#26 – January 20-23, 1882 (Friday-Monday) Letter from
to Eva ~ Table of Contents
“Elmira, Jan 20th, 1882
am going to write a few words this evening and I shall finish tomorrow.
I rec’d your letter last evening.
Mr. Warner gave us a lecture last evening and it was so late before he
got through, I thouhht I would be late at the [post] office.
It closes at Eight o’clock and it was nearly that before I started.
I thought you would write this week, so that I could get it Thursday.
I shall not here [hear] to your not writeing once a week.
I am sure you can find enough to write about if I can, and I have to
write so much to. I don’t think
you can get out of writeing.
H. and Mary have gone to a play this evening.
They wanted me to go, but I think I am as well off here as I would be
there, and then it takes money to go to such places.
I have been playing checkers with Sarah and Ada.
I come out best. I get so
tiard writeing [for school] that I like a change.
have very nice sleighing here, but I have not had the first ride, and besides
all of that, I don’t expect to have any.
So I will have to think of the ones that I have had before.
do not remember about my asking you when we had our first ride, but I think it
was when we were slideing down hill. If
you remember, we did a considerable of that, that winter.
I remember my asking you the next time.
I come up to school and you were out by the side of the schoolhouse with
some outher girls haveing lots of fun. It
was the day you were 15 years old [June 27, 1877 – Ed.] and I have always kept
account from that, the time that we have been together.
How many a time we have been out since that time, and how much we have
"Frank and Eva Sleigh Ride" by Bill Benson, ©2000
must go to bed. It is geting late
and my eyes hurt me some. It is
about Ten o’clock every
night before I go to bed, and you can think of me then and think that I am
thinking of you, because I think of you then, if ever - I most always go to
sleep thinking of you, and the nice things you have said to me.
I am now going to finish my letter.
I was in hopes I would have a letter from home this morning but I did
not. I am anxious to know what Mart
is going to do. I have not heard
from Fred and Sarah since before I come home.
I sent him the money for his milage [?] and I am affraid it is lost,
because I think they would have written if they had rec’d my letter.
think you must have changed your mind some since I was home in regard to our
geting married. You said then your
mind was perfectly setteled and was anxious for the time to come.
But now you say you are sorry that you ever wanted to get married and
wish you liked teaching school. My
love, is it possible that your love is less for me?
I do not understand you. I
have always thought so much of our being married and how we would enjoy it, that
it don’t seem possible that you can feel as you do.
I will not say anything more about it.
The more I think of it, the worse I feel.
I wish I could be with you tonight, but I expect there will be a good
many more Saturday[s] before I can see you.
think my last letter answers this one of yours on a good many things quite well.
I told you about my going to church, and outher things that you asked
is not Small Pox here yet.
met Fay Pierce and Murt Chafee here the outher day.
Mr. Chafee is a fellow that lived at Potterville.
I guess you never saw him. Last
Sunday, after I finished your letter, I went down to Mr. Hedges to see
McD[o?]nell. We went to Mr.
Beecher’s church in the evening. There
is a great many people go to hear him, but I do not like him very well.
[For more on Rev. Beecher, see #6]
am sorry you cannot go to church when you want to.
You must get very lonesome and I will try and write as long letters as I
can. I have been working very hard
this week, and have done very well. It
is about as hard work as it is working in the mill, but still I have lots of fun
and like it ever so much. I like it
better now than I did before I come home. I
think it will take me longer to go through [finish college] than I thought it
have not seen Mr. Stevens in a long time. I
am anxious to know whether they are comeing or not.
I think I shall like the book you sent me ever so much.
I think I remember when you got it.
Mr. Grant sent it to you, did he not?
must not make fun of my writeing on the outside of your letters.
Mr. Warner says we must direct them off hand [in a business like manner],
so I expect I have got to learn. Yesterday
when we were writeing our letters, one of the boys said he had written in Three
[letters], and the last one was the worst.
If I do write a little better [probably referring to his handwriting
–Ed.] than you, it is no sign that you should be ashamed of your letters.
The very best writer there is in school, gets marked on his letters the
is raining here today and it seemes real lonesome.
I presume you are as lonesome as I am.
I am well and have been most of the time, and it is no fib.
I am in hopes you are as well as I am.
our Arithmetic we have got to Loss & G[ains].
