Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1931

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Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1931


Old Mission Peninsula (Mich.)
Crops and climate


Carolyn Gay Taft (1873-1952), was the owner of a small cherry farm on Old Mission Peninsula in the early 1900’s. While she spent her summers on the Peninsula, her primary job as a teacher at the Illinois
State School for the Deaf required hired hands to run the farm in her absence. These farmers, and their families, lived on the farm and sent frequent written reports to Ms. Taft. Most letters are written by the
farmer’s wives, and provide a record of both
agricultural and social history.


Ralph Kitchen, Joseph Kitchen, Essie Kitchen, Max Gilmore, Hazel Gilmore


Collection donated to Peninsula Community Library by the surviving members of the Taft family.


Peninsula Community Library




Mary T Morgan


This document is protected by copyright law. Contact
the Peninsula Community Library for permission to
reproduce, display, or transmit this document.










LHC 010


Traverse City, Peninsula Township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan

PDF Text


Old Mission, Mich.
Jan. 18th 1930[1]

Dear Miss. Taft:-

Received the check and your short note am so sorry for your sister as I've had to pass thru the same suffering only I had my baby spared. I know how dissapointed you all must feel. I hope she will soon be well again.

We have been having very nice weather with very little snow. But am afraid it will mean a loss to us if it continues to be like this.

I was talking with Christopher's the other day and they are looking for another 1/2 cent from Lardie very soon now. It may be less but expect that much any way. I suppose if we have fruit this year it will be less on account of the hard times.

Most of our local ladies are buying new winter coats at marked down prices. I can see myself in the new styled coats. My old one must do for at least two years more. I have better places to put what little I have.

Roger has a bug to join the U.S. Navy and it makes my heart nearly turn over to have him think of going away. He will likely change his mind after talking to some of our neighbor boys who have served four years. He had a letter yesterday from Grand Rapids with a list of questions to answer. I have burned it up. Maybe I'm wrong as it may be to his advantage. But Miss. Taft when you raise a boy to be 20 years old its hard to think of him going in all kinds of tough company.

I'm so glad Alberta is coming along so nicely with her work. Hazel is doing better this year and is in much better health.

I hope your eyes are better by now. I paid Tom for hauliing the grain home from town and will make out your bills in my next letter.

I was calling on Mary Christopher the early part of last week when a man stoped and was inquiring for a farm that a widow woman had for sale he couldn't find the place I told him about your farm and told him we would be glad to have him come and look it over. He hasn't been here so far.

Quite a few of our Traverse people have gone to Florida to spend the winter. Wish we could go just once. Altho' Mr. Hughes that owns the beautiful farm near T. City will never return to enjoy our beautiful Michigan again. Henry and Dora Gore left over a week ago.

How is Mrs. English? I had a dreadful spell about 12 days ago but there isn't much I can do only keep off from my feet and not lift.

There isn't any news to ammount to much only card parties I seldom go as it usually storms so I have to stay at home. I go to the Ladies Aid thats about all

Hope you are well as the leaves us all well and all is fine on the farm so far.

With love,
Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich.
Feb 4th 1931

Dear Miss. Taft:

We are having wonderful weather for this time of year not much snow but enought to protect trees and seeding. I guess this is what is called an open winter perhaps we will have colder weather later on. I do hope the buds don't start early on the fruit trees and freeze as people are quite worried about our last years drought. Hope all comes out well.

Mrs. Lardie says very little about Mrs. Mills. You know she invested John's insurace money foolishly last summer and lost it. Willard K. was telling me about it. I'm glad she has a man with money it seems as tho' that is all that counts in some peoples lives. Well we are poor and I don't see as it does much good to worry about it. Just keep going altho' it isn't always nice to be laughed at. Makes a person feel like giving up some times and not try to make the best of what little you have.

The main roads have been keept open very well this winter but we usually have a hard time getting our car out it's lots of fun to wade in the snow, and push. Of course its almost impossible to keep cross roads clean.

We hear Mr. Garland and several others would like Archie's job wonder how they will come out. Maybe ours to.

Wish we had the Traverse City paper so as to get more local news. Daisy Cooper was telling me there was something about condition of cherry buds in it last week wish I could have read it.

I wanted to go the the Ladies Aid at Old Mission today but Roger didn't have time to take me and I'm afraid to try and drive on these icy roads.

Well this is Sunday so I'll try and finsh what I started earlier in the week altho' I don't feel very well. Last night we drove in to Traverse City + called on Clarence Lardies and didn't get home until late so that dosen't improve matters any. But we had a lovely time.

No ice in the Bays so far and warmer today but threatens rain but we live in daily dread of a sleet storm. Fields are still covered with snow.

I certainly hope your school doesn't close down so as to leave you out of employment. I know what it means to have to dig up every cent a fellow can and then not keep up with the rest.

Horses are dreadful high right now Joseph is keeping watch for one as we will need one early to get things going if we have an early brak up. There will have to be something done in regards to harnese as yours are worn out beyond repair. Joseph trys to mend them the best he can but can't do any more with them now but tie them up. We have been here 1 4 years so think they have held together pretty well as they were not new then. It makes me shiver to think of all we have to buy out of our small resources and how it does cost to keep a family going.

Hope you keep well this winter. I am your's as ever Essie K.

6.67 to your credit
1.20 for Tom's trucking
1.00 grind of grist
4.47 To your credit Feb. 8th 1931

Old Mission, Michigan
Feb. 10th 1931

My dear Miss Taft: -

No one is here today so I'm all alone My thoughts have been mostly of you so thought I would try and write you a few more lines. The wind is dreadfully cold today I can hardly keep warm in the house. Feb and March always bring these raw cold days. I suppose you have quite warm weather down there off an on. I saw by the Grand Rapids Press that they are nearly out of water there I hope by now you have had a good down pour. The ground won't be in any shape for Spring if you don't have rain there We had rain here last Fall and plenty of snow and I'm so thankful for that.

If school should close then would it open later on? Or how would they do it. There are over three months of school left yet in fact nearly four. I wish our house was in shape for winter you could come and stay here but as it is now you couldn't stand it as we have no way to heat the other rooms until we have a furnace installed and we don't like to do that until we expect to move there as you said it would only rust out. Jos. want to put a basement under the house as soon as he can as the walls are all open now for the wind to blow thru. I will be glad when it warms up again so I can take my Spring ironing up there.

The cherry buds look good so far later on I will mail some to you so you can see what we look like. Do you hear any thing from Mr. Lardie in regards to the extra money we haven't heard any thing of late.

Henry and Dora Gore expect to come back from Fla. within the next few wweeks. It seems as tho' if I went there I would like to stay until the winter weather is over. Its easy to contract phneumonia when coming from a warm place to where it is so cold. Mrs. Gore was quite sick last year from doing that. Did I ever mention about Russel being married he is the one that stayed at home in fact Mr Gore sold him the place some time ago. So Milton Gore + wife bought a home in Traverse City. They say no house is large enough for two families.

