Below are some letters and other items from the William Robert Soutar collection (used by permission from Lynne Secory). All are either written by William Jenkinson (1834-1896), or pertain to him and his family. A brief but very telling biography of Jenkinson is included below.
William Soutar was Jenkinson’s private secretary for many years, and even served as the estate’s secretary after his employer and friend’s death (City Directories, 1893-94, page 226, and 1899-1900, page 297). Although Soutar was connected to Jenkinson in some way by 1879, as evidenced by one of the letters here, when he first appears a couple of years later in Port Huron 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). From the other letters in the collection, we know that Soutar was from Newport on Tay, Fife (or thereabouts), Scotland. In a letter from his parents, dated January 31, 1880 (#2.0207), the writer answers his inquiry about the Tay Bridge Disaster (1879) and tells him that none of his friends were on the train. Continue reading