Monday, June 17, 2013

* Papers now at Yale

The letters and diaries are now available 


Sterling Memorial 


Yale University, 

Manuscripts and

 Archives Division's

 Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection 


are  identified as

"J. Walter Bassett Papers."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

* (No year) Alice / Coal / Mt. Tom

No Envelope: No Year :October 24

My dearest,

   I will write a little tonight, for tomorrow night I shall be busy getting my room ready to receive Alice and doing my mending and other Friday night work. I have just received a letter from Alice and she is coming Friday night at 5:31, so you can think of us at that hour. She seems as pleased as I at the prospect of a visit and she will be here over two Sundays. The week of her departure will be the week before our school closes and the week at home will pass very quickly. So here I am at Mount Carmel.
This week has been uneventful, Sunday evening I read The Congregationalist, Monday evening I marked [masked?] a towel, Tuesday evening Mrs. Emma Cutler was here and I was tired, so I just talked and let my hands rest. Now I have just come from the Drumond’s and it is nearly nine o’clock, and my eyes have sticks in them, but if my boy was here I would wake up. The new time table went into effect on the street railroad yesterday. And now, we have the cars every half hour, but the first car in the city in the
Morning now is not until 6:45, so I don’t see as we are any better off than before we had them. Isn’t that discouraging?  I expect to have only one more day in school this week for on Friday is Hampden County Convention.  I haven’t received official permission yet, but expect to do so tomorrow. I enjoyed your letter tonight, as far as it went, for I was afraid that in all the festivities you wouldn’t get time to write. It was cloudy when I came home this evening and the wind blows very hard and it seems as if it might rain tomorrow. I hope not for the sake of the plans in New Haven, and it would spoil the remaining foliage so we would not enjoy Mount Tom. I wanted to take Alice there Saturday if the day is good but many of the trees are bare, and the foliage is not pretty this year anyway. I was disappointed that you did not say more about the furniture that I wrote you about. Tell me what you think of the various article. It was lots of fun looking at them and I felt quite important. I wanted you so much and sometime I will take you there. I am sorry that Ella has been sick again, and hope she is getting better and your father, too. It seems never to rain but it pours. I had a long letter from Steve a day or two ago, which you must hear. She may be married this winter and will know in a few weeks. I want to get time to reply to your father’s two letter but don’t write to anyone but you. Tempus does fugit so fast and I have so many things to do, all in the eving. Some happy day when I do not have to write to you I will treat my other friends better. I must stop for tonight and will finish tomorrow. I wish I might kiss my boy, for I love him with all my heart and soul.
Thursday –I wish I had you here tonight to smooth me down, for everything has gone wrong and I am very cross and horrid. I love you and you love me so I will try to think about that.  Our house is as cold as Greenland and we eat and sleep in the dining room and shut up the other rooms. I am mortified to give Alice such a cold reception, but our enterprising coal dealer has none of any kind and we are nearly out of stove coal. [my emphasis] He promises to have some by Saturday sure. I have not received permission to go to the Convention tomorrow , but I am going all the same, and will have to cut the last period short to get home to meet Alice. I have my Friday night mending to do and I must wash my hair and take a bath, so cannot make this much longer. Steve wants to come for a few days soon if she is married this winter and I think I will write for her to come the week after my school closes. When does Blandie have her vacation? [she must be a teacher too] And is she looking forward to it yet?  Miss Phillips has returned, so we are all together again. Have you written to Mr. Gregory in reply to his last letter? You may get an abbreviated letter Monday night. But if you do it will only be because I am visiting so hard with Alice as we will not have many entire days but it will not be for lack of my love which is all yours always,


October the twenty-fourth.

* JWB documents after 110+ years

* 1890's

NOTE: Most of this collection of letters has no year dated  on the individual items from 1896-1902. Had they not been kept in postmarked envelopes the collection would be a hopeless confusion.

To be continued.


1899. Dec. 11

Postmark Washington DC Dec 11, 1899

Mr. J. Walter Bassett,
Southern Pines,

                                                 1212 K-St., N.W.
                                                  Washington, D.C.

Dear Walter,

       Like you in your last, nice letter, I have so much to write about, I hardly know where to begin.  Perhaps business first will be best. I had a note from Mr. Root yesterday with this month’s rent in advance enclosed, and he said his father-in-law wanted to know my lowest terms for my house, as he was thinking of buying or building in Southern Pines. I have answered, acknowledging the check, and told him I would write again in a few days in regard to the house. Now, did you find the papers in that box in the big bank giving the cost of building the house etc.? If so, I would be greatly obliged if you would send them to be right away, as I think they would help towards an estimate. If you can find a moment I wish you would just glance over them and give me an idea what you think I ought to give as my lowest cash price.  Believe I haven’t written you since Thanksgiving. I had a very pleasant day. Went to my cousin’s to dinner, and she and her husband invited me to the horse races in the afternoon; they were quite exciting, and I enjoyed them very much, but was shocked at the sight of so many women betting.   One has to go to those places once in a while to see what evil there is in the world, and to be able to thank God that you are out of it.  I also went to two or three entertainments that week with some of the people in the house. They are all very kind to me. One was musical and literary and very fine. Another was a visit to Halls of the Ancients, a new building here, which you must surely see when you come.

 The whole inside represents  [page side  numbered 5]the way the wealthy Romans lived at the time Pompeii was destroyed; it was not only entertaining but instructive, and I felt as though I had really been there.  Believe I wrote you about my cousin and her husband celebrating the 4th anniversary of their wedding that week by inviting company in the evening. I was out every night but one, but this last week I have been more quiet, and wanted to be, having taken a little cold, but don’t think it is going to amount to much. I went to the opening of Congress with a lady in the house  and enjoyed it very much, especially seeing the beautiful flowers that were presented to some of the senators. Senator Chandler kindly gave me a season ticket to the Senate

 and I am going to try and get one for the House. The latter I couldn’t get in the opening day, as I didn’t try for a ticket in time, and there was a great crowd on account of the Roberts’ case.     

A day or two ago I received a notice from the Civil Service Comm, asking me if I understood any foreign language, and if I would accept an appointment in Cuba, Porto Rico, or the Phillipines. My not knowing any language of course settles the matter, otherwise you might have heard of me packing my trunk for Cuba or [“the’ crossed out]Porto Rico , the Phillipines. [sic] I might object  to just now. Any way things seem to be moving  a little more my way, as I have at last got a chance to take the Census examination, through a gentleman connected with the Washington Post, who is very influential here, a Mr. Little, a friend of a friends of mine. I am also going to see Pritchard 

again tomorrow by appointment, so there is every hope of a position if I can only pass. I am going to commence [page side numbered 9] to study tomorrow in good earnest, and will have about three, possibly four weeks to prepare. I must pass an average of 75%  and every one tells me the examination is very hard, but I’m bound to try anyway.  Please not [sic]say anything about it to anyone. I am going to keep the word “success”  before me all the time, for I know it will help. I am reading Richard Carrell [Carvel ?] and like it very much , but not quite as well as Hugh Wynne; 

perhaps it’s because I haven’t you to read to me. Oh, I miss the happy times so much, but am trying like yourself not to think about it, but they never never will be forgotten if I live to be a hundred. I am glad your business is so good, hope Johnson will stay away.
Have you had to help John Powell any? If I could see you and talk, I’m afraid I should never stop, but now I must say good-night. Hope you received the candle-holders all right and will have a nice time Tuesday night. Please not forget [sic] the papers.

