September 29, 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.
GUSSIE SMITH, Orange, Orange Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: You don't know how glad I was to see my letter in print. I have another little sister now. My little brother has not had any more accidents with powder, but I could not mention the other things he has gotten into since. I have a little brother 2 years old and you could not help laughing at the funny things he says. He has a little brown jug and he calls it his little "pong tonz." Mr. Big Hat, has little Miss Big Bonnet gotten over that fall off of Peggy? From the look of the picture it must have given her a pretty good shaking up. I see by some of the letters that you send your pictures to the cousins. If you have one to spare please send me one. I will tell you all about a trip my sister took to Sabine Pass the other day. She started at 7 o'clock and got to the Pass about 11. The lake was not rough at all, and she and some girls who also went sat out on the deck of their little boat, which was only about three fee large and had no railing around it. They visited the lighthouse, which is built of brick and painted white and looks like marble. The light is a revolving one and is very large. There is a winding stair that leads to the top. The steps are made of iron and are very pretty. There are eighty-two in all. There are windows in the side of the tower, and when one is going up they make nice places to sit down and rest in. There was a very large spyglass there and one could see a great way off with it. The house that the light-keeper lives in is very pleasant. It is built in the shape of a rectangle, and is surrounded by wide porches. It is built on top of high posts, about twenty feet from the ground. The girls went out to the end of the jetties, and on their way saw them making mattresses for it. They are ninety feet square and I don't know how thick. They put rocks on top of these and sink them and when they get to the top of the water they put large rock on them that come up above the water. It is a very pretty sight to see the waves break on them. they also visited the lifesaving station. My sister lost her bonnet in the gulf, and she has not got all the sunburn off yet. They went on board the "Jenny Woodside," a bark from Ireland. Mrs. Dowdy, the captain's wife, showed them all over the boat and insisted on my sister taking one of her bonnets. She had a little girl about 4 years old, and she wore bloomers. I could tell about the boat, but I am afraid my letter is getting too long. Cousins, don't you think we are going to make Bessie Bee vain by asking her so much to write? But I wish she would come again.
JESSE HARMAN, Harman's Ranch, Jack Co.?, Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Oh, yes, I'm the "newsboy," only I've changed my occupation and place of residence. This is the way it came about: I talked with a cowboy that was taking a run over the road and I found his name to be Joe Harman. From all accounts he is my brother. Joe was employed at our uncle's ranch and now, I'm employed, too. Joe has been in Texas since he left me at Memphis. Said he thought I got drowned in the Mississippi river. This is certainly a change for me, but I'm not an expert cowboy yet. The rail is some easier to ride than a mustang. Joe and I have a month off now. I mean we have nothing to do but keep house until uncle and aunt return from Mexico. So I have arranged my room to look very much like a "den" (not a lion's, I hope) for study. Over the door I placed the motto, "Sapere Scude," and I painted on a window pane "Creace in luce. But it isn't one bit easy for a fellow to study when he isn't accustomed to it. Sometimes I nod, open my eyes and look out, expecting to see the name of a station, and every time it is "Harman's Ranch." The studies I am pursuing now are political economy, civil government and history. I study in the morning and read in the afternoon. I am reading "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" at present. After that I'm going to read "Conquest of Mexico." You book-loving cousins, let us hear from you. Who are your favorite authors? Burns and James Whitcomb Riley are my favorite poets. My favorite novels are: "Les Miserables" and "Ben Hur." The novelist I like best is Scott, and I also like his poetry. I do not like the majority of our very modern writers. Lawrence Neff, I'm going to write an article for your paper soon. I've written several stories of ranch life since I've been here. If I'm a good judge, the boys of this department are now "beating" the girls. They (the girls) must be nodding over a novel or spending these warm summer days in trying to keep their hair in curl. Do not such faces as The News has given us of Sarah Orne Jewett and Elizabeth Stuart Phelps-Ward inspire you to a noble and useful life? Cousin Susie Belle Fisher, I enjoyed your letter and would be pleased to read letters from you often. Did you not attend school at J------institute of N-----? My cousin will attend school there this year. Herbert, don't let Lawrence's "corkism" kill you off. Come again, we all like you. We have no other writer of just your style. Levi writes in an easy, natural style. I always admire originality in a letter. I just came to chat a while this time, but I'll try to have something to tell you in my next.
