1898 Letters

May 12, 1898 letter to Nancy Brown from Henry Brown and Bess Brown

May 12, 1898

To: Nancy Brown, 1236 Summit Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI

From: Henry Brown, Chicago, IL

Henry writes regarding the photography business and how he, Bess and Claude are getting along. Bess then adds her own letter filling in more family details.

1898-05-12 Henry Brown and Bess Brown to Nancy Brown

Chicago Ill May 12 1110 a.m.

Dear ones at home

Your letter came this a.m. I will send money to tax collector and pay up to date so you need not worry. I will have him send receipt to me and then I will return it to you. Business is going smoothly and about 700 per day since Sunday. Expect a big day Sat & Sun again. Bessie[1] said she was going to write to-day so I will not do much but let her tell you all about it. I went riging[2] last evening got lost and had a good long ride. I thought I was on Fullerton Ave going east and when I began to wonder where I was discovered that I was on California Ave going north so I had to return but I was alright. I needed the exercise and got home before Bessie & Lizzie[3] did. They went over to Jims[4] on wheels[5] did not get back until 1000 p.m. She saw Aunt Kate[6] at Jims. The man I have is doing nicely and it is a big help to me. He does much better than Jackson and is a real nice fellow. He & Claude[7] are good chums and it makes it nice for Claude. Well I must stop and Bess will write some and mail with this.

Good Bye

H. A. Brown


Chicago, Ill  May 12 98[8]

Dear Mama and all the rest.

Well papa has written about all the news there is I guess. Only he didn’t say that Lizzie and I got lost too. Well we did but I can’t tell where we went only I know that we went and awful ways but finally reached Jims and Aunt Kate was there. She doesn’t look any different than she did when I saw her before. She had on a black silk waist[9] and a gray skirt. She looked real nice but she said that she never would like it in Chicago as long as she lived. She thought they made the worst mistake moving back to Chicago and she says they will go back on the west as soon as possible.

Last Sunday night I went over to Uncle Jims and stayed all night. I was the first one (besides Uncle Jim and Aunt Cora[10]) to ever sleep with Walter Charles.[11]

We have two girls working for us. One is Ella DeGries, age 14 and the other Katie Hauschilds, age 15. Will try and get another girl this afternoon I guess. We pay them $1.50 a week to commence on.

Went to Ina’s[12] Sunday afternoon and gave her the pictures. Was real well pleased with them. Gertrude[13] is awfully cute.

We stopped to Will C[14] but they were over to Lincoln Park. So I will have to go there some other time.

Don’t know how you will make it about reading this but there is so much to do that I hardly know what I have written. Will write more next time and tell more about the folks and other things. Address letters to 1141 Western Ave.


[1] Their daughter, Bess Brown

[2] Believe it should be riding; and it would appear he is referring to riding his bicycle

[3] His sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Ogden) Brown

[4] Nancy’s brother, James Keith

[5] Bicycles

[6] Nancy’s aunt, Katherine (Atcheson) Crawford

[7] Their son, Claude Brown

[8] This portion was written by Bess Brown

[9] The bodice of a dress, or a blouse

[10] Cora (Meredith) Keith

[11] Jim & Cora’s son, Walter Keith

[12] Ina (Skinner) Holmes, the daughter of Adelbert & Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner. Lois and Nancy were half-sisters

[13] Ina’s daughter, Gertrude Holmes, was almost a year old

[14] Will Clark, Ina’s half-brother

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