Above is a Christmas card sent to Andrew Merl Cowan from Lena Potter of Kansas City, Missouri in 1918
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LETTERS FROM MARIAN MENOUGH
Mr. Andrew Cowan, Pilots #50, School of Aeronautics, Columbus, Ohio - Oxley Hall
Dear Mr. Cowan, I hope you will pardon my presumption in taking the liberty of writing to you, but I have an idea that there is a misunderstanding somewhere. I had Olive ask Mr. Crawford if he would kindly tell you to call me yesterday between seven and seven-thirty. As I received no call from you, I presume Mr. Crawford either neglected to tell you or misinformed you. You see I am giving you the benefit of the doubt. I will expect you tonight as arranged. I hope this will reach you safely this afternoon. Yours in very great haste, Marian M.
8-18-1918 Wellsville, Sunday Dear Mr. Cowan,
I was glad to get your letter and to hear that you were really going to try and beat Fate. But perhaps I had better not say too much for you never can tell what may happen yet. I can't tell you just where I will be located in Fredericktown but I don't imagine you will have a hard time finding me. Mr. Davis, the superintendent, can direct you to my place of burial.
You certainly made me feel bad when you told me about your wonderful swimming in the ocean. I have been in both the Atlantic & Pacific and I know how glorious it is altho it has been about ten years since I was in the Pacific & about fifteen since I was in the Atlantic. Memories live those cling tho, even if many years have rolled by. I'm going to the ocean next summer if I have to walk, altho the river isn't so bad.
In my opinions count for anything in your estimation of values, you will not go into the US Air Service but will go back to school. I never did advise anyone to commit suicide. Anyway you are too young to be leaving school and going out into the cruel, cruel world. When you get old & wise like me, there will be plenty of time to "try your wings." Seriously tho I do think you should go back to school. What will you be this year? A Junior? With many hopes to see you sometime before New Years. Yours, Marian
Mr. Andrew M. Cowan 4th Squadron - Camp Dick, Dallas, Texas
Back to Mother Nature Saturday Evening: Aug 26, 1918 Ohio
My dear Mr. Cowan,
I was very glad to receive your letter this afternoon just as I was bidding farewell to my native village and turning my feet away from the land of my fathers out to the green countryside. Would you believe me if I told you that I am really and truly residing in the "Land of Your Heart's Desire" and the only music which greets my ears is the singing of crickets and the lovely wail of the whip-poor-will. Gee, (pardon the slang) I hope my descriptions are not making you feel that strange, indescribable sensation, called homesicknesses or lonesomeoness. I don't believe tho, that you are very must (sic) adicted (sic) to that feeling, are you?
Perhaps you are wondering why I happen to be here in the country - my avowed enemy. It is my mother's will. Since I have come home, I surely have strengthened her belief that I don't know how to take care of myself or rather my health so she has sent me to the country with the warning that, unless I gain at least ten or twenty pounds, I can't go back to school this winter. That really is a terrible fate, for if I had to live in Wellsville for a whole year, I would wear myself away with loneliness. So here I am trying to get fat!
You certainly must have had an exciting trip down there, enjoying all the modern conveniences of travel. But if it was any worse than my comparatively short trip home, it must how terrible I was positively enbalmed in cinders and dust when I reached Wellsville.
Do you have to work as hard and as long down there as you did in Columbus? I sincerely hope you don't do anything so wicked that you will have to take one of those delightful two hundred mile hikes.
Speaking of Columbus, I saw Mr. and Mrs. Robinson the night before I left Columbus. Ruth & I had the great pleasure of spending Saturday night "stepping with the light fantastic toe at Indiananola Park" and at the dance, we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Robinson once more and exchanging dances (?) with them. Ruth told me when I wrote to you to send you her best regards. That's more than I would send you for if I said "best regards," you would be sure to misinterpret & think me to bold, as you have several times before. However, I will send my best regards to all the rest of company 50 even if I don't know them. Take that Mr. Cowan for some of your biting sarcasm.
Well this country life is beginning to tell on me already, for I am getting sleepy while the hours are still rather small. You can still address me the same as before, for I refuse to be cast away for any great part of my short vacation.
You see I have been real good and have taken your advince about criticism. I really wouln't have done it anyway for your letter was very interesting, as you should know by my prompt answer to it. Please don't misunderstand my promptness - it was merely lack of something better to do. Is that hot enough? That is a rather mean way to close a letter, isn't it? But I am pretty sensitive and that remark of yours about very perfectly well - meant sweater hit pretty hard. I'll never forgive that.
Well, once again, I must close with lots of good wishes for many successful flights and a hope to hear from you again soon (when you have nothing better to do). Very sincerely, Marian
Mr. Andrew M. Cowan Fourth Squandron Camp Dick, Dallas, Texas - Sept 23, 9:30 a.m. 1918 Delawre, Ohio Monnett Hall, Sunday eve.
Dear Mr. Cowan,
I was very glad to learn that in your maddening which you were able to find a few minutes for which you had no better occupation than writing me a letter. I find my time to be very valuable too, especially since I have come back to school. There isn't that a splendid beginning for a good fight. You know, I really appreciate a good fight occasionally. Most men won't scrap with me at all, so I have to pick on you. Or perhaps I should say I have to let you pick on me.
Before I begin to write real nice, I must say a word in reply to a statement of yours. If you don't want that sweater you send it right up here to me. I can put it to several very good uses and perhaps you could use the three dollars that I will send to you in return to a great deal better advantage than the sweater. In fact I have to have a sweater knitted by October first if possible, and yours would save me a great deal of work. I have knitted three sweaters since I made yours and am becoming quite expert.
As I suppose you notice, I am no longer at home. My third and last year at Ohio Wesleyan has begun and I am preparing to begin Monday for a year of my hardest work and play. This last week has been spent greeting the old and meeting the new people and getting settled and I have been terribly busy. I certainl y dreaded leaving home for my vacation certainly was too short and fleeting to satisfy me. The nearer I got to his place the more I felt like running in the opposite direction but I believe now that I am going to like this year better than any of my other years. I am living in a suite with three other Seniors and they are the jolliest set of girls in the hall. I am not the only one who thinks so either. As a fitting climax to our college life before we have to settle down to the dignity of our positions as college graduates etc. etc. we have decided to do all the deviltry we can and started ouit last night by help[ing the Sophs Haze the poor little freshies. I don't know what will be the next thing on the list, but anyway we're going to have one grand time.
I suppose you are getting tired hearing about our silliness so I will change the subject. Pardon me a minute while I get some sandwiches for if I don't eat between sentences, the rest would let me starve.
I hope you are beginning to feel the change in the weather as we are, at least I hope you aren't suffering from the heat the way you seemed to be a short time ago.
I have let that roll of films on which I took your picture lie around all summer, without having them developed or printed. Everytime I go out I seem to forget it, but perhaps someday my memory will serve me a good turn and I will have them finished. If they are good, perhaps I will send you one of your own overgrown self, provided that you are good and stop your terrible sarcasm.
Well, it is growing late and I have to get up at six in the morning for an early class. I hope you have all sorts of success and if Mr. Crawford is there give him my best wishes. My address is Box 164, Monnett Hall, Delaware, Ohio. Very sincerely, Marian Menough
Delaware, Ohio 9;30 a.m. Oct 7, 1918 - addressed to Andrew M. Cowan Fourth Squadron Camp Dick, Dallas Texas - marked out - written Kelly Field, San Antonio Tex
Library Oct 3rd - Dear Mr. Cowan -- As you see by the heading of my letter, I am in our Wesleyan library, so this letter may become permeated by the intellectual atmosphere and the environment of th elearned and studious grinds. I don't like to write letters here, for the oppressiveness of the atmosphere dulls the fluency of my pen. But force of cirumstance directed my footsteps hitherward this early hour of the morning to return a book which had to be back at eight.
Wesleyan reminds me of Ohio State these last few days. As I suppose you know, a branch of the SATC has been installed here and four hundred and fifty boys are under as strict military disciplines as you aviators were. To prove the gravity of the situation, I must tell you what our old-fashioned, Methodist Wesleyan has done. The boys are free only on Saturday and Sunday nights and in orde rnot to have too high a fence between Monnett Hall and the barracks the girls have been given the privelege of Sunday dates. You probably don't realize the magnitude of their offer since you don't know Wesleyan standards. Last year she would have held up in bands in holy horror if one of us had been caught saying more than a cool 'How do you do" to a fellow on Sunday and even at church the boys were put in one balcony and the girls in another. Of course even home we can only have dates Sunday evening on the provision of taking them to church of entertaining in the Monnett parlors.
