Insight Into Grandma & John C. McClure
This week we find ourselves looking back to March, 1905, with four more letters from John C. McClure, of Altona, Illinois, and sent to Miss Constance Warwick of Alva, Oklahoma Territory.
We find out this week that the first part of March, 1905, John is still in Altona, Illinois, but on the Wednesday before March 31st, Saturday, 1905 John C. McClure showed up in Alva, Oklahoma Territory, allegedly working at The First National Bank of Alva, Oklahoma and taken care of business at his farm near Alva.
March 2, 1905, postmarked Altona, Ill., 4 p.m. -- "Mar. 2, 1905, 5:00 a.m., Miss Constance Warwick, Alva, Okla., Dear Friend, You may think that 5 o'clock in the morning is a pretty time to be writing a letter, but you know the early bird always gets the worm. Well, I'm not after the worm or the worms class, but am just going to answer your esteemed letter of recent date.
"I am setting up with a boy, who has influenza of the Heart. He is at his sweethearts home. Was spending sunday eve here, when he had an attack. They thought he was dead for a long time. This has been his second attack of heart failure. He is liable to have an attack most any time and if he were alone, he would surely go. Blessed are the pure in Heart.
"I do hope you are over the fever. Don't you think it is heart failure instead?
"We are having mud about a foot deep now. Snow is nearly all gone. There is going to be an excursion from here next Tues. $15.00 for round trip. Nellie's father is going. I told the folks I was going too. They think I am.
"You spoke again about a picture. I never believed you wanted one before, but I will change my mind now. I would have had one taken some time ago, but was waiting, thinking perhaps I might improve my face, and then we have no good photographers around here. But you shall have one (if you are a good girl).
"I will close as the roosters are crowing. Hopeing to hear from you next time the mail man comes. I am a mourning star, John C. McClure. Excuse lead pencil because I am not at home. Bye Bye Bye Bye."
March 13, 1905, postmarked Altona, Ill., 4 p.m. -- "Altona, Ill., Mar. 12, 1905, Miss Constance Warwick, Alva, Okla., Dear Friend, I received your esteemed letter yesterday. It might do for a cousin to order the style of paper, but you know better than I, it would be my finish. Any old paper would be graciously received by me. I know you think I'm a fool.
"We have not had any rain this Spring, and not nearly as much mud as we generally have. There are still some snow drifts along the fences.
"Your County Superintendent must have an eye for business, for if I remember correctly that lot of School moms were individually pretty good looking.
"I believe you are building air castles again. Resigning your school, working in an insurance office, visiting in California, seeing the sights in Portland, Going to Texas and latter but not least finishing a combine course in three months.
"We had an anniversary at our house last Friday. It was the 25th anniversary of mother's and father's marriage. Of course, the best part was the dinner.
"I have a chance to take a position as "order and bill clerk" in a factory, but I don't know whether I will take it, or got to Chicago. If I got to the white city, I will go the latter part of the week.
"I have started to build air castles for this summer. First, I'm going to Alva if I'm wanted. If I'm not, well then I'm going to Portland, stopping at points between here and there. I'm liable to got to Texas. Ha.
"Mr. Peters, Nellie's hub. said wheat was awful poor especially ours. Will you go over and look it over. Nit!
"That boy that had heart trouble is alright now. I guess he has got it all the time.
"I'm going to send you a model Love letter that was given me in Quincy. I happen to have it here in my pocket just now, is the reason I thought of it. You may use it, but not on me. Ever Your Friend, J. C. McClure.
"I won't write anything you can't read, so here is the shorthand. Write soon, and oblige, Your truly." [then John writes Constance's name in shorthand with the following:] "P.S. Ask that other known man if I have written lately to Nellie. John McClure."
March 31, 1905, Alva, Okla. -- There were two letters written at this March 31, 1905 date. The first letter was written on "The First National Bank" of Alva, Oklahoma, stationary and addressed to Miss Warwick, Alva, Okla., with no postage stamp or postmark on envelope.
The First National Bank of Alva, Oklahoma stationary at the upper-left corner had the following information: "The First National Bank of Alva, Oklahoma. J. A. Stine, President, Geo. W. Crowell, Vice Pres., G. E. Nickel, cashier, Frank G. Munson, asst. cashier.
It began, "Miss Constance Warwick, Alva, Okla., Dear Friend, You will be perhaps be surprised to get a letter from me Postmarked at Alva. I came to Alva last Wed., and am in the First National Bank here. I was out to the farm one day, and have been very busy ever since, so have not had a chance to see anybody. I would like very much to come out and see you if you would care to have me. Hoping I may hear from you, I remain Your Friend."
An additional short note was sent in another envelope with a 2-cent stamped envelope with no postmarked visible, to Miss Constance Warwick, RFD, Alva, Okla.
It began, "Alva, Okla., Sun., Miss Constance Warwick, Last eve I wrote you a letter, which I suppose you will get, but in my hurry to put it in the mail with the bank's mail, did not sign my name, so I guess I had better tell you who I am. Wishing to hear from you, I am J. C. McClure, Box 133."
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Comments: Stephen, I already checked that out and someone told me that there was no relation to those McClure's with the Insurance. In the "Pioneer Across Woods county" history book there is no mention amongst the Insurance McClure family legacy of a John C. McClure.
You know Bud Clark? I was told that Bud's mother's sister married into the John C. McClure clan somehow or married John McClure. BUT... that hasn't been found for a fact. Just speculation.
Need to get back to Alva after the dog days of summer when it is cooler and and go through Clark's genealogy and see if I can piece it together.
If anyone sees my adopted family, Bud & Lovina Clark, tell them "Hello!" from this NW Okie in SW cool Colorado. Thanks! ~NW Okie 2009-07-21 13:44:31
I wonder is the same McClure that had the insurance company there in Alve?
Steve ~Steve Nicholson 2009-07-21 09:57:37
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