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Index to Submitters of The Cozy Corner Letters
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October 4, 1896

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.

DAISY SHIRLEY, ESMA SIMON, ELSIE TONG, EVA COHEN, TESSIE COHEN AND SYBIL MEYER, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: Six little Texas girls got very lonesome during the long vacation, and concluded it would be nice work to raise a little money for the Sam Houston monument fund. So, recitations, songs, etc., were carefully learned and tickets sold at two for a nickel. The entertainment was a decided success. It made us very happy to be able to send a big round dollar to the fund. And, six tired little girls went to bed happy that night. We want every one to know that we appreciate the heroic men that made our big state the free, glorious state we now enjoy. We hope you will publish this in The News.

BLANCHE LONG, Purley, Franklin Co., Tex. --
     Good evening, Mr. Big Hat and cousins, dear.
     You may be surprised to see me here;
     But, I have a silent admirer been,
     And think, perhaps, you will let me in
     To the dear Cozy Corner and let me choose
     A flower for an emblem of the dear old News --
     For the Cozy Corner, of course, I mean.
     The white rose is about the prettiest I've seen;
     For, just like love, is the white rose.
     A heavenly fragrance all 'round it throws;
     Yet, tears its dewy leaves disclose,
     And, in the midst of briers, it blows;
     Just like love.
     I'm a country girl, which, I very much enjoy,
     Where there is plenty, my time to employ.
     I live in Purley, a village small.
     Where oak trees grow very large and tall.
     Papa is postmaster here, and a merchant, too.
     He owns a gin and mill and farms some acres few.
     He farms in the spring and gins in the fall,
     But, doesn't clerk hardly any at all.
     I have five brothers and five sisters, too;
     And, there's enough work for us all to do.
     'Tis so very hot, dry and dusty here,
     Like it is in most ev'ry place this year.
     Our school will begin before a great while;
     Then, many a face will wear a smile.
     I like to go to a country school,
     Where there's plenty of shade and breezes blow cool.
     Our last teacher was very good and kind,
     And she, for one, I would always mind.
     She would greet us every day with a loving smile,
     Though tired she might be (for she walked a mile).
     I am fifteen years old, does it give you surprise?
     If so, I'll rest my weary eyes.

[Note: William W. Long was appointed postmaster at Purley, on October 5, 1891, and held that post until the post office was discontinued on November 30, 1906.]

HELEN KERFOOT, Mullin, Mills Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and Cousins: I have not written to any other paper, but I thought I would write to the Cozy Corner. I have a twin sister, who is writing, too. I think Ludie Sanders is tall, has a few freckles, black hair and is fond of school. I want to ask the cousins a riddle: Why is a woman's jaws like a span of mules? I have been up to Goldthwaite once with father. It is thirteen miles from where I live. I have a little chicken, and I think I will name it after Joe Farmer, as it is very smart. I like to live in the country very much. This is my first attempt to write, and I hope it won't reach Peggy.

FISHER RAWLINS, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Little Miss Big Bonnet: You will find a stamp in this letter (for postage) so you will send me your picture, and if you would like mine, after seeing it, say so. I had on long trousers. I hope you have been more careful in your travels. I think you showed more bravery than your mama or mine, either, for I do not think either one of them would have tried to pull a boat to "Europe" by means of their second best sash. I am going to study German. I can say part of the Lord's prayer in German now. I must say something for the benefit of Mr. Big Hat's cousins, or he will not let you have this letter. Mama said: "Fisher, why are you mussing your curls?" I was only scratching my head like men do when they are trying to think. Oh, I have something to say, and if all of Mr. Big Hat's cousins will copy and remember to do it, their mamas will feel I have said something. It is what mama says to my brother, "Philip," every morning, before he goes to school: "Son, what about your ears, neck, hands and nails?" Sometimes he smiles and says: "They are all right," and then again, he looks right down his nose and goes and washes them over.

