Letter from Larkin Boling Gamble, Feb. 16, 1913

Page one mentions the impeding death of my G-G-grandmother

Page one mentions the impending death of my G-G-grandmother

Page two

Page two

(Transcription below.  Any suggestions welcome.)


Brownsville, Ore

Feb. 16th, 1913

Dear Sister & family,

          I will drop you a few lines this evening.  We are up but I am hardly able to go.  I have had sick headaches for 2 days and am feeling pretty tough.  Just had a letter from Etta Webb sister Ruth’s daughter.  Ruth has been very sick for 3 weeks or so from blood poison in her foot where she struck her toe against an iron bedstead and on the 11th of this month Etta wrote  that the doctors said she could only live a few days at most and was liable to go to sleep at any time.  And I have an idea that she is not alive at this writing.  Birdie and Ivy were both there.  So Etta wrote that she did not say if May Cummins was there or not.  If so you can let Walter Oliver know about this and tell him to write to me as I may have some news to tell him.  Hope you are all well.  Martha Wesley wrote us of Elmer’s death and that Oscar had James back to Oklahoma.  Hope he got there all O.K. and will be benefited by the change of climate.  I was at Portland las Oct. Grand Lodge K of P (orR?) and visited with Martha & Harry and had a good  time.  Getting along all O.K. (words smeared). ..

My bees are working fine yesterday and were carrying pollen, Bee Bread.  I have 9 hives and hope for a good year of honey.  I had a letter today from Jo McTeer.  He is not married yet, and lives at the old McTeer Place.  Hope to hear from you all soon and that you are all well.  I have not heard from sister Mae Apperson for quite a while.  I wrote her of Susie’s death but have never heard from her since.  Her P. O. is Block Tennessee.  I had a letter from Lula 2 weeks ago.  She said the boys are preparing to put in a crop of Wheat and Oats and they are that they were all well as Common but herself she was not feeling well.  Be sure to let Oliver know about our sister if you can.  I will write again when I hear from them.  Etta said she would write every day or two.

          Love to you all,

          Your Brother,

          L. B. Gamble





Larkin Boling Gamble’s sister Ruth was my great-great-grandmother.  I believe the reference in the letter to the blood poison refers to problems associated with diabetes.  She actually did not pass away as quickly as we might think from reading the letter.  Her death occurred months later in May. 

Ruth Gamble Collins had several children.  Family legend says that her son William got into some trouble and left East Tennessee.  In the letter, Larkin Boling Gamble refers to all of Ruth’s children, who would have been his nieces and nephews.  And he mentions “Walter Oliver”.  There is no Walter Oliver in our family history, so I believe that he is in actuality referring to William Collins who has perhaps taken the name of Walter Oliver.  Granted, all of this is conjecture on my part. 

Families can be so mysterious.

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9 Responses to “Letter from Larkin Boling Gamble, Feb. 16, 1913”

  1. Simba Says:

    I think your transcription may have a typo near the beginning. The third sentence should read “and am” rather than “and and”. Those pesky things do appear all too often on all of us.
    Are there any newspaper archives in or near Brownsville, Oregon? Sometimes they can take some of the mystery out of a family’s past.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Good catch! I’ll edit the post. I don’t know anything about Brownsville. But I do know that there is the East Tennessee Historical Society and the legal archives right in Knoxville where Ruth Gamble Collins lived. There could possibly be something there, but it would take lots of time and digging. I know that Larkin Boling Gamble was a newspaper man. I’ve gotten away from deep-digging genealogy because of other pressing matters over the last few years. Personally, I’d love to link William Collins to Walter Oliver.


  2. kari Says:


    Perhaps Oliver is a family name on both sides…


  3. Ruby Says:

    Thanks for posting this, I just found it. Larkin and my 2nd Great Grandfather were cousins.


  4. William Collins, Mystery Man | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] Here’s the link to that post with the letter. Click here. […]


  5. Lita Kelley Says:

    So glad I found your blog. Larkin Boling Gamble is my g-g-g-grandfather. Can’t wait to find more information.


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