September 13, 1896
[Mr. Big Hat
Hattie Simmons, Chillicothe, cape jessamine.
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing a letter to this department, first give your full name, postoffice and state. Use pen and ink, on smooth paper, not larger than note size. Write only on one side of the paper and do now sew, paste or pin the sheets together. These rules must be observed to insure publication.
MAUDE CARE, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Wishing to make your acquaintance, I thought I would come in and chat with you for a few minutes. I did go to the West Broadway school, but will now have to go to the West Avenue L. school, and my! I dread it. I am in the high sixth grade, and am 15 years old. This is the first piece of poetry I ever composed. I dedicated it to Miss Big Bonnet:
Good-bye, Miss Big Bonnet; I hope to see your sweet face (but without Peggy) again.
SALLIE CRITIC, Sulphur Springs, Hopkins Co., Tex. -- Dear Mr. Big Hat and cousins: My first little star appeared in the spicy columns of our beloved Cozy Corner, and although it just faintly scintillated among so many bright constellations of our illuminating circle, still, I come again, asking for a few moments of your leisure time, in which I may respond to Cousin Lantie's call for a vote on our favorite flowers. Though, I am decidedly averse to girls attending ballot-boxes, yet, as this is an exception to the general rule of balloting, I shall emphatically cast my vote in favor of the cape jasmine. Its perfect beauty, delicacy of color and exquisite fragrance combine to make it the choicest of all fair blossoms, in my estimation. It grows in profusion at my old home in Louisiana, but I do not find many in this part of Texas. Now, while I'm in the ring, may I ventilate my imaginative powers just slightly, and give you all a description of Cousins Herbert Taylor and Ludie Sanders? I think I hear Cousin Herbert say, "Be careful how you picture me." Well, if I can make my pen be true to my thoughts, I think he will not be insulted; but, look and listen, and I believe you'll catch the image. Tall, rather slight, dark hair and eyes that would rival a spray of jet, fair complexioned, with a countenance that betokens a deep intellectuality, mingled with a mischievous twinkle in those merry black eyes, and, altogether, a fair specimen of noble manhood, who will some day reach the topmost round in the ladder of literary fame. And, now for a glimpse of Cousin Ludie: A slender girl of medium height, with a smiling, dimpled face, framed with a halo of chestnut-brown hair and lighted up with eyes that reflect the ocean's deepest blue; a disposition as cheery and sunshiny as the first bright day of spring, and an ambition that will land her "at the head" of all her classes in college this fall. Cousins, do hurry and give us a true description of yourselves, so we can see how near we've "hit the nail on the head." Well, I've said my say, and the boys are threatening to cut my "goose quill" if I continue to say or essay anything more, so adios.
SUSETTE COWARD, Alvin, Brazoria Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much. We own a small farm on Chocolate bayou. We have many beautiful flowers. I have been to Galveston and seen the gulf. We had some very nice peaches, but the wood-tappers have destroyed a great many of them. This is a fine fruit country. There are a great many pear orchards about here. Many of them are bearing.
ALFRED HENCK, Hitchcock, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: I am 13 years old and I wish to tell you about my grandma. She will soon be 83 years old. She picked strawberries this year. She has lived in Galveston since Jan. 2, 1847, when there were large sandhills on the beach, grass growing in the streets, and very few houses. My father has taken The News for twenty-seven years. Please do not put this in the waste basket, for this is my first letter. And, it will please grandma, as she reads The News every day.
CLARA PIX, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I read a letter in the paper from a little girl in Dallas. She wrote that her mamma and papa both were dead. I have two little cousins in Dallas. I would like to hear from them. Their names are Hunt. They live with their grandmother and grandfather. Their papa was my cousin; his name was Gus Hunt. Both he and his wife are dead. I have one cousin in Galveston, three in New York, five in Ireland and nine in England. I love all of my cousins, and I hope to see them some day. I have three brothers. My baby brother is 13 months old. I am the only girl in Pix's family in Galveston. We all like to read The News. I am 10 years old. My grandmother and grandfather, of the Pix family, are both dead.
GUS FORD, Farmers' Branch, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Why, hello, Florence Giddens, is that you? How big a cave have you been hiding in? Odis Riddle, when you have looked at the big stump enough, come again. The camp meeting on White Rock has just closed. Had a tolerably good meeting. We did not camp, but I staid over there some. One evening, three of us boys went down on the creek to catch some fish, as it was going dry. We caught about 120 small ones and one about six inches long, which we put in the well. Our protracted meeting has not been finished long. Ludie Sanders, I will tell my photo of you and Herbert Taylor. You are a girl about 5 feet 6 inches high, 17 years old, dark skin, sharp chin, weight 110 pounds, gray eyes, take rather long steps for a girl. Herbert Taylor is fleshy, fair skin, double chin, 5 feet 3 inches tall, a nice boy, but tricky. Cotton is very sorry in this part of Texas. Everybody thought they would make a fine crop, but it fooled them badly. I am going to picking cotton soon. Corn is pretty fair. I, like a great many cousins, don't believe in dancing. I attended a baptizing about three weeks ago; fifteen were baptized. It was six miles away on the Trinity river, at a very pretty place. Ferdi Howard, come again. You write interesting letters. One of the cousins wanted some one to answer the question, Who was the Xenophen of the Texas revolution? It was Jordan. Cousins, when you answer a question, please state the question, also. You may know the question you are answering, but none of the rest of us do. I choose the candytuft, Lantie, and my sister, Allie, says a deep red rose. Cousins, you all state what kind of a badge you wish to wear, and I will count the votes. Here is my cross.
