In present day terms, Moose Jaw is a 45 minute drive west of the Grand Coulee/Regina area - the next big whistle stop if you were Noah heading west.
Dated: June 25th, 1911
Addressed to: Dearest Noah (Mr. N. C. Draper, Grand Coulee, Sask.) (This is the first letter Ethel has left off Noah's postal info on the first page.)
Mailed from: Belhaven, Ont.
Profession: Farmer's Daughter
Writing instrument: Fine point pen, blue ink
Written on: Light bluey/gray, slightly thick, textured, linen-like paper, 9 inches x 6 inches, folded in half. The paper is folded in half with the first page on the front and last on the back, but inside, she's turned the paper and written across the short width and turned both pages into one long page. Hence this letter has only 3 pages.
People/places mentioned in this letter:
Percy - *Percy Roy Draper, Noah's older brother
Veda - *Veda Perrault - Noah's 16 yr old niece (Joe & Eva Amelia's daughter)
Sadie - *Sadie Nelson - Ethel's 16 yrs old sister
Pa - *James Henry Nelson
Mrs. Walter Yorke** (Martha Ann "Minnie" Linstead)
* Look under the Categories/Labels in the right side column for more posts on this
** see Genealogy Notes below
June 25 1911.
Well here I am again
with some more of my writing
but oh if I could only talk instead
of write, what happy hours we
could spend now if it were only
possible. though as you say we
will make up for lost time when
you come. I was rather dis apointed
last night I did;nt get a letter but
I will have something to look for to
morrow night. Your letters Generally
reach me on Saturday's or Mondays.
Sometimes when I am feeling rather
lonesome, I wish that it was either of
Saturday or Monday, whichever night
your letter happened to come that week.
Keswick, Bethel & Belhaven Sunday
Schools are having a picnic, They
don't know yet were they will go.
Don't you think Belhaven needs a
long line drawn.
The carpenters are going to start
work here in the morning. I
hope they can get along fine, for
I would like to go to Huntsville
about the middle of July. and I
can't unless the barn raising
is over with.
Was Percy successful in getting
water! I hope he was for it would
make it so much better for you. would'nt it
Did I ever tell you Veda sent
Sadie a photo of herself. Sadie was
very glad to get it.
Say one day not long ago there
was soneone talking to the men
& I just got a glimpse of him
and I thot it was you. and Oh
you could'nt imagine how I felt
at the time. I think this little
verse refers to you.
To see him is to love him,
And love but him forever.
For Nature made him what he is
And never made another.
Where you acquainted with Alice
Sprauge, she is now given up to
die, with typhoid fever. Mrs.
Walter Yorke is dead.
Sadie's school has stopped now
for about a week & then she has to
go back and try her examinations.
How are Veda's hands? I hope she
will be able to go to College after
Midsummer. what does she intend
to take up?
Well how are you getting along with
all your work. hope your mother
will be able to stay with you until
Have you been defeated yet in any
of those baseball games. I wish your
team success. & you success in
everything. Pa has just called me
to come to supper. I am so near a
close I think I will say Bye Bye
for this time. With love and all
your wish for from your Sweetheart.
X X x x x X x x x X x x x X
#1 - Mrs. Walter Yorke
#2 - Alice Sprague
Genealogy Note #1 - Mrs. Walter Yorke
Ethel conveys such feeling when she writes bluntly, Mrs. Walter Yorke is dead.
From this we can deduce that Noah knows Mrs. Walter Yorke, and either he knows why she died or it doesn't matter why, but that she's dead.
Who was Mrs. Walter Yorke, and did she fit in the family tree - if in fact she did?
Our tree listed 12 Yorkes, but no Walters. So I began by checking The Newmarket Era in the couple weeks prior to Ethel's letter. Do you know how many Yorks are listed in a newspaper that:
- covers the County of York
- includes the town of North York
- is the original name of Toronto and still used unofficially
- contains stories of New York city and the state of New York
Let's just say there are oodles of them. And from all those, I found 3 snippets about Mrs. Walter York:
Snippet on left - Bottom paragraph:
We sympathize with Mr. Walter
York in the loss of his wife.
The 2nd snippet was found under the Union Street report:
We extend our sincere sympathy to
Mr. and Mrs. Benj. Linstead, who
have recently lost their eldest daugh-
ter, Mrs. Walter York, of Belhaven.
