November 30, 1901 - Wilhelmina from Bess

Contributed by Kathleen Haynes      Contact Myrtle Bridges     July 18, 2011

Saturday Morning
On the porch

My dear Wilhelmina-
Of course you don't deserve an ans. to your letter so soon for you always wait so long before answering mine.  I feel how little 
you must care for me & my letters - My dear your letter reached me when I was feeling most blue friendless & forlorn & so it gave 
me a great deal of pleasure, it made me feel I had one friend in the world   How much I wish you & I could take a (pg 1b) long walk 
around the block this pretty day & have a good old timey talk- how much there would be to tell & ask one another that is almost 
impossible to go into fully & satisfactor-ily on paper- I have "lots" stored away in my mind to tell you when we see each other.  
There is very little if indeed any news to write I have never known our old town duller-  About Bessie D's wedding I know very 
little- (pg 2a) I got a card to it to my great surprise.  It is creating very little comment no one seems to know or care anything 
about it- She still goes out all the time- Mr J. has not yet been asked to officate at it. Cora McD. has never yet been seen by 
mortal except by those who have called & all curiosity about her seems to have died out. Miss Cook has been moved from Mrs. Canipe 
to Ms. Tulls- her sister came a few days ago & (pg 2b) think expects to take her to Pa. tomorrow.  Perhaps you will be sur-prised 
to hear that Kate & I attended the Masked Ball. We were in phantom costumes & I never had more fun in my life-  no one recognized 
us  Mrs. Levison to whom it was given by Ernest- was attired in a short white petticoat, corset covered shoes & stockings & the U.S. 
flag carelessly draped about her- it was most (pg 3a) festive affair altogether- My dear girl I am glad to say I have lost all 
interest in Church work & am back in the same old rut I was in when the Parson appeared on the scene  I am much interested in our 
Book Club, I'm going to entertain it next Thurs. & I do wish you could be with us- I enclose a list of our books - in it you'll 
recognize the clear hand of our Parson.  Wilhelmina I am like you I verily believe (pg 3b) that Mr Jacobs has gone clear daft- 
I wonder what he will do next.  Because you & I know that there are some people here who don't like him & they never will- I get so 
deadly tired of the whole business some times.  The constant attempt to defend him & of explaining things I don't know what to do- 
It is going to be the same old struggle & fight for him & for his friends- the same old war over & over again (pg 4a) I wish from 
my heart he would leave & never come back.  I seldom see him but when I do he is most cordial & pleasant but I take it now for just 
what it is worth & no more-  I realize more all the time how utterly impossible it has ever been for him to in any degree appreciate 
the friend  ship you & I were foolish enough to give him- I think he goes to Presnells morning, noon, & night  I never see Sudie but 
(pg 4b) she tells me he has been there.  I really think he goes there more constantly than ever before.  He & Sudie took tea with 
Mrs Ervin Thursday eve. Sudie said she thought he asked Mrs E. to invite her- I saw him alone a few minutes & gave him your messages he 
said he did not intend for you to return to the orphanage next year as he needed you here to work- I said nothing but thought pardner 
you'll know a thing or (pg 5a) two when he does come.  He has several schemes on hand- his darling one is to raise $1000.00 in a 
year & buy a pipe organ-  I know that appeals to you - He is having Mr Presnell to raise by inscription $200.00 to improve the *manse- 
You know Mr Johnson has rented the *manse as his Mother & Sister are coming right soon to live with him.  Wilhelmina has Mrs Bailey a 
baby? & what was the matter (pg 5b) with her when she was ill?  Have you ever seen her in the flesh & what does she look like?  Did 
you ever see Dr Dill?  Mr J said you had not  I think like you that Mr J had little to do to say any thing to make your Mother think 
you were not happy.  Tho just between us I've never thought you were happy there  I always say when I'm asked about you that you are 
delighted with the life down there (pg 6a) but in my heart I've never believed that it was "all you fancy painted it" before you left 
- I hope & pray I am mistaken however.  

I sure hope you will come home soon & stay when you come- I miss you more than I can say- I do wish you were coming Christmas.  It 
seems so long since you left- Sudie & I walked out to see Mrs Taylor Thanksgiving afternoon & we spoke of you & wondered what you 
were doing.  Do (pg 6b) you remember last Thanksgiving day?  How long ago it seems-  Please write me a long letter soon. If you only 
knew how glad I am to hear from you, you would write more promptly.  I'll write you about the wedding.  With a great deal of love & 
hoping to hear from you soon 
Most fondly yours

* Manse: the house occupied by a minister of a Presbyterian Church.

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