March 20, 1924 letter to Nancy Brown from Hannah Towne

March 20, 1924

To: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

From: Hannah Towne, Kalamazoo, MI

They have their new horse, Maude. They paid just what Claude had given Ethan. Also writes about their neighbor, Carrie, who needs an operation but can’t bring herself to go through with it yet.

Thursday 4.40 P.M. Mar 20 – 24

Dear sister and all     

I was agoing to write last eve but just could not, get lazy some times. This is a real March day – cold and blue and a strong wind. Well we have got a horse at last “Maude”. She looks like Maude some has white in her face and both hind feet are white or ankles. Is a little darker and some smaller. Ethen[1] hitched her up yesterday and drove her around the square. She went all right is a real pet good and kind. An elderly man and his wife had her for their driveing horse. They lived at Bevelmont in South Hagrenwood. They lived on a farm so she is a country horse. A man in Kal–[2] had her to sell for that man. We seen an add in paper. Will[3] went out Sat– and looked at her he liked her looks “and she is a good looker” so Monday morning Henry Sherwood took Ethen and Will out to see her and if E– liked her then he would buy her. and Will took his saddle so as to bring her home if E– took her. Will rode her home. She was on S Burdick almost to Mr Rices place. She weighs 1100. Paid just what C–[4] gave Ethen. If it had’nt been for that we could’nt of gotten a horse. We have got her and I hope she will be all right. She is home sick now and dont Eat much but she will forget her old home after a while. Ethen rubs her and fusses with so she will learn to like him. Now about Carrie.[5] She has had those hard spells all winter. They seem to be closer to gether. Since Christmas she has been real bad. Rogers cant do any thing for her. To day he took her to Bronsen Hospital to see Shackelton. Balch is on a vacation for a year and has taken his place while he is gone. They got back about one. Ida[6] phoned me said Carrie was all in. S– told her nothing but an operation and it will be a serious one and in ten days after the operation she will have to have an other one and he could’nt tell how it would be with her. Carrie says she cant bring her self to have one yet. It is an awful hard place for both of them. If Carrie dont live I dont know what Ida would do – they are a bout crazy. I wish I could help them but of course I cant do any thing. The expense will be a good deal and of course that is a big worrie for them and no one to go to for help. If we only had an auto I could go and see them. I cant get into the buggy and I would’nt ride behind _____ Maude until we know more about her trickes if she has got any. This wind and cold makes the rheumatisim “ache.” My hand and wrist is so lame and stiff cant hardly write and the writing makes it ache worse. I am a fraid Lou[7] will get so she cant get around – be helpless. If she wasnt so heavy she would’nt be quite so lame. Will Caywood was here a while this A.M. the first we have seen him since the day Jack and Edna[8] came. Luella fell and hurt her self quite bad – tripped on a rug. She is in bed. It hurt her knee and leg. We think it was $50??? that Uncle R– gave Harry. Claude told us all about his business last winter just what you wrote only more. Am glad he can help the girls[9] and have it all in the family. I wrote to Lou and said some thing had got to drop before long.

I dont believe Jack & Edna will ever go to Cali[10] to live. He better stop with his brother. I thought the Fraziers were going to LaCross to live when he is retired. Am glad LaVerne[11] sent the chickens. I know they were good.

Friday 8:35 A nice winters morning a lot of snow and still snowing. I just called Ida to see how Carrie is feeling. Said she had a hard night and dont feel any better this morning. A hard place for them. I am mending the horse blanket worked on it last eve as long as I could stand it and it will take most of the day to finish it. It is so heavy to lift it takes the tuck out of my insides. Glad Martha[12] has a position. Now she ought to pay Lela[13] some for certainly she cant help much with the work. Will Dorothy[14] ask Louese to her wedding? I would’nt if she dont phone D– or come to see her before then. Hazel called to see Dorothy[15] Tuesday. Says she looks bad. It is the first she has seen her since she was married only the next night after the wedding. She and ___ went down there. She says the baby is so poor. Anna Louese was asleep so did not see her. I am glad Hazel gave in and called as Mrs Salon says H– has got a boy and a girl. We know some things are in the blood on the fathers side. I cant tell if I have written all I intended too or not but must get busy and Ethen wants to take this to the box.

Good bye

Love H

I am thinking of haveing my address Mrs Hannah Keith Towne – drop the M[16] what do you think. It kind a makes me feel bad to drop the M.


[1] Their brother, Ethan Keith

[2] Kalamazoo, Michigan

[3] Their nephew, Will Clark, the son of their half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[4] Nancy’s son, Claude Brown

[5] Believe she is referring to a neighbor, Carrie Barber. Carrie’s mother, Ida Barber, married Eugene Howe in 1882; however, the 1900 census shows Ida as a widow and she and their children were living with her father. All subsequent census records list her and her children with the surname of Barber

[6] Carrie’s mother

[7] Their sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[8] Their cousin, Edna (Crawford) Henry and her husband, Jackson Tullar

[9] Nancy’s daughters, Lela (Brown) Mueller and Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz

[10] California

[11] Their niece, LaVerne (Harris) Boyer

[12] Martha Lueder who was living temporarily with Lela Mueller; Nancy also lived with Lela

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

[14] Nancy’s granddaughter, Dorothy Recoschewitz

[15] This appears to be a different Dorothy

[16] Her middle name, Minerva


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