July 16, 2005

Discovery of Nellie Howell's letters!

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell

Marlene Hickman wrote to say she found some letters in her files that were written over one hundred years ago by Nellie DAVISON Howell! Marlene transcribed the letters and they appear below.


Ellen M. "Nellie" DAVISON Howell

The "Uncle John" (click for relationship tree) to whom these letters are addressed, is most likely John Howard Hickman, b. 1858 who married Theresa Hay in 1893. John Howard Hickman is the youngest child of Joseph Hickman and the 3 years younger sibling of Nellies mother Alma. (see chart)


September 9, 1900
Lowndes Building, Room 610
Atlanta, GA

My dear Uncle John:

Your letter with the Express Orders for Fifty-six dollars was received on Friday. I thank you very much for sending it and I am glad you did not give it to me before. I am sure I would not have thought of spending in such a nice way - buying shares - as I witness doing now. We have moved into Atlanta for the winter and have four rooms in a very pretty building. They are on the 6th floor so we have a beautiful view and at present a lovely breeze which is a very important feature of this climate. We expect to be just as warm this winter - In the rooms are heaters with hot water.

Thank you very much for your invitation to stay with you in Dorchester. It will be lovely to go back again and I want to go north next summer if possible. Mr. Howell asks me to thank you to for him. Much love to Aunt Teresa.

I am yours affectionately,
Nellie Davison Howell

November 20, 1901
3 Crescent Avenue
Atlanta, GA

Dear Uncle John:

Many thanks for the $3000 which arrived safely. My husband wrote you at my request explaining why we telegraphed. I have not been at all well lately and am going tomorrow to Marietta for a weeks rest. You remember perhaps I was there the first summer after I was married. I will take Alma and the nurse and Mr Howell is coming up to spend Sunday. I include the receipt you sent me to sign. Give my love to Aunt Teresa. Hoping to see you next summer.

I remain, yours affectionately,
Nellie Davison Howell


See Joseph Hickman's will - the $3,000 referenced in the above letter is probably the $3,000 left to Nellie by her grandfather Joseph Hickman in his will -to be given to her on her 21st birthday. Nellie was 21 on 9 Nov 1901.

There are many "firsts" - to me at least, that come from Marlene's discovery. Among them:

1) The first correspondence I have seen from Nellie.

2) Confirmation from Nellie that she was married to Henry Howell and that her grandparents were Joseph & Ruth Hickman. (Remember the first connection discovered to Hickman was mentioned in the Nov 2003 entry in this genealogue - in connection with the discovery of Nellie's mother's gravestone - it's nice to have some confirmation!)

3) Evidence that Nellie's daughter Alma was born before the letter dated 20 Nov, 1901 (I had no date for Alma's birth)

3a) Which gives evidence to support that Alma (Atze) was older than her brother John Edward Howell b. 1903. (we actually thought she was younger)

4) Confirmation from Nellie that she lived in Marietta, GA. (the first evidence I found of this is the 1900 census, Cobb County, GA, Ellen Howell, boarder, white, female, born Nov 1880, age 19, married for "0" years, mother of 1 child, "0" children living, born Canada (Eng), parents born Canada (Eng), reads, writes and speaks enlish).

4a) Evidence that she and Henry were married cir 1900 - 1901 "I have not been at all well lately and am going tomorrow to Marietta for a weeks rest. You remember perhaps I was there the first summer after I was married."

5) Confirmation from Nellie that she lived in Atlanta after Marietta, GA

6) Evidence that Nellie received a considerable inheritance from her grandfather Joseph Hickman ($3,000 in those days would have purchased a nice home from the looks of the other items on the will) - up until this, we were under the impression that Nellie' financial needs were provided mainly by her father and then after his death in 1902 by her younger half brothers.

We owe a debt of thanks to Marlene Hickman for locating, transcribing and sending these wonderful letters along!

Posted by jhowell at 12:34 AM