100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Harry Truman Courts Bess Wallace

Harry S Truman was born in May 1884, in Lamar, Missouri, the son of a farmer and livestock dealer. When Truman was six, his parents moved to Independence. He got up at five every morning to practice the piano, which he studied twice a week. Truman was a page at the 1900 Democratic National Convention at Convention Hall in Kansas City, due to his father having many friends who were active in the Democratic Party. After graduating from Independence High School in 1901, Truman worked as a timekeeper on the Santa Fe Railroad. He worked at a series of clerical jobs, and was employed briefly in the mail room of the Kansas City Star. He returned to the Grandview farm in 1906.

Truman has been courting Bess Wallace since 1910 and proposed to her in 1911. She turned him down. She wants Truman to make something of himself. Truman continued to woo her.

On January 26, 1915 Harry s Truman writes Bess Wallace from Grandview, Missouri.

Grandview Jan. 26, 1915

Dear Bess:

I am going to try and send you a Wednesday letter. I have been chasing to town every day on account of Uncle Harry. He has been almost on the point of cashing in. I can’t get him to come home. I took Mamma in yesterday and she couldn’t even get him to come. I took her to the Orpheum in the afternoon. She sure enjoyed it. It is a fairly good bill, but if Martin Beck pays Lina Abarbanell two thousand dollars a week he’d better save his money and buy booze. She claims to be the Bernhardt of song. She has the movement all right but not the voice.

You don’t know how sorry I am to hear you are confined to your couch. I am very sure you’d rather be in most any other place. I had our tickets exchanged for next Saturday evening. If you’re not well enough to go then I’ll trade them off again etc. ad lib. until you can go.

Your letter has never come yet. I suppose Uncle Samuel is reading it at Washington or some other wayside station. I had purchased a foot warmer and had two more side curtains put on so that Old Lizzie was as warm as a church. I think she was right disappointed at not getting herself tired out. I am going to have to take her back to the factory though as she is suffering from a worse knock than before she was fixed. I have an idea that the “expert” who worked on her jimmied her innards a little to get her brought back. He wanted to put on a new piece and I wouldn’t let him. If I can make Stafford believe he fixed it wrong, I can get it fixed over for nothing.

I am going to send you a Life for last week. The cover is very good if the insides are not.

I am hoping to see you soon.

Will split this letter and write another the end of the week.

Most sincerely, Harry



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