December 22, 1895
[Mr. Big Hat's statement]:
many of the cousins must have missed the copy of The News explaining
in full the purposes of the Sam Houston memorial stone fund,
judging from the many queries Mr. Big Hat is receiving concerning
it. He will explain it briefly again, and hopes that all will
give it a share of their attention.
Rosa Johnson, Madisonville....50¢
From Mimmie DuBose.
From Beasley School.
Stella Porche, Yoakum....10¢
From Ernest and Charlie Wedemeyer.
Ernest Wedemeyer, Belton....10¢
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.
CLAUDE KNOWLES, Winkler, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: As I have never written to the young folks' corner, though a constant reader, I have concluded to write. I think some of the cousins write interesting letters. I am a boy almost 14 years old, and I am the "go fetch it" for all the rest of the family, as I am the youngest. We have good crops this year. I did not work on the farm, but I plowed up ground for papa to plant turnips. I am not in school yet, but will start soon. We have a splendid teacher.
ELLA MIXSON, Bruceville, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I did not see my other letter in print, I thought I would write again. Miss Big Bonnet and Mary West, come again. I think your letters were so interesting. I like to read the cousins' letters very much. I am anxious for The News to come on Friday. My teacher has thirty-two scholars now. I don't care to read any part of The News except the Cozy Corner. I wouldn't give the children's and women's part for all the rest of the paper. How many of the cousins ride horseback to school? I ride three miles every morning and evening. I think it is nice only when it is cold and rainy. I don't like to go home then.
LENA MAY WIESE, Jones' Prairie, Milam Co., Tex. -- You see, Mr. Big Hat, I've made a resolve similar to Laurence C. Fountain's, though I don't write quite so often or regularly as he does. I notice that a great many of the cousins who write quite often steadily improve and I thought that by writing oftener than two or three times a year I might also improve. School has begun. I may get to go after christmas for a few months. Mr. Big Hat, if you get tired of printing my letters, just tell me to stop and I will do so. I will endeavor to give the cousins a description of my county. Milam county was created in 1836. It is one of the group of central Texas counties and is situated on the Brazos river, which forms its eastern boundary. The surface of the county is rolling and in many places hilly and broken. The county is about equally divided between woodland and prairie. The soil of the prairie varies. On the river and creek bottoms, it is a rich loam, producing cotton, corn, oats, potatoes, sugar cane, fruits and vegetables abundantly. Stockraising is carried on in connection with the farm. The Gulf, Aransas Pass, International Great Northern, Colorado and Santa Fe railroads cross the county. The principal towns and villages are Rockdale, Cameron, Milano, Gause, Lilac, Leachville, Branchville and Maysfield. Cameron is the county seat and has 2000 or 3000 inhabitants. Rockdale is the largest town. A coal mine is being worked there. Maysfield has 300 or 400 inhabitants and Jones' Prairie has about 300. The county has two private and one national banks. There are five or six weekly newspapers published in the county. The churches and schools are good. Almost all denominations have churches in the county. Our county superintendent is pastor of Maysfield Presbyterian church, which is about five miles from my home. I live about a mile and a half from Brazos river. The bridge which spanned Brazos river about three miles from my home fell about two years ago and killed over a hundred head of cattle. It fell the same day that Richmond bridge fell. The country about my home is rich in coal. Papa's land has coal on it. It looks like beds of charcoal. A coal mine is being worked about two miles from my home on the Brazos river and a railroad has been constructed to it. I'm going to walk to see it some time and I'll describe it to the cousins if they wish. I live nearly eight miles from Calvert, in Robertson county. I would describe it to the cousins, for it is quite a large manufacturing town, has an oil mill and ice factories and splendid schools, if I wasn't afraid Peggy would get my letter, that is. If she doesn't get it anyway. A handsome iron bridge spans the Brazos between Jones' Prairie and Calvert. Mr. Big Hat, what has become of Sallie? Did she ever get scared at any more ghosts?
RUTH RAYMOND, Belton, Bell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Seeing the many interesting letters in this week's issue of The News, I have decided to write. I have been a silent admirer of Mr. Big Hat's department for about a year, but have never before gotten up the courage to write. From time to time there can be seen decided improvements in the letters. Don't you think so, Mr. Big Hat? I know every one was glad to see Cousin Dora Bennett's photograph. She looks really happy and contented. When we compare Dora's condition with our own those of us who are blessed with good health, should it not make us even more thankful? Cousin Dora, let us hear from you again soon. Your letters are highly appreciated. How many of the cousins love to read? I think it would be a good idea for us to have a list of the standard books and resolve to read them. I have "A Course of Representative Reading, English and American." In this course there are about 100 of the best authors and their leading works. It is very improving to take such a course of reading. You may say that it takes time to do this, but how could time be more profitably spent? We are having real cool weather and a great deal of rain, which was badly needed. How did the cousins spend thanksgiving? It was a day much enjoyed by me. Of course we had a holiday, and I doubt whether there was much studying done or not. How I did dislike to go to school the next day unprepared for my lessons. What has become of our editor cousin? We are patiently awaiting the article he promised to send. I hope Herbert Taylor is enjoying his trip in the air and when he returns he will give us a history of his many daring adventures, which he has no doubt had. Before closing allow me to ask a question: Who was it of whom it was said: "As long as he lived he was the guiding star of a whole brave nation, and when he died the little children cried in the streets?" My age is 16 years.
LELA BELLE ARNOLD, Mexia, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would write you all a letter, seeing that I never have written before. I am a little girl only 11 years old. Papa takes The News and I like it so well. I read the cousins' letters. My papa is a farmer. We have gathered nine bales of cotton. I can pick 200 pounds of cotton a day. There are only six of us in the family. I have three little sisters and no brother. We are going to school in a few days at Shiloh. I like to go to school.
