1881 Letters

July 26, 1881 letter to Sarah Keith from Louese Keith

July 26, 1881

To: Sarah Keith

From: Louese Keith, Chicago, IL

Louese is writing her mother to tell her that her Uncle Prosper Crawford was fired after fighting with a street car engineer and that her Aunt Kate had gone to visit Aunt Belle, Prosper’s wife, and that she was in miserable health. Louese is also describing her recent social activities. She is delaying her trip home because of upcoming social events and complains that she “don’t know what I’ll do when I get home if I can’t go some where & have some company.” 


Chicago  July 26/81

Dear Ma

Aunt Kate[1] has gone down town, the children[2] are out to play so I’m alone. Will try & finish this letter before any one comes. Uncle Pros[3] was discharged last Thursday, had a fight with Street the engineer. He does not know yet what he will do, but intends to stay here. Aunt Kate was up there yesterday, said Aunt Belle’s[4] health was miserable. Have just rec’d your letter. Was shocked to hear of Mabel’s[5] death. Perhaps if they had doctored her for catarrh[6] years ago she would’nt have had this. Now about me going home. I would go this week Sat–, but have an engagement with Will H. next week Wed– eve– so will go home either Thursday or Saturday. Will let you know before then. I presume Uncle Hi[7] will pay my fare home but then I’d like to have the money in my pocket in my pocket. You see I’ve written that twice but I’m only about half-witted so excuse me. Have had a proposal “I didn’t say what” & that has made me looney. Last Tuesday eve. Jess & I were into Haywords until eleven oclock. Wed– eve Hat Hanley & Will Atcheson,[8] Jess & Joe Hayword, Will H– & I went down to the park boat riding. Got home at quarter of eleven. Thurs– eve Joe–, Ida Hadson & Corrie Stray[?] came in spent the eve. Ida staid all night. Friday eve– Jess, Joe and Fred H____ came over. Sat afternoon Jess and I went down town. In the even[ing] Uncle Hi & Aunt Kate went out. Will came over and staid with me then came over Sunday afternoon at four oclock & staid until after the folks came home from church. Last night Will A–, _____ Meehan, Jess & I were in Hayword house until quite late, & I tell you what we had a high time. They are all coming over here to night. Next Friday eve, Jess & Joe, Will & I are going to a lawn social at Dr Parkes. The boys said last night they would order their dresses to day. Hav’nt heard from D[9] in over a week. Don’t know what has become of him. This is not a letter but a pack of nonsense so you can make fun of it if you wish. Should think Hannah[10] would go over & have “fly gull” pull her tooth. Is that young fellow from Kal–[11] married. Dont know what I’ll do when I get home if I can’t go some where & have some company. Will have to stop this & go to sewing on my dress. Have got the skirt done & over skirt cut out.

Good Bye


Jess M– has got a dress just like my, only green instead of pink. Is going to have it made just like mine.


[1] Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford, Louese’s aunt

[2] This is presumed to be Harry, Jessie and Blanche Crawford, although Blanche would have only been about 2½ years old

[3] Lucius Prosper Crawford, Louese’s uncle

[4] Isabella (Steel) Crawford, Prosper’s wife

[5] Mabel Powers, the 6-year-old daughter of John & Margaret (Kirchbaum) Powers, who lived in Galesburg, Michigan. She died July 21, 1881 and her cause of death was listed as diphtheria (Louese’s father noted her death in his 1881 diary)

[6] Excessive discharge or buildup of mucus in the nose or throat, associated with inflammation of the mucous membrane

[7] Hiram Crawford Jr., Louese’s uncle

[8] William Atcheson, Kate (Atcheson) Crawford’s younger half-brother

[9] Daniel D. Harris whom Louese would marry on March 12, 1882

[10] Hannah Minerva Keith, Louese’s sister

[11] Kalamazoo, Michigan

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