Saturday, February 25, 2012

December 13, 1905

From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel
To: Frank Gleasure, 33 Arden Street, Massachusetts

My Dear Brother,

I hope you are well and strong as we all are at home. I have not much of interest to say, only just sending the Christmas greetings. I am sending you some pictures I took with my camera. I have our pictures taken, but they aren't finished yet.

I expect you will take me out to America about next March or April. I would not stop here any longer, I am totally sick of it. If I stopped here any longer I would be getting too old nearly to be taken in an office. I am always thinking of what kind of a job I would get after landing. I would like to be in the Excise or Customs or some job you would be sure of. I think it is easy to get into the Excise or any Government position. Any how, I must till I get over first and then I would know what would be best.

There is a funny lodging with us that is going to go to Boston or Philadelphia next Spring, so if you sent for me I could go with him. His name is Ned Dillon and is after coming back last summer from Chicago. His mother was a little touched in the head, so he came back to see how she was. She was carried to the Asylum last week, so now when she is alright, he is going back as soon as he can. He was tending a bar of his brother's in Chicago.

We have put up a new door inside the shop door that can be closed at night. It makes the shop very warm and keeps people from looking in.

There is a Rugby football team, mostly composed of farmers from New Zealand at present, touring the British Isles. They have beaten every team they played. They beat England, Ireland, Scotland, and all the leading teams. They will be playing Wales next Saturday, and I will send you a paper with the result so you may see their method of play. I don't believe there is a team in America could beat them. They let their opponents beyond their twenty-five yards line. The American football is very rough, and as an English lady said in describing it said it was like a street row to see them play.

Trade is fair now, but not being too busy. As I have no more of interest to write, I will close wishing you a right merry Christmas and a happy New Year,
I remain,
Your Loving Brother,
Joseph Gleasure

Friday, February 24, 2012

December 10, 1905

From: George Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 33 Arden Street, Allston, Massachusetts, USA

My Dear Frank,

Christmas is coming along so I am sending my first note and a little present. I am in fourth class now and my writing is very much improved since we got our new teacher. I am able to play quite a number of tunes on the violin now. We enjoy the funny papers you send very much. Mr. Sells carries one of your photos that you sent last May. I will write to you after Christmas again. Hoping you will enjoy a very merry Christmas, I close, remaining
your loving brother,
George Francis Gleasure

From: May Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 33 Arden Street, Allston, Massachusetts, USA

My dear Frank,

I think it must be time for me to be writing letters to you now. I have'nt very much spare time since we got our new mistress, as she gives us a whole lot of lessons to learn.

We enjoyed the funny papers you send very much. Mr. Sells carried the last ones. I am sending you a little present, wishing you a happy Christmas and a happy New Year.

Your loving sister,
May Gleasure

P.S. Have you any notion of coming home again?

Monday, February 20, 2012

December 3, 1905

From: George Gleasure, Listowel
To: Frank Gleasure, 33 Arden Street, Allston, Boston, Massachusetts

My Dear Frank,

I am writing you a few lines hoping you are in good health as we all are at present. They are all well at Tullig also. We got your papers some time ago and a package of postcards and was expecting a letter but did not get any. I was interested in some of the papers as there was sermons in them preached by those ministers in Boston. The Globe they were in. When I was there myself I used to get the Monday's Herald as it contained a great deal of them. Some of those other papers you send is of little or no account. Send the Herald or Globe if you send any. I expect you are putting off writing until near Christmas. I am sending you a picture of the house that was taken about two years ago. I was at them to send it long ago, but they put off from time to time. As you are interested in such things, we thought you would write and let us know what you are doing as you said you had given up the job you were at. You ought to look up some permanent job and stay in it. If you do, you will be able to do something for yourself after a while. If you do not, you will always be working for somebody else. I don't think those boarding houses are very much. As far as I see, the people are very ignorant and live a life to suit their own fancy and never think of the future. Therefore, they are always in the background never thinking of the world to come as I very well know having seen the same thing but never thinking much of it. You understand the meaning. Now about Mike Dillon and his visit last summer, we have not heard much about him since he went around a lot. I expect he had great news when he got back. We were all out the night he was going. All the boys were home at the time. I had not much time to talk with him as he was bladering around all the time. He looks very well about the same as usual. We are after a very fine year and the weather is very mild just now with the exception of a few days. I am sending to you for a violin book for the young lad. He is going to be an expert at the fiddle. He can learn almost anything on it that he is shown. If he had proper instruction, he would be a marvel. People does be surprised to hear him for this size. I will give you the address on a separate paper as I have a book from the same place myself. They are all musicians in fact but Joe. But he has as good he has the learning and is very good. I was surprised to hear that they did not tell you about the instrument they have until lately. They have it since March and a very good one. I sent to London for it. The cost of which was eleven pounds, it one of the American organs made in Chicago.

Directions about the book- howe's 100 easy pieces for the violin all in 1st position
Elias Howe 86 Court St. Boston

If you find any book on the American organ, you could send it to the girls.

As I have no more to say at present, I hope you will have a merry Christmas and happy new year.

George Gleasure, Listowel, Kerry, Ireland
To Frank Gleasure, Boston, Mass

Sunday, February 19, 2012

August 10, 1905

From: Annie Gleasure, Square, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 8 Wadsworth Street, Allston, Massachusetts

My Dear Brother,

I am writing to let you know that we have received all your last letters and papers, and were very thankful for them. They always seem to bring an breath of American air with them. I want to thank you specially for the postcards that you sent they were so very nice: I am making a collection so that is the reason I wanted them. I will send you some next week. Do you collect stamps yet. I suppose you don't have much time for that sort of pleasure now.

