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Hill Country Living

No Trailer Living For The Wagner Family


So, to continue what I was saying about the trailer park…just kidding! It’s a Wagner Letter week. Can I get an amen on that? Let’s talk about a family who definitely did not live in a trailer.

These are just a couple of random letters I chose because one talks about mysterious medical ailments, one of which had to be”opened.” There is nothing I love more in these letters than reading about horrible medical conditions. I think in a past life I was a nurse in the 1880s…possibly the world’s worst thing to be. And we haven’t heard from ol’ D.R. and his grouchy self in a while so here goes.


Water Valley, Aug 4th 1883

My Dear Boy,

Your welcome letter reached me this A.M. We were all very glad to hear from you. It found us all well except Jessie who is better than when you left. She has had that place on her neck opened and feels better now. She had the choking last night and suffered intensely  while it lasted. The Dr. (your Grandpa) gave her Labelea which soon relieved her. Your Grandpa says he went to Bingham when he was a boy. Tell Maj B. 

You ask me for money to buy pillows, sheets, etc. i sent Maj. B $150.00 to buy you everything you needed and to furnish you with the average amount of spending money. You will therefore request him to buy you the articles named.

I am glad to hear that you like the school. Write to me once a week and keep me advised as to how you are getting along. We all send our love. Your affectionate father, D.R. Wagner


Water Valley Miss October 19th 1883

My Dear Son,

Maj Bingham’s report has just been received and I am very sorry that it was not better than the first report and we all expected that the next would be better. Imagine our disappointment when we found it WORSE, particularly when we took such pains to grant all your requests as to many other things we sent and the money to go to the fair. But I will say no more, only I hope you will be MUCH BETTER NEXT TIME. I hope you had a pleasant time at the fair and now it is over you all feel better.

We are all very well. Jessie is doing better than she has for 3 years. She goes to school to Mrs. Mc Farland.

Aunt Sis is here and would like to see you. She will leave the middle of Nov.

We all want to see you real bad but we must insist on  you staying until next summer.

The mill boiler leaked and we are not running now. Business is quite dull and we are not making much now.

With much love from us all, I remain you affectionate father, D.R. Wagner

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