September 5, 1921 letter to Nancy Brown from Lela Mueller

September 5, 1921[1]

To: Nancy Brown, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Lela Mueller, Chicago, IL

She tried to keep Lou from going to Davenport, but he was so anxious to go and to take Jean that she thought it might be good for him to go. Wrote about Mr. Dee getting married and how he told her how much it meant to him to have lived with them the past year.

Monday 5 P.M.

Dear Ones All:[2]

I feel as though I could draw a long breath for once. Have hustled all day but the washing is done and a good deal of the ironing, the house in pretty good shape and things ready for school to-morrow morning. It has been a strenous week for every one I guess.

I did quite a bit of sewing last week, made Jean[3] a black suit, bloomers and top in on piece, also her net dress, a pair of panties and finished her coat, then forgot to send her coat but she hasn’t needed it. Her net dress looks real pretty. I bought a light blue silk slip for her to wear under it. Got her a pretty little shirred blue lawn hat, and black suede oxfords – or rather got brown (on sale) and had them dyed. It almost broke her heart when they came home black but she got over it. She looked cute and happy as a lark when she went. Lou[4] wasn’t himself[5] and I tried to have him not go, but he seemed to want to and was so anxious to have Jean go, otherwise I should have kept her home but when I saw how he felt I thought it might be better for him to have her to take up his mind. He wired as soon as they got there, said every thing was fine and mother[6] met them.

Joe, Bob and Anna[7] expected to drive there Sun. and return Monday. Was sorry about that, but they didn’t want mother to know they were coming.

Dorothy[8] came up Fri night and is still here. She and Helen[9] have gone to the train to meet Lou and Jean. Joe[10] is coming up after supper and they are going to a show and then home. He was up last night.

I took Jean to the 11 A.M. train then went over and had lunch with Aunt Lizzie.[11] After that I shopped, got home at 5, just as Mr Dee[12] was getting into the taxi. He seemed to feel very badly about leaving, he filled up 2 or 3 times Friday eve. and said he couldnt show his feelings but they were deep. Also said “and I love those children.” He told me Friday A.M. that so many thot he was a confirmed bachelor and he said I thot so too; “but after living in the environment I have the past year I feel different.” He says “You dont know what it meant to me when those children would run to the corner to meet me, and the few evenings I staid home to hear their chatter, play the victrola and then tap on my door with a dish of pop corn. I made up my mind then that I wasn’t getting what I should out of life. His brother came for some of his things Fri eve, and he said you never will know how much my brother appreciated the home he had here and the nice things he always had to say about all of you. Mr Dee said all the men at the office knew Helen and Jean.

I have told a whole lot that wont interest any one but you, but I know you will be interested. He wanted me to remember him to you and he said he had become so attached to you, thought you were one of the finest “old” ladies he had ever known. Helen said my Grandma is not an old lady – she she said it right from the shoulder. We dont know where they were married, I mean the address, but were married at her home, and went from there to the Edgewater Beach Hotel. They are going to board this winter over on N. Washtenaw, near Lawrence. Said he was so glad they could stay here in Ravenswood Manor. He is near where he lived before he came here. I said you’ll feel you’re back home. He said this is all home to me. He went all over the time he came here to see the room, the first time he met Lou, said he never felt the least bit strange, said we had always done so many nice things for him.

Burn this up – It sounds foolish to any one who doesnt know him.

I looked every where for a hat for you but didnt find any thing. Can you fix yours as Bess[13] said. If not we are planning to go down town Thurs. A.M. and will try and get one then. I sent you a waist. If you dont like it return it to me. I thought it would be prettier with your sweater than a flat front, and the material is fine and pretty. If you want I’ll send a lace to put around the collar, cuffs and frill. [Written in the margin: blue waist sold wholsale for 500]

Dorothy, Martha[14] Helen and I went out to the farm Sat. with Uncle Will[15] and Aunt Lizzie, came back Sunday night. Brought in a big basket of beans. Uncle Wills folks have lots of cucumbers and tomatoes gave us some of those. We didn’t rest very good. Would have done us more good to have staid home and loafed and we could as we had no meals to get except as we pleased.

When I wrote last week I was so broken up over Lou’s being sick and so much to do. I dont think I even mentioned receiving the pillow cases napkins and the candy and nuts. Every thing was lovely and the children enjoyed their candy. They kept it up on the pantry shelf, and broke off a little at a time. We took all the nuts, I mean all that werent eaten and put them into some fudge – it was certainly good. Dodo[16] made it Sat so we took it out to the farm. Uncle Will enjoyed it too.

Bess has her money and mine for the eggs – 2 crates – 900 and will send it Tuesday – to-morrow is that right.

Sadie Crawford[17] is married again.

I wont write about the Davenport[18] trip till the next time – will not seal this till they phone they are here and if Mother came with them.

Mrs Leuders has been here most of the day. When she came said Helen and Louise were coming in the afternoon, but when she saw how busy we were she phoned them not to come.

