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.

June 17, 1920 letter to Nancy Brown from Kate Crawford

June 17, 1920

To: Nancy Brown, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Kate Crawford, Chicago, IL

Kate writes that they are a good ways off from being settled. The bottom fell out of the money bag, so she and Hiram must wait. Tomorrow is Taylor’s & Helen’s 15th birthday and next Thursday night they graduate. She expects to witness the ceremony and then the aunts and uncles and cousins will repair to the house and all talk at once and eat ice cream and cake. They are going to give Taylor a watch and Nell had given Harry a diamond stick pin before they were married and they have had it set in a ring for Helen. Hiram bought Taylor a real leather belt with monogramed sterling buckle. All these various things coming along is the reason they cannot get settled.

5412 Underwood Ave

6-17-20

Dear Nan

I am sitting in the gloaming and thought I would draft you a line or two to let you know we were here as yet. I hardly need tell you about the weather. I fancy there is not much difference between this place & yours. It was so in L.M.[1] What ever we were there, I knew it was about the same here. There was a radical change last night and today it has been uncomfortably cold. Papa[2] started for down town & he was so cold he came back and changed his underwear. Jessie[3] went to work yesterday and that leaves Papa and I alone and I find the work exceeds the cottage. I am so glad I had three quiet years. I wish I had enjoyed them even more. Jessie has to leave at half past six & I get up and help her and about the time she is gone, K[4] comes on the scene so I am up about an hour. Then I lie down but seldom sleep. I am almost as much of a stranger as if I had never lived here. I do not go out much. I have been down town twice, to a funeral in Rogers Park, a lady 70 years old I knew when she was a girl, and out to Mr Dewey’s in R.P. one evening. We are a good ways off from being settled. The bottom kind of fell out of the money bag, so we must wait. Tomorrow is Taylor & Helen’s 15th birthday[5] and next Thursday night they graduate. We are expected to witness the ceremony and then the Aunts & Uncles & cousins will repair to the house and all talk at once and eat ice cream and cake. They are going to give Taylor a watch & Nell[6] had given Harry[7] a diamond stick pin before they were married and they have had it set in a ring for Helen. Papa bought Taylor a real leather belt with monogram sterling buckle. All these various things coming along is the reason we cannot get settled. We thought we would get H[elen] a camasole, so Papa said. Now Jessie Saturday aft– you go and get the carousal for Helen. We had quite a laugh over it. We have not seen or heard from Lela.[8] We have no phone service as yet. The landlady is real good. Anyone who has her number calls there for us. She touches our bell and then they can use this phone, but no one can call us here. The man emptied the box this morning of the last tenant’s nickles and he said they were up against it every where.

The prospect for canning is very poor. We had to stop buying berries they were so poor & so high. Potatoes way out of sight. We used to say to people we invited to dine with us (they would say don’t do a lot of work for us) & we would reply – oh we will just drop two or three extra potatoes in the pot. But now, nothing doing. I hope Hannah[9] is feeling better now you are there. I tell you it is lovely for anyone who has a garden. Oh how I miss L.M. Plenty of everything. Milk & cream 12 cts instead of 15 & 16, ice box filled to overflowing, plenty of eggs. We got 12 doz four weeks ago from Leroy’s. Almost gone now. We could get lots of fruit & fresh vegetables. When you are enjoying all these luxuries, just think of us.

I had a nice letter from Laura[10] a few days ago. She is very lonely. Mays husband[11] sprained his ankle just after L.P.[12] passed away and was confined to the house about three weeks. Did you know Leo & his wife[13] were separated?

You can hardly imagine how different it is here from L.M. Last Saturday I listened to pianos of all grades, victrolas, Auto horns, babies crying and sundry other sounds. Not agreable to any ears, but who am I in this motley crowd. If you get the Chicago news, you must be startled with the killings going on and 9 out of 10, a woman at the bottom of it. The last time I heard from M[14] she was getting along. She had to have two or three stitches. Baby was a fine healthy fellow.[15] She had plenty of milk, which is a great blessing. When she was in the hospital, she wrote to her mother[16] & it did not reach her, but was returned. She wrote on the envelope, see what Jack[17] did, directed it wrong. He wrote under it, could not help it, so excited at being a father, Jack.

