Monthly Archives: July 2012

June 10, 1931

Wednesday Night.

My dear Sweetheart,

The meetings go along OK. It has been cool & raining. The exhibit awards were made this PM. Dr. Shelmire and I were given second place in Class I. He is out tonight. I have just returned from Dr. White’s h√łtel. Have had two whole evening visits with him. He has a nice exhibit up here and would have drawn a prize if he had been demonstrating something as new as ours. He is feeling pretty good, and talks about as usual.

June 7, 1931

June 7, 1931

Our paper is scheduled for Friday morning sometime. The exhibits close at either 12 M or 2 PM. Expect to go to Wash. Friday night and spend the day there. They close at noon so I won’t be able to see very many [museums?]. Hope to arrive home Sunday A.M.

With love,

Walter.

June 10, 1931: AMA Award

June 10, 1931: AMA Award

The two researchers published their work the following Spring. The paper is a footnote in medical history, as fleas turned out to be the primary vectors of endemic typhus.

June 7, 1931

Walter is now in Philadelphia for a meeting of the American Medical Association, where he and Bedford Shelmire are presenting their work on the transmission of endemic typhus.

Sunday A.M.

My dear Sweetheart,

We arrived on time this morning and it is not so late after all. It was daylight when the porter called me. At the hotel I note that they are on daylight saving time so this is not bad.

June 7, 1931

June 7, 1931

This hotel is about an average one. It has been newly decorated. I haven’t had breakfast yet so I can’t say about the food.

I hope everything is going OK with you and Claudelle & WW.

With love,

Walter.

March 31, 1931

This is a letter to Ina from Anna Laake, wife of one of Walter’s colleagues in Texas. From the address on the envelope, we learn that Walter and Ina were living at 10 Elmwood Ave., Charleston, SC.

Dallas, Texas
3-31-’31

Dear Mrs. Dove and family:

I have thought of you dear people so often and wondered how you were and what you are doing and after seeing Dr. Dove’s name in the paper to-nite I could not resist writing and enclosing the item.

March 31, 1931

March 31, 1931

Ina I received your letter and also Claudelle’s card which I enjoyed. I know you two are happy to be together again. And so you have found the old town more interesting with Claudelle’s help. I know you must be busy with your house full and I am certain that Walter White is receiving his full share of attention from “all.”

The weather has been just beautiful until the last week and we have had two bad freezes that have ruined many flowers and fruit.

Ernest visited me, arriving Friday evening March 20 – and left Tuesday March 24. He was just out of the hospital, having had a pretty bad case of flu. He came by auto and made it in two days – fortunately the weather was good during the trip and while he was here. He went back by train. I received a letter yesterday saying he was O.K.

You remember Mrs. Parish of Menard? Well the baby arrived O.K. about a month ago. They are so pleased with “him.” Ernest had Mr. Parish to come here while he was in Dallas. Ernest was so busy I saw very little of him while he was here. I can hardly realize he was here.

With very best regards to every one and a big hug for Walter White. I am

Sincerely,

Anna.

March 23, 1931

Though he had to miss Christmas with his family at the end of 1930, Walter’s work on the transmission of endemic typhus went well, and he and his colleagues started preparing their data for publication. I believe he brought Ina and young Walter White to live with him in Charleston, SC sometime after New Year’s. Meanwhile, Walter took out a loan from the Veterans’ Administration. The VA was apparently getting a lot of loan requests around then. Even with a steady job, the Great Depression was a tough time.

March 23, 1931

March 23, 1931

December 25, 1930

Dec. 25 – 10:30 P.M.

My dear Sweetheart,

I am enclosing some Xmas cards. I had breakfast with Mrs. Laake. Took temperatures of pigs until 1 PM, then had dinner with the Shelmires. This afternoon we made some blood transfers to new pigs. Tonight I checked temperatures on the whole lot. Our mite bitten pigs are not running high temperatures but they do run fever. The fever is consistent so far. We are very anxious for results on the transfer pigs. In the latter we would like to see swellings & be able to get tissue for demonstration of the Rickettsia.

