Archive for April, 2008

More 1908 Postcards

Monday, April 28th, 2008

To Mrs. C. M. Austin (Jennie Austin)

To Willie Austin

To Raymond Austin

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1908 Postcards

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

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1906 and 1909 Postcards

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Letters to Mac in WWI: January to August 1918

Monday, April 21st, 2008

January 1918

To Pvt. Mortimer M. Austin
F Co., 11 Inf
Chattanooga, Tenn

CAC 7 Co., Fort Amador
Canal Zone
Jan 5, 1918
Many happy returns of the day!!

Dear Old Mack:
Well this is the date you get a little older and tomorrow I do the same.

Did four hours guard this morning. It is pay day and I go on pass this pm so will have time to write no more..

Drew just $13 yesterday. That is all that is left after my four liberty bonds bills…$.25 wounded soldiers fund
collected from loans $1.65 which left me just $8.40.

When I went to town, I spent $5.20 for little odds and ends. While in the city, I made up my mind to see the place. You talk of slums in New York, London, Chicago,but believe me they cannot begin to compare with the city of Panama. It is only in sections that the other cities have slums, but all Panama is just one great slum district.

Yours, George R. Sidwell
[above letter is an excerpt from a long letter]

January 24, 1918
Chickamauga Park

Dear Aunt,
We have had bad weather. It was warmer today and the mud is about up to my ankles.

We are drilling now. There is nothing to tell you. We are not allowed to tell much anyway. There was a bit of verse on our bulletin board.

    “Soldiers, beware,
    Enemies ears are everywhere
    A wise old owl lived in an oak
    The more he saw the less he spoke
    The less he spoke, the more he heard
    Soldier, imitate that bird.”

There is no need of worrying over me. We are getting good food and we have as good care as can be given us. I am feeling good and am getting fatter. You would be surprised to see me now.

Well, I hope you and all the folks are all right. Did you see the letter Raymond wrote about me to the “Lone Scout”? I met a fellow in Chickamauga who asked if I “knew Private Mortimer Austin, F Company, eleventh infantry.” I told him I did. He had seen that letter. He was a nice fellow,
Well, goodby
Your nephew

March 14, 1918
on YMCA paper with a flag
Chattanooga, Tenn

Dear Father,
I got here all right. The mild train was late into Jersey City and I missed my train. I was 14 hours late, but as I got the conductor to sign a aper telling the reason, I think it will be all O. K.

Well I will write soon. Tell Aunt Aida that I am here all right. With love to all the family
Your son,

March 31, 1918
Chattanooga, Tenn

Dear Aunt,
I was very glad to get those pictures they were real good. I don’t know which I like best, so I can’t tell you.

We are having fine weather her now.

I did not send anymore this month because I owed some and there are some things that I want to buy to take across with me. But I expect to have a good deal to send back next month

My corporal is attending sniper’s school and I have had to lead the squad. I don’t like it very much. I am expecting to be transferred to the Machine gun company. I would rather stay with F. company, but I have noticed that a good many things that have happened to me lately, really unimportant themselves, have resulted in advantage to me. And while I am not superstitious, I think it best not to try to change that everything is coming for the best. Perhaps you understand what i mean? I suppose I could get another man sent in my place, but I think whatever happens is for the best.

Will I will close,
Your nephew McKinley

May 1918
Letter Jennie Austin wrote to her son, McKinley
Eldred, Sullivan co., NY., Monday 1918

My dear McKinley:
At last I have gathered enough ambition to write, also, I begin too realize that Dad and I are growing old when the cold weather affects us as it has this winter, we were certainly glad to hear you were having good weather. it is beginning to be pretty decent here.

Raymond seems to write quite long letters to you, so I suppose he keeps you supplied with all the news. Clarence Wormuth is in France. Aunt Lottie and Christina…[all the letter I had.]

