Skip to content

Hill Country Living

It’s a Wagner Week and here are a couple of letters from the same January week of 1902 and 1903. At least that’s what I thought they were when I randomly pulled them both from a box. I thought it would be cool to use two New Years letter written a year apart. But upon reading I realized that due to this Bailey person’s job standing and Kalista’s health that maybe these letters weren’t a year apart but actually only a week apart and D.R. had done that thing where it takes a while before you remember to write the new date! Either that or Bailey can’t decide what to do with his/her life and Kalista has been ill for a year.

Also of note, Old Man Taylor the Foreman. Wow. That’s no way to go out. But, I couldn’t tell if the writing said “wire fuse” or “wine fever.”  Both have their pros and cons in this situation. So, choose your preferred ending for Old Man Taylor. Reader’s choice. 

Wagner & Company

January 19, 1902

Dear Eugene,

Kalista is improving every day, sat up all of today, came down stairs, is thin and weak yet. She will not go back to her school. Bailey requested to be released from his engagement because there was lots of sickness of the same kind she had & many people were not there. 

George is doing well at Oxford, he was home last Sunday. Aunt Sis & Emma & the children are all well & improving. 

John is in N.O. & getting well, he will be home in a few days. He is getting better. He can’t stand pain or worry like I can.

Business is tolerable. Mill is doing very well.

We have had splendid weather since you left. We are very busy at the farm ploughing and building houses.

We all send you much love & hope you are doing well in your studies,

Affectionately your father,

D.R. Wagner

Wagner & Company

January 26, 1903

Dear Eugene,

Yours to hand. Kalista is well now, up and about gaining strength daily. She will not go back to South Carolina to teach, it’s unhealthy and Bailey asked to be released from his contract which we agreed to. 

John is coming home today, he is about well. He sent for Mabry several days ago and Evelyn put him on a sleeper in charge of the Porter and sent him down. He landed next morning at John’s Hotel, all OK. 

George is doing very well. I think he takes an interest in his studies now. Have had no letter from him this week. 

Business is dull. Cotton is 7 1/2 cts, nearly all in. We bought over 1000 bales for the mill, will have to buy 500 more. We keep pretty well sold up. We will try for 100 B/C on farm this year. We made about 30 last year.

Old Mr. Tayler, Foreman at shal. died yesterday. He fell on a wire fuse and could not extricate himself and in his struggles he cut his entrails and sustained fatal injuries. 

The Bank made 14 percent and paid 10 percent dividend. I  give you some of the stock when you are 21.

Jessie and Aunt Sis, Emma & children and Dudley are all well as usual & we all send love to you.

Affectionately Your Father,

D.R. Wagner

Leave a Comment