September 6, 1943 Lois Shepard to in-laws…

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Sept 6, 1943

Dear Dick & Dad,

Labor Day. And a very wet one. We had quite a wind storm today at noon. We were eating and I started upstairs to shut windows when the dining room door started on a rampage – knocking me into a chair, about breaking my shoulder & did break my brassier strap. K. W. & Mary E. thot it quite funny. I came up home Thursday nite. Left everything under control as much a possible.

Friday we started in-picked red kidney beans & lima beans. About a bushel of each.

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Then Mom & I shelled most of the limas & canned them. I have twelve pints of lima beans. Saturday we shelled all the kidney beans that weren’t to dry & I got five pints of them. Hope to dry & can corn last of this week.

Mary starts to school tomorrow. She is ready to go. Kenny has been having a grand time here on the farm. Sue crawled today. And I’m not kidding tho I don’t suppose you’ll believe it. She went about two feet across the floor to get her rattle .

I have had only one letter from Bill since you left tho

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it was a large one. 10 sheets of paper & full. He even sent it in a large square official envelope. He wrote it because I said Herman had written Ruth a ten page letter. Nothing much of any news. Just rambling. He wrote it before he left Moses Lake.

It is time to put Kenny to bed so I’d better close. Received your cards Sat. Hope you are having a pleasant time.

Love,
Lois

September 9, 1943 William Shepard to parents…

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301 Service Squadron
Pendleton AAF., Ore.
September 9, 1943

Dear Mother:

Received your letter today. Happy to hear that you are up in fish-land. Id like to join you, but I have my job and its a big one. One of these days we can be back to normal. Have been pretty busy. I think that Ill go fishing this week end and relax.

Oh yes I’d better tell you. My promotion came through

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Sept 4, 1943. I am now 1st Lt.

No more news here so Ill close house.

Write & tell about the place

Your Son
Bill

September 2, 1943 Herman Shepard to parents…

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9-2-43

Dear “Dick and Dad”

Just a line to let You know I am O.K. As you can see we are in Newark N. J. at the last minute they changed the plans. We came over here from Paterson today. Newark is a much larger city than Paterson and only 8 minutes by subway to the heart of New York City. I surely have enjoyed my trip here and have learned a lot about the Wright Engines. We are going to the propeller school now and will probably finish there tomorrow night and then be on our way home Saturday evening arriving in Colo. about 5 AM. I called Ruth last night to see how things were at home she told me that you had planed to leave about 2 AM Wednesday morning. I hope you had a nice trip and also that you didn’t have any trouble getting thru. Did you stop at Hale Mich?

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She told me that you had burned you hand I hope it is nothing serious. Better take care of it. Of course I know that “Cumminic[?] Lake” air will heal any kind of an injury, why I expect Dad to come home with a new knee. How are the Forders? Give them my regards and tell them that I surely am missing my trip this year. Im not there in body but believe me I’d really spend a lot of time pretending I was there. How did you find the cabin and all the surroundings is everything okay? I want you to write and give us all the dope. I visited several sport shops here while I didn’t have anything else to do and I found several nice trolling rods some of the banbo ones were as low as $2.98 and ran as high as $11.50 dollars and fifty cents for the metal ones. I didn’t buy any because I knew I couldn’t get one to you folks to use now and there wouldn’t be any use of me buying one to take home. So all I did was “Shop.” We have had a good time here, Lawrence. Kentucky and I have run around together and Lawrence and I have run on Kentucky all the time just about like I used to pestor Simon. He is a good sport and a clean boy.

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Lawrence is sitting here reading a “Liberty” and just taking life easy. He is a swell fellow to be out with we all do a lot of dirty talking but that is as far as it goes. If someone would ever hear us talking they would think we were the worst. We had very nice rooms at the Hotel in Paterson and the one here is very cheerful I wouldn’t mind living like this all the time if someone would furnish the money. So far including airfare, hotel and meals I’ve spent about $130.00 The meals have run pretty high as I’ve tried about all the fancy things there was on the menu including a different cocktail for nearly every meal. Tell you one thing and that is, this N. J, air does not work the same way on me as the Canadian air I would

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Have spent twice that amount of money.

Have you heard from Bill lately? I wrote him a letter and mailed it last Sunday night. I am going to try too write to him more often. You surely see a lot of servicemen around here I think most of them are here for embarkation as this is where the convoys are made up and etc. Tell dad not to overdo himself while he is up there and to leave some of the work for me to do. I hope he hooks onto such a large fish that he will have to overdo himself to land. What did you find out about”Trout” season when does it end. And I wouldn’t want you to get into any trouble, be careful and not fall in the lake and etc.

I expect I better close and get to bed as we have to get up at 5:30 AM in order to get to school on time in Caldwell at 7:30 Caldwell is about the same distance from here as Times Square, N. Y. but it takes an hour to get to Caldwell by bus and 8 minutes by subway to Times Square. So you can see the difference in travel. You would get a kick out of riding the subway.

Love to all —
Herm

 

Great Aunt Ruth…

3260817401_9df2959b53_bI don’t remember seeing much of my great Aunt and Uncle Ruth and Herman Shepard when I was growing up. But I do remember some of the stories my mother would tell about Herman and his barn storming days, and how Grandma Dick use to like telling Ruth all about Herman’s old girlfriends. (Dick was kind of mean that way.)

Herman and Ruth never had any children of their own, and since I know lots about where Herman came from and his growing up years, but little about Ruth, other than she didn’t want Herman flying anymore when they were married, I thought I would improve that lack. (I have to say, she must have been a saint to put up with her mother-in-law Dick.)

Ruth Mae Kring was born the 1st of March in 1908, the daughter of Lowell Athelston Kring and Tressa Belle Hults, in Ohio. She grew up with two brothers and one sister: Ralph M., Vaughn A., and Esther. The family lived in Mifflin, Franklin County, Ohio where in 1930 her father was working as a welder for the Oxiste Company, and her mother raised the kids, as was typical of the times. Ruth, by 1930, was working as a sales clerk in a local department store.

Ruth and Herman were married in 1934 in Franklin, Ohio.

Ruth’s father Lowell’s parents, Andrew Kring and Mary Alma Kramer, were of German descent.

The Krings
Andrew’s parents were Conrad Kring and Catherine Siedner (nothing is known about Catherine’s family).

Conrad was an Evangelical Church minister, and apparently made up his mind, at 12 years of age, that a life of ministry was calling to him. This ministry led the family to move around from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Kansas, and finally back to Ohio where they made their final stop. Andrew grew up with 11 siblings.

Conrad’s parents were George and Magdalena Fry Kring, of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

George Kring was the FIRST generation Kring born in the United States. He made a living as a shoemaker, a farmer and a minister (George would use his barn on the Sabbath to minister to the people living close to their farm). When he was young George spent much of his time making boots, harnesses, and shoes for George Washington’s army, and helping his father work on the farm. George hated working indoors, he wanted to be outside enjoying nature’s bounty.

George had a great urge to join the fight during the revolution as a drummer, his father discouraged his dreams, no doubt preferring his son home safe with the family. So home George stayed. George’s second wife was Magdalena Fye, of whom their son Conrad was born.

Magdalena Fye was born in Saxony, Germany. Her parents (whose names we do not know) came to American when she was a young child. The political strife going on in their homeland at the time was great incentive to move somewhere else and make a better life for themselves and their children.

The original Kring emigrant was Johan Jost Kring. He came to America with his brother. They were from Haigler, which is now in Western Germany.  As teenagers, they left Germany to avoid service in the Thirty Years War and went to the Netherlands for several years before immigrating to Philadelphia on the ship Two Brothers. They arrived in America on July 21, 1751. They settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. John was also a cobbler.

The Hults
I can not find much on Ruth’s mother’s side of the family, the Hults they are more elusive. It looks like Ruth’s great grandfather Henry Wells was born in England and came to America in 1850, when he was 15. He traveled on the ship Amazon with his mother, Sarah, and 6 siblings. Sarah was not with her husband (dead?), and never married after emigrating. She supported the family as a seamstress.

The Hults themselves appear to come from Illinois before moving to Ohio, where James W. Hults, Ruth’s grandfather was born. I do know that her maternal grandparents were James W. Hults and Cora Belle Wells. And a death record for James indicates that his parents were Milton Hults and Margaret Dempsey. (Dempsey is probably Irish.) One online tree indicates that the Hults line descends from the immigrant Benjamin Holsaert of the Netherlands born about 1675. There are no sources with this statement.

So, an admittedly cursory search into Ruth’s ancestral background. But it was a fun frolic up a different family tree.

We have lots of letters from Ruth and Herman that will be showing up in future posts, and I am looking forward to them giving more insight into Ruth and Herman’s lives.

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Ruth and Herman Shepard

 

August 24, 1943 William Shepard to home…

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301st Service Squadron
Moses Lake A. A. B., Wa.
August 24, 1943

Dear Mother and Father

Here goes a letter. I try to write Lois all the news but now and then Ill slip you all a letter, presonal like. Nothing much stirring here. Ill be here for a while yet. It doesnt look as if Ill ever get overseas. Now Im a training officer. Its a horrible death to die. Happy to hear about Herman.

Say mom how about you and dad coming out Christmas to join Lois & me and we can have christmas together? Maybe you could come about Dec 15 and stay over & go to California? It would make a real trip, a vacation for you all and a chance for us to see eachother. Leaves of absence arent being given out here. Dad would enjoy this county. Yo may never get another chance. How about it?.

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Its getting cool up here now. I expect it though because its Sept 1 almost.

Have a good time in Canada. I wish that I could come up, but the fish are just as big here and just as many. Im getting trout and bass with my fly rods. Some fun. The first bass I caught with my small rod took 5 minutes to land.

Well Ill shut up and listen

Your son
Bill