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The letters are from Eva Welton to
her friend, Nora Welch
., Cresbard, Faulk, SD  1908
            submitted by Lenore Sroka

Cresbard, SD
Dec. 17, (19)07

Dearie Norie:
I am waiting for Mr. Mann. Earnest isn’t here either. Mr. Mann is the express man – freight agent, - telegraph operator – dispatcher – mail carrier – ticket agent and tenor singer combined. He, Dade and Earnest are going to sing tenor in the anthems for our Dedication or “Benediction” as I usually say. They – these three – are going to have your humble friend accompany them on the organ while they sing this eve. Tomorrow eve all of them practice here. They were here too last Fri.  eve, and I had it so warm that they nearly ran away in perspiration. We are planning on two pretty anthems, male quartette and solo for the service. Xmas practice is in progress too for the Cong. Church. They wanted me to play but dearie I was afraid it would be too much so I said “nix,,” very politely tho’. I can’t possibly squeeze out time to go to practice. Tomorrow afternoon the ladies of the M. E. meet to organize a “Society for Work”. We don’t know yet whether it will be an “aid” or “Missionary” but I guess probably the last.

Well this is Wed. eve. And they are practicing their     (smear of ink) this is slip    anthem and I wish you could imagine the discords! Actually I don’t believe it could be any worse if I were singing too.  I am not able to play for them – right now I have a tremendous head ache.

Last night Mr. Mann didn’t come so Earnest had a splendid eve.  All aloneeee by our lonesomes. We practiced his tenor part and you know that only took one hand to play it and Earnest wasn’t using either so we made good use of them.  O! Nora I know were (sic) bad!

We had everything ready to make bread but forgot everything about it until this morning so I have to bake tomorrow.  All I do tho’ is to bake it so I don’t mind it much.

Mr. Mann has to leave town and can’t sing with us so that is why he didn’t come last night.

This afternoon we met and organized.  Our society is a missionary & aid combined called “The Ladies Auxiliary.”

Sunday eve
Dec. 22

Well dearest I haven’t had a blessed chance to finish that letter so I guess I’ll wish you a “Merry Xmas” and begin over.

I sent you – or rather had a little gift sent you from Chicago.  You see we have such a poor collection of gifts here I couldn’t get anything I tho’t you’d like. I don’t know whether they put my name in it or not – anyway its small but it is with all kinds of love and good wishes.

We had one eve. To do all our shopping in so we were completely all in Friday eve. When we got thru.

That thimble is a hint to you to learn to darn – with thread – not words – it may come handy some day.
We came home from church tonight to write letters, aren’t we bad?

Gertie and Dade will eat Christmas dinner here. I asked Cousin Roy to come too but don’t suppose he will. I am going to have chicken pie, scalloped cheese, celery, pickles, jell, strawberries, cream-cow butter, baker’s bread, apples, candy, cranberries, mashed potatoes. I did intend to have scalloped oysters too but knew we wouldn’t eat so much all winter.

Last Xmas I spent with – well with someone who made me awfully happy.  This year I am much happier and contented in our home, I have not had the least desire to go visiting yet, but when I do want to I’ll go.  I hope you have a good time Xmas and don’t forget to think of us once – please!

Tomorrow night is the Lecture – 3rd No. on our Lecture course. Tues. eve the tree and Thurs. eve. Prayer Meeting and practice here, Friday & Sat. eve practice, Sun. eve church, so you see our days are slightly full – really quite tipsy.

I am sending your mother a silver turtle tape measure which says “Pull my head but not my leg.”

Again wishing you a very Merry Xmas
Your old pal E. M. W.

Dear friend Nora

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, I’ll tell you of some of our trials and tribulations as well as our joys. You know we named those salt and pepper shakers and Eva insists on using them and making me use the silver ones, (“Gelusy,” Eva). We can’t possibly get up early in the mornings. We have got married, but we haven’t go over It so you had better come to see us very early in the spring for you know you said you couldn’t stand it to be near us shortly after we were married but we are worse now.

Good night
Chums Hubby

************

Cresbard, S.D.
Feb. 1 (19)08.

Dear Darling Nora.
I’m like you I’m almost ashamed for not writing sooner but not quite.

Got a nice long letter from the girls Thurs. Mary said she had rec’d a nice letter from you. She said she was getting F  A  T! Can you imagine her being fat?

Earnest’s father left for Vail some time before Xmas. He is visiting with Bell Verming (?) now.

