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. 


Emily said...

I am very interested in this story! Please keep posting :)

Kaylynn said...

I am obviously quite behind in reading blogs. So I am going to read all of the letters now, but I am not going to comment on each one:)