April 17, 1924 letter to Nancy Brown from Louese Harris

April 17, 1924

To: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

From: Louese Harris, Shelbyville, MI

Has been trying to write letters but there have been several interruptions as well as her neuritis which kept her from writing. Recounts various visitors they have had as well as the conditions they are suffering from and/or the trips they are taking or planning to take. Wishes Lela and the girls could come for a couple of weeks or that she could take the girls over their summer vacation to give Lela a break. Writes about the predicament Ethan and Hannah are in as far as not having the money or ability to fix up the old home.

Shelbyville Apr. 17-1924

Dear Sister:

I hope you’ve not given up hearing from me this week, but I’ve been writing to Aunt Kate[1] and for some reason every time I sat down to write some thing would happen so I’d have to stop, for instance last Fri. Mildred[2] and I had work done early after dinner. She wanted to sew and I to write and I’ll be jiggered if Stella did’nt come when I had only four lines written. Had’nt been here in four weeks, she staid until supper time. After that was over with and dishes washed I said, Now I’m going to write all the evening, had been at it less than ten minutes and Cora and Mr Kitchen[3] came – returned home Sun. eve. I was all in then and did not do a thing at writing until Tues. Some of the time the neuritis gets my right wrist and it is hard work to use my hand. Hannah[4] wrote me you had had a spell at it and was very bad. I hope you are all over it and wont have any more. Think you were all more or less afflicted, Bess[5] with lumbago, Lela[6] all used up, sick head ache, and in the midst of candy making. It’s a big problem for all but I dont see how Lela can hold out – if she has to go and see Lou[7] every week. I’m awfully sorry for him but it is worse for her. Too bad he is down again. Do the doctors account for it in any way and do they think he will get up again. I wish his uncle[8] would do what he ought to and give her a few thousand. I dont see how he can have the heart not to when he knows just how every thing is with her. Wish she and the children[9] could come down here for two weeks, and Bess too, you see I did’nt include you, but I know you’ll come any way, and Dorothy, Robert and Joe.[10] It is nice D. & J.[11] can have their home all ready to go right to housekeeping. I’d give a lot to see it. They must be in the 7th heaven these days. Fred & Mildred[12] start on their trip the 28th. She is very busy getting sewing done for Leone[13] & I, she only has to make a dress for her self tan colored silk krepe-de-chin. Guess I wrote you they’d go to Bourbon[14] by auto, Helen[15] lives there, then they’ll have it to use while they are there. Will go to Warsaw,[16] decoration day,[17] that was his home and where those who are gone are buried. Will come that way on return trip, and get auto – stop at Galesburg over night with Hannah & Ethan.[18] I’m going down to see them before the kids go. Yes our housecleaning has to be done too. The three rooms below papered. So you see we’ve got to hit the high spots before the last of May and now I can hardly hit the low. You know all about LaVernes[19] trip down home so theres no use writing about it. Last week we sent a box of vegetabls “mostly” to them.  They’ve not had an onion this winter. They[20] never said a word & I never thought, but it wont happen again. I’ll keep my thinking cap on. Hannah has said quite a good deal to me about a hat, and I wrote her I would see she had one. I could’nt go any where to get it until now even if I had’nt have been lame. The roads have been so bad in places, one got such awful jolts, which I can not stand. Now they are being repaired and are smoth & level once more, but it will be a week and a half before I can go and I know she will get fussed, but I can not imagine why she could’nt wear her last summers hat in case she had a chance to go out. This is the 6th summer for mine. I know hers is not as old as that.

Cora and Mr Kitchen came down (I just forgot I had mentioned it). Well it was partly to see about selling his place, but he is not going to. She is getting better and will not have an operation yet the swelling is there yet but much smaller. Thinks it will gradually be dissolved.

Roy[21] is in hospital with mumps. Has to stay there a month yet, and has been there three weeks. Cora is afraid he has had a set back of some kind, though says nothing about it.

