Haying on the Ray Noyes Farm in Liberal, Missouri
Dated with a month and day but no year, I have vacillated back and forth on whether this letter from Ray to Bettie Noyes would have been written during Bettie’s 1902 June visit with the family of Allan Noyes (a brother of Ray) in Oklahoma. Bettie’s first letter to Ray (at least the first of her two surviving letters) was written May 30th, and then another was from June 23rd, and I was given the impression she wrote frequently. However, Ray’s letter, written in response to one from Bettie which hasn’t survived, mentions that her letter had been dated the 12th but not postmarked until the 14th, which would be May 12th and May 14th. So, is this from another year? Or is it possible that the dates only appeared to be the 12th and 14th, and were so transcribed, when instead they were the 2nd and 4th. It seems more likely to me that the dates were June 2nd and June 4th. Mail traveled and was delivered quickly. Bettie could write a letter to Ray and seemingly be certain he had received it the following day. Also, I’ve a difficult time imagining that Ray, who prompts Bettie in this letter to get her mail out more quickly, would have waited more than half a month to respond to her. Not only this but Ray appears to mention his brother, Paul, taking the cattle to “the nation” at the same time Bettie left, which would be the Osage Nation. It’s difficult for me to imagine Paul would have been gone for that long a period of time to take the cattle to the Osage Nation. He had his own farm to which to attend.
Yet, Ray states also that he had “set a hen” the week Bettie left and he imagines she will hatch some time that week. If it takes about 21 days for chicks to hatch then if the chicks were expected to hatch some time around the 8th (the 6th was a Friday), he would have set the hen around the 18th of May.
The letter is primarily concerned with answering inquiries Betty had written concerning their farm–which seem to be the only inquiries she’s made as lists his answers numerically and there are no answers concerning anything else. The letter, however, seems playful. Ray does a nice job describing his meal for the evening and teasing Bettie with how good it was.
Liberal MO June 6
Dear Girl, Your long welcome letter arrived today seems like yer were rather long getting it mailed the letter was dated the 12 and the (illegible) postmark was the 14, I would think when he is harrowing (?) wheat yer could get a letter mailed any day. Well I will answer questions first No. 1 The garden looks real nice the sweet corn is in tassel
No. 2 the blackberries are very fine the largest early harvest that I ever saw but there
wont be many of them
picked 22 qt. today and took them to town and sold them got $7.75 easy I think they will all be gone in 10 days more picked 3 qt of red raspberries and caned them and they made three pt. after they were caned. No. 3 Your chickens are doing real well considering their master but the old hen down at the cattle shed has had some bad luck and her brood has thinned out a good deal they all live on shelled corn now I set a hen the week after you left so you would have something to do when you got back she will hatch some time this week so I guess I will (illegible)
a job. You have just four little ducks left.
No. 4 The timothy (?) looks real nice but not a great big crop but a good average will likely comence setting about the first of next month.
No. 5 how I get along batching well just Burn (?) but to tell you what that means I will tell you what I had for supper tonight and then you can guess To commence writing I had light bread with cream, Honey, Syrup and jelley to eat on it next I had Grape (illegible) and fingersnaps and some awful good minced ham, drank milk so you see I made no fire
now was that not good wages for any body would you not of liked to of ate with me. No. 6. No have not sold (illegible) more haven’t tried to (illegible) (person’s name illegible, Paul?) took his stock out of the pasture and went to the nation about the time you left he never said (illegible) about the pasture bill either
No. 7 a fellow by the name of Ray has (rest of page illegible)
P.S. I f this aint long enough will lose more
This is one of two surviving letters sent from Bettie Brewer Noyes to Ray Noyes when she went from Liberal, Missouri to Oklahoma to stay with Ray’s older brother, Allen, and his wife, Susie. It wasn’t a pleasure trip. Allen and Susie’s daughter, Carrie, is mentioned in the second letter, so Bettie was there subsequent her birth in 1902. But Susie had also been ill and in the hospital. The letter doesn’t give an indication of the nature of her illness, which appears to have required surgery, but whether the surgery was essential is unclear as Bettie states she felt Suzie’s stay in the hospital did more bad than good. Bettie does mention Suzie’s experiencing headaches. However, Bettie’s visit there seems to have less to do with Suzie’s having been ill than a subsequent, nearly immobilizing depression. Perhaps Suzie was actually suffering from postpartum depression.
