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Chautauqua County Historical and Genealogical Society

"War Letters to Home"
Banks Robbers
The Elgin Journal - Elgin, Kansas
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Spanish Influenza of Chautauqua County Kansas
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1876- The Chautauqua Journal
Far and Near -Tidbits from Old Newpapers
Looking Back To Yesteryear
"Murders & Killings"
"War Letters to Home"
School Days Remembered
Old Soldiers Of Chautauqua County Kansas
Chautauqua County Newspapers
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For a long time now I have seen letters that were written home by men serving in the Armed Forces from Chautauqua County. The local paper at the time printed the entire letter and sometimes they filled the newspapers.
I thought it would be fitting to place them were others could read them.

World War I

The Sedan Times Star - Sedan, Kansas

From Eugene Burton - May 13, 1919

Darling Mother: -

Well folks you will probably be surprised to know that I am in Smyrna, Turkey, Asia Minor. We received the order to come here while we were at Brest, France and we left so suddenly I did not have time to write. We came through the Strait of Gibraltor and saw the Rock of Gibraltor. It is even larger than I imagines. It is some pebble. On the other side of the strait of Gibraltor is a large rock as big as a mountain. It is called the Piller of Hercules. It is of a gray color and is very pretty.

I thought the Carribean sea was blue but is not any bluer than the Mediterranean. We passed the Island of Sicily off Italy, also passed Greece and the many Islands there. One of the islands is called Kitherna and near it is a large oval rock that towers up out of the water over a hundred feet. It is called Ovo.

These islands are supposed to be the tops of a range of mountains that are slowly sinking. The Germans have laid many mines around there and we had quite a time getting through coming into harbor here. Symrna is a city of about 350,000 people. It is very pretty. It is situated at the bottom of a mountain and on top of the mountain is an old castle. The city looks a great deal like some of the pictures in the Bible. Their chief occupation is weaving rugs and growing figs. I only wish you were here to see it too.

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I was going to write but I was very busy and did not get to do so. We came down here because the Italian battleships were trying to make a little war of their own. They trained their guns on a U. S. Destroyer before we here and said they were going to fire on it. The commander of the destroyer told them to go ahead, that he had twelve torpedos ready and they Italians shut up. They have been very quiet and peaceful since we came, through we don't know when we will leave here or where we will go next, but I hope it will be back to the good old U. S. A.

Your loving son and brother, Private Eugene O. Burton, U. S. S. Arizona, care Postmaster Box 7, New York.

 * * * * * * * *

The Sedan Times-Star - Sedan, Kansas

From Earl Maynard - August 13. 1916

The following letter was received by Mrs. C. E. Maynard of Chautauqua, from her son, Earl Maynard, stationed on Mare Island, Calif. Thinking an account of marine life might be of interest to Times-Star readers, Mrs. Maynard furnished for publication:

Dear Mother - I received your letter today and was glad to hear from you. We have some find weather here. I have to sleep under three blankets at night and sleep like a log. I was weighed yesterday and I weigh 185 pounds and the scales are correct.

The work I have to do is not hard, but every thing has to be done a certain way. We have dress uniform inspection every Monday morning and every things we have on has to be clean and the suits have to be pressed, buttons and ornaments all as bright as gold. We have to take three baths and wash our clothes three times a week and if we dont they make us do it every day. I have never had to do them every day, but several have.

I am on an island about twenty-four miles from San Francisco. I am taking lessons on an alto cornet, take from 5 till 7:30. It is free. The band master said he had orders to instruct a new band to send to South America; so I may be sent there when I learn to play good enough..

We have orders to be ready to move at a moments notice to San Diego. It will be much better there as it is so crowded where we are now. We will take a hike tomorrow. We go every Saturday and stay out all night, then go in swimming in a tank that is 200 yards across.

Well I must close. Love to all. Your loving son, - Earl Maynard


If you have a letter that was written by a loved one or ancestor and would like to share, please send to:
  Chautauqua County Kansas
Historical and Genealogical Society 
 115 West Main
Sedan, Kansas 67361