Full transcriptions of hundreds of letters from 1897-1955. Letters are from the Gleasures of Listowel, Ireland to Frank Gleasure in Massachusetts and from Frank's son George Gleasure (killed in D-Day) to his father during World War II.
From: Annie Gleasure, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, Mass.
Perhaps you will be wondering why I have never wrote to you all the time past but letter writing is a thing I never like. We are all well here at present. Joe and May are getting on well at school. We have had scarcely any rain this winter, but bright frosty days. I suppose it must be quite deep with snow over there. I should like to go over soon if only I could. Pat Dillon and his wife are coming to Listowel about the first of the year. He will still remain in the police force, and his wife will set up a tea shop. They have taken the house next to Crowleys. I haven't any more to tell you now. Hoping we will hear from you soon, and wishing you a happy Christmas and a bright New Year, I remain yours affectionately,
P.S. We are each sending you some Christmas cards.
From: Helen A. Reardon, South Natick, Massachusetts
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, Mass.
My dear Frank,
I was surprised indeed to find that you did not hear from me last summer. Perhaps I directed it wrong and put Canton St. instead of West Canton St. I have the impression I did now. Still I should think the postman would have looked you up.
We have wondered time and again why in the world you did not come out to see us.
Just now we are rather under the weather. Mr. Bailey is sick in bed with an abscess and has a trained nurse. Mrs. Bailey is sick also with the prevailing grip. The rest of us are pretty well but tired.
We are very much gratified to hear about Joe's success as a scholar. If you have some influence, a broker's office would be a good place for him. We have looked about for you hear as we did last Summer, but there is nothing really desirable. The place here is so rough for a young man to live I have no courage to get a place for anyone for fear they might be tempted to go wrong. There is a saloon at every turn.
Mr. Bailey has a night watchman but has some trouble in getting stout expressmen who can be relied upon. Fred is going to Boston just now himself. His office is 34 Court Square, one of them, the others are on Kilby St.
How much I should like to hear from Annie and more still to see them all. I am sure they will come over before very long. Then you can keep house together and live like princes. Have you ever taken advantage of the evening schools or free lectures? It is a little hard to start out I know after a hard day's work.
The Burr boys are back in College this year. They were both out last year. Lucy Hickox is living in West Newton with her Aunt Mrs. Wisner. Charlie Hickox, her brother, died of consumption about two years ago. Lucy and Charlie were both good scholars.
They will all be glad to see you any Sunday. We have expected you before.
The men are all new many times over since you were here. Mr. Bailey's business has increased so that there is a good deal to do and hard work too.
We all send best wishes for your welfare and wish we could find you just such a job as you want.
From: Joseph Gleasure, Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure: 82 West Canton Street, Boston, Mass.
I think it is high time to write now, and I am very sorry I didn't write sooner. I received the money you sent me alright and am very thankful to you. I wrote you a letter about July or August, and I didn't hear anything about it since, but I hope you got it. I am getting on excellent at school, and I am at the extras yet. We haven't got to pay at all for learning them after all, and then I can learn German and Greek if I like the master said, free of charge, so I have a great opportunity. I am on the best of terms with the master, and he didn't have to speak cross or slap me yet.
There are a great many deaths occurring around Listowel districts lately. The last Races in October there was a jockey killed. Over near Leary's, the horse slipped and fell over the man twice and crushed all his insides. He was unconscious for about two days and a half and then died.
Peter Buckley do be down with Jim Moloney driving the engine every day. The 28th of October last was very busy. I was in the shop from 7:30 to 9 o'clock.
I suppose you received my father's letter and papers that he sent about six weeks ago. I will send you some more Boy's Friends soon, for I am sure you would like them. When writing to me next, please tell me a nice suitable occupation that would suit me when I go over.
We are all well at present. Hoping this letter will find you the same.
Your affectionate brother,
From: George Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, MA
I am writing you a few lines as I have time. We had your letter a short time ago and was very glad to hear that you are all right. We had the papers you sent after the letter and we had the last papers today. There is a great deal of news in them and a lot of crime. I could not write sooner as we were very busy about the races which came off on the first and second of the month and had a very large gathering of people, the largest for a long time. The weather was so fine that everybody was there. It is one of the finest years that ever came in this country and is so at present. We are all well at present. May is all right after the fit she had and she was very bad for a while. Doctor Crosbie paid two visits to her and then I sent her out to Tullig. She was not there more than two weeks when she came around all right and after four or five weeks you would hardly know her there was such an improvement. She acted like a person that would lose their head and run down to a skeleton. I thought there was no more about her. But she is all right since. All the friends are well. Fanny Parkinson got married to one of the Fitzels last June. You spoke about sending your photo. We would like very much if you would when you are writing again. I wish you would send one of the Episcopal prayer books. A small one will do as I want to compare it with the ones that is here. And be sure you don't forget the little girls coming on Christmas with a present of some kind. Let us know if you see the Nyes or the Baileys or how they are. I suppose you do not go out there lately. The Dillons are back here again after all the coolness they do be inquiring about the friends over all the time. I am sure they do not write very often. Patt Carroll is very glad to have Henry with you over. He tells me that he likes the country very much. Write soon.
