September 7th, 1914

Colchester, Conn.
Sept. 7, 1914

My loving sweetheart:

I received your loving letter Saturday morning, in which letter you promised to keep our future bright and loving. As for my part I shall do all in my power to act likewise and without doubt we shall be happy.

I am counting the hours to be back in Long Island. Of course you know the reason why. My sister Alice and I are going back on Thursday night. We shall arrive in Grand Central at 11:20 P.M. I hope I will be able to see you before Sunday. Try to have all your family come on Sunday afternoon if you possibly can. Perhaps it would be more convenient for them to come on Saturday evening, i.e. if they are at home. If they can come then tell them to come for it will be all the same to Auntie. Auntie is going back with the last train tonight, and she is going to mail this letter in N.Y. for me so that you will be able to get it sooner.

I only wish I were in our little park with you instead of being sick here in bed with a billious attack. Excuse my writing for I have to write lying down. It’s hard to be sick – perhaps the worst sickness of all is love-sickness; what do you say?

Tommy dear I won’t have to send you many more artificial kisses for you will be getting the real ones soon. This time I am sending you twice as many as you sent me whatever number that may be.

With lots of love I remain

Your loving sweetheart,


P.S. In case your family cannot come, Auntie would be pleased to meet your Uncle and Aunt if you could bring them along. Don’t let Harry forget his violin.

(Comments: Oh no, Marie is under the weather! A “bilious attack” was a common term at the time, meaning a combination of headache and gastrointestinal distress [not good]. Will she make the train by Thursday [this letter was written on Monday]? Also, I’d be interested to find out which uncle and aunt of Tom’s Marie refers to! And, at bottom, a 1914 photo [same year!] of what was then the new Grand Central Station/Terminal, where Marie and her sister Alice will be arriving on Thursday [opened the year prior]. – TC)

Grand Central Terminal, 1914

September 4th, 1914

165 Broadway
New York
Sept. 4. 1914

My dear sweetheart:-

Your loving, inspiring little letter received yesterday afternoon – also the little spray of flowers which you previously wore close to your stolen heart. It was a very beautiful thought – that little spray of flowers and made me heave more than one sigh when looking at it. I discovered upon a leaf the inscription “Rose Marie”; put there by yourself, I presume.

You poor little creature; to think that your heart has been stolen and that you are there quivering and perhaps afraid that we may not always love one another as we do now! Never, no, never shall that love be dampened if I can with my life and strength help it – it shall be uppermost in my thoughts at all times – sacredly observed and like good old wine, cherished the greater with age. You have not been alone in your fears on that score. I, too, have shuddered to think of the possibility of love growing cold in time – its lustre removed, and rudely cast aside as a discarded plaything. But I am resolved that our love shall endure all time.

I need hardly state that I am now more than satisfied of your sincerity and deep love and if it were only within my power I should have been enraptured indeed at the opportunity to have you in my arms and to have us personally confess to one another our deep affection, as you wished. To think that we have both suffered since being separated from one another, and that I, like yourself, have experienced but one pleasure – have enjoyed but one source of happiness: to be alone and to concentrate my thoughts upon you, and you only!

You may tell Auntie that I shall be over myself – also my brother Harry, on Sunday evening, Sept. 13th, but am not sure about the rest of the folks just yet, as my mother thinks of going up to Sullivan County (N.Y.) about that time – and perhaps Bill and Louis, too – for a week’s stay.

Acting upon your suggestion and with the realization that the world’s supply of paper is growing scarce, I am limiting this letter to four pages. I accept with pleasure the generous million kisses, and as I have been called stingy for sending you only 10,000 previously, I increase it to one quintillion kisses – so there!

Good bye for to-night, girlie dear. My sincere sympathy to you for the loss of your heart – but fear not – it’s in safe hands. Fair thee well, my Juliet.

Lovingly yours


(Comments: This is certainly Tom’s most romantic letter to date, and his most poetic! I did not notice the “inscription” he writes about on the flowers but they are since dried for over 100 years. Reminder, Harry, Bill and Louis are 3 of Tom’s 4 brothers [John the other]. – TC)

September 2nd, 1914

Colchester, Conn.
Sept. 2, 1914.

My loving sweetheart Tom:-

I received your letter and card; the former yesterday morning and the latter Saturday, it was forwarded to me from Boston.

You wrote to me that you would bring your brother over some evening when I return. I shall be very pleased to meet my future brother-in-law. I expect to be back Thursday the 10th if my sister Alice comes or on Saturday, the 12th if she does not come. So Auntie wants me to ask you all up Sunday the 13th early in the afternoon and stay for supper. Tell your brother not to forget to take his violin. I am sure Clem. will have her key hidden when he comes. Some class to “the 13th” remember Thursday the 13th. Oh no! I am sure it was early Friday morning the 14th instead.