May 18, 1918
Middletown, NY
Dear Pa, Ma & bro & sister,
I am still in Middle town. But as we expect to leave early Monday morning for Ft. Slocum, and I may not have a chance to write soon again
recruits got tickets or a pass at a hotel for a free night’s lodging and a ticket that gets them a 50 cent meal at the French restaurant.
costs $2.50 per head a day; $1.50 for meals and $1.00 for lodging.

June 1918
June 27, 1918

Dear Mother,
Just a few lines to let you know I am all right.

I have been to the trenches and like them better than drilling. It was bad when it rained, but on good days, I like it.

The Germans shelled us once or twice but the more I see of artillery bombardment, the less I am afraid of it.

The trench rats scared me a couple of times when I was on guard. When they run around, they make a lot of noise and I thought once that it was a German in the next bay when it was only a rat.

Did Raymond ever join? I think it will do him good. I wish you would send me the address of the Eldred boys who are in the army.

Well I guess I will close hoping you are well. I am
Your loving son,

July 1918
M. M. Austin
Private, Machine Gun Co.
11 US Inf.
APO 728

On YMCA paper
July 27, 1918
Dear Aunt,
I have started to write to you several times, but something always bothered. I have been busy, so would only write one letter to the folks and expect they tell you what I write.

I have been so busy lately, or so lazy that I have (not?) written lately. But I thought you might worry and think I was in the big serap.

I got the pictures all right. They were good.

You wanted to know about this country. There are some of the prettiest places here I have ever seen, but I prefer Sullivan County. I have seen pictures home that look just like the country here.

How is everything in Eldred? I suppose nearly everyone of the boys have either gone or expect to go soon.

I can’t think of anything much to write, so I will close.
Your loving nephew,

PL GT Dashiell
1st Lt. Inf.

July 7, 1918
Dear Mother,
I got your letters all right. And I got one from Raymond. He was still at Camp Merritt. If he goes to Panama, he may see George Sidwell. if George is still there. It must be hard for you to see us go, but you have been very brave. If all the mothers in America were like you, there would not have been a need for a draft. I think the reason we boys, who are no braver than the average, were so quick to go, was that we have always been taught that we have a duty to our country. Some seem to think that their country should protect them, but shouldn’t call on them to help.

I am getting along well. We have been lucky so far. This is a fine place for summer home, but we have some bad neighbors.

Give my regards to all. Tell Aunt Aida I will answer her soon. But it is hard to get time. I have several letters now.

Hoping to hear from you soon, I am
Your loving son,

August 1918
Mortimer Austin
Private, Machine Gun Co.
11 US Inf.
APO 728

August 9, 1918
Dear Mother
I hope you will pardon me for not writing sooner. But when I had paper, I did not have time and when I had time, I could not get paper.

Have you heard from Raymond lately? I have had one letter form him.

I don’t suppose there are so many city boarders up this year.

Aunt Aida sent me a couple of pictures of the children saluting. They certainly looked comical, especially Robbie.

Is Willie still working at Proctor’s?

In the last letter I got from you, you said that Miss Ferguson was inquiring for my address. I have not heard her yet, and I am beginning to hope that she has lost it.

Tell Grandfather [This must be Sherman S. Leavenworth] that I will write him sometime. When I get back home, we will have some time swapping war stories. Raymond will talk for a week steady when he gets back.

I am getting along well. Except in a big drive there is not much danger, so you need not worry about me.

Well, I will close. Give my love to all
Your loving son
Mortimer M. Austin
Private Machine Gun Co.
11 US Inf
[OK GF Dasbielf
1st Lt 11th Inf Co.]

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Ruth Colville writes McKinley in WWI

Monday, April 21st, 2008

January 15, 1917

Barryville, NY
January 15, 1917

Dear Friend
Received your letter last week. We were glad to hear that you were still in America.

We haven’t any horses this winter, so I hardly ever get to Eldred or in fact anywhere.