George Gleasure, Listowel To Frank Gleasure, Boston, MA
From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, MA
I received the cheque all right, but I forgot to write to you about it. I am getting on pretty well at school, and the teacher is taking great interest in me. He hadn't to say a cross word to me yet. We have just got three weeks holidays. Peter Buckley is at home again but he is a little queer yet, but he has the same old notions. May is getting on all right now for she is out at Tullig about a month. George is out at James Connor's since yesterday so that the house is very quite. I am able to ride a bycicle grand. The first time I went on one I rode it about fifty yards. I do hire a one on Sunday for 1/9 pence and take a ride James Connors and from that to Tullig and back again.
We had very bad weather up to the 1st of July but we are getting the Summer now. I had only two bathes yet the weather was so bad I would give any to be over in South Natick again, but some day Please "God" I will be walking the streets of South Natick. I do be very lonesome when I think of times when I was there. The times have changed here greatly and I suppose they are changed over too. As I have no more to say I will close hoping you are well.
From: George Gleasure (Frank's father), Listowel, Kerry, Ireland To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, MA
We are glad to hear that you are alright from the cut you got as we had your letter about ten days ago. We are all well at home at present but May is a little unwell just now but I hope will be alright after a while. Dear Frank, I think you did not get my last letter that I sent about the fourth of March and was very anxious to hear from you at the time in account of the hand. You said nothing about it in Joe's letter so I think you did not get it. So let us know when you write as I sent you a great deal of news in it. I told you that Mathias Quilter was buried New Year's Day and John Mol Quilter at Ballyrehan and now Patt Faley at Creaghs is dead and buried. I also told you about the papers of naturalization as you were thinking of taking them out. As you could get them easier through mine if you saw what I told you. I am going to tell you now that Henry Carrol is going out to Boston and is booked to sail on Sunday next the 18th on the Umbria for New York and is then going for Boston so be on the lookout for him if you get this note in time. I gave him your address as he got no answer from the sisters in Lowell. As I told him, he made a mistake that did not go direct to Boston and you could meet him at the custom house. So you will hardly meet him now until he calls at the house. At the same time, be on the lookout for him at the station if you can find out when the vessel arrives at New York. I think he will be kept back for the next Boston boat. If he doesn't turn up, be on the lookout for the Boston boat. Write soon after you get this note and let us know all. No more at present.
From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, Mass.
I think it is time I should write now, as it is nearly a year since you left us. Things have changed greatly around the town since, the bank near McCarthy's is nearly finished they are putting the roof on now. Tim Curtin buried his wife Good Friday, and Earnest Hill was buried on Christmas Eve. Peter Buckley was going for a railway situation in Dublin and when he got there the Doctors said he wasn't fit for the work so he came home again, and when he got home he ran off towards abbeyfeale and his father followed him with a car and brought him home and then he was sent to the Asylum.
There is a new master at the Protestant School, whose name is Mr. Lennox. He has two little girls of 11 and 6, and a little boy about year old. He is a very nice man and a good teacher. His wife is teaching the girls how to sow and knit. He is teaching me Latin, Euclid, Algebra, and Mensuration which I have to pay him a little for, and I will be asking you to send me some money, as my father I don't think would pay it for me if I asked him before I began to learn them and I didn't tell him yet that I was learning it.
However, it all isn't much, and you might not miss a pound for them all. I think the latin would be from five shillings to ten a quarter, and the other three extras about a half crown a quarter. It will all come to about sixteen or eighteen shillings a quarter and write soon and tell me wheather you will send it or not which I suppose you will, because the quarter is nearly up. I am progressing beautifully from them, and people can't get on in the world nowadays without knowing some of these languages and other things.
We are doing pretty fair business these times. Your grandmother and grandfather are as strong now as when you saw them last. We are all well and strong hoping you are the same I here enclose.
Your affectionate brother,
I will send you some papers soon, and a few Boy's Friends
From: George Gleasure (Frank's father), the Square, Listowel, Ireland To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, MA
We had your letter on Thursday last and is very much put about over it. You had a very narrow escape to have your hand all mashed up like that. Still, it may not be all the bad if the case is not worse than you mentioned. It must be a pitiful case when you were under the influence of ether for five hours as they could have a whole limb taken off in that time. Let us know how you are getting on when you get this letter as we will be very anxious about it. So I think you are better. Look out for yourself. It was a very unfortunate accident so soon after going out. I can't see how she could not give you some other vessel beside a bottle for tea. We are all well here at present. The weather was very fine in February. We had a great deal of frost and snow this winter here. Not too much rain, it was not a bad winter. We had a letter about Christmas from Miss Reardon asking about you and where you were. She said they did not know what became of you as they invited you out when you would be settled down and if that be the case, I think you must be very much overseen that did not let them know where you were. Anyway, do not be led away with what the Dillons tell you. They may tell you not to mind them, but do not heed them or what they say. They are no great things as I very well know. Keep your mind to yourself. You ought to know who the good people are. If I never said a word, I must tell you that your friend Mathias Quilter died and was buried New Year's day. And also [hoden?] Moll Quilter [ballyrahan?] died at Christmas and old Kit Pierce at Christmas. There was a good many died at Listowel. Also, since you went away, we have a new schoolmaster near us again, and I believe a very good man. You were talking in your last letter about getting out your papers and putting in an application for the firemen. I don't think much about it as it is a very confined job and also there is a lot of danger attached to it. Look out for those class of fellows as they are always sucking beer out of people that they can bluff. And also the politics of Boston are a pack of thieves that care nothing about a man when they have his vote. I don't think there is any need of you getting naturalized as you are already naturalized on the strength of my papers if the law is not changed as you were under 14 years of age when I got my papers. Go down to Post Office building and tell them so to room 111. I think you will not have very much trouble in getting them. If you make application, you can do it yourself and not be [bothering?] with those class of fellows. If you look out now in the spring, I don't see why you cannot find a suitable job if you do not like the one you have. I think if you got a private job of some sort that your board would be included that you would do better. There used to be a place on Federal Street in my time that used to find jobs for your class, I mean for Protestants. I think the number was 9 Federal Street. I think if you make a practice of going to church, and get acquainted with those class of people you would be alright. But if you say where you are, you will be always a slave. They cannot do anything for you in that way. So now is your time to look out for yourself and take my advice if you ever want to be anything. No more at present.
