Lula Brannon Briscoe, ca. 1903. Courtesy of the Brannon/Briscoe family
It’s time for Episode 4 of “Voices from the West,” our blog series featuring audio recordings of historical documents from the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center.
Our goal is to show that history is more than a timeline. At its core, it’s about people. And not just the famous and infamous, but the everyday and ordinary. If you missed previous episodes, you can start here.
The oldest of six children, Lula had moved with her family from Texas to the Chickasaw Nation in 1898. They settled in Sugden, a small community near today’s Texas border that consisted primarily of farmers. She married Robert Willis Briscoe and together they had five children.
Listen Now[audio mp3="https://nationalcowboymuseum.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ep4-3.mp3"][/audio]
Sources: The Charlotte Democrat (October 15, 1886). The American Stationer (1903). Geyer’s Stationer Catalog (1904).
Lula’s letter reveals that the general concept of entertaining hasn’t changed in 117 years, just its elements. Instead of cheese boards and Cards Against Humanity, it was the ever-popular coconut layer cake (also called cocoanut) and the “Acme of Parlor Games” in 1903—Flinch. The game retailed for 50 cents and consisted of the “Finest cards (150) of heavy, enamelled (sic) stock,
with handsome back in crimson design, with dainty, attractive, numbered faces.” By 1904, sales began dwindling and Geyer’s Stationer Catalog proclaimed the door open for a new card game. The most likely contender they predicted? Bunco. Sources: The Charlotte Democrat (October 15, 1886). The American Stationer (1903). Geyer’s Stationer Catalog (1904).