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.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

October 16, 1919, From Richard

148 Sheety Street
West LaFayette, Ind.
Oct. 16, 1919.

Dear Esther,

As tomorrow will be a very busy day, I am taking an opportunity this evening of answering your letter. I can not write much this time, perhaps, for I have some exams tomorrow, and the one in poultry especially is a bore. If I could get up so early as you do I think I might be able to study my lessons before breakfast. A quarter to 7:00 usually finds me very comfy yet.

You must be worked very severely if you have no time to think. It will pay any person to think some, and think hard enough to produce some results too. However I know how hard it is to do college work. Unless a person has calmness, good self control and an efficient system of working. It is wonderful how good a person feels when he knows this "stuff".

Say, I do not know when I shall get to come to Bloomington. I don't know whether I go by spurts in some things or not. I cannot always tell. I hope to be able to come soon though. You would not be doing yourself justice if you had more than one date with me if I did come to your town. It lessens a girl's chance to get other fellows if they know she has a "steady". And you cannot afford to miss any opportunity to get out, leave, and get experience. (One must have it, sooner or later, and the sooner the better. I'm just a ‘kid', you know). I would not object, for I want you to be better all the time. I hope you feel free to do as you like, for you run no risk with me. Hoping to see you within a couple of weeks, at last; I remain,


October 15, 1919, From Richard

"My Room"
Wednesday at 10:00 P.M.

Dear Esther,

I always endeavor to make the best of the situation, so that is the reason I am writing now instead of sooner. You have no doubt found out by this time that there are many things that occur in one's daily schedule that have to come first because of their importance. Also that one is not likely to have everything to his or her own liking. It is the ability to see and to correct one's self, and to very wisely for[e]see the consequences of certain decisions, that is very valuable, ultimately.

I am very glad you had such an excellent time last Sunday. If everything proceeds to develop properly you ought to have some more good times soon. I do not envy you a full enjoyment of your school life. But I do, or ought to, appreciate the fact that you feel sorry for me because I missed all the good times. Well, that's my luck, I guess. I won't tell you what I did last Sunday besides writing you a letter. But I think it is safe to say that I was out to visit the Soldiers Home, and Tecumseh's Trail. My "Star of Destiny" failed to shine, however, for I took several Kodak pictures which were proved to be failures. Of course, it could be explained in another way that it was the sun that failed to shine. You may not believe that, since you stated that it was a fine day.

I fear that I do not coincide with you in your "girl" idealism. The fellow who wanted his girl to be all "that" would never want her for his sweetheart or even wife. I think I am stating the bare truth concerning most mens' opinions. In other words, the girl of that fellow's type (and yours?) must be a successful man first and be a woman afterwards? If it were very polite I would be able to state my ideal (not of a "girl", for that is not so important) of, let us say, a sweetheart. Really this is a very good subject for a preacher to lecture upon. But I must stop, for I fear that I may be too hard to be suited anyway.

Since some of us are going on a special train to the Chicago-Purdue game at C. Saturday, I might decide to go. Will write later perhaps. Best wishes.


October 15, 1919, From Mamma

Home, Wed. A.M.

I haven't time to write a letter, but thought I'd let you know that your clothes did not come ‘till Mon. noon. It was too late for me to washy anything but the gingham dress. Do not look for your clothes too soon. Today is such a poor day to dry them that I think I'll wait till tomorrow.

The party is over. Not many were here as I guessed. But guess they had a good time. Will tell you about it later.

Do not consider this a letter; but I wanted you to know about the clothes. Am very busy today and also tired. I had expected to give the class ice-cream with pine apple syrup & Clark went after the cream & couldn't get any. I sent him back to town for oranges & banannas at 5-30 o'clock. So had fruit salad. But it was good any how.


October 12, 1919, From Richard

October 12, 1919

Dear Esther,

Since it is such a fine beautiful day I cannot refuse the pleasure of enjoying it.

This little strip of light
‘Twixt night and night
Let me keep bright Today!
And let no shadow of To-morrow
Nor sorrow
From dead yesterday
My happiness today!
And if Tomorrow shall be sad,
Or never come at all, I've had
At least--To-day!

I believe cheerfulness comes from living one day at a time. Allowing the mind to run freely into any of the channels it chooses is not likely to bring the best and happiest results. This thing of worry or anxiety usually concerns one's self, does it not? And selfishness is a thing to be strictly avoided, especially in the extremity of the case.

I know you went to S.S. today unless your illness prevented you from going. I forgot to mention sleepiness, which you usually have when out late at nights. But I.U. authorities do not permit their younger students (or any) to remain out so awfully late do they? Therefore I will draw the conclusion that you must have gone to Sunday School. I did not go, myself, for--it was too cold I guess. My room-mate was once a Sunday School superintendent, so you see I have a very good pal. Ha! But he has not gone once since I have been here.

