Your letter this A.M. was most welcome – it was thoughtful of you to send it “special.” I was finding it hard to make up my mind to wait until tomorrow to hear. The outlook looks pretty good, doesn’t it? I hope you will insist upon the $5600 though; that is the least that you can expect. Of course you hvae not had time to make definite plans, but it may be that we shall want to move to Menard after Jan. 26 (mid-term at school) during your leave. It would not be so bad to stay down there without you for a while. Of course we would want to go to Washington if you were going to be there many months.
December 3, 1939 (Ina)
We are so happy that Claudelle may come by to see us. Lewis Dunbar cried the other day because you were going to get to see her and he wasn’t. Perhaps you and she could come home together. We must put in an order for a big snow and freeze-up for her – not that the snow would be new to her. Today is quite cold with little snow flurries. The children have just returned from Sunday school with the rosiest of cheeks.
I telephoned Polly this A.M. and gave her such news as I thought you would not mind my giving. She promised not to hint it to a soul, and I’m sure she can be trusted. She seemed greatly relieved that she would have some old friends in the Denver office.
Now for a little local color. Our neighbors upstairs are having a round with the new janitor this morning. I had no trouble hearing it because it happened at the back door (and you know their voices). The house became a little chilly last night, due to the cold wave. All during the night I could hear Mr. D. running down stairs to do something to the furnace. Well, it seems that he found the furnace room door padlocked when he came down this A.M. You should have heard his and Louise’s angry voices, especially after the janitor “just stood there and grinned at you, Father,” so I heard Louise reminding Mr. D. after their interview with him. They are excitedly running about trying to get in touch with Mr. Vieman or one of the Thorpe Bros. because “I’ll bet we get a new set of janitors, Father, because we can’t afford to be grinned at, you know,” says Louise.
I must go prepare some dinner. Wish you were here, although I’m sure you will have a better dinner elsewhere. It’s lonesome without you.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at the Rainbow Cafe at Lake & Hennepin.
Give our love to Claudelle. We hope to be seeing you both soon.
Lots of love from the 3 of us.
July 26, 1939.
The children were so happy to have the letters from you. They will answer them soon. Those compliments on their good behavior work like magic. Really, I’ve never known them to behave so well for so long before. I think a great deal of it is due to the fact that they both feel so well and they have plenty of room to play.
July 26, 1939
I believe you are behaving well too. I like the idea of your quitting work at 6 or 7 o’clock and walking home every evening. No doubt you notice a big difference in the way you feel.
I’m so tickled over the rug. Has the Olson Co. suggested what adjustment might be made? It would suit me to get another one exactly like the one in Reitha’s room – color and all; we know it’s all right. Perhaps we can wait until after we return to order it.
It is well that you are looking around for a place to live. Before we decide on one I wish we could know whether or not we shall be in Minneapolis for another year. It would be too bad to go to the expense of moving, and then have to leave town in a month or two, wouldn’t it? If we knew positively we were to be there only a month or two longer we could stand the dirty walls and even the neighbors for that short time. However, if we are going to remain in Minneapolis for a year, let us move by all means.
Mama is feeling very badly now. Her favorite sister, Aunt Ophelia Brumfield – the one you met in Jackson – is being buried there this afternoon. She must have passed away very suddenly, because Mama had a letter from her this morning which she wrote Sunday; she was feeling fine then. Mama and Papa enjoyed her so much when they visited her in Mississippi recently. It gave us a strange feeling to have the letter from her today after we had already received the telegram telling of her death. The shock of the message yesterday affected Mama so deeply that we were worried about her for a while – her arms and legs remained numb for a long time.
Perhaps you don’t like this high-handed way in which we are planning the trip to Mississippi, but I had to admit to Mother Dove that the children and I were hoping we could go after I learned that someone, perhaps you, had written her that we were going. I’m anxious to hear from you about it. I shall not answer the enclosed letter until I hear from you. If you want to go by Ethel’s after we go to Mother Dove’s it suits us fine.
We love you lots, Honey.
Western Union telegram, received at Uvalde, TX.
MINNEAPOLIS MINN JUN 6
MRS W E DOVE=
222 WEST MESQUITE ST
FURNITURE ARRIVED AND NEARLY ALL PLACED IN LIVING ROOM TODAY. WHY DONT YOU COME UP AND SEE ME? COULD DADDY LEWIS DRIVE HERE IF SO WOULD BUY HIS TICKET WHEN HE WANTS TO RETURN PLEASE WIRE AND LET ME KNOW IF I SHOULD MEET YOU AIRPORT OMAHA SATURDAY WITH LOVE=
June 6, 1939
Sadly but unsurprisingly, Madie’s TB took a turn for the worse, and she died shortly after diagnosis. Walter and Ina covered her funeral expenses and arranged to have her body shipped home to Uvalde, TX. The document collage below tells the story.
October 25, 1938
707 Thorpe Bldg Sunday AM.
My dear Ina & Boys,
Enclosed herewith are two checks endorsed to you and I presume you will have no difficulty in getting them cashed at Uvalde. I am also sending a blank check on the Marquette National Bank which can be used if you need it. The two forms are to be completed and returned in the enclosed envelope. You should have about $100 in cash with you when you start out with the car and your group. If you wish to leave a balance at San Antonio National until you arrive here, I think it would be OK. Believe you would want to get everything from the safety deposit box and bring in the car with you. If I did not give you my key to the box, it is in my room and it will be mailed to them later.
June 5, 1938
The furniture left San Antonio Thursday night and may be here today or tomorrow. They were using a new truck and driving will not be fast.
