Three letters written to Joseph Henry Abbott at South Andover, Maine:
- two from Joseph's sister Lucretia L. Abbott, "Lula", while she was at school in Farmington, Maine
- one from 1914 from Alice H. Hopkins, describing her family's trip to Florida and their new home at Miami and wishing Joseph a belated birthday greeting.
- the McMahon and Chaplin families of New Brunswick and Maine
- the John Paul Dennis family of Gardiner, Maine
- the Baker and Libby families of Waterborough, Maine
- the Cassidy family of Fall River, Massachusetts
Images and loose transcriptions of the letters appear at the end of this post.
People and places mentioned in Lula's letters:
- "Pratt", a female and possibly a student at Western State Normal School at Farmington, Maine
- Cora Jackson, possibly a student at Western State Normal School at Farmington, Maine
- Carrie, possibly a student at Western State Normal School at Farmington, Maine, in 1881
- Mr. Swasey of Canton, Maine, who lectured at a Republican rally
- Mr. Frye, who lectured the previous week, possibly at Western State Normal School at Farmington, Maine, or at a Republican rally
- Addie McLarin, a "deformed girl" who's an excellent scholar and has been helping Lula
- Stops on the way to Miami, Florida: Lynn, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida
- William Jennings Bryan, whose home is at Biscayne Bay and who had just lectured at the Congregational Church
- Delmar - Delmar Boynton Lovejoy
- Kenneth - Kenneth Cousins Lovejoy
- A. T. Bryant - possibly related to the mother of Alice's step-son and son-in-law Frank Henry Lovejoy, whose mother was Florinda (Bryant) Lovejoy.
Joseph Henry Abbott, or Joseph Henry Hutchins Abbott, was born November 23, 1852 at Rumford, Maine, the son of Hezekiah Hutchins Abbott and Martha Tillson (Lovejoy) Abbott. On May 26, 1888 at Rumford, Maine, Joseph married Katie E. Abbott, daughter of Simon Andrew Abbott and Sarah Helen (Thomas) Abbott. They lived at Andover, Maine, and had at least two children. Joseph died in 1933.
Joseph's sister Lucretia L. Abbott was born August 6, 1863, also at Rumford, Maine. She was studying to be a teacher at the time she wrote her letters to Joseph. The school Lula was attending was presumably Western State Normal School at Farmington, Maine, but I haven't yet found her name in any online school records or publications.
On March 10, 1891, at Somerville, Massachusetts, Lula married William Neal McCrillis, son of William and Mary S. (Watson) McCrillis. Lula and William lived in Massachusetts for a few years but then moved to Rumford Falls, Maine. Lula died in 1912.
Mrs. Alice H. Lovejoy was Alice Salome (Howe) Lovejoy, daughter of Otis Howe and Sarah Stevens (Elliott) Howe. On March 8, 1879 at Rumford, Maine, Alice married Benjamin Harrison Boynton. They had several children, including Emma Alice Boynton, who would marry Frank Henry Lovejoy, son of Orren Jenness Lovejoy and Florinda (Bryant) Lovejoy.
As it happened, Orren's wife Florinda died in 1884 and Alice's husband Benjamin died in 1889. About 1890, Alice and Orren married. Further cementing the family, on March 21, 1904 at Dover, New Hampshire, Emma Alice Boynton and her stepbrother Frank Henry Lovejoy married.
In 1914 when the letter was written, Alice H. (Howe) Boynton Lovejoy had just accompanied Frank and Emma and their boys Delmar Boynton Lovejoy and Kenneth Cousins Lovely to Miami, Florida, where they apparently intended to stay long enough that it made sense to enroll the boys in school. I believe Alice H. (Howe) Boynton Lovejoy died about 1950.
If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or corrections to the loose transcriptions below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.
1) September 10, 1882 letter from Lula Abbott, a student at a school in Farmington, presumably Western State Normal School at Farmington, Maine, to her brother Joseph Henry Abbott at Andover, Maine. The School was informally known as Farmington State Normal School until official adoption of that name in 1889. It’s now the University of Maine Farmington.
Dear brother: -
I have not received any letter from you but I'm not going to let that make any difference. Yet I wish you would think sometimes that I am as anxious to hear from you as you are. I am getting along finely, like my boarding place and roommate very much and what makes it still better, Pratt came last week. She went to another place to board but we said so much to her about coming here and she was so lonesome that she came here to board. So we have splendid times. The other girls have been to Sabbath school and she has been up here with me all the morning. She rooms alone, and Cora Jackson, who roomed with Carrie last spring, also rooms alone. It seems queer and everyone says how does that happen? And that is all the good it does them. I went to a band concert and Republican rally last night, did not get home till about 10 o'clock. The music was good and the lecture passable. The lecture was delivered by Mr. Swasey from Canton. Mr. Frye lectured here last week, and they closed school and hour and half earlier than usual so we could go. Had a good time but did not hear much he said. Those are the only places I have been to, enough I suppose, you say. And I think it is for one that has to study as hard as I do. I shall hate to leave and teach school for I am afraid I will have to take some of my studies over for I shall only get started in some of them before vacation and I would not teach were it not for the money. But I want so many more things when I go in school but I suppose I must and it will be just as well and perhaps better in the end. I studied nearly all day yesterday. Addie McLarin (not the one that boarded with us last spring but a deformed girl) was here all the afternoon. She is a splendid scholar and in our class, so she is a great help to me. Everyone likes her. She is so good. Deformed people always are, I believe. I suppose it won't do any good to ask questions for I asked enough in my other letter and, besides, it is almost time to go to church. Have you had any rain? I never saw it so dusty as it is now. it really is quite a weight for for any that has as large feet as I have to carry around, to say nothing of the looks. But I cannot write anymore. Give my love to all and write soon.
Your sister Lula