I am sorry you are going to be gone all summer. I am very lame at times. It is with difficulty I can get around and to add to my joy, the middle finger of my right hand has been crippled with rheumatism, but is so now I can use my hand. Now I have told you all my ills. And it seems by the way my eyes feel it is bed time so I will close by sending love to all from all and hoping to hear from you soon.

Aunt Kate

Got muddled with the paper

[1] Lake Mills, WI where Kate and Hiram had had a summer cottage

[2] Hiram Crawford Jr.

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

[4] Katherine Louesa Eck, Kate’s granddaughter

[5] The twin children of Harry and Nellie (Sullivan) Crawford and Kate’s grandchildren

[6] Kate’s daughter–in-law

[7] Harry Crawford, Kate’s son

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

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

[10] Laura (Hands) Blake Crawford, the second wife of Lucius Prosper Crawford, Hiram’s brother

[11] Believe she is referring to James MacDermott, the husband of her daughter, Laura May (Blake) MacDermott

[12] Lucius Prosper “Pros” Crawford, who died in Berkeley, California on March 4, 1920

[13] Pros’ son, Leo Crawford, and Ella (Drew) Crawford

[14] Kate’s granddaughter, Marian (Eck) Meiss

[15] Jack Meiss Jr., Marian’s son

[16] Jessie (Crawford) Eck

[17] Jack Meiss, Marian’s husband

June 1, 1919 letter to Lela Mueller from Kate Crawford

June 1, 1919

To: Lela Mueller

From: Kate Crawford

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

Sunday, June 1st, 1919

Dear Lela,[1]

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

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

Hope to hear from you soon

Love to all

Aunt Kate

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

[2] Hiram Crawford Jr.

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

[4] Louis Mueller, Lela’s husband

[5] Nancy (Keith) Brown

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

September 15, 1913

To: Dorothy Recoschewitz, Chicago, IL

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., North Yakima, WA

Postcard from North Yakima, Washington

No Yakima[1] Sept 15/13

Dear Dorothy[2]

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

Your Uncle[4]

H Crawford

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

[2] Dorothy was not quite ten years old

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

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

June 24, 1912 letter to James Keith from Ethan Keith

June 24, 1912

To: James Keith, Shelbyville, MI

From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

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

Galesburg June 24, 1912

Dear Brother

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

Love to all from Ethan

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

[2] Henry’s son, Arthur Raymond Keith

[3] Florence (Stall) Keith

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

[5] Kirk Brouard

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

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

[8] Jim’s wife, Cora (Meredith) Keith

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

[10] Henry Crawford, his mother’s brother

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

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

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

——-

[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

April 25, 1904 letter to James Keith from Kate Crawford

April 25, 1904

To: James Keith, Shelbyville, MI

From: Katherine Crawford, Chicago, IL

Kate is repaying Jim the dollar that they borrowed from him. Charley is failing rapidly. He “has a cavity in his lung and is generally falling to pieces.”

Scan of 1904-04-25 Kate Crawford to Jim Keith

Chicago, Ill

Apr 1904[1]

Dear Jim

You will be surprised beyond measure no doubt to get this communication from me and I feel heartily ashamed of my negligence. I have owed you this dollar for a long time & I have never forgotten it but the truth is for a long time when we were so pressed when I saw you I did not have it & when I had it I did not see you. I thought of it many times when I was away and promised myself it would be one of the first things I would do on my return but the sickness and care in our family has caused me to delay writing & to night I said I would do it before I went to bed. I trust it will come in in a good place now. I shall know you recd it all right if not returned. Charley[2] is failing rapidly. Keeps his bed most of the time. He has suffered torture. About one week ago the Dr gave him some medicine that has deadned the suffering but still the disease goes on. He has a cavity in his lung & is generally falling to peices. I suppose your father[3] is in a feeble state but he has lived to a ripe old age. Charley is young and it seems hard but the Lord knows all about it & if he is trusting in the finished work of Christ which I feel he is it will be all well with him & he will only go on a little in advance. Remember me kindly to your wife[4] & I trust you are all enjoying good health. Uncle Hiram[5] is feeling pretty well now.

