January 3, 1924 letter to Ethan Keith & Hannah Towne from Nancy Brown

January 3, 1924

To: Ethan Keith & Hannah Towne, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

This letter was Nancy’s first letter of the New Year. She is sending $5.00 and the girls are sending $5.00 of Nancy Keith money. Writes about the candy business; Edna has ordered 15 pounds in the last two and a half weeks.

Thursday Jan 3rd 1924

Dear brother and sister

My first letter of the new year. If I had one dollar for every letter I have sent home the first of the new year we could buy two horses. I am enclosing five dollars and the girls[1] are sending ” ” [five dollars] of Nancy Keith[2] money (your first installment hope it will get so they can do the same every week. I told Lela may be this was where your four million is coming from.) You can call part of it butter money or “candy” money just as you wish. I think of you all the time. This cold weather dont know how you stand it Ethan, when I think of the wood, no horse. While I know it makes the chores easier it is hard not having a horse. Lela is getting ready to go down town will mail this. We have not sent the candy yet, may tomor.  Not much doing with candy these days. Will make again tomor. The girls needed the rest. Lela spent New Years with Lou[3] or rather Monday. Alice[4] went with her. She only stayed about two hours. Lou felt awful bad not to come home. Lela says he seems all right. I would not be surprised if he did come home, dont know when. How are your teeth Hannah. I think of their aching all the time. Try to think they are not. Alice gave Lela & Lou each 10.00 and the children[5] 2.50 each. Jessie[6] just phoned, had a letter from her mother[7] this A.M. she is sailing arond feels fine. She had better stay where she is for it would be ____ for her here. Marian[8] and family still there. I disipated[?] New Years night. Mrs Laff invited the remnants of our old club to see the old year out & the New Year in. When it started the first year we were here there was five tables now only three. I went with Wills folks. Did not get back to Wills till “three oclock in the morning.” Will brought me home Tuesday none of us went away to dinner. Jean[9] has not been to school this week. I am afraid she has pin worms the way she looks and acts. Jessie says to give her sage tea. A few lines from Edna,[10] has ordered two more pounds of candy. That makes fifteen pounds they have ordered in about two & one half weeks. This goes to California. Lela is ready to go so must stop. Wish I could come and stay a few days. I want to write to Mildred[11] but cant find her address. Seems to me its 1024 N. Edward but I’m not sure.

Good-bye with love

Nan

[1] Her daughters, Lela (Brown) Mueller and Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz

[2] The girl’s candy business

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

[4] Lou’s sister, Alice Mueller

[5] Eda “Jean” and Helen Mueller

[6] Jessie (Crawford) Eck, Nancy’s cousin

[7] Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford, the widow of Nancy’s Uncle Hiram Crawford

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

[9] Lela’s daughter, Eda “Jean” Mueller

[10] Edna (Crawford) Henry Tullar, the daughter of Nancy’s Uncle Robert Crawford

[11] Mildred Harris, the daughter of Nancy’s sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

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August 29, 1921 letter to Nancy Brown from Lela Mueller

August 29, 1921                               

To: Nancy Brown, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Lela Mueller, Chicago, IL

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

Monday 6 P.M.

Dear Ones All:[1]

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

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

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

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

Tues. Eve.

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

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

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

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

Lots of love to all

Lela

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

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

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

[4] Martha Lueder, another boarder

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

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

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

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

[9] Kate’s son, Harry Crawford

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

[11] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller

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

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

[14] Claude Brown was Lela’s brother

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

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

August 24, 1921 letter to Nancy Brown from Lela Mueller

August 24, 1921

To: Nancy Brown

From: Lela Mueller

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

Wednesday eve.

Dear Ones All:[1]

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

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

Saturday morning I go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love to All

Lela

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

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

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

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

[5] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller

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

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

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

[9] Kate’s son, Harry Crawford

[10] Jessie’s daughter, Katherine Eck

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

June 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

April 24, 1903 letter to Nancy Brown from Ethan Keith

April 24, 1903

To: Nancy Brown

From: Ethan Keith

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.

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 burn 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.

