1914 Letters Never Sent

The minute I saw it I knew.

I knew it had stories to tell.


So I let it tell me all of them.

It was built in 1914 by the Larkin Company in Buffalo, New York. Shortly after the last nail was driven into the wood and before the glue could even dry, the first World War began.

secretary nails

Evan Austin had ordered it for his wife for their 2nd anniversary. Just one week after he wired the money to New York from Oklahoma City, he received word that he would be leaving to go fight for our country.

His wife would be so surprised on the day it arrived.  The trip to the mercantile for sugar and flour had ended with her needing help loading the gift from her husband.  She couldn’t wait to write him and let him know she had received the beautiful gift the day before their anniversary.

secretary inside.jpg

But that letter never was written,

never sealed

and never mailed.

That night the sheriff arrived at her house with a telegram that stated Mr. Evan Austin had been shot down over France.  Neither his body nor aircraft had been recovered.


Mrs. Austin sat with her newborn in her arms and penned a letter to her parents back on the east coast.  She asked if they would have room for the two of them and a beautiful drop down desk back in their home.


The sweet child grew up knowing her father only by the stories that her mother told her and at night the widow would sit at the desk and write their love story down one word at a time on the desk that her beloved gave her before he died fighting for my freedom.

evan Austin

I know this desk has a story and I believe it may be something like this.

Thank you Evan Austin and all of the others that have fought for my freedom but didn’t return to see your wives receive the gift you bought them for their 2nd Anniversaries.

world war I quote

I am thankful for your bravery and your sacrifice.




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