Our next place was the Union Mine about three miles south of San Andreas. He and some other miners took a contract to sink the shaft a certain number of feet at a certain sum per foot. But to get a house to live in we were obliged to board the men at the mine that had no home close by. Before April, when we went away there, I had twelve people to cook for. But Jim made money on his contract and was able to carry away a thousand dollars.
In July 1888 my baby Kathryn Grace Ham was born and I tried to feel well again, but I had worked too hard in those months before her coming to gain any health. It looked as the months passed on as if I would never be well again. Fifteen months later another baby was born, a boy , now I had two babies to care for and no health.
My father was aging fast and it made me feel rather unhappy to have to recognize the fact. He was sixty three when he passed away in April 1889. After my father's death, we moved from the home place to a small house in town, and in October of 1889 James Jr. came.
Jim Sr. had had a bad cough every once in awhile for a long time and it was coming more frequently and getting worse with every recurrence. That spring the La grippe first made its appearance, he coughed so hard that I made him go to San Francisco to consult a physician. The doctor examined him and said that his lungs were perfectly healthy: the trouble was his throat and was nothing to worry about. It was hard not to worry.
Time passed on until 1893. There was another baby in the family and no money. Jim's cough was worse and he was not able to work in the mine. The outlook was very dubious and what to do was the question. When the baby was six weeks old we heard of an opening in a hotel in West Point and we took it. The winter had been very stormy and the rivers were very high. The south fork of the Mokelumne River, which we had to cross, was unbridged and the water came into the bed of the wagon. We crossed over safely however and reached West Point. (to be continued)