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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

A question has arisen among our readers about why “Henry” and “Harry” have been used interchangeably here. “Harry” is a common nickname for “Henry” (for instance, Great Britain’s Prince Harry’s first name is really Henry). In her letters, Harry’s sister Sue addresses him as “Hal” (think “Prince Hal” in Shakespeare’s history plays, who was really Henry V). We have opted for “Harry” because that is what Effie called him and how he signed himself in letters to her. Effie’s given name was Euphemia but, as far as we can tell, no one called her that.

First among the topics covered by Harry and Effie today was the one month anniversary of their engagement. Harry compared their comprehending their love to the proverbial frog in the pot of warming water and spoke again of the possibilities for their honeymoon. Effie talked about her trip to Netherwood, N.J. Although we know nothing about the Franc, whom she was visiting, we believe Mr. Hyde was Dorsey W. Hyde, who was a composer.

“I can hardly believe that you could have suffered for me darling when I think of what I am….” Osborn, Henry 1884-10-8

“I’m glad it wasn’t love a first sight, for it wouldn’t have been half so sweet.” Osborn, Effie 1884-10-8


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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1356 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104;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