“Do you know what a blessed thing it is to love and be loved?”

“Do you know what a blessed thing it is to love and be loved?”

“Do you know what a blessed thing it is to love and be loved?”
-Hyrum Smith, in a letter to June Bushman

People don’t talk this way anymore, much less write. The excerpts shared below are taken from letters written between June Augusta Bushman and Hyrum Smith during their period of engagement from 1906 to 1908.  Their tenderness and devotion with one another is an inspiration to read, and has deepened my gratitude for ancestors with such gifts and sensitivity.

Soon, the entire collection of letters will be added and transcribed on their Kindex family archive. In the mean time, here are some words to inspire us.

hs-jab


Flagstaff, Ariz., Oct 7 1906
My Dear June,

This is one of those beautiful Sabbath days that you read about in story books. The trees have a more stately appearance; the breeze sighs gently; the sun’s rays are soft and radiant; the clouds linger near the horizon so they will not disturb the spotless blue above; and the very air partakes of the peaceful influence of this Holy Day.


Snowflake, Ariz. Oct 31, 1906
Dear Hyrum,

For two long months I have been looking, anxiously for the promise you gave me the evening I saw you last. (Forgotten you say? Well I haven’t, and if the image doesn’t arrive soon I am going to take a peep at the original, (if the train that goes to Phoenix will stop long enough at the right place.) … Ah Sweet heart, you know full well why times seem dull to me for the first time in my life. I am happy and have always been, yet there is so much gone (that I never missed before I possessed) that seems essential for my complete happiness.


St. Joseph, Ariz., Jan., 1907
Hyrum my Beloved,

Do not say I’m answering rather early, even if your letter did come yesterday. The dearest letter I ever received, it was, and I could hardly keep from answering while I felt that you were near and I could talk instead of write to you. Your letters contain something that I cannot describe, perhaps if you could see me just after reading one you could better tell. They are essential to this little girl as long as your presence is lacking. Yes, I have everything to be thankful for. My Parents are so good to me and such a support. Home seems dearer every day and I am happy. How could I be otherwise with your love and all else that comes to me. Our climate has been almost the reverse from yours. We have had sunny spring weather and the birds are splitting their voices telling us how happy they are.


Flagstaff, Ariz., March 24, 1907
My Dear June,

Do you know how much easier it is to work, to do each day the duty that lies before you, when some one else offers encouragement and is interested in your success or failure? I imagine that I do. From the depths of my heart I appreciate your confidence and trust. Altho I fall far short of being what you say that I am, your unwavering trust is a great incentive to strive to be a worth and fit subject of such love as yours. Your letter was especially good. What do you suppose would happen to me if you should suddenly cease writing? Well, let’s not try just to find out.


Indianapolis, Ind., July 19, 1907
True Heart of Mine,

Ah, Love, you cannot know the joy your words of love brot to this little girl who is so far from you (and yet so near). I cannot believe there is such a distance between us when I feel your presence near me. Your good wishes for me are greatly appreciated, and I know I should be a happy girl, and truly I am and hope to prove worthy of all.


Richmond, Inde., Aug. 4, 1907
My Beloved

This earth is a beautiful garden, with golden sunshine and pearly dew. Then why should we not, as human plants, rise up in strength of our youth and glorify God for his tender mercies, for boundless love? I feel that it is good to live. To know the One who have his life that we might live. Can we appreciate such sacrifice? Do we realize the extent of his love for us? Truly I am guarded every hour, and the blessing of confidence and love is mine.

A sweet sense of peace is mine from the knowledge of your faithfulness. This charming, charming Sabbath day, wish you could feel the serene stillness. Maud and I went to the United Presbyterian Church this morning.


Greenville, Ohio, Aug. 19, 1907
My Own True Heart,

… Well dearest, I rattle away here as if I never intended to stop and I don’t know as my wanderings will interest you at all, but I have to tell you anyhow it seems because you know I am not satisfied to have all the pleasure by my lonesome. I find myself invariable wishing some One were here to make enjoyment doubly sweet.