Roger is very busy these days trapping skunks he says its a pretty smelly job but its a good way to earn a few cents. Of late he hasn't had much luck. It helps to keep boys at home when they are real busy. Hazel is just as busy as ever sewing and drawing.

I have most of my Spring sewing to do yet. Have you got yours done? I'm not going to do as much as I did a year ago. I wish I had some carpet rags to sew My old rugs are worn out and I need more for this room. All I have are 8 old aprons and not much left of those. Hazel's clothes are always too good to tear up so hand them over to other little girs.

Well I can't think of any thing more just now so will say good bye for now.

Yours as ever
Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich.
Feb. 16th 1931

My dear Miss. Taft:-

I read your letter to Joseph and he says there isn't much use in trying to repair the old harness. He has mended it the best he could and will try to make it last until you get back in the Spring. Altho' he will need a new bridle for another horse. Archie Helfrich has those two horses for sale of course they will come pretty high. One of them is the little horse that H. Christopher used to drive past our place with before he died it is 14 years old but nothing extra the other is a colt. Jos. will look after them as soon as he can. Archie holds the colt high.

There is no need of your buying manure as Jos. has the Hooper orchard all manured and all but 5 rows in the large orchard. He says there will be enough for all of them.

I would be very glad of the carpet rags and there is lots of water in Miss Tafts well so I'll be glad to wash them. I will pay the postage too. When we get thru with our clothes there isn't enough left for rug rags. I need several small rugs so would be glad to get them. It's kind of you to offer them to me.

I'm in a play the Ladies Aid is going to put on at the church in about two weeks so suppose it will take lots of my time as we practice three times a week.

I still have my black crepe to make am sorry your blue dress isn't done yet. I must go to bed as I did a two weeks washing I simply couldn't do it last week as my old trouble returned much worse than ever.

Must retire for tonight hope you keep well.

With love Essie K.

[Feb 18, 1931]
Dear Miss. Taft:

I failed to thank you for the clippings you sent me from the Record Eagle. It was kindness on your part so thanks many times.

Its very warm here is A.M. hope you get rain down there.

Your's Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich.
Feb, 26th, 1931.

Dear Miss Taft:

I inquired of several people to find out who knew of the people you would like to know about. So called post Office and George Lardie told me their name was Lineman. H. M. Lardie isn't here is spending the winter South. Perhaps those people would be interested in your farm. We would like it for Roger but cherry out look isn't good the prices are going to pieces fast from now. The canners have lots on hand and very little sale as we have inquired to find out. Poor people can get on with out cherries and the rich can't eat them all. So I suppose farm land will be hard to dispose of so if you have half a chance you had better try + unload. Some times Jos. wishes we hadn't bought our place as we have quite a little money tied up in it now. This weather is a month too early am very much afraid we will freze out before real Spring comes on.

Tom Richard was telling Jos. he would like to buy this place if he had the money as Levi owns most of the home farm when he comes of age. Part of their trees have died back from the dry weather. And it is hard for farmers to borrow at the banks. Times never was like this. Your last check was turned down at the peoples saving Bank. Had to take it to the State Bank. Ernest had to pay a quarter to get a check cashed last Sat. I never had that happen to me before. I hope it has rained down there before this. Altho you need not worry about your salary as a teacher draws their pay after being hired if they close the school if you stay there. That is the way it is here any way.

Jos. will keep looking for a horse as it won't be long until one is needed.

Must hurry this off as Hazel is waiting.

I'm afraid I caused you extra work to get those things ready for me. Next time I won't be so thoughtless as to mention such things

Love Essie K.

Old Mission
March 2nd 1931

My dear Miss. Taft:

Received the package and thanks many times as that will be lots of help to me. Joseph scolds and says I always find something to keep myself busy.

It is considerable colder and snowing tonight first buds are fina so far. Will soon mail you some. Then you can have Michigan cherry blossoms on your table. Thanks for cherry news you sent me.

The Christopher's have talked with Geo. Lardie and they feel quite certain he will pay another 1/2 cent. For myself I can't say much about it.

We have a 1929 Chev. coach and like it real well it gives a a way to get about without throubling the neighbors so much. We got it in Grand Rapids very reeasonable all used cars are very high in Traverse.

Well I have another job. The Mrs. Christopher that cooked hot lunches for our school scalded her foot. So the school board hired me to cook for a month. It means lots of extra work for me but the money looked too good to turn down. Roger takes me back + forth so it won't be so bad as the roads are nearly all bare.

I'm going to sew carpet rags in between times as well as do my other work. I hung my washing out just as it was getting dark. had about children to feed.

Love, Essie K.

P.S. Hazel forgot to mail this so will tell you it is still snowing looks + feels like real winter outside. Thanks for razor blades they will help alot.

Old Mission, Mich.
Mar. 11th 1931

Dear Miss. Taft:

This is the first day we have had any mail since Sat. and are still trying to dig ourselves out of snow drifts. I'm so glad it has turned colder and snowed more as it will make Spring much later and soak up the ground

. I wish to thank you for the T.C. news I've just finished reading them to Joseph. There are very few of those signs in our orchards. Jos. found 3 on outer limbs [or] or twigs on the trees where spray may have missed but he thinks with proper spraying with liquid lime + sulpher we can easily control it. If our neighbors would only keep clean we would be more free from pests. Some people have lots of it while others have very little. Don't let it worry you as all

We haven't found any thing for horse yet. They all hold them so high. I think the best way would be to give your phone no. and try that. Of course we can't get our car out [not] now and wouldn't like to drive it over these terriable roads. YOu can't imagine what they are like down in here. Your no. is Mapleton exchange 2-7-3-1

As to the seedings they looked quite well last Fall but can't tell how it [??] has stood the winter. I think from the way it looked it had a fairly good chance. When the the snow came on last Fall by our garage where the sod looked perfectly dead it was beautiful green. I'm so tired I can't think I find I've got some of this written backwards.

The harness came today so late that Jos. hasn't had time to look it over. He needs tugs and lines the worst of anything. But Maybe you better wait until you get back then you can see what is needed worse.

How are the Stutsmans this winter? I'm going to bed as I'm dreadfully tired cleaned house all afternoon. My house is clean but I'm tired to death.

With love Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich.
Mar. 25th 1931

Dear Miss. Taft:

Received your letter today and will answer right now. Jos. thinks he can spare seed oats out of last years store if you run shy it would pay to by more as these are nice and clean. One set of tugs clamps on and the other bolts onto harness.

Geo. Lardie should have paid long before this but we are still waiting too Money has been scarce with us too as every thing has been out go since Fall. We don't drive our car a place that we can get out of as it takes too much to keep it up and run the risk of tearing it to pieces over the terriable roads.

We have had four calls about horses. One was from Frank Garland he has a horse with a slight tough of heaves for $75 Roy Holmes has another fox bait for $25. Bill Dohm has one for $75 - but Jos. says is too slow for queen and a little small but looks good. Dave Youker out the other side of Traverse has a nine year old in good shape for $100 he called last night I promised him we would try and see him next week after our check comes as we must have new oil and brakes before we try to drive much it is quite a ways from T.C. out in the country. But we will have to wait until we have money to go with. We may be able to hire a truck for $5 to get the horse home if we do get it.

