Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice 
Pike Township, Bradford County, PA
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Diaries & Letters of the Tri-Counties
Frank E. P. Eastabrook and Eva E. Briggs
 

Sarah A. (Stevens) Eastabrook
Sarah A. (Stevens) Eastabrook,
Frank's sister-in-law

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Frank and Eva ~ Letters 31 - 35

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#31 – February 1, 1882 (Wednesday) Letter from Eva Eva thumbnail to Frank ~ Table of Contents

“Rushville, Feb 1, 1882

My very Dear Frank,

    It is with great pleasure that I begin this letter to you—for I feel just ‘brim full’ of joy and love toward you!  Not that there is any special reason for it.  It just happens to be my state [of] mind.

    There is’nt any danger of my writing less often, for I can scarcely wait for your reply to come as it is.  Saturdays, when I think about your writing, it seems such a long time to wait till Wednesday.  Pa went to the office this morning and when he came back, left your letter at Mr. Roger’s for me, because I told him I could not wait till night.

    I am glad Mart could make you such a pleasant visit.  I should think this ‘job’ of Mart’s would be very much better than any of his previous plans.  I guess now he dos’nt expect to join the ‘matrimonial’ society quite so soon does he?  What did he go to E[lmira] for anyway?  You must tell me all he said to you, because I don’t have any news from S[tevensville] except what you tell me.

    I am very anxious to see your Mother and Clara, and all the rest for that matter.  You know I hav’nt seen any of them since I saw you.  Mamie and Mr. Keeler came up today.  They would have come before, only Mamie did not dare ride after the horses [incident - See #19].  She is going to the Alliance tomorrow.  I am surprised that Clara and Elmore are going.  I think Dell is highly favored having the ‘right girl’ there at his boarding place.  I call that ‘good fortune.’

    Here comes some wicked privacy.  (I hope Mart will run across lots of nice, pretty girls in his travels.)  I hope he won’t catch the smallpox, and if he does, do try to be generous and let him keep it all rather than give any to you.

    You have probably heard that a lady who attended the Institute had it while there, and some of the Teachers took it of her.  How much do you think you would love me after the beauties left by ‘smallpox’ were added to my allready handsome face?

    My school closes in four weeks.  When does your term end?  I am about half dreading having you get through there, because you will begin work of some kind and of course you won’t have such a good pleasant time then, and perhaps you won’t get anything that will suit at first, and so will be quite unhappy.  I think it will be nice if you can stay at Elmira.  I hav’nt much pleasure in thinking about your going West!

    It really dos’nt seem as if the next two years ever would roll around, does it?  Mother says I won’t be ready then, but I am going to be anyhow!

    Your visit home will be a great delight while it lasts, but then the ending is so hard.  You know I am sure you need not apologize for your letters.  I see you are learning to write long ones.

    Last Friday night...”

 [The rest of this letter is missing. - Ed.]

 

#32 – February 5-6, 1882 (Sunday-Monday) Letter from Frank Frank thumbnail to Eva ~ Table of Contents

“Elmira, Feb 5, 1882

My Dear Love,

    It is Sunday, but I am going to write to you.  I am thinking of you nearly all of the time and I guess it will be no worse to write, than to think of you.  I did not write yesterday because I did not have your letter.  I was lonesome without it.  I did not even doubt but what you had written one.  I thought it must of been overlooked somewhare.  So last night I thought I could not wait until Monday for it, and I went down to the office.  It was snowing very hard and the snow was deep.  But the worst of it was, I did not find any there.  I thought if they asked me if I got a letter, I should hate to say no, but instead of their asking me that, they said they had a letter for me.  I felt some diferent then.

    Mr. H. [Hillibrant] brought it.  I am glad you love to write to me and I am glad your love is so true.  I think you write some diferent than you use to, because you were so ‘fraid you would write soft ones, but I don’t think it is anything out of the way for us to write love, as long as our affections are so great for one outher.  I think we have a right to talk about it.

    I expect you have found out by this time that Mart did not go away--his staying until Tuesday made him to late.  The man put on annouther fellow.  I guess it is about as well for him.  I think Ma will be pleased to think he did not go.  Mart is going to put off his getting married for a while.

    Dell is going to be married in the spring and he has given Mart and Anna an invitation to the wedding.  Who would of thought Dell Woodruff could get up courage enough to get married.  I guess we will be the last ones to go through that performance.  I wish the time was as near for us as it is for them. 

    You asked me to promise that I would always love you and be kind to you.  It dos’nt seem as if I could be any outher way to you.  I will promise that I will try with God‘s helping me to make your life as pleasant as I can.  And I think you will try to do the same thing.  You have all readdy helped me very much to be happy.

