A death notice like this one would have been used to announce the death of a community member and tacked to trees in public places and on the doors of neighbors and friends. You can see the tear mark on the top center where this notice was torn down from it’s intended spot by Georgiana’s daughter Mary.
Monthly Archives: January 2013
Monday February 4th 1888 New Orleans Train Depot to Monroe, Louisiana
Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly to her husband William A. O’Kelly Sr. and their children
Before boarding a train in New Orleans, Georgiana stopped to post a letter to her family in Monroe. The tone was hopeful when she wrote that she felt healthy and had even gained a bit of weight. Most of all she was looking forward to getting home to William and the children. It was the last letter that Georgiana wrote.
Her train stopped at Delta Point, Louisiana and that is where the train steward discovered that Georgiana had passed away in her seat. The train conductor sent a telegraph notifying William of the sad news. Her long anticipated arrival home was met by William and his friend Mr. Endom, whose covered carriage carried her body home. She was buried in St. Matthew’s Cemetery the following day.
My mom was given the letter and the story surrounding it as a teenager by her great Aunt Mary. She proudly displayed this momento of her great grandmother on the top of her chest of drawers. Over and over, Mom copied the letter by hand attempting to imitate Georgiana’s beautiful handwriting. Before she could become a master of Victorian script, the letter vanished. It has been hence known as the Lost Letter and the case of it’s mysterious disappearance has yet to be solved.
The Ouachita Telegraph December 15th 1888 ~ Ms. Wm. O’Kelly is visiting New Orleans for the benefit of her health. Mr. O’Kelly accompanied her but returned home Sunday.
New Orleans December 1888, Hotel Dieu Thursday night to Monroe, Louisiana
Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly to her mother Malinda Dull Van Emburgh
My Dear Mother,
I know you are anxious to hear from me. The Dr. comes twice a day to see me. I am getting along fine. He said this evening that I would be well. He is giving me plenty of medicine. I get very lonesome sometimes for home. I will be so glad when I do get well. The Sisters are kindness. All kind of nice nourishment good enough for the most delicate stomach and plenty of it and they just beg you to eat it. I am going to get [?] to [?] an walk about some. I was up a good while this morning went to the washstand and washed my face and hands and then combed my hair.
A thousand kisses for you all. I heard the baby had three teeth.
I will write soon again to you,
write to me right away
New Orleans December 6, 1888 to Monroe, Louisiana
William Abram O’Kelly Sr. to his mother-in-law Malinda Dull Van Emburgh
Georgie seems to be much better today. She was a little home sick last night but got over it this morning. She Has a nice room and every attention.The doctor thinks she will be greatly improved in a short while. The doctor is very highly spoken of by Mr. Lyons and others. I had intended to go home this evening but I will have to stay until Georgie gets better word to staying by her self. The boy is in very good health. He does not want to go home yet. Georgie stood the trip very well, but it was very hard to get anything that she could eat with satisfaction and we were so long on the way I was afraid she would be worse out. I don’t know when I will leave for home. I will write home again tomorrow and will probably then know when I will travel.
We all send our love and kisses to you all. I was sorry the cook left and hope old [name?] will stay until I get back. I got a letter from Uncle and one from Mills. I hope the baby will get better now.
W. A. O’Kelly
Tell Uncle to turn over any Catholic Knight papers as letters to Mr. Hughes
The Ouachita Telegraph Monroe, Louisiana December 23, 1881.