October 6, 1895
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing letters to Big Hat's department for publication, write on one side of the paper only. Printers never turn their copy, and the editor has no time to rewrite half, or even part, of your letters. Give your full name and address. Anonymous letters are never printed. These rules are imperative.
ARCHEY WYLIE, Pine Hill, Rusk Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: In my last letter I wrote you about Tom's sickness. He died on the 14th of August. Papa employed three good doctors for him, but they could not do him any good. Tom was good all the time he was sick. He never complained. I did hate to give him up. Everybody is picking cotton and gathering corn. Papa will make 1400 or 1600 bushels of corn. Our school will commence the 1st of November. We will have a new teacher. Cousins, do you all like to change teachers? I do not. Cousins, I am 96 months and 3 days old. What is my age?
RUTHIE MILLER, Gainesville, Cooke Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I guess all the cousins have forgotten me. It has been so long since I wrote to you. I am a little girl 12 years old. I have no sister, but have eight brothers. I went with my papa and mamma yesterday to visit a little friend of mine who has been sick six weeks, but is getting better. My home is situated on a pleasant farm, seven miles southeast of Gainesville. If Peggy doesn't get this I will write to you again.
LUTHER MILLER, Gainesville, Cooke Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: This is my first attempt to write to you. I am a little boy 9 years old. I have not picked much cotton yet, but my little twin brothers can pick 166 pounds a day.
DONALD MACKENZIE, Weatherford, Parker Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I will be 8 years old in December next. I have a big dog and two rabbits, one white and one black. I have two crows. One of the crows can talk. I also have three kittens. I have a nice, big yard to play in. Do not let Peggy get this. I have never been to school, but learn at home. I liked the true cat story best in your part.
IDA HILL, Thorndale, Milam Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come after a long absence from the department. I deferred writing because so many of the cousins wrote so much more interesting letters than I could write. I read the letters every week with much enjoyment, for I know some of them are from loving cousins. I have their tokens of kindness to me as nice and fresh-looking as the day they were sent. I must tell you of the lady on my list of unknown friends who wrote to me in my time of affliction. She wrote me one of the nicest letters I ever saw and sent me sixty of the prettiest cards for my album and told me she was a Hill also before marriage. We traced up our relationship and found we belonged to the same family. She gave me a canary in its cage and she gave me a beautiful literary album filled with pieces she and her little friends in Ledbetter, where she lived, put in. Don't you all think I will always love Mr. Big Hat for bringing me so much enjoyment and happy thoughts? I feel every one of you will rejoice with me to know I am well again and can walk without crutches. I limp some, but the doctors say I will outgrow it. I was 15 yesterday, and I went to see my chum. I have a horse and buggy to go when I please. I have just returned from a five weeks' visit to cousin Mattie Elliott in Ledbetter (she is the lady I spoke of). Big Bud carried me that far when he started to Galveston. It was the nicest visit I ever had. We took the train at Thorndale to Taylor and passed through Copeland, Elgin, McDade and Giddings. Then the conductor called, "Ledbetter." How my heart did beat when I met cousin Mattie for the first time. I loved her as soon as I saw her, she has such a sweet face. She did everything she could to make my stay with her pleasant. I got acquainted with many pleasant young people. I went to see the quarry where they get the rock for the jetties at Velasco, also the sand pit where they get gravel for the railroad. We all road on the train. It is about two miles from town. Cora B., why didn't you answer our last letters? I miss them so much. Cousin Carrie Stratton, if you read this letter write to me. I close with many good wishes to Mr. Big Hat and the cousins.
BIRTA LANINGHAM, Roane, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading The News and concluded to write. I expect the cousins have forgotten me by this time. Cousins, you can't imagine the trouble I have seen since I wrote last. My dear papa has been sick over five months. The doctors say he has a tumor on the base of the brain, and if so he can't get well. We have had four doctors with him and they can only give temporary relief. Dear cousins, you don't know how sad it is to see a kind and dear father suffer so long and to think that he can't get well. I help my brothers work in the field. I help gather corn and pick cotton. I have two brothers and we have made a good crop by ourselves. Papa got me an organ the day he was taken sick and we are learning to play by ear. I can play any tune I know. I ask Mr. Big Hat and the cousins' sympathy for me in my trouble.