December 25, 1930

December 25, 1930

This evening was a dull one for me. Also last night. This evening I went by the movie on Grand Ave. I can’t tell you much about the show. I was thinking typhus and guinea pigs.

Last night the phone rang a number of times but I was determined that I was not going anywhere to see a Xmas tree and kiddies. Since the phone started to ringing before 8 PM I knew that you were not phoning. Today I found that it was Mrs. Bedford Shelmire. She wanted me to be sure and come out for dinner today. Mrs. Geary and Mrs. Shelmire had mentioned the trees, and I was determined that I would not see their trees last night.

I am getting all of the male guinea pigs I can find. Mr. Somier is going to help the cause by bringing one from his house tomorrow. We want to make the injections as soon as possible, and just as soon as we get swellings and can autopsy, I’ll get on my way to Uvalde. I am getting mighty anxious to see you and W W & the folks.

With all my love, Sweetheart, I am

Your
Walter.

P.S. Bish wants to read our paper on rat mites & typhus at Cleveland. If we get sufficient evidence on transmissions we may wire him to announce it for us. We would like to have an exhibit & paper for the Southern Clinic at Dallas on March 31 to April 2. We will see how it comes along.

W.E.D.

December 24, 1930

Dec. 24th – 8PM.

My dear Sweetheart,

I am mighty sorry that I cannot be in Uvalde tonight. I can imagine that W.W. will get quite a thrill out of his first Xmas. I don’t know whether I made it clear just why I couldn’t come or not.

December 24, 1930

December 24, 1930

The pigs which fed the infected mites have been showing low degrees of temperatures and no swellings. We are transferring the infections to new pigs for swellings and localization of Rickettsia so that they can be demonstrated. Of three pigs receiving blood last night, two are already running higher temperatures than any of the others. I am anxiously awaiting these developments. I feel that we have the dope, but we want to nail it for all time. I haven’t phoned Shelmire of these developments. He will be over tomorrow A.M. for more transfers and I’ll spring it then. He has been pretty blue. We have nine animals on which infected mites fed and six which received injections of infected mites. This does not count the tests made with an animal which proved to be an uninfected pig.

We cannot get as many pigs as we need at present. We have been promised a bunch on the day after Xmas. These will be about right for our more recent infections. It will take a few days for them to develop symptoms. It looks like it may be near the 1st before I can get there. I want to come as soon as possible. I think we should leave before it is time for Mother and Daddy Lewis to move. Have you said anything to them about Claudelle returning with us? Have you talked to Claudelle about it? She would be a lot of company for you. I could give her some stenographic work to do, and her living expenses would not cost her anything. I think it would be nice for all of us (Claudelle, you and I) if she returned with us. If she goes it will be necessary for us to ship some of the things but that would not amount to very much.

I certainly do love you Honey, and I am mighty sorry that I cannot be there for tonight and tomorrow. With all my love, and looking forward to seeing you, I am,

Your
Walter.

December 19, 1930

Friday PM.

My dear Sweetheart,

Yours of Wed. nite came this noon. The letter from Mother and the announcement of Evalyn’s marriage were enclosed. I do not know who her sparring partner is, but I’ll gamble that Mendelsohn’s Wedding March is the battle march. Mott is a very small place. She will be tired of it within two weeks. I hope that they will get along.

December 19, 1930

December 19, 1930

I sent a check for Mother and Revah. Also sent Mr. Laake a can of P.A. I’ll get something for Mrs. L. though I haven’t any idea of what to get. Thought a record or two might be OK for Claudelle, a box of candy for Thelma, a box of candy for Mother Lewis (the 5# boxes like those we got before). I’ll bring the clock for Reitha & Thelma Lee, a shirt for Daddy Lewis, handkerchiefs or tie or sox for Bob. Think we should give WW a deposit to his % [?].

C.G. Huff’s address is Dept. of Bacteriology and Hygiene, University of Chicago.

Mr. Parrish is going home tomorrow. He has to make a round of traps etc. He will be back during Jan. for about a month. He is just fine.

I haven’t any idea when I can get away. My pigs are not performing as well as one could hope. But it always happens this way during some stages of experimental work. “Facts are stubborn things.”

