October 27, 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.
LENIE McKEE, Grand View, Johnson Co., Tex. -- Dear Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl to ask if she can join your happy band. I have been picking cotton, though I don't like to pick at all. I was sorry to know Cousin Bessie Bee is going away. I hope she will have a nice time while she is gone. Miss Big Bonnet, I was real sorry you had such bad luck with your dolls. Bertha Reed, come again and also Ethel Pearce. Dora B., I like your letter. Girls, I believe the boys are about to beat us. Some of the boys are making fun of the old maids, but old maids are real pretty. If Peggy doesn't get this letter I won't be afraid of his getting my next. Rudolph, you write good letters. Mr. Big Hat, don't look how crooked the letters are made in my letter. I hop all the cousins that go to the fair will have a nice time and see Mr. Big Hat and also Miss Big Bonnet. I live in the country, three miles south of Grand View. I have a nice time going to Sunday school. Cousins May Sandel, you write good letters. Cousin Sallie, we would be glad to know what your chicken says. My best wishes to Mr. Big Hat and cousins. My age is 12 years.
RENIE McKEE, Grand View, Johnson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here is one more to ask permission to join your happy throng, but I will not promise an entertaining message. If I could write as entertaining letters as some of the cousins I would write often. Cousins, I believe Cousin Rudolph is only joking with us; anyway is letters are good. Bessie Bee, you write splendid letters. I am real sorry you are going to leave us and I hope you will not forget us. Misses Ethel Pearce and Bertha Reed come again; your letters were very much admired by me. Mr. Big Hat, I think you should give Miss Big Bonnet a fair show and let her write whenever she chooses. Cousin Levi, I don't think you should be so hard on old maids. Cotton picking is all the go down here, though we will soon be done and then will start to school. I attend Sunday school regularly. Sister and I are going this evening. Braxton Rodgers, you write nice letters. Peggy, if you steal this I do hope it will choke you to death. Mr. Big Hat, can Peggy write? If he can, why don't you persuade him to write? My age is 14 years.
KATIE NORTON, Rusk, Cherokee Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: 'Mid the loneliness of this quiet evening, I try for the first time to write you and the dear cousins a few lines. I would have written sooner, but every time I thought of writing, I could think of nothing to say that would interest any one. At last I concluded to try, as there is nothing like trying. Mr. Big Hat, you ought to be very proud of your cousins, for some (most all) of them write very interesting letters. Some of the best letter writers seem to have forgotten us. Wilfred Perry and Odis Riddle must have forgotten all about Mr. Big Hat's department. Clarence Denton, why don't you write again? Perhaps you got fastened under that bed you said you ran under, and that may be the reason you haven't written lately. Rudolph Bollier and Herbert Taylor, you are the luckiest hunters I ever heard of. If everybody was as afraid of a gun as I am, there would not be much hunting done. I am awfully afraid of a gun. But here I am saying "awful," and Mr. Big Hat will think I am like the awful little girls. Johnny Price, I am sorry you had so sad an experience with your engine. However, we all hope you were not captured by the army of mosquitoes. If not, let us hear from you again soon. Cousin Jesse, which had you rather be -- a cowboy or a newsboy? I am sure you were very glad to meet your long lost brother. Ludie Sanders, I agree with you. I think the boys are beating the girls, although none of them can beat you at writing good letters. But as I don't like the subject, I will drop it. Ellen Pollard, write another piece for the department. I thought the one you wrote, "Bela the Blind," was very good. L. C. Fountain, I admired both of the pieces you wrote very much. Won't you write another? Mr. Big Hat, is Miss Big Bonnet your sister? and is she the one that caught you by the feet to try to pull you back when Peggy threw you off? Thomas O. Stewart, we would all be glad to see your name in the Cozy Corner once more. I live seven and one half miles south of Rusk, the county seat of Cherokee county. The land is mostly fertile, very much so in the valleys and on creek bottoms, and produces abundantly well. I know Mr. Big Hat is getting tired of me, so I will say "adios." My age is 15 years.