We are all well here and doing good business. May, George and Joe are enjoying their vacation now. Indeed, May and George have a pretty long holiday, they have not been to school since Easter. The master they had went to ruin with drink and went into debt and so he went quietly away one morning. Everyone thought he was very accomplished when he came here, the scholars were learning so well. But now there is a lady coming about the end of the month so they will all start in September. We got the organ that I wrote to you about. It came from London but it was made by the Cable Company in Chicago: it is a lovely instrument with a dear sweet tone and costing eleven pounds. A piano would have been too dear.

I am not taking lessons yet so I am going to ask you if you could send me some money so that I could do so. I want to leave town by next year if possible, it is just sickening here. Father is thinking of getting a girl to help in the shop and do the housework, so there will be no need for me to stay.

We have seen Mike since we got your last letter; and do you know that they never expected him home and it was such a surprise to them when he arrived. We haven't seen the little boy yet, he was too much interested in the hens and donkeys to think of coming in, so we expect to go out some Sunday. May is always wishing that you would come home for a while. Do you ever intend to? I hope you will be suxsesful with your work, you ought to try for something easier.

Please excuse this awful scribble as I am writing it near midnight and I am so tired.

I will close now remaining

Yours Affectionately,

Annie Gleasure

Saturday, February 18, 2012

August 30, 1905

From: Annie Gleasure, Square, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 33 Arden Street, Allston, Massachusetts, USA

Dear Frank,

I am writing in answer to the letter which I have received from you last Sunday. I wrote to you on or about the tenth of the month; I presume you did not get it before you sent your last letter? We are all doing well here. Joe has left college now for good, I think that he will try for some situation soon. I suppose he will write and tell you all about his plans shortly. He wrote to Miss Reardon today. Do you ever get a chance to go out there now?

We hired a sidecar last Sunday and we all rode out to Patsy Dillon's at half past three o'clock and did not get back until half past five next morning, and enjoyed a very pleasant time. Tom, Ned, and Pat and his wife all came home after Mike arrived. Paul is home all the summer. All the boys and girls around gathered in that night and were dancing and singing during the whole time. Mike and Ned were up at Cork to see a football match between Kerry and Kildare at the time and arrived home about two o'clock next morning. Mike says he would not miss it for anything, he wanted to tell them all about it when he goes over. He went away on the one o'clock train on Monday for Cork and sailed this morning.

Adam was in town last Sunday too and he brought his eldest son James with him. It was the first time that I saw any of his children: he has two more, Katie the eldest and Molly the youngest. The old man comes to town pretty often, he doesn't do any work now and he is fairly strong for one of his age. The old woman is just the same as ever.

I must close now remaining

Yours Affectionately,

Annie Gleasure

June 30, 1905

From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel
To: Frank Gleasure, 8 Wadsworth Street, Allston, Boston, Massachusetts

My Dear Brother,

I am very sorry I did not answer your letter sooner, but this was a busy week and I hadn't much time. I have vacation now too and I think I won't go back any more but study at home, and next Spring I will be thinking of joining you in Boston. Peter Buckley got a card and twenty pounds from his brother in Auckland and will be going there soon. His brother Dan met Dan Murphy and his sister in Chicago a short while ago.

Phil Hardon got married last Shrove and I think Nell Dooling is married to Mike Brown but they are keeping it secret.

We got all your letters and the bundles of papers alright. The papers are very interesting in summer about sports and athletics. Your pictures were very nice too you haven't changed very much only you seem to be very big, and the moustache suits you.

It is grand to be over there now in the summer where the climate is so beautiful. I suppose ye are getting very warm weather over there now. We had very warm weather too until this week we have occasional showers.

The fourth of July will be past when you get this letter. It will be a splendid day over there. The Irish who have gone over this year will see how they celebrate their national holiday over there. It is the best country in the world for any one to go to.

I am keeping at my Sandow exercises yet and have improved immensely all round. I have put on nearly two inches on my arms and about four inches in my chest since I began. My arms are nearly thirteen inches in circumference, my chest thirty eight expanded, and height only five feet four and a half inches. I can put up between sixty and seventy pounds four or five times with one hand. I suppose you have no time for exercising or swimming or anything. I suppose don't go out to South Natick at all now. The place must be all changed now, I suppose. If you go out any time, tell Miss Bailey or Miss Reardon to write to me. I wrote to them last Autumn, and I didn't hear from them yet. I suppose they are on their holidays now and gone away somewhere.

Trade and life is very dull in this town now. You have nothing to see only the same thing every day. There is one of the Carrolls thinking of going to Boston from New York, but he is waiting to get your new address. All the Carrolls that lived in the Square are gone since January, the old people and all.

Adam and his people are all well. He has three or four children now, and the old people are strong yet. All the Connors are at home yet too and have no notion of going anywhere. I will get some picture postcards with views of Listowel and send them on soon. Send some more papers when you are writing again.

As I have no more to say, I will close, hoping to meet you before another year. I will remain

Your Loving Brother,

Joseph Gleasure

Friday, February 17, 2012

April 9, 1905

From: Joseph Gleasure, Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street, Allston, Massachusetts

Dear Brother,

I hope the arrival of this letter will find you in good health as we all are present. We got your last letter all right and I intended to write before now, but we were expecting a letter from you one of these days.

