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A.A. Hurst to B.F. Hurst: 11-20-1900

Office of
A. A. Hurst
Probate Judge
Cleburne County Edwardsville, Alabama
November 20, 1900

Mr. B. F. Hurst
Corydon, Indiana

My dear sir and relative:

Along the rugged pathway of life it is so pleasant to make an occasional detour and, rest a moment at an oasis to drink in the fragrance of fruit and flowers and quench ones thirst at the bubbling spring at the foot of the hill. Such was my mental feast and joy when I received and perused your esteemed communication of date November 4, 1900. My wife, children and dear old parents have had much pleasure from it.

It opened up anew the mental visions of my parents and the tales of the people who lived in the long ago, but they knew nothing that will enable us to fill in the genealogical link. I conclude that my grandfather became offended before he came, or immigrated to Georgia; for my father and mother both say that he seldom spoke of his relatives. He was devoted to his mother and younger sisters whom he brought with him to the new country, and they were refined and elegant ladies.

He devoted himself to them while his mother lived and the girls were single, then he married and began to carve out of the wilds a fortune for his young and growing family. It was in 1836 he sold his farm (465 acres) and turned his face westward, settling in Randolph Co. in Fishhead Valley, but it was too late in life for him to combat the hardships of pioneer life and his fortune began to wane, but he left a goodly heritage in sterling manhood and Christian integrity. He was born in 1787. I see you place his age with your grandfather ? it may be my mistake. Grandmother was born in 1793. My grandfather?s children were: William Washington, Billington Saunders, George Giles, Robert Augustus (my father), Hezikiah Edwin, John Henry, Elijah Robertson, James Franklin, Mary, Elizabeth and David Spivey. All of whom raised families but few of them are known by me.

My father?s children were: William, Nancy Caroline, Charles Hampton, John Calhoun, Alphesus Augustus (myself), Samuel Jason, Annie and Simeon G. All died in infancy except brother Hampton, who lost his life in Vicksburg, Mississippi in the late war and sister Nancy C. who died at the age of 45. So you see I am the only living child of my parents and I humbly trust I may be spared to comfort them during their lives.

My family is large ? 14 in all. I married Mary Ann Tolleson who is now 38 years old and the mother of 12 children viz: Leroy Rufus, Alpheus Jesse, Floyd Clyde (dead), Gussie, Minnie, Lulu (dead), Carl Bryce, Herbert Johns, Essie, Ruth, Hugh and a babe 5 months who is not named. (Note: I found that this child?s name was grace. There was also another child named Clara Louise.) 6 boys and girls in all. Leroy was 20 Last October, Alpheus will soon be 19, Gussie is near 16, Minnie near 14. Four children about grown. The girls are as large as Mama, but the boys won?t soon approach my size. I weigh 224, and am 5? 11 ? tall.

I thank you kindly for your hospitable offer to visit your home. I am sure that I would enjoy such a treat, but business cares, I fear will enforce me to forego the pleasure, however, if I were to go to your part of the country I would be sure to call on you. How much I sure to call on you. How much I would like to converse with you and hear you relate your family history!

My family joins with me in extending you and yours a cordial invitation to visit us. We will give you and them and old-fashioned greeting and will do all in our power to make your stay a pleasant one. The girls will treat you to their best selections of music, then we will all sit around the cheerful crackling blaze and tell our tales and compare notes until we will drive away all doubts as to our kinship. Fact is, I really feel like calling you cousin Ben and you have permission to call me cousin Gus ? if you like.

Blood is thinker than water anyway.

I?m like a sweet cousin of mine. I happened to call at her house, when she heard me tell her husband my name was Hurst. She was sick in bed but she called out for me to come to her. I went and soon found her to be a first cousin whose maiden name was Hurst. It was a happy meeting for us both. So it is, I agree to be kin to all people by the name Hurst.

Until recent years, I believed they were not a numerous people, but now I find that they have multiplied, till the name is familiar in many states. Not many of them seem to be politicians, though occasionally you will find a Hurst in official life. A cousin of mine Dr. James A. Hurst is now a member of the state senate of Alabama. His father was a lawyer. I seldom meet one who is not informed, if not well educated.

You, no doubt are well situated in life, but don?t you think it would be a pretty nice thing to come south and settle yourself wile you are still in your proactive period of life? We have an ideal climate, and the opportunity to make profitable investment may be had by any man with an eye to profitable business. The sunny south is a lovely land. Her mountains are rich in mineral stones and her valleys and dales yield ample harvests to the husbandman.

If you have never been south be sure to come at an early day. I?m sure you will never regret your trip even if you should not decide to settle here. I will be glad to hear from you often. Hope you will excuse my delay in answering. Have been several days in finishing this.

Yours truly,
A. A. Hurst

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