Tag Archives: Samuel A. Yegerlehner

A Family Tragedy

After May 2nd, 1944, the letters go silent for a week. While Roscoe and Gladys were writing letters to each other further north, in Clay City, Indiana, a family tragedy was taking place. During the day, Roscoe’s oldest brother Sam fell off the back of a truck while working on his farm. He fractured his skull during the fall and died several hours later. At this point, it is unknown whether or not Roscoe, Gladys & the children traveled to Clay City for the funeral. Romaine, the daughter of Ruth (Yegerlehner) Mutchler, does not recall attending the funeral, although she does remember the sadness which accompanied the tragedy. With gas rationing and other travel limitations in effect during WWII, it is hard to say whether or not the family did go. However, the lack of letters would indicate that Roscoe and Gladys were together.

Yegerlehner, Samuel A. - Obituary, 1944


CLAY CITY, Ind., May 3. – -(Special)- – Samuel A. Yegerlehner, 53 years old, died at 8:30 last night at the Clay County Hospital from a fractured skull sustained Tuesday morning when he fell from a truck two miles east of Clay city. Mr. Yegerlehner is survived by the widow, Esther; the parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Yegerlehner of clay City; two sons, Paul and Earl of Clay city; one sister, Mrs. Ruth Hutchler of Wilmington, Ill.; four brothers, Clarence and Ralph of Clay City, Roscoe of the United States Navy at Great Lakes, Ill., and Floyd of Bluffton, and one grandchild. The boys was brought to the Schoppenhorst Funeral Home and will be returned to the residence in Clay City Wednesday afternoon. Short funeral services will be held at the residence at 1:30 o’clock Thurdsay afternoon followed by services at St. Peters Reformed Chruch at 2 o’clock with Rev. Bredeweg officiating. Burial will be in St. Peter’s Reformed cemetery.

YEG1940 - Sam, Esther, Earl, Paul & Leanna

Samuel, Earl, Esther, Leanna and Paul Yegerlehner, c1940s

©2016 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/02/17/a-family-tragedy/

Writing Practice (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Lieut. R.S. Yegerlehner USNR
USN Base Hosp. #4 Navy 133
F.P.O. San Francisco Calif.
Dec. 13, 1943

Dear Mother,

Just finished writing some records and while I’m in the writing atmosphere I’ll try on a letter – with records to write and letters my writing should improve but it seems to get worse. I miss a secretary and a wife who to do all the writing that was done around our place – The wife the most however. I really didn’t know how much I didn’t write before I joined the navy but I can easily break that writing habit once this thing is over. The above was some bunch of nonsense but it sure filled up space.

I thought I heard someone

[page 2] talking about mail but my rushing in to see was all unnecessary because there was none but it isn’t hardly time yet so there is still some hope.

I’m writing this time in the P.M. just before walk time (Long pause). The fellow I was going walking with just came along and it is now some hours later and three letters to answer – yours of Nov. 27, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 came; the two last ones were v-mail. A greeting card letter also came from Sam & E.

I didn’t know Foulkes’ brother-in-law had been out of the States. Yes it isn’t good to be ill like he must have been. He evidently wasn’t in the Pacific area because I know of no tour like that unless it was for his

[page 3] illness.

I had received word about Marie S. in your letters and you writing of X-ray treatment – just reminded me. The next time you go to Lafayette take Mark and have a chest X-ray. All you need to do is go to St. E. and ask that Dr. Mcc McClelland read the picture, and if need be you can give Dr. Cole’s name.

I was amused and at one thing you wrote and that was the “loaning” of D.’s shoes to Jimmie Ed. Was there hope or despair in the word loan? Who is there to wear them after D.? Maybe I just read between the lines or am I assuming? Or am I just plain crazy? Or what?

Even in the letter from Sam & E.

[page 4] D. came in for his share they said “very sweet and good looking” like his mother. I added the last part of that.

You need not apologize for the Christmas presents because I certainly did not over extend myself for you – and remember I asked you not to send things and I know the spirit in which it was given and certainly appreciate it very much. (another pause)

It is now about 8 hours since this letter was started. The last pause was a bit of Bull throwing along medical lines and lots of fun.

