Nearing retirement age after a very successful career, Walter finally became a member of America’s third-oldest scientific society. His grandson now works for them on a regular basis.
This is how people used to write scientific papers. Reprints of all of Walter’s published papers are now in the archive at Johns Hopkins. These 3×5 cards appear to have been his draft of a report on dog fly breeding in salt marshes.
Walter and Ina moved to Panama City, FL in late summer 1940, and he began working in his new USDA position reorganizing the Department’s entomology research and insect control programs in the Southeast. Now he’s traveling around the state to check on various projects.
Stationery from the Fort Gatlin Commercial and Tourist Hotel, Orlando, FL.
My dear Sweetheart,
There was car trouble, but I drove some extra miles between Floral City and Orlando so that I did not arrive until almost 12 o’clock.
This morning I met King & Bushland and during the day I have learned much of the work they are doing. Tues. AM Dr. King & I are to be in Cocoa at 9AM & will then drive south for visits in other counties where mosquito control is under way. We will be in Fort Pierce about Wednesday night & in Miami about Friday night. I’ll return to Fort Pierce & spend Saturday & Sunday there. Will be in New Smyrna next Monday & Tuesday & return here about Tuesday night. Will stay here a day with Bushland. King leaves next Tuesday for the conference & for his vacation. At that rate I should be home about Thursday night of next week & Mr. Shields will probably come with me for one of the pickups.
I hope the boys are helping you by putting their toys up & by keeping quiet witn no running in the house. I’ll ask about these when I return.
With love to all 3.
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.
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.
707 Thorpe Building,
August 6, 1939.
Mr. B.M. Gaddis, In Charge,
Division of Domestic Quarantines,
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine,
Dear Mr. Gaddis,
The work of control of grasshoppers is nearing an end for this season and at the present time the beginning of the survey is determining whether or not there is need for a continuation of the work during 1940. The verbal reports received from the infested area together with the lack of any genuine complaints from any portions of the area suggest that the program of this year is again a very successful one if not the best yet carried on for control of grasshoppers. Naturally, the writer is proud of his part in the accomplishments of the past two seasons and he feels sure that the program is contributing materially to a stronger Bureau and Department.
There has been opportunity for different field supervisors to demonstrate their abilities under fire and many of them have shown their fitnesses for greater responsibilities. The healthy stage of development of the work would seem to permit the Bureau to continue or expand its work by using some of the men from the ranks for key positions.
In view of the present status of the grasshopper control work, and on account of various personal reasons, the writer is anxious to return to research work and asks the Bureau to consider his desire for such employment. He would be pleased to continue at Minneapolis long enough to familiarize his successor with details of the work. If his successor could report in the near future he would have the advantage of reviewing the current summaries on control work as well as the compilations of survey data.
Very truly yours,
W.E. Dove, In Charge,
Grasshopper Control Project.
Walter’s travel schedule has calmed down a bit, so the letters are further apart. During this trip, Ina is apparently staying at her parents’ house in Uvalde, TX.
My dear Ina,
I spent Sunday night at Rock Springs, Monday AM at the Ranch Exp Sta., Monday PM with Mr. Babcock at Sonora, drove to Menard Monday night and was there Tuesday and Wednesday until noon. Arrived home yesterday PM and just in time to catch some needed correspondence with Washington.
The trip was an enjoyable one and a hot drive. All of the stops and visits were much worth while. All were friendly and cordial. Dr. Melvin had me to lunch and dinner and during the evening the Kniplings* came over with their two girl babies. One about 6 mos. old and one about 1-1/2 years old. The Menard lab bunch are hard workers and the work is well planned. They seem to be going somewhere and I think they are going with screw worm control. The treatments look mighty good and they are anxious to contribute something to help us.
Mr. Brundrett turned in his equipment and is packing for Valdosta. Dr. Brennan is leaving Saturday AM (Daylight) to report Wash. on Sept. 1. We are continuing to shrink.
Mr. Gaddis phoned from Houston this AM regarding some cars. Says he is mighty well pleased with the different people from our division. I mentioned Miss Chindenen but he does not hold that against us.
Tell Walter White and Lewis Dunbar to be good boys and I am going to find out about it when I get there, which may be Saturday PM.
I wanted to surprise you by mowing the lawn but there is no lawnmower on the back porch or under the porch or in the garage. Maybe it is in Madris’ house. I hope it was not stolen.
* Remember the name Knipling. He will become very significant in the screw-worm control story.
Stationery from the Edwards Hotel, Jackson, Miss.
Oct. 18, 1935.
My dear Ina,
Dr. Cain and I arrived here as per schedule at 2 PM today and following the conference we have had discussions with Parman, Mr. Maloney, Brunson and Hollingsworth. This conference like that of last Friday was not productive but it looks as though some livestock meetings might get started in about another month. Things move slowly in Miss. Mr. Parman will return to Uvalde sometime next week and after this trip he will remain there most of the time. He will supervise for Miss. & La. but will not be away from Uvalde very much. It is not satisfactory to discuss the work with him. He thinks that all of us are wrong and that there is only one species, but also that he always knew that there were two species. His talk with the conference was a long drawn out one in rather vague terms but not critical of the force.
