Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mary & John Reeve Letters, No. 6


Provo, Utah April 27, 1915

Dear Brother:

Arrived home safe and sound. Received your letter, Thank you, perceive it was written because it was promised, Will write more soon won’t you? I have not been to school yet. Expect to start tomorrow if all is well; just been having a rest! Don’t worry!

Am glad you can sleep you haven’t shown the white feather! I’m willing to take that for I know I deserve a far more severe reprimand than you seem inclined to give! Wish you would, and I’d think more of you, -- For when I’m at my worst I need a good sound tongue lashing – You’ve seen me at my worst now. – Can you think me an angel in spite of such a weakness? I’m very much humiliated at my conduct from the first – please forgive me!

As ever
(signed) Mary

(This letter written on a 2”x3” card both sides)


Provo, Utah April 28, 1915

Mr. John Reeve
            Hinckley, Utah

Dear Brother Reeve:

Your letter of the 27th came today – Thank you so much – What reparation can I make to you for my attitude Sunday? But I’ll not doubt your love for me – And if I had your face here I’m quite sure I’d kiss it and mean it. For you have proven you can meet my silly moods in such a way as to very nearly show me how very babyish I am. For you have acted – as I should have acted – But dear J.R. there is something I wish I could tell you, maybe I can.

You are so magnanimous and in comparison I feel my actions have been cowardly – And I don’t want to be that and so I want you to talk more severely to me I need it. And it will help me to live above it. But that something is still there and just as soon dear as I can convince myself that it is “one of those infernal items” – I feel God being my helper I can over look and be very much ashamed that I ever allowed it to have such importance as to cause you a moments unhappiness. I believe dear if I had been well I could have warded that off until we were better acquainted and then our visit together could have been so much more profitable. And say dear J. R. I believe your advice is sound, And I think I come nearer loving you because of it. And when you tell me so earnestly that you love me and that God has given me to you. And that I love you. It does mean something and I trust God to show me what it means – When you say such things it leaves me feeling better – And I feel maybe my mistake is in doubting its validity.

Now dear regarding those promises of yours, What are they? I want to help you fulfill them you ought to know that much. – Whether it is love or just keenest interest I cannot say. But you and your success; - to me means much now, and I want to help you, - And win the love and confidence of the children and your mother and the rest, for I feel this is my life’s mission now – by you, with you, and for you, and yours, and no matter what it means to me I feel that is right – tho at times I am crushed at the thot that I am so poorly prepared for my task that it is torture to know what is my task? But dear it may be that Satan is content to lay low till he sees some vital step and then he places on his thumb screws and the distant goal is obscured by the present pain – Oh! God! J.R. help me to steer my course straight regardless of what it costs me!

Now dear if you come to Richfield I wish I could see you again – can’t we arrange it somewhere between here and there. Write right back and tell me all, So I can get some repose – do you know I’ve never known a minute’s peace since I left you. Satan tells me it is my mistake in being so easily disturbed, - But you, and shall I say such a nature as mine must meet great disturbances to be disciplined properly and maybe during this period of transition I must be tried in numerous ways. If you mean what you say, dear, you’d be very glad you sent that letter yesterday – for it shapes my forebodings better than I could myself – and I feel probably that God doesn’t make mistakes and that He will help us, But you’ve no idea how weak I am. But for your sake dear I’m going to make a great attempt to crush all this doubt out and try to see only thru the eyes that will give me pleasure in my life with you, to think of nothing that will detract from my happiness, and trust God to keep me from being calloused and hardened in my effort to be brave – For there is always you know danger in resignation. Now dear I must close – don’t send my letter yet to Albert. There’s no hurry. Please write again at once. I’ll try & get some sealing wax & send some, use it if I do. Please write again and tell me if you are coming up as far as Richfield and then we’ll decide what to tell the folks there. I haven’t been well since my return am better today. God Bless you dear brother – and He will I know He will. With best wishes and prayers for you

I am
(signed) Mary


Hinckley, Utah, April 29, 1915

My dear Mary – “My cup runneth over,” “Hope sees a star,” And today I’m very happy.

Your two letters came today, And I’m furnished again with some very fine reading matter. Thank you very much.

Do you know what I’ve been doing for the last twenty four hours? No, guess again. Give it up? Alright then I’ll tell you. I’ve been making a psychological experiment, by assuming that I should not marry you. I presented a long list of reasons, first physically disqualified, second natures uncongenial, and a whole list of others to defend my position. Now what do you think the effect of that imaginary battle was on my mind? Why I could almost have given you up without even being disturbed. I wouldn’t think of trying such an experiment again. What’s the lesson? A man becomes as he assumes as he thinks, as he argues.

A long while ago, I used to take the villain’s part in our dramatics, and don’t you know that I’d have been a full fledged villain by this if I’d kept that up; But I swore off, and I told them I’d never take it again. And I haven’t.

But hold on. I’m making and have been making a mountain out of a molehill, and so I’ll stop, bury the hatchet, smoke the pipe of peace and away we go.

Permit me to say that I am very sorry that you’ve been ill, But hope and pray that ere this you are feeling well again.

Relative to the confidence of my mother I wish to say, you need have no fear about that, For you have already made a profound impression on her, for she told me this very day, She believed you to be a mighty fine woman, and so do I.

