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(numbers in red indicate identification of people and places, found at the end of the letter)

Letter from Papa (James D. Dean) to Lump (Leslie C. Dean)

Dallas, Texas
Dec. 27, 1926

Dear Lump1 got your letter with check last week. Hope you got home all O.K. and you all had a good Xmas. Clyde2 and Floyd3 got shot up in the oil field at Borger4 where Sam5 is at work About 10 days ago Clyde was shot through the knee and Floyd through the leg but didn't think at first either one was seriously wounded. Willie left here last Thursday night and went up there and I got a letter from her to day said Floyd wasn't doing well Said they thought there was some infection set up in Floyds wound Said he had 5 wounds from the one bullet. They say the boys and an other fellow had an argament over something I dont know what and the man pulled his gun and shot Floyd and then shot Clyde. Kelon6 says they was all drinking and I imagan gamling too. Susie7 and I are staying here at Willies8 by our selves Willie is to be back next Sunday 2nd if the boys are doing all right. Say Lump Willie wrote to Letcher9 several weeks ago for him to send down to your house and get our things and ship them to me and Letcher taken it up with Will Mack10 and Mack said the Express Company wouldnt ship it in them barrials. Said we would have to put the fruit in the caseing boxes I call them that the jam come in. I havent got them and dont know what to do, and am writing you to know if you can plan any way for me to ship it. Could the barrials be packed full of cotton seed hulls or saw dust and headed up good and shiped by Express or freight. I wanted to get you before you leave the first of the year so I can have it shiped. I dont know what we are going to do. I am satisfide Susie is fixing to go to Petes11 as soon as Willie comes back. I told her there wasnt any use in her going up there now had just left there the first of Aug and save what she made so we could get to our selves. Pete has all of our beding and a part of our clothes and she wont let him send them down here, am satisfide they are using them like they did last year. She is wanting me to go back up there to live but I told her that I never would go back there to live and I wouldnt go at all in that mess and if she does go any way I havent fully decided what I will do. Only I am determan I will not go if I can find a place to stay I am not able to wait on my self cant get out and I think and know it is her place to stay with me through the winter. I want you to fix my stuff before you leave so I can have it shiped at any time I want it, if you are gone, would ask you to send it right on but she would be trying to send a lot of it to Pete. I think Pete has had a plenty of it See what you can do about shiping it and write me at once but dont ship it till you hear from me after you write me I want to know what she is going to do. Dont say any thing in your next letter what I have wrote you in this. I believe she is wanting to get all the fruit she can and go back up there and keep the beding unless I will go up there. I have needed some of my things bad thats up there, they have my over shoes and some of my clothes and our bed blankets bad. I guess they are using the blankets to cover their own nasty children. Be sure and let me hear from you as quick as you can. I am not well since this cold spell have the head ache so much can hardly get up and down in my back. Lovingly, Papa12.

Identification of people and places mentioned in the letter

  1 - Lump: Leslie McCall DEAN, brother of Willie and Letcher.
  2 - Clyde: son of Samuel Calvin PINGELTON and Willie Daisy Dean Pingelton.
  3 - Floyd: brother of Clyde PINGELTON.
  4 - Borger: a town in Hutchinson County, TX.
  5 - Sam: Samuel Calvin PINGELTON, husband of Willie Daisy Dean Pingelton.
  6 - Kelon: James Kelon PINGELTON, son of Willie and Samuel.
  7 - Susie: Susan Harriet Gobin DEAN, second wife of James D. Dean.
  8 - Willie: Willie Daisy Dean PINGELTON, wife of Samuel Calvin Pingelton.
  9 - Letcher: Letcher Bethune DEAN, husband of Nellye Blithe Alexander DEAN; brother of Lump and Willie.
10 - Will Mack: unknown
11 - Pete: Jesse Laurel GOBIN, son of Susie Dean.
12 - Papa: James D. DEAN, father of Lump, Letcher and Willie.

Transcription and identifications by Joe Defazio, Sep 2008.