She is even tempered and capable

To Bertha from Beth Cary –

(Date is approximate)


St. Cloud, Minnesota
1007 4th Avenue S.

Dearest Bobby,

Wonder where you are spending this Christmas. Wrote you several months ago but naturally I am suspicious of Army movements and you may not have received it.

The Christmas season rolls around with increasing speed as the years pass by but the last week of suspense seems as long as ever. Our tree this year reminds me of the one we ploughed thru the drifts to get the Christmas we spent in school. Really appreciated that tree as much as any we ever had. I think Leigh felt the same about the tree we had in Menahga. Being situated _____ …of Minnesota it was up to him to go out the trees. This years was quite _____ purchased but probably a little singing of the tips will give the proper odor to the day.

The children are quite enthusiastic as usual. Even the baby thought the Christmas bells very attractive when I took him to a church sale last week. Of course, he is two so should be a little observing.

Wonder if you got an announcement of Dorothy _____ wedding last month. She is a very poor correspondent so I don’t know anything about him. A good wedding announcement should have a picture of the unknown party, short prospects, etcetera, if it is such a pest to get the bare statement of fact. He gets a grand girl. She is even tempered and capable.

You can think of me as getting a goose dinner for about twelve on Christmas. My folks and Leigh’s mother and brother will be a very busy child for the next week. One can do a great deal toward making a day easier by proper planning and preparations.

Wonder if we are to have a “black” Christmas. Would be my first in Minnesota. There was enough in Lynchburg that year.

A friend here has a dad who is Vice President of the _____…Washington. The paper here was sort of bragging about it. Guess they had never been passengers on the road.

Love and hearty wishes for a Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring your heart’s desire.



Miss Bertha Ballou
C/O Col. C.R. Ballou
Please forward.

Here I am back in Washington and so glad to be here

To CC Ballou from Bertha – September 13, 1918

1724 20th St. N.W.
 Washington, D.C.

Dear Papa,

Here I am back in Washington and so glad to be here. We have been gone for a month and it has been a very pleasant change but it’s nice to be home just the same. Senn and I came on ahead of Mamma and Sally from Dallas, where Aunt Addie and Uncle George live, and arrived last night about nine o’clock. Major Hester is still _____ although Mrs. Hester has gone back to Atlanta. Everything is in excellent condition and I can see that they have taken a great deal of pains to care for things. I have not done very much today _____ have been busy all the time, nevertheless and will have dinner to prepare as soon as I finish this letter.

A short time before leaving Homly, I received a letter from Hazel Clark. She has accepted a position in Pittsburgh – testing chemistry. It will give her rather short hours and a salary of eighteen hundred for eight or nine months work. That is better than anything she could secure here. She inquired about you and sent her kindest regards. They are all well, the family still at _____ and were expecting their son who has been sent back to this country – disabled from shell _____.

You will know before this reaches you of General Newman’s promotion. It is a pleasure to be able to write the General. I have not seen them yet but Senn ran across him last night – not being like me tired enough to go to bed after traveling all day. It is a disagreeable trip from Dallas. We were obliged to go for about half an hour by trolley – walk some distance to the station and make the rest of the trip in crowded day-coaches with two changes. Of course that’s not very terrible but twelve hours of it _____ all the excitement that _____ system craves in the course of one day. Senn found three letters from you awaiting _____ here and there is also one for Mamma which I will not forward as I suspect her to follow in a day or two and might miss her. I observed in the Army and Navy Journal that Mrs. ______ with the old lady and Marjorie have gone to Detroit to remain for the period of the war. If you see the Colonel, give him my love – one never really know how much on things of a friend until afterwards. Now I am surprised sometimes to see who are the ones who stand out in my memory as satisfactory recollections. They are not always the ones that I would have expected – but he is one.

Well, goodbye for this time and keep well. We are all so encouraged by the gains this last month that I dare to hope that the war will not last so much longer as I had feared. If you can only head out and keep your health!

Love from,


September 13th, 1918

Am always watching the papers for any news of your father

To Bertha from Beth Cary – October 19, 1918

Dearest Bobby-Kins,

Just wrote my oldest friend Helen Currie of whom you’ve probably heard me speak. Gave her your address and she will probably call you sometime. She is a university graduate and P.G. of Simmons College on business. She is taking a government position of some sort soon. Really think you girls would like each other if you have time. Know how busy you both will be, though, so merely hope for the best. Honie is square, sensible and awfully jolly. She is Scotch to the backbone which makes for depth and grit. Here’s to your friendship – May it flourish as ours has done.