We have very poor weather for the time of the year that it is. The farmers have nothing set yet the ground is so wet. Ye must have grand weather over there now after the snow and cold. Ireland has the worst climate in the world nearly, there isn't a day but we have rain. I will be glad anyway when I leave it. I suppose I will only put down this year here, I will be 20 years old then and the 21st of this month I will be nineteen. I am getting on very well at school and I don't think I will go anymore after this term. We go through a certain course every year and it is nearly the same thing every year, so when I know the course I only have to make myself up on that and as you must do it yourself, it is as good to do it at home as in school, paying for the privilege of sitting down there.

There is a gymnasium erected in the Sports field now and in full swing for the past two months. They have an attendance of about 40 with Peter Buckley included. They have a barbell weighing 140 lbs. which Frank Buckley puts up three times and it gives their instructor enough to do to put it up once. Frank is fearful strong and he is only five feet six inches high. I suppose you didn't follow up the exercises ye used to do in the loft long ago. Peter told me you had terrible muscles. I am sticking to them all along and I will try to get a muscular picture taken in the summer when we go swimming and send it to you. I hope you won't forget to take your picture one of these days now as the summer is coming on. You know how much we all would like to see how you look, for you must have changed a good deal in the last four years. The camera I had got out of order so I sold it for half price, but I will try to get another for the summer. I am sending you some pictures that I had since last year and I dare say you will recognize them as soon as you see them, specially one of them. They are not very good ones for I was inexperienced when I took them but next time I expect to send some nice ones. In the picture of our house, you will no doubt recognize May and Georgie in their bare feet.

Adam and his folk are all well and grandfather and grandmother are quiet strong and well, but the old man is not as strong as when you saw him last. I suppose you don't go out to South Natick at all. I wrote to Miss Reardon last Autumn and I didn't hear from her since.

I suppose you would have time to make up some papers soon and send them. Those ones with the stories are very interesting. We are doing very good business all along and it is increasing every year.

As I have no more to say of interest I will

Your loving Brother,

Joseph Gleasure

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

March 11, 1905

From: Annie Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street, Allston, Massachusetts

Dear Frank,

I am writing now before I put it off any longer to thank you for the cheque which you so kindly sent me, and also for the gifts you sent at Christmas. The lead soldiers did not arrive until the end of January. We have not got an organ yet, but I suppose we should have it by the first of next month. Have you heard that we are learning the violin? We started on New Year's Day and George is the best so far; he can play a couple of tunes already. There is an old man living in the country, who was at one time a soldier that comes in very often and gives us a lesson; James O'Brien is his name and he is a great player.

I want to ask you if there are pictorial postcards over there, and if so can you send me some with views of South Natick if possible, or of nice good looking girls, and I will send you some in my nice letter, for I am sending you some shamrock in this, and I hope it will reach you in time. I cannot think of anything else to write, there is nothing going on in this dull place so I will close remaining

Yours Sincerely,

Annie Gleasure

January 18, 1905

From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street, Allston, Massachusetts, USA

Dear Frank,

I am sorry I did not write before now but in thinking to write every day, the time has slipped away. I hope you are well as we all are too, and I suppose you have secured a good job by this time.

We had very pleasant weather all this winter till Christmas, but not we are getting very cold weather with heavy showers of hail. We got all the presents alright, but Georgie didn't get his lead soldiers at all that you said you sent him. The book you sent me was a very nice and interesting one, as well as the Bible stories which are very instructive to to May and George. Our school was opened again last week and I am going on very well there. I suppose a fellow would get a good job in an office in some big business place or other  with about four or five dollars a week for a start. I suppose a fellow would get a job like that easy, without much influence. Mr. Bailey, I think, would be able to get a fellow a nice job in an office like that, being acquainted with so many of those merchants in Boston.

Listowel has greatly changed for the last three or four years. All the fellows that were here in your time have all gone away. Peter Buckley seems to be the only one left now. Even the Carrolls near Kirby's and Jack Dooling are gone this week only. I only wish that I was going too. The country must be full of every class of foreigners after the cheap fares last year.

There don't seem to be enough of stamps on the letters you send, for there is five pence on nearly every letter that comes, and there was 1/3 sd on the Christmas cards you sent last Xmas.

I hope you won't forget to take your photograph soon and send it to us, for you know how much we would like to see you after four years absence. As I have not more to say at present, I will remain,

Your Loving Brother,
Joseph Gleasure

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

December 15, 1904

From: Annie Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street, Allston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Dear Frank,

I suppose you have given thinking of hearing from me and I don't wonder when a whole year has passed since I last wrote. We have received your last two bundles of papers, the book, and your letter, and were very much interested in them. Indeed, the book was lovely. When I received the book I had a very bad sore throat. I had gone out the evening before for the first after my mishap at the merry-go-rounds, which I suppose Joe has told you all about, and it was such a drizzling rainy day that I caught cold. I don't feel quite strong since then; all the others are very well. I don't know if you have heard that I was governess to a bank clerk's little daughter during the summer. They were living at the hotel in the springtime and then they took the house next the Provincial Bank, and I had to go down nearly every day from 3 till 6 o'clock to teach her lessons and take her for a walk. I had to leave in August on account of not being able to teach music and French. So Father has told me to write and ask you for some money to buy an organ or piano so that I could learn and then I could get another situation of the same kind about next April. We would like to have it about the first of the year if possible. I am sending you some photos which Joe took. I had mine taken with the little girl I was teaching, but her mother asked me for it and she has it in her drawing room now. I will close now, wishing you a Happy Christmas.

