July 24, 1907

Revere Beach

Boston, Mass.

My dear Mr. Henderson,

I am writing this letter under difficulties. Mother and four friends and myself are sitting at the beach. We are ready to go into the water. The tide is in and we expect a jolly good time. I wish you could do likewise. It would do you so much good.

It is a week later than when I started. I hope you will excuse it. This is Sabbath and just raining hard. We must leave here tonight, our boat leaves Providence at 7 P.M. I do not like to travel on the Sabbath but we could not get a state room on any line until late next week and I must visit Philadelphia and Camden next week. I would like to get home by next Saturday.

I am so glad Nora is so happy. She deserves it all and I only hope nothing will blight her happiness. I only wish I could visit her sometime. You know I am always glad to hear of any thing that concerns the girls and I am glad to hear of Bertha’s fine position. Seventy five dollars is a fine salary. Did I tell you I am to have fifty dollars a month next year! I think that is a fine salary for Lancaster to pay, especially in the primary grade.

Only four weeks before we get into the harness again. I am not rested, in fact more tired than when school closed. The summer I visited at your house I weighted 135 pounds now I weigh 120. I am not so wise as you. Are you still gaining in weight?

Oh I wish you could have taken this trip with us! I have been going every day, getting all the knowledge possible. I have been taking auto trips nearly every day. We had a very jolly and quick witted guide. He said some of the most comical things I ever heard.

Just take part of the residential trip. We are now passing Symphony Hall, the home of the Symphony Orchestra. This building is so musical that even the pictures are said to have cords. On the left is the Boston Conservatory of Music. It is so musical that even the doors have keys.

We are now passing down Commonwealth Avenue referred to as the Fifth Avenue of Boston. Here every blade of grass is a greenback; every bird has a bill, every chimney a draft, every horse a cheek but still the people are not satisfied but must go away for a little change. We passed Brookline considered the richest town in the U.S. It has about 15,000 inhabitants. It remains a town by the option of its people. It is rated that for every 100 people there is a millionaire.

The car system here is complicated. You go upstairs to take a subway and down stairs to take the elevated. Washington Avenue here is 49 1/2 miles long. Just think of one continuous street so long bearing the same name all the way. Of course I visited Bunker Hill monument on Breed’s Hill, Charleston, Harvard College, events all thru Lexington, Concord & Lincoln. We saw the homes of Emerson, Hawthorne, Louise Allcot, the woods where Emerson and Hawthorne received their inspiration. I saw the Colonial Inn, the Wright House, The Monroe House where Washington and Lafayette stayed is wonderfully preserved and is still owned by the Monroe’s.

Oh I could keep on writing all day. It is a good thing for you that you are not going to see me very soon, for I am afraid I should talk Boston to you until you would grow desperate, because I certainly am full of it now. I met a very intelligent woman who has lived here twenty five years and she said I knew more about Boston than she did. Oh I wish you could see the free library here. It is considered the largest of New England and the building itself is without a peer in the world. It is Renaissance style of architecture.

The dome of the state house is gilded. It is regilded every year at a cost of $9,000. At night it is illuminated and can been seen for fifty miles at sea. I think if I stayed here another week I could get up in the front of one of those sight seeing autos and shout through one of those megaphones. On Thursday afternoon we went sightseeing and right in Brookline one of the tires came off our auto and about forty of us were stranded. We walked to the nearest car and rode back to Boston. Our guide made his speeches all the same. Momma is anxious to get home but I do not want to leave the “hot bed of the rebellion.” There is only one thing to mar my pleasure. I do not like the people with whom I am staying and one of our party. I do not think you would either.

When are you going to apply for the position at St. Paul? It will be going further away from home but you will be further East. This Sunday is exactly like the first one I spent at Moresville.

I guess you are wondering when I am every going to stop writing. I am sitting on the floor and am about getting tired.  Oh, a friend just came in to call and brought me the most beautiful rose jar, filled with rose leave. I hope I get it home safe.

I enjoyed your last letter. You were very good to me to write while I am here.  With best wishes and hoping to hear from you soon I am.


Daisy Holzwarth

Blogger Note: I swear when I opened this letter, it still had sand in it. 🙂  I enjoyed hearing about all of the places she visited and it has sparked me interest to head out east and explore all of these markers she mentioned.  Anyone willing to let me stay with them while I visit Boston?

March 21, 1907

Dear Mr. Henderson,

I am almost ashamed to write since I have waited so long.  I think my last letter was written in January.  Each morning for the last three weeks I have said today I will write. Today I am determined to do so. I did not go home to dinner so here I am at school writing. I just finished mounting some colored pictures of birds and put them up. I have twenty plants in my school room windows and four are laden with flowers. My room looks very pretty and cheerful. I like to be in it. The children behaved very badly last week but this week are acting as is they were a little civilized.