We certainly had an exciting time October first. We were given a vacation so as to participate in the induction exercises of the SATC and then expected to march. Talk about vacation, I had to take the hwole following day to recover from the effects of that marching. They put us girls eight abreast and then on either side boys four abreast making sixteen across. Then the band played some real snappy music and the commandant told us to be sure to march in time. Imagine me keeping step with fast music and keeping up with fellows who could cover aobut two yards with one step. I had to run most of the time. In just one second I have to go to my Philsophy class so I will have to conclude this in the next installment.
"The Second Installment" - Shortly, one of the girls in my suite who belies her name, said if you didn't like my size you could pay your money and choose your pick. We have a regular four step quartet.
I am going to be good and send you a picture of myself. If you don't want it of course you are at perfect liberty to send it back you know. But you'd better treat it nice for if you don't you'll never get another.
You probably won't anyway - and I'm quite sure never a life size one. I don't believe I will send you the pictures of yourself - I'm afraid you might get conceited about them as what is still more likely, give them to some southern beauty. I have heard from other sources about the southern beauties & I am getting sort of jealous. Anyway if she wants a picture of you she can take it herself like I had to do.
Well, it is late and I have loads of work to do. If you ever see Mr. Crawford give him my regards. I sincerely hope he recovers. That Spanish Influenza certainly has reached alarming proportions. You don't tell me whether your squadron was still the fourth or not but I take it it is. Very sincerely, Marian.
To: Cadet Andrew M. Cown, Flyding Detachment, Squadron 3, Kelly Field #2, Smith, San Antonio, Texas - Wellsville, Ohio Oct 28, 2 p.m. 1918 -- from Marian Box 164 Monnett Hall, Delaware, O.
Wellsville, O. Oct 27
Dear Mr. Cowan,
My kid brother, who is just learning to read, looked over my shoulder and said, "Oh, mamma, Marion said dear." He seems to think that word is too comittal, I hope you don't agree with him.
As I suppose you have already inferred I am at home. School has b een dismissed for some time and I am expecting to be at home for at least a week longer. I suppose you know how the influenza has reigned here for the last monmth. Schools, movies, church in fact everything which involves public or private gatherings has had a ban put upon it. I certainly appreciate my vacation but the prospects of going to school late into July in order to make up lost time doesn't please me at all. I had enough of summer school last summer to last a life time.
Mr. Cowan, you certainly are behind the times if you don't know what the SATC is. It's ascommon a set of letters as YMCA. Don't you know the government has taken a hand in giving her youthful prospects for military offices a college education free of charge. All high school graduates (between ages 18-21) who pass the physical examinations may enter the college of their choice, be inducted in the Student's Army Training Corps (SATC) receive the same means of sustenance as a draftee together with a college education. For further information, address any college or your present instructees.
According to your description of Texas I'm sure I wouldn't like it. I don't call a "clear unobstructed view of everything" a blessing. If you would say "a clear, unobstructed view of nothing," you would come nearer to a true description. I've never been in Texas and I've been pretty close to it only a little farther west and my most lasting impression was a two day ride on the train without a glimpse of anything but an endless waste and a few catci.
You (sic your) grammer (sic grammar) was quite irreproachable in the two place (sic places) concerning which you questioned me. WIth a little more o f my efficient tutoring you might be able to merit a stamp of approval. However you spoiled it all later on by saying "have not saw" and "is the leaves begin to fall." There, I've done it. You said you wouldn't write to me if I critized your writing. BUt you asked me so the consquences be upon you own head.
You're quite right. I don't like either milk or pumpkin pie. When mother wants to make something which she knows won't vanish with the making she bakes pumpkin pies. She's the only one who likes them, you know. I told you mother was one of the faarm sympathizers.
I think I will have to close.l Don't forget to tell me all about your thrilling air flight and be careful not to rise too far above us to always return in a logical, sane way. Marian
To: Cadet Andrew M. Cowan, Flying Detachment, Squadron 3, Kelley Field #2 South San Antonio, Texas from Marian- Monnett Hall, Monday (postmarked 11-20-1918
Dear Mr. Cowan,
On this eve of an eventful day, which we have just been told is the World's Fourth of July, my thoughts turn southward. I just returned to school yesterday, all tired out with my long journey and had just nesteled in my bed for a long slumber when I awoke to th emost terrible combination of noises ever concocted. The whole hall had turned out into the corridors with every conceivable implement of noise everinvented. Conbined with that was all manner of bells and whistles. I didn't know whether the hall was burning down or there was an air raid or just what anyway I turned over and went back to sleep. Now I suppose you would say that I lacked every element of patriotism. But I celebrated peace news two days before and I didn't see any cause to run the celebration into the ground just because they were so slow out here getting the news!!
Of course today was a holiday and I havejust come back from very hilarious day. I imagine you fellows in camp know how it is. I would like to be in a camp about the time peace news was received. Now, Mr. Cowan, I feel very much hrt that you should say that you can't come to me for sympathy. I assure you that I am much more sympathetic than my mother. But of course when my good intentions are interpreted as brazenness I feel sort of resentful. Now if you just tell me when you are feeling blue I'll show you what a sympathetic letter I can write -- provided you won't write and insinuate that my intenetions are directed toward Dallas, Texas. I assure you that yu need have no fears. You are very much decived when you think that I hold a grudge against country lads. I really feel it my duty as a member of our little family of four here to uphold the reputation of Mother Nature's sons. Of course this is a deep dark secret - I am the only one in this whole place who knows it - so you mustn't tell. But one of my suite mates is engaged to one and if I had need to be convinced of their high value, I certainly would not have such a need now. Of course after this summer at state I was fully convinced anyway. Now, Mr. Cowan, since the world is at peace, I won't stir up troble with you about the SATC. Sometime when I see you, we can enter into a heated argument over its relative value. It's too tame to argue thru a letter for you can't talk back and by the time I get your answer I feel cooled down to normal again. But of course I feel quite sure that our government knows what it's about. It is too bad your relatives have had so much "influence."
I don't believe I quite had it altho I was pretty sick for a which (sic) and was beginning to get scare d- so much so that I didn't come back to school for several days after it began. Sometimes it so happens that other elements enter into a delay to return to school. I would like to be with you and make those solo air flights of yours duets. You mustn't say, Mr. Cowan that you don't give a rap for anything and then run off and get reckless you know you have your mother and me. Of course I don't rank with your mother but you know I would feel awfully bad if you would go and get killed - just because I didn't write you a letter full of a lot of sympathy and tell you how much .....
Good night. Don't forget me in all the joys of your lofty life. As ever, Marian
Cad Andrew M. Cowan - Kelley Field #2 - from Delaware, Ohio Dec 2, 9:30 a.m. 1918 (Monnett Hall Friday)
My dear "Jake"
How does that name suit you - I mean "please you" for it really suits you quite well!!!! You see, Mr. Cowan, you have always called me Miss Menough in your letters so there was nothing left for me to do but call you Mr. Cowan. But of course if you prefer "Jake," the previous appellation will have to withdraw in its favor.
Now I will explain why my other letter was late. You had written to me twice from your new address & had put your address only on the first letter. That first letter and therefor the address was at home & I had to write home for it & wait until mother got it located and forwarded to me. So you see none of your fears were justifiable. However since the time that I wrote my last letter to you & now I did acquire that most popular malady - the "flu" and was in the hospital a whole long week with it. The whole school has the scare again for I guess I started something again. Our hospitals are filled to overflowing & the town is filling up again with the influenza. There are lots of rumors that school is to be closed again but I really think that we will continue until Christmas vacation. I feel very much better altho there is still room for improvmeent.
Regarding the relative merits of the World's Fourth or an "International Thanksgiving' - it seems to me that the fourth would be more the fourth would be more of an American name. All national have a Thanksgiving although the dates are not always the same as ours, whereas all nations do not have a Fourth.
It would be mighty nice if you could get your commission before you leave, but of course if you are going to come smashing to earth on your last flight, it would be better to give up the wings -the wings you get on earth might be the only wings you will ever have.
I certainly am busy these days, making up time lost in our month of the "flu" vacation and the ways I missed when in the hospital. I am almost living in the library; you know what a studious person I am.
Now about that unfinished line. You see I am taking a course in literary criticism & I have learned that a thing must be suggestive in order to be a thing of art. The more a literary piece of work leaves room for imagination the greater it is. I'm afraid you do not appreciate my literary capacities.
Now I want you to explain something you said when closing your letter that I might think you were not true to your word about the women. I seem to have forgotten just what that was - except that you have a general inclination to consider them worthless.
Well - to change the subject - I would like very much to see you & will try to keep my part of the agreement, providing that you don't impose impossible conditions upon me such as flying down to San Antonio. Perhaps we could make Columbus the gneral meeting place. I quite often am down there as my present roommate lives there. I hope you are still in San Antonio to receive this letter. Very sincerely, Marian
Delaware, OH 12-14-1918 Monnett Hall Friday
Dear "Ann," - Ann is the abreviation for "Andy" you know. I hope you odn't object.
