I managed to get this letter transcribed today and wanted to get it posted. You will notice that at the end he does sign this letter Clinton. He is a very righteous man and wants to do nothing that would upset Bessie or make her think any less of him. I can't help but fall a little in love with this man myself. :)
Sept. 10, 1908
Miss Bessie Barnhart,
Dear Sister Barnhart,
A neighbor brought your letter out about 15 minutes ago and I was greatly pleased to receive a letter from you, I hardly expected to year from you until tomorrow. I feel grateful to you for replying so soon.
My brother is in St. Louis but he might be sick in bed for all I know, I telephoned to see if he reached his destination safe, and he had, but I know he is very poorly for he just compelled himself to stand the trip and when I took him to the station he would catch his breath at every little jostle of the rig.
Mother and my sister’s little boy just left for our neighbors on a visit and they expect me to shortly follow.
I have just returned from feeding and looking after the chickens, one reason for which I did not accompany them.
When we decided to go I did not expect to write a letter before going but after I received yours I made up mind to answer it immediately so Mr. Davis could mail it tomorrow, as I expect to go to his place in the morning.
You asked me to join you in prayer concerning your teaching. I have done that in the past and when I read our letter and learned the possibility of you going to S.C. I could not help but feel downcast, Bessie I am not speaking through emotion only, and I hope you will not consider me silly, as it is no more than right that I should have such feelings toward you since we are engaged.
[------------------] and my nephew had gone I knelt in prayer and sought God’s guidance and blessing for you.
I know he will do what is best but I cannot help but be anxious about you going so far from and among strangers.
Sometimes I think maybe I did wrong in asking you to take the place of a wife as it will take a faithful servant of the Lord out of his work. I hope though that he sees a way to use you even though we do marry. I sincerely hope so. But my faith is in the Lord and I believe [--it] have [-----------] him for you to be my helpmate he would not have permitted us to become engaged.
“Oh! how good he has been to me and what an unworthy one I am, may he be merciful unto my unrighteousness” and continue to grant me favor in his sight.
You can rest assured that you have a special place in my prayers.
I must draw this to a close as I want to hitch up the horse so that mother will not have to walk home, it is downhill going but uphill on the way back.
You must excuse mistakes as I am in a very big hurry.
When I read of the probability of you passing through St. Louis it made me wish I could have the pleasure of meeting you at Union Station until your train left for S.C. Do you think it would be out of place for me to do so? Of course it is doubtful whether I can but if I could would you give me permission to do so?
Oh: I would love to have the pleasure of it. But I will not build on it [---] I cannot tell one day [-----------------------] next, since my brother has been home.
I must close for this time.
May god bless, guide and keep you is my earnest prayer.
I remain your true friend and brother in Christ Jesus.
Write soon and let know about what time you would reach St. Louis if you should go. Goodbye
It is 10:30 p.m. and we have returned home and I have been thinking of you ever since your letter came and since I wrote, I have wondered [---------------] done wrong in expressing myself so freely, so I ask you to forgive me if there should be anything herein which you cannot approve of.
Asking an interest in your prayers I will close for the second time.
May the “peace of God keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7