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Friday, February 13, 2009

Letter 60 ~ October 19, 1918

The Sherman Township School, Riley County, KS, 1918-1919
16 of the 17 schoolchildren in Minnie Frey's School
. Photo taken October 1918. The Krause twins, Lloyd and Floyd, are indicated by numbers 1 & 2.

Minnie writes me that her school is definitely canceled for the following week.

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

Manhattan, Kansas
[October 19, 1918]

My Dearest Boy:

I rather hesitate to write much [since] you said you couldn’t receive or send out any mail. So I don’t know when you will get this. I guess three or four [letters are] over there now. I thought you wouldn’t write till this weekend. Then you would probably be there to get them. But your mother said today that Mrs. Conrow told her you boys were going to be out there yet next week, so maybe you won’t be there yet.

I’m not going to have any school yet next week since all schools are still to be closed. Stella [Munger] has three cases of the “flu” in her school so she has known for quite awhile she wouldn’t have any [school], and she was anxious for me to teach so she could visit my school. I was over to your mother’s awhile yesterday, then went over to Munger’s. People stay in pretty close these days, afraid of catching the “flu.”

We sure have been having a siege of gloomy weather, along with gloomy war news – not a very good combination. The paper said the sun may shine tomorrow. I’m sure glad. The latest news also was that Germany’s reply was unfavorable. [My sister] Bertha heard from [her husband] Charlie every day. He says he still thinks that Germany will come to U.S. terms before the end of year. He’s not an authority on the matter but I like to hear people say that anyway.

Jimmy Seaton has pneumonia and is very sick. Mr. [Ray] Seaton is better one day and not so well the next. I do wish they would both get well. But with Mr. Seaton’s sorrow, I guess it’s pretty hard. Charlie is all over his but he says he could cough his head off yet if he got started. He didn’t quit work at all.

I can’t go to church, Sunday School, or anything like that tomorrow, so I have a lot of magazines here and I’m sure going to read. That will be lots of fun. I did think until today that possibly you would get to come home. I had to give it up tho as usual. But next Sunday I expect you sure will get to come. [The] quarantine [will be] off and by that time you will probably be thru out there where you are now.

Riley County went over the top [raising] $70,000. I sure am glad. But they need it [as] some places won’t make it. Papa just came home and they have everything balanced up.

I’m sending you two pictures. I think the one of my school is pretty good. One of the primary children wasn’t there that day. Number 1 & 2 are the twins. They don’t look so much alike because one is smiling. But when they both look sober, they sure look alike.

I was worried about you when this bad weather set in. But I heard today you were alright. My, but I’m glad of that, boy. With lots of love and pleasant thoughts, -- Minnie Frey I didn’t have my letter quite ready to send. Papa was late anyway this evening so he went off without it. He said it would get there just as quick if he took [it] tomorrow morning. I don’t believe it will tho. I thought maybe you might get your mail tomorrow, if you didn’t go back to the D[etention] Camp for Sunday. I thought possibly someone would take your mail out. Anyway, I wanted to get this out tonight. I thought I would write some more. I don’t have much to say but I usually write longer letters than this would have been and I don’t want you to think I don’t like to write to you so well. Because I sure do, boy. But I wish I had just lots of good news to tell you.

I wouldn’t know it was Saturday evening here. No one going to town – [it’s] just like any other evening. There doesn’t seem to be so much attraction downtown Saturday nights since the [picture] shows closed. I haven’t been to a show since the last Wednesday in August, and I don’t care much about going till you come back either. And yet I would like to see a real good one again like the "Hired Man,” wouldn’t you, Ward?

My, Ward, I bet you have been working this week. I can’t seem to imagine very well just what it is like, and some way, boy, I don’t like to think of you as working with that saber and all those terrible things. I like to just forget that part of it when I think about you…..and that is all the time.

Ray was over again last evening. Ethel is working downtown – part of the time with her father (he is Manager at the Farmer’s Union feedyard) and today she worked at the cafeteria. I haven’t seen or talked with Kate since I’ve been home. She’s afraid to stick her nose outside the door [for fear] she might see someone sneeze that has the influenza. She’s wise, I guess.

[My brother] John had a card from Ed Stahl. He is at Camp Forrest [in Chickamauga Park] Georgia.

I’m going to call the School Board tomorrow and tell them I’m sure not going back next week. Today’s paper said that the State Superintendent [of Public Instruction] has made the announcement that the teachers will get their pay just the same and wouldn’t have to make up what they lost. That sure tickles me. I can get my three dollars a day and stay at home too. Then I can go to College next spring [as] I wouldn’t have to make these two weeks up. The primary pupils really ought to have school tho. They will have to miss so much later on.

My, I have lots to tell you, boy, when I see you. I start to write it but it doesn’t sound right so I guess it’s meant to be told. I’m anxious to hear just what you did out there this week. Well I must eat some apples and go to bed to get up for a long, lonesome day tomorrow. I love you darling, and hope you make a grand success of all your work. I know you’ll do that tho. With heaps of love, -- Minnie G. Frey

  • The Hired Man was a silent movie released in 1918 starring Charles Ray who plays Ezry Hollins, a hardworking hired man who saves his money carefully in the hopes one day of going to college. But when his girlfriend's brother gets in trouble for bank robbery, Ezry tries to help out by offering his savings in exchange for the stolen funds.
  • Edward J. Stahl was the 21 year-old son of 44 year-old Fred M. Stahl, a foreman at the Manhattan grain elevator.

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