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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Letter 48 ~ October 10, 1918

Minnie writes me that she is frightened by all the cases of influenza in camp and neighboring towns but that she fears spinal meningitis even more. She also mentions Kansas Governor Capper’s proclamation.

Addressed to Mr. Ward C. Griffing, 25th Company, 164th Depot Brigade, Camp Funston, Kansas

Sherman, Kansas
Thursday Evening, October 10, 1918

Dearest Ward:

I got another letter from you today. You don’t know how nice it is to get a letter from you everyday. I’m so glad you were still well when you wrote that letter, but I wonder if you are yet. I would be so glad if you would escape it but I’m afraid you can’t from what you said in today’s letter.

I had a letter from Mama today too. She said your Mother said if you got sick, she wanted to go up there and be right with you all the time if they would let her. But of course they don’t do that. I wouldn’t worry a bit if she could because I know you would be all right then. I’m sure getting scared. Mama also told me about Claude [Cunningham’s] brother, and Mr. [Roy] Seaton is very low. If the boys could just keep other things from setting in I believe they would be alright but Parkerson’s were in Manhattan today and they said from 60 to 70 boys were dying every day. It’s worse at
Leonardville than at Manhattan. Mama said if I got sick, I was to come right home. But I’m not in the least afraid of getting it and wouldn’t worry if I did. But it’s the boys in the camps that I do think about. I’d hate to think you had to walk guard all night if you were getting it. That would give it such a head way.

Clint Scott is getting well. He said he went right over to the infirmary as soon as he began to feel the least bit bad and they sent him to the hospital. He said he was awful sick for about four days but will soon be alright now. Parkerson’s heard that the Spinal Meningitis was breaking out again in camp. If they get that over there where you are, then’s when I’ll turn black because I’m strictly scared to death of that.

Governor [Arthur] Capper has issued a proclamation asking all schools, churches, theaters, and public gatherings of all kinds to close for a week beginning Saturday. So maybe I’ll not have any school next week. That will be a nice little vacation but it will put me a week behind in spring.

I’m beginning to wonder again if you were transferred Wednesday. Your letter sounded like you thought there might be a chance.

Ward, doesn’t your Major think there will be peace soon? I can’t see how there can help but be the way the papers sound. In a way I’m glad for you that they do think you’ll get across anyway – I believe you want to go. But I’m not the least bit crazy about you getting on the firing line. And I wouldn’t shed any tears if you didn’t get to leave the U. S. But if there weren’t so many diseases in the camps, chances for ships to be sunk, etc., it would be kind of nice for you to go across to be there for the finish. It would sure be some experience for you and I’m wild to hear your stories when you come home. I often think about that. I know I would just sit for hours and hear you tell about it all.

I just love Mr. and Mrs. Parkerson. They are so good to me. And I have the most fun with them sometime. They are the happiest people and so good to one another. They speak so kind to each other and both are so willing to do for the other. It’s sure pleasant to be around them. I certainly have the boarding place.

Boy, don’t say “when I leave for good” because you are not going to leave for good. You’re coming back again and I hope mighty soon.

In your letter today you were talking about that April night over three years ago. Just last night I was thinking about it. If you are gone a long time, we’ll have to get acquainted all over again. I don’t believe it will take us very long tho, do you? It will be grand.

Has the married man had the influenza yet? What will his wife do when he gets that? She sure can’t see him then. They are talking of closing the College [in Manhattan].

Well it’s raining some tonight. If it doesn’t rain too much [and the roads get too muddy], I suppose the folks will come for me. I’ll be at home this time tomorrow evening. Guess I’ll not get to see you again this week. If you are not taken away from Camp Funston, I may next weekend. Good night my dear boy, -- Minnie G. Frey

Arthur Capper's Campaign Poster for Kansas Governor, 1912

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