August 19, 1895
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.
OSCAR LEE, Aaron, ? Co., Ok. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come again to have a chat with you all. I think Mr. Big Hat is kind to allow the cousins a corner in the dear old News. You must excuse me for not writing sooner. I have been at work away from home. The soldiers are in this country now taking a survey and map of this country. They passed through Aaron yesterday and put the place on the map. The cotton crop is a little short here this year. A neighbor has fifty acres in cotton and forty in corn. It looks fine. We have about twenty-four acres in corn, and it looks very well. We haven't any cotton. Millet and other feed looks well. I will give a method of exterminating fleas. Take the "devil's claw," a weed that grows in sandy soil, that has a claw on it; cut it off just above the ground and put it where there are fleas; turn the weed upside down, and the fleas will hop on the leaves and stick.
PRINNIE TUCKER, Kerby, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Have you forgotten me yet? This is my second attempt to write to your column for "Little Men and Women." I like to read the cousins' letters very much. Our school closed about the last of April. Papa, mamma and I took a trip out to Kaufman county and stayed about two weeks. We have been back about a week. Cousins, do you like to ride on the train? I do. I think it is really nice, but it goes awfully fast. I will ask some history questions: Give the date of the first Indian massacre. Where and when did the revolutionary war begin?
JOE DAWSON, Italy, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Since I saw my last letter in print, I will write again. I am glad Mr. Big Hat's Summer School has commenced, and I like the subject he chose. I think every cousin should try to secure diplomas, and I think every one should study it even if they do not wish to take part in the contest, for it is well to know one's country. I live near a growing little town of about 1500 inhabitants. It has two high schools, namely, Hope Institute and S. W. N. C. The former is situated at South Italy, one mile from the main town, and has an enrollment of about 150 pupils, while the latter has about 250 pupils, and is situated at the edge of town. Italy is a local option town and can boast of more schools and churches than any other town of its size in the state. It has an oil mill and two large gins, three drug stores, five dry goods stores, two hardware stores, six grocery stores and restaurants, beef markets, livery stables, etc., are well represented. An artesian well is being sunk. Around Italy is some of the finest farming country in Ellis county. Fruits do well here, such as peaches, apples and pears. Herbert Taylor can enlarge things well -- that is, in telling adventures, and say, Herbert, how about the pigeons? Mabel L. Sweetman can write well and should write often and tell about Florida, where she lives. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins.
JOE C. GRAVES, Kosse, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is the second time I have written to The News. Mr. Big Hat, what do you think about the girls beating the boys writing? Bessie Shaw says she believes it is the case in everything that they undertake, but I guess we can beat playing marbles, don't you think so? If we could get the large boys to write I believe we would beat them at that. Boys, we must spur up or we will get left. Herbert Taylor, you must have had a fine time eating pigeons and shad. Rosebud Melms asked why whisky was called "bug juice." Because nobody but humbugs drink it. We went down on the branch this morning and killed a squirrel. I am done work until cotton is ready to pick. I am 15 years old. I went fishing the other day and caught two turtles and one of them rolled down a steep bank into the creek, and told me I could have him if I would get him out. I told him I didn't want him that bad. So I let him go. Cousins, I think we ought to try to improve our writing, for Mr. Big Hat is very kind to give us one whole page of his paper. Mr. Big Hat, I have a water melon patch on the side of a creek, but the water ran over it and I didn't raise many melons. We have had lots of rain, but we are having some dry weather now. Our cotton is higher than a man's head. I will ask some questions: Who was put in an open boat with some sick sailors to perish in the open sea? Who was captured by the Indians and put in prison, and refused to eat because he thought they were fattening him to eat, and afterwards was exchanged to the white people for a grindstone and some cannon? Who freed the slaves? What president's wife was lost in the woods? Mr. Big Hat, I guess you enjoyed seeing the soldiers march in Houston. I will close for this time for fear Peggy will get this. Success to The News!
WILLIAM T. WOOD, Zana, San Augustine Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I have not written to the department for some time I thought I would try to write this Sunday evening. We have just got back from Sunday school and it is raining. We have a good school going on now about two miles from our house. We have a fine time at school. Crops are good in this part of the country. We are about through with out crops now. I study fifth reader, spelling, grammar, arithmetic, United States and Texas history. I am getting along very well at school. I look ahead to being a smart man some day. My age is 15 years. My best wishes for the department.