      You are geting so fat I am affraid you will weigh more than I if you keep on.  But you have about twelve pounds more to gain before you are as hevva [heavy] as I am.  I guess we will have to look out for a solid chair when we sit togather after this.  I wish we were togather.  I think we would try one.  [He is being sarcastic as he answers her letter-#29.]

    I will try and send you some pens this time.  I forgot to put them in before.

    Mart came here to get a job, but did not find any.

    I wish my school was out as soon as yours.  I can’t tell when I will get through. If I don’t go any faster than some of the boys do, I am affraid it will be a long time.  But still, I am doing as well as I expected to.  There was a young fellow finished Friday, and got a job the same day.  But that is better luck than I would dare think of.

    I have a very sore arm now, and all the rest of them are the same way. [Probably due to getting vaccinations.]  There was a rush here one night when I come home from school.  They were all looking at their arms and was not thinking of me.  I come in quick and saw some dressed in white or partly so.  Mary has a bad arm and she makes a great fuss over it.

    I went to Sunday school today.  It was not very pleasant to be out.  I do not know whether I shall go to church this evening or not.

     Mrs. H. [Hillibrant] says tell you [my] arm is sore, and she [Eva] will have to excuse a short letter.  My arm is not so sore but what I can write easy.  I guess they know your letters when they see them.

    I wrote a letter to Clara last week.  I expect Ma is looking for one from me.  Her eyes are so sore that she cannot write.  Clara says she feels it—our being away (Fred and I), and Pa is away so much to.  But I expect they were all togather some day last week.

Monday morning.

    Last night I got tiard writeing and did not finish your letter, and I don’t know as I have much more to write.  I know I could think of lots of things to say to you if I were with you.

    Mart did not have much to say about Stevensville.  I guess everything is about the same there.  He said John went to Spring Hill one evening to a party and took Angie Stevens with him.

    You remember that young Smith that lives up above Fred’s?  He is to work in the mill and he plays my horn in the Band.  So I guess I will not have to play that horn anymore.

    I do not dread the time when I get through school.  I think I am about as happy when I am to work, as I am while I am here to school.  I don’t dislike work.

    I can imagine seeing you go through the snow this morning to school, and I can also imagine your being somewhare else--that is in my arms.  But imagining it does not go far.

    Goodby My Dear Eva.  From your Dear One, F.E.E.” 

Train rides


#33
– February 5, 1882 (Sunday) Letter from Fred Fred thumbnail Frank’s Older Brother) to Frank
 ~ Table of Contents

“New Milford, Feb 5., 82 

Dear Brother,

    Yours came to hand some time ago.  [They received Frank’s letter.]  We were glad to hear from you.  The money was all right [appreciated].

    You must excuse me for not writing before, but you know this is the busy part of the year for me.  I have conducted two Conventions (three I should say.).   One at Foster, one at Nicholson, and one at Great Bend.  [All within 25 miles of Fred’s home in New Milford -Ed.]  I wanted to attend the Mutual M. Alliance last week, but I hated to loose the time.  And then the sleighing is so good now.  I think I cannot leave out a week.

    I hope the progress you are making in your school is satisfactory to you.  I am sure you will never regret the time and money you have spent there at school, even if you do not get a first class job.  Above all things (if I were to advise, which you can take or not) don’t think of getting married, as Mart does.  Poor boy, I don’t know what he is coming to.  I wrote him I hoped he would not think of marrying till he gets his health and as old as I was when I got married. [Fred was 24.]  But you know what anyone [would] say to him would do no good.  [Mart is 19.]

    When you write you must tell us all about your studdies, and when you expect to finish &c. [etc.].

    My band is getting along nicely.  I expect to have them play at my concert here this week--Friday evening.  Wish you could come & attend the convention.  It will be held in the town hall, commencing Tuesday evening.

"Welcome Spring" piano piece

1st lines of the piano piece

["Welcome Spring" an 1885 piano piece by Fred T. Estabrook.
Available on the Library of Congress' American Memory web site.]


    We have had first class sleighing here now for more than three weeks, and yesterday we had a very heavy snowfall.  I think the snow must be two feet deep in the fields.

    My sings and convention thus far have all passed off nicely, and good satisfaction seems to have been given.

    Pa spent the Sunday with us two weeks ago.  He thinks we are nicely situated and is pleased with our prospects.  I think you had better come here from Elmira and I will take you to Montrose or home.  If I have business down there at that time when you get ready to come, I will send you my order on the D.L.& W. RR [see below], which will bring you here at the rate of two cts. [cents] per mile.  You can find out how much it would cost by finding out what the distance is.  That is, when the [rail]road getts through to Elmira, which I suppose will be soon. 

[The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad eventually ran between New York City and Buffalo, NY and had stations in Bradford County. – Ed.]

