June 14, 1896
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing letters to Big Hat's department for publication, write on one side of the paper only. Printers never turn their copy, and the editor has no time to rewrite half, or even part, of your letters. Give your full name and address. Anonymous letters are never printed. These rules are imperative.
SARAH WILLIAMS, Richland, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Dear Little Men and Women: As I have finished my task I will drop you all a line or two. Our school has stopped, and I am sorry, for we did have very nice times playing mad dog and other games. Does any one know where Cousin Herbert is? I guess he is still on the buzzard's back. How many of the girls my age, which is 10, have pieced quilts? My little sister, 8 years old, and I have pieced one. It is called the "wild goose chase." We have not quilted it yet. I would like to correspond with Dora Bennett. I think if I were you, Dora, it would be a great comfort to get and write letters. I have the whooping cough now, so if Peggy gets my letter it will give her the disease. Cole Jackson, I have an uncle living in Albany. His name is Williams. He is the sheriff. I was born the day that Gen. Grant was buried, which was Aug. 8, 1885. The martins are singing all around the house. Sometimes they alight on the window sill. Our garden is very nice. The cabbages are large enough to eat, and we will soon have ripe tomatoes. We had white head cabbage for dinner Sunday. We have a very nice Sunday school here. We have about thirty-five scholars. We have no pets except three cats and our little brother. I will ask a few riddles: The beginning of eternity, the end of time and space, the beginning of every end, the end of every race? What tune makes everybody glad?
RUTHIE MILLER, Gainesville, Cooke Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It has been some time since I wrote to your department. I guess you all have forgotten me, but I haven't forgotten you, and read your letters every week. I think some of you write such interesting letters. I wish I could do half so well. I am 13 years old. As some of the cousins describe their home I will try to describe mine. My home is situated on a beautiful farm, seven miles southeast of Gainesville, where most everything that can be raised on a farm is raised. We have lots of fruit and berries. The berries are getting ripe now, and I wish Mr. Big Hat and the cousins would come and help us pick and eat them. Tell Miss Big Bonnet to turn around so we can see how pretty she is. Early Cornelius, I will answer your question: Gen. Lee was called Light Horse Harry. I will ask a question: What were the "twin sisters" that were given to the Texans in their fight for independence?
SOPHIE LEHMANN, Kenney, Austin Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and cousins! Here comes another little girl to join your happy band. I am 11 years old. My father takes The News and I like to read the cousins' letters. I have four sisters and one brother. Our school is out now. I went to a picnic last Sunday and had a fine time. Everything looks fine here, but we are needing rain badly.
OTTO LEHMAN, Kenney, Austin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I have been silent for many months I thought I would come again. My home is situated two miles west of Kenney. Our school is out, but I wish it would begin again. My father has his crops clean. We need rain now. I solicit correspondents. I hope Peggy will get fat now. I send 5 cents for the memorial stone fund for Sam Houston.
ETHEL WOLCOTT, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you admit another little girl, 9 years old, to join your happy band? This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. I have read many interesting letters in the Cozy Corner, and I thought I would write a little as my sister is going to write to you. I hope Peggy will be asleep when you get my letter. I will write again if he doesn't get this one. I have two dolls; one of them is big and the other one is little. I have a little sister 4 years old and I have a cat, a dog and a bird. The dog is 7 years old.
