Catherine Graham Correspondence
Abstract: Family letters of the Stephens, Graham, Poteet, Penninger, and Farr families of Rowan, Iredell, and Cabarrus Counties, North Carolina as well as Grant County, Indiana, all having been written to Catherine Poteet Graham and her daughters, Jenny, Fannie, and Mary Elizabeth ("Bessie", describing farm and family life, including a few letters on textile mills.
Online catalog terms:
Farm Life--North Carolina
Mill village life--North Carolina--Cabarrus County
Size: Less than one linear foot. Provenance:
1240 Kepley Road
Salisbury, NC 28144
Access: No restriction.
Copyright: Retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Eighty-seven family letters from the Farr, Stephens, Graham, Penninger, and Poteet families of Cabarrus, Rowan, and Iredell Counties of North Carolina and Grant County Indiana with a few from Arkansas and Texas. The letters describe farm and family life in an extended family dispersed across the United States. There are frequent references to hopes for some sort of visit or reunion, but it appears that the primary correspondents only managed to see each other once during the fifty years covered by the letters.
Most of the letters are from Mary Farr Stephens of Farrville, later Van Buren, in Grant County, Indiana to her cousin Catherine Poteet Graham, wife of Richard Graham who lived in Miranda, NC (on the Iredell/Rowan line). Mary Farr Stephens writes of marriages, births and deaths in the Farr extended family, both in North Carolina and Indiana, especially her Uncle Smiley Farr's family. She describes her various crops on what is obviously a large and prosperous farm. She also gives a running report on her egg and butter trade. A young woman Mary Stephens took in to raise, Blanch, also is a correspondent to Catherine Graham's daughters: Fannie, Mary ("Bessie"), and Jennie.
Poteet family members who write are Catherine's sister, Martha (Mattie?) who moved to Texas, T. J. Poteet in Arkansas (although early on in Wilmington, NC), and J. M. Poteet in Texas.
There are also letters from Mollie J. and J. Frank Denton of Troutman's in Iredell County and then later Biltmore, North Carolina.
Bettie Penninger's family moved to Cabarrus County to work in the mills of Concord and Mill Hill (Kannapolis?). Some of Penninger's letters attempt to get her cousins to buy from her mail order business. They also describe her sons efforts at creating a livery stable and ice house. These letters contain family information and briefly mention mill village life.
Quilt blocks are exchanged as token gifts between the family members and photographs are sent back and forth on a regular basis. There are three quilt blocks in the miscellaneous items folder.
The letters have been filed chronologically with the undated being filed separately at the end of the collection. The envelopes did not correspond to the letters they held and appeared to have been "shuffled through" before their arrival at the library. Because of this, envelopes have been filed separately, as well.
A few items, perhaps enclosures to the letters, have been filed separetly. These include an unmarked photograph, some quilt blocks, poetry, and what appears to be school assignments.
The items in this collection were found by Mrs. Genevieve Marlin. Jenny Graham Doby (wife of Cletus Doby and daughter of "Cousin Catherine A. Graham" to whom so many letters in this collection were written) lived across the road from Mrs. Marlin. According to Mrs. Marlin, Jenny Graham was a schoolteacher in a one-room schoolhouse around China Grove, NC before marrying. Jenny Graham Doby later in life became paralyzed and "grew to the shape of a chair." Mrs. Marlin states that Mrs. Doby's bones were not even reset for her coffin.
Mrs. Doby was also buried under her maiden name because her sisters didn't care for her husband, Cletus Doby, who had been born out of wedlock and who was locally reknowned for being tight with his money. Since Doby wouldn't pay for a tombstone, Jennie's sisters took care of it and left the Doby name off of the memorial rock. Cletus later remarried Bessie Walton Gibbons, the former wife of Cicero Gibbons. The Cletus Doby farm was left to St. Matthews Episcopal Church. Bessie Walton Gibbons Doby is buried there. Cletus Doby, again according to Mrs. Marlin, is buried at Salem Lutheran Church. Mrs. Marlin believes that Jennie Graham is buried at a Presbyterian Church outside of Kannapolis, NC.