From: Helen A. Reardon, S. Natick Mass
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, Mass
My dear Frank,
We were very sorry indeed to hear of your painful accident and all sincerely hope you will be wise enough to do just as the doctor says in regard to taking care of your han[missing]** until it is entirely heal[missing]
Henry Pfeiffer had much [missing] an experience as you ha[missing] had last summer but he had good pluck as you have had and he uses his hand quite a good deal. He got blood poisoning into his, however, and was in bed with it several weeks which I hope will not be your fate. We are very very thankful it was no worse. I feel sure you must have pleased your employers in order for them to consider paying you for the lost time. I hope they will do so.
I cannot imagine [missing] you wrote so well [missing] your left hand. I [missing] not have done it.
I received a letter from Annie which I answered at once, being very glad to hear from her. I fear she did not receive it by what you say.
It will be a great day for you when your father and Annie and the children come over. You must be looking out for a place for Joe. I suppose you will become so accustomed to city life that you will all like to live in the city.
Shields Burr has been very sick indeed [missing] for many weeks. H[missing] is just now able to [missing] up. He got a position in a mill in Providence and had not been there long when he came home sick.
I have not seen Miss Hartwell. I have been very busy and she has not been very well.
We have wondered many times why you did not come out to see us. It very easy now to take a run out some Sunday on the electrics via Needham.
Let us know how you [missing] and if the stiffness [missing] out of your hand [missing] can use it.
Let us know also if you have taken advantage of any of the privileges of the city. The Public Library, the free lectures, etc. I hope so. We all send love and good wishes,
Helen A. Reardon
*Addressed "Feb. 24, 1901" but postmarked "FEB 24 1902"
**Portions of this letter were ripped when Frank removed the corner with the stamp on it from the envelope.
From: George Gleasure, Listowel, Ireland To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, MA
My Dear Frank,
We had your letter a few days ago and were very glad to hear that you are well and getting on well as we are all well at present. We had your other letter on the second October and I neglected writing since in fact I haven't a chance. They tell me now that Annie wrote a few days ago. I think we got all the papers you sent before now. We did not get the last papers you mentioned yet. We had very bad weather since August. Two months of rain. But now we have November cold and a good deal of frost for the time of year. You will have to look out now until spring for the cold in Boston as the weather is very changeable there. You mentioned about the Irish delegates visiting Boston. I see by the papers that they did since and fooled the [hearers?] as I call it. Have nothing to do with them because they are nothing short of public imposters. They will fool all the Irish in America as they did before. They get into jail here with the prospect of exhibition abroad. If they done as much in America as they do here, the American government would not be rubbing a hand to them, but give them jail that they would remember the death of the president was a glad news to some of the people here just as they were about the Spanish war. You know the rest. As you would like some papers, I am sending you some with this letter. The Dillons are all well as I can hear. They were in to find out about the friends over when we had the last letter from you. Mrs. Carroll was telling me that she had a letter from one of the daughters and got a very bad account about Lizzie that her health was about gone. Arthur Parkinson in Tarbert died this month. I suppose you knew him. He was buried in Kilflynn. As I will not be likely to write again before Christmas, I hope you will enjoy a happy Christmas. Tell me if you hear anything about the Baileys or the Nyes or do you see them at any time. If so, let us know when you write. As I have no more to tell you at present, I will have to close. Hoping it will find you in good health.
