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1885-95 Leachman Sisters Handwritten Letters Martinsville Indiana Funeral Papers For Sale
I have no problem at all with anyone purchasing my item and reselling it, however my description that I’ve worked hours on is not allowed to be copied by anyone for the above purposes. The main reason I write this is because I was contacted about a listing where someone had copied my exact sale and tried to sell a diary that they didn’t even have. It ended up being a fraudulent sale and I’m thankful they caught it in time. Thank you so much for your understanding.
There are about 45 handwritten letters and at least half of them have their envelopes. They range in date from 1885 to 1904.
Not only that, the very last piece I found in this group was a receipt to “A. E. Shirley, Dr. Funeral Director and Licensed Embalmer.” He was located in Indianapolis and the receipt dates October 13th, 1904. Then under that is the handwritten note, “Burial of Miss Mattie Leachman”. It lists all of the costs such as embalming, casket, dress, white hearse, etc. Mattie was only 30 when she died.
“Martinsville Poor Asylum, Oct. 25th, 1886
Dear old chum,
“Indianapolis June 9, 1887
Miss C. Leachman, Martinsville Ind,
……One young man of the business department is paying attention to me but I try to avoid his company. I tell you the truth; if you’d see him you’d loose your appetite for any meal and perhaps would make you sick. He chews tobacco and when he is at my table he keeps spitting like a “hog” (excuse me for that expression but nevertheless it is true) and what more, last Friday he asked me to go to Woodruff place with him which of course I accepted with the greatest of pleasure (I mean just the reverse). He has big mustache and perhaps you remember seeing him when you were here for he passed through the room then….Mary still takes short hand. She is Tucker’s favorite. Tucker has succeeded at last in finding some one who answers his love. She takes short-hand and students of that room complain now that he pays more attention to her than to teaching. You ought to see him sit with her at the typewriter and fan her, till about 5:30 P.M. and during the day he is always by her and fanning her…..Your faithful schoolmate, Fanny Maur.”
“Montoursville Pa. November 30th, 1890
(He’s a bit illiterate)
I saw your advertis in the heart and hand so I delight in droping you a few lines too and I hope to hear from you as soon as you get this letter. My dear I will tell you something that there is not meney young men can say wat I can say and that is I never drank aney thing stronger then coffe in my life and I will be 27 years old the 12 of march, 1871. This ____so good night little darling. Rite soon, yours truley James A. Booth, Box No. 241 Montoursville PA.”
“Pittsburg Ks., Jan, 19th, 1891
Ida, It is with pleasure I address you. Your letter came to hand Saturday and I assure you it removed a load of anxiety from my mind. I was afraid that some one had got ahead of me. I neglected answering the advertisement for over a month but it is better to be born lucky than rich. I have a surplus of luck. I think you very much for favoring me and will endeavor to make our meager acquaintance bloom into warmest friendship and in the near future drop all cold formalities and instead write the warmest thoughts of the heart…I am in good standing in my community. Character beyond reproach in every locality I have ever been. I can if required, send names and addresses of men of good citizenship. For reference on your part I am satisfied with what I have. I sum your description up thus: Height 5ft. 2in. weight 115, age unknown, hair brown and curly, eyes dark gray. In regard to your trade I should think you would prefer working at that, to being saleslady. I will soon have my favorite trade learned. I have served as clerk in a grocery for a year of my life. Farming has been my occupation for the last two years but his winter will let me out for awhile……Yours truly, Lawrence Walker”
(This letter is actually about 7 pages long and I only quoted about 3 pages. He also gives his family history which I’ve scanned a page of that above.)
“Shandon, O. August 23rd, 1893
Box X, Martinsville, Ind.
