August 24, 1878 letter to Hannah Keith from Louese Keith

August 24, 1878

To:  Hannah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Louese Keith, Chicago, IL

A general discussion about Louese’s wardrobe. Aunt Bell has gone to Wisconsin.

1878-08-24 1878-08-24B 1878-08-24C 1878-08-24D 1878-08-24E 1878-08-24F 1878-08-24x

Chicago     Aug 24/78

Miss Hannah Keith

Business Letter

Dear Sister

As this is Saturday Evening and the house is quiet I will take my pen in hand to address a few lines to you. Aunt Kate & Uncle Hi[1] have gone to Choir meeting & the children are in bed so you see there is nothing to hinder me from doing so. Of course, you observed at the beginning of this letter that it was a “business” that prompted me to write as soon as this. The door bell has rung.

Sunday Afternoon. I went down & opened the door. The caller was Maurice. He had been here about 5 minutes when Misses Jessie & Lillie Murphy, John Perry & Walter Pritkin came. “They staid until the gentleman & lady came home.” Walter Pritkin’s sister made a birthday surprise party for him a week ago last Monday Evening. I went, enjoyed my self hugely. The dress I wore was muslin made with elbow sleeves & of course with my arms painted & Aunt Kates bracelets on I looked fine. Uncle Hi gave me a dollar to get my ribbons with. I got six yards of red. The dress looks fine (trimmed in embroidery ruffles & tucks). It is only overskirt & basque. Of course that is all very fine but when a person has not got a pair of drawers to wear it is not quite so fine. Uncle Hi & Jessie[2] are going to Galesburg next month & if Ma[3] can scare up a yard & a half of something to make me a pair of drawers I wish she would do so. Then if you have got an old pair of corset that you have thrown in the rag bag please wash them & send the two articles by Uncle Hi. My flannel drawers I wore out before the winter was over & I have worn the other ones every since then. I can take one pair & mend the other then wear them til you send me the new ones & I will wear those until I come home. Gloves are something else but I can get along with them. Aunt Kate has not got me a pair since March & their being light of course they are not fit to be seen. She has had 4 pair that I know of but then it is not to be wondered at as she has got a bay window in front of her which will open in Dec. Then perhaps things will be different but I doubt it. She is as cross as a bear & wont do a thing. I have to do all the work & then sit down & run the machine (she has got a new one) & make her babys clothes. She says that she wants twins. I asked her who would take care of them. She said you, of course. I will learn you to change them & wash their squares. I told her that I did not know how & I would not learn. She said all right (hope she will remember it).

Now Hannah I have written this to you while you are at Nancys[4] so that Ma will not see it for it will make her feel bad & she has enough to think of now. Dont you tell grandma[5] about Aunt K’s condition[6] until after Uncle Hi has been there for she would speak of it & of course he would tell his wife just as soon as he got back then she would take my head right off. If you & Nancy think best to let Ma see this (& Lois[7] excuse me for leaving you out) tell her not to say a word to Uncle Hi about my clothes for the letter she wrote to him last winder made a stiff breeze here although I have never said any thing about it before. I will tell you all about it at some future day.

Aunt Bell[8] as gone to Wis. I helped her the last three days she was here. I have not seen Gene[9] in two weeks but will see him as soon as possible & ask him. Ed Smiths Father was killed in New York a week ago last Wed. Was buried one week ago to day.

Now remember corset & drawers if you possibly can send them to me. Aunt Kate is a sight worth seeing (better come up & see the show).

[Unsigned, but it is Louese Keith’s handwriting]


[1] Hiram and Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford

[2] Jessie Crawford, Hiram and Kate’s second child

[3] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[4] Nancy (Keith) Brown, Louese’s sister

[5] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[6] Kate was pregnant with her youngest child, Blanche, who was born in 1879

[7] Louese’s stepsister Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner, daughter of Charles Luke Keith Jr. by his first wife, Minerva Payson

[8] Isabella (Steele) Crawford, wife of Louese’s uncle Lucius Prosper Crawford

[9] Louese’s cousin, Eugene Crawford, son of Louese’s uncle Edwin Crawford

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