BEATRICE SHELLEY, Jefferson, Marion Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Pardon me for trespassing, but the temptation is too great to resist, therefore, I will plead to join this interesting circle. Please don't enforce that dreaded law, "Ostracism." Now, for a fuss with those who gave such a merciless description of Herbert Taylor. Don't you girls know that Herbert is one of the grandest boys (?) this world can afford? How many of you will rejoice when the school bells peal forth their musical sounds? I am sure I will, for the schoolroom is my second home. The height of my ambition is to receive an education, be well read and traveled, but alas! I fear my hopes will never be realized. So much for weak eyes and a vacant purse! Will some of you assist me in a very simple undertaking? Just hold Peggy while I introduce him to a handkerchief saturated with chloroform. Are any of the cousins subject to the "blues?" If so, let it be known, and perhaps we can sympathize with each other, for I live on them. Lantie V. Blum, you deserve credit for getting up those rules. May I express my choice of flower? It is the cape jasmine. Although this is my first letter, I have been a constant reader of the Cozy Corner for some time. It is time to say good afternoon, for --
The sun is
sinking in the western horizon,
ETHEL ROSE, Jefferson, Marion Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Here comes a new caller, if I may be admitted. I have just finished reading some of the cousins' letters. One of them being from a dear friend of mine, made me feel as if I should like to write. While I am much older than some of them, I can not come up with them in letter writing, for I am not as fortunate as some. I ad afflicted, and lost the most of the last two sessions at school last year. I only went one month, and year before, only went until Christmas. And, have always lost a part of every session before. I like to go to school so much, but that pleasure is denied me, and a great many other joys, dear cousins, that you can partake of. But, I do not wish you all any less pleasure, for I should be sorry, indeed, to know of another little girl in my condition, who must suffer what I do. I will be 12 years old the 5th of November, and am only in the fifth grade. I am afraid I never will get to go to school again, but I pray to God that I may. I go to Sunday school every Sunday, that I am able. I missed the two last Sundays. I belong to the Baptist Sunday school, and I love it dearly. I won't write any more this time, for fear of tiring some one, or the waste basket may get me. If not, I will write again.
LISSIE JOHNSON, Wilmer, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Good morning! I will make my first attempt to write to The News. I live in Texas and my papa is a postmaster. I will ask a riddle: Goes with the wagon and is of no use, but the wagon couldn't go without it. I am 10 years old and my older sister is 12, and my younger sister is 2. My older sister and I took a trip and went to our grandma's and stayed a week. O, just listen at those boys a-talking about me, so, I will go home.
CORINNE YATES, Forney, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will take advantage of this dull, lonesome day and will ask permission to write a short letter to the Cozy Corner. This is my first attempt at letter writing for the cousins. I hope it won't find the waste basket. I am 8 years old. I love to go to school. I am in the third grade. I have a little brother, but have no sister. Mr. Big Hat, feed Peggy good before my letter reaches there, because she might eat it. I send 5 cents for the Sam Houston monument.
LATCHIE MYRICK, Ladonia, Fannin Co., Tex. -- Good evening, Mr. Big Hat and cousins! I will make my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. I am a little girl 12 years old and in the seventh grade. School will soon begin and I will be so glad. I am going to begin my music when school begins, as I intend to be a music teacher. I have taken music about ten months and like it very much. I have no pets except my little brother and sister, but I think they are as nice little pets as I could have, so I can tend to them for mamma and have them to love. I have been reading papa's papers, but I like to read The News best. I have become so interested in the letters, I thought I'd try to join your corner. Mr. Big Hat, does Peggy eat very much? I hope not. Feed him well before my letter gets there, so he won't be hungry for it. If I had a white lily, as it is my favorite flower, maybe I could write a more interesting letter. Much success to Mr. Big Hat and the dear old News!
KATE EVANS, San Angelo, Tom Green Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. We live near the Concho river and we often go fishing. A great many of the little cousins boast of their nice fruit. We don't have much fruit in this country, but we have good health and good fish out of the river. I was wading in the river last summer and found a mussel with a beautiful pink pearl in it, large enough to set a ring. We had a nice barbeque on the Concho, the 7th of July, ten miles below San Angelo. I am 10 years old and I hope to see this in print. Inclosed find 10 cents for the Houston memorial stone.
CLARA RAUBE, Giddings, Lee Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I saw my letter in The News and was very glad. We have very many banana trees. One is bearing, and one is blooming. I have been picking cotton for two days, but I can't pick very much. We had a fine rain here last Wednesday, which did the cotton very much good. Our school is soon going to start again, but I am not going to go to school. There is not very much news, so I will close, with love to all of the cousins. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins, about my age. I am 14 years old.
TOM S. SECOG, Denison, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little boy 11 years old. We do not take The News, but I wish we did. I am a new comer to The News. For pets, I have a cat and two kittens, and I used to have a little colt. Peggy, do you want my letter? You may have it, if it is not good. It will poison you, so you can't have any more of mine. Cousins, who wrote "A Surprise Party Surprised?" I liked it. Denison, I think is a very nice town. It's population is over 15,000.
DORAH WICKER, Gough, Delta Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come again. My papa is a farmer and has been a subscriber to The News for seven years, and we are always glad to get it. I love to read the cousins' letters. I saw a letter some time ago from Birdie Wicker. I would love for her to write again and tell if her parents came from Tennessee. I have a sister by that name. I am 9 years old and can pick 105 pounds of cotton in a day. My sister, Eulah, can pick 106 pounds in a day. She is 7 years old. We have four bales of cotton. The people have had to haul water from Gordon lake, which is about nine miles from here, but it is raining to-day. I inclose 10 cents for the memorial stone fund. Vada Mason, you asked how many books in the Bible. There are thirty-nine books in the old Bible and twenty-seven in the new.
