March 8, 1896
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.
ETHEL STROUD, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have wanted to write a letter for the Cozy Corner a long time, but the fear that I did not have the "sesame" that would open the door for me prevented; however, as this is the dreariest of all days (a rainy day), and I have just finished reading the letters from the cousins, I will write any way. I am passionately fond of reading, and need not say that I enjoy the Sunday News immensely. I see Miss Alcott is a favorite with the cousins. Mamma gave me "Aunt Joe's Scrapbag" and the "Little Women Series" for a Christmas present. My brother and I attend the public school. I like my teacher ever so much.
THOMAS MATHEWS, Naples, Morris Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I have been reading the little folks' letters, and I like them so much. I am 9 years old. I go to school. I am going to a party Friday night. All who go will have to carry as many cents as they are years old. It is for the parsonage.
EUGENE SIMMONS, Rosser, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I will write a few lines to The News for the first time. This is a postoak country and the land is sandy. I live in a small town, on the Midland railroad, two miles from Trinity river, and have been going to school, but the measles came into our neighborhood and stopped the school. For pets, I have a pony my father game me, and he is mean as can be. He pitches me off sometimes, but I don't let him bluff me out. I ride him when I like. I have a black cat. I like him very much. Some people don't fancy black cats, but I do. Some of our neighbors are getting very much interested in music, and have bought organs. I think we will have a nice town after awhile. I would like to have Miss Big Bonnet's picture. I think she writes nice letters. I will ask the cousins a question: Who was the man who wore the iron mask in the time of Louis XVI in France?
ANGIE BETTIE COX, Spring Creek, Throckmorton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have written to the Cozy Corner before, but it has been so long ago I expect you all have forgotten me. I go to school and like my teacher well. Our schoolhouse burned down Feb. 6, but it didn't stop the school. We got an empty house near by to teach in until another schoolhouse is built, which will be ready in a few days. Cousins, I have just finished reading "Little Men" and "Little Women" and think the books are real nice. I will ask some questions: What was Thomas Jefferson's nickname? When did the United States buy Alaska and how much was paid for it?
MARY COOK, Ladonia, Fannin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I go to school at Oak Ridge. I study five books and I am in the fifth grade. I am 11 years of age. I live five miles from Ladonia. I am a farmer's daughter. We have two teachers. We have two rooms in the schoolhouse. The measles are in this country. There were two children buried since last Sunday. We have 110 scholars in our school this winter.
MOLLIE WOODROMS, Terryville, DeWitt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a little girl to join the Cozy Corner. I am 10 years old. I read The News and I think it is the best paper in the south. I have a pet cat. I am going to school. I think Miss Big Bonnet is awful pretty. I think Peggy is very useful if he does get a letter sometimes. Mr. Big Hat could not get along without him. I will answer Hallie Mabel Wolcott's question: John Tyler died in 1862.
ANNIE LILLIAN BECHTOLD, Hailville, Houston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been thinking of writing to the Cozy Corner for a long time, but had not the courage, as I was afraid of Peggy. This is my very first letter to any paper. Papa takes your paper, and we are all glad when it comes. Sister and I try to see which can get Mr. Big Hat's part first. I can not say which of the cousins writes the best letter, as I like to read them all. I have no pets except my sweet little blue-eyed flaxen-haired sister, 2 years old. I am a farmer's daughter, 12 years old. I am going to school and would rather go than to do anything else. I am always sorry when it rains so that I can't go. I have three sisters and three brothers, so you see "we are seven." I am next to the oldest and can do any kind of house work. I enjoyed Miss Big Bonnet's letter very much and think she must be quite a pretty little girl if one might judge from her bonnet and dress, as her picture was real cute. If this letter is printed I shall be grateful to Peggy -- that she didn't eat it.
