To My Dear Grand Children.
It is of course impossible for us to realize what your surroundings may be, but I hope that you are living in Colorado Springs which is today one of the most beautiful places of its size in the world. Its inhabitants are really the pickings of the cities of the world as it is a health resort.
Wm. Edwin Riddle and Ida Barnes Wheaton were married in Detroit Michigan at 6 P.M. Oct 21st 1879 -- and left at 10 P.M. for Colorado Springs then a town of about 4000 inhabitants. Wm. E. had a fine business in Detroit but his health broke down and he came to Pueblo reaching that town on his birthday May 24th 1878. He lived on the then famous "Dotem Ranch" riding horseback and trying hard to get well.
When we came to Colorado Springs there was only one "narrow Gauge" train passing north and south each day over the D & R.G. road. We lived in the National Hotel on the N.E. Cor. of Tejon St. and Cucharas it was the only large brick building in the town. In that Hotel, Nov 2nd 1880 Wm. Wheaton Riddle was born. He was the most beautiful little child I ever saw, hair like spun gold and large blue eyes, fine figure and he is now a very fine looking (and better still fine acting) young man. Last year he graduated with honors from the High School; also was Major of the "High School Cadets." Upon graduation he was given a position by Mr. B.H. Bryout with a party of Midland Road Surveyors and worked up from lowest workman to highest at the end of ten months when the whole party was called in. Wheaton had a delightful two weeks vacation when he received a pass and instructions to report for work if he wanted it on the D & R.G. western near Salt Lake City where he now is having charge of the instrument. If all goes well he might go East to college another year.
Our other son Frank Harwood was born March 9th 1883 in a house on Boulder Street just off Cascade Ave facing South. Frank is a great strapping all-round athlete handsome, but a contrast to Wheaton having black hair and dark eyes. He was first Lieutenant of the High School Cadets last year and was elected Captain Govt. for next year when he will graduate and then I hope he may go to Golden and make a mining engineer of himself. Both boys are favorites and have always stood first among their companions. Your Grand-father Wm. Edwin only weighed 115 when he came here now weighs 200 lbs. His picture does not do him justice and we think those of the boys are poor. Mine is the best I ever had taken. The gown in which mine was taken was a dainty pink Taffeta with an over shot polka dot. The Bertha is rare old rose pink lace much older than I am. The Gold filagree necklace my father Wm. Wallace Wheaton gave me when I was a young girl, it came from Germany and is considered very handsome. I have a pen to match it; also a sunburst of pearls which my step-mother brought me from Florence, Italy; also the insignia of D.A.R. and Colonial dames. Also an elegant Cameo bracelet which was my own mothers, other elegant gold bracelets and a fine gold "rope" necklace & locket which Will gave me before we were married. I hope you may have and value some of these things.
We own many books and letters about our ancestors also pictures and rare old silver. My wedding handkerchief was rare old pink applique lace. I have many old dresses, shoes, slippers, and a lace shawl that was Grandma Ackerman Knickerbockers. Father Riddle is a dear old Gentleman over 83 has some white hair and spends most of his time in Washington with his daughters.
His wife Mary King died in 1876 in Detroit and was buried in Howell. Which she was a lovely woman but they have no picture of her she was a great invalid. My mother about whom you will find much in the Boardman & Dickerman Genealogies died when I was 3 1/2 years old at my sister's birth. I have her picture but am told that it does not do her justice. She was said to have been the most beautiful woman in Detroit in her day and more lovely than beautiful. I have a white party dress and slippers that were hers. We have fine steel engravings of Father who died Nov. 11th 1891 in Detroit. A fine oil portrait of him hangs in the City Hall there. We live in and own a seven roomed cottage on N. Tejon St. 3rd 50 ft by 190 above Dale St. facing West. We have the most beautiful Maple trees in town.
We are a family who love beautiful things and use them everyday and I hope if any reach you, you will cherish them as we do.
My prayer is that you may be the highest morally and mentally and physically. Do unto others as you would have them do to you is the motto of your living Grand-mother.
Ida Wheaton Riddle
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