MINTIE BROWN, Alvin, Brazoria Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little country girl asking admittance to your happy circle. I see so many nice letters from the cousins I though I would write one. I have never written to any paper before. I have never been to school, though mamma teaches me at home. I can read and write very well. My age is 9 years. I have one little brother. He is 19 months old.
ELLA MIXSON, Bruceville, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have been reading some of the cousins' letters this morning. School will begin next Monday and I will be so glad. I have no sister, but have one brother. I have a doll that I play with most of my time. I make it dresses. I will ask a question: In sailing up the Mississippi what large city would you reach about 100 miles from the mouth of the river?
ISADORE MILLER, Waxahachie, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would visit the Cozy Corner and greet the cousins once more. I have been a very quiet visitor since I have not written in such a long time. Well, boys, the girls still persist in saying something against us, but I think that the boys are just as much up to date as the girls are instead of being sleepy-heads, as a few of the girls stated. They did not mean to insult us, I'm sure, for we know those girls never meant any harm by it, so we will not take it into consideration. Mr. Big Hat, in reading the cousins' letters I see that some of them think you are really a lady instead of a man. Well, if you were that would not bother me in the least, for I take just as much interest as ever. Friday (yesterday) was our last day of vacation, so school will begin Monday. Our new superintendent lives next door to us, so I think that he will know all about us in school. There is going to be a big circus on that day and I think that some of the boys will begin a day later. Waxahachie is a prosperous, busy town. It is growing very fast. Yesterday there were 800 bales of cotton brought in and it is said to be one of the largest cotton shipping towns in the country. It has a very good public school and there are a good many children attending it every year. It has a population of about 6000 and is the best town for its size in the state. Hurrah for Waxahachie! Some of the cousins have already told us about where they live, but we would like to hear from the other cousins about their places.
MAGGIE JENKINSON, McAdams, Walker Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Many both happy and sad days have come and gone since you last heard from me, but I hope that I am still remembered by some of the cousins, if not by all. It is very warm to-day and I would rather fan myself than write, but as I have an opportunity I thought I would write you a letter instead, for I think writing will give me more profit. I have just finished reading the letters of this week and think some of them very interesting. Cousin Ida, you must call again. You write a real nice letter. It is nice in length as well as otherwise. Cousins, hasn't this been the hottest and dryest summer you ever experienced? And it has been such a sickly season here. There is a grave yard about four miles from here, at which there has been a burial for four successive Sundays. The last one buried there was my nearest and dearest friend. She was sick five weeks and had to suffer so much, but she said she was willing to suffer anything. She was so kind and good, no one could help loving her. She won the love and affection of all who knew her. A lady living about half a mile from us lost her husband last week, and she is certainly to be pitied. She is left with four little children. Mr. Big Hat, I can't help thinking that you treated the "Bashful boy" badly in not printing his letter. He was afraid to tell his name, for fear some of us girls would write to him, but I don't think there is any danger. Cousin Robert Campbell, what has become of you? Cousins, don't you all think Mr. Big Hat the dearest little "boy" in the world? I do, because he has so kindly given us a page in his paper, and we little folks can have it all to ourselves. We ought to improve each time we write. If I could write as good a letter as some of the cousins I would write each week. I know Mr. Big Hat would rather get a nice long letter [than] three or four little short ones that tell nothing except pets and studies at school. Of course all of us have been to school and know what books are generally used, and as for pets, I haven't any, but if I did I wouldn't have it published in The News. I never read such letters. If I begin one, and got to where it tells of books and pets I turn away as quick as possible. I expect some of you will turn away when you go to read this letter, but I am going to do better next time if I can. I am going to write often (that is, if I am welcome) and try to write a longer and better letter each time. For the last two years I have studied well in school, but before that I would think if I can just get through with this lesson without having to stay in I will be all right. I thought then that I was aggravating the teacher, but I see now that I was badly "off." It was myself and not the teacher that I was injuring. I never intend to try that way again, but try to improve every moment of my time. Ere many years roll by the younger generation will be called on to take the places of the older ones who are fast passing away, and we should all try to be able to do our part as perfectly as possible. We all ought to be proud of Cousin Lawrence Neff's becoming an editor so young. We now have an "uncle editor" and "cousin editor." Doesn't Cousin Wilhelmine write a sweet letter? Little Eva, am I the "Maggie J." you so kindly asked to come again? I want you to be sure to come again, for I had rather read a letter from you than most any one else. I solicit correspondence from either sex.
