Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12

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Lt 175, 1897

White, J. E.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 9, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Edson White:

I have but a little time to write you, for the burden of many things is upon me. If you had been with me since Willie left I could have laid upon your shoulders the planning of [a] house for Willie White. He left the plan, which we have had to study over and estimate cost of everything and then to see how much we could invest in it. The cost was itemized, and we went over the matter item by item and studied how to reduce the figures. We cut down here and there, and did not allow one needless thing. 12LtMs, Lt 175, 1897, par. 1

The foundation was to be made of brick. That cost we lessened. We made the blocks of wood, all of which had to be covered with tin on the top so as to keep out white ants. This was a reduction of the price. Then we cut out several other items of expense. In the plastering they generally have three coats. The last is the white coat which is the most costly. We dropped out that and had the first and second coat. It looks dark, that is all, but answers the purpose just as well. 12LtMs, Lt 175, 1897, par. 2

July 16, 1897

The Sabbath is drawing on. Our cistern for W. C. White’s house is just finished digging. If we have fair weather the cistern will be bricked up. We shall put four hands on Sunday. They put in it two tiers of brick laid in cement. It is fourteen feet deep and forty-two feet around. We wanted all this work done, for it is very nasty work. The material coming from the cistern is like sticky clay, and must be drawn away so as not to be scattered on the ground. Today four men have been at work on this branch alone. Connell is drawing brick from the school grounds, one half a mile. Loading and unloading is quite a business. He has one man to help him. Worsnop has been digging the cistern. Brother James, who is my farmer and all-round workman, also assists in this matter, and the work is going forward nicely. 12LtMs, Lt 175, 1897, par. 3

May White will begin to get into her house next week. It will not be entirely dry, but we will not have them sleep there for a couple of weeks. We have feared rain, but we have a beautiful sunset and if the rain holds off a few days—three days longer—this great job will be done. It is a most essential piece of work for this country. The water in the iron tanks becomes very warm, but the water from the cistern is always cool. Willie has a comfortable, convenient, plain, well built house and it is now off my mind. 12LtMs, Lt 175, 1897, par. 4

I think of nothing more that needs to trouble me, but this house has come mainly upon Sara and me to devise and plan in many things. If we had not done this it would have been far behind and many things would not have been brought in that add much to the convenience and at little expense. I never had this to do before, and is it not a little strange that at nearly seventy years old I have this, my first experience in such responsibilities? I hoped to get it done before the winter months came on, but everything had to be done that is possible for the school buildings, and we dropped all our building to help them out. 12LtMs, Lt 175, 1897, par. 5

The sun has set; the Sabbath is here, and I leave this writing. The beautiful golden sunsets make me think of the golden city. Oh, I long to be there and see the King in His beauty and behold His matchless charms! We may never meet again upon the earth, but I do long to see you both so much! 12LtMs, Lt 175, 1897, par. 6

Good night, dear children. 12LtMs, Lt 175, 1897, par. 7