MARY BATTERSBY, Floresville, Wilson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you admit one more country girl into your cozy corner? I have a cold to-day, and could not go to school, so I am going to amuse myself by writing a few lines to you. I think our corner grows more interesting every week, and Mr. Big Hat's letters are just splendid. I enjoyed reading his story about Oklahoma so much, as I am a great lover of animals of all kinds. I always like to read the cousins' descriptions of their homes and the towns in which they live, and as my home is considered one of the prettiest in this county, I will attempt to describe it: It is a large white house, and is situated on a high hill, three miles from the town of Floresville. We have a splendid view for miles around. At the front of the house is a small lawn covered with grass and shade trees. On the right side there is an orchard and garden; on the left there are grass and flowers, while at the back of the house there is a well and windmill, washhouse and a brick dairy. Further on there are stock pens, cow stables and other outbuildings. The San Antonio river borders on one of the pastures, and my sister, brother and I often enjoy rambling along the banks, hunting for pecans and dewberries. But, alas! we often have to pay a high-price for our fun, for the trees and brush are so dense that our clothes are often in a dreadful plight when we arrive home. And if there is one task that I dislike above all others it is mending! One of my favorite pastimes is reading and I think it would be interesting if some of the cousins would write on the subject of books and authors. My favorite books are "John Halifax: Gentleman," by Miss Mulock; "David Copperfield," "Little Dorrit," "Nicholas Nickleby," and "Dombey and Son," by Dickens, "Ivanhoe," by Scott, and "Little Lord Fauntleroy," by Mrs. Burnett. Longfellow is my favorite poet, and his "Evangeline" my favorite poem. We subscribe for five periodicals, namely, The News, Southern Messenger, Munsey's Magazine, Home and Farm and the Floresville Chronicle, and a kind friend lends us the Ladies' Home Journal and the Youth's Companion, so we are pretty well supplied with reading matter. Mr. Big Hat, why don't you persuade Little Miss Big Bonnet to write a letter to our corner? I am sure all the cousins would be glad to make her acquaintance. Nell Morris, Florence Giddens, L. C. Fountain, L. W. Neff and the Bowmans, come again. Your letters always improve our page so much.
MRS. OPHELIA KNUDSEN, Sullivan, Franklin Co., Mo. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I am a reader of The News and see so many nice letters, but none from this state, I thought I would write a few lines to your department. The country around here is very rough, with lots of hills and hollows, and rocks and scrub oak timber. This is not much of a country for farming, it being too rocky. There are some good farms along the river. Sullivan is sixty-eight miles from St. Louis and five miles from the Merimac river. There are lots of wild turkeys here, and some deer and wildcats. We are thinking of going to Texas in the near future. I have some relatives in Texas named Ben Green and John Lot. They lived at Lancaster. Mr. Big Hat, please tell me where I can send for a map of Texas laid out in counties. I hope all of the cousins will have a nice time at the fair and get to see Mr. Big Hat. I don't blame the girls for dreaming about him. I know he must be a nice young man. This is the first letter I ever wrote to a newspaper, and if it is all right, and Peggy don't get it, I may write again. I will not tell my age, but just say I am a married lady, for I guess that will do.
OPAL SAVANNA SIVAGE, Edgerly, Calcasieu Parish, La. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters in The News and I find them very interesting. I am 9 years old. I have a sister, Maldee, three years older than I am. We came from Indiana last spring. Papa is harvesting his rice now and when it is all sold we are coming to your state to live. Papa has not bought a home yet. I have four dolls, Edith, Goldena, Flora and Bell. I saw in your summer school that there were 4,000,000 acres of homestead land in Texas. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins who live on homestead land, as I heard my papa say we may take a homestead. I hope I will live so close to some little girl that we can have a doll's tea party.
