Letter From Mother, Bettsville, Ohio
To Kate Benefiel, Toledo, Ohio
October 12, 1907
Transcribed by Stephen J. Hartzell




In this extraordinary letter Mother fills Katsy in on all the latest news.
Among the topics are a man who claims to be talking to spirits, who have also cursed him and his family.
Another pair of men have been on a drunk, and are apparently heavily into whisky and morphine.


Sat Oct 12 1907

Katsy

I have a good many letters & postals but when I wrote the postal I had not heard from you since you went away. Your Pa went to Fostoria with J V today. He is (illegible) of his ponies & of course looks to his Pa to help trade them off well. This pen is awful. If it don't do better I will have to stop & find another pen.

Tay was here with Vard. Just come with some piggie meat. He asked me so often if there was anything he could do, bring in wood or water. He is a good child & poor Tay as Vard used to say is so good to me. I am so uneasy about her. She lost a little boy a good way along & then went & cut corn & pretty near killed her crazy self. She is a good house keeper, it's to pity if she can't find enough to keep her busy in the house.

I got a nice long letter from Ellie, 9 pages. Bune has his house furnished, ready to go into. When Milo & Nellie was up doctoring the baby Nellie scalded Milo's foot & he won't stop to doctor it, but digs potatoes till away in the night. They got scared about that baby as it is the only one. Vard is gone, he stopped at the door & asked me if I needed wood or water.

Bill Green is staying here & he lends to getting wood & water. He says that a curse has been on him, his Pa & Grandpa but this month takes it off. J V said yesterday that he told him a long while ago about it. Well if that is the case he may be somebody yet, for nature has done everything for him but he never done anything for himself. He says the spirits told him of what a spiritualist he is, it is all he talks about. He says that they told him the last part of his life was to be the best. Pa said this morn, be nice, to write to Katsy today.

I have been hard at work but sitting don't hurt me, it is romping around. I get so very tired. I have done lots of canning, more than ever before in my life, & preserving & pickling. I am pretty near through though, & don't my cellar come handy. The butter we have got ahead & a place to put everything in. Hank Hoover & Tise Puff went on a drunk day before yesterday, and last night come home full as cows. Ida went to the barn & Tise only cursed her. Well, it is six of one & half a dozen of the other, morphine & whisky.

Mrs. Smith has gone to the Fremont hospital, but the Dr. says that she must die. Mrs. Edmonson has been given up to die & a man here in town, I have seen him often but can't think of his name. I don't expect but Bill Green will end his days with us. He keeps busy & as long as he does right he is welcome to stay. He is good to get the wood & do chores.

Good bye for this time. I hope to have a better pen soon.

(Enclosed with the letter is a newspaper clipping of a cartoon entitled "Willie, The Wonderful".
It shows an angry bull chasing a little boy, and says;

"Willie's fond of fresh, rich cream,
'Cause it's awful good for him;
Also he did cows esteem
Till he met a cow named 'Jim'
Of resentment now he's full,
Having learned that she's a bull.")