Tag Archives: old diaries

My Grandfather’s Words: Friday May 17, 1918

Today, we were taken to the infirmary and given our second shot of anti-toxin. It made me pretty sick. (I did not eat for twenty-four hours.) I was feeling very homesick at the same time.

Good news: I heard from Honey today, the first time since leaving her in Waterloo. I don’t recall ever getting a letter I was happier to get than that one. Dearest wrote me several pages and I almost cried when I read it.grandpa-and-grandma2

My Grandfathers Words: Sunday May 12, 1918

I awoke rather early this A.M.

Was pretty nervous and did not know what time they would call us for breakfast. I did not exactly know how the leggings went on, so I inquired and soon found how to adjust them. The call came to get up. I think I was nearly dressed. Gilbert was next to me. I think he was already awake when I reached over and touched him. They called us out for breakfast and lined us up in columns of four to march to the mess hall. After morning mess we were told by the corporal who had us in charge that as far as he knew there would be nothing doing until after noon mess at least. Continue reading My Grandfathers Words: Sunday May 12, 1918

My Grandfather’s Words: Saturday May 11, 1918 Part B

If you haven’t been following along, this is a multi-part series lifted from the pages of my grandfather’s diary from the 1918. He has just entered the service during WWI. This is Part 2 of His First Day in the United States Army.

Still Naked.

I was taken by the arm back to the place where I was grabbed out of line, and was started past the typewriters again. Certain lines were typed on my cards and papers, which I was to collect somewhere along the line. Finally we got to a man who was stamping names and numbers on a little aluminum disk. We were each given two of these with our names and service number on them These we were told to string on the card string we still had on our necks that we’d been given at the registration hall.

From here, we were passed to a little place in the last corner where one man disinfected a spot on our right shoulder blade, another shot a syringe of anti-typhoid stuff in, and a third man swabbed the place with iodine.

I forgot to say that we left our blankets at the door when we first entered the torture chamber much earlier in the day. All this time we had nothing on. Continue reading My Grandfather’s Words: Saturday May 11, 1918 Part B

My Grandfather’s Words: Thursday May 9, 1918

wedding-of-grampa-and-grammaMy grandfather, Glenn Ethan Hollopeter married my grandmother, Mary Dowson Leask on February 26, 1918.

The following is the first entry from my grandfather’s Journal:

Mary and I returned from Tracy, Minnesota, at 3 A.M. (Brother Ben lived there.) We went to Mary’s folks, and to bed.

Leask Home in Mason City
In 1906 Mary’s family moved to the Waterloo area from this house of seven gables in Mason City, Iowa

In the morning, I went out to the farm to get my trunk, and finish straightening things up there. I saw Oliver and asked him if I could hire Harvey for the morning. He told me go ahead. So I had Harvey go down to the station, get my trunk, and fetch it out to the farm. I had taken it out to Mother’s to put my fur coat and other things in it. Continue reading My Grandfather’s Words: Thursday May 9, 1918

In His Own Words: My Grandfather’s Diary

sam_1532When I was visiting my sweet cousins this past summer, cousin Jan came to me with a heavy-looking red book in her hands. She held it out to me, “I’ve read some of this. It’s Grandpa’s journal from his time in the army during World War One.”

Wow. Just wow!

As I flipped through it, I found some loose pages. I asked her what they were and she said she didn’t know.

All that afternoon, she and I transcribed what was Grandpa’s earliest recollections and his Christian testimony. I say ‘transcribed’ because his handwriting was nearly illegible. He was left-handed and his teachers taught him to write right-handed, you see. Some words we had to figure out letter by letter and then look up on the internet to try to decipher them.

So, I give you my Grandfather’s story, in his own words.

Early years

scan0011Father was a blacksmith.I was born in Raymond, Iowa and moved to Ladora when I was 1 years old. We moved to Crawford, Colorado when I was 6 years old. In Crawford, Father died in the spring of 1900. I was nine years old. Mother brought my brother and I back to Iowa that year, after selling the blacksmith shop and the house in Crawford. We lived with her folks a few months. Then she bought the hotel in Washburn and operated that for several months. When she married Frank Hemmer we moved to Caliofe, Iowa, near Hawarden, lived there a few months and moved to a farm across the big Sioux River to South Dakota. Continue reading In His Own Words: My Grandfather’s Diary