Well Dear again a Merry Christmas and Lots of Love


©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/08/04/writing-practice-roscoe/

Thirteenth Month (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

Clay City, Ind.
Oct. 23, 1943

Dear Daddy –

Today is David’s 13th month. We are visiting with Esther & family today. When Leanna was ready to come Imogene, Ruthie, John, Mark, David & I went down and brought her & Linda. Linda is a very healthy looking young lady. Is on pasteurized & Karo. It seems funny for them to go to town and buy pasteurized milk since I have been here but your Dad just milks one cow and she is a Jersey and since David is sensitive to rich milk I thought it would be better to get the pasteurized. However I boil it – remember you said to boil it until the baby is old enough to boil his own. Ruth & Floyd brought their movie camera & want to take some pictures tomorrow if it’s sunny. It is raining now. Ruth took some of J. & M. & Sam’s new dog but David was taking a nap & didn’t get in that picture. They (R. & F.) are coming out tonite and show all their movies. Mom asked all the families to come tonite & see them so we will probably have a house full. After dinner Imogene showed us their wedding gifts. Her brother is in Hawaii and sent her a luncheon set from there.

– – – We have been to town, stopped at Clarence’s on the way home & now back home. J. & M. stayed to play monopoly with Dwane. Clarence’s went to T.H. today to get Wilma. She gets every week-end off so far. She likes her work. I asked her when she would get her cap and she said Feb. We are to go to Clarence’s for dinner tomorrow, then start home soon after dinner. I want to stop in Brazil on the way & see Dave & Marie. So far we have visited all the relatives (except Clarences & them tomorrow). Everyone thinks David is quite the boy. I saw several people in town – I thought I would see more but we were too early today & it was raining.

[page 2] Dot Salter Hoffman had a roll of 116 film she sold me so now I can take some more pictures of David & the rest of us. Ruthie said she would try & get me some so maybe I can manage pictures once a month now for a while.

David is in the baby bed playing with two sauce pans grandma gave him, having quite a time & jabbering like he really is saying things.

I must get this finished and get busy – Have to get David’s milk boiled for supper,
Love Mother

YEG1940 - Sam, Esther, Earl, Paul & Leanna

Samuel Yegerlehner with his wife, Esther, their sons, Earl and Paul, and Paul’s wife Leanna, circa 1940 (Photograph courtesy of Don Yegerlehner)

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/04/30/thirteenth-month-gladys/

My Birthday Present (Gladys)

[Editor’s note: It appears that this letter was ripped when it was removed from the envelope. I have attempted to fill in the missing words.]

Letter transcription:

Clay City Ind.

Dear Daddy –

Writing from Faye’s. She asked us to come for dinner and we just arrived & I am trying to get this written so the mail man will pick it up. Glendon’s dog is very much annoyed at all the strange people around and is carrying on so Glendon had to hold her while we came in.

We went to town yesterday afternoon and I got a suit & top coat. I had been wanting a suit and top coat to match so found just what I wanted at Robinson’s. Don’t have to do any altering to anything. Also got a pr. of pjs. They are red and think you would like the colors. The suit & coat are brown. Looks like cocoa. I told your Mother I would count that my birthday present from you – that may be stretching things a little but that gave me a good excuse. (If I needed any)

J. & M. are out playing football with Glendon. They are teaching G. & D. the mysteries of football. Mark has a new football I got for him early in the fall. He took it to school with him almost every day. John even likes to play. Everyone here has a spell over how much John is growing. He is taller than your mother & almost as tall as I am but not quite. We think he will be taller than you if he keeps growing. Now won’t that be something to come home to a son as tall or taller than you.

We are invited to Sam’s tomorrow & are to see Linda Louise. I must get this into the box.

Love – Mother

Yegerlehner - 1930s Cousins #1

The Yegerlehner cousins in the mid 1930s. The first row of row of boys is: John, Dwayne, Glendon and Mark.

