Getting Out Early Is Not Without Its Rewards

23 May

Summit, NJ
Dec 1, 1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

My Dearest, Ruth:

Supper over, I am going to write you a few lines tonight before retiring. Was pleased
more than I can tell you to receive your letter last night, and would have written then had I
not some things to perform that could not very well have been postponed. My programme
last night was to read your letter, eat supper, and read your letter again, and in anticipation
of catching the 6:20 next morning, taking a hasty shave and to bed.

Well Ruth, I have the honor of addressing you now our first communication of good
old December. So far it has done very nicely for us in the line of weather. I hope it keeps
up. Tonight’s paper says snow for tonight, colder weather tomorrow. I wonder if this will
have been realized when you are reading this letter. When I left home this morning
everything in nature seemed particularly beautiful for this season; dawn had just
commenced to break in the east while the western sky was still studded with stars. One of
the planets stood out in the East, I don’t know which, but seemed very large and bright. I
watched this Eastern sky from the train all the way to South Orange, and it was a
continually changing panorama of colors for the entire distance. No sunset I have ever
seen could compare with it. It seems to me Ruth, a sunrise is most times prettier than a
sunset. Of course the latter may have the most inspiration for poets in the fact that so
much has been written on the setting of night, but to me a beautiful sunset is followed by
night, sometimes of the blackest, while on the other hand, the beautiful eastern sky of the
early dawn becomes the herald of another day of opportunities. Getting out early is not
without its rewards.  

No Ruth, I was not tired Sunday evening, anymore than easily wore off in the night.
Some place or other I have picked up quite a good cold, which is giving me some
annoyance just now.

My dear Ruth, I’m sorry you have such a task in being as good as you want to be. I
cannot understand, of course, what your standard is, for you have been good enough to be
my ideal, and I never see anything in your character or life, except what tends to raise you
higher and higher in my estimation. It is a source of great joy to me Ruth to be loved by
you as you love me and I can never repay you by just loving you in return.

I hope to see you tomorrow evening Ruth and to that end will retire early so as to
go down on the 6:20 tomorrow and make sure of getting the 5:40 to West Summit
tomorrow P.M.

I would like to have been with my Ruth tonight to talk to instead of to write. I would
like to be near my own silly Ruthy now to kiss goodnight but Ruthy and the kisses will wait.

So Ruth, until tomorrow, I will say goodbye.

Accept my best wishes for your health, and ever increasing love, from

Forever your


Ruth: I found you some “Jingles and Jests,” not because they are especially
brilliant, or even ordinarily so, but I feel you need some decided diversion after reading this

Yours, Will



Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Family History


Tags: , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Getting Out Early Is Not Without Its Rewards

  1. Sheryl

    May 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    I’m surprised that Will wrote Ruth a letter when he expected to see her the next day. The mail apparently was delivered in less time in the late 1800s than it is now.

    • Jenny

      May 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      I know- he sometimes mentions that she should get his letter the same day, even. Pretty impressive.


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