The Rogers Family Papers, 1915-1919
The following is a sampling of letters written to and from the Rogers family in the era of World War I. The Rogers family includes several Hanover College alumni, and their home, "Bird Haven," is in Hanover, Indiana.
Hanover students in His336 "The Search for Order, 1877-1945" (Fall 2017) and His229 "Women in America" (Winter 2018), both taught by Sarah McNair Vosmeier, made the transcriptions. The original letters are available at the Duggan Library Archives, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.), and a guide providing context is available.
Marjorie Orton, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 14 Nov. 1915, folder 2, box 11, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by M.J. Joyce, HC 2021.
2105 North St.
Nov. 14, 1915.
I suppose you are at Christian Endeavor just now. I've been away from one so long. I'd like to go now. I did go to S.S. and church this a.m. They are repairing the interior of the Presby. church so we went to the Methodist. Every seat was full and they have the grandest minister and I'm thinking of joining the Methodist church. (nix) If your mother reads these letters I'm afraid she gets shocked a good many times. When I write letters to Petersb. folks I "let off steam" because I just hate Logansport and I can't tell people here that or I'd get kicked out not that I'd care, but it's just some place to stay.
The principal's daughter came around yesterday A.M. in their new car and took me riding. We got two other girls and drove out in the country and around town. Then I went down town in the afternoon with our neighbor girl Blanche McDowell and again at night with them in their car. Doris McD, her sister is as sweet as she can be and pretty too. She's 15 or 16 and you'd like her, Carter. You'd better come up and see her if Celestia won't have anything to do with you. Does she still go with Lloyd? I nearly fell over when you told me that Claude and Elsie had quit. I'd think they'd feel silly now.
The Ministerial Assie [Association] are having the Redpath Winter Chautauqua here this winter and the first number was Wed. P.M. It was the Fidelio Opera Company and was good. The tenor was about eight feet tall and reminded me of the description of Ichabod Crane. He had a good voice but it spoiled it when you looked at him. Reno, the magician is here next Thurs. and since all the children are going I guess I'll have to, to take Richard you understand.
I can't even come down Xmas let alone Thanksgiving, unless I walk. I'm crazy to come down Xmas but I suppose we shall be at Cville [Centerville?]. We want Whitman's to come up in their car, but I suppose that is next to the impossible. I here it raining now. Its been looking like rain all day but I supposed it would snow. I'll bet its cold here in the winter. A lot of people have storm doors, and the folks next door even have storm windows or double ones.
I wish Jane could come up. Tell her I'd ask her if she'd answer my letter. I don't know [strikeout: why] if she comes up to Dayton why she can't come up here and I'd love to see her. (Richard has been up here and I don't know what I've said, he's bothered me so. He gets worser every day.
I see by the "Press" that "Smiths United Shows" are in town. Judging from that article about Tom Whitney getting shocked, they must be corkers. I had seen that article about Arthur M. & Taylor in the News the first of the week. I wonder how much of that stuff that Ferd Vieck writes up is true. Somehow I can't think of a thing to say (strange isn't it) this evening so I guess I'll stop. I have about steen hundred others to write and my Latin to get.
Try writing again soon for I like to get letters but hate to write them sometimes. Not to you of course, Carter.
P.S. Where do you and Byers get your swell stationery? How's Miller's new place? These envelopes [strikeout: of] are about 6 sizes too big for the paper. I guess I'll have to make a trip to the 10 store.
Marjorie Orton, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 16 Apr. 1916, folder 2, box 11, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Rosemary Kent, HC 2021.
2105 North St.
Sun. Apr. 16th
I'm spending this grand afternoon writing letters. Don't you think I am unselfish? Last Sun. when I was over at Monticello a girl came here in her car to take me riding and two more girls came, but this after-noon no one has appeared. I think they knew I was gone when they came.
The church is having an every-member-canvass this afternoon so I suppose a couple of men will be around for some money.
I actually had a date last night - don't be alarmed it was with a fiddle, not the fellow. He plays in the orchestra and has been wanting me to play [strikeout: last night] his accompaniments for him, so I did last night. You ought to have heard it. Half the time he was playing in one key and I in another and he set his own time to a piece. It was a wild goose chase for me to follow him. He's real good looking black hair and brown eyes ---- [hmm?] I think I'll play for him again soon.
That post-card you sent was real good. If I had any pictures I'd send you some, but I never think of taking any. I've had a film in my 2 by 4 camera for months. What's the use taking any I break the camera every time I have any taken.
[Strikeout: We're] Our S.S. class had a contest with the boy's class and we got beaten and gave the boys a banquet last Monday night. There were 40 boys and 20 girls, so each girl had to take two fellows to supper. I think one I had was married and the other one was the pilliest pill I ever saw. Nevertheless the eats were very good.
We are to have a triangular oratorical and track meet at Frankfort May 6th. I don't know much about the track team here, but they weren't much in basket or foot-ball. I saw by the "Press" that Boonville was to play P.H.S. yesterday. I sure would love to have seen that. Grace is coming up the last of May and I hope Mary will come. I am crazy to see them. I've got some more letters to write so I'd better sing off. Give my love to Jane.
As ever your friend,
Dorothy O'Brien, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 5 Sept. 1916, folder 9, box 9, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Sidney Powers, HC 2018.
Sept. 5, 1916
I received you letter and am glad to hear, you arrived O.K.
Your Father gave his resignation last Sunday morning and everybody was very sorry to hear it. The girls had been talking, "What are we going to do since John and Denver are leaving." They kept saying, "It will not be so bad for you, Dorothy as Carter will be here." Then of course I had to keep still until after church Sunday. They all sympathized with me then.
Jane was up yesterday and told us of your new home in Hanover. It will sure be a grand place.
You ask, what I had been doing. Friday seemed that it never would pass. I was so lonesome. It rained nearly all day which made it worse than ever. In the afternoon, we girls walked up to Sophia as Lucy was there and was leaving the next morning for Bloomfield. Sophia decided to give a party that evening for Lucy, while we were there. She had we five girls, Denver, John, Beecher, Edwin M. and Charles K. Now, Edwin M. was left for my partner, because you know someone was missing. I thought of you all evening and wished you had been there. I did not have such a good time as I generally do. But things always go wrong sometime.
We all went up and came home in Denver's ford. Have you learned to drive the ford in St. Louis?
Newell and I were up to Sophia for dinner Sunday. They came down in the evening and went to League and Church with me. There was a retired lady missionary, that talked of India and various places abroad. Her husband was a brother to Frank Thomas.
I got those pictures we girls took, the morning after my slumber party. They are real good. Better than the others anyway.
To-night is orchestra practice. We are to have a combined service of Sunday school and church. The orchestra will play for it.
I will go to Winslow Friday and play for Institute. "Auntie" has been going all this week.
I have not seen Bell's car since you stopped driving. I believe Jane said, something was the matter with it.
Well Carter, I will close as dinner is about ready. Hoping you make a lot of new friends, I remain
Your affectionate Friend
Dorothy O'Brien, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 22 Sept. 1916, folder 9, box 9, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Liv Loran, HC 2021.
[Note that this letter is written in green ink, and includes a sticker on the last page.]
Sept., 22, 16
Your good letter came to me this morning. I got the paper for your mother and sent it this evening, you will probably receive it before this letter. Speaking of the mail at the Post Office. I had it forward to you, but you sent me to much money. I will wait a day or so and call again as perhaps there will be more mail. Then I will send you the change left.
Well, what do you suppose Miss Lyda Martin said to me when I went after the keys? (Read this next very slow). I was talking to her and she "spied" my diamond ring and said, "That is a pretty little ring, Henry did not give it to you, did he?" Now, how do you suppose I felt? But I just laughed and told her my father gave it to me, and that I was too young for anything that serious. She certainly is very much interested in us. Don't you think?
This is Friday and ends one week of school. Time certainly passes. I am rather glad because the first week is so mixed and so hard to settle down, sticking your head into text books. "Auntie" and Dora visited school this afternoon. During the last period Mr. Treanor ask Dora to watch the assembly. We had a good time, as we knew she would not tell on us. She told us after school we were good and it was nothing like two years ago. She said, "High School is taming down."