Last night I and a couple others were over to the city and among the things we saw was a "movie" called "Easy to Make Money". You see I only go to see the most profitable things. This show was quite clever and good. Either Monday or Wednesday I intend to see Mary Pickford in "The Hoodlum". Also yesterday was Purdue's Homecoming and University day featuring a football game with Illinois. Purdue stood at the foot of a score of 14-7. It rained nearly all day. Hence our bad luck!

Is there any chance for me to get a date there at I.U. some evening? I have forgotten how they do things at Indiana. I am looking for a letter either Monday or Tuesday. There!


P.S. Who is the Prof. G.W. Munro here at Purdue?

October 12, 1919, From Mamma

Sunday P.M.--5-30.

Dear Esther--

I did not think I'd write to you again until after the (awful) party, but here I am at it as usual. Lloyd is writing too, so I'll leave a few things for him to tell.

I did not go to S.S. this A.M. We got up late. They said there was the smallest crowd out they ever saw. Emil nor Alva were there. Forest Shoemaker taught.

The Hartford Basket Ball boys played a game with Geneva Fri. night. A double header. The H. boys beat the G boys the first game also the 2-H. beat the 2-Geneva team. So you see they were thoroly beaten. Andrew Shoemaker was refferee too. Clark feels pretty good. He is first sub. to first team. Clark play[ed] ½ of first game and all of second.

I wish you would quit worrying about the money you have to spend. I told papa I'd have to tell you we had lots of it. People just hand money to him when they meet him on the street. $50 at a time. So don't worry. Now I'll explain. The other day as papa was going down the street, Steph Martin stopped him & told him if he would come down to office he'd give him $50. Papa said that was news to him, but went down there. It seemed Mrs. Martin had made a mistake in his books & the mistake was in our favor. Papa had been hauling wheat to town & hadn't counted up yet.

Now here is a little more news. We got word thru mail last week from land-agents Morton & Goodman that Cecil land is sold. Of course no business (signing of deed & etc.) will be transacted until March 1st. I have not said a word to anyone about it, Papa told Ruth & Clark last eve. I am so afraid even yet that it isn't so. But it surely is.

Rec'd a letter from Hazel also. I may send it to you.

Clark sent for some new music "When the Great Red Dawn is Shining" "Blue Bird" "Till We Meet Again". Wish you were here to play them for us. Ruth can't play them & they are not hard either.

Sat. was a cold rainy miserable day. So Ruth and I made two burnt sugar cakes.

When you are out of money send for more. We know you will not be extravagant. Mrs. Baker said Justine was awful glad she was down to Linns that P.M. It seemed so nice to be with friends, said one girl was going to quit she was so homesick.

October 9, 1919, From Richard

11:30 A.M.
October 9, 1919

Dear Esther,

You have had the honor of writing me the first letter since I came back to Purdue. Although I did get one before this from Luella. I mailed my letter on Sunday afternoon at Geneva and I supposed that it would get to I.U. on Monday but as you stated my supposition was inaccurate.

I got to see your folks Saturday and Sunday under unusual circumstances as you know.

The weather was not so bad at home but that I had an excellent time. It did not rain much either Saturday or Sunday. Since you asked something about that "bill" that I do not know, consequently I cannot answer your questions. That piece of paper vanished into the great whirlpool of man's destiny and left an empty space behind. With it I built an air castle I suppose. Of course I never find time to speak of such things before they are blown away and destroyed. You have built those wonderful palaces, n'est-ce pas, but did any ever stand fast? I think it a very interesting and enjoyable way to loll in idleness and dreams. If our minds could not furnish us with some such illusions, then I fear life would be a much duller and unhappier process of development.

As you no doubt learned, I was not in the fight here Saturday. It was a draw anyway and consequently of no importance to me. The big push ball busted in the third struggle. My room-mate was one of the first four men to strike the ball and he finished by tumbling into it when it collapsed. Several "casualties" were reported nevertheless, during the battle.

Another thing that might have been interesting, had I stayed here, was a date for Sunday. That makes the third chance I have had to miss within a week, all due to my being away from home or having too much work to do. [...]

I wish you would describe that Miss Christen (?) for me. Is she a Junior? The majority of the co-eds are none too good-looking. But then I suppose they beat I.U. What? I beg your pardon. I think you like the truth.


October 9, 1919, From Mamma

Home, Oct Don't know,
but it is Thurs. A.M.

Dear Esther--

Your letter came yesterday. We enjoyed it the most of any one you have written. Thought you used good English, good composing guess I'd call it and interesting. I read it to all at the supper table.

I haven't time to write to you this A.M. nor do I have much to write; but don't want you to be too disappointed too often when that beloved mail-man comes. Tell Richard there is one man in Bloomington you almost love. Your only trouble is all the girls do too. Tell him it is the mail-man. But may be you have told him that.

