Tears were inevitable as number sixteen vanished from my sight carrying my dear girl. Forgive me for crying, I couldn’t help it. I hated to feel that you were gone. But as I came back out to the college and scrambled to my waiting duties the burden was lifted and I felt how happy I was that you would be happy at home, and that I could see you this summer. Things have been about the same around NCC with the exception that a great deal of the beauty of the school for me has disappeared for some “known” reason. It seemed hard to think of going to hear Marie give her reading Friday evening knowing you could not go to, but I went and as usual in between naps, I enjoyed the program. Marie did very nicely in the presentation of the play. I could see that even though I did sleep most of the time. I know I shall be happy in my work for the college, although I will miss being home. I must do my utmost for our school this summer for to it I owe my life, by Christ, my sweetheart, and my friends. I can never in any way repay what this school has meant to me.
I went with Merl and Lillian over to Solts where Merl talked with me about prospective students at Plainview. Monday was spent in the office addressing catalogues. Leona and I pounded the typewriters all day to address about 500 as well as to write some letters and do some other writing. This morning I cleaned out the boys dorm. My, such a mess. This afternoon I spent in the office working on catalogues, lists of students, grades, letters, etc Oh yes, and president talked to me for about two hours. I am taking my meals at the Fergusons but they are not like the Ferguson’s I am used to each summer nor are they like the Fergusons of the future. Perhaps I am planning too strongly on that when you have openly expressed your dislike for cooking. It seems strange to think that I am not working on the railroad this summer. That means I am not dead tired with aching muscles and blistered hands at the end of the day’s work. While I am happy with my work I feel a great responsibility for those men back there on the road and for my home.
I didn’t suppose you felt so badly when we parted but it is comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one that cried. As to the lump in your throat, I had one for a day or more at when when I would think how far away you were and how I loved you so dearly. I like my work immensely. Wednesday I began canvasing for students and met with a very good response. Out of the six that I visited Wednesday afternoon I felt quite sure of at least four. My I certainly meet up with some experiences. For instance, I called on one lady who had a boy graduated from high school this year. She had planned up until recently to send the boy to NCC. The boy is a fine Christian lad and a student to be desired but since some of the faculty members took the attitude they did toward Mr. Hunter she had decided that the boy should go to Grand Island to school. She told me her whole situation and I made myself a passive good listener. But by the time I had left she seemed to fee somewhat different toward our school and I left with the hopes of seeing her agin soon and getting her boy to come to NCC. Tomorrow I am going to Clark and Silver Creek. Saturday morning to Archer and Sat. afternoon to HOME. I will work from there to Alda, Chapman, and then Palmer. I am afraid my love that if I hold down this white collared job all summer I won’t account to much as a man. Instead of blisters being on my hands this summer they are apt to be on a lower extremity. Mother has been sick with back trouble. The folks are anxious for my return. As you love your home, so do I love mine. We certainly have a world of things to be grateful for if we but try and place our won selves in the place of our parents. I feel might humble as I think of how much they have scarified, loved and suffered for me. As you mentioned my home means more to me now since I have loved you and have stated the best that I have upon our utopian home. After talking with your folks, what have you decided to do next year? We have a very fine school here at Central City, one whose credits are fully accredited by the State University. At this school almost any course may be taken, one leading to an elementary state certificate or higher certificate. Courses may be taken backing any profession such as medicine, engineering, etc. Also the associations that one has are invaluable. Often times they mean much to a person. Pardon me dear, just my “line” slipped in, but don’t you think the school sounds good? I should be happy to talk further with you about our school at your own convenience.
I’ve managed to circumnavigate the county and wind up at home. The folks have all been so good to me. The kiddies were certainly happy to see me. They all wanted to eat by me at the table and Leonard had to sleep with me. Lawrence showed Mother and me his wedding ring this morning. He didn’t say when he was to be married but it will be sudden if it hasn’t happened already. He has been away all afternoon and was so excited he could hardly eat dinner. Dad asked me this morning when I was to be married. When I told him he said I was making pretty definite plans and that I should need to find some one to marry me first. Upon a hint that I gave him he asked if I had “popped the question”. Of course I assured him that I had. I visited two prospective this afternoon and my old buddy Urskin Claar from the railroad. The Claar’s look toward my coming home much the same as do the folks. I attended church this morning. The children presented a very pretty program. Both Katherine and Leonard took part. It is wonderful that you have such a mother. Although she did object to your putting on paints, wearing short skirt and being a flapper, she doesn’t deny you of much that is worth while, does she? I know that you will attribute all the motherly qualities that she has plus more.