BESSIE SMITH, Whitney, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: If it will be agreeable to you all I will write again. This is Saturday night and I have nothing to do. I went to Hillsboro Saturday and had a nice time. Mr. Big Hat, I was 11 years old the 6th of this month. When will the Dallas Fair open? Please tell me. Cousins, do you love to go horseback riding? I do. My own cousin Mae and I certainly have fun. Papa has two horses that are gentle enough for us to ride and I have a sidesaddle and Mae borrows one. Mr. Big Hat, I have a sister that is going to school in Oak Cliff. I may be at the fair. Dora Bennett, come again. Mr. Big Hat, I wish you would tell Bessie Bee and Hazel Gray to come again. Mae is staying all night with me to-night. She is writing to another paper. Cousins, do you like to read? I dearly love to. I take the Youth's Companion and like it very much. Cousins, do you love to go to school? I do sometimes. I am in the sixth grade and I am studying Texas history. I like it very much. This is the first year I every [sic] studied history.
MAUD FOY, McKinney, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It has been a long time since I wrote to the dear old News, but if I could write as interesting letters as some of the cousins do I would write every two weeks. I have three quilts finished and one more begun. They are of the pattern called double bow-knot and the cross-eyed baby. Cousins, you ought not to run the boys down, for this would be a dull old world without the boys. I think some of the boys write very interesting letters. Mr. Big Hat, I would like very much to meet you and the cousins at the fair this fall with the blue star on. I went last fall, but I don't think I can go this year. Dora Bennett, I would be very glad to see your picture in The News. Cousins, it is awful to be crippled. Bessie Bee, come again. It is hot and dry here and there is lots of sickness and a great many deaths. I will ask some history questions: Name the two oldest towns within the present limits of our country? Who discovered the Pacific ocean and in what year? Who was the first white child born in America and in what year?
FRANK ATCHESON, Terrell, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I have nothing to do this morning, I thought I would devote the interval between cotton-picking and cotton-picking to writing a letter to you all. Why is it we see no more biographies of the great men of Texas? It can't be we have run out of great men, for every man that took part in the struggle for freedom from the tyrannical government of Mexico should be considered a great man of Texas. It seems to me that our Lone Star state could show as many great men as any other state in the union. Johnie Price, you and I should go into business together. You said you made a steam engine when you were a small boy. I made a cotton gin a few years ago, and with a steam engine and cotton gin we ought to carry on successful business. Cotton will not be much this year, in fact there is not an overproduction of anything except politics and faith doctors, and you can't accuse me of taking any stock in either. Lawrence W. Neff, I do not think there is any danger of an article from your pen on "country newspaper work" not being interesting, if we get a fair sample of your writing in your letters. Hurrah! for the "sleepy-headed" boys! I see they are beginning to wake up, if they were ever asleep, from the interesting letters in last week's News. Cousins, I have begun a museum, and would like to have you contribute something to it. I would like Indian relics, minerals, curious stones, beautiful shells and anything else in that line. I will pay the postage. I will expect something from Mr. Big Hat, that he picked up on his journey from Dallas to Galveston on that donkey of his. Cousins, if you send anything, write your name on a slip of paper with the name of the article sent. I would like to have something by which to remember each of the cousins. Mr. Big Hat, did you ever see a petrified bird tongue? I have one in my museum. I guess that a petrified bird lost it out of its mouth when singing its petrified song. Mr. Big Hat, you don't know but that I put some poison in my ink, so you had better not feed this to Peggy.
