Dear Sister and Brother

fullsizeoutput_1cbdPrelude: This letter is written on February 8, 1939 from Mary who lives in Miami, Florida to her sister and brother who live in Cabot, Pennsylvania. It’s written on a letterhead titled Miami Edison Sr. High School.


Dear Sister and Brother,

Well, I am going to write a few lines now before going to bed. It is very warm, we have all the doors and windows open and I am moping my brow. Jo-Jo is under the table panting. He is so warm but still has ear & throat trouble & stomache is not so good, he gets a teaspoon of stomache med. 3 times a day, nose drops & ear drops. Have been taking him to the veterinary every 10 days, will have another trip next Sat.

Ida taught today and is reading. Pearl came off of her case yesterday, had an appointment with the Dentist this P.M. at 3 o’clock, had X-ray taken, got a temporary filling put in one and a front tooth filled and built up. She fell and broke a piece off about 6 weeks ago. Now she has quite a lot of pain. Mae came home sick from school, is vomiting & Pearl is looking after her. I just filled a hot water bottle with ice cubes for her head.

I was with Pearl downtown today, then went to the store and got supper that is all we did today. I went to the Drs. yesterday, my blood pressure is up & was there a week ago, am to go next Tues. again & that takes about all day as a person must wait so long. The Dr. is so busy now, last week I sat in the office over an hr. and that long again yesterday. He has 2 or 3 little rooms where he can put the patients in & his office where I go & a lot in the waiting room. I told Ida I must wait so long every Tues. I am going to take some sewing along.

Pearl registered again this eve., so she is on call now & may be called any time, they are very busy at the Hospital. When Ida & I would go to get her every thing would be full of cars and we could scarcely get a place to park.

The Dr. said to Pearl, I might have a stroke anytime, so Emma watch your starches, cut out potatoes & white bread.

Mae had P.T.A. at her school last night so had the extra trip last night & that was too much for her.

Well Wilmer, I suppose or hope you got some relief while you were at the Hospital, suppose you are at home now, as your last card stated you would be going home. How is the new calf coming along?

I see by the report in the paper that Ohio and West Virginia were flooded again. How is the weather? I see reports of plenty of snow. Ida P. must be snowed-in as I have not heard from her as we were there before Xmas. I was in bed off & on a few days last week. I got dizzy & sick by times.

If nothing happens tomorrow, I will try and get a box off to you tomorrow if possible, am sending those high blood pressure pills, also the shaning soap that came the next day after I sent that other box.

Thursday a.m. Mae is not able to go to teach today, seems quite sick, her hands and face are swollen has a lot of pain in her face & cold. Ida has been decorating & taking med., has a terrible cold. Pearl is reading the morning paper. When Ida comes back from getting gas, she is taking Pearl to get her ankle attended to at Coral Gabels.

Emma, watch your weight so you can come down and so you don’t get a stroke.

I just finished packing the box so they can take it to the P.O. The flower that has a star shaped flower is like the Cacti plant I gave Ida last fall. The red flower is a hybiscus and they are full a row beside the house.

I have not heard from Merl for a while suppose he is waiting until he has the trip down to see me. I must close now and try to sew a little today.

Write soon. Love



P.S. I enclosed a few cheap cards I was going to send them to you at Aspinwall so, you send them to some places if you wish. You can give that sample of shaning C. & a few pencils to Harvey if you care too. Let me know if you get the adhesive tape, as I put it in after the box was wrapped.



Wow! Don’t even know where to start with this letter. Mary is all over the place and on top of that everyone is sick. Mary is the queen of run-on sentences, abbreviations, and no punctuation, but besides all that she could have a stroke at anytime. She sure does mention several people too; Ida, Pearl, Mae, Merl and Jo Jo the dog, (I’m guessing he’s a dog because he was panting and I don’t think cats pant.) Then there’s Emma and Wilmer, or Harvey which I think might be the names of the sister and brother. What do you think? Overall, an interesting letter, it makes you think a little about our medical system of today compared to 1939. I hope Mary never had a stroke.



Here is a little history of the high school on the letterhead:




Hello C.J.



Someone named Jap wrote this letter, or at least that is how he signed his name. I don’t have a confirmed date for when this letter was written, but I acquired it in a batch of papers that were dated 1932. Jap is from Erie, PA and writes to someone he addresses as C.J. (Chet, Chester)



Hello C.J.,

How are you, and all the folks I know. I am having a fine time here in Erie. Wished you were here.

I am working for the G.C. Murphy Co. 5 and 10 store. – The largest in Erie, 33 departments. I am a stock mgr. , good job, and good pay. I don’t have much to do but keep account and invoices and have charge of the cost department. Easy money.

Well how is, can it get along with out me? Have you played football any more?