February 6, 1902 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

February 6, 1902

To: Sarah Keith

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

Hiram is writing Sarah to tell her of the birth of his granddaughter, Katherine Louesa Eck. Jessie delivered earlier than expected and there was a certain amount of excitement while they desperately searched for a doctor.

 

Anthracite=Bituminous Coal Co.
Miners and Dealers in Coal.
Office and Yard, 1619 1634 North Washtenaw California Avenue,
On C. & N.-W. RY.

Telephone … West 575.                                                    Chicago, Feb 6 1902

My Dear Sister

Very much to my surprise when I went home last evening I found a strange young Lady there, in such a very young one being only about seven hours old and weighing between 8 and 9 pounds. She called herself or rather was called by the people around there, Miss Katharine Louesa Eck[1]. She is a plump little red headed thing and appearently has lots of vitality. She arrived about fifteen minutes to 1 Oclk and when I left in the morning they did not expect her until about the 20th. Marian[2] claims her as her baby and dont understand why they wont let her hold the little one.

Kate[3] arrived home Sunday morning and is as full of business as a dog is of fleas. I dont know what we would have done if she hadnt come, for this came on so sudden that we couldnt have gotten a nurse. The Doctor did not get there until about 20 minutes before the delivery. It was just the time in the day when all the Doctors are away from their offices. Kate said it was the most exciting time she ever passed through. Charley[4] was on the hunt for his Doctor & nurse, and the Sullivans[5] kept the the telephone hot for about two hours trying to find any kind of a Doctor. However I guess it is all right, but a Physician might have saved her considerable misery.

When I left this morning, she was quite comfortable. Kate left Blanche[6] and Baby well, but said that it was hard to leave them. She had a pleasant trip and arrived feeling all right. I guess much better then she did this morning. I suppose Nan[7] is with you and of course will be interested in this news. Charly is going to drop a line to Bess[8].

We are having lots of winter here and I presume you are having the same. I have been worried about Roy Brown. Did he get through all right? If I had known his fathers address would have written him. Love to all.

Your Brother

HC


[1] Hiram’s granddaughter, and the second daughter of Charley and Jessie Blanche (Crawford) Eck

[2] Marian Eck, the eldest child of Charley and Jessie Blanche (Crawford) Eck

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

[4] Charles Eck Jr., Hiram’s son-in-law

[5] This is possibly the parents of Hiram’s son Harry’s wife, Nellie Sullivan

[6] Jessie Blanche (Crawford) Eck, Hiram and Katherine Crawford’s daughter

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

[8] Bess Rae Brown, Nancy’s daughter

July 29, 1882 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

July 29, 1882

To: Sarah Keith

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

Hiram has just put Jessie on the train, but forgot to give her lunch. Wants Sarah to write and let him know if she arrived safely and whether she had to use some of her spending money for her ticket.

1882-07-29

V.C. Turner, Pres’t.                                   H. Crawford, Treas.
North Chicago City Railway Co.
Office, 430 North Clark Street,
Chicago, July 29 1882

Dear Sister

I just had time to get Jessie[1] on the train this morning as it started fifteen minutes sooner than I expected. Not having time to buy her ticket I gave her all the change I had under a five dollar bill amounting to $2.25 besides about fifty cents for spending money and in the hurry forgot to give her a lunch. I wish you would let me know how she got along and if she had to take any of her spending money to pay her fare.

With love I am

Your Brother

H Crawford

[1] Jessie Crawford, Hiram’s daughter, who was nine years old

July 24, 1882 letter to Sarah Keith from Kate Crawford

July 24, 1882

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Kate Crawford, Chicago, IL

Kate is writing to inquire whether Jessie can come visit Sarah while Kate is on a trip home. Harry is hoping to start work soon for Marshall Fields.

1882-07-24 1882-07-24B 1882-07-24C 1882-07-24D 1882-07-24env

Chicago, Ill

July 24th 1882

Monday Morning

Sarah,

Dear Sister,

Perhaps you will be surprised to hear from me at this time, but you know strange things are happening all the time. I would write you oftener but as Hi[1] writes once a month I feel that you hear from us and I excuse myself from the responsibility. I expect to start for my home[2] on Thursday 27th. I had intended to leave Jessie[3] at the boarding house as long as Hi was here and while he was away I thought I would let her stay with Kit Crawford[4] but in thinking the matter all over we have thought (if it is agreable with you) best to let her go down and stay with you and we will stop there on our way back and make you a short visit and take her home with us. Saturday was the day we thought best for her to start. And now Sarah if this does not meet your approbation do not hesitate to let us know by return of mail. If you are situated in any way so that it would not be convenient dont fail to say so. Harry[5] is hoping to get into Marshal Fields wholesale house soon. And I hope he will. Hi will come East about the middle of August if all is well.

