Letters to Esther

Letters to Esther is a collection of letters written to Esther Munro of Geneva, Indiana. The letters span from 1900 to the 1960s, with the bulk of them coming from the 1920s.

Friday, March 31, 2006

**EDITORIAL NOTE: What's New**

First, I've finalized the basic design of the new sub-domain and have transferred all the files from here to there. I’ve also finally gotten around to setting up a separate blog on the Esther sub-domain, for the purpose of announcing new file uploads, new genealogical information, etc. I figured this would be an easier way to handle updates than the clumsy, old fashioned way of tagging files as “New.”

My intention is to use the blog to post when I've updated a section. I'll include both the name of the section and the URL for each file. That way, you can look at the files in context, if you want, or you can go directly to them.

All new letters will be posted to the new website (http://esther.cat-sidh.net). Updates will be announced on the new blog (http://esther.cat-sidh.net/blog). I'll leave this blog here as a re-direct, but I won't be updating it with new letters.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Letters to Esther project, there is an explanation in the Pages section of the new blog, at the top of the sidebar. The short answer is that it is a collection of letters from the early 1900s, written to Esther Munro Cooper of Geneva, Indiana. I’m slowly transcribing them and placing the transcripts and scans of the letters on-line.


Friday, March 17, 2006

**EDITORIAL NOTE: Finally, an Update!**

I spent the better part of last night creating a header graphic and playing around with formats. I think I've finally got something that I'm reasonably happy with. I decided to go with hand coding, because I couldn't find an automated way to get what I wanted. Yippee, more work. But, I think it'll work out okay. For now, I'm dumping everything into a sub-directory of the mother site, but that may change at a later date. If it does, at that point, I can also re-visit the issue of content management systems that might (or might not) do what I want automagically.

CC010_detailAnyway, if you want to take a look at a rough conceptual draft: Letters to Esther. There are only a few letters at this point, and Home is the only nav link in the header area that goes anywhere. I'm trying to make sure that the letters themselves are legible but not huge. At this point, the thumbnails are around 10k each and the full-size images are 30-40k for half sheets and 80k for full-sheets (many of the letters were written on a folded sheet of paper that opens like a book, with two small pages and an interior centerfold page).

I also scanned some photos that were included with the letters. One set is a mass-produced group of photos of the University of Chicago's buildings, c.1920. I've uploaded them to a Flickr set. The others are of the Indiana University Cosmopolitan Club's 1923 International Banquet. One of the photos shows Esther herself. I've created a Flickr group for those, as well.

[Cross-posted to the mother blog.]

Saturday, July 09, 2005


I've uploaded a couple of stray letters that were out of order. I've inserted them chronologically into their proper places:

January 14, 1920, from Mamma
February 25, 1920, from Richard
May 31, 1920, from Mamma

December 19, 1919, from Mamma

Home. Wed. Eve.

Dear Esther--

I am sending you those samples. I could get no Khaki, Duck, gaberdine or Ratine, or batiste at Filer's. The Palu-beach may be wool. I do not know & the Kindergarten is called "Kiddy Cloth" in the catalogue but I think it is a sort of kindergarten material. I have names on all but the kindergarten & that is the striped black & white. I so far have found no *batiste in the house either nor at Filer's.

Mr. Spaar has not forgotten you. We have a package of religious literature here we will send you for I know you want it.

Thur. A.M.

Martin's are butchering Papa is down there & I may go yet for dinner, but know I should be busy here.

When do you need to pass in those samples? I may have time yet to get more at Carter's or some where else.

Well, I must get busy.

Nothing has happened since you were here, so consequently nothing to tell.

Bye bye, from

Sunday, June 26, 2005

December 19, 1919, from Richard

148 Sheety Street
La Fayette, Ind.
Dec. 19, 1919

Dear Esther,

You have proven that you are obstinate and contrary. Well, all right this was a case where I do not object so strongly; but I've got you now where you will have to wait awhile despite the fact. If I appear to have a careless attitude in regard to certain things, what can anyone tell atall about it?

Say, you are lucky to get to go home so soon and have company all the way! There is no one around [...] to raise an excitement by strewing everything around and packing up to go home. "Webb" went to Chicago this evening and if Roomie and I can get ready in time and have enough money left we may go home ourselves tomorrow (Sat.). I've got a class till noon (12:00) tomorrow and it may be impossible for me to get ready, eat, and go over to the station in time to take the 12:15, my homeward bound train! Roomie wants me to go out on a date tonight; but our girls do not like to go to the family vaudeville, and we do. So? It will be treating our pile of ready cash rather kindly if we stay shy of "such".

How do you like Indianapolis about this time? I hope you have had a nice trip home, and a nice visit already. Hoping to see you at home. I "extend my hand" for a happy farewell.


December 16, 1919, from Alva Glendening

Geneva, Ind.,
Dec. 16--1919

Dear Friend:

This may surprise you but I hope it don't shock you too much. I received a letter from Katheryn yesterday and I happened to think that I have written to every Willing Worker absent but you, our teacher. Don't you think that is awful? I hope you will forgive me, and I think you will.

I don't know very much news just now except about the measles and I am over them now and I think about everybody else is, and beside you were home not very long ago and heard about all the news and will soon be home again to hear the rest of it better than I can write it. But I do know one thing, that they didn't shred today at Lehman's as it was too cold for them. But it looks as if it is going to warm up today as the sun is coming out nice. We have had some zero weather the last few days.

I was at S.S. last Sun., first I've been there for several Sundays. Our population was five, Maisie, Fred, Harry, Emile and I were the faithful ones, your big brother was absent, and we won the collection penant by a number of pennies. I am afraid we will have to adopt some children if we win many attendance banners after New Year's.

I heard you disagreed with me about Kath--getting married. I am sorry to hear such a thing. But listen! The reason I wrote as I did was because I heard she was getting advice not to come home Xmas for fear she might get married. Now, I want her to come home, not that I am eager to see her, but she can't have a merry Xmas down there and I don't want her to know that matrimony is so dangerous, and then again she might pull thru with it all right. Of course it would hurt you or I to get married for you don't know enough about home economics and I'm too young.

Well, I must close. I won't ask you any questions now but will wait till you come home. Hope to see you once more before Santa comes anyway. Faithfully yours,

Alva Glendening

December 15, 1919, from Lloyd and Mamma

Geneva Ind.,
Dec. 15, 1919.

Dear sister,

I am at school now and will soon recite so I will write as much as I can while I can.

I just received a letter from Robert last Saturday and wrote to him Sunday.

He said, When it (the Poodle dog) wanted a drink he would stand up on his hind legs and pat his front paws together. Did you ever see him do that? Well it is time to recite now ... Time is passing ... Now I am back again.

We had a game at school last Friday. You had to write your name on a slip of paper and fold it so that no one could see it without unfolding it. Then you dropped your slips all in one box and teacher wold mix them up. Then each person drew one out. The game rather the plot is to whoever you get when you draw, give him or her a useful article that costs 25¢. When I drew I got Henry Ehersam (Minnie Ehersam's brother). I got him a good Printing outfit.

When we was playing shinny Solomon Eicher was first swinging his shinny club back to hit the ball and instead of hitting the ball he hit Edward Ehersam (Minnie Ehersam's brother) and knocked the skin flesh off right on his forehead till you could see the bone. You could track him everywhere he went by big dropes of blood about 3/4 inches in diameter. It knocked him unconscious for a while. Then Tressie and our teacher took him to the doctor and he said if it would have hit him just a little bit closer to the eye it would have killed him instantly.

Your brother
Lloyd Munro

Lloyd has written some to you at school and copied it at home. But I must have my "say".