When you write, I want you to tell me all the news of Youngsville and vicinity.

Tell Bob Thompson that I ran across his friend Helen Pilgrim, some kid!

Say Chet I wished you would go to Robert L. Mead and get some pictures for me. I left some there to be printed before I left for here and I haven’t got them. Will you please get them and send them up to me and I will make it square with you.

Did you ever get any pictures of the football squad?

Well Chester, if you are ever in Erie be sure to look me up and I will show you a good time. I will take you around the city.

Well, it is getting nearly two o’clock (2a.m.) and I guess I will hang up.

Now don’t forget to answer soon and tell me all the news. Give my love to all.


Your old Chum


148 East 8th Street

Erie, Pa.


P.S. The post office is still open , tell the fellows. And I get mail at the above address.

Jap Shaw




Well, Jap is quite the character. He’s moved to the big city of Erie, Pa. and got a great job. Which for the 1930’s , it was really good work and “easy money” as Jap would put it. I’m clueless to what he meant about “ s.” Maybe it was an old job or letters that stood for something or someone…. Oh and then there’s what he says about Bob Thompson’s friend Helen. “Some kid!” I love that expression, it’s just so 1930ish.  I also love how he says it’s getting late and he’s going to hang up, like it was a phone conversation. This was a fun and honest letter from friend to friend and I think it’s heart-warming.



I looked up the store he worked for and it was in business for 80 years and had several locations in Pennsylvania. Here is a link to the history of the store:

I also looked up Youngsville, I assumed it was in Pennsylvania but it could have been somewhere else. Here is a couple links to Youngsville:,_Pennsylvania







This letter was written on January 3rd in 1949 from Barbara in Cummington, Massachusetts to her boyfriend Alan who is stationed at Fort Dix, in New Jersey.



Darling,                                        January 3, 1949


I’m here again. I still love you very much, – awful Muchly!

I forgot to tell you in the letter I wrote this afternoon that Leon and Jeannette Dufrane have adopted a little girl. No,

I take that back, she is a State girl, so they didn’t adopt her. The state finances her. Good way to have children, huh. Darling, you don’t have to pay for their clothes etc… Heck, I want our own! Anyway, the child is 2 years old and her name is Elizabeth, they call her Betty.

My throat is still sore, darn it. It will or should be O.K. by next weekend though, better be anyway.

Tomorrow night I share the bulletin.   This time and from now on, I put it together, type it and mimeograph it. Want to help me? I wish you could! In more ways than one!!

Right now, at 7:00, I have my pajamas & housecoat on. I’m tired. How about you?

I went up to Mildred Hamlin and bought my Mother’s birthday present – a pair of earrings, notepaper and writing paper. How does that sound?

How is Haines? Did he live through the weekend?

Darling, don’t forget the carton of cigarettes.


All my love always,

My Darling,

Yours always,


P.S. A million kisses!




Oh Barbara, this interesting letter you wrote has me a bit baffled, awfully muchly! You cover a range of subjects and your comments about little Betty are a bit disconcerting! The foster system in Massachusetts was established in the late 1800’s and Barbara talks about it like it’s a baby store where you pick up a baby and don’t have to pay for it. Hmmm. It just doesn’t sound too kosher too me. I’m also a little confused about what the bulletin is for. Anyone?? All and all, the language Barbara uses seems to be typical to the time period. Her Letter is a little glimpse into the time just a few years after the end of World War II.



I looked up the machine she mentioned, a mimeograph and it is defined as: a duplicating machine that produces copies from a stencil, now superseded by the photocopier.

 I looked up her town in Massachusetts. Here is a link to Cummington, MA:





Clara dearest

Clara dearest



This letter was written on August 30th 1916. It is from a woman named Esther to her dear friend Clara. It was written on some stationary that is titled Young Women’s Christian Association, Carleton College, Northfield, Minn.




Clara dearest,                                                Aug. 3o, 1916

It is no wonder you…that we had forgotten you but you’ve got another think coming. I’ve done a lot thinking myself this summer but that’s about as far as it got when it came to letter writing. But this has been about the busiest summer I ever spent. In the first place Ruth, Whit & the baby have been here all summer until three weeks ago next Saturday, and while we were all crazy about the baby & were glad enuf to have them here it made considerable extra work. Especially for mother & me. Whit dear was afraid of wify’s over working herself etc.etc.

Dad left for Florida July 8 & was happy to get back because it made him feel so much better, but he was most awfully homesick. He’ll be good and glad to see mother all right. She is planning to go the latter part of Sept. or the 1st of October. It’s going to be mighty hard for her to leave Grandma but she had simply got to have a change.