Yours sincerely,
Annie Gleasure

Monday, February 13, 2012

October 15, 1904

From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street Allston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

My Dear Brother,

I hope the arrival of this letter will find you in perfect health.  I got the letters you were talking about and Annie said she would write so it was pretty late when she wrote.  I gave her some photographs to send you too.  They are not as good as I would wish them to be.  I hadn't time to take the children right, but I might around Christmas again.

We had the races last Tuesday and Wednesday.  They passed off very quiet.  My father is a little hoarse after them, for he was up the first night.  Annie met with an accident too the second night.  There is a merry-go-rounds in the Square and she went up and got dizzy, and a couple town's fellows brought her in in a fainting condition.  So when she was inside the door, she fainted altogether and didn't get out of it for about five or six hours.  The doctor made nothing of it, but she looked very bad for a while.  She is alright again.  It was the best races we had yet in the line of business.

I hope your hands are alright again.  Bridge Dillane got married last summer and their is nobody at home now, only the old couple.

I suppose you didn't go out to South Natick for a long time.  Miss Reardon would like to see you out again.  I got some civil service papers from her last summer.  They are a lot easier than the Civil Service examinations over here, but I think a fellow would do well in a big shipping store or some kind of a firm over there.  I am getting on very fair with my studies over here and I think after this year at school I would be alright.  I would like now if I was going over, but still I would be lonely in going away and leaving them all here.  The time wasn't long going since you left three years ago.

There are going to build a gymnasium hall in the sports field this winter.  I am using the dumb-bells all the time and I can put up a half wt. very easy.

We had fairly good weather up til this week, but today it is raining all the time and is very cold.  We will have enough of rain now til next Spring again.

I am sending you some photographs this time.  There are a couple of goods one there.  But they are not rightly finished off.  I got those tintype photos you sent.  You didn't change very much in your features.  My father wasn't pleased with them at all.  He said you should go to a right photographer when you were about it at all.  We would all like you to take your picture right the way we could show them to our friends.  Father said he wouldn't show those tintype pictures to nobody, for they would be saying you couldn't get them taken any other way.

I hope you will get back firing again before long, for if you got to be a driver you are alright.  As I have no more of interest to say.  I will remain

Your loving brother,

Joseph Gleasure

Sunday, February 12, 2012

July 26, 1904

From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street, Allston, Mass

My Dear Brother,

I am very sorry I didn't answer your letter sooner, but we were cleaning up the shop as I have vacation. We painted the outside and cleaned and whitewashed the shop on the inside. May and George are out at Tullig for the last two weeks. We got the two bundles of papers you sent, and were very interesting, especially the articles about Jeffries and Munroe, but we didn't see the result. If you could get any of the papers with the results of the battle and send them, for I am anxious to know who won.

There was a fellow came home lately Hardon is his name, he said he was speaking to you often. There are a lot of people coming from America this year. Hardon said there are any amount of men out of work in Boston when he was coming back.

I suppose you heard that you can go to America now for £2 and £2-10 from here. 

I didn't take any pictures yet with my camera but when May and George come back I will take their pictures and some more around and send them to you.

I tok Peter Buckley the other day after a swim with his biceps strung up. He uses the dumbbells every day yet but he isn't as strong as he should be. I sent away for a pair of 4 lb. dumbbells because the two pounders were too light. Any fellow should use them for a few years to make him hard and strong to bear the hardships of the world.

I would like to be an engine driver in America, but I think I wouldn't be strong enough to go through the firing part of it. I was thinking if I stopped another year at school and when I go over, if I didn't like office work, I could try for the firing job. It's a pity you lost that job firing, you would only have a couple of years more to serve when you would be a driver. The trains go mighty quick over there, but they are only like snails here. It is a very honourable thing to have an express running 60 miles and hour under your finger.

We had the big July fair yesterday. It was a very small fair and hardly anyone in town.

Don't forget to send your picture soon, and I won't be long taking our pictures. We would like very much to see your photo, and I suppose you would like to see ours, too. As I have no more to say, I will remain,

Your loving brother,
Joseph Gleasure

Saturday, February 11, 2012

May 31, 1904

From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street, Allston, Massachusetts

Dear Brother,

I received your letter a couple of weeks ago and I neglected writing since. The weather is very changable here, it would be a hot day to-day and to-morrow raining again.

I was telling you the last time I wrote that I wrote to Miss Reardon but I haven't heard from them since. They told me they would send some papers on civil service examinations but I suppose I won't hear from them anymore.

Peter Buckley is about getting a job in the North driving an engine in some factory. He used to get 2/6 a day whenever Jim Moloney would be away. He is the same old Peter as when you saw him last nothing troubling him but punching bags and developers. He tells me you must have great influence to get in any kind of a job in an office there and I want you to tell me is it so, and also if you could send me any circulars about the civil service. Whats troubling me is I might be too old when I go over to compete for any civil service exam. I am improving greatly in my writing, but this is not my best, and also all my other studies. I also spend half an hour at dumbbells before going to bed and I have put up great muscle since I began. A good smart fellow ought to get a nice job in an office in some big house or in a railway office. I am sure you should be very smart to pass a civil service examination over there as ther would be a lot competing for the same vacancy.

