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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Today, Effie returned to counselling Harry about how to handle his family. She revealed that during her last visit with them she had had the feeling that they weren’t entirely happy with her. Jule Bray and Minnie, whom she mentioned at the beginning of the letter, were cousins. The latter’s whooping cough crisis foreshadows worse to come.

Harry spent much of his letter making observations about faculty life and happenings in Chauncey. He compared faculty meetings to pedestrian contests, which were popular at the time (see http://walkapedia.org/walking/reading/research/136-weston-a-pedestrian-era-walking-contest-rules.html). He also described a family caravan that had passed through town on its way west and other sights from his bedroom window (farm animals, torch light parades and town residents).

“From several things that I felt during my Madison visit, I hadn’t any idea that they would take it as well as they have done.” Osborn, Effie 1884-10-14

“The people here in Chauncey are the most ‘ornery’ looking set.” Osborn, Henry 1884-10-14


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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1356 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104;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