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

November 13, 1878 letter to Nancy Brown from Edna Crawford

November 13, 1878

To:  Nancy Brown

From: Edna Crawford, Omro, WI

Edna is home cooking and caring for her mother, whose health is very poor. Louisa is suffering from sores on her foot and has not walked for five weeks.

 

Omro Nov. 13 1878

Dear Cousin N[1]

Your nice long letter was recd & must tell you it was quite a surprise party to me to get your letter for I had given up all hope of ever hearing from you. Thought you had gone back on your Wis. cousin. Oh N I am so mad to think that fellow had to wait until I had gone before coming but then he come under my wish bone so of course it will be allright. In time he will go back on his other girl or she on him.

Well I am home again & it don’t seem possible that six or seven weeks ago I was away out in Mich. or Ind.[2] I have written Lou[3] since I come home but have not heard from her yet but I know her failing so shan’t look for a letter until she get ready to write. I almost fell in love with her. She has a very pleasant house to live in. It is so nice to live with our aunts & uncles.[4] They are so thoughtful & generous to their neices especially Chicago ones.

Mother[5] is very poorly. Her foot has the worst sore I ever saw. She has not walked for five weeks or steped on her foot. Father[6] is not at home now. Will be gone three or four weeks. Will[7] goes away next week. Kit[8] is going up north on a visit to ma’s sisters & they have elected me chief cook. Don’t you pity me?

Well how is Grandma?[9] All settled I supose presume.[10] I suppose her granddaughter Hannah[11] stays with her most of the time. You know she was so lonesome without her when she was away to Chicago.

Mr Allen[12] my cousin — I didn’t see him but half a day. They came Monday night at ______ oclock & he went away the next afternoon. He got a nice carriage in the forenoon & took us all around the city. I think he & Edna[13] make a very good couple. They both think a great deal of themselves.

I have had one letter from uncle D.C.[14] since they got home. They were all well when he wrote. As to the pictures the neg have been taken to Chicago but we are going to send for some as soon as we can get the artist address.

How is Jim[15]? Is he at home now? Are you going to stay at home this winter?

Now don’t so long before writing again & make up your mind to come & see us as soon as possible. Yes Mr ____ was knew me too well I guess. Love to all the folks. Write soon.

Your Cousin

Ed[16]

——-

[1] Nancy (Keith) Brown

[2] According to September entries in Luke Keith’s 1878 diary, several family members visited them before continuing on to the wedding of Edna Alice Crawford to Oscar M. Allen, Jr. in Dowagiac Michigan on September 25th. It appears that Luke’s family, as well as Edna, did not go, but on September 28th, Edna left for Dowagiac. Since their Uncle Henry Clay Crawford’s family lived in South Bend, Indiana, it is presumed that Edna made them a visit before returning to her home in Omro, Wisconsin

[3] Louese Keith, Nancy’s sister

[4] Louese was living with their uncle and aunt, Hiram & Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford, Jr., while attending school in Chicago

[5] Louisa (McCann) Crawford

[6] Robert Crawford

[7] William Crawford, Edna’s brother

[8] Edna’s younger sister, Katherine Crawford

[9] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[10] Since May of 1876 Nancy Betts had been living with her daughter and son-in-law, Sarah & Luke Keith. According to a letter from Sarah’s brother, Hiram Crawford, Jr., she was “so lonesome and not having any church privalegs and that she was so happy while living by herself, that we agreed to let her try and get her a room in the Burg and try it this winter.” Luke Keith’s 11-2-1878 diary entry shows that she moved into John Freer’s home in Galesburg. The June 1880 census shows her in the household of Amelia Davis. A December 12, 1880 letter from Hiram notes that her mental health is failing and by January of 1881 she was again living with Luke & Sarah

[11] Hannah Keith, Nancy’s sister

[12] Oscar Allen Jr., the husband of their cousin, Edna Alice Crawford

[13] Their cousin, Edna Alice (Crawford) Allen, who was the daughter of the late Edwin and Mary (Hamilton) Crawford

[14] David Caleb (D.C.) Crawford

[15] James Keith, Nancy’s brother

[16] Edna Irene Crawford