Category Archives: Letters to Hotel Dieu

Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly was a patient at Hotel Dieu in New Orleans where she received treatment for tuberculosis. She spent December of 1888 and January of 1889 in the care of the nuns there. She was released in February and passed away on the train ride back to her home in Monroe on the 4th. The letters in this collection were kept in Georgiana’s keepsake trunk which had been stored in an attic until recently. There were doubtless many more letters from her hospital stay, but they have been lost or remain hidden.

1889 I will come down about the 10th of February

This is the last letter in the collection from William to Georgiana while she was a patient at Hotel Dieu in New Orleans. In the letter William tells her that he will “come down about the 10th of February,” but Georgiana passed away on February 5th. 

Monroe, Louisiana to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana January 30, 1889

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

My Darling

I hope you are having good weather down there, I will come down about the 10th of February. The children are doing very well considering that they have such bad colds.

It is said our new Railroad [1] is going to be built. They are going to make a start this week.

Ma wrote to you yesterday.

The McQuillar’s [2] moved out to the colony on Monday.

Cox was in town the other day he said they were pretty well fixed.

All send love

Your affectionate husband

William A. O’Kelly

[1] Houston, Central Arkansas and Northern Railroad.

[2]  Andrew Jackson McQuillar and his wife Harriet “Hattie” Bell who was Georgiana’ s maternal 1st cousin.

[3] James Hampton Cox (1847-1902) husband of Julia Ophelia Bell who was Georgiana’s 1st cousin.

 

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1889 Every thing is frozen tight.

Monroe, Louisiana January 28, 1889 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

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

My Darling,

Ma & Bootsy got home yesterday evening we were all very glad to see them. I think Bootsy is improved by her trip. She was so glad to get home and could hardly make enough of the baby. She had a great deal to talk about.

I do not know what the weather is going to do. It snows a little while and then stops and then snows again but it is too cold to snow much. As I write the sun is shining and it may clear off yet. Every thing is frozen tight.

Jennies cold was not so bad last night. I do not know yet what day I will go down but will try to go several days a head of time.

All send love to you

Your affectionate husband

William A O’Kelly

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Filed under Georgiana Dull Van Emburgh O'Kelly, Jane Calderwood O'Kelly, Letters to Hotel Dieu, Malinda Teresa Dull Van Emburgh, Mary Catherine O'Kelly, William Abram O'Kelly Jr., William Abram O'Kelly Sr.

1889 I planted the potato

Monroe, Louisiana January 24, 1889 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

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

My Darling

Your letter of the 21st was received last night. I was very glad to hear that you were better and I hope that you will continue to improve. I know Bootsie would be a great deal of company to you.

We are getting along tolerable well, Sonny still has a right bad cough and it is almost impossible to keep him in the house out of the rain. I found him yesterday wet to the knees and in consequence did not get much sleep last night but he eat a healthy breakfast this morning. The baby’s cough is a little better. He slept right well last night.

I planted the potato and two rows of English peas yesterday. I had just planted them when it began to rain and has been raining ever since. It looks like it would rain all day. I will remember what you say about the turnips and will not destroy any of them and will plant more when the weather will permit.

The McQuillar’s are going to the country again this year. Andrew* could not find any work in town. The Cook’s have already moved to Bastrop. Mattie Harrison** [Martha  Dull Harrison] is suffering with neuralgia.

All join me in love to you

Your affectionate husband

William A O’Kelly

* Andrew Jackson McQuillar – Born August 23, 1852 Died abt. 1910 Monroe, Louisiana. Husband of Harriet “Hattie” Bell who is Georgiana’ s maternal 1st cousin.

** Martha  Dull Harrison. Georgiana’s maternal aunt.

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1889 Everything is dull here.

Monroe, Louisiana January 23rd, 1889 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

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

My Darling,

I have to say again I have heard nothing from you no news it is said is good news so I do not worry. I hope you are improving and that you and Ma are enjoying yourselves. Everything is dull here. Miss McCain is going to be married this evening to one of the Pritchards.

