830 S. Mich. Ave., Chicago
June 21, 1940.
My dear Sweetheart,
I expected a letter this AM because I thought you might want me to come to Wash. and drive for you to Chicago. Since I did not hear I assume that you want to stay there until we move to Florida. B.M. said that I might come in on the 4th, but this will be governed by the activity of the program at that time. If shipping is heavy I think I should stay here. At present it is a small program & it looks as though Kans. Neb. Iowa & Missouri represent the extent of it. Mr. Rainwater is in the field now but if things are rather quiet he could come in & let me get away on the 4th. If you want to come to Chicago I’ll come for you & we will go from here to Miss. & then Florida.
June 21, 1940
For the past few days I have been buying a few books. I have about 62 at a cost of about $20. I hope you & the boys will like them. They are on varied subjects – some fiction.
Hope you are feeling OK. I love you.
Stationery from the 830 South Michigan Hotel, Chicago, IL.
June 18, 1940.
My dear Sweetheart,
Your letter of Sun. night came this AM and I think you have had the answer from Mr. G. before now. I mentioned the visit of Mrs. G. when I finished talking to you and it seemed to disturb him a great deal. He had already told me of the divorce, and although I had not previously heard one word about it, and knew of no reason why they would separate, I was not surprised when he told me. There was nothing I could say when he told me, except that it would not be mentioned outside of Claudelle and yourself. If you are yet of the opinion that you would like to come to Chicago for the short time I’ll be here, let me know so that I can locate a place here and also so I can come for you & drive the car on Sunday. If the moving can wait until July 15, I think it would be better. Mr. G. said I might plan on coming to Wash. on the 4th. We expect the last week of June & the 1st week of July to be the heavy shipping period. We have shipped 106 cars so far, with 100 while Mr. G. was here.
June 18, 1940
I love you lots & lots & I am now looking forward to joining you before many more weeks. Have just written to Mr. Simmons about a house at Panama City. Orlando is a large place but I am trying to move the station from there.
Friday night [Wrong day again, I think.]
Am enclosing the pictures with negatives. The little girl’s mother may wish to borrow the negatives of LD & the little girl, or you may care to give her prints showing the little girl.
June 16, 1940
Thompson & I arrived today & we have requisitions for 51 cars of creosote oil, which will be ordered shipped when Mr. Gaddis arrives tomorrow.
I wish I knew what the Chief has in mind as to the leeway I’ll have on research. If plenty of latitude I know I can get the kind of research that is needed, but if this is not given I doubt if we will stay with it long. I don’t intend to camouflage Bishopp’s weaknesses as we have always done.
I feel that I have accomplished something this season & will get something done here. I don’t believe the Denver set up can handle a hot program, even after the help they have had this season. Yet the ‘hopper program seems definitely on the down grade, and it looks as though it will be a question of dropping men now employed on it. At least 75% could be dropped by the end of this season.
Will wait until I see you before planning to ship furniture from Mpls. Could take bids before July 1, but this appears as though we are anxious to move & I do not wish to show anxiety until I know more.
Tuesday PM. 6/11-’40
My dear Sweetheart,
Yours of the 31st was returned to the office from you and was received today. I was very glad to read it even though you had told me most of its contents. Also the card and letters from Mother Lewis and Mother Dove were gladly received. I am not returning the latter for I am sure that Claudelle has seen them.
June 11, 1940
I thought I’d hear from the Chief’s decision today but as yet no news from him. I am wonderingif he is going to insist on my going to Man & Animals. I hardly think so, but ordinarily he does not wait this long for a decision. Perhaps he had to develop some information first.
Claude, RA & all are most cordial and there seems to be quite a change in them. RA & Messenger are in the field now. Claude has made several friendly overtures and asked for suggestions on a few things. He does not seem to lock up so much. This makes me feel better though I still feel that they regard me with some suspicion. I think I’ve helped him & he appreciates it, especially on the situation in S. Dak.
The office at Chicago has been turned over to us by Mr. Corliss and they are most cordial. Corliss, Mrs. Corliss, Mitchell, Rainwater & I drove along the lake shore Sunday. There are some beautiful places even though we do not see many in passing through the city. Mrs. Simonson did not go with us as some of her relatives took her for a drive. Mr. Thompson and I will go down there on a moment’s notice, and I imagine as soon as it is time to ship creosote oil.
The buying here is about complete and within about 3 weeks the baiting will be over except for fall baiting. Montana counties have added a little spice to the program, but other than about 5 of these counties the program has been mild, indeed. The cricket program is hardly a drop in the bucket.
I found a little hotel on Michigan Ave. with good rates. All of us are stopping there except Mitchell & I think he and Thompson will stop there. It is known as 830 South Michigan Hotel, which is the street address. So far I have had no mail sent there, but should you phone or wire at night I could be reached there OK.
