May 03, 2004
Do Not Drink Cold Water

from the incomparable archives of the Buffalo County Historical Society journal, Buffalo Tales, a selection of letters from Sally Coffman to her daughter, Marilla, 1878-1880

"Your father is well, only more helpless. George and his family are well. Delbert's baby is dead. It was buried a week ago today. Cholera Infantum caused its death. It was near 6 months old. Mrs. Clark has a girl baby 8 weeks old. Mrs. Seaman has a girl 7 weeks old. Mrs. Majors has her 3rd boy, 6 or 7 weeks old. Lots of babies, and folks too. There is from 25 to 30 scholars in school this term....
        We had a dry winter, very little snow, a great many windy days, and so little rain all the spring until June. Seed laid in the ground and did not sprout. Garden seeds planted early and nothing came, in June a few come up but there is no gardens and no potatoes now and I think there will be but few if any raised this year in this part of the state. The 3rd of this month there was a heavy storm. It blew away our little house and tore it to pieces and broke some of the boards, and broke my ash tree that Grant set out, took the roof off from several houses. I think the wind blew the hardest I ever heard it. Wood River was so high they had to tie the bridge to keep it....
        The Koughs have all gone, everyone....
        Marilla, dear girl, I am sorry you have got to suffer so much again. Take care of yourself, do not work too hard, and don't worry. Do not drink cold water. I think drinking cold water when her child was young killed Del's wife. Now he is alone and very lonesome."

Posted by dbrown at May 03, 2004 09:11 AM
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