Don’t you remember the many, many times that I have told you that I would not go with any one other than you? If Leona should buy a Packard I shouldn’t care to go with her. I like her as a good friend but I have not the least desire to go with her. You may rest assured that you alone have my greatest devotion. I should be very sorry if you should get the measles. I regret very much that Chester had to take them but it is much better that he have them now than in later life. I am so thankful that I had all of those diseases when I was a baby and had nothing else to do.
Mr. Watson invited me to his place for dinner. I do so enjoy those people and they have such wonderful children. It always makes me wonder whether ours will be like that. But you see they have only five, while we with our seventeen will have a more difficult task. Ralph has been around here for the past two days. He is going to start working for a fellow near Chapman in the morning. We got to talking about getting married this morning and I judge that he and Marie are making about as definite plans as we. Ralph said they planned a quiet home wedding and it couldn’t be sooner than three years. I’m glad your folks know of your plans and I hope that they will have no objections to our marriage. We would be in a terrible predicament if they should. But we won’t worry about that until later.
I’m afraid my dear girl has the measles. At least you are having them now if you must have them so that you will be immune from them hence forth and forever more. You see you may have to care for some little ones some day who have them and then there will be no danger of my having to car for the entire family. But then I’m awfully sorry that you have them, if you do. Lawrence and Rose are a happy pair from Mother’s report. I judge that Lawrence had to go in debt for the enterprise, but what’s that I hope nothing as insignificant as money ever keeps us from getting married. While it is a necessity and a convenient thing to have it never worries me, thank goodness I have gone four years to school on practically no money at all. I think I can go for four or five more. It is so lonesome here without you. Its even worse this summer than it was last in that respect. Mother and Father aren’t here nor any of the kiddies. My nature just demands love but I will be happy some day when I always have you to love me
You told me that if I didn’t get any letters for a while to know that you had the measles. Since I hadn’t heard from you in a week I assumed you were sick. I was quite surprised to get your letter and learn that you were better. I do hope you don’t get sick next Sunday. I talked to president about my proposed trip this morning and he seemed to be quite in favor of it. I was so happy he was. He is the dearest man. While I do care a great deal for good music more than you may think. My hope is that I shall be broad minded enough to give you every opportunity possible for the expression and development of your love for music. I’m so happy you are gifted wit that love and appreciation. I only wish I were able to appreciate it more. How insignificant is $1000 as a measure of your value. I do feel that under some circumstances insurance is a worth while thing. I plan on taking some when I am able to afford it.
President Carrell too me out to lunch with him yesterday noon and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit. He is such a wonderful man. President said some awfully nice things about you and about u. I’m afraid we don’t deserve all the high impressions people have of us but never-the-less I’m glad they have them. I know you must be happy in your work with your children. I’ll wager that my dearest is learning moe than her pupils. I should like to be around some time when you are working desperately to get one of your students to run the right scale or something similar.
It seems that meeting and visiting is constantly before me and in my mind. Regardless of how many girls I meet and talk withI can’t see anything about them that would attract me to go with them. You’ve completely spoiled me. The more I meet the more I am convinced that you are the best in the world and the only one for me. Oh Ruth I am so anxious to come see you I can hardly wait but then I must. Maybe I can stay longer President said I could if I needed to.
Even though you did have the measles I would much rather them to being away from you. Almost a soon as I had left your place I felt an emptiness in my soul. It just seems that without you my being isn’t complete. I am going to continue my work for another year if for no other reason than I can come and see you more often. Maybe it won’t seem such a long time to wait until we can get married if I don’t have to stay away from you so long in the summer. When I got back “home” (NCC) everything looked so different. The wheat was all ripe and some was i shock the corn had grown to quit a hight an the campus had lot its pretty green color. President has bought himself a new Chevrolet. Don’t you think he is getting quite gay while Mrs. Carrell is away? I wanted him to let me break it in for him but he thought he could do it well enough. Since I performed several errands for you and the pay was so wonderful I am wondering if you would work for me on the same basis. You can be assured of real good pay upon sight. The task is this: would you write to Edith and encourage her to come to school this year? I do want her to go to school so badly and I fear from what Mother wrote that she isn’t thinking very favorably about it.
I have thought of you constantly since our visit at Young’s Park. I am so weak when I am with you but I’m happy that you are strong. I have been facing the great decision of our life’s work. I feel that God has laid it upon me to make that decision. I wish so much that you were here to talk with me tonight as I have struggled so hard today to see my way through. I shall never decide definitely until we have talked over every thing together. I had a good visit at home. The kiddies, mother and father were so anxious and happy to see me. I have accomplished something I feel with Edith. I had the most sincere and frank talk with her tonight that I have ever had with any of my folks. She gave me her consent to go to school and I’m so happy about it. I hope you will encourage her.