Now, you may be curious to know about the letter I promised yesterday. Well it is written. But it won’t be posted for awhile at least. The fact is however, it is an advanced substitute for the proposed idea of our meeting on this Richfield trip. However I’ll take it under very careful and prayerful consideration, And if I decide to spring that on you rather than have you come to Richfield Sunday I’ll write you to-morrow. Then you’ll know what to do.

Relative to the promises, dear. I’ll tell you about those when we meet. In the meantime please congratulate me on being the most fortunate man in the world.

Very affectionately
(signed) John

P.S. I am sending my letter to Albert, Which please correct, burn or send to him as you choose.


Hinckley, Utah 4-28-15

My Dear Mary:

Now, for Yesterday’s promise. Brace up. “The woman who hesitates is lost” so don’t hesitate, But agree with me quickly. “Jesus said, whatsoever thou doest, do it quickly,” “Delays are dangerous” lest perchance the “infernal items” seek to defeat righteous purposes. First let me quote from letter “A1” again: “I had known that thing (that God ordained our marriage) three days before, and had been happy in the knowledge of it.” Further, “my longing to be with you now, and as you are to be my captain from now on, I await your further orders, - It was a something beyond all of them that grips my heart strings, and makes me say Yes to all your appeals, and I say it feeling that the God of destiny has led our paths together.” “My whole life has conspired toward this end.” “I am ready for your next move.” The climax of my prayer and supplication came to me in the night – ‘that is your path now’.

Now, dear I shall doubly underline the passage that gives me the indisputable right to say what I am now going to say: You will meet me, at the Provo depot next Wednesday (May 5th) morning – same train as you went upon, And go on to Salt Lake City with me, That we may be married in the Temple, same day, if possible. And if you wish it, We can return same night or next morning, You detrain at Provo, I come on home. Further details to be arranged when we meet.

Now, please write and tell me you will not fail to meet me, For you must come, or else I land in Provo Sunday morning to press my case, and I’m sure you’d rather do that than to battle with me, For I’d win finally anyway wouldn’t I?

Now, my dear, I don’t want to be arbitrary in this matter, But I’m sure you can see that nothing can be gained by waiting any longer, And perhaps a whole lot may be lost by unnecessary delays. And the stakes are too great for us to take a chance on losing by delay. Don’t you think so?

Friday 30th

My Dear Mary:

You see that I have sent you the famous letter, But owing to the fact that a fierce snow storm is now raging, my Richfield trip is delayed to a point as would make it almost impossible for me to land Wednesday the 5th So we’ll fix the date the 12th of May one week later. And if you are disappointed by the delay, please remember I am doubly so.

Please let me quote one passage from yesterday’s letter. “Satan is content to lay low till he sees some vital step and then he places on his thumb screws and this distant goal is obscured by the present pain.” So my dear sweetheart, I caution you to beware of his infernal “thumb screws” the minute you read this letter – so beware! Beware don’t let him have one turn even, for if he gets one, he’ll get another, and another and so on until you’ll be inextricably bound, so beware and don’t let him, but yield to me please.

Notwithstanding, the fierce storm which is raging without, inwardly the weather is beautiful – calm as a summer’s morning where the flowers of hope are blooming, birds are singing, and the music of love is filling the air, Because I’m living in a world with you, dear and it seems to me I’m making you feel as happy as you are me, So as it is nearly mail time I’ll close with the tenderest, sweetest wish for your present and eternal happiness.

With Love, John

P.O. Please, dear, don’t delay, An answer to this on account of my proposed trip to Richfield, as I may not go for several days. But I’ll land back in time to fill the appointment. I’m going by team, and it takes 5 days to make the round trip. Say, Mary, any suggestion or assistance you can render about the details of this big trip, Please don’t fail to mention it will you?


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mary & John Reeve Letters, No. 5


Provo, Utah April 21st  1915

Mr. John Reeve,
            Hinckley, Utah

Dear Brother Reeve:

In my hurry last night I didn’t say half I wanted. But Aunt Emma came before I was thru. So I shall take your message to heart and write again. And if I should appear reticent or unresponsive attribute it to anything but my feelings in this respect. And yet I do not expect as much bliss as I wish I did, But really I feel the fault lies with me. For I realize all too keenly that God’s hands has had our case under consideration, And so I want by your assistance to be as appreciative as is possible, And trust that His finger will ever point out our path; But I’m afraid you overestimate my worth and I can’t see why you should. As I have been perfectly frank with you and it would crush my life out if after I have linked it with yours, That any such thing should happen as you cease to love me or be disappointed in me, - If it were infidelity or a kindred evil I’d never attempt to stand it, But for such as that, where I alone would be responsible I’d have to endure it in torture, - But I suppose I’m rather pessimistic regarding such things – Probably because of experience and my feeling that a happy marriage was not for me. But shall I switch into line and change the subject. But I feel intuitively you are one of God’s noblemen and that He has greatly complimented me by throw our paths together and I try to be not ungrateful! And I am satisfied that whatever we decide to do will be right!

