Ada’s Love Letters: #2 (June 1873)
(To see all of the letters and related posts click on “Ada’s Love Letters” over there in the left column.)
From all of my recent family tree research I learned that in 1873 at the time of these first letters Ada was 21 years old and William was 23 years old. According to some brief Google searching the average age of marriage for Quaker couples during this time period was around age 25, so it looks like Ada and William were right on target. He mentions having to wait four long years to get married–I wonder what exactly they were waiting for. Guess we’ll never find out, unless it was for Ada to turn 24 years old for some reason. Tradition maybe?
In my family tree research I found out that Ada is the 24 great-granddaughter of the viking king of Denmark, King Svend. (See previous post!) I’m still on a geek high. This is the coolest thing I’ve ever discovered.
Ada is only her nickname. Her official name is…brace yourselves…
Atlanta Hortense Johnson.
Her name has to have some kind of meaning, I can’t imagine why her parents would choose such a name out of the blue. Her parents were average named people–Silas and Ann. Her siblings all had regular names too, and then…Atlanta Hortense. Eeek!
Here is William’s second letter to Miss Ada.
Russell Station Ohio
June 16th 1873
I will try and write you a few lines today to let you know that I am well hoping this will find you enjoying the same blessing.
I started to write you a letter yesterday and got it about half don then I had to quit in order to get on the train in time to go to Hillsboro. I wished I could have finished it for I saw Jesse in town. I could have send it with him so handdy. I suppose you would have it by this time now if I had. I did not expect to see him there though or I would have had one written.
Well Ada I don’t know when I will be down again. I don’t think though that I can come in this month for we have to be so busy at our corn the rest of this month and part of next I suppose, but I will not make any calculations to come until the first of next month. I hope Maggie will be well till then so we can have a better time. I would like to go to Jesse’s when I come again.
Well I guess I had better close for I can’t write what I want to and I don’t like to write when there is anything in the way that keeps me from enjoying what I do say. I could not write you a loving letter now and enjoy it like I use to, but I hope it will be better before long so i will close for the present. Hoping to hear from you soon.
Your best friend
I wonder what was stopping William from writing the loving letter he wanted to write? Maybe he wasn’t alone. There were nine people living in his house in 1870 according to the census. I imagine alone time was hard to come by, and I’m sure his brothers and sisters were curious about his letter writing habits.
In 1870 Ada had five people living in her house. Her parents and her two sisters, one of which was named Maggie as mentioned in the letter. Maggie was about four years younger than Ada. Her other sister was several years older, so maybe she had moved out by 1873.
I’ll post letters #3 and #4 soon!