How to Use
Document 2: Helen Stewart's Letters
Although the ranch was operating successfully, Helen continued to worry about her children's lack of education. At first she hired a tutor, Ross Megarrigle, a man with an Oxford education. After his death she sent her children to Los Angeles for a formal education. Tiza and Evaline took to schooling and they would become well-educated women of property. But despite his mother's urgings Archibald rebelled and wanted to join his brothers in working on the ranch. He was killed while corralling horses during a school vacation. The first two letters below were written by Helen Stewart to her youngest son, Archie, before his death while he was in school.
Emeryille, California January 25, 1899
Unfortunately Archie Stewart did not live to manhood. He died a few months after this letter was written in a ranch accident. His mother was heartbroken and wondered how she could go on, but she did.
The following note was also found in the Stewart letter file.
Questions for Document 2
1. Based on these letters to her son, how do you think Mrs. Stewart felt about her children? Why do you think she sent them away to school?
2. Is the advice she gives her son in the second letter, good advice for anyone of that age? Why or why not?
3. How did Mrs. Stewart manage to run the ranch?
4. Who was Hiram Wiser and how did he help Helen? (If needed, refer to Reading 2.)
Document 2 was excerpted from the collections at the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society.