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.
I sent you a wireless Tuesday to advise you of the arriving time of the ship,
remembering when I left that I’d told you Wednesday A. M. I presume you received it all
right. I don’t know yet exactly what our movements will be. Probably we shall stay at
Galveston Friday — Saturday at Houston, and try and get to San Antonio for Sunday
morning. The whole field being so new to me I am unable to tell just how long it will take us
to get through in each place. We shall stay a day or two at San Antonio and perhaps take
a days recreation when the work is done. From San Antonio we shall go to Waco, Fort
Worth, Dallas, Shreveport, LA & New Orleans, where mail will reach me, % St. Charles
Hotel at N. O. I will write you each day we are on land telling you definitely of our
I am expecting news from you upon arrival at Galveston tomorrow. I hope you are
well and that all the babies are well and that Jack is safely launched on a proper diet and
getting on his feet.
The boys are packing their trunk, quite a big job for them, and ask to be
remembered to you.
I can get no pleasure out of a trip of this kind without you sweet heart and shall be
glad indeed when it is over and I am with you again. The consolation about the thing is that
I am away for a serious purpose which if achieved will have paid for the unrest which the
separation causes. Then how sweet the home coming will be.
Tell Billy I have used his ruler a great deal and when it gets back to him it will be a
much traveled ruler.
Kiss all the children for me and accept my hearts love and life long devotion for your
own dear self.
With many kisses
P.S. You might address me this way. I want to hear from you often but don’t know
exactly how to have you address me. Suppose preparations are going on for Ethel’s
birthday party and that you have provided roller skates for her. If you haven’t I can get
them when I get back. Give her my love and congratulations.