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Index to Submitters of The Cozy Corner Letters
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February 2, 1896


[Mr. Big Hat's statement]:
     Cousins, already there are more letters in the mail box than Mr. Big Hat fed Peggy for his New Year dinner. What is Mr. Big Hat going to do about it? Well, he is going to look them all over next week, and whenever he sees one that looks real attractive, written with ink on good, smooth paper, as if the writer did not disdain to give us his best thoughts in his best way -- why, Mr. Big Hat will print it. Those dim, lead-pencil-written scraps of paper that some of the cousins call "letters" will go to fill Peggy's manger. Next week Mr. Big Hat will give a whole page of letters again -- the very best of his collection, and those who find their names only in the unpublished letter list will have to read the reflections of Cousin Edwin McWilliams, whose letter once shared that fate. Another letter from Edwin will appear in the next issue, and it proves what Mr. Big Hat has thought all along, that the cousins are all a sensible lot of youngsters who will blame their failures only upon themselves.
     Mr. Big Hat hopes for marked improvement in the department for the present year. But his efforts must meet with the co-operation of his correspondents to be successful. Space is as valuable as it is scarce in The News, and it is not necessary to write simply to fill it up. Mr. Big Hat extends a cordial welcome to every cousin who has something to say, and says it as entertainingly and as close to the point as possible. And if he considers Mr. Big Hat's time and patience by using good paper and ink, and by writing neatly and plainly, Mr. Big Hat feels personally complimented by printing his letter instead of some hastily written scrawl in case only one can be given room. Isn't this right, cousins?
     What a splendid letter about Texas birds Archibald McPhail sends us! It was too good to be hidden in the letter department. Mr. Big Hat wishes Archibald would give his age when he sends us his snake and bull-frog story. Can't some of the other cousins give us their own observation of Nature and her great and varied family?
     Edwin McWilliams also said he had collected over $2 for the memorial stone fund, which he would send as soon as his list was complete. Others are writing that they are at work, so Mr. Big Hat hopes to report more receipts for February than for January. One of the cousins asks where the book Mr. Big Hat offers for a prize can be obtained. It is published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston, it is entitled, "Sam Houston and the War for Texas Independence." Mr. Big Hat asked Gen. Houston's son the other day what he thought of the book as a true delineator of those times and events, and he said it was as good as any, and far better than many that had been published on those subjects.
     Another cousin asks if she can send a dime in silver or stamps for the fund. Certainly, but it must be sent at the cousin's risk. That is, Mr. Big Hat will not be responsible for money sent that way, as if it gets lost he can have no possible way of recovering it. The News' rule to senders of money reads: "Remit by draft, postoffice order or express money order. If sent in any other manner it is at the sender's risk. Stamps of small denomination will be accepted." When money is sent in this way it can always be recovered if it goes astray.

     Here is the list for January:

Individual Subscriptions.

     Rosa Johnson, Macy, Tex. ....$1.00
     Lizzie Lackey, Lawn, Tex. .... .25
     Oscar Lackey, Lawn, Tex..... .25
     Edith Lackey, Lawn, Tex. ... .10
     Little Miss Big Bonnet, Texas ... .25
     Hugh B. Cushman, Greenville, Tex. .. .10
     Florence Evans, Greenville, Tex. ... .10
     Ola M. Du Bose, Rising Sun, Tex. ....05
     Frankie Assiter, Blum, Tex. .... .05
     Louis D. Mike, Bryan, Tex. .... .05
     Lula Brod, Bernardo Prairie ..... .10
     Ernest and Charlie Wedemeyer,
          Charlie Wedemeyer, Bryan, Tex. ... .10
     Ernest Wedemeyer, Bryan, Tex. .... .10
     Prof. C. H. Wedemeyer, Bryan, Tex. ... .20
     Pat S. Hunt, Seaton, Tex. ..... .10

     The diplomas and prizes will be mailed this week, and any delay in their receipt should be reported to Mr. Big Hat.

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.

RUTH LILIENSTERN, Mount Pleasant, Titus Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would write to you for the first time. I am 7 years old. I started to school in the summer. I am in the first reader. I have two sisters and two brothers. We had a big burn out one Sunday morning. Iona Caldwell has a little deer. Our next door neighbor has a little baby girl. My sister, Fannie, has the mumps now. My sister, Blanche, won the medal. I got a pretty doll Christmas. Mota Rolstor got the prize in arithmetic for learning the multiplication table in a week.

