Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Writing to Lil

As I mentioned yesterday, among Agnes Tully Stevens’ personal papers passed along to her grandson were some letters that were actually meant for her sister Lily. Lily was Agnes’ older, unmarried, sister who remained in the family household in Chicago. Examining these items addressed to Lil allow me to piece together a picture of not only Lil’s own story, but the details of family life in the Tully household.

A postcard dated January 12, 1944, shows the link between Chicago and a tiny rural Ohio town called New Lexington—a link which, a few years later, proved significant in my husband’s own story when his Chicago-born father chanced to meet a country girl from New Lexington. The link was originally owing to a Chicago doctor’s recently widowed brother, who just happened to live in New Lexington. A young lady in the doctor’s south Chicago neighborhood just happened to catch the doctor’s wife’s eye and get her started scheming and doing some matchmaking. That, in turn, ultimately led to the marriage of the Ohio widower and that young lady. The young lady, in turn, happened to be a sister of Agnes and Lily Tully.

Years later, one of her descendants felt the call to enter the convent. This postcard is a snapshot in time of that young lady's correspondence with her great-aunt Lily Tully, following a visit back to New Lexington to be with family. While her note here serves to introduce her, we’ll check into more of her story tomorrow.

Dear Aunt Lill,

Am just preparing to go back to Carmel. Had a very pleasant visit with the family but do not regret having to go back. Give my love to everyone and remember me in your prayers.

Thanks to Great Aunt Ag for her Christmas card.

            Yours with Good Shepherd
            Sister Mary Agnes (Eileen)

Photograph: Front lawn of Saint Aloysius Academy and Cadet School in New Lexington, Ohio.

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