Now Sarah, I will close, hoping this will find you all in good health and spirits. Give my love to Mother[6] and tell her we will come and visit her soon.

With love to all from all. I am as ever

Your Sister,

Kate

[1] Hiram Crawford Jr., Kate’s husband

[2] Kate lived in Ogdensburg, New York, before she was married

[3] Jessie Blanche Crawford, Kate’s daughter

[4] Katherine Sarah (Kit) Crawford, the daughter of Hiram’s brother Robert

[5] Harry A. Crawford, Kate’s son

[6] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

August 24, 1878 letter to Hannah Keith from Louese Keith

August 24, 1878

To:  Hannah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Louese Keith, Chicago, IL

A general discussion about Louese’s wardrobe. Aunt Bell has gone to Wisconsin.

1878-08-24 1878-08-24B 1878-08-24C 1878-08-24D 1878-08-24E 1878-08-24F 1878-08-24x

Chicago     Aug 24/78

Miss Hannah Keith

Business Letter

Dear Sister

As this is Saturday Evening and the house is quiet I will take my pen in hand to address a few lines to you. Aunt Kate & Uncle Hi[1] have gone to Choir meeting & the children are in bed so you see there is nothing to hinder me from doing so. Of course, you observed at the beginning of this letter that it was a “business” that prompted me to write as soon as this. The door bell has rung.

Sunday Afternoon. I went down & opened the door. The caller was Maurice. He had been here about 5 minutes when Misses Jessie & Lillie Murphy, John Perry & Walter Pritkin came. “They staid until the gentleman & lady came home.” Walter Pritkin’s sister made a birthday surprise party for him a week ago last Monday Evening. I went, enjoyed my self hugely. The dress I wore was muslin made with elbow sleeves & of course with my arms painted & Aunt Kates bracelets on I looked fine. Uncle Hi gave me a dollar to get my ribbons with. I got six yards of red. The dress looks fine (trimmed in embroidery ruffles & tucks). It is only overskirt & basque. Of course that is all very fine but when a person has not got a pair of drawers to wear it is not quite so fine. Uncle Hi & Jessie[2] are going to Galesburg next month & if Ma[3] can scare up a yard & a half of something to make me a pair of drawers I wish she would do so. Then if you have got an old pair of corset that you have thrown in the rag bag please wash them & send the two articles by Uncle Hi. My flannel drawers I wore out before the winter was over & I have worn the other ones every since then. I can take one pair & mend the other then wear them til you send me the new ones & I will wear those until I come home. Gloves are something else but I can get along with them. Aunt Kate has not got me a pair since March & their being light of course they are not fit to be seen. She has had 4 pair that I know of but then it is not to be wondered at as she has got a bay window in front of her which will open in Dec. Then perhaps things will be different but I doubt it. She is as cross as a bear & wont do a thing. I have to do all the work & then sit down & run the machine (she has got a new one) & make her babys clothes. She says that she wants twins. I asked her who would take care of them. She said you, of course. I will learn you to change them & wash their squares. I told her that I did not know how & I would not learn. She said all right (hope she will remember it).

Now Hannah I have written this to you while you are at Nancys[4] so that Ma will not see it for it will make her feel bad & she has enough to think of now. Dont you tell grandma[5] about Aunt K’s condition[6] until after Uncle Hi has been there for she would speak of it & of course he would tell his wife just as soon as he got back then she would take my head right off. If you & Nancy think best to let Ma see this (& Lois[7] excuse me for leaving you out) tell her not to say a word to Uncle Hi about my clothes for the letter she wrote to him last winder made a stiff breeze here although I have never said any thing about it before. I will tell you all about it at some future day.

