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Eugene Applegate’s Letters From Union Friends

France. A.E.F.

Mr. Eugne [sic} Applegate.

         Dear Friend.

2 nurses just came to me and said you were in a hosp. wounded in Paris That is hard luck. I know just how to sympathise [sic] with you as I just got out myself. Was in for 8 weeks I am farther south than where you were but would sure like to see you. The nurses said you were getting along just fine. I got a letter from Dee Garrison and Zola Frans last night seems good to hear from some one at home. I see that Joy your Bro. is in the service now. Well Gene I will close for now write when you can and tell me all the news you can.

As ever your Friend.

Prt. 1/C Cecil W. Harris.

Evacuation Hosp. # 1 A.M.E.T. France

[postmarked August 3, 1918]         [envelope stamped "PASSED BY BASE CENSOR A.E.F."]


Peru, Nebr.

Nov. 21, 1918

Dear Eugene: -

         Yesterday I received a letter from Elma Hall and she said you had landed in Old U.S.A. again. I imagine you were glad to get back on America soil again. I wrote several letters to you while you were in France but did not know if you received them or not.

         We have a S.A.T.C. Unit here this fall in Lincoln. They are going to muster the boys out on Saturday. The Army inspector arrived here last night but no one knows the results yet.

         Elma said, "That Luther saw John Frans in Washington D.C. a short time ago and I guess he was glad to see someone that he knew. Derwood expects to be home in a few weeks. He has received his commission and is Second Leut. now.

         School is sure dry this year. No excitement of any kind. I sure will be glad when I get thru here and be where there is a little going on. They have begun again to have dances in Nebraska City. The Influenza was so bad there that everything was closed. The "Flu" is getting to be a thing of the past here but it is still raging in a few places.

         When do you think you will be back to Nebraska? I don’t know much about the news around Union because I don’t go home very often, about every four or five weeks.

         Halls have their sale Friday and expect to move to Nebraska City in a short time.

         Alma Ost don’t think much of school teaching so she is going to school again next year, wants me to go with her but I have not decided what I will do.

         Nearly everyone here at the house have gone crazy over card playing Friday and Saturday evening we spend most of the time playing cards. Jess Todd is sure good when it comes to cheating.

         It is time for class so I will have to close. Write whenever you have an opportunity and I hope you are still on the road to recovery.


Ida [Reynolds]

[Ida Reynolds, Gene’s classmate in Union High School]



Union, Nebr.

Nov. 25, 1918

Dearest Eugene: -

         Rec’d your card but haven’t written before because I tho’t maybe you had more of an address than was on the card but saw your letter in the Ledger so I tho’t I’d write. Is pretty cold here, ground here is frozen. Was at Eagle’s last Sat. nite and was a good dance but there was too much booze and things stopped rather sudden where two fellows started to put on a fight and were kicked out. May not write again for a while Charlie, Sherman and I are going to start Dec. 2 for Florida and then we are going around the coast east to New York City and mean to get home March 1. Glen Rutledge is not printing the Ledger now, he is over in Iowa some where and they have moved all apparatus to Newhawka [sic] and his father is printing it.

         Suppose you heard about William Meuller, he was at Lincoln in the S.A.T.C. and took pneumonia, his heart was so weak where they operated on that they could not give him anything. They had to break a rib and took about a quart of pus out of his lung. Am working pretty hard to get our work done so that we can start. Clara, Charley, Meybel Harris and myself went to Neb. City last nite to the show. The "Flu" is not raging here now, do not know of a case. Sold some cattle and have to drive them to Mynard to-morrow. Was going to take Parm and Ralph McNamee with us on the trip instead of Sherman but Parm said he didn’t think he would get out before spring. Don’t suppose you can read this letter I wrote it in a hurry. Hope you get along alright and get home befor[e] long. Yours truly,

Paul Swan


Union, Nebr.

Nov. 25, 1918

Dear Gene:

         Ruth Roddy called me quite early this morn & said several were going to write you, but mother & I were busy washing & I didn’t get my letter off. It wouldn’t have done tho to have gotten so many one day so this will divide it up a little.

