[Written on the envelope: M. B. Yocum Esq, Alta City, Little Cotton Wood, Utah Sent from: Belton MO, May]
[first part missing] a nice ladie I am real glad to get acquainted with her they are going have a Strawberry Festival at Belton(1) in about a week I wish you were here to go with us we will miss you very much again always want you to come to any such a place when we are going to have anything. Jinnie says to tell you to come home so you can keep the girls from exposing their silly selfs. Ida the smartest little child had to cry in the store the other day about you and the boys & girls too are laughing at her She says you was just a Brother to her now I want you to come home Take care of your little Sister she says she never thought of you as a sweetheart in her life you was so much like a dear Brother. Aunt Sue(2) says tell you that she cannot get used to being without you She like myself thinks & talks about you at every coming up and going down of the King of days there is an absent one & vacant chair when we meet each other we find it is hard that we must be compelled to say we are not all at home I have dreamed of you several times since you have been gone but only woke to find that it was only a mistake I often catch myself saying is it possible that Bery is to stay away so long I did not tell you anything about Joe & Josie & the Baby I took dinner there while I was down the Baby is real prettie it had grown so much I would have hardly known it. I went to see Mrs Johnson & Lue. I left Lue crying to come home with me I would have brought her with me if I had of had room for her. Cora Farr has been out to H----e at her Granma's staying for about three weeks she had just been gone a few days when I went down. Did not get to see her, her Granma says she is larger now than I am I believe I have written all the news now I can think of now write soon & a long letter & give me credit for a long note for it is the longest one I ever wrote in my life so good Bye & good Angels guard this truly your friend Sallie.
Home July the 19th 74(3)
Our Dear Berry(4)
I positively must write to you it has been two weeks since I received your dear good letter this is the longest I have neglected you since you have been gone this is almost the only time I have had since I received your letter for writing we have had company & Aunt Sue(5) has been quite sick since you wrote but is better now she was real sick last Monday had the Doctor to see her but she is able to be up now most of the time she was looking ever so much better until she had this last spell it makes her look rite pale. Well we were real glad to hear you had quit work in the mines. I don't like under ground work, We have had another festival not a Cumberland(6) festival but a “ North Methodist” festival you should have been here as you are so partial to them, it was a raspberry instead of a strawberry festival but it was real nice. You think the weather is warm, warmer yea hot out there do you think it is somewhatly that away here once in a while. I had a letter from Mary Ann the other day, she went over to Pleasant Hill on the fourth, she and Mannie (Munrie?) Jordon & he killed his horse, drove it until it just died. I am not a bit sorry for him he should have known better than that. Mary Ann wanted to know what you wrote. She did not say anything about the music I do not expect she had received it when she wrote. Well I have news to tell you Uncle Mike(7) is going to start to Ireland in the morning to get his children, we all hate to see him go ever so much but he will go in spite of all we can say or do. I never expect to see him again but he thinks he will be back in about two months but I fear it will be a long two months before he returns. Uncle was at home today he only gets to come home Sundays a little while, I am anxious for his time to get out. Mr & Mrs Cooper is here now they came over to spend the afternoon with us they are both well. Bery you should be at home now we have plenty of chickens and the best garden we have had in a long time. We have the most nice things to eat intirely out of the garden. Oh yes our oleander is in bloom and is so pretty, my Chinese lillies are not going to bloom in this country. I do not believe they will bloom in this country, they are some of the blades turning yellow & it looks like they were going to die. I do wish so much that they would bloom. Granma(8) says to tell you that she shall never forget you in her prayers that you may someday return to your home & sends lots of love to you. Your Ma(9) is here says tell you she wants to see you so much, says you must take good care of yourself. Billie(10) wrote to you last week but directed his letter to Alta City(11) I hope you will get it he is so anxious to get a letter from you. Aunt Sue sends lots of love to you and says she wants to see you very much & will never forget to pray for you that god will protect her absent boy & Keep him from all harm and shield him from temptation while he is far away from home & kind friends. Eli received your letter the other day will write to you soon. Oh yes I like to forget to tell you that we are all going up to Laurence(12) to a picnic, we thought we would like to take a ride for fun & go with us. [last part of letter missing]
April 7, 1895
Mr Berry Yocum
It has been a long time since I heard from you, hope this will find you well. We are all well now. I have been poorly for quite a while. I taken the Gripp(14) in February. There is so much sickness here this winter, has been so much fatal sickness amongst old and young. Pneumonia Fever has been so bad and is still bad now. It seems like a person cant get over the Grippe here this winter. Suppose you received Aunt Sues(15) letter telling of our little boys(16) Death, he died so sudden, was not sick long, just quit playing Tuesday morning and died Wednesday eve. One Dr pronounced it membranous Croup(17), we don't know for certain but think it was conjestion of the lungs. It very near broke out hearts to give him up, he was getting to be so much company. He was always with me, he was such a bright little fellow. He was more like a child eight years old than a child of two. It is so lonesome here without him. I know we ought not to weep but I cant help it. We know he is in a brighter home and is better off out of this wicked world but it was so hard to give him up. The last thing he said was he drank all his milk in his little mug and handed it back and said “all gone” and died in about 15 minutes. I will send you one of his pictures soon. Fred(18) and I are going to have our pictures taken soon and will send them all together.