Wonder if Reba has her expected yet? [Note: If this refers to Bertha’s Sister Reba Ballou (1888-1918), she would have died of Spanish Influenza by the time this letter was received.] I’ve forgotten whether I told you we were in line again. “Peter” will probably arrive before you get this latter. He is due tomorrow, although my children have never proved punctual in the past. Mother is coming up to take care of the present incumbents and I go to the hospital. Guess poor Fred will get his little nose broken nearly as badly as Reba’s hopeful. He thinks there is no one like mother and I’m awfully sharp for him. He is such a good _____ strong clean looking little lad. Daddy and “Unckey Bud” are all for their girl Alice, so Fred has been my boy more than usual. Guess that is what mothers are for, to stick up for the one that needs it most. When I visit at White Bear, most of them are for Fred so I have Alice there – but all the Cary women like Alice best as she is the first little girl in over twenty years.

Got to hustle, here came callers and I may never get a chance for ore tomorrow. Wish you’d take your pen in hand (_____) oftener – but can’t kick _____ _____ do these results in a real letter and I write just a seldom and then _____ _____ _____ _____.

Guess old Minnesota has been in the limelight the past week. Fire has been near enough for all purposes. Was good and smokey for a while but guess dancer is well past now. At least they’re watching. Had a good rain this morning which helped some.

Am always watching the papers for any news of your father – Dad said he had seen his name several times. My brother continues to write regularly but the news is so old when we get it. Being at headquarters he is more fortunate in mail line than many of others in the lines and hunches.

Wonder how your mother is now. Just got done nursing my husband through the sp. _____. He has been out a week and feels OK again so guess the rest of us have escaped. Was awfully careful and still have our fingers crossed. Guess this glorious Indian summer saved the day. Kept the kids out and doors and windows open. Too bad you’re not fond of…
…is wished on you. It does get tiresome sometimes but along famously. There is one piece where health and speed are useful – and when a little system and practical experience are added, it needn’t require much time or energy.

Remember you told of reading Frank’s travels. I’ve never had a chance at the one you mentioned reading but The Vagabond Journey Around the World some years ago. Read it twice in fact. I enjoyed it so much. He is a charming writer. I don’t see anything but magazines of course and…

…I get – take – post, Literary Digest, Everybodies, American, Good Housekeeping, McClures, Proximal Review, Ladies Home Journal and Colliers. “_____” in Good Housekeeping is as _____ us any serial Kathleen Norris is to blame for it.

Really must get supper as kids are whining and it’s after six.

Lots of love,


Katie Mc______ sailed for France October 14 for a year’s kid cross work – sent by…

I am getting lots of dinner invitations, much to my regret

To Bertha from CC Ballou –

Camp Dodge, Iowa
Commanding General’s Office

February 14, 1919

My dear “Specks,”

This is the anniversary of the advent of my test beloved valentine, and I am sorry not to have contributed something _____ a celebration of the event as well as for Sally’s birthday. But I did not have much thought while home for anything except hanging about the place and visiting with you all. Also when _____ so much in Paris as I did it as a sort of general contribution to the family that would have to, in a way, represent me in the way of gifts for the winter’s “occasions.” I have written to Mamma regarding another matter, but it may be some time before it materializes. I want you, however, to _____ a frame for the photo you are to have and tell Mamma it is to be at my expense, so you will have to regard the photo, framed, as sort of birthday remembrance. I am well up to date. It has turned colder and there is a strong north wind and dull clouds. Better weather as predicted for tomorrow.

I am getting lots of dinner invitations, much to my regret, my evenings are, ______, very lonely, as I am entirely alone every night and afternoon when not in my office.

I have just written Madame Briger that we would _____ this the “_____,” sometime, I guess that is French for “crest,” or “_____.” Have appointed “_____” Newman Executive Office, and will be glad to have him at my elbow. It will assure me of good judgment and thoroughness in carrying out my wishes.

Give me love to Mamma, Lenn, and Sally, and let me hear how things are going, when you have to write. I completed the _____ out of the 19th _____ today. _____ I _____ as it’s commander, and announced in orders that it has ceased to exist.

Your loving dad.