A Lively Experiment

Notes on collections and events at the RIHS

Let My Love Open The Door: Part Two

When we left off last week it was January 1905 and Louise had said there was no hope…

 

“Louise and I sat on the sofa alone. She was lovely and for the first time in our history together we really made love. I asked her to marry me and she said with a wonderful look in her eyes, ‘Of course I will’. When I left she asked if I really knew my own mind and I replied that my last four years had me somewhat in the dark. She asked me to think it over, as she would wait for me.” [5/22/1910]
“I slept poorly worrying about Louise & myself. As I felt today, I was far from happy, which I should have been knowing that I had the love of such a wonderful girl as she is. The unfortunate experience of the last four years has so upset me I hardly dare trust myself.” [5/23/1910]

“Got Louise, who looked very tired, at 7:50 and took her to see ‘The College Widow’ at Keith’s. Well done. Coming home we sat in auto a while as Louise was too tired to have me stay any. We said an affectionate goodbye till Saturday, but Louise told me she was not sure in her own mind if she loved me. I told her we had better let things go as they were before Sunday, and see how we came out.” [5/25/1910]

“Sat in the fine grove an hour & made love to her. We decided not to go back to the formal arrangement and tacitly admitted our love for each other. We both have realized, I think, what we mean to each other. Very happy.” [6/04/1910]

“My love for Louise grows more and more every day and I can’t seem to wait for Wednesday to come to tell the world my happiness. I never knew what a good thing it was that I had my experience of a year ago, for now I am out of the wilderness and know my own mind as ever before. And my sweetheart is mine without reserve. God bless her dear heart. Took her at 5 to her farm, where the family welcomed us most cordially. After they retired Louise & I sat by the fireplace fire till 10:30 when I came home alone.” [6/10/1910]

“I gave her her engagement ring secured through Arthur Heines, and with it I told her I gave her all the true love of a heart simply overflowing with love for her, and with the hope that she would never regret the step she was taking. She was lovely when I put it on her finger….. Never so happy in my life.” [6/13/1910]

Wedding day: “At 3:30 I married my darling Louise at the Central Church before a tremendous crowd of our friends. Beautiful wedding. . . . It all went like lightning and I hardly had a chance to ‘take in’ Louise in her glorious wedding gown with a band of orange blossoms from her mother’s own tree planted 25 years ago. . . . Very very happy.” [2/23/1911]

 

Edward Tudor Gross, the youngest son of John Mason Gross and Elizabeth Judson Gross, was born September 16, 1878. At the age of eleven, his father started paying him to keep a diary which became a lifelong habit. As a youth, Edward enjoyed photography and socializing with friends. He was also an active member of St. Stephen’s Church.  While attending Brown University (class of 1901) he joined Alpha Delta Phi and Phi Beta Kappa. After the death of his father, in 1903, Edward went to live with his oldest brother Harry, helping to raise Harry’s daughter Helen, after the death of Harry’s wife.

In 1911, after years of friendship, Edward married Louise Hunt of East Providence. The couple took a honeymoon cruise in the West Indies before settling into their new home in the East Side of Providence. The couple’s first child John Mason Gross was born on March 2, 1912, followed by Edward Tudor Gross, Jr., known as Ted, on April 3, 1913. Their youngest son Charles Edward Gross, commonly called Grog, was born on January 8, 1917. Louise was an active golfer, winning ladies’ championships and competing in senior ladies’ tournaments.

Edward worked his whole life for H.J. and G.L., Inc., the insurance, real estate, mortgage, auction, and appraisal company his brothers Harry and George founded. He started work as a clerk and worked his way to president after the deaths of his older brothers.  He struggled to keep the company alive during the Depression, borrowing money and taking pay cuts and doing whatever was necessary to preserve the family business.  Edward was also active in the business community in Providence and served as Director of Industrial Trust Co., Mechanics National Bank, Old Colony Co-operative Bank, Providence Better Business Bureau, Providence Mortgage Corporation, Providence YMCA, Providence Boys’ Club and as a Trustee for the Industrial Safe Deposit Co. In 1940, he served on the Mayor’s advisory committee to study city finances.

The 1940s were a time of change for the family. The Gross sons moved away from home, with the oldest in Illinois and the younger two off to war. During this time, Edward and Louis also became grandparents when their oldest son John and his wife Bettie had first a baby girl in 1943 and sons in 1945 and 1947. Ted Gross and his wife also had a baby girl in 1945. Along with the joys of being a grandfather, Edward also experienced the sorrow of losing his wife to rectal cancer in 1944. He continued to be active in business and pleasure pursuits until the moment of his death in 1948.

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This entry was posted on 8 February 2018 by in Collection Notes and tagged , , , , .

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