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/04/27/my-birthday-present-gladys/

Genealogy Crowd Sourcing (with family)

One of the tasks in my quest to organize and scan all the hundreds of photographs in my personal collection is to label the photographs as much as I am able. Many of the photographs from the Yegerlehner collection are labeled. Between my father and my grandmother, they did a great job overall. However, there are still hundreds of unlabeled photographs. This is where my genealogy crowd sourcing comes into the equation.

The Yegerlehner family was very good at staying in touch. They regularly had family functions and reunions. They were great about taking group photographs and not necessarily great at labeling all the individuals in the pictures. I have dozens of pictures from family reunions over the decades. Many of the individuals in the photographs are no longer living. There are children and grandchildren still living who can still identify them. While I don’t know many of my Yegerlehner second and third cousins, I am trying to connect with them. Facebook has been a great tool for finding long lost cousins and I have been relatively successful with this strategy.

After scanning the original photographs for preservation, I made a second copy in which I numbered all the people. Since I had two pictures from differing viewpoints, I numbered the people the same between them. People shifted and moved around (or left the photo). In one picture, it was easier to see an individual and in the other not.

This weekend I posted a few photographs on Facebook in an effort to start identifying the people in the photographs. It was great to see the various family members agreeing as to “who was who.” To reach a broader audience, I am going to share some of the pictures here as well.

These four photographs were taken in November 1940 when Roscoe and Gladys celebrated their housewarming party for the house on E. Dunlop street in Kentland. All of the Yegerlehner siblings came with their families.

For those readers who have been following along with the letters, here are some of the faces that go with the familiar names.

#1 – Caroline Mary Yegerlehner
#2 – Mark Yegerlehner
#3 –
#4 –
#5 – John Yegerlehner
#6 –
#7 –
#8 – Ruth Yegerlehner (Floyd’s wife)
#9 – Dolores Yegerlehner?
#10 – Silvester Schiele
#11 –
#12 –
#13 –
#14 –
#15 –
#16 – John Henry Yegerlehner
#17 –
#18 – Jesse Schiele
#19 – Emma Foster
#20 – Floyd Yegerlehner
#21 – Romaine Mutchler
#22 – Gladys Yegerlehner
#23 – Clarence Yegerlehner
#24 – Ruth Mutchler
#25 – Earl Mutchler
#26 – Lovina Yegerlehner
#27 – Ralph Yegerlehner
#28 – Samuel Yegerlehner
#29 – Roscoe Yegerlehner


Photographs from the private collection of Deborah Sweeney.

© Deborah Sweeney, 2014.
Post originally found: http://genealogylady.net/2014/04/28/genealogy-crowd-sourcing-with-family/

I’m not scolding (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:


Dear Mother,

I’ve re-read and I believe most of the things are answered so maybe just some comments here and there. In the first place instead of getting only your letter of Jan. 14, I got both 13 & 14 in the same envelope. Maybe that is something only what if the 14th hadn’t gotten here. I’m not scolding just kidding. Your writing every day either hits the mail as it comes or my box where ever it is gets so full the postal clerk has to get rid of some any way that was about the latest yet of any around here. Even the V-mail was later than most other mail.

If Agnes M. hasn’t written about the tax I wish she would because I didn’t know she had written in about the 1941, but I guess you have that all fixed by now. I’m sorry if I asked the 1941 to be paid after she wrote in

[page 2] and everything. You probably had written me of hat in some of those letters which haven’t arrived. And if you have any surplus buy bonds because after all that is the best and maybe it will help in a small way also.

Was your mother just coming for a visit or to stay permanently? She just as well plan on leaving Terre Haute for good for she would have it so much nicer in Kentland I would think.

All the boxes you sent have arrived, and I now have lots of chewing gum. It is OK but even inside the wrapper etc. it is just a soft mass and has to be “walled and lolled” quite somewhat before it gets into a chewable mass. We can occasionally get peanuts here that are canned and if eaten right away they are still fresh but it they stand overnight they get tough and moist.

Sorry Bart got the address twisted

[page 3] because other people might write also. Taylor’s greeting had only the Naval Base and New Caledonia but it got here OK. No San Fran. or anything.

The Chaplin hasn’t reported on the progress of John’s song as yet because after all we don’t have many piano players along since playing pianos isn’t our main purpose for being here.

