Category Archives: William Abram O’Kelly Jr.

Born: December 20, 1887 Monroe, Louisiana
Died: November 15, 1939 Monroe, Louisiana

Son of William Abram O’Kelly Sr. and Georgiana Dull Van Emburgh O’Kelly. Husband of Mattie Mae Tarver.

Called Abe, William Abram O`Kelly Jr. began to work as a clerk in the post office at Monroe in October of 1907. In 1915 he was promoted to the post of superintendent of mails, a position that he kept until his death in 1939. He served in WW1 as a Sergeant of the Louisiana Army’s Motor Transport Company repair unit 310. Abe left for army camp at Jessup, Georgia in 1918, and was shipped overseas to France in the latter part of that year. He was stationed in Coblenz, Germany from 1918 to 1919.

Abe married Mattie Mae Tarver in December 6, 1923 at the O`Kelly home where he was raised. According to their daughter, Alice, Abe was Catholic and Mattie was Protestant so they were unable to marry in the Church. Mattie converted and their marriage was later blessed by a priest at St. Mathew`s Catholic Church on December 6, 1932. After a brief illness, Abe passed away on November 15, 1939 at the Vaughn Wright Bendel Clinic in Monroe. He was buried in St. Matthew’s Catholic cemetery and given a military service by his veteran brothers in the L. B. Faulk post of the American Legion. He left a young wife, four small children and two doting sisters to mourn his loss.

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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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 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.

1889 You need not fear that you are forgotten.

Monroe, Louisiana to Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, Louisiana January 5, 1889

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

We have not received a letter from you since the one of the 2nd. I hope and pray that you are still improving. I hope you have received your package in good time and in good order. Ma did not now which pin to send you. I thought you wanted the jet one as it might be risky to send the gold one, but if you want that one I can send it. I sent the money to yesterday.

Darling we all want to see you very much, you need not fear that you are forgotten. We think of you a great deal, it is an old saying, “out of sight out of mind,” but it is not the case us who love you so much and we count the days when we can go down and bring you home well again.

If two or three days pass by without getting a letter from you Uncle wants me to go right down there to see what is the matter, but I tell him not to be uneasy, for sometimes I see by the date of your letters that they are several days old. I did not write to you this morning because I thought they did not deliver letters on Sunday.

Tom writes very cheerful in his letter but he did say, his wife has been sick . He said that was a fine turkey. We have not sent Jennie to school we thought we would wait until you came home. She is very anxious to go she says that she is tired of staying at home that she has had rest enough. I think I wrote to you the weights of all the children.

The Parkers[1] have moved to the house where the Lake’s used to own that is Col. Hall’s  [2] old house on this street near Boatner’s [3].

The children seem to be enjoying good health except the baby, he has a bad cold in the head and was quite restless last night but was better today. We had to get our old cow up again, as it was almost impossible to get milk that was fit for the baby to drink. He is the worst of all the children he fights like a little wild cat.

Mrs. Surghnor [3] has returned with Cora [4].

I hope you have takes advantage of any good weather you have had to go about a little. I would like you to see something of the city you would find a great deal interest you. You must get all the strength you can so that you will be able to go about with us to see the sights when we come down, for I will want to take you everywhere that there is anything to be seen.

All send love to you,

Your affectionate husband

W. A. O’Kelly

[1 ]Daniel Peyton Parker and his wife Francis Elizabeth ‘Fannie’ Beasely who was Georgiana’s cousin.

[2] F. A.  Hall b. abt. 1819 New York. Address – 141 North Sixth Street, Monroe, Louisiana.

[3] Charles Jahleal Boatner b. 1849 d. 1903 and his wife Fannie Rowena Mayo b. 1851 d. 1923.

[4] Martha Francis “Mattie”  Joiner, born Feb 13, 1833 d. March 29, 1920 Monroe, Louisiana. Wife of Lloyd Walter Surghnor. Author of Uncle Tom of the old South: A story of the South in Reconstruction Days, published 1897

[4] Corrine Surghnor b. 1870 d. 1905, daughter of Lloyd Walter Surghnor and Martha Francis “Mattie”  Joiner. Wife of Conrad Fountlerloy.

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