The following letters are from James Henry Slavens to his daughter Minnie Slavens Chase and family in the 1890's. Many thanks to Ellen Singleton Vandiver for sharing these letters-- and my apologies for miscrediting her generosity! Lillie is daughter Lilla Slavens Fancler, Emma and Riley are daughter Emma and husband, and Dick is thought to be a horse.
"Now Minnie & Elmer can you fill your Promise by coming to see me Christmas. Don't for get that I would Bee Awful glad to See you.
I don't want you to come if it will injure for your Baby will be pretty young to take that long trip and so would you be in Some Danger to come that far in the winter, though your mother in law would know all about it.
I don't suppose that name I sent in my last letter would suit now. I mant it was the other kind but nevertheless I would like to See my little granDaughter.
I wonder if it has got them Big Broad Smiles like its ma. Don't you feel pretty well to be cauled ma ma. That looks pretty well on paper (enough of that)
Minnie are you gitting along (finely?). I hope So. I can't help but think of poor Lillie how we had to go after her and bring her home and Burry her. My mine has naturly been on you for months. I thought maybe you would go the same way. Oh I hope you will git a long all right & have friends that will care for you & if you & the Babe are well enough come to See us Christmas.
If you are not I will be satisfied if you are well
From your Pa to you all By By
Mrs. Will Roark has a girl at her house one day old "
Pierce City, MO. Nov. 20th, 1892
I will now try to Rite you a few lines in answer to Marys last letter. She was so excited that she for got to date her letter or tell when the Baby was Born or whether it was Born at all or not, but I expect it was. I told Mon.in the paper that we had moved. We moved last Tuesday & last Thursday was a Swinger. It rained, haled & Snowed & ever thing els Almost. It come from your country. I expect you had a Blizzard never mine how I spell Blizard.
But the weather was fine the next day & has been since.
I will kill my hogs as soon as the weather gits cold enough.
Mary, did you git the 4 Dollars that I sent you. If I had got my money from Jerome I would have Bought me a little place in Barry Co. This fall. I haven't got any yet. He sayed he would pay me 150 Dollars the first of next month and then a part each month till he paid all.
The way it is I can't By till Spring. I expect to buy land in Barry Co. When Do Buy for land is to high here for me to Buy "
Yeger, Okt August 10th 1894
My Dear Little Winnie
I will Rite you a letter. Grandpa got to your Uncle Riley's and Aunt Emmas on the 2nd ist & found them all well. Your Cozin Charlie is a Great Big Boy & wants to See you & (tibusty) Awfull Bad. He talks a Great deal About your Ma and Aunt Mary.
I like this country very well & think if your Pa was here he could git a Good Claim & make a farm a heap Easery here Than he can in Missouri. The country lays fine & no truble to plow for it is Sandy Soil. 2 common plug horses can go Rite along with a 14 inch plow.
I know of 5 or 6 claims that has got some timber on. Enough to make a Dug out and for fire wood for a good many years and all the land to cultivate that one would want. People don't hafto fence ther land here. There is lots of Good land in Oklahoma but it is all taken up long ago. They raise lots of cotton thare.
Grandpa Don't like The Strip very well. The Indians has got nearly all the best land, the Rest of it is broken.
Grandpa will start home in 5 or 6 days. Dick looks fine. He stood the trip fine. The last day I traveled 50 miles Easy.
Winnie, Grandpa wants you to keep this letter till you are a woman. It will be your first letter. No more now. Good By. From your Grandpa to Miss Winnie Chase.
J. H. Slavens
I am well hope you are. I will tell you more when I see you."
Copyright © 2007 Larry Slavens. All rights reserved.