    It is now Sunday afternoon.  Sara has just finished her work and asks if she can play while I write.  I tell her she must write to Clara this afternoon.

    The Sunday Telegram is sold here every Sunday, so you see we know what is going on in Elmira as well as here.

    How is Mary and the other girls?  Don’t you like her pretty well?

    Next week I conduct a convention at Brooklyn and then I expect to go to Clifford to conduct one.  [Both in Susquehanna Cty., PA.]  Have had no schools there however.

    I ride whenever I choose to on the Enjane [engine] of a coal train, or caboose—from Scranton to Syracuse, a distance of Two hundred miles.  I have rode from Nicholson [Wyoming Cty., PA] home several times, and it costs me nothing.  I have become acquainted with the conductor who is an active member of the Great Bend Comet Band.  I think I will get that band to teach, at quite a good sallery.

    I do not know when I shall go home—think about the first of April, but may not.  I suppose you will see Sara’s folks [Hartley Stevens family] up there before long.

    The Stevensville band I fear, will go where the Woodbine tweens [twines]—but hope not.   [see note below]

    I have sold two organs since the first of Jan., and think I will sell annother as soon as I can get it here. 

    Pa is doing well now in his business, which I am glad of.

    Please write soon. 

        Yours, F.T.E.”

 [Woodbine is a vine and needs something upon which to twine (tween) itself.  This metaphor may mean that the band will fall between the cracks, as in a trellis, or it may mean it will continue to thrive only if it is supported.  “Woodbine twine” is probably from Robert Burns’ poem, “The Banks of Doon.”  The poem is about a tragic love affair and the heroine dies in the end. –Ed.]

One Heart

#34 – February 8, 1882 (Wednesday) Letter from Eva Eva thumbnail to Frank ~ Table of Contents

“Rushville, Feb. 8, 1882 – Wednesday eve.

Dear darling Frank,

    I went to the office from school today noon, and such horrid walking as it was!  The water and soft snow came nearly over my overshoes at every step.  But I was quite well paid for my trouble by finding your letter awaiting me.

    Are’nt you a bad boy though!  Writing letters Sunday all the time!  I must confess to hav[ing] been tempted to do the same thing, but it gets ones thoughts on everyday things so much to write letters.

    Cora and the children came up visiting last Thursday.  The baby [“Winnie”] is cross but so sweet and lovable!  I wish you could see her.  She takes things in her hands now, and makes cunning baby voices for talk.  When Cora undressed her, she put her in the corner, and she could stand there alone.  You can’t imagine how funny she looked.

    [“Winnie” - Winifred Garfield, is 6 months old.  Her middle name is no doubt in honor of the late President Garfield, who was shot a few weeks before she was born.]

    One day Ray asked Cora if ‘c-o-t-t-o-n’ did not spell cotton?  Cora asked him who told him, and he said ‘O nobody, he just happened to think that c-o-t spelled ‘cot,’ and t-o-n spelled ‘ton,’ so he put them together.’  Wasn’t that quite sharp?

    One day Mame [Mary] was playing with her Primer and she said to Ray, ‘Aunt Eva calls d-o-g, dog, what does she call c-o-w?’  I thought I would have to tell you something about Mame because I know you like her so much.

    They all went home Friday night and I went with them.  Your Mother and Katie were down staying with Clara’s children, and I went down to see them.  Katie went to bed quite early, and then I had a nice visit with your Mother.  Only it was’nt nearly long enough.  I read to her part of every letter you have written since Christmas!  What do you think of that!   I was greatly surprised to learn you had not written to your Mother at all.  She feels quite badly about it.

   Frank Dear, I am afraid it is’nt hardly right, is it?  You write to me so often you know.  I presume your Mother loves you with a more unselfish love than I do.  I know you must get very tired of writing, having so much of it to do in your books.  If you cannot get along any other way, I guess I can get along with less letters and so let you send one to S[tevensville] one in a while.

    Your Mother said it seemed like hearing you talk to hear your letter read.  She always laughs and makes a fuss because I will not read what is ‘soft.’  She is glad we love each other so much.  She said Mart and Anna did not seem much like you [and] I when at your house.  And she thinks people love each other better for having gone together so long.  O she said lots of ‘soft sweet’ things to me.  It was some like seeing your dear self.

    She said it seemed as if we were of one heart and mind.  I think that is nice, and I am glad if we appear that way, are’nt you?  She said she did not suppose anything but death could separate us.  I told her how much I thought about our being separated when Sarah B[ender] died.  And she said she thought a great deal about it too, because she knew how much your heart is set on me.

    Clara read your letter to me.  They got back from LeRays[ville] about one o’clock.  Then Elmore went back to James’s with me.  I did not go before because I was afraid to go alone.

