August 23, 1896
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing a letter to this department, first give your full name, postoffice and state. Use pen and ink, on smooth paper, not larger than note size. Write only on one side of the paper and do not sew, paste or pin the sheets together. These rules must be observed to insure publication.
BESSIE SMITH, Waco, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have been a silent reader of the Cozy Corner for a long time and now I want to become one of the little members of your band. I want to know how much you charge to enter the Cozy Corner. I hope to receive an answer soon.
MAMIE INGRAM, Cedar Creek, Bastrop Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and cousins! Here comes another cousin to join your interesting circle. Mr. Big Hat, you look so cute in a dress. How many of the cousins like to work in the field? I don't like it at all. I have two sisters and two brothers. Both of my brothers are older than I am. Some of the cousins write about their pets, but I haven't any. My youngest sister is 10 years old. Mr. Big Hat, come down and I will give you and Peggy some peaches, if Peggy will promise me he won't eat my letters up when he gets back.
NORMA GRACE CHATHAM, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I would like to join your club. Have you room in your circle for another little girl? I have been in Galveston only a few months. I think it is a beautiful city. I like to go in bathing very much. I have no pets, but one baby brother 18 months old.
BOXIE BENNETT, Pottsboro, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another 11-year-old girl to join your happy band. This is my first attempt to write to The News. School will begin here in September. Eugene Whitley, come again. Miss Big Bonnet, you look very pretty. Roxie Horton, I think you write very interesting letters. Come again. I hope Mr. Big Hat will feed Peggy good before this reaches there. Papa takes The News and I enjoy reading the cousins' letters. Success to The News.
MINNIE WHITAKER, Panter, Hood Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I live ten miles southwest of Granbury in the black jack belt between Squaw and Paluxy creeks. My papa is a farmer. We have a nice vineyard and a good orchard. Crops are very short here. I am 11 years old. I have no sisters. I have one brother, 8 years old. We enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much. I hope the little cousins will accept me as a member of the Cozy Corner.
CHARLIE WINSTEAD, Sherman, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: Since I wrote to you last, I have had a birthday and a party. My grandma bought me two white rabbits last summer, and this summer, I have six such pretty little ones. My grandpa has a park; it is called "Batsell's park," and he has about twenty deer in it, besides seven little ones with spots on them. And, grandpa has a pair of peafowls. They have two little ones that look just like little turkeys. One of them hopped into the slop. It did it two times and grandpa had to get it out. The Sherman Register is going to give a bicycle to the most popular little girl in the city, and I think and hope my little cousins, Annie Batsell, will get it. My mother says grandpa has been taking The News ever since she could remember. I saw the cloud, the evening of the cyclone, and have been over the track several times. Mr. Big Hat, my little brother says tell you that he "tan took bikets and till boosters." He means "cook biscuits and kill mother's little chickens." I could write you more, but will ask you one question and quit: Can I have your little sister, Miss Big Bonnet, for my sweetheart?
