As I was transcribing them I had the dilemma of trying to write them as close to how she wrote them, misspellings and all, or to correct the grammatical errors. I decided to try and write it how she did. My favorite error that she consistently did was to spell the word "there" as "thire." Never having met her, I can just hear her Arkansas drawl as she would spell "there" phonetically. Also she must have been one of those people to put a "t" at the end of some words, like "clost" - so she would write something like "We live clost to the woods."
My dear children,
Always happy to receive a word from you so will try to keep them letters coming by ans. with a few lines this beutiful, beutiful sunshiney blue sky morning. My how fast these two last months have past. Seems summer is just around the corner, as the sayin goes.
Elvie and family came up yesterday. She read the letter so I'm sending to you as you suggested with another one that I had written 12 years ago. I could write a lot more about my life history but I don't guess it will do any one any good. But as I'm living in the past anyway I think of so many things. I'm mentioning the high points. I may write more sometime. Elvie said Barneys mother is writing on her life story too.
Well I'll close this and get some more things done before I have to go to town. I trust you are all well and happy. I'm feeling old.
My my, Dick must be swimming in money to pay $20.00 for a hair permanant for just how permanant. Any way you know they don't last long. The best of them. Well thats him not me.
as ever mama
Here is the first of the 2 histories that she wrote. One of the interesting facts that I learned from these letters is that she had a child that died as an infant. Not only that, but tomorrow would be the 102nd birthday for that child. This first history focuses more on when Elsie was a young girl, while the 2nd history is more of her life post marriage.
Elsie Lee Eddlemon-Orrell was born Aug. 6, 1890, was left an orphan at the age of seven yers. Lived with my aunt, "my fathers sister" until I was (11) elevon yrs. old. When I had my (12) twelveth birthday I was living at Butrans, a couple of old people that lived up on Walnut Creek about 60 miles west of my aunts home. When I had my (13) thirteen birthday I was living up about ten miles further up in the (ruts?) clost to Crystal Springs with another old couple that needed someone to do earounds for them and work. Had my 14th birthday back down in the settlement where my aunt lived with some nabhors that needed a girl to work for them, and too, they could see what was going on. They felt sorry for me, so they said. But it was a younger couple with three children and thire was plenty of work to be done on farm. Same thing happened with another young couple when I had my 15th birthday. Soll Dadd was corting me then. My first sweet heart.
I staid with first one and then another, working mostly for my bord and room. When I did a days work in field I got .50 a day. When I did hs. work and took care of babys, I got $1.50 a week. At the time I had my 16th birthday I was staying with Sols brother Lige and his wife (thats where Sol was living). I was making $3.00 week and my room and bord, which was a plenty to buy what clothes I needed. But that fall, in 1906 my love affair was blasted, with my fioncia being aflicted a terible sickness. And when it was over, everything else was over with he and me.
That fall my brother Henry came and perswaded me to go over to Mazarn about 10 miles away and live. So my three brothers and my only sister and me, moved into a house there clost and made a crop that year. I became 17 years old that year and there is where I met Lewis A. Orrell at church. He fell in love with me so he said at first sight. And it wasent long untill we were going steady for two years and married in 1909 Oct. 31st.
In Sept. 3, 1910 our first baby came, and didn't live. In 1912 our 2nd baby Elvie came on July 18 at Shorts Timber Co. down clost to Shirdan Ark. In 1915 our son John Albert came on John Mathews farm, clost to Red Field Ark. 1918 Edgar came. We were living in the old Orrell house clost to Pearcy Ark. And in 1923 Allene came to live with us in the old Vanderberg house near Royal Ark., Hot Springs being our home town in Ark.
Elvie marred first time Apr. 29 - 34, 2nd time Dec 21st 1948. J.A. marred 1st time to Evangelen Mudge Sept. 25th 1937, 2nd time to Jennie Wheeler Nov. 14 1954. Edgar R. O. marred Pauline Jones Aug. 30 1940. Jennie Allene marred Lawrence Wisner Feb. 8th 1944.
Husband-father-grandfather-and great grandfather passed away Oct. 3rd 1964. Mother-grandmother-great grandmother written Feb. 6th 1965.
