The next scores or so of posts will be not my own writings, but correspondences of my Great-Grandfather Leon Gould. This letter is to his cousin, Alice, whom he later married! Great-Grandpa Leon had a large family (of 11 children), and journeyed as secretary to Alexander Smith in the RLDS church before eventually joining the Church of Christ (TL) and becoming an Apostle. His descendants have been blessed with a rich spiritual heritage and many true family accounts of what can only be called miracles. If you read these letters and are interested in reading more of the Gould family history, look for a book titled "Trek of Faith" by Peggy Tucker. These letters contain the original spelling mistakes and have not been corrected. Feel free to print and keep these letters in your own family history files if you so wish. In the future, a book of Leon's writings will be made available. Enjoy!
Battle Lake, Minn.
Nov. 28, 1898
Miss Alice Anderson.
Dear Alice:- Your welcome letter received Saterday, and you may be sure I was glad to get it. Do you know, Alice, that your letters surprise me a little,(just a kind of Glad Surprise)? When I wrote my first letter from Henning it was with the feeling that perhaps I would not get an answer, but I did for a wonder, and I am going to write as long as I get such good letters.
My school was out Friday. Had a young exhibition, the most of it was about a yearling, I guess. The teacher spoke one piece and had another one learned, but when the time came to speak it he didn’t have grit enough. The audience did not know that he had one learned though, so they do not realize what they missed. The hardest thing in the world for me to do is to speak before a crowd. I don’t believe I would feel much worse if I were going to be hanged. The teacher received a nice gift from the pupils, in the shape of a collar and cuff box. They want me to take the school next spring. I told them I would let them know about the first of March, as I was thinking of leaving and might not get back in time to teach it.
My! What a cold spell we have had! Didn’t you almost freeze going to school? I suffered the most at night as the bedroom was not very warm. Too cold to sleep all I could do was to lay and shiver, and build air-castles, and then an extra gust of wind would come along and blow them all to pieces and I would have to begin over again. (I always build the air-castles large enough for two.)
Well, yes, this is dreary sometimes when a person has the blues. How would it be to have the blues for years without a ray of light? But how bright the world is when the sun begins to shine and the blues begin to scatter.
I am so sorry your eyes trouble you. If those boys are not benefited by receiving a lecture from you they must be queer boys. But the way, I have one saved as a sacred relic and I have had reason to be thankful for that lecture.
I am not prepared to say whether a “house on fire” is correct or not but I have seen it used that way so much and it is so familiar that it seems right. Now let me ask you a question. Would it be better to say a better man than him, or a better man than he? And is it right to say “If all schools is like---“?
Why yes I can get up a word to be used for either male or female if I really thought it was necessary, but I am not sure that it is. Nevertheless how would the word “Kilo” do? Pronounce i and o long with the accent on the first syllable. It is about time I was doing something to get my name up.
I can’t bear the thought of doing nothing all winter but what is a fellow to do? They say it is better to make a mistake than never to try to do anything and I have about decided to make a mistake anyway. If I do nothing more.
I will close now with the highest regard and best wishes
Leon A. Gould
Battle lake, Minn.
(Transcribed by Samii S. Gould)