EUGENE WHITLEY, Riddleville, Karnes Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little boy, 10 years old. I live five miles north of Riddleville. Our school will begin the 1st of October. My studies are arithmetic, writing, spelling, reading, grammar, geography and history. We will make about six and a half bales of cotton and about 400 bushels of corn this year. I haven't any pets except a cat and a dog. I have attended four meetings this year. We live two miles from the school house. Mr. Big Hat, papa gives me 15 cents per 100 for all the cotton I pick. I can pick 155 pounds of cotton in a day. Mr. Big Hat, if you don't watch out Peggy will throw you off and break your neck. I will ask some questions: When did Gen. Wool cross the Rio Grande? When did Ben Milam die? Mr. Big Hat, have you got any sisters? I haven't, but some other fellow had better watch out. I am going to a barbecue tomorrow. Did your papa ever give you a nickel to ride on a hobby horse?
JULIA O'NEILL, Ballinger, Runnels Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As the letters get more interesting every week, I thought I would write you a few lines. Lawrence C. Fountain, you are quite a poet. Rudolph Bollier, by all means do tell us of the adventure you had with a ghost. I will venture to say that you got scared, as the boys are generally scary. I guess you trembled like an ashen leaf. Cousin Levi Bowman, you are too hard on us girls. I guess you are judging us by yourself. Most likely it is: "Maw, make Mary bring in that wood or chop that pine." Now tell the truth, Cousin Levi, isn't that the way you treat your sister? Cousin Edward Horn, we girls wouldn't call the boys "sleepy heads." if they didn't deserve it. I don't mean all the boys deserve it, but the boys that do not write do, don't you think so? Some of the cousins are making remarks about the "big sleeves." The big sleeves are all right. It only takes ten yards to make them, and the merchants throw in enough more to make the dress. I am 13 years of age. I solicit correspondence of both sexes. I send my best wishes to Mr. Big Hat and the cousins.
ETHEL PEARCE, Ballinger, Runnels Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will try my luck once more to write to the dear old Cozy Corner. I think the letters are getting more interesting each week, and I do enjoy reading them so much. School has begun, and I begin with it. I like my teacher. Cousin Elmo, I saw in the last issue of The News that you would like to correspond with Bertha and, if you wish to, I think you should write first. In reply to Ollie about the big sleeves, I would say it would be rather hard for us girls to keep out of sight, especially when the boys are on bicycles. As Bertha is telling you on me, I will tell of a funny little episode that happened a few days ago at school. A young man turned around and said something to Bertha, when the professor called out, "Jack!" He was so interested in his conversation that he actually jumped out of the seat, turned white as a sheet and trembled till he shook the floor. Mr. Big Hat, may I call you Miss Big Bonnet, too? for I saw what Cousin Hedwig did in the Texas Farm and Ranch. Well, as it is getting rather late and mother told me to come home and cook supper, I guess I had better close, or I won't get home in time to eat super, much less cook it.
LULA HACKWORTH, Brenham, Washington Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I will write for the third time. The weather is very warm. I heard that there was a cyclone on the gulf, so I presume it was not warm down there. Ida Pfeffer, I think you write a splendid letter. You took the same trip I did, so I won't tell about mine. I am taking music lessons and I like it very much. Mamma is going to town, so I will send this to the postoffice. Thank you for printing my other letter.
MAGGIE HARTGROVE, Midland, Midland Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I guess you have forgotten me. My cat has three kittens. We went to North Carolina this summer. We passed through Dallas and I thought about you, Mr. Big Hat. I have a cat that is terribly cross. He just growls every time I pick him up, and when I scold him he growls. I guess this will go to the waste basket. My age is 8 years.
ANNIE SEABOALT, Astonia, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little girl 9 years old. I have two brothers and two sisters. I had a good grandma, but she died a week ago last Sunday, and I was very sorry. I can wash the dishes and make the beds. If Peggy gets this I want it to choke him. I have a little dog and his name is Ring. I will ask the cousins a question: How many negro slaves were there in 1860?