Replying to your request in the Cin. Enquirer of Aug. 22nd, 93 you will doubtless notice my inability to write letters but you will please accord it to my inability rather than my unwillingness. I live in a town of about 1500 inhabitants. I have a position as drug clerk in the leading drug store of the city. And have lots of time to give to correspondence, or pleasure of any kind from 7 o’clock at night. We generally have lawn parties, ice cream suppers and &c. every night. And of course I take em all in. There is nothing I enjoy more than to be with some sweet young ladie. If it wasn’t for them I would not want to live in this poor old world. I imagine the girls would be pretty lonesome too, without some young man to “flirt” with. I don’t mean to say they all flirt because some of them are too “timid”. I guess the word “timid” will do. Well below I will give you a correct description of myself, as I will expect of you if I receive a reply. I am 5ft. 7in. tall. Weigh 125 pounds, fair skin. Black hair and blue eyes. How is that? I thought once I would tell you a yarn about my weight, say 275 pounds but won’t do it. I like to have forgotten to tell you my age. I am close to 19, will be Sept. 19. I have a girl here that is 5ft. 3in. weighs 135 pounds. She’s out of sight. I am going to start to the World’s Fair on the 20 inst. Are you going? Well as it is late and I have two more letters to write I will be compelled to quit. Write soon if worthy of reply. Your unknown friend, Verne Sheldon.”
“Chicago Ill, August 25th, 1893
Box X, Martinsville Ind.
In glancing over the columns of Tuesday Cincinnati Enquirer my attention was called to your advertisement as where you are now living is only a few miles from where I was born. I was born and lived in Franklin until I was 15 years of age when my father and myself went to Austin Texas. He died there about 3 years later and I left for San Francisco, Cal. I have been in most all the large cities in the US since working for Rail Road Companies but I can safely say that my happiest days were spent in Indiana. Now pleased don’t say to your self that I am too late to be put on your list of correspondents and that there are 75 or 100 ahead of me, if you do I shall be very much disappointed but then I don’t hardly believe that you will go back on a “Hoosier” who lived in the next county, especially when I tell you that I believe the Indiana girls are second to none. I came here from Denver Colorado last winter and like Chicago very much with the exception of the girl’s. I would not marry a Chicago girl if she was made of gold and had diamond eyes. I suppose you would like to know what kind of a looking fellow it is that is doing this writing. I believe it will spoil my chances of received an answer but I shall have to risk it. I am 26 years of age, have dark brown hair, hazel eyes, weigh 155 pounds and am 70 inches in height. Nobody has ever told me that I am good looking so I don’t believe that I am but if I live to be 26 years older perhaps I may be then…..I will close hoping to hear from you soon. Very Respectfully Frank E. Illsley, 3728 Rhodes Ave. Chicago Ill.”
“Plainfield, March 4th, 1895
I received your answer to my letters. Was pleased and somewhat amused. Will now try and answer letter and questions but will say first that I like the description you gave of yourself. Just my ideal of a woman but I think you are most to particular about the kind of a man you wish to correspond with but I come so near filling the bill I will try and please you if I can. I am all your imagination pictures and except one or two objections. I am not bald headed. I have refined taste and may be a little vain for sometimes I can’t keep up with my own dignity. I once was called a sensible man but my proudness for the ladies has somewhat benumbed my senses but I still retain enough of my originality to go around without a guide….Your well wishing friend, J. G. Richett.”
(This goes on for another page an a half.)
CONDITION OF ITEMS:
Handwritten items such as diaries and letters are never usually in mint condition. I try and describe my items the best way I can and post as many photos as I can. If a diary is tough to read for me I always say so in the description. If it is in bad condition I also say so and I usually describe the condition at the end of my descriptions. I have never, or I should say rarely, had a handwritten piece be in mint condition and there is a very good reason for that; they are made of paper, they’ve been carried around sometimes for 100’s of years and have been opened and shut hundreds if not thousands of times. So, please keep all of this in mind when purchasing diaries and letters from me..
MY BLOG: I’ve decided, finally, to start a blog site using the diaries in my personal collection. Over the years I’ve got so many amazing people emailing me asking me to share from my own personal collection of antique diaries. I’ve been trying to develop a web site but that is taking time so I thought I’d do this first and also facebook. There is also a page on the blog where I’ve written about why I collect. You can search for the blog by putting into one of the search engines (such as Google) the name; sallysdiaries (no apostrophe and all one word).