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.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

October 24, 1919, From Richard

148 Sheety Street
LaFayette, Ind.
Oct 24, 1919

Dear Esther,

I received your letter this forenoon, and must say that I fail to see just how the French harmed it. It was a nice little refreshing "breeze", even though your mood was out of sorts. Why did you write if you did not feel like doing so? In this short letter I am not going to give you any of my advice. I do not like to do it anyway, especially in such a plain straightforward way. "A hint to the wise is sufficient" you know, if it works. And it is not nearly so embarrassing. Aren't you offended at me for saying what I have? Time will tell, however.

I suppose you would think (that I think), I must have lots of time, if I can postpone a visit to I.U. for several months. It is not the case, but circumstances cannot be helped very much at present. But your fear may not be realized if you allow plenty of time.

You ought to tell your folks not to write to you if they make you homesick. Ha, ha! I heard from Tressie that Clark had a fine interesting time for the class at the last meeting. And old H.T.H.S. is doing well in basketball also. Please don't think I am trying to make you homesick also. I do not wish to make you sad. Of course. So I must say that I wish Stafford and I had your mouse-killing "brigade" over here for a while, as ewe have several guilty and destructive thieves about the room. They ought to be dispatched at once, though, so we may have to do it ourselves. Ha.

I hope you are still having a good time. Don't fear me, for I'll not surprise you. I was over to the city the other night to see "The Perfect Lover" which was a very pathetic play. Tonight I am going to escort a girl out to Happy Hollow (for) to a weiner roast. The M.E. Epworth League has charge of the detail. We leave about 5:15 so I shall have to desert you for the present and write more some other time. It is a quarter of five now. I got a letter from Katheryn today also, so please tell her that I shall be glad to answer it as soon as possible.

Best wishes, from

October 22, 1919, From Velma

Hartford City, Ind.,
Oct. 22, 1919.

Dear Esther,

I suspect you think I have forgotten you but I haven't I have just neglected to write. How do you like school and how are you getting along by this time?. I hope that you like it there and I feel sure you will get along all right with your studies. Laurel likes his school very much and is making good grades.

We are having our revival meeting now. It will be two weeks tomorrow night since it started. We have had seventeen conversions. Mrs. Snider is the evangelist singer. She is staying with us. [...] Epworth League is going to observe Win-My-Chum week from Nov. 2-9. We are expecting the people from Hartford for one night. We will have the Dunkirk people one night and an orchestra from some place for one night. I think it will be a very interesting and profitable week for the League.

Mamma had a letter from your mother inviting us to the class meeting but we couldn't go on account of the meeting. I am sorry to have to miss any of the class meetings I enjoy them so much. I heard the Willing Workers are to elect a teacher next Sunday. I am hoping they will get one they like.

This certainly is a beautiful day. Much different than it was yesterday morning. Papa is husking corn.

How is Katharyn and Luella now? I hope they are well and enjoying their school work. Give them my best regards.

I am having quite a time writing this and trying to watch for the mail man as it is time for him and I wanted this to be sure and go to day. Mamma just now said he is coming so will close and write more next time.


write soon.

October 21, 1919, From Mrs. Whitsel

Geneva Ind RR 3 10/21 1919

Friend Esther

Will try to write you in answer to your very welcome cards which I have received from you. I am almost ashamed that I had not answered your first card before now but I suppose better late than not at all. We are all well. Hope you are well and enjoying your self. How doe you like your room mate I hope all right. I always thought Justine was a very nice girl. I suppose you sometimes almost get home sick but we can not always be at home.

Wilma is still with us and will stay here I guess. I doe know it would be very lonesome with out her now. She said tell Esther my chickens are getting almost big to fry. Will be when you come home and you must come and she will get you a dinner and fry one for you. She is getting dinner and [...] wash dishes that is the way she puts in her time she and Warren have a good time going to Sunday School when he comes down to play with her she has his little table and Warren told your mamma that she was a perfect little house keeper.

I doe not know as I can tell you any thing very new as I suppose your folks tell you all that wold interest you. I will tell you that I have been to Sunday school a couple of times. I think the people are awful nice at Hartford.

Well Esther I will thank you for the Birthday card that you sent me although it came just a month to soon as my Birthday will not be until the 18 of Nov but I appreciate it just the same. Well I must close as it will be mail time soon from your friends Mrs. Whitsel and Wilma.

October 20, 1919, From Bertha Felber

Geneva Ind.,
Oct. 20, 1919.

Dear Esther:--

I haven't any thing to do this afternoon so I will try and write to you.

I washed this forenoon and got dinner and washed the dishes and that is all I have done to day. We don't work very hard here since the sale.

I went to Sunday School yesterday forenoon in the after noon I went visiting and in the evening I went to church.

Raymond was home over Sun. He went back this morning. He is coming back next Sat. to help until the shredding is done. I think the W.W. Class needs to get up some Pep. There wasn't one that had some good saying or a verse of scripture when they called the Roll they all answered present. Tressie she is trying to keep the class up and I am willing to do my part. I don't think that Emil has been there more than once since you have left. I heard that he won't come because he is assistant teacher. We all had a good time at the class meeting but I am sure I missed you. Your mother said she missed you more that night than she ever did.

I was at the basket ball game last Wednesday night and also was there last Friday night. H.T.H.S. surely has a good team this year they haven't lost a game this year. They play Kirkland Township Friday night. I am going to attend that game.

You certainly are kept busy with your studies. Do you like sewing? I suppose you do because you always sewed quite a bit in home. I only wish I did like to sew. Marie is taking sewing at school this year. She is going to Hartford.

