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I have always dreamed of finding a long forgotten diary from one of my ancestors, and envied those who have.

However, our family does have some letters and telegrams, including two from my great great grandmother, Eada Belle Parrish, written in March 1881 to her father, and her favorite brother. Both letters were written after she had recovered from a bout of measles.
 photo EadaParrish.jpg


The town of Memphis, KS is now Garland, in Bourbon County. The school she refers to is the one at which she hoped to teach. We know she was a teacher for a time preceding her marriage to Fred Chapin. At the time she wrote these letters, she was attending school (university?) herself.
Memphis, Kansas
March 19th, 1881
Mr. B A Parrish

Dear father,

Your kind and welcome letter was received some time ago and I have delayed answering on account of being sick with the measles. I was very sick for a few days but have gotten over them now. I missed one month of school on account of them. Our school is out now. I expect to go back to Bro. John's before long. Father, I would like so much to see you and all the rest. Bro. Henry talks of going to Ky. next fall by land, if he does I don't know but what I shall come with them. I am well satisfied here. I think you might come and pay us a visit and see how you like this western country. It is a beautiful country I think, and is a good fruit country.I know you would like that there was an abundance of apples raised last season. If you were here you could have all the apples you would want. This has been the severest winter I ever saw, and still continues to be winter. Farmers have done no plowing yet and a great many are not done gathering corn. It has been snowing for the last three days and is very cold. I think this is a hard country on old people on account of the winters.

Pop, I think you are partial towards me. I don't think any more praise is due me than any of the rest of the family. I always tried to do any duty whether I succeeded or not.

As to the people here, I like them generally very well. They are more on an equality. Those who have means do not feel themselves above common people. As to marrying here, I suppose a girl could do as well here as anywhere, but I am not caring anything about that just now. I expect I was cut out for an old maid.

Well Pop, I guess I have written as much as will interest you now. I guess Charlie and Wessie and little Mary have grown considerable since I left home. Kiss them for me. How is Ma's health now? Tell her that I would love to see her very much. Excuse this ill-composed letter, as I am not much of a hand to write letters. This leaves all tolerable well at present, and hoping it will find you all the same. I will close for a time. Mine and sister Lydia's letter together will make you a pretty good letter.

My love to all and write soon to your daughter,

Eada B. Parrish

Some notes about the letter above.

Eada was 21 years old when she wrote this letter. She did not marry Fred Chapin until 1885, when she was 26.

Henry and Lydia Parrish were Henry Clay Parrish, Eada's oldest brother, and his wife, Lydia Conklin, with whom Eada was living at the time.

John was John Parrish, fourth in the line-up of Eada's brother's and sisters. He and his wife Gertrude lived in Mitchell, KS.

Ma was Melvina Crume, the second wife of Benjamin Abraham Yeager Parrish. She was Eada's step-mother. Eada's own mother, Minerva Hamilton, died in 1865 when Eada was 6, so it's likely Melvina was the only mother figure Eada remembered.

Charlie, Wessie and Mary were Eada's half brothers and sister. Charlie was the oldest and was born when Eada was 8 years old.

This has been the severest winter I ever saw, and still continues to be winter. Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote of The Long Winter, and Barbara E. Boustead, Ph.D. wrote, "Both meteorological records and historical accounts indicate that the winter was particularly long, snowy, and cold," in her 2014 dissertation, THE HARD WINTER OF 1880-1881: CLIMATOLOGICAL CONTEXT AND COMMUNICATION VIA A LAURA INGALLS WILDER NARRATIVE. (See this link for the entire paper.)
Memphis,Kansas
March 20th, 1881
Mr. Daniel Parrish and wife

My dear brother and sister,

After some delay I take the silent pencil in hand to try to answer your kind and welcome letter which found me sick in bed with the measles, or smeasles, as Dink calls them. I caught them at school and had them first, so I was able to help wait on Lydia and the children when they had them. I was not able to read your letters, but Lydia read them for me.