LAWRENCE BANKS, Eyrie, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Will you and the cousins allow me to walk in and have a little chat with you this evening? I see so many letters, but none from this part of the country. You must not expect a good letter, for this is my first time to write to any paper. I can pick 200 pounds of cotton in a day. Our school has not begun yet. I live in the forks of Chambers creek. Our postoffice is about a quarter of a mile from us. I have one sister. I have a pony and a new saddle and bridle, but I do not ride much. Little Miss Big Bonnet, I hope you will write again soon. I read your letter. We get The News twice a week, and I read it every time. I like to read it. My age is 12 years.
BROWNIE RAGSDALE, Barry, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I did not see my other letter in print, I thought I would write again. If Peggy gets this letter I will feel like choking him. I think some of the cousins' letters are very nice. I did not go to the fair. I think Herbert Taylor writes good letters. I think Isadore Miller, Mitta Young, Kittie Baker and Lillie Dubose write very interesting letters. I wish I could see Mr. Big Hat, to see if he looks any way like his picture. I would like to have something nice to send Dora Bennett. I think Rudolph Bollier had a fine time hunting. Herbert Taylor, your fairy tale about the ride upon the buzzard's back was real nice. Bessie Bee, your letters will "Be" missed. I hope that the cousins who went to the fair enjoyed it. I wish I could write as interesting as Abner Williams. Our school has not commenced yet, but I will be glad when it does, for I like to go to school. My studies are fourth reader, grammar, geography, spelling and arithmetic. I will ask a question: When was Christopher Columbus born, and where? My age is 10 years.
OLLIE CARLETON, Leona, Leon Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Well, as I have a little leisure, I will spend it in writing to you. It has been some time since I have written, and I have had some very bad misfortunes, but don't expect I ought to complain. No doubt many others have had worse. I broke my arm for one thing, so I don't expect Mr. Big Hat can read this letter; but if he can't, by that time I can do better. The buzzard that Herbert Taylor is seated on must be very strong and healthy, or he couldn't carry him, unless Herbert is very small. Well, I will close by asking some questions: What was the population of Texas at the last census? Where did Lee surrender?
GRIFFIN HEIZER, Stephenville, Erath Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have been reading the children's letters in The News, and thought I would write, as our readers call for a letter from each one again. I attend a private school. We have a good teacher and we learn fast. My studies are third reader, speller, word book, language, geography and arithmetic. I wish you would visit our town christmas and spend the whole week with us. We would have lots of fun shooting fire crackers and pecan hunting. My father is dead, but I have an older brother and a younger one. I'm in the middle, and don't much like the position, for mamma buys the nicest things for one because he is the oldest, you know, and I have to give up playthings to one, because he is the youngest, you know.
RENER McKEE, Grand View, Johnson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Again I walk in, to chat a short time, There have been quite a number of good letters in the recent issues of The News. I think the best one was written by Katie Quimby. Cousins, you may not believe what Rudolph Bollier said about Georgia, but it was strictly true. I am a native of Georgia. We came to Texas in the spring of 1892. I like my Texas home far better than I did my Georgia home. I have been here near four years, and have never been back. I don't care much about going back. I will tell you why. The pumpkin vines grow so fast there and the hills are so steep that the pumpkins roll so badly they never get any size. They have to keep rock fences around the watermelons to keep them from rolling away, and they certainly have large ones. I guess that is enough for Peggy to know about Georgia. Mr. Big Hat, please entreat Peggy to leave this letter in peace and I will write him one later on. Cousins, I will tell you all about the longest time I was ever silent. It was last Sunday evening. One of my cousins told sister and me that he would give us 10 cents if we would be silent three hours. I thought I could be silent that long. I made it all right for two hours and thirty minutes, but I couldn't make it any longer. Sister made hers all right. Mr. Big Hat, brother said your picture looked like a girl, but I don't think so. I think the cousins who attended the fair should tell us something about it. Miss Big Bonnet, tell Mr. Big Hat to please let you write to us about it. I think it would be so nice. School commenced yesterday morning, but I did not start. Texas history is my favorite study. We have a new teacher this year, who I expect will be very strict with us. Cousin Katie, you write such interesting letters that I wish you would write every week. Your letters remind me of some of my big times. Christmas is fast approaching, and I am expecting a glorious time. Papa has promised to go with us to a Christmas tree which will be in Grand View. I can't afford to write so many letters to Peggy and never hear from him. Cousin Bessie Bee, tell your teacher to look the other way until you write us a letter. I think the Cozy Corner is improving. Rudolph H., come again and tell us something about Alabama.
RENA SHIRLEY, Brandon, Hill Co., Tex. -- Well, Mr. Big Hat, here I come. It has been almost two years since I wrote, so I expect the cousins have forgotten me. I think Sam Houston does deserve a tombstone and I am going to help get him one. I will give the history of Sam Houston's life: "Sam Houston was born in Virginia March 2, 1793. In 1810 his father died and his mother moved her family to Tennessee, which was then on the border of civilization. Here he went to school and worked on a farm. It happened one day that he found a translation of Homer's 'Iliad,' read it and became charmed. He asked his teacher to allow him to study Latin, but his request was refused. In a passion he turned and exclaiming, 'I never will receive another lesson as long as I live,' left the schoolroom. His older brother put him in a store as a clerk. He hated this life and vowed he would die if forced to remain. He soon disappeared. Search was made and he was at last found among the Cherokee Indians. In answer to the appeals of his brothers to return home he replied: 'I'd rather measure deer tracks than tape. Here I can have peace to read Homer, Virgil and Demostheses; so go off and let me alone.' He remained with the savages until his clothes were worn to shreds. Going home, he stayed with his mother some time, but at the least show of tyranny from his brothers he was off to the Indians. It is said that he could repeat the whole of Pope's translation of the 'Iliad.' After a few years he surprised every one by announcing his intention of opening a school. Sam Houston as a teacher! The people opened their eyes. However, he made a success of the undertaking, had more pupils than he wanted and raised the tuition from $6 to $8 per year! In a battle fought with the Creek Indians in 1813 he showed such bravery that he won the lasting friendship of Andrew Jackson. At the age of 24 he began to study law. After holding many offices he was in 1823 and 1825 elected to congress. At the close of his second term he was elected governor of Tennessee. In January, 1892, he married a lovely and charming young girl, but in April she went to her father's and returned not beneath her husband's roof. The people were surprised and amazed, but no explanation is was ever given. The cause of the separation is said a mystery. He was abused in the most bitter terms by many of the Tennessee papers. Public feeling was strong on both sides. He resigned, gave up all the charms of civilized life and sought refuge among the Cherokees, the friends of his boyhood. Years before, he had been adopted by the chief of the tribe. On his arrival at the village he was warmly welcomed and invited to take part in all their councils. With the exception of some months spent in Washington, where he went to reveal to President Jackson the terrible wrongs of the Indians, Houston remained among the redmen three years. Fate then directed him to Texas, where he at once took his place among the leaders." Well, Mr. Big Hat, I think I would let Miss Big Bonnet write every week if I were you. Herbert Taylor, come again. Inclosed find 10 cents for the memorial stone fund.
