December 11, 1908 (with pictures!)

Blogger Note:  I love this letter!  It is probably one of my favorites.  I’ll let you read it before I comment on it after the letter.  If you are a teacher or love teachers, this is a wonderful little letter on the life of a teacher….and as an extra bonus, I scanned the actual letters for this one as a thank you for your patience.  Happy reading!

December 11, 1908

My dearest John,

It is only nine o’clock and I am tired of doing work so I am going to write to my Sweetheart. I wonder if it is raining where he is. It began snowing at noon and now it is raining just as hard as possible. I am sitting in my room so I can hear the patter on the roof.  How I do enjoy it.

I just finished embroidering some dainty little ties. I do love to embroider.

I worked at school today until it grew so dark that the janitor came in and asked me whether I wanted the gas lighted. I said no for I was ready to stop work. I was trying to teach two girls how to subtract when the number in the subtrahend is larger than the corresponding number in the minuend. Well, I know I wasn’t successful but will try again Monday. How they ever got into the Intermediate grade without knowing that is more than I can understand. I feel sure that none of my pupils wold have been taken in the grade above without know it.

Then when I got downstairs to go home there was that little girl that would not leave my room. I asked why she did not go home long ago but she said she was waiting for me. She never has gone yet before I go. It was too late or dark to let her go home alone so I had to take her home thru all the snow and rain. When I got home I had about ten minutes before supper and I spent those lying down.

On the whole this has been a better day at school, and while my back aches from standing my head is much better than it has been the rest of the week. I know I am going to like every one of the children that came this week. One boy particularly. He is twelve years old and all week I have not seen him with a clean face. I know he leaves home with one but never gets to school with one. He is a dear youngster and I believe his dirty face is more becoming than a clean one.

I received a lovely letter from Bertha today. She is very busy, too. I always enjoy her letters so much.

I received one from Miss Porter. I think I told you about her; the girl I met while at Devil’s Lake and who shared our tent. She told me Nora invited her to spend Christmas with her and that she was going if the roads are open. I know they will have a lovely time. Any one who visits Nora must have a good time. Miss Porter will enjoy the visit so much. She lives at Sharlow, ND.

Sunday Afternoon – I got so far Friday evening when I got so sleepy I could not write anymore and since then I have had a busy time. Yesterday morning it was a quarter of eight when I got downstairs. I had the furnace fire to attend to and get breakfast for Mother and myself. After breakfast my three little cousins came and Mother and I made five underskirts and made over two for them. That took all morning. After dinner I sewed until half past two then I had to do some shopping.

Mother sent for the large carriage and we took the children to see Santa and attend to our errands. I prepared supper and made an apron by seven o’clock when my other cousins (two) came for their German lesson. They are doing very well. I am surprised at the interest and progress.

We worked over German until then o’clock. After they went home I remembered I had a lot of stockings to darn and some other mending which I did not finish until ten minutes of twelve. I concluded it was about time to stop and went to bed. Wasn’t that a full day?

I did not get up until a quarter after eight this morning and found it snowing just as fast as the flakes could come down. It was very cold yesterday and the pavements were frozen in many places. The snow covered these places so when I started for church I could not see them and when I arrived at the end of our square I had a “delightful” fall. I felt like a goose but did not mind the fall.

When I arrived within about  a square of the church I fell again and hurt myself. I was cross for being so stupid as to fall. But I was careful.

When I got to church my feet were wet and my skirts but I heard a good sermon. I wore rubbers and my raincoat. I did not go back to Sunday School but spent most the afternoon in bed. I certainly am disgusted with myself for not being able to walk without falling. But with it all it was amusing to see so many people fall. The first ten I had to laugh in spite of myself. I should never had started out if I had known the sidewalks were in such a condition.

I wonder whether my Sweetheart is back on his run or helping on other runs. I hope he will not be so terribly rushed but I know you will be very busy. Do you get home often?

Mother is sitting beside me reading. I am going to read a little while then eat some fruit and go back to bed. I do not think I shall wait for supper. I wanted to be rested before I begin the work of the coming week.

I love my Sweetheart more every day and think of him constantly when I am free to think.