Jennie Doby's sister, Fannie (b. June 6, 1888 d. Dec. 26, 1980), married John Yarborough, a carpenter. They lived on the corner of Highway 70 and Hurley School Road. The other sister, Mary Elizabeth "Bessie" Graham (b. June 20, 1885 d. Dec. 23, 1955), never married. She lived with her sister Jenny and was the first of the sisters to die. None of the three sisters had children.
Brief descriptions and quotes regarding each letter follows. The date recorded is the date written on each letter. Following this date is an exact quote as to whom the letter was written, followed by the writer's name and location. When the correspondent is listed as Mary and John Stephens, it is obvious that the writer was only Mary. It appears, she included her husband's name just to be polite.
Box 1. Folder 1. 1869-1899
1) ? 23, 1869 "Dear Cousin" (Elisabeth E. Poteet) S. J. Reeves (Wilkes County) Crop news. "Stock is low money scarce taxes[?] high the popel is bound to Sufer in this country if they dont git help from Somer other Source"
2) Sept. 8, 1870 "Dear Cousin" (E.E. Poteete) S. J. Reeves (Wilkes County) " I am comin sown as soone as I can. I am closely confined at this time in the store. I open the 25 day of August as soone as I can git maters straite (etc.?) . . . a man by the name of Adams is runing to dissterlys at this time we have some 300 galens of brandy on hand at this time and will make some 600 galens an we want to fin a market fore hit if there is any market fore hit."
3) Feb. 26, 1873 "Dear Sister" Thompson H. Farr " I would be glad to see you all once more . . ."
4) December 7, 1873 Dear Mother Brothers and Sisters T. J. Poteet (? vail Arkansas) "i wold lov to See you all But i ever will See one of you I[f] you do do not com out hir fo[r] i am too por to com BAck thar But if i ever get my land pay for and get A nuff hed i my com. But tims is hard hir i had Bad luckall last sumer 1 of my herses died and i lost som of my hogs and cotton is down and corn is not worth mutch land is plenty and cheap . . . i hav turnd [?] from my Sinful way. i tend the Methe Church . . .
5) Nov. 14, 1880 "Dear Sister" M A Cosby(?) Regarding the "no-show" of a mother and her daughter at a land deal for which the writers of the multi-part letter take the recipient to task.
6) December 19, 1880 "Dear Cousin Aunt and all the rest" Mary and John Stephens "hurry to go to Chicago to spend Christmas with Johns folks . . . My dear Old Mother was here today poor old Dear she is so lonely" . . . An attempt to set Catherine Graham up with a man out west "I know you would would like him ever so much he has got black eyes and hare and a mustach and if you dont hurah and come I am afraid some of the girls will take him away."
7) July 4, 1882 "Dear Mother Sister and Family" J. M. Poteet (Leon County, Centreville P.O. Texas) "We moved tow hundred and fifty miles from where whear we was last year we are in a good country yet land in abundance for sale and cheape." On crop news. "I suppose you are still turning the soil of Rowan. wish you would step over it and let me sho you a crop cotten rows four feet wide the cotten met in the middle as heigh as my sholdrs corn don made plenty of new corn for bread now the best gardens I ever saw . . . "
8) August 4, 1883 "Dear Aunt [Catherine Graham] and Grandmother" T. W. Still (Concord) "I herd from uncle Frank the los of your child" [Same piece of paper, another note. This one addressed to "Dear Aunt" from "Bettie" with news about the babies in the family. "Wish you all was here to go with us to the celebration at Bethpage next Thursday the 16 of Aug 1883."
9) March 16, 1885 "Dear Cousin" Mary Stephens (Grant County Indiana) "I received your kind letter and hasten to answer I sent you one last week to mill hill . . . " The naming of a baby. "[Mother] says that she would give anything to see you all." "we have had a grand time here last 2 weeks a going to church there never was as good preaching here as there is now. John and me joined the church there is about 70 joined. . . . we join in love to you in that far away country"
10) April 18, 1886 "Dear Aunt" [C. A. Graham] J.F. Denton (Troutman's , Iredell County, NC) 'I am working for Lock Goodman at the Poison Springs. I have sold my horse and am working for wages. I thought I could live easyer than to farm and have all the advantage of the mineral watter and are agetting fat out here have a nice place to Live a good community and plenty of Preaching all around and all Denominations even to the hard shell Baptist." Same sheet of paper to "Dear Aunt" from M. J. Denton . . ." I want to se you all but I dont sea no chans of going down their soon we have no way of going of oure one we half to git a way to go when we go I havent bin off of the plase sens I come up on it." " Lock Goodman's hors got sceared of the train and run over him and come very neare killing him" On Ida, "that nasty stinking husy" who obviously run off from their Uncle Henrie.
