Friday, July 28, 2017


          Dear Brother, 
                         Received your dear letter was so glad to hear from you.  Was certainly a fine letter.  It's nice to hear you are feeling better.  I am still doctoring with Huggins. I have been better of that hemorrhage this last wk if it only lasts.Mamma has been with us since Tues morning until this after-noon Sun.  I will certainly miss her.  Said if she got real lonesome she would be back.   We certainly do miss you.  But such is life.  John Reed and family & Coreta came over today.  Mamma went back to Sparta with them.  Harley's horse is getting along allright.  It is still running some still quite a lump.  Harley said he would reduce it with iodine. The rest are all well as common. Willie is getting ready to do his chores so it will soon be milking time.

You got your share of duds didn't you.Anna brought Guy's last letter to read. He is still in England. Willie and I went to Sparta last evening. I saw Mr. Culver.  Said he got a card from you.  You surely do some writing.  We had strawberry shortcake for dinner.  No use to tell you what we have to eat when you have so much.  Johnny what do you think Myrtle GIlt brought me a $1.00 bill.  I was certainly surprised. Having big meetings in M.E. church at Sparta so they say.  Willie heard Irma Scott was going to clerk in Rushes Store. Sparta is full of whooping cough.  Ours haven't got it yet. How is Ray and Howard?  Tell Ray to to write to me.  Johnny did you get your stamps I sent you?  You didn't say though maybe they dropped out when you opened your letter. Did you know Chas. Catt was dead that man in Rob's place.  She is going to have a sale this week.

Well I don't know any news so I will close.  Hoping to hear from you soon or see you. How is that fussy-wussy?  HaHa.

                                     from Your sister Rose


          Dear Brother Johnny, 

Well how are you by this time? We are still all able to eat three meals a day yet but I am still on the grunt. Has our folks wrote you Jim Huggins is dead has a stroke out in their closet died right away. Funeral was over here at the church this after-noon at 1 oclock.  Took him to Chesterville to bury. I got to go along with Cora Hubble and family.  I sure did enjoy the ride. Last night Coreta kept the kids and Mr. Van Sickle took his family and Willie and I to Centerburg to a picture show last night. It was a good show. Don't you think I'm going some for a grunt. 

Dada and Mother spent the fourth with us but went home that night.  Dada seems anxious for the letters as Mamma.  Johnny I don't know how you stand the heat down there when it is so hot up here.  Mr. Van Sickle wanted me to ask what kind of music you march to.  Was it the brass band or just snare drum and fife? He wanted me to ask you.  I hope the war will be over before you have to go to France.  Men folks just got through cutting wheat yesterday. I guess we can get some huckle-berries after them.  Hattie said there was going to be some. Everything else is scarce. Johnny you certainly see some sights but they are nothing compared to Bloomfield. HaHa. Ora is out here in the yard now so is Coreta too.

Well Johnny do you still bawl like the gentleman-C when you see a girl now days? Oh, you kid don't seem like you are so far away.  Well I can't think of any more so I will close.
                                                                             Bye Bye
                                                                                    Dear Johnny.

                         Write when you can
                          With love from your sister Rose.

                                                                                 X X X X X   X X
                                                                                Floyd -M-C-Myself          

Monday, July 10, 2017

From Mary & Coreta. June 6, 1918

Centerburg, O.
June 6. 1918
Dear Uncle: -
       How are you by this time?  How is Ray & Howard?  I am just fine.  Mr. VanSickles colt soar is about all well. grandma and grandpa come over to our house the 4th and Aunt Florad & Uncle Clint& Myrtle and her two children..
       Do you have anything good to eat? Floyd went bare footed yesterday and he is crying because his feet hurts.  I will pick strawberries Friday.  John Reed and his family is coming to our house Sunday. Tell Ray to write to me if you please.  Doris Frost come over to play with me to-day.  Any more of your filling coming out of your teeth?  Why don't you get your picture and send it to us.
        Write soon.
                         Mary Geiger
                     Soldier John Butler

