KanColl: The Kansas Historical Quarterlies




North Central Kansas in 1887-1889
From the Letters of Leslie and Susan Snow of Junction City -- Concluded

Edited by Lela Barnes

Winter, 1963 (Vol. 29 No. 4), pages 372 to 428.
Transcribed by Barbara Hutchins;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.
(The numbers in brackets are links to endnotes.)

II. The Letters of Leslie Perkins Snow, 1887, 1888 -- Concluded

MANKATO, KAN., June 24, 1888      

MY DEAR ELSIE:

     I left headquarters on Monday and have been in this town all the week. I expect not to return to Junction City till I have completed my work in this county which will probably consume a month from the time I left Junction City. I go to Burr Oak tomorrow where I expect to spend a week.

     I received your nice letter last night and devoured the contents with my usual greed. No they do not play tennis here much. For what reason I cannot say. They certainly have plenty of level ground. Perhaps the winds are too strong or the people too busy. At any rate I have seen but one or two sets in Kansas.

     Well Susie (you see I like both names) I know you think a good deal of your home and I esteem such an impulse one of the noblest with which we are endowed. But I had an object in asking you if you thought you would be contented out here in this western wild. I have been meditating long and carefully relative to you, me, and the future. And I have hesitated in expressing my thoughts only because I have not felt certain that a consummation of my wishes would result in your greatest happiness. You doubtless divine my wishes. I would like very much to take you back with me after my visit in Nov. But I would not wish to gain your consent to such a rash procedure without suggesting to you all the inconveniences and hardships to which you would come. You will see from my letters that I am able to be in one place only over Sunday, and my occupation is such that it would not be pleasant for you to go with me much of the time. Then there is the disadvantage of being so far from all your other friends -- the formation of new acquaintances etc. I might add blizzards, hurri-

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canes, tornadoes and cyclones. There! perhaps I have said enough to make your poor heart quake already.

     Do you think under such circumstances you would enjoy coming back with me?

     I have concluded that there are no other valid reasons why we should further delay our own happiness. And despite the disadvantages I believe we can be very happy.

     I won't remark any further till I know what my love thinks of this. . . .

     I wish I could celebrate the fourth with the three sisters. Wouldn't we make a team though. We would roam the woods through, drive the horses tired, and eat the cupboard dry. We would make so much ado that I expect Mama would be glad to send us away. Though I rather suspect she would be glad to see her girls and boy(s?) that happy.

     But alas! nearly 2000 great long miles divide us -- i. e., one of us. You must celebrate for me.

     Well I must close as I must write my mother who would die worrying if she didn't get a letter from me each week -- big boy that I am.

     I remain yours

Very Truly            
LESLIE      


HASTINGS, NEB., July 1st, 1888      
DEAR SUSIE ELSIE:

     You see I am a little nomadic and have wandered from my home quite a little way.

     I was at Scandia Saturday and finding myself within about 75 miles of Hastings I thought I would give my Uncle A. L. Barrows a visit as he had urged me to do so several times. But unfortunately I found that I chose a bad time as Uncle and Aunt are off on a picnic to Crete, Neb. (or within about 30 miles of Lincoln) where the Chatauquans meet to make merry.

     Scandia is about 75 miles from here. I came up yesterday P. M. and shall leave this P. M. for the same place.

     Hastings is a larger, prettier, better built and livelier town than I have in my territory. South of here lies the prettiest country I have yet seen in the west.

     Last Monday I left Mankato for Burr Oak, where I stopped at the "White House." But it was no such a thing. It was a yellowish


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dirty establishment and I didn't think I was used white at all. But Monday night we had the experience of the season -- a thunder storm terrific, long and continuous. For scarcely a minute's interruption for three long hours there was a constant cannonading by "heaven's artillery" And O MY!! how the rain did pour. It came in sheets rather than in drops. In the morning the country was flooded -- streams which were usually no larger than "Snow's Brook" were spread out into rivers from 1/4 to 1/2 mile wide and ten to twenty-five feet deep. No moving that day -- bridges gone -- railroads washed out -- no boats or fords and the water too muddy to swim in, with no means of aerial navigation. . . . In twenty four hours you would not have known that there had been a storm except for the mud, straw, hay, bedsteads and other household utensils hanging on the bushes and fences along the creeks which the falling water had left high and dry.

     In inquiring for the standing of witnesses I get hold of lots of scandals. I required the standing of Dr. W__ at Burr Oak. It seems that about six months ago, one Mr. Brown was very sick with a cold. Mrs. Brown employed Dr. W__. The husband was apparently convalescing when he suddenly died. He was buried and nothing more thought of the matter till the next week when Dr. W__ & the widow were joined in the holy bonds of matrimony. Mrs. W__ came into the office while I was taking the Dr.'s testimony. I must confess that the Dr. has my deepest sympathy.

     Well, I have not got my usual nice letter from Haverhill this week. I expect to get it about tomorrow night when I return to Mankato. I expect my dear is meditating upon my last by this time. . . .

     Well I will close by wishing you a "Happy Fourth of July."

Very Truly            
LESLIE.      


SALEM, KAN., July 8, 1888     
DEAR ELSIE:

     I am visiting. I am at the home of cousin Lena. Lena is the "little girl" my cousin Frank Snow took back to Snowville from the West. I am having a very pleasant visit. Mr. & Mrs. Brown are the names. They are so kindly entertaining me during my stop here.

     Salem is a little town in Jewell Co. about 10 miles from R. R. and unless it gets a railroad soon will be one of the towns that Eggleston


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writes about in the "Mystery of Metropolisville." It is growing up to weeds and is liable to give up the ghost.

     I returned from Hastings, Neb. Sunday, spent my "glorious fourth" waiting for trains. I was at Belleville, Republic Co. & went to depot for train at 12 N. and had to wait till 3 P. M. Came as far as Scandia where I had to stop for a few moments. I went to depot at train time 7 P. M., rode about twenty miles when the engine broke down and I had to wait till 12 midnight. Thus I celebrated.

     I did not get your letter of two weeks ago as it was not properly forwarded. I expect to get that and last week's about Tuesday. I hope to get back to J. C. another Saturday and shall not probably wander away so far and long again right away.

     Cousin Lena had a nice home. Why is it that these girls will leave such nice homes? She weighed 87 pounds when she went away. Her weight is now less than 100. You are beaten. Cousin Frank weights 180.

     I had a man adjudged insane this week. I didn't believe him capable of managing his own affairs and thot if he was not under guardian, his would-be friends would get all his pension away from him.

     Father writes me that they have had it 100° in the shade. New Hampshire is waxing warm. It is time for the Weirs to blossom and for summer guests to arrive. [19] Are there summer boarders in Haverhill yet? . . . Excuse me for asking many questions. I am writing this and being entertained at the same time which mixes me a little. I will have to close this and do better next time if you will excuse me.

Very Truly            
L. P. SNOW      


JUNCTION CITY, July 15th 1888.      
MY DEAR LITTLE GIRL:

     No that won't do any longer, for certainly she must be a young lady or I could not properly anticipate making her my wife so soon. This week has been a feast to me -- three letters from you. The current of our correspondence seemed to get dammed up at this end -- and I got it all in a flood. But it was very refreshing when it did come.

     Where shall I begin to answer -- "first come first served" is a pretty good criterion. Well then the four leaf clover of June 26th has kept me safe so far, and the rose fragrant with Fred's love (and I


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think made a little sweeter by your own though you did not include it in that form), a nice little tribute to remind me that I owe him a letter. [20] I am glad to know that I am not so far forgotten by the Haverhillites but what they think of me when they see a strange young man riding out with my best girl. That word "best" should have been left out for that is a word which in this instance will not admit of comparison. . . .

     I have just received a nice invitation to a 4th of July picnic. It was left here at the hotel in ample time for acceptance but I was absent. It was tendered by the Rev. Mr. McClung's charming daughter. This by the way is second invitation from the same source which considering the short acquaintance is quite enough. She is a beautiful singer -- rather pretty & full of life. I have had several other invitations to picnics, et cetera, from other sources all of which have been neglected by me. It is quite easy for me to refuse an invitation as I can have business at any moment. I have heard from one source that "he is a confirmed old batch and don't want to get acquainted with the young ladies."

     No I'm not "older" -- at least in my feelings. No I do not sport a "stove pipe." It would be quite out of place in Kansas this season with the thermometer at 90 to 110. It is quite proper to go about the streets here without coat and vest. Under those circumstances a silk hat would look shabby and the man who wears it shabbier. . . .

     Now my dear I come to letter No. two and though your thoughts "represented a young whirl wind" they certainly were very refreshing to me. I am delighted to know that you will be contented with me "even in the far west" and that you are willing to share the dangers of cyclones, et cetera. Well my dear I do say "yes." That is quite emphatic isn't it? I'm tired of an "old batch" existence. I want a home even if it isn't to be permanent (as to place). And you my darling, are just the one that, instead of being the burden you suggest, will make this life endurable and pleasant for me.

     I shall come to N. H. in season for the November election. I should like to make a visit in N. H. of about one month and I am not particular whether it be before or after election. But when I come back I wish take my dearest with me. Just when that shall be is yours to determine.

     Now my dear only four months and "There will be two Susie S__________." [21] I believe the remainder was never spoken. And


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so you must enjoy yourself in the mean time for we shall then begin to be "old folks." But, my darling, we will have, I trust, many years of happy wedded life. It certainly shall be such if it lies in our power to make it so. Such nice times as we will have. We will roam the wild west o'er, and canvass the world for the sweetest, nicest spot for our little home. I could not, if I were to try, express my thoughts and anticipations on paper. The bliss of a pure, holy home is the grandest ideal I ever contemplated. It shall be ours in all its purity, love and holiness.

     It seems an age since I was at Abilene. I have not recited for a month but have not ceased my reading. But I am getting so far ahead of my reciting I fear I will forget before I have an opportunity to tell the Judge what I know. . . .

     I have had one little sorrow this past week. My mother met with an accident. She evidently fainted, falling and striking her head, bruising her cheek very badly and giving her much pain. It always pains me to have any of my people suffer even that much.

     I must stop writing so I will bid you good by for this once. Love to all.

Very Truly yours          
LESLIE      


JUNCTION CITY, KAN., July 23d, 1888      
MY DEAR ELSIE:

     Once more, I'm in the little home on the attic (?) floor of the Bartell which may be well called my "sanctum sanctorum." I have been to Washington since I wrote you last: i. e. to Washington, Kan. I was not at all reminded of the "City of Magnificant Distances." I also visited the towns of Greenleaf, Palmer, Concordia & Clay Center.

     At the last place I went to hear the "Bell Ringers." They were all little folks and were very entertaining, not however because of any remarkable ability but rather because of their cunningness.

     Saturday I took a drive from Clay Center to Fact and it was in fact a very warm day. I made 45 miles wrote 24 pages fools cap and returned in season for P. M. train to J. C.

     I received this week a nice seven page fools cap letter from Fred. He writes nice letters (when he writes). He is located at West Gloucester for the summer dispensing truths to the Cape Ann-ers. He must have worked very hard for he writes that he has preached his 84th sermon. That must be almost one hand full laid by. But Fred won't need to reread sermons. He has say very fertile brain


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and is capable of entertaining an audience without serious effort.

     Fred and I have always been very free with our advice to each other. And what do you suppose his advice was in this letter. It was to the point and so far towards my own way of thinking that I propose to adopt it. He said "get married and take Susie to Kansas."

     Once upon a time Fred and I made a very peculiar agreement. It was at the time of our graduation and when we expected never to separate. We agreed not to marry for five years. Think of it June 24th, 1891. This agreement however was dissolved by mutual agreement long since or I would not have acted the part which I have. . . .

     Fred seems not yet to have any serious intentions. At least I do not know that he has.

     Well my sweet "robin" I would like to sweeten myself with your "current jelly" if my tongue was long enough to reach back to N. H. but as it is not I will probably have to content myself with sorghum a while longer.

     I am surprised that you did not get my Salem letter sooner. Mother did not get the letter I wrote her from that place -- at all. Mr. Brown is or was a farmer. He was a postmaster under the old administration and was officially murdered by Pres. Cleveland. He is again reinstated. . . .

     Nothing particularly newsy at Snowville.

     Mother has recovered from her accident and is nicely again.

     Well, my dear, I will have to close this missive and consign it to Uncle Sam's care. I must write my sister Bell this morning. So I will say good morning.

Very Truly Yours           
LESLIE      


JUNCTION CITY, KANSAS      
July 29th, 1888      
MY DEAR ELSIE:

     A beautiful evening after a hot day. It has been above 100° in the shade during the day and is still 92°. Kansas has some very hot weather to average up with her blizzards. "She" is noted for her extremes. But all in all I think no state can boast of more pleasant days in each 365.

     People keep very quiet all day this hot weather and preserve all their activity for the cool of the evening when every body comes out. All sorts of gigs, rigs, racks, and hacks are brought out and


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   379

every body takes a ride. Some of the ladies ride but fewer of them than I would think. I like to see a lady riding horse back and to ride well is a very pretty accomplishment.

     I haven't the least doubt but the compliment paid to your riding was well merited. That you rode very prettily was well known to your humble servant long since, though I believe I have no recollection of having witnessed you at the accomplishment. So you see you do not have as many traits kept from my knowledge as you may think. I am inclined to think I know much more about you than you are aware of.

     This last week I stopped at Abilene & Sol. City. At the latter place I saw a sight which one could scarce expect to see in prohibition Kansas. The hotel keeper's little girl only 15 yrs. old scarcely able to be about from the effects of the "ardent." I am told that the father and mother drink liquors of all kinds with their children. They certainly did not seem to be astonished to see their daughter half intoxicated. Here is a very pretty little girl and I must say that I felt ashamed for the father and mother. Perhaps I should not have mentioned this. I sometimes allow my mind to run at large and my hand to print what it sees. But I do meet some very queer people and their eccentricities always leave an impression.