Well Bro and sister, I don't know what to write that will interest you. News is scarce at this time. With me, about all the talk is the cold weather, which is disagreeable. It seems like we will have a backward spring. There is no farming done yet. Dan, I recon you and sister have moved to yourselves by this time. I would like very much to step over and take tea with you. I know we would have a jolly time. I guess I will come over and live with you now as you have always promised me I should. You must tell me where you are going to reside. Sister, when I saw you last I did not think that the distance would separate us that does now, nor was I not thinking you would ever be my dear little sister. I am happy to know you are so well pleased with my Bro. He is a dear, good brother. You must take good care of him, also of your dear self.

Dan, I wish you were close enough that I could come to see you and sister. I would like it much better. Do you think of coming west any way soon? If I stay here I wish you would come. I believe I like Missouri better than I do Kansas. I am going back to Kansas in a short time. I will either try teaching or will go to school. We received a letter from sister Emma. She seems to be discouraged about going to school where she is. Wishes she had come to see us in place of going to school.

Sue, I would love to see you and Dan so much I don't know what to do. Is Sina married yet? Give my love to her, also to the rest of your father's family. Dan, who did Fin Young sell to? I guess there has been several changes made since I came away in that neighborhood. I recon little Becca is quite a woman by now. If you move away it will seem to her like all are gone.

I will close for a time, sister. Lydia is going to write to you. Bro, you and sister must write soon to me and tell me all the news. This leaves all well at present,, and hoping it will find you both the same. I will close by asking you to excuse all imperfections and write soon. My love and best wishes to you both.

I am, as ever, your affectionate sster

Eada B Parrish.

Some notes about the letter above.

Eada's brother, Daniel Braden Parrish, was a newlywed at the time of this letter. He and Susan E Morton married on 17 Nov 1880 in Breckinridge Co., KY.

Emma was Eada's older sister by two years. I don't have a lot of information about her, other than she never married, she taught school in Illinois and she was buried in Grayson Co., KY. I do not know where she is buried.

Sina was one of Susan Morton's relatives.

Little Becca was the youngest of the children of B A Parrish and Minerva Hamilton. She married Ulysses Grant Bond in 1883, divorced him in 1889, married Webster Taylor in 1906, divorced him, and married her final husband, James Shea, in 1910. She had two children with her first husband. Her son, Steven Washington Bond, lived in shack beside a railroad yard in Lewiston, ID, and was crushed to death when he fell into a pit containing a locomotive turntable in the rail yard. His grave in Normal Hill Cemetery is unmarked.
dee_burris: (Default)
Actually my second great grandaunt, Rebecca A Parrish.

She was the daughter of Benjamin Abraham Yeager Parrish and Minerva Hamilton, and younger sister to my great great grandmother, Eada Belle Parrish.

Rebecca was married three times.

Her first marriage was to Ulysses Grant Bond. They were married in Kentucky in 1883.

According to her next marriage record, Rebecca divorced Bond in February 1899. That's what she said on her marriage license in Perry Co., IN when she married Webster Taylor on 28 Nov 1906.
 photo RebeccaParrishBondmarriagerec.jpg


I haven't yet done the research to find out what happened to Webster Taylor.

But on 2 Jun 1910, Rebecca Parrish Bond Taylor was getting married again - this time to James A Shea.

She had shaved a couple of years off her age, and said she had been married once before, a marriage that ended in the death of her spouse in 1892.
 photo RebeccaParrishTaylormarriagerecord.jpg


I wonder if James Shea knew about Rebecca's previous marriages?

I wonder if he also took some creative license with the "facts" he gave the clerk on this marriage record?
dee_burris: (Default)
I will update this entry from time to time as I run across all the marriage indices I've collected over the years from various Arkansas counties. The letter and number combination at the end of each record is the marriage book volume and page number.

Click for long list of counties and names... )

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Dee Burris Blakley

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