Went to town last eve I now have all material for making three bags. But if you decide to give them to L. & K. you can help make them for I know it does not take long. Spoons have not come yet. Hope you will get here before all Carter's best stuff is gone. Am so sorry you are not here now.

Mrs. Lindsey is going to make Ruth's dress this week if I can get trimming for it. I may have to go to Berne for that. So you see where part of my time goes to any how.

I will have to prepare good & hard for shredders tomorrow. They are at Lehman's now & will be here next expect them Wed. Thur. & Fri. or Thur. Fri & Sat.

Well, I hope you a safe journey home.


December 14, 1919, From Mamma and Ruth

Geneva. (Sun.) Dec. 14--‘19

Dear Esther--

Well, I promised to write some so I'll have tow write tonight if I do at all before you get home. I went to town yesterday A.M. to that sale, and the store was packed as quick as the door was opened. So you can imagine ones chance at trading with such a crowd. But I finally got Addie Hoskisson to wait on me. I only bought the common necessaries, and not all of those. So will go back again if I can get the time. I need comfort material so bad. Now let met ell you what is before me this week. I don't know if I can make those bags or not. I could have done it last week, but could not get the material by sending for it so thought I'd see to it this week myself. But Papa told me today that I might look for those corn-fodder shredders Wed. Thur. & Fri. that means 14 men each day. Then on Mon. I'll wash (if weather permits) and go see Mrs. Lindsey about Ruth's dress. Tues I'll iron& bake up everything I can think of for those men. Of course it may storm and spoil all the plans. But I really wish to have it over with before you come. So we can talk & sew.

Clark went to Bluffton yester ever to get Justus Kelley & family. He has had to take them back this eve. He had a sore throat too. Lloyd has been complaining about his. No one went to S.S. but Ruth and papa. They walked. A very small turn out. I suppose you have decided by now how you are coming home.

[Continued by Ruth]

This is Ruth Writing now. I have received one Christmas present allready. It is a pair of brown gloves. They are made of cloth not even lined. I am going to have a test in General S. to-morrow. And I am begining to shake now. I belive I did not tell you my grade in test the first and last time was 94 next to the highest grade. The one that grade cheated so much. And I am glad to say that none of the rest cheated. The highest grade was 96. Please tell me when you come home tell me what you want for Christmas. I'll tell what I want Christmas now: books, fountain pen, my graduation picture framed. We just called were called up and Mr. Lehman told us he could not have the thrashers shredders Mon. So that means that we will have them Thursday, Friday, and Sat.

[More from Mamma]

Wilma stayed with us when Clark took the folks back to Bluffton as Mrs. Whitsel went along, just for the ride. Now, I don't think you'll hear from us again till you come home. Come home which ever way you think best, but I would not come alone.

I must close & go to bed early and prepare to work, work, work.


Mon. A.M.

Clark just told me that if you came to Portland Fri. night he can meet you there as well as not there is to be a B.B. game at Bryant that night. But come any way that suits you best & we will meet you. Just let us know.


December 14, 1919, from Richard

P.U. La Fayette, Ind.

Dear Esther,

I think I ought to start this week off as if I meant to do the right thing at least. Although I have quite a lot to do today and all this week, I can usually transfer enough time to write a little while. Due to the fact that I went to Sunday School today, had a number of visitors, and loafed some myself, I am afraid I must forgo any dates or other similar escapades for the evening. Of course it is a disappointment to me as well as others. Ha.

I hope you are not suffering yet of the fine cool weather that is whizzing around outside. Everybody around here, who can, go over to the park to skate, and it is a great sport too. I have no skates here; but am longing for them with little hope of having my desire gratified. Do you skate? I rather think you once said you didn't. So, you did not like those plays that you saw there at the University. And Hamlet was no good. I have never seen it played myself, so I take your word for it. A lot of people, however, are hard to humor, when they have ideas.

We have such a warm room here that it is hard to believe there was any coal shortage. No, I'm not freezing; but I do have a lot of "chicken" problems on my mind. Pardon me, but I have two classes of ‘em to study and mix with. Nevertheless I shall be very glad to go home; just like I was about a year ago. Ha, ha! I have classes until 12:00 Saturday, the 20the., so I'm not quite sure just when I can get home. I hope you do not have any more such exciting trips as you had a few weeks ago. Ha.

Wishing you the best of luck this week. I hope to see you during vacation.


P.S. I had to cut this short so as to send it up to be mailed by roomie.


December 12, 1919, from Mamma

Home. Dec. 12--Friday Eve.

Dear Esther--

Your letter came today. I hope you have rec'd my last letter by now for may be there are a few suggestions in it that might help you out with Xmas. You will have time enough after you get home to get him some thing. You need not get it there unless you see the very thing that suits. But of course if you are intending to give the girls there each something, it shoudl be done before you leave there. Even Luella & Kathryn's could wait till you get home. We have sent for those spoons; but of course they have not come yet.

Carter is going to sell out for good & move to Wabash, Ind. I am going tomorrow A.M. buy some, for that is when sale begins.

I do not know which way you had better come home. But papa said he'd rather you'd come with Justine than to make trip alone.

We have not noticed any coal shortage here, and Ben's said there seemed to be plenty in Van Nest.

Well, I didn't know I began on wrong side of paper. [At top of second side, which is, indeed, the "right" side.]

I've a notion to get myself a nice new dress at Carter's, but when would it ever get made? I wish you could stay home a month and sew.

Yes, the school play will be while you are home; but Clark don't brag on it any. So don't expect too much.

Sat. A.M. Clark said he would give up getting stationary if you wanted to give that to some one else.

You will hear from me again before you come. If no one comes tomorrow I expect I'll write to you then. I may have fodder shredders next Tue. Wed. & Thur.--

With love,

December 10, 1919, from Mamma

Home. Wed. A.M.

Dear Esther--

As usual, it's hurry. Am sewing every spare min. of daylight I have.

No, I would not dress up as boy in that playlet.

About Xmas. presents. Am going to send off those oleomargerine coupons for xix teaspoons. How would it be for you to give one with initial on it to each of your friends there. It is the Community silver & I should think would be good and nice to give. I will make two bags any how, a blue & yellow.

Am making myself night-gowns.

Hope you are warm enough there. We were not until papa put up dining-room stove.

If you don't want those spoons I can keep them but would they be nice? We send to Chicago for them & they might come soon enough.

Will send you an article I saw in Youth's Companion.

I think a map of Ind. would be nice, according to what you said when you were home. Will inquire of Long in Geneva & see if any can be got & let you know soon.

Must close & get papa something for dinner.

About 20 loads of beets are in the field. Do not think Glendenning's are through either.

With love from--

December 7, 1919, from Richard

148 Sheety Street
La Fayette, Ind.
December 7, 1919

Dear Esther,

You seem to be having your share of adventure in all lines of activities. Also many new experiences with the weather. Purdue University has only a car or two of coal ahead at any time; but we are going fearlessly ahead with the work just the same. You see it takes about two car loads per day here and if the shortage is not met there will be something doing at Purdue. The only way the coal shortage could affect our vacations would be to make them longer, wouldn't it? I heard that Indiana U. has enough coal to run till March; but there is a rumor that we may get out one weak earlier. However, I have no confidence in such reports. In two weeks tho! Ha, ha!

When I read in the paper about the Monon train being almost wrecked, I never thought you were on the train. You might have been killed, and that would not have even suited you, would it? I'm glad you escaped so fortunately.

I did not go to Sunday School today on account of the slippery side walks; and my laziness. Roomie brought a Sunday paper back with him, from breakfast, and I read that, when I got up. Ha, ha! I also did a poultry problem for next Wednesday, before going to dinner. Now this afternoon I have nothing to do but write letters or go on dates. Of the two, I chose letters for the present, and the others later. Did it give you a miserable day yesterday, as we had? I went over to the shows with a friend last evening, took in the [...] and a vaudeville at the Family.