Gene & Emma are to be married Sept. 9th. They are planning to live here so it will be necessary for Grandma to live Uncle George or Uncle Jud for the winter – that hasn’t been fully decided yet but there will be a woman to take care of her wherever she is. Poor dear patient little Grammie!

No Clara dear the porch is not finished. The top is still to be put on. We have gotten lots of pleasure out of it as is tho. Hasn’t this been a corker of a summer for heat? I sure enjoyed those hot days in the raspberry patch, but I wasn’t so very sad when berry season was over. Now we are having a jolly time with tomatoes. I packed 15 bushlels Thursday afternoon. Yesterday I had company so couldn’t help Gene, but I expect to spend most of my afternoon there today. Between tomatoes & apples I’m trying to do a little sewing, but somehow I don’t seem to get very much done. And in less than two weeks I’ve got to start to school. I don’t know where this vacation has gone. It’s been shorter than ever.

I suppose you are happy as the day is long. Wouldn’t I just have to drop in on you some day and surprise you. I’ll try it some time after I finish school. That seems and awful way off tho! You’ll just have to plan to come out here next summer.

We expect Elmer home this fall but just when we don’t know. Looking for a letter from him any day now. He will probably go south & be with Dad & Mother this winter. Don will stay here with Gene & Emma. Pleasant prospects for him. I told Mother that he & I would be orphans for sure this winter. I don’t know exactly what I call home. Ruth & Whit are to be in St. Paul this winter, so I suppose I’ll carry there when I am not in school, & then I’ll come spend Christmas vacation with you. Grammie sends her love & mother says tell Clara that ma Carr is going to write soon.

With heaps of love,




Esther tells it like it is, and it’s very refreshing! She shares what is going on in her life and she does not leave out the emotion. Her 1900’s slang when she talks about Whit not wanting his “wify” to be over worked, sounds like the same language we might use today. I think that Esther was quite sassy and I loved that about her. Some of spelling is a little rough, but not so bad that it’s not understood. I think I would have liked to be friends with Esther, she sounds like a fun gal.




I looked up the school, Carleton College and it’s still there in Northfield, Minn.

Here is a link to their website:

The school was founded in 1866 and though it’s been through many changes, it remains. Here is a link to a history timeline I found on their site:


Dear Friend Ed

Dear Friend Ed


This letter was written on August 26th in 1932. It was written by (aunt) Susie to her dear friend Ed. I don’t have an envelope, so I am not sure where the letter is from or where Ed lives. But Susie may live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania if the Park that is mentioned is the one that I found near there.




Dear Friend Ed,                                                         August 26, 1932


Got your letter to-day, it is awful hot, 91 in the shade and in the sun 120 degrees, some heat!

Mother and I was down town Thursday at a show, it was real good to all talking picture in the day ‘till after 6P.M. it is 15 cents, a lovely theatre.

Bessie, Charlie and the children was down last night, they are all well. Bessie and the children went to a picnic at Kennywood Park to-day. Charlie is at work.

Mother’s Birthday is to-day, she is 70 years old. Roy and our Clyde will be 32 yrs., the first of September. Dad’s is the 4th, he will be 75 years and mine is the 18th of September, I will be 50 yrs., getting pretty old Ed.

Our Ed, my Brother is getting along good now, he was up Monday. He looks pretty good, will be a while before he is real strong yet.

I am sending these flower seeds, tell Thora to plant them now for they come up every year. They are lovely too. We have pink, red, and white ones, they don’t bloom until they are 2 years planted. But, they are no bother once you have them in and they grow up, they bloom every summer.

Well, what did you think about Clara’s Mother sending her and Kline some money because he don’t have much work? Aunt Lizzie said they was up against it, not having much work. That is her own fault, she ought to be living with a good man like you was to her. She was well off to have you.


Love your Aunt, Uncle,


Suzie, Roy.





Well needless to say, Aunt Susie had some grammar choices that make this letter interesting to read and a little hard to follow. She also randomly capitalized letters and used very little punctuation, as well as writing along the edges when she ran out of room.

Regardless of the grammar and such, she talks about her family and happenings of daily life. She mentions a 15-cent movie, picnics, work and birthdays.

It’s all very mundane, until we get to the end and we find out about Clara and Kline.  Clara, who is now with Kline had some kind of connection to Ed. Maybe and old flame, or even wife, but at some point she chose to be with Kline and poor Ed is left out of the equation. At least that is how Aunt Susie sees it.

Oh the intrigue of it all, people living their lives and telling it how they see it. Everyone has an opinion.  I wonder how it would have been said today? It most likely would have been a post on Facebook, and probably not a very nice one.




I searched the internet for Kennywood Park and found one in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that was established in 1898. Here is a link to the history of the park:


I also found this picture of a sign talking about the park: