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 by 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 at 9th Presbyterian Church, 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
Little Eulah Henderson remains quite ill at her home in Vermont street.
Anna Eulalia, age 9 years only daughter of Robert and Carrie Hendersen died at the home of her parents 219 W. Vermont street Saturday morning May 20th after an illness of six weeks of pneuonia. The funeral obsequies were held Tuesay May 23, Jones Tabernacle. Rev. J. W. Wood officiating. The deceased was a member U. O. T. R., and Sisters of Charity. The foral offerings were profuse and beautiful.
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.
2730 Kenwood Ave Indianapolis, Indiana April 21, 1905
Your letter was received ok and I should have answered it sooner but have been so busy. Mother leaves tomorrow at 7:00 A.M. for Benton Harbor and I have been sewing for her and helping her get ready to go. She will stay until late fall or early winter – I think. She sends her sincere regards to you Homer and would have you be a good boy. When you get this she will be in the Harbor and I shall be one of the most lonesome of people.
Forgive me for neglecting you Homer, but how are you? I hope you are in good health, as you generally are. Are you not glad Spring is here? Don’t you know that I just detest cold weather of late? I would live in a warm climate if I was able, at all times. I think. What are you doing? Have you the same mates yet? Have you changed homes as often as you did here? Or, are they more to your liking there?
O, where shall you spend Easter? I hope that you have a pleasant one. I shall try to, although I shall miss mother very much.
How is your mother? Really Homer I don’t know any thing to tell you, friend, except what you know. Well, I think I shall stop. Are you not glad? For you can’t read this, can you?
Please write as often as you have time Homer for I know you are busy.
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.