Chicago, Feb. 24--
Dear Charley. What do you supose has come off now.
the archateck is sick & cant be on the job no more
& left the work to his cousin & how do I know
weather the cousin knows a house from a box car but what
can I do. I asked the cousin what was the matter
with the archateck & he says it was a nervous brake
down & he thot he got sick worring a bout my house
because evry thing had went rong. I says he aint
did no more worring then me & I dont even get payed
Well the cousin is worse then
the archateck a bout asking questions that I dont know
nothing a bout what to anser & if asking questions
made the archeteck sick his cousin wont live a wk.
A cording to the contrack the
house should ought to be finished a wk. from now but it
aint no further a long then it was in januery as far is I
can see & this here boss carpenter they got working
wouldent never be pinched for speed. I was out
there today & asked him how much longer he would be
working & he says I cant go very fast now because Im
waiting for them to bring the mill work. So I got
to call up the mill work people to-morrow. The
longer they dont deliver the mill work the longer it will
take them to be threw with the house & Im paying this
here carpenter by the day and besides that we got to go
& bord some wheres after the 1 of march because the
real estate people took the flat off of our hands when we
told them we wanted to get a way the 1 of march &
they all ready sined up with them people that we had the
flat sub letted to & we will half to move out on or
before next tues. Where wear going to I dont know
& I guess we might as well burn up the furnitur &
go & throw our self in the lake.
Your lucky Charley that you aint
in no jam like this & if any body ever pulls this
home stuff on you bust them in the jaw.
F. A. Gross.
Brother Charley. Well Charley we finely got the
mill people a couple of swedes to bring there stuff a
round but before they brung it I & they was down to
the bank 4 times argueing & they was scared they
wasent going to get there money because they had a
contrack with the
that blowed up on me & thot because they dident have
no contrack with me I was going to beat them out of there
The man at the bank kept telling
them that the money was right there for them when they
got there work delivered but that dident do no good &
the swede was down there with me called the bank a lire
& me a lire & a crook & I called him some
things to only I couldent call him as bad as he is.
Well if it wasent for haveing
the job held up I would of told him & his mill work
to go to h-ell but what could I do because it would take
3 wks. to get the work did some wheres else & all
that time we would be paying bord & paying the
carpenter to & not getting no where. So finely
I had to sine a paper garanteeing that the swede would
get the money that the bank all ready had for him &
that was all he wanted was my garantee tho I couldent of
got the money myself with a stick of dinamite. He
promused to deliver the mill work today but I wouldent
give a nickle a thousand for his promuses.
Well we got a place to bord
& a place to store the furnitur & its going to
cost us $18 a wk. for our board & $6 to store the
furnitur besides geting it moved which will cost $30 from
the flat to the store house & $10 more from there to
the house if the house is ever ready for it.
Thats a bout all the news I got
for you this time &I wisht I had some good news but I
guess Im lucky to be a live.
Rgds. to Mary.
Fred A. Gross.
Brother Charley. Well Charley we been held up
again & this time it was the electrick lt. fixtures
& Grace picked them out & they cost $100 in sted
of the $50 we stuck in the bank to pay for them so the
extra $50 comes out of my pocket & besides that the
archetecks cousin says the contrack only calls for 2
cotes of paint on the out side of the house where they
should ought to be 3 & he can get an other cote put
on for $90 which is pretty nice of him. &
besides all that Im paying the carpenter now evry wk. for
5 wks. & all he gets per day is $5 so thats a bout
$150 extra but if theys something left in the bank when
they get all threw I will get it back or can leave it to
apply on int.
The archateck is still sick yet
& I havnt saw his cousin the last couple wks. but I
guess the carpenters doing things o k & as far as I
can see a archateck might as well stay sick all the wile
for all the good he is accept drawing pitchers of the new
house before its build.
