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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Harry and Effie were both in happy moods when they wrote today.

Effie confessed that Harry was her first and only love. The Mame and Dele she referred to were her cousins Mary Caroline Hiller (later Benson) and Delia Margaret Hiller Duford.

Harry’s first letter was a more serious one and in it he admitted he had been wrong in trying to “caress” her the previous summer. In the second, he wrote that he was glad that she had taken morphia for her neuralgia. And, he teased her about sharing a razor when they were married.

“Old maids mustn’t be kittenish, so I will try and get over my kittenish (?) ways.” Osborn, Effie 1885-3-29

“Your secret was to be guarded as sacredly as could be for nothing could be more revolting to a true man or a true woman than for a woman to exhibit her love to a man to court him.” Osborn, Henry 1885-3-29a

“’That young fellow fairly haunts this office on Sundays & one might think that he was carrying away a fortune, not ¼ oz + of trash from a girl.’” Osborn, Henry 1885-3-29b


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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1356 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104;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