The mail was fast back then. It may as well have been email, it was so fast. Bettie states that she imagines by now Ray has gotten the letter she wrote Sunday. June 23rd was a Monday and she’s writing Ray at about 10:00 at night. The Sunday letter would have to be the one she had written the day before. I have the impression that she was likely mailing him nearly every day.
Having been helping out with Allan and Susie for a full three weeks, Bettie’s patience was wearing thin between Suzie’s crying spells, which had not abated, and the arrival of relatives of Suzie’s which meant the descent of two continually crying children on the household. Bettie must not have been used to such behavior from her own children, which would fit with what I’ve heard of them running a very formal household. Also, Bettie seems to have gathered no understanding of the reason for Suzie’s crying spells, and appears to even be dubious of them. The household is in such a state of upset that she wonders how her brother-in-law can get farm hands.
Miller Okla. June 23
My dear Boy
I will write a little to you tonight. Joe Reynolds folks came and if nothing happens I will be at Home Sunday night.
It is awful hot here now. Allen is still cutting oats he has six men besides his self. but I don’t mind the work very bad but Joe Reynolds kids both squall ALL OF THE TIME and I get sick of that they don’t hardly let Carrie sleep any in the day time
I don’t know what they will do when I am not here to do the work but I dont feel that I am able or that it is my duty to stay and do for them all by myself.
I told Allen I wanted to come home and he said all right I thought maby he would try some more to get a girl but he has not. I don’t think there has been any change in Susie she has worried lots since Joe’s come. She takes a spell of crying most every day when the men come in to dinner. I think it strange that he can get any hands. How would you like to
go in to dinner and hear a woman crying and talking and two kids qualling as loud as they could every day.
Allen says it gives him the head ache and I have had a headache so much since I have been here though never so bad as to have to go to bed. We all want to come home awful bad. I expect you got my letter I wrote Sunday by now. We went and took it to the Office were all awfully tired when we got back well it is 2 and 1/2 miles up there but we got so lonesome here by ourselves
Well I will quit and go to bed and try and sleep a spell, it is so warm I don’t know whether I can go to sleep or not – but it is getting late for it was almost 10 oclock when I got through with the work. so by bye.
1902 May 30 Bettie Noyes to Ray
Miller, Oklahoma Territory
This is the first of two surviving letters sent from Bettie Brewer Noyes to Ray Noyes when she went from Liberal, Missouri to Oklahoma to stay with Ray’s older brother, Allen, and his wife, Susie. It wasn’t a pleasure trip. Allen and Susie’s daughter, Carrie, is mentioned in the second letter, so Bettie was there subsequent her birth in 1902. But Susie had also been ill and in the hospital. The letter doesn’t give an indication of the nature of her illness, which appears to have required surgery, but whether the surgery was essential is unclear as Bettie states she felt Suzie’s stay in the hospital did more bad than good. Bettie does mention Suzie’s experiencing headaches. However, Bettie’s visit there seems to have less to do with Suzie’s having been ill than a subsequent, nearly immobilizing depression. Perhaps Suzie was actually suffering from postpartum depression.
Bettie must have ridden down by train. The locations mentioned are fairly confusing. There is a town by the name of Miller currently in Pushmahata Co. OK in the SE portion of the state, but Bettie mentions being picked up at Oklahoma City in Oklahoma Co. An 1895 map shows a town of Miller in Oklahoma Count, in the Spring Creek area, toward the center of the state, below Logan and west of Pottawatomie. But she mentions Yonkers, which is in Wagoner Co. in the NE portion of the state.
