August 26, 1895
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing letters to Big Hat's department for publication, write on one side of the paper only. Printers never turn their copy, and the editor has no time to rewrite half, or even part, of your letters. Give your full name and address. Anonymous letters are never printed. These rules are imperative.
LAURA PARTELLO, Valley Mills, Bosque Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl to join your happy band. My age is 10 years. I came from Michigan last winter. We like the country here well in some respects. I do so love to read the cousins' department. Mr. Big Hat, I do wish I could see you and make you acquaintance.
IRVIN YOAST, Rincon, Dona Ana Co., N. Mex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Will you admit a New Mexico boy to your happy band? I am 11 years old. We live on a cow ranch six miles from Rincon. Last winter I rode my pony and went there to school. I was only absent two days and that was on account of the snow. But I had to get around pretty lively, so as not to be tardy. I have two little brothers and a little sister. I am the oldest. Our private school has just closed. Our teacher, whom we thought so much of, has gone to Chicago to visit his parents. He was with us four months. We learned very fast. Our baby brother did not attend school, but would peep in sometimes to make us laugh. We hope to have our teacher back this winter. I think a private school is much nicer than going so far to public school. Any way, mamma would be lonely if we were away at school, as papa has to attend the round-up. We have a nice place here with such a lovely view. On the north and east as open prairie. On the south one can look down among the hills a distance of two miles and see the Rio Grande winding its way on to the gulf of Mexico. My teacher was anxious for me to write to your department, but if I fail to see this letter in print I guess he will never know that I made an attempt.
EVA FOSTER, Gladstone, Walker Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: At last I pull the bell rope of the "Cozy Corner." Mr. Big Hat, I am very much pleased with your kindness in printing my letters. I only wish I could write such interesting letters as some of the cousins do. It is so nice to read letters from boys and girls from other states. I am sure that writing to this paper has benefited me greatly, and I am thankful the opportunity is given us. We are apt to make many mistakes in our letters and when we see them corrected we can remember not to make that error again. I like to see well written letters, smooth, pretty writing that looks as if it had been written without too much effort. I will be proud when I learn to write a nice hand, and then when I am older I can do better in the "literary line." Mr. Big Hat, I know it must weary you to read so many letters exactly alike. If the cousins would read all that's in the "Youths' Department" and "Woman's Century" they would find some very instructive reading to occupy their leisure time. I read several departments in other papers and find Mr. Big Hat's the most popular. Maggie J., let's hear from you again.
HARTSELL COPLEN, Palmer, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Will you allow me to join the happy corner? I am a little boy 12 years old. I think The News is the most interesting paper printed. To-day is hot and sultry. It has been dry for the last few weeks. I have so many times tried to get courage to write to The News, but when I sat down to write I would feel a coward. I am going to school now. I go two miles every day. I will ask a question: Who was the British officer that killed Gen. Warren in the battle of Bunker Hill? If Peggy gets this letter he might get to bucking and fall down and break his neck, and Mr. Big Hat would be sorry over the loss of his mule.
CLEMENT JOYCE, Franklin, Robertson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Please admit an 11-year-old boy in your Summer School. It won't be long until the farmers here will be gathering corn and cotton. The boys are getting on fine with base ball. Our school will open in September, for which I am indeed proud, as I hope some day to be a great big man. I will answer Annie Harrell's questions: It was Napoleon who conquered Italy when he was 26 years old, and it was the cackling of the geese that alarmed the sentinels and saved Rome. In return I will ask Miss Annie if she can tell me when Noah died and where? Mr. Big Hat, if you will please excuse this, my first letter to your department, I will surely do better in my next.
AMY LEE, Acton, Hood Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I hope Peggy won't get it. I have two sisters and brothers. I live on the prairie, about a mile from the creek. My greatest enjoyment is reading novels and riding horseback. I think some of the cousins' letter are very interesting. I will venture that none of the cousins have as old a dog as I have. He is 16 years old. Mr. Big Hat, I want to join your Summer School. I wish to know who the blue stockings are Nell Morris speaks of.