  “Always the same” – also


 1899, May 19 
(Grace Genevieve Pierpont)

A gentle let-down to the twenty-one-year-old Mt. Carmel lad from a North Haven lady of social status?

(Postmark May 19, 1899) North Haven, Conn.)

My dear J. Walter: -

        Another tribute of your kindness came this morning –you have ever been doing them and I have appreciated [inserted “them”] all. This cheese knife is lovely    my first, and doubtless last, gift from Tiffany’s, and I thank [sic] very, very much.
       How slow and yest how fast the time has gone since I saw you, and I have been as busy as a [“busy” crossed out] bee [inserted], and as happy. Only a week more and then this livable function [?] will be over and we can all rest. J. Walter, when you marry seek “the little church round the corner” every time. The marriage will be just as legal, and you will both live longer.
        I shall never forget you, dear old friend of mine and may “Sweetness” ever live in your memory.  We have had many a pleasant time together, haven’t we?
        Forever your sincere friend,

                                               Grace Genevieve Pierpont
                                         North Haven, Connecticut
                                                May nineteenth, 1899

Saturday, November 19, 2011



Main Street, North Wilbraham
Collins Mill, North Wilbraham
Springfield Art Museum

1900, Jan. 23

Postmark Jan 23 1900 North Wilbraham 11 AM

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Southern Pines
North Carolina

My dear Walter,

The record of current events from my diary for the past week will not prove very interesting reading, but it has been the most satisfactory work in some respects that I have had in a long time, for I have had a few evenings to myself. Last Monday night we
[l]isenssed [?]the Stocks and everything connected with the Stock Exchange nearly the entire evening and to my surprise , I found it very interesting. Tomorrow night we review it and have the effect of the Norman Conquest on the language, manners, customs etc. of the English beside the events of the past week. I have to look up and tell about Lanframe [?]. Last night I played duplicate whist at Mr. Willis Cutler’s and my partner and I were beaten three points on six hands. . Do you play duplicate? The other seems very tame and uninteresting after it. I was much interested in your trip to Carthage and am glad it resulted so satisfactorily for you. I am surprised that you, presumably a good Yankee, should have allowed [the] hostess to burn those geese or goose feathers when they could have been utilized in filling a sofa pillow. Carthage was one of the places to which I never got but never mind. I did go to Roseland. Of all the misnomers that name is the most. This past week we have had elegant sleighing and moonlight nights, a most delightful combination. The cresting [crusting?] and skating was fine too but I have not tried the latter. Yesterday we had a warm rain and the snow and ice have entirely disappeared.  If the storms will only wait three weeks longer I don’t care how severe they are then. I shall be glad of a vacation, as the past week has fretted me more than any previous one. I am getting a class of five ready to take exams at the end of this term, when they are not due until June, and it is hard on us all, and I do not approve, but that is the decree. I have come to have quite a little respect for the Jones boy. He gives me very little trouble and works very well. He is very large for his age and I think has grown so fast that his mind has suffered and I know from his manner that he has been scolded  and nagged until he expects it. How grateful your family will be to know that your avoirdupois has increased to such an extent that your weight is disastrous to a bench holding only four others. It was a very good one, but hard on you. I have not read Pembroke, but enjoy Mary Wilkin’s [?] stories. I  have enjoyed the Outlook very much and find it a great help in preparing myself  for Monday nights. I should miss it very much, but am willing to subscribe for it myself. I wrote to Mrs. Gregory yesterday and felt so ashamed to have neglected her so long. Are the[illegible]  read in the paper the first of the week of the death of that Colonel  at Pinehurst.  He was from Worcester and his picture was with a long article in the Springfield paper. Last week Viola Allen was in Springfield in The Christian, and how I did want to see it, but as usual it was not convenient. Our drama was very well received in Ludlow [Sudlow?] but it did not go as well at home, but no one in the audience would have noticed the breaks. We had half of the receipts which was nearly forty dollars, so both performances have given the Ladies’ Society  about seventy dollars. The enclosed program  will give you an idea of the play and sometime you may read it. But what is your reference to ‘the leaders of the choir”? I don’t understand, am I dense? My letter to Steve last Sunday was entirely one of congratulation. I was glad and told her so, and then told her why. And she knows my reasons were correct. It was always a mystery to me how she could care for him, and she did feel hurt at his lack [?] of attention, but apologized for it, and called him undemonstrative, but I called him rude, to say the least. He visited her from Wednesday to Sunday and he spent nearly all his time out-of-doors with her brother or driving with her cousin who spent two weeks there. Steve was not well enough to go out and I devoted myself to her but he spent almost no time with her and she had anticipated his visit so much that she was perfectly miserable when it proved so disappointing.  Her health is poor enough and I am glad that what little strength she has is not going to be used up worrying over a careless husband. “Them’s my sentiments.” [my emphasis]

Most sincerely, Evangeline

North Wilbraham, January the twenty-first.

1900, March 12 Postmark
R.A. Smith

Rm 350 War Department
Washington, D.C. March 10, 1900

Dear Cousin:

    I received your letter dated March  6th and postmarked March 8th yesterday. In reply I would say that I would be very pleased to have you stop and be my guest while you stay here in Washington, I have wondered why you did not call here before while on your way to your southern winter home., and have intended to write to my folks in New haven to tell you to stop here and pay us a visit when in this vicinity. [sic]

    As I have no charge to make I can not answer the last sentence in your letter which reads as follows: “If you can arrange to take me please tell me how much the board will be [sic]

    I have some genealogical work which I commenced for your sister Ella soon after her visit to us in the Spring of 1898 and have never sent it to her, I will try to complete it so that you can take it up north with you after you leave here.

    Hoping to hear from you again before you start so that we will know about when to expect you, I remain,

                                  Very truly yours,

                                                      R.A. Smith


1900, Mar. 26 Postmark Waterbury, Conn
(Cousin Preston? Puck?)

Scovill House
Waterbury, Conn.
C.M. Truman Hotel Co.


Dear Walter,
   You have probably learned of my frequent visits to Mt. Carmel. It has made it very pleasant for me to come here over [ ever?] Sunday.  The last two Blandie and your father have been alone.  Blandie says she is glad to have a chance to practice before she gets married ? but I guess she has [crossed out] already had it, as she gets along very (over) nicely. Last night  Helen and Blandie and myself went to the Hyperion in N.H. [New Haven?] Comedy [?] in Frederick  the 2 by Lewis Inomisan [?]
We all went to church this morning. But Blandie and I came before Sunday School.—I am glad to hear that you expect to come home soon + are feeling so much better.—I am in hopes to have the pleasure of a night-or-two in the mountain with the Party this summer. Business [sic] is generally fair with me.—I had a nice trip to Chicago this winter + learned considerably about putting up beef.
I had planned to go to N.Y.  last Sunday + see the Girls but my Ideas feel through—Am in hopes that I may get there yet before leaving this section. How do you find the young ladies in the South we read of them as being the only real things. Blonde’s [sic]  Slender + and graceful, lovable + kissable.  You want to be careful how you answer this as there might be such a things as your having another partner –I have thought of answering your letter often –heard how you were quite frequently through blandie—And always thought I would write but time I find slips pretty fast. Let me hear from you soon + I will answer.

