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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Both of Effie’s letters were filled with the unexpected proposal. She also wrote of caring for Effie’s baby, going to the opera “Lucia,” giving Jule an ultimatum, and Harry’s possible chance to teach at Stanford University. The Mr. Beans she refers to was the father of Harry and Effie’s mutual cousin Mary Virginia “Mame” Beans.

Harry wrote of his future at Purdue, neglect by his family and God’s methods.

“I had a proposal, & it was so sudden and unexpected that it took my breath away, and it may have had some thing to do with my headache, for I was perfectly dazed & dumbfounded.” Osborn, Effie 1885-4-26a

“Mamma says she thinks it would be the finest kind of a chance if you could get a place in Gov. Stanford’s college and get started with it.” Osborn, Effie 1885-4-26b

“Mag had written me that I did wrong to write you such doleful letters & I felt so too & so was the more condemned by Mag….” Osborn, Henry 1885-4-26


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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1356 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104;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