1902 Obit of Helena Gillespie Smith

My great-uncle Lon Austin (brother to Aida) never married. He loved Nell (Helena) Gillespie who lived in Brooklyn (221-14th Street). Lon may have met Nell when he visited his New York City Austin cousins or when he worked at the Car Stables at 839 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn.

Nell was the daughter of a well-to-do merchant who had met with financial loss. Another man, a Mr. Smith, also called on (1880s for dated) Nell (the family thought he was calling on her sister—Lon knew better). Nell loved Lon, but married Mr. Smith out of a sense of duty to her father’s request.

In the following letter, Lon’s cousin Ida Austin Brown sent Helena’s obit with her letter of condolence.

Letters Helena (Nell) and Lon exchanged in the 1880s can be read in “Echo Hill and Mountain Grove.” Lon’s poignant story is on p. 200.

Page 1 of letter to Lon Austin from his cousin Ida Austin Brown, regarding the death of Helen Gillespie Smith

Page 2 of the letter click:

Page 2 of Ida’s letter to her cousin Lon Austin.
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