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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Letter 70 ~ October 25, 1918

Minnie writes me news from Manhattan and lets me know that Harlan Sumner has been taken prisoner in Germany.

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

Manhattan, Kansas
October 25, 1918

Dear Ward:

Had a card from you today [and] was certainly glad to get it. But I’m afraid, Ward, the card was more appropriate for you than me. I had Mama ask at the Post Office for my letter but it wasn’t there. I’m afraid I won’t get it at all. I haven’t had a letter since the one you wrote a week ago last Sunday just before you went out to the [Smoky Hill] Flats. Your mother said I could read their letters if I would come over. I think I’ll go tomorrow. She had a letter and a card today. [My brothers John and Wayne] worked over there today. John read your letter. He told me a couple of things you said but I can’t get much satisfaction out of him.

John said you thought you were getting the flu one night. I’m mighty glad it didn’t turn out to be. It’s been so cold and damp this week. I’ve sure been thinking of you constantly.

Ethel [Arnold] came down this afternoon. It seemed nice to have the monotony broken and it’s the same for her. I guess there will be no school for we school mams’ again next week. We are getting anxious to get back. I hope the quarantine will be lifted at [Camp] Funston just the same tho.

Ross Arnold was put in Class C. He only weighed 119 pounds.

Harlan Sumner has been taken prisoner by the Germans. Something got wrong with his engine and he had to come down behind the German lines.

Ethel said Ray went out Tuesday to see you and another boy by the name of White who is also in the Depot Brigade. He found Mr. White but couldn’t find you. Ethel wanted to know where you were so he could find you another time. I told her you were still there but was out on special duty the last 2 weeks. I expect Ray will start out again. He has quite a lot of time off.

I guess I’ll have to send this. I had to stop writing and entertain [Bertha's infant] Ruth. She’s got her temper up and she sure gets cross. Bertha has a cold and aches all over. I sure have been scared this evening. I’m so afraid she will get the flu. But we’ve just about decided it wasn’t.

Ready to go. Good by dear boy, -- Minnie

  • Harlan R. Sumner was a 19 year-old student at KSAC in 1915. 1Lt. Harlan Sumner served as a pilot with the 139th Squadron, USAS, from 13 February 1918 to 26 September 1918 when he was taken POW. Source: Wings of Honor, American Airmen in WWI by James J. Sloan, Jr. It appears that Harlan served on the faculty of the KSAC Agricultural Department in the 1920's.

1 comment:

  1. If anyone knows more about Harlan R. Sumner, please send me a comment. -- wg