Most exasperating of people, your difficulties and troubles must have ruined your memory, for you asked me to or why I had not answered your letter and you should know that I wrote last and did so about six or seven weeks ago. Did your tribulations run away with your pen, ink, pencils and paper? You have my sympathy, I am sure.
You know very well that you did not come to French Lick to be near me, of course it sounds nice to be told that but of course you do not mean it Homer.
Where you did not answer my letter I thought you had gone south or some other place and was agreeably surprised to get your letter. Glad you are well and coming home, if “even for a visit” O Homer are you coming? Soon? I am curious you see?
What have you been doing with yourself for so long? Everything? How is your mother? Mine is quite well and sends her best regards to you. She tells me that she will be glad to see you again.
We are having ugly weather here Homer, it is raining now, just a fine penetrating rain that soaks you through.
I suppose I’ve about spoiled your temper Homer so I shall cease.
Pearl Doras Reed
P.S. Wait a second, please, Homer, mother, just now, tells me to tell you that she wishes you were here now to paint this house, for you know you told her that you painted “houses”. She says she is trying to get ready for you Thanksgiving for she expects to have you out here.
Your letter came o.k. after I had despaired of receiving it and I was very glad to hear from you. I thought at first that you had gone south and that I should receive my letter back again but I was agreeably surprised to hear from you and that you are so near.
You spoke of the weather, yes I am glad it is cooler. Are you? Last Sunday I visited Riverside Park and although it was cool and I’ve had to wear jackets, I enjoyed it. We stayed out until about 7:30 P.M. and from there to church. We had our supper out there, of sandwiches, hot coffee and cream.
Last night (6th) I took part in a concert at Allen Chapel and did not get home until 1:00 A.M. We had a very nice time.
O Homer what are you doing? Are you well? May “we” hope to see you soon? How is your mother and friends at home? Mother and the boys send their best regards to you.
Homer forgive this pencil, for the old pen point refused to write at all and I have not another just now and it is 9:30 P.M.
I have worried you to desperation Homer I am sure and I shall say good-bye.
Yours truly, P.D.R.
Looking online I found that “The Old Maid’s Association” was a farcical entertainment for thirteen females and one male that was often put on by church groups as a money raiser in the early 1900s.
Miss Blanche Young mentioned in the news item, married Pearl’s brother, Hugh the following year. In 1905 she was a 17 year old high school student at Manual Training High School, a well respected and innovative new high school. Blanche was several years younger than Pearl. According to several news items, she was active in both the Ninth Presbyterian Church and Allen’s Chapel, as Pearl was. She lived about a mile from Allen’s Chapel and a mile and a half from Pearl.
Blanche was born on October 26, 1887 in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was the oldest of the seven children born to James Harvey Young, a teacher and Roberta Ruth (Jordan) Young, a housewife. Two of her younger siblings died before 1900. The youngest, Elizabeth, died of cholera in 1900 before she was a year old. Her mother died of meningitis in 1901.
Blanche’s father re-married a widow with a young daughter later that year. Soon afterwards he and his new wife moved to Southern California. They took the two youngest daughters. Blanche and her brother Clifford, remained in Indianapolis. Blanche completed two years of high school and married Pearl’s brother Hugh in 1906 when she was 18 years old.
It is just 8:25 P.M. and it happens that we are not going to church this evening, so I am going to speak with you a while, or in other words, spend the evening with you. Are you at home I wonder? I will take it for granted that you are. How are? I am quite well at present. Did you receive the other letter? Of course you did. I forgot, Homer, I am visiting you not writing you. Where did you spend the day? Was it very warm in St. Louis? It was terribly warm here. There did not seem to be a breath of air stirring at times. We visited the First Baptist Church in N. Indianapolis. It is no larger than Calvary. Baptist, if so large. It is very neat and clean and airy and light. The pastor is an old genial pastor if sternly spoken old man and his name, I think is Simmons or something like that. The church is in walking distance from home and so we walked over and mother has had the headache ever since I suppose the sun was too hot or something.
Did not (you) go to church today? O, maybe you will go tonight. Are you near one like at Hot Springs? Some church holds their services in the schoolhouse near us and while I speak to you the singing floats in to me very sweet and clear.