We have not cooked in Domestic Science this week. We have been taken notes on cooking of foods etc. Miss Doty said we would cook Monday. I think it will be baked apples. I wish you were here to cook [we?] me. I am sure we would have good luck. Susie and I will cook together, I do not know what kind of experiences we will have.
Mrs. Henry Kinman died very suddenly yesterday afternoon. Mother will sit up to-night with the family. Mrs. Kinman will be buried to-morrow morning. A number of the Eastern Star acting as pall bearers (Mother being one.)
I will be the cook to-morrow for dinner. I shall have to bake a cake which my Father always thinks is fine. He likes to have a change of cooking, he says.
You will wonder at my using this color of ink. I left my blue ink at school and the fountain pen of mine is dry. But I like green, you know.
I was certainly glad for you to give me your preference as to the way to address your letters.
[Note: Sticker showing a gentleman and lady reads "Yours truly and take it so for I am"]
Your affectionate friend.
Dorothy O'Brien, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 30 Sept. 1916, folder 9, box 9, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Mishayla Johnson, HC 2021.
[Note: A tiny photo of a woman is glued to the letter.]
Sept. 30 16
Your nice letter came to me yesterday. It certainly is good to hear you are a pledged member of the ΒΘΠ fraternity [Beta Theta Pi]. The seal on the envelope, seemed like real college life, they are real pretty.
I agree with you, it seems I will never get straightened out in school. I certainly will be glad when the time rolls around, that I will not have so much to do.
"Auntie" is going to give Sophia and I a lesson in geometry to-morrow. It seems Mr. Adams never explains things thoroughly. (that is what every body is saying, not only me). I know he thinks we are "dummies".
You certainly should be glad you are out of this school. The high school teachers have changed the system of examinations. They have divided the year into halves instead of fourths. There will be a final exam at the end of each semester and everybody is compelled to take it. In regard to absents, if a person misses five recitations on a certain subject, they are conditioned on that subject. If one is absent ten recitations, they have failed absolutely. They will send ones parents a mail report, if their is unsatisfactory work done by the student during the semester. I did not understand whether or not we [strikeout: would] will receive a report at the end of the semester, but I should think we should. Every-body is "kicking" against it, but we will make the best of it.
In our English class Thursday we had a spelling match. There were thirteen boys and twelve girls so we spelled against each other. At the end of the period, there were three boys and two girls, so we just counted it even. I went down on the word "inalienable" but I most certainly can spell it now.
So yesterday we finished it, Susie and Clive Harris were the only ones left. Mr. Harmeyer gave them the word "queue" and neither one could spell it, so we counted it even again.
The first practice of football was held yesterday. I think some of the alumni played against P.H.S. It was so cold, we girls did not go down, but high school won, so we would not have helped anymore.
Everything I have told you has been about school, but there is nothing else going on. Tell Sallie I will write her this afternoon.
Truly your friend.
Dorothy O'Brien, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, [before 7 Oct. 1916], folder 9, box 9, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Elizabeth Donaway, HC 2019.
I just came home from school which has seemed very long today. It seems to me writing is the only way of being nearer to you, so you see I make great practice in it. I received your good letter yesterday and see you are very busy too. It seems I am in a "whirl-wind" all the time.
I think we shall have some good games in foot-ball, (but I doubt whether we will win any). Next Sat. Huntingsburg will come. Oct., 14. Our team will go to Bloomfield, after that to Bicknell and Princeton. Nov., 11, Evansville will come up. The Thanksgiving day game will be here, I think Booneville is coming. There being three games here and three away.
Mr. Harmeyer announced the other morning, the girls could play basket-ball, I think Miss Doty will have charge of it. I am afraid I shall not get to play on account of my music in the "Musical Club," but I hope so.
Miss E. Bell visited school to-day. She came in our English class, I do not know what she thought about it, because we are rather bad in that class. We never get anywhere, we just argue all the time. It is terrible. I wish she was teaching this year, because we got along good last year. She leaves Petersburg next week and we certainly will miss her. It seems she always held up for our class, better than any other teacher except Mr. Treanor.
Marie Luke gave a piano recital last evening. She certainly plays good. It brought back "memories," as I was sitting there listening to the latter part of the program. I thought of you and when you came up to the front after my recital was over, it seemed you should have been there.
Tomorrow night the cabinet of the Epworth League is going to give a luncheon for Mr. and Mrs. Boldrey at our house, but I shall not get to be here until late (in time for the eats) as the "Musical Club" will me at Mrs. Elise Lamb. Friday night Alice Louise Shrode will be here again. You heard her last year, didn't you? I think she is grand. We are all going, I shall think of you and wish all the evening you were there.
Mother was just now talking to father over the phone and I have to take his supper. Will close.
Dorothy O'Brien, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 7 Oct. 1916, folder 1, box 9, Rogers Family Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Taylor Winzenread, HC 2019.
Oct, 7, 1916
I just came back from town. Mr. Whittman is having a cloak opening in the new store, so Mother and I went down. I did not find anything I cared for very much.
We are fixing to shingle our house, we have been dipping the shingles in green paint (Irish) all this week. I think we shall paint the house too, so when you come back Xmas, it may be things will look a little better. I am counting the days until I can see you. It seems almost a year since you left. One can hardly look at the parsonage, it looks so deserted.
Our new minister will be here Sunday. I shall play Sunday evening for church. Mr. Boldrey left this morning. He has been telling us the new minister has a glass eye and a cork leg, but I think he was just teasing. I shall be glad when tomorrow comes to find out for myself what he looks like and what kind of a speaker he is.
Speaking of the trade last, I do not remember in particular which one it was, as I have heard so many in regard to your excellent character, good looks and ambition. I was out driving with Mrs. Whittman the other evening and she asked, "How you were getting along?" She said, "She was certainly sorry to see you go too, because there is not many such good boys as you." (I agree with her and always have). Thank you very much for the compliment you gave, but I think he[strikeout: was] is rather mistaken about that.
Don't you know, I had to drop my extra subject of Ancient History on account of my music. I have hardly touched the piano since school began, so Mother said, "I should not neglect my music for an extra credit, because I have gone this far in music and I shall keep it up." I was very sorry because it was interesting but maybe I can take it next year. I think I shall study on it when I have nothing else to do at home, as all the teachers say, "One should have Ancient before Medieval and Modern History."
We had a test in geometry yesterday. I do not have any idea of what I made. We had three problems, one was a proposition, second an exercise and the last a sort of an Algebra problem, I know I got it right and I think the proposition but the exercise I am not certain.
This afternoon is our game of foot ball with Huntingburg. Harmeyers are going to take Sophia and I down in the car. I certainly do wish you were here to help us "yell." Owen Harris is the yell leader, I imagine he is a case at it. We have a drum corps which will liven things up a great deal. I think it will be a pretty good game.
It was certainly to bad the twenty dollar bill was not real money, you must have felt very jubilant when you first took it out of the pocket.
I suppose there is a great deal to do on the house but I do not think you should work so hard and study on your school lessons. It will make you sick, I am afraid. Am out of paper.
Dorothy O'Brien, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 17 Oct. 1916, Folder 9, box 9, Roger Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Aspen Parker, HC 2020.
Oct. 17., '16
I was certainly glad to hear of you having such good times. It must be great fun to belong to a fraternity especially the one you are a pledged member, I am glad for you.
Hanover certainly is an ideal place for me, the more you talk about it, the more anxious I get to be there. I just know you people will have things fixed better than any other home in Hanover after a time. The name of the house "Bird Haven" sounds very good too.
The men shingling our house are as slow as I don't know what. They are not done, after such a long time as this, a week and a half. They did not work Saturday at all. I suppose they took a holiday. I am glad I am not here all the time through the day. The pounding would worry me to death. Mother said, She is used to it now, but it worried her at first.
We had to give oral compositions to-day in English on "Incidents of a day in the country, country town, or city". He did not get around to me, but I shall get it to-morrow. I simply cannot get up before an audience and talk, but this is good practice and I certainly do need it. I wish I could get up and talk like you, because you always do it so good. I suppose I am too "bashful" Ha! Ha!
"By the way", I got 100% on Geometry. I feel much better toward it than I did at first. It is getting more and more enjoyable all the time.
Miss Doty is going to be director of the Girls' basket ball team. We shall have to play at the fair ground. I would lots rather play indoors but Mr. Harmeyer said, he had tried so many places and could not get any place so we can play down there until bad weather. He said, maybe he would ask for the old "Negro Church" but I doubt if he will succed. One other time last year, he ask for it and the person acted very much shocked of thinking to turn a church into athletics.
I shall certainly play for you on the piano when you come back Christmas as you seem to like music so very much.
I wish I might crawl in this envelope and come and see you just one minute. I am,
Yours as ever,
Agnes Westfall, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 4 Nov. 1916, Folder 5, box 9, Rogers Family papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Eve Galbreath, HC 2020.
Nov. 4, 1916
Did I tell you that I would write again soon? Was it to you that I wrote a very short letter? I wrote someone a short letter and promised to write again soon but, for my soul, I have forgotten who it was.
I wrote Morris a letter, of eight pages, Thursday night. He answers so promptly that I have to write to him about twice a week.
What do you know concerning politics? I feel very much that I would like to have some one disagree with me. I don't know what your politics is but I am sure you are not a Democrat. We girls had a great deal of fun at school the other day. Helen, Eva Mae, Ruth Alexander are Republicans and Ruby, Dora and I are, of course, strictly Democrats. We tried to quarrel (just in fun) but we finally "gave up" and desided that politics is all around rather crazy. There's nothing to it.
Father said that if he went back to Legistature this year he positively would vote against woman suffrage. Sad isn't it! Do you still think a Women's place is at home performing her domestic duties? That is the first thing every man or boy will say in opposition to woman suffrage. That's a rather new question but I'll leave it for the time being.
Several of us girls here made a resulution the other day concerning those long dresses. We are not going to wear our dresses longer than to our shoe tips if every body in Vincennes has them longer. A few years ago I wanted to wear long dresses fix my hair up on my head and be a lady. Now I want short dresses have my hair down and wear large ribbons.
How do you like college life by this time? You know I am taking book-keeping this year. I just love it. One of my main delights is to mess around with a lot of papers and junk, consequently I sometimes wish I could work all day on it. I wouldn't want to be a book-keeper but I like the work at school. Book-keepers are always tired looking. The work is very tedious.
A credit is given, this year for Bible work. It may be taken with or without a tutor. There are four examinations to be conducted the same as teacher's examinations, two on the old Testament and two on the new Testament, and a student who passes all examinations is given one credit. I think this something great. I don't think I will be able to take these examinations this term but I hope to do so sometime soon.
Did you know that Miss Cora is teaching in South Dakota this year? She says she just likes every thing fine. She boards five miles from school and rides back and forth on horse-back. Typical Western fashion! She sent Oscar a picture of herself. She was on horse back with her hair in two braids hanging over her shoulders and an old ugly hat almost like those the cow-boys wear. I think the picture is a "sight". She doesn't look like a dignified school teacher but rather like a course, uncultured western girl. She is sixty-five miles from the nearest railway station. She goes with one of the western boys. They have grand dances out there. Said she was the most awkward dancer on the floor. That's one accomplishment.
I am just beginning to think about the high cost of living. I am, as I said, a Democrat but if the election of Hughes can reduce the cost of, at least clothes, I am for his election. I want some clothes. I got a few the other day, but everything is so high that I will soon be entering the county house if something doesn't change. I don't see what real poor people are going to do this winter in order to live.
I must close and study my Sunday school lesson.
P.S. Here's hoping you'll answer sooner than I did.
Marjorie Orton, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 5 Nov. 1916, folder 2, box 1, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Morgan Livinghouse, HC 2018.
Nov. 5, 1916
Run for the smelling salts so that you won't faint. I hadn't heard about any of the Rogers family after they moved so I became curious to know how they were getting along. I am first writing to Grace and Mary at Petersburg and they don't mention your name - strange to say. Mother said that she heard that Jane was going to Hanover. I'm having a pretty good time but am also working. I am taking 15 hours and music. They know how to work you here all right but that's what I came for. I didn't get homesick at all -- am rooming with a Soph. - so that may account for it.
This is the most beautiful site for a college -- is set on a hill. There are hills all around for that matter and just beautiful woods. We take walks every morning and see quite a bit of the country. Well, do you miss Dorothy and Celesta etc. or did you find some more Dorothy's? Actually, I wouldn't know how to act if I did have a date - some do manage to have some Sat. afternoon and night but I never happen to be so fortunate or unfortunate as to meet any of them. Besides they'd run if they got a look at me. This is a regular nunnery here but I'm getting used to it. I'm sprouting wings - we have chapel every morning, have to go to church every Sun. morning, if we want to there are class prayer- meetings Sun. P.M. and Bible classes to go to besides Y.W.C.A. prayer meeting Wed. night. Don't you think I'll turn out to be an angel?
Mon. A.M. - I have so much to do this morning that I don't know what to first. Each girl has an hour of "dom." to do about every day- I mean the Freshies and Sophs. Mine is to stay in the General office- ans telephone- run errands etc. Just general "Bell-boy," you understand. I am in here this hour and everybody is talking so I don't know what I have said. I haven't said anything anyway. Give my love to Jane and the rest of the "Rogers" family. Write and tell me what you are doing.
Marjorie Orton, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 26 Nov. 1916, folder 2, box 11, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Macey Franklin, HC 2021.
Cell No. 78
Sun. Nov. 26, 16
Here it is quarter after four and I have written only one letter. Sunday around here goes faster than any other day it seems. To-day was such a grand day that I had to get out and take a walk and that took up half of the afternoon.
Imagine my surprise when you said that you were going to Hanover! If it had been anyone but Carter Rogers, he couldn't have done it. (Quarter please). You're quite a "swell" now aren't you since you are pledged Beta. I hope you survive the initiation. I'm also glad that Jane is going to Hanover.
There is a girl from Vincennes whom I have know for quite a while but didn't think about asking if she knew the Rogers. I was down in her room this afternoon and found that your father had baptized her and that she went to the Indiana Church or the other one, I don't know which. I guess I'd better tell you her name. Its Martha Simpson. She said that she had been at Petersburg when we had that S.S.[Sunday School] or C. E. [Christian Education] Convention. I guess it was the latter. My memory is failing. I can't think of the names of some of the P. people half the time. Mary writes that the old burg is as dead as can be. Nothing new of course.
"The Western" is no more for Oxford College and Western are to be united into one college (to be located here) called the Western Oxford College. The real union won't take place for two years but they are under the same board of trustees. There was some hard feeling on the part of the Oxford girls at first because they will have to give up so much but they thought better of it after a while. Last night "Western" went down and serenaded Oxford. The faculty had heard that we were going to come so had prepared for us and invited us in for a cup of coffee. We surely had a warm welcome and are crazy about the Oxford girls. One of [strikeout: the] my class-mates at Logan. is at Oxford, so I've been up there several times. I feel like a regular little Country-jake, a mile out here in the country. It isn't really in the country but we never know any thing thats going on in the outside world unless we read the papers and we never have time to do that.
I am going down to Cinci Thanksgiving to hear Gadski in Tristan and Isolde. Over a hundred from Western are going and we are going down in a special train.
I am counting the weeks until I go home not many just now, 3 from Wed. I haven't been homesick but I've had just about enough school for the present. I am taking English Comp. and Public Speaking and they are the worry of my life, only I don't worry.
We have to write two themes a week and my writer is played out already.
Well, I must ring off and write steen hundred more letters. Write soon and tell me all that you're doing.
Marjorie Orton, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 18 Mar. 1917, folder 2, box 11, Roger Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Clare Justice, HC 2021.
[Note: This letter was written on stationery marked "Western College for Women, Oxford, Ohio."]