         I certainly was glad when I heard that you were back in the states. Suppose you are looking forward now to the time of coming back to Nebr.

         Did you escape the "Flu"? Everyone had it here but Roy, Daddie & myself. Roy came home while Sherman was sick, the Flu was complicated with gastritis & pneumonia.

         Talk about "a grand & glorious time" now we sure had it while Parm was home. The Cole 8 was on the road about 18 hrs a day. It was during Aksarben that made it all the better. Chas. Clara & I went to Omaha Wed eve. After Parm & got rained in, then stayed for a parade Thur. & Clara almost lost her job. I was working for WBB at the time but I didn’t hear a work [sic].

         L.J. Hall had a big sale last Fri. They have a place in Neb. City & expect to move soon. Elma brot me home from town the other eve. In the Apperson chummy. Ha! Ha!

         I wrote to you several time while you were overseas but Clee told me you weren’t getting any mail so I suppose my letters didn’t reach you as well as the rest.

         Say Gene you write & tell me your favorite homemade candy & I will send you a bon-bon.

         Chas E. Severyn has been writing to Margaret regular as clock work. I sure do kid her about it. He writes wonderful letters.

         The Baptist [s] are going to have their usual "feed" this Thanksgiving.

         Was talking to Mrs. Niday this p.m. Margaret is coming down.

         DBL [Durwood B. Lynde] sent a telegram to Elma that he was coming home then later he said he wasn’t. Guess the army failed on reforming him, someone said that is what it does. Believe me some of them don’t need it then. Its hats off tho’ to a Second Lieut even tho he is a pill.

         Well I must close & would like to hear from you & how your wound is getting along.


Mary [Austin]






Nov. 27 — 18

Camp Logan, Ill.

Friend Gene. Well I see that you are back in the good old U.S.A. again. Which do you like best France or home. I wrote you a letter in the first part of August I think did you ever get it. I have been here in this camp almost 7 months. And never even saw a ship only a few freghiters [sic] out on Lake Michigan some sailor Eh. But never the less I think I am going to sea now. I think we leave here Monday. We go to the Lakes from here. Probably stay down there about a week then to to some eastern port. They have got another disease around here now. Pyrea. I have got a slight touch of it. The Flu sure did raise hell around here. There was 40 died here. This is only a small camp though. About 2000 men at the most. There was over a 1,000 died at the Lakes. Did they have the Flu over in France.

         How many French girls have you got on the string about a dozen I reckon. Well I cant think of any thing more to write so I guess I will close for this time.

Earl [surname unknown]

P.S. Don’t write to me here because I haven’t got any idea where I will be. You know how that is.

[Josephine McDonnell was Gene’s high school teacher in Union.]

Union, Nebr.

Nov. 30, 1918

Dear Friend Eugene:

         Am trying to do two things at once — dry my hair and write this letter. It may mean neither one will be very well done.

         Was surely glad to hear you are improving so nicely. Am sure you must have been very badly wounded, it has been so long now. I hope your recovery will be complete soon.

         We all will be glad to hear you are able to come home and you must not forget Union. Am sure you must be able to tell of some very wonderful experiences. I surprised even myself when I came back to Union this year. Had quit for good last year, but a few weeks before school opened the board asked me to come back and I finally did.

         School does not seem so different and yet it would to you. All lady teachers, sup’t and all. Our five little sophs of 16-17 are now our only seniors. 8:30-9:00 you will find me doing guard duty at the head of the stairs, as usual. Talking in halls has not gone out of fashion, neither has climbing stairs two steps at a time. In spite of conservation measures, candy, gum and even peanuts find their way to school. At present there is no one who fills your place coming in just after the bell rings each day. May be it is because Prof. is not here to escort him up from down stairs. At the first of the year Clifton Garrison did his part going to sleep in class each day, lately tho he has done very well.

         Doesn’t it seem funny to you now when you think of the High School days?

         Margaret and Alda called on us at school Thanksgiving Day. We had session from 8:30-12:30 and then ate dinner at the hall, as usual. We are making up some time we lost while closed on account of the flu. "Uncle Gabe" is our janitor and of course he keeps us all in good humor. Even I am not as disagreeable as I used to be.

