July 19, 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.
GRACIE BEDFORD, Honey Grove, Fannin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As Peggy ate my other letter, I will try again. Mr. Big Hat, don't let Peggy eat this. Miss Big Bonnet, you look cute sitting in Mr. Big Hat's chair. I am in the fourth grade. I have one brother. My age is 13 years. I will inclose 10 cents for the Sam Houston stone.
DON FINLEY, Fort Davis, Jeff Davis Co., Tex. -- Dear little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been a silent admirer of the Cozy Corner. This is my first attempt to write, and it would not surprise me if Peggy got this. I am a little boy of 12 years, and I live on a ranch. I have two horses, a new saddle, some cows with little calves, a pup and pet chicken. We will move to Fort Davis in September, where sister Scottie and I will go to school. If this is not printed I will keep writing until I get my name in the best paper in the world. I solicit correspondence from both boys and girls. I send 10 cents for the memorial fund.
THRASEA BERTRAND, Clifton, Bosque Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write. My father is a farmer and he takes The News. I like to read the cousins' letters very much. I think some of them write very nice letters. I do not see any one writing from this city, so I will write a short letter. Miss Big Bonnet, come again. I think your new bonnet is very nice, and you look nicely in it. I will write a more interesting letter next time. I will ask a riddle: It goes around the house all day, and doesn't make but one track. My age is 16.
SCOTTIE FINLEY, Fort Davis, Jeff Davis Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little girl 9 years old, and I live on a cow ranch in the far west with my parents and brothers. Sometimes, I go cow driving with them. I think it very nice sport. I have no sister, but a good brother to play with. We are going to school next session at Fort Davis. If this meets with good luck, I will write again, and join the band of cousins, if you will let me.
ZADA BEASLEY, Achina [Adina?, Lee Co., Tex.] -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you admit a little 11-year-old girl to join your band? I have never seen any cousins writing from here. I have a pet chicken. My papa takes The News, and I think the cousins' letters are interesting. But, I do not like Peggy, because he gets all the letters. I expect he will get this one, but I want Mr. Big Hat to feed him some corn.
FLOYD ELLISON, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Another Texas boy wants to enter the Cozy Corner. I think J. H. Berry's plan would be a very good one. I have no pets. Hattie Price, the answer to your question is: The Mississippi river flows up hill. I will ask a question: What large city in the United States will not vote for president this year? Joe Farmer, come again. My age is 11 years. I am in the 4th grade. My papa used to be a farmer. This is my first attempt to write to The News.
GENEVIEVE MYRDOCK, Owlet Green, Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: "The idea, Gene Myrdoch, of you being a genius," said chum when I called her attention to Mr. Dawson's flattering remarks concerning me. "But," she added, after a few moments though, "perhaps he isn't so very far wrong; there's only one step, you know, twixt a genius and a ---" I picked up the broom just here, and for some reason, she did not finish the quotation. Now, Mr. Webster (he of dictionary fame) tells us that a genius is "a man with superior intellectual faculties." So, Mr. Dawson, as I am only an unsophisticated person of the female "sect," it is not only impossible that I should be a genius now, but I can never hope to be one in the days to come, unless we change the dictionary. Those of you who have read "Lucile" will perhaps remember these beautiful lines:
mission of genius on earth! To uplift,
Marie, your every letter gets better and better. Doubtless, when Cousin Herbert is filling the gubernatorial chair with satisfaction to all parties concerned, you, by your charming writings, will have endeared yourself to all the world, as you have already, to the Cozy Corner. Who knows, but I will then have reached the goal of my ambition and be editor-in-chief of as good a paper as The News? Ludie Sanders may be president of the A. and M. college, her experience in early life having specially fitted her for that position. We may then read of Prof. Joe Dawson, M. S., "critic and leading book reviewer of the age," and Mr. Farmer, but I'll give it up now. I don't even know a little what he is, much less "what he may be." Mr. Farmer, you didn't answer my question; probably, you didn't even read my letter, but any how, I shall punish you most severely by not repeating the interrogation. By the way, how many of you have your heroes among the living great men? Ex-Gov. Hogg is my "most heroicest" one; Chauncey Depew is another, and Dr. Talmage, a third. A rather queer mixture, I'll admit, but "variety is the spice of life." Mr. Big Hat, is Pauline Periwinkle of the Woman's Century, your mother, or mamma-mum, as Miss Big Bonnet so quaintly puts it? Please tell us, too, the correct way to address a letter to your department. How many of you enjoy mythology? To me, there are few things more entertaining. Take, for instance, the legend which tells us the origin of the echo and of our beautiful little flower, the narcissus. What vivid imaginations the originators of those ideas must have had! Tom Hood, where did you live before you moved to Cade, Tex., and what is your eldest sister's name? Now, dear little writers, may I give you a little unasked advice? (Mr. Big Hat, will you think it presumptuous in me?). Now, don't you think it would make your letters more interesting if, instead of telling that you have certain pets, to tell some anecdote of those pets? And, is it really necessary to say in ever letter, something about Peggy eating it? I dare say that's what started him to eating letters. I've always been told that mules were very contrary. I've always though there was nothing in a name. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but, have any of you noticed how many of our best contributors have the same name? There are the two Taylors, two or three Joes, two Lawrences and ever so many Bessies. I've changed my pet cat's name from Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Taylor, in the hope that he'll make a better mouser. That lazy brother of mine, in company with the lazy brothers of several other girls, has gone on a week's hunting and fishing expedition. How I wish I was a boy, so I could have gone with them, instead of staying at home patching with many laborious stitches their darned and redarned everyday coats (?). I can't see why we weren't all made boys or pretty girls, at least. But there, I'm not going to complain. I am what I am, and I don't care if I am. Besides, I've heard that mosquitoes were terrible bad when you camped out; and, I know boys do have to get up and start the fires on cold winter mornings; and Shakespeare tells us, too, that "beauty is a vain and doubtful good." Mr. Wallplaster A. Shinpapur, hire some one to help bring your name, and come once more. Nell Morris, don't forsake us entirely.
MAUD DAVIS, Groesbeck, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: We live in a two-story house of six rooms, two up stairs and four down stairs, and a hall. I am in the third grade. I have six sisters and three brothers. I will be 10 years old the 15th of July. We are done chopping cotton now, and I have to help mamma. I have no pets. I have seen interesting letters and I thought I would write, too. I thought I would join your happy. I have a married sister. She has two little boys. It is hot weather now. This is my second attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. Mr. Big Hat, I wish you would take off that speckled tie. Feed old Peggy some oats. I help my sister wash the dishes and I went to meeting Sunday and they had Sunday school and preaching. Miss Big Bonnet, you look well with your lace bonnet on.
EVA DAVIS, Reagan, Falls Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I like to read the little cousins' letters very much. My papa is a farmer and I think the farm is the nicest place to live. I was 12 years old the 15th day of May. We live two miles south of Reagan. We are needing rain very much. I haven't any pets. I have three brothers and three sisters. One of my sisters is married, and one of them is spending the summer with auntie. Mr. Big Hat, feed Peggy some millet before this gets to him, for I will feel disappointed if I do not see this in the Cozy Corner. Miss Big Bonnet, come again. Your letters are so nice and I think you are so pretty in your new dress. Much success to Mr. Big Hat and the dear old News!
RUFUS MANGUM, Elk, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Seeing so many nice little letters from so many different parts of the glove, I thought that I would write a few lines. This part of the country has a representative to the Cozy Corner, Mr. Harvey Shead by name. He lives within a mile of me. Well, cousins, I think we had better get to work and help pay for the Houston memorial, for I do not think that we cousins will ever have such a grand opportunity to show what we can do. I don't think if our Big Hat had studied a whole year, that he could have gotten up a better work for us cousins. Inclosed find 5 cents for the fund. As this is my first attempt to write, I will close, for fear of Peggy. Papa says his subscription will soon be out, but he is going to subscribe again, for he can't do without The News.
DORAH WICKER, Gough, Delta Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little girl 9 years old. Our school was out the 30th of April. Our teacher gave us a children's party and all the candy we could eat. I studied fourth reader, arithmetic and speller. I aim to take history next session. We live on Long prairie, six miles west of Cooper. We have a nice place. Mamma and papa came here ten years ago from Tennessee. We are aiming to go back there on a visit next winter. As Peggy got my other letter, I had better quit for fear he will get this one. I will make my cross, as I wrote this without help.
CLARA WRIGHT, Gough, Delta Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl to join your happy band. This is my first attempt to write. Well, cousins, I went to a literary society Friday night. We had a nice time. I have a little cousin somewhere that was in Texas the last time I heard of her. Her name is Minnie Morgan. If any of the cousins can tell anything about her, I wish you would do so. I think her age is about 11 years. My age is 12 years.