March 18, 1917
I was quite glad to hear from you. You certainly must be a busy man these days. I suppose by this time that you have fully recovered from the effects of being initiated. We don't have sororities here, so I don't know the feeling. I'm getting to be (I mean I am and always will be ) a regular country jake --- I won't know how to address a gentleman, I'm getting so shy. I have asked John and Denver to spend Sunday with us either April 1st, or 8th. I haven't heard from them yet but Grace wrote as if they were coming. I guess that they aren't very enthusiastic over such a prospect.
That's quite a good picture of yourself that you sent me. Its too bad that you couldn't have graduated with your class, but I supposed you didn't care. It would be fine if Byers could go to Hanover, but you know his grandmother. If he didn't go to college, it would be better to have any High-school diploma, but if he goes to College I don't see what difference it makes.
I hear that Sally is quite popular, especially with the gents. Tell Sally I wouldn't have thought it of her. Grace is again having visions of a wedding ring, and honey moon. I won't believe it until it really happens.
I surely would like to see old Petersburg again. I've planned so many times to go back and each time my plans fall thru' that I'm not going to make any more. The Kings are talking of going West in the Fall. For the sake of the girls I hope that they can go. Well since I have no exciting or interesting news to tell, I'll close this fond epistle. The most thing I did to day was to go to church in the morning and class prayer meeting this evening and read "[Hearsts?]" in between times. I also read Van Dyke on rare occasions.
When are you and Byers going to row up the Wabash to Logan?
Agnes Westfall, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 20 June 1917, Folder 5, box 9, Rogers Family Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Grace Harrison, HC 2021.
June 20, 1917
I have been so busy lately that I haven't written to anyone. You know I haven't even acknowledged your "Triangles." In spite of that, I enjoyed them very much.
I wish I could have heard your oration. I know it was just great.
You do certainly have an opportunity worth while. When do you go? I wish you would tell me more about it, (your trip), after you have gone, will you?
Morris is now in the U.S. Naval Academy. You know when he got the appointment he took a five months preparatory course for the examination. After he passed the mental exam, he came home and was here for about four months. He just went back to Annapolis the fifth of this month; passed the physical exam; was "sworn in" at the Academy and is now preparing to help Uncle Sam. I feel very proud of him. (I don't mean to be boastful.) It may not be so great after all if he is needed in the war. Of course even there he'll have an honorable place. Fancy, Morris as a naval officer! I can't imagine him in that position.
Isn't the war terrible! When I stop and think about it I don't know what to do. The only thing I can do is to pray. That's noble even if it doesn't seem great. We women may have a chance to show our ability if the war continues. (I still have ideas of suffrage!)
Did you know? Miss Cora is engaged to a wealthy rancher from South Dakota. She has a beautiful ring. You know, she still talks a great deal, so she has told us all about him. His name is Peter Lenard [Monseru?], I don't know how to spell his last name but we girls laughed when she told us because it sounded so much like mushroom. It is a common thing to hear her speak of "Pete". He is coming in July, then Miss Cora is going away with him.
What is going on in Hanover? Things here stay just the same of course. I went to a patriotic party at Bonnie's last Friday night. Had a fairly good time. Had more fun coming home. Ruby and I went together. Well, unfortunately or fortunately however it was two fellows wanted to take us home. We insisted that we couldn't go because we had to take Old Dobin and the Sha [shay?] home. They said they were sure they could lead our horse. We had never tried anything like that and were rather doubtful but at last we decided to try it. My friend and I were in front, then our bugy and following Ruby and Ray. All, went well until we got about half way home and some way, heavens knows how, the line by which we were leading our horse broke. That tried we went ahead and had a tremendous time getting through our gate. Finally we reached our old post, very happy indeed. Next morning Ruby and I were about half scared stiff that father would say, "How did you break the line?" Nobody noticed it all day. About three o'clock I sliped out and patched it up. It has never been noticed and no one ever imagines that we had such a dreadful time. We learned that such performances won't work. Wasn't that thrilling!
Really, I must close for this time. I'm sorry. I waited so long to answer that, as before, I was almost ashamed to write.
When you write again tell me about your girl friends. Have you had any further associations with Miss Carson? Miss Doup? Such details make your letter more realistic.
Very sincerely yours,
Marjorie Orton, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 24 July 1917, Folder 2, box 11, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Katherine Heiss, HC 2021.
2105 North St.
July 24, 1917
Dear Carter :
I surely am sorry that you couldn't come but see that it was impossible. Let us know the next time you hit this old town. I appreciate the fact that you wrote three letters while at the Lake. Just think, what a waste of stationery!
I am again contemplating a visit to Petersburg. I've despaired of ever going back but I'm talking about it again. Mary wanted me to come down the first of August but I can't go then. I have three music pupils with hopes of a few more. When I scrape up a few bucks, I'm going to leave my happy home. This town is deader than a door nail ̶ even deader than Petersburg, which is going some.
It is so hot here, now, that I'm going to disappear in a grease spot in a very short time. We've had very little hot weather until the last few days, and they have been scorchers.
We were so surprised to hear that Byers is in Oklahoma and that he is going to Hanover next year. That will certainly be fine for him. After we left, I wrote to Byers but have lost track of him now. This Miss Terhune you mentioned was visiting at Western Tree Day. I didn't meet her but saw her several times. She's rather literary looking and I guess was well liked there. They have somewhat young ladies for the Dean of women there, don't they? I am undecided about going back to school in the fall. I made teacher's license and if I can get a school, I'll stay at home. I hope I can teach, for its too much for the folks to send me this year. I'm melting, so must stop. Remember me to the rest of the family.
As ever your friend,
Dorothy Kitchen, Letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 11 Jan. 1918, folder 1, box 9, Rogers Family papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana.).
Transcription by Tim Brogan, HC 2021.
626 Pearl Street
Jan. 11, 1918.
I was so glad to hear from you and to know that you still remembered me.
I hardly saw Hazel while she was here Christmas vacation, so I missed a great deal of the Hanover news. However Martha tells me some of it and it was Betty Tech who told me about the watch party. She said it certainly was early -- in the morning -- when the party broke up. You must have had a fine time. I, also, had a good time New Years Eve. Mother, James, and I went to the late picture show which lasted until after the New Year had come in. Of course we had a wild time.
You are not alone in the misery of making low grades. I made a [illegible: 0?] in algebra last six weeks and a very weak E in History. I was disappointed but I don't worry so much as I used to.
During the holidays I led a most frivolous life and I even dared to keep it up during the first week of school. I am dreadfully ashamed to say that I went to the picture show every night for a week in war-times. But so long as someone asks you to go, you might as well go. Sergeant Duncan, a friend of mine and the local recruiting officer, took me part of time and the rest of the time I went with some of the girls.
Last Friday night the basket ball team here played the Franklin team. Everyone was excited for up to that time, neither of the teams had been defeated and Franklin had a very strong team. C.H.S. won, of course, though. We have some team. Tonight is to be the game at Seymor and quite a bunch is going down there. I would like to go but I won't get to this time.
Do you wear a uniform? If you do I would like to see you for I am sure you would look fine in one. I belong to an auxiliary to the Red Cross and we girls have military training every two weeks. I think it is very interesting and since Serg. Duncan drills us and he and I usually go to the show or some place else after drill, it makes it more interesting.
Last night the Sergeant brought me home from a meeting and stayed till almost eleven o'clock. That left very little time for me to get my lessons and this morning I had to rake up an excuse for not having my Latin lesson.
I think I'll have to tell him about it. Sunday afternoon we are going to Mildred Davisons to spend the afternoon and hope to have a good time
Please tell Hazel that I will write to her soon.
I have such a nice new girl friend -- that is, I've seen her since school began. She is a dandy girl from Pennsylvania and we are certainly close friends.
Later -- I am in the post office now trying to finish this letter, I wrote the rest in school. Virginia, my friend, is with me.
How are you and Miss O'Brien? I suppose you are just as good friends as ever.
Well, I must go down town and get home before dark. You know I'm afraid of the dark.
