October 24, 1923 letter to Ethan Keith and Hannah Towne from Nancy Brown

October 24, 1923

To: Ethan Keith & Hannah Towne, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

They ordered 250 candy boxes with the new name of “Nancy Keith.” Business is picking up and the girls made 150 pounds since last Friday and will make again on Friday. Lela leaves for Davenport on Friday and Nancy is hoping she will bring back $1,000.00. Johanna went to see Lou. He knew her and asked about Lela and the children. He wanted to know when Lela was coming to see him, but then said it didn’t matter as he was going to Chicago that night on horseback and would play ball all the way in. May Roney got her divorce from Buck. Nancy wants to know if Ethan and Hannah are going to get another horse.

Oct 24″ 1923

Dear brother and sister.

We are having real nice weather, but quite cold. We ordered a small crate (holds three dozen eggs) from the “Fair,”[1] so you may send them. We also sent a box of “Nancy Keith” candies. What do you think of the box. We had to have boxes right away so ordered two hundred and fifty. All the rest will be the same only embossed which will be much nicer. It was done before I knew of it, I mean the cut. Claude[2] made that and the children all wanted the name. Now its up to us to make the name Keith famous. All who have seen the box like it and some say a good deal about it. Wilma[3] is proud of it. The business is picking up. Since last Friday have made one hundred and twenty pounds, make again Friday. Just Bess[4] and Carrie. Lela[5] goes to Davenport[6] Friday. Will be home Sunday night or Monday moring. I told her I hoped she would bring back one thousand dollars with her.[7] Joe’s[8] was all to see Lou[9] last Sunday, said he had gained a good deal. Knew them all, asked about Lela & the children.[10] Wanted to know when Lela was coming to see him. Joe said in a few days. He said it dont matter as I am going to Chicago to night on horse back. Shall play ball all the way in & so he is only a little stronger physically, but the same mentally. They asked the Dr if he thought him better. He said yes in some ways, but it dont mean any thing. The next change which is found to come may be so much worse for all and it may be the end. Glad you sent Mables letter. I got one the day before yours came, almost the same, only a little more to yours. May[11] got her divorce from Buck[12] the 18″, has the home and twenty thousand dollars. Had to give it two (2) % of it to the lawyer. Buck hopes to pay her the eighteen in side of a year, if not will as fast as posible. She feels bad, but feels free, knows now where she is and dont have him to worry over. Wilma leaves Mrs Locks one week from to day. ” ” [Mrs Locks] told her she could come back if she wanted to. Dorothy[13] will come and stay with us while Lela is gone.

Friday, 3 P.M. A fine mist. Lela left this 7 A.M. They drive from Joes, but they have a closed car. It is heated so they will be warm & dry. She went away with a hard head ache, nervous I guess. Bess and Carrie are making candy. Bess will stay this evening a while and work. Jean will go home with her. Dorothy comes tomow night. Sunday Robert,[14] Joe[15] and Wilma will be here for dinner. My cactus has three new leaves. Pepper looks nice but dont grow much. I think Mr & Mrs Stilwill had a narrow escape. Too bad about Mrs Golden. What kind of a dress did Mrs Riddler have and was they all right about your price for Virginas dresses. Are you going to try and get a horse.[16] I know Claude will help some. I will a little. The children are coming from school. I want they should mail this. Wish I knew how Lou is. She was going to write first of week but has’nt done so. Hope you got the crate all right – also candy.

With love


[1] “The Fair Store,” a discount department store

[2] Nancy’s son, Claude Brown

[3] Wilma Keith, the daughter of Nancy’s brother, James Clinton Keith

[4] Nancy’s daughter, Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz

[5] Nancy’s daughter, Lela (Brown) Mueller

[6] Davenport, Iowa, where Lela’s mother- and sister-in-law lived

[7] Nancy was hoping that Lela would be able to get some help from her husband’s uncle, Charles August Ficke, who was quite wealthy

[8] Lela’s sister-in-law, Johanna (Mueller) Holmquist Langhorn

[9] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller

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

[11] Marion (Roney) Buchanan

[12] The California Death Index on Ancestry.com shows that Marion A. Buchanan died on May 9, 1945 in Los Angeles; however, it does not give her husband’s name; research continues

[13] Nancy’s granddaughter, Dorothy Recoschewitz

[14] Nancy’s grandson, Robert Recoschewitz

[15] Joseph Langmayer, Dorothy’s future husband

[16] See Nancy’s August 10-13, 1923 diary entries

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