Letters To The Editor In Silent Observer Rival Herald Letters
It’s a Wagner Week and I decided to focus on one of my favorite Wagners who I rarely mention. Hiram Wagner was John Henry’s cousin, born in 1870, younger than John by two years. Hiram was a very sweet child and was hearing impaired, as well as most probably developmentally challenged. Maria loved Hiram as if he were her own and her soft spot for him is apparent through out all the years of letters. At some point, Hiram is able to attend a school for the deaf and mute in Knoxville, Tennessee. Maria kept a copy of the school’s newspaper, The Silent Observer, in which Hiram’s name is listed on the Honor Roll.
This newspaper’s Letter to the Editor section is almost as good as the Herald’s Letter to the Editor section…almost. There are some general similarities and it’s not the rat killing. I always love a Letter to the Editor.
The Silent Observer, May 1, 1886
I am going to try to write some composition for the Silent Observer. I thought you would like to hear from me the first time. My classmate Newton Warren went home last week to help his father to work on the farm. He said he will write to me in a few days. We have ten fine cows. One of them died last Thursday in our yard while we were at dinner. She was a young Jersey mulch cow. Last Saturday we had a pleasant short visit from governor Bate. My teacher lectured last Sunday in our chapel and we were all interested in his lecture about the death and resssurection of Jesus Christ. My letter is already long enough so I must close hoping you will be pleased to read my letter.
David O. Watson, Patton Hadden and I have killed 136 rats and mice since last Sept in the barn. There were so many rats and mice in it but now there are but a few. We will try to kill them all next May. I hate them. Do you like them? In hear that the Chinese love to eat them. They eat them every day. I do not want to live in China. We have no cats to kill them. Patton Haden and W.B. Watson sometimes go but David and I go every day. I think they are very stupid and lazy boys. W.B. Watson went home to help his father work and he will not come here soon. He told me he will come here in Sept next month.
My Dear Editor.
Now again I write for the Silent Observer. I am going to write about Sauarbrah. He was born in Birmah, India. I saw him lecture in Staub’s theatre. The people in India worship idols which are called “gods.” They are bad and false gods. The people in India do not know God and Jesus, Gods hates idols, but the people in India are ignorant. Sauarbrah is a good Christian now. The U.S. sent some preachers to teach the people about God and Jesus Christ. Sauarbrah’s clothes are very funny. His face is yellow and he has long black hair like a woman. Now he has gone to New York and he will go home again to Birmah on the 1st of May.
David O. Watson