Hortense McEwen was born July 26, 1890 in Cleveland, Utah the daughter of Edward Riley and Ellen Lovina Le Fevre McEwen. Hortense was educated in the common schools of area and studied to become a teacher. From 1911 to 1913, Hortense wrote John E. Excell while he was serving as a missionary in the Southern States for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon the completion of his missionary service, Hortense married John September 18, 1913 in the Salt Lake Temple. Thereafter they had four children, J. Edward, Grant, Dorothy, and one child that died in infancy. During her life Hortense worked as a school teacher in both Ogden and Layton, Utah. Hortense McEwen Excell died September 6, 1972 in Salt Lake City.
John Edward Excell was born January 14, 1888 in Panguitch, Utah to Henry and Elizabeth Austin Button Excell. On March 30, 1910 John married Millie Lee in the Manti Temple. Tragedy struck the couple three months later when Millie Lee died. Within one year of her death, John was called to serve for two years as a missionary in the Southern States for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During these two years John served in both Georgia and Florida. Prior to leaving for his mission, John became acquainted with Hortense McEwen, whom he married upon returning from his mission. John Edward Excell died July 20, 1967 in Springdale, Utah.
This collection consists of twelve love letters written to Hortense McEwen by three different men during 1911 and 1913. These letters reveal an interesting display of courtship patterns within the Mormon culture during this time period and document the missionary work of John E. Excell.
Folders 1—10 consist of ten letters written to Hortense by John Excell while he served as a missionary in the Southern States. These letters discuss Excell's view of life, his missionary work, and his love for Hortense.
Folders 11 and 12 contain two letters written by W. H. Allred and "Hyrum" in 1912. Allred's letter is flirtatious and discusses their past experiences together and his life on a ranch in Nevada. Hyrum's letter is also flirtatious and discusses life and their past experiences together as well.
Restrictions on Access :
No restrictions on use, except: not available through interlibrary loan.Restrictions on Use :
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material from the Hortense McEwen Letters must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.Preferred Citation :
Initial Citation: Hortense McEwen Letters USU_COLL MSS 296, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.
Following Citations:USU_COLL MSS 296, USUSCA.
Detailed Description of the Collection