One day Jean was talking about Michigan and said I wis I could go to Auntie Ethans[19] house and see the child cow.

I’m enclosing Aunt Kates[20] letter. When your beef is gone let us know and we’ll get more if we can. We’ll pay for this.

Lou just phoned. Mother didn’t come. Said he felt all right. We must get supper – rarebit.

Lots of love to all.

Lela

[1] The postmark on the envelope is September 6, 1921

[2] Nancy lived with Lela and Lou, but was visiting her brother and sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne and Ethan Keith, in Galesburg, Michigan

[3] Her daughter, Eda Jean Mueller

[4] Her husband, Louis Mueller

[5] Lou had previously been hit by a streetcar and sustained a brain injury. As a result he would have seizures. Lela was able to care for him at home in the beginning but later had to admit him to Elgin State Hospital where he remained until his death in 1942

[6] Lou’s mother, Augusta (Ficke) Mueller

[7] Believe this is Lou’s sister, Johanna (Mueller) Holmquist Langhorn and her daughter, Anna Holmquist, but at this time do not know who Bob is; Bob was Johanna’s second husband, Robert Langhorn (updated 3-14-2016)

[8] Her niece, Dorothy Recoschewitz

[9] Her daughter, Helen Mueller

[10] Joseph Langmayer, Dorothy’s future husband

[11] Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown

[12] Mr. Dee was one of Lela and Lou’s boarders

[13] Her sister, Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz

[14] Martha Lueder who was staying with Lela and Lou. Don’t know much about her other than that for some reason her mother wasn’t able to care for her at that point. It is unknown how old she was

[15] Her uncle, Willis Brown

[16] Dorothy’s nickname

[17] Sarah (Ruddy) Crawford Anderson. Sarah was the widow of Byron Crawford who was the son of Lucius Prosper “Pros” Crawford, Nancy’s uncle. Sarah (Sadie) married Orvis Anderson on July 19, 1921

[18] Davenport, Iowa, where Lou’s mother lived

[19] Nancy’s sister and brother, Hannah (Keith) Towne, who was referred to as Auntie, and Ethan Keith

[20] Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford, the widow of Nancy’s uncle, Hiram Crawford Jr.

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September 3, 1921 letter to Nancy Brown from Kate Crawford

September 3, 1921

To: Nancy Brown

From: Kate Crawford, Lake Mills, WI

Kate describes events prior to her trip to Wisconsin and her arrival at Erinside Beach at Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

 

1921-09-031921-09-03B1921-09-03C

Erinside Beach
Lake Mills, Wis

Sept 3d 1921

Dear Nan

Your letter reached me in due season and I was glad to hear from you. I was surprised when I went over to Lelas[1] to find you gone.[2] I had a pleasant time there. Lela was so good and kind and thoughtful. It made J-[3] & I both feel good. I went to Rosehill[4] Friday morning, then to the Drs & had the spot burned out of my cheek, then started for here Saturday at 2 oclock. Stayed in Milwaukee 2 hours, reached here at 830. Stayed with a lovely old lady for four days. She boarded us & roomed us & fed us up beautifully for $10.00. Then the 1st we came here. The cottage was untidy looking and as we had nothing much to fix it up with, the outlook was poor, but a neighbor loaned me 4 strips of matting and a rug and 2 quilts and we went down, took 2 pails & brooms, washed the porch walls & floor & screen, put down the matting, moved the furniture around, made up our cots. A lady sent us a beautiful bunch of gladiolas, a bottle of berries, a glass of jelly, a pan of apples & a pan of grapes, tomatoes & cucumbers & doughnuts, so we have started on our way. Leroy is going to give us a chicken for to morrow. K-[5] floated in on us yesterday aft, found a way across country. Will go to C-[6] Monday Noon to be ready for work Tuesday morning. I had a letter from Aunt Laura[7] to night. She is living in San Francisco. Her address is 176 Belvidere St.

The first night I was here I cried all night. Many sad memories met me, but God in his infinite grace sustained me and comforted me. I think often of you and have made so many years. The girls went down town tonight to get some things for over Labor Day. It is a gala time every Saturday night, the band plays & all the towns people & surrounding country meet & exchange greetings & do their trading. Remember me to H- & E-[8] & love to yourself.

Girls send love & I must close as it is bed time.

Aunt Kate

Write when you can.

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

[2] Nancy lived with Lela and Lou, but was visiting her brother and sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne and Ethan Keith, in Galesburg, Michigan

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

[4] Rosehill Cemetery, where Kate’s husband, Hiram Crawford Jr., was buried. Hiram died in Chicago December 2, 1920

[5] Believe she is referring to her granddaughter, Katherine Eck

[6] Chicago, Illinois

[7] Laura (Hands) Crawford, the widow of Lucius Prosper Crawford; Pros was the younger brother of Kate’s husband, Hiram

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

August 30, 1921 letter to Lela Mueller from Kate Crawford

August 30, 1921

To: Lela Mueller

From: Kate Crawford, Lake Mills, WI

Kate describes her arrival at Lake Mills, Wisconsin. She will have some fixing up to do to make the cottage home-like.