Regarding these bills – Why did you do it. You take an undue advantage of me and yet I feel you are right. Tho if it had ever been anyone else I could not take it kindly. But we’ll talk about that later! If you do meet me don’t you dare remember I’m anything but an acquaintance, - and then, - I may forget it myself soon enough – do you see! As regards your getting ready for my coming – think it is better as it is – for I want to see it all; And a Divine power sustains me, even tho conditions may be rather discouraging.

No one here with two exceptions know a thing about this, even here at home I tell them I’m going to Salt Lake Friday and they don’t suspect a thing, Strange I don’t want to sing it on the housetops isn’t it! Saturday one has so many loose ends to catch up – But I kept a watch outside and when the mail was in sight I let him put the letter – somehow I knew it was for me – just inside the door, And I forgot how weary I was and I thot of David Copperfield and his dora! And Monday I caught the carrier again. But I was not expecting one yesterday and Mrs. Speckhart remarked about John Reeve being a good writer. But said she could tell there were bills in it And then I told her you were making a purchase thru me and she subsided. So you see deception is a vice you hadn’t reckoned on in me isn’t it! And when I read the thing over, I wonder if Edith isn’t half right. If I’m not rather fortunate. You certainly seem to know just how to understand what and how I feel and so very few do, - And now I shall be pleased to come – But if I am more quiet than you expect don’t take exceptions to it. And don’t doubt sincerity!

Now I must close, Give my love to your mother and as I leave here at 10:25 a.m. Friday if you can’t get me a letter by Friday morning don’t send any and I’ll try and stand it till I see you at 2 pm in Delta. Wish you’d tell me just how you are getting along with everything! Just now got a letter from Sister Rose saying she’d be so pleased to have me make headquarters there while I am in Hinckley, Shall write her at once. Shall say good bye now and with best and kindest wishes.

As Ever
(signed) Mary


Hinckley, Utah 4-26-15

My dear Mary,

Something about the last twenty minutes! Of my visit with you affected me to the extent of producing sleep for I slept nearly all the way home.

This morning I was instructing the children as to what to say to any question concerning Sister Lyman’s presence that they don’t know one thing. Fred said, “me do”. I said to myself, I wish I knew. I thot I did up till yesterday. But now it seems that I know that I don’t know. However, as long as I feel that I have God on my side I’m not going to show the white feather; For I intend to keep up a continuous battle against the “infernal items”.

As long as I can keep back the thots of our yesterday’s association up till the few minutes before I said goodbye, I feel fine. But how they do crowd into my mind as I am trying to write this letter. And of course I shouldn’t write them, For I said my say last night, And I don’t know what else I can say, For it seems to me now, That the say is all left with you and I shall feverishly await tomorrow’s message from you.

Harold Bell Wright makes one of his characters say, “Somethings, thank God, are beyond the damning power of man’s improvement to improve.” Now, my dear sister let us assume, (But Oh No! We don’t have to assume) that God did fore ordain that we should march together in this grand matrimonial march, how could it be improved by canceling it? But say what’s the use of arguing that point? You can’t doubt it, No one, In the face of the evidence, could it seems to me. And yet as I try to recall anything you have said or written I can’t remember one single statement you have made doubting the divinity of the call; But in every case you seem so positive of its being divine.

I am hoping that tomorrow’s mail will bring the message my heart is longing to receive. So till then let me say good bye. And may the Spirit of God whisper to your soul the very message you should send me.

Very affectionately I am yours sincerely
(Signed) J. R.


Hinckley, Utah 4-27-15

My Dear Mary:

Your letter came not today, and how I can write another without a line from you I don’t know, But true to my promise to you I’ll try.

In the first place I have your written promise that you will be my wife, and it is that promise and that alone that sustains me, Gives me hope, courage, and an unyielding determination not to give you up. I am sublimely happy in your presence, and in the thoughts and memory of you. I can and will make you happy. And any sacrifice within the limits of human reason I’ll make that you may be happy. Just name it. Make your suggestion right now. And you’ll find me on the spot.

I have already planned that Bryan and Carlyle will be away for a year at least, knowing as I do know that that is absolutely necessary for their and for the good of the rest of the children.

With that arrangement and Florence under your sweet, motherly influence, I’m sure she’ll make a mighty good girl, And the rest of the children trained right. I know it. God doesn’t make mistakes.

Now my dear I’m going to proceed to give myself and you some right good advice. If ever such a feeling arises in your breast, or mine, As came in yours Sunday it must be crushed at its first appearance, and never be allowed one bit of expression. I did a grievous wrong in insisting upon your giving expression to that feeling Sunday, but I’ll never do it again. I know that that is the best way to kill it so it will never disturb us again. For I’m sure that it is as you suggest, From the devil who is seeking to thwart the purposes of God in trying to deceive you and make you believe a lie and be damned. But we’ll not be whipped not defeated, For God is on our side, and we must and shall win. But let us be on our guard against the thousand and on “infernal items” which may yet be thrown in our pathway to block our progress. Such as having our letters interfered with gossiping tongues, or the million other things that may be invented by the majesty and genius of Hell.

I’ve been studying and restudying your letter “A One” to me and I know, absolutely know that you were inspired by the Spirit of God to write me those sacred promises, They’re true beyond the shadow of a doubt and you’re mine because I love you. And God hath said so and you love me. I know you do. You never could have written that letter unless you did and do love me.

