December 8, 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.
ABBIE BRANTLEY, Macon, Franklin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As this is Sunday morning and I have nothing particular to do, I thought I would write a few lines to the dear old News. I had a nice time last Sunday evening at a wedding. The house and yard were crowded. The bride was dressed all in white, something you hardly ever see unless in fairy dreams. Monday night I attended a nice party at the same place. We had a magnificent time. This is one of the liveliest little places in Texas. Last Friday I went to a show at Mount Pleasant. It surely was a good one. Now, Mr. Big Hat, you missed half of your life by not being there. I wish you could see this part of Texas. I know you would like it. Girls, I think we had better wake up, for the boys are about to get ahead of us. Cousins, when you write be sure to write all that happens around where you live. I think that is very interesting. Please tell me if you know any one by the name of Guss Brantley. I have an uncle by that name, and we haven't heard from him in twenty-six years. I would be very glad if any of you could tell me where he lives. I am going to Pittsburg next week to have some photographs taken. Pittsburg is a nice little town. I live between three little towns about ten miles apart. I have a sister living in Mount Pleasant , and I have nice times going to see her. Her husband is the district clerk there. Cousins, I wish you all would send me your pictures. I have a nice album and I want to fill it up. There is nothing I enjoy better than to have a nice lot of pictures and lovely songs. I forgot to tell you all about going to a dance last Thursday night. They sent for me to play the organ. We had quite a nice time, but as it wasn't more than three-quarters of a mile to where we were going, we thought it would be better to walk. The road was obscure and when we had gotten half way I could see that we had taken the wrong road. We had a bad time getting there, but enjoyed the fun of it. I thought I saw Mr. Big Hat there, from the fact that there was a little fellow there who looked like his picture.
JESSIE WIGGINS, Hooks Switch, Hardin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big and cousins: Will you admit a 13-year-old girl into your happy band? I go to school and like my teacher splendidly. I study grammar, arithmetic, geography, history and spelling. I have two sisters and two brothers. Boys, why don't you write oftener? If you don't look out the girls will be calling you lazy. As this is my first letter I will close, for I don't want Peggy to get it.
HUBERT GARRETT, Scurry, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and dear cousins: Once more I will let you all hear from me, but will not promise to entertain you much, for I am in the schoolroom at this moment. The scholars are going to and fro to the teacher and keep the floor going up and down. I expect some of the cousins who have written from the schoolroom have had some experience like this. This is a country school. There are 25 or 30 pupils now, but there will be more soon. My deskmate is Mackie Garrett, my cousin. I live about 400 yards from the schoolhouse, and the schoolhouse is one-half of a mile from Scurry, which is a little village of about twenty dwellings, seven storehouses, two shops and one railroad, the Texas Midland. Herbert Taylor, come again. Your story about riding that buzzard was very interesting. I will tell you an Indian story, but I don't think it will prove as interesting as your story. I like to read letters like yours and Edwin McWilliams'. Miss Big Bonnet, come again, for I like to read your letters.
GUSTAV BEIER, Bellville, Austin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I saw my first letter in print, I thought I would write again. I am a reader of The News and like it very much. I think it is the best paper in Texas. Well, cousins, I will tell you all now a good story of my hunting which happened yesterday. I went out on the prairie, and wouldn't shoot some ducks I saw there, because as I came near a pond there were six ducks upon it. I crawled just as near as I could get, but as I looked up, a flock of wild geese came right over me, flying slowly. What should I do? I thought I would shoot at the geese, and let the ducks sit on the pond. Well, I began to shoot at the geese, and I missed them, and all the ducks flew away. My shot was gone, and what I had was only the empty gun. Rudolph Bollier had better luck in hunting; he killed all that he saw. I will ask the cousins a riddle: Which nail runs upon the head?
B. S. CHANDLER, Trinity Mills, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: After reading so many nice letters, I can not refrain from writing to the cousins' department. I have been a silent reader of The News for three years, and still hold onto it. It is a grand paper, especially Big Hat's part of it. The cousins who read the paper when Mr. Big Hat first taught his Summer School can see as well as myself how the Cozy Corner has flourished. Not as "the Green bay tree, for a while and then die," but it has steadily improved. Cousins, I am not such a humorist as some of you. Cousins, I can not tell any hunting stories or ghost tales. But if you had been with me at the fair, you would have thought you saw something more strange than you ever saw before. Such things as the goddess, or the smallest horse, or the talking horses. They were fine. And I saw our governor and several other noted men. And if some who have already written to The News will persevere, they will also reach some of the honored places these men are now filling. Winter is here with its sounding trumpet; how it howls!
