Monthly Archives: January 2014

1888 Ma had a splendid dinner for us.

Francis Elizabeth Beasley 1863 - 1934

Francis Elizabeth Beasley
1863 – 1934

William Abram O’Kelly to his wife Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Monroe, Louisiana December 26th 1888 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

My Darling,

We have not had a letter from you since Sunday we all hope you are doing well and that you spend a very good Christmas. As for us we did very well. Ma [Malinda Dull Van Emburgh] had a splendid dinner for us we had a splendid turkey with celery out of the garden, four or five kinds of cake mini pies and many other things. There was only one drawback to our enjoyment one “loved one” our darling was not there to witness or participate in our pleasure, but we all thought of her and wish that she could be there.

Santa Clause brought Jennie [Jane Calderwood O’Kelly] a breast pin, stove and doll chair. Sonny [James George O’Kelly] got a train of cars Noahs Ark and frog and plenty of fine works. Bootsy [Mary Catherine O’Kelly] got a Rocking Chair a china tea set a doll chair and a train set. The baby [William Abram O’Kelly Jr.] only got a squeaking cat. The children enjoyed themselves hugely. They made a regular day of it. We send you a small box by express to day all charges are paid. Aunt Bet & Fannie* send the things on the side with the fruit cake.

Affectionately

WA O’Kelly

* “Aunt Bet & Fannie” are Georgiana’s aunt Elizabeth Dull and cousin Francis Beasley Parker.

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1888 I am almost certain to be the delegate to the convention

William Abram O’Kelly to his wife Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Monroe, Louisiana December 24, 1888 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

My Dear wife,

I got your letter of the 21st yesterday and were glad to hear of your steady improvement. We hope that you will prove of great benefit. I want to hear of your having been on Canal Street. I know you would enjoy a short trip to that noted street. I did not think you would go to Tom’s [Thomas Swan O’Kelly] for Christmas it is just as well. I am almost certain to be the delegate to the convention*, but the election does not come off till the 1st Tuesday in January. Yesterday was a beautiful day and we all went to church. If you get tired staying there and want to come home get Tom to bring you up for I think that is the only way to get him up here. Sonny [James George O’Kelly] was delighted with his picture. He sends his love to Mrs. Palmer**. He remembered her. I wish you were here darling so that I could wish you a Merry Christmas but as it is I will wish you all that is implied by the words. You know how much I love you darling. I thought too of the seven short years that we were married. God bless you darling and make you well is my prayer all day long and when I wake at night. If a man’s constant prayer is worth anything my darling wife then that prayer is for you. Keep a good cheerful face darling and we will pray God with the assistance of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph that all will yet be made right and that you will return to us in good health. God bless you. All join me in wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and you will not be forgotten either for something substantial we will send a small package by express.

Your loving husband

W. A. O’Kelly

* Convention of the Catholic Knights of America held in New Orleans February, 1889.

** “Mrs. Palmer” was also a patient of Hotel Dieu.

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Filed under Georgiana Dull Van Emburgh O'Kelly, James George O'Kelly, Letters to Hotel Dieu, Thomas Swan O'Kelly, William Abram O'Kelly Sr.

1888 Charlie Crosley was killed here yesterday evening

William Abram O’Kelly to his wife Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Monroe, Louisiana December 23, 1888 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

My Darling,

We got your letter yesterday morning and we were well pleased with the new that it contained we hope and pray that you may continue to improve every day. The children talk about you a good deal but Sonny [James George O’Kelly] misses you more than any of the others. The baby [William Abram O’Kelly Jr.] gets worse spoiled every day, but he is getting fat.

Charlie Crosley was killed here yesterday evening in Jim Norman’s saloon by a gambler. The man claimed to have down it in self defense.*

We all seem to be enjoying tolerable good health, bad colds about the worst. I hope you are having good weather so you can go out a little. We look for a letter about every other day.

All send love.

Yours affectionately

W.A. O’Kelly

* Charles Clayton Crosley was a young planter of Ouachita Parish that was shot and killed by Thomas R. Dennis who was running a picture lottery. A dispute arose between the two about the game when Crosley drew his pistol. Dennis was the quickest, however, and shot Crosley four times resulting in instant death. Denis had previously been accused and acquitted of two similar charges of murder and did not deny the charges simply stating that he “never attempted to run over anybody and that he allowed no man to run over him.” Dennis was not convicted of the murder of Charley Crosley whose wife Kate gave birth to a baby girl just six days after his death.

