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LETTERS TO ANDREW MERL COWAN from RELATIVES
(below pic / info from Wabash College yearbook)
New Richmond, Ind. May 23, 1918 -- New Richmond, Ind (from your mother - note from kbz, typist - also she smelled much in an old-fashioned way as my great grandmother did (sayed for said as an example) so the letters are typed as written - this is Margaret Elanora Messmore (see picture below) daughter of Andrew Dunlap and Abigail Hunt Messmore - she was born 3 Sept 1864 in Richland Twp, Fountain County, Indiana died in Union Township, Montgomery County, Indiana 19 Feb 1935).
Dear Merle, I am going to write you a few lines before I go to bed. Hubert will go to school tomorrow and I can send it. I was dissiappointed (sic) to day but I expect you are kept busy and then you have others to write to. I will comence (sic) with Sat after you left Marion and I went to town stopped at cemetry (sic) and fixed to set flowers out and then as we come home we set them out. I think we have got a lot nicer bed of flowers than last year. Then Sunday Scotts and us went to Sunday school in the two little buggies. After dinner we went to see Nora and Charlie. Nora is not very well. Mr. Cave appointed a committee to plan for children's day but we will not hardly have it just something a little extra and the service flag unferled I expect.
Washed Monday couldnt hardly make the engine go but we did not call on Scott. He has trouble enough of his own. Roy is not going to stay any longer than this week with him. They had a little trouble Sat evening. He quit so he could get to town before night. His tractor has been out of commission almost all week. The main man Mr. Davis was out today. He sayed it was the oil cup that was causing the trouble. He gave him a new cup. We have worked the garden over. Mowed the yard. Planted some more seeds. Made soap, and cleaned gooseberries to day. Right now I wish you was here to pick this sticker out of my hand. When will you want those things and what are they wont you get to go any where to services on Sunday. You know what Levert done last week. He fessed up. He did go to Indianapolis but they would not take him on account of wife and baby depending on him. Will close for to night. Hoping to get a letter tomorrow. Good night you mother, Margaret
P.S. The old Buss is still in town.
Friday morning -- (on back of last page) all are well. Hope you are enjoying life. Hubert will not go to school today will help Scotty out (?) MaMa
5-31-1918 - From Your MaMa
Dear Merle: I received your letter yesterday. I expect by this time you are having a pretty sore arm. I wouldn't think you would have to do things when your arm is sore that would worry you. I hope you get along all right. Well we are haveing some nice rains. Yesterday Hubert and I started for New Richmond to see the dentist but the rain drove us back. Our truck path was so cloddy we could not plant it but it all planted now. Only a few late potatoes. It worked awful nice this morning. We planted Sweet corn Popcorn Beans Brown Corn Sorgum and pumpkin seeds. (bottom of this page turned up the other way it says: in town. 12:15 May 31 will send those things the first of the week. All well. Hope you are the same. Your mother
We have 200 Sweet Potatoes and Beans and Corn and Peas in. This patch by the cattle barn I caned 7 qts and a pint of goose berries. I think I will pick strawberries down at Aunt Hannah Pattons you know they will be better than if I would get them any place else. Charley and Laurence were here just before dinner. He is going to put our tent up and live in it. He is getting along very well. Do you take any paper from Crawfordsville. Would you want me to send you one? I am thinking of fixing PaPa's robe for you. Those you buy are so heavy for summer we will go to town tomorrow and will send you some things soon. It seems so long from the time you write untill I get your letters. I did not get it untill yesterday Wed was written Sat just the same was glad to get your letter. We will likely go to Oak Hill and to town to hear Foley speak to night.
Hubert and I was at Wesley Sun; they had the unfurling of the service flag and there was but one star that was Will Freeman. Amos is still trying to get in to the service. We will probably unfurl our flag in the near future Little John McMurny (McMurry?) almost got killed the next day after you left. He fell down the hole where the men slide down the pole at the fire station. He broke his leg wrist collar bone and was injured other ways but is getting along nicely now. Scott is about to get his tractor ready to go to plowing corn. Will comence this evening I think. His corn is coming good. Virgil has to plant one field over. Blanche has been helping Scott she just came in and sayed tell you she had been runing the tractor she drove around the crib. She has been driveing the AUto.
I am going out and get rid of some of the weeds. They are pretty plentiful. Oh yes we have five little pigs over a week old. The folks that Uncle Davis and Uncle Bens went to Newtown. I would of liked to have gone but had no way only drive and the weather was to catchy for an open buggy. Scotts are going to Oakland this afternoon.
Mr. Andrew M. Cowan - Pilots 50 UMA Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio
From 407 W. Market St, Crawfordsville, Ind June 19 1918
Well Merle I guess you think we are good ones, but you know we are just so busy. You know it is to be either "work or fight" and Cheever is going to work. He goes out every day with Uncle Pete - sometime, he gets in before eight o'clock, but not often, Uncle Pete wanted him to work on the barn there are no floors, not any of the inside work done; but he has not but he has not got to it yet, has been hoeing, rolling and plowing corn, dont know when they will get the barn ready for harvest, they are working day and night on the silo and Sunday, too, it wont do to let it stand and dry too long. They are having some trouble with it have broken some pieces out of it butg think it will be all right when finished. Harvest is commencing; cutting clover and Rye, wheat will soon be ready, corn is growing nice although we are needing rain.
Well the Gentry show has come and gone, there was a good crowd in town dont know how many went to the show have not saw anyone that did, it was out by the Power House. Your Mother talked in the morning like they were coming in but I guess they didn't. They seem to be getting along very well. Of course she has lots of work to do it may be we all expect too much of Hubert, for all he is able to work, he is only a child, and they all like to play better than work. I hope he will prove out all right. I'm sure your Mother will do her part to get along.
Suppose Florence is married or at least they were expecting him to arrive last week or did you know. He did not get his furlough when they had planned for the big wedding that is one time when announcement cards would have been better than invitations so dont get a serious case in your hands or heart, while you are working for Uncle Sam for it might not be convenient.
We remember that tomorrow is your birthday and I expect it is the first one away from home we are sending a box of candy so that you may have a few "sweet" moments, dont think that Grace and we made them together for neither of us know the other was making until it was all done, but the more you get the longer it will last; have just talked to your mother all are well, putting up hay said to tell you she was expecting a letter had not heard from you since last week; she and Blanche are sending a box. Now dont get sick over your birthday. I dont know whether they have put in a box of pills or not - perhaps it would be well for you to get some.
Your Aunt Leina - hope to hear from you again.
Note: Hubert is Merle's brother who would have been 11 years old.
Note: Highly likely this is from his uncle, Peter Cowan's wife, Sarah Elizabeth Stout Cowan
One below is very assuredly from them but doesn't look like same writing - hmmmm
Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, Pilots 50 SMA Ohio State University Columbus Ohio From New Richmond, IN 6-20-1918 from Your Mother
I shure wish you a Happy Birthday. Twenty too (sic) years ago
we had our Harvest all up but this year we have just barely
comenced. Dad has som e clover cut. Scott has that west of creek
in the barn that is all we have done. Evry thing needs rain,
our garden stuff is dying. It is awful cloudy this morning maybe
we will get some rain. We were at Waynetown last night. Band
concert and awful large crowd saw Rose Edwards. I feel so sorry
for them. Gould is gradually getting more helpless. Just so
big and fat his kidneys and loonds (?) are just so health I
would think something could be done but they have tried and
tried. Hope you get your Box all right. Hubert was tired had
been working in the mow that evening I dressed the chicken.
I saysed see what I had for to send to you the wonted you to
have all the good prices I bought the chicken from Blanche.
(this sentence as written). I felt like Scott was undertaking
to much for him and Hubert to do the mowing away but he sayed
he could do it by hisself so Hubert mowed for Vergil yesterday.
You have never told me if you want anything else like Handkerchiefs
just say and may be I can bring them when I come. I would liked
to come this coming Sat but for fear you havent got consent
of your Capt, I will wait untill one week from next Sat if it
will suit you then if you could come by way of Dayton may be
we would meet there. I think I would get there at one you find
out and let me know. I never got your letter untill yesterday.
I shure was glad to get it. Blanche sayed she thought it was
time you was writing to her. There was a miss understanding
with Uncle Johnie and myself. I told him to send the Paper to
you and I would go around and settle for it. He thought I was
going to send it. Scott sent it last Friday. I just heard them
read a telegram to Pattons saying send $50 to Hattiesburg from
Leslie I guess it takes some money in this old world. I got
Hubert a pair of overalls last night Pd. $2.00 for them at Summers.
They dedicate the new chjurch down there next Sunday a week.
