Monthly Archives: February 2013

February 14th 1883 Excerpt From a Valentine Poem

Victorian Vantentine

February 14th 1883

This is the month oh happy times

When love hearts awakening

To sing their love in loving rhyme

Taught May hearts are quaking

Then lady fair may I say love

Weigh this right and adjust

And think of me to darling prove

That I [am] far and trusted

~ James G Van Emburgh


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Filed under James George Van Emburgh

1915 Rex Ball Invitation

The grand ball was held at the Athenaeum which is known as New Orleans first auditorium. It was located on the corner of St. Charles Ave. and Clio street until it burned in 1937.

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Filed under Jane O'Kelly Calderwood, Letterheads, New Orleans

Georgiana’s Portrait

Georgiana's portrait with frameUpon the death of his wife, William had a charcoal portrait made of Georgiana so that the children would not forget the face of their mother. The enormous portrait of Georgiana hung in the center hall of the O’Kelly home until the death of her daughter Mary in 1968. As an old woman, Mary sat beneath the portrait in a large upholstered chair, drinking Coca Cola and watching the little black and white tv she had set up on the opposite side of the hall. My mother showed a particular interest in Georgiana and so Mary gave the portrait to her which was henceforth known as Georgiana. I grew-up with Georgiana on the wall and like my mother, I often gazed at her, even talked to her. My sisters were frightened of her. They claimed that her eyes followed their movements, which is what mom and I knew to be the most precious aspect of Georgiana’s portrait. She was very much a living presence in our home. I took this photo a couple of months before the fire in 2005 that burned Mom’s house down and took Georgiana from us.

Georgiana's portrait close-up

Close-up of Georgiana’s portrait.


Photograph of Georgiana

The photograph of Georgiana that was recreated in the portrait. Taken by E.W. Mealy circa 1881.
Monroe, Louisiana.

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Filed under Georgiana Dull Van Emburgh O'Kelly, Mary Catherine O'Kelly, Photographs, William Abram O'Kelly Sr.

1889 Observations of Lake Pontchartrain following the death of his wife

New Orleans September 9, 1889 to Monroe, Louisiana

William Abram O’kelly to his Mother-In-Law Malinda Dull Van Emburgh

Dear Ma

We arrived here safely the next day without any adventure. It was terribly warm that night in the sleeper until the train started. After that we did very well. I had to buy Sonny a pair of new shoes the next day as the ones he had on hurt him so he could not walk. I got him a nice hat on Friday, but he lost it last night.

We have been out to the Lake three times and yesterday we went across the lake to Mandeville where we spent a very pleasant day. We got a fine dinner for 57 cents in the evening. I took the boy on the shore and took his clothes off and let him play about in the water for half an hour. He enjoyed himself ever so much. It is about 35 miles across the lake it took over two hours to make the run. You cannot see from our side to the other and when we were in the middle it looked right green. Some people were sea sick but we was not. It was on the way back son lost his hat. Then was such a [?] to get off and to get to the train. I am doing better but the boy seems to be going right along he does not want to go home yet. We both send love to you all. Kiss the children from us.

Yours Affectionately


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Filed under James George O'Kelly, Malinda Teresa Dull Van Emburgh, New Orleans, William Abram O'Kelly Sr.

1889 Upon Receiving News of Georgiana’s Death

Paterson, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana February 24th 1889

Anna Post to her Aunt Malinda Van Emburgh upon receiving news of Georgiana’s death

Dear Aunt

Sunday afternoon and have come home from Sunday school and some little time before tea so will occupy it by writing to you. I want you to thank that young lady for me who wrote that letter to me telling me of the sad death of my cousin and I was really much surprised to hear of it as I did not know she was ailing. I scarcely know what to write to you to console you as I think at such a time as when one is in deep grief words are of little value and I only can say it is very hard for you but there are these four little children left without a mothers care so you and her husband will have to take her cares and be all in all to them and there is only one who can you broken hearts and that is God who loves us all  and is full of tender compassion and this my prayer that he will keep and guide and uphold you in your deep sorrow. Uncle Zeolotes [Demarest]  and [his wife] Aunt Elmira are both quite well and send love to you. Grandma [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] is quite smart for her and I think looks well, she is troubled some with neuralgia when she gets cold, Aunt Malinda when you write me again will you please send the exact date that James Garret was killed, we have misplaced the letter telling us and as we wish to know I thought I would write and find out. My sister [Elmira Post Noonan] and family are all quite well except her youngest child* [Henry Noonan] he is not very well he has intemitting fever he is a little boy over five years old but it is nothing serious. There is a great deal of sickness here in Paterson this winter and so pneumonia it seems it has become almost an epidemic and so many young people seem to have it and die with it. Pa [Helgmagh Post] and I are both very well but Ma [Kezia Demarest Post] health is not very good she is not sick abed but she has nervous prostration and you know it takes a long time to get over that . We have had no sleighing here this winter. Write soon

With love and sympathy from all to you all who are in sorrow I am ever

Yours in love

Anna H Post

* The boy, Henry Noonan who was ill with intemitting fever passed away shortly after this letter was written.

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Filed under Demarest and Related Families, Georgiana Dull Van Emburgh O'Kelly, Malinda Teresa Dull Van Emburgh