It's surely inconvenient for you to have so much work to do, letters, sewing, and all that other stuff you mentioned. I do not believe they can put me "under" here, at least I hope not. Since you have so much to deal with, I shall not ask you any new questions this time; but hope you find lots of enjoyment out of the others. Wishing you a speedy relief from all your hard work.


December 7, 1919, from Clark and Mamma

Geneva Ind.
Dec 7 1919

Dear Sister:--

We got beat again Fri. night on Bluffton floor by Petroleum score 26-33 two defeats out of eleven games.

I am in an awful rush so you see the writing.

Would one of those boxes of writing paper ($1.85 a box) do for a present for Luella, I think you mentioned about her saying she would like to have some of it get either white or cream color. I'll pay for it. I wasn't at SS today I'm getting awful bad. Cousin Bens were over Sat night and today. School is awful.

There is a little snow it fell Fri. night. It's awful cold now and you know how warm this house is when the chimney stops up. Well I'm sleepy and have Chem. Phy's. and Caesar to get yet so By By for this time

Hopeing hat the remaining 2 weeks pass swiftly by.



Am not washing today. Weather looks bad & also Is Ben's were here, the house is torn up from one end to the toher. The kids got out every thing they could get & didn't put back anything. I was not looking for Ben's at all. But had not only looked for them the last four Sat. (except for the Sat. you were at home) but had prepared for them. They want up to all come over Xmas and stay Xmas night and longer if we will. I told her I'd let her know as soon as I had heard from you. I do not think there'll be any thing going on here Xmas night, any way, there never is, So don't you think we can go?

Ricky Marsh went to Iowa last summer & while there married. Then she came back & I believe taught school until Thanks-givign then went to Ames, Ia. to live. Tho' her husband hasn't finished going to school yet.

They are having quite a time at school. I haven't time, nor paper, nor patience to tell all, so will not tell any. I guess tho' that Willis is quite bossy & overbearing, even to Tressie. Suppose we will se you in two weeks. I think you must have had a dangerous, exciting & tiresome trip back to Bloom.

Must close & go to work.

With love. from

December 5, 1919, From Ruth

Geneva Indiana.
Dec. 5, 1919.

Dear Sister:

I have been writing wanting to get a chance to write. I wanted to write last night but I had to write on my book report. Well, I suppose you have heard some things about the squabble. Well I will tell you some more. You know Clark was suspended from school for three days. That happened Tuesday. Papa went back the next morning and told him what the school was for and Clark kept on coming to school. the same night the Senior class went there to practice a play and finish up putting up the stage. Clark saw that Tressie was there that night too. The next morning he said he was surprised to see the stage half way up. He also said he could fine them each $5 and upward to put for breaking in the school building. Neusbaum & Mr. Willis ordered that the stage should be taken down and never be put up again. Also threatened to take the Seniors credits away from them and I do not know what. Neusbaum came the next morning anyhow he was there before we got there.

They were waiting for Tressie to come. First They called Josephine down in the furnace room. There was no one down there besides Mr. Willis


Neusbaum & asked her if she was there the night before. Of course she had to say she was & asked her to tell all who were there that night of course she had to tell. She went up stairs to tell Tressie all about it. Tressie was called out at that time. In about ha[l]f an hour or less she was back and began to cry. All the Seniors class...

[There seems to be a page missing from this letter. If it turns up in one of the later letters, I'll insert it and make a note of it.]

December 3, 1919, from Mamma

Home. Wed. A.M.

Dear Esther--

As usual, it's hurry. Am sewing every spare min. of daylight I have.

No, I would not dress up as boy in that playlet.

About Xmas. presents. Am going to send off those oleomargerine coupons for xix teaspoons. How would it be for you to give one with initial on it to each of your friends there. It is the Community silver & I should think would be good and nice to give. I will make two bags any how, a blue & yellow.

Am making myself night-gowns.

Hope you are warm enough there. We were not until papa put up dining-room stove.

If you don't want those spoons I can keep them but would they be nice? We send to Chicago for them & they might come soon enough.

Will send you an article I saw in Youth's Companion.

I think a map of Ind. would be nice, according to what you said when you were home. Will inquire of Long in Geneva & see if any can be got & let you know soon.

Must close & get papa something for dinner.

About 20 loads of beets are in the field. Do not think Glendenning's are through either.

With love from--

Sunday, April 03, 2005

December 4, 1919, From Mamma

Geneva, Ind. Dec. 4--‘19

Dear Esther--

This is Thurs. A.M. and no word from you yet. Tho' I surely think there will be this noon. Clark got a few words from Luella yesterday and I thought she would surely mention your name; but she did not. Saw Geraldine Baker a moment the night of the game at Linn grove (Tues. night) and she said they got word from Justine that you didn't reach Bloomington till Mon. 7 A.M. Hope you are well. That's all that ever really worries me.

Went to game Tues. night. Mr. & Mrs. Amos Shoemaker were there. Our boys beat Bluffton both first & second teams. But let me tell you they had to work to do it.

I am sending you the Jan. & Dec. Elites. Have just ordered a pattern from the Jan. for Ruth. It is 3102D. Don't know who will make it as Mrs. Lindsey has been sick again. But return either the picture cut out or the book soon, as who ever makes it will need it to look at, you know.

Papa has gone to Decatur today after our sugar.

Justice Kelly is married.

Well, I must quit as mail man will come soon. will send your other cover & pink waist to you soon, as they are ready.

All are well. If I don't hear from you today I'll be down there or something else.


Pretty cold here.

Lloyd addressed this.

December 3, 1919, From Richard

La Fayette, Indiana
December 3, 1919

Dear Esther,

I have been paying for my good time by working hard this week, which accounts for my delay in answering your letter from home. So you can successfully fool people; and consequently they think that you prefer to go back to school! Well, that is a strange way for everyone to have you placed. Why do we all think wrongly?

I have wondered if you got back to I.U. all right and have regained your lost sleep. No doubt ou are as busy as you ever were, readjusting yourself to the old routine. I surely did have a great time last week end but not what I could have had had I been home. See? Only two more weeks + and we'll beat the trail for home, walking perhaps if they take the trains off. Really the coal is in serious shortage everywhere. They even have partly closed the "movies" here. Ha. Now I can't spend "all" my time and money there.

We get our vacation from noon, Saturday, December 20 to January 6. I guess you get the same time off, do you not? I think we ought to get more time off than I.U. because we do so much more work. Then too we are confident that Purdue appreciates us if we do work. But they surely do soon kick a fellow out if he continually flunks. You don't worry about anything serious happening to you if you miss a train, do you? I know the officials can easily scare Freshman for awhile; but they can't do it longer than a year.

This cold weather seems to chill all social activities; meetings are postponed, dances not popular, and no place to take a date after nine o'clock. Of course we put the blame upon the coal miners and Reds.

I hope you are still in a good humor, and enthusiastic over school and the boys of I.U. Good luck and best wishes from

Yours Truly,

December 2, 1919, From Mamma

Home, Dec. 2--‘19

Dear Esther--

For fear you will be disappointed when the mail-man comes & will not hand you an envelope with a stamp on it, I'll just send you one.

Do you know you didn't bring home the belt to gingham dress? Anyhow I've not seen it. As I was ironing one of your corset covers I broke the string (the baby ribbon) in one of them, so I kept it at home & am crocheting one that will not break so easily.

I washed yesterday & am finishing the drying process in the house. Papa went to Equity meeting last night and Clark to basket-ball practice. I mopped the floor after supper, washed dishes, croched some on that string for your corset-cover & looked at the new "Elite" that came yesterday. Believe I'll send it to you.