ROY STRONG, Iredell, Bosque Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have been a silent admirer of the cousins' letters in The News for some time, and have stayed away as long as I can, so do let me join the happy band and come and have a short talk with you all. I live on a sheep ranch in the north part of Bosque county. I see that the cousins have pets of all kinds, and so have I. I have a horse and sheep for pets, but what I think the most of is a shepherd dog that I have raised and trained myself. I think he is the smartest dog in Texas, and I will tell you a few things he can do. He is one of the best dogs with sheep I ever saw. I can make him herd the sheep almost alone. He will go after them as far as he can see them, and bring every one back when I tell him to, and when a little lamb gets off from the flock and can't find its way back, I tell Tige to ketch [sic] him by the hind leg and hold him till I come, and he will. Then he will help me find anything I lose. When I am with sheep I sometimes drop my gloves, and do not know it, but when I see that I have lost one of them, and tell Tige, and start to looking for it, he knows something is lost and he is a big help in finding them. If he finds them he always brings them to me. Sometimes when he sees me drop anything he will pick it up right away. Then he thinks he has done something grand, and of course I do, too. Sometimes when Harry (my brother) and I are both herding, and our flocks are a good ways apart, and I want to tell Harry anything, I write a note and give it to Tige, and tell him to take it to Harry and show him the way to go, and he will take it to him. Then Harry will write a note and send it back by him. He is a circus dog, too. He knows a dozen tricks. There is not a thing but what he could be taught. I have a horse and she is real gentle, and Tige can ride her real well. But he likes to ride in a cart or buggy best. He will sit up on the seat and look as sober as a judge, and I know he thinks he is more important than any one. He can catch a ball very well. We used to play base ball and I used to take him for the back catch, he liked to run after the ball so well. He will lie down and roll over, and jump over a stick and jump through my arms when I make a circle out of them, and sit up and hold a pipe in his mouth, and make out like he is smoking, and he sure looks funny. He has got him a job every morning before breakfast keeping the chickens away from the horses while they eat their feed. Well, I guess that Mr. Big Hat is tired of hearing about my dog, but I got so interested that I could not stop.
MAUD DENTON, Atlas, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been thinking of writing to the Cozy Corner for some time. I am always glad when Saturday comes, for we get The News then. I like to read the cousins' letters so much. I am going to school and I like my schoolmates and teacher. I have six studies. I will tell you something about the farmers here and what they raise on their farms: Cotton, corn, millet and oats. I have been here all my life. I have only one brother. He is in school at the Austin university. I have no pets, but brother has a nice pony and I enjoy riding it to the office. Emma Miller, come again; I enjoy your letters very much. I had a nice time Christmas. I went to a Christmas tree.
HATTIE FRIEND, Harbin, Erath Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and all the cousins! It was so rainy this morning and mamma was sick and I could not go to school, so I thought I would write to The News. My papa is a physician and has gone to Galveston this winter to attend lectures. As Mr. Big Hat likes us to describe our home I will try to describe mine. I think Harbin is a pretty place. It is situated on a high knoll that overlooks the surrounding country. The Rio Grande railroad runs through it. A pretty little creek runs on the east side of town. The creek's name is Green's creek. I think we should be proud of Sam Houston. He was certainly a father to Texas. I inclose a dime to the stone fund. Girls, who of you are readers of fiction? I am very fond of reading. I would like to exchange novels with some of the cousins. I will close by asking a few questions: What is the nebular theory? On what day was the battle of San Jacinto fought? I would like to correspond with some of the cousins between 12 and 16 years of age.
MINNIE BURLESON, Kosse, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been a silent reader of the cousins' letters; will you let me enter your merry circle? I have been afraid Peggy would get mine, but if he does no news will be lost I am sure. I have no sisters and only one brother and he is a railway mail clerk, so you see I have no one to play with. The only pets I have are canary birds and a dog. I go to the Kosse high school, which is just across the street from where I live. I am in the eighth grade and have six studies. I will be glad when school is out, although I don't mind going to school. My deskmate is Angie Poindexter. Eight new brick storehouses are being built here. I take music lessons, but I do not love to practice. My father is a grocer. I have never lived in the country, but I know the cousins that live in the country have such nice times. I will close by asking a question: A snail climbing up a post twenty feet high ascends five feet every day and slips down four feet every night. How long will it take the snail to reach the top of the post? My age is 4829 days.
HARVEY SHEAD, Elk, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: We have been having some pretty weather the last week, but it has begun that dreadful old rain again. Rowena Wadell, I will answer your question. The young Napoleon of the west was Santa Anna. Our school is in session again, and I attend regularly. I think we boys will have to write up a little; if we don't the girls will push us out of the column. I will ask the cousins a question: Who gained the last battle in the revolutionary war? I think the Big Hat department is very interesting.
MARY SMITH, Hargrove, Somervell Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl, 11 years of age, to join your circle. This is my first attempt to write to The News. I live on a farm. We have the postoffice at our houses. I go to school a mile and a quarter from here. Our teacher taught us last year. She stayed at our houses then, and I like her very well. My brother and I are at home now. I am afraid we will not go any more, as we have been exposed to the measles and there are only five more weeks of school. I have three sisters and one brother. I will ask some questions: When does Old Christmas day come? What year did the battle of Bunker Hill occur? What is it that is round as a rainbow and has teeth like a cat?