RUTH MILLER, Gainesville, Cooke Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: After an absence of two or three months, I, again, enter into the happy circle. I would write much oftener if I could write interesting letters like most of the cousins, but I am afraid, that if I wrote any oftener than every two or three months, that Peggy would get my letter, and I know if she was to get one of them, that it would kill her, and then Mr. Big Hat would have to walk after the letters, and he would soon get tired of that and then would not have any Cozy Corner. I have thought that most of the cousins could write better letters than I could, and I would not write again, but as these thoughts flashed through my mind, I happened to think of these line: "If, at first, you don't succeed, try, try again," and, I thought that I would try once more to see if I couldn't do better. I have had a gay time this vacation, as my grandmother and little friend visited us and remained some six weeks. I didn't have much of anything to do but play. But, I will agree with Johnny Price about most girls and boys thinking that when school is out, they will have nothing to do but play, but I think they could continue their studies and be prepared for the next session of school. I think all should try to get an education. I want to have an education, but don't study as hard as I ought to. Our school will begin in about two months, and I want to go every day, if I can. I am the only girl in the family, but have eight brothers, all older than myself, except two, and they are twins. I understand that Mr. Herbert Taylor is our political cousin, and I want to tell him, that if he succeeds as well writing poetry, as he did riding the buzzard's back, that he will do pretty well. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins between 12 and 15 years of age, if they will write first. Mr. Big Hat, you will find inclosed, stamps for your and Miss Big Bonnet's picture. I fear my letter is already too long, so, I will say good-by for this time.
ONA POGUE, Blum, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, little missy and cousins: Will you admit one more girl into your happy band? I am 13 years of age and am in the sixth grade, but I guess I will go into the seventh when school begins. O, good! It is just two weeks, and that will soon pass away. I live about a half mile from Blum, near the banks of the beautiful Nolan river, but I ride horseback, so, I go to town whenever I please. I guess the cousins noticed the other letters from Blum. It seems strange that only Frankie and I can screw up enough courage to write. Herbert Taylor, I wish you would take another buzzard ride or some kind of a ride and tell us all about it. Your poetry was also very good. Keep on, Herbert, and you will make a great poet, I am sure of that. I think you would do well to try for a prize poem. Cousin Lantie, I think you have quite a tedious job counting the votes. I will suggest the beautiful blue violet. Cousin Ludie Sanders, I think all the cousins are envying you of your good fortune, and wishing for just such a half-brother. How many of the cousins like to camp out? I do, for one, but I got very near enough of it not long ago. A small crowd went off to attend a campmeeting that was in progress at a little place called Cedar Creek. Oh, what a jolly time! We went to preaching, went fishing and, as I said, it was the first time I ever camped out, "ate right on the ground." Bessye Smith, come again; your letters are real entertaining. Lena Weis, your last letter was excellent. Wallpaper A. Shinplaster, I like to read our letters ever so much. But, for fear of Peggy's tremendous jaws, and for fear of tiring the cousins with my uninteresting words, I will quit.
EVELYN BOSCHEL, Tyler, Smith Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Please, may I enter your "charmed circle?" Thank you. With permission, I will sit here near the door, while you kindly tell me the cause of this great - ah! now I have it. The cousins very naturally gather 'round the "center of attraction." I take a peep, and I think I recognize -- yes, I'm sure 'tis -- Genevieve Myrdock. But, lo! even as I look, the "halo" shifts and circles 'round, till it rests immediately over the head of (I suppose the arrangements have been perfected by now) the illustrious Li Hung Chang of the Little Men and Women department. Well, I'll be content to sit in the shadow, if I can only hear his "mellifluous" (I'm sure it must be) voice as he expiates so eloquently upon the illustrious English poets, whose grand productions we all love and never tire reading or hearing. J. W. Criddle's letter was especially interesting, and I would suggest (if there's not too many plans on foot already, and if you will allow a stranger to make a suggestion) that each one write a paraphrase of their best loved poem in the next letter they write. These, I think, would be very interesting, as well as instructive. As this is my first "effusion," I will poll my "favorite flower" vote and retire. I decided long since, that the hyacinth is dearer in my eyes than all the innumerable host of lovely flowers. Not that I think it possess more beauty or fragrance than numerous others, but because of very pleasant associations connected therewith. Mythology tells us the origin of the hyacinth is derived from the beautiful Laconian youth, Hyacinth, a beloved friend of Apollo, who killed him by an unlucky cast of his quoit, and from his blood sprang the pure, enchanting flower. Very similar is the Grecian fable applied to the narcissus, which is also a beautiful flower. Its name is derived from the Narcissus, who fell so deeply in love with his own face, as reflected in a fountain, that he sickened and died. From the place where his body lay, sprang the flowers that commemorate his name and loveliness. Will not some one please tell me the mythological origin of the modest little pansy? Were we allowed a second vote, mine would certainly be bestowed upon that dear, deserving little blossom that has helped me out of many severe cases of "cerulean horrors."
ESMERALDA SIMON, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Dear Cozy Corner (Peggy, also): You can scarcely imagine what great pleasure your letters give me. I was lying down forming a mental picture of all my playmates, wondering where they all were, and if the coming school session would bring us together again, when mother said, "Esmeralda, there is The News on the mantel." I stumbled over two chairs, came very near upsetting a vase of flowers on the table, grabbed up two other old papers, and finally reached the mantel. I was glad to notice Miss Big Bonnet's and Mr. Big Hat's photos are finished. I expect to possess both pictures, and, if I could just write like you both, I would filing away the dish rag and hide the biscuit cutter, and do nothing else but write. I have been spending a few days with my aunt at Sulphur Springs, but wish I possessed descriptive powers sufficient that I might give you a little insight into the bustle of the last week. The first day was a picnic to Camp's lake. The drive out there is one of the most delightful experiences I have had. We had fast horses, an easy carriage and good roads, so the trip was an enjoyable one. After reaching there, "how shall we spend the day?" was the question. It looked dull for a little time, but some fishing, rowing and sailing filled up the hours. Some even started out hunting, but found game scarce. The day passed delightfully and we returned well pleased. I am sorry that my visit had to be made during the vacation of the schools, as I was very anxious to visit them. I think my letter long enough and won't write any more this time. Oh, yet, I have a little favor to ask Mr. Big Hat. I think my name must be too long, and as economy is the road to wealth, you can save some of the printer's ink, and maybe some of these days, you will save enough to buy a fine steamer so that it may run down the Trinity.
