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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

While Harry and Effie had agreed to keep their engagement a secret, Effie found that some of her relatives were making that difficult. Besides contending with Aunt/Cousin Mag’s inquiries, her young cousin Edward Moses Bray (brother to her dear friend and cousin Emma Bray Cohen) was putting her in awkward situations with his constant but uninformed teasing. What a relief it must have been to open up to her friend Ada Hull.

In a letter the same day, Harry recounted the history of their friendship (starting in 1877 or 1878) and dawning love. He went on to describe more of his room and his work.

“It was such fun to pretend to misunderstand you & then have you write and explain my mistake.” Osborn, Effie 1884-9-24

“But I think that our falling love has been very peculiar.” Osborn, Henry 1884-9-24


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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1356 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).