Mrs. Lindsey has been sick, so I do not know when she can make Ruth's dress.

Wilma Kelly has the measles. Will go down this A.M. and see how she is.

Hope you got to destination O.K. Were C. & L. at train to meet you? Will look strong for a letter from you to day. Tho' I don't suppose you are in any humor for writing. To sleepy, hey?

The men are in the beet field this A.M.

I forgot to wash your old pink crepe waist. You want it don't you?

Am going to sell our surplus chix tomorrow.

The basket-ball team play Bluffton tonight. Clark wants me to go, but O it is so cold.

Now I hope you are not sick from your trip.

I believe I have told all that has taken place since you were here. Do not worry about that remark that "some one" made in the letter. I have thought about it & believe no harm was intended.

All are well.

With love from

November 30, 1919, From Richard

Purdue University
November 30, 1919

Dear Esther,

I received both of your letters Friday, and was surely well pleased to hear that you went home. I was not disappointed you see. Of course if you did not have the sore throat by this time, you no doubt went to Sunday School today. Which is more than I cared to do on such a cold day. It will be more profitable for me to work today and go out tonight, if I can do it. Ha, ha.

I had a wonderful time here on Thanksgiving day and since too. I'll let Katheryn speak for herself as to the merits of our good time, Purdue, and of everything in general. Our statements might conflict, and I do not wish to bother you with any of our little differences, if there shoudl be any to arise.

I surely was sorry, however, that I did not get to go home. I don't understand why you went "just because you had such a good chance". Don't you care anything for your home, parents, or little brothers; more than any other equally as interesting subject. Please pardon my questioning tone; but you can love, can't you! Complete happiness is based upon some such foundation as that, and surely somewhere it is found to be absolutely necessary. I fear you will be thinking yet that I cannot interpret a letter like it is meant to be.

I got a letter from Clara yesterday. She said you and Clark were out riding in the Ford, and visited at our place Thursday. Say, now do you like the new "car"? Did Clark let you drive it? During your visit I suppose you have learned of all the new marriages, romantic careers and engagements of many of the young people around there. It must be an "affliction of the heart", common to a lot of young people. It interests me anyway. Ha!

I hope you are not too sleepy to read this; but you might be, after such a long journey. In three more weeks I am going to beat it out of here. Meanwhile it's going to be just the same old routine as usual. Work, play and eat with the (un)usual amount of sleep. Wishing you a pleasant trip back to I.U. I remain,

Yours truly,

November 28, 1919, From Luella

Friday 2.00 P.M.

Dear Esther--

It was certainly thoughtful of you to write a letter--glad I reached Bluffton as soon as you did.

I suppose you know a number of students were put on or in the baggage car down here at the Monon station the day I left.

Yes--Dale went home. I am the only girl left here--and I am here only half the time. Ha! Have not been one bit lonesome so far. K[atheryn] is not coming back until to-morrow P.M. Got three letters and a card to day. Should I be lonesome? Have a date for 4 o'clock and still have my gingham dress on. Ha! as 4 to-night--may call it off & go to the social with one of the girls. have been having a fine time--but not much work done.

Having quite a scare here. This may be the last U will ever hear from me. Will not write it on a card.

Hope 2 C U again. I still _ _ _ _ you. Ha!

Hope U are having a good time--better yet than I--myself. We are observing no rules here--unless we wish. Stayed up here alone last night as I did not go out to stay last night. Carters wanted me to go down stairs to sleep but--I would have made the 6th one in 1 bed room. Ha! Robert is out of bed sitting up now.


November 27, 1919, From Richard

Purdue University
Thanksgiving Day, 9:00

Dear Esther,

You ought to be very happy now, considering all the things you have to be thankful for; thanksgiving dinner at home, lots to eat, a good time before you, and a "very agreeable day", a prospect of returning to school soon again, etc. I wanted to get to go home myself, but the Purdue students petitioned, several years ago, to add the two days now, to the Christmas vacation. Consequently we young sports have to remain "satisfied".

I took a chance upon you going to leave I.U. so I sent you a little parcel of sweets to Geneva. Of course I'll guess that it did not arrive on time. You can recall what you did last year and what I did. Ha, ha! The weather conditions are the same, almost, today; but I wonder how about the rest. It's your turn to play rough, and I promise to submit meekly to anything that might concern me. See? Since it's so hard to make a letter understandable and not be too precisely acute, I'll not express myself in this one any more than usual.

I guess Katheryn got my word in sufficient time to relay my short dispatch, and to decide to come up here. Anyway she is here and we are sure of a fine time if we wish. Very few of the students left town, so things are quite natural in regard to entertainments and crowds. Say, Katheryn is greatly impressed by our city and college! It's a wonderful place full of good, live people. She especially noticed the good looking young men, and at that a remarkably large no. of fair dames.

We had a very interesting affair here yesterday when a Red labor speaker was billed to make a speech here last night. The American Legion took immediate steps to stop him, and did too. They arrested him as soon as he arrived and then gave him his papers of exit. The Purdue students were "up in the air" too and many went over to the meeting last evening. This is no town for unloyal citizens, or students either.

Well I hope you have enjoyed your visit so far. Of course you have. Best wishes.

Yours sincerely

November 24, 1919, From Richard

November 24, 1919

Dear Esther,

This is not going to be much of a letter; nor much of an answer, I fear. Sure I like specials, and that is one reason I cannot find the time to write more tonight. Various things have interfered with my good intentions, thus nessitating a hasty answer or none at all. For if I waited until tomorrow you would not be at I.U. by the time my mail reached you.

Esther, I'm sure your friendship has benefited me also; but do friendships always continue to be beneficial. Supposing, since you mentioned it, that the things I said really did mean what it sounded like. Would you care? Since there is such a short time I shall not take up the discussion any farther at present. I would not know how to explain anyway so sas to please you, so I'm not relieving your uncertainty now. You will surely have a fine time when you go home, and I wish you one anyway. So far as I know now Purdue will have school. Hard luck, I say. I shall write more soon, perhaps. I can't depend upon my "spells". So if you are O.K. where you're at write to me.

Yours Truly,

November 22, 1919, From Mamma

Geneva, Nov. 22--‘19

Dear Esther--

Your letter came yesterday and I simply can not tell you what to do about coming home. But if you do come with Justine you must ‘phone or let us know some way that you are there or if you come the other way (Portland) you will have to let us know. Clark said that Luella wrote like they hardly expected to go to Purdue. Will have the corn-shredders Mon. if weather is fit which means I must get dinner for about 14 men. alone. Ruth will be in school and Mrs. W. is afraid of Wilma taking the measles. Clark is teaching the Freshmen English class. Says he likes it and would think it fine if he only knew more. But you know he does not understand grammar. Ruth says they all like him though. I think Mr. & Mrs. Willis do their part about as well as some of those pupils. Only one boy has quit school & he was going to anyway to Xmas time. Well, be your own judges about coming home. We will go meet you where ever you are, if you only tell us where.


Warren is doing fine.

Am afraid those pictures will get mislayed or lost.

November 19, 1919, From Mamma

Home. Nov. 19--‘19

Dear Esther--

It seems I never have time for a letter so here goes for a few words. It is now 20 min. of 11. so mail man will come soon enough to suit. I have hunted every where for those old black gloves of mine and can not find them. So I thought I'd go to town and just buy a pair & send you; but Warren has the measles (so I discovered this A.M.) so now I can not leave home for some time. Mrs. Dr. Price said not to let him out doors for two weeks. So papa said for you to go down town there and buy the gloves you want & he will send you the money in a day or two. They are working early & late with the beets. The beet tenders will be through this A.M. but they are doing a "bum" job, so much so papa wishes they had never come near.

