These are the last two love letters I found from Benjamin Atkinson (1884-1975) to Hilda Pinborough Atkinson (1896-1984). I do hope there are more hiding among the boxes of letters I'm archiving! Such a delightful way to get to know the people behind the names and numbers. I was going to write some thoughts on the insights I feel I've gained into Ben & Hilda's personalities, but I'll keep them to myself for now and let you draw your own conclusions.
Only note, when Ben references his "Wifes mother," he is referring to his deceased wife, Florence Hettie Woodcock (1887-1925).
Happy Genealogy Hunting!
Letter Postmarked Dec 31 1926
Benjamin Atkinson to Hilda Pinborough
Sweetheart Happy New Year
Lots of em
My Dearest Hilda
I received your welcome Letter & was very glad to hear from you once again & pleased to hear that you enjoyed your Christmas you say that there was one person lacking I suppose that was (me) I will try & do better next time. I was buying Xmas cards for all I got 1 for my Mother & my Wifes Mother & I like to have a little fun once in a while so I got one for your Mother. I am sorry if I hurt her feelings as I do not intend to hurt anybody if I know it.
I enjoyed my Christmas looking after my Partner he was a pretty sick man but he got alright before Monday Something the matter with his stomach I will tell you what I had for xmas dinner when I see you because I know you will laugh to think how some people are. I have not heard from the kiddies since Christmas so I do not know how they got along but I know they missed their Daddy & I know I missed them too also (you) & others. you want to be careful & not overdo yourself by trying to do too much your letter tells me that your pretty busy now be careful (won’t you Dear).
So when I come home I would like to see you just as well as when I left I am glad to hear that your Chapel has been Dedicated & would like to have been there as I do love to hear Pres Grant speak. Well Dear I appreciate your gift & I will try & make good use of it when I get back I think it very nice. Thanks very Much. according to your presents somebody must be thinking besides ourselves I have not dropped anything only to you & I don’t know for sure yet till we meet again it is up to you to decide you sure have got some good news for me when you say
you like me better all the time. I did not think that letter would reach you before xmas but I am glad it did & glad that you enjoyed it so much I do enjoy getting ours. You ask me was I happy. Well I can say yes. always. but I will be much happier when you say (yes). You spoke of your eyes in your last letter & what other folks would say to me about them. I have took that into consideration more than once & the more I see of you & receive your letters the more I love you. not just to get married but I think & know that you will make me a good companion & I know that I will try & be a companion to you
Well I have got some good news for you but I won’t tell you till the last of this letter so keep on reading you do not want to cheat me out of your lovely letters as I look forward to them & I know when to expect them I hope you have got the beds made by this time & also got warm. I am glad you think more of me than making beds they can keep. If you could not make the beds I guess I could help you it won’t be the first time that I have helped in the house & I guess I can help do it again I was always willing to help in home if need that is what makes life happy is to help one another when necessary
you say you work under a boss to do the housework they say if you work to long for the same boss they think they own you so it is good to make a change sometime to get results. How would you like to be your own boss? Well Dear, I could say lots I realize your condition but I always try to mind my own business & if we can do that & try & keep our own home in order it is sure grand. yet we can’t help notice other people & think how inconsistent they are sometimes & I think they ought to be left alone to do some for themselves and if one can’t do it it is up to the other to help What is Life. Only what we make it. We can either make it hell of Heaven.
I have had some experience along that line. you have not. Only what you see & I can guess what you have to put up with but I know the Lord has blessed you and he won’t forget you as long as you don’t forget him. Well if I was near to you with my arm around you I could tell you lots of things to cheer you up so I guess I had better wait till I get home again as it won’t be long now altho’ the weather is so nice down here & I understand it is cold up there but I guess they have not burnt all my coal yet I had 9 tons in the basement Now I am going to tell you when you get this letter that it
is Monday evening & you can answer it at night & mail it tuesday Morning & I will get it Friday evening now this is the good news I think we will get them down here latter part of next week the boss has no more work at present and if he don’t get any more it won’t be long before I will be home to tease you a little so get all your sewing done & rested up if you have not sent that cake keep it & we both can eat it I hope you got the candy I thought you would like a little to eat evenings you said you would have you answer ready pretty soon (Are you ready yet?) Shoot if you feel
like it Remember me to mother & all the rest of the family that are interested in me May the Lord bless you & keep you well & Help you to perform your daily labors
Your Loving Sweetheart
Some Extra more coming.
Don’t work too hard & rest up
I am glad you liked your purse as it was a puzzle to know what to buy you & it took me about a week of window shopping to select it. The next letter I write I can come pretty near telling you when I will be home I got your letter this evening & mail it this night. Lots of Love. Ben.
Postmarked Jan 4 1927
Ben to Hilda
Monday 3rd 1927
I received your letter this evening & was glad to hear from you once again. I feel so Happy that I hardly know what to write but I will try to pencil a few lines of what I am thinking of. I received the Cake also but I will not sample it until I finish this letter as you said I must eat it in small pieces & I just got thru supper I received a letter from Mother & she informs me that you remembered the children & Her Christmas which was very kind of you.
Well Dear I see by this letter that you have answered my question to be my companion & Partner and I am willing to do the best I can in making life a pleasure for you & I know you are willing to do the same for me I do not think you have made any Mistake in the matter as I have felt that the first time I met you that you was the one for me & I think that we will be perfectly Happy together if we both work for that end which I think we will I know that you will have
to finish teaching school but that can be arranged very nicely. I will be very glad to ask Mother for you but for Dad I think not as the girls always belong to their Mother & Mother tells Dad. anyhow you say no more Piggly Wiggly now I guess you will be just as anxious to kiss & hug as much as I was, won’t you? Ha Ha I do not know how many more points in this gamble but I think one of the main points have been reached. We will learn to gamble when we figure on getting Married
everything seems to be a gamble in this life. I was surprised to get the good news by letter as you said you wanted to see me first but you can see me second got the news first and that will not be long now I guess you will be glad to see me more than ever now I know I will be glad to see you because I am more interested in you than when I left I have been wondering what your Mother thinks about it but I guess she is like all Mothers like to see their children do as they have done I guess you will surprise lots of your friends when they
hear about it. I know I will get a roasting from Lucy when she sees me because I am always teasing her. Well Dear your letter was the best news since I met you and this letter will be good news to you I am leaving for home either Friday or Saturday as we are thru down here I will be home either 11th or 12th Tuesday or Wednesday so get some rest & keep me a date for somewhere around that time as I am not sure what day it will be as the roads are not as good as when we came down here
and it will take longer to get home I figure 4 days but I will call you up when I get there We will try & have some good times later on next week Good bye for the present Praying the Lord to bless you & keep you safe & well
From Your Loving
The weather down here is all Sunshiney warm days no smoke no clouds
I am Much Happier Now. Still Happy. PS Remember me to Mother
I will receive your letter in answer to this one at 281 J Street
Some Extra for what you wrote me in answer to my question
Parting thought - Who is Lucy?
ACCURACY NOTE: All letters are mostly transcribed as written. I try to stay true to the writer's penmanship including the spelling & grammar mistakes, missing punctuation, run on sentences and such but, in some cases, I add in periods to make the letter easier to read. These old letters had few if any paragraph breaks, so I sometimes add them by the "page turn" to make it easier to read. And yes, sometimes I make a few mistakes in transcription.