Oct 17 To Daniel & Mary from Mother [Jane Davidson]
Oct 22 To Mother [Jane Davidson from Laura
Oct 26 To Mother Dan & Mary from Helen [note about Mont Toronto]
Oct 27 To Mother, Mary & Dan from Laura, Harold, Alvin, & Betty
Oct 30 To Laura & F from Jennette
Oct 31 To Laura from Mother
Oct 31 To Alvin from Grandma Davidson
643 Cedar Street
San Antonio Texas
Oct 17th 42
Dear Daniel & Mary
Thanks for your letters that we received today. I was surely glad to hear from you. Thanks for the money. You won’t need to send any more. I will leave here Wed evening if all is well. Laura & I are feeling lots stronger but it surely pulled us down. My back just aches just writing a few letters. I wrote to Jennette & Jesse just short letters, and I am worn out. I am glad Mary had a nice time in Salt Lake and will be so happy to see Mary Jane. I had a letter from Jennette & Jesse this week. They are well. Did you hear any of Conference. We got a Tribune from Francis Felt Mont’s cousin that is here and it had quite a bit of conference in it. Roland & family were all well when he wrote. Willard’s family were all down with bad colds. Did you know that Roland Fawson joined the navy and it seems as if all the young boys are going away. My heart just aches for them, and we can only Pray for Peace. It is too bad that Sister West lost her baby. It is quite an ordeal to go through. Hope she will pull herself together and get well soon. I hope you can all have a days rest after I come. I mean just forget about work and just sit down & talk. Maybe Daniel can get a day off. It is too bad when every one has to work so hard Sundays & all. I wonder when it will all be over the war I mean. Now dear Children I will see you next week I hope and we can talk about everything with love & a big hug for Mary Jane and you both Lovingly Mother.
643 Cedar Street
San Antonio, Texas
October 22, 1942
You've been gone just one day, and we've missed you so much. During the night last night it was Bra Ma Alvin called for, and at 6:00 A.M. Bra Ma–Cot–and at breakfast. Bra Ma - Chair, and pointed to your chair. At noon I didn't know what got into him. I had dinner ready, & told him to get in his high chair, and he went running thru the house calling you, and when he didn't find you he just sobbed, and didn't have anything to eat but his milk. The house has seemed so strange today, but we have managed fairly well. Alvin’s arm is much better tonight, but we put another dressing on it with ungentine.
I hope in traveling your strength didn't give out as quickly as mine did today. I just can’t do everything I’d like to. Mrs. Brown came over this morning, & said they hurried home last night from the meeting thinking they would be in time to take you to the depot, but it was 9:20 before they got home. They didn't say anything to us before because they weren't sure they could get home in time.
The baby is making out fine. Still eating her dress, & sticking her tongue out. I started giving her 2 or 3 ounces after each feeding today, & she seems to be better satisfied. It was quite cool this morning, & Mrs. Brown told me I had too many clothes on the baby. She told me to take her shirt off in the morning & put it on at night. And she said she never put a dress & petticoat on at the same time. Tonight we have been sweltering tho, & yet this morning was about the coolest we've had.
Harold is going to take his exam for the F.B.I tomorrow morning, & has been at the library studying this afternoon.
Well, I hope by the time you get this letter you are able to relax & stretch out on a good bed, and rest after the long trip. Here it is Thurs. night and you are most likely still in Texas. Have a good visit with Dan & Mary. And don’t worry about hurrying home. When I was so tired this afternoon I was angry at myself for not making you stay another week.
Give our love to Dan & Mary. Laura [over]
We just got Dan’s telegram, but figure he will get my letter tomorrow morning. I imagine he is worried when we didn't let him know any more definitely than we did. We’ll know better next time eh?
[From Helen Davidson Toronto]
Salt Lake City, Utah
October 26, 1942
Dear Mother, Dan & Mary,
We were glad to receive the card from Mary saying that you had arrived there safe and sound. By now I hope you are feeling rested and enjoying yourself. How is the weather down there. I hope that it will be nice while you are there.
