Van Gundy Family Tree


Notes for Katherine Hudson "Katie" GIPSON




Katie wrote a letter on Sullivan Dry Goods Co letterhead to newlywed daughter, Edna Van Gundy. It may well have been the last letter Kate wrote to Edna and the reason it was kept. Although the letter was not dated, she mentioned it being the day of burial of Bruce, IL physician, Dr. Gladwell. Researcher Brian Isaacs says Gladwell's obit specified it as Thursday, 4/12/1911. The letter said:

"Thursday evening Dear Children

I just got your letters and was so glad to here from you and hope your colds are better by now take good care of your selfs and dont get your feet wet for I think a person takes cold that way so quick. Ella said she was going to write and Joe has his letter ready to send ansell & Earl talks about writing ever night but they have been so buisy fixing fence made a cole House cleaned the barn and I dont know what all We had the hardest rain to day I ever saw it rained for 2 Hours like a flood we got a big rain last night to. Ella called me awhile a go and said thair was 104 chickens out so I guess they will do pretty well if we can raise them I am so proud of them the nicest little things. Puss & I went to see Barnes in Decatur Tuesday after noon. He said he couldnt do any thing for me that he would not operate on me at all and for me not to let any one else He said no body but a man that wanted to make a big bill would talk such a thing he said the shape I was in I would not live through the operation. He said for me to Dr my general system take good care of my self not to work nor worry a bout any thing and get as much out of the time I had as I could He said of course I might with good good care last quite awhile He could not say nor any one else. But if he could do any thing for me he would be glad to and for me to have the Dr here call him up and he would be glad to give him advise any time. Kessler has helped me I know ever other way only that place and I am glad I took his medicine for Davidson would have put me under the sod long ago he said I could be operated on all right he eather didnt know or wanted to make a big bill for Brown & Barnes said I could never stand it when they examined me I am going to work a while longer and when it gets nice and warm so I can get out I am going to take a long vacation then ansell & I will come out to see you after the corn is put in. I am not a bit discouraged I think maby I will get better and if I dont I am only one I am not a fraid to go for I do the best I can and that is all God asks us to do. I want you and Bob to go to church & sunday school you will meet with the best people that way and it is your duty to go It always makes one feel better to go to a good place and I want you both to so bad. I was so glad Bob wrote I want him to write ever time he can if it is only a line I want all 3 of my boys to do well for they are all the world to me. and if I had a had you & Ella made to order you would not have suited me any better. We saw Maud Powells Mark at the depot he wanted us to go down for supper but we came back on the six oclock train for I was so tired. Mrs Seass was at our house and stayed all night she seems to be well pleased with the place the way it looks Ella just now called and said the water had raised in the cellar till it was nearly full we will have a swimming pool if it turns off warm come in the water is fine. I would love to see your cows & pigs your chickens are acting offel nice & only have 3 hens sitting. Lilly J. incubator didn't do a bit well she didnt get 50 and some of them died I dont think they watched it close enough for I saw them up town so much. Mrs Seass said she would make us a kitchen where that back porch is wont that be nice she said just as soon as it got so she could get down to see about it Burt Said he would take her & Lucas ansell & me to your house this summer in the car. so put the big pot in the little one for will sure come. Harrie called me up as soon as they got home I was so glad to here from you tell Jake Hellow I expect he will get lonesome to. last sunday was so pretty the sun shone warm all day after noon Ansell & I went to the barn all over the place ever where we came back to the lot and he turned the cow in to the calf and then after it got its dinner turned her back in the pasture and I and him was standing by the big gate she took a run at me split the top of the gate ansell trying to hold it to keep her out then she got down on one knee and took a run at the bottom of it. I had a piece of a pitch fork handle in my hand I hit her with it between the eyes the blood run our of her nose but it didn't conquer her at all well I never was scared so bad ansell said I never would be any while when I was dead I thought I was safe with a fence between us well it didn't take me long to get a way from their havent been back since. I think my visits will be few and far between as long as she is their. Dr Gladville of Bruce was buarried today here in town. I wish I was thair to eat supper with you & have been off my fead to day. you know the new buggy Sam E. got well he got full the other night and went home trid to turn to short or something up set and run his head right through the top bore a hole clear through skined his head and face all to pieces he goes a round now with a white plaster all over his head that is what whisky does for a fellow just now LuAnn brough me up the nicest ham sandwish my it looks fine the girls are offel nice to me. Mary has been sick for 3 weeks dont know when she will be back wheather at all or not she went to Decatur today to be ? she sent me the nicest boquet this morning she said it was for easter I was offel glad to get it for I do love flowers so much. Mr. E.J. Miller gave me a pink carnation the other day I took the stem home set it out and it is growing nice Puss said all of them are well she comes in to see how I am nearly ever day they got your cards this morning she said tell you many thank and the childrens was so pretty. you didn't say how you liked your card tell Bob I have another one to send him a comic. He will get it in a few days. Grandma Powell & Mary Buxton went to St Elmo to day to see that Dr I told ma to ask him when he would be back up in here and if he thought he could help me. Well if I keep on I will tell ever thing and the rest wont have any thing to write. Grandma Gipsons was well the first of the week I havent heared since. Joe & Earl are so proud of our chickens. We havent made any garden yet it rains ever time we think about it. Thair was a traveling man here to day and I ordered a galon & half ice cream freezer when it gets warm I will lay under them trees and eat ice cream It is the prettiest place we ever lived. Grandma Bupp is still a live but offel low. Delia & Flossie was in the store to day. & yes I nearly fell of my stool this morning Genie called me up and ask how I was she said she had heared what the Dr said and though she would call me up I said yes I have seen you in the store lots of times but you didnt speak. it beat her so bad she said no I didn't know wheather you was a lowed to have company up their or not. I said yes I have lots of company ever body comes in that knows me always speaks I wanted to say none of them turned their back like you did but I didn't. I just let it go. But when she could have been company and a help to me she was not & now I dont need her she just felt a shamed of herself I know well I have got plenty of friends I would rather do for me if they half to as her. that is the way I feal a friend in need is a friend in deed and she wasnt one then and I wish her well and all that but I can go the rest of the way with out her I dont think much of any one that waits till the last to say a kind word. Willie has called up several times and ask how I was He called last night and ask about you and said to tell Bob to drop him a line. the sun has come out nice now after the storm well I must close you will be glad twice to get this glad when it is read I want you both to be good have a good time dont worry a bout any thing and live just the best you can ever day write to us often I am just crasy to see your new home and will before long
Good by from If you cant read
Mama this guess at it for
I have had to stop so often"