Your Cousin,

 Preston? Puck?


1900, April 24, Mount Carmel, Connecticut

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Southern Pines

Home Sunday April 1st

[Note: Many sentences do not end with punctuation in this letter. Repeated  use of "[sic] would be annoying, so I trust your intelliegence as reader to predict the problem.]

Dear Walter,

    I guess you will think I have not written much of late. I did not have much chance while I was visiting + since I came home have been pretty busy. I was away a little longer than I expected 2-b [sic] but did not see quite all that I would as  Cousin Iachi[?] Was sick all the time I was there so they could not go around with me at all. I left. Louis at noon Sat  - Ella met me and we wen to Wanamakers spent most of our time their [sic] that afternoon although we did go ro one or two other places. Then went up E. W. Benjamins and Ella slowed [slaved? ] to arrive. Sunday morning she came for me and we went to hear Dr. Babcock next  hour[?] at the church after dinner we went to call on Miss Cox and Addie then back to the Benjamins to lunch we did not go to church in the evening then went with Ella and spent the night at Madams She came up in the morning and we went down town together and spent all day in the stores we bought them [?] a waist and skirt in the morning she had 2 [sic] go just before Ella came. We did a little shopping for Ella but it came in[?] 2 [sic] rain and did not do all we wanted to. When I got up 2 [sic] the Benjamins I found Mrs. Williams there + it rained so she spent the night.  She slept with me and we talked till quite late . Tuesday I did not go out much In the morning I took a little walk by myself  and at four oclock [sic] I went I went down to Madams [?] 2 call. She was busy so I did not meet her  but Ella took me up 2 [sic] her room. I stayed a little while then Ella went up 2 [sic] the Benjamins to dinner with me and I walked home with her in the morning. Wed afternoon at two I went to the Madams for Ella.  I met Madame and she asked me 2 [sic] come 2 [sic]dinner . Ella thought that was a good deal for her to do but there wasn't a day I could so we went down town and  looked around a while. The Ella put me in the right car and I went to Brinkleys [?] and [illegible] till after lunch Thursday. I enjoyed it there ever so much. I think they are about as nice a family as you see every day. Ella met me again Thursday and we did a little more shopping then went to dinner at Addies  They had several passes  to the Thaeter [sic] and wanted us to go with them  Thought at first we couldn't but finally decided that I would stay but E couldn't So I spent the night with them went back to the Benjamins Friday morning stayed till after lunch then made a short call on Ella + started for Jersey City I enjoyed my visit their [sic] ever so much. The girls all look so well ["3' for page inserted above] Lou grow young. Allie was almost [?] sick for a few days but is pretty well most of the time. She looks so much better than she did a few years ago. They wanted to see you but it would not be so. They could take you to board [?] if you wanted 2 [sic]  go their [sic] Sat afternoon Ella came over we staid [sic] till after dinner Sunday. Then started for N.Y. we took the 9 AM Elevated 2 [sic] 126 St. and walked across to Grants [sic] Tomb after we had viewed that  we took the Boulevard car back to E. 25th [?] Street 

 Ella staid 2 [sic] lunch with me than she wasled to attend a meeting of students in the evening. I did not get out Monday morning I took a long walk with Grace [?] we walked in the Park for quite a while.we  were going into the a museum of Natural History but it was one of he days that they charge an admission and we did not think we had bring eneuogh [sic] 2-day 2 [sic] pay for going in If I had gone should have tried to see the Old Leathermans sail [?]. 

After we left the Park we went over 2 [sic] Riverside drive [sic] and walke [sic] up  that quite a ways on the way back I passed Dr. ed Swift's house. He has a very nice place.
After Lunch [sic] I started down town. Ella met me we went around a little then to the Station  I left about 2 for New Rochelle. I walked their [sic] a few minutes then Grace came. I expected 2  come home Tuesday but Grace was not feeling well she had neuralgia in her face so she did not sleep any the first part of the night so I staid [sic] till Wed morning did not get all [?] much. Mrs. Shaw and I went for the [illegible] tueday [sic] afternoon They wer all feeling very much  upset at the house. The place had been sold + they have got to get out right away. Mrs Gleason could not find a rent + did not know what she was going 2 [sic] do. Was thinking of going 2 [sic] N.Y. and starting on Monday home She has 22 table boarders and they have all got 2 [sic]  find places. It was amusing 2 [sic] hear them all what each other was going 2 [sic] do I had a letter from grace yesterday She has about decided to go where Miss Rollins is. It It is an awful long way from the shop but the car runs so she can take them + she thinks she can go on [in?] her [shawl? wheel?] most of the time.  She thinks she will change again when she [illegible] There is a place where she thinks she would like 2 [sic] go but they are full now but she can probably get in there Their [sic] seems 2-be [sic] more sickness around now than their [sic] has been all week both here and in N.Y. so I guess it is just as well you did not come now -- Hope in a few weeks it will be more settled.Will Ives and Mrs. Mc Lane are quite sick are improving a little Edna is home from her spring vacation and getting her graduating clothes ready. She has ben in N. Haven with her Aunt most of the time. Mrs. Doolittle is taking care of her mother..
Are you going  2 be able 2 get all your things in to your trunk or will you have 2 send some of your things by freight--I should think it would be the best way  2 have your trunk checked through + send the check and we can have it brought up  Cousin Frank and Ada  + the boys called Thursday  they were all driving [?] had been up to South Haven and came this way home.
I have several letters I want 2 write 2-day + think I better get at them.

With lots of love from Mama. 

Papa says he will need saw  + mauls [?] I know if you got the money he sent.

____________________________________________________________ </


Glider flying at Kittyhawk, N.C., 1900
The Wright brothers' flight is 1903

1901, July 16
(John Powell)
J.N. Powell
Furniture Dealer and Funeral Director
Southern Pines, N.C. July 16th, 1901

Successor to
H.H. Powell and Sons

My Dear Parson.

      Some time ago I wrote you, but not receiving a reply, I took it for granted that you must have gotten “Married” . Parson I have been thinking of you, and, wondering what you were up to.  Are you still with the Gas concern? I fixed up a sample (show) room out of the old store room at the head of the stairs, and I really think it was very pretty. I did not go to this state convention, as we did last year, I could not get away. I want to tell you about what a puff [?] I got. One of the traveling men told, at the convention what a new show room I had. He said that I had the prettiest show room in the state. How is that for a puff, for the old [par]son. I was glad, to know it, has not turned my head, for it can be improved on. I have several additions to the old shack, I have a broad stairs in the back of the store leading to the basement. I also bought me a pr. of brass pedestals, and an oxidized [sic] church truck [?] which is a dandy. I had a nice out fit for a small place but there were very [ destroyed] chances to use them this winter. There were very few deaths here. Do you remember Dudley Brown, the young fellow who went around on crutches, and lived in [a? that ? the ?] little building that Clark put up [near?] Heayes’ and the railroad. He died on the [?] of the month. I told Georgie that it had been so long since we (I) had a case that I was afraid to go around this dead man. She said that she would trust me for being afraid of him. Walter we  had a very severe rain storm last night . It rained 8 in during the night. The streets are washed up pretty badly “I reckon.” Young Edgerton tried to cross the branch at “the bridge” in Jessitown [?], and had of his horses, drowned. It is the little branch that you cross just before you enter Jessitown on your way to Pinehurst. Did I tell you that we have secured the old cen[ter?] lots, and are having a shack built there? P.D. was just in and I asked him what message he had for [Mr.] Bassett, this is his answer, “Are you going to write to Mr. Bassett “tellim” I am back here again, and tellim” I am well. [put?] any thing else in for me that you want [to say?] for me. You would not hardly know the little coon he is about 6 inches higher than he was last spring a year ago. The Free Press is getting a [ sour?] on its self see the extra enclosed.  Georgie has just come in , and says ask you if you are dead. Parson I am going to enclose an envelope stamped and directed so deop me a trace, and let me know that you are still in the land of the living. With very best wishes to you from Georgie + I and hopin to hear from you real soon, old boy –

                                                  Your friend,

                                                       John the Parson

I failed to tell you that I was in New Brusnwick on a visit.  Yours, John.