JOHN MACK BUXTON, Midlothian, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big and cousins: I received my diploma in due course of mail. I am very proud of it, as I was not expecting it, for I was very busy picking cotton when I was trying to study the lessons. Mamma is going to have it framed and hang it up in my room. I am going to school at Onward. I have a good teacher. Papa has bought a new organ and I expect to take music lessons soon. Mr. Big Hat, you look like an angel when you are riding on Peggy's head, because his ears look like your wings. Herbert Taylor and Lula Kirk, come again. Your letters are very interesting. I sent after Mrs. Cleveland's picture the other day and received it. I will ask some questions: Who invented the locomotive? Who discovered Galveston island? Mr. Big Hat, I guess you got lots of valentines on the 14th of this month. Friday will be Arbor day.
JESSE Q. LOCKE, Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It is with pleasure that I write to the Cozy Corner again. I think, as there is plenty of green grass coming up now, that Miss Peggy will not be hungry enough to eat this letter. I should think she would prefer green grass to letters. Emmer Miller, you speak very highly of the Indians. My father and mother lived in sight of the Tahuancuas for eighteen months. They were a paceful [sic] tribe, and because they would not join the Comanches and Kiowas in their depredations on the white settlers these tribes swooped down upon them and murdered all but 100, and came near exterminating them. Some Comanches and Kiowas passed through this county (Palo Pinto) in the year 1872 and drove out several head of horses and mules. Among them were a beautiful black span of mules that papa gave $300 for. Some men (about fifteen in number) hastily formed a company and went in pursuit of them. They captured several of the horses, but did not get papa's mules, as they were ridden by two of the Indians, who could easily outride the whites. They killed a man by the name of Dobbs and scalped him. Mamma says she has lot many hours' sleep fearing them, and that she never wants to see another Indian, hostile or friendly. I have a true story of "William Wallace's fight with a big Indian," and will give it in my next letter if the cousins wish to hear it. Cousins, I was attending school at the Mineral Wells college, but stopped Feb. 14 and came home to work. I did not like to stop, but papa said he was tired of cooking and wanted me to come home. So I am cook now. I see that most of you are attending school. I hope you will learn enough for me. There are hundreds of boys and girls who, when they have an opportunity to get an education, never accept it. I, for one, would be glad of the chance. I love to study. I study every spare moment I have, which is generally at night after I get through with my work. Maggie Aston, I sanction what you said in regard to the Sam Houston monument fund. It should be carried to a finish, and I for one will do all I can. If this great band of cousins would put their shoulders together we would see a fine monument rolling toward that hero's grave, and if we all will put forth a strong effort to put a monument there we will surely be successful. Success to the Houston memorial stone fund, and the noble News and its workers.
MABEL L. SWEETMAN, Lakeland, Polk Co., Florida -- I promised you and the cousins in my last letter that the next time I wrote I would tell you about my visit to St. Augustine. We reached St. Augustine about 4 o'clock p. m. We took a carriage and drove to the Hotel Ponce De Leon, which is situated about half a mile or more from the ocean. The city still looks like an old Spanish town. The business part of the town has fine cemented roads, but down in the old part of the town the streets are so very narrow that one can hardly pass a vehicle, and are also very sandy. There is not anything left of the old city gate but two huge gate posts. After one passes through the old city gate you come in full view of Fort Marion, which is one of the most attractive features of St. Augustine. It was commenced in 1592, but was not completed till 1756. It is not a complete ruin, as one would think, but is perfect in every way, the only thing is that it shows signs of having stood through many a hard fight. The roof has lots of bullets still imbedded in its stones. The sentinel stations are still standing and I went into them and looked around, trying to imagine how it looked in the old times. We looked into the dungeons, but none of us cared to go inside the doors. One of the dungeons, where, in 1874, two skeletons were found chained to the wall, is under ground, and if possible is more dreary than the rest. One gets a grand view of the Atlantic ocean from the top of the fort. It looks like a large bay, as the island of Anastasia, about a mile from the mainland, extends down the ocean quite a distance. From this island a kind of broken shell (which runs through one's fingers like sand) is brought over to the mainland. The most of the new part of the city is built out of coquina, as the longer it stands the harder it gets. The Ponce de Leon is built in the style of the early Spanish renaissance, which was strongly influenced by the Moorish spirit. The Ponce de Leon is built out of coquina, which glitters in the sun like mother of pearl. In the vestibule is a large rotunda, four stories high, and around each story runs a corridor with different arches and columns. The dining room is the largest room in the hotel, and from 800 to 1000 guests can be seated at one time. On one side is a band gallery and the band plays there all through dinner. The parlor is beautifully furnished and is practically divided into five rooms by arches, portierres and screens. There are special departments for the ladies, such as a writing room, reading room and billiard room, which opens out from the parlor. There are lovely flowers and ferns of every description and kind imaginable out in the garden. The large orange grove which is just east of the hotel was full of fruit when we were there, and the large trees touched one another, making a beautiful arbor for the visitors to either sit or walk beneath. It is called "Lovers' Lane." The Alcazar is the next important hotel, and is built just across the street from the Ponce de Leon. This hotel has a large sulphur swimming bath, tennis ground, clubroom and dancing hall. As my letter is getting so long I will close and at some future time, if Mr. Big Hat and the cousins would like to hear more about the ancient city, I will try to tell them a little more about what I saw and heard in the place where, in 1512, Ponce de Leon thought he had discovered the fountain of eternal youth.
