My Step-Father was LUTHER ROSCOE BUSH, b. 1920, Eros, Jackson Parish, La., d. 1995, Shreveport, Caddo Parish, La. He and my Mother, MARZEE JOHNS PARSONS, were married 9 March 1946 in Shreveport. Roscoe was not my biological father, but he was my father in every sense of the word. When he died in 1995, I fell heir to a box of keepsakes containing many genealogical treasures which I am now sharing with others via this site. These letters were sent to Mattie J. Bush, wife of Theo Bush, and saved by her descendants. For additional info on these folks, please use the surname buttons on the left, and don't forget the search engine!! Enjoy!! And, please, if you can identify any of these folks, or are connected to them, let me know...I'd really like to gather as much information as possible and share it on this site!!!
(all transcribing is ver batim,no corrections; caps & notes are mine)
3 January 2006
I have just scanned all these original letters. They are 100 years old and I'm hoping this will be a form of preservation. You will find the links to them following these transcriptions. Just scroll to the bottom and click on the small image in order to view the larger.
Jan Parsons Armstrong
THE TRANSCRIPTIONS OF THESE LETTERS HAS PRODUCED MANY CLUES!!
The following letter proves the father of Mattie Jewel Kimbell Bush to be PEYTON GRAVES KIMBELL, (as does the 1860 census of Coosa Co, Ala)
Bankston Fayette County Ala May 14, 1905
Dear Mattie, your highly appreciated letter of the 4 of May received and duly noted. Oh I do so much love to hear from MY CHILDREN especialy to heart they are well and doing well. Well Mattie you know I was a young man a long time. I wish you could see me now. I stagger like a drunk man I set my stick down, tak my hoe handle that keeps me from fall down. I have been going down for 4 months and cant stop. I weigh 100 lbs. when well 130. I have had to stop writing and lie down. MELIND(NOTE: his 2nd wife, MALINDA E. MONTGOMERY, md. Fayette Co, 10 Nov 1884) is neve well though up all the time. We have had so much rain we are in a bad fix. I have to work. Steal or starve. I have some money but cant live. You spoke of coming to see me. I wish you would I want to see you one more time in this life. I fear I never will but I hope to see you in a better world where their will be no more parting. I have to write JIMMIE a letter today so your letter will be short. You will know I am still living. I fear you cant read my letter. I cant write like I once could. I have a chance to send this to the office this evening so I will close praying Gods blessing on you and yours if possible to write again. I will write more next time, good by dear Mattie, from your pa, P. G. KIMBELL (NOTE: PEYTON GRAVES KIMBELL father of MARTHA JEWEL "MATTIE" KIMBELL BUSH)
Poscrip write again
(NOTE: For more information on PEYTON G. KIMBELL & his wife, CLARA INGRAM, click on home and scroll down to the Kimbell Button--jpa)
Central, Ala. Apr 13, 1905
To MRS M. J. BUSH & THEA(Mattie Jewel Kimbell Bush & husband Theodore Bush)
Dear Sister and Brother
I seat my self with a sad heart to respond to your dear highly appreciated letter recieved on the 3d. We are all well so far as health and I hope this will find you all well and getting on all right. I recieved your dear letter about an hour before starting to the Silent grave with the body of DEAR MOLLIE (NOTE: his wife MARY ANN "MOLLIE" GRIER)as sad and broken hearted as any man in this life and you spoke about lovering her and coming back to see us and being with her in this life it seemed it would break my heart when I read your loving words & her lying in her coffin cold in death and it came to her as unexpected as it did to us. She had been confined to her bed about three weeks some times right bad off and some days able to be up. I taken her up Saturday night and dressed her she sat up some time but suffered most all night with a cramping similar to colic. But she told me Sun morning she was perfectly easy, did not hurt any where. I told her she must eat now and get strong & fat she said she did not want any thing to eat. Breakfast was anonnced & MAMIE said lets eat & then have prayer afterwards. She said no, have prayer first. I sat down opened the Bible to read she started to cough lost her breath. I ran to her raise her up & she never groaned her spirit had left the body in perfect ease and peace and gone to God who gave it to enter into that sweet sweet rest that remaineth to the people of God on SUNDAY MORNING 2D DAY OF APRIL just as the sun was rising her spirit rose from the sorrows of earth to the joys of heaven. And Oh! So sad are we all, but I know our sad loss is her eternal gain. Dear Sister I cannot express my feelings. I know the children loves me and will care for me as best they can but! Oh! MOLLIE is gone to be with me no more on earth. But I know I soon will meet her in Heaven. Sister Dear, pray for me & help me to bear my greatest of all sorrows. We telegraphed to the children in B'HAM none but ORLAND came on account of sickness. ANNIE