Monthly Archives: November 2013

1886 Letter from Grandma Caty

Tintype photograph of Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest.

Fair Lawn, New Jersey January  31 1886 to Monroe, Louisiana

Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest to her granddaughter Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Dear Grandchild George Anna

I am today 74 years of age and it has pleased almighty God to let me live beyond the allotted time of Life. And I have no doubt but it will soon be turn to be called away to meet my Holy Maker. I am very well for one of my age. The rest of the family are all very well. I trust that you and your mother are also and if it lay in your power take the best care of your mother you can.

I wish you would write me a good long letter and tell me if you have ever heard anything of your father. I have not heard from him in I think it must be some were about twenty years or more. If you have any news concerning him please let me know. I presume it was a great loss for you and your mother to loose your brother. I always had a desire to meet him, but it was not to be, so I have to be contented.

Remember me kindly to your mother and your dear children and endeaver to bring them to learn and honor their parents. Sometimes children get led astray but if you indeaver to teach them correctly and then they go astray you cannot help it.

Enclosed you will find two pictures. One of myself and one of your father. Please write and let me know how you all are.

From your GrandMa
Mrs Caty Demarest


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

1886 But you say you have nothing to live for

Anna Post to her Aunt Malinda Dull Van Emburgh and cousin Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Paterson, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana April 10th 1886

Dear Aunt and Cousin,

Received your letter was glad to hear from you was sick in bed when it came or else would have written before this. I am better again so I go out. I took a heavy cold and had fever so the Dr was afraid I was going to have billions fever but he got the upper hand of it. Still I was confined to my bed for 12 days and to the house for a little over two weeks still I am thankful God has seen fit to spare me to live longer and I hope I may do good for him. Has not cousin George Anna three children. You spoke in your letter as though there were three children but there was pictures of only two and is the little girl the youngest and have you no pictures of yourself and daughter. I was up to Grandma [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] yesterday to spend the day and there came back to her from the dead letter office a letter and hers and Grandpa [Peter J. Demarest] pictures which was sent to you in Jan. They were gone just three months and then came back to her. I will in close the letter although it is rather stale and will forward the pictures. Grandma is not very well and her only sister [Polly Van Emburgh] she has living is at her house and has been there a year and is sick a bed helpless as she fell and nearly broke her hip so she will never walk again and may die at any time and the Dr says she may lay that way a long time and Grandma has a great deal to do as they have so much company it keeps them all busy. Grandpa is well and if he lives until Aug he will be 79 years old and he is a smart old man. Pa [Halmagh Post] and Ma [Kezia Demarest Post] are both well. Sister Emma [Post Noonan] and family are all well. We all feel very sorry for you at the loss of your son [James George Van Emburgh]. Of course it was a great loss for you but you say you have nothing to live for but is not your daughter and her children as near as the son and you can live for them and try and bring them up to live for and love God perhaps that is the mission for which you are spared. Sorry to hear you do not feel well but of course your age just now cannot assure you good health but perhaps in a year or two you will be well and strong. You and Ma are nearly one age. Ma was 50 years old the 18th of last Sept. Uncle Zelotes [Demarest] eyes are some better although he cannot see out of  one eye at all but he does not wish Grandma to know it as it worries her. The other eye is improving very slowly still he can see out of it other wise his health is good and [his wife] Aunt Elmira is well. I will send you Ma picture to you and as soon as you receive them please to drop a letter  or postal card to us. The face of Grandma picture is good but I do not like the hat and shawl but it is the best she had. I will close for this time. All send our love to you all. Write as soon as you can and often.

Yours Truly

Anna D Post

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

1884 I am Anna Post your cousin

Anna D. Post to her cousin Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Fair Lawn, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana September 1884