They had a box social in the fall and another one around Thanksgiving, but it was awhile I was in Brooklyn so naturally I did not get to that one.

They also had their annual New Year’s donation, I believe. Dad was sick last week, but he is much better now, of course, but his side is still very weak and he does not go to school.

It certainly has been a very cold winter. 30 degrees below zero some of the time., but we really haven’t much to kick about in that direction as we have plenty of wood.

I leave a cousin who is a major in the aviation Corp. When I was in Bayonne, he had his orders to be ready to leave Princeton the following morning, but of course, he didn’t know where he was going. I have not heard since where he went.

Here is a little piece which was in the Watchman a couple of weeks ago.

Cheering Prospects for 1918
My Tuesdays are meatless
My Wednesdays are wheatless
I am getting more eatless each day.
My house is heatless
My bed is sheetless
They’ve all sent to the YMCA
The bar rooms are treatless
My coffee is sweetless,
Each day I get poorer and wiser
My stocking are feetless
My trousers are seatless
Oh How I do hate the Kaiser.

Very good Eddie,” quite a poem, is it not?

Well let’s hope that there will soon be an end to this awful war.

Must get up early in the morning so will leave to writing off.
Your friend,
Ruth Colville

Feb 7, 1917
Dear Friend,
Received your letter some time ago and really intended to answer it before, but was busy the last couple of days keeping warm. (or trying to. haha)

Monday certainly was a terrible day. The wind blew about 50 miles per minute. You speak of mud. I don’t believe that I would know what much looks like. I don’t think that there has been andy eastern mail this weekend, at least since the snow came is on shank’s mare.”

Aunt Noval said that there were several Sundays when there wasn’t anyone except the minister and Christine that ventured out to church. I guess that Earnest doesn’t get over when the snow is so deep although I haven’t heard.

Every cold day, I make a new vow that I will not stay here another winter, but I suppose that I will not have courage when it comes to the pinch, to ? to get a job. I really think tho, since I have seen what the city is like, (for what a tiny bit of it is like) that I will have more courage.

Belle Mills is teaching here now. Went to visit the school the other day with Anna and it surely was a circus. I never saw so many methods of “spit ball” throwing in my life, but well, I guess she is about as god as the average teacher.

Well it is getting late and I will have to say, “Goodnight.”

Your friend, Ruth

February 21, 1918
Dear Friend
I received your letter and was of course glad to receive it. I won’t write very much because I walked over to see Uncle Fred and Aunt Mary Myers today and am very tired.

Ada has been in Syracuse. since just before Thanksgiving and has been ready to start but it has been very weather? and the trains have been so irregular but she is going to come home next Tuesday and make believe that I won’t be glad to see her.

You ask about Sarah and Earnest. Well, I haven’t been over to Eldred in a good while and so don’t know a great about it, but from what I have heard, I guess that he and Eunice are better friends than he and Sarah? (I guess I am getting bad off if I can’t write better than that.)

Had you heard that Earnest has been drafted? John Horton and Able Hulse are also drafted, I believe. There are quite a number to go from this town on the 23rd, but I don’t know yet who they are.

I guess that Earnest’s folks are quite (what shall I say disturbed?) about Earnest’s going. I saw Edith Seargent today and she said that they thought that you must have started for “Somewhere in France” because quite a little of your mail among other things a couple of registered letters had been returned to Eldred. Of course, all that I know is what she said about it and how she found out I don’t know. I told her that you were still on this side and let it go at that, but thought you should know about it. I also heard that the company that Fred Straub is with will was to have started with that ship which was sunk, but was quarantined just before is started.

Raymond Davis is in France, I believe.

You simply can’t imagine what you have missed by not being here this winter. They say that its the coldest winter ever remembered. Last week was rather warm though and the weather was very pleasant.

Isn’t this some writing paper? But I haven’t been able to get to Eldred.

I guess that Mr. and Mrs. Asendorf are in the south again this winter.