RICHARD W. G. MEWIS, Bellville, Austin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my second attempt to write to The News and I presume Mr. Big Hat will pardon me for waiting so long. In my first letter, I stated that we had a very nice pear orchard, which looked beautiful, but it looks very sorry now. About three weeks ago, the leaves of the trees commenced to appear black in this year's growth, and one tree perished from it. I think they have "blight" and I would be thankful to the cousins if they could give me some advice how to protect them from it. The cotton crop in our vicinity will not be much. Corn is abundant, and fruit also. L. C. Fountain, I hope you will come to Texas, or "Grand Old Texas," as The News calls it.
NONIE DAVIS, Delhi, Beckham Co., Ok. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters and I am interested in them. I am sorry I have not been reading them all the time. I am a little girl, 11 years old. I have five sisters and no brothers. I have no pets except a little colt. This is my first attempt, and I hope to see it in print.
JOE C. GRAVES, Kosse, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would write to you to-day, as I have not got anything to do. I will begin picking cotton Monday. Some of the cousins write about their pets. I had a pet owl last year. I tell you he was a dandy. I couldn't teach him a thing but to eat, and he wouldn't eat anything but mice and lizzards [sic]. I had a pet coon and sold it for half a dollar. Edwin M. Williams, I can sew on buttons as well as I can make chicken-coops; so when I want a button sewed on, I get me a needle and thread and do it myself. I went to Madison county a few days ago, and I saw five running streams, the first ones I have seen since I have been in Texas. We went through Pottersville, Marquez and Rogers Prairie. We were two days going and two days coming back. Mr. Big Hat, don't you get tired of printing so many letters? Evangel Bowman, I would like to have a pair of pigeons, if I knew what the express charges would be on them from Mineola to Kosse. Mr. Big Hat, there is a man out here that cuts his hogs' noses off and turns them into his peach orchard. There is an old lady out here that smokes, and she was hunting her pipe the other day, and she had it in her mouth. She went to the well and peeped in, and she opened her mouth to say, "there is my pipe," and she dropped it in the well. Mr. Big Hat, I will be much obliged to you if you will write me a few copies. I don't think the girls ought to call the boys sleepy-heads. How many girls get up and cook the breakfast until their brother makes the fire? Cousins, I think it is time to drop the subject of which beats, and talk about something else, and not get up a rivalry between each other. We live in Steel creek bottom. The overflow damaged our crop a great deal. Our corn crop is fine, but our cotton is not as good as it was last year. Mr. Big Hat, if you print this letter as crooked as I wrote it, I don't see how any one will read it. I will be 5840 days old my next birthday, which is the 1st of November. Levi Bowman, I agree with you. I think it is a great thing to be a good boy. Mr. Big Hat, you said Peggy was trying to throw you. I think she has thrown you and you are trying to get up. How many of the cousins (boys) can wash clothes? Ma and I washed to-day. Kosse is a large town. I will try to describe it in my next letter. Not long ago I read a letter from two girls in Alabama. I like to see a letter from a cousin living in Alabama. I used to live there myself. I came to Texas in 1894. Peggy doesn't like letters written with ink, does he? I will ask some riddles: Got legs, but seldom walks, backbites people, but never talks, got a tongue, but can't talk, can run, but can't walk. Where is the largest house in the world?
EVA L. BOGGS, Terrell, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Good morning, 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 [sic] Mr. Big Hat to let us little folks have a space in his valuable paper. I am a little girl, 11 years old. My papa is a doctor, so he is away from home sometimes. I have no pets, but I can cook and help my mamma, which is better.
BERTHA REED, Ballinger, Runnels Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will attempt once more to write to the dear old News. Oh, the poor boys! We girls should not have put them down so. The poor things need praising and coaxing, they are so bashful and timid. A grown boy here got scared at a girl one night because she had a white dress on. He thought she was a ghost, and he was so scared he couldn't play any more at the party. He even ran off and left his girl, and the girl was none other than Ethel Pearce! Mr. Big Hat, did you or any of the cousins ever see a civet cat? If not the next time I write I will give you a description of it. It is awfully sweet. It was sent to me for a pet. Cousin Rudolph Bollier, be sure to tell us of your adventure with a ghost. My age is 15 years. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins of either sex. It is growing dark and I can not see to write more. Success to Mr. Big Hat and the cousins.
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