Good Bye

Yours

Aunt Kate

——-

[1] The envelope bears a postmark of April 25, 1904

[2] Kate’s son-in-law, Charles T. Eck Jr., who died May 23, 1904

[3] Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[4] Cora (Meredith) Keith

[5] Kate’s husband, and Jim’s maternal uncle, Hiram Crawford Jr.

April 24, 1903 letter to Nancy Brown from Ethan Keith

April 24, 1903

To: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

From: Ethan Keith, Galesburg, MI

Ethan has received word of his Uncle Robert’s death from his Uncle Henry and is expressing sadness that “our folks are all leaving us.” He and his sister Hannah have been sick with colds, as has their father who has also been suffering from a severe headache. Ethan also mentioned that his Uncle Hiram’s job may be tenuous and if lost would cause considerable distress.

Scan of 1903-04-24 Ethan Keith to Nancy Brown

Galesburg, Mich.

Apr. 24, 1903
7.32 P.m.

Dear Sister

Will write a little but you wont get it this week. Neither will Lou[1] get one I dont believe. I have written to Jessie[2] this P.m. She wanted to know what advertising rates were in the Argus. Thought of putting in an ointment ad. Dont let her know that I have said anything about. Perhaps she would’nt care. She wrote particulars about Uncle Robert.[3] I received a letter from Uncle Henry[4] and in it was a letter from Lulu[5] to him. I cant make it seem as though he had gone. Does seem as though our folks were all leaving us. It almost seems as though we were living in another world. Things look so different. Ill think of something I would like to have or do, and the next thought will be what does it amount to. It wont last but a little while. That is not the right way to feel, but somehow it is a very easy matter to do so.

Will Ridler went to the nursery last Monday and Mr. Paul sent the tree by him. I went Tuesday A.m. and set it out. I mixed two wheelbarrow loads of chip, and fine barn yard manure, and carried up there and set it in. Put in a peck of potatoes. There were a nice lot of roots and I dont see why it wont live. Its a nice tree and a little larger than the other. Its called a Cut Leaf Maple. The clover has come up quite thick but it is just as full of yellow deck as it can be. Think it will have to be cut out and I dont know as one cutting will kill it. I think the deck seed must have been in the muck that we got of Rice. The Hyderanga seems to be alive.

David Morrisson was buried in the first lot east of Dee[6] & Lou’s so it may be they bought their lot just in time. Hannah[7] and I have both been about sick to day with colds and I think Pa[8] has just a slight cold. He has had quite a head ache. H–[9] expected Clara (Wilkins) Townsend and husband here to day but they did not come. Has rained most all day and that may be why they did not come. Mrs Blake, or Carrie, have not been here to day because she expected them. Will Barber and Ida both have hard colds.

I am sorry for Uncle Hi.[10] Dont know what they would do if he should loose his position with that Co. His eyes are bad and how can he do any more work than he has been doing. They need rest instead of more work. About Chappell. I received the letter from Earl Apr. 1st and if I dont hear from him pretty soon will go and see him. Will enclose a copy of his letter.

I have Mrs. Sweezy’s still ready for her. It is one inch large in diameter than mine. I tried it to see how well it worked and it distilled three pints in an hour. Hannah says if her hat costs more than two dollars let her know. Will copy Earls letter on other side of this sheet.

Love to all

Ethan

The office substantially repeated their first action in the matter. Mr. Chappel was in Wash recently and intended to take the matter up personally with the ex-owner, as it seems to us that the patents cited are not pertinent references, but he was called away before having opportunity to do so. I will take the case up, and feel confident that your claim should be allowed substantially as presented.

——-

[1] Their sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[2] Presumably their cousin, Jessie (Crawford) Eck

[3] Robert Crawford, who died April 13, 1903

[4] Henry Clay Crawford

[5] Robert’s daughter, Lulu (Crawford) Witte

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

[7] Their sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne

[8] Their father, Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[9] Hannah

[10] Their uncle, Hiram Crawford Jr.

November 17, 1902 letter to Sarah Keith from Edna Allen

(This post was updated on 09-21-2021)

November 17, 1902

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Edna Allen, Kalamazoo, MI

Edna is writing her Aunt, who unfortunately died on the 18th, before the letter arrived. Edna is updating Sarah on her family. She was in Wisconsin, but missed seeing Uncle Robert, although she has received a letter from him. She saw in the paper that Hiram had been in Galesburg visiting.

