1898 Letters

April 30, 1898 letter to Charlotte Farwell from Lucena Brockway

April 30, 1898

To: Charlotte Farwell

From: Lucena Brockway, Lake Linden, MI

Is still suffering from a lot of pain. Dunbar went with his regiment in preparation of going to the front of the Spanish-American War. Her husband is very weak and childish, can’t see or hear very well.

1898-04-30 Lucena Brockway to Charlotte Farwell

Lake Linden Mich April 30th 1898

My Dear Charlotte     

Your letter rec’d yesterday. Now most nine P.M. I will begin a little to night. I was awful bad this forenoon but not as bad this afternoon. The same I wrote you about I was worse than ever this forenoon. I fear I shall have to have a doctor and dont believe they will do me any good. It was terrible painful this forenoon and is all the time. I left off the Poplar bark yesterday & I got nearly wild. I have drank lots this afternoon. Sally[1] & Sophie[2] both came home Wednesday. Dunbar[3] went with the Regiment last Monday to Island Lake to drill & get ready to go to the front. I do not know, she has not heard from him since he got there. I sent you five (I think) papers, the one I put around the four so they will not get rubbed all to pieces. It was printed the day before our home papers at Lake Linden. I put the good reading on the inside so if you are careful you can find some good reading in that. The boys had an ovation all the way through. I did not mark any pieces but thought you would see them all the way through. This war[4] is a terrible cruel thing.

Sunday morning, and we are having a hard rain, the first hard rain we have had this spring. Is not raining as hard as this morning early, rained all night and the rain is not over yet. Is just what we needed. This is May day and to morrow will be Pa’s[5] birth day and Thursday mine. Albert[6] came in last night between nine & ten with your Box of cakes. I guess kisses. I opened them and we wont let them know it until to morrow for I was alone, girls live upstairs. I was already for bed and waiting for Soph or Fred[7] to come down & put me to bed. I am much easier than yesterday. It may not last long cant tell anything about it. I have thought a good many times I was better but it was only temporary. Pa is having his bath in the bed room, he never goes to the bath tub. Has a tub in the bed room and Soph is in there now attending to his feet, cutting his nails &c &c.[8] I do not know how he is. He is very weak & childish can’t see or hear much, have to tell him over & over what one says and if there is two or three in the room talking he does not hear one word and his head gets so muddled he has to leave the room and he cant bear reading but a little at a time. Is now after 1 Oclock yes, 20 minutes to two Oclock and he ate his breakfast in bed then had his bath and went to bed. I just told him to get up for dinner. He sleeps, he sleeps half of the time days, some days he sleeps but little. I never saw any one sleep as much as he does and it is a good thing he does and his memory is good for nothing any more. I suppose our folks will be cleaning house this week and then we shall be all tore up in a heap, a big wash to morrow. I hear no news but war news. Have seen no one this week and know nothing. Susie & Lottie are doing their work. Kronenberger is there soliciting business. We shall do nothing for our birth days for the girls will be to busy and I would not ask them. She asked Wills folks here to dinner to day, but they could not come and we shant ask them any more. There has been many Boats in here and at Groves, one here unloading coal at Electric Light plant. I think they are nearly through. Sally has not heard from Dunbar. I suppose they are very busy. The Eber Ward has just come to the Dock. She was the Boat that came the 20th of April and this is the first of May. Well dinner is ready or nearly so and I will quit for the present. Sally got a letter from Dunbar this afternoon. They are at Island Lake drilling. I suppose after a little they will be sent south to the front. I was in hopes there would something happen he would not go but so it is and we must make the best of it.

With love & best wishes

Lucena Brockway

Tell Mr Gagg[9] if he knows where he is well off he wont go to the war. If he was a strong able bodied man it might be different. I think he better let well enough alone, leave his young wife she would break her heart. Take a long and sober thought and stay at home is the advice of one who ought to know. Thank you very much for the cakes, we will sample them to morrow and let you know. 


[1] Her daughter, and Charlotte’s sister, Sarah (Brockway) Scott

[2] Sophie Kaufman. The 1900 census lists her as the adopted sister of Albert Brockway; however, the obituary of Delia (Brockway) Perry (January 1893) lists her as a step-daughter, living in Duluth, Minnesota

[3] Her grandson, Dunbar Scott

[4] Spanish-American War, April 21 – Dec 10, 1898, was an armed conflict between Spain and the United States which began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of USS Maine in Havana Harbor in Cuba, leading to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence

[5] Her husband, Daniel Brockway

[6] Her son, and Charlotte’s brother, Albert Brockway

[7] Research continues regarding “Fred” but from previous correspondence it appears that Fred is a female

[8] Etc., etc.

[9] Helen “Nellie” Farwell’s first husband, Karl Gagg

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