As briefly written of in a previous post, William Soutar was lumberman Wm. Jenkinson’s private secretary in Port Huron for many years (City Directories, 1893-94, page 226, and 1899-1900, page 297). Although Soutar was connected to Jenkinson in some way by 1879, when he first appears in Port Huron a couple of years later he is a bookkeeper for Brooks & Joslyn (1883 City Directory, page 134; he is not listed in the previous 1881 directory, but that doesn’t tell us or not if he had actually moved here by then). Previous to living in Port Huron, Soutar worked and lived in Saginaw, although his actual home was in Rattle Run, St. Clair County, where his wife and other family members lived.
From the other letters in the collection, we know that Soutar was from Newport on Tay, Fife (or thereabouts), Scotland. The three letters here appear to be the only ones from friends, although the collection has not yet been fully studied. The collection, too, is what seems to be only one group of papers that was saved by someone and does not at all include all of Soutar’s correspondence. The documents relating directly to William Jenkinson were already posted. Future posts will include letters from his wife, Agnes, and letters from his family members back in Scotland. What remains, business documents, will also be scanned and posted.
The Sim letter was in excellent shape and needed no enhancing, but the writing of the other two letters was very dim (especially Gowling’s) and the images here are enhanced ones. While the images alone (with captions) are posted first, the texts will be typed up and added to this post at a later date. The images are provided as .jpg and are clickable for large-scale viewing. Please give credit to PHAHPA if you use them.
This page was edited on December 13, 2018: the last letter was added and the title changed to include the later date.
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