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.

Can you identify this preacher?

Special Collections received an early Christmas present yesterday. Just before the morning service started Tom Milholland handed me this photo of a very young preacher in knee-breeches. Can you guess his identity? Check back tomorrow at noon for the answer! Here is one hint: taken when he just began preaching (at about age 15 or 16) this young man would be one of the most recognizable preachers among Churches of Christ in the 20th century.

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This Just In: Belle Plaine, Kansas Church History

ACU_ThisJustIn_AnEarlyHistoryOfTheChurchInParadiseValley_frontcover_1956

We just received this lovely little 26-paged booklet. Compiled in 1956 by G.R. Tinius, it is a history of the earliest Churches of Christ in Belle Plaine, Kansas. It contains historical accounts of five different congregations: Palestine, Pleasant Valley, Council Hill, Belle Plaine, and Peck churches of Christ.

If you have any other interesting history on any of these congregations, please reach out and share. If you have booklets similar to this about local church history in your area, we would love to hear about it.