Be shure and write as soon as you can so we can let the folks
in Lebanon know we are comeing. I am a little afraid the wheat
an dother harvest will be here then and that will be in the
way in Ohio & you decide and I will try and meet you when
you say for me to. Your mother ByBy
New Richmond, Ind June 20, 1918 - from brother, Scott
- As I got my work done a little earlier than common this eve.
will drop you a few lines. Have been pretty busy lately. Made
the hay yesterday and day before and so today went after my
new Binder up to Linden - expect to cut the wheat some time
next week. Virgil has his hay to put up yet. Has about ten loads
down now, it was ready to go up today but it came a shower,
just enough to stop hay making and not enough to do anything
any good. Suppose you have heard that I have another hand. He
is doing fine so far I suppose you are getting accostumed to
soldier life by this time. Have you begun any work in the study
on the airplanes yet?
PS The Gerard Picture is at Music Hall next week. Better come out. Expect we will go one night.
To: Andrew M. Cowan Pilots 50 S. M ? Ohio State University Columbus Ohio postmarked June 12 5 p.m. 1918 but letter is June 13th.
New Richmond, Ind Wed June 13
Dear Merle - will write you a line am going to town and Hubert is hitching so far so won't have time to write much got your letter yesterday started over to Hashes.
Ethel got her arm broke last week and Washburn took care of it and it had to be done over yesterday so I saw the male coming and waited for it. Took the letter with me it done sis all good. Ethel suffered very much. Sigmond did the work yesterday they had to brake it loose gave her anticetic and she cried for so long after it was done she was so nervous. I sayed did she wont may to read your letter to her and she quieted down considerable. Hubert and I was at Gillands last night. There were about 50 they ate about 7 or 8 gal of ice cream we made lots of noise. Walter sayed the way he sharpened his raisor blades he gave them a whet or two on his pants legs. Will send you a strapper if you still want one.
Will put the money in the Bank and I think rather than give them thieves all one has I would show them a thing or too tell us what you want dont hesitate.
Have not had any fried chicken yet (Uncle Peters and Uncle C O sayed he was going to write soon. Well will write more next time. O yes Scott took his cattle went with them to Chicago we are all well. Hope you are the same
PS Amos is not going untill later no place for him. By By Your mother
New Richmond, June 23, 1918 - from Your Mother
My Dear Boy, I don't owe you any letter but as I am lonesome thought perhaps you would not care if I did write, we went to Sunday School and Church Paul Olin Byron and Marion are here they are all invited down to Lawrence Pattons Birthday. I told them after dinner they must get ready but they are busy playing so I will not disturb them for a while I guess I will go down to see Mrs. Dewey she has been pretty poorly but is better. I went to town yesterday and almost bought the 10 cent store out I got Paper Pens Pins and Pans what do you think of that, got Rondy School (Shod ?) Pd. $1.75 aint that awful. Scotts are over at Dr. Olins.
I talked to Pearl yesterday the first since they came home. She sayed she wanted to stop to see you but some one told her they would have a poor chance to see you and I guess the main reason they did not want to very bad, well they could had more company to go with them out to Pa but you know how they are we are in the harves tup to our Eyes. Hubert has done most of the mowing they will cut the rye tomorrow. Haven't got the clover near all up yet. I guess they miss the big boy. You look rather small in that picture have you lost several pounds. ALl the boys large well I will go and see about the boys they are playing at the tank.
Monday morning - We had too (sic) mighty fine sermons by our pastor yesterday. Elmdale LIberty and Roberts (Chapel) will have Union Sunday school in a few weeks I think come join us there was a large crowd out last night they have their new song books very nice and Zetta played so nice (Mr. Barnhill was telling me about getting a card from you. The next thing I know you will be writing to Martha. I don't care BLanche is washing over here today. I was out in the wood getting berries there is a good many but they are drying up we need rain so bad. Scott is in town went to get their caner (?) and Hubert is plowing corn. We had some frost Friday night bit the corn a little. Maybe if you don't write untill Thursday you had better send it to Aunt Lina for she gets the mail so much sooner than I. I think most of the Harvest will be up by Sat. I talked to Walt a while ago this is going to be a busy week for Walt dedicating the new church. May be I can send you some cookies some of those days if I havent forgot how to make them. I cant make bread hardly fit to eat. The war situation seems a little better the last few days. Hope it continues. Write to me often your mother. Margaret Cowan Byby
Crawfordsville, Ind June 26, 1918 - from Bess
Dear Merle: Well how are you getting along by now. Been up in the air any yet? Hope you didn't eat too much your birthday, as I heard what all was being sent you. Mine will come later, when you get over that spell of eats.
We are beginning to talk about the Cowan reunion. What have you got to say? Anything. Suppose it will be the later part of August so everyone can be done threshing by then for surly that is very important so there will be biscuits for all.
-- New Richmond Ind June 28, 1918 (Andrew M. Cowan, Pilots 50 SMA Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio - postmarked June 28 New Richmond
Will write you a line as Walter told me what you said about going to Lebanon. I think it wise to stay on good terms with evry body and run no risks and if I decide to go to Lebanon I might go the first of some week when harvest is over you know me going will add to their Scotts work so am in a hurry it is almost mail time. Scotts have gone to town. We had such a nice big rain last night. Aunt Lina wrote to Bert Cowan for the time for the Reunion. Evry (how she spelle everybody) body well only Aunt Mandy Messmore is very poorly. Would love to see you. Your mother will write more next time
---New Richmond July 5, 1918 (same address for him) -- from mother
Dear Merle, I have been very busy and when night comes am tired so I hope you will excuse me for not writing or sending you something. I have time to think and I do a little of that it seems of a forenoon it takes me so long to get the work done. Of course I always have something like pulling weeds or gathering raspberries or churning and brigling around to do. (? on the brigling). We have several hogs here in the little field we carry water for every thing counts for Hubert you know has to play some. He has been plowing corn but is over to the field where they are finishing cutting wheat. You can guess what took him over there. Walter is helping Scott they will not start in with their hay this week they want to go over the corn again our patches need work so bad it is evry place a like evry body works I called in at the bank talked to Mr. Barnhill. Linvilles were here yesterday. John started to Long Island yesterday this is the last week for Grovers to keep house. Amos goes Monday. I hear a great about his wife some not very good well I will have to close and sent this to the Box, was at Uncle Henry's Tuesday. Aunt Manda is pretty poorly. (Messmore). Hope you are getting along nicely. By By from your Mother. Write soon.
---- New Richmond July 11, 1918 -- Dear Merle, I will scribble you a line got your letter yesterday. I know you are haveing a good time and glad of it. I am thinking this morning of going to Ohio Sat. morning think I shall come on to Columbus and then go down to Lebanon. It seems that I will not get to come if I wait untill the harvest is over for the oats are to cut and this big field of timothy is to put up it rains evry day so hey don't get much done. Marion is hauling gold dust or Manure which ever you want to call it. Hubert run a nail in his foot yesterday so if I dont come Say you will know that is the reason. Scotts have gone to town to look at the furnaces we have our coal in the cellar if you dont meet me at the Interurban station I will get a way and come out to the grounds and see you and then if you can go with me we will go to Lebanon. Hoping to see you soon will take this to the box Your Mother -- --
=== Return to: Ruth Anna Cowan TCI Alabama & 23rd St, Indianapolis, Ind. - it has two other addresses on the envelope. Marian Menough Cor. Main & 12th St, Wellsville, O. and Donald R. Robinson 46118 Kedzie Ave, Chicago, Ill but is obviously from Ruth -- To: Andrew M. Cowan Pilots 50 SMA Ohio State Univ, Columbus Ohio
Dear Merle, As you see by my address I am living in Indianapolis. I am taking six weeks training at the Teachers College here. I saw your mother last week and she told me that you were expectmg to get a leave before long or at least you were hoping to. But no one knows more about the uncertainty of war orders than I do. ha! If you come thru the city perhaps I can arrange to meet you down town and get to see you that way. Call me at the college. Write if you have time. Ruth C
-- From Bess -- Thurday evening: Under a sepearate cover I'm sending you a box of candy. It isn't home made because sugar is awful scarce so I thot I would let the other fellow furnish the sugar. Everybody all OK so far as I know. Got the cards printed today for the reunion. Hope you will be here by then. Doubt if you can read this for post office pens don't write good at all. Hope to see you soon... Bess
New Richmond, Ind Aug 2, 1918 - Mother
Dear Merle: I will scribble you a line and let you know some of the news. We have been threshing. They have comenced on the Oats yesterday. Scott had 875 bu wheat. They threshed Tuesday and Wed. Uncle Charl Bratton was burried Wed. I went to the funeral with Uncle Cheever. Scotts are going to the fair at Edinburg today. Twister C goes there today. The Reunion is set for Aug 21. Hope you will be with us. I have looked all week for a letter but failed to get one, but when one is busy they can get along without thinking so much about it. I feel we are getting through a little with our work. I am putting up quite a lot of pickles. got about 15 doz the last too pickings that makes 30 doz. Margaret is going to stay with me today. Hubert is going to take Scotts hired girl to help Broaders today get dinner so I am hurrying to get this ready to send on their route maybe you will get it sooner. Uncle Bills were at Scotts last Sunday we had evry thing that was good. Ice cream water mellon Ice tea fried chicken. They will be ripe here if they dont get sick for you when you get home are shure you will get a furlough do you know where you go to from where you are. How are you making grades now. Martha Gill mayb e you know her is the girl that is at Scotts Mary oMay is at Rolls. They are waiting so will close. Hoping to hear soon from my soldier boy. With love your Mother, by By
From cousin Grace Crawfordsville, Ind Aug 4, 1918
Dear Merle, if you will forgive me this timeI will promise never to be so slow in writing again. I was in Wisconsin when your letter came and after Aunt Mag went to see you I said I would wait awhile before writing and time went faster than I thought far.