Lake Mills Wis

Aug 30th 1921

Dear Lela

I am feeling quite punk this morning, not haveing a good nights rest. I awoke at 2 A.M. & did not drop off again until about 5. We boarded the train at Wilson. Waukegan & Evanston cars were crowded to suffocation, but the Mil train was very comfortable. Stayed there 2 intervening hours. Checked baggage & went out to view the landscape o’er. Went in to a joint near the Depot & got a good cup of coffee and lunch. Reached L.M.’s[1] at 830. Lady waiting for us, had something to eat & retired early – as we were reasonably tired – as the Bus stopped. Mrs Willey (at whose home we are stopping) came from one side of the road and Mrs Meyers from the other and gave us a hearty greeting. I went up to the Lake yesterday to see about my nice box truck, found they had come all O.K. & Mr Leroy had had them brought to his home. The inmates of the cottage go to morrow and we will go down in the evening. We are staying with a lovely old lady who would give me any thing she had, I think, and is worried all of the time for fear I am not as comfortable as she would wish. Well it is certainly refreshing to find people kind to you. We will have some fixing up to do to make the cottage home like. They do not seem to care about the things as I like them and not haveing brought any thing to fix up with as I always did, we will have to do the best we can. My friends here will help me as best they can. I hope this finds you all well. I have not heard from 1429, only my storage receipt and a letter from your mother[2] enclosed. I wrote to H-[3] this morning. Perhaps I will hear & perhaps not. Well, all right, my concience does not upbraid me.

Now I will close & as soon as I can procure stamps will send .63cts to you .30cts borrowed and 33cts on D. Beef & oh, yes 11cts for sending, am I right? If not, dont fail to tell me. Love to all, Bessie[4] & family.

Yours as ever

Aunt Kate

How I would love to have a word from you if you can find time.

[1] Lake Mills, Wisconsin

[2] Nancy (Keith) Brown

[3] Kate’s son, Harry Crawford

[4] Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz, Lela’s sister

August 29, 1921 letter to Nancy Brown from Lela Mueller

August 29, 1921                               

To: Nancy Brown, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Lela Mueller, Chicago, IL

Mr. Dee is getting married and has packed his trunks, given the kids lost of stuff and gave her and Lou a photo of himself in uniform. Aunt Kate had a hard substance removed from her face. Harry didn’t call her while she was at Lela’s and Lela doesn’t know where Kate and Jessie will go when they return from Lake Mills. Lou had another spell and had to come home. Mr. Bonnet told Claude that Lou couldn’t even talk when he left the office. Lou has slept all day and Lela doesn’t know what to do for him.

Monday 6 P.M.

Dear Ones All:[1]

Will start a letter now and finish it to-morrow. Dinner is all ready but “getting” done – have a baked chicken, fresh corn, cut off the cobs, cucumber. Next week we wont have to eat at all if we dont want to. It will seem good in one way and in another way I’m awfully sorry. We never can get another Mr Dee,[2] and I’m not going to give meals to any one even if I rent the room, at least I dont intend to.

Mr Dee packed his trunks yesterday, gave the kids[3] lots of stuff and gave us an elegant photo of himself, head and shoulders, in uniform. They are coming over to dinner soon after they are married. We are anxious to see the bride. The kids dont seem to care much about his going, but Martha[4] is some blue.

Received your card this A.M. thanks for the napkins, Edie[5] sent me 3 and is going to do my table cloth after decoration Day.

Aunt Kate[6] and Jessie[7] got here about 3 oclock Friday. Aunt Kate came from Oak Park that morning to Rose Hill, watered the grave,[8] then went down town and did several things, then to the Dr. (alone) and had her face taken care of. He took out a hard substance like stone, very small. Harry[9] didn’t call her up while she was here, and when they come back I dont know what they are going to do. They cant go there and Aunt Kate won’t go to Marions,[10] says she will never eat at Jacks table, and I cant have them here. I think they ought to have some one looking for them, but I suppose they’ll trust to luck. Jessie told me 2 or 3 times how much she thot of me. Aunt Kate said I ought to feel honored as there were very few people she cared for. I think they would have staid here till the first if I had asked them, as they cant have the cottage.

Tues. Eve.

We received your letter and the napkins to-day much obliged. I was washing so put them in – they look so nice.

Lou[11] came home about 10 oclock this morning, another spell.[12] Mr Bonnet[13] told Claude[14] he couldn’t talk when he left the office. We fixed a bed on the porch and another in the dining room, as I was washing and it would make so much running for me. He has slept all day and is still sleeping only when I rouse him. I dont think he suffers as much as before – but seems dazed. I wish I knew what to do. Claude was just here says he’s got to let go somewhere.

