21 July 1918 A Letter from Mother



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Many thanks to Coralee for providing me with artifacts throughout the years and especially for the stack of WWI-era letters that were delivered to me on 31 May 2019. They have provided countless hours of family history entertainment.

– Denise

Gertrude Lovin Boyce Phillips had to send two of her sons, Albert and Floyd, off to support the Great War. In this first letter to Floyd, who was still in training in Georgia, Gertrude seemed very concerned about Floyd getting along with the other kids. Well, getting along with the other soldiers. He was 26-years old, but still her boy. We only see Gertrude’s side of the conversation, but presumably, Floyd had written home earlier with some concerns.

Gertrude Lovin Boyce, Floyd Boyce Phillips, and Guy Allison Phillips, circa 1918.

Guy and Gertrude were doing some renovation in their home. Some progress had been made, but there were still things to do. Work needed to be done in Canada as well. There was mention of road work and of a stone collection.

21 July 1918, Gertrude to Floyd.
21 July 1918, Gertrude to Floyd.

Home, Sun. 2:12

July 21, 1918

Dear Floyd,

Somehow, dearie, I always think of you as so very lonely – way way off down there.

Are you? It seems if your crowd doesn’t hold the comrades you’d choose as yours. Is it my imagination? So many times in looking for you in the distant horizon I usually think of you as alone. Yet when alone u no you are in the choicest company if your mates are not of your choosing.

What became of the Columbus boy? What cot led near u? I’ve always thot Frank & u were much together. But what a big bit of sunshine it was to have him with u but a short time.

Father and A. have gone to a ball game at the Park. Oswego and Blackhawks. This is a very warm day but not so as yesterday. The 85 at 10:30 PM. More breeze and it grandly sails thru here in my nook from the south. This is one grand porch. Not so much more done to the house. Chambers and dining rooms look great. He is nearly thru with the living room and it is the best ever. It has been so tediously drawn out that the spirit of doing is very much in the background, again Father feels like he must go to Roy to help him. Even in war time one feels rebellions and my guidance is so little too. Again, I stay at home. Father says we can’t afford it. I positively do not agree. I get so disputed over this everlastingly money limited. I wonder what is worth while when the grind of the every day common place is so continuous. I wanted to delay house furnishing till after Canada threshing but he says it compromises us too much. Again I do not agree – good excuse to go when they need help. There is such oceans here to day only father to do. Cellar isn’t touched.

Well, I’ve had a nap here in my chair of a half hour. The road is just where it was. Reckinger went round with a petition last wk to put part on Uncle Rush.

Grandpa’s are to Heal’s this P.M.

Got yours & A’s letters Sat. Haven’t got your stones and have not heard from a stone from any one but Frank’s. His came in fine condition by parcel post to Mont. Long Island, Va. and N.C. Have been to Express offices & can’t trace any. Was strange where all the others went. Wonder if I told you we had the second letter from your Cal. friend? Had a nice short letter from a Mrs. Gaulding who entertained Albert among others.

This is very unsatisfactory but the 23rd is soon here.

Love, Mother

I’ve changed my mind & think possibly foolish not to send both in one.

21 July 1918, Gertrude to Floyd.

Gertrude wasn’t happy with her first letter to Floyd, so held it to mail a couple days later after writing a second one.


23 July 1918 A Better Letter from Mother

Who is Who?

Guy and Gertrude Phillips Family

Floyd was the middle of the five sons of Gertrude Lovin Boyce and Guy Allison Phillips.

Family group sheet, Guy Allison Phillips and Gertrude Lovin Boyce.

Uncle Frank

Relationship chart, Floyd Boyce Phillips to Frank Lonsbury Phillips.

Uncle Rush

“Uncle Rush” was a great uncle of Floyd’s on his paternal side. But, Gertrude had a relationship with the family too in her youth, having lived for a time with Uncle Rush’s parents when she began teaching at the Montgomery School.

Relationship chart, Floyd Boyce Phillips to Alfred Rush Vaughn.


“Mother” [Gertrude Lovin Boyce Phillips] (Oswego, Illinois) to “Floyd” [Floyd Boyce Phillips], letter, 21 July 1918; privately held by Denise Krueger, Rochester, MN, 2019.

Gertrude Lovin (Boyce) Phillips, “Memoir” (Illinois, 1865-1953).” Copy privately held by Denise Krueger, Rochester, MN, 2019.

Gertrude, Floyd, and Guy Phillips photograph, Phillips Family Collection; copy privately held by Denise Rae Krueger, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Rochester, Minnesota, 2019.

The Phillips Family

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