Monday, June 4, 2012

Mary & John Reeve Letters, No. 10


Provo, Utah. May 13, 1915

Mr. John Reeve
            Hinckley, Utah

Dear Brother Reeve:
It is 12:30 and I just came home from school and found your letter and oh! there’s so many things I’d like to say! About those “big boys” coming in there and you talking to them about my coming. Oh! Say it makes me tremble! It if were anything but this! I feel sure I could win them! I was acting the part of a nurse the other night to a young fellow eighteen – one who I used to tend when he was a shaver, and he likes me yet a little; And of course I do him. I said in reply to his profuse thanks – “Oh, Carlyle you could do much for me if you were to be near me” – and then I told him of my next mission, and he is one of these carefree and thotless fellows. He stopped and looked at me a moment – then said “Gee! But it would be tough to have to lose mother – But Mary if it came to that I couldn’t ask for a better substitute.” Well of course that is pilaver! But it set me thinking and if those boys could see Bro. Wayne’s boy their age and others I could mention I believe they would at least give me a try out! But you must admit that the situation is a very delicate one! When I think of it I almost weaken and then a something beyond words bouys me up and rejuvenates my flagging courage, and promises me strength to combat great obstacles! Is that the right! Or is it the glamour that is spreading over the whole affair and I will be disillusioned when it is too late! Oh, J.R. may God preserve us from shipwreck in this hazardous journey!

Last evening a Mrs. Hedquist was here arranging a program for a class party – she had seen the notice in the paper and in enlarging upon it told her experience (and as in many cases. I made personal reference – how can I help it?) – how she had married a well respected L.D.S. man here, whose four children idolized her and she them – her health failed and oh! The abuse and torture she suffered from him! Well of course they had a legal separation! Well! When I went to bed I took your letters – I always do you know – I read them over and over, thot of her, reference to their happy courtship, and their promises and then the tragic crisis! Well! I’ve had only a few dreams in my life that meant anything, But I thought I was again with father walking on the hill and it was real as life when we actually did walk up there, Just after his return from his mission, and he told me he was concerned about Lucretia and I (me), that he could see no one there whom he regarded as eligible and counseled me to befriend and stand by her and that he would trust me. Well in the dream it seemed we were there and I told him of you and all the circumstances and he blessed me and told me God’s plan was being well executed and that he was very grateful and pleased that he could see farther than he once did, And so did not grieve over Lucretia as he would have done once. He said that I must be as careful, judicious and patient as my own mother had been; And then we went down and while I was telling her about it, in the old bedroom, you came in, and she looked at you and then placed a hand on the head of each of us and we both saw that she understood and my eldest sister couldn’t sanction! It! At all! But she and Albert says she doesn’t understand yet! And that’s all I slept last night! But I feel more sure today than ever, that it is going to be a severe test. But that I am going to have help and when your letter came, speaking as you did of Albert’s reference and my bunglesome letter – I shed just one tear; And the spot is dry now! But with your help and God’s, and my own will, I hope to win the love and respect of the boys and let some of the other phases of the proposition slide! What do you read about the auther in that?! Bravo!

Say, did you not get any of my letters telling about the sad state of affairs? I have no recommend? Mine ran out in April – I’ve sent for one, But it hasn’t come. So I wrote Uncle Marion again when you failed to mention it, and he answered today saying we would have to have a new one. So you see – 18th goes into waste with 12th and 5th. And also that he will be occupied that day! Ha! Ha! Left again! But you’d better come Sunday prepared to go thru it, As we may hear Saturday something else – sorry! Well I’m not! We’ll just have to prolong the calm before our real hostilities begin! Combat them easier, don’t you think so? So we must keep on smiling: And, now accept best wishes for all your interests and love and kisses as ever


(Sidenote: I wasn't sure where to put these next couple of letters in the chronology, because Mary wrote them, and John did not get them until several weeks later, after several other letters had been exchanged.)

(Postmarked from Richfield May 13 6 a.m.) (mailed to Richfield with a note to the P.M. to forward to Hinckley if not picked up immediately)
Provo, Utah. May 3, 1915

Mr. John Reeve
            Hinckley, Utah

Dear Brother Reeve:
Hope you received my letter this P.M. If you did, you are fortunate as I dearly got it there in time. I’m so busy “getting married” that I can’t write like I used to.

There’s so many things I want to say, But tho they are in my mind as I walk along I can’t remember then when I want them! Regarding your letter to Albert, I think you had better write again soon. It seems you are not as magnificent in his mind as you are in mine. Of course I’ll send it. Why shouldn’t I? I’ve already sent two of yours last week, to the folks! I’ll let you read Dolly’s?

Say, don’t you know that we can’t be married without a recommend – and mine ran out in April and besides it has to definitely state for what purpose we are going thru the Temple; And what of the license, - According to your plan, are you going to have time enough to get it before you go in that day? I think, dear, you have not considered really that I would obey you as readily as you find out I will. Or you would not have been so cautious. But I will suggest this change, That I go up the night before and register at Hotel Utah and you meet me there the next morning and then I won’t have that twenty block walk at three A.M. to meet your train, Much as I should enjoy your company between here and there. So maybe you won’t want to take the train that comes to Provo – there is another one, I understand – Or else you could stop off that first one and we both take the interurban up that morning and you come back with me, And then take your train! But I don’t want to be stirring so early as 3 a.m. And the cars don’t run that early, And it’s a chance if we could depend on an Auto! So let’s rearrange that! We can and yet not encroach upon my obedience to my lord and master – can’t we?