I wont attempt to answer your letter to-night or write much more. Dont think I’ll let Jean go to Davenport[15] even if Lou goes. I dont know as he would be able to take care of her. I know he wouldnt if he should have a spell. I hate to disappoint mother[16] but may have to. Claude said he thought he shouldn’t go.

Want Martha to mail this so will say good-night.

Lots of love to all

Lela

[1] Lela was writing to her mother who was apparently visiting her brother and sister

[2] Mr. Dee was one of Lela and Lou’s boarders

[3] Lela’s daughters, Helen and Jean Mueller

[4] Martha Lueder, another boarder

[5] Lela’s sister-in-law, Edith (Neumaier) Brown

[6] Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford. Kate was the widow of Hiram Crawford Jr., who was the brother of Lela’s grandmother, Sarah (Comfort) Crawford

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

[8] Kate’s husband, Hiram, was buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago

[9] Kate’s son, Harry Crawford

[10] Jessie’s daughter, Marian (Eck) Meiss

[11] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller

[12] Lou had previously been hit by a streetcar and sustained a brain injury. As a result he would have seizures. Lela was able to care for him at home in the beginning but later had to admit him to Elgin State Hospital where he remained until his death in 1942

[13] Lou worked as an accountant at Bonnet-Brown; Arthur Bonnet and Claude Brown were partners

[14] Claude Brown was Lela’s brother

[15] Davenport, Iowa, where Lou’s mother lived

[16] Lou’s mother, Augusta (Ficke) Mueller

August 24, 1921 letter to Nancy Brown from Lela Mueller

August 24, 1921

To: Nancy Brown

From: Lela Mueller

Has been so busy she didn’t have time to write, but will lay low until school starts so she can get her sewing done. Went to Deer Grove with Claude & Edie on Saturday and then again on Tuesday to help pick vegetables. Aunt Kate and Jessie came on Monday and wanted to know if they could come back on Tuesday and stay till they left for Lake Mills. When they got back from the farm on Tuesday they found Aunt Kate on the porch crying. Harry hadn’t offered to help her to the car or even show any concern about her going or coming back.

Wednesday eve.

Dear Ones All:[1]

I have been on the go so much for the last week havent had time to write or hardly breathe but I’m going to lay low now till school starts or I wont get any sewing done.

I’ll go back to last Thursday. I took the 3 children[2] down to Wiebolds for a hair cut, then went to Bessies[3] for dinner. Martha[4] staid at Aunt Helen’s all night (they didnt go on the boat) then Friday Helen and Jean were invited to Katherines for the day, so I had to leave here before eleven, then went down town from there, got home at 5:30. When I got home found my electric flat-iron still connected and a hole in my ironing sheet, but iron is all right it was lucky.

Saturday morning I go

Lou[5] called for the children Friday but they didnt want to come home so they staid all night. We had a terrible rain and some tornado wind that night – water about 2 inches deep in the basement. Mrs Cady told the children it was fireworks from Heaven she had asked for especially for their entertainment that eve. so they were happy.

Sat. I had a big washing and had just gotten every thing going when Lou phoned we were to go to Deer Grove (Palatine) with Claude and Edie[6] so I had some hustling to get my wash done and dry and get ready. Claude stopped on the way over and got the children. We changed their clothes and started – had a lovely time only slept cold. Sunday was a beautiful day and we enjoyed it. Monday Jean was sick all day, vomited. When we got home Sunday eve. found a note from Aunt Kate.[7] She and Jessie[8] had been here, said she would come again Mon. A.M. Got here about ten and staid till one – wanted to know if she could come here Tues. and stay till they went to Lake Mills Sat. Said she wanted to get every thing away from Harrys[9] Tues. and so came here. I gave her the key as we were going to the Farm Tues. She has gone to Oak Park will be back to morrow and asked if Jessie could come too so they could go to the train to-gether. Its too bad they ever gave up their flat. Katherine[10] moved from Harrys about 2 weeks ago. They were with her just as they were with Jessie. Katherine went to Omaha to visit Aunt Pet Atkinson I guess.

When we got home from the farm Aunt Kate was on the front porch – had been crying. When she came away Harry didn’t offer to even help her to the car – nor show any concern about her going or coming back.

We went to the farm Tues. to get the rest of the beans and corn. Martha, the kids and I went on the train. Left here at 1200 and the train we expected to take only runs Sat – so we had to wait over 3 hours. Got out there about 4:30 – tired, hungry and provoked. So much to do there and here and just sat there waiting. I tried to get paper so I could write to you – but no chance.

Lou came out on the 6 oclock train and Claude and Edie about seven in the machine. We couldnt pick all there was it got dark so early.

Hillmans had a sale of Wilson’s dried beef last week 5 pounds for 1.55 – 35¢ a pound – we pay 80¢. Lou got a box and it was fine. Another sale to-day so he is going to try and get over and get a box for you folks. If he does I’ll send it in the morning.