BEULAH LOCKHART, Cale, Indian Territory > Bryan Co., Okla. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have had a very sore hand. I could not do anything for quite awhile. But I will now try to tell you about the old Fort Washita. It is about eighteen miles northwest of Cale and one mile east of the Washita river. It is situated on a high ridge, and from it one can see for miles east and west. The buildings are all gone except one large stone building, two stories high. It has a large stack chimney with nine fireplaces to it. A large cotton-wood tree has grown up on the inside of the walls. It must be seventy-five feet high. All that can be seen of the other buildings are the large stone foundations and the high chimneys. Everything is a mass of ruins. There are signs of a great many other things, but I do not know what they were for. The stone and gravel walks are plainly to be seen yet. There has been a large graveyard there, but the dead have been taken away. I have pieced two quilts recently.
PAULA EVANS, Nocona, Montague Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It has been only a short time since I wrote to you and perhaps some of the cousins think I come too often, but I wanted to send the money for the Sam Houston memorial stone fund in time for the February list. Inclosed you will find $1 for the stone, also my list of contributors. I would like to join your Summer School, but don't know just what it is. Will you please describe it, Mr. Big Hat? Miss Big Bonnet, I thought your picture was right pretty, but I couldn't tell anything about your nose and mouth because you had on that "big bonnet." Marion York, write again. Your letter was real good. Cousins, don't you think that Peggy is a bad mule? I guess Mr. Big Hat just keeps him because he does not have to buy food for him, he gets so many letters to eat. Genevieve Myrdock, your adventure was real funny; but you got your persimmons anyhow. Mr. Big Hat, did you get a valentine? I got one, but it was a pretty book from one of my uncles. I am getting along in school pretty well and I am taking music lessons. I like to take music lessons. I can play two pieces and have just been taking music about six months. My papa takes The News daily and he thinks it is a good paper. We also take the Youth's Companion and I like to read it. Fletcher Rogers, why don't you write again? I have no pets except a pair of canary birds and one sweet little sister. Success to the Cozy Corner.
[Mr. Big Hat's
JOHN REAMS, Click, Llano Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been looking on for some time, and think the Cozy Corner so nice that I will attempt to get in. Oh, my! Peggy came very near getting me then, and I am so frightened! Cousins, wouldn't we have a fine time if it wasn't for that greedy donkey? Well, cousins, I am a twin and am nearly 15 years old. I weigh 87 pounds, and my twin sister weighs nearly as much again. I wish some of you could come to see me. What a fine time we would have! I have four sisters, and they could entertain the girls if any chanced to be in the crowd, while we boys went fishing and hunting. Then we would turn out in force and explore the country, for there are many wonderful freaks of nature here. There is a bluff near here that is very high. When standing on it and looking down in to the creek, a cow looks like a calf, and a man like a little boy. There is a cave in another mountain and many other interesting things which I will tell you all about some other time. I am very lonely to-night, as I am almost alone, there being only eight of the family at home.
GUS FORD, Farmers Branch, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I don't want to be dropped from the happy circle I will write again. So many nice letters have appeared I have been ashamed to write. Thanks, Paschall Blackburn, for inviting me back. I remember you, Miss Big Bonnet. I think you ought to look so we can see you. It makes us boys feel like we would like to peep in your bonnet. Cousins, what did you do on George Washington's birthday? I did not do anything, as it rained all day. Our school is suspended on account of the measles. I was among those to take it. Laurette Faust, it is a wonder that pony did not pitch with you. I would tell my brother that he was too much like a negro --wanting pay for everything he does. Edwin McWilliams, your letters are all nice. I don't know why Peggy stole that one. I was at the fair, but did not see any of the cousins. I will tell you something about where I live. I live thirteen miles north of Dallas, one and a half miles east of Farmers Branch. Farmers Branch is on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas. East of the railroad is prairie, which is good farming land. West is timber, of which some has been cleared. My grandfather on my mother's side was one of the first settlers here. The Trinity river is about three miles wets of Farmers Branch. Cotton planting time will soon be here. My father has not planted any cotton for four years, but is going to plant forty acres this year. It won't be play for me next year, like it has been. We did not get the paper that had Dora Bennett's picture in it. Our time was out and papa had not renewed his subscription. I would be thankful to anybody that would send it to me and would return it if they want it. I am like all the rest of you, cousins. I want an education and intend to try hard to get one.