MAY MIXSON, Bruceville, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I did not see my other letter in print I suppose Peggy made bait of it. There were so many nice letters in this week's paper that I could not resist the temptation of writing, too. Isadore M-----, you must write again, for you write real interesting letters, and I am sure all of the cousins enjoy reading them. I will help in the Sam Houston memorial stone fund all that I possibly can. Lella Du Bose, of course we do not object to you writing often. We are glad to have you come, for you make our corner quite breezy. Herbert Taylor, we all realize that you tell a good many yarns, but we all are glad to read your letters. Most of the cousins write so much better than I do that I am almost ashamed to take the space from some one whose talk might do some of the cousins a great deal of good. I'm always glad when Friday comes so that I can read the dear old News. The first thing I do is to run over the names of letter writers that appear and the ones that seem familiar I read first, and then I read Mr. Big Hat's letter and some times I read it first. And just to think that Mr. Big Hat gives us little ones room enough in his paper for at least twenty-five letters each week. Miss Big Bonnet, won't Mr. Big Hat really let you write? I think it real mean of him, and he lets so many other little ones write and then won't allow his sister the privilege he allows other people's children. It is just like a boy to do more for other people than he will for his own sister. I think it is real mean of any one, because they should be more willing to do anything for their sister than for any one else. I never saw a boy that would do it, though. Mr. Big Hat, can one write to The News whether they take the paper or not? I've heard a good many talking about it and they would say: "I'd like very much to write, but you can't write unless you take the paper, and we don't take it." I'm like some of the other cousins, I would not exchange Mr. Big Hat's part of the paper for all the rest put together, but I must admit that the "Woman's Century" is very nice. Mr. Big Hat, I wish you would tell the editor of the other part to put another nice piece in it like "Trif and Trixey." I notice that there were several that said they went to the Dallas fair, and Mr. Big Hat didn't have their names down. I will close as I see Peggy laughing because she thinks she is going to get it.
ERNEST and CHARLIE WEDEMEYER, Belton, Bell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: We have been reading the letters in The News, but never thought of joining the cousins until we read your letter about the Sam Houston memorial stone fund. We are very much interested in the plan for raising the money. Some of Gen. Houston's children are dear friends of our father and mother. Mrs. Williams, Gen. Houston's daughter, now lives in the old homestead in Independence, Washington county, where Gen. Houston lived before moving to Huntsville. Mrs. Houston is buried there, near the old Baptist church, so is Mrs. Lea, her mother. We have often seen their graves. Independence is our old home. When visiting there we always go to see Mrs. Williams, she is so kind to show us all of her father's relics -- Santa Anna's saddle, silver spurs, sword, etc., also a great many things given to Gen. Houston by his distinguished friends. It is a rare treat to make a visit there. It makes one more deeply interested in Texas history, and especially in Gen. Houston's character. Our names are Ernest and Charlie, too, like those boys you lectured yesterday, but we go to school and love to go. We go to the Belton male academy, of which our father is principal. We have gone to work among our schoolmates to raise money and we send with this what we have gotten so far. We have a good deal more promised. Our letter is probably too long, but we wanted to write something about Gen. Houston. You may place our names on your list of those who have already given, and will keep on collecting and send as we get it. We wish to enter the contest for the book.
JESSE LOCKE, Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I've just finished reading Mr. Big Hat's letter in the issue of Nov. 15, and I think the proposition he made is a good one; for as he said, "Sam Houston deserves as fine a monument as any one." If it had not been for Sam Houston our Texas history might have been changed altogether. There would not have been a battle called the battle of San Jacinto, where the mighty "Napoleon of the West" was made to bow low his haughty head. I for one will do my best to make up a contribution that will pay for its space in the list of those who contribute to the "Sam Houston stone fund." I think as Mr. Big Hat has started it the cousins ought to follow suit. And, I believe they will. Cousins, wouldn't it be grand for "The Little Men and Women" to have the honor of building a monument for the man who did so much for Texas? But, here, I mean Mr. Big Hat, when I say "Little Men and Women," for his picture represents him to be a little man or a little woman. I can't tell which. Of course he is the biggest little cousin we have in our department. Cousins, how many of you go to school and walk home a distance of six miles on Friday evenings, and do a big washing on Saturday? I do. I did a big washing this morning after cooking breakfast. As I was tired I thought I would rest by writing a letter to the sweet Cozy Corner. Cousins, my mother is an invalid and has been for twenty odd years. You who have mothers that can do the cooking and washing never know what a mother is, but when it falls to your lot to do the house work, you will begin to realize what a mother is to you. Honor your father and your mother. They are the best friends you will ever have in this world.