Bettie and Ray’s children, Pansy and Cora, would have been only about 7 and 5 years of age respectively. In the second letter, Bettie says “we want to come home” which leads me to believe that Bettie had brought Pansy and Cora along with her.
Miller Okla. May 30 1902.
Dear Ray I got through allright had a fine trip. Allen met me at Oklahoma City the River was up and they could not get to Yonker (?). It has been raining every day for I don’t know how long it rained on us. Coming out just sprinkles though and we did not get wet we stayed all night in Oklahoma City and drove out the next morning
They seemed real glad I came but of course I
cant be sure whether they aimed for me to come or not the girl that is here is expecting to have to go any day I told Susie I would just as soon do all the work if I stayed and she said she wanted me to stay and they would let the girl stay untill she was sent for. I asked the girl what wages the girls got down here and she said from 250 to 600 a week and I asked Susie what they had to pay the girl and she said she did not know 200 dollars she guessed they had not ask her.
Susie took on so when I
got here untill I almost wished I had not come but she has a bad spell 2 or 3 times a day every day they say. She seemed awfull well this morning laughed and talked with me all morning but when Allen came in to dinner she had a bad feeling spell she dont never talk that way when Allen is not in I cant tell for sure How long I will stay Susie says they would like for me to stay but Allen has not said any thing about it and I have not asked him Susie dont take any interest in any thing or do any thing only what she is told so Allen could not
get along with out some body. When she was at Hospital several died and she saw them carried out and she thinks a good deal about that and talks about it and I think going there did more harm than good. Allen said they took her to the operating room twice first time they chloroformed her and she did not know it but next time they did not give her any thing and just took her by force and she just screamed and hallowed. I am awful sorry for Susie she complains all the time with her head hurting just like mine did that fall when I was sick I wanted to pick the ducks this evening but Susie wants me to go to town with her so I dont know what Ill do. I forgot to say it had cleared up.
by by until I write again.
Below is a letter from Edna Stark (b. 1872) wife of Paul Noyes (b. 1869) to Elizabeth “Bettie” Brewer Noyes (b. 1877), wife of Ray Noyes (b. 1874), a brother of Paul’s. The letter shows that at the time they were living in Whiterock, Oklahoma. The baby picture that Edna mentions as having received from Bettie would likely be one of Pansy, who was born Dec. 8 1895. Grace also mentions two of her own children, Grace, who was born in 1892, and Ormal, who was born in 1893. They had another child, Garrett, but he isn’t mentioned.
Enough is written that we may glean some information on Edna’s garden and Paul’s farming, the weather, their hopes and the hopes of the community.
By 1900, Paul and Edna were back in Barton County, Missouri, living a couple of households from Ray and Bettie.
April 13 1897
Dear Bettie Noyes,
Dear Bettie. Your letter and baby’s picture was received last Thursday and I was glad to get them the baby looks so fat and healthy. Grace and Ormal have grown quite a bit since you saw them. They just stay out of doors all the time when it is nice weather.
We had quite a rain Sat. night Sun. morning since it made everything look nice the wind is from the
west today and is cool. I hope it won’t frost because my garden is all up nicely peas are three inches high. The last frost got part of my radishes but they are coming out. I am not having any luck with chickens I have had about one hundred hatch out but they have almost all died.
We have two Sabbath Schools here now Saturday and Sunday we never have gone on Saturday but go once and awhile on Sunday.
Paul is breaking sod now on the school grounds (?) he takes his dinner and stays all day it gets lonesome for the children and I to be alone all day.
The wheat is about three feet high in some places there certainly will be a large wheat crop here this year and the people surely need one if they do any where The prairies are covered with flowers and Grace and Ormal go out on the lin (?) side and picks their hands full I am making them some dresses and I will have to stop and go to work.
