December 10, 1923 letter to Nancy Brown from Louese Harris

December 10, 1923

To: Nancy Brown

From: Louese Harris, Shelbyville, MI

Writes about Mildred and Fred’s marriage. Jim has been very sick and Walter and Dorothy have had to come over every morning to do the chores before Walter goes off to work

Shelbyville Dec 10 – 1923

Dear Sister:

I dont know how long since I wrote you last but guess it does’nt matter as you’ve heard any news from here which was worth while. I had a letter commenced to you “four pages” last week, but just could not seem to get a chance to finish it so I consigned it to the flames, and here goes again. I hav’nt been worth a pewter sixpence since you were home and after the trouble with my stomach etc “especially the etc” my back has been knocked out, then my head & nerves “worse yet” so I just dont seem to get any where. Well when I get accustomed to conditions maybe I’ll amount to more. Its hard enough for all of us but Tony[1] and I realize it most for we are here alone a good deal. No I dont mean to put the dog a head of D[2] & the children so far as feeling bad over Mildreds[3] going – but she certainly does act as if she felt awfully bad yet she has always made a great fuss when M has been away at the same time she seems worse now and I believe she gets the vibration that Mildred will not come home to stay any more. As M- has written Dorothy[4] I presume you know Fred[5] took us unexpectedly, just as he was taken. When M- refused to get married in Sept he put in an application for a few days lay off at Thanksging time. He was not informed that he could have it until the 24th Sat “week.” He came up Sun P.M. told M- he could have 4 days beginning with Tues. Well it was a hustling time as she had’nt as she had’nt gotten her suit. She had in a way given up getting married until spring thinking that “as Fred said” there was hardly a ghost of a chance for an other layoff before their considering he had the two weeks in Sept. And then I think too she was anxious to wait on account of a trip they had planned. But Fred says they’ll go just the same when ever she wants him to have his vacation next summer. They “the operators” have their choice of what time they wish to lay off. I told her I hoped they woud go, but there was may a slip between between the cup & the lip, by that time she might be on her way to Boston instead of Yellowstone or Washington D.C. To go back to the suit – She spent Tuesday in Kal – nothing there, Wed. forenoon in G.R.[6] same result, came home at noon, Fred had arrived at 10. A.M. They left at 2. P.M. for Allegan. After getting the license went to Kal.[7] Tried to get Minister of Peoples Church but were disappointed so a Presbyterian D.D. tied the knot. Of course you know they called on Hannah and Ethan,[8] came back here that night and returned to Galesburg Thurs. eve. leaving here at 7 oclock in a pouring rain. Staying with them until Fri. P.M. went to Kal. and Mildred came home on 4. P.M. car and staid until Sun. eve. when F- came after her. She came home again Wed. noon. He coming up Fri. eve. with car. They packed it full & returned to Kal. that eve. Had rented three furnished roomes, bed room size of hers here at home dining room about size of ours & kitchenette. $48.00 month. On East Lovell St. pleasant place clean & nice but not enough room. She phoned LaVerne[9] yesterday. They had a new place 1024 N. Edwards four rooms living, dining, bedroom, kitchen, furnished, so they can accommodate guests over night. She wants Floyd & Leone[10] to come down to morrow see “The Covered Wagon” in eve. Floyd is going will stay over night. M- may come home with him as she has planned to come Fri. any way and stay until Sun. Doc[11] LaV. & girls[12] may go to see the show too. He has to go to Kal. to get supplies for the lodge “masonic” and the kids are going to make the most of the oppertunity. M- says they’ll not furnish a home yet -, she is going to take time to look around and find out what she wants so long as she can as well as not. Then she will come home once a week for a day or two and I would’nt wonder if they do light housekeeping all winter.

You know Jim[13] has been quite sick. I’ve been down to see him twice. LaVerne told me he was up at Winnies[14] yesterday so he must be improving fast as I called Sat. eve. The girls and I – and he was so weak could hardly walk. He certainly looks bad. I can’t imagine his going to work very soon.

Walter & Dorothy[15] come home every eve. Walter to do the chores night & morning. They have to hustle some in the morning as he has to be back to station to go on duty at 7 oclock. I saw Helen’s[16] letter. Tell her I think she does fine. Should think Lou[17] must be considerable better. Will he ever be so he can come home. If he wants to so badly I should think it would do him good to come just for a few days. Think the candy business is growing fast. Please remember & drop D or I a card – D I guess to let him know if Bessie[18] has rec’d his letter, also if she has called on the Co. to buy any sugar and whether the agent has been to see them about it. D wrote her several days ago. Thinks perhaps she did not get letter. Let him know soon as possible so he’ll know how it is before the agent comes again.

This letter should have gone Wed. P.M. but Edith Thomas Stephens “Leones friend” came from Allegan at noon to stay over until last eve. and I had no time to finish this. My knee hurts me so by night I can hardly walk so I make slow work of house work and keep more than busy any way if some one is here to visit every minute. LaV. comes every morning and helps me a lot, dont know what I’d do with out her then she, or one of the girls if not all three are here every eve until last night I said for them to stay at home as Leone was coming home early. Floyd went to Kal. Wed. noon. M- sent for him. The three went to see the “Covered Wagon” in eve. Floyd returned home yesterday noon. M- & Fred have a suite on N. Edwards St 1024. First place was on E Lovell. Three very small rooms $48.00. Have four where they are “furnished” and can accommodate company. Well Leone has fussed me – sits here talking and I’m writing things the second time. Probably Hannah has written you about the company they had last Sun. and the eats they brought. Thinks the Stoddards must have gotten a generous streak on. M & F. will probably go up often. She any way as she can have the car & time to go. She is coming home this eve. Will stay until Sun. I expect. Going to have coal stove put up to morrow. Mrs Eva Briggs left for Washington D.C. last eve. 60 day vacation. D is running her business here yet. I must get busy & fry beefsteak steak for dinner. Hope to hear from you soon.

Love to all


I know this is not very satisfactory but I can’t do any better just now.

[1] Tony is apparently the family dog

[2] Her husband, D.D. Harris

[3] Her daughter, Mildred (Harris) Cripe

[4] Nancy’s granddaughter, Dorothy Recoschewitz

[5] Mildred’s husband, Fred Cripe

[6] Grand Rapids, Michigan

[7] Kalamazoo, Michigan

[8] Louese’s and Nancy’s brother, Ethan Keith, and sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne

[9] Louese’s daughter, LaVerne (Harris) Boyer

[10] Louese’s son and daughter

[11] LaVerne’s husband, Samuel “Doc” Boyer

[12] Doc & LaVerne’s daughters, Carol and Louise Boyer

[13] Louese’s and Nancy’s brother, James Keith, who suffered from severe asthma

[14] Jim’s daughter, Winifred (Keith) Brouard

[15] Jim’s son and daughter-in-law, Walter and Dorothy (Beckwith) Keith

[16] Nancy’s granddaughter, Helen Mueller

[17] Nancy’s son-in-law, Louis Mueller

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

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