MAGGIE and HELEN GILL, BEULAH BARTEN and FRANK PHILLIPS, Perry, Falls Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Here come four little "country cousins." Will you admit us? We all do not live out here, but are just spending our vacation out on the farm with our grandparents. Grandpa has been taking The News for over twenty years. His name is R. A. Oakes. Helen and I (Maggie) live in Marlin, Tex. Marlin has lately become famous as a health resort. The deepest and hottest artesian well in the United States is situated in Marlin. It is 3350 feet deep. The temperature is 145 degrees. There is a fine sanitarium there, also a handsome and large hotel being erected. Frank's papa is dead and he lives with his grandparents. Our papa is dead, also. Beulah lives at McLanahan, Tex., but comes here real often, so we can all be together. We like to stay out here, for we can do just as we please and play all day long. Come down, Mr. Big Hat, and we will let you "play in our yard." We have lots of swings, a bicycle, a "Billy" goat and wagon. We will take you riding when you come. You won't get lonely, if it is in the country, for there is a jolly big family of us. We are preparing to start to school in September and will not all be together again until Christmas. Don't let Peggy get this, for it is very indigestible and would make him sick. Love to all the cousins.
GENEVIEVE MYRDOCH, Owlet Green, Van Zandt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: "If you have any tears to shed, prepare to shed then now," for here comes that "genius-ess." About the middle of July, I left home for a visit to "my friends and my relations" down east, and The News of Aug. 16 was the first I'd seen since. From the Cousin Joes (or the Cousins Joe, which?) letters, I learn that my last was published. By the way, I told Chum to save The News for me while I was gone, but she thinks a great deal more of some things which begin with "I," than she does literature, and consequently, she didn't do as she was bid. Now, Mr. Big Hat, I always come with a pocket full of interrogation points, but you'll certainly excuse me this time. In Mr. Dawson's letter, I see that "a task has been imposed" on me. If you will kindly tell me what the task is, I'll do all in my power to perform it. Was it to tell you of the "Troubadours of German?" If so, I will look the subject up at once. And, I would just like to know what the compliment was that you passed on Joe Dawson? I'm so sorry I missed that issue of the paper. But, isn't it oodles of fun to go away from home on a visit to be "Miss Myrdoch," in stead of plain old "Gene," with an occasional "Genevieve" when mother's mad? To have the "fatted calf" and "barnyard pheasant" killed in my honor, instead of boiling bacon and peas to satisfy the hungry well, not exactly souls -- of a dozen boys? Yes, it's fun, but what's nicer than to slip on a cool mother-hubbard, seat yourself in your favorite rocker and read the cheery letters in the Cozy Corner? I realize more than ever, "that be it ever so humble, there's no place like home," and the prayer goes up from my heart of heart: "prepare me, dear savior, for heaven, my home." And we are to have a "department flower?" Well, Cousin Lantie, you may count my vote for the rose, "the red, red, rose, that all men are praising." Chum vows, that if I vote for the rose, she'll write and tell you why I did so. But, phsaw! she vows lots of things she never does, and any bow 'twould only be a good joke on the rose. Please, all of you who haven't a special favorite, vote for the queen of flowers. Mr. Farmer, the question asked you was this: Are you the same Joe Farmer who used to be so popular in the Y. F. D. of the Louisville Courier Journal? If so, cousins, Herbert is not our only poet. I have one of Joe Farmer's poems in my scrapbook. And, let me say to all who have never made a scrap-book, make one now. I have two, and money would scarcely buy them. They are a great pleasure to me now, and grow dearer as the years roll by. And, a diary, too; but I'll not say much about that. "Those dreadful boys" have discovered the fact that I keep one, and threaten to search the place over, next time I leave. And, poor old Kitty Joseph! alas and alack, he has winged his flight to parts unknown! He may be dead, and if so, peace to his ashes! But, I have a sweet hope that he is prowling about in search of his mistress dear, and that when he sees this letter, he'll come back to one who loves him still, a wanderer and outcast, though he may be. You see, he wasn't exactly used to his new name when I left home, and changing names and keepers at one and the same time, was too much for his catship. Not only is my "heart with anguish wrung" because of his loss, but, I've missed the golden opportunity of learning for myself, the truth of the old saying, "There's nothing in a name." "But 'twas ever thus from childhood's hour, I've seen," etc. Never mind, when I get to be an old maid, I'll get me so many cats, that if a half dozen should stray off, I couldn't miss 'em. You of the cousins who have the descriptive fever, please do not undertake to pen-picture me; you'll certainly fail, if you do, and not only that, but the first one that should happen to picture me anything like ideal, why, I'd write you a personal letter, ten pages long, so full of compliments, that when you had perused it, your mother wouldn't recognize you, owing to an enlargement of the head.
[Mr. Big Hat's
ED W. HARTMANN, Arneckeville, DeWitt Co., Tex. -- Dear old department: As I found my other letter in print, I will try again, and I hope I may find this one in print, too. Well, school will soon commence, and I am very glad of it. My sister will be my teacher, and I will drive to school with her every day. Mr. Big Hat, why don't you let us see the photo of Peggy? Have you killed him, or what is the matter? I hope so, or he will surely get this letter, because I am so sleepy and tired. I live in the country and am glad of it, because it is so much healthier than in town. In town, one does not get as much exercise, as in the country. The people around here are almost all through picking cotton. My papa takes The News, and I like to read the letters very much. My age is 11 years. Herbert Taylor, come again. I think your letter was very interesting, especially about you riding that old black buzzard. It has been very hot. Just the kind of weather the farmers want, to gather their cotton and corn. I wish I could get acquainted with some of the cousins to correspond with them. Cousins, how many of you all like to fight bumble bees? I do, for one. Yesterday, some of us were fighting bumble bees, and I got a sting on my head. Boys, our fun is coming close. I guess you all know what it is. My best fun is to go hunting and shoot birds and rabbits, and I also like to trap the quail. I inclose 5 cents for the Sam Houston stone fund. I will vote for the lily, as it is my favorite flower.
