February is the month known for romance and a time to show and to tell that special person how you feel about them.  With all of the commercial reminders that we have today, it’s easy to find a way to express our admiration.  But what about our ancestors?   In February of 1850, 18 year old Leander Baumgardner living in Edinburg wrote a love letter to Mahalah Keister of Millbrook Ohio informing her of his health, how his school work is going, the parties that he is attending, and oh yes, how much he likes her.  Leander was staying with Jacob Bonewits and was attending either the Edinburg school at the end of Findley Street or the Edinburg Academy.  He previously went to school at Millbrook where he was smitten by Mahalah. “Lee” admits that he has met several girls and there is even one that is “about the right type, but when I think of you I forget her altogether”.  The question is did Leander’s letter lead to romance?  Was this to be a match made in heaven? Did his poetry sway her decision to write him back and confirm her feelings toward him?  Nope! Mahalah married a doctor 5 years later and Leander married Matilda Miller. I guess we have to be thankful that he tried, because we have this letter to study and to learn more about our area’s history and to peek inside this young man’s world.  “My hand is tired, my ink is pale, my love to you shall never fail”.   

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