It is quite impossible to collect my thots for real thinking when I am in so many strange places and seeing so many strange faces, but know this, my beloved, that some one things of someone all the live long day. With undying faith in my over, I remain your devoted June


Flagstaff, Ariz., Oct. 27, 1907
My Dear June:

On this beautiful Sabbath morning I would certainly be out of harmony with the day if I were anything but happy. The quiet dignity of the pines and the mountains with their majestic calmness bespeak the handiwork of the Creator. The mountains are especially beautiful. Their tops are freshly capped with snow, which makes them stand out in bold relief against a deep blue sky.

Your letters always bring good cheer. I envy you your ability as a correspondent. A person who sees and appreciates beauty in everything, unconsciously puts that spirit into everything they do. That is the great difference between us two, you always see the bright side of things while I am inclined to see only the opposite.


Flagstaff, Ariz., Nov. 24, 1907
My Dear June:

This beautiful Sabbath morning fills my mind with thots of love and home. Do you know what a blessed thing it is to love and be loved? Of course you do, but it isn’t that often that I take time to enjoy it.

It is hard to realize all of the confidence and trust that is reposed in my by my sweetheart, my mother, brothers, sisters and friends. The realization makes me feel my unworthiness, but on the other hand is an incentive to greater effort. My progress is very slow yet I believe with J.G. Holland that “Heaven is not reached at a single bound, but we build the ladder by which we rise from the lowly earth to the vaulted skies, and we mount to the summit round by round.” Hope you will not work too hard, but take all the pleasure you can get. I know you must have enjoyed that trip with the Salt Lake people. I trust that you will have a pleasant time Thanksgiving Day. I would enjoy being at home with the folks to join with them in their first Thanksgiving Day in the new house but if school work is my business I must attend to it. I can tell how many days it will be until the Christmas vacation but will not trouble you with it now.

Write soon to your Patient Plodder
Hyrum


Letters copied from the June Bushman and Hyrum Smith Family History compiled by Virgil Smith and June Adele Smith Harker.

Photo courtesy of David Clark.

Ellsworth to Dorothy, 1 August 1932

Ellsworth to Dorothy, 1 August 1932

From the Dorothy Smith Clark Archive, a letter from Ellsworth Clark to Dorothy Smith, 1 August 1932.

Dear Pal Dorothy,

Here it is August. Soon it will be September again. After all it seems as though the summer is slipping right along.

Well, you got it back on me last Friday. When I went to the PO for the mail Mr. Bacon asked me if a letter was worth 3 more cents. I had a very good idea it was so I purchased the necessary dime and then with the 7 cents remaining I bought lickoric liq licorice (How do you spell it!) Imagine how I looked in about 10 minutes. Just like any little kid whose dad has given him a nickel.

You remember in a recent letter to you I mentioned that there was still snow visible on our peaks. Well, today I looked and could just make out one small streak on a deep north slope.

I did not work today. It rained yesterday and wet the hay so that we will not be able to start until about noon tomorrow. This morning I stayed in bed until almost eight o’clock. (lazy thing) When I did get up my mother and sister Iris and myself went out into our old home and cleaned it up. It’s funny how things get accumulated. Old clothes, school books, papers, newspapers, magazines, mail etc. seemed to have piled up in the last year. We made a bon fire and got rid of most of it. There was also lot of odds and ends which we removed from our store before we sold it. I’ll bet there was a million safety pins, lots of snaps and hooks and eyes, a gross or so of shoe laces, a few old fashioned shirts and OH so many old hair nets.

Yesterday I went to Sunday School and got into an argument with Mildred Munk on predestination and also on what constitutes a Master Minds. We couldn’t finish it in class so I went down to her place, (almost next door) and we finished it and also had a good dinner. Mrs Munk had just started to pick her second crop of strawberries. I never ate so many strawberries in my life, I believe, Mildred asked me about School at the U of U. She has almost decided to not go to the JC at Logan next year. I really believe it would be better for her to keep going where she has started. She mentioned she would like to know you and wishes you could come up here and then you and I and Leonard Bacon and herself could have a very good time.

I wish you could have gone to Canada this time, as you would have been pretty sure to get back before school started. A rest and change of climate would do you good. You could miss the hot vacation of SLC and then get back when it has started to cool off. You and Marv could see a lot of old friends and have a regular good time.

