May 24, 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.
ERNEST WEDEMEYER, Belton, Bell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Some time ago one of the cousins requested me to write about the Alamo. I will now try to do so. After reading the description of the Alamo in Bancroft's and in Brown's History of Texas I find it impossible to form a satisfactory picture of anything except the old chapel. The surrounding walls have long since been removed. The convent, barracks and prison have been so much changed and are now used for such sundry purposes that I should have to be on the ground, map in hand, and do considerable thinking to get all clear in my own mind, much less make it plain to any one else. When in the Alamo you must almost forget to take close notice of the building, because your mind is busy in thinking of Travis, Crockett, Bowie, Bonham and their brave comrades, who there fought and died for our glorious Texas. The walls of the old church are of "hewn stone, four feet thick and twenty-two and a half feet high. It had never been completed and was roofless, but was made serviceable as a magazine and for soldiers' quarters." At the entrance are four curiously carved pillars, also four vacant niches, designed, I suppose, for statues of some of their saints. In the arch over the door there is also some carved work and a monogram, which I could not make out. The building is in the form of a cross. On each side there are cells arched over with solid masonry. Mrs. Dickinson was in one of these rooms during the storming. "It was originally in one story, but had upper windows, under which platforms were erected for mounting cannon in those openings." The windows are all very small. The building was at one time used as a quartermaster's depot, when the walls were repaired and the whole roofed in. I hope the cousins will turn to their Texas history and read again the siege, fall and massacre of the Alamo, and whenever they have a chance will go and see the structure for themselves. I will not say any more about the Alamo because I am afraid my letter would be too long. Mr. Big Hat, we are so glad that the memorial stone is almost assured. A generous friend of this town sent us $1 for the fund. He said he heartily approved the object, and all the more because it is a children's undertaking. The thought that our letters are read by such men (I wish he had not forbidden us to give his name) ought to stimulate us to greater efforts. You will find inclosed a money order for $2.35. Mr. Big Hat, last time you let the types run away with us to Bryan. Please send us back home. We still live in Belton.
JODIE T. McGEE, Anson, Jones Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: For some time I have been wanting to send in my little "mite" for Gen. Sam Houston's memorial stone. For fear I am entirely too late, I send 10 cents forthwith, which I am glad to be able to send. I am 12 years old. I am one of the cousins who studied Texas topography and received a diploma. I think a great deal of Mr. Big Hat and cousins, and venerate the memory of Gen. Sam Houston.
BENNIE RUSSELL, Curtis, Eastland Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you publish a 6-year-old boy's letter? Mamma and papa have gone off on a visit. My sister cooks for the work hands. I help her with the dishes. Mr. Big Hat, I send you a small bunch of flowers to pin on your coat. Charlie Winstead, Palmer Cox wrote the Brownies. Who invented the first passenger train? Inclosed you will find 25 cents for the Houston stone. A wagon ran over my foot the other day.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, Alvin, Brazoria Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a little girl asking admittance among the other happy cousins. Now, girls, don't shy off; I am not a boy, if I have got a name like one. Hurrah for you, Ludie Sanders! You are the kind to make the Cozy Corner interesting. I believe in girls working in the field if necessary. Now, girls, I pick strawberries. How would you like that? We have a large strawberry patch and ship berries every day. Oh, how I like to live in the sunny south, where there is no snow and sleet, where the flowers bloom in the winter-time, and where the soft south wind blows off the beautiful gulf! Cousins, I live twenty-five miles from Galveston, the beautiful city, where the waves dash upon the beach, where the flowers bloom the whole year round, and where the big ships come in every day. Goodness alive! how the girls and boys are working for Gen. Sam Houston's memorial stone -- the great hero of Texas! Hurrah for Mr. Big Hat and cousins! They can't be beat. I send 25 cents for the stone. Well, girls, wake up. The boys are getting ahead of us. It is getting lazy-time and the girls are under trees reading and dreaming the lovely days through, and the boys are fishing and hunting on the green creeks. Fanny Kirk, come again. Your letters are interesting. I guess Cousin Herbert has fallen into the gulf or broken his neck by a fall from the buzzard's back on a chimney flue. Come again, Mr. Herbert; your letters are splendid. Ludie, I am like you about striving to get an education. I think all should try to improve every minute. My age is 14.