Irene Rogers, letter to Alma Rogers, 7 Aug. 1918, Folder 1, Box 6, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Eric Woodruff, HC 2020.
Note: This letter was written on University of Michigan memo paper. At the bottom of each sheet is "As a war measure of economy, this inexpensive standard letter head is provided and its use suggested for all intra-university correspondence."
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Aug. 7, 1918
My dear Mother: If you forgive my "business" paper, I'll try to write a bit to you all; you know I take turns in my letter-writing and it is your turn now. With Speed and Brother and friends and you folks to write to, I do not find the time to write as often as I would like or as often as I think of you. I try to get a letter to Speed every [strikeout: week] day but once in awhile skip a day; he is in Camp with nothing to do and the time passes slowly for him. And I try to write to Harris often because he is in the trenches now and letters mean so much to him. So you see if you do not get very many letters, you will know where my efforts are being used.
I keep thinking of your home and the splendid spirit that I found there and I get lonesome, sometimes, for you all; each of you fills a particular place in my heart, I am loving you all for different things but I am loving you all. Mother and I, alone do not furnish the comradeship there was amongst so many and I am remembering my few days there with you in a very happy way; they seem to be an incentive and an inspiration for me to be 'up-and-doing'. You maybe noticed that I was not very demonstrative and I have tho't since I left you that such a reserve on my part might be taken by you as disappointment? I feel sure you understand that reserve and know that there is a great big love in my heart for each one of you and as a family I am certainly proud to be made to feel so much one of you and it is my desire to be worthy of the place you have given me in your hearts and family.
Our weather-man is favoring us with some fine warm weather; today is quite bearable because of the wind but the last two nights have been "unsleepable". The breeze today is very welcome; as I sit here on the fourth floor of the museum there is such a strong breeze, I have to keep a weight on every paper in the room -- if it gets much stronger I'll have to weight myself down.
The elevation of Hanover and your splendid location seem quite enviable, now. Don't work too hard but just enjoy your summer comforts.
We had five letters from my Brother one day; I went home at noon to find Mother and Florence (Harris' best-girl) in tears over these letters; he has done two tricks in the trenches of two weeks each, with a two weeks interval and has of course endured the hardships of the infantry soldier -- on whom falls all the hardships. He writes of his troubles in a very humourous way but is so tired of war & longs for home so much, that the funniness doesn't cover it all up. The last dug-out they were in accommodated five hundred; when they wanted to go from one place to another, they jumped on a rat and rode -- there were about 40 waiting beside their "beds" for use. I try to keep Mother cheered up -- I tell her it is a good thing the Lord gave me a heart of rock because he gave her one of ice cream and she needs me to offset her. There does seem to be lots of wisdom in the way folks are put together.
I suppose you have received the picture by this time; I never was so disappointed in a picture. I have mine sitting on the piano and every time I go to the piano I look at it and say -- "My Speed -- you don't look like that"! I'm going to remove it -- I prefer the picture I have of him in my mind & heart to that one. I am very sorry about it.
I enjoyed your good letter and Sallie's, which came along later and I am hoping for more of theirs; I can realize you are busy tho' & if it is between writing to me and Speed -- why -- write to him.
Give my love to Aunt Spencer and Aunt Curraleen and Frances and Jane and Sallie and Father and here's a lot for your self.
From your new-daughter,
Byers Burlingame, letter to Alma Rogers, 10 Aug. 1918, folder 7, box 5, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Morgan Livinghouse, HC 2018, and Caroline Brunner, HC 2018.
Note: This letter was written on YMCA stationery. At the top of each sheet is an American flag, the YMCA symbol, and "Army and Navy Young Men's Christian Association, 'With the Colors.'" At the bottom of each sheet is "To the writer: Save by writing on both sides of this paper. To the folks at home: Save food, buy Liberty Bonds and War Savings Stamps."
Camp Paul Jones
Aug. 10, 1918
Dear Mother Rogers,
I received your letter about a week ago and was certainly glad to hear from you. I saw Carter the Sunday afternoon after he came and we had a nice chat for about an hour or two. I haven't seen him since then as each of us I think have liberty only once a week and we never happen to see each other.
Wens, afternoon I had some visitors from home, Lula Catt, Edna Bell and Mrs. Willhiatt are on a two weeks trip so they stoped off to see me.
I have been here nine weeks tonight but it don't seem near that long to me. Almost every day since detention has been a busy one and have failed to do a great deal of writing but from now on will do better for you. You must know it is rather hard since detention to find time to write or if we do have time it sometimes happens am to tired to do so.
After spending my 3 weeks detention in Decatur I moved to Dewey for another week. These two have been sure good camps but since then the others I have been in are entirely different. From Dewey I went to New Aviation 1 wk then to Out Going Detention for 10 days and now nearly three wks in Camp Paul Jones. During this time we have worked seven days a week and instead of 12 hrs liberty a week and getting 12 noon sat. they made us work sat. afternoon's till 4:00 and then we could clean up and go on liberty. We all sure thot it was the limit the first wk, but each week we became more used to it and although our company should have gone to school some time ago we haven't given up but are sticking. The only reason we have been put here is to help make the new camps and a big athletic field and coming out of detention at the right time they took us. Others have gone to school ahead of us because after getting used to the labor they kept us rather than let us go to school and break in another bunch. I have quit working in the field (on the firing line we call it) the last week as have been appointed a regimental guard and guard nights.
There are now 11 camps on the station holding 68,000 men and work will be started at once on 4 more. Their aim is to have this a training camp of 100, 000 in a short time. I like the place fine and I surely will get to school in the next week as their are only 160 radio men outside of the school left. One way this camp is different from army is because [by?] volunteer men are always coming and going while in the army camp for the most part one bunch is in training together. They have been receiving recruits on this station nearly all summer at the rate of 2,000 a day which means they send out nearly as large a bunch each day. Although it is so large and handles the men so rapidly it is the most sanitary camp in the U.S. but everything that is done here is with the one purpose of making it the largest and best station army or navy.
We jacks are now posing before the movie camera each morning until all the flags of the allied nations have been formed. It certainly will be some wonderful pictures and I will be anxious to see them but they are to be shown in England and France before being shown in the U.S. The other morning, 40,000 posed for "America's Answer" 8,000 in white forming the letters and 32,000 in blue making the field. In the morning another is to be formed (I don't know which yet) and our bunch will be in whites but there won't be nearly so many as in the one big one.
Every Wens. [Wednesday] afternoon is review day and 21 Battalions pass in review. After review they have drill exercise under arms and also sing for visitors in battalion square formation. We have 16 complete bands of about 70 pieces each besides one complete band battalion of over 300 pieces. They all are usually playing from early until late so we have plenty of good music. Another feature for the visitors is to watch the hydroplanes in practice flight. The people here surely deserve credit for they [do] everything in the world for us and never tire in it. On Wens. [Wednesday] reviews from 20,000 on up to 50,000 people attend and instead of decreasing the crowds increase so you can well imagine the intrest of the people.
The YMCA has some really fine buildings here and is establishing more and it is easily taking care of the men and doing fine work. Especially so in the detention camps where the fellows must get used to camp life. They have entertainments every night and usually it is the cleanest and best. Even people in nearbye towns try to come to some because great actors come here for practically nothing to entertain us which civilians would pay pay $5 dollars and up for same things.
If I ever get through school will get a 10 day leave and if I do I want to get back to Hanover and see you all. I would like to be back with you all again and go to school this winter but as that cannot be I will live in hopes I can in a very few winters. I like it very well the life, but am anxious to get to radio school so can leave for sea, and do something active in the war for up here so far and in some forms of work we feel like it isn't helping very much to end the war. Everything is so different in our new life that I feel even now that it will have a tendency to change us all.
I feel like I have strung out quite a lot in this letter so had better stop. Give my love to all, Jane, Sallie, Francis (likely she doesn't remember me) Mr. Rogers and yourself.
Will be more than glad to hear from any of you quite often.