F. A. Gross.
Dear Charley. The house is pretty near finnished
Charley & it looks fine & worth all the trouble
& Grace come out with me to see it yest. & is
plum nuts over it so evry things o k but my troubles
isent over yet & heres the lattest. The village
of Allison has ordered us to put in a new cement sidewalk
& we got to have a side walk up in to the yard up to
the house as well as a long the st. & its going to
cost a even $100.
Well thats pretty bad but that
aint nothing. I asked a man a bout soing grass
seeds & fixing up the yard & he says it must got
to be graded 1st. I says what do you mean graded
& he says its all ups & downs & the ground a
round the house is lower all ready then the ground out by
the st. I says it was in my contrack for the
contrackter to grade the lot but he dident do it so I got
an other man to grade it for $60. He says well then
you got stung for $60 because they hasent been no
gradeing did that I can see. I argude with him a
bout it but he says he wouldent so no grass seeds or have
anything to do with it un lest it was graded & he
said he would grade it & put black dirt on it so as
the grass would grow & all so put in a drive way of
cement & gravvle all for $150.
Well Charley they wasent nothing
for me to do but hire him & did you ever here any
thing like it.
The gas has been ran in to the
house from the st. & the stove should ought to be
there any day now & the house is all wirde for
electrick lts. & all that part of it is o k & the
only thing there doing now is fixing up the flors with
pollish & when thats did theyll be all threw but it
takes time to do that & I wisht it was all over
because wear sick of bording to say nothing of paying for
the bord & paying the carpenter all the time.
& I still got the finnished hard ware to pay for
& thats $70 & when the 1 of july comes theyll be
$60 int. to pay so you see I got some thing to worry me
Charley & I bet John E. rockefellow would be worring
to if he was me.
P. S. I put $70 in the bank to pay for the finnished hard
ware all ready but some way the archatecks cousin got
balled up & give some body some thing they dident
have coming & the man at the bank reffused to pay the
order for the finnished hard ware & I went down to
see why not & he says all the money was drawed out
all ready & they wasent nothing left. I dont
under stand it but I quit trying to under stand bout this
Brother Charley. I bet you wont never believe it
but wear in our house & we been here 2 hole
days. The furniturs here & the movers busted it
all to peaces but we dont mind a little thing like
that. Grace is tickled to death & as long as
shes plesed its all o k but I got so much to do I aint
got much time to write.
I called up the archateck today
to see would he come out & see if things looked o k
to him but he was still sick yet but the cousin come out
& we was haveing supper & he set down with us tho
we dident have nothing to eat because the gas stove aint
come yet & even if it come it wouldent do no good
because the gas aint conected. Well the archatecks
cousin says the house looks o k to him accept that theys
a few things the matter & should ought to be fixed
up. He says you got a mitey nice place here for
$2000 besides what you payed for the lot. I says
where do you get that stuff $2000 besides what we payed
for the lot. We payed $1500 for the lot besides
int. & I dont know how much more then $2000 the house
is going to cost us but I bet its closter to $3000 &
then I & him set down & figured it up.
They aint no chance now for getting the bank payed up
before the 5 yrs. is up so 1st theys $2000 & then
theys $320 int. on the $2000. Then theys $25 for the
garantee polisy that I payed when I got the lot & $25
for an other 1 when I got the money at the bank.
And I payed for the finnished hard ware twict & thats
$70 each time or $140. Then I give the bank $30 for
insurence & $30 for comishon & I give them $75
for my bal. on what I owed the archateck & the $25 I
give him to start with & $50 for the wall
paper. That money I give them for the archateck
& the wall paper was payed out some wheres else so I
pay that twict & $60 for gradeing but that gradeing
dident take so I payed $150 more for the same job the 2d.
time & $50 for 2 extra closets in the house &
$300 for the carpenter that done the work when the
contrackter quit on me & $100 for cement walk &
its all cracked all ready & $46 for moveing &
storeing the furnitur & its all busted to peaces
& $50 extra for electrick lt. fixtures because Grace
seen some she liked & of corse they was the most
expensiv & $30 for a extra cote of paint that I dont
know weather we needed it or not & I dont know
weather it was ever put on & $96 for our bord bill
where we stayed at.
