May 22, 1924 letter to Ethan Keith & Hannah Towne from Nancy Brown

May 22, 1924

To: Ethan Keith & Hannah Towne, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

Describes Dorothy’s wedding dress that Bess is making. Claude and Eda will give the wedding. She and Dorothy are going to the flat tomorrow and the children will be up there for lunch. Jean talks a lot about being in Michigan and is going back. Lou wrote Lela to come get him and said he had found out how he could get away. She was to bring a box of candy to give to the man who would be with Lou. He also wrote to Claude and said he would need a car as he was coming home. He had a scheme for the candy business and then all he and Lela would have to do would be take the money and let others do the work.

At Bessies

May 22nd 24

Dear brother and sister

It dont seem as if I had been home yet, going to Wills[1] Thursday home Saterday, then came down here that evening. Claude[2] took me home last evening. Later Joe[3] brought Bess[4] and Dorothy[5] up to get candy that had to be delivered. It was so cold, the girls[6] decided I should come back, this weather and no fire for weeks in the house makes it so cold. I said I could stand it if the rest could. We had to wear our coats all the time. Julius[7] is in Michigan went Monday, comes home next Sunday. Is in Annarbor[?] now has been to Kazoo[8] & Lansing. Next week plays in Evenston[9] for May Festival then is through till fall. Bess is working on Dorothys dress[10] what time she gets. I will send sample, its very prettey. Katheryn Willette is going to stand up with her, her dress is a pretty shade of green. The front panel in Dorothys dress has eight folds down the front, three inches wide. The dark is wrong side of good, the light the right side. The flowers are silk roses in pastel shades, blue, green, white, yellow, lavender, pink, with silver and gold leaves. Slippers white satin, silver trimed. They are Katies.[11] She let Dodo[12] have them to _____, as she did not care for them only to be maried in, and they are quite expensive. Claude and Eda[13] give the wedding. I’ll write all about it when its over. Dorothy and I are going over to flat tomow spend the day, as their furniture is coming out and she is going to have a man come and clean windows. The children[14] are coming up to have lunch with us. Dorothy is so nervous, is home sick now, dont want to leave Bess. She got so could not sleep, twitched, hard head ache all the time, so Bess sent her to a practicioner. Is feeling some better, absent treatment to day, pesent tomow. None of the neighbours know how she is. The cord on waist to her dress is the wrong side of goods. Ethan do you remember if you mailed the letter I gave you, the day you went to the Burg.[15] Dorothy never got it, so she did now know Caroline thought of coming or about the little clover dishes. She is awful glad to have them. Will write you as soon as she can. Will have to wait now till they come there to get them. Jean[16] talks a lot about being there with you and is going back. Is so sorry Daisy did not find the little calf while she was there. You can send eggs when you can. We will take butter if it keeps cold. We pay 42 now. Will send some more beans so you can have them fixed up with cream. Nothing decided yet about Mrs Wei__en, girls want to go it alone, if they can, then it will all be theirs. Its terrible about Jim,[17] seems as if I will go wild thinking how he is. I wrote him to day, see if he could come here, see what that would do for him. Lizzie[18] and Will want he should come there for a while. This might not be change enough, but it used to help him to come from here to Mich. Lou[19] sent Lela a special delivery this week, wanting she should come and get him Thursday. Said he had found how he could get away. She was to be at big gate at such a time, have a box of candy to give to a man who would be there with him. She wrote and told him she could not come, and he must stay till the Dr said he could then there would be a way for him to come. He also wrote to Claude. Told him the time had come for him to get an Automobile for hire as he was coming home. Had promised Lela she would not do any thing but rest for three months. He said he would do as she wanted. He had a wonderful scheme worked out for the candy business that he would have to attend to him self, so he and Lela would go out every day with the car, till he got his scheme to work, then all they would have to do would be to take the money, let others do the work. Did not mention Bess in any way. He and Lela was the whole push.

Tuesday Friday p.m.

Dorothy and I came over to her flat 9-30, their bed room furniture and living room rug have been delivered. A man is here cleaning windows &c,[20] begins to look like living, has her dining room chairs & two living room chairs to come yet this afternoon, so we wont get away before five. I am going home.[21] She will go with me. Bess and Robert[22] are there. Its so cold, rained all day. I am sitting with my coat on. Can hardly hold the pen my hands are so cold. Helen and Jean were here to lunch with us. We brought it from Bessies. Had white & brown bread and butter, cold boiled eggs, cheese, cucumber pickles, cookies & water. Dorothy is only a short way from their school, right on their way home. Dorothy says they can come every day, when she gets to living here. They will want to all right, but Lela wont let them. Eda said Harold[23] was dispointed not getting in the candy business, but there realy is not business enough yet to warrant so many salrys. May be can when fall. I dont think it looks real promising for Carries being well very soon. I am so sorry for them. We are going to send them an announcement, but it dont call for a present from any one. My paper is about full so I have to stop. I want to write to Lou[24] tonight. Are you going to keep the calf a while and is the pump fixed. I think Dean done well not to go right home. That check was made out for ___ ___ ___ I looked for when home but Lela did not get around to send it so you got it.

With love



[1] Her brother-in-law, Willis Brown

[2] Her son, Claude Brown

[3] Joseph Langmayer, Dorothy’s fiance

[4] Her daughter, Bess (Brown) Recoschewitz

[5] Bess’ daughter, Dorothy Recoschewitz

[6] Her daughters, Bess, and Lela (Brown) Mueller

[7] Bess’ husband, Julius Recoschewitz

[8] Kalamazoo, Michigan

[9] Evanston, Illinois

[10] Wedding dress; her and Joe’s upcoming marriage on May 29, 1924

[11] Dorothy’s stepsister, Kathryn (Brouty) Thornton

[12] Dorothy’s nickname

[13] Claude’s wife, Edith (Neumaier) Brown

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

[15] Galesburg, Michigan

[16] Lela’s daughter, who had been visiting Ethan and Hannah earlier in the month

[17] Their brother, James Clinton Keith, who suffered from severe asthma

[18] Will’s wife, Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown

[19] Lela’s husband, Louis Mueller, who was confined to Elgin Mental Hospital

[20] Etc.

[21] She lived with Lela’s family

[22] Bess’ son, Robert Recoschewitz

[23] Harold Doyen, Eda’s nephew

[24] Their sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

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