         How do you like the land across the sea? Did you go direct to France or did you have the opportunity of seeing something of England as well?

         How little we have had to realize how terrible war really is, as all you who have been there realize it.

         Alice and Petra and I are all that are left of the old force, but I am sure we will do our best to see that you do not come up the steps by twos or threes, if you will only come to see us when you come home. But, if the habit assisted you in going after the Huns, I shouldn’t tease you about it, should I?

         Be sure to write. I shall be very glad to hear from you. Get well as soon as you can.

         Am sure I am expressing the sentiments of Union people when I say we are all proud of you.


Josephine O’Donnell



         Word received from Eugene Roddy states he is still located at Virginia Beach, Va., and getting along fine. He is in the Navy.

Plattsmouth Journal, July 8, 1918






Caldwell, N.J.

Dear Friend Eugene,

         Got your address today from home and glad to here[sic] you are back to the U.S.A. once more only wish you could have come to N.Y. City. Am shure you would have hit a much better time as I think this is about the best place I have hit yet. Norfolk is a dead town for a uniform man. If there is any shard of you coming up this way be shure and let me know. There is a fine summer hotel about 4 mi. from here that is supposed to be for soldiers to recuperate the gov has charge of it. It is said to be one of the best in the country.

         Got a letter from Bernard yesterday he is in a hospital and must be sick from the way his writing looked. Said he would be on his but in about 2 weeks. He did not say what was wrong with him. The girls are down with the flu at home and very sick. All the cooks are on one week restricted liberty for not sweeping the floor the first time. I have had any thing on me. Talk about girls well Newark is so far ahead of any place I have seen yet. They are not in the race at all. Will write more next time. Guess I have to go to bed. Hoping to hear from you in the near future with best wishes

Eugene Roddy

Peru, Nebr.

Dec. 1, 1918

Dear friend Eugene: -

         This has sure been a long day because there has not been anything exciting happening. This forenoon we all went up on third floor and played cards with Mr. And Mrs. Roettger. The landlady don’t like to have us play on Sunday so we have to keep still about playing.

         Friday noon I went home and came back Saturday night. I was home a very short time. You see there are no trains in this berg on Sunday and if the roads are bad so the folks cannot drive the car, I have to come back on the train. Doe arrived home Saturday eve. It is reported around Union that Doe and Elma are going to be married soon but I don’t know how true it is. Halls are moving to the city now.

         I saw Cora Frans in Union yesterday and she said,"William had been in the hospital for eight weeks but expected to come home in a short time. He first had the "Flu" and pneumonia later.

         How did you spend Thanksgiving? We had vacation just for the day. In the evening we gathered in the dining room and pushed the table to one side and had sort of a dance. Imagine you had a good time at the party you were going to in Portsmouth.

         Next Saturday night the Seniors entertain the S.A.T.C. boys. It is sure hard to have parties here as anything of the sort because dancing is not allowed and it seems as though it is hard to find some kind of amusement.

         Harriet is sure a funny one but you would still laugh more if you could see Tom. Every once and a while he will swear and if anyone asks him where he heard it he will say, "Over at Keedy’s or Propst’s Garage."

         There seems to be quite a few of the fellows being sent home from officers training camp without their commissions. There was a fellow who came here last night to see one of the girls and he was at Camp Grant and was sent home without his commission.

         I am glad to hear that you are going to be home by Christmas time. We have over a week’s vacation, begins the 20th and lasts until the 30th.

         I must close and prepare a little speech [sic] that I have to give in Botany tomorrow.


Your friend Ida [Reynolds]

[Postmarked January 14, 1919, from Plattmouth, NE, to Eugene Applegate, Union, NE]

Omaha, Neb.

Sat Eve.

Dear Jene: -

         Don’t hold or at last lose your breath when you see who this letter if from but I really must say I am ashamed of myself for not writing to you while you were in U.S. but that’s me. I always neglect letter writing.

         I happened to see that you were here in Omaha so I called your sister this evening & I talked to Mr. Dickson & I told him that I was from Plattsmouth & knew you. Also my cousin the one that is a baker said that thee was a phone call for me at the store Tues. so when I saw that you were here I thot right away that it may have been you.