PET KELLEY, Paris, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: After a lapse of a few weeks, I again make my appearance, partly because I can't stay away, and partly, because I wish to give my views on Edwin McWilliams' question concerning "the most valuable thing to mankind." Well, I think we could do very little in this world were it not for the animal kingdom. The People's cyclopedia tells us that to man himself, animals stand in a variety for food, clothing, labor, etc.; others are hurtful as destroyers of vegetation, as vermin, and beasts of prey, or by their poisons. The farmer can do very little without the horse or cow, and he is dependent on his sheep for their wool, almost to the same extent as he is on many other animals for their flesh and hides. We might say that money is a very important thing to man, including nearly all races, but were it not for the various services of the domestic animals of the bones, flesh and skins of others more fierce and wild, money would be of little use to us. Even without money, what is made in one country could be exchanged for other products raised in foreign countries -- the method people adopted hundreds of years ago, before such a thing as coin was known. Cousins, if you will read "A Lesson for Tom," published in the Little Men and Women department of May 3, you will, I believe, nearly all agree with me, that without the help of animals, man would be in great necessity of a machine capable of furnishing labor, food and warmth. Agnes Weatherred, we had no "booming of cannon or ringing of bells" here on the much celebrated Fourth, and no picnics either, that I heard of. How many of the cousins try to be independent on that day? I did this year and didn't get any help with anything I set out to do, although I forgot my determination two or three times. Agnes, Hattie Simmons and you are two of our foremost leaders now. Your last letters were very good, and if all the cousins would be as careful and correct in observing every line that we, as well as others, write (like you seem to do) my opinion is that our page would very soon be, not only the brightest of the whole News, but would be far superior to any other page of any of the southern papers. Then, it would be read by the older people, who participate so greatly in politics and the like, and its praises would be sung far and near, and perhaps, forever, or, at least as long as the paper lasts. How many of the cousins read the Woman's Century and all the continued stories published in this paper? I do, and miss the stories so much when there are none in it. May Agnes Keill's "Trip to California" was very interesting, as was "Lights and Shadows in Southern Life," by Eunice White. I think it is every southern person's duty to read all they can about their "notorious south" and never let a single piece escape their reading it. We should not be selfish toward our northern cousins, though, but should feel highly honored by their observations of our paper and welcome them among its writers. Doubtless, it is very nice up there in the winter when the sleet and snow falls so successively, and the cold wind finds its way around the house corners and the traveler's or "venturer-out-of-doors' " face is bitten by it as it whizzes by. Yes, I think I would enjoy this very much, but after all, would prefer our sunny south, with its mild climate and the many sunshiny days that are not known in the north. Mr. Big Hat, I saw a picture of Helen Keller in a back-number of Munsey's magazine. By what I could tell, I think she must be a brunette, and if the picture is at all like her, probably, she is a very pretty girl. I would like to see a picture of Laura Bridgeman, too, and suppose all the other cousins would. I don't think Mr. Big Hat told us the age of the former, so I will tell you what the magazine said. She was 14 years old when the piece was written, but as that was published nearly a year ago, she is, by this time, about 15. Fisher Rawlins, I never heard of a tree being as high as your New South Wales blue gum, but the highest tree in the United States is 275 feet in height, 106 feet in circumference, and is in Tulare county, Cal. Ruby Bailey, I was very glad to see a letter from you; write again. Lawrence Fountain, Patsey Goodenough, Charles Allen, Joe Dawson, Hattie Friend, Mary West, Nellie Fallon and Nora Wilson, please accept my invitation to "write again," too. Katie Norton and Ray Hill, have you disappeared entirely, or are you letting your timidity get the better of you? It will be quite disappointing to us all if either is true. Mr. Big Hat, tell that generous Peg to send in another letter and tell us more about what we must not write if we wish to make our letters interesting.
FRANKIE ASSITER, Blum, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is a bright sunny morning, so I thought I would come in and chat with you all a little while; that is, if I can use my persuasive powers to Peggy's disadvantage. I have read some of the cousins' letters, but before I finished reading them all, I concluded to screw up enough courage to write, too. I enjoyed reading Edwin M. Williams' letter; it was real entertaining. Lillian Love, your letter was interesting, too. Cousin Ludie Sanders, accept my best wishes with the good fortune you so richly deserved. I notice the magnetic influence of the Cozy Corner reached far away across the ocean, and also to Central America. We also hear from a cousin from South America. He should write and tell us more about the great continent upon which he lives. Cousins, I, too, am a firm believer in education. A girl or a boy who has a good education will go farther in making a success in life than those who have not an education. We are never too old to learn, as the old adage goes, and I suppose it can be applied in another way, that is, we are never too young to learn. Cousins, let us try to make our page more interesting every week. The letters will become brighter and brighter, and if we keep on as we have started, we will soon have a memorial stone that is fit to mark the last resting place of our noble Sam Houston by the united efforts of our Cozy Corner workers. J. G. Locke, if the poetry you composed on the Alamo is as good as your letter, it is very nice indeed. Wallpapur A. Shinplaster, I agree with you upon having a day set for the cousins to meet at State Fair. Lelia DuBose, come again; also Genevieve Myrdock. I would be glad to have our famous bareback buzzard rider make his appearance again, if he has got out of that sack. If Peggy gets this, I hope it will be his last hour, and not a very peaceful one, either.
