Friday, May 30, 2008

Ella Hall to Sarah Ann Camfield Feb 22, 1873

Fox Lake Ill Feb 22nd 1873

Dear Cousin Annie,

I now take my pen in hand to answer your very welcome letter. I was real glad to hear from you. You said more about your folk than I can about ours for I am almost sick today with a cold today and have been for two or three days. I was to Singing school Thursday night and after two or three pieces had to quit singing I was so hoarse I could hardly speak. Grandpa and Grandma are quite well now or was last night. Grandpa was laughing at me I said I was going to write to you Sunday and Grandpa wanted to know if I was going tell when I was going to stand up and I told him I guessed I would wait till I knew myself before I told anyone else.

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Grandma would write to you only it is such hard work for her to write she has to feel of the paper and then half of the time she does not write on the line after she gets her pen on the paper after she write one word she can hardly see where to write the next word.

Well now Annie I suppose you are very anxious to hear about Wayne and I am going to let you into my secret to. there is only one besides myself that knows all about him and I and she does not know quite all. neither will I tell you all or as much as she knows. that is Deette that knows so much about it. Well to begin with about him I was reading my letter from you down to singing school Thursday night and I was sitting with Wayne and he saw his name on the paper and he wanted

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to see what there was about him and he snatched the letter and came pretty near tearing it and so I let him read it and told me to [illegible] tell you all about him only the rest of his name he said I must not tell that so I dare not for he will be asking me if I told and if I have told he will give me a good scolding I am afraid. Here is his description as near as I can describe him. He is short about 5 ½ feet and pretty middling thick set – but he is not fleshy. he only weighs 141 ½ pounds and he has light brown curly hair a dark blue eye and a light complexion is a splendid dancer and real full of fun and in fact he is a real good fellow I think everything of him. I made him kind of jealous once though this winter. last Tuesday night it was real muddy and Deette and I were not going to singing school (we had twice this week) and about half past seven there was another fellow came along and stopped for us to go down to singing school. there were three girls and

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four boys besides Deette and I and when we got down to the school house Wayne was there and when I went to the closet to take my shawl off I bowed and smiled and he only bowed and he never said a word to me. I spoke to him at recess and he did not answer me and he acted awful mad. when I looked at him he would turn his back to me and Deette said when I was not looking at him he would sit and watch me all of the time and when we went out to come home one of the girls called him out because the boys wanted him and he would not come when they spoke to him. he spoke to Deette but he would not to me that night. He stayed to Mr. Samuel Gilbert’s that night and came to school the next day and stayed till noon and till recess he hardly spoke to me but after that he appeared like himself some but not so much as he did.

Top of page 1, written upside down

Here is something you must not believe nor look for. Wayne said he would write to you and send his name himself he would let me Annie.


Grandpa and Grandma were William and Elizabeth (Badgley) Wisner. Deette was Ella's sister. I checked the 1870 census for Avon, Lake, IL. and believe that Wane Hawey b. abt 1853, son of Cyrus Hawey may be the Wayne referred to in the letter. Ella married Jacob McKinnon in 1880.

For more see:
Carlisle - Wisner Letters
Family of William Wisner
Descendants of Maryetta Wisner
Descendants of Sarah Ann Wisner

Hall, Ella (Fox Lake, Illinois) to “Dear Cousin Annie” [Sarah Ann Camfield, Jr]. Letter. 22 Feb 1873. Digital Images 1-4. Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Snowville, New York. 2008. [Carlisle Family, Box #1, Correspondence, 1870 - 1874, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan]


Jasia said...

What a terrific letter! Oh Apple, how wonderful to have such insight into the lives of your family members. It's all there... behaviors, feelings, hopes, imaginings and actual events. What a treat! Thanks for sharing!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Hi Jasia,

They all contain so much information and insight that it has been very hard to stop reading and start recording! I am a little frustrated that I'm not learning more about Annie as all of the letters are to her!

Tex said...

What a wonderful letter, Apple--her thoughts and the way she tells them all sound so much like the young girl she is. What a treasure to have them. I look forward to more. :-)

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

Wonderful :) It's great to read about life in those days. I love letters!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Hi Tex & Nikki-ann,

I'm really enjoying getting a peek at their day to day life. There are so many letters that I'm still a bit overwhelmed.