Monday, January 9, 2012

August 16, 1897

From: Clara Burr, South Natick
To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland

My dear Frank:

I was very much pleased to receive your nice, long, descriptive letter. It came to me on the 4th of July, or to speak more correctly on the 5th, but that was the day we celebrated, and we drove down to Newton to a picnic at a friend's house where we go nearly every year. The boys went on their wheels for Houston and Shields now each have a bicycle now. They carried a box of firecrackers with them and had great fun all day long. We have a fine luncheon at noon in the summer house.

The boys were much interested in your description of the country around you and they enjoyed the paper you send them which came about two weeks later.

We all think you write a remarkably nice letter. It seems a pity though that you no longer have the privelege of attending school. Had you remained in South Natick, I suppose you would have been ready for the high school this fall. I believe only three boys graduated this year: Joe Wignot, Silas Hayden, and Walter Schuman. Houston and Shields like the high school very much and Houston held a very high rank and there were over 80 in the class. Shields did not get along so well with his latin, so this summer I am making him review it with me and I think he understands it much better.

If you could walk into South Natick today, I do not think you would find things changed much. Whittemore has built an immense new barn on his place and I think he has about 120 horses up there.

Does little Annie take all the care of the baby? Poor child, it must be hard for her to try to be a little mother to you all. I suppose May is as cute as ever. Does she like school? I shall always feel an interest in all you children, not only for your own sakes but for your poor dear mother's sake. Of course, it is not my business to speak, but I cannot help feeling sorry that your father has gone into the liquor business. I feel that your dear little mother would have wished it otherwise.

I hope you will not be tempted to drink because you have it near you. Your mother was very ambitious and proud of you all and I trust her memory will always keep you from doing wrong.

I suppose Miss Bailey and Miss Reardon write to you often. I hope you will pardon my not having answered your nice letter before, but it always seems a great task for me to sit down and write and I fear that my friends often think I forget them. When you write again, tell me all about each one of the children for I would love to hear about them. Houston is taller than I just think of it. He measures 5 feet, 11 inches, almost six feet you see. He is employed in an architect's office in Boston this summer and enjoys his work very much. Shields is growing very tall also, is 5 feet 7 1/2 inches. He has made a fine garden this summer and we are enjoying all the different kinds of vegetables. Neil and Miss Burr are pretty well. My brother George was married last summer to a nice young lady in New York state and they are home now on a little visit before he goes to work again. Houston and Shields join in sending kind regards to you and all the family including your father.

Ever your sincere friend,

Clara Burr

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