I had a crate partly filled with beans and a little corn so it wouldn’t shuck. Martha took it over here and they wouldnt accept it. Said the paper was torn. She was on her way to Bessies so took it there. Dont know whether you’ll get it or not.

This is a terrible jumble but I’ve gotten so behind with every thing I cant think till I get cleared out a little. Have cleaned up stairs good to-day and now I’m going to iron. Mrs Leuders is having her vacation, Martha has gone to Lincoln Park but will be home tomorrow Sat & Sunday.

Helen had the same trouble yesterday that Jean had Monday, only was sicker and it lasted longer – is all right to-day.

Lou feels better, is taking a tonic, goes over again to-night. Mr Dee[11] about the same.

Love to All

Lela

[1] Lela was writing to her mother who was apparently visiting her brother and sister

[2] Presume she means her two daughters, Helen and Jean, and Martha Lueder

[3] Lela’s sister, Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz

[4] Believe that this was Martha Lueder, who boarded at Lela’s house

[5] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller

[6] Lela’s brother, Claude Brown, and his wife, Edith (Neumaier) Brown

[7] Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford. Kate was the widow of Hiram Crawford Jr., who was the brother of Lela’s grandmother, Sarah (Comfort) Crawford

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

[9] Kate’s son, Harry Crawford

[10] Jessie’s daughter, Katherine Eck

[11] Mr. Dee was one of Lela and Lou’s boarders

June 7, 1921 letter to Nancy Brown from Hannah Towne

June 7, 1921

To: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

From: Hannah Towne, Kalamazoo, MI

Hannah’s arm and hand are very lame and she hasn’t slept very well the last two nights. Ethan has so much work to do. He has planted, and four of their hens’ eggs started hatching yesterday. There are 21 little chickens and still more that haven’t hatched yet. Uncle Henry was worried about her and Ethan and came out to see them. Clara and her husband have rented a house on the lake in Evanston for three months and Henry and Virginia will go with them.

Tuesday 8:3- A.M. June 7-1921

Dear Sister

My arm is so lame and hand too that I cant write very good. Have’nt slept very good for two nights it aches so bad. Thought I could’nt use it at all when I got up but it is limbered up some now. Haveing it in hot dish water helped it some. Ethen[1] churned yesterday. I put it in a crock thinking he would have to take it to the burg[2] this A.M. It is so cool and the butter came hard and is hard now that he will send it to Chicago to day. He has got so much to do “all at once” that he hates to take the time to go to the burg. He is fixing a place for the little chickens. He had four hens setting and the chickens commenced to hatch yesterday. He finished planting the corn Saturday. After I get the dinner work did up Friday I laid down. Had’nt been there long when an auto drove in. I looked out and saw uncle Henry.[3] Mr Frank McClory brought him over. He got to worrying about Ethen and I so concluded to come and see us, stay over night. He is the most considerate of any old person that I know of and some young. He said he knew Ethen would be so busy that he could get over here some way with out bothering him, and he got a lunch in Kal- so not to make me any extra work. He told Ethen not to stop his work keep right on planting. All he wanted was to come and see how we were. He gave me $1.00. When he was here in the spring he brought Ethen a good pair of pants and suspenders and something else I cant think what. He took them to the cleaners and had them cleaned and pressed. I have got take them in a bit around the waist. Now he is agoing to send him a coat and pair of pants. He says if Clara[4] was like him she would fix us up here in good shape. I told him she did’nt know any thing about us. Dont tell that to any one only you and the girls are to know it. He went home Sat- P.M. He was looking fine and not one bit childish – mind is clear. Clara and husband[5] have rented a house or cottage at Evanston on the lake for three months, go the middle of this month. He and Virginia[6] go with them. They have all the help that is needed in doors and out.

Carrie had the operation yesterdy A.M. “ten oclock” by fast time. Got through it all right. Mrs Lerner[?] came Sunday. She and Ida went with Carrie Sunday P.M. when ___ took her to the Hospital. Then they went with the Dr yesterdy morning. Mrs Lerner staid with Ida until last night. Mrs Newberrie stays with Ida nights. She works for Nellie. Dr Balch performed the operation. Took the gall bladder and a string of stones the worst kind – “rough.” I dont know what else. Ida told me that over the phone. I hope she will be better after this.

Ethen just came in and said he had got 21 chickens on the barn floor. They are penned in. They aren’t all hatched yet but so many are out. Wish Helen and Jean[7] could see them. I am going out after a while.

Hope you keep on going and that Helen will get along all right. It is a good time for them to have the ___. I had too much company last week. Have been all in and more so now. If I can be alone will get to feeling better I hope. There is sweeping and mopping to do but I cant do it now. I dread Aunt Jennie[8] – so hard to talk to her. Ethens stomach is so weak and I would think it would be. I may send a card last of week.

