*1963 – August 19 – Letter From Dad to Mother – He’s in Alaska, we’re on way to Santa Fe, New Mexico


[letter from dad to mother, tells that August 12, 1963 received patent to 120 acres of homestead – mom and kids driving down the Alaska-Canadian highway which was still 1200 miles of narrow dirt road at this time – we landed in Santa Fe, New Mexico on August 27, 1963]

Monday, August 19, 1963

Dearest Mildred,

I just finished sending you the night letter.  This morning I got your letter from Edmonton, plus the trial copys [sic] of your nite letter.  Then when I got back to the room tonite [Linda note:  Dad must have been staying in a room on Elmendorf Air Force Base  while we were on our trip, at this time on our way to Santa Fe, New Mexico] there was a note on the door to call the telegraph office.  The message I got, of course, said the same thing as the letter – except for asking me to wire you – which I did.  I don’t quite see what difference my job makes in planning your route.  I’ve been told that the man who had to sign the papers for my promotion had signed it, but as yet I haven’t seen any proof of it, nor do I know when it will go into effect.  I should know in a day or two for sure, but I’m almost certain it will happen soon.

As I said in the wire – we got the patent for the homestead last Monday [August 12, 1963].  I’d written a letter just the Friday before that asking about it, and there it was.  I’ve already had it recorded, and now it’s officially ours.  I wanted to record it in both our names but it had to be notarized so I would have had to wait until I could send it to you – or until you bog back here.  Later on we can change it, though.

I’ve been awfully lonely, my darling!  I miss you so much all the time.  I miss you, and I love you, and I long so to be with you.  I’ve been with you all the way, in spirit.  I’ve tried to follow your path on the map, and guess where you were each night, when I sit here thinking about you.  I miss the children too, all of them and each of them.

I waited to send the check to your Mother.  I thought you might need more money, and it’s a good thing I did.  I’ve been working a lot of overtime though, and I sent it so she’ll have it next payday.

I started the day you left, and I’ve worked every nite since, plus Saturdays.  It’s really been welcome, too, this room isn’t home, and the less I’m in it the better.

Reverend Hull cancelled [sic] the hunting trip, and Ecklund cancelled [sic] the extra tractor work, and so I haven’t been to the homestead yet.  This report is supposed to be in the mail Friday nite, so I hope to go sheep hunting Saturday.

Ecklund hasn’t payed [sic] me yet, I haven’t seen him for 10 days.  They’re homestead notice was in the paper tonite for the first time, for 50 acres.

I’ve been saving all the papers since you left, plus the letters you’ve sent.

I wrote a letter the day I sent the money, mailed it to Dawson Creek.  It must have been there when you went through.  I know you can’t stop at every P.O. you come to, looking for a letter, so I’ll make two copy’s of this one and send them to different places where I think you might stop.  When you left here you didn’t know whether you’d go to Edmonton or Prince George, so Dawson Creek was the only place I could send a letter.  If you write me before you leave Edmonton and tell me the route you’ll take, I’ll try to have letters waiting for you along the way.

I won’t be like BHC [grandma] and talk about your letters, but I know from the sound of them that you’re having a good time – but tiring.  Later on, when you get across the border, mail service will be faster.  Maybe then we can keep in closer touch.  Your first letter was almost a week old before I got it, though your last one came in less than two days.

Writing to you makes me miss you more than ever, sweetheart.  I’d feel silly as hell sitting here copying this – I should have waited and used carbon paper. J  After thinking about it, I think I’ll send this one to Great Falls.  Then in the morning I’ll write a couple of notes to send somewhere else.  Maybe you’ll get all of them – maybe noon [sic] of them – what’s the use.  If I get this back unclaimed, I’ll save it for you.

I love you with all my heart, Mil – it seems so very long we’ve been apart.  My Darling, good night, Bill.

Give each of the kids a big hug, and “open” for David and kiss him for Dad – and Sharon too.  Dad

*1963 – August 5 – Fire Damaged Copy of Patent Number 1232827 for 120 Acre Homestead


This was in same envelope, copy of the telegram message dad sent:

Dear Mildred,

Got patent for homestead.  Job almost sure but not official.  Will know this week.  Write before you leave there.  Say which route will follow.  Got your Saturday letter today.  Sent mine to Dawson Creek.  Will send copy next one to all likely stops hope you get one.  Love, Bill.

[Linda note:  This was written in 1963 – and only way to copy his letters was to use carbon paper or hand copy them ]


This letter can be seen in context at

*August 1963 – Mother’s Letters

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