C. FOWLER, Charliss, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala, Central America -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Perhaps you would like to hear from a Texas boy in Central America. I will risk it, any way, and will tell you some things about Guatemala. Of course, the first thing you will think of when you hear the name "Central America," are snakes, tarantulas and centipedes. Next are wild Indians, old ruins and live volcanoes. But in the two years I've been down here I have not seen over two dozen snakes and no tarantulas nor centipedes. The Indians are here, but they are not wild. They've all been tamed by the government and work on the fincas (farms) for three bits a day each. They are all little people, the men averaging about four feet eight inches in height, and the women less. There are lots of old ruins, many being well preserved. Nearly all of them, though, are of churches, convents and schools, built by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century, after they had conquered the country. There are also a few Aztec ruins, but I have not yet been able to see any, as they are in a very wild part of the country. Guatemala is a beautiful country, very mountainous and covered with green verdue clear up to the tops of the highest peaks. There are many volcanoes, but most of them are extinct. The others can be seen smoking once in a while, and sometimes cause slight earthquakes, which are seldom heavy enough to do much harm. Once in a great while, though, a heavy shock comes and does great damage. This very city has twice been destroyed by earthquakes. There are three high volcanoes close together, which can be seen from several miles out in the Pacific as they tower far above the other mountains to a total height of nearly 16,000 feet above sea level. They are the highest in Central America. Two of them have the names of fuego (fire) and agua (water), and are the ones which destroyed this place. Guatemala city is over a mile above sea level, and it is consequently quite cold. It is about the size of Dallas in area, but has 70,000 inhabitants. A well-built railroad seventy-four miles long runs to San Jose, the nearest Pacific port. The city is built after the old Spanish style of architecture and has electric lights, horse cars, a good waterworks system and several beautiful parks and boulevards. All the gutters are in the middle of the streets and all the yards in the center of the houses. The houses are mostly one story high and are built of stone, bricks or mud, and have pretty tile roofs. The floors of the rooms are of brick and the ceilings of cloth. In reality, the houses are simply big hollow stone fences built around the four sides of a lot. What do you think of that, cousins? The family lives in the rooms in two sides, the servants in the third side, while the horses and carriages have accommodations in the fourth. Sometimes there is a nice garden in the center. And now I must close for fear Peggy will get this if I make it any longer. If he does not, I will write again, perhaps, next time about Costa Rica, where I lived for some time before coming to this republic. I've just read the cousins' letters in The News of March 29, which my father sent me from Dallas. It takes nearly three weeks for mail from the "states" to reach here, and the cablegrams in the daily papers published here are always several days old. Katie Norton, I will keep a lookout for your half brother Jim Norton, as he may have come down here.
HALLIE MABLE WOLCOTT, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As my other letter was in print I thought I would write again. I am not going to school now, as my school was out in March. I am very anxious for it to begin again. Herbert Taylor, have you ever become able to write to The News since you got that fall from that buzzard's back? Miss Big Bonnet, have you got your new dress done yet? I would like to correspond with Nellie Grey Tabor. I will answer Robert M. Williams' question: Gen. Sam Houston was the first president of Texas and he served two years. I will ask a few questions: When did Gen. Sam Houston die? How old was he when he died? I am 11 years old.
ANNIE BANCROFT, Orange, Orange Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I wrote a letter to The News once and as Peggy didn't get it, I will try again. I am 12 years old, and take music lessons. My music teacher gave a concert not long ago in which I played a solo and took part in a trio. Cousins, how many of you love flowers? I do, and wish you all could see my pansies. I haven't a great many, but will have more next spring. Ray Hill seems to be quite a favorite among the cousins, as they are always wanting her to "come again." I correspond with her, and she writes such nice letters. She hasn't written to me in over two weeks, and I guess has entirely forgotten me. I like to read and have read nearly all of Miss Alcott's and Miss Carey's books, besides a great many others. I am reading "Donovan" now. Miss Alcott's are the best books ever written, I think. Billy Brown had better look out what he says about Texas, hadn't he, Texas cousins? George Eliot was a woman, Bessie Smith, but I don't blame you for making a mistake, as I've made a great many in this letter. I am something like Bessie Milam, but do like to practice pretty pieces and exercise. I don't like finger exercise scales or arpeggios.
NELLIE BINION, Cannon, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I wrote you some time ago, but I suppose Peggy must have got it, so I will try again. I want to have the honor to have had published a letter in the best paper in Texas, if not in the United States. My papa is postmaster at this place and he says The News is the best paper that comes to his office. We are all anxious for Wednesday and Saturday to come, for then we get The News and learn the news.
MALCOME McQUEEN, Greenville, Butler Co., Alabama -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little boy 9 years old. I thought I would write a letter to you, as my papa takes your paper. Our school was out last Friday. I was promoted to the fourth grade. I have a pretty little black Scotch terrier. He will take a stick anywhere I tell him to. I have had measles. I tell you, little cousins, I am glad I can't have measles but one time. I live within 200 yards of the grave yard where Mr. Butler was buried. He was killed by the Indians in 1812. This county was named after him. Shaw and Gardner were his comrades and all are buried in one grave.
BETTIE SKAGGS, Post Oak, Jack Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: Here I come again to chat a little while, since Peggy did not get my other letter. Miss Big Bonnet, I wish you would have your picture taken, so we could see your face. I think your brother looks very cunning between Peggy's long ears. Some of the cousins write about their pets. I have but three. I have a cat and two dolls. I would love to see a letter from Henry Thaggard, as he is my old schoolmate and takes The News. My age is 12 years.