OLLIE B. DAWDY, Hutchins, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I feel glad to know that I have another opportunity to write to the dear old News. As I told you in my last letter that I would write you something about Dallas county and its early settlement, so in order to make my letter interesting I will endeavor to give you as correct a description as I can. Don't you think, Mr. Big Hat, that it would be very interesting if the cousins would write a description of his or her county and send it in to the cousins' corner? I do, so here goes. This is the most populous county in the state and stands first in taxable values. It is situated in north central Texas, being in the third tiers of counties south of Red river. It is traversed by the main line of the Texas and Pacific railway from east to west and by the Texas Central and Missouri, Kansas and Texas from north to south. The Trinity river flows through the county from the northwest to southeast, and with its numerous tributaries forms the drainage of the county. About one-fourth of its area is high rolling prairie land, rising in places a few hundred feet high and subsiding again into broad valleys. Along the river['s]several tributaries is a large growth of post, burr and Spanish oak, cedar, pecan, black walnut, ash, hickory, bois d'arc, elm, hackberry and cottonwood timber, abundant for fuel, fencing and other domestic purposes. A good quantity, however, can be designated as milling timber. Good water for domestic purposes is obtained from springs and wells 18 to 50 feet in depth. In the city of Dallas are a number of artesian wells having an excellent quality of water and a strong flow. About nine-tenths of the area of Dallas county is good farming land. The prairies generally have black, tenacious, waxy soil, the timbered portions a light sandy and the river and creek bottoms a dark loam, all easily tilled and very productive. In ordinary favorable seasons and with proper cultivation the yield per acre is, of cotton, one-third to three-fourths of a bale; corn, 30 bushels; wheat, 16 to 20 bushels, and millet, two tons. All the vegetables common to this latitude yield abundantly. The fruits of most varieties are profitably grown. The mean annual rainfall is about 38 inches and the altitude of the county from 400 to 600 feet above sea level. The main settlers of this county came here in the year 1842 and the first marriage after county was organized took place in the year 1846, and the first deed was recorded in the same year. Sarah Jane Cox was the first person (white person) born in the county, and John Neely Bryan the first in the city of Dallas. During the first settling of the county the immigrants had a very hard time and yet they had a good time. They furnished themselves and families by killing wild game for meats and getting their breadstuff the best way they could, mostly by buying at Bonham and bringing it down by ox wagons. They made their meal by pounding the corn in a mortar, or by grinding it in a handmill or on a coffeemill, until later on when horsepower gristmills came into use. The first one was put up by Uncle Aaron Overton in the forties. The old settlers had very hard struggles with the Indians, having their homes burned and their property stolen as well as having their families murdered. The old pioneer is worthy of being honored by their descendants and followers:
Fame's eternal camping ground
They had learned the great lesson that --
on the tented field,
I notice some of the boy cousins speaking of what they could do in the house and how they helped mamma. I will say that for a boy I can do any common work in the house, such as cooking, making up beds, sweeping, and in fact nearly everything except cutting out and making clothes. Mamma's girls, you see, happened to be all boys, and she makes me act girl and help her when we haven't got a hired girl; and besides she was an invalid for some time, and papa had to pay out so much for a cook that I concluded that by taking that much upon my shoulders a great deal would be saved, so I lit in. The result is mamma is well and that much is saved. Well, cousins, I fear Mr. Big Hat won't print this letter for it is so long. So I will retire for season and let some one else write that can write an interesting letter. Mr. Big Hat, did Peggy get my letter that I wrote concerning my visit to Parker county? Myrtle Kirk, did you get my letter? If so, why haven't you answered it?
ROSA JOHNSON, Madisonville, Madison Co., Tex. -- Mr. Hat and cousins: I have just finished reading the Cozy Corner. I am so glad that you have given us a chance to erect a nice monument at Sam Houston's grave. I am going to send you 50 cents this week, and when I write again will send some more. I am going to try to get the prize. I think that by next year we can have a nice monument, if the cousins will all help. I sent Cousin Anna Murrah a book last week. I hope she will let me know if she gets it. My grandfather, D. G. Green, one of the first settlers of Moscow, Tex., fought under Sam Houston, and thought him the best of men. My mother has been on the battle field of San Jacinto and heard Sam Houston speak. I send 50 cents for Sam Houston memorial stone fund, and hope that my name will be among the first contributors. When I went to the Bryan graded school Major W. L. Bringhurst (Sam Houston's son-in-law) was my teacher, and according to my judgment he is the best man I ever saw.
W. E. BOX, Myrtle Springs, Van Zandt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have read so many interesting letters in the children's department of late it has encouraged me to write. My home is in the central part of Van Zandt county, eight miles south of Wills Point and three miles west of Myrtle Springs, in as beautiful a country as there is in east Texas. Well, cousins, how many of you go to school to improve? I for one. I am striving to get an education. Even if my calling in life is to be a farmer, I want to have a good education. I am going to school at the Myrtle Springs academy. It is one of the finest schools in east Texas. I expect some of the cousins think that I speak too confidently of this school, but I have as much right to talk about it as some of the cousins have to write letters that look a little snaky and smell a little fishy. Cousin Myrtie Kirk, come again. Did you ever live at Forney? If you did, you and I have gone to school together. Cousins, let us push the work of raising money for the Sam Houston monument. My teacher is going to take up a collection in his school for it. Peggy is stamping her feet. She is hungry, for fear Mr. Big Hat will give this letter to her. I wish The News and all the cousins success!
BENNIE SELLERS, Italy, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Me. Big Hat and cousins: As I see so many of the cousins writing, and none from here, I thought I would write. I have just been reading the cousins' letters. We have gotten out fourteen bales of cotton. I visited the Dallas fair this fall and enjoyed it very much, but did not see you and the cousins. Our school has not commenced yet, but I think it will commence the 1st of December, and I will be glad. I like to go to school very well. I will answer Norman McIver's Bible question: It was Elijah and Enoch that were born and never died, and it was Adam and Eve that never were born and died. I inclose a dime to the Sam Houston memorial stone fund, and my little sister Vannie sends a dime.
