April 11, 1924 letter to Nancy Brown from Louese Harris

April 11, 1924

To: Nancy Brown

From: Louese Harris, Shelbyville, MI

She has trouble doing things and mornings are the only time she is free from lameness and pain. Mildred is hustling to get the spring sewing and house cleaning done before she and Fred take a three-week vacation. Aunt Kate is piecing a quilt for Blanche and is planning a trip to Detroit in August. Louese is amazed that a woman her age wants to do so much traveling alone. Jim is suffering from asthma again and can’t lie down or work.

Shelbyville Apr. 11-1924

Dear Sister:

I am writing this card to let you know I do not owe you a letter, but it’s alright. I know you are busy as well as my self and it is most impossible to do any thing out side of housework and every thing that goes with it. If I could only move swift but it’s no use. To day some of the time I was’nt sure whether I could keep my feet moving or not to morrow may or will be better. Only when I first get up in the morning am I the most free from lameness & pain. Mildred[1] hustles all the time trying to get our spring sewing done. Then the house cleaning before she & Fred[2] have their vacation the very last of May. Have their passes now, going to his sisters at Bourbon Ind. with auto so can have it to use while there. From there go to Washington D.C. – dont know where next but expect to be gone three weeks. The roads are settled now so Fred goes to & from work with car, leaves home at 2.15 P.M. returns at 11.30 eve. A letter from Aunt Kate[3] last week asking me for silk pieces she is piecing quilt for Blanche.[4] I could not get at it to pick up more for her until this week, sent them to day. Now I have to write a letter. Sent card last Mon telling her I’d rec’d hers. She writes as if she thought Fred was not working. I can’t understand it as he has’nt missed a day since he came here. She’s planning on a trip to Detroit in Aug. will visit us and the folks at home of course. Can you imagine a woman of her age[5] wanting to do so much traveling and alone. Jim[6] has been having asthma again. Can’t lie down – can’t work. The Star runs just the same. No Mrs Harding has not sold and is not going to. A partial bargain made but she had’nt told Ruby & ____ they could have it & now she has sent word they can’t. Ruby has a baby boy two weeks old. Dorothy does not go out unless after dark. She looks like seven mos. Evry one thinks six or seven. Mrs H- feels just awful. She looks very bad and is pretty near a nervous wreck. Every body feels sorry for her. LaVerne[7] rec’d your letter and will ans. soon. I will too. Very sorry for you all.

Love to all

Lou

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[1] Louese’s daughter, Mildred (Harris) Cripe

[2] Mildred’s husband, Fred Cripe

[3] Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford, widow of Louese’s and Nancy’s Uncle Hiram Crawford Jr.

[4] Kate’s daughter, Blanche (Crawford) Hessey

[5] Kate was 83 years old

[6] Louese’s and Nancy’s brother, James Keith

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

1911? letter to Nancy Brown from Lela Brown

About Fall 1911

To: Nancy Brown

From: Lela Brown

Writes about clothes she and Bess are sending to Nancy. She visited Uncle Hiram. Blanche isn’t going home until after Thanksgiving so Nancy should be home in time to see her before she returns home. Writes about sharing a room with Dorothy and the two of them eating apples after they go to bed. Nancy then adds her own news and forwards the letter to Hannah.

Scan of 1911 Fall – Lela Brown to Nancy Brown

Tues[1] –

Dear Mamma,

I will send this cuff set but didnt have time to put the lawn on it and get it to you before you went to Kal.[2] so you can do that. Its my first attempt so don they are not very nice. Maybe the cuffs are too wide but you can easily change them.

Bess[3] sent your coat Monday so you will probably get it before you get this.

Let me know how Auntie’s[4] coat comes out.

I stopped at Uncle His[5] Sunday. Blanche[6] isnt going home until after Thanksgiving so you will see her. Even if we dont find a flat you plan to be here then.

I havent had any money from Claude[7] since I came home and dont know as wel we will, so if you hear any thing from Will let me know.

I havent time to write any more. Will send the cuffs and will send the collar in a day or two. I didnt have quite enough braid to finish it.