    I went down to Mary’s Saturday and so was ‘snowed in’ Sunday.  I saw a fellow going by and asked him if I might ride up to S[tevensville] with him.  (I did not know how I was going home from there.)  I found out this fellow was going on up the creek, and so I rode on up to the corner with him, and missed going to church, which was quite a disappointment!  I walked home from the corner and the snow was so deep it was about all I could do that day.

    Your imagination does not go far, for I did not ‘wade’ to school Monday.  I rode with Mr. Granger in a nice cutter [a small sleigh drawn by one horse].  And as for that ‘other arrangement,’ I have thought it over and over so many times that it is a dry consolation, and I am getting tired of it.  Just wait until we are together every day.  If we are not happy then, I shall be greatly disappointed.

    Cora told me I had better not marry until I am twenty-five, because I never could be a girl, but once.  But I think I would marry at 19 [her present age], if I had a few hundred dollars.

    Grandfather and Grandmother are here tonight.  [Harmon Briggs and his second wife Martha – Ed.]

    David Keeney’s license is all the talk now, and I am very sorry to say that Mr. Keeler was the first man to sign it, and Fred Briggs [possibly Eva’s uncle] the next one.  I dare say you have seen Mr. [H.?] Stevens’ family before this and heard all about it. [Also see #37]

    I saw Mart a few minutes while I was down at S[tevensville].  He did not say much about his visit.  Your Mother said she could not find out anything by him.

    Does your hair come out yet?  [Frank is going prematurely bald - Ed.]

Good night Darling, lots of love and kisses from your loving Eva.”

Eva’s Engagement Ring
Eva’s Engagement Ring
(enlarged)~ Illustrations

#35 – February 11, 1882 (Saturday) Letter from Frank Frank thumbnail to Eva ~ Table of Contents

“Elmira, Feb 11th, 1882

My Dear Darling Eva,

    Your letter was rec’d today.  I think it’s nice to know when you are going to get a letter.  I am glad you have had a chance to go to Stevensville.  I know Ma was pleased to see you.  She thinks so much of you and likes to see you so much while I am away, because she knows you know all about me.  I was writing a letter to Ma when I rec’d your letter.  I suppose I ought to write to her more often, and shall try to after this.  I wish you could go and see her real often.  She must get very lonesome this winter.

    I expect she was disapointed because Fred and Sara did not come home.  I had a letter from Fred this week.  He is very busy.  He wants I should come that way home when I get through school.  He will send me his pass on the R.R. [railroad], and then take me home from there.  But I am not going to make any plans because I do not know what I shall do.  You must not think to much of my comeing home, because I do not know when it will be.

    It will take me longer to go through [finish school] than I expected, but I shall never be sorry that I come.

    I went down to Mr. Stevens this afternoon.  Fenton and I went all around the City nearly.  He says Mr. Burrows is not going West so I expect Mart will stay with him, and if he does I think they will get married.  I guess it would be a good thing for Mart if Mr. B[urrows] would go away.  [so Mart would not marry – Ed.]

    I would like very much to see that Baby.  I like them after they get as old as she is.  I think I like them better now than I did when I was smaller.

    How does Ida & William get along?  Does he go to see her as often as he did?

   Today I put some salt and water on my hed for the first time.  I thought if I had any hare left, I would have to do something.  It comes out very fast.

    I am going down and go to church with Fenton tomorrow.  I guess he will go in my class in Sunday school.  I think I shall enjoy going down to see them. [the Stevens]

    I think it is to bad you have to go so far for your mail.  I guess you earn all the letters you get from me.

    It is very hard for me to think of things to write.  I think a lots of love, but I am a poor hand to write it.  So you must remember that I think lots of love, if I do not write it.

    I am glad your health is good this winter.  I guess it is a good thing that I am not home to keep you up nights.  I know if I were there, I should keep you up once in a while.

    I guess I never was more regular about my sleep than I have been this winter.  School is about the same.  There is about 45 in school now.

   There isent much to this letter, but I presume you had rather have this, than not any.  I do not feel much like writing and I don’t think I should [have] written to anyone but you.  I will try and write more next time.

    I wish I could be in your arms this night.  I feal like being held, and you are such a good hand to do it.

    Good by again Darling, From Your Love, Frank”

 

Letters Between Frank and Eva and Other Family Members:
2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6
~ 7 ~ 8 ~ 9 ~ 10 ~ 11 ~ 12 ~ 13 ~ 14 ~ 14b ~ 15
16 ~ 17 ~ 18 ~ 19 ~ 20 ~ 21 ~ 22 ~ 23 ~ 24 ~ 25 ~ 25b ~ 26 ~ 27
28 ~ 29 ~ 30 ~ 31 ~ 32 ~
33 ~ 34 ~ 35 ~ 36 ~ 37 ~ 38 ~ 39 ~ 40 ~ 41

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