Friday, August 3, 2012

Dear Mildred

Bittersweet letters from three little New Jersey girls to their married older sister, Mildred, written during the 1918 flu pandemic that killed millions of people worldwide. Text is transcribed under the scans.

From her little sister, Evelyn:

Ridgefield N.J.
Oct 31

Dear Mildred I was out side Tuesday but I could not play with the outher girls I could not play in the back yard I could only sit down but I had to go in after while. Katheryn ran over to the gate she thought I was going to come out and play.

Dear Mildred I like the card you sent me I no the verse momma don't think I am strong enough to walk down the stairs.

Dear Mildred the book is very nice I read the book all through it is very nice. papa bought me a new pad.

Dear Mildred I thank you for the cotton it is very nice. we brought it to school first Bernice brought it to her tacher then I brught it to my teacher and my teacher let all the children see it Edith teacher father was so sick and the teacher had to leave the children out of school early because he was so sick that she had to go and see him and he died one sunday not very along ago school let out because of this sicknes I am going to school tuesday if I am strong enough maby. I cannot tell you anything about Edith teacher or school send my love to Russel.

Lovingly Evelyn

From her mother:

Ridgefield, Nov. 1-1918

Dear Mildred

I should have written to you today but had but there is not time left for that -- I have just finished a letter to Laura -- the first for two months. The children are doing nicely now. Evelyn has been getting up about noon since Tuesday and I still carry her up and down stair -- I feel better to day than I have since this sickness came. Hope you and Russell are O. K. Yes the box came and I stored it in the Attic after I had opened it -- I was startled when I saw the 5th Ave. Adress on it and wondered what had happened -- Your Loving Mother

I am going to let Bernice take this down to the P.O. Her first trip down.

From her little sister, Bernice:

Ridgefield, N. J.
Oct. 31

Dear Mildred

I recied my birthday present it is just big enough for me and it fits me fine. The sleves are not to big and they fit me well. Papa and mama like it very much to and they say that it will have to be my best sweater.

I to reied the card you sent me and thank you very much for it. I am saveing it because it is the only one I have. I know the peice that is on the frount of my card by heart.

And I also thank you for the nice book you gave me. I have readed it through twice and like it very much my story is about Dumble Bee who was so lazy and would not work. And learned how to work. I have so many things to write you about I hope you will get this letter in good time.

Lovely Bernice I am feeling fine

Give my love to Russell

I also forgot to tell you about my brithday party papa and mama gave me a pair of brown gloves and a new tress is orange and light blue stripes with blue cloer and eaves. And Kathryn small gave me a pencil box which I almost get every time I liked this all very much hope you have a happy Hallowe'en I am writing this in the munites I have because the girls are waiting for me to come out and play

So I close my letter with a which that you and Russell will keep well good by

From her little sister, Edith:

Ridgefield, N. J.
Oct. 31, 1918

Dear Mildred,

I thank you very much for the book. I got the book yesday eveing I read it after supper and I enjoyed it very much.

I heard that you are going to make me a sweater but you had to knite Russel one first for he needed it very badly.

I hope you will have a very happy Halloween. I am going out this eveing with my pupunkin for a little while I have a new pad for a birthday prestent on Bernices birthday I got a new green dress.

I have been up now for a week. And will be the first week I have been out Satrday.

I injoyed the card very mcuh to Kathryn is going to writgh a letter after we are all well.

Evelyn will be out for the first day Monday She got up last tusday and she is very glad to be up again.

Evelyn had the badest case of all she had nomonea [pneumonia] with her's I had the slitest case of all.

One of the little Berger Boys died sunday the day when I was taken sick so ther is only three boys left.

The the four boys were sick an the father and Ant. they all live in the same house next to Smalls only the mother dinent get sick but they are all up and out again.

I hope you and Russul will keep well.

Hear are some kissies x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Your Sister
Edith Beck

1 comment:

Donna Peterson said...

You were right Jeanne. These tell a very sad story.

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