24 October 1918 Arthur was not enjoying Canada




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

Arthur Guy Phillips was 24-years old, love-sick for his gal Florence, and perhaps feeling unappreciated by his family, as he lived and worked in Canada on the Phillips farming endeavors. They lived at Fannystelle, about 35 miles from Winnipeg which he nicknamed, “Peg.” His father, Guy, and brother Charles were in Canada with him. Oldest brother, Roy, and his family, were there too. Roy’s wife, Freda, was the only woman around. She was busy feeding and cleaning up after all those men plus her five-year old daughter, Katherine, and three-year old son, Russell. Another child was on the way. She was probably exhausted. The men were probably stressed and tired from the busy fall season. It seems relationships were getting strained. Arthur wrote to his two soldier brothers, complaining some about his current situation.

“Plenty of words,” wrote Floyd as a summary of his brother’s letter.
Arthur Phillips letter to his brothers Albert and Floyd, 24 October 1918.

My name is Miss Katherine Phillips – Mistress of 500 acres

My name is Russell Phillips – Foreman of 500 acres

Fannystelle, Man.

Oct. 24 – 18

Dear Bro –

I suppose that you would call this the “Hooverize” method, but I guess that you fellows realize how one gets pressed for time – especially in this country. There always seems to be a plenty to do. But I suppose there is no need of me trying to tell you anything about it as you probably forget more every day than I know.

I’ll admit that I have delayed writing much longer than I should have and there is not an awful lot of excuse tho the ‘regulars’ have been going quite often – even at that I don’t think that either one of you would advise any different, how about it? But I’ll say that I surely have felt bad because I couldn’t have been with Florence thru her sickness, surely she has done enuf for me and I would like to return my part of the good deed. The least, rather I mean the most that I can do is to write a letter now and again – mostly again. One of my last ones was sixteen pages of this size and I couldn’t begin to tell her how much I like her, and what do you think of that?

But there is one sure thing and that is that we are enjoying our “little world” now anyhow.

Arthur Phillips letter to his brothers Albert and Floyd, 24 October 1918.

And I certainly hope that we always can, and I can see no reason why we should not. We are up against it I am afraid for the beginning of next year. As now it is planned for both families to live in this house until after seeding is over and to tell the truth about it I don’t favor the plan at all. Especially after I got the once over a week or so ago. I really don’t see how you fellows cut the mustard for two years when I couldn’t for two months. But I don’t know, maybe times have changed anyhow I fail to make a good mud scraper, therefor, resolve – that the others clean their mud somewhere else. Charles and I have about as many rights as a German prisoner so I lowed as how I would figure and I’ll tell the world I figured.

She complained about us fellows imposing on her all the time (you fellows included). About the only thing I said, as I recall, was that she didn’t have to work we could get a hired girl. Anyone with any reason would know exactly what I meant, that we three wouldn’t want her to feel that we were making her overdo etc, etc. I figure that she has been well paid for every hands turn she had done.

This was Sat. nite, Sun morning “Fat” informed me to get the hired girl that she was going to Peg. after thrashing.

Arthur Phillips letter to his brothers Albert and Floyd, 24 October 1918.

After while Chas. & I decided we would put up in the cook car. Mon. morning F. jumped me about get the girl etc. I said that C. & I was going in the cook car. She said that we was too late, that she was going. I figured in by saying that I lowed as how nobody was stopping her and if it was necessary we might help her, tho she had no reason to feel that way. She insinuated the H— that Florence will raise when she is that way. Say man I didn’t get my second wind till after breakfast. With no cause whatever she had dashed, from an angry tongue the golden and sacredness of a young unmarried girls’ motherhood. You have loved a girl as I love her just think it over and see how you would like it. The only part I regretted was that she wasn’t a man, tho I am crippled I’ll bet I could have put the pigskin square between the goal as I did a few years ago. Never the less I assure you that she understands that her name is to be omitted in all differences. About two weeks have passed but I haven’t heard anything about that Peg bluff yet. I am from old Mo. you got to show me. No man in all this world has tried to be any more pleasant, accommodating and mor fair than I. But you lose your freedom of speech in here.

Arthur Phillips letter to his brothers Albert and Floyd, 24 October 1918.

I won’t go into detail at all only that is a big reason why I hate to come in here next spring. On the other hand this happens to be my place when I step in next year, tho I have had my does & don’t already. I’ll say the atmosphere is some icy. But I try to be good and do all I can to readjust matters, most of my questions etc go unanswered. Enuf said – “never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.”

We are getting along fine here tho I wish we had more plowing done. Roy had an accident with the 45 yesterday and cleaned the insides proper. We got Minard’s for the rest of the season. Roy came over to Troffords where I was discing with a bbl. of water just as I was leaving with a burnt out bearing. Tough luck. I was going to make the season with no accidents, but the oiler plugged on the left piston & left crank. But it’s all in the game, isn’t it?

Chas. went to Peg today to see Am. Counsil. Had snow flurries this P.M.

How do you prosper nowdays? My knee is getting worse as time progresses, more hard coal for me. We have a returned soldier from Eng. here. He was shell shocked & I sure feel sorry for him, no home or friends either.

Well boys, (you see I have to write this way cause I use carbon paper, so what one gets I figure the other one gets too) I must close now hoping this finds you well & happy & on the way to get Fritz.


Letter from Albert

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.


“Arthur” [Arthur Guy Phillips] (Fannystelle, Manitoba, Canada) to “Floyd” [Floyd Boyce Phillips], letter, 24 October 1918; privately held by Denise Krueger, Rochester, MN, 2019.

The Phillips Family

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