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Nat and Mattie

My mother's great grandparents on her mother's side were Martha Hollingsworth Givens and Nathaniel Givens. They had a long distance romance for 7 years, else where it is told we don't really know how they met, but the following is the last letter Mattie wrote to Nat as she soon after left Colorado Springs for Gallatin to wed and move into the family home. They had 3 children. The youngest, Margaret Kirk Givens, was my mother's mother.


My mother wrote a fictional account of this last letter in her memoir but I can't seem to find the digital copy of it. I will post that when I find it.




Colorado Springs, CO

December 29, 1896


Mr. N. S. Givens

Gallatin, MO


My dearest Nathaniel –


Your letter came as usual and although I wrote to you Sunday, I will answer as usual. After I got the slippers done, I thought they looked a little small for a big fellow like you, but I hope they will do some good. It is now nearly nine o’clock. Ed and Alta came over in their buggy, a new one of their own, and not Ma C’s. They just went home a few minutes ago.


Alta told us of another wedding to be January 12th – one of our old acquaintances at Liberal – Ada Hood. She is to marry Will Anderson, a fellow whom I guess neither of us knew, as he came to Liberal after our departure. Alta and Estelle neither one seem to think he is very much. They sent Alta a sample of each of her dresses and Alta says mine are far nicer. The wedding dress is now being made, and I think you will like it. Estelle is making it, and she will hardly let me touch it for fear of soiling it. I believe you must be sort of a “lazy bones” about getting up in the morning, as you say it created a laugh when you told about the slippers being to wear when you build fires. You know I always said I wouldn’t do that. I am glad you care enough for me to fool with the “stove”, as you call it.


I am anxious to see everything and know how I will be located. I don’t see why you should get nervous as the time draws near. I am not, but I may be. I can’t tell yet. I am more scared about meeting your folks than anything else. I am not anxious about seeing a sample of the announcement, only I supposed there would be time to send it to me. If there isn’t it doesn’t matter.


A lady called on Mamma today, who called some time ago when Mamma was sewing on one of my house dresses, and asked her if she was getting ready for a wedding. Mamma turned it off some way, but when she came today and saw the white dress she told her she needn’t try to get out of it this time. The secret of her knowing so much about it before she came was that she had seen Mrs. Childers not long ago and of course she had to tell her about it. It provoked me awful to hear her telling it all over town. I am thankful that she doesn’t know the exact date, for if she did, I guess it might as well be published in the morning paper. I guess we’ll keep it from her till about the time you come. You will start one week from today, if you start the 5th. How are you going to call on Miss Hollingsworth after your arrival? You know that after Thursday this week she will be at home all day.


I have been helping Dr. Linton straighten up his mining stock and other business for the end of the year, and he thinks my services are quite valuable, he said today. I doubt if he ever lets any other assistant into his business affairs, outside of his profession, as he has me. I greatly appreciate the confidence too. He said that I would be able to look after our family accounts and I hope I can help with business affairs too. I had to write my name a number of times today to witness the signing of stock certificates and he told me I'd better write it while I could.


Thursday will be the last day in the office in which I have spent over 3 ½ years. I can’t leave without a feeling of parting with friends and I suspect I shall cry, and yet I am glad to go – to you. It will seem strange for me to get up mornings, and not feel the responsibility of going to the office, and that seeing that everything is ready for the day, but I will soon have your interests to look after, your clothes to mend, and the cooking to do to please you. Ah my! What a change it will be, but I shall like it I know, if you don’t scold me when I don’t please you. But you won’t will you? I couldn’t bear that.


Hattie hasn’t come yet, but her last letter said she would be sure to be here for the wedding. I wrote to her this evening. I guess she will be glad to get home, and I am sure we will all be glad to see her.


Alta said she did not write to you Sunday as she intended. Ed is at home now, but expects to go away tomorrow I think.


It is ten o’clock and I must go to bed. What do you do until 12 o’clock every night? You ought to go to bed earlier than that. You must write to me Sunday, even if you do start Tuesday.


I feel sort of silly and babyish tonight. I wish I had somebody to pet me. (??!!) Good Night.


Your own Girlie (Mattie)


May your New Year dawn without a cloud.


I am not sure when this picture was taken.

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