Howe Letters - 1902-07

Courting Alice Howard of Magnolia, Wisc.

Mr. George A. Howe, Marshalltown, Iowa
Postmarked: Tewksbury, Mass, Oct. 30, 1902
Letterhead: Poland Spring House (with a coat of Arms), Sapientia Donum Del.,
Hiram Ricker & Sons, South Poland, Me.
Note: Oda is 35, just newly married to John Holyoke Nichols, Margaret Howe 32, George 30. Unclear where they are, maybe Tewksbury sanitarium residence, and why the three together so Oda won't be alone. Mama was still alive, about 66. John has sisters Margaret and Mary so the assumption is Aunt Margaret is his sister.

Dear George:
I've just got up from my afternoon nap, a habit I am cultivating according to Mama's & John's advice! Aunt Margaret has gone to Salem for the night so I am really mistress of all I survey! We get on beautifully together & I don't believe there can be any friction between us. I don't interfere with any of her accustomed duties & in fact I feel pretty useless but shall find my right place before long. She, J. have insisted on my taking the head of the table. It would have been very hard if I'd been left all alone & I'm thankful there was an Aunt Margaret to help initiate me; besides she is so much company & tho I'm not one of the homesick kind, it wouldn't have been strange if I had a lonesome feeling at times! John is so good and dear and does make me very happy. When you get married George, he will be able to give you points & especially on having patience with the wife while she is trying to learn how to adapt herself to new surroundings, manner of life etc!!
We went into Boston Friday to call on Will & Nellie Nichols, then meeting Margaret. John left us & we went to the Symphony; afterward I went to Danvers, a very natural proceeding! J. drove down Sat. evening with the big wagon & Tuesday evening, having packed the presents therein, we drove to Tewksbury, getting caught in a shower on the way but without getting much wet. Almost everyday brings a gift & I am still busy acknowledging them. This is Will Palmer's wedding day. Have you heard that Will Damon has married a girl from Gloucester?
Hope the folks have their furnace fire now for it is real cold: we have steam heat & the house is warm allover. The alterations progress & we begin to see the end; it is a tiresome job. John is driving Jerry again & a horse he calls Blunderbuss. Was ever so glad to get your letter & shall be whenever you can write. Guess you'll have to learn how to spell my new name so I'll enclose one of my cards which has just come. There is but one l in Nichols!
Lovingly, Dode
Card says: Mrs. John H. Nichols.
John was superintendent of the Tewksbury Institute, in Tewksbury, which is north of Danvers)

Absolutely fireproof
[picture] Pike's Peak My room looks right out on it.
The Antlers
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Nov. 29 1906
Dear Folks:
This has been the oddest Thanksgiving I ever attended.
I arrived in Denver at 8: 30 and found a train waiting for Colo. Springs where it arrived at noon. At 1:30 I sat down to my Thanksgiving dinner in a nice little restaurant & had muttonchops, mushrooms, French fried potatoes, rye bread & coffee.
After coming to the hotel, & writing some letters, I hiked over to Manitou & drank some of the splendid water -- the finest I know. Tomorrow at 11:05 I shall go on to Reno. But if you write you had better address me care of Gen Delivery, Colo. Springs, Colorado. I shall come back this way.
You may wonder a little at this trip so I'll explain.
I have always wanted to see the southwest of the US -- not the resorts, but the small cities & the country. Somehow it has always appealed to me -- perhaps on account of the climate as much as anything. At last the wave of immigration has turned that way. I should have gone down five years ago. However, I believe there is time yet to make money on land bought right. Anyhow it will be a good thing for me to get out & see what's going on. I was getting tired of being in the office (though the hours are short enough) & it struck me it would do me good to get out.


Mema's (Alice Howard) courting letters to Pepa (George A. Howe).
They got married Dec. 19, 1907
George's mother, Hannah, died Nov. 2, 1907 so the wedding was postponed to Dec. from what Marge McCaffery says (their daughter).
Addressed to: Mr. George A. Howe, Box, 114, Marshalltown, Iowa.

July 16, 1907 Bennett, Wis.
My dearest George -
This is only a note ... (the rest of this page is cut off -the top of the back side says:) ... anyone else getting it. I havn't got the express either but think it is at Solon Springs as the Hawthorne agent said yes ... (continues on next page) ... be there before this, and yesterday he said the package he sent was from Chicago. Hope to get things straightened out soon. We are looking for a letter from Mother every mail telling us to meet her at Solon, as it can't be long before some of us will go.
Yes, dear George, your letters all suit me, -they are all that I could wish. Have I said anything to make you think they did not? Don't you care sweetheart, I will make up to you when I see you what my letters lack. Of course I love you, and all else that goes with it and I wish for you many times a day. Time does not go as quickly as I wish it did.
Think, George, we had better wait until we can discuss fully concerning the wedding for we may get into difficulty writing it. I have never felt that you wanted to discuss it, but I think it will be best don't you. It seems strange that you have such a horror of a few people, by that I mean forty or fifty -what I call rather a small wedding. The trouble is not much, and something to enjoy and remember. I am afraid without a wedding I won't feel married to you. It is still hard for me to become reconciled to it all.
You must take very good care of yourself, go to bed early, do not smoke too much, --because I love you.


