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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Letter 52 ~ October 12, 1918

Minnie writes me from Manhattan to say she has hopes of seeing me on Sunday if the quarantine is lifted.

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

Manhattan, Kansas
Saturday, October 12, 1918

My Dear Ward:

Your mother called me up early this morning and had lots of good news to tell me. In the first place she said the latest they had heard from you. You were well. Then Alice [Bobeck] (I can’t remember her last name so half to call her that), called out last night and she had been talking to [her boyfriend James] Sparks and she said you were alright. That is certainly good news. I think you surely must know how to care for yourself, to have escaped so far when so many are getting that [flu]. And boy, I have hopes of seeing you tomorrow. Isn’t that good news? Alice said Sparks said we could come up tomorrow and [your brother] Willis said he would go if we could sure see you.

So your mother called Mrs. Conrow and she is going to get in connection with her son some time today. Then she will let your mother know for sure if we can see you if we go up.
I think it would be strange if they do, having you in quarantine, then letting visitors go up. Why, there might be an awful crowd and that’s what they don’t want. But if there’s any chance [of seeing you], I sure don’t want to miss it and I’m not afraid of getting the “flu.”

All the girls [school teachers in Riley County] are going to be home this next week but me. And maybe I will [too]. I told them I thought we had better have school if we could. There’s so many primary children in my school and this month is so much better for them to attend than the last of March will be. Papa is going to find out this morning if I have to close then I’m going to call up the board if I’m going back. If I get to go up to see you tomorrow, I’ll be glad if I don’t have to be back Monday. Then we can have a long visit with you tomorrow. Maybe we can stay in the evening till you half to leave us.

Yesterday when the mail man came, he said, “Well teacher, I don’t believe I have a letter for you today.” I looked at the bunch of letters and noticed the red triangle on one. I said, “Here, isn’t that for me?” He laughed and said, “No, that’s from the Buss boy.” But when I saw it, I sure thought it must be for me. He’s sure a good man.

I suppose you boys are feasting on a cake – your mother said she sent you one.

You know last year [my brother] John didn’t do very well in High School. This year, he and Lester started in like they meant business and I guess they are getting results. John brought home a “one” he made under Miss [Stella K.] Stuart and another from his Agriculture teacher. Lester made a “one” in Algebra. And they seem to be getting along fine in all their subjects. We are certainly happy over it. I am certainly happy over it. I am so anxious for the boys to do well in school, then they’ll go on thru college.

I went out a minute ago to get weighed again. I gained a pound and a half this week as usual. I weigh 123 now. When I went up there [to Sherman Township to teach] I weighed 112 ½. If I keep that up, I’ll be quite a block by spring. I won’t tho.

Ward, I sure don’t think you get payed very well, but I guess they think you get plenty to eat and wear, and that’s all you need when you’re working for Uncle Sam. Lina used to do Dean’s washing but when they began taking out a dollar for laundry, she quit. But I think it’s the limit to take a dollar from you boys and then make you do your own washing.

Well I guess I had better get this letter mailed, or it may not go today. With lots of love, and good wishes for you boy. – Minnie G. Frey

  • Lester Raymond Frey was one of Minnie’s younger brothers. Born 21 April 1903, Lester Frey grew up to be a dairy farmer like his father.
  • Stella K. Stuart, a 37 year-old Riley County teacher in 1918.
  • Simon Tjaart Buss, born 24 November 1887, was the 30 year-old son of Henry B. and Emma J. Buss. Henry was German emigrant farmer, born about 1857. His wife, Emma, was born about 1865; her parents born in Switzerland. The family farmed in Sherman Township, Riley County, Kansas where Simon was born. Simon's draft registration card indicates that he was tall and of medium build, with blue eyes and light brown hair.

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