JOHN E. YORK, Kerby, Hill Co., Tex. -- Cousins, imagine a glorious spring morning, with the golden sunshine casting its life-giving radiance over hillside and dell, converting dewdrops into diamonds and causing all creation to burst forth in one simultaneous and melodious song of praise! Imagine the prairie dotted with the beautiful Texas plumes, nodding their scarlet heads in happy greeting to the busy honey bee, as it flits from flower to flower in search of nectar! Imagine the cool zephyr-like breath of the perfume-laden south wind caressing your cheeks and filling your nostrils with the aroma of ten thousand kinds of flowers! Imagine the silver-scaled trout playing at your feet in a rippling brook, fed by crystal springs! Such was the time and place I chose for my day's fishing. There, free from all the cares, strife and deceptions of humanity, communing with nature in all her majesty, lost in the sublime influence of the marvelous, as Morpheus gently entwines my weary soul in his embrace, is it any wonder that I should accept his invitation to visit dreamland? Is it any wonder that my dreams were gladdened by visions of water sprites and fairies, playing and dancing to the most beautiful of music? Oh, that it might last forever! But I awoke! Awoke to find a huge mud turtle making off with my fish bait -- awoke to find the ants had eaten my dinner up, and there in my hat, wrapped in peaceful slumber, was -- a horrid snake!
AURELIA GRAY, Bazette, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As the editor was kind enough to print my first letter I will write again. My home is on a farm in a beautiful prairie country, fifteen miles northeast of Corsicana and about five miles west of the Trinity river. We lived in Dallas before coming here. This is a beautiful place in the spring time and early summer. To the westward as far as the eye can reach, the open country spreads away in gentle undulations, thickly dotted with houses, surrounded by fertile farms, with here and there, a pasture covered with waving grass and decked with flowers of every shape and hue. In the direction of the rising sun looms the dense forest which covers with a pall of living green the country to the east, and along the western margin, of which meanders the placid and chrystal Trinity. I was one of a small party that went to the river fishing last week. We were not so fortunate as to secure many fish, but all had an enjoyable time. I love to fish, but, like most other girls, I can't bait my hook. I have been attending school since last November until quite recently. Our school will soon close and I will be truly sorry, for we have a most excellent teacher. I enclose 10 cents for the memorial fund and will close by asking the cousins who write from this county, a question: For whom was the county of Navarro and the city of Corsicana named?
CORA CLEVELAND, Kimball, Bosque Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have just finished reading The News, and will write once more. I have three brothers and three sisters. One of my brothers is at Galveston, going to the medical college. He will be at home soon. I am what they call a "small girl." I am 13 years old and only weight 150 pounds! I will describe my home next time. I will ask you a question: Who was it that said, "I'd rather measure deer tracks than tape?" I enclose 10 cents for the Houston memorial stone fund.
LUDD WADE, Equestria, Johnson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little boy to join the Cozy Corner. I am 9 years old. I have been going to school, but school closed the last of March. My papa is a farmer and I help him in the field. We have a great many birds around the house, and they are quite gentle. A mocking bird has built her nest on the wagon. We have two wagons and will not use that one until she hatches and raises her little ones. We have two marten houses and the martens have built nests in both. We have a bird concert every morning. We have a great many wild flowers and they look very pretty. I enclose 2 cents for the Sam Houston memorial stone.
ELLEN E. STRODER, Re, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the letters a long time so I thought I would like to write. I am not going to school now. Our school was out March 18. My brother was our teacher. I was so sorry when school was out. My chum (Kate Thomas) is going to stay awhile with me next week, and we will have a fine time gathering dewberries. There are so many this year. I spent the week with my sister last week and had a pleasant time. My brother is in Denton going to school. We have about seven acres in white ribbon cane. We have fine times in the fall, eating cane. I wish you could be here and help us eat it. I will ask some questions: What was the cause of the war between the north and the south? What was Gov. Roberts' policy? When and where did Gen. Houston die?
TRUDIE WILSON, Smithville, Bastrop Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As my other letter was in print, I will write again. I am always glad when Sunday comes, so I can get to read the letters. I haven't seen a letter yet from Smithville, or any place near here. As all the cousins tell about their town, I will, too. Its population is mostly railroad people. We came here from Taylor about a year ago. Papa is the yardmaster here. We live right near the railroad and papa lets us ride on the engine nearly every day. I have an aunt and uncle living here and they have three children. I go over there nearly every evening. Most all of the schools are out, but ours doesn't let out till June 9.
EDITH L. HYNES, Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois; Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am rather timid about writing to the Cozy Corner, as I am a little northern girl. Having read for a long time the letters of various members of the Cozy Corner, I wondered why I could not join it. I would like to correspond with Cousin Bay Hill. In case of correspondence, I will give my address, which is 1019 Vine street. I am 10 years old and go to a convent in this city. My papa has taken The News for ever so long, and I have taken great interest in the Cozy Corner.
