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Benjamin Basil Jackson Family Papers: Transcripts - MS 797
2nd sheet [missing other pages]
to write; for Min is at the house then and wants to talk or read something extra good to me, and oh, they have so many interesting works, besides Frank brings Min books to read from the Taylorville Library. The own three of Mark Twain's books. How do you get along with "The Gilded Age?" I have read but very little, although they are tempting.
Well, I see I am not going to get this letter done today, for we got up late and the air has been so chilly that I kept thinking I would wait until it turned warmer before I would go into a cold room to write, and I stayed close to the stove in the kitchen, talking with Min and first I knew it was after one o'clock; and then we had dinner and then Min heard my lesson for about an hour, so time flies. I could have went to Sabbath school and church if I had been a mind to, as there is one (Presbyterian) just a few steps from here; but I've never been inside of the church yard. They have been practicing nearly every night since we came for a Sabbath School Teacher's Institute which came off last Friday and lasted all day. We can hear their organ and voices distinctly. Oh, we have plenty of music; we can hear the Shirley girls performing on their piano every day-they have the name of being excellent players. Besides there were three organ-grinders in town last week. And today the church bells have been ringing all day-there are nine churches here. But we live a half a mile from the center of the town; and it is so nice and quiet here around the depot, oh so quiet, only just at train time and then everything is very orderly. I have never been at the station yet when a train came in, in fact I do not go very often, though it is only a few steps for any practice is all here at the house until I can receive from the mainline. I could not be situated better for learning than here. Ona and Lawrence are at the office nearly all the time. He has just come in and is teasing me to play croquet with him (as I do sometimes when I am tired of practicing) but I had to refuse him. I am finishing this on Monday; I intended to have sent it on the morning train but did not have it ready and now I will have to wait till tomorrow. I thought I would be in time, too, I arose at a quarter till four, and got breakfast before Min was awake; as the girl that does the work was at home to spend her Sunday, but after breakfast Min gave me an hour's lesson consequently I did not get any letter finished. Frank has not been here since I came; but she looks for him next Saturday. She hears from him every day. She says she was never so nearly contented in her life; and when he gets his trade learned she will be perfectly happy and they can enjoy each other's company all the time. Next spring, he is going to travel and take pictures, and she is going along; and she says I may fill her place in the office; but she will not give up her claim to it for years as she wants it to fall back on if necessary; if not she expects Ona to take it someday, unless they become independent. Excuse this hurriedly written letter and be sure and write soon to your old friend. Mattie C. Jackson
There are a great many things I would like to write, but space and time forbid.
[From Minnie Hoxsey]
Dec. 10th, 1877
Mrs. Mattie C. Banks
Dear Dear Mat,
What is it that urges and prompts me to write you? I have been thinking of you for days and of what good friends we once were and how trivial the little incidents that have raised the coolness if there is any on your part-for mine I have gotten over my little irritability long enough ago and have so hungered so many times for one of your best of letters. Dear Mat how things have changed since last we knew each other. What will you think of me when I tell you I have been divorced and married a young Mr. Hoxsey. It will be one year tomorrow since we were married. I am no longer an operator but a veritable housekeeper. You remember Lou Smith you know the spirits took possession of her occasionally for the entertainment of you and Laurie. Well she was married to a man you didn't know by name of Dripps a year ago last July. She has no children yet. Mother and Laurie were down to visit me this summer and Laurie was saying he saw you when in Ohio and that you had lost a dear little babe. Poor Mat I sympathize with you as none but a mother can I have never lost one of course but know how dear they are even when young. How I wish I could talk to you this afternoon, instead of write. I have never written to anyone back there since Frank and I separated. I had great trouble on Christmas after you left and if you remember I told him in a letter I read aloud to you that I would never stand a repetition of things that had passed. Well, he tried it again, that I was certain of, and after a plain understanding we separated. I know nothing of his whereabouts and feel toward him & a very dear friend that I had been deeply disappointed in. I am thankful that I bear him no hatred but have merely ceased to respect. I knew of his actions long before I left Ohio. But let him rest. Ona is a nice little girl well advanced in her studies and you can judge of her turn when I tell you she requests a Bible for her coming Christmas present. She is a darling child if she is my own and I am thankful to be able to say that I can now educate her as I wish as my husband is considered well off. He suffered an $8000 loss about two months ago by the burning of his elevator but is just completing a much finer one. I have never known the comforts which I have enjoyed the last year. Mother thinks I have everything heart could wish and I rejoice on Ona's account for she can enjoy advantages I was unable to. Our house is second to none in town and I have all the money I wish without worrying where the next is to come from. Mat, please don't repeat this as it would be pronounced boasting. But I only wish you could visit me as I have nothing to do and don't care for expenses and I am sure you would find me nearer as you used to know me than when you saw me last-loaded down with responsibility (which makes me fretful in spite of myself). I hope Mattie you will write me a good long letter. Give me your folks address and send my regards to them when you write. I think Laurie had said they had moved? Mat positively I love you the best of any of my girlhood's friends, and if you have been mad at me you must stop it. Give my respects to George and tell him I should like to see him. Your folks are still there where you have always lived and don't notice time as it flies as I do so far away from everybody I used to know. I get acquainted with a great many but never seem be so perfectly, so as with those I knew when growing up. Old Mr. Hoxsey's folks have moved to Decatur sometime since to educate their young ones. Do write me a dear, good letter, Mat, and forgive my spunky letter as I'm sorry I wrote it and have been ever so long.
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