Now you mention it, I have, once or twice, called Gert. ‘trudy’. Sometime this summer I believe I’ll write to her. Surprise her I’ll bet. She wouldn’t expect such a thing from me.

When you mention your trip to Millcreek, I feel like I’ve missed out on something. I really believe I know the cabin you speak of. When our Botany Class went up there we found one just like you describe. It was up a small branch of the canyon. After going up (about 2 or 3 miles I guess) you step in a slight opening in the canyon and then there is an old road go up the left side of the canyon. Then up the branch about ¾ of a mile is such a cabin with two of the sides knocked out. However, I didn’t notice any upper story. But then I didn’t look very closely.

When you mention how you climbed hills and steep cliffs etc. I could just tell it was you for sure. I’ll bet you were the ring leader and just a bit daring. I’ll not forget how you stood on the points of rock while we were on the way to ‘Timp’ cave.

Honestly you just about scared me when you stood out there. What if you had slipped what would I have done then. No Dot next year and well what would have been the use of anything.

I think Hazel is coming up for about two weeks. Very probably it will be in about 3 or 4 weeks. She is getting a months lay off and a 10% cut in wages. Tough! I what. She’s luck to hold her job I guess. There have been so many laid off completely. 16 of the waitresses were ‘canned’. Just at the time she wrote. She is going to have one of here girl friends come up here with her. I guess she is older than herself and I believe a widow. And oh! So uninteresting I would think she would find an exciting one to bring up. You for instance. I think Andrew will bring her up, as he has his vacation at about the same time. I wonder how Helen will get along all alone. She really should have someone to stay with her on the go and stay with one of her friends. I am welcome to think she will do the latter.

I can tell by the wild flowers you sent that you were quite high in the mountains, as only those grow there at this time of the year. They were still beautiful.

Who says you are not a poet? It sounds like you and is good enough so I wonder if I should even try any more myself. I wish I could believe that you even though of me slightly, when you wrote it. If I though that were true I’d be just about the happiest fellow in this little old universe.

Gee, if I could step into some summer league I’d be seeing you in about a jiffy. I’d just quit this old letter and tell it to you personally. Somehow it’s not apt to get twisted as it might on paper. I often get of into so world of fantasy while going about my work and when I do I think up some of the greatest and amusing situations. Sometimes I am a fellow with a sudden gift of $10,000.00 and I figure out what I’d do with it. Then I’m in SLC and talking with you. Then we’re going on a hike somewhere and I’m seeing your home after a perfect evening. Sometimes I’m a successful Dr. again I’m a School Teacher. Oh. I guess I’m somewhat of a dreamer.  Anyway, most of my dreams cluster around a certain little Girl at 474 E 4th S. She is to me the sweetest girl I can imagine just sensible enough not to be too flippant and just romantic enough to be interesting and extremely desirable. Oh Dot, I think of you in all my work. You just seem to pop up wherever I am and whatever I’m doing. Even though I’m busy and not able to write quite so often as I did I think of us often and with more real appreciation. At first it was sort of a devoid feeling I felt mostly because of my many evenings and days with you. It was a direct change in my way of living. Now I’m somewhat over that. I still am lonely but I’m realizing what it means to be a pal to you and be in your company. A deeper appreciation I believe. It’s surely the foundation for a very close friendship. I realize now that it is not a common infatuation or a short romance. If it were ever that it has changed into something which I want to keep and what means everything to me.

Holy Mackerel, I was going to write to Weldon and still I haven’t. It seems you take all my extra time besides my extra thoughts. You shouldn’t be so interesting and then I could write to someone else. OH I can I guess, but I just seem to never get around to doing it.

Are you getting acquainted around your neighborhood now? I suppose you will be staying there in your present plan all winter won’t you? I wish we could both be in Capitol Hill Ward again. I’m not sure but I think I will try to get an apartment in the same war as last year.

There was something important I was wanting to ask you yesterday, and now for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. If I think of it I’ll write again soon.

Now for the old bed and dreams of you.

Ellsworth.

EMC-c-le-1932-8-1-9-thumb

To view the original record, see:

http://staging.kindex.org/files/application_pdf_31667112d0a10988efd05a019ca1c521.pdf

(May require a FamilySearch login and a re-paste of the link above.)

