January 3, 1897
Little Miss Big Bonnet's letter:
Dear little cousins: When I saw how
many of you remembered me with a "Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year," I said right off, that I was going to write
you a holiday letter. You see, I've been going to kindergarten
this year, and have been so busy braiding pretty paper mats and
little baskets to give my friends for Christmas, that I haven't
had time to write.
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing a letter to this department, first give your full name, postoffice and state. Use pen and ink, on smooth paper, not larger than note size. Write only on one side of the paper and do now sew, paste or pin the sheets together. These rules must be observed to insure publication.
MELVIN HURST, Fort Wayne, Allen Co., Indiana -- Here comes another little Texas boy, 8 years old, to join the Cozy Corner. I read The News every night, and enjoy Little Mr. Big Hat's letters. It is cold here, and the snow is about six inches deep, and the river is frozen. I was born in Dallas, Tex., and now I live in Fort Wayne.
FELICE KAHN, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have read so many of your letters, and now I want you to read mine. We have been taking this paper for a great many years. I am one of your 10-year-old readers. I go to school, and I am in the high fourth grade. I have nine studies, and I like my teacher very much. I take violin lessons, and I won a medal for proficiency at the state fair this year. I have a bicycle. Christmas is nearly here, but I do not think it will be a cold one, like it ought to be. I have a little sister, 3 years old.
CLARA PRATT, Milam, Sabine Co., Tex. -- Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: Have you room for another little girl in the Cozy Corner? I have just been reading the nice letters and have decided to write, as I have never written before. I read a letter from my little schoolmate, Virgie Harris. Write Write again, Virgie. I am going to school. Miss Nora Goodrich is my teacher. I am 9 years old.
MAY WINTER, Abilene, Taylor Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have read nearly all the letters in this week's News. I have been going to school about five weeks, and have had a very nice time. Don't you all think Dollie Carter writes a good letter for a little 9-year-old girl? We live about two miles and a half apart. Eudora Davis, come again; you write such interesting letters.
PEARL DREW, Edge, Brazos Co., Tex. -- Little Miss Big Bonnet, Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to your department. I have been going to school, but did not go to-day, because I had to help pick some cotton. My teacher is my cousin (a young man). I like to go to school. I am 10 years old. I am in Texas history. If Peggy does not get this, I will write again, and if he does, I will, any way. I have four brothers and one sister. Have any of the cousins seen or heard of a boy about 15 years old, named Ralf Drew? If so, please let me know, because he is my brother, and I do want to hear from him so bad. He left home last March, and we have not seen him since. My father takes The News, and has ever since I can remember. I am glad Ludie Sanders and Herbert Taylor have described themselves. I was tired of hearing the cousins try it. I will not try to write a long letter, because it is my first attempt. I have been going to school ever since I was 5 years old.