Now I want to send your letter to Albert when I write him and I don’t want you to object. Then he’ll know positively that the three all important requisites have been met – The certainty of inspiration, That I love you and that you love me. Now I’ve been making the Lord some mighty good big promises if He’ll only help me win you, Which I expect to, And then I know I’ll win. Now dear, if I take Florence and Carlyle to Richfield this week I feel that I must tell Emma’s folks about you And our plans as that is closely connected with my plans for the children. What do you say? Please answer every letter.

With Love
(signed) Jno.


Hinckley, Utah 4-28-15

My Dear Mary:

Today brought no letter from you, so it seems that we are laboring under a misunderstanding again, For I certainly understood you were to write Monday, Tuesday and every day; But it occurs to me now that you must have understood to write only after you had received my letter. So I shall refuse to believe otherwise, Not be offended though I am sorely disappointed.

However, I’m sure tomorrow will bring the message my heart is so anxious to receive.

So today you will not expect much of a letter from me.

If you had heard the talk of the town Monday, you would doubtless have believed that it was some one else who was going to marry the tall man, for Florence said it kept her busy saying “don’t know” to all their questions. But that only makes me smile, how about you?

Tomorrow’s letter will likely bring you such startling information as to cause you to stagger, strangle and may even stifle and suffocate you. You may ask why I don’t write it today, But the fact is it is so immensely risky that I must wait to see what the nature of your message is tomorrow; Before I dare attempt it. So be prepared for anything that may happen.

I got the spirit and wrote a letter to your brother Albert last night, which I expected to send you today for your criticism before I mailed it. But that too must now await this absorbing consuming question now weighing heavily on my mind.

So til tomorrow I shall say good bye, dear,

With love,
(signed) John


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mary & John Reeve Letters, No. 4


Hinckley, Utah 4-19-15

My Sweetheart –

I am enclosing this to pay your R. R. fare to Hinckley. You will please not refuse it, for there are two very important reasons why I have a right to do so. First and most important of all is because of the sweet story I have, as it was written by your own hand; Second, because I would have spent this money in coming up to see you; But it is as you suggest more important for you to come down here.

Now, if you should ask me when to come down I would answer, next Friday or Saturday – and not a minute later. But of course, I will leave it to your own pleasure, Tho I sincerely hope your pleasure will be in harmony with mine.

You will doubtless think I have soon got ready for your visit, But you will discover that I will have done nothing that I expected to do; for among several things, I had planned to have done was having the walls and ceiling of the parlor painted, and the dining room papered; But couldn’t get the  material in time. So, if the first appearance doesn’t swamp you, I will feel sure of keeping you forever.

I have told my mother our whole story, which impresses her very much, especially is she puzzled over the sister Wilken story. For she doesn’t remember the name; Nor can she imagine how she got hold of that photo. So I will be intensely anxious to learn the story from your own lips.

To tell you the truth, dear, that beautiful message has made me feel so happy that I have had to tell it to some of my and your best friends. I read the letter to Edith Finlinson, and it would have done your heart good to have seen the tears roll down her cheeks as her heart swelled with happy emotion over our engagement; For she seemed to feel that you were nearly as fortunate as myself.

The more I think of it the more important it seems that you should come down; For not only could you see and we plan together our beginning, But relative to your visit etc. So please come. Get off the train at Delta. But be sure to answer this right back, So I may meet you and until I shall be privileged the happy pleasure of your presence I shall say Good bye. With the sweetest and kindest thoughts of you I remain very affectionately Yours

(signed) Jno

P.S. I have a very great curiousity to know the size of your third finger, Please send it by next post.


Hinckley, Utah 4-21-15

My Dear Mary:

You will pardon me for writing so many letters, and especially registering this one. But the fact is this is the fourth letter I’ve written you and no reply, And if it is a fact that some one is tampering with our letters I may be out ten dollars, for that is what I sent Monday – two 5 dollar greenbacks.

I have another reason also for writing and that is I want to make the date of your visit definite; and that is for you to leave for here next Saturday on the morning train, Which arrives here about 2 p.m. Don’t fail to come. If, however it is impossible for you to come than wire me at my expense, right back telling me the date you will come. Also whether you received the remittance or not, Which as you know will remove a load of anxiety from my mind. For the P.M. on this end of the line will sure hear something drop, if you haven’t received my letters.

I may get a letter from you in the morning telling me you’ll be here Friday. If there isn’t one due here be Sure and wire me as I have suggested.

Of course your one letter is worth worlds to me so long as its contents remain true and I am sure they’ll remain true forever. But of course it is only natural for me to want you to reaffirm it frequently.

Now, my dear, I am living in the fond anticipation of meeting you next Saturday, Notwithstanding the fact that I am not unmindful of the magnitude of the undertaking it is for you; But if you’ll land I’ll endeavor to make every moment I’m with you as pleasant and happy as I know how.

As you are packing your suit case kindly slip in a photo, or two of thee Queen And remember don’t fail me, will you dear?

