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Margaret NIDAY to Eugene APPLEGATE

Submitted by Becky Applegate

Scan of a Sept. 29, 1918 letter from Margaret Niday

Omaha Nebr.

Nov. 22, 1918

Dear friend Eugene: -

Your letter came yesterday and I was certainly surprised but glad to get it. No doubt you know I wrote about half a dozen letters to you while you were in France, but I never heard from you. Every time I sent one I would think I wouldn't write any more if I didn't hear from you, then I would get to thinking about it, and each time would decide that it was really my duty to write you, and if the letter shud reach you it might cheer you up - just a little at least - and as you know the folks at home had not forgotten you. I don't know how many of them you got or what I wrote, so I might tell you something that you have already heard.

I certainly feel sorry for you, having been in the hospital for so long and it seems so strange to think of you as not being able to walk. I do hope you will improve rapidly and be home Xmas. I don't work Xmas day so will be home I think, I sure want to see you when you do come back.

I suppose you know William S. [probably William Sikes a classmate] sailed, at least he said he was ready to leave the last letter I received from him & that has been about a month now.

It has been snowing here all day - really our first snow fall. However, it does not seem so cold. How is the climate in Va.? You certainly have been over some territory, if you had only been able to enjoy it.

Omaha is fine. I like it just like home. I have been here over a year now. You probably know where I work - at So. Om at the L.S. Exchange building. The hours are uncertain but pay is good so I am quite well satisfied. I have about a 35 minute ride on the street car twice a day but it don't seem long any more. Igo(sic) to work at 8 - and quit when ever we get our work done - in the summer it is often about 3 and in the winter from 5 to 9. So you see where I am most of my time. Octa Austin [Mary Austin, another classmate] is with us here. She was home 3 weeks. Sherman, Addie [Austin], Mrs. A [Austin] & Octa had the flu. We have all been lucky about not getting the flu here. But Omaha was certainly full of it, only 2 deaths yesterday, the least yet.

You are probably as well posted on Union news as I am. Do you get the Ledger? If not I'll send you mine.

Verna H. [Verna Harris, another classmate] is going to school in Lincoln, also Ora Clark [1 year younger class of 1918] taking music there, Ida [Reynolds] is at Peru [Nebraska] again this winter. I expect you know more about Mary than Ido (sic) but there is a reason. Miss OD is teaching in Union again this winter. I was out to Fremont to see her last summer. Had a nice time.

So you think I am a pretty good correspondent do you? Well I can write letters like I used to write in school - on exam. day for instance, I wrote a lot but didn't say much. You will no doubt agree with me there.

I have a namesake now, what do you think of that? Margaret Chalfant. I havn't(sic) been home for 4 weeks but have to go to the dentist tomorrow so I may go down just for the day Thanksgiving.

So you didn't marry a French baby like we hear so much about? What do you think of them?

Write & tell me about your trip and anything you want to. I will be glad to hear from you any time you can write.
As ever your friend
Margaret Niday

310 N. 22 St.

NOTE: Becky Applegate wrote:

Mary A. or Mary Austin ended up marrying Gene's brother, Parm (Clarence Palmer Applegate), who was 4 years older. The flu [Margaret] mentions was the horrible Spanish influenza.

On Nov. 25, 1918, Margaret Niday sent my husband's grandfather a Thanksgiving postcard:

"Friend Eugene: I just thot I would send you greetings of the day - "Thanksgiving." I know we all have some things to be thankful for. As ever, Margaret Niday."           ADDRESS          

Omaha, Nebraska

Dec. 1, 1918

Dear Friend Eugene:-

I just got the letter you wrote from France, last week so that I better let you know I received it.

I thot it strange if you never got any that I wrote and now, just how many of them did you receive?

I am all alone here, so am putting in the time writing and entertaining myself just any way I want to. Papa & Earl Wolf came to Om. after me Wed. so I went home for Thanksgiving. Had a big feed as usual at the Woodman Hall. After dinner I went up to see Margaret Chalfant, then back down town to be with Mary A. a while. I also visited school a while but it don't seem like it used to when we were all there together. In your letter you ask if Severyn got his commission. He did not, but has been working in the office all the time. He is still in Texas & didn't get to go over. I havn't heard from William since he left, but don't imagine he'll be gone so long.

I have never seen Clee since I've been here. I am not down town much and don't suppose she is either, and we never happened to meet. I see you old friend Cleora once in a while but she is married. How is your Nebr. City girl? Well Eugene, we all hope you are getting along fine and that you will be able to get home for Xmas. We are pretty busy at the Exchange where I work. The next time we get out a circular letter I'll send you one. Also let me know if you want me to send my Ledger. If you don't get any other I'll send it, but if they send you one from the office - I won't.