DAISY BELLE THOMPSON and MAY BELLE WATSON, Lampasas, Lampasas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes two "Belles" from Lampasas, and our mamas say, we are not bells minus the clappers. It has been our intention to write to the cousins for some time, and this being our first opportunity, we will take pleasure in availing ourselves of it. Mr. Big Hat, you are very kind to give us a whole sheet, and we certainly enjoy reading your letters and the cousins'. Please write again soon. We are attending the public school and like it very much, and are in the senior grade. We have a lovely building, and it is beautifully trimmed inside with oak, and has Venetian blinds. It is situated within a stone's throw of Hanna springs. We have a splendid corps of teachers, and we love them all. The building is a two-story, slate roof, and has thirteen rooms. Cousins, no one of you like school any better than we do, and we think it is the happiest time of our life. I know every one of you are fond of literature. We are, and have read a great deal, and have read most Spenser's, Shakespeare's, Chaucer's, Milton's, Bunyan's, Goldsmith's and Poe's works. We could mention more, but space is valuable. Cousins, how many of you know Bro. Will D. Upshaw, better known as "Earnest Willie?" He is from Atlanta, Ga. He made Lampasas a visit, a few days ago, and lectured about slang while here. We think those accustomed to using slang, after hearing his lecture, would abstain from using it any more. He won the hearts of many people while here, and if his body were not incased in plaster of Paris jacket, we would be tempted to steal his heart, also. Bro. Willie says: "On the misty morning of Feb. 18, 1885, while a happy, hopeful farmer boy, I was hauling timber on an open wagon frame. After unloading with the thought, 'This work must be finished to-day,' I sprang hurriedly upon the wagon. The team started suddenly, I lost my foothold and fell backward, and struck my spine on a cross piece in the frame, and after that, was in bed seven years." Cousins, isn't that just terrible? While in bed, he dictated a book, which his sister wrote. The name of it is, "Earnest Willie, or Echoes from a Recluse." I have read it, and think it is such a sweet book. We do not believe in dancing, and think young ladies and young men should not indulge in such amusement. We do not see any pleasure in dancing, and think it will do you more harm than good. We do not play cards, either. Herbert Taylor, please do not stay so long on your buzzard ride, as we are anxious to hear from you again. As we were on the way to the postoffice to mail our letter, we heard a dreadful noise and glanced around and saw Peggy after us, trying to get our letter. May Belle kept him away while Daisy Belle ran and mailed the letter, and cousins, what do you suppose she saw on her return? May Belle had saddled him and gone a-riding! Cousins, we have learned to love you all by reading your sweet letters, and please write again soon. We are 15 and 16 years of age, and members of the Baptist church, and have a splendid pastor. Cousins, let's give Peggy some hay for a Christmas present. We think it is just awful for poor Peggy to have to eat paper for his food. We would like to correspond with some of the cousins.
J. EDGAR and LIZZIE KATE CRAIGHEAD, Breckenridge, Stephens Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet: We have been intending to write to you for some time, so as to be in time to vote for our favorite flower. When we were trying to decide, mother asked us if we could have only one flower, which would it be? We very quickly made up our minds, we could not give up the beautiful rose, the queen of flowers. Edgar votes for the red rose, so does Sister Mary (who is at school) vote for the white rose. Sister Mary says if Gene Myrdock wishes any assistance or information about the Minnesingers, to get a little volume entitled "Song and Legend From the Middle Ages," selected and arranged by McClintock, Chautauqua Century Press. It says: "In the twelfth century, Germany had a remarkable outburst of lyric poetry, chiefly songs of love. The influence of the crusades, the spread of the romances of Arthur and Charlemagne, roused over all Germany, the spirit of poetry. The poets of this new movement were called Mennesingers. They wrote, also, long romances of chivalry. In the twelfth century, alone, the names of 150 Minesingers have come down to us. They composed the music of their song at the same time with their verse," Can our "Minesingers do that? We were so glad you published our first letters in the summer, for our cousin Maud Redfield, who lives in Dallas, saw them and praised and cut them out to keep. We both received letters from strangers of the same name as our own, and answered them. Edgar has been so busy picking cotton, he hasn't answered the last letter from Edgar R. Craighead of Martens. Wishing all a merry Christmas, we will close for this year.
EDNA FINE and ANNIE JONES, Carlton, Hamilton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet, and also Peggy: Here comes two white-headed girls, with black eyes, and just as ugly as they get to be. We have been going to school, and have a jolly time playing. Dixie O'Neal, you write an excellent letter, and we sincerely hope your rays will fall over in this direction, as soon as possible. Cousin Ludie, we would like very much to see you. If your pen picture is true, we should think you a perfect model. Cousin Herbert, we hope your father has not sewed you up in that sack yet. Cousins, we love to read like some of the rest of you, but I do not read novels.
MARY BREEDING, Eddy, Eddy Co., New Mexico -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As my other letter was printed, I thought I would write again. There is a cave about twenty-four miles from Eddy. I thought I would tell you about the visit we made to the cave. We started early one morning. It was Sunday, and we reached there about 11 o'clock. We ate dinner in the entrance, and then went into the cave. The floor is very rugged, and it is all one can do to keep from falling. There is a well in the cave, and the water is very good. There are large rooms in the cave, and many pretty and large rocks. In one place, we came to a large hole in the floor, and about fifty yards away, there was another. A man got in one hole, and another in the other, and they could see the light of each other's candle. There is a bat cave in the cave where there is a good many bats, but we did not go there, because it was getting late. We reached home about 8 o'clock at night.
ADDIE SOWELL, Utopia, Uvalde Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet, and so many unknown cousins: Will you admit me into your circle? Maybe if you all should say I could be admitted, Peggy wouldn't, but I will try for the first time. I have been reading the cousins' letters for some time, and think them very entertaining. I live four miles from a little town called Utopia. We have been living in the country only a short time. I have a sister 14 years old, boarding and going to school there. The town consists of two hotels, two blacksmith shops, one millinery shop, a school house, two stores and a church. My father did have a store, but sold out. Our place is situated at the foot of a small mountain, and not far west, is a long range of mountains. The scenery is beautiful, I think. Olia Grisham, I think you are mistaken in the time when the battle of Goliad was fought. I think it was fought, March 18, 1836. I will answer your question. Louisiana was purchased by the United States in 1803. I would ask some questions, but think my letter is quite long enough for this time. Ella M. Clark and Juanita St. Clair, come again.
MAUD CANION and ESTELLE SMITH, Austin, Travis Co., Tex. -- Here come two Austin girls, asking for admittance. This being our first attempt, we hope that our letter will not find its way to the waste basket. AS we hadn't seen any letters from Austin, we thought that we would be the first Austin girls to join your happy band. Have any of you cousins ever been here? If you have, we know you admired the dam, the magnificent capitol, and the elevated electric towers that cast their brilliant light over the city by night. Cousins, we are the same age, to a day. Guess our age. We will answer one of the cousins questions: La Salle was killed by Duhaut, March 19 or 20, 1687. The exact spot where La Salle was murdered and buried is unknown, but the best authorities declare it to be on the Neches river. Now, we will ask a few questions: What is the etymology of news? On the summit of Pike's peak in July, how long will it take an egg to cook thoroughly? When the president dies, the vice president takes the chair, but if the vice president's cabinet should all die about the same time, who would take the chair then?
LUELLA WOOD, Sonora, Sutton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: After a long absence, I will stop for a little chat with you. I am going to school and learning fast. I am in the seventh grade. I was 9 in October. There is snow to-day. Last winter, we didn't have a bit of snow, but winter before last, we had snow to make up for lost time. At dinner, we children had plenty of snow to play with, but it has all dried off now. It drys so rapidly. Mr. Big Hat, where were you, Thanksgiving? I was way down in a cave, about one-half mile, looking around with a candle in my hand. When we first went into the cave, we shot two large rattlesnakes. Then, we ate dinner and went in the first room, where I got several pretty rocks. I wish you could see some of them. We went to Joseph's well. We slid down every other step. Then, in the main hole, one of the boys broke a rock off in the shape of a lady with a shawl thrown over her shoulders. Her eyes, nose, lashes, mouth and hands were so natural. The water dripped down all the time. It was so warm in the cave, we all came out just wet with perspiration. I want to give a puzzle for all to study out. A Kentucky farmer and his wife owned a pig, and they wanted to weigh it. The man weighed 135 pounds, and his wife, 100 pounds. They put a board across the fence, so that when they sat down upon the ends, it exactly balanced. Then, they exchanged places, the wife holding the pig, when the board exactly balanced again. What was the weight of the pig? I will also ask a question: Which is the most useful in the kitchen, the broom or the dishrag? There are about 250 scholars in our school. I never picked a pound of cotton in my life, and never saw a half acre of land in cotton. I milk, do all of the sewing and cutting, and am going to take work. I will make the motion that we commence the first of this month and count and see how many cousins there are. Let some one help me, and at the end of three months, let us make a report, and see how many writes in three months. Let me knew soon, who will help me.