Very affectionately
(signed) John


Provo, Utah April 20, 15

Mr. John Reeve,
Hinckley, Utah

Dear Brother Reeve,

It is not possible for me to answer all of your three letters within the last four days, Tho I’ll answer them as best I can in one letter. I had your answer all in my mind, When the one from Oak City came and then – there was a something in it that I could not quite see – don’t yet. But that’s all right I guess. But when the one came today. Well I felt better tho I was surprised to get it; But there’s so many things I want to say and I can’t write them; But I do hope you have not taken too literally my promise in the letter you received last week. I do not wish to recall it! Know! Indeed but I do think that my feelings for you are the deepest respect and shall I say veneration? Rather than the fierce love you may expect from me as coming only after a closer association with you. And I feel it will come I do not at all doubt that, And it gives me more to be grateful for, for you know that which is of quickest growth. Often is also of quickest death and I want to love you more the longer our lives are together and again dear I never expect you to love me as you did Sister Emma – No you couldn’t do that. – Love me as I deserve and merit and for my own sake – And it will help me in forging my way into and thru the gigantic problem life now presents to us ! Am I right!

Oh! I’ve said so many things about you – But only to myself. And here you’ve read to Edith that letter of mine – How could you? But I know without asking. But don’t do it again. And yet I suppose you felt as if you had to! Is that it?

Now about my finger – What are you up to? – without consultation with me? But the size of my ring on said finger is the exact size of this inside gilt border on this emblem – marked + on first page and there I’ve done your first wish, As regards to your second that of coming down. I phoned and it seems the train I must take will be Friday at 10:25 a.m. reaching Delta about 2 p.m. Answer back at once if I’m to be corrected. But say you know I am coming presumably to visit Bro Lon and Rose and my wishes in this must be respected, see! When I get there then maybe Rose will think it wise to interest herself in you! Do you see!

As regards those preparations you have delayed. What if the first appearance does swamp me? A good thing that we found it out in time! And the third finger better remain as it is. But I think I’m prepared for the worst and anticipate no serious breach. Tho the enormity of it all still cautions me to be very careful; And say dear that planning together you speak of – it suffocates me to think of it.

I’m glad you’ve told your mother about our head-long-haste – And Aunt Let Wilkins got the picture from among her mother’s things. She says she don’t know why except it was for me. She was just returning from St. George whither she had been with her mother’s remains and attending the funeral and she came up on the same train you did that Sunday morning, Said she saw you – Now do you see! I don’t know her mother’s name. I’ve sent the photo to my brother Albert, Together with your first communication and a letter of introduction.

May I expect a letter before I leave Friday in case there should be a miscarriage? Say dear use this envelope for the folks here are wondering about John Reeve and it takes so many lies and so much mental power to keep them from conflicting. We are leaving for the theatre – come and go! Well I’m must close. Here’s my escort now.

With best wishes and so on
(signed) Mary


Monday, May 28, 2012

Mary & John Reeve Letters, No. 3

                                                                                                                    Provo, Utah April 13, 1915

Mr. John Reeve
            Hinckley, Utah

Dear Brother Reeve,

If I had a dollar for every time I have read your letter, I’d have enough to finish my college work. For I’ve studied the English, the diction, the spelling, the construction, the description, the paragraphs, the subject matter and feeling that prompted the writer in making such a plea. But it was a something beyond all of them that grips my heart strings and makes me say Yes to all your appeals. And I say it feeling that the God of destiny has led our paths together! Try hard as I might to look at it in any other way it is impossible! And now I feel my plans for the future are subject to vital reconstruction, in order to utilize the choice material God has thrown in my way. Not that I can do as He should like, But that I am willing to try and shall I say ready? And anxious for his next edition of palns for me! I feel that I make this choice in the situations in which I am placed, because it is the only one for me to make. My warring impulses might and do struggle against my will. Which I feel is prompted against by the Spirit and voice of God to me. And the balance is thrown into the proper scale – and the new law of gravitation points me to you and yours, and the message presumes to promise me strength and courage to do my best – If dear brother I were a different sort of individual I could not presume to assist in such a gigantic task. But it seems as I look at it now, My whole life has conspired toward this end. And I feel now that my place is not where a week ago I thot it was. And the climax of my prayer and supplication came to me in the night – “That is your path now.” And I feel that I am ready for your next move – Since this comes up – I feel without you interefere that I must quit school and go to my sister who needs care next month. But I shall await here your next letter. And hope it won’t be long coming for maybe I am imbibing some of the anxiety you refer to!

Of course my letter is not as classical as yours. But I believe my feelings are as deep as yours only you can express them better.

Now accept my heart felt wish for God’s protecting care over you and the children and since Sister Wilkins gave me your photo I do want to win the confidence of your mother. Don’t you think I can? Please burn this and answer right back. And I’ll be happy with you forever.

With Love,


Hinckley, Utah, April 16, 1915

Mine, My Dearest Mary,
I cannot express to you the feeling of gratitude that comes welling up in my heart for the great blessing that has now come into my life.

Yes, dear, I know your struggle and what a battle you have had to fight. But when I even faintly try to imagine what I have done to merit the love and confidence of so sublime a life as you have consented to give me I say by the help of God and the influence and beauty of your life I will be worthy of you.