FLORENCE GIDDENS, Dundee, Archer Co., Tex. -- Dear Cozy Corner: I have come to see you once more before school commences. I noticed in the last issue, Gus Ford, Waldo Kennedy and Minnie Rodgers spoke of my letters. Many thanks. You will find an honored place in my scrap-book. Gus, I haven't been in a big cave, as you call it, but I have been at home since my last letter, until a week or two ago. I started again. My first trip was to the "Irrigation barbecue" at Wichita Falls. Papa, sister and I went in the covered wagon. We could have gone on the train, as it runs so we could have stayed four or five hours, but we wanted to camp out. It is only twenty-eight miles from here to the Falls. We started one evening and traveled until about sundown. Then, papa unhitched the horses and sister and I built the fire. Soon, we had our delicious supper cooked. Mamma had fixed us a nice lunch before leaving home, and that, with our good coffee and meat, was enough to make any one hungry. I drank, oh, I don't know how many cups of coffee, but you can see directly what an effect it had on me. After supper, papa said as it was cool, he would drive until about midnight, and that sister and I could lie down. We had a feather bed and plenty of pillows, so we thought that would be grand. We had gone but a little ways, when thumpty bump, a sack full of clothes I ad tied up in the wagon, came down on me. After several attempts by half kneeling and half standing, I managed to tie it again. Every time I got about half asleep, the wagon would run over a dog hole. I became aware of the fact about 11 o'clock that my coffee was still keeping me company. About 11:30, and nine miles this side of Wichita, papa stopped for the night. I still was awake, and felt like I might remain in the same condition the rest of the night. After everything got quiet, I went to sleep, only woke up once, and as the wolves were keeping watch, I wandered back to slumberland. The next morning, we were up early and drove into the Falls early in the morning. That night, we staid at a friends, and next day, came home. I will never drink coffee, especially for supper, again. But, my trip to Mrs. Bellah's is what I started out to tell, and, dear me! here are eight pages already. This is the family I visit every summer, and of whom I have written before. Oscar and Olgy came down one Saturday. I intended going the following Monday to see them, but as they were horseback, I decided if I could get a horse, bridle and saddle together, I would go back with them. After furnishing the bridle (no, I didn't do that, new bits had to be put in) and borrowing a horse and saddle from friends, I, fully equipped, was ready to start. For four or five miles, we went rather slow. Then, Oscar said, "perhaps we had better try to gallop, as we must get home by sundown." I hit the horse and held on for dear life. I bounced like a rubber ball; the only difference was that I or the saddle were not soft. At Bellah, we got us a drink at a hotel and Oscar said he would have to fix the blankets (I had jolted them, as well as myself, out of place.) When he had gotten them straight, I started to get up. "Put your foot in my hand," said he. Now, I'll tell you, cousins, it was the first time I had ever tried to be helped on, and especially that way, for I have to get on a box or something and jump down on my horse. I, innocently, gracefully and confidently, put my foot in his hand. That's all I did. That's all I knew what to do. I thought he would do the rest. We swayed around, I caught frantically at the saddle, but instead of placing me in the saddle, he put me, or my foot, rather, which is the biggest part about me, on the ground. I looked at Oscar, Oscar looked at me. "Why didn't you jump?" said he. "I didn't know you had to jump," I replied. (I wasn't a rubber ball.) He led the horse up to the porch, and I meekly crawled on. About sundown, we got to Mrs. Bellah's, but I fear I can't tell you any more, for I have used valuable space already. Suffice it to say, I had a splendid time, and rode home the next Wednesday. Mr. Big Hat, I voted for the rose. I see you haven't mine down.

BIRDIE COATES, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I thought I would write you a letter before school opened, for school is going to open to-morrow. Then, I am sure that will not have much time to write. I am not going to write a long letter, for I am not going to write to you all for a long time. I am going to tell you a story, not like that of Herbert Taylor's, but a true story. It is about a little boy who was drowned in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday morning. His name was Keenen, and he was 14 years old. He fell out of a boat into a hole eighteen feet deep. They had two men out there diving for him, but could not get him until next morning about the same hour. They caught hold of his leg and pulled his shoe and stocking off, but they could not get him, because he was caught between the rocks. It is a very dangerous place, and he is not the first one that was drowned there. About a year ago, a colored boy was drowned there. I send 2 cents for Miss Big Bonnet's and Mr. Big Hat's pictures; also, 10 cents for the memorial fund, and I vote for the sweet little violet.

BESSIE McQUEEN, Greenville, Butler Co., Ala. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I have not written to the Cozy Corner in a long time, I thought I would write. Miss Big Bonnet, you looked mighty sweet in the paper last week. What has become of Ludie Sanders? Come again, Ludie, you write such interesting letters. Herbert Taylor's letter was composed very nice, wasn't it? Seems as if I can hear the cousins say, "Yes," We had a heap of new cousins in last week's paper, didn't we?

MAGGIE BALTZER, Greenville, Butler Co., Ala. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters in The News, and thought I would write while I am visiting my cousin in Greenville. I am having a nice time. School will begin the 1st of September or October. We have only three months' vacation. It seems very short to me. I have formed a good many friends since I came here. I was glad to meet them all. I am expecting to visit a cousin in Montgomery when I go home.

GERTRUDE CALDWELL, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner, but I guess you will admit another 14-year-old girl. I have been a silent reader for a long time. Lauretta Faust, I have a brother not unlike yours. He will not take lessons on the piano, but says that it was never intended for boys to play on. I have but one pet, and it is a dove. One cousin asked what the other cousins had been doing during vacation. I have read two books, one by Dickens ("Martin Chuzzlewith" is its title), the other is "Geoffrey the Lollard," by Frances Eastwood. I have also practiced three hours a day. It has been too hot for anything else. Just think, cousins, only one more month until school! I love to go to school. How many of the cousins like school? Longfellow, Whittier and Hawthorne are my favorite poets. As this is my first attempt, I will say adieu to all, for methinks I can hear Peggy going to the waste basket for refreshments.

MAMIE ROBERTS, Call, Newton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come to join your happy band. As this is my first letter, please do not let Peggy get it. My uncle is taking The News, and I like to read the cousins' letters very well. We have not been living at Call very long. I am a little girl 12 years old. I have no pets, except a deer. My papa is a carpenter. I have three sisters and one brother. They have got a postoffice here now, and I feel more as if I was at home.

