Tag Archives: historical diaries

My Grandfather’s Words: Friday August 16, 1918

The weather is hot.

I don’t remember what I ate on this day. I did not write this on Friday but on Saturday evening. So I’m writing what I remember. Usual routine. Some inspector is to be coming tomorrow. There is a lot of extra work cleaning up around and getting ready for him. boat

I had a long talk with a young fellow here yesterday (Friday) evening. His name is Buchman. He is a corporal. He works in the office as a stenographer. Our talk finally turned to things of God. I shared my testimony. He doesn’t believe the Word of God is infallible & of course many things that I said were not accepted by him.

One sometimes wonders at the many ideas of God, and all the things people think a Christian is. Some professing to know Christ are here smoking their cigarettes and joining in with the raucous laughter as filthy stories are told, just as those who make no profession whatsoever. There are some who say they are Christians and they act no differently than the non-believer. One wonders just how real it all is sometimes. I feel certain many are just hiding behind their church creed and are using their profession of Christ for whatever reason, though it isn’t real.

This young man is one of the most sincere boys in the barracks. I’ve noticed he is very much troubled lately from the things he has let drop. I think he is in soul trouble. I can pray that he gets saved.

My Grandfather’s Words: Thursday August 10, 1918

The weather was hot and windy again.

At breakfast we had hot cakes & syrup, coffee, and prunes. For lunch we had corned beef & cabbage, spuds, and bread. At supper there was liver & onions, peas, bread, peach cobbler, and cocoa.

The usual routine, up at 6:15 etc. Ralph and I walked to town this evening. I questioned a couple of places about rooms to let for light housekeeping. I also saw Dr. Rowe who was going to look around and see what the outlook for nurses was here. He could give me very little information however. There is a scarcity of nurses here, it is true. I do think that Mary would have very little trouble finding work.

This one thing in our lives before God bothers me. It seems wrong to do what we think we would have to do now. So I am unsettled yet. I can only look to Him and ask Him to make things clear to Mary Dear and me. What should we do? In the meantime we will have to be content to see and talk with each other through the medium of letters. It may be this separation is for us to learn a lesson from. We are sure that God has a reason for taking us apart like this. We are trying to learn the lesson. Pray God though that our lesson is soon learned & that we may be together again. It is hard to be away from each other as we are, but He knows too.

Soon God will bring us together again.

My Grandfather’s Words: Wednesday August 14, 1918

It’s hot and windy today.

For breakfast we had hot cakes and syrup, coffee, and an apple. For lunch we had roast beef, spuds, water, and pudding. For supper we had beef stew, rice, tea, and bread.

Up at usual time, regular routine. Was a pretty windy day in the corrals. Zeigler and I were assigned to help clean the riding barn this morning. We were told that that would be all we would have to do till noon. Then we were told about ten o’clock to come to the corrals when we were done. We finished about ten thirty. We went out about ten forty. I wish the sergeants would keep their word when they tell us something. I guess they have to do it tho. The higher officers are riding them all the time. It is getting harder right along. They made us take our clothes down from the walls of the barracks & make shelves to lay our clothes on.

The top said tonight that we had to soldier as much as we could even if we were a battalion.

I had a dear letter from Honey Girl today again. She is well & was at home. The letter was written Sunday night. She had been to the church meeting in the morning. She said they had had a good meeting. I sure wish I could have been with her. She wore her wedding gown. I can see her in it when I close my eyes. I answered her letter tonight & must now go to bed. It is about 10:30. I will take a bath and then go to bed.

My Grandfather’s Words: Tuesday August 13, 1918

The weather is very windy and dusty.

Breakfast was spuds, scrambled eggs, half a grapefruit, and coffee. At lunch we had wieners, spuds, peas, bread, water, and pudding. For supper we had mutton stew, tomatoes, water, and peach pie.

Up at the usual time, usual routine. Worked distributing hay this morning, and was on the cleaning force this evening. It has been an awfully dusty day with a strong south wind. The clouds rolled in this afternoon and a few drops of rain fell.

G. Demara told me this morning his sergeant had seen an order in the office to the effect that all the civilians would be fired by the first of September. They will be bringing in a bunch of negras to do what we do now, shovel manure. We will have to drill. It seems to be pretty well understood that there is to be some changes here soon.

Daniels was made a sergeant & so was Maritog and Long. They aren’t bad fellows. I’m glad they got their promotions. It may be they will make some more later on. One never knows just what is going to happen here. Am so tired that I will have to go to bed, I guess.

My Grandfather’s Words: Monday August 12, 1918

The weather was hot and windy all day. Towards the evening the dust blew all around.

At breakfast we had hot cakes & syrup, coffee, and an orange. For lunch we had pork and beans, spuds, pickles, bread, and water. At supper we had meat in hot sauce, tea, bread, and apple cobbler.

Up at usual hour, reveille, and then police up. Worked in corrals from nine to seven. It was so dusty, and the wind blew a gale all day. It grew until it became a regular dust storm.

There was nothing said about my being late yesterday. They may over look it this time.

I had a dear letter from Mary today. She was at Oliver’s. They were thrashing. She says the oats were turning out good. Mary helped dig out some potatoes I had planted in the spring. My God! It seems more like three years instead of just three months and three days since I left.