Evening. Stella came at 4 oclock & shut me off. She had spent the day at Josies “listening in” a part of the time. They have a new radio, this is their second one. This is much nicer than the other. Every thing perfectly plain. She heard some very nice singing from Chicago, also other places. D[22] is getting crazy to have one, but I want a new kitchen, can go to the neighbors and “listen in.” Jim[23] has had another poor spell is not working out side of home, has to get up at a certain hour every night and fight for his breath until morning. The Star runs just the same – movies at Wayland four nights a week they average going two right along. Cora[24] is so lame. Wilma[25] has to give up her job at Hurds to help her mother, yet Cora can go to the shows, and then are not many days pass that she does not go some where. Will & Luella have bought the Hope place. Will move the cafe part back for a garage, raise the rest of the house and put a porch across front. Bert Hope has moved in with Ed Knapp on the farm and gone in to chicken business. Marian[?] Harris had her hair bobbed yesterday. She will be 46 in Aug. May be you know Will Clark[26] visited us in March – staid from Wed. until Sat noon. We had a nice visit. Cora brought me a lovely white hyacinth.

Sat. You know it was our wedding anniversary 42 yrs.[27] and Uncle Henrys[28] 91st birthday. Just think Aunt Kate planning a trip to Detroit in Aug. She wrote me she was getting ready. What would I give to possess the youthfulness she has.[29] She has me beaten to a finish. Ruby and her husband are going to move in to Mr Kitchens house next week. Then will buy Mrs Harding out when the time comes “if ever” she wants to sell. Mrs Harding is all used up over Leon’s marrying and the circumstances connected with it. She is nearly crazy some of the time. I dont know what she would do if she could’nt come to us with her trouble. Dont know whether I wrote you Doc[30] bought some Gun[?] marsh land. I dont know how much but he has six 6 acres of onions put in. Come down & we’ll go over and see them when they are out of the ground. I must write card to Carrie to night and begin letter to Hannah so will close. I hope you are feeling better and the girls too. Wish I could do something for you to help out. If we could keep Helen & Jean over every Sunday t’would be a little let-up of the tension for Lela. After school closes put them on the train in care of conductor and send them down. We’ll keep them as long as they’ll stay. Tell me when you write how much material Lela gets for their dresses. It is getting quite like spring, though we saw snow flakes Tues.  No the old back porch at home is just the same only getting worse. LaV–[31] says there is the Custer pile would do them so much good if Ethan would only think so. LaV– said she had to watch her step every time she went out there more than ever. Can’t think how it will be by middle of summer. Yes I’ll do as you said help pay Will or any one who can be hired to fix it and she also says, how can they stay there alone all other winter. And I say how can that house be left alone if they could be persuaded to come here and live for 4 or 5 mo’s. It’s a big problem.

Good Bye

Hope this wont make you sick. Hope to hear you the girls & Lou are better. Would Lou care for some honey. I’ll send some in a pail if Lela thinks he would like it.

Love to all

Lou

——-

[1] Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford, the widow of Louese’s and Nancy’s Uncle Hiram Crawford

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

[3] Louese’s sister-in-law, Cora (Harris) Hogeboom Kitchen, and her second husband, John Nelson Kitchen

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

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

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

[7] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller, who suffered brain injuries when hit by a streetcar

[8] Charles August Ficke, who was a wealthy man

[9] Lela’s daughters, Helen and Eda “Jean” Mueller

[10] Bess’ children, Dorothy and Robert Recoschewitz, and Dorothy’s fiance, Joseph Langmayer; they married on May 29, 1924

[11] Dorothy & Joe

[12] Mildred married Fred Cripe on November 23, 1923

[13] Louese’s daughter (and Mildred’s sister), Leone Harris

[14] Bourbon, Indiana

[15] Mildred’s sister-in-law, Helen (Cripe) Tyrrell

[16] Warsaw, Indiana

[17] Civil War dead were honored on Decoration Day

[18] Louese’s and Nancy’s brother, Ethan Keith; Hannah & Ethan lived on the family farm where they all grew up

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

[20] Ethan and Hannah; both of them were aging and in poor health and money was hard to come by

[21] Roy Harris Hogeboom, Cora Kitchen’s son by her first husband, Aaron Hogeboom

[22] Louese’s husband, Daniel Harris, who was referred to as D.D. or D.

[23] Louese’s and Nancy’s brother, James Keith, who suffered from asthma

[24] James’ wife, Cora (Meredith) Keith

[25] Jim and Cora’s daughter, Wilma Keith

[26] The son of Louese’s and Nancy’s half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[27] They were married April 12, 1882

[28] Henry Clay Crawford, Louese’s and Nancy’s uncle, was born April 12, 1833

[29] Aunt Kate was 83 years old

[30] Samuel “Doc” Boyer, who was married to Louese’s daughter, LaVerne

[31] Shorthand for LaVerne

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 (Atcheson) Crawford

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

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 daughter, Virginia Crawford

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

[8] It is unknown at this time who this refers to; research continues

[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 (Atcheson) 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.