Mrs. Whitesel had papa, Warren & I there for dinner yesterday, it being her 67th birthday. She had a very nice dinner. But now Wilma will surely have the measels.

Justice got her a very nice gray skirt to match the waist I gave her.

Clark & Ruth went to a party at Glendenning's last eve. It was a freshman & sophomore party. But Tressie was in bed sick with a cold.

Lloyd is writing you a letter at school. His report-card is fine. Nothing below 94 but writing (88). Arith 99. I believe he has a fine teacher Carol Striker.

I will send clothes to you as soon as I can; but must give Warren first class care anyhow, if I do send them to you late.

Should you take a sudden notion to come home Thanksgiving, come with Justine & we will go after you over there.

Must close, with love--

I asked Warren what I should tell you & he said tell her I am sick--got the small pox. Suppose he'd forgotten what it is.

November 19, 1919, From Richard

Purdue University
Nov. 19, 1919, Wed. 4:30

Dear Esther,

Your big letter was the only one I received Monday; and perhaps you got my card. You seem to feel lonely or disappointed or something like that. You are not homesick, are you? Ha, at last! Speaking of friendships, I remember when I used to tell you of the value and worth of a friendship, and endeavor to convince you that my friendship was worth cultivating. Now that it has proceeded this far do you feel like it has benefited either one of us? If I have helped to place you in a rut, I shall surely be glad to help you out.

Have you ever achieved anything by hard effort, and then discovered or rather realized that it was not exactly what you want? So cheer up, if you are unhappy, and someday you may find someone or something to satisfy your ideals and longing. "I am adrift on a dark wintry sea", of indecision, or what ever you may choose to call a dissatisfied mind of thought. But you know the "path of love never runs smoothly".

Tell Miss Baker "Mr." Baker I wish to congratulate her him upon having such a nice little "wife" for a roommate. I suppose you are "married". How do you like your new man by this time? Ha, ha! Too bad he has to take drill; but from appearances he was a slacker anyway.

We do not have a vacation here at Thanksgiving, which means that most of us will have to stay here. You surely will not be alone there for Katheryn and Luella are not going home; at least I think now. It is not possible for more than one to come here for a visit or I should like to have them come up for a few days. I may invite one or the other anyway, I don't know.

This is a very hard week for me, lots of work and everything. Roomy and I both are the busiest persons you ever saw. (?) Last night (Tue.) I went to the Ag. society banquet, had a good time and lots to eat. I guess I never told you that I had a good time at the social Sat. evening also.

Now, if I choose to have another spell, I'll write again; sooner or later. Best wishes

Sincerely yours,

November 16, 1919, From Lloyd and Mamma

Geneva Ind.
November 16, 1919.

Dear Esther,

I am going to write to you with my right hand. I don't know weather you can read it or not but I will try to make it plain enough for you to read it.

Last night Mr. Whitsel wint to town with a load of beets. After he got them unloaded he went and got 98¢ worth of coal, then he tied his horses to a telephone pole and went to get some bread and groceries. But when he came back the horses were not there then he walked down to [Reichelderfer'?] as fast as he could and seeing they were not there he went back to Harlow's and phoned up to us and told us that our team (Duck and Daizy) were not their. Then Clark got the Ford out and Papa got the lantern and got in the Ford too. Then they started for town, expecting the horses to be on their way home. But they could not find them (between here & town.) so they got Joe and started for home.

see other side.

When they got here Clark telephoned up to Joe Roth's they sayd they had seen no stray team. Pretty soon Harlow's telephoned out to us and said that there were a number of teams behind the school house. Then we got the Jeffery out and Clark and papa and Joe went to town and sure enough our team was there with the coal there and every thing else.

Your brother,

Lawrence's were over in P.M. Mrs. L. had a headache so I do not think she had a very good time. She said Bernice was going to write to you, tho' I don't think they got your add. Clark said to tell you to look over that catalog & if there is any thing suitable for Luella in it return it & let him know. I will only mark the pages that strike me favorably, tho I think every little thing is so high. Tho' I'd like to have the Library-table scarf, I do not think you have time to make it.

November 15, 1919, From Ruth and Mamma

Geneva Indiana
Nov. [1]5, 1919.

Dear Sister:

I will first answer your question. The table runner is 67 ½ in. long not counting the fringe on the one edge. Mamma found out what you want to make her for her birthday present. When she was reading your letter she found that note and wondered why you addressed it to me so she read it.

In our Domestic Science we gave Helen Buntz and Joel Monce some weeks ago and invited all the teachers in the school and the janitor. They (D.S. girls) [earned] money by selling soup, popcorn balls and candy (&) icecream at the box social. We sold soup again (different kind). And only three boys bought soup. While all the girls bought. We are going to have a birthday dinner for Clare & I this coming Tuesday.

This evening there were things happening that were quite unusual. After Mr. Whitsel unloaded a load of sugar beets from the wagon he got 90¢ worth of coal and tied the team. When he came back from a store the team was gone and also the wagon. We just got word that there was a team tied up north of school building (in Geneva). Papa & Clark & Mr. Whitsel have just gone to town to see if it is ours. (I will tell you later the final facts). Yes, it is ours. Clark knows there were not tied up there very long. No telling what the team and wagon were used for but the coal was still there. (I rewrote this to-day (Sunday))


Mon. A.M.

I thought Ruth would tell more than she did. For she could have. Boys got beat badly at Bluffton Fri. night. 40 to 15. Clark did not play. it was a larger floor than they were used to & they had glass stops, which fooled the boys in throwing for basket.

I went to S.S. Minnie L. was there. She asked about you and for your address. Unless she forgets it I think you will hear from her. She has been home for six weeks. (over to Lloyd's)

Those verses are cute, don't you think? But I'm afraid the less expensive things might be so insignificant when one got them they might not like them after all.

November 14, 1919, From Richard

Purdue University
November 14, 1919
Friday 7:00 P.M.

Dear Esther,

I hope you are surprised, agreeably, by my impulsiveness. If life goes by jumps and bounds, and surprises, does it not please as often as it causes heartaches. I found a nice little Walt Mason "Cheerupodist".

"We are weary little pilgrims, straying in a world of gloom; just behind us is the cradle, just before us is the tomb; there is nothing much to guide us, or the proper path to march, as we toddle on our journey, little pilgrims in the dark. And we jostle, and we struggle, in our feeble, futile wrath always striving, always reaching to push others from the path; and the wrangling and the jangling of our peevish voices rise, the seraphim that watches us thru the starholes in the sky; and they say: ‘The foolish pilgrims! Watch them as they push and shove! They might have a pleasant ramble, if their hearts were full of love, if they'd help and cheer each other from the hour that they embark--but they're only blind and erring little pilgrims in the dark!"

Just one of the unique and refreshing little "poems".

Tonight, the next to the first dance of the year, the Cadet Hop, is to be pulled off. It is a swell affair;--but I, a backwoodsman, must not hope to mix in such stuff for a while. Ha, ha! Do you see any satisfaction in being just an average person? I read an article the other day emphasizing the "observances of decorum;" and the "ability to have a good time without spending money", by the use of imagination, etc.

Tell Katheryn I observed her card very intensely and have resolved to stand faithfully by her with all the love I can offer her. In case of necessity she can just wire me and I will be on duty. Please Esther, don't allow me to embarrass you with too much "work" however. I only ask this as a favor, due to the present trend of circumstances.