I took up the dining room rug yesterday, preparing for C. party.

That's all that has been done so far. I have so much to do, it seems I never can prepare for it.

The steers came yesterday. 30 of them. White faces. I haven't time now to tell Mrs. Carter about the pan-cakes; but will later on.

Am glad you heard that woman Dr. talk.

The Hartford Basket-ball team and Geneva play tomorrow night. Clark wants me to go. They play in Geneva.

Gladys Dillon has girl No. 3. Auntie Esther saw it in Fairbury Blade. Papa said Aunt E. looked fine. But Vie looks bad. Papa stayed one night at Alvin Wakefields in Gibson. His wife is "crazy as a bed-bug on some subjects". I am quoting Alvin now. He said he didn't know what to do with her.

Edna Ristoro was married in Catholic church to Joe Kelley. Saw this in Piper Journal.

Must close and make up for these few min. Hope you got your goods in time. I sent it to you as soon as I could. There are 5 yds there. Use what you need. You say everything is so much higher there than here. I'll send you a few stamps and see what you save on them (Don't forget that your mother enjoys a little joke)

from Mamma.

October 8, 1919, From Hazel to Mamma

Davison, Mich.

Dear Aunt Edie:--

I rec'd your letter yesterday and of course I was glad to get it. You must have been thinking of me at the same time I was of you. Some one sent our name in to Straus Bros. and they have sent us a couple of land books. For want of any thing else to do, I picked one up, Sunday, and the first page I opened to had such a nice place pictured. So ujust to "hear my head rattle" I said I guess that would suit me so I read the description and then looked it up on the map. And there. it was just a few miles from you in Mercer Co. Ohio. I couldn't help but think how nice it would be to live with in driving distance of you any way.

You can send my letters to Mrs. Kilbury if you wish--I didn't have a card nor a one cent stamp even, and the mailman slips by so often without my seeing him.

I am truly sorry that Morris doesn't' write to his mother occasionally any way, but its of no use of me to suggest it as he just says "Whats the use--she doesn't care anything about me anyway" and lets it go at that. And he comes back with a pretty good answer with any argument you might put up so I just let him go. He doesn't write to anyone for that matter. I think he is going to write to Mr. Kib soon and when he does he will probably write to his mother too.

Mr. Kib must be a friend. He writes every now and then if any one writes to him or not.

Well I must quit. You don't need to consider this a letter. I simply didn't have a card.

I am ironing today. Frank and Morris went to town with wheat. Frank seems as well as ever.


Morris laughed when he saw his writing. Frank was quite interested too.

October 8, 1919, From Gladys Steiner

Geneva, Ind.,
Oct. 8, 1919.

Dar Esther:--

Rec'd your card some time ago all O.K. Hope you are finding your work interesting as well as enjoyable. Don't work so hard that you forget all of us back here especially the one important "school mam". I know that there are times when at school that it seems almost impossible to get your lessons, write letters and do every thing else. But cheer up that's nothing to teaching school. I surely have some time with those youngsters and they say the funniest thing.

What kind of a place do you have to room? I hope your land lady is good to you for without that I don't how one would get along. Mine was simply grand. There were only her and her sister living together. Today I rec'd a letter from her and she told me that her sister had killed herself last week and was burried [sic] Thursday. I almost collapsed when I read it. In a way it doesn't surprise me much either. If it isn't one thing to worry a person it's another.

I guess Lester, Lloyd and Clyde are getting along fine in their schools. Murray joined the Navy. I don't think he will make the final exam. At least I hope not for I know he is not able to endure the hardships that will be placed upon him.

Last night the H.H.S. gave the new Freshies a Reception. Gee I thought it couldn't be that I didn't have my name in the hat. That's the first time that any thing ever went on at the school since I can remember that I was excluded. Clark said he would bring a cake and he did. It was a pan cake. Some classical joke I'll say.

Say I guess I was mistaken in your roommate's name. I don't know how I got that in such a mixed up mess. Tell Justine I said , "Hello," also Catherine and Luella.

You must excuse the looks of this letter. It's the third one in the last hour. Write and tell me all you can about school.

With Love
Gladys Steiner

October 5, 1919, From Richard

Geneva, Ind.
Oct. 5, 1919

Dear Esther,

As my fortune is usually favorable, I received your last letter at Purdue Friday just before leaving for Indianapolis. However as I was rather rushed I could not read it until I was on my way. You see I had classes all afternoon until 4:00 o'clock and my train left at 4:22. That is the reason I can write now from home.

I certainly appreciate your kindness in considering me so important; but which do you think you'll get the most good out of in the finals, your lessons or me? Anyway a person who does not want to get any letters is certainly peculiar. That is not like you, or myself. Is it? Speaking of professors, I do not have much time for my "profs" or care very much whether I like them or not. If they are good, so much the better, but if they are bad it makes no difference. I had prof. Mathers in room 28, front row, 2nd seat from the west end of center row. Lab was upstairs, in 33, I believe.