11) November 23 1886 "Dear Cousin" [C. A. Graham] Alison and Bettie [Penninger] On Whooping Cough. On the death of mothers. On the cotton crops.
12) May 10, 1888 "Dear Aunt Catherine A. Graham" (J. L. Poteet, Boggy P.O. Leon County, Texas) On where his bothers(?) are living in Texas, their wives names, and their children's names. "We are don laying by corn we have 12 achers of cotton to chop yet we have 16 achers choped now. we are in a good country now aunt. I wish some more of my people was out here with us." On the death of his father.
13) March 16, 1888(?) Catherine From "your sister M. A. Poteet" On her garden. Sending family pictures to Catherine.
14) May 28, 1888 "Dear Catherine" Mrs. John A. [Mary] Stephens, (Farrville, Grant County, Indiana) "I will send you our picture of the old home where we was all raised where dear father died . Mother is between Martha and me and I am next to Samuel." "I dont think we can come this fall as John has to pay 250 dollars security debt that we will never get one cent for. . ."
15) August 8, 1890 "Dear Cousin" M. J. A. Stephens (Farrville, Grant County, Indiana) "John is in Chicago, Illinois a 170 miles from home he will come home Monday if nothing happens. . . Mother is at Sister Martha's. . ." Requests for pictures. " My garden was nice but the worms was in my cabbage we pick them off everyday."
16) Sept. 28, 1891 "Dear Cousin" Mrs. J. E. A. [Mary] Stephens (Farrville, Grant County, Indiana) Crop news. "we have our new house allmost done it will cost us 700 dollars we thought it would only cost 300 but John has to hire everything done he cant do no hard work . . ." Description of the house. "I wish you was here to help me clear the sand and lime off the floors." "how I wish we could meet once in this world. I often wonder why it is that we was so widly separated when we wanted to see each other so bad may God spare our lives so that we may have the joy of meeting in this world nd if not that we will know each other in heaven . . . I must quit and git ready to go to church to knight there is a girl, 17, years old to speak to the young gentlemen on temperance . . ."
17) Jan 11, 1892 "Dear Sister" T. J. Poteet (Pine Bluff, Arkansas) "Christmas plenty of nog the boys all come home and we had a Big House full." Farm news.
18) Feb. 19, 1892 "Dear Cousin" Mary and John Stephens (Farrville, Grant County Indiana) "its with a sad heart that I try to write to you I have lost my Dear old mother. She was buried a week ago today." On her mother's death. "She was 83 years 8 months and 8 days old."
19) May 29, 1892 "Dear Aunt" [Mrs. C. A. Graham, "direct to Concord Forest Hill, NC] Bettie Penninger "we had a meeting here last week and Anelia and howard joined the church and we had our baby batized we call him Montgummry Pane. We named him for our preacher . . . i cant leave home Alison and all the children is at work in the mill dela is Big enough to work in the mill But I can not spare her. Shobe and Lock is to small to leave the baby with for me to go to the store or eny where els . . . tommy and mary and uncle henry here tuesday for dinner . . .
20) Feb. 22, 1893 "Dear Cousins" Mary Stephens (Farrville) On a two-week-long church meeting. "there is one of my second cousins here from Arkansas . . . it seems my relations is scatterd all over the world.
21) Sept. 13, 1894 "Dear Cousins" Mary and John [Stephens] (Farrville) On a little girl they are raising, Blanch. On marriages in the family. "if we never meet on earth we hope to meet in heaven . . ."
22) Nov. 25, 1895 "Dear Cousins" Mary and John Stephens (Farrville) "Catherine this is my Birthday. i am 55 years old to day." On funerals in the neighborhood.