RUDOLPH BOLLIER, Hamilton, Hamilton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I thought I would drop in and chat a little while with you again. Well, you see I have been hunting again lately, and had very good luck, too. So I thought I would tell you all about it. Papa told me I could go hunting the other morning, so I took a bucket and a little target rifle and started for the woods. I walked until about 10 o'clock without very good luck. Then I came to a pond full of water, and right on the edge of the pond stood a large post oak tree. Being very tired after my long walk, I sat down and leaned my back against the tree, holding my target rifle in one hand. Just then a large flock of quails lighted on one of the limbs of the tree that I was leaning against. I took good aim at them and shot and the bullet split the limb they were sitting on and caught all of their toes and held them fast in the crack. Then I climbed up the tree to get the quail. When I came down I noticed that it was a bee tree that I had climbed and a big stream of honey was running out of the tree into the water. So I picked up my bucket and waded into the water about waist deep to get the best honey that was floating around. But my pants legs ran so full of fish that the top button burst off and flew across and hit a rabbit on the head that was sitting on the other side of the pond and killed him. He kicked so high that he kicked off a chicken's head that was sitting on a bush near by. Last Saturday I went to see some of my old chums that live nine miles from here, and when I got there I was told that the boys had gone to the gin to have a bale of cotton ginned, having nothing else to do. I picked up an old shotgun and went hunting. I came to a creek and saw a deer standing on the other side. I started to shoot him, when I heard a noise and turning around I saw a large flock of wild ducks swimming on the water. I started to shoot the ducks, then thought, "No, I will kill the deer." So taking good aim at him I started to shoot, when I heard a noise up the creek, and looking I saw a large bunch of wild geese. I started to shoot at them, when I thought, "No, I will kill that deer," and again taking aim at the deer I happened to look up and on a tree right above me sat three wild turkeys. But still I thought I would kill the deer, so I pulled down on him and the gun exploded and one part of the barrel flew up the creek and killed all of the geese, and the other part of the barrel flew down the creek and killed all of the ducks, and the trigger flew up and knocked the turkeys' heads off and the gun stock knocked me down. In the meantime the bullet had killed the deer. I got up and commenced to gather up my game. I found an old wagon standing close by. I put the game in it, but saw it was too late to haul it to the house that night. I looked around and saw a cow that had died of old age lying close by. I went and skinned her and cut the skin into small strips and tied them together until I had enough to reach to the house, so I could find the place next morning. I tied the rawhide to the wagon, at the creek, and the other end to a tree at the house. I told the boys we would get the horses and haul the game up next morning. When we got up the next morning the sun was shining bright, and one of the boys yelled for us to come and look. We went out to see, and to our great surprise the wagon was coming over the hill to the house. You see, as soon as the sun shone on the rawhide, it commenced to draw up and it drew the wagon full of game to the house.
NELLIE WOODARD, Terrell, ? Parish, La. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters and liked them so well I thought I would write, too. I have been going to school, but our school is out now and I was sorry when the last day came, for I love to go to school. We have been having very dry weather, but had a nice rain yesterday evening. I am 10 years old and my birthday was the 9th of September. I have three quilts I have pieced myself. My grandpa takes your paper and we all like it very much. I will ask the cousins some questions: When did Lincoln issue the emancipation proclamation? What was the name of his assassin? Now, Mr. Big Hat, if you want to make a little girl real happy you will print my letter.
ALICE WILLIAMS, Dike, Hopkins Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Papa has been taking The News for about two months. He enjoys nothing better than reading. I have a little sister. Her name is Izora. She and I have a gay time playing with the little kittens. I have an organ and I want to take music lessons as soon as our teacher begins her school. Mr. Big Hat, I will not write much, as this is my first letter. I am just 10 years old. I am very anxious to see my letter in print.
