October 26, 1920 letter to Nancy Brown from Lela Mueller

October 26, 1920

To: Nancy Brown, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Lela Mueller, Chicago, IL

Has been very busy. Had wanted to put off Jean’s birthday party until Nancy came home, but decides not to wait any longer. Katie’s unborn baby has been dead for about a week, but she was told it is best to wait till the time is up. Helen told Lela that she didn’t like Grandma Mueller because she tells her not to take so much sugar or eat too much butter. Helen and Jean went to a birthday party but Helen called Lela crying she was so homesick and wanted to come home. Lou went and stayed with her so that Jean could stay at the party.

Tuesday P.M. 2:45

Dear Ones All:

I just cant get time to write it seems – I’m waiting for bath water – Lou[1] and I are going to Mrs Richers for dinner this eve. Dodo[2] is coming up right after school and Mrs Luders is coming after supper. The Club starts Thursday and I’m going to have a Hallow eve party for Helen and Jean[3] Sat. Wish you could be here for that. I’ve been putting Jeans party off thinking you would be home[4] but guess I wont wait any longer. I’m so sorry for Auntie.[5] Wish she could come here and doctor. We cant find any thing like Frebitus or Phre – except Phretitus – (mental frenzy) is the definition. While I think of it I put up 5# of quince and 2# cranberry jell, a Horlick milk bottle full of cuke (ripe) pickle and a good sized jar of tomato pickles. Thats about all except jell.

The 3 children[6] each had a small dish of red raspberries picked from our vines Sun. eve.

Joe, Anna, Bob[7] and 2 of Ann’s friends were in for the day Sunday – they brought a bushel of black walnuts, a chicken, a pumpkin squash and cabbage, 10 eggs. Gave the children each a dollar. Joe brough you a beautiful plant cyclamen? I think its called – or mountain violet, such a deep purplish red flower and lovely foliage. You better thank her, just a card. Mrs Robt Langhorn, 231 State St, Sycamore Ill. Lou trans planted your spider plant to a large pot. It has grown so and has so many runners but the ends of the leaves are turning brown. I’ve taken lots of pains with it, but dont know how to stop that. Both the big and little one are in bloom. This has been a beautiful month, the foliage so pretty and so many fall flowers, but its cold now so I guess it wont be pretty much longer.

Another bungalow going up across the street just this side of the stucco house, the one on the corner is completed. Its some place.

Katie[8] went to the hospital last Friday for an examination. Her baby is dead has been about a week, but they says its best to wait till time is up. Bess[9] was there last night. She is going to keep Donald[10] for a month. He will go to school with Robert.[11]

We were at Mrs Richers for lunch last Wed. had a nice time. Friday A.M. I took Helen and Jean to Aunt Lizzies[12] then went down town. Lou and I went back there to dinner. Martha[13] went down to Bessies. We like her just as well. She isnt very swift, but willing and nice to have around, but she only a little girl and has had to work hard. She is so nice to the children when they do any thing the shouldnt she corrects them and tell them how they were punished at the home. This morning Helen says I dont like Grandma Mueller.[14] I said “Why Helen, Grandma loves you.” She says I cant can get along all right only when she says “Dont take so much sugar, you mustnt eat so much butter” then she added she’s old and I dont like her looks.” I said Grandma Brown[15] is old too. “Well” she said she was born different because she is pretty and I like her looks and I like Aunties and Uncle Ethans,[16] but I dont like Grandma Muellers and Aunt Johanna.

The night we were at Aunt Lizzie’s Ruth[17] was about decided to accept a position in a laundry office 2000 per week. Havent heard since.

Kathrine Cady had her party Sat. Lou took the children over. They gave her a Bubble Book). Helen came running down stairs crying wanted to see her mother. The girls came down and dragged her back, but she wouldn’t stay. Went over to Aunt Lizzies and called me up, was crying as though her heart would break, says “Mama I’m so homesick send Daddy to get me” so he went back. She wouldnt go up to the party but Lou stayed at Aunt L– with her and let Jean stay at the party. I think we’ll have a time with her when she goes to school.

I havent time to write more now, have written this in such a hurry dont know as you’ll get much out of it. Claude[18] and we havent given you any birthday present, would you like a pad for your window seat? Or something else. Let us know, may be we can have it by the time you get home.

With lots of love to all.

Lela

[written on top of second page]: I’ll look up your hat and send to-morrow

 

[1] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller

[2] Lela’s niece, Dorothy Recoschewitz

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

[4] Nancy lived with Lela and Lou but was visiting her brother and sister in Galesburg, Michigan

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

[6] Believe she is referring to Helen and Jean together with Martha Lueders, who was living with them temporarily

[7] Lou’s sister, Johanna (Mueller) Holmquist Langhorn, and her daughter, Anna Holmquist, and Johanna’s second husband, Robert Langhorn

[8] Kathryn (Brouty) Thornton; Katie was either the daughter or step-daughter of Bess’ husband, Julius Recoschewitz, by one of his previous wives

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

[10] Katie’s son, Donald Thornton, who was six years old

[11] Bess’ son, Robert, Recoschewitz, who was 11 years old

[12] Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown, wife of Lela’s paternal uncle, Willis Brown

[13] See footnote #6 above

[14] Lou’s mother, Augusta (Ficke) Mueller

[15] Nancy (Keith) Brown

[16] Nancy’s brother, Ethan Keith

[17] Lizzie’s daughter, Ruth (Brown) Kroscher

[18] Lela’s brother, Claude Brown

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