ARRA KENNEDY, Jackson, Van Zandt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come again. I guess the cousins have almost forgotten me, as it has been some time since I have written to the Cozy Corner. Our school is out. I have two sisters and six brothers. My papa is a farmer. Miss Big Bonnet, come again. Your letters are real interesting. I want you to hurry and get your new dress done, so the cousins can see your face. I haven't any pets except a little turkey. Cousins, we should thank Mr. Big Hat for giving us a page in his valuable paper. What has become of Adella Estes? Her letters are real interesting.
GROVER YOUNG, Roland, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am 9 years old and live in the country on the farm. I can plow corn and cotton. I have a mule to plow with. It is not Peggy, but it looks somewhat like her. Well, I am hoeing cotton. I hoed five acres in three days last week. I have two sisters and one brother. My little baby sisters is 9 months old and she is awfully smart and pretty. I have a fine pig and a nice calf. Our corn is beginning to tassel. Peggy, I should hate you if you get my first letter. If you will not, I will try to do better hereafter. I hope all of the cousins have as good a grandpa as I have. I live five miles from him, and I am awfully glad to go and see him.
EFFIE WRIGHT, Groesbeck, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will try to write again, as my last letter came out in your paper. I was glad to see it. I have got some flowers up, and I water and tend to them every day. I love flowers very much. I go fishing often. We live near a little stream, where I can catch lots of fish. I love to fish. I have a pet chicken. I have a little garden and I keep it hoed and clean all the time. I wish Miss Big Bonnet would turn around the next time she has [her] picture taken so I can see her face.
ESTHE WEATHERRED, Itasca, Hill Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: May I join your happy band? I have read so many nice letters in the Cozy Corner that I can not stay away any longer. I am a little school girl 14 years old. Our school closed on the 15th of May. I was sorry, because two of my teachers and several of my schoolmates went home. Some of the cousins said they were glad their school was out. I wonder if they did not love to go to school? On the 21st of May the Methodist Episcopal Sunday school of this place had a nice picnic at a beautiful little grove called Berry's chapel, about twelve miles from here. We met at the church in our little town and all went in a body. When we arrived at the grove we went to their church and had hymns and speaking by several of the members of our Sunday school, then we walked around for a little while for recreation, then we had the "goodies." After dining we went off to hunt berries. We found some blackberries and some mulberries, but could not get them, and lo and behold! we found a snake, which we were not looking for. We ran away from that place and we did not go back, but we had a very nice time. We started back home about 4:30 o'clock with our wagons all decorated with green shrubbery and Texas plumes. Enough about our picnic. I would like it if some of the cousins would ask questions about the great poets. I will ask some: Who was the great dramatic poet? Name two of the earliest poems? Name some of William Langland's poems? Come again Joe Farmer, Oddis Riddle, Joe Danson and Laura E. Taylor. I think you write such interesting letters. I am glad that the Sam Houston memorial stone fund will soon be completed.
JETTIE PATE, Barnum, Polk Co., Tex. -- Good evening Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins! A few moments with you and I say my adieu. I was very glad, indeed, to see my other letter in print. Of course I was very much encouraged, hence this, Bessie Milam, Tokio, Japan, is said to cover a larger area than any city of Europe or America. I think Benares is the most sacred city of the Mohamedans. Boston is called the Athens of America. Willie McCaghren, gold was first discovered in California in 1848. Cousin Billie Brown of Iowa Park, you know how to write an interesting letter. Come often. Oh, I killed two rattlesnakes to-day, and if I hadn't been chopping cotton I guess I'd have run from the first. But as it was I had to hold the fort. I brought my hoe down with full force on the snake's head, I thought, and when I picked the hoe up the snake ran off fast as if I had not cut his head off, as indeed I hadn't. But I brought it low the second time. Cousin Mellissie Jenkins, I quite agree with you that young people should read the Bible, and not only young folks but every one should. I must tell you about Barnum. It's a little sawmill town with a population of about 500, including the colored people. A few questions: Who was called the father of our constitution? What town is called the Gibraltar of America? With Mr. Big Hat's and the cousins kind permission I will call again in the near future. I live two miles south of Barnum. I have a sister living there, and she has three of the sweetest children. Whoa, Peggy!
LELA BEARD, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters for some time, and have become very much interested in them. Not seeing any letters from this part of country, I thought I would apply for admittance. I am a little girl 10 years old. I go to school every day. School will be out the 29th of May. I am in the high fourth grade. I will be very sorry, because I like my teacher very much. Mr. Big Hat is going to get up something new. I guess it will be to buy Peggy some oats. Tell Miss Big Bonnet to come again. My papa and mamma are dead. I live with my uncle and aunt. They are very kind to me.