Say, but it is hot here today. I am just about to melt. We had it very cool here the first of the week but it is never just right - either to hot or to cool. Aunt Lina told us last night you were expecting to come back to Indiana the last of the week. Will certainly be glad to see you. Was so disappointed to think you would not be here for the reunion or she did not think you would be here for it. Do hope you can. We have said all the time have it when Merle comes home. How long do you expect to be here - and if we know when you are coming will be up to meet you in the Overland.
Threshing is the order of the day now out in our neiborhood. The rye and wheat is threshed and think the machine is as far back now as Lester Oline. So will not be long until will be done. We are the last ones this year. We took the eats out home the day they were out there and expect to go out when they thresh the oats. Scotts are riding around now in a Maxwell. Seemed to me he got a good price for the old car. Believe me this tax they are going or talking of putting on cars is a littl ehigh. Gasoline going up and all taxes insurances and licenses will almost have to sell a farm to own a car. Sure a crowd of young men left last Thursday week. I certainly did hate to see them go. They say will be more go this month (written above line have last ?) Mr. Brannon expects to be called this month. He passed the examination here alright - but don't know about the next one - on account of his eyes. He seems very anxious to go. He hopes to get in the Masonic Lodge before he goes. Wish you had gone into it. Will says it has helped him so much since he has went across. I had such a nice time in Wisconsin. That is sure a beautiful country. I would have liked to stayed all summer but wa snot could I would like to go back in the fall next time. The Lakes around Hartland are many. Only 67 in one county. Roads or most of them are speed ways and sure are cars up there. That was one place did not see many Fords.
Uncle Charles Bratton died last week. Ethel wa sup and stayed with them two weeks. She came home about sick a few days before he died. Brazier and Lizzie are over to Uncle C.O. today . Heard them say they had a blow out coming down. How nice on a hot summer day. Did you know they had one of Ida Elmore children, a girl about the age of Harvey. Uncle C.O. has at last got a farm. Think they said was 4 miles south of Waynetown. His farms are real handy. Dont hear him say much about his farm in Louisiana. Mr. LaFollette were here the other day and said Uncle C.O. was thinking of going South in Oct. They have never said any thing to us when they were going. Last night over at Cranes they had what sounded like an old fashioned dance. It was Herbert club.
Jack (the boy at Manson) is still out East - no doubt but you hear from him often. He wrote back here his father had got him to smokiing and got him 3 pipes. Different from most fathers.
Uncle P.G. is going to Chicago in the morning to buy stock. Don't know what. He sold his hogs the other day and they average better than $41 apiece 22 of them. Scotts and Uncle D.O. went to the Edinburgh fair last Thurs to see the horse go. Think Aunt Mag said Twister got third place. They said Amos Gililand sent word to his folks las Thurs if they wanted to see him to come at once - as they expected to be moved. Grace Murphy is home now with her new girl. Have not been over to see her yet.
Do not know who are coming from Ohio to the reunion but I do hope many. Some thought we should not have it this yr. and some did. I for one wanted it. Of course will not be the same as before but must keep the home fires burning until the boys come home. I received a card from Rice last week. He is some where in France. Think he and Eldred are the only ones that are gone so far from Ohio. David is just waiting. Think he expects to come to the reunion. Suppose you received the box from Bess last week. She was sorry she did not get to make the candy but could not on account of the sugar. Believe me we dont have things very much now days.
Fried chicken will be ripe when you get home. Heard Blanche had sold many. Edgar left week ago lst night fo rNY and there goes on to France. Heis in the YMCA work.Company came last night and did not get this finished and here it is Monday night and a hot one. Say but it has been hot today. Virgil just now calle dup and will be at our place tomorrow withe the oats ? Are at Scotts tonight. We are to take out the eats. Well - I must close as Grace Breaks is waiting for me. Hoping to see you soon. I am sure anxious to see you. Ever your old maid, coz .. Grace
From cousin Ruth -August 6, 1918 - Indianapolis, Ind.
Dear Merle - Received your card this morning but sorry to say I can not go home over Sat. & Sun. This is only my second week here and I will only be here six so I hardly believe that I can go and anyway I will have classes on Sat. monring. However that is the last Sat. work that I will have. When you go back to camp and have any time between trains or can arrange to be in the city for a little while at least, I will sure try to see you I have work from 8:30 to 3:00 every day but after that I am free. Suppose you are real eager to get home, so have a great time when you get there and I sincerely hope I can see you on your return. Do not kid yourself into thinking that you wrote to me before from Columbus. It didn't reach me at any rate. I know you are extremely busy so I am not offended. Write me soon of your plans on returning. I haven't time to write more now as it is almost time for my first afternoon class. It is extremely warm here as I suspect it is with you which makes it somewhat disagreeable at times. With best wishes for you success. Ruth
Another postcard from mother - didn't copy it as it's neat but no idea who is in the picture A couple of men sitting on a bench with a walking bridge and some buildings behind them. So, here's what she wrote. 8-15-1918 - Thursday morn - Dear Merle thought I would send you a line to let you know the children are all better. The boys were gathering tomatoes and Margaret was grouchy that means she is better but I do feel yet uneasy. I felt when you left so blue but will get all right when I hear you are all right. Your mother
Postcard from Merle's cousin, Floyd Brown, Veedersburg Indiana 8-6-1918
Postmarked Columbus Ind Aug 21, 1918 - Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, Camp Dick, Dallas, Texas
Richmond, Aug 18th, 1918 - Dear Merle as I cant keep my thoughts from dwelling on you or wondering aobut you I will write and may be when you get this you will reply and tell me every thing. I know from what I heard you say that you keep some things from me but perhaps it is for the best that you do it I will try and think that way I did want to get just a line when you got back to Columbus telling me how you was. YOu dont know how anxious I am to learn where you are. I was so disappointed in not getting to visit with you more when you was home but I know you felt so bad the day you went away you cant fool me. I couldn't hardly stand seeing you go in the condition you were in. Hubert and I were a little off our feed for a day or too but are all right now. Deeis back with her family. Hubert saw her baby yesterday they haven't come to stay would like to see them. Scotts and Walts are here today all only Margaret and I have gone to the mellon patch she is sleeping. She seems better but cant sit up alone, she ate some dinner. She looks awful bad. I wish your furlough had been one week later but we just have to take things as they come it looks like. Leland tried to ttalk to May yesterday morning but failed. Semo Cope was down at their camp yesterday and they were bein gloaded to move they thought would be Alabama where they went have got back with their mellons were high priced but good they paid from 25 cts to 45 we are haveing plenty of cantelopes now. If you are in the sun my south you are getting things that we dont have. So write and tell us evry thing they have counted up the names that expect to be at the reunion and have up in 80. Monday morn all feeling pretty well Scott is going after Dotty and I will send this to the box. Hope you are all right by this time. with lots of love from your Mother - write often
August 31, 1918 - From Ruth Anna Cowan, TCI Dormitory - Alambama & 23rd St, Indianapolis, Ind. Andrew M. Cowan, 4th Squandron, Camp Dick, Texas
To: Andrew M. Cowan Barracks 54 Flying Detachment, Kelly Field 2, San Antonio, Texas. From his brother, Scott dated Jan 9, 1919 (Crawfordsville, Ind)
Just got back from Church at Liberty and decided to write you a few lines before I went to bed. Have been pretty busy this last week for a change and am pretty tired and the bed feels mighty good at bed time. Chas Hashes butchered Tuesday and I went back and helped Wednesday as we didn't get near through the first day. Thursday we butchered and finished up last night about 8:30. We had about thirty galls of lard and over a hundred pounds of sausage from four hogs. The hogs are certainly doing good now. Several will weigh two hundred or more. One of the heifers found a calf about ten days ago and several more are showing calf considerable. I don't know wheter I will get rid of them before they find their calves or not. I sold the old humped backed cow yesterday back to Smith the man I got her of. Got $130 for her and was offered $150.00 for the young red cow but refused it.