         This a.m. we had an explosion at the plant at Cudahy’s & I work at the office & say did I shake. I say I did, no one was killed & I guess only one injured so far as I heard.

         Well I will make this only a short note & ans & let me know wheather [sic] you receive this & hope when come back to Omaha call me up my phone no is Tyler 2 5 7 0 J. I gave it to Mr. Dickson.

         Gee I bet you have a lot to say & further more I bet you had to go thru a lot. But I sure do hope everything turns out.

         Hope this letter finds you in best of health.

         I am

                  As ever

                           Your Friend

                                    Mary Jubnek

                                    1215 Arbor St., Omaha

encl. "Yankee Losses in Meuse-Argonne Fight 120,000 in Forty-Seven Days"

The Lynde Family Writes to Gene Applegate

Union July 4 – 18.

          My Dear Gene, when I heard you were in the Hospital I went right-away & called up Grace [Applegate, Joy’s wife] to get your address, so I could write to you. I sure hope you are out & fighting again just as hard as you did before. I did not hear any particulars. But – am glad you could write to your mother and Gene what a great & grand thing for your mother to have all five of her boys in the service. I expect she is on her way now to see Paul. Well say I must tell you am having a grand good time with my Leuitenant[sic] Lynde [Durwood Lynde]. He is home on a 15 day furlough. Finished the course in the Officers Training Camp at Fort Munroe and made good & is now being sent to Galveston Texas. He thinks it fine to get a few days at home. And Durwood is Corporal at Camp Freemont [sic]Calif. The boys were both hoping that he would be sent to Calif & be so they could see one another. Clyde will go where Ray Bramblet is located so they may be together. Well old Union don’t change very much. Just do the same old stunts. The boys go down to Watson Mo. & get a lot of booze come back & drive their cars up & down the side walks on Main St. & that’s all that done about it (just the same talk). Now I guess only one bunch drove on the walks but I saw that myself. Most all the boys are gone many enlisted & some drafted & Nebraska furnished 4000 in the July Draft. And that will take more. But let them go as long as we need them & we will sure soon have enough to whip -- --. Well we are all busy in Red Cross. Now days when we get over quota’s. Well we are working Mrs. McNamee’s place this year & have nice prospects for corn [illegible} are light & I guess the potatoes will be almost a failure here this year. Well I can’t think of any more so I’ll close & write to us when you can.

Mrs. M. Lynde

Union Nebr.



U .S A.


Sunday, Nov. 10th 1918

Dear Friend Gene:

          Just had letter from Elma [Elma Hall is his fiancée] and she sent me your letter. Did you ever get that letter I wrote you about a mo. ago.

          Hope you are about alright by now. Gee but I would have liked to come across when the fighting was on, from all reports over here it looks like it was about over and don’t care much about coming across to police up cause it would be a year at least B-4 we’d ever get back and maybe longer and I want to get married pretty soon and don’t want to leave her that long for some one else might be there when I’m gone See.

          School closed yesterday and I’m a jawbone shave tail. We’re to be commissioned Wed. wrote to Paul up at Gordon but he hasn’t answered yet. Hope to see him when I get sent away from here as we’ll have to go thru Atlanta to get away from here.

          Don’t know yet where I’m to be sent, asked for Camp Dodge Iowa & Camp Kearney or Fremont Calif as 2nd choice but don’t know whether Ill get there or not. Reason I asked for Dodge Iowa was on acct of being near to home not that Im[sic] crazy about camp. Cant write you any more news cause don’t know any.

          Sure hate this camp and hope they sent me to Hell & gone on other side of Mason Dixon line.

          Clyde is over there think he’s at Brest France, Battery 75th Artillery C.A.C. Guess you knew he was a Lt.

          Havent heard from Parm for long time don’t know his address since he left Deming I saw him when I came thru Deming on road down here.

          Well be good old scout and get well soon as you can.

Your old Friend,

Lt. DB Lynde

14th Co. O.T.S. Now don’t know where Ill be in a week.

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