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Monday, February 23, 2009

Letter 79 ~ October 30, 1918

Minnie writes me that the flu has gotten worse in Manhattan and that her school may get canceled yet another week.

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

Manhattan, Kansas
October 30, 1918

My Dear Ward:

Received the letter today you wrote Saturday and Sunday evening; also two cards from you. It sure seemed nice. My, but I’m glad you got back and it was alright. Wasn’t it nice tho for them to have the stove up and everything sailing. I was awfully surprised tho when your mother said this morning that you left about 2:30 Sunday afternoon. I supposed you stayed all afternoon anyway.

I was downtown this afternoon, saw [your brother] Willis for the first time since he’s been sick. He doesn’t look any the worse for it, does he? I wish I had of seen him before he shaved his mustache. I bet he sure looked funny.

I was going over tonight, but it was pretty late when I got home and the horse was out in the pasture so I didn’t get to go. I called your mother and told her I couldn’t come tonight but would tomorrow. She called later and wanted me to come tonight if I could [since] Willis wouldn’t be at home tomorrow, but I couldn’t so I’m going tomorrow evening.

I got a lot of my book outlined today. It seems like I might be going to school doing that.

I sent you a box of candy today. Be sure to tell me when you get it because I sent it insured and I’ll get my money [back] if you don’t get it. But of course you will. I wanted to send you some and it’s so hard to get sugar. I had to buy the candy instead of making it. I’d rather make it – it’s more fun.

I expect you are all nicely settled back at D[etention] camp, aren’t you?

The influenza is worse here in Manhattan again, much to my sorrow. I may not have school again next week. Isn’t that the limit? I hope I do tho. I don’t want to teach a whole extra month next spring, especially if you are at Camp Funston. I want to get home so I can see you as often as I can.

If you are moved down to Camp Funston next week, you’ll not be sent away very soon will you? That will sure be great if you can go down there and be in the barracks. Soon you’ll feel like you are in a palace, won’t you, after being in those tents and a little candle light at night, and land knows what else. Then you will probably get off every weekend.

The next quota for Riley County is 77 men. That’s quite a few. I don’t see who’s going to do the work next summer – we girls I guess.

Maybe I’ll think of something else to write tomorrow before the mail man comes. I’ve a lot of extra paper here I would like to scratch over. Good night Boy – Minnie G. Frey


  1. Minnie uses the expression "isn't that the limit?" when noting that school may again be cancelled due to the epidemic. That is an expression my maternal grandmother used all the time. She was a contemporary of Minnie's having been born in South Dakota in 1901. I never heard anyone else use that term".


  2. Not used much anymore, is it? Manhattan, being a college town, probably served as a collection center for the oft used expressions of young folks throughout the central states. -- wg

  3. One of the great joys for me in reading letter collections such as this one from a bygone era is to hear the music of the English language. I believe that the language was far richer in the days before mass communications and mass media. This expression may be of a regional nature. My grandmother was born in Lemmon, South Dakota and raised in Aberdeen-about 500 miles due north of Manhattan.