LEONORA RENTZ, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Hello, Mr. Big Hat: Will you let a very naughty little girl with a guilty conscience have the floor for just a little while? You will now, won't you? 'Cause you don't know how badly I'd feel to have to deprive the rest of the cousins of the pleasure of my company. Now, I'm going to tell you all about it. By way of explanation, let me say that I live with my uncle. Last Saturday, he came home looking as solemn as an old hen bogged up in a bowl of clabber, and said to me: "Now, Sister, I want you to don your company manners and be just as good as can be, for I'm going to bring the preacher home for dinner with me to-morrow." Say, Mr. Big Hat, I do wish I were a son -- son -- Oh, you know what I mean -- one of those things that walks in its sleep. Because, Mrs. Murray, our housekeeper, says I'm good when I'm asleep. But, when Sunday and the preacher came, I wasn't even sleepy, but just as wide awake, and as hungry as the whale that swallowed Jonah. If I hadn't been so hungry, all this would never have happened, and this sorrowful tale would never have been written. But, Mr. Big Hat, I know you'll appreciate my feelings when I tell you that the preacher asked a blessing that, if written on fool's can[?] and laid five inches to the weather, I know would have reached from Maine to Texas. And, oh! I did get so tired of waiting. That turkey just seemed to grin at me, and the first thing I knew, I blurted out: "Oh, Mr. B., do hurry up and say amen." Goodness, you just ought to have seen uncle! He looked at me as much as to say: "Now, you've been and gone and overthrown the whole dignity of the family, sure." And I -- well, I just didn't know what to do, so I hid my mortification behind a big dish of pickled pig's feet. Say, Mr. Big Hat, were you ever the only child of an old bachelor uncle? Well, it isn't pleasant at all, now, is it? After the preacher left, uncle said to me: "You're a good one, now, aren't you? I think you'd better go upstairs to your room and stay until you think you can behave yourself a little better than you have to-day." Now, I didn't think so, 'cause I'll tell you why. The only closet in this house, except the kitchen pantry, and that's not a closet, is in that room, and something seems to tell me that that's where the family skeleton stays. But, I didn't say anything. So, with beating heart and trembling hand, I opened the door, and here I am. Mr. Big Hat, were you ever locked up with a skeleton? It makes shivers like little barefooted angels with cold feet run up and down your back. Doesn't it? And, you feel as if you'd like to borrow Herbert Taylor's buzzard's wings to fly out of there, too. Don't you? Then, after awhile, when I saw a great big black thing under the bed and got terribly scared and squalled, Mrs. Murray said that was my guilty conscience. But, it wasn't anything of the kind. It was one of our black hair rugs that had been lost about two weeks. Then, she got just as mad as could be, 'cause I told her that showed that she didn't sweep under the beds very often. When I tell you the moral to this little store is, "Never get hungry." I am going to stop.

BERTHA EDWINA SAUFLEY, Decatur, Wise Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I go to school and was promoted to the third grade this term. Mamma calls me a "book worm," because I am so fond of my books. My papa has a cotton office down at Fort Worth, but comes home Saturdays and returns Mondays. Decatur has a fine courthouse in course of construction, which will cost $100,000 when completed. I play dolls sometimes, and have a cute little dollhouse, which my friend, Pet Sparrow, gave me. She is older than I, and when she outgrew her playthings, she gave them all away. Don't you think that was kind of her? We live by the cotton yard and right near the depot, so, if any of the cousins are traveling through here, they can see our house by looking through the car window. It is southwest of the depot, and painted yellow, with red trimmings. When I want to write to Mr. Big Hat, I go down to the cotton yard and get under the shade of a cotton bale, so nothing will bother me, as I always write on Sundays. It is nice and quite there then. I have no pets now, but one time, my uncle in Paris sent me two beautiful kittens by express. They left home, and "The Cat Came Back" did not apply in their case. Ethel Rose, I am so sorry you can not go to school, and hope you may soon be well enough to go again. Your letter was nicely written, and you deserve praise for bearing your affliction so bravely. Very few would have made the progress in school you have, under such difficulties. My grandpa lived in Jefferson when he was a young man. He lives in Paris now, and sometimes, I go down there and stay for several months at a time.

LULA WILLIAMS, Wortham, Freestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Here comes another 13-year-old girl to join your happy band. I am a farmer's daughter. I live one mile and a half from town. I came from Tennessee last December. I had a nice time coming to Texas. I rode 750 miles. I like to go to school. Cousins, why is it that some of you don't like to go to school? I am in the fourth grade. Come again, Herbert Taylor, I like to read your letters. I wish I could write interesting letters like some of you. I like to read the cousins' letters very much. I have some questions to ask: Ludie Sanders, what is the lightest thing you can put in a barrel? Herbert Taylor, what kind of hair did Esau's dog have on his back? Where was Moses when the light went out? Hush! Listen! Knock! Knock! There comes Peggy after my letter, so I will bid you good day.

