McKinley Austin in Eldred
In March, McKinley had a leave to go home before his outfit left for France, as the next letter indicates.
McKinley, Chattanooga, Tenn., to Mort Austin
March 14, 1918
Dear father, I got here all right. The train was late into Jersey City and I missed my train. I was 14 hours late, but as I got the conductor to sign a paper telling the reason, I think it will be all O.K.
Well I will write soon. Tell Aunt Aida that I am here all right. With love to all the family. Your son, McKinley
McKinley Austin, Chattanooga, Tenn., to Aida Austin
March 31, 1918
Dear Aunt, I was very glad to get those pictures. They were real good. We are having fine weather here now. I did not send anymore this month because I owed some and there are some things that I want to buy to take across with me. But I expect to have a good deal to send back next month.
My corporal is attending sniper’s school and I have had to lead the squad. I don’t like it very much.
I am expecting to be transferred to the Machine Gun Company. I would rather stay with F Company, but I have noticed that a good many things that have happened to me lately, really unimportant themselves, have resulted in advantage to me. And while I am not superstitious, I think it best not to try to change that everything is coming for the best.
Perhaps you understand what I mean? I suppose I could get another man sent in my place, but I think whatever happens is for the best.
In March 1884 Aida Austin was in New York City and received the following letter from her father. The Stidd Family mentioned was probably William and Mary Hickok Stidd, relatives of Mary Ann Eldred Austin, Aida’s mother.
William Hickok, also mentioned, was Mary Stidd’s brother. The Siblings were children of Justus and Mary Wells Hickok. Justus was the brother of Hannah Hickok Eldred, Mary Ann’s mother.
W.H. (Henry) Austin, Eldred, to Aida Austin, N.Y.C.
March 9, 1884
Your Mother wants me to write to you to let you know we received your kind letter. We was vary glad you was not detained in Port Jervis for it would have been vary disagreeable for you to have had to wait for the 4 o’clock train after being up all night.
I was into Stidds to dinner that day and they was very much pleased with our visit. They talk a great deal about the piece you spoke that night and praised it vary much.
I expect we will have to go up to Irv’s some night this week. I wish you could be along to William Hickock’s next week. I think I shall quit surprising folks then.
Lon had a letter from Mort Saturday. He has been sick with the mumps, but is getting better. He said Eldred [Ell] would start for Sullivan, Monday, March 10th. Some around here think Mort went some ways to get the mumps.
I don’t suppose you care much about politics, but I shall have to tell you how it went in this Town. There was 203 votes polled. Oliver Calkin got 103; T. Gray, 42 votes; C. Frace, 58 votes. Oliver got 3 votes more than both other candidates. So you see, A. Myers don’t run this town yet.
Mother says she will wait until Eldred comes home before she sends you the sack and handkerchief.
Let’s hear from you soon. Hoping this will find you well as it leaves us.
I will close with much Love from your loving Father, W.H. Austin
Hello Halfway Brook Friends.
We have been having freezing temps at night for two weeks here in Arizona, and it has been a pretty hard winter back east, though sometimes the temps have fluctuated to something more reasonable.
I received this group of photos from Chris Doyle this week, and thought I would remind us all that summer will be approaching soon. Well, unless it’s like the notorious cold summer of 1816.
In January of 1918 George Sidwell wrote to his friend Mortimer McKinley (Mac) Austin, stationed in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was Mac’s nineteenth birthday.
George Sidwell, CAC 7 Co., Fort Amador, Canal Zone
January 5, 1918
Dear Old Mack,
Well this is the date you get a little older and tomorrow I do the same. Did four hours’ guard this morning. It is pay day and I go on pass this p.m., so will have time to write no more.
Drew just $13 yesterday. That is all that is left after my four liberty bonds bills, $.25 wounded soldiers fund, collected from loans $1.65, which left me just $8.40. When I went to town, I spent $5.20 for little odds and ends.
While in the city, I made up my mind to see the place. You talk of slums in New York, London, Chicago, but believe me they cannot begin to compare with the city of Panama. Yours, George R. Sidwell
Sometime in December 1917, Raymond Austin sent his brother Mac Austin’s Chattanooga address to the Lone Scouts Magazine, asking Lone Scout readers to write to Mac. The letters from girls in rural America arrived in January and February 1918.
Marnie Henry, DeBeque, Colo.,
January 4, 1918
I have just read a letter your brother Raymond has written to “Lone Scout” telling about you, so I decided I would write to you.
There has been train load after train load of soldiers passed through our town here, some were going East and some West. They looked splendid in their Uniforms.
One boy, a friend of ours died at Camp Kearney, California, and the remains were sent back here for burial. It was very sad. He was just 18 years.
I think the war is sad, yet it is for such a just cause. We (everyone) are trying to do all we can to help out. I am going to school and this year they are having school on Saturday, so we do not have much time for any work.
I love all the soldiers and we are so proud of our U.S. boys. I should be glad to hear about your army life and about yourself.
Best wishes to you from your unknown friend, Marnie Henry
Jewell Hamilton, Vandervoort, Ark., to McKinley Austin
Saw your address in “Lone Scout.” Thought I would write you a few lines. Hope this will find you OK. How do you like the Army?
I have several friends who have gone to the Army. Oh it is so lonesome and makes me so sad to see them go. Miss Jewell Hamilton
Ottie Godsey, Peerless, Ind., to McKinley Austin
January 4, 1918
Dear Soldier Boy,
I saw an article that your brother had published in the “Lone Scout” magazine in which your name and address was given.
Although I am only a school girl living in a small town, I would enjoy corresponding with you. And if you will write, I will prove to you that us country girls can write as interesting letters as our city cousins.