DRUSIE SIMPSON, Turnersville, Coryell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As my other letter was not in print I will write again. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters. For my pets I have six little turkeys and a little colt. My papa takes The News. Amanda Bartley, the answer to your question is Rutherford B. Hayes. Eula Ney Hightower, the answer to your question is John. Tom Hood, if a hog and a half cost a dollar and a half, why ten hogs would cost $10. My age is 12 years. Give my best regards to Peggy. Miss Big Bonnet, come again.
MAUD SLAYDEN, Sherman, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Good evening, Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and all of the cousins: I guess you all think I come too often, but I must write and thank Mr. Big Hat for printing my first letter. Cousins, don't you think it is good of Mr. Big Hat to give us a page in his paper? We all ought to do our very best. Last Tuesday two of my friends spent the evening with sister and me. Cousins, I guess you all know [what] pleasure it is to visit your grandmother, especially when you live in town and she lives in the country. I went out to my grandmother's and staid two weeks, and everything was so green and pretty. The prairies looked like a picture, with such large pools of water and so many pretty flowers. I went to an entertainment at the close of school where my little aunt went. We had lots of music, and I am so fond of music. I had a jolly time.
HALLIE POLAND, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have often noticed your page in papa's News, and as you have invited me to do so, I write to join your little band. I am a little girl 8 years old. I have been living here for five years, and so far have not learned to like the black mud. Our school is out and I am very sorry, because I like to go to school. I have a dog that is just one year younger than I am. Our Sunday school teacher promised to take us picknicking, and I guess she was sick, because she did not come by for us. I am reading a book called, "Sara Crewe, or What Happened at Miss Minching's." One of the cousins asked who was the ninth president of the United States. It was Gen. William H. Harrison. He was president hardly one years, because he died. Jeff Davis was the general who always rode a white horse. I hope Peggy has been sent off to the pasture for something green to eat, as her digestion must be getting poor eating so many letters. So please don't let her get mine, for it might make her sick, and then you would have to doctor her, and perhaps you would have to sit up all night with her.
LUCY CALLOWAY, Blue Ridge, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl knocking for admittance into the Cozy Corner. I have for a long time been thinking of writing to The News and have at last pluckedup courage. I have read a good many nice letters from the cousins. I have no pets. I will answer Willie McCaghren's question. Gold was discovered in 1848 at Coloma, Cal. Who invented the telegraph? I live in Blue Ridge. It is a nice little town. My father is a merchant and is also postmaster. My age is 11 years. Now, if Peggy doesn't get this letter I will write again, but I would rather you would feed him some corn. If you will come here I will give you some to feed him.
BESSIE McQUEEN, Greenville, Butler Co., Alabama -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have never written to the Cozy Corner before, but the letters are getting so interesting I thought I would join your band. I am a girl of 12 years old. School was out on the 15th of May. I was so glad. I was promoted to the sixth grade. I haven't any pet at all, but a little black turkey. It is very smart. I like Della Robertson's letters very much. All of them are just as sweet as they can be. I am going north to see my grandmother very soon. I always have such a delightful time when I go up there. I always go horseback riding every evening when I am there.
HENRY D. PHILLIPS, Timpson, Shelby Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet: It has been some time since I wrote last, so I thought I'd come again. I have not been able to get any more money for the Houston fund, but hop to be able to send more before long. How much more time have we, Mr. Big Hat, and are you going to let two boys and two girls work together for the prize and have an equal chance with the others, or count them as one? I don't think that would be fair. Of course we are not working for the prize alone, but because we want to have the honor of placing a stone by the grave of Gen. Houston. Miss Big Bonnet, I felt very much flattered when I received your letter. Oh, yes, if you lived near me I know we would enjoy playing together. I have some nice little girl neighbors and play with them every day. We swing in the hammock, make mud pies and frog houses, too. I have a pet cat, but no dog. I have a pet hen and some little chickens. One of them had three legs and was the funniest little thing I ever saw. I wanted to raise it and took good care of it, but it only lived about three weeks. I have two nice little calves, named Blinker and Blucher.