MARIA BURGAN, Morgan, Bosque Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: You look as sweet as ever. Cousins, you can scarcely imagine what pleasure your letters give me. Such letters as those of Minnie Rogers, Jonie Jones, Esmeralda Simon, Cora Smith, Ludie Sanders, Marla Carr, and many others, are beautiful. Why, good evening, Miss Ruth Miller! How big a cave have you been hiding in? Well, Mr. Lantie, you may count my vote for the cape jasmine. It is just beautiful, I think. Herbert Taylor, I wish you would take another buzzard ride, or some other kind of ride, and tell us all about it. Miss Rachel Sanders, I can't play thunder, but pshaw, I can play the accordion and harp. Ask your papa how he plays thunder. I would like to know. If I had any pets, I guess I would write about them to fill out my letter. I have two sweet little nieces.

MAMIE ROBERTS, Call, Newton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and unknown cousins: Allow a little girl of 13 to join your happy band. I have written to you once, but my letter was not published. I guess Peggy got it. I think Peggy is a nuisance, to get my first letter. I have no pets except a deer and a sweet little sister. I can help mamma do any kind of work she has to do. I can wash, iron and milk, and help cook and sew. I have two sisters younger than myself and one older. I have one brother living and one dead. We moved from north Texas down here last fall. I do not like the southern, as well as the northern portion of the state. It was so bad to leave our friends and relatives so far from us, but any one who will try, can find friends anywhere. I am not going to school now, but hope to start soon.

ARTIE SLOAN, Tascosa, Oldham Co., Tex. -- Miss Big Bonnet: Here comes an 8-year-old girl to join your Cozy Corner. My name is Artie Pearl Sloan. I have two sisters. Etta is 5 years old and Lena is 2 years old. She is our little "boss." I live near the Canadian river, three miles from Tascosa. All the little cousins have pets, but I haven't any at all. I study my books at home when I am out of school. I have read the third reader through four times. I also study spelling and arithmetic. I have seen two or three copies of The News. I love to read the cousins' letters.

OLLIE MAY JOHNSON, Brownwood, Brown Co., Tex. -- Dear Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you let a little girl of 7 into your Cozy Corner? Come again, little Miss Big Bonnet. I think your letter very interesting. We have a good Sunday school here. My little sister, just 2 years old, is crying to write to you. I have never been to school, but will go next year. I haven't any pets but my sweet little sister. I like the white rose best of any flower I have ever seen.

EVA RALSTON, Mansfield, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet: Since I wrote last, our home has been burned. All of my clothes and my little brother's and sister's were burned up, and if it had not been for my little friends, Fannie Wright and Ona and Ola Pyles and their kind mamas, I don't know what we would have done. I think it is so nice to read the cousins' letters. I liked the story of the nineteen cats. I was so glad that Peggy did not get my other letter, and I hope this one will also escape. I have a doll, and the reason that it did not burn up, Ola Pyles and myself let our dolls marry, and just the day before the fire, we moved them to their new home, made of two dry goods boxes.

WILLARD MARLE, Liverpool, England -- Mr. Big Hat, Little Men and Women: I would not intrude myself on your notice so soon after my introduction, were it not for the fact that Lantie Blum's poll closes on the 14th of September, and I wish my vote, if you please, Lantie, to be placed to the credit of the blue violet -- the very bluest. There is no flower that I like better, and few things that I like better than a day's excursion into a Texas wood to find them. The idea of a department flower is a good one, I think, and it may, after a while, have a more ambitious object, in view of the agitation in some of the eastern states, especially Massachusetts, for the adoption by the federal government of a national flower. The center of this agitation has been Boston, where, I believe, it has its origin, and thus far, the columbine has led the "campaign," because it derived its name from Columbus; also because, when fully open, it forms a star, and because it can grow in every state in the union. Altogether, this flower is so well suited, and is so pretty, that I, for one, would not be sorry to see it adopted, both as our national flower, and as our department flower. Of the principle nations of the earth, we are the only ones without a national flower, though a good many people believe, and I was informed of it soon after my arrival here, that the golden rod was our national flower. I did not know it, nor did I believe it, and so far as I know, I have never seen such a flower. Will the cousin who asked "What was the Xenophen of the Texas revolution" kindly answer the question and enlighten those of us who are more ignorant? I don't think the question has been answered, and I am sure I can't answer it, though tolerably proficient in Texas history. If the question was "Who was the Xenophen of the Texas revolution," we might answer, "Mirabeau B. Lamar or Anson Jones, as they both contributed to early Texas literature and history. Mr. Big Hat, I am sorry you will have so much trouble in reading this, but I can offer a pretty good excuse -- it is due to cold. "Cold in August?" Aye, indeed; cold in August for one who has lived so long in the south. I have found an overcoat most comfortable, not to-day only, but for several days past. An interesting discussion was raised in the Liverpool papers some time ago, with the object of locating definitively the house in which Felicia Hermans was born. The weather was hot (for England), the discussion was hot, and some of the participants were hotter. Old Liverpudlians and young Liverpudlians, city historians and antiquarians, thinking men and non-thinking men, all joined in the debate, and old records, deeds and directories were hunted out and consulted and talked about for three weeks or more, and then, the wise men came to the conclusion that Mrs. Hermans was born in a house situated on Dale street. Dale street is two miles long and "chock" full of houses, so when you visit Liverpool, there are plenty to choose from, if you want to know where Mrs. Hermans was born. Her name was Browne before marriage, so that may account for the trouble the "wise men" had, but still, it does seem a little bad that more cannot be found out of the early life of one who contributed so much good poetry to the literature of a nation, as did Mrs. Hermans. The same uncertainty, I believe, hangs over the birthplace of William Roscoe, who was Washington Irving's good friend, when Mr. Irving was in England. Altogether, Liverpool has not done so well by her early great, as most places have; perhaps, because she is intensely commercial. Good-bye, Mr. Big Hat and cousins. It is dreadfully cold and I am tiring you. My vote is cast, and I may not bother you again until the blossom time comes round once more, and the jolly old horse-fly puts an abrupt end to day dreams.