Dear cousin,

I suppose you will be very much suprised indeed at recieving a letter from me. I am Anna Post your cousin. I did not answer James Garret [George Van Emburgh] letter. I had intended  answer it but had put it off from time to time thinking I would have more news to write about. Grandma [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] recieved a letter from a gentleman from your place some where in July 31st saying [your brother] James Garret [George Van Emburgh] had been killed on the railroad. We were very sorry to hear of his death for he was just getting along so he could be of help to his mother [Malinda Dull Van Emburgh]. The man who wrote seems to be a stranger and to day when Grandma wanted me to write – I went upstairs and got your wedding card and I find the name is just the same as your married name is and if it was your husband who wrote why in the world did he not tell her he was his brother inlaw and Uncle Zelote`s [Demarest] wrote a letter to him but Grandma thinks perhaps he did not get the name correct. He directed to William O` Rilly and the wedding card says O`Kelly, so it may be it has never reached him. Grandma says she was very much disappointed at you or your mother did not write to her about all the particulars and she would like to have you write her. Was the man who wrote your husband or a man by the same name. Grandma is not very well and you know she is growing old she has been 72 years old and her stomach and bowels are the main trouble. Grandpa [Peter J. Demarest] has not been very well this summer the Dr says he has malaria. Aunt Maggie [Margaret Demarest] is well she is Grandpa oldest child she has never been married so she is here to see and take care of Grandpa and Grandma. Have you heard that cousin Garret [H. Demarest] lost his wife [Maranda Van Emburgh Demarest] she died 21st of June she left three small children one 13 years [Mary Demarest] one 8 years [Florence Demarest]  and the other 5 years [Jennie Demarest] . It seemed very strange providence in her death to me but we have not the ruling of such things in our hands. How are you getting along and how many children do you have and what does your husband do and where does mother [Malinda Dull Van Emburgh] live did not she and your Aunt [Elizabeth Dull] and James Garret [George Van Emburgh] live all together and he support them. Now Grandma would like and I would be glad to hear from you and know where your mother is now, I know it is very hard for your mother, where is he buried is it in the place where you live. Sister Emma [Post] and Family are well she has been married will be 8 years next April and has three children. Two boys [Walton and Percey Post]  and one girl [Kathryn Post] her baby [Percey Post] is 10 months old. Uncle Zelotes [Demarest] and [his wife] Aunt Elmira are quite well it is very hot here just now but we are in hope we will soon have cooler weather. I will now close this letter hoping to hear from you soon. Love to your mother and yourself.

I am your cousin , Anna D. Post Paterson New Jersey

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Filed under Demarest and Related Families, Georgiana Dull Van Emburgh O'Kelly, James George Van Emburgh, Malinda Teresa Dull Van Emburgh, William Abram O'Kelly Sr.

1869 Here is piece of my hair

Anna Post to her aunt Malinda Dull Van Emburgh and cousins Georgiana and James.

Paterson, New Jersey to Monroe, Louisiana May 4th 1869

Dear Aunt and Cousins

We are all well at present and hope these few lines will find you enjoying good health. We have moved to the city of Paterson now we did not like the country. It was so [page damaged] school for us. Uncle Henry [Demarest] wife [Martha Mills] had got a baby daughter [Kathryn Louise] it was born the 8 of April they think of calling it Caty after gramma. I am to gramma [page damaged] and all the folks are all well. I believe I thought I would write to you and your sister [Elizabeth Dull] but it was not my turn to write to [page damaged].  I thought perhaps you had not received my letter that I wrote to you the week after New Years. I have not had my cards taken yet but soon as I get them taken you shall have one of them.

Pa [Halmagh Post] Ma [Kezia Demarest] Emma [Post] and myself and all of gramma [Catherine Demarest Van Emburgh] folks send there love to you. Gramma went down to New York yesterday and saw uncle Zelotes [Demarest] they where all well.  She came home Monday evening and I came on the same train with her. Here is a peace of my hair. I do not want to go to school now but I am going to a very large school with about 24 teachers in it.  I will start a week from yesterday. Gramma has our little trip [page damaged] When we moved to Paterson we did not [page damaged].

Grampa [Peter J. Demarest] has a little calf his name is Tom [page damaged] gramma folks has been washing this morning. James is a ploughing and the boy is cleaning the strawberries

as I said that – I was going to send you a peice of my hair it will not curl so I am going to curl it on the poker and send it to you and your sister I must close so goodbye

write as soon as you get this letter and tell all the folks the news

From your neice Anna D Post to her Aunt

Direct your letters to

Miss Anna D Post Willis st. No 71 Paterson post office

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

Circa 1884 Great Jackson Route

Ticket envelope from the Illinois Central Railroad.

Illinois Central Railroad  






 Illinois Central Railroad

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1885 Lumber receipt

January 1, 1885 lumber receipt paid to Charles A. Downey by William Abram O’Kelly Sr. on behalf of his mother in law Malinda Van Emburgh.

C. A. Downey  Receipt 1885

In 1883 Charles A. Downey married Florence, the daughter of Henry Bry and the recent widow of John N. Muir. Bry and Muir had been business partners and their largest venture was the steam saw mill situated on the Ouachita river bank just inside the lower city limit of Monroe. When Bry passed away in 1881, Florence and John purchased his share in the mill from the estate for the sum of seven thousand dollars. John passed away shortly after and full ownership of the mill passed to Florence who turned control over to her second husband Charles A. Downey who had previously been a railroad man with the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railway. During this period the railroad was rapidly expanding and Downey made sure that his mill was a main supplier of lumber for the construction. Downey was a a native of Ireland who became a prominent business man and served on the Monroe City council for more than 20 years. Upon the death of Mayor Forsythe, Downey held the honor of serving in the mayor’s capacity until new elections. Downey was a member of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church and was buried in the church cemetery when he passed away in 1924.

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Filed under Letterheads, Malinda Teresa Dull Van Emburgh, Ouachita Parish, Monroe, Louisiana, William Abram O'Kelly Sr.