PETER DALE, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a jolly boy asking space in the Cozy Corner. I have been reading the cousins' letters for quite a while, and think them very interesting. Cousins, I notice some very interesting subjects discussed through The News, but nothing said about music. Do you not like music? I think it is one of God's richest gifts. Cousins, I guess I saw a great many of you at the fair, and didn't know you -- school girls especially. Boys, you know that is natural. Ludie Sanders, this gloomy evening puts me in the same mood you were in when you wrote last, although your letter was very nice, come again. Mary West, I know your fishing party was nice. Your trip to the fair seemed to be a jolly one. Your sleeves reminded me of a pair that kept me from seeing the bride at a wedding not long ago. When I meet her on the street I cant' help smiling, although I admire them. I hope Mr. Big Hat will stand Peggie off, as this is my first visit. Success to The News.
ANNIE CLEM, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a little girl, asking admittance to the Cozy Corner. I go to school, and like my teacher splendidly. Mr. Big Hat, do you allow the cousins to send stories? I have written some and am very desirous to send one to the Cozy Corner. I have just read a letter from Joe Dawson, requesting every one who is interested in getting an education to write a letter to that effect, and I will do so in my next letter, if this one is in print. I will answer Gustav Beler's riddle: The finger nail. I went to the Dallas convention and had a glorious time. But, dear me, I believe Peggy is waiting for my letter now. I should like to correspond with some of the cousins, 12 or 13 years old. I am 12, and will be 13 the 26th of December.
ZADA ARNOLD, Nugent, Jones Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: I have been reading the cousins' letters and they are so nice that they induce me to write again. I didn't think I would write again because some of the letters are so much nicer than mine. Our school will not begin till after christmas and I am real sorry. Mamma will teach it. I read Cousin Leila's letter. It was nice. Cousin Minnie, why don't you write again? Are you homesick? Our Sunday school will have a Christmas tree. I hope all of the cousins will have the pleasure of going to one and seeing Santa Claus and the nice presents. My papa made my sister and I a present of a nice book a few weeks ago and I appreciated it very much. It was a book on etiquette. Little Miss Big Bonnet, we would be pleased to see one of your letters again.
EVA WOOD, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I saw your picture in The News and I thought you were such a cute and funny-looking little man I wanted to write to you. Will you let me come into the band? My papa has been very sick this week and it made me feel awful bad. I want to know if you are a bad boy or a good boy. Do you go to the McKinney avenue school? I do. Christmas is nearly here and I am so glad and I want a big doll. I wish I lived in the country. I would have a horse and have a ride every evening. I will ask a conundrum: When does a cat on a steeple look like a ball?
EFIE REESE, Longview, Gregg Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl to ask if she can join the happy band of little men and women. Papa takes The News and I certainly do enjoy reading the letters, especially Maud Carson's, Ludie Sanders', Florence Tidding's [Giddens], Dora Bennett's, and a great many others that I can't remember. Christmas is coming and I am glad, for we are going to have our society. I am in a nice drill with twenty-four girls and boys; and we have a great many other things. I am going to school, and surely do like to go. Our teacher is certainly well liked. She is going to get another teacher soon. If Peggy gets this I won't grumble, for I know it is written badly enough.
ODIS RIDDLE, Crowley, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is thanksgiving day and that turkey is still "bilin'" at this late hour (4 p. m.). The clouds are threatening rain and christmas is coming. We had a gay time at our library last Saturday night. After the crowd had gathered it began to rain and continued to rain until 12 o'clock. The programme for the evening was dispensed with by 10 o'clock, and as it was still raining it was decided to have a "kangaroo court." A boy was prosecuted for willfully and maliciously severing the head from the body of an old gander belonging to one of the neighbors. After an exciting trial by a jury of three persons he was fined 5 cents and an orange each for the judge and jurors. It was amusing to hear the attorneys speak of the boy's wife and nine children. Jeremy Duncan spoke of the probabilities of my becoming an old maid some night in my sleep. Perhaps she is not aware of the fact that I sleep with my head under the cover. No wonder she can hardly sleep at night, when she sleeps all through the day. Cousins, I once asked Jeremy if she knew why a dog trotted across a muddy street. She didn't know and seemed surprised when I told her that it was because it wanted to get to the other side. Wonder what has become of Ida Salena Jones and why she never writes any more? I attended a social last night and a lot of us played a play known as "Laugh and Go Foot." The girls asked questions and the boys gave answers. My partner asked me if I knew how to raise pumpkins and I said "stewed taters and beans." She laughed and caused us to have to go foot six different times. Near where I live stands an old building known as the Caddo schoolhouse. It is twenty-four feet wide and forty feet long. It was built nearly thirty years ago. The lower story has been used for church and school purposes ever since its construction, while the Masons of this vicinity formerly held their lodge in the upper story, but it has not been used for a long time. Many are they that have said "good-bye" to the old stepstone at the entrance.
MIMMIE DU BOSE, Bruceville, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Good morning to you all! Let me see how many of you know me. Very few, I'm afraid, for it has been quite a while since I last called. My, what a bevy of happy young faces I see! You all look as we look when we know our lessons well. Cousins, what are you talking about? Our Sam Houston memorial fund? My, isn't that just lovely? But it will be lovelier when we get the stone really over the grave. Cousins, let's try very hard to get it there by our next fair. Won't it be grand, though? But I'm afraid it going to be a little hard to get anything from outsiders. Any way, it seems so in this neighborhood. I have asked my schoolmates to put in something, but they do not seem to think it a good thing. But maybe I did not ask them as I should have done. I will tell you how I did, and as it did not prove to be a good plan, I would advise you not to try it. I went to school and took my paper with me. I thought the best time to strike would be at dinner time, when all would be stimulated by a good dinner and would not mind parting with a little money. But, lo and behold! No one (not a single one) seemed anxious to part with even so small a piece as 5 cents, which was wondrous bad, as it shattered all my aircastles, for I had already counted up my money. (I counted the pupils in school, then multiplied that by what I would ask each to give). Some of them said they would think about it, some said dimes were scarce with them (didn't seem to have any nickels, either), while some said nothing. I do hope the rest of you will have better luck than I have had. Well, I will stop this and talk about something else. Cousins, what did you do thanksgiving? Did you have a nice time? I hope so, although I did not. Well, winter is here in good earnest, with its cold winds, snow and ice, and what will we do to while away the time during long winter evenings? Play games and tell stories? Some of us will be taking sleigh rides, which all enjoy, and then there's skating, which both young and old take part in, and many other things to do to make the time pass pleasantly. Then the new year is close upon us, and what are we going to do? Make new resolutions for the new year and abandon those of the old? Let's try to keep the new ones better than we have kept those in the past, but if we break one, we can only make it again and try to keep it. I will close by wishing you all a happy christmas and new year.