Mr. Big Hat's response:
     Mr. Big Hat and the cousins certainly hope Willard will not wait the return of spring before calling on us again. Willard's letter was postmarked Liverpool, Aug. 29; New York, Sept. 4; Dallas, Sept. 7, -- not so very long for such a journey, but the department has been so crowded with correspondence, that, with many others, it has had to wait its turn. Cousin Ferdi Howard, be sure you give Willard a "warm" place in your growing list of foreign cousins.

MELCHER HOLLAND, Paris, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I shall not transcend the sunlit hills of some imaginary Paradise, nor lead my readers to believe I'm some intellectual giant, drunken with the words of Demosthenes, the coward, tyrant Caesar, or Milton, who chose to reign in hell, rather than serve the angels in heaven, but with plain address, I'll make my first visit to this school of knowledge-seekers. I regret very much that I do not possess that flowery language so essential to an interesting letter, but will ask my readers to bear with me in this weakness, and promise, that to do all in my power to make this epistle worthy the place Mr. Big Hat may accord it. As numerous subjects suitable for this discourse flit through my mind, like until tiny sailboats on an untroubled sea, I am brought to a full realization of what little I know, relative to any one subject. So, instead of probing the profoundest depths of some mystifying science, or discussing philosophy with Bacon, I'll treat on something more comprehensible. How many of us can revel in the thoughts of our greatest authors and thinkers without a sacred reverence for their words, without the memory of them being stamped in golden letters upon our very hearts! So long as a breath from God shall animate my existence, just so long shall I worship with pure devotion at the shrine of these intellectual fountains, and were it not for a burning fire of ambition within me to ascend the topmost round on the ladder of fame, I could retire to some spot away from the busy world, and there pass my remaining days with the teachings of these philosophers as my only companions. But, there's a duty each must perform. Why should I not perform mine with as much willingness and alacrity as my fellow-men? As I write this, these words of the immortal poet hover before my eyes:

          "Lives of great men all remind us,
          We can make our lives sublime,
          And departing, leave behind us,
          Footprints on the sands of time."

     Could we all realize the truth contained in those few lines, and abide by our realization, truly this age would be the crowning point in the progress of civilization. For fear of occupying too much valuable space, I'll now take my departure, wishing Mr. Big Hat and our cousins ever success with whatever craft they may launch upon life's turbulent sea.

ARTHUR BURKETT, Burkett, Coleman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my second attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. We thrashed our grain last Friday. Herbert Taylor, come again. I think your letter was real nice. Papa hired some Mexicans to grub some land for him. He paid them $2.50 per acre. Please feed Peggy some oats before my letter reaches him. We have started to picking cotton. There is a protracted meeting going on about two miles from here. I attended last Sunday night. It is awful dry and hot here. We haven't had any rain since the 12th of July.

BESSIE ROBINSON, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Texas. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will write for the first time to the Cozy Corner. I go to Sunday school whenever I can. I like to go. I am 10 years old. I have a brother who is 11 years old. I will go to school when school begins, and will be in the low fourth grade. If the mule gets this letter, it will have a good meal. I will ask you a riddle and see if you can answer it: There is a little wee man in a little red coat, a stick in his hand and a stone in his throat. The mule is coming, so I must close for this time.

BETTIE SKAGGS, Post Oak, Jack Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will write again, as I haven't written for some time, and I feel that some of the cousins would like to hear from this part of the Lone Star state. This is a lovely country, though we have had a long-continued drought. But, in spite of dry weather, I think there will be plenty made for the coming year. I haven't been going to school for some time, but will start soon. We will have a new lot of teachers in our next school. I expect a good time. I will be happy to meet all of my old schoolmates once more. Miss Big Bonnet, do you expect to go to Europe again soon? I would love to go there myself. Lee Beaumont, I would like so much to have some of your vine seed. I will ask a question: Which one of the apostles was beheaded at Jerusalem, and which was stoned and then beheaded? Peggy, don't get this letter and I will write again.

