Tag Archives: World War II rationing

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/

Cotton Shortage (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

Kentland Ind.
Oct. 7 – 1943

Dear Daddy,

Yours of Sept. 28 & 29 came today. Also this letter from Mead Johnson & Co. Thought you might like to see it. I will write them & thank them and if you want any vitamins you can write too. I went to town this a.m. – the stores still close Thurs. P.M. and I needed a few things. I heard that Doris Wilson is going to have another baby – There last is just younger than David. Did I mention that the Bob Hufty’s are also looking for the bird again? I believe some time after the first of the year. It seems this wave of babies is still riding high. The Herb Richcreeks’ have a baby boy several weeks old. I told you before that Louise Krull is expecting again. I saw Mary Thompson Tues. and she looks like she is ready to go to the hospital anytime – and Oct. is her month.

I am planning to go to the hospital again tomorrow and intend to bring Dora Diedam home for the week-end. She is a grad. now & works in O.B. She was on 3rd north just around the corner from Mother’s room but she was changed to 4th . Alice is in training now and Dora told her if she intended to smoke and do things Dora hadn’t done while in training she couldn’t come down there. There are three Kentland girls there in the new class: Mary Tuberty, Alice D. and Joan Hall. The hospital is so short of help they are going to put the new class on the floors as soon as they can get their uniforms. The maids have to help with patients sometimes now. Mentioning the uniforms makes me think of the cotton goods shortage on the market now. I tried to buy shirts for John and Loeb’s only had rayon at $2.50 ea. I got two shirts, at B. & B. and they fit except for the arms (sleeves) & John’s arms are so long. I am

[page 2] going to try & get a size larger if they have any. Mark has plenty of shirts – he gets what John outgrows.

I hid Mark’s bike and he thinks it has been stolen. I am going to let him walk to school a few times then maybe he will be more careful – or will he?

Ina May Walkup is going to have an operation on her neck – do you remember her – in John’s class and her head is drawn to one side. The class is having a party for her this evening after school and J. has to take jello & 5¢. John was talking about football today and I discovered he has to play every day in physical ed. I asked him about his glasses & he says he just leaves them on. His hay fever is much better and he hasn’t complained of a headache lately. David’s cold or allergy (I couldn’t tell which it was) has cleared up too. His vaccination is getting along fine. There is a scab forming now.

My throat trouble seems to have cleared up. I told John I was allergic to our company because after they left I didn’t have sore throat – and I hope it doesn’t come back. If it does I’ll go see Dr. Ade again. I was glad to have Glen & Pauline here but I believe I was nervous with someone else around all the time & that contributed a lot to my throat condition. It seemed I was in the kitchen cooking or washing dishes most of the time. Pauline did a lot of work for me – the house cleaning, but there was more or less confusion all the time with two babies to feed & bathe, put out of doors, etc.

Lucile Ortner Jones has been in Manitowac with Ken but is back and is going to work for Nick – I think she is going to cook. – Doris Green is married & Van Scoycks’ daughter Margaret is going to marry a Dr. Klemsmith, a chemist – John Sullivan has the auto license office now & Dorothy Nugent is going to be clerk. – Bill Nugent won first at Hazeldon’s golf tournament. I scanned over the paper and collected these items – almost forgot Joe Fletcher is going to work for the Power Co.

Love – Mother

Diedam, Alice - Nursing Cadet card

World War II Cadet Nursing Corps Card for Alice Diedam (Image courtesy of Ancestry.com)

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/03/28/cotton-shortage-gladys/

Cold Beer (Roscoe)

Sept. 22, 1943

Lieut. R. S. Yegerlehner USNR
Navy 60
F.P.O. San Fran C.

Dear Mother,

Your letter written Sept. 7 came yesterday. In it you told of Funk’s return and the difficulty you had of buying meat at Bair’s grocery with Fords’ being closed. It must be a problem to buy all those things with ration cards, etc. We often see gags in the magazine relative to rationing but we just can’t appreciate the jokes but maybe you can’t either but we don’t have the basis for understanding them.

Yesterday P.M. when everything was hot and I was as dry as powder one of my tent mates came in with a case of cold beer. I can tell you it was the biggest treat we have had in ages. Even turkey or fried chicken would not have been more appreciated. That is best understood if you can imagine drinking

[page 2] only warm water with ice water or cold water at a premium. So you see what the cold beer meant.

I have to go out and do a little inspecting again this A.M. It seems that job keeps me on the run most of the time and it does help pass the time rather rapid but it’s a little hard on the rear system since these jeeps don’t ride to easy. They may go places OK but one is bruised in places often getting there.