No one knows how Lardies house caught on fire some think an electric wire did it. They are living in Eiman's house. I think so the way it burned and the other side of house where sparks couldn't do it. I'm so glad we had the best did on ours altho' we paid a big price I would rather do that and feel safe They are going to get Frank Stevens and Maryhew to do their house building. I do hope Mr. Maryhew doesn't make the mess for them he did for us. Of course Mr. Stevens does good work. But that other fellow couldn't put a button on my barn door. Mr. Hunter tore the work out and done it over for us.

Our weather is wonterful for this time of year. Will put the Dor. spray on as you suggest. Both Jos. and I think that if people sprayed right they wouldn't have all these troubles. I hope our neighbor trys to keep his orchard clean this year.

Thanks for contents of letter also sweet pea seeds. They all came two days ago.

I'm very tired and sleepy so must hurry to bed. Have a boil on by wrist and a burned finger. Oh boy but I'm tired so must hurry to bed.

Jos. wants me to mention that he likes the Dohm horse but is it fast like queen how about it?

HOpe you keep well and have lots of water to drink since the snow.

With love Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich.
Apr. 2nd 1931

My dear Miss. Taft:-

We have been in to see Geo. Lardie + got our 1/4 cent and he says unless some of the outside fruit freezes we won't get over .5[cents] maybe not that. It doesn't sound very good he had a big story to put up. They have to get their their price whether we do or not These people that are setting 5 and six thousand cherry trees are going to be sorry.

Joseph has looked all over for a horse at last found one thru Tony Toulek. This man bought a tractor from Tony so Jos. got the horse for you. She is as sound as a dollar and short + blocky built but strong as a larger horse. has nice shoulders + neck is shorter than queen and not nearly so tall but Mr. T. says he knows you will like her about the size + heft you wanted and couldn't get. We simply can't match Queen. This one weighs between 11 and 12 hundred. When you see her if you don't want her we will take her off your hands. These long legged horses can eat their heads off and never be fat. Is a bay about the size of Fay Dohm's horses and got her for $100. Its the best we could do for the money have looked at lots of horses and couldn't find any as good as this. Must go to be as I'm tired. Cherry buds look fine. Mr. Lardie didn't advise us to spray with oil if not very careful people are going to burn their trees. Will write soon again.

With love.
Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich.
Apr. 6th 1931

My dear Miss. Taft: -

The weather is beautiful its hard for me to stay in the house when its so nice out. We went up to vote and saw all of my neighbors. Mr. Spruit certainly is educated for his post. Some of the smarty bunch got things explained to them so perhaps now they will understand.

The fruit looks wonderful so far and the next time I go in to T.C. will mail you some buds from your own orchard.

The Other parts of the harness is here now. Jos likes the new horse and the offer is still good if you don't want it he will buy her of you to go with nellie.

We still have patches of snow here and lots in the woods so haven't planted oats yet.

Miss. Taft Joseph would like me to tell you that he finds it impossible to stay longer than this Spring. He can't do the work on both places alone and Roger isn't willing to stay home and be out of work all year. So we feel after you come to let him get a steady position. Jos. is willing to stay up until then and take the same good care of your farm as always. please don't feel as tho' we are doing this to be mean. Its that we can't work both places and do justice to either of them when Roger is gone. Last Summer Jos had $15 a month left after he paid son and that doesn't pay. I regret leaving the place that has been home to us for 14 years. But find we must do it. Will you come in June the same as before?

Edd Allen is still here and would like to take Joseph's place when we leave of course he isn't married but you will find he is very reliable and everyone likes him. He has worked on a fruit farm for several years here in Mich. and understands most any kind of work. He would be willing to let you live in part of the house or all of it if he had some place to eat and sleep. You need not feel afraid of him as he is a man that minds his own business more than lots of the so called nice married men. Of course he wouldn't want to work this summer + then be turned off in the winter time. He can work on the road until you come if you can hire him. I will leave your house all nice + ready for you and anything I have + can spare will be willing for you to use so as to save you from buying. I will have table + chairs that you would be welcome to use.

Please let me know if you would care to have Edd work for you.

Your's with love, Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich.
Apr. 13th 1931

Dear Miss. Taft: -

Recieved your letter today and will hasten to reply. We are having very nice weather in fact nicer than I like to see it this time of the year. The snow is gone in fields but no rain so far. The ground is very much in need of it as we have had such high winds that dries every thing up.

Our cow freshened about Christmas time and your's last week so that is over for once more when should we take her away again? It isn't wise to take them too soon as they need strength the same as any thing else does.

Miss Taft please don't let this worry you as Joseph will stay until you come and get some one else And he will spray and take the same care of your farm as always. If he could posibly do the work alone we would stay with you. It isn't that I'm tired of living here and would like my own place best. Roger will soon be 20 years old and feels like having his own money so Jos. can't afford to pay him and work like he has to. You know Jos. has never been well since he over worked that one Summer. I would certanly rather be sure of a steady salary than to leave a good job. I would still like to be friends and if there is anything we can do to help would only be too glad to do it. It won't be so hard on you changing help if you are here to see to things your self. Spraying is the most important part of your farm work. If the places were closer together it would be much easier.

We expect spray material every day now + the treess will soon be ready for dousing Jos. don't like to put it on while freezing nights. The trees that have had oil spray look odd. All the dust and dirt cling on them. I'm afraid of that stuff altho' lots of the farmers are using it.

I'm sorry I mentioned Edd to you he didn't intend for you to cook his meals he could have did that himself. But he has hired out for the Summer now. As to the neighbors talking there are some that I would like to tie their tongues up. Most of the people here have been very nice to me and I love it here. It wouldn't be so bad if people could tell things as they hear it.

Joseph wants me to tell you that the garden lot you had seeded last year came thru fine and says its a pity to plow it up and seed over. We will plant your garden here as you wished. Jos. and Roger are busy every minute now as the time is at hand to hurry every thing along.

I've been under the weather all day so must go to bed now. I have so much to do that I can't lie down and rest during the day.

Hope you keep well.

As ever Essie K.

P.S. Please don't think hard of us as we will be on the square with you. And not leave while you are away. You will receive your buds in a few days now.

Apr. 14th 1931

Dear Miss. Taft: -

Am mailing you a few sour buds this morning. Joseph picked so few that there arn't many to see. But he doesn't like to pick cherries now that can't be put into a crate later on But they are enough for you to see how nice they are. But we are all living in fear as it is so warm no rain and no snow to hold our tender buds back. Sweet cherries are same as these.

I'm feeling misirable have a dreadful cough + cold my lungs pain quite a little. Hope you are well.

Jos. likes the new horse very much she is much smaller than queen but works just as fast. Wish you could drop in this morning and see your farm every thing looks so well. Jos. has all work under way very nicely. The air is full of Spring.

