Eunice Rosella Teeples McCann 1880-1958

This is a letter written to a favorite aunt recalling cherished memories of living with her aunt after her mother died.
Phebe Henrietta Teeples Owens (4th child, 1873-1908) and Eunice Rosella Teeples McCann (8th child, 1880-1958) were the children of Harriet Betsy Cook (3rd child of Phineas and Ann Eliza Howland Cook, 1844-1933) and Wm. Randolph Teeples. Phebe and her 10th baby died while giving birth to the baby. Phebe's oldest child had died just two weeks earlier at age 16. Phebe's daughter, Henrietta was only 14 and went to live with her Aunt Eunice. This letter expresses many emotions and childhood memories common to that period of our history.

April 30, 1944

Dearest Auntie,

As long as I can remember, you and what you have been in my life, are one of my dearest memories. From the time I was born you helped care for me and nursed me through those first trying and sickly years of my life.

You have told me how, when I was very young, if you would hold your arms open to catch me I would have walked from the top of the house to your arms, and as long as I can remember Auntie dear, I have felt just that way about you.

I can feel now the pride I have felt so many times when you would introduce me to some friends as "my eldest daughter"; and you have, more fully filled my dear mothers place, than anyone in this world. It was you who led me into see her when she was ready to be laid away to rest. I felt I could not stand it if you took your arms from around me. I can still feel that dependent feeling toward you, as I stood looking down at her and her darling baby so beautiful and still.

I can never forget your part in our home at that most trying time, and also the love and help you and Uncle Tom gave my dear parents in the weeks prior to this terrible climax, offering your little home and every help and comfort possible during the illness and death of my dear brother Lavon, at Montpelier, Idaho just two weeks before mother and her premature baby passed away. How dependent we all were on the love, help, strength and courage you always brought into our home then and later. I can only say, "God bless you both for it."

I have so many fond memories in your home; it seems I must have been with you a great deal in my younger life. You and Uncle Tom were always so kind and sweet to me. I can remember always being so happy and anxious to go with you.

I loved your children more than you can ever know. I shall never forget that beautiful picture of LaVarr, Ruby and Glen. I thot it was perfection. I can of course remember them more than the other children. I can see them now and their perfect little bodies, as you let them run and play on the carpeted side of the kitchen floor with so much nice fresh, soft straw under it, after they were undressed at night for bed.

I loved this old place of yours at Fish Haven, Idaho. As I think of it now, I can hear the waves of beautiful Bear Lake so near, dashing on the rocky shore and see that wonderful sunrise through the trees and the lovely sunset, or the moon across it. The lake yet is the most wonderful memory of Bear Lake Valley that I have. I love it. The swimming, boating, fishing, skating, coasting and all.

That nice grove by your place, I loved and can see the rocky hill or drive leading from it to the farm. The back gate and path and stream and lovely garden and orchard, with the house in the center and the hill behind the garden fence where I loved to go gather flowers. I can remember still the trail thru the alfalfa field to Lovelands old place. It all almost seems like fairyland to me.

Uncle Tom do you remember one time there of me trying to carry LaVarr around the house, I stumbled and fell on top of him. You swore a little as I did it. I can't even remember what you said, but I do remember Auntie saying the baby wasn't hurt badly and she knew it was just an accident, but I ran to the bedroom and cried myself about sick. This was the one and only time I think you either one ever spoke cross to me. I wonder more how you ever put up with me so patiently when you should have many times blistered me!

Remember Auntie the time you lost me completely just as we were ready to go in town?

I remember of Fred or someone saying, "Here comes the doctor." Well that meant but one thing to me, "Here is Dr Agwire to pull my bad tooth." I had had that done once before. Essie and Lavon were going to have one out if I would. (note: Lavon was her brother 3 years older and Essie her sister 2 years older). So brave me went first. Old grandpa Lincoln held me, laying down over his knees and I almost strangled from blood in my throat, and thot they would kill me for sure. When my ordeal was over, Essie and Lavon weren't to be found, so they escaped it under the currant bushes. I could hear you calling at the barn orchard on the hill and finally you came near the little privie where I had run like a deer at the announcement of the doctor. I will never forget my feelings as you pushed the door wide open. You said you could have knocked my eyes off with a stick. Then that heavenly relief as you took me in your arms to let me cry, and told me that was only Dr West to examine Uncle Tom for his life insurance.

I remember so many lovely days we spent visiting, hurrying in the morning with the chores and you would hitch up the team and we would go for the day to Garden City or Aunt Hanner Pugmires. Oh, how I loved that Lilly Hill behind the house and she always made a lovely pie. Or to Aunt Mary Crooks. I thot her big girls were grand. They would let me help them pick strawberries, and the lovely creek we could wade in. Aunt Mary would make a custard for dinner and bake it in a huge shiny milk pan; or we would go to hot springs, and those Pugmire boys teased me all the way, or to Glenco. I thought it was beautiful.

