W-MCP2-3b.065 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
Jul 1 1896 Saturday, [date estimated]
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Zion, Michigan Ave and 12th St. Chicago, Illinois
From: Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario
My exams are over at last so I have time to write you. We had a very nice history paper nicer than I expected, and the Latin authors was nice too but rather long and I managed to do all the translation. The chemistry paper wasn't particularly delightful still it wasn't bad.1
Mamma has been very miserable this week but she is feeling much better today and now that the weather is cooler I hope she will get stronger.
Tom and Edna and I went down to John's last night and he would give us fifty cents to get something Mamma would like so we bought her some nice peaches. Minnie and Charlotte and the small baby brother who is a perfect little imp are down there. Jim is making a visit with his various relations and John can't get him home: he is pretty sly to stay away when he knows his Aunt Minnie will be here to take care of the house though he knew that John meant him to do the work.2
Annie Woods sent me a letter to-day and asked me what I was doing with all my holidays. I don't think I'm much troubled on that score yet.
Mr. [Wm.] Murray is staying some place in New Jersey and he sent Edna a paper with the picture of the hotel at which he is staying. It is a lovely place and a lovely price too from $35 to $50 a week. Wouldn't you like to be there?
The Jameses are in luck for Willie and Janie are asked up to Muskoka to stay for a month at Sir Wilfred Robinson's; they met them at those meetings at Niagara-on-the-Lake where Mrs. James went. Mamma thinks that they are Plymouth Brethren.
George Peter comes over here regularly and does not seem at all affected by green apples and is quite friendly with that bad boy that laughs at him. By the way sonnie [sic] the apples are getting ripe so you had better not stay too long for I know you have a weakness in that direction. Tousie [Hilda] made some dandy raspberry-vinegar yesterday.
Your small sister Edna is just putting on the hose isn't she a great kid. Mr. Hutton came the other day to play tennis but as you were away and Mary was staying in bed that day I told him there was no one who would play and he would have to come after my exams and I would play with the dear boy, so he sorrowfully departed.
Jimmie Gownloch [sp?] is here so he and Tom make raids on the Woodses apples. Jim Vincent came the day you went and seemed astonished that you left so suddenly.
Jack Rioch came to inquire after Mamma on his way from his exams but he didn't say whether they had been hard or easy.
Our flowers are coming out in great style this summer and the tennis lawn is in fairly good condition.
So you didn't take a sleeper going to Chicago. I think it must have been rather amusing watching the different people manage if you weren't too sleepy yourself.
I really think I have told you all the news so I will let Mamma tell the rest. With much love from all.
Your loving sister
P.S. Mamma told me to tell you that your letter was a great comfort to her but that she didn't feel able to answer it yet.3
1 Ruby was an excellent student; she was born in May 1879 and would be 17 yrs of age in 1896. We have records that indicate that she was in kindergarten in Feb. 1885 (Box 04-002) and in the first grade in Oct. 1887 (Box 04-016). So in 1896 she likely would have completed 9 yrs of schooling, unless she had been advanced a grade/year or two. The first letter that we have from the Ottawa Ladies' College is dated Nov. 1900 (W4440), when Ruby would have been 21 yrs, of age. Tom was two years younger than Ruby.
2 This likely refers to John Puckridge Baker and his family, who are related through Rev. Baker. John Puckridge Baker was Rev. Baker's grandson. Rev. Baker was Mary Baker McQuesten's father.
3 Calvin wrote a few letters from Chicago's Rev. Dowie's Zion healing centre, W-MCP2-3b.066 and W-MCP1-3b.016.