Letters From Addie
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Chapter 13: Letters from Friends, 1918, 1921
The two letters that follow were sent to Addie while she was at home. By 1918, the date of the first letter, a limited number of missionaries had been allowed to return to their mission fields in an attempt to reestablish their work. In the first letter, Mrs. Rudd offers to purchase Addie's furniture. When the missionaries left the country, they left with only what they could carry with them. Other belongings were left behind. In the letter dated Feb. 7, 1920, Mrs. Cheavens told Addie about the illness of her friend and long-time missionary Miss Hayes.
(101) 96-51-460 (a-b)
From Mrs. Rudd to Addie
Jan. 24, 1918
My dear "Shaddie,"
It was good to have your card at Xmas time and to know that you were thinking of us and sending us your greetings across the space of so many years. Otherwise we could not be in old Saltillo and not think of you who were so intimately and pleasantly associated with our life here. So many memories, sad and sweet come crowding in. But not being in the old Institute makes things different. There are a few familiar faces among the Mexicians. The Lacys are new to us. So things are much changed.
I guess you know that we have some of your things - all that Miss Hayes could find - and all of hers. I am sure she explained to you how we did not want to buy things until we knew just where our Seminary would be permanently located and so wished to rent furniture. She was glad to let us have hers and said she was sure you would be also. Miss Hayes said she thought a fair price would be $7.00 (pesos) per month - $4.00 being her share and $3.00 yours since she had more than you. She wants her part to go into the Seminary Library. Now, if you are satisfied with the part and price on your things, let us know what to do with the money - how and where to send it. Mr. Rudd can send you a check at anytime. We are enjoying your pretty rugs, pictures, and books and also your desk and some chairs - I don't know how many are yours - your bookcase with glass doors is here and your mirror too.
Our Seminary work moves on well - there are 21 students all quartered in the old Zaragoza Institute. We must have larger quarters next year. You know we hoped to carry the Seminary to Agnus Calientes, but they decided that it was best to keep it near the border this year. And I am sure I don't know if we are going to be able to locate permanently next year or not. I do hope so.
Indeed, we are glad to be again in dear old Mexico and trying to do our "bit" which seems such a tiny "bit" when there is so much to be done. The Lacys are "companeros de trabajo" [fellow workers]. We don't see very much of them as Mrs. L. is frail and some of the children nearly always sick. There are four little ones. I have with me only our youngest - a girl ten years old - Lou is her name. Courtney is married but is at home in Richmond now with the 3 other children while her husband is having further training for his Navy work. Hugh, who was born here, is 20 years old - in his second College year. The other two, a boy and a girl, are in High School. Our best love to you and Miss Ruth. How we should love to see you both. Write soon and let us know what to do about your money. Do you want to sell your rugs and for how much?
May B. Rudd
Rev. A. B. Rudd of Virginia first went to Mexico in Sept. 1888. He was assigned to the Parras District. Mrs. May Rudd joined her husband in July 1889.1 The Rudds worked in the Parras District until 1892. In 1892, both Addie and the Rudds were assigned to Zacatecas.2 Addie wrote of the Rudds and their assignment in a letter to her mother, dated Sept. 24, 1892. After their assignment in Zacatecas, Addie and the Rudds worked together at the Madero Institute of Saltillo.3 The Rudds retired in 1899, but were called back to assist with the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary.4
Mr. and Mrs. Cheavens taught with Addie at the Madero Institute beginning in August 1908. They taught there together until the Mexican Revolution forced the missionaries to flee Mexico for the safety of their homeland. Miss Ida Hayes, Addie's co-worker and friend, died in Nashville, Tennessee on June 29, 1920.5
(102) 96-51-461 (a-c)
Letter from Mrs. J. S. Cheavens to Addie
El Paso Texas, Feb. 7, 1920
Dear Miss Addie,