There are many dear memories of your homes in Montpelier, Idaho too. The first I remember is when you took Essie and I there with you for a few days at the time June (Henrietta's sister) was born. We stayed up the canyon at J. and Lydia Winterbottoms. The hills and creek were so nice. I remember you bought material for us each a 4th of July dress, white with pretty bright flowers.

Later when you lived there I must have stayed with you many times in the summertime; I remember all the places you lived so well. Pauline Severns, the neighbor girl, was so nice. The old church and grove of trees. Uncle Tom's Livery Stable. When you sent me to the store, how I loved to go in his office and sit in his big chair. I thot his horses and buggies were grand and how I longed for one of the girls bicycles in the window next door.

Do you remember the time you were poisoned on the fresh apricots the peddler brought? You were so terribly sick and had a bad bilious attack at the same time? I can hardly stand to eat a fresh apricot yet. Something about it gives me that same gringy feeling.

I remember the lovely suits you and Aunt Maggie Farmer had alike, only one navy and one black. You let me send a scrap of material to mother in my letter one day of the lovely soft flowery piece you were making a blouse (waist) of.

I remember those darling neighbor twins Mable and Mada so much alike. The father kissed one twice one day and the other twin felt so badly. The neighbor girl who played that one diddie on her new piano a million times a day and the old boardwalk to town was swell.

Later at the other place, how well I remember we would stand in the yard and wave at Uncle Tom as he passed. We would listen for his whistle and it was a thrill to see his train go by and then wave. I can remember him having bad boils on his neck when he came.

I loved the barn and cow and the shed and cutters stored there. We could play in the old cellar and after each rain how we gathered mushrooms on it. I can still see that row of shining lard pails hanging on the ceiling of the summer kitchen and how we would take milk in them to neighbors. I can't forget Becky (Farmer) Crosses messy house and children and all, but I loved to take her milk.

I remember Lawyer Glen's nice home and thot the boys, Oran and George were nice. But I wondered why Mrs. Glen's house always smelled so odd and her table was never cleared or dishes done. Sometimes you let me go and do them for her. I can see her now trying to get on or off of her riding horse and sidesaddle, and someone would have to come and help her. You told me one day that she drank a lot. That explained a lot of things.

I remember going home with you in the spring thru the muddy roads from Fish Haven where you had been to bury your baby Deverell. Uncle Tom had Mr. Glen's black team and buggy. I will always remember, Auntie dear, how my heart ached for you when you got home and saw his dear little clothes and things around the house. What heartache and disappointment that was for you.

I remember your dishes. I thot some of them were so lovely. You had one glass bowl, my favorite, with a fluted edge and I can still see it with strawberries in it. You always used it for them.

I was always so proud to boast that I had one uncle that was Irish, and how I loved to hear uncle Tom and uncle Jack play on their guitar and banjo and sing funny songs.

I remember one time we went to Montpelier to the circus, several families, and camped overnight out by the river bridge. We went to the grand parade and when the circus was about ready to start, the wind came up so strong it blew the tent down and we were so disappointed. We went down to your place and you were in bed with a new baby, Grant. I thought he was grand. So many silly little things I remember. I could go on and on.

I was never with you much later when you lived in Thomas Fork. Father did take us one summer to see you and we camped on the way, made a big bonfire and had supper and made our bed on an ant bed. In the night we were about ate up, had to get up, shake our bedding and make another bed. When we reached your place you were out in the field cooking for the hay men. We went out there and that was grand. Not so well for you with our gang added? But we had a lovely time.

Later in Fish Haven again I did love to come and stay with you over the weekend. I had many nice times with my best beaux Stanley Howell, who is now a lawyer in Hollywood, or Ruben Cottle or even Ernie Howell.

I remember being with you when Rex was born and I think yet there never was a baby so beautiful.

Auntie I will never forget how lovely you were to me at the time I was married. Both you and dear Grandma seemed to approve and this made me so happy as I did hate to leave father. You went thru the mud to Montpelier with us to select my clothes and were so sweet and understanding.

Later when Donna was born (Donna is Henrietta's first child) I shall never forget how you were there and stood by giving your moral support, even said you would gladly stand my pain if possible. I still have the lovely crocheted piece you gave me. It is my choice piece of handwork and has the honored place in my house.

I have always loved to be near you as I raised my family as I just knew how you would have enjoyed them too.

You were the one who was always so grand to your dear mother and took her into your home and cared for her in her last years, as no one else in the world would have done. I know that must be a wonderful satisfaction to you. I am sure you will be blessed for it!

I can never tell you, Auntie dear, how I would love to be with you and enjoy talking over some of the times we have spent together, but do hope you get a little pleasure reading some of these silly things I remember and cherish. You are greatly blessed by having your dear children near you, and I know how you do love and enjoy your grandchildren. I would love to know them and do hope some day I may.

God bless you and yours is ever the loving prayer of your niece.

(signed) Henrietta - Hettie, Retta or what?