7/24/27 from Holyoke, CO
This has been a long and lonesome week for me since I didn’t have my ail forwarded I have missed those weekly packages of love and joy. You are my constant companion as I go about my duties. Of course I have every detail, or almost every one of our union and future worked out. Isn’t that just like a man? No, I haven’t done such a thing but of course I have a number of possibilities to suggest. I just can’t wait to tell you some of the things I have been thinking about. I thought and prayed much over the matter so I talked with Theo Foxworthy confidentially of course Theo, I felt, was fair in hi suggestions. He felt that I should enter the ministry because of qualifications which I possessed and the great needs in that field I told him I could not think of going to school and preparing and then getting married and trying to establish a home upon the meager salaries that our western pastors get. He agreed with me and said he was quite sure that we would be able to get a salary by that time which would suit us. I then asked his advise about our getting married. His advice was that if possible we ought to get married and go to school together. He couldn’t have said anything more welcome. He advised us to go to Hartford, me to the seminary and you to the post graduate college. Pres. Carrell gave practically the same advice only he said that it would be better for both of us to have our college degrees.Both Theo and Pres. thought you ought not to teach but go to college and finish your course for not only for your sake but for the work which we would do. Would it be possible for you to finish college before teaching? I could teach one year while you finish college. If we both had scholarships and I had worked one year they thought we would have no difficulty in finishing our courses at Hartford. Pres. said you would be ale to enlarge upon music, piano and ppe organ, take religious ed, sociology, etc. while I did seminary. He said we would especially enjoy living in New England.
It seems that I have been all over Nebraska in the past few days. We had a very good conference at Hiawatha, then President, Theo and I drove to Agalla and only got lost once in the sand hills. Finally found a place to stay at one in the morning. Next day President and Theo went to Denver and I went to Grant and worked all day in the Friends community. Then to Holyoke CO which is only 16 mi from Venango where my uncle and aunt live. My aunt is the best cook. When I dried the dishes for her she has some very pretty dish towels that she did some fancy work on. She told me she would give us some like them when we get married. I want to try and be at your place two weeks from today if I can arrange my work right. I wish that you would talk to your mother and father about our plans or maybe we can talk to them together.
7/20/27 Imperial, NE
We have made our way out to the western edge of the state since eight o;clock this morning. Theo, President and I have had a jolly time traveling today. I did nearly all the driving but we had a very good time. Theo purchased bananas, plums and cookies after eating a large dinner and we ate them this afternoon together with a quart of ice cream we bought along the road. It would been ideal if you had been with me. I am planning so much on our touring together some summer. Tonight we are staying at a perfectly lovely tourist home which was just recently built. How I wish you could be here and share this pleasure and my nice little room! I feel better about the decision matter than yesterday but I haven’t decided definitely.
7/29/27 Central City
Many anxious moments did I spend in the past two days as I hurried back home to read my waiting letters. I stopped at my brother’s home and of course being there just made me more anxious for you They seem so happy together although our home will be different than theirs They have their home fixed real nice and have such nice things and awfully pretty furniture All this is in the future for us. On my way I stopped at Eustis where live my aunt and uncles. I visited my uncle whose wife died two years ago and he seemed so lonesome. His little girls are the dearest things. I wish we could have them to keep but they are all he has to love. They miss a mother’s love and when any of us go to visit them they like to be cuddled and loved. The oldest one, who is only five, liked me awfully well and wanted me to hold her and play which I joyfully did. My heart aches for that father. I don’t know of any thing that would be as terrible as having you taken from me but you won’t be so I won’t worry about it. Life means more to me now after my visit to Eustis. The next morning: Good morning, Ruth. I’m ready now to go to work. I could do a great deal more i I had a kiss from you this morning. I can play like you kiss me this morning its a poor substitute but its the best I have until some day I can kiss you every day before going to work.
7/31/27 North Loup, NE
I have well begun my trip that leads me to you. Fullerton, St. Paul, Dannebrog, Elton, Cotesfield and finally North Loup. Before getting to you I will visit Arcadia, Sargent, Comstock, Erickson, Elgin and Plainview. The work is discouraging. I visited one girl who was such a good prospect. She went down last week to look over the school while I was away. When I called on her yesterday I found that she was greatly disappointed in the school and that she may not go.