COLE JACKSON, Albany, Shackelford Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you permit me to join your happy band, or is there too many letters waiting to be printed? If so, just let Peggy get fat on mine. I am a boy 13 years old, and I have been studying seven books at school. School was out the 17th of April, and I was very sorry when it was out. The teacher was very kind to us all. I have been driving three horses to a harrow for two days. Mr. Big Hat, I send 15 cents for Gen. Sam Houston's monument.
GRACE and ANNIE DUNHAM GREENWOOD, Stoneham, Grimes Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Inclosed please find 50 cents, our contribution to the Sam Houston memorial fund. Papa had two uncles in the battle of San Jacinto and mamma had one that belonged to the "Piven [Seven] Sisters" company and one who drew a black bean in that fearful draw for life or death. The privilege of erecting a monument to the memory of the distinguished statesman should be a great pleasure to the children of Texas. Washington is called the father of his country, and it can be as appropriately said that Houston is the father of Texas. Papa has been a subscriber to The News for years.
BURRIS B. McGEE, Anson, Jones Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and band: Here comes a little boy 11 years old, begging leave to join your merry band of cousins. I thought I would write to you and send my free-will offering of 10 cents for the Sam Houston memorial fund. I have not studied Teas history, but I like the character of Gen. Sam Houston, and look upon him as the father of the Lone Star state. For fear of poising Peggy with my poisoned ink, I will close, hoping Gen. Houston will soon have a mark of gratitude from the children of Texas.
MAXIE McGREGOR, Princeton, Caldwell Co., Kentucky -- Mr. Big Hat: I admired Peggy's ears very much, and I think if she would fill them with letters she could hide a good many. When you go to feed Peggy feed her on Texas letters, because you have more of them. I discovered that here is a difference in the way Texans and Kentuckians ride from the position Mr. Big Hat rides on Peggy. My little brother admires Peggy very much. He begs me to show him her picture. I will endeavor to tell you something about my town and country. It is an inland town and has a population of about 3000. It has two railroads in successful operation. Princeton has ten churches, two mills and a number of dry goods stores and groceries and two fine schools. Princeton has been an educational center for the last forty years. It has one of the finest springs in western Kentucky. The spring is situated in the center of the town and affords water for the town and surrounding country. It flows in a southeasterly direction. Caldwell county contains some of as good land as can be found in the state and some thin land, which produces very well when seasonable. Last year was a year of plenty and nothing was a failure except blackberries. We had a large fire here. Two large establishments in the business portion of the town were burned. The owners sustained quite a loss. The origin of the fire is unknown. We had quite a cold wave here last week. We hope Texas did not suffer from the storm as it has on previous occasions. I will ask some questions: Whose sons in the Bible wore bonnets? What feminine name occurs only once in the Old Testament? What family first celebrated Thanksgiving on the shores of the new continent? Our school closed with a grand entertainment at the opera-house, which was a success, and every one was pleased that attended. Since I commenced writing, Princeton has sustained a greater loss than above mentioned. One large tinware establishment, a planing mill which lost several thousand dollars worth of lumber and a large tobacco house were lost by fire.
PAULA EVANS, Nocona, Montague Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come again, after an absence of a few weeks. School closed last Friday, and now I am anxious for Mr. Big Hat to open his summer school. My music teacher gave an entertainment on Thursday evening. I played a piece with Pauline Chesnutt and Kittie Mattox, and I was in a cantata. It is very hot and dry here. We need rain very badly. I have not collected anything for the Sam Houston stone this month, but will try to send something next month. Next Sunday, we will have our children's day exercises. Miss Big Bonnet, write to us again. I hope you have y our new dress now, so you can look us in the face. I noticed that one of the cousins gave a description of an egg hunt which she attended. The Ladies' Aid society had one before Easter at our house. We had a jolly time. Sybil Robinson and Hallie Hudson found the golden eggs. come again, Marie Taylor, Myra L. Brown, Bessie Smith, Lexie Patty, Genevieve Myrdoch, Jennie Faulkner, Louise Groce and a good many others I have not time to mention. I saw your letter in The News, Burdah, and was glad you wrote. My aunt from Mexico is coming to see us in a short time. She and her children are in Houston now. I want to see them very much. I hope Peggy will be asleep when Mr. Big Hat reads my letter, for I wouldn't like her to eat it. Jennette Cline, I wish you would write again, and tell us about your Chicago home. It must be cold up there, is it not? Mr. Big Hat, if you will send Peggy to Nocona this summer, I will give her so much fruit that she will not want to eat our letters. As the other cousins ask riddles and questions, I will ask some, too. What is higher and handsomer when the head is off? When is a lady's dress like a chair? What kind of pastry should sleighing parties beware of? I have been reading the "Woman's Century," and I am very much pleased with it. Joe Farmer, I thought your last letter was awfully long. It must have taken you a long time to write it. But I fear my own letter is getting too long, so I must stop and give valuable space to some one who has something more interesting to relate.
