Letter from Elizabeth Jane Mixon SHOFNER to her sister, Emily Mixon WILLIAMS
Dear Emma _
It has been so long since I wrote you but I never can remember your P. O. I think you said in your letter that it is Canton. Joe brought me your letter to read. I am so sorry you are in a sickly place and will have to move, for I have moved around till I know what a move means, and I have nothing to move either but a small amount of bedding and some trunks and the children. Our last move was a hundred and forty miles and it cost us over 60.00 dollars, but we moved a cow and 25 chickens. We are not in a healthy place but have fine mineral water and we have had no fever since we came here, but it seems to me we have to take a lot of calomel. The children all grow though and look well enough. Inez is tall as I am and Bula is as large but not as tall. Our youngest girl is 8 and our baby is 4, will be 5 in Aug.
Emma I dreamed last night of seeing you lying on a bed sick, and somehow I have thought of you all the morning. I do hope my dream is not true. I heard from Cal last week, he was able to come to Evergreen to meet Elvie. She came home with Gertrude and spent week before last with Joe and us. Oh I did hate to see the little thing go back by herself but the day before she went home a little girl came from Tallassee our former home to spend awhile with our girls and I could not let one of them go home with Elvie. I dont suppose they have any one with them now, and Clarence is off teaching school, no one at home but Cal, Marvin and Elvie.
Clarence is teaching near Bellville, is boarding with Joe Shofner. John wrote he was going to fix up Mothers tomb in July. I am going to try to get up there in Aug. and stay a week with Cal and visit dear old Mother and Papa.
Oh Emma it was just awful to open up Mothers things, every thing looked so much like her, even her shoes were there and the little bonnet she died in. Joe sent Turner what she left to him, and will keep Bennis bed till winter when some of them will come out for a visit and carry it back. I told Joe she could keep the other bed as she had given hers to Dorria and I would take the cotton bed. So she kept the bed and boulster and I the cotton bed and 4 pillows and there were 13 quilts she gave Turner 3 and me 5 and the blankets. They are half wool and are right good. So I told her I would send you the money to buy some more, it would cost so . . . . .
-- pages 7 and 8 of this letter are missing --
July 30, 1905
Dear Emmie _
I wrote this letter a week or so ago but did not finish it and I did not have the money to spare right then and wanted to send it on this letter. I wish I was able to send you five dollars instead of 2.50 but these times are right pressing with us, the childrens teeth had to be filled this Spring which will cost forty or fifty dollars. I told Joe I would send you 2 dollars and she said she would put in some if she could but has not sent it to me. She may have sent you something. But I will send you a P. O. Money Order for $2.50
Emmie I opened Mothers trunk the other day and oh what a sad task. I had told Joe to take what she wanted and put what she wanted to in Mothers trunk for me. I found in there her shoes, 3 bonnets, (the one she died in, and 2 Sunday ones), 3 dresses, one black and 2 calicos, 3 chimise 2 skirts, 3 gowns, one they cut off of her when she died, her flannels one of them is cut (the one she died in), the shirt Papa died in, 3 aprons, one Mother made about a month before she died, one worn out just full of little holes she had patched and one white one, one facinator she had worn every day, a new cape I had given her and an old one Joe made, 2 pairs stockins her work basket 2 fine combs, another little basket she kept little things, pictures, little bundles of scraps and things. Annie wants the thimble and a bonnet, I'll send them to her. I wanted to keep the work basket.
And now if there is any of the other things you would like to have I can send them by mail, without much cost. Oh I dont feel like I can even wear any of them except the cape it is right new. I sent it to her when I sent the bonnet I send you. Emmie I will send the money now and send you the things later when the yellow fever scare is over, they might possibly get lostand I suppose it will do as well to send them later. Be sure to get you some blankets with the money I send you. I dont need these now but it would cost as much to send them and I know I will need them some time.
I have had a good garden this year, but have nothing to boil now but okra and a few butter beans, have pretty collards but dont cook them now. My peas did not do well but I have young crop coming on. I have had right good luck with chickens this year, raised about 75 or 80, and we have very little room for them to run.
Emma you spoke of your nice black berries. I have not had a pie since I have been in Brewton havent seen any at all and I love them so good. The peach crop is almost a failure here this year, we have had just a few and had to pay a high price for them . We got some apples at one dollar per bushel. There is no fruit here at the parsonage at all. Oh, how I would have plenty of friut and flowers if I could only have a house of my own. We put out a doz peach trees here but I do not suppose we will get to eat any fruit from them.
We hear from Berry real often. Sallie has a fine crop of chickens and they are getting along fine every way. Jewel is very well satisfied, Inez had a letter from her last week, they were all well. I am looking for Ella Brown (Shofner) to morrow, She is in very bad health, doctor treating her all the time, but they fear she will never be well any more. She has 8 children and the oldest a cripple. Annie Skinner has a new baby boy 3 months old. They live at Pollard and have 7 children, the 2 oldest about grown. Joe and family are well Eugene is at home now.
Well I must quit you will get tired reading, I hope you are all well. Please send this letter to Annie and I will write to her soon as I can, and will send the things of Mothers to you and her. Oh how I miss my precious sweet Mother. Emma you dont know how sorry I am for Cal. Lou was so good to him, he says his home is no home to him now that she is not there. Please write to me again and I will try to do better about writing. I dont expect I will ever get to see you again in this life, but I shall expect to meet you in a better world than this. Our best love to you all, good by.
As ever your sister
Joe Shofner saw Abb in Fla. last week, sand he was well and all right. Be sure to let me know if you get the money order all right.