I have been having a very busy time since getting home at 9:30 Friday night. I came by way of Indianapolis to Portland. Saturday morning Papa and I went to Portland with the car. We took your father part way. Mr. Munro was going thru La Fayette on the L.E. & W. to Illinois. It would have been very fine if I had been going that way at the same time.

They did not have S.S. at Hartford today so that is my excuse for not going. For being bad too. See? Say, but I am feeling fine for we just had a special dinner. Watermelons galore!

I wish to announce the wedding of Mr. J. Miller today with a fair dame from east of Geneva.

This is the first time I have been home when you were away and of course it seems quite unnatural. I'll have to make the best of it however. I am going back to Purdue some time tonight thru Indianapolis. Perhaps I can write a better letter soon.

Truly yours,

P.S. I realize this letter betrays haste. Please pardon me.

October 5, 1919, From Mamma

Home, Oct. 5--‘19
Sun 5--P.M.

Dear Esther--

I have just finished a letter to Hazel and my hand is so tired I can scarcely write. Your last letter came at noon yesterday (Sat.) and you were expecting an ans. to it that same day. Well, you see I can not do the impossible, so will ans. now. I suppose we will go tot S.S. tonight as Hartford & Union Chapel were to in together at U.C. this A.M. but at H. tonight. Rally Day I believe.

We got word Sat. A.M. that the steers were shipped that A.M. Clark has just been to town to see if they have come. Here he is. No they didn't. Papa went on train to Ill. Sat. A.M. to Uncle Spater M.'s funeral. Look for him home tomorrow.

I feel just as tho' you were around the house somewhere. For Richard drove in a while ago to make a short call. Came home Fri. night about 9. Will go back tonight. I should think I was real nice and thoughtful of him to see us a few min. Believe he likes it better there than he did at Bloomington.

Have you answered Mrs. Carter? I hope you have decided to board with her for I think you will like it better, especially in the winter time.

Mrs. Perry Glendenning (Oh! such a long name) is going to sew some for Ruth this week. I met Justine's mother Fri. night at the school house. They are organizing a Parent Teacher's meeting. They are to meet about once a mo. Mr. Baker is to be Pres. I like Mrs. Baker real well. We had quite a talk about our girls.

By the way this Club is a sort of my much talked of "Community Club." They (Mr. & Mrs. Willis) are doing just what I have wanted done so bad, you know. Well, I must quit a[nd] get my kids ready of night S.S. It looks awful rainy too. Clark don't want to go. I have at last found your swimming stockings will send them with two brassiers (old). What kind of shape was that box in when you got it and how did you like the candy? Can't do much cooking for you until I am rid of the dreaded class party. Well, bye bye for the present.


Am glad you had a physical exam.

Jim Miller is married to Mrs. Whitsel's niece. Murry Holloway has joined the Navy. No teacher for your class last night so Forest S. taught. Not a Shoemaker boy there or Alva or Emil.

Clark is going to see about steers this A.M. so you will get this letter soon. Richard looked real nice.

October 2, 1919, From Mamma

Geneva Ind.,
Oct. 3 1919.

Friend Esther:--

Just got home from Geneva will try and drop you a few lines even if it is bed time. I am needing sleep very bad. I was at Linn Grove last night at the tent meeting. I saw nearly the whole Hartford Township High School there. Some of them just came for the after services because they got so happy that the people at the tend drew everybodys attention.

Mamma told me this evening that Tressie and the rest of them had to walk home from school this evening. Alva took them to school this morning and this evening they had to walk.

I was at the Bluffton street Fair last Thursday evening and also last Sat. afternoon and evening. There was the largest crowd of people I ever saw in a town. A person just had to push their way through. There were only sixteen machines taken besides all of the robes and over coats etc.

How do you like school? I hope you like it all O.K. I only wish I were in school how I would enjoy my self. We have been having some beautiful days since Wednesday afternoon, but Wednesday forenoon it just poured down the rain. Mr. Watson had postponed his sale until Oct. 8th. That means double work for us, and it is hard work to get ready for a sale. After the sale we won't have hardly any thing to-do.

I am going to the White Oak Sunday School picnic to-morrow and to a farewell party Sunday. Tell Luella and Katherine I said, "Hello," and hope they are getting along in school O.K. and will write to them later.

O yes! One member of your class of 1919 has joined the Navy. He is in San Francisco at this time. I suppose maybe you heard about it. I suppose you know who he is with out me mentioning his name.