Deny Lyons died about a month ago, and Mike has taken up the auctioneering and the agency for booking passengers.

I hope you won't forget to send us your photograph, and I will shortly send our photographs because I have a small camera and if we got vacation I would take all of us and send them.

We would very much like to see your photograph now after been so long away. I promised to send some to Miss Reardon too but I won't until I hear from them again. If you were writing to them anytime you could ask them did they get my letter but I suppose they did. It must be lovely to be over there now coming on Summer. I would get very lonesome when I think of America or if anybody was talking about it. I suppose you would never think of coming back again like more of the fools. There are several around this town who went over for about three months and came back again as if they spent all their life there. The time won't be long slipping when I will be standing on American soil again. The Connor's have no talk of going now as when you were here. I think if Jim went over that time with you, you would have to carry him around with you, for he is very stupid to be talking to.

Father and all the children are all well at present and they are all quite well out at Tullig. Grandfather is still very strong and hardy.

As I have no more to stay I will remain

Your Dear Brother
Joseph Gleasure

Friday, February 10, 2012

April 7, 1904

From: Joseph Gleasure, Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street, Allston, Massachusetts

My Dear Brother,

I hope the arrival of this letter will find you in the best of health as we all are at present.

We are greatly troubled at not getting a letter since Christmas. My father wrote to you in January, and he told me to ask you did you get it? We thought when you didn't write that you were sick or that something happened to you so that you couldn't write.

I wrote to Miss Reardon some time after Xmas and got an answer soon after and I wrote last week again to her. She told me she would send me some papers about the Civil Service when she gets them from Washington and that she would give me any help she could. I am getting on splendidly at school. We are just after our Easter holidays and this is the first week we opened.

Some time ago I didn't pay half enough attention to my studies as I am now, but when I see how far back I was and the time slipping away quickly, I made up my mind to work while I had the chance. It is just what Miss Reardon told me that young fellows think it a fine thing to be done with school and then when they are out of school for a year or so they begin bemourning that they didn't stop at school longer. Any kind of a smart fellow can get a situation in any office nowadays.

Annie has got a kind of a job now with a bank clerk. Mr. Brunker was removed and a married man with one little girl about 6 or 7 years old. Annie has to go down to them about 3 and carry out the child for a walk and teach her a few lessons every day and after get their tea ready, and she is done then at 6. She is getting over a L1 for 3 months. It will be bringing in something to her and besides it will make her handy when she goes out in the world. I am practicing with dumbbells now every night since January. A fellow  would want to be a bit tough to bear all the hardships of the world. Somers, the fellow that came home from Africa with the wounded finger, I don't know did you know him, has a gimanaziam in the town now. He was with Sandow for a long time and came home last year. He is all muscle, they stand out on him like big thick ropes tied around him.

It was lucky yourself and Peter stuck at them all the time for it is now your are reaping the benefit and only for them you would hardly be able to stick the firing so long I suppose. Frank Buckley is at them for the last couple of years and he do be casting in those country sports. He threw a half wt.  nineteen and a half feet in Lixnaw last month, and he can beat them all around the town casting stones.

You will be gone three years the middle of this month and it only seems a couple of years ago since you went away. We would hardly know you now I suppose you must have got very stout. I think you ought to take your picture now coming on the summer. We would all like very much to look upon your features after being so long away.

I hope you won't delay in writing to let us know how you are getting on. My father said the people you are staying with might keep your letters and that you should be careful. As I have no more to say, I will close, hoping nothing has happened,

Your loving brother,
Joseph Gleasure

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 28, 1904

From: Helen A. Reardon, South Natick, Mass
To: Mr. Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland, County Kerry

My dear Joe,

We cannot express by writing how much pleased we were to hear from you especially as to your schoolwork.  So many boys nowadays think if they can get rid of school they are happy.  Then when they get too old to go to school, they spend the rest of their days bewailing their foolishness in not going to school longer.

I have written to Washington for particulars about the civil service exams but have not received an answer yet.  As soon as I do, I will send work right away.  It is certain that a good knowledge of geography and modern history would be included.  Of course the better general education one has, the more sure he is to rise if he is suited to his position.  I haven't the smallest doubt that you will be all right.  There is a government examination and then the position is for life or during satisfactory behavior not subject to changes in administration.

How much we should like to see you all.  We try to imagine how you look.

We had not heard of Frank's bad luck.  I hope he is all right again before this.  He has not written us for a long time.  We should like to have him come out to see us, but I suppose he gets tired and rests on Sunday.

We tried to think who the boys were who were with you in school but do not know who they were.

It is dull enough here.  Of course the two shoe-shops run about so, but there is no new business.  There are fewer children in our building than when you were here.  Rich people have bought up the land so that there is little chance for anything but a residential town.  Business is good at Natick center, however.

You may hear from me any day, but I thought the time would seem so long that I would write ahead so you would not give up ever hearing from us.

Miss Bailey is very busy today and asked me to write for her.

I wish Annie would write to us and I am sure you will write again.  When you write, will you tell us how old you are?  We feel sure you will keep on with your studies and we will see what can be done.  There are always positions for straight upright young men.  Miss Smith, Miss Bailey and I send our love to all of you and hope to see you some day.