Scan of 1902-11-17 Edna Allen to Sarah Keith

[Postmarked November 17th, 1902][1]

Dear Aunt Sarah,

Doubtless you will be much surprised to hear from me as I have been silent so long. You have often been in my thoughts and I have promised myself meny times to run down and spend the day with you. But my health is not very good and I go very little. Mrs Mills, boards here where Madge[2] & I are boarding so I often inquire of Mrs Dr McBeth as she visits the Mill’s. We are living in Kalamazoo since we left Sycamore. Madge finished school 2 years ago. I hear that Nancy[3] has lost her Husband[4] and that her two daughters[5] are married. She must feel quite alone in the world. Henry was a good Husband and Father. How is Hannah[6] and the rest of the family? Madge and I were in Wisconsin a few weeks last year. I did not see Uncle Robert[7] but got a nice long letter from him. I saw by the paper a few weeks ago that Uncle Hiram[8] was in Galesburg. I have been in Dowagiac some since my return from Sycamore. It’s grown to be a delightful place to live in. I had about live there as here. Emmet[9] is quite well. His mind is worse[10] I think but his general health seems to be about the same. I am here alone tonight. I wish you might step on and we would have a good old fashion talk. Madge is up to her Grandma’s.[11] She expects to stay untill Monday. She thinks a great deal of them and they of her. Her Father[12] is in South Carolina. Jolley Allen[13] wife[14] has seperated from her husband and he is South. She and her two Children[15] are living in Jackson. The youngest son, Glen[16] his wife[17] seperated from him a year ago last November. She has gone to her home in Peoria, Ill. She was a beautiful woman. Judge Macklivanes daughter, she had a little daughter but it died two years ago. They all had the same trouble that I had with O.M.[18] There is but one boy left that is living with his wife. Its strange they can not behave when they have good wives, don’t you think so? Mr Allen[19] is building several stone houses for rent. Mrs Allen[20] health is much better than it has been for several years. Mr. Allen is in very poor health. I guess I must close this letter as its quite late and I am very tired. I wish you could come and see me sometime. After a while I may run down Saturday night and stay untill Monday but I will write you the day before so you can meet me at the Depot. I should like to see you all so much. It would give me much pleasure. My love to you and the family. I remain your affectionate neice.[21]

Edna Crawford Allen
415 South West Street
Kalamazoo

P.S. Please excuse paper

——-

[1] While the letter itself was not dated, the envelope was postmarked November 17, 1902

[2] Her daughter, Madge Allen

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

[4] Henry Brown died May 22, 1901 at the age of 51

[5] Edna was under the impression that both of Nancy’s daughters were married, however Nancy’s daughter, Lela Mae Brown, was engaged to Samuel Boyer. Nancy’s youngest daughter, Bess Rae Brown, married Julius Recoschewitz November 6, 1902. Edna probably had heard about the marriage of Josephine Meredith to Fred Dean (see the November 14, 1902 letter to James Keith) and confused the two girls

[6] Sarah’s daughter, Hannah (Keith) Towne

[7] Sarah’s brother, Robert Crawford

[8] Sarah’s brother, Hiram Crawford Jr.

[9] Emmett Patrick Crawford, Edna’s younger brother

[10] The 1880 census listed Emmett as “insane” and his uncle Emmett Hamilton’s probate records referenced Emmett as being a resident at the Asylum for the Insane in Kalamazoo; however, in later years he was able to live either with Edna or near her

[11] Her mother-in-law, Hannah (Smith) Allen

[12] Oscar M. Allen Jr. He and Edna were divorced

[13] Oscar’s brother

[14] Lizzie (Merriman) Allen

[15] Ralph and Duane Allen

[16] Oscar’s brother

[17] Priscilla McIlvaine

[18] Oscar’s nickname

[19] Oscar’s father, Oscar M. Allen Sr.

[20] Oscar’s mother, Hannah (Smith) Allen

[21] Edna’s father, Edwin Crawford, was Sarah’s brother

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