Mr. Warner is good to explain [it] and we get along real well.
you see any of our folks, tell them I am well and give them my love.
did not close my letter Saturday because I could not mail it.
It was very cold yesterday. I
went to church and Sunday S[chool]. When
I was comeing home, the wind blew hard and I got some dirt in my eyes and I
cannot get it out. It makes them
weak. I wish you were here.
I think you could get it out because I know you would not be affraid to
put your hands on my face. They all
seemes to be affraid of me.
is very cold here and I presume it will be in your schoolhouse.
It is always very warm in our room.
write soon. I love so much to hear
from you. It is hard to be away
from you so long, but it [is] pleasant to think that you love me and think of
me. I must close.
from your lonely Frank. It is now
nearly school time. F.E.E.”
A. J Warner and students, Elmira Business College, circa 1880.
#27 – January 21/22, 1882 (Saturday/Sunday) Letter
to Frank ~ Table of Contents
“Stevensville, Jan 21 / 82
seams there isent anyone to write letters but me, so I will just drop you a
line. Can’t write much tonight,
and halve got to write a long one tomorrow, to Anna of course.
you had a Sleigh ride yet? I wish
you had been here today and I would of given you a good ride after dinner.
Today I went over to the Store as usual, and when I went in, Will called
me in his Office and told me if I wanted to take a ride, to hitch Dan up and
go--and I dident eaven hint that I wanted to go.
So I hitched up, took Ollie with me [and] had a splendid ride.
Went in Stile [style] to.
got to stop and eat supper. Will
finish after I close the Store.
is now Sunday morning. Did not get
time to finish last night, but will now. I
wish I were in Elmira this morning to go to Church with you, or you were at home
so that we could be together. It is
quite lonesome here for me, but if nothing happens, I shall see you within a
week. Can’t tell just what day I
shall come, but not until after Wednesday anyhow.
Don’t think to much about it. I
may not come at all this week. I
guess maybe I can get away the last of the week.
went over to Towanda last Wed. on my business that I spoke of before when I
wrote. Did not make out anything in
peticular on buying the Store. Halve
got all off of the notion, but halve got another notion in my head that is
agoing to woork. I am certainly
going to Colorado with Will, that is if I don’t get some job nearer by that
suits me. I am agoing to try and
get on the road for some good house [i.e. company], and it must be a good one or
not any. Will tell you more about
it when I see you.
from Grangerville is talking of buying the Store, and Elmore & Spencer are
talking quite strong about it.
halve quite interesting Band meetings now.
We halve hired Ackley. He
does first rate.
was a party up at Arthur Lewis[‘s] on Springhill Friday night.
I had an invitation but did not go.
Did not give anything about going, for a wonder.
[He usually loves parties! -Ed.] John
went—took Angie Stevens—said they had a splendid time.
Alliance begins at LeRaysville, [a] week from Tues.
Fred & Sara are going to attend.
I was vaxinated a week ago and my arm is so sore and itches so, that I
can’t keep still hardley a minute. [probably
for smallpox – Ed.]
tell you the rest of the news when I see you.
Ma says tell you her Eyes are so bad she cannot write.
We are all well.
#28 – January (22), 1882 (Sunday) Letter from Clara
(Frank’s Sister) to Frank
~ Table of Contents
“Stevensville, Jan. 1882
Dear Brother Frank,
have looked and looked for a letter from you, but have come to the conclusion
that you are waiting for me to write first.
is a very cold day here. It is nice
Sleighing snow and I hope it will remain so.
Ollie and Mart were out riding yesterday.
They drove Dan [the horse] and a new C[arriage?].
They cut quite a swell [figure]. [i.e.
they looked good –Ed.]
believe Mart intends to go to Elmira this week.
He is at a loss to know what to do.
[He] Is thinking some of going to Colorado with Will’s folks.
I should hate terriably to have him go, but think it would be better for
him than the other plan[s] he has laid, don’t you?
Alliance meets at Leraysville next week. Fred[‘s]
folks are coming down to attend it. I
wish you were here to go. I think
we will go up the last day and evening. It
is to be conducted by Prof. Emerson.
have not seen Eva since the night you were here together & suppose you have
your Mittens all right.
are you getting along with your studdies? Can’t
you find a place (to follow your business) in Elmira?
I think it is such a nice place to live.