RACHEL SANDERS, Peede, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Good morning! Don't let the dogs bite me, if you have any. I am attending a big meeting. I went to-day on horseback and had a nice time. It will close next Sunday, and I will be sorry, for I do love to go to church. Herbert Taylor, Jetta Pate, Genevieve Myrdock, Della Stone, Aimee Fern Nichols, Maggie M. Rogers, Mamie More, Stella Henslee, Ada Lasher, come again. I will be 11 the 19th of this month. Miss Big Bonnet, come again. I like your letters very much, but like Mr. Big Hat's better. If there ain't Emma Lawler from Minerva. Well, I would like to see her. Tell my half brother to run over some morning before breakfast, and I will tell him something that he hasn't heard lately. Eddie W. Hartmann, the answer to your riddle is a wagon. Cousins, I can play the organ, accordion, harp and papa says I can play thunder. He calls me his old maid, because I nurse the cats. Herbert, I wish you would be so kind as to get on old Go-Ahead and come down here on a visit. Hello, Peggy! are you hungry? Just wait a little while, till I can tell the boys and girls good-bye. Well, this mule won't stop. I'll say, Miss Big Bonnet, I want your pretty dress. Charlie Bacon, you have enough sense. If Mr. Editor was here, I would feed him on peaches and peas. I have been milking six cows for the past week.
MAGGIE MORGAN, Taylor, Williamson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have never seen a letter from Taylor, so I thought I would write and join the happy league. I am a little girl of 11 years, and in the sixth grade. I have three brothers and two sisters. My eldest brother, Charles, lives in Galveston. I hope and sincerely wish that Peggy won't get this letter, as it is my first. I would like very much to see it in print. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much. I would like very much to correspond with some of the cousins of my age.
NELL NEIL PARKS, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I desire that you will let me enter the Cozy Corner. I have been reading the cousins' letters, and think them very nice. I am in the fourth grade. I am 10 years old. I live on Ross avenue. Mr. Big Hat and the cousins may think I am too home-like in my first letter, but then, I do think Mr. Big Hat rather selfish, because he is in The News more than his little sister, Miss Big Bonnet. I think they ought to be in The News every other time. The boys like Mr. Big Hat the best and the girls like Miss Big Bonnet the best. I do hope the girl cousins will agree with me. Please don't let Peggy get my poor first letter. I will send Peggy some corn if you haven't given him some before my letter reaches there. I will send him some in my next letter. I inclose a stamp for little Miss Big Bonnet's picture.
MINNIE ROGERS, Blanco, Blanco Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins all: I have stayed away from your Cozy Corner just about as long as I can, and now I am going to make myself known. I have been reading the cousins' letters from the first, and that has been a good while. Papa has been taking The News ever since I can remember, and we all love it very much. I have written several letters, but would not send them because I did not think they were good enough, but now I am going to write anyway. I know I can't do as well as the most of the cousins, but will do my best. Who can do more? I already feel like a cousin to you all, and I hope you will all admit me into your band as one. I think so many good letters in the department last week put me in high spirits, and induced me to write. Oh, how fast the cousins are improving! The letters are growing better and more interesting all the time, and now, perhaps, had I been writing all this time, I could do better now. What has become of L. C. Fountain? I thought his letters were very entertaining. Come again, and also Lawrence Neff, and a number of other smart boys and girls, whose names I can't remember. But, I remember a good many, and always shall. If I could only write as good and entertaining letters as Hattie Simmons, Lauretta Faust, Florence Giddens, Ludie Saunders and a great many others, and -- oh, yes, Wilhelmina Clark. I must not leave you out, for I enjoyed your letters very much and especially the one you wrote describing the jubilee at Fredericksburg. I was there myself, and never had as nice a time in my life. I went with a crowd of young folks (twelve of us in all), and, if young folks ever had a fine time, we did. I would tell all about it, but it would take up too much space and would not interest any one, either, I'm afraid. But, as I started to say, Cousin Wilhelmina, I saw you there, or, I guess it was you. A girl by that name was with a lady I was acquainted with, Miss Rosa Palus. She introduced you to my brother. Well, cousins, we have some work in the Cozy Corner to do now, or, at least, I consider it as a task to describe our Cozy Corner minnesinger, as the cousins now term him. According to my imagination, he is an old bachelor, who has nothing to think of, but something funny to write about, and is about 6 feet in height, weighs about 165 pounds, is of dark complexion, and has dark hair and eyes. Now, to Cousin Ludie. She is, I imagine, of medium height, rather slender in form, has dark hair and blue eyes, complexion fair. I felt a little bit complimented when I read T. E. Cornelius' letter, for in his description of Ludie, he described me nearly exactly, all except the disposition. Now, I am through describing, and will name my favorite flower. I will vote for the white chrysanthemum. "Truth needs no protestation," is the symbolical language of the white chrysanthemum. Well, Mr. Big Hat, here it is. I have written a great long letter and have not said a thing that will interest any one, and I don't know whether I will send it or not. If I had any pets, I guess I would write about them to fill out my letters, but I will leave that for the little folks to write about. But, I do want to tell the cousins about my sweet little niece, the only one I have. Her name is Marion Lucille Gibson, and she lives in Waco. I have never seen her but once. My sister is going to bring her to see us Christmas. I know I will want to go home with her, but I can't, for I have to go to school. I went to school to my brother last year, and will go to him again this year. I will try to write on something interesting next time. If I see this in print, and if I don't, I can feel proud of having done one good thing, and that is, fed Peggy. I will describe my town next time, as I believe that is the custom. I haven't seen a letter from here. I will close by saying I am "sweet sixteen."