* 1902

1902, Jan. 24  6 PM Postmark
North Wilbraham

(Evangeline, putting her foot down)

Mr. J. Walter Basset
93 Crown Street   [work: New Haven Gas Light Co.]
New Haven, Conn.

My dear,

   Will you please be definite and tell me what you have decided and what I am to do about resigning? I am no better off than before I read your letter­­ and I supposed it would be final. I am almost frantic, not knowing what to do. I do not want to wait until the eleventh of June [the wedding is ultimately the 18th of June!] for it is sure to be blazing hot, and would prefer the fourth if it can possibly be arranged. If you have decided to go, at fifty dollars until Sept. why do you not tell him so and have it settled? You did not say anything any more definite than in the previous letter. Please write a line when you receive this if you possibly can and tell me what you are going to do. If it [“is” is inserted] postmarked “eleven A.M.” I will get it at night. Let me hear from you if possible or I shall have nervous prostration. [my emphasis] I love you dear.  Your Evangeline
Friday, P.M.

1902, Jan. 27

North Wilbraham Jan 27 1902 11AM

J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel

My darling little boy.

I do love you with all my heart and am very happy.  I am happy because I love you so much, and I am just as much more happy because you love me. And I am very happy indeed because our plans seem to be materializing. I am sorry if I made you unhappy but really did not know what to do. Our plans have been uncertain for so long. And I did not know what to do and I got all worked up and anxious over it and then the disappointment finished me, nearly, I guess. I am getting run down as I have a habit of doing every winter when I get anemia, for a few mornings ago I fainted away while I was dressing and mama says I look so cold and white. So if you will forgive me for being a foolish little girl and love me just the same, I will not be so unreasonable again. Yesterday I wrote to Miss Poland and resigned my school and this week I am going to get some medicine, and the next time you see me, my face will be as red as my waist. And I wont [sic] be worried or blue any more. It scares me a little to think that in three weeks my income will stop and there are so many things to buy. But I shall have three months in which to get rested and learn to cook. And I shall have to see the dressmaker and our rent [?]. So the time will not seem so long as it looks now. I am anxious to know what you have in mind  about a rent. If it anything that we might want, tell the man that we will be permanent tenants and get him to put it in a good condition for us.
  Your letter Friday night disappointed me for I had thought you would say that you had looked over the work with Mr. Woodruff and told him you would come, and that everything was settled and I expected you would be jubilant but you were not so at all, consequently my reply, for I did not know what to do. Mama knew the state of mind I was in when I wrote and wanted me to wait until morning for she said you would think the Old Harry [?] was in me, as big as a woodchuck. But I got your letter at the usual time 1.05, and a very dear letter it was too, and it soothed the wrinkles all out of my disposition and I wrote to Miss Poland at once. I am sorry that my letter in the middle of the week got missent and hope it will not happen again.  You did not tell me what you thought of the work, if it is going to be difficult to get accustomed to. When are you going to tell Mr. Humphreys? Do not lose your interest to the extent that they will be sorry they gave you the raise. It was fortunate that you got the cut glass when you did, or we might not have had it. What will Mr. Andrews do, and can he not work for you when you are away? I really wish we could make it the fourth June and have wondered if Mr. Andrews could not take your place at that time. Will you have any more vacation during the summer. I watched the paper quite anxiously hoping for Dr. Sims [sic] election as a solution to our problem but was disappointed. I am still at sea and we may have the sheriff after all.
I am sure I shall be contented in Mount Carmel and we will be near enough to the city to enjoy its advantages. If we can only get a desirable rent, the rest will take care of itself and we will be very happy in our little house together. You will probably come up in February, and I will come down in March and see the dressmaker and in April I must order the announcements. Then in May will be getting settled and here we are at the first of June.
I can not quite give up the brass bed and bird’s eye maple, even in consideration of the mahogany one, so as we are agreed about it, I guess we will have to have it. I hope you will answer Dr. Swett’s letter soon, and not get out of touch with everyone in the South. There will be no moon the first of June, so a sea trip would be robbed of one of its charms. We might spend a few days in the Berkshires instead or at Norfolk. What do you think? We have not considered it before because the season would not have been suitable earlier. Whatever we do, we must be quiet and alone together. I am afraid a trip to Nova Scotia would be too tantalizing, as we could not stay and that has always been one of my Meccas. And when I go I want to spend a little time. Has this letter made up for the last one?
I must write to Alice now, for I owe her about three. I love you, dear, and am very anxious for the happy time when we won’t have to write letters and get tangled up. With all my love, your happy little girl,

January, the twenty-sixth.


1900, White House's 100th Anniversary

Assassination of President Mckinley, September 6, 1901

1902, Jan. 30

Washington  DC
Jan 30
10 AM

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel, Conn.

(ans.2 /2/02) written on envelope

10l8 12th St. N.W.
Washington D.C.
Jan. 29, 1902

My dear Walter : ----

 I enjoyed your Christmas letter greatly and thought I would answer it right –away [sic], but all this time has gone by before I knew it. I am busy all the time and yet don’t accomplish half what I want to. I suppose it is so with almost every one. I was glad indeed of your health being so good, only hope it will continue so. Think it must be owing to the young lady assistant. It is my opinion that Miss C better look out.  What a delightful Christmas you must have had. I spent a pleasant one too at my counsin’s [sic].
Do not know what I should do without them.
Before saying anything more, I want to thank you for the lovely care you sent me(“me” crossed out) which expressed just as much to me as a thing more [?] expressive.
I still have the dear “Wizpah” [?] card hanging where I can see it daily, and your picture in a lovely little gilt-frame on my dresser, as you see I couldn’t forget you if I would.
Am still holding my position but with fear and trembling, as they are now dismissing clerks right and left, one and two hundred a week. Am more anxious than ever to stay just now, as you may have read of a bill now pending to make the “Census Office”  a permanent bureau.