23) Oct. 18, 1896 "Dear Aunt" Bettie Penninger On the death of Uncle Frank. On her preacher Rev. Pool. "Food for the body is nessissary but I tell you food for the soul is nessisary too and if I evor received Benefit and comfort to my Soul it has Bin from him, He [Payne]come the next day after Uncle Frank was buried and sent to the mill for me and I come home and he got down on his knees and prayed for the hole correction god bless him."
24) Nov. 2, 1896 "Dear Cousin" Mary [Stepehens] (Farrville, Indiana) 'I will try to answer your kind letter we feel very sorry for you all to hear your dear Brother is gone. But that was not as heard to have him go that wayas it was for me when Brother Samuel went crazyand cut his throat." Farm news.
25) March 9, 1898 "Dear Cousin" [C. A. Graham] Mary and John [Stephens] (Farrville, Indiana) On John and Mary's sicknesses. On Mary's brother Samuel's family. "I wish i could see cotton growing. if i had some seed I would plant it." An enclosure marked March 9, 1898 "Dear Little Cousins" [Jennie, Mary, Fannie] Blanch " I am going to school now but i have to quit Friday and help Mama in the garden . . ."
Box 1. Folder 2. 1900-1914
26) Jan. 28, 1900 "Dear Jennie" Blanch (Farrville, Indiana) "I play when it is nice weather out doors at school we play coloring and rabbit the techer dont like for us to play in the house if we do he will take up about 15 or 20 minutes till books he is so cross he has whipped about all of the boy this winter."
27) Jan. 28, 1900 "Dear Mary" Blanch (Farrville, Indiana) List of children in her school.
28) Jan 28, 1900 "Dear Fannie" Blanch (Farrville, Indiana) "I got a new dress for Christmas, a fascinations, and a handkerchief and some candy oranges, hickory nuts to."
29) Feb. 3, 1900 "Dear Cousins" Mary and John [Stephens] (Farrville, Indiana) "We have prayer meeting every thursday night at our church and they put me in to lead the meeting next time you hold me up that I may do what is my duty as a Christian for I need the prayers of god's people."
30) Feb. 21, 1900 "Dear Aunt" Sallie E. Tucker (Glass, NC) On sickness in the neighborhood. "Ida and Ed is still at the same place. I do not know what they are going to do. Ed cannot get work in the mill at Con [?]"
31) Nov. 26 1900 "Siss" T. J. Poteet (Pine Bluff, Arkansas) "My boys is all gon to work for them Selves But one. He is a Bout 13. Mee and his mother is our White famly and i hav 2 nigras in crop time and i keep one all the time to driv my teem . . . i got 12 good hogs in the pen to kill. i want to kill Befor Christmus so we will have Plenty of Sausedge and Souse for our children Christmas when they com 2 of them is working in the rail road shops. Pleas giv me the nams of the cotten mill men in Saulsbury we want to get some of them to com out to our town to put up a mill hir do this and lett me heir from you sone."
32) Feb. 15, 1901 "Dear Cousins" Mary and Stephens (Farrville, Indiana) On Mary Stephen's aunt's death.
33) May 20, 1901 "My Dear Cousin" (Fannie Graham) Blanch (Farrville, Indiana) "pa was sick so long and ma waitd on him day and nightfor 13 weeks or more. She did not take her clothes off to go to bed while he was sick."
34) May 26, 1901 "Dear Cousins" [Mary Stephens] (Farrville, Indiana) "John has been sick everr since February . . . we did not think he would get well but he is able to walk around some . . . we ghave sent you a small double tea quilt block. you can make it large. it makes a nice quilt. we think the one you sent is nice. . . iI am past sixty. I dont fell as young as I did a year ago . . . but I do lots of hard work. Blanch and I milk five cows and I have over 200 chickens old and young. last week I Sold four dollars worth of eggs."
35) May 26, 1901 "Dear Cousin Jennie" Blanch (Farrville, Indiana) On the farm animals. An enclosed quilt block.
36) June 29, 1902 "Dear Cousin Fannie" (Fannie Graham) Mary Stephens (Farrville, Indiana) "You could spend part of your time with me as Blanch is married and gone 20 miles a way. we are very lonely since she left." On her flowers. On Sunday school.