Forever Yours,


Blogger Note:  The life of a teacher!  I can picture her there, in the schoolhouse, nearing dark with gaslamps all around patiently trying to explain the complexities of elementary school math.  And then seeing another child in need and walking him home and just having this adoration for her students and their quirks (can anyone else picture the little school boy with this dirty face??).  This letter I feel is a little homage to teachers everywhere.  Hope you enjoyed!

P.S.  I had no clue what the words subtrahend and minuend meant.  I had to look them up to spell them correctly.  Perhaps I am the only one who had math taught to me a little differently but in case I am not, here are the official definitions:

Subtrahend – A quantity or number to be subtracted from another.

Minuend – A quantity or number from which another is subtracted.

Final Note: If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please scroll to the bottom and click the subscribe button for email alerts every time this blog is updated.  I’m a huge fan of sharing this story so if you know of anyone who would like this little journey, please pass along this blog!


I’m still alive!

Blogger Note:  Hello everyone – I’m not dead.  I’m sorry to those who have waited so long for the next letter.  Some other personal priorities came up in the last couple of months that has taken my attention away from this.

Do not fear!  I have the next couple of letters out and ready to start up again.  You all are so great – thank you for sticking with me.  I also see a couple new followers have joined in the last couple of days so welcome!   You will be hearing more from me soon……

November 19, 1908

Blogger Note:  New letter for the new year before I head back to work tomorrow.  Happy reading!

My dearest John,

What a dear good boy you are to write to me when you feel so miserable, and such a dear letter! But Sweetheart much as I want your letters you must not stay up so late to write them especially when you are not well. I am very glad and thankful your head does not ache but I feel anxious about the condition of your throat. Are you taking any medicine? I get a little green lozenge called the Guaiac Lozenge which has cured the worst sore throat I ever head. If there are any white spots in your throat they will take them away. You ought to be able to get them in Omaha. If I thought you could not I would send you some at once for I know they are good.

I am very glad your work is not so very hard. I hope it will stay light. Today as I was thinking of my Sweetheart I thought of what you said about being good to me. Dearie you have nothing to repay for you are just as good and better to me than I am to you. Your letters are just as dear as they can be and I am so happy to get them. Then to you must work more hours than I and you are very good to me to write so often. But I am so happy to get your letters and each one is precious.

You said in your last letter you were afraid I was doing too much. But I am not. I am busy all the time and do get lots done but I simply will not rush and hurry. So long as I work without rushing, it does not seem to tax my strength. Tonight for the first time in a long while I walked too fast. I only allowed myself ten minutes to work six (long) squares from school to the High School. I feel very well and am well and am keeping my promise.

I am having trouble with my William Beck again. He is lazy this week and was absent several days. When I feel I have done something for her it seems that I am brought face to face with the fact that I haven’t after all. But I suppose I must keep on trying.

How sweet and beautiful it is to know my Sweetheart enjoys writing to me and Oh how happy I am. But I too wish we would have our own little home and not have to be so far away. It is so hard never to see you for so long a time. I wish it did not have to be.

Sweetheart what a dear goose you are to say I am going to find your letter dull. Your letters are not dull at any time. You know I enjoy getting them far too much to ever think them dull.  I was very glad to get this one today for I was Oh so anxious about you and I am still until your throat is well.

Sweetheart you know I never doubted your love but I must not say things that might leave such an impression. I love and trust you too much to ever think of doubting anything you say.

I have a lot more to say but will have to wait until tomorrow. Mother wants me now. Do take care of yourself and get well.

With a heart full of love and best wishes.

Forever your loving,



Blogger Note:  She mentions some specific medications here, which I will need to look more into – fascinating what they used to treat different ailments.  Also, “dear goose” will be my new favorite endearment.

November 18, 1908

Blogger Note:  Happy New Year, Happy New Year!  It is fitting that this letter addresses being sick, as that is what I currently am.  As the rest of the world celebrates, I am sniffling on my couch, buried under blankets and taking daily doses of whatever medicine is readily available.  But overall, I’m incredibly hopeful for the coming year and hope you all are as well.  Don’t lose faith that there are good people doing good things.  Make sure you are one of them.  Happy Reading!

