The letter is in excellent condition with the ink showing up well on the paper. The letterhead is interesting in that it demonstrates that the Brown's were associated with another business in addition to the Independent newspaper. We can assume that J.D. Brown, President, and R.C. Brown, Secretary, were relatives of A.W. His father, John D., died in 1860, and had six sisters and one brother. His mother, Lucie Hewlett Brown, died in 1886.
The envelope is addressed to #136 Willey St., Morgantown, West Va. Transcription follows.
1902 Letter from A.W. Brown to his daughter, Lucie Brown Ballantyne in honor of her birthday - May 22 -page 1
page 3[Letterhead: The Specialty Supply Co., manufacturers and jobbers of Porcelain China and Decorated Ware. sole Owners of Ben-Hur Dinner, Tea and Toilet Sets, New Cumberland, West Virginia. J.D. Brown, President; A.W. Brown, Treasurer; R.C. Brown, Secretary]
May 22, 1902
My Dear Lucie:
I am reminded that tomorrow is your birthday. It has caused many reminiscences of the past. I well remember a little girl six years old in white, on the lawn at home, 16 years ago,
Full well do I remember how I used to carry the same little girl in my arms up the steep hill and put her down on the table beside me. How swift the passing years have made a woman of my little girl. But the tender grace of those clean days of sweet childhood live in my heart today and are the sweetest and tenderest ties in my life. Those childhood smiles and the childhood clasp of those chubby little arms around my neck are the dearest memories of my life.
It is a great and indescribable joy to me that so many charms of childhood have been preserved, and that the tender grace of childhood are now engrafted in the sweet character of womanhood.
More precious than gold it is to me, to be the father of such a daughter, who has never caused a real shadow to fall upon my life, but has given me bright sunshine and loving smiles. May you live many, many years.
And with such a daughter and such a noble boy as Bert with a wife and mother whose loyalty and devotion is not exceeded in this world, I am grateful indeed.
I send you a world of love. It is all I can do, except to send a trivial remembrance to your [man....?] for you.
Ever your Loving & Devoted Father, A.W. Brown
[PS] The press is going. I have snatched a moment to write this.