The trip is over and I’m not too bruised, and while at the General’s place another beer (cold) was offered and received.

Seems as if beer is about all I’ve written about but I do do other things as well as thing of other things.

Space is all used up so solong until tomorrow –
Love Daddy

P.S. Here is one more picture I forgot to mail.

Food Is A Weapon

Office of Emergency Management. c1943-1945. National Archives.

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/02/26/cold-beer-roscoe/

Juanita (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

Kentland Ind
Aug 24 – 1943

Dear Daddy –

Rec’d yours of Aug. 9 & 12 today. John went to Laf. with Walkers so he took his 2⁰⁰ from m.o. & with his birthday money had enough to buy an album of records he wanted. Walker were taking Jimmy to Van Buskirk so John “sneaked” in on their appointment and got an eye exam. Dr. V. is writing me a letter about the situation. Said John’s lenses were correct but something about the muscle – I’ll tell you what else he has to say after I get the letter. I had Alma call Dr. Cole and tell him about Mother throwing up and the bitter taste that came last. He sent a prescription for that and said to give Mother an enema every day. He seemed rather worried Alma said about the throwing up and the bitterness. He told me when I had David down last Fri. he would come up soon. I know he will as soon as he can. Dr. Matthews is gone, Pip is gone & Rumkorf is gone – all taking vacations. I shouldn’t criticize but looks like they would get together doesn’t it – on such things.

[page 2] I met the 4:25 a.m. train – Juanita came this morning – It goes thru Robinson (7 mi. from where she lives) into Chicago. I’ll have to confess, I didn’t know about it until she came on it but it goes at such an hour and not touching towns we are interested in, I suppose that was the reason I didn’t know about it before.

Clara Molter picked lima beans from her garden and we shelled enough to fill 16 pts. To put in the locker – she gave us half to put them in. Not bad – all I did was hull a little while, blanch and take then to the Locker. I stopped at Parttens to see Ruthie – and talk about beef. They are going to butcher in 3 weeks and we are to get a quarter. It will take 800 points – or 2 ½ months meat tickets (stamps) from all our books. That shouldn’t bother us because we haven’t yet used a full month’s supply of stamps. – Ruthie is able to sit up now but hasn’t walked yet. The last x-ray looked pretty good Mary said.

It is a proverbial hot Aug. day and night – There isn’t any breeze stirring and it’s hot everywhere except out in the yard. The heat is awfully hard on Mother.

David was so hot today – his hair was in ringlets all over his head. Mark said David said “Daddy” – not da-da once today.

Love – Mother

FOS1940s - Emma & Juanita

Emma Foster with her granddaughter Juanita, circa 1940s

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/12/30/juanita-gladys/

Hives (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

Kentland Ind
Aug. 9 – 1943

Dear Daddy –

Back from Laf. I didn’t get the letter I wrote yesterday mailed so will put this in with it. This a.m. yours of July 29 – 30 & 31 came and Mother’s too. It was very encouraging to have your letters about her. I felt so discouraged about her when I wrote yesterday – but I feel she is at least holding her own. I took D. to see Dr. Cole today & talked to him about her. He said to bring her down but I told him she couldn’t stand the trip – he said he would come up to see her Thurs. or Sun. He said to keep the cast on David two more weeks then bring him down & would cut it off – he seemed to think it would be all right – said to keep just some protection around the crack. I told him David does about everything, pulls up, stand, sits etc. He shakes his bed until the bolts fall off –

[page 2] John’s bus didn’t come in until 5:45 so Arlene & I had plenty of time to shop. She went along to see Dr. C. and help me with David & shop. She is 5 months along now and has only gained three lbs. She was so pleased about it – hopes she won’t get so large this time.

I shopped some today – bought two prs.  of shoes & 1 pr house slippers – I wanted to shop for shoes while I wasn’t in a hurry and found a black pr. & brown pr. that just suited my taste and fit. So many people wait until the last day to use their coupon and then rush the stores. I was in Laf. the last day the 17 coupon was good and all the shoe stores & Depts. were full with people standing waiting. Had to get J. & M. some school pants – school start Sept. 1 – and they had to have pants. John got a new pr. of shoes before he went to Grandma’s – he outgrew two pr. so Mark took them – that means he will have enough to last him several months. I didn’t neglect David. I bought him a new suit to wear when he gets the cast off his leg – He has new suit, shoes & sox for the occasion.