Fredricktown, Ohio
June 6, 1918
Hello John, 

          I received your letter today and was glad to hear from you.  I was down to Aunt Bell's today.  She said dhe got a letter from Ray yesterday. She wants me to help her a few days while there are some men boarding there  The men are going to build a bridge there by their house.   called up Alice Hood to talk to Grandma, but she and Grandpa were over to Mamma's.  Uncle Clint & Aunt Flora, Myrtle and two children were over there too.  All of Annie's and I are going over home on Sunday.  Last Sunday I stayed here they had company their names were Springers.  Mr. Springer was in the war with the Philippines.  They live now on Tom Hood's place.  Last Saturday night Annie said Kenneth Trease went past here with a gitl beside him. And a boy and a girl in behind.  Then Sunday Mildred said he went on past their house.  The girl was running Treases machine and Kenneth had his arms around the girl and there were two girls and boys in the back seat.  Have Treases wrote to you yet?  Grandma told Mamma and Mamma told me thatshe had got my grade card and I had passed to High School. A "F r e s h m a n" next year am I!   
        I guess Edith likes you pretty well doesn't she and I'll bet you like her. Mamma said someone was inquiring about me and I asked her who it was.  She said it was Ora Hall.  He asked Ennice,  I will take your advice and Mamma's and let Kenneth Conway be. I was over to Strumps on Sunday.  Helen went to work at some stylish people in Fredricktown.  I guess she gets $5 a wk. What are you doing?  Aunt Bell said Ray was washing some dishes. They got his letters Monday,
        I have been making a shortcake. I have also been parching.  That was a dandy little picture you sent me. I wish you would have your picture taken in your uniform and send it to me. I think you are having better things to eat than we are having at home.  Strawberries are .20 a qt.  Annie got a letter from Guy.  He was well. He said his (truck?) was so large you drive a ford in backend and have plenty of room to work around it. If you can read this writing you are going somewhere.  It is getting dark and I can't hardly see. I will have to close.
        Write soon.
             Good bye

B.B.U.C.Y.S.K.                                                                            S.W.A.L.X!
B.B.U.C.E.T.D.O.Y.H.                                                                 X X X X X
Make this out and send it.
P.S. Mr. Trucx was here today to buy rags..

Ray Dale Butler, veteran of WWI.  His father is Henry Butler, uncle to Rose.  His mother Sarah A. Hulse died in 1909. His step-mother is referred to in the letters as Aunt Bell

William Shephard with Rose Butler and
their son Floyd Shepherd
Anna Scarborough Reed.
She is a 1st Cousin to Rose Butler

Rella Alonzo Hatton married to Amy Estella Butler.
Stella is Rose's sister. 

Donald D. Hatton (Rella & Stella's son) with Mary Elizabeth Geiger and Coreta Mae Geiger (Rose Butler's daughters)

 I contacted Donald's son,  Don J Hatton who passed in 2016,  to share these photos.  In return, he sent me the letters I am sharing with you.  They were in an old box in his basement.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Bloomfield Ohio - May 31, 1918