MYRTIE KIRK, Bryan, Brazos Co., Tex. -- Hello cousins! My ship is steering her anchor toward the dear old News' column again and when the waves lash the shore one thinks I can see the cousins standing gazing in wonder and amazement at a supposed stranger trespassing on unwelcome territory. Just for one moment, I'm sure I've met you all before, and it is with a cordial greeting I meet you again. Well cousins, how many of us are striving for the greater and the one thing most needful at the present day for boys, girls, young men and young women -- an education? Not one confined altogether to books, but in the various avenues of life, and by so doing, qualify ourselves for elevated positions. The boys and girls in demand to-day are young men and women of culture and refinement. If we carelessly and indolently while our time away before we are aware of it, the meridian of life will have been reached and we will find ourselves far in the descendancy. I think we all should have high aims in life and struggle to accomplish something. I expect some day to be a stenographer. Cousins, how many of you ever wrote stories? I have a story, which is original, entitled, "Brownie Goolsby." I will send it to our department if Mr. Big Hat will publish it. Of course, I won't promise you anything extra, as this is my first production in prose. Next time I write I will endeavor to tell you something of the state insane asylum situated at Terrell. I attended the summer normal held at Terrell in July and August. I think Terrell is a beautiful little city. I think it is a good plan for the cousins to correspond with each other. I will correspond with Ollie B. Dawdy if he will write the first letter. Well, cousins, for fear of tiring your patience I make my exit. "Nil sine magno vita labore dedit mortalibus."
MABEL L. SWEETMAN, Lakeland, Polk Co,. Fla. -- Mr. Big Hat: As it is raining, and I have not anything in particular to do, I thought I would write a letter to The News. We are all glad to see this rain, for everybody's garden and strawberry patch were very dry. Nearly all the truck growers have their gardens planted and the biggest part of their strawberry patch set out. Florida had an unusually large crop of pears this year. Crates upon crates of the fruit rotted on the ground. The people here do not know anything about picking cotton. Before the freeze came you could hear them talking about how many boxes of oranges they expected to have, but never now many bales of cotton. Some of the children here would think a field of cotton a very strange sight. The negroes have just broken up their annual camp meeting. I never saw so many negroes in my life as I saw there. It is very amusing to hear a negro preacher try to use big words. At the last of the meeting they had an old-time hand-shaking, and it was amusing to see them shake hands and dance. Not very long ago a friend and myself took a long drive through the fine woods to a Baptist meeting. We had a very nice time, but there was such a crowd one could scarcely get a seat. I think we have some of the prettiest roads through the fine woods I ever saw. When I last wrote to The News my mother was an invalid. She died on the 25th of last August, and we are very lonesome without her. The cousins that have a mother ought to thank God for such a blessing. I enjoy the articles Mr. Big Hat writes every week, and I turn to them the first thing when we get the paper. How many of the cousins have seen the Atlantic ocean? When we came to Florida we went to St. Augustine and went all over the city. Some other time, I will tell the cousins all about the three large hotels built by Mr. Henry Flagler and whatever else I saw there that I think will interest them.
HESTER BRIDGES, Bowie, Montague Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have never written to The News before, but I've been reading some of the cousins' letters, and they were so nice, and I enjoyed them so much, I thought I'd join the cousins and have a jolly time, too. I am a little girl 12 years old, and if the cousins will let me join their band next time will write a good letter. There will be singing at our schoolhouse this evening, but I don't think I can go. I have two brothers and one sister. I will close by asking some questions in history: Who was elected president in 1884? What was Washington's monument?
T. J. STEPHENS, Woolsey, I. T. > Stephens Co., Okla. -- Mr. Big Hat: As I have not seen anything from this part of the country I thought I would write to you. I am a boy, 13 years old, and am a mighty poor scholar. We are having a heap of dry weather, but it is looking like rain now. I wish it would rain, so my pa could sow some wheat. I have a cousin who was in Texas the last I heard of him. His name is Nathan Stephens and his father's name was William Stephens. If any of the cousins know anything about him, please let me know.
OLLIE J. FLANAGAN, Odessa, Ector Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am a very small boy, but I thought I would write a letter to the cousins. I am going to my first school and I like my teacher very much. She is kind to all the children. I have two sisters. My sister Josie is going to school with me, though she is too little to learn very fast. I can't write, but I ask my mamma to write. I like mamma to read the cousins' letters to me. I hope Peggy won't get my letter.