EARLY CORNELIUS, Mountain Peak, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Good morning, cousins. Well, just keep your seats. I will not detain you long. I suppose Peggy's monstrous jaws claimed my other letter, as it was not printed, but I hope to be more fortunate this time, for I am going to do my best to please him. A. J. Richardson, I would like to have been with you at the singing at Tyler, for I sure enjoy good music. I will answer some of the cousins' questions. Bessie Milam, I think Boston is sometimes called the Athens of America. Ollie Sprague, De Tontl called himself the Iron Handed. This name was given him because he lost one of his arms and had an artificial one made of iron. I will ask some questions: What officer in the revolutionary war was called Light-Horse Harry? What is the highest city in the world, and why can't eggs be boiled there? What is the smallest republic in the world? What has become of the girl that a poor little harmless mouse had perched up in a chair? I wish she would come again when she gets over her fright. I see one of the girls wanted the boys to tell in what way the girls excelled the boys. I am a poor judge, but if it was left with me to render a decision, I would say it was in talking. Boys, don't you think that is right? I would ask the girls to tell in what way the boys excel, but I don't think they would do us justice. How many of the cousins like to go to school? I do. I think it pleasant, as well as profitable, to learn something that will be needed so much in the future. I am 17 years old and would like to correspond with some of the cousins about my age.
PEARL THOMAS, Henderson, Rusk Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I have been going to school, but it is out now. I am 10 years old. I have two sisters and one brother. I have two pets, a sweet little sister and a large dog. We live five miles west of Henderson. We moved from Crisp, Ellis county, here one year ago. My papa has been taking The News ever since it was called the Dallas Herald. We are all pleased to live in this country. It is all timber and no prairie. There is also much fine fruit and good water. Dewberries and mulberries are getting ripe. Mr. Big Hat, I wish you were here to help me gather them. Why don't Emma Childers and Edward Colvin write again? They are old schoolmates. I enclose 10 cents for the memorial stone. If Peggy gets this letter it won't surprise me. He will be worth a dime then.
RUTH PRESTON, Paris, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl to join your happy band. This is my first attempt to write to The News. I like to live in Paris. I go to school every day that I can and I am in the fifth grade. I will answer some questions: Charley Fleming, Sunday is the strongest day because all the other days are week days. Maudie E. Olins. Lafayette was a great French general and was of great service to the Americans who fought in the revolutionary war. W. M. Kale, the first locomotive was built in Quincy, Mass., in 1826, by Stephens W. Fields. Now I will ask a question: When did the sun stand still a whole day?
NELLY BERRY, Nocona, Montague Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been thinking about writing for quite a while, but I have not had the courage to do so. I am a little girl 12 years of age. I have been going to school. I like to go to school. My school closed with an entertainment. I am in the sixth grade. I take music lessons also and can play right well. I have a little brother 2 years old and I have a pet dog. My papa owns a dry goods store.
CORA MAY HOLLAND, Milburn, McCulloch Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I am a little girl 11 years old. My papa takes The News and I like to read the cousins' letters. My papa is a farmer. We live in Brown county, on the banks of the Colorado river, twenty-one miles from Brownwood. We have lived here five years. I have been going to school at Milburn, but the measles have most broke up the school. I have three brothers and one sister. I can pick 145 pounds of cotton in a day. I can cook. My mamma says I can cook splendidly. I have twelve little pigs, one little calf and five kittens. I have a doll that can go to sleep and turn its head and has beautiful hair. My little sister has a doll, too. My baby brother is 2 years old.
ALBERT C. ADAMS, Hackberry, Lavaca Co., Tex. -- Mother Goose's books, Childs' Fairy Tales, young people's Sunday school papers and numbers of books and journals for little people I have read, but I find none of them so interesting or instructive as the Bible. In it I find the history of this world of ours. I even find the days on which each class of animals was created. How that Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from the garden of Eden. That the people became very sinful and were warned by a good man named Noah to turn from their sins, but would not, and that they were destroyed by a great flood. How that Ham, because he was disrespectful to his father, was turned black. Of the foolish people that tried to build a tower to heaven and the confusion of tongues. Of the wise man Solomon and all his acts and sayings. How that Christ came into this world to save us. Of the wicked king that ordered all the little boy babies killed that Jesus might be killed. The wonderful miracles Christ performed. How he selected his disciples from the lowly. Of his sad death and glorious resurrection, and his numerous commands and promises, especially this one: "Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long on the land," which is the first command with a promise of reward. I am not quite 9 years old. I chop cotton for papa.