I suppose you will be through in a short time from what mother said today. We were over there for dinner today. Uncle Bill's and Dan Messmores were up. They are all well. None of them have had the flu so far.
Is it very bad down ther enow. Leland wrote that it was getting started down there again. "Chub" Boraker, Walker's brother died down there and was brought home today. His funeral is tomorrow. Pied Croy came with the body. Leland has had his leg taken out of the cast and is getting along fine but has no idea when he will get home. We are certainly having great weather now for the last week it just freezes a little at nights and the days are like spring, go about in our shirt sleeves. Virgil and I bought a new spreader last week and we tried it yesterday. Works fine. Since we bought it Nude (?) Jim has been hauling with the old one, and hasnt it had a minutes bother with it, so I guess we have to spread us now.
Charlie is making me a mighty good hand so far. Takes an interest in the work and goes ahead at anything he sees to do. I havent seen Walt since you were home I guess. He dont come around very often so dont know what he expects to do this summer. Paul Couger was here the other day. He is figuring on the Taylor place again if they can make a deal. Would be glad to see him get it if he can.
The what is needing a snow mighty badly now but it is still alive all right. We haven't had a bit of snow since you were here. I guess I have run out of anything to say, so will quit and go to bed. Your bro. Scott
Indianapolis, Ind Aug 30, 1918 - from Ruth
Dear Merle: Received your letter from the dear state of Texas this morning - you know I have heard from Texas before. I hope you like it better than Arnett did. Possibly you will since you do not have to be clear down on the Rio Grande where there are no humanbeings - just dirty greasy Mexicans. Arnett is not at Ft. Sill but at Camp Pike, Ark near Little Rock. He is now company commander of a mob of negroes - can you beat that? He seems to like it immensely - of course, he doesn't have to drill with the darkies - just see that someone else does the stunt. However, I guess that is not all he has to do - from what he says he surely is a busy man. Next Wed - I leave my happy home in Indianapolis. Really, I am not ready to go either for I am having one good time. Just beginning to get acquainted and then have to leave Sh..sh. Be careful that you never tell this - I have a card from a certain club here to attend a dance every Sat. night given for soldiers. Quite interesting indeed. After our short visit I wished I had told you that if you were thru the city again to let me know and I would meet you again but as it happened you would have had to stay until daylight for I wouldn't have been home enough to go down to the Union Station at 12 p.m. (or was it 12 a.m.). I read your letter so rapidly I have forgotten believe me I am some busy nowadays. Classes every morning and then attend Marion Co Institute every afternoon. I had 45 min. this noon to read my mail finish a note book and hand in, eat lunch and get ready to go down town. Some hurrying. Write again. Ruth
From Mother - Andrew M. Cowan - Co C Camp Dick, Dallas, Texas -marked out - Kelly FIeld, San Antonio, Texas - Crawfordsville, Ind Oct 4th, 1918
Dear Merle, I received your letter yesterday was very glad to get it and hear you was all right. There is lots of that influenza and I was afraid you maybe was taking it when you left they got along fine with the rest of the Silo filling you missed the feast at THompsons. I guess it was worse than at home there was a show went with it. I know you are sorry you missed that.
Crawfordsville, Ind 10.7.1918 -- from Mother
My Dear Merle, I have just got my washing done and feel I must send you a line or too if you knew how anxious to hear from you I am you would write oftenerI feel like we are getting good news from across the sea and am hoping for more good news. May be you wont have to continue in your work what do you think. Aunt Lina has your Helmet done and when we hear that you are settled we will send you some things. I am expecting the teachers this evening. Mr. Smith thinks perhaps he will join the bunch at Wabash I was at Allmans yesterday afternoon had a nice time. We have our same preacher we will have services evry first and third Sunday. Liberty has meeting twice a month for they have a young man by the name of Walter I think.
I am expecting my class from Trinity Church here this week for to spend the day with me wont that be nice. Mrs. Ballard sayed Sat. to remember her to you did I tell you what Billie Stump sayed. Well I hope you may soon be home to see all of them. Scott is talking of going for fish this afternoon and bring Twister home. He took first and second last week.
Lelands camp is under quarantine I guess they think the girls will be home soon they say Leland is getting so fat I expect May is too dont you. She has weaned the baby. Did you know Dee and Guy were going to locate in Cville and work for Crabbs. Well I havej ust talked to town Uncle Johnie is looking so poor and bad but is able to work you know Mrs. Kelley s boy died at Camp Taylor so Uncle is staying in Kelleys place at Crabs today. I guess that influenza is pretty bad in some of the camps. Now I dont care if you write evry day or too but dont keep anything from me. You havent had any male (sic) come yet/ from Your Mother
Crawfordsville, Ind. Octr (sic) 13th 1918
Dear Boy Merle
Was very glad to get your letter wouldnt care if I could get them oftener. May be Idont need to write so often but any way I will write something. This is such a lonesome day. Walters are here but Scotts are in Ohio you know evry place is closed even church gatherings on account of this influjenza there is some very bad cases around. Bess Brown is one of them. Grade Chadwick they held counsel at one oclock last night have sent for the folks so I reckon he is not expected to get over it Aunt Lina is improving some but she sayed she was so weak she couldnt hardly stand. Uncle Cheever has had a little touch of the influenza Mr. Tomlison of the Wingate school died Friday night. Elsie Gearheart of Mellott you know she taught at Waynetown. She is to be burried at ten tomorrow. I feel very anxious about you but perhaps it is not so bad where you are. Do you think you would be any better suited if you had been sent to Rantoul. I think for the winter coming on that it may be is nice that you are where you are. Do you think you will have much use for woolen socks where you are is it very warm there I want you to not drift to far away from Sunday school and Church. I know you are old enough and solid enough to not be led astray.
Scott decided Friday evening about 3 o'clock they would go to Ohio and make a little visit so they got ready and started yesterday morning about 7:30 oclock. The boys are staying here Aunt Em and Aunt Jane went to see Aunt Marg they will be home about Wednesday they did not send anybody word they were coming. The schools were closed so Walt and Carrie are staying and helping with the work. Say Carrie did not like it cause I told you the secret but I did not ask her to tell me and did not promise her I would not tell you she requested me not tell you. She will probably get over it. By and by
Did you get those letters I started last Thursday to you there was one more but I kept it here and burned it. I was just ready to start on a picnic with the little folks when Walter called and told me he had got your letter and gave me your address and I directed it in a hurry and think I spelled San Antonio wrong. The other letter was one that I wrote.
Say we have been liveing on fish for a few days. Walts and Scotts went to the River Thursday night got a fine lot of them. We had one baked for dinner today that was the last of them. I will close, expecting to hear from you soon oh yes Hubert has weighed the pigs and want to tell you about them. PS Do you want us to send the Review to you.
Monday morning - I have picked the ducks and washed the boys are cleaning the cattle barn. Mr. Walters went home. He will come back this evening and help with the work. Say Merle write oftener it seems you are so far away and if I hear evry few days it isn't so bad.
Dear Brother, how is San Antonio by this time and how are you? I weighed the pigs this week 560 all them they average 112 and then I weighed one at a time and first I weight yellow male he weighed 100 lb and then yellow sow she weighed 108 lb and the biggest black and yellow male he weight 128 and then the little black and yellow male he weighed 114 and then the redand black sow she weight 110. Chitty came out he guessed they would average 110 I said just 100 but when I weight them they averaged 112 lb. We are all right. Yours truly Hubert Cowan.
Margaret Stout Harrys little girl was awful sick yesterday but is just a little better the rest of the sick is a little better. - Mother
These two pictures were probably taken at the Cowan reunion 1918
The above pictures accompanied the following letter from Merle's mother
Oct 20, 1918 --- Dear Merle, I received your letter Friday was sure glad to get it. I wish I could hear from you evry day instead of once a week. You know with this awful influenza mixed in with the rest one never knows what the next day will bring forth I guess I havent written since last Sunday although I had intended to but just waited to hear from you. Well maybe you get enough letters without getting very many from me after Scotts got back we went to town and got Murphy started on settling the estate don't know when he will get through think next day Thursday - we went to hauling manure and Hubert went with Walt and got his wood hauled and he brought home a big load of coal for the cook stove. Scott got a load friday at New Richmond fo rhis self then yesterday Virgil hauled clover and I had company May Olen Hallen and Bethul Broom ? of Michigan were here between times I made Krout. Walter has turned to be cheese man you know school has been closed for too weeks and there wont be any this next week. We brought Scotts cows over here and milked them while they were gone and I guessed Walt would have over too dollars worth of cheese. I havent heard (they had an awful nice trip found evrybody well only Bert Cowans folks.