Have you heard from home lately? Your mother is well I hope? O, yes, Homer, do you think you will go to school again? I just thought of you saying that you was thinking of being a Doctor of Medicine. Homer it is hard to give up doing something we have set our hearts on is it not? I was thinking that today on the way to church till I happened to notice an elderly lady, lying in an invalids chair, where it seems, she has lain for a great, great while, and I thought that, how very thankful we should be for health and strength even if we can’t have everything we care and wish for.
Well, I think it’s near 9:00 o’clock, yes the whistle blows just as I speak, and so I shall wish you good-night and very pleasant dreams
Sincerely yours Pearl D. Reed
Front and southern side of Benjamin Franklin Public School Number 36, located at 2801 N. Capitol Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. Built in 1896 and since converted into apartments, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
I received your letter. Was very glad to hear from you though so soon. How are you now? Hope you are well. I feel fine except that I can scarcely hold this pen, my finger is so very painful. I don’t know what ails it nor what to do for it. Do you “Dr. Jarrett”?
Homer I think you are rather reckless, do you know it? To think of running in the direction of shooting! Why you might have been shot yourself. You touched the girl that was shot you said, I think, as if it were nothing, and don’t you know I have a positive horror of dead people that I can’t overcome really, I try to but I can’t, I wonder why? I am actually afraid of them. I think that I am more afraid of dead people than I am to die. Do you remember little Eulala Henderson of Vermont St.? The one who played for us on the piano? Well she died Saturday (7:00 A.M.) She was ill (6) six weeks. Will be buried Tuesday at 2 P.M. from Blackford St. Church. Hugh and I sat up Sat., night with them.
The boys send best regards to you. I think of nothing else now Homer – good-bye
Yours Sincerely Pearl D. Reed P.S. Just a second, Homer, mother, Myrtle, Lewvator and Mrs. Henderson send best regards to you. Pearl
This is the tragic triple murder that Homer witnessed, at least the aftermath.
Killed His Wife And His Daughter
Jealousy Causes Terrible Tragedy in Hot Springs.
Henry Smith The Murderer
Third Person Seriously Wounded – Shocking Stirs Negro Populace to Indignaion-Arkansas News
Special to the Gazette.
Hot Springs, May 17. – Henry Smith shot and almost instantly killed his wife, Mollie, and his 12 year old daughter, Mamie, and seriously wounded Will Lou late last night in front of the Roanoke Baptist Church, on Whittington avenue. The shooting occurred while services were in progress at the church, and caused a stampede among the negro (sic) congregation.
Smith’s wife, daughter and Will Lou had just returned from a fishing expedition with a party of friends, and the wagonette stopped to permit the woman and her daughter to alight. Will Lou was in the act of assisting Mrs. Smith out of the vehicle when Smith stepped from behind a telephone pole and began shooting at her escort, who fell, pierced through the body, the ball entering the victim’s back. He then turned the weapon against his wife, who fell at the first fire. His daughter had climbed out of the wagon and was on the doorstep of a small meat shop when the infuriated man saw her. She fell at the first fire and expired instantly.
After accomplishing his bloody work Smith ran down Whittington avenue and out Park avenue. At Sigman’s saloon he traded the revolver for a quart of whiskey and after drinking half the contents, got in a carriage and direted the driver to go to the home of Sheriff Williams, to whom he surrendered.
All the persons involved are negroes (sic), the murdered woman being a sister of Jack Page, the well-known negro lawyer, and the tragedy caused a great deal of excitement among the negro population. Threats of lynching were indulged in, but calmer judgment prevailed.
Smith was so intoxicated when he gave himself up that he could make no intelligent answer when questioned.
The killing was the result of jealousy, there having been previous trouble.
Smith prefaced his bloody deed with the remark, “You made me do it, you ___”
2730 Kenwood Ave. Indianapolis, Indiana April 26, 1905
Your letter came today and I was very glad to hear from you. I have but just written to mother and thought I would “speak” with you too.
Glad you had a nice Easter, Homer, for mine was a “grand failure” I think the most pleasure I had that day was a fifteen, twenty minute walk home with my cousin on the way from a friends house. He was so full of his troubles and trials that in trying to make him forget his, I forgot my own.
I received a very nice book a few days ago “The Eternal City” by Hall Caine. I think I have read it but never owned it before.