We have both been about all in for a few weeks.  The weather is so nice and there are dozens of serious cases of pneumonia around here to pay for it.

Let me tell you just a little of our experiences the last two weeks.  A week ago Mon. eve. we washed.  To begin with Earnest was tired but we were both feeling dandy. About seven thirty I began having a most violent head ache, back ache, stomachache. Well by 9 o’clock I was all in and Earnest had to leave the wash and undress me to put me to bed & apply hot irons and all sorts of things. At eleven I began to feel better and we went to sleep. That much for myself. Earnest had begun feeling badly about the same time I did but it was a little slower in coming to a climax.  Just at two o’clock I waked up and found Earnest too sick to move or speak. Maybe, you think I didn’t go some! My head was still throbbing and aching like everything. I did everything I could but Earnest kept feeling worse.  I went after Dade & Gertie & we three went some until five o’clock.  His head throbbed so we could see it move at the temples. Well he was a little better so we tried to sleep. Next day we waited on each other & played Trix and we’ve neither one felt well since. I don’t know whether we ate something canned that poisoned us or not. All that time our clothes were soaking. When I did get a chance to hang them up it was blowing a gale of 150 miles an hr. My “loud” night dress faded & pinked all my towels, dish towels & underwear.

Wed. afternoon I went to “Auxiliary” meeting about four miles in the country. I felt fine until on the way home. I came in and laid down on the davenport expecting to get up and get supper. I didn’t get up how ever. My eyes & head and stomach nearly killed me. Earnest was kept very busy until after ten before he had a chance to get himself any thing to eat.

Next day I was supposed to see to the general management of an oyster supper for the Cong. People. I got out and found waiters & silver. Then came home & went to bed. Gertie had us come there for dinner because I felt too bum to get any. I got ready in the eve. & went & ate supper at the church. Earnest washed dishes in my place for nearly an hour then we came home and Dade’s came over & we played “Trix.” Every day one of us is sick. Not bad but just ornery sick. That’s the reason I’ve not written. I wrote to Ma yesterday and am doing this early so I’ll know its done.

It snowed some & was cold for two or three day this week & we all feel better.

Yesterday we had “Thimble Bee” at the Drs. And she served olives, coffee and oyster patties. My! They were good! I hemstitched an India linen apron. Will put the lace around it next time.

Our Auxiliary are making work aprons for an apron sale and New Eng. Supper the last week of Feb. I don’t believe I’ll buy any. Next meeting is with me.

Next Fri. our “Bee” gives a supper for our men. It is going to be sort of a “winter picnic” Every one takes their own dishes and napkins & food. Of course we have planned what we’ll take. I am to boil a ham, bake a cake & donate a lb. of coffee.  I’m quite anxious to do the last as I have a lb. we bo’t when we first came here. I donated it to the Cong. “Aid” but it wasn’t needed & they bro’t it back. I’m going to give that to them. I don’t know what kind of a cake I’ll bake. We have choir practice here every Sat. eve. so I’ll have to get a move on me. I’m generally so tired Sat. eve. that I can’t play for sour apples.  I lead “Y.P.S.C.E.” last Sun. eve. We have half hour services.

I have been sewing lately some what. Am making two new light blue calico dresses and am just finishing a black mohair skirt. Earnest does all the machine work after supper.

I have just seven more minutes to write just now. The skirt is a plain seven gored one. You ought to see it.

This morning Earnest mixed the pancakes and they smelled queer & were tough, looked queer, baked queerly and tasted worse that (sic) all the rest. I just happened to think to look & he had make (sic) them from buckwheat instead of pancake flour. I made so genuine ones and he ate them. I ate after he was gone.

I guess the boys will finish their work today – except shop work. Then they can finish our houses – Glory be!

Our trains have changed. Our passenger, express & freight are all hitched together and come once a day from both ways.

Yesterday we had to quit getting milk because there isn’t any to get. I don’t know what we’ll do. I just simply can’t cook without milk.

We are baking bread today or expect to. Earnest makes it and he got it a little too hot I guess so it raising quality is minus.

I teach the Primary Class at S.S.  We are making a scrapbook of each lesson. I have 5 scholars & they like it fine.

I’ve read every book I can lay my hand on and am now re-reading Donovan.

I owe steen hundred letters besides this.  I’m going to write one a day until I get caught up. Maybe.

A week ago Sun. we walked out to Swifts a 1 1/2 and as they have a new piano I thoroly (sic) enjoyed myself & they did too.

