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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Companion for Time and Eternity

San Antonio, TX
April 4, 1909

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My Dearest Ruthy:

Here we are in S. A. yet. I have just finished writing my orders and it is 1:15 A. M.
Sunday morning. You will be interested to know the orders amount to over $3,500.00,
accomplishing exactly what I came to this town for in the face of many difficulties. This
represents nearly 2 carloads of envelopes.

Well Dearie, late as the hour is I just couldn’t go to bed without having a few words
with you. You must have had several letters from me by this time. The package containing
light suit came this morning and I found your note the first I’ve heard from you since your
letter telling of Ethels party. I figured that you would have had my Galveston and Houston
letters Monday or Tuesday last and that I would have heard from you again here. It
saddened me to note from your letter received today that your many burdens are bothering
you, and I feel very badly that I have been the cause of it all. Dearest Ruthy my own sweet
pure girlie and wife, I love you more than I can ever tell you, and altho what has been
done can’t be undone, it shall be the work of my life to do something for you which will in a
measure compensate for the discomfort I have through no wrong intention brought upon
you. After all, I understand you, Dearest, and know how you feel. I know you wouldn’t
change your lot for that of any other woman in creation so lets go through life, sweetheart,
hand in hand content with the pathway fate has chosen for us, knowing that we shall reach
the land of sunshine and flowers at no very distant date.

Since I have been at this hotel, it has been filled to overflowing with conventions of
Womans clubs. The Federation of Womans Clubs I believe they call it. At meal times, I’ve
had opportunity to observe this class of women. Imagine all sorts of freaks, young, middle
aged and old, most of them homely as mud, nearly all over dressed, dames of 50 summers
or more, using the dress of a 16 year old. Occasionally a woman perhaps 40 might have
with her a scrawny kid, the product of some accident. Would you change places with any
of these? That’s a foolish question to ask you for I know how much you despise this sort of
thing.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Family History

 

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Made a Few Purchases of Souviners

San Antonio, TX
April 1, 1909

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My Dearest Wife Ruthy:

Am too sleepy to write you a long letter tonight altho I should like to. Just finished a
5 page epistle to B & J, but must have a few words with you before retiring. Went to a
Mexican dinner with Mr & Mrs Savage tonight. Think I told you of this before. It was
postponed from last night on account of a shower. I enclose souvenir of the occasion.

Made a few purchases of souvenirs tonight notably Mexican hats for Ethel Ruthy &
Katherine, napkin ring for Jack, whip for Billy & something for big Ruthy too. I do so want to
see you all again, don’t see how I can wait to get home. Have had some success here
which I’ll reserve to tell you about till I get home. Can’t get away until Saturday 3rd which
will put us 2 days behind schedule I sent you. Had expected a letter from you today, but
none came.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in Family History

 

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When Our Family Is Grown Up and Our Ship Has Come

San Antonio, TX
March 31, 1909

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My Dearest Ruthy:

I told you in a postal of our arrival here yesterday A. M. and I would write you last night. I
did not write and I am taking this half hour before lunch to do so. Geo & I called on Hamilton
Savage last night, Clay remaining at the hotel, and returning about 10:30. I was so sleepy that I
could scarcely get my clothes off. The Savages live about 15 minutes trolly ride from the hotel in a
sort of bungalow cottage. Mrs S is a nice woman. They have two youngsters, a boy 3 and girl 6
months. I haven’t seen much of the city yet, but I should say the great feature of the place is the
most agreeable and comfortable climate. I never saw a finer night that last. Moon & stars shining
brightly & temperature feeling wholly lacking in our Eastern climate. I received your second letter
yesterday morning and was very happy to hear so good a report of your general condition at
home, I am already very tired and am anxious to get back. The boys want to prolong it and remain
here balance of the week, cutting out Waco & Austin & making our next stop Dallas. I think
however we shall move along about as per schedule I sent you from Houston. I must get home
before the 15th to take care of personal affairs as well as business, and so must move along
pretty fast after leaving here. The opportunities for doing business are good in this state altho it
can’t be worked up in a minute and need some plugging before getting it in line. The big jobber
here is San Antonio Drug Co and they have an order now 2 loads of envelopes which will last
them well into the summer.

This would be a royal trip under right conditions. This hotel is full to the doors of tourists,
men women & children who appear to have nothing to do except to go about having a good time.
I know a good fellow to travel with. Her name is Ruthy Gray (I saw a shingle in Houston
Dr Barrell physician) and some day she and I are going to see all this country together. For that
reason I have no special interest in seeing sights now, deferring this pleasure until we can come
together. I still believe that the auto is about the nicest way to get around and when our family is
grown up and our “ship has come,” I can see we two with some of the younger Grays speeding
along in our fully equipped touring car, going where and when we please. There is no fellow in the
world I can have as good a time with as Ruthy B Gray. So to the work, both of us, to bring about
the time when the interrupted companionship of the present will be replaced with a long holiday of
being together and doing & going what & where we please.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Family History

 

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New Jersey Is Good Enough For Me

Houston, TX
March 28, 1909

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My own Dearest Wife, Ruthy:

Here it is Sunday evening and I have been away from you eight long days and as
many nights. Well to say that I am lonesome is putting it very mildly. I would give anything
to be able to see you tonight seated, perhaps at the piano, going over some of the old
hymns which have been mingled with all the sweet memories from our first acquaintance to
the present time. Children all to bed after a day of busy activity and a comfortable feeling
that you have done your part and all is well.

