Letters to Louisa Ernst Freienmuth

Letters written by Henry Ernst to his sister, Louisa Ernst Freienmuth, while he was working in Lucas and Bennington, Kansas, 1892.

Lucas, Kansas
July 5th, 1892

Dear sister: your long looked for letter came yesterday morning, and you can guess how sorry I was to hear that you were under the weather and am glad that you are enjoying much better health by this time. But if you need any medicine remember you can now send to your brother, the Registered Pharmacist who will with much care & great accuracy compound anything you may desire. My 4th was spent at Sylvan Grove, small crowd of about 600 or 700 people; no fire works, but were able to obtain a little Hoptea. Got home about 1 o'clock. Had a very pleasant time with Doctor Sanders & the druggist there--the druggist--is comming up to see me before I leave here which I think will be in about two or three weeks & perhaps under. I can stay as long as I desire as far as my Boss is concerned but the town is too smallfor me & am loosing money by staying here as there is not eneough drug trade to keep me posted.

Of course I have an easy time of it but that is not what I want.

Have made several very good friends with the most prominent men here and outside of those I cannot enjoy myself as they are not my style -- are too much of the don't care sort of fellows. I suppose Philip told you that a friend of mine was in Lawrence to get me to take his place and as it is in a larger town I will go. Bennington is the place. It is a good deal closer to Lawrence than this place nearly one hundred miles closer. It is about two hundred miles from here to Lawrence.

Have you been to see Etta yet - or has she been to see you yet? Tell Morris I will send for some more of those pictures pretty soon. How is Mace & Murray & the rest of the boys?

I wrote aunt a nice letter but I think to the point & here after think she will not worry me andif she does I am ready for an answer. Let her tell the people she sent me to the K.S.U. if she want too; it will only cause them to call her a liar as all of those with whom I am acquainted know pretty well the curcumstances and I know they are not all as blind as she is. As I must go to work I will close for this time.

Sending my regards to those who inquire of me and hoping to hear from you soon I remain

Your Loving Brother,

Lucas, Kansas
July 15th, 1892

My dear sister: Your welcome letter at hand. Glad to hear you have improved some what in health and sincerely hope the improvement will keep on. That working in such a hot kitchen is enough to kill two or three women like you and I do wish you had taken my advise about leaving some time ago. What are the prospects? Does Phil know & also the rest of them & when is it going to come off? Don't slight me. ha! ha!

If your appetite has not improved let me know & I will send you some med. which will build you up. If Rose inquires about me tell her I am well, fat, impudent & saucy.

Mr. White has a hard job holding down a job it seems to me sorry for him. I will write Etta to come & see you. If Morris is there tell him I like the pictures very much. I have had nothing to do in the world but write to about a dozen acquaintances since I've been here and am sick of this town.

Have not hear from that man definitely yet but am expecting a telegram or letter every day. Address your letter here as usual with return on & if you write immediately I think it will catch me here & if I go away sooner I can telegraph to you or Phil. I should have taken the job when first offered to me & I then was sure of getting it. My certificate reached safely & how proud I am of it! You can hardly imagine. Did you show it to aunt? Of course she said oh! that is nothing. ha! if she only knew how triumphant I feel, and now as I have it I am trying my best to scale the ladder still higher to make her feel even worse and may God help the good-for-nothing in his aim.

Louisa do not put me off so long this time as I like to hear from you so much I will be sure to anwer promptly. Give my best regards to Jake as you wish to name him--ain't that a little familiar? ha! it makes me laugh. Write soon please & excuse this horrible hand writing as it was done hastily.

Your loving brother the Druggist

N. Robbins, Drug and Merchandise Co.,
Bennington, Kansas
Aug. 3rd, 1892

Dear Sister: Rec'd your letter of 7-19-'92. But put off answering it as I expected to leave Lucas and was not positive as to when I would leave. With this excuse I beg you will excuse my delay. I got to Salina Monday at 4:30 P.M. and had to wait until 12:47 that night. I took that opportunity of running over the city and making the acquaintance of several druggists. Was offered a job there but told him it was no use talking as I had a position & was on my way. Think I could have gotten $50.00 or $55.00 a month. But when one hires to a man he must be upright and honorable or he will soon be a dead letter in a commercial world. Jobs are plentiful to good men and how glad I am that I registered as I would have been of no use at all, had I only gotten an assistant's certificate. This is a very nice store and one side & back contains drugs & med. and the prescription case is in the back end while on the other side they have the other enumerated goods; but I don't have anything but the drug stock to take charge of and that entirely.