MAUD FOY, McKinney, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Not having anything to do this Sabbath evening, I will try to write some for The News. Alice Valentine, if you want any of my quilt patterns name them, and all the cousins wanting my quilt patterns must send the name of pattern and a stamp to pay the postage on them. I thought I would see a great deal in The News about the Sam Houston memorial stone fund. I want all of the cousins to take an interest in getting up the money to pay for the stone. I am going to give something and think I can get others to give some, too. Now I will tell the cousins how I am to get my money for the Sam Houston memorial stone fund. My mamma has given me a hen, and I am going to sell all the eggs and all the chickens I can from my hen and send the money to Mr. Big Hat for the memorial stone fund. I want all the cousins to get up a plan to raise their money, and let us see if we can put up a nice stone that will be an honor to Sam Houston and a credit to ourselves. Remember, cousins, we will all get a chance to see the stone at the Dallas Fair next fall, and we can set a day to meet there and then we can see each other and say we helped pay for that stone. Cousins, I have a cousin, if living, whose name is Estus Reed. My mother and his are sisters, but his mother is dead. He is about 15 or 16 years old. His father's name is William. We do not know where Estus is, but would like to. Now if any of the cousins know anything of Estus or his folks I wish they would write to me and tell me where they are.
MYRA L. BROWN, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: As you were so kind as to print my other letter I thought I would write another one, though I don't know what to write about. Winter has come again and I am so glad. I like winter better than summer. Mr. Big Hat, why don't you tell your age? Most of the cousins do. Ah! there is the school bell now, cousins, and how I do wish I was going. Miss Big Bonnet, I think you should have taught your cat better than to bring you the mouse trap to get the mouse out for her. My cat never does such a thing as that. Didn't you cousins who went to the fair have a nice time? I didn't go, though I would have liked to very much. Cousin Lilly DeWitte, I couldn't understand much of your letter because I can't read Latin. Abner, I liked your letter describing Falls county. Cousins, I am going to tell you of a very pleasant little picnic we had this summer. We met at one of my friends' home and then about 10 o'clock we went over to a little pasture just across the street, where there were some trees. We carried lunch and played until 5 in the afternoon, then we went to my friend's house and had ice cream and cake. We had a nice time. It was a very small crowd, as there were only eight of us. I wish Bessie Bee would tell us of her school life. And Mr. Big Hat, you say if all the cousins could meet and have a picnic you would elect Allen Berryman and I chief cooks. I spent a very pleasant day Sunday. Two of my little friends spent the day with us, and at 6 o'clock we went to their house and stayed until bedtime. Cousins, I wish I could see some of you. I often think about you and wonder how you look. Kate Quimby, Johnny Price, Rudolph Bollier, Lawrence Neff, Susie B. Fisher, Lilly Rowe and Leliah Pelt, all come again. Mr. Big Hat, I think it will be so nice for us to raise money to buy a monument for Sam Houston. I have studied Texas history and therefore know all about him and think him a very brave and great man. Inclosed please find 25 cents which I contribute for the Sam Houston memorial stone fund.
ABNER WILLIAMS, Mooreville, Falls Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have read Mr. Big Hat's remarks about the "memorial stone" with pleasure. Nearly two years ago I was in Huntsville, and by chance passed the cemetery. Remembering that Gen. Houston was buried there, I passed over the stile to have a look at his grave. Seeing a tall, handsome monument some distance away, and thinking certainly that was the place, I hurried there; but, alas, it was over the grave of a great banker. Then I noticed another, much finer. Surely that is the place. I hurried there, to find the grave of a prominent politician. Over on the west side was a smaller one, but it was erected to the memory of Henderson Yoakum, the historian. Then I began looking within the beautiful iron fences, and at the various well kept graves, but could not find it. I began to doubt if he was buried in that cemetery, and after searching a little more and failing to find the grave, tired out, I started to return to the road. Cutting across what seemed to be the oldest and most neglected part of the cemetery, and which was covered with weeds, grass, broken fences and decaying tombs, I came to the very brow of the Cemetery Ridge. The grim walls of the penitentiary loomed up on the next hill, while behind its walls was a confusion of roofs, smokestacks and towers. Further down the valley was the little city of Huntsville, with its houses all jumbled together; and a long train of ox teams, looking like so many big ants, toiling along the streets. Over beyond the town, with its many handsome towers, stood the normal school building. I chanced to stop under the shade of a beautiful pine to enjoy the pleasant scene. The far-away woods of dark green pines, the grim, gloomy prison, the busy little town and the handsome normal building, all made a picture not to be forgotten. I leaned against a partly tumbled down paling that once sheltered a grave. Inside, the weeds were shoulder-high. At the west end was a little marble slab about 18 inches high and twelve inches wide. Moved by curiosity, I stooped to read what was on it. "Sacred to the memory of Gen. Sam Houston." That was all. Instantly my hat came off and my head was bowed. Involuntarily I exclaimed: "And is this fame? Is this the end of human greatness? Is this human gratitude? Bankers, politicians, historians, have cloud-reaching spires for monuments, but the man who, by his genius, gave Texas to the world is forgotten." Then I remembered, Sam Houston needs no monument to remind the world of his greatness. His monument is as broad as the great state of Texas and as high as the courts of heaven, and his epitaph is written in the hearts of his countrymen. As I stood by his grave, lonely and deserted, neglected and forgotten, the many events of his wonderful life passed before my mind like the scenes of a great drama. I saw him a wayward boy, preferring to measure deer tracks to measuring calico. I saw him lifted to the highest office in the gift of the people of Tennessee; then, leaving this, no one can tell why, for his old home with the Indians. I saw him in his greatness at San Jacinto, where he scattered the Mexican hordes like autumn leaves before the winter's wind. I saw his mightier efforts aiding Texas to conquer herself. I saw him as president, guiding the Lone Star to its destiny. I saw him honored in the proud and dignified United States senate. I saw him standing alone, battling for his beloved Texas against the wild surges of secession that were inundating the land. I saw him dragged from the governor's chair because he would not go against what he thought was best for Texas. I saw him an old man, bent and gray, "buffeted by the waves until he had reached the narrow isthmus that divides time from eternity." Then I turned and looked at the neglected grave and thought --