Dear, you will pardon this hastily written note as the dramatic troupe is waiting to take me to Oak City, where we play tonight and in Leamington tomorrow night. So I will write you from Leamington. And I wish to say frankly my happiness would be complete if you my queen were with me on this trip. Especially could I enter with a genuine feeling of affection into the reconciliation love scene if you were my companion!

Now, Mary, relative to our plans for the next act. I am sure we both realize the fact that when the curtain rises on the second act it must be done by obtaining information from the same source that so beautifully and majestically inspired the proceedings and climax of the first act in our sublime drama and romance of life.

My dear, will you please cease to minimize your ability as a letter writer, For really I don’t believe that a more beautiful and magnificent message was ever written than the one you penned to me. And if should study the Bible as much as I am now studying this sweet message I would be a walking Scriptorian.

You come down here? Sure, you must see all. Must know all. But let me fix the date. For I want to prepare for the coming of the Queen, Not that I want to deceive you. But that I would like to entertain you in a manner worthy of you.

May the choicest blessings of Him who has guided our lives together ever remain with you.

With sincerity and love
I am very affectionately yours
(signed) John


Oak City, Utah  4-16-15

My Dear Mary –
Say, do you know that I kept the troupe waiting two hours to write that letter to you? But I wouldn’t cared if they’d waited till the judgment day I’d have written the letter before I left.

I am writing this letter in Joshua Finlinson’s home 5:30 in the evening – Just one hour before supper, So I knew I’d rather write to you than not,  For by so doing it means another letter from you.

With reference to what you say about living years in the last few days: It all seems so wonderfully marvelous. So unexplainably important – that without taking into account the voice of inspiration it becomes as you say so staggering in its hugeness and immensity.

I am intensely impressed with the little, but mighty big story of the sister Wilken-incident – Just one more convincing evidence that Divinity is playing such an important part in uniting our lives together; And its further details I shall be most happy to learn from your own sweet lips when I see you.

Do I think you can win the confidence of my mother? I not only think you can but I know absolutely that you can. And I know further that you could win the confidence of any clean man, woman, or child in the world, for to know you is to love you; To look into your eyes is to see the grandeur, sublimity and purity of one of the finest types of virtuous womanhood God ever created.

Now in relation to your leaving school to assist your sister, and also as to the time when we shall begin this splendid voyage. I don’t know hardly what to say; But one thought came to me. Why not embark at the time of the June conference. So without having a personal talk with you. You may take that merely as a suggestion to think and pray about as I am not doing and shall continue to do. And then when we meet and I am sure that whatever we decide to do will be exactly right.

You ask what brother Lon would say. Why I know exactly what he’ll say. He’ll say as I say that I have occasion to feel and that I am the richest, wealthiest and most fortunate man in all the world.

Did you notice dear, that the last time we dined together that our orders were unconsciously practically the same. And did you not notice how congenial and happy we were together? It simply shows how our feelings were converging and harmonizing together.

I haven’t told mother the details of our affair yet, But I promised her I would when I returned from this trip. I simply told her, that when she heard the story she would see the hand of God in it in bringing us together.

Supper is ready, dear, won’t you please come and dine with me again tonight? I’d enjoy it immensely, and I believe you would, too.

So with a heart overflowing with love for you I will say unto you My sweet heart good Night!

(signed) John


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mary & John Reeve Letters, No 2.

Hinckley, Utah April (no date - but likely sometime in early April, after conference)

Miss Mary Lyman
            Provo, Utah

My Dear Friend,

Some are born writers, some achieve the distinction and since I belong to neither class you will not expect much of a letter from me. However, I will do the best I can in the hope that I may get one of your lengthy letters. Yet I would like very much to give shape to some of the thoughts that are absorbing the attention of my mind and heart.

Before we arrived home, I became confidential with Pres. Hinckley, and told him a great many things that passed between us. And from my interpretation, he seemed to think our affair was developing nicely. I related to him how beautifully and skillfully you taught that young couple a lesson on prayer, which pleased him very much.

The more I think of my dream, the more I am impressed with its deep significance, and the more I am convinced of its coming from a divine source and of its being a final and definite answer to our petition. So in view of its sacred importance, and its decisive impressiveness I must seize this chance to reiterate and reemphasize the expressions my heart are so anxious to make to you. The thoughts of your soul, so pure and sweet, makes me falter at your feet, Makes my happiness complete. Oh! How vividly I recall the picture of your magnificent eyes as we fondly stood together at parting at our last evening together! Such an entrancingly sweet expression! Such a deep and brilliant light shone out from the depths of a soul purified by the presence of Divinity that my soul went out to you in the tenderest affection. I want to make you happy. I want to devote my life’s service to your happiness. I want to love you with all my heart. I do love you, tenderly, sweetly, fervently, and dearly. Can you reciprocate my love for you? Our lives shall flow silently sweetly down the stream of life until it reaches the blissful ocean of life’s eternal happiness. Let me say unto you my dear Mary, will you be my sweetheart, my companion my love, my wife, forever and forever?

If, dear, you can say yes to this appeal prompted by the Spirit of God, it will mean your happiness as well as mine, and I feel sure that by the time this reaches you, your heart will be prepared to answer definitely and positively. And the quicker we know what the answer is the sooner we can adjust our life to the results, and the better it will be for us both. But I sincerely hope that it shall be the great purpose of the Almighty that your feelings shall be impressed to respond to my own feelings.