LUDIE CARTWRIGHT, Terrell, Kaufman Co., Tex. - Mr. Big Hat: As I have not written in some time, I will write this evening. My uncle's family have gone on a trip through western Texas to the plains. From Gainesville, they will go by private conveyances, camping out at night. There are seventeen in the party, and from what they write, they are enjoying the trip very much. My uncle has a little girl just about my age, and as she lives next door to us, we spend a good deal of time together, so you may know I miss her very much while she is gone. She has written to you twice. I have been taking music lessons all summer from my sister. During school, I took from one of the teachers at the public school. I like to read, and have read a good deal this summer. I always want to see the Sunday News just as soon as it comes. I send 10 cents for the Sam Houston monument.
BEULAH LOCKHART, Cale, Indian Territory > Bryan Co., Okla. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: As to-day is Sunday, and I am lonesome, I thought I would write. Ah! listen. Seems as if I hear some of the cousins say, "Here comes Beulah Lockhart again from the Indian Territory." School is out now. It is dry here. We have lived in the territory seven years and never have seen it as dry as this year. Cousins, there have been three little cyclones in Cale the last three years, and the schoolhouse has been torn up every time. The last one that came through did more damage than the other two. I haven't seen many full-blooded Indians since I have been here. I used to be afraid to lie down at night when I first came, but I'm not a bit afraid now. When I first wrote to The News, there wasn't but a few writing to it. It has improved lots. I will ask a question: In what year was President Lincoln elected? I hear Peggy coming to get this letter. Mr. Big Hat, do you keep all of the old letters that the cousins write, or do you give them to Peggy? I am 12 years old. Success to The News.
CARLISLE RUSSELL, Aubrey, Denton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I desire to become a member of your most happy band of cousins. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much and think they are highly entertaining and instructive. I think the older people should encourage us younger ones more to participate in the instructive and profitable art of letter writing. Perhaps some boy or girl has been reading the dear old News for years, but has never yet written to the Cozy Corner. They have been permitting these grand and golden opportunities to glide forever from them. Perhaps in after years, when they have grown up to manhood and womanhood, they will be heard to say: "If I had improved the opportunities afforded me while young, I would be a different man or woman." Let us go to work with zeal and zest and make the Cozy Corner the brightest part of the paper. May the magnetism of the Cozy Corner spread; may it not be confined to the United States, nay, North America alone, but may it spread from continent to continent and from pole to pole, and may it not cease until there shall not be a boy or girl in this broad land who shall not be a member of the band of cousins. I see some of the cousins are writing on the subject of education. There can not be a grander theme to engross the attention of all classes than that of education. From time immemorial, intellectual endowments have been drowned with bays of honor. Men have worshipped at the shrine of intellect with an almost eastern idolatry. Men of more than an average endowment of intellect have been regarded as superior beings. The multitudes have looked upon them with wonder. With reverent hands, the world at large has crowned intellect with its richest honors. Its pathway has been strewn with flowers; its brow has worn the loftiest plume; it has held the mightiest scepter of power and sat upon the proudest throne. Miss Nellie Fallon, your letter was highly entertaining. Come again and tell us Texas cousins something of your land of milk and honey (?) Miss Luta Jones, if your mental tastes are centered upon art, if I were you, I would pursue the study of art at all hazards. I think there wouldn't be anything unwomanly in your becoming an artist. J. H. Threlkeld, I think if it's possible for Peggy to be choked on long names, the peculiarity of yours and your cat's will certainly choke him. I will ask a question: What battle was fought in the United States after the treaty of peace was signed? Any one of the cousins desiring to know my age may know by multiplying 100 by 14, adding 5680, subtracting 2167 and extracting the cube root of the remainder. I solicit correspondence with the cousins. Success to Mr. Big Hat and the cousins!