Got my watch back and it does pretty good – gains only about a minute in 24 hrs. Didn’t cost anything – That isn’t this fellows work but I treated a bunch of boils for him and got him a hundred Vit – B tablets so he returned the favor. He told me however the watch had seen better days but don’t send one because there really isn’t any need for a watch here and this hot damp weather is hard on watches.

Don’t know what the show is tonite yet but the weather looks favorable.

[page 4] The show is over and so is the last mail delivery. Scored big – got each of the Christmas letters the boys wrote and a letter from Dr. M. and a V-mail letter from you dated Jan. 16. That is the latest by two days. So my idea of the V-mail was correct only you didn’t say a word about how you were and since you didn’t mention yourself I assume you are better at least l hope that is the case.

I can’t understand your mother but I do think it will be fine for both and really she don’t need to figure on going back when I come home unless she wishes because I know we can get along. She and Mrs. James should be able to hit it off in pretty good style – by the way I don’t believe you have mentioned her since I left home – how is she? I haven’t had any word from home so am

[page 5] very much in the dark about Duane, but I guess I’ll hear from there sooner or later I hope. The latest letter I had from there was from Sam & E. and it was written Jan. 4. Mom’s letter was Dec. 30 I believe, but I guess I will be hearing soon. I’m just 15 days behind now.

If you can get any dope on the new victory tax I wish you would send it. Just so I could read it over. And maybe – worry you with it. No I’ve washed my hands now of all taxes for I believe I’ve made a mess of things – so I’ll keep out. Unless the exemptions are cut way down I don’t believe we will have much to pay next year because my base pay is only $2000 per year and that is all that is taxable so we probably won’t have to worry with that.

Well, it’s good to get even a V-mail letter. Thank the boys for me – and give each a kiss for me and lots of love from me to you. Daddy

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/12/02/im-not-scolding-roscoe/

Two More Letters (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:


Dear Mother,

Two more letters came from you today but they were back, Jan 1 and Jan 4. I suppose now there won’t be any more mail for days again – Even now the oldest letter is 19 days. That isn’t so bad if we could just keep it coming with any regularity. There is more to it than that but I can’t tell just now why we have difficulty.

You asked questions about the money. I’ve already written that but my advice is to buy bonds. The Bldg. & loan is OK but those are taxable so in the long run bonds are better. About the piano – See what Miss Smith thinks, and I don’t recall any further questions, but there are comments – Sure wish I could have been present at the little

[page 2] party at Funks. I can just see Bill passing the drinks. Tell Ellsworth I have gained some weight but he still has me bested by a large poundage. I hope this new necklace gets there in A-1 condition because I believe you will like it better. There are upward of 200 shells in it and there are 2 holes in each shell. My thumb and index finger are still numb – The color of these may not be right for you but as you said a new dress will have to be bought.

I was surprised and I wasn’t at the Dye family. I think I told you before that you she came to me about him being so hard to get along with and he always seemed so sarcastic with her and I think she was more or less sensitive by nature – and they used to sleep in different rooms. I shouldn’t write that – but I did. You

[page 3] had written me that before and I also had seen it in the Newton Co. E. Don’t write out the last word in any more of your letters because there is a ship by that name and someone might censor it. So refer to it as I have above. Gosh I wish I could remember what I wrote in that letter to Bart – because if it comes back out here I might blush if Dr. P. or Fred read it. I’ll censor the whole letter out before they have a chance to read it.

I hope you and D. are over your troubles entirely but there are several month of cold weather yet and one can expect things like that during those months.

We didn’t have a show last night – too much rain – It’s still cloudy today but not

[page 4] much rain so our show should go on. The Evenings are very long when we don’t have a show. WILL FINISH LATER

After show and mail – Your letters of Dec. 22, 18, 23, Jan 4, Dec 5 and Dec 19 came. I just gave you those as I have them laid out on the table and tell Tony Schub his postmarks of Dec 18 & 19 were incorrect. They were Nov instead of Dec. Your letters are getting pretty well up to date now. That is up to Jan 8th you were better in that letter hope you are continuing so . The picture of the three boys was good and the snow pictures were good. Those small ones must have been taken by Mr. Zell I believe. I still believe I’ve answered all the questions. You say taxes. Do you mean 1941 Federal? That amounts to 80⁰⁰. I believe – The last two installments. I still wish you would

[page 5] pay that or put that much extra in bonds, because I know that that will have to be paid. And possibly interest. So I’d rather it be paid. But don’t pay 1942.

