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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Letter 53 ~ October 13, 1918

Minnie writes me that the war news from Europe sounds promising. Advises me that her school will be closed due to the Governor’s Proclamation and that she will remain in Manhattan all week.

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

Manhattan, Kansas
October 13, 1918

My Dear Ward:

I won’t get to see you after all. Your mother called this morning and said Mrs. Conrow talked to the boys and they said you were well but there wasn’t any use for us to try to see you. You had to drill all day.

My, isn’t the war news great? The Bulletin yesterday said that an answer from Germany was on the way back and it is thought to be favorable to the President’s message. I do hope that Germany will withdraw her armies from the Allied soil. Then I think the worst is over. It’s great the way those American boys are fighting. The paper says, “They march ahead as if marching on parade.” That will scare those old Germans too.

It seems funny not to have any church. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve known of all churches and schools being closed. There’s lots of things happening now tho that never have before. I’m not going to have any school this week. Miss Carey gave me to understand that the Governor’s Proclamation was to be obeyed. But there’s only 18 in our school and they said any gatherings of more than twenty people were to be dispersed with. So send your letters to Manhattan instead of Stockdale please – for this week at least.

Your mother just now called. She said [James] Sparks got a pass. That makes me rave. How in the world did he do it if he didn’t tell them he was married? Ward, boy, if this quarantine is taken off some time this week, won’t you come down in the evening if you can? I’m going to be at home so we can all visit a few hours anyway. I expect it will be your turn to get off next Sunday. I sure hope so. I’m wild to see you.

Mrs. Conrow is going up. She’s coming over to your mother first tho and get some things she wants to send. I’m going to quit writing pretty soon and make you some candy and send it with Conrow’s. Your mother said, “Maybe Minnie will write a letter and send.” Mama said, “Well she writes every hour.” [Then your mother [said], “Then maybe she’ll write two letters.” I guess the folks do think I write a good deal. I only wish I could, and had something interesting to write to you more than I do.

I took out a hundred dollars worth of Liberty Bonds. I couldn’t pay it in full so I took them on the installment plan. I’ll pay it all in November. I thought that would be a sure way of holding on to my money and I’ll have quite a bit in the spring besides.

Stella [Munger] called up this morning and wanted us to come over today. I told her I would go after three o’clock. I won’t leave here till after that. I thought possibly you would call me. I don’t suppose you will since you have to drill, but I’m not going to take any chances.

Cecil Haines is in the Depot Brigade in Detection Camp No. II. Do you ever see him? Or do you know him? He was a real good friend of [my brother] Jessie’s. I talked to his sister Edith yesterday. He’s been up there every since, while we were in [4-H Camp in] Hollister [Missouri] and is in the 27th Company.

Homer has the influenza at home and Everett has it at the College. So far you have been luckier than they have been. Dean is home today. Ethel [Arnold] said she guessed she would half to get married so Ray could come over [from Camp Funston]. I wish I were writing this after my visit at Munger’s. I would probably have lots of things to tell you. But if I have [time], I can write them tonight when I write to you.

This sure is a swell day. Hope next Sunday is this nice. I thought to myself after I read your letter where you said the married man’s wife made it so much worse for him because she kept coaxing him to come home, that I wouldn’t mention your coming home while there were such slim chances. But I notice I have in this letter. I wouldn’t have but it makes me peeved when other boys get off and you don’t. I love you, boy, and you will get to come home to stay before so very long. In the meantime, we can be happy because of the good things that are happening to us. The best thing right now is your being well. I feel lots better because you are alright than I would if I could see you and you were feeling bad. I know I’ll get to see you some time, darling. Lots of love for you, Ward, -- Minnie Grace Frey

P.S. I send you a Sunday evening kiss, boy, with this. (Papa just came home and said the Kaiser had accepted the President’s peace terms.)


  • Cecil Haines was the 21 year-old son of 60 year-old W. D. Haines and his 50 year-old wife Myrta. After the war, Cecil worked as a pasteurizer at a local Manhattan dairy.
  • Minnie's brother, Jessie Jonathan Frey, was born 6 November 1893.

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