Homer Jarrett Forwarded from French Lick to 131 Puryear St. City
2730 Kenwood Oct. 29, 1905
I wonder what you are doing tonight? Are you at home? I have but just returned home after leaving with Hugh about four o’clock for a walk. O, and it was a walk too Homer! We reached home about nine thirty o’clock.
I enjoyed it though. Everything was and is just beautiful. The trees all shades of yellow and red and the fields with the green and yellow pumpkins lying here and there amid the shocks or stacks of grain. Past groups of cows and horses all of which I gave ample space while Hugh laughed and tried to assure me that they were harmless. And such a lovely sunset!
He took me over the new aqueduct supposed to be the only one of it’s kind in the world. He helped to construct it. We walked on and on until the new moon came to warn us of the end of the day and we then winded our way in downtown stopped at the Dairy Lunch, got a lunch and caught the car and came home. Was to have gone to a friend’s house and from there to church, but Hugh suggested the walk and it just suited me, for it was just cool enough today to walk briskly.
What did you do today I wonder? Tell me about French Lick? Will you? Is it a pretty place? Do you like it there?
I wonder if you are at church now? Hope you are.
Yours Pearl Doras Reed
P.S. O Homer, I forget, did I tell you that the new Post Office was completed? I suppose you read of it in the paper? It is simply grand. I think I have been in it once since it has been completed.
What are you going to do Halloween? Celebrate? I hope you have a pleasant time.
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.
Please forgive me for not writing sooner, for I have been so very tired and after looking over the paper a minute I would go to sleep.
How are you? Well I hope. I am well as usual, but mother is very ill tonight, I have just fixed hot applications and a hot lemonade, and hope she is feeling easier now or will soon. I am afraid we shall be compelled to send for a doctor yet.
It is after 10:00 I think and I am growing sleepy Homer so I shall hurry up and O’ yes you spoke of sending or letting your mother see the picture, of course you may, I do not care. How is she?
We shall let liking or loving or the meaning of each alone until we meet – Homer I think it best, don’t you?
When are you coming here “you truant”? Do you forget you started here a great while ago? If you knew how you are missed you would hasten back as fast as you possibly could.
Your picture was taken in Hot Springs and now you must either send or bring me something from St. Louis or any other place your fancy leads you Homer, do you hear? They will serve as souvenirs of your travels to me. Are you having a nice time? I hope you are.
Hoping to see you soon. I am yours Sincerely, Pearl Reed
Two articles from 1905. The first about using lemons for lung trouble and sore throat . The second about how to make a hot compress without burning your fingers. Click to enlarge.
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.
Dear Homer, your letter came this morning just as I was starting downtown. Was very glad to hear from you so soon, but sorry that you showed the picture to your landlady, for I have an idea that I would not like her one bit Homer, please don’t show it to anyone else, will you? It came to you, not the people of St. Louis generally.
How are you? Well, I hope. I am very well myself. Glad that your mother is quite well also. Mother is well and I think we all feel better for her coming home. She is just telling me to tell you that she would like to see you, also to forward her love and best wishes.
O Homer the band at Fairbanks is playing O just lovely and something very sad and yet again strangely gay. O I just love good music, you do too, do you not? Now they are playing a song that Minnie use to have me sing for her. You don’t know how we miss her and the babies Homer.
We were at Allen Chapel Sunday Morning and heard good music and a very good sermon. I have not visited my own church for a few weeks. We are divided into clubs for the purpose of raising funds to pay for the new additions in the rear and Homer, believe me, I have not asked one person for aid. Mr. Williams will think me an odd number I suppose, but really, I just can’t beg like they expect you to do.
You spoke of you coming back Homer, and ask me to speak truthfully. Of course I have six relations and acquaintances but would be very much pleased to have you too, believe me Homer. Would I forgive you and wait until the flowers bloom again, why Homer use your own judgment about coming back. You know what is best for you to do. Do not consider my feelings at all Homer, friend because I would forgive you and like you just the same if you concluded not to return at all, believe me. I would know that it was the best that could have “happened.” That you was at some place that pleased you and afforded you better employment. Homer the band is now playing “My old Kentucky Home” and I am sleepy. All are in bed and asleep. You are tired too of this stuff are you not?
Yours sincerely, Pearl D. Reed
I wondered what church my grandmother attended. I had an idea it was 9th Presbyterian Church because she met my grandfather at church several years later and they were both founding members of Witherspoon United Presbyterian Church, which was started my members of 9th Presbyterian. She seems to have attended Allen Chapel quite often, but always referred to “her church”. I believe the Prof. Williams, superintendent of Sunday School is the Mr. Williams she refers to in this letter to Homer.
Received your letter, was delighted to hear from you after so long a period of silence. Glad you are well and having such a nice time in Missouri.
I thought that you had forgotten us. The photo is simply you. If you do not like it, you do not like yourself, for if it was any different it would not be like you. Really, Homer, I think it just lovely of you.
Thank you for it ever so much. Shall send you mine in a day or so, if nothing happens to prevent it. I am liable to break the camera but I suppose the artist can secure another one.
Do you like St. Louis? Shall you remain there long? Are you with the same people? Hoping to hear from you soon,
I remain Yours Sincerely Pearl D. Reed
Trying to picture Homer years younger from this later photo. In his WW1 and WW2 draft registrations, Homer was described as 5 ft 8 in, slender, with black hair and blue eyes.
Your letters were received and I should have written sooner but I just neglected it. How are you? I am quite well myself. (as if I could be well anybody else!) It is about (9P.M.) nine o’clock and quite cool after a very hot day. I visited Riverside Park today and found it very warm, very dusty, very crowded and noisy and so came back home much more uncomfortable and disgusted with the heat than ever. I do not like the place a bit. Do you? I just returned from a pleasant walk, through that compensates for the trip to the park. Do not laugh Homer! I am aware that it is nothing like the trips that you take to the mountains but we have none you know. Please send me your sympathy, that a good boy!
Ok Homer I wish that you could sketch so that when you go sight seeing you could send me the pictures that I might see too. That reminds me, Homer, get a photo of yourself taken and send it to me, will you? Please do Homer, and I will think you are the most kind man that ever was (or boy) and “maybe” I shall give you one of mine.
How is your mother? Does she and your friends want you to come home? I know they would like to see you. I have not heard from mother for more than a week. She was ill then and I am anxious about her.
Visited my church this morning. Did you go to church Homer? I hope you did.
Do you read much now? I haven’t lately. I did not get a book from the library the other day. I simply read a while in the reading room, a May or June magazine. After returning from the park about five (5) o’clock, I read awhile in the little book by Emerson that you gave me in 1903, nearly “two centuries”, ago. Homer I think he must have been or is a lovely old man, don’t you?
The boys send best regards to you. Do not forget the photo Homer, please. Yours sincerely Pearl D. Reed
Pearl’s house is down there in the block of the black square. Riverside Park is up at the top.
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 ___”