One day this week, one of Mr. Harry Dunlap’s oldest girls was stricken blind in school. They say that it is caused by a blood clot on the optic nerve and that is too far back in the head to operate. Is it not truly a dreadful thing?

Dad is reading a Johnny Chuck story and if I get some of it mixed up with this letter, well just lay it to my natural craziness.

I haven’t done anything very much this winter except get fat and I surely have done that. But just the same, I helped Dad with the wood last week. Men are very scarce and some of them don’t want much pay. Some of them $2,50 a day and they are just the ones who get to work about 9:30 and quit in time to get a little wood up for themselves, so well to cut my long story short, mother and I helped. I didn’t do much except rake? it up, but believe me, it made my muscles sore, but they soon got over that and am feeling fine as a fiddle.

Oh I heard the other day that Walter Toaspern (you know him do you not?) is at the same place (Waco, Texas) as my cousin Clifford Colville and he is also in the aviation corps. Is that not odd?

Well I am getting really dreadfully tired and so will have to say “Good-Night”.

Write once in a while and let us know what you are doing and where you are. Do you have any idea of moving soon?
Your friend,
Ruth Colville
February 21, 1918 Barryville

Letter to Great Grandma Mary Eldred Austin 1865

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

The following is a letter to Mary Eldred Austin (wife of William Henry Austin) in March of 1865, the month Mary and Henry had twin sons, one of which was my grandfather Charles Mortimer Austin.

Grandmother in this letter must be Hannah Hickok Eldred, the mother of Mary Eldred Austin. Mother is Phebe Maria Eldred Austin, and Phebe Maria is the step daughter of Hannah Hickok Eldred.

The writer of this letter is, Addie (Adelaide Austin Thompson), the daughter of Aruna Augustus Austin (brother of Great Grandpa William Henry) and his wife Phebe Maria Eldred. Phebe Maria Eldred Austin was a half sister to Mary Eldred Austin. Hope that’s not too confusing.

[If anyone has specific information as to when Aruna Augustus Austin or his wife died, please let me know. I have his death listed as 1855. I know from the letters that Phebe Maria is still living in 1865.]

New York
March 18, 1865
Dear Aunt,

I am now going to try and write you a letter. Whether I shall succeed or not remains to be seen. We have all been sick again (as usual), but I believe we are all convalescent now. I have been playing sick for the last few days but am getting about tired of it. I have been very sick of congestion of the lungs. I have not been out of the house for over a month.

I am going out next week if nothing happens. “Cousin George” was here to see about two weeks ago. He looks very well considering the “trying scenes” he has past through lately, don’t you think so?

Well how are you all getting along? Mother talks of coming up this summer, but whether it will end in talk or not I can not say.

We were very glad to hear that Uncle Henry was not drafted. How did it happen? I should have thought it would have past been his luck. There has been no battling? in our district, nor will there be if the men volunteer fast enough to keep the Provost? busy.

Mother finds liberty in employment in worrying about the draft. I don’t know what she will do for something to fret about should it pass on without hurting anybody.

How is Grandmother? Give her my love and tell her I have been quite a good girl lately. I have not laughed for sometime for the simple reason that I could not.

How is Aunt Laura’s baby? [This is the youngest sister to the Austin brothers.] Emogene [She is Mary Austin's daughter.] wrote that it was very sick. I hope she will not lose it. I suppose your boy is quite a young man if he grows at the rate he did when I was there.

I am glad to hear that Billy Mires [Myers?] was so sensible as to not go down with the bridge.

I am getting very tired and will try to bring this to a close before you get quite tired out. Mother sends her best love to you as do all of the rest…

Nettie talks of writing you today. She does not have much time for writing. You must give my love to Uncle Henry, grandmother and all my cousins both great and small.

Write soon and believe me with love, your affectionate niece
Addie Austin

Postcards, 1908

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Fanny Knapp Austin writes her children from Halfe way Brook, January 11, 1859

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

I thought you might enjoy seeing a page of the letter Fanny wrote her children.

