Matlock, Iowa — 30 April 1923
While Jan Willem is in Matlock, Iowa, starting his new church assignment, his five children are still living back on the farm in Fruitland Mesa, Colorado. His oldest child, Lillie (1899-1997), was primarily responsible for taking care of the youngest children — Edwin, Johanna Margaret, and Carolyn. The oldest son, Eugene (1901-1986), was responsible for taking care of the farm and selling the property, equipment, and livestock as quickly as possible.
Although not mentioned in this letter, while in Matlock, Jan William TeSelle married Jeannette Bogaard , probably in 1923. Jeannette had a daughter, Anna Jean Bogaard, from a previous marriage. Together, Jan Willem and Jeannette had 1 son and 3 daughters – James, Amy, Muriel, and Phyllis.
[Verbatim typed copy of J. W. TeSelle handwritten letter. Addressed to Miss Lillie
TeSelle, Crawford, Colo.]
Apr. 30, 1923
Miss Lillie TeSelle
Received your cheery letter Saturday evening at 6 o’clock. It came just in time. I was very much in need of something like that. The ministers life has many trials and severe strains. My health is still good, although it is hard to keep my nerves under control sometimes. Wether has been almost perfect the last few days. Sunday evenings I often take a ride out in the country with some one and they take me back whenever I say so. People are very kind to me.
2) The school director called me in Saturday evening, and told me that if you wished to put in an application for the school here you were quite sure of getting it. You could have your choice between the upper or the lower grades. They offer $55.00 per month. I showed him your picture and it seemed to make a very good impression on him. I feel that they make you this offer for my sake and I appreciate that very much. Altho this school director does not care very much for religion. But I do not want this to influence your plans in any way. I will get along some way by myself. Am much pleased with your plan to stay till the later part of June.
3) I would like to see you girls sooner, but for the boys sake I am glad you stay a little longer. It will be very lonely for them after you are gone. Sure hope we find a buyer for the place soon. Has Eugene made any moves to advertise the place? Had a long letter of sister Genie rakeing me over the coals for working to hard. Some one told them a few things. I am very glad to hear that you are all so well and that Carolyn’s energy is still holding up; would like to have her play and sing for me once a week. I can understand that you are all tired in the evening. You have altogether to much work, but
4) do not see how it can be helped. I hope the pictures that you took will be good, would like to have pictures of all of you. I recon that Duchmans horse on Jacobs place did not appreciate the Colorado bath.
By way of favorable coment on preaching I want to give you a sample that happened some time ago when I spoke in one of the neighboring churches. I had made the remark that most people laid their flowers on the coffen when it was to late; when I came through the isle a lady stepped aside presented her hand and said: “I want to present my flowers while you live.” Little things like that are often a reward for much
5) hard work. Mr. & Mrs. Lumks (Rev.) offered to take me to Nebraska in their ford some time if I would do the driving. I think of accepting that offer. If the roads are good we can drive it in a day from here.
Would like to have Eugene tell me how things stand financially.
Let me hear from you soon.
Your loving Father,
J. W. TeSelle