Saturday, January 12, 2008

Letter from Ida (Fall of 1936)

Letter to Malissa Joslin Brubaker Bower from her sister, Ida Joslin Dressler Lewis. A copy of this letter was made by Irwin Joslin from my grandmother's files. The location of the original is not known. I received a copy of the transcribed letter in November 2007 from George and Lorene Joslin. This is the transcription that was done by Irwin Joslin. You will probably notice that he "cleaned up" her spelling, which makes it easier to read, but perhaps loses some of the "flavor" of her previous letters.

For more information on Ida and her family see Ida Joslin Dressler Lewis (1863-1937)

Other posts in this series:
This is the last letter from Ida. She passed away on March 8, 1937 "of pneumonia which followed influenza" but, more likely the cause was that "Mrs. Lewis died of shock when told of her husband's death last Friday by a friend who visited her at the hospital." Ida and her husband had both spent the previous three weeks in the hospital. [1]

Joe is Ida's son Joseph Dressler who lived in New Mexico. Belva is Joe's wife. Lolo is their daughter, Lola. She was a teacher from 1926-1929 at Ewing School in Torrance County, New Mexico. Lola married Irvin Taylor. Just yesterday I found them in the 1930 census living in Inyo County, California. From the California Death Index, I learned that Lola died March 1, 1983 in Los Angeles. Though Joe and Belva Dressler apparently had health issues (mentioned in the previous letters), they both lived into the 1960s.

Malissa passed away September 30th, just about 7 months after Ida. Their sister, Roxie Parkison, died on March 5, 1941 and their other sister, Della Quillen, mentioned in the other letters, died on February 7, 1943.

No date, probably the fall of 1936. Sounds like it was an election year.

My dear dear sister, So glad to get your letter, but it makes me sad for I know the end is near for us buy why should we be sad. It is only the passing on to a new life but I can’t help being lonely for my loved ones. I just ask God to give me grace to carry on until He comes. I’m feeling much better. I went to church yesterday. Friends brought me home. Heard a wonderful sermon. Our new pastor is a young man from Louisville, Ky. and he is a marvelous man. Just preaches the old, old fashioned religion of Jesus and Him crucified for us. It gives me new strength to hear such encouraging words - the old, old story ever new.

This is such a beautiful day. I long to be out but can’t go alone. I get all the news of both sides - Roosevelt - Landon - Smith governor to be of Missouri. The radio gives me everything and it helps to pass away many otherwise lonely hours. I guess it made you sadder to bid your boy goodbye forever. I don’t know as I will ever see Joe again although he always says he will come when he can get away from his farm. I wrote him it would be too late if he kept putting it off but I know its hard to get away from the farm. He is not well. Neither is his wife. Just working themselves to death - children all worried. Still they don’t seem to know how to let up. They always say - “just one more year” - but they keep right on.

The youngest boy, with his family, lives on Joes farm. He built a house for him. The other one not far away but Lolo is the one Belva wants near her but she is a long way off. Only comes every year but she seems happy with her husband and two boys. Guess she won't have any more. I hope not. The youngest is 3 ½ - the other one 6 - going to Kindergarten. Lolo gives them a good start as she taught school several terms before she married Ervin. I wonder why Roxie don’t write. I’m afraid she is very poorly and she is so alone - has three daughters and not one near her. It don’t seem right - and she is so lonely. I wish I had something pleasant to write you. But seems I can’t. But everything comes from my heart and I feel very near to you when I’m writing. Oh how I wish you could sit on my porch in the sunshine and we could have a visit - and it would help us. But if I was able physically I would drop in on you. But that will never be so lets keep in close touch by writing and in that way we can help one another.

Sam thinks Landon will make a good President and he will cast his first vote for a Republican President. [2]

Tuesday - 10:00 a.m.
A cool dreary morning - going to rain. How did the flowers look I sent you? I’m feeling fair this A.M. Hubby has gone to Kansas for the day - working. No word from sisters this A.M. - Charity drive is on - they will be at my door today but I’ve nothing for them - I know too much about them - its a lark for the swells to get out in the expensive cars, new coats of fur that cost hundreds of dollars and tell us what we ought to do, etc. Well, we have several millionaires here - they are the ones to give. Election here will be terrible - probably bloodshed. Its a bitter fight and we think a close run. 300 registered here from empty houses - Democrats. The police is trying to run them down. Well, we hope

[The rest of the letter is missing. . . . ]

[1] Obituary of Ida Joslin Dressler Lewis published on March 8, 1937 in the Columbia City Post, Whitley County, Indiana.
[2] Alfred Mossman Landon was governor of Kansas 1933-1937. A Republican, he was defeated in his bid for the Presidency in 1936 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Wikipedia)

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