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.
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: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1723&context=gradschool_theses