MAUD JOHNSON, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As my other letter was in print, I thought I would write again. My school was out the 25th of May. Miss Big Bonnet, you are real pretty, I think. Come again, Joe Farmer, Joe M. Dawson, Ludie Sanders and Marie C. Taylor. You all write better letters than I do. Allene Johnson, I agree with you about putting a cross mark to the letters when they have been written without help. Mr. Big Hat, how long have the cousins been writing to this paper? Cousins, I see that most of you are Texas children. I came from Arkansas, nearly three years ago. I like to go to school and I want a good education, but I guess all of the cousins want that. Miss Big Bonnet, come again, and tell us about your dolls. I can do most any kind of work. I ironed to-day.
J. G. LOCKE, Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: With one hand filled with thanks to Mr. Big Hat for printing my last letter, to Nellie Moss and others for asking me to come again, and the other with my best wishes for the Cozy Corner and its innumerable workers and writers, I come before you to attempt to entertain you a short time. Since I last visited you, there has been quite a number of new names added to the host of correspondents. I notice one from across the waters, another from Central America and others from nearly every state in the union. Ah! the magnetism of the Cozy Corner is not limited to the United States, nor even to North America, but it reaches to other continents, and with loving hands, draws its writers to its warm embrace. Cousins, now is our time to send in our nickels and dimes, for if I counted right, we only lack $11.50 of having enough money to purchase the stone. Do you not look forward to the time when our great work will have ended; when a hero of Texas will have a memorial which he so richly deserved, erected to his memory by the "little men and women of Texas?" Cousins, I have composed eight verses on "The Alamo," and would give them in this letter, if it were not for Peggy, who, I am sure, has a very great appetite for green things. I am now attending a little country school called "Turkey Creek university," and a grand one it is. Who got the prize offered for the best article written on the Somervell campaign? Two or three papers we missed they were, I suppose, the ones that contained that article. The farmers are needing rain very much. Stock water is scarce. Inclosed, Mr. Big Hat, please find 10 cents for the Houston stone fund, which you will please add to my other contribution. I am sorry I haven't got more to send. Cousins, let's do our best to make the next month's contribution be enough to make the $75. Come on, cousins, come on! We are gaining ground. Our page is becoming brighter, our letters are exciting more and more interest, and if we will keep up what we have started, the noble Sam Houston will soon have a memorial stone to mark his resting place by reason of the efforts of the Cozy Corner workers. Brother and I had to dig a well to get water to drink. It was thirty feet deep. While we were digging it, brother found two or three small bones and several pieces of larger ones. One of the bones was about the size of the second joint of one's thumb. I have them all in my trunk, carefully preserved. Brother was digging in the well about fifteen feet from the top when he discovered those bones. The well is situated on the creek banks, and at the end of a little mesquite flat. Could any one give me any idea as to the kind of animal that would burrow so deep in the ground? Some of the bones were almost dust. We need not be ashamed of our prize, for with Genevieve Murdock and Jeanette Cline to command the right wing, Jennie Faulkner and Ina Click the left, Joe Farmer and Marie Taylor to lead, and Odis Riddle and Ludie Sanders, to bring up the rear, there will be no danger of a riot. Mr. Big Hat, I think that proposition you made about the Summer School a good one, and I am sure all the cousins will accept of it. Success to The News.
CHARLES ALLEN, Madera, Madera Co., Calif. -- Here comes a Tennessean from California to join your band of cousins; that is, if you will take him in, and I trust you would not be so cruel as to turn him from you. Let me thank my dear cousins for their many interesting letters, especially Cousin Ludie Sanders and Joe Farmer. Joe, because he lives near my old home, where I have spent many a pleasant hour. I lived in Tennessee most all my life, up to four years ago, when I started for California. I remained here until two years ago, when I felt like Doc, I wanted to see mamma. So, I went back home and staid awhile, and then I wanted to see the golden state again. Then, I came back here two months ago. I am one of the kind that like to be moving all the time. On my way out here the last time, I passed through your beautiful states, as some of you call it, but am compelled to say it is nothing in comparison with Tennessee, or California, either, and I can prove part of that statement by Joe Farmer, unless he was smitten by some of the fairest of Texas, fairer sex, and then, of course, he would hold Texas up as the grandest state in the union. But, we would have to excuse him for that, for it is nothing but natural for a Tennesseean to like the ladies, and for that reason, I am proud of being a Tennessean. I can say one good thing about Texas, and that is, that I saw a great many pretty girls while I was passing through there. I would like to live close to Cousin Ludie, as she says she has a good voice for singing. I like singing better than any instrumental music I ever heard. I sometimes try singing myself. Just for amusement's sake, I would suggest that Mr. Big Hat mention some one of the cousins and let the rest describe him or her, whichever it may be. Just tell what they think they would be like, from reading their letters, and then let the persons send in a true description of themselves and see which one comes nearest to guessing right. As this is my first letter, I will not weary the patience of my cousins, but in some future time, I will try to give you a description of California's great scenery, and also of the Rocky mountains, as I have crossed them twice, and stopped quite awhile and camped in the wildest looking country I ever saw.
