Here is a letter that is on loan from my sister-in-law Suzie Gunderson Crisafulli. It was written by her great grandmother, Emma Rebecca Bystrom to her future husband Albert Anderson. Emma wrote the letter on February 4th 1903, while she was living in Centerville, South Dakota. Albert was living in Dalesburg, South Dakota at the time.
Centerville, S. D.
Mr. Albert Anderson, February 4, 1903
Kind friend, It is 11:30pm and Selma and I are still up. We were working at baskets for the social at Riverside next Friday eve. We hope to see you and a lot of other Dalesburg folks there.
The real object of this note is to tell you to wait till Tuesday to come after Selma and stay over night so, as to take in the entertainment that eve at the Opera House. I can’t say what kind of show it will be, but we three used to, could have pleasant times together before and so I take for granted we can again.
Oh yes, Selma wants you to be sure and tell Will Larson about it too. Ha! Ha!
Well don’t tell folks I wrote this. It’s from Selma, you know.
What a sweet letter. I love how she gets right to the point… “The real object of this letter…” She’s basically saying come and stay over night so we can all go to the Opera House. Oh and don’t forget to tell your friend Will to come too. Selma needs somebody! Anyway, it is a short and sweet letter, and I’m told it is the first of several letters between Emma and Albert. It’s a quaint little look into the lives of people living in the early 1900’s. I’ll be interested to see how this correspondence develops and how they end up getting married.
Here is a link to some history on Centerville, South Dakota… The Opera House is mentioned. http://www.centervillesd.com/discover-centerville/history/
Here is a link to some history on Dalesburg, South Dakota : http://www.dalesburg.org