My dearest John,

I was very happy to receive your letter today, and such a letter. So full of love. But I cannot tell you how sorry I am you have such a cold. Really Sweetheart I am concerned about your health all the time. How I wish I could be near enough to watch the little things for I am afraid you are not quite careful enough and you need some one to be careful for you. I just cannot bear to think that my Sweetheart is sick and I always feel sad when I know you are not well.  But I am so very glad you tell me I hope you will always let me know when you are not.

Oh it will be so long or rather seem so long until I receive another letter telling me how you are. I do hope you are well by this time. But so many things are the result of a cold and I wish you would take every care possible not to take cold. How I wish I could have all that pain instead of you and spare you every bit.

Sweetheart I never for one second doubted your love since you told me of it. But when I said I sometime wonder whether you really love me it was because it is so sweet and makes me so very happy to have you love me that it seems too good to be true. You have been and are the dearest boy in the world and there is nothing more you could possibly do than you do to prove you love me. And I am the happiest and richest girl to have my Sweetheart love me, and I never can tell him how much I love him.

I never want my John to write to me when he is so tired and needs rest, much as I love to receive them. But my John is too dear to me to want him to write when he should be resting.

It is very sweet to know that my John thinks of me but what a dear goose you are to think so much that you forgot you had your dinner to pay for. I am guilty lots of times, too of forgetting to do things because I am thinking of “Someone.” Can you guess who?

I received a very dear letter full of love from Mary in the same mail with yours. I must and want to answer both hers and Bonnie this week. I did not get Bonnie’s answered Sunday. I had so many to write. I am very sorry she is not so well as she was. It is too bad your Mother suffers with rheumatism. I am sorry. I wish I could do something to relieve her pain.

My work at school is going about as well as can be expected and I am enjoying it. Five children are home sick that will mean lots of work when they come back.

It is after five o’clock and I have lots to do. Supper to prepare (Mother is away), my Luther League topic to look over, get ready for Luther League, go to the doctor and get to church by half past seven. So I must stop. I am feeling very well and I rested at noon so I am not very tired tonight.

I wish I could see my Sweetheart and do something for him to make him well but I hope you will be very well before you get this letter.

With more and more love and best wishes,

Forever your loving,


Please take very good care of yourself.

Blogger Note:  I have one more letter I want to get up tomorrow to start 2017 off right!








November 16, 1908

Blogger Note:  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  If you are new to the site and want to subscribe to receive notifications of new posts, scroll to the very bottom and enter in your email address.  Love my readers – new and old!  Enjoy and happy reading!

My dearest John,

I was surprised by finding a dear letter from sweetheart. I was afraid I would have to wait a long time again.

I am very sorry that you have not been well. But really Sweetheart you know you ought not to eat pie and then two pieces at one time. I am not surprised that your stomach and head rebelled. But I do hope you are all right and that your throat is not sore anymore. I suppose you are trying to make up now for all the pie you will miss when your Secretary does your cooking. But really Sweetheart do be careful what you eat. You know you promised to.

I am writing this letter in the kitchen while I am trying to prepare supper. No, it is not too much work to write to my Sweetheart every day. I always enjoy doing it. I really do not know where to send them. Sometimes you have your Omaha address on the back of the envelope and sometimes your Lincoln address.

I am glad you are getting sleep. What time do you stop work? I went to bed last night at eight o’clock. I did not get home from Sunday School until nearly five o’clock; then I prepared supper and studied the history of the church from the time Charlemagne reigned to the time of Luther. I must lead Wednesday evening. I wish it were over.

Today going to school I fell in the middle of the street in a pool of snow and water. It was real funny. I did not hurt myself. I must be getting feeble.

I found some person that thinks of Dickens just as I do. Dr. Carsen one of the lecturers Saturday referred to him lots of times. I do love Dickens. He depicts life just as it is.

It makes me very happy to know what your mother and my sweetheart think of me. I hope I will never disappoint you. I hope Miss Helm is not trifling with Mr. Thompson. I do not think she is but I do not know. But I do trust everybody and I would not believe it of her unless I were forced to. I hope she will always be as happy as I am. How I wish I could see my Sweetheart. Sometimes I feel that it is cruel never to see you but I suppose it is just as the Lord intended it to be. I must be patient and content. But it is hard.

You say you hop you will always be successful in keeping me happy. As I have told you before no matter how little I have so long as my Prince will be good to me and love me I shall be the happiest girl. Maybe you do not believe it, John it is true.

