Letter:GAUSS, Virginia to Lois Gauss - 1913-04-14

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From GAUSS, Virginia (1853 - 1930)
To GAUSS, Lois E. (1888 - 1966)
Date: 14 Apr 1913
Family(s) Gauss
Collection Lois Gauss Simmons collection
Needs annotation: Yes

Columbia. April 14th 1913

Dear Lois: Am sending you little sketch of Aunt Lucretia and Grandma McCluer. I think I have it straight. Last Fall when your mother & I were out at the cemetary we saw a handsome monument put up by McKnight. Neither she or I could place this McKnight. Years ago Dr. Overall had an aunt Mrs. McKnight who lived in the point. It occured to me that this McKnight might be a cousin of Dr. Overall's. It is possible that Mrs. Theo McDearmon might know. Mrs. Hamilton has been treated for cancer. There were no roots so they hope she is cured. Charges were $150.00.

Five young dudes were out driving in a surry yesterday. Theygot stuck just below Charlie Yanceys house. Horses pulled loose from the surry & tore things up. Carley had to take his big mules & pull them out. One of them came in here to phone. He was mighty nice looking. He had an engagement to dine at the "Grill" & was explaining why he would be late. The sun was down then. I expect you will soon be out of school. I expect to rent some rooms & do light housekeeping in Col.,[1] so save up your carfare & spend the summer with me in Col.

With love, Aunt Sis. (over)

P.S. I am glad your Mother ordeered the marker for your Uncle Robert. He was born 1st Sept 1851.

I had a nice letter from Mrs. King who lives in Pomona, Cal. She says she could never be satisfied in Mo. any more. She surely is in love with Cal. You can rent 3 or 4 rooms furnished for $12 to $15.00. I think that is cheap.

Aunt Sis

Characters: Old Mrs McCluer late of Va. Samuel, her son. Mr. Joseph Fawcett, late of Va. Place Boonslick road.

Old Mrs McCluer & son riding in buggy see a buggy approaching with a stranger.

Mrs McCluer - "Son who is that?"

"Dont know mother, but the horse looks like Mr. Chamberlains horse."

"Oh!" exclaimed Mrs. McCluer, "it's old Mr. Fawcett."

Whereupon she became concerned about her apperance, drew off her rough gloves & made hasty adjustment of shawl & bonnet, preparatory to introducing herself to Mr. Joseph Fawcett who had just moved to St. Charles from Old Frankl;in near Boonville. Time 1835.

Mrs. McCluer was a widow & also lived in St. Charles.

We must tgo back to Mrs. McCluers childhood in Va. We find her Sophia Campbell a little girl about 10 years old at White Sulpher Springs. Time probably1805. Near the springs were the large


iron works of Benjaman Fawcett (father of Joseph Fawcett) one of the wealthier men in that section. He had a family of grown children, two sons and five daughters. Daughters quite gay and much going to & from from Mr. Fawcetts to the springs. The Fawcetts stood high in the estimation of little Sophia Campbell. While Sophia was at the Springs the president of United States was there. She sat next to him at the table & the tall darky who stood behind the Presidents chair also waited on her. In 1816 Sophia married Dr. McCluer. In 1829 they moved to Mo. Dr. McCluer left his wife & children in St. Louis, took his negroes and overseer & went on to Dardenne, bought land & built a house.

He was the only Dr. in that section & rode as far as Mexico to see the sick. The new country soon did for him what it did for Grandmas Johns'


father.[2] He died with fever in 1834 aged 42 years. Mrs. McCluer left the slaves on the farm & moved with her children to St. Charles.

Aunt Lucretia was 13 years old when her father moved to St. Charles. She took music lessons and practiced on Mrs. McCluer's piano. This piano is now in the possession of the Watson girls. Years ago I saw this piano. It belonged to Mrs. Muschaney

Mrs. McCluer had plenty of servants & kept open house. To keep Samuel her oldest son at home in the evening she cordially welcomed the young people. The Fawcett girls were in and out continually & stayed to meals sometimes.

Its plain to be seen how it happened. They were married in 1841 Dec 22nd & went to the "Nutshell" to live. Mrs Muschaney uncles oldest sister lived at Oakland and gave them a party.


The day after the wedding they left St. Charles in a buggy for Oakland. Aunt Gee & some one / forgotten who / went with them in an other buggy. Heavy rains had flooded the Cottleville bottom. Uncle's buggy broke down while driving through the water. He transferred himself & Aunt to the horse, leaving the buggy & continued the rest of the journey on horseback / 5 or 6 miles / Aunt was plastered with mod & ice when they got to Oakland. It was some time before she could appear before the company in borrowed clothes. Aunt Gee got through the water safe & sound. Grandma McCluer moved back to Dardenne. She alway loved Aunt, alway took her part & stood by her. I have often heard Aunt speak of "Grandma" & always in the kindest tones & words.

She died in 1866 in her 72nd year.

  1. Columbia, MO
  2. Thomas Russell Durfee


Handwritten original in the collection of the Chambless family. Transcribed to softcopy by Susan Chambless, December, 2008.

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