Tabulating machine, Census Bureau, early 1900's

 How it will end, and if permanent (side “5” on  2nd page) how many will be retained ? is the great question many of us are anxious to have settled. It would be too good to be true to find myself permanently fixed. I hardly dare hope for such a thing. I am glad two of your sisters have such nice positions at home; hope your sister Ella is now better.
I went to a brilliant reception at the “White House”  last week and enjoyed it very much with one exception, and that was, I lost the dear handkerchief you gave me one birthday, which I have always prized so much, and only carried it on state occasions. I can’t get over it. Was foolish enough to weep after I got home. You see I am not growing a bit more sensible in my old age.
Have recently seen “John and Hat.” They stopped over on their way to Southern Pines and Pinehurst.  They looked and appeared just the same. They have gone down there to stay until spring. I hear from Mrs. Grover [?] quite often, as she sends for me to do some of her shopping. She seems to be better this winter. Believe I wrote you that she has rented her house and is now living in two or three rooms. She never says much about Lawrence, so I don’t know how she is getting along. Neither do I hear from Mrs. Clark, as I have long been owing her a letter. My health was never better. Washington seems to be just the place for me. I go to the theatre quite often. The last thing I heard were the “Bostonians” in Maid Marian, and this week I am going to see Willard in the “Cardinal”.  (Courtesy of researcher RR)

 He is a favorite of mine.
I saw your cousin tonight, shovel – [page turn] ling off his sidewalk, as we had quite a snowstorm to-day. He said he and his wife were well, and he inquired for you, if I had heard lately, etc. My cousins are also well and would wish to be remembered if they knew I was writing. I still live quite near them directly opposite where I was last winter. The table is only fair but otherwise is a very pleasant boarding place. I enjoy the people in the house very much.
How about your prospects? Do write me a good long letter when you can, all about yourself and plans. I sent you just a remembrance at Christmas.  Did you receive it?
It is getting late, so must say good night, with kind regards to all.

Very sincerely,


Calling card attached
Mrs. Florence O. Quimby
Handwritten on the back: With every good wish.

McKinley assassinated 1901. Theodore Roosevelt becomes president.


1902, April 21

April 21, 1902 Postmark
Washington, DC
Handwritten on envelope “Ans. 5/-7-‘02”                                                                                             
Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel, Conn.
                                                                           1018 12th St., N.W.
                                                                              Washington, D.C.
                                                                                         April 20, 1902

My dear Walter,
  My letter writing is all behind, so shall not be able to talk with you very long, just want to let you know you are not forgotten. The fact is, I don’t know where the time goes to. Lately I have hardly had a moment to myself outside of the office, as Mrs. White, (whom you met at Southern Pines with her little boy Warren) has been here with her daughter, eighteen years old, and I have been trying to entertain them. They left for Boston last Monday. Speaking of the office, I am still there, but do not expect to be much longer, as they are reducing the force very rapidly, and only a few, who have a bigger “pull” than I have, will be retained in the permanent Census bureau [sic] which you may have read, will be organized July 1st. I am really fortunate to have stayed even this long.  While things are so unsettled I can make no plans for the summer, but shall probably go north about June or July, and board at reading with Mrs. Danforth, as I always feel so much at home there, but intend returning to Washington in the fall.  My cousins are well and would want to be remembered if they knew I was writing. I met your cousin only a few days ago, they ar4e also well.
It is strange do not hear from Mrs. Powell. I hope it doesn’t mean that things are not flourishing with him. The next time I write to Mrs. Seaver [Grover ?] I will try and think to ask her about him. Although  I doubt if I will get an answer , as she takes no notice of half of my questions. She hasn’t spoken of Mrs. Clark for a long time.
I am anxious to hear how you like your new position. I do hope it will prove to be easier and more remunerative than the other, and that you will be able to marry before long, for I know you will be much happier to have a home of your own, and you have certainly waited long enough.
I hope your sister Ella’s health is better by this time, and that yours continues good. I am feeling a little tired just now but otherwise  I am quite well. Have been to the theatre considerable.  The other night cast Henry Walden in “D’Arcy of the Gerardo,” a very pretty play, and I think he is a fine actor.
Possibly one reason you do not hear oftener from the Gregorys is because he has been having trouble with his eyes. They were afraid at one time it might prove to be serious, but he went to a specialist in Philadelphia about them, and I hope he was able to help him. I haven’t heard lately, and it was only through friends of theirs living here that I gained the information. I believe you had a birthday this month, I hope it was a happy one.
My talks with you are always prone to be pretty long ones after all. Please let me hear from  you soon. With kind regards to all, I am

Your friend always,

Wooden Trestle at Mammoth, Arizona.

This is from the Oracle Historical Society. If you google it there's a lot of info and pics.

History of the Acadia Ranch

The Acadia Ranch is one of the region’s oldest and most historically significant structures. Built in 1882 by Edwin S. and Lillian Dodge, it began as a sheep ranch. Before long, it was transformed into a pioneer guest health resort cum sanetorium for sufferers of ‘consumption’ as tuberculosis and other lung ailments were then known. These guests, called ‘lungers,’ were encouraged to seek out Oracle’s clean, fresh air and pleasant climate by the American Medical Association. Today the Acadia Ranch serves as a museum devoted to the Oracle area’s rich history, as well as the headquarters of the Oracle Historical Society.

Courtesy of Ron Richo.

1902 May 5 Postmark Oracle, AZ

Oracle, AZ
May 4th, 1902

Dear Walter,

   Reckon it must be quite a spell since I heard from you. I haven’t been doing much correspondence the past four months. When I am at work am usually too busy to think of anything else. I had a fever a spell ago and didn’t seem to get along very well after I got out so came up here in the mountains. It is 4500 feet high and forty miles from the railroad. [Heic ?] ---about as lively as it would be over in West Woods, but I don’t mind it as I came here just to rest. We play whist and shoot target and that’s [sic] about all except to play the gramophone. Went to church this morning by gum. Yesterday four of us bummers took a team and went over to Mammoth about twelve miles from here the worst [oreide?] looking town you ever saw, just like pictures you see of [Gireadam?] Gulch. It is two thousand feet drop down there in twelve miles. The other bummers have been here two months and wanted to get a hair cut. You [inserted ought to] see the hair cuts, the barber was justice of the piece [sic] and assessor.
   I heard a spell ago that George Andrews had left Woodruff’s and you were there is it so?  We have been very busy in the bank the past Winter. They put on another man and I don’t have quite as much to do as I did. Haven’t been out evenings but a very little this Winter and it is too hot now for anything to be going on in that line. [my emphasis]
   The engagement I wrote you about last Fall was broken off several months ago. Hope you have not told anybody about it as I asked you to do then. I should never have written anyone home about it if I had had the least idea it would turn out that way.
   Think I shall go back to work very soon now. I intended to go tomorrow but it is such a luxury to get up in the morning and feel that you have absolutely nothing to do that I want to take a few days longer.
   Hope you will write to me I am not very good about replying but am always pleased to hear from any of the boys at home.
                              Your friend,

[List on back of final page and on enclosed tear-out from Woodruff’s]

  Courtesy of researcher ron Richo:

The "heic" looks like a misspelling of heck when put in the context of the rest of the sentence.

"Oreide" is an alloy consisting of lead and tin and other metals

A 1903 article in the Elmira Morning Telegraph refers to trouble out in Giveadam Gulch, Arizona which sounds like a wild place at the time.

