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97-Year-Old Woman Receives 125-Year-Old Letter From Grandfather

| by Tony Tran
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A North Dakota woman received a blast from the past when she got a letter from her late grandfather.

Mollie Olson, 97, received the 125-year-old letter last week written by her grandfather, Sylvester “Bessie” Marshall.

“My granddad was the best,” Olson told The Dickinson Press. “He took care of us kids. I was named after his wife, Mollie, and he loved her dearly. He wouldn’t leave me out of anything because my name was Mollie.”

The letter was written from Marshall to his then-fiancée, Mollie McFarland. In the letter Marshall implored his fiancée to move out to Emerado, North Dakota -- where he had moved to from Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

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Though the envelope is beaten and worn with age, the letter itself contains multiple pages written in fine script dated September 26, 1889.

Addressing McFarland as “My Dear Friend” in almost every paragraph, he asked her to journey out west from Pennsylvania in order to live with him in the log cabin he had been building, according to The Dickinson Press.

"My Dear Friend you said you could come any time but that time never comes for you ... it may be two more years before you come," Marshall wrote.

After waiting for a while longer, the two were reunited and eventually married, settling in Emerado where the family remained for generations.

Though Olson now has a new keepsake to remember her grandfather, Velma Jorgenson discovered the letter 10 to 20 years earlier inside of a book in a library in Minnesota, The Grand Forks Herald reports.

(Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)

After the discovery, a local paper ran a story saying that they were “looking for anyone connecting with the names Mollie McFarland and Sylvester Marshall.”

Luckily for Olson, Diane Rosenow had been working on a family genealogy project and was able to find her.

Now, Olson has the priceless memento and plans to share it with the rest of her family.

"People keep telling me they want to see it because he lived here forever, you know," said Olson. "I'm going to make a copy and give one to each of the kids.”

At the end of the day though, the letter is a reminder of the happy memories Olson has of her grandfather.

"He was the nicest old man who ever walked the earth," Olson said. "Wherever he went, I went with him."

Source: The Dickinson Press, The Grand Forks Herald 

Photo Credit: pixabay, The Dickinson Press