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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Letter 57 ~ October 15, 1918

Minnie writes me more news from her father's home in Manhattan. Her school is suspended another week.

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

Manhattan, Kansas
October 15, 1918

My Dear Ward:

Well another day about gone and nothing much happened. [My brother] Wayne went over to your place and gathered walnuts. Your mother gave him a lot of apples to bring home. I’ve just been eating them. They sure are good. We don’t have any apples here except what we buy.

I got a letter from you today. It was one you wrote Thursday morning. Mrs. Parkerson sent it down from Stockdale. I expect it got there Saturday. I called your mother this morning to see if she had heard from you today. She said she didn’t and that in yesterday’s letter you didn’t think you would have time to [write] this week very much. Just so we get word from you enough to know how you are. I expect you were showered with letters from me about Sunday or Monday. The ones I wrote down here would get there about the time those from Stockdale do.

Papa heard in town this morning that the schools will probably be closed yet next week. I sure hope they are not. I’m anxious to get back. The primary children will forget all I ever have taught them and most of all, they won’t take the quarantine off from the Camp. And I’m counting on you getting a pass then. You said today that I’d better quit planning on it – that it seemed a long ways off yet to you. It’s always just from one weekend to the next with me. If it wasn’t for your letters and thinking you will get to come home soon, it would be a whole lot harder.

I don’t like it for your Major to say that this war will last a year and that you will probably go across [to Europe] soon. He’s too likely to know about it and boy, I don’t want you to be in all next summer fighting. I wouldn’t be a bit happy if I didn’t think something would happen real good before that time.

Ernest, in one of his letters, said that he had been censoring letters all day and he was mighty tired of it when he came to a letter thirty pages long and the finest hand writing. It was to a girl in Oklahoma. Wouldn’t Ernest take the keenest delight in censoring our letters – not so much at what was in them as the idea.

If you can’t come home next Sunday, I hope we will get a chance to take or send something you would like to you. If you want anything in particular, let us know. I hope you can send the message by W. C. G. Wouldn’t it be nice if this quarantine was just on the schools [and] not on the [military] camps? Then we could go up two or three evenings this week while I’m down here.

I told [my sister] Bertha that you thought it would be nice if [her husband] Charlie gets to go to France. Bertha said, “Well I was going to write and have Charlie write to Ward, but if he’s going to tell Charlie that, she guessed she wouldn’t.” She probably will tho. But I don’t think she will let Charlie go. I think she is foolish. Charlie wouldn’t hardly be taking any risk and it would mean so much to him. Bertha and Charlie are going to take Jimmie Seaton if Mr. [Roy] Seaton goes to France. He’s a fine little fellow.

Papa is working on the front yard. Maybe you think I’m not glad. I hope he keeps at it.

Eben Scholer has been real sick with influenza and Lucretia wasn’t able to locate him. But she heard from out home he was sick. She called us yesterday and said she had found Eben and had been to see him. He’s feeling a little better now.

Talk about a chopped up letter. I think this is sure one. I wish I could write letters like you, boy. When I think I haven’t anything to write about, if that one today was a sample. Let us know when you can how you are and don’t work too hard. I can take a deep breath everytime I hear you are well and alright.

Ward, I’m going to college instead of trying to be a nurse. I know I would love to be [one] but for two reasons I am not. First is because I would have to train so long before I could go where I want to, and then I don’t want to because of what you said. I wish I was half as sure about your being here after the war as I am about myself. I know I’ll be safe and sound here at home (I would tho if I were a nurse), and if you will try harder to come back to me after this war if you know I’m here. Well here’s where I’m sure going to stay till you come, boy.

I have to take [Bertha’s daughter] Ruth out and wheel her to sleep, so goodbye Ward dear, -- Minnie Frey

  • Hattie’s apple orchard was set out forty-five years earlier by her father-in-law, Rev. James S. Griffing. The orchard was south of the Griffing home on College Hill, in the approximate location now covered by the parking lot of the Methodist Church.

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