THURSIE McNUTT, Buckner, Parker Co., Tex. -- Uncle Big Hat and Aunt Big Bonnet and cousins: I see many nice letters in The News, and saw my letter, too. I am going to school now. I'd rather go to school than to eat. I am going to say my speech next Friday. I have two pets, a hen and a cat. My hen sings "Chem-chack, Chem-chack," and my cat sings "Fiddle-i-fel." Now, Uncle Big Hat, I would like to see Aunt Big Bonnet come out and help us eat hog and hominy. I think you are very pretty, so come and see, too.

JESSE WINSTON, Ambia, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another boy that wants to join your band. I do enjoy reading the cousins' letters so much. I am going to school and study my books well. I have a brother 12 years of age, and he is a good boy -- when he is asleep. I haven't any pets except a pony, and he isn't much of a pet, for he pitches with me every time I get on him. Mr. Big Hat, how do you think you would like to ride a pitching horse? Answer this riddle for me: Over water, under water and not touching water.? Frederick Lueche, come again.

BENNIE SELLERS, Italy, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Did you have a fine time Christmas? I did. My two uncles and my cousin from Fannin county came to see us, and I enjoyed being with them very well. Now that Christmas is over the people are getting ready for next year's crop. We have eighteen acres of land and eight acres listed. I will ask a riddle: What is it that always goes with the wagon and is never needed, yet the wagon can't go without it?

ODIS RIDDLE, Crowley, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Christmas is gone and the New Year has arrived with many new cousins aboard. There were several Christmas trees around here. I helped to dress the one at Old Caddo. The people around here have started a new fashion, that of daylight dances. There were several around here during Christmas, but as I do not dance, I did not attend. There was a box supper at Old Caddo not long since, and some of the boys stole three of the boxes. They are liable to be brought up before the ash-hopper, according to the almanac. Perhaps the cousins are not aware of the fact that Maud Trees used to be a bush, but was promoted to a higher position. As a rule the price of an article is printed last, but in the issue of Big Hat's department of Jan. 5 the price came first -- Elmer Price. The same issue contained some funny names. As I traveled down the columns I first came to Lillie Fields; next was Maud Trees, Tom Banks, Ben Rivers and Marshall Bridges. I stopped on the bridge and saw J. S. Green and Walter Moss (green moss). I then went on and came to Lawrence Banks. I attended an "Irish wake" the other night, or rather that was what the boys called it. Anyway we had music on the violin and an organ and they played some kind of a game that I never saw before. I believe they called it "snap." I know a lot of the players fell down, and then I got to talk to an Irish girl, and I will confess that for one time in my life I met my match in talking. She said the "auld leddy" had cooked some cakes for the occasion, but as the crowd was larger than she had calculated for she didn't have enough to go around, so we didn't get any cake. Cousins, when we become men and women won't it be a pleasure to us to look back to the time when we used to write to the Cozy Corner under the generalship of Mr. Big Hat? Some of us boys may be the editor of the grand old News some day. Who knows?

EULA WOOD, Sonora, Sutton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As my first letter was printed, I thought I would write again. Some of the cousins tell about their pets. I will tell something about mine. The first pet I raised was a chicken. Its mother died and mamma gave it to me. I fed it bread, grasshoppers and flies. Sister named her Bootsy because she had feathers on her feet. She was very gentle and when papa lay down on the floor to take a nap, she would sit down by him and stretch out her wings. If any one was playing with her and opened their mouth she would peck at their teeth. She wanted to roost in the house on the bedstead, but after a while I got her to stay outside. Then she would get up in the highest tree she could find to roost. When she was grown mamma gave all the chickens to my oldest sister, and I gave Bootsy to my little nephew, and she took some kind of disease and died. Now, Mr. Big Hat, don't you think her life was as interesting as Hannibal's? I have raised two lambs; one was named Pansy, the other Lucy. Pansy is in the flock and I haven't seen Lucy in a long time. I have two pets here, a fawn named Beauty and a lamb named Daisy. Beauty is very mischievous. She drinks out of the water bucket, eats old chews of tobacco and puts her front feet up in the door and waits for me to give her some bread. Daisy is crippled in one foot. Now, Joe Graves, there is something about pets, and it is every bit true. Mr. Big Hat, where can one of those books entitled "Sam Houston and the War of Texas Independence" be bought? Mr. Big Hat, will you receive money in silver for the monument fund? If you will, I can send a dime. Maud Carson, you ought to try to take time to write to The News. L. W. Neff, are you buried under your papers? If you are not, come visit us again. What has become of Jesse Harmon? I wish he would write again. Herbert Taylor, I think it is a shame the way the cousins tease you about your buzzard ride. Write and tell us about your home. Johnnie Price, Ollie Dawdy, Dora Bennett and Annie Murrah, come often.