MARTHA McDERMOTT, Goldthwaite, Mills Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been a silent admirer of the Cozy Corner for a long time, but I have never had courage to write before. Goldthwaite is 312 miles from Galveston. It is situated on the west branch of the Santa Fe railroad from Temple. It is mainly supported by numerous fertile farms, but its surrounding country is not very fertile. I like to read all the cousins' letters, as most of them are interesting. I think Mr. Big Hat's plan of writing essays instead of taking up some particular subject, a good one, as there is nothing more beneficial than such exercise. How many of the cousins like music? I think there is nothing so nice as music. I have been taking music for three years, and my teacher says I played very nice and kept good time. We have a nice piano to practice on, and we sure need a good one, as there are four of us children, and some one of us is playing on it all the time. I am beginning to think about school now, as our school begins in September. I think there is nothing like having a good education. One with a good education can get along in the world a great deal better than one who hasn't any. Some of the cousins said they did not like dancing. Well, cousins, I do not agree with you. I like dancing, although I can not dance myself. I think it adds greatly to ones enjoyment, and not only that, but it is good exercise. We went to a picnic on the Fourth of July. We started from home at 5 o'clock and arrived at the picnic grounds at 2:30 o'clock. The first thing we got was an ice-cold drink of lemonade to quench our thirst. After dinner was over, the candidates spoke for two hours and a half. The band then played some very nice music. After the band stopped playing, the band commenced, and I never saw so much dancing in all my life. They danced until supper-time, and after it was over, they began to dance again, but just about that time, it commenced thundering and lightning, and all that stayed that late, departed after having a very nice time. Mamma has been taking The News for two years and we all think it is a very nice paper.
JANETTE LAWSON, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and cousins. Have you room for another girl in your happy band? I am 14 years old and am in the seventh grade. I live in a beautiful suburban town of about 5000 inhabitants, where the air is fresh and pure and the breeze makes the long summer days most enjoyable. I was born in Chicago and have been across lake Michigan several times -- once on an excursion on a very large steamer. One of the workmen fell overboard, which frightened me half to death. Are most of the cousins fond of reading? I know they must be, from the very interesting letters I often read. How many of you have read "The Lady of the Lake?" I have. It is splendid. I have also read "Macaria." I know most of the southern cousins would like it, as it is especially loyal to the confederates. I like it very much myself. The young editor who devoted his pen to the service of helping raise a fund for the monument of the great, illustrious Gen. Sam Houston is my idea of a modern Macaria. I am very fond of reading about our great hero, how he fought and died to save his beloved country. How sad it is to think he could not live to share the reward for his heroic deeds! I love Texas, the grand Lone Star state of our union, and would not be ashamed if I were a native of its soil. Genevieve Myrdoch, our friend, the young gentleman with the entertaining long name, did well in calling you a genius, for if you were of the masculine gender, you would certainly be one. But, I will take my departure, wishing you a pleasant good afternoon. Success to The News!
EURETTA BECKMAN, Melissa, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Many times have I thought of paying you a short visit, but have never had time. I have just gotten over a spell of sickness. I agree with Genevieve Myrdock about mentioning Peggy in every letter, but I think it was very wise in Mr. Big Hat to take some precaution, to make the cousins try harder to write interesting letters. I have never seen but one letter from this station, and that was from Velma Scott. She writes such nice, interesting letters that I wish she would write oftener. She and I go to the same school. I live about a mile and a half from Melissa in the section house. I have a brother and sister younger than myself. I think it a very good plan to have a summer school. I would like to be a member, but I don't know whether I can keep up or not, as we only get the Sunday paper. Roxie Horton, I think that is a real sweet sonnet you wrote about Miss Big Bonnet. Velma Scott, a man is considered on the downward path of life at the age of 50 years. Waldemar Schrader, it has been 120 years since we adopted the declaration of independence. I will ask a question: Who commanded the largest army that ever was on the battlefield, and how large was the army? Inclosed please find 10 cents for the Sam Houston memorial stone fund.