1902, May 5

Postmark May 5, 1902 [ A month before the wedding]
North Wilbraham

My dearest,

There are so many things to write that I hardly know where to begin and will know still less where to stop. I do not see what has gotten into the mails for it has been oftener than not that I have sent your letters at eleven o’clock and you have received them at four.  Yesterday we went in the city in the morning and went to the new dressmaker whom the other one recommended. She took the measure and we planned the gown, and mama is to go in on Wednesday to have the linings fitted. So we are just where we were six weeks ago, and before this dress comes home we must do lots of odd things, for when the dress does come all other things must be done as there will be no time after it. I shall be very busy this week, so you must not think I am neglecting my little boy if I do not write three times. I must sew in the daytime, and in the evenings I have lots of letters to write and receipts to copy and music to sort over, and a million things to do. I shall be so glad when I do not have to make every minute count. I seem to have gotten off the track. When we left the dressmaker’s we went to Baris, there to look at dinner sets in the remaining [?] store. We found one in violets for forty-two. Which was the prettiest we have seen anywhere for that price and another for fifty-nine something, which was tiny pink roses and lovely7, and which was also the prettiest by far of anything near the price anywhere, and I shall probably have one of them. Then we went to Meekin’s and selected the brass bed. It is plain and very handsome and I am tickled to pieces, and what do you think? After ordering the bed, mama also ordered a hair mattress of the finest grade which also cost a pretty penny. How is that? I will tell you about the spring bed later, as it is too long for this letter. Now I will give you the list of things which I selected, subject to correction. The dining table is round and fifty-two (or four) inch, claw and ball feet and thirty-five dollars. The chairs I did not select until you come. One set you saw, and another set equally pretty but three dollars less for the six, is the other choice.  The sideboard you have seen. The bookcase is wax finish, double doors of leaded glass for twenty-one dollars. One similar, but smaller, and with one door, is fifteen, but I think the books we would have would fill it and as it is the only one we will ever have, I want some room left for future use. The parlor table is the round spider legged one for sixteen, if it is firm enough. The little table for a window is very pretty and mahogany for four and a half. The bureau in maple is thirty one fifty and a beauty and two maple chairs one a rocker for three and a quarter and four and a quarter.  That completes the list, and I left out music [?] chair and cabinet for we can get along without them  and can select them later if we wish. My selections came to one hundred fifteen and fifty cents without dining chairs which will be at least fifty more. Then there are two floor coverings, and we cannot get a nice parlor carpet such as you want for less than fifty dollars. I think you must be mistaken about your present parlor carpet for this tapestry one cost thirty-two.  Our parlor draperies will cost at least five dollars a pair and the set at least eighty. So there you have two hundred to add to one hundred fifteen. Then there will be a spring for the brass bed, a mattress for the guest room, a covering for the dining room floor, a chair for the the den ( for we have only two) a stove and a refrigerator.  So it seems we had better omit the music cabinet and chair until we see what money we have given us. Now about having the new furniture. What you say is true, but I do not like the idea of moving that nice furniture after it has been unpacked and by someone not accustomed to doing it.  If things are scratched we can’t help ourselves, and if they are unpacked and set up they will be fixed up if marred in any way, and it seems so much better to have them set up where they will stay. Then they will have to be paid for if delivered now, and you will be able to leave half the amount in the bank if they are not. Of course it would be nice to have them but I think we would enjoy them more to have them new when we go to the other house which I hope will  be before cold weather, for we never could keep warm there on account of the stairs if for no other reason. Has anything more been said about rent/ I should not be willing to pay twelve dollars in cold weather, for the house would be too inconvenient with a detached kitchen and well and all that space overhead in the old kitchen. Get your ides in order so you could speak of it if the opportunity is given. My suit has come and looks very nice, but the skirt binding is about three inches too large and cannot be made small enough without spoiling the back of the skirt. How in the world is all that “truck” to grow in thta small space? Did you cover the sweet peas again? I wonder if anything  has been done in our garden. If the wedding ring is all right I would like it engraved where I had mine measured and where I got your chain and locket. I am quite sure the mover included his team, at least I understand it. Do tell me if the architect came and the result. I don’t [sic] know what to say about the boxes for my gowns. I dislike to have them folded so small. She will only just get them done so why not you write her how you will get them on Friday the sixteenth?
I have not looked at refrigerators at all. This letter is mostly business, but I love you as much as if I had told you lots of nice things. It is so long I cannot read it, but hope I have made myself plain. I love you and two weeks more and you will be here. With al my love
                                                            Your Evangeline.

1902, May 15 (Postmark)
(Tiffany & Co.)


1902, May 24

 Postmark  June 3, 1902

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel

Dear Walter,
   This will be just a note to congratulate you on the coming event, which I hope with all my heart will bring you nothing but happiness the rest of your life.  I am glad you succeeded in  getting such comfortable quarters so near your work. I have just lost my position and unless I succeed in getting into something else by the first of July, I shall probably go north about that time, so you needn’t trouble to send me the watch, you can give it to me than, that is, if I go by the way of New Haven. I will let you hear from me again before then, provided  your wife won’t object to an old aunt writing you occasionally. I can imagine just how busy you must be, but when one has as much to look forward to they don’t mind being rushed.
 I asked Mrs. Grover about John Powell, and have just heard from her saying she knew nothing about him excepting that he seemed to be well . Lawrence’s [Lavinia’s] address you may already know is Barre, Vt. She wrote me of old Mr. Edwards’ death. He will be greatly missed. I believe his wife intends returning to Southern Pines next winter.  Did you know Mrs. Grover had sold her house? Is now trying to dispose of her vineyard. I am going to Baltimore to-dy to stay over Sunday so must close and get ready. I will ask you to send me just a few lines when convenient as to Miss Cunningham’s full name and address. You will be married at her home, will you not? In which case I want to send my little gift to her as I believe that is the proper way. If you had rather I would send it to you at Mount Carmel, I will do so. Please let me know the day you intend taking that important step, and I wish you would give me some idea what you would rather have. Do you expect much in the way of silver?

           Good-by for to-day,
                           Your friend,




1902 The Wedding Cake (made three weeks early !)  and a Comeuppance

1902 May 28 Postmark North Wilbraham

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount CarmelConnecticut

Dearest Sweetheart,

Such a dear letter as yours was, and it deserves a lovely reply, but I am afraid it won’t get it and I don’t know why. I think I need you to keep me straight, and three weeks from tonight you will come for your wife and you must not think I am not happy if I should disappoint you by not being as jubilant as you would wish.  You were right, it was not a happy engaged girl who wrote to you Sunday, but an unhappy one. I was so tired, and the first hot days had had their usual effect on me, and I was troubled about little things which I will tell you about sometime. Yesterday Emma and I went in the city on the ten o’clock train. I left my ring to be engraved “E.E.C. – J.W. B.” and we walked down to Court Square and saw all there was to see, listened to the band concert for awhile, then went to her friends[sic] office and rested and then went to lunch. Then we went and did some errands, returned to the office, and stayed there until half after five. The parade passed four times and we wanted to come out after the second time and come home at four but we went down to the street and couldn’t get through the crowd.
Last night we got the fruit and other things ready to make “The” wedding cake, and this morning we made it [ three weeks early? ] There is enough for all the anniversaries to the golden wedding. This afternoon I sewed and this evening you [?]  are occupied as you see. When I finish this I am going to write to Stewart, for I received a half dozen berry [?] forks last night and they are darling. The handles are French gray with a strawberry with leaves to the end. I, too, am pleased with the table silver, and you may tell Mrs. Quimby that we would like silver better than anything else. We will consider the trip settled unless you think we had better take a less expensive one, in which case we can find something in the Berkshires. If we can afford it it will be the best water trip available, but a good deal to spend for three days pleasure, but it’s our honeymoon, so we must make the most of it and I do love the water better than anything else, except you. I will see Mr. Green about the carriage, and engage the carpenter for Monday and the mover for Tuesday, and see Mr. Davis about the carpet, but I am not willing to talk with Mr. Howes [Homes?] again about the springs for I have done so, many times.  I thought you told me to order them, and I did so, and if we can afford them, we will have them, and if not we will have something cheaper. And right here, my dearest, I am going to say something which will not be pleasant reading. I should have said it before if your feelings were not so easily injured, but as it troubles me I may better get it off my mind and let you know how I feel about it. I wish, sweetheart, than [sic] when you have decided a thing you would let it alone. [my emphasis]. It is a habit that you all have, making plans and then doing otherwise, and it frets and troubles me to feel unsettled. When I was down the last time, your mother talked as much as though she did not expect to have the new house as though she did, and it made me feel troubled and unhappy.