Letters also came from Ruth M. Sam & Esther – Dave & Marie and a Christmas greeting from Berdie Steele. I’ll make out a list of your letters up to date in a day or two and you can see how many are missing. Lots of your letters have the same date post marked on the outside. Must be early in A.M. and late P.M.

I’ve gotten so many letters from you in the past 2 days that I’ll have to re-read and rewrite but for today I’ll say Lots of Love – and thanks for all those letters. I know it’s a burden for you to write as much as you do as often.

Love again

Mrs. Fred Williams
1012 Root St.
Flint, Michigan} Fred’s wife’s address

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/11/24/two-more-letters-roscoe/

Wordless Wednesday – John H. Yegerlehner Family

Yegerlehner, John H. and family - 1905

Click to enlarge

The family of John H. Yegerlehner, 1904-1905, Clay County Indiana
(l. to r.) John H., Raymond, dog, Samuel, Ruth, Lovina, Roscoe (in carriage), Ralph, Clarence

Original image from the private collection of the author, Deborah Sweeney.

Another Red Letter Day (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Dec. 19, 1942

Dear Mother,

Just got back from the show. It was one of those fast moving mystery stories which kept one out on the edge of the seat most of the time. I mean that box I have to sit on. Didn’t rain one bit but the dust sure flew in our eyes. It’s right here in the middle of the summer and at night it gets so cold that even with a windbreaker on one nearly freezes before the show is over. Not that bad but it is real chilly.

Edward J. Funk & sons, c1960s

Edward J. Funk & sons, c1960s

Today was a red letter day in some respects. No late mail and I really don’t expect much until after the Christmas rush is over for you know how things are always jammed up this time of the year. What I meant was I got greetings from John Ley – Junior and Sr. No got Sr. yesterday. Well, I got one from Ed. J. Funk and Sons. One from Carl Funks. One from Sam Yegerlehner and a greeting and

[page 2] box from Dave and Marie. That was a real surprise – Maybe they have told you what they sent. I’ll just enumerate them in case – There were several Brazil papers – 26 air mail stamps two packages of air mail stationary. 3 cans of smoking tobacco one Kaywoodie pipe. Lots of pipe cleaners. Two suits of underware and a sack of candy. The candy was soft but each piece was individually wrapped. These toffie bars etc. Even though it was soft it wasn’t mixed. I was really surprised and very much tickled. That will do me a long time on the underware and tobacco also. I really was glad to get it because I’ve been smoking too many cigarettes with them being given out the way they are. Maybe that will help me slow down. The tendency to smoke too much is really great because one gets to thinking that is about the only mode of enjoyment and away goes another cigarette.

I’ll repeat the figure I gave you last nite

[page 3] about the taxes. The amount that I am taxable on since I joined the Navy is $1317.79. Now I can’t take any travel expenses from that. I mean since I joined the Navy. The $110 to Calif. it cost me to cross the country is not deductible because I didn’t add what I got for travel. And the same goes for food and rent because that amount is not added. This is only on base pay plus 10% which is added for foreign services so there isn’t much that can be deducted from that but deduction before May 10, can be made pretty high. I wrote most of that in last night’s letter but our mail as I’ve told you before may be slow in getting there so I’ll repeat things in several letters.

We had a little surprise here tonite also had a table cloth and plates to eat out of. The first in ever so long. We had been eating out of tin trays up until now didn’t hardly know how to act. Our of our original 42 there are now 5 left. Two dentists. Dr. Huth & Gardnier and Fred, Porterfield and Myself. I believe if we can keep certain ones from snoring and others from

[page 4] waking them up we will get along swell. Four of us – Huth Gardinier Fred and I live together while Dr. Porterfield lives by himself.

