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Letters to WALT COWAN
From: Elva Blin
Lebanon, Ohio Feb 20, 1906
You ask if I thought you dead; Not at all, but what do you begin to think has become of me I will tell you. I am still in the land of the living and although you may doubt it joyfully and thankfully received your kind letter and the picture taken at cousin Pete's. I want to thank you ever ever so much in remembering one so insignificant as I, but can not tell you how much we appreciate the picture of so many of the cousins. Would like to have had yours with the rest but as some one had to operate the little machine for the rest, am glad yoiu remembered some one away over in Ohio.
I had fully intended writing sooner and thanking you for your kindness and there thought I would wait until we sent you and Scott those Valentines; and it had been so long Edna sais since she had received Scott's letter I told her I would write in a few days. I was sick and unable to write part of last week and Sunday we went to church in the morning and had company for dinner and went to church again in the evening. Yesterday we washed and went to grandpa Blin's in the afternoon. So that is the way it has been. I have had a seige of sick head ache this morning and although am feeling better now, there is room for considerable improvement yet but I suppose I would not be a Blin all have it so much so it is not strange that I should share the same fate. So if you can not read this which I doubt if you can just bring it to Ohio and I will interpret it to you gladly.
I think you surely had a very narrow escape and it is no wonder you were thankful you were not a little closer. I know I am but am sorry you were there at all. I am glad your artificial eye is so comfortable and hope it will continue to be so.
Last Sunday evening we did not have any preaching but after our Christian Endeavor we all went to the Universalist Church to a Union meeting of all the churches. It was the Francis Williard Memorial Services. They had a real nice program and then our minister gave a short address which every one said was grand.
There had been a man lecturing on Catholicism at Springboro. He lectured last Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings a week ago. He gave his lectures in the Methodist Church and as their minister was sick he preached for them on Sunday morning also. On Monday evening he spoke just for the men and if the same number of men would go to church every Sunday there would be quite an increase in the attendance at the different churches.
I was not at any of his lectures with the exception of on Sunday evening. There were several went down to hear him after our church was out. He has at one time been a Catholic but has been converted to the Protestant Faith; and so I think surely he knows what he is talking about. Some of the things he told of them were simply dreadful and if what he did say of them is true which I do not doubt in the least, may God help him in his noble work and grant him success.
I am glad you are having such good success at the different churches in the Protracted Meetings and hope you may have even better success at your church. We were telling you when we were out there, how our Church had been pulled to pieces am glad to say it is gradually building up again under the new minister. Our average attendance has raised in the last quarter from 33 to 41 so we do feel incouraged (sic) at that this time of the year.
What did I get for Xmas? Edna and I together got a year's subscription for three magazines, a book and ladies manicure set. Then I got a gold head hat fur, a fancy collar, a set of cuffs and collar, and a silver mounted ebony toilet set and Grandpa Blin always gives us a dollar every Christmas. I am going to put a little more to it and get me a new Bible as my present one does not look as if it was always kept on the stand. Oh yes I forget to say I got a big gingham apron and have made it so I am all ready for the kitchen when you people from Indiana will condescend to come in and pay us a visit (which I hope will be soon).
I also want to thank you for the menu car of the Round Hill Social. While I am chief cook and bottle washer, I am not acquainted with the dishes on that card. They are not in my receipt book and if you are fortunate enough to possess them perhaps you can give me a few "pointers" on cookery when you come to Ohio.
Do not think I was tired of your letter by the time I was through reading it, but I don't know what you will think of this by the time you can mak eout these 5 pages of importance.
