June 17, 1920 letter to Nancy Brown from Kate Crawford

June 17, 1920

To: Nancy Brown, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Kate Crawford, Chicago, IL

Kate writes that they are a good ways off from being settled. The bottom fell out of the money bag, so she and Hiram must wait. Tomorrow is Taylor’s & Helen’s 15th birthday and next Thursday night they graduate. She expects to witness the ceremony and then the aunts and uncles and cousins will repair to the house and all talk at once and eat ice cream and cake. They are going to give Taylor a watch and Nell had given Harry a diamond stick pin before they were married and they have had it set in a ring for Helen. Hiram bought Taylor a real leather belt with monogramed sterling buckle. All these various things coming along is the reason they cannot get settled.

5412 Underwood Ave

6-17-20

Dear Nan

I am sitting in the gloaming and thought I would draft you a line or two to let you know we were here as yet. I hardly need tell you about the weather. I fancy there is not much difference between this place & yours. It was so in L.M.[1] What ever we were there, I knew it was about the same here. There was a radical change last night and today it has been uncomfortably cold. Papa[2] started for down town & he was so cold he came back and changed his underwear. Jessie[3] went to work yesterday and that leaves Papa and I alone and I find the work exceeds the cottage. I am so glad I had three quiet years. I wish I had enjoyed them even more. Jessie has to leave at half past six & I get up and help her and about the time she is gone, K[4] comes on the scene so I am up about an hour. Then I lie down but seldom sleep. I am almost as much of a stranger as if I had never lived here. I do not go out much. I have been down town twice, to a funeral in Rogers Park, a lady 70 years old I knew when she was a girl, and out to Mr Dewey’s in R.P. one evening. We are a good ways off from being settled. The bottom kind of fell out of the money bag, so we must wait. Tomorrow is Taylor & Helen’s 15th birthday[5] and next Thursday night they graduate. We are expected to witness the ceremony and then the Aunts & Uncles & cousins will repair to the house and all talk at once and eat ice cream and cake. They are going to give Taylor a watch & Nell[6] had given Harry[7] a diamond stick pin before they were married and they have had it set in a ring for Helen. Papa bought Taylor a real leather belt with monogram sterling buckle. All these various things coming along is the reason we cannot get settled. We thought we would get H[elen] a camasole, so Papa said. Now Jessie Saturday aft– you go and get the carousal for Helen. We had quite a laugh over it. We have not seen or heard from Lela.[8] We have no phone service as yet. The landlady is real good. Anyone who has her number calls there for us. She touches our bell and then they can use this phone, but no one can call us here. The man emptied the box this morning of the last tenant’s nickles and he said they were up against it every where.

The prospect for canning is very poor. We had to stop buying berries they were so poor & so high. Potatoes way out of sight. We used to say to people we invited to dine with us (they would say don’t do a lot of work for us) & we would reply – oh we will just drop two or three extra potatoes in the pot. But now, nothing doing. I hope Hannah[9] is feeling better now you are there. I tell you it is lovely for anyone who has a garden. Oh how I miss L.M. Plenty of everything. Milk & cream 12 cts instead of 15 & 16, ice box filled to overflowing, plenty of eggs. We got 12 doz four weeks ago from Leroy’s. Almost gone now. We could get lots of fruit & fresh vegetables. When you are enjoying all these luxuries, just think of us.

I had a nice letter from Laura[10] a few days ago. She is very lonely. Mays husband[11] sprained his ankle just after L.P.[12] passed away and was confined to the house about three weeks. Did you know Leo & his wife[13] were separated?

You can hardly imagine how different it is here from L.M. Last Saturday I listened to pianos of all grades, victrolas, Auto horns, babies crying and sundry other sounds. Not agreable to any ears, but who am I in this motley crowd. If you get the Chicago news, you must be startled with the killings going on and 9 out of 10, a woman at the bottom of it. The last time I heard from M[14] she was getting along. She had to have two or three stitches. Baby was a fine healthy fellow.[15] She had plenty of milk, which is a great blessing. When she was in the hospital, she wrote to her mother[16] & it did not reach her, but was returned. She wrote on the envelope, see what Jack[17] did, directed it wrong. He wrote under it, could not help it, so excited at being a father, Jack.

I am sorry you are going to be gone all summer. I am very lame at times. It is with difficulty I can get around and to add to my joy, the middle finger of my right hand has been crippled with rheumatism, but is so now I can use my hand. Now I have told you all my ills. And it seems by the way my eyes feel it is bed time so I will close by sending love to all from all and hoping to hear from you soon.

Aunt Kate

Got muddled with the paper

[1] Lake Mills, WI where Kate and Hiram had had a summer cottage

[2] Hiram Crawford Jr.

[3] Jessie (Crawford) Eck, Kate’s daughter

[4] Katherine Louesa Eck, Kate’s granddaughter

[5] The twin children of Harry and Nellie (Sullivan) Crawford and Kate’s grandchildren

[6] Kate’s daughter–in-law

[7] Harry Crawford, Kate’s son

[8] Lela (Brown) Mueller, Nancy’s daughter

[9] Hannah (Keith) Towne, Nancy’s sister

[10] Laura (Hands) Blake Crawford, the second wife of Lucius Prosper Crawford, Hiram’s brother

[11] Believe she is referring to James MacDermott, the husband of her daughter, Laura May (Blake) MacDermott

[12] Lucius Prosper “Pros” Crawford, who died in Berkeley, California on March 4, 1920

[13] Pros’ son, Leo Crawford, and Ella (Drew) Crawford

[14] Kate’s granddaughter, Marian (Eck) Meiss

[15] Jack Meiss Jr., Marian’s son

[16] Jessie (Crawford) Eck

[17] Jack Meiss, Marian’s husband

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: June 17, 1920 letter to Nancy Brown from Kate Crawford | Letters & Diary Entries From the 1920s

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