Ella is writing to her sister-in-law Ida and Ida’s daughter Nellie (who apparently also goes by Ella – Ann also referred to Nellie as “Ella” in a previous letter).
Ella seems much more upbeat than in her previous letter. It sounds like she had a rough go of it for about a month, but she’s back to caring for her garden and crops and also talks about her flock of chickens.
There are interesting mentions of various relatives in this letter. My comments follow after the text of the letter.
1546 S 25th St
June 2, 1902
Dear Sister & Ella,
I received your letter Sunday and was glad to hear from you. I have often thought of writing but kept putting it off. I was not able to do but very little all through May and only the lightest kind of work. My side hurt me so. I am feeling much better now, so every thing got behind and I guess all know how the weeds grow. But ever thing looks fine. There is going to be a good deal of weedy corn but I guess people will not want to say any thing about too much rain.
I don’t think I ever saw such fine potatoes. I had potatoes as large as a hen’s egg the 6th of June. When Maggie got back to Wis., she found Uncle Phin not well. He had a bad cold but thought he would be able to travel Monday but by Sunday he had grown so much worse, the Dr said he could not get well. They did not think he would live for about two weeks. Schuyler got to worrying about Maggie and went back and stayed and they got home May 29th. He was gone six days. I went out and stayed with Winnie. Maggie was pretty well tired out. Uncle is gaining slowly and thinks he will get out to see us.
Uncle John stayed with me untill the next Friday after he came home from your place, he was anxious to see Uncle Phin but could not stay any longer. I have had two letters from him since he went home. Lucy has been quite sick, I guess his garden was waiting for him when he got home. I received a letter from Annie Sunday. The have had a long siege of sickness but all are up and around now. She sends her love to you all.
I have not had any word from brother John yet. I directed my letter to Bangor and it has not been returned to me. Uncle John wrote that he had left Bangor, had sold his place and gone some distance and was keeping a furniture store.
I am alone only when some one comes to stay all night. The neighbors come in real often. Old Mr. Brookman was quite sick for three weeks but is up and around again. Well Nellie I have only a little over 80 chickens, had over 60 but some died and I think the cats took the rest. My hens lay well. I have sold a good many eggs.
I hope this will find you all well. I would like to come down but do not know when I can. I am very lonely. I wish some of you could come up. Please write soon with my love to all.
Good by from sister and Aunt Ella
- Ella’s sister Maggie has gone back to Wisconsin to visit their Uncle Phin. Uncle Phin’s wife Margaret (Ann’s sister) had passed away four months prior.
- Maggie’s husband Schuyler has followed Maggie out to Wisconsin, leaving their son Winford in Ella’s care, “because he is worried”. This foreshadows some of the issues in their marriage, the details of which will be splashed all over the newspapers during their 1911 divorce.
- Uncle John’s visit is mentioned – perhaps confirming that he was indeed the Uncle that was referenced in the previous letter.
- John’s daughter Lucy is mentioned. Lucy would be Ella’s first cousin and would be about eight years younger than Ella.
- “Annie” is probably their cousin Annie Susan Frasier McHugh from Iowa (a first cousin on Ella’s father’s side).
- A mention of brother John in Bangor! This is probably the elusive John Miller that I speculated about previously. It sounds like the family has lost touch with him.
This is the last letter I have from Ella. As far as I know, she lived in the little house at 1546 South 25th Street in Lincoln until her death in 1951.