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 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