1898, January 27 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

Rosalie visits the doctor, Otto is behaving oddly with Julie, and a fire breaks out near Rosalie’s home.  Read a transcript of the letter below (original misspellings & all) or click on the image links to view the actual letter. As you read the transcript of the letter click on the links to view information & images about what they are discussing.


Click on a link to view the image: (some images can be further enlarged by clicking on them once they open)

Envelope Front     Envelope Back      Letter Page 1      Letter Page 2-3      Letter Page 4-5    Letter page 6-7     Letter page 8


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, Jan. 27, 1898

Dear Lewis:

I received your letter of the 26 this morning about half past 10 oclock you may be sure I was glad to receive it.  for I had the blues in bad shape.  Well in my last letter to you I said I’d let you know more plainly how things had gone with me.  well Monday night Julie mailed the letter you just answered, but instead of going straight home as she should have done, she goes to Js and as W is not home stays there a while and then takes Annie D. who is there also, and they rubber in Schoemaker’s and there see Otto & W., they turn rigth back & tell J. and J. gets crazy mad and goes right in the saloon & brings W. home, for it was Monday night and he had his pay in his pocket.  I guess O. knew that and met him up at work.  Well no sooner was W. home, than the girls start for home again, and as they pass the saloon Julie calls O. out and wants him to go with her to take Annie home, but Annie runs away and lets them standing along, and Lu dear, she never bridges about the money he owes her, only asks him why he treats her so.  He takes out a letter she wrote him and shows her where she wrote “If you don’t meet me at Rosa’s house to-night, then consider our engagement broken.”  Well he said I believe I followed out your instructions, I didn’t come there, did I?  Then she said he had better read the rest of the letter, but some how the match went out just then, and he said he would talk it over with her in a little while; just then he had an important card-game on hand, she should go back to J’s. and wait about half an hour, he’d be over and take her home.  Well Lu, she waited 2 hours and no Otto came, and when she came home it was midnight and she was jumped all over.  Julie came down Tuesday morning and told me all this herself.  She staid all morning with me and the rest of the day with J.  Lewis, poor dear sonnie, I write you all this so that you may keep posted as to how things are going in that direction, for everything is not just straight, things look queer, I hope I may be wrong.  but if I am not, and things turn out as I fear they will, then darling, it won’t be so hard for one to tell you.  Well, no more about Julie & that dog of an O. to-day.  Tuesday afternoon it was terrible weather, the paper I sent you will tell you about the morning.  well it was still blowing awful hard in the afternoon, but as my fever came on again and I was always growing weaker, mamma first made me dress and go with her to the Doctors, he didn’t find me any too well & wasn’t at all pleased, but he gave me 2 kinds of pills and perscribed a certain kind of bottle beer and he makes me drink like a trooper, but Lewis dearest I am so weak and skinnie, I don’t think I weigh 96 lbs. just now.  why I know you will hardly believe it, but my limb just above the knee is no bigger round than Julie’s arm just above the elbow, say, for goodness sake, Lewis don’t let these letters lay where anyone can get a hold of them, gracious.  If you asked me how I got to the doctor’s and back again, I could never tell you.  Doctor scolded for coming out, but he said I certainly needed more medicine, but when I came home I lay like one dead, so worn out from the trip. of course we made use of the cars both ways.  When I passed the jewelers I asked for my watch but it wasn’t fixed yet.  That fellow makes me tired.  well Tuesday night I slept alright, I only had one coughing spell, but Lewis I cough so hard.  Oh, I am almost forgetting Tuesday evening Jack Crawford gave me a call, he wanted us to go this Saturday to a dance.  but of course, you being gone and I being sick knocked that out, at 9 oclock a fire broke out that made our kitchen look very bright and he & our boys went to the fire which was the elevators in E. St. Louis across from the foot of Franklin Ave.  Jack said he would call again before the week was out to see how I was getting along.  Wednesday I woke up feeling blue.  Lewis I was longing for you, what is the use of denying it, it’s the truth.  I hope I’ll soon be able to go to work again, then I hope I won’t miss you so much.  Well in the morning I sent you the paper and in the afternoon I was wishing for a letter from you.  But of course I didn’t get any and when the mail man called Bauwens and only the dancing’s school masquerade ball announcements (Jan 27) were handed in Lewis I was so blue I’m ashamed of it, but I cried.  But then Wednesday was a real sick day for me, I was not 10 min off my back at a time.  In the evening, I made Ida give me the letters you sent me while in the country and I read them all.  Then I read my little book, said my prayers and wen tto bed, I slept well, and woke up when the mail man knocked next door.  but he had nothing for me, and I tried to go to sleep aain, about 2 hrs. later he brought me your letter, and after I read it I was satisfied, but first I thought you stingy.  Lewis dear, do you think you’ll keep night work?  I hope to heaven you don’t, Let me know more definetly about yourself as soon as you can dearest won’t you?  Well Lu the sun is shining brightly and I am going to try to walk over to J’s for an hour or so, perhaps it will do me good.  Mr. Harrison gave me off this whole wk. from work and the latter part of it I will have to do my best to brack up so that I will be able to work Monday.  Hoping that you will keep good health and that every thing will help to keep you in good courage, and that you will find out more surely about things soon I will close.  Don’t forget to take the best care of yourself, keep yourself out of harm’s way and pray for me.  Goodby till next time, with best love and a kiss I still remain

Your own


The folks all send their very best wishes and regards.  excuse writing please, for I write this just as I wrote the last

Your Dody

Write whenever you get the chance Lu even if the letters are small.


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