Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Kenneth Odell, WW1 Vet
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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Letter From France

 The following two letters are from Kenneth O’Dell,  son of Mr. and Mrs. T. E. O’Dell, of this vicinity.  He was a student in Mansfield High and left here about three years ago and has since made his home in the Middle West.  His letters will tell you something of doings over there.
       August 13th, 1918
Dear Mother:
 I received the letter that your wrote me on June 30th, and also received three of the New York papers, but they were over a month old when they came.  WE get the news pretty good here from Paris papers.   I don’t write very often as there is not much to write without having it canceled by the censor.  I cannot tell your where we are now located, but we will probably be helping in the next drive that takes place in this sector.   I see  by the papers that they are going to draft from 18 to 45.  That will make the farm laborers pretty scarce there.
 The war news sure looks good to us fellows over here as there are not very many but would like to get back home again soon.  At the rate the Americans and French are driving the Germans back now they will be across the Rhine before winter.  The French seem to be very nice people and will do most anything to accommodate a person.  I have seen some places that were shot up pretty bad by the Germans early in the war.  It think I would like to see Mansfield paper once in a while even if it was pretty long in getting here.  I should think that there would be a lot of the boys that I knew around there, drafted by now.  From reports I have heard from other fellows in the company they have taken nearly all the boys of draft age from South Dakota, where they came from.  I have not heard from South Dakota since being over here.   I must close now, with love to all.
       Kenneth O’Dell
     M. G. Co., 355th Inf., A. M. E. F

       August 25, 1918
Dear Mother:
 I received your letter that you wrote June 16th.  I have moved around some since I last wrote and am now in the trenches, but it is pretty quiet.  I saw a German plane brought down a few days ago by an American Flier.  It rained quite a lot yesterday and the trenches were pretty muddy last night and today, but are getting dry again now.  We have the Vickers heavy gun but have not used it any yet since we have been in the trenches.  I don’t know how long we will be in the trenches here, and don’t know whether they will take us where it is livier or leave us in this sector.  I would like to tell your right where I am so you could look it up on the map, bit I don’t think it would get through if I should.  I have not met any of the boys from Mansfield.  I am sure glad to hear that the crops are good.  I have only got three of the New York Worlds yet and they were so old that I didn’t find much news, as we get the New York Herald printed in Paris and sold by the Y. M. C. A., and we generally get it the next day after it is printed, or soon after.   The towns are pretty well shot up around here.  We have a fine place to take a bath as there is a lake here and the outlet is dammed up and a stream running through makes a fine shower bath.  We don’t have much to do here in the trenches, but keep a close watch on the Huns.  The Y. M. C A. and the Salvation Army have their huts up pretty close to the trenches and anyone over there can not realize how they help to keep the boys cheered up.  They sell stuff to the boys at cost, but have a hard time getting in supplies sometimes.  The generally have a phonograph or a piano and one enjoys a little music sometimes when not busy.  It is not necessary to put------division on the letters.  I must close and answer Dean’s letter.   Your loving son,
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 11/20/2003
By Joyce M. Tice

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