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Posts Tagged ‘old letters’

(I started this blogging prompt late in the month so will try to catch up!)
Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has listed blogging prompts for each day of March to celebrate Women’s History Month. The blog prompt for March 8: “Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt.”

As I’ve reported many previous times, I have a large – (read that LARGE) collection of letters that include:

  • My grandparents (Glen and Vesta Johnson) wrote to each other during their courtship.
  • My grandparents wrote to each other during the time my grandfather was in training with the Signal Squadron and overseas in France during WWI.
  • My grandparents wrote to each other whenever they were apart (for military or visiting other relatives).
  • My great-grandmother (Martha Stern Clawson) wrote to my grandmother (Vesta).
  • My grandmother’s (Vesta) brothers and sister wrote to her as they lived in Oregon/Washington and my grandmother was somewhere else (usually Ohio).
  • My parents and my grandparents (Glen and Vesta) wrote to each other when my parents were stationed in Japan in the 1950s.
  • My grandparents (Glen and Vesta) wrote to my parents when my grandparents were stationed in Germany.
  • Postcards several members of the family sent to each other.

washington d.c. postcard

Postcard my grandfather sent to my parents on January 28, 1951 from Washington D.C.

paris postcard

Postcard from my grandfather to my parents on December 6, 1950 from Paris, France

I feel immensely fortunate that I have this collection of letters from the past because it gives me a glimpse into their lives during a time before my birth.

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Help Needed

I am in need of what books or articles to read that detail life in small Indiana towns in the early 1900s – specifically 1916-1921.  I have TONS of letters that my grandparents wrote each other while they were courting (Easter 1916 – December 1916) and then letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother while he was stationed at Kelly Field in San Antonio in early 1918 through his service in WWI in France.  My goal is to incorporate their letters into a book about them.

To give a more rounded view of their lives outside of the letters, I really need to study up on what small town Indiana life was like at that time.

Have you read a book that provides enough historical and “mundane” daily life information that would help me in my quest?  Or know of some articles – online, in a book, whatever – that would be of help to me? 

Please leave your ideas in my comments or send me a link to your website that might have information for me! 

Thanks so much!

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