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Hill Country Living

Stolen Letterhead Used For Party List

It’s a Wagner Week and as a person came up to me and said a few days ago, “I enjoy reading your column.I believe I know more about the Wagners than I ever wanted to know.” This cracked me up and, believe me, I feel the same way! But thank goodness for the Wagners because their letters always give me  a “week off” from writing about my own life here in Water Valley. 

I don’t have enough note-worthy stuff happen to me to write about it in the paper every single week. Or at least not enough note worthy stuff that I’m willing to publish for 3,500 people to read. Not to mention this town is so small that probably 3,499 of you already know about it.

Finding a Wagner Letter to publish isn’t so easy, though. I have to find letters that don’t need a lot of context so that my readers can generally follow along. And there are tons and tons of “letters” that aren’t actually letters at all. There are notes and bills and school assignments. Like right now I am looking at a mailed drawing of a pig and across the top of the page is written “Soui Soui Picnic.” 

Don’t know what that’s about. There are many lists of names, all with the names numbered, and separated by sex. There must be 50 of these lists over the years. Usually, I determine that these are invitation lists to parties for young people. But I found one this morning that is written on Yocona Mills letterhead, which is unusual as only Daniel uses that letterhead and there’s no way he’s caring about a list of party goers. Maria secretly stole a sheet of paper. 

I thought I would publish it as people have mentioned that they enjoy seeing their relatives names in these letters. Maybe some of you all will recognize a name or two. Also, names are the hardest words to decipher in reading the letters because proper nouns are immune to context clues. If the handwriting is difficult to read then I just have to make my best guess as to spelling so some of you may see some mistakes here.

Yocona Mills 

Cotton Yarn and Bats

Water Valley, Miss 188_

1. Porter Chapman 2. Mass Trounsend 3. Walter McLarty 4. Henry Blackston 5. Madden Smith 6. Will Stephens 7. Edd Stephens 8. John Garland 9. Gene McLarty 10. Will Chambers 11. Jim Chambers 12. Robt. Hellums 13. Will Gillian 14. Walter Wooten 16. Jack Blount 17. Will Wagner 18. Dap Wagner 19. Henry Crosby 20. Henry Scath 21. Theo Whitehead [then on a second, unnumbered column] Burney  Mauldin, Jim Crass, Edd Smith, John Taylor, Chas Garland, August Frederick, Edd Harning, Hugh Dixon, Joe Hoke, Edd Hoke, Eldon Chapman, Jno Wagner, Nick Kirby, Jim Goodman, M. E. Goodman, J. Brown, Doc Addington, Joe Whitehead


The most telling information I get about their daily lives is in the hundreds of what I’ve come to call “Town notes.” They are short, hastily written notes that were apparently being delivered all over town all through out the day. Most of them are invitations or acceptance/ declines to invitations. Some are apologies, some are acceptance of apologies. Basically, old timey texting. Here’s a good one. Three in one! Way to go, Wagner girls.

Young Ladies,

If no previous engagement prevents, we will be glad to call this evening.

Yours truly, 

E.L. Brown

L. Thomas

A. G. Buford

Friday afternoon

Another favorite is this one…


With pleasure I accept your company tomorrow evening. 



I love this one mainly because it is ripped in half down right the middle. I’m thinking Roberta never showed up. Sorry, Eugene! Love bites.

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