I Am Convinced the Auto is the Way to See the Country

15 Sep
Unknown Passenger and Will's father- in Will's Franklin, 1905.

Unknown Passenger and Will’s father- in Will’s Franklin, 1905.

Enroute to Chicago
Dec 1, 1907

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

My Dearest Wife Ruthy:

It isn’t much fun trying to write on this shaky old train, but I want to talk to you so
much and I know you’ll appreciate the effort. Well, here I am at 5 P. M. 100 miles away
from Denver on my way to you and home. I’d give all I have except you and the babies to
have this train take wings and drop me down in your midst tonight. Before I started to write
and just as darkness was settling down over the plains, I closed my eyes and tried to
picture my little family at home. Sunday evenings work done all done for a while, my love
in our cosy corner on the couch, Billy on one side, Ethel on the other, Ruthy perhaps
sparring for both positions and Katherine, dear little Katherine arrive somewhere near by
happy and contented — and the Sunday school lesson or maybe a story absorbing the
attention of all. Perhaps too, you are at the piano going over the children’s hymns, with all
the little voices piping out their best and coming in strong on the refrain. Its a nice sort of a
picture, and one would have to go a long way to beat it.

I wrote you yesterday from Denver a synopsis of events of that date. Last night I
took Mr Shields buyer of books & stationery for Denver Dry Goods Co to the “Broadway
theater.” We saw Taversham in the “Squaw Man.” (By the way the whole company is on
the train now.) It was a drama of Western setting and altogether too much blood and
thunder to suit me. Got to bed about 11:30 and had a rather restless night, but managed to
get some sleep before morning. Breakfast at 8 o’clock and then started out to see if there
was any word of my man. Sure enough he arrived at the Albany Sunday morning. I quietly
found him in his room and in a couple of hours accomplished the object of my trip. 

Business over, I turned my thoughts homeward. (Train has stopped at some God forsaken
town, note difference in writing.) and was able to make this train at 2:30. All I saw of
Denver outside of business district where my business took me was a glimpse of some of
the residence district from a trolly car ride taken to use up ¾ of an hour between lunch and
train leaving time. They told me what a fine trip it is to Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods,
and Colorado Springs, etc., but I was in no frame of mind for any pleasure excursions,
preferring to confine myself to the business of the trip and wait for some future time when I
could take my sweetheart with me to see the sights. Like the sea rolling in at Atlantic City, I
guess (train starts) old Pikes Peak will still be where he is when we get ready to go and
see him, and I hope when in God’s providence that good time comes, we will have nothing
on our minds except to have “a fine time.” — The train is stopped again. — We are at Akron,
Co 112 miles from Denver and I guess they are picking up a Diner here. Ruthy my
sweetheart how I would like to emphasize these words with a hug and a kiss, I am going to
buckle down to real earnest hard work and look forward to the time when we can take a
nice vacation, our honeymoon all over again, and I am convinced the auto is the way to
see the country. Denver is full of autos. The Franklin is more conspicuous than in the east
— in fact I saw a Franklin pulled up at a place we stopped at since leaving Denver, Fort
Morgan by name. The streets in Denver are fine and they have some Boulevards reaching
far towards the hills. I noticed the roads along the Union Pacific were mostly hard and
quite level and would make fine Auto roads. What could be more fun than to have a nice
big well-equipped touring car and travel from place to place, stopping at will, and seeing
the country as only an auto can show it up. I am dreaming tonight but they are pleasant

The train is started again and I am commencing to feel the writer’s cramp, so I will
close now.

Dearest loveliest girl — I can work and be happy while I have you to think of and
love me. After closing this letter and until sleep conquers thought, my mind will be on you,
the little ones, also the home. Good night sweetheart, I sincerely hope you are well. With
love and kisses for all, I am


Should arrive at Chicago morning 9:30 P. M. Will stay at hotel over night, and leave
over New York Central on an early Tuesday afternoon train, arriving home late
Wednesday night.

More love and kisses

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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Family History


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