ETNA VALENTINE HOBBS, Coleman City [Coleman], Coleman Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a little girl who wishes admittance into your happy band. Cousins, don't you think it so nice of Mr. Big Hat to print our letters? I do. We are not through picking cotton yet, but we have picked ten bales. Mae Atkinson, you were very fortunate. Mr. Big Hat, you had a jolly time with your pet chicken, didn't you? I guess Hannibal will want to go to another picnic with you. Cousins, don't you think Buret Gouger writes good letters? And didn't Little Miss Big Bonnet write an interesting one? Miss Big Bonnet, come again. I'm just like you in one thing, and that is, if anybody doesn't like my letter I don't want them to say so. Cousins, don't you think that Little Miss Big Bonnet is Mr. Big Hat's sister? I do. I have one pet, and that is a calf. Some one name it, please. Maud Carson and Bessie Bee, you both write splendid letters. I will describe my surroundings: Our house is in a small flat, with hills all around. On the north is a cane field, on the west an orchard, on the east the lots[?] and cribs, on the south the public road. I am 13 years of age.
LESLIE NORTON, Campbell, Hunt 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? School began Oct. 27. I was so glad. I was tired of vacation. I think school days are the happiest days of our lives. I go to school at Campbell. We have about 250 pupils. I think my teacher is an excellent one. 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 little folks a corner all to ourselves. We ought to improve every time we write. I think a nice, long letter is so nice. Christmas will soon be here, and what a jolly time we will have shooting fireworks and having good times generally. Our Sunday school scholars are talking about having a tree. I hope they will. As this is my first letter to any paper, I guess I had better hush for fear of Peggy. I send my best love to you, Mr. Big Hat, and your sister.
GENEVIEVE MYRDOCH, Owlet Glen [Green], Van Zandt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: 'Twas a rainy day; one of those days when the only sound "to break the calm of nature" was the patter, patter of the rain on the roof, and now and then the angry roar of distant thunder. A rainy day on a farm! How lonesome it always is! The boys had, early in the morning, donned their mackintoshes and ridden to the postoffice, a mile or so away. "Pater familias" sat in his easy chair, reading aloud from The News to "mater," who was busy with the weekly darting basket. One of the younger children, tired of the fascinating game of tiddledewinks, was begging permission to write a letter. This reminded me of some old letters which I had promised myself to look over at the earliest opportunity, and I hied me away to a quiet nook. 'Twas raining faster, and the mustering thunder seemed drawing nearer. Here were seven, eight, perhaps a dozen, letters tied together. I broke the string and opened the first. "My dear, dear friend," it began; "I have not forgotten that I promised to write as soon as I reached my new home." It closed with many entreaties to "write soon to your true friend." The date of the next was scarcely two weeks later, but as I opened the letters the dates were further and further apart. There was a lapse of several months, and the last, the very last, was dated over three years ago. Where are you now, "true friend?" Alas, I know not. Oh, is it true that "to know, to love, and then to part, makes up life's tale to many a sorrowing heart?" I laugh as I open the next -- one little letter by itself. "Dear Genie," it runs in scrawling letters; "I am having a nice time and I am cummin home next week. My cousens have lots of dolls, have you made my new doll dresses sence I left? yore fren, Mary." Ah, Mary, we were happy children then! How fast the moments flew when our whole mind was concentrated on how to make dolly's new frock! How often we visited each other! how oftener we wished to visit. Are Mary and I friends now? Oh, yes, we meet once or twice a month, perhaps, and coolly discuss our books -- our bangs -- our beaus. But as we grow older, we realize more and more that our happiest days were spent in childhood. Cousins, you older boys and girls, do all you can to make the little ones happy. It takes so little to please them now, and time flies so fast. But, there are other letters -- letters from cousins whom I have never seen, but are dear to me, for through our correspondence we know of each other's ambitions, hopes, triumphs, failures. There are letters from aunts, uncles, treasured because of the kind advice and loving counsel therein. Now and then a tear was dropped on the open page, for there are letters that tell of almost unbearable griefs. Again, I laughed over some half-forgotten joke. But the rain had stopped, the clouds were breaking, and here and there a patch of bright, blue sky was visible. There was a trampling of feet on the gallery, and the boys were calling, "Gene, here are some letters for you," and, "as it has been since the world began, and will be till the end," the old was laid aside for the new.