Byers A Burlingame
USN RF LER
Co 27 7 Batt 12 Reg
Camp Paul Jones
Great Lakes, Ill
Speed Rogers, letter to "Family," 12 August 1918, folder 8, box 6, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Katie Koopman, HC 2019.
Note: This letter was written on YMCA stationery. At the top of each sheet is an American flag, the YMCA symbol, and "Army and Navy Young Men's Christian Association, 'With the Colors.'" At the bottom of each sheet is "To the writer: Save by writing on both sides of this paper. To the folks at home: Save food, buy Liberty Bonds and War Savings Stamps."
Camp Upton, NY
In the Barracks
August 12, 1918
Dearest Family, --
Chances to write are, I find, rather few & far between. Now I am located for a day or so or perhaps a week -- I know nothing of how long -- and am well rested from the trip.
We left the MC Friday at about 1: PM -- Hope you got the card I sent from there Friday. Looked an acquaintance in another unit to mail it for me. We had Pullman coaches & our meals were cooked by our own cooks in a freight car that was part of our train. Our meals were exceptionally good & carried to us on picnic paper plates. Their too numerous canteens conducted by the women of the Red Cross -- gave us refreshments along the way.
We spent from Friday until about Sunday noon on the train -- when we got to Jersey City. There we took a ferry across N.Y. harbor, past the Statue of Liberty & the Sky Line -- to Long Island and from there we came about fifty miles east into Long Island by rail so that now we are almost at the opposite end of the Island from N.Y. City.
Our trip was fairly cool & pleasant all the way and here it has been very agreeable. Had a whole seat & berth all the way & no duties -- so I enjoyed the country & rested. Part of the time especially [north?] of Richmond we traveled thru the rain but one could easily see that ther had been a bad drouth.
It is now morning after breakfast and again I have a few minutes. We complete our gas drill today by going into the gas chamber. There we are warned gas & 6 seconds later gas is turned on, full force. I can get my mask on in a little less than 6 seconds & can hold my breath 90 seconds if necessary. After that we get some more clothes.
Today has dawned with the sum coming up into a clear sky. Haven't seen the sun since Friday so it is quite a welcomed sight.
This camp is a huge affair. It used to be a national army camp but now it seems to be a sort of assemblying place for various units from which they go to the port of Embarkation. It holds 100,000 men and its extent is tremendous. Some of the men walked five miles last night & said at five miles away it looked just as it does on the next street -- no end to it.
Did I write to you about the Captain who I am to be under in the lab? He is one of the finest kind of men, and when I took him a couple of books to take across for me in the official luggage. He opened one & saw James Speed Rogers written on the fly leaf. He asked where I was from and I told him and he asked if I had ever lived in Ky. I told him my mother was a Kentuckian and he told me his mother was a Miss Speed from Louisville -- so is the Captain whose name is Bullitt -- don't know how he spells it. He says we are counsins of some sort. but I guess it would take Aunt Spencer to work it out.
[Torn: It?] is almost time for formation now & ever so [far?] to the Post Office so don't mind if I have to stop now.
Don't worry about me a bit. I am well & happy & loving you all & very much interested and concerned in all that goes on at Bird Haven & with my Dear Ones. Your faith in Gods protection and belief in this cause helps me very much more than you could know. Keep well & happy & don't work too hard and I will be happy all the while I am away.
Don't know when I will get any more letters but the last one from you & from Irene brot good news. Write to her please Mother & help her. Your faith does help her and your love -- the love of all of you.
Your devoted son & brother,
Transcription by Mikayla Rehor, HC 2021.
Aug. 20, 1918
Times for writing are becoming fewer all the time. This week we have a new schedule and from 6:00 AM to 5:20 PM we have no time to call our own. Drill, classes and other duties keep us on the jump.
There is little or no news. Each day has but little to separate it from the others, except the letters that come. I do not mean it is hard or bad or even so very monotonous. Sometimes we do cuss the drill that we do over & over again & it does [backes?] one to make the men do over & over again formations in the sand that is everywhere here. But the exercise & the regular hours & weeks keep me feeling fit and time does not drag so very badly.
One evening since I have been here, I took some of the fellows over to the beach & we had a good swim. It was quite a novelty for me and a very pleasant time.
There are a number of pleasant places around here - the camp I mean -- where one can spend a few minutes now and then. This Hostess House on whose stationary, I am writing is one - and I am now writing in a little alcove in the camp Library where all sorts of books may be found. Have even found some really good & unusual geological things.
My hay fever is touching me just a bit, but it is quite cool here & close to the ocean & I do not fear much of an attack. It seems to be getting better these last few summers anyhow.
I am anxiously waiting your letter about all the new improvements about Bird Haven, and about you all. Dont want to worry you all too much about writing, but news does sound good to me.
No news at all as to how long we shall be here, we have had one or two false alarms about going but nothing has come from them. We are all ready but that doesn't mean to very much. Hope we can get on & get settled before cold weather. Cold weather - the last few nights here have had most of the boys shivering but so far I have enjoyed them splendidly.
Will have to stop now but hope to write again in a day or so. Give my love to Julia, Mortyn, & Bro Henry -- and you all know how much love my heart holds for all of you. Tell Sallie & Jane not to stop writing because I do not write to them individually. I am thinking of you all & loving you all in these letters & all of the time.
Your devoted son & brother,
Transcription by Nick Vaughn, HC 2020.
Ann Arbor, Mich.,
August 25, 1918.
My dear Mother:
This is a beautiful Sunday morning and if I could go to church without crying all over everything, I would surely go. I have thought of you all in your preparations for the morning. We are very depressed and anxious over Brother; an official telegram came yesterday, telling of his being wounded severely. That happened August 3 and [strikeout: we're] we are only now being notified -- it is hard to explain the delay. At times we think he is in the Base Hospital and out of danger and then again we fear he is not getting along well or they would not notify us now. Several others were hurt -- one Lt. lost his foot, another Corporal his hand -- but we do not know the nature of Harris' wound. We are still hopeful and trusting, and Mother is particularly brave.
I received two letters from Speed yesterday -- none, the day before, so that accounts for the two -- He is very restless because of the delay and absence from work but he realizes how much worse off he could be and doesn't complain.
Your letter for me came last week with the card enclosed. You see every soldier is compelled to make an allotment to some of his people; if he doesn't do it the government takes some of his pay and keeps it until the war is over. The privates who get $30 a month, allot $15 to their wives or mothers or others; if to a wife, the government puts an additional $15 with it and sends it all to the wife. As a soldier's pay increases he can make larger allotments. This card that came to me merely explains the delay in the payment of this money; the draft should come along soon & it will also be send to Hanover. Speed gave my address as Hanover, as my own address at the time was not steady. I will write to the Treas. Dept. to have the address changed as you do not want the bother of fowarded that letter to me every month. Speed and I are planning on saving this money. i.e. I will save and it will be a start toward our home, when he comes back. I can live very nicely on what I receive fro the University and all of this gov't money can be kept. Speed has probably told you who will get some of it. We think some of it goes to you.
Aug. 22 -- my fourth anniversary of Apr. 22 -- I received a lovely gift from Aunt Bessie -- Aunt Beet I believe you all call her -- and her daughter, Sara Goodloe. She said she wanted to give me something I wouldn't get for myself and she certainly did -- a flower basket of silver is about the last thing I would get for myself but it is so acceptable as a gift. I love to look at it and think of the message which preceded it -- "that as I filled it with flowers to remember it was already filled to overflowing with love. You have all been so kind to me, I would have to love you, even if I hadn't before I knew you.
One year ago next week I began my school in Owasso; it is good not to think of leaving my happy home again this year especially when conditions are so uncertain with our loved ones. I like my new work so well & it keeps me in touch with Speed & his work -- it seems the working out of Divine Will that I can be hired. And soon things will be better for the war cannot last many years longer and then our boys will be back.
Did I understand you to say that Carter was to go? He sent a card to me to tell me he would write later so maybe I will hear directly from him. His summer training is almost over, now and you can have him with you for a while anyway. You will enjoy having just your own family once again.
