85 years ago, our parents were married on Sunday, April 10 in a little Danish Lutheran Church on the high dry prairie of northeastern Montana, about a mile from the little farmhouse where our grandparents raised eleven daughters and two sons. Here are the last three courtship letters Dad wrote as he was looking forward to their wedding day.
I’ll try to scribble a few lines so you won’t be disappointed tomorrow.
Got home all O.K. at 2:20 yesterday. The road was fine from Plentywood but there were quite a few mud holes before I got there.
I found another Ford stuck in the mud hole where our friend sat in the morning. That’s one place I can get thru, but hope it is dry next time we cross. I got the license all right. Only I didn’t know what your mother’s maiden name was so I got permission to fill that in later on.
Was also in and had a talk with my friend the Judge. He seemed glad to see me. Said I looked happy enough to be married already. I told him you had promised to be good to me, and he thought I was O.K. then.
Also ran to Culbertson and got my blues yesterday. They fit like the paper on the wall.
There is the mailman at the box right now, but as I am going to McCabe at 1 o’clock for telephone meeting I will be my own postman.
Have been in the field this A.M. Now it is blowing like two of a kind.
I painted some of the chairs last night for the second time and they look pretty good now.
I can smell something on the stove so I better go and save my dinner.
This is only some disconnected scribbling but I know you will look for it. Any letters I mail next Tuesday or after I shall send out in the country. Will drop a line later in the week.
Love from your Immanuel
Well, I just wrote a letter to Sidney so you better get yours while I am warmed up. I have been busy in the house all day. Finished painting and got the rug down in the dining room; also got the table set up. It certainly is a dandy. Do you know, that room is a pippin now. The only thing I don’t like is that the floor is too rough. I put paper under, but guess it will have to have some more to fill the low spots here and there. I got some dust inside yesterday, that made things look grimy for awhile, but I chased out all I could find, and not with a dry broom either; no, I scrubbed the floors. I just had enough floor paint left to wet a cat’s nose, but I made it anyhow. Think I’ll let you paint the kitchen woodwork if you think it needs another coat. Our farming got stopped, so I just pushed this job over today. Otherwise I would have done it evenings. Also got your sewing machine set up. I guess it is all right. Nice plain cabinet with no crevices to catch dirt. Well, you will soon see it all, but I like to tell you about it, and it is all I have to write anyway. (He had arranged for a cedar chest like one in the photo to be shipped by train from Minneapolis and that was waiting in their home for her as well)
I’m just as happy as can be about everything. God is good. He gave us one another, and a nice place to live. Let our whole life be spent serving Him as our Lord, then we will be truly happy. I just won’t think of any chance of unhappiness. Life is as we make it. With true love we can never make a mistake.
Tonight there are only 17 days more of single blessedness? For me, and when you read this, there will be still less and I suppose you will only have 2 or 3 more letters from your bachelor. Tell Mrs. Johnson that I am going to keep you for good and she can’t get you any more, when she has need of a girl.
It is turning colder tonight so I am not looking for any more snow. This is our regular spring equinox period, and will soon blow over, at least before our wedding day. If it is fit to go cross country on Easter Sunday then we will take a spin over and talk with Rev. Beck. I ‘spose there are alot of things you want to talk about.
Well, in a few days the whole United States will be discussing the approaching wedding. Ain’t we got fun. Fifty invites and what if they should all come? That would be more fun yet.
Guess I better ring off on this stuff and send 25 cents for a Farm paper. They sent me about a 1/2 doz cards for a present and real pretty postals at that, so I better pay up for another year.
Good night, my dear, and grow nice and fat.
From your loving Immanuel
P.S. Be sure to tell Lillie how early in the day you want to see her on the 10th. She was anxious about it, but you have probably told her all about it now, as I told her to write you about it.
Here we are the last evening in this month. Tomorrow it is April 1 and I am going to be real careful that nobody fools me. I expect a letter from you, and hope I don’t get fooled on that.
I don’t know when you will be receiving this, but hope it is before Sunday.
Isn’t it funny weather? I can’t make it out at all. Just wonder what there is coming. Is it going to be spring or a snowstorm? No doubt a snow would be the best thing but I don’t want to see it for another week. Had hoped on getting in the field but the ground is too frozen yet. The ducks were going north by the thousands this afternoon, but about dark some were coming back. I guess they failed to find open water around Coalridge and decided to spend the night on the Missouri. They fly over a mile a minute so it don’t take so long.
I cleaned the cellar out nice yesterday and washed the new dishes, and hung pictures and cleaned up around the house and shot a gopher and chopped some wood and finished up on my drill and a million other things. Oh yes–there was one dish broken, but I’ll order that next trip to town.
Today I stayed in the woodpile pretty steady. Tomorrow I am going to churn. Got 2 gallons of A-No. 1 cream. Real O.K. stuff, doncher know. Haven’t got the Ford cleaned up yet. It don’t take too long and I expect a little wet. Anyhow it’s too cold for the fingers. We don’t want to ride in a mudball next Saturday so I must get it done soon. Am just wondering if this is the last letter I write to you. Next week will be only 4 days parting, and I could almost beat a letter. Look for me at 9 o’clock Sunday morning. Hope everything goes well so we can follow our plans. Got so much to tell you that I’m afraid I won’t get started at all. Till we meet.
On her wedding day, Mom carried a home-made bouquet of Lilies of the Valley. Over the years of their marriage, Dad would often buy bone china cups and saucers for souvenirs for her when they traveled. Many of them had lilies of the valley in their design.