My Beau

Back in May some of you may remember my sharing some treasures I received from a new friend, Karen I met through our daughters. Among the treasures was a stack of letters.

Dr. John Campbell of South Carolina was practicing medicine in Jacksonville Florida and was corresponding with Miss Eula Long of Georgia. They married October 20th, 1915 in Jacksonville and lived in Georgia. They opened a drug store/soda fountain in Nahunta Georgia. The house they lived in is being lived in by one of Karen’s relatives. Dr. and Mrs. Campbell had two daughters, Dorothy and Christine, both deceased now. Dorothy has a son named Rocky who is about 55 and Christine never had children but was famous for very large cats that lived in the drug store. Christine’s husband, Gordon Wright was a retired teacher and gave this wonderful collection of letters, receipts, photographs and even the Campbell’s Marriage Certificate to Karen’s mother. After Karen came by one day and saw what I did she gathered the things and sent them to me. There are 18 or so letters all dated between June and October 1915.

A few of the letters......
Using a page from one of the letters and the envelope I created this collage around it. The letter was dated July 22, 1915 and tells how disappointed he was that the arrangements they had made to meet did not work out. Dr. Campbell went on to tell Miss Eula how much he cared for her and hoped they could arrange a meeting again soon as he could not stand the thought of not seeing her for any longer.

My Beau.....Here are a few excerpts from some of the letters. Oh how I wish I also had the letters Dr. Campbell received from Miss Eula. He would share his day with her and tell her about a case he was working on. He told her how much he cared and wanted to spend all his time with her. He talked about her writings and the things she had said, but he never really mentioned what she had said. This makes it even more romantic… can read between the lines. Reading through the letters their meetings and plans were a secret as you will see below and he refers to her Great Escape several times. Notice how he addresses her and how he signs some of them.

June 22
My Dear Dear Eula,
Striving for our future harbors thoughts of you as a companion brings to mind the thoughts of responsibility and the necessary essentials for your welfare and happiness. Tell Louise that I have not forgotten her and will be over sometime to see you both. Guess she still keeps what she knows of our secrets. Your Friend, John Campbell, MD

July 12
Dear Eula,
If it was possible that I had never loved you it would be impossible now after receiving such a considerate letter. I feel nearer to you than ever before and hope that we will be soon be living as one. I am sure that I really love you and that you would make the future happy. If you think you can get off we will meet and stay over the weekend. Forever, John Campbell

July 15
I give you my word as a man and a friend that I will always remember your kind heartfelt statements. Forever, Campbell

August 2
My Dear Eula
I appreciate your affection and desires of being with me and it is almost unexplainable how your letters have appealed to your loved one. My intentions are now for us to become as one sometime in October. Am very sorry that I want be able to meet you this week. I certainly want to see you sometime in the real near future. It is very hard to think of but apparently there is always something to prevent our meeting, but dearest don’t let this worry you for I am the same old kid and love you just as well. Love, Campbell

August 16
Dear Dear Eula,
I feel now that it is almost impossible for me to live satisfied away from you and don’t expect to do so much longer. Forever Yours, John Campbell

August 23
Dearest One,
Am glad that you have decided to meet me on Saturday. I will leave for Savannah on Friday night and meet you in the morning. I am very anxious to see you. Yours, Campbell, MD

September 1
Dearest one,
Received your appreciated letter and am sorry that you are not feeling well, though expected you would be somewhat fatigued from the trip. My friends arrived yesterday and we spent a very pleasant day discussing some of our past also talked of the present and future intentions of our lives. I told them of our plans and was immediately congratulated. They both intend being with us on the day of that occasion providing I state to them the expected date. Want to keep our intentions as a secret if possible in order to prevent any interference with your Escape. Forever Yours, JA Campbell

September 10
Dear Eula
Am still feeling holding you close as I did when we were last together and expect nothing to come between us and for us to be married on the twentieth of October. I do not know whether or not we will remain in this town as I am corresponding with two friends in Texas and should they offer a guarantee that will hold good may take us there. Love Always, John Campbell

September 28
My Dear Eula
Intended writing you today and mail but was called out of town this morning at three thirty and have just arrived, therefore was unable to comply. Am eagerly looking forward to the near approaching day when your positive presence will be our future and perfect happiness. Am making every possible effort to be in readiness for our matrimonial service. Excuse short letter as I am tried and sleepy. Yours Forever, JA Campbell, MD

October 7
Dear Eula,
I have loved you since shortly after our acquaintance and intend keeping my promise. Will expect you on the twentieth unless death or a similar cause prevents. Now dearest I know that I am capable of supporting and protecting you. Don’t fail to make good your Escape. Yours Forever, Campbell

October 13
My Dear Eula,
Will meet on the morning of the 20th. Am working hard but feeling fine, and trust that you have been gaining in health and strength since last heard from. I want you to look to these people as you did to me on first appearance. Should you not hear from me anymore before the 20th govern yourself by this letter write to me and give details of your plan. Yours Forever, JA Campbell

Here's their Marriage Certificate dated October 20, 1915........

I now present to you Dr. and Mrs. J A Campbell.......
I hope you have enjoyed the story of Dr. Campbell and Miss Eula as much as I have. I ask these questions to myself.....Why the Secret? Why an Escape? What was the Plan? There are more works of art coming soon revolved around these treasured letters.

Until next time.....keep all those old love letters and cards as some day they too may be treasures by someone just like me.



Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading this Debbie!
Thank you for posting!
I too keep old love letters from other people's past'
It is so endearing!

Amber Dawn

abbymaya said...

LOVED IT! I loved the collage, loved the letters, loved the photo, everything. I'm such a sucker for a good romance, add in some mystery, and I'm hooked! I can't wait to see what you do with these two, I know it's going to be wonderful.

Suzan-- said...

This was a great story..and so sweet!!! I am so happy that they got together despite the "mystery"...LOVELY! Can't wait to "see" the are going to collage a magical ending for them, right????LOL..

Big Hugs!!! ME.

Heather Robinson said...

Oh, Debbie. I loved reading every bit of this and seeing your lovely tribute to a love affair. Thanks for sharing it all.

Nancy Maxwell James said...

such a sweet story! I loved reading it! beautiful work too!

Aunt T said...

WOW Deb! What a great story and what a wonderful woman to give you these treasures.



dunesza said...

Oh Debbie, thank you for sharing! I so enjoying reading through these letters! How wonderful and treasured!:)

Raised In Cotton said...

My goodness Debbie, what a beautiful post. I just love reading the letters. Beautiful art too!


Trisha said...

Oh, Your post leaves me in tears. What an utterly romantic story. Thank you so much for sharing.

Trisha Evans