Letters to Mary Dunton - 05/05/1912

December 31, 2012

Here's another letter that's out of sequence. It was stuffed into an envelope postmarked Feb. 10, 1919.

Dear Mary,

This has been a real summer day, 80 in the shade. We all took an auto ride this morning. Mr. Haight went with us and of course cousin Louise. We went to De Kalb and home by Cortland. Found the roads very good and afterwards regretted that we had not gone around by Maple Park and Uncle Pauls. A sister of Louise Countess is visiting Dorris and Martha is with them this evening. Louise has promised to go to visit Aunt Lizzie Wednesday p.m. and expects to go back home Saturday. Shall be sorry to have her go.

Viola has gone for good. She left yesterday noon and her place is being supplied by a sister of Neville's who has recently arrived from Ashville. She is a married woman with two children but her husband does not live with her. He is said to be an undesirable citizen. She does not stay at our house nights but makes her home with Neville. Can't tell yet whether she will be as good as Viola or not.

I am more confused than ever by the Louises. Is 'Louise Countess' given by full name to distinguish her from 'cousin Louise' or is there a comma missing there?

This does settle the Ashville/Oakville question, but it's still hard to keep track of their maids. On the 1910 census, the maid is Amanda Johnson, not Viola. I also don't think this married sister of Neville's can be etiher of the Ecklunds (Mary or Emma) who are younger, and born in Sycamore.

There is a strike on in nearly all the newspaper establishments in Chicago so that we had no paper today and have not had any since Wednesday except two issues of The Daily News consisting of only one sheet.

I met Pauline J. Waterman Jr. this morning out walking with her Pa. She told me that she had a new baby brother, which confirmed what her Pa told me Friday.

Neville gave Topsey her weekly bath this morning and she must soon be sheared. I think I never saw her with quite so heavy a crop of wool and she must suffer on a day like this. I wrote to Miss Sutherland yesterday that if you applied to her for permission to visit Atlantic City I hoped she would grant it provided you had suitable companty and could make the trip under proper conditions.

Much love from all
Your Father
G.W. Dunton

George doesn't explicitly cross check his gossip often, but it seems that Pauline is only two years old; the 1920 census gives us a household in Sycamore consisting of:
J R Waterman 45 (head)
Pauline T Waterman 32 (wife)
Pauline Jane Waterman 10 (daughter)
John Walter Waterman 7 (son)
Louise Lee Waterman 5 (daughter)
Walter Waterman 73 (father)
Electa Jane Waterman 72 (mother)
(Along with two nurses and a maid.)

I think it's pretty sweet that George is the sort to make conversation with a tot and relay the news at face value.

Poodles are the most common domestic dog of the era.

No helicopter parenting here! Atlantic City or not seems to be up to Mary to work out with Miss Sutherland.