I am sure you know how intensely anxious I shall await the answer, and sincerely I pray that your heart and pen shall be guided wholly and solely by the Spirit of God. May the peace of heaven forever permiate and bless your sweet soul is the sublime wish of your devoted and affectionate lover.

(signed) John Reeve
            Hinckley, Utah


                                                                                                             Provo, Utah April 12, 1915

Mr. John Reeve
            Hinckley, Utah

Dear Brother Reeve,

There’s so many things to say if you were here. But I’m afraid I’ll get strangled if I begin spelling them into words for thoughts and feelings are deeper than all words and I’ve lived years within the last eight days – do you believe it?

You letter came today and I was not displeased to get it. Strange as it seems to me to say so, But, just as you have prophecied – I had found my own decision before it came, - And that decision was that I could meet you and promise to reciprocate the wealth of love you have endeavored to express for me. I do not see how in the face of the facts I can say this. It staggers me to do it. When I think of what is ahead, and yet I feel I will be equal to it, providing you prove yourself to be the man you have made me feel you are.

Now Bro. J.R. you have my answer. But there are provisions to be made for our future adjustments as you say it is the best for each of us. But I must come down and see for myself. Tho what I feel now tells me my visit will not cause a revision of my feelings, But point out the path to preparation for the assuming of the responsibility --! See !

You hadn’t been gone long when I knew my feelings; - A most mature and well established decision I had too and I wouldn’t have cared if you had been left by the train and found your way back! But! I see you have paid me as genuine a compliment as a noble man could pay a woman and I appreciate it! I have written by brother Albert, and of course it will be a profound surprise to him as of course it has been to me.

I’ve a story to tell you now, - But am afraid you are more of an adept at such arts than myself. Tho I greatly appreciate them. I find it difficult to produce them. I have a friend out in Granger whom I have been wanting to see for some time. Well, last Sunday afternoon I came out. She was pleased to see me and we had no sooner got into the house than she began counseling me for my experience last year. Then she stopped and looked at me and perceived I had a bigger problem on my hands than that. And she stopped and says, “Mary, what is it?” Is he married? What are you fighting it for?” Well I tried to turn her off the tract, and endeavored to appear unaffected and inferred there was nothing. She told me to sit still and imagine my consternation when she brought in an old photo of yourself and mother! And asked if that was him! I sat like one petrified! What could I do! She had known your folks in Dixie and she says, “Mary – mine was a selfish wish for you. I wanted you for mine! For Martin. But this is where you belong. And don’t you ever repent of having to put yourself in God’s hands for Him to dispose of you.” Well of course I had to talk then but it only confirmed my conviction. For strange and unusual as it all seems I had known that thing three days before, And had been happy in the knowledge of it, For I had been relying on your promise that I should know and do, now!

But, Bro J. R you understand the rest. My position in school, My desire to finish, my wish to go home, My plans for summer school. And yet new and strange as it seems, my longing to be with you, now! And as you are to be my captain from now on, I await your further orders! There! You have my position! What will Bro Lon think now? It stifles me to think of my frank confession! But that dream of yours left nothing to grope after and I think your interpretation was correct. For I can answer Yes to your propositions and feel I am prompted by God’s Spirit. Now I must close as ever.

(signed) Mary


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mary Lyman Reeve - Basic History & Background

So, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to tell you a little bit about Mary Lyman Reeve, so you know where she is in her life at the time these letters are being written. So I have copied a basic genealogy list out of her history, and a paragraph that she wrote about her life up to the time of her marriage to John Reeve. I am going to put some pictures up, too, but I haven't gotten those scanned in yet. But I promise I will get that done soon.


Basic Genealogy of Mary Lyman Reeve
(copied by Grant L. Reeve from “Genealogy of” #219 {Church Archives abt 1915})

Your Name in Full:             Mary Lyman Reeve
Date of Birth:                     Aug 3, 1882
Place of Birth:                    Bluff, San Juan Co, Utah
Home Address:                  Hinckley, Millard Co, Utah
Your Father’s Full Name:  Platte De Alton Lyman
Date of Birth:                     Aug 20, 1848
Place of Birth:                    Platte River, Neb
Your Mother’s Maiden Name in Full:  Adelia Robison Lyman
Date of Birth:                    Dec 21, 1848
Place of Birth:                   Crete, Will Co, Ill
Her Father’s Name:          Joseph Robison
Her Mother’s Maiden Name in Full:   Lucretia Hancock Robison

(copied as near as I can, Grant L. Reeve, 30 Apr 1986)
Migrated from Bluff, San Juan Co, Utah. In Scipio, Millard Co, Utah was but a child of ___, was baptized there. Shortly afterward father was called back to San Juan to act in the Presidency of the Stake. Here I spent the greater part of my life. Our people were in poor circumstances and many were the lessons impressed upon me in hardship and resourcefulness. The winter of 1900-1901 I attended the B.Y. Academy at Provo, working my way. The spring of 1902 had a very severe fever which left me very weak – the affects of which lasted for years. Attended school at Provo again that winter to next summer in summer school and taking a course in nursing. From 1905 to 1913 I was postmaster in Bluff. Taught school in Grayson, UT (now called Blanding) from 1909-1911 and attended summer school at U of U both summers. Filled a mission between 1913 to 1914. Attended B.Y.U. from 1914-1915. Married John Reeve of Hinckley Utah May 18, 1915.