KATIE NORTON, Rusk, Cherokee Co., Tex. -- Dear cousins: One of the cousins asks if I am not letting my timidity get the better of me. Now, I must confess that I am very timid about writing, for each week, there is such splendid letters written by our most inspired writers, that I shrink at the very thought of writing, my letters seem so dull beside theirs. I see we have been honored by another visit from Johnnie Price. I am glad that he is out of school, so that we may enjoy the pleasure of his interesting epistles for a few weeks, anyway. Maud Carson, what has become of you? It is time you were making your appearance again. I notice some of the cousins are speaking of going to decorate Thomas Stewart's grave. I think some of us ought to go to decorate Harry Hale's grave, too, for he certainly must be dead. I am glad to know that we have a rising poet among us in Herbert Taylor. There is more than one, though, I think. Cousin Marie Taylor seems to be very poetical; perhaps Marie and Herbert are kin. In my imagination, I picture Cousin Herbert as being 5 feet 6 inches tall, with dark hair, blue eyes and light complexion. He has an intelligent face and is very mischievous. Now, Ludie, I think you are a girl of medium height and size, with black hair and eyes and fair complexion. You are very ambitious. Mr. Buzzard Rider, the next time you start on one of your tours, be sure to put a bell on old Go Ahead. While you are sailing through the elements, the bell would be sure to attract our attention, and we might get a peep at you. Wallpapur A. Shinplaster, every time you feel like bringing your name, pay us a call. Cousin Lantie V. Blum, if I am not too late in sending in my vote, I will vote for the white chrysanthemum. Miss Big Bonnet, your last letter was so nice. It was a pity that those dolls never got to Europe, after having got so near. Did you and the other little girls fish them out of the pool, or are they still lying at the bottom of it? I think your new dress and cap are cute. Florence Giddens, Nellie Fallon and Hattie Simmons have taken the lead again. The beautiful golden sunset is flooding everything with beauty. The green hills are tipped with light and look as if they were wearing crowns of gold. Soon, darkness will envelop the earth, and all nature will be asleep. It is charming to me to sit alone in the summer twilight and watch the light of day fade upon the landscape. It makes one think of Gray's poem entitled "Elegy in a Country Churchyard." I see the cousins are telling of their favorite authors. I hardly know which is my favorite author. Milton, Whittier and Shakespeare are my favorite poets.

FRANKIE ASSITER, Blum, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: After a lapse of a few weeks, I, again, make my appearance in a very wet and bedraggled condition, as I was caught out in a rain. Tom Hood, it takes a red-headed, freckled-faced college girl to do anything well, and with the addition of a few nails, screws and a hammer to the broadax and grubbing hoe, I think that sentence would be framed to perfection. Do any one of you know what Lauretta Faust has become so fascinated with, that she has so secluded herself from the Cozy Corner? Ethel Rose, you have my heartfelt sympathy in your affliction. Evelyn Roschell, the origin of the pansy has baffled the most celebrated horticulturists. It is supposed by some to be merely a cultivated form of the viola, trictor and others of that species, but it is, unfortunately, not possible to arrive at any definite conclusion on this point. The celebrated Mr. Darwin confesses himself to have been foiled in the attempt to unravel the origin of the pansy. It is, therefore, left to the future horticulturist with greater minds than their predecessors. Joe Palmer, come again; your letter was just splendid. Ludie Sanders, it is time for you to write again. I know all of the cousins would be glad to hear from you. Sallie Critic, hide yourself and goose quill from those dreadful boys, so you can write a longer letter next time. Genevieve Myrdoch, come again and give that chum of yours a raking over, if she did not do as I told her. Minnie Rodgers, come again. Your letter was good. But, here, I must bring my letter to an abrupt close, as I see some of the cousins are propping their eyes open to keep from going to sleep. This is the last letter I will write for quite a while, as I start to school soon.

LAURA FRANCIS, Sachse, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This beautiful Sunday morning, I will timidly knock for admittance into your Cozy Corner. I have been a silent admirer of The News for a great while, but for fear of choking that awful mule to death, I have hesitated to write till now. And, if Peggy is so wicked as to eat my first letter, if it chokes him, I can't help it. My subject shall be Capt. John Smith. He was both writer and fighter, and one of the greatest adventurers of an adventurous age. When yet a boy, he left his home and enlisted as a private soldier in the wars of Holland. He was captured and made a slave. He killed his master and escaped to Russia, and when 25 years of age, he returned to England. During the first two years of the existence of the Jamestown colony, he was known as the great deliverer. On one of his exploring expeditions, he was taken prisoner by the Indians and sentenced to death, but his life was spared through the entreaties of the chief's daughter, Pocahontas, who afterward was married to John Rolfe, one of the settlers. The flower I choose is the violet. It always makes me happy.

          To hear the gentle rippling stream,
          As it on its journey goes,
          Down in the shady woodland,
          Where the modest violet grows.

