Category Archives: Malinda Teresa Dull Van Emburgh

Born: October 28, 1835 Ouachita Colony
Death: April 1, 1914 Monroe, Louisiana

Daughter of James Dull and Julia Pernet. Wife of Jacob Demarest Van Emburgh.

Malinda was born in Louisiana’s Ouachita colony at the family plantation named Kiloden. She claimed to have been the first white child born at the colony. Her father was a contractor and planter from Pennsylvania who passed away when she was ten. He demanded quality education for his children and in turn, Malinda shared her knowledge teaching for many years at the Old French Colony school. Her mother’s family had been amongst the first to colonize the region and Malinda told many interesting stories of those colonial days. She called nearly everyone at Ouachita “cousin” which confused her grandchildren, as they were not sure if they were actually relations or just old family friends. It is said that her hands were always busy. Whether working at some chore or telling one of her stories and throwing her hands about to act-out the details, her hands remained in motion.

On February 4th of 1854 Malinda married Jacob Demarest Van Emburgh of New Jersey. There was one son born to this marriage and one daughter, Georgiana, who married William O’Kelly Sr. When the children were young, Jacob left his family at the Ouachita colony for unknown reasons and settled in Arkansas where he married again in 1861. We do not know if Malinda was aware of her husband’s bigamy, but the family story became that Jacob died a Confederate hero at the Battle of Vicksburg, leaving Malinda a widow and the children fatherless. Malinda, struggling to raise her children after the Civil War, contacted Jacob’s New Jersey family in 1867 to inquire if they knew of his whereabouts. The family had no idea that Jacob was not with Malinda and sent financial assistance for the children at once. This was the beginning of a long and loving relationship by post between the New Jersey and Louisiana Demarest family. Many of the letters have been preserved and belong to the O’Kelly Family Collection.

Malinda outlived both of her children and when her daughter Georgiana died, she moved into the O’Kelly Home with her son-in-law and grandchildren where Malinda spent the remainder of her life caring for them.

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 Let me know how your throat is

Monroe, Louisiana January 29th 1889 to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana

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

Dear Daughter

I arrived home without any trouble went to Mr. Theobald [1] and had breakfast with them and then ran over with Miss Mollie [2] to Mr. Marletts [3] for Bootsey to see her little nieces [4] and they both came back with her one holding on each hand and she was not afraid of any of them they are all very nice and kind people and I thanked Miss Mollie for you and told her you were not able to write and Mrs Theobald [5] said when you come home you must stop and stay two or three days with them and rest yourself and it will do you good.

I found all the children well except colds the baby was glad to see me he came to me and threw his little arms around my neck and held on to me like he was afraid I would leave him again. When you come home do not come the route I came home it is the roughest traveling I ever done some times it would nearly shake you to pieces. It was very cold when we got to Vicksburg and in the evening it cleared off and the sun came out and it felt very pleasant. Dear Child I hope you are having some nice weather and that you are feeling better and I hope you are not too low spirited the time is so short though I know you will find it long like my self. The children all like their things very well.

Sonny cried last night because I had not brought him a tie like his Pa’s and this morning when I asked him what I must tell you for him he said to tell you to get him a tie like his Pa’s if you feel like it. Let me know how your throat is.

I do not know if the Theobolds know Father Herfelt (maybe Herselt or Herbelt?) or not but they know a good deal about him and how he has been traveling about for the last three years. Lizzauers here when I got home and Fannie came the next day praying always that you may be better. I close.

Your Mother

P.S. Miss Mollie gave Bootsey a nice white rosary and she gave me an agnes (?) day

[1] George Peter Theobald of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Born 1832 Bavaria, Germany Died 1897 Vicksburg Mississippi. Husband of Mary Anna Klott.

[2] May Magdalene Theobald, daughter of George Peter Theobald and Mary Anne Klott. Born 1858 New Orleans, Louisiana Died 1926 Vicksburg, Mississippi.

[3] James Robert Marlett, husband of Laurette Theobold. Born 1860 Vicksburg, Mississippi Died 1901 Vicksburg, Mississippi.

[4] Wilhelmina and Elizabeth Marlett.

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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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1889 I do not want him to practice on you

Monroe, Louisiana to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana January 26th 1889

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

My Darling

Your letter of the 23rd was received last night. I did not receive the letter from Ma. I don’t see how it could have gone astray.

It has been raining all the week and every thing is slop. Our cook did not turn up this morning and I had to cook breakfast my self. It was half past nine when I got to the stove. I hired another woman to day. She is old Susans daughter. She will come in tomorrow. When is Ma coming home. She said she would stay about a week.

There was several robberies committed in town last night. They got $35 from Judge Richards  and [damaged page] $ from S. Meyers.

The children have bad colds and [page damaged] a little sick with her but we all hoping for the best. It is hard to keep them in the house.

I hope you are still improving and that your sore throat will be well by the time this reaches you. Has Charley Hilton called to see you yet. I do not want him to practice on you.*

All send love,

Your affectionate husband

W.A. O’Kelly

*When William wrote that he did not want family friend Charley Hilton “to practice” on his wife, he was making a joke. You see, Charley was the coroner of Monroe at the time.

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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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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 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.