December 6, 1901 letter to the Keith family from Louese Harris

Date: December 6, 1901

To: Keith Family

From: Louese Harris, Shelbyville, MI

Writes about how lazy her brother-in-law, Jay, is and also about their boarder, Doc Boyer, who has been boarding with them for three years and owes them nearly $100.00 for drugs and even more for his board bill. Was hoping he would have settled up with them in the fall.

Scan of 1901-12-06 Louese Harris to Keith Family

Shelbyville Dec 6/1901

Dear Ones All –

Instead of waiting til evening to write, will write now while all’s quiet. It is 3.10 P.M. And I’ve just got my work done. The days are so short, it keeps me hustling to do the house work. Every day I have to bake something and morning we have pancakes, And they prolong the breakfast, because Jay[1] & Dr[2] want theirs hot, right from the griddle. Dr never eats more than four. Jay eats any where from ten to eighteen. But as eating is the only work he does, I suppose he thinks he should do a good job at it. He did help ship potatoes one day – but he did lots of grunting over it. I rather think that he & the widow have ‘busted’ as they do not correspond any more & he has’nt been up there in nearly two weeks. He told me last Sunday that he would go down to Galesburg & visit a few days if he had the money. Well he wont get it out of me thats one thing sure. He gets some awful digs in the store from different ones about his being lazy, And if he had any ambition he would leave this place and find something to do. Dr expects to start for Virginia next Monday or Tuesday. His Mother[3] is quite poorly and wants him to come home. But D[4] feels a little blue over it for he thought may be he & Dr would get straightened up this fall. The store bill any way.  Dr owes nearly a hundred dollars there for Drugs etc – And his board bill here will amount to considerable more than our Dr bill. Then we’ve never charged him rent or the use of furniture, bedding & towels, And the towels is quite an item for he uses a lot of them, so many having teeth out. They get awfully stained, & Mrs S– has to do lots of hand rubbing to get them clean, But I would not care for that if he’d only say something about paying us a few dollars occasionally. I know he has done lots for us, & is good about helping, is pleasant & agreeable to have around And I dont want any trouble But I do want him to do the square thing by us now. He has been here over three years – And I think it has run long enough – And I dont want Lela[5] to marry him either til he is out of debt, And she told me when she was here that she would not. Nancy[6] wrote me she was afraid she could not come here as she had intended. I dont think my self that it would be well to leave the girls[7] alone – or with Julius[8] as long as Claude & Eda[9] can come and stay with them after Mrs N–[10] goes home. I am going to send Nancy 12 doz eggs to night. She said Claude wanted half of them. Im going to put five large fish in the bottom of the basket. Dr went to Rabers or rather to Allegan to register and staid at Rabers all night. He & Will sent fishing. Dr brought home a wash tub full of fish. I wanted to send the peaches to you yesterday & a mess of fish with them but D said the peaches would freeze this weather. They are all ready to start when the weather moderates. I wrote to Uncle Robert[11] last Sunday – addressed to Neenah Wis. Is that correct? What do you hear from Clara Clark?[12] Suppose you are all as usual. Stella sits here reading Peck’s Bad Boy and laughing. Think I can tell you in my next letter what day Ill be home.

Love to all



[1] Her brother-in-law, Jay Harris

[2] Their boarder, Samuel Boyer, who was listed as a physician in the 1900 census, and went by the name “Doc”

[3] Amanda (Hale) Boyer

[4] Her husband, Daniel D. Harris, Jr.

[5] Her niece, Lela Brown, who was engaged to Doc Boyer

[6] Her sister, and Lela’s mother, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[7] Lela and her sister Bess

[8] Bess’ fiancé, Julius Recoschewitz

[9] Nancy’s son and daughter-in-law, Claude & Edith (Neumaier) Brown

[10] Believe this is referring to Eda’s mother, Valentina (Seifert) Neumaier

[11] Her mother’s brother, Robert Crawford

[12] Clara (Youngs) Clark, the wife of her half-nephew, Charles Clark

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