Category Archives: My Grandfather’s Diary

My Grandfather’s Words: Sunday November 17, 1918

grandpa and grandmaI haven’t been keeping this diary up as I have not had time.

Events have moved very rapidly the last month. Peace is more practically assured. The Germans signed an armistice last Monday, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It meant almost unconditional surrender. Praise God.

First, Bulgaria gave up, then Austria, then Hungary collapsed. Then, Turkey caved in and finally November 11, the Germans signed the armistice.

Mary quit her job at Melanes and we moved to a room at 720 N. 13th, but did not like it. We found another nicer room now. I pay only $2.50 a week. We were paying $4.00 a week at the last place.

The papers this A.M. stated that the army would be demobilized rapidly & also the order of the demobilization. I rather think I will come under the second division, that of C.O’s.

(Thus ends my Grandfather’s journal.)

My Grandfather’s Words: Monday October 7, 1918

The weather was fair and cloudy this evening. I worked in corrals this A.M., in the train cars this P.M., and fed the horses their oats tonight. I had to fee oats yesterday, too. So did not go to town till later. I went to the Methodist church last evening. It was a kind of new experience for us & yet I don’t think it hurt us any.

Sometimes I think we are too exclusive and don’t let our light shine in places where we could. Paul used to go to the synagogues. If the opportunity came he “preached Christ unto them.” If I could just preach Christ unto them. I am not earnest enough nor steady enough. I am too much of a vacillating Christian, one time hot & another time cold. It is a terrible thing to be that way.

There will be a good conference in Ft. Worth, but the Spanish influenza makes us hesitate about going. Continue reading My Grandfather’s Words: Monday October 7, 1918

My Grandfather’s Words: Friday October 4, 1918

It’s been a warm day. I worked in the corrals this A.M. This P.M. I helped to make gravel walks around the barracks. Went downtown this evening. Mary is still at Milanes. I don’t know how much longer she will stay there.

This is a memorable day for us as it is the anniversary of our betrothal. I would like to be with her tonight, but could not as she was busy all evening. Little Girl, I wish there was some work you could get where you were free in the evening.

With this job, she is so tied up with the children there. The evenings are the busy time of the day. I can’t see her except for about four evenings a week. Of course this is better than if she were up in Waterloo & I were way down here in camp.

We have been talking over going up to Ft. Worth for Bible conference the eighteenth through the twentieth of this month, but there is so much of this Spanish influenza around that we don’t know whether to go or not. We have a few cases here in camp. There is a great deal scattered over the country in the various camps. Continue reading My Grandfather’s Words: Friday October 4, 1918

My Grandfather’s Words: Tuesday October 1, 1918

Weather has been cool at night and warm in the day time lately. The routine work here goes on about the same. They have thousands of tons of hay stored here now. The great sheds are full and they are stacking outside now.

The people of the Methodist church gave a kind of social for the Remount men on Friday evening last. Mary and I went. It was rather nice. They had some recitations and a few songs. Then they had sandwiches & coffee. It was so very nice of the church to entertain us that way.

Last evening, the church people were out here again. They gave us some entertainment, then we were all invited out to the church again next Friday evening. I don’t know whether I will go to the next event or not. Mary is not so well and my back is troubling me again.

They are going to start a G.M. School here & I have enrolled for it. I wish they would start soon. It seems that I am getting stagnant. My brain is dull & slow & I must do or have something to get it working again. This school will help me to get polished up again.


My Grandfather’s Words: Monday September 23, 1918

The weather is very much cooler than it was a month ago. I drew another blanket Saturday and I need it, too.

Mary sent home for a blanket for me, too. So I guess when that comes I will be pretty well fixed for the cold weather. She is not very well satisfied with her job. I think she will change soon. They keep piling on the work & expecting every minute of her time all day.

I had a letter from Mother today. She has been to Wilcorse, Minnisota. She visited with the Christians there, four families of them, and she liked it very much. She is not certain yet, what to do. If she does buy up there then Ben would have to sell the farm and go to training camp. It is hard. She just doesn’t know what to do. She will have to seek God’s mind on it. After all, that is the only thing to do.