(Envelope postmarked Whiterock April 14)
A lovely little candid photo of Bettie holding one grandson, the other standing alongside. Courtesy Nancy Benton.
Bettie Brewer Noyes was the wife of Ray Noyes. They resided in Liberal, Missouri.
At Find-a-Grave, an individual has placed up memorials for Liberal City Cemetery, including members of the Noyes family. There are (sadly) no photos, just names and inscriptions on the headstones. The person must not have been a member of the family as family members are unlinked. I’ve sent a request for them to be linked, but I’ve not heard back yet.
The family members who are there:
Cora Rachel Greene, daughter of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell. She is currently listed as Cora B. Greene. I’ve asked for a correction on that. Cora married Frank Greene. He’s not listed at Find-a-Grave and I don’t know what happened to him after Cora died.
Emma Viola Noyes Harmon daughter of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell. She married Orrin Ellie Harmon.
Orrin Elliot Harmon, husband of Emma Viola Noyes.
Elizabeth “Bettie” Jane Noyes wife of Ray Noyes, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell.
James William Noyes, son of Ray James Noyes and Eula Millard, grandson of Ray Noyes and Elizabeth Jane “Bettie” Brewer
Luella E. Bunton Noyes wife of James Noyes, son of Ray James Noyes and Eula Millard, grandson of Ray Noyes and Elizabeth Jane “Bettie” Brewer
Ray Noyes, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, husband of Elizabeth Jane “Bettie” Brewer
Victor Hugo Noyes, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell
Find-A-Grave has two Brewer burials at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Fillmore, Putnam, Indiana, Daniel A. Brewer and wife Nancy Smith.
Daniel A. Brewer Sr. was born Aug 31 1784 in York, Pennsylvania to Johannes (John) Brewer and Jane Van Arsdale.
On October 5 1805 he married, in Mercer County, West Virginia, Nancy Smith, who was born Dec 4 1785. She died Nov 9 1859 in Fillmore, Putnam, Indiana.
Daniel married 2nd Charity Bridges in 1863. She died June 22 1896 in Coatesville, Hendricks, Indiana.
Daniel also died in Coatesville, Hendricks, Indiana, on April 9, 1881 but was apparently returned to Putnam to be buried with Nancy.
They were the parents of Daniel Levi Brewer who married Catherine Hedden.
There are images of the headstones but they are a little too distant to read.
The cemetery can be viewed below. The town of Fillmore is only a short way north of it. It’s an itsy bitsy teeny place with a town hall that is about the size of a couple of garages stuck together. I guess it is primarily a farming community. I wonder if it was ever larger than this.
View Putnam County Cemeteries in a larger map
Paul, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, was born 24 Nov. 1869 at “10 oclock AM” in Anna, Union Co. IL, and died 3 May 1931 at Humansville, Polk Co., MO. He married Edna STARK on June 8 1891 at Liberal, Missouri. Their three children were:
- Grace V. , b. 1892, married Jim Pinkerton (perhaps James O. born about 1874 in Missouri). She married later in life, working first as a nurse in Kansas City for a number of years.
- Ormal “Ormi” b. in Miller, Oklahoma in 1893.
- Garrett Allan b. 1896 Dec 4 in Oklahoma Territory, died Feb of 1964. He married Genevieve who was born about 1903 in Missouri.
Paul, preparing for the Cherokee Land Run of 16 Sept 1893, lived with his brother Allen 1892-1893 at Miller, Oklahoma. Consequently, he lived in Oklahoma Territory through at least 1897. A family history details some of the experience.
Paul and his family in the census:
Central, Barton, Missouri
Sheet No. 3
Supervisor District 13
Enumeration District 18
5 June enumeration by David E. Harpole
(Ancestry.com page 5)
Preceding households appear to be John RHINE, Thomas WILLIAMS, James HANSHAW, John SMITH and Charles DURHAM.
