Fran Darling


Prelude: Here is another letter to Miss Frances Fairfield from Bob, the postmark on this letter is Rochester, NY and it was written in 1938. I’m not positive that this is the same Bob as the first Bob, because the first letter was typed and this one is handwritten.




Fran Darling,                                                              Wednesday nite


It was swell of you to come up tonight and to bring mom. Gosh! I have an awful feeling that I’m such a disappointment to you. I Know I haven’t acted as I should but I do wish I could. I feel so very inadequate, incompetent etc.… I can’t think of anything else and I’m always sitting with my head in my hands, which is no way for a new employee to act.

I just hooked my radio up and it doesn’t work very well.

Gosh Fran, you love me don’t you? I hope so because I’ve a feeling that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.

$20 isn’t very much is it? $80 a month, $40 to eat, $25 rent, $15 clothes and incidentals. Gosh, that seems reasonable, maybe not, but I’d be willing to risk it if you would. Lots of fellows live on less. LETS?

I regret not having lived up to your expectations and probably were it not compulsory you’d have nothing to do with me. Can’t say as I blame you. I’ve known all along that I was beneath you in courage and everything in that line, but these are things that can’t be denied and that is that.

I love you, but that’s not much consolation now for you is it? They’re playing Serenade to a Mule; remember the night we saw that in Wayland? Well darling thanks again for coming and I love you.




Wow! Bob is feeling unworthy. Poor Bob pouring his heart out and feeling very inadequate for Miss Fran. I wonder how that visit went and what really happened. Whatever happened, Bob felt the need to sit down and write a letter right away, as in that night. I wonder if he really is that down on himself or if he is playing the sympathy card.

Dearest Fran

fullsizeoutput_1d4aPrelude: This letter was type written from someone named Bob who was in Brooklyn, NY on May 25th 1938 to a Miss Frances Fairfield of Hornell, NY. Could it be Bob the friend of Walt in the last letter to Fran? Maybe, we may never know.




Dearest Fran:

Hi, Sorry I haven’t written before but haven’t had time. I was glad to hear from you in the telegram and also it seemed swell to talk to you; not to mention the sensation that will be had when I kiss ya. Gosh, with no body home, I’ll probably never leave. There will be somebody home won’t there? Gosh gal, that’s swell, we can play house. I’m planning on coming, I don’t know how I’ll get there but I will if it is at all possible, so be ready. Do you have to work on Saturday morning? Hope not. Well, I can’t think of a darn thing to say and I got work to do, so gotta close. Hellish sorry, that this is so short, but I have a heavy night ahead of me. I love you darling and I’ll be seeing you soon and a-kissing ya soon and… So long…fooled ya didn’t I.

I love you




…And so we are introduced to another man in dear Fran’s life. The letter is two years after the one she received from Walt. Looks like she met Bob and they hit it off. It seems to me that there is some kind of relationship already going on, because good old Bob wants to play house when he comes to visit. How scandalous for 1938, and He put it in writing. I love that Fran saved all these letters and I love more that I get to read them and share them with you.



Here is a link to a satellite picture of Fran’s address in Hornell, NY:,+Hornell,+NY+14843/@42.3426548,-77.6622157,590m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89d190ae0356c79f:0x8e067ee700274d1d!8m2!3d42.3426509!4d-77.660027

Here is a link to a satellite picture of Bob’s address in Brooklyn, NY:,+Brooklyn,+NY+11205/@40.6911147,-73.9663757,605m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c25bbf25b78d01:0x58694f475dc018c2!8m2!3d40.6911107!4d-73.964187


Dear Friend



Prelude: Here is a letter on loan from a beautiful and fun Antique Shop in Angelica, NY called Mad Hatter Antiques. It’s located at 121 West Main Street in Angelica and I recommend stopping there to browse their beautiful and unique items… The letter I have on loan from them is a gem and it was written on October 24, 1846! That’s right this letter is from the 1800’s and it’s pre-Civil War. It is written by R.S. Hatch who is now residing in Angelica and is addressed Dear Friend in care of F.H. Bitely Esq. in Easton, NY. I believe it was written with quill and ink, there was no envelope, instead it was folded, sealed with wax and stamped.




Dear Friend,                                       Angelica October 24, 1946

I am in the land of angels once more but find still a few devils to deal with, as usual, but hope to soon to be free from their demonic influence. Be that as it may, I shall come out right in the end. Old Allen the old Bel-ze-bub himself, still opposes me because I am a Hatch, or rather because I am brother to his opposition in trade. Brother George is again a brother in earnest. The reason for the hard feelings existing between him and myself has been clearly demonstrated, and is as follows. Old Allen, as soon as I was gone, circulated the report, that I had told him of George’s using customer’s leather, and of his finishing leather secretly, for persons, who had taken the leather from Allen’s vat. Such things as these would as a matter of course, would cause him to feel hard, but since I have proved Old Devil a liar he (George) is my best friend. All with me now is O.K., except one, that is, hard feelings between Allen’s folks and ours.