Lovingly Essie. (over)

Jos. is waiting for well man to look over the well we think the screen is coated is why the water flow is so small. That will cost very little. IF I see Mr. Lardie will speak to him about your 1/4 [cents] or not. I can if you wish me to do so.

Old Mission, Michigan
Apr. 18th 1931

My Dear Miss Taft:

Your letter came today so will answer as Roger can mail it in town this evening. Joseph wishes me to tell you that he will be glad to stay until July 1st then you can select your man while here.

We need rain so badly am glad Joseph set your new orchard last Fall as the ground has settled about them and are all ready to start growing this Spring. The fruit buds are coming much faster than we like to see them. Most people have their orchards all worked but not us Jos. will wait until the usual time. It doesn't pay to work too early.

I am 37 years old today It seems now as I look back I was only a girl when I came here have grown up on your farm.

If it doesn't rain soon am afraid the new seeding will suffer. Must hurry and finish supper now. We'll let you hear from more often as to fruit + etc.

Lovingly Essie

P.S. Please come to O.M. and we will wash our feet in the bay as mine are terriably sore. lots of water there. Thanks for Item from paper

Old Mission, Mich.
Apr. 26th 1931

My dear Miss. Taft: -

We have had that much wanted rain the first good one this Spring. Also more cold weather and snow. But don't think any harm has been done so far. The sweet cherries need only a few warm days and they will be ready for pink spray. All of your orders have been delivered. Mr. Lardie just got ferilizer in last week so Jos. had Tom bring it all out. As soon as it warms up a little he will sow oats and seeding but they only turn yellow when planted too early. Has ground all ready for it.

When I mailed the buds to you they were just ready to burst open but being closed up and kept warm helped them to hasten them on. The sour cherries are in their most dangerous stage now. So we hope they don't freeze.

Now for a few words of cherry gossip. The farmers here found out the cannning factory[ies] factories were hiring these so called state inspectors just in order to cheat us all they can. They were not state men at all So have held a meeting which we failed to attend. Now we have a car we would like to take in the cherry meetings and know what is going on about us. Mr. Willober and the other Geo Lardie men want .06 [cents] for their cherries from last season and expect to get it. But I doubt it. We'll let you know what I hear about it. Am mailing you a little scrap I clipped from the press so you can see for yourself. There likely was more in the Traverse City paper.

The Lardies have their house nearly done but it is very small isn't nearly so nice looking as the other one was not at all in keeping with the tower. Are making it as cheap as they can of course now days a person can have a small house and be very comfortable if you haven't a family.

I received your check some time ago will get accounts ready and mail to you. Jos. bought a small can of Gas for first spray as the oil trucks seldom come in here early.

Tom charged $8.50 for the load he brought. There was a ton of ferilizer from Lardie besides the other items. I didn't pay T.R. did you wish me to?

Hope you keep well as so many are sick. I'm not all over my sick spell yet. My washings are the hardest for me with such a lame back.

Lovingly, Essie K.

P.S. It must have been some of Ernest's family who suggested Ralph to you again. He certainly wasn't honest with us. We are poor but have never taken any thing that didn't belong to us. And try to pay our debts. I hope you can get some one that you can trust. I sure hate to leave here as this seems more like my home than up there. Its so pretty here in the Summer green every where. Hope the next people will be good to the stock.

Old Mission, Michigan.
April 29th 1931

My dear Miss Taft:-

I'm not surprised to hear that light sweet cherries are in demand as they are my favorite for sauce or salads. They also make fine pie. At least I think so.

Joseph and I both think you are wise in selling the farm as it only adds to extra care and worry for you altho' I know you enjoy it too as you have a very pretty place here. If any one comes we will do our best to sell it. It is a paying farm and more coming on all the while. Roger would have liked it but don't see how we could pay for it. Please try not to worry it makes me feel bad to think of you feeling miserable and then all these trying days in a school room. Jos. wants me to tell you that he will try harder than ever to keep things up Roger will stay will us as long as we are here.

The bay has gone down low again and the swamp nearly dry so suppose that is the reason for our well going so near dry that Jos couldn't get spray water so have the well man here he is having a time can't get the screen and point out will dynamite it tomorrow A.M. he may have to go a little deeper the cylinder is ruined so a new one will be needed but will use the same pipes. I told him not to make a cent more expense than he had to. Oh how I have wished I could talk to you today. Its so hard to know what to do when you arn't here. But know we must have water in order to spray. The buds are being held back some on accound of cold weather but a few days of sun means spray again and we must be prepared for it. Our own well needs fixing before many months but Jos. hasn't time to bother with it now. I have about a [barell] barrel of cistern water as a supply and no more only down to the woods. We are thankful for that. I sure if you were here you would have this work done the same as we are. Jos kept thinking perhaps spring rains would come and help us out a little but not much of that so far.

We heard that Mrs Mills Ruff and her husband had a car accident on their way home how bad it was I couldn't say will mention next time if I hear.

Must go to bed as I tired tonight with all the extra work.

Your's as ever. Essie K.

P.S. Thursday A.M. we had a hard frost froze 1/2 inch on water tubs on the back porch the ground is white. I'm glad your orchard is high as low land cherries are sure to be hurt if we have much of this. the sun is bright today and suppose it will be warm. A year ago we put pink spray on cherries the 1st day of May I have kept an account of freezes + etc. Must hurry as R wants to mail

Old Mission, Michigan
May 2nd 1931

My dear Miss Taft:

Its raining again this A.M. one of those cold spring rains. this will help hold the fruit back for a while I'm very thankful.

I'm so sick and have been for 3 days I can scarcely hold my head up but have to plod on. I've got a terrible cold and it has settled in my eyes I can't read even to the daily paper. Mr. Allen has been here for meals three days so I have had to keep on the job some how.

We don't know what to do about the well he put in three days work broke the cylinder and dynamited the old screen after he had put in hours trying to get it out. Jos. told him we would write to you before we let him go deeper he went about 5 feet and the water isn't there so we can't get enough to pump for spraying. Will you be willing to have him go deeper. you will need very little more material it will be mostly labor. Its so hard to find any man to work on a well Mr. Allen is good but is getting old. I don't know of any one better people here think he does good work. I told him to make out his bill so far as I was afraid you wouldn't want any more expense. Jos. has tried to get on with the pump as it was but it refufsed to go on and we need it so bad right now. There is some water but not much. I was going to send you a telegram last night and then thot perhaps I could more fully explain in a letter without so much expense.

We used gas for first or dormant spray from our car tank so just bought this the other day. We got a larger can of grease as the smaller ones was nearly as much so got this size.

Please ans as soon as you can so we will know what to do.

All is coming fine on the farm so far.

Much love Essie.