You wonder why I did not accompany mother away? Well I didn’t. I did want to go, but still, I wanted to take a few more lessons in music and I stayed for that purpose solely. I have a real nice elderly lady teaching me now, a Miss Williams. Mother wanted me to go badly and only yesterday her letter tells me not to stay away too long. I don’t think I shall go this year.
The question you mention is, if I had told another of I struggle of warfare(?), is it not? Well, I have not.
Glad your mother is improving so nicely.
We are having just typical April weather here now sunshine-cloud-rain-snow-hail all in one day.
I received no flowers Easter. I was not disappointed and didn’t expect any. I saw and admired them though.
Thank you for thinking of me at that time. I am grateful for it.
Good-by Yours Sincerely Pearl Reed
I wish I knew who the cousin was who was having such a hard time. Pearl’s older sister, Josie, had two children – a boy and a girl about pearl’s age. I cannot trace them so I don’t know if this cousin is that boy or not.
Eternal City, The, by Hall Caine was published in 1901. The story opens in London, where Prince Volonna, who has been exiled for conspiracy against the Italian government, lives a life of charity under an assumed name, being known as Dr. Roselli. He rescues from the snow, a street waif, David Leone, who is one of the many who are brought to England yearly from the south to play and beg in the streets. This lad grows up in the household of the good doctor and his English wife and little daughter Roma, imbibing his foster father’s theories and becoming his disciple. Prince Volonna is finally tricked back to Italy, where he is captured and transported to Elba, and David Leone is likewise condemned as a conspirator; the latter escapes, and as David Rossi enters Rome and preaches his principle of the brotherhood of man. After the death of her father, Roma is discovered by the Baron Bonelli, Secretary of State, and a man of cunning and duplicity, who brings her to Rome where she becomes the reigning belle of the capital, but one whose name has not remained untarnished. The author recounts her meeting with David Rossi, her recognition of her foster brother, their love and the various obstacles which beset their path. In ‘The Eternal City’ Mr. Caine has presented a sociological study with a strong element of love-making in it. Through the efforts of a humanizing socialism, the principles of which are based upon the Lord’s Prayer, the Pope resigns all temporal power and the young King is brought to abdicate his throne, and an ideal republic is born, whose creed is the brotherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. The story, with its background of Rome the Eternal city, is thrilling in detail and holds the reader’s attention by the intricacies of its plot and the brilliancy of its author’s dramatic style.
Miss Mary L. Williams was born September 5, 1837 in Beares, Pennsylvania. Her father, Louis, was a school teacher. Her mother, Rebecca, did not work outside the home. The family were members of the United Presbyterian Church.
By the time Mary was 23, she was teaching music. Between 1870 and 1880, Mary’s mother died and she and her father moved to Indianapolis. He taught Latin and died in 1888. Mary continued to teach music, both guitar and piano. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Indianapolis on April 23, 1916.
By 1916, my grandmother Pearl was married to my grandfather, Albert B. Cleage. The first three of their seven children had been born. They lived in Detroit, Michigan where my grandfather practiced medicine.
Your letter, stamps and music were received o.k. and I am very grateful to you. Since I wrote to you I’ve learned that the song mentioned is quite old and Hugh seems to have whistled it in a very long time and heard it at the theater. I do not like it a bit less for all that. I think it very sweet and sad and mother likes it too.
I asked you when you were coming back and for answer you sent me 50 stamps. Do you mean to be away until they are used? If I should write each week, why they would last 12 months and one half. Do you mean to remain away that long Homer? In asking you that, I did not imply that you should pay me postage sir.
You spoke of the fire, Homer, well “my” paper said “The exact area burned over is 104 ½ acres” and also, “It is impossible to give a close estimate of the losses or the insurances. Probably a million dollars ($1,000,000) is not too high and may not be high enough. Insurance will not reach 50% of losses.”
The game of “Pit” is played with cards that resemble ordinary playing cards. All of the different grains are mentioned and worth from 35 to 100 points. The players try to corner all of one grain and when they do so they receive to their credit whatever it’s worth. The game has 500 points in all. Very interesting. Think you would like it. I did then.
You asked me whom or who accompanied me to Allen Chapel; well I will inform you “mother and Hugh.”
Have you heard from home and friends lately? How are your mother and brother?