January 4, 1902 letter to Sarah Keith from Robert Crawford

January 4, 1902

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Robert Crawford, Neenah, WI

Robert is writing Sarah to see how she is getting along. He has not heard from Henry or Hiram recently, but understood that Prosper had remarried.

1902-01-04 Robert Crawford to Sarah Keith

Neenah Jan 4″ 1902

Dear Sister Sarah

I have not heard from you in some time and thought that I would write you a few lines this morning. I am usually well, but cough some yet. Dont expect to get much better till some time in the Spring. Edna[1] and family are usually well, but she has a cold. Feels better this morning. I have not heard from Hiram[2] in quite a while. I dont suppose that Kate[3] has returned yet. I would like to know how they were. I must write to Hiram. Well Sister dear, how do you get along. I hope that you are no worse or Luke[4]. I had an opportunity to go in to the Pinery to locate logs, but declined and thought it best for me to stay near the fire this winter.

I just wrote to Mrs Lou Harris[5]. Hope they are well. I wrote Nancy[6] about the time they were moving from Hoyne ave[7] but have not heard from her. I want you Sarah to send me her address when you write me. I wrote to Henry[8] about Thanksgiving but have not heard from him. L.P.C.[9] I suppose has jumped the Broom Stick[10] by what I have heard. Incidentally now there will be a chance for Belle[11] if that is the case. Sister, I for one dont blame him though I think that Pros was not perfection by any means. With regards & love to you and yours. I remain your affectionate Brother.

Robt Crawford

——-

[1] Edna (Crawford) Henry Tullar, Robert’s daughter

[2] Their brother, Hiram Crawford Jr.

[3] Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford, Hiram’s wife

[4] Charles Luke Keith Jr., Sarah’s husband

[5] Sarah’s daughter, Louese (Keith) Harris

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

[7] 736 North Hoyne Avenue in Chicago, Illinois

[8] Their brother, Henry Clay Crawford

[9] Their youngest brother, Lucius Prosper Crawford, who went by the nickname of Pros

[10] Pros married Laura Hands September 30, 1901

[11] Pros’ first wife, Isabella (Steele) Crawford. She and Pros divorced sometime around 1900

(This post was updated on 05-06-2021)

November 22, 1901 letter to James Keith from Ethan Keith

November 22, 1901

To: James Keith, Chicago, IL

From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

Hannah does her sewing work from 7:00 in the morning until 9:00 or later at night. Ethan thinks it is too much for her and worries that she just can’t keep at that pace. She only earns $1.00 per day. Their father sings most of the time and as he is in the same room where Hannah does her sewing, it annoys her. Ethan wishes Nancy and the girls could have stayed at 736 as it was home to them and close to the gallery.

Scan of 1901-11-22 Ethan Keith to James Keith

Galesburg, Mich. Nov 22, 1901

Dear Brother

Will begin a letter to you this evening but probably will not finish it as it is most time to go to bed. The alarm will call me at 4.45 Am. (fast time) and I’ll have to get right out for I am working in and around a dressmaking shop. Hannah[1] is crowded with work. She is ready to go to sewing at seven most every morning and works until nine or after in the evening. It is too much for her. She cant always hold out at such a gait. If she was reasenably paid for her work but she does’nt make a dollar a day for her time. Pa[2] and Ma[3] are usually well. Pa has a great hobby for singing. Some of the time it is a tune and then it wont be any thing but he is at it most of the time. It annoys Hannah for he is in the room where she is sewing most of the time. Will Barber and I have worked at the pump part of two days this week. It had got a hole rusted through the pipe somewhere so it pumped sand. We pulled the pipe up and found the hole down most to the point. Have got it so it works all right to night. Nancy[4] writes you are having boils and muscular rheumatism. Seems as if it is’nt one thing its another. It’s too bad and very discouraging to have to be sick so much. Mrs Streater[5] is sick had a light stroke of paralysis. Harry[6] said this morning she was better physically, but was worse mentally. Clara Clark[7] is pretty bad off. Is troubled with gall stones, suffers a great deal. Has been sick over ten weeks. Charley[8] wrote his mother[9] Wednesday that he and Edna[10] sat up with her the night before. They had to fan her a good deal of the time she was so weak. A month yesterday I came from Chicago. Seems more like three of them. I enjoyed the trip and visits if they were short. Would liked very much to have staid longer. Wish Nancy and the girls[11] could have staid at 736.[12] That had got to be like home to them, and then they were so pleasantly situated, and handy to the gallery.[13] She sent me a Heurst Chicago American[14] this week cuts, and write up of the elevated road collision. They were fortunate in not getting some of the cars off on the ground. Have not heard from Charley Eck[15] since he went from here week last Monday. We all liked him. Too bad he has such poor health.[16] The protolacea[17] Winnie[18] set in the tin can has just died. Will close for lack of news. Love to Cora,[19] children[20] and yourself.

