August 28, 1920 letter to Nancy Brown from Lela Mueller

August 28, 1920

To: Nancy Brown

From: Lela Mueller

Writes to her mother about the birth and death of Ruth Kroscher’s baby. Lou’s mother is staying with them for awhile and various relatives have come to visit her. Lou has been sick and the doctor said it was muscular rheumatism. Wishes Auntie and Uncle Ethan could close up their house and come live with Lela and Lou or Aunt Louese Harris for the winter. Lela has been lying down a little each day. If she does that then Mother Mueller and the girls also lie down and it gives Lela some quiet time.  

Friday Aug 28 [1920]

My dear Mamma

I dont where to begin nor where to leave off. So many things, but guess I’ll begin with Ruth.[1] Mrs. Cady is home and invited the children[2] there to spend the day with Katherine, Tuesday the 25th. I had to phone Mrs. Geezy not to come as I couldn’t accomplish very much if I went over there. Lou Klenze[3] came over and took Mother[4] home with her to lunch. Lous ” [Klenze] mother[5] was there (Aunt Johanna[6] went home a week from the Sat. after she came on Friday). Aunt Lizzie[7] phoned for me to stop there for lunch so I did, then I came back here, got Mother and we went to Wieboldts to get Helen[8] some shoes and Mother got Lou 2 nice skirts – 350 and 400. We came home and got supper. Lou[9] had been sick since Sat but worked – came home early Tuesday and we had Dr. Stotz that evening. Said it was muscular rheumatism. He couldnt go back for the kids so I had to. Got there about 8. I had phoned and asked Aunt Lizzie to have them there to supper and until I could get there which she did. When I got there Ruth was having pains – began about six. Ralph[10] took her to the hospital about 9 and at 1045 she had a girl baby[11] about 7½#. They worked over it about a half hour before they had much hopes for it – even then couldn’t get it to cry. I kept June[12] Wed so Lizzie and Ralph could go to see them. Uncle Will[13] came over at night to get her – said the Dr wasn’t satisfied with the baby’s condition but Thurs. Aunt Lizzie said it was all right – but it wasn’t as it passed away Thurs eve. about 11. Ruth got along nicely and is fine. I talked with Uncle Will to day (Aunt Lizzie and Ralph have been with Ruth all day). He said he hadnt heard but of course knew she would tall take this hard. Ralph hasn’t accepted a position yet so he can be with her.

Wednesday Lou Klenze was here for dinner came in just as we were ready to sit down and left while we were still eating. Then in the evening she, her brother, John and his wife[14] from Davenport were over for a couple of hours.

Thursday (last night) Jack and George Frieholdt[15] were here for dinner. They were so surprised to see the neighborhood.[16] Said they had thought of it as the west side – they are thinking of buying and would come over here in a minute if they could find anything but dont expect to pay over $5500. The new house on the corner is costing between 28 and 30 thousand which won’t hurt other property.

The skirt and nighties fit fine. Of course Jean grabbed the one with purple. And they wont wear their old ones – they come in mighty handy.

I got myself a cape – am enclosing a sample. Its long and has a shorter over cape about to waist line – every one likes it. Got it for 750 in the Stevens building.

Mr Richer and folks had a good time. Mr Richer liked the place very much. We have several pictures of the back yard but haven’t had them developed. There are 10 blossoms on the hydrangeas – not large but full and nice. The live-for-ever is blossomed.

Mr Dee[17] has been here but twice this week to eat. Got up at 5 Sunday and played golf all day so no meals. I asked him to day if he would be home Sunday he said probably not so I told him we would like to go to the farm[18] either to morrow or Sunday. He said it was perfectly all right with him to go either time but So we’re going Sunday. If Ray[19] gets home we’re going to see if he will come after us with Claudes[20] car as Claude told him he could use it.

Mother has had her big silver water pitcher done over for us – had it replated – its just like new – has a china lining. Supposed to keep water cool. Cost her 1700. Joe had it done for her.

I dont know when Mother will go but I’m trying to keep her to give Aunt Johanna a rest. Mother and Aunt Tillie[21] cant get along at all and of course Aunt Johanna has to hear both sides. Said it seemed as if she must have a rest and change. Lou Klenze is going to visit here her. I think she went this morning. Will stay a week. I think she just as soon be alone as Lou is tiresome.

Dr Stotz staid quite a while had a nice visit. Said if his wife had come she wouldn’t have wanted to go as this place was just about what they would like. They are in a flat – rent raised from 40 to 70. He talked about their little girl, kidded our children about their socks. Said he used to make his Helen so mad – he’d tell her to go home and have her mother put on the other half of her stockings. Said she had flu and afterwards paralysis. Lou asked him how much for the visit. He said guess I wont be very hard on you, call it 300 so he paid him. He isnt very far from here – on Sawyer, the first street the other side of Kedzie, and in the 2400 block, so its about 25 blocks.

Dont do any more wash. Let Bess[22] do it now while she’s alone and then I’ll do it after I get along alone. Now be sure – I dont see how either of us can come to Michigan. Wish we could. Mother will still be here and then Mr Dee. I wish Auntie[23] and Uncle Ethan[24] could figure out some way to close the house this winter and visit here and Aunt Lous.[25] I think they would both be better for it and it wouldnt cost them any thing by car fare. See if it cant be done some way.

I must close and mail this. I’ll write as soon as I cant but the days are so full. I have been lying down a while each day as that is the only let up there is and if I lie down Mother does – also the kids – so every thing is peaceful for a while at least though it hasn’t been as hard as other times. Helen has done splendid considering but I have to do lots of talking to keep her good. They talk about “my own Grandma” and my Grandma Mueller. Hope the visit did Auntie lots of good.[26]

Have got to wash dishes and pick up my wash – haven’t washed this week.

With lots of love to all


[1] Ruth (Brown) Kroscher

[2] Lela’s daughters, Helen and Eda “Jean” Mueller

[3] Lela’s husband’s first cousin, daughter of Carl and Henrietta (Ficke) Klenze

[4] Lela’s mother-in-law, Augusta (Ficke) Mueller

[5] Not sure who she is referring to; Lou Klenze’s mother Henrietta died in 1874

[6] Believe she is referring to her husband’s aunt, Johanna Sophia Ficke

[7] Nancy’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown

[8] Lela’s daughter

[9] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller

[10] Ruth’s husband, Ralph Kroscher

[11] Roberta Kroscher

[12] Lizzie’s granddaughter, June Brown, daughter of Perry and Mary Brown

[13] Nancy’s brother-in-law, Willis Brown (Lizzie’s husband)

[14] John and Louise (Andresen) Klenze

[15] George Friedholdt was Lou’s first cousin, the son of Emelie (Mueller) and William Friedholdt; not sure who Jack Friedholdt was

[16] Lou and Lela bought a house at 4445 North Francisco in the Ravenswood Manor of Chicago. At that point in time it was “way out in the country”

[17] One of Lela and Lou’s boarders

[18] Will’s and Lizzie’s farm in Wood Dale, Illinois

[19] Will’s and Lizzie’s oldest son, Ray Brown

[20] Lela’s brother, Claude Brown

[21] Lou’s aunt, Mathilda (Ficke) Dueser. Johanna, Augusta and Mathilda were sisters and according to the 1925 census, Johanna and Mathilda were living together in Davenport, Iowa

[22] Lela’s sister, Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz

[23] Nancy’s sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne

[24] Nancy’s brother, Ethan Keith

[25] Nancy’s sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[26] Nancy lived with Lela and Lou but was visiting her brother and sister, Ethan and Hannah, who lived in the old family farm in Galesburg, Michigan

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