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Finding Aid

Felton-Sinclair Family Papers
MsC 887
Collection Dates: July 1941-December 1943

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Acquisition and Processing Information: Gift of Carl Halberg.

Photographs: None

Letter from Pfc. Beryl Chidester
Letter from Pfc. Beryl Chidester

Scope and Contents

161 letters to Frances (sometimes written Francis) and Lloyd C. (Buzzy) Felton from 1941-1943.


Biographical Note

In 1941, 1942, and 1943 Lloyd (Buzzy) Felton and his wife Frances [Sinclair?] Felton were living in Rawlings, Wyoming, where  Buzzy worked for the railroad. They had left family in Albia, Blakesburg, and Moravia, Iowa. The Feltons and especially the Sinclairs were diligent in keeping Buzzy and Frances up to date as to what went on at home, writing letters several times each month. This provides researchers with a snapshot of what it was like living on an Iowa farm during the first days of America's involvement in World War II. The letter writers almost always were the women in the family, so occurrences are filtered thought the feminine point of view, but they discuss the business  that the men were conducting as well as the women's tasks and social engagements. One learns that they were still farming, at least part of the time, with horses (Dick and Dolly) and lighting their houses with lamps, heating with wood and coal, churning butter, putting up large amounts of food. Electricity was available, however, and they discuss obtaining electric irons, washing machines, and sewing machines. The families are very involved in each other's lives, with sisters, sisters-in-law, mothers, cousins staying overnight or for days at one another's house to help with feeding threshers, putting up wallpaper, doing laundry.

One of the chief letter writers was Vera Sinclair, a school teacher, so one can learn something about the conduct of school during this period, including some reference to provisions for the hot lunch program. The war is not intrusive in the letters, but it does make its presence felt with tire and gas rationing. The sale of war bonds is discussed, as well as who in the town is going away to join the army. The fact that if too many young farmers join up the food supply will be threatened is mentioned several times, so it is obvious that these women knew the importance of their work to the war effort.

The main correspondents are Mrs. James (Minnie?) Sinclair; Regina (sometimes Regena) Sinclair (Mrs. Dewayne Sinclair); Mildred Davis (Mrs. Ottis Davis); Vera Sinclair; and Mrs. H.A. Felton. Other correspondents include Helen Felton, Pfc. David B(eryl) Chidester, Mrs. Robert Sinclair, Dewayne Sinclair, Pvt. Sylvester Hayworth, Bob and Helen (Felton?), Sara Chidester, and some signed only with first names, i.e. Lola and Wanda. There are some Christmas cards from a variety of people not represented elsewhere in the letters. When the letter is signed Mother, it is usually from Mrs. James Sinclair; when it is signed Mother and Dad it is usually from Mrs. H.A. Felton. A postmark of Moravia means it is from the Felton family; those postmarked Albia or Blakesburg are usually from the Sinclair family.



Box Contents List


Inventory of letters to Mr. & Mrs. L.C. Felton

Note: the syntax for the following register is as follows:
Date, address, writer (as determined by signature), format


Folder 1 – July 1941
July 20, 1941, Divide, Wyoming, J.G. Bruegman (?), letter


Folder 2 – January 1942
January 10, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair (sister), letter


Folder 3 – February 1942
February 1, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
February 1942, Mom & Dad, letter


Folder 4 – June 1942
June 23, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Frances, letter
June 28, 1942, Grantsdale, Montana, Lola S., letter


Folder 5 – July 1942
July 2, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Evelyn, postcard
July 3, 1942, letter
July 4, 1942, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Bob & Helen, letter
July 6, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & family, letter
July 8, 1942, Mother & Dad, letter
July 9, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & Family, letter; Mildred Davis, letter; Vera Sinclair, letter
July 9, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Mother; Bob & Helen (Cheyenne, Wyoming), letter
July 9, 1942, Mother, letter
July 15, 1942, Helen, letter
July 16, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair & All, postcard
July 17, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, postcard
July 23, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter; Minnie, letter
July 24, 1942, Mother & Dad, letter


