Monday, January 9, 2017

Mailbox Monday~Letters from Mattie-Part 3

Kate and Jimmy Ryan
©Cheri Hudson Passey

Kathryn Louise (Baker) Ryan (1899-1987) was my paternal Great Grandmother's sister. Affectionately known as "Auntie Kate", she was the genealogist of her generation. Much of my early research on the Baker family comes from the information she collected and passed on to me. She kept many things belonging to the generations before her including pictures, bibles, obituaries, documents and personal items. 

When Auntie Kate died, my father rescued a box full of her treasures from the trash. Among these items were letters she received from her Mother, Martha "Mattie"Victoria (Bradford) Baker (1862-1947) which all seem to have been written about 1925. Kate and her husband were living in Wadesboro, North Carolina at the time these were sent to her. 

Letters from Mattie
©Cheri Hudson Passey

Only two envelopes were included with the 4 letters. They were both empty. None of the letters included a date, but some gave enough clues to narrow down a month in which it was probably written. Fortunately, one held enough information to determine which envelope it had been sent in. 

Mattie Baker
Before 1935
©Cheri Hudson Passey

Letter 1-
This letter is not dated and doesn't give any information as to when it was written, but the people Mattie writes about puts the letter in the 1925 time period. It possibly could be the letter that goes in the empty February 5, 1925, envelope.

Mattie is writing to daughter Kate about a trip taken to visit son James Alpheus Baker (1893-1974) who they called "Allie". 
Allie, wife Ethel Vivian (Ogg) Baker (1895-1979), and daughter Dorothy Alpheus (Baker) Billings (1915-1987) were living in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Her  granddaughter, Mary (Baker) Hudson (1920-2010) -my grandmother- is on the trip with her. 
It appears that she is writing the letter from the home of her daughter, my Great Grandmother, Emma Ruth (Baker) Early (1901-1993). She talks about riding in the car belonging to "Jube", my Great Grandfather Jubal Ransom Early (1888-1964). Mattie is having quite the time visiting her children and says that she will be going to the home of her daughter Ella"Bess" Fair (Baker) Wells (1889-1971) next. 
Mattie also talks about "Didy". This may be a nickname for Auntie Kate's husband James  "Jimmy" Patrick Ryan (1893-1950).
1  Tuesday, a.m.  
Mattie Baker Letter pg. 1
©Cheri Hudson Passey

 Well I am still among 
 the red hills not doing
one thing but eating
and sleeping and riding
 around having a good
time, but we can't ride
now for Jube had to go
off in the car and will
be gone all week
 but you know I am not
any crazy about a car
no way and I love to walk
 when I feel well. I intended
going to Besses [sic]Thursday
but Jube said if I would

stay until Sunday that  
Mattie Baker Letter pg.2
©Cheri Hudson Passey
they would take me to
Columbia in the car and 
I would so much rather
go that way than on the
train so I will stay until 
about Tuesday with Bess
and then go on home. I
made my stay at Charlotte
short and sweet for I
could not make myself at
 home they treated me all
right but oh my that                          
 Dorothy she was just to [sic]
much for me and she was

Mattie Baker Letter pg. 3
©Cheri Hudson Passey
so mean and cross to
Mary the poor little thing    
 look like she was
miserable the whole time we
was there when we got to
Ruth's she look like a
bird out of a cage and
I was all most as bad for
she fed me just about the
way she did you and you
know that did not suit
me at all and Allie was
not there at all only at
night and would leave'soon every morning so I
did not see much of him
and Ethel spent the evenings 
in bed reading so you see
I had a lively time not
knowing anybody

Mattie Baker Letter pg. 4

but oh my I have been  
eating since I've been
here just like I did there
and enjoyed it they all have been so sweet to me
I speck [sic] I will be saying
I don't want to go home
why would love to see
the folks at home for I
know they need me at
home tell Didy I hope that
his business is still
improving since I left.
for Allie said I must
have brought him good
luck to his I think I
better come again. I have told all the news so I will close
so I will say by by [sic] for this time
love for you both from Mother

What fun to read about Mattie's adventures at her children's homes! From her irritation at her son's home to riding around in a car at her daughter's my Great Great Grandmother's personality comes through in these four pages. 
Letter number two will be posted in a couple of weeks as Mailbox Monday~Letters from Mattie continues.

Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
 Together we can find our people.
 Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Those old letters are wonderful. A snapshot into their lives.

    1. I wish I had these letters when my Auntie Kate was still alive. I would love to know what was meant by "the event" and calling someone a Devil! Hahaha! I have an idea, but would love to have talked to her about it!