EUGENE SAVELL, Hubbard City, Hill Co., Tex.-- Mr. Big Hat: If you will permit me to say a few words in the Cozy Corner, I will feel very grateful, as this is my first attempt. Dear cousins, don't you think the editor of The News very anxious for our advancement? I have been reading the cousins' letters for some time and have found them very interesting, especially this week. Some of the cousins have said something about reading. I want to say just a word from experience. A good book strengthens the mind. If you spend your spare minutes reading good literature, you will be useful in this world, but if you read 10-cent novels, you are not contented with anything, unless you are reading one. You are cross with everything, even yourself. They make one forgetful, and I never saw any one that wanted a reader of 10-cent novels about. Some of the cousins have been writing about education. I think it one of the grandest things a person can possess. The society of an educated person is sought by every one. There are always positions for people with a good education. Cousins Ollie May Rogers and Etta Atkinson, come again; your letters are just splendid. Just let me say we should beware of our associates. You can say, "They don't hurt me, because I am not going to do anything wrong, for I have better sense." Bad company will get any one into trouble, sooner or later. If your associates are not enlightening, it is best for you to quit their society. Cousin Frank Newman, the answer to your riddle is a man. I am 18 years old. Good wishes to all, even Peggy. Feed him on 10-cent novels, so he will get sick.

CORINNE ARNOLD, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I very seldom see letters from Galveston, so I thought I would write to you. My papa has been taking The News for nearly five years. I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much. Florence Giddens, don't you remember me? I think you write such nice letters. I am 12 years old. Our school will open on the 15th of September. I like to go to school, except on rainy days, when I am afraid. I wrote to Jennie Arnold, for she may be my cousin, but I don't know. I have four cats for pets and two brothers, one of whom is my twin. This is the first time I ever wrote to you.

RALPH ROBINSON, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come to introduce myself, as there is nobody to do it for me. I am 11 years old and go to school when I can, which is most all the time. I will be in the high fifth grade when school begins, Sept. 21. I have one sister. She is 10 years old. I believe I will cast my vote for the pretty little dark-blue pansy. Very likely, the old mule will get this, so I will close, for there is poison in it, and it may make him sick.

RUTH KERFOOT, Mullin, Mills Co., Tex. -- Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: This is the first time I have written to The News, and I hope it will be published. My father has been taking The News ever since March, and I like to read the cousins' letters very much. I live three miles from the nearest town, which is Mullin. It has eight stores in all. I will ask a riddle: Why is a dog's tail a novelty? I think the primrose is a nice flower for the Cozy Corner. I have a kitten named Benjamin Franklin, and two chickens. One is named Pet[?], the other is named Herbert Taylor, after the buzzard rider. The public school does not commence until Nov. 1. I like to live out in the country very much. I think it is healthier than in the city. I have a sister. Her name is Helen. My age is 11.