Folder 6 – August 1942
August 1, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Dewayne, Regina, Marilyn, Merle, letter
August 2, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, letter
August 5, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Helen, letter
August 5, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Mother & Dad, letter
August 6, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mother Davis, postcard
August 10, 1942, Hawthorne, California, Vera Sinclair, postcard
August 10, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Dwayne [Sinclair], Regina, Marilyn, Merle, & Papa, letter
August 11, 1942, Winnett, Montana, Aunt Della, letter
August 12, 1942, Manhattan Beach, California, Vera Sinclair, postcard
August 13, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother & Papa, letter
August 14, 1942, Wyoming, Harry, letter
August 16, 1942, Winnett, Montana, Sister Della & Family, letter
August 17, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred, letter
August 18, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Us, letter
August 18, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Mother, letter
August 21, 1942, Vernal, Utah, Vera Sinclair, postcard
August 22, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mildred Davis, postcard
August 23, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Dwayne, Regina, letter; Marilyn, Merle, & Papa, letter
August 27, 1942 Albia, Iowa, Dwayne, Regina, Marilyn & Merle, letter
August 30, 1942 Tacoma, Washington, Sara Chidester, letter
August 31, 1942 Albia, Iowa, Dewayne & All, letter
August 31, 1942 Albia, Iowa, Regina & Washington, letter; Grandma, letter; Dewayne & All, postcard


Folder 7 – September 1942
September 1942, letter written on back of public auction ad
September 1, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Ottis Davis, postcard
September 2, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Mother & Dad, letter
September 6, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Dewayne, Regina, Marilyn & Merle, letter
September 7, 1942, Mother, letter
September 10, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mildred Davis (sister), postcard
September 12, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, postcard
September 13, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Dewayne, letter
September 13, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & All, letter
September 17, 1942, Mother, letter
September 17, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & All, letter
September 20, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
September 20, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & All, letter
September 21, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter; Regina & family, letter; Mildred Davis, letter, newspaper articles
September 22, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Mother & Dad [Felton], letter
September 24, 1942, Albia, Iowa, letter
September 24, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & All, letter
September 27, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother, letter
September 27, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & All, letter
September 27, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
September 28, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & family, letter; Evelyn, letter; Vera Sinclair, letter


Folder 8 – October 1942
October 2, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
October 3, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mildred Davis; Vera Sinclair, letter
October 4, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, postcard
October 5, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, postcard
October 5, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
October 7, 1942, Mother & Dad, letter
October 8, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Mother, letter
October 11, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Charles, children's letter
October 11, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
October 11, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother, letter
October 12, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother Davis, Vera Sinclair, letter
October 13, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, letter, + 3 children's letters dated October 11 and 19
October 14, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, postcard
October 15, 1942, Albia, Iowa, letter
October 16, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother, postcard
October 19, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
October 19, 1942, Grantsdale, Montana, Lola & All, letter
October 19, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Evelyn, children's letter
October 19, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Richard, children's letter
October 20, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother, letter
October 21, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Mother, letter
October 21, 1942, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Bob, letter
October 22, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, postcard
October 26, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mildred Davis, postcard
October 26, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother, letter


Folder 9 – November 1942
November, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Dewayne Sinclair (?), letter fragment written on back of Office Price Administration response letter
November 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Charles, children's letter on back of Dec. 3 '42 child letter
November 3, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, postcard
November 3, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother, letter
November 4, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Mother, postcard
November 9, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
November 10, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & All, letter
November 10, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, postcard
November 11, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Mother & Dad, letter
November 13, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair & All, postcard
November 23, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother Davis, postcard
November 27, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Regina & All, letter
November 28, 1942, Albia, Iowa NE, Mother Davis, postcard
November 28, 1942, Albia, Iowa, letter
November 30, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, postcard