George Gleasure, Listowel To Frank Gleasure, Boston
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton St., Boston, Mass
Dear Frank -
I suppose you are anxiously waiting to hear from us, but the days are so short they slip away before we are aware of it. Your last letter was received here on the first day of the races. The first day of the races was very nice, though the second day was a very rainy day. The horses ran very well on both days. Everything is going on as usual here, and the place is but little changed. The Provincial Bank has been knocked in the summertime, and it is being built up again now. There has been a new house built up near the Temperance Hall, and believe they are going to have it for a sort of library or reading room. We still have the meetings in the hall on Wednesdays and on Sundays. Do you have time to go to church any Sunday? It would be very nice if you could. There is to be a sale here in the hall tomorrow and the day after. The weather is very cold and frosty for the past week. We've had no snow here yet. Is there any there yet? Does Miss Reardon or any of them go in to see you? We did not get a letter from them since you were here. I wonder why they don't write. We were very much pleased to receive the papers and the little badges. We got both bundles of papers. I am sending you some papers with this. With best wishes for your success I remain
From: George Gleasure, Listowel, Ireland To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton St. Boston, Massachusetts
My dear Frank,
I am writing you these few lines hoping they will find you well and in good health as we all are at present. I have hardly the time to write as I have not one minute to look around. I am kept going all the time Sunday and every day is all the same. I got to write to you the last time we got your last letter, the fourth of August and the papers on the tenth and was very glad to hear you are alright and having an easy job. There was a good deal of interesting news in the papers and moreover about the fourth of July. I do not care so much about them papers as I do about the Globe or Herald. I know them papers of old [shehy?] the pensioner died a short time after you going. He was found dead in bed. We have Jim [Molonney?] living in the house now. He got married to one of the Driscols at the spaw. We will have the battle show in Listowel on the 3rd and will have the races the first week of October. Well I expect the heat is doing out by this time in America. It was a very fine summer here. Also the weather is warm since you went away all the time and is yet only the nights is cool and fine to sleep. You said something about not being able to get along with Mike's wife. It is no surprise to me. I expected so much. Mind yourself of the whole lot. Keep your mind to yourself and your head bare for none of them and the less you have to do with them, the better its my opinion. You know what they all are if not you are asleep. You will soo know what the Irish is in america as I have told you often they are a bad ignorant lot at home and abroad and now as I have not much more to tell you do not waste your time or at least your money with anybody because time slips away and so will the people you stand to keep your mind on business and there is no fear of you. Write soon and send some papers as we all like to see the papers from America, and moreover, May and the young lad as he does be inquiring when he sees a letter to know if it is yours. He thinks you will not come back. He says so. I must close for this time.
From: Annie Gleasure, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, United States America
We received your most welcome letter two weeks ago last Thursday, and were very pleased to hear from you. I hope you got the job you wrote about; we think it is very good. Stick to your work now, and don't go drinking or you will never get on. We did not hear from Miss Reardon yet, so I am going to write this week. I suppose they knew you, and were glad to have you over?
Everything is nearly the same here. May and George are going to the Convent now; and Joe is going to the National school on Church street. The Sweetmans are going to the Convent too. They are learning sewing and a lot of things there. Old Tom Sheely died about a week after you left and Tom sold up everything and is staying in Duagh now.
Sarah Conner and Ned Molneaux stole away on the 13th May and James heard a week ago that they were over in England. The Conners are always fighting with the Banmore lads now.
There was an awful accident in Tralee the day you sailed; it happened about five or six o'clock in the morning. The train rushed into the station and tore forty-five feet of buildings and jumped five feet high before it stopped. There were two men killed and some more were wounded. There was something the matter with the brakes; the engine driver tried to turn it but he could not.
Loyd's and Ginnet's Circus was here a short while ago. They were very much the same as last year. One of the Circus men walked across a wire very high up with a man on his back and nothing to balance him but a sunshade.
There was a man there too, whistling like the different kinds of birds.
Will you send over some of those small flag pins for the fourth of July? You will have a jolly time that day, seeing all the soldiers marching and everything. And send us over some papers as soon as you can, and we will send over some for you. The Boy's Friend is enlarged to 16 pages and costs a penny now.
I think it must be very hot over there by this time and there must be some awful thunderstorms there. We had some very nice weather there until lately; now it is very rainy.
We had a letter from Mike shortly after you landed. He says they are doing well there.
I have not any more to say, so I must close. I am still
From: Helen Reardon, South Natick, Mass
To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, IReland
My dear Frank,
We have not by any means forgotten you even if it does seem so. And we wish very much to hear from you. I was wondering if you might not be thinking of South Africa, though I hope not. The last time I heard from you, nothing but a solider's life seemed to please you, but by this time, I hope you have thought of something different.
I will try and tell you the news that will interest you, but I scarcely know how to begin. Our family are all about the same. Mr. Bailey goes to Boston everyday. Fred is engaged to be married to a very nice girl in Natick, but he will not be married before next summer. Miss Smith is here and always sends her love to all of you, especially to Joe who was her favorite I guess.
George Faston (the son) went to the Phillipine Islands but came back again. His vravery would not hurt him I guess.
Howard Williams is very sick and is not expected to live. He is in the new hospital which has been built since you went away, about half way between here and Natick. Howard is a nice steady boy and every one feels bad. Oscar Hancock is very sick too but he is a miserable gambling drinking fellow and it would be better for him to die than not. His father an dmotehr are heartbroken, but nothing will turn him from his evil ways.