Names in the letter, some of which have been identified:

Ella - Ella Powell, Kate's daughter
Earl - Earl Powell, Kate's son
Ansell - Ansell Powell, her husband
Puss - Mary Powell Dunkin, Ansell's sister
Kessler, Davidson, Brown & Barnes - physicians
Bob - Robert Van Gundy, Edna's husband
Maud Powell & son, Mark - Unknown
Mrs Seass - Wife of Burt Seass, Kate and Ansel's landlady
Lilly J - Unknown
Burt - Burt Seass, their landlord
Lucas - Lucas Seass, probably son of Burt
Harrie - Harry Gipson, Kate's half-brother
Jake - Unknown
Sam E - Unknown
Mr E J Miller - Unknown
Grandma Powell - Nelson's wife, Kate's mother-in-law
Mary Buxton - a friend of the family
Grandma Gipson - Kate's mother
Joe - Joseph Powell, Katherine's other son
Grandma Bupp - In the Partial List of Patrons of Moultrie Co, are John Bupp, who operated a dray line and his wife Isabella. They are buried in Greenhill Cemetery, Sullivan, IL along with several other Bupps: John L Bupp 1855-1925, Isabell, his wife 1855-1920. Why Kate called her "Grandma" remains a mystery to be solved.
Delia - coworker or neighbor
Flossie - coworker or neighbor
Genie - Eugenia Baker Powell, wife of Ansell's brother, William
Wiillie - William Powell, husband of Genie

At 4:45 P.M. Katherine died of a tumor of the spleen and hypertrophy of the liver. The problem had plagued her for about 5 years. Dr. W.E. Scarborough of Sullivan had been caring for her since May 11 and signed the death certicifate. Although Kate worked at the Sullivan Dry Goods Co until shortly before she died, the death certificate recorded her as a housewife.
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