Dorothy to Ellsworth, 25 April 1934

Dorothy to Ellsworth, 25 April 1934

To commemorate Dorothy Smith Clark’s birthday on 26 April 1911, here is a transcription of a letter to her fiancé Ellsworth M. Clark. This letter shows her playful personality and hints at the number of suitors Dorothy had. Letter from the Dorothy Smith Clark Archive. -CG

combined_part11 1-01.png

947 Crandall Ave
S.L.C. Utah
April 24/34

Darling,

It seems like I’ll never get a decent-sized letter off to you unless I take a special vacation for the purpose. It’s always a rush & a bang & I never have time to think what I write.

When that picture of you from arr’d yesterday it was so natural of you that it seemed you were right here by me again & has seemed so ever since.

At times it seems ages since you left & all our past looks more like a fairy tale & I wonder if you actually are real & alive. Then comes a picture which proves the fact that you are, and my dreams of you commence to flourish & brighten.

Just last night you were with me and I felt like a newly-crowned princess – if a princess could possibly feel so grand.

(more…)

Letters from Aunt Dona

Letters from Aunt Dona

Kindex is thrilled to have a guest post from family historian Katie Farnsworth. Katie has dabbled on and off in genealogy for the past 20 years.  Besides researching her ancestors from Ohio and Indiana, most recently Katie has focused her efforts on adding richness and texture to her ancestors through researching pictures, personal histories, newspapers, letters and journals.  Katie lives in Centerville, Utah.

As a young girl growing up in a small, rural community in central Utah, I was fortunate to live close to relatives.  I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s home.  And the house next door belonged to my great aunt, Dona Sandberg.  Aunt Dona, as I called her, was compassionate and loved me just as much as her own grandchildren.  She was tall and slender with a full head of perfectly coiffed, brilliant, white hair.  She dressed elegantly and loved to talk.  She was a homemaker and “beauty operator” as they were called back in the day.  As she aged and lost her strength and stamina, I mowed her lawn during the summers and cleaned her home.

(more…)

Love Letters Part II—Missing Dorothy

Love Letters Part II—Missing Dorothy

[Ellsworth to Dorothy 9 July 1932]
As I sit here all alone I wonder what you are doing now. Are you having a good time! I hope so because it would compensate in some measure for the wonderful time I’m having. Wonderful – like fun.

Tonight while near the Union Pacific line irrigating No. 18 (Fast Mail & Passenger) came tearing down the track. It was dark but the coaches were ablaze with light and I could see in through the windows. I imagined I could see happy travelers waiting to meet some special friend. I could see lovers as they planned. But soon the “creeper” is gone. With a shrill whistle and a last flash of red light I am left alone. I look up in the sky. There is a half moon there –  a star falls – I do not have time to say, “Money! Money!” Hmm – a half moon – 28 more days before another one – two more after that then —— then snow, school, work. Snow. Snowflake – the place where Dot was born one & twenty years ago. Twenty  one year [sic] ago. Twenty one years ago I was three years old. What did I know of love then – no more idea that Dot was a squealing red faced little baby then that there was any world outside of my door-yard. Hmmm mighty funny – darn funny. Now I know her but can’t see her for – OH such a long time. But then what matters time. Reward, reward, desire – reward? Desire? I desired a letter this Saturday night but will probably be rewarded with one when a few more days have passed. I thought she was foolin when she said a letter in a few weeks. Hope she was.  I desire – hope wish for one Monday. If not Monday then I may get one Tuesday. Think I’ll keep this crazy epistle around until then. If I got one Tues then sent it off. You see I would not like to bore her with too much of this sort of stuff.

Midnight – soon the kids from town will be home from the dance in Bennington. Couldn’t go up because I had to work late. Have to look out or  I’ll forget how to dance or dress up for a young lady – best not to anyway, I guess. […] The radio is now transmitting “Extraordinary Girl” a minute ago it (orchestra) played “I love you truly”. It might have gone on and played “I miss a little Miss” and then the later hit that says something about “summer coming on and not girl to be had” – can’t get it just right. AW Rats.

