February 25, 1906

Dear Mr. Henderson,

This is Sabbath evening and I am doing something I very seldom do. But I just feel if I do not write to you now it will be put off indefinately. I have been trying all week to write to you and Thursday I actually succeeded in addressing the envelope. See if I can do better now.

I went to church this morning and accepted an invitation to take dinner with Mrs. Thomson, one of my friends here. I went to Sunday school and taught a class of high school girls which are anything but of spiritual turn of mind. Ah well, I tried to do my best and more I could not do.

On Friday evening I attended a Missionary meeting and it was more of a social affair than Missionary meeting. I enjoyed it but could not help but wish that the spiritual and social sides were kept separate.  Mrs. Thomson attends the Methodist church and since she is my friend here, I met her at Millerville during my senior year and I think the girls know her. I am a Methodist for the time being as I was last summer.  It is the wealthiest church here so you know what to expect. It does not have one poor family on its list of members. I presume I shall go to my own church if I come back here next year.

I am going to try to lead in Epworth League Monday night. The subject is “A pure life.” I feel a little nervous about doing it because the people are all very well educated and I feel that they could do better but if they want me to do it, I shall try. It is splendid practice for me and gives me more strength and helps me to depend upon myself. I hope I can do better than I did last summer in your church.

I enjoy my school work more every day. I went home to spend Lincoln’s birthday and while there I had a vacation forced upon me by taking grippe and tonsillitis. I missed a little over a week of school. I hope to be more sensible in the future. Enough of myself.

I am glad to hear that you are attending school and I know you will work hard and conscientiously while there. Do you have any definite plans? Is Peru very far Columbus? I suppose I could find out if I would use a geography. It would be so nice if you could board at home.

About four or five weeks ago I succeeded in seeing Bonnie. She came here and had supper with me. I took her to the ferry and she promised to write and let me know when she would come again or when I could see her but I have not heard one word from her since. She was pretty homesick while here and I did everything I could to cheer her up. She promised to spend her two weeks of vacation with me at my home in Lancaster. She planned to spend the first week sewing and the second in having fun. A repetition of what we did last summer.

I feel so often like feel like screaming and having a noisy time as I did last summer but I am a dignified school teacher. Just wait until next summer! I shall make up for it then. It is very kind of you to think of entertaining me and if I come , I shall be pleased to see you. I appreciate your kindness very much.

With best wishes for your success and welfare and may God’s blessing rest upon you.



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January 11, 1906

Dear Mr. Henderson,

I do not know what you must think of me for not answering you letter sooner.  I assure you it is not lack of sincerity.  Just after I received your letter, I received a telegram from home telling me of my brother’s death.  Of course it was very sad news and I could do nothing but try to comfort my grief stricken parents for Ernest was our baby.  I feel that “God does all things for the best” but my parents cannot accept that great truth at present, tho they firmly believe it.  I feel so sorry for them.

I know you will be surprised at the change in my address.  But in a way, I have been rather unfortunate. You know I began to teach in October. I did not receive my salary because Mr. Lorman, Principal of the Private School did not seem able to meet his expenses. I lost about one hundred dollars so I resigned. At present I am teaching in Camden. I have a seventh grade of boys. I like my work very much all tho, I assure you, I have my hands full with thirty two big boys to manage.

I think I was very fortunate in getting this position without losing a day. It is a life position with an increase of $48 a year for five years. I do not know how long I will stay for you know I was elected in Lancaster to a life position. I suppose I will go home next year and stay there.

We had a very sad Christmas. It was the first Christmas in my long life that we had no tree, and how we did miss it! I do not know why Mary and Nora do not write to me. I wrote to both of them last but have not received an answer. Where is Mary? Have you all gone West? I hope Mary has not gone without saying good-bye to me. I am going to write to Bonnie tonight. Probably I shall receive some answer from her.

When I think of the good time we had last summer, I cannot bear to think of never visiting or probably ever seeing all of you again. When you write to the girls or see them please tell them how anxious I am to hear from them. Are you going to give me what I deserve and make me wait long for an answer? Tell me about your plans for the winter.

With best wishes for a happy and prosperous year.



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November 4, 1905

Dear Mr. Henderson,

How time flies!  I suppose you heard I was in the city.  Mary calls me a “lucky chick” and says it keeps her “busy keeping track of me.”  I have a school of five pupils.  I teach them the Primary branches.  It is intensely interesting because I can do individual work.

