Thursday, April 5, 2012


Steve Treanor’s letter to Agnes Tully opened with a discussion about a missed party. It is back to this topic that he returns as he closes his brief letter, still leaving us no clue as to his identity or why Agnes cherished this letter enough to save it for the next eighty years of her life. Perhaps, as his letter seems to imply, he was just a very nice person.

He does leave one hint as to any family connections: the mention of his wife. Mrs. Treanor, it appears, is not as elusive as her husband. The 1900 census record for Vicksburg, Mississippi, shows the relative newlyweds residing on Adams Street in the home of her widowed mother, Isabel Rodge. At the time, the large, bustling household also includes her two unmarried siblings, John and Mollie, as well as a sister, Kate, who is also widowed though herself the mother of three. 

The 1880 census confirms this family constellation and reveals that the “Mrs. Treanor” Steve mentions is actually the former Eugenie, daughter of John and Isabel Rodge. From the point of 1900 onward, apparently Steve and Eugenie (later recorded as Eugenia) remain at the house on Adams Street, at least through the 1930 census.

Back in 1905, however, Steve had not yet attained his later impressive positions. He was just a kindly gentleman giving an energetic young lady the favor of a response to her lighthearted gesture.

            Are you and the girls having as good a time as you anticipated? And did you make any “mashes” on the young men attending the party? If you did not it was because the young men were blind to all that is charming in young ladies. You must not let Mrs.Treanor read all the nice things I am saying about you, or she will be jealous.
            We are having a spell of delightful weather now, if it will only last a while.
            Well I must be closing as I am about run down.
            Give my kindest regards to your father, mother and Miss Lillye, and a very large share of them for yourself.
                        Sincerely yours,
                                    Steve Treanor


  1. I suspect Agnes loved hearing his flattery (Who wouldn't?) and that is why this letter was kept. :) That an a memory of whatever this party was like.. it sounds like it was quite an event!

  2. P.s., Looking at the Rodge's ... they looked like they had a bit of money or old world life-style anyway, notice the "live in help"?


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