ALLIE DAVIS, Fowler, Bosque Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and all my known cousins that write to the Cozy Corner: I suspect most of the cousins have forgotten me, it has been such a long time since my letter was in print. I live in the country on a farm, and I am glad of it. I think country life is so much nicer than city life. I will give a description of my home and this country. My home is situated at the foot of a range of mountains, which extend several miles in length, along Steel's creek. There is a mountain about 200 yards west of our house that when one is on top of it he can see dwellings ten miles from here. This is a timbered country. I live about three miles from the Brazos river, which is the boundary line between this (Bosque) county and Hill county. There is a farm about three miles from here just across the river which contains about 2000 acres of land. It is worked by convicts. I have seen as many as fifty working in one bunch. The land along the river is sandy and that on the creek is mixed, sandy and black. The farmers raise corn, cotton, wheat, oats and sorghum. The most useful timber that grows in this country is live-oak, cedar, elm, pecan, walnut, hackberry, burr-oak and cotton-wood. I have been going to school, but had to stop on account of the measles. Cousins, don't you all think the Sam Houston memorial stone fund is a grand thing? I do. Papa has been taking The News ever since I can remember, and we think it is a grand paper. Miss Big Bonnet, your letter to the cousins was very nice, and as you left it for the cousins to decide whether you are pretty or not, I think you would be real pretty if you didn't have on such a big bonnet. Mr. Big Hat, I think you look real cute sitting up on top of Peggy's head, between her ears. I enjoy reading so much and spend most of my leisure time studying my school books and reading literature. Cousins, what has become of Dora Bennet? I enjoyed her letters so much. My age is 16 years.
AURELIA GRAY, Bazette, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I have long wished to write, but have always been afraid that Peggy would get my letter. I hope he won't be hungry when you receive this. I am 13 years old and have three brothers and two sisters. Father takes several papers, but I like to read the cousins' letters in The News the best of all. I am going to school, and like my teacher very much. Turner Shell, it was the Rubicon into which Caesar plunged when he exclaimed, "The die is cast."
LUCY SMITH, Winfield, Titus Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I see many nice letters from the cousins, but none from our little town. I go to school at Winfield. My uncle is my teacher. I like to go to school very much. I like to piece quilts. I have no pets except my baby brother, who is as sweet as candy. The land here is very productive when well cultivated and the grass in the spring is fine. But when the scorching summer sun shines the grass and the water in the brooks dry up. When it rains it is very muddy, not black mud, but red clay.
ALMETTA HORTON, Hailville[?], Houston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I want to tell you of the bad luck I have with my pets. I had a great many but they are all dead. I had a pet kitten and my dog killed it in a fight. Then my dog ran mad. Then papa gave me a calf and it went in a field and a man shot it. My grandma gave me a pig, and it went off one day and never came back any more. My last pet was a black hen. She is the prettiest of all, I thought. I kept her a long time, but she became so bad about flying upon the table and breaking mamma's dishes that mamma killed her. So this ended my pets. Cousins, what has become of Cousin Herbert Taylor? Was it really a buzzard that he was riding, or was he carried to heaven like Elijah, in a chariot of fire? I wish he would tell us some more about his ride.
ELMER DAVIS, Tacitus, Haskell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will endeavor to write you up another mess for Peggy. I rather expect some of the girls are glad you have Peggy, for they think we boys can't write so Mr. Big Hat can read it, and she can help him cast our scratching aside, but I believe she gets a girl's letter every once in awhile. Lauretta Faust, I think you write a splendid letter, but you hit the boys some awful hard blows. Some boys may need it, but there are some that don't, too. Herbert, I wish you would return from your expedition, so the girls would get over their uneasiness. Miss Big Bonnet, I think you are just beautisome; that is, I mean your bonnet. Lula Kirk, you write a splendid letter. Maud Batesman, come again, and also, Myra Lee Brown, Lucille Dugan Shannon, you have my nick name (Dugan). Lauretta said girls were not made to ornament the field, and I can say with honesty that a great many are not made to ornament the home, either. I will finish up with some questions: Who captured San Antonio? How long was Austin imprisoned in Mexico?
ANNIE COOK, Lufkin, Angelina Co., Tex. -- Good evening, Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Have any of the girl cousins started to work in their flower gardens yet? I haven't planted any seed yet. We have a good many rose bushes growing. We have just moved out on a new place and flowers don't do well. Lufkin is a very pretty little town. It has two churches, two railroads, fifteen stores, two drug stores, four saloons and four hotels. I agree with Mr. Big Hat about girls working the field. I think they ought to work where their parents think best and help them all they can. We must remember that they have taken care of us. I am 5741 days old. I will answer Angie Poindexter's question: if you had nine pigs and four pens and wanted to put an even number of pigs in each pen, you would build one pen and then build the other three around it and put the nine pigs in the middle pen.
