June 1926

Ruth 6/3/26 from NCC where she has just graduated from high school

Ruth in 1926

Ruth in 1926

Don’t laugh but I have the mumps.  It isn’t funny at all, it is tragic.  I’m not sick at all but my left jaw hurts like fury.  Mother had to go home and that hurts worst of all.  I’m glad you have had them or I might have given them to you in our farewell and I would feel badly. — as ever passionately in love with the best boy ever —

Ruth's high school diploma from NCC Academy

Ruth’s high school diploma from NCC Academy

Ruth  6/13/26 from the farm

I’m going to start my first music pupils.  It will be through them that I will be able to take music lessons myself next year.  Of course I won’t make a fortune but every little bit helps.  I’m so thin now that if I drank grape juice the folks could use me as a thermometer.  Mama won’t let me scuffle with Ralph.  She says I have to save my strength.  Poor Ralph, he doesn’t think Marie cares for him.  I don’t agree with Marie that it is entirely the boys part to make everything bright and interesting.  I think it is the girl’s responsibility as well.  Marie thinks letter wiiting is monotonous.  I think sometimes, my dear, we were too simple to have such problems.  We just naturally took to each other without questions.  Ralph says he read that the happiest are those who are simple and don’t know it.  Perhaps we are like that but I like to be happy, don’t you?

A drizzly rain prevented us from going to church this morning but we didn’t mind because we did need the rain so very badly.  We haven’t had a really good rain this spring.  The small grain is ruined but this rain will help the corn.  If it doesn’t rain there’ll be no corn, if there is no corn, there’ll be no hogs and if there’ll be no hogs, there’ll be no school for me.

These are the pigs that were the case crop that allowed Ruth to go to school!

These are the pigs that were the cash crop that allowed Ruth to go to school!

I’m praying for rain and I’m sure there will be.  Guy Solt is to be married Jan. 20.  Very surprised; didn’t expect it so soon.  Merl and Lillian are to be in the wedding (Guy is Lillian’s brother) then are going to Young Friends conference in Young’s Park.  Anxious for Merl to get home to tell us wht’s happening at the college and if it will live.  I don’t have any plans at all if it goes under.

Ruth 6/16/26

Recovered from the mumps and feeling better although skinnier than ever.  Ralph teases me all the time but I don’t mind.  I love my family and we are so happy together.  I’m glad  Guy Puckett  is working with you.  During my recovery I had a “craze for jazz and cheap novels”.  I started teaching four little music pupils.  I think it will be most interesting to watch them develop; they are all so different I also learned yesterday that there are two other ladies near who are wanting to get a class of pupils.  They’ll think I’m trying to cut them out but goodness knows I didn’t go looking for students; they just came to me .  I never thought of giving music lessions until they asked me.  I’m sure they will get along well because they are so interested.  You can think of me every Tue. afternoon playing the role of sedate music teacher.  Doesn’t it make you want to laugh?

Ruth 6/20/26

I went roller skating with Ralph and a bunch of kids in Makefield and had the most fun.  I could skate with Ralph better than anyone else.  I love to skate.  A number of dance floors have been converted to roller skating rinks for at least part of the week.   Mama left most of the housecleaning until after school expecting me to share the pleasure.  Then I had the mumps but now we have most of it done.

Our minister went to the conference so we only had Sunday School this morning.  These little country meetings are so discouraging.  I would hardly blame anyone for dropping their attendnce.  Just a few struggling long with a poor minister.  Our congration has dwindled down to such a very few and most are not active.   I’m almost glad I’m not here all year.  This morning was the first since Ive been home.  Lo and behold, I had to teach a class and act as superintendent.  Because there are such a few one just can’t refuse and there it is.  Dad and mother both teach classes and I taught Ralph’s class for him and Chester was secretary.  Bentons this and Bentons that until I want to rebel and get away.  Not much money in the congregation so they can’t get a better minister.

Elk Valley Friends Church where the Benton's worshiped

Elk Valley Friends Church where the Benton’s worshiped

Ruth 6/25/26

I know it’s true love because it makes my whole world a world of happiness and content.  I am so happy that I shall have such a helpmate in life as I shall have for I know it will deepen my faith and usefulness.  I was talking with Mother about ages of people.  I said I came very near being older than my man, that you were only 18 (Ruth turned 18 in April).  Mother said,  “You had better wait until he can vote before you take him”.  I told her I intended to wait until you were out of college at any rate.  I have told her many times not to think so but she thinks I will marry in two or three years.  That is why she thinks I should just tke one year of college and then teach.  I had just about decided to take just one year but Lillian talked me out that or at least partly so I don’t know for sure.  I told Chester if he would go to school a year from this fall I wouldn’t go but teach.  I doubt he’ll do it.  I’m still so thin Ralph says if I were dropped in the water I’d float like a straw.