We have a large assortment of drugs and med. for a country town but nevertheless we do the business. Have already put up as many perscriptions as I did during my stay at Lucas & have only been here two days (hardly). This country is one of the most beautiful I believe in the state - so level with trees & streams running through it - with rich soil and a well-to-do, well educated set of farmers who try to make it as pleasant for a stranger as possible - have met quite a number of Germans who seem pleased to think that there is a German druggist in town - please remember there are two drugstores here - but we have the nicer one, big plate-glass windows, very high ceiling and very nicely papered and taking all together it makes a very neat store. My boss is a young fellow and very pleasant and if I want to get off I can without his feeling as though he didn't like to let me go.

Got a letter from Nelson Seiler who is again working for Raymond's and it was one that made me laugh & feel as though I wanted to pat him on the back - can't you perform the operation for me & save me the trouble? He won't object I know. Well I have wrote a lot of uninteresting facts and am at a loss what to say. Well I don't ever hope Aunt will ever get a chance to do anything for me even if she is willing - once is a eneough for me. I would have written a letter but didn't have time as I had to write 12 postals or more from Friday at 4 P.M. until 10 A.M. Saturday. Give Libby my love & good wishes. My health is excellent and am now pretty well satisfied with my lot.

How are you and the rest getting along? If you see Cleveland tell him I am doing all I can for him in the wild & wooly west and that he meets with fair favor.

With this short epistle my dear sister I will bid you goodbye with with the expectation of hearing from you soon.

Ever your loving brother Henry Ernst

Bennington, Kansas Aug. 10, 1892

Dear Sister: Your kind letter of the 8th at hand yesterday evening. It has been very dry here also until yesterday we had a pretty good rain but we need about 3 times as much as we got.

Miss Etta sent me a very nice present the other day - that shows her good faith in me don't you think so?

Jake is like me - he likes to see those that like to see him.

I don't remember if I stated it before or not - but - the hotel sets up number one grub and everything is clean, which pleases me very much as you know I like everything I eat or eat out of clean as possible.

Just got a letter from Harry McMahon a very good friend of mine who is now in Colorado, and wants me to come out there saying I saw several advertisements for druggists in the paper, but I guess I will stay where I am for the present.

Another friend of mine who is a druggist wants me to take his place in of running a drugstore in Cederville Ka's and states that it is a good position but I have a good one & will not change, at least until I get a way up position. Of course it is quite a thing to run a drugstore by yourself for a man much older than you; man who cannot under run it with out a capable man. But what I now am looking for is a large store in a big town and there is a head perscription clerk which would give me more practice in scientific pharmacy.

Aug 11, 92

I did not get to finish this letter yesterday I just got a pleetter from Philip & Etta and I must write to Philip this afternoon adnif you will excuse a short epistle this time you will do me a great favor. I am well & in the best of spirits and with good wishes and much love to your & yours

I remain as ever your loving Brother
Henry Ernst
Bennington Kas.

Bennington, KAS Aug. 22, 1892

Dear Sister Your kind letter at hand. Glad to hear you are well & that the Birding house is on such a tremendous boom

That say that after a boom there must always be a loss of money by some one.

If the Lawrence girls want tocatch fellows let them begin at home. They needn't think I will be used as a bear hunter if I am out neat. And besides there are plenty of girls here to take care of all the young that are around here.

I watched one night blooming serious open & think I'll ge the chance to watch another tonight, Intend going to a Watermillion party some night this week. Don't know what night but the young lady told me that she would let me know in time.

My Boss has three sisters & they are all pretty fair looking girls.

A young lady wanted me to take her to church last night but I refused her -- do not like to have any lady be so previous if she had waited quietly I might have taken her. But as it was I didn't. I did not come out here to run around with the girls & spend a lot of money on them. I have gone without it. The time does not pass half so slow here as it did in lucas & I am glad of it. We had a rain Saturday but not quite enough to do us. More rain south & east of us.

