Margaret NIDAY to Eugene APPLEGATE
Submitted by Becky Applegate
Scan of a Sept. 29, 1918 letter from Margaret Niday
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.
As ever your friend
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
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
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.
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
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.
As ever your friend
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.
310 N. 22 St.
Loy PELL to Eugene APPLEGATE
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
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
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
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
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