World War II Letter Between Cousins

Note by Phyllis Brown:  As I have mentioned before, Hugh Linton and my great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, were cousins – they were both descended from sons of Captain John Linton who moved from Loudoun County, Virginia, to Washington County, Kentucky, in 1818.  Their friendship survived many years, along with their love of genealogy, until their deaths in 1945.  Hugh died in March, Frances died in August.  Their love of family and life remained steady and strong.  They survived the Great Depression, and two world wars.  Their life changed from one of horse and buggies to automobiles, from oil lamps to electricity.  What would they think of our world today?

World War II Letter Between Cousins

December 21, 1943

Dear Cousin Frances and Family:

In your letter I have never answered, you told about the 50th anniversary and the children’s surprise party for your and Cousin Bob.  I am sure you all had a fine time.  I remember a similar kind of party we had for my parents on their 50th in November 1919, when we all gathered up there and we boys had bought them a pretty nice present, and how my mother gave way to her emotions and cried – from joy over the occasion.

I was interested to know of the grandson in North Africa when you wrote the letter, Robert Carrico, and I am hoping that he, through all the hardship and dangers, is doing a real soldier’s job there.  I trust you all hear from him now and then.  I have a young friend in Sicily from whom I had a card lately.  There seems to be bloody fighting in Italy by our 5th Army, and I guess a lot of Kentucky boys are in there.

Yes, we do remember your son, Edward.  Are he and the children still with you?  I wonder if your family has had flu recently.  It has hit a large per cent of our folks in Hopkinsville, and seems different from the old time flu.  I had a touch of it and was not very sick, but it sort of took the starch out of me and gives me a lazy kind of feeling, and then keeps coming back every day or so with a little fever, but not much pain.  Lydabel and Frances seemed to have escaped it, except Frances had a bad cough, sounded like a return of the old whooping cough she had several years ago.

The cold weather has at last given way to a pleasant spell.  Let us hope it lasts a few days.  I believe this is the shortest day of the year.

Our daughter, Mary Adelaide, her husband and 4 year old red-head, Frances Elaine, spent a week with us just after Thanksgiving.  They are now in Bennettsville, South Carolina, where her husband, a Lieutenant, is an instructor in a flying field.  They drove their car.  We had a fine week of weather and lots of good times together; they are over 500 miles from us.  Our son, Walter, in Phoenix, Arizona, is 2,000 miles the other way.  He is practicing law in Phoenix, married and has a little boy now nearly 1 year old, but we haven’t seen him; probably won’t till after the war.  We drove to Arizona and saw Walter in August, 1940, as I believe I wrote you; that was before he married.  He has a step-son, adopted, named Bruce, old enough to go to school – it looks like he is going to have a big family.  He was our oldest, you know, born in 1914, graduated in law and admitted to the bar in 1938.

Our town is and has been for a year or so crowded with soldiers.  Camp Campbell is only 16 miles away, and it’s a big camp.  They have a bunch of German prisoners there.  Some of them have been working on farms and they pass through Hopkinsville now and then in trucks, with a big PW on their backs.  When travel comes in again, we will drive that way.  We spent 3 days at Mammoth Cave in August, but that was as far as our gas would allow us to travel.  With lots of love from Lydabel, Frances and myself,

Your Cousin,


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