had been down 2 weeks before & started with ORLAND but was not able to come & went back. LIZZIE NACUT (HACUT?) is living with us moved here in jany if it was not for her I don't know what we would do. But I bless the dear Lord, he has been good to us all the goneby years of our lives. He blessed me with a good wife, a good mother for my children and above all a good Christian that has been a great help to me to live right. And now I have to walk the pathway of life alone, but I know the Dear Lord will lead me to the haven of eternal rest not many years hence. If I am faithful and I am leaning on His promises & trusting Him for everything bowing in fervent prayer night and morning as regular as the sun rises and sets & expect to while I live by His help. Well, as to farm work we are badly behind have planted corn and some cotton but half of our land is not a furrow turned in it yet but I am not troubling about it for I know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord. I trust it will be all right in the end, I have 5 bales of cotton to sell yet but the price is only 71/2. I dont know when I will sell. Dear Sister I am so glad you are satisfied out there and hope you all will do well. I got a letter from L. E. POWELL & PA the same time I got yours. He is very feble but able to work some. I think every letter I get from him it will be the last one. I know he to will soon be gone to rest, but let us all live so there will be a happy reunion some sweet day in Heaven. When we meet Father & Mother & Brothers & Sisters, Husbands, Wifes, & Children to part no more forever. Praise The Lord. God be with you till we meet again. Your ever true brother, J. E. KIMBELL
Central, Ala, Apr 30, 1907
From J. E. KIMBELL, to his sister MATTIE JEWEL KIMBELL & husband, THEODORE BUSH
Dear Sister & Brother,
Your sweet and highly appreciated letter of recent date rec'd. I was so glad to hear from you and it was so full of love sympathy and comfort to my poor sad heart. Tears filled my eyes while I tried to read its precious words I have read it many times with the same results. It is so good to recieve sweet letters full of love and sympathy but Oh! Alas dear Sister it does not fill that acheing void in my heart that Dear MOLLIE'S love did. No! No! No!
God bless you a thosand times. I have by the prayers of my self and others become more reconsiled. I know her mission is filled her work on earth is done and that her sweet spirit is at rest and I would not rob her of the days of Heaven and have her back to the sorrows of earth if I could but Oh! We miss her so bad. The children and LIZZIE are as kind and good to me as can be and try to comfort me and make it as pleasant for me as they can but there is a sadness that remains but---bless the Lord I know we will meet some sweet day to part no more Oh! won't that be joyful! I don't believe I could ever love another woman as dearly as I did her I have seen men that seemed to love their second wife best but it dont seem so to me. And her sweet Christian life has been a great help to me and others and the sweet influence will live on though her body sleeps in the tomb. And her spirit has gone to its reward Blessed Consolation. The Dear Lord is helping me over the worst trouble I have had to meet in this life.
Well as to health we are all well. MAMIE is getting well. The shock of Mama's death prostrated her. She has been in a bad fix had to have a doctor with her but I think she will get all right. Well as to crop and farming we are still behind not done planting. I always had a plan and sweet MOLLIE was in it and now I have no plan for crops or anything else. We are having a heap of rain which is delaying our farm work and cotton is down to 6-3X (???) The people are planting more than ever and using more fertilizer than ever before.
To see you and Thea once more in this life I know I would enjoy it, but we may never meet again on earth but meet me in heaven when the toils and cares of this life is over. Yes, you are doing just like Ma did in her old age when she got to a good country. I dont understand it, it seems it takes more work to live in a good country than a poor one. If I get to feeling all right I want to go see PA one more time this sumer. All the plans I is if I get well is to sure sell out this fall and go to MEXICO. All the children but the two little boys are opposing it but I have a purpose in it and I aim to carry it out if I live and do anything.
Well Dear sister, hoping and praying Gods blessings on you and Thea, I am yours as ever true BROTHER, J. E. KIMBELL.
The following letter was written to MATTIE JEWEL KIMBELL BUSH by a friend in Eros, La., LULA MANN. Mattie was Roscoe's paternal grandmother, the mother of Roscoe's father, CHARLES EDGAR BUSH. Mattie and her husband, THEODORE BUSH, lived in Eros with Charles Edgar and his family. Evidently when this letter was written, MATTIE & THEO had moved back to Wetumpka, Ala. from Eros, La., however soemtime after 1920, they did return to Eros, where they lived until their deaths.