MARY LEE HUDSON, Coltharp, Houston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Here is another little girl to join your happy band. I have seen so many interesting letters from the cousins I thought I would write one. We have preaching once or twice a month. I have been going to school, but have stopped now. When I went I studied the fourth reader, grammar, second geography, arithmetic, spelling and dictionary. My age is 8 years. My father takes The News and I certainly do enjoy reading the cousins' letters. I have no sisters. I have one little 4-year-old brother. I have no pets except a cat and two dolls. One of the dolls is china and the other is wax. We need rain for the garden and crops. We have no orchard, but we have two peach trees almost broken down with peaches. One tree of the peaches is getting ripe. The crops are very pretty down here. There is a great deal of sickness in this neighborhood. If old Peggy doesn't eat this letter up I will write again.
ARCH WYLIE, Pine Hill, Rusk Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Tom and I were so glad to see our letters in The News. Tom is sick. He will not be able to write to you again soon. He has been sick ever since we wrote you. He can not sit up at all. I am going to school now. It will be out Sept. 1. Then we will have two months' vacation. Then it will commence again and continue eight months.
BESSIE SMITH, Whitney, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Is that you and your sister and Peggy in the picture at the head of your Summer School? If it is I don't think she is very gentle. Mabel L. Sweetman, you are a very smart girl. Come again. My school will commence the first Monday in September. I will ask a riddle: Why do you put on your left shoe last? The answer to Willie Winter's riddle is a belt. Big Hat, I have just come from a visit to Ardmore. I said a week at Ardmore and stopped three days at Fort Worth coming back. I had a very nice time. The answer to Anna May Beasley's question is snow, I think. I will answer Lillian Armstrong's question: The Amazon, in South America, is the longest river in the world, and it flows into the Atlantic ocean. Nola Blanche Carson, I did answer your letter. Didn't you get mine? Mr. Big Hat, I like the "Woman's Century" very much. I must close and set the table for dinner.
FLORENCE GIDDENS, Dundee, Archer Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I took advantage of your kind invitation to Nell Morris and me, and to "come again." Many have written such nice letters lately that I think no one could help seeing the improvements. Among the many interesting letters are those from Herbert Taylor, Fannie Archer, Nannie Bee Ferguson, "all of the Bowmans," Bessie Bee (why don't she visit us again?), and I can't leave out, Nell besides many others. I am so glad that I joined the Summer School, for I have already learned a great deal from the four lessons. I have drawn a map, and I have put down the rivers, the sections, etc. To describe those thirteen rivers is hard, and at first, I thought I couldn't, but, I took my maps and went back in the dining room and got to work. As my mamma is postmistress, I help a great deal in the postoffice; then I have a great stack of music to practice every day, besides my other studies, but, I think I know all the lessons of the school now but the last one, and I will know that by next Friday, when The News comes. Mr. Big Hat, if I don't send you in any subscribers you needn't think I don't show your papers and your picture, for I do. But here I have written a whole lot, and I intended to tell you about the pleasant visit I took to Bellah [Baylor County]. I will try not to make it too long. Saturday evening at 6:30 I boarded the train and was soon taken to Bellah, which is about eight miles from here. Two of the girls, Olgy and Donfus, met me in a buggy, which took us to their home about four miles from Bellah. After supper we had a feast on watermelons and muskmelons. The next morning some horses were brought up, and they told me that we were going horseback riding. I told them I would fall off every minute, but we started off, anyhow. They took me all over their farm -- well, over one corner, I mean, but I felt like I had been clear to New York and back, for they have 640 acres. Such a nice ride we had! We even went by the caves, which we called "Mammoth cave"(s), over Little Wichita river, and after riding two or three hours we came back to find a good dinner, by Mrs. Bellah, awaiting us. It didn't have to wait long, though, after we got back. After dinner we, Florence, Donfus, Olgy and I, took a watermelon and a muskmelon down on the creek and made short work of them. We had fun all the evening, and after supper played a good game of "hide and seek." Then we went down to the gate and let the cows in, and now I will tell you a "snake story." Florence and I were down on the creek, and she had her hand up in the limb of a tree, when I saw something up in the tree near her hand and behold! it was a snake. I told her, but before I got through telling I was away from that tree. So Florence staid and watched it, while I ran for help. Oscar, her brother, came and killed it, when we went to the house and said: "We killed a snake." We had more melons that night, and I had to leave the next morning, but don't you think I had a nice time? I could tell a great deal more about my trip, but am afraid I have taken up too much room already. Our school opens in September. I hope our "Texas School" will soon be over, as I can't put so much time on it then. I gave the cousins a riddle to find out my age, but as they have never told yet, I will tell them. I am 13.