MYRTLE FORD, Bruceville, McLennan Co., Tex, -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I wrote to The News last week and my letter was not printed, and I thought I would try again. The rule is, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." I am going to school now. I am 12 years old. If Peggy doesn't get enough to eat I wouldn't mind his getting a few of my letters to keep him alive, but don't get them all. Miss Big Bonnet, when are you going to have your picture taken? Let us cousins know, and we will send for one. One of the cousins asks: "What has two hands and one body? " The answer is a clock. She also asked: "Put on the table and cut, but never eaten." The answer is cards. Now let me ask a question: How many people in the world? How many black people in the world? Mr. Big Hat, let Miss Big Bonnet write another letter to the cousins. You ought to let your sister write as well as others. When she does get to write she beats you. I wouldn't care if you had three or four foot balls. Then she could get to have her picture in the paper, and get to write a letter, too. We are practicing for a concert to celebrate George Washington's birthday. One of our pupils is sick, and I don't know whether we can get to have the concert.
WILLIE WIGHT, Fort Thomas, Graham Co., Ariz. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first letter to the children's department. I will tell you of my trip from the Sacramento mountains, New Mexico, here. We lived on the west side of the Sacramento mountains, near the town of La Luz, Dona Ana county. It had been snowing there for six weeks before we started. We left the ranch Dec. 22 and came across the plains that lie between the Sacramento and Organ mountains by the White sands. The wind was blowing hard and the sand looked like it was crawling. It is sixty miles across those plains We crossed the Organ mountain and went by the Organ mines. There was no work going on there. From there we came to Rincon, New Mexico, on the Rio Grande. Seven miles from Rincon we camped one night at Mr. Yoast's. There I met two of my cousins, Irvin Yoast and Mamie Yoast. It was very cold traveling in a wagon. There were nine of us in all -- papa, mamma, one brother and sister and myself, Mr. Harris and wife and two little boys. We crossed the Rio Grande and came to Colorado, a Mexican town. One white man lived there; he was a merchant. We came down the Santa Fe railroad to Deming, then up the Sunset railroad to Lordsburg. We left the railroad and went across the plains north and crossed the Gila river, twelve miles above Duncan. We came down the river fifteen miles and re-crossed it and came up Ash Spring canyon and across the mesa, where Mr. Merril and his daughter were killed. The people had built a monument of small stones where they were lying. There were blood stains yet on the ground. There was a party of soldiers camped there. There has been quite a number of persons killed on that mesa by the Indians. We came from there to Solomonville, the county seat of Graham county, and from there down the Gila here. There is a number of small towns on the river and nice farms all irrigated from the river. They plant wheat in December and January and cut it in the last of May, then plant the same land in corn. They cut alfalfa five times. They make an average of a ton to the acre at a cutting. It is very here in the valley. There has been no snow this winter, but we can see snow on the Graham mountains, thirty miles from here. There is a new town building one mile below here. It is the terminus of the G. V. G. and N. railroad. It is at the line of the reservation and is twenty miles from the San Carlos agency. We see lots of Apache Indians passing every day. Some are dressed like white men and some wear their gee-string and leggings. Some of those that have been off at school a long time are trying to build them up homes. They have first drawn their government clothing and are running around trying to sell them. The Indians won't allow the railroad to be built across the reservation. The name of the new town is Geronimo. There is an immense amount of freight hauled from there to Globe, to the copper mines. It is sixty miles to Globe. There were 1000 teams hauling freight from Geronimo to Globe for awhile, but some have gone away. There are lots of high mountains here and they are very rough. There is not much timber on them. It is cottonwood and mesquite. There are some deer and wild turkeys on the mountains, and bees along the foothills. If Mr. Big Hat will come out in the spring we will go and hunt bee caves and get wild honey to eat. There are a great many quail in the valley. I have killed a few since we came here. There are fish in the river, several kinds. Cousins, if you will come and go walking with me we will pick up lots of pretty rocks on the hills. I am 15 years old and have not been in school in two years. Have never been to school much since we left Texas, six years ago. I will start to school next week. The most that I know I learned at home. Papa is a carpenter and works at Geronimo. He is a subscriber to The News and I read the cousins' letters every week. We are building a home here and brother John and I have to haul some logs to-day. Sister Rosa will be 8 years old in April. We have one pet, a dog. He won't let a tramp or Mexican or Indian come to the house or camp.