Envelope is marked from: Lula Mann, Eros, La. To: Mrs. Mattie J. Bush, Wetumpka, Ala. "care of J. C. HEISLER, Rt. 1, postmarked July 17, 1911.
Your letter at hand and read with much pleasure. Had been looking for a letter from you or Minnie for quite a while. Well this writting leaves every body well that I know of except GEAN YEAGER he has slow fever been down two weeks but is improving now. There is the finest crops here that I have ever seen in this country, both corn and cotton. But we are having a regular wet spell now and that is the very life of the bool weevil and I fear there will not be as much cotton made all though its blooming nicely now. The dry spell all most ruined the gardens but they are looking good now. Have plenty of all kinds of vegetables and water mellons and all so milk and butter and milking five cows have bought me a barrell churn and a regular milk can to send my milk off in. I am now selling 20 gal of milk and 15 lbs of butter a week so you may know I am always busy. Don't hardly have time to eat after I get it cooked. Mrs. Bush, I believe if you will use a treatment of balm of figs it will help you more than anything. I believe I would have been down before now if I hadent began using it. I am now on the third months treatment and feel so much better. I will send you one of the circulers so you can send for the medicine if you wish to try it. Oh! me its just pouring down rain and LONNIE has gone peddling. Tell MR. BUSH I know he is having a good time and he had better hold that job as long as he can. Wish I could get an easy job long enough to get rested. And if I was you I would stay where I wouldent have much to do for any body in your condition ought not to do anything if they can help it. But I cant help it but you can. You have children to take care of you and I would certainly let them do it. You asked me what I thought about Ed. he and MOLLIE
(note: this would be CHARLES EDGAR BUSH & his wife MARY FRANCES "MOLLIE" HARPER, parents of ROSCOE BUSH)
spent one sun with us since you left. He talked that day like he wanted to go out there but said he dident see how he could just give away what he had to go and siad it looked like it was unposable to sell any thing now. He said any time you all wanted to come back he would try to scrape up enough money to bring you back. I believe Ed had rather be out here if you all were here as they are rebuilding the mill and that ensures him employment and he is afraid the Bool weevil will strike out there and then there would be nothing doing. So if he doesent come out there you all had better come back here next fall for I sure do miss you. It seemed all most like my mother has left me when I heard you were gone. Aunt Mat, I sure did get a sad letter from HARDY yesterday. They havent had any rain since Apr the crops are a complete failure stock water all dried up they have to drive their stock five miles to water. Him and MR. TAYLOR are going to leave there now soon if it dont rain. But dident know where they would go but I believe they will come here. HARDY has married since they went out there. CLYDE says he got an awful nice good girl. Well you ought to be here to attend the meeting at BETHELL CHURCH next week. BRO FORDOM will be with BRO NEAL and you know they will do some good preaching. WILL KIMBELL and HAGLE made a flying trip to Tex in June only stayed 4 days at CLYDES dident stop here at all. VINILA (???) come and stayed out here while they were gone. LOVE dident come at all and I couldent keep from thinking a little hard of her. She wrote me she was going down home in August and stay a few days. ARLEAN LEE's baby was buried at SALEM one day this week. It found a bottle of coal oil and drank some and was dead in 2 hours. Well it has quit raining and is time to cook dinner so I must say good by for this time. Write me another good letter some time. I was very glad you hadent forgoten me.
with much love I am as ever your friend, LULA MANN
The next letter is postmarked Sept 14, 1916, Wetumpka, Ala and sent from J. E. KIMBELL to his sister, MRS. M. J. BUSH, Eros, La.