I think I wrote you that we arrived here Friday night last. We busied ourselves
looking up trade until 3 P. M. Saturday and finished the afternoon at a ball game. Last
night we went to the theatre seeing Louis Mann in “The Man Who Stood Still.” Personally, I
don’t care about going, but the boys are the most fidgety fellows, and I have to give them
some satisfying diversion, choosing the least harmful. The play was rather funny in spots.
The theme was not a happy one and would not interest you or I.

On account of visiting baseball teams, theatrical troupes, drummers, etc., etc. this
hotel is very crowded and we could not get decent accommodations until tonight. Friday &
Saturday nights we had miserable rooms opening on a court without bath or running water
and the beds were the limit. Tonight we are transferred to better quarters with bath and
writing this letter is the first bit of privacy and comfort I’ve had since coming to this town. I
haven’t seen anything yet that I’d trade the Forest Hill home for house, ground, bed, or
anything else. New Jersey is good enough for me. The weather has been sultry and hot
and fearing my one suit wouldn’t “suffice,” I wired you last night to express my newest 2
piece suit to San Antonio. I can’t wear the suit I wore away from NJ at all here. The
temperature is over 80 and the sun would melt you. The ground is dry and dusty. I also
wired you to send me a group picture. I want to carry this around with me to put out in my
hotel room for company in my lonesomeness. I hope you were able to mail it.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Family History

 

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The Dearest Girl and Wife that Ever Lived

Galveston, TX
March 26, 1909

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My dearest Ruthy:

Your most welcome and soul refreshing letter awaited me at Galveston this
morning. I have read it twice so far and shall read it over and over again until your next
one is received. I am glad you are all well and that Jack is improving. It must have been a
relief to call Dr MeEwen up and to know he has been in consultation with Dr Penneo. Jack
is in good hands and I’m sure will pick up from now on. I didn’t suppose he had any
sickness, and this probably explained his condition.

Well we have worked Galveston. There is not much here in the business line. Trade
is very quiet and everyone is complaining. One merchant said to me if he only had half as
many customers call as he had traveling men he would be satisfied. However, we sold
some stuff here to one concern and have good prospects with another. Getting through
here and having seen about all there is to see we move on to Houston tonight arriving
there at 8:30 P. M. Our movements will be something like this:  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Family History

 

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How Sweet the Homecoming Will Be

Enroute to Galveston
March 25, 1909

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My own dearest Ruthy:

This is the last night on water. We arrive at Galveston early tomorrow morning. I
meant to have started a letter to you sooner but there has been nothing especially to write
about. The voyage has been without event. Good weather and very smooth sailing has
prevailed. I sat around Saturday afternoon and Sunday, but have worked every day since,
not finishing until late today. There are comparatively few people aboard, and most of them
have been very nice. We have sat at the Captain’s table for meals and none of us have
missed any. I have felt a little squeamish at times, I think due to writing and making small
figures. The boys have knocked around and being out of mischief’s way have done no
mischief. Have been good fellows and of course made a hit with all the passengers on
account of their nice manners and good appearance. One of the passengers traveling with
her husband told me they had us figured out as two young men being accompanied by
their tutor. She certainly was a good guesser. I think there are only about 25 first class
passengers in all, which on a boat of this size is hardly enough to notice. There are no
means of entertainment — no piano or anything of the kind. The Captain is a very nice
man, Mr Evans by name. He owns a Gospel hymn collection and on Sunday we all got
together and sung most of the old hymns you and I know so well. Tonight the Captain
requested us to repeat the performance. So as there was nothing better to do we spent an
hour tonight in the same way. I sang many hymns, closing my eyes and getting my
thoughts back to my dear wife and sweet, sweet home and all the dear youngsters, and
those were the happiest moments I’ve spent on the trip.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Family History

 

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Just a Word Before Retiring

New York, NY
December 15, 1908

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

Dearest Ruthy:

Just a word before retiring. A few sweet words in small space to tuck close in to
your heart. I love you tonight more than ever before — and my last thoughts before going to
sleep will be of Ruthy, the purest, sweetest wife and mother in all the world. Bless you
Sweet-heart and keep you well and happy in all those years to come. To enjoy all the
sweetness coming to one who has sown the seed which is sure to bring rich blessings in
future.

Your
Will

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Family History

 

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