Was invited out to a German's house (Raskoff) a week ago yesterday to drink some beer but we did not go as we didn't want to hire a livery team & he felt very much put out about it until I explained how it was. When our team & buggy comes we intend to go out every Sunday owing the Germans to make their acquaintance.

One girl since I left L--- & that was my Boss' daughter at lucas -- she wanted to go to the dance so bad that I offered to take her. You bet I did not dance with her as it is against my religious principles. I was already to start home (Lawrence) saturday night & had the privilige of staying 3 or 4 days or a week and my boss had to go to a convention so I could not go. I was put out very much but then I said to myself there is another chance for "the poor dog to get a bone." He said he was sorry it happened so & said he would give me the chance whenever I wanted and get their trade as they are all pretty well fixed.

I will have considerable work to do before I get the store in the right order that is everything arranged alphabetically. It looks neat now but as I will arrange & everyone can find what we have in an instant. I feel sorry for Nellie not getting married as expected do you know what is or was the matter -- too soft? It is indeed "poor Man" as his wife would never be satisfied with anything. Yet she is a nice woman. Is she any better out in Colo? A friend of mine went to Colo, & likes it very much.

I didn't take any evenings off only Sunday & generally have all to myself. I like this place alright for the present. And at the end of this month will see about hiring out for the rest of this year ('92) or the winter. There is plenty of cheap jobs to be had and if one watches carefully can get a good one if he is competent for it. Well Lou, kiss hubby for me & give him my love and ask him how tricke are. Goodbye your little brother Henry

Bennington, KAS. Sept. 7 '92.

Dear Sister: Your letter at hand. I will write Jake in a few days or at my first opportunity.

I wrote aunt a rather short letter for not paying Phil as she promised but you need not say a word to her about it & if she mentions it just act innocent. Don't think I'll get away during Topeka fair as Mr. Robbins expects going East on business & a visit fer a week or two & will start this next friday. When is the K.C. Fair? Perhaps I can carry them round trip then will only two dollars. There is a S.S. picnic today but I did not care to go as I wanted to write 3 or 4 letters. Would like to take a run to the farm myself.

Phil has written me & tell him I will write in a few days. Phil was kind to take you to the opera house did you thank the gentleman for his company? Tell Jake Hello for me. The big show is close here but I will not go.

I do not read papers -- glad you informed me about the Cholera of Europe & the quarantine law being inforced.

I enjoyed my trip to Minneapolis lat Friday very much saw the ladies attempt to pay ball just like girls don't know anything about playing. If you as an excuse for a poorly written letter what shall I make as an excuse fer my good penmanship.

Have watermellons to eat between meals nearly every day are comparatively cheap here.

Don't you want to help me finish washing my windows this afternoon I am rather lazy?

Yesterday Mr. Robbins was away & a lady wanted some alpaca or Brilliantine & I told her I did not know what it was & we had 6 bolts in the shelf. What do you think of my brightness, don't you want some old clothes for carpet rags? --- I get what I have they won't cost you anything.

I will have to go to work or I won't get anything done this afternoon as goodbye.

Your loving Bro, Henry.
Excuse excess of ink in a hurry

Bennington, Kansas September 22, 1892

Mr. Jacob Freienmuth, Tonganoxie, KS

Dear friend: Let me congratulate you for being successful in obtaining my sisterís hand in marriage and further accept my best wishes for your future life wither married, business or private. May all the comforts, happiness, and success you could wish for be yours.

I am glad it was you who ask the question and did not receive no for answer, as I have always regarded you as a man of principle honesty, industry, and integrity and every one of your actions have proven my several opinions. Therefore my there nothing occur to prevent you and her present intentions being fulfilled. I have no words of criticism to offer and all I can say is that I thank God that it is as it is and may He bless the tie. I would have written before but I expected to have a vacation before this. Have been prevented the pleasure by my boss taking the same first; will have mine the first of October or about that time. I remain Yours Truly Henry Ernst

If you have questions about this family, please contact me and I'll provide you with any information I have.

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