How much we would like to see you all. Florence Favour inquires for you when she writes. She is in Rochester, New York with her mother and brother. She graduated from Welleseley College last summer. She is a fine looking girl. There has been a new business block built between Bartlett's store and Mr. Hunting's. One of the Pfeiffer boys built it. He has a store and lives upstairs. Prices are coming up here, both provisions and dry goods. We are beginning to feel the revenue tax and I should think England would feel it too. I hear the people of Ireland sympathize with the Boors, but I think I should prefer to live in a British colony rather than with the Boors. I do not fancy them.
The Burrs are all well. You may remember that Mrs. Burr had a sister that married a Capt. Cuthbert and who lived in a fort in Canada. His family have come to live with the Burrs and he is on his way to South Africa. He has been promoted to Major. I should think his chances for coming back were very slim.
If there is any other news that you would like to know about, let us know and we would be glad to write. My mother had a shock last summer and she has not been well enough to do for herself since which makes it very hard for me.
I was thinking of you yesterday (Saturday) when I was sweeping and dusting and wondering if you remembered it.
How is Annie? I suppose she is a nice young lady now.
From: Helen A. Reardon, 114 West Main St., Westboro, Mass.
To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland, Co. Kerry
I send you the Phillipini Stamps and some others. Save all the Omaha stamps you can. Give one of the green ones to your friend. I will send you the Sunday Globe which you will enjoy. Our soldiers are astonishing the world as you see.
From: Helen A. Reardon, South Natick, MA
To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland
My Dear Frank,
I think I must owe you a letter, for I am so busy all the time, I generally owe everyone I write to one.
First, we wish you all a Merry and Happy Christmas, and you will have it I trust if you are all well.
How is the stamp collecting progressing? Did you get the little magazine I subscribed for to be sent to you? I have sent for a new catalogue and hope they will send me a few stamps for a premium. I should think you might get hold of some old ones at your grandfather's. No matter what they are. Save them all and duplicates are good to exchange. Everything is about the same as when I last wrote. The Burr boys are getting to be six footers and the other boys are keeping up. John Foster is a beauty. He wears short pants still and is nearly six feet. He is in the eighth grade and they can scarcely tolerate him. We have a new principal, a Mr. Blanchard, who is very nice, much more social than Mr. Emerson and very strict. The scholars like him though. John's life is miserable through, being obliged to mind.
Mr. Alfred Hartwell has built a nice new house near Miss Hartwell's. He is on here now, on account of the annexation of the Sandwich Islands. He is very much in favor of annexation.
You would like the work in drawing now. We use water colors and ink drawings and the scholars do beautiful work.
We have had two light snowstorms, but the ground is bare now and not frozen. Schools closes the 17th of Dec. for two weeks.
I will send a photograph of your old home. It makes us all sad to pass by there. Mr. Daniels and the neighbors are all the same. The cement mill has changed hands and young George Foster was dropped from the workman. We expect nothing but old George will have to go too. Little Ned Daniels is very bright in school. He can read quite difficult reading right off.
I wish it was possible to fill all your pockets with American oranges and candies at Christmas. How is Annie, and how does she spend her time. We shall think of you all and will be glad to know how you are prospering. The papers are prophesying better times here. There are many people idle now. There are five thousand working-people (men) idle in Boston alone. And many people are idle here too, but we hope for better times.
Ella sends her love to you all as I do also. Write very soon.
From: Martha Hartwell, South Natick, Mass To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
I rec'd your letter and was glad to hear from you. You will think I have delayed answering a long time but I have been unusually busy and my time quite occupied and so much noise and confusion that I could hardly do anything. I think I told you my brother was having a house built on the side of the old barn, but he is not here himself. Four of his family came on from the Sandwich Islands a few weeks ago and have been with me. Two of them have gone away to school now one in Cambridge and one in Boston. Charles, a boy of sixteen, is going to [fit?] for Harvard College. Mr. Emerson has a call to a school in Lynn and leaves here next week I think. I should think he was a fine teacher and would be missed here. Tomorrow we have our annual fair and supper at the chapel. I wish you were here to take down my beans and [fries?] as you used to. Mr. [Rais?] lives all alone since his father died. Charlie Richardson adds a few stamps to mine which you may not have he says. And if you should have an extra one of some rare kind he would like one from you. He has quite a collection. I did not receive any papers you spoke of sending.
I shall be glad to hear from you again. With kind remembrance to you all. Very sincerely,
From: Helen A. Reardon, South Natick, Mass. To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
My dear Frank,
I do not wonder that we think we have forgotten you. The summer is usually supposed to be the time when we have plenty of leisure, but the truth is that we have been more occupied than usual this year. We spent nearly two weeks under "The Queen": They eighth of July, Mrs. Hinckley and Miss Bailey and I went to Montreal and Quebec. We had a most delightful time, especially in the latter place. It has a real old world appearance with its walls and forts. We arrived there on the day that the delegation of soliders returned from the queen's jubilee. We received your stamps and are very thankful for them. We have been waiting to hunt up some for you. I found three unused Columbias which are valuable. I wish I could send another 4 cent for your friend, but haven't one. You can give him one of the one cent ones which will be worth considerable after years. Be sure to keep your stamps every one and do not be tempted to sell them. We will divide with you when we can. I suppose you know how to clean the paper from the back of the used ones. You take a cup of warm water and float the stamp on it right side up for a few minutes and the old paper will peel off. Don't let them become soiled for anything. The stamped envelopes should be cut square as I have cut them. Don't cut them round. Whenever we get any new ones, we will try to send you two as often as possible. Have you any Cuba stamps? If not, I will send some.
