Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 107, 1890

White, W. C.

Petoskey, Michigan

September 2, 1890

Previously unpublished.

Dear Willie:

I do not know where to address you. You wrote that you would attend the Saginaw meeting and then you might come from Saginaw here. I have been expecting you since Monday but you do not come. I looked for you on [the] half past five A.M. train. I walked where I could see if you stepped from the train, but I looked in vain, and now will you please to write me where you are and what you intend to do. We want to know if it is best to go to Battle Creek soon or is the weather unfavorable? 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 1

I am doing well here. Mr. Jarman let me have his horse, again, [for] a few days. Last Sunday we improved the occasion, went out twelve miles. Marian, Sara, Edna and I, and Dr. Lay, his son-in-law, his daughter Lizzie’s husband (Lizzie Lay Pierce), a Miss Lay, and Lizzie’s twelve-year-old son. We were in the berry patch of eighty acres as soon as eight o’clock. We found the berries of a superior quality, not so large as some but without a core and fleshy and small seeds. We four picked about forty quarts. After eating them freely on the tables, giving one quart to Sister Salisbury and two quarts to Sister Steward, we made eleven quarts of jam. We left the berry patch at four o’clock; rode three miles to Dr. Lay’s son-in-law and found they have a plain but comfortable house. We stayed a short time. They provided us one bushel of corn, onions, cucumbers, about one pound and [a] half of butter and two quarts of milk. We took our dinner together in the berry woods, and we had an enjoyable time. Not a thing transpired to mar our happiness—of the nine in the party. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 2

We had to travel about three miles to get to Bro. Pierce’s, and then we [went] eight miles and a half to ride over some rough and considerably sandy road. And we traveled by moonlight home. We are thankful for this rural life. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 3

Today Dr. Lay goes with us to Harbor Springs. We have special work to do. Bro. Parmalee is coming out all right. He feels keenly over his mistakes but his wife is so taken up with Mrs. Marks that she seems mad—insane almost—if he seeks to get her, Mrs. Marks, to leave them. She is completely infatuated and she puts on Mrs. Parmalee such an exterior of sanctification, that from a short acquaintance you would think she was a saint on earth, but she leads her husband a dreadful life. She shows no saintly qualities toward him. There is an excellent couple, Parmer and his wife, who are being drawn in with them and we must do something to save them. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 4

Dr. Lay has found me, he thinks, another horse. Monday morning Mr. Jarman left a line in the stable that he would have to have his horse from henceforth in the hay press business. Dr. Lay has done everything possible to make my visit here pleasant and useful. He goes with Sara and me today about fourteen miles to see Bro. and Sister Palmer. The road to Spring Harbor is beautiful, through a beautiful woods over well-graveled roads. I wanted to wait until half past one P.M., thinking you might come. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 5

You may ask, How did you endure the work in the berry patch? Well, we were all tired, but that night I slept all night until five o’clock A.M. and was as fresh and active as I ever was. Edna and Sara felt sore and tired. I had climbed over logs and under logs. Roy Pierce was at my hand to conduct me to the best and thickest picking, ready to give me his shoulder or hand to help me on the top of high logs and over them. He is a gentlemanly little fellow. Lizzie, his mother, would introduce me to the very best picking, and I never saw anything like it in my life. I gathered, myself, ten quarts and Marian and Edna and Sara gathered as many or more each of them. It would do you good to eat them. They fairly melt in your mouth. I wish I could afford the time to pick more, if nothing more than for the pleasure and benefit I receive in this rough exercise. I wear rubbers always in the berry patch. The soles are rough and I never slip. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 6

I am gaining in physical strength. I have not had a serious cold since I have been here. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 7

Marian has been hoping that you would come and she could have a little advice. If you do not come we shall, if you think best, leave here soon. If it is not thought safe to be in Battle Creek now, we will wait a while longer. Dr. Lay thinks he has found me another horse for which I will have to pay two dollars per week and keep him myself. If I ever come here again I would certainly bring a horse and carriage. It costs $13.00, and a man must go in the car with the horse, and his fare costs him no money. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 8

I will hope to hear from you at once. If you cannot come please say so, and that will stop all expectation of your coming. We would be so glad to see you and Eld. Olsen. We can make you both comfortable, and it is the most favorable place for health that I know. Beautiful riding on the lake, and there are important points that you should visit that will cost but a trifle on the steamer for to reach these. Then you could take in the situation, and plan in regard to what should be done. There is no place I know that would do Eld. Olsen as much good to visit as Petoskey. The atmosphere, even in hot weather, is exhilarating. I wish he could go out into the berry patch. Blackberries are in abundance—acres of fruit. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 9

Dr. Lay has just come. He thinks no dependence can be placed on the man who said he could let me have his horse. The horse is old and it would be no credit to me to drive such a horse. So that scheme has proved a failure. If I cannot get a horse, I shall return home sooner than I had calculated to do. I wish to see you and the children. I have an excellent chance here to grow strong, but perhaps something else is to be thought of beside this. I am asking the Lord for wisdom that I may be guided aright. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 10

I will close this letter and hope you will not keep me in uncertainty. I sent you the note with my name as security. And may the Lord lead and guide you is my sincere prayer. Love to all our friends, especially the dear children. 6LtMs, Lt 107, 1890, par. 11