Old Letters - Page 1
Navarro County, Texas


Old Letters Index


[Joseph Bartlett Letters]

[Joseph Callaway Bartlett came to Texas in 1831 as a seventeen-year-old young man and after the Battle of San Jacinto served in the Army of the Texas Republic for three months.  In his sixties, living near Rice, Texas and widowed for a second time, he wrote to Moses Austin Bryan (who was a nephew of Stephen F. Austin, "Father of Texas," and who seemed not to remember his correspondent) about military service in the days of the Republic of Texas, land values, and other matters.   The originals of these letters are in a folder marked "J. C. Bartlett 1873-76" in box 2H118, Texas Veterans' Association Papers, A-Fn, at the Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin.  Spelling and punctuation are as in the original.]
                                                                                                               Rice Texas Apr. the 11 /74 [1874]

M. A. Bryan

    Dear old Friend

Yours of the 8th is at hand and contents duly notice you seem to be at a Loss to Know which one of the Bartletts I am. I am a son of Jesse Bartlett, You will know me now. We [were?] together a good deal in the fall of 32 in old San Felipe during the time that Father was Building a Livery Stable for John Rice Jones. We have not met verry often since then. We met at Corsicana in June 72 at the first temporary organization of the old Texas Veteran Assasiation, You want me to hive the names of any old veterans that I may Know There is G. W. Shelton of Corsicana David McCanlis of Dresden Navarro County and Thos Ponder of Dresden and B. L. Hearn and Joseph Boren of Ellis County, Ennis is their P.O. Our old friend Js. Clayton [Joseph Alvey Clayton, of Chatfield] is dead he was Killed last summer by a Threshing Machine, In Regard to your Lands in this neighborhood I think it would be hard to sell at any price for cash at this time although there is Lands selling in the same neighborhood at 3 to 5 dollars per acre in trade and on time. I think you had better come up and se it. I think if [three unintelligible words] it you would Like [two unintelligible words] enough to settle on it The country around it setting up [page 2] rapidly, with Regard to the Branch Road I have heard nothing said about it for some time past. I think if it is ever built it will be some time in the future, Must I write my name in the certificate myself, ask Gen [J.?] B Robertson who Js Bartlett is he can tell you, he was my colonel, and I was his captain in the Archiv[e] War, farewell untill we meet in Houston on the 21st of May.
                                                                                                               Yours Fraternally J. C. Bartlett


[ William Floyd Henderson Letter ]
The following article is transcribed by Traci Parsons-Holder from the Moulton Advertiser in Moulton, Lawrence Co., AL, March 11, 1911. It was written by William Floyd Henderson born in GA, and later moved with his parents Samuel and Josey Bennett Henderson to Mount Hope, Lawrence Co., AL. He was married 1887 to Mollie Mae Baker in AL and moved to TX between 1900 & 1902. William followed two sisters to Navarro County, Allie or Alberta? Henderson Martin
who married Pink Chilcoat sometime after 1894 in Navarro County and another sister who is unknown at this time. Traveling with him to Texas were his wife Mollie and children; Belle, Jewel, Floy and Buck. William resided with his family in the Rice, Chatfield and Alma communties, where his daughters; Carrie and Ruby, sons; Carter, Alvis, and Teddy were born. He was a farmer and farmed until his death in 1928. Several of the family members are buried along side him in the Old Chatfield Cemetery.

Whiffs from Texas
Alma, TX 2/21/1911
Mr. Jourd White & Son
Moulton, AL
Dear Old Friends:- Inclosed find $1.75 for which move my subscription to the dear Old Advertiser up to 1912; also send me The Atlanta Constitution and the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Mr. Jourd, we have been having some of the finest weather out here for farming this winter I ever saw. The people as a rule have nearly all their land broke and ready for planting. We have had the finest rains I ever saw fall in Central Texas. Very little wheat sowed in this county though we have a fair crop of cats - more than usual and prospect promising for a good yield with a fine suboil(?) season in the ground. About passed the danger line for a freeze and we anticipate no harm.

No corn planted yet, though most of the farmers plant this month.

Our principal crop is cotton and more cotton. Some plants in March on and until the middle or last of June.

Say, Mr. Jourd, the most of our old friends from Alabama out here are doing well and enjoying good health. Often see Dick Dukeminier, or better known as "Honest Dick"? and he looks well. All his children look well.

With best wishes for you and your many readers for a happy and prosperous year. I am your friend .... (unable to read)

W.F. Henderson

[ A. F. Mitchell Letter ]

Addressed to: Mrs. Robert Robinson, 219 Racine St., Atlanta, Ga.

Frost, Texas
Feb 3rd - 32

My Dear Uncle Robert,  I have been trying to write you ever since May died Sept 10 - 31.  I have not been well nor strong nor has Mama or Papa as May was sick about three yrs add lost her mind a year before she died she was just like caring for a baby.  They only have two children living out of seven.  My self and Brother John.  I have 4 children and John has 6 boys and two girls and 2 have 3 boys and one girl.  We sure up against it here as our town was swept away by a tornadoyear before last and last year our cotton ware house burned and we all lost our cotton so it is going to be a hard pull for all of us and the Banks are only allowing two Dollar a piece to a family.  John and I are having to help Papa and Mama, we cant keep them much as we are so hard hit ourselves.  I don't know what any of us are going to do.  Papa sure does worry and Moma too but the existing condition can not be avoided.  Uncle Robert, Papa want to know your age also uncle youngs.  I hope you are all enjoying good health.  I am enclosing clippings of many and Moma & Papas picture. 

You must let us hear from you soon.

Your Niece Mrs. A. F. Mitchell.



  • Published in the Navarro County Leaves & Branches Vol XXV Issue I; Has actual scan of letter and envelope.

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From Sam Skinner to his sister (WWI)

New York City, Jan. 3, 1919

Dear Sister-Wrote you a card today that I have just landed in New York, and now I will write a line or two.

First thing here at debarkation hospital was a real good bath and then a sure enough good old supper. We got into port and unloaded about 3 this afternoon.

Now I am not going to try to scare you, but will tell you a little about my trip all the way from Toms. Took the grippe on the way from there up to Brest (trip took 48 hours) and was there six days before I left. It was cold and raining every day and had been for a month. Had fever most of the time at Brest but I felt very good the day I got on the boat, December 24. we left the harbor Xmas day in the afternoon and was on the Northern Pacific. They gave us a real good Xmas turkey dinner and then gave us a large Red Cross bag of most everything. Well, it was stormy and the boat began to roll, so I lost all my dinner before supper time.

The sea was awfully rough every day and it was very little that I ate the entire trip.

We expected to get in here early New Year's morn, but at 3 o'clock that morning we woke up to find our ship climbing up on a sand bank out about 60 miles from here, on Fire Island. Suppose you have read something about the Northern Pacific running aground in a storm. There we stuck until today. They unloaded a few yesterday, but some of them drowned. It was dangerous this morning, but I got off alright.

This hospital is some swell place believe me. It is right here in the city near where we got off boat. Don't know how long will be here, but likely a week or ten days. I want to see part of the city before I leave.

The "old vets" from France are certainly important here, and the people will do any and everything they can for you.

I am well from the operation and was heavier than I ever was before I left France. But being sick before I left and then seasick all the way across, I lost a right smart of it. I consider myself very lucky to get to come back, for my unit will be over there in the mud for a long time, and they are sure enough sick of it.

Will write again as soon as I move. Hope to get mustered out and get home as soon as possible, Your Brother, Sam Skinner



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Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox