Business,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Logistics,  Social,  Travel,  Weather

Billy in Berlin and Fred in Salt Lake and Seattle

Katheryn McMahon Newton Album, cards 32-34

First up, explicit reference as to how Fred expects Katheryn’s correspondence to reach him. Alas, this inspires in me an even greater desire to see her side. I recognize this desire is unlikely to be fulfilled. Her cards and letters most likely were destroyed at some point, whether deliberate or accidental; if they do survive, they may be scattered and even if they aren’t it would be a herculean task to try and locate them.

“Dear Kit: Just arrived in the MormonTown – Train 1 hour + 50 m late. Passed through a fierce blizzard + snow storm after leaving Glenwood Springs. Am writing this at the Keyon Hotel where I expect to stop for probably a day or two. My mail has been forwarded here /c[?] general delly. So will look for a letter from you after I get a little “snoze” Scenery + ect. Enroute here was magnificent with love Fred”

Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 18 February 1908

For whatever reasons (lack of set itinerary, travel delays), Fred may not have provided Katheryn with directions on where to direct her cards and letters. Fred specified that his mail keeps up with him by being forwarded care of general delivery. Sight of the address side of cards or envelopes from Katheryn sent to him during this period would show how often messages from her had to be forwarded to reach him. Ah well.

In this message, Fred referred to Salt Lake City as “Mormon Town” (or “Morman Town”). The phrase may have been considered a slur at the time, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. That’s a point that bears further research, once the cards are processed and I consider what next to do with them (other than diving into another batch to process). Fred has yet to drop any indications as to his religious beliefs and/or religious or denominational affiliations.

His train from Glenwood Springs to Salt Lake City was only an hour and fifty minutes late, although they “Passed through a fierce blizzard” and “magnificent” “scenery ect. enroute.” Given what I know of Colorado and Utah, I would certainly hope the scenery was magnificent! (I had actually planned, quite separate from this, to take train from Denver to Salt Lake City myself, but the pandemic squashed that trip.)

I’m including this next card mostly because, for those who read the post a week ago which featured a 1907 postcard from Billy in Berlin? here’s another. At least, I strongly suspect this is another as the handwriting, address phrasing, and postmark are the same. Evidently Fred isn’t the only one who (at least once) sent Katheryn two postcards on the same day.

Moving back to Seattle, Fred ran out of space on the back of a card featuring Kinnear Park and had to add further text to the front . . . or not. At least one piece of text on the front was meant to be there and not on the reverse: the “F+K” over near the bench. I can’t quite make out the whole of the last line inscribed below (does it go to the bush or not?), but the general impression from that note and the one above and to the right is that he wishes Katheryn were with him, and hopes likewise.

Park view with path, trees, and grassy swaths. Manuscript additions: "F+K"; "Weather here is glorious all sunshine + flowers How would you like to [several words illegible]", and “This is one of a dozen pretty parks here How would you like to be sitting beneath the tree with me + in the [unclear] old way.”
Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 4 May 1908, front

And then there’s the back. This is definitely a contender for longest message (so far). He touches on several issues or themes referenced in other cards including his business and ongoing interactions with Mr. Sears and his desire for more regular communications from Katheryn (and her picture). We’ll have to wait and see if the next communication from Fred, in which he promises to provide more details about his business with Sears, (a) is a postcard and (b) if so is among the cards here.

Stamp. Postmark: Seattle, Wash., [unclear] May 1908. Addressed to Miss Katheryn Wabash Ave Chicago Ill c/o Atlas Supply Co. See blog entry for message, which covers 3/4 of the card.

“Dearie: Did you get my “wire” Sat or had you left office before it arrived. Am awfully anxious to know am sorry I did not tell you to reply by “wire” but I did not want you to go to that expence. Write + tell me you are feeling well + happy I want you to drop me a card every chance you get. Had Sunday dinner with Mr. Sears he treated me like a prince. Met his whole family and would have staid for the evening but I came home for I wanted to write to you. I wrote until 12.30 Sunday night wasnt she a long one. Now write me just as soon + as often as you can. I am still waiting for your picture. Did you get [unclear] Am doing a very good business and am on a better + more substantial basis with “Sears” than I ever imagined. Will give details in my next. I am more anxious to hear from you than you will ever know. With my very best always Fred”

Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 4 May 1908

“Billy in Berlin and Fred in Salt Lake and Seattle,” copyright 2021, A.R. Henle.

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