Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Letters - Dear Leon, Send my letters that is if you send any more, in care of Mrs. Near. from Alice
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!
Now do not think
This is another
Lecture for it is not.
Minnesota, Oct. 21, 1898
Mr. Leon Gould
Dear Leon,-You do not know how glad I was to get your letter yesterday.
I had not had a letter from a single person before and I was getting anxious to get a letter from some one I had known before I came here.
We had the awfulist road to come over on the way up here that ever was, I do believe. I began to think that if I should ever get here alive I would never dare attempt going back. But it is such a lonesome place here That that I think I shall risk my life once more the very first day after school is out. There is nothing up here but timber, hills, rocks, and old bachelors, to speak of. You seem to think that you have an awful lonesome time but I guess if you were up here where you couldn’t see a solitary person you had ever known before and had no hopes of seeing one for three months you would begin to think that you are not in the worst place in the world where you are. I have a nice little school. Only five enrold and they do not come only half the time, about. Two days I have had only one scholar. Where is your school? You didn’t tell me a thing about where you are teaching. Yes I think I have got hold of my school pretty well, but it is so small there is no reason why I should not. I have heard pretty good reports about the teacher and earnestly hope I shall continue to.
Who has the Old Town school? Say do you know that I saw a bear in the woods the other night when I was coming home from school. I was alone and there is nothing but woods all the way, you can’t see the road only a few rods at a time and not a house between the place where I board and the school house, about a mile and a half. Well you may be sure I was pretty badly frightened but there was only one thing to do and that was to come on so I came nearer to it, I saw it was a stump but I was just as frightened at first as if it had been a real bear. There are bears in the woods though and I do not know what minute I may run onto one. They have a tame bear here.
I am getting along reasonably well here, but the afternoon pa started home and left me alone in this wilderness I was pretty blue and if I had of had a chance to be alone long enough I should have done girl fashion’ had a good cry’. I am boarding with a Mrs. Near and daughter, Miss May LaFever. Quite a nice place I believe.
There is nothing going at all up here except the school but dances, so you see I have no where to go Sundays or any other day to help pass off the time. A person can not read all day long Sundays and there is nothing but fear in taking a walk so I have time to get lonesome and homesick and everything else.
Well if I don’t quit writing such gloomy stuff you will wish I had not have tried to write at all. I did not get very badly frightened about the Indians but some of the people around here did. I
couldn’t make it seem to me we were going to have an Indian Massacre like we read about in History.
I have written a letter to Bertha Hunter to-night.
I should say your typewriter is great. I wish I had one just like it and knew how to use it. It would be easier than writing with a pen I should think especially when you have to write on your knee as I am doing to night I do not really mean to say I am writing on my knee but I am holding my tablet on my knee while I write, so you must excuse this writing but it probably would be no better if I was at the best writing desk in the world.
Your school must have commenced a week earlier that mine. How long a term have you? What kind of unbelief are you pinning away in? If Jennie Wendell was your only chance of happiness you should have kept her when you had the chance, instead of letting her go and then grieving about it afterward. Is that the reason you have been so lonesome? I like being a schoolma’am as well as ever.
I do not like the country around here a little bit but what I saw of it around Bemidji I liked quite well.
Bampy Nye is the same old fellow he was at the Reunion. Nona hasn’t changed any either as I can see. Is Walter coming up a (dear) deer hunting this Fall? He said he intended to. I did not grin I just laughed when I read what you said about the nine-shooter. I have not seen an Indian since I have been here.
Now about that 4 and 5 business. I can not hardly decide yet but it certainly would not be right to say it are 9. I do not hardly see yet why we should have to use a singular pronoun. Now if we should say 4 and 5 are figures it would be all right to say they are figures. It would not be right to say 4 and 5 is figures or it is figures.
Why did you not tell me who it was that wanted you to write to them?
I hope Henry Way will come out ahead in his fight with ‘Uncle James’. I should like to be there when it comes off, but by the time I get out of this place I shall probably be such a heathen that I will need converting. Now I think it is just mean in you to mention having such an awful dream about me and then not telling me what it was. Why is it so many people are having bad dreams about me? Can it be because I am so bad, or what?
That is a great piece I must say but I do not think any of my scholar would think it interesting enough to speak.
I do not think I have a favorite poet. I have read “The Raven” but find it a lonesome piece. Say a person would think you were in “The Depth of Despair” to read your letter.
Now you shouldn’t let your feelings get away with you that way. You do not know what kind of a future is before you, it may be as bright as the noon’s day sun. I hope it will be nearly that bright anyway. That verse is very sad and quite fascinating. Now cheer up if you can.
I must say I never saw another fellow as you are.
The idea of sending for a price list of wives. Bame some of the rest of the dozen who you think would take one. A pretty poor way of getting a wife I should think. I saw Bro. Roberts at Mr.
Nye’s and Mrs. Nalden want me to stay around there and visit a week or so after school is out. Well I guess I had better being to commence to quit for I don’t want to tire you out entirely the first time.
For fear you will think I don’t want you to answer this, as you did one of my letters before. I will ask you to please answer as soon as you get rested enough after reading this so you dare make the attempt.
Well I am not going to take another piece to sign my name on if I do not sign it at all.
But I guess there is room here. Send my letters that is if you send any more, in care of Mrs. Near.