You have probably been wondering why we haven’t written to you sooner, but last week I just couldn’t get to writing. I had Mont home a couple of days and he is home again today, besides that I had to be a baby tender for Joe & Ila who were in from Richfield for a few days and also for Martha & Wally. Mont has kinked his back doing that hard work and so he had to take a couple of days off. Today he went to work feeling ok but before he had a chance to start this morning his back went haywire and they had to bring him home so I guess he will be home for a week or so. I just brot him into the doctor for a treatment to see if it would help. The doctor said he has to treat it just the way he would a sprained ankle or wrist.
Jennette and the baby came in Saturday evening about 6 or 7 o’clock with Daley Moon. They didn’t know beforehand that they were coming. They are both fine, today I took them up to the doctor and he says they are both ok. I think they will be going back sometime during the week, possibly with the same fellow who brot them down. Jennette said that they expected to come down again around Thanksgiving and if Burnell could get a job then they would stay for the winter - she seemed to like the idea of staying with us at Wilshire very much and the more she thinks about it the better it becomes.
Don’t worry about the house, Mother, we will stay here just as long as you are away, in fact we have planned all along to stay here until Pearl came to be with you which will probably be about the time that Jennette & Burnell will come down in November. The people in our house know the situation and are in no rush to get out of our house, in fact we may find ourselves stuck at your place if they can’t find another house to move into which seems to be the case at the present time. Houses are plenty scarce in Salt Lake now and are getting scarcer all the time. We aren’t doing anything drastic to the house and we are being very careful with all your things and are only giving away things that we are certain you would give away yourself. We took that box full of shoes up to the welfare and also some old felt hats that were in the basement. Sister MacIntosh got herself about five pair of shoes from the lot before we sent them up, she went through the whole bunch and picked out some of Laura’s and Harold’s old ones and took them home to wear during the bad weather and around the house - she was plenty happy about them and she’ll get some good wear out of them too.
This morning the neighborhood was buzzing with excitement because so many of the fellows are leaving for the army this week and next. Molly Jackstein’s husband leaves in a few days also Walt Bandt, and Waldo Barrows – they have all been drafted. Molly’s husband tried to enlist in the Air Corps but he was underweight. They sent him home to fatten up, but his induction papers arrived before he could do anything about it. They have gone to California for a short vacation and have left the baby with her Mother.
Mont received a notice today placing him in 3 –B for no specified time because he is working in defense, but if he has to quit his job because of his back I know where he will stand. I think he should quit that particular job because it is very hard on him and when he keeps at it for ten hours a day when he hasn’t been used to any kind of hard labor its apt to do some harm. I think he could get a job at the same place that would be better for him because I don’t want him to have a sore back like his Dad all the rest of his life.
Joe and Ila were asking about Dan and Mary and wanted to know how they are and what they are doing. They have three fine children and they are both looking fine. I think everything is agreeing with them in every way.
Mont is all through with his treatment and I’ll have to take him right home and put him to bed so will sign off for now and mail this before we leave town.
Take care of yourselves and we will be happy to hear from you soon giving all the news. I will write to Laura tonight or tomorrow. Love to all of you, Helen.
[Laura’s note: I called Helen to find out what kind of a defense job Uncle Mont had, and she said he was roofing—The City and County Building among other buildings. He was drafted while he was on that job. Uncle Mont was drafted into the Army, but when he went to the induction station some of his friends were being drafted into the Navy, so he said he would like to be in the Navy with his friends.]
643 Cedar Street
San Antonio, Texas
October 27, 1942
Dear Mother, Mary & Dan,
We recieved Mary’s card this morning and were glad to hear you got there as soon as you did. We’re sorry Dan & Mary didn't get our letter, because we mailed it at the P.O. and it should have gone out. That’s why we didn't answer their telegram.
So Mary’s birthday is Oct. 23rd. I never id know when it was.
I hope Mother that the trip was not too much for you, and that you are rested by now. Is you cough better?
Alvin has been himself again the last 2 days, so we are thankful for that. His arm is completely well again. I've never seen anything work better than that ungentine did.