[…] That was a grand letter you wrote last. I received it yesterday afternoon and was tickled nearly pink. It’s funny how I begin to wonder about things and worry for fear you’ve forgotten me if I don’t hear from you for a few days. I wondered all sorts of things. I even wondered if I should not write so often, but after getting your letter I decided to keep on writing but that perhaps I’d better cut down on the salutations & endings. I really mean them but if you think they are not proper I’ll have to let you hold me down a bit. I guess it’s because I’ve never used them before and I really wanted to and though perhaps you wouldn’t care. I hope you don’t think it was flattery. I detest such stuff. It is merely the way I feel. Forgive me.

I take your letters too seriously? Sometimes I think that you do not mean some things at least, not the way I take them. […] This is what I felt more like saying. Goodbye to the sweetest girl I’ve ever known.
Love, Ellsworth

___________________________________

[Ellsworth to Dorothy 1 August 1932]
I can tell by the wild flowers you sent that you were quite high in the mountains, as only those grow there at this time of the year. They were still beautiful.

Who says you are not a poet? It sounds like you and is good enough so I wonder if I should even try any more myself. I wish I could believe that you even though of me slightly, when you wrote it. If I though that were true I’d be just about the happiest fellow in this little old universe.

Gee, if I could step into some summer league I’d be seeing you in about a jiffy. I’d just quit this old letter and tell it to you personally. Somehow it’s not apt to get twisted as it might on paper. I often get of into so world of fantasy while going about my work and when I do I think up some of the greatest and amusing situations. Sometimes I am a fellow with a sudden gift of $10,000.00 and I figure out what I’d do with it. Then I’m in SLC and talking with you. Then we’re going on a hike somewhere and I’m seeing your home after a perfect evening. Sometimes I’m a successful Dr. again I’m a School Teacher. Oh. I guess I’m somewhat of a dreamer.  Anyway, most of my dreams cluster around a certain little Girl at 474 E 4th S. She is to me the sweetest girl I can imagine just sensible enough not to be too flippant and just romantic enough to be interesting and extremely desirable. Oh Dot, I think of you in all my work. You just seem to pop up wherever I am and whatever I’m doing. Even though I’m busy and not able to write quite so often as I did I think of us often and with more real appreciation. At first it was sort of a devoid feeling I felt mostly because of my many evenings and days with you. It was a direct change in my way of living. Now I’m somewhat over that. I still am lonely but I’m realizing what it means to be a pal to you and be in your company. A deeper appreciation I believe. It’s surely the foundation for a very close friendship. I realize now that it is not a common infatuation or a short romance. If it were ever that it has changed into something which I want to keep and what means everything to me.

___________________________________

[Ellsworth to Dorothy 7 September 1932]
We drove from home Monday morning to Twin Falls. There we stayed at the camp ground & then this morning we came to the present place. I hope this letter reached you so that you can get a letter of to Grant’s Pass Oregon. It would tickle me pink to get one while there. Sort of make me remember you and good times past. I’m the future Goodness only knows I think about you a lot anyway. Sometimes I wonder along funny lines of thought. Especially when I did not hear from you for so long a time. Believe me I was glad when I cam home from work last Friday and your letter was waiting for me. I surely thought you had forgotten me.

2016_01_14_10_25_250001

Dorothy (right) stands with friend Evelyn at the North Temple Wall in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Love Letters Part I: Early Days

Love Letters Part I: Early Days

For Valentine’s Day Weekend, we’re posting our favorite excerpts from our archive of love letters between Dorothy Smith and Ellsworth M. Clark. It’s 1932, and their relationship is quite young and unsettled. Ellsworth, on summer break in his hometown of Idaho, emerges as the lovesick but hopeful partner, while the playful Dorothy doesn’t seem quite  ready to settle down. —CathyDSC-dancecard-1932

Detail from Dorothy Smith Clark scrapbook. Dorothy’s dance card from a Capitol Hill Ward dance from February 1932.

[Ellsworth to Dorothy, 24 June 1932,]
[…] It’s funny how a fellow reads things into letters. When I sat down to write your letter seemed the best ever and the more I read it the more I read into it. I guess I had better put it away and read it again when in better humor.