37) June 29, 1902 "Dear Cousins" Mary and John Stephens (Farrville, Indiana) On a trip to Chicago ("its right on the lake.") On the death of her neice following childbirth. "she was such a good girl only 18 years old."
38) January 3, 1903 "Dear Cousins" Bettie Penninger (Concord, NC) "there is talk of the mills standing too days each week But I dont know how that will be yet."
39) Jan. 13, 1903 "Dear Aunt" Mollie J. Denton (Biltmore, NC) On what to do with her father's things. "Can you tell me where my stepmother is at. I have not heard anything from her in a long time."
40) Dec. 18, 1903 "Dear Aunt and Cousins" Bettie Penninger (Concord, NC) On hog killing. "the reason he did not come was that the Buggy Wheels was broke and another thing he could not get of. Mr. Bruton that is head in the room had to go the bleacher and Frank had to tend to everything." On Christmas.
41) Feb. 3, 1904 "Dear Aunt and Cousin" Bettie (Concord, NC) Regarding family pictures. Can't come to her Aunt's quilting. On possibly raising chickens for eggs to sale.
42) March 20, 1904 "Dear Cousin Catherine" Mary N. S[tephens] (Van Buren, Indiana) John still sick. "They are having bad luck shooting oil wells . . . I heard uncle James Reids wife was dead in Concord. is that the last of the old folks."
43) March 20, 1904 "Dear Cousin Mary Graham" Mary and John Stephens (VanBuren, Indiana) "I wish I could see you and have you run in and help me. I have so much to do and no one to take one turn off of me only what John and our boy does . . . I must close as our boarder is coming and I have not got it ready . . ."
44) March 20, 1904 "Dear Cousin Fannie" Mary Stephens (VanBuren, Indiana) "We are making maple syrup and sugar. I wish you was here to get some to eat . . ." On family photos, flowers.
45) March 20, 1904 "Dear Cousin Jennie" Mary Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana) On quilts. On the field hand's picture.
46) Sept. 24, 1904 "Mrs. R[ichard] Graham, Dear Cousin" [Mary Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana)] On photographs.
47) Dec. 2, 1904 "Dear Cousin Catherine" Mary and John Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana) On her birthday presents. " I have three men to cook for they are huskin corn . . . we will have to thousand bushels . . . I would like to be at your corn huskin . . .
48) June 26, 1905 [Catherine Graham] [Mary Stephens] (Van Buren, Indiana) On being sick. "I am so busy putting up strawberries and raspberries and cherries. no one to help me and so much company. I cant get time to rest a minuet. I have not seen Uncle Smiley, he is 20 miles away at his daughters.
49) June 26, 1905 "Dear Jennie" Mary and John [Stephens] (Van Buren, Indiana "well Jennie you can tell all the folks we hated to leave there and do hope meet you all again . . ."
50) [June 26, 1905?] "Dear Cousin Fannie" Mary and John Stephens ([Van Buren, Indiana)] "I had a fine time at Cousin Betties. we went in the Mill where lock worked and seen them making all kinds of cloth Shope[?]." On gifts from family members in the mill. "if you never was in a mill whare they weaveyou would see a sight to see all those looms making different kind of cloth. Bettie will take you through if you can see her."
51) June 26, 1905 "Dear Cousin Mary" Mary and John Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana) "I told the people I was so proud of all My Dear People there and ? could not tell how glad I was that I met you all . . . I wish you was here to help me cook for Harvest hands . . ."
52) June 26, 1905[?] "Dear Cousin Catherine" M.D. J. Stephens [(Van Buren, Indiana)] On death of a niece, Myrtle Stephens.
53) July 14, 1905 "Dear Aunt and All" "Your Neice Bettie" [Penninger] (Concord, NC) "I sold one package of your medicine But did not get the money for it But think I will get it all right." On a new range. "I dont want a cent for my trouble But if I send 15 ranges I will get one Free."
54) August 28, 1905 "Dear Aunt" "Your Neice" [Bettie Penninger] (Concord, NC) "The boys has opened up a livery stable have bught too mare Buggy they have not bought eny more horses yet it has taken everything all them could make to put Howard's house and this stable that we have not a cent to buy eny clothes. they want to put about 8 horses in the stable but cant do that for a while. . . Lillian up at Sallies and staid 2 0r 3 weeks her man has quit drinking and goes to church and has quit swaring . . ."
55) Sept 24, 1905 "Dear Cousin Mary" [Mary Stephens] (Van Buren, Indiana) " . . . if I could just step in and see you all sitting a round the fire place as we did when i was there i could talk all right then would not get tired. I never will forget our good times together."
56) Sept 24, 1905 "Dear Cousin Jennie" Mary and John Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana) "I surley wrote to you and asked you to write me something more for to read at our reunion. I read in the Observer about Back Creek and what a nice time they had and told John I knew that was at your church its too bad you all could not go"
57) Sept 24, 1905 "Dear Cousin Fannie" Mary and John Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana) On Blanch and her baby.
58) March 8, 1906 "Well Jennie" Bess Graham (Mooresville, NC) "Mr Corternie [?] and his darkey had a fight Monday they had a trile at Spruce Harts it cost the darkey five dolars. they have moved to Cags [?] . . . Fannie said that she is going to the exibition if it is perty day." On the same paper. "Dear Child" Catherine Graham "if you get to felling good you can go to see Minnie and Frank . . ."
59) May 4, 1906 "Dear Aunt and Cousins" Bettie Penninger (Concord, NC) "Time [Tim?] is in the mill and evry turn is mine and I have rheumatism so bad I can hardly get around. when I get up in the morning I can not stand for a time. I keep trying till I get so I can stand up in the day I can doBetter. I am not able to do my work much less tend to the children But Time can make 1.25 in the mill and I would like for her to work a while. it will be a lot of help to Howard . . ." On not being able to do her washing. " Aunt Catherine would you and the girls like to hav a Book of the San Francisco Fire. if you want one dont buy eny from and agent I can get you one so much cheaper than they will sell it to you . . ."
60) June 3, 1906 "Mrs. C. A. Graham, Dear Sister" Mattie Poteat (Cedar Park, Texas [?]) "John is laying by his corn. it is fine you cant see them the corn is way over the horses back . . .oh, Cathrine, I often think of you all back there and it makes me feel sad, all my correspondence wabnts me to come home but I cannot deside what to do. I have 2 children here and 2 in N.C. and I never expected to feel satisfied enny more but it is so and I try to be satisfide. we have not long to stay in this world and if we live right we shall meet in the morning of the resurection when Jesus comes to take his children home bless the Lord that will be a joyfull time when the loved of earth who have long been parted meet in the glad day and the tears of those who are Broken hearted shall be wiped away."
61) Dec. 3, 1906 "Dear Cousin Fannie" M[ary] and J[ohn] Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana) "we was at a gold meddul contest Saturday night. six girls spoke on temperance and the best speaker got the meddal. a Miss Nellie Thompson got it. it was a nice one. they had good speaking and we all enjoyed it so much. her peace was the drunkards wife and children . . ."
62) Dec. 3, 1906 "Dear Cousin Mary" Mary and John Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana) "Whare did you Spend thanks giveing. did you stay home as we did I roatsed a chicken and made two cakes I have one of them yet as we are invited to turkey Roast." On John not being able to eat solid food.
63) January 19, 1907 "Dear Aunt and Cousins" Bettie Penninger (Concord, NC) "Alison and Frank is putting an Ice House. they are going top Sell Ice run a wagon and deliver it [?] all over town. they hired a driver this morning." Taking orders for picture frames.
64) January 29, 1907 "Deare Aunt and all" Bettie Penninger (Concord, NC) "Yes I hav sold all the Krout long ago and could hav sold that much more if i had it. I had a call for Krout yesterday and had nun. good krout I could sell ten barrels in one season." Asking for eggs and butter to sell . . . I am going to cook white beans for Dinner and Liver and hog head and 3 feet and so on . . . Be so cold like it is now we have killed our hogs. they was not half Fat But we was to poore to feed them Eny longer. Frank says he is glad of it. "
65) Feb. 11, 1907 "Dear Mother and sisters" Jennie Graham (Concord, NC) 'Cousin Bettie has two boarders, Bill Atwell, Mr. Early, and his daughter. We come through or rather by Landis. We saw one of his cousins she resembles him some what. We met two drunkard women in a carriage and the men got out and came very near washing the road away. I sure was ashame [?] but Mr. Roberts did not pay any attention to them."