Scott will be apt to write and tell you about his trip. I was glad they could go we got along all right and I guess Margaret was just as good as she could be they thought she talked so cute. She still says Yah so much they were all sure last night that is Scotts were (this is a very gloomy day but I think probably it will clea rof if it does we may be we will go down to Oak Hill this evening we wont to decide on what we are going to do about a marker and then get it set before the freezes comes. I wish you was here to help me decide.
May was reading your letter yesterday and did not understand where you said the enlarging of some concerns of course I couldnt understand it either or I let on that way. May got a letter yesterday saying Ireland wa sin hospital that means a lot for there is so many deaths in those hospital. I do hope you will miss getting it the flu. I think it is some better in this part of the woods but there is some pretty bad cases yet. Frank Cowans are real poorly. Bess is able to sit up some Hubert is complaining but I dont think but what He will be all right & when he gets up he is sleeping now. I guess Drs will be at Scotts for dinner. Do you rmemeberwhat you said the cland Broady over (?) at Scotts concerning taking tghe little folks. He would show you Blanche sayed he sayd well I guess they will. DOttie is staying with them or has been. Pearl Mosier went to Pa or intended going last Thursday to have a place removed that has been on her sholder for several years something like a win I guess she and the baby were all that were going. Uncle Bill is improving Merle I dont believe I will send your helmet and socks until this quarentening is over. May sent Leland a sweeter (sic) yesterday and I doubt very much if he gets it for he told her in the letter yesterday that he did not know weather he would get the letters of anything they sent him while he was in the hospital. I havent got your socks quite finished but when I get your next letter then may be they will be ready and if everything is all right I will send them you havent never said what about the climate in San Antonio is it much different warmer do they have any cool weather. Do you think I could send chicken or cake or anything to you without it spoiling or do you have any hankering for something from home. Walt was just telling about someone a dwiggins I think saw Charlie Zook . He was in the march getting ready to load the big gun wouldnt you like to see him.
Hubert is taking medicine has some fever Monday morning - Hubert isnt much sick ate a little breakfast but Frank Cowan is no better. He told Lily he woul not get well is out of his head. Will try and write often you do the same.
Oct 20, 1918 from Scott - Crawfordsville, Ind
As Blanche is writing to Leland I guess I had better scribble a few lines to you. Every one is in pretty good health so far as I know: Some have been having the "flu" but have gotten better. Frank Cowan is pretty sick with it. They are afraid he will have pneumon as for our selves we could not ask for better health. Leland is in the hospital with it. Hardly expect him to have much trouble with it as he has a good strong constitution. The other boys are well as far as I know. Well have been able to get off the ground yet or are you going to remain in the ground service? Quite a few are passing over now. Hubert was down to Waynetown a couple of days last week and saw ten while he was there. Walt was just talking to Mother a few minutes ago and said we came over this eve and gave a few fancy stunts but did not stop. What is the trade among the farmers down there at this time of year? What are the crops etc.! We havent begun husking corn yet some have but my corn is not ready. We got our wheat sowed in good shape and most of the coal hauled. Will get it and the gravel hauled this week. Had a nice rain last night and it cleared off warm today so will do some good. Suppose mother told you that we got our hogs or a part of them (was only one deck of them) week before last. Sure are as fine a bunch of feeders as I ever saw. Havent lost a one and have them ready to turn in the corn some time this week. If we had waited until now we could have gotten them about two dollars cwt. cheaper. We have had the horse home about two weeks. Done about as much with him this season, I guess. Blanche & Mmargaret & I went to Lebanon O. last Saturday and came home Tues. Sure had a fine trip. The weather & roads were excellent. I havent any hand at present and dont know where I will get one but I think I can shuck the corn if I take it carefully. Will let the hogs eat a good share of it, I expect. I am figuring in getting in my cattle for the winter before very long as I believe the market is down to where a man ought to look after them. This peace talk seems to affect the marks considerable but if peace is declared and I dont think it is for distanc,e I have faith in the markets for a long time yet. Ex[pect we will go in and finish up the estate tomorrow. Am finding that is some job. Virgil thrashed his clover yesterday. Had about five bushesls about $160 worth. I guess that is about all for this time. Write often and if you get the "flu," papa Olive says the early treatment is what it does the work so commence in time. Your Bro, Scott Cowan
Oct. 24, 1918 from Mother
Dear Merle, got your letter of the 20th today the 24. I am glad I can get to hear from you often now. Merle, I am going to send your things and you must send word right away if they fit. I have some socks that I could send but they are shorter in leg and foot so if those I send are all right then we will no what to do you must get a cake of Ivory Soap to wash your white socks in dont have the water to hot. Walter sayed you would not need woolen sock only when you are up in the machine those men that landed at Waynetown had to take off some of their things when they were down. Scott was up to Haywoods sale bought ten white face Heifers they are very nice. He has three sows that has pigs one has ten the other too have three a piece will go to bed and finish this in the morning.
Friday morn - Merle I am just sending you a little lunch, you tell me if it keeps good that is if it is all right will send you more through time what would you rather I send I know I can send fruit cake or maybe other things tell me how the socks fit I am afraid they are too big. Bess rested fairly well last night. I will not get to go to the funeral on account of leaving Hubert. Hope this finds you well Your ma.
Dear Brother. How are you by this time/ I am getting better now, so I can come downstairs I did so today for the first. Bess is some better today. We did not have enough yarn finish your sock so we got some more and it was not like the rest it. Ma said she didn't think she told you about what the pig weighed. They average 134 per pig. Scott took h is hog house over to his sows and pigs so we moved the pigs to the cow lot last night, and Scott came over this morning to fill the light plant and he fix the fence around orchard and turn the pig in it. That is all I can think of now. Yours truly Hubert (typed as written)
from Ruth Cowan (cousin) Waynetown, Ind Oct 27, 1918
Dear Merle, Suppose you think that you are a bird now. Have you got lots of nerve yet? Airplanes are getting almost as common as Ford here - several fly over every day. I suspect you have already heard that two planes landed here last Tues. No one knew that they were going to land until they began doing stunts over town and as soon as they did land every one just stopped their work then and there and chased over to see them. I hadn't combed my hair but just put on a cap and enjoyed the whole affair just as much as if I had been "dolled up." They were taking these two particular planes to Indianapolis for repairs and on account of the rainy weather that we have been having here this week, they did not return to Rantoul the following day. People here think that they returned yesterday for one plane yesterday evening flew so low over town just above the tree tops and circled around over town the fellows waved to everybodyt - guess they sorta liked our little town during their short stay here - they probably wouldn't have liked us so well had they stayed longer.
Arnett is still at Camp Pike - he wrote me that he had a letter from you. You inow that Harry Quillen has been there too but just last week he was transferred to Camp Taylor. I think it would have been perfectly lovely had Lt. Owen been on that transfer of officers, too, but I guess Uncle Sam doesn't see some things as I do. There are a number of cases of the flu here now so far it has not been as serious here as in most places. Word was received here yesterday that Ernest Cedars who lives south of town but who was now in a camp in New York had died from pneumonia. . None of our family have had the Flu but me and I have entirely recovered from it now. I had it about three weeks ago. The ban on public gatherings, schools and the like will not be raised now before Nov 2 - so consequently we are to be out of school another week which makes the fourth one. I hardly know how I will apply myself to the school room when we do begin again. I am sending you my likeness - I sent one to Arnett, a few days ago and the post mistress had the nerve to open it to see what was in it. I guess legally she would have had a right to open it if there was any suspicion on her part as to the contents of the package - I am almost convinced that it was out of mere curiousity pure and simple. It is an awful effort for me to keep sweet about it but as yet I haven't exploded to the lady. I have so many letters to write that I will cut this short and rave on to someone else. Write. Your Cousin, Ruth
10-28-1918 from Mother
My Dear boy I feel that I must write you a line although perhaps you dont expect me to write so often I cant hardly keep from it and I am so anxious and think maybe I will get a letter tomorrow. Ethel sayed Hellen sayed you were doing all kinds of stunts it seems you are blowing now dont get too windy. Well I have had some company today Uncle COs Uncle JJ. Mr. Linvilles Lawrences Gladises and Grandma McJimppsy. She is past 95. She dont want anybody to help her around almost as young as she used to be. 18 all together. I did not know anybody was coming at dark last night but we got along all right just the same but oh I missed you boys and PaPa so much. Scott took BLanche to the train. Blanch Lester and May went to see Leland and he thinks they will be moved before long. Margaret is here. Scott and the boys are over Home but expect they will come over for breakfast. Marion is coming down on the morning train going to work for Scott . Marion Bodkins is who it is. We dont see that the flu is getting any better there are so many dying. CO sayed it was reported Bess had died today but she seemed better last night and today Aunt Lina was there yesterday and last night. Mrs. Rogers has been with her most the time. One of our neighbors Mr. Crockets little girls was burried today. They say there are too in one house. Jim Stout and his boy died yesterday it is enough to make one feel uneasy. Walter says it is getitng worse down there. Well I am getting sleepy. Will write more tomorrow afterdinner (sic) Mond - am full as a tick. Had stewed chicken and noodles & Margaret is up here bothering wants to know what doing she is lots of company. She has my old hood on is going some place. I guess Marion B. was here for dinner. He is hauling gravel Scott went to town thinks He will try to get things settled up.
