Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter in 1915

Several people responded to my request for winter prose or poetry. I received the following from Jean Sweet of Madison, WI. Jean shared excerpts from letters her mother, Marian wrote in 1915 to her Arizona family. At the time Marian was a 4th grade teacher in Plymouth, Wisconsin and lived in a boarding house with other teachers. Otto Holzschuh and his parents lived a block from the school. He and his father operated a livery stable, which was next door to their home. As they said in those days, Otto was sweet on the school marm.

Jan 28, 1915: "I have promised to go sleighing with the Priscillas (a women's group) but think it is too cold now for sleighing. After supper:--We are not going sleighing. It is too cold and too many people have colds. I think I would have backed out it is so cold, to load up in a sleigh. A cutter would be bad enough."

Tues. Eve. Feb. 23: "I went to Sheboygan with Otto Sat. We left on the 4:58 car. (There was interurban service between Plymouth and Sheboygan.) Otto took a suit back that he had had made. It wrinkled a little in one place and he took it back to be fixed. He is a regular old maid when it comes to clothes. We went to the nicest restaurant in town. Had beef steak, rare, and onions, a movie, and then home on the 9:00 car."......We had a fine ride Sun. in the slush. Wish you could have been with us. The snow is going fast. It rained yesterday and today. You should have seen the rivers."

[On Nov. 2, 1915 Otto and Marian were married, and eventually had three children, Jean was the youngest born in 1925]

. "Dec 17, 1915 "Since I wrote you last we have had snow. It snowed all day last Sunday. Otto and I took our first cutter ride. (Black team & sleigh bells). Tues. PM I took one of the black teams and a yellow cutter and Mae Lowe and I rode around town until we were very nearly frozen. Then she came home with me and we sat in front of the coal stove and toasted and drank tea.......Otto is riding on a hearse this PM here in town. There is a funeral Sat., also Sun. They have a man figuring on an auto hearse now. They want to get one before someone else gets in ahead. They are going to get two Fords for the livery, too. More expense."

After reading what my brother wrote last week, several people wondered if Wild Rose in winter was to his liking. He may complain, but he tells me he enjoys all the seasons, winter included.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There is a difference between understanding and knowing. Understanding involves the mind; knowing requires the mind, plus the heart and the soul.


January 14, 9:00 AM, WTMJ 4 TV, Milwaukee. Old Farm featured.

January 19, 6:00 PM, Portage (Columbia County) Historical Society dinner, Old Farm featured. Call 608-742-1445 for further information.

January 30, Viroqua Public Schools.

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