REUBEN R. WOODALL, Springville, St. Clair Co., Ala. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am a little Alabama boy who wants to join the "Texas band." My father takes The News, and I always enjoy the stories "for little men and women," also the letters to Mr. Big Hat from the boys and girls. I am 7 years old and live in Springville, on the Queen and Crescent railroad, about twenty-eight miles north of Birmingham, the Magic city of the south. Birmingham is noted for its iron furnaces and rolling mills. I read a letter in The News from a little boy who lives in Roxboro, N. C. I think Barton Scoggins is a relative of mine, as my grandmother, who lives with us, was a Scoggins and was born near Roxboro, N. C. I would be glad to hear from Barton.
GUSSIE SMITH, Orange, Orange Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I see so many nice letters in the cousins' department that I think I will write one. Papa has not been taking The News very long and I have not ready many of the cousins' letters, because I never noticed them in the paper until my sister told me about them. I have two brothers and three sisters. I am 9 years old and I am in the fourth grade. My oldest little brother who is 7 years old, had an accident a few days ago. He was trying to experiment with some gun powder. He found some cartridges that papa had put away, and set one afire and held his head down over it, and it burned his eyebrows and lashes off and made a great big blister on his face. I don't think he will try it again.
RUDOLPH BOLLIER, Hamilton County, Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will once more try to write to the dear old Cozy Corner. I see some of the cousins wish to know why the boys do not write oftener than they do. One reason is they are too bashful; the next reason is they do not know what to write about. Girls, you must not be too hard on the boys. We will pick up courage after awhile and come along all right. Mr. Big Hat, that picture in your Summer School, hanging on the wall, just over your head, must be you and your girl going out donkey riding. See, Mr. Big Hat, that shows for itself that the girls are smarter than the boys, for while you are trying to root up the ground with your nose the girl is still holding on. Herbert Taylor, you are a pretty good hand for pigeons. Let me tell you what happened to me one day. I went down to the river to see if I could kill a duck. All at once I heard something close behind me. I looked around to see what was making such a noise, and I saw a deer standing by a big cottonwood tree. Now, I thought to myself, what must I do? You see I had only small shot and I know that would not kill him. So I ran my hand down to my pocket and I happened to find a big spike nail. I put it down the barrel of the shotgun and pulled down on him, and it happened to hit him in the tail and nailed it fast to the tree. Then I got my knife out of my pocket and went up to him and cut his throat. Cousins, our crops need rain. Things are all drying up. I live two and one-half miles south of Leon river. The land in the county is mostly black prairie and river bottom. There is some sandy land. Black prairie land costs about $10 to $15 per acre. Good raw land can be bought here for from $5 to $7 per acre. Rough, rocky land, good for pasture, from $2 to $3. Hamilton county is known as a very healthy county. It is very rough and rocky in some places. It is surrounded by hills and mountains and most all of it is fenced off into pastures and farms. Water can be found from 15 to 300 feet deep. The farmers raise mostly cotton, corn, oats and wheat. Cotton here this year will average about one-half a bale to the acre; corn 40 bushels, oats about 40 bushels. Wheat, the best, 20 bushels. We raised 11 bushels of wheat to the acre this year. We have a fine patch of watermelons. Watermelons weighing from forty-two to fifty pounds. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins, boys or girls, from 10 to 18 years old. Cousins, I love to live on the farm lots better than in town. We always have plenty of nice fresh fruits. I like good neighbors and good friends. I also like good eating, for eating is part of my living. Leon river was on quite a boom a few weeks ago, but has gone down again. It washed off a great deal of oats and ruined some cotton.
ALBERT KONDE, Seguin, Guadalupe Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It has been some time since I have written to your department, but as I now have time I thought I would drop you all a few lines. I agree with Ernest Brown. Why don't the boys get some more steam on and write better letters? Boys, please do not let the girls get ahead of us. I went to a friend's last Sunday and had a nice time knocking down wasp-nests and robbing bumblebees' nests of their honey. It is very sweet, but we sure had to fight to get it, though. In my last letter I wrote that my pigeons were just flying, but now they can fly a great distance. Mr. Big Hat, you ought to come down here and go in the river with me. I bet I can beat you swimming. I want to ask a riddle: If there were three birds on a limb and I should shoot one of them, how many would be left? I will answer Lee Bruesilor's question: "Because it had ears on it." When was Adam most lonesome? I will begin school in Seguin in September. We live four miles from Seguin. It is a pretty little town, containing three millinery stores, eight saloons, two confectionery stores, four butchers' shops, four hotels, Three hardware stores, a postoffice, courthouse and jail, sixteen dry goods and grocery stores, two jewelry stores, two saddle shops, two bakeries and two seed and grain stores. The street cars run one mile from town. Cotton-picking has commenced, and several people have a great many bales out and ginned. Papa has commenced hauling cane. We have our fodder hauled in and stacked. Papa is in the sand hills looking after his cattle. He bought me a pretty little pony the other day for me to ride with him after cattle. I have sent on and have received several nice books to read. They are very interesting. I am reading a book now called "King Solomon's Mines." I like it very much.
