Oct. 5, 1914
Surprise I am writing this from Hulett. Grandma and Grandpa Smith were going to visit Uncle Will and Aunt Minnie. Since the threshers aren’t getting to our area on Deep creek for a while I decided to go along. I used to see my aunt and uncle often when they lived near us but since they moved to Hulett we don’t see them much. The Smith cousins are all younger than I am and are growing up fast. Eva is 11, same age as Daniel, Chester is 7 and then there is baby Zetta Mae. And she is a sweetie, always smiling and gurgling like babies do. She has already grown so much since we saw her in July.
And oh, speaking of babies, I must tell you I finally got to visit with little Iretha. What a little doll and one month old today. Sadie and Bert just dote on her it will not be long until she is spoilt rotten and I intend to help them. Sadie showed me the gift Roy sent. I think it is the nicest woven blanket you ever did see. And to think he made it himself on some sort of weaving loom he has. It is of the softest pastel yellow color, perfect for a baby. It is something he does occasionally in his spare time, he says it keeps him out of trouble. I am so glad he doesn’t take to drinking when he has idle time like some men do.
I had another card from Vera. They were still traveling through South Dakota when she wrote. She said their covered wagons are bringing out the towns folk when they go through town. Lots of people invite them in for a meal. They usually camp just outside of a town and in the evening some of the folks come out to their campsites. Rob Waddington loves playing the violin and Vera gets out her guitar and everyone enjoys sitting around the campfire singing songs. She said lots of folks like to snap photos of them too. I can just see Vera posing as if she is Annie Oakley. So far they have not had any problems, she sounds like she is enjoying the trip quite a bit. They expect to get to Nebraska at the end of the month.
October 7, 2014
My goodness was last night ever exciting. Around midnight I was awakened by the sounds of the fire bell. I threw back the covers and dashed to the window to look outside. A crowd of people were running toward the hotel, cries of all hands needed for the bucket brigade filled the air. I dressed as fast as I could and joined the family downstairs ready to help. Grandma stayed behind to look after my cousins. Thick clouds coming from main street choked the air as we slipped out the door.
The bucket brigade was already well formed by the time we got there. I joined the end of the line passing the empty buckets back to be refilled. It was not heavy work but it felt good to be helping. I was never in any danger or even close to the fire and I really think the pumper truck did most of the work. The hotel is probably a complete loss but I am thankful it was contained to just one building. I hate to think what would have happened if it had spread. All the guests and staff got out safe and sound. They even managed to rescue the lady staying there while recuperating from surgery by carrying her out on her mattress. I imagine she was some scared.
This afternoon I went with my cousins and Grandma to look at the charred mess. The acrid smell of smoke still hangs over the area. The owner says he will rebuild. Afterwards Grandma took us to the ice cream parlor to enjoy cones. I chose chocolate just like the first one I ever had when Roy took me and Lida to the one in Puyallup. While I enjoyed having one with Grandma and my cousins I couldn’t help but think how much nicer it would be if Roy was there.
I will be going back home tomorrow or rather we will go as far as Aladdin and spend the night with Sadie. I don’t mind that at all as it will give me another chance to snuggle little Iretha. We will go back to Mona the following day. There is also supposed to be a dance at Donald on the twenty-second. I do not think I want to go as it will be one where all the candidates show up to politic for everyone’s votes. Since I can’t vote yet, I find it boring.
October 11, 1914
Sadie and Bert are over visiting with Grandma and Grandpa’s so I went over to join them for a while. Grandma had made a big cherry pie so she dished us up heaping servings to enjoy with some coffee. More than one candidate showed up while I was there to leave their cards asking for their votes. Guess we will be seeing lots of that from now until the election.
Well here I am once again to bother you some more. How is my Little Friend today? As well as I am and far happier though I hope. I am as well as ever and still getting along fine. Your last letter came last Wed. and of course you know I was glad, but gladder still that you were having such a nice visit with your uncle and aunt. Hope you have a good time, though I suppose you are at home again now.
I was somewhat surprised to hear of Vera and Clarence being married. I was wondering though why they were putting it off so long. I think it was much better for them to get married than for him to go and leave her that would have been awful. Am awful sorry though, that you have lost your chum. That is to bad, but you must not think about that to much. Remember we all have to bear such as that sometimes. I had a card from Frank R. yesterday. Didn’t say much except that he was well and as busy as a bee. Said also that he hardly expected to get to school this winter as he had planned. It will be a shame if he don’t get to go for I know he will pretty much be disappointed.
I have not heard anything from Puyallup but guess every one is alright down that way though. Guess they had a good Fair down there this year. Anyway, they had perfect weather and big crowds and I guess that is what it takes to make a good fair. We have had nice weather here for the past two weeks up till yesterday. It was the wettest day of the season so far. I got gloriously wet, but guess it didn’t hurt me any. At least I don’t feel any the worse today. It is cloudy and dark today but hasn’t rained so far, expect it will pretty soon though. I hope you are having pleasanter weather in your country by now. Seems to me it aught to be cooler there at this time.
It feels pretty much like winter here in the morning but gets warm enough in the middle of the day. I went fishing last Sun and caught a fine string of trout but believe me I sure earned them. I near walked myself to death and was so tired I could hardly walk, Monday morning though, I don’t think I will go any more this year though as the days are getting to short.
I guess you must have thought I was never going to sell the rest of your beads. I have been slow I know but then I have done my best and that is all anyone can do. I have sold all but one string now. Some of the them I had to sell for less than a dollar so I got only fifteen dollars for the sixteen strings and the two bandeaux. The string I have left I would very much like to keep as a souvenir if you will be so kind as to give it to me I assure you I will appreciate it very much and will keep them always. Well I can think of nothing more worthwhile to say so I will stop for now.
Did you have any luck selling any beads yourself? And what kind of luck did you have. You never said anything about them. It started to rain again looks as though it will continue for a while. Expect I will get wet tomorrow.
as ever, Roy
Oct 12, 1914
The threshers have still not made it out to those of us on Deep Creek in the meantime Papa is putting in the fall crop of rye at Donald. Lots of that going in around here.
There was a dance in Donald last night. Hazel and I came and spent the night with Papa since he was already here anyway.
One of our neighbors escaped an almost fatal accident yesterday. Seems while they were cutting the grain he drove over a small stump and got thrown from his seat. His foot got caught in the trap lever and hung him up. Fortunately, he had a gentle team of horses and succeeded in stopping in time and got himself extracted. When Papa heard the news, he said that was how his father got killed. I am so thankful nothing serious happened for he has a wife and a young child to take care of.
Oct 13, 1914
I probably will not have much chance of writing in you the rest of this month for I surely will be busy. The threshers are supposed to arrive here tomorrow.
So many ranchers around here are talking of putting up their places for sale and moving to Belle Fourche as they are not able to make enough off the crops to make a living. Wonder if that is what will happen to us?
Roy sent me 15 dollars for the rose bead necklaces Hazel and I made. It was most welcomed by both Hazel and I. She’s already planning on some sheet music she can buy while I think I shall try to hang on to mine for as long as I can. We did not have much luck selling them around here, no one has much extra cash for things that are not a necessity. I do not think I will bother making any more when I can get rose petals again, it is so much work and I don’t think we could sell many more of them. (author’s note: 15 dollars in 1914 is worth 385 dollars in 2020)
I have also given up at least for now studying for the teacher exams as I never seem to have extra time to work on it. Maybe if we do move to Belle Fourche I can find some work there to earn a little cash or time to resume my studies.