I rented a place 1928 S. Fremont Ave. and you will want to give Mother Lewis the office phone number Bridgeport 7769. House phone can be given later when it is installed. When I say an apartment it will not sound good, but wait a minute. 3 bedrooms, & others 1st floor with two baths, an extra room in attic floor for Madie where there is another bath room. Basement with laundry & drying room. Price $75 covers janitor service and heating. Located 1 block from a real good grade school, & 3 blocks from two car lines. Is in walking distance from downtown when weather is nice. Garage is also brick with concrete drive. The yard is very small but there are parks close by where Madie could walk with LD & WW. The lake is 6 blocks from here. Mrs. Hastings saw most of the places with me and she thinks that you would choose this apt if you knew what we saw. We must keep in mind the deep snow next winter. I hope you will like it.
I had a letter from the Southland Mortgage Dallas & I am sending two payments. Will check with you when you get here.
I cannot be sure that I can get away from Mpls to meet you but will try to. Things are pretty hot in 24 big states and I am on the go here day & night & Sundays. If you could make Omaha Airport by Saturday 6 PM I could meet you there and drive to Mpls on Sunday. Wire me Saturday morn if you expect to be there. US 77 or 81 seem to be OK. Would like a wire every day after you start. Send collect.
222 W Mesquite
May 29, 1938
Have you selected a house for us to live in in Minneapolis? If you have, is it a good house?
May 29, 1938 (Walter White Dove)
I am not writing this in ink because all the pens here leak.
We hope we will see you soon, and don’t forget the tire chains,
Walter White Dove
707 Thorpe Bldg
March 16, 1938.
My Dear Ina and Walter White,
I appreciate your letters very much and also I am glad you sent a letter from Mother Dove. My trip back here from SA was a most interesting one as it was a visit after another on grasshoppers in the different states. Kenneth was here and the office was open but not in good shape. The furniture is not placed yet but 6 to 7 of us work here trying to get the preliminary work under way. Mrs. Hastings arrived yesterday 3 PM and as there were no taxis here (they are on a strike) I met the train with the govt. car and carried Mrs. H. & Miss Anderson & the baggage to their new home. Mrs. H worked today. (I drew one check for the Internal Revenue Office for $26.04 & one to Mother D for $50 today)
March 16, 1938
I have the last salary check and will get another in a day or two and will send both of them for deposit at San Antonio.
Enclosed you will find statement from the Mass. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of a balance of $341.71 after crediting 78.29 of dividends. I think it would be a good idea to send this & the policy registered and ask that the endorsement be changed to read Paid.
Excuse stationery please.
My dear Sweetheart,
We are busy trying to locate new quarters, select some help and make preliminary arrangements. Mr. Gaddis, Mr. Andrews and Miss Anderson are here, and tomorrow we expect to have another stenographer. Gaddis and I are going to Fargo ND the latter part of the week and will try to get the SD people to meet us there for a conference. Next week we go to Bozeman and I have an idea that we will be there most of the week. We may be able to get away soon enough to meet RA & Townsend by the first of the following week. We cannot set the dates yet but will wire tomorrow so he can meet us. He wants all of the time he can get at SA, and we want to give him as much as possible.
February 22, 1938
It was about zero the night Andrews and I arrived, but it has been much warmer since then. Miss Anderson arrived Monday PM & Gaddis Sunday night. The streets are pretty sloppy. Today was a holiday but we have been having conferences and interviewing prospective employees. Tomorrow at 3 PM Dr. W.A. Riley will call. A number of students have been recommended from Minn., & he is no doubt interested in their chances of employment. We are hiring a good man for Minn. who worked in North Dakota on ghoppers since 1934. A good man. We are getting two stenos who served on previous ghop campaigns. They are now working with the U.S. Engineers and two others from Civil Service seem to be well qualified. Mr. Andrews is an auditor and is not going to be as helpful as Townsend. He will do the purchasing or rather the paper work connected with purchasing. We are buying 8 desks and it looks like we are going to have about 11 people in the office here. Butcher & I will be in the field some and I expect he will be out most of the time. I want Kenneth so I can get out some.
Claudelle decided to stay in Little Rock so Mr. Gaddis tells me. She will get her increase to grade 3 there which is probably good judgement on her part. It is much more expensive at Wash. & when she goes there she should have a much better salary. I imagine the art materials and furniture at San Antonio will be sent to her at Little Rock.
We had five new typewriters delivered today. We expect furniture soon also some 24 pick up trucks and 6 big trucks. About 7500 carloads of grasshopper bait will be shipped to areas where infestations are expected and the state leader (paid by the state) will act in charge in each state. It looks like we will have about 110 men in the field. All from the Mpls office. Roberts will have about half as many on Mormon crickets and will use a lot of labor. RA will be in charge. I know that he isn’t going to be wild about his assistant, I agreed to let him have Mr. Schmitt who will get $2600. This should help some.
I think this is going to be a very satisfactory arrangement under Gaddis. I need just such a contact with the chief’s office in Wash. He seems very fair in every way and a helpful chief.
With love and looking forward to seeing you in about two weeks, I am,
Address c/o Dr. J.R. Parker, BOE & PQ, Bozeman, Montana. Will send telegram from there or will wire Tourate.*
* A Tourate Telegram was a special discount-rate message people could send to report their location.
Chicago 2/18 -’38
We left Wash 5PM yesterday and expect to get to Mpls tomorrow 8 AM. A few hours here and I am getting some gloves & light weight wool sox. Cold weather ahead. Will be Mpls through Monday, Fargo ND on Tues., then stops Montana & south to St. Lake City to meet RA and Townsend. Expect to be San Antonio in about 10 days. Cannot tell just when.
Claudelle had not arrived Wash when I left but is expected there.
February 18, 1938