You should have gotten a letter every day last week except Monday and maybe Tuesday and Sunday. But why you missed mine for so long, and then not receive the one on Friday I can’t imagine.

This storm means a loss of thousands of dollars to the Utah county people and carloads of fruit has been killed. How has it affected you?

Was rather disappointed about Afton’s attempt the other night. Hope you (I mean she) knows how to take defeat!

Am so glad you like my letter and enjoyed rereading it.

Now when I see you, I am going to ask all about those psychological reasons for your not marrying me, - my being physically disqualified, - uncongeniality, etc. everyone of them I want – of course. I’ll add another to those already booked kisses, But I want the list anyway – and see how clear your logic is! For I can’t try the experiment on myself, - it would disturb me very, very much if I found for any reason whatever that a “great divide” had come between us. I can’t conjecture any possibility of such a rupture where I could renounce you without a qualm of feeling, - that precious and God given love that has come to me thru this past month of tortuous travail! The which I feel that you and God were the sole creators of, - And which has reached such proportions now that it would take the united efforts of the both parties to ever annihilate, - and then the victim would indeed be an object of deep commiseration. For I feel, dear, with you now – earth, with all her array of weapons and death with its heart rending desolation and worse that all, also – best of all, - life with its many petty, perplexing, disappointing, and trivial snares and pitfalls, - All of these, dear, I want to share with you, whether it be in a palace or a hovel, - come what might or come what may. I feel now I need you – And all former attachments pale in comparison with the gift of reverence I feel for and toward you and I feel too, dear, that it will last – will enrich every experience I have in my whole life with you – bouy me up under disappointments – draw from me the best that God has given me – for you and yours – And I see plainly that it is an argument of man’s superiority in that love is of man’s life a thing apart – it’s woman’s whole existence.”

Now if I get a letter tomorrow before mail time I’ll add a post script. Till then accept my best and dearest wishes for every happiness – Love and prayers protection and blessing


May 4 1915 (noon)
Another link in our chain, every moment of which has a memory – And your letter tells me you can’t fathom me. Maybe I’m wrong, But why you take the three children away, I can’t quite see. Probably you know best; - Of course you do. But it makes me feel so “trembly inside and I think I was never more humble than now. Shall look for your letter from Richfield with pleasure. With love and kisses as ever



(Re sent like previous letter to Hinckley May 13 6a.m.)
Provo, Utah  May 5, 1915

Mr. John Reeve
            Richfield, Utah

Dear Bro. Reeve:
Here is Uncle Marion’s letter and I’m going to ask you to answer it as you wish  - and I’ll agree to your decision. You see what the proposition is, it may be a sentimental notion on my part and I’ll feel all right about you suiting your convenience. But do it someway and forward your further orders and I’ll arrange accordingly.

It seemed so desolate today at noon with no letter from you. And I thot of my dream last night in which I thot these folks here, Mr. and Mrs. Speckhart, had had a cruel misunderstanding and I went to her and him and tried to patch it up and was repulsed by both and then J.R. that old experiment, you suggested came in again and I found I was “physically disqualified” to become your wife because my strength was not equal to the work to be done in your home and I found that after the summer had passed you had wanted a helpmate – a housekeeper, one to care for and take care of the children and your home, and I did not fill the bill, And in crushing anguish I came back to Mrs. Speckhart and oh! Horrors! When I found it be all a dream it was a long while before I could work off the stupor and then – I have an out door bedroom – I came in and got the rest of your letters and found where you said you wanted to “love” me and several other inferences made me wonder if it could all be so. But in face of it dear J.R. I feel that ghastly dream was not well founded – does not in anyway forecast the truth, But the psychological experiment is most unwholesome on my part. I’ve told you this that you may see that you are fast becoming a vital part of my life – that you may expect my feelings that have evolved within the last month from indifference, passing interest, to sympathy, admiration, respect, attachment and regard to what is now, if not a stage of the genuine – A near approach to it, So much so that the step next week will advance rather than retard it and probably sometime could well be called by the sacred title “love” as ever


7 pm May 5, 1915
Say dear, I’m going to send your mother some white carnations for “Mother’s Day”, and I don’t know her first name. So I think I shall address them to you and you attend to it – will you? Now that makes three requests I have made of you – 1st write again to Albert. 2nd to answer Uncle Marion’s letter. 3rd to deliver my flowers – You can attend to them all? Thank you!

Good-bye and good night and take care of yourself and I’ll try later to take care of you. With prayers for your safety and love for your comfort –
I am please to be your


Salt Lake City, Utah May 4, 1915

Miss Mary Lyman
            266 N 3rd East, Provo UT

My Dear Niece –
            Either day is all right, Make choice and advise me of same and I will gladly perform the ceremony securely.
            The Lord Bless You Twain
                        I am your affectionate Uncle
                                    Francis M. Lyman


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