     So my dear is to be a "real live girl" for a month and to set herself about acquiring dignity. Just as though "life" and "dignity" were incompatible terms. Poor staid old folks that we are to be! Ha! ha! ha!. How does that laugh sound as it reaches the granite hills? Rather faint, eh? But really, my dear, you shall not surrender one bit of that girlish life. That is one of the characteristics which I will not consent to your leaving behind when you come to me. No, no, we must not lose one particle of our youth. The union of two active living spirits will only intensify that vital spark called life. And dignity! Just contemplate our present stock! . . .

     My mother is nicely again. She is to visit sister Bell I expect this week and perhaps for two or three weeks to come.

     Yes I am very sure she will think we are planning to do just the proper thing. She has been concerned about me very much since I have been out here "with no one to look after me." Just see what a duty you are to assume. I am thinking those little hands will be full when they undertake to look after this boy. You have a wild untrained unkempt specimen from the western wilderness to tame, train and teach etiquette. But though dull he will be a submissive scholar. . . .

     Well, my -- to be indispensible -- I will have to close this eratic


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compilation of ideas and epithets and wish you an affectionate "good evening" which I would like to solemnize or emphasize by imprinting a _____________

Very Truly Yours            
LESLIE      


CONCORDIA, KANSAS, Aug 8, 1888      
MY DEAR:

     I have returned from a very very pleasant visit to my Uncle's, A. L. Barrows of Hastings, Nebr. They did nothing but entertain me all the time I was there so I could not take any time to write the letter which I wished to, to you.

     My Uncle and Aunt are in the vicinity of 60 years but as young as most people of forty. My cousins Dr. & Mrs McCalister are very nice. They are all very fine friends of mine.

     I promised to take my wife to make them a visit. Is that too previous?

     Cousin Nell came out here because of a throat and lung difficulty. She was very thin and poor. But now a more robust and healthy body cannot be found in Hastings. This is a wonderful country in that respect and I wouldn't be surprised if you completed your growth out here. I may have to look up to see you yet.

     "Wedding." Yes, my dear, that word does sound strange and I may add, sweetly solemn. I have just loved to anticipate that event and all the joy which it is bound to bring to us.

     As to the "kind," that is and by right ought to be yours to choose. But as you ask my preference I will be frank to say that the quiet home wedding without ostentatious display, has a charm for me. But no form or place (church or home) can diminish the pleasure which I anticipate. So my dear you may be assured that your wishes in the matter will please me.

     As to my plans I must acknowledge that I have allowed the rush of business to absorb my attention too much to mature the details. The time of my coming to New Hampshire will be determined somewhat by the date which my dear little girl shall fix for the happy event of our marriage. The only request that I wish to present in fixing that date is that I wish to be in N. H. at the time of the Nov. election.

     I wish to be in N. H about, perhaps a little more than, a month and it does not matter to me whether that be before or after, or partly before and partly after the election.

     It seems to me that it would be nice to make our trip west our


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"wedding tour." Does that meet your approval? Or do you prefer some other trip? You must not hesitate to tell me just what you think about it.

     If this plan seems the nice one then our marriage will be the grand finale of our visit in N. H. and I shall determine the time for leaving Kansas accordingly, that is so as to be in N. H. the month or a little more. So I will await your determination in the matter.

     As to the month spent in N. H. I expect my mother will claim the larger share of my time. I am aware that my dear Mother has grieved over my being absent so long and that if I would go away for another year I must make her a good visit; I shall also want to spend a few days with my sister and the Dr.

     But soon after reaching N. H. I shall come to Haverhill but of course my visit there will necessarily be short -- the same as to my sisters. Now if it would be proper and agreeable I would like to have you visit my sister with me, and my home, allowing you to leave for your home as much prior to the wedding day as you may think necessary.

     I don't know how far the above plans may be appropriate and desirable but I simply suggest them subject to any changes, improvement or alteration you may suggest.

     If there are any things that I ought to determine or speak of do not hesitate to remind me. I wish to make the future as pleasant as I may be able and any failure in that will be due to mistake and not to any intentional neglect. . . .

     Now my dear little girl (I like to say that for it seems to bring you right up before me) I am going to look forward to the happy day with great anticipation when I can put my arm about you and call you all my own.

     I must close this letter to attend to my neglected business. So I must say a good by with all the love which a true beau can possess.

LESLIE.      


JUNCTION CITY, KAN., Aug. 13th, 88     
MY DEAR ELSIE:

     I suppose you will scarcely be through reading my last somewhat lengthy epistle before you receive this. It is too bad to impose upon your time so much isn't it? But the only reason you don't suffer a worse imposition of the same sort is that I haven't more time to write. So you may thank Uncle Sam.

     Kansas is lovely just now, that is from Salina east. The west has all been burned up in the hot winds. I am just wondering how


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this great level world will seem to you. I am thinking it will seem nice to see the hills & mountains all ironed out into a plain but then you will miss beautiful woods, the grand old mountains, and the clear streams. One can't have everything in one place, the mountains & the plains, the clear streams and the nice soil. So you must before Nov. drink in enough of the New England scenery to last you one whole year. Think you can do it? I believe you are going to just enjoy a year in these lovely rolling prairies. I have only needed you to make my last year one of the pleasantest of my life. So you see I judge a righteous judgment when I predict how it will seem to you. . . .

     I had a nice call last evening from Mr. Green (rather refreshing name), a young man who stands very high in the Presbyterian Society here. He has been near "death's door" from lung trouble several times and has sought the wonderful country as a remedy. It has a great reputation for that. He wants me to stop in the town some week and get acquainted with the people.

     I had a splendid ride last evening. I rode all over the city. The evenings are the only times sufficiently cool to ride much. "Maud" a pretty gray is my favorite. I met a galaxy of five young ladies -- all splendid riders. There are many such in Junction. I met them about six times in my wanderings about town. They looked very pretty under the lights of the arc-electric-lights. I tried to imagine you as one of them. We will do the town on horseback next Nov. won't we? Or rather when we get here?

     So you are a journalist are you? Writing for the paper! May I presume to ask for a copy of the paper. . . . If I am to marry a girl who can wield a pen as well as tongue I must begin to fortify. Please relieve my anxiety by sending me a copy of the article.

     My dear, if I was not explicit enough in my last please remind me and I will be more so.

     You, perhaps, can imagine how much I would like to spend a week with you now. What a lovely time we would have amid the scenes of a New Hampshire autumn. Does it not seem a little cruel that we have seen so very little of each other since we have known our destinies. But, my dear, we have a divine consolation in that the future has rich promises for us, and that our wooing though short has been intensely sweet. One cannot express his feelings on paper. One look into your eyes would be worth a volume of written manuscript. And one sweet kiss (not as of a sister -- as of old) would speak words which a pen can not write. I must close here

So good-by            
LESLIE     


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GLENN ELDER, KAN., Aug. 19th, 1888      
MY DEAR ELSIE:

     This sabbath finds me at the Cottage Home in a town whose name savors of mountains and trees, but with a lamentable absence of both.

     I have passed a week here. The family of the Cottage Home consists of Mr. & Mrs. Todd -- a married daughter and their unmarried ones -- all very nice people. Neatness is their first law and it is such a refreshing rarity in Kansas that I am just enjoying that feature of my surroundings.

     One of the rising generation is a "little girl" of eight years. She and I have become very fast friends and have been making puzzles, telling stories, making plum-stone-baskets, et cetera, what time I could spare.

     Thursday and Friday I rode 60 miles each day into the country south of here known as the Blue Hills. I brought back some luscious water melons about one foot in diameter. Kansas is a great place for the sweet and delicious products.

     I must tell you that I saw a real dog-town the description of which I suspect is so familiar to you that I need not add any words of my own.

     Your nice letter came to me last night. With that before me I think I will be able to fix the date of my visit to N. H. subject to any changes which you may suggest. The first date which you mention, the 28th of Nov., will suit my convenience and choice admirably. Then we will regard that as the "happy day" unless you should choose to make it some other day.

     As to your visiting my home and sisters of course I realize your situation and shall not urge you and shall be happy to have you do as it seems best to you.

     I shall, then, probably reach Snowville the very last days of October or first days of November, and remain there till after the 6th -- election day. I expect that I will invite myself to come to H. for a few days after which I will return to Snowville till I come to Haverhill to take my little girl to myself.

     This is my plan "in the rough" and in its details will be finished to suit.

     Yes, I knew my Hastings cousins before. They are very good friends of mine. They used to reside in Brownfield and Portland, Maine. I have a standing invitation to take you to Hastings which with your consent will be duly accepted and acted upon.

     Am pleased to know that you are having a pleasant time. I


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suspect that if your camping parties were relieved of their nice clean blankets and given wild buffalo meat and cold water instead of sardines, watermelons & crackers and lemonade there might be less longing for the so-called Indian life. . . .

     I received an order last evening from Washington to carefully and thoroughly examine all the papers in my possession which have been sent me and to pass my opinion upon the merit of the claims. This will necessitate probably two weeks work during which time I shall remain in Junction City. It will be something of a change -- and something of a tedious process I apprehend as I have two trunks packed solid with papers, or most ninety claims. I shall remain in this vicinity this week. . . .

     Please remember me to all. I never have asked you what your mother thinks of our plans but I suppose they meet her approval. She will, I know, feel very sorry to have you leave home but at the same time I am sure be willing to sacrifice her pleasure for what seems to be our best good. Well, my dear, I will have to close this. Be good and accept the love . . . of your ob'dt.

LESLIE.      


JUNCTION CITY, KANSAS, Aug. 26, 1888     
MY DEAR ELSIE:

     I am again at the Junct. and refreshed with a nice letter from you. These nice letters have been my food more than you may have thought, for the last long ten months. I have looked forward to them as being the nearest approach to a meeting with you. The enjoyment of sitting down and spending an hour in reading and reverie -- you wouldn't think I could use that am't of time would you? -- but I have many a time.

     They have furnished a sort of constitution to influence my actions (which my pride compels me to say would not have been "bad" anyway, but which might, otherwise, have been different than they have).

     No, my dear, I do not think I share your feeling relative to the future. I have no feeling that our association and married life is to be limited. Of course it must be limited in a sense but I have only thought of the limit as very far in the future.

     It makes me happy that you have been able to have such a pleasant time this fall, but I have almost feared lest you will find coming to a new country, and married life, less enjoyable because of the contrast. Of course you will have new acquaintances to make and perhaps you will feel less freedom than you have en-


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joyed amoung life-long acquaintances. However we will spare no effort to enjoy all that the -- "great west" -- has, and it has much. I have made fewer acquaintances here than I would have done if I had not been, as the young ladies say, "mortgaged." But we will not be long in finding out the nice people.

     There are two societies of consequence here -- the Presbyterian and the Universalist. The Congregationalist & Methodist are not generally speaking the nice society people in this town. I have preferred to attend the Presbyterian Church which is the largest. I like the people of the Universalist Church very well as far as I have met them. But I do not just agree with them in belief.

     I think you will agree with me in liking the Presbyterian people. One's associations here depend upon the church they attend to some extent.

     This letter was cut short by a caller and I have not had an opportunity to continue till I find myself in Salina -- the National Hotel -- a new building and the pride of Salina.

     I was telling you about Junction wasn't I? I must tell you more because that is to be our home and you will want to learn lots of it. I will tell you something of my acquaintances which I have reminded you are few in number.

     In the first place there are Mr. & Mrs. C------------, the proprietors of the Bartell House. They are as nice as the usual western hotel people which doesn't speak very flatteringly. . . . Next there comes "the trio" of young men at the hotel viz.: Mr. Bingham, a Harvard graduate '87, who wears a woolen shirt and sports a full beard, and a cane -- he is a banker when he has learned his trade! Dr. Bucher who always looks like one just emerging from a bandbox and wears constantly a very anxious expression lest something may be wrong with his neck-tie or other paraphernalia. He is a dentist -- engaged to be married -- and has gone this week to perform the act. The young ladies of Junction are quite sure they won't like Mrs. Bucher because her coming is going to break up their nice little cavalcade parties. I don't know as that word "cavalcade" is properly used -- I mean horseback riding parties. The Dr. was very frank as to his future better half and I am informed made her the subject of his conversation often and even went to the extent of displaying her picture to the admiring gaze of the J. C. young ladies. He has rented a little cottage and is to return soon.

     The third member of the trio is Mr. Marshall, a young lawyer. He is the least polished of the three. "All lawyers are such." Thus


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much for the trio. Mr. Bingham is about to go to Kansas City & the Dr. is about married (if not quite). These two facts are very disheartening to the young ladies of Junct. C. who declare it is "simply mean" for a young man to come west "mortgaged."

     This covers the people, my acquaintances, at the hotel. There are others -- viz.: "kitchen mechanics," and traveling men. I put them both together because they are about on a par and associate much together. I have no respect whatever for traveling men as a class. They average -- honor bright -- to be about one gentleman out of 15 average traveling men.

     Among my acquaintances in town are Mr. Green and Mr. Mitchell. The first I rather admire. The latter I simply like. Mr. G. while living in the East was twice given up to die but refused to do so. He survived several very bad hemorrhages of the lungs and came West. He is quite nicely here. He has a sort of automatic laugh which is more easily listened to than described -- you instinctively laugh yourself to keep him company -- I pronounce him "thoroughly nice." I might add by way of recommendation that he is the usher and passes the contribution box at the Presbyterian.

     Mr. Mitchell is the -- it just occurs to me that that name will sound familiar to you. He is the secretary of the Y. M. C. A.

     Mr. Kiehl is a kind friend of mine. He is a man 45 -- very much elongated -- as to face, feet, and lower limbs, in fact a specimen Vermonter. He travelled the wild west while the buffalo were abundant and men scarce -- for ten years a sheriff and for eighteen years a livery and bus man. He sings bass in the choir and beats time with his book & head. He in my opinion is a man with a homely face and a kind heart.

     I might add to those given P. V. Trovinger before whom I swear once a month. Post Master Laurenson who thinks any man is nice if he is a democrat.

     Mr. Trott the book-seller, Capt. John R. Wright, Lt. Vick, Dr. Dougherty & others -- there are many with whom I have a passing acquaintance.

     Now I presume you notice an absence of feminine names among the above. But I find I am getting over so much space I will pospone telling you of them till my next letter. They are very few and choice.

     "Maud" is a gray -- and somewhat heavier than "Maggie." She is the easiest riding horse in Junct. I think. They have a horse at Kiehl's called "Chiseler" which single-foots some. She can be driven only with curb bits -- all life. I think the choice which you suggest


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   387

for your habit will be nice. I am not just sure what style of caps the ladies do wear here. I will notice hereafter.

     I am in receipt of the paper containing the account of the hay rack ride. It is nicely written.

     I have spun my thread out to great length and I must stop or I won't have anything to write next time.

     Well my dearest girl, I wish I could express to you how much I am anticipating in having you with me. It will be another life. I have lots and lots of love in store for you. It is all yours -- all I have got -- or ever shall have.

Very Truly yours          
LESLIE.     


JUNCTION CITY, KAN., Sept. 2, 1888     
MY DEAR ELSIE:

     Do you suspect that I think of you as Elsie? I can at times but I can do it much easier under the older name. Elsie is pretty but (from association I suppose) Susie -- shall I say it? -- is much sweeter.

     Well, my dear, I am at J. C. and have spent the week here except for two days when I took a trip to Gypsum City, the boomed little town of which I wrote you when I first came to Kansas.

     Lets see, I was cut short in my last letter when describing to you the friendships I had formed in Junction City. I had told you of the young men whom I had met but I must add just a few words more relative to them.

     1st. The Dr. (Dr. Bucher) has returned with his bride and is the object of the gaze, admiration, and compliment of all his friends. She is rather pretty but not at all remarkable in that particular. I judge her to be about 27 years. The Dr. must be 33 to 35. They seem very happy. I have congratulated the Dr. but have not met Mrs. Bucher. He is quite as careful of his neck-tie and wears the same anxious look sweetened by a smile. Can you explain to me why I am interested in watching them?

     2nd. My friend Mr. Bingham the Harvard graduate is engaged and is to be married in about one year. We confide somewhat. His father is an Episcopal minister and poor -- worth only 15 to 25 thousand. He however has two uncles who are millionaires and he a favorite nephew. After a long talk with him I fail to discover that I am related to the uncles. He is 25 and to be married to a Boston girl in about one year.

     3d. I must mention another kind friend -- a Mr. Strickland who has been cashier in the bank. He is to own the bank after Jan. 1st.


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He is to be married very soon I am told. He is about 40 years of age.

     I did feel not only "sufficiently decayed" but rather old till I considered the ages of my matrimonially inclined friends above enumerated.

     I can now perhaps refer to Chapter II on "what I know about the ladies of Junction." I need not again remark that my acquaintance is rather limited.

     In the first place in the post office is Miss Dixon -- quite a giantess in stature -- a wealthy man's daughter. Not "handsome" but pleasant. She is a good democrat. Her principal failing -- I suppose we all have them -- is the fact that she is a Roman Catholic. She yields implicit obedience to her faith and priest and will not allow herself to listen to Protestant preaching. She has one other failing which I forgot to mention. She charges me $1.00 box-rent every quarter.

     In the County Clerk's office is a very pleasant young lady -- a niece of the clerk and the daughter of an old soldier who is now in California where she expects to go in the Winter. Her name is Lackstone, her complexion blonde, and her manners pleasant. She plays the organ at the Presbyterian and received a share of my friend Mr. Green's attentions.

     Miss Webber is a member of the Presbyterian choir -- rather plain -- a splendid singer -- a school teacher. She is the only young lady I have complimented in Junction City. I told her she came the nearest talking my arm off of any young lady I ever met. Loquaciousness is her forte.

     Miss McClung is another member of the above choir and has the added dignity of being the minister's daughter for which reason I am told she never dances or plays cards. She is very frank in expressing her dislike for "mortgaged men."

     Miss Swan is a rather pretty little Miss of 16 summers and a perfect "master of music" -- plays everything and anything at sight and out of sight. She is one of the quadruple (or sometimes sextuple) cavalcade which I mentioned in Chapter I. She attends church at the Congregationalist church where also may be found Miss McCatharine a member of that choir -- a young lady of much life. She becomes a teacher in Junct. City schools for the first time this year.

     I have met several other ladies of Junction among whom are Miss White, Mrs. Kiehl and Mrs. McClung. and Mrs. Capt. Pierce. The last is a graduate of Hamilton College N. Y.


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   389

     Considering the fact that I have been in Junction City now for 3/4 of a year my list is rather short but is capable of being enlarged when I accept some of the numerous invitations of young gentlemen to call with them.

     My acquaintances in J. C. are very pleasant and nice people but my dear I have seen no one who approached in my way of thinking the nice little girl who is reading this. I am going to be just proud of you when I have the pleasure of bringing you here with me.

     Your nice letter on Aug 27th came Friday. . . .

     The Y. M. C. A. had a book social this week here, each one bringing a book. It was a rather miscellaneous assortment for a library -- varying from agricultural reports to Bibles.

     Among the features of the entertainment were two scenes.

     One was an African sunset. Mr. Green made a lucid and brilliant oration upon the various sunsets -- the magnificence and splendor of the brilliant orb as it appeared when sinking to rest in various climes. The curtain was then pushed back leaving to the gaze of the audience naught but a nigger on a wood box.

     The other scene was the sunflower chorus of 12 young ladies. A large bunch of sunflowers was painted on the canvas with twelve big sunflowers. When the curtain was pushed back the center of each sunflower was a hole filled up with the bangs, back hair -- et cetera of young lady. The song opened with "one little sunflower" -- where upon a topknot disappeared and a face appeared. When all sunflowers were smiling faces responses were sung and one face disappeared at a time as it came. . . .

     I am still at work on Blackstone. I have recited on the first two books except about 150 pages which I have had prepared for a month but Mr. Mahan and I have not found it mutually convenient to recite during that time. I am quite well advanced in my first reading of the third book. There are four books in all. . . .

     I find I have already made a long letter and must cut short.

     I will endeavor to write you soon relative to my friends in answer to your request -- I wish to say more than I can well add to this letter.

     Very much love to my sweet little girl.

Very Truly Hers          
LESLIE.     

     P. S. You may preserve this and my last as a Junct. City directory. I may be able to add other chapters on the beautiful location etc.

L.     


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JUNCTION CITY, KAN. Sept. 10th, 88     
MY DEAR ELSIE

     I am still at Junction City where I have put in one whole week reviewing papers, writing out my opinions, etc. It has not after all been so disagreeable for it has been something a little novel and quite out of the ordinary course of events.

     In the meantime Mr. Bingham and I have been cultivating each other quite a little. He is quite an old batch -- in his ways -- sizes up and has an opinion upon every thing he sees and hears & to me in our confidence does not hesitate to divulge the conclusions of his inner nature. His "my girl" often finds its way into the course of his conversation -- she always appears as an ideal, and in perfect accord with his "ego." I have interviewed her picture. She is a blonde of round features and sweet expression and takes a very pretty picture.

     I will not summarize his remarks upon the photos which I keep conspicuous for my own entertainment for it is my duty to protect you and I will begin by keeping guard against such insidious foes as flattery.

     He receives letters from his father who writes on postals but as it happens in Latin, Greek, German or French. . . .

     I have also met Miss Bartell, the daughter of the man after whom the house was named -- the wealthiest man in town. Miss Bartell is recently returned from a visit to Washington D. C. She is a graduate of the Kan. State University and sports a Society pin of K. A. Θ. Mr. Bingham and I are invited to play whist with her and Miss Swan this evening. I suspect we will do so.

     Well my dear you asked me about my friends and whom I would like invited to our wedding. Now I find it a very difficult thing to do. I have very many friends and relations but of those whom I would really like to have present on the happy event of our wedding I do not feel really sure that any can conveniently come. You are already aware of the rather scattered condition of my immediate relatives, my mother's health and other conditions which I need not enumerate. I know that my father, mother and sisters would most gladly be present if their circumstances permit. But owing to the circumstances their presence will I fear depend much upon how far we deem their presence an element in our enjoyment or an essential to the form of marriage, etc., decided upon. And now, my dear, you must write me just what you think about it -- how formal a marriage you have decided upon -- how far the presence


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   391

of my people will be necessary to it. Of course I already understand how very welcome they would be at your father's home.

     Now my "list" will depend again upon the form of invitation -- that is -- whether they be properly invitations as "Mr. & Mrs. F. P. C. request the pleasure etc," or whether they be announcements as "Mr. & Mrs. F. P. C. announce the marriage etc."

     If the invitation be designed simply for those whose presence is desired my list will be much smaller than if the same be a method of announcing the proud event of my life to my many friends.

     Now I frankly admit that I really have no decided choice whether it be by invitation or announcement and your choice will be agreeable to me. . . .

     I realize the disadvantage of making our plans and determining each other's wishes through 2000 miles of space. As many mili-meters would be much better. But in all these matters let us be frank and free to say just what and all that we mean. . . .

     By the way haven't you tired eyes by this time -- my pen is quite fresh -- hence my idea.

     I will just commence this sheet to say "good night" on

"Good night"               
With very much love          
LESLIE     

     P. S. This letter was interrupted in the midst and continued at Uncle Sam's and my earliest convenience. I hope its delay will not cause anxiety.

LESLIE     


JUNCTION CITY, KAN., Sept. 16, '88     
MY DEAR ELSIE

     Your nice letter of the 8th is here and I must say first that I am exceedingly sorry that my delay in writing my sister of "the event of my life" occasioned almost a fracture of my dear little girl's heart. I can say by way of apology only that I delayed writing sister so long that I might a little more definitely fix a date of visiting her at the same time. By way of remedy for my wickedness, I will write my sister how it all came about -- and in the goodness of her noble heart she will forget and forgive. She is a dear dear sister and loves me and mine; and already knows you and me so well that she will at once attribute all faults to that rough heedless unbusiness-like brother of hers.

     As to frustrating any of my plans or intentions -- far from it. I


392   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

had none of the nature of surprises or secrecy. I do not believe in such surprises and am too proud of the coming event and the prize which I win to make it a secret.

     Now by the way. I have a sister at Grand Rapids, Mich., Mrs. Nellie H. White, whom I intend to visit either on my way East or West. Do you think it would be enjoyable to visit her so soon after our marriage? If you have decided upon Nov. 28th as the happy day we could spend the next Sabbath with her and gain a short rest on a long journey. She will be exceedingly glad to have us visit her. Be frank and tell me if it would not be enjoyable so soon after marriage.

     Are there any plans, arrangements or details, etc., relative to the marriage which should receive my attention before coming back to N. H.? Wake me up if I seem dull. We labor under the disadvantage of never having been married you see. It is all new. . . .

     Junction City is sad this week. It happened while I was far away. The largest store in the city, B. Rockwell & Co., burned down with two other brick buildings -- and saddest of all two J. C. young men were burned in one of them. It is supposed that they suffocated and never woke up. It was very dry and the water works out of repair and a high wind. Happily it rained at the opportune moment or the larger part of town must have gone. The Bartell caught on fire twice.

     The two young men were clerks in the store and were asleep up stairs. One of them was to have been married this next week. Think of the poor dear heart that must be almost broken. . . .

     I went to Barnum's Circus! at Abilene last evening. You would just envy the horse trainer. Such command as she had over the beasts! They would do anything for her. The circus was not what it is in the East but I counted 202 horses and Mr. Cowles 200 men in the procession.

     Wednesday evening I took tea with Mrs. Mahan at Abilene and in the evening enjoyed a tête-a-tête with the Judge. We discussed personal property, cigars and pears.

     Mr. & Mrs. Cowles want us to come to Abilene to live. I have their advice as a two-year-old-married-couple that married life is supremely superior to single life and that the wise young man marries young.

     My mother & father add their approving words to our plans. Mother says "I have wished many times the last year that Susie were with you." She also expresses herself desirous of receiving a visit from you.


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   393

     When does Norma come home? Please remember me in the kindest possible words to all your people.

     I will have to close this --

Very Truly yours          
LESLIE     


JUNCTION CITY, KANS., Sept. 17th, 1888     
MY DEAR MRS. CURRIER

     It has been my intention to write you for a long time but I have allowed the urgency of business to deprive me for a time of the pleasure. I presume you were not in the least surprised that Susie and I have concluded to determine our engagement by marriage so soon as Nov., and that we have your sanction in so doing.

     You see I took your advice and have not allowed any circumstances or plans to longer delay what I am satisfied is for Susie's and my own greatest happiness. In some respects my present business is an unfortunate one for our greatest pleasure. I am for the most of the time on the move. However I can be at home about two days each week and I expect Susie will find it pleasant to accompany me on some of my trips so that we can be together much despite the circumstances. I can not expect at present to possess the nice home which it will be my ambition to have later in life though we will make ourselves as comfortable and happy as our circumstances at present will admit.

     I am sure Susie thinks very much of her present home and I almost fear that in leaving it for this wild country and new acquaintances she will find herself homesick. People in the West differ in their manners from the eastern people, and their social tastes are cruder but they are very cordial and kind. I am sure after a short stay here she will come to like the people and their ways.

     I have not yet made any arrangements here for our future, preferring to leave that matter till I could consult Susie's own tastes and wishes in the matter.

     I suppose Susie has freely talked with you about our plans as far as made. I expect to visit you for a few days directly after election.

     My people approve of the step which I am about to take. I wish you and Mr. Currier could meet my parents. You all, I am sure, have much in common now. My father & mother, though they have grown up in the back woods of New Hampshire, have many good qualities and are very dear to me. What they may want in social training is fully made up by a big-hearted hospitality


394   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

and a warm and true affection for their children and those who are dear to them.

     They have manifested to me an interest in Susie's people and I know would be only too glad to make your acquaintance.

     Hoping that Susie and I have your & Mr. Currier's approval in our plans I must close the sheet, wishing the best of wishes to each of you and to my (soon to be) sisters Norma and Lettie.

Very Truly yours          
LESLIE.     


JUNCTION CITY, KANS., Sept. 23d, 1888     
MY DEAR SUSIE ELSIE:

     Another week has gone by and we are that much nearer the happy happy day when I may call you wholly my own. After all, does not our engagement seem short? as we look back. But I have a little volume of history all packed away in paper covers -- and for the most part sealed -- which says that there have been many weeks of it. These little volumes (of history of love) tell of many hours of the diligent use of the pen -- verily mightier than the sword in soothing the heart and keeping up the courage of one poor lonesome boy.

     By the way I send you, by mail, in remembrance of Sept. 27, a little package -- contents suggested by the above sentiment.

     This week I have been to Burr Oak, Mankato & Beloit. At Mankato I met Mrs. McMaster, great friend of cousin Lena.

     This week I have formed the acquaintance of Mr. Sawyer, a traveling man. -- He is one of the few who come under that term that I respect and admire. I have met Mrs. Sawyer who is very nice. She is a sister to Miss Swan. They are all great Congregationalist people. Mr. Sawyer has two little girls about 10 & 12 -- very nice. They spent the week with their father on the road and at Beloit. I think this family is a very desirable one for us to hold among our acquaintances. It consists of Mr., Mrs. & Misses Sawyer, Mrs. & Miss Swan. I know you will like them very much.

     I also this week -- yesterday evening -- met Miss Wright, one of the nice young ladies in town. Capt. Wright, her father, has been a very kind friend of mine since I have been here but I did not meet her till last evening. And I must tell you about our nice horseback ride by moonlight last evening.

     Mr. Bingham & Miss Wright rode respectively Dick & Nick. Miss Bartell at first rode Button who proved too hardbitted. She


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   395

was transferred to Preacher. I rode the celebrated Jay Eye See. We went over to Fort Riley. We had a lovely ride and returned just in time to go to a fire across town. The fire was soon extinguished.

     The young ladies are aware now that I am engaged and expect to be married soon. Mr. Bingham alone knew it and I informed him the other day that I did not care to keep it a secret. The young ladies have been wondering in their conversations who the next bride would be (there having been several of late). Mr. Bingham offered to bet that she would be mine -- so he informs me. At least it seems to be known.

     The original "trio" seem to have dissolved partnership -- Dr. Bucher is too much a married man. Mr. Marshall doesn't seem inclined to call on the young ladies. Mr. Bingham & I constitute a sort of "duet" now but he expects to leave for Kansas City one week from tomorrow. Mr. Marshall and I will have to form a partnership and when I get married what will be Mr. Marshall's state -- a solo? I don't like him as well as I do Mr. Bingham. The latter and I took a walk this afternoon across the government reservation 2 1/2 miles and back. I must take you to that place on horseback. It is a lovely view. Well he and I spent the P. M. talking of our common subjects. The poor boy has got to wait a year. He wants me to call on his young lady on my trip East. She resides just out of Boston. Miss Mary L. Green is the name. I know the whole history of their courtship. I will tell you more when I do not have to write it.

     Your nice long letter is here. So Fred has reached Haverhill has he? Well now Susie Fred is not going to Chicago and I will tell you what I expect he is going to do. It is not fully determined and as he requested confidence be observed till his plans were consummated I have made no mention of the matter. I do not know why he cares to keep still about it but as he does I must tell it to you in confidence. He wrote me some months ago that his lungs were failing him and that his physician had advised him that he must give up his profession. He naturally turned to me in our old time manner for advice and suggested a return to the study of the law. In this I could not encourage him but suggested a rest from preaching and a change of climate till he should find himself again in condition to pursue his chosen profession. To aid him in this I have secured for him the position of Superintendent of Schools in Junction City, which position I expect he will take Jan.


396   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

1st, 1889. [22] As to whether this plan will be consummated I am not positive but suppose it to be fixed. So much inter nos. What do you think of it my dear? . . . .

     I am much pleased with your plan of invitations and announcements. Now if I properly understand the matter, invitations should be extended to such as we would like to have present at your home if it were possible -- that is our nearest dearest friends; announcements to such as would be invited to a public wedding in church; and newspaper accounts to all others whom we would like to inform of the event but with whom we have no strong bond of friendship. Am I right? . . . .

     With regard to the announcements as they will not I suppose be sent in advance of the event I need not make a list but simply suggest the number that I shall be happy to have used for me. Perhaps I shall surprise you when I tell you that I believe that list will include about 40 names. Is that too many? And is my list of invitations too comprehensive? Administer a rebuke if I need it.

     Well my dear I must close this rambling letter.

     Please remember me to each and all my dear friends with you.

With very much love               I     
Very Truly          
LESLIE     


COUNCIL GROVE, KS., Oct. 2nd, '88     
MY DEAR SUSIE ELSIE:

     Am I a little tardy in writing my usual Sabbath letter? It is Tuesday but I found so many things to think of and to do this week that my time was all consumed. My usual monthly acts and reports for Sept. had to be made out and I had all my work to redocket as I had filled my old docket.

     Your nice letter and also a nice letter from your mother came duly at hand. Thank your mother for me and tell her I will answer at my earliest convenience. . . .

     Mr. Bingham has gone. He has left many aching hearts -- most prominently among them "Swan." I had come to be quite intimate with him and I believe none will miss him more than I. He has gone to Kansas City where he is to be permanently located in a bank.

     I have made no new acquaintance in Junction City this week. I met at Mr. Sawyer's a lady, Mrs. Freeman, visiting from Colo., who is a very talented singer.


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   397

     I suppose you may desire to know what my wishes are relative to the style of life we should live here. I regret that I have not been able to fully determine upon some definite arrangements. The subject has however been well thought. Do you prefer to go at once to housekeeping or to board for a while? I can almost hear you say "That depends upon what you wish." So perhaps I should be frank and say just what I think and explain a little more fully my situation.

     My idea of home fully realized is inseparably connected with the idea of housekeeping and my ambition will be to ultimately supply all the surroundings that will make such a state of domestic felicity not only possible but an end devoutly to be wished by all concerned. But my circumstances are of course a little peculiar just at present in two particulars: 1st, absence from home fully 2/3 of the time; 2nd, liability to change location at any time. Owing to the first (viz. my absence from home) I could not think of going into a cottage or house all by ourselves as that would leave you quite alone while I am gone. This, you will see, precludes the idea of housekeeping unless I could by chance secure a rent in the same house with a good family to keep you company. I do not yet know of such a rent and think it rather doubtful if one could be found as the rooms for rent are on the second floor, the houses being generally small. Owing to the second (viz, liability of change of location) it is questionable whether it is advisable to fit up a house for housekeeping.

     Hence, by a natural process of reasoning, I have nearly concluded (much against my real wishes) that we must for a while, at least, board. We can then make any change at any time we think advisable.

     Now with reference to boarding the first question arises where? and what quarters do we need? The hotel is no place to live in. Let me be sufficiently frank to say that there is not at the Bartell a single soul whom you would find agreeable nor with whom I would be pleased to have you associate. I need not say further of them now.

     Hence (again) I have concluded that we would find it the pleasantest way to hire a room at a private house and fit it up to suit ourselves and take our meals at the hotel or elsewhere as we may choose! And in choosing the room to select one where I know the people to be nice and where you will find it pleasant in my absence.

     In pursuance of this idea I have my mind on a room at Mrs. Kiehl's which she is now having done off and which will therefore be new and in a new house.


398   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

     Mr. & Mrs. Kiehl are old residenters and have been here since the early days. They are among the most wealthy in town but are among the common people in their ways. You would not realize that they were wealthy from their appearances or manners. They have no children.

     I have the refusal of the room. It is yet in an unfinished state but is to be done by Nov. next. It is to be heated by hot air from a furnace in the basement. I will sketch a little plat of the locality of the house and room. [The original letter contains a rough sketch showing the area and exact location of the Kiehl home across the street from the "public gardens full of trees."] The above is drawn very hurriedly so you must excuse the defects and want of artistic talent in its construction. Rooms 1, 2, & 3 in Kiehl's house are to be finished and for rent, each at the same price. Room 2 is the largest and the one I think you would prefer. It has a double window looking on to the Public Garden. No. 2 is a little smaller, the corner being cut off by the peculiar construction of the house. No. 3 is a back room. We can fit the room to our own taste. There is no closet room opening off from No. 1. There is a large one opening off from No. 2. No. 2 also has three windows. I am not sure whether you would prefer No 1 or No 2. The advantages and disadvantages are respectively: No 1. Three windows & closet versus smallness & exposure to northwest winds; No 2. Largeness & protection from winds versus no closet & less light.

     However Mrs. Kiehl thinks she can secure a wardrobe for No. 2 which with plenty of attic room for trunks may suffice. All things being considered I am inclined in favor of No 2. for I am inclined to think that hot air furnace heat might be insufficient against the blizzard in No. 1. Now under the light of the above what do you think? I have not engaged either but suppose she would like to know our wishes. I shall leave matter of furniture till I can have the aid of your judgment.

     Now perhaps you may be ambitious for two rooms. This would double the rent and double the expense of furnishing. If we board I think we will find one room quite equal to our needs, however. If you desire we can fit it with a folding bed like the one which you may remember that my sister has in Cherry Valley. It was in the parlor upstairs. You may not have noticed it. However that may be determined later. Mrs. Kiehl will furnish the room if we desire (of course at an advanced price).

     Relative to visiting my sister at Grand Rapids, Mich., which I mentioned two weeks ago, I think perhaps you would prefer to visit


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   399

her at some other time as you did not mention it in your answer. We can visit her on our first trip east. It is necessary that I determine upon that question before setting out for N. H. as I do not want to visit her on my way back to N. H. if we intend to visit her on our way to Kan. as to go by that way will nearly double my expense back to N. H. Excuse me for mentioning it again but I will presume that you prefer to come directly to Kan. unless you should signify your intentions to the contrary.

     I must stop as I have used all the paper the hotel has and have had to begin on U. Sam's stationery.

     Tell me just what you think of the above.

Very truly yours          
LESLIE.     


CAWKER CITY, KANS. Oct. 8th, 1888     
DEAR ELSIE:

     I am some one hundred miles to the N. W. of J. C. I wonder if that seems a good way to you. I have been the distance so very many times during the year that I do not mind it as any considerable undertaking.

     I expect to spend the week here and then drive about 50 miles or so north to Salem, Jewell Co., where I intend to spend the Sabbath with Cousin Lena's folks, Mr. & Mrs. Brown.

     I believe I wrote you last from Council Grove. I have some quite fast friends there. I always stop at the Cottage House run by the Marks!

     They are nice people and I (strange to say) always feel quite at home with them.

     Among my friends there are the Marks (4 of them), Mr. Root, Mr. & Mrs. Gale, Mr. & Mrs. Allen (Boston, Mass).

     Saturday evening I reached Junction City at 7.30 and at 8 was one of a party at whist at Mrs. Sawyer's. This time it was Miss Wright & Miss Swan, Mr. Marshall & self.

     You will like Miss Wright very much I know. She is quite "matter of fact." Miss Swan is more "small talk." Do you comprehend my description? . . .

     I see from your letter that I probably was a little too previous in my last; I had thought last week that it had been two weeks since I wrote you about visiting my sister. I have not fully determined but I think we will visit Sister Nellie at Grand Rapids on our way West.

     I do not know as I care to add any more names to the invitations


400   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

but I have several Uncles and Aunts all of whom would doubtless appreciate notice and regard an invitation as a compliment. They are all kind friends as well as relatives and have always manifested a lively interest in your humble servant. . .

     As to the hour for the marriage I am quite as much in the dark as you as I can not yet fix upon the route West. I do not fancy the unearthly hour of 1 o'clock A. M. as an hour of departure from Haverhill for the West. Yet perhaps it can not be conveniently avoided. I have no means to investigate the feasibility of the different routes at my command. I suggest that you choose the hour which would be most agreeable to yourself. My preference, if any I have, would be for the morning so as to go to Boston in the P. M. Then we would go west by the H. T. road. That preference is not at all strong and any hour you may fix will be most agreeable to me. We can arrange routes to suit.

     I must close.

Much love to you and very very best wishes to all your people.

LESLIE     


JUNCTION CITY, KANS., October 21st, 1888     
MY DEAR ELSIE:

     This has been a week of small accomplishments on my part. Monday I had to wait till evening to get a train west from Salem. After getting west to Athol I drove into the country to find that my man was away from home. I took night train to Clyde (100 miles). Next morning I discovered the baggage men had carried my grip of papers right on. Managed to get around for night train for Clay Co. but when I called to see "my man" discovered he was on a visit to Ohio. Came to Junction City where I had to lay over a day to make connections. Went to Salina Thursday and to Manhattan Friday. At the latter place found my witness absent campaigning. I succeeded in sending back to Washington 3 cases. In the meantime I received 10. At that rate, school-mam, when will I be out of cases? Does it remind you of the problem of the frog leaping from the well -- one foot upward and falling back two? However as long as I discharge my duty and Uncle Samuel pays the expense no fault can be found.

     This coming week I am going to investigate a case of fraud where it is suspected that a widow is remarried and still draws her pension. I am anxious to look at the man whom a woman could value as highly as a pension.

     I had the pleasure to shake hands with and listen to the demo-


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   401

cratic candidate for Governor of the State of Kan. -- Hon. John Martin.

     Of course Kan. is quite as republican as Vermont but it would seem that this is an exceptional campaign. The Labor Union movement is assuming wonderful proportions and frightening the republicans somewhat.

     Well my dear I am -- 26 years old -- can it be? I can't realize it quite. I feel quite as young as I did at 18 and I can't see that I begin to look particularly decayed yet. Perhaps we shall feel older when we have settled down to married life. I expect to leave Junction City on Oct. 31st P. M. and spend the night in Kansas City. Friend Bingham wished me to stop over one day or part of a day. I shall then come directly to Boston where I am hoping to arrive about Saturday, Nov 3d. I shall go to Snowville Sunday or Monday. So your next letter in answer to this must be directed to Snowville.

     I expect we will have quite a little warfare over my successor in the Legislature. I had both democratic and prohibition votes but I was about the only democrat for whom the Prohibits would vote -- I suppose because I had no record. Now the prospective democratic candidate is out and out anti-prohibition.

     Mr. & Mrs. Kiehl, Mr. & Miss McClung & Mr. Green all went to Abilene this week to the Y. M. C. A. Convention. I called on Mrs. Kiehl Wednesday. She seems quite anxious that we should come there and would much rather that we furnish our own room. The room is 12 x 16. Does that seem small? Rooms are much smaller here than in the East. It is just the size of Mrs. Kiehl's parlor which is directly beneath, except that her parlor has a bay-window. There is one matter however which I am not sure that I will like. She does not wish to have the room papered. She wants to have the walls white finished and leave them that way. If that state of affairs don't suit us and she is un-mutable we will -- or rather I will kick. However she proposes to get a new wardrobe for us. . . . My mother has already begun to lament over the short time I am to be at home. My brother & sister at Cherry Valley are exulting over a ten pound girl baby. My sister at Grand Rapids dictates that we must visit her. My Aunt Susan at Kirksville Ill, puts in a plea of the same nature. Cousin George Brooks of Boston asks for a "slice" of my vacation. Uncle A. L. Barrows of Hastings, Nebr., asks if we can't come via Hastings. Well my dear I must close this sheet as I have got to write a letter of congratulations to the Dr., a letter of advice to sister Nell, and an obedient one to my mother.


402   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

     Do not over-do, you must keep rested for such a long journey as you have got to take will require nerve

Very truly                     
& Sincerely               
with love to all           
LESLIE     

     P. S. Since writing the above I receive your very nice letter of the 13th which should have reached me much sooner.

     I shall appreciate your very nice present very much. The "informal" will emphasize the very sweet existence which I am anticipating in our married life -- by its very contrast. It was best that you retain it at H. for me.

     It was very kind of your cousins in Boston to remember us. I must learn their names so as to help appreciate their kindness.

     It was very nice of your Mother to bring you so many pretty things. I shall do all in my power to help you to appreciate them and that your mother shall never regret her kindness to us. . . .

     Many thanks for your kind wishes. I must close however and proceed with congratulations, advisory and obedient messages.

Very truly yours          
LESLIE     


ABILENE, KAS., Oct. 28, 1888     
MY DEAR ELSIE:

     I am enroute for Hope which I expect to reach before midnight. I (the third "I" already) have been at work on criminal work in Jewell Co. this past week and left undone some special work which requires my attention at Hope. Expect to return to J. C. tomorrow or next day. I shall start for the East Wednesday Oct. 31st if nothing new turns up to prevent.

     I have spent the evening with Mr. & Mrs. Cowles, who by the way are very much interested in our future happiness wishing us much joy, etc. They are particularly excited just now in the advent of a nephew in the family of W. G. Cowles who is also among my friends here.

     My dear I have one sad little bit of news. Mrs. Dr. Bucher died last night. It seems so too bad. I feel very very sorry for the Dr.

     Mrs. Bucher was it appears very delicate. She was taken with the malarial fever some two weeks ago. She finally died of congestive chill. Some of Junction people think her death is due to the ignorance of the physician, Dr. P__. This physician is of no


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   403

standing at all and it is very strange that Dr. Bucher employed him. I suppose that Bucher did not know his standing.

     Relative to the St. and No. of our home I had thought of the matter but neglected to mention it. The houses in that vicinity are not numbered but Mrs Kiehl's residence is designated by its location at the corner of the streets as follows "Corner of 5th and Jefferson Streets."

     I apprehend that will be sufficiently definite. I suppose "Corner" and "Streets" should be abbreviated in print. . . .

     I am receiving best wishes on all hands. Some of the young ladies of Junction City have been down to this town this past week to a literary entertainment of some kind and have evidently suggested the matter as several gentlemen have met me and with a merry twinkle of the eye wished me a pleasant trip East.

     Well my dear I expect to read my next letter from you at Snowville, where I hope to arrive by one week from today.

     I hope you will excuse the haste with which this letter is written as I am some what "rushed" just now.

     With much love to you and well-wishing to all.

Very truly yours.          
LESLIE.     


III. THE LETTERS OF SUSAN CURRIER SNOW, 1888, 1889

JUNCTION CITY, KANS. Wed. Dec. 4 1888     
DEAR MAMMA, PAPA AND LETTIE [23] AND ALL

     I wonder if you have received that hastily and badly written letter telling you of my experiences as far as I had gotten. We reached Junction City safely at three o'clock yesterday. I believe I wrote you from a hotel in Chicago. Well we got our dinner there and then took a chair car from there to Kansas City. I couldn't see much that day because it got dark soon after we started. We slept in the chairs that night. You know you can tip them back just like a bed they are very comfortable indeed. I awoke in time to see the Mississippi as I went over. It was bright starlight, about one o'clock I think. It was an impressive sight, the train crept slowly over the long trestle and the stars shone in the water, a few lights from tugs or canal boats twinkled up the river. It looked very nice. I wondered if that was the way you remembered it. Early in the morning we crossed the Missouri that looked less impressive, it was quite wide but very dark and muddy. Long be-


404   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

fore we reached Kansas City we could see the smoke that shrouded it from view. . . . We couldn't see very much of the city as we came into it on account of the numerous trains. The cable cars run up on trestle bridges like the elevated roads in New York.

     We changed cars there for Junction City. As we struck out on to the prairies you could see other tracks stretching away into the distance and occasionally another train would come into sight running parallel to us and then they would race. It was exciting to see the two engineers do their best. They would whistle to one another and then fly. I saw darkey villages just like those we read about in Harpers. They were funny enough, but such shanties! they were dirty enough. Darkies from babies up would sit out in the yards or on fences and wave their old battered hats or shout to us as we passed by. Pigs and dogs were mixed promiscuously with dirt and babies. The corn is all standing in the fields and teams were going through while the farmers shucked off the ears. I saw muddy bottoms, like those western stories in the Youth's Companion, emigrant wagons with their covered tops and a few tents. Some of the large farms had a shelter built for their cattle while blizzards are raging of corn stocks plaited in and out with western sunflower stalks. . . . stalks you can't break they are so yielding so they weave them in and out. The large fields of grain we passed look like the pictures of them you have seen.

     The western villages are horrible on a whole, just shanties or two story houses and long roads reaching as far as you see without a bend in them. They hedge their farms with osage orange trees, they grow low and are twisted together. The last of our journey was very warm and dusty. I was black with dirt. The sun shines all the time, it looked magnificent as it rose over the praries yesterday. It is warm and has been all the time they say. I only wear my peasant cape and hat. We reached Junction City about three o'clock. There were four or five busses waiting, they send them to each train. We took one and came to the Bartell House. Some of Leslie's young lady friends were down on horse back to get a peep at us. They looked with all their eyes but they didn't see much of me, I got into the bus so quick. They gave us the best room in the hotel a little beauty. It has four windows all on the front looking on to Washington St. and out into the country onto the bluffs or small hills about like Powder House but not nearly as pretty. While I have been writing here by the window I have seen all sorts of people going by. Great country girls on horse back carrying bundles out home like I did when I went after bacon over to Brad-


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   405

ford. Farmers and city ladies riding every way. Mostly on horseback. All kinds of styles, some have hats same as mine. A Miss Wright quite tony wore one like my best. We created quite a sensation when we went down to supper. All of Leslie's acquaintances were eating around at various tables. They all bowed and eyed me. I could scarcely eat my supper. After they had eaten they came around and congratulated Leslie and were introduced to me. The hotel is the largest one in J. C. The rooms are very pretty and there are long halls and parlors, etc. Their waiters are young girls and darkies. The bill of fare is long, they have 7 or 8 different kinds of meats for dinner. I had turkey & currant jell for mine, the jell didn't taste much like yours. The water is all dark and the bottoms of the pitchers are covered with sediment. I drink milk and tea. The city is lighted with electricity which makes it very nice indeed. The streets are all paved like they are in Boston. It seems so queer to me to see the stones all worn into ruts and hollows. The door steps are worn into basins where they step. It is because of the softness of the stone. After breakfast we called on Mrs. Kiehl. . . . She went down to the store with us and helped select our furniture. We got everything much cheaper. We bought an oak set very pretty -- an oak table polished with two shelves. Then two oak rockers and a wicker rocker for me, a brass framed hanging lamp and a light hand lamp for me to run about with. An ingrain carpet, brown and light vines very pretty. The best piece of all is an oak desk tall on one side with a place for books in a little cupboard with a glass door then on the other side a leaf that lets down to write upon displaying little draws and cubby holes for papers, then it has a plate glass back and three nice draws. . . . We bought a brown and white ewer set pot and all. Leslie had a woman make the carpet. They will put it down tomorrow and move in the furniture. Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Foss have just called on me. They are quite pleasant. I am meeting quite a number. How do you all do? This is all my paper will write all about my new home next time. . . . Lots of love to all. . .

Your loving daughter

SUSIE.     


JUNCTION CITY -- KANSAS, Dec. 11 -- 1888     
DEAR PAPA MAMMA AND LETTIE.

     I have just come in from breakfast and from a shopping tour with Miss Wright a young lady I have met since I came here. She is dark and about my size. She is just fine. Her father is senator this


406   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

administration. Leslie left me yesterday for Salina. He is to be gone all the week. I am getting "fixed" so I shall not miss him as much as if I had nothing to do. . . . You never experienced such fine weather as it is here. The sun has shone all the time but one day since we came. Yesterday all I wore over me was my sling sleeved cape it was very warm indeed. There is a breeze all the time. Kansas zephyrs they call them. Leslie took me over to Ft. Riley one day last week. There are over one thousand soldiers and officers stationed there. It was a fine sight to see the blue coats every where. And such horses! Magnificent ones! The soldiers are exquisite horsemen and the government furnishes magnificent horses. The barracks and officers' houses and all buildings are of stone. The buildings in which the ammunition is kept are all stone with barred windows. Guards are posted at all points where an inroad to the camp can be made, all of the time. They walk their beat with glittering armor. Horses are kept saddled at all times. If you go over in the night you are stopped and questioned as to what your business may be. It seems very funny I had no idea it was like what it is. Sunday Mr. Strickland, an acquaintance of Leslie's, hired a team and took us both out riding with Miss Wright. We went around to Wreford and home again, a road in the shape of a U with J. C. at one end. We passed farms with winter wheat fields green as I ever saw the grass at home. Herds of cattle and pigs were feeding around hay stacks. I will tell you about the farms by and by. We appeared "out" Sunday in all our finery of wedding suits and green dresses, etc. I guess we made an impression. J. C. is quite a dressy place. I have begun to receive callers. Yesterday I had five, and I have received a number before. All the tony folks are calling. I felt sorry our room was not completed, but it looks quite comfortable now. . . . I miss you all so much. Have you butchered yet Papa? Well I must take care of my lamps now. Mertie the girl does my chamber work.

     Good bye with lots of love. Leslie told me to send his always when I wrote --

SUSIE.     


JUNCTION CITY -- KANSAS     
Dec. 21-1888          
A MERRY XMAS TO MAMMA & PAPA FROM LESLIE AND ME

     I have just sat down for the first time this afternoon since three o'clock when Leslie left for Wakefield to be gone a day or so. I had just commenced clearing up when Mrs. Kiehl came up saying


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   407

she had just rec'd a telegram from her old home Sarton's Mich. which said her mother had a paralytic shock yesterday, and she (Mrs Kiehl) was going off on evening train. She was so excited she did not know what to do hardly. I went right down stairs and helped her pack. I thought of ever so many little things she never could have thought of. We got her packed up finally and she is getting composed now before train time. She is a very nice woman and a kind one. I don't expect her mother will live, she intends to bring her back if she can. Well I had my first sick spell yesterday. I have been eating too heartily at the Hotel and day before yesterday ate some tripe and fried fritters and in the afternoon Mrs Kiehl invited me down to help make some French candies. I ate one chocolate ball only but it was the last straw that broke the camels back. I felt sick to my stomach until after supper, then it kind of stopped but I was in such agony all night. . . . In the morning Leslie mixed a Sedlitz powder in our silver creamer and I took that. It didn't help me any. I got up to dress but after I got partially dressed I could not stand up any longer so went to bed. Mrs. Kiehl came up with the cutest little tea tray with a tea pot of tea, toast, crackers (bakers fancy) and a pill. I took the pill and drank the tea, ate a small piece of toast. . . . Leslie brought up packages of different herbs like yours and some oranges. He was just as good as he could be, he kissed me so much he almost wore the skin off my cheeks. After the pill operated I felt better. . . . Now I feel well, I shall be pretty careful what I eat and how much hereafter. Leslie is a good doctor he won't let you stir he keeps me sitting until I ache. His books came yesterday, today we unpacked them. Our book rack has not come but will be here soon I expect. We expect the lounge right away. It is to be crimson plush with crimson silk bands, and is of cherry made to look like mahogany. A fine piece of furniture. The book rack is oak to match the furniture. Mrs. Kiehl is going to buy a picture moulding for our pictures, she gave me the liberty of getting it while she is away. We shall be all fixed then as soon as the pictures come. . . .

     People take a great deal of interest in us Mrs. Kiehl says. The very best people have called on us. A young lawyer who is a pension examiner wrote inviting us to spend Christmas at Salina Kansas with them but we have concluded to stay at home for the present. A young Dartmouth student introduced himself to me the other day, said his name was De Witt of Dart. '82. He heard Mr. Snow was a Dart. man so he wished to make his acquaintance


408   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

and mine. He talked quite a few minutes with me. Since I wrote the above Mr. and Mrs. McClung our minister and wife have called, they are very pleasant people. He was an Ohio man. Then I went to supper, on my way home Miss Wright came over and spent the evening. We worked played cards until her brother came then we played a game of euchre. Now as it is so late (ten o'clock) I am going to sit up for Leslie, he comes about half past ten. I had a serenade to-night of young ladies, they sang "Way Down on the Swanee River" and "The Sweet By and By." It was lovely. We were going to ask them in when they left us. There were two deer hanging in the market today. We shall have some for Xmas dinner probably. Fish in a large Aquarium I saw in another window. Then . . . in a toy store they had a small tree covered with small toys and little candles burning. Everything is ready for Christmas. They are having Fairs etc. All the time I hear the band playing most every night. There is a large one here. How do [you] get along all alone? Papa do your cows give more milk yet. And how about the snow in H? Today people are out with only hats and light shawls. It is very warm indeed. This morning I heard a Phoebe bird and blue jay. They enjoy the warm weather I know. . . .

     I hope to hear from you soon. Leslie had a letter from home saying his sister Nellie thought me very nice. I felt relieved. I was afraid she wouldn't. . . . I dream about some part of home every single night, last night I was up the lane trying to catch Maggie. Well I shall get homesick if I think about it. . . .

With lots of love from

LESLIE AND ME     

     A Merry, Merry Christmas.

     My splasher is most done. Then I am going to make a plush cover for our table. Leslie wants one. He gives me $5.00 a week to spend on expenses etc. but I do not spend it all.

JUNCTION CITY -- KAS Jan 3, 1889.     
MY DEAR MAMMA AND PAPA

     This morning as I went down to the P. O. I found your fat letter and one from Lena Carleton and one from Washington to Leslie. Just as soon as I got back and finished picking up my room I sat down and had a feast all by myself. Leslie went away yesterday to Mankato for a week or until Saturday.

     I was surprised you had not received my letter. I thought I sent it long enough before but I guess I didn't. The Delineator


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   409

came all right. It seemed like an old friend and I sat right down and read it through. . . . Our weather here is just delightful, warm and sunny. We have a little mud resulting from a snow we had a few days ago, but it is so nice and warm. . . . Our silver is in a cupboard that is on one side of our secretarie, it has yellow china silk curtains, tied pale green ribbons in front of it. I am not the least afraid of burglars. Every door that leads outside or down cellar has three separate locks, all the windows are fastened down, each individual door has a lock of its own. They keep all the doors fastened always, and I always lock mine on going out. . . .

     I haven't returned half my calls yet, it is so much work, and so many calls and all the best society I am very glad. They are exclusive and nice. Do you know that class have taken a great fancy to us. We are complimented right and left. It won't turn our heads though. . . .

     New Year's day the Y. M. C. A. ladies received at their Y. M. C. A. rooms and the young ladies received at the Opera House. Several young ladies also received at their homes. It is quite the thing here. They had excellent refreshments, no wine. Leslie and Fred went together. They received unusual admiration. They brought home souvenirs, bouquets from one and little hats from another. I am credited with introducing the hats. They made 150 of them. I send one for you to keep in your tablet to wipe your pen on. Ever so many told Leslie they were delighted with his dear little girl, wasn't that nice of them? We are invited out to tea Sat. eve at a Mr Sawyer's. They are of the elite of J. C. New Years eve they rang bells, fired off cannons and beat drums and pans etc. There were also several parties to watch the Old Year out. We did not go. F. B. went, the girls are all mushed on him. He rooms and boards across the street from us at a Mrs. Clarks, and we take our meals there too. She is a little woman and reminds me of you. She has a son eighteen and her husband. . . . It is a nice family, he is a leading merchant in the place and is wealthy but here all the rich work and live like poor people. It is more home like to go there than to the Hotel. She is a nice cook. We had a turkey dinner and sponge cake made in layers an inch thick and filled and covered with whipped cream for desert, it was like yours. only the syrup was not as good as ours tho she calls it N. E. syrup.

     Today, the doctor comes to vaccinate all of us. There is small pox 30 miles from us at Manhattan. Leslie has to travel so much he thought I ought to be. It was over seven years ago wasn't it? He went to the doctor and told him he was very particular about


410   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

the virus. The doctor told him all about it, said he was exceedingly careful what he used and told him where he got it, and it was from the same place Dr. Sam got his, so I am not afraid.

     I will tell you about our room now it is all done but the pictures. Here is a square like our room facing the north. [24] One and two are the double windows looking out on to the Park. The little dot between is Mr. Tyler's mirror. Leslie shaves by it. Right underneath is May Weeks card pocket she sent us Christmas with a pack of cards. 3 and 4 are the double doors right opposite that you go into the next room. We don't use it so we have our commode (5) stand in front of half of it. 6 is our slop jar, the whole set is brown and white earthen, there are seven pieces. My splasher is done and up, that is tied with green ribbon too. 7 is Leslie's cane silver head and his Indian Clubs. Above on the wall is my cane put corner wise and my gilt plaque right under it. They are on the chimney which projects into the room four inches. 8 is the register in the wall where we get our heat. . . . (9) is our new oak book rack, it stands on the floor has five shelves. It is full of books and on the top shelf are fancy books and my Thackeray and album, then I have hung cards that have calendars on them upon the sides and laid a few large books on the floor beneath. It looks very jaunty. (10) is our waste basket. (11) our new desk, it stands across the corner. This is the way we have it filled up. 1 is the lid that lets down, when closed it shuts the desk part all in. In front of the glass is a little shelf that comes out even with the cupboard. We keep our little alarm clock in one corner of it, our silver card receiver on the other side and our tall hand lamp with Mrs Herbert's shade on it in front. You can see where our silver is. 12 is a tall straight backed oak chair with my potpourri pillow hanging on it. We use that to sit in while writing. Our No (2) window sill (these sills are a foot wide and only 1 1/2 ft. from the floor so they make excellent tables) is our silver fruit dish and my desk. Leslie bought one bushel of nice apples so we have fruit. On the next window sill is my work box and work. I sit there all the time when working in a little cane rocker with red satin ribbon run in back and tied in a big bow. 14 is our bureau all covered over with cushions and one thing and another it looks quite pretty I think. (15) is our handsome crimson lounge or couch, the back lets down and the head rest turns back making a complete bed, under neath is a drawer large enough to hold all but the pillows. It is of crushed plush.


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   411

I have my fancy pillow on it and my silk quilt over it like a throw. 16 is the door that goes out into the hall and down stairs into the vestibule. We have our independent front door so do not have to bother at all. 17 is our center table with the big album on top and all our pictures on the lower shelf and the big books on the floor beneath. Our hanging lamp is right over it. 18 is our big oak rocker to match the other chair. That has my rug Suda gave me on it. The banner Mary Louise gave me hangs on door (16) and the little lines beside that door are Leslie's dictionary and Encyclopedia. We have a picture moulding all around the room, it is in imitation of bronze bark and knots. That is all I believe except our brown and white ingrain carpet in big leaves. Now do you know how we look? My guitar stands by the bureau. Do you know when I took it from the bag one side had a split about an inch long where it must have got hit coming. Isn't it too bad? It does not hurt the sound. . . .

     Give my love to all. . . . Papa give Maggie an extra amount of salt for me. The doctor has come and vaccinated us, he is an old man and reminds me Dr. Sam, very pleasant and a good man.

     I must stop and go to dinner right off.

Lots of love from both your children.          
SUSIE.     


JUNCTION CITY -- KANSAS     
February 5th, 1889          
DEAR MAMMA

     . . . We have had warm sunny days for ever so long. Yesterday the wind blew a young hurricane, it was my first experience, our furniture rocked and shook all day. . . . The fine dirt lay in waves on my window stools and covered everything. I never saw the like of it. Where it comes from is a mystery to me, but folks here say "O that is nothing, wait till summer." You dust carefully in the morning and before noon every polished surface will be covered so you can write your name. I don't fuss over it but just let it go. I shall get pretty slack to live in the east again I am afraid. Sunday was a lovely day. The birds sang and it was very warm, after breakfast Leslie, Fred and I went for a walk about town. We walked about a mile and a half, then we came home and went to church. We have dinner about one and after dinner Leslie and I went for a drive. We had a span of greys this time, beauties, I drove some of the time, you didn't have to hurry them at all. We


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rode out of town and up on to a bluff where we got a fine view of just acres of level fields. We could see for miles. Then we drove down and followed the Smoky Hill river way out onto the government reservation for five or six miles, just as level as a board and right in the grass. It belongs to the government so no one cultivates it and you can drive anywhere. The horses just ran they felt so gay. I saw a herd of dehorned cattle feeding on a side hill that sheltered them from the winds. They run along in a sort of gulch or creek that is dry. One man put his cattle in a dry creek and put up the fence around so they could not get out. The poor creatures were almost drowned, he got them out I believe. These creeks fill up almost instantly. I saw little huts . . . where farmers were living with big families. They had big farms. . . . It was a lovely drive. . . .

     About my coming home. Leslie thinks the new administration may affect his position and he be called to Washington. If that should happen it would inconvenience him much to have me in New Hamp. I would have to return to J. C. and then go to Washington. It would be very expensive traveling so much and with a child terribly wearing. So we think it best to stay where we are. We are thinking of hiring the room next ours -- with folding doors between and keep house on a small scale. Here every one uses gasoline stoves. They are safe and have ovens. You can use them like an oil stove almost. We can buy bread and in fact almost every eatable is brought to your door. I do not care for much to eat now. The smell makes me sick at my stomach. . . .

     Goodby and with much love.

SUSIE     

February 11, 1889     

DEAR MAMMA:

     I am christening Leslies new bottle of red ink, how does it look. We use it in our book keeping arrangements. . . .

     We are very warm here. Saturday Leslie had to drive to Milford a town about twelve miles away. It was a lovely morning so after breakfast I concluded to go. I hurried around and got ready by the time the team came. We drove a span of greys, the same team we had driven before. We had to cross the government reservation which is about five miles and perfectly level. The air was sweet and fresh., birds would run right through the grass in front of us. The roads run in all directions you know, there isn't a regular route you can go where you like. I saw some fine farms, large correls


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   413

with cattle and pigs all sizes running around. [25] They keep their hogs right in the same correls. They are all black. I saw some of the funniest little black pigs rutting around cattle lying down. We passed log houses plastered together, queer looking places, and dug outs, made right in the side of a bluff with dirt walls and floors, and quantities of children, all dirt. I could see right over rolling fields ten miles long, it was lovely, and such queer weeds, one they call a tumble weed has a small root and grows round something like a ground hemlock only they are round just like an umbrella. They are as large as a table, some of them. The wind breaks them off and they go bobbing over the fields until they are caught in an osage orange hedge. The hedges are piled full of them. We saw one coming towards us in the distance and it looked like an animal caught in a trap bobbing around. I saw some bitter sweet like ours at home, but the trees I am not familiar with. The sycamore trees I can tell, they are just as white as can be and in the distance look like birch. I had the pleasure of crossing three fords. One was quite deep. It was lots of fun, I drove through. One was very shallow and on one side was a tall pole with 9 feet marked off. . . . I couldn't imagine what it was for but Leslie said when they had rains the creek would be nine feet deep and dangerous. People who are strangers would think it safe, but now they can tell the depth of the water by the pole.

     Milford is a town of only a few buildings a church, school building, and a few stores, pigs were running about the streets. It was too funny. There was a sign up over a store which read "Evans House." Leslie found the "House" was kept upstairs, so he sent me up and ordered dinner, while he went to see his men. I was ushered into a dining room, sitting room, and office all combined. One of the slouchiest fullest women of her kind was brushing up pieces of tissue paper, her hair was flying, a young dirty girl but rather pretty, was helping her. She had been making a wreath for a funeral she said. There was a brindled dog on the floor, a rag carpet, a table, a few chairs, a home manufactured lounge, an organ surmounted with paper flowers etc., a table which was evidently their shrine. Above it hung three pictures, enlarged, . . . of Mr. and Mrs. Evans and their daughter when she was young and they were in their prime, with big gold chains and puffs etc. The artist had done his best evidently to improve on nature. The books surprised me somewhat. It showed there was a literary taste some-


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where. There was Shakespeare, Byron, East Lynne, daily paper and several other first class fictitious matter, two Bibles. I just enjoyed every minute I was there, watching them get dinner, and hearing them talk. They got us bread and butter, coffee (it walked alone) "ginger bread" apple pie that looked like some I made once out of home made flour and few apples, bacon and eggs, good mashed potato, turnip, terribly salt, canned corn, and scalloped tomatoes. We ate alone and the rest stood behind and looked on and waited, after we were through I sat down and looked on and watched the rest. The fat woman put the coffee pot on the floor by her side and put her feet up on the rounds of her chair. I tell you it was a circus, if I was home I could tell you about it better. I had a lovely time for .50. . . .

Yours lovingly          
SUSIE     

     One of Leslie's class mates Dr. F. B. Brown, called on me last week. How the Dartmouth boys turn up. This is the second I have seen out here.

SUSIE     


Thursday, Feb. 14-1888[9]     
VALENTINES DAY           
DEAR MAMMA,

     I have just finished reading your lovely long letter. I was so glad to get it. . . .

     I was invited over to Miss Wright's yesterday afternoon to a five o'clock tea to meet a married school mate of hers. There were twelve young ladies, all of the most cultured in J. C. I enjoyed every moment of it. It was quite informal so I wore my green. We had lobster salad and soda crackers first, then scalloped oysters, bread, cold tongue, different kinds of jells, olives, pickles, tea, hot biscuits, strawberry jam. The dishes were removed each time. Then we had pineapple sliced in little thin wafers with something that tasted like whipped cream all over it and through it, with marble cake and chocolate cake. It was delicious. I enjoyed it very much. They were so kind to invite me a stranger. Take good care of yourself, dear Mamma, and don't get worried. . . . It is so warm here now. Give my love to Papa.

Yours lovingly          
SUSIE     


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Thursday March 13, 1889     
DEAR MAMMA.

     . . . Yesterday was lovely and warm in the morning. Mrs. Young took me out driving. I saw a man ploughing and getting ready to sow. We drove through a long stretch of timber to a ranch in the woods. There were lots of cattle, hogs and little pigs, horses etc. It was a pretty sight, and so many birds singing away in the trees. We passed a shanty under the trees, the woman was washing out of doors and had a table out there with dishes and one thing and another spread on it, two little black eyed, black haired youngsters were playing outside. There was a swing hanging from one tree that reminded me of home. It was a scene like those we often read about and see pictured in magazines. It must have looked like the one your aunt lived in where the Indians bought the tin cup with venison. I saw an old stone brewery with iron barred windows that reminded one of a jail. We stopped at the creamery on the way home and saw their cows and pigs. Here they keep cows right by the creamery and feed out the waste milk to hogs. The owners of the creamery own the cows. It is right on the bank of the Smoky Hill River. . . . In the afternoon I took my guitar and went down to Mrs. Young's and we played for a couple of hours. I am getting along quite fast. Oh I have had some sour kraut, Mrs. Kiehl bought some for me. I liked it ever so much but it smelled terribly, it didn't look as I expected it would. Did you ever eat any? I ate it with vinegar. I have made and received 83 calls now since I came here, isn't that a list worth keeping? I have got to cut off some of them. Mrs. Kiehl has a man here now trimming her trees and shrubs. She has peach, pear, mulberry and apple and apricot trees, besides grapes, currants (black and red) and blackberry. I hope they will all bear well. Since I wrote last the maple trees have blossomed and the green grass is growing beautifully. I send some. . . .

     The small pox is nearly over here, one new case only. I am sorry I can't ride. Mrs. Young has asked me to ride with her. . . . Tell [Papa] they drive mules here altogether. I haven't seen an ox since I came. No one has them. A red and white one is just going by attached to a dray. . . . Good bye with lots of love to all. . . . tell Papa to give Maggie an extra handful of salt for me. With a kiss for you.

SUSIE     


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March 14, 1889     
MY DEAR, DEAR LESLIE

     It is ten minutes to five. I have just awakened from a long nap as usual. It was interrupted in the afternoon by a call from Miss Wright so I finished it out after she left. I have not gotten home sick yet but I have missed you this time terribly. I will be glad when you don't have to go away at all. I am very selfish you see, but I had much rather feel so than the opposite way. Yesterday morning Mrs. Young came and took me driving, we went over by the electric light works then turned to the right and went into the woods on an exploring expedition. We brought up at a barn yard gate after quite a drive. It is beautiful through the woods. The birds nearly split themselves singing, we stopped at the creamery on our way back and looked at the stock there. . . .

     The dust has blown terribly today. I have not been out only to my meals and down to the office this morning. You have six cases now, one a special at Abilene. I haven't received a letter for you yet this week. I hope there won't any more cases come. I wonder how your work is coming on. I hope you won't have any of those fussy cases. I expect you will read Blackstone nearly through in your two weeks trip. . . .

ELSIE     

     3 mini. of eight o'clock -- I have just returned from a long ramble with Mrs. Wellman and May. We started to the P. O. and have been all over town to watch the prairie fires on the bluffs. They were lovely, but I was in a hurry to get home to read the fat letter I had in my hand and all you said that was nice was "no private matter should be enclosed under gov. stamp under penalty of $300.00." Well, dear, it was written on gov. paper, am sorry it incurred your displeasure but -- I didn't mean to, and won't do so any more. It has commenced to rain hard since I came in, more mud! I wish you were here this evening I am lonesome such weather. I suppose I will be all right to-morrow. G. Paul Smith was here last evening at the Opera and is again to-night. [26] . . .

     You must be getting on finely to need more cases I am glad however to send them to you, it makes two less. You must be behind two days or else your letter has been two days coming, it is dated


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   417

the 12th. I can't make out when it was mailed. My dear, dear Leslie good bye and good night, take good care of yourself and don't get sick will you. This is some of your last installment of gov. paper. They said "use this by erasing heading." Enclosed you will find a piece of slippery elm, it is good for various things. Chew well whenever you feel like chewing.

Your own true wife          
ELSIE.     


JUNCTION CITY, March 20, 1889     

DEAR MAMMA

     I have just finished getting my room regulated and chimneys, knives etc. washed. We gave a little card party last evening and it littered things up. Dr. [F. B.] Brown, a classmate of Leslie's and Fred's was in town so Fred invited a Miss Dixon over and we played cards until quite late then I had oranges, figs and dates for refreshments. We had a very pleasant evening. It was gotten up on the spur of the moment so I did not dress up. I wore my blue and brown and the lace coiffure Mrs. Howes gave me, it looked lovely over the blue. By the way I let out the under arm seams of my blue and such a time as I had. The steels were those that were put on by pressing a hot flat iron on them and when I came to take them off the rubber peeled off and stuck on the seams. I soaked and rubbed and heated but all to no account. Finally Mrs. Kiehl and I together with gasoline rubbed it off so it does not show very badly. I would never advise one to use them on a dress to be let out. I wish you could see the grass here, it is as high in the Park as it is when papa turns out the cows. I have seen some small dandy lions and the trees are nearly ready to open. Miss Wright gave me a bunch of English violets that grew in her yard. . . . We had lettuce the other day I send you some pieces of the leaves so you can see how large it was, new radishes and onions are very plenty. I send a little scrap of what is here called cedar. They plant them in their yards. They say they are like ours but I know better. You notice if it is. Crush it and notice how peculiar it smells. They are dusty brown there is so little rain, but recently it rained two days and they look a little greener. . . . I found a big cricket in the corner of my room. Out here they eat up everything they say. I spent the other evening watching a prairie fire. It looked beautiful, the flames would leap up into the air like demons, it was not a very large one but what there was of it was


418   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

grand. It bums up all the old grass and gets into hay stacks too. By the way hay (if you draw it yourself) is only .75 cents a ton. Think of that. It is not the best grade of course, but it is what they feed the cattle. Tell Papa he better ship it East and sell it there. Perhaps Eastern cows would not touch it though. . . .

     Yes if Leslie goes to Washington I shall go too. He doesn't know if it is going to affect his position or not. . . .

     When does court set there, it is in session here now. Mr. Clark is on the grand jurry. He says he can get me a divorce on the ground of desertion if I want one, because Leslie didn't come home this Sunday. it is the first Sunday he has been away. I stayed at home and read and slept and played on the guitar all day. It rained most of the time. I expect him home by Thursday or Friday. . . . I don't think I need another sack. In hot weather they just lay round with Mother Hubbards on all day and go out evenings. I am glad of that. Mrs. Snow sits up now, and is much better. Well I must close and get ready for dinner. . . . If Papa doesn't make sugar you won't have to fuss with it and wash cans will you.

With much love          
SUSIE.     

     P. S. . . . The small pox scare is over now but the doctors are having a quarrel among themselves, one phy. is not very good and let the small pox spread. . . . A magnificent riding horse just went by, one white foot like Maggie.


JUNCTION CITY -- March 25, 1889     
MY DEAR MAMMA:

     I have just come in from listening to Bishop Vincent a U. S. Chautauquan. [27] It was an exceedingly fine address, I enjoyed every moment. Leslie went too but he had to leave before it was over to take his train to Abilene. I was to have gone with him this week but we concluded it was best for me to stay here until Thursday and then go down and perhaps stay over Sunday. Mr. Mahan the lawer to whom he recites has invited us to visit them. He has other friends there besides.

     It is so warm today I am uncomfortable with my outside cape on. Parasols are all the go now, and sun bonnets. They look so ridiculous to me, yet the very nicest people wear them to run about in.


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   419

All colors and designs. . . . Leslie came home Friday last. I can tell you I was glad to see him. He hadn't been home for two weeks. We planned for a 20 mile drive Sat. if it was pleasant and sure enough it was lovely. Mrs. Clark gave us some sugar ginger bread and a cake of maple sugar right from her relatives in Vermont. O wasn't it good! Then we took crackers and apples, figs and dates. We drove a span of greys and Fred went horseback. It was a beautiful drive, we could look for miles along the prairie, some as green as could be, with wheat and the bluffs with grass. I saw German and English ranches and Irish too. I can destinguish the difference now. It is quite a study. The Germans have small neat houses with white linen lace bordered curtains, the house is only one story in height, but they have large fine barns. They are sure to keep their cattle well housed. An English mansion is fine. They have a long lane leading straight from the road to their front door. Those we saw were 1/3 of a mile long bordered with trees. You could look way down the lane direct to their front door and through out at the back door at the end of the large hall. Their mansions are big square two storied houses with few or no curtains. They have lots of out buildings. The Irish have one house, barn, shed and all in one, pigs are prevalent, everything has the aspect of dirt. We passed a Southerner's home with the broad verandas. I saw the farmers ploughing and sowing. The corn is planted now and the wheat is from two to four inches tall. Spring is advancing fast. I saw a sorghum mill. But the birds. O they were lovely. The larks are beautiful songsters, their notes are similar to those of the hermit thrush at home. We got to the side of a creek about one o'clock and we rested and ate our lunch there. . . . The man Leslie went to see has a big farm. He married a woman who came over from England. She has lived in royal families but got disgusted with their mode of living, came to America two years ago, met this farmer and married him. She was just leading up a drove of horses from the creek as we drove in. She says she is perfectly happy out there. . . .

     Don't worry about the quilt. I don't know what we shall do, probably we shan't have a crib just yet if we have to move. . . .

     I must close with lots of love to you all. . . .

Good bye          
SUSIE     


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JUNCTION CITY, April 2nd, 1889     
DEAR MAMMA AND ALL

     This is a most beautiful morning I am writing with both windows open and the register turned off and our room is on the north side of the house too, what do you think of that for spring! I am wearing my straw hat that I wore for best last summer, it shades my face so nicely from the blazing sun. It answers every purpose. I am going to get me a bonnet to wear with my blue and brown silk. They have one kind that is very becoming. I don't want to have to buy but one now. Nearly every one has their spring hats now. Next Saturday is "Flower day" and the babies in the Presbyterian church are to be baptized, they make a special service on Saturdays for them. I expect it will be a pretty sight. Yesterday was Arbor day and April Fools day too. I saw a number of trees that had been set out. We wouldn't look at them at home, they were not more than two feet tall and not a branch on them from top to toe. Fred doesn't eat onions so Mrs. Clark made an onion pie and fooled him. He looked taken in. It did not taste quite as good as yours, there was not apple enough in it.

     I received a card from a Mrs. Carver across the street yesterday announcing she would be "at Home" from 5 till 7 P. M. Thursday and R. S. V. P. in one corner. I am in a quandry to know how to answer. Of course I know the form but I do not know exactly how to word it. There was one in the Delineator but it was an old one at home, it was just what I want. I guess I can find out some way to accept. I shall wear my blue silk with the white lace Mrs. Howes gave me I think. She was a congressman's daughter and is considered the elite of Junction City. I feel quite flattered as the rest in the house have all been slighted. She has taken quite a fancy to me. Last week Thursday I took the train to Abilene all by myself, registered "Mrs. L. P. Snow" all by myself and then called for a porter to show me to a waiting room until Leslie should come. He came in from another town about six (I got there at four). At tea we met a Mrs. Haynes who was married in January. She was from St. Thomas Canada where Jumbo was killed. [28] She is not much older than I. We played whist in her room until after eleven she with Leslie and I with a Mr. Cowles a friend of Leslie's from Conn. He is a real estate man making money to live East on, he says. His wife is in Topeka writing short hand, she gets $90. a


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   421

month. . . . The next morning we started out into the country for a ten miles drive. It was a magnificent morning but the wind blew so I could not get my breath at first. You have no idea how hard a straight wind will blow. Finally I had to get out at a farm house and wait until Leslie came back. It was a real cozy place. The family came from Ohio just eleven years ago that day. They lived in a dug out they told me first, then built their home. They had a nice farm. . . . When we got home I found a card from Mrs. Mahan who had called, she had not left so I met her. She invited us to stay over Sunday with them, but Leslie had special work so he could not. We took tea with them that night however. They live about half a mile out in a beautiful place, all trees, green grass and flowers. Their house inside is . . . lovely. Mr. Mahan is the lawyer to whom Leslie recites. They commenced out with nothing, she took in washing to support the family while he studied law. Now they are very wealthy and she is exceedingly well read, she keeps posted on all the current subjects. You would never dream she had been a washwoman. We are invited to spend another week with them in April. They have a fancy ranch out of town I want to see very much, with lovely horses. We came to Junction City Saturday aft. I hated to leave Abilene it is so pretty and we met such pleasant people. Abilene is where "Wild Bill" was mayor [marshal] in the old times, if a man accosted him in a way he thought was unbecoming he would shoot him right down. . . .

     We had a terrible thunder shower a few nights ago and there were hundreds of wild geese going over. They got blinded by the lightening and attracted by the electric lights so they flew right around us for a long time in clouds. Of all the squawkings I ever heard. They beat the Dutch. . . . They have two horses over at the fort, one was in Custer's massacre and the other in the Battle of Gettysburg. They are quite old. [29]

Lovingly          
SUSIE     


Junction City, April 8, 1889.     
DEAR MAMMA AND ALL:

     Leslie is sitting at our desk working up a case so I will sit by the window and write to you. It is as much like April weather this morning as one could imagine. There is a gentle rain falling and


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has been for several hours. I can almost see things grow. Mr. Kiehl had his blue grass sowed this morning in the yard and one can almost imagine it sprouting already. Leslie came home Sat. night he is not going away until to-morrow so I shall have him to myself today. We went to church yesterday morning. Three were taken into the church, it was Communion Sunday too. I went over Sat. to see the babies baptized. It was so windy and disagreable mothers did not dare to take them out so there was but one baptized. I did not stop to see that one. I managed to get through the "At Home" all right. I learned that when cards read "At Home" it was meant to be informal. No bonnets, some kept on their gloves. I think all should have. I did not know what to do. I saw hats, gloves, and bonnets lying on the dressing table, so I thought they must all have taken them off. I off with my bonnet and gloves, now I had worked a long time getting said gloves on (they were new ones, tan, and five buttoned, cost me 69 cents, they were a bargain for the occasion). I had to sacrifice them I tell you, and my hands looked so badly all broken out. I wished I had kept them on after I had gotten among the company. The people amongst them had on gloves but no bonnets, but there were enough without them to make me feel at home. We sat at little tables four or six at a table, we were served with plates first then bread spread sandwich style, then salad was passed in a large oval dish with slices of lemon on top, each one helped herself. Next came "cold fowl,". . . cold ham, olives & pickles, coffee, almond cake and layer cake, lastly a plate with an orange cut in half and a spoon to eat it with. I did not eat but a little for fear it would fly over my blue silk. Last of all was a finger bowl and towel passed around. There were but three gentlemen present. Cap't. McClure, the new rector, and Fred B. Fred read a selection and another young lady recited a piece, then we took our adieus. I was completely tuckered out. More from being afraid I should commit myself than anything else but I didn't only in taking off my gloves. I forgot to mention that my bonnet was a new one for the occasion. I got a shape half turban and half bonnet it is something like Fig. 4 in April Delineator. It has a fan shaped trimming round the edge of ribbon, each fan caught with two little pins then ribbon is bowed and looped, right up the front and also caught with pins. It is of a tan shade the ribbon is about four inches wide and of a light shade of tan down to a dark one in stripes. It cost me 90 cents a yard and she used four yards. The bonnet was 1.00, the whole


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   423

affair was 5.36. I think it was cheap for they ask so much for everything here. . . .

     Everyone here talks Oklahoma. There are from 5 to 8 families leaving Abilene each week for that place. They say there are from 4 to 6,000 families encamped around waiting for the opening ready to rush in, cars loaded with provisions stand on the track ready [to] be run in the moment the day arrives. Soldiers are kept on guard every moment to keep settlers off. One man got in and made himself a dugout so carefully that no one espied him. He thought he was fixed on his claim but a soldier happened to see him crawl in, he went to arrest him, the man was so desperate he threw a rock and nearly killed the soldier but they got him and now he is in the penitentiary. I saw a canvas covered emigrant wagon yesterday going down. Leslie says it is the place to make money there now but he can't go because he is married. . . .

     Leslie says he don't see how you can write such nice long letters. I told him our Mother was smart & he said he knew it, he hoped I would take after her.

     Well Good bye Love to all

SUSIE.     


JUNCTION, April 16, 1889.     
DEAR MAMMA

     . . . I have a pitcher full of peach branches all blossomed out on my table. They are just lovely. I never saw any growing before. They say there is to be a large crop this year and cherries too. I do hope there will be. Last night Mrs. Kiehl and I walked down to the greenhouse, and I saw two oranges growing on a little tree. They had beautiful flowers too. Saturday aft. Leslie took me for a little drive into the country and such fields of blossoms. The prairies they say are covered. I would like to drive over them. Perhaps we shall next Saturday. Yesterday two ladies came to take me out driving. I went with one and we had a beautiful drive. Last week a large number of prairie schooners went through bound for Oklahoma. One had painted on the side in big letters, "In Providence we trusted, In Kansas we busted," and I added -- "To Oklahoma we dusted.". . .

     I saw a steam threshing machine going through the streets yesterday, it goes on wheels like a steam engine, only it can go any [where]. They travel from one man's ranch to another. It looked quite funny. Strawberries! Only .45 a box here, but they are in


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market. I haven't had any yet but am expecting some soon. Next Sunday is Easter, there will be special services in our church. Everyone will have on a new bonnet or a new dress. I shall wear my silk. . . .

     I have just come from a drive with Miss Wright, her mother and Mrs. Carver. We drove over to their farm. The country is just a mass of blossoms. I got some wild plum branches, they are very sweet. I send you some. We had a warm drive. I must get out my batiste now. People are wearing their light dresses quite a little. . . .

     Give my love to all, and keep lots for yourself. Leslie thinks he has gotten quite a smart mother. He hopes I take after her. His mother is getting well now very slowly. She wrote us this week for the first time.

     Well good bye.

SUSIE     


JUNCTION CITY KAS. April 24, 1889.     
MY DEAR MAMMA

     . . . Mrs. White, a lady who lived in Boston some twenty years ago, sent her darky over to ask me to go out driving at ten, so I went. We drove way out into the country. I saw a gopher, a little animal that looks like a squirrel somewhat. You can see one in the animal book. They were running on the ground. . . .

     The pigeons I saw when driving with Mrs. White were turtle doves, the kind that sing such mournful songs. I think I have heard you say you used to listen to them. I have not heard one yet. We got back from our drive just now, and in the afternoon Mrs. White took me out on the government reservation to see the wild cactus, but it wasn't in blossom. We saw the plant. She drove me across the reservation and I saw the town herd of cattle and the herder, he drives out the cows in the morning and watches them all day, keeps them together, then drives them into town at night. The reservation contains 22,000 acres so you see they have a large territory to roam over, although they don't go over quite all, some is reserved for hay. I just enjoy driving around. The ladies are all very kind, they have taken me out several times. . . .

[SUSIE]     


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May 1st, 1889     

MY DEAR LETTIE

     You don't know how delighted I was to hear from you, it seemed such a long time since I last heard from you. Well, to come right down to news the first thing. I expect Leslie and I will go home in four weeks. Just think of it! The reason we do so is on account of Leslie's mother being very sick. We thought at one time we should have to go right off, his Father wrote she was so low they thought she wouldn't live long. Leslie was very much worried and we commenced packing right off. We had a telegram she was better so we are waiting until it is a little later. Leslie will take his vacation through the month of June at Snowville. I shall probably go right to Haverhill and shall stay there until the little wanderer comes that makes an Aunt Lettie of you. Leslie will come back to Junction and when I am strong enough I am going to come back, he will meet me on the road somewhere. We think that is the best thing to do as he may be called into Washington and if he should, be it would be quite awkward for me to go there. I kind of dislike going home now, it seems so soon to have a youngster, but we feel pretty tickled about it. I am sorry Leslie has to come back I shall miss him so much. I want to get home tho terribly so I can help Mamma some. . . . If nothing happens & his Mother improves we shall start from here the first day of June and get into Boston the third or fourth of June. . . . It seems as though Summer was already here. Everything is so green and nice. . . .

     I dreamed last night Maggie was dead & I cried hard. Night before last Leslie found a bedbug on the quilt. It bit him. I feel as tho they were all over me. We don't know where on earth it came from. It was a big one. . . .

     With much love till I see you.

SUSIE     


JUNCTION CITY -- May 21st, 1889.     
DEAR MAMMA

     I have just come in from a beautiful walk. Everything is fresh and lovely, we have had so many showers. The birds are fairly splitting and the morning doves just wail all the time. It is going to be very warm by this afternoon tho! I walked up to see an old English woman who is doing some embroidery on the little shirt for me. She and her daughters came over from England in March. Her husband has been here three years. He sold all to come to


426   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

Kansas to make money and the first two years all his crops failed on account of the drouth. The third year he was taken ill and sent for the family. Now they are all here in destitute circumstances. The mother does very fine embroidery. I got her to do the shirt for me to teach me how. I didn't know how to do it. She has it nearly done, it looks lovely, only she musses the flannel and I don't like that one bit. It doesn't look as sweet and clean as it did when it first came. . . . Thursday night a young man of twenty-one years was murdered down by the track, he was a gambler and a desperate fellow. He harassed two Swedes, who were waiting for the train and they to escape being killed stabbed him with a pocket knife. The authorities arrested them, heard their story made them up a purse of 6.00 and let them go. [30] How is that for Kansas? Every one felt relieved to get rid of the fellow murdered.

     Friday we had a terrific shower. Just as it commenced at 8. P. M. Leslie came home. I was relieved for they frighten me some, At Abilene hail fell an inch and a quarter in length. Leslie said the ground was covered. West of Abilene it turned into a cyclone. Here the sky was one sheet of flame all night and such cracks of thunder I never heard the like of before. I scarcely slept a wink. There is something in the atmosphere when we have an electric storm that keeps me on the move. I can tell just as well when one is coming by my feelings. The air is greatly electrified. Cellars were filled with water and at Abilene the[y] had to go in boats for a part of a day. Here by the cheese factory they have their water closet tied to a large tree and they go to it in a boat. Isn't that a ludicrous state of affairs. Sat. Leslie took me over to the Fort. . . .

     We went over the Reservation feeding grounds and such herds of magnificent horses as we saw feeding in droves of a color, with mounted horsemen to keep them together. It was a grand sight. The soldiers were encamped as they are in battle fields. We saw the target shooting. It made us think of war. . . . We are getting ready to start gradually so as not to have to work too hard at the last. We start from here if nothing happens to prevent June 1st at noon. I can scarcely wait to get home and see you all. . . .

     Lots of love from

SUSIE     


NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS IN 1887-1889   427

JUNCTION CITY KANSAS May 27, 1889     
DEAR MAMMA

     Today is our last Monday here, that is if nothing happens to prevent our starting. Leslie went north to Clay Center at four this morning, he is trying to get all his old and special cases off his hands before starting. We have not decided which route to go by yet. I would rather go by the way of Montreal; because then Leslie can go right home with me for one day, if we go by the way of Boston, I shall have to go right to his own home as it takes eight days to go and come from Junction City and he does not want to take the whole of his thirty days leave at present, and he will come to Haverhill any way before he goes West again. I expect I shall be pretty lonesome without him this Summer, but then I shall have the Fall to look forward to. . . .

     I never saw fruit grow as fast as it does here. I picked a ripe cherry yesterday. The trees are just bowed down with them, I never saw so many before. Grapes are in great abundance, and I have seen the green peaches if not the ripe ones, today I saw gooseberries in market. They looked like our wild ones, not nearly as big and nice as those we have. I don't just like to see things get along quite as fast, for they have a spell in the summer that there is a rest and everything seems dried up. . . .

     Mrs. Clark invited me to go over to her cousins to a rehearsal for a musical. The orchestra is led by Miss Abbie Clark a girl only fourteen years old. She plays the violin very finely indeed. [31] All the others are nearly twice as old. Her Mother took her to Berlin and she studied two years there. . . . I met an Indian girl there. She plays the violin too. She has a fine figure but her face is so square I didn't just like it. She has coal black eyes and hair. After I came home I found Leslie had returned. He finished his work and so is home for to-day. He goes away this afternoon but comes home to night. I have been getting ready to pack to day. Last night I heard a calliope for the first time. It was at the station and played to attract a crowd, after the crowd were there they were asked a quarter to see a whale that weighed 28 ton. They had it in a huge car. They had another car with a "mermaid" in it so they said. I think it was a hoax. . . . Leslie hasn't received his dismissal for vacation yet, but we expect it every day. I


428   KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

have a cactus in bloom. Mrs. Kiehl picked it out on the prairie. I would like to take it home but don't know as I can, it is very small, scarcely large as a hen's egg. I must not write more now. Will soon see you all. I expect we shall get there a week from today (Tuesday) I have not taken sulphur for a long while, but commenced a week ago so as to keep my blood pure for the change again. Give my love to Papa, and keep a large stock for yourself from both

LESLIE AND ME.     

Notes

MRS. LELA BARNES, member of the staff of the Kansas State Historical Society from 1931 to 1962, and the Society's treasurer, 1940-1962, is now in semiretirement, enjoying the opportunity to finish some projects she was unable to complete during her busy office tenure.

19. The Weirs is a summer resort on Lake Winnipesaukee, N. H.

20. Fred B. Batchelder of Haverhill was Leslie's chum at Dartmouth and started out with him in the study of law.

21. Leslie's cousin in Snowville, Will Snow, had married a Susie.

22. "Fred B. Batchelder of Haverhill, N. H., accompanied by a gentlemen friend, Mr. Andrews, arrived in the city last week. F. B. Batchelder will assume the duties of assistant in the city schools. He graduated last year with honors, and comes with high recommendations as a scholar." -- Junction City Union, January 5, 1889.

23. Lettie and Norma Currier were Susan's sisters.

24. Susie drew a diagram of her room with each piece of furniture numbered. The numbers here refer to those in the diagram.

25. In an earlier letter Susie had written: "They never yard their cattle, they always correl (accent on the last syllable) them. Ever so many phrases are different."

26. "G. Paul Smith is a remarkable genius, and his entertainment was marvelous. As an elocutionist he excels, his voice being wonderfully flexible, and equal to the expression of every shade of feeling. His recitations are exquisite -- facial expression, manner and dialect are perfect. His various personations and his rapid transition from one voice to another are truly wonderful. He is the most finished elocutionist that ever appeared before an Atlantic City audience." -- Junction City Union, March 9, 1889 (from the Atlantic City Review).

27. John Heyl Vincent, Methodist bishop, established in 1874 in conjunction with Louis Miller, the Chautauqua Assembly of which he was chancellor, 1878-1900.

28. Jumbo was the giant African elephant imported by the American showman, P. T. Barnum, in 1881 and shown as a major attraction in the Barnum and Baily circus until September, 1885, when the animal was killed by a locomotive in the freight yards at St. Thomas.

29. Capt. Miles W. Keogh's mount, Comanche, was the sole survivor of Custer's forces at the battle on the Little Big Horn, June 25, 1876. He spent the remaining years of his life in ease at Fort Riley. On his death, his skin was mounted and is now in the museum of natural history at the University of Kansas.

30. Susie's account of this melee follows in general that given in the Junction City Union for May 17, 1889. The two men who did the stabbing were arrested at Ogden and brought back for trial. A coroner's jury brought in a verdict of justifiable homicide and the prisoners were released. A collection was taken up to defray their expenses as far as Denver.

31. J. Abbie Clarke Hogan enjoyed a long and successful career as a concert violinist and contributed in many ways to musical activity within the state.




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