Your brother Ethan

——-

[1] Their sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne

[2] Charles Luke Keith Jr., who was 88 years old

[3] Sarah (Crawford) Keith, who was 80 years old

[4] Their sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[5] Neighbor, Laura (Rawson) Streator

[6] Laura Streator’s son, Henry “Harry” Streator

[7] Clara (Youngs) Clark was the wife of Charles Clark, the son of Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner and her first husband, Byron Clark. Lois was Ethan and Jim’s half-sister, the daughter of Charles Luke Keith Jr. and his first wife, Minerva Payson

[8] Charles Clark

[9] Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[10] Charles and Clara Clark’s daughter

[11] Nancy’s daughters, Lela and Bess Brown

[12] Nancy’s husband, Henry Brown, died May 22, 1901 and the family moved from 736 North Hoyne Avenue in Chicago. By October of 1902 she was living at 200 Evergreen Avenue in Chicago

[13] Henry Brown was a photographer and according to the 1899-1900 Chicago City Directory had a gallery at 749 Robey Street and at 574 Lincoln Avenue. Bess continued working at the gallery for awhile, but whether it was to try to make a go of it, to take care of unfinished business, or to sell the business is unknown

[14] Hearst’s Chicago American newspaper

[15] Charles Eck was the husband of Jessie Crawford, who was Ethan and Jim’s first cousin. Jessie was the daughter of Hiram Crawford Jr., their mother’s brother

[16] Charles Eck died May 23, 1904, just shy of his and Jessie’s 6th wedding anniversary

[17] Portulacea, a succulent plant, possibly a jade plant

[18] Jim’s oldest daughter, Winifred Keith

[19] Jim’s wife, Cora (Meredith) Keith

[20] Winifred (9 years old) and Walter (almost 4 years old)

(This post was updated on 03-21-2021)

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

——-

[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)

May 5, 1901 letter to Sarah Keith from Amanda Crawford

May 5, 1901

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Amanda Crawford, Golden, CO

Amanda is writing to Sarah to inform her of D.C.’s death and the circumstances leading up to it.

Scan of 1901-05-05 Amanda Crawford to Sarah Keith

Golden, May 5th

My dear Sister and Brothers,

My heart is to heavy to say much but I am in duty bound to tell you of my loss. My husband is dead.[1] He has been sick with bad cold for some six weeks, was home most of the time for last three weeks but would not give up and was in Denver all of the last week attending to his business affairs. I tried to have him come home but he said he was not sick enough. I was with him evry other day and heard from him evry day. He would not go to bed and I did not realize how bad he was. I was with him all day on Monday and Tuesday he expected to return to Cripple Creak, but did not and on Tuesday evening sent for me and I went down on early train expecting him to meet me, but as he did not I went to his room and found my darling unconscious. He revived and knew me once or twice but did not know Ida.[2] We were both with him all day until the end. I had left Harold[3] at home and he did not know of his father’s death until next day. Oh, how can I ever stand it. My poor darling. We loved each other so and he always lived for and loved his little family. As I do not know the address of either of the boys[4] so please forward this letter to them or let them know of their Brother’s death. Ida has sent the papers to you also. My poor dear husband is at rest and sleeps by the side of his two little babies Allie and Mamie[5] at Riverside Denver.

In sorrow,

Your Sister

Amanda

——-

[1] David Caleb (D.C.) Crawford, was 65 years old at the time of his death on May 1, 1901

[2] Ida Louise (Crawford) Kelly, Amanda’s daughter

[3] Harold “Doc” Crawford, Amanda’s son

[4] D.C. had four brothers still living at the time of his death: Robert, Henry, Hiram and Lucius Prosper “Pros” Crawford

[5] Both daughters died in early childhood

(This post was updated on 02-13-2021)

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