The Wedding Day and Beyond

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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

So far, we haven’t come across documentation of Harry and Effie’s wedding and honeymoon but we may still find it in the Henry L. Osborn Family Papers, as there are many letters that have yet to be transcribed. The couple did go to Purdue for the 1886-1887 school year but the next year Harry joined the faculty of Hamline University as Joseph Dean Professor of Biology and Geology. (Letters Effie wrote to her mother and sister during their first year in Saint Paul can be found at the Minnesota Digital Library [http://reflections.mndigital.org/]). Harry remained at Hamline for more than 45 years, also serving as dean of the faculty and twice as acting president. Although they never returned East to live, Effie’s mother and sisters eventually joined them in Saint Paul. Harry died there on January 2, 1940, and Effie followed him on June 4, 1945.

Harry and Effie’s engagement correspondence is just a fraction of the collection. Also included are letters they wrote to each other during later separations (mostly transcribed at this point), correspondence to and from family members and others, travel journals, lecture notes, drawings, diaries, photographs, and realia. If you are interested in learning more about the couple or have information about them, please contact Hamline University’s archivist by telephone, mail or email (see below).

This project would not have been possible without the incredible dedication of long-time archives volunteer George Vane, who spent about ten hours a week over seven years transcribing letters in the Osborn Family Papers. Thank you, George! And, another thank you to all of our readers for joining us on this journey into the past!

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

Many Happy Returns

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map-of-block-island-rhode-island

Harry and Effie’s engagement correspondence ended on Harry’s 29th birthday; two days later they were wed. From his letter, it appears that they had settled on Block Island, Rhode Island, as their honeymoon destination.

“We have stood so much apart & been so miserable that I feel that the only deliverance is in our union and to me it means joy & peace & is drawing so near.” Osborn, Henry 1886-7-5

Do you realize darling that our wedding day is day after tomorrow, or cant you realize that it is so near? Osborn, Effie 1886-7-5

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

The Hotel Business

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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Effie and Harry were both suffering from the heat and from their current separation. The harmony at the Osborns’ was already wearing thin.

“I guess when you asked me to write so that you would have a letter on Tuesday you forgot about your birthday.” Osborn, Effie 1886-7-4

“Sue is not blessed with the power of seeing herself as others see her but her eyes are keen for detecting motes in other persons eyes.” Osborn, Henry 1886-7-4

 

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

All Straight

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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

After reuniting with Effie in New York, Harry returned to his family home near Madison, New Jersey. Although it was his first day back there, he was already planning his next trip to New York.

“Everything appears to be in the most happy condition[,] far happier than I have seen it for a years.” Osborn, Henry 1886-6-14

 

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

Pack Pack Pack

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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Today you have the last letters Effie and Harry wrote during their long-distance separation. Only a few more were written after their reunion and before their wedding on July 7, 1886.

Effie’s letter was written in anticipation that it would arrive after Harry’s departure from Purdue. Harry’s was very short and mainly confirmed that he was still among the living.

“The folks at Madison have done considerable worrying about your father’s clothes.” Osborn, Effie 1886-6-10

“Wasn’t that a fine joke?” Osborn, Henry 1886-6-10

 

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

Perfect Mutual Understanding

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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Harry had an idealized expectation of marriage to Effie and one wonders how close reality came to it. In the meantime, he continued to be busy preparing for his departure from Purdue.

“I have no fear in marrying you my Darling & I think that the little misunderstandings we have now will all flee away when we can talk & tell our thoughts.” Osborn, Henry 1886-6-9

 

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

Father and Mother

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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Harry had been busy with end of the school year activities, including a presentation to Purdue’s board of trustees about Mrs. Stockton.

Effie was now home and had found things there a bit calmer.

“Yesterday the tailor sent home my wedding suit & it fits beautifully & is a lovely suit.” Osborn, Henry 1886-6-8

“Darling my trunk arrived last evening all right, and my dress wasn’t mussed a bit.” Osborn, Effie 1886-6-8

 

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

I Dont Blame Myself

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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Effie was still at Madison, finishing up her dressmaking. She reported that everything there had been “pleasant and harmonious” and that she had received another wedding present.

“I am really astonished to have such an elegant dress.” Osborn, Effie 1886-6-6

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

No Tribunal

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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Harry looked ahead to his return to the East and complained about his family’s communication deficit.

“I guess Darling you won’t believe that or that any woman ever lived who couldn’t be perfectly happy single.” Osborn, Henry 1886-6-5

 

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

A Brighter Day Is Dawning

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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Effie let Harry know about another wedding present.

Harry’s letter was on the blue side again, mostly because his plan to get away early had been thwarted. He also hadn’t had much sleep as a result of patrolling the campus at night.

“Darling I dont know just what to say about the meeting.” Osborn, Effie 1886-6-4

“I have ground & struggled and suffered & endured & been disappointed & every thing else.” Osborn, Henry 1886-6-4

 

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The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).

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