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Lost & Found

This letter from 1913 was recently found in a chase (a space between the walls) on the first floor during Lincoln Hall’s renovation. Although partly torn, it tells of the livelihood of raising chickens in the early 20th century.

London, Canada
Feb. 6th, 1913

Letter from 1913

Mr. F. T. Franklin,
Urbana, Illinois

Dear Sir:

Yours with remittance.... Will ship cock. weather is so very...and stormy here at present. will have good...him. He is the...big cock bird. ...cost me over $30.00. ...from England and...going to be a better big as his dad. I’ bird better than this yard a full brother. Have not yet mated him. All [chicks] have been running together in one pen all winter. They were hatched on the 15th July but have grown well. My hens are laying. Am beginning to save eggs. Hope you’ll get some early chicks. Thanking you and am yours.

A. J. George


Who Was F. T. Franklin?

As an employee of the Big Four shops, F. T. Franklin was a foreman of machinist helpers and a foreman of boilermakers, according to roundups in the Urbana Daily Courier. Although not an alumnus of the University of Illinois, he may have worked on Lincoln Hall when he lost his chicken letter.

Clearly an avid fan of raising chickens, he had won many awards at poultry shows, including the Illinois State Poultry Association show, the Champaign County Poultry and Pet Stock Association show, and the Urbana Poultry and Pet Stock Association show. F. T. Franklin also held various officer positions in the poultry associations.