Love

H[9]

——-

[1] Hannah’s brother, Ethan Keith, who she lived with

[2] Galesburg, Michigan

[3] Henry Crawford, brother of Hannah’s mother, Sarah (Comfort) Crawford

[4] Henry’s daughter, Clara (Crawford) Hopkins Hammatt

[5] William Hammatt

[6] Henry’s wife, Virginia (Worley) Crawford daughter, Virginia Crawford

[7] Nancy’s grandchildren, Helen and Jean Mueller

[8] Virginia (Worley) Crawford

[9] Hannah (Keith) Towne

April 25, 1921 letter to Nancy Brown from Hannah Towne

April 25, 1921

To: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

From: Hannah Towne, Kalamazoo, MI

This is the seventeenth anniversary of their father’s death. She thinks that Eda has a cancer of the colon and hopes that the treatments will destroy it. Uncle Henry came for a visit and “can do all he said he did.” The money that Nancy sent apparently was stolen from the envelope. She had a very strenuous week and was kind of nervous. She didn’t sit up much on Saturday and was doing only what had to be done.

Monday 1:37 P.M. Apr 25 – 1921

Dear ones all –

This is the seventeenth anniversary of Pa’s[1] going a way. You have made a mistake about aunt Jule.[2] Bess[3] was 40 last Feb and she was born the Feb 1881 before aunt Jule went in Apr.[4] aunt Alfleda[5] went to Oscars[6] the 22nd the day she passed away. Ethan[7] and I talked about it that day. Seventeen years has gone quick in a way. Lots has happened in the time. I read in the paper three or four weeks ago that _____ wed [to] “I know who she married but cant think” has a baby. If I remember right it is a boy. When you first wrote about Eda[8] and said there was a stoppage of the large colon I said to Ethan it looks like a cancer to me. Then when you wrote she was agoing to take the medicine treatments I thought so more than ever. I believe the doctors know but are agoing to try and distroy it and I hope they will what ever it is. Dont let she or Claude[9] know what I have written. Clara[10] is the one who dont know what Uncle Henry[11] does. “Did she put his rubbers on.” A man as smart as he is and take a trip crooked trip from S.B. to G. and stop off at Kal-[12] and get is lunch so not to make me any trouble can do all he said he did. He wiped my dishes that morning – there were a lot of them and I was pretty _____ over the _____. It had been a very strenuous week week for me. I know I did’nt sit up much Saturday. I was kind of nervous as you will see by my letter. I wrote about Pa then aunt Jule and then Pa again. The reason I am writing this letter is. Your letter came to day but no money. It was registered so I think we will get the money all right. It has been opened in the end about two thirds of the way. Then did Lou[13] seal it with some red sealing wax? I will put in envelope in this and show you just how for it was opened and where the wax was. He wrote in the back

Mrs L. A. Mueller
4445 N. Francisco Ave.
Chicago, Ill.

Some one opened the letter and took the money out and we think sealed it. Mr Carr[?] spoke about its being torn on the end so I took the letters out so he could see there was no money. He will take the envelope and letter to morrow to Sam Faltz. Ethan has been waiting for the money for the C______issors papers have got to go to Hollender right off will have to go to morrow. He has’nt got but a little money and he dont know but he will have to give H- some but if he has to and dont have enough H- will have to wait until he goes again. I have just read this over and it will worrie you the way I have written it because you have’nt sent it before but we have’nt needed it before and to day was soon enough. You or one no one else is to blame for the money being taken only the one who did it. So dont let it worrie you because you did’nt send it last week. The way my head is I cant think how to write and have it sound all right. (My nervousness[?] is all right)

I did the washing last week a few pieces at a time so now I have been a lady laying around and doing just what has to be done. I dont see how Bess can do our washing with all she has to do. I wont have to send clothes until next week and she wont have to wash them before the week after and I will send as few as I can. Wish we could of seen Dorothy.[14] I know she looked nice. Let me know when the Orchestra comes to Kal-. I told Ethan I hoped we would have some fresh butter milk for J[15] if he comes up here.

Love

H[16]

[1] Hannah’s and Nancy’s father, Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[2] Julia Ann Allen, the sister of Matilda (Allen) Brown who was the mother of Nancy’s husband, Henry Brown

[3] Nancy’s daughter, Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz

[4] Julia Ann Allen died April 22, 1881 in Comstock, Michigan

[5] Alfleda (Starr) Keith was married to Harvey Keith, Charles Luke Keith Jr.’s brother

[6] Alfleda’s son, James Oscar Keith

[7] Hannah’s and Nancy’s brother

[8] Nancy’s daughter-in-law, Edith (Neumaier) Brown

[9] Nancy’s son, Claude Brown

[10] Clara (Crawford) Hopkins Hammatt, Hannah’s and Nancy’s cousin (daughter of Henry Clay Crawford)

[11] Henry Clay Crawford (age 88), the brother of Hannah’s and Nancy’s mother, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[12] South Bend, Indiana, to Galesburg, Michigan, and Kalamazoo, Michigan

