The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

Letter, 10 October 1918


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Letter addressed to Corporal Louis J. Discher, Co. F, 20 Infantry, 30 Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Address on envelope scribbled over, and stamped “Return to Writer.”

LetterNo. 42
Thurs. P.M. Oct 10th 1918

Dear Louis:

A whole week since I have written you. I started to write Sunday but did not get very far so I tore it up. Well our suspense is ended. Your No. 15 letter written on Sept. 10th arrived today and you can imagine how glad we were to get it. I was glad to hear that you were moved because I imagine you will like France better than Belgium. I was relieved also to hear that letter No. 26 reached you as I felt just a bit dubious about it. [W]ill try it again.

Last Friday night we had First Friday devotions. Father Rothheut always prays for the soldier boys. [A]fter services we had our rehearsal for Sunday. Saturday we were busy here as usual. Albert Dietche home sick so that of course makes it worse.

Sunday was a most delightful day. Papa, Cecelia and I went down to church at six o'clock to go to Communion as it was the first Sunday in October and rosary Sunday. You gained an indulgence every time you visited the church.

Fri. P.M. Oct 11

On Saturday evening Papa and the girls went down to confession and Otillia and Mary F. went to a Red Cross Sale given by the people of Bon Air at Millers store in Zimlich lane. I saw in the paper they made $182.00. Sunday was a very busy day for us. Willie, Otillia and Mary F. went to the first Mass[;] Papa, Cecelia and I to High Mass which was solemn on account of celebrating St. Francis day. After dinner it was so nice and warm so I had my hair washed.

The blessing of the Service Flag took place at three o'clock in front of the school. [T]he band played and the choir sang America, blessing of the flag, sermon by one of the chaplains, band and choir “Keep the Home Fires Burning” then procession out of Carter Ave down Bardstown Rd to Al Fresco and in to the church, of School children servers, Young ladies and men Sodality Holy Name Society and Married ladies. The flag was carried by six girls of the 8th Grade dressed in white. [A]ll of the children carried little flags and there were several large Amer. flags carried by the young men. [I]t looked very nice[.] [T]he children sang Star Spangled Banner while marching while the people were being seated [.] Miss Simpson played a very lively Military March then we had solemn vespers and benediction, ending with “Holy God we praise they name.” The church was packed.

Uncle Frank and Aunt Maggie were out and then spent the evening at Aunt Lou's[.] [T]hey also had Uncle Willie, Aunt Teresa, Elizabeth, Papa and Cecelia for supper. Willie slept part of the afternoon and wrote a letter. After supper Martin Holzknecht came out on the seven o'clock car. [H]e took Mary F. to the Mary Anderson vaudeville. Otillia and I entertained him in the kitchen while we washed our dishes and Mary F. dressed. They came out on the 11:20 car and Willie got on at the limits and made him get off.

Papa has had a very bad cold[.] [W]e were afraid he was getting the flu but he got over it allright. Monday morning the following announcement was made in the papers “All churches, schools, theatres, picture shows, pool rooms, gymnasiums and swimming pools must close. [A]ll public meetings, dances and parties cancelled. [F]unerals and weddings must be private and car windows must remain open and houses shall be tagged where there is a case of influenza.[”] Grace and Irene Huber have it and four of the Dreisbacks.

Cecelia's friend Mitchell telephoned Monday morning to her and hinted about coming out but they were washing so she did not ask him out for dinner. Papa got very much excited and said if she had a soldier to come out we would all get the flu. The fun of it was he has more symptoms of it than any one else. I told her to ask him out if he called again which he did. He brought a box of candy[.] [T]hey went for a ride and ate supper with us. [H]e was telling at the table that on Friday he thought sure he had it. In the evening Willie could not go to the gym, and church was called off so they took Mitchell out to camp.

Tuesday and Wednesday Willie came in to the store. [H]e also worked Wednesday night. Wednesday at four Lieut. Mitchell came out. [H]e and Cecelia went for a ride out Third St, parked the machine here at 5:30 walked through Fourth St. bought a box of candy and at six came for me to go out home with them. Otillia and Mary F. had a very nice supper[.] [T]he table looked very pretty with a basket of white cosmos in the center. He left on the eight o'clock car for the depot. [H]is train for his home in Wisconsin left at 9:10[.] [H]e will go from there to Camp Sheridan, Ala. some move isn't it? Cecelia gave him two khaki silk handkerchiefs for graduation present. If only he had remained here we might have met some officers.

John Goss is home on a furlough but I have not seen him to talk to. I saw him riding through 4[th] St this dinner in their machine with another sailor. Yesterday at noon I met Dorothy going to the Britling. [S]he said she had received two very interesting letters from you last week. The Liberty Loan here in Louisville again went over the top. Yesterday Geo. Hartmans father and mother were in the store. Uncle Frank sold them a Quick Meal range. I spoke to them about their son. [T]hey said their last letter was dated Aug 1st and that Geo. complains of the rats. I said you had never mentioned them[.] [H]ow about it, also the cooties, are you troubled with them?

The Diemer family called up Wednesday evening to see if we had a letter. [T]heir mother was sure Carl must be dead. I told her if he was they would have been notified, that bad news travels fast. I often wonder if I am too optimistic.

The city limits has been extended to Kaelin addition, so I suppose we are safe for awhile. I am mailing you the November edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. I hope by this time you are getting some of them. I think one of the boys here, Dan Dowdel, will buy your brown suit and hat[.] [H]e took the suit home last night to try on.

The influenza here is surely a calamity. You all are really safer in the trenches it takes you so quickly. Johnny Carman who worked at Strassel Gans died of it this week and Denhards book[k]eeper. The churches will remain closed Sunday. [N]o masses [-] heres where I sleep. I stayed in town last night[.] Albert and I were studying the map trying to figure out where you all are. Was Fount K. moved with you all, how does he like the army by this time?

I am supposed to get up a big order to mail to Vollrath's so I will have to close hoping to get another letter real real soon.

Yours lovingly

Do not forget your prayers. All will be well then.


Discher family, “Letter, 10 October 1918,” The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects, accessed March 3, 2024,