Today is the first of spring and I can scarcely realize it. Where has the winter gone? We have had a severe winter – lots of snow. I have been fortunate enough to go sleighing twice.  Oh, but I did enjoy it.

Mother is not much better. She is about and works – for too hard – but is not her real self. Mother’s condition is really the only cloud in my life just now.

I can imagine how cozy the girls made your home. A cozy home is one of the things essential to my happiness. No matter how very simple so long as it is homelike and cozy. I am so very anxious to see it.

I have never heard anything more about Mr. Groff than that he was in the country ill. I have not been at Millersville since Christmas but expect to go Sat. then. I shall inquire and let you know if I learn anything about him.

Do you like Wymore as well as Chester? How are you getting along with your new undertaking? I hope you like it and are being successful. Do not work too hard. I have learned from experience that you must have rest. I never or at least seldom go out only to church and school since January. I am taking more rest. Can you complete the course by correspondence? Tell me more about it.

I have been spending lots of time reading. I just finished from “Egypt to Japan” by Field. It is very interesting full of knowledge and gives an excellent geographical description of the countries of Asia.

I have not made any plans for the summer. Very likely I shall stay home or go to a very quiet place in the country. I should like to go to Jamestown but shall want to decide until later.

I want to thank you for the very pretty card you sent me. I enjoy it very much. It was very kind of you to remember me. With very best wishes and thanks for your kindness and thoughtfulness I am.


Daisy Holzwarth

Blogger Note: I love the statement about a cozy home creating happiness.  What a true statement.  And going on to say that a home can be simple but still cozy.  It doesn’t need to be to have 15 bedrooms and Picasso paintings on every wall, but just a place where you can curl up and feel completely at ease.  I like her more and more with each letter.  What does everyone else think?  Letters are below.  She has written the last couple on some light blue stationary so the scans are a bit darker than before.  Happy reading!

March21.1907_1 March21.1907_2

I have never

January 1, 1907

Blogger Note:  Happy Memorial Day weekend!  Please take a moment throughout the weekend to say thanks to our men, women and canines serving our country today and throughout history and remember those who have given their lives.  If you have flags, fly them proudly!  I’ll be posting two letters this weekend as catch up.  I’ve been ill but am on the mend and have been out-of-state these past few weekends.  Happy reading!  And as always, thank you!!

January 1, 1907

Dear Mr. Henderson,

May this year bring you only joy, happiness and success!

Thank you very much for the pretty and dainty pearl knife. I shall leave it on my desk where I can use it daily.

Until I received your postal, I could not imagine what was the matter. I have not heard from you for such a long time. Of course I know you are busy.

Santa has been very good to me. He brought me very nice and useful gifts, in fact, I received a great many more than I deserved.

I have been just as busy as a bee for the past month, but Christmas is past and tomorrow I resume my regular routine of work. I am not going to work half so hard as I did last year. I began by resting most of the afternoon. We have a maid now and that takes lots off my hands.  She cannot cook but she can do all the other work. I am going to spend my extra time in reading and I hope to do some embroidering. I received three good books at Christmas. Friendship by Hugh Black (a Scotch Preacher), Wagner’s famous opera Lohengrin and one of Dickens.

You spent Christmas in your pretty new home. What a joyous and happy time you must have had! I presume Nora was home, too. Those “naughty girls” write so seldom. I wrote to both of them this afternoon.

On Friday evening I heard McDowell deliver his famous illustrated lecture on the Panama Canal. It was very interesting and I need hardly add very instructive. He visited the isthmus and took and developed all the pictures himself. I never heard him before. He feels certain that the canal will be finished in about fifteen or twenty years. A long time!

With best wishes for a prosperous and happy year and many thanks for the pretty gift.


Daisy Holzwarth

Blogger Note: I love when Daisy references specific books or pieces of writing.  It makes me want to go and find these books and read them myself.  And to hear her talk about such a historic place such as the Panama Canal while it was being built!  It did take a long time to build but not nearly as long as the 15 – 20 years that was speculated.  It took 7 years and opened in 1914.

December 3, 1906

Dear Mr. Henderson,

I took your scolding with as much grace as possible and have profited by it. I am just as well and strong as I ever was. The cold I had taken was not due to carelessness on my part but because we could not have fire in the house. But our furnace is in good working order and my cough and cold have left me. I never want a cough like that one again. I am fortunate enough to have two evenings to spend as I please this week. I am going to sew tomorrow evening making Christmas gifts. That is what I have been doing tonight until I ran out of thread.

