June 1, 1919 letter to Lela Mueller from Kate Crawford

June 1, 1919

To: Lela Mueller

From: Kate Crawford

Kate is describing their country home and the decorating she has done. Would like Lela to sell back “the old black chair” to them if she is willing.

Sunday, June 1st, 1919

Dear Lela,[1]

I am sitting out under the trees this morning trying to get a little of the wandering breeze – it has been very hot for a week and a thunder storm threatening for two days – but has not materialized as yet. I have driven tacks until my head is buzzing. Climbed up on chairs and down again – like the King of France marched up the hill with his army and then down again. Such a time as we have had losing and finding. I lost a paper of tacks. For a week I hunted for them. Just found them yesterday. Papa[2] lost the key to the door and I hunted every where for it. Yesterday he looked in the pocket of his store pants & found it. Country was saved once more.

We think we look quite nice in our country home. Considering what we have to do with. We covered the largest part of the porch with the Linoleum & the rest with rugs, two cots, an improvised bookcase. I had Papa put the crate that our bed stead came in right across the narrow end of the porch. I lined it with paper, curtained it and converted it into a clothes closet. Put my sewing machine out there. A comode Nell[3] gave me, one of those frog flower dishes & I have it filled with lilies of the valley. They grow on our bank. Papa put a strip on our porch inside for pots of plants. I have quite a nice collection. An old dressing case & my large glass hung over it & the wall covered with pictures I cut out of the magazines & Sunday Tribune all winter. Even you I think would concede it was quite artistic. At least it is more attractive to the eye than the wall. Yesterday I recd a package from New Orleans from Walt Greene. On opening it found a cute Kasasas – a bale of cotton ready to ship – a little darkey sitting on it with cotton all around him, a bunch of oats waving over his head and a big slice of watermelon in his hands – which (apparently) he is about to devour with great delight. We have hunted the town over for a rocker. We have only one. It is an old easy cane seat & back. I have cushioned it back & seat & it is awful comfortable, but we are sadly in need of another. There are plenty of chairs but as you know, they are short backs & straight uncomfortable things. A good reed chair I could not touch for less than $15.00 & of course it was out of the question. Now Lela, I am going to make a proposition to you. If the old black chair is in tack would you sell it back to me. I will give you $2.00 for it. And if you dont feel happy about it just say so and if you do would Lou[4] put a crate on it sufficient to satisfy the law or get someone to do it & send it to the depot. You can do that by telephone so it will not put you out too much. Now Lela if it does not strike you favorable, just forget it. If it does, just send us the bill & we will remit. Has you mother[5] gone away yet? I had a touch of rheumatism in my knee yesterday. I was quite a cripple, but it is better today. I went to look for two van[?] pins yesterday and found I had neither of them. Do not know where I could have left them. One had green stones in & the other was a sterling with rhine stones. Have you tumbled on to them. I have written to Nancy see if I left them there. Will you look in that satchel I sent over, perhaps they might be loose in that.

Hope to hear from you soon

Love to all

Aunt Kate

[1] Lela (Brown) Mueller; Kate was the wife of Hiram Crawford Jr., Lela’s grand-uncle

[2] Hiram Crawford Jr.

[3] Nellie (Sullivan) Crawford, the wife of Kate’s son, Harry

[4] Louis Mueller, Lela’s husband

[5] Nancy (Keith) Brown

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November 14, 1917 letter to Nancy Brown from Ethan Keith

November 14, 1917

To: Nancy Brown

From: Ethan Keith, Kalamazoo, MI

Ethan is writing about the year’s potato crop. Also mentions that their record player broke. It was 68 years ago that their parents were married.

68 years ago to day Luke Keith and Sally Crawford[1] rode behind “Old Doll” to Battle Creek on a wedding trip, and Sally carried a parasol. That was before the cantenment.

Kalamazoo, Mich. Nov 14, 1917.

Dear Sister,

Hannah[2] says I will have to write you about the potatoes. I dont know what to say, but will tell you what we have got. I wish you could have had the potatoes that Peake sold in Kal- for us. They were nice to eat and looked nice. He got the top of the market Kent was paying $1.00. and he got $1.25. He dug them before the hard freeze. So many of the potatoes are frosted people will have a lot of trouble with them, they wont be good, and lots of them will rot. Some of ours were touched a little. I have not sorted them yet. Could not do it when I dug them for I had to get them in the cellar as soon as I could, for I was afraid they would all be frozen. Our potatoes are quite scabby. Will have to sort them pretty close. Will have to sell what I call Hunters New Yorkers, and some of Rowlands New Yorkers. Dont know as you know what they are. The Rowlands were what we used while you was here. Dont know how I would get them to freight house unless I could hire the Peake’s to take them. Will look them over as soon as I can and find out what I have got then if Jim[3] does not send you any perhaps I can if you want them. Of course what there are more than we need I want to sell.

We are not listening to the little records any more. Over a week ago I was playing one, and the thing made an awful noise and stopped playing. Have not had a chance to take it apart but think it has stripped coggs on one of the gear wheels, dont think the spring is broken. I have been afraid of the coggs for some time they have run a good while. Daisy and Fannie are standing together for the first tonight in the stanchions.[4] I hope you are having a let up from that torment. I think the Witch Hazel did relieve me, but I was not bad. Tell Helen[5] Auntie[6] and I would like to see her.

Love to all. Ethan.