I spent Sunday (Sat. night to Mon. AM) with Mother Dove at the farm (Sat. night at Roxie). They appreciate the waffle iron. Both of the colts are just fine and Walter White’s is gentle. Lewis Dunbar’s is about the color of a mouse and she does not like for anyone to touch her. All of the folks and the horses are OK. Uncle Revah is not as strong as usual but looks OK. Mother looks better than she has in several years. We did not discuss the well though Revah and I looked at it.
Monday noon Dr. Cain & I reached Baton Rouge. While I had a conference he visited at L.S.U. We drove to Crosley La. and spent the night. Tuesday noon we saw the Brundretts and ate lunch with the Dowards. Mrs. Brundrett has a lot of gray hair, had some one washing clothes, no lunch prepared, and she didn’t seem to have thoughts quick enough to ask us to do something for her. We did not stay long. The baby, a little girl, is beautiful. Long blonde curls and brown eyes. The Dowards had a lunch which was very fine. I like them very much. Brundrett made up three more exhibits and they have four going. I like the work there first rate. Tuesday about 5PM Dr. Cain & I started for the College. We spent the night at Houston in a camp where you and I stopped. Wed. AM we met M.C. McGehee at his office. He has made a fortune in foreign oil contracts during the past five years. We arrived at the college about noon and spent the night there at a hotel on the campus. Had dinner with Prof. Bilsing while Dr. Cain visited with the vets. Thurs. AM we drove to Dallas and got there about noon. We left Dallas at 4 PM. Saw the Chamberlains & the house. Jackie is a beautiful little girl with an olive complexion and curly hair. The house looks mighty good but needs some paper work and a little work on the foundation. The two peach trees had about 15 bushels of peaches this year. Laake was not at the Lab but we saw Melvin, Mr. Somier & the new men & steno. The lab was cleaned up pretty well but with evidences of older days in evidence. We drove by SMU. Thursday night we drove by about 12 1/2 miles of hamburger stands in the oil well section about Longview & arrived at Minden La. at 12:30 this A.M. We met Mr. W.E. Dee who I knew at A&M. Dr. Cain wanted to see him & I think they visited all night. We left Minden at 8 this AM. Tonight Dr. Cain is visiting an uncle here at Jackson. I may drive by Ethel’s tomorrow on my way to Atlanta. I may take Dr. Cain & Mr. Maloney by the college. I should reach Atlanta Monday. Bruce has a meeting on the 24th and it looks like I should go there from Atlanta before coming to Savannah. I am to talk to the county agents meeting also to Bruce’s men on the 26th.
I love you lots and lots Honey and I hope to see you before long.
Thanks for your letter which Mr. Townsend forwarded here.
The screw-worm control project is really getting going now. Here’s the lineup for a conference the USDA held about the subject to kick off their big education and treatment push. At this point, the campaign focuses on teaching ranchers how to minimize and treat superficial wounds on their livestock, as those are the main point of entry for the screw-worm fly. As explained in the USDA archives, this campaign subsequently evolved into a biological control method that completely eradicated the pest from the US.
My dear Sweetheart,
I have just returned from the meeting where I made the typhus talk. It went off just fine. I didn’t feel stage fright, very much. Dyer thought it was fine and his discussion was very good. He was cordial and his feeling was apparently OK. He left at 5PM just after our talk. He invited me to visit them in Washington. Your old man used a little soothing cordial for the U.S. Public Health Service and it worked wonderfully well. Stoll told me that he admired the way I stood up there on my hind legs and talked every word of it. He sent regards to you from the family. Also, Otto, Dr. Cort, Brown and a lot I don’t recall just now.
Mr. Hall’s paper went off just fine. Hall came this A.M. We are going to hear Bishopp’s annual address tonight. Cort came down after he had thought that he wouldn’t come, so his dinner was postponed until next winter meeting at Atlantic City.
Stationery from the Jung Hotel – “Absolutely Fireproof *; New Orleans’ Most Modern Hotel.”
My dear Sweetheart,
We got here about 10:15 last night and by 10:30 we were in the auditorium. We put up tables and exhibit board so that we could hold the space until about 2 AM. It was a good thing that we did. We got an excellent location and today we were able to hold it despite the fact that there were a number of kicks. We got the approval of the Chairman last night and we were able to hold the space.
We had to help Bish with the other Bureau exhibits and this with our own required all day. So far only Mr. [illegible] is here from the other [illegible] our division. Bish thinks that Parman is not coming. We expect Mr. Hull tomorrow A.M.
Tomorrow is a busy day. Hall’s paper in the AM & my typhus paper in the afternoon.
Have been meeting a lot of folks. Both of us are enjoying the meeting.
* The fire damage on the edge of the letter appears to have been a later accident, not something that happened in the “absolutely fireproof” hotel. The next couple of letters have the same type of damage.