OLLIE WILLIAMS, Sonora, Sutton Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and very many unknown cousins: I will call to have a little talk with you, but will not stay very long, for fear my teacher will come after me. I am going to school. I am in the seventh grade. I have got a nice deskmate, Minnie Bean. I have three brothers and two sisters. I am the oldest of them all. I am 15. My papa calls me his boy. I cut nearly all of our wood. My brothers are small. I walk two miles to school, but I miss sometimes, but not willingly.
SALLIE THORNTON, Byron, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: For a long time, I have been a silent admirer of the Cozy Corner, and I have written several letters, but, when I would finish them, the horrible visage of Peggy, with his big ears, would arise before my imagination, as if to say, "You will have to do better than that, else, it will fall to my lot to make a feast of it." So, I would destroy it. But, seeing a letter from my friend and chum, Maud Culbert, in The News, I was somewhat encouraged, and thought I would try. And, don't think, Mr. Big Hat, that, by not printing this, that you will be rid of me, for "If at first, I don't succeed," I'll try, try again. I live in Ellis county, near Ennis. How many of the cousins live on the farm? I do, and I prefer country life to any other. You can hear the sweet birds sing the livelong day; you can raise all the flowers you wish, and 1000 other little pleasures are granted you in the country, which are denied you in the great, noisy city. Cousins Hattie Friend, Mettie Kelly and Atwell Clarke, come again; you write such interesting letters. I had some beautiful white and pink chrysanthemums, rose and cane geraniums and white begonias, but they all got killed when this cold spell came. I was almost sorry enough to cry, for I think there is nothing so nice and comforting as a lot of flowers. I think the flower department of the corner a nice arrangement.
LESLIE E. McCLELLAN, Ledbetter, Fayette Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you let a boy like me into your charming circle? I am 13 years old. Papa has been taking The News two years, and I read the cousins' letters and enjoy them very much. Papa had a great laugh over Herbert Taylor's last letter. I have no pets, unless it is my little sister, Myrtle. She is 8 months old, and is so pretty and sweet. She was born with only one arm, and can pat-a-cake with her little feet, so nice. I will send you her picture some time, if you wish it. I have a little brother, 4 years old, and a sister, 7 years old. I guess I have written enough, as I am a stranger, but if this is printed, I will come again.
MINA RAY LEVI, Victoria, Victoria Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As this is my first attempt in writing to The News, I will not detain you very long. I am 12 years old and study five books. I go to the Neold seminary -- a female school -- and like it very much. There is going to be a Mother Goose party here after Christmas. To take part, each child has to represent something. I am going to represent the little violets. Our school expects to give two weeks holiday for Christmas, and I expect to enjoy it during vacation, as I have been studying hard for examination. I will answer a question that was asked by Gus Ford. La Salle was killed by Huhant, March 19 or 20, 1687.
MARY LEA HUDDLESTON, Leander, Williamson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Allow me the privilege of writing to the department again. Winter is here once more. Will you allow space for a few verses?
I suppose all of the cousins know what cracked the old Liberty bell, that rang all day and nearly all night when America gained her independence. When it was hung up, it was thought to be made out of the best material, but when the first stroke was made by the clapper, it cracked. Attempts have been made to fix it, but no one has been successful, so far. Cousins, how many of you like that piece entitled, "America," written by S. F. Smith, in 1832? I, for one, think it is one of the grandest poems I ever read. I see where one of the cousins said that she didn't like "Josiah Allen's Wife's" pieces. They are just full of wit and humor, I think. Miss Minnie Williams, come again, I admire your letters so much. Lee Sypert, why don't you come oftener? You are admired by all of the cousins. Some of the cousins uphold dancing, and say that there isn't any more harm in dancing, than in shouting. Why, cousins, dancing is ridiculous and vulgar. There isn't anything any more vulgar than to see young people get out on the floor and begin to jump around. I do love to see any one religious, but I do not like to hear any one shout. Still, there is quite a difference between dancing and shouting.