ETTA BLALOCK, Uvalde, Uvalde Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl who wants to join your happy band. I live seven miles from Uvalde. We go to school there in the winter. I am in the sixth grade. We come out on the ranch in the summer. I like it splendid. We go fishing and bathing in the river. The pasture belonging to this ranch contains 14,000 acres of land. Papa is a stockman. Mr. Big Hat, please enroll my name as a pupil in the Summer School. My age is 13. I will close by asking some questions: What ocean is called the Sea of Darkness? How were drunkards in olden times punished?
LENA MAY WIESE, Jones' Prairie, Milam Co., Tex. -- Seeing my other letter in print has given me courage to test Mr. Big Hat's generosity again, although I haven't much news to tell. The weather is very hot here and there is a great deal of sickness. It has been raining this afternoon and everything looks almost as fresh and green as at Maytime. We had a successful camp meeting a few miles from our home which closed last Sunday on account of the Baptist meeting. I attended but one day and enjoyed it much better than I thought I would. I liked the music better than anything, for I am very fond of music. Bessie Bee, don't be selfish, but write often. I'm like Maud Mabry. If I could write as well as you I believe I would write every week. I'm very much interested in Mr. Big Hat's Summer School, and intend to memorize the lessons given each week and by the close of the school I think I'll find my time has been profitably used. I like to go to school better than anything in the world, and would sacrifice a great deal to acquire an education. Maud Mabry, Abraham Lincoln was called "Honest Abe," and Jefferson styled "The Sage of Monticello." Annie Harrell, it was Constantine who saw a splendid cross in the heavens upon which was written, "Conquer by this sign!"
EMMA COLWELL, Wrightsboro, Gonzales Co., Tex. -- I have come to call on Mr. Big Hat and cousins and hope they have spent their vacations well. The summer has been a very warm one. I will give you all a sketch of my visit to my old home in Fayette county. We started on the 25th of July from our home near Wrightsboro, Gonzales county, traveling in a hack across the country, seeing many different places and people. We arrived in Gonzales at 7 o'clock, when we started on the long journey to Peach creek. From Gonzales to the creek we found many rocks of different sizes and shapes. We saw many negro huts on Peach creek, as there are but few whites in this country. We stopped at Moony lake at 11:30 o'clock and watered the team. We crossed the noted creek and next came to a little store called Nickel, where we had a lunch and fed the team, rested awhile. We started for Flatonia at 2 o'clock and then traveled the Moulton road. Moulton has gone down in the last four years. It has been moved to the railroad, a short distance away. The crops in this section look very well. We arrived in Flatonia about sunset and went to my grandmother's. She is 75 years old and as lively as a young person. Two of my uncles also live in this town and we stayed over night with them. Next day we went to Moravia and to Engle. This was my old tramping ground. We went by grandmother's old place and went to see our old place. It looked very natural. We came by the old burying ground, where all my relatives are buried. I have four sisters and three brothers buried there, and both of my grandfathers. There are fourteen of our name in the same graveyard. We went to Moravia to papa's mother's, and on the way saw a molasses mill in operation. We passed a new schoolhouse with the C. S. P. S. A. hall above it. I also saw the old schoolhouse where I spent many a day. We soon arrived at grandma's and the next day we went to Uncle Burns. The boys played all day without stopping. There were eleven cousins all together. How happy we were ! We may never all be together again, as they are going to move away. The next day we went through the city of Moravia. It was Sunday but the stores were all open and the Bohemians were sitting around playing cards and drinking beer. Crops look well through this country. Monday we went to see some more of our cousins, and from there we went to Flatonia. On the way we came through the city of Hotentot, another Bohemian town. Here we saw the flowing well, also the Catholic church. We stayed at Flatonia until Wednesday morning, when we started for home, getting to Denton's creek for dinner. We relished our dinner of bread and boiled meat much better than at home. We rested an hour, being nineteen miles from home, which we reached by sunset, glad to get back and see everything once more. How many of the cousins have realized that summer has come and almost past and school will soon open again? What has become of all the older cousins? Come again, Bessie Bee; your letters are very nice. I think Lizzie Lamar's letter was real nice. Mr. Big Hat, why don't you take a trip somewhere? It would be very beneficial for your health, much better than staying shut up in your little office. Have your father print all the letters while you are gone.
