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This letter was transcribed thanks to the considerable efforts of Wendy Jack. The footnotes were prepared by myself and then verified (and corrected or amplified) by Wendy. Many of the letters are the property of Betty Whiteside and/or Wendy Jack. Any researchers who wish to make further use of them should check with them first.
Sharon Oddie Brown, modified June 8, 2005

Oct. 19th 1938                                                 


My Dearest Sallie [1] ,

                 I was thinking of you on the 15th but did not think in time to write for the 86th Anniversary [2] .  Since then I got your letter and was pleased that your writing was not so shaky as it was some time ago.  I do blame myself for not writing to you oftener, as I know how you must long for old home news. Well at present all here are fairly well I am much improved, and can manage to go up & down stairs now, with only the help of the rail.  My general health is real good, but I can only walk a short way till my back fails & I get dead tired.  Poor Tom [3] suffers a good deal from rheumatism, he has always been very careless about wearing damp clothes.  And I can tell you that for the past six months they have been more often wet than dry.  Since the month of June it has been an exceptionally wet season.  The hay harvest & the corn crops very hard to save, in fact there is corn in the fields still & much that is in the stack likely to heat.

    We have just had Mattie [4] for a fortnight.  She has got very stout, but is very well.  Florence Ussher [5] stayed with Allan [6] while Mattie was here.  He is very well but M. does not like to leave him alone.  The Usshers will be leaving the Bank [7] in the Spring [D.C.] and have decided to settle in Bangor but Eva [8] will have told you all her news.  Margaret Alexander [9] started her career in Trinity today. She left for Dublin yesterday, & is to stay in the Y.W.C.A. home.  I do hope she'll get on well.  George [10] is at school at Armagh, so Brownie [11] has only Sam [12] at home.  He is keeping well, and just attends classes at Clones every day.  The Doctor did not think it was wise for the present to send him from home.  Brownie is well but keeps very thin.  She'll miss her big useful daughter greatly as she keeps no maid but Margaret will only be seven weeks in Dublin this term.  Max Henry [13] is to be one of her tutors!

    Sallie Gilmore [14] lives in Dublin at present with her married daughter Eileen [15] - so Margt will have a "Port of Call".  Sallie keeps wonderfully well though she is in her 91st year!  Her youngest son, Tom [16] , who was a very successful Doctor in England, is very ill, & I fear hopelessly so, in Switzerland where he and his wife have been for the past six months for the "sunshine cure"  but so far no good results.  Then she has an anxious time about Sam [17] and Bessie [18] in Tientsin - indeed we all had a hectic time during the anxious week of the War Scare.  What a relief when the Powers came to terms!  But most likely only for a season. Hitler is not easy to quiet - & this settlement has induced our Irish leader to work for a complete Union between North & South - of course under a Dublin parliament!!  So far the North says No. so we are likely to have a stirring winter.  Isn't the Air post wonderful - it seems to bring distant countries so near!  Well dear I must close.  Hoping you are all well at Clairmont & that Clair [19] is having a good season - no apples in this country this year, & that Mary [20] & her care are well.

    Love to you all.  Your fond sister
                                      Maggie [21]

[1] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[2] Sallie’s 86th birthday

[3] Thomas Jackson REED (1881-1956), a son of Margaret JACKSON’s first marriage to Robert Hamilton REED. He never married. He would be 57 years old here.

[4] Maud Elizabeth Reed, daughter of Margaret JACKSONs forst marriage to Robert Hamilton REED.

[5] Florence Maud Ussher, daughter of James Ussher  & Eva Oliver (Reed) Ussher – daughter of Margaret JACKSON and Robert Hamilton REED.

[6] Allan SKUCE, husband of “Mattie” Maud Elizabeth REED

[7] James USSHER was a bank manager at Larne for many years.

[8] Eva Oliver (Reed) Ussher

[9] Margaret Rankin Alexander, daughter of Alice Margaret McCullagh & Andrew Alexander

[10] George ALEXANDER (1925-1995) son of Alice “Brownie” Margaret McCULLAGH & Andrew ALEXANDER

[11] Alice Margaret McCullagh

[12] Samuel Alexander (1922-?)

[13] Max HENRY?

[14] Sarah (Jackson) Gilmore

[15] Edith Eileen Gilmore wife of George William Ryder (who later married Eileen Edith McBride)

[16] Thomas Jackson Gilmore (he died in 1939)

[17] Samuel Gilmore – who was killed in Hong Kong when the Japanese overran the city in 1944

[18] “Bessie” Elizabeth Brown, who died in Tientsin in WWII

[19] Thomas Clair Whiteside

[20] Mary Ione WHITESIDE, daughter of “Sallie”

[21] Margaret (née JACKSON) (REED) McCULLAGH, sister in law of Sarah and sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON


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