I wish I could see  you tonight and talk to you . I’ve so much to say that will seem funny on paper. I’m afraid I’m a pretty poor correspondent card You might read things into it also. Then let’s hope that I’ll get better in my writing, become I guess its improbable that I’ll see you soon. Oh, Dot. Now here I am getting ‘blue’ etc. I’ll cut this rotten letter short and hope that the next one is very much better. Auf wiedersehen to the sweetest girl in the whole world.
Repentantly
Ellsworth

__________________________________

[Ellsworth to Dorothy, 6 July 1932]
[…]There is still a wonderful Indian Summer and Fall coming. There are places to go when the snow is on the ground also. You see I haven’t known you when we could have gone skating, sleighing, skiing, etc. What fun we’ll have if we can get together often enough. Well now that’s figuring a long time ahead, but then I like to dream of anything with wish I may associate your presence. No foolin’.
[…]
I wonder if they can’t invent someway of delivering a kiss & hug? (By machinery by luck, not by messenger) I don’t believe that would be such a good idea strike that one out. I’ll try to be there in person for such favors. What is if I would be so lucky as to receive any from the desirable lady.

About your idea on love. It’s very good and very idealistic. I might say that the love you desire to attain some day will be a very wonderful thing for a man. I wonder how many women can keep such an unfailing love though. I’ve seen so many, seemingly perfect, love affairs and marriages go on the rocks after a few months or years. There are so many stumbling blocks. Surely you are entitled to a very good husband. You must be very sure he is, before you give him a love like that which you say you desire to give. – More later-

Later – same day 11:00 p.m. July 6, 1932
Darling, I just couldn’t resist writing a few more lines before going to bed. You see I think as much about you that I just have to sit down and scribe a few words to the sweetest girl in the world.

I shocked myself today when I went through a lot of my old letters. My! The change is rather terrific was really as bashful (and no win the ones I reasoned) that I wonder how I changed. I have some from as far back as 1921. Evelyn flirted writing when she left in 1923 & as I have some from her from that time or until March 1932 (since that none) quite a pile. Then I read the ‘mushy’ letters Maude Kramer wrote me last year. That goes to show how fickle girls are. She must have not meant a word she said or else she changed a powerful lot. I like the ones from Bina were raking funny in the odd sort of way guess I’ve known the whole ‘shebang’ this getting to be a nuisance.  I have a nice little place for them where no one can get them, but it seemed a desecration to let the ones I receive from you to lie there by them. Yours are the only ones who seem to really mean anything to me the others are just so much paper and dried ink. Yours are you, your thoughts, and your soul. See! They mean a lot to me Dot. Don’t let anything stop one of them they are what I live upon up here in the sticks.

Good night, for a while old sweet. I’m going to bed & dream of hikes, tennis, shores and wonderful evenings with Dotty Smith in dear old Salt Lake City. Just this before I go. XXX
Ellsworth

DSC-tennis-1932-b DSC-tennis-1932

Ellsworth and Dorothy on a tennis date at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City, Utah. Spring 1932.

___________________________________

[Dorothy to Ellsworth, 10 July 1932]
[…] Did you say you would skate with me next winter? Hot dog! You’re the 1st in a thousand I’ve asked that has been on ice before. (And I don’t mean in cold storage – I’m there right now.) […]

As I glance at you recent salutations and endings I corroborate your supposition that if you once wrote bashful letters you certainly have changed. Talk about flattering phrases, you letters are the most contaminated I’ve ever received from the make of the species. I’ve got correspondences dating back to 1921 lying around, I mean a few rare old specimens. From 1927 till the present I’ve had at least 5 male correspondents in more recent years as many as 8 at a time but do you think I ever allowed anything like you write? I held them down till they were afraid to take the chance of being so daring. Before we moved from 1st North I burned about 200 of those old letters but kept at least one sample of each of them to read over and smile at in my old age. Sometime I’ll get them out and let you see them – and if you haven’t destroyed those of yours keep a few to show me. We’ll stage a court scene and see who can get the most evidence against the other for breach of promise, pretending some of these letters are more recent than they really are. Now I don’t know – I’m afraid I’d lose, but then what have I promised? Still free, am I not?