Will close hoping to have an answer soon. I remain your W.W. friend


Please send my mail to this address:

Bertha Felber
R. 7 D #1
c/o S.E. Watson

October 2, 1919, From Mamma

Home, Oct. 2--‘10

Dear Esther--

This is supposed to be Clark's letter; but I see he has not sealed it so I must have my "put in". The letter you wrote to papa & myself was written last Sun & mailed that eve. We rec'd it Tues noon. Your "duds" came yesterday and I am already to wash them now. I think it a very small amount for you to send home. Sorry you didn't send the gingham dress. Do not get anything to send your clothes home in unless this conveyance does not suit.

Mrs. Whitsel's birth day is the 18 of Oct. A card will please as much as any thing. I am writing disconnectedly for I haven't really the time to spare to write at all.

Yesterday was dismally hot.

I will send some eats to you and do more for you after that old class party is over with. Clark seems to have lost his enthusiasm and it worries me to think so much depends on me. Especially when my canning is not all done and no house-cleaning. Haven't really had the chance to go see if some one can do some sewing for me.

Day before yesterday (Tues. P.M.) I put in one-half the P.M. cleaning & dressing three chickens. Was intending to send one to you. Papa thought it would be O.K. when eve. came Clark said "why it won't be the same for them to eat by the time they get it." then I asked papa again & he said he didn't believe it would be either. And I guess they were right for it did turn awfully warm. We got tired of chix, too before the three were gone.

Will fix up your bundle of clothes O.K. for you.

Papa said for you not to sting your eating, get what is best for you even if it comes higher. I got 48¢ for eggs this A.M. so you are not paying such an enormous price for your fried eggs.

Must close with love from

You must not feel obliged to write home so often, it takes so much of your time.

October 1, 1919, From Clark

Your clothes arrived safely

Oct. 1 1919

Dear ‘Little' Sister:--

I have been waiting for a chance to write and as I spoke for tonight about a week ago I am writing, as you see.

We have 54 in H.S. now and everything is going fine. We (H.T.H.S.) were talking about buying a phonograph so we have 2 machines there now an Edison (175) and a Columbia $100 the majority prefer the Edison and if we can get the money that is what we will get.

Last night I got home from B.B practice at 12 02/# we were working on the hall Mon. night until 11 15/ and until about 10 45/ last night before we started to practice. We play Geneva a week from Fri. night and we can beat them too. We changed the location of the hall it is over the garage now and it is a much better place.

I am taking English, Chemistry, General Science, Commercial arith, and Ceaser [sic] is that enough to keep me out of mischief or not. We were experimenting with Mercuric Oxide (red percipitate) sugar + starch we decomposed all of them and had a swell time. There are 16 of us seniors.

How are those flowers growing how is the rose in particular are there any buds on it.

I received a letter from Willie he didn't have much to say but it is rather lonely his address is
William J. Reffe,
306 Elm Ct.,

He would appreciate a letter very much so would Mrs. Whitsel

My ford doesn't run right yet, it needs a little rest I guess

You may write with one boy talking but here there are 2 kids who ‘are' what we are reported to have descended from.

I can't even hear myself think.

Your big brother (senior now)
E. Clark Munro.

P.S. Our B.B. Suits will look swell green sweaters with purple stripes and golden monogram green satteen [sic] pants with purple bottom and side stripe also green socks with purple stripes. The pants have a 4 inch inseam, rather abbreviated eh?

Well good bye,

September 31, 1919, From Mamma

Geneva, Ind. Sep. 31--'19

Dear Esther--

Believe I'll write a few words to you, tho' Ruth said she would write this eve. We are all around dining-room table. Ruth is reading out loud to W. & L. but they are not giving very good attention. Lloyd is listening and cutting out a false face from paper. Clark is reading Am. Boy instead of answering Richard's letter as you advised him to. Clark was at home alone all P.M. I believe he has spent a lonesome day for it seemed so lonely in S.S. this A.M. so many were absent. Papa's class took both banners. Not because it was so large, but because all others were so small. Only three in young married people's class. No teacher for your class, so Maizie taught it. We all went to town last night (Sat. night). I got tape for you to have your name on. So Clark started to write it and he just couldn't do a thing on account of the weave. So I'll have to put it on a strip of muslin or something similar. Got Ruth a hat. Just a plain broad rimmed brown velvet hat, no trimming, & it was $6. I took the trimming off of my black hat and now I have nothing.

The weather has been so warm that I suppose you've been making good use of your thin summer dresses.

At last I have those pep[p]ers stuffed. When we fixed them before, did we put onion in with cabbage? It seems to me we did not. Any how they tasted (the filling) better than ever before & I wondered if I hadn't used a different recipe. I took this from Youth's Companion Cook-Book.

We were over to Mrs. Laurence's this P.M. She said she only saw a few there. Eva Carpenter being one of the few, but was almost sorry she saw her for the impression was she was getting "tough", and she could not help but feel sorry to know that. It looks as though, after all, that Hazel's letter in that respect was mostly true.