66) Sept. 5, 1909 "Dear Aunt" M. Denton (Biltmore, PO)
67) April 15, 1909 "Miss Bessie Graham, You darling girlie" "Susan C. Farr wife of Smiley Farr (Van Buren, Indiana) "Our nephew John Stephens just brought me the lovely cushion cover you sent me . . ." Farm news.
68) June 15, 1909 "Miss Bessie, Dear Neice" "Mrs. S. M. Farr" (Van Buren, Indiana) On what to do for consumption. "Uncle Smiley is better. He is out hoeing potatoes . . . our Charlie lost a cow by lightning and his corn part of it was a foot under water, I heard. but I hope we shall have a crop anyway. The same hand that gives us rain can give us the corn . . . I do not know whether John has a monument for Mary yet. I have not seen him since she was buried he is living on his farm has a man working for him."
69) Sept 28, 1909 "Misses Jennie and Fannie, Dear friends" Adda (Mooresville, NC) On her baby. News of a suicide.
70) Oct. 3, 1914 "Dear Miss Jennie" Jas. W[illiam] Wilhelm (Greensboro, NC) "I guess you think that I am treating you real mean but I am in Greensboro, NC and have been since 1st Sept. I only received one of your letters just 2 or 3 days ago but did not get the other one which you said that you had written. My brother is building a new house and you know cotton is not bringing any good price and so I just loaned him some money a feew days before I received your letter and I am thinking about buying some land but have not fully decided but will know by the 15th of Nov. and if I decide not to buy any land you can get 50 dollars. I am very sorry that I did not get your letters sooner. Please let me hear from you for I want to know how you are getting along. I feel interested in you and feel it is my duty to help you if i possibly can. Please lte me hear from you." Box 1. Folder 3. Undated letters.
71) "July June 11" "Dear Mother" Mary Caskey, Catherine A. Poteet "the Dr. is al most run down. he has to go all the time. he has not been at home but to days in three weaks an part of the time at nite. John Steele is getting better . . . pore Whit Steele had to die . . ."
72) ? "My Dear Cousins, Margaret and A. Reid" Mary W. Farr (State of Indiana, Grant County) "you said you was almost 15nyears old and I will be 18 (?) the 25 of this month. I wish you and aunt and grandfather was here, but from what you say he will never be able to get here."
73) July 26 [?] "Dear Mother Brother and Sisters" T. J. Poteet (Wilmington, NC) "I just got in to work for a man was making 50 dolars a month. I was a working in the car shell[?] I got a dolar and a half a day and had to pay but 5 cents a day for board . . . "
74) "Dear Miss, Catherine Poteet" Miss Ruth McKinley "I take the pleasure of letting you know when i can go with you up to rowan if you can get a buggy . . . She said that the roads wer soo bad and that it is preeching day up here . . .we can go in Albert buggie as fast as in his . . . "
75) February 7 "Deare Sister and all the family" JWP (Amity Hill [Iredell County, NC]) "I have not forgot thta dress I entend to gete it when ever I can ite woont be a calico dress ite mus be a nise one . . ." On the same sheet of paper February 7 "Dear Sister" "Your sister till Death, Martha A. Poteet (Amity Hill) 'we have not heard a word from you sence you moved down there . . " Farm news "Mother is down at Alfred's and we proise to go to see her in this mounth . . .Frank Denten and Mary Jane was here last fall they were on there way to your house but the watters was so high they give it out . . ." On the same sheet of paper "Well Regina" "Your Aunt, Martha A. Poteet" "I suppose as the girls sais about here you have a mash on some fellow . . . "
76) June the 1st day "Dear Sister [Catharine Graham] and brother" S J Poteet On family y deaths. "I do wisjh that you could go to preaching and take[?] your family, we such a good sermon a Sunday by Mr. F[?]tz . . . Bettie and Jim and all of them was here a Sunday. Bettie has had the flu and looks bad. John and Frank Denton was ghere a Friday after six . . .