There the clock struck so I must leave this till later. Guess I won’t either! You spoke of our long chum ship & being separated now. ‘Tis true we were good chums and it is also true we are separated now but for that reason we need not thing of never visiting each other.  You are going to Colo. My folks are there too. I undoubtedly expect to visit them some day and you too if you’re there and will let me. Of course that’s a long ways off but kiddie I would be tickled to death so would Earnest if you would come and stay with us for a good visit before you to go Colo. You know you could get a home seekers excursion round trip ticket and it wouldn’t cost so very much. I have been awfully lonesome for you. Now Dearie do decide to come.

Now Nora I have something else to tell you. I used to tell you everything and you always helped me plan everything. How would you like to keep on helping me? If you won’t tell a breathing soul I’ll tell you something that may not surprise you, again it may. We expect to have a dear little Babe all our very own some time in the future – (not right now.) Do you remember what we used to say?  Well I do! But Nora I am so happy and feel like it is such a blessing. We are happy as can be – but expect to be still more so when we have our little baby. Earnest is so pleased and so good to me. I am getting along nicely and as far as that is concerned I feel fine.

I was sick once & we got the best ladies specialist in this part of the country to come from Mellette.  And Nora what he said would make anyone happy. He said that beyond a doubt after our little one was born I would be perfectly healthy, and even stronger than the average. You know how a promise of perfect health would sound to you. Well I feel much the same & consider our prospect as one of the greatest blessing I’ve ever had.
Earnest wants you & we all want you.

Your loving chum
Eva M. W.

*****************

Cresbard, S. D.
Mar. 16 (19)08

Dearie Nora –
There I came nearly putting an “h” on that. What shall I do with Earnest, he persists in calling you “Nonie” or “Norie.”

Well I got your letter today. Was I glad? Well I guess! I didn’t know but what you had deserted our old pal.  I was getting dinner when Earnest bro’t it up and I sat right down and let the dinner go it Bill (?) until I had read what you had to say.

Just now I’m waiting for Earnest to come to supper. He has been working in the shop this afternoon and its only 6:45. Supper time is 6:00 sharp you know.

I have written to Ma, Mary, Emma, Father W., Belle & John V. – yesterday and today. Belle & John & Father sent us a box of hardware last week.  In it was a “caliper” for Earnest & a hand made butcher knife for me. I feel quite proud of my knife for its a dandy.  Belle & John have taken a baby boy from the children’s home on 3 mo. trial.  Wouldn’t I smile broadly if within a year they had one of their own! Well we expect to get one from a Dakota Home. Private not state however.  You needn’t be so smart about our wanting a pretty name for her for hadn’t she ought to have something pretty? And she can’t inherit any beauty from her papa & mamma.  I call Earnest “DaDa” sometimes when he’s bad. We have from the first been thinking of names. The first thing Earnest said was “find one to go with Atlanta” for that’s sure got to be one. We don’t want to name her or him after either of us so its been our aim to find a nice name that sounds well with Atlanta and a nice name for a boy.

This is now Friday. I haven’t had a minute to finish this so now while I am again waiting I’ll add a little but I know I can’t probably finish it until Sun.  I am now waiting for the country ladies to arrive with a team to take us town folks out in the country to Gabler’s when the Cong. Ladies Aid entertain their husbands at dinner. I was to furnish cream potatoes and 2 doz. Biscuit. I just hied me over to the Baker woman and ordered the biscuits. I wish they’d come pretty soon for I’m hungry. I had a lot of work to do this morning but I got thru alright. Wed. I planned to cut out my other blue dress but Mrs. Jewell came and stayed all afternoon and then the boys began varnishing and it smelled so bad I had to go over to Gertie’s & stay.  Yesterday I intended to sew but a Mrs. Jordan came nine miles and stayed quite late. I cut out my dress tho’. All but the sailor collar and sleeves. I finished that other one and worked the button holes. Ain’t I smart? I made a cute little blue quilt too and am now making pinning blankets feather stitched in light blue.

Well dearie it has been some time since this epistle began to grow. I’ve wanted every day to finish it but somehow couldn’t get the time in. Then I dropped my glasses and broke them so had to send them away for repairs and I have to be careful not to strain my eyes too much.

I believe Item No. I is that I’ve chewed every last finger nail until they hurt and can still get a few comfortable lunches out of them.

I have my blue dress ready to fit. The sleeves are all made & so is the collar. Earnest does all the machine work for me. Earnest is making himself a carpenter’s apron too. He fancies he can make an apron to suit himself a little better than anyone else and I’m perfectly willing he should.