As to the answer to the letter, which I received from you, I don’t know how to do it, for your letter is all beginning and all ending.

1st How I got along after leaving you, I went up where that chap directed me, but found that the office was moved two buildings farther up the river. I got my ticket changed and took hafiage on board the boat Rhode Island, for Rochester. Had a real comfortable time with the mumps just after getting aboard. Had cargo of everything, just such stuff as the world is made of. Our cabin patronage is consisted of 2 Ladies, 2 children, 2 young men, one devil incarnate, together a gentlemen like myself, only he could not come a torch to my fat cheeks. Our deck passengers thunder and brim stone, what a legend they were. They consisted of about a dozen Englishmen and as many English women and about a half dozen Irishmen, and an Irish lady or two, one Frenchmen, 10,000 squalling imps of young ones, and three dogs. The Frenchmen though was a fine fellow and lived in St. Hyacinthe, Canada, close by Franz Andris Gsuthies. Was well acquainted and spoke highly of him. Two or threw of the Englishmen were folks, but the rest, let me get my dictionary and see if I can find a word that will describe them. By thunder I’ve got to make sure or let you _______ at ______. You’re a Yankee, so go it, and perhaps you have seen such.

At Rochester I took the boat Scott to Mount Morris, there I found a man going to Rushford where Newman was. I spent two days with him then took the stage to Angelica. Got along first rate. Since I have been here I have been attending the teachers institute held at the Court House. The proceedings of this meeting I will send to you as soon as published. Have had a grand time I assure you. You don’t know how well I feel on account of being once more at liberty. Today I was examined in a class of 7 and was the only one who could get a county certificate. And also today have engaged a school about 8 miles from here. Terms $15.00 per month, for 4 months, commence the 1st of November. I have received several papers from Hempstead and have written to Ed Larn, and Miles and must to Chet. I will send you the money due you as soon as possible, $7.00 I believe.

What about our next spring aspirations. Andrew will go with us heart and hand. I will write to Uncle shortly and see what he will do. Please write soon. Give my respect to all and remember me.

Your Friend,

R.S. Hatch



First I must tell you that the blank lines at the end of the 2nd paragraph are words that I could just not figure out. The writing was somewhat hard to read anyway, but those words were illegible.

Well, Mr. Hatch, and I’m pretty sure it was a Mister, because women most likely did not travel alone in those days, was quite the man. What a trip he had by boat and then by stagecoach all the way to beautiful Angelica in Alleghany County. The deck of that boat must have been a fun time. I especially liked the “10,000 squalling imps of young ones.” What an interesting description to use, and it comes from a man who is going to be a teacher. He seemed to like the Frenchmen well enough though. Those Frenchmen will charm you every time. Oh, and how about his monthly pay, too bad he owes half of his first month to his friend. Well, I think this was a very telling letter, and gives us a good view into the travels of a man in 1846.



Here are a couple links to Angelica, NY a beautiful historic town:,_New_York

Read the History of the town and woman who it was named after. Her name was Angelica Schuyler Church, you’ll find that she is the Sister-in-law of the famous Alexander Hamilton.

Here is a link to the history Easton, NY:




Dear Fran

fullsizeoutput_1d36Prelude: This letter was written in 1936 by a man named Walt Shine who lived in Wellsville, NY to a Miss Francis Fairfield who lived in Hornell, NY. It is the first in a series of letters I have written to Miss Fairfield.


Dear Fran,

I know this is going to shock you but you know how it is when you want to get something off your chest.

Listen Fran, maybe you will think I am trying to give you the usual line but really I mean this. Bob and I had a great talk on the way home about you. We wouldn’t want you and bud to break up and we really wouldn’t try to get you to break up but you know how anxious I am to go out with you. I don’t like to tell you about this in correspondence – I would rather tell you personally.

Fran, it would mean so much to me if I could go with a girl like you. Your personality and respect. Really now please believe me.

Will you please give me a date when the time comes that you and Bud feel that you don’t want to go together anymore?

I have a heard so many good compliments about you that it really makes me feel jealous to see someone else with you.

I am going to get an application for you today and I will send it immediately after you send your application. Someday you had ought to come down and have a personal interview with Mr. Walchi. I am sure I’ll do all I can for you.

Fran, please keep this strictly confidential, will you?

Your letters are always welcomed here and if you ever write to me I am absolutely positive that no one will ever hear about it. Please don’t forget me Fran. I really mean what I have said. Please write sometime.


Walt Shine



Whoa! Walt really lays it on the line… Well, kind of. He tells Fran he wants to “Go with a girl like you,” and “Will you please give me a date.” It just sounds a little off to me. He does mention her personality and respect though, which is nice. He also makes an assumption that her and bud are eventually going to break up, which is really pretty gutsey to say. Then his offer to help her get a job is interesting too. It just seems a little sketchy to me. I’m not sure I like what I’m seeing of this Walt guy. I wonder what Fran thought when she got this letter? Well, she must have thought something because she saved it, and here it is. What do you think?


Here is a link to Wellsville, NY and its history:

Here is a link to Hornell, NY and its history:,_New_York