Dearest Little Friends: a 1919 letter from a faculty member comes back to Abilene

I never know what the mail will bring.  Last week we received a kind donation from an eagle-eyed antiquer who spotted this letter from 1919.  Written by S. Vernon McCasland, faculty member in the Science Department, it reveals a charming friendship with two of his former pupils.

We do not have a file for McCasland.  From a quick internet search I see his stint at ACC was brief.  He taught science and served as the school’s first football coach.  After leaving ACC to pursue graduate study, McCasland went on to a distinguished career in biblical and theological studies, teaching many years at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

Letter, S. Vernon McCasland to Claude and Laude Tyson, May 25, 1919, p. 1

Letter, S. Vernon McCasland to Claude and Maude Tyson, May 25, 1919, p. 1

May 25, 1919

Mr. Claude + Miss Maude Tyson;
Goldsboro, Texas.
Dearest Little Friends;-
You don’t know how much pleasure it was to receive a letter from two of the finest little people that ever have come to school to me.  Your letters were so nicely written, too.  I remember so well how small and young you were when you first came to school to me.  And also how good you were and how much you learned.

I can never forget the people of Midway and the Winter [page 2] that I stayed there.  I would like very much to have your pictures.  You are doubtless much larger now than you were then, and will soon be really grown up.

I still remember putting Claude up on the table before the school.  It wasn’t very funny, was it Claude?  But that was just a sign that you were a real boy.  I am teaching in college now, where I have lots of big boys to manage.  Sometimes I go to town at night and bring one home when he has slipped off.  Wouldn’t you like to be one my boys here?  I would be very glad to have “my little twins,” in college here sometime.

Would be glad to hear from you again whenever you want to write.

Give my best regards to your parents and Mamie and [illegible] also to all of my friends there.

With love,

S. Vernon McCasland

Letter, S. Vernon McCasland to Claude and Laude Tyson, May 25, 1919, p. 2

Letter, S. Vernon McCasland to Claude and Maude Tyson, May 25, 1919, p. 2

 

Letter, S. Vernon McCasland to Claude and Laude Tyson, May 25, 1919, envelope

Letter, S. Vernon McCasland to Claude and Maude Tyson, May 25, 1919, envelope

PS: The letter was sent to us from New Mexico. How a letter from a beloved teacher was preserved all these years, and how it trekked from Abilene, to Goldsboro Texas to New Mexico and back again, must surely be a fascinating story.

An Icy Baptism from 1948

It never fails. Whenever I look for something for a researcher, I always find some interesting article, or photograph or bit of information.  This morning I ran across this image of a baptism in the 30 October 1948 issue of Christian Standard.

Baptism in ice, Christian Standard, October 30, 1948, p. 715

Baptism in ice, Christian Standard, October 30, 1948, p. 715

The caption reads: “After having cut ice five inches thick, John D. Jenkins, minister at Odin, Ill., is pictured baptizing his uncle at Eldon, Mo., last February 11.”

The article describes how Jenkins baptized his three brothers, his sister, wife, three children, his wife’s aunt, two uncles and a cousin…12 souls in all.

Baptism in ice, Christian Standard, October 30, 1948, p. 715

Baptism in ice, Christian Standard, October 30, 1948, p. 715

#tbt from ACU Special Collections: Cammie McKeever Lawrence, ca. late 1880s

This hand-colored and embellished late 19th century image of Cammie McKeever Lawrence was donated to Center for Restoration Studies in 1992.  Cammie was a  great-niece of Alexander Campbell.  The McKeever family was active in the earliest educational efforts of the Campbell reform movement.  Here is Cammie’s page on Find-A-Grave.

ACU_CammieMcKeeverLawrence_front