The children are doing tolerable well. Sonny and the baby both have bad colds. Jennie seems to be doing right well. The weather here is cold and threatening again. I am going to plant a few potatoes today. All send love to you Ma and Bootsey.

Your affectionate husband

William A. O’Kelly

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Filed under Georgiana Dull Van Emburgh O'Kelly, James George O'Kelly, Jane Calderwood O'Kelly, Letters to Hotel Dieu, Malinda Teresa Dull Van Emburgh, Mary Catherine O'Kelly, William Abram O'Kelly Jr., William Abram O'Kelly Sr.

1889 that is the kind of news I like to hear about you

Monroe, Louisiana January 21st, 1889 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

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

My Darling

I have just this minute received a dispatch from Tom saying Ma and Bootsy got there all right. I got a letter from Tom last night. He said that you had spent the day at his house and had eaten a good hearty dinner that is the kind of news I like to hear about you. I hope Ma will enjoy her trip.

This is the coldest morning we have had this winter but it is bright and clear.

The baby is getting along tolerable well. His cold is a little better than it was the night before. I hope the weather will be good while Ma is there so that you all can go about every day.

Sonny started to tear up last night. He came to me with his eyes sticking out  Pop aint you sorry Gran and Bootsy aint here. boo hoo. I laughed at him and soon got him in a good humor. I did not have a chance to go to church yesterday. Aunt Martha* did not come till too late. Tell Ma I got the keys allright.

The children are all doing tolerable well.

Our new cook does tolerable well but she gets breakfast might late.

All of us send love to you all.

Your affectionate husband W.A.O’Kelly

*Martha Dull Morrison Harrison, sister of Malinda Dull and Georgiana’s aunt.

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1889 I hope you are still improving

Monroe, Louisiana January 14, 1889 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

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

My Darling

We have heard nothing from you since your letter of the 10th. I hope you are still improving.

I took the children to the show yesterday. They enjoyed it a good deal although there was very little to see. It was Sunday but there was a good many people there.

Fred Millsaps* died Saturday night. He has been sick for sometime.

We are all doing tolerable well all join me in sending you love.

Your affectionate husband

William A. O’Kelly

*Thomas Frederick Millsaps b. January 4, 1860 Union, La d. January 13, 1889 West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, La. m. Alice Rebecca Flournoy. He was a cashier of Ouachita National Bank when he died and was buried at the Old City Cemetery.

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1889 It will be hard matter to get any good sausage

Monroe, Louisiana January 7, 1889 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

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

My Darling WIfe,

Your letter of the 3rd was not received until last night. We were impatient to hear from you and were very glad to get your letter. You say that I won’t acknowledge, but I have done so and when I don’t directly I write about something that you have said. It will be hard matter to get any good sausage, but we will try. We always have good butter and will try and send you some of both. There is to be a big circus and show here next Friday and Saturday and the children are very impatient for the time to come and I have promised to take all of them to see it.

We are having beautiful weather up here plenty of frost and ice in the mornings but clear and sun shining.

You do not say whether you are picking up any flesh or not tell us all about yourself. What you do and what you think for the least thing concerning you interests us more than you imagine. I thought I had told you that I would try to bring Jennie and Sonny with me. Ma has already had Jennie a nice dress made but finds a good deal of trouble in getting her a hat. I will get the boy a new suit. They talk a great deal about what they are going to do when they get to the city [New Orleans].

I got up about 5 o’clock yesterday morning and went hunting but did not kill anything. Yesterday Sonny and I went out in the fields and killed nothing. I let him shoot the gun twice and he thought he was a great hunter. At the first fire of the gun our dog ran off and left us he is what you call gun shy that is the reason Phillips gave him away.

The baby has another tooth coming through and he is very jealous about it. He will not let any one look in his mouth.

I heard the other day that the Cook’s were going to move from Minden to Bastrop. I got a letter from Tom yesterday he said your bundle was considerably torn up. I hope nothing was lost out of it.

We all send you all the love imaginable and kisses with out number. We hope to hear of your steady improvement.

Your affectionate husband

William A. O’Kelly

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