22 August 1918 Wonder Where You Are




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

Can you imagine not knowing where your son was or whether he was safe? Gertrude wrote a letter to her son Floyd wishing that she could hear from him.

22 August 1918, Gertrude to Floyd.

Home 6:30 P.M.

Aug. 22, 1918.

My Dear Floyd,

Am in hopes to write two of my 23rd letters before dark but am not sure. Of one thing I am sure and that is I know you will write me about this time of the month. I had no reports from Roy or Albert last month and it does so disappoint me. Well, my dear boy, how much we do wonder where you are and how near the danger front you are. I’ve had to change my former viewpoint now you are across the blue and I look far and to the east scanning in rain the skyline over the far distant tree tops but I do not see you, boy. I do not see you. I wonder much in the din of battle how hard you need to work and just what your work is.

22 August 1918, Gertrude to Floyd.

I wish soon you would write a lengthy descriptive letter that I may give in to the Beacon. There are so many interesting letters in the B. from some of the boys.

Mildred Mighell graduated from College this summer and is on the Beacon force. She is working very hard now as many are having their vacations. She has what she called her “beat” to interview 25 dif. places for news. I don’t know how long she intends to stay.

We were invited for the day with Winn’s folks to Wilder’s yesterday and had our usual good time. Winn brot us home. Albert Mighell is working on a farm at Waterman. The next draft for Sept 18 to 45 will take him.

Gertrude shared news of the Mighell family. Wynn and Ada Mighell and their children Mildred, Albert, and Stanton, were neighbors. They were also related through marriage. Guy’s brother Frank, had married Mary Olivia Mighell and Wynn was her first cousin.

22 August 1918, Gertrude to Floyd.

Gertrude wrote that the “road is a settled thing.” Guy had been in negotiations in his previous letter and now she reported that things were settled. The family lived on Jericho Road and perhaps this when their stretch of the road was turned from gravel into concrete requiring the road builders to take some property from Guy and from Aunt Eliza and Uncle Rush Vaughn. The state had been experimenting with concrete road building the last several years.

Well, the road is a settled thing. Yesterday Father had the final meeting in Raymond’s office & they gave him his price of $750.00 & will begin in about a month to tear up. I hope father will get back from Can. Raymond said they gave Aunt E. $300. They will hardly speak to us down there.

Jericho Road, 1915 from Illinois Highways.
Jericho Road, cicra 1916, from the Annual Report of the Illinois Highway Commission.

Arthur was getting ready for his trek north to Canada. He was packing and his girlfriend, Florence, and Gertrude were canning.

Engines have increased $100 since father first priced them but yesterday when he went to buy one there were two in stock on their old contract & we got one less the $100. Arthur is in hopes to leave by Sat. nite with it. He is getting anything of his own that’s available packt & crated to take. I suppose he will like to tell about it himself to you. F. has done a lot of canning.

22 August 1918, Gertrude to Floyd.

It is too bad the car had to go now instead of spring as they then would have many more things ready – but the engine now means hundreds of dollars. I’m expecting Rose to-nite and Floyd what do you think she will bring me? My dear service flag to put in the ___ window. She made one for us & one for themselves.

I gave them a big dish pan of tomatoes last nite. I’ve canned 15 qts. & more are ready. I’m so busy the rest of this week getting clothes mended to got north. Arthur just phoned to know if I’d come to Florence’s very early in the morning to see some of their things. They got a bargain on some dishes seconds.

22 August 1918, Gertrude to Floyd.

Among them being several fancy pieces. They are packt and I guess I can’t see them. I don’t know what he wants, tho he said nothing special but I’m going any how to please them.

Gertrude now had a service flag that she could fly to show she had two sons away supporting the Great War. She had news from Albert that she shared with Floyd.

It is now 12:30 midnite. Rose & sister Flora came just before dark & stayed till 10 or later. Father was gone and as I had the blues I sat on the porch awaiting him, my mood hardly harmonizing with the glorius moon lit nite. I’m so uneasy, I’ve decided to finish this and perhaps write Albert yet to-nite. Rose brot the flag which is of dark red satin – 7×9 with a white satin center with the two beautiful blue stars near upper right corner & lower left corner. It is hung on a gilded stick sharply pointed on each end and hung with a tinsel cord. She has made it very nicely. We had a very long letter from Albert 2 da’s ago. He said he didn’t just know what he’d be put into but knew he was sent as 1 of 16 qualified as experts. Rose said he wrote her these 16 would were to have a rigid trade exam. I think I wrote you he signed at K.C. as light chauffeur and that he’d be no nearer the front than five miles. He wrote they were on an aviation field & had heard their stay was 2 mo’s & again he heard 10 wks. so don’t know

22 August 1918, Gertrude to Floyd.

The Guy and Gertrude Phillips house, recently outfitted with electric lights, now had pretty fixtures.

While put up some of the electric fixtures today. The living room as 2 white ones decorated with oak leaf pattern. The dining room is old ivory with three bell shaped pendants of same suspended on outside of globe. Both halls are old ivory globes very near ceiling – pear shapt. In south chamber the ceiling is a white globe as are all the chambers. All are very pretty. Those below are semi-indirect.

The 20th Century meets out here at Faye’s to-morro nite – red cross auction sale.

Well my dear, my eyes are heavy and I guess I’ve written everything so good bye.

Love Mother

P.S. I knew I forgot something. Out of 14 examinations Albert had in K.C. his average was almost 98. The Superintendent told him he’d be clast as an expert. A. told him he’d rather not as too much mite be expected of him so he said he’d be 1st class mechanic. A. said later he learned the Super. lookt over his record and listed him as an expert. A. said he didn’t like it but would give the best he had. He wrote such a loyal service letter showing his thrills of serving his country. Said he’d not change with H.H. in particular.


Communing with Floyd

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.


“Mother” [Gertrude Lovin (Boyce) Phillips] (Oswego, Illinois) to “Floyd” [Floyd Boyce Phillips], letter, 22 August 1918; privately held by Denise Krueger, Rochester, MN, 2019.

Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009), www.ancestry.com, Year: 1920; Census Place: Jericho Road, Aurora, Kane, Illinois; Roll: T625_373; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 33; Image: 754.

Fifth Report of the Illinois State Highway Department for the Years 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916 [Illinois State Journal Co. State Printers: Springfield, 1917], p. 105, Google Books ( https://books.google.com/books?id=Y2Y4AQAAMAAJ : accessed 9 Jun 2019).

Illinois Highways, Volumes 2-4, article from August, 1915 edition, Vol. 2, No. 8, “Final Cost Report on Concrete Roads, Jericho Road, Aurora Township, Kane County,” Google Books ( https://books.google.com/books?id=bqskAQAAMAAJ : accessed 9 Jun 2019).

The Phillips Family

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