This is Wed. evening. The “Auxiliary” met today but I didn’t go as Earnest was up several times in the night heating hot water for the water bottle to ease the pain in my kidneys. They always bothered some but now they are a fright. We didn’t get up until after nine then just before we had dinner I laid down and let Earnest rub me with liniment – in fact he almost gave me a bath in it.

He just came home from town where he went to telephone a lumber bill to a man in the country. He got a job today of building a barn in the country from June 5 to 15. I think he’ll go then –Nix!
Gertie expects to entertain the “Thimble Bee” Fri. and her sister Frankie said she was coming.  She wrote several times that she can.

Earnest’s head aches -------

I intended to finish this that night but Earnest had been sick all day and he came in all worn out & laid his head down in my lap and I proceeded to doctor him up. I know you’ll excuse me for it tho:

This is Sun. afternoon & I am going to finish this for sure.  It’s a lovely sunny day but the wind is blowing a gale of couple hundred miles an hour.

I’m eating an apple don’t you want one too?

Well I quit playing for church today. I feel less conspicuous down in the congregation. Altho’ with my coat on, for I wear a corset, my size is hardly noticeable.

Got me a new summer hat yesterday. A milliner came he (sic) this week to stay.  Her hat’s are not expensive in themselves but you pay dearly for the privilege of wearing one. It took me about four minutes to select four hats that I could wear. One was a big black one with pink roses & black silk. It was swell for a dressy hat, but as I knew I’d not have a chance to wear clothes to go with it for some little time I decided to get a rather plain hat.  There was a brown one – very high crown & small rim & one lovely (?) wing that looked splendid only $8.00 if you please. Then a green one much the same style only with a big bunch of ribbon on one side $9.00 only. You can’t touch any kind of a hat here at all for less than 6 or 7. The hat I got however goes more in keeping with the use I’ll have for it this summer. A red silk brain hat – rather turban effect with rose buds & leaves on it. It looks fine on me and I like it too. You wait tho’ until next summer until I can sport a big fly away hat. I don’t know what I’m going to do for it will soon be too hot to wear my winter coat & I have no loose spring coat, & I don’t want to get one. I must get me a black veil for my red hat too.

Well Gertie’s sister came & went again. The thimble Bee was a success. I took 4 napkins there & resolved to finish every one before I left. She – Frankie hemmed one for me & the Editor’s wife hemmed one half another one so I got thru alright. The Mrs. Tinker – Mrs. Swift, Clarence McCoy & Earnest & I ate supper over there and spent the eve. We had a great time. We started to talk about asbestos & on looking it up found that the ancient people used to wrap dead bodies in it. Clarence decided he would like an asbestos shroud too – it might be more comfortable. I think he’ll need it too.

I shall have to tell you about how I acted the night before. I worked hard all day & was about worn out when eve. came & I heard several things which made me nervous so when I went to sleep I proceeded to dream a dream and it had such an effect on me that I came nearly have a nervous “Raving” spell. Earnest tried to wake me but couldn’t so he made a light, bro’t water & made me drink until he nearly flooded me, rubbed me, talked to me, and at last got me up & made me walk the floor with him for about 1000 times.

I went back to bed & as soon as I’d go to sleep I’d get nervous again so although we didn’t go to bed until 11 and that was only 3 he spent the rest of the night devising schemes to keep me awake.  Neither of us needed schemes the next night.

Earnest was sick yesterday afternoon again but feel pretty good today.

Got nice long letter from Emma, Art & the girls & a postal from Arthur. 

Well kiddie I was awfully tickled with your letter. But I’ll not really take a “no” on that visit proposition.  I’ll tell you what to do – work until July then hit for Dakota. If you were only the nurse now I’d know just how to get you here. I wish there was a possibility of your getting work here – but then maybe you wouldn’t want it if there was. The hotels are the only thing and I know you don’t want that kind of work. But dearie you must come.

I must close hoping that that fellow has duly done his duty.

Your old pal
Eva M. W.

***********

Cresbard, S.D.
May 9 (19)08

Dear Nora -
I’ve wanted so much to write to you sooner. I wrote one letter and sent a post card to your old address. Did you ever get them?

Busy is no name for me now. What are you doing – the same work you were and what is that place where you stay. The name sounds like a convent – you see I’m as curious as ever. You see I’m writing quite small – well I’ve not enough energy to push the pencil higher.