Wishing you a good time this week-end I am,


November 13, 1919, From Richard

148 Sheety Street
November 13, 1919

Dear Esther,

I would not write today if it were not the thirteenth. Also I have some time to spare, as I only have a couple of examinations tomorrow and two or three other classes. Usually I have a test every day and sometimes several. You see here at Purdue they give us so many subjects and so much work that no one ever mentions a test or examination. It's such a common thing that we like to talk about something more interesting when we find time to talk or write. For myself I get tired of hearing just common ordinary things all the time.

It is remarkable that my letter did not get to you any sooner, as it was taken up by the postman at 5:30 P.M. Sunday Evening. I intended for them to give me better service than that. However if you did not worry nor "give a care" anyway, then why should I? No, you did not make any admission to me before this last letter's statement. But I found out didn't I? You would never tell me anything unless I asked in some manner. Now I am to infer that you do not worry about me. In other words, a test in Chemistry with a good, high grade is more important to you than any fellow could ever hope to be.--However, I could gain just the opposite from this, the optimistic view of your expressions. Do you think it wisest to take an optimistic or pessimistic view?

We had a wonderful celebration of Armistice day here at Sunset on Tuesday, also. All the cadet corps marched out upon the Purdue oval and stood retreat, after a series of speeches had been made. As the flag was hauled down a salute was fired by the field guns, and the "army" then marched off, passing in review before the commanding officer. Just one year ago, that day, I did detail work as a K.P., for Uncle Sam.

Monday evening I got to see the great Nazimova again, in "The Brat". She is a remarkably powerful and emotional player.

Saturday evening I take part in a playful adventure. I have, some weeks ago, been elected as a leader of a group of men in the M.E. Sunday School here. Our battalion, composed of several such groups meets for a social at the student pastor's home on State Street, near here. They counterbalance we fellows with a battalion of girls.

Best wishes,

November 12, 1919, From Mamma

Geneva, Nov. 12--'19
Wed. A.M.

Dear Esther--

Here I am stealing more time to write to you. Well, yesterday was a nice day for a change and every one appreciated it I believe too. Today is nice so far, tho' the wind is beginning to raise. I speak about the weather, not to fill up space, but because it means a good deal to us now. With over $1000 wort of beets to be hauled to market, also many of them yet to be lifted and topped, the weather counts for a good deal. Right now, papa is "yanking" them out & I know it is hard work for him. Warren told me a while ago not to say "yank", he don't like the sound of that word & I think he is about right. He said "lifted" sounded better. But when I watched papa struggling with those great big beets, and so far it has been muddy work & I think "yank" is about right.

I suppose by now, you have received that scarf. I hope you like it. But in case you do not like the lining it would not be hard to change. I did it mostly by hand, for I knew if one ever stitched through that nap they never could rip it out. I stitched the outer lining then sewed it on by hand. I put an inter lining of black satteen. I don't know if you objected to that or not, but let me tell you it is warm. And I didn't know how to fix any fastioners, as the piece came cut & there was no scraps left. Now, if you are not pleased with the lining, I want to know. The pockets lose things out easily. But you can ack them at the corners I believe so it will help, but don't ever carry your pocket book in them, it will make the lining sag & not be safe either. It cost all told $7.25 + 1.69 + .30 + 10 = $9.34. But I think you will make lots of use of it now & in the spring. I think it will be fine to keep the hands warm.

Yes, I think it alright for you not to come home Thanksgiving. Papa said to tell you to come, we can afford it. But I told him it was not a case of money but it would not be worth your while is my candid opinion, and would lose a good deal of sleep. You would go back with $10. gone, sleepy and not much time spent at home after all.

I could not very well send you that molasses taffy that Ruth & I worked so hard to make. It (after it stood a while) turned so soft & has almost gone back to molasses. So I just grabbed up a few pieces that was in the house.

Clark's basket ball team have a "date" with Bluffton of which he is very proud. Bluffton has played three games this year & have not been beaten and our boys have played 5 games & have not been beaten.

A catalogue for "Just Christmas" presents came from Providence, R.I. yesterday. It has several cute things in it that I believe you might approve of. I'll look through it again tonight and will mark L. for Luella & R for Richard & you can then do as you please. I will merely mark them by way of suggestions.

Clark said he had forgotten all about the coat hanger rods.

The weather was so awful Mon. when I washed that I hung your clothes up in the house to dry. In the morning they were thoroughly dry but I wanted your gown to smell sweeter so I rinsed it again & put it out doors with the rest of my clothes Tues. A.M. when it, with Brazierre & cover-cover, dried nicely, so they will smell fresh.

Mrs. Whitsel had company all day yesterday. Warren said it was Jim Miller's wife.

At table we sit like this


We have not had any bad storms since you left, anyhow Ruth seems to sleep O.K. alone. We have the Sharples' separator. Ruth & Clark, with Josephine & Elizabeth went with Leymans' (Martine, Leona & Justine) to Berne last night to hear a great lecturer. I'm sorry but I can't recall his name. He has lectured for 60 ys. so quite old. Ruth will tell you all about it.

Papa will send you some more money soon. Am glad of your good grade in Chemistry. Will send what I can of Thanksgiving dinner. Let us hear if you rec'd scarf safely.

November 9, 1919, From Mamma

Home. Nov. 9--'19

Dear Esther--

It is a good thing just now that I am writing instead fo trying to talk. For my mouth is so full of taffy that I don't think I could talk very successfully.

Will send you some of it when I send your clothes to you. I hardly know how to pack it for I know it will be as sticky as the "fury". But I thought it would supply you with some sweetness. How did your pickles carry? Hope they did not spoil the doughnuts. I was going to send the pickles separately, but Clark thought they would carry O.K.

Well, our beet men worked all day today (Sun.) and I believe it is just as well that they did for the weather looks threatening again tonight. The weather has been very hard on the beet tenders, as well as the beet raisers.

Your cape (throw) came Sat. I went to town in P.M. to get the lining. Will work on it tomorrow P.M. if all goes well. Hope it suits. It was not just the color I wanted but they did not have much of a choice. I think the throw material is lovely. Don't you? Of course this letter will reach you before it does.

Is Luella getting along O.K. now. Now we are talking again of driving down there. Our generator came Sat. It would do no harm any how for you to write and tell me what you want me to bring along in case we should drive down.

How is Robert? How does Mrs. Carter manage to wait on him and do the work? I should think he'd get awful tired in bed. I did not go any where at all today and it has been so warm too. Every body went to S.S. but Mrs. Whitsel and myself.

The H.T.H.S. beat Bryant team last Friday night 40 to nothing 2nd team. 13 to 49 first team all in favor of H.T. Next Wed. night the Sophs play the Seniors & money goes to Class Treas. This is from Clark. Now once more about our coming down, if weather turn out bad or cold we will not be there or if we are too busy.

Hope you got good grades. Say are you planning on coming home Thanks-giving? The other evening Warren was having Ruth spell words. just any he could think of while she was wiping dishes. He said spell flour she said what kind? meaning of course the kind that bloom or wheat flour & he said Polar Bear. I thought she would herself laughing.

Bye bye from--

[The following was written on a small scrap of paper enclosed in the envelope.]

It makes no difference to my work when you send your clothes home. Mrs. Baker said the same of Justine's.

November 8, 1919, From Richard

148 Sheety Street
W. Lafayette, Ind.
November 8, 1919

Dear Esther,

I might possibly have written to you Friday evening; but I concluded that you would still be bothered with tests and such things and consequently not care for my letter at that time. I'm not usually a pessimist, but the situation looks too blue for me, and in addition I am unable to solve it. Anyway I'm glad that I do not cause you any additional worries. At least I hope I do not, and you ought not permit if I do. Please tell me how to not bother you with any troublesome perplexities. if you realize that I do you more harm than good, then it will be very interesting to relieve the situation.