WILHELMINE M. CLARK, Fredericksburg, Gillespie Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: With a hesitating step, I once more approach and humbly ask for admittance to the Cozy Nook, where our kind editor and the countless number of cousins are assembled, engaged in pleasantly exchanging news and discussing other topics of interest. The subject of my presence is to give my opinion, as well as learn the ideas of others regarding one of the cousin's suggestion -- selecting a flower as an emblem of the Cozy Corner. The very word "Cozy Corner" implies all that is attractive and pleasant to the reading, as well as writing, cousins, but now, much greater will the attraction be after we have decided on a posy! The aforesaid suggestion is well worth giving a careful concentration, as much of the future attraction may depend on the chosen flower of the department. Nearly all of the youths' departments in the different papers have an emblem. I approve of the idea of having our corner represented thus; and think a native flower of our own state best suited. From all appearance, the majority are in favor of some particular cultivated flower. Why is this? Mr. Big Hat, would not a native flower of Texas be most suitable for this purpose? Why should we select a flower which is a native of a foreign country, when Texas offers more varieties and lovelier hues than any other country on the globe? The majority of the cousins are Texans, and The News is one of the leading papers of the Lone Star state; therefore, why not choose a flower of its soil? This does not imply that I am not as fond of cultivated flowers as any one else; quite the reverse. I admire and love flowers. These "children of nature" afford one many hours of pleasure and study. We do not need them for our outward life; they are not a necessity to sustain life, but how much cheerfulness, love and contentment a small bouquet of flowers may afford even an invalid. As I said above, I am very fond of flowers. No doubt, some of you may remember that I posses a little talent as an artist, and flower painting is my special success. I have carefully studied the different flowers, and nothing affords me greater delight than to portray their beauty on canvas! If Mr. Big Hat permits, I will say a few words about cultivated and native flowers. The "Queen of Flowers" is certainly one of Flora's loveliest children. Hundreds of varieties of the rose are in existence, the color varying in shade and hue from creamy white to coppery yellow -- all the result of cultivation. The so-called "green rose," offered by the florists, belongs to the "Bengal roses," and is not as attractive as the name may indicate. The geranium (California's beauty) is almost as great in variety as the rose. While not as fragrant, it is just as attractive. Calia lilies, also of California fame, are handsome when their large, creamy flowers are towering above their green leaves. They add great beauty to a picture when finished -- after the artist's pleasure (and patience) have been exhausted in shaping and shading it. The fuchsia, a native of Mexico, was first introduced into Germany by the botanist named Fuchs, and from him derived its name. It is, at present, one of the German favorites. The plant, when bearing its graceful, drooping flowers, is beautiful beyond description. Who does not know the lily of the valley, one of Europe's natives, and extensively cultivated in the United States? The sweet little violet is one of Texas' own, as well as other countries. "Pansies for thoughts." These beauties appear to gaze into one's eyes and ask a thousand unanswerable questions. During one spring, mama had as many as twenty-five different varieties blooming at one time. One of India's flowers is the tube rose, "the sweetest for scent that blows." St __ew flowers are more fragrant than carnations and pinks. Marguerita pinks originated in Italy and were named in honor of the queen. Easter's flower, we find in the Bermuda lily. Its name indicates its [origin]. The bridal wreaths of orange blossoms are gathered in the south and west. Now, I have named a few of the well-known cultivated favorites. To name all would fill a volume, besides the cousins, perhaps, are more familiar with them than I. The native flowers of Texas are beautiful, as well as numerous in variety. Primroses are some of the best known, and five different colors can be found in these parts, namely, the giant yellow, white, pink, pale and dark yellow. The pale yellow primrose is a night-bloomer, and opens its large flowers of four petals at sunset. The others are day bloomers -- opening at sunrise and closing at dusk, excepting the giant, which closes at noon. The latter grows on the edges of limestone hills and blooms only during the very early part of spring, its flowers being about three inches in diameter. My choice for the Cozy Corner would be the white primrose, which opens its pure white blossoms in the morning. Its flowers can well be termed an emblem of purity, innocence, peace, love and joy. My sister and I, when small children, termed the day-bloomers "morgenglocken" (morning bells) and the night blooming "Abendglocken" (evening bells) from the fact that one opened day, and the other, foretold night. Wild roses can be found in some localities. Pink and yellow blooming oxalis grows profusely here. The honeysuckle, in its native state, when covered with its creamy blossoms, equals, if not excels, the cultivated in beauty. The wild verbena grows abundantly on the hills, and in the valley's alike. Purple and pink are the chief colors, while the white is a rarity. Phloxes, both the annual and the hardy perennial, abound in the sandy parts of Texas. They are some of her brightest and most attractive flowers. Pink and purple morning glories adorn many a Texas field's rail fence. Sunflowers may be called a success, after one's vain efforts in endeavoring to find the road through acres of them, which generally exist, in the lanes between wire-inclosed pastures. The violet-colored tulip chooses the banks of creeks and rivers as its home. Another of the creek's charms is the waterwood. Its globular-shaped flowers resemble miniature snow balls gathered in a cluster, and contrast well with the shrub's glossy green foliage. The wild forgetmenot, appears to have been dipped in the azure sky of a bright Texas summer day. I will bring this to a termination and weary you no longer with my presence.

Mr. Big Hat's response:
     The cousins will vote Wilhelmine, as always, a most charming entertainer. Mr. Big Hat noted with surprise that the fragrance of the cape jasmine, with its waxen white petals, golden calyx and glossy green leaves, was absent from her otherwise admirably-culled bouquet of Texas' own blossoms.

MAMIE MAURY, Moscow, Polk Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: May I enter your Cozy Corner and chat a while with you? Our school will soon commence, and I will be glad, for we have such a good teacher. Everybody likes him, because he likes them. I haven't any pets, except a chicken, a cow and a little kitten. I am a farmer's daughter, 14 years old. My mother died when I was only 2 months old. I have seven brothers and two sisters. I am the youngest of them all. I will describe our home: We live four miles east of Moscow, on a beautiful place. On the west, north and south, we are surrounded by beautiful streams and pretty shade trees. My papa has taken The News ever since I can remember. Miss Big Bonnet, I think you look so pretty in what you called your new dress. It's so dry and dusty, we can hardly stand it, although I've always heard it is all for the best. Mr. Big Hat, how do you sell Peggy's pictures? Please enroll my name as a member of the Cozy Corner.

BETTIE LYON, Waxahachie, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have just been reading the cousins' letters. I think they are very nice. A man boarding with us takes The News, and I hope you all will take me in as a cousin. I have written once before, but it was not printed. I guess Peggy ate it. Our school will begin in October. I will be glad, for I love to go to school. I am in the fifth grade. Put my vote in for the white rose. I have no pets, but a little brother, 2 years old. I wish it would rain, for it is very dry, indeed. Crops are short. I will correspond with any of the cousins that will write to me first.

BESSIE GRAY, Higgins, Lipscomb Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I would like to join the happy circle of little men and women. For pets, I have a pony, which I call Ned, and a dog called Spot. I like to ride horseback very much. I don't think Peggy ought to get Ola Duboise's letters. Our school will begin to-morrow morning. I like to go to school. I also like to read Wesley Hendryx. I will answer your question: Gold was discovered in California, 1848.

- October 4, 1896, The Dallas Morning News, p. 14, col. 2-7.
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