On Thursday evening I am going to hear Mr. Rees, the great Evangelist. He has been here for two weeks. I heard him four times and certainly was benefited. He is turning Lancaster upside down. I would never have believed that any man could stir up the people here and set them thinking as this man has done and is doing. He is converting hundreds. He has most of the ministers here interested.

They have organized praying groups, which certainly will be productive of much good. I believe and have much faith in earnest prayer. I wish you could hear him. If he comes West and you get an opportunity to hear him I wish you would.

On Friday evening I ought to go to hear Dr. Green but would rather go to see the “Old Homestead.” I do not believe in the Theater in fact I never go and disapprove. But I want to see this play and have been asked to go so I shall go this once at least. I want to see one or two Shakespearean plays but good actors and that is the end of my interest in the stage. There has been so much said against the theater that I feel criminal some times for wanting to see some things. But then acting is the “highest art” and it is part of one’s education to know something about it.

I am glad you enjoy your work and more glad to know you are well. The fact that you are gaining so much in weight proves that it agrees with you and is healthful. I do not read very much except the papers and magazines. I have started “Little Dorritt” by Dickens about two months ago. I am enjoying it very much. I think you would enjoy it if you have not read it.

I enjoy my work more every day. The children grow dearer and when Saturday comes I really miss them. Have the girls and your mother moved into their new home? I have not heard from Mary for a long time. She cannot say that I owe her a letter because I answered her last one by return mail. I suppose I shall have to ask you to plead my case again. I know she is very busy, however.

Thank you for the “scolding.” I cannot scold you because you seem to be “behaving” yourself from accounts.

With best wishes.


Daisy Holzwarth

Blogger Note: Was anyone else surprised that Daisy doesn’t like the theater arts?  It broke my heart a little, but I think she would be happy to know that at least Shakespeare is still beloved today and is taught in schools. I wonder what she would think of Hollywood now and all the society obsession with actors/actresses?  And more than ever, I wish I had John’s letters!   But alas, we must continue on with what we have been given.  I do apologize for the delay – had my first vacation of the year and was out of state for a few days.  Hope everyone is still enjoying the read!  Anyone ever read the book she noted?  “Little Dorrit”?

September 17, 1906

Dear Mr. Henderson,

I just came home from school and found your letter. I have been wondering why you did not write but I know you must have been very busy.

I am more sorry than words can express that you cannot go to school, for your sake. I know what it means not to graduate with your class. But try to be cheerful and do what you can along that line. I can sympathize with you because I have always wanted to go to college but I know I shall never get there so I have resigned myself to the inevitable and am trying to be content.

Remember that our greatest and best men have never gone to school for any length of time.

Do you have a good position? It will be a great struggle for you to work your way thru the University. Possibly you could take a night course of some kind and in that way prepare yourself for some line of work. I do not mean to discourage you I hope you understand that. I wish I could suggest something to help you. Possibly I could if I could talk to you. I am glad my letters help you but I do not write anything of any account.

My brother Will is only 19 and he is getting a salary of twelve hundred a year with office work that is stenography. He would not go to school any longer and  drifted into that.

Yes school has opened and I have a school of forty-six little children. Most of them are very dear and I love them. They had a very nice fruit and flower surprise for me today. I like my work real well. I thank you for your good wishes but I am afraid I shall not be very successful. I am afraid I am a little discouraged. I must teach Pollard’s system of reading and I do not know whether I like it or not. I am seriously thinking of giving up teaching further school and take pupils to study German and do fancy sewing. I could make a great deal more teaching German.

On Thursday evening we are going to have a fruit festival at our church. Tomorrow evening, Tuesday, we go to church and decorate and fix what we can. Wednesday after school we are going for golden rod and after Luther League in the evening we shall finish decorating. We shall have a jolly good time getting ready. I am in charge of the pretzel table and have been told to furnish about five hundred no matter how I get them.

We go to the hills along the Conestoga for golden rode and I shall think of last summer.

I had some photographs taken last August. Ever time I called for them I was told I would get them in a few days. Today I heard Mr. Weber failed. I do not know whether I shall get them now or whether I shall have them taken again. I hope you have not begun to think that I have forgotten my promise.

I shall have to write to Nora and ask her about her new vacation. I heard from Mary last week and I answered her letter on Saturday.

Do not get discouraged and try to be content and make the best of things. Never again feel or say that you are not of much importance. You have your place in this world and no person but you can fill that place.

If I can help you in any way I shall be very glad to do so.

With best wishes and earnest prayers for your welfare and success, I am.


Daisy Holzwarth

Blogger Note: I did a little searching and Pollard’s Systematic Method of Reading was published in 1898 and was written by Rebecca Pollard. I love that her words of encouragement and wisdom are just as relevant today as they were then. Wishing everyone a great weekend and a hope that you do feel like you have a place in this world.