Tag Archives: Fannie L. (Gilchrist) Merrell

Fayette Friday – Fannie Gilchrist #3

Letter transcription:

Marion Iowa July 1 [likely 1873]

Dear Lena

I am ashamed to write to you after delaying so long, but I hope you will forgive me for I could not help it you know. I want to see you very much. I can scarsely wait until the time comes for me to come home. I do not know when that will be. Just to think I have been here over nine months, it does

[page 2] not seem so long to me, as perhaps it does to you, for I have been so busy, if I had not I don’t belive I could have stayed so long. I remember the morning I started from home as thought it had only been yesterday, you were looking at the cars coming into town, and there was to be an excursion that morning. I do not expect to write a nice long letter like yours, for I am not a good hand at writing letters. This has been a very warm day and is Friday afternoon. I have just come home from school I am sitting on the back porch. It is so nice and cool, Uncle has just had Lattice work put around it. I expect you are having nice times playing Croquit are you not? I would like to be there playing with you. I was invited to go to my Sabbath school teacher’s some evening and play. I

Fannie Gilchrist’s letter, page 1

[page 3] guess I will. Lena I have not been out in the woods this Spring I had several bouquets of wild flowers given to me. Who do you go with now? I mean what girl, I wonder why Lizzie don’t write I guess it is because I was so long in answering her letter. Does Marie Walker live at Mr. Merrill’s now? Can Em and Min play on the Piano yet? Would you please tell them for me Lena, to please excuse me for not writing to them for I could not you can tell them the reasons, and tell them I send my best regards. Have you seen Becca’s sister? And how do you like her? I remember telling you about Emma you know we thought she was going to get married, but she is not that I know of. I guess we are going to have a grand time here on the Fourth, you read the paper I sent Ma did you not? What are [on the first page]

Fannie Gilchrist’s letter, pages 2 and 3

[page 1 top] They going to do there? Have the children put the Croquet set out yet? Mamie says Zella can walk I want to see her so very much. We have such a pretty Park here it is just across the road from our school room, we go there at recess some times we hunt for four leaf clover and sit on the seats and tlk. They have iron chairs and settees and four large bases with flowers in. On the north side of it is the City scales with a little house attached to them and on top of this the band plays in the evening. Have you got many flowers? What do you do to keep your self busy? I expect you have enough to do. How is H. G. M. getting along? I mean the beautiful young lady across the street. Ma said Mr. Behner and Martin’s were not on good terms what is the trouble? How is Annie Quin getting along does she go to our house much now? Did you read her book and is it nice? She said she was going to send me one but did not. Have you heard from Ed lately?

Fannie Gilchrist’s letter, page 4

[page 4] He has not answered my letter yet. Are you reading the stories in the Presbeter? Isent Mr. Trerant mean? I think he is. I have such a pretty new calico dress I suppose Ma showed you the piece I sent her. Is Bell well? What is Ella dong? I have been to two afternoon parties this summer. I expect you will laugh when you read this letter for there isn’t much more than a line on about the same thing. I received your letter and I thought Charlie C was Charlie Coon. I could not think what it meant understand it until I read Ma’s letter. How do you like him? do you think he is prettier than Ed? I think he is. Did he get acquainted with any of the other girls? Could he play Croquet very well? Where did you do down town? Did he say

Fannie Gilchrist’s letter, page 5

[page 5] any thing about me? Lena if I ask you to many questions do not answer them. Is Pauline in C.? or in Indianapolis? I wonder why she does not write to me. Do you correspond with her? How is Mrs. Thomases baby getting along? And what did they name it? I think my pairsol is very pretty don’t you? Did you get you a new one this Spring? I wrote the first part of this letter before school closed. I am having vacation now you said you had so much to tell me I want you to tell me every thing you can think of. Please don’t wait as long as I did. You don’t ask me half enough questions so that when I write I do not know what to tell you about that would interest you. Have you seen Mr. Reppetoe lately? I don’t belive I told you I received a letter from him, but I have not answered it. I guess I have told you all I can

[page 4 margins/top] think of so I will bring my long looked for letter to a close. Give my love to all that may inquire for me. Much long to you all, the most for your self. Good bye please write to me as soon as you can. P.S. I expect Ma will wonder why her letter is so long coming I wrote it Monday but forgot to send it to the P.O. that is all from


Envelope addressed to Lena Schofield, Connersville, Indiana

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/08/25/fayette-friday-fannie-gilchrist-3/

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/

Fayette Friday – Fannie L. (Gilchrist) Merrell #1

During the early 1870s, most likely 1872 or 1873, Fannie Gilchrist moved from Connersville, Indiana, to Marion County, Iowa, with her family. Fannie’s sister Zella has conflicting birth locations in 1872, either in Iowa or Fayette County. While Fannie’s brother Clifford, born in 1873, always claimed Indiana as his birthplace. Regardless, Fannie’s family seems to have moved back and forth between Fayette County and Iowa. Fannie married in Fayette County, in 1877, and remained there until the deaths of her husband and son in the early 1910s. Fannie’s parents moved to Iowa before 1900 and were buried across the border in Kansas.

Lena and Fannie most likely attended school together in Connersville as young girls and teenagers. Born in November 1856, Fannie was about 16 when this letter was written.



Letter transcription:

Marion Iowa May 30th

Dearest Lena

I thought I would send you a little note with Ma’s letter to let you know that I have not forgotten the nice times we use to have. I hope you will excuse me for not answering your letter, I intend to as soon as possible. O! I want to see you so very much. I am so sleepy I will have to close this long note. P.S. Please excuse paper. From Fannie to dear Lena.



©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/08/04/fayette-friday-fannie-l-gilchrist-merrell-1/