Letters From 
Forgotten Ancestors

“the sadest news ever has come to me.”
~ 1904 ~
Murray County Indian Territory
Page © TNGenNet, Inc. 2005. All Rights Reserved.
Transcription: © Gena Graddy 2005

Postal Envelope.
Black circular postmark:
       DAVIS IND. T. MAR 28 8 PM 1904
US Postage stamp:
       Two Cents
       Miss Grover Taylor
Davis IT postmark.

Sunday eve. Mar 27 1904
My dearest Grover
Oh! you don’t know but I will haft to tell you all. the sadest news ever has come to me. Grover our dear little Hattie is dead and Oh so sudden she had a light chill last Monday eve and then had one every other day since they kept getting harder until Friday morning. Ma thought she would wash her and comb her hair but before she could get her washed she begun feeling cold so she put her in bed and wraped her up then she carried Sam some water to the field while she was gone Hattie had another chill but it did’nt seem very hard she grunted mightly for a minute or so them got up and walked to the fire and sat there a while she said she felt better then she got back in bed and covered up just like she was cold I went out and come back I ask her how she felt she said she felt better. after ma came back she roused up and changed herself she put her head at the foot of the bed so she could see out the door and get fresh air she ask me to hand her some water several times at last she told me to get some in a cup and set it on a box she had beside her bed and get her a rag so she could wet her lips then she would’nt bother me any more. I can hear the blessed child say that yet. we never thought of her being so bad off she said that her back and head felt like they would burst open but we all complain that very way when we are having chills. ma was rubbing her back when I got dinner ready Hattie told her to go ahead and eat so before they got through eating she raised up in the bed and got where she could see me I was sitting at the head of the table where I always eat but I had’nt eaten any dinner I did’nt feel hungry she ask me if I was through eating I said yes she said come and rub my back then for it is almost killing me. I rubbed the poor little things back until she looked easy and asleep then ma washed the dishes while I make starch she still looked like she was about half asleep When Mary McBride and her little sister come Mary went to the bed and spoke to her and she looked up and spoke and answered what she said with good sense as any body but dear child that was the last she said with any sense. we all sat down and begin talking but she never took any notice to our talk though we thought she was resting easy and asleep ma went to carry some more water to the field while she was gone I moved over by Hattie and begin nocking the flies off of her she looked as if she was perfectly easy and asleep we just sat and talked was’nt a bit uneasy about her she acted just like she always had with chills ma came back she sat pretty close to her ma had been giving her some pills and her bowels had moved several time during the night and twice since daylight so as we sat there we noticed her bowels moving and her laying there we thought it was because we had given her the pills we got up as quick as possible to wake her and the dear little thing could’nt be waked I got some cold water said I was going to put that on her face ma still had’nt thought any thing I reckon she said not have it too cold it might scare her but I put cold water on her face and neck and she never moved for it still she was breathing Mary run to tell the men folks ma was afraid she did’nt know just where to find them so she started running just as Ma went out the gate I raised her up in my arms still trying to wake her and she druwed a long breath which was her last one Mrs Wolford happened to be passing she run in we thought maby there was a chance and Sam went for a doctor but she was laid out when they got back, Oh Grover a sweeter corpse was never put before the eyes of people she was as much like aunt Hulda as could be it seems like we have buryed her instead of Hattie. She died at four oclock Friday eve and was buryed yesterdy eve at abut four. I tell you dear Grover it was the sadest thing I ever witnessed if we had been expecting it it would’nt of been near so hard. the poor child said that morning that she would haft to have some medicine but we just thought it was chills and never sent for any we always go to town on Saturday and thought would get it then and give it to her in time to keep off another Chill she said Friday morning if she had a gallon of whiskey she could drink it all she said she wanted some bananas and never got them just thought would get them yesterdy eve. she never got any thing she ask for we could of gotten them and aimed to. I guess you think us very careless but there is always some of us sick with chills and crave everything in the world we hav’nt got until we had gotten more used to it and the very one and time we put off that is the time we ought not to. Oh dear it would break a heart made of stone just to think we never done any thing for the poor little suffering child the Dr said she had congesting of the brain and that he nor us nor any other Dr could’nt of saved her she chilled to and that she suffered so much she did’nt realise how much or bad it was, it is so lonely without her I would willingly of given my life to have saved hers Grover you know Hattie was a good child as could be I now she is at rest and far better off than any of us but how can we do without her it is too hard to haft to bear I don’t believe we can ever get over it. if you was hear this eve and see all her little things just where she left them Oh its ofle I can’t stand it I don’t care to live any more of course I have a Mother and brothers but they are just like me heart broken.
it is so lonely without her she was the life of our family.
Well another sad day has come I will finish my letter Jessie is sick to day he was in bed all morning but up this eve. Mary McBride come and washed for us this morning the people have been as good as they could be we had plenty of company and help Mrs Martin got and make her clothes at her house they were nice enough and make nice as could be. there were little girls who lived in Davis carried flowers and put on her grave. it was such a sad time for all every woman and child ther shed many tears and had never seen the child. Mrs Martin said she never saw a dead person look as much like they were asleep as Hattie did. her dress was made long she looked like a grown person. I will quit and tell more next time excuse this badly composed letter for I hardly know what I have told. to grandmas family from her children
write soon as you get this tell me where aunt Kate is she never ans- our last letter. will send you some of Hattie’s clothes next time.

  Lillie J. Williams, age 20, to her Aunt Grover C. Taylor, age 21 in Huntland, Franklin County, Tennessee.

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First posted 12 May 2005
This page last updated on Thursday, August 13, 2015