AUDREY HOPE, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Having waited for a long time, and not in vain, I notice my initiatory letter to your department printed. I am very grateful for the favor conferred, as I feel very much honored at being a member of a band making such noteworthy strides toward literary eminence. I enjoy W. Shinplaster's letters very much, and for the first time, I noticed that he lived in the flourishing metropolis of the Lone Star state, and am delighted that Dallas has such an able representative. I suppose H. Taylor is fabricating another account of some marvelous feat with which to startle the Cozy Corner out of its usual calmness when he next appears, which, I hope, will be in the near future. Lately, I have noticed several very interesting sketches of great personages possessing the gift of song and thereby immortalizing their names, but very few are of those illustrious old masters who have left far lovelier sentiments in the sublime language of the soul. So, for the benefit of those who, like myself, are worshippers at the shrine of music, I will endeavor to give a sketch of the life of Ludwig Beethoven, who was born at Bonn, 1770. His family relations were most unfortunate, his father being a morose drunkard and his mother, not any way calculated to fill that most sacred position. Their income was very small and rapidly melted away beneath the serious drain it was compelled to undergo. And, as is often the case, in these circumstances was born a genius, ordained to reap in the broad field of destiny, a golden harvest of fame. Attracted by his surprising talents, a learned master offered to instruct him, and his efforts were amply paid, for at 12 years of age, Beethoven was considered a musical prodigy. Later, he removed to Vienna, but at the age of 30, his hearing became affected, and in a few years, he was completely deaf. It was during this period, that he composed his inspiring, "Moonlight Sonata," the melody of imagination, for the sounds he could only imagine. He died in 1826, having "won the wreath of fame, and left on memory's scroll a deathless name."
DOSIA THOMPSON, Devine, Medina Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Will you permit a southwestern girl to join your Cozy Corner? I have been a silent reader for several years and admire the nice letters so much and appreciate the stories very much. I will give you a faint description of our little town. It is situated on the International and Great Northern railroad, thirty miles southwest of San Antonio. It has about 500 inhabitants, nice church buildings, good school (generally 100 or more in attendance). The summer normal was taught here. No intoxicating liquors are sold here, and consequently, it is a very quiet place. There are a great many Mexicans here, though we have but few negroes. They (the Mexicans) look very peculiar driving their little donkeys hitched to a two-wheeled cart, with all their belongings packed in it. Often, you can see the donkey loaded as long as a bundle will hang on, and then, tin pans, buckets, jugs, etc., tied on, yet, he walks along as if he had no load. How many of the cousins like music? I am taking lessons from my sister, and like it very much. I agree with Laurette Faust. I think the white chrysanthemum would be nice to adopt for the corner. Daisy Reyman, it is time the clock should be fixed when it strikes thirteen. Mr. Big Hat, inclosed you will find a stamp, for which please forward me one of yours and Miss Big Bonnet's pictures. My age is 15.
CORA SMITH, Adell, Parker Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another cousin to join your joyful band. I am a girl 14 years old. We live on the farm, and I go to school in the winter, and have a fine time. I am going to start to a singing school pretty soon, and hope to learn a whole lot. I have no brothers or sisters. My father is dead and my mother lives in Wise county, and I live with my grandmother and uncle, and they treat me well. I want to ask a question: What kind of hen lays the longest?
ANNIE O'DONNELL, Taylor, Williamson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to join your club. My papa has been taking The News for a long time. I have enjoyed reading the cousins' letters so much. My school will begin the last day of August. I have no pets, except a little pony that papa gave me. I am 9 years old and am in the third grade.
SAMMIE LONG, Waskom, Harrison Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have a boy's name, but I am a girl all the same. I am 12 years old. My home is at Greenwood, La., but for three weeks past, I have been on a visit to my grandfather and grandmother at Waskom. My grandfather takes The News and says it is a grand paper. He is not alone in this opinion. I hear many others speak in the very highest terms of it. My visit to my grandparents has been pleasant, indeed. There have been so many nice things to do, help milk the cows, hunt guinea's nests, play dominoes, ride the nice pony, go to the camp-meeting and have good times, generally. My grandmother game me three turkeys, two hens and a gobbler. They were so hard to catch, and we had so much fun getting after them, chunking them out of trees, running them over fields, etc. I will return home to-morrow, and hope the future has in store for me, many more as pleasant visits as this one. This is my first letter. If it is published, you will hear from me again. I wish you and all the cousins much happiness.
DONIA CORDELL, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- After a long absence, I will come again to visit the happy band of cousins, if permitted by Mr. Big Hat. I have been visiting my aunt in Galveston. I had a real nice time. The salt water and sea breeze are delightful down there. Dear cousins, I have a lesson to tell you. It is on that liquid called whisky. It leads to drunkenness, leads to poverty and misery. The money that goes for intoxicating liquor takes the bread out of the mouths of wives and children and clothes them in rags. Hunger and cold are not the only hard things that are caused by drunkenness. The drunkard's family lives in constant fear. Curses are showered, instead of blessings. There is nothing sadder than a drunkard's home. Husbands have murdered the wives they loved, even their innocent little children. The Bible says no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Do you suppose a boy ever became a drunkard who never took the first taste of intoxicating drink? Dear boys, do not touch it, much less taste it. Keep yourselves pure. Children can help do God's work by fighting against intemperances. Seek to save those who hare bound by the chains of appetite. Talk to the boys of the deadly nature of the cigarette, for that is one step that leads to intemperance. I would rather see my little brother lying dead than visiting a saloon two or three times day. Satan could neither wish, nor find for children, a school better suited to his degrading and ruinous purposes. "Go not in the way of evil men." Warn them of the danger there is in entering a saloon. Impress it upon them until they have a horror of such places, and shun them as they would a serpent. I must bring my letter to a close, but if you have a brother or a father who indulges in strong drink, go to him, put your arms around his neck and ask him to quit it just for your sake. Try it once. If Peggy don't get this, I will write again.
JENNIE BARR, Bailey, Fannin Co., Tex. -- Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: Here I come to have a chat with you all. I have been picking cotton. How many of the cousins like to pick cotton? I don't. School has not begun yet. I will be glad when it begins. Miss Big Bonnet, why don't you write? Cousin Lantie, I will choose the white lily for our emblem. Miss Big Bonnet, I think your picture is pretty. Lena M. Wies, come again. I think your letters interesting. I hope Peggy will be off riding when I read there.
EPSIE WALDEN, Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Dear Mr. Big Hat, cousins and Lantie: I hope I shall not seem forward, but I write to let you know my choice for an emblem for the Cozy Corner. I think the purple violet would be sweet, besides harmonizing with the name "Cozy Corner." The purple violet is one of my favorite flowers, and is so snug, cozy and dainty among the fresh, green leaves surrounding it, that it seems to be the very flower wanted. But, whatever flower is chosen, I am sure will be sweet, beautiful and appropriate. Will it not seem pleasant to have an emblem? I hope Peggy has just enjoyed a plentiful meal.
