1898 Letters

October 30, 1898 letter to Nancy Brown from Bess Brown

October 30, 1898

To: Nancy Brown

From: Bess Brown, Chicago, IL

Went to the dentist and had five teeth pulled. It took an hour and a half. The dentist said she couldn’t have gas and she felt everything they did. Some of them broke and two were ulcerated. She related that she never suffered so much in her life and after it was over she broke down crying and couldn’t stop. Wrote she wouldn’t go through it again for twenty dollars!

1898-10-30 Bess Brown to Nancy Brown

Chicago Ill

Oct 30 1898

Dear ones at home:-

It is 11.20 A.M. and I am at the gallery working, only I’m not. It’s raining, and has been all the morning so we won’t do much today don’t expect, but last week was pretty good.

Yesterday Mary and I went up to the closet. I said lets go in the dentists and see what time we can come up and have our teeth pulled so in we went. We told him we wanted to take gas and for him to tell us what time everything would be ready and we would be there. He said he would but asked me to sit down and let him look at my teeth so I did. He said they were in terrible shape and it would be impossible to take gas and have more than one out. So I concluded the best thing was to get out but he kept at me and finally I consented to have one out. Well he had an awful time getting it and the stuff he put on didn’t help it at all. I could feel the cutting and all, but I let him pull the rest. All the others broke and two were ulcerated so he had to lance (don’t know as that’s spelt right) my gums in two places. I never suffered so in my life. I don’t believe he pulled five and I kept up with the last one then I commenced to cry and for the life of me I couldn’t stop. After I got down stairs I commenced to cry again just the minute Papa[1] spoke to me and I kept it up for about an hour. Maybe I didn’t wish that I had had them out last Saturday when you were here.

Part of the time both dentist worked at them they said they never pulled such teeth before for any one and they never saw any one keep up as well as I did.

They were pulling from half past ten until twelve (10.30 to 12). All that time I sat there and let them dig. I wouldn’t go through it again for twenty dollars. I don’t know what ever kept me there so long. I’m sure I could hardly stand up when they got through. My mouth aches and pains me most of the time. I haven’t any place to put my tongue at all. My gums are swollen so and so tender. I can’t eat anything but soup and oat meal so I am getting pretty hungry. Now I have got five to have filled that will cost about 10 dollars. He only charged ($2.00) for having pulling them. Then yesterday after noon I went up for him to wash my mouth out. Mary went with me and when she came down she had her teeth out. She only had two out and they didn’t break and one was a little loose so she didn’t mind it at all.

I am going to have two filled tomorrow but the others he will have to treat.

I tell you I am happy.

Mamma if you don’t use your switch (your hair I mean) will you send it when you send those things. My hair is so thin I can’t do anything with it. And if you can find that pack of cards you tell fortunes with send them also if you can’t find but a few. I mean the ones Edna Allen[2] used.

Must close and get dinner. Write soon.

Your loving daughter



[1] Henry Brown

[2] Edna (Crawford) Allen, her maternal first cousin once removed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s