[13] Louis Mueller, Nancy’s son-in-law

[14] Dorothy Recoschewitz, Bess’ daughter

[15] Julius Recoschewitz, Bess’ husband, who played second violin with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

[16] Hannah (Keith) Towne. Hannah’s handwriting is hard to decipher and we may have made some assumptions that are not correct

December 1, 1920 letter to Nancy Brown from Ethan Keith

December 1, 1920 

To: Nancy Brown

From: Ethan Keith, Kalamazoo, MI

Ethan has received word from his sister of his Uncle Hiram’s death. He is expressing sadness that “… we will not see him again in this life. It’s hard to think of. He has always been so good to all of us. I am very sorry for Aunt Kate, and the children.” Hiram’s death followed closely those of Uncle Pros and Aunt Virginia, both of whom died during the year. Hannah has been sick and suffers from lack of appetite.


Kalamazoo, Dec 1. 1920.
8.15 P.m.

Dear Sister and all,

I have just been using the battery. Hannah[1] used it before I did, and Lou[2] is using now so should think there ought to be some lightning around here now. Thought I had better tell you I sent two bushels of Green Mountain potatoes to you to day. You know they are a later and harder potato than the Hebrons are not quite as tender. If you all like them, and would care for any more, will send as many more when the weather is favorable. Remember they are paid for.

So Uncle Hiram[3] is gone, and we will not see him again in this life. I’ts hard to think of. He has always been so good to all of us. I am very sorry for Aunt Kate,[4] and the children they will miss him so much. He followed Uncle Pross[5] and Aunt Virginia[6] pretty close. I would not be surprised to hear Uncle Henry[7] had gone any time.

Hannah says tell you she will write to you as soon as she can. She has been pretty sick since she had that chill. Does not improve very fast. If she could eat but she has no appetite. Lou[8] has written the Dr. and perhaps he will be able to do something for it. I hope Lou[9] is improving but I believe he has got to be careful and not overdo.

LaVerne[10] and Louese expect to come down friday P.m. and stay until Sunday, expect she is agoing to do something in the front part of the house.

I have twenty shocks tied into bundles ready to draw in and that will leave twenty-four in the field. Dont know when I will get the twenty-four in for I will have so much to husk out before there would be room in the barn for them.

Will stop and go to bed. Give our sympathy to Aunt Kate and family.

Love to all,

Ethan.

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

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

[3] Hiram Crawford Jr. died November 29, 1920 in Chicago, Illinois

[4] Hiram’s wife, Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford

[5] Their uncle, Lucius Prosper Crawford, who died in Berkeley, California on March 4, 1920

[6] Their uncle Henry Clay Crawford’s wife, Virginia (Worley) Crawford, who died July 18, 1920 in South Bend, Indiana

[7] Their uncle, Henry Clay Crawford

[8] Believe he is referring to their sister Louese

[9] Believe this is referring to Louis Mueller, Nancy’s son-in-law, who was hit by a streetcar and suffered brain damage

[10] LaVerne (Harris) Boyer, sister Louese’s daughter

Obituaries of Hiram Crawford Jr.

From the November 29, 1920 South Bend Tribune:

Crawford, Hiram Jr - Death Notice - Indiana

Hiram Crawford

H. C. Crawford, 419 West Wayne street, received word to-day of the death this morning at 4 o’clock of his brother, Hiram Crawford, of Chicago. Death followed a four weeks’ illness and occurred at the Alexin Bothers hospital. Mr. Crawford was 82 years old. He is survived by his wife, one son and two daughters.

——-

From the November 30, 1920 Chicago Daily News:

Crawford, Hiram Jr - Death Notice

CRAWFORD – Hiram Crawford, Nov. 29, aged 83 years, beloved husband of Katherine Crawford, fond father of Harry A., Mrs. Jessie B. Eck and Mrs. Charles D. Hessey. Funeral Thursday, Dec 2, at 2 p.m., from late residence, 5412 Glenwood-av. Burial at Rosehill.

November 2, 1920 letter to Nancy Brown from Lela Mueller

November 2, 1920

To: Nancy Brown, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Lela Mueller, Chicago, IL

Aunt Lizzie expected to take June to St. Louis but Lida fell and sprained her ankle so they won’t go. Had a “queer deal” from Harry Crawford. They placed an order for coal with him but when Lela called to confirm she was told he didn’t work there any more. Bess made a very cute cake, shaped round like a pumpkin, for the children’s Halloween party. Wrote details about the party. Helen wanted to play a song on the piano like one of her friends but told Lela, “I havent got her voice and this isnt the tune she plays and I cant remember her words.”

 

Tues. Eve.

Dear Ones All –

I’ll start a letter this evening but wont finish it till to-morrow as I’m tired and sleepy. Mrs Geezy was here this forenoon so we were busy all morning, then I had to go and vote. As soon as Martha[1] got home and had lunch I took the 3 kids[2] down town – left them at Fields’ play room while I shopped. We didn’t get home till after six. I got the 3 children each a pair of golf gloves, had to pay 1.25. Also got Helen and Jean each a sweater – Helen’s pink with turquoise blue trim to match a tam o shanter Mother Mueller[3] made her, and a turquoise blue with tan trim for Jean. Got my self a beaver (pressed) hat – perfectly plain – sort of sailor – but rolled rim.

