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Monthly Archives: April 2013

One Day Nearer

Ruth's sister, Bessie.

Ruth’s sister, Bessie.

Summit, NJ
June 9, 1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

Dearest Ruth:

Here it is, Wednesday night, the one upon which I hoped to see you, but this
miserable weather having asserted itself, I shall have to be content with writing.

If I were only in possession of Aladdin’s Lamp, I would immediately have the genie
transfer me to your presence, but none of our lamps which I have tried respond to the
mystic touch, so once more I shall have to be satisfied with my lot, as it is.

Well, how do you do on this beaut – miserable June night? Are you quite well? My
only wishes are that you are and that the weather of the past few days has not
permitted you to take cold.

Now that I have started, I don’t know of anything to write about. So far as personal
affairs go, each day is a repetition of the previous one, and not a new thing happens.

Monday and Tuesday, I was asleep before 9:30 P.M. and am at present very well indeed.
Joe’s time in this latitude is now very short, isn’t it? I should have taken the
opportunity Sunday evening of saying goodbye, but of course didn’t expect all this mean
weather would come to prevent my seeing him again. However, Ruth, I am going to say
goodbye, for if Joe goes as Dave has arranged I shall wait in Hoboken tomorrow evening and see him off.

David tells me that Bessie is not well. I sincerely hope nothing serious is the matter
and that she will be well when this reaches you. It seems to me if either you or Bessie is
ever unwell, the cause is the same; too much work. Dearest Ruth, good health is to be
prized above everything else so do be good to yourself.

I didn’t see you at the wedding today, primarily because I wasn’t there and I don’t
suppose you were either. Ed was our only representative, he having strayed in after
returning from New York. He said there was no conspicuous features, except perhaps, the
“I wills” of the bride and groom. After the ceremony, the main doors were locked, while the
married pair escaped through a side entrance.

Ruth, dear, if I could only be with you tonight even ever so short a time just so that I
could get one look into those generous blue eyes I so love. How much better equipped I
would be for following my solitary way for the rest of the week. But, Ruth, as it is, I am far
from unhappy. God has been very good to me, very much better than I deserve. I could
enumerate a long list of blessings and I am going to try and be thankful for them, instead of
thinking of the few that are temporarily withheld.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Family History

 

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This Has Been Another Glorious Day

Ruth's brother, Joe

Ruth’s brother, Joe

22 Cliff St, NY
May 19, 1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

My Dear Ruth:

I have been thinking that, however sincere my motive may have been, it wasn’t very
generous of me to ask you to go to Summit Friday night, when you will be hindered by so
many things. As you said yesterday, the horses will probably have worked all day and for
that matter, so will you, and perhaps it would be better, being Friday, for you to get a good
nights sleep, so we can have lots of energy stored up for our fun on Saturday. Then again,
Joe being home, and your grandmother visiting you, perhaps the trouble and fuss of
hitching up would create a disturbance you would rather avoid. All these things didn’t
occur to me last night and if they did to you, I know you would rather bridge them over than
place any discouragement on my suggestion.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Family History

 

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Friend, Get Some Oil!

Gray/Barrell Croquet Photo (Ruth sitting on left, Will's father seated in middle, Will standing behind his father)

Gray/Barrell Croquet Photo (Ruth sitting on left, Will’s father seated in middle, Will standing behind his father)

Summit, NJ
May 13, 1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

Dearest Ruth:

Here it is, Thursday night, and I am writing you as I said I would, providing I did not
call on you instead.

Your letter was awaiting my home coming today and it is needless to say that its
receipt was the greatest pleasure I have had since Tuesday evening last.

I was sorry to read of your hurting your poor nail, and if it were your right hand, must
have interfered with your writing me as well as your piano practice. Ruth, when are you
going to stop maiming yourself – or more correctly speaking, when is that shadow of
misfortune which seems to control those things, going to raise itself from you?