I am glad you have a regular run and can live more regularly now. You will at least not have to go from one run to another.

I know I am the richest girl to have such a dear good boy like my Prince to love and love me.

I must stop now. I want to go to the Post Office, and then get some lace to put on some Christmas gifts I am making after supper.

With more and more love.

Forever your,


Write Soon.

Blogger Note:  Drama with Mr. Thompson and Miss Helen?  Say it ain’t so!  Actually, I have no idea whose these people are…..but maybe someday I will!



November 15, 1908

Blogger Note:  In two days (or 1 day depending on where in the world you currently are, it will be 108 years since this letter was written!).  And no, you shouldn’t read into it as another conspiracy with the Cubs World Series win).  But it’s still nice to think about.  Go Cubs!!!

P.S.  This letter is a LONG one.  Happy reading!

November 15, 1908

My dearest John,

Oh this is the most glorious day we have had for a long time. Yesterday it snowed all day and today the white blanket everywhere glistens and sparkles in the bright sun shine. The trees look especially beautiful. Don’t you like to see the flakes fluttering in the air? I do not think this snow will last long. It is getting warm.

We had a very interesting program yesterday. Dr. Gillan talked to us upon How to conduct a recitation and he was in favor of the questioning method, the one used by Socrates. He called Socrates a “loafer” because he did most of his teaching standing around corners. Dr. Carson was the best speaker. He talked about the natural characteristics of a teacher which of course are found in the born teacher. But every teacher could acquire them, love for the work, scholarship, patience and always to have perfect control of the temper. The pessimist should never enter a school room to teach. His definition for a pessimist is a pessimist is an egotist who thinks the sun sets every time he shuts his eyes.  He paid some glowing tributes to General Grant.

Dr. Banks who has been excavating some ruins in the far East gave a very interesting account of the trouble one has to get permission to excavate. Most of the ancient ruins are controlled by Turkey. He described some of the ancient places as he found them or saw them (for he saw some that he did not help to unearth) buried. One place that was uncovered is larger than any palace used today. It was or is or found to be one hundred eighty feel high and covering about sixteen acres.

I wonder what my sweetheart is doing today. I hope he does not have any more of that cold in his head and not working too hard. I wonder if you are working today. I am resting this morning. I had a full day yesterday. Joe had a friend from Marietta visiting him and I had my friends. I did have a busy time trying to get to Institute by nine o’clock. I could not get them to breakfast until half past eight and when I finally started to go at a few minutes of nine Mother’s cousin came that kept me. If I had not cleaned my room and gotten ready before before breakfast I never should have succeeded in getting there. Mother did not go to Reading on account of the weather so she prepared most of the dinner and I got the supper.

After supper I had a German lesson to give and then sewed until after eleven o’clock. Wasn’t that a full day? I was a little tired but I feel very well and I am not doing anything today scarcely but attend Sunday school.

You said in your last letter you did not know what you were going to do about going north. Well, Sweetheart you must do what you think best. But if the people for whom you are working now give you a fairly good position and treat you well I think it would be best to stay. You will know what you have but if you go North and fail to get a position you will just have more expense and the time is lost.

If you should homestead you will surely need some money and then when the long winter sets in you will have to find another employment. Then think of the struggle and work! As I said before the hardest part will fall on you and you know you are not so strong that you can enduring anymore hardships and trials but what are absolutely necessary. Then why should you aim to acquire lots of money and in the struggle forfeit so much that is worth living for.

You know if you are worn out with hard work and constant struggle you have no time or patience to enjoy the better things. I feel that it is far more beautiful and important to be happy and get along with less of the things that money can buy and enjoy the better things.

If you have a run that pays fairly well we can get along by being economical and save something beside. You know John, so very much depends upon whether we want to be satisfied. The reason I am so against your trying to do so much (that is in acquiring money) is because I have seen so many couples and families whose happiness has been ruined by this struggle. And which is more important to be a well to do and important man in a community or less influential and have happy home life? It isn’t very often you have both especially where there is the struggle.

But Sweetheart do what you think best. You know I shall help you all I can always because I love you more than I can tell you. Take good care of yourself please. Give my love and best wishes to your mother and the girls.

Forever your loving,


Blogger Note:  Snow and Socrates!!  That is how you start a letter…….can you just paint the picture of the winter scene she is seeing?   