[Mr. Big Hat's
ETHEL TYLER, Gainesville, Cooke Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am 12 years old and a great admirer of your corner, but this is my first attempt to write to you. I have not seen many letters from here, and am afraid that our city is not well represented in the Cozy Corner. I am very much interested in the Sam Houston memorial stone fund and enclose 75 cents for it. I think all we Texans have a just cause to be proud of our Lone Star state, and am sure that all love and honor the memory of our brave and noble patriot, Sam Houston. I suppose most of the cousins know of Congressman Bailey. We live near him, and are great friends. I have been having a lovely time this vacation and will be both sorry and glad when school begins. We have splendid schools here. I have a wheel and enjoy riding it very much. My little brother had a pony, and last summer, he and two other little boys were racing, when the horses ran together and the boys were thrown. One was killed and my little brother received two severe wounds on his head.
ADOLPH DREYER, Shiner, Lavaca Co., Tex. -- Dear department: As I have not written to the department for a few months, I will seat myself to chat a while with you all. I do not know whether my last letter was in print or not, for we did not receive that paper in which it should have been printed, but I suppose it was. I admired Peggy's letter very much, and hope she will soon write again. Joe Farmer, Joe Dawson, Edwin McWilliams and Ludie Sanders write excellent and interesting letters. It has been very dry during the last three months in this part of the state, but about three weeks ago, the drouth was broken. Heavy rains fell over the whole country, which did a great deal of good to the cotton, but it was too late for the corn, although most of the farmers in this neighborhood will make enough corn for their own use. The first cotton crop will not be exceeding, but the farmers are expecting to make a large fall crop of cotton in all. There was an exhibition at our school, and I can say that it was a grand affair. My papa is building rent houses on our farm at the Guadalupe river. We will have eighteen rent houses next year, all of which cultivate about sixty-five acres. My papa and I went fishing to the Guadalupe river, but did not catch a thing, except two turtles. Mr. Big Hat, I received your photograph, and I am very thankful for it. I will ask some questions: How many creeks in the United States bear the name of the Rhine? How many square miles does the Mississippi and its tributaries drain? Where are the most extensive protective river works in Europe? Mr. Big Hat, I inclose 5 cents for the Sam Houston fund. I would like to correspond with some of the older cousins.
JONIE JONES, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Who shall I address this to? Peggy, I suppose, for I am afraid she will think a girl with a name like mine has no business here. Have mercy, Peggy! How many Dallas cousins have we? Very few, judging from the number of letters from here. I had quite an experience Sunday. Six girls (myself included) went driving in one carriage. We ran a race with another rig and won, but when the girl who owns the carriage took me home, she could not go herself, for one of the wheels were locked. Two kind gentlemen, who were passing, helped us, so that we finally got it fixed and she got home all right. Dora Murchison, I have a few friends in Los Angeles. I had a chum whose name was Juanita, but she left here, and I watch and wait for a letter. She is 18, I am 17. The cornerstone of the confederate monument has been laid, and no one will be more glad than I, for the monument, as it will be an attraction to this city. And perhaps, if some boys, and girls, too, will study it, they will be more patriotic. I actually saw a girl, Texas born and bred, who did not move when the band played "'Dixie." My pulses thrill and I tremble with delight when I hear it, and it is all I can do to contain myself and not jump up and down and yell. Rosa Hauser, of Pittsburg, is right about all who love Texas. They should contribute at least 5 cents for the Sam Houston fund. I sent that amount. My financial tide is on the ebb right now, but oh! when I am more flush!
