Letter from Mary Frances Lyman on dreams, missing her father, and runaway boys


Letter from Mary Frances Lyman on dreams, missing her father, and runaway boys


Letter from Mary Frances Lyman to her parents, Reverend and Mary Denison Lyman, concerning her dreams, missing her father, visiting Pacific University, and runaway Indian boys.


Lyman, Mary Frances

Is Part Of

Lyman Family Papers








Pacific University Archives





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Forest Grove, Nov 28th 1882

My Dear Father,

It has been several weeks, two I guess, since I have written to you. I am so busy all the time that I can't write as often as I should like. Willie [her brother] has written once or twice so I knew you would know that we were all well. I think about you very often and hope you are being prospered in all ways. I dreamed last night that Margaret had come. I thought she was most gracious and sweet and we were all talking to her and having a nice time.

It seems a little hard to realize that you are so far away. People here are much interested in your welfare and often inquire when you are coming home. I tell them perhaps in Feb - though I believe you have not said anything about that lately. What are your plans about coming? And when will you be here? I feel so sorry that you had to wait so long for letters. We were all so busy that we did not realize how time was flying. Sarah [her sister] sent one letter to East Hampton. Of course, before this you have received several letters from each one of us.

Everything is going on well at home. We have a great help in Florence McCoy. She is a very nice girl. We never had anyone here who was such good help. She is very reliable and does everything without needing to be told. The cow still flourishes under Hiram's care. It is almost Thanksgiving. I wish you could be here to eat a Thanksgiving dinner with us.

They give quite a good little vacation in the P.U. [Pacific University] but I suppose we shall have only one day in our school [the Indian School]. We have had an unfortunate incident in our school. Obid Williams [i.e. Obed Littlewilliams, a Native student from Spokane], the black sheep of the school, stole some money out of Hoxter's store. Over 100 dollars, and then telling Charley Abraham, one of the best Spokane boys, that he had a lot of money from home persuades him to run off with him. They stopped at Hillsboro and bought some clothes and then walked on toward Portland.

Some of the Indian boys in pursuit got on the train here, and hid themselves over the train. Obid & Charley walked as far as Beaverton and then concluded they would ride the rest of the way. As soon as they got on the cars Ch. Varner [i.e. Charles Varner, Chehalis-Oyster Bay student] the 1st Sergeant of the I.T. [Indian Training] School stepped up and said 'Lets go home, Charley,' then the rest of the boys showed themselves and they brought the boy back on the freight train. The boys who went after them showed considerable sense. The stealing was a very bad thing, and I fear will injure the school very much. The boys may have to be sent to prison, I don't know. I feel very sorry for Charley who is really a good boy and who felt very bad about it.

Remember our presents to Aunt Lola when you go there. Sarah sent some flower you know. My present was labeled. People here have concluded that you have matrimonial interposition in view in going East. I have endeavored to throw dust into their eyes.

The P.U. [Pacific University] seems to be prospering mostly. Prof. McMahon seems to be a good teacher, though I do not think he is a very high type of man. He is not at all religious. I think in that respect his influence is not as good as Prof. Robb's was.

Well it is about time for school so I guess I will not write any more. My love to Cousin Margaret, and very much to yourself.

Your loving daughter Mary.