Other than that, I don’t have any other news here.

My Grandfather’s Words: Saturday September 21, 1918

Yes an entire month has gone by and I haven’t been keeping this diary up. And quite a lot of things have happened. I was in the base hospital for six days with enteric dysentery. I was taken over there on Friday the 13th and discharged from there Thursday the 19th. I am still not feeling so well. Mary is working at Watkins at 1401 Austin St. She started there a week ago Thursday the 12th. The folks are very nice, but Mrs. Watkins is so very nervous herself that she gets on Mary’s nerves. I don’t know whether she will stay there very much longer or not.

There are rumors of this outfit leaving here and of the men getting their overseas exams very soon. I guess it might be some more of the stuff they have been spilling around here for six months or more.

I had a letter from cousin Ada Shearer of Emerson, Nebraska last evening. I received one today from Mr. Matthews containing a reference for me & Mary, too. I have two references now regarding my fitness for motor work. I may go over & see the man at the aviation camp soon. I am undecided yet what to do regarding this matter. I am very tired of this work around here and would very much like a change soon.

My Grandfather’s Words: Saturday August 31, 1918

I have not had time to keep my diary up since Mary got here last Saturday. I have stayed with her every evening since. She doesn’t like it very well here. I don’t blame her, because I don’t like it here either. We have a room at 1014 Jefferson St. in town. It isn’t a very clean place thought the lady who rents it is very nice & accommodating. However, the plumbing is in bad shape & need attention. I have taken it for the next week, too, but may have found someplace else by then. I am hoping so anyhow.

I have been taking care of the riding barn in company of Ziegler who is from Lawrie, Iowa. But Tuesday noon they called me in to see the top Sargent. He gave me an order on the Warehouse for a padlock & keys and told me to lock and stand guard over the No.7 corral, which was put in quarantine. I was responsible for said corral and was to let nothing in or out and was to keep the gate locked at all times. I was to let the feeders and cleaners and any who had business there in & out. So now I am corral guard & and cannot get off tomorrow or Monday (Labor Day) all day as I could have otherwise. So Mary wants to come out to me tomorrow. I’ll have to see about it. I guess as some other wives have been here before that maybe I can have mine out to.

My Grandfather’s Words: Friday August 23, 1918

The weather is rather nice today for Texas. Last night I went to town and as it looked like rain, I took my raincoat. It did rain. Actually it poured before I got to Waco. A bunch of us caught a ride on the back of a truck. I was the only one with a raincoat. Just as I got off at thirteenth to look at a room to let, it began raining very hard. I found a room on Jefferson St. Not such a nice looking house, but it had a large, clean-smelling room. Honey Girl will be here tomorrow. I pray she misses no connections and that He will keep her safe in her travels.


My Grandfather’s Words: Thursday August 22, 1918

The weather was hot from morning until early evening, then a nice wind blew in.

I am rather excited and nervous today. I went downtown last night looking for a room and I expect I will go again tonight.

I didn’t find anything that was just what I wanted. One little room was very nice and the people, a Mr. and Mrs. Jackson were very nice, too. (409 N. 15th.) However, they wanted four dollars a week for the room. I thought that was too much. I found another place where they had a large room and a sleeping porch. They wanted $15.00 a month. (711 N. 13th) I wanted to look at some more so I didn’t take either place. I looked at several other rooms. In all I walked about eight miles, I expect, as I walked down and back again.

I worked in the riding barn all day today. Yesterday, Ziegler and I were talking in the oats room, when Sargent Eglestrom and another Sargent came along. “What are you two doing in there?” they wanted to know.

Z told them – “finishing up our barn work. It is the job that we were detailed to do.”

They said, “Come along and we’ll show you some other work to do.”

They pointed out some stalls that hadn’t been in use and said, “Clean these out, clean out the bedding, and generally clean up everything in the riding barn.”

Which was what we had been trying to do.

So we spent until late yesterday evening doing that and then all day today. I haven’t heard yet if this is to be our job every day now or not, but next week we start drilling. I reckon with the hour a day drill that we are charged with we can keep busy doing that and not this.