Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Another Cousin Heard From

This letter was sent by Mary Whitlock who was the daughter of the oldest of the Barnett siblings, Cora Lee (Barnett) Whitlock. And I would venture to say it is written to Bernice Turner who has been part of previous posts.

(click the pic to enlarge)
(letter transcribed below)
Apparently Aunt Maggie's financial setbacks had begun.

She mentions not knowing 'their' address.
By this date Cora (Akers) Barnett 
had remarried to Rudolph Peterson.

I would take a guess that Mary was left-handed. (takes one to know one ;)

Riner Virginia
Sept. 17, 1932
Dear Mrs. Turner
Mother received your letter sometime ago and is unable to answer it, as she has something the matter with her hands, also kidney trouble and doesn't feel well. Roy, Walter and I have written to Aunt Mag since but she seems only to have gotten one letter I sent by air mail.
We are awfully sorry about Aunt Mag and I think my brothers will try to help her. However I had planned to spend the winter in New Orleans, LA. with my brother. Roy and Walter were going to give me this trip, but they said if I could spend this winter with Aunt Mag and help her for my board & room it would be cheaper and I don't imagine my clothes would be so expensive either as I went to New Orleans. I'm just crazy to come west, do you think Aunty would have any place for me as that I could get a job out there. My brother said he could come after me in his car in the Spring.
Is Sadie going to school this fall? I'd sure love to see her, don't know their address so I'm enclosing to aunt Cora a letter in yours.
Aunty says your daughter is in normal this year. I had two years at normal but my salary would be cut from $85 to $63 so I'm not teaching.
I go over to cousin ???'s about every week. Mary and Katherine have gone back to the D.C. to work they have good positions. Mary is certainly attractive. Katherine isn't pretty as Mary but she is attractive too. Both of them have splendid taste in clothes.
Guess I better close as its getting late. Mother sends her love to all of you
Sincerely yours
Mary Whitlock

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Christmas Invite With a Restriction

You will remember from A.B. Turner's letters that he and his wife were separated. Reading between the lines I have the impression she was back East and A.B. was asking 'Babe' to do what he could to get her back to Oregon. And we know that he helped that happen.

I also got the impression from the the tone of A.B.'s letters that he was remorseful for something. That coupled with hints and stories over the years about Will's family leads me to believe it was related to drinking.

(letter transcribed below)
(click the pic to enlarge"

Note Bernice's  reference to no "moon"

1711 Washington Ave
Dec 22nd, 1930
Dear Babe,
We are sending you a remembrance for Christmas. It isn't much but will let you know we thought of you, Hope you get it o.k.
Come out and eat Christmas dinner with us.
I got a 10lb 'Turkey' today. We are having some real winter, the last day or two. Burnett is still working on the Hotel. Come Christmas if you can.
Wishing you a Happy Christmas without any "moon" ha
Regards from Turner Family

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Because Mother Said So

From Mother, Mary Elizabeth (Turner) Barnett to her children
May 8, 1912

This letter was written a few years after Maggie, Joe and 'Babe' went to Oregon and before the others that I have posted.

(click the pages to enlarge)
(transcribed below)
Uh Oh, the kids are in trouble with Mom.
And Will had gone to 
Columbus, Ohio for medical treatment; 
something I had never heard.

I need to research who Grandma Kinsey was.
Mr. Whitlock was probably Cora's husband, Ferdinand.
Cora was Will's oldest sister.
She continues to share the news around town.
Charles was her brother, a sheriff.

Chester was also her brother as was John. John was the oldest of her siblings; age 84 at the time of this letter.

Ernie was one of Will's older brothers and I believe
he had a drinking problem which may
be what she was alluding to.
Aha, we may have gotten to 
the heart of the matter.