John Griffin left here in May and about the first of July he went into the real estate business in Boston. There has been a good many changes in help lately, especially in the stable. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey started today for Baltimore on a trip by steamer all the way. They will be gone a week. Mr. Waite is still in N. Hampshire but I think he will board here this winter. You do not say anything about Annie. Of course she is well. I wish she would write just a little letter in yours. I should be so delighted to hear from her. I know you will be too sensible to ever touch beer or liquors of any kind. You have a chance to see in Ireland as well as hear just what ruin it works. The only safe plan is never to touch the first drop. There is no half way course with that stuff. Sam Doyle has spent the last year in the Concord prison. They found him several times dead drunk across the R.R. track and the wonder was that he was not run over.
We sent the papers you spoke of but Miss Smith directed the rappers. I will send you a little magazine called Stamps which I find interesting. It is a new thing and I like it very much. Keep your stamps as nice as you can and when you come back here you can get a large new album and we will help you to place them. I am at South Natick for a few days. Shall go back to Westboro for a week or so and then come back for school. I wish you were all here to start in with us. Isn't there some plan by which you or Annie could live at your grandfather's and go to school? I suppose there they do not think so much of education as we do in America. I wish you could have stayed here. They say business is coming up here. There is a great excitement about the mines at Klondike in Alaska. Many people have gone there but I don't know how they will survive the cold when winter comes. There is no doubt that there is an immense quantity of gold there. All the Irish people here are going to take a trip home next year. The fares will be very low I think.
You must keep up good courage and improve the opportunities you do have and the time will fly after all.
Miss Nye has been in Maryland all summer but is home now. Mrs. Burr has been away too. They are quite busy there. George has been all over the world and about a month ago came home with a wife which did not please them over much. He is out of work so they are still here. Hoping to hear from you all soon.
From: Helen A Reardon, S. Natick, Mass
To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowell, Ireland, County Kerry
My dear Frank,
You letter was received in due time, but you know how very busy we are at this time of year and the days slip by before we are aware. It seemed a specially appropriate time to answer your letter today. Today is Decoration Day, you will remember, and we thought much of you all. This morning, being Sunday, we got up early and took our flowers to the cemetery. We put a nice bouquet on your dear mother's grave, also one on the baby's, and set out some of our prettiest pink geraniums there.
I will enclose the little pins you wrote about, one for you and one for Joe. I do not know whether they are just what you want, but I could not find them anywhere in Natick, so I had to wait till I went to Boston.
It grieves me to think that your class graduates now, in three weeks, and you are so far away. I hope, however, that your time is not wasted and perhaps you will be all the smarter man for seeing the world. A famous Irish temperance lecturer has been lecturing in Boston all winter and last Friday night, he lectured in the hall. John Foster and lots of the boys signed the pledge, and they say they are going to keep it. The man's name is Francis Murphy. He described his Irish home where he was born not far from you. He thinks liquor has a good deal to do with the hard times in Ireland. We read in our papers that the Irish do not take kindly to the celebration because they have not enjoyed the prosperity that the rest of the Kingdom have.
The man who is watching now in the stable is John Wilson. He is a young man from Nova Scotia. It seems to me he worked in the stable days when you were here. He is a slight built fellow, as quiet as your father. They like him. I hope I have written all that interests you. I do wish Annie would write me just a line in your letter. She is a dear good girl and I think of her so often. Miss Bailey has not been very well. She has been quite lame in one of her knees all winter. I will send you a paper when I send this.
I do not know whether you knew that Allie Hartwell is going to be married to one of his cousins, the oldest of the Sandwich Island girls. They have torn down the old barn, and Allie is going to build a house on the side. Miss Hartwell cried when she found they were going to tear down the old barn. Mr. Branagan still lives in the other side of the house where you lived, and I do not know the people who live in your side.
With much love to you all from Miss Bailey and myself,
From: Helen A. Reardon To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland
My dear Frank & Annie & all,
Your very welcome letter came in due time and we were all glad to hear from you.
We were much interested in the scraps from the newspapers. There is no such state of things as you hear. The times are about the same as they have been these three years. Now that the inauguration is off their hands there will be doubtless something done at Washington. There is much to bring up though in Congress at once. The Cuba question comes first. Then Alfred Hartwell is on hand at Washington now to push the Sandwich Island cable etc.
The Boston Globe sent thirty teachers and thirty pupils to Washington. They have just got home. The coupons have been published in the paper and thirty teachers from the New England states that got the most votes were sent all expenses paid and a substitute paid for the week. Each teacher could take the pupil who saved the most coupons for him. Mr. McGrath came second on the list and he took a boy in Natick by the name of Fred Fair with him. It was a great time for him. They saw all the Inauguration exercises and had a fine time.
There was a great wedding here last week. Frank Pfeiffer and Kate Neuschafer. They had beer and a lively time.
John Griffin is still at home. He does not seem to get anything to do. Mr. Bailey gets along without him very well. Fred goes down to the car morning and afternoon and does the booking.
