Nelson Kerns writes July 9, 1930: Radio Springs, mowing hay, and 108 degrees

 

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Rhoda Kerns Goodenough, my maternal grandmother

Once again, I’ve transcribed a letter from my grandmother’s brother, Nelson Kerns, 15, who is pictured below. Nelson was killed in an airplane accident with his brother, Warren, 16, on July 24, 1930. You can read about the accident here.

 

He wrote this letter to his mother, Caroline (called Callie) who was visiting her parents in California at the time. Some of the handwriting is indecipherable and there are some errors in spelling and possibly with regard to the temperature. I think it’s safe to say it was very hot during the last month of their lives.

I transcribed the letters as best I could, letting the errors exist since they do reveal a little about Nelson’s life, personality, and the value of chickens, eggs, and cream.

 

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Nelson Kerns

 

July 9, 1930

Dear Mama,

I have been so busy I have hardly had time to write. How is Grandma getting along? We are almost worked to death. All of our corn is laid by but that over south. We celebrated at Radio Springs the 4th. We are haying now. Breakfast is ready now. Katherine Alexander got the school. Did you celebrate the 4th? Rhoda and Charlie did. Warren hasn’t worked one day at home since school is out. He is working for Charlie. I am going to wash clothes while Papa mows hay. The weather is very hot it was 108 above zero one day. I stayed in the lake about 4 hrs. and got a good sunburning. Well, I must go to work. Write soon.

With love,

Nelson

  • Cream 25 cents
  • Eggs 14 cents
  • Chickens 17 cents
  • We sold 90 chix and recieved ($22.00)

I have a number of items from the two brothers that I will continue to share. Follow my blog to see old grade cards, Sunday school reports, Valentines, monoplane and biplane mechanical drawings, 4H awards, and more. If you found this post enlightening about rural Missouri life in 1930, click the “Like” button and feel free to share. Here’s a photo of Nelson’s letter:

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