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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Letter 2 ~ September 3, 1918

Minnie tells me more about her students and finishes her letter on the following day.

Addressed to Mr. Ward C. Griffing, Manhattan, Kansas
[Sherman, Kansas]
9:00 P.M., September 3, 1918

Dear Ward,

Well it’s raining and cold but it is going to be fine sleeping tonight.

I pulled my first bone today. I didn’t build a fire and I believe now I should have. The children came to school bare-footed and two of the little girls cried this evening because they were so cold. The rest of us felt fine. I see [now where I’ll] have [to build] a fire in the morning.

I’m crazy about my 7th grade class. They are all good and are so interested in their schoolwork. We have a great big new flag. We sent for new rope today so we can put it up in [the] school house. Today I had two of the pupils hold it while we had flag salute in the morning.

I hope you are not drafted Thursday. I hope something has turned up better.

I wish you could come up Sunday but I suppose you won’t even be at home then. I know Mr. and Mrs. Parkerson would be glad to have you. They are used to it. I know from what Mrs. Parkerson was telling me this evening.

Good night, dear boy. Good luck and a kiss for you. – Minnie

8:45 P.M., September 4 [1918]

My Darling Boy,

I’m so glad to have you to think about when I get home at nights. If I didn’t, I believe I’d go crazy. You told me to keep busy and I sure am. Every minute of the day is full until evening. I don’t study so much in the evening as I will after awhile.

Well, I know the children well enough by this time to know we will get along as far as they are concerned – [I’m] not a bit afraid of them. But one of the little primary girls is awfully spoiled and she cries half the time. She is impudent but I soon put a check to that. We would get along alright and I would feel fine about it if her folks wouldn’t interfere, but I’m afraid they will. She goes home and tells lies. She told her mother that the children teased her, which is the biggest one I have ever heard. Also, she was too cold yesterday. Mrs. Parkerson heard her mother talking over [the party line] phone and it didn’t sound any too well. But Ward, what am I to do if she will tell her folks untruths? I know I will never do anything I shouldn’t and will treat her alright, but I can’t help what she tells. A little orphan boy comes from the same home. I just love him, he’s so good.

I’ve unburdened my heart now. I feel lots better. I’m not afraid tho. Mrs. Parkerson told me stories tonight that made my hair stand on ends. They have had awful times [with discipline in the school house] till last year. [They] have [had] regular fistfights up here at school house. But I don’t think there will be anything like that while I’m here. I’ll bet you are just turning up your nose. My tales of woe don’t interest you any. But remember I haven’t anything else to write about. You probably wonder then why I don’t write the brighter side of the school. That would take too much room because it is almost all bright and cheerful. I love to teach and I love children – especially these. But Oh! you parents.

I wish I could spend about two free nights at home, and it would do me a world of good to be with you awhile. I wonder what you are doing now. I would give anything, almost, to see you. What did you do last Sunday? Be sure to tell me all the news from College Hill when you write.

Mr. Yenawine hasn’t heard any different, tomorrow is the dreaded day [of the draft].

I’m just wild to get your picture, Boy. It will make my life twice as happy up here and then it is such a good one. You look so happy and that’s the way I like to think of you. I hope you are tonight. With love, -- Minnie

P.S. I sure wish I could see you.

  1. Mr. Yenawine was the chairman of the Riley County draft board.

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