Forgive me Homer and how are you? I forgot to ask. I am very well; and very busy just at present. Mother wanted to go to Benton Harbor this spring and I did not so, I think I’m big girl tho to remain at home. Have I tired you Homer with this stuff? I am sure I have. You must write and tell me all about yourself and mates and O everything. It is almost 11:30 P.M. and I am sleepy so just,
Good night Pearl
I looked for the song “Down on The Farm” on youtube, alas, I could not find it. I did find the sheet music, which I gather Homer sent and Pearl would have played on the piano, or the guitar.
Click the link for more about Harry Von Tilzer, the author of this and many popular songs.
Your paper was received and I thank you for sending it to me. Very glad to hear that your mother is improving so nicely and that you will not be obliged to return home. It seems strange that it all happens while you are away but it seems that way, that when we would most have things do nicely and run smoothly – it most assuredly goes just the contrary.
You asked me if I still followed the advice of Mr. McFadden. Well to speak confidentially I think that I’ve neglected in some things, but the main and most important, I have followed closely as I hope ever to do. I am sorry that you have neglected also.
Our fire, which you mentioned, was not so very bad Homer, only about one half a block. Of course it was bad in a way it burned and smoked for two days. I have forgotten the cause of it, if indeed I ever knew. I was not interested in it, only that through it many poor men would find employment. The building at the corner of Mer(idian) & Wash(ington) the S.W. Cor(ner) is being torn down to make room for a large department store of L.S. Ayres.
O Homer, I almost forgot to tell you that I visited Allen Chapel Sunday Eve. There was an illustrated sermon with stereoscopic views, which was very good. Don’t you know I never tire of them. When I was real little I would be delighted with a series of these pictures and I am almost the same now. There was one set of pictures accompanied by a beautiful song entitled the or I should have said “Down on the Farm” which I thought just lovely. I never heard it before and I think I shall try and get it if I can.
Last night we had some company and someone had brought the game of “Pit”. It derived it’s name from it’s allusions to Wall Street. Really Homer it is great. I really enjoyed it.
I have tried your patience surely I know haven’t I, Homer. O, it takes so much scribbling to say such a little, where as in speaking in only a few minutes we can say so much.
When are you coming home or, I beg your pardon, back to Indianapolis?
2730 Kenwood Ave Indianapolis Ind January 27, 1905
Mr. Jarrett; Homer, your letter was received O.K. Very glad to hear from you so soon. How are you? Hope you are well as I am. We are having very cold weather here just now and have had several heavy snows. We received a letter from James Mullins and he said they were having very severe weather in Michigan and that at the time he was writing they were having a blizzard.
Minnie and family are with us still. All of them are quite ill this evening with severe colds and fever She sends her best regards to you. I have been quite busy serving for her for a few days and today being clear, bright and sharp, I went for a walk about 2:30 PM. I walked all the way to the Library and back. You have no idea, how I enjoyed the walk Homer. I felt rather blue when I left home, but, by the time I reached it again, thought life was worth living after all. Really there is nothing like walking to cause you to forget your pretty troubles and ills, I think. Don’t you think so too? The book I got is “Bayou Folk,” by Kate Chopin. Have you read it, or any of her works?
Are you interested in the Russian Rebellion? I feel very sorry for them, the poor ones I mean, and I hope that they will get their rights and desires in the end, but I wonder if they sympathized with the poor negro when he was in as bad, if not worse, a plight as themselves. All of the Czar’s troubles are coming at once, it seems. The “Japs” proved too much for them and then the “people” turned as it were, on them. I think his son that he longed and prayed for has brought him ill luck so far.
I have not been any place lately and Hugh and I shall go to the Grand Opera House Saturday if nothing happens to prevent it. I do not think that I have seen the play. It is “Paul Conchas”, something that Hugh has seen before and liked I suppose.
Homer, tell me about yourself won’t you? You never tell me what you are doing at all. Are you not glad you are not here in this severe weather. I envy you your location just now. Please pity us poor mortals Homer. You think I shall never finish. Do you not? Well, I am after all.
All send love and best wishes to you. O, have you become acquainted with many yet? Write some Homer. Yours Sincerely, Pearl Doris Reed
When I first read this letter, I thought that my grandmother Pearl and her brother were going to an opera. I was impressed. When I looked a bit further, I found that Paul Conchas was not an opera singer but a strong man juggler who performed in vaudeville opera houses around the country.
Stories of the Russian revolt were all over the newspapers during that time. Interesting that my grandmother Pearl was already interested in the news and in relating it to black people.