Tena to Katie, 23 Dec 1897
Canal Dover, December 24
Dear sister and family,
Your kind letter was duely received and was glad to hear from you all, was glad to hear you are all well which is always the best. I have not been feeling as well the month of December as I did in November. It is my stomach and bowles. Will and the children are well at this writing.
Will is working at the coal bank. He has taken share in it. They have it nearly open and think they can soon dig coal ready to sell. There is an awful lot of work to open a new bank.
The weather was rainy most all the month. Now it is quite cold and frozen.
I will say thanks for the money, three dollars, that you sent. Of course I can not buy them anything now as I can not go out. The children are glad that Christmas is so near. They will have a Christmas tree in church. On Friday evening Katie has a piece to speak.
Now I will close writing. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
C. D. Weinsz
many kisses to little Elnora
Notes: The copy of the letter I'm transcribing here is dated December 24, but Albert also copied the receiving post office's postmark as December 24 and Tena mentions that Katie is speaking in church on Friday evening. Christmas Eve was Friday in 1897. I assume this letter was written December 23 or earlier.
Coal mining has a long history in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and some of these were rather small enterprises. We were not aware of William Weinsz ever having had a share in any of them.
Elnora was Tena's niece.
I'm not sure what three dollars would buy in the way of childrens' gifts in 1897, but the Garver Bros. store in Strasburg, Ohio was selling monkey fur muffs for $1.75 and men's shaving sets for $2.00.
And if the cold and frozen weather then was anything like today, I'm sure many folks would have loved to take the railroads' offer to transport them to "Florida and other winter resorts".