Skip to content

Hill Country Living

The World Changes But Children Stay The Same

It’s not a Wagner Letter Week but I’m as busy as Daniel Wagner (without servants) so in the interest of time, I’ll make it a Wagner Letter Week.

First though, I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Ours was lovely. We had the dressing and gravy and whatever else you’re supposed to put on your plate around the dressing and gravy. Let’s be honest, it all pales in comparison to the dressing and gravy, doesn’t it? Why do we even bother with the rest? The day should be called Dressingiving. Although I will give a little nod to butter beans and Sister Schubert. 

After we had Thanksgiving dinner we went to Alexe Van Beuren’s house for pie. Her husband Kagan Coughlin had made, like, 12 pies. It would have seemed borderline manic if it weren’t so sweet. We drank rosé, the kids went wild on a golf cart, at some point someone milked a cow. And although their son had sliced the back of his heal off by accidentally kicking in a window, their daughter had a bright pink nose from a very slowly recovering epic face-plant and the entire family was clearly infected with pneumonia, they seemed very thankful. We certainly were for the invite. Thanks, Alexe!

Here are some sweet kid letters. As our world gets mean and uncertain, thankfully children never change. Enjoy. 

Water Valley, Mississippi

December 4th, 1884

My dear brother John,

I have not written to you on a long time so I thought I would try and write you a long letter. We have just had two preachers here staying with us, Mr. Carothers & Dr. McFarland. They were here to ordain Mr. Helen. Thursday the Dr. preached and last night Mr. Carothers preached. I liked Mr. Carothers the best, he was the nicest man. I wish you could have seen him. Aunt Ella and mamma went to hear both of them preach. They all say that Mr. Allen’s trial sermon was very good. They are going to install him the second Sunday in December and he is going to preach on Batesville. I heard him preach once and I liked him very well.

I have such a bad cold that I have not been to school this week.

The show is coming tomorrow. I do not know whether I’ll go or not. I do wish you were here to go though. John, I wish you would hurry up and come home I want to see you so bad.

We have a little pup here. He is very nice only he throws up all over creation.

George and Grandma are growing. He can’t even put on his shoes yet.

Don’t you wish it would snow about Christmas? So we could have a nice time coasting?

I wish you would not stay with those roommates Christmas for then you wont have hardly any time to stay at home, will you? 

I commenced this letter this morning and Mrs. Beauford has been here all day. Papa says that I may stop school after the first examiniation. Don’t you think that is nice? Papa is so busy that he has not been to dinner in two days. Please write me one more letter before you come home won’t you? Calista has written you this letter in here. Little Eugene says to tell you to bring him some candy. Please write soon to your most affectionate sister,


Water Valley Miss

My dear brother John,

I want to see you so bad. We have to give one cat away to a boy.

Jessie is looking better. Mamma has dinner four o’clock. Would you like to be here to eat dinner? Uncle Closley lives in our back yard.

We are all at home now.

Would you like to see Jessie is doing pretty well? Would you like to see Mamma, Corinne? Jessie has a new book satchel and Corinne has a new book satchel and Calista has a new book satchel too. I thought I would write you a letter. I wish I could see you John. Your little sister, Calista. 

Twenty kisses.

Leave a Comment