I have been working with my first cousin once removed Aryllis on some family history the last couple of year. She has been doing this for many, many years and has some great material to share. Last summer I went to visit with her, and she was kind enough to lend me letters that her mother–my great aunt–kept from her childhood. These letters were written by family members living in western Wisconsin (Monroe County), and they provide some great detail of what family details and their social lives. As a family historian, letters are some of the most valuable documents for me to have. They can reveal a lot of information of individuals and what they are living through and help give more dimension to the people in a family tree. I want to share these 30 letters that were written to my Great Aunt Lorraine (Frederick) Rose.
The letters span from December 1934 to December 1935. They do contain typos, but I felt that by correcting them I would take away an element of realism…so what I typed is exactly what appears in the letters. These were teenagers from rural Wisconsin with no more than an 8th grade education, in most cases. I will, as you will see in this letter, link to outside sources for more information about something that was mentioned in the correspondence.
Black River Falls Wis
Oct. 29, 1934
Must write while I am thing about it. And thank you for the pretty Brithday card. Many thanks. I told mother you sent me a card and I didn’t even know when your Birthday was.
How are all the folks? I am fine. And was home Sunday. And they are all kicking yet, although some have been sick off and on.
What are you doing for excitement? I have went to a couple of shows and a couple of dances. But that is all. Friday night I am going to a basket social at the school down home. Ellis is coming after me.
I like it just fine up here, only my job just last till Xmas and then I will be home till in the spring again. My Address is
Miss Grace Parlow
701 Harrison Street
Black River Falls Wisconsin
So don’t forget to write once in a while.
Uncle(illegible name) were over home Sunday afternoon. Ellis was home alday. And I was too. They are shredding corn at home. Uncle Otto is shredding for them. Sunday he came over and got the measure of Marlene Mae’s beds so he is going to start to make babe beds now.
The small pox are getting pretty thick around here & I hope and pray I don’t get them. Have you had them?
Did Melvin run out of paper that he never writes? I don’t believe he has wrote since I was there. Tell him to be sure and write once or is he to busy writing to his girl friends.
Well guess I will close. news is as scarce as hens teeth, as ever.