We were going to Aunt Lizzies[4] to-morrow for the day but she just phoned. The furnace is being fixed so we wont go till Thurs. or Fri. Esther[5] goes to Rockford Sunday to stay. Aunt Lizzie expected to take June to St Louis this week but Lida[6] fell down stairs and sprained her ankle so they wont go. Perry[7] may go to Rockford to work for Ray[8] – if so June will stay here till they are settled.

We got a queer deal from Harry Crawford.[9] I wrote you what he said. Last week Lou[10] called him and told him we were out of coal – must have something to-day sure. He said he would take care of us. This morning to be sure I called Mr Chatum[?] and asked for Harry. He said he wasnt with them yet and didnt know when he would be as they had no business for him to take care of, so I told him about our order. Said he hadnt heard about it. I said probably he is taking care of us thro the Edgewater Coal then. He said I hardly think so as he hasnt been with them for some time.

Bess[11] made the cutest cake for our party – made it round like a pumpkin, made a stem out of flour and colored it green, covered the cake with mocha then marked the ridges and put paper eyes, nose and mouth. It was a dandy. Lida Fick (2nd house south of here) invited Martha there Sunday to a party. She had a little green costume, then I used the crepe pumpkins we had for decorations and put around the bottom and neck of her dress, and she wore the cap I made for our party. She looked cute and is pretty.

Must go to bed.

You’ll see by the enclosed where I found the spelling of the word.

Our party wasnt very large, but guess the children had just as good a time.

Ruth Atkins had another invitation that day. Mrs Eiden felt it would be too much for her mother to get Katherine and Jane ready so I didnt invite Junior Bittman. I’ll wait and have Mrs Bittman over when you get home.[12] She said she fell in love with you and the blue coverlid[13] the day she came to look at the house.

So June, Katherine Cody Martha, Helen, Helen and Jean were all we had. Then Martha and Helen had to leave at 3:30 for another party so it left the 4, but they had a good time. Bess, Aunt Lizzie and Ruth[14] were here. I had cold roast ham, scalloped potatoes, lima beans, fruit salad, olives, coffee, sandwiches and cake ice cream. We grown ups ate in the kitchen. They came for a 1 oclock lunch. Mr Dee[15] wasnt home Sat. Mon. or to-night. We like him just as much as ever. Also like Martha just as well. She is so nice to the children and they like her so much. You’ll have to put barbed wire around your bench when you get home as they play there every day – dress and undress their dolls. Martha too. She takes her doll to bed every night I guess as I often find it in the morning. When they go to the store she and Jean put their dolls in the little go-cart and Helen takes an express wagon Mrs Richee gave them.

The other Evening Helen went to the piano and says “mama this is the way Katherine Eiden sings only I havent got her voice and this isnt the tune she plays and I cant remember her words.”

Wed. 5 P.M.

I wont have time to write more and send to-day so will close and let Martha mail it when she goes to see her mother.

I have your things packed ready to send – dress, hat scarf and outing flannel sacque. They are in the egg crate so as soon as you get it send the crate to Uncle D.[16] Thought they wouldn’t crush in that. Will have insured for 40 or 50 dollars.

Lots of love to all. Will finish this in next. I’ve been working on my coat all day and have got to keep at it as I need it to wear.

[1] Martha Lueder who was staying with Lela and Lou. Don’t know much about her other than that for some reason her mother wasn’t able to care for her at that point. It is unknown how old she was

[2] Helen and Jean Mueller, Lela’s daughters, and June Brown, who was also staying with Lela and Lou (see footnote #1 in October 19, 1920 letter)

[3] Lela’s mother-in-law, Augusta (Ficke) Mueller

[4] Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown, wife of Willis Brown, who was the brother of Nancy’s husband, Henry Brown

[5] Esther (Carlson) Brown, wife of Lizzie and Will Brown’s son, Ray Brown

[6] Lida (Reno) Brown, second wife of Lizzie and Will Brown’s son, Perry Brown

[7] Ray Brown, Lizzie and Will Brown’s son

[8] Perry Brown, Lizzie and Will Brown’s son

[9] The grandson of Kate and Hiram Crawford; Hiram was Nancy’s uncle

[10] Louis Mueller, Lela’s husband

[11] Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz, Lela’s sister

[12] Nancy lived with Lela and Lou, but was visiting her brother and sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne and Ethan Keith, in Galesburg, Michigan

[13] A bedspread

[14] Ruth (Brown) Kroscher, Elizabeth and Willis Brown’s daughter

[15] One of Lee and Lou’s boarders

[16] D. Harris, husband of Nancy’s sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

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