August 18, 1907 letter to Nancy Brown from Hannah Towne

August 18, 1907

To: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

From: Hannah Towne, Galesburg, MI

Is feeling somewhat better, but they didn’t go to the Vicksburg meeting, which she had been thinking about all year. Writes of how LaVerne is now a married woman but she will never be able to call her by the name of Boyer. She wants Nancy to tell her what she is to tell other people, since they know that Lela had been engaged to Doc.

Scan of 1907-08-18 Hannah Towne to Nancy Brown

Sunday Aug 18 – 1907

Dear Sister

The Dr has just gone from here will come again Tuesday. I am better some can get around a little better but cant get straight it hurts so. Am bloated but not so bad as I have been. Am agoing to put some more antiklayistine[?] on. I am glad if he knows what ails me. Wish I was where Dr Moore could see me.

I took this month for my vacation and I cant do any thing. The home has got to be cleaned and I would like to make some visits. I told E–[1] all there is for me is to sit right here year in and year out. This is the last day of the Vicksburg meeting and we havent been to any of them. The first one Ethan was to tired to go and then dident have time to get things ready so we could. Then the pioneer picnic is next Wednesday and I wont be able to go to that. The meetings and picnic I have had in my mind the whole year to go to but have got left. How many times I have wished you were here. It is lonesome. I wouldnt want you to work for that could go just as it does now.

Ethan received a letter from Will Plank[2] Friday asking for your address. They are going to start for St Paul next Tuesday will be gone a week or ten days. They will call on you on their way home. He dident say who was going only we. I presume it is he and Martha.[3]

Did I ever write you that Ruth Gillette was married the second of July.[4] A very nice wedding they had and an other thing dont know as you know and that is Ed Wolcott died the 15 of June.[5] I dont know what I write half of the time. Boyer[6] has been the principle one to write about for the last six months. I have got to write a letter to Lou[7] and I dont know what to write. I feel as limp as a rag dont know what to say. I told Ethan this morning that LaVerne[8] is a married woman now and it cant help but make her feel different (hope you will understand me) and if Doc Boyer dont get her I will miss my guess for he has done just what he has intended to do has conquered the whole of us and come out best man. I have sent a good many letters there in the last two weeks so they know just what E– and I think. I suppose on account of the baby they wanted it to have a name and then it cant be called a basterd. I know LaVerne looked nice and how she ever went through with it is beyond me. Lou can stand more than we have thought she could. If she dont go all to pieces sometime will be glad. Then again see what you have had to stand and are standing all the time and Lois[9] has had her share and I think that has helped to get her where she is. Thank goodness my children are in the liquid state and will have to stay there now. I wish Lela[10] could come out here but this is the last place she would want to come to for it is too quiet.

LaVerne left her white brush here forgot them. They are up stairs hanging in the comb case where she left them. I look at them hanging there and it makes me feel bad, for the girl who hung them there is changed in a way and never will be the same. I never can call her Boyer. You asked about a divorce. Dont know what they are agoing to do never have heard any thing of it. I think it awful mean what Jen Adams said to Leone. She has been so darn mean she is glad to have everyone else the same. Leone[11] has got feelings and is not to blame for this but there it is they will all have to catch it. Then think what the Dr is telling. He needs his head kicked. You see Lou wants us to tell Will Clark[12] and Mrs Ralph. They know he has been engaged to Lela. Now what are we to tell for that will be the first question they will ask is about that. You tell us what you want told about it and be sure to tell right away. I was awful sorry Ruth B– went home with Jim[13] for she has been there through it all. I suppose she and Winnie[14] are at Miss Ogdens now came there Friday. Perhaps she did not hear any thing. Jim dont act like Jim. He came to Kal–[15] Monday P.M. brought a man down to a horse. Walter[16] was with him but he did not take Walter when he done the business. They came here Tuesday about four o’clock P.M. Mr S– cut the grass in the orchard that day. Just before supper Ethan went out to cock it up and Jim went with him. I went out where they were. I said Jim dont it look pleasant here (it did looking toward the house). He said things dont look to me as they did since Pa and Ma[17] are gone. I said that dont keep the place from looking pleasant. Ethan said he dident ask a word about the crops, how much hay or corn or anything else. He could hardly wait to go up to Mr Barkleys see them and see Jesse Smith. They went right after dinner Wednesday got back about nine oclock left here the next morning at six. So you see he did not spend much time here. I think if it hadent been for the looks of it he would rather been at Barkleys than here. It is 2:10 P.M. have been to dinner and work is done. Have just put some more antiklayistine[?] on me.

I wish you could see the morning glories. The ones around the pole would go four or five feet higher if the pole was that long. Ethan put some around the peach tree (it is dead) between the porch and corner of house and some around the one at corner of house. They run all around in the trees and just as pretty as can be – are full of blossoms in the morning.

Monday morning 8: A.M.

Winnie is here came about five o’clock yesterday. Ethel & Ruth brought her. She & R– went to Miss Ogdens Friday. W– stays at W.C. to night goes to Kalamazoo in the morning & home Friday. She said the Doc asked Winnie to go and see him married. I think made light of it. After the ceremony he came over to the house said I am married. Winnie says I wish you much joy. He says I am not happy and turned and went away. He had been crying. You see he wanted to get their sympathy and no doubt he did feel a little queer. He has told some awfull things but this you must not tell for Winnie dont want to get into trouble. The Doc told Bert and Bert told Cora[18] that this wasent the first time L.V.[19] had been in this way. That is all she has told but he told him a lot of stuff. Winnie feels awful sorry for L.V. and the rest and she says her mother does. She said her mother says she is glad grandpa and grandma Keith are dead so they dont know the trouble aunt Lou is having. She thinks they cry most of the time there. Mildred talkes to Winnie about it says they are all disgraced. She feels awful bad. I was afraid for L.V. for what Doc M– says. I dont believe she will live through it. For the Dr there dont understand these cases like the city ones do. I wish Dr M– could be with her. I think Lela has escaped a great deal but she cant help but feel awful bad for she can only think of the good part of him. I am awful sorry for her.

My side is better this morning but I feel so weak. Will be glad when I get out of it and can work again.

Good bye

H T

——-

[1] Their brother, Ethan Keith

[2] Former neighbor and “shirttail” cousin

[3] Will’s wife, Martha (Marvin) Plank

[4] Ruth was the granddaughter of their first cousin, Marion (Sprague) Tomlinson. She married Walter Cheney in Perry, Wyoming County, New York

[5] Their cousin, Edward G. Wolcott

[6] Samuel “Doc” Boyer

[7] Their sister, Louese (Keith) Harris

[8] Their niece, LaVerne (Harris) Boyer

[9] Their half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[10] Nancy’s daughter, Lela Brown

[11] Lou’s youngest daughter, Leone Harris

[12] William Clark, the son of their half-sister, Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner

[13] Their brother, James Keith

[14] Jim’s oldest daughter, Winifred Keith

[15] Kalamazoo

[16] Jim’s son, Walter Keith

[17] Their parents, Charles Luke & Sarah (Crawford) Keith Jr.

[18] Walter Burton Meredith, the brother of their sister-in-law, Cora (Meredith) Keith

[19] LaVerne

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