5 January 1919 News from a Friend




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

Peace talks were just beginning in Paris and people back home were thinking about Floyd who was still far away. This letter was from a friend named E. J. Vincent. Doing a little genealogical searching, I found that E.J. Vincent was Elmer James Vincent who was a boy “from the neighborhood.” He was a year older than Floyd, born 6 December 1890.

Rockford Ill.


Dear Friend Floyd

Received you good letter yesterday Jan. 4th. It was a very interesting letter. I thought of you on or near your birthday as mine was the 6th you remember I had forgoton whether yours was the after or the day before mine. We have been having some cold weather here the past few days got down to 21 below one A.M. but today is consiterable warmer ther is about a foot or more snow on the ground so there is beter sleighing than motoring especially out of the tracks. The weather altogether has been very good for the fall has Dec was several degrees warmer than the average for the last “0 years the records show.

I spent the days before Xmas in bed with the flu got up the noon of the 25th. It sure is no joke Bessie took care of me then she had a light attact but took the same medicine as I and she dident get down. As high as 116 died at camp in 24 hours.

Elmer’s letter lets us know that Floyd’s brother Albert had arrived home from San Antonio. He also made sure that Floyd knew that Arthur and Florence were soon to marry and teased Floyd about bringing home a French girl.

We heard that Albert was home but I supose you know that allready also heard that Florence Maning had a dry shower so I supose that means you will have a new sister in law by the time you get back to the states. Florence sure appears to be a very fine girl one to be proud of. I wonder if you will bring one back from among the French Belles See in the Paret that such things have happened.

I am working at a transmission co making transmissions for a four wheel drive truck for the U.S. They make and assemble about 20 to 25 a day ship the by the car load they weigh about 700 lbs each and as they have aluminum cases you know they are large. All shops are runing very slow now since peace and especially since Jan first.

I want B to go to the show tonite. The Cavell Case in on tonite the woman that the Germans shot as a war spy you probely remember it.

This letter confirms that Floyd did not “see actual fighting.”

Yes I supose you were disappointed not to see actual fighting like wise a good many that never got as far as you did a fellow that Bessie new in Minnesota was mustered out at Grant today that was on board ready to sail when word reached this side that the armistice was signed of course he was put back in camp again.

Well Floyd guess I must stop as news have run out and I have said nothing either. We are always glad to get your letters as often as you have time to write. Hoping to see you in R some day mabye you will be sent here to be mustered out. RESPT

E.J.V & B.E.V.

410 Gregory St Rockford Ill.


A Letter From Arthur

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, Gertrude Lovin Boyce and Guy Allison Phillips family.

E. J. Vincent

E. J. Vincent was Elmer James Vincent. He was born 6 December 1890 in Kendall County, Illinois. Elmer was found in the 1900 census living with his parents Frank and Alice (Jay) Vincent at Big Rock, Kane, Illinois. In 1910, the family was living in Sugar Grove. E.J. must have been one of Floyd’s friends. On 21 March 1912, Elmer married Olive Mae Eygabroad in Kane County. Olive Mae died shortly after they were married. On 9 February 1916, E.J. remarried to Bessie E. Shepard. Bessie was his wife when he wrote this letter to Floyd. At the time of the 1920 Federal Census, E.J. and Bessie lived at Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. They lived at Rockford through the 1940 Census. E.J. and Bessie had one daughter, Betty Claire Vincent, who was born 24 April 1925, in Aurora, Kane, Illinois, and died 26 May 2000. E.J. Vincent died 13 September 1972 in Napa, California. Bessie died in Josephine, Oregon, on 24 April 1982.


“E. J. Vincent” [Elmer James Vincent] (Rockford, Illinois) to “Floyd” [Floyd Boyce Phillips], letter, 5 January 1918; privately held by Denise Krueger, Rochester, MN, 2019.

Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Year: 1900; Census Place: Big Rock, Kane, Illinois; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0082; FHL microfilm: 1240311. Frank Vincent family.

Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Year: 1910; Census Place: Sugar Grove, Kane, Illinois; Roll: T624_297; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0090; FHL microfilm: 1374310. Frank Vincent family.

Ancestry.com. Illinois, County Marriage Records, 1800-1940 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Film #: 001481111. Elmer J. Vincent, son of Frank Vincent and Alice Jay married Olive Mae Eygabroad, daughter of M W Eygabroad and Jennie Furman, on 21 March 1912.

Ancestry.com. Web: Illinois, Select Deaths Index, 1877-1916 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Name: Olive Mae Eygabroad Vincent, Birth Year: abt 1890, Age: 23 Yr, Death Date: 2 Oct 1913, Death Place: Sugar Grove Twp, Kane, Illinois, Volume: 13, Page: 164.

Ancestry.com. Illinois, County Marriage Records, 1800-1940 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Film #: 001481090. Elmer J Vincent, son of Frank Vincent and Alice Jay married Bessie E Shepard, daughter of William Shepard and Margaret Burns, on 9 February 1916.

Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1920; Census Place: Rockford Ward 6, Winnebago, Illinois; Roll: T625_417; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 202. Elmer J. Vincent entry.

Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Year: 1930; Census Place: Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 2340307. Elmer J. Vincent entry.

Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Year: 1940; Census Place: West Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00915; Page: 30B; Enumeration District: 101-81A. Elmer J. Vincent entry.

The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration), for The State of Illinois; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M2097. Elmer James Vincent, born 6 December 1890, Kendall County, Illinois; residence: 1942, at Rockford, Illinois.

Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Record for Elmer J. Vincent.

Oregon State Library; 1966-1970 Death Index; Reel Title: State of Oregon Death Index; Year Range: 1981-1990. Bessie est Vincent.

Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Apr 1941: Name listed as BETTY CLAIRE VINCENT; Jul 1944: Name listed as BETTY V DOOLEY; Oct 1945: Name listed as BETTY C HOLTON; Jan 1962: Name listed as BETTY VIN ALLRED; 03 Jun 2000: Name listed as BETTY V ALLRED.

WWI Interactive Timeline, The National WWI Museum and Memorial ( https://www.theworldwar.org/explore/interactive-wwi-timeline : accessed 13 Jun 2019)

The Phillips Family

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