Clark has not received a word of any kind from Luella. I just wondered if she really did not intend to write or had the children lost some mail. I do not think they have tho: I only mention it because I really thought it strange.

Well, believe I'll close and see what Ruth will do about writing. Here are some questions tho: How is your appetite now? Have you ever been homesick? Who have you heard from or rather who have you written to? Will your clothes hold out for the full time? Tell about the frolic for the freshmen?

Good night. With love

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

September 29, 1919, From Ruth and Mamma

Geneva Indiana
Sept. 29, 1919.

Dear Sister:

I like High School still better. We got a Columbia at school and all the school and both grades and H.S. have to march in and out 1 morning 2 recess and both boys and girls have to eat in the assembly to-morrow. 2 recess, and at evening once. ((2) = we have to march down and up when school takes up or lets out.) Tressie is our Algebra teacher instead of Mr. Willis. In Domestic Science We are making cooking aprons and caps. In General Science last Friday we weighed an empty can and tryed [sic] to pump air into it and it did not work so we weighed an empty bottle and that was all we did that day. The girls are going to have a basket ball team. The H.S. is taxed or I mean each person in the High School 5¢ a week for the athletic Association. How I do wish you could come visit our school. Oh, there are 16 in G. Science 14 Freshmen and two Seniors. Then they have what they call Students Self Government. I have been killing bugs while I've been writing this letter. It's almost 9 o'clock and I've got some studying to do yet. I've written this letter in a hurry so please excuse some of the mistakes.

Clark went after Mr. & Mrs. Whitsel Friday evening you know. Clark took Robert S. along. They started home at 19 o'clock and didn't get home until 2 o'clock in the morning. They had a break down. The engine simply stopped. They were a few roads on this side of Bakers. Richard Briggs brought Clark home. Then Clark took the big car and [hauled] the Ford home. So we will have to go to school in Jeff to morrow. Lloyd wanted to go to the Fair so bad he cried about it. I guess Lloyd and me are the only ones that did not go. It is now 5 min. after nine. Good-night.


Am washing this A.M. When will you send some clothes home? I see Ruth made a good many mistakes. (as usual).

Have you gone to church or S.S. any where as yet?

Expect Clark will be the next one to write to you.

Saw Josephine Martin in town Sat. night. She was going into Long's (apparently for ice-cream) with some young fellow. Very young looking & no taller than she.

Lloyd spent yester. P.M. (Sun.) over at Glendennings.

bye bye from

September 28, 1919, From Richard

148 Sheety Street
W. LaFayette, Indiana
September 28, 1919

Dearest Esther,

Yesterday morning was destined to be another time when the postman "delivered the goods". Mr. Stafford wanted to bet me a set-up that I would get a letter yesterday. He seems to think it unusual if I do not get at least one every day; but nevertheless I would not bet against him fro I knew I would lose. See, how my faith works. Something is bound to sway under the spell of a magic "wand". Have you lost any of your enthusiasm? Surely not even though you have a ‘map" in French class every day. You, such a sleeper, and do not like to go to a class of Romance Language! It is a very remarkable case and as I am not such a very good psychologist it is too deep and obscure for me to comprehend.

What does Prof. Davis teach you, chemical analysis of the esters, the soul, or of just one disagreeable thing after another? I have heard that he was a fine instructor. So you like him. Well I think he is married, and old too.

You seem to think there that since Mr. Stafford is a big fellow and is good looking that he might appear to a better advantage upon the beautiful natural campus of I.U. than upon the more artificial terra cotta of Purdue? He is not good looking.?? But he is bigger than Mr. House, my former angelic room mate. _________________________ The position of the patent design or line indicates that I stopped there long enough to eat an excellent amount of excellent food. I would not miss a good meal for a great deal, and neither do I want to miss a good miss for a nice kiss. Old Purdue is no decent place for me. When I get out of here about all I'll be able to do well is to "chock corn". You know me better do you not?

Next Saturday is to be staged the Frosh-Soph scrap on Stuart Field. If I should decide to have to fight, then I'll write you a farewell letter later or come to bid you good by in person. At the last scrap they broke one poor bird's neck and hurt numerous other combatants. But at Purdue they do not take the Frosh out of bed and cut off their hair. No, indeed such barbarism is not to be found here. Ha?