L. S. McKNIGHT, Jacksonville, Cherokee Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a boy asking admittance to your Cozy Corner. I have been reading the letters in this department for some time. Some of the cousins write about their pets. I would like to know how many have the kind of pets I have. Books and papers are my pets. I am going to school and I have my desk full of books and when I get my morning lessons up I read some interesting book or paper. I have about twenty books in my desk and I have plenty to read. I have never played but two games of cards, never drank any whisky and don't smoke nor chew. How many of you don't do so, either? I made a vow to a girl one day that I never would use intoxicating liquors and I have kept my word.
MINA DERRICK, Petty, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and the cousins: I was so glad to see my other letter in print that I will write again. I see so many writing and telling about having such a nice time. I will tell about a pecan hunt I had this fall since school commenced. The professor took us school children down in the Sulphur bottoms to stay all day one Saturday to hunt pecans and have a nice time. We started about 9 o'clock or after. It was about ten or eleven miles down there. There were four wagons and five or six buggies. The wagon I was in was so crowded that the driver said he had to stop to count us all to see if there were any missing. We came to a young pecan grove where we got most of our pecans (we didn't get many pecans at that, at least I didn't). Then we went on to the Sulphur river and ate our dinner. After dinner we all scattered about in every direction. (I forgot to mention that there were some grown folks along, too.) We got many curiosities. Two girls got on some of the boys' horses and rode off and like to have got lost. I could not begin to tell what all we did. It was after dark when we got home. I was very tired and hungry. Mary West, the Derricks of Stoney Grove are relatives of ours. They are the only people we know up there. Wilhelmine M. Clark, Jeremimy Duncan, Annie Lee Smith, Ludie Sanders and Mary West, all come again. I will ask a question: What 'bus has found room for the greatest number of people? I guess I had better go, for I see Mr. Big Hat winking across the room at Peggy.
LOUISE GROCE, Waxahachie, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will write you my first letter, because I enjoy the other children's letters so much. Sister and I went down and bought us some cute little dolls this morning. They were our rewards for dressing in fifteen minutes every morning for a week. Last Sunday evening was when I got my first idea of writing to you. Mother was reading the other children's letters to us from The News. The reason why sister did not write too, was because she was too busy playing. Sister is 5 and I am 6 years old. Do you think I'm too small to be writing letters to you? I'm not like some of the little cousins, for I'm glad when winter comes, because Santa Claus comes with it. I won't write any more as this may go in the waste basket. I told mother what to say and she wrote it because I thought you could read her writing easier than mine. Mine's mostly printing.
PRINNIE TUCKER, Kerby, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come again, to chat a while with you this windy morning. There is a norther up and it sounds like winter, and it is nearly winter. We have had a few frosts and they killed all the garden except the cabbage and turnips. I will try to describe my home. It looks as if it was down in a gully, but to get anywhere else it looks as if it was on a hill. Mr. Big Hat, if you or any of the cousins were to come down here you would know our house because it looks like a buzzard getting ready to fly. Hillsboro is the county seat of Hill county. Mr. Big Hat, if you will come down here I will give you a kitten, which you can call Oklahoma. It is yellow and white spotted. I have two just alike. If I knew where that little girl, Anna Murrah, lived and what her postoffice address was I would send her some cards and some papers. Mr. Big Hat, where is Cousin Dora's picture? Cousin Dora Bennett, come again; I enjoy reading your letters very much. Some of the cousins tell how much cotton they can pick. I can not tell them that I pick much, because I have to stay at the house and I don't pick any. I think it is real kind of Mr. Big Hat, the little editor, to let us have space in his paper to write. Cousin Ellen, come again, and tell your sister Elna to write to The News. I have four brothers. Mr. Big Hat, I guess you are about 16 years old.