I am very sorry to know of Abe’s misfortune. I confess, Ruth, it is the part of our
religion I don’t understand, which causes or permits these repeated visitations of what
must be both physical pain and mental strife upon persons so undeserving of it, and so ill
prepared to meet it. From my point of view I can only feel for Abe the sorrow one creature
of this world can have for his less fortunate brother, but to stop and consider calamity after
calamity, which has overtaken him, rendering his poor home almost barren of everything
that makes a home, it is really something terrible to contemplate. He has my deepest
sympathy and my sincere wish the future will do much in happiness, to hide the
misfortunes past.   Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Family History

 

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No More Fulton Street Cars for Me

May 1897 letter image

May 8, 1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

My Dear Ruth:

It is now close to nine o’clock and I am going to devote a little while before retiring
to a little talk with you. Indeed, my feelings compel me to write, so great is my
disappointment in coming home to find that no one was at the Post Office for the evening
mail. I do not know that you have written and would not be so much disappointed if you
had not and I only knew it; but to think of the possibility of a letter awaiting me, and being
unable to get it for another whole day, so tires my patience that there is no relief, except in
writing you, and as I know you will understand my position, you will also excuse so selfish
a motive I have in writing.

I have been thinking of you all day and wondering if you are better. I have been
trying to think that you are, from the fact of your seeming so, when I left you last night. If I
only knew that you are and that you had taken a good rest today, I should be very much
more at ease.   Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Family History

 

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May is the Month of the Apple Blossoms

Letter News Clipping

Summit, NJ
May 3, 1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

My Dear Ruth:
While it is a little contrary to the order of your note, I know you will not object to my
writing you and entering into your proposition for tomorrow night, too.

Our horse and vehicle will be utilized by the family tomorrow evening and while I
gladly would have secured a rig in Summit for the occasion, yours is in every way a more
agreeable plan, besides making it possible for us to be at the show in good time.

So, my dear Ruth, if it is according to your good pleasure, instead of my meeting
you, you will call for me at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, as proposed. I am sorry that you shall be
caused any trouble or inconvenience at all in the matter, and it is not my disposition
towards you Ruth, if you should be, but this time there seems to be no avoidance of it and
what I cannot do to help, I shall make up in appreciation of your kindness.   Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Family History

 

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Hoping All Your Chicks Are Flourishing

Will's mother, Elizabeth (and Jim the dog).

Will’s mother, Elizabeth (and Jim the dog).

22 Cliff St, NY
April 28,1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

My Dearest Ruth:

Here it is Thursday morning and I haven’t written a word to my love; but it is not my
fault Dearest. Last night after reaching my room, I started a letter to you, but I was so
sleepy I had to give up before I was fully underway.

Your violet-clover perfumed kiss laden missive came to me yesterday morning and
brought with it too, that deeper pleasure I always have in following the tracing of your pen
through the dear home incidents which occurred since my last visit with you. My heart goes
out to you, Dear, with an ever increasing love and admiration for your sterling character.   Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Family History

 

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What a Pretty Story Could Be Written

Ruth and Ethel, 1890

Ruth and Ethel, 1890

Summit, NJ
April 21, 1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

Dearest Ruth:

I have just finished reading your letter for the second time and in gratitude for your
many kind loving words I am going to write in return at least to express thanks. It was your
intention that I should receive your letter last night, but I did not receive it until tonight. I
was quite sure last night that you had written and you can imagine my disappointment
when I found that nobody had been to the Post Office for the afternoon mail.

However, Ruth, the anticipation of a letter from you is the next pleasantest thing to
receiving it and I have been quite content all day, being positively assured that my
expectations would be realized tonight. I did not take any chance of no one having been to
the Post Office today, for while the train stopped at Summit I ran there and returned just in
time to catch the train again.

As I have already said, your letter being delayed was all the more acceptable, and
when I read it and reread it, my heart seemed to swell with love for you Dear, in return for
your kind and true expressions. I have not only love for you Ruth, but admiration and pride
in your noble character. How proud it makes me to be loved by you Ruth. How proud I felt
Sunday to be near your side when we were out walking together. How can I help being
proud when I am loved by so good and true a girl.   Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Family History

 

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