I certainly have enjoyed "that box of paper", and since you have some real I.U. stationery you have complimented me by writing to me first. I believe you told me once that the paper was not so important to consider as was the contents of the writing. I agree with you there; for much more can be done by words.

So you had company going back to your house last Sunday. Katheryn mentioned something (in a small P.S.) about House and Glentyre going back House surely does amuse me; but the other fellow is rather selfcontrolled and well poised, in attitude and general bearing. It is something I like to see, and wish to learn for myself. You must not think wrong about my sisters. I saw them trying to spy me; but you were the only one who succeeded. I love them, and apparently they are interested in me to what they think a very important degree.

No wonder you and Katheryn broke two flasks in Chemistry. Ha, ha! I wish you better luck, from now on. Really you ought to have a champion like Mr. House (Chemist of note) to assist you in laboratory. But once you get well started everything will go better, I'm sure.

Purdue lost to Ohio State today, 20-0. Our lucky star must have been a comet, Ha. I went over to the city this evening to see a "movie" called "Beauty-Proof". Of course he wasn't. Ha. And at this time I'm feeling the sand man treading heavily upon me, so Goodnight. Wishing you the best success in life.


Saturday, April 02, 2005

November 7, 1919, From Ruth and Mamma

Geneva Indiana
Nov. 7, 1919.

Dear Sister:

I received the birthday present yesterday. I was so tickled to get it. I just thank you over & over again. (I am writing this during school time). (What is the name of that twig you sent us?) And I will try to follow your advice. Warren visited school yesterday. I do not know if he liked it or not. Any how he just about cryed to go again today. I am invited to go to a Freshman & Sophomore party at Glendening's next Thursday evening (English class).

Saturday night. Well I must finish this letter. There were two men from Mexico to work in the beets. They appear to be decent & respectable men. They work about all night and about half of the day. Papa thinks they are part Indian, Spainish, & Negro. They asked Clark (one of htem) to write & read a letter for him.

I am just starting to learn how to play tennis. Clark & Edna Glendening can play good I think. Last night our first & second team played Bryant's first & second team. The second & first were 4.0 to 0 & 49 to 13 in our favor. Wasn't that going some?

Well I want to read a continued story in the S.S. paper called "The Light on Lone Island.


P.S. Wilma weighed 33lb., Warren 44, Lloyd 52 3/4, Mamma 110, me 126, Clark 141 ½ Papa 142 ½, & Mrs. Whitsel 189 ½ lb. (Sunday)

P.S. Mon A.M.

I will write some more while papa runs washing machine. It has started out bad again. I can not find any perfume that belongs to you. There is some up stairs; but R. says it is hers and she don't know any thing about yours.

Clark got Lloyd some shoes Sat. and they cost $4.25 Isn't that awful? eggs are 60.¢ per doz. but we have none to sell. young chix 17¢. and I have some to sell, but think price very low.

Have you time to think of Xmas presents? Well this is all.

With love--from

November 7, 1919, From Mamma

Home. Nov. 7--'19

Dear Esther--

I have just finished reading Clark's letter to you, guess I spoil him by telling him I will write too. It is just 10-10 A.M. Have just finished washing dishes, and separator and filling reservoir and made two pies. But that is only a prelude to what should be done. I can't find a decent pen or ink or pencil. But may be you can read it.

Ruth was highly pleased and surprised with both letter and beads. I had just made the remark the day of her birthday that I had an idea you would forget all about it. I sent, by Clark, for a white comb & brush like yours. But he said the brushes were $3.50 so didn't get any.

While I think of it I want to tell you to get one of those bags (canvas I believe you said) to send your clothes home in. I believe you had better do it.

Clark got a letter from Wm. Reffe. He said he gets to attend school a part of the time. Takes Eng. & Arith. His writing is much better than Clark's also his spelling.

Is there danger of either your school buildings or Mrs. Carter's getting short on coal?

I think you are improving a great deal on your letter writing. They do not sound so much like "news items" as they used to.

Think I'll get a dress (green) for Ruth, if I can ever get it made. She needs one badly.

Warren went to school yesterday, stayed all day. This morning he cried to go back with them.

Two beet tenders have come. They are Mexicans. But the weather is not fit for them to work in.

I am so glad you keep so well. How is Luella?

Are you coming home Thanksgiving? I would arrange my work a little different if I knew. Do just as you think best. Of course we would be glad to see you; but I didn't know if you would have much time to spend at home. Am writing this in too much of a rush. Have not gone to Ft. Wayne yet. Your letters sound as tho' you were enjoying every min. tho' you are so busy.

Must go to work. Made Lloyd a waist this week.

Much love from

November 6, 1919, From Clark

Geneva Ind
Nov. 6 1919

Dear Sister:--

Today is Thursday evening 8 30 in the evening and I am pretty even tho it is only 8 30.

School--you said you wanted to hear about school. Well everybody played tennis today no regular game but about 8 or 9 people played with one net it was sure some mix up. I have a racket & ball now, just got the ball tonite.

We have been practicing our senior play all week it is one that you had a copy of last year. It is "As a Woman Thinketh". We intend to give it about Thanksgiving if possible.

We are having quite a time at school everybody despises Willis even Tressie does. He is all right in some respets but where it should count he is all off.

Have you met either his son or daughter they both go to I.U. and know Justine Baker.

We are well started in our Caesar but it is awful hard. I have 15 lines to translate for tomorrow. Commercial Arith is all easy just a review of the elementary arith. Physics is easy. Chemistry is all bog house English is all talking about the play or else Willis. Music is a circus with Willis leading drawing is lifeless, physical training is a fake. Mrs. Willis gets the Edison down in the [...] room and we skip to (ma'loo) or else march or drill for half of the period then we have a little exercise.

I wish I could visit you and I wish you could visit home.

How is everybody there Is Luella better, tell her that package came from me if she does not know it already I did not put my name on it but supposed that my writing would e reckognized. Well G. N.
E. Clark M.

G. N. means good night

Mamma will write a 'little' in the morn.

Friday, March 25, 2005

November 4, 1919, from Leona Lehman

Geneva, Ind.
Nov. 4, 1919.

Dear Friend--

We are all well, and I was glad to hear from you, yes we are very busy, Justine and I both helped husk corn, one fore noon we husked 50 shocks of corn, 4 o us; in the afternoon we hauled it in, we had to make another corn crib.

Such rainy weather is just a fright, it has rained all week now, the Jimtown river over floated, the school children could not go home from the north, I was at the box social Wednesday night, I had a fine time there.

How is Luella getting along, have her to send a note the time also, I hope you both get along alright, last year we were just over the "flu" by this time, but I just hope it will not get so mean this year, well I must close for this time, will thank you for your kindness for writing.

Yours truly
Leona Lehman

November 3, 1919, from Bertha Felber

Geneva, Ind.,
Nov. 3, 1919,

Dear Esther:--

I haven't any thing to do this evening so I will try and answer your letter I received the 27th.

It seems so good to have some sunshine again. It rained so long and has been so gloomy I didn't care much whether I did any work.

I think if we want to go swimming we wouldn't have to go very far for some water.

I talked with Emil this morning. He said he was at Sunday School yesterday and there were ten in the class. He told me he doesn't mind to go to Sunday School now because the class has a teacher now. Mr. Zehn is the teacher. I haven't heard where the next class meeting is at. I was at the box social last Wednesday evening. My box was pink and white. I had a fine time when I got there but had an awful time getting there. Our machine tried to act up I think just because I was in a hurry to get there.

I just got through talking with Mynne E. She had to teach for Mr. Striker one day last week he was almost sick with a cold.

Have you had to assist Kathyrn in catching mice lately? I imagine I can see Luella sitting on the bed with her feet tucked under her or sitting on them rather and her hands up at her face screaming.

