Lone Scout Letters
Girls from rural areas across the US saw Mac’s address in the Lone Scout magazine (often their brother’s) and wrote to him in January and February. They described their looks and daily lives in the cold winter of 1918.
Vera Allen, Cates, Ind., to McKinley Austin
February 1, 1918
I received your letter and was glad to hear from you. You wanted to know how the weather was in Indiana. It is a little cold. It freezes one day and thaws the next. It has been 23 degrees below zero…One of my old schoolmates, who went and enlisted, is at your camp.
I expect you wonder where I found your address. I found it in the magazine, “Lone Scout.” One of your brothers had written a letter to the magazine telling them about you. He seemed to be very proud of you. He signed his name, C. Raymond Austin.
…Hoping to hear from you soon, Your friend, Vera M. Allen
Rachel Hidden, Boyd, Minn., to McKinley Austin
February 3, 1918
Dear Friend Mortimer,
You said when you went to school you had double seats. We have just single seats and we can’t whisper, but we write notes instead. Our teacher is so sly as an old fox. Your friend, Rachel Hidden
Ottie Godsey, Peerless, Ind., to McKinley Austin
February 4, 1918
Dear Mr. Austin,
I was very glad to get your letter this morning. But was sorry to hear that you had had the mumps. I had the mumps about three years ago…
You must be having nice weather if there isn’t any snow there. It is awful cold here. There is a large snow and about an inch of sleet on top of the snow. Answer soon, Ottie Godsey
Annie Herald, Equality, Ill., to McKinley Austin
February 5, 1918
Will try and answer your most kind and welcome letter. You asked me to answer your letter soon…I like to study, and geography is my favorite study.
The weather is so bad I cannot get my picture taken and the first time the sun shines, I am going to have it taken. I had them taken a few months ago, but they were no good. The weather is still good for coasting and the snow is 30 inches deep with about 3 inches sleet and that froze over and can skate anywhere you want to. We have not seen the ground here for a month before Christmas. Your loving friend, Miss Annie Herald
Reindeer love the mountains
Rabbits love the hills
I love my soldier boys
God knows I always will.