Paul Clendenin Letters
Washington, D.C., Sept. 29th, 1881
I have only written you a postal since we arrived and that was to Chicago. I have been very busy house hunting since a week ago Wednesday and have at last found a house that will suit, I guess. It has 6 rooms & a bath, range, (latrobe), hot & cold water and gas. It's on a little street between T & U & 15th & 16th right back of Thomson's. He told me of it. The houses in the block are not or rent but for sale but I think I can get the rental of it as I am a pretty good tenant. I will see the man today. The house has not been occupied since built and in fact has not been fitted up yet with the gas fixtures & water faucets etc. It will take a couple of days to fix it all up.
Next day after we arrived we went to the boarding house on 9th St. where our board was not so steep and where we could take our time to getting settled. Every agent says that there never was such a demand for houses as now. One man said he could rent 100 or 150 houses from $20 to $40 if he had them. So if you have any surplus capital that you want to be earning 10% or thereabouts and value increasing all the time, you had better build a block of small houses here. I will take care of them for you and collect the rents & pay the taxes and keep good tenants in them. You might speak to Uncle Moris about it if you want to next time you see him. Property is going up very rapidly in the north western section of the city as you know from Carry's W. St. property.
How did you enjoy the reunion? Tell us all about it and the exposition at Chicago. I did not see cousin Frank though I tried 3 times & he came here to the office but we did not happen to hit it.
Susie and the babies are getting along very nicely though we all & every body suffers from the intolerable heat. There has been no equinoctial storm here as in Illinois and it is still up among the 90's.
Tell Grandfather we have a very pleasant room that will just suit him. Our neighborhood is splendid & quiet and the 14th St. cars with-in 1 1/2 blocks of us. We would be very happy to see him here next December & as much sooner as convenient.
Love from us all to all. I will write more at length when settled.
Your aff. son
Washington, D.C. October 19, 1881
Your very welcome letter of the 17th came to hand this morning. I think I wrote you a week or 10 days ago, in fact I am sure I did. I rec'd Fathers card saying that he was about to start for Texas.
We are all exceedingly well and happily situated. We have a small 6 room & bathroom house with range, Latrobe, hot & cold water & cellar the whole length & breadth of the house concreted & well lighted, for which is extended $20 per month. It is new, "never before trod by the foot of a white man." We got an excellent woman, but she did not want to stay nights she discovered after working a week or ten days & left Sunday. Yesterday we got a (new) one who will stay as late as Susie wishes but goes home to her brothers a few squares away to sleep & will appear at 6 A.M. sharp.
Our house is 1522 Caroline St. a short street like Corcoran St. between T & U and 15th & 16th. Mr. Thomson's house is right back of ours & the women folks can run across the alley any time. It is about 1 1/4 miles from the office & a mile from the lecture room.
We moved a week ago Tuesday and are nicely settled though put to some inconvenience at first by varnishing and other finishing touches being put on. We are within one square of the 14th St line which connects with the Avenue line of street cars. I wish Grandfather would come east this winter and if you will be real good and not feed Bessie candy you may come too. Bessie has been trying to cut her stomach & eye teeth this nice cool weather and has fretted but little. She's still fat and hearty and wants to be out all the time. The Baby is the jolliest girl that ever was. She laughs & snickers & crows all the time & seldom cries. She will sit & look at me and laugh out for a long time when I am studying and do not notice her. If Aunt Mary does not come, will you stay in Oneida with Grandfather? What's to hinder him or both of you coming this winter? We have lots of room.
I got 6 tons of coal & put in my cellar at $6.25. I get my groceries of "Brother Elphonso Young" as Dr. Rankin calls him. I like studying medicine very much. I attend 2 lectures every evening & 3 Sat. from 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 & 7 1/2 to 9 1/2 alternate evenings. With marketing & errands & study I don't get much time for anything else. We are very busy at the office revising the statements for the yearly. I have been asked whether I would accept the librarian shift if offered me. It will be a little more responsible and will make me more independent and a sort of chief of Div. I was given to understand that it was a compliment to me, whether I accepted or not and showed that the Chief & Chief Clerk had confidence in my ability. I have the matter under consideration. K said I would get the first 1400 place vacant anyway but that I would get $1600 quicker as an independent division than as a clerk at a desk. Money is my only consideration here. K said he would hate to lose me, but would not stand in my way. I do not know what I will do. There is no hurry as I cannot be spared till the revision is over.
Give my love to all. I hope you and Grandfather are well. I wish we could have seen Aunt Calista & had her see Bessie & Helen. Give her our love. Write often.
Your aff. son
Paul Clendenin was born at Linden, IL, on 11 Feb 1868, the son of Gen. David Ramsay Clendenin. During his time in Washington he studied medicine at night and later joined the Army as a surgeon. His first wife, Susan Dunn Clendenin, died in 1884. They had two daughters, one of whom became the grandmother of Deedra Cook. The girls were raised by other family members. He married again in 1889. His second wife, Daisy Brownson Clendenin, died at Fort Bradley, Sault Ste. Marie, MI, on 28 Jun 1894. They had one daughter, Dorothea. Paul reportedly married a third wife. He died of yellow fever at Santiago, Cuba, on 4 July 1899. A military doctor with the rank of major, he was a part of the occupation forces after the Spanish American War.
Last update 10 February 2011
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