This was interesting because Ethel's Aunt Mary Ann Glover married into the Linstead family and some of their branch live 30 mins north of me here in Saskatchewan.
I found the 3rd hard-to-read snippet way back in the Mar 1911 paper. It says:
Mrs. Benj. Linstead and son Wal-
ter spent Sunday with her daughter,
Mrs. Walter York of Belhaven, who
has been ill for some time.
But Benjamin and Sarah Jane didn't have a girl named Minnie. Further searching found the following:
1875 Feb 12 - Benjamin and Sarah Jane gave birth to Martha Ann
1881 Census - 2nd daughter, age 6, recorded as Martha
1891 Census - 2nd daughter, age 16, recorded as Martha
1895 Marriage to Walter York, widower w/one son - 20 yr old daughter - Minnie
1901 Census - 26 yr old wife with 3 children - recorded as Minnie
1911 Census - 35 yr old wife dies of Tuberculosis (TB) - recorded as Mary Jane!
So it looks like this Walter York gave Martha Ann the nickname Minnie when they hooked up together. But why did he give Mary Jane to the medical examiner for the death record?
In my searches, I found the marriage record of Walter York and his first wife - and guess what? ... Her name was Minnie Pollack. Can you guess what her birth name was?
Yup - Mary.
So it seems Mr. Walter York was a bit mixed up when Minnie #2 died. Was it grief? Actually, I think it was. No matter how many times I searched, I couldn't find a write-up for Martha Ann/Minnie's funeral service. No obituary. Nothing except that the people on Union Street are sympathizing with the Linstead family, and that the Belhaven neighborhood is doing the same for Mr. Walter York.
That got me thinking... How many kids did Martha Ann/Minnie leave behind for Walter to care for? Not only that, but he had one son from Minnie #1 - how and when did she die? Searching through the Era for the facts brought so many discoveries I was in tears by the end. But to get to the end, I have to start at the beginning of Walter York's journey:
1862 - Walter Frederick York is born near in North Gwillimbury Township
1884 - Walter marries Mary "Minnie #1" Pollack (only sister to 8 brothers)
1888 - Son Raymond is born
1891 - Walter and Minnie#1 move to nearby Keswick
1895 - Mar 15 - death of Minnie #1's brother, John Pollock
1895 - Mar 27 - death of Minnie #1 - after 3 dys sickness & 12 dys after her brother
3 months after Minnie #1 dies, Walter marries Minnie #2:
1895 - Jul 9 - Walter marries Martha "Minnie #2" Linstead
1897 - Birth of son, Squire R York (Mother = Minnie Linstead)
1899 - Birth of daughter, Pearl Maria (Mother = Mary Jane Linstead)
1901 Mar 14 - Birth of son, JB York (Mother = Mary Jane Linstead)
1901 Nov 13 - Death of 8 month old JB York from diphtheria***
1901 Nov 15 - Death of 2 yr old Pearl Maria from diphtheria***
1902 - Birth of daughter, Gertrude Viola (Mother = Minnie Linstead)
1904 - Birth of son, Elmer/Aylmer (Mother = Minnie Linstead)
1907 - Birth of daughter, Thelma (Mother = Minnie Linstead)
1909 - Birth of daughter, Dora May (Mother = Mary Jane Linstead)
1911 May - Death of Mrs. Walter York aka Minnie #2
( she left 1 adult step-son and 5 young kids aged 2 to 14 yrs old)
***See Genealogy Notes Apr 2, Dear Noah
During the time Walter and Minnie #2 were married, his in-laws suffered:
1896 Oct - Minnie #1's 45 yr old brother, James, dies at railway crossing near home
1897 Jan - Minnie #1's father, James, dies at son Robert's home in Belhaven
1897 Feb - Robert Pollock has an auction to sell everything and move to the West
1897 Jun - milking cow kicks Richard Pollock's little girl, Winnie, and breaks her leg 30 minutes after cow is sold, but not picked up/delivered
1909 Feb - Minnie #1's mother dies after suffering 2 yrs from cancer
And then to hear ... Mrs. Walter Yorke is dead. You must wonder what poor Walter thought as he buried yet another family member.
Genealogy Note #2 - Alice Sprague
Alice Sprague did not die. But this post is too long already so I'll save her story for another day.