Well I'll close for today - Write when you can.
As ever your friend

310 N. 22 St.


On Nov. ?, 1918, Loy Pell wrote:

     "Dear Friend: Well, I guess I will try and write you a letter to-night. This is the first letter I have written to you, but have been intending to write for a long time. how are you getting along? I saw in the Ledger that you were back in the U.S. It was certainly good news to hear that the warhad ended. The newspapers here reported it a little ahead of time, but it was not long before it was officially announced.

     We have been having plenty of rain this fall and sometimes itseems as if we are having to much. Last Friday the rain turned into snow. It has all melted now. Most of the corn around here has been husked. The corn was not so very good this year. Most of it making from 25 to 30 bu. per acre.

     We have our wood sawing done and will soon have to start cutting wood for next winter. The Base Burner does not do us much good since we cannot get hard coal.

      I am sending you two pictures. They are not so very good, butif I tell you that I developed and printed them you will know the reason why they are not good.

     Well I will close for this time hoping to hear from you soon.

Your friend, Loy Pell"
See this letter in its original form page 1 page 2

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Co. H. 350 Inf., July 4, 1918

Mr. J. I. Fitch

My Dear Uncle: -

          I will write you a few lines today, as it is my birthday. We celebrated at the River View Park. It being the first time I had missed being at home for 26 years. I remember fifteen years ago today. We motored out to a celebration held in a grove of F.M. Young’s near Murray. I said motored out. Well our car consisted of a lumber wagon with the side boards off, and two spring seats and a chair or two in the back. Now I am taking it by land and foot. (Some change.) I wish you could have been here yesterday. We had a big regimental parade, a contest between the twelve companies. And the Col. Picked on our company as being the best marching company in the regiment. Therefore the Col. presented us with the Regimental flag, and made the rest of the companies come to present arms while we marched up and got the big flag. I’ll tell you she was a beauty. Maybe you think our old Captain didn’t rear his shoulders back and feel proud. And about us boys, well, I can’t express our feelings, only I know we whooped and yelled every step of the way home. You can imagine how we felt.

          I got to be company barber all right. This morning I was cutting our Lieut.’s hair. (He was a cow puncher before he got this office.) I asked what was on top for tomorrow. He said we were going down to the Depot brigade to a little neck-tie party, that is what he called it, but I have a different name for it from that. They are going to hang three Negroes. I don’t know just whether I want to indulge in it or not, but if they say so, I am there on the dot.

          Well I will give you a little rifle range news too. I think the rifle practice is the most interesting thing in the army life. If you could only have been here, am sure you would have enjoyed it as well as I did, the first time out. You can imagine about how one would feel the first time up. I never had shot a large rifle like that before, and among about eight thousand soldiers, where they were firing thousands of shots every minute. I’ll tell you it would make the best of us shake a little if not a whole lot.

          The first ten shots fired I got ten bull’s eyes and when the day wound up I was first over all, and that was the time I felt proud. The next day was rapid firing, and we were only supposed to shoot twenty times in two minutes at the best — that is, you only shot five shots and reloaded five more till you had shot the twenty. I made the record in one minute and twenty seconds, scoring fifteen bull’s tyes [sic] , which was the best again. So they took me off the range and gave me the job of coaching the rest of the boys, and telling them how to shoot. It is a snap only the noise is so bad; you have to keep cotton in both ears because you sit between two fellows shooting. We start at 6:30 in the morning and shoot till 8:00 at night. Then there are our sixty pound packs we have to arch home under — four miles — think of that. We will have a ninety pounder to lug when we get over there. May the Lord help me when I have to carry that. We are supposed to go from here to Italy in the near future. We sure get well fed here. Some of our meals taste like $5.00 ones, especially when we return from a twenty mile hike.

          Well, I could set here and write all night and tell things that happen, but expect you all get tired reading this, so I will save the rest till I get back — I mean till the war is over, for they won’t give any passes to anyone. Give my regards to all, and tell them I am feeling fine. With love and good luck to you, I remain as ever, your nephew.

E. Wayne Lewis

This is a WWI letter to J. I. Fitch from Union resident, E. Wayne Lewis, as published in the Union Ledger under "Soldiers' Letters" in a Sunday paper.

A Letter From Camp Dodge

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Last Modified on:Sunday, 06-Dec-2015 11:12:07 MST