Sincerely your friend,

Helen A. Reardon

January 25, 1904

From: George Gleasure, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street Allston, MA

Dear Frank,

I am writing you a few lines hoping you continue in good health as we all are here at present. They are all well out at Tullig also, only the old man he is not so strong this winter. He was not in here since October although he is about all right. He is going on 79 years of age now. They do be all asking about you always when they are in. I had your letter a few days ago. We were surprised to hear that you came so near getting hurt in the railway accident. You were very fortunate that you did not fare worse as you had a narrow escape. Railroading is a risky business. If you were badly hurt, you would have to stand it. You would get nothing from the company. So I think if you get into any other fair job you would be just as safe my opinion. I hope you are in a job before now. Write when you get this letter and let us know. The year that is passed is a very bad year in this country. It has been raining continuously since July and especially for the last three months no sunshine of any account. The farmers have suffered severely by the constant rain the like was not seen for several years no frost of any account and no snow in this part of the country. We have no reason to complain the times are fairly good as yet. Our business has increased nearly double since you were here so as to be kept going pretty well all the time. I have to be around from seven in the morning until ten at night so you see the time I have. Joe is going to school constant and is doing very well. He will soon be there a year and it is a bit expensive books that he requires and very costly. But I think he will do something out of it someday. He is going on very well. The two young lads are getting very smart also. They are doing very well at school. There is many a change in Listowel since you left too many to mention. We have not heard from the Baileys or the Burrs for the last year. I think it was Mrs. Burr that wrote last to the lads here. When you are writing let us know if you see any of them. The Dillons are all well. Patsy is very strong at present. He was making a match for Tim Curtin and Jule McElligott you know her. It was nearly made when they smashed it again. I suppose you do not see the Dillons very often in Boston now as you are not lodging with them. Mrs. Carroll told me some time ago that Henry went to New York to Pat and he was coming back to Boston again. I think I have no more to say at present. Hoping to hear soon from you.

George Gleasure, Listowel, Kerry, Ireland

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

December 12, 1903

From: Joseph Gleasure, Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 459 Cambridge Street, Allston, Mass

Dear Brother, --

I hope the arrival of this letter will find you in health as we all are at present. I intended writing sooner, but the time slipped away before I knew it.

We have very bad weather at present. Every place is flooded with water, especially the low lands, and it is raining every day since last summer. This letter will hardly reach you before Christmas, for this day two weeks is Christmas Day. It is only by chance I got time to write, because I don't get out of school until about four o'clock and then it is very near dark and when I come home I must study my lessons.

The college is like a gentleman's house now. They could have collected L1,000 for the repairs and it is finished only the ground around it where they are making gravel walks. It is a great place for being taught if you want to learn.

I suppose it would be a bit difficult for me to get a job in some office over there when I go over first, if hadn't someone that knew me to speak for me but it is your smartness that will do everything for you now, I believe. In about two years time I would be well-fitted for America. I would be nineteen years old then, but it is a long time before I will be able to see South Natick.

I forgot all about writing to Miss Reardon too but I am writing to her now also. I suppose it will be after Christmas when she gets it. I am also sending her some Christmas cards.

Jim Enright (Bang) was killed some time ago. It seems he was in town drunk with a horse waiting for someone and while he was waiting he sat in the car with no reins and when the horse heard him getting in he started off galloping down the road and was pitched out near the bridge, and when he was found, he was dead. I suppose you are at the same job yet. I would often be thinking that if I learned some engineering trade, it would be better than office work and more times it would be the opposite way. All the same, a clerk has a fine, clean, life, but it could be very unhealthy in cities on account of the heat in summer, and being inside all day, very near.

I thought I would have this letter posted long ago, but we couldn't get the Christmas cards. They are not very good, but they will serve the purpose. May is also sending a handkerchief.

As it is so late, I won't send any cards to South Natick, but I will write to them after Christmas. I am after getting the Christmas Double Number of Boy's Friend and when I am done with it I will send along with some papers to you. As I have no more to say, I will close, wishing you a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year.

I remain,
Your Affectionate Brother,
Joseph Gleasure

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

November 9, 1903

To: Frank Gleasure, 59 Hopedal Street, Allston, Massachusetts
From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland

Dear Brother,

I received your most welcome letter last week and also the cheque. I hope your are in good health as we all are at present. Father had a touch of neuralgia for the last few days but he is all right today.

I suppose ye are beginning to feel the change over there now for winter won't be long more. We had a very wet year up to the present but we are getting a little frost now so the place is pretty dry.

I am getting on very well at school now. I am in the Civil Service Class for the last month nearly. I was only wasting my time learning the languages for they are no use to me. I would like very much if you could tell me the subjects wanted for the Customs in America. I have the book about all the English situations but I don't know what the American ones are. So if you could get any of the little books containing information about the Customs over there you could send them along and then I would know the subjects to study for I intend to try the Customs when I go over. The only thing that is troubling me is, if I should have to know any of the languages for it. The whole thing in any examination is to be a good writer and good at arithmetic and spelling. Trade is very slack these times, even the fairdays are not half so busy as they used to. The priests all around the districts have temperance leagues established and everyone has the pledge taken so there is nothing doing in the liquor business. The town is much the same as when you left only they are building new houses as you go up to the railroad station on the right below the Temperance Room where the thatched houses were. A lot of the shop keepers have put in plate glass windows in there shops too. There are about a dozen plate glass windows already. It gives the town a businesslike appearance.