What would you think if I would turn preacher ext year and preach regularly while going to school? Mrs. Foxworthy suggested such a thing as they are struggling so frantically to fill the pastorates in this Quarterly Meeting. I might take Alda, Community Friends, or Platte Valley. If I did this I wouldn’t need to work any while going to school but it would be a big undertaking and i hesitate to think of doing such a thing as unqualified as I am. The people would have to want e pretty bad before I could get up courage enough to undertake it. I know you are anxious for the Estes Conference to come. I wish I could go with you but I’m sure you will get more out of the conference if I didn’t go. We will leave our trip to the mountains until we go for a “special conference”. I told president about your faith in me as a “persuader”. They said if I could convince a fish he needed a drinking cup I ought to convince a turtle he needs a propeller or a skunk that he needed a tail light Do you think I could?
8/2/27 Sargent, NE
When in Arcadia yesterday I persuaded two girls to go to NCC next year, They made me work until twenty minutes until twelve last night. Yesterday was a memorial day for me . I only got lost and wasted about two hors parading up and down some of the ost terrible hills in the county and it was rainy too. Coming in to Arcadia I got stuck going up a hill and of course I got soaked as I put on the chains, but I got two girls to go to school so it was worth it.
8/10/27 St Edward, NE
It doesn’t seem like the whole of two days have passed since we parted but they have. I can’t think of anything else but you as I am driving along. On my way from your place as/ into the air and people running wildly. As I pulled up I saw a large frame house wrapped in fire. I never have seen anything burn like that did Very little of the furniture was saved An elderly couple some 70 years old lived there. The old man had been a drunkard and I was told had been drunk for the past two days. The old lady left him at home and went down town. She had been there for not more than half and hour when she was warned of the fire.. When the crowd had saved all the household goods they could they asked of the the where about of the old man but no one seemed to know. They found his cane hanging on the door but could find no other traces of him. After searching the fields and community for him and not finding him they gave him up as a burned man. After the house had almost fallen in they saw the old man crawling in from the weeds where everyone had been standing. He was a ghastly sight. He shook terribly and his hands and wrists were burned until the flesh had fallen partly off. His face was also burned. They took him to the doctor and I went on. Everyone concluded hat he had set fire to the house and had been burned before he could get away. This scene touched me so that I have been unable to get away from it.
8/14/27 Central City
It will only be five days until I may seen you again. I’m sure I want to solicit students again next summer. I get to see you often and then the summer goes faster and I am happier. It seemed awfully good to be back to Central. Its strange that this place is home sweet home to me. We’re back from Aldo and I’m awfully glad we went. The folks were there and a member of my dear friends. I didn’t know what to do, I felt so humble when I found that the folks and another family were there. I felt the responsibility of doing my best and I think I did.
I’m awfully sorry your plans to go to CO have been thwarted. The conference would have meant so much to you and your work this fall. So many disappointments are coming in connection with my work The two girls from Arcadia have decided not to go to NCC this year. Conditions had made it hard for them to go. In similar manner a number of my best prospects have “blown up”. still there is hope for a good student body. I hope you get to do the thing you want to do with your music. remember though, my dear, that your music preparation is not to cease upon our marriage. I have only the highest hopes that you may accomplish the great musical ends which you desire and I shall be very happy to help you. When we go to Hartford you will be able to take music there and I hope you shall. You aren’t going to marry to help me alone, I want to help you too. Maybe if we accomplish all we have planned in those first happy years we won’t be lonesome for our baby. Those years will be much to look forward to.
It was so nice of you to send me that picture. Now I can sit here at my table and look at ourselves with great intensity. Tomorrow when I celebrate my twentieth birthday I shall think of you often. Really I do feel like I am getting to be a serious old man and I may mourn that I have at least one fourth of my life lived.The next five or ten years of my life will be happy I’m sure as I live them with you, dear one. Of course all the rest of my life with you will be happy but I can’t think much of the years past our union. Guy Solt and I had a very good time as we spent last week together. We covered the northwest territory and returned to Central yesterday morning. From this journey we secured about five definite students. We can certainly “throw a line” when we prey upon some timid high school graduate. Often I wonder if I were as young, undetermined, and simple as the average high school graduate that I meet up with. It will b only three weeks now until school begins with all its happiness trials, and work. It will be good to have you near me for nine whole months again. Rev. Buckner preached the in church this morning. He gave a good talk on peace. He also presented the opportunity to join the Nebr Society for World Peace. Anything dealing with peace sets me on fire within and makes me want to do something . I know of no other thing that makes me feel as does the subject of peace. Often I wonder if I should not devote my ability and efforts to its advancement. I would be happy to do it ad if the opportunity should come I think I would accept it, if you would consent of course.
Since Sunday I have been awfully busy as usual. It is quite encouraging now to know that I have aided in filling the girls dormitory already. We just have room for one more girl unless I received a letter for reservation today. We will need to store them away now at Ferguson’s I suppose. We can’t possibly get too many to suit me.