John 6/8/26

Arrived home and the only problem was “holding Estes down”.  I’m so very lonesome and sad that you have the mumps  I’m working for the railroad with four men that are a disgrace to humanity.  Their thoughts run mainly to sexual relationships with girls, getting drunk, gambling and dancing. My, you should hear the stories they tell.  I’m so discouraged with
life at home.  I hope that some day our efforts will be molded into the home we, together, have idealized.

John 6/6/26

Perhaps I will enjoy working more since Guy Puckett came home with me and is going to work where I am.  He isn’t going to live with us but live in a bunk house close by.  Mr. Foxworthy talked with Guy and me about going to Hiawatha meeting in west Nebraska.  He’s trying to find them work during the week and have them hold church services on Sunday.  The minister has five churches that he visits in turn.  Also a possibility of getting a position as a time keeper for the railroad.  I would draw better wages than if I taught school or did anything else.

John 6/12/26

I have also had a day of argument with my brother and father.  They think so differently than I do and they are so radical they raise their temper and get angry.  I try not to argue with them but sometimes they get me started and I don’t realize that perhaps I shouldn’t do it.  Maybe there will be some way to influence them, maybe not very soon but maybe in years to come.  I received my grade slips and got 4 A’s, 2 B’s and 1C.

John 6/14/26
Worked 12 hours and it was so hot!  Unloaded 42 car loads of gravel and then did other things to boot.  I sure hope there won’t be many more days like this or your dear one won’t amount to a great deal. Merl stopped on his way to Hiawatha.  I certainly wish I could have accompanied him the rest of the way but no so — I’m a working man and according to Dad’s theory, I’m an unprivileged piece of machinery working only for others to get rich.  Guy has helped me in meeting the trials and discouragements, especially when I am tired, it seems an impossibility for me to bear things as they are.  There is so much friction in the home but I have succeeded fairly well thus far and hope to succeed better as time goes on.  At dinner I can hardly bear to think of the future life of this dear little brothers and sister of mine.  Certainly such experience have taught me to idealize what a home should be and I have become more determined that ideal will be realize with you love and help.  I find it very hard to keep my temper with my older brother.
John 6/17/26

Monday after a long day’s work Guy and I went to the library and secured some books.  Haven’t had a chance to read yet.  Went out to the country to get “Estes” future engine.  I hope I get it all overhauled before many days pass.  Merl and Clarence Pickett stopped by to talk to Guy and me on their way home.  Certainly   brightened things up to talk to people like them.  Foxworthy was unable to find work for Guy and me so the railroad is my future for awhile but I don’t mind.  There is so much to do before and after that work is secondary.  Sorry for Ralph and Marie.  Yes, dear, I think we were made for each other , either that or we are exceptions or sports or something is wrong with us.

John 6/21/26

Guy quit working on the railroad and is headed to Central for a conference.  I will miss him terribly.  Do you know that I enjoy books more now than I ever did.  I think I enjoy them as you do music.   I’m reading “A Mind in the Making”.

John 6/23/26

Hurrah, she goes! I’ve just finished leading my Ford around the country for awhile as it would get to know me and she goes!  Orville came last Sunday night and has been  great help to me fixing my “animal”.  I’m getting quite a use of my limited Spanish.  There are a couple of Mexicans working with us and I talk to them a good deal in Spanish.  I have learned quite a bit by thus doing.

John spending many hours working on his Fords

John spending many hours working on his Fords

John 6/25/26

Worked so hard I am more tired than usual.  Then when I started my Ford I  found it had a knock in it.  So I set to work to fix it but learned that the necessary parts could ot be found in Shelton so I will have to wait until tomorrow to go to Grand Island.  I think I will be abl to get the “darn” thing fixed before next Thur or Fri.  I got an offer to go to St. Louis and work in a prison.  I would have charge of exercises and games, look after reading material and encourage reading.  Oh that would be interesting work but wouldn’t pay much.  I need to earn money to pay of last year’s debts  I hope next year I won’t have to go into debt so I can do such work next summer.


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