Little Charley was taken in August last during the Belton fair. He got the premium for being the finest looking baby and the premium was a baby carriage and we had a dozen pictures given him besides so we had him in the buggy when his picture was taken. After he died we sent and got another dozen. They are not very good, he has his head turned down.
Aunt Sue has been sick for four weeks, has ulcerations of the stomach and Bowels. We didn't have much hope of her at first but she is some better and now sits up a little. She has a real nice woman staying with her. Ma and Pa(19) are better, have both been sick all winter. Aunt Sally Grinter(20) is poorly. Aunt Meck Burney(21) was up to see Aunt Sue.
We have been having nice weather until the last few days are rainy. We have been putting in garden and sowing grain. We have a new cistern just finished, grass beginning to look green and nice. I am going to Kansas City(22) tomorrow to the Orphans home(23) to see about getting me a boy to help me, house help is so hard to get, good ones. I must close, write soon.
As ever your Sister
Don't forget to answer.
May 29th - 95
Mr Berry Yocum
Please excuse lead pencil. I am in a hurry tonight and have no ink downstairs. I am sorry to write you this sad letter for I know it will be a blow to you. Aunt Sue(26) died last Friday night at half past nine Oclock, May 24. Just went off like she was going to sleep, we all depended on what the Dr said and he didn't seem to be alarmed, he though she would get along. She had been in bed about six weeks and some times she would get better for a while a few days and then get worse and weaken every time, finally she got so week she just wore out, she never could eat anything to strengthen her to keep it in her stomach long enough to do any good..
She was so weak she could scarcely talk any, she was perfectly ready to go she said. Aunt Sue was a noble good woman we all know. She told Fred(27) on Tuesday before she died she was going to meet Uncle Chap(28) and little Charlie West(29) in heaven before long. She has not been like herself since our little Charlie died, she just Idolized that child, there was nothing that the child needed but what she would get it for him and often when he didn't need it. It seemed like she was heartbroken when he die and has been so ever since.
She did not arrange her business as she wanted to for the Dr told her he would tell her if he thought she would not get well. We all miss Aunt Sue every one, the Church has lost a great helper. Her funeral was preached Sunday at two Oclock at the Presbyterian church and then brought out here to the grave yard. She had a large monument put up for Uncle & herself several years ago.
Brother Moad our Pastor here preached her funeral sermon, you heard him preach when you were here. Her place in Belton will be sold and diveded up among her brothers and Sisters. And Uncle Chap will entitles Garrisons children to the land here all except about one hundred acres of the old Bryant place that has gone to his brothers and Sisters.
Fred had just bought 75 acres of land from Aunt Sue and paid fifteen hundred down on it and she takes his note for the balance, between 15 and 16 hundred and gave him 5 years to pay it in so so she concluded she was not going to get well so she gave Fred back his note and said no person culd claim it or collect ti if she died and Fred told her she would have to make her will before he could hold it so they sent for Travis Burney(30) but the Dr would not let her talk any so of course she did not then and she had Fred send for him three times and the Dr would not let her talk any so she did not get her business arranged as she wanted. I don't’ know if we will get our land or not. [last page missing[
Belton Mo 2-18-04
Mr. B. Yocum(31)
As Lucile is writing for the third time since receiving the Christmas Goods I will write a few lines and send it along. You no doubt think the Children (and Older Ones as well) are very dilatory about thanking you for your expression of remembrance on Christmas. But I hope when this reaches you and you get my Explanations of the matter you will feel somewhat differently about this matter. Lucile(32) and Berry(33) write you shortly after receiving the presents Expressing their most sincere appreciation, all others as well joining them as Everything was so nice and the fact that they were from Uncle Berry made them much more highly appreciated. I assure you she gave me the letter to mail and I mislaid it as a few days ago I found it in my desk and I told her I would put in a few lines But as I was not feeling well I neglected to write and today she said her letter was too old so she would write again. I am feeling somewhat improved. I decided to write. Mother(34) is very poorly and has been for some two or three weeks. But is some better the last few days. But one of her age improves very slowly Especially in cold weather when it is so very changeable. Sister Edies(35) little boy has been very sick but is now improving. Uncle Will Oldham(36) was buried here yesterday. He died of Pneumonia, was only sick a few days and very bad from the start. There is a great deal of that in this neighborhood at present. Luther(37) is up at my house resting from a severe attack of nervous prostration and is in a critical condition, has been bad off for some time, both Physically and Mentally. He had rather stay with me than any one Else so I have had him for some time and likely to have him for some time. I am greatly in hopes he will soon recover as he is greatly needed at home, his wife(38) is running the store in his absence and it is very trying on her. She is a business woman and gets along very well but is not strong and has three little children to look after, her mother is assisting her at the house.
I tell you Berry I am very thankful indeed that I can say that we have always had fairly good health and not enough of this worlds goods to grieve over. If we should loose all we have we try to raise our children so that we may in later years be proud of them and get them started out in life with a good name and Education Enough to get along with. And so far I feel considerably encouraged and as though my efforts have not been in vain. A few days ago there came [last part missing]
[Written on the envelope: Mr Berry Youcum, Hanford, Calif There is also a 2 cent stamp and the cancellation reads Belton, MO, Apr 8, 9AM]
Letters to Berry Yocum
LettersD1 - D5
read this section's footnotes,