No, Mr. Big Hat, Sam Houston needs no memorial stone. The beautiful normal building with its magnificent stained glass window, which is covered with inscriptions commemorating his deeds is a far grander memorial than any stone. The memory of his deeds, the love given him by the youth of Texas, are sufficient. The plain little marble slab is a fitting monument for the one man, the only man, who was not made by his tailor. Let us rather study his virtue, emulate his honesty, and strive to obtain his patriotism, remembering --
lives of great men all remind us,
OLA M. DU BOSE, Rising Sun, Jones Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have never written to you before, but have tried and my letters were not nice enough. Norman McIver, girls are not so scary as you think they are. Lelia DuBose, if Peggy don't get my letter you will see your sister's letter in The News. Bessie Bee, we all miss you so much. Certainly you can find time to write us a few lines. Cousins, our corner is getting more interesting every day. Doesn't it look nice to see at the top of a big paper "For Little Men and Women?" Mr. Big Hat looks like a little man himself. Mr. Big Hat, my little brother would write to you, but he says that Peggy might get his letter, and he would feel ashamed. Cousins, how many of you read stories? I, for one. I pick cotton every day. The most I ever picked was 175 pounds. Lyn Clark, I wish I could spend a week with my grandpa and grandma. I have not seen them for four years. Our school will only last two months. I am in the fourth grade. Cousins, when papa gets back from the office I always ask him for the children's part of The News. My age is 153 months. I inclose 5 cents for the Sam Houston memorial fund.
ADOLPH DREYER, Shiner, Lavaca Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I was very glad to see my first letter in print, and thought I would write again. I am going to school now, and at present there are thirty-five pupils in attendance. My teacher is a very good teacher. My papa owns 1700 acres of rich valley land twenty miles south of Shiner, near the Guadalupe river, and also 1000 acres seven miles east of Shiner. We have nearly 1000 acres in cultivation, which is all as level as a table, and we receive almost $5000 worth of rent every year. My papa and brother Rudolf have been gone from home nearly one month building rent houses, but they will soon have them finished, and then they will come home. Papa and I went to Weimar and Oakland to visit our friends and relatives. I sure had a nice time playing base ball. Christmas is near by and I wish Mr. Big Hat and cousins a happy christmas. Mr. Big Hat, would you not like to have some turnips? If you would come to us you could have all you can eat and fill your pockets. My age is 14 years.
LILIAN WALKER, Austin, Travis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading your page for "Little Men and Women," but three Sundays, but I am so interested that I want to join. As I am not a farmer's daughter I did not know whether you would let me join or not. I am 10-years old and go to school. I have two little brothers and one little sister, all younger than myself. My smallest brother, who is 3 years old, went to Sunday school not long ago, and the superintendent asked him who made him, and he said: "God." And then he asked him what he made him out of, and he said: "Rocks." I liked Isadore Miller's letter so much and wish he would write again soon. I wonder if any of the little girls that write to your paper know how to make crazy quilts? I am making my papa a cushion of crazy work. I will ask a riddle: "As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives; each wife had a sack, each sack had a cat, each cat had a kit; kits, cats, sacks and wives, how many were going to St. Ives?" Mr. Big Hat, I would be much obliged if the cousins would save me some old stamps that have already been used, 1 or 2-cent, I don't care what kind.
EDGAR PEARSON, Gainesville, Cooke Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: It has been a long time since I wrote to The News. I want to know if you are giving premiums for telling "fibs." It seems that the cousins have fallen into the habit of telling long "Munchausen stories." The are not true and are not instructive. And about the "bashful boy" narrative, is there any motive in telling such an extravagant story? And do you think such long letters are interesting? You read about half way through, and get tired. Some of the letters about the size of Herbert Taylor's are nice, but do not put such a "goose chase" as he had in them. Cousins, let us get out of the habit of telling stories. We may tell of our hunting or boating or other sports, but don't exaggerate any. I don't think anything is any nicer than relating our hunts or other pastimes. Mr. Big Hat, what is the "Sam Houston memorial stone fund?" I lost my News and I did not get to see what it was. Are you going to give us a winter school? I think it would be nice. Miss Big Bonnet, how would you like to get upon the floor in school and spell against a boy about half an hour and then get spelled down, and have the children cheer the boy and not cheer you for your hard work? Well, hoping the cousins will think over the "story matter." I will close, for Peggy is looking wistfully at me. Hurrah for The News!
HERBERT LEE, Bartlett, Williamson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you admit another to your list? Papa is one of your subscribers for The News, and I have become much interested in the Cozy Corner. I have not seen any letters from this section, so I decided I would write something. If I do not write as good letters as some others you will excuse me, I know, for this is my first attempt, and I am only a little country boy who has not had the advantage of school that some have. I am 12 years old. My father is a farmer. I help father during crop time and go to school during winter. I am going to school now. I live in Williamson county in the northeast part, three miles west of Bartlett. Bartlett is a thriving railroad station on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad, on the line between Williamson and Bell counties. It consists of four churches, several dry goods houses, groceries, drug stores and so on, and last, but not least, a good school of 200 or 300 scholars. This is mostly a farming country. The soil is black waxy prairie. Its principal products are corn, oats, millet, wheat and cotton. I have several pets I'll tell the cousins about if they let me join. I hope the cousins are all willing to do what Mr. Big Hat proposes about the memorial stone for Sam Houston. I, for one, will help all I can. There is a fine granite quarry close to my old home where I was born, in Burnet county, near Marble Falls, where they got granite for the state capitol. There have been a number of monuments and fine stones shipped from there. I would love to see a stone from there at the grave of the brave and noble man we have so much right to love and honor. I wish Mr. Big Hat and the cousins success in the enterprise.