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1888 Uncle thinks we ought to get a letter from you every night

William Abram O’Kelly to his wife Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Monroe, La December 21, 1888 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, La

My Darling

I did not write to you yesterday because Ma [Malinda Dull Van Emburgh] wrote. I thought one letter would be as much as you would care to read. Did you remember that yesterday was the baby’s [William Abram O’Kelly Jr.] birthday. Uncle [Henry O’Kelly] gave him a quarter for a present. I think that was all the little fellow got. We are having a little taste of winter, yesterday morning the thermometer was down to 25 and everything was froze up tight and last night was not much better. I went hunting yesterday and killed four ducks. The baby is getting to be a terrible little fellow. Do you remember how Bootsy [Mary Catherine O’Kelly] used to rare back. Well the little fellow does the same only a good deal worse and he fights and kicks and screams like any thing. I had him for a while yesterday. I gave him back to Aunt Mary and he fought and kicked so I had to take him again. I tell you what he makes every body stand around. The other children seem to be in good health and all are lively. Bootsy had one of her crying spells yesterday but today, she is all right. I hope you have tried that gas* by this time and that it has benefited you. The Morrison’s** and Parkers*** are all well. I got a letter from Tom [Thomas Swan O’Kelly] last night saying he had got the turkey. Ma bought a turkey Thursday that she is going to kill for Sunday. She says the children want it. Sonny [James George O’Kelly] set the mouse traps and caught three mice. We were to have a big circus here last Saturday but the charges were too high and they would not show. I was glad of it. Uncle thinks we ought to get a letter from you every night and is very impatient till the mail comes in. We all want to hear from you often but do not worry yourself too much about writing. I hope you are able by this time to go about in town a little. There does not seem to be any news at least I have not heard any. Uncle, Ma and all the children join me in sending love and good wishes to you.

Your affectionate husband

William A O’Kelly

*artificial pneumothorax treatments.

** Malinda’s nephew George W. Morrison, his wife Florence Bell and their three oldest children James, Mary and John.

*** Malinda’s niece Francis ‘Fannie’ Beasley Parker, her husband Daniel Peyton Parker and their four oldest children Florence, Floyd, Dorothy and Orelle.

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1888 Abe is one year old

Malinda Van Emburgh to her daughter Georgian Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Monroe, La December 20 1888 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, La

Dear Daughter

The children are all well this morning and Abe [William Abram O’Kelly Jr.] is one year old. I bought the children a turkey hen for Sunday. Jennie [O’Kelly] says she will send you some thing. I think Jennie misses you more than any of the children and often looks sad. I hope you continue to improve and try to be contented. The children all send their love too and Abe sends a birthday kiss to his mamma and Aunt Mary* sends her love and says she is glad to hear you are improving.

Goodbye M.V.

* “Aunt Mary” is likely Malinda’s step-niece, Mary Leona Wimberly.

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1888 I know you worry yourself about the children

Malinda Dull Van Emburgh to her daughter Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Monroe, Louisiana December 19, 1888 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

Dear Daughter

We received your letter of the 16th and were relieved a great deal of anxiety as your last letter had been so discouraging. I did not think you had been under the new treatment long enough for much improvement. I so much hope you will continue to gain your strength and be able to enjoy yourself some once more for you certainly have had a very trying time of it. I know you worry yourself about the children but you need not for they are getting a long remarkably well and play and enjoy themselves very much. I am sorry that I have not got any thing nice to send you. I have got a green cook and have to help her a good deal but will try to send you something hoping you will be able to eat it when you get better. Try to see as much of the city as you can and don’t be studying so much about home. Abe [William Abram O’Kelly Jr.] is very much attached to me he commences to buck so Aunt Mary* can scarcely hold him. He is getting so very strong and will be one year old tomorrow. He walked across the room holding onto a chair when I pulled it. Try to do all you can to improve yourself and if you need any money let me know and you shall have it.

Your Mother

* “Aunt Mary” is likely Malinda’s step-niece, Mary Leona Wimberly.

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1888 The children jumped with delight

William Abram O’Kelly to his wife Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Monroe, Louisiana December 19, 1888 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

My dear wife,

Your good letter came last night – we were all glad to hear that you were better. The children jumped with delight. You can only imagine how we were pleased to have such good news. I hope and pray that you may continue to improve and that gas will do you all the good the doctor thinks it will. I have heard of it before but did not know that is was used there.*

We are not going to forget that poor sick child so far away from home when Christmas time comes. We will send something if only a cake. I sent Tom [Thomas Swan O’Kelly] the turkey yesterday. He was a big fat fellow.

It is so cold I can hardly write, it is the coldest morning of the season. I hope it is warm and pleasant down there so you can take a little walk. Now darling take good care of your self and get all the benefit of the medicine so that you will soon get well and come back to your loving family. We miss you very much but we put that all aside waiting for you to get well.

Sonny [James George O’Kelly] seems to be the only one of the children to miss you now and then. He says I wish I could see Mama.

Keep up your spirits darling. We all pray that you may soon return to us.

All send love to you

Your affectionate husband

W.A. O’Kelly

* The “gas” treatments that Georgiana received is a medical procedure known as  artificial pneumothorax in which her lung infected with tuberculosis was collapsed and filled with nitrogen through a needle inserted into her chest.

 

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