Aunt Bell[8] as gone to Wis. I helped her the last three days she was here. I have not seen Gene[9] in two weeks but will see him as soon as possible & ask him. Ed Smiths Father was killed in New York a week ago last Wed. Was buried one week ago to day.

Now remember corset & drawers if you possibly can send them to me. Aunt Kate is a sight worth seeing (better come up & see the show).

[Unsigned, but it is Louese Keith’s handwriting]

——-

[1] Hiram and Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford

[2] Jessie Crawford, Hiram and Kate’s second child

[3] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[4] Nancy (Keith) Brown, Louese’s sister

[5] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[6] Kate was pregnant with her youngest child, Blanche, who was born in 1879

[7] Louese’s half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner, daughter of Charles Luke Keith Jr. by his first wife, Minerva Payson

[8] Isabella (Steele) Crawford, wife of Louese’s uncle, Lucius Prosper Crawford

[9] Louese’s cousin, Eugene Crawford, son of Louese’s late uncle, Edwin Crawford

August 14, 1876 letter to Sarah Keith from Louese Keith

August 14, 1876

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Louese Keith, Chicago, IL

Louese is writing her mother, Sarah Keith, and describing her adventures over the previous four weeks which have included trips to Graceland Cemetery, Lincoln Park, a visit to the city water works and a nearby Catholic church, a tour of the tunnel under the Chicago River and an ice cream festival at the church (which she got into for free).

Chicago  Aug 14th 1876

Mrs Sarah Keith

Dear Ma

Tuesday evening. You see by this that I commenced this last night but I was so sleepy that I have put it off until now so will try my luck at it. Now I will tell you where I have been since I wrote to you last. Four weeks ago last Saturday Aunt Kate,[1] the children[2] and I went out to Graceland Cemetery. We took a City limits car[3] and rode down to the dummy (that is a car run by an engine) and that took us to Graceland. I can not tell any thing about. They have Sofas, chairs and marble dogs on every lot mostly to have it look as near like a home as possible. When we enter the grounds we go through kind of a church and every time a funeral possession passes through the bell tolls. I dont know how they afford to die in that little country town (Galesburg)  after all if it is so little I would not mind it if I could get off from the train when it stops there to morrow but dont expect to very soon. I see that I have run on further that I expect so will go back. After we left Graceland we went on came back and went over on the South side got home at six. The next Monday Jessie and I went to Lincoln Park. We saw Gene.[4] He wanted us to get on his car but he had got to run up to the limits and it was so late then that we would not have time so we came home about 7 Oclock. That week a Saturday we went down to the water works, went to the top of the tower. We could see all over the City. It was splendid. I counted over 300 steps. All the water that is used in the City has to go clear to the top of this tower. It is forced by 4 of the largest and nicest engines in the world. If Ethan[5] could see them he would not have any dyspepsia or any thing else. They shine just like silver and gold. The steam is all in the basement so that it does not touch the engines. When we came back we stopped in a catholic church. It was just magnificent. The alter was marble and gold but I can not tell any thing about it with a pen. The next week Tuesday Aunt Kate, Jessie and I went down and took a Cly borne avenue car and went down to the bridge, got off and went through the tunnel on the South side. We went down two short flights of stairs to get in to the tunnel. There is about 3 ft of earth between the tunnel and river. We could hear the boats going over us. You better believe I was glad to get out. Then we took a car and went on to the west side. When we had went about 12 miles we got a dish of Ice cream and came home. The next Thursday I went to an Ice cream festival at the church. The fee was __5 cts but Mrs Smith the door tender let me in for nothing. Mrs Hollis treated me. Her husband is Superintendent of the Sunday school. We are going to have a picnic next week. I am going. We are going to take the street cars and go some where. We are in for a good time. Write soon.

Lou

Grandma[6] Mr Brown wants to know how you get along. We would like to see you out here first rate.

Aunt Alfleda[7] how do you stand this warm weather.

——-

[1] Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford

[2] Kate’s children, Harry and Jessie Crawford

[3] Streetcar or trolley

[4] Eugene Crawford, Louese’s cousin

[5] Her brother, Ethan Keith

[6] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[7] Alfleda (Starr) Keith, the widow of Luke’s brother Harvey Keith; Alfleda was living with Luke & Sarah Keith

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