Ruth Colville writes McKinley in WWI

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

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