FERDI HOWARD, Whitewright, Grayson Co., Tex. -- In fancy I hear the whisper going round the Corner, "That Whitewright girl is here again, already." However, I am sure you will pardon my intrusion, when I tell you that I have the dullest of company this afternoon -- myself. I suppose my experience is that of a number of others: You write to Mr. Big Hat and scan the papers week after week to see your letter. After being disappointed numbers of times you say to yourself as you take a new paper to read, "Peggy has eaten my letter, I'm sure." You glance casually over the page, when, lo! that familiar name catches your eye and seems to stare at you in box-car letters. Do any of you have any idea how many write to this department? The number that I have counted is 331 (and I know that is not all), and 236 Texas towns have correspondents. New Mexico, Oklahoma, Indian Territory, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois are also ably represented. Waxahachie and Whitney take the banner for numbers, each having seven correspondents. Rusk and Bruceville are close in the rear, boasting six each. Cousin Genevieve's description of school life in the wilds of western Texas is true to life and reminds me of the first school I ever attended. We had no schoolhouse, but used the Baptist church instead. It was the custom in this school for some of the boys to carry a bucket of water around for the pupils to drink, and, by the way, the boy so honored thought it a great treat. If any of us became thirsty before the water was brought to us we obtained permission to get a drink. One day a little foreigner (to whom the boys gave the euphonious title of Clawdugle) was getting a drink when the teacher called out: "Quit drinking over that bucket, sir." We were both surprised and amused when "Clawdugle" appeared in school next day with a bottle of water suspended from his neck, from which he drank at frequent intervals. He was offended at what the teacher said, and brought the water from home. Oh, I must tell you something that a little friend of mine said not long ago. Some neighbor boys had caught one large catfish and several smaller ones, which they put in a jar of water at home. My little friend was looking at them and, pointing first at the large fish and then at the smaller ones, she said: "Dat's catfish and dey's kittyfishes." So her little brain reasoned it out.
FISHER RAWLINS, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Little Miss Big Bonnet: Ever so many of my little friends have asked me to write again, and as you have written since I have, I will do so, though I may not have very much to tell. Mamma says when any one begins their letter like I have mine you may expect a long letter. Susan Jane must have got her feelings hurt, because I told that she wore sister's doll's old dresses. I could not find her for a long time and when I did, she was down in the china closet with her face right on the floor. I felt so sorry to think I had hurt her feelings, that I took her in my arms and gave her a good swing. Mamma said she would make her a new dress, too, and I can see she looks much better (since the dust has been wiped off her face). I believe I'll send you a letter I wrote just after Christmas, before I was 4 years old. Here it is: "I'm going to tell you about myself. I have a great deal to tell, too, for I've lived a long time. I'm 3 years old. I can not count how many days old I am, can you? I've so much to tell, I do not know just where to begin. I suppose I had better begin when I was a little boy. That was two weeks more than a year ago. I had my picture taken then in my papa's baby dress. Every one said, 'How cute he looks.' Now, I'm a gentleman, have a suit with vests and hip pockets in my pants. (That's where I put my pocketbook with my church money.) I let a pretty little girl in my Sunday school class look at my pocketbook, and because I would not let a little boy look, he called me 'pug-nose.' When I told mamma, she said he was not very polite. I have a 'wheel,' that's what I call it. People that do not know, call it a 'velocipede.' I have a little sister 6 years old. She rides my wheel most all the time. On Christmas, mamma gave me money to get a present for my little sister. I saw a train of cars and I just forgot. I spent the money to buy it and did not get my little sister anything. It made mamma feel so sad, that I told my little sister she could ride my wheel whenever she wished, and she wishes to, all the time. If I do not jump right off, the moment she wants to ride, she will say, 'Now, Fis-ah, you must keep your word.' Then, I look at mamma, hoping she will say I may stay on. She tells me to get off and says, 'It will do you good, my man; next time, you will not think only of self.' I wanted to give my train of cars (that I bought with the Christmas money) to my little sister, if she would not ride my wheel all the time. She said, 'No, I can play with it all I want, anyhow.' If she does not mind, she will get so selfish, that she might turn to a pig like the little boy mamma read about. I always divide my things, so, I'll not turn to a pig. I can spell almost fifty words. When I can spell and write 100 words, I'll get a watch." Mr. Big Hat, I am going to Denison next week, and will go over to Sherman to see my little friend, Bessie. She has been to see me twice.
CASSIE WHITEHEAD, Wayside, Jones Co., Georgia -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I am a little girl 11 years old. I study word book, grammar, geography, history and arithmetic. Miss Minnie Winn is my teacher. I like her very much. I haven't any pets except an old hen and fifteen little chicks. I have a cousin whose name is Richard Freeman. I call him Cousin Bum. He lives in your state (Texas). Tell Miss Big Bonnet to turn around and see the cousins. Our house was burned on the 28th of March. It liked to have scared me to death. It was three-quarters of an hour burning up a dwelling, barn, cotton-house and two shops. We are needing rain very much. It has been seven or eight weeks since we have had any rain. If my letter escapes the waste basket I will write again. Papa says I can send this if I want to, but he knows it won't be published, so please fool him.
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