MAE BURGE, Ector, Fannin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: Here comes another Texas girl who has long been a silent admirer of your Cozy Corner and fancies she can see Mr. Big Hat with his "derby" on and Miss Big Bonnet sitting by the fire with all the happy cousins sitting around them. I would like to join the happy band. I am 11 years of age and am going to school and take elocution. I like my elocution best of anything I study. I have one doll, her name is Edna. My best chum, Rubie Luton, and I take our dolls out riding in their buggies when the weather is favorable. Rubie's doll is named Lucy Lee. I have two sisters, both older than I am. Miss Big Bonnet, I think you are very pretty, but don't know how you would look if I could see your nose and mouth. I am very sorry for Sally Rose, but I hardly think she would have had so much trouble if it had not been for her mistress' curiosity. Annie Lagon, I agree with you about Peggy. I think it is a blaze of fire, and when the letters don't suit Mr. Big Hat he puts them in the waste basket and then into the fire, or rather feeds them to Peggy. Chris Crittendon, I wish you would "jump a ten-rail fence" and come again. I like to read your letters. If your mustache is as heavy as you imagine it to be, I rather think you are too large to call yourself a little boy and also too large to visit the Cozy Corner. Hark! Listen! What is that I hear? Well, well, it is some one saying that I have worn my welcome out, so I will close for this time.

NITA BOWMAN, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I am 7 years old, and will be 8 the 10th of April. I can not write with ink, but hope you will print my letter any way. I think it is time that Little Mr. Big Hat is wearing pants; he doesn't seem to grow any, for I have seen his picture for a long time. I do not go to school, but study at home. I am in the second reader. Tootey is my baby sister, 2 years old. We have such nice times together at home, when my sisters, Hattie and Alzada are at school. I have one brother, and how he does worry us girls! I guess the cousins with brothers know all about it. Mr. Big Hat, have you any sisters, and do you pull their hair and break their dolls, and scare them half to death?

ZEEK PARKER, DeLeon, Comanche Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Here comes another jolly boy to join the band. I live seven miles from DeLeon. I like to read the cousins' letters. I am going to school and I study first reader and blue-back speller. I am very good in spelling, but I can't read much. I am 8 years old, and ma says that I am a buster. I can pick 100 pounds of cotton in a day. All the Christmas presents I got were a rubber ball and three packages of fire crackers and two sticks of candy. I like to have got a whipping the other night at the literary society. A boy hit me in the eye and liked to knocked it out. I cried for a while, but I will get it back on him some day. I have a pony and a saddle. I gave $10 for my pony and $15 for my saddle. I like the girls very well, but they don't like me.

FANNIE WALTERS, Rockett, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little cousin asking for admittance. I love to read the paper, and best of all, I love to read the cousins' letters. I have been reading the cousins' letters for over a year, and some of them are real nice. I have no pets except two cats. I have one sister, but she is married. I have one brother married and three at home. One is grown and the others are small. I would like to correspond with any of the cousins. I am 14 years old.

ROSA LYNCH, Grand Saline, Van Zandt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I guess you will all get tired of me. I will tell you my studies: Higher grammar, high geography, rhetoric, algebra, Texas history, arithmetic and word book. I like Texas history very well. I went to a singing last night and had a jolly time. The singing was at one of the neighbor's house. There was a large crowd. I went to a party Christmas and had a nice time. We played till 10 o'clock and we all went home happy. I go to Sunday school and preaching. They have singing every Sunday evening at the Baptist church. Grand Saline is a very large town. It is situated on the Texas and Pacific. There are two churches, Methodist and Baptist. I live right near the Baptist church. Mr. Big Hat, I want to join your next Summer School. Well, Little Miss Big Bonnet, how did you like the fall you got in the pantry? I think your nose and mouth are just perfect. The school girls put a nice cake on the Christmast tree for our teacher. We have a large spring here. It nearly furnishes water for the town. I will be glad when vacation time comes, although I like to go to school and improve my opportunities. Our vacation will commence the last of June and will last till September. Then I can go fishing and have lots of fun. I will answer Cassie Dickerson's question. It is a knot on a tree. I solicit correspondence.