I should have written you sooner about Miss Hayes illness, but we have all been half sick, and some us whole sick with the flu, and I have not felt very much like writing. But about Miss Hayes. She has gone to Baltimore, Md for radium treatment for cancer. You know she had an operation a year ago last summer for tumors, but after six months in Waco with her sister she returned to Eagle Pass and took up her work, seemingly as well as usual. Last Spring she began to tire out very easily and her appetite was not good, or least she did digest what she ate, and we were a little anxious about her all the time. Just before we came over here she had a bad spell with her bowels, and from that time went down hill all the time. However, she kept on with her school in Juarez till a little more than a month ago, when she grew so weak she had to give up. Then Dr. Staten insisted on an internal examination, and found that the tumor, which was a cancer from the first, had grown till it was as large as his fist, and her blood count showed 30%. He said there was but one hope for her, and that was Dr. Howard Kelly of Baltimore. So we got her ready as soon as we could and sent her to him. In the one letter she has been able to write she says the treatments are very severe and leave her quite prostrated. She is with the McComicks, and of course everything that can be done is being done for her. Mrs. Kesler lives at Nashville and she will probably go to her next month. It seems that these treatments can not be given very frequently after the first and as Nashville is not so far she can be there a good deal of the time, and return to Baltimore for treatment. She says she is almost helpless, and when she left here she had not been down stairs for more than two weeks, and was so weak she could hardly walk. Of course, we all feel very badly about it, but she is cheerful, and didn't seem in the least disturbed about her condition. Although Dr. Staten didn't try to cover up anything, and she knew how serious it was. She is a wonderful woman and pure gold. We had learned to love her like one of our family and miss her very much indeed. Her address is 1801 Linden Ave., Baltimore, Md.
We are beginning to feel quite at home in El Paso. And what a beautiful city it is. We live away upon the hill right at the front of Mt. Franklin - But as we are but a block and a half from the car, we do not feel so far out. Mr. Cheavens has charge of El Biblical Expositor (The Bible Expositor) and Mr. Davis El Atalaya Bautista (The Baptist Watchman). They had to fire Josie' Valdez for immoral conduct, so they have both been up to their necks in work for the last few weeks. You remember that you all used to call Mr. C. "the man of wrath'" well Mr. Davis is that and "then some" as the boys say, but it is remarkable how well they pull together in this publication work. It is due, I think, to the fact that they are both men of prayer, as well as men of wrath - Don't you?
Miss Addie, I have the biggest house full of the nicest and biggest children you ever saw - John H. and Martha are in the state University of Missouri. John a freshman - in engineering - and Martha finishing the Junior year in Journalism. They are both doing good work. Martha had two years in Baylor U., then was out last year because her health was not very robust and will now finish in Mo. John may come here for the rest of his work, but we have not really decided yet. Thomas and Frank are in High School here and David, Mary, and Sallie in the grades. David will be in junior high next year. He is twelve years old and almost as tall as his father, and is 40 inches in the waist - weighs about 160 - you remember he was a fat baby. I have to make all his trousers. He says it makes him mad to go down the street and meet the Mexicans and hear them say "ay que gordo" - He says that is all the Spanish he knows.
We live in the same block with the Hatchells, and find them good neighbors and workers. The Davis' live in another part of town and we do not see them very often, but have fallen in love with Mrs. Davis.
Well, I might go on all night, but I think I will leave a little for another time.
Give my love to one and all of your family including yourself.
Sincerely your friend,
Mrs. J. S. Cheavens
1217 Laurel St.
El Paso, Tex
By Charlene Ochsner Carson
Page last updated: December 26, 2018
Footnotes:1Forty-Fifth Annual Report of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Accession No. 2647, May 9, 1890, Fort Worth, Texas
2Mexico Missions, Southern Baptist International Mission Board Report, Accession No. 2650, May 06, 1892, Atlanta, Georgia, p. 50.
3Mexico Missions, Southern Baptist International Mission Board Report, Accession No. 2674, May 11, 1894, Dallas, Texas, pp 59 & 60.
4Fifty-Fourth Annual Report of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Accession No. 2663, May 12, 1899, Louisville, Kentucky.
5Seventy-Sixth Annual Report of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Accession No. 2706, May 12, 1921, Chattanooga, Tennessee.