(The first few lines of this one have been torn away)
...and family I have just read your dear letter that I welcom and appreciate hightly bless the Lord I have one sister yet on earth the only one left of once a happy family and I know it will be my time or yours next when the Master calls for members of fathers and mothers home and I trust we are ready and waiting for the call. Though life is sweet here amidst the many troubles and sorrows we have here, what will it be when we leave the sorrows of earth behind and enter the joys of heaven and meet the dear ones thats been gone so long and meet our blessed Lord! Baby Angels joys! Eternal joys!! We are in moderate health except COMER he is not well and has sore eyes. All the children in the county has them and many grown people. We are having very hot dry weather. peas and potatoes are suffring I am done fuling fodder. Saved 750 b____. I think I will 150 bushels corn on 3 acres. Cotton is the sorriest I ever saw in Elmore. Corn good and sorry in places
Well, dear sister as I can't think what else to say, I close. Yes we went to see AUNT BETH a few weeks back She is just as cheerful and lively as any old person you ever saw and is 80 YEARS OLD. They have built a new house and it is nice and comfortable. I am glad for them. May God bless you all with all you need is my prayer. Hoping and trusing to hear soon, yours ever true, J. E. KIMBELL
July 13, 1905 to Mrs. Mattie Bush, Eros, La. from A. E. Bush
Well ma Ill write you all a few lines this morning. this leaves all well at present. I have got a good lot beter I think. I can stand my trip all right. well we is having pleanty of rain and crops is as fine as I ever seen. Cotton on my place is good as ever groad on it. My bottom corn ant so good this time we planted to late but will make pleanty to do me. Well Ill not write mutch I just wanted to let you all no that I was comeing. TOMIE GANT, SAM HARMON AND BUD SPIGNER is all going with me. We will leave Montgomery the 18 so I'll get to Monroe on the 19 tell Ed or some of you to meet me then as Ill havt to stay till night. It is raining so much and so much sixness till I am afraid bring Mattie. Well Ive got my letter all this morning so Ill close. Your son, A. E. Bush
This next envelope has a pre-printed return address of "DR. O. C. POWELL, RIDDLE, ALA. and is postmarked Sept 5, 1908 Riddle, Ala. and is addressed in pen & ink in a flamboyant handwriting to MRS. M. J. BUSH, Eros, Jackson Parish, La. The actual letter is written in pencil, in a different hand, with much less flourish.
Riddle, Ala Sep the 4 1908
Mrs. Mattie Bush
Dear Sister, I have just finished reading your kind letter. Was so glad to hear from you. I am quite nervous that you can see but I am going to try to write to you. WILLIAM sent your letter to me and I intended to write to you as soon as I got able. When your letter came I was low down to do any thing I came here on a visit in June got up out of bed to come home Mattie and IDA would not come with out me and I hated to disappoint the children as we had writen them to meet us and I wrote to PA I was going on to see him if JIMMIE would go with me he went but I was not able to go I did not sit up but very little while I staid and did not enjoy my visit at all. OCIE tried to get me to stay but it seamed that MATTIE and IDA cant not leave me. OCIE told me my trouble was no little thing. WILLIAM wrote me not to come back but I did not get his letter so I went and suffered rite on. WILLIAM beged so hard for me to come back but IDA and MATTIE opposed it so much I did not know what to do. I had just been at home one week then I staid one more week and EDDIE and his PA said they could not stand to see me suffer any longer and said there must be something done and he had rather I would go back to OCIE and would take me to the station that day. So I got up and dressed and left and no one knew it but Mat, that was the greatest trial of my life when I told WILLIAM and the little children good bye when they looked up in to my face I could hardly bear it. I left him without anyone to do anything for them. EDDIE has learned to cook and does all the work. OCIE met me in WETUMPKA had me examined by two doctors they were like Ocie they said I had GASTRALGIA OF THE STOMACHE. I was not sick but was first taken with a pain in my rite side and I then taken the colick and when I ear or drank anything I would nearly draw double with collick and nothing I done gave me any relief. I suffered day and night I had not been here but a week to home and loved ones did not worry me one bit I felt that it was best that I was here for they could do nothing but see me suffer. I felt perfectly resined to the will of God. I felt that if it was His will I was ready to go I lay here one week that I did not eat one bite of anything. I did get so hungry as I was not sick but my stomache would not allow it but I can eat now. I have been lying here seven weeks, this is the eighth but I can set up some now. The last spell I had was with my side it has been three weeks ago it was awful I told OCIE without a change I was soon going to leave them. OCIE did not say a word but worked rite on with me. I told MANDA what I wanted done but the change came that night. The only change that had been in my condition for better since I came, my side gives me some trouble but I had had sevril to tell me they dont know how I can stand to be so far from home as low down as I am. I tell them it is kind cheering letters from home and kindness here that helped me a long a great deal in my afflictions. No son could ever have been kinder to his mother than OCIE has been to me. And has worked so patiencly with me and all of my old friends have been so kine to come to see me. LINNIE(??) did not know I was here til last friday he wrote to me at home and WILLIAM wrote to him at once that I was there and had been down seven weeks. He came early monday morning. He seamed to be very sorry that I had been lieing here so long and he did not know it. I asked ANNIE to phone to him shortly after I came so I kept looking for him. MANDA would have writen to him but she had to write home for me so I did not say anything about writeing to any one else. MANDA says tell you you have to do like her, put your trust in the Lord to take care of you that is what she does before I came. She was having to stay here all night by herself. BOB TOMPSONs mother in law is here now for a while. I don't know how long she will stay. BOB has moved in the house with his PA. Well I have just received a long good letter from EDDIE. They are all well. WILLIE has been over to see me this morning he come early few days he has been. So uneasy about me but I hope I will soon be able to go over and stay some with him. JIMMIE told me to let him know and he would come for me as soon as I was able to stand the trip. EDDIE told me when I left home not to come home til I went to see PA bbut he did knot know I was going to have such a time . I will want to go home as soon as I am able but cant tell yet when that will be. Well, I cant write any more don't know wheather you can read this or not. With love to you all, I remain your sister, L.(?) E.(?) POWELL.
