Tuesday, March 22, 2016

1906 Letter to Lucie -Mar.22

A letter from Lucie Brown Ballantyne's great aunt, Elizabeth Catherine Howlett Spalding[1] .  Notes are added after the transcription.  Paragraph breaks have been added for readability.

March 22nd [1906] Brandon [Texas][2]
Dear Lucie,

Your kind letter received sometime since I should have been answered – I cannot say exactly what I have been doing so much but I am kept very busy – cannot say I have accomplished much – yesterday I really drew my sheet of paper from the box & thought I was already to write the letter I am now trying to write – strange when one is thinking of a distant one & particularly when you wish to perform your duty to them something comes often as a reminder.

The children went to the office & brought me your school pamphlet[3].  I thank you for your remembrance of me notwithstanding my long delay in answering your letter.  The Professor's or Principal's Bereavement is certainly very sad.  I felt deeply for him.  Such a loss is hard to endure.  One can quite realize his feelings while reading of them.  She was I imagine a lovely wife & a loving devoted couple husband & wife.

We certainly in our lives see the mysterious ways of a Loving Father – who does not willingly afflict His Children – My dear Child arrived safely.  She is restless about business & she took me with her to Dallas – after stopping at the Hotel we were invited to the "Texas Baptist University"[4] to make a visit to Katherine[5] – we had a pleasant visit – but thought a great deal was lacking to make it a desirable or progressive school.  Katherine has given up her studies & only taking vocal lessons.

Your Cousin Mary[6] is anxious to see you & her Sister whom she has not seen for many years.  I think she will be out there some day.  I have not heard from Aunt Cora[7] for some time.  I know she is very busy she really accomplishes a great deal.  I wrote to Anna but have not heard very lately from her nor do I know anything about Ella.  I had one letter from Chicago from her.  I answered it.  Lucy[6] writes she is about moving – but does not mention Ray.

I have many sorrows – today I am very deaf – it comes mostly from cold.  Sometimes worse than at other time very great affliction – we have had such disagreeable weather – so cold & dreary.

Cullen[8] would like so much to go away to school – he is near 16 – he is  model of a Boy.  I think his Mother would never let him go so far away – he would make a fine scholar if property trained.  Just received a sad letter to whom I wrote after the death of a dear Mother.  I write many letters to dear Bereaved ones.  It take time but do not consider the time lost – when I know one needs sympathy.

I have at last gotten some pictures taken.  I sent Cora one & will send your Papa one.  I think your Parthenon very nice – glad you are getting on nicely.  Give much love to all.  I hope your Papa is still improving.

Yours lovingly,

E.C. Spalding
[Elizabeth Catherine Howlett Spalding]

* * * * * * * * * *

[1] Elizabeth Catherine "E.C." Howlett Spalding (1824-1913) - sister of Lucy Howlett Brown (1823-1886) aunt of A.W. Brown, great-aunt of Lucie Brown Ballantyne, 2x great-aunt of Jean Ballantyne Uible and 3x-great-aunt of the Ballantyne-Dailey-Uible cousins.  "E.C." as she signs the letter, is living with her son James, a physician, and his family in Texas.  James (1853-1926) is married to Sallie (nee Boone).

[2] Brandon, population of 80 in 2000, is located in the central Texas hill country about 55 miles south of Dallas.  Settled in 1846 and serving as a stagecoach stop, it became a railroad town (after relocating a mile away from the original townsite in order to be near the tracks) in 1888 with the arrival of the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway.  Population peaked at 450 in 1914, but declined considerably when the railroad was removed in 1936. [Info from TSHA Texas State Historical Society.]

[3]Marshall College, where Lucie was then Prof. of Elocution  The Principal, whose title was changed to President in 1907, Lawrence J. Corbly (1862-1935),was married to Elizabeth "Lizzie" Holland of New Cumberland.  She died unexpected in 1906 and therefore earns a paragraph in this letter.  More information on Marshall College, including a picture of the library in 1910, can be found here.

[4]Texas Baptist University opened for classes in 1905 in Dallas.  Due to inadequate resources it was forced to close in 1912.

[5] Katherine (1887-1950), granddaughter of E.C., 

[6] Mary (1848-?) and Lucy (1856-?)  daughters of E.C.

[7] Cora Brown Crawford (1856-1923), niece of E.C., sister of A.W. Brown, aunt of Lucie Brown Ballantyne.  

[8] William Cullen Spalding (1889-1950), grandson of E.C., became a physician like his father.

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