If the class would do their bit I think they would write to all of the members of the class that are gone. I can get 25 cts. worth of stamps on Monday until the next Monday they are all gone. I always appreciate letters from the folks at home and from the class. So I think that you do to.

I have only four more letters to write this afternoon so will close. Will look for an answer some time I know you are kept busy. I think I have more time to write. I am still at Watsons I may be there until Thanksgiving and maybe not quite that long. It all depends.

Yours Truly
Bertha F.

P.S. Excuse my pen and ink.

October 20, 1919, From Richard

October 20, 1919

Dear Esther,

Perhaps I ought not indulge in such a free range of writing styles, but since it may prove interesting--let it go. Interest in things and in each other is what gives people an inspiration, and joy, and happy satisfaction; is it now? This might be a real interest or just an imaginary one. Anyway it is a good plan to find fun in one's own imagination, for does not the imagination furnish a great deal of amusement, and interesting things to think about? I know that imagination has caused you interest (?) already; and enabled you also to build your air castles. By the way, have any of them fallen lately? Or do they keep on growing and never topple over? It may be that they grow wings and fly away, like the demons that are supposed to be prevalent in such large numbers. Would you prefer to call some of them angels? Ha.

I must begin to answer your very nice little letter. First of all, I was very much pleased to get it. Next I was glad to hear that you had a date. I cannot enumerate all the exquisite joys I received from it. It was the only thing that I have had to break my monotonous loneliness since last Friday. You ask me why things attack you by surprise. I'm sure I can't tell you, unless it is because you don't see clearly, that is, use your eyes and profit greatly. Think, observe, (or vise verse) and apply things to your self to your great improvement and consequent satisfaction.

I had planned to take you by surprise last Friday or Saturday also; but failed. It will not do for me to give you warning or tell my plans, for then somebody is likely to be disappointed. See? So you just go ahead and have all the fun you can' leaving me to fare as well as the gods permit.

Surely, I was to S.S. yesterday and Epworth League also. and I was lonely; and sleepy too as a result.

Sincerely yours,

P.S. Chicago16, Purdue-0

You know a letter is not complete without a P.S. attached? Am I right? Anyway I wished to state that I am glad you could receive my last letter as you did.


October 19, 1919, From Mamma

Geneva, Ind. Oct. 19--'19

Dear Esther--

I had thought of so much to tell you the last day or two; but did not jot those things down, so now I can't think of near all, I am sure. But will do the best I can at remembering; for I know I'll have no time to write tomorrow.

To begin with, we all have slight colds except papa, nothing serious, thank goodness. Lloyd seems to have it the worst or one would think so if they were around a short while, for you know his failing. Seems to me he blows his nose every few min.

Now about the party. I'd gladly let Ruth tell it, but right now she is studying her algebra. So I'll let her alone. But this P.M. she made the remark that when evening came she was going to write and write to you.

Those who were here were Elizabeth and Josephine, Leona and Martine Alva and Tressie, Menno Felber and Bertha Ada Felty, Roland, Dorothy, Janette and Ervin Sprunger. All the Shoemaker boys. All the program we had was a duet by Ervin and Dorothy. They played key. Made paper hats out of large pieces of paper and three pins for a contest game. We also played "What would you do if" and they thought it so funny that Josephine says "That's fun, lets play it again." Pretty soon Rollin said "lets play that over again" So they just turned their slips of paper over & played it again. For getting pardners for supper we had two pie tins one pan had on it a spool of thread the other pan the enedle. One had a knife the other the fork, also ink & paper, can & lid hook & eye, things in pairs you see. The things on one pan was passed to the girls, the other to the boys.

Dorothy said she was going to entertain the Hartford class next summer. Forest taught the class today. Emil was there but would not teach. They decided at the party to just appoint some one in the class to teach. So they appointed Robert S. but he did not even come.

I misinformed you about Mrs. Whitsel's birthday. It is Nov. 18. I asked Mr. & I understood him to say Oct. But it makes no particular difference any how.

We may drive down there, yet we do not know for sure. Our car is not working as it should to take such a trip. Do not figure too strong on it; for if the weather turns bad we will not come I am sure but in case we should, we will bring all that we can get to come along.

I believe papa is figuring on building a house, but don't mention it yet a while any how.

I took quite a "constitutional" myself this P.M. Papa, Warren, Ruth and I walked down to the "big timber" to see the cattle and look at the big corn & new fences. The corn over there is surely immense. Lloyd stayed at the house monkeying with his Gilbert toys which came Sat. P.M. Our beets are immense too. We are not out of sugar yet; but so nearly out that I am getting very stingy.

How do you like going without your supper on Sun. evenings.

I had your pink dress all done up when the word came from you not to send it back. I thought you might wear it some more, if you had it there.

Do you have enough clothes? I guess you are kept so busy you don't have time to think much about clothes.

The Hartford Basket Ball team played Monroe on Fri. night. A double header. The Hartford boys beat them badly in both games. Ruth went both Wed. and Fri. night.

Mon. A.M.

Am washing. Kids went to school in Ford. (When one car won't run the other does). The men finished the cement walk from pump to barn this A.M.

I sent those white stockings back to you; but don't see how you can use them.

Have a new cream separator now too. Put it in the basement.

Believe I've told about everything. Of course as soon as letter is sealed I'll think of something important. I should think if Richard should come to see his sisters, "they" wouldn't have any time to visit. Are going to try to hull clover this P.M.

Don't wear your muslin nightgowns so long they smell of perspiration so.

Much love from--