I was going to write to South Natick to to the Bailey's some time ago but I forgot all about it. But I will write before Christmas. Christmas won't be long more in coming so I will write again very soon and send some cards. I suppose you do have a jolly time at Christmas over there. I wish I was over out of this old hole, but the time won't be long slipping when I will be over among all the old friends.

I suppose you got my last papers and Boy's Friends I sent some time ago. I believe Henry Carroll went down to New York and is stopping long with his brother. I will write again before I get an answer from you because it would be too late to wait for your letter.

I remain,
Your loving brother,


Monday, February 6, 2012

September 8, 1903

From: Annie Gleasure, Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 59 Hopedal Street, Allston, Massachusetts

Dear Frank,

Perhaps you will have thought long ago that I have no intention of writing to you but the fact is we have been very busy papering painting and white washing the whole house during the summer but they are all finished now. Then I had to go to church three times a week for two weeks to practice the hymns for the Miss Johnston's double wedding. They were both married to doctors and it was very nice to see. We have received your last letter and the papers last week and enjoyed them very much. The other ones that you sent in July arrived safely but the little pins that you sent came just a week too late for the Fourth of July, but we had the ones that you sent before. We are all well here at present, but business is very slack all this summer. May and George spent a week at Dillons and three at Tullig during their vacation. They enjoyed being at Tullig very much and would have stayed longer if they could. I suppose you will have heard by this time that Matt Dillon died about the last week of June. They have no boy there now for Tom and Ned are away in the police force and Paul is in Carlow learning to be a priest. All the Parkinson police are home for about three or four weeks. Fannie was married to John Fitzell of Woodford last summer. Marianne was in Tralee for a long time learning millenery and then she went to Cork in a situation but she is home now for a few days. The annual sports were held in the sports field on August 20th, and there were fire works in the night and the stand and all around the track was beautifully decorated with tiny coloured lanterns. The races will be held in October and I want to know if you will send me some money soon if you can. I had expected some long ago but I suppose you were very busy this summer. Hoping to hear from you very soon, I remain,
Your Affectionate Sister,
Annie Gleasure

Sunday, February 5, 2012

August 6, 1903

From: Joseph Gleasure, Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 59 Hopedal Street, Allston, Massachusetts

Dear Brother,

I hope the arrival of this letter will find you in good health, as we all are at present. We got your last letter and papers and the pins, which were very nice.

We had very bad weather up to the first of the month, but it is mending a little now.

May and George are out at Adam's house, so we have very quiet times at home.

I will be at home till the first of September too for the college won't open till then.

I think I won't learn any of the languages when I go back again, but go into the class where they teach you for the government jobs, such as the Customs, Civil Service and a good many more things, so I think I will learn for the Customs.

My father told me to ask you for some money to free my expenses while I am there. The charge per year is six pounds, so if you send anything I will be very thankful.

I suppose you saw Henry's brother Patty, because he went over a good while ago. Would you guess who is going over too this morning. Mike Keeffe and his son Jack and his daughter's child. They sold all they had and are just after going this morning.

I promised to send you some papers the last time I wrote, but I forgot all about it after but I won't forget this time.

As I have no more to say I will close, wishing you every success and hoping to be with you before long, I remain,
Your Affectionate Brother,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

June 21, 1903

From: (Mrs.) C A Burr, 27 Glen St., South Natick
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton St., Boston, Mass

My dear Frank:

I was glad to receive your nice letter and that you got the position as fireman that you wished.  I am sure it must have been very hard for you at first but there will be a good chance for you to become engineer after a while.

I wish you success in all your undertakings.  Am glad also that Joe is ambitious and wants to better himself.  As to the US Customs, I know nothing about the requirements for examination, but I will write to father and perhaps he can send you a list.  Shields is through his examinations at "Lich" and Houston will return next week from Cornell University.  I hope you will come out some day to see them when you have a day off.  Houston I expect will get work in an architect's office and Shields is in an automobile repair shop for the summer.

Neil and Miss Burr are quite well and wish to be remembered to you.


Mrs. C A Burr

May 26, 1903

From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, Massachusetts

My Dear Brother,

I hope the arrival of this letter will find you well as we all are at present. We got your last letter and the papers you sent all right.

I am going to the college now since the 1st of April. it is not much of a place to go to unless you were going to learn the languages. I want you to tell me whether I will learn any of the languages or not, because it is no good learning them unless I was going to be a doctor, and also I would be wasting my time and money.

I suppose you have something found out about the Customs by this time and if you could find out also the style of writing they have. I suppose it is straight writing like we were taught at school. If you could get a programe for the Customs I think I couldn't do better than stop at home and work myself. I would get on better than than at the College because they only teach them for the English Customs there.

There were over forty left this town last week for America. Among them were Patty Carrol, Henry's brother, Jack Carrol from the Square Dan Garon, two of the Hussy's four of the Mulvihills and a couple from Ballgarrett. The Connor's are not inclined to go anywhere yet either.

I suppose South Natick is changed a good deal since I saw it last. All the fellows that were going to school with me are left I suppose. We are beginning to fell the heat for the last week but ye have it for the last month.

I would be very thankful if you would send me a nice pin I could wear on my coat, one made of hard material, and a design like the "Maine" or some other thing. I will be sending you some "Boys Friends" soon. As I have no more to say I will close.

Your Dear Brother,


Friday, February 3, 2012

April 6, 1903

From: Annie Gleasure, Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, Mass.

