1898, February 3 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

Rosie writes about the cold weather, teaching a friend to play the mandoline, and the cure she found for loneliness.  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


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis Feb. 3, 1898

Dearest Lewis:

Your welcome letter of the 2nd received this evening.  and I sit right down to answer it.  Look here dear, take care of yourself in this terrible cold weather I hope you do not have to work in the cold, you said in one of your other letters that you got real chilly at your work every now and then, I do hope you have fire where you work.  Well Lewis, the coldest we have had it so far is about 8 or 10 above zero, but that is cold enough, and two cold for me.  We have such poor management up at our work that we scarcely feel comfortable from the cold as late as 10 or 10:30 am.  Wednesday I passsed a passable day at work and came home very tired.  I thought the evening would be a very lonesome one, but I got along better than I thought I would, for little Willie Stenger one of Jackie’s friends came over and brought his mandoline and asked me to tune it and show him a chord or two, and I got so interested in the box that the evening flew by.  Lewis dear I have found a cure for just a little part of the blues from lonsomeness, now don’t laugh at me if I tell you.  Just a little before I got ready to go to bed I got such a streak of the blues I just didn’t know what to do.  Guess what I did do, well I went to my album and got out your picture, I was all alone and I just talked to you as much as I pleased and somehow it eased me to look at that picture.  finally I read my little book, and placed yourpicture in the book so I can see you whenever I read it; then I went to the front door and opened it, thinking to myself, “good night Lewis, take care of yourself, and let no harm or accident happen to you, pray for me and I’ll pray for you,” and Lewis dearest it seemed just as though you just left me.  Then I locked the door and said my prayers, prayed for you and went to bed.  I slept real good for the first time since I’ve been sick.  This morning I went to work, and the foreman failed to show up, he came about noon0time and staid till about 4 oclock.  the poor fellow was so sick.  I got through the day alright although I got a headache about 3 oclock with a sort of fever, but then we had the carpenters hammering above us all day, and I guess it was due to that.  This evening I am feeling much better.  Dear old Lusy, if I was with you when you got those awful headaches I’d soon cure it, I’m sending you two of Dr. Davis’s headache powders in this letter, I can spare them, and I want you to use the if you get that headache again.  well dearest, I must stop now as Jennie & W. & the baby are here and also little Willie S. again with his box.  Well Lu dear old boy good night, get to feeling “O,K.” as fast as you know how.  don’t get sick on me dearest, please don’t.  Take very good care of yourself as far as you know how and trust to God for the rest.  Well good night dear boy and Gold bless you, make you prosperous and make & keep you sound and healthy for me.  Good night again Lewis.  be good to yourself, and this of me.  With very best love and a kiss, I shall always remain

Your own sweetheart


Willie D. Jennie, and the baby send their love, also the rest of the family send theirs but most from me darling.  Love Dody.


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