LUCILE DUGAN SHANNON, Sherman, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: I suppose you would like to know something of the little girl that is writing to you. I am 7 years old and I am writing this letter to you on the sly. I will tell you why. My brother, who is 10, wrote to you yesterday. He thinks a little girl of 7, and not nearly up with him in her studies, is not apt to get her letter published; so if it is not printed he will never know it and can not tease me. (Boys are such teases.) I go to the Franklin school not many blocks away from where I live. I did go to the North Texas female college last year, but mamma said she would rather I would go to the Franklin school now and finish at the college. I had a lovely time Christmas. Mamma had a house full of company and lots of good music and good things to eat. Sister's friend, the banjo teacher at the college, spent the holidays with us. She plays beautifully when she plays "Hiawatha's Dream," and mamma says she would bring a wooden man to life with one of her banjo jigs. My sister plays the piano. I had four cousins spending the Christmas holidays. One played the clarionet. (Some think he is the finest clarionet player in the state.) He is only 15. One played the violin, another the second violin, and still another the banjo. So you see, we whiled away the time to the merry tread of music. I wish you and the cousins had been here. I know you love music. Mamma says any one that loves music and children is good. She says something else about people that don't love music; something about what Shakespeare said. I will not try to tell that, as it is too hard for me to remember. We danced every evening Christmas week except Sunday, and had games. I felt almost like a young lady when an Austin college cadet asked me to waltz with him. Everybody say I dance nicely. My sister taught me all the steps. Mamma let us little folks stay in the drawing-room every evening until 10 o'clock Christmas week. Oh, what a treat it was for me! I wished Christmas never would go away. Holidays over, we are again at our school duties, to study hard until vacation. Mamma has promised to take us to Galveston this summer and let us enjoy life on the beach. That is a good stimulus for my brothers and I to study hard. But I would study any way, as I want to graduate when I am 16. My brothers and I have a pony apiece, and we take a ride every afternoon after school is out, when it is nice weather. My brother has told you all about his nice dog. Oh! I liked to have forgotten. I want to tell all the little cousins, they must never watch for Santa Claus or he will whip right up and pass by. That is the way he did me, when I lay awake and watched for him this Christmas. I did not blame Santa, but mamma bought me a lot of nice things and Miss Jessie Delane gave me a lovely doll that would go to sleep and wake up. My brothers and Cousin Lelia and I got such a nice lot of books for our Christmas presents. I got some of Louisa M. Alcott's works. I think she is the best writer for children that I know. My brothers got some of Nathaniel Hawthorne's works and they have gained more knowledge of the history of the New England states from them than if they had studied United States history one whole school term. Mr. Big Hat, I know what that favor is my brother wants to ask of you when he gets better acquainted with you, but I am going to get ahead of him. Won't you please give me your photograph? I will put it in the nicest place in the parlor. I wish the cousins would send me a scrap to go in my nice new scrap book mamma gave me Christmas. How many of the cousins have scrap books? I think they are so nice. Mamma says I have mine arrayed real tastefully. My brother Henry could write something interesting about the Houston family, as his little playmate was Temple Houston, Sam Houston's grandson. Little Mr. Big Hat, I would love so to have you and Little Miss Big Bonnet visit our city this spring, after the leaves and flowers come out. It is so much prettier then than now. My big brother will show you all around. I have a great deal more to say to you, but am afraid I have already claimed too much of your time.