LAURA E. TAYLOR,
Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I received
the handsome diploma you sent me, and thank you very much. I
value it more than any school certificate and shall treasure
it, together with my prize and diploma of last year. I did not
send in my contribution to the memorial stone for Gen. Houston's
grave last week as your requested because I wished to speak to
my young friends, thinking some of them would like to contribute.
Unavoidable circumstances had hitherto prevented my doing so.
I think the reason no monument marks Gen. Houston's grave is
due in a great measure to the inherited pride and independence
of the living members of his family, who have persistently discouraged
any attempt to raise funds for that purpose by subscription or
taxation. Maybe they will not frown on this effort of the children
of Texas, who have learned from their parents' lips to love and
venerate the name of Houston. Mamma says: "Of course Gen.
Houston was not the only great man in the early history of Texas.
There was many another man as brave and true, as ready to dare,
to do and die for country and for principle, but in that galaxy
of heroes Houston stands pre-eminent as the master mind who brought
order out of chaos, who from the very consequences of defeat
wrought victory and won for Texas peace and liberty."
[Mr. Big Hat's
LORA STACKARD, Mertens, Hill Co., Tex. -- Miss Big Bonnet and Mr. Big Hat: I will write to the Cozy Corner for the first time. I am 9 years old. I have one sister and one brother. They are both older than myself. I have three pets and they are chickens. I received two oranges Christmas and a doll, and an orange New Year's. The doll had on a bonnet and a blue nun's veiling dress, shoes and stockings that would come off. The shoes were tan. Mr. Big Hat, if I were you I would be afraid for Peggy to eat baskets of letters. I am not going to school now, but I study at home. Which is the only promise that was never sworn and never broken? Where and by whom was it ever made?
ZILLA EUBANKS, Lo, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. I am a little girl, 11 years old. I go to school and to Sunday school also when it is so I can. I live on a farm. I can pick 124 pounds of cotton in a day. I do not like to pick cotton. I will ask some questions: What officer lost his life because he neglected to open a note? Who was Poor Richard? Of what president was it said that if his soul were turned inside out a post could be found upon it?
ANNIE HILL, Rock Fence, Elbert Co., Ga. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It is so lonesome this evening I thought I would like to chat with the cousins. I think it is good in Mr. Big Hat to give such a large space to the children. This is my first attempt to write to The News, so I hope that some one will extend to me a hearty welcome. If some of the cousins will write to me and send a self-addressed stamped envelope I will send them the pattern of a horse. It makes a nice toy and is real pretty, made of canton flannel.
ORA WHITAKER, Wortham, Freestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading The News some time, and have never written before. It is a dark, dreary, rainy day and the wind whistling through the key-hole makes me feel lonely and sad. I am not at home, but am going to school here and like it very much, although I will be very glad when it is out, so I can go home. We had a nice entertainment at our school on the 22d. I am 12 years old and am in the fifth grade. I think we ought to make good use of our time, and make profit of every opportunity, and not spend our time in reading trashy fiction and forming many other bad habits. I read every opportunity I have, and am very fond of good books. I never read but one novel, and I made up my mind I would never read another. I go to Sunday school every Sunday. Miss Big Bonnet, I heard some of the cousins say that you were not pretty at all, but I do not see how they know. I expect under that bonnet was a pretty face. I know it is not brown and sunburned, for such a large bonnet would protect it from the sun. Mr. Big Hat, you don't seem to grow much. I expect you play foot ball too hard. How many of the cousins have flowers? I do. We have some hyacinths, violets, geraniums and crocuses in bloom now, and they are so pretty. I would like very much to correspond with any of the cousins.
