Archived Story

Cardinal Charlie: Going to college in Marion, Ind., in 1902

Published 8:51pm Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This is a copy of a local letter given to me that I found quite interesting:

Marion, Ind.

April 11, 1902

Dear Mother

I received everything in good shape and was very much pleased to get them.

I wrote the next day after I got here and I had begun to think that you did not receive the card.

On my way to Marion, I had to wait about five hours in Niles and I got acquainted with a paperboy on the train whose name was Charlie Moore.

When the train would stop, we would get off and have a good time.

I reached Marion at 5:30 in the evening.

The college was about three miles from the depot, so I took a street car and reached the college all right.

There were a great many new students coming at the same time.

We met the Prof. at the college and he took us to supper.

After supper, they had entertainment upstairs and I was invited to that to spend the evening.

After this my roommate and I went to our room.

Next day, beginning our work, I am taking spelling, shorthand, typewriting and music.

I had a chance to work for my board only, but I thought I would not have time, so I paid my board.

I have paid out including everything since I left home with $40.40 and I have left with me $21.65.

I have been to town but once since I have been here.

Marion is a very large place, about 23,000.

Street cars running by all the time.

The college has between 800 and 900 students and more are still coming.

There are students from all parts of the country here.

We have to go to chapel every morning at 8:30 and everything is going very well with me, but I find that the shorthand is hard to study.

We have a post office and a book store at the college. I do not have to go to school on Saturday or Sunday.

Our Prof. Mr. Boucher is a very pleasant man and everything is pleasant.

I do not have to stay at the school all of the time.

I room at a private house nearby and I study my lessons in my room.

When the bell rings I go to my class and after the class I go back to my room and study for the next class.

I have only two regular classes. One is shorthand, the other is spelling.

For typewriting, I only have to go to the business room and practice on the typewriter for a while each day.

I take my music lesson on Wednesday and Saturday.

You said it was in the paper that I went away. I looked in the paper you sent me, but I could not find it. I would have liked to have seen it to see what they had to say about it.

I did receive the cough drops, but my cold is about well now.

The socks, tie, etc., were very nice and I was pleased to get them.

Mr. Blackmond wanted me to write to him and tell him all about the college.

I have not much time to write to anyone, so you tell him that I think that the school is very nice and a good one.

I think the catalog he has will tell him the rest.

I did not have time to write just now as it takes most of my time to study.

You wanted me to give you my address, but you had it all right, as I got everything you sent.

We have a post office. My box number is 10.

I guess this is all for now as it is dinner time. I’ll stop and say goodbye.

From Your Son

“Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City.

Email him at

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