.25 harness rivits 4.47 to your credit
2.25 gas 5.00 check
1.45 grease ____________
____________ 9.47
3.95 expense 3.95
$5.52 to your credit
May 2nd 1931

Old Mission Mich.
May 4th 1931

My dear Miss. Taft:

Just read your telegram we had all ready called Mr. Allen back and he is at work. With this beautiful sun-shine we will soon need to put pink spray on. We were nearly beside ourselves not knowing what to do. Jos + I didn't want to add this expense to you as I can plainly see the lady now who is always making over what others throw away. It always hurts us to see things like this come up but many other wells are the same. With so little rain fall. Please don't think us foolish for asking you what to do. But as long as you are trying to sell its too bad to pay out all this hard earned money. YOu are working the same as we are and money is hard to get. Will let you know how we are coming in a day or two.

I'm some better but not feeling good. It seems such an effort for me to do my work. Every thing is dirty and my back in too sore to bend over a wash tub for hours.

Mrs. Russel is very low has liver trouble + phneumonia they never expect to see her live from one day to another.

Hope you keep well so many are sick here.

Lovingly Essie.

Thanks so many times for letting us hear from you we will feel more at ease knowing [over] you are willing for us to go on.

Old Mission, Mich.
May. 10th 1931

My dear Miss. Taft:

YOur last letter was missent to Suttons bay so I just received it yesterday.

We have had barrels of rain here since last Wed morning so haven't been able to get much work done still have no material to set the screen so haven't water so far. But Jos. can get plenty from swamp for this Spray. Sweets need pink tomorrow and Mont's will be ready in a few days. Jos. can't spare Roger to help Mr. Allen many more days as he needs him on the farm. The fruit is all right so far of course we never know from one day to the next what will happen. Every one is hurrying about to get every thing in shape its just one big rush from now on.

I'm feeling some better have an electric washer out to try and get the dirty clothes cleaned up. Wish I had your winter blankets could have them all cleaned in nice rain water. Its so easy to wash that way I don't feel tired at all Hazel will help me tomorrow.

Jos. likes the new horse very well. Do you still want Jos. to fence the pasture off. There is very little this Spring for cows don't see how they can get along with out it. Will fence it off if you wish. The seeding was in just before these nice rains so ought to do well. No garden has been planted so far. I want to try and get at it soon now.

Must go to bed as I'm tired. Will write again in a few days.

With love Essie.

The telegram came Collect.

May 15th 1931

Dear Miss Taft:

Just a line to let you know all is well so far. Cherries are very beautiful sprayed sours pink on them yesterday.

The well man is still working on your well no water yet and the drilling is nearly like stone can't make any head way. Jos. + Roger simply can't help him any longer as the farm needs both men from now on everything comes in a heap. Your seeding is coming up very nice.

Must hurry as they are waiting I'm so sorry you couldn't be here for the well job to see for your self. I'm only charging 25 [cents] - meal to be as easy on you as I can. Its hard for me to have extra to cook with for all my work.

With love Essie.

Old Mission, Mich.
May 19th 1931

Dear Miss. Taft:

The weather has been beautiful so far. Had our first thunder storm last night has rained for 24 hours straight nice + easy. We were in need of it again. The swamp hasn't enough water for our little frogs to sing as they usually do. The oats and seeding are coming very nice Your new meadow has some light spots in it but the older one is looking good. prospects for hay looks well so far.

The sweets cherry petals are falling while sours are in full bloom but had several nice days before the rain so they oughts set well. How I wish you could see your orchard it looks like a large field of snow from a distance its so full of bloom. Apples are just coming out now.

I too feel as you do about help its hard to find a man you can trust while away. All I can say is that I'm sorry Joseph has to leave you if there was some way he could manage he would have stuck by another year or two. Its a big responsibility caring for other peoples interests and Jos. has more than tried altho' some times its pretty hard for both of us. For instance this well we don't know what to do. Mr. Allen says he feels like giving it up he is in some kind of soil that fills the pipe faster than he can pump it out. before it was hard pan + rock. He is over 75 feet and been working two weeks this last stretch. He charges $1.00 an hour for most well work, I don't know what to do. He thinks by putting a 3 inch pipe + a thin 2 in inside it would be quicker work but the expense is so much mor. Jos. said no to keep on trying. Either one or the other of the men has helped him every day up until the past 3 days now the farm work must be caught up again. As the corn must be planted soon and your garden in also cherry orchards need the most tender care of all if we expect them to do for us. You have to plan on your income the same as we do. The [spray] water tank is here and Jos. is trying to fill it rain water as that will nearly do the next Spraying. What will we do let him go on regardless of expense or stop until you come? We are getting most awful tired of the way that well is going if Joe understood it he would do it him self.

I'm trying to write to you but instead my eyes wander out of the front yard that is green like velvet. It seems so good after the bare trees.

There isn't enough wire to fence the pasture as you wished so will need more. Your grain seed came today.

I called central about the telegram + it was charged from T.C. to O.M. haven't received this bill so far.

Asa Curtiss the man who has wored for Dave Murray for a no of years was crushed beneath a large stone he was trying to sink. Died this A.M. Mr. Murray thought so much of him it seems a pity while so many worthless bums live on.

Well I must go to bed as I'm nearly tired out tonight.

Hope to see you in a few weeks.

With love Essie K

May 26th 1931

Dear Miss. Taft: -

Just a few lines this morning to let you know how every thing is coming along here. Miss. Taft I have always felt as tho' you were a big sister or mother to me as I have never had any of my own people to depnd upon like some have. And remember you are always welcome to come and even stay at our home any time you care to. I'm so glad you are going to live down there this Summer. Would you like to have us stay with you until you return from Canada. I want to try and make our plans its hard for me to get every thing done as I'm not feeling at all well. My old trouble returns as soon as I'm on my feet a lot. I wish I could sleep late just one morning without a bushel of work waiting Its 10 minutes of six now and breakfast is over.

Those Wheats that wrote you are some of Ernests friends and beware of them they are trying hard to get some one here like that Many truck loads leave our neighbors farm in the Fall and they don't like us to see it. I'll be so glad to get Hazel away from those girls they are not nice to have about. Mrs. Wheat runs to dances + is very rough and coarse. There is a family of Fosters too that would like to get in but please don't try such as you would only be sorry would be all right while you was about. We will be glad to do all we can to help you just ask as we know quite a little about the working class about here.

Have had lots of rain and several frosts it has hurt some low cherries Hope yours are all right they look pretty good so far. Hay fields look quite well. Especially the old meadow.

JOs. had Mr. Allen leave the well and send for a 5 ft. screen + see if we couldn't draw pipe up farther + set the screen because as it is no telling what it would cost to go on We bought 2# dynamite from Helfrich so far and now he got onto a large rock so will have to wait as he has to have this screen come from Chicago or G. Rapids. This has been a big worry to us as its hard to know what the other fellow wants when you are so far apart.

The Kauer cow is sick this morning It may be a cold Roger will drive down to Old Mission + get salts + linseed [old?] so we can doctor her up if she isn't better by night we may have to get a doctor. Lardies have had a sick cow too.

I wish I could like Mrs. Lardie but I can't much as I try she says such nastly little things all the time always trying to pick us and sneaking so many of the neighbors are turning her cold. Well I must hurry so Roger can mail this and get cow medicine

Tom Richard paid $2.20 freight on the tank and charged $1.00 for hauling so you owe him $3.20 I didn't pay this bill. Thought perhaps you would rather pay by check.