20 48/49 HARMON O. E. Head wm Dec 1854 age 45 married 21 yrs. b. Michigan F-Vermont M-New York Farmer 0 can read and write, 0 months unemployed, F F 50
21 E. Viola Wife wf Dec 1860 39 md 21 yrs, 1 child 0 living, b-Michigan F-Michigan M-Vermont can read and write
22 Robert adopted son wm Oct 1887 12 sg. b-Missouri F-Penn M-Michigan Farmer 9 months unemployed, can read and write
23-29 49/50 Frank and Nancy STONE household Farmer
30 59/51 William H. GRIVET household Farmer
31-33 51/52 Newton WINNER household Farmer
34 52/53 NOYES Ray Head wm Jan 1875 25 married 6 years b. Illinois f-Michigan m-Vermont Farmer can read and write O F F 54
35 Bettie Wife wf July 1877 22, 2 children 2 living, b- Missouri parents-Illinois, can read and write
36 Pansy Daughter wf Dec. 1895 4 sg b. Missouri f-Illinois m-Missouri
37 Cora Daughter wf Sept 1896 3 sg b. Missouri f-Illinois m-Missouri
38 James A Father wm Dec 1824 75 Wd b. Michigan Parents-NY can read and write
39 53/54 JACKMAN Henry Feb 1849 51 married 21 years b. Penn parents-Penn
40 Mabel March 1863 37 5 children, 3 living b. Michigan F-Michigan M-Rhode Island
41 Hiram July 1881 18 b. Missouri
42 Amy May 1880 20 b. Missouri
43 Benton Oct 1891 9 b. Missouri
44 54/55 BECKMAN George April 1866 34 married 7 years b. New York F-Prussia M-Germany
45 Emma 1871 28 2 children 2 living b. Indiana parents-Indiana
46 Harold 1894 5 b. Missouri
47 Basil 1897 3 b. Missouri
48 55/56 NOYES Paul Head wm Nov 1869 30 married 9 years b. Illinois F-Michigan M-Vermont Farmer o months unemployed, can read and write, O F F 57
49 Edna Wife wf Dec 1872 27, md 9 years, 3 children, 3 living b. Missouri parents-Illinois Can read and write
50 Grace Daughter wf Mar 1892 8 b. Missouri f-Missouri m-Illinois
51 Ormil Daughter wf May 1893 7 sg wf b. Oklahoma Ter. f-IL m-IL did not attend school
52 Garrett Son wm Dec. 1896 3 b. Oklahoma Ter f-IL m-IL
Following households are STEVENSON, FOOTE Virginia, WILSON, JACKSON Louis, JACKMAN Allen, STRICKLAND Julia and son Lemuel, MOHLER James, JACKMAN A. M. , JONES William, Viola, Iva and Eva and Marcus, CHESTER Hiram and Permelia, BARNES E. J. and STACY William.
Paul Noyes is yet to be located in the 1910 census.
1920 Richland, Barton, Missouri
Roll: T625_902 Page: 4A ED: 36 Image: 1084
43 Fm 84/84 NOYES Paul Head own mw 50 md b. IL father b. MI mother b. MA Farmer General Farm EM 64
44Edna Wife fw 47 md b. MO father b. MO mother b. IL
Year: 1930; Census Place: Springfield, Greene, Missouri; Roll: T626_1188; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 5; Image: 0410.
42 702/40/41 NOYES Paul owns $5000 Doesn’t live on farm mw 60 md at 21 b. IL father b. MI mother b. MA Farmer Farm, not a veteran
43 Edna Wife fw 57 md at 18 b. MO father b. MO mother b. IL
44 Garrett A. son mw 33 md at 25 b. OK father b. IL mother b. MO Commercial truck Creamery, a Veteran of WWI
45 Genevieve daughter in law fw 27 md at 19 b. MO father b. KY mother b. IA
46 Nancy G. granddaughter fw 7 b. MO father b. OK mother b. MO
47 Luanna granddaughter fw 3 and 2/12 b. MO father b. OK mother b. MO