[1] Ethan and Nancy’s parents, Charles Luke Keith Jr. and Sarah Crawford, married on November 18, 1849. Early records refer to Sarah as Sally, as does their marriage certificate; however, in later years she is referred to as Sarah

[2] Ethan and Nancy’s sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne

[3] Ethan and Nancy’s brother, James Keith

[4] A frame that holds the head of a cow in place, especially to facilitate milking

[5] Nancy’s granddaughter, Helen Mueller

[6] Hannah was very often referred to as Auntie

September 15, 1913 postcard to Dorothy Recoschewitz from Hiram Crawford Jr.

September 15, 1913

To: Dorothy Recoschewitz, Chicago, IL

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., North Yakima, WA

Postcard from North Yakima, Washington

No Yakima[1] Sept 15/13

Dear Dorothy[2]

Mount Adams is about 12600 feet high and as seen from here shows about 1/3 of its height. A great snow bank the year around. I am not well yet but am gradually gaining. Love to Papa Mama and Brother[3] with lots for yourself.

Your Uncle[4]

H Crawford

[1] Hiram was most probably visiting his daughter, Blanche (Crawford) Hessey

[2] Dorothy was not quite ten years old

[3] Julius, Bess (Brown) and Robert Brown Recoschewitz

[4] Hiram was the brother of Dorothy’s great-grandmother, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

June 24, 1912 letter to James Keith from Ethan Keith

June 24, 1912

To: James Keith, Shelbyville, MI

From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

Is writing to give him Henry Keith’s address; doesn’t know what Ray Keith’s address is. Received the announcement of Winifred and Kirk Brouard’s marriage. Mr. Brouard seemed like a nice man. Uncle Hiram is visiting; will go to Uncle Henry’s tomorrow. Hiram has neuralgia in his right eye and kidney trouble. Lela Brown and Lou Mueller were married Saturday. “It’s quite a good deal for one to have two nephews in a week.”

Galesburg June 24, 1912

Dear Brother

I am agoing to write you this morning and answer your question. Am sorry I did not get to it last week, but I did not have a chance to breathe hardly. Henry’s[1] address is 507 E. Buffalo st Ithaca N.Y. I dont know what Ray’s[2] is. He is in Cal-. His business is in San Francisco but I think he boards in Oakland with his mother.[3] We rec’d the announcement of Winnie[4] and Mr Brouards[5] marriage friday. They and Marion called on us thursday A.m. We like Mr Brouard appearance. Seemed like a nice man. Hope they will get along nicely. It was not exactly a surprise to us for Mildred[6] said she guessed they intended to be married, and Marion phoned Hannah[7] tuesday that they were to be married Wed-. You and Cora[8] must begin to feel old. Uncle Hiram[9] is here goes to Uncle Henrys[10] tomorrow. He has neuralgia in his right eye. Has been sick since the first of May. Kidney trouble. I suppose Lela[11] and Lou Mueller[12] was married sat-. It’s quite a good deal for one to have two nephews in a week. Write when you have a chance. It’s little past time for Will so will stop.

Love to all from Ethan

[1] Henry Keith, his half-brother, the son of Charles Luke Keith Jr. and his first wife, Minerva Payson

[2] Henry’s son, Arthur Raymond Keith

[3] Florence (Stall) Keith

[4] Jim’s oldest daughter, Winifred Keith; Winifred and Kirk were married June 19, 1912

[5] Kirk Brouard

[6] Niece, daughter of his sister Louese (Keith) Harris

[7] Sister Hannah Keith Towne; she and Ethan lived together

[8] Jim’s wife, Cora (Meredith) Keith

[9] Hiram Crawford Jr., his mother’s brother

[10] Henry Crawford, his mother’s brother

[11] Niece, daughter of his sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[12] Lela Brown and Louis Mueller were married June 22, 1912

June 12, 1910 postcard to Nancy Keith from Minnie Crawford

June 12, 1910

 To: Nancy Brown, Galesburg, MI[1]

 From: Minnie Crawford, Shelbyville, MI

 Postcard with update on travel plans. 

Dowagiac

Tuesday June 12, 1910

 Dear Cousins All

I am here on the farm. I dont know how long I will stay but you may write me here. Send to J. J. Ritter and I will get it. Had a nice time at Lou’s[2] and Jims.[3] Promised to go back with Ruth.[4] Hope Hannah[5] is still improving. Love to all.

 Hastily

 Minnie Crawford[6]

[1] The postcard was addressed to Nancy in care of her brother Ethan, who she was visiting

[2] Nancy’s sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[3] Nancy’s brother, James Keith

[4] Believe this is referring to Minnie’s daughter, Ruth Crawford, who was about 15 years old

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

[6] Minnie was married to Nancy’s cousin, Eugene Crawford

June 8, 1910 postcard to Nancy Brown from Minnie Crawford

June 8, 1910

To: Nancy Brown, Galesburg, MI[1]

From: Minnie Crawford, Shelbyville, MI

Postcard with update on travel plans.

 

Shelbyville

Dear Nan

Got here all O.K. yesterday. Found them all well. Staid at Lou’s[2] last night and came to Jims[3] today. Will stay here untill I go home on Friday or go to Dowagiac.[4] Love to all. Hope hannah[5] is still on the mend.

Yours lovingly

Minnie C.[6]

[1] The postcard was addressed to Nancy in care of her brother Ethan, who she was visiting

[2] Nancy’ sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[3] Nancy’s brother, James Keith

[4] Dowagiac, Michigan

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

[6] Minnie was married to Nancy’s cousin, Eugene Crawford