LIZZIE FESWIRE, Angus, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Seeing so many nice letters from the cousins, I have decided to write one. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much. Some of them are real nice. There are but three cousins that I know of writing from Angus, and they are Elbert, Mary Frost and myself. Our school has not begun yet, but it will soon. I have been picking cotton the past three weeks. I live about a half mile south of Angus. It is not a very large town, as it hasn't but one store. I think our corner grows more interesting every week. I have not been reading the cousins' letters very long, and I am sorry I haven't. I have three brothers and two sisters. I am 11 years old. Pecans are beginning to ripen and I dearly love them. Papa and Uncle John went out and got a few the other day, but they were not hulled. Papa is deputy sheriff and takes The News and likes it better than any paper he takes. He takes a good many. Little Miss Big Bonnet, come again, you write a real interesting letter. This is the first letter I ever wrote to a newspaper. If it is published I will write again.
JACQUETTE RYPINSKI, Bryan, Brazos Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I have never seen a letter in The News from Bryan I thought I would be the first to write. I think the letters that the cousins write are very interesting and I am going to try and make mine just as interesting. I am writing this in school and am writing in haste. I am in the sixth grade. I have a very good teacher and I like her much. I have been going to the graded school for five years and have been promoted every year. We have ten grades in the school. I will be 13 years old month after next. I will try to answer a few of Shelton Hines' questions. The highest mountain in the world is Mount Everest in Asia. London is the largest city in England. Dublin is the capital of Ireland. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. I will ask a riddle which I would like some one to answer: What is it that never slew anything and yet slew twelve?
CLARENCE DENTON, Hartley, Hartley Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been a silent reader and admirer of your department for some time. I have been hid behind a breastwork, afraid to rise and help the boy cousins in their great fight with the girls. I believe the girls are about to get the best of them, therefore I will venture forth to try and make a noble soldier the remainder of the fight. I don't propose to ridicule any of the girls, but will try to write a better letter than they do. They write such nice letters, though, that I am afraid my plan will be a failure. I have noticed that most of the cousins wish to quit writing about pets, etc., and write upon some subject. I will adopt the plan. I will take the affirmative side of the question: "Resolved, That a Person's Character Is Shaped by His or Her Surroundings." We will first take the child while in the cradle and under the mother's care. At the time a foundation of character is laid. One depends almost altogether upon the surroundings and teachings of a child to shape its character for life. If it is taught good things and not bad ones it will grow up with a good character. After it gets large enough to go out and play with other boys and girls it will be influenced by them, according to their characters. In towns, villages and cities if the majority of the people are good they will in time influence the bad ones to join them, but if the majority have bad characters they will as a rule draw those with good characters to their side. This is especially noticed in towns and cities among boys and girls. Look at a crowd of bad boys in a town or city. They will pull one boy after another into their ranks and make plots and plans to see who can do the most meanness. The books we read also influence us greatly. They are our companions and associates to a great extent. Those that read good books are inclined to follow the teachings of these books and rise to be great and noble men and women." Those that read bad books, such as "dime novels," as a rule, come to be breakers of the law and fill up our jails and penitentiaries. Other agents of influence are the preachers, who by their earnest pleadings cause people to draw nearer to Christ; the school teachers, who are responsible to some extent for the character of their pupils. I have not written very much on this subject. I will wait and see what some of the cousins have to say on the other side of the question. I have left room for worlds of argument, but if you do not care to write upon this subject, select your own topic, and I will try to answer any argument you may bring up. I didn't write this letter because I was tired of pets, but for mutual improvement. My age is between 15 and 20 years.
ROSA JOHNSON, Madisonville, Madison Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: No doubt you all have forgotten me, as it has been nearly three years since I wrote to The News. Harvey was my postoffice then. One of the cousins asked where Sam Houston was buried. He was buried in the Huntsville cemetery. I was at Huntsville last summer, and while there I saw Sam Houston's grave. It is marked with just a common marble slab, although there are a great many fine monuments there. I think Sam Houston deserves as fine a monument as any one. While I was at Huntsville I visited the penitentiary. It is certainly a sight to see the convicts at work. I saw them making cloth, wagons, furniture and many other things. Cousins, weren't you all sorry for Annia Murrah? I am going to send her a nice book.
ALICE KING, Whitesboro, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have just finished reading the cousins' letters and thought I would write one, too. This is my first attempt. I am 9 years old. We once lived in Greer county, but moved here in May. I would rather live here, because it rains more, but I did not like to leave my little schoolmates and friends. We came through in a wagon. I saw lots of mountains and pretty rocks, and some Indians. We came most too late for the flowers, but it was a treat to get to run and play under the trees where we camped. I have a stepmamma, but I love her. I have no pets but two baby sisters. My oldest sister has gone to visit one of mamma's nieces. If my letter is printed it will be a surprise to her. When she comes home, oh, how glad I will be! I have never gone to school very much, but guess I will go some this winter. I like to ride horseback, but I can't ride very well yet. Mr. Big Hat, Grandma Dodson has one of your pictures for me. I will get it when I go there again. I have written all I can think of this time. I will study in the future for my next letter. Every one calls me Met, but my name is Alice.