PEARL BRINSON, Jewett, Leon Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you let me in and chat with you a little while? I am a little girl, 9 years old. My papa takes The News, and I like to read the cousins' letters. They are very interesting. I go to school and study in the fifth grade. I like to go to school. I have four little sisters.
NEVA KENNON, Pottsboro, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and little cousins. Will you let another little girl join your happy circle? I am 7 years old. I go to school. We have twenty-five or thirty Chickasaws going to our school. We are going to have a concert Christmas. I am in a doll drill. My little brother had a letter in the Cozy Corner, not long since. Mamma was surprised to see his letter in print. I would like to vote for the pretty red rose, if I am not too late.
LEE HUGHES, Blue Ridge, Collin Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: This is a cold Sunday morning to call on Mr. Big Hat. I came to Collin county, seven years ago. My old home is in Florida. Mr. Big Hat, excuse bad writing, as I got my finger half shot off with a 45-caliber sixshooter. Will you please tell where I must send a letter, so it will reach the question department in Tuesday's issue of The News?
Mr. Big Hat's
DAN B. WILLIAMS, Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little Texas boy. I call myself a Texas boy, but I am not. I was born in Lynchburg, Va., Jan. 28, 1886. I lived there over eight years. Then, we came to Memphis, Tenn. I like Memphis better than any city I have ever lived in. From there, we moved to Arkansas, and from there, to Texas. I believe I like Texas about as well as any state I have ever lived in. The Blue Ridge mountains were in view of our home in Virginia. We could see the Peaks of Otter, too. At this season of the year, coasting is very fine in Lynchburg. I like to go to school. We have a society, and meet every Friday, and have reading and recitations. We expect to move to Memphis, soon, but I want The News wherever I go. I hope we will go, but I don't like to leave Fort Worth. I certainly do like literature. I have read "Kit Carson," "Willie Billy," "Life of Washington," "Desert of Ice," "Uncle Tom's Cabin," "Prairie Boys," "Tom Sawyer," "Suwanne River," "Anderson's Fairy Tales," "Black Beauty," "Five Little Peppers," and other books. We get The News every Sunday. It is a grand paper. I will vote for the white rose.
WALTER CLARK, Snyder, Scurry Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: The wind has been blowing from the northeast since last Thursday night, and it has been freezing all the time. This morning, the ice was about two inches thick. This western country is settling up rapidly. We have fine grass, and prospects are good for stock to winter well. Snyder is a thriving little town of about 500 inhabitants. Our school employes three teachers, and has an attendance of 160 pupils. There was a large lobo wolf killed within a mile of the courthouse, a few days ago. Some of us schoolboys are going to have a debate on this question: "Resolved, that Houston did more for Texas than Austin." I am on the affirmative side. Hello, Leat Hill, I am somewhat of a "broncho buster" myself, but I don't let them run off of a fifty-five-foot bluff. That, and the bear story, sound pretty scarey.
LIZZIE HIGH, Moody, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters this morning, and thought I would write to the Cozy Corner. This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. My father is a farmer. We have a new house, but our old house burnt up about five years ago. I have taken six months of music lessons. I want to correspond with some of the cousins. I will vote for the yellow rose. My age is 13.
MINNIE HICKMAN, Lampasas, Lampasas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: May I join the Cozy Corner? I am a little girl, 11 years old. I go to school and am in the seventh grade. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters. Papa has been taking The News a good while. I have a great many playmates. It has turned very cold here. We had ice this morning. It rained here, day before yesterday. I will try to do better next time.