Folder 10 – December 1942
December 1942, Leonard Cohee, Christmas card
December 1942, Albia, Iowa (?), Vera Sinclair, letter fragment
December 2, 1942, Moravia, Iowa, Helen, letter
December 3, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, letter
December 3, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Charles, children's letter
December 4, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Charles, children's, letter
December 5, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Evelyn, double-sided children's letter (same date)
December 5, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Evelyn, children's letter
December 5, 1942, Blakesburg, Iowa, Richard, children's letter
December 21, 1942, Glenbrook Park, Grass Valley, California, Jessie, letter
December 23, 1942, Cedar Falls, Iowa, letter
December 28, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother, letter
December 28, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
December 29, 1942, Albia, Iowa, Mother Sinclair, letter, Vera Sinclair, letter, Marilyn, letter, Regina, letter, Susie Chidester, postcard, partial letter(?)
December 31, 1942, Winnett, Montana, Sister Della, letter


Folder 11 – January 1943
January 1943, Mother, letter
January 1943, Vera Sinclair, 2nd half of a letter
January 1, 1942 on letter, from a postcard from January 1943, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
January 1, 1943, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, letter
January 3, 1943, Fairfield, Montana, Ronda & Family, letter
January 3, 1943, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair & All, postcard
January 8, 1943, US Army Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, Sylvester (?) Hayworth, letter
January 9, 1943, Albia, Iowa, Mother Sinclair, postcard
January 10, 1943, Albia, Iowa, Mother, letter
January 13, 1943, Viola & Family, postcard
January 15, 1943, Montana, Viola, postcard
January 15, 1943, Blakesburg, Iowa, first half of letter
January 15, 1942/1943 (?), Blakesburg, Iowa, Charles, children's letter
January 16, 1943, Blakesburg, Iowa, Vera Davis, Charles Davis, miscellaneous newspaper articles from January 1 & 15 1943 (?)
January 18, 1943, Albia, Iowa, Regina & Co., letter
January 19, 1943, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter
January 20, 1943, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, letter
January 20, 1943, Moravia, Iowa, Helen Felton, letter
January 21, 1943, Moravia, Iowa, Helen Felton (sister)
January 25, 1943, Mother, letter
January 27, 1943, Blakesburg, Iowa, Mildred Davis, postcard


Folder 12 – February 1943
February 3, 1943, Denver, Colorado, David Chidester (cousin), letter, Fitzsimmons Hospital
February 4, 1943, Moravia, Iowa, Mother, letter
February 8, 1943, Albia, Iowa, Mildred Davis, postcard
February 9, 1943, Albia, Iowa, Vera Sinclair, letter


Folder 13 – December 1943
December 1943, Grandma, letter
December 7, 1943, Mr. and Mrs. B (?) Murdy, Christmas card
December 8, 1943, Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Farmer and children, Christmas card
December 14, 1943, [Albia, Iowa], Grandma, Grandpa & Aunt Vera [Sinclair], Christmas card
December 14, 1943, Albia, Iowa, Aunt Vera [Sinclair], letter
December 15, 1943, E and S [Earl and Sara?] Chidester, Christmas card
December 16, 1943, Bernice Van Harin (?), Christmas card
December 17, 1943, Mr. and Mrs. Owen Ritter, Christmas card
December 17, 1943, Lucy Young, Christmas card
December 17, 1943, Dewayne, Regina, & 3 Ms, Christmas card, letter, newspaper clipping
December 17, 1943, Aunt Della, Christmas card
December 18, 1943, Bruce, Richard, & Mrs. Risely, Christmas card
December 18, 1943, Marcella & Danny Gerst, Christmas card
December 20, 1943, Aunt Della, Uncle Rob, & Robert [Sinclair?], Christmas card
December 21, 1943, Mrs. Frank Spellman, Christmas card
December 21, 1943, Mother, Dad, & Helen [Felton?], Christmas card
December 22, 1943, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard J. Cohee & Family, Christmas card
December 23, 1943, Harry, Hilda, & Jimmy [Felton?], Christmas card
December 23, 1943, Aunt Lottie & Uncle John, Christmas card
December 24, 1943, Claude & Lilly Littrell, Christmas card
December 24, 1943, The Walter's, Vi, Bill & Kids, Christmas card
December 29, 1943, Aunt Jennie & Bernard, Christmas card


Folder 14 – Undated
December 1942/1943 (?), Mabel, Dwille (?), Stanley, postcard
Undated, The Littrells, postcard
Sample envelopes