The 1900 census shows Nat living with his mother, Irene Freeman Ballantyne, born in 1840 she died in September 1906. In 1900 Nat's brother James (1873-1957) and his wife, Maude, were also living in the household. James and Maude, and their son, James Jr., moved to Idaho sometime between 1910-1920, and later to Oregon where they are shown living in the 1930 census. A daughter, Helen, born 1905 died in 1910. Later in the 1930s, Nat, Lucie & Jean traveled west by train to visit them in Oregon.
1906 was an eventful year for Nat & Lucie with the death of her father Adrian Wilmer "A.W." Brown on May 16, his mother died on September 19, and their marriage on December 4. Though we know that they were married 110 years ago in December, it appears from the postscript that she has not yet given him the answer to the marriage question.
The scanned 6-page letter is followed by a transcription.
1906 Letter from Nat to Lucie -Jan.17 p.1of6
1906 Letter from Nat to Lucie -Jan.17 p.2of6
1906 Letter from Nat to Lucie -Jan.17 p.3of6
1906 Letter from Nat to Lucie -Jan.17 p.4of6
1906 Letter from Nat to Lucie -Jan.17 p.5of6
1906 Letter from Nat to Lucie -Jan.17 p.6of6
Home, January 17, 1906My Dear Lucie
Well must give you credit for being so prompt for on my arrival home last evening found your letter on my desk and was so anxious to hear from you that I just cast the others aside (if some of them did contain Checks and Orders) for I wanted to hear from you and learn how you were getting along. Wrote to you from the City on Monday night and presume you have received it in this, and also sent you a little Box of nic-nacs. Was into D....lings getting some for Ma and just thought that you might like a few also and had a box sent to you. Did you receive them and what shape were they in when they arrived.
I'm glad to know you enjoy your Silver for can say that before I took them
down to you I had to look at them every night and I had them for about 3 weeks. Must say I do admire my brush and so far have hesitated to use it for am afraid of soiling it. Think I'll just keep it with the expectation of adding a piece from time to time and may be, some bright future day when I get a complete set can look forward to having them (yours & mine) altogether eh . . but that will take a long time if only one piece each Xmas. Of course it doesn't take so many for a man and then some of yours you'll have, won't you?
So you have seen "Simple Susan Simple" again. Well it's a good play and full of fun. Would like to see it myself again. Fully intended to see David Garrick [?] at the Nixon on Monday night and dont you think I went down to see Heart of Maryland and didnt like it at all. It is a Military play and the time during the Civil War.
Well Lucie have just finished with Mr. Donahoo. Mr. McKensie and myself who
were appointed appraisers. (going over Atkinson's personal property) and we had to go over the whole house and appraise everything and you can imagine what a task we had. Have you ever been there? their house from cellar to attic. I hadn't ever been only in the Library to the best of my knowledge and it is certainly a "curiosity shop." The 5 book cases full of books and old papers is certainly interesting to go through and the many pieces of bric-brac and old furniture. Two bed room suites are of solid walnut with marble tops on the wash stands and dressers and also the curtain [?] stands and we were told cost some 150 to $200 when new. Will hardly bring 25 or $30 today. Also some other pieces in the parlor that were handsome pieces in their day. Then we found so many of their golden wedding presents. Diamond ring, watch and other pieces of jewelry and such table pieces as napkin rings, salt cellars, etc. that had never been used. Some in the cases just as they had been presented to them. And all the box of love letters which you have no doubt heard so much about. We had to hurry along in order to get
through so didn't have much time [to] inspect the old curiosities as we would liked to have done. I presume you read the Will. Believe he will have more money than was expected and am glad to see it so. For so many people thot [sic] he wasn't worth anything. We were two days going over the appraisement. So you can imagine how tedious it was.
Now almost forgot to tell you that my chickens commenced laying. Got one egg last Friday but do not know what's the matter for that's the only one and am keeping it to show my rivals when they come in to see us. Mrs. McAtee says she gets 20 to 25 a day and your's are laying 6 or 8. I am doing all in power for mine. Sent away and got some fine poultry food and am somewhat encouraged again.
Yes, am pleased to know that McAtees are going to stay over next summer. Have been down quite a little since you left and we had some great Games (Pedro). They often ask if I wouldnt like that you were here to play. My Dyke has a nice layout almost every time I am there. We play in
their room upstairs over the Dining room. They have a great time with Mr. Byerly. We invariably find Mr. D swaps and on one or two occasions laid himself out. They were all away for awhile one evening last week and he was so full when they got back home that he was helpless. Mr. Dyke thought it a great joke.
Well Lucie you stated in your last letter that you hoped we would be successful at our meeting that day. Now when I arrived home went straight to the Pottery and as Mr. Carson failed to be [?] in appearance we adjourned to meet on last Thursday and he was on hand but the judge & Mr. Porter failed to be [?] in appearance so we went a head with the meeting. We ignored them entirely just as they had been doing with us in the past and now that they have found it out they are puzzled to know what to do but you know Lucie Judge is cunning and he will try to do us if he can so we are waiting anxiously for our Meeting (Annual) on next Tuesday. We cannot see how we can last but we may meet our
"Waterloo." Will let you know how we come out.
Now my dear girl must leave you and am looking for a letter again on the usual day for before the day is over may want something to console me and nothing would please me more. Unless it would be your own dear self. Remember me to Misses Harvey, Harkney [?] & any others you can to and take good care of your dear self and do not let that cold get a hold on you.
Called in to see the folks at the Office as went by at noon and they all seemed in good spirits. Do hope your father won't over do himself again. He seems to be holding his own well and should he not have a back set he may get pretty well again.
Hoping you are well and happy with much love I will say Au r-Voir [sic]
P.S. My dear am going to ask you for that Answer some of these days in the near future. And you must tell me, Won't You. You know what I've said before and I mean it, every word of it too.