= It is 8:30 Sunday evening now and I have only a few minutes before the mail goes out. We have had company all day but I have been very lonesome -- the more company the "lonesome-er" I am because when so many are talking I can't keep with those I want to be with.
No further word has been received from Brother but when we do hear from him I will write to you. It is a great comfort for me to think of you and your faith and you all are a help in this time of anxiety even tho you, perhaps, do not realize it. We do not need to worry about Speed just yet and I do hope he can be spared the suffering that some experience. He is a very brave, noble man and will do his best, I am sure; it is hard to think of your loved ones suffering -- that's why we at home must keep brave and well in order not to add to the worries of the boys --
Goodnight to all with all love from
Aug 27 -- 1918
Dear Alma, All those letters came today. Mr Lawson will bring you from Lexington for $2.00
Rained again today [Heavy?]
Transcription by Antoine Baldon, 2018.
Dearest Mother, Father and Kids
It is really a shame that I have not written before this but writing has had for some time some almost unsurmountable obsticles. I have written to the Lady and you will hear from her if that letter reaches the States before this one.
We are now located and are in luck. I cannot now tell you where of course -- but it may be that later I can write you the location. However it is a pleasant country side about here and the hospital & our quarters are in new buildings that Uncle Sam is just getting finished. At present it is somewhat rainy season but we have had some five days, and soon [illegible] the Indian Summer will be here with quite a chance for us [illegible] acclimated and used to the absence of heated buildings.
Getting a bath has been a problem but one can have a long [illegible] of water for a sponge bath & now we all look fairly presentable. On the boat -- when we were for some [several words marked out] [illegible] bathing facilities & we were not permitted to even remove our shoes. However that is all over & coming back we will have more freedom.
I met another Hanover, Beta coming over on the ship, Doering now an M.D. and a first Lieutenant in the Medical Corps. [torn] a junior in my freshman year. You may remember that he was out at Beechwood for dinner one day with Drows.
We are within about six miles of a large town or small city, [and?] I am told we can get any personal things we may need -- once we get [torn] I wrote to the Lady about some knitting for me -- and you might fix me socks you have time for. I can certainly use them. More about this later.
My address is:
J. Speed Rogers,
Sgt. First Class,
Base Hospital 65,
Base Section #5
American Ex Forces, France
More in a day or so -- am well and happy -- and sending a heart full of love to you all.
Your devoted boy and brother,
[inside a box drawn on the letter:]
Capt. H. O. Linehergen
Base Hospital 65
Transcription by Logan Kunselman, HC 2019.
September 24, 1918
Dearest Mother and Father,
These little letters are far from what I want to write to you but just now paper is scarce, leisure is not plentiful and as for a place to write -- just now I am reclining on my bed as you may guess from the scrawl. This is a stunt I learned from the Lady.
I believe I wrote you that we are most pleasantly and presumably permanently located. I cannot tell you where, as yet, nor am I allowed to describe the beautiful scenery all about us, even if I could. We are near a chateau and there are a number of villas in the neighborhood. These have some very pleasant gardens we may see from over the walls & the whole country side is a really wonderful landscape.
We are fast getting comfortable and at home here. The buildings are not all finished but promise to be by cold weather. Our meals are very good indeed and our appetites splendid. For instance yesterday for dinner (at noon) we had steak, gravy, whole browned potatoes, bread & coffee. Several mornings we have had hot biscuits, scrap [scrapple?], bacon & coffee & I haven't missed a meal since we came here -- even tho breakfast is before sunup. When I get back & we come to visit you, you wont know your son because now he is as sleepy as a chicken at nine & wake's automatically at about five. Still I long often enough for another morning and a lot of them at home and the priviledge of rising to have breakfast at ten or eleven.
At any rate I am fast regaining the flesh I lost coming over and am happy and well. Since we have been here, I have done [strikeout: but] no work in the lab -- but then it isn't yet. Before more than a few days tho, I will be hard at it. I mustn't forgot to tell you about our quarters -- they are in new buildings, well ventilated and I have an iron bed, matress, two blankets, and pillow that in default of a better use -- I put at the foot of my bed to put my feet under. One blanket I have is really a luxurious one -- as [warm as?] the old blue blankets on the bed in my room at home.
You will understand from a lot that I do not write that the [illegible] rules prevent. It won't be any the worse for the telling -- so just [illegible] I am longing for news from you all -- but I know it is too soon to hope for that, and I know too that some where I have heaps of letters on the way.
We are not allowed to receive packages from home save by special permission. So don't kill your rest times knitting. Really, they say we can get things here as cheap as you can get the yarn at home -- still it would be nice -- mighty nice -- to have some you have knit -- and maybe I can find a way. When you receive this letter, send me the girls & your glove measures. I saw some really beautiful gloves in a shop window in the city -- and they were quite modestly priced.
As soon as we can get some thing, besides sponge baths -- we will be in clover and when it comes to that we are better off here than about 95 % of the boys over here.
I will try to keep letters going -- so that you or Irene one will alway have a letter on each mail ship.
Give my love to the kids -- and keep a lot for yourselves, and I know you are always sure that I am ever
Your devoted boy,
J. Speed Rogers -- Sgt first Class,
Base Hospital 65,
Base Section #5
Am. Ex. Forces France.
[Inside a box marked in the corner:]
Capt. H.O. Linehergen
[remaining text not transcribed]
Transcription by Ian English, HC 2019.
Company Office Sat PM 1918
Am fairly well settled now except for quarters, we are being moved around a little but hope to be settled soon. Am now in the office or a little corner set aside in the barracks for the use of the officers. Am not very busy now as quite a few of our men have the "Flu". Fifteen are in the hospital and several in bed here in the barracks. About fifty are on detail of various sorts and the rest for the most part are not in the best of shape so we are not drilling them now. I have drafted men under me and most of them are much older than I and half probably married. It seems strange for me to be ordering men around who are from twenty five to thirty and having them pay me all kinds of respect. And when this morning I went thru the quarters with the other two officers (2nd Lts) I couldn't get very fierce especially when so many of the fellows were sick. It hasn't been long enough since I was in their place. I never smiled nor even looked friendly but I couldn't "cuss 'em out". It will come I reckon though with a little experience.
All the officers mess to-gether at a little cottage called the officers Club but the mess is all there is to it. We get good grub and all the sugar we can eat. I ate bread and sugar last night for the first time since the war.
I might as well tell you that they have the "Flu" here pretty badly amonng the men though I [strike out: only] know of only one officer who has it. You need have no fear for me though for it is so warm here we have everything open, clean quarters and sulphor water to drink, and use. It is so warm here I go around in my shirt sleeves even at night. The trees and cotton fields are green and birds sing so sweetly out on the campus. It rained quite hard yesterday but today has been beautiful.
I went over to Bryan or Brien last night for an hour or so. It is the nearest town boasts 4,500 and they call it a city here. Most everything in Texas is closed to soldiers but we found the drug store open though they couldn't sell us sodas or anything of the kind. In fact had I not been an officer I could not have gotten out of camp but quarrentine of soldiers doesn't effect officers, except as pertains to attendance upon public gathering. The City of Bryan is about five miles distant and one reaches it by a trolley in about fifteen minutes for so many cents. It has several drug stores three or four picture shows one or two hotel and the other stores that go to make up such a town. I couldn't see much of the town last night.
Well I must not tell to much about the place or I won't have anything to tell next time.
We took the prescribed picture at Julia's. She surely did things up in style for me. Cousin Nell and Catherine were there to dinner which was a swell one. Martyn drove us all over the city and though only there for a few hours I saw the whole works. Gee but [strikeout: It] it was great though the parting was most unpleasant. Will send the pictures when I get the prints. Will have a good picture taken when I can find time.
Nothing was said to me about being late. I just explained and no questions were asked. Officer's words good you see.
Must close now.
Transcription by Will Werner-Wilson, HC 2019.
Oct. 19, 1918.