BURETT GOUGER, Red Oak, Ellis Co, Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, cousins and friends: To-day, as the evening sun is gliding slowly down behind the Rocky mountains, finds me here in Red Oak public school, filled with the busy hum of an industrious and happy life. Many schoolmates, with whom I have spent a few bleak winter days, are now here in Red Oak, with the intention of seeking an honest education. May "we" (and the cousins of this department) spend our golden moments in training our minds to reach out and grasp the ideas from our teachers and books, so in some future day we may be able to solve the most difficult problems and brave the future's storms. Cousins, we have a thriving school here, with over 100 students in our room. But before many days the stairway will be completed and then some of the larger boys and girls will be promoted, and then it will give us smaller ones more room below. Zozie, come again; you and many others. Success to The News.
JOE GRAVES, Kosse, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I am again this cold day. "The Little Men and Women" write such nice letters I can't keep away. I have been picking cotton to-day, but it is cold I can't pick much. I guess the girls have done froze out this cold weather, for they have nearly quit writing. Hurrah for the old sleepy heads, awake at last. Cousin Johnie Price, I for one don't blame you for not having any more use for bloomers. Julia McNeill, if you were here you could see me wash this evening. Edwin McWilliams, you must have had a hard time getting red haws. Mr. Big Hat, I guess you are glad that the fair is over, so you don't have so much work to do. But smart folks don't mind working, at least they say they don't. If we work while we are young, then we won't mind to when we are old, and life won't be as hard to us as it will if we idle away our time while we are young. There is many a boy loafing around town now, just because he is able to live without working, but when he gets old, he will say, "I wish I had worked while I was young, so I wouldn't have to work in my old age." Fannie Chernosky, the answer to your riddle is an egg.
JIMMIE HAMMACK, Gatesville, Coryell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first letter to the Cozy Corner, and if Peggy don't get this letter I'll write again sometime. I enjoy reading the letters very much. I go to school and am in the sixth grade. I study arithmetic, history, grammar, geography, physiology and spelling. Rudolph, I enjoyed your letter. Come again some time. Well, cousins, you must not expect a good letter this time, as it is my first. I would like to correspond with any of the cousins. My age is 13 years.
FAIRY HUNSAKER, Cuero, DeWitt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: This is my first letter to The News, so I hope you will let me join your band. I like to read the cousins' letters so much. I am 10[?] years old. I go to the convent and am in the fourth grade. I like my teachers very much. I have a big brother and a little brother. My big brother is agent for The News, and as soon as he brings it I call for it to read the cousins' letters. I think Mr. Big Hat is so good to give us a corner in his paper. Well, I will write another letter son, so good-bye.
JOE DAWSON, Italy, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: After a lapse of perhaps three or four months I will attempt to write to your department. The cotton crop is very short in this section this year, but the good prices farmers obtained for it, together with well-filled corn cribs and porkers in the hog pens, make the farmers wear as pleasant faces as if they had raised four times the amount of cotton they did raise and gotten less for it. Italy, the town in which I live, is growing very fast. There are three brick blocks being erected now, two of them to be two stories high. An artesian well is being sunk, and several dwellings about town are being built. Jeremy Duncan, you and I are close of kin in respect to being curio collectors. I am interested in collecting foreign postage stamps, minerals, coins and Indian relics. I am more interested in the mineral collection than the others I have, and if any of the cousins will assist me in my collection I will do anything in my power to reward them for their trouble, and they may be sure they will receive more than just the postage on them, too. I am going to school at Hope institute now. My studies are algebra, higher arithmetic, physiology, grammar and American literature. We have a splendid school and a large number in attendance. Cousins, every one interested in education write a letter to this department to that effect, and state your reasons for obtaining one. My sole aim in life is to get an education first, and after this is done I have no fears about my getting along all right. Many cousins are poor. They may consider this a sufficient excuse for not trying to get an education. But I would advise them to turn to their histories and read about Ben Franklin or Abraham Lincoln, or, as for that matter, it would be well to read of James A. Garfield. In all my reading I have noticed that it is not always the rich boys and girls who reach eminence, but generally those that have educated themselves or have worked under many difficulties to acquire knowledge. They are the one that had a will, and "where there is a will, there is a way." If no way is in sight, make one. Some one has said that it is only inconvenient to be poor; otherwise it is a blessing, and they said it truly, for such is the case. I would like to correspond with some cousins 16 or 18 years of age whose tastes are for literature.