HENRY DAN SHANNON, Sherman, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have been reading the Cozy Corner all the morning and find it so interesting, especially little Miss Big Bonnet's letter, that I, for the first time, am going to write you and the cousins. How kind you are to us little folks, Mr. Big Hat. Little Miss Big Bonnet, I am glad you got Mr. Big Hat's seat first. I enjoyed your letter so much, but how are we to think you "real pretty" when you are all covered up in that big bonnet? Well, to begin in the usual way, I am 10 years old and am in the fourth grade. The town I live in is Sherman, Tex., which has about 12,000 people and the best schools in the south. The North Texas female college here has nearly 300 pupils. Well, cousins, would you like to hear about my visit in the panhandle, which is so different from our part of the country? About two summers ago I went out there to see my married sister. It took us about three days to get there. It was then night, and my brother-in-law met us at the depot and took us out on his ranch, where he and sister were spending the summer. If you have never been on a ranch, Mr. Big Hat, you have missed lots of fun. If I thought you would accept I would like to invite you to go with me to Roswell, N. M. We would have a fine time, that is if you like to hunt and fish. I would like so much to tell you all about the fun I had on the ranch, but am afraid Peggy would think my letter entirely too long to publish; but I must tell you about the Newfoundland dog my sister gave me. He and my pony are the only pets I have. When we came home sister came with us, and of course we brought Major Drumm (that is my dog's name). He was named for Major Drumm of Kansas City, who gave him to brother. I rode in the baggage car most of the time with Major, but when we got to Fort Worth we paid a man to keep and feed him, but he would not take food from any one but sister and I. He goes to market by himself, also brings in the mail and wood. Mr. Big Hat, when I am better acquainted with you I have a favor to ask of you.

FRANKIE ASSITER, Blum, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another stranger knocking for admittance to the Cozy Corner. I have long been a silent admirer of the cousins' letters. Cousin Reba S., come again. You write such splendid letters. I will correspond with you, also with any other cousins who wishes to. I will tell you why Cousin Herbert Taylor has not written in so long. He is writing a journal describing his buzzard flight, but I hope by this time that he has reached terra firma, don't you? I will try to describe my home as near as possible. It is situated near the banks of Nolan river. There is one high bluff on the left bank and a cave. There are between 400 and 500 inhabitants and twelve business houses. Blum is quite a thriving little place. I will tell you more about myself and home next time, for I have already written enough to choke Peggy. I will contribute some for the monument to Sam Houston.

FRANKIE O'NEIL, Wellington, Collingsworth Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: May I enter your happy circle? I have been a silent admirer of your corner for some time. I think if we girls would each piece a block and make a quilt, and offer it to the one who received the most votes as the best writer to the Cozy Corner, and every one be allowed to vote, that it would be very interesting. I will propose nothing more till I hear from others. I never pieced a quilt, but am saving pieces for a silk one. Has Herbert Taylor ever alighted from his buzzard yet? I missed several issues of The News. I like the Youth's Companion very much. I think C. A. Stephens writes the best pieces in it. I would like to correspond with any of the cousins.

FANNIE LILIENSTERN and ANNA BELLE CLEMENT, Mount Pleasant, Titus Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: We had a large fire here on Sunday, two weeks ago. It burned down five stores. The town is going to be built again with brick stores. Some people are hauling the sand now to build the courthouse. We are both in the fourth grade. We like our teacher very much. We didn't have any school Friday, because the teachers of this county are having an institute. Where is Miss Big Bonnet? We are both 11 years old. The schoolhouse is [in] the central part of the town. A little friend of ours had a party last Saturday, and we went to it and had a nice time. We beat a play-drum and marched around the house and played show. There is a puddle of water in front of our homes and it is making everybody sick. One of our father's friends is building a house across the street from us. We had a nice time Christmas. We will close with a riddle: High up in the air and not on a tree.

DELLA WILF, Grand Saline, Van Zandt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. We have a very large school and a very nice teacher. I have six studies, grammar, arithmetic, geography, history, composition, dictionary and word book. I went to a few parties Christmas and enjoyed it so much. Papa has bought him a farm one mile and a half from town. I stay with my brother and go to school. Rosa and I are going out there this evening. We are going sweet gum hunting and are going to ride horseback. I haven't any pets except my little niece and nephew. Grand Saline is a very nice little town. I go to the Methodist Sunday school. Well, Miss Big Bonnet, how did you come out with the hurt you got in the closet? I think you have such a sweet little mouth and your little nose is so cute. I would like to get a pattern of your bonnet; it is so nice. I will answer Eula Duncan's question: Robert Fulton invented the first steamboat. I didn't get so many presents on the Christmas tree that I had to get somebody to help me take them home. Mamma has nearly 100 chickens. I don't know much about Texas, because I haven't been here but one year. I came from Alabama. I will close by asking a question: When was Texas admitted into the union?

WILLIE CLEMENT, Mount Pleasant, Titus Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I have a little sister. Iona Caldwell has a little deer. I got two pretty books for a Christmas present, and a toothpick holder. I gave mamma a lamp shade. I gave papa a silver toothpick holder. My deskmate is Gussie Robston. I am 9 years old. I started to school when I was 7 years old, and now I am in the fourth grade. I study reading, spelling, geography, arithmetic and language. Santa Claus brought me a story book. I have read it through. There was a big fire here Sunday morning. Mr. Perkins is having a house built, and the carpenter put some paint on one of my friend's face, and it got on her shawl.

MARY JOYCE, Pendleton, Bell Co,. Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters and think they are very nice. This is my first attempt to write to a newspaper. I am 12 years of age. I am going to school now. My studies are United States history, arithmetic, grammar, geography and spelling. Girls, do you like to piece quilts? I am making me a crazy quilt. It is very pretty. I have no pets at all except my dolls. I have three large dolls and one small one. Tom Banks asks who invented the first steamboat. It was Fulton, and Columbus discovered America. I think Genevieve Myrdock's letter was nice. Maude E. Trees, I will answer one of your questions. John Cabot's son's name was Sebastian.

CORA WILLOUGHBY, Pendleton, Sabine Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have been reading the letters of Mr. Big Hat and the cousins, and think them very nice. I haven't lived in Bell county long. I came from Fannin county, northern Texas. We came through in a wagon. We were on the road two weeks. We came through McKinney and laid over in town one night. That night the town caught fire and the lumber yard and hotels burned down. It caused great excitement. I have two sisters and two brothers. I started to school about the first of December. I like to go to school. We have a splendid teacher. My desk mate's name is Mary Joyce. We have a nice time at school. I haven't any pets at all.

BLANCHE A. RUMFELT, Wilmer, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I go to school and study arithmetic, second reader, geography, spelling and grammar. I love my teacher. I take music lessons every Saturday, and I love my music teacher. I like to read the cousins' letters. I had a big Christmas. I cried this morning to go to school. I could not go and I cried. My brother Fred went. I have one brother older than me and one smaller than me.

JOHN SHEPARD, Greenville, Hunt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have been reading the Cozy Corner for some time and have concluded to write myself. Your family seems to be very large now, but as I am a boy you can stick me over there in the corner or else under the table. But if you do, I wish you would put Bob Steele under there with me, and for goodness sake don't let Peggy know I've come. Well, Mr. Big Hat, if you will make those girls quit laughing at me I will tell you about a trip I took to Galveston last spring. The best part of it was the ride on the gulf. All around the wharf were sail ships ready to take the people out on the gulf. There were some steamships, and I thought I had rather ride on a steamer. At first my cousin did not want to go, but I persuaded him to. We went out about five or six miles, far enough to see the tall tower of the lighthouse. We saw lots of jelly fish floating about on the water, and we saw one big old black thing the captain called a porpoise. There, I see some of the cousins making a face at me, and I must go.

ALLENE JOHNSON, Whitesboro, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: Will you admit a little 10-year-old girl into your Cozy Corner? My birthday was Christmas eve. Christmas I received a celluloid handkerchief box, a stick pin, a napkin ring which was a standing collar, three handkerchiefs, a book, a bandeau and sweetmeats. Mamma ordered me a ring, but it did not come. Papa brought me some nuts from Brownwood. Before I close I will ask a riddle:

          Higgeldy, piggeldy, here we lie,
              Picked and plucked and put in a pie;
          My first is snapping, snarling, growling,
              My second industrious, romping and prowling.
          Higgeldy, piggeldy, here we lie,
              Picked and plucked and put in a pie.

MARY FROST, Angus, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I wrote a little to you last year that was in print. I had a nice time Christmas. I spent several days in Corsicana with my uncle. I got several nice things off the Christmas tree. I am going to school at Angus. We have ninety-three pupils enrolled. We have a Sunday school also with seventy-two pupils. Luther Whittens wanted to know how old he would be. He will be 15 years old the 5th of February. I am a little girl 11 years old.

