New Providence, NJ
Dec 1, 1898
From: Ruth Barrell
To: William A Gray
My dear Will:
Your two letters of yesterday received this morning, and I am sure it is needless for
me to tell you, how happy they made me. I am so glad you enjoyed my last letter. I always
mean them to make you happy Dear, that’s no small mission.
I was very lonesome too, Will, until I received your letters, for the same reason you
were, I expect. I read so much in between the lines of those two letters. You said you
meant to love me in “a stronger purer way.” I too say that. I have prayed for it Will, and I
think you will find me a better girl in that respect than I have been, and therefore a help to
I should think we have had more snow, lots of it. The sleighing is still good. Ethel
and I took a sleigh ride up to Murray Hill this morning and Tuesday Bessie, Ethel and I
went down to Summit, so I’ve had two rides since the great one of Monday morning. If it
lasts perhaps we’ll have one Saturday. When, and where, are you coming?
I am sorry you have the rheumatism, be careful, keep warm, and shake that old
Seems to me, I’ll have to prepare to be a school-marm after all. And by the way who
are you going to talk Latin to, hope not me. But, joking aside, I really shall enjoy learning
with you any and all things we find time for, music not the least by any means.
I spent part of this bright afternoon putting putty in the cracks up in our room to be. I
hope we can finish painting it by next week so we can put the stove in and have a warmer
nest for you, when you stay here. I’ll be looking out for those handles, Saturday.
The other evening Mother and I were having a nice quiet little talk about my pretty
white dress and such things, and the idea popped into my head to ask what was the proper
dress for you as I was rather ignorant on such topics. She told me at any day time wedding
the proper dress was just such a suit as you wear most of the time, a cutaway coat, white
tie, etc. A rig you could keep for the best wear right along after the occasion. I am glad, for
I remember you spoke of a Prince Albert the other night, and I never could bear them. I
remember one Charley used to have, nasty thing too. Joe used to wear it milking cows in
its latter end, and we all made fun of it. I’ll like you so much better in your usual style and
you know I mean everything to be sweet and simple and no formalities of any kind. I
bought a dress I could wear afterwards because I couldn’t afford one for the occasion
alone and besides, I like the simpleness of it.
O, Will, what jolly good times we’ll have together some of these days. O, I want a
piece of some of your neck ties by Saturday. The pillow is nearly covered. One more bout
ought to finish it up. I’ll fix the neck ties up if I have to mutilate any of them, but that pillow
wouldn’t be complete without something you had worn to adorn it.
I enclose you a bit of poetry I found among some of my old school papers,
yesterday. Perhaps you have seen it before.
I will mail this as we go to prayer meeting.
With a lot of kisses and my hearty love
I am ever yours, Ruthy