Much love Essie K

Jos. won't leave your things down there yet we brought them here some one stole onions + pie plant + was about our building so moved things up stairs here so all is safe.

May 27th 1931

Dear Miss. Taft:

The cow is better but nearly lost her. I called Mr. Tompkins early in the morning to find out what to do. We gave her 1# salts 2 table spoons ginger and two of soda. I watched her very closely at at noon she changed + got much worse so tried to talk to Dr. Scott + he was out of town so called Mr. Tompkins again and had him come over. The minute he saw the cow he said she had milk fever and was very sick. I never saw a cow so sick before atho' I was raised on a farm and always loved cows and horses. He took a car pump and a quill from the roosters tail + pumped her udder full of air in Two hours she was on her feet. But isn't quite all right yet. The pasture is so poor we will have to put one cow up at our place + stake this one out. I sat on my little rocking chair part of the afternoon and held the chain so she could mow the front lawn for me and not get tangled up in the trees. She is such a pet. Mr. T. said she took cold and that helped to bring this on he says it happens quite often to cows. But this is my first experience + hope it is the last one. Mr. T. charged $3.00 for the afternoon and another trip + I feel he did just as well as Dr. Scott + not nearly so expensive. I have always call the T. people for advice in order to save Dr. bills but this was once the worst nearly happened. If it had of been an hour later she couldn't have been saved. I didn't pay him.

Jos. has the corn planted and only about 6 old stumps are left on your new corn field I think it looks very well. I hope you think so too. Cherries look fairly well. Have had a beautiful day the first real Summer day so far. petals are falling now so will soon have an idea of what we will have altho' they say we won't get a price this year.

Mr. Spruet was her inquiring if we had any new tools I said no he visited quite a little while and drove on.

Mr. Allen hasn't returned to finish his job yet. Mr. Spruet says he knows a lot about wells and is good.

You will think I'm silly writing so often but know you are wondering how every thing is coming. All is going well again but water. I tried to pack some things today but haven't the heart to do it but must. I hate to think of leaving its so beautiful here now with green grass + leaves and thousands of pretty blossoms.

Will mail accounts in this letter so you can see where you stand. Your letter just came Mr. Allen isn't here now we feel very much disgusted with the way things have gone on the well. He ate 28 meals here @ .25 per meal. I won't charge any more than that

Much love Essie K.

.70 for bits for horses @ .35 cents each
.15 axel grease
7.00 for 28 meals @ .25 each
7.85 expenses
5.52 no more credit on hand
$2.33 you owe me

You can do as you wish about Mr. A board he says he gets his board where ever he works so doesn't have to pay it. I don't like to pay him for labor until he gets thru but suppose will have to pay as long as you sent it. Please excuse pencil can't find pen

June 1st 1931

Dear Miss. Taft:

Well here it is the first day of June I wrote most of this letter May 27th Joseph forgot to mail it Thurs + Fri. when I discovered it there was no opportunity as there was no mail left here Sat. + Sun. so here I am yet. Will try again this morning.

There was another light frost down in the swamp but not a freeze. Jos. first planted the garden yesterday Sun as it would only freeze as it did a year ago. The ground is full of cut worms so doubt if we get much garden I always have to plant at least twice. It would pay to plant later than now only it makes every thing so late. I'm having some radishes planted for you some of the long white kind they require very little care perhaps I will have some to spare if yours don't come on. I want to buy some tomato plants if I can find some will remember you.

Mr. Allen has been off from this job for nearly two weeks and hasn't showed up yet to try and finish up of course the screen he ordered may not have come yet. But even so he knows we need water the worst kind of a way. So if he hangs off another week Jos. will tell him to finish up when you come here yourself. It put Joe + Roger way behind with their work and why should he care. We want to keep things up nice so you won't think we have been on vacation. The sweet cherries are to be sprayed this morning they are very good. Sours are not out far enough to tell yet but look all right as far as I can see now. Sours + apples will need spraying the last of this week or first of next. The hay fields are growing only where there were patches burned out of last years seeding. Joseph thought he could get on with out any more hay but since we had a sick cow + have had to feed her he will need a few more bales to Spring out on. If Mr. Willobees dust had of been better hay we would have had enough. The sweet clover is growing nice out north of the house. Its time for corn to come up hope it doesn't freeze off.

Will look about fence wire if I go in town today the men haven't time to take me and I can't drive so will go in with my neighbors. We can bring it in our cars if it isn't too large a bundle if so will have Tom haul it. I suppose it will be quite heavy too.

I must hurry + send this out to mail.

With love Essie K.

P.S. Please don't judge me by hand writing as I seldom have time to do any thing but scribble.

Old Mission
Sept. 1931

Dear Miss Taft

We were glad to hear that you arrived ok.

But a very long journey alone.

The last load of apple are just going and will send you the return soon. $.20 per hundred. and that all there going to pay for later fall apple to.

Max has all the corn cut and is digging out around the barn.

We have had two terrible storm one Sunday and other Wednesday. and the road is nearly impassable it is washed so.

Max said he guessed he have to tell Archie Helfrich there was a cross road down here.

Ronald is begging me to take him. Walk two + three steps alone.

They are having school fair to-nite at ogdensburg school. I had to donate for the fish pond.

You went away just a day too early

The next morning Max came in with a whole arm full of those big white puff balls. Got them out in the old pasture.

My cucumber vines are still bearing good yet.

I just done up 14 quarts of dill pickles

And I got 8 more pints of beans. Will close for this time

Max + Family

P.S. As I have your letter finished and went outside Max said the grader was on the road fixing it So will have a good road again.

The lantern cost $1.25 and the buckets $.20 a piece [?} and will get tickets on apples as soon as we go to town (over) and send them to you. We are having terrible electric storm.

You will have to excuse this letter as I run out of writing paper and it is some what mixed up.

Gene Russell has seven ton of hay. 7' to sell at $15.00 per ton which he want to sell very bad before he goes to Florida the first of october. And he says you can leave it in barn and get it went ever you want it.

Old Mission, Michigan
Sept. 30th 1931

My dear Miss. Taft: -

You will begin to think I've forgotten you but I certainly have not. Thanks many times for the stockings hope to find time some day to start a rug. But have been very busy every day with a lot of good things in the garden that needed attention right away. have most of my cans full. and nearly two bushels of beans all threshed. It was lots of hard work because I did it by hand. Its nice to be prepared for winter.

We have had some dreadful electric storms since you left the roads have been in the worst condition I've ever seen them. the road crews are still trying to clean the sand out where it was carried into the road bed. other places was washed out so badly that we have lots more land in our apple orchards now. They say the Wunsch farm was left in bad shape. some places they can't get thru' with a tractor.

JOseph has been very busy trying to get things in shape for winter got our corn all cut now and ready to husk.

