June 21, 1923 letter to Ethan Keith & Hannah Towne from Nancy Brown

June 21, 1923

To: Ethan Keith & Hannah Towne, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

Another update on Lou’s condition. He wants to come home but they could not take care of him. The Ravenswood Manor Association has offered to pay Lela $150.00 for collecting dues from the membership. She will have to go door to door, but can do it in her own time, but Nancy doesn’t know where she will find the time to do so.

Tuesday June 21- 23
3-40 P.M.

Dear ones at home

Seems as if we dont know any thing about you. Have wished a good many times we knew if Lou[1] was there. Such hot weather. I think of you Ethan working out in the hot sun drinking hot tea and so tired. I was not intending to write till tomor, but Lela[2] just got a letter from Dr Wern[?] (Lous[3] doctor). It has about used Lela up and of course I am more or less nervous. He said Lou had two convulsions Tuesday and this morning between three and five oclock had _____ but has come out of them but left him in a weakened dazed condition. He wants she should come up there as he wishes to have a talk with her. She will go tomow morning. Bess[4] or Claude[5] will go with her. She feels bad. Every letter she has had from Lou, only a few lines at a time, but he wants she should come and get him but that cant be. We could never take care of him and he could not have the treatments he needs. We feel like a funeral all the time. Dont or cant make any plans but let each day take care of itself. The Ravenswood Manor association of which Lela & Lou are members have offered her the business of collecting the dues. Has to go from house to house here in the Manor. Will let her take her own time, do as much or little as she can when she can. She will get one hundred and fifty dollars for doing it. Of course she has axcepted it. None of us can see when she will find time to go out. I was going to send crate yesterday then it rained so hard Martha[6] could not take it and now she wont have time as Mr and Mrs Eckles[7] are coming here to supper. This Manor Association takes care of the park ways, keeps shrubry, trees and lawns in fine condition. I wish you could all see how pretty it looks. Its like a big park, nice lawns, shubbry & trees and the flowers. We have four large rose bushes. There are hundreds of flowers and birds. So many others have the same beside so many Peonies, all colors, and all kinds of flowers. Our quince tree is full of fruit but no garden. Lou thinks he made and has as fine a garden as ever was he tried to. The morning he went away he called me to come to the back door and told me to see how even the rows of every thing was and so free from weeds. Showed how much more he knew and understood gardening than any one else. Said in about five days we could have all the beans we could eat and our neighbors culd to. Not a thing out there but weeds and a few radishes, but he saw them all right.

Friday 3.45. As you see this did not get finished last night. Mr & Mrs Eckels came but the empty crate went. The girls went on ten A.M. car this morning, dont know when they will be home. Train leaves Milwaukee every hour, takes two hours to make the trip. They wont be home before eleven or twelve. Will let you know Monday how they found and left Lou. Did you get the last money order 15.00 I think you ought to have had it last Saturday. Hannah I wish I could hear your rheumatism was better. I think about you and Ethan evry minite. If I dont write of any thing. June[?] phoned. She is going to have Uncle Henry, Virginia[8] and myself over for lunch before Aunt Kate[9] goes. I think she will ask Clara.[10] I have planed to go home the 30th but Lela wants I should wait a little longer till we know a little better how Lou is. Hope this finds you all feeling better.

Nan

[1] This could be referring to their sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

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

[3] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller, who had to be admitted to a sanitarium

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

[5] Nancy’s son, Claude Brown

[6] Martha Lueder, one of Lela’s boarders

[7] Lela’s next door neighbors

[8] Henry and Virginia (Worley) Crawford, their uncle and aunt

[9] Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford

[10] Henry and Virginia’s daughter, Clara (Crawford) Hopkins Hammatt

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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

October 31, 1876 letter to Sarah Keith from Clara Crawford

October 31, 1876

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Clara Crawford, South Bend, IN

Her father’s hand was caught in a piece of machinery. His thumb was amputated close to the hand and the hand was badly bruised. He has suffered a great deal of pain and it is not known how long it will keep him from business. Johnny came home Monday night with a felon on his hand and was in very bad condition but is better now. Both Clara and Emma have been sick.

1876-10-31 1876-10-31B

South Bend Oct 31/76

Dear Aunt

Pa[1] received your kind letter Saterday and was veary glad to hear from you. The Doctor thinks Pa’s hand is better. He has suffereed a grate deal of pain and is in a veary bad condition yet. The thumb was amputated close to the hand and the hand was badly bruised. We dont know how long it will keep Pa from his buisness. Johnny[2] came home Monday night from his work with a felon[3] on his hand and was veary bad but is better now. And I was taken sick Thursday with simtons of Dipthereor but an better now. And Emma[4] was taken out of school with a veary bad desies and I think we ar having more then our share. Well I guess I will stop now as I am getting weak. Aunt S excuse this writing. The ink was so bad that I am a shamed to sent it but it is better then now. Come and see us all.

Love to all from

Clara Crawford[5]

——-

[1] Henry Clay Crawford, who was Sarah’s brother

[2] Clara’s older brother

[3] A painful infection at the end of a finger or toe, near the nail

[4] Clara’s sister

[5] Henry’s daughter