Mary was 32 when she met and married John Reeve. I am not sure how A.A. Hinckley knew her, or knew of her and her circumstances. She had been told, because of her severe fever in 1902, that she would be unable to have children of her own. So, A.A. Hinckley thought she was a good candidate to marry John Reeve. John lost his first wife on Jan 4, 1915, which left him with 7 children to care for all by himself. A.A. Hinckley was John's Stake President, and was just looking out for him and his family, and thought John and Mary would make a good match.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mary Lyman Reeve - Letters and History - #1

You probably know already, but I am interested in family history. And living at my grandpa's house, where there is a plethora of family history information, has proved to fuel my interest. Just recently, I found a book with letters that Mary Lyman Reeve, Grant's mother, wrote and received from various people. The ones that peaked my interest where the letters exchanged between her and her future husband, John Reeve, as they met, and decided to marry. I think it is a great story, and with Grantpa's permission, I am going to post them here. I will fill in some of the story to provide details as necessary. These first two letters are from A.A. Hinckley, a general authority, to Mary Lyman, about meeting John Reeve, and Mary responding to him.


Office of
Hinckley, Utah

Mar 31, 1915

Miss Mary Lyman
Provo, Utah

Dear Sister: -- Just a line to learn if you would like to meet John Reeve, the brother I spoke to you about, our neighbor widower. He will be at Gen’l Conference in S. L. City, & would be pleased to meet you if it is agreeable on your part. Please let me know your views in reference to this matter and oblige.

Yours Truly,
(signed) A.A. Hinckley

P.S. I will be here until Friday morning, if your reply is delayed at all, better write me in S.L. City, 311 McCormick Building


Provo, April 1st, 1915

Pres A.A. Hinckley,
   Hinckley, Utah

Dear Bro. Hinckley,
Yours of yesterday came this morning – among – shall I say more April Fool Jokes – And I value your opinion highly. You will excuse me if I decline your invitation to meet your friend John Reeve. For you can readily see what an embarrassing position it places one in. So I will trust I am not wrong when I choose to regard this as nothing more than an April Fool Joke!

Hoping you have said nothing serious about this to Bro. Reeve, so the affair can be immediately closed.

I beg to remain

Yours truly,
(signed) Mary Lyman


Should I just let the story be? Or continue? I assume you would guess that Mary and John met, despite Mary's misgivings in this letter. 

I have not seen this part of the story written down. It might be in John Reeve's history, but I cannot locate grandpa's copy of that right now. He has told me the story a few times. But I'm sure he is a little hazy on details. So, this is what I know of what happened. John came from Hinckley to Salt Lake for General Conference. Mary came up from Provo to Salt Lake for conference as well. But, Mary either changed her mind about wanting to meet John, or came up to Salt Lake with the intention of staying away from conference so John, and Pres. Hinckley, couldn't find her. The story goes that Mary spent the entire time of conference hiding out in the Cathedral of the Madeline, just down the street from Temple Square. When she thought she was safe, and wouldn't run into John, she left the Cathedral and was walking down the street. When, by fate, or coincidence, she met John Reeve.

The letters continue a few days after this meeting, and the histories I have read do not go into detail about how this meeting went, or what happened for the next few days. The letters seem to imply that they spent several days together, so perhaps they went to the rest of general conference together. Whatever happened, it must have been a good meeting, as the letters will show.

I will try to post new letters regularly, so check back. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the letters, so I hope you will too. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jon Schmidt & Cute Things Kids Do

* I went to a benefit Jon Schmidt concert tonight in American Fork, with my sister Rachelle. It was so fun! Jon Schmidt is a great, funny, crazy entertainer. It was more low-key than some of his concerts, and his sidekick cello guy, Steven Sharp Nelson, couldn't make it tonight, so he was alone. He paid tribute to a military family who was there - the dad is home on leave for a week before deploying for a whole year. When he was talking about this family, and their 4-year-old girl whose birthday it was today, I was imagining people much older than me (for some unknown reason - sometimes I forget how old I really am). But after the song, he had the family stand up, and they looked like they could be my own age. Which is totally normal, but it just made me think about that little family, and the things they are sacrificing for the rest of us. It made me proud to be an American.

* I played 3rd parent to some of the Bennett children last night. I took Carson to his soccer tryout, and had to leave him there to go get Lindsey from gymnastics. (One of the dad's took Carson home, don't worry!) On the way home from gymnastics, Lindsey was informing me what I should do as a parent. Her two bits of advice for me: Let your little girl get her ears pierced whenever she wants. Don't make her wait until she's 12. And, when you have pudding with dinner, even when it is Oreo pudding, let your kids eat it whenever they want. Don't make them eat their potatoes first. (Although she did tell me she likes potatoes, too.) Thanks for the advice Lindsey! When we got back to the house, Carson was at home alone, and when we walked in the door, he was sitting at the kitchen table, doing his homework. He is such an awesome kid!