The Peoples Saving Bank + First National bank are going to combine in order to keep going a person can't get their money out to use so its going to make every thing much worse than it has been. We were called to a Bank meeting they had on Monday evening in Traverse City. Maybe every thing will come out all right. If we don't lose our savings.

Some time in the near future we intend to see Mr. Lardie and find out what they are going to do for Mi. Cherry Grower. But suppose they will be dumb as usual. Roy Hooper is selling cherries for M.C. Growers and they hope to be able to get four cents for the grower. If we get .03 cents we will be lucky this year.

I hardly know how to write you a letter now since we aren't working for you as I usually had farm news. Its hard for me to get used to this place.

Mrs. Lardie had Ladies aid at her house today so I went. We had a very nice time. The lunch was very good but some how she got kerosine in the sugar so our first cup of coffee was spoiled.

My thumb is so sore I can hardly hold the pen to write so please excuse the hen tracks.

I am very sorry Alberta didn't get over to see me before she left. I waited all day and hoped to be up before you left.

Am very tired so must go to bed now so as to be ready for [xxxxx] tomorrow as there is lots more to do.

Thanks again for the package

With love Essie

P.S. Its been so hot here we nearly perished couldn't sleep nights am grateful for cooler weather. Have thought of you every day I miss your letters so much it was a habbit of 14 years so its hard to get over it.

Old Mission, Michigan
Sept. 30th 1931

My dear Miss. Taft: -

You will begin to think I've forgotten you but I certainly have not. Thanks many times for the stockings hope to find time some day to start a rug. But have been very busy every day with a lot of good things in the garden that needed attention right away. have most of my cans full. and nearly two bushels of beans all threshed. It was lots of hard work because I did it by hand. Its nice to be prepared for winter.

We have had some dreadful electric storms since you left the roads have been in the worst condition I've ever seen them. the road crews are still trying to clean the sand out where it was carried into the road bed. other places was washed out so badly that we have lots more land in our apple orchards now. They say the Wunsch farm was left in bad shape. some places they can't get thru' with a tractor.

JOseph has been very busy trying to get things in shape for winter got our corn all cut now and ready to husk.

The Peoples Saving Bank + First National bank are going to combine in order to keep going a person can't get their money out to use so its going to make every thing much worse than it has been. We were called to a Bank meeting they had on Monday evening in Traverse City. Maybe every thing will come out all right. If we don't lose our savings.

Some time in the near future we intend to see Mr. Lardie and find out what they are going to do for Mi. Cherry Grower. But suppose they will be dumb as usual. Roy Hooper is selling cherries for M.C. Growers and they hope to be able to get four cents for the grower. If we get .03 cents we will be lucky this year.

I hardly know how to write you a letter now since we aren't working for you as I usually had farm news. Its hard for me to get used to this place.

Mrs. Lardie had Ladies aid at her house today so I went. We had a very nice time. The lunch was very good but some how she got kerosine in the sugar so our first cup of coffee was spoiled.

My thumb is so sore I can hardly hold the pen to write so please excuse the hen tracks.

I am very sorry Alberta didn't get over to see me before she left. I waited all day and hoped to be up before you left.

Am very tired so must go to bed now so as to be ready for [xxxxx] tomorrow as there is lots more to do.

Thanks again for the package

With love Essie

P.S. Its been so hot here we nearly perished couldn't sleep nights am grateful for cooler weather. Have thought of you every day I miss your letters so much it was a habbit of 14 years so its hard to get over it.

Old Mission Mich
Oct 1931

Dear Miss Taft

The weather is beautiful again. After so much rain.

The cisstern is nearly full. And the orchard was not washed any to amount to anything or the plowable ground either

But about ten shock's of corn stood in water at foot of hill

The road was completely washed out. We had to go up thru Mr Griffin's orchard But is fixed up know a lot wider and ditched on both sides.

But brush isent cut yet. Max hasent dug the beets or carrots yet.

He has been husking corn. has 97 bushel in crib so far and the piece up in the little orchard only half done. and other peice about 1/2 The little orchard has 45 bushel and feild by the woods 52.

Mr Roy Holmes is buying apples and is paying .25 cents per bushed just taking out the cinders. But don't know if he is going to take the later one or not.

Max say there isen't much [seeders?] up there at all.

Max took all the hay. Mr Richards diden't have any straw + none in sight. He said would have to have Mr Willibe find some.

May say its very good hay. And would it be all right with you to sell two ton to get some straw if he got the chance.

Max say he don't know of any one to help haul the hay except his brother which would help him for his board.

Max say he going to haul the hay just as soon as the corn is husk Beet + carrots dug

We havent had any frost yet.

Mr + Mrs Francis Lardie + Mr + Mrs Ruft + Mr Gene Russell is leave for Florida Oct 15

Am sending the check for the apples

Max got the check the day before your letter came. But the weight is right on check. The Reliegh man came and we got a bottle of that Colic + Bloat medicene which was a $1.25. Max owed Fay Dohm 2 dose

I guess that all the new's except the cow is coming up on the milk since all the rain. I suppose the grass has more juice.

Max + Family

Old Mission, Mich
Oct 20th 1931

Dear Miss. Taft:

I wrote you a letter a long time ago thanking you for the package you left me. Also so sorry you didn't get here too so I could tell you good bye. I watched and waited all day Wed. but didn't see you.

I sent my letter to Traverse City by a friend and haven't had a reply to either of them so feel as tho' they were not mailed.

Told you what I could find out in regards to cherries + etc.

Hope you are well. I keep wondering why you don't write

As ever your's,
Essie K.

P.S. I know you must be very busy so don't try to tax yourself with a big long letter. I miss both you and your letters please don't think I have failed you. If you haven't heard from me I will then ask if my letter was mailed

Old Mission
Oct. 1931

Dear Miss Taft

We nearly forgot to write It has been such beautiful weather one's enjoy's ever hour. I dont suppose there will be many more nice day's

We have all kinds of music since hunting season is on Max went twice but diden't get anything.

The brush on the road side is cut at last. and Max got the wood nearly a cord. It sure makes it a lot nicer with it cut.

The pumpkins is harvested (over) and there was 140 ripe ones 15 Greenones + not fully matured 7 bushel of Carrots quite small 20 bushel Beet. and there was 70 bushel of corn off the piece in little orchard and the corn run pretty good. in quality

The other piece by wood 60 bushel. and that had not very good corn.

Did I tell you that Mr Richards want .10 cents hundred for hauling.

Morgan is paying .15 cents hundred know. and isen't taking any right know.

Max say he is going sell the good Balwin's to Kay Holmes and don't how much yet but he is paying more then any one else.

Ronald is at last walking and sure is a lot better natured. to.

The cow sure enjoy the pumpkins

I saved some of those summer squash seed. for next year. and feed rest of squash to the pigs and there was about 12 squash and there still string bean coming yet. I got about 8 ripe tomatoes off your vines

The Maple tree's in front of house is just a green as they ever was. till this week and they are turning a little. But tree's in wood are colored up beautiful.

I am still canning. But am near my end - have an other batch of quince jelly to make and will be done.