I am going to Claudes to-night to stay with Edie.[8]

Dorothy[9] talks about Michigan all the time, she remembers every one and every thing. She sleeps with me in Al’s[10] room and we have apples every night after we go to bed, and the first thing when she wakes up in the moning she asks for apples. The other night she was watching me get one ready to take, and she said to Bess “In the morning when I wake up I’ll say Aunt Lela give me some apple” and she say “O you little monkey.”

Write soon.

Love to all

Lela

The following was written to Hannah Towne from Nancy Brown

Hannah, If you can get the cloth over I will go to Kazoo tomow morning, get back so as to go over home[11] in evening on Saturday, which ever will be best for you and Ethan.[12] You see Lou[13] is not coming this week. I’ll write Lou to day. I’ll get your goods & buttons. If you want any thing else send a little change with the check for the buttons. Lizzie[14] & I were invited to Ida[15] yesterday P.M. had a real good time. Mr Simonds[?] called, also ___ ___ & Stewart. I wrote Clara I’d take dinner with her tomow. Keep these letters.

Nan

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[1] While the letter was not dated, it appears it might have been around the Fall of 1911

[2] Kalamazoo, Michigan

[3] Her sister, Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz

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

[5] Nancy’s uncle, Hiram Crawford Jr.

[6] Hiram’s daughter, Blanche (Crawford) Hessey

[7] Her brother, Claude Brown

[8] Claude’s wife, Edith (Neumaier) Keith

[9] Bess’ daughter, Dorothy Recoschewitz

[10] Bess’ stepson, Alphons Recoschewitz

[11] Many of the family, even though they lived elsewhere, referred to the Keith family farm where Ethan and Hannah lived, as “home”

[12] Nancy’s brother, Ethan Keith

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

[14] Elizabeth (Allerton) Clark. Lizzie was married to William Byron Clark, the son of Nancy’s half sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[15] Ida (Allerton) Carr, Lizzie’s sister

May 15, 1901 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

May 15, 1901

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

Hiram is responding to Sarah’s news of D.C.’s death. He had sent a letter to Robert and had received a copy of D.C.’s obituary from Henry. He has sent condolences to Amanda.

Scan of 1901-05-15 Hiram Crawford to Sarah Keith

Anthracite-Bituminous Coal Co.
Miners and Dealers in Coal.

Chicago, May 15, 1901

My Dear Sister

Your letter with the sad news of our Brothers death[1] reached me Saturday morning. It was a great shock to me for somehow I hadent thought of DC passing away. He was a strong active man and was comparatively young amongst old people. I feel it probably more than the rest of the boys for we being so near the same age.[2] All during our boyhood and young manhood when we could be together we were very chummy. He ought to have lived ten or fifteen years longer and undoubtedly would if he had taken care of himself. No one ought to fool with the grip[3] or pneumonia. When he does he practically commits suicide. Well, Sarah, our circle has been broken for the first time in a good many years.[4] We have stood at a half of a dozen for a good while. May we stand at five[5] for many years yet. But we are like the grand army. We are at that age when we must expect these events to naturally happen a little oftener. It is the fate of the human family and we must take it as it comes and as philosophical as we can.

I wrote to Amanda[6] as soon as I got your letter expressing my condolences and sympathy as best I could and asked her to write. I also wrote Robert.[7] Amanda must have sent Henry[8] a paper and perhaps written him for I received a South Bend paper with the obituary in exactly as it was in the Denver paper you sent me, which by the way I gave to Nancy[9] last Sunday. I shall however write Henry today and send him Amanda’s letter with directions to return it to you. We are all as well as usual. Received a letter from Blanche[10] yesterday. She was well and happy. I mail you some chop today. Please let me know if you receive it. Love to all

Affectionately your Brother

H Crawford

215 Dearborn St

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[1] David Caleb Crawford, who went by the nickname of D.C.

[2] Hiram was two years younger than D.C.

[3] Grippe, another name for mild influenza which was an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus and associated with running nose, sore throat and cough, temperature elevation and aches and pains throughout the body

[4] Their brother James died in 1858 and brother Edwin died in 1866

[5] Sarah, Robert, Henry, Hiram and Prosper

[6] Amanda (Thornton) Crawford, D.C.’s wife

[7] Their brother, Robert Crawford

[8] Their brother, Henry Clay Crawford

[9] Sarah’s daughter, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[10] Hiram’s youngest daughter, Blanche (Crawford) Hessey

(This post was updated on 02-18-2021)