Halfeway Brook
January 11, 1859

Dear Children,

You must excuse my not writing sooner. I have been waiting for something pleasant to write but sicknefs and glome over spreads our Neighborhood. Our house had escaped untill yesterday, Henry was brought from Moscow very sick. …had the Doctor. He pronounced it the Billous feavor, but he is better this morning. I feal in hopes it is a lite case. It is the prevaling eppidemic and the scarlet fevor. The Doctor says he has 40 patients down with them and many that will not recover.

My health is about as it was. My cough is better, my appitite is good if I do not work to hard. A little work goes a good way with me. I have not been able (to) go any more except when they come after me. Mr. Stage took me up to his house. I was there over a week and would have stayed longer, but Mrs. Stage would wait on me so much I thought that I would come home, but it has been so cold. I was sorry but Old Mrs. Eldred makes my fire in the morning and washes for me and I knit and work for her. I have not been up to Mr. C P Eldreds. They have been down for me several times. Last nite, Mr. Eldred was here. He said he would send for me. I promised to go and stay all the week. They have some gloves they want manufactured. I will turn over a new leaf. My hand shakes so bad I can not write much.

I had a verry plesent New year to Mr. Stages. We had good vituals and good company. George was home and Albert. They inquired after you and Lucy? George said I must give his compliments and best respects to you both. Albert said he would rather fetch them himslefe. Mrs. Stage said you promised to write to her.

George and Albert was up to Mr. Clarks on New Year Day. He said Mary was grieving about you going away, but Clarry was in good spirits and found it was his birthday and when he started for home, she gave him such a snowbawling, it was a caution. They heard I was there and would have come, but it was so slipery they gave it up.

You would like to ? from Mr. Kytes donation. Well they must have had a very agreeable time at evening. All the Gentleman except their sons was Mr. Squire Clark and Mr. George Eldred. He went over to Mr. Mannys and got Catharine and sister Polly and fetcht them up to Stages after George. But was diappointed and had to wait on them both.

Isaac Bradley was hear last evening. He has been driving team for Mr. Gohara. They tried to get him to take Liza Mariah. They offered him the team and would pay her way. He tolde them when he wanted to go, he was able to pay his own fare. He is sick of the whole of them. He talks of coming to New York in a few weeks. Mr. Waterman has made him a good offer.

Wednesday morning
I waited to see how Henry got along. He is better. Mr. CPP Eldred is a calculating to come to New York next week and I want you to be shure and come with him. If he does not come soon, you must come the first opportunity. The sooner the better. Perry and Ann was up here and said he would ? $1 a week. They have got Priscilla Killpatrick.

If you come back, we will go and stay untill you are better suited. Ann is poorly. She thinks she cannot live until spring. Give my love to all. Tell Mortimer to write and I will tell him all about the weddings. Oliver Dunlap and Caty Devenport was married on New Year. Their is 3 or 4 more such a coming soon. Tell Adelina I will answer her soon.

No more at present. I remain your mother with affection.

Fanny Austin

Dear son

If you will assist Laura something to get back with, I think she will pay you when she can earn it. I was not pleased with her coming. If she had laid out her money for clothing, it would have been better, but I thought she would not be contented untill she tried it. I found she was working too hard, but Mr. CPP Eldred is coming soon. He expects next week and she must be ready to come with him. Without fail, we all miss her much.
No more at present. I remain your loving mother

Fanny Austin

James H. Austin writes his mother, Fanny Austin, 1858

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Feb. 23rd 1858
New York

Dear Mother
I again (adrefs) address you a few lines. I received your letter of the 19th yesterday and was glad to hear that you was better, but was sorry to hear that you had not received my letter of the 16th for I wrote by first maile after receiving yours by Felix Kyte. I think it verry probable that you have received it before this time. I hope you did the next maile. I have thought it was mi(f)slaid in the Post Office as is often the case. And sometimes it happens that letters do not arrive at their destination for sometime after they are mailed.