Max is going to buzz wood this coming week.

Max say there two beach trees on the south side of pasture that are dead. Max has the pasture all plowed.

I guess that all the news for this time.

Max + Family

Old Mission Mich
Oct 26, 1931

Dear Miss Taft

Please excuse us for not answering your letter right away. As I forgot writing material when I went to town.

The weather is still very nice yet

Max buzzed wood to-day. His half brother came with his tractor and buzzed it.

The piece of corn in the little orchard had 70 bushel of corn and very good quality. and piece by wood had 60 bushel and quatity was poor. There was 7 bushel carrots and quite small. 20 bushel of beet. (over) 140 ripe pumkins + 15 green - not fully matured

Mr Lardie came to collect for for telephone call.

We will pay the bill if you would like to have us.

The beans are not going to get ripe enough for seed they are still bearing good yet. I could go out pick about 15 or 20 quarts know. But have ever can full.

We are glad you like the way the letters are wrote.

The brush on road side is cut and Max got the wood which was about a cord.

The fly's are terrible up here. Ronald is at last walking

Max is going to sell rest of apple to Roy Holmes at .70 per hundred for good one's. Cider apples has took a drop to .15 per hundred

Mr Richard wanted .10 per hundred to truck the other ciders

I guess that all the news for this time

Max + Family

Nov 9. 1931

Dear Miss Taft

The weather look very much like a storm.

Max got all the corn fodder in barn He changed work with Fay Dohm. Max started to plow the garden and just nicely got started when plow handly broke. He got a new pair but they weren't the right kind. So he has to exchange them

The leaves are all on cherries trees yet and are just begining to turn gold.

Max got apples picked there wasent enough good one to bother with to sell

I expect you know Francis Lardie died in Florida Oct 30. Thay all came back the next day after thay got here at supper time Mrs. Lardie had a stroke in her left side leg + arm + face and is still in bed. But will recover and is going to Northport to spend the winter with her sister. It has been very sad.

The other's are returning to Florida as soon as Mrs Lardie up + around again

A Mr's Jenning we understand has bought which use to be your siser place (over) and is building two cottages. Mr. Willes is building them.

The cow sure enjoys here pumpkins she is still on grass but it is getting pretty scarce.

Mr. Allen was here to see how well was coming. It still pumps a little sand but he think it will clear up after while He has been very sick with heart trouble. He look bad.

Tony Dohm my brother-in-law is going up north deer hunting and is all excited about it There are several others going to and there lot that would like to go but feel that thay can't afford it.

No there is nothing slow about Ronald know. he sure is gaining speed.

I guess this is all the news about there is.

Max + Family

[Dec 01, 1931]

Dear Miss Taft

I am sorry to be so late in in answering your last letter

My bro past away in ann arbor and so much to do ever since. In getting the place shored up. and last of trouble.

We have had lots of rain + wind it blew down a big tree again. We had a light fall of snow last week but is nearly all gone know.

Max traded a ton and half 1 1/2 of hay for a ton + half 1 1/2 straw to Fay Dohm and he hauled it eight miles out on route four

Max has the garden plowed + corn fields by the wood's and stumps nearly burnt but it has been so wet thay dident burn good.

I want to tell you about the plow handles Max had to return the other ones thay weren't the right fit, so he took them back and the next one where $1.50 and thay were just in the ruff and he make them himself Max has been fixing the horse stable So thay wouldn't throw out there hay. Max fixed up the yard to turn out the horses and cow. in nice weather

The horse sure feel good.

The swamp is a regular lake know.

The leaves have all diappeared off Cherry trees at last. Thay stayed on so long.

OUr brother-inlaw is home but no deer. Thay say thay are very scarce.thing this year.

Max but on the double windows + painted storm door and but them on. He had a hard time to get them to fit.

I guess that all the news for this time

Max + Family

Old Mission, Michigan
Dec. 13th 1931

My dear Miss Taft: -

I wrote you a letter fully six weeks ago and found it in the buffet with my table cloths still unmailed so will try it once more and have Jos. mail it this time.

I'm just as busy as ever it seems I can find so many things to do am cooking for school children again as it helps quite a little a year like this. It seems as tho' every thing has gone bad but could be worse. Jos. started the 1st of Sept. to do Janitor work and got quite a litle day work so feel so thankful for that. Roger is still home with us and hope he doesn't go away.

Suppose you know all about Mr. Lardie. We were out to see Ida two weeks ago today she is some better but doubt is she ever gets entirely over it. She had a stroke the day or so before the funeral

What did you do for Thanksgiving I worked all day and had Supper out in the evening had a lovely time.

It seems every week something goes on to take my extra time so I hardly know where the time flies to.

I miss your letters this Fall but can't expect you to write or even think of me when I don't answer your letters. We drove past the place once + it made me feel sick so stay away. Your corn was still out there and looked like lonely old spookes standing alone + the leaves all off of the trees. There are some things I would like to mention but perhaps is none of my affair.

Jos. + I had 84 bu. of corn that wasn't much but enough to feed our stock. Also lots of nice fodder. Our garden was the nicest it ever has been.

How are the Stutsmans? I never hear from any of them Hope they are well. And Mr Stutsman has a job. I suppose this is Alberta's last year in college

Hazel is doing well in school this year and her health is much better Jos. is feeling quite well for him.

We have had a light snow storm and a cold snap but is warm again. The Fall was very damp + little sunshine wonder what kind of a winter we will have. Mr. Lardie brought us a radio several weeks ago so we get the Ill. weather forcast every day I hardly think you will have a water shortage there this year. Our soft water cistern is large and it has run over several times

How is the well at your place? Did it come out all right? I hope so after all the worry + expense. I thot' I would turn gray last Spring it seemed every thing went wrong. Maybe Mrs. Gillmore won't worry as I did. At least it is best to take things cool. I would like to see dear old queen and pet her nose just once. She was so gentle and I always loved animals

Well I expect company so must hurry and finish this. Please don't wait as long as I did to answer Will do better next time.

Yours with love
love Essie.

[Dec 15, 1931]
Dear Miss Taft

In reply to your letter we recieved to-day.

We have had just a little touch of winter but was all gone in a few day. But it is snowing quite steady to-nite It is coming down real easy.

Max has been helping Bill Dohm buzzy wood in return for the use of his engine to buzz up some he has got piled up again.

He has the box stall nearly full of screaded corn fodder.

The carrots + beet are not keep thay seem to rot so bad. ever one is having the same trouble. and ever one is lossing lots of apple to.

The cow is going down on her milk a little at a time. But still am getting enough to make end meet.

Ronald is very cross with a cold + cutting teeth.

They say Mrs. Ida Lardie is able to see across the the room know. and set up for first time last week for 15 minutes

There isn't much much new's this time. We haven't killed the pigs yet waiting for cold weather.

Mr Wilber is still very busy building his two cottages. It seem thay have hauled enough lumber by here to build five cottages.

Mr Richards is doing all the plowing down there. Which is very luck for him. to get the extry work.

Will close for this time
Max + Family

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