Are your folks in Manilla yet or did they go to Colorado? I want to send your mother a postal when I find out where she is. I had begun to wonder whether you wasn’t going to write to me any more. Letters help so much now for I’ve got to the place where I have to while away lots of time and I get lonesome.

The folks in Colo. Seem to be doing fine but I’ve not heard from them for some time. Mother has moved into the cottage next to Dowler. Won’t it seem funny or odd there with someone else in the old home?

I got a postal from Emma J. You know she’s here in S.D. now. I got your postal with your address on it.  It’s cute too. Indeed I remember all those great and glorious things we used to do. And when we get together again we’ll do some more won’t we?

We planted a little garden, lettuce, radishes and onions – you’ll have to come to help eat the onions for they make both of us sick. The other two are up. I planted some tomatoes in a box. We’re not going to do a great stunt at gardening this year.

We have house cleaning all done and are all settled and as cozy as can be. We have had a cellar dug under the kitchen & a foundation made for a back porch, to replace the “stoop.” Earnest graded the front yard and planted grass seed and we set out the shrubs ma sent us last fall.  I do hope they all live but I don’t suppose they will.

We’ve had a beautiful spring but we did have one little cold spell and I managed to catch a horrible cold, for over a week now it’s been impossible for me to lay down so I sit up to sleep. As soon as I lie down I cough and that isn’t the best thing for me right now. I keep Earnest awake and he is completely worn out. He had to lay off this afternoon he was too sick to work. I’m all in too so you see we’re a great outfit.

I’ve been doing find and feeling fine until I got this cold. Now I am wearing No. 6 shoes – wide last – and can hardly get them on. My limbs swell every day until they are pressed together so I can not walk without nearly “raving” at every step. I took castor oil today and have been “going some” since.

I’ve been sewing little clothes of course and my eyes are nearly out. Hurt all the time. Last night Earnest French seamed six little night dresses for me. I hemstitched one dress.  Earnest is always so pleased when I get anything done! We have engaged our nurse. Nellie Pugh (Pew). She is small, homely but experienced and good.  It’s a good thing advice is free for if I had to pay for all I get we be broke – broker – brokest.

I’d give a cookie – yes a doughnut – were you here to talk to. I’d like to show you what I’m making and plan things like we did last summer together.

There’s a lady across the street who expects a baby in October. She and I talk as much about them as you and I used to about our shools (sic) when we were teaching.

I got me a new light lawn wrapper and made it. I wear it everywhere but I’ll promise if you’ll come to visit us I’ll put on something else so as not to embarrass you too much.


(In a different hand)

Dear friend Nora this is the last thing that Eva wrote, for that cough and another thing, that we were doing the best we could to check, caused our little one to come to us several weeks too soon and Eva died 7 hrs later in spite of the best Dr we could get and a good nurse and myself could do. Life is very dark to me now.

Earnest

Cresbard S. Dak
May 24, (19) 08

Dear friend Nora
Mother Thorpe and I got here yesterday, she is here helping take care of our little one.
Your kind letter with several of the others was awaiting me here. I truly understand how you loved her.

I will enclose the letter that she started to write to you on (the last bit she ever wrote) Saturday night before she was taken sick Sunday P.M.

Eva and I had talked of names for babies and had agreed to call ours Rena Atlanta if that name would fit. Stuart Wayne was the only boys name that was suggested that we both liked so after she was gone I wrote it on a slip of paper and put it on the pillow beside him.

You have asked me to tell you all and if I do I shall have to use plainer words than I have ever written to a lady before, yet I know you loved we both loved her and you and I have always respected each other as staunch friends so I can write this with all due reverence.

Her letter tells you her feelings up to Sunday morning, she felt badly so I got up and got her some breakfast but just as I started to carry it to her bed she began coughing then vomiting (sic) which lasted a few minutes. Then she felt better and she wanted to get up. I helped her dress and put a quilt and cushions in a lawn chair and made her as comfortable as possible. Again I got her some warm breakfast, that time she ate and felt much better. We had been writing to a ladies specialist Dr. in Mellette so I phoned to him and he told me what medicine to get from the drug store for her.

Gertie Weton, my brothers wife, noticed that we were not at church so she stopped on her way home from church saw how we were getting along and when she was getting dinner, sent our dinner to us so that we did not have to get any. In the afternoon, nearly night she began to be sick and I got the nurse, she wrote about and phoned for the Dr.

The baby came to us at just eleven P.M. with everything in a fine condition. Eva rested well and was so happy till one A.M. the nurse and the Dr had gone to other rooms and had lain down to rest awhile. Then Eva began to cough and in spite of all that the Dr could do she kept it up. After a while she was so worn out that she did not cough but each breath brought an involuntary moan and she would drop off to a partial sleep than (sic) would rouse and talk a little and start coughing again.

The last time she rallied was about an hour and a half before she died.  I do not believe -----
Monday, I’ll finish this with pencil as Dade is using the desk while we are home to dinner.
that she knew that she was going but if she did she did not speak of it.  She was very happy while baby layed on the bed beside her and I sat near and talked to her. The last words that she said that she seemed to realize were uttered as she drew my cheek down to hers the last time she was awake she said “Darling I love you.”

In a short time we will probably pack up the things and I shall pick out some choice thing for you.

Now that she is gone please don’t forget the rest whom you helped her plan a home for. I shall always think of you as a staunch true friend.

Your friend
Earnest H. Welton

Manilla, Iowa
May 14, 1908

Dear Nora,

Mother and Earnest and I are here and we are talking about the things that Evvie and you and I did last fall. It seems as though there are so many little pleasant things to recall.  I wish you were here with us for I feel that you belong here now. We tried to find you in Council Bluffs.  Earnest sent a telegram when he started from Cresbard to you and after he got here he telephoned and tried to find you for we wanted you here. It all was so sudden that it was hard to realize that our dear little sister had been called home to her heavenly Father. It was hard to understand and at first was so hard to be reconciled.  But we are trying now to see that her life’s work must have been done, or she would not have been called away. Monday afternoon we got the telegram of her death and Arthur and I came home. We didn’t get here until 2 o’clock Tuesday morning and I went in to look at Evvie and she was so quiet and sweet that the rebelliousness that was in my heart left and I felt that it must be right that she should have gone else she would have been spared.  I did not see Earnest until morning.  Earnest said that she had been feeling quite well until that day. She did not go to Sunday school to teach her class and after Sunday school the little tots came over to the house with their pictures and she pasted the pictures in a little scrap book she was making for them. And that was almost the last thing she did toward evening she was taken sick and in the morning babe was born. And when she had named her boy, she was taken with a coughing spell and there a hemorrhage of the lungs started and could not be checked.

When we got home Nellie Breckenridge, Ethel Barr and Millie Milligan were at our house and stayed all the night. The funeral was set for Wednesday afternoon at 3 o’clock. The boys who were in the class that Evvie graduated from Junior Leage (sic) were her bearers and the R. P. Q. girls marched ahead of them. The choir was Mrs. Coble, Clint Dy (?), Mrs. Sutter and Mr. Reeves.  The first song they sang was “The City of Gold” and then they sang “Some Day We’ll Understand.” Rev. Cable’s sermon was the sweetest sermon I ever heard. I wish you could have heard it, Nora. It would have been such a comfort to you. It seemed to explain almost the reason for her taking and to make it easier to become reconciled for it had been bitterly hard for us all.

Oh, Nora, if you only could have been here, and seen her it would have made it so much better for you. My heart aches for you, dear, for I know you loved her as much as any one could. I can’t write more, Nora, now. Write to mother here and to me in Longmont and we will write again.

Your loving friend
Mary

Manilla, Iowa
May 14, 1908

Dear Nora:

We have tried to find you with telegram and telephone and we could not. Don’t you know about Evvie and her dear little boy? Nora, we wanted you to come so much. Arthur and I came home and when we got here our dear little sister was here before us but so different from when we saw her last.  In her wedding dress she was lying in a beautiful white casket and it so sweet and sad. It seemed so hard to understand why Evvie must be taken from her husband and her babe, but a few hours old. But there was a sweetness of innocence about her as she lay there, that took away all the sting and horror of death, for Nora, we know Evvie is still happy. She was happy here on earth with Earnest, and her joy when they lay her baby in her arms was unbounded and only a short time she held her babe, named him Stuart Wayne and then her call came, and she went for we know she was always ready.

I won’t tell you of our grief for you know, Nora dear, what she was to all of us, and I know what she was to you. Nora, if you are in Council Bluffs and can come to Mother even for a day, I wish you would, for mother could tell you everything and any way I’ll write you a long letter as soon as I am sure of your address. Earnest has a letter for you which Evvie had written the last she ever wrote, and only partly finished, and he will send the letter to you as soon as he gets your address. Their babe is living and a letter from Earnest’s sister says he is doing as well as possible. Write soon Nora, so we will know if you know. I am going back to Colorado Saturday morning.

Yours in love
Mary Thorpe