We married in 1909, Oct. 31st. Our first house was a 10x12 foot tent. (no 1) We moved from Mazarn up into a milling country. I forgot the name of the place, but we lived thire, I think, about three weeks. Lewis was aiming on started in the butcher business. Made a failure of that. (no. 2) We moved back to Mazarn up in the hills clost to Gossitts Mill on the hill. (no. 3) Moved from thire down to the bottom of the hill. Still living in the tent and he cutting timber with Dow Buck. (no 4) In March of 1910 we moved back on Mazarn on his dads place. He cut fire wood for his dad. And that summer his dad put up a two bot'd house (no. 5) and we moved out of the little tent into the house. For out tent was just about gone for we had gone through two or three storms and one fire by this time and it was pretty well shot to pieces.
In Sep. the 3rd 1910 our first baby came, only living 12 hours. The year of 1910 Lewis made a little crop of Cotton on the Wilson place, my bro Charlie helping. (no. 6) In 1911 we moved to Grant County to Farrells Camp, he working cutting tember. (no. 7) 17th of July that year we moved again. Elvie was borned the 18, 1912, the next day after we moved. (no. 8) When she was three month old we moved to Newport Ark. on the White River out in the country, he still cutting tember.
(no. 9) In Feb of 1913 we moved in to town and he worked at a handle factory for a while. (no. 10) Then we moved again while thire. (no. 11) Then we moved back down in the country near the river (oh yes he dug mussel shells a while when we were thire the first time). (no. 12) Then we moved again and he cut timber a while. Elvie now was eleven months old. (no. 13) When she was 17 months old we moved back to Farrells Camp and he worked in the tember again. (no. 14) Until in Feb. of 1915, we moved on John Mathews place near Red Field Ark. to make a cotton crop. Albert was born July 4th that year.
(no. 15) In Sept. following we moved to Shiridan Ark. for Lewis to go to school to finish a degree so he could teach school. (no. 16) In 1916 we moved back up to Mathews and made another cotton crop. (no. 17) In June or July of that same year we moved over clost to where he taught his first school. When that was out (either two or three months) (no. 18) we moved back to gather our crop on the Mathews farm. (no. 19) Then we moved down below Shiridan where he taught his 2nd school that winter (about 5 months I think). (no. 20) Then when school was out we moved up on the highway and again( no. 21) we moved down on John Mathews farm and made another cotton crop, for the same man but a different place.
(no. 22) In Jan of 1918 we moved back to Mazarn on the old Orrell place. This is where our boy Edgar came to live with us on Nov. 8 1918. Lewis taught his 3rd school thire at Mazarn that winter. (no 23) In Oct. 1919 we moved to Texas Elleott. (no. 24) From thire in 1920 we moved Wagner Refinery, (no. 25) then moved back to Bugscliffe. (no. 26) Then to Fortworth Texas. (no. 27) Then back to Ark. on the Vanderburg place, he working at saw mill. This was Nov. 1923. This was where our daughter Allene was born Nov. 18, 1923.
(no. 28) In Jan 1924 we moved over in the log house clost to Lewis's mother. (no. 29) Then we moved up on the river at Sharts Mill and he worked thire that winter of 24. (no. 30) Then we moved back in the little boy house.
(no. 31) Then we moved out west, stopping a little while at different places for a short time picking cotton, untill we got to Rogers Ark. (no. 32) We moved from thire to Faithill. (no. 33) We moved from thire to Sherman. (no. 34) The taking a long detour around, we moved to (Weeds?) Bible School in Arizona. Moved seven times in Arizona and 4 times I forgot (ma....). (no. 45) from thire (no. 46) we moved to California to Elmonte in 1936 Nov. which was a bad move because we lost all of our children thire. (no. 47) Well we moved from there in 1943 to Hemet. (no. 48) in 1944 we moved back to Elmonte. (no. 49) In 1945 we moved to Fetterly ave in east LosAngeles.
(no. 50) Moved form thire to Juneau Alaska in 1949. (no. 51) Moved back to Fetterly. (no. 52) 1950 moved back to Hemet in Jones Court. (no. 53) Moved from there to Mayberry. (no. 54) From thire to Warthx. (no. 55) moved from there to where we, or I live, at 719 E Whittier. This date is now Nov. 22 1953 Hemet Calif.
At the present time I'm all alone. My children and my husband all have left me but I'm happy in the Lord. That means more to me than anything else. Alot of things I don't understand. I have quit trying to understand. I'm just trusting in Jesus.