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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

In his first letter, Harry wrote about the inadequate transportation between Chauncey and Lafayette. His second letter covered another outbreak of measles and complaints about Miss Whipple, Miss Stockton, and a dog that he had taken in. He also noted his acquisition of mastodon teeth for the museum’s collection.

Effie, in her first letter, compared their relationship to those of Maggie and Ed Reynolds and Ada and Will Underwood and wished for a happy marriage for her sister Jule. She also wrote a lot about operas she had seen. Later in the day, she ruminated at length over whether Harry should commit to the dormitory as soon as possible.

“In the distance the low hills at Wea Plains are hazy enough to make one half suspect there must be mountains & not a drab levee beyond.” Osborn, Henry 1886-1-31a

“I can’t much blame you for having a rather strong opinion of the Hoosiers I must say for I think they[,] at least the representatives we have here at Purdue[,] are but as low intellectually as any one can be.” Osborn, Henry 1886-1-31b

“We changed servants on Friday, and the two girls mamma tho’t seemed so nice, have turned out to be fiends.” Osborn, Effie 1886-1-31a

“…and as I think it all over I must confess that I dont think my advice was thoroughly sound.” Osborn, Effie 1886-1-31b


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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).