Dearest Fran (The early years)

Dearest Fran, (Early years)

Prelude: Here is another letter to Frances Fairfield of Hornell, NY. This letter is from the early years when Frances was High School. It was written on May 6th1935 and is from a man named Bern who lives in Wellsville, NY.


Dearest Fran,

I just received your letter and was awfully glad to hear from you.  I just couldn’t wait until I got home at noon to see if your letter was there.

I imagine you are very angry with me because I didn’t come yesterday after I’d promised. (You probably didn’t want to see me anyway), But gee sweets, it rained all day and I really tried to have Louie get his car, but he couldn’t. So, there you are. As I told you.

I’m really afraid to see you to much for you’ll lose all interest in me. (What little interest there is)

I’m telling you the truth, sweet, when I say that I’ve never liked a girl in my whole life as much as I like you.  I’ve been around, know a lot of girls, but I still have to meet one, I’ll like better than I do you.  Expect me any time because I might be there by the time this letter is.  I never know when I’m going to get the chance of seeing you. I hope it’s soon.

My brother left school and he was “President of the Junior Class.” So, just now they moved up the Vice President to President and elected me the Vice President.  I really didn’t want it, but I wouldn’t refuse after they elected me. So, here I am.

That means I get a couple of points towards my 20-point letter. I got 17 now.  It’s the highest award in school.

Dearest, did you get home ok? I hope you’re not angry and I want to apologize for the things I said in front of you up at Claytons. That’s the trouble with me, always saying something at the wrong time.

I hope you can read this. I am really very sorry and I promise.  I’ll make it up to you some way, sometime soon.  Anyway, no matter what happens, “I love you.”

I just took 3 pictures (negatives) up to Dean’s Drug store to have developed.  One is of myself in my track suit and the others in everyday clothes.  I’ll give you the 2 best. (If you would care to have them).

Time to sign off. The bell will ring in a minute and off to school periods again.

Hoping to see you soon. (Not soon enough). I shall remember how lovely you are in the meantime.

Oceans of love and a kiss on

Every Ware


“a X and many of them”



Well! Bern seems to be enamored with Miss Frances. This letter drips with adolescent emotions and insecurities. Of course, Bern doesn’t fail to mention his “Vice President” status. This letter is before the start of World War II and there seems to be a hint of social class snobbery in the way Bern writes to Fran. I also detect a little bit of an ego as he tells her how’s he’s never liked a girl in his whole life as much as her….and then he has some pictures of himself to give her. It made me laugh. Anyway, it’s interesting to see what people wrote in 1935. What do you think?


Hello there (Italy 1943)

Hello There (Italy 1943)

Prelude: Here is another letter from Young Hank to Frank & Esther Fairfield of Hornell. The letter says it was written on November 7, 1943, but the envelope is post-dated December 12, 1944… I’m going with the date on the letter and thinking that it was put in the envelope on a later date. (Just a reminder, I leave spelling mistakes and such intact.)



Hello there,

I received your letter today and was really glad to get it. It’s nice hearing from you.  Thanks’ loads for writing.

I can see what you mean by a wide difference in opinion at home there. I would like to hear them some time.  We feel the same way about this war. If it would end tomorrow, it would be ok by us to.

I’m sorry to hear that you lost your dog. That’s the trouble when you get a nice do you miss him when you loose him.

Don’t mind the spots on this sheet.  I’m writing by candle light and the candle tipped over. I don’t have the ambition to write it over, so I’ll leave it messed up.

How is everything with you these days? I hope good. I’m getting so I want to see Hornell pretty bad, but I guess it will have to wait.  Some day if things turn out right I’ll see it though.  I really miss it.  You don’t realize how much home means to a fellow until he gets away from it for a while.  That’s one thing you can say this war is making us appreciate what we had.

You ask if there is anyone in in my outfit from home. There was one but mom sent me a clipping that he had been missing in action since September 11th. You may have known him, he was Salvatore Ladato. He was in a company and I didn’t get to see him very often. He was the only one though.

You ask how we live over here. It all depends on where we are.  When were on the front and not in direct view of the enemy we sleep in pup tents.  Of course, there are some times it can’t be done. You know we spend some time in fox holes to.  That’s only natural saving that this is war.  It’s not as bad as some people think?  When were on the front we eat C and K rations. C rations come in cans and K’s in cardboard boxes. You have probably seen them both in magazines. The Kitchens we used when your back in rest. It’s pretty hard to explain by writing. We make out alright though.

Things are going along good for me.  I can’t kick a bit. Of course, I’ll be glad to get home and start a home and family.

That’s about all for now.  Tell Mr. Fairfield I said hello and not to get too many deer. I guess that’s all over now though. Good luck and take good care of yourselves. Thanks again for writing.

As Ever,



I sigh every time I read one of these letters from Young Hank. He just seems so nice, and normal and he says things exactly how I would think someone in his situation and in the 1940’s would say them. The war was taking its toll on everyone and Young Hank was in the middle of it. This letter is earlier than some of the others I have from him and later than some of the others too. He does not know that the war will end in 1945 and he doesn’t know he will be there two more years and eventually be sent to Germany… He is in the middle and missing home. I’m sad for him and proud of him too. He is always so positive. I can’t help be wonder if he made it back ok. I hope he did, because I really like Young Hank. I hope you do too!

Dear Frances (A Sister)

Dear Frances (Her Sister)

Prelude: Here is another letter to Frances. This one was addressed to Mrs. R.W. Flannery at her family address of 345 Seneca Road in Hornell, NY. It was written on January 6, 1940 from her sister Lucille who resides in Helmuth, NY. Frances is married to Bob Flannery, and she is a mother to little Bobby, but she is living with her parents at this time.



Dear Frances,

I received your card and the stamps, the slip was too small, it is so long and I seen you wear a larger size.  Frances dear, I have always had a silent partner and I do what I can to help this hospital because this is where God sent me and He is so interested in me.

We have God’s mother’s picture hanging in our ward and it’s right up over my bed and it is so pretty and it makes me feel good, but it’s time that I was leaving the hospital. I’ve been here a long time now.

It is snowing awful hard here, I wish you and Bob would come and see me, but I suppose you have to wait ‘till the weather gets good.

I bet you have a great time rocking the baby. I hope Bob rocks him too.  O’ Gosh, I guess I want everybody to rock their children, because I don’t know, but I don’t believe anybody ever rocked me, But God is with me and O’!  He is thinking about me because He is interested in Ladies that are nice. You and Bob have been so much comfort to me.  Well, I am going out for a little walk.

Your Loving Sister,




This is a very interesting letter. I did a little research and found that the hospital in Helmuth, NY is now in fact the Mental Hospital in Gowanda, NY (Helmuth being an old name). It was a Mental Hospital in the 1940’s.  I do not know if Lucille was a patient or worked there. I read that part of the patient therapy at the hospital in the 1940’s was to do work at the hospital… I put a link to a historical study that was done on the hospital below… All that said Lucille’s letter was a little choppy and a little strange in my opinion. I’m not sure where she was going with the rocking thing…She is not mentioned in any of the other letters I have from the Fairfield family so, I know very little about her. Overall, the letter was sweet and I hope that Frances and Bob visited her often.  What do you think?



Here is the hospital history link:



Dear Fran (Early years)

Dear Fran (Early years)

Prelude: Here is another letter to Miss Frances Fairfield. It was written in 1935 while she was still in High school and before her and Bob were together. Frances was seeing a guy named Bud, but this letter was written by a guy named Bernie. Bernie is from Wellsville and He and Frances corresponded quite a bit.


Dear Fran,

Just a few short lines to send you an apology. Which I think I owe you.  Please forgive me for being so rude Friday evening when I talked to you.  The reason I did act that way was because I knew if I started talking very much I might say something that you might take wrong and cause trouble between you and Bud. You see, as you probably well remember, I’m always putting my foo t in to it by saying something I shouldn’t.  So, that is why I’m sending an apology. It was really the only reason for my being rude.

After being rude, I couldn’t very well tell you that I think you’re nicer than ever. I really do.

How’s your family and grandmother? Say “Hello” to them for me. Maybe some time I’ll drop in for a chat. I’d like to. Especially, to talk to you again for a while.

Please don’t say anything to Bud about my writing this. There is nothing wrong in what I’ve said and what he don’t know won’t hurt him.  He’s a swell kid, but every now and then I almost crown him and then we get to talking and I can’t help but laugh at the crazy nut.

Suppose your surprised to hear that Wayne & I didn’t click and so I’ve been quite a pansy.  I don’t go for the girls like I did when I was that way about you.  In fact, I don’t believe I’ve been out more than three times since I quit going to Hornell.

Well, here I’ve only meant to way a few words of apology and I’m over on the fourth page already.  Hope you don’t mind.

Are you still going steady with Bud?  I shouldn’t have said that. It’s none of my business.

I wish I had the nerve to ask you to answer, but as you said Bud wouldn’t like it so, I’ll have to do without.  Anyway, I meant to say “Happy Birthday,” in September and didn’t dare.

As Ever,



Fran was such a catch. Bernie just wants her to be his girl but she is not available and he can hardly stand it.  Young love is so full of emotion and it’s funny to see what Bernie is will to say to a girl that he wishes he could be with. I only wish we knew what kind of a response Fran gave him.  If nothing else, we know she saved his letter, cause here it is. What do you think?