LULA BROD, Bernardo Prairie, Colorado Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: Here I come for the first time. I think the cousins are doing a great thing to contribute toward Sam Houston's memorial stone. I will also give a little towards it. I inclose 10 cents. We live about twelve miles from Columbus and the same distance from Sealy and Eagle Lake. We go quite frequently to those places. Santa Claus brought me so many nice things. My brothers got so many Roman candles, and we had such a nice time. We had a dinner Christmas day at grandma's. I have a sister in Galveston. We sent her a box of all kinds of nice things for Christmas. I go to school and I am in the fifth grade.

CLEVELAND RIX, Monaville, Waller Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: Here comes a little country boy to join the band of cousins. I live on a farm eight miles north of Hempstead. I love to live on a farm. I can pick 100 pounds of cotton and I like to pick when it is thick. I love to go to school. I study writing, spelling, reading, arithmetic, history, geography and grammar. I am 10 years old. I help milk the cows and I can rope a calf. I love to ride a horse. Papa has lots of horses. I have one. I have five brothers and one sister. I had a fine time the other day riding a calf. He didn't pitch me but five times.

OLLIE PATE, Lawndale, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- I am going to write to Miss Big Bonnet this time, as all the cousins slight her. I guess Peggy got my other letter as it was not in print. We had a nice tree Christmas. I got a nice doll, two silk handkerchiefs and all kinds of candies and nuts. I got the prize at Sunday school for learning the most verses in the Bible. It was a large doll and a Testament. I am so proud of them. As I go to school I don't have much time to play with my dolls. I like my teacher well. We have a splendid assistant too. Mama gave me a birthday dinner. I invited all of my cousins to eat dinner with me. I had thirty guests. I invited Mr. Big Hat and Cousins to come down and eat dinner with me, but as my letter was not in print I guess they did not get their invitation. I have no pets except little Sister Mary. When I am not at school I am helping mamma; that is better than playing with pets. Cousins Lilly Fields, I like your letter so much, and I like to hear of the little cousins helping their dear mammas. We don't know how to appreciate their kindness until it is too late. I was 9 years old Christmas and can help mamma do most any kind of work. I like to read poetry very much and I am glad when The News comes. I read every letter. I have two grandpas and no grandma. Grandpa Pate lives with us and Grandpa Wren lives with my Uncle Charley, but he comes and stays awhile with ma. We all miss him so much when he goes home.

BANKS McLAURIN, Webberville, Travis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Christmas is over. All the Roman candles have been fired, and the last package of firecrackers have been popped. Shall we continue to wish for more sports? I think not; we have had our share of fun this time. But what next? The new year has entered and how have all you cousins been spending it? I can only speak for myself. The 1st day of January was my first day at school, and oh, such fun as I have had since then. I have not learned much yet, but I tell you I have enjoyed a good deal. Our teacher is one of those good kind of fellows. He lets the little boys and girls go out to play when they get tired, and if there is any whipping to be done he pounces right down on the larger ones. Mr. Big Hat, I think I have learned enough about managing a school already to make a good teacher myself, but "mammy" says I am going to make a congressman. I haven't got far enough on my books yet to know what that means. I hope it is something that will help me write letters to Mr. Big Hat that Peggy can not swallow. You said in answer to my other letter that you would take me all over town when I get so I can ride Peggy. Please give me this year in school and then I will be willing to try him. But I must hasten on. This is a big world and time never stands still. But oh! that lunch basket and my book! Do I hear that school bell?

Link to biographical tribute for Banks McLaurin

JESSE A. ROGERS, Carlton, Hamilton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: This is my second attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. My father and sister and I made a nice trip to my grandpa's Christmas on the train. We boarded the cars at Hico the 24th and we landed at Rosebud Christmas morning. When we left it was raining and when we got there it was so muddy that we could hardly get from the depot to the stores. We laid over at Waco going and coming, but it was in the night both times, and we did not get to see much, as we had my little sister with us and we could not go around. I saw the electric street cars and the city hall and the courthouse. That is all we saw that was of any importance, except the suspension bridge over the Brazos river. I ate turkey and cake nearly every day while I was gone, until I am almost tired of them. I shot Roman candles and six bunches of firecrackers. I had a jolly New Year also, and hope all the cousins had the same. I am going to school now. I like my teacher very well, and I think we are going to have a good school. Ida Trine wrote a letter to The News, but Mr. Big Hat got her name wrong. Come again, Ida! We had a Christmas entertainment at our schoolhouse, and I was going to say a speech that night, but of course I was not there.

