victor hugo noyes letter

Victor Hugo Noyes to Cora Noyes, December 1883

The date on the letter looks like Dec 1887 but Victor died in 1886. The date has been determined to be 1883, it being known that Victor was working in a tin shop in Kansas City in March of 1884.

“I have many more envelopes than letters, and none of the letters were enclosed in an envelope. Envelopes at that time carried the month and day, but not the year, so are not of much use in dating anything, anyway. It’s strange because the postmarks on postcards did carry the year.” Source: Nancy Benton 12 Sept 2003 email

Victor, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, of Liberal, Missouri was writing his sister Cora, who had been apparently inquiring about visiting. She had recently lost a job at a printing shop, possibly in Liberal.

He writes of activity at the tin shop where he works in Kansas City, the boarding house on Holmes street, a walk along the river, and a fledgling romance.

He also writes of having been to two spiritualist lectures.

Transcription of the letter follows the images.

vicletter83a

Victor Hugo letter 83 a

vicletter83b

Victor Hugo Noyes letter 83 b


(pg. 1)

Kansas City

Dear Cora –

I received both your letters and card yesterday at the shop. I am sorry to learn that you lost your job at the printing office.

You asked if you could stop and see me as you went be to (illegible). Yes, certainly, but the boarding house at which I am now staying is full and besides there are no boarders here but men. Most of them work at the iron foundry at the end of this street which is Holmes street. Since I wrote to you last I have been hear two spiritualist

(pg. 2)

lectures. It is quite cold here now. In the shop where I work we keep a big fire in the stove so that it is not uncomfortable. Why I quit backing was that it was so cold I could not keep myself as comfortable as I would be boarding. I pay three and a half dollars a week. Times are getting a little dull in the shop now. that is there is not so great a demand for tin ware in this season of the year as commonly. The Missouri river is in plain sight for several miles up stream from the shop window. for the last couple of days it has been full of floating ice proberbally frozen in it tributaries during

(pg. 3)

the cold weather we had a while ago and thawd loos in the succeeding warm weather. I took a walk a week ago last sunday along the bluff that overlooks Union Depot and the view was just grand. I walked 2 or 3 miles in all before I got to the city reservoir (?) where I took a street car and rode back. There are four women work in tin shop at soldering. One of them (who is about my age) get a long first rate.

Some of the boys say I will make a mash of it. “making a mash” is all the go here now. This is the slang expression of a gentleman and lady going to gether the boys are only teasing me

(pg. 4)

about Miss Emma is so you need not be afraid about me.

I expect you find it trouble to read this letter. It is of little importance so skip what you can’t make out.

Victor Noyes

* * * * * * * * *

Thought I’d add a link to a page where you can view what the old Union Depot in Kansas City looked like circa 1880.

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