With love, I am
Sunday Night [Postmark suggests Walter got the day wrong again.]
My dear Ina,
Your very important news is great and we hope that the little daughter is on the way. According to your calculations the date would be some time near Walter White’s birthday. She would be grown about the time I reach 65. I am sure that she will keep both of us young and a lot of company, after W.W. and Lewis are grown. With 5 and 6 years between the ages of the youngsters, we should find it not so difficult to see them through college.
May 21, 1940
I am rather glad that we are not going to Menard, for two or three reasons including the arrival of the daughter. I am wondering about the steps at Mr. Gaddis’s house. You will need to be very careful and not undertake to carry things up the steps. Perhaps we can know something definite before long and guard against your climbing too many steps. Is the colored girl coming regularly and could she come every day instead of part time? You do not have a good place for walking, as the road is too dangerous for long walks.
I believe it is best not to mention it to the Cushings until after they go to Menard. We feel sorry for them, and as you say we can consider ourselves lucky. Feb. 19 you had completed your period and I recall that March was on time. In April it was late as we expected it in N.Y.C. You remember I went by the drug store for you while in N.Y.C., and you did not need the napkins until after we returned home. About 2 days after. May be this will help you check the date. April 12 sounds about right.
Since I wrote you I went with R.A. & Thompson to some boxing matches which were OK. The Elk Club here have a good team & there were 8 bouts with the Golden Glove team of Chicago. Denver won 5 of the 8 matches. Every day I manage to walk quite a bit and I am feeling fine. On Sat. & Sun. I get in some extra walking. Tonight I went to a movie for a change. One reel on the trophy winners of 1939, a comic & I think the other was called The House Across the Bay, across from Alcatraz prison.
Both Dr. Wakeland and R.A. seem to regard me with some suspicion, although I have been able to get R.A. to talk some. I do not see him evenings. When Messenger was here it was not a great deal I could get from him. It’s a good thing we do not have a big grasshopper program, because it would be so different that several adjustments would have to be made in the way they do things.
I love you lots & lots & I hope to see you before many moons.
I find this discussion about Walter and Ina’s expected daughter amusing, for reasons that will be apparent soon.
Sunday Night 5/19-40
My dear Sweetheart,
Yours of last night was received a few minutes ago. I certainly hope the Cushings are not disappointed in the prospect of an heir, and they should not think for a second that I have any feeling about their going to Menard. I am very glad they are going. I also have the feeling that we will get somewhere on the SW problem through him.
May 19, 1940
Even though Panama City is said to be mine, I just don’t have the feeling that we are going down there. I think the assignment would be pleasant work and we could get something accomplished. Yet, if I do not go there I just do not know of anyone else to do it. Of course it could continue just as it has been for the past few years. Bruce could not supervise Dr. King’s work, and I doubt if they would let him go just for Panama City. That would be one way of reducing Dallas. Also if Laake came to Wash., that would leave only Wells & Eagleson to be transferred. My suggestion would be that, but I doubt if the Bureau is ready to boost Mr. Bruce that much. The other alternative would be to get Mr. Lindquist down there & to move Stage to assist Dornier. That would not meet with Mr. B’s approval either. Annand wants me to go & get King in good grace of Strong.
Strong did not discuss the matter with me. My visit was very short, a hello & the highlights on the bran market & our purchases. He listened with very little comment. Thought it best not to discuss Florida unless he brought up the subject.
Am returning the statement for the Liberty Mutual Co. Please look in your check stubs. I am quite sure that I gave a check when I signed the application. Also, the cancelled check should be in the April lot & listed on the statement. If not, would you send one to them. Pls. look in the black folder with my name printed on it, under auto insurance, & I think you will find the policy & the receipt.
Yesterday PM (after 5 o’clock), this AM & again this PM I took some long walks and exposed myself to the sunlight. I can breathe much better tonight & I feel better. Will continue to do this. I believe that is why I felt so much better when I came home the last time.
The grape fruit, oranges & ham sound mighty good & it was nice of Mr. Gaddis to share them with us.
Thurs May 16, 1940.
My dear Ina & Folks,
The sleeper plane was just fine and for the first time I actually undressed & went to bed just as one would in a Pullman. From Cleveland we traveled upstairs most of the way (about 10 to 11 thousand feet). At Cheyenne Mr. Messenger joined me for the rest of the trip. Have spent two past evenings with him as he has been in the field & will leave again Sat or Friday night. R.A. is doing just fine. Dr. Wakeland is away with Mr. Dutton.
May 16, 1940
Two years ago today I had the first big fire built under me by a delegation from ND, then drove to Fargo that night. Was having trouble with one of my Butchers then. Today it is quiet and things are quite different for a grasshopper office. It has a disturbing pulse but no headaches.