Oh yes. I almost forgot. Dave’s box also had in it a comic book a cigarette lighter and the story White Christmas by Fanny Hurst. Some of the things I haven’t read as yet. I hope I haven’t bragged Dave & M. box up to highly after what I said about yours. Especially the candy was funny. And how did you know that the weather was damp and warm down here, and as yet my laundry hasn’t arrived. Maybe it will come in time I hope.

We have had to censor mail lately. I’ve been on the board for some time but didn’t do much work as long as other Dr’s were here but it was thrown into our laps. Most of the letters, of course, now regret not being able to be home for Christmas and some are just plain mushy with the girl friends. Well, I must answer some of these Christmas greetings and write Dave & Marie a letter –

So Solong
Lots of Love Daddy

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney

Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/09/05/another-red-letter-day-roscoe

Keep the home fires burning (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Nov. [Dec.] 11, 1942

Dear Mother,

Esquire magazine cover - 1940s

Esquire magazine cover – 1940s

Up to now there is no mail but we still have the P.M. delivery as this is now early afternoon chow. I’m writing this just prior to a slight nap I think. Have to be like the natives – take a nap in the heat of the day. I was just reading in Esquire magazine where all great men seemed to become greater with the coming of snow – Washington at Valley Forge, Lincoln in the last winter of the war and I can’t see where one would get much “pazaz” in this kind of weather. That wasn’t all I read in Esquire. Really is a good magazine for tired worn out sailors. There was another article but I can’t seem to remember it – guess it wasn’t really worth while coming from the Esquire as it did.

It’s really fun to look at some of our magazines – Some 1927 etc. The adv. are funny. Especially women’s hats and automobiles. There is some similarity between those and our today’s models.

[page 2] and too they generally tell what is being advertised. Don’t know what got me on to this line. Just the heat I suppose.

I wrote Ruth M. last nite in answer to her greeting and letter combined. I think I answered her last letter but couldn’t think of a thing I had written but I remember addressing an envelope. It would be real funny if they got an empty envelope. It’s almost time for some new mail from you because now it has been 7 days since getting late mail. And still no packages. It will probably be that way until after Christmas.

Two weeks from today is Christmas and I hope you have the money and things by then. You told me the boys had their bonds before the money I sent had a chance to get there but I suppose they will have other things in mind and if they are saving stamps they will no doubt buy a few out of the ten. V-mail must be slow going in the direction. I haven’t written much but it

[page 3] seems ages in going. I sent each of the brothers and sister a V-mail greeting but haven’t had a chance to hear from them as yet. Guess I told you that before.

Dr. Huth (Dentist) as taken some pictures and we are trying to get some printing paper to have so that we can print them ourselves. We can use the Xray solutions. We don’t have a printing frame fixed up yet because of lack of glass. I suppose we could get some in town but that would cost us, and glass is something you don’t need in tents or huts, so we can’t even break a window to get a piece.

Our beer is now extinct except for some isolated cases – like the one I have hidden under my bunk. There was quite a bit here but it didn’t last long. There are still some cokes left but I don’t care for warm coke. Just about as some have warm water. Occ – we get a glass of cold water but as a rule it’s warm. Even in the showers it isn’t cold. Seems the water mains are so near the surface and the sun so warm it warms the water. And why

[page 4] put the pipes deep in the ground because it never freezes.

Last nite just about Sun down Dr. Porterfield and I walked up over a little hill and off in a distance we could see a heavy blanket of clouds. We were looking down on it – out of this cloud comes a mountain top. Was real pretty but I can’t describe it.

I suppose I’d better take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas because the mail may be a little slow even this may not get there. I’ll miss being there you’ll know but I’m thankful I can still write you and you me. So keep the chin up and the home fires burning as I know you can do.

Lots of love and best wishes

P.S. no mail today – Some got old mail but I already have that.

Camera 616

Please send me a roll of films 2 ½ x 4 ¼ The camera 616 – 8 exposures. Those will fit Dr. Huth’s camera and maybe I can get some good pictures for you. Thanks.

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney

Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/08/22/keep-the-home-…burning-roscoe/