Last Week one day I went to see a show at the Luna called "Oh Boy" which was very fine. A young college sport loved a young school (girls' school) girl and they wished to marry. but the man's old maid aunt was a firm believer of Prohibition and so were the girl's parents. The girl's father refused the poor lover because he thought he (the boy) was carousing around too much, that is a college drunkard. So the two ran away one night and were secretly married, amid an adventurous excitement. That same night the father went to the College Inn, where the sports were having a wild time with some wild women, in order to "quiet" them. He was a judge, but a woman took charge of him and soon had him drunk. That fixed that part all right. Then the aunt came to the Inn looking for her nephew and by accident tasted some liquor and liked it until she was drunk. Ha, ha. These two circumstances brought the two main obstacles to give their consent to the marriage of a perfectly happy couple. The details that I left out certainly did help to make this one of the best "movies" imaginable. Last night I saw one called "Keep the Boy on the Farm". Henry Ford's show in which the problem is solved by buying a Ford tractor. Ha, ha. This one was at the Y.M.C.A.Hut, over across the campus.

Saturday afternoon I went out with a couple of fellows upon a bug-hunting hike thru Happy Hollow and around by the Wabash river. We stole some apples and killed things and in fact did all we dared to do with safety.

Were you to so many churches today? I was only to M.E. Sunday School where we had our class picture taken. Since the weather looks so much like rain I do not know what I shall do the remainder of the day. I might study but I do not like to work on Sunday. See?

Well, if you can find enough time to read all this then I hope that you enjoy it. You have my greatest sympathy. Have you ever felt like singing that song since you have been in Bloomington? I mean the song called by some such name.

Here is to your health and happiness.

Sincerely Yours,

September 26, 1919, From Papa

Geneva, Ind. Sept. 26, 1919 in the eve.

Esther L. Munro.
821 E. Atwater Ave Bloomington, Ind.

My dear Daughter,

Your letter with questionairre [sic] inclosed is before me. Your mamma is wondering what is the reason for all these questions. I'll answer some of them.

Your Father was Born in LaSalle Co. Ill.
Your Grandfather Munro, Near Seekonk, Mass.
Your Grandmother Munro, Near Dayton, Ohio.
Your Mother was born in Livingston Co. Ill.
Your Grandfather Dillon, In Mason Co. Ill.
Your Grandmother Dillon in Indiana Co. Penn.

Your "build" is a family Characteristic And you probably resemble your fathers family but little more than your mother's. both families are of medium stature but your fathers folks are a little heavier built than your mothers. employment? Helped at housework a little reading & school work.

The ages of the whole family is as follows


Your father Born Jan. 14. 1865
Your mother Born June 22 1870
Yourself Born Feb. 2, 1900
E. Clark Born Dec 31 1901
Ruth E. Born Nov 5 1904
Willard R. Born May 25 1907 died at 4 we[e]k of age. Cause Ab[s]cess of cheek bone, Real cause Dr.'s Carelessness.
A. Lloyd Born Aug 17 1909
Warren D. Born June 25 1914

I rather guess this will stop them but if you want to know any thing more write and ask all the questions you want to. Whenever your "money pile" gets low let me know and I will see that you have all you need. Now if you want to please me take time to go to S.S. and Church and at least try the Christian Church.

Your Mother, Warren, Myself and Mr. & Mrs w. went to the Bluffton fair yesterday. Our first frost came last night and did very little damage. Everything is about out of the way. Keep busy but don't worry.

Your Father.
A.C. Munro.

September 25, 1919, From Mamma

Geneva, Ind. Sep. 25--‘19

Thurs. eve.

Dear Esther--

I suppose I ought to write to you; but, oh dear! I want to go to bed. You see, we (papa Warran and I) took Mr.& Mrs. W-- to Bluffton. They will stay over night tonight and Clark or someone will go after them tomorrow eve. The wind blew so strong from the N.W. and with the upper part of the wind shield gone it made it more disagreeable. It didn't seem so bad after we got there. I suppose you know the Fair is "on" there this week.

We left home at 9-30, and got home at 3-15, P.M. We would not have come home so soon; but we met Verne Ralston's mother & she said as they came past our place on E. side of farm one of our horses was in barbed-wire fence and said it was cut up pretty bad. So papa & I came right home & when we got home, he went down to see the horses and they all looked O.K. So much so he couldn't tell which one had been in the fence.

They have a fine circle sewing there, a Ferris wheel and a "whip." The last puts me in mind of the "blue streak". They have a fine showing of hogs. Have over a hundred pens & 600 hogs (counting pigs & all). Chickens are good too. Saw a few faces I knew. Mr. & Mrs. Hollinger also Bessie Reffe and Syder girl. Also Miss Taylor of Domestic and Mrs. Paxon. Saw a large Angel food cake & it had no frosting on it.

As soon as I get time I'll try to send you all of those things you have sent for. Lloyd's Gilbert toys have not come yet.

Say, I need some new clothes awful bad, don't know hot to go at it without you.

Well, I'll go to bed. may write more & I may not.


Home, Friday A.M.

It will soon be time for mail-man, but guess I'll have time for a few more words.

You do not say any-thing in your letters about Justine Katheryn or Luella.

I see you don't have the spare time you thought you surely would have there. Guess you're as busy as Katheryn said you would be.

