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Hill Country Living

One of the more interesting aspects of reading years of a family’s correspondences is that the reader gets several different viewpoints of the same subjects. Here D.R.’s love of a hard day’s work is confirmed by both D.R. himself and his daughter, Corinne. 

As a note, D.R. rarely uses commas or periods when writing out his banking figures so it’s hard for me to tell exactly how much money he’s talking about. But from what I can tell, he seems to have been shooting for $100,000. Pretty good for 1903.

Water Valley, Miss 

Nov 22, ‘03

Dear George,

Your letter to hand, I am sorry that you do not feel good over your prospects, but my son, if you feel that way hard enough you will overcome any deficiency that you think you are deficient in, every young man has feelings of that kind and I soon found the remedy. That is in hard work. That’s a pretty good remember for almost all things. I think you are doing fairly well and I always knew that you could do what you set your head to do. Eugene is a good student but I think that you are quicker to see things than he is when you try.

Keep right on and do your best and all things will come out right. I have been a successful man and I never did any thing worth while until I came out of the war. I was then 25 years old. I trust you will do as well and I see no reason why not.

We are all very busy now. We sold about 3000 in 4 days last week. We have Jackson that was in the Depot helping us. Also Holt in the Gro. We work for 100000 sales this year. Nothing like setting your hand to do a big thing & then do it. The deposits are larger in the bank than ever before, $60,000. Business in Memphis is great.

Dap will be moved December 22. Jessie and I are going to Memphis Tuesday week. The Baby is well. They named him “John Henry.” All of us are well. We had a freeze and our flowers are all gone, sorry for that. Kali Star is coming home, so are Corinne and all of you, that will be nice to have you all at hone again. I trust you will have a good time during Thanksgiving. I think we will all be hard at work then. We all send love to you.

Affectionately your father,

D.R. Wagner

312 E. 7th St.

Plainfield, N.J
   May 14, 1904

Dear George,

Have you heard of the plan the family has made to come up to Eugene’s commencement and then go to Atlantic City afterwards? Papa must be feeling prosperous. I guess he is on the right side of cotton.

My school closes June 3 and I will have to go over to Princeton for a few days I suppose and then I want to go up to Wellesley for a week. And then up to Canada for a while unless they need me at home. Kalista is going to be there so I don’t believe they will. 

How about your position for the summer? Have you got anything to do yet? I think Papa wants Eugene to go to work right away, about two weeks after commencement. He believes in the saving grace of hard work, doesn’t he?

Did you get a picture of young John Henry? He is an awfully cunning babe. 

Things must be beautiful in Ithaca now. Did you ever know such a perfect spring? 

I hope you are well and happy.

I am.

Lovingly, Corinne

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