Monday, November 12, 2012

Letters - Leon Gould to Alice Anderson

      Dear Reader,
      The next score 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, 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!

                                                                                                                              Henning, MN
                                                                                                                  Oct. 9, 1898
Miss. Alice Anderson,
  Moose, Minn.
  Dear Cos:-- “Great is Diana.”  Also the Blickenderfer Typerwriter, not in name only but also in deed.  My school is prospering as well as could be expected under the circumstances, but their teacher seems to be pining away in unbelief.  Have held forth a week, “it seems so many years.”  Last Wednesday night I was so lonesome that I made up my mind that if I lived until Saterday I would go and see somebody I knew, so as soon as I had finished my breakfast I made a bee line for Grandma Whitings.  A few minutes after my arrival there pa, ma, and Maude came so I had quite a visit.  Henry Ways folks came into Clitherall Saterday expecting to stay until after Conference.  By the way, I heard some wonderful news, hardly dare to tell but guess I will.  Now hold your breath: Jennie Wendell is a Wendell no more.  She is married, married, married.  Her Lord’s name is Jasperson, I think, or something like it.  She wrote pa that she had found a man who had accepted her hand without regard to age, race, color, or previous condition of servitude.  Her home is in Oregon.  So it looks as if I had lost my only chance of happiness in this life, doesn’t it?  Her husband is only 22 years older than she, if I have been rightly informed.  Such is life.
  How do you like being a Schoolma’am?  What kind of a school have you got hold of or haven’t you got hold of it yet?  You had better get a gun of some kind to take to school with you for fear and trembling.  I have been thinking about getting a nine-shooter and going up there to protect you, no don’t grin.  I mean it.  Perhaps when those 5,000 soldiers get there they will queel the red men. (the Lamanites)
  I believe that I did give up that you were right about that 5 and 4 are 9 but I’ll take it back long enough to make another attempt to defend my position.  Now you can say,
  Charley and Jimmy are here, of course they are, but it would not be right to say—
  5 and 4 are 9, of course they are.
  You would have to say, it is 9.  In the first sentence when you use a pronoun in the place of the compound subject, it must be a plural one, while in the latter it must be a singular pronoun, and of course it takes a verb in the singular number.  Isn’t that right?  Just look at it:--
                    Charley and Jimmy are here.
                    They are here.
                     5 and 4 is 9.
                     It is 9.
  Would you say:- They are 9, or It are nine?  Take your choice.
  I wrote a letter to Bro. Alex Hale to-night.  Had my forune told the other day which said among other things that I was to marry Ethel Cook when I was twentyfive years old.  If that is the case I guess I don’t want to get married near as bad as I thought I did.  She is working at Mr. Lanes yet and uncle Almond Whiting has not got home yet.
  Have had two girls ask me to write to them since I got my typewriter but have not accepted either propostion.  There is a yound lady here at my boarding place that I was told was pretty but if such is the case she has kept it hid ever since I came here.
  Last Saturday my road led me past the old Latter Day Saint church where you used to live.  I had not seen the place since you lived there and did not know I was anywhere near it until I came in sight but I knew the place immediately.  The church is used for a barn now.  The dreariest homesick feeling took possession of me and it was quite a while before it left me.  My mind was also occupied with the probable cause of the “northern lights” that used to promenade around that old school-house.  Did not settle the question to my satisfaction.
  Listened to Henry Way and James H. Allen argue on religion for about two hours Sunday and at the close Hen. Challenged Bro. Allen to debate the question next winter and his challenge was accepted.  I expect I had better take it down, print it in book form, in twenty nine volumes and use it for the conversion of the heathen and the Leech Lake Indians on Bear Island.(if there is any left by that Time.)
  Old Men and old horses must each have their day,
    When it’s tough chewing beefsteak and hard
                                            grinding hay;
  No matter what races or money they’ve won,
    They’ve got to stand back for a much
                                             younger one.
  They shake in their knees, and are weak in
                                             the back,
  Not fit for the office nor fit for the track,
  If rich the old man can grunt by the fire,
    While the old horse is pounded along through
                                              the mire.
  At last they are both dumped away with the rest
    Who knows but old horses may finish the best?
  It’s a problem that’s bothered great minds in
                                                   the past,
    And I think it’s a question quite likely
                                                    to last.
  But one thing we know, our race is soon run,
    Man’s labor is finished, the horses
                                                     work done.
  And if simple justice to all things is given,
    Many men will be barred while their horses
                                                      reach heaven,
  I think there is more truth tham poetry in it.
  I don’t know who the author is but it must be some smart man.
  Longfellow is my favorite poet.  I believe I can understand the feelings that prompted him to write his poems.  The “Rainy Day” always fascinates me.  And there is another poem which struck me so forcibly, especially one stanza, that I copied it.  It is this—
      “But in despair I bowed my head,
         There is no peace on earth.” I said;
                                           “For hate is strong,
                                             And mocks the song.
  Of peace on earth good will to men.”
  Edgar Allen Poe is another writer whose gloomy spirit seems to harmonize with mine.  If you have an opportunity, and have not read “The Raven”.
  Have been thinking of writing to T.M.Roberts or Montgomery Ward & Co. to send me the price list on wives.  I believe I could get up a club and get a dozen at reduced rates.  I know about a dozen men who I think would take one.
  Well I guess I will close my short epistle wishing you all possible success.  Allow me tp subscribe myself
                    Your loving cousin until—death
                                         do us part.
                                           Leon A. Gould
                                           Henning Minn.
E.& O.E.

1 comment:

  1. LOL Oh Grandpa, You are a hoot! But Edgar Allen Poe? All I have to say is you must have been melancholic when you read it. The part about the the girl hiding that she is pretty is just, just, so Gould. HA! : )


I like you too ;)