Max Gruhn called here last Sunday night to show us his report card from the High School. It was a fine one. The teachers have told me they think him very bright. He earns his car fare and clothes in the shoe-shop and he has time to draw outside. He is going to learn to shade pictures and earn something this summer by that. He got a chance to put this shading into these large crayon portraits. I hope you keep up your drawing no matter what the paper is. Sketching outdoor landscapes is good practice. Then you cannot till but you could get a chance to learn engraving or lithographing. Don't for one minute give up the idea that you are going to school again: There is a report that Mr. Emerson is not to be here another year. Pratt Daniels has applied for the place. Pratt graduates from school this June. He has improved very much and will make quite smart fellow I think. Celia is going to school this fall at Bridgewater. Ned is in school. I do wish May could be in school here. It is wonderful how the children learn to read by the Pollard Method. Ned can read quite a little and only commenced in Sept.
We all had a good laugh over Joe's exploits. He often got into little scrapes here. We should all like to see you all.
They have a great place at the Whittemore farm. They have a race track all built and are boarding a great many valuable race-horses. They employ a blacksmith all the time. have a shop there.
I will send a Globe this week. For two or three weeks it has had nothing of interest in it.
Write to us as often as you can. I hope Annie will write too. Miss Bailey says she would send you some stamps if they would be of any use. Is there any chance for you to collect old stamps there? If so we might exchange some. Is the shamrock green now?
Mrs. Bailey and May and Fred, Miss Smith Miss Bailey join in sending love to you all and hope sometime to see you again.
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.
To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland From: Helen A. Reardon
My Dear Frank,
We received your most welcome letter last Thursday. I wrote to you in July from Westboro but it must be that you did not receive this letter. We were much interested in your account of this place. It would be very nice for you if you can go about and see the country when Summer comes.
We hope you can go to school if possible, as it is so near, and then when you come back again you can go right on without losing much.
I cannot find Listowel on our map. How far is it from your grandfather's?
There are a number of changes since you went away. Elijah Perry died last week very suddenly of heart disease. He was sick only a few hours and was buried in the old burying-ground. Mrs. Ross lives alone and says no one cares for her. We did not forget your dear mother at Christmas. We put an evergreen wreath on her grave. We have had scarcely any snow. Mr. Emerson is still here but Miss Conners did not come back in Sept. We have had two teachers: the first stayed six weeks and then went to South Africa. Now we have a Miss Gray and she is not anything to speak of. John Foster is still in my room and no prospect of promotion. He is fast-climbing up to six feet.
Mrs. Burr's family are well and she would be delighted to hear from you. Miss Nye is here this winter.
When the winter came on we missed you more and more. We have had no boy this winter for the simple reason that we did not see one that we cared to have.
The times are about as they were when you left. Things are always a little dull at election but now they are back about as usual. Everything is about as usual round the hotel except that they had electric lights put in. Dr. Glaney was arrested last night for selling mortgaged property. He had poor success, he was no man anyway and got into debt deeper and deeper till yesterday his wife and children went away with their baggage and the house is shut up. There is another doctor here that people like very much. He has a room at Mrs. Hunting's.
Mr. Daniels has another little boy: was born in August. His name is Thomas. We are very glad to send you the Sunday Globe and some other papers later that may interest you. I hope Annie will write to me sometime. By what you said I judged the climate is warm enough so that the baby can run out of doors. Is the grass green all winter? How about the "shamrock." Does it grow everywhere like our clover?
Pat Hallinan was married to a Slameri girl and Tammi Griffin has another little girl. He has three girls now.
We are glad that you wrote such a nice neat letter. I hope Annie will write too. How much we should like to see you all. Miss Smith wants to know how Joe is, and Miss Sweeney asked after him the other day.
We laughed to think of you riding in the fainting car. Why is it that your papers talk against the Irish people leaving Ireland? I suppose when so many leave there it makes times dull there. Is that the case.
Now we hope to hear from you again and that you will write to Miss Burr.
We are looking forward to seeing you again soon.
With love to all the children and our best wishes for you father's success. I am, your sincere friend.
Helen A. Reardon. South Natick, Mass. U.S.A
P.S. Miss Bailey says this is from us both and she will take her turn soon.
From Helen Reardon: 114 West Main Street, Westboro, Mass. To Frank Gleasure: The Square, Listowel, Ireland
My dear Frank,
I should not blame you at all if you got all out of patience with us for not sending your Phillipines stamps but they are on the way now. I did not think best to patronize the dealer that would send them for 10 cents. Though he may be alright, I am sure of these which I send. They are 35 cents and come from the Scott Stamp and Coin Co. of New York. There is an exposition in Omaha, Nebraska this summer, much like the World's Fair, though not as extensive. And they have stamps which I will use to send this and a package. Save every one as they double in value in a short time. We are now feeling the effects of the war. They commenced the first of July to use the revenue stamps. I will send you as many as I can get a hold of. Mr. Bailey has to stamp every check he gives in payment to help, etc. And for every package you send, you must put on a penny tax.