Dear brother, 
         Received your most welcome card today.  Our mail man did not make his trip yesterday so we didn't get any mail. I am glad you are feeling better. Some days I am better then bad again. But able to still dig. Coreta went to Anna's last Wed. morning.  Haven't heard from her since. The rest here are allright.
          Floyd said at Sun. he wished Johnny would come and cut his hair.  I don't know what made him say it for you never cut his hair.  Johnny, that fellow that worked on the pike called banty, he is over in France. Then that heavy set fellow has gone that worked with them too. Dada and Mamma are very lonesome came home with me Sun. morning stayed until Tue. morning, but dada would go home at night.
          Coreta got her card promoted to High school.  Don't that sound good.Willie started in to plowing corn this after noon. It will certainly rain for it is so very warm.  Johnny,  I got my dress and Floyd's shoes were allright only a little large.  Mary was in here talking so I made some mistakes.  I called up Stellas a little while ago.  Our folks are there.  Mamma said Dada was getting uneasy. Wants to go home to get the mail.
           Mrs. Taylor said Herman called her said he believed he would enlist for all the boys are going.  He will be 20 in June.  How is Ray and Howard.  Are they any ways near you?  I felt sorry for Ray.  He kissed me good bye. Poor boy no mother's kiss. Floyd and Mary is sending these roses to you.  The dark one is Mary's the other is Floyds.  Ennice is helping Verner Conway this after noon.  How do you like your wrist watch.
          Well I expect you are tired of this so I will close.  Hoping to hear from you soon.

                             May God bless and protect my baby bro.
Your sister

P.S. Saw in Gilead paper where 60 boys from your place goes to camp Sherman.  Maybe Johnny.  XXX

Fredericktown Ohio - May 1918

May 29, 1918

Dear Uncle:

          I expect you are getting acquainted with the camp by this time. I am down at Annie's now. I am feeling fine and hoping you are the same. Supper is over and I am upstairs and think I will go to bed.  I stayed alnight up to grandmas Tuesday night and I mowed the yard.  I expect you see the Ohio River  Mrs. Holland wanted me to pick strawberries for her, but I was going to Annie's. Mary and Ennice I guess are going too.
          When grandmas was over to our house she got so tired of hearing the blackbirds she took a piece of brick and throwed at it and killed it so that it dropped out of tree.  Anna and I cleaned Guy's room this after noon.  I am writing on papa's suit case.  Do you know Kenneth Conway?  He is Gales' Conway son his mother is a sister to Ernest Tuttle.  He asked Mable how old I was.  He said he would make a date with me if I wouldn't turn him down. Ruth said that they weren't counted nothing.
           Do you know that "live for ever" that Grandma put on a wood house of me and Opy we are right together?  Hall's have got one better from Opy.  He is just fine and has a good job.  Geneva Mead is working in Gilead and now Grace runs with Florence Haycock and Claude Hines. Have you got your suit on yet? 
           Mary got a bump on her head Tuesday night running the little chickens in till it knocked her down. Ennice has got his hair cut close to his head.  Till you can't see a bit hair on his head only a little bit on top of inch long.  Today Iva made some candy to send to Zulauf.   I have not wrote to him yet and I don't think I will either. I expect you cannot read this writing I have.
          I guess Clyde has gone.  Some man seen him go through Galion.  Harold Musen has enlisted. I guess Willie is going to help Uncle Henry thru harvest.  Aunt Bells was over to Uncle Willies Sunday and she said grandpa and grandma was there.

Johnny Butler     L  M
 Edith Hulse       L  F

Love - I knew it long ago.

I soon will have to go to bed.         Good bye.

I guess I will be here for a while longer so write soon as you can.


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Meet the Butlers

I suppose I should have introduced you to our main characters.  Say hello to the Butlers.  This family photo was taken about 1897 given that John appears to be 3 years old.  His parents are George and Augusta Butler and his siblings are Stella, Rose and William.  They live in South Bloomfield NJ. 

John and William are a little older here.  They are closer to the age when John will be drafted for WWI.  This photo is the size of a thumbprint.  I suspect it may have been taken at a fair.

Coreta and Mary Geiger are Rose's daughters.  They are standing here in front of Grandma and Grandpa Butler's house.  From 1901-1908 they lived in Sparta, Ohio (once born) with Rose and Louis Geiger.  Louis is an engineer who works on bridges and is frequently away from home.  In 1908 Rose and Louis divorce

Rose remarries in 1913 to William Shepard. Coreta refers to them as Momma & Papa.

And finally, we have Coreta.  This looks to be about the correct age when she wrote what seemed to be her first letter to Uncle John away at war.