A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Bishop George Allen BeecherSept. 28, 1940HSNeb 

Appreciated his letter about dedicating the altar rail at Grace Church, a place she loves as she loves few others. Remembers the evening of her and parents' confirmation, which meant so much to them all. Glad to hear Molly Ferris was able to be there for the dedication. Hopes to visit Red Cloud this winter and talk with him about the things that have kept her away.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1493]

To Elsie CatherSeptember 25, [1933?], from Grand MananUNL-Rosowski Cather 

Appreciates the letter keeping her connected to Red Cloud. Will ought to have invested Bess's money in Postal Savings Bonds. Jess always has a trick up her sleeve. Selling cosmetics—and what an attitude! Isn't too sorry for her. Sent Will Andrews twenty-five dollars. Hopes Bess will hire a cleaning woman. Elsie should do what she wants about the old kitchen, but even an empty kitchen will keep the house cooler. Pleased to learn about Sid Florance, but how can his bank survive? Please send on any letters from Roscoe. Leaving Grand Manan soon to go to Jaffrey. Please write. OK to send Molly money for Thanksgiving?   Willie 

To Elsie CatherNovember 5, [1934?]UNL-Rosowski Cather 

When Elsie is tired, she should not try to write a long letter but just a note saying she is busy. Should stop teaching if she has a fever every day and instead have a quiet life at home. Doesn't know why Elsie finds their parents' peaceful house scary. Should at least visit a doctor. A prescription medicine for nerves is enclosed. Finds it very helpful herself and always has it on hand. A renowned doctor—the doctor of J. P. Morgan—prescribed it. He was the only one who could diagnose Edith's thyroid trouble. Please try the tonic. Sent Molly twenty-five dollars for Thanksgiving and sent Lizzie [?] ten dollars. Was happy to help as Lizzie was kind to mother. P.S. Will return to New York in four days.  Willie 

To Charles F. CatherSeptember 17, 1913, from Gore, VirginiaUNL-Rosowski Cather 

Giles is anxious about running out of hollyhock seeds, so can father send him some? With his trembling hands, Giles probably doesn't write many letters. Seems himself otherwise, and Dorothy looks vibrant still. Saw Annie Freeze, who is leaving for Kansas to visit her brothers. Mrs. Pew lost everything to a house fire two days ago. Traveled up the double S to see Molly Muses, who has aged, though her house looked well-kept. Will stay at Giles Smith's tonight and will soon see Mary Smith in Winchester (she was recently knocked out by a racing buggy at the fair). Lizzie Potts is very hospitable. She and Isabelle will stay here with her for one more week.   Willie 

To Mary Virginia Cather,  Monday after Easter [April 9, 1928] UNL-Southwick 

Easter was very cold after some warmer weather. Decorated the altar with Elsie in father's memory. Gave lilies to Molly and Hazel Powell and took daffodils to father's burial place. He always loved them; daffodils in Virginia are the earliest flower in her memory. Went to dinner with Will and Charles at the hotel, then saw Mrs. Turnure and Clifford. Had supper with Molly. Since the weather was poor, was glad Elsie did not travel. Odd to get a card from the Peggs. When that young man's wife and baby died, sent him snapdragons like those sent to father. It was very sad. His wife had a tumor within her when she was pregnant, and the tumor choked the baby. With proper medical care, she could have been saved. For many days the baby within her was dead. Dr. Stockman did not call Creighton until it was too late. Albert is devastated. Lizzie is now at the Macs [McNenys], though she comes by and lights the fire in the kitchen every morning. Has been to dinner there. Helen has the grippe. Has put silk curtains up in the dining room. The old bed is painted, and old "walnut" table mended and painted. Molly came over for dinner on Good Friday and Saturday and complimented her cooking. Has polished father's oak furniture, but will have it painted if mother wishes. Please write.   Willie