I am sorry you doubt my words “I love you dearly”, but I assure you with all my heart that I mean what I say, and I say what I mean. Other years I have enjoyed myself at picnics, parties and dances, but this year all these amusements have failed to give me any pleasure. I only feel happy when I can be by myself and think of you. I know that I am cold but remember I am only a girl and it would not be my place to express love the way I feel it in my heart. – “Still water runs deep”. I think Auntie couldn’t believe, if she knew, that I could say as much as I have already said to you – “but when the heart is full the mouth flows over”.

I agree with you not to look at each other’s faults, but to dwell upon what is good. I hope we both will always remain loving to each other all our lives just as we feel toward each other at present. I just wish I could be in your arms at present, where we could personally confess our love to one another.

Here is a small spray of flowers, that I picked yesterday and wore close to my heart, which has been stolen, and besides I am sending you a million kisses – just look how generous I am, oh you stingy only 10,000! With lots of love from all my heart and soul, I remain,

Yours until death


Pretty short letter in comparison with yours, Slow Down – 4 pages Limit in Colchester – 8 pages in NY

(Comments: Well, any pretense of uncertainty in their relationship is gone, as Marie states clearly in this straight-up love letter [especially the stark closing statement!]. I’m not sure of the importance of the 13th, maybe the night/early morning Tom proposed? Also, a special bonus in this letter, and I’m glad I opened it carefully – as Marie stated, she enclosed “a small spray of flowers”, probably from the farm in Colchester, as seen below! – TC)

“Here is a small spray of flowers, that I picked yesterday and wore close to my heart, which has been stolen.”

August 31st, 1914

165 Broadway
New York.
Aug. 31. 1914

Darling Marie:-

Your last Boston letter was received on Friday and here I am answering it on Monday. My reply is rather tardy I must admit, but is the result of circumstances.

I presume you received my post-card from Philadelphia. I made a flying trip (for the second time inside of a week) to see my brother, Harry, the actor, and managed to induce him to give up the footlights for a while and come home to see the folks and rest up. He is home now (the first time in almost three years) and has grown very tall during his absence. He is a year younger than John, but looks taller to me. I must bring him over some evening when you return and get him to play his violin.

You refer further to Auntie’s congratulations, but, as near as I can understand, her congratulations are the result of a misunderstanding on her part, due to the fact that you said “Perhaps we are” when she asked whether we were engaged, but you know very well, you little tease, that we are not engaged and that you have misled your poor aunt. However, I suppose the situation must have been an embarassing one when you found yourself being pressed for an explanation of your grief on the train, and you must have been in a quandary as to what reply to make. The “missing link in our chain of love” that I refer to is, of course the lack of any definite understanding as yet in regard to the ultimate outcome of that memorable Thursday evening interview. However, let that drop for the present, as I should rather hear from your own lips, at some later date, any further comments you may desire to make in regard to my proposal. We have made remarkable progress since that night, at any rate, as you have gone so far as to say in a previous letter “I just love you dearly.” How I should like to hear those words from your lips this moment and cuddle up to you and experience the joy, the pleasure, of giving you a shower of kisses and a fond embrace! I can scarcely yet credit your sincerity in uttering those words, and shudder to think that it may all be a dream and that I have hastened matters too much and have forced you to come to terms before your mind was fully made up as to your intentions. Furthermore you appear to be somewhat evasive about the subject of our love and refer to it but lightly in your last two letters. (I suppose I am rushing matters again). It is my turn now to accuse you of being “cold and distant to me at times”. Do you really know that it is a fact that you have been guilty of the same thing – although I didn’t have the heart to refer to it before? But let us try to refrain from looking up one another’s faults, and think only of what is good, noble or commendable in each of us.

Truly, as you say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”; yes, even restless.

I agree not to use the expression “turned down” again, as per your wishes. [“Please mother, I won’t say it again”]

I hope you enjoyed your annual trip to Hayward’s Lake and that Auntie caught plenty of salt codfish and smoked herring. They tell me that bottled “Bass” [ale] are running pretty good at the fishing resorts.

We all went for a spin in the auto yesterday to Bridgeport, Conn. – so near to you and yet so far, but the trip was marred somewhat by having to stop to repair a couple of punctured tires (both happening at the one time, however) on the outward trip, but on the return trip we made a beautiful run home without accident.