[page 3] I enjoyed your letters so much today – especially the 30th & 29th – of course I always enjoy all of them but you answered the 7 you had rec’d from me in the 29th & the 30th was a resume. Please don’t worry about the picture comment – to show I didn’t mean it I sent some of myself in the last bunch I sent. I have part of a roll taken & want to take the rest tomorrow, if there’s sunshine, and I suppose there will be. There was lots today – It has been awfully hot today – We would go into the air conditioned stores, then out again – and you know what happens – just like going into an oven.

I have to write your Mother that John arrived safely, etc. – also want to send Ruthie M. a note – I can’t think of anything else – oh yes – while in Laf. I had a coke then later ice cream – due to the intense heat we felt like we needed some cooling – and I got hives – They would raise up like mushrooms & just itch – at first I didn’t know what was the matter – I said there aren’t any bugs in town to bite me – I had one welt on my hand and on observing it decided I was having hives – My system is a little on the allergic order now – so will have to watch my eating –

Love – Mother

YEG1943-06 Dunlop Street house

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/11/28/hives-gladys/

Father’s Day (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Lieut R. S. Yegerlehner USNR
Navy 60 F.P.O. S.F.C.

Dear Mother,

Sunday A.M. and sorta loafing around just like a nice summer A.M. at home. Even had a late breakfast. I think the cooks must have had a rough Sat. night possibly down at the corner drug store or in Joe’s Bar room. I doubt if anyone knew or cared whether yesterday was Sat., etc. It’s really funny sometimes about the arguments as to the day of the week. Sometimes one is off as much as two days.

[page 2] Just got a note from Hicky. He gave it to a passer by and it came to me this A.M. It was written yesterday. He always wants me to come and see him but our modes of travel are not for visiting purposes. It sure would be fine to talk to someone from home and someone who appreciated Indiana and it’s “corn” as much as I do. Of course, every state takes a beating in turn. We think Reno will soon find out about the war because the stage coach is due there now that spring is here and

[page 3] the roads are passable – and so it goes.

According to the calendar today is Father’s Day so will have to add a little something to my letter home to the folks. Of course it should have been done several days ago but I just forgot it.

Just stopped to take on a cake of chewing gum. W With that you sent Christmas and with what Mom sent I still have quite a supply.

It seems funny to hear some of the new fellows talk – all about the “zoot suits” and the

[page 4] color of the Ration cards and the different cards in use and also about some of the latest shows and new books. We don’t get those commonplace news and you folk back there think nothing of it because it’s just a gradual process.

In some of the latest magazines there are jokes and cartoons regarding shoe rationing which are a little hard to understand. I guess we won’t have any trouble catching on to those things – anyway just give us a chance –

No mail again yesterday
Love Daddy

Russell Islands  Image by Kelisi at Wikipedia.com (Wikipedia Commons license)

Russell Islands
Image by Kelisi at Wikipedia.com (Wikipedia Commons license)

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/08/24/fathers-day-roscoe/

Bad teeth and new shoes (Gladys)

1943-03-28Letter transcription:


Dear Daddy – Sun. evening and Mark is doing his week-end homework – He won’t do much. He is too tired and can’t make much progress. It is sunny today with a little sharp wind. Took the baby out for an airing. Mark went over to Buddy’s to play so I walked over when it was time for him to come home. Nick said you might run into Eddie Dieter. He has his A.P.O. but I don’t remember it – it is four figures. Mrs. Washburn said they think Dr. Bill is in North Africa. Tommy Britton told Mark his Daddy has been discharged from the Army and is to do some kind of special work but I haven’t the details. Haven’t talked to Virginia lately. She was afraid for Davie to have measles because he has asthma so badly, so they gave He & Tommy Immune Globulin. Tommy was exposed at school but didn’t have them. Jack Byrnes children have scarlet fever. That is so strange. He said they hadn’t had them anyplace. Mrs. James & Jimmy came home today. She hated to leave Mary. She isn’t very well. I don’t know when her baby is due. Dorothy K. has two impacted wisdom teeth she has to have taken out. She is going to Laf. tomorrow to Dr. Donahue for a treatment. She will have to go to the hospital for the extraction later. I am planning to go along. Need a new pr of shoes – so do J. & M. & D. Our first shoe ticket is good till June 1. The point values on canned goods are being changed, also the ration has been taken off dried fruits – people weren’t buying and much fruit was spoiling. John has decided to practice on the piano and I am going to bed.

Love Mother

© 2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/03/11/bad-teeth-and-new-shoes-gladys/

Worthy Matron (Gladys)

1943-03-26Letter transcription:

3-26-43 [3-25-43?]

Dear Daddy – No letters today but having rec’d 14 this week can’t complain. It is warmer today, a little cloudy. Having the south septic tank worked on. Don’t know what the trouble is but Mr. Monroe said he couldn’t plunge it out so must be from the tank. Went to Chapter meeting last night. Clarice was installed Worthy Matron. There was quite a large crowd in attendance. Newell Lamb said he has been to see about enlisting in the Navy. Said he could get a j.g.’s rank. John was sent home from school with a headache – He has no temp and after staying in bed a while I told him to get up. He says he feels good but of course the first thing we thought of was measles. Paul Y. was here today. Said he was hunting a manure spreader. Was told there was one for sale in Benton Co. but after driving up here didn’t find one – I am getting 12 chickens (hens) to put in the locker. C. Molter is coming Monday to help us dress them. Meat rationing starts Apr. 1 There hasn’t been anything said about lockers yet so don’t know what will be done. 16 points a person a week is the ration on meat and it takes 8 points to buy a lb of steak – so you know not much steak will be eaten. Dried beef takes 12 points a pound and hamburger 5 points a lb. Dorothy & Nick went to Indpls today to get her eyes examined. She went to an optical co. last fall and got new glass (didn’t go back to Dr. A) – evidently they didn’t do much good. The pipe line to the tank was stopped – Our front yard is certainly a mess but it won’t take long to get new grass started where they had to dig. Glad this didn’t happen during cold weather or when the ground was very soft, was just right.

Love Mother

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found:

Had to call the fire engine (Gladys)

1943-03-24Letter transcription:


Dear Daddy – 12 letters Mon & 2 Tues. so didn’t expect any today. This was the first day we could hang out clothes since Nov. 29-’42. It is a little cool but nice. The ground is beginning to dry so won’t be long till we can get the yard cleaned up. We are still having measles – Bill Taylor has them – was feeling bad so he went to Lucy and got a treatment. Thought after that he was taking pneumonia – has been pretty sick with them. The seventh grade is getting them now so I suppose John will take them but I don’t dread them so now that Mark has had them and got thru O.K. I went to a church meeting this afternoon – had to give the lesson at W.S.C.S. When I got to town to mail this I think I’ll spend the rest of our ration coupons (26). I used most of them the first of the month. I think I mentioned a freeze put on butter, fats, etc. Monday. That came as a surprise like shoe rationing. The butter etc. will be one sale again next week. So far rationing hasn’t bothered us but I hear it is hard to get meat, butter, eggs and quite a lot of things in the cities. There was a little excitement yesterday at Zells – Foulks cleaning woman burned some papers and there was quite a wind – the fired caught the dry grass and burned over almost to Zells’ chicken house & garage – Had to call the fire engine. We have an air Raid Warden – Bob Shurtter for this block – and are to have black-outs – They said they didn’t think it would be necessary but we have to keep in step with the times so we would know what to do ‘in case.’ I am sending a letter registered with some more pictures. Some taken at 5 & some 6 mo. of David. He is a little rascal today – but cute enough to get away with it. Taking a nap now. Everyone fine.

Love – Mother

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/03/05/had-to-call-th…-engine-gladys/

John is coming home (Gladys)

1943-03-12Letter transcription:


Dear Daddy – Bright and sunny today – temp mild. Quite a contrast from last week, but this is March. Mark is quite improved – no temp and measles are beginning to fade. He was itching this morning so I put some zymochol on him and that stopped the itching. He is quite cheerful. Dr. M. came out last evening and gave David 2 c.c. Immune Globuline. So far he hasn’t had any reaction. He ate his cereal at 10 & took all his milk then played a while and went to sleep.  Weighed 16 ¼ this morning. John is coming home this evening. I am going to try and get him to take the serum but you know as well as I do how he shuns needles. Well if he doesn’t take the serum and has measles I won’t be so afraid for the baby now, and I will isolate John if he does take them. There were 56 out of the grade school so they closed Thurs.  Fri but will open Mon. I think I’ll keep Mark home a few days yet so he can catch up a little on his eating before starting out again. Meat Butter, cheese cooking fats are to be rationed April 1. 2 ¼ lb meat per person per week – don’t know about the rest. Joe Kenny was married Feb 22 at Tuscon Arz – he is stationed there – Juanita Arnold & Donald Hall were married at New Brunswick N. J. Mar 4. He is stationed there. She is back here now. Tom Murphy & Mrs. have gone to Flordia for his health. Marlowe Haileys have a baby boy. She had to have a section. Ira Dixon is reported improving. They didn’t operate. Irene said she & Link were going to Mayo Clinic Sat for examinations – She is working all the time but says she doesn’t feel very well. Link is going for his knee. Dr. Cole told Irene if she didn’t get better to quit work & rest. We are all fine.

Love – Mother

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2014/02/12/john-is-coming-home-gladys/