Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Letters - Dear Teacher? In the Slough of Despond, L.A. Gould
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!
Bemidji, Minn. 7/ 16, 1899
Miss Alice Anderson
Dear Teacher?—Well there, this is the worst typewriter to make breaks I ever saw. As I “happen” to want to hear from you again I will take advantage of your permit and write. The family is tolerably well except Winnie. He is suffering from a combined attack of homesickness and blues. Can hardly get him to wait until we get what hay stacked he have cut before he starts.
Byron is at Vick’s as perhaps you know- having arrived here the fourth. Freem and I spent the fourth cutting houselogs for a barn.
Why have you taken to having “Blues”? I thought you were the girl that never had such things. You are not worring over the coming examination are you? That can’t be, for if you were the attacks would come sometimes besides Sundays. You must not let the examination worry you at all. Just go there with all the confidence in the world that you are going to pass and everything will come out all right. That is all I have had at the last two examinations. Went there without the least bit of ability, preparation, or ambition to carry me through. Well I might have had enough ambition but that was all.
No, Bert Paul was single.
Freem says $50 worth of berries could be picked on his place.
You stubborn? Well I should smile yes. But perhaps it would not do for me to say so.
Why, I don’t suppose it would matter who a man got for a wife if he had but two conditions to choose. Either take a woman he did not love or be a batchelor like Carley Pierce, Charley Taylor, etc. I have seen examples of both conditions. As for opposition of relatives I guess they wouldn’t care much, and they ought to stand it if I could. I don’t intend to make any more rash engagements. If I can’t make a good one I’ll get married with any engagement.
I think that Norsky preacher must have been a real rascal. He must be smart to think you look like a Norwegian. I have come near saying something a hundred times, more or less, and checked myself because it might sound a little like flattery. But, honestly, Alice, I think you are the most beautiful woman I ever saw. And one thing that has doubled its value is because you have always appeared as if you were entirely unconscious that you were beautiful.
Thanks for the poem, though I confess I am at a loss at to where you intended me to apply them or it. You call yourself a silly girl and say you don’t know what would be best for yourself and others. What is it that troubles you, Alice? Well I might go on writing all day and not get half I want to said nor said in the right way so perhaps I may as well close. I’ll try not to let your letter encourage me too much. If you fulfill your threat to let me hear from you again direct your letter to Battle Lake.
In the Slough of Despond