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1884-1912 Archive of Family Letters Telling the Story of a Beloved Boy  from Lackawanna Who Becomes a Husband, Father and Employee

1884-1912 Archive of Family Letters Telling the Story of a Beloved Boy from Lackawanna Who Becomes a Husband, Father and Employee

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1884-1912 Archive of Family Letters Telling the Story of a Beloved Boy from Lackawanna Who Becomes a Husband, Father and Employee

by Family of Walter Peter Cole

  • Used
  • Signed
Very Good with no dust jacket
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
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About This Item

Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, Usa. Very Good with no dust jacket. 1884-1912. Manuscript. On offer is an archive of nine (9) letters that tell the story of a young Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania mans life from 1884 through 1912, when he is 19 through 47 years of age. All but one letter is addressed to Walter Peter Cole (1865-1948) of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. The final letter is addressed to his wife. Walter P. Cole was born in Wallsville, PA. At one point he lived in Newton, PA, and he settled to raise his family in Dalton, PA. Walter worked as a dairy farmer in Lackawanna County and sold seeds for C. W. Stuart & Co. , Nurserymen. He was married to Minnie Louise (Corey) Cole. Together, they had two sons, George and Willis. Minnie died in 1920 at age 52 of breast cancer and Walter died at the age of 83 after a long battle with myocarditis. While Walter and his immediate family live in Lackawanna County, PA, his extended family lives in Ortonville, Big Stone, Minnesota and surrounding areas. In 1886, at age 21, Walter visits his Minnesota family. The first six letters center around this trip. He is urged to visit by cousin A. O. Bailey to visit before its too late: Stick to it Walter and come west before you settle down. Come west before you get married because if you get married before you come here there will be no hopes for you then [Dec 1884-Jan 1884, Cousin A. O. Bailey, Ortonville, MN]In March of 1886, at age 21, Walter makes the trip to Big Stone with his cousin, George. While he is away he receives letters from back home in Pennsylvania. His Aunt A. J. Clark and friend W. D. Van Fleet are eager to ensure Walter does not fall behind on the gossip of Lackawanna County: Your father and mother was here since you went west they seem to be more reconciledthey was a little worried for fear some thing might happen to you and George on the account of the weather being so changeable [Aunt A. J. Clark, March 29, 1886, Clarks Summit, PA]. We have hired a hand for the season. We pay $19 a month I tell you what it is Walter it is tough. I have lost 20 pounds of meatJay Seamans is to work to Scranton for $38 a month he drives a one horse star wagon. Graceis very sick not expected to live. [W. D. Van Fleet, April 30, 1886, Pennsylvania]. By the end of May, 1886 Walter is back in Pennsylvania and his family from Minnesota is fast to write. They miss Walter deeply and find the distance between Minnesota and Pennsylvania to be challenging: ...It seems awful lone some to me since you left. We all miss you very much wish I lived where I could visit my own people once in a while. It hasnt rained sence [sic] you left here it is awful dry and the cut worms are very bad they are eating up the corn destroying thing things in the garden [Aunt Mira, May 30, 1886, Almond Township, Big Stone, MN]. Ma red [sic] what you sed [sic] about grandma it makes her feel pretty bad I think if she had the money to go with she would go out there after my school is out. Is grandma so she can sit up any and is she paralised [sic] as they wrote she was, is she under the Dr. s care yet when will you again tell us all about her [Cousin Clara, June 14, 1886, Ortonville, Big Stone, MN]. I dont think I can start the store again for I lost too much by the fireI only got a little over one half of the insurance that it was insured for. They would not pay any more they would rather started a law suit. And you know that they have got plenty of moneyI think I will buy a farm again and go to farming again for a while [Cousin A. O. Bailey Sept 18, 1886]. Years later, Walter is living and working in Pennsylvania and courting Minnie Corey. The remaining letters are dated to when Walter was older, building a career and a life in Pennsylvania. In 1892, Minnie wrote him in Walsville from Waverly, PA: Friend WalterMy cousins think you might took me out said they wanted to get acquainted with you. I did not tell them anything though. The lake looks so pretty to day. I would like to have a boat ride [April 27, 1892]. In May, 1895 Walter is working as a new deliveryman for C. W. Stuart & Co, Nurseryman, delivering seeds in his community.. He receives a typed letter from the company acknowledging his letter of receipt of inventory. The letter provides nstructions as to how to deliver orders and collect and remit payments to the company. It is a standard letter that appears to be sent to all sales associates when they receive their first shipment of inventory to deliver. No signature. The final letter is addressed to Minnie Cole. Walter, Minnie and their children are living in Dalton, PA. Minnies sister writes to update the Coles on her husband, Freds, serious workplace injury: It was a bad job but might have been worse from what Ive heard. I heard he jumped just in time to save himself from a blast. He didnt tell me but one of the men did. I hope he wont go back there to work anymore. Every one thinks they will strike April 1st. It will be a long time before he can get around. [Clara Corey Van Fleet, March, 1912]. Taken together, this archive tells the story of a young Pennsylvania boy who grows into a hard working family man. For a historian or genealogist who studies Lackawanna County, these letters place the researcher into the heart of the county, and help to draw cross-state connections between extended family in Minnesota. These letters are also a window into the daily lives of a farming family and the lower middle class at the turn of the century. All letters are in good condition. Minor age toning. No significant rips or tears. Most have accompanying envelopes. Overall G+. ; Letters; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 9 pages; Signed by Author .


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Katz Fine Manuscripts Inc. CA (CA)
Seller's Inventory #
1884-1912 Archive of Family Letters Telling the Story of a Beloved Boy from Lackawanna Who Becomes a Husband, Father and Employee
Family of Walter Peter Cole
Book Condition
Used - Very Good with no dust jacket
Quantity Available
Place of Publication
Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, Usa
Date Published
0.00 lbs
SALESMAN, MINNESOTA, Family History, Genealogical, Family dynamics, interstate travel, farmers, fire, insurance claim, death
Bookseller catalogs
19th Century Manuscript; 20th Century Manuscript; 19th Century Ephemera;

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Katz Fine Manuscripts Inc.

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About the Seller

Katz Fine Manuscripts Inc.

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2009
Cochrane, Alberta

About Katz Fine Manuscripts Inc.

Katz Fine Manuscripts Inc. (formerly M. Benjamin Katz Fine Books/Rare Manuscripts) is based out of both Ontario and Alberta, Canada. We do business by appointment, and have had an online presence selling fine books and rare manuscripts since 1999. Specializing in handwritten, historically significant books, manuscripts, diaries, documents and ephemera. A member of The Manuscript Societyeach treasure on offer is guaranteed authentic and as represented for life. Worldwide clientele includes esteemed collections and public, private and university libraries on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific. Always buying collections and estates.

Katz Fine Manuscripts Inc.has been an online sales and auction presence with over 7000 transactions since 1999.


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