I suppose you were very much puffed up when you read the marvelous feats of our seamen. I read yesterday that the 9th Mass were at the front in the trenches before Santiago. Frank Schuman, Willie Godendorf, Charlie Schneider, Fred Cook, and several other South Natick boys are there in the 9th. There was a fearful loss in the 2nd Mass two weeks ago, but now they are going to put in more artillery. So perhaps the 9th will fare better as they advance. I imagine the Britishers looked a little sideways when they saw what we can do without a navy as they said at first before the war was on. I'm afraid the Cubans are a poor lot and scarcely worth saving, but foreign powers will better undestand us. And another thing, the north and south are all one now fighting for the same cause side by side.
Miss Bailey is well and would send love to you all if she knew I was writing. Tell us how all the children are. We do not forget one of you. This spring, we set one of the prettiest pink geraniums we could find on your mother's grave. I hope you are all good children like what she was so anxious to have you. How I would like to see you all.
I am very tired today and I have not written very well. I will send the stamps in a separate letter.
From MM Hartwell: South Natick, MA To Frank Gleasure: The Square, Listowel, Ireland
I received your letter and am always interested to hear how you are getting on. Everything seems about the same here. The schools close next week.
"Memorial Day" the schools had some exercises in the hall. Music and speaking by the different schools and some old soliders from the "Grand Army" spoke to them afterwards. The scholars went to the cemeteries to decorate the graves. Your mother's grave was not forgotten by her friends. I saw Miss Reardon planting a geranium by it. If you were to come back now, you would miss my old barn. It has been taken down and the shed that was between the house and barn. You remember where you had piled up the wood? They were pretty old and my brother thought best to have them removed. I miss them very much as they seemed like dear old friends to me. The place hardly looks natural without them. There is to be something put up in place of them sometime. Mr. Bair is at the hotel now. I think he was pretty lonesome up on his farm in New Hampshire and likes to get back here. We have had a great deal of rain this month and last and today is a cold, [?] storm. We have been having plenty of strawberries. Do you have them where you are? And all the small fruits we have here. Are the wildflowers the same? I would like to have some of the shamrock you were looking for, and if you find anything we do not have here, you might put a pressed blossom in your letter when you write. Do you study [?] at home if you do not go to school.
I suppose Anna and you all have grown so that I should hardly know you. Mrs. Williams is here and she wishes to be remembered to you all and says tell you Marian always wants to put flowers on your mother's grave when she goes to the cemetary. Now I shall be glad to hear from you again and with kind remembrance for you all.
From yours sincerely,
Thank you for writing. Your letter was very interesting.
From May Gleasure: The Square, Listowel, Ireland To: Frank Gleasure: 4 Franklin Street, Suite 2, Allston, MA
My dearest Frank,
I received your letter on the big fair morning (13th May) and was very glad to hear from you. We have fairly good weather over here now, but the last two days were very bad. We were very busy on the big fair day. We were kept busy from about 8'oclock until we shut the shop. We had to put out a very tough crowd at 10 oclock, I guess you know the kind they are. The baliff came on Henry Gleasure last week and he had to sell his farm. Rich Parkinson bought it and gave him £475 for it. He paid him yesterday and then father advised him to put it into the bank. You know if Jane came around it, it would not be long going. We got the papers and books you sent. The book you sent me was something lovely. I like books like that one was. Hilda McCarthy is getting married in July to a doctor in Dublin. They are to be married in London. It is a swell affair you. Did you get that last Sticky Back I sent you? You did not say anything about it. Will you get one of them enlarged and send me one? I would like to have one as all the ones that I had were taken from me. Will you send us some flags the next time you are writing, for the 4th of July, some nice ones now mind as we have not got any. Rich Parkinson's mother died about a month ago. Father and I went to the wake it was of a Sunday night. And then Father and George went to the funeral it was of a Tuesday. Write as soon as you can again. I have no more to say at present.
From: MM Hartwell, South Natick
To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland
I thank you very much for the very nice letter you wrote on your arrival at your Grandfathers. It was very nice in you to write and it should have been acknowledged long ago. It was such a nice account of your voyage. I enjoyed it very much. And now I want to hear again from you what you are doing, how living, and about the place you are in, anything you may think of to write will interest me. Have you been to school? I wish you might have stayed here and gone on with your studies, and graduated. Your mother was so anxious to have you. Miss Bailey knows more than I do about the schools and writes you about them perhaps. I know Mr. Emerson has a new assistant. Elijah Perry who was your nearest neighbor when he died last week suddenly of heart disease, which leaves Mr[s?] Ross alone. I missed you very much this summer and fall as I had no boy to call upon to do little things for me. Tell Jaire [Joe?] I missed him too. We have had no snow as yet this winter and it is getting late for it. I think Mr. Bailey would like to see some [?] for parties. How is Annie? Give my love to her. I shall hope to hear from you soon with kind wishes for you all from the friend of your mother,
You will see by the date of this letter that I have delayed sending it but I have been wanting to get your address of Miss Bailey and this morning called at the school house for it. We had quite a big snow storm last week. Before that it had been fine skating on the river. Do they ever have any snow where you are? Or ice. Does your grandfather have a large farm and do you live with them. I will send you some papers soon. You may like to see them. Do you have much to read.