CAGE W. WYNN, Milford, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I would like to join your happy band. I love to read the cousins letters, they are so nice. I am going to school and study arithmetic, grammar, geography, Texas history and spelling. I have three brothers and four sisters. We live about a mile from town. The other night a horse kicked me and I can't hardly walk. Myrtle Riggan, I will answer your questions: Georgia was settled in 1733. George Washington died in 1797. I can pick 200 pounds of cotton in a day. Milford has five churches and a fine school. I will ask two questions: What is a grito? What is hacienda? My age is between 13 and 14 years.

VICTORAIN L'BRUN, Sulphur City, Calcasieu Parish -- Mr. Big Hat: I have never written to you before. I am going to school every day, and my brother is going with me. I am 11 years old. Mother is a widow. I have two sisters and five brothers. My little cousin was over to see me yesterday. They used to live in the country, but they moved into town last week. Santa Claus brought me a big wax doll and a tea set. I live in the country. My sister is going to visit her aunt in Lake Charles. I will be very lonesome while she is away.

CLEMENTINA GRONDONA, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: I thank you for putting my letter in the paper. During the cold spell we had to cover the strawberries with straw. Saturday morning, as I had nothing to do, I went in our little garden and took all the straw from the strawberries and put it in the sacks. I water the garden every evening. It is getting along splendidly by my taking care of it. I feed the chickens and my little canary bird. I had a nice time New Year's day and hope you did too. I went to church and it was decorated beautifully, and I also went to see a lady friend and enjoyed my visit. It was a beautiful day. Christmas night Santa Claus brought me more things than I expected. We had a lovely dinner Christmas day, in company with papa and only brother, Tony, and a few other gentlemen. I played the piano for my papa.

JAMES RICHARD PLUMLEY, Webster, Harris Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: I will write again to try Peggy once more. If he is a boy of any sort he will not eat this letter. It is pretty wet here now. Mr. Big Hat, if you want to take a boat ride come to Webster. You can set up sails and sail across the wide sea. I go to school at school No. 1, district No. 19. My studies are reading, spelling, arithmetic, language and geography. I got for Christmas a ball, twelve Roman candles and eight packs of firecrackers. We had a fine time. Cousins, I want to ask you a question: One hundred and ninety-eight months is how many years? That is my age.

ETHEL SHARKS, Waco, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I was reading the Cozy Corner and I thought I would write you a letter. I am 10 years old. I go to school. I am in the fourth grade. I like my teacher very much. I got for a Christmas present a doll and a ring. I have a burro and I have a great deal of fun with him. He is very stubborn. My youngest little sister has a little dog named Trouble. I haven't any pets. I amuse myself catching mice in a trap.

BASIL BRUMMEL, Carbon, Eastland Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News, but I like to read it. We have not been taking it very long. I am going to school and have eight studies at present, and contemplate taking up another very soon. I study hard and my teacher brags on me. I am 19 years old and for enjoyment I have several correspondents and take several papers and have my books. I never go to parties nor anything but Sunday school and preaching.

LOUIS D. MIKE, Bryan, Brazos Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a new cousin and I don't suppose Mr. Big Hat likes them as well as he does the older ones, but I will try and do my best. I am a little boy and study in the second grade. I am going to try very hard to pass. I have a little pony, his name is Round Rock and he is so pretty. I dearly love him. I passed a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. My mother and I went to Waco to see her sisters and father came after us. I got a violin for a present and I commenced to take lessons on it to-day. My father has been taking The News for fifteen years and says he would not be without it for anything. We have lots of game roosters and papa is going to have a fight soon. I do love to see them fight. I am the only child, but I am not a very bad boy. I send 5 cents for the memorial stone of Gen. Sam. Houston.

ALA SWINK, Pursley, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I have never written to your paper, I will now make my first attempt. I am going to school. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much; they are so interesting. My studies are Texas history, grammar, spelling, arithmetic, geography and physiology. We are boarding the teacher and I like her mighty well. I had quite a pleasant time Christmas. Sadie Long, the answer to y our riddle is a pair of cards. I will ask a question: What is that which is often brought to the table, cut but never eaten?

- February 2, 1896, The Dallas Morning News, p. 14, col. 3-7.
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