Of course we would like to have you home, but we know it will be better
for you to go right to keeping Books as soon (as nearly so) as you get
out of School. One will loose a
great deal [of knowledge?] in a short time I suppose.
folks intend to moove next month. That will be another place you will have to go
when they get settled. Ma was down
here two days in succession last week. She
is very lonely this winter. I think
she feels it deeply--her Children leaving here.
She certainly cannot have anything to regret on her past, for if there
ever was a faithful and loving Mother, she is one.
I am afraid Katie is not going to be very good to her, & suppose Pa
is staying over Sunday with Fred and Sara this week.
I would like to stop in and see how they look in their new home.
if you haven’t worn your Night Shirt, I would like to have you examine the
flaps closely, and see what valuable material they are made of, and then see if
you will not take pay for that Celery!
suppose Mart will tell you all the news, but this is the second letter I have
written to you and I am going to send it, if it is old & late!
Mart’s to get a Book for Walter [Clara’s son].
I did not tell him to get coarse[?] print, and one that the storries will
not be hard to understand.
am afraid he did not understand about the Cord I gave him.
Tell him I want little Balls to match the cord.
He had better have Septa[?] get them, and 3 yds. [of] Brown Cotton
Flannel to match.
are all well and hope you are in haste [to return].
I must close. I hope you will
answer soon. Freddie and Walter
[her sons] send love.
From your Sister, with much love.
P.S. Do you
wear your Night Shirt? If you do, I
will make you another and send right away.”
#29 – January 25, 1882 (Wednesday) Letter from Eva
~ Table of Contents
“Jan. 25, 1882 – Wednesday evening
at the schoolhouse this morning at eight o’clock, I built my fire and then
started for the [post] office. I
found your letter, and got back to school at half past eight, making the trip in
twenty-five minutes. Was’nt that
said you thought your other letter answered mine.
Perhaps you did not understand that I wrote and mailed mine before I
received your[s]. The mail comes in
so late at night [that] we cannot get the mail till next morning.
So I can never get your letter sooner than Wednesday morning.
Of course I cannot answer sooner than evening, and then I cannot mail the
letter early enough for you to receive it Thursday.
Whenever you have received a letter that day, I have written it before
yours came. Now you know all about
it, and I think you will have to make up your mind to wait until Saturday for
your letters because it is almost impossible to send them sooner, unless they
are written before yours is received. And
it is rather unsatisfactory answering letters before they come.
Your letter never comes to the office till Tuesday night.
have not changed my mind in the least, since you were home.
My Darling, I am very sorry you misunderstood me and felt grieved about
it. I must have expressed myself
very poorly. I meant to say I was
sorry I felt so anxious about our marriage, because it is so far off, and I
already feel tired of waiting and discontented with my schoolwork.
You don’t know how badly I felt when I read what you said about it.
I don’t think you ever said anything quite like that to me before.
It sounded as if you were very much grieved and disappointed with me.
I think I should have cried if it not been at school.
So you see, we have both distressed ourselves about nothing.
But I suppose that is the way with the world, and we must expect to have
some such troubles, even though we do love each other so dearly.
every day since you went home I have thought what a short time had elapsed
since you were here and how long a time it would be before you would come
again. And it has seemed all most
impossible to wait so long. So I
thought if I had not concluded I wanted to marry until we were just ready to do
so, it would have saved me all these days of discontent.
I would rather live without seeing you often, than to have you come back
to S[tevensville] to work. I really
don’t care about having you where I can see you just once in a while, because
it is so hard to have you leave again, you know.
Now you won’t think it is naughty of me to say that, will you dear?
I were gifted with eloquent speech I would send you whole sheets full of
expressions of my love for you! But
I dare say it is much wiser to wait and prove my love by being a good
housekeeper &c [etc.]. But I
want you to always remember that I do love you ever so much, even if I am
naughty. O my love, how I do wish I
could kiss your dear face tonight.
large girls at school and myself went up to Jone’s Mill to be weighed.
‘Guess how much I weighed?’ I
supposed you are not as well prepared to judge as you would be if you were home
and visiting me often. So I will
tell you—one hundred twenty-seven with my sack and other outside things on.
Ma thinks I am in very much better health this Winter than formerly.
I suppose an easy school is one thing and another is I don’t catch any
colds being ‘out’ nights. I
should like to have the chance just once--with you I mean.
you dear Darling, how I do want to see you!
I am quite different now from what I used to be—you know I used to have
fits of wanting to see you, but now it is all the time.
