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?


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