1898 Letters

May 1, 1898 letter to Nancy Brown from Henry Brown

May 1, 1898

To: Nancy Brown

From: Henry Brown, Chicago, IL

He opened a photo studio at 1141 Western Avenue in Chicago. Gives a rundown of the building and the expenditures he has made. He wants Bess to join him and will have Claude meet her at the train.

1898-05-01 Henry Brown to Nancy Brown

Chicago May 1st 1898

Dear ones at home

Well it is Sunday night or nearly so 530.

Opened a penny photo studio at 1141 Western Ave this a.m. Have a better place than Packards[1] but it is not very swell. It is a wooden store on ground floor of course and about 25 x 40 ft only front windows so we will have to put in front window. Last night I did not have only $5.00 left out of what I bought along had spent it all for outfit and have run in debt about 2500. I have a good outfit and will be in good running order in a very few days. Have taken in 800 today and it rained all the forenoon. I feel pretty well satisfied and did not expect to take in half that amt in fact last night at supper time did not have any thing in galley but while we were eating a boy came after me as some of things had come and the balance came about 830 in evening. Claude[2] will be at 12th St Depot to meet Bess[3] on the train that gets here about 7 pm next Wednesday May 4th.

There is train gets here at 650 another 715. Wire Claude what train he will answer[?]. If she cant come then come as soon as possible and wire Claude in the morning saying Bess will start on train so & so. When you wire Claude address in care Fashion Eng. Co. Lakeside building and he will wire back all right. But she must come Wednesday sure as I have got to have her as soon as that. I have taken 3 groups of 2 each since begining this letter so have taken nearly 900 and it is 620 now. I have got to lock up soon and take a lot of truck over to Wills[4] and develope these to-night as the water is not in here yet but will be tomorrow. Jims folks[5] were over to day all had pictures taken – they have gone home. Jim has been laying off 2 days with a cold. I pay 10 month rent and when I get in shape will have a much handier place than Packard ever can have up there. Would like to have him drop in some time. I suppose he is doing a big business on the sound. I have had a good crowd around my place to day and lot of promises for every day this week. I have got a good light and my holder works splendid but have got to fix it a little tomorrow. I will not try to write any more to night as I am tired and have got to work this evening.

Good by love to all

H A Brown

PS Claude was going to write but has helped here all day and has gone down town. Said he would write some other time.

Bess be sure and come Wednesday afternoon. Get off at Chicago and that is 12th st Depot.

H A Brown


[1] Cullin Channing Packard. It would appear he worked with Henry in some capacity in the photography business in Kalamazoo. Nancy’s May 31st diary entry notes that “Mr Packard shot him self this a.m.” Michigan death records show that he died as a result of shooting himself because of despondency

[2] Their son, Claude Brown

[3] Their daughter, Bess Brown

[4] His brother, Willis Brown

[5] Nancy’s brother and his family, James, Cora (Meredith), Winifred and Walter Keith

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