Here it is 6:40 p.m. and I am still at the office! The pressure of business was unusually heavy to-day and we were late in finishing up.

Well my future bride [at which juncture you will exclaim, I suppose “Don’t be too sure”] I must (although very regretfully) terminate this short letter. If I could only do so with a kiss and a hug (ad libitum) my joy would be complete. Do hurry up back, for gracious sake.

With ten thousand kisses and as many squeezes, I remain, my dear, precious sweetheart,

Your own loving


P.S. – Give Auntie a kiss for her dear, kind, expressions and well wishes.

(Comments: In his “short” letter, Tom expounds on the developments of their relationship to this point, even chiding Marie for being as “cold and distant” as he is, but pulling back quickly afterward. Unfortunately, I cannot find the postcard from Philadelphia that he refers to. And we are now formally introduced to his brother Harry, who is by far the most interesting individual in this family in my opinion. Tom prefaces the discussion of his brother by coolly stating he took a “flying trip” [the second in a week?] which I would’ve liked to know more about, but no details were offered. Anyway, Harry apparently left home at age 16 [!] in 1911 to perform around the world as a vaudeville-type act. He would return to vaudeville for a time after serving in WWI, was involved in politics in Queens in the 1920’s, but by the 1930’s would relocate to Los Angeles [as “Hal” Styles] and become a well-known radio interviewer and host of his own popular radio [and later TV] show, “Help Thy Neighbor” [see photos and clippings below on Harry/Hal]. Also, I liked Tom’s jokes of catching fish already salted and smoked, and a Bass Ale beer joke! I had no idea it was popular back then. – TC)

Harry Styles, third from left (young boy in back) with family, c1910 (Tom not present)

Yonkers Herald, 12/16 and 12/18/1911, on young Harry Styles coming to perform as “Archie Collins”

Harry Styles – passport photo 1917

Harry (now Hal) Styles, Los Angeles Times, 5/16/1936

Article on Hal Styles and his Help Thy Neighbor program, Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, 7/11/1937

Hal Styles with James Roosevelt (FDR’s son) on his Help Thy Neighbor radio show on KHJ, Los Angeles, 3/12/1939 (unfortunately damaged from source)
Hal Styles interviews Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich on KFWB on 9/7/1943

Bass Ale advertisement, 1914

August 27th, 1914

2 Worcester Square
Boston, Mass.
August 27, 1914.

My loving Tom:

I received your dear letter yesterday morning while still in bed. I see that I have not made myself clear to you in regards to Auntie’s congratulations. Auntie does not know anything that passed between us on that well-remembered Thursday night. She has been teasing me constantly about coming home so late, and weeping on the train. When I opened your eight-page letter on my way to the village she said that there must be something extra ordinary – something that happened that night. She repeated time and time again in German that we must be engaged. After awhile I said, “Perhaps we are.” She was pleased to hear that, and immediately congratulated me and requested me to congratulate you when I would write, which I did.

There is one thing I am determined to ask you, i.e. please do not repeat again that you were turned down by me, for you were really not. I know that I didn’t give you a decided answer there and then, but it was understood that I was to learn some-thing, having you as my teacher. What a wonderful teacher – with one lesson, I learned it! I am anxious to know the missing link in our chain of love, for I cannot see it. I must be very stupid, “a dumm-Kopf”, in this line of business.

Mrs. Lander’s property was for sale a month ago; I don’t know whether she has sold it yet or not.

Our trip to Boston is nearing its end; we have to go home this afternoon. To-morrow morning we are all going to Hayward’s Lake on our annual fishing party.

You write to me not to rush back to L.I. on your account, but for whose sake would I go? I am sure there is no one else that would make me go.

I am glad to hear that your trip in the Auto was an enjoyable one. It’s too bad Boston is so far from N.Y., otherwise we could have seen each other while on my visit here.

Please give my best regards to your family. Best regards from Auntie; and with loads of love and kisses, I am

Your own loving


(Comments: Marie explains the details to her Auntie regarding the engagement, and insists to Tom that she never did turn him down. And the phrase that Marie heard over and over again in German from Auntie may have been “Sie müssen verlobt sein” [“you must be engaged”]. We likely all know what “dummkopf” means [direct translation is “fool”]! Also, this is the first I’ve heard of annual fishing parties at Hayward’s Lake [Lake Hayward today], which is just south of Colchester, CT; unfortunately, I have yet to find any photos of this. And, when does the War enter their lives? Not even a mention in the early months. Lastly, I’ll leave you with one more photo below of Marie in Boston in 1914. – TC)

Marie Chabaud, age 19, Boston, MA, August 1914