Same address as above but postmarked: Solon Springs, Wis. July 20, 1907

My dearest George -
Don't expect much of a letter tonight, dear, but I feel that I must not neglect you, neither do I want to, even tho' the day has been unusually strenuous. Last night Ella (Alice's sister) fell in the dip tank and has been in bed today -she hopes to get up tomorrow. Clara, the girl, is homesick so she has taken little interest in things so I have been cooking for ten people, looking after the chickens and waiting on Ella. I think things will go more smoothly tomorrow. Mother did not come with my aunt and uncle but is coming tomorrow, so I will get a chance to mail you this, dear.
First of all -I received the kodak and it is a beauty -Why did you get it? Well, I can't tell you my appreciation sweetheart, -just like you, always doing the unexpected, and that has been another reason why I have grown to love you. You have always done so many things for me, that you truly would not have needed to, so I believe it is a pleasure to you, and that you like to be doing for me. Considering all of these things, George, do you really wonder that I love you? - well, I can't see how I could help it, together with your many other fme qualities. I believe I have observed many, altho I may have mentioned only a few.
I have read the directions, George, and find that I am able to open it, and that is about all.
Never having operated a kodak of any kind it seems rather complicated, and I am so fearful of breaking it. Perhaps, George, I had better wait for you to show me how to run it. I rather hesitate to admit that I am so green, but I would hate to do the wrong thing and "bust it". I also received my other package today, so think I have all that is coming to me ---all but you and I will have you. So you really can't consider June! -well, it would be quite a while, but we often appreciate more, the things we have to wait for.
Don't worry, dearest, about there being any danger in me going alone to Solon to meet you. No one would steal me. We go many miles here, and don't see a single sig?, then even tho' I were running a risk, I could not resist the temptation of seeing you first and alone. Yes, come to Solon Springs - You will have to come on the Omaha from St. Paul, as it is the only road that comes anywhere near here. See if the 500 mile mileage books for $10.00 would be cheaper than the excursion rates. In this state they go for 2cents per mile, but I don't know whether or not the rates have changed in Iowa since I left. Don't know as you will need a bathing suit. I don't see any chance for me to wear mine, unless it would be in Superior. I wouldn't run the risk of going in any of the lakes around here. I now think the first of Aug. will be about right, George, if it is convenient for you. I can scarcely wait can you?
I am planning on coming home some time about or shortly after the middle of September, if I can stand it that long. Yes, I want Blanche to come up sometime the last of Aug. or first of Sept., for I think the change will do her good, then I expect to stop off not more than a week in Minneapolis. Don't you think it advisable? Wish I could answer your letters in full, George, for I got two today, but think I will try to make up for it another time. Everyone is in bed and the light is attracting the mosquitoes - they are fierce night and day - that is another reason why you will have a good time. Good night, dearest, with a kiss - sweet dreams. - You should try them – they help.
With much love,
Friday, July 19, '07

Same address -
Postmarked: Bennett,Wis., July 24, 1907
George Dear -
I learned yesterday, George, that the folks go to Superior Sunday night and my aunt and uncle do not come back here. So let me know if it will be convenient for you to leave there Monday night and get at Solon Springs Tues. 2 p.m. --I will meet you. If not let me know just when you will come -anytime I will meet you so if you shouldn't get an answer from me -just set the time yourself & come and I will meet you. You see I can't always get the mail so thought I would give you plenty of time in order that I might get another letter from you. Hope to see you Tues. dearest. Edward (he was married to her sister, Ella Hatch) is now ready for Bennett --6:30 am.
With love
Wed. Morning Allie

Same address, postmarked Solon Springs, Wis. July 27, 1907

My dearest George -
I had hardly expected to get a letter to you again before you come, George, but this morning Mrs. Howard phoned that she is going to Solon Springs, and I thought that you would accept this, dear, with my love altho' it is written in a hurry. You will probably get it Monday and I am expecting you to start Monday night. Howard's have three letters for me, which Mrs. H. will bring over this morning, and I hope that you will not tell me that you can't leave then, for everything seems to center around Tuesday, dearest, and I am getting crazy to see you. I would be terribly disappointed if you postponed it even a day, -I hardly think that you will.
Father and my uncle went fishing this morning, the first time they have gone fishing together for forty years and they act like two "kids." They took lunch enough and will stay until tomorrow. We are having all of the blue berries we can eat now, and think we will have to go berrying, George -it will give us a good excuse to get off alone, and we need to pick only what we like. Don't think I have ever had all of the blue berries I could eat before, for I am fond of them. Be sure and bring old clothes, and possibly you may need heavier clothing, altho' I should think a light over coat would be enough. The days are quite warm and the evenings cool. In the morning it seems good to get to the kitchen stove. I am wondering if there is anything in your letters or letter which Mrs. H --is to bring that I should answer. She will be in a hurry & I probably won't have time to read them, and this will be my last opportunity, but what ever you want to do or bring or anything will be all right -the main thing is to bring yourself. Be good and I will always love you.
Sat. July 27, 1907