The new house "your mother" thought wouldn't get built in 1902, was built in 1905.

 Our own plans have been so many and different that I have felt mixed up until lately, and now we do not know how long we will have to stay in the old house. It makes me ache to think of our nice things with that awful paper and woodwork, but I do not want to be without them indefinitely.  When we have settled a thing and are satisfied, let’s let it alone, and not keep talking it over until we don’t know what we want.  I am not scolding or blaming anyone, but I do want you to know how uncomfortable this makes me feel and I want you to get out of the habit. About the carpet. I will see Mr. Davis when I go in. I do wish a carpet with a border and as this pleases us I see no reason why we should not take it. I will speak about the points you mention. If they do not send a man to unpack the goods and leave them in order, we won’t take them. Also, I think they would send a man to lay the carpet, and if we got [get] the covering for the dining room floor so much the better, and the same man might put up the draperies, but I don’t know. I think, considering the size of the order, that they would send a man each time.  Of course I shall see, but I do not want to have the carpet to watch this summer. I asked Mr. Spencer about the ticket to Leominster and he cannot sell one, but I could get one in Palmer, but not a round trip, or one good in either direction. I don’t know how much he knows, but that is what he said. The fare is $1.35 from Palmer, and could you not do this: Write to the ticket agent in Leominster and tell him what you want. If you cannot get a round trip ticket or two good in either direction, then get one and I will see what I can do in Palmer  about the one going back.  Last Sunday I found myself out of stamps, so got up before seven and took your letter down so it would go out as usual and not disappoint you, so you see I do love you. I haven’t an idea what my wedding gift is, unless it is one of three things I told you up on Sunset Rock. When will you give it to me?  When we are ready to have people call we will have an “at home” and I will wear my wedding gown. I shall sent [sic] my invitations a week from tomorrow.  As the parlor is regular I do not care so much for a drawing, but would like one of the dining room, as you did not tell me about the chimney. What I have is 12 ft. by 15 ft. 4 in. When I get the accurate measurements of these I will see what I can do, and if I find something which pleases me, shall I get it for the dining room? I understand perfectly about the parlor carpet. I, my dear, I nearly forgot!  They are going to start to paint the house this week! I can get your trunk when it comes. Alice leaves N.Y. at 9 o’clock arriving here at noon. Pension people next time. With all my dearest love to my own love. Your Evangeline.


May 30, 1902 Postmark North Wilbraham

My dearest sweetheart,

            This time I am not going to threaten for I do not carry out my threats, but I fear that you will not get a letter longer than the one I received this noon. It is just eight o’clock, and I have two letters to write after this.  We have just finished mama’s dress, and it is a relief. We have worked on it so long, and yesterday everything bothered and had to be done over. Last evening I went to the Dumonds [?] and when I came home I had to go to bed to get warm. I took the hot water bag and it was so hot that I couldn’t touch it, and it leaked and the room was so cold that I couldn’t get up to see about it, so I poked it to the side of the bed and let it leak. This forenoon I packed a barrel of fruit cans both empty and full, and from the length of  time which it took, I see very plainly that one day will not be long enough for us to get ready for the mover, for we want everything done when they come. If you feel that you can take Wednesday, we can do it comfortably in two days and then have the movers come Wednesday morning, then we ought to be able to go in the city if we have any more selections to make. If we move Tuesday we will have to work awfully hard and I doubt if we could get ready. I have seen the man about putting on our screen door and when he gets here I shall engage him for Monday. We have engaged a man to come the previous Friday and take up and clean the carpets and he will come without fail, unless as he said, he gets a “steady job”—I have not had time this week to write any invitations, but must begin them tomorrow, and Saturday I shall try to go to Springfield and see about the carpet and the hats. Do you have a holiday tomorrow? I think they are too stingy with holidays -- This morning Mrs. Gates was in and spoke about the house being painted.  They were to begin about now, but the rain prevented. We asked how long it would take them and she said not less than two weeks as it has to have three coats.  So we told her we didn’t want it done for they wouldn’t be through and the blinds would be off and the house full of flies.  So she said she would tell Mr. Gates, and I am pretty disgusted. Only twenty –one days and we will be on our honeymoon trip, and it will be light enough to take pictures.  Do not be troubled about me, dearie, I am neither ill or disappointed in you. I am only tired and have been fretted by so many things, and when I think of the things to be done in the sixteen more days[my emphasis], it makes me feel like flying. I do love you, dearest, very dearly, but you know I cannot talk about the things which lie deep, and so I suppose that is what makes me so queer as the time draws near. Please see about the ticket as soon as you can, as he [?] may come early  to see his Springfield friends or perhaps Commencement. I am sorry you have a cold, and wish I could nurse you. I already have one patient, as mama has taken one too and is coughing a good deal. Tell me about the whist and what luck you had. Of course I am willing to invite Preston’s sister [is Preston Cousin Illegible?] should he come, or she care to do so.  If you wish it, send  here name and address next time. The running time of the trolleys has been changed  and now they leave Springfield at twenty-eight minutes past, and fifty-eight of the hour. [sic] Be sure and tell your people who will come that way. I will take this to the office now and write the others when I get home. Goodnight, dearie, I do love you and shall be very happy when I am your little wife.

Your own



1902, June 4

 Postmark June 4, 1902 Washington, D.C.

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel

                                                     1018 12th St. N.W.
                                                                 Washington, D.C.

                                                                                June 3, ‘02

My dear Walter,

Yours just received. You may send announcements to the above address, as I expect to be here until July 1st, and any time after that anything would reach me directed here, as my mail will be forwarded.



Could this ribbon be the "it" mentioned in the following letter (what Evangeline worried she might not have "room" to enclose) ?

