little worried over the appointment of fan inspector by the Light Co. I don't want the job and don't want any other good man to have it. I have an order from the Atlantic City Co. to stop their on my way East and confer with them on some extensions and shall probably be there on the 20th april and soon after at N.B. Emma, Abby, and baby are in [xxx] visiting a friend they will join at Des Moines. With much love to you and yours I am affectionately Wilson S. Howell





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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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