January 6, 1908

At school

January 6, 1908

Dear Graffins,

What a good boy you were to help Mary with the house cleaning. There are not many boys who will do so much for their sister. I am sorry to hear Mary worked so hard that she was not all herself when finished. I am not glad I was not there. If I had been I could have helped her and she would have had less to do.

Quite a calamity befell me last week. I had a troublesome wisdom tooth and I decided to have it extracted. It took two dentists nearly twenty minutes instead of three to get it out. I thought I should go mad. Such torture! Within less than two hours after it was out my face was twice its normal size. My tongue and jaw became stiff and I could not talk or swallow (a calamity for me indeed!). Mother cried all night; she was afraid of lock-jaw. I used Arnica and Laudanum to kill the pain and I think I must have swallowed and inhaled enough of the stuff to nearly kill me. Of course I could not go to school last week. It is getting better now, but the sympathetic nerves make all my other teeth ache.

I am glad your prospects for a permanent position are better than you thought at first. I hope you shall be able to stay in Omaha. I know from experience how much it adds to life to be home.

I am glad you suffered no other injuries, but your dignity, by falling while skating. That is more easily gotten over (very often) than other injuries.

Yes, I read The Doctor twice. I, too, think it is the best book Ralph Connor wrote. But I enjoyed other books immensely. I started to read “The Shepard Psalm “by Meyers and “Friendship” by Emerson. Both were Christmas gifts.

Now I think you look only at the dark side of Homesteading. Nothing need be only a struggle without enjoyment. I know it must be hard work but I feel sure lots of pleasures can be found by doing it. Probably they would not occur so frequently as in the City but all the sweeter and more enjoyable for not being an every day occurrence. I think I can sympathize with Mary in her enthusiasm for I am wild about it. My mother loses most of her patience with me when I talk about it. But that I am sorry to say does not make me think differently.

I have not received the letter I wrote to you addressed to Brandon. Of course if I get it and you want it I shall mail it to you.

We have had no sleighing lately and I do not think much if any skating. The weather is very mild. Yesterday was rather cold but today is beautiful. I did not go home to dinner. Mother promised to send it. But it is one o’clock and not here yet. If it does not soon come I shall have to do without.

I know Bonnie will be happy after she has graduated. I am glad Bertha likes her position. I received a beautiful Christmas card and Greeting from her. It made me very happy to know she had not forgotten me.

I must stop now my dinner has come and is is soon time for the bell. Best wishes.


Daisy Holzwarth

Blogger Note: A warm welcome to all the new visitors and followers this blog has gained since the news story aired!  I hope you enjoy the blog!  Feel free to comment and be part of the story.  There are some great readers here!  I included some references below from throughout the story.  Daisy mentions some drugs and a particular author below.

I can just picture her scribbling this note in her schoolhouse while the kids are out playing at lunch.  Can you see it?  Anyone else cringing reading about the wisdom teeth?  

I’m back to regular updates so you will see more soon!  I’ll also be starting another section on this blog dedicated to the real life research and pictures that I and others (thank you for all who have contributed already!) have found.  Stay tuned and happy reading!

Arnica – was a toxic herb used for blood clots, swelling and pain

Laudanum – it is an extremely bitter opium that includes morphine and codeine. Used as a painkiller.  In the early 20th century, you could get this without a prescription until it was found to be very addictive.

Ralph Connor (legal name was Rev. Dr. Charles William Gordon) – wrote The Doctor in 1906. He was a Canadian novelist and church leader.  He sold more than 5 million copies of his various books and some of his books are still in print today.  He passed away in 1937.

8 thoughts on “January 6, 1908

  1. I know it is too much asking, but I started to be curious to know the girls she always mention on her letters,like Bonnie.
    Tell us, in what country over seas you been if you are willing to share. Thanks.


    • Hi there! Sorry it has taken me this long to reply to your comment. I don’t know too much about Bonnie, but I’ll keep on the lookout for any research done on her. It would be great to know her friends as well. I traveled to London and County Clare region of Ireland, and they were both amazing experiences. Thank you for asking and for reading!


  2. This is such an amazing idea! After watching my local news do a story on this blog, I became curious and wanted to learn more. i have read every post in one sitting and I cannot wait to read more!


  3. The Arnica she used was probably in homeopathic form and therefore not toxic. It was a very common choice for any trauma in the body and is still used today by naturopathic doctors. I really enjoyed watching the news clip and looking forward to reading the extra blog. Very informative.


  4. Hi – just a tiny bit of “housekeeping” but your date header for this post has “2015” as the year. We are so automatic in these things, but i know you’d want it to be like the others. Love seeing this story unfold, and glad I was there “at the start”!


    • Love that you are still reading! You and my brother were the only people who caught the error, so thank you for pointing that out! It has since been fixed. More to come tonight. Take care. 🙂


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