Mrs. Linnville had a lots to tell about the boys they are both in England. She thinks Paul will be in the battles soon will be one of the sharp shooters. John is in the Aviation suply (sic) Co. He goes up in the planes once in awhile. His station when He was at San Antonio was Kelley field the same no. you have. He was there last winter. Have you saw anyone you ever knew or heard of before you went south. This is a pretty afternoon. We had an awful rain last evening. Mr. Linnville was telling about the sandstorms that John was in when He was at San Antonio. Dont risk going out too for unless some one is with you but I want you to see all you can of the country. Bess is not so well today.
(on small piece of paper by itself)
I just talked to CO. He sayed Bess was resting easier but they dont let anyone in not even Pearle. Uncle Peter is all broke up. I fear it will be hard for him to stand it. Well I will close hoping to get a letter soon your. Mother
May god protect you. This is Margaret letter she sayed she wanted to write to Merl.
Crawfordsville, Ind 11.6th.1918 - from mother
Dear Merle, I received your letter Mond. It seemed I never was so anxious to hear from you. You wrote to Walt about being so cold the night before and I couldnt think of anything hardly only you being sick but was glad to know you are all right. Hope you continue so dont get discouraged. I feel you almost had the blues when you wrote. I wish myself you had joined something else but it is you to be satisfied not me. I have the blues a good many times but we must cheer up there is better days ahead. Wish you was here for supper. I am getting so I can bake beans. We will have baked beans and wenies.
I am very anxious to know how your cake and buns were tell me if you care for butter or buns will send you some more chicken before long would like to know if you care for the bread or butte.r I have heard that they dont have much real butter down there. I make for Walts and Scotts and Aunt Lina and ourselves so think we do pretty well.old roosters today which brough (sic) almost seven dollars and still have some left over too hundred chickens with the small ones they are getting almost large enough to fry. You know I am feeling like it is getting most time to kill a pig if you was here with us I expect we would. Scott bought over 100 sheep at Salins Sale the other day they are ews. Hubert is wanting me to buy one but I dont hardly think I will at the price.
I think as you get the paper we dont need to write quite so often. I reckon yuo get it we sent it almost too weeks ago. We are still having a right smart of sickeness. Margariet Edwards is real poorly with pneumonia. Bess dont get along very well is not able to sit up any yet. Carl Doan was burried today. When you come back there will be so many faces you will miss. Arnet Summers have all been pretty poorly. Mrs. Rogers is with them. I believe it the flu is worse in Waynetown than any place around. School has comenced in Coal Creek Tp. they think maybe we can have school next week.
Jess Pierce came out to help Scott with his corn but sayed his wrist gave out so Blanche and the boys helped Scott and they got a nice big load but Scott has a boil on the arm that was broken so I guess I will help some. Virgil got a man from town yesterday morning and had to tak ehim home las tnight of course it is hard on their backs but they can make good money. 7 cts is the price did you observe Halloween. Scotts had company who had them guessing who they were untill someone told them. Blanche got a letter from Leland today which stated that he was all ready to be moved and expected to go soon. He is having lots of trouble with his eyes say did you get your gogles you must take good care of your eyes. I want you to make your blankets put your name on them dont let them get too dirty till you wash them. They can be washed in pretty hot water but your socks you must have ivory soap and warm water. Would you like some more socks. Wool ones tell me may gods blessing rest on you - your Ma
From mother - Postmarked Wingate, Ind Nov 18, 1918 4 p.m. (11-17-1918) - My dear boy, I cant hardly believe it is past the middle of Nov but time flies and so do you. I reckon you have your papers by this time they were sent last friday a week ago but did I do the right thing sending them to you by Mr. Murphy. I thought that would be all right. I am very anxious to hear what you are expecting to do finish up the work there or what. Well just what you think best and then decide for the future. Well I wish you all the luck agoing and I dont feel this is all finished up but perhaps you can go over and see things after the dangers are over Are you coming home when you come in an airplane. How is the flu by this time. Walter has it now took sick last Friday at school. They had to close school again you never saw anything like it they sayed there were 54 new cases in one day at Waynetown but they are getting on to taking care of it a little better. Aunt Susan Remley was burried yesterday you know she lived ther ewith AUnt Lieib but went to Frank Remleys when Frank Cowan got sick. Aunt Lib is taking it awful hard they say I have not saw her since Frank got sick but Uncle Pete goes it early and late taking care of the things and getting ready for Frank's sale which will be I think the 27th. Bess is some better -- Monday morning - We are going to Uncle Bills today it is very rainy and we cant do anything see Willie Messmore and Clara Uncle Wills children will be there. Walter is getting along all right. Carrie is not very well. I have a bad cold so has Scott. I can't write much for lack of time will write in a few days and may be will send you something unless you are comeing home soon. I am expecting a letter today or tomorrow from you. You ought to hear Margarets tongue go she talks all the time, well I must close. With love and Best wishes Your Mother
from brother Scott Nov 17, 1918
Dear Bro: Has been some time since I wrote you but news is rather scarce so havent much to write. I suppose you will know before long what disposition will be made if you follow in the camp have been wondering a good deal about it myself especially you men in the air service. I see by the paper that some 200,000 of the men in special service are to be mustered out in the next two weeks. I suppose if possible, you will go on in the service. There is quite a great deal of the flue in the country yet and still several dying with it. Walt has had it for a couple or three days but it is not very bad. Papa Olin lost his first case last (his father-in-law, Levereitt William Olin 12 Feb 1851 - 9 June 1924 was a doctor) last week. Earl Barker who was on the Journal force. I supose you knew about Will Schleppy being dead and they got word today that his mother was dead also. Pretty bad isnt it. Papa made about a dozen visits today and wasn't very busy either. Lester's and Blanche & I went to Indianapolis Weds night to see the play "The Bird of Paradise." It is some play. Started about 5:30 p.m. Had a blow out & puncture going over but got there on time. Started back about 11:30 and had another puncture and a blow out. Of course by that time we had to commence patching and that took time. About the time of the last tire trouble our fan belt broke. We drove until the battery run down. Then we had to do something we patched her up, drove about five miles and broke again. Done that four times and fixed her up. When it broke the last time we were about four miles from home and we let it go and drove home in the dark. Arrived at 4:15 in the morning feeling great.
Well I am getting a little corn cribbed. Tom Lewis (? on last name) is shucking now. Jess Pierce lasted three loads, had another fellow who lasted two loads. Tom expects to bring someone with him in the morning. If he does we will get along pretty well this week. Expect to get in a load of steers this week if everything works out right. Well I guess I had better quit and get ready for church as it is about time to start. Scott. PS Are you getting the Review?
11-18-1918 - post card from his nephew, Walter "Marion" Cowan (s/o Scott & Blanche) - 7 at time
Post Card from Merle's nephew, Byron Olin Cowan (9 at time) (s/o Scott & Blanche)
11-26-1918 from mother
Dear Merle, I will write you a line to let you know how the folks are getting and send you Mose Chicks I am doing Carries washing and ironing this week and getting ready for the sale dinner at Franks tomorrow so am to busy to write much was glad to get your letters and will be glad if you can plan some way to escape this flu. Walter is up most of the time and is feeling pretty good but they have a trained nurse for Carrie. She is so nervous and then the situation she is in is what is the trouble but I think she will pull through all right. I will write more soon am sorry but will not get to send you a thanks - box but then we are none of us going to feast that day just feel thankful and God will bless us. When you get home we will put the Big Pot in the little one and all eat together. Byby from your Mother
From brother Scott - Dec 19, 1918 Crawfordsville, Ind
Dear Bro: Well I will try and write you a few lines to pass away the time this bright summer morning as I cant get out to do anything. We are all up once again for a change and sure am glad of it for we certainly had a seige of it. Blanche just finished writing to Leland. You had hear I suppose about him getting his leg broken in football. It will be sometime before he will get homenow. The boys around there finished his corn for him yesterday. About eight or ten of them shucked yesterday. I didn't get to participate. I don't know wheter Christmas will be observed very extensively or not aorund here. SO much sickness and then the weather does not seem a bit like Christmas. Havent had a bit of winter yet. Virgil is going to open the silo for me today I guess. He has been looking after my work since I have been laid up. The cattle have been on the stocks so far but I guess they are about cleaned up. Paul Cougar is at home now. He has been shucking corn over here this week. Grover was home on a furlough for a few days visit with his new son but went back yesterday. Charleys hated for him to go back pretty bad I guess. He dont expect to get released before Feb. Its a wonder Mother hasn't gotten down sick since we have been down as she hasn't let up for anything and of course we could get no one to come in where the flu ewas to help. Am going to try and find some one now but dont know what success we will have. The nurse left Tuesday evening. There is quite a good deal of the flue around here yet.
