April 5, 1909
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
My Dearest Wife Ruthy:
We arrived here this morning at 8:20. I wrote Austin & Waco to forward mail and
received your letter of 31st sent to Waco. Also yours of 2nd inst as well as Billys letter this
morning. This was the first I heard from you since receiving the note enclosed with my suit,
which arrived Saturday morning last. Well, I was mighty glad to hear from you. Dearest, to
hear your sweet gentle voice talking in your letter and to know that all is well at home.
I don’t suppose many sweethearts write their lovers at so early an hour as you
mention, and I have gotten to believe that we are the only original lovers, as we have a
way all our own of doing things and we get a heap of satisfaction out of it to.
I am glad you are having a nice spring and that birds and buds are instilling new life
and hope. Yes, there are many gay colored birds down here. I could not begin to name
them. Probably with your early training you would recognize many of them. Our stay in San
Antonio was a particularly pleasant one. The weather was fine and I enjoyed the work. The
boys went riding and otherwise killed time. I didn’t complete my work until Saturday
afternoon. On Sunday morning, Mr & Mrs Savage drove up to the hotel about 10:30 A. M.
with a team and 3 seated rubber tired surrey. We drove all around the city through their
nature park and the army post until 1 P. M., arriving at their house where we were guests
for dinner. After dinner the Beilius went off with Mr Perry, Mrs Savages brother, to be
introduced to some very classy young ladies, while I remained with Mr Savage chatting on
the gallery (piazza we call it) until 6 o’clock, when I returned to the Menger, had supper
and went to train at 8:30. Mr and Mrs Savage saw us off and I must say they really put
themselves out to add to the pleasure of our visit. Mr Savage is a very fine fellow. He and
Walter were great pals in Summit, and I gave him the Cameo pin Lillie gave me. He greatly
appreciated this and had it in his tie every time I saw him until we left.
It sounds sweet and natural to hear of the doings of the youngsters. You can’t lack
very much for entertainment with that little bunch around you. My how I would like to creep
into that sweet and homey scene tonight. How sweet it will be when I return. I tell you, you
don’t have to be away very long to realize what a fine place home is after all.
I don’t like the name of Murphy, but I hope he means business and will buy the auto.
The proceeds will straighten out our finances nicely and I can be just as good a husband
to you without it. I was going to say a better one. Will Mr Murphy wait indefinitely?
You are getting along fine with the finances. This is simply another of your virtues
and I take my hat off to you, not only as the Dearest Sweetest, Best Wife that ever lived,
but a careful and economical manager.
I have shut my eyes a number of times Dearie in order to get very close to you.
Even last night in a stuffy upper berth I consoled my self by being there on my back, eyes
shut, thoughts all centered on the sweet home at 287 Montclair Ave and particularly on
one Ruthy Barrell whom I have known and loved so long, and whose charming personality
is reflected in all the atmosphere about the home, which makes it such a pleasant place to
be in and which makes absence from it, away far away, such a hard trial.
I think the 2nd girl idea a very good one and you have my full consent to go ahead
and provide for her as soon as you think it desirable. Why wait until late summer, why not
arrange as soon as possible and have this additional relief during the hot summer months.
From here we go to New Orleans, probably arriving there Thursday or Friday
morning. Will probably ship boys home by boat, leaving Saturday 10th arriving NY
Thursday following (15th). Doubt if I can get through at N. O. [New Orleans] in time to take
boat. If I can’t, will take all rail, arriving home 15th. Don’t want to be any later.
Would like to be alone at this game and take plenty of time. There is no end of
business to be gotten in this country and I would like to work it up.
It is 9:30 P. M. now dearie and I am tired out. Retired 2:30 A. M. Sunday morning.
Sunday night in a bumpety MK and sleeper. Feel very well but just sleepy. You know how I
get at home sometimes.
Now, Ruthy, Dearest, I am going to bed and I am going to put my arms around you
and give you one of those sweet kisses which only you and I know. I am going to try to go
asleep with recollection of your good night kiss in my mind, and I know I shall be happy
Tell Billy I received his letter and appreciate it very much. The Easter card is fine;
very original and cunning.
Ruthys letter was also enjoyed very much. Tell her I will come to see her soon and
shall have something all the way from San Antonio for a good little girl.
Tell Ethel I am expecting a letter from her.
Kiss all the children for me, giving them some good hugs.
By the way, I sent a box of that celebrated pecan nut candy from San Antonio. Hope
it is OK when received.
Good night Sweet Angel Wife Ruthy — Pet, playmate and helper. Good night, yes,
soul to soul, heart to heart, through life, through eternity, with mind on the higher things in
life is one of our parting thoughts tonight. It will be my constant thought to attain this high
level of living.
Good night Ruthy sweetheart mine