(NOTE: Evidently the above sister of Mattie Kimbell Bush had married a POWELL and the DR. O. C. POWELL was her son...)
Berry Alabama RFD #1, Box 86 2-1-09
MRS. M. J. BUSH, Eros, La.
Dear Aunt we recd. your letter a few days ago. Was glad to here from you all. We are all getting along very well. We are having cold weather up here the ground is froze six inches but it is getting warmer than it was last wk. Aunt Mat, we will send you a piece of print about GRANDPA'S WILL. The Will is not like we thought it was. I guess it has been changed. GRANDMA said the Will was that ALL THE CHILDREN was to have $100.00 one hunderd dollars then all that was left was to be divided with all the children, but there may be a mistake about this. I dont know for we havent saw the Will. It may be to some one else but this is what we here. You ask about MRS. BECKY SMITH. She spent the day with us last week. She looks well and is living with Will, her younged boy about one mile above NEWCHAPEL. LILA is getting along all right. She lives on the FAYETTE ROAD one half mile above ROSE HILL CEMETARY. She has three children. VERA is almost grown in size. She has two boys ULYSS and GUY. LUCY has two little boys OLEN and ODUS. They are pretty as can be. Well Aunt Mat, is is so cold I am about to freeze. I will close and we will all try to write next time and mabe I can write better I can't think of anything worth writing. And soon Mama said tell you she did not feel like she could write today, it is so cold. Write soon and a long letter. With love and best wishes I am as ever, YOUR NIECE, ALMA
From ALEX SMITH, Judge of Probate, Fayette County, Ala.
Fayette, Ala. 11/29/29 (this would be 1929)
Dear MRS. M. J. BUSH,
Your letter has just been handed me by the Clerk of the Circuit Court and I write to say the land of the P. G. KIMBELL estate you are wanting information about has not been sold by the Probate Court. There was an application filed to sell for division among joint owners but for some cause it did not to to finish and has been carried into the Circuit in equity and the attorney W. W. MONROE tells me his is expecting and order is said case soon and hopes to be ordered to sell and will perhaps sell sometime in January 1930. so you can understand there has been no sale and no division made and I cannot tell anything of new interest to you.
I suppose in this processing for the sale your name is given as one of the heirs and when the sale is made the proceeds will be divided. The amount due you will be shown...when sale is made the attorney, W. W. MONROE will be able to inform you as to your part.
Very truly, H. M. BELL, Fayette, Ala
From: W. A. DOWNS, Justice Peace Ward One, Jackson Parish, La. (this is letterhead stationary, but letter is written in pencil and signed by M. E. DOWNS)
To: MRS. MATTIE J. BUSH, Eros, La., June 19th, 190_
Dear ol friend, yours at hand today. I was surly glad to hear from you and you all was well and as well satisfied as you are. We are all well except my self. I keep up but I havent been well in too weaks. I suffer a great deal at times. I was surly glad to hear from you. reading your letter makes me think that we have seen each other. I had rather see you and hear you talk far I know you could tell me lots of nuse. It is awful hot here crops and gardens are sufering bad of course I dont know much about crops only what I hear. I havent been home but once since you left hear. the weather so hot and hurts me so bad to ride that I cant go just stay hear and bake. four weaks ago I went to BEATHELL and stade all day sa lots of my old friends and enjoyed the day fine and I haven't felt well sence. I herd MRS. G. MORLY was dead. Tell MINNIE I think of her every time I go to the garden and wonder if she would like to be back at her old home. Mrs. Bush I have been to church 3 times in Eros and was such small crowds I never saw go to church I recon they have good preaching but that is all and it was that way every place. I hear from NELL(?) LEN YEAGER is married and living in Eros. the mill all going to rebuild. hear they expect to start to work on the framing in a few days. I heard that EDD said if the mill was set back here that he expected to stay in La. so you would have to come back hear to see him. MRS. SCAGGS have been sick a month. Well you just read this pooly composed letter and think of me for I am so nervou I can't hold my pen still. Write soon tell MR. BUSH I would like to see him standing behind the counter. M. E. DOWNS