You spoke of your review not coming very regular I don't know what the trouble is. Uncle Cheever's started south yesterday morning. He went to see about his corn crop. Heard he had aboutg 20 acres of corn on his farm. He expects to build a set of buildings while he is down there I guess. May be you can get a job if you come home that way. Walter is talking some of coming to the farm in the spring. I dont know whether he has fully decided yet or not. I suppose if he wants to it can be arranged although it would break into my plans to some extent. I guess I have written about all I can think of this morn as my head is sorter thick yet. Write soon Scott
Telegram from W.H. Cowan (Walter Harrison, "Walt", Merle's brother)
From mother -- Sunday night, Jan 26, 1919 - Cadet Andrew M. Cowan, Flying Detachment, Barracks 52, Kelley Field 2, Sanantonio (sic) Texas
Dear Merle, We got your letter yesterday sorry to hear you are being detained we are haveing the finest winter I think I ever saw we have the doors open a part of the time not so warm either but what the fresh meat keeps nice. Scotts Beef that he killed is keeping nice and hasnt been salted the things dont feeze on the porch only one time three weeks ago just a few days then we have not had any rain to speak of since you went back. White frosty mornings then the sun comes out so pretty evrybody says it will pay up for it later on. We were at church at Elmdale to night I came home with Virgils am waiting for Hubert and Dottie they are with Scotts. We will butcher tomorrow and I thought I would be so busy I had better write to night for we havent got a thing fixed towards butchering. Lesters Charlies Virgils and Scotts will help me. I feel I must pay the boys. Poor me I have no one to help them back (her husband, Merle's dad, John Bratton Cowan had passed away 26 March 1917) unless I can talk Dottie to put on pants and take your place. Say we had a birthday at Scotts today. Mr. Staffords birthday was today so they came up after Sunday School. Lees were there and Vint Edwards then RE came up this afternoon dont get scared Uncle Bills are expecting to start for Pa tomorrow I wish Uncle Johnie would go but he says it is the wrong time in the year. I guess the time I will go next summer with Amos and Nina were at church tonight they seem very happy he was so glad you came down to see them. He was asking about you. Paul Olen and Ruth joined the church I look for a crowd tomorrow night they are just geting warmed up. I guess it will close tomorrow night. Harvey Zelma's man got back last night they think Grover will be home soon Chand Fouts is on his way home. I hope by next week I can say my boy has started but I may not get to say it. Scott sayed your paper would be out the first of Feb. I will talk to the Review tomorrow and tell them a few things I guess. I had better quit and get my sleep so will feel like work tomorrow. Hope you are well and not so Blue. God Bless You Your mother, Good night.
To: Andrew M. Cowan Barracks 54 Flying Detachment, Kelly Field 2, San Antonio, Texas. -- Return to L.S. Scott Cowan (Crawfordsville, Ind Rt 5 - dated Feb 15, 1919 - Scott is Merle's brother
Dear Bro: Will write you a few lines before I go to town as I expect to send you a money order for your wings as Walt and I said we would when you were home Christmas. We are having some winter now that is a little enough it is not cold, not even frozen up. We began baling the hay Wed afternoon but havne't worked at it since on account of the weather. I am going to ship it to Louisville I guess. Sold thirty nine of the heifers last week and fifty six of the hogs Tuesday. The cattle bought 35 hundred eight dollars and the hogs $2004.48 so you see I am pretty flush right now, but will check out most of it in a few days. I bought two short horn cows and calves Thursday at Alfred Humpreys sale.
He has bought where Ben Conner lives and Ben has bought a farm south of town joining where Jake Pickle lives. Jim Thomas bought the Detchon 80 last week. Well Charley Pierson went and got married yesterday. I hated to give him up. He was a might good hand. Dont know who I will get to fill his place.
Well I must get started, will tell you the rest when you get hom. LSC
To Andrew M. Cowan Flying Detachment, Barracks 52 Kelly FIeld 2, San Antonio, Texas Crawfordsville March 7, 1919 -- from cousin Grace Cowan 403 West Market, Crawfordsville, Indiana
Dear Cousin, when you left here Christmas I suppose you would be home long before this but from all reports you have had some rain in Texas as well as in Louisiana.
Aunt Mag received your letter today and I am answering it for her. She said she would not write you any more there as she thought you would soon be on your road home. She said she did not know whether you understood how to get to Uncle CG or not. I suppose you will go there to New Orleans to cross the river if you do would be fine if Uncle C. G. would meet you there and go to the farm before going to Loranger. Well anyway in getting to Loranger by the train you change trains at Genesese. That is a little town about four miles north of Hammond but a very important place at that because the "Special from Loranger" meets the IC there. When we were in the South you could get from Genesese to Loranger twice a day but seems to me the train only goes now of an evening. Well when you take the "special" you think "flying" is some sport that will be for sure. You will think you are going to the jumpimg off place when you see your engine going around in the woods and you moving slowing from the push you have had. Of ocurse we all got off at Amite which is farther up the line but that was because we were all going to Walter's first and made it better for him to meet us. I certainly do want you to go to Loranger and to Uncle C.G. farm. The only thing I hate about our trip down South last year was that we did not go on to his farm.
Fred Endeau has been very very sick but the Dr. said today he would get along alright if nothing came up. Had the mumps and ever thing else I guess. I have an awful cold in my head but went and got a round of medicine today from the Dr. and will soon be better. Bess is doing very well but very slow it seems.
Uncle P.G. is very busy making molasses these days. They are all well out at your place. DOn't know whether they are making molasses this year or not.
Well - it's getting late and I must mail this yet tonight so will close and hope to see you soon. So thisi s for your mother also as she said she was sure you would be away from there before she could write you and sent it on the route. With Love, Old Maid cuz Grace
Another letter from Grace dated March 17
Dear Merle: Here I come again saying it will be the last time you hear from home while in Texas. Well the other time Aunt Mag after she told me to write you reread your letter and saw she had made a mistake.
We are having Texas and Louisiana weather now I think as it has been raining a good deal of the time since Friday night. But the weather has certainly been fine all winter and must expect a few bad days along. They say Sugar Creek is up quite a way. Just so don't get like it was a few years ago.
How lucky Aunt Mag came out with her accident last Friday week. She said this morning her nose was getting along just fine. DOn't think will be any scar where it was out. Her eye is still a little black and her forehead still sore but nothing like it was. Where they called fo rus to come at once to the Dr. Office and that she was unconscious we were much alarm.
Aunt Mag said to tell you they thought would be two more weeks of school yet. BUt they did not know just when it would be out and they were going to have a little programme. Can write to Loranger when we find out more definite about it. How glad I am that you are going by Loranger. Received a card from Aunt Lina saying you and CO (CQ or CG - hard to read) would go down to the farm. She says she does not see any end to do work out at Walters (Wallers?). So maybe you can get a job down there. But don't think you will want that kind of a one.
John Gililand is better but his folks are still with him. Aunt Mag said for you to go if you could to go see (Edith Johnston) Mrs. Vance I think it was if not be sure and call her and you could tell her about John G. His temperature is normal now.
Fred Endeau has been very sick but is getting along very well now. Only slow. He has been in the hospital since week ago today but was very sick nearly two weeks before he came here.
Mrs. Harry Shanklin death week ago today was such a shock - altho she had been so very bad ever since she was taken which was over a week but just seemed if she should not be gone. Harry been so poorly all winter and Mrs. Shanklin was just wore out to startin on her sickness.
Frank Gott, in at McClamrock Shoe Store died Sat. night. He had got better and they say went to a dance about two weeks ago and took cold and been sick ever since.
Charles McIntyre in at the First National Bank is very sick. Seems like the sikness around here is not much better or maybe it just happens to be the ones we know so well.