The part about teaching – about being able to acquire the skills and passion to be a teacher – is something many leadership courses still teach today.  That it is more than innate talent but a passion and will to consistently acquire those skills that make teachers great.  108 years go by and still it is true.  And the power and need for a positive energy in the classroom (and by extension, into any workplace).  And I love, love, love the definition of her pessimist.  

Anyone else want to know who Dr. Banks is?  What a life – exploring ruins back in the early 1900s – so much still to find.   I am extremely curious to dig into the ruin she is trying to describe above……hmmm……more research on that one.  

And wow!!  I think for the first time since I started these letters, this one really spoke to how Daisy feels.  In past letters, she has skated around this issue of moving and what to do but in this letter, she is laying all her feelings out in the open for John to contemplate.  It took her a few letters to get to this point but she did so with still a lot of love and care.  No swearing, threats, more than one exclamation point.  There is trust and solidarity here.  A lot of wisdom and a lot to think about.  And I have no idea where this story is heading…….but isn’t that half the fun?  Until next time!

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October 18, 1908

Blogger Note:  I wanted to get another letter up tonight as I will not have the time over the next week or so.  I’m also working on archiving the letters better by setting up a little library where it will be easy to reference any past letter.  So lots being planned!

If you are a new reader and would like to subscribe, please scroll down to the very bottom of the screen to sign up.  I love new readers and also love all the comments.  Thank you loyal readers!

My dearest John,

I just came home from Sunday school. Our Superintendent was away and I had her work to do. The attendance was large and they were real noisy.

Today was just as beautiful as the past week and just as warm as any day in September. This morning as Mother and I were coming down South Duke Street after church I slipped on some careless person’s pavement. I certainly had a fall. I was jarred but not hurt. Never had such a crazy fall before. I landed after two feet from where I started to slip. The sermon was very good. It took quite a while after I fell to even recall the text.

I was reading more of Stoddard’s lecture on Canada, about Manitoba and Alberta. According to his account of it Monitoba yields the best wheat. I do enjoy reading his lectures because he sees uses such beautiful language and you can picture things as they are from his descriptions.

You asked me who told Mr. Brenner about you. You guessed right. Margaret told it and my brother Joe helped.

I wonder what my sweetheart is doing now. I wonder whether he is preparing his own supper tonight. How I wish you did not have to. I must get ours in a few minutes and I do wish I could get yours.

Today was very much like the Sunday my sweetheart and I went to church at Omaha and I could not help but think about it and wish you were here today. Doesn’t that seem a long time ago?

I am sorry your train has been late every trip. How long will you be on that run? “That big boy” will not have to feel like hiding in the Rocky Mountains because “his Daisy” will decide not to go with him. She realizes what she has promised and tho it would be much easier to go if it were not going to be so far away she will go where you think best.

You haven’t heard from Mr. Bach yet have you? But sweetheart neither of us must worry about it. If we both trust in the Lord and he means us to live East he will open the way and if our home is to the West we will have it there. Only don’t take notions that I am going to trifle with you. For I have given you my promise and I mean what I said.

I have been reading over the letters my sweetheart sent me this week (five) and I am so happy. They were all just as dear and sweet as could be. My sweetheart is very good to me and how much I do love him. I wonder how often I have told him that the last three months. But I just must.

These boys want supper so I must stop. With best wishes and lots of love. Write soon.

Forever your Daisy

Blogger Note: This is the first letter I have read where she refers to herself in the third person.  I also love that we get a few more names (Mr. Brenner, Mr. Bach and Margaret – I know Margaret has been mentioned in other letters) to do a bit of research later on.


October 17, 1908

My dearest John,

What a dear good boy you are to have such a dear letter for me this evening.  This morning I waited with much eagerness for the mail but no letter from my sweetheart at nine or eleven. But this afternoon it came and how glad I was and so happy. I am indeed very rich to have my John to love me.

This has been another glorious day and I have been enjoying it so much but more since your letter came. When your letters come full of love, they make everything brighter. I did not do very much today. I did not get home from sewing circle last night until eleven o’clock; so I did not get up until seven this morning after breakfast.