BEASLEY SCHOOL, Yoakum, DeWitt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Our teacher read us your suggestion in regard to erecting a memorial stone in honor of Gen. Sam Houston, and though we are nearly all little Bohemian children, we are anxious to do honor to the memory of a great and good man, who did so much for this banner state. We have a very kind and patient teacher, who takes great pride in teaching us to speak the English language, and most of us do credit to her teaching, and speak and understand almost anything that is said. This is her fifth season, so you may be sure that we get along nicely together. Our school is situated six miles from the beautiful little city of Yoakum, and about the same distance from Shiner, another live little place. The former is the middle division of the Aransas Pass railroad, and has a roundhouse there that gives employment to about 250 men, and arrangements are being made to place machine shops there also. So of course that will be another advantage to the place. Inclosed please find 55 cents for the Sam Houston monument fund.
ETHEL BRADY, Jewett, Leon Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will attempt to write to the Cozy Corner once more, as it has been a long time since I wrote. I have been going to school all the time and am at school now. If I could write as interesting letters as some, I would write often. Christmas will soon be here, and I will be so glad, for I always enjoy the holidays. I go to parties, and oh! such fun as I do have. We sure have fun at school at recess and noon, but in time of books we have to study. I want to join the Sam Houston memorial fund. I went to Buffalo last Friday to see my aunt and I had a nice time. I went to see a friend on Sunday and returned home Monday, and Monday evening I went back to school. On thanksgiving day, how many went to church? Our teacher went with us and we all marched to church, and that evening we had holiday. A little cousin was there and we went to a friend's and played all the evening and had lots of fun, and next morning we went back to school. This morning when I got to school my fingers were nearly frozen, and they are stiff now. Isadore Miller, Ora Bennett, Rudolph Bollier, Lawrence Neff and several others whose names I have forgotten, I would like to have come again.
SETH BRADY, Jewett, Leon Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will write a letter to the dear old News, as sister is writing. I go to school every day and I study fourth reader, geography, arithmetic and spelling. We have a real good teacher and he is kind to me. I have two pets, a little colt and a calf. I had two calves, and I could work them to my little wagon and let my little sister and brother ride, but the train killed one of them. I liked to have cried, it made me feel so bad. I have two sisters and two brothers. My age is ten years. I want to join the Sam Houston memorial fund. There are fifty scholars in our room. My deskmate's name is Manning Henderson. I do love to go to school, and hate to hear anybody say they dislike to go, for I think all that have a chance ought to try to get an education.
TOMMY CAMPBELL, Fincastle, Henderson Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: Here I come, seeking admittance, after about eight months' absence. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much. I only wish I could write one as interesting as some of the other cousins do. Perhaps I can, in the future, if I apply myself and grasp knowledge as readily as I wish to do. I am going to school once more, after about ten months' vacation. Fincastle is a small country village, and we do not have school more than three months in a year. So you see I have very few advantages. Mamma told me the other day if I would study hard and learn fast she would send me off to school later. I guess she meant when brother and sister get their education. They are away attending school now. She can't let us all go at once. I enjoy reading the letters from the boys describing their hunting expeditions. I like to hunt, but seldom kill anything but squirrels and birds. My sister went squirrel hunting last Saturday with a number of her friends. They killed only two squirrels. I could have beaten that. Let me tell you where they hunted, and do you wonder at their not killing any game? They hunted in old fields. They were not hunting game, though. I guess they went for pastime. Emma Wilkinson, you and I may be related. My mother was a Wilkinson. Cousin Dora Bennett, you have my heartfelt sympathy in your affliction. Mr. Big Hat, I think "The Sam Houston Memorial Stone Fund" will be a grand enterprise. I am going to-day to collect some money for it, and I am going to send you some for myself, but want to wait to see how much I can get from my friends and schoolmates. My sister has a small bouquet of evergreens plucked from Gen. Sam Houston's grave by a young gentleman friend of hers. We have his (Sam Houston's) picture hanging in our parlor. Mr. Big Hat, you seem to be very fond of descriptions. If you were going to school and had to study descriptions like I do, I do not believe you would like them so well. Cousins, how many of you have Mr. Big Hat's photo? When I wrote the other time I asked him for one, and I received it before my letter came out. Now I have it in an album and am very proud of it. Christmas will soon be here. I wonder if Santa Claus will visit all the cousins and Mr. Big Hat.
AMERICA McCOLLUM, Trinity Mills, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Here I am again, knocking for admission. I expect all of the cousins have forgotten me, it has been so long since I wrote last. I think the Corner is improving so fast. I am going to school now. I like to go very much. I think that is a nice suggestion that Mr. Big Hat has made for a "Sam Houston Memorial Fund" for us little men and women. I intend to do all I can for the fund. Miss Big Bonnet, you write again. I love to read your letters. If I were you I would tease Mr. Big Hat to let me write often. I have neither brother nor sister. Cousins, here it is nearly Christmas. What are you going to do? I guess I will sit around the fire. I wonder what has become of Sallie Amack. She and I used to correspond. And also Maggie McPherson. I tell you, girls, we have got to hurry up. The sleepy-headed boys, as some say, are about to get ahead of us. I can't write well myself, but there are others who can write nice letters. I will ask a question: When and by whom was Rhode Island settled?
ROBERT GREY TABOR, JR., Bryan, Brazos Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins. Here comes another little boy to ask admittance to your Cozy Corner. I go to school and am in the fourth grade. I study reading, spelling, arithmetic, geography, language and Texas history. I have a Shetland pony, three horses, two nanny goats, two shepherd dogs and one cat. I am 9 years old. This is my first letter to the Cozy Corner.
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