LUCY LONG, Waskom, Harrison Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I am a little country girl 13 years old. Papa takes The News and thinks there is no paper like it, and I agree with him entirely. I read it all, but like Cozy Corner best of all. My favorite flower is the cape jasmine. Two of my nieces have been spending a few weeks with me. One of them, who is not as old as I am, weighs 122 pounds. I have two cows and a calf and a pony. I do not go to school, but my eldest sister teaches me at home. I had so many children to see me yesterday. We played so many nice games, and late in the evening, went after cat-tails. Cousins, I wish every one of you a great deal of fun and pleasure.
BERTHA SMITHWICK, Santa Ana, Orange Co., Calif. -- Mr. Big Hat: My grandpa, Noah Smithwick, takes The News, and I see so many letters in it from the children of Texas, I thought perhaps they would like to hear something from a California girl. My papa used to live in Texas and my mama was born there. She was just a little baby when her papa moved to California. There were no railroads then, so they came in wagons. I have always lived in Santa Ana. The ocean is just nine miles from town. The railroads run down to the ocean, at Newport. Steamers come in there and people go down to fish and bathe. Santa Ana is a nice place to live. It is neither very hot nor cold there. They raise a great many kinds of fruit -- apples, prunes, apricots, oranges, berries and walnuts. There are four big schools here. One is the high school. School begins the 14th of September. If any of the little cousins would like to hear from me again, I will be glad to have them write to me. My grandfather writes for The News, so I will send my letter with his, so it will not get lost.
EMILY PRATT, Milam, Sabine Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have long been a silent reader of the Cozy Corner, and as I see so many interesting letters from the cousins, I thought I would write. This is my first attempt. I am a little girl 11 years of age. I am not going to school now, but will start in September. I approve of Lantie Blum's plan, and vote for the violet. Miss Big Bonnet, you look very cute in your new dress. I send a stamp for your picture, also Mr. Big Hat's. Herbert Taylor and Laurette Faust, come again. Your letters are interesting. If this is printed, it will be a surprise to mamma, as she does not know I am writing. Success to The News.
TOM HOOD, Cade, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: After an absence of a few weeks, I have decided to write once more. Boys, come on. Don't drag along and let the girls leave us. Mr. Big Hat is in favor of turning a new leaf, as we have about worn this one out. I am in favor of doing so, too, if you don't make a mistake and turn out some of us little old country kids and let it be run by some freckle-faced, red-headed college girls, who couldn't frame a sentence with a grubbing hoe and broad ax. Now, be sure, Mr. Big Hat, you don't forget us. We do our best under the circumstances. Mr. Big Hat, please excuse this writing, as I am sick and nervous, and can't write any better. (I mean I can't bear it when I am well).
TEMPIE PINCHAM, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: Here comes another 15-year-old girl to join the happy band of cousins. I have never written a letter to the Cozy Corner, so this is my first attempt. I have been a resident of Dallas for twelve years. I came here when I was three years old and have been here ever since. During vacation, I took short-hand and type-writing. I like it very much, but oh, my, how troublesome it is to practice! My chum's name is Lucy Hall. She has been going with me for the last year. But here lately, she has moved to Reinhardt, Tex. Her father is a carpenter by trade, and he could get no work here, so he went there to try his luck. I have many friends in Dallas. I know nearly every one in it. I also have some friends in a small town about sixty-four miles from here called Rock Creek. I have been spending a few days with a friend. I had a very nice time. One night, I went to a camp-meeting, but did not get to stay very long, for a hard rain came up, so we had to go home. I have been reading the Cozy Corner and I have seen such nice letters, I expect mine will be in the shade. School will soon begin, and I can assure you, I am not the least bit glad, for I do hate to go to school. I am in the ninth grade, so I will have to study very hard. I am not bragging on myself, but I think I have been very industrious this summer. I have made me a crazy quilt and worked it and all. Little Mr. Big Hat, you must pardon me for scribbling such a long letter, but I want to be considered as one of the cousins.
MILDRED JULIAN, Frankford, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I knock for admittance into your happy band. I am first going to tell you of our glorious camp-meeting, which has just closed. We camped with our Aunt Fannie and she has a little girl the same age of my younger sister. We could attend the services, or remain at the tent, just as we liked. There was a large vine near the tent that made lovely canes. We had a nice time getting canes. We cut new ones nearly every day. There is a revival meeting in session at Renner. It is about four miles distant, not too far for us to attend, but we haven't attended any yet. We live thirteen miles north of Dallas. I think Miss Big Bonnet's new picture very beautiful. I am 11 years old. Well, if Peggy gets this letter, I won't despair, but will venture again. This is my first letter to The News. Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet, I would be glad if you would come out to see me.