TREIVA VAUGHAN, Farr, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Will you and the cousins admit a stranger to your Cozy Corner? I have long been a silent admirer of your pleasant band, but have never had the courage to write before. But, when I saw the nice letters in last week's paper, I could resist no longer. Wasn't Nellie Fallon's letter just as nice as it could be? I enjoyed it so much. Jacob Hugley Threlkeld, it is hard to believe that one so young could write such a nice letter. And, such a queer name as you have! Come again, please, for I enjoyed reading your letter so much. Wasn't that a nice idea of Cousin Lantie's, and also of Cousin Laurita's? Mr. Big Hat, I will vote for the rose. I think it is the king of flowers. And now comes my description of Cousin Herbert Taylor and Cousin Ludie Sanders: I think Cousin Herbert is about 5 feet 5 inches and weighs about 115 pounds and he has merry blue eyes, auburn hair and is fair complexioned. He is very mischievous and delights in teasing his brothers and sisters, if he has any, but he is very kind-hearted. Cousin Ludie is about 5 feet 6 inches and weighs about 110 pounds, and has black hair, black eyes and is very dark complexioned. She has quiet, refined manners and is good-natured, but when angry, she stands erect and seems taller than she really is and her black eyes flash. Cousin Herbert and Cousin Ludie, please forgive me if I have made a mistake. Well, I know Mr. Big Hat and the cousins are tired of me, but you may all look for me again, for this is not the last time I am going to write. My age is 15, and I would like to correspond with some cousin about that age.
AUDREY HOPE, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Amid the extreme heat of this sultry day, comes a Dallas girl asking admission to your very entertaining, as well as beneficial, literary circle. Although not of much note as a prophetess, I feel assured I can safely predict a bright career for several of the correspondents to our corner, particularly Herbert Taylor, Ludie Sanders, Joe Farmer and Genevieve Murdock, to whose fertile intellects and fluent pens our page is much indebted for the sparkling wit and intellectuality which so frequently graces its spacious columns. Having always lived in the heart of the city and traveled very little, I have met with few adventures, the greatest of which I would blush to relate after Herbert Taylor's now celebrated air excursions on the backs of monstrous "birds of prey." I am very fond of literature and music, and never tire of Whittier's and Longfellow's poems, the latter's "Excelsior" being a particular favorite of mine. I heartily approve of Lantie Blum's plan and would suggest the laurel, emblematic of glory, the reward of industry and perseverance, two sterling characteristics of many of our grand old heroes and the stepping-stones that lead to eminence. In regard to the question asked by the cousin, whose aspirations are centered in art, I would think it would be more preferable to earn the amount necessary, for certainly, all honest work is honorable and, to my perception, much less humiliating than the plan which she, at present, contemplates.
FRANK EZELL, Kosse, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have just finished reading the cousins' nice letters, and [so], I thought I would write one. As this is my first attempt, I will try not to tire you. We are needing rain very badly. It looks as if it might rain to-day, and I do hope it will. There has been a show here -- a troop of cowboys. I went and enjoyed it very much. Our school will start in about three weeks. I don't know whether to be glad or sorry. Of course, I like to go to school, but, like all boys, I like to play, too. We are to have a new superintendent this term. Our old teacher is to leave, and, of course, we hate to give him up. I am in the seventh grade this year. We have a pet parrot, and she can talk real well. She calls the chickens and dogs. How many of the cousins have a bicycle? I sure wish I had one and could ride. I have a nice violin, but have not learned to play yet. I can play on the piano. I am very fond of music. I am 13 years old.
VADA MASON, Granbury, Hood Co., Tex. -- Miss Big Bonnet: If you won't let Mr. Big Hat give my letter to Peggy, I will send him some grass to eat, which grew by our door step and reaches to the floor. Kellie Baker, what made you quit writing? Was it because Peggy ate your letter? Don't mind that. He ate one of mine, but I am going to write again. Mrs. Porter came to our house yesterday from Emma. Lily and I went to an old house in the field. We found some bottles and threw them on top of the house. Some of them would break. When they didn't break, all of us ran after the same bottle, and I cut my foot. We had a little rain to-day. We need rain badly. I will ask a question: How many books are there in the Bible?
[Mr. Big Hat's
JODIE GRIMES, Jefferson, Marion Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am a little boy 5 years old. I love to hear my mamma and sister Annie read the page for little folks. I have been begging my mamma for a long time to write a letter for me, and to-day, I begged so hard, she consented to do it. My sister wrote several letters, but lately, she has not written. She says she is going to write again soon. If I see this in print, I'll be so glad.
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