AGNES ANDERSON, Norse, Bosque Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been thinking of joining your Summer School a long time, and at last decided I would; that is, if you will enroll my name as one of your scholars. Cousins, I expect you have forgotten me by this time. It is about four years since I wrote last. You all remember Miss Jennie Olson, don't you? I spent the night with her sister the other night, and I just had a fine time. Jennie is attending school at Norse this summer. Mr. Big Hat, come down and help us thresh our wheat. We are expecting the threshers next week. Cousins, I have been to four picnics this year, and it rained every time, too. Two of them were at Norse and two at Turkey creek. When it rains the first time why they are sure to postpone it, or try it over again, and then it rains again the next time. There has just been a big populist encampment held at Meridian. There will be a reunion up there, too, the 16th and 17th of August. I would like to go then, as I never have been there. I live fourteen miles from Meridian. Bessie Bee, write again. I love to read your letters. Lizzie Lamar, tell us some more about your trip to Mexico. That was just fine what you did tell us. Lulu Bowman, you must have been very mischievous when you were a little girl. You ought to be glad your mamma didn't catch you that time. I live on a farm one mile from Norse, six miles from Clifton, six miles from Cranfill's Gap. I have a brother in Goldthwaite practicing law. He has been living there about four years, now. Mr. Big Hat, come down and help us eat peaches. We just have lots of them this year.
LERA SPARKS, Ambia, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another stranger, knocking for admittance into your happy band. I have been a silent reader of your good paper for several months. School is out and I'm spending my vacation at home. I have to stay away from home all the winter, when I am in school, so I'm always glad to spend the few summer months at home. I always enjoy reading the cousins' letters, especially the ones from Mississippi, as that is my old state. I came to Texas a little more than a year ago, with my grandparents. I like to live in Texas very well until it rains, and then I get dissatisfied with the mud, as we live on the black land. As this is my first attempt to write to the cozy corner, I will make my letter short for fear it will find the waste basket. Mr. Big Hat, I think it is very kind of you to have a summer school. I am studying the lessons and think they are so nice and interesting.
LESTER ROY MASON, Valley Mills, Bosque Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a boy 11 years old. I live on a sheep ranch and herd 1690 sheep part of the time. I have not been to school for three years, but I read and write at home. I think Mr. Big Hat ought to be fair-complected from wearing so large a hat. I thought I would get a hat as big as Mr. Big Hat's before I wrote. I hear some of the cousins talk of their pets, but I have none, but a duck and three little cats. We have not a very good garden this year. We have a watermelon patch, and I invite Mr. Big Hat and the cousins down. We did have a nice roastingear patch. Before I stop I will ask a question: What were Col. Fannin's last words? This is my first attempt to write.
WHORTON C. WHITE, Amelia, Jefferson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I will again try to write to The News. This is the third time I have written. In my last letter I asked to join your Summer School, but as I did not see my letter in print, I thought I would write again to make sure that I am one of the pupils, for I want to join very much. My age is 14 years. Our school will start here next month. My studies are third geography, Texas, history, arithmetic, grammar, United States history and spelling.
JOSIE GARNER, Breckenridge, Stephens Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have been thinking for a long while I would write again to this interesting column. Last year I sent in my application to join your Summer School, but never saw my name enrolled and I didn't know whether I was considered a pupil or not, so I didn't send in the answers to the questions. I want to join your Summer School, for I think the subject we have before us ever interesting and I will also take the pledge. My age is 13 years.
MAGGIE ROBERSON, Brazoria, Brazoria Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come again, seeing Peggy didn't get my other letter. I don't think he is very bad at eating letters after all. I like to read the cousins' corner very well. Our school is out now. We had a man teacher. We have Sunday school every Sunday here. I love to go to Sunday school and church. My age is 13 years. I study reading, spelling, geography, history, writing and grammar. I will answer Nettie Wortham's riddle: The ship that carries the most passengers is courtship. Some of the cousins have pets, but I haven't any except a little calf. It is very pretty.
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