JOE FARMER, Rutherford, Gibson Co., Tenn. -- Mr. Big Hat and happy cousins: Oh, I can not stay away from this corner any longer. I have held my peace and listened with unabating interesting in the bright, cheery, chat of cousins galore, until I can no longer contain myself. My heart runs full, as it ____, of happy, curious[?], disconnected thoughts and feelings, and now to relieve its voluptuous overflowings more than to unburden myself of any important information, I am seized with an uncontrollable impulse to again grasp my restless pen and spread the virgin pages of the Corner with that gossamer film known as my sentiments. Such are the stirring effects of your many clever, sprightly letters upon my impulsive nature. How many of the cousins, upon reading a good book, have not felt something of this same forceful influence swaying their soul into ecstasies, arousing its latent energies and calling up beautiful mental visions? Yes, I'm sure we have all felt it, for we are all so similar in our general natures and temperaments that we often think almost the same thoughts and experience the same feelings. Yet, too, we differ so radically in a few minor particulars in little mental peculiarities and dispositions, that our every letter to the Cozy Corner plainly portrays a separateness of nature and distinctive individuality of character for each several scribbler. It seems now as if I knew many of you writers as well as if I had long enjoyed an intimate personal acquaintance. Indeed, our letters are reflections of our souls. Our good nature and generosity or our menial servility and seriousness of heart, our meek, unpretending modesty or our bold, self-opinionated arrogance; our pleasant, good-humored rollicking optimism or our gloomy, depressed, pessimistic spirit -- all these traits and more, in various degrees and modifications, we invitingly reveal in our little juvenile effusions for this corner. Yes, you measure me by my letters, and I measure you by yours. I may see imperfections in your nature, you may find ugliness and positive defects in mine. Yes, we all see, and I love to see and think and observe and judge and find goodness. But then! I didn't mean to be led off into this grave philosophizing strain. However, since the unguarded meanderings of my brain have inadvertently led me on to this pensive moralizing, I suppose I might as well tell you to your face, that I have seen, and do see, much that is positively good and beautiful, many sparkling gems of heart and brain, gleaming like the rising star of hope through this corner. (Why don't some of you say "?Amen?"( Genevieve Myrdock, Ludie Sanders, Jonie Jones, and many other's are "beautiful" writers, and I prophesy that they will some day make themselves a name in the world (at least, make a change in name). And, some of the boys are, perhaps, just as clever with their pens, but I will leave to the girls the happy task of praising them. Before taking my departure, I would like to touch upon the, to me, all-interesting subject of books and reading, in general; but, as I am rather enthusiastic on the subject and have not much quitting sense when I get started, I must, for the want of space, hold myself aloof this time, pacifying (?) you with a promise to, in some future time, give you liberally of the riches of my wisdom and recondite learning (?).
DELIA ROBERTSON, Colorado, Mitchell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet: After seeing my first letter in print, I have decided to write again. I will choose the violet as the emblem flower of our corner. I will answer Beulah Lockhart's question: Lincoln was elected president in 1861. Carlisle Russell, your age is 17. I have been having a nice time this vacation, and will be both sorry and glad when school begins. It has been very warm weather here, and we are needing rain badly. I will give you a few words on Texas. Texas is supposed to have derived its name from a small tribe of Indians of the Tehas, on the Nechee, signifying "friend." In 1860, La Salle, the great French explorer, penetrated this immense southwestern country. On the part of the Spanish, Alonzode Leon made the attempt to settle Texas, and in 1691, a governor and troops were sent here by Spain. La Salle called the country Louisiana, for Louis XIV. The Spaniards named it New Philippines, in honor of Philip V. San Antonio, the oldest European settlement in Texas, was founded in 1656; Goliad and Nacogdoches in 1717. The foundation of the Alamo was laid in 1744, and was denominated a mission. Prior to 1820, Texas was ruled by governors. In 1823, Stephen F. Austin arrived with colonists, when the Mexican states of Coahuilla and Texas constituted one government, with their capital at Saltillo. Failure on the part of the colonists to secure justice from the Mexican government finally eventuated in the revolution of 1835. On March 2, 1836, Texas declared itself a free and independent government, adopting a constitution on the 17th of the same month. The first president was David G. Burnet. Gen. Sam Houston was made commander-in-chief of the Texas forces and after terrible fights and struggles, the heroic band, only one-third in number of their enemies, gained the decisive battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. Texas' annexation to the United States took place in 1845. The state seceded from the union. Feb. 1, 1861. In 1870, it was re-admitted. Texas is the largest state in the union, containing 252,700 square miles, or 100,000,000 acres of land. It is six times larger than New York and seven times as large as Ohio. In 1890, it had 2,235,000 people, having advanced since 1880 from the eleventh to the seventh largest state in population.
RUBY BAILEY, Texarkana, Bowie Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Seeing so many of the cousins writing made me want to write again. It isn't so warm as it has been for a good while. We had a nice rain the other day. John Criddle, I have read Evangeline, too, and like it very much. Mr. Big Hat, I hope you got enough watermelons, for I don't think you will get many more this year. My favorite flower is the white hyacinth. Cousins, I guess you know how Texarkana is situated, half is in Texas and half in Arkansas. On State Line avenue, one sidewalk is in Texas, and the other in Arkansas. The Arkansas public school will not begin till in October, on account of erecting a building for the high school. I suppose School will begin in a good many places in September. I hope all the cousins have had a nice vacation. I have spent most of my time reading. I inclose 25 cents for the memorial fund.
MARY E. CRISP, Fairfield, Freestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and dear little cousins: Here comes another little girl to join your happy band. I am a little girl 12 years of age, and can pick 150 pounds of cotton a day. Mr. Big Hat, don't let Peggy get my letter. I believe, that if the cousins would quit talking about Peggy so much, he wouldn't get their letters so often, don't you think so, cousins? I have no pets except some little chickens. I have four sisters and four brothers. Miss Big Bonnet, I think your picture is right good looking. If your face is that good-looking, you are pretty. I will ask a riddle: While I was walking through a field of wheat, I picked up something good to eat; it was neither fish, nor flesh, nor bone; I kept it till it ran alone. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins, about my age.
WALDO KENNEDY, Jacksboro, Jack Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I was very proud to see my little letter in print a few weeks ago, and did not intend writing so soon again. But, after hearing Lantie V. Blum's letter read, I decided I would love to vote for my favorite flower. I dearly love flowers of all kinds, and it is hard for me to decide. I believe, though, I will have to cast my vote for the white rose. I enjoyed all the letters in the last paper so much -- Miss Big Bonnet's best of all. Then, there were so many from the little folks, which are so much more interesting to me than the ones from the older cousins. My mamma enjoys such letters as those written by Hattie Simmons, Florence Giddens, Nellie Fallon, Joe Farmer and many others too numerous to mention. Mr. Big Hat, I send a stamp and hope for one of your pictures in return, which shall have an honored place in our album.
LUCY MONTGOMERY, Adell, Parker Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet: Here comes another little girl to join the happy band. My age is 12 years. I go to school in the winter. I love to go to school. I live on the farm. I don't love to live in town. We staid in town two months last summer. I had the measles this spring. How many of the cousins like them? I am going to prayer meeting to-night at one of the neighbor's house.
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