Well we figured that all up
& it amts. to $1600 & that dont include the $2000
or the $1500 for the lot so what was suposed to cost me a
bout $3600 or $3700 is going
to cost me
$5300 & I aint got a cent in the world & theys
int. do the 1 of July & besides that we got to buy
cole to heat the water for the bath tub & wash basens
because they was suposed to put in a gas heater but they
made a miss take & put in a cole heater & the
archatecks cousin is sorry they made the miss take but
says we can get it changed to a gas heater fore bout
After hed went I looked a round
& I just got threw looking & I found out that all
as is the matter with the house is that the doors thats
shut dont open & the doors thats open dont shut &
you cant lock none of them & you cant open none of
the windows which is all o k now because it aint hot yet
& we aint got no screens tho we ordered them 1 mo. a
go & theyll cost $50 more & theys no room in the
kichen for a stove or a table & the roof of the house
leeks & we aint got no electrick lamps that we
ordered when the fixtures was put in & we will half
to go to bed when it gets dark nights un lest we want to
run a round with candles like I been doing & the
ceilers full of water & besides that the sewer backs
up in to the cellar from the st.
But the kids seems to be havein'
a h-ell of a time espeshaly little Ed. & Grace is
running a round like a chicken with there head off &
tickled to death so what kick have I got comeing even if
I owe more money then I'll ever see & my hares turned
gray & the papers is paning the life out of the dept.
because theys 1 or 2 stick up men a round town.
Tommorrow I got to buy some cole
to run the heater & coles only $8 a ton out here
& I got to buy a refidjerater because we was suposed
to have 1 build in but they left it out while the
archateck was sick & I got to get a plumer to take
the water out of the celler & see weather he cant
coax the sewer to stay out doors. I dont know where
theyll put the gas stove if they bring it & if we was
to put both the gas stove & the kitchen table in the
kitchen Grace would half to cut her self in 2 to get in
& cook the meals or wash the dishs. Well Charley Im
going to bed & its 10 to 1 the bed will brake down
but if it does Ill lay right there on the floor & not
never know diffrence.
Rgds. to Mary.
Fred A. Gross.
Brother Charley. Well Charley we been liveing in
the house a bout 6 wks. now & the gas stoves been
here 4 days & I dont know how they remembered to
bring it & we finely managed to get 2 of the windows
open & its been frightful hot but we dont dare keep
very long to a
time because the screens isent here yet. We got the stove
& the table both in the kitchen & they aint no
danger of me going in the kitchen & bothering Grace
because if I went in there it would take this here
Houdini to get me out.
Well Charley the archateck
finely got all o k again and come out to see us &
what do you think he pulled on me. He says my
cousin was telling me that your place cost $1600 more
than you figured & I says yes it did. So just
as he was going he left me a bill for $80 & he says
he was suposed to get 5% of the cost of the house &
if they was $1600 extras he should ought to have $80
more. Do you know what I says to him. I says wait a
minut you got it figured rong. I bought a lawn more
today to cut the grass when it comes up & it cost me
$8 so I think you should ought to add on 40 cents. Then I
shut the door as clost as it will shut & he beat it
& stopped out side to take some pitchers of the house
& I supose he will try to soke me 5% of what it cost
to get them pitchers developped.
Well Charley next wk. I got to
pay the 1st. int. on the lone down to the bank & I
dont know where the moneys comeing from & I says some
thing a bout it to Grace & she says she would write
& ask her old man. Hes a good old scout Charley &
I bet he will come acrost but I hate to be touching him
all the wile. But theys 1 thing sure he wont never
half to give Grace no more berth day pressents not even
if he lives 20 yrs. more.
The Walters was out to see us
today & there tickled to death with the house &
they got the building bug now. Well Charley after
alls said & did its the only life when you got
children & if I was you Id get busy & get in to
Kindest to Mary.
Fred A. Gross.