October 20, 1902 letter to Sarah Keith from Louese Harris

October 20, 1902

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Louese Harris, Shelbyville, MI 

Inquires into her mother’s health and writes about her husband D’s health. Received a letter from Ernest Whitings who wanted to work in D’s store during the coming winter. Writes about Cora and Aaron and how disagreeable Aaron is. Aaron thinks she should go to the hospital, but Cora wants Nancy to come take care of her (presumably when she has her baby).

Scan of 1902-10-20 Louese Harris to Sarah Keith

Shelbyville Oct 20/1902

Dear Ones All–

I will write a short letter this afternoon and then write again Friday. I rec’d Ma’s[1] letter this morning. She did not say what the Dr said about her. Does she have as much fever as she had last week. And what is he giving her? D[2] went again this morning. Floyd[3] took him to Hopkins for the 8.25 train. He wished to be there to roll call as he was’nt last Monday morning. He came home on noon train Sat. Is feeling lots better. Says he has had a good chance to rest & has improved it though he sweats more or less nights. He is better of that too. I think the Doctors medicine will bring him out all right with the rest he is getting. D said tell Uncle Robert[4] that if he could be here next week he would be in town to visit with him. D had so much to do that he said it hardly seemed as if he had seen him. Mr. Whittacres folks live two miles west of Allegan. D wants me to drive over to Allegan Friday. Then we go & stay all night at Mr. W–s and come home Sat. May be I will if I can get me work done I have planned for this week & the weather is good. That is the reason I did not go after him Sat. He phoned to me Friday eve to wait an other week. Rec’d a letter from Cora[5] today. Said Hannah[6] was going to Mrs G–s some day this week & if she knew when she was there she would go down to see her. Heard from Nancy[7] Sat. Things as usual there. She has trouble but she should be thankful it is not disgraces. There are any amount of people who would be glad to exchange places with her. How did Dell[8] get along with the store while Will[9] was gone.

Jim[10] made me quite a call Friday afternoon. It is seldom we get a chance to visit. He has an indian working for him this week. Same one that was there when Uncle R– was. D rec’d a letter from Ernest Whitings asking him to let him work in the store[11] this winter. I guess D will hire him. He thinks Ernest would be good help. He is competent ambitious & particular early riser etc. I am willing though he will have to be here all the time but he makes him self very agreeable. Then perhaps Jay[12] will take the hint & stay north. Ernest says his face is nearly healed — is improving very fast. Dont tell any one what Ive written for D may change his mind but he thought this morning he would write him a favorable letter. If he comes I shall fix up the Doctors[13] room for him.

How is Pa[14] & did he remember his birthday[15] and does he think to take his medicine. Write me Ma just how you are. It will not be long before I can go home. I have got to write to Cora[16] to night. She is going to write to Nancy & ask her to come & take care of her so I’m going to head her off for Nancy can’t come. When “ [Nancy] was here she said if she had nothing to hold her she would go & take care of Cora. So I told Cora, like a goose, and now she is going to write on the strength of that. Cora is awfully uneasy. She dont know what she is going to do and I presume Aaron[17] dont console her very much for he thinks she ought to be willing to go to the Hospital. She says so he must be bothered. I feel sorry for her but she ought to have thought of this last Jan. I tried to impress it on her mind & have her wait an other year until they had money enough to cover such expenses at any reasonable cost.[18] I guess probably Mrs G– has as much use for Aaron as D & I have. His last visit here disgusted us completely. He kept Cora waiting upon him all the time.[19]

I must stop and begin another letter. Tell Uncle R– to write to me when he gets to his destination & settled down.

Love to all

Do hope you are all feeling better



[1] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[2] Her husband, Daniel D. Harris, who was known as D. or D.D.

[3] Her son

[4] Her mother’s brother, Robert Crawford

[5] This could be referring to D’s sister, Cora (Harris) Hogeboom, or Cora (Meredith) Keith, her brother Jim’s wife

[6] Her sister, Hannah (Keith) Towne. Hannah was a seamstress and would often stay at people’s homes while she made clothes for them

[7] Her sister, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[8] Adelbert Skinner, who was married to her half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[9] Believe she is referring to William Clark, who was Lois’s son by her first husband, Byron Clark

[10] Her brother, James Keith

[11] D was the owner of the general store in Shelbyville, Michigan

[12] Believe she is referring to D’s brother. The Harris family also had a store in Phoenix, Michigan, and perhaps Louese is hoping he would go there to help out

[13] Samuel Boyer who had previously boarded with Louese & D. He was referred to as Doc and was engaged to Nancy’s daughter, Lela Brown

[14] Charles Luke Keith Jr., who was known as Luke

[15] Luke turned 89 on October 15

[16] D’s sister, Cora (Harris) Hogeboom

[17] Cora’s husband, Aaron Hogeboom

[18] Cora and Aaron were married January 15, 1902 and their daughter, Doris Louise Hogeboom, was born December 26, 1902, so presume this was all in reference to the upcoming birth

[19] Aaron died April 27, 1904 of tuberculosis. Perhaps he was ill at that time without knowing the seriousness of it or perhaps that was just his nature

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