LAURA ROSS, Carthage, Panola Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: It has been several months since I have written to The News. I would write much oftener, if I could write interesting letters like some of the cousins. I am not going to school now, but will start soon. I love to go to school. I was 15 years old the 14th of November. I had a nice present. The cousins tell of their pets. I have none, but a little baby brother. I cast my vote for the sweet white rose.
SUSAN BERKSHIRE, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have long been a silent admirer of the Cozy Corner. I was almost afraid to write, for fear of Peggy getting my letter. So many of the cousins say that they like to go to school. I really and truly don't believe it. If there is anything under the sun that I do despise, it certainly is school. I go to the Dallas high school, and have one of the best teachers that could be had. If any of the cousins knew her, they would also like her. I know that cousin very well that professes to be 29 or 30 years old. He has a very good memory and a splendid education. I don't see why the cousins don't vote for a Texas flower, and my friend, Mr. Clark, also thinks so. I would like to correspond with any of the cousins, aged between 13 and 14. If any would like to correspond with me, they can let me know in the next letter they write to the Cozy Corner. My age is 14 years.
MYRA LEE BROWN, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am sure the cousins will have to stop talking of warm weather now, for it's quite cold here. I spent a very pleasant vacation, and now expect to spend the winter in hard study, for I very much want an education. We have monthly examinations every month, and on my last report, I received 100 in five studies. I study seven studies. I have very little time for reading, but am now reading Tennyson's poems, which I like very much. We have only one more holiday to look forward to this year -- Christmas. Doesn't that sound good? Cousin Aggie Kelley, you write such sweet letters, and I assure you that you can never be forgotten by me. I, like Era May Saape, should like very much to know what has become of Bessie Smith. Paula P. Evans, your story was real nice, and I hope you will make frequent visits to the Corner. Lee Sypert, your letters interest me very much. I hope the little cousins who were to spend Christmas at grandma's, will write us all about it afterward. I will, as you say, Mr. Big Hat, be brief. I cast my vote for the lovely white chrysanthemum.
GEORGE COZART, Tidwell, Hunt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here is another little boy to join your happy band, if accepted by the Cozy Corner. I am a farmer's boy, 13 years old. I am going to school. I live a good way from the schoolhouse, but I want to make a great man some day. Pa bought me an organ, and I am learning to play a little.
WINNIE RUDOLPH, Hartley, Hartley Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I like to go to school. I am 7 years old. I will vote for the violet. As this is my first letter, don't let Peggy have it.
MALCOMB McQUEEN, Greenville, Butler Co., Ala. -- Dear cousins: I thought I would write to you all again, as kind Peggy did not eat my last letter. I am quite busy going to school now. As the old maxim reads,
We do not know how soon our opportunity may be taken from us. A boy without an education these days, has a poor chance to make a living. I think all fathers and mothers should send their boys to school, for that is the best way they could invest their money.
ANNIE LOBENSTEIN, Cuero, DeWitt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first letter to you, and I hope all my cousins, aunts and uncles will be able to read it. Grandpa Lobenstein has been a reader of The News many years. He has sent us the Sunday News every week for about nine years, and I like to read it. I was born in Galveston, and all my folks live there. Papa moved to Cuero ten years ago. We went on a visit to Galveston about four years ago, and I liked the place very well. I am 10 years old, and am going to the graded school and love my teacher. She is very kind to us. Papa said he would visit Galveston, Christmas, and will take me along. Give my love to my cousins and let me hear from them.
ANNIA MURRAH, Groveton, Trinity Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Peggy has eaten so many of my letters this year, that I hope you will let me in now to chat a little while. I guess it is because I have written them with lead pencil. Several of the cousins have asked what has become of me. I am still alive, you see, but am not enjoying life as well as I did last year, for I am still sick most of the time. I am living nine miles from town, and get very lonesome. I am not corresponding with any of the cousins now, except Maud Foy, so I wish some of the girls would write to me. I don't expect Santa Claus will find me this year, I live so far away, but I send my best wishes to the other cousins for a merry Christmas.
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