School begins at nine o’clock.  At 10:30 until 11:00 o’clock I take my little people with the higher school and teach them calisthenics. At 12:30 I dismiss school for the day. Then I am through for the day except that I teach drawing twice a week from one o’clock until one thirty.  Is that not lovely? I have every afternoon to do as I like.  I am studying music and enjoying it immensely. I am going to work as it very hard this winter.

I certainly am very glad to hear of your good fortune.  How I wish I could see some of your work.  I know that you deserve all the good fortune that comes to you, and I wish you all the success possible and you always have my best wishes.  I suppose you are very glad to get to study.  Of course it too is very hard work but I know you enjoy it.  How I wish I could go to school again.  But I presume my school days are over.

You must tell me all about your work.  I have been having quite a time the last two weeks.  I have taken quite a severe cold but am taking medicine faithfully and hope to get over it soon.  I go over eighty squares in the car every day.  No one hundred and sixty because I am staying with my Aunt and she lives 32 squares over North Sixth Street and the school in which I am teaching is 40 squares west but I must go out of my way some distance to get to the school.  I think I take my colds riding in the car.

Tell Nora and the girls to please write.  I have excellent opportunities to hear good lecture and I am going to take Professor Briggs’ course on Tennyson. Was Mr. Briggs the man Mr. Haggerty did not like?  What was his name?

I am writing under difficulties.  My Aunt, two cousins and a friend are in the same room talking and having a good time.  And every once in a while I can’t resist and must talk too.

Take care of yourself. But of course, you are not so foolish but more sensible.  You said you did not believe I could look cross.  Well, I can if must be. But you can imagine what good times my pupils and I have when I run races with them and they come to me and ask me to scream for them.  They want to know whether they can scream louder than I.  I have not tried that yet; however, do you advise me to try it?  I must close.

With best wishes.



Footnote:  I looked up “Tennyson” who Daisy mentioned was the topic of a course she would be taking.  I came across Alfred Tennyson, a popular British poet during the reign of Queen Victoria in the late 1800’s.  

Footnote 2:  I know I said “love letters” and the first couple of letters do not have much romanticism in them.  The first letter I read before buying the others ended up in the middle chronologically in their story as a whole.  I do not read the letters ahead of time, so I am transcribing them as I type.  So each letter is a surprise for all of us!

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October 30, 1905

Dear Mr. Henderson,

I did not mean to wait over two weeks before answering your letters but time does fly so quickly.  I do not know whether it is because I have so much to do or lack of good management that I leave so little time.

I happened to be sweeping when I received your letter so instead of laying down my sewing, I laid down my broom which I was not sorry to do.  I am very glad to hear that you are going to take up your studies so soon.  I hope and trust that your school life will be happy and profitable.  I think I know you well enough to know that you will not idle away any of your time.  I am sorry to say that I did a great deal of it while I was going to school.  How I wish I could go to college!  Nothing would give me more real pleasure.  I do not think that I would waste many minutes if I were to go to school again.

This week I found a few minutes time to read some of Mark Twain’s “Essays.”  He is very sarcastic and has a keen sense of humor.  He does make things seem very ridiculous.  Have you read them?  I am studying and reading German which I find very enjoyable.

On Wednesday morning, I am going to Philadelphia to attend the Missionary Convention of the Lutheran church.  The convention will be in session from Wednesday until Friday morning.  I am coming home Saturday evening.  I expect to have a very pleasant time.  A large party are going from Lancaster.

Mary has not been to see me since the evening she spent her after coming from home.  I saw her twice on the street.  This morning I saw Mary and Bonnie but only for a few seconds.  Bonnie left at one o’clock P.M. for Philadelphia.  I meant to get to the station to see her off but had cooking to do which I could not finish in time.  I was very sorry because she was so good and “saucy” to me that I just wanted to see her and give her what she had been giving me all along.

You do not have much faith in my ability to keep awake when you say that you are afraid I will fall asleep while reading your letter.

I thank you very much for being so very conscientious in performing your duty with regard to Mr. Chestney.  I am sorry that I have nothing to say in reply to his message.  I have not written my letters for about five weeks.  I have taken this evening off to write letters (about eight) and as this is the first I must not make it too long or I shall not get the rest written.

Hoping you are well and enjoying your work.  I am.



P.S. Please tell Nora I am going to write soon.  Ask Bertha if she has forgotten all about me.

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The Beginning

Just a short post to say welcome!  Please excuse the ongoing changes this site may experience as I am working with some talented people on adding some more customization, photos and features.

For the backstory on how I obtained the letters, please visit the My Story link at the top of the page.

Thank you for reading!