1934 January at the Leavenworths
Monday, the first day of January 1934, Garfield started work on some roads for the TCWA and continued into February. Howard Stevens was in charge of the project. Garfield was paid “his first $15 for road work” a week later.
Two bad accidents happened in January. Ed Crail, a boarder at Lou Kelley’s, had a terrible gun accident while hunting. Clinton Leavenworth, Morgan Sergeant and his family, Lou Kelley, and Bill Meyers visited Ed Crail in the Port Jervis Hospital.
Alice Sergeant Hill (Ella’s aunt) smashed her new car into a tree on the road between the Leavenworth home and Eldred.
The last day of January, Mary Kyte Wormuth and Cleta Myers Horton called at the Leavenworth home. Austin Smith was there at some point for his lesson.
January 1933 at the Leavenworths
Friday, January 6, Garfield played at the Hall for Dr. Smith’s send off.
Monday Austin and Dorothy Smith were at the Leavenworth’s for the evening.
Mid-January Anna and Jim skated on Bosch’s Pond. Anna also skated on Highland Lake. The men hunted rabbits, but no luck.
Jim didn’t make it to school the day it started. He fell in the brook and had to go home.
Friday, January 20, Clinton took Aunt Lou Kelley to see her sister Unita who was very sick. Monday evening Unita’s daughters were at the Leavenworth home.
Narrowsburg Lumber’s New Store
The Narrowsburg Lumber Company in Narrowsburg opened a retail store in Shohola, in 1933. It was located by the Shohola Railway Depot and made for easy delivery of building materials from Canada and western U.S.
It rained quite hard most of Saturday in Eldred. Herman Sr. and Jr. were down to see Lon in the evening. They asked about putting up signs forbidding hunting. Harry Wormuth was in to see Lon after the Bosches left.
Monday morning, November 3, Aida went to Mary Bosch’s to take back her bottles. Mary was not there. So Aida walked over a mile to Mae’s and stayed for dinner.
After dinner Aida walked to the A&P. She rode part way home with Mr. Kinne.
Tuesday, election day, was rather ambivalent—partly clear and partly cloudy. Lon went to the Village about two o’clock, but came back without voting.
Howard Stevens stopped by between three and four to take Lon and Aida to vote. Howard also drove them back home.
Wednesday morning Aida, stopped at the A&P before going to the Post Office where she saw Howard. On her way home Aida met Mrs. Winter. Lon went up to Wormuth’s to order coal in the afternoon. He met Arthur in the Village and Arthur gave him a lift home.
Wednesday Jim Leavenworth started working on the Stege place for Narrowsburg Lumber Company.
Friday was a pleasant day and Aida did her washing in the morning. Saturday morning she ironed. Mr. Briggs and his son John brought up some apples in the afternoon and made cider. Continue reading →
Repost from 2013: These postcards are from a Souvenir Folder of the Sunny South. They were sent to Aida Austin from Chattanooga, in October 1917. So I assume the folder was from Mortimer McKinley Austin, Aida’s nephew.
McKinley Austin, Chickamauga Park, Ga., to Jennie Austin October 7, 1917
I am sorry you were worried about me. I might say though that it is best to always believe the best; you’ll hear of the worst. I have learned since I joined the army not to worry.
I would have written sooner this time, but we had 24 hours in the trenches, a long hike, and a couple of sham battles and I have been so tired when the day’s work was over, I didn’t feel like writing. The strike is over and we can go to Chattanooga when it doesn’t interfere with our duties. McKinley
McKinley Austin, Chickamauga Park, Ga., to Mort Austin November 3, 1917
I got out of the hospital alright. I wish I could get off and come home for a couple of weeks, but they are only giving short passes now.
I am sending you some pictures I had taken in Chickamauga. One of the pictures is of me on the bridge below Chickamauga, another of two fellows from the 52nd down at Crawfish Springs, another of another fellow and me at the same place and the other of a place on the road to Chickamauga. Continue reading →
Wednesday, October 1, Lon (84) received a birthday card from his brother Ell.
Thursday, October 2, one of the state police stopped in to see if Lon had seen anything of the neighbor’s adopted boy. “A lot of young fellows were riding horseback up our lane and down the field across the road. I think they must have been looking for Harold’s boy,” noted Aida.
Friday morning Aida was once again at the A&P. But they did not yet have the bread she wanted. Arthur and Lon had gone to Port Jervis in the morning. When they came back, Aida rode to the Village with Arthur for the bread. Art then drove Aida home.
Mae was over and told Aida that they found Harold’s boy with his aunt at Glen Spey.
“Listened to exciting war news of ship sinking off Brazil,” Aunt Anna Leavenworth of Islip wrote on Friday.
Monday, October 6, in Eldred Lon went to the A&P and the Post Office. Monday evening the Yankees won the World Series.
Wednesday Rowlee fixed the church door and the steps on the stoop at Aida’s. Aida was at the A&P and Post Office on Thursday.
Saturday was the Methodist Church Picnic. The group stayed in the Church Hall and didn’t go to the lake as usual, because it was too windy.
Sunday, October 12, in Islip, Anna knitted afghans for the British Relief.
Monday morning in Eldred, Lon went to the Post Office. Robbie Bosch and the Myers’ boy who worked for them, took wood over to Lon’s in the afternoon. Lon made some cider.
Ella Leavenworth who lived on the west side of Eldred, bought 100 pounds of potatoes from the A&P on Monday.
Tuesday when Aida got back from the A&P, she helped Lon finish carrying in his wood. Lon made some more cider. Continue reading →