Dear Mother Rogers,
I have recoverd from the Flu and am now home trying to rest up and gain back all I lost. I was in the hospital three weeks and I have lost about 25 lbs although I still weigh about 15 lbs more than when I left last year. Of course I don't look like it because my face is so hollow and I have lost my tan and I guess I can't get that back till next summer. I think the second week was my worst as was out of my head most of the time and the second wire they sent grandmother said no expected to live, but I wasn't ready to die so it seems. I said I kind of hated to come home a sketeton but at the rate [strikeout: I] I eat if I came when well would have to have an extra cook.
I had wanted to come back to Hanover a few days about the 24th but I have only 12 days so am going to stay home and rest up and try and gain back a little weigh and then if I get extension will try and come down a day or so if you can have me.
Grandmother this evening said she didn't think I had been writing you or if had you hadn't received them but I have written you about 4 or 5 times Carter a long letter a month ago and Sallie a letter and a card while in hospital. Grandmother hadn't received pictures I have sent 3 different times so some of my letter to you may have been lost.
This is my fourth day out of hospital and am feeling fine so am sure will get along alright. Give my love to all.
Transcription by Emma Boomershine, HC 2020, and Baylee Roach, HC 2018.
On the Post
You write to be about not writing and I haven't missed a week while! You did miss one week writing to me. You never have told me whether or not you received the seventy five dollars for the bank. I know it's a trivial sum but one must watch the little things to get along in this world.
Quite a sad thing happened here on Thanksgiving day. Lieut. Rollwage (the fellow whom you all took to be me in the company picture) died. He had not been the least bit sick but simply went over to the hospital to have his tonsils removed. The second injection of cocaine affected his heart before the operation was ever begun and he died in spite of the attention of three or four doctors. Quite sad in that it was so sudden, so uncalled for. I saw the major shortly after Rollwage died and he said when he went over to look at the body, he thought it was I. Such things make one a little more thoughtful.
We had a military funeral Fri. afternoon which was very impressive. I shall never forget the occasion [sic], the march down to the station where the body was to be shipped. Down the military road (see picture)(The two out side lines) stood the soldiers of the post, in two batallion[sic]-front formations facing each other, at present arms, the salute for such an occassion. In front walked the band playing a military funeral march. (I made a mistake on the picture and got the dot in front of the band) after the band came the chaplin on foot followy [sic] by an army truck with the body (four soldiers standing in the truck to steady the coffin) Next the officers of the post followed in a column of two in order of rank. We marched from the building "A" to the Depot.
We were told the other day that we would begin mustering us officers out on the tenth of Dec. However I don't hope to get out before Jan. or Feb. for I have applied for the officers reserve and they will be kept in the army some longer than the ones who asked for immediate discharge. I wanted to stay in the army long enough to pay off my debt is the main reason why I asked for a place in the reserve. Of course asking for it doesnt mean I'll get it. If I don't I want to get a job some place until next fall for it wont pay me to start in school this year and I want to get that debt off my mind.
I spent a very quiet Thanksgiving here on the post. I didn't accept any of my three invitations to Colvert for various reasons. We had quite a good turkey dinner at the officers mess. To-day Lieut B.C Rogers and I ate dinner with Mr. & Mrs. Firtle (with whom we are rooming) we had a regular Thanksgiving dinner, turkey 'n everything.
Wednesday I received the candy. Thanks so much, it was fine. Also on that mail I got a box of candy from Dorothy and yesterday some from my girl friend at Calvert. All my good luck comes at once.
To-day is perfectly beautiful, warm and sunshining brightly. The last few days have been so cold. A few nights ago we had such a heavy frost it killed the sweet potato vines though the irish potatoes are still green. Will enclose a few pictures I printed. Fri. night I got my printing outfit fixed up as good as new.
From now on will be very busy helping demobilize the men here. Our orders are to have it done by the 20th Dec. It's quite a job and will keep us all pretty busy .
My board is real good for an army boarding place. You see I board at the officers mess, run by a sergeant and room about a square away at Mr. Firths; a might nice place. It won't be necessary to send the down comfort as it doesn't get so very cold here. Julia did not send me a sweater but I hardly think I'll need any more for one of my girl friends is knitting one for me.
P.S. Why not send some of Speeds letters or does he still write by hand?
Transcription by David Jung, HC 2020.
In my room
Dearest Mother and All,
For the first time in all my short life I sit me down to write a Christmas letter home. How often of late I have pictured you all back home sitting around the table Christmas day or untieing your presents at the little table in the front room. And again I see you sitting around the open fire telling tales and cracking nuts thinking sometimes of Speed over in France somewhere, and sometimes you think of me, somewhere in Texas. Speed away serving his country and I - - - - willing, but never had the chance. And as you think of me, I'll think of you and wish that I might be one of that circle. But don't think of me as lost in Texas with no friends in a thousand miles for though I will have more of my kin to feast with and enjoy yet I have some very good friends here. I am going up to Calvert for Christmas as we won't get our discharges in time for me to get to Oklahoma City. I may be here until the first of Jan. or I may get out Tuesday. Nobody knows all the enlisted men (privates and non coms) have been discharged and we have nothing to do but wait. We report to headquarters here twice daily so that they will know where we are, at all times but aside from that there is nothing to do.
This morning I went to church and this afternoon I reserved for writing letters. Tonight I am going to church with Nettie Edge in Bryan. She is a real sweet girl, one of the few Southern girls who won't kiss you good-night! However, she only likes me because of my uniform as all the other girls do besides "Tiny". That is, in the South.
Mother, did Prof. Lawrence die? In one of your letters you said he was very sick and someone else told me that Jim had taken all his classes out at college but that's all I have ever been told. The trouble with my ever hearing any news of Hanover is that every one thinks some one else's has told me everything and I have to depend on passing remarks and my ability to draw conclusions for most of my news.
I keep changing my plans as I am more or less have had a wonderful time, I long to get back again where my influences are Christian. Like the children of Israel were sent to Babylon to be cured of idolatry so I in a strange land have been cured of the only thing I have ever done that is generally considered not to be right -- dancing. I still have been dancing at the home of one of my girl friends but have decided that I shall go to no more dances. I don't yet think that I was ever hurt by dancing, but the costumes or lack of costumes of the girls, the way they let the boys hold them, the late hours they keep as well as the conversations of the fellows after the dance, have caused me to come to this conclussion. I can honestly say that these things have not hurt me but if my sanction of dancing by my attendance on these dances will cause my brother to offend, "I will eat no flesh while the world standeth lest I make my brother to offend." As for drinking and gambling, drinking is no temptation for Texas is truely dry but there are very few officers on the post who do not gamble. The fellows I associate with gamble, at the mess they gamble, in their rooms the gamble, at times they sit until reveille in the morning, gambling. However, it has never been much of a temptation to me and I have never once tried my hand at it. I have seen Babylon and have longed to get farther away, back to Jerusalem.
Hoping this will reach you by Christmas and that you will all have a very bright and happy yule-tide, --
Your loving son and brother,
P.S. Oh yes, I nearly forgot to tell you that I have a little present for the family but as it is rather bulky, I couldn't send it by mail and it might get lost by express or at best be a month late so I should bring it as a part of my baggage when I come home. For Jane's benefit, I'll say that it is something to go in the parlor, no more can I tell untill I come home.
Dorothy M. Kitchen, letter to Henry Carter Rogers, 13 May 1919, folder 1, box 9, Rogers Family Papers, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Andrea Lopez Jara.
626 Pearl St.,
Columbus, Ind. May 13 1919
Am writing you a little letter to say that I hope to "honor" Hanover with that visit before many moons. I'm not positively sure that I can come for a Senior is pretty busy these last days and my week-ends seem pretty full. However, I am hoping to squeeze one in somewhere.
Of course, I will be glad to be with you while I am there and will let you know further about my plans whenever I know them myself.
Thank you for the picture. It adds much to my collection and you know I have always wanted one of you.
With all my heart I hope that I shan't be quite such a green little thing this time as I was when I last visited your city. We must talk it over when I see you. Also you must tell me of your army life and I shall tell you of my frivoloties (or otherwise) this winter.
Farewell for the present and I may see you soon.
Dorothy M. Kitchen.