I again risk Two Dollars by Maile. I do not like to send this way, but you are in want of the money and so I risk it. I should send you a larger sum if I was shure you would get it. I think before long, some person of our acquaintance will be en-route for Lumberland and then I will remit to you.

In the meantime, get of your friends what things you want to make you comfortable and do not pinch yourselves for food or fuel and I will pay the bill. You may rely on it. I trust you will not run up a large bill extravagantly, but get all you want to make you comfortable. Keep Laura home with you. Do not think of trying to live alone. It is my particular wish and request that she remain home with you. Tell her that I will try and do something for her next summer in the way of drefses etc.

Tell Henry that probably there may be a chance for him to bring Cart this spring at Peckslip with Alonzo. Alonzo thinks of trying to make the arrangement so as to drive the two horse trucks and let Henry have his place with the Cart. If businefs starts when the Hartford Steamboat begins to run, which will be in the course of two or three weeks, that is if the spring is not too backward, I think there will be a chance for him. I think if the spring will open early, that is navigation, I mean, tell Henry not to rely too much on coming to the city. It is —- about businefs being brisk. To warrant him a situation this spring, I do not.

If Alonzo or myself can get him a situation this spring–will do it. I would like to have — this spring, even if he did not stay — the summer for by coming here and learning the city and how to do businefs. In a way of –be a great advantage to him and would — him to take right hold of my work (this) fall. The maine thing is to learn the — and the different Steam Boat and Rail Road — he may get along with businefs and Peck –Just the place to learne. So I think that (he) should come and drive a few months. It will prepare him for getting right along with…

But should he have a good chance for businefs at Lumberland, he had not better let it slip. but I think he may rely on having a good situation. In one years time Alonzo will soon ascertain what prospect there wil be for him and will write. Soon again, I think by the middle of March or sooner, he can know all about it. In the meantime, tell him not to be discouraged, for I think the prospect is good ahead.

Augustus’ folks are all well. Harriet Teed lives there next Saturday for home. Her Father is not so well again, although he is smart. We are all well and doing well. I have not time to write more at present. More soon.

Your affectionate son, James H. Austin

Five o’clock afternoon

I shall look for a letter by Friday maile form Lumberland and if mailed Friday, I shall get it Saturday or Monday at the farthest, if there is no delay on the route. You need not worry yourself to write. Let Laura answer my letter.

Eleven o’clock AM

Be sure and write soon that I may not be in suspense concerning whether you have received my letters or not.
Yours with respect and affection

Five o’clock PM
My love and respects to all the friends.

Fannie Austin James H. Austin

My dad writes to his Uncle Lon

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

May 3, 1942
Barracks 1209
B’try D—8th B
Fort Eustus, VA

Dear Uncle,
Am a school boy again and every week day morning trudge off to school So far the course has been easy, but I suppose it will get harder as we go along. We are supposed to have eight weeks of study, but sometimes they cut the course short. At any rate, school is sure to be easier than drilling, for the sun is beginning to beat down harder now. However, the hottest months are July and August and should be shipped away before that. Of course, it may be alote hotter where they send me.

Have received the papers you sent and was pleased to receive them. If I don’t forget, will enclose a program of the church service I attended this morning. The chaplain is a Baptist and a very good speaker. AS a rule he is the one that I go to hear—mainly because his services are at the most convenient hour (10 AM). If I attend the 11 o’clock service, it makes me hurry to get back to dinner in time and as a rule dopn’t get up early enough to attend 9 o’clock service. It makes me hurry to get back to dinner in time and as a rule don’t get up early enough to attend 9 o’clock church. Sunday is the only day we don’t have to get up at 5:45 and I sure make the most of it.

How are the church services and prayer meetings doing? Getting bigger and better I hope.

Trust that you and Aunt Aida have both been well.