I certainly love you Honey and I am anxious to see you and W.W. & the folks at Uvalde. Will be glad when I can see you.

I hope you sleep good.

Your,
Walter.

December 18, 1930

Dec. 18 – 1930.

My dear Sweetheart,

I am enclosing your list of names for Xmas cards. I tried to supply addresses. Pardon my delay in returning the list and also no letters during the past two days.

December 18, 1930

December 18, 1930

Last night and the night before Dr. Shelmire came by and took me to their home for dinners. We came back to the lab at night. Our first series of feeding tests did not get us anywhere. The animal used for infecting mites apparently did not carry the infection. We are feeding two other species from new inoculations. The suspense is great. Some of the new animals received infected mites 3 days ago, others last night, and still others are to get theirs tonight and tomorrow night. We are allowing different intervals of time for development of organisms in the mites.

Yesterday I made application with the Southland Mortgage Co. for a lien to replace the one held by Mr. Harper. Also, I paid the city taxes (no penalty). Under the new scheme we would pay 10.60 per month on each $1000 loan with options of paying $500 at any time. The rate is 8% on the unpaid balance. Statements are sent by them every six months. There is no brokerage fee but the renewal with them will cost about $55. This covers guaranty policy, recording fees etc. We would not have another renewal of the lien.

I happened to mention it to Mr. Bruce. He said that he and Mrs. Bruce had some small loans maturing and that he thought they might be interested in making us the loan at 7%. He went home last night and I should hear from him Monday. I told him that you might feel that we were taking advantage of their friendship. He said that it was a business proposition as he could get only 6% in Kansas. If we let them have the loan it would probably mean another renewal as soon as they get a permanent location, one or two years. I don’t know how you feel about it.

I am enclosing cards from the Cushings and Mrs. Miller. I read them. Hope this is OK. Your letter of Tuesday came a few min. ago. I am glad to know that my family is OK.

Dr. Shelmire just left. He came out to be here with me when we inoculated some more pigs. In a few min. I am going to Oak Cliff for more mites. We want to have a colony going indefinitely with pigs. We want to try to carry the infection along by introducing new pigs to infected mites. Mr. Sommier is making the housing quarters for the mites.

I love you Honey and I certainly miss you. The Shelmire baby made me mighty homesick for you and W.W. “Wo” talks a little but I don’t savvy his language. He walks about 10 to 12 steps. The Shelmires have to be very careful about making a fuss over Wo when little Bedford is around. The dinners out there were very nice, and they were very hospitable. Mrs. Shelmire wants to meet you and W.W.

With all my love,

Your
Walter.

December 13, 1930

Saturday Night.

My dear Sweetheart & Buddy,

Yours of Friday AM came this noon. I note that Daddy Lewis is up to his old tricks yet. The trade sounds like a good one. From what you tell me of the location it seems OK. It should be close enough to the High School, in case the apartments are not rented to year-around residents. If three apartments are rented now, the chances are pretty good.

December 13, 1930

December 13, 1930

We have not yet had our lien fixed up. I am figuring with a loan man for the Savings Bank of Detroit. His proposition is a 10 year pay at the rate of $12.50 per month on each thousand. This includes prin and interest and there are no other renewal charges. There is a brokerage fee. At this rate our house would almost pay out from the rent. This would seem to be OK if we made a trade for something else or if we sold. I am investingating other propositions. I think I have time enough to do so.

My first series of experiments are not yet giving results. I fed the mites on a pig about the time the fever was subsiding. Since then I used another animal just about the time he came down with fever. Tonight I am feeding a third lot on an animal just beginning the fever. This will make three series of experiments, two of which should give transmissions. The first lot may come through. For they sometimes go about 12 days before they come down. I am pushing it all I can for I am anxious to complete the work.

Jimmie writes that there is no hurry about returning but that he misses us. Says Mr. Hall makes it pretty embarassing at times. Bruce says that Hall is running true to form. Looks like another Abbott in some ways. Hope we can find out about him before it is time for his wife to return. I have a lot of sympathy for her, but that does not make the lab work go as it should.

With lots of love, Honey, I am

Your
Walter.