A few days ago I posted A Letter from Joseph for the 98th COG, its theme being to analyze a document that helped break down a brick wall. For more background on the letter and how it helped me find my Swiss ancestors, read that post. Here is a transcript of the letter in its entirety:
"Evansville, Ind. May 8 1915
Although I have not had an answer to my last letter I am going to write you another one, to tell you what I think of your boy. Gideon, I must confess we had some ideas about him after we heard he was coming, him being a Preacher Student. We did not know how to receive him. Well he came on time, and before he was with us 24 hours we were in love with him. You certainly have a lovely son, I don't know what it was - he is not a great talker, but there is something about his ways that drew us to him more than words could have done - and we were all truly sorry when the time came for him to go and it seemed to us as if we had known him for years. We would have liked to kept him longer he tried to talk the girls into coming to California and they certainly have the fever now and nothing would please me better than to let them go - it would be the trip of their lives and perhaps would be the best thing for them but times are so hard here at present that it is all I can do to make ends meet If it wasn't for that I would let them come out this summer. Business is a little better than it was during the winter months but a long ways from being good and as long as the war lasts I don't look for anything better. I was very glad that Gideon stopped over to see us and I don't want Ever any of your boys to go East without seeing us. I was glad to hear that you are in such good health and that you don't have to worry about anything that must be nice. I don't know how that feels. I have no family worries for we live as happy as any 4 people on Earth can live but in Financial Matters it seems I can't make a success. I s???s with the work I do and save and no Extravagant Family I aught to be away better off than I am. With same amount of work now I can't make the money I used to do Well I guess with good health I aught to be satisfied now dear sister if ??? of the boys comes East I want you to try and come along. We will do our best to make you comfortable and I believe you will like us allright. I must close now I hope to hear from you soon my wife and the girls send you their love and so do I. From your Bro. Joe"