Pearl Brasher Stufflebean kept many photos and letters from her youth and early married years. Pearl was born on 9 February 1898 in Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, Texas. Her parents divorced when she was a little girl and she moved several times after that, living for a while in Floydada, Floyd County, Texas and then Noble, Oklahoma, where she graduated from high school.
Sulphur Springs is east of the Dallas-Forth Worth area and you can see it on this map. Point A is Floydada and Point B is Noble, which is near Norman, Oklahoma. These town were hundreds of miles apart and I’m not sure how her mother determined exactly where they were going to live and how they ended up making such long moves.
However, as a young girl, Pearl was apparently good friends with Gladys Felton, who no doubt was a classmate in Floydada. They also shared a love of music, based on Gladys’s letter.
A quick check online found that Gladys L. Felton married Travis Plato Collins sometime between the 1920 census, when she was single and at home and 1923, when their son, Travis Pat Collins, was born.
I would have loved to have shared this letter with someone in the Collins family. However, Travis Sr. died on 4 June 1979, Gladys died on 8 January 1992 and their only child, Travis Jr., predeceased them both, passing away on 18 February 1973. All three spent their lives in Floydada, where they are buried.
Here is Gladys’s letter to Pearl:
Tuesday, Sep. 3 (1918)
My Dearest Pal,
Did you just think I had forgotten you. Well I sure haven’t and I never can forget my old Pal for it would be impossible fer (sic) me to meet another person in the world to whom I love any more than I do you. And I know I couldn’t meet any one with any more virtures (sic) than you and honestly Pearle I have heard more good tings said of you since you’ve left here than any other one person. So often those girls we used to go to school with speak of you and they say such nice things about you. Sometimes I getting to thinking of those days when we were together so much and I hate to think we can never live them over again but I guess you shouldn’t think of the past though. And I do hope some day in the future we can be together again. Say I have so many things I could tell you if I could just see you. So much has happened since last I saw you. I have been in Floydada abut a month and a half since I left school. I had been in Dallas, Tex. Almost a year studying in a music conservatory and I sure did enjoy my work. I took music from a Norwegian man who has just been in America a few years and he certainly is good. Pearle I have the dandiest sweetheart you ever saw. I went with him all the time I was in Dallas and of course like him much better than I ever liked any boy. I have some good looking pictures of him. He is in the Army now at Trenton New Jersey and I miss him so much but I hear every day now but he is going to sail for France soon and then I won’t hear so often. You ought to feel sorry fere (sic) we girls now for nothing is left for us to do but stay at home and be lonesome for all the boys are gone we ever knew.
So many people have left here since you were here. I know you must have heard by this time of Ada being married. She is now living in Pueblo Colorado and has a boy about six or eight months old and it sure is a darling baby we think. Ada visited us a few months ago and she ask (sic) me if I ever heard from you. Said she sure would like to see you so much. Say how is your baby. Certainly would be glad to see him and also would like to see your husband. Pearle I just can not realize you are married and are a mother so (soon?) my life st? dosen’t (sic) seem that you are at all. Say write me and tell me how you are and tell me something of your husband for I would like to know what kind of a man you have and what does he do as an occupations. Tell me every little thinig for I am so interested to know about your affairs. I sure would like to have your picture if you have any of your baby too. Pearl I hope sometime you can visite (sic) me for you don’t know how much I would like to be with you. Some day when the war is over and I get married [if I ever do] I hope I will not be so far that you can not visit me. Say how is your mother. Surely wish I could see her and your baby brother Alton once more. I wonder if he ha forgotten me. Where is your mother. Tell me all about her. Now dear write to me real soon. Your Friend always, Gladys Felton, Floydada, Tex.
It is clear to me that Gladys considered Pearl a good friend and Pearl likely felt the same since she kept this letter until she died in 1989. However, to be honest, I was looking forward to reading a nice, newsy letter and I can sum up what Gladys said in way less than 6 pages:
1. We had a great time hanging out together and I miss you.
2. Ada (no surname) married, had an infant son and moved to Pueblo, CO.
3. Gladys had an unnamed boyfriend in the Army, stationed in NJ and being deployed to France.
4. Gladys took studied at a music conservatory in Dallas with a Norwegian man.
4. She wants to know all about Pearl, her husband and her infant son.
That’s about it!