Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ella McKinnon to Annie Carlisle Nov 24, 1901

Top of first page, written upside down:

What an odd name you have for your girl where did you find it

Mapleton, Minn

Nov 24th 1901

My dear Cousin

I have rather neglected answering your letter but the truth of it is I forgot it for a week or two we had not corresponded for so many years we will apt to forget some times I think but I don’t mean to. I have lost track of to many of my old friends & acquaintances to neglect you. I have lost all trace of Uncle Williams family.

page 2

Well Anna I think you must have changed a good deal too. I remember you were some fleshier than I was the last time I saw you but as you have grown fleshy I have grown thinner. I only weigh about 120 and I have been down to 110 in the last few years in the summer time not every summer but two or three times. the most I ever weighed was 141 that was just before I was married.

We do not have a very large amount of fruit out here on the prairie they are getting more now they know better how to protect it from the cold winters but our winters are not so cold that has some thing to do with it they keep bees here we had a swarm lodge on our apple tree one year when we took it up we had about ?0lbs Honey

page 3

You wanted to know when Martha died. it will be 4 years in January she was sick for nearly 2 years that she could not do any thing and most of the time not able to even wait on herself. she left only little boy he was 10 years old now in Sept. Mr Fairman was a widower when she married him with 7 children the oldest girl went to Florida and got an orange grove and wanted an overseer and after Martha was gone she wrote for her father to come there then he went taking little Wirt with him. I have never heard from them only through Elizabeth. I wrote to Mr Fairman once & he never answered any letter so I have not written since and do not know his address

page 4

I don’t know how to ??? anna. I think I should like to do it but I generally have enough to do to get the rest of my work done with out it. I have always done most of our knitting until this winter and I have not done much for we can buy our stockings cheaper than I can buy the yarn and knit them too. they are just beginning to raise sheep here & the wool is all shipped away they do not card the wool as they used to when Mother used to spin & I never learned that. But I do piece quits some. the girls do not like it nor knitting. I learned them but it took them so long to do a little bit they gave it up. Myrtle likes to sew but no fancy work.

page 5

I always like to crochet but I cannot learn them to nor take any liking to it & it seems strange to me that they none of them likes it

I am going to send your mother some calicos some day I will send them to you for her and I want you to tell her that I would like to hear from her if she can write yet and I will try and write to her some time I am not a good writer nor like to write very well but will write to her if she would like me too.

page 6

Well here it is almost Thanksgiving again and I have no one only ourselves to come & eat dinner with me. Deette oldest boy is out here has been since a year ago last March and we count him as one of us he was 20 years old in Sept

The children are around me talking and getting their ??? and I can hardly write tonight but if I put it off it will be just as bad some other time

I am a good deal grayer than Mother was when she died she was nearly 72 then and Jake is not so gray as I am only his whiskers are almost white his hair hardly shows any gray.

Well I will say good night. Write soon. Love to all

Ever your loving Coz,


Martha's long illness sounds very sad. I wonder who cared for her when she could not care for herself. I did find little Wirt and his father on the 1900 census in Dade Co, FL.

Deette's oldest boy was Earl R Bullen, born 23 September 1880.

Myrtle Hall was Ella's sister. She had not been mentioned much in the letters thus far and I know next to nothing about her. Hopefully Ella will talk about her more in future letters.

Annie named her daughter Tamerson C Carlisle. She was named for Ashley's sister Tamerson Carlisle Evans who in turn was named for her grandmother Tamesin Hall Glover. I wish I could trace Tamesin's line back farther to see if she was named for a grandmother or great-grandmother. I have a cousin that the name was passed on to. It was suggested as a name for me however I was named for my paternal great-grandmother.

Fleshy is so much nicer a term than fat! Below is a picture of Annie and her family that was probably taken around 1900 or so.

Carlisle Family c. 1900 Buchanan, MI
Ashley, Daniel, Tamerson, Frank, Annie

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

McKinnon, Ella Hall (Mapleton, Minnesota) to “My dear Cousin” [Sarah Ann Camfield Carlisle]. Letter. 24 November 1901. Digital Images 1-6. Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Snowville, New York. 2008. [Carlisle Family, Box #1, Correspondence, 1901, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. 2008.]

Family of Issac Ashley Carlisle (Buchanan, Michigan.) Photograph. circa 1900. Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Snowville, New York. 2008.


Tex said...

I like "fleshy" too--quite descriptive. :-)

And I wonder where and how they weighed themselves.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...


That's a very good question! I'll have to ask my mother the next time I talk to her. She may have an answer for Annie.

I guess my "fleshiness" comes from Annie's genes

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

It's wonderful to read these letters, if only my family had left such treasures... moments into life gone by. Thank you for your additions to the letters, they help fill details out. It's also nice to be able to put faces to names :)

Fleshier is definitely a nicer way of putting things!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

You found a couple of unexpected treasures so don't give up hope, they may be out there.

I'm glad my comments are making sense. I spent today trying to sort out children referred to by nick-names in a letter I just finished.

Miriam Robbins said...

Apple, I can't get a close enough look, but I wonder if the unknown word at the top of page 4 is "tat" or "net." She is talking about needlework, and as you probably know, tatting is a form of making lace that has made a revival in the last 20 years, along with knitting and crocheting. "Net" would be an appropriate substitute word; I think it was used more in Europe.

What do you think?

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Hi Miriam,
I think you are probably right. The inference is that Annie wrote about something she was working on. If Annie did any tatting my Mother is unaware of it. My paternal grandmother tatted and it was very fine, pretty work. I wish she had taught me to do it.