February 24, 1919 – I’m here to help

In Gertie’s letter to Jay informing him of Rinda’s death, she asked him to help with the expense of caring for Raymond by sending money.  Actually, knowing Gertie (Nanny) I’m guessing she told him to send money; she could be a tough cookie. He agreed of course and let her know he would contact his brother Del in Michigan to facilitate getting money to her.  I have the letter he wrote to Del asking him to get things going.

In this letter, Dell writes to Gertie letting her know he’s heard from Jay and encloses $25, promising to send more in the future.

News that my father had had the flu is news to me.

1919.02.24 160


Gaylord Mich

Feb. 24, 1919

Mrs. Gertie Upham

Minneapolis Minn

Dear Mrs. Upham –

I received a letter from my brother Jay E. Shetler, US Army France very recently and was very much grieved to learn that Rinda had passed away.

It was a sudden shock to me and can hardly make it seem possible now.  But so many people have gone to rest by the way of the Spanish Influenza and pneumonia that one never knows what to expect now days.

I have been fortunate enough to escape it so far and hope I may miss it altogether.  You have my deepest heartfelt sympathy Mrs. Upham in your hours of sorrow and grief and hope no more sickness or sorrow may come to you and family.

Glad Raymond is recovering all right from the flu and hope he keeps well and that you are feeling stronger by this time.

I am looking for Jay to come home sometime this spring and he requested me to send you some money to help care for Raymond so am enclosing order for $25.00.  Please let me know if you receive same all right.

With best wishes to you and hoping yourself and family are well.  I remain sincerely yours.

Mr. Dell Shetler

Gaylord Michigan

1 thought on “February 24, 1919 – I’m here to help”

  1. That’s a great bit of family history, Jim. In my research for “Nightmare at Sea,” I learned that the Spanish flu was more severe for otherwise healthy adults. Infants and elderly were more likely to survive. It seems to have something to do with a strong immune system that, challenged by the H1N1 virus, worked against the victim.


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