FLORENCE HEIMAN, Bolivar Point, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have just been reading your first letter on Texas history. Last year I joined your Summer School, but papa sent me to Galveston to school, and so, I had to give the lessons up. If you will be kind enough to let me join this year I will do my best. I had a splendid time in Galveston and got acquainted with lots of nice girls. I found two cousins that I did not know I had, and they were such nice girls. The snow there last winter was just splendid. Did you get snowballed? I did, and I had to run for dear life to save my nose. I will close, with kind regards to Peggy and yourself. My age is 16 years.
ALICE WILLIAMS, Goldthwaite, Mills Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I would like to join your happy band. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much. I would also like to join the Summer School. I have been studying the first lesson very carefully. As most of the other cousins tell of their adventures, I shall tell of mine. A few years ago we started for the territory of Mexico. We soon came to the reservation and there were the ugly-looking old savages sitting around their wigwams, made of white looking cloth, with a large fire in the center. There were three or four families along with us. Three Indian warriors came around where we were and tried to sell us a blanket, a can of strawberries and a little piece of meat, but we didn't buy any of them at all. Then papa bought us a nice little home, where we had the best water that I ever drank. The tall pine trees covered the country around us. The grass was fine and green. Mountains that were about a mile high and were covered with snow all the time were plainly visible. It was a beautiful place indeed, but I did not like to live there. We lived there only about three or four months, then we started for the beautiful land of Texas. We came through the plains, where a tree could not be seen. But there was beautiful green grass and blooming flowers. Deer and antelope were plentiful. We arrived in Texas safely and we are now living in the beautiful county of Mills. I think it is in the garden spot of Texas. I am going to school at Goldthwaite year after next. Florence Giddens and Nell Morris, come again. Your last letters were so nice. I hope Mr. Big Hat will admit me to join the Summer School. My age is [12?/13?] years.
FERNANDY H. PFEFFER, Kenney, Austin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Many happy days have come and gone since you have heard from me, but I hope that I am still remembered by you all, as I come rather late. It is very hot to-day and I would rather fan myself than write, but as I have a good opportunity I thought I would write you a letter instead, for I think writing will give me more profit. I have just finished reading the letters of this week and think some of them are very interesting. I enjoyed Fanny Archer's story very much and am anxious to read the next one which she promised to send. I wish Nannie Ferguson would give us a description of her trip to New Mexico, as I enjoy to read about the cousins' trips to other states if I ever had taken a trip far off I would write about it, but as far as I have ever traveled was to Dallas, about three years ago. And I can not tell much about it as it was not a very long trip and all I saw was mesquite, prickly pears and high hills, which I never saw before. Mamma and papa will attend the Dallas fair this year and I would very much like to go, too. If I would go I would try to find the four other cousins that are going to wear blue paper stars and meet at exposition hall. I attended the fair while I was at Dallas and saw many curious things. I saw one of our older cousins at the camp meeting at Buckhorn this summer. She formerly wrote to me, but I don't think she knew me because she never saw me before, only my picture. She sent me hers and I sent her mine. I was sorry that I did not get an opportunity to tell her who I was. Carrie Annick, why don't you answer my letter? Or, did you not receive it? Papa, mamma and my younger sister went to River Bend this evening to see our brother. Brother's wife is sick so mamma and sister will stay with them for awhile. During mamma's absence we children will have to do the kitchen work whether mamma is home or not. I would not say "I won't," like Viola Staneart when there is some work to be done, for I know I could not, because there is always some work to do in a large family. I help sew, mend old clothes, cook, wash and many other things. I have not many flower. We had some right pretty ones in the yard, but they are nearly all gone now. I have some pretty pot flowers blooming. My sister and her husband came to see us Thursday, and then they left for Fluegersville to visit their relatives. They will also go to Austin, and I will be glad when they come home so they can tell us all about their trip. I hope that Mr. Big Hat will still remember that I am a girl. I am still between 15 and 18. I will not tell you my right age before my next birthday comes. You must not think that I am ashamed to tell my age as you seemed to think last time, but, I will just let the cousins guess at it. As the sun is setting and the cows are coming home, I will bring my letter to a close and will come again some other lonely day, if I am welcome.
BELLE DAILY, Hallettsville, Lavaca Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am visiting grandma this week, and I have been reading all the cousins' letters I could find, and I liked them so well I thought I would write and ask you to please let me join your cozy corner. I live in Hallettsville. I like the country much better than I do town. My birthday will be the 23d of September, and I will be 10 years old. I have to go to school. It closed the last of May. I was in the third grade. We are going to have plenty of grapes, but the birds are about to eat them up. I see, Mr. Big Hat, that you have a Summer School about Texas. As I have never studied history I can not join the school, but a friend of mine wants to know, because she is 20 years old, if she is too old to join the school. She teaches school for a living. She said if you would not let her join she was glad she could study the questions, and perhaps they would do her some good in the test examination in Texas history. She has been telling me about La Salle, the first man who landed in Texas, about him landing at the bay and coming up the Lavaca river, which is named because of the buffaloes, or as he called them, the cows on the banks. Our little town is situated part on the west bank and part on the east bank of the Lavaca river, and in Lavaca county, so you see, we live in quite an important part of Texas, so we all think. This fall I am going in the fourth grade, and will study history, and I think I will like it much. People of this county generally have fine crops, but this year they are worse than for a long time, so grandpa says. Some of his renters' cotton is about two inches high. He has all his land rented out, as he is not able to work it himself. He lives about five miles below Hallettsville, at old Petersburg, which used to be the county seat about fifty yeas ago. Mr. Big Hat, what or who on earth is Peggy? Is it you or the wastebasket? I see so many of the cousins hoping Peggy will not get their letters for supper. If mine goes to him give it to him for his breakfast, and be sure to tell me what I asked about the Summer School. I will close by asking a question: A man has nine hogs; he builds four pens and puts an odd number in each pen. How many hogs in each pen?
CARRIE WILLIAMS, Bells, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and cousins! As my other letter escaped the waste basket, I will write you another and let you know how Grayson is getting along. I guess everybody has got enough rain, or least we have. It rained for a long time, but we are having some nice sunny days now. Cousins, how many of you like flowers? I do, but I can not have any, only as I put them in pots. We have Bermuda grass in our yard, and we can not have any flowers there. I had one morning glory, but the old cow tore it down, and I felt like killing her. Mr. Big Hat, I did not think my other letter would be printed, but at last it came, and I was proud to see it. I will try to write this one better than I did the other. Cousins, how many of you have to hoe cotton? I have hoed but a little this year. We haven't very much. I can count up to fifty-nine in the Spanish language. My cousin taught me. She lived in Mexico awhile. We had a Sunday school picnic here and we all had a nice time till evening, when it rained and we had to go home. Our house being close to the picnic grounds, many came there, and we all had singing. Did any of you ever see a prairie dog? My sister used to have two, but papa killed one and she sold the other one to my brother-in-law, and he kept it a long time till it died. I have been out at Bells attending meeting. I stayed a week and got sick. Mr. Big Hat, will you please tell me when Columbus was born? Some say he was born in 1440, some in 1436, but I think he was born in 1435. I will give a short sketch of Columbus: He was born in Genoa, Italy, and trained for the sea from his childhood. Being the oldest of four children, his father a poor wool comber, much care devolved upon him. It is said that at 30 he was white-haired with trouble and anxiety. His kind and loving disposition is proved by the fact that in his poorest days he saved part of his pittance to educate his young brothers and support his aged father. He was determined, shrewd and intensely religious. He believed himself divinely called to carry the true father into the uttermost parts of the earth. Evil men maligned him to Ferdinand and Isabella, and caused them to disregard their promise that he should be governor general over all the lands he might discover. Mr. Big Hat, I am going to join your Summer School. My age is 12 years. Success to The News!
MAY MOYE, Astonia, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I wish to join your Summer School, I will write to you. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much, and am always glad when our Friday's mail comes. Well, cousins, I will tell you what I like to do best. I would rather go to school than anything else. I had seven studies our last term, and I tell you, I had to work pretty hard day and night to get all my lessons well. I enjoy reading "Trif and Trixy." I will answer some questions the cousins have asked: William Henry Harrison was president only one month. Some of the cousins are disagreed as to the date of Columbus' birth. In Barnes' history, page 20 (epoch 1), it is stated that he invented electricity. Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, Feb. 12, 1809. I will ask some questions: In what battle did the Americans retreat just at the moment of victory? What was the duration of the French and Indian wars? I am 13 years of age. Success to Mr. Big Hat and The News!
DOLLIE TAYLOR, Rhome, Wise Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As Peggy got my other letter I will write again. I like to read the cousins' letters very much and I am going to join Mr. Big Hat's Summer School if he will permit me. Crops and gardens are very good this year. Corn is best of all. I went to a musical entertainment last Saturday night at Fairview schoolhouse. It was very nice. I live one mile east of Rhome, in the county of Wise.
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