Jay Brink remained in the "Commercial College" in Rutland, Vermont until May of 1900. Although his uncle, Charles Robinson, reported that he was "applying himself diligently" to his studies it was soon evident that at nineteen he was still trying to "find himself". His father's letters were alternately demanding and indulgent as he tried to prepare his son for a role in his business without alienating him.
. . . . How did (you) succeed with the telegraph line . . . did it work well and help you in sending and receiving? Can you go where telegraphing is being done and tell what is passing on the wire? . . .
You ask "why I don't sell
my farms and come to Rutland" for the simple reason that owing to the
crops in Nebr. the past four or five years there are no buyers . . . at
prices I could accept. If we have a return to old times . . .
land will sell and . . . perhaps I will sell out. While times have been
very bad here it can't last always . . . .
After receiving a letter from a Reverend Gibbs Braislind asking that Mr. Brink give permission to Jay to join the Baptist church, C. D. wrote
C. D. had arranged that the rent from a farm in Springfield, Vermont be sent to Jay. He wrote two detailed letters, asking him to keep full account of his expenditures.
. . . I am glad
you have found so good a job, and think you will like machine work. Try
and please your employers doing all work well, be prompt, for the time
may come when you will see the benefit of knowing how to earn a living
at some occupation other than day labor . . . . I do not want to inject
into every letter too much advice, so that the sight of my letters will
make cold chills run up your spine, but it is necessary that you learn
one thing . . . always pay as you go . . . One has no right to use
for his own pleasure when that money is due for something he has
had . . . Never sign any mans note . . . Never ask man
to sign yours. Keep out of debt, be honest, tell the truth and
may be happy . . .
. . . . Your nice letter offering to come and help me if you could be of service is appreciated. However at present it is best that you remain where you are. You can help me better by paying your way in part . . . and further, I think it not best to change ones employment too often . . . .
have just made the last payment on land that I owed so now all my debts
in Nebraska are paid . . . . The only other debt is one owned jointly
myself and Daniel O. Gill, money we borrowed to run our ranch . .
. .I am trying to get a division of our ranch so that should anything
to me you will not have any partnership matters to look after . .
while my partnership in a business way has been pleasant I believe it
best way to do what you can alone, then if mistakes are made, the one
them is the loser . . . .
. . .
You write that you have left the
scale works and found employment with the Tuttle Co. I hope the change
will prove for the best . . . so long as the move is made will
say I hope . . . you will be satisfied to continue . . . you will find
that the slayer is the winner . . . .
. . . .You write you would like a dress suit, but you do not write how much money it will require . . . . I am, as you must well know not flooded with the "McKinley prosperity" (bah!). In my boyhood day I had not one tenth that . . . to spend. I am aware that one cannot live as cheaply in these very prosperous times as in ye olden days, I presume after 4 years more you will do well if you can earn enough to pay your board . . . .
After Jay lost his job with the Tuttle Co. he again wrote about coming to Kearney but C. D. continued to put him off. In a letter of January 16, 1901 he stressed the importance of knowing where Jay was at all times.
You may wonder if there is
anything wrong physically with me . . . . I am in usual health . . .
tis well to be prepared . . . .
. . . I do not . . . have any objections to you trying your luck in California . . . When you get the fruit business learned it might be you would find that other kinds of fruit than oranges would work . . . . Fruit lands, some of it, is very high, some lands with trees in bearing cost $1,000.00 an acre
I went up to farms on K&BH line this morning to fix up some business but was taken with severe pains in my stomach and was forced to take train back . . . .
Jay and his father made a trip to California, leaving November 26, 1901. The next letter was dated April 7, 1902 from Los Angeles to Jay at Charlestown, N. H.
That the marriage ceremony
may be a pleasant beginning to a long life of happiness is the wish
Jay was married on October 28, 1902. The following is the last letter he received from his father.
My Dear Children,
How are you this bright Sabbath morning? ...
I would like to take tea with you this evening to see how dignified you would look. I have been there, and I thought it mighty nice, and so it is, and so it should be . . .
By the way Jay, I was calling on Mrs. Collins (4) and she wished to be remembered to you, and sent too many kind messages for me to remember even half of them . . .We have a supper on Thanksgiving day for the benefit of our Hospital (5) - and I have invited Mrs. Collins to go with me we'll make a gay old couple . . .
I have not taken any remedies since my return, and I feel as good as new. Jay, do you know that if people . . . thought much less of their ills it would be very much better for them. The mind controls matter more than we are aware.
Hoping you will write me often so I may know you are getting on I will wish you much happiness.
Mr. Brink died on November 30, 1902. His lawyer, Frank E. Beeman, accompanied his remains to Springfield, VT where he was buried according to his wishes. Early in 1903 Jay and his wife moved to Kearney where he took over C. D.'s affairs. Harriet Parks assumed the role of adviser in her affectionate, often playful letters, written from 1897 to 1904.
Jay and his wife went to Brattleboro, NY in 1904, where their first daughter, Mary was born. Later he worked in a box factory in Charlestown, NH and also operated a machine shop.
The family returned to Kearney in 1915. They lived for many years at 308 E. 25th. Mrs. Brink died in the flu epidemic of 1918. Jay later married Adelaide Crozier of Bellows Falls, VT. He continued to manage his property until the time of his death on October 28, 1940. Surviving him are his son, Charles P. Brink of Kearney, a daughter Ruth Valentine of Auburn, Washington. His daughter, Mary, died in 1963.
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