You are scarcely out of my mind at all.
Dear, I am going to ask you a selfish question and one that is hardly fair.
When we are married, if I disappoint you and ever love you less than now,
won’t you try to love me just the same as you always have when I have been
naughty since we have been together? You
know you have always acted just the same no matter what I do.
I suppose that is the reason we never quarrel.
It is’nt likely I can ever be as quiet and even-tempered as you are.
I expect I shall always have some ‘spells.’
I am trying to be good.
Night, ‘My Frank.’ Your loving
#30 – January 28-30, 1882 (Saturday-Monday) Letter
~ Table of Contents
“Elmira, January 28 / 82
My Dear Eva,
am now going to take time to write to you.
I have been very busy today so far and have had a very nice time.
Mart came here Thursday noon. I
was surprised to see him, though he had written to me that he would be here the
last of the week. We went down to
the Colledge and stayed most of the afternoon.
next morning he left here about five o’clock and went up to see Dell Woodruff.
It bothered him some to find Dell, but at last he was told whare he would
be sure to find him, and he went there. He
steped up to the window quick and saw Dell with that lady of his, sitting on his
lap. Dell was so worked up that he
did not know what to do with himself. He
did expect Mart.
did not look for Mart here until today noon, but this morning who should I see
but Mart and Dell. It has been a
long time since I have seen Dell. I
changed my clothes and we went down in the City and spent the four-noon.
There was no train that Dell could get home on except [one] going about
one o’clock, so he had to go and we did not have much time to visit.
came very near leaveing this afternoon to.
When he was comeing up here he got acquainted with a newse agent, and he
said the man he was to work for wanted anouther fellow and he would see him and
get the job [for Mart]. So when
this fellow come in today, he said the man wanted him and wanted he should come
back with him.
I toled him he had better have this man write to him and tell him all about the
work. So I expect Tuesday Mart will
go to Easton for his stock. He will
runn [have a route] on the Lehigh Valley [rail]road, and will be here two or
three times a week. I shall like
that pretty well. I am affraid Ma
will not like it very well, but it is about such work as Mart wants.
He cannot stand hevva [heavy] work.
I think he will like it. Well
I guess I have said enough about this.
were the cause of makeing me very happy again last evening.
I rec’d your letter about ten o’clock.
Mr. H. [Hillibrant] went to the office and I waited for him to see if he
had a letter. I am very sorry that
I understood your letter as I did. And
now it seemes as if I ought not to of thought of such a thing of you.
Because you have toled me so many times that you loved me, so much that I
ought to of known better. Please
forgive me... I know you will, won’t You Dear?
am like you. I cannot express my
love to you in words. O you wrote
me such a nice letter, and I am so glad that you think so much of me.
It make[s] my school go off better I think.
morning. I am sorry I
did not have time to finish my letter. Mart
wanted to go down[town] in the evening, so I did not have time to finish.
We went down and saw the horses come out and fassened to the Fire Engine.
There isent any men near the horses.
They come out and were hitched to the engine in 7 ½ seckonds.
We went and saw the Telegram printed. [The Elmira Sunday Telegram
newspaper –Ed.] I enjoyed
Mart’s being here very much, and I presumed I shall be very lonesome when he
goes away. Yesterday we went to
church in the afternoon. We went to
Mr. Smith’s and stayed to supper.
rec’ed a letter from Clara Saturday night.
She said she has not seen you since we were there.
They are going to the Alliance the last day and evening.
I wish I were there so that we could go.
said he came very near comeing up to give you a sleigh ride.
Mr. Burrows called there one Sunday and toled him he could have the horse
if he wanted to go out rideing. And
if it had not been so late, he would of come up and brought you down to church.
forgot all about the pens when I sent my letter.
I am glad you asked for them. I wish you could come out here with Clara.
We would have a nice time. You
would like to go to church so much [here].
Someday you will come here if I stay, I know.
Clara thinks I had better stay here, and I shall if it is possible, but I
think I shall come home and see you if I do.
I am going to vaxenate tonight [be vaccinated].
I am affraid it will make me sick.
havent any more time to write. I am
sorry, because you wrote me such a nice one.
I will try and write something more interesting next time, and a little
more of it. I am in hopes you are
Dear, I love you so much, and it makes me happy to think of you.
am ever your true Love, F.E.E.”