close or you will be saying in your next letter do not answer
so soon or so much instead of do not wait so long as I have
To: Walt inviting Walt & Scott to the Lebanon Ohio Chatauqua from Elva Blin
Lebanon, Ohio July 9th 1906
After so long a time I will (TYPED AS IS) indeavor to answer your most welcome letter which I received so long ago. I intended to answer right away but Edna said if I did not care for me to wait a little and let her answer. Scott's letter as she had received it some time before: So now as I have waited for "a little time" I will answer this evening. I thought I would surely answer last week but did not get to so I am going to tell you how I put in the time. I suppose you know from experience that Monday is rather a slow day. To begin with we had an extra large washing to do and to help us along we had four callers before dinner. Consequently we finished washing after dinner and began the ironing. Then we had two more callers. Tuesday morning Edna and I began to iron at 6:30 and ironed till noon. In the afternoon Edna went to town and I finished ironing and we prepared for company for the Fourth. Where did you spend yours. Our company came and after they left we went calling at one of the neighbors. Thursday we had hay bailers and I was sick all day and we began work Friday to get a good start for Saturday. Saturday we had company but stay all night and had intended to go to the Band Concert at Lebanon in the evening but just when we were about ready to start there was such a cloud came up and it rained so we stayed at home. Sunday morning we went to church, had company all day and went back to church in the evening. Some other company our miinister and wife, and little boy came home with us Sunday night so we started out with them this morning to spend the day. We took them to Franklin to the car and arrived home just in time for supper so I am sure you will agree with me when I saw that this week has been pretty well occupied. We had just 26 callers not counting our hay bailers to to take it all around do you think it is any wonder we've had our hands full. Uncle Jim Seller's wer eup a week ago Sunday. Aunt Minnie was real well for her. She said they were going to thresh tomorrow so mamma will be down there a part of this week.
Well, I did not get to finish this last night I will endeavor (sic) to do so before the mail-man goes to-day. I am keeping old Maid's Hall today as they have all gone and left me alone. I have not had time yet to be lonesome and from the prospect of things will not be lonesome the rest of the day. I had bread to bake this morning besides the rest of the morning work and Mr. Ward brought a lot of blackberries to be put up yet today.
Cousin Ella Cowan (Ellis's wife) has been to the city (Cincinnati) to be operated upon. SHe has been very low but the last we heard from them she was a little better. It is to be hoped that she will continue to improve and get through all right. I was sorry to hear of your pretty school house being burned down and no doubt all of the children out there are wondering what they will do this fall. It certainly looks like a poor way to revenge anyone. I expect you have bequest to things we want you to come in very much this fall but Edna told me to tell you to tell Scott she was waiting to answer his last letter saying you would come about the last week of Chautauqua until we got a program so I laid in a supply yesterday and will send you one today.
Now please don't think we are like your papa's sister out West because we did not answer sooner for we want you to come just as soon as you can. They were so slow about sending the programes out for some reason but they are out and there is a larger number going to camp this year than ever. Well I must close or the mail man will be gone. WIll say the rest when I see you. Hopeing to see you soon in Ohio I am as ever .. Your friend and cousin Elva Blin (daughter of Marilla Jane Cowan and John Blin)
11/26/1906 - From "Old Maid" Cousin Elva Blin - to Walter
I know you must have had a fine time by experience from being out there for I assure you I never spent so pleasant a two weeks any where before. There is not a day and scarcely an hour I think but what I think of you all out there and our pleasant visit with you.
I was so glad we could all go up to cousin Lina's together and go back together for I am afraid if we should have had to bid you all good by there we would have had a harder time than did. It does not seem as if it ought to have been sad either, after having so pleasnat a time and yet when it came time to say good-by there were so many thoughts came of pleasant days spent and of future days of the lives of each of us, where and how spent. I could not keep the tears back when we bid cousin Lib good by and her eyes were full. But I am looking forward to a time not far distant where we will see you all again for I am relying on your promise of your coming to Ohio. If we are not permitted to see you all here again perhaps we may in that higher and better world. Let us hope at least.
Carrie said in her letter to Edna, they had bought property and were going to move the first of December so it is a sure thing that they are going to town. I expect they are hurrying around trying to get every thing in readiness.
Papa got through husking corn Saturday noon but had Grandpa's to husk yet so by getting several hands to help they got through today. I told Grace to tell Mr. Marcrum that I saw Miss Tilton in Lebanon on Saturday after we came home on Thursday and delivered his message to her but she said nothing about it in her letter so I suppose she has forgotten it so you can tell him if you will and should happen to think about it.
I will cose as it is past my bedtime which is always early. Hoping you have not entirely forgotten and will answer this letter of Your Old Maid Cousin Elva Blin
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