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Hill Country Living

Considering Current News, A Look At Area History Is Appealing This Week

I think I promised in my last column that I would write about my trips to the Pig this week but considering what all we’ve had to see on the news in the last few days, I decided that I didn’t want to think about the present moments anymore than I had to. 

So, it’s a Wagner Week. I find any letter from D.R.. Wagner interesting because he is so…dry. I wonder if the man knows what an adjective is? He would be the worst at Mad Libs because he hates describing things and he also apparently hates humor. When he writes his son, John, he’s incredibly strick and harsh in tone but I see that he lightens up a bit with his wife, Maria, here in these letters. 

He uses TWO exclamation points! He seems to kind-of like her, although he still signs his letters to her, like he does his son, with his initialed business signature (can we not get a “Dad” or “Danny-boy”?)

The war he is referring to is the Spanish-American war. Water Valley men are volunteering and young Dudley is playing out drills.

Maria is most likely off at one of those wellness resorts for rich people. She’ll come home to fine house with many mantel pieces.

Office of Yocona Mills

Capacity 2500 lbs Per Day

Water Valley, Miss May 8th, 1898

My Dear Maria,

No letter from you. We are all well, but we miss you. This is Dudley’s birthday, 7 yrs old! Don’t time fly! 40 boys are going to the war from here this week. It’s been cold since you left, I have my winter clothes on. Everything is going on all right at the Mill & Store & at the house. The carpenters will get through in the house this week. I think they are putting on the inside blinds now, it will take the painters 2 weeks yet & the 4 mantels are to be put up this week. I will be glad when it is all done. I am tired of it. 

We all hope you will have a good rest and improve everyday you are gone. George is down today, he looks well & sends love to you all.

How did you stand the trip?

We all send much live to you & Aunt Mary and the boys.

Affectionatly your husband,

D.R. Wagner

Office of Yocona Mills

Capacity 2500 lbs Per Day

Water Valley, Miss May 13th 1898

My Dear Wife,

Your letter received. It found us all well and everything going on neatly at the house. They will soon be two up there, Will has gone to Chicago. John & Hiram are both well – so is Dudley. He is drilling now, the “Volunteers” drill every day. They have about 50 now all ready to go to the war. The young ladies gave them a reception last night at the city hall. They all had a good time. I am feeling very well now, not much rheumatism. We are all glad to hear that you are well & you must take a good rest. We all send love to you & Sister Mary and the boys. 

Affectionately your husband,

D.R. Wagner

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