I have been so homesick today. It seems as if some time I might go mad. It does no good to get homesick either, but I can’t help it. Terrible thoughts come into me sometimes, thoughts that, as a Christian, I must not harbor. Yet they persist in coming. I know God has saved some and that He will keep me as He has in the past. I must endure this awful life if it is His will.

I don’t know whether Mary will come down or not yet. I could not find suitable rooms yesterday. I have had no chance to see the doctor since I talked to him. There is another vital reason that work may not be best for her to come. Regarding that, I wrote to Mary Dear at length yesterday morning. I have written  her tonight, too. I must now read awhile and go to bed.

My Grandfather’s Words: Sunday August 11, 1918

The weather was cool in the early morning, but hot in the evening.

I had cornflakes, spuds, an egg, and coffee for breakfast. For lunch we had chicken, spuds, bread, and ice cream & cake. I had supper in town. It was bread, butter, tea, and a bag of peanuts.

Up at the usual Sunday hour. I did not have to police up this morning, but got a calling down because of the condition of the barracks. It seems instead of oiling the floors as they have been doing, they are going to scrub them now. The captain came through the barracks Saturday and was very much displeased with the condition of them. He gave the room orderlies a bawling out about it. Then “The Top” gave us all a bawling out about it. It seems to be a regular occurrence here. Each man is bawling out the man under him and then that man passes it on to the next man, & so it goes.

Ralph, Bryant, and I had a Bible class this morning. I think we all enjoyed it. I also wrote a long letter to Mary Dear.

I wandered around town all P.M. looking at rooms to let. Then, went to a little church hall in South Waco. There, I had an opportunity to speak a word for the Lord. It was a Pentecostal meeting. I was certainly out of place. But I am glad that I was permitted to speak a word of testimony.

I came in ten minutes late this evening. Oliver asked when I got in.  I told him. I don’t know what we could have done to avoid it. Our car was delayed at the rail switches as we came out of town. Instead of a twenty-five minute trip, ours was a forty-five minute trip.

It was the first time I have ever been late.


My Grandfather’s Words: Saturday August 10, 1918

August 1918 from the War memorial Kansas City

The weather is hot and windy today.

At breakfast I had hotcakes and syrup, half a cantaloupe, and coffee. At lunch we had wieners, cabbage, green onions, spuds, bread and water.

The usual routine, rising, washing, standing reveille…I worked in the corrals. (Depending on the day his work would have included mucking stalls and the dirt corral, separating the herd for training, grooming, and fetching the horses water and hay.) I have nothing out of the ordinary to report about it.

Think I will go to town tonight. I’ll probably walk. I can go right after supper. I only worked till 3:30 P.M. I had a good letter from Mary Girl today. She was at home. She is thinking she will go to Beth’s for a day or two.

It was awfully dusty at the corrals today. I pushed a broom all day. So I’m tired tonight. Mary said the thermometer reached 110 degrees up there Monday. That is as hot as it ever gets here, I guess. The temperature here in Waco was at 98 1/2 yesterday. I think it is getting cooler down here.

My Grandfather’s Words: Friday August 9, 1918

The weather is windy and dusty, though not as hot as it has been.World War I memorial in Kansas City

Breakfast was spuds, a banana, and coffee. For lunch we had fish, dressing, bread, and water. At supper we had spuds with gravy, liver and onions, watermelon, and tea.

Usual time up today. I was on full duty today. I helped load horses this morning. I worked in the corrals this afternoon.

I did a washing tonight, and wrote a letter to Mary Dear. Edward enlisted in the Navy. Mary was at Will’s house canning corn.

I have nothing much to write tonight. I may write more in the morning.

My Grandfather’s Words: Thursday August 8, 1918

Weather: There is a terrible wind blasting sand onto everything.

Breakfast is hotcakes and syrup, coffee, and an orange. For lunch we had corned beef & cabbage, spuds, bread and water. For supper I had a tomato, spuds, bread and water.

Regular routine getting up and ready. I was marked light duty again & I worked in the canteen. We were pretty busy all day. The canteen was open all afternoon until eight this evening, so I was tired tonight.

I had a dear long letter from Mary today, too. She is well. She had been to Waterloo with James and his family for Sunday church meeting. They were expecting Ed back from Mason City where he had been on vacation. He was expecting to join the Navy.

I am too tired to write any more of this day.

My Grandfather’s Words: Wednesday August 7, 1918

The weather in the morning was cloudy and cool, but by mid-afternoon it was hot. Wind picked up and brought dust with it.

Breakfast was one half a cantaloup, eggs, spuds, and coffee. For lunch we had spareribs and sauerkraut, spuds, and water. Supper was hash, bread, water, and peaches.

Up at the usual time with the usual routine. I was given light duty again today. Cleaned up around the canteen and then helped sell stuff. (The camp store would have sold toiletries, and other necessities, but also ice and extra treats to eat such as ice cream, or candy.) We were open all afternoon, but closed at eight tonight. Business was pretty good.

I had a good letter from Mary dear this morning.  She is still at Jim’s and will stay yet a while. She mailed the letter Sunday. It reached me yesterday after three days on the road. One wonders sometimes, why it takes so long for a letter to get here. There is not much to write today. I was too busy in the canteen to think very much.