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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

On the Saturday before Christmas, Harry and Effie spent a lot of time writing. Harry’s first two letters were short, touching on Effie’s health, instructions for the presents he had sent and a satisfying letter from Sue. In the third, he again expressed concern for her health and returned to issue of the frequency of her letters. Effie’s first letter was focused on her gift to him and the second thanked him for remembering her sisters and mother with presents. She also admitted that she had changed her mind about secret engagements.

“Does this note find you yourself again in mind & body?” Osborn, Henry 1884-12-20a

“I haven’t had a single letter like this before from anyone of the girls & I feel now that the girls have buried the hatchet & I am o so glad.” Osborn, Henry 1884-12-20b

“I hadn’t meant to have spoken of it but Sue scared me some by telling me that you pranced up & down stairs as tho you had iron & steel muscles that couldnt wear out. O Effie don’t you think you live too fast?” Osborn, Henry 1884-12-20c

“I will by means of this afghan have a care over you while you are sleeping, and some cold night it may prevent you taking cold by keeping you from getting chilled, if you need extra covering.” Osborn, Effie 1884-12-20a

“Our love for each other is so intense that it makes us kind of morbid.” Osborn, Effie 1884-12-20b


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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1356 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104;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