The pictures made on our arrival at Great Falls seem fair & the ones of the falls look as though they will print OK, but the others did not show up well enough to try prints. Will mail them as soon as prints are obtained.
I have not written to anyone about not going to Menard and I think you should let Mother Lewis know of it. Could you break the news gently? Believe we should not say much about Panama City yet. I hope the Chief feels well enough to discuss it here Saturday or Sunday, although I do not intend to crowd him for any opinion or reaction. Think he will give it of his own accord & will give an opening for a discussion if he feels anything like normal.
Walter is apparently still helping with the grasshopper program as it gets going under new management, which is why he’s traveling back and forth between Denver and Washington. Meanwhile, it sounds as if he’s considering taking a post at the USDA research facility in Panama City, FL instead of the screw-worm facility in Menard, TX.
Stationery from the Hotel Shirley-Savoy, Denver, CO – “Home of KLZ.”
My dear Ina & Boys,
The meetings are over and most of the folks have gone home. Strong, Gaddis and some of the state men are here yet. Think Strong will leave tonight. My speech was well received and I have had some good compliments on it from state leaders. Strong says he is pleased. The group gave me a rising vote of thanks for the good work of the last two years and this brought a good statement from Strong. I had requested a return to research and that I was one of the very best research men in the Bureau, that he had asked me to consider carefully. My request was being granted but he had an idea that I was going to find the contrast so great that I would now want more action. He said that should I make such a decision the Bureau would have a control job for me because they had many such projects. State leaders have shown a very appreciative spirit toward me and from one source I am told that a committee will record in a rather permanent way this high point in my career. I imagine a published resolution.
January 10, 1940
The meetings have gone as Strong and Gaddis planned them, but there was a very close approach to an explosion from state leaders. The Bureau still spends the money and supervises the work of its agents. It did permit a Committee from State leaders to handle any difficulties arising in any state-Bureau difficulty direct with Strong. This Committee will be authorized to make trips when necessary.
The meeting at Mpls on Monday includes a small group there, and both Gaddis & Wakeland asked me to meet with them before continuing my trip south. They cannot conveniently arrange to attend. Unless something changes it I’ll be home in time to attend that meeting & will then resume my travel toward Texas & the West. If there is a change I’ll wire, otherwise I’ll see you about Saturday.
R.A. is here & he thinks the move to Denver from Salt Lake is OK. Their lease terminates Jan 31st. He has been in Texas on leave and looks fine.
I cannot describe to you the feeling of turning over the throttle of the ‘hopper work. There is no let down feeling but one of duty to my family and my own health. I don’t mind saying that it is not an easy change and that the past two days and night have had me on edge. For the rest of the time here I’ll try to clarify any unfinished items of business, and pass along useful information. I have an appointment with the Chief this afternoon for a little talk on the N.W. situation, and will go over my immediate plans with him.
This is a three-page single-spaced letter that I’m not going to transcribe, but I’ve scanned the first page. The gist of it is that Gaddis and the other top brass at the USDA have been very impressed with Walter’s work on grasshopper control, and that they don’t have a lot of research posts available to move him into at the moment. Gaddis concludes by saying they’ll do what they can, but that Walter is doing such a good job in his management position that he may be stuck with it for another season.
August 12, 1939 (From Mr. Gaddis)
Sunday night – office
My dear Sweetheart,
A copy of my letter to Mr. Gaddis is enclosed and I want to ask you to keep it confidential. The personal reasons are not listed in the letter but were discussed with him. Strong should be back in Washington soon as he was improving rapidly and they thought he might not be away two months. I do not expect to get a reply before leaving here.
August 6, 1939
Sometime this week I plan to drive to Ames and see Dr. Drake & Decker. Will leave a car there for a surveyor & drive one of the Bishopps’ cars to Dallas, making stops at Lincoln Nebraska and perhaps Manhattan Kansas for conferences with state leaders. I should get to Uvalde sometime about the middle of next week. We could drive from there to Miss. & return. Have you had time for your visits? Are you ready to return?
I think most of your letter can be answered better when I am with you, if you do not go to sleep. Maybe you won’t be so tired then & we can drive & talk.
With lots of love, your
Dear Mr. Snickel Fritz,
Expect to see you at Uvalde about the middle of next week, or about the 16th of August. That is if Mother, Lewis and you are ready to go to Mississippi and return to Minneapolis.
The American Legion is meeting here. About half of them did not get to Europe during the war.
It is hot in Minneapolis too. Daddy is at the office now but will walk home and go to sleep. All of the airplanes have quit baiting for grasshoppers but some spreaders are working the roadsides yet.