Contributed by Kathleen Haynes
Contact Myrtle Bridges June 23, 2008
Miss Wilhelmina Tate
Clinton, South Carolina
Nov 19, 1901
My dear Wilhelmina,
I am so glad that your clothes were satisfactory and that you were pleased with your hat. The people
here are wearing veils tied round the soft hats and I will send you one to put on your walking hat. The
ends hang down the back and they look very well - this in place of a scarf or the Persian silk you spoke of.
I made the placket like Bess Hunt's bought skirt and intended it to be out of sight. This was its great
attraction. Now about the blue dress. I have been wanting to see Bess Dicksen's going away gown to see if
I could get any ideas, but she wants me to see all her clothes, all at once. I went over yesterday and asked
to see her dress of course not hinting for a moment that I had any thought of copying as Mrs. D. thinks.
I sent your entire winter outfit last week. I would have written you about Bess' wedding, but when she
told Claude and I (Sue was in Charlotte and Irene over the river.) she made us promise to tell no one, and
I know when it got out that they would say it came through the Presnells, and they got it from you, and then
besides I thought it was as little as Bess could do to write you. I really knew nothing positive of her plans
'till yesterday. She is to have a reception Tuesday evening - about 30 of people who have been nice to Bessie,
"and very special friends next morning to see her married." Now, who this includes I am unable to say. I have
been asked to make the cream and cake and help her Tuesday. I will not go to the wedding. Mrs. Lanier, Sophy,
Lilly and Mrs. Geo. Brown are coming. Mr. Taylor will bring his brother, but his mother who has been in Western
N.C. all summer has gone home. No cards sent in town. Two hundred sent off. They are being directed today - short
notice for many presents. I'll have to give her something, but haven't decided what it will be.
But, to get back to your dress, we made Sue a beautiful brown suit before she went to Charlotte, and made it
with a belted eton jacket and a brown silk shirt waist. It has been very much admired and she says it was in
Charlotte. Irene says I might to make your jacket first and if there is any cloth left make the light waist. I
wish I could get you a new taffeta blk [black?] waist, but I can't do it just now. We all think if you would put
your white silk print on a white shirt waist and wear it with the jacket it would look well and then by spring get
you a waist. I think the blue waist I sent you will look well with the blue skirt in the evenings or indoors. I have
inquired and looked at catalogues and fashion books, and see no skirts with the fl----sce [flounce?] beginning at the
side - they extend all round, but write me if you specially desire yours to begin at the side widths. I will try to
get some pictures of dresses and let you pick one and try to follow it or you get a catalogue and pick out something
that you think pretty and send it to me.
Poor little Irene has been suffering with toothache and it is so swollen Dr. Jeter can not extract it, and I
might add that she is suffering almost as much on account of not being able to decide, or rather to make her desires
and purse agree as to her winter wardrobe. She has not gotten a dress and is wild on the subject of one of those raglans,
or as Gordon calls them wrapper cloaks. Bess Hunt has a long one, and all the Davis *"push" have three quarter cloaks.
Sudie Presnell and Annie Reid I understand have ordered the rag-town cloaks.
Beulah Wilson is expected today. I guess she has come for the wedding. She being so devoted to Bess (!). Ernest
Erwin has issued invitations to a masque ball in honor of a Mrs. Levison of Brooklyn, N.Y., a rich widow who is expecting
money in gold mines - in this country. I guess we will have another case similar to Mrs. Pursell.
We had quite an excitement last night. Thought the hospital was on fire - it proved to be the store house occupied
by Deaton. Frank and Wilson went over. It made a tremendous blaze and looked as if it were the back of the hospital. It
occurred at 12:30.
Wilson is at home, thinks he will farm next year. Alex has gone to work with Oliver the man who is changing the WNCRR
[Western North Carolina Rail Road]. I was very much opposed to this, but Frank thought he might as well work for them as
to loaf at camp all the time, and we could find no other work for him. So I've let him go and we can only pray for him.
He is not only exposed to great temptations, but great dangers. There was a young fellow killed out there last week.
We had a congregational meeting last Sunday and Mr. Jacobs was called. No other nominations made. We had quite a
spicy time. Old Rec. Phifer made a speech!
Mrs. Fall's niece Miss Cook is visiting Mrs. Camp and I understand is in a bad way - consumption. You remember she
visited Mrs. Fall 2 years ago and when she left Mrs. Fall did not invite her back, so Mrs. Camp got her sympathies around
and told the girl if she ever needed a rest (She works in Washington) to come to her, so the girl came last Friday and had
to send for the Dr. yesterday. Sue says Mrs. Camp is awfully depressed. Please don't advertise this as I got it from Sue
and you know how curious she is!
Mr. Jacobs called in a few moments yesterday and told me you had gained about 10 lbs. and he thought when you came
home you would never go back anymore. We did not understand what he meant, and he would not explain. Are you home sick?
I noticed in your letter of last week that you said something I don't remember what, "made me more anxious to get home
than ever". I get so nervous about you when I think of you as tending sick people. I am so afraid of contagious diseases.
All send love. Affec, Mama
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