WESLEY HENDRYX, Winters, Runnels Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Do you want to hear from a little 11-year-old boy, who goes to school every day and gets his lessons well, and never gets a whipping without he needs it? I will answer one of Carrie Wright's questions. The sewing machine was invented in 1846 by Elias Howe. I will ask a few questions: When and where was the first Bible printed? When was kerosene first used for lighting? What is the name of the highest mountain in the world and what country is it in? This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner and if Peggy gets this it may choke her, and I should not care much, for I know she is a heap of trouble to Mr. Big Hat.
JIM CURINGTON, Glen Rose, Somervell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I will answer Henry McCaghren's questions. The first cotton gin in Texas was built in 1825. The first cotton brought 62 1/2 cents per pound. I will ask the cousins a question: When and where was Jeff Davis captured? Mr. Big Hat aren't you afraid you will fall off Peggy's head? I think you look real nice. Tell Miss Big Bonnet to turn her head around so the cousins can see how she looks.
STELLA BALLARD, Gibtown, Jack Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would write a letter and see [if] Mr. Big Hat would be kind enough to print it, as I never have seen one from this part of the country. I am 12 years old. I go to Gibtown to school. Our school will be out May 15. My papa is a farmer and a reader of The News. He has been taking it for eight years. I like to read the cousins' letters. I have no pets except four little brothers and one little sister. I am the oldest and you may know I have plenty of work to do. If I see my letter in print I will write again and tell all about our town and school.
CLARA LOCK, Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another girl to join your Cozy Corner. I have seen but a few letters from here, and one of them was from Uncle Jessie Q. Lock. He has been begging me to write, but all wrote such interesting letters I was afraid to write for fear it would not be interesting. Grandpa takes the paper and I get to read it. I will ask a question: Who wrote the first piece of music?
FRED LEWIS, Forney, Kaufman Co., Tex.-- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have just been reading the cousins' letters. I read them every Sunday and enjoy them very much. I have been thinking for some time that I would write you a letter. I am a little boy 8 year old. I go to school at the Forney academy, of which my brother is principal. I am in the second grade and study Stickney's second reader. I like it better than any other. There are twenty-four pupils in our room. I live on a big farm and have lots of pets.
ANNIE GILL, Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Here comes another girl wanting to join your band. This is the first time I have ever written to you. Some of the cousins tell about their pets. I haven't any. I am 12 years old. I have been going to school, but school is out. I loved my teacher very much. I would love to correspond with some of the cousins if they will write first. There is to be preaching Sunday and dinner on the grounds. I wish some of the cousins could come to go with me. It will be about a half mile from our house.
ELBERT FROST, Angus, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I saw my last letter in print and I though[t] I would write again. Our school was out the last day of April. The 1st day of May we had a picnic. I wish you and the cousins had been there to help us eat the good dinner. Coming home there came up a rain and a hail storm, but we happened to be in the woods and the hail did not hurt us. I will answer and ask some questions: Fernandy H. Pfeffer, two pigs make more noise than a pig in a sty. Amanda Bartley, Rutherford B. Hayes was the nineteenth president of the United States. If I be 5118 days old, how old am I? Why is the letter "a" like 12 o'clock?
GLADYS MURRAH, Acton, Hood Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It has been a long time since I wrote. I think it is very nice for the children to give money to the Sam Houston stone fund. I studied Texas history and liked it very much, and I liked to read about Sam Houston. I think he was a noble man. But I have nothing to give. I am very sorry. I like Nora Wilson's letter very much. I imagine she is happy. I also differ with Agnes Aston on dancing. I can see no harm in it. There is very little dancing done here. Nearly all the girls of any size are church members. I enjoy reading Genevieve Myrdock's letters greatly. Annie Grimes, I will answer your riddle. It is an icicle. Beulah Wheeler, I will answer your question. The two ex-presidents who died the same day were Adams and Jefferson; they died the 4th of July. Miss Big Bonnet, write again. I like to read your letters. I nearly forgot to tell my age. I am 13 years old.
JESSIE H. WALTERS, Rockett, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: My papa takes The News and I like the cousins' letters very much. I hope you will allow a little boy 9 years old to join your band. I have been going to school, but stopped on account of the measles. My brother Eddie has written and he says he guesses Peggy got it, as he did not see it in print. I hope you won't let him gobble this, as it is my first attempt. The cousins write about their pets. I don't care for pets. I love to go fishing and I go very often. I love my married sister and stay with her a great deal and I get her to go fishing with me. I have two sisters and three brothers.
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