Wish you would ans. some of my questions; and I think you ought to write a card or something to Mrs. Whitsel.

Have you and Katheryn decided anything about your winter coats?

Yes, you surely do fine about getting up in the A.M. Guess you've found out "O'tis fine to get oop in the marnins."

Say, how do you like it there any how? When any one asks me, I hardly know what to say.

September 23, 1919, From Mamma

Tues. A.M.

Dear Esther--

Am washing this A.M. Haven't time to write but don't like to have a letter go with out saying a "bit" my self.

I think if you would get a bottle of castor-oil and take a table-spoonful for two mornings, it would be the best thing you could do for yourself.

Children are wonderfully well pleased with their teacher. Ruth and Lloyd could not say enough. Clark didn't say much, but I can see he is pleased.

I did lots of work yesterday. Don't know whether I'll be able to do as much today or not.

Clark rec'd a letter from Richard yesterday. He said you told him you didn't like your French teacher. I let Ruth address your letter and she add[ressed] it to you at Blooming, Ind. I must change it.

We may go to Bluffton fair tomorrow.

Justine's brother & sister go to our school now.

Must close and go to work.

Take care of your health, better take that oil.

I have written this in such a hurry I am afraid you'll never get it read.

Much love

September 23, 1919, From Richard

5:30 P.M.
September 23, 1919

Dear Esther,

I guess you will have a rather hard time to catch up with your answers unless you wait and make a "two in one". I was quite relieved however to get your answer last. Really I do not want you to do me yet, as you were wondering. I have reformed somewhat and last Sunday evening I worked math [and] stayed snugly in bed. It even rained too much for me to go to church or Sunday School. You want to know what the fellow looked like. I guess I did not like his looks, even tho he was handsome. Dreams are not always specific. I have had peaceful slumber lately. Ha, ha!

You spoke of Piper City and that reminded me that I noticed a five-dollar bill the other day made to the First National Bank of Piper City, Ill. A remarkable coincidence, n'est-ce pas? I guess I'll have to get some candy out of it sometimes. So?

I got a letter from Alva today. He said the Linn girls surprised him to a very great extent. He also said that Clark came to Sunday School in "some boat" of a Ford, and that they lost both banners despite the fact that such things happened. I find it necessary to postpone my writing for awhile in order to eat. I do not see how you can live so well and not eat hardly anything. Mr. Stafford and I bought a peck of apples from the University yesterday for between-times. His mother could not make the cookies in time. So alas! I am going. (Back O.K.) Purdue had a big "pep" session this P.M. at 4:00. Nearly all the co-eds were out also, and we had some enthusiastic time. Last night the Frosh and Sophs came very nearly getting into a battle. I was not out but heard about it all right. Just the same there are over 1200 green caps and only 5 or 600 Sophs. The famous Purdue Bell was in the parade this afternoon. I shall send you an Exponent or two containing a picture of it you will thus be more able to form your good (?) opinion of our big university. I have class work from 8:00 to 4:00 tomorrow so I shall have to prepare some studies. I hope I am not taking too much of your time?


September 22, 1919, From Ruth

Geneva Indiana
Sept 22, 1919.

Dear Sister:

Well today was full of experence [sic] for me and I guess for Lloyd and Clark. There are 51 in the High School. I like or [sic] new teachers just fine and I guess all the rest do too. They are up to date. the subjects I take are: English, algebra, domestic Science, and General science. there are 30 or more pupils in G.S. In that class there are most or all the seniors, all the Juniors, and all the Freshmen. There are 35 pupils in Lloyd's room. Lloyd likes his teachers just fine. I think they have the best set of teachers. Mr. Willis is trying to get a talking machine of some kind for the whole school. Mr. & Mrs. Willis were trying to get an orchestra. We are going to have Physical Exercise down in the old Physics room. They have organized the Hartford L. Betterment Association in H.S. Clark is president, Daniel Hoffman is Vice President, Ida Glendenning is Secretary, Victor Eicher is Assestent [sic] S and Mr. Neusbaum (I suppose done of Trustee) Treasur[er]. They have painted the barn red and trimmed white the girls toilet (I suppose the boys too) have raised the floor about two feet and have put in better stools. You have to go up three steps after you get in the toilet room and also have a railing when you go up the steps. It seems so queer. Mamma did not wash today but after I came home mamma and cleaned the up stairs. Mamma also made some donuts, and three pies and also did the churning. It rained and rained yesterday. We went to Sunday School in the Ford in hardest of rain. We took Mr. Whitsel and Wilma. Mamma went along too.

We took Josephine, Lucile, and Robert. I don't know of anything more to say. O, Mrs. Willis is a very good writer. That's all. I am so sleepy. It is nine o'clock. Mamma just gapped.


P.S. We got all new dinner pailes [sic].