Riner Virginia
May 8, 1912

Dear Sons & Daughter
As I haven't heard from you all for a great while although I wrote to you last but I have come to the conclusion that you are not going to write and so I thought I would write again as I am anxious to hear from you all. I think you could spare the time to write to me once in a while. I haven't had a letter from any of you since a good while before Christmas. I am getting out of the way of writing. I haven't written for so long.
Willie & Bell don't write often. Willie wrote that 

he was getting some better of rheumatism he had been treated in Columbus, Ohio. He was in the Grocery business again.
Ed has been working for Thomas Surface, May Vernon Shelburn's husband. They are living at the old house place. Mrs. Shelburn has turned everything over to Tom and he is farming this year.
Ed has been working some improvements on the house and helping to build a barn and he is letting him have some ground to put in corn & potatoes. I think I wrote to you that Ed has moved his house

where Grandma Kinsey did live. He bought a pony so he wouldn't have to walk so much to work. Erny has been working some for Mr. Richison this spring and has made some garden . He hasn't got any stock now but one cow.
Mr. Whitlock has been making _________ ____ most of the winter and this spring but hasn't shipped them yet but will ship some soon I think. Tom Horton has been helping him. He thinks he will get $10 per thousand. I think its rather slow business. He has been attending court this week.  The Rundle's boy

trial is going on this week. I guess you have heard something about that. Thompson's boy getting a lick on the head that caused his death in a drunken fracas about Christmas. It's supposed he was struck with a piece of iron but they couldn't get proof that the Rundle's boy was the one that struck the heavy low. I heard it was a hung jury yesterday. 
Your uncle Charles has moved to Christiansburg. He was elected deputy sheriff and has gone there to 
take charge of the jail again.
Mabel had the misfortune to have one of her fingers taken off at the

first joint. She had a sore finger by getting a splinter in it and she put carbolic acid on it and it got to eating the flesh and she went to the Dr and he told her gangrene was about to set in and it would be best to have it taken off. They moved to town the first of April rented his property here to Ed Childress. Chester sold his property here to Mr. Basham.
Your uncle John has gotten so he can't wait on himself more than a child. He can barely walk across the floor. Myrtle is married. She married a railroad man. Smiley is his name. L_____ want me to come

and stay with her a while for company but I am not feeling very well myself and don't think I will go and Erny can't do very well by himself thought I would like to go if I could.
I did not finish my letter yesterday and I heard last evening that they got through with the Rundle's case and they decided to send him to jail for twelve months. The school here has closed . There were three got through this grade and have gone to Hilton. The ones that got through were John Williamson, Rice Richison & Gray Altoyer. Roy is going to school in Christiansburg. The school will be out the first of next month. Well as I want to get this in the mail this eve I will have to bring it to a close with love to all and don't fail to answer my letter this time from your devoted     Mother.

P.S. A few lines to Babe. You wrote for Ed to pay me ten dollars out of what he owes you but he failed to do so. He paid Cora ten but not all in money and sent Willie thirty dollars worth of ? and said he would pay me ten but hasn't as yet. I thought I would let you know about it. Write soon and tell me if you think you will come back to old Va. again. I would be glad to see you all with love goodbye.

I have noticed in these letters that they tend to write just as they speak so I tried to break it up here and there.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Jim Touches Base

It would seem by the content of Margaret Sander's letter and this one, that Uncle 'Babe' had been a hit with Belle's kid's.

(transcribed below)

Sounds like baby Ginny was special to her big brother.

Love the part about the airplane. 
And it seems the Circus continued 
to be a big draw for the Barnetts.

Butler, Pa.
R.D. #7
Februrary 27, 1930
Dear Uncle Babe

How are you I am well and hope you are the same. We sent you a Christmas card and you never got it. It came back and they said it wasn't known in Walla Walla Washington but we sent it to Walla Walla Oregon and it came back so we looked on the map and we had it spelled wrong. 

I have a little sister her name is Virginia May Barnett. She is three years old and she is very cute. When are you coming to out place? 

We still live in the same place as we lived when you were here last time and my oldest brother William is married. His wife's name was Marion E. Watt. I just wanted to write a few lines to see i you still were living. The next time you come you will see the difference we made in our farm. 

Do you ever here from the Barnetts in Virginia. We never here. We don't know if they are all Dead or what. We sent Aunt Molly and Aunt Cora a Christmas card and it never came back and they never answered. We don't know if they got it or not. 

Every time we see an air plane we think it is you because you said you would come in an airplane. There is an airport where we went across to go to the circus when you were here so you can come in an airplane.

I don't have much to say so I will close with love to you and love from all.                                                      James A. Barnett

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Who Was A.B. Turner?

Some background on the characters in these letters:
Albert Burnett Turner - 'Babe's 1st cousin on his mother's side
Hattie Bernice Turner - Albert's wife
Edna Turner - Albert & Bernice's daughter

Cora  (Akers) Barnett - widow of Joseph Barnett, a brother who also homesteaded to Oregon.
Sadie Barnett - Joseph and Cora's daughter

Pete ? - was not referring to my Dad.

There are three letters from A.B. Turner to 'Babe'. One is undated and does not say where it's sent from. Reading between the lines I think it may have been the first one written.

The second is sent from Union, OR. on March 17, 1921. The third is written from LaGrande, OR. on April 9, 1921.

In 1913 A.B. and Bernice are living in Roanoke, Virginia. 
In the 1920 census they are living in Wallowa, OR. with 'Babe' and they now have a daughter.
In 1930 A.B. and his family are in LaGrande, OR. and 1940 as well.
'Babe' remains in Wallowa.

The Letters:
(letters transcribed below)
reading between the lines
Were these letters written to 'Babe' during his trip back East?
Did Bernice and Edna return to Virginia and A.B. is now attempting to get them back to Oregon?
We may never know.

not sure what A.B. means by 'married to Butler'
but it does fall in with the timeline 
of 'Babe's visit to Will and Belle.

A. B. did not return to Virginia and died in Oregon.

From what my Dad told me as the years went by, times got rough for the clan in Oregon and their timberland and houses became heavily mortgaged. 

Dear Babe
Am sending deposit slip for $104.35 and will write as soon as I hear from Bernice. I guess she has asked yu for the money so if she has I have sent her some and it will be returned to me if she is gone so I won't have to wait very long to pay you.
I can't see my future in VA for a while yet but some day I will want to live back there. i would be willing to go now if I had a little money but I can't see my way clear yet.
Your Friend and Pal
A.B. Turner
March 17 1921
Union Ore
Dear Babe
I am sending you a Deposit slip showing a credit of one hundred and three dollars & 50 cents to your account at LaGrande National Bank and I want you to draw it out and get Bernice and Edna and bring them back to me as I am not able to send enough to get them here. I can't live this way any longer. They are wanting to come back and I will go any place with you and settle down for life and that won't be long with me and I want them here. I can send you $50.00 and let you have all of the next payment on the Land notes. I don't think the John McDonald note will be worth a Damn when they come due so this is my last chance to get them back here. I hope you can do something right away or tell me what you are going to do. I am working now but don't know how long I will hold out. I have pretty good prospects for a good summer. You write to me soon.
Your Friend
A.B. Turner

April 9, 1921
LaGrande, Ore 
Dear Babe
Bernice arrived last night and I am working for ______ Paint Shop. I will send $50.00 at this writing so you will be on easy street again. I thank you for the money and will see to the balance of $60.00 soon as possible. I don't think I will see the East for several years yet. But I feel that I will go some time. I guess you will be married to Butler soon and can't get away. Well I will write sometime again and tell you more. Pete went to Wallowa for three weeks work will be back next week. He is bunking in your shack. Cora and Sadie went with him. I was up there to see Johny Mac and could not get a dollar out of him.
I don't know anything of interest to write so I will close for this time. I get 80 cents per hour and everything furnished.
With love to All
A.B. Turner

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Aunt Mollie Checks In

Aunt Mollie was Belle's sister-in-law; the wife of Robert Edward 'Ed' Barnett, Will and 'Babe's older brother.

I'm beginning to pick up a theme of admonition in these letters on all sides to the tune of 'we haven't heard from you in forever and we never hear from anybody else either'. I guess they needed e-mail or Face Book.

The following is a letter Mollie wrote to 'Babe' in July of 1921 after he had returned to Oregon from Butler.
(transcribed below)

'hot enough to roast an olive'---is a new one for me.

The Burnett's wife she refers to is Bernice Turner, wife of Albert Burnett Turner.
The next letter will shed some light on Mollie's reference to Burnett's wife.

July 13--1921

Dear Babe
            Your card rec- and we all were glad to hear from you. It was only a few words but not one of us was surprised to hear of you going back to Oregon. Did you not like Butler. How did you leave Will & Belle. We never hear anything from any of them but I often think of them. Well Babe I started this letter some time ago but as usual I never have any time very much that I can call my own so this afternoon all are gone and while I have an opportunity I will try and answer some letters. Well Babe it is hot enough here to roast an olive. guess it is not quite so hot there.
My Sister from Radford has just left. Her and her children were up for a few days.
Ed taken them home and Edward and Mary went with them for the Circus tomorrow. Well Riner is not married yet. He is still in Richmond. Marion is married four weeks ago last Saturday night but didn't marry the Girl in N.J.  I heard from Walter a few days ago. he wants to come home and wanted me to send him some money to square up a little board Bill so he could come. Ed is fixing to build two more rooms to the house hall where the porch is now and a front porch. They are all well at Cora's but I never see her unless I go down. Our curiosity Box is still across the road. Did Burnett's wife go back to Oregon and are they going to stay there and are you going to stay there. Give my love to Mag and tell her to write to us. Erney is still living in the same way. I will close with much love to you both from all of us.
Your Sis Mollie

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Miss Margaret Writes a Letter

Miss Margaret Sanders was a close friend of  Belle and Will. I don't know how they came to be acquainted but when they ventured into managing a restaurant on Main St. in Butler, she took on the role of cook. She made her way into the hearts of their family and was a part of their lives for many years. 

Apparently Uncle 'Babe' traveled to Butler from Oregon in the late teens or early twenties and the following letter written in 1922 was a result of that visit.

Note the formality - Mr. Barnett, Dear Sir:

Note on this page she uses my dad Ralph's nickname. I had forgotten the second half 'Petey Dink' :)  

And that hint of hope that the letter would not be tossed; and oh the romance in the phrase - 'yours until the Eskimo's wear B.V.D.s'---too funny.

Pittsburgh PA
Aug 29-22
Mr. Barnett,
            Dear Sit:
                        Just a line to see what on earth has happened to you. Was up in Butler for three weeks and was out to Bell's for near one week and Bell said I ought to drop you a card to see if you were really living yet or not.

The youngsters were all well when I was up and they still watch for Uncle Babe to come back. The twins are just fine and Ruth said she stilled loved you five bushel. Pete Dink was in possession of the spoon when I was up there. Every time I set the table I would get their things a little mixed but it did not take them long to let me know about it.

Will was working steady when I was up there. He just got through with a job up in North Washington at Mrs. Barr's brother's.

They made $97 in their berries this year. I think that is fine. Will would like to sell and move back to town again on account of the children's schooling. William wants to go to work but Bell wants him to get a little more schooling.

Bob is my pick. He is as funny as a crutch. Poor Bob if I would say I was going to bake anything Bob would give me no peace until I made it. I made 12 pies & cakes, biscuits and goodness knows what not when I was up there. The kids said they were getting good eats when I was there.

Well Mr. Barnett I hope you won't think I am bold or forward but Will said he wished I would write to you.  Maybe you would answer and they would hear how you were. Hoping that this does not find the waist basket I am yours until the Eskimoes wear B.V.Ds
Margaret Sanders,
973 Deely St
Squirrel Hill Station

Pittsburgh Pa