A letter from Delia Wilcox to Oscar Langford, written from Chicago, February 8, 1907:
(Notes in red are mine)
My dear Uncle-
I came to Chicago a few days on business and a little visit, and yesterday I received a few lines from James' (James was Delia's brother James Henry Wise) wife with your letter and one from Mary (Mary was Delia's sister Mary Wise Graul) enclosed. When I read your letter it made me feel badly and a little bit guilty, but I did not think, as you said, that my old uncle was not worth bothering about, but simply neglected to do so, which of course does not excuse me in the least. Being alone as you are, it is a very fortunate thing that you have even so good a home, and I fully realize that is your right as you helped support the Home for many years. It may be my fate also, as I am a member of the Eastern Star, and we are supporting a Home at Boone, Iowa. I never expect my relatives to care for me when I can not care for myself, if I should live after that time comes.
I am still located at Mount Vernon and shall, in all probability remain there until next fall, when, I think likely, I shall move to Clinton to be near my stepmother (Peter Wise married Sarah after Jeanette Langford Wise passed away) who is getting old and the time is likely to come when she will need care and of course I am the one who must do it. She was always kind and did so much for us that I would be very ungrateful if I did not look after her.
Mary and John Herwick (Mary Langford Herwick is a daughter of Charles E. Langford of Fulton) visited in Lyons last August when I was there and they wanted me to go Los Angeles with them, but I must not go away as long as mother lives. They have lived in Los Angeles 18 years.
I do not know what the reason is for Mary (Graul) looking up the Langford pedigree-I knew nothing about it til I saw her Thanksgiving at Waterloo (James Henry Wise lived in Waterloo). So far as I am concerned, I am willing to let such things remain undisturbed, for sometimes it is possible to unearth things which which were better left buried.
From your letter she did not obtain much knowledge and there is no one else to give her any. So far as meeting or knowing your father, it would not have any pleasure to you if you had known him before he died at uncle Charles farm at Hauntown on this side in the winter. My father and I drove out to Almont School house to the funeral. He was buried at that place. I think it was about 1878, several years after I was married. Well I guess we will let these old things rest.
I went to Waterloo with my stepmother, who was going to spend the winter with James, November 5 last, and I remained there till January 29 when I went home and then here. I shall be at home at Mount Vernon about the middle of March.
I should like to see you once more, but unless I can take a trip to Colorado next summer, do not know as I will.
I suppose Mary (Graul) told you about her family. The girls are nice, the oldest son a railroad man and all right too, I guess.
When I have time I will stop in Lyons with the oldest daughter, for a short visit.
I am very well and able to earn my living and go and come about as I please even if I do not work hard, but I feel as if my life has been a failure. When I am ready to die, I will then be ready to live.
Well, my dear uncle, I will close and hope you will write to me again very soon.
With love, your niece,
7448 Normal Avenue Chicago