JOHNNIE GILL, Yoakum, DeWitt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I live on a farm two miles from town, with my father. I have one brother and one sister. My mother died when I was three years old. I can hardly wait for The News to come to the office. I like so well to read the cousins' department. I have been wanting to write for some time but papa said wait till I was 13 years old. Now I am just 13, and as I am not going to school to-day, I thought now was my time to write. Our school will be out in three more weeks. It seems to me that the cousins have written upon every topic and discussed every subject of importance, that there is nothing left for me to write upon. It may interest some of the "Little Men and Women" if I were to give them a part of my experience of Indian life. I have been away from the Indian country but a short time. There are lots of white people in the territory. Once the white men gave the Indians a barbecue and all the lemonade they could drink, if they would give an exhibition of the real Indian life fifty years ago, for the benefit of the white women and children. The barbecue grounds were in a nice grove of timber where there was a fine spring. There were some 500 Indians present, from the old gray haired men and women of 80 down to the little papooses of four months. They told us they were going to give us an exhibition of the ancient scalp dance and great war whoop which used to so frighten our grandmothers in early days among the Indians. They were all painted, women with red streaks across their cheeks, and all dressed ancient style as near as possible. The men were all painted in regular war style. Some had cows' horns fastened on their heads and cows' tails hanging down behind. Some had deers' horns on their head, and some wolf scalps, and all had big knives and tomahawks in their belts. I tell you, cousins, I am not surprised at our first settlers being afraid of the red man, for it makes me feel shy yet. I knew they were not going to hurt any one, yet to make it seem worse while we were amused at what we saw, six braves gave the Indian whoop in the woods near by. Right straight all eyes were turned that way, and the six big red men came out of the woods, bringing with them a white woman bound head and feet. They brought her in the crowd and tied her to a tree. This was only a false figure as I saw to my great satisfaction. Then came the little Indian boys' time for fun. All strung out in a line with their bows and arrows, and shot the woman literally full of arrows. Then the men stood off some distance and threw their tomahawks at her head. Some stuck in the tree above her head, but soon an expert struck one in her head. Then the oldest man in the crowd pulled out a long knife and scalped her, taking a lot of long false hair and placing it on a long pole. The scalp dance then began; only the men danced at first. Oh how they did look, going through all kinds of maneuvers with these cow heads and deer heads. Everything was a sight. The woman began to tie shells and little bells and all manner of rattling things around their ankles. When this was done, the men danced around the pole, and the women circled on the inside and began to dance too, and such a racket and such a jingle! The old man that did the scalping was only chief for the occasion. The real chief of the Creeks is half negro. Well, the old chief took all of the little boys and got a lot of brush and made a pile around the scalped woman, then set fire to the brush. When the blaze grew large the old man made a peculiar whoops which they all seemed to understand, for they began to circle around and give their war whoop. Every thing from the old chief down to the 2-year-old were whooping, and the like I never heard in my life. It seemed as if the leaves would all fall from the trees. Soon the fire burned down, and the white people turned to go home, looking sad, as if they had seen more of Indian life than they expected. We children talked and dreamed of that night for a long time. I sometimes dream of it yet. I inclose 10 cents for the Sam Houston stone fund.
FRED BURGE, Roland, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading so many nice letters from all the other parts of the state that I came to the conclusion I would be glad to join your band. I go to school and like my teacher very well. This is the fourth term I have attended without missing a day. How many of the cousins attend school that regularly? We have a Sunday school near us and I attend most of the time. I was elected secretary last month. I have a gun and enjoy hunting. I am going to pick enough cotton this coming season to buy me a bicycle.
LEXIE GRACE PATTY, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters for some time, but have never decided to write until now. I think Myra Lee Brown of this city writes very interesting letters. Myra and I go together at school, and I think she is a very sweet little girl. I am 11 years old and am in the sixth grade. I also study music and am exceedingly fond of it, although some times my practice hours interfere with some anticipated pleasure, which I do no like, but mamma says I can never be a musician, unless I practice well. I have three sisters. Have any of the cousins a bicycle? I haven't, but would like one very much. I imagine it is lots of fun to ride. I am the third little girl that has written to Mr. Big Hat's department from this city. I will ask a question: Who wrote the poem, "Aux Italians?"
MABEL E. McCRAW, Wellington, Collingsworth Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. I have been reading the cousins' letters a long time, and I would like to join them. I am 11 years old. I like this place very well. My only pet is a little pony. I enjoy many fine rides on her. Mary Linney, I can answer one of your questions. It is a barrel that has two heads and one body, but can't talk or walk. Annie Grimes, come again; I like to read your letters. I will ask a question: When is a little girl not a little girl?
EMMA BRECKENRIDGE, Peoria, Peoria Co., Illinois -- Mr. Big Hat: I do not suppose I can be classed among the little ones as I am 18. I came to ask a question: Can a girl earn her own living in the sunny south? I have been told not; that there is no work for her, that she is looked down on, "and if you don't want to starve to death, stay in the north." I hate the north, with its ice and snow; I love the south, the land of my mother's birth. And I should be willing to do anything I can to live in the land I love. Now, girls of the south, can you give me any information on this subject? The snow lies ten inches deep over everything, and from the window I can see the Illinois river, and just across lie the hills with here and there a farmhouse tucked snugly away among trees. Some may say "Beautiful snow," but methinks I can smell sweet jasmines. If this finds favor in Mr. Big Hat's eyes I shall call again.
[Mr. Big Hat's
EDDIE ROSAMOND, Dawson, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: This is my first attempt to write to you. I am a little boy 9 years old. I am a farmer's son. I like farming very well. I haven't any pets. I go to school. I have just got up from the measels [sic]. I think Miss Big Bonnet would be very pretty if her head was not so big. I will answer James Taylor's question: St. Augustine is the oldest town in the United States. I will ask! Who did Pocahontas marry? What canal cross New York?
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