This letter was written by Evalina M. (Bartley) Chubb (1833-1860), the daughter of Robert A. Bartley (1806-1880) and Sophronia Meacham (1806-1878) of Norwalk, Ohio. Evalina married John Henry Chubb (1833-18xx) on 23 July 1856. We learn from the letter that they were the first couple to get married in Hutchinson, McLeod County, Minnesota. Chubb, a native of Whitehall, Washington County, New York, was among the party that laid out the town of Hutchinson in 1855. Unfortunately, “Eva” only lived four more years after her marriage.
Though not named at the head of her letter, Eva intended the letter for her brother, Theodore Declarmont Bartley (1830-1914) who married Mary Eliza Felton (1835-1892) on 22 April 1856 — just three months before Eva’s marriage.
Mine Own Dear Ones,
You have no longer a sister Eva Bartley. She made herself minus last week Wednesday evening about 8 o’clock and a Mrs. Chubb stood in her shoes, out on the green prairie with the blue heavens above us & the inhabitants of Hutchinson (forming a circle around us) for witnesses. Don’t you think that was nice? Then the most of our friends escorted us to our new home (which is about 1 mile from town or the center of it; there is no part of town that we can see from our house).
Well the company came out with us wished us all that was good, bade us good night & left us to the quiet possession of our home. A team came on with my trunks and thus we went to housekeeping the same night. Mr. Chubb had been down to Minneapolis & brought up all that we needed to start with. We have the prettiest site for a house that you ever saw and our home stands on it and it is one of the dearest little homes in the world. We are so happy. Who thought when you were married that in 3 short months I should not only be married too, but housekeeping and have such a dear man and sweet little home all my own. Well strange things will happen.
My dear brother, [forgive] me for speaking so long of myself when the last letter I have received from you stated that my dear sister had gone to attend you — a sick brother. Has she returned? Is he better &c.? Tell me all about it & then tell me if you are coming & how soon because my dear Henry is keeping that timber claim for you & he wants to know that he may make his plans accordingly.
I know you will like to live here, my dear Mary. If I did not think so, I would not be selfish enough to want you to come simply to gratify me although I do want you near me. I love my old friends, none the less my husband more & though I can be content with him alone, still I would love dearly to have you come. We some expect some of my loved ones friends out soon. A brother of his has gone east after his family [and] will be back soon.
Mr. Chubb now expects to preempt before long. Then this ____ claim will become a farm. I am still to have my town lot.
My being the first one married in Hutchinson has to atone for not teaching the first school as I intended to when I came. You see I have taken one for another longer term than I intended to ____. I really meant to write a real good letter today but you who are in the same position can easily imagine where my strengths are and who occupies my time.
Our little raft is firmly launched upon the sea of domestic bliss & now we are sailing with wind and tide. Should storms arise, we feel safe as we have experience for our pilot. We are freighted with love & reason is our captain. My dear brother & sister, excuse me from writing more this time as I really can not spare time today for I must write some more. Heaven’s best blessing attend you. Mr. Chubb sends love. Write to him, won’t you? In love, — Eva