VERTIE GAMMILL, Alta Loma, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Good evening, Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you allow a silent reader and admirer of your dear old paper to come into your "cozy parlor" to chat with you for a few minutes. Girls, do not talk so about the boys. Some day the will not be boys to grin at. Of course, there are some "sleepy-heads," but not any of that class are in our Cozy Corner. Our school commences the 30th of this month. I will be so glad, as I am tried of vacation. Bessie Bee, come again. Maybe we can get you roused up after a while if we keep on. It looks as if you would write to get rid of us for a while. Dora Bennett, write often, for I know Mr. Big Hat does not mind to print your interesting letters. I sympathize with you, for I do not know what I would do if I was an invalid like you. But here, I do not want to discourage you, for there is pleasure for you as well as for us. I wish some of the cousins could come down and see me. I am living on a farm for the first time. I like it so much. I have such a nice time going horseback riding. I wish I could write interesting letters like Lawrence Neff, Dora Bennett, Jim J. Page, Bessie Bee and Nell Morris and lots of others, but this is the fist time I ever wrote to a paper, so I guess I had better hush for fear of Peggy. I send my best love to you, Mr. Big Hat.
JOSEPH BATCHELOR, Terrell, ? Parish, La. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I see so many nice letters from the cousins I thought I would write one, too. I have been going to school this summer, but our school closed the 20th of September. My studies were spelling, arithmetic, geography and history. I will ask some questions: Who first circumnavigated the globe? In what century was America discovered? Who was the first accidental president? When and on what river did the first steamboat sail? When was slavery introduced? What was De Leon searching for when he discovered Florida?
MARSHELL WOODWARD, Terrell, ? Parish, La. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little boy, 9 years old, and thought I would write to your column. I have one brother older than myself and two younger. I have no sisters. My grandpa takes your paper and I like it ever so much. Let me tell you, cousins, what I can do. I can catch a mule and saddle it and go five miles to town for my pa when he is too busy to go. I expect I will have to pick cotton this fall or work at the gin. I don't mind to work a bit. Now, Mr. Big Hat, please print this little missive for me, so my grandpa will be surprised when he sees my name in print.
ALBERT BENTLEY, Gainesville, Cooke Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am going to write again, for Peggy got my other letter. I wrote two weeks ago and have not seen it in print, so I will try again. Father did not raise any cotton this year, but we had lots of fruit. I live seven miles southeast of Gainesville. Ruthie Miller, I heard you were writing to The News. I want to see your letter.
FLORENCE GIDDENS, Dundee, Archer Co., Tex. -- Here I am again, Mr. Big Hat and cousins. I don't think I will stay long, though, so don't run away. This is the eighth visit I have made to the "Cozy Corner." Friday, I sent off my examination questions. I am very anxious to see what per cent I made. Our school commenced the 2nd of September. We are going to have two teachers this year. Monday I am going to begin geometry. Not long ago I received a letter from Myrta Manning, of Sulphur Springs, Tex. She said: "I think the Summer School in The News is so interesting, and I want to write to it, but can't get up courage." Now, I knew that we all would enjoy a letter from her, and told her she must write, but as yet I have not seen anything from her; but I know she would be welcome. I enjoyed the letters so much from Evangel and Levi. It is Lula's time now, isn't it? I think the boys write just as good letters as the girls, and I don't see any use in quarreling over the matter, for that does not make us any better or any smarter. I would sent that little girl in Trinity county anything in the line of papers, scraps, etc., if I just knew her address. Many thanks, Lelia DuBose, Alice Williams and Beulah Lockhart for your kind words. I wish I could be at the fair and see Mr. Big Hat. I imagine who I would see. We have just had a big meeting at Dundee. The Rev. Dr. Ditsler preached for us nearly a week. A great many attended the meetings. The church was crowded and people stood outside. People from all around came and camped. For the pleasure of the cousins I will copy a letter my uncle sent to me that I wrote to him when only 7 years old: "Bowie, Tex., Dec. 9 -- My dear Uncle Bob: I won't you to write to me. It is soon till christmas, and I am looking for something. I think that Kris Kingle will bring me something, a doll, candy 'aples' and raisons, and sore forth (etc.). I just read my letter to papa and mamma and they both 'laft.' Uncle Bob, are you going to hang your 'sox' up? I hope that Kristing will put a candys in it. Good bye Florence." What do you think of it, Mr. Big Hat. My uncle says he wants to keep it as a sample. He must expect great things from me. I am not keeping my promise very well, so will say "A Dios."
- o o o -
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids