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Sisk Family Letters

Thomas Alexander Sisk was born in 1861, a year after Rosa Jane Melton. They married in 1882 and raised a large family. In the early years Thomas labored on the family farm, and then worked in a cotton mill and as a merchant selling groceries. But he was a man of God, and in his later years he purchased a tent and traveled throughout North and South Carolina preaching the gospel and passing the hat. This was a meager existence, and there was never enough money for his family to travel with him or even enough for him to go home frequently. So they wrote letters, sometimes daily. Here are two examples. The first is a letter Thomas wrote to Rosa in April of 1925. He mourns his dead granddaughter, Estellene Workman, who died four days earlier; he would like to come home, but doesn't have enough money; in despair, he thinks about selling his tent; and finally, he signs his letter with kisses. The second is a letter written by Rosa Jane in November, probably in 1925. She is concerned that her husband is staying by himself too much and he might get sick; she tells him he needs his rest so he can preach next summer; then says if he don't come home she will go to him; and she signs "yore wife un tell death to t a sisk". These letters, from a man and woman in their mid-sixties, plainly speak of a life-long devotion and commitment to each other seldom seen today. A dozen years later Thomas was struck by a school bus and died of his injuries. Rosa Jane lived another six years, and they are buried together in Rutherfordton, NC.

Rev. T. A. Sisk's Letter
Rosa Jane's Letter