now to close I think I'd better,
EMMA MILLER, Tadmor, Houston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and dear cousins: I will write to The News this warm November evening. This is my first letter and I hope very much to see it in print. I will be so glad when winter comes. I like winter and spring much better than summer. I suppose they are having sleet and snow in the northern states now. I think the woods are so pretty during the autumn months. Some of the cousins write about "Trilby." I would like very much to read it, as I never have. I have just finished reading a nice book called "A Float in the Forest." I expect some of the cousins have read it. Maud Carson, why don't you write often? Your letters are so very interesting. Lawrence C. Fountain, you write a very nice letter, and I hope you will write again after you move to Florida. Katie Norton, you write a very interesting letter, too, and if Mr. Big Hat is getting tired of you, as you say, I assure you that the cousins are not. Levi Bowman, I think your letters are splendid -- the best I have read in some time, and I admire you very much for wanting to get an education. I think every boy and girl ought to try to get an education. As for boys, I think this would be a very lonely and weary world if there were no boys. I think most of the other cousins will agree with me. I know Mr. Big Hat gets tired of reading so many letters from the cousins. Mr. Big Hat, I wonder if Peggy doesn't get sick, eating so much paper. I hope you give him some corn every Sunday morning and night. My oldest sister is going to teach this winter, if she is fortunate enough to get a school, which I think she will. I am not going to school this fall; will study at home. Papa is a physician, and is kept busy most of the time when he is not sick. I will ask the cousins some history questions: What great general fell at the battle of Bunker Hill? What general was called the "young Napoleon of the west?" Where was Gen. J. E. B. Stuart killed? What became of the chains that bound Columbus?
MAMIE BANKS and CLARA PFEFFER, Kenney, Austin Co., Tex. -- Good evening Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: We are in school and have nothing more to do but to cipher, so we thought we would write you a letter. We went to gather pecans last Saturday and gathered three buckets full. There was a ball on the 3rd of November. It began at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and closed at 1 o'clock in the morning, and we had a nice time. There was no school Monday. Mr. Big Hat and cousins, are you not glad that christmas is coming? We are very glad. Mr. Big Hat, will you have a tree? It looks so pretty when it is lighted. It has been raining and we have had cold weather for several days, but now the sun is shining and school will soon be out. And one of us (Clara) has to walk a mile before she gets home. And the other (Mamie) has to walk only a few yards. One of us ( Clara) was in Galveston July 28. She passed The News office, but did not see Little Mr. Big Hat. Ida Hill, why don't you write to us? Sister Ida and I (Clara) are missing your letters very much. We are glad you are better. We wish you would write to The News. One of us (Mamie) wishes Bessie Bee would have a little spare time and write again. There are thirty-nine pupils in our school, but all of them are not there at the same time. We went to Kenney at dinner time to-day and got the mail. We have a large school yard and there are many shade trees in it. We like to read the letters very much and Mr. Big Hat's especially, and wish Little Miss Big Bonnet would write another letter. We must close now, for school will be out in a few minutes. But we will ask some riddles. What kind of a hen lays the longest? On what day of the year do women talk the least? What grows bigger as you contract it?
O. P. BOWSER, Jr., Richardson, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my second attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. The last time I wrote I was 9 years old, but now I am 11. My pony, McGinty, fell and broke his neck, and now I have another pony, but I can not ride him. We went pecan hunting and got four bushels. We are about done gathering corn and cotton. My little dog Fido got snake bit. I am going to school. My studies are history, geography, grammar, spelling and arithmetic.
EMELINE HOBBS, Coleman, Coleman Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would try to write a letter to The News, as I like it so well. I have not read all the letters yet, but I like the ones I have read so well that I thought I would write, too. We have got out ten bales of cotton. The most I have ever picked in one day was 159 pounds. I won't write a very long letter, for I am a sorry hand at writing and don't want to show my ignorance too plainly. Little Miss Big Bonnet, come again. You do splendidly. I am 16 years of age.
ED DAVIS, Tacitus, Haskell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I will attempt to write a letter to the good old News for the first time. I have always been afraid that I could not write a letter that would be fit to be printed. I am a boy, 16 years old. I have no pets but a pony. He is a good cow pony and I sure love to ride him after cattle. Our school has commenced, but I can't go for awhile yet. I have to pick cotton. I guess you all have seen my brother's letter in The News. He can write so much better than I can. I hate to write, but maybe it will come out all the same.
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