VELMA SCOTT, Melissa, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Since I have been requested by Ruby Bailey to write again, I will do so. Cousins, I think that you couldn't have found a nobler cause to be engaged in than erecting a memorial stone over the grave of our dead hero and statesman, Sam Houston. For it was he who first pointed out to the Lone Star republic, the star of destiny, which shall guide it on to glory and fame immortal. When our stone shall have crumbled and fallen and another shall have taken its place, the name of our hero shall still survive and be embalmed in letters of love on the hearts of every true Texan. Some time ago, one of the cousins asked where the oldest church in the United States was. It is in Santa Fe. I have seen the old mission and shall never forget it. Mr. Big Hat, I would like so much to have a debate and have been wishing some of the older cousins would mention it. I will try to answer one or two of Tom Hood's questions: 1. Slaves were first brought to America in 1619 and 1620. 2. Garfield, Lincoln and Grant died in office. Robbie Louise Wood, the battle of San Jacinto was fought April 21, 1836. Mattie Edwards, Franklin invented the lightning rod. Almetta Horton, a stick of candy is like a race horse, because the more you lick it, the faster it goes. Edna Carlton, I wish to play "stealing goods." How many of the cousins went to San Antonio and Austin? How many are going to Washington? How many of you are members of the N. P. U. S. C. E. and C. W. B. N.? My brother wants to see if any of the cousins know this question: When a spider is spinning a web from one tree to another, how does he get across the first time? I will close with this question: When is a man on the downward path of life?
WALDEMAR SCHROEDER, Cedar, Fayette Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will fill a little space in your columns if the poor mule won't eat it up. We live on a sandy hill, not far from Cedar postoffice. Our farm contains seventy-five acres of land, about thirty acres in culture, on which are over a hundred fruit trees. The pasture is a thick cedar forest. My brothers, Reimer and Bertram and I, go every day to school, where we have lots of fun at recess with our playmates, jumping rope, playing sheriff, and many other games. We boys in school think it is too hot to play base ball or any other running game now, so we play plenty of games in the shade. This evening, we had school till recess, afterwards, the girls had to wash the windows and the boys had to get the water, but three other boys and I washed some on the outside. I will ask a question: How many years is it now since the declaration of independence was adopted?
HASSIE RIGSBY, Tehuacana, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first time to write, so here comes another little blue-eyed girl, just 87,600 hours old, to join the Cozy Corner family. I have but very little to write, but, cousins, I have a little brother just 17 years old, (who weighs 170 pounds) that has two pet owls. I tell you they look awful ugly. Papa struck one of them on the head with a stick, and it sits drooped about like it was in a deep study all the time. Come again, Miss Big Bonnet; I have not heard from you in a long time. I will ask a question: What general ordered his bugler to throw his bugle down and whistle?
ROXIE HORTON, Bazette, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Miss Big Bonnet (or Peggie if he gets this) : Did you think I was never going to write again? But, here I am. Do you ever go down to the river and play? I did, not long ago. One of my school mates was there, too, and we had such a nice time. The river was real low, so we waded in shallow places and picked up pretty shells. Do you ever go with Big Hat to Galveston? If you do, what a nice time you must have, playing on the beach. I must not forget to tell you about our trying to learn to swim. Our papas took into deep water and gave us one lesson. I got so I could nearly stay on top of the water. The trouble with me was my feet kept hunting the bottom to stand on. But, I am going to learn, for I think a girl should know how to swim as well as a boy, or else never go near any thing deeper than a tub of water. Then, besides taking care of their own lives, they might have a chance to save others' lives if they could swim well. I love to read poetry. I am reading Whittier this summer. I like his writing very much. I have memorized several poems. I intend to learn most of the short poems. I am making a scrap-book. I cut all the poetry out of the papers and use some of my prettiest cards. In this way, I hope to have a choice collection of poems, and when any one I am acquainted with writes to this department, I paste their letters in my book. I like the Woman's Century very much. Won't it be nice for us girls to write to it when we are grown? It will be just like going out of one grade into another at school. I love to go to school and mean to get an education so that if it is necessary, I can be self-sustaining when I am a woman. Aurelia Gray, Carrie Norris and Frankie Watt, come again. Almetta Horton, I like your letter very much. I think your name looks nice in print because one of them is the same as mine. I send 15 cents for the Sam Houston memorial stone. I am 11 years old. Miss Big Bonnet, I'll write you a sonnet:
You look so sweet in your
great big bonnet,
If this letter is not good enough to print, I hope Peggy will like it.
LAURALE STEPHEN, Weatherford, Parker Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: The great opportunity presents itself to me in which to contribute a few words to the much-appreciated department. I have just finished reading the cousins' letters, and give those cousins from different states a hearty welcome. I am beginning to think about school, which will begin here in September. I think there isn't anything like having a good education. It helps to make good men and women of us. I am glad to hear that Ludie Sanders has an opportunity of attending boarding school. There is nothing nicer than boarding school, although we all can't attend it. But, we will hope and hope to get an education, for if hope did not bring strength and encouragement when trials and sorrows are sent, what a wretched, miserable thing living would be! Who so strong and brave that they could endure the changes and burdens that, sooner or later, will come to all, if hope should veil her face and depart forever? A ray of hope is always able to pierce the gloom. The aching heart reaches out after that small speck of light, and from it, gathers a little strength to partly restrain despair. I have noticed several letters from cousins who have lost their parents. All of those have my heartfelt sympathy, for they can never appreciate the love and kindness of their parents until it is too late. I will ask a few questions: Why was the nose placed above the mouth? An inch of rainfall is equal to how many gallons per square mile? My age is between 14 and 17 years. I would like to correspond with some of the older cousins. Success to The News!
J. EDGAR CRAIGHEAD, Breckenridge, Stephens Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Ever since the plan of raising money for the Sam Houston memorial fund was started, I have intended sending my mite to help on the good work. For some months, I have been saving my money to buy me a saddle. I hope the dime I send in this letter will help out the deficiency. My parents, like Gen. Houston's was, are Tennesseans. They have recently been reading "The Lives of the Presidents," by John C. Abbott and Russell C. Cornwell, and were very much put out by their account of Gov. Houston. Perhaps the cousins haven't noticed it. It says: "There was a wild, eccentric frontiersman by the name of Sam Houston, who had abandoned civilization, and for six years, lived among the Indians, adopting their habits. He was a man of very considerable native ability. In his character, there was a singular blending of good and bad qualities He had so far commended himself to the Cherokee Indians, that they had chosen him as one of their chiefs. This man gathered a pretty numerous band of lawless adventurers and entered Texas to wrest it from Mexico as a private speculation." This does him so much injustice that a Texan ought not to buy the book. Mother says she remembers her mother said it was told at the time of his surrendering the governorship of the state of Tennessee on the eve of his inaugural and his bridal eve, that he had one interview with his bride, then bid her farewell, and mounting his horse, turned his back to the rising sun. Not even to his friends, did he give an explanation, but the lady or some one told that his bride told him that she loved another, and her father had forced her to marry him. He renounced fame and fortune to give her freedom. This proves that he was a chivalrous, high-minded gentleman, who would rather suffer himself than have another suffer, instead of the eccentric adventurer these writers would have us believe him to be.
EUGENE WHITLEY, Riddleville, Karnes Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would write again, as I have just got back from San Marcos. We left home on the 14th and went three miles the other side of Rancho and camped. The next day, we had about twelve miles of sand to go through. The next night, we camped at the Guadalupe river and fished all night, but didn't catch a thing. The next morning, we hitched up and went to Seguin and stayed there a while and then went about seven miles to a creek, where there was some water; but we had to take the horses out to water them. My uncle had that to do, of course. The horses became tangled up and uncle was trying to get his shoes off to wade in to them, but instead of that, he fell in, and you may be sure I laughed. We got to my aunt's about sundown. The horses were nearly given out when we got there. The next evening, we all took a ride to look at the city of San Marcos, and when we got down there, we all went boat riding up to the head of the San Marcos river, about three quarters of a mile. We went up in the tower on the Chatoco mountains and could see all over the city. The artesian well in San Marcos flows 1200 gallons of water a minute. We started home on Friday morning and got back Sunday. We found everything nearly burnt up. Papa will make about fifty bushels of corn. Cousins, I have got me a shotgun and I go hunting every day.
LINNIE TIDWELL, Ennis, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have never written to you before, but this morning, I was writing a letter and I thought I would write to you, also. Ennis is not a city, but it is under the rules of a city. We have two lakes and a natatorium. We have an artesian well. I have been to the natatorium several times. We have a nice depot and the depot has a lovely flower garden around it. We have a roundhouse, too. I forgot to tell you that we have a steamboat on Crystal lake. The people named it Yetta, after Yetta Freeman. They put it on yesterday. I hope Peggy will not get my letter, for this is my first letter and I am just 10 years old.
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