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!
Moose, Beltrami Co.
Minnesota, Nov. 19, 98
Mr. Leon Gould,
Dear Cousin Leon,
Your letter reached me just a week frm the day your wrote it. Shall I say I was glad to get it.? Well if I should say anything about it, that is what I would say. The whole week has been dark, lonesome, and dreary and to cap the climax I got a letter from home last night that made me feel so much more lonesome and heart sick that I do not know what I would have hardly done if I had not have got your letter at the same time which had the effect of cheering me up some what. What a dreary world this is sometimes when a person has the blues.
I am well and hope you are enjoying a similar blessing. I sent a long letter to Maude this week. You asked me in another letter if I intend to teach up here in the spring.
I have not decided for sure but do not know but what I had better if I can get a school.
I have been having quite a bit of trouble with my eyes for two or three weeks. If they keep on the way they have been I shall have to get glasses just as soon as I can.
I have written a long letter to my “boys” at Bemidji. You would probably laugh if you should read it and so will they I suppose. I told them,(as is my habit, once in a while) just about what I thought of the “My brothers life they are leading,” or in other words, I gave them a lecture. Whether it will do any good I can not say.
I was greatly surprised and very glad to see Winnie and the rest of the fellows that morning, and I was almost as surprised an hour or so afterward to see two deer. They were not more than a quarter of a mile from the school house. They looked so pretty it seems a shame to kill them.
Mr. Nye was here to visit me last Monday. He came a little before two and stayed until school was out. I had five scholars that day. So Mr. Fritz is elected Superintendant is he?
I wonder if they could not find a better man than him.
If a house was a-fire would it be proper to say; the house is on fire? I was asked the question whether it would be right to say’ the house is a-fire or one fight?’ I think the first would be right but am not quite sure about the last.
I believe if I could have my say so I would say we would have no more cold weather. But as I am not so wise as our Maker it would probably be an unwise say so. And that is about the way it is with John Lind I believe.
Yes, you will have time to come and visit my school I suppose, but maybe it would not be wise to do so for I think if you ask Winne or Uncle Freem they will tell you that you would not be sure of getting out of here alive. The roads are so bad.
May and I have had some quite lengthy religious talks, but as we are neither very well posted on the Bible it does not amount to much.
I got a note from the clerk of the district last Monday. He said for me to put in every day I can so as to have school out before Christmas, so I have school to day if it is Saterday. If all school are like mine today there would be scarcely be need for teachers at all much less two for one school. There is only one little boy here today. Your idea would probably work successfully- that is if the teacher could get along together without quarrelling.
I suppose I just got used to saying whould have been, etc. and never stopped to think whether it was right or not. If any one had have asked me which would be right, would have been or would have been, I should have said that would have been is right of course.
I have looked up legend in ‘Webster’s International Dictionary’ and find that it is either pronounced legend or legend, so I can pronounce it my way and you yours and we will both be right.
I will be wise enough another time not to trade knives with you and let you beat yourself the way you did last time.
Now Leon you know that his is used when we want a pronoun that will stand for either male or female. I wish someone could get up a new word that could be used when either male or female are meant. Can not you do that? If you can why you will get your name up.
Mr. Nye said that teachers have to average over sixty to get a Thi-rd Grade and over seventy to get a Second Grade Certficate in this county.
Yes, I am in hopes that well will have a last day of school up here.
An accident happened to me the other day, too. A cat scratched me on the forehead. May says I look like I had been in a scrap with some one.
I see from what Ma says that Uncle Hen Anderson’s folks are in pretty straightened circumstances. Dear me, do I not wish I was worth a million dollars. I would not keep some of it very long if I was, I tell you.
Well I do not believe I have anything to quarrel with you about this time.
There is a fellow up here some one I have not seen who asked May yesterday if she thought I would like to have him go to school.
I told her he might change his mind when he sees me.
He is Lillie’s old fellow up here.
Well I guess it is about time for me to begin to quit, so good by.
Your affectionate Coz,
Alice E. Anderson
(Transcribed by Samii S. Gould)