ELLA MIXSON, Bruceville, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I saw my other letter in The News, and I thought I would write again. I am going to school now. I like to go to school. My studies are spelling, reading, arithmetic, grammar, geography and physiology. I live three miles from Bruceville. I ride horseback to school every day. My teacher has twenty scholars. I have a pet cat and colt. My colt is the gentlest thing that ever was. I wish I could ride it.
KATIE PLEASANTS, Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I suppose you all have forgotten a long time since I wrote to you [sic] paper. I was only 6 when I wrote last and now I am 10. I have been going to school and am in the fourth grade. I like to go to school. I haven't attended but two sessions. Sometimes it is awful hard to keep from talking, too. I am like all of you, cousins. I like the letters, too, and I think that Johnnie Price writes a nice letter and so does Banks McLaurin. Mr. Big Hat, all the cousins tell what pets they have and so I will tell what I have. I have one dog and one large black cat. Cousins, did you ever go pecan hunting? I went yesterday, but we didn't get many nuts. We are going back again. We have a pecan tree and the coons go there every night.
OLLIE C. PATE, Lawndale, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I have written once to the Cozy Corner and promised to write again, I will begin the second letter I have ever written to a newspaper. I like to read them so much. Mamma and I went up to Van Zandt last Sunday to my aunts. We had a fine time eating apples. We have not any boarders now, and I am resting up to go to school. It will commence the 1st of November and I will be so glad. I like to go very much. I help mamma iron and piece quilts. I am a little girl 8 years old.
OSCAR WINBORNE, Seger, Washita Co., Okla. -- Mr. Big Hat: As I have just returned from the "issue grounds," where I have been watching the Indians kill their beef, I thought I would write and tell Mr. Big Hat and the cousins of it, as it might possibly interest them. The government issues rations to the Indians every two weeks, and, oh, what a time they do have! There is from 500 to 1000 "blanket Indians" to be fed in one day, consequently they have to begin business very early. The first and most important part of the programme is the shooting of the "wo-haw" (beef). Six or eight Indian police ride into the government pasture and drive out from twenty to twenty-five fat beef cattle. In the meantime the bucks, squaws, pappooses and dogs have arranged themselves in a semi-circle around a level scope of country, which they call the "Beef Flat." The minute the cattle hit this flat, all who are so fortunate as to possess a gun begin firing simultaneously, and continue to do so until the last beef falls. Then Mr. Seger, the agent, allots a beef to every band, and after the squaws have skinned, cut up and divided the meat, they all turn their faces toward the commissary, where Mr. Seger, assisted by the aforesaid policemen, measure out flour, bacon, coffee, beans and other necessaries. And after it is all over, the "red man of the forest" will fall down in his tepee and say: "Hap chuck-away; gimme my pipe." Now I know the cousins are tried of my talk. No doubt the girls will say: "I hope that boy will never write again," but if Mr. Big Hat prints my letter I most surely will, but will promise not to write such a long letter as this has been. My age is 14 years.
LAWRENCE C. FOUNTAIN, Clarion, Wright Co., Iowa. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Well, if here isn't Jesse Harman again in the issue of The News before me, and he says he is transformed from a newsboy to a cowboy. That makes no difference, however, for his letter is just as interesting and jovial as usual. He said he supposed the girls were trying to keep their hair in curl during the hot weather. Not so here; that is, if cold weather makes any difference, for only last night it froze ice, and frost was on the ground till nearly mid-day. Mr. Big Hat and many of the cousins give me a hearty welcome to the Lone Star state, for which please accept my thanks. It is doubtful now whether I shall ever see Texas or not, for we are now thinking of Florida as our future home. But as these are all personal matters, I had better stop talking of them, lest I vary from Mr. Big Hat's rules, and weary you. L. W. Neff, I received a copy of The News containing my selection, and later a copy of the Headlight. Both were read with interest. Mr. Big Hat asked you for an article on "Country Newspaper Work," but you say you do not think you can write one. Please try it, for at all events you can do no worse than fail, and I do not think you would do that. I wish I were in Texas and could attend the Dallas Fair. However, some of you who attend might write a description of it, telling of the sights you saw. Later -- This letter has been lying in a drawer for about a week, and another issue of The News containing the cousins' letters has been received. In this number I see that some of them are experiencing great trouble. All thus afflicted have my heartfelt sympathy, and I think many of the cousins are willing to give theirs. I have a great many old copies of the Youths' Companion, which are of no more use to me, and that they may do some good, I will send them to Cousin Annia, whose address Mr. big Hat has printed this week. Frank Atcheson's plan is a good one, but I have nothing that I think would be of any use to his museum. When I get down to Florida I will send him some curiosities -- seashells, etc., and possibly an alligator's tooth. How would the latter suit you, Frank?
EMMA TOWNSEND, Mangum, Eastland Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have never written to your paper before. I am going to school now and there are four of us going. My Sisters Ollie and Eva and Brother Leonard all go. I have got a little sister. She is 9 months old and her name is Virdie. She is very sweet. Mamma has little twins. They are 4 years old and their names are Pearl and Earl. My age is 12 years.
MINNIE BRADBURY, Turnersville, Coryell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first letter to The News and I hope to see it in print. I like to read the children's letters very much. I think it is very kind in Mr. Big Hat to let us little folks have a space in his paper. I am a little girl 11 years old. My papa died in 1886. I have two brothers and one sister. I pick cotton and help mamma. The most cotton I have picked in one day was 202 pounds. I have a pet colt. I love it and I love to go to school. I wish I could go all the time. I think Ella Mixson's letter was very nice, because she talks about school, and that is what I love to talk about.
MAY MIXSON, Bruceville, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Many happy and unhappy days have come and gone since you last heard from me. I hope I am still remembered by the cousins, at least by a part of them. Mr. Big Hat, how long will it be till you tell us what per cent we got in the Summer School? If I could write as interesting letters as some of the cousins do I would write often. Cousin Maggie, come again; you write a real nice letter. Cousins, did you read that piece in the paper headed, "Ephraim Dodd's Nieces?" I think it was real nice. Our school has been in session three weeks. I will not tell my studies, as it is so tiresome to some of the cousins to read such letters. It is real kind of our little editor to give us some room in his paper. We should show our appreciation by endeavoring to do better each time. Rudolph, I do not like so many anecdotes told in our column. Mr. Big Hat, I wish you were here to go pecan hunting with me. Cousins, are any of you going to the Dallas fair? If I were you I would make Mr. Big Hat tell me where his office is, and I would go around and see him, and see if he is like his picture. I think it would be a good idea to wear the same kind of cap, and then you would know that the wearer was one of the cousins, and you could get acquainted with each other. Success to The News and the cousins.
EVA EBERSTADT, Jefferson, Marion Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading your letter department for several weeks, and think it the most interesting part of the paper. I saw a letter in The News last week from one of my cousins, Leo Ney. I go to the public school. There is going to be a circus here on the 8th of November. I think Mr. Big Hat's letters are very interesting, and I hope he will continue to write. I have a croquet set and like to play very much. Cousin Leo, write again. I will answer some of Otho D. Hines' questions: The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh, near the Firth of Forth. I will also ask some questions: What is the capital of Russia? What is the largest river in South America? Where is the English channel? Success to Mr. Big Hat and the cousins.
BETTIE LITTON, Cedar Creek, Bastrop Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: As I have seen so many other little girls writing to you, I will write too. I am 9 years old. School will commence the 28th of this month and I will be glad to meet my little friends again. Papa has eleven children, seven boys and four girls. Mr. Big Hat, I wish you were here to help us gather pecans and hunt wild plums.
LILLIE MAY MIRES, Wyatt, Ellis Co, Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am a little girl 7 years old who wants to join the cousins. I go to school. We have a new college. My papa is a farmer. He has sixty acres of cotton, but it is late. I hope the cousins will not criticize too severely, as this is my first letter. If I see this in print I will write again.
PRINNIE TUCKER, Kerby, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As Peggy got my other letter I will try again. The wind is blowing cool and the sun shines bright. Cousins, I have been to two shows this year. One was a circus and the other one was a magic lantern show. I will answer Cousin Otho Shelton Hines' questions: Everest mountain is the biggest mountain. Its height is 29,000 feet. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and Dublin is the capital of Ireland. The largest city in England is London. What is the capital of Mexico? How would you go by water from Chicago to Detroit? Success to The News and the Cozy Corner!
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