1902, June

Postmark, June 1902 (no day on postmark)
North Wilbraham, Mass

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel

     After dinner I went over to spend a little while with Miss Phillips and select something from among Eunice's trinkets. When I came home Emma was here and has just gone, so it is getting near time to go to church, and I must go tonight, for I have been very bad lately. I guess I wrote last Thursday night, so I will begin there. Friday morning was the usual housework and in the afternoon I wrote the invitations to the wedding, and it took all the afternoon. In the evening I did my mending, and yesterday I spent in he city [Springfield?] and had a hard day. I make my bank book squeal, for I got a check for Mrs. Welden, and money for other things which are big. I got a hat for traveling and for general wear, which I thought stylish and serviceable, but mama does not like it, as it does not look nice enough, she thinks. Then I got two pair of shoes, one a high black pair, and the other a low yellow pair. The latter are lighter than I like, but will will grow dark. I got an appointment Thursday to have my broken tooth built up, and hope to buy my nice hat then. My announcements and cards came yesterday and now we can't back out. The card plates were each three dollars so he gave me the extras and letter and the one hundred cards were one dollar. When I have answered all your questions I fear there will not be room left to enclose something else to amuse you, and please do not show it, because you know I am funny. I saw Mr. Davis about the carpet and he said he would put a plain color outside the border to make the three inches. He also said they would lay the carpet, but there might be some trouble, as I was getting the carpet at almost wholesale price. So for that reason I would like if possible to get our dining room carpet there, and they would send a man more willingly. I got my ring, and it was engraved nicely, the six initials, and I paid the enormous and exorbitant sum of twelve cents for it.
Last evening I read, for the first time. Tomorrow they are going to begin to paint the house, in spite of all we can say, and Mrs. Gates tried to help us, but the painter has finally got to it, so Mr. Gates feels he must have him. So he agreed to go over one coat, and then estimate how long it will take to finish, and I am about as uncomfortable as is possible to be. Tomorrow I must write the invitations to the reception, and Tuesday I will go to the city, and Wednesday I must begin to address my announcements. So my dearest even though I love you so much, I cannot write three times, for the hours are so precious, and so many little things still left to do. I want to get my announcements done before Steve comes, for she will want to do them, and I am afraid she will not get the inside envelope right, for I understand, and she doesn't. I shall miss the third letter too, but it's only seventeen more days, so we can be patient. Now put this where you won't lose it. Dr. Squire told me to get one (Z) of bromide of soda and put it into four (Z) of water and take one teaspoonful after each meal and before going to bed for a week before going on the water and we wouldn't be sea-sick. So you want to try it, too.  Emma has a lovely big cape and she offered to loan it to me,  when she heard me say I hoped my money would hold out to buy one. So I shall accept the loan,and be comfortable. When you have the leisure, would it not be well to measure the dining room floor and make a diagram, and then put it in your new pocket and we will have it, if we want it. It would be better to have it and not want it, than to want it and not have it. I will send the tickets to Mr.Herrick, as I shall wish to write again. I shall try to engage the mover next Tuesday for early Wednesday morning. Since we have two tables for the parlor, it seems a little unwise to have another , unless we know just the place for it. A chair for my desk would be very acceptable, as we need one, or [& ?] so would silver. Mr. and Mrs. Terry have given me a pair of silver spoons, solid of course. I hope the architects [sic] visit was satisfactory. I think I would like my wedding gift from you  the night that you come. What is it? Mama is coughing badly, and had to come out of church this morning, but does not appear sick. The Buffalo Bill's Wild West was the effort of the Jones boy, and I found it in my desk the other day. I suppose when we give our ages, we had better tell the truth [ my emphasis]and shame the Devil. There is a new barber here, but as I have heard nothing about him, I cannot recommend him. There is more trouble at Mr. Bell's for  two weeks ago Mrs. Bell had a nervous collapse and has been in a state of melancholia ever since and yesterday they took her to a sanitarium. She has been through enough mental strain and done enough hard work to drive the woman insane. Miss Phillips leave us tomorrow and Mrs. Thomson in a few days.
With my best love to my heart's dearest,

                                      Your own,


1902, June 
The Final Letter)

No date, postmark unclear)


      Just a line to reply to your note. You are correct in your price of the chairs , 3.25 and 4.25. Since they have put the bed and mattress in the bill, it  seems to me the simpliest [sic] and least confusing way would be for you to pay half the bill as it is, and mama will settle with you. Tell me just how much the bill is, how much you sent them, and how much more you have left. Also how much you think you will have when the wedding expenses are paid.  [It sounds like there is no 'papa' to underwrite the wedding]  Annie has been down all the afternoon, and asked me if I preferred a present which they purchase or ten dollars. I said I preferred the money, then I could buy what I needed. Do you not think  that a generous gift? We are going up there to supper and it is after six, so must stop. One week from tomorrow and  I will have you again.
                                                 With my dearest love,

Could this be the tie JWB wore at his wedding?


1902 June 5 Postmark Southern Pines, N.C.
(H.T. Gregory)

My dear Mr. Bassett,

                                                                                     My ! What
A long time it is since I heard from you ! How the time goes! Here we are in the middle of summer.
We were glad to get your letter and to learn of your whereabouts. Glad to know that you had attained a position right at home and I trust more lucrative than the old one, but certainly with no harder work.
I sent you some papers recently. We have changes here. Mr. Edwards [sic] death was a great blow to his friends. . He will be greatly missed. Mrs. Edwards is near Chicago. Expects to return in the fall. Obituary shows L.M. Goring was buried. She died of Consumption.
Most of the people who are going away for the summer have gone. Mrs. Chas Merritt [?] went yesterday. Mrs. M. has been quite sick.
The Roots [illegible names ] are in Mass. Mr. James Patch has gone to Texas to remain I believe. Mr. Bricker [?] has sold out to Henry and will probably leave town in the fall.
Mr. Riggs [?] has bought out Miss Stein who goes to Durham. What Riggs wants to do with the grocery business for I can’t  [illegible ]. There certainly is no money in it. Mr. Beck has gone to Germany to visit his mother—will not return till about Sept.  Mrs. Beck has been to Penn to her mother’s funeral.  Mrs. Grover has sold her house to Mr. Heizman [?] and has sold her other property. She and Alfred have rooms at Mr. C.J. Brown’s in Mr. Sander’s house above Mr. Beck’s. Mr. Brown has been away all winter –was in town a few days ago.  He thinks his R.R. will be built. Mr. Hamlin goes West before long but will return in the fall when he will resume the Meat [sic] business. His wife cannot endure the hot weather.
We have five new houses on the Ave. which the Roman Ch. is [sic]and one on Ashe St. nearby and another one going up soon. A Mr. Webster [?] of Hartford Ct. has built a nice house on lot that belonged to Mr. Caston [?] on Pope St. next to where Mr. Abbot used to live.
Mrs. + Mr. Patch came to church regularly will have their children baptized soon. Mr. Hayes had his children Bob + Ray baptized a few Sundays ago. They are considered as regular members of your Congregation now. [Is JWB a pastor at Southern Pines?  I thought he was an undertaker too.]
Mr. McQueen has gone out of the Livery business + with Capt. Clarke and a Mr. Kapitsky is going into the Caining[?] business.
James Swett, who is now in Bkln [?] Itrozing [?] is expected home soon. I hope he will help with the Sunday School.
The Dr. has done a good business here, although there have been a number of other  doctors here. We have two sanitariums and a new doctor K.M. Lenguson [?] who has built a house on R.R. St. and an office on capt. Clarkes [sic]
Lot –next to the corner house.
Do you get to Mr. Coby’s [?] Church often? If the trolley line runs to Cheshire would it not be more convenient to go there to Church? Mrs. Gregory joins me in [illegible] and kind regards to your family.
How is Miss C? I hope well. Will she change her name soon?

                Sincerely yours,

                              H.T. Gregory