It was so nice to have a long letter from you and to be brought up to date on some of your activities. I expected to answer it sooner but it did arrive during our busiest weekend of the summer. Keith and his family were here and Dorothy and her four children. When Keith’s went home they left their oldest boy and went Dorothy went her two oldest boys stayed—You know how three growing boys can disrupt a household of a grandma and a maiden aunt. We took Keith’s boy half way home on the 23rd and the Fagerberg boys home on the 27th. We stayed until Sunday night and were present at the 75th anniversary observance of Frank’s church–All very nice. The first half of the summer we had Dean’s two boys, five and seven, while their mother was in summer school at Iowa City. With other company who came for shorter periods, Mary thinks we were by ourselves only one full week since the first of June. We do like it but it is a little wearing.
The weather was so oppressive much of the time, too. Think I minded that more than the children. We were weeks without rain and the corn and beans suffered, lawns were brown and pastures dried up. But now it’s raining again, it came too late to help some things but at least the lawns are green again and the cucumbers are bearing and I know we all feel better.
I did send your letter on to Uncle Dan, thinking he might be able to supply some of the information you asked for. But he seems to know even less than I do. I sent your addressed envelope to him and he returned it so I’m not sure if he planned to write you or not.
Of course Grandma Coon died before I was old enough to remember her. Believe I was less than 18 months old. People tell me she was a typical Irish lady with a real cute brogue. She was born in County Cork Ireland and her name was Ellen O’Connor. I don’t know where she married Mr. Dailey–whether over there or here–I don’t even know his first name. They were on their way west by covered wagon with a caravan of others, I think, when he died in Dubuque. I think my mother said he died of the cholera, but Uncle Dan is of the impression he was drowned.
Anyway, she came on with the group. She had a little boy–Uncle Jim, and was expecting your grandfather. She stayed at the home of friends by the name of Beecher–One time the daughter Mary Ann Beecher Bohach? told me that she and Uncle Will were born on the same bed–at the Beecher home and I think they were about the same age. Uncle Dan tells me he didn’t know that. She met my grandfather–Sam Coon and married him—and the Coon children were born. He had left Pennsylvania to make his fortune out west.
From a lady who is still living and 80 years old, I have a little information about the family for she visited there as a girl. She wrote a book about “My Yesterday” as yet unpublished and she pays the Coon family his tribute—says they were a remarkable family. Each Sunday they attended church—with horse and wagon—Mrs. Coon and her two boys going to the Catholic Church and Mr. Coon and his children going to the Methodist. I’ve often wondered if Catholics considered her a good Catholic but from old timers I’ve learned that they did. My mother once told me that she required only that the babies be baptized in the Catholic faith.
Back to the book, Mrs. Hudson also tells of visiting the Coon home and staying over night—Grandpa always said the table grace and during it Grandma crossed herself. After breakfast, Grandpa got his bible and read a selection, then all knelt as he prayed and she, using her rosary, prayed in the Catholic tradition.
She tells, too, how united the two families were, and how unselfish all were, each working for the common good of all—She ends by saying, “truly a remarkable family.”
(Might be missing a page. Doesn’t seem to follow.)
I’d find a rotten branch. Some folks here spend so much time researching, going east and touring cemeteries and taking pictures of tombstones, where they are buried. That I can’t see. I’d rather do something constructive.
Had a marvelous time at Uncle Dan’s birthday party. It was too short but it had to be that or nothing and so much better than nothing at all. he’s truly a remarkable man. Seems feeble & frail but mind is as keen as ever, it seems. His housekeeper takes wonderful care of him.
Is your mother with you? I thought perhaps from your letter, I haven’t heard from her for ages. We tried to get her to go to California with us but she thought she couldn’t.
Think I’ll quit and make a peach pie for dinner and finish up the crate I bought to eat raw.
Would love it it you’d write again and tell me more of your family.