I have been more than busy lately: rushing girls for the clionians, my soriety you know; raising a rumpus here in the hall and getting called up on the carpet for it; raiding the kitchen; Christmas parties and sittings for our senior pictures in our Wesleyan yearbook etc etc etc; not to mention work by the reams which never gets done. I dont seem to have time to turn around. Tonight we have initiations and tomorrow a card party in town and so it goes. I surely will be glad when next Friday rolls around and I can journey homeward. Not that I don't enjoy all this ... bu there's certainly no place for rest.
I certainly am sorry that the influenza has been brought so close home to you. It must have been hard to have been so far away. Believe me, I think I know what it meanst o be away from home when you'd give anything in the world to be away from strangers and back again to the ones at home. But I guess I had better change my tone or both you and I will be getting homesick. But Santa Clause (sic) will be coming pretty soon and then you'll have to be happy, unless you've been bad and thus Santa might not come to your house.
I was very much surprised and glad to get your picture. It is real good - especially the outfit! I doubt, however, whethe rit will be possible for you to get one of me. You see it has to be an extremely good photographer who is able to get a picture as good looking as I! I have speaking sensibly, been terribly discouraged with the pictures I just had taken. If I ever get a picture that begins to suit me, I (am) going to have about a thousand made and distribute them all over the US Tuesday I am going back for another sitting & if the pictures are good, perhaps I'll let you have one. If they're not I'm never going to try again.
I don't want you to forget, Mr. Cowan, about that air flight you promised me, as soon as you had a boat of your own. I haven't forgotten but I was beginning to worry about the condition of your memory.
February seems like a long, long time away and I am not accumstomed to make such remote dates you never can tell what might happen between now and then. But if nothing does - all's well that ends well!" I havne't the faintest idea when our spring vacation comes but it's not until the last par tof March or the firs tof April and I will probably go home for it or elsewhere. However I can be in Columbus any week end. I almost went down tonight with my roommate but too many things kept me her.e
Well we are having a big Christmas party in the dining room tonight so I will have to close and dress for dinner. With many very best wishes for a Merry, Merry Christmas
I am as ever
PS I expect to be home soon so if you write within the next year you had better address me: Cor. Main & 12th St, Wellsville, Ohio
Cadet Andrew M. Cowan, Flying Detachment, Squandron 3; Kelley Field #2, San Antonio TX - from Delaware OH Jan 10, 4:30 p.m 1919
Monnett Jan 9 -- Dear Mr. Cowan,
It does seem to me like a long time since I have wrotten to you but I have been so busy playing Santa Claus at home and of course I am always busy when I come back to school - busy doing nothing you know. There are times when I love this school and times when I hate it. Last night I hated it chiefly because of something said which I know was the result of that green-eyed monster, jealousy. BUt tonight I love it, until about fifteen minutes ago there were ten girls in this room and a very lovely time followed four were getting help in dressing as old women to go to the movies & try out their dramati cpowers in fooling those whom they met. Well, I know this is boreing to you.
I was very much surprised to get your letter from the wild and wooly West instead of from the Sunny SOuth. You should be glad you're down there for I feel that there is some mighty freezing days ahead of us. I hopoe you had a fine furlough and a joyful return to your "Happy FLying Grounds." I'm sure you did!
I was in Columbus last week end & took in all the shows going and one dance. You know when we want to dance we either have to leave town or slip in the back door of the dance hall. Next week I'm going to try the slipping stunt and if I get caught I don't know where I'll land ...Our four old ladies have returned from the show. I guess they got so hilarious the usher asked them to please quiet down.
This week's transcript says we will have our regular spring vacation and it begins (paper in pieces) Mar ... 6. Can you tell yet how close that will come to the time when you expect to wear those wings & be up in those regions again.
Speaking of wings, I have a bargain to strike with you. I just got my pictures from the photographers but before I send you one, I want you to promise to send me one of those silver wings. If you knew how very much I want one I'm sure youwouldn't rest until it were flying northward. Now don't forget. Perhaps I will send my picture before I get the promise for I want to get them off my hands - but I know you will not forget when you have my picture as a constant reminder.
I'm glad you liked the candy. Yours ... ssly (again hole in paper) -- Marian
Delaware, Ohio June 6 -- 9:30 a.m. - Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, Crawfordsville, Ind
Monnett Thursday - Dear Mr. Cowan, I am very much ashamed of
myself for not having written wooner but you can never know
how busy I am and was and will be for two more weeks. I have
had three guest, have been to Columbus twice, and have had reams
of work to do. Still I am quite ashamed. But you know my thoughts
are with you even if my letters aren't. Just wait until I have
my BA tucked under my arm and have journeyed back to the land
of my fathers. Then I will be real good and write real often.
WOn't that be glorious!
Do you know I just found out there was a long distance call for me from Indianapolis and as I can think of no one over there whom I know except you ... I decided it must be you. My curiosity if very much aroused for I can't think why you should call me from there. Did you go down, geton a drunk and were not responsible; did you get lonely in the big city and want to hear my sweet? voice once more or are you on your way to your third visit in Columbus. I am awfully sorry I missed your call if it was yours. If it wasn't I'm sorry anyway. Do you know where I was when that call camein. In the hospital. Now don't laugh when I tell you why - if you do, I'll have to laugh about your mumps. It really was a very serious matter. I ate too many doughtnuts this morning and paid severely for my pleasure. The nurse let me out provided I would eat nothing tomorrow & stay in & be very quiet. I obeyed my immediately dressing so spending the evening downtown at a dance given on the streets for the returned soldiers.
Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, 11 Stratford Road, Edgerwood RI c/o LR Harris -- Return to Marian Menough 1142 Main St, Wellsville O. (postmarked Aug 11 - 8 a.m.
Wellsville, O. Sunday
My dear Mr. Cowan,
I am not at all sure that you will get this letter as it is
a little late but there is nothing like taking chances. You
didn't tell me how long you expected to be in Edgewood but I
supposed only a short time as you are probably anxious to be
back on "the long trail:" It surely is a lovely journey
you are taking and I think you were real mean for not stopping
and taking me along. I could have stood on the running board.
Or are there old shoes tied on the back of your car?
My roommate & I had everything fixed up to go to Akron together when I got religious & accepted a HS teaching position for the winter as a result, I have to spend my time sewing an dplanning courses in geometry. I don't know whether I told you or not in my last letter that I have accepted a position as Math teacher at Fredericktown, O. and school begins the second of Sept. That day seals my doom.
I have been very glad to get your cards and hope I will see you some time in the near future. But don't let looking forward to your visit in Wellsville spoil your vacation in New York, Washington, etc. I hope this letter reachings you. I have been too busy to write sooner. As ever, Marian
(Post card) - Thursday (8/8/1919 Wellsville, O)
Dear Mr. Cowan, Please pardon this method of communication but I am up town & in a hurry. I just received a letter from my future superior & he says school has been postponed until the eighth. I will be in Wellsville until Sat the sixth & in Fredericktown after that ... Marian
Delaware Ohio Feb 25, 1919 10 a.m. -- Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, Flying Detachment, Squandron 3 - Kelley Field #2, South San Antoniio, Texas
Monnett Feb 17th, 1919 - Dear Mr. Cowan,
I can't seem to remember what I did with your last letter so I'll attempt to answer it without having found it. I always like to read the foregoing letter to sort of get into the spirit of the conversation, argument, sarcasm, or whatever it may be. You know I couldn't let you get a piece of sarcasm over without a little back biting, but if there was any in your last letter I have forgotten it and therefor must let it pass. There must not have been any for I never forget such things. Shall I recall some of them for you: the episode of the semester -- but I would use all the rest of this letter naming them or I will not begin. I remember you didn't like my picture you forgot such a small, unimportant thing as mailing my letter when you were back on the farm with all the other brutes; you won't accept me as a mulemaid - ah, now I remember your last letter. You wanted to know how I would know when to stop milking the cow. Why, when they won't give any more milk, silly. Any nut would know that. Now don't go into any scientif explanation as to why I am wrong. I know I probably am but I don't care in the least to know. This is my policy. DOn't learn to do what you don't want to do and then you'll never have to do it. "Ignorance is bliss," you know.
I was in Columbus last week end and had some fine times. Look in Keiths and the Hartman which was about my chief sin. I expect to be down there again in about one month whenever the 1919 Follies are there - and I hope you will be able to blow in about that time.
Well, I am tired & sleepy so I think I will say good night. Be careful as well as good. "Yours til you hear different," Marian
Delaware Ohio 3-17-1919 9:30 a.m. -- Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, Flying Detachment, Squandron 3 - Kelley Field #2, South San Antoniio, Texas
Dear Mr. Cowan,
I hope you will first of all, pardon my fancy stationary you see I am so anxious to answer your letter that I can't wait until I acqire some decent paper. Your little remark about my location while you are in Columbus is a potent one. This is the existing condition of affairs. Our spring vacation begins in three days that is Wednesday the nineteenth and will be over in one week from that date. Now it happens that I am (now don't laugh) doing practice teaching and as my school has no spring vacation I have to stay here until Friday, the twenty first. If you can be in Columbus the twenty first, twenty second or twenty third, I can be there. If you cannot I think I will strike for home for the rest of the vacation. You see there's no use for me to stick around here when everyone's gone. I would be very glad if you would let me know as soon and as definitely as possible when you expect to be there, so I can tell what I ought to do. I would like to know by Friday if possible.
I am unable to advise you upon the worth-while-ness of your
visit to Columbus. You should be better able than I to judge.
I haven't been able to find out anything definite about the
"Follies," all I know is that the shows at the Hartman
change once a week; and that they were supposed to be there
sometime this month. I will leave you to draw your own conclusion.
Of course they are of minor importance if you're there and I'm
it is time for the lunch bell so I will say au revoir (olive oil, in Bill & Mable's language). Marian
Delaware, Oh 4-4-1919
Dear Mr. Cowan, I suppose you are wondering what has happened to me since I wrote to you last. I have been so busy since I came home that I really haven't had time to write and then when I got your letter saying you couldn't come to Columbus I didn't see any use in writing down to New Orleand when I wasn't sure the letter would get there before you left. Of course I was very disappointed when you wrote saying you intended to go straight home from camp. Now don't say you were disappointed too for you know I have enough gray matter to see below that smoothing-over stuff I believe with you that business should come before pleasure especially when the pleasure - well you know what I mean without wasting paper in Writing it. I hope all the cows & pigs & chickens are properly taken care of especially the chickens.
I will tell you why I sent the telegram. You see you told me in your letter that you expected to be discharged on the twentieth and I supposed you intended to start North immediately. Well on the eighteenth my professor in charge of my teaching siad I didn't need to stay and teach during vacation but could go home. I would have stayed until that next week - and if I had felt sure that you could be in Columbus then but there was so much uncertainty & I wanted pretty much to go home so I just went and I certainly am glad now. If I had stayed and then had received that letter of yours - well, there's no telling what might have happened. I wanted to be sure that you wouldn't start for Columbus upon being discharged and was afraid a letter might not get there in time. Therefore the telegram. Is everything explained now?
I have been having one wonderful time since I have been home. School began again last Wednesday and this is Saturday, but I am still here. I think tho that I'll turn good and go back tomorrow. I hate to tho for I've been taking in all the dances - four in the last ten days. But I forgot that you don't believe in dances so I'd better not talk about them but I had some times.
I guess you have to excuse me until later. I'm sure you will, won't you? Later: It is so much later that I am back at old Wesley just two more months and I will be thru forever. I don't know whether to be glad or not - at least I am going to be glad to be in school for the next two months.
I suppose you are more than happy to be home and so I won't
temper that gladness with a scolding for not coming to see me.
I can appreciate your desire to get hours altho I would like
very much to have seen you after your high flying. I expect
to be in Columbus this next week and will think while there
of what might have been if Fate had not intervened!!!
Monnett Wednesday - Dear Farmer,
This letter seems to be doomed to be written on the installment plan. I kept forgetting to mail it until this morning when I got your letter so I will have to annex the third installment. However althou the delay is to be regretted, there is volume to be thankful for.
Your letter seems to be somewhat inclined to be puzzling -- an object to arouse that troubling element called curiosity. But I am becoming quite expert in quieting it. What could have happened in so quick a time to make a change in your life. Did your best girl throw you over? That really is a rhetorical question requiring no answer for I wouldn't embarass you so but I am awfully sorry. Maybe she didn't mean it.
I am bound for Columbus over this weekend - 4th-6th but I guess I can escape for the next weekend as well. I can be down there over Friday & Saturday nights better than Saturday & Sunday . C
I'm very glad you had such a good time in New Orleans.
I must get to work. Hoping to see you before long, I am as ever, Marian
Wellsville, OHio Friday - (6-25-1919)
Dear Mr. Cowan,
At last I am really and truly at home with all the excitement over and nothing left but a memory full of good things and a diploma in unreadable language. I can't realize that my school days are over. If I did I know I would feel might bad. But I am not going to become reminiscent for I know my opportunities. I just returned about an hour ago from a good swim. It's the first good one I've had for almost two years and I'm beginning to get my courage back. I'm going to be an expert before the summer's over for it's about the only thing this place afford for entertainment beside tennis. I guess I'm going to be nothing this summer but a paresite. I suggested to mother that I get something to do and she emphatically suggested that I was to get some fat on my bones before I got anything else. So you see my doom. As for the future - it is perfectly dark. I have my teacher's certificate -a ll ready to teach with no inclination in that line. The superintendent of Clyde, Ohio has been wanting me to come up there for a personal interview with him but I was too busy while in Delawre and now that I have plenty of time I am too far away. I suppose I will let the summer slip by and in the end grab some two-by-four school to teach at about 85 a month. I really wouldn't mind teaching if I could get about $2000 a year but when I consider my wants and then look at 90 a month all those vacations & roadsters slip way like a rainbow. I strong for this salaried position stuff rather than job payrolls.
What the result would be there is one thing I am quite sure of, and that is the friends I have made and the people I have known have been worth all the time & money put in my college education. If there were no other values, that alone would be enough.
But it is mighty good to be home again - to be able to do what you wish & eat what you want. The last is no minor point & I am making good use of all.
You havwen't really told me what you are doing this summer. You said something about starting farm machinery but that means about as much to me as hebrew. What do you mean - starting? Yelling "Gee, haw" at the barnes. These little farm lads surely do stick close to the soil. You are going back to school next year, aren't you? I have a brother ready to start next year if we can persuade him that Wellsville can get along without him. Poor mother! One of us just finishes breaking her up when another is ready to start. I am sorry you couldnt come to Wesleyan.It is some place. Some of the sig eps told me that their house would be open to you anytime youj could come. You should have been there to help me take care of mother. She said I was always running off and leaving her to herself altho I tried my darndest to keep her busy and out of mischief.
You see I am keeping good my word about writing par example
notice this double header of a letter. I don't know whether
Wellsville will afford enough material to keep up the good work
or not but a "good beginning makes a good end."
Cleveland, Ohio postmark Aug 10, 1919 - Mr. Andrew M. Cowan,
11 Stratford Rd, Edgwood RI - Special Deliverty c/o LR Harris
Dear Mr. Cowan, I mailed your letter just last night and received your letter this morning. I am busy sewing so I am not going to write more than a line.
I think I told you in that letter I sent last night that I am going to teach this winter & school beings September the sedond. That means that I will have to leave here at least on the first and perhaps sooner. It seems as if we have tough luck when it comes to seeing each other, doesn it? If you could manage to get here just a few days earlier I would be home but of course I wouldn't have you rush thru for anything. Or if you could come on to Fredericktown, which is only a little farther west, it would be all right. I would probably be pretty busy there, tho just at th eopening of school. I am taking for granted that you will still be at Edgwood. You surely are having a wonderful trip. I am anxious to hear all about it and hope things can be arranged so you can be here - or at Fredericktown if Wellsville is impossible. With all sorts of wishes that the rest of your tour is as interesting as the first part. Always the same, Merry Ann
August 27, 1919 - Wellsville, Ohio - Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, 11 Stratford Road, Edgwood, RI c/o LR Harris.
My Dear Mr. Cowan, Tuesday - I just received your letter about two minutes ago and am going to answer it at once or it might never be answered. I am terribly busy these days - sewing, studying etc. The Chautauqua has been here for a week an dit leaves hardly time enough to eat, sleep and dress. I was very much interested for your sake in a lecture by Mr. Adrian a couple of days ago. His subject was "Burbank's Wonderland" and, being interested in the same subjects as Mr. Burbank, you probably would have enjoyed the lecture immensely. When I see you next I'll tell you how to raise tomatoes on top of a potato plant, and many other wonderful things, which may be of value to you. I do not wish you to misunderstand the purpose of this little clipping. It is not designed to start another of our arguments or rather to continue the old one, and I do not want it interpreted as my own views. I read it in the PIttsburg paper several days ago & couldn't resist sending it toyou. "The Coat GIrl" always writes some pretty good stuff I suppose, since you are leaving Edgwood on Saturday that this will be the last letter I will write to you until after I see you. You were awfully nice to send me the kisses - meaning candy kisses - they were the nicest I ever had - still meaning candy kisses. Yours til we meet again Marian
Fredericktown Saturday (week before Wabash-Michigan Game about 10/15/1919
I received your reproachful letter & am duly repentant. Am I forgiven until the next time? Of course there isn't going to be any next time but I'm only one who knows that. But you mustn't get peeved because all that letters are worthy anyway is that they are a sign that someone is thinking of you ... and you know I do that. Sometimes the thoughts don' thave time to get expressed, that's all.
This has been a terribly busy week. We have finals every six weeks here just before the grade cards come out and this last week was that terrible sixth week. Between reviews, tests, grading papers, making out grades & reports and starting new work, I was about swamped and after working from six this morning (Saturday)_ until two this afternoon we managed to get reports out. However duplicate records have to be made for the office yet.
I certainly would like to come over for your banquet and dance but you had better not count on me for I am afraid it would be too far for me to come with no more time than I would have. But I certainly would like to see that game and be there for the evening and of course see you. I hope you beat those people up at Michigan but be careful and don't get hurt. Our team won their first game last week and from a team who had already defeated them outrageously this season and talk about excitement. I think the captain had to shake hands with everyone in town. I certainly do enjoy a good football game.
No, Andy, I don't believe I'll buy a Stutz for quite awhile. I change my mind every two seconds about what I am going to do with what little I save ... and probably in the end I won't really have anything saved. Last week I was all set to save enough to buy some real good pieces of furniture. That sounds sensible, doesn't it? Mrs. Lewis' hobby is furniture and she was the source of my inspiration. Mr & Mrs Lewis are having a home built this spring an awfully dear English style house and they are in the midst of plans for its furnishings. Its enough to give one the fever, isn't it? I mean a fever for buying furniture - no, not getting married altho if anyone could do that, these two should be able. What do you suppose my mother would think if I started to buy furniture. It would look suspicious, wouldn't it? DOn't you think it would be a fine idea for good stuff costs such gobs of money that it would almost break up a millionaire to furnish a home. Maybe in five years from now I'll have a dining room suit.
I didn't intend to get so serious but it's lots of fun to think about. I wish you were here so we could think together
Mrs. Lewis has just asked me to go for a drive with her so I will say goodby.
From Wellsville, Ohio (1142 Main St)
My Dear Mr. Cowan,
I just received your letter while I was writing letters so I will be prompt and answer yours while I am in the mood. I will forgive you for writing that other letter since you claim to be innocent and seem to be somewhat penitent. I think I was all set to have a good "fuss" and since no one was hanging around i tried you. But as you noticed someone interrupted me and suffered what was about to be visited upon your own head. As to those "tackpoints" you mentioned they are subjects to be handled with care. I will admit that I like the country for about two days but after that I would die of inertia I'll tell you my idea of an interesting country home - a real pretty one with all the modern conveniences, near a lake or some large body of water, and not more than a half hour's drive on a good macadem road to a large town, several good riding horses, a couple of good cars, a tennis court etc. etc. I believe I would like a neighbor not so far away that I couldn't walk up to show her my new spring bonnet. Of course I agree with you about the fried chicken and fluffy bread, the fresh laid butter and the home-made eggs. I agree too about the "strolling" neath the tree in the evening twilight but I fear it would be toward the pig pen with a bucket of fodder (is that theright word)? I notice that either my negligence as an English teacher or the "degrading environment" of the country has caused a lapse in the corrections of your expression. I won't embarass you in public by telling you what a terrible thing you said but if you ever do such injustice to my training again, may the results of your folly be visited upon your own head.
Do you know that at least I was able to locate Crawfordsville upon the map, I have searched several times for it and not even a fence post escaped my eye but Crawfordsville hid under a stone some where & I was never able to find her until several days ago. I guess the chief trouble was that she was so big I overlooked her in my search among the minors. I had a strange idea too that Crawfordsville was East of Indianapolis. I haven't the least idea when I will be in Columbus. I haven't written a word either to Ruth or Lucille since I have been home. I would much rather have you come to Wellsville for I would feel much more at liberty in my own home than at a strangers. Of course if you can't come this far I will see if I can be in Columbus while you are there. However I am not going to expect you until I see you for you know you have been coming three times but never reached your destination. THe only time I do not expect to be home is from the fourth to the fourteenth of August and I am not real sure even about that. My other visits can be arranged to suit circumstances.
I will be patient in waiting for the music. Already I have played our piano so hard that I broke two keys. Don't work too hard nor stroll too many evenings under those trees and the moon's enchanting smile. As ever, Marian
From Wellsville, Ohio - Sunday -- To Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, Box 153, Waynetown, Ind -- marked out - c/o L.R. Harris, 60 Broadway, Providence, RI - July 28, 1919
My Dear Mr. Cowan, I was very glad to get your letter and to hear all about the merits of your native soil but let's change the subject. What do you say? Everytime you think of me you think of an argument, don't you? That's a terrible reputation to have and from henceforth I am going to forgo the pleasure. When you see me next, I'm going to agree with everything you say -- even if you say I'm the most disagreeable girl you ever saw & that you are an ideal specimen of mankind. If I break over, you can sue me for breach of promise. Please destroy this letter, I don't want any such inscriminating evidence against me.
Do you know Mr. Cowan, there is just one thing which allows me to keep your memory verdent. That one thing is thr hope and gsiyh that you are like me in that you only mean a very few of the things you say. So you like to see me because it makes you realize what life might be & how happy you should be that it is not different. Someday I'll make you regret those cruel words, hard-hearted monster !! Well in a sense they are comforting words I like to feel that I am the "kind of a girl" to inspire one with contentment in his lot. You know, I am getting anxious to see you. It's been almost a year since we have spent one of those mid-summer evenings together. I'm afraid if you don't hurry up & come over here, you might forget that singleness is blessedness, and marry some of those Indiana maidens. About 10 minutes ago I got a telegram from my roomate. She wants me to go to Akron with her at once where she says we can get fine work at 5 dollars a day. I'm wiring her that I will go. Let me know as soon as possible when you expect to be here. As ever, Marian
Richland County Surveyor's Office - Boyd Wierman, Surveyor - HC Lynch, Chief Deputy - Mansfield, Ohio 8-4-1919
To: Mr. Andrew Cowan Waynetown Ind -- marked out - c/o LR Harris, 60 Broadway Providence, RI
Fredericktown, Oh, Friday - 9-15-1919 --
My dear Andy (UNDERLINED TWICE) -- It seems like ages since I wrote you a really, truly letter & I might say, ages since I have received one from you. I am almost afraid to write for my pen may be losing his power - if it did, the question in my mind is what would I lose. You? Seriously, tho, last Wednesday night seems like a dream. Does it seems so to you? My thoughts turn to it occasionally (underlined once) and I wonder how it all happened so quickly. Just to see you, alone, was almost amazement personified. Do you know I'm awfully lonely tonight. All I can think of to say is how much more I'd rather you were over here instead of over there. I think that means I should stop and let sweet sleep chase away my troubles, don't you? That's exactly what I'm going to do. Good nite.... and now it's good morning. It is a lovely one too only it's a little too cold. It is perfectly wonderful to have two whole days with nothing to do but what you want to. I think I'll write letters all morning. I suppose you are getting those white trousers all cleaned and pressed up so you can be all dolled up for school Monday. Please don't attract too much attention or I might begin to get jealous. And you know what a terrible lot that green-eyed monster can do. Did you have to sleep out in the night air to keep the car company Wednesday night? I'm afraid if you did, you didn't have a very comfortable time for those seates aren't exactly as long as you are. I inmagine that by the time you reached Crawfordsville you were as badly in need of sleep as I was last night. I slept 12 lovely hours from never to never. You looked like you could twenty-four to very good advantage. I just received your letter and am sorry you had so much trouble - especially when it was partlty due to absent-mindedness. Don't kid those people along too much or they'll begin to have suspicion about your dejection of mind and call it elation instead. And would never do fo rme don't want anyone in on our secret for a long time yet, do we? They're terribly hard things to keep tho, sometimes. I forgot to tell you Wednesday when you asked about Ruth that she is engaged to a Junior man at Ohio State. I've always told Ruth that as far as she's concered it's always "I love the one that is near." But she said in her last letter that this was the real thing. I hope so. Ruth's some girl. I'm strong partner ? Do you know you omitted something very important from your letter. You forgot to tell me what you were thinking about those three different times that you passed up the right road. Was it about the nurse or the married lady. I glad she was married because you said she wrote interesting letters & that might meet competition for me. Well, Andy, I hope you make the football team and learn to dance for when you claim the one I promised you some time. I don't care to be crippled. I don't know when I'll get time to write again. I'll try to take time whenever there's the least opportunity. Thank heavens for the weekends. Yours, Marian
Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, 405 S. Washington St, Crawfordsville, Ind Oct 7, 1919 Fredericktown, O Saturday - Dear Andy:
At last I have been able to snack a few spare minutes - and I fear they are few too so if this letter sounds quite jerky you'll know it has been written at varying intervals. I certainly have been having some time these last few weeks. Everyone here is lovely. The people with whom I am staying have almost adopted me and as they are practically the same age as I, you can know what a relief it is to be privaleged (sic) to stay with them. The other evening someone asked me how I liked Fredricktown & Mr. Lewis replied by saying, "We're going to make her like it," and they certainly are living up to their word. I couldn't begin to tell you everything I have been doing in the past week or two. Have been to two dances in Mt. Vernon & never had a better time in sll my life. Last Monday all the teachers took a hike & cooked our suppers out in the country by the light of the stars & a crescent moon. Wednesday the HS football team had a marshmallow toast & one of my HS boys was kind enough to tak eme. And driving it seems to me everyone in this town has a car. Mrs. Lewis has a sedan and everytime she goes anywhere she takes me with her. It thik ? if I have been to Mt. Vernon once during my stay here I have been there ten dozen times. Well I suppose you are tired of hearing me have I suppose you are terribly busy these days - with football and everything. I'm sorry you were feeling so badly when you wrote me last. Be careful, you know terrible things can happen sometimes in football. It seems like ages since I heard from you. Always the same PS Tomorrow I get my first pay check. Talk about proud
Fredericktown - Tuesday (Oct 8, 1919) Dear Andy - I received your letter yesterday and feel repentant for the delay of mine, altho I am sure one of those three letters must have miscarried. I have been terribly busy -b usy having a good time. I suppose you think - and it is partly treue for I absolutely cannot say no to anything which sounds like a good time. It's an irreparable failing of mine. So after it's all over I have to rush around and get my work instead of writing letters. But I'll try to do better so I won't get scolded again. See, I am writing to you now, the second letter in three days - while I have been owing some letters for at least two weeks. I am awfully sorry you have been having such tough luck in football. Do be careful. A fellow ho played against our HS team several days ago fell & bursted a blood vessel in his brain & had been out of his head ever since.
Your speaking of roomates reminds me of my brother. I had a letter from him today & he was talking about his roommate. He finally got away from Wellsville and is starting an entineering course at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburg. Take good care of that roommate of yours. Freshies ar epretty wild sometimes. I wish it were my brother you had charge of. I certainly would take that trip to the Pacific Coast if I were you - it's a wonderful trip. But of course I wouldn't give up school next year for the trip. It wouldn't be worth that much.
I go my first check Saturday & I surely was proud of it
- I'm going to save up for a Stutz roadster or something which
I'll never be able to get. Always the same Marian
Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, 405 South Washington, Crawfordsville, Ind. (from Merry Ann 10/24/1919
My dear and respective Sir
I sent you this, your love to stir, 'tis you I've chosen first of all, on which to take a leap year call. I've come to you before the rest, and hope you will grant the request, your hand and heart I ask today. So send back without delay your answer "yes" or "nay" but if your hand does not incline in wedlock clasp to join in mine, then you must leap year laws obey and to me five dollars pay, and besides kind sir, a handsome dress and I'll ask no more or take no les.
Now, you may think this letter funny - but I must have a man or money, so now do send me back a nice reply and let me love you till I die, and if you think me a dandy, just send me a box of candy and if my last name, you are in hope, send me six feet of rope.
With lots of love and kisses from one who wants to be your missis,
Yours till the river hangs on the fence to dry. EFLAK.
Loranger LA May 6, 1919
Mr. Cowan - Just a card in ans to Easter Greetings from you. Am trusting you will pardon me dropping these few lines to you, a stranger. Recently I became the possessor of a photo left me by a recent Loranger visitor (you) and conveyed to me by a relative of yours (Mr. Cory). Personally I haven't met you tho wish to thank you for same and Greetings. Also hoping you will tell me more as to why I now have the photo. From a Dixie Girl you did not meet while in Loranger. Augus Walkep
November 4, 1919 Fredericktown, Saturday -- Dear Andy:
I haven't heard from you since I wrote but I guess I'll write anyway as I might have no oopportunity next week.
Do you know I wrote that last letter to you for the express purpose of thanking you for the music you sent and then I forgot. I really appreciate it a lot especially when I consider the source. Both pieces are pretty, tho. Mr. Lewis & I have certainly made good use of them. He has a splendid voice & also plays the violin so occasionally I accompany him. Last evening I played his accompaniments for him when he sang at a meeting of the Eastern Stars. Well, before I get away from the subject again, I thank you exceeding for the pieces. How did your game come out? Favorably I hope. I wish you & O. state were going to play at Columbus. Then I could come down & watch you make some of those dashes for good. You (sic - your) big banquet & dance will be coming off pretty soon, won't it? I wish I could be there. I was at a dance night before last & had some glorious time. You'd better learn to dance, Andy. You don't know what you're missing. Well, in only a few more days I shall have been here eight weeks. I absolutely cannot realize tha tit has been so long - one fifth of the school year gone. And next month I get to go home and home again in Deurcher. It sounds good to me.
Be good and write. Yours, Marian.
Same envelope -- Sunday -- Dear Andy,
I am sending the letter I wrote last week-end altho it is quite stale. Nevertheless it shows that I took time to write even if I didn't have time to mail it.
All sorts of things have happened since. Mr. & Mrs. Lewis were to move - this house was rented furnished only for the summer -- and the place where they were to move didn't come up to their expectations so they are going to move in with her people. Talk about disappointment. They had a lot of new furniture ordered including a new bedroom suit for me & of could I can't go along for Wagner's will be creded with the addition of two. Dotha Wagner (Mrs. Lewis' sister & one of my pupils) told her mother she'd sleep on the davenport if they would take me but of course that couldn't be. I thot things were too love to last. Mrs. Lewis got a place for me which she says will be real nice.
Later: Was invited out for dinner today & just got back - at eight bells. This is the third Sunday in succession that I have been invited out for a chicken dinner and talk about good things. Ummmm!
Well, did any goblins get you last Friday. I went to two masquerade parties last week & spent all my time making my two masquerade costumes. I guess that's the reason your letter didn't get mailed. I am terribly sleepy so I guess I had better go to bed. This letter is nothing but a scrawl - but may it will (sic) the purpose this time. I'll try to mail it tomorrow morning. As ever, Marian
11-22-1919 Friday Evening Dear Andy
I'd just like to start out by saying that you make me tired. You know very well what I meant when I said I was worldly. The idea of bringing the word morality into such a discensian is ridiculous. It just makes me mad; so we just won't talk any more about it.
I have just come from Butler where our HS boys were playing football. School was dismissed this afternoon so all those who had any means of going could get there. Some of my gals have severn ? of us now. We won too 27-0. I surely would like to see the state games tomorrow, I guess it besides the championship it certainly is fine that you have won the Loving cup. Just what is ICAL?
I don't know how much longer I can stay ? awake. We teachers were honor guests at an annual rabbit pie supper which the men of this community gave last night and after it was over which was quite late we drove to Mt. Vernon and as a result I didn't get to bed until about one and so am quite sleepy this evening.
Well, I'll soon be home. In five days I'll be starting and just this evening got a bid for a Masonic bouquet & dance for Thanksgiving night so that makes prospects even more pleasant. You know I'm strong for the dances. There will be another one here before we leave - next Tuesday. I don't know wheter I can exist until then or not. Well I hope you have a fine Thanksgiving. I wish you could be with me at home. Yours, Marian
December 5, 1919 Fredericktown, Ohio Thursday Dear Andy,
To write or not to write that is the question." I've been studying Hamlet & geometry - originals until my poor brain guzzes. I think I really should go to bed & let sweet sleep "knit up the ravelled sleeve of care," but I'm afraid I might get scolded again. And you know that goes right to my heart. Well, the only trouble with Thanksgiving was that it didn't last long enough. I guess any vacation has that draw back. But talk about sleep - I surely did get it. One night I slept soundly from the time I went to bed utnil three thirty the next afternoon without waking once. That's about a record breaker for me. But "there's a reason" - a whole week of later hours with the Masonic banquet and dance capping the climax. Thanksgiving night. And I suppose Christmas will be worse - especially if you're in Wellsville -- or have you changed your mind? I hope not. My vacation here begins Friday the nineteenth & I think probabaly I shall spend that weekend in Columbus. If you come, that soon I could meet you there & we could journey to Wellsville together. I just wrote to Ruth to tell her I might be in Columbus over that weekend. Be good & write real soon & don't forget to tell me whether or not I will see you r beaming smile once more before this year dies. Yours Marian
Same envelope - Thursday was at a ministrel in Mt. Vernon & afterward to a little luncheon at a girl's home down there. Last night we HS teachers gave the football boys a banquet and tonight I am writing to you. Don't you think I'm leading a strenous life and next week looks to be just as bad. Thank heavens for the vacation, so I can sleep all the whole morning.
About coming over to Wellsville - you know better than I what you should do. We'd be glad to have you but I know it is a long way to come. I can s;ympathize with you concerning the flaness of ones pocketbook when at school - especially at Christmas time. Now, listen ANdy - I don't want you to spend a lot of your money on me. Just send me a box of candy or something like that. When I begin to think how near Xmas is I get scared I haven't even thought about what I am going to give a single person yet. It's going to be rush at the twelfth hour for me. I just noticed again something in your letter which I must answer. No, I haven't said a word to mother or anyone else about "you & me" and you are not supposed to either. I don't believe in long engagements at all & we're never going to tell anyone until we're more sure than we ar enow about it. Don't you think that's the right idea. Well, I must say good night. Yours, Marian
December 15, 1919 Fredericktown, Ohio Saturday Dear Andy,
I have intended writing sooner but I just couldn't find the time. This has been a strenuous week - I think I have been out every night but one until twelve and one and I just had to sleep all the rest of the time. Even then I didn't get enough & if yesterday hadn't been Friday I think I would have been a dead woman. You see Fredericktown is swift little place. Do you want to hear what I have been doing or would I be wiser in keeping still. You don't care do you? I didn't think you did. You know you can have all the dates you want & I would never say a word. In fact I think I would rather you would have them for what's the use in making ones self so narrow and miss a lot of good times. Well I'll tell you what I've been doing. Last Friday went to the HS football game & afterwards 3 couples of us went to one of the fellow's home & had a little dance, popped corn & had a real nice, informal time. Saturday nite I crochetes a tam. Sunday afternoon & evening two couples of us drove to Columbus and back. It was some ride in a fine car - a Studebaker EIght. Think I'll have a Studebaker instead of a Stutz. Monday I was at a party in honor of a fellow from Kansas. Tuesday, I went to a old-fashioned Square dance - the first one I was ever at & it was a perfect circus. Wednesday I went to bed ( do not know where rest went)
Unknown date but likely late in December 1919 -- letter looks like itwas torn in opening so there may be chunks left out in translation.
Fredericktown, O. Saturday Eve
My dear Andy, I was very glad to receive you letter today. I imagined that school was keeping you busy. It's an ..... imagine. Well, I am all moved but not to the place where I expcted to go. I'm right across the street from the place where you found me in a dear littl bungalow with a just newly-married couple. I'm not going to follow your example tho, and try breaking up anything. I think I'll like it here fime - have a front room on the first floor with electricity and steam./// mahogany bedroom suite. But I wouldn't have left Mrs. Clark's for a mansion if she had been able to keep me, as it was .. bad to put one of her men bourders on a cot in the dining room Mrs. Clark has been perfectly wonderful to me since I've been here - I never felt so perfectly at home anywhere. Last night she came in my room and stuffed me full of taffy about how much she thought of me and it surely made me feel good! Things like that count when one's away from home I htink. Well, the board got real inquisitive ... out what kind of sp... they hired on strength of their photographs. So they had a little reception for the faculty to look us over. It was a glorious time that we had. You should have been there. Can you imagine poor little me speechifying before all the grim school board members. Well I did (rest gone
Postmarked Ohio & Chi. RPO to Mr. Andrew M. Cowan Crawfordsville Ind.- again no date
Dear Andy, Since I can grab several minutes until lunch time, I will answer your letter. I'm glad you enjoyed the chicken dinner & I think one would not come amiss here. I've been all out of luck as far as an appetite is concerned since I've been her.e Miss Estelle has been very greatly concerned about my lack of one but I'm beginning to feel natural again and that means plenty of appetite. I dn't know what the trouble was - whether the school or you.
Speaking of school, the board here decided they would like to look over some of these teachers (Note from typist - kbz - this sounds familiar - perhaps I've typed it twice) they hired without seeing first, that means me. SO they are having a lovely little informal meeting of the faculty and the board tonight. I always did like members of school boards ? ! I don't know what's ahead - a waltz with fatty or an oration on the philosophical value of the study of Browning. I tell you, I feel all the burden of this position and none of the elevation either of mind or spirit. I'm not having to work quite as hard as I did the first week but basketball starts tomorrow and then I'll have plenty. I'm going to Columbus the first chance I have to get the wrinkles out of my face and to a specialist to have the kinks taken out of my poor brain. This isn't complain - it's merely eulogy or elogy. Both I guess. It's time for lunch - but not a chicken one. Merely veal I suppose. The same to you? Marian.
Andy, the question you asked me about the farm is a very hard one to answer directly. There is only one way I can answer it and that is rather indefinitely. The man I want to marry is the man who I am sure loves me and whose ideas & ideals are enough in sympathy with mine that we can be absolutely happy all the days of our lives and that happiness can only be spelled by mutual love & sympathy. WIth that I feel sure I can be contented anywhere - farm, city or desert. Without it, I feel that married life would be absolutely unbearable, no matter what I had materially.
Of course I believe there's a whole lot in environment. I don't believe in this love in a cabin idea - I don't see how it could be kept alive when two people had to spend all their time in a struggle for a hand-to-mouth existence. But to come back to the subject, this is the way I look at it. If we think enough of each other to get married at all, I'm sure farm life couldn't make very much difference. I don't like to influence you, for what is best for you will be best for both of us. Do what you want to do if it's a question of desire. If it's a question of duty, that's another proposition. An obligation is all right in its place, but a man owes his first obligation to himself when it comes to a choice of a life profession.
This certainly is a lengthy letter & I'm terribly sleepy. Goodnite. Yours Marian
Fredricktown, Ohio postmarked May 18, 1920
Dear Mr. c - Do I owe you a letter or do you owe me one? I confer it's been terribly long since I have written & it does seem as if a letter ought to be going in one direction or another. So here goes one. There's no telling when another opporunity will prsent itself. These last four weeks are terribly busy. Next week begins the six-week tests and the following week finals. Their commencement week and then nothing - oblivian! I can't quite decide yet what I am going to tell the board about coming back. One of the members stopped me yesterday to ask me- I must tell you what he said just to prove I don't play all the time. I suppose you think so from the tone of some of my letters. He said reports he had had of my work had been very, very satisfactory which was something I appreciated more than any compliment I've had for a long time.
I got a letter from my roommate several days ago. She's teaching in Cleveland & is crazy about the place. She wants me to try to get in for next year & to come up right away to see the superintendent & of course her. I am planning on going up this week-end but am not surea bout trying to get in. Dorothy gets quite a larger salary than I but requires quite a littl emore to live in Cleveland. The superintendent here practically assured me of a twenty five dollar raise per month.
It seems like an awful lot of things have happened since I wrote to you last. One thing most important is that spring at last is smiling upon us. I'm making myself a new dress - also important. The dressmaker is making me one too. It's going too be a stunner - maybe if she doesn't ruin it. It's an evening dress - but I don't suppose you're interested in clothes. I'm expecting to bein Columbus during the week and of the fourteenth. I got a bid from a fellow who lives here to his fraternity's spring formal. It's a dinner dance at one of th ehotels & I'm crazy for the time to slip around. Ruth LeSage is going to be there too - for which I am thankful. Are yo still going to Akron. I put in an application to the Goodrich but have never heard form the. I am still planning on going provided I can get work. I got a letter from my cousin a week or two ago and she is again getting the feve & practically said she would go too. I hope so she a good sport. This is a terrible scrawl but maybe you can manage to read it. I've been out riding all afternoon - since school - and am tired. Mrs. Shaniberry has the fever for a car as I have and an agent had us out teaching us to run a Sedan. I suppose you are grinding away - I often thank my stars that my grinding is over. I think I'll go to bed. Are you still in jail? As ever Marian
Bellaire, Ohio 6-3-1920 from Marry Ann Dear Ann
I was beginning to get terribly worried about you and then I got your letter this morning which threw light on everything. You know I wrote to you ages ago - then I waited & waited for an answer & none came. I supposed you were all mad at me for something, then I thot maybe it really was my turn to write altho I couldn't qute figure how that could be unless my mind was deserting me - anyway I wrote; and the letter I wrote is the one I am sending. After I wrote it something possessed me not to send it. I don't know just what that something was - spite, I guess. Anyway the letter I received from you this morning is the only one I have received since I wrote to you ages ago. I have no idea what happened to the other - anyway it never reached me. I'm awfully sorry it all happened. I can't imagine all the horrid things you have been thinking of me. Probably I deserve some of them. But this truly wans't my fault. I try to play sqauare, ANdy. If I didn't I wouldn't have written as I did last. I couldn't let things go as they were - for it was hypocracy for me to pretend that no one else mattered to me. Don't misunderstand, me, Andy. I'm not in love with anyone else. If I were, I possibly could rest more easily for I'd know just what to do. As it is I'm all at sea. Of course I want you to write to me. I like you at least as well as anyone else. But what's the use of worrying. Everything will turn out all right, anyway. I'm still young & foolish enough to be still on the look out for more good times. I think the whole trouble is that I have seen you so little that of course I don't know you well enough to know wheter I like you that well or not (my, that's a terrible sentence but maybe it'll pass). I admire your character - I know what that is from your letters - but personality is something to become acquainted with only "per se." You know it's the little unmentionable things about a person which makes or nears compatibility. But maybe I'll see you this summer. I was in Cleveland the weekend of the seventh & DOrothy wants me to come to Cleveland for the summer. But she promised whether I went she would go. So we are planning on going to Akron together, provided we can get work. The companies have been closing down on account of the freight holdup. If we're not there, we'll be in Cleveland. I'll do my best to get her to Akron - in fact she promised to go with me.
My teaching days are all over for this year. It certainly is a grand & glorious feeling. Tomorrow finals begin & then the nextg week is commencement. I'm might glad it's so nearly over. I don't believe I could have taught another month. But I do hate to leave Frederick. It's not so bad a place. I'm all elected over again for next year at a twenty-five dollar raise per month. I'm on the fence as to accepting. You know salaries are going right up & I'm not very well satisfied with $1125. Lucille LeLage is getting $1500 next year & I had a notice to apply in Ashtabula at a salary of $1450. Of course it takes more to live in a larger place & I'd like to come back here but for some reason or other I feel that they're trying to get us cheap.
I'm awfully tired. I spent Friday & Saturday in Columbus & Sunday at Dennison & I am feeling the effects. But I felt that I just had to write. THis is going to be a busy, busy week. Besides finals, I am going to a May Festival in Mt. Vernon on Wednesday & Thursday nights a dance Friday, am invited to a Phi Delta Theta Garden Party at Dennison for Saturday night and have to be back here for Baceaulariet Sermon Sunday night ( I know that isn't spelled correctly but I'm too tired to look it up). Please write to me soon. The same Marian
Dear Cowan, Did you tink I had quitted this mortal sphere- I'm reallyh ashamed that I havne't written toyou before now but really I only wrote home a couple of days ago. I'm just beginning to really live - instead of mere existence. Lots of work & lots of play. That's my idea of a real life. The only thing that bothers me is sweet sleep that isn't. Night before last for a change I had nothing to do - so I went to sleep at 7:30 & slept until 7:45 the next morning. I can manage about a week with only a little & then I have to take a night off to catch up. I surely have been thoroughly enjoying myself. But I won't start to tell you about it for it's almost time for my freshmen to come up to have some algebra pounded into them. I've been here two weeks no & have taken in three dances (and another tonight), three picnics, two card parties & more machine rides than I could count.
I have less work this year, by the way. We have taken on an additional teacher who relieved me of my latin so that now I have only five classes. You should see our High School. The assembly is full of Freshies & Sophs .. all the Seniors & Juniors are shoved off into recitation rooms. I suppose you are about ready for school & football by now. Please forgive me for not writing sooner & don't be spiteful and wait an age to answer. You know the first two weeks are busy ones for a teacher.
Wellsville, Thursday (Dec 1920) Dear A.M. C;
Those initials made me think of the very appropriate: A Merry CHristmas" was your birthday the twenty fifth of December? Do you know I am staying home from the show tonight to write this letter to you. See how much I think of you to make a sacrifice like that. Excuse me, I won't say anything like that again in this whole letter for I know you are very sensible & opposed to anything which sounds like sentiment. So am I. But sometime just for fun I think I'll write you a really, truly love letter & sometime when I'm in a real silly mood you know. Just to see if I've forgotten how! If one should ever arrive like that you will know the cause & immediately destroy it & forget it. C! Pardon this raving. I'm liable to say anything tonight.
Think how nice it would be if you were here tonight instead of out in that bleak desolation. I'd let you build houses with my blocks & play with my dolly & eat some of my candy & we could have loads of fun instead of you building dream houses all alone out there. I suppose that's what you were doing when you wrote me that letter anyway. It's too bad they were all raized to the ground by that girl getting married. I can truly sympathize with you for I am in exactly the same extremity of woe. The man who, not many years ago, gave me all my training in writing love letters went & got married. My grief is unexpressible. "Ficklesness thy name is Man." So I guess we'll have to turn to each other for sympathy in our sorrow. But you either must belong to an older class that I thought or belong to a very unusual class. Only about two out of my class are married & they strike me as being rather premature. If your classmates give you the fever as you say - go visit some of them. Your fever will abate. My lack of enthusiasm would be enough to kill anyones wouldn' it? But I think the words "fitful fevers" might be applied to so many marriages & the words, "Love honor, & obey til death do us part" sort of clash with "fitful fevers, don't they? I hope you don't have to leave school for the last semester. It surely would break up some of your courses, wouldn't it? It's so hard to start again in the middle of the year & it's hard to start at all when out very long. Besides you'll have a hard time finding a school in need of a teacher in the middle of the year & what is more don't teach school to get money . It can't be done. Better get a job shoveling snow. My brother just got his semester grades from Carnagie Tech & is overjoyed to find that he passed safely thru everything. They're flunking freshmen left & right up there just to get rid of the over-supply of students. Stick in school if you possibly can Andy.
It was awfully sweet of you to send us the mirror and Sis is real pleased too for she has put in a claim for my old one considering the associations, which are extremley important. I'll just have to buy a dressing table now, wont I. Or shall I put the mirror in my Hope Chest? I'm awfully sorry you couldn't be here but summer time is nicer than winter anyway for visits. I don't know your address but hope this will reach you. Your own, Merry Ann - I'll be home until Jan 5.
Fredricktown, Ohio March 25, 1930 - Mr. AC Cowan, Cor. Washington & Spring St, Crawfordsville, Ind. - Tuesday
I just got your letter & am trying to be good again. Honestly I have the spring fever terribly. It's so nice out - such a pretty moon & the air is so springy that I can't hardly stay in. I just came back from supper where I learned that another of our illustrious faculty has handed in her resignation & is preparing to get married in several weeks. And I just received a wedding announcement last Friday of the marriage of one of th eothers who had resigned several weeks ago. It's awful. I don't believe I want to get married but ney but I'd like to resign. I don't know how I can ever stand it when the weather gets a little nicer. It's bad enough now. Did you see the Northern lights last night. They were wonderful here at about 10:30. One of the fellows said he thought the ends of the earth were already beginning to burn & it almost made me feel that way too - sort of shaky, you know. I was at one of my school girl's home last night making maple sugar taffy. No, I have never seen a camp but I guess there are quite a few around here & I may go out some time.
I would love to come out, ANdy, to your home & of course I can go to Akron when I get ready but you will still be in school when my school is out here. And the country is bad enough when someone else is there - let alone when it is all lonely. If you are going to be there I would love to come over. Andy, honestly, I wish things were different. I think it is absolutely wrong of us to be engaged. How do we know that we like each other well enough & have enough mutual interests to be happy together for years & years. It will soon be two years since we have seen each other except for that short time last summer. You know engaged people are to a great extent wrapped up in themselves & in their dreams and are somewhat uninterested in other people. What if sometime we found out that we had made a mistake, here will be all those months when we might have been a little more socially inclined. I am not regreing anything, Andy, for I like you as well as I ever did & I don't know anyone I like any better - unless I like you in my imagination better than in the reality. You know what I mean. I don't know you really - I just like what I think you are. But this is the idea, Andy, until I am ready to get married, I want to be really and truly free. Free to know & be with other people. I will tell you frankling I have been all along but I don't feel just right about it when I think that I should have that engaged feeling. I think you understand. Of course I would never marry anyone I didn't like best - & if I like you best then the others won't make any difference. I think it would be terrible to marry somene & then find out that the only reason you didn't learn to like someone better was because you never allowed yourself to become acquainted with someone else. I'm not wanting or expecting to find someone else but I want to be sure & I want you to be sure, that's all. And so we're not going to be engaged AM until there's no "ifs" to consider. You're not going to be engaged to me & I'm not going to be engaged to you, not even in our own thoughts. Don't you think that is sensible. I've often said I never would have a long engagement- I never have believed in them and all winter it has sort of worried me. I hope you will agree with me & I think you will like an old dear. You know if we got engaged my ? in each other how hard it would be if we did find out we had made a mistake.
Here I am spending all my precious time writing to a backwards farmer. That certainly is some picture - but it does look an awful lot like you. My only criticism is that it has too much realism.
I'm sitting here yawning & yawning so I think I'll go to bed.
I guess I'd better follow your example about writing to Akron or you might get there without me & then what would you do.
Be good - don't get engaged to any one else! Good night. Merry Ann
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