I am kept pretty busy here now. The baby gained a pound in a week.

Raymond he is better he is able to be out now.

You will have to excuse my stationary. But you said be fore you left you didn't care what kind of paper I wrote on just so I would write to you.

Will close sending you my best wishes.

Your Classmate

P.S. I suppose you have heard that Ruth Poutius is to be married the fifth day of Nov. that is Wednesday.

November 2, 1919, from Mamma

Home, No. 2--1919.
Sun. eve.

Dear Esther--

I wonder what you are doing this beautiful Sun. evening. We are all in a natural mood. Papa is reading Clark writing to Luella (I suppose) Lloyd and Warren at every thing in general. Ruth went with Lehman's to the Berne church. (nothing special going on)

Every body went to church & S.S. this A.M. Minnie Leichty, Maizie & Leona Lehman were the girls who were there. The preacher's son, Alva, Harry, Clark, Martine L, Emil, Freddie, & Mr. Zehr the teacher, got the collection banner & have had it a long time.

This P.M. Papa, Ruth & I went over to Justine's folks. Dorothy seemed terribly pleased over her Halloween gift, too. I was so glad you sent a pumpkin to Wilma. I think it pleased Mr. and Mrs.-- well, I can;'t say how much. So Mr. W says now we will send Esther something, so he sent you that box of cherry flips. Now be sure & thank them generously. He helped us do up the package and was as tickled as any kid I ever saw. Did I tell you I gave Mrs. material for a gray silk waist for her birthday. Well Justine is going to get her a skirt to match. So you see they are being pretty happy.

Now about that throw. Mrs. Baker showed me some squirrel fur fabric. So I know what it looks like. But the material is 48 in wide. [Shall I get 24 inches & cut it in three strips? Then there would be two seams. How would the...] [The bracked section was crossed out.] Papa just found a place in the catalog where those throws are already cut. So my questions are not necessary.

Clark said Tressie went from Indianapolis (at teachers meeting) to Bloomington so I suppose you have met her by now.

I don't know when we will ever be down there for we have had an awful rainy week. Our beets have not been touched yet and it is time to be hauling them to market. No help has come yet. The water is up awful high every where. Striker's beets & all along the lob are away under water. I am so sleepy believe I'll close for tonight.--


November 2, 1919, From Irene

Huntington, Ind.
Nov. 2, 1919.

Dear friend,

I hope this finds you well. I have been a long time answering your letter but it seems as though I could not find time.

How are you getting along in school and what subjects are you taking? I am taking Harmony, Geometry, English, and French.

The renter has moved in our little house. His name is Biggs.

The girl I told you about did not go to Bloomington. The trustee was after her to teach for they were so short of teachers.

Papa went to Kendelville this afternoon with some other men to look for a minister.

We had a fine time on our trip while we were at my sister's we took a day off and went to La Fayette. While here we went through Purdue. We went from my sisters to Illinois. We were gone two weeks. Just before we started we got company from Illinois.

We are repairing the church. It is going to be nice and large when we get it finished. They say it will be the largest church in Markle when we get it finished. We are holding church in a old soloon now. The bar is pushed back against the wall. The mirror is still there.

Cicee Biggs the boy that lives next to us is two year younger than Howard and they have been having a time. He came over the other night and had on a mask and turkey feathers stuck in his hair to make him look like an Indian. He was paded to make him look fat.

The boys pulled the porch of the school house out in the middle of the road the other night, the same old trick.

I will have to stop now for I have two lessons to get and get ready for endeavor.

Mamma is making fun of my stationary she says it looks like baby's.

This is all for this time.

Your friend,

My route is R4.

November 2, 1919, From Richard

"Back Home'
9:45 Sunday

Dear Esther,

This time I found Esther heavily underscored. Of course I read your letter already, even though I feel yet like sleeping or something. I certainly would have died if I had made the trip back here tomorrow morning, for it was bad enough at the best. I had company all the way back, however, and consequently got to prove my gallantry towards a fair lady. She was a girl whom I knew at Indiana last year. She is teaching at Huntington now; and had been on a week end visit. We had a touch of luck, when we reached LaFayette, in the way of making railway connections. There was just barely time for us to catch a Ft. Wayne car at the street crossing as we came down from the Monon depot. Anyway my assistance was very valuable to her, a perfect stranger in our great (?) city. I left Tressie at Gosport in fine shape also, so now I have to consider you.

In a way I feel disappointed over my trip. Although I did have a great time. But I would have enjoyed a few more hours with you just the same. I hope you don't feel as if you were slighted too much, however the conditions may have been.

You were the only one to see me off, weren't you? Ha, I saw you throw a kiss at me, ever so gently. I never thought you were so cleverly romantic. And I do not believe any one else knows it, do they? So now I have a swell little secret to keep.

Since you cannot get this letter until Tuesday, I am going to visit dreamland and finish my letter when I come back. (Monday 9 A.M.) I feel just as if I had been at Purdue all the time. The same conditions are present in an overwhelming force. I have achieved a Math lesson this morning, and have my first class at ten o'clock.

I hope you have no sore throat yet, from being out so late in the night. Ha, ha! There is always someone or something to take the joy out of living; n'est-ce pas? Write soon; if you can spare the time.

Yours truly,

October 31, 1919, From Ruth and Mamma

Geneva Indiana
Oct. 31, 1919

Dear Sister:

You must think that I have forgotten you. I have been so busy trying to get my lessons and going to thins I have not had time to write until now. I am keeping up in every class. I wish you would come here on a visit now.

I suppose you have heard about the Freshman reception. And about me getting up and singing for the morning exercise? Well I am the one to take charge of the room during our study period. We had a box social at the school house last Wed. night and a cake walk, 10¢ admission. The Domestic Science girls made quite a bit of candy and sold candy & popcorn that night.

They also sold ice cream. We (Domestic S. girls) ordered 8 gallons of ice cream and the water was so high they could not et to B[e]rne. Clark and Daniel H. went to get it but could not get across so they tried at Bluf[f]ton. We got out 40 min. earlier that evening but we had to wait on Clark to get back so that made us later than our usual time when we get out. After Clark got home he went to town and got 2 ½ gallons of ice cream. The girls made $8 and over. They made clear $3.04. There are 15 in o[u]r class lacking 1 of being as many as in the Senior

I guess Warren is trying to scare mamma because he had both papa and mamma up awhile for two nights. Clark is away to a Masquerade Party to night it is the Junior and Senior doings

It is 10 after 9 now I better go to bed with Lloyd.


Sun. night--

Ruth said she was going to copy this with pen & ink but I shall send it as is for I know she'll never get it copied. Had she been home tonight she might have done so.

No, we have never paid extra postage.

October 31, 1919, From Lloyd and Mamma

Geneva, Ind.,
Oct. 31, 1919.

Dear Esther,

I am writing with my right hand. I don't suppose you can read it but I think you can.

Warren is about sick Clark is gone and we are the only ones left. That is Clark is gone to a party.

I received your pumpkin "candy box" yesterday. I ate a little of it and it tasted so good that I had to eat a little more. It is the best candy I ever tasted

Lloyd has gone to bed so I'll send what he has written. That P.B.Y.O.S. is from the "Doings of the Duffs".

Please bring your own sugar.


When Lloyd saw the box of candy he said "O say, isn't that fine! Say! She must have been thinking of me for a long time. I'll just have to write her a great big thank you".

Do you care if I make over that navy blue French serge of yours for Ruth? I have found a way to make it I believe that will not be expensive & look nice.

Be sure & answer.

Shall I look for you home Thanksgiving? When you need money let us know.

We have sent this A.M. for that cape (throw) goods