Posts Tagged ‘Pre-WW1 letters’



Prentiss Hall, March 30, ’15

Dear Folks,

     I will answer this letter right away, because I know it takes a long time for mail to go back there. I had been looking for a letter for some time, and didn’t know what could ve the matter with you folks.

    My job at St Paul’s lasted about a week, but I will have another job next Monday at a boarding house near here. I don’t know how “hashing” will go with me, but I think I will soon break in. It will be a good thing, because a guy can get a job easier if he has had experience waiting on tables.

   Tomorrow is the last day of school for a weeks time. I wish I could get a job, but guess there is no chance. I will work on my story that is to go into the contest for the $15 or $19 prize.

March 31

I was out to Palmer’s* last Saturday for the afternoon. They like it very well here. The town has about 800 inhabitants and theirs is the only church besides the Adventist. I saw a Newberg paper out there, but I only saw that Mrs. H. Hanson has another daughter, and that the High School beat MacI.** in both basket-ball games.

    It seems funny to hear about storms, freezing water pipes, and snow because we are having the most ideal weather that I have ever lived in. The air has the smell of leaves, of grass, of flowers, and pine trees in it all at once. I never have seen anything like it.

    What is the matter with Aunt Jane? I wonder if she has forgotten that it is her turn to write.

Say Ma dont work too hard. Get along the best you can until I get home. You can bank on me for lots of help when I get back. Dont try to take the house apart because there is a little dust. Still I suppose you have already done most of it and my advice will not do anyo good.

    You tell John that if he learns German he will have to work on it, because I wont teach him if he dont want to do any work himself. I am doing reading outside of class, and handing in synopses of the works in German. I can probably raise my grade more that way than I can in class.

    Now I come to the worst part of the letter. I am broke. I have no excuse to offer. I believe I have lived as cheap as was possible, except for a little bit spent foolishly perhaps, but it was even then quite necessary. When the guys that you are with, spend money on you, a person feels like a crab is he doesn’t reciprocate a little, and I am no exception. Anyone would do it. I hate like everything to ask you folks for money when you are just getting settled, and need a lot, but I am at rock bottom. I think I will be able to do a lot of work for you folks, and I will surely return the first real money I make to you until I begin to make up a little of the debt I owe. If you people wonder where the money goes to, and you surely must, I will keep a cash account and turn it in every month.

    Well I guess I have told about all the news. Dont hold back so long from writing as you have been doing.

    Tell Dad that George Fox*** said that Dorwin**** had an operation last winter at Spokane, I think for appendicitis, and is not doing any work now.

     I meet lots of fellows that are from Wisconsin. Several of the professors are, and at least one of the students, a Ralph Potter is from the country around Eau Claire.

Dale Melrose

Firstly, I did not put (sic) in every single time Dale missed an apostrophe. This letter is a disaster of apostrophe abuse. I can’t even go there.

Secondly, I remember working that “I need money” paragraph into my letters home from college.

*Palmer’s. Pastor of the Congregational Church in Walla Walla in 1915. National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States –

**MacI. McMinnville. Newberg and McMinnville are small towns in Oregon that are very close together.

***George Fox – George Fox College in Newberg, Oregon (presently George Fox University). A Quaker College.

****Dorwin. I HAVE NO CLUE. I read all of the issues of The Crescent (the George Fox school newspaper) issued between November 1914 and March 15, 1915. It is *not* Darwin as Charles Darwin was already quite deceased by the winter of 1914 (he died in 1882).

Outside of those notes, I love the little poke at sibling rivalry between my Great Uncle Dale and my grandfather, John.

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