Uncle Pete is still making molasses. Don't know just how many he has made. Uncle PG is going to build him a new auto shed here in the back yard. I think he will have a little fun getting in it with the Dodge but he don't think so. He thinks he will build the shed hisself. Afraid Uncle PG will not get all the work done in his day.
Went to a taffy pulling last Thurs night and had a great timne.
Well must close as it is almost mail time and Aunt Mag said for me to write you and she would not as was afraid you would not get it before you left if she wrote you.
Hope to see you soon and have a good time at Loranger. You will hear from home there as we write Aunt Lena often. With lots of Love, Your Cousin Grace
From CO Hill, Loranger, LA 3-13-1919 (To Andrew M. Cowan Barracks 52, Flying Detachment Kelly Field #2, San Antonio, Texas
Dear Kid: Received your letter last evening; have been expecting it for some time from the way they write from home; but of course I did not get it in time to answer if you should leave tonight, but will answer so if you do not start untl next Thursday you will know what to do; for the first place if you want to go to my farm "which 20 mi south of New Orleans" I had better meet you there as we are 65 miles north of N.O. as we would have to go back; & would like for you to see the place; now if you decided to do that with me when you will arrive in New Orleans and I will meet you at the Mino House which is 2 blocks from the Union Station; wire me in plenty of time as we are 12 mi from a telegraph office; wire me at Loranger; if you do not do that and just come straight here, get your ticket from N.O. to Gennessee; there you have to take another road to Loranger but it is only 8 mi; we are living in Loranger but Walters are 5 mi out. We are all feeling fine, got a letter from home yesterday Fred Endeen is pretty bad sick, and the pony upset your mama down in the valley last Thursday and skinned her up pretty but but I guess nothing serious. Hoping to see you soon & am as ever your uncle C.O. Hill
Same as above, 3-16 -1919
Dear Nephew; unless it will be too much of a disappointment to you, maybe you had better come here and not go to the farm, as we can only go from New Orleans on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays; we have to go on a boat and they go only on those days; and as you did not get here this week it would put us so far into next week that we could not get away from here next week and we had planned to start home the last of that week; so if you get this before you start come as I instructed you before; I think these are only two trains a day that stop at Gennessee; you get here in the morning at 10 o'clock or in the evening at 6 o'clock. This leaves all well; got a letter from your mamma a day or two ago, think she is getting along fine; Fred ENdeen is at th ehospital think he is some better. Hoping to see you right soon I am your uncle C.O. Hill
From mother - Crawfordsville, Ind March 14, 1919
Dear Merle how are you by now. I hope evry thing is all right. I dreamed of yu last night you dont know how glad I was to see you but alas it was just a dream. Well it sure wont be many weeks untill you are here this is a very unpleasant day such a damp cold wind. I do hope you may have a warm time to come north in you must use precaution and dress according. I just talked to Carrie Endean. Fed is in a pretty bad shape yet. You know he had the mumps and she sayed he had never got over the flue (?). Just right and one lung has been conjested but is clearing up but his leg is so sore and he cant move it it seems something like Besses. I am about all ok again just too places on my face (three) that is sore but ehwy will be like the old womans Greese they wont last long. I am going up to Graces to help her a little. Scott is going to Goffs to a sale. I hope you get home for the play at Waynetown. I havent been there since you were home. I want to go awful bad but Scott has been very busy and then it isnt of course like it used to be. Mrs. Sumner sayed the other evening she wanted me to come and see Walter there but I dont know weather he could have any time for me or not he has the main part in the play and then takes so many things on his hands RE sayed he would take Hubert and me to the play. We made taffy yesterday evening the youngsters do enjoy it they are afraid they wont get to be with you very much. They are going to Indianapolis tomorrow be sure and let us know when you start your trunk. Walter got the message all right. I was much pleased to hear you was through Miss Johnson has been saying she gloried in your determination and I am glad for you it may mean much to you I sure hope so with lots of love your Mother. Write soon
San Antonio, TX 4-9-1919 -- YMCA paper from "Hatchet" (a friend)
Same old hole - Tuesday.
Dear Andy: Say you are soft of a regular guy at that cause I didn't expect to hear from you near as soon. Most of them just promise and thats as far as they get. Glad to hear you had such a good time in New Orleans. You didn't ruin your good name did you?
I have about finished up my job and finishing with instructors in fact I had my last ride on that job today. I believe I can safely say that I'e had more instructors than any cadet on this field ever had. There were very few who escaped. I've averaged anywhere from two to four hours a day and must have about 120 hours by this time. Oh the little thing ?. Well there hasn't been any more develop events since you left - in fact thats the only time I have seen it in action. So you are going to Canada with Bing ? are you huh? Well good luck - handle the plows easy - wish I could go with y'all. May Bing will buy a plane and then I'll come up and show him a few new tricks that I have picked up. At least we could have some fun jazzing the darn thing.
Well guess I had better quit now as they are going to have some excitement here at the Y. Don't go and quit now just cause you think you have done your duty.
Your old friend, Hatchet.
Loranger, LA - 4/12/1919 - From Ed Cory, cousin
Friday night - Dear Merle: I read the letter you wrote to Dad and am willing to say that the good times are here and waiting. I was talking to Miss Walker today and she asked if I had heard from you yet and I said no as the mail came out on the route. I then asked her if she had heard from you. She said No, I haven't and when you write tell him I have looked every day for a letter from him. I told her some things and she is just guessing at the rest. She told me one day that she never had been crazy about Craw ? Well she said, "I never was crazy over fellows like some girls always are, but that fellow sure did take my eyes." If you write to her she sure will appreciate it, I think.
Say, keep this under your hat but it is out down here that Ethel has broken her engagement with Bill. It is so. That is what she wrote to Sarg. Rumlf. I asked him yesterday afternoon if he was going home thru Crawfordsville. His face got red his eyes dropped and he coughed and choked and finally said he was afriad that wouldn't do at all. I told him that the best way to know was to try and see. Don't know whether he intends to do it or not but would not be surprised if he did for as Ralph Shaw says when a couple that age get crazy about each other something is going to happen ? Maybe it can also be said of you and Miss Angus Walker? I told her today that your mother was married again and that I thought you were either jealous or else sorry it wasn't you getting married. Florence is up and doing fine. The baby is alright and is growing like a weed. We are all well and hope you are the same.
If you don't believe that I will show you a good time come back and see. As Ever, Ed Cory
Miss Angus Walker, Loranger, LA - I shall tell Angus you think of her. Shall I give her your love, EC
On flip side of back page of Ed's letter
To: Mr. Andrew M. Cowan, c/o LR Harris, 60 Broadway Providence, RI - Waynetown Friday afternoon Aug 8, 1919
Talked to mother since noon - they are about to give up their trip on account of RR troubles. She had just heard that Uncle Bill Messmore's barn burned yesterday buthad been unable to confirm that report. The folks are well I guess. I do not care to work very hard right now as I unjointed my back unloading cement Monday. Say you might have Roy to pull some wires, some place and get me in with the BF Goodrich Co. Tell him I am not so particular where I am sent but want to get in where I can have a chance. Write when you can, Walter.
Will move between 20-27.
To: Mr. Andrew M. Cowan 11 Stadford St, Edgerwood, Rhode Island c/o LR Harris
Crawfordsville, Ind August 10, 1919
Dear Merle Will write you a line for it seems quite a while since you started last, but I heard from you just the same since you got to your destination if you dont write to me I know you cant help but have a nice time but I think you might write me once in awhile. I guess I am childish for I might know there is quite a few for you to write to besides me. Well we will postpone our trip for a few days on account of the strike then the threshing machine is at Virgils and Margaret and Marion are not well something like they had last summer only not bad yet. Walter Brown Jaspers boy who was in the Navy is dead died in New York will be burried tomorrow we want to go down to Riffs this afternoon the body is being taken there.
Dan Messmores barn burned friday machinery grain and every thing burned. I guess Walter will move some of his goods this week here. He Ruth and Miss Walker were her last Sun. evening. Well we are home again. Walter went to Mellott with us. He dont want to tear up and move anything untill after the reunion. He is unsettled yet think he is going to the lakes to fish soon well I got a letter from Ande Wilce yesterday. He lives in Mich and they have a farm live at a summer resort go a fishing whenever they get hungry for fish they got a big Bass the day before they wrote. Uncle Wilce is not very well well I will close. Hoping to hear from you soon tell me all the news your Mother By By
Monday forenoon - the children are better have been helping Grace get threshing dinner will get my wahsing done and help BLanche get supper then we will get packed up ready for to start when the strike is settled. Your mother
7-12-1920 -- invitation
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