Raymond had been born with a cleft lip and pallet and had trouble nursing. When he was only a day old he was taken to the hospital and his lip was repaired. It was anticipated that he would need at least five more surgeries. His health was not all that the Carlisle's had to worry about.
Aside from all the suffereing it will cause him it will cost so much we do not see how we can do it at all. It must be done right away in order that his speech will be alright so the only way I know is to just shut my eyes + plunge in. We have not been able to anywhere meet our bills so I guess a few more dont matter. The surgeon here is fine. He says he does what is necessary whether he expects pay or not.If this wasn't enough stress for the family, Mamie then tells of how she was taken ill before the birth and told that she should be prepared for the baby not to live. She was relieved that he lived but overwhelmed by the care he needed. Things had taken a toll on Frank as well.
All of this would have been enough for any family to deal with but there was more trouble for the family.
last Sun. Frances discovered the house was on fire when she started up stairs to the bath room. Frank was cooking breakfast while I was feeding baby. I called him + he nearly got __ in the attic. It is a regular fire trap any way. He finally found the wire __ + kicked it out. There were three fire dept's here so they soon put it out. Noone can see what started it as it was away from the chimneys and fire of any kind. It burned thro the rear wall of house + made conciderable mess but no real damage. There wasn't a thing burned up + no one hurt so we think we were very fortunate. There was the usual excitement + one of the neighbors fainted away but no serious trouble. Several of the ladies staid + cleaned up for me. All the things in attic I had out away were wet + I have _____ drying upstairs. It will take some time to get everything done.
How can a fire burn through the wall of the house and yet cause no real damage! I'm sure Mamie was trying to minimize the situation.
The rest of the letter is chatty news about the three older children and the odd jobs that Frank has been picking up to supplement his salary as a Baptist preacher.
For more see:
Camfield Family Letters
Descendants of Sarah Ann Wisner
Carlisle, Mary Frances (Fort Wayne, IN) to “Dear Mother”
[Sarah Ann Camfield Carlisle] Letter. 26 November 1910. Digital Images 1-8.
Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,]
Snowville, New York. 2010.
[Carlisle Family, Box #1, Correspondence, 1910-1911,
Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. 2008.]