77) Dear Cousin Catharine Mary Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana) On the cow knocking her down and breaking her ribs. On Christmas presents. "we was all alone xmas and I roatsed a nice chicken and we had a little dinner all to our selves and enjoyed it very much. this is a lovely winter so far it has not been cold enough to keep the milk in the house. I keep it out in the milk house . . ." On butter and eggs. "there has been a revival at our chchurch I can hear the church Bell wring and it makes me feel so bad that I cant go. its been holding too weeks. they have good meetings our minister was here when I got hurt. he thinks so much of John . . . did Bettie tell you of the fire in Concord whare Mr. tucker works . . . Ardie was married again. She married a man by the name of John Step. he is a nice looking young man by the name of John Step. he is a nice looking young man But I am afraid he dont like to work very well . . ."
78) Miss Fannie Graham, Dear Cousin Fannie Mary and John Stephens (Van Buren, Indiana) 'I hope you are well and enjoying yourself at school you said you would not have Mr. Shoemaker [?] Since he got drunk. I dont think I would. You must not ever get married to a man that spends his money for drink . . .I have not got no word from Blanch yet. this is the first xmas but what she alway come home but she did not even write us a letter. we cant tell what can be the matter. oh how sad. news we have heard today that one of my cousins had one of his legs and one arm off. he was a conductor on the Rail Road. he had such a nice woman . . . his name is WIlliam Farr, Uncle Smiley's Brothers Son . . . the lady who lives on our farm had a Christmas tree . . . we had a Christ mas tree at the Church for the Sunday School children"
79) Oct 12 "Dear Jennie" Rosa Lynch (Benaja, NC) "just think I have bin heare most four month suffern all the time. I tel you to be away of from any of your people an someone that is know kind to you it is a veary lonly feeling. if any of my peple ever gets a broken bone I will shure write to thame and will never expect thame to ancer my letter for I will know how it hurts thame to write. . . "
80) Oct 12 "Dear Fana" [Rosa Lynch] (Benaja, NC) 'my arm has not got well . the Dr. ses I will just have to have pashunes for it will be six month yet begore it will be well. . ." On her boken arm. "he said tha would just have to cloro form me and brake all of the bones in my rist and set thame again. I told him noser that Dr. Whitehead and Sumrel both sed I could not stand cloro form . . . "
81) May 28 18[?] "My dear Cousin Mary [Graham]" Blanch (Farrville, Grant County, Indiana) "I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know that Pa has been sick almost four months. Ma is not well today. I am well and hope you are the same . . . Josie Farr that used to be but she is married to William Williamson buried here baby a week Saturday . . . "
82) Nov. 27, 18[?] "Dear Cousins" M and John Stephens (Farrville, [Indiana]) Atha [?] is married and left us. we are s very lonely without her she was so young to get married not 17 yet . . . I wish you was here to go andd hear our minsiter and his sister. She preached last night to 400 hundred people our church holds five hundred people. . . I will send our picture of us you can see what kind of a house we have, it has 8 rooms, nine windows, 9 doors, 3 bedrooms . . ."
83) "Dear Cousins Mary, Fannie, Jennie" Mary and John Stephens (Farrville, Indiana) Be good little girls.
84) Sept 25 "Dear Cousin Richard" Mary and John Stephens ([Grant Co., Indiana) On cornbread. On making wine.
85) "Dear Cousin" "you have no idea the fun the boys had over the Murphy mail. Each one carried it to the mill untill they was round. Howard said that there was a Tom Murph sweeping in his mill and he wanted to have some fun out of him so he said he was so green he had to read it to him and when he did Howard asked him how come him to have so much he said it was not him an dHoward told him it was Bound to be him for it was his name and his sister had called for it. He said there were some Murphs living on Sandy Ridge.must be there mail and them devils went and printed that on him. he said he bet he would nock hell out of that poast master, if he went up town"
86) Spet 19 "My dear sister" Mattie (Calvert Texas[?]) "am truly sorry to here of your bad health . it is sure very sad to me. Especily the cancer we dont know what afflictions we have to bare in this life . . . "
87) "Dear Cousin Richard" Mary Stephens "John wants me to write you a few lines . . . " Come visit us.
Box 1. Folder 4. Envelopes
Box 1. Folder 5. Calling Cards
Box 1. Folder 6. Miscellaneous materials