I helped a tiny bit with housework and while mother was out on some errands I prepared dinner, sewing in between. After dinner I embroidered until two o’clock then mother and I went shopping and driving until five. Mother is preparing supper while I am writing to my sweetheart.

This evening my two cousins Bessie and her brother are coming; they want me to teach them German. So I am going to try to give them a lesson each week.

My sweetheart certainly is going to be very good to me if he is going to help me with the dishes. I guess I will have to make an extra sized apron or if you do not wear one while helping in the kitchen you will get grease spots on your clothes. But I know my sweetheart will be too tired to help with dishes after working all day. It won’t take long to wash a few dishes, but it will be sweet to have you in the kitchen where I can see you and talk to you when you are home. They certainly will be happy and precious times.

If getting a letter from me every day will please you I shall try to write it. That will not hurt me I am sure, and it is always a pleasure to write to you.

Sweetheart you must think I am goose. I have promised you to go wherever you thought it would be best and if it must be the North West it cannot be helped but do not for one minute think that I would promise to go with you and when you come East decide I cannot go. Of course it will be very hard to leave Mother, because tho she expects lots of me and is a little unreasonable at times yet she is very good to me.

But John you know I love you too much to trifle with you. Remember Dearie I mean just what I say. We are going to be happy no matter where our home must be. I never am going to break my promise and I hope you will never be sorry you asked me to share a home with you.

I am sorry you must eat on those cars, too. I suppose you get a very wholesome, nourishing supper if you must get it yourself on those cars. How I wish you had a more cheerful and comfortable way of living. I hope it will not be for very long. When we have our home there will be no more of that. How much there is to live for and how happy it makes me even to think about it.

Take care of yourself and keep just as cheerful as you can under you trying conditions. But sweetheart i know it is the hardest thing to keep cheerful sometimes. Write soon. Best wishes and lots of love.

Forever your loving,


Blogger Note: A man knows how to impress a woman by offering to do the dishes?  Some things never do change over the centuries. 🙂

First photo of Daisy & John

Hello!  I’ve upload one of the only pictures I currently have of Daisy and John courtesy of her great nephew who was so kind to reach out to me.  Please visit the “Behind the Letters – People” section of the website to view.  Let me know what you think!

Have a great Sunday!

October 14, 1908

Blogger Note:  Letter #3 for the day.  Thank you for your loyal readership!

My dearest John,

I ought to be downstairs ironing and getting supper but I am going to steal a few minutes to write to my sweetheart first.

I just came home from school. It has been the hardest day I had this year. Three new children came in, one a beginner and the other a “character.” He is ten years old and I suppose it will end in his being sent away. He has been in several Primary schools and now Dr. Buehrle sent him to me. I did not want him, and do not want all “cases” in the school.

I am afraid I was naughty last night. I wanted to call on a friend and had planned ever since I came home to go. So at supper I told mother for I always have and do tell her where I go but had to take the pictures in the parlor down clean them and all the bric-a-brac. Well, I knew that would take the whole evening and I was not very cheerful in doing it. But I did it and this morning I got up early and helped to clean the parlor. I was told that I ought to stay home every night and rest when I have no work to do. I wonder if my sweetheart is going to make me work all the time.

Mother is so dear and so very good to me but I cannot understand her sometimes. Lately she is always scolding me for something.

I was invited out to dinner at noon today. I had a very nice time and was almost late for school. But I came home before I went to my friends and helped to hang up clothes. I missed my sweetheart’s letter. I wonder where you are running now.

Sweetheart Mr. Brenner told me for the sixth time today that he envies you. Now isn’t that a joke! I laughed at him. And then he did tease me. But I just laugh when he teases, he does it often.

Margaret came out to school about three o’clock today. She comes real often and I like to have her come too. I wish I could talk to my sweetheart today instead of writing to him. But I am always wishing that.

You are a dear boy to say you will be the “richest chap” when we have our home. I shall certainly be the richest girl. I just cannot help thinking about how happy we will be in it and how happy I am to have such a dear good boy for my Prince.

Did the folks all go to South Dakota to file? I hope they will be successful if they did. Sweetheart my time is up and I must go down stairs. I wish I were going to prepare my Prince’s supper too.

Write soon. I do miss your letters so much.

With a heart full of love and best wishes.

Forever yours,


Blogger Note:  I chuckled over the “richest chap” comment from John.  Love it.