Saturday, February 27, 2016

J.S. Hogg, down but never out, April 1905

In April 1905, Jim Hogg wrote a newsy letter to his nephew:

         . . . Last Thursday is the first time I have been to my desk since early in January. I got my neck cracked on the railroad on the 26th of January, within about forty miles of this place. The rigors or convulsions followed in quick succession, and in the course of a few days an abscess about the base of my brain or somewhere in my neck set up. From the injury I lost consciousness which continued for something over a month. The torture and misery that I suffered could only be described by some or all of the four doctors who attended me. They could not reach the abscess from the exterior, but finally had to cut it from five different places through my mouth. I am not entirely well, though I am gradually recovering my strength. This explains what would otherwise appear to be negligence in answering the letters which have accumulated. . . .
         For the past two years luck seems to have turned against me. Beginning with Ima’s affliction [she had injured her knee, but recovered], which lasted nearly a year; then came Tom, then Mike, so that upon the whole my anxiety of mind and loss of time, as well as expenses, have taken all of the “music” out of me. While these afflictions were on I sustained very heavy losses in many quarters. If I finally recover, as I now believe I will, from the illness which yet afflicts me, I have no fear of the future or of results. The outlook is certainly cheering and cheerful. My children are scattered so that I do not know whether I can ever get them together again.
         Will has a fine position with the best prospects of any young man that I know of in St. Louis. He has a fine salary and almost limitless financial backing. He and Ima both stayed with me during my illness here. Of course, Ima is yet my running mate and if it is possible has improved every day. Mike is yet in Lawrenceville, but is not very well on account of a spell of measles which he has not yet recovered from. Tom is out on a cattle ranch seventy miles west of Kerrville. I have moved here and am boarding at the hotel. . . .

On March 3, 1906, Jim Hogg died peacefully of a heart attack in his sleep. 21 days short of his 55th birthday.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Before Ima's 1905 romance, Governor Hogg has a fateful accident.

The year of Ima’s “Sweetheart” romance, her father had a serious injury.

 In late January [1905] a fateful accident took place. On January 26, ex-Governor Hogg, en route by train from Varner to Houston, was involved a collision. The passenger car in which he was riding rammed into another car, and Hogg was thrown violently to the floor. At first the injuries seemed to be only bruises, and Ima continued her socializing in Austin. She gave a “German” (a ball) on February 3, honoring her visiting San Antonio friends. But Ima’s Austin social whirl was halted and the family’s life took an unexpected turn two days after Ima's party, when she received a telegram that her father was seriously ill in Houston. An abscess had formed at the back of his neck, and he was about to have surgery.
 “Of course I rushed to him,” Ima wrote later.
To reach and treat the abscess, as Hogg later told his physician nephew, William Davis, Houston doctors “had to cut it from five different places in my mouth.” [1]These surgical procedures weakened his already strained heart, and Ima became his devoted nurse. He was critically ill and bedridden “for practically eight weeks,” as Ima wrote to Mike in Lawrenceville. But by March their father was much improved and able to travel with Ima and Tom to San Antonio for a stay at the Menger Hotel--but not for long.
---The Hoggs of Texas: Letters and Memoirs of an Extraordinary Family (2013).

It was mostly downhill from there.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Love Letter for Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day, another Ima Hogg mystery in an undated (1905?) letter to her, addressed to “Sweetheart”:

         It was not just the muchness of your note but the wasness of it that brought that inexplicable joy to my heart. Most heartily do I agree with you, sweetheart, that Fate could not be so unkind as to keep long separated two such loving and trusting hearts. Were I to think that for a moment that we were not to be one forever, that moment would I cease to be. But think not on thoughts so unpleasant for it is by thinking right that you get right. So get right on thought and it will be as you think it. I think only that I love  you, and that you are mine and that no power on earth can separate us, and none can. I love you by day. I love you by night. No winter chill our love can blight. For the moment, dear, I go away--but I leave my love with you to stay. So with love, love, love, and kisses too, I leave the moment my love with you.
         Your Sweetheart.
When I first started to you, I am sure, my love, this note was blue.
Here’s a last kiss and another still.
Here’s one for Jack and one for Jill.
Of course they are all meant for you.
Jack and Jill I thought would do.
That I might give your kisses the rue
Ere I left--don’t you mind.
But if my dear you are really mad
I’ll take them back to make you glad
So there! and there!! and there!!!
The cheeks, the mouth, the hair.
So now I’m off but not to stay.
I’ll soon be back, so dear be gay.
[4 words are crossed out and unreadable] Sweetheart

Will we ever know who “Sweetheart” was?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Summer 1918 Travels, continued

[The little notebook goes on. Here is the second page, which rather like page one. Here she evidently made some purchases, and she kept careful records.] 
[Page 2]

Clock 13.00   B. 4.00
Beds 20.00   Poudre 2.34
[Now, on to New York and New Jersey and more addresses.]

Benj. H. Lindes [?], Lake George, NY.
R. D. 2

Nichols & Stone Co. (chairs paid)
82 Logan Mass.
Brooklyn Chair Co.
425-433 W. 28th St. N, J.

Mrs Spooner  Glenn Falls, N, J,
Chas. Sherman  145 Bay St.
Wm. Turner   Bay St.
Mrs. Hubbell 45 1/2 Park St.

[The next three pages consist of IH’s notes from a lecture.]
[Page 3]Oct. 19  Deal

[The October 19 date is a puzzle, as is the location of the lecture.]
 Reconstructing Am. Bus.

Ante bellum      25 billion per mun.[?]
Nor. orders [?]  46 billion

18,000,000 people changed occupations.
What gov. action would business like?
. . .
Industrial Councils in Eng,
. . . .