Sunday we went to church, and Sister Turley asked me if I would teach one of the classes this winter. I almost expected them to ask me to teach one of them if they knew I could arrange to be there each time and thought it might be the work & business lesson. They want me to take the Theology and Testimony lesson. It would be something new to me to buckle down and study a gospel lesson. I remember how you studied & worked to get your lessons, and I almost think Sister Turley asked me to give those lessons on the strength of your testimony, because when she asked me she spoke of you and said what a wonderful knowledge of the gospel you had. You have surely left a reputation here in Texas for me to live up to. I know I will have to put my faith in the Lord and seek his guidance in giving the lessons, for I have decided to take it over. I only hope I will be able to do them justice.
We had a letter from Mae Reed Sat. she said “Sis DeYoung has had a little flue the last 3 days & Bro DeYoung has a cold & isn't feeling so perky as he has been.” She also said they had a 2 week cold spell, but are having Indian summer now, & she says it is beautiful. She said Molly Jackstiens husband is going in the army Nov. 2 & Walt Bandt Nov. 6. Bob Worswick was home for a few days. He has been stationed in Georgia with the parachute troopers & Wallace came up from Cal while Bob was home. John Whitman has been in the LDS hosp. He is kept under an oxygen tent all the time. She says, evidently dropsy set in along with his heart trouble & he is in a very bad condition. I guess thats all the news from Mae. We were surely sorry to hear about Johny Whitman.
The baby is doing fine, but staying awake more during the day. Last night I put her to bed at 6, P.M. & she slept thru till morning. It would be good to get her in the habit of that when I want to leave her to go to Relief Society.
Must stop & get lunch now, but write soon all of you.
Laura, Harold, Alvin & Betty
P.S. Harold still sits 3 places for dinner.
Oct. 30, 1942
Salt Lake City,
Dearest Laura & family,
Yes, here I am in Salt Lake. My first trip since Pearl was married. I came down last Sat a week tomorrow. I didn’t know I was coming till 30 minutes before we left so it was a rush & I have been on the go ever since.
The dress you & Mother sent to me came last Sat. morning just an hour or two before I left. It is surely nice & fits fine. I had to take up the hem a little. Thanks a lot. I needed just such a dress to clean up in & go to Relief Society & such.
I know you are feeling quite alone since Mother left but I am glad she could go & stay with you as long as she did. I hope she was feeling well enough to travel, and that she will have a nice visit with Daniel. It sounds by her letter she sent you, the one you sent on to us, that it is a long tiresome trip from your place to Daniels.
How are your feeling? Did you get your strength back & are you feeling well & happy? I surely hope so. Tell Harold hello & give the babies a big hug & kiss for me. I have been to see the Dr. & dentist. The Dr. said I am o.k. & everyone is telling me how well I look so I guess the hard work I did didn’t hurt me. The Dr. told me not to lift anything heavy not even Merrill & I have been doing that so I will have to cut it out.
I had 3 teeth filled. I needed one pulled but the Dr. wants me to wait till after, so I had a temp. filling put in it. I just got home about 1 hour ago from attending John Whitman’s funeral. He died Tuesday night. He has been in the hospital quite bad for three weeks now. Dropsy set in the last three weeks, so they didn’t give him much hopes. He was semi-conscious most of the time the past two weeks. His wife hasn’t been dead a year yet.
The funeral was indeed filled with a fine spirit. Bro. Fox & Bishop DeYoung spoke. His baby is the only Whitman left to carry on the Whitman name. It was hard on Sister Whitman She has buried 7 now.
Melba Larsen is in the hospital. She has intestinal flue & it left her run down & seemed to settle in her legs. She can’t stand on them & they go numb. They don’t seem to know what to do or the cause.
Molly Jackstein’s husband had to go to the army next week, they feel quite bad about it. Walt Bandt has to go soon.
I visited Sis. Carlson one day for a few minutes. She is quite pale since I saw her last but she said she feels fine. She surely has her hands full taking care of Ruth’s children. I hope it isn’t going to be too much for her.
I went over to see Lillieth the other day. She has a baby boy just 4 weeks old but a fine baby.
Clair is quite blue & wants to go back to the mission field. She says she keeps busy. Helen is going to take us out to see Pearl this afternoon. I haven’t seen her yet. They are all asleep now but should be waking soon. Helen, Merrill & Mont. Mont has been home all week with a sore back. I guess that work he is doing is a little hard on him. He is feeling better now & will soon be out & going again.