Dear Frank,

We have received your last letter and the papers and we are glad that you are doing so well. We are all well here at present. Joe has left school and is going to the college now, but May and George are still at the same school and are doing well. We have all grown quite a bit since you left. I am as tall as you were when you were here, and Joe is nearly as tall. There are not many changes here. The great storm that passed over here in February done consideberal damage around the town and surrounding country. Some of our tiles and slate were blown off and Carol's roof was broken to pieces. There were quite a number of trees blown down everywhere. There was an awful flood in the river last week and it came up as far as Behan's shed. It was raining almost every day last month. I suppose you must be enjoying some nice weather over there now. Pat Dillon's wife is quite settled down in her shop now and Pat has gone back to Cork to his barracks again. I thought at first that he was to stay in Listowel.

Adam and his people are quite well. He has bought a little donkey trap for his wife and three children.

We are still going to the Hall. There were two American evangelists, Mr. and Mrs. Sims there for a fortnight last month, showing two magic lanterns, one for the pictures and the other for the hymns and texts. Mrs. Sims sang beautifully every night. Father was up there a few times and he liked it very much. I am in the church choir now and I would like if you would send me some money to get some clothes with and I would be so thankful.

I have no more to say now, so I will close remaining
Yours Affectionately,
Annie Gleasure

Thursday, February 2, 2012

March 5, 1903

From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton St. Boston, Massachusetts

Dear Frank,

I received your most welcome letter about two weeks ago and would have wrote long ago but I was waiting for an answer from the Editor of the Boy's Friend concerning the Customs. He told me to write to the Secretary of the Civil Service and they sent me a heap of useless papers. I would be very thankful if you could send me any information as to the programe I should know to secure a clerkship in the Customs over there. They could tell me nothing over here concerning the United States Customs. We are all at home from school this week because the Master has a sore throat. We are annoyed from him for he is constantly getting sore throats every couple of weeks. I think my father is going to send me to the college soon if the school is going the way it is, but when I am at school I have nothing to do because I am passed all classes. I told you in my last letter that the Master would make me up for any situation I liked but since he fell out with me. One day in January he sent me down to the post office for his quarterly pay and he gave me a paper to hand in at the office and said I would get a lot of money and mind it. And when I brought him the money he said it was three pounds short. He then went down the the post office to know how much they gave me and they said I got the full amount and I can't make out how it went for I put it in my pocket and took it out when I got back and gave it to him. Mind do not say a word about what I have told you for my father didn't hear it yet. Be sure and write soon about what I told you for I might be sent to the college soon. I am very glad you got the job on the engine as you were saying. There was a great storm swept over Ireland about a week ago and done great damage. It tore up heaps of trees all over the country. The chimney of Carrol the Cooper's house fell and drove the roof nearly in and it tore down a few slates and tiles in our house but we are not the worst off. You said to have us take our pictures but you know this place is not up to date so it is very hard to take our picture when there are no photographers here. But when you can get your photograph taken any day, we would all like to see it. I will send you some papers about about the storm latter on and also some Boys Friends. Hoping your are well as we are at present. I remain,

Your Brother,


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 24, 1903

From: Clara Nye Burr, 27 Glen Drive, South Natick, Massachusetts
To: Frank Gleasure

Dear Frank:

Your note of Jan. 4th was received the next day and I intended writing to say I was very glad that there was a prospect of your getting on the road as fireman, and eventually as Engineer - and I should have written sooner, but the day your letter came Neil was taken very ill - and the doctor pronounced it, in a couple of days - appendicitis, and he has been ill ever since, and is still in bed - as we have no trained nurse and no servant it has kept us pretty busy - I think Dr. [Story?] is going to bring him out all right without an operation -

Shields is having his midyear examinations this week and next at the Institute of Technology, which keeps him pretty busy.

George got on very quickly as fireman if I remember correctly.  I hope you won't have to wait long - we will all be very glad to hear of your success and shall hope to hear from you and see you when you can get an afternoon off.  If Shields and Neil were here, they would join me in sending regards -

Yours most sincerely

Clara Nye Burr

27 Glen Dr.
So Natick

January 24, 1903

From: Joseph Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland
To: Frank Gleasure, 82 West Canton Street, Boston, Massachusetts

Dear Frank,

We received your this morning and were very glad to hear from you. There was only one fall of snow here about two inches deep, but we had three or four nights of hard frost and made the weather very nice. I received the book you sent me all right which was a beauty, and we got the other things also.

Mrs. Julian of Ballybunion is burying to day. There is an amount of people dying here lately. As your were talking of my going to Dublin it would be nearly impossible to get him to send me there unless he got an apprentice and he would hardly do that will I am here. I will be done with the school I am going to in February for we will have the examination then. But the school teacher we have said he could make me up for any situation I would like myself after the examination. I am the only pupil in my class since the Christmas holidays. I would like a position in a drugs store or the Custom House in America. But I would if you could find out if I should know any others language to get in a drugs store over there because you must know latin to be a chemist here. The place and people are changed terribly since you went away. Harry Smith is serving his time in a drugs store now, but he must wait four years fore he will get paid and thats a long time to be wasting a one's time.

If I could but get out to South Natick all the old people would help me on. I would give any thing to get out there now, for this place is nothing but a drinking hole.

That Kiely that you said was long with Dan Murphy is back here again. The two Shaughnessys are in Creaghs office now.

I don't recollect any of the people or places in South Natick that you talk about only a few.

As I have no more to say only that we are in perfect health I will close wishing to see you soon if I can and all the old people.

Your loving Brother,