Fayette Friday – Fannie L. (Gilchrist) Merrell #2

A second letter from Fannie Gilchrist to Lena Scofield. It is not clear whether this is the first letter or the second, since last week’s letter did not include the year. While this letter describes part of Fannie’s journey to Iowa, it could have been written months afterwards. Fannie becomes a great contemporary witness to the fire that destroyed Chicago in October 1871, as she mentions traveling through a burnt section of the city.

Letter transcription:

Marion, Iowa Dec 14th, 72

Dear Lena

I received your letter and was very glad to hear from you. I thought you was going to wait until I wrote. O! how I wish I could see you and tell you all the news you want me to tell you all about my journey it would have been very pleasant – if I had been well it makes me have the head ach to write on the cars It was in the after noon when we crossed the Mississippi and the sun was shining and it did look so pretty I wish you could of seen it there is an island in it with two houses on it – there was a lady on the cars that told me they was not nice people that lived there. Lake Michigan was so pretty the sun was shining on it – which made it look beautiful. Did you ever see a wind mill? I saw so many of all shapes they did look so funy. On getting off the cars

[page 2] at the great Union Depot at Chicago we had to get in the to go to the well street Depot and going from one Depot to the other we passed through the burnt part of the city. I saw a great many people there was a carrage passed us and I think the women that were in the carriage was Nun’s they did look so funy. I reached the end of my journey between 8 and 9 o’clock I was very tired. I spend my Thanksgiveing at home I was invited out but did not go, Miss Small was here for dinner. Are you making any Christmas presents? Lena pleas tell Em and Min I would like to write to them but have not time I send my love to them. Is Mary there yet? You say you wish I could see Zella I would like to very much. I send my love to Pauline and ask her if she does not want to take a sleigh ride this winter. You want me to tell you all about my school I am acquainted with all of the girls of my size and most all of the large ones I have not had an introduction to any of the boys and I do not want any the boys here are

[page 3] are no better than they are there. I like some of the girls real well. I sit with Alice Cook I think she is a very nice little girl. Alice and I got weighted and I weigh 104 Miss Small think I am flesher than when I first came. I go with Effa Whipple the most of the time she is my cousin she is as large as I but not as old. I have not been to see her but twice since I been here and she does not live far from our house I was over to her house yesterday evening and we had a real nice time she played on the Piano and I sang. Aunt Abbie said I might go to the Literrary so Effa Anna and their Ma called for me and I went with them. We had a real nice time it was at the public school there are three Literrary socities here. Are they going to have a tree Christamas at our church? We were going to have a supper Christamas eve I gues they are going to put it off until the horses get better so the country people can come and then we are going to have a sleigh ride before supper won’t that be nice? I should think

[page 4] Anna Quinn would have been ashamed of her self that piece that was in the Gazette, was she not? What made them put it in? Does Ella Quinn go over to our house? You ask me if I do not think of staying here two years I would like to go to school two years for I think I know very little for a girl of my age. How can they get Mr. Bippetoe when He is superintendant of the College? You ask me if it is so that Emma was going to be married I don’t know what you mean I never said any thin about her going to marry. Lizzie has not answered my letter yet. Have you heard from Ella lately? The wind is blowing real hard to day you ought to hear it – some time I know it would scare you. My new dress is done it is trimed with satten of a darker shade it is made with a polinase buttoned up behind it has three folds on the upper skirt and a ruffle and Miliners fold above that and between the two there is a fold of satten on the lower skirt there is a broad piece of bias satten I think it is very

[top margin] pretty. I am going to wear it tomorrow. You did not tell me what you did on Election day did you ride on the wagon? It was as still as could be here it seemed so funny for it was all ways so noisy there. Next week is examination. I have to learn sum poetry this afternoon for next Friday. I wish you would tell me all about the Rivel Sisters and Bone of Contention Aunt does not take that paper she take the Presbeter. I am readying that story I think it is real interesting. There is some snow on the ground – When you write please tell me what they done with Dickey. Are my flowers growing nice? O! how I wish I could see you. I was invited to a party not long ago Aunt thought I had better not go she said she did not like for me to be out at night and the boys and girls were not as old as I. I found out afterwards that they danced and cut up high. They always have refreshments at parties here. How do you wear your hair

[top margin 2] I cannot [?] mine fit to be seen my [?] teeth are broke and my come is to big. Emma all ways fixes it on Sabbath for me. I send my live to our family tell Ma I will write next week When you write ask me all the questions you want to about my school or anything else I belive I have told you every thing I can think of pleas write soon and pleas excus all mispelled words. I shall look for a letter evry week now from your Friend Fannie L. Gilchrist

P.S. I send my love to all a good part of it for you good by write soon

 

© 2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/08/11/fayette-friday-fannie-l-gilchrist-merrell-2/

4 thoughts on “Fayette Friday – Fannie L. (Gilchrist) Merrell #2

  1. Spyro

    I hope Lena and others wrote Fannie back. It seems Frannie is very aware of what is around her – weather, area, other girls. As an outsider that strikes me as a great characteristic. But I wonder how it is accepted by others. Maybe I am imagining too much. Great letter though – thank you – Spyro

    Reply

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