Ada’s Love Letters: #1 (April 27th 1873)
I’ve been expecting some very special old family letters that my cousin said he would send me. They were in my mailbox when we got home from the zoo!!
I’m kind of confused now as to who is what in my family tree. The love letters are between Ada H. Johnson and William Wilkin. I recognize both names from our family tree, but I don’t know exactly who is who. I have a lot of information in a file folder at my parents’ house. I must check it as soon as possible! Wilkin is my great-grandma’s maiden name, the great-grandma named Rosie.
So, until I figure out who is who on the family tree I guess we won’t know the ending to these letters. Do they get actually manage to get married in the end? Suspense!
I can tell you that William and Ada were Quakers. They met Sunday meeting, but after a short while Ada’s family moved across the county. I wish I knew how old they were when writing these letters, I will try to figure that out. For some reason they had to wait four years to get married. The first letter is in 1873 and the last letter is in 1876 and they are talking of planning a marriage date at the end.
I have the first letter ready to share with you. I have to warn you, William is not the best writer and he’s kind of redundant. He even apologizes for it in some of the letters! I really enjoyed reading these letters, all the same.
I have 12 letters. Two don’t have dates, the rest I’ll post in chronological order. Some letters are missing…in one letter he references a previous letter, assuring Ada that he burned it with a candle since it was meant only for his eyes…! All of the letters I have are from William to Ada. There aren’t any letters from Ada, so we’re left to imagine what she may have written.
This is a map of the places mentioned in the letters.
William lived in Russell Station. Fairview is the location of the post office where he went to check for new letters from Ada. Hillsboro is the central town where William also had family he visited. New Petersburgh is where Ada lived.
Funny how the distance from Russell Station to New Petersburgh was such a long way in 1873, it kept two lovers apart. Today it’s probably a 15 minute drive, maybe less!
Here is the first letter. I typed out the letter below so that you can read it easier.
Russell Station Ohio
April 27th 1873
I feel as though I aught to see you to day. I am used to seeing you every Sunday, or did when you was in Danville.
(My sister Mary from Blanchester is here, she was trying to see what I was writing just now and made me make a mistake.) I wish you was in Danville to day. I think I would be there too this morning. I expect Andy is there now. I forgot to tell you in my other letter whether he ment to see Mary or not, but I think he was there last night. That was his time, anyhow.
I guess I will go down to Hoghland’s to meeting to day. I have not been there for so long, they want know me if I don’t soon go.
Well Ada, I feel lonesome this morning. I wish I had another letter from you. I would be so glad to hear from you again, but I look for another letter. Before long I think I will come down in about two weeks. The 10th of May if I can and if it will be convenient for you to be at home. I can’t stay away much longer.
Ada you don’t know how well I would like to see you. Ever of thee I am fondly dreaming. Yes I may go where e’er I will, I cannot help but think about you. I often think about what has past since I went to see you. I always enjoyed myself so well when I was with you. It don my heart good to be with you or to see you, for you looked so charming and pleasing and always bin so kind to me, how could I help but love you after all this and a great many more things. Besides, my dear Ada, I do love you sincerely. I love to think about you and better than all I love to be with you and talk with you. I must come and see you before long and I will if I can.
I expect you won’t look for two letters to your one, but I wanted you to know when I was coming down so you could write one and answer in time. You need not be afraid to write any thing you want to say for nobody want get to see my letters.
I will have to quit for this time. It’s about meeting time. I want to get there before taking up hat time if I can, so I will close hoping to hear from you soon.