Alice Rainford Children

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Illinois, Minnesota USAmap
Surname/tag: Rainford, Rouse, Wilcox
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Alice's daughter Maggie wrote the following letter to her grandmother, Margaret Rainford:

Clough Minnesota Oct 28, 1899

Dear Grandma,

I thought I would ans. your sad letter I received not long ago. You asked me what my dear mother died with she had congestive chills, and lung fever too. Mother had the first chill a Thursday night and she did not have another one till Tuesday and the third one she had Saturday night from nine o'clock until two in the morning and then she told me that the chill had stopped and then she said she was burning up with fever. Mother always told us that she was not going to die until about 3 oclock the morning she died. She always told us that she was going to live for us children and about 3 o'clock she prayed to die to get out of her misery and pains. Didn't I tell you the other time I wrote about what she had where she died? Grandma I would tell you more that mother said but it would make you feel to bad to tell you that she said. George will come home from the hospital tomorrow with father. You asked me what we was a going to do. I think we will stay here on the farm, where our mother died at. It is awful hard to get along without mother, for something and I do not know how to go work to do it and I have to do it by guess and if I do not do it right the first time then I do it again and try another way and that is the way I do to get along. Grandma, George he just came home since I was writing this letter When I began he was not here But he has to go back tomorrow again. [Believe that Alice died of tuberculosis and family members were tested and treated if necessary.] Oh, if he could stay with us we would not be half so lonesome. Is Uncle Fred and Uncle Walt staying home with you Grandma? I hope I could see you and have a good talk with you about some things. I will send you one of our pictures that looks just like mother when she died. Every body thought that mamma looked so nice and pretty I only which you could have seen her before she died. Papa tried to telegraph to you but he could not find the operator he was not in. This is about all I can think of this time so write soon. Poor little Rollian calls mamma so much and asks us if she is up where the stars are and if she will never come back again. [ About 3 years old. Later called Rollan, b 1 May 1896 in Minnesota, died Ohio after military service in Shanghai, China.] Rollian and I went to the grave yard where Mamma was buried and saw the home that our sweet mother has got forever. George is not staying at the hospital now he is staying at Dawsons. [Her aunt--father Thomas' sister Georgiana married Wesley Dawson and they lived nearby.] Write as soon as this reaches you from Maggie Rouse to Grandma. Good by all Please excuse my poor writing for I feel so bad I can not hardly write at all. Maggie Crowe

The letter that Maggie Crowe wrote to her Grandmother was edged in black.

Editor's note: The area in Minnesota where they settled was known for its Sanitorium for treatment of tuberculosis. Whether that drew Alice and her husband to settle in Minnesota, no information is known. As Maggie calls it, lung fever was recognized as a problem without a solution prior to antibiotics and the Sanitoriums offered care and isolation to prevent wider infection.


Little Falls Minn.

Aug 13 1906 Dear Grandma, I thought I would have to write and tell you the bad news. Father is dead, he died the first day of August. I had ought to wrote but I have not had the time.

The boys have all gone to N Dak again, Joe he just started today he is going through with the team. [Joel Adelbert Rouse, born Sep 1890. who was just 13. Believe they were driving cattle to North Dakota with teams of horses.] This is all for this time. So write soon . From Maggie Crowe Good bye all

Ed note: Thomas Rouse wrote a will on 26 Jul 1906 so he may have anticipated his death. Cause of death is not known. He gave four sons equal shares in his life insurance payment, of $250 each. His son Thomas received the homestead. Maggie was already married and not mentioned. Just before his death, the 1905 State Census showed him living with his sons Joel, 14 and Rowland, 9. After they were orphaned, George took charge of the youngest son Roland and moved in with his aunt's family. Charles had left home for Illinois before the death. Thomas did not keep the homestead; he married and moved first to North Dakota and then to Montana. Joel tried farming in Montana but ended up in Kodiak, Alaska. Roland took the longest path from home: he joined the Marines in WWI, then went to Shanghai China, lived there, had a consular marriage with one daughter and didn't return to the US till 1947, not long before his death.

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