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[Written at top of letter] Did you notice in last Presbyterian Feb. 25 & week before also Charles Gordon's account of Evangelistic work in the West if you did not see it, tell Tom to send it to you as I am sending it to him Feb. 25th is the best.1

W6363 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Feb 27 1909
In care of (c/o)
To: Calvin McQuesten Knox College, Toronto, Ontario
From: 'Whitehern' Hamilton

Dearest Calvin,

Indeed that terrible murder gave everyone a shock, because one felt it might have happened to any one. The man must have been in an insane frenzy and there seems to be so many insane people going about one never knows when they will be encountered. Of course every [one] declares, they will never let a tramp inside the house and the hardware people have exhausted their stock of chain bolts for doors. The tramps declare (in the paper to-night) that the Kinrades never turned any one away without help so they would not have touched them.2

Well, Calvin, I am quite disappointed that you should not have a day or two with us after your exams, but I suppose it cannot be helped. Now you must let us know, if there is anything you wish to take with you in the eatable line. Can you take a cake or anything? Then what about the new nightgowns? Can you get them or will I ask Maggie to write to get them for you?3 I can give you some money. And if you leave paying of board till end of term, that means you have to take meals at Knox. If they are not good do not take them, I can manage someway to let you have some money.

I am sending you R.'s letter. I really feel provoked at the doctors persisting in my keeping her out there during cold winter, I am sure it was not the climate at all for her. I know the effect of a cold winter upon me was always to make me feel very weak in the spring, and as to her face it will never be well there. One would really think it did not matter to us how long she stayed. However I have told her, she can stay for March (I had suggested she should come at end of her half month the 21st) but she must come at end of her month April 6th. I had hoped she would be home here before you left. I have told her, she need never expect her face to be well there.

Laura Hostetter finally arrived home on Wednesday night, but of course had taken cold on the way and was in bed since so we have not seen, but Mrs. Thomson is delighted to see her free of asthma and able to lie down asleep like other people.4

Edna was out when your Valentines came, so Mary put hers into E.'s envelope, she was simply charmed with it and would have been most disappointed with Cupid. You do not speak of getting any, too bad if you were forgotten. You can send on cuttings with R.'s letter to Tom. So the Methodists are having another squabble. Lots of things for the newspapers now-a-days. Heard from Maggie White, Mrs. Senkler home and feeling very badly, we hear that now Mr. Hammond is dead Ontario Bank affairs will be settled, but they kept quiet not wishing to disturb him.5 Be sure & tell us what you need. With love.

Your Mother

[M.B. McQuesten]


1 For Charles Gordon and family, see W5359.


2 Ethel Caroline Kinrade was murdered on February 25, 1909. Her sister Florence claimed that she and Ethel answered the door to a man who asked for food and then demanded money. When Florence went to get the money, Ethel was shot to death. When Florence returned, she quickly handed him the money and fled out the back door. In spite of a good description the man was never found. Another theory "holds that Florence may have been collaborating with him or may herself have committed the crime. However none of these allegations was ever proven. The murder remains unsolved." The Kinrades lived at 105 Herkimer St. and Mr. Kinrade had warned the girls not to turn away any vagrants who requested food, because the family should "share the comforts" with which it had been "blessed." However, Mrs. Kinrade was frightened by the "suspicious characters" "hanging about" their home and at the time of the murder "was at the police station demanding protection for the family" (DHB2.85). On May 1, 1909 Mary again commented: "Our papers are full of the lawyers' contentions over the Kinrade affair. Do not know the use of Stanton prolonging affair by keeping Florence out of witness box, but perhaps he knows. People give family a terribly bad character, thoroughly bad, except the mother" (W6363, W6409).


3 Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. MacKay of Toronto, see W4297.


4 For Hostetter and Thomson connection, see W4415.


5 Maggie (MacKay) White and her sister Leila (MacKay) Senkler (W4297). Their father had died earlier in February 1909 (W6359). The reference is to the disposition of the estate (see also W6483). Mr. Hammond was likely a bank official or a business associate.




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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.


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