8/28/27 Shelton, NE
If I felt that you would only be an expense if you went to hartford, I would still feel it a necessary one. No dear, I never think very much about you bing an extra expense because I love you so much and can’t think of being away from you. I hope we won’t need to stay out there for three years without coming home. We will plan on coming home after one year at least. Today the folks anted me to attend the county gather of the Odd Fellow Lodge. I can’t conscientiously sanction the lodge and couldn’t feel free to take part in their social affairs but the folks expected it of me and so did all my Shelton friends. I finally concluded that it would hurt my cause more if I didn’t go than it would if I did so I went. I didn’t enjoy myself because the conflict was inside of me of whether I was wrong in my attitude toward the lodge. There was a group of four or five hundred. A Sunday ball game was featured, card games were gong on, nearly every man smoking some even in the auditorium during “service”. The Charleston was featured by a small boy and such entertainment as that. It does me so much good to be able to share my thoughts with you and your undoubting love for me. I’m afraid that whatever I do decide to do that I will lose my head in trying to accomplish it. Some time, for instance, when I get to talking about peace with someone who opposes my methods I get nervous, my heart beats fast, and I shake. I don’t know why, but I do. I’m sure that late marriages leave the tendency to make the type of home that Guy has and as Merl probably will have. From the way we feel now toward each other I think it would be quite impossible to live like that. I hope it is . When we are married I want to love you even more than I am able to now and I want you to love me that way too. The physiological strain (if there is any) may kill us but we would die happy. President hasn’t gotten a new piano for the chapel as yet and whats more I doubt that he will. The much talked of and looked for new secretary has arrived. Her name is Miss Miles. She has dark hair; I haven’t investigated about the eyes as get anyway.I know you will like her. I think she is much the same type of girl as Cora. I’ll get to try her out on dictation tomorrow. So much for the secretary! Unless some one throw a a clog in my plans I will see you sometime this week.
Now work now is quite easy. I’m sure we will have at least as many students as we had last year and I hope more. I have been doing some buying for the kitchen ad making some provisions for canning I’m going to be getting some real training in husbandry this year Just the thing you want your husband to have. How would you like to go home with me next Sunday? I may need to go and bring Edith back. I’m afraid that I am going to need to help Edith some with her expenses this year. Its all I can do to ae my own way but if I need to work a little harder to make it possible for her to come to school I will. The folks are willing to do all they can but I doubt whether that is enough.
As you will soon be leaving home for Central City I just want to write this once more and tell you that I am anxiously waiting for you to come. I don’t suppose you realized that did you dear? What will you probably be doing a year fro now? Teaching no doubt. Then I will have to be here in school all by myself. anyway I will get a taste of what it will be like to be away from you and then I can tell better whether I can stand to be away so far for three years. I don’t feel now that we will have as many students this year as we did last. We feel quite disappointed now but we have exhausted every effort possible. We are trying to keep optimistic until the end however. I feel though that the type of students we are getting this year is equal to last. We will have a good student body I am sure. I feel sure of your love even though these prospects do fail me.
We finished closing down about four o’clock Friday afternoon. Prof Peters, Dale Holtry and I had a bountiful feast in the kitchen on the would be spoils. Merl crawled in bed with me about midnight. It seems that Im forever scheduled to sleep with some o the Benton family. Of course you know my disappointment over such a prospect! Saturday morning we concluded the materials of the kitchen and then went to the river with our Sunday school boys where they skated. We had much fun although we didn’t get to stay long. the ice was splendid. It was a merry Christmas for al here. Edith and I went to the Methodist church. Their service was quite different from ours at Central but they had beautiful pipe organ music so of course I thought of you. Such a dinner as we had! I can still feel it. Everything that makes Christmas Christmasy.
All the sympathy and love of my heart goes out to you dear and your family because of your mother’s illness. Your mother has certainly been brave to postpone relief as long as she has. I do hope and pray that everything will come out all right . You are good to feel that it will. If you will need to miss school it will b hard but you will have no difficulty in making up the work. The folks were so good to me at home that I rather hated to leave today. It was good though to get back to Central. It seems more like home here than anywhere else. Mr. Peters didn’t allow the furnace to blow the dormitory up while I was away either. He and Dale and I are holding the fort alone now. If we were left in such a hermitage long the authors would have to speed up their publication of books. I have almost finished three thus far and I have nearly a week to go yet! We won’t have very much to do until Saturday except eat, sleep, read and occasionally fire the furnace. Could you imagine a more sublime state? I can. It would be much more sublime if a deal girl were near.