Burnell & I still don’t know what we are going to do this winter. There is plenty of work down here now, but we should wait till bad weather comes as there is plenty to do up there. We want to do what is best for all.
My boy just woke up so I better quit now.
Did Mother say how long she would stay with Dan & Mary? I guess I will go back home the first of next week if I can get away. We will come back about Thanksgiving. That is our plans so we can see Royce before he goes, if he doesn’t have to go before then.
Write when you can & don’t feel blue. Love from us all & ever praying for your happiness & welfare. Love Jennette [Davidson Turnbow]
669 G. Street
San Bernardino, Calif.
Oct. 31st 42.
We just got your letter of the 27th this morning. Glad you are all well and that Alvin’s arm is better and that he is feeling o.k. again. Hope the weather is nice. We have nice weather here since I came only one day of rain. The sun is lovely today. I am glad Mrs. Brown has been so nice to you. How is Mrs. Mueggy and the Scotts. I feel sorry for Mrs.Shelton, but tell her to keep looking on the bright side of things. I know that is hard for her to do but it is the only way that she can be happy, and if she is faithful in living the gospel, things will work out all right for her, and her husband may not be so happy. I have not had a letter from Jesse yet I wonder what is the matter with him. Have you had a letter. I went out for a walk with Mary Jane this morning while Mary did the washing. Mary hasn’t a washing machine nor a sewing machine. She does her washing by hand on the board. They have a nice yard here. It is a kind of court back from the street, another family lives farther back and one in front on the street, it is all cement walks and lawn with flowers and trees, and the houses are not close together. Did you find out from Mr. Futan if you had to plant the leaves after they begin to grow leaves. [Laura’s note: I think Mother is talking about the Christmas Poinsettes - later references make it clear that it was a good will plant] Will you find out as I think one of the leaves that I brought is still alive. Mary pinned it to her kitchen curtain. I go with Mary to the store nearly every afternoon, it is about as far as Piggley Wiggley is from your place. They have a nice market to go to. This place is where the Mormon Battalion disbanded. They have a square called the Mormon square and a monument to the Mormon Battalion. There are not many soldiers in this place. I guess they come and go. I am happy to know that you are going to teach the Theology. I know you can do it. The lesson last month was on the sacrament and this month’s lesson is on Authority. Read your lesson in the August magazine, then read in the Articles of faith. You will get a great deal of inspiration from reading the Articles of faith. Get some one to tell about the apostasy and one to tell about the restoration.
You can get many references of men called of God in the Old Testament. I know you will get a great deal out of the lesson yourself and if you can get those good sisters to study and live the commandments of the Lord, their understanding will be opened up so that they can understand why those men holding the Priesthood have the authority to teach & bless.
I had a letter from Helen I will send it on, although Mary has already given you part of the news. My cough doesn’t bother at all only in my throat once in a while, and I take my medicine as Mary does not let me forget. How about you. You better keep taking it and get more when it is finished. How is Mrs. Powell, does she come over, don’t let her bother you. I was going to tell you about Mary how she gets her groceries home. She has a Taylor tot like what Mrs. Brown has and she puts the groceries in two bags, and puts one behind the baby on the seat and the other between the seat and the handle. It does fine. They were going to take me to a show tonight but can’t get a baby tender as it is Halloween. I hope no one scares Alvin. We can go to a show some other time. I hope Harold does not have to go to Washington and leave you in San Antonio. We will just hope for the best. The streets here are just like San Antonio only the sidewalks are wider also the streets, and there are lots of lovely palm and other trees of all kinds. Quite a nice town. I don’t blame Mary for liking it. Now dear children keep well and happy and do the best that you can, take care of Harold and I know he will take care of you. Love to you all from Mother.
P.S. Remember me to Sister Poole and Bradshaw. I met a missionary that was in the home with Jesse. He from Salt Lake. His name is Elder Watkins, a short fat fellow